Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Favourite comics

Two of my favourite comics (Pearls before Swine & Get Fuzzy) put out some absolutely fantastic ones today:

  • Pearls has a great piece on what is the real purpose of Social Services (got wrong in typical Pig fashion)
  • Get Fuzzy has re-introduced one of my favourite characters (Chubby Huggs!)

Well... They brought a smile to my face :-D

Oh, I'm still here in Belgium, about to head out to try some of the local cuisine (ie: beer). So have fun everyone!! *waves*


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Concussion, Girl Power & Ceasar Salads

Ok, here goes again... (I've tried this post before 'cept it lost it when I went to publish it, ARGH!!!)

Salad Cesar in Brussels
I am in Brussels now (for work no less) sitting in a very plush hotel (gotta love work trips!) kicking back after a few Hoegaarden's, and I thought I'd put up a small update of what I've been up to in the last week or so.

But before I get into that I just wanted to let people know, you have not had a Ceasar Salad, until you've had one in Belgium! (at least not if the one I had tonight is anything to go by), it was absolutely delicious, it had all the traditional ceasar ingredients, plus: chicken, capsicum, roasted walnuts, orange pieces (as in the fruit), cherry tomatoes & drizzled with honey. Yum!

Well now to see if I can remember some of what I wrote before dinner...

Snow boarding in France
We got to Tignes via Geneva on Sunday (16th Jan) a bit after midday I think it was, and the sky was blue and the slopes were white.. So it was with great excitement we grabbed our lift passes and organised our ski gear. As we were mostly beginner boarders we booked ourselves a group lesson for midday Monday..

Ok slight diversion here, I might just quickly explain who "We" are, there's: Matt, Paul & Lydia, Leigh (the token skier) and Jon (the experienced-ish boarder)

So Monday morning arrived and straight after breakfast we headed out to the Nursery slope, for some practise runs before our lesson (can't waste any of that snow time!), whereupon within the very first half hour of being out on the snow with a board, I decided now would be a good time to do my Superman impression ... chin first into the ice I landed (I think it'd had been a week since it'd really snowed), all I can say is OW!

But I wasn't going to let a wee bruised chin stop me, no sirree, so we all kept trucking along through the morning, through the lesson.

Well, almost...

I lasted until 15minutes before the end of the 2 hour lesson, and it hit me... I was ready to pass out and well... empty my stomach as well.. Yep for those smart cookies who guessed it, that knock on the chin gave me Mild Concussion, putting me out of action for about 2 days.

Not exactly what you would call a great start to the week eh? But even with that and all the other trials and tribulations we suffered:

  • One mild concussion
  • 3 bouts of gastro (needing a day of sleeping)
  • One sprained wrist
  • One stretched medial ligament (in the knee, requiring a knee brace for 3 weeks)
  • Uncountable bruises, aches & pains
  • A lovely 9 hour delay for our flight back (story for another time)

I think we all really enjoyed ourselves! :-) I know that I did, and I do intend to go snow boarding again (though next time I might wait till there's some powder on the ground before doing a Superman impression).

Oh, and big massive kudos to the fantastic effort of Lydia, being the one and only member of our little group to actually make it out each and every day! You go girl!

Oh and aparently on the Tuesday (I wasn't exactly with it so can't confirm), was when it started snowing, (it didn't stop, not at all, it was still going when we left) on one day there was 18 inches of snow, nice and soft to land in!

Have fun!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Meow & Polly, Stories & Sad news

Yay! I got up a new post for Meow and Polly! :-) Well it makes me happy.

Not to sure about it, but I've got something up, when I said I would... Next will be the challenge of getting something up next week as I'll be off skiing, there should be some kind of net access over there. But I think I'll make next weeks post a wee bit shorter or at least not as many web links that I need to check! :-P

Old Stories
The other night I was glancing through all the various files that I'd dumped on my iPod (well the non-music stuff anyways), and I realised that I'd dumped up a whole bunch of stuff that I'd written up years and years ago, hell right back when I was in year 12. And even if I do say so myself some of it was actually pretty good.

This one in particular, I still find a nice read, though I think the ending needs work... And well nice isn't actually the right acronym to use. But read it for yourself and you can make up your own mind.

Oh and you might like my recipe for Argumentative Cakes (one of the possible pieces for my year 12 cat back in 1994)

I think that I'll try and post up some of the other stuff I found as I go on...

Sad news
Unfortunately my Mum's dog Kelly (the best little german sheppard/huskie around!) passed away. :-(
Aparently she is going to be buried at a farm in Northern Victoria, where eventually Cyprus trees will be planted, and so all those favoured pets and companions will once more be in the full circle that is life.
You were a great dog Kelly. Take a big hug with you.


Argumentative Cake

Arguments are one of the most enjoyable aspects of being human. We
talk and discuss amongst our friends, and add that extra spice
through serious arguments with all sorts of individuals.
Quite often we are unable to create arguments, or perhaps
those arguments we voice are uninteresting. For this explicit
purpose, I have created a simple recipe, which will enable you
to bake the most impressive argumentive cake, which you can
share amongst your associates.

Argumentive Cake.

2 cups issue (containing contention, and opposition).
3 arguments.
1/4 cup grammar.
1 cup sentence structure.
1 teaspoon of relevance.
1/2 cup punctuation.

Sift Issue, separating opposition and contention. Beat
opposition well until creamed, adding logic to help the
Add arguments to support contention, mixing well, while
continually adding grammar, sentence structure and
punctuation, until mixture is doughy.
Take 'dough' out of bowl, place on board sprinkled with
grammar. Using rolling pin, roll out to a flat shape. Gently
spread opposition even over contention to a depth of 1/4 mm,
lightly sprinkling relevance over cream. Fold dough several
times and roll out again. Repeat process until all of
opposition is used or a good consistency is reached.
Test mixture, it should have a powerful taste of
contention, with just a hint of opposition, add remaining
ingredients to spice to your taste.
Place in one human receptacle in oven for 1 hour (at 180
Celsius) or until solid outer layer, with a luscious interior.
While cake is cooking, prepare icing.

Persuasive Icing:

1 teaspoon persuasion.
1/2 cup logic.
2 cups conviction.

Mix conviction an logic in small saucepan, and bring to
boil. Then gently add persuasion to mixture. Allow to simmer
for 5 minutes, occasionally stirring, then turn heat off
leaving icing over stove to cool. It should still be luke
warm when the cake is ready to be iced. If not, reheat until
slightly runny, and warm enough for cake to absorb flavours,
then spread icing over cake. Your cake is ready, feel free to
add sprinkles of presentation in an attractive design.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Off to France!

Well I just got the word today! My leave for next week has been approved, so from 16th to 23rd of Jan, I probably won't be posting anything, as I shall be hitting the slopes of Tignes, staying at Chalet hotel L’Aiguille Percee.

Looking forward to it, I think I'll give boarding another try (after a day about 3-4 years ago).. See if I can not do a somersault (well at least not by accident). And if that happens there's always the nice warm fire in the Chalet, and some fine scotch. :-)

Anyways, that it from me tonight so keep having fun and I'll see you on the flip side!

Web link grabbed from

PS: Just remembered an odd thought I'd had today:
It occurred to me, to patent something is a misnomer, given that the definition of Patently is:

obviously: unmistakably (`plain' is often used informally for `plainly'); "the answer is obviously wrong"; "she was in bed and evidently in great pain"; "he was manifestly too important to leave off the guest list"; "it is all patently nonsense"; "she has apparently been living here for some time"; "I thought he owned the property, but apparently not"; "You are plainly wrong"; "he is plain stubborn"
Taken from Googles definition (which probably grabbed it from some other page)

So those people on Slashdot were right, patenting something is just a way of getting paid for something that is obvious.
or as matt pointed out
Perhaps that's what makes it patentable, that in hindsight so many people see it as obvious...

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Robin Hobb's books

I've just finished reading Fools Fate by Robin Hobb.

And I've gotta say I really liked it, there's something about her Farseer trilogy books, it's not the story/plot that is the most interesting, it's the character development.

Most books that I read (and I read a lot) there is character development, but what drives the book is a specific story the author is trying to tell, solving a religious/political/conspiracy theory in the case of Dan Brown's books or the rollocking and thrilling stories of George R. R. Martin (who actually has quite a lot of emotional development and upheaval).

With Robin Hobb it's different, the actions in the book are more about taking the characters on an emotional journey to explore the highs and lows, so much so that I felt taken on that journey as well. There were times that I wanted to hit the main character (but I found that it resonated with me), at other times I was lefting happy, alive and ready to face whatever the world brought my way...

Basically I'm trying to say, go read her books! Her writing style is amazing and for taking you on an emotional journey I've read none better. :-)

And that's all I've got to say on that, other than read my previous post because it's important to me.



Well I'd like to now unveil a new project that I've been toying around with for quite a while, and have now actually started: Meow and Polly came about because a few good friends.


Dan the Man!

who decided that if I was going to be travelling around the world I needed to have a couple of friends to bring with me, and that I was to take photos of them Every place I go...

And that's exactly what I have done (well near enough), so the next question was, how to show the friends back home? I initially was just going to post them all up to a web page with some comments on where i'd been at the time... After a while of not doing that (around about the same time I stopped posting pretty much anything up here), I started toying around with the idea of actually making it more of a story, where I could try out a bit of creativity... It's been a challenge, instead of being a stream of conscience I've had to first figure out what kind of personality I would give both Meow & Polly, and try and write in that style... Hopefully it'll get easier over time (along with the posts will actually be in their own words, rather than with me inside, if you know what I mean)...

Anyways, it's now up and the first parts are ready to be read (only just), I'll be updating them at least once a week, to begin with up to 3 times a week as I build the foundation of their characters. The aim is that there'll be a new post (story installment) on Thursday nights (London time), with some background stuff (under articles) posted up during the week. Oh and please send me feedback on how you think I'm going with their story (it's challenging but fun!).

Till next time, take care!

Friday, January 07, 2005

Aussies and alcohol

While I was doing a bit of research for another project that I'm working on at the moment (I'll hopefully post up the links within the day, for the first editions), I came across this little gem: A Canadian's perspective on Drinking in Australia

"A "slab" is the term used for 24 cans of beer that have been packaged together for sale in the liquor store. A slab, or fractions of slabs, can also be used for relating to distances between towns in the Outback."

Now to go hit the turps.

The end is nigh!

I found out just recently that in the bible it states 'Man will not know the date' (paraphrased, and in the context of the end of the world), which makes all those end of the world types really silly..

Or maybe they're actually the smartest? By predicting the end on a certain date they're actually making sure that the world doesn't end... I think that's an excellent idea, and I'm proposing we all pick a date, if we cover every date we're safe (at least from supernatural oblivion).

So I predict that the world will end on March 17th 2009.

Your turn

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Congrats to Andrea and Mark!

Well some exciting news to report, my two housemates Andrea and Mark are now engaged! Congratulations both of you! :-)

Under the christmas tree

Showing off the engagment ring

Now I consider it my civic duty to come up with some recommendations for the stag night/weekend.. Amongst my favourite so far is:

A fantastic use of duct tape!

Till next time,

Monday, January 03, 2005

Slightly different direction

As many of you have no doubt realised, I have stopped posting about places that I travelled to... Even though I did not complete the list of places I've been too... My apologies for that

Why did I stop?
Initially it was that I wanted to actually put up photo's with the places that I've been too (and was having serious issues on getting them up), but after a while it reached that kind of stage where you've left something undone for so long it's got it's own special kind of pressure, and so I kept not doing it..

After a while of not posting anything I decided that no, I still wanted to post things, but I wanted to post things I enjoyed and that I wanted to tell people about rather than ones that I didn't... Besides writing about my travels when I didn't want to, well it won't convey the sense of joy and story of places I've been... It'd be more:

I went to a place, the sky was grey, I liked the buildings.

too cold, too abstract, especially as a lot of the places I enjoyed up in Scotland and in Netherland were because of the people/atmosphere and the experiences had while there! Fantastic!!!

Where to now?
Well now I've decided not to worry about posting where I've been exactly and instead to talk about what I'm interested in, whatever that is at the time, there are a few stories from my travels:
  • Absailing down the tallest building in Rotterdam
  • The morags of Inverness
  • Curious sheep of Pitlochry
  • Mad managers of Outer Hebrides hostels..

that I'd like to still share, but I'm not going to stress about it, I'll share them when I'm ready and not before. Of course you're still welcome to bug me about it, it might help get them up a bit quicker (at the least it'd let me know that you'd be interested in reading about them) :-)

So in the meantime take care of yourselves, enjoy reading whatever you wish, and I also recommend checking out an interesting site that will bring you random posts from all sorts of blogs around the world. Just keep pressing next until you find something you like. (found it on Gadgetopia)


Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy 2005!

Well it's now 1st January here in London, and after a fun and interesting night down at the Shepherds Bush Walkabout I'm slowly recovering (I think it's going to be time for some Bacon & Eggs soon!)

Though I've got say, I'm in a lot better shape than Little Matt who I had the joyful task of looking after at the end of the night (he was having trouble standing, walking, drinking water...) actually it was all good, especially as we got to have a few interesting chats with strangers on the tube home. Usually revolving around matt asking any female sitting near us if they'd given me their phone numbers...
Strangely enough, none of them had or did, in fact most ran away at that time...

But anyways, this is just a short post to say Happy New Years! Hope you've had a grand one wherever you are, whatever you were doing!

Lots a hugs