Showing posts with label Bernie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bernie. Show all posts

10 February, 2009

May they rest in peace...

This post is going to be a sombre one. As you may, or may not have heard, South Eastern Australia (mainly Victoria) is suffering from some of the most horrific bush fires ever seen. Already, 173 people have lost their lives trying to stay safe within their houses. It is not just houses lost in the fire storms, but whole communities, community buildings and in some cases even the local fire station AND police stations have been lost.
Some of the stories on the local news have been graphic in the content, inspiring in the communities desperately trying to stay strong and supportive (even though those helping others have lost EVERYTHING themselves), but far worse is the absolute disgust I have for the people who intentionally started these fires. Almost half of Victoria is now considered a crime scene, and people are still in the houses that were destroyed.
Here are a few news site recounting the stories.

03 February, 2009

Summer in Australia: - A bit of a 'catch up'

I had this sent to me today in an email, and thought that I would share it all with you (since we have been having a rather extended heat wave...):

Mr Whippy
Even though it has been hot, we are expecting even hotter weather this coming weekend, 42-44c, so I do hope that this will not happen in reality!
With the current water restrictions (Wed & Sun: - Before 10am and after 4pm) in place, coupled with this current hot dry season we are having, both at work and in the suburbs it is very dry (not to mention in the country and our farmers). Over the Christmas break, we ripped out our first season veges of Tomatoes, and replanted with some fresh stock. Whilst seedlings went in which were about 5cm tall, in the 2-3 weeks that they have been in, they are now nearly 40cm! Must be all that yummy Chook pooh I put into the vege patch whilst it laid fallow! Macc wanted to help with the vege patch (Tomatoes, Basil, Capsicum or Peppers and some Chives + Rhubarb) by turning over a small patch. Well, a small area that he wanted to bury his belated Christmas bone... The Ham bone! I was soooo angry with him, and he knew it, as he went off to the garage and tried to hide as soon as he saw it was me at home!!!
We also had the opportunity of finishing off insulating the house. We had some left over insulation from when we did the laundry (here, here, especially here, here, here, here, here & here) so it got used as a 'lining' of the upstairs study walls (in the roof space) and an additional bag of batts went into the area above the dining room, previously not accessible. Yesterday, the study was actually not to bad, heat wise, although a little stuffy from there being only the one window and not allowing the delightful breeze to pass through. but it WAS cooler!
Last week also saw the Diamond Princess arrive in Sydney. She is a very loooooong cruise liner indeed, not to mention BIG!

Diamond Princess Circular Quay
This was actually a photo I 'stitched' together from two photos. The following photo, I used a Circular Polarising Lens, which intensifies the blues and greens slightly... It gives it a somewhat dramatic style to it!

Diamond Princess: - Circular Quay
And that's life in Sydney, during Summer, for the moment...

18 January, 2009

Clipped wings and flights of fancy... (and some other stuff as well...)

Being summer and all, we have been somewhat busy, so sorry for the sporadic posts...
Last week, we finally had our ISP changed over from Virgin Broadband... Now, whilst this is an incredible service, when it is running, it was more often than not, slower than dial up! We tried installing an external antenna (which gave us some respite and additional speed), but then it started to slow down again! It even got to the point where, if on the net and a phone call came in, the modem would go 'on-hold' whilst the phone was in use, and sometimes the phone would even drop out!
Anyway, I digress, we now have a super fast Internet connection and a return to a 'landline'! Happy as a 'pig-in-mud'!
We have also been busy in and around the house as well. I have been asked (and repeatedly asked...) to hang some hooks in the recently renovated bathroom. It is not that I was trying to get out of it, but there were two bits of timber that we had to choose from! I wanted a slightly fancy version, whilst L was looking at a plain piece. The piece that had a bit of trimming about it, was from an old dressing table that the FIL had and I thought that, with a bit of trimming here and there, it could be used. It was!

Bathroom Hooks

Bathroom Hooks

Bathroom Hook

And then today, we were pottering around the house not doing much, went off to get L's car detailed as she gets a new one tomorrow, and she also got a pedi and a manicure! I hung the hooks as mentioned, and then we went into the 2nd bedroom and started hanging some of the pictures. I had to find the staple gun mind you, so we got started. All 'pictures' were hung and it was only left to the plaster wall vent L purchased for an 'art work'! It was a scene of some branches and a couple of birds sitting upon them. After putting some hooks in and then gluing them... they did not want hold tight, so I got another style and glued it on. All hung and it was looking good. Until... the hook came off and the plaster vent shattered! It was agreed that in, the unlikely event of it falling, there would be NO tears, right! So out came the vacuum (again) and mess all cleaned up until a replacement vintage bird was hung... Alas, a broken flight (down to the floor) ended in it being in more than one piece! Luckily enough though, there was a smaller one to be found...

Crafty Wall Hangings


06 January, 2009

Out with the old and in with the new...

Three and a half years ago, we purchased our FIRST laptop. It was a Samsung X20. We took it everywhere with us, New Zealand twice, Bali as well as to Brisbane, Melbourne etc... It was a sturdy little thing, but alas, it had been slowly failing... There was the odd 'crunch' under a couple of keys, a couple of start-up failures and program 'hiccups' but enough was enough when, looking at websites, the up and down arrows did not want to work, the mouse pad was becoming eratic and it was generally becoming slow!

So, on Sunday (before going to see Benjamin Button) we went and looked at a couple more laptops. Guess what, we found one that was fairly well spec'd up, in our price range AND looked pretty flash (L really liked it...)! But, you will have to wait until tomorrow (Wordless Wednesday & Thematic Photographic) to have a look!

With this, and a 'gift' from our phone prividor, we will have a very wireless home! I will be able to shift music from PC to xBox 360 and vic-versa, I already surf the net wirelessly and we are also able to get on the net, go to the TV guide and tell our TiVo to record a show if we are out!!! I do love technology!!!


31 December, 2008

NYE 2008: Let it all begin!

Here are a couple of shots I took this morning whilst waiting for the gates to open:

Last minute mowing

Everything ready

Art Gallery Line

Line waiting

First through

Interview & rolling

Not to sure what he has in his pack, but he must have friends coming along! The line for coming in is almost 1klm long now, and it is still quite early, and the site will accomodate 20,000 people. Lets see if we hit that target!

Cubby rebuild...

Over the last couple of months, the cubby has been getting much more of a lean... It was about to fall over! So, I tried to take the roof off to brace it up a little, but as I touched it, I quickly found out that if I was to try and lift it off, the whole house would simply fall! The previous owner of the house, had a little girl, and I think it may have been a rush job to build it many years ago, as some of the joints were... well... not that good!

So on the weekend Christmas break, we dismantled it, and I built two new side wall frames. The back yard looked as though a cyclone (tornado) had gone through it!

Cubby 30122008

Cubby II 30122008

Cubby III 30122008

We also did a 'new' floor, as the old one was just chipboard on a couple of bricks! Great for ALL sorts of bugs and stuff when kids are inside!!!

Cubby Floor 30122008

Now, yesterday afternoon, frames were finished and the rear cladding was nailed on. Right hand side cladding and window were also installed and then the cubby was placed onto the new floor. Whilst L was off getting dinner (it was too hot to cook anything, and that is a story in it's own right that I will tell you later...) the cladding and window were completed on the left hand side.

Now, as I said, it was rather hot and as I was busy, L said that she will do dinner, But as it was hot, we were busy so she decided to go to Alpacino's Pizza & Pasta house nearby. She left and dodged her way through traffic at a nearby intersection where a motorcyclist had an accident and later died. When she got to Alpacino's, it was closed! She left and then called me and it was decided to go to the local Lebanese bakery, where they have the BEST, woodfired pizza's. Sounds good? NUP, it was closed as well!!!!

By this time, somewhat deflated, she came home and defrosted some stir-fry beef, cracked open a bottle of Vietnamese sauce and cooked some rice. What a disaster! This dinner was so hot (spice), she could barely eat it! I had one bit of the beef and some rice, and I swear that it took off the lining of my mouth!

So, here I am, at work on New Years Eve (NYE). Outside it is a lovely day, where we are expecting a top in the city of around 30 degrees C. Our site is one of (if not THE best) the best sites for the NYE fireworks. Fencing has gone in and will not reopen until 10am. There is already thousands of people out there waiting. These are mainly backpackers (UK and USA to name a couple), and have already started drinking as grog is not allowed inside. It is not even 9am! We will be at home tonight, with family, having a BBQ, enjoying the spa and having a game or two on either the xbox or the PS2.

Your turn: What are your plans to see in 2009? Have you made a resolution yet, and will you?

Have a great night everyone, and stay safe. See you in 2009!

28 December, 2008

Enjoying the summer after Christmas!

Boy, am I glad that Christmas is over for another year... Since, mind you, we have been sort of 'flat out'! With doing things around the house, and L having a bout of the Summer Flu! We have been enjoying some rather warm weather with afternoon thunderstorms (one now actually, stopping work on the cubby-house). I do not really mind this however, as it allows me to watch the second test, Australia v Sth Africa in the Cricket!!!
But, I just thought I would share some shots of what our Christmas day entailed...

Christmas Table 2008 II

Christmas Table
Rosie, seemed as though she was a little 'confused' as to what was happening, but she did like her Santa's hat:

Santa's lil helper
Both Max and Will got Chef's hat's and Max (being the photogenic person he is by always jumping into a shot...) was willing to show his hat off. But as it was late in the day (a very long day for the boys), Will was a little more camera shy:

The mad chef
I can't remember what Rosie got for her Christmas present, but what ever it was, it must have been good (given both mum and dad have the same facial expression):


10 December, 2008

Man, have we been busy!!!

This is a bit of a 'catch-up', so apologies in advance!
Firstly, in news other than homely stuff, 'L' had another cycle, however, this time, it was a negative. Friday, she is going off to have some investigative surgery to have a look at the insides... More on that in another post!
So, what have we been doing? A lot! Tiling the back (and front) verandahs...



Back Wide


Side During

Back During

Side Finished

Back Finished II

And finished & cleaned off...

Back Cleaned

Also, the second bedroom was still in the colours that were in it when we bought the house 3 1/2 years ago, so a change was in order...

2nd Bedroom

Clearly, the previous owner's little girl had influenced the colour choice...

2nd Bedroom Door

And, as tomorrow is 'L's' birthday and a party will be had on Sunday, we are doing a spot of cleaning!!!

Rug Cleaning

I promise, I will post a photo of the present I have got her tomorrow afternoon!!!

19 November, 2008

Oh what a ... day!

On Monday, we had an interesting morning...

We had to get to the clinic early on Monday for another transfer. This was to be our4th transfer since collecting the follicles a short time ago... So we left early as we had to drive in the morning peak. Trouble was, somebody forgot to tell the rest of the city, that they should also be driving and we got to our destination an HOUR early!

So, nearby, there is a hotel with a coffee shop attached so we parked the car and went there. I was no sooner inside, and thought I recognised some girls sitting there having their breakfast. And it wasn't long before I realised who they were... They were the girls from 'Make me a Supermodel' and here they were, stuffing their faces, being demanding for coffee in a take away cup and generally being a right royal "prima-donnas"!

Then it was time to go to the clinic for the transfer, which went as expected and I will not bore you with the details, and we headed home for a rest. There were a few 'sharp pains' in the lower abdo, and all, but all was going well. We then had to drive into the City, as L had to have an appoint to go to followed by a follow-up/debrief from the Pilot Program that the IVF Clinic had done. This was a weight loss program, that re-educated you on how your body works with food. Eating every three hours, a strict calorie total for the day and a 45 min walk at least 3 times a week. The program leader was sending tips on things to do as well through the 6 week program. All up, L had lost nearly 7kg, drop three sizes in her jeans and is enjoying her walks! All we have to do is get a positive that sticks!

That's all for now, but will keep you updated as we go... We are going to the Canberra Craft Markets this weekend, so lots of crafty goodness will be there!

14 November, 2008

Colourful time here in Sydney...

I simply love this time of year...

The days are getting longer, and warmer with a top of 35 C expected here today... There is also the colours of spring/summer happening everywhere. From some spots in Sydney, you look over the city and you can see the purples of the Jacaranda's, reds of the Brachychitons and the yellows of the Grevillias.

This morning, on my way into work, there must have been some back burning of the National Parks as there was a very distinct smell around and a smokey haze as well. Of, the summer is not far away now... Apparently, we have a very high to extreme fire risk with a lot of the National Parks have a large amount of leaf litter within the understorey of the bushland. Lets hope that it does not get away like it did back in 2003.

So here are a few of those lovely trees I mentioned. The Jacaranda mimosafolia:


And the Brachyciton acerifolia:


The garden is beginning look quite good at the moment, and the vege patch is especially so. I planted a few tomatoes and they are nearly 6 foot tall already! The Truss variety is doing the best, and has a few branch's of tomatoes on them already, so hopefully we will be having home grown tommies!

28 October, 2008

Thank goodness... Summer is coming!

Thank goodness is all I can say!

You see, I have had enough of the cold weather, and I really love it when it is warm... Take the last couple of weeks for example. We had a warm event, high 20's and then all of a sudden, we hit 36 and it is still in spring! We packed away the heaters, turned down the spa and planted out the spring/summer flowers and veges. And then, within a day (or two) we were shivering in the cold and rain! What is going on with this weather?

And just yesterday, we got to 35 at home, and after getting home from work and cooking dinner, enjoyed the spa before settling down and relaxing for the evening.

After going to bed, and falling into a DEEP sleep, we were awoken to the sounds of yelling, screaming and the most awful crashing noise... Thinking that the kids across the road had hit one of our cars, we were both up and out of bed in record time to see the second youngest boy (approx 13-14) standing out on the road. What he is doing up at this time of night, let alone driving is beyond me to say the least! After L going out to see what was going on under the cover of no lights coming on (we have a sensor light up the side path, and this was switched off...), and I gazed from our dining room window for a better look, there was no damage, and return to slumber. Or so we thought. L took a lot longer than I to fall back off to sleep, but either way, we had a broken nights sleep and are paying for it now!

Macc & Jasmine both had there annual visit to see Uncle Allen, the vet. Jasmine was a little hard to convince she had to go, I spent nearly half an hour trying to catch her and squeeze her into the carry case. She eventually eluded me and took off through the window and out onto the roof. After about 20 mins, she seemed to have forgotten all about it, and under the guise of bribery and corruption (food treats) she came down and went easily into the carry case. Macc on the other hand, went easily and enjoyed the trip but when it came to having his shot, he winced and cried before he even had the injection! He is a big wimp and for a couple of hours after, cried like a baby when he moved, whilst Jasmine retreated into the second bedroom and stayed there until the following evening...

03 October, 2008

A bit of a 'catch-up'

As some of you may know, we have been having a bit of a rough time lately with a lot of time spent at either Hospitals, Clinic's or at the GP. In fact, L was back at the hospital just this morning! These visits will be continuing for a little while to come as well... Almost two weeks ago now, another 'angel' went to heaven...

L is recovering slowly now, but is well on the mend. She is keeping busy, to busy I say, but I think this might just be a good thing as she will not dwell on what has happened.

We spent all of last week at home with a lot of 'us' time. Apart from that, Pa was also in hospital suffering from many things, but after releasing a blockage, he improved heaps. Nan this week, moved into a nursing home for some respite care, and pa will be joining her when he gets a little better, enough to walk. Not bad for a couple that are in their 90's!

I have also been busy, so busy that we have suddenly noticed that our Wisteria is about to flower! We have been SO unlucky with these over the last couple of years. At our old place, we planted one and in the 5 years that we were there, it had not flowered. We visited it the other week, and the people there tells us that it was about to flower! So here is a couple of shots of the first blooms:

Wisteria Bud

Wisteria Flower Bud

Also, it is now time to say 'bye bye' to my little old Suzuki...

Old Suzuki

She is being put out to pasture this afternoon, for a newbie, so I will post a photo of the new 'beast' over the weekend!

I will also be starting to 'catch-up' on ALL of my blogs in my reader, so my apologies to those I have not visited for some time. You have not been neglected!!

Take care, and have a great weekend!