Friday, February 27, 2009

It's an army life for me!

Well, I think I am going to join the Army.

No, I have not lost my job, mind or about 12 years off my age.

There is a very good reason for this decision.


It was good and there is enough in the sachets for 2 hot chocolates.

I might have to try the potato with onion powder for lunch and see if that changes my mind. How do you powder onion?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ye Olde Crappe Castleeeee

Seeing Mr Stu's post on his family trip to a castle somewhere, got me thinking of Victoria's very own medieval (1970's fashion was evil anyway) castle, Kryal Castle.

Kryal Castle is situated on the highway into Ballarat, or as I prefer to think about it, the highway OUT of Ballarat.

Ballarat is a large country North West of Melbourne and is famous as a Gold Rush town and the site of the Eureka Stockade. My grandparents used to live in a place called Bunninyong which is just outside Ballarat, although with today's urban sprawl is practically a suburb of Ballarat. Having been dragged up there thousands of weekends and seen it snow more times than be over 30 degrees, I can confidently suggest that the name Ballarat is Aboriginal for Cold as f$%k!

Ballarat is somewhat of a tourist town with, aside from Kryal Castle, a mock up of the Eureka Stockade (apparently a new Eureka Centre as well, but that wasn't there in my day), a replica gold rush town called Sovereign Hill and a dinosaur park called Dinosaur World.

As we were there so often, I have been to every tourist attraction in the area about a half a dozen times and there is a common theme to them all, they are kind of second rate. Actually that is not quite fair, Sovereign Hill used to be second rate but over the years it has evolved to be pretty good by Australian standards.

Getting back to Kryal Castle, it was built in 1972 by Keith Ryal, is the third largest castle in the Southern Hemisphere and is based on a 14th century castle. The quality of it's website gives a fair indication of the standard of the attraction. Interestingly I found the following in small print in the "Night Life" section of their website:

"Kryal Castle is the ultimate destination for any sized function or event. There are many internal events such as Cocktails in the Graveyard theatre restaurant, Medieval Murder Mysterys, And many more.. Bookings are however essential. Kryal Castle, is also a great destination for any large scale event, with patron capacity of 5000 and fully licensed / catering areas available until as early as 4am for any type of large scale event. "

Hmmm, you are in trouble when your website contradicts itself. Is it the ultimate or just great? If it is the ultimate for any sized function or event then why is there a 5000 patron capacity? What if I want 50,000 patrons?

Strangely enough it is best known in recent times as a rave venue. Let's face it, in 1356 the raves were epic, so recreating them at Kryal Castle just makes sense!

I actually have fond memories of my visits there, but I think it was one of those places that work until you are about 11 years old and the "magic" starts to fade.

Interestingly, during my research for this I found out that Kryal Castle is up for sale! I was going to suggest everyone pitching it, but seeing as we can't sail Saddam's boat there, I don't see the point.

So for your next work team building exercise, I strongly recommend Kryal Castle!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Church of Shane Warne update

Exciting news, the Church now has a Facebook group.

I have no idea how to post links to Facebook groups, so just log into Facebook and search The Church of Shane Warne.

Birthday Dinner

It was the Good Lady Naut's (TGLN) birthday on Saturday and we had a few friends over Saturday night to celebrate. TGLN decided she didn't want me to cook, which I of course viewed as a criticism of my cooking abilities, so dinner was a mixture of salad and trays of mixed meats from the local kabab shop.

It all looked and smelt pretty tasty. I, of course, am far too hardcore for that kind of wussy food and so courtesy of the Australian Defense Force by way of James Phelan, here is my dinner.

If you look closely on the left hand side of the above photo, you will notice the dog is also hardcore and waiting anxiously for any scraps.

I actually didn't eat this for dinner, not because I wimped out, but because once I opened it the instructions were HUGE and everyone knows real men don't read instructions.

I think we need an urgent investigation into the packaging and presentation of the MREs supplied to our soldiers. This is the kind of thing that gets people killed.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I try to avoid discussing religion and politics here as all the discussion in the world isn't going to change my views and I couldn't give a damn about changing yours. But I am going to make an exception today and discuss religion.

I am an atheist. I am not undecided or just can't be bothered thinking about it. I have given it some thought and have come to the conclusion there is no God, or so I thought.

Last night I had a revelation. One that in fairness, I must admit that Lermontov had attempted, a couple times, to reveal to me.

That revelation was, that there is a God and he walks the earth in the form of:


The revelation hit me like a lightening bolt. Just like it hits Jake when he "sees the light" in The Blues Brothers. I too would have gone cartwheeling down the aisle, but as I was sitting in the Dress Circle at the Athenaeum Theatre at the time, it would have been a nasty drop if I didn't pull up in time.

Just in case you hadn't worked it out yet, this life changing moment occurred during a performance of Shane Warne the Musical or as I now think of it, Church.

As the musical provides a chronological journey through the key points of Warnie's life, the biblical nature of his existence is clearly evident. Some examples:

  • While there has been no suggestion Warnie was an immaculate conception, his Mum is pretty well known but you never hear about his Dad.
  • The Indian bookie John clearly saw him as a prophet and paid $5,000 to hear his word.
  • You have heard of the loaves and the fishes, well Warnie brought Baked Beans and Toasted Ham and Cheese sangers to the Sub-Continent.
  • How about Moses and God burning a bush. Warnie has burnt a ton of bushes, tobacco bushes to be exact, after they had been harvested, processed and turning into ciggies.
  • Jesus brought comfort to strangers, Warnie comforted plenty of strange women.
  • Most religious leaders have wacky outfits, I give you Umpire, ODI and Twenty20 uniforms.
  • 12 Apostles and 12 players in a cricket team, co-incidence?
  • Jesus sacrificed his life for our sins, Warnie sacrificed the Captaincy for his sins.

So in this time of darkness, having just lost to the dirty 'boks at home and facing another lost to them on Tour, our thoughts turn to the impending Ashes. A plague of locusts, raining toads and 40 days/nights of rain (sound familiar Queenslanders) is but an inconvenience when compared with the horror of losing the Ashes.

Well fear not people, as Jesus rose from the dead, so to will Warnie awake from retirement to strike down the evil empire that is England and make Pietersen his bunny.

So people, rise up so that you can bow down again in the glory of Warnie.

I will leave you with one final piece of evidence of Warnies divinity. In the religious world much is made of miracles, but the evidence of a miracle is rarely conclusive. Well the following is video evidence of what can only be described as a divine miracle and one that Warnie performed on 708 test occassions and 293 ODI occassions.

Lermontov and Therbs a priesthood awaits in the Church of Warne, just got to get Pope Benaud to sign it off.

Praise the Warne!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Thanks to the Good Lady Naut's sister, we are off to see Shane Warne the Musical tonight.

I have a history with musicals. My parents love them and used to take the family to every major one that came out. Cats was a good perve, but Les Mis was nearly the death of me. After Les Mis I did a deal with my parents, they could save money by not buying me a ticket to future musicals, but they had to buy me the largest block of chocolate available in the supermarket.

The deal was a win win and everyone was happy.

That said, I am quite looking forward to seeing the show tonight. It should be a bit of fun even with all that singing and dancing crap.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Little Debbie Koala, not a friend of the frog

Being the sensistive, perceptive individual that I am, I have sensed that some of you are not fans of the Green Frog.

Well folks it could be worse. Check out what Marcus Ambrose and his Nascar sponsor Little Debbie have unleashed on the world.

What can I say, luv the frog!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Build me a menu.

Ok, I need the help of the culinary geniuses that hang out around here.

I am going to cook for 8-10 on Sat night and I need you to build me a menu that is both easy to make, cheap and will make look like an Iron Chef.

Normally I would fill the guests full of booze before dinner and then serve up baked beans on toast, but nearly everyone will be driving and/or have babies to mind, so the missus and I may be the only pissed ones.

Oh, and the only acceptable seafood is Calamari. I don't usually edit comments but any vegan suggestions will be deleted. If something hasn't died, it's not a meal.

So help me out, otherwise it is going to be Indian or Thai takeaway.

Monday musings

They say the pen is mightier than the sword and I guess I agree with that. After all the pen can rally 100 more swords to your side and it can be reasonably assumed that 100 swords will usually beat 1 sword.

They also say that a picture tells 1000 words and while I don't know the ratio of words:pen, in this modern age of digital cameras you can take and print a photo far faster than you can write 1000 words. Therefore logically the camera is mightier than the pen.

Following this reasoning, video/film would be mightier than the camera, but in my opinion it isn't. You see, both writing and photos leave large areas for the imagination to fill. When reading you can put mental pictures to the text and when looking at a photo you can speculate as to the picture's subject's story. Video/film can give both the images and story which instead of making it more powerful, actually takes something away from it by reducing the opportunity for imaginative thought.

Does this make the most powerful thing in the world?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The ultimate betrayal

I am sitting here watching the cricket and little Sophasaurus.

As is often the case, my mind wanders to the future of my little monster. Will she be the President (we will be a Republic by then sorry Havock), a Policewoman, a Vet or even a serial killer? If she was a serial killer, could I still love her? Yep, probably. So what could she do that would shatter my love for her?

Then it came to me.

The only thing that could break the extraordinary father/daughter bond.

Something that could drive a wedge larger than the pyramids of Giza, between us.

Something worse than supporting Collingwood.

Worse than becoming a Vegan or a nun.

Worse even than dating an English bloke.

She could barrack for the Kiwis in the cricket.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Could I turn to the dark side, sales?

I recently got offered an opportunity to take on an account management type role at one of our suppliers. It would be potentially more money, would involve a manageable amount of travel, would be relatively easy as it is more relationship building than technical stuff.

The problem is that at the end of the day it is a sales role. I think I would have an advantage due to my technical skill as customers will see me as a value add to their business and so will take my recommendations on purchases more seriously.

There are two major downsides that are concerning me:
  1. If I resign I may miss out on a potentially substantial redundancy sometime in the near future.
  2. In this economic climate, do I want to take a risk to earn more when a chunk of those earnings will come from commission?

On the plus side it would give me an excuse to replace my car and I have my eye on a 2004 Subaru Liberty GT Wagon.

Hmmm, better get the input of the Good Lady Naut on this one.

Frog of Green

Click me Green Frog.

Meeting Frog

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I can't think of a title.

Ok, this is my last post on the fires for a while.

I had written a big, long post on it, but to be frank it was self-indulgent and irrelevant so I scrapped it.

I will say though to all the pissed dickheads that run around wearing an Aussie flag as a cape and abusing people, take a good hard look around. The volunteers serving their and other's communities, neighbours helping neighbours and joe/jane citizen helping people they have never met are displaying the true Aussie spirit. Get in there, help someone out and give it a go. It's not about symbols and noise, it is about support, resilience and community.

There are examples of this every day that rarely get any publicity, so take this opportunity to learn what it means to be Australian. Maybe in the future you will pull your fuckin' heads in!

Monday, February 9, 2009

All safe so far

I have finally got confirmation this morning that the family I know in the Kinglake region are safe and well. Their house is most likely destroyed but they did the smart thing and got out very early, more because the weather conditions posed an unacceptable risk rather than any specific fire threat.

They live on a small property that is mostly cleared with open paddocks, but outside their boundaries is forest so if they had stayed they would have stood very little chance. We have some other friends that live in a relatively defensible property about 500 metres west and the fires got very close them.

Pretty scary stuff. I hate to think what would have happened if the wind had stayed northerly as Mernda and Dorren, which are only two suburbs northeast of us, were put on alert. If they had gone up then the fire is in the suburbs. The sad thing is that while the wind change was good for some, it put others straight in the path of the fire. The only good wind change is a change to no wind at all.

I guess this is the price for living in Melbourne's green wedge and I am sure we will hear some sad stories from friends and neighbours over the coming weeks.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Finally home to a State on fire.

Finally got out of Sydney at 6.40pm, not bad for a 4.15pm flight, got me home about 9pm.

Cool change has been through, so I completely missed the hottest day on record in melbourne. It was so hot we were able to watch a possum drink out of the dogs water bowl, the good Lady Naut wouldn't let me drown the bugger! I bet she regrets it when the little mongrel runs across the roof a 3am.

Coming home from the airport I was shocked to hear about the fires in Victoria. I could tell from the reports it was serious and the plume of smoke in the sky to the near north and east was confirmation.

Strangely my parents that live in the country an hour and a half north of Melb have no real fires around them, while places a 15-20 drive north of my place such as Kinglake, Whittlesea and Yarra Glen have been devastated and lives have been lost. I was actually mildly concerned about my place if the northly winds had continued particularly at the strength they were. Mind you if my place went up then the losses would already be in the thousands.

I know a couple of people that live in badly effected areas and am listening to local ABC radio trying and failing to imagine the devastation that is going on not too far away from here.

So a tip of the hat to all the emergency services folk (professional and volunteer) who have and will continue to perform unheralded heroic acts and best wishes to those that are and have been in the fires path.

Airport Blog

My 4.15 flight is currently scheduled for 6.20 but I won't believe that until I see that the plane has actually landed here in Sydney.

The good news is that I spoke to my wife earlier and it was 44.5 degrees, so by the time I get home the cool change might have come through.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A bunch of ferals (copyright Havock)

Well, as you can see from the above photo, dinner at the Butcher's Grill was a success. It was good to catch up with GuruBob, Bangar and Havock again and a pleasure to meet Chaz and Simon Bedak. Unfortunately I was the first to bail as I had a morning flight to Sydney to catch.
When I left my intention was to catch the train home, that intention lasted as long as it took for me to spot a Taxi (20 metres walk). If I knew I was going to get the worst Taxi driver in history, I probably would have stuck with the trains. My driver failed to recognise any of the 4 suburbs I named, drove all over the road and at one stage was doing 45km/h in an 80 zone. Aaagggghhhh!!!!
Managed to drag my sorry arse onto the plane in the morning. I feel sorry for the poor bastard next to me that had to put with the stench of red wine leaking from my pores. Thankfully I wasn't the pilot so we got to Sydney alive.
I thought the one benefit of working in Sydney on Saturday was I would miss the 43 degree day in Melb, unfortunately the temp in Sydney's West is going to be 43 degrees. To make matters worse we are going to have the power off in the office most of the day so there will be no fans or aircons.

Mr Bedak expressed some confusion as to what my profile pic is. As you can see from below, it is a portrait of me cunningly disguised as alcohol.

To demonstrate scale, here is it alongside my head.

Anyway, it's time for me to get back to work so that I am all ready for more work tomorrow morning.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Dropbears - Proof of existence

To all of you living in overseas land that think Aussies lie about the existance of Dropbears, see following picture!

If you go out in the woods today, you're in for a small, furry and vicious surprise.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Installing google analytics

Well we didn't win the Lotto and so I am still poor. Shame, I would make a great rich person. I really feel I have the class and taste to carry off comfortably rich well. I probably have too much taste to carry off stinking, filthy rich.

There have been a few people that have expressed an interest in loading google analytics on their blog. While google analytics won't actually tell you who has visited like JS used too, it will let you know that people are actually reading your stuff. There are simpler counters you could add, but I prefer the extensive drill down reporting of analytics.

I was going to write instructions on how to install it but the instructions at are reasonably good.

Tip: To paste the tracking code into your blog you need to go to the layout/template screen and either Edit Html, Edit Source or just Source depending on which blog engine you are using.

If you get stuck, email me at and I will give you a hand.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Winning Super 7s OzLotto numbers are.....

Ok Chaz, Havock and GuruBob, I got us a Systems 9 entry for $39.25 for tonights draw at 7.45pm (I think).

The winning numbers will come from the following 9 numbers:

2 7 16 19 22 26 34 35 38

I won't say anything about luck, 'cause we don't need any.

Now should I buy my villa on the French Riviera or the Amalfi Coast?

*Update* Hard work equals reward

Is anyone going to Chaz's dinner Thursday interested in a share in a ticket in tonights $30,000,000 Super 7 draw?

I figure we put in between $10 & $15 each, play 1 game and get the highest systems entry we can.

If there is enough interest I will update with a cut-off time to be part of it. Post cut-off I will buy the ticket over the net and post the numbers here.

*Update, Chaz and Havock are in so the cut-off time will be 3.30pm. If I haven't heard from you by then you will miss out. Guys if you have people's email addresses it may be worth emailing them.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Poll and good old fashion Melbourne hospitality

Ok, I have added a poll in the top right corner on whether Lermie should be Face. Vote early and vote often!

In other news, I have been inspired by Paul Boylan's hospitality to Birmo while he is in San Francisco. Seeing was we are going to have our very own visitor later in the week, in the form of Chaz, I have secured a ticket to some quality entertainment for him.

No, not the tennis, it is finished. No, not the cricket at the 'G.

I have a free pass for 2 (half price after 10pm) to the Centerfold Lounge in Melbourne's most illustrious entertainment precinct, King St.

Just doing my bit for Melbourne!

Ps. Is it called hospitality because if you go out in King St there is a fair chance you will wind up in a hospital?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Vote 1 Lermontov for Face!

Ok, Monday I will be creating an online petition for Lermontov to get the job as Face on the A Team movie. No I will not be asking his permission, I mean how could he NOT want that job????? Only problem is he is over qualified as he can aim a weapon, which if you remember the TV series, was not a requirement.

In other news, the wife and I are sending Jennicki all the positive thoughts we can.

It has been a pretty productive weekend for me, got the following done:
  • 2 runs for a total of about 14kms in 30+ weather
  • painted some trim work that I had been meaning to do for a few weeks
  • chucked a couple of old couches and chairs on the nature strip for the council to pick up
  • did some shopping for the week
  • watched the animated clone wars movie

On the Clone Wars, why is it that the spin off cartoon movie is better than all 3 prequels?

Anyway back to watching robotic dinosaurus, I can't bring myself to watch the cricket.

*Edit: Ok, just flicked it onto the cricket and at least we are putting up a fight. MAYBE I can bring myself to watch some more.