Not big like in the old days, which would have meant starting drinking Wednesday and finishing sometime Sunday night. But big in adult ways befitting the new mature me.
It started Saturday arvo. My parents were down from the country and staying with us so they could look after Sophasaurus on Saturday night. They owed me a few presents so we agreed they could buy me a new bbq. Dad and I ducked out to get one which became a saga in itself.
We went to a big department store with a specific bbq in mind. Black steel 4 burner, nothing flash just a good solid sausage blackener. While looking at the display models we noticed the 6 burner was EXACTLY the same price as the 4 burner and as bigger is always better we decided to go the 6 burner.
To cut a very long story short, after much stuffing around where they had stock, then didn't have stock and other stores wouldn't hold stock, we got a guy to say they had one and he would have it at the loading bay waiting for us. He even went so far as to tell us how the other staff were well meaning but just didn't know how to really look for stuff. So we paid our money and headed around to the loading bay.
As Dad and I stood in the bay watching our new mate load the bbq boxes onto a pallet jack, Dad said to me "looks like you are getting a stainless steel one afterall". I didn't particularly want a stainless steel bbq, but they are more expensive I wasn't going to argue. I then looked a bit closer at the box and realised that not only had they given us the stainless one, but it was also the next model up from what we brought = WIN. No wonder they have stock control issues!
I always wanted a barbie big enough to cook a person in! It is the next model up as it has the recessed wok burner, rather the raised wok burner lid.
Once we got the bbq home it was time for a quick shower before the wife I barrelled out to the Bluestone Restaurant in the city for our anniversary dinner. We started with a drink in the bar before a beautiful meal accompanied by some nice Champagne and a glass of red. Post dinner was a bar hop (to stay out of the rain) until we found a nice lounge bar for some post dinner cocktails. Finishing with a not so fun 25 min queue for a taxi home. All in all a very nice night out with a beautiful woman.
Sunday started slowly but quickly built up speed with furious bbq building. It took a couple of hours and a couple of attempts, but I finally got it together. Just in time as my BIL and SIL stopped by for a couple of hours with their two kids. They left early enough that I was able to undertake the day's most important mission - console hunting.
I decide a few weeks ago that I was going to buy either a PS3 or an Xbox. The problem was, which one do I buy? I hassled friends, family and game store clerks looking for advice and at different times was 100% committed to each console. Logic was pointing me clearly in the direction of the PS3 but my gut was telling me I would get more use out of an Xbox. Even standing in the store having traded all my PS2 stuff I was still vacillating back and forth until I finally went with the gut and got an Xbox. Now I just need to buy a Sony Bravia TV and get a free PS3.
Dinner Sunday night was a bbq on the new barbie with my parents, followed by a couple of hours playing James Bond on the Xbox. It's almost a relief to be back at work this morning.
Job hunting is progressing. I have missed out on a couple, one because I was selling an I.T. Manager and they were after more of an I.T. lackey. They were happy to have a manager, they just didn't want to pay for one. The other job they decided they didn't need anyone, I would not be surprised to receive a panicked call from them in the coming months.
I have a couple of other irons in the fire and there is a good chance my redundancy date will be extended or I will be able to contract for a couple of months at an exorbitant rate.
So things are happening. Slowly, but that's better than not at all.
I have done my last exam for the year, which is pleasant to get out of the way. I need to get more disciplined in my study. Each subject takes 12 weeks and has two assignments and an exam. The assignments usually cover one or two weeks of the study and the exam all 12 weeks. Typically I only do the reading required for the assignments during the 12 weeks and then the week before the exam I take 3-4 days and do all 12 weeks study. It works when I am only doing 1 subject a semester, but it's stressful and I probably don't do as well as I could.
I am going to jump to two subjects a semester next year (so I can get this bloody thing finished faster), so I will need to develop some kind of weekly study plan. The xbox I am thinking of buying may not be conducive to those plans.
So I have been busy, busy, busy. Fortunately over the last month or two I have also had time for socialising, catching up with Besso, Barnes, GuruBob, Havock and Lermontov. I have eaten at some nice restaurants including the flash Middle Brighton Baths. I have a work dinner at Donovans later this week and then a combined birthday/anniversary dinner at what looks like a nice restaurant on Saturday night (not naming it as the Good Lady Naut may read this). Finally the Good Lady Naut and I will wrap up the month with my work Christmas party at the Amora Hotel in Sydney.
All that and Sophasaurus learnt to crawl a week ago so we now can't take our eyes off her for a second.
So what to post about? Movember or the man-date with Havock and Lermontov?
Hmmm, decisions decisions.
Actually the man-date was full of "had to be there" moments and all the best bits have already been on twitter thanks to Havock and his snap happy iPhone.
I will reflect and say that it is always a please to catch up with Havock who is far enough removed from Blunty Havock to be very pleasant company while close enough to Blunty Havock to keep you laughing all night!
Lermontov is definitely an enigma and a fascinating one at that. Class that only good breeding can produce, an earthiness that comes from all-boys schools and the military, all nicely balanced with an intelligent self-awareness. Very enjoyable company and we were all far and away the best dressed people wherever we went.
So onto Movember. Today is the official start date, so we are all clean shaven for the kickoff! So for some photos and to see Big Bad Al's fantastic shirt go to http://magnumallstars.blogspot.com/ .
Any team members that haven't received an invite to be an author at the Magnum blog, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you an invite.