Saturday, April 26, 2008

We bought one of these yesterday.

It's a 32" Sony Bravia V series 1366×768 pixel resolution LCD TV.

It's got a bunch more things, but I don't know what they mean. They're delivering it this Saturday. S'pretty.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Blame Canada

humorous pictures
see more crazy cat pics

Memo to Certain People *cough*DamoRickZacVas*cough*: It's really not that funny when you sing "Blame Canada" at me. Yes, hardy har, it's from the South Park movie. It was a funny scene then. It was even mildly amusing when Robin Williams sang it at the Oscars. But assuming that pointing out my nationality is the beat-all in a conversation or the ultimate verbal barb? No way. That is all. Return to your crack pipes and your beer bongs.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Typing with one hand is hard.

Not what you're thinking, you dirty buggers. I was crossing George St on Thursday and tripped over a bump in the road. When I fell, I landed funny on my right hand, and rolled to my elbow, and knocked my head. My head, knees and left hand were fine. However, the groceries I was carrying and my right wrist took a beating. The next morning it hurt like hell. Tanja suggested I go get it checked out. Turns out I wrenched the ligaments on the ulnar side of my wrist, but no fracture. What that means is that if I turn my wrist 45 degrees to either the left or right, it hurts like hell. Which I learned when attempting to casually reach for my mobile, wallet, or open a door. So now I have to wear a wrapped crepe bandage around my wrist at all time, an ice pack when I can stand one (I've misappropriated a wine cooling sleeve as a makeshift glove, which gives me a Hellboy-style Right Hand of Doom or a Mega-Man-style blaster arm), and as of today, a sling. It's no fun. Can't drum (specific doctorb's orders, as for some reason she knew I was a musician), can't play Playstation, can read (but only if the book's big enough) and can watch movies. Watching the Rifftrax version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and reading Fables and a few issues of Grant Morrison's run on New X-Men.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

CD Rationing

So I go back to work tomorrow (as my lovely holidays are over) and take my money out Wednesday( as I have $20 to my name). I've spotted at the local record store that there are several offerings on offer that I would like to buy:

[-]the new one by the Breeders.
[-]the new one by The Saboteurs
[-]the new one by The Black Keys
[-]the new one by Nine Inch Nails (Ghosts I-IV)

(noticing a trend here? New things)

While the NIN one I can get as a download (either 9 songs for free or $5 for all four albums worth as oppoed to $29.95 for the set), the others I'd like. However, looking at them today brought up a relavent observation. Whenever I buy more than 2 CDs at a time, they get ripped onto iTunes, added to my iPod and I somehow miss hearing most of them. It's happened before. Sometimes I buy as many as 4 CDs in one go, or get like 40 mp3s, and I only listen to a few. I then think "oh, I got that one ages ago and never really listed to it." and then add it to a playlist of Must-Listens (example The Kooks, example Joydrop, example UNKLE until i forced myself). Then i don't listen to that playlist because it's hard work listening to 50 or 60 songs you've never heard before.

See my problem?

So I have a solution. I will buy the CDs (except the NIN one) one at a time, one per week. That will be the only thing I listen to for that week and I will thusly form An Opinion, good or bad. If this works, I might try it on old albums I've overlooked. Hmm. Food for thought.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Back now.

After mix-ups involving Daylight Savings Time and a very bumpy bus ride, we are now home and missing Byron Bay. We're both very tanned and rattling around the house a bit. My plants nearly kicked the bucket, despite only being left alone for 5 days. I have come to the conclusion that they are slackers.

Day 6: Food Payback

Pizzas ordered: 2
Beers left in fridge: 4
Yesterday (the part of yesterday after what I wrote about lizards and sore feet) was a bit breezy. Lazy morning, involving me running to the local cafe for a piece of gluten free carrot cake and a lemon meringue tart. That was breakfast. Laze around, watch Speaking In Tongues on my iPod, then wander down the beach to town. Went to Fish Heads, which is a beachside fish place, who informed us they only BYO, no service of booze. So I run to a bottle-o and get a Leeuwin Estate Art Series Riesling. What was meant to be a light lunch becomes a big lunch with me having paella and Tanja having seafood spaghetti with piles of things. And the bottle of course. Picked up groceries, had an ice cream, grabbed a six-pack of Peroni and headed back. Tanja then sat down with her laptop and I read the Kevin Smith book I had, and then briefly watched some Batman Beyond and the first half hour of Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (a bit meh, that one. I was riled that it mocked Walk The Line so much, seeing as I really liked that movie, but Jack White as Elvis was gold). During that time I drank 2 beers and Tanja had one. We later split another. When dinnertime arrive we ordered a small and a large pizza and ate all but three slices of them with a bottle of Mt. Pleasant Hunter Valley Shiraz.
And Tanja was up half the night with acid reflux and I had crazy dreams. So light food today, if you please. However, there are beers left in the fridge. As Tanja has sworn off the grog till her tummy clears up, I may have to take those for the team.
Also, it hit me yesterday that today (Monday) is our last full day here. We head back Tuesday morning. Whoa. We seemed to have oodles of time and now it seems like we have hardly any.

Day 5: Foot Payback

Sore feet: 2
Words written this morno: 1142
My feet hurt. Tanja’s teasing me that I’m writing a novel. I’m living the laptop commercial, sitting on the table on the porch over the lake, drinking coffee and orange juice. We saw a goanna yesterday (I thought it was a basilisk, but the head was wrong) who, upon spying us, took off at speed on his hind legs and plopped into the creek, never to be seen again. I’m keeping an eye out for him, as we’ve probably taken his usual spot. Bad luck, scaly, we booked this place in advance.

Day 4: A Rich, Full Day

Kilometres walked today: roughly 15
Pictures taken: 193
Beers drank: 4
Well, I’m actually writing this from Day 5, because I couldn’t be buggered writing yesterday. But it’s that early in the morning that I can’t write about much today, so I’ll recap while I wait for the coffee to filter.
So. Woke up at 8:30. It’s starting to become a habit for us to wake up, un-alarmed, at 8:30 on the nose. I blame society and the fact that we can draw blinds on every window except the ones in the door. We decided that we were going to walk along the beach up to the lighthouse, which we did, with me snapping away like mad with my camera, taking a bunch of pictures that probably won’t look as good once I get them home. We get around to the approximate end of the beach (called “the Pass” for those of you playing the home game) and casually noticed some people walking on water. Huh? Upon closer inspection, we saw that there was a narrow causeway-style sandbar about 15 feet out from the beach that had maybe an inch of water on it. Tanja and I rolled up our various leg-coverings and waded out. Despite slight soakings and the near-wetting of a mobile phone, we soon found ourselves in (seemingly) the middle of the ocean. It was almost an optical illusion as the water was so reflective that it looked like all the rest. Very cool.
At the end of the beach, there was a promontory (I don’t know if that’s what it’s called... a big thumb of rock separate from the cliffs) with stairs built into it. I ventured up, snapping like mad. It was about 2 or 3 stories high, so the view was fantastic. At one point, I put down my camera and started using the panoramic mode on my mobile phone camera and garnering funny looks from passerby. After a light lunch of fish burger, salt and pepper squid and homemade ginger nectar, we continued our trek up to the lighthouse. Tons more fantastic views, I snapped more photos, all uphill. Get to the lighthouse. Tanja is appalled at the cost of $2 to use one of those pay-telescopes. Views, views, photos, photos, ducking tourists right and left, talking about how we’ll never treat our kids that badly. Let me paint you a picture. The top of the cliff the lighthouse is on just out like a huge V with the lighthouse standing at the fat end, and the trail following on edge, like so: V/. Well, in the non-lighthouse part of the V, there are bushes and trees and native flowers and thousands of butterflies and dragonflies. And I mean thousands. Every glance has at least 20 in view. They’re not bothering people, being too high and all, but it’s like watching an insect re-enactment of the Battle of Britain. It made me wish for a high-res video camera to just sit on a tripod and record the whole thing. Oh, and we saw the most easterly part of the Australian mainland. But the dragonflies! Wow!
We walked back down into town, seeing a caravan painted with Bender, among other things, and plonked ourselves down on the main beach with ice creams because damn it, we had just walked a bit over 12 kilometres, and you need a Magnum after that. Walked back to the hotel along the beach, and, since the morning clouds had blown away, defying Tanja’s portentous “The news says we’re to have crappy weather for the rest of the week!” It was hot and sunny and the water was warm on our feet. Once back, changed into swimmers and went for a lie on the beach. We passed two hours eavesdropping on a group of ludicrously fit backpackers (4 from Canada, 3 from Germany, weird, huh?) and watched the incredibly obvious body language of a Canadian guy trying to pick up a German girl (“So, um, you got a boyfriend, you know, back in Germany?” “Nein. Do you has girlfriend? In Canada?” “No. Not really, no.”). Quick dip, back to the hotel. I realised that despite application of sun block, my elbows have been sunburnt. Tanja posits it may have happened during the walk, despite cloud cover. Get togged up, head into town again for dinner.
We find a Thai/Japanese place and attempt to decipher the badly spelled and badly formatted menu. Does this come with rice? Can you have this with that? We were saved by an incredibly helpful Greek (?) waitress who complimented Tanja’s top and provided us with the key to the menu: just ask for what you want, menu be damned. We got steamed spring rolls with satay sauce, a green curry with salmon and prawns, and a dish of honey-chilli prawns with rice. All very good. The prawns had their tails cut off, but the heads still attached, so you ate them backwards. Finished up, left only a dollar as a tip because we had no other cash on us, grabbed some wine and a six pack of Amber Ale from the bottle-o and wheeled home, but not along the beach as there are no lights at all along the beach (this will be important later). Marvel at the stars, which are a fully Milky Way of 190 degrees. I muse on the way that it would be lovely to grab two of the beers, sit on the beach and look at the stars. Tanja decides that’s what we should do.
We grab the half-bag of Tzaziki chips, and two Amber Ales and head to the beach. We get down there and it’s pitch black. You can see the stars and the beam from the lighthouse but that’s it. Tanja is getting way wierded-out and worried due to no lights and shadowy figures down the beach, I’m worried because I saw an Alcohol-Free Zone sign and by nervous consensus, we decide to go back and sit on our jetty at the beach-house and look at the stars. Which we do. I discover that my new Hawaiian board shorts have an attached bottle-opener. However, this is not perfect, as our jetty is tiny, and the chairs upon it large. There’s maybe three inches between the back legs of the chair and the edge of the jetty i.e. watery grave. So now we’re sitting on the lawn looking at the stars, and it’s worth the wait. The water of the creek/lake is smooth as glass so it’s like we’re seeing two skies. Finish beers, go inside. Watch some Angel, have more beers, trip over things, tell each other that the other’s drunk, protest that the other isn’t, head to bed.

Day 3, late: Drowned In Books, Garlic

Good meals had: 2
Books in progress: 3
Spent a leisurely kind of morning. Had some breakfast at a cafe that involved bacon and eggs, then wandered around shops for a while. Tanja got some earrings and some clothes and then I thought, it being my birthday, I’d get something for me. So I found this Hawaiian surf shop. Found a blue-and-gold Hawaiian shirt and a pair of boardies. Authentic. Went to the beach so Tanja could read (she bought Romulus, My Father since we had seen the film) on the beach. I had no book with me, so I bought my third in-progress book of the trip (I left when I was halfway through The Witches of Chiswick by Robert Rankin and bought Silent Bob Speaks! By Kevin Smith for the trip. Today, I bought The Whiskey Robber: A True Story of Bank Heists, Ice Hockey, Transylvanian Pelt Smuggling, Moonlighting Detectives and Broken Hearts by Julian Rubinstein. I was a full chapter in before I realised it was a true story! I don’t read true crime! It’s for savages! Despite suddenly encroaching rain, Tanja and I went for dinner at The Balcony Restaurant. Got tapas. Stuffed ourselves with multitudes of food (garlic prawns with chorizo, beef skewers with cornichons, mushrooms stuffed with stuff) and wine (champagne, pinot gris, shiraz viognier and port). Saw cane toads on the way home. Little buggers wouldn’t move, even when I threatened them with my umbrella. Oh! That reminds me. I saw my first wild frog in like 6 years last night. Not a cane toad. A frog. It was weird. I didn’t think it was an odd thing to see a frog. And Tanja and I were going to watch 30 Rock yesterday. I had talked Tanja into it. Then I realised I had removed it from my iPod before the trip. So we watched Beowulf instead. Found it a bit meh, but got to have long talk with Tanja about how the version of Beowulf I read in high school was highly sanitised. I’m drowning in garlic. Time for bed.

Day 2, morning: Soft Water, Shopping and Stressing

Storms weathered: 2
I woke up at 6 am without a headache for the first time in 5 days. It’s been raining all morning, but Tanja and I are looking to check out the local farmer’s market to get our fruit re-up. My hair is really big and fluffy (soft water: good for shaving, bad for hair).

Day 2, late afternoon:
Umbrellas carried: 2
Tantrums had: 1
Ok, so no Farmer‘s market. Since it rained until like 2, no go. Instead we went and had coffee and fruit toast at a cafe, and wandered around, umbrella-laden, looking at shops. I went to a music shop and continued my tradition of buying a CD I saw at a local record store while on vacation. While in Melbourne, I bought Johnny Cash’s American IV. This time it was Flogging Molly’s new CD Float. Had pub lunch with James Squire for me and Riesling for Tanja. Snooped around at T-shirts, bought one with Darth Vader making a topiary Death Star. Awesome. Nearly bought one with a high-res moon with the kid-on-bike ET silhouette, but with a Xenomorph head instead of ET. Got some Tzaziki chips, chocolate, grapes, bread, plums, some Pinot Grigio and things. By the time we were finished, the rain had stopped and we walked home via the beach with an Organic Ginger Beer for me and an organic Cranberry and Ginger Nectar for Tanja.
Also, there was another episode of the ”Lucas Sweats the Small Stuff” Show! As people who know me may have noticed, I have a tendency to get frustrated by things. Usually small, stupid things. I get red in the face, I get headaches, short of temper, I get annoyed with people and things around me in an unreasonable way. I hate it. If it’s bad enough, it can nearly ruin a day. This time it was while we were in the grocery store. I was holding Tanja’s big-ass umbrella, a cloth bag with a breadstick in it (which I had already nearly dropped three or four times because the bread is longer than the bag, but the bag is too shallow for the bread to sit comfortably so it keeps tipping out), a little bag with chocolates in it, and... something else, I can’t remember. Oh, the wine. I was walking behind Tanja, who was getting groceries. I would put the end of the umbrella against the ground, which would then slide, causing me to grab it, nearly dropped the bag of chocolates, which would then nearly tip the bread out of the bag, et cetera, et cetera. And I get more and more frustrated, and then Tanja would ask if I was okay, and I’d snap at her and she’d get rightly bothered. I know, I need to chill. 
So yeah. Mellow now. Was able to avoid a headache before it got too bad. Tanja’s Nana-napping on the bed and I’m watching the Digg Reel, Diggnation and Batman Beyond. That’s probably it for today. Remember, apathy is futile, but it does beat doing’ stuff.

Day 1: EwokBeachHouseTV

Beach houses rented: 1
Beach houses mentally constructed: 5
Fainting spells nearly had: 1
So. We‘re here in Byron Bay. The place we’re staying at is a friggin’ Ewok tree-house! Go to and click on Gazebo. So our first day here was dead hot, with fairly high humidity, which, I was surprised to find out, I was not ready for. Our walk into town to find a Woolworths (roughly a kilometre over beach, then about 10 minutes of wandering the streets) knocked me flat and had my head spinning (wasn’t the walk, damn it! I walk four times that to get to work). Bit of water set me right, though. We had beer and champagne and fancy cheese and salami for dinner and enjoyed the hell out of our views. Tanja is mentally building a dream 4-room beach house for us to live in back in Sydney. The place came with an LCD TV which hooks up nicely with me iPod, so we watched some WineLibraryTV and TikiBar and Diggnation. I think I’ve taken the same 4 or 5 pictures from the balcony 10 or 11 times.