Friday, December 17, 2010

2011 will be the year of the push bike

In our house anyway........

I used to be quite into my bikes, but as I got older and less fit and had less time to ride it slowly dwindled away to nothing.

About 5 years ago I built up a mountain bike for hitting up some of the downhill tracks near where we lived at the time.

I started with a $1000 24 Bikes pornking frame

Avid Juicy 5's (Hyraulic Disc Brakes)

I built it up over about a year using parts on sale and bargains I came across on EBAY from time to time.


Unfortunately when we moved from brisbane to Melbourne the bike saw less and less use so I decided to sell it.

Fast forward to the present, my eldest boys have been bikeless since our last move due to there being no suitable places to ride. n the new house there are kilometers and kilometers of tracks to ride on.

So today we picked up some early christmas presents for B & T in the form of a couple of entry level BMX's

The satisfied customers

So now the eldest 4 children all have good bikes its time to kit up mumma bare and I

Mamma bare will be getting a ladies XC bike and a sweet little Baby trailer for Miss P and Miss H to be carted around in and i'll be building up something for myself
Stay tuned.......

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

More Horror

Jason Vorhees Cosume Trial Fitting #1

An update from my fancy dress entry.......

I took an old pair of pants, jumper and shirt, dirtied them all up with black spray paint and tattered them then splashed on some fake blood

I'm happy so far but it still needs:
  • Dirty the inside fronts of the jacket
  • Blacken the pants some more
  • Gloves

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Fancy Dress

I’ve never been to a fancy dress party before, I’ve dressed up once or twice, once for easter (came across more like Donnie darko) and once back when I was at school.

When the end of year work party lined up nicely with my resignation and combined with the fact that it was dubbed as fancy dress where you have to come as your favourite movie character I couldn’t pass up one of the all time greats........................ Jason Voohees

I love movies, there were soooo many to choose from. I couldn't possibly pick my favourite movie character. I wanted something simple to make and easily worn on a warm Melbourne night and something creepy as hell.

Some other possibilities that didn’t make the cut were:
Michael Meyers
Grim Reaper

A trip to the magic shop in the city made my mind up for me comparing the $100 michael Meyers mask to the $20 Vorhees hockey mask. The Meyers mask looked awesome but was too expensive and I wouldn’t be able to drink with it on.

So I ended up going for a Jason Voorhees hockey mask, a meat cleaver (I realise a machete would have been more suited) and some artificial blood

The plan is to rough up an old work shirt, add some tears and scuffs then dirty it up with black and brown paint. Then cut up a tshirt for underneath, add some bullet holes and stab wounds and splatter it all with fake blood and a dirty/scuffed pair of pants.

Stay tuned............

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Walk In the Woods

I started training at the beginning of the week. I’ve procrastinated about if for far too long so with a little over 3 weeks to go at my job I figured I might as well leverage the ability to leave early and arrive late as well as the extra daylight on tap of an evening. I’ve wanted to start walking/jogging for ages, the problem has been getting into a routine. What’s helped has been the discovery of some awesome trails to walk that are in close proximity to our house.

My first run didn’t kill me, but man it felt like I was close to death, when I say it’s a steep hill its very steep, and long, I would guess from my front door step the first 2km is straight up the mountain. On night number 1 I got what could be only explained as a stitch in my neck, not the most pleasant feeling. I’m not sure if it was my heart trying to pass a cheeseburger of old into my brain of just the blood plumbing getting a good workout. Night number 2 yielded some ease in the breathing and stitch stakes but my calves burned the whole way up. By night 3 wI was able to complete this first 2km stretch without a break which I was very pleased with. My aim is to complete the circuit every night through summer. Lets see how I go.

There is an old aqueduct trail that runs along the mountain range I can access after about 2km up the steep mountain road, this serves as a great warm up. B & T my 10 & 8 years olds also tagged along last night, we walked for approximately an hour and forty minutes. It proved to be quite an informative trek. There are hundreds of wildlife trails up and down the mountain that converge upon bridges over the old aqueduct serving as a crossing for all manner of creatures. We have spotted trail from deer, wallabies, kangaroos & wombats. We have also observed wild cockatoos as well as rosellas.

What amazes me is how the bush changes from one corner to the next, some areas are thick overgrown rainforest style with tree ferms reaching 20 feet tall. The scenery then turns to open & more traditional aussie bush with mountain ashes reaching hundreds of feet overhead. Turn a corner to a “dark side” where light isn’t as prominent and the landscape changes again. The temperature drops and enormous dead conifers give an almost haunted look.

I’ve done the walk every night this week and always arrived home just after dusk so what I’m really looking forward to is doing it in the dark armed with a torch to really see some wildlife. Its proving to be an challenging and educational way to restore my fitness. I aim to do the walk Sunday morning armed with my camera to see if I can get a shot of a deer, if the tracks are anything to go buy there place is very well travelled.

Until next time………

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Rollin on a River

One of the many awesome things about living where we do (just east of whoop whoop) is the close proximity of plenty of nature related things to do.

One such thing is the river, it flows through the valley we live in and is easily accessible by foot.

Sunday we chose to drive a little out of town to a shallow spot where the children could try skimming stones.

While our house doesn’t have AC I am still looking forward to summer and plenty of evening dips in the water, hopefully it’s a little warmer than it was on Sunday.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Time For a Change

I know I had a bit of a moan about hating my job a few weeks back. After some more thought on the issue and time to reflect I can probably shed some more light now as I resigned a few days ago.

The issues I had with motivation didn't stem from having a boring job, it wasn't the long commute, it wasn't the company I worked for. It was my boss.

I started with this multination shall-remain-nameless company almost 5 years ago. I was head hunted, and at the time, we were living is Brisbane, C had just been born and we were still coming to grips with his nevus and what parts of our lives would have to change. I started in a great team, great manager, very positive atmosphere. Unfortunately that manger moved to a new role and a re-org saw me answering in to a new manager, a woman who had been with the company for quite a while as a contractor. She came from a Project Management background managing a team of contractors. I wont go in to all the details, i'll just say that this womans people skills were not the best, and she managed everything like a project.

It was the best feeling to hand her my resignation, she was surprisingly positive about it.

I've done the whole permanent employee thing for years so I was keen to try my hand at consulting. After a week of applications the interviews started to filter through & mid last week I received an offer & accepted an initial 12 month contract with plans for extensions, & its government.


I start in a few weeks. I'm nervous because its a new, its not finance (I've been in Finance IT for almost 8 years) but its in the city so I have a 20 minute drive then a 55minute train ride. I'm hoping the reduced amount of driving will also contribute to being more mentally fresh when I get home of a night.

To begin with I'm contracting through the firm that hired me but i'm going to look at setting up my own company eventually (never thought i'd be saying that).

Stay tuned I guess.......

Friday, November 19, 2010

Play Well

Thats what Lego means in Danish......

Today we hit up the Lego workshop with a bunch of home educated kids for some Lego learning.

Todays classes were focused on gears, the children learnt about driver gears, follower gears, gear ratios etc etc.

I sat out for the 1st session where they made mini-merry-go-rounds.

The after morning tea session was spent making race cars, powered by a capacitor that they hand charge with little Lego magnetos.

B's Concentration T' made friends
Again with the concentration
Is it that obvious who is the more laid back out of B & T
Race Time

B won his first round
As did T
B quickly worked out a secret
Smoother wheels = fast speed
T was more content to just tinker
Some of the other education Lego stuff
Away put your weapon I mean you no harm
The last activity was building a gear driven croc bot whose actions would be driven by a computer program the children wrote.
Hard at it
Paying attention
The program
Until Next Time...............
(I'm spent)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Back To Our Regular Programming

We have a camera again

The last decent shot off the old point and shoot before its swim
Now a play toy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Drawing on Harvey Mckay

“Find something you love to do and you'll never have to work a day in your life”

I’m in a bit of a rut professionally at the moment. I don’t enjoy my job; it wasn’t a career I chose. I fell into by chance as I tried to get out of my chosen career. It was only meant to be temporary. But 12 years later I find myself miserable at work. I work for a great company and enjoy what I do but do not have the greatest of managers which turns a positive situation negative in so many ways.

I find there is often a difference between doing something you love & doing something you’re good at. Unfortunately the latter can sometimes be more of a curse.

In early high school I was passionate about design. Graphics was my favourite subject and if I was drawing I could see hours go by and feel like minutes. I soon realised it was the design and build process that I enjoyed as opposed to the artistic side.

A bad placement on work experience made me change my mind and look at other career prospects. Midway through high school I was really enjoying biology and human development and started consider options of careers in nursing or perhaps as a paramedic. By the end of high school the pressure from my parents to go straight into university pretty much made my mind up for me and I studied Nursing. I worked as a nurse while I studied and thoroughly enjoyed the contact with people and helping those who needed it, but felt my size & strength made me more prone to be used as a lifting machine.

I made the decision to leave that profession and lined up an IT support role and did some additional studies and soon found my niche and 12 years later here I am. I did choose to quit a job I was working about 6 years ago and obtained the necessary qualifications to work in security at night allowing me to be home in the days and mamma bare could teach, but ultimately found myself looking for what was familiar and went back into IT.

With children comes responsibility and I have always put the importance of supporting the family over my career satisfaction and the perfect reward at the end of a stressful day and slow commute is hugs from your little ones. I've set career goals regardless of my level of passion for the work I do. I had a salary goal for when I turned 30 and reached it at 28, I set another goal for 35 and will be on track to reach it by 32 but money doesnt motivate so here I am applying for roles.

My parents never gave me the freedom to do whatever I wanted. Who knows if that was the case I could be a teacher now, or maybe build houses or any one of a dozen other fields that interest me. In the mean time i'll stick with what i'm good at and maybe look at contracting, working 6-9 months of the year and doing what I truely enjoy for the remainder

A quick poll of my eldest 4 on what they would like to be when they grow up
B 10 Years - Something with elctrical stuff or electronics
T 8 Years - Police Officer
L 6 Years - A Mum(Her mothers daughter clearly)
C 4 Years - Metal Bean Chicker

This list will no doubt change completely time and time again, the important thing for me is to support whatever is on it no matter what.

Until next time.................

RIP Sweet Canon

Our trusty IXUS took a bath on the weekend, it had served us well delivering over 5000 images.

Photos will be disparate for the next few days.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Eight Legged Freaks

I'm a man. A 6'7, big, ugly, hairy, mean (when I want to be) man. I have super powers, one such power is the power of transformation.

I have the ability to transform from a surly dude into a squealing little child at the site of a huntsman spider.

I don't have issue with red backs or white tails or even the common house spider (which looks mean as hell) and especially not daddy longs legs'. But you throw a huntsman into the mix and I'm scared, there I said it SCARED.

Unfortunately in my house everyone is scared of all spiders & bugs so along with disposing of all manner of creepy crawly I'm also charged with dispensing of the big, fast moving brown curses know as..........................................the huntsman spider.

Huntsman Facts:
  • Huntsman's have a life span of approximately 90 years
  • Huntsman's can jump at least 3 meters
  • The venom of the Huntsman spider is powerful enough to knock out a horse. It will not kill the horse, simply tranquilise it for long enough for the huntsman to devour it whole.
  • A Huntsman Spider can devour a horse whole
  • Contrary to popular believe huntsman spiders are actually trained in scare tactics.
  • Huntsman spiders prefer to feed on the eldest born child of any family
  • Huntsman's can be found all over Australia but prefer to reside in OUR FREAKIN HOUSE
  • The ground up remains of a dead huntsman spider can be used as a hallucinogen
  • Huntsman spiders enjoy walking across your face while you sleep
  • Huntsman spiders are faster in the water than they are on land

Here are 2 of some of the suckers encountered in our current house. This first one was above the Toilet, T noticed it while B was sitting there. Can you say freak out?

This one crawled up the wall while Mamma Bare and I were watching a movie, I had to tear the lounge apart to get at it. Note the toys and array of DVD's discovered under the couch

And as if 8 legs wasn't enough what the freakin hell is this thing????

Until next time...........

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The $5 Coffee Table Project

Number 29 on my 40 before 40 post was to restore something:

Save & Restore something. It may be an old car at the wreckers or a piece of furniture left out for hard rubbish collection. I’d like to take something that someone has or is about to throw away and make it useful and appreciated again.

Well, it wasns't quite thrown away but I picked this up for $5 today at a local garage sale. It was hidden to the side under a kerosine heater, Mamma bare had already walked past and missed it but I spotted it straight away. I'm calling it my Gothic Coffee table.
I'm pretty sure its hardwood (well its heavy) & has a freaky blood red tiled top.
The legs have this brace that appears to be pegged to hold it together.

Unfortunately 2 of the tiles are chipped rather deeply so the tiles may need to be replaced

The dude selling it made all his own handmade furniture out of locally sourced reclaimed timber, i'm not sure if this was a piece he made or not, perhaps I should of asked. I know nothing about wood or carpentry so I hope I can do it justice and learn a little along the way. I dont even drink tea or coffee
First thing I need to do is clean my work bench and then give it a scrub.
Stay tuned............

Sunday, October 31, 2010