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The trip to the Coast.

Ok, I’ve stalled as long as is humanly possible so I should just bite the bullet and write the dam post. Although in truth I really don’t see how biting a bullet will help, I would have thought turning the computer on would be more advantageous.

Anyway, it all started late in the afternoon of the 23rd of August 1954. My mother, who always was a little on the largish side (we liked to call it big boned) was unusually large at this particular point in time. Not only that, she seemed to be in some mild discomfort, due to a ‘soon to be person‘ thinking it was about time he joined society. And so it was that early in the morning of the 24th of Aug, I was ejected from my womb with a view, in much the same manner that a pop-tart leaves the toaster. Not wanting to be a nuisance, I just slide right out of there (I’ve always been very considerate like that).

Skipping forward a few short years and you find the ol’ WT entering the prime of his life and looking forward to travelling to the coast to pick up his booty romance his wife. I got there on Friday arvo without incident, except for the huge crash that saw me stuck in gridlock for about 30 minutes (5 minutes from my destination!) still I can’t complain, judging by the total destruction of three cars involved, there were people having a worse time than me.

MDW had already bought me a nifty new phone that just about does it all, and I love it! But she also offered to buy me a camera. However knowing what a prick I am, she wouldn’t do it unless I made the final decision on which one, while actually standing in the store with her! She’s a clever one that MDW, experience has taught her well. Having reading a heap of reviews prior to going to the Coast, I ultimately decided on this baby. Even though I haven’t really done much with it yet, I know we’ll be really happy together, oh and speaking of which, I’d like to congratulate my good friends Dirty Aunt Marnie and Dirty Uncle Mark on the their recent betrothal. I suppose I’ll eventually forgive Marnie for breaking off our engagement, and throwing our wedding plans into disarray, to be with that refugee from Daktoka.

Anyway back to me, I’m the interesting one (something that Marnie will eventually come to realise after spending time with her gay lawyer). I learned some neat new lingo while I was on the Coast, I’m really hip now. Before I even went to the Coast, I downloaded all the groovy software available for my phone, but as expected, there was no data cable in the box. After much searching we finally found one, but the hip young dude in the shop, mediately recognised me as the ‘with it wannabe’ I really am, and said “yeah, you can get the data cable, but for only $10 more you can get a bluetooth dongle”.

Mmmmm d-o-n-g-l-e, I has to have one! He said “these are really simple, and if you change phones you don’t need to get another cable”, which I later discovered to mean “you wait until you try to get this fucking thing working you stupid old fart, that’ll teach you to try to act cool”. But hey, I’m down with it, and it only took me most of yesterday to realise I really am a stupid old fart. Oh well, I don’t need no stinking software!

**Brief update: One of the cats (Beau) was pleased to see me when I got back and cuddled all afternoon, the other two didn’t show up until around midnight, then they just ate a pissed off again.

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Oh look! It’s WT!!

Yes here I am, and aren’t you just thrilled to bits? It’s about time I gave you all the long awaited explanation of why I’m two timing my blog, and what I find so attractive about plurk.

Have you ever been in any of the following situations?

  1. You’ve laboured for hours, to produce a post where all the pictures are lined up just right, all the grammar and spelling are perfect, and most importantly the content is interesting and informative, only to have it sit on your blog for days struggling to get out of single figure comments.
  2. You subtly raise some contentious, thought provoking or ironic point, only to have the nuance completely ignored for the more obvious cheap shots about what you were wearing some 20 years ago.
  3. You pose a question, and wait with baited breathe for the next morning, where you can read all the humorous responses, except there aren’t any.
  4. You get tired of waiting hours, if not days, for positive feedback(or any feedback) for a post that has been a labour of love (and quite often requested by someone).
  5. You suffer from severe blog exhaustion after visiting all you friends’ blogs and waiting for the myriad of header pictures, sidebar bling and blaring music to finish loading before you can even read the post.
  6. You leave a breathtakingly brilliant comment on a blog, come back in a couple of days to check for a reaction and find nothing, not even any recognition that you took the time to input something in the first place.
  7. You write 800 well chosen words, arrange them in neat sentences and put all those sentences into pretty paragraphs, only to have the blog software malfunction and eat the lot.

No? Me either, but if you have experienced any of those situations and didn’t like it, then plurk may just be the thing for you! Plurk is like a cross between Instant Messaging and Blog Commenting. It’s supercharged commenting without the distraction of having to spend hours visiting blogs, wading through epic posts that would put War and Peace to shame, and wrestling with Word Verification.  The term for this whole process is ‘Micro-Blogging’ and the attraction for me is that all the comments from all the plurks (which are in fact just mini posts) appear in the one place and in real time. It makes for a fun diversion, although it can be addictive and terribly time consuming. There are some idiosyncrasies, like the timeline going backwards, and people’s obsession with karma, but it doesn’t take long to get used to. (I did try Twitter for a while, but that sucked big time).

So there you have it, the reason I’ve been absent so much lately. However, having said that, the thing that I’ve noticed about plurk is it’s accererated life cycle, you get up and running much quicker than when you started blogging, and you attract readers (friends) much quicker too, but I also see the potential for burnout as being extremely high if you get too involved. Who knows how long I’ll keep doing it, but for now it’s a lot of fun.

**Updated: As an interesting aside, it seems those who are most likely to comment on a post, also seem more likely to enjoy plurking. You just need to check the comments on this post for evidence of that.

Who’s telling this story?

Hot on the heels of doing something I try to steer clear of (blogging about blogging), I’m now doing something else I haven’t done since NahBloMe, and that’s posting on a Sunday. The reason I’m posting today is to say that the next time I write a well thought out, incisive post, I’m turning the comments off!. Your comments made my writing look childish! Each one could have been a post in it’s own write (yeah I know it should be ‘right’, but it’s a pun, dummy!)

So, if you haven’t already done so, read the comments from yesterday, you’ll be well rewarded (giving credit to others is something else I rarely do). And for the record, Lene added the following, which I’m including because I thought of them all (except the last one) after I turned the computer off:

  • The first time someone sends you something
  • The first time you send a blog friend something
  • The first time you dream of a blogger
  • You talk in “real life” about a blogger as if they were a “real life” friend,

often followed by:

  • The first time you have someone less techy or unfamiliar with blogs look at you as if you’re a pathetic nerd for thinking your internet friend is a real friend.

And just so we don’t get too cerebral about it all…

**Updated: I just changed the title (I like this one better), so I thought while I’m here why not add a few more:

  • The first time you unintentionally offend someone (or in my case, intentionally).
  • The first poison pen email you get.
  • When you realise you’re suffering from commenting burn-out so you cut back on commenting.
  • You discover the consequences of cutting back on commenting.
  • The realisation you’re addicted to feedback.
  • Your first grovelling post pleading for comments.
  • Meeting a fellow blogger in person.
  • Your first marriage proposal.

Swampy’s Baby Shower for Karmyn.

Baby_on_board_car_window_sign
I guess it’s just as well that I’m confident about my sexuality, otherwise I’d be too phobic to go to a baby shower. But then even, if it did bother me, I’d still go becasue Karmyn is one of my oldest blog buddies, in fact she’d probably be my oldest buddy if it weren’t for Swampy, Holtie and Pamela, (Karmyn’s mom and my adoptive big sister), *all of whom are as old as the pyramids!

So anyway, Swampy (as only Swampy could) has offered to host a Baby Shower for Karmyn, which I think is pretty darned nice of her given that she’s been laid up lately with a bad back and some splinters in her butt, both caused by excessive broomstick travel.

Seeing as it’s a Baby Shower, which from what I can make out are sorta like Buck’s nights, only without the ball and chain, or strippers, I have made my contribution a bit like a game with clever (well at least I thought so), tricky links, which will probably bore the shit out of you.

I know I’m a couple of days early (actually only one day for me, you know, international dateline and all), but I won’t be able to post tomorrow (my 9th) because I have to take Belle back to Tamworth for a checkup (and you thought you finally had a Belle-free post didn’t you?).

So to get my linkfest rolling, just click on my gifts.
Happy_bugs_collection

* Updated…does that make it any clearer Swampy?

The old ‘good news and bad news’ schtick.

Yes folks, there’s good news and bad news…the good news is that I now have something to blog about, the bad news is it’ll be about Belle getting hit by a car.

I’ve just got back from the veterinary clinic and I’m still a bit shell-shocked. She’ll be ok eventually, but our finances won’t, it’s going to cost at least a thousand dollars! To give you an idea of how much of an emergency it was, I didn’t even take take any pictures, in fact I didn’t even take my camera to the vets’, which in the end turned out to be a good thing because since it was out of hours, there was only one guy on duty and I had to be his assistant while he stabilised her. I could take a picture of all the blood I’ve still got on my hands, but I don’t think I will.

I’ll give you the story tomorrow (my time), right now I just want to have a cup of tea and take a deep breath. Belle is still at the vets’, and will be for a while yet.

Here’s a picture of her in happier times, MDW took this one when she was up here for Easter…
Doggies_frollicking_008

Ok, for those of you who were disappointed with the lack of appropriate images of gore in this post, I’m sorry that I was too discombobulated to get pictures. However, as a consolation prize, here’s a shot of what I’m having to clean everyday on Booey at the moment…
Booey_abcess_006

Oh, and Bentley has a skin infection that he’s booked in for on Monday. It don’t get no better than this!!

The Money or the Box?

Update** How tacky of me! I just realised not only did I not link to her, I didn’t even properly identify her. "Who are you talking about?"…..Why, Joy T. of course! There, that’s better. I think you all know her anyway, but if not she’s worth a visit.

Blog_packages_001Without doubt, I’ll take the box every time thank you, the one on the right that is. Now if the question was "The Postage or the Box?" my answer may not have been the same. Jeezes the post office is making some money off us! Actually, it’ making more off you than me, anyone who has ever received something from ol’ WT should have noticed that the stuff I send, while not being spectacular, is always light!

But hey I didn’t pay the exorbitantly expensive postage so why should I care? But the reality is I do, (it’s just the kinda guy I am). Enough of the downers, let’s see what’s in the box…

Blog_packages_004_2
Well that’s strange, why would she go to all the trouble of putting leaflets and forms from Australian Customs Service in a package from Canada?  I mean surely I could get those things easily enough here, considering they just contain information about Australia! Oh wait, what does this say? Hmmm, that’s not good. They seized the unidentified plant material, well there goes the attitude adjustment that I asked her to send. Dammit!

Not to worry there’s other stuff in the box…

Blog_packages_008 

Blog_packages_009

Yumm!! Look at all that Canadiany goodness! Woohoo! Lucky I only ever wear sweatpants and wife beaters (that’s trakkie dacks and singlets, for the non-American readers). The only problem though, is those darned Canucks can’t make a simple, normal piece of food. It’s always got to be made half English and half French. Now the English half is ok, being of Scottish descent myself, I’m used to bland stodgy food (shit I hope Sam isn’t reading this!), but the French half can be a bit weird as you can see from the photo…

Arach

Now I don’t know about you guys, but there’s no way I’m eating spiders and crusty ants! Merci, mais non! n’est pas pour moi! J’ils ne mange pas! I’m a bit rusty on my French but I think that’s close (I could have used one of those translator gizmos, but where’s the fun in that?)

On the other hand you can sometimes get a benefit from the food being made in both French and English, like the Cheezies for example. In this case I lucked out as I’m a bit of a cheese lover (both cutting it as well as eating it), and there was double cheddar, there was real cheddar and vrai chedder (the vrai chedder wasn’t quite as good as the real chedder). But all in all, it wasn’t really that bad, the Oh Henry! bar was a Grand Format (that’s French for Big Bastard) so even though I had to throw away the French half, there was still plenty left.

Now this thing is going to slay you! I like to call it my Spannersaurus Rex….

Blog_packages_010

He may not look like much now, but once he’s armed he’s a real nasty piece of work! I actually have mixed feelings about this guy, one the one hand it was love at first sight (and still is), but then on the other hand, having a trade background makes it hard to accept the destruction of what appears to be three perfectly good spanners (albeit imperial). But I’ll get over it, because it really is a great piece of art.

Thanks very much Joy, your generosity is really quite amazing for someone whose grumpiness can at times make me look like Mother Theresa (before she shaved her beard). Hmm, does anyone know the proper etiquette regarding insulting someone who has just done something nice for you? Never mind, I’m sure it’s okay.

Tune in tomorrow and I’ll show you what’s in the box that the wonderful Gawilli sent me.

Insomnia

It’s 3:15am as I write this, and I don’t actually have insomnia. What I have, is two stupid dogs who think it’s funny to escape just as I’m leaving to go to dinner at a neighbouring farm (funny story, I’ll write it in the morning when I’m awake). They still weren’t back when I got home at around 10:30pm, so I went to bed.

About 1:00am Bentley showed up but he was all wet and I was pissed at him so I didn’t let him in, then at about 2:45am Belle showed up and nearly broke the door down letting me know she was back. She was wet too, but I let her in and dried her off, in the meantime Bentley had taken off again. If anyone wants a set of matching dogs, please let me know (I’m keeping the pug).

It’s now 9:30am and I’ve been up for a couple of hours reading blogs and whatnot. I don’t know what time Bentley came home but he was here when I got up around 6:30.

So, about some confusion I caused in one of yesterday’s posts… In what has become an increasingly rare occurrence since that crazy bitch came into my life (I’m serious, Belle is definitely a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic!), I was snoozing at around 8:30am (yesterday morning) when the phone rang. Having a phone on the bedside table doesn’t mean anything when you’re interrupted while visiting your REM friends, plus I don’t like that phone much, so I jumped out of bed and grabbed the phone in the computer room (my favourite phone), fuck! I forgot that it’s plugged into the computer outlet board and I haven’t fired up the computer yet. I did a passable impersonation of a pinball machine as I bounced of the walls on either side of the hallway as I lumbered towards the kitchen to grab the other cordless phone.

"Hello" I said. When I worked, I would always answer my work phone with my name and department, but at home, ‘hello’ is all I say. Those who know me recognise the greeting, those who don’t have no idea who they’re talking to. The response was "Hello, Peter? This is ‘blahblah garblegarble’, can you hold on for a minute?"

W-T-F?!?! And here’s how come I now believe that when you’re drowning you see your life flash before you, because in the split second between when the caller asked me to hold and when I replied I thought "What the Fuck? You called me! And you want me to hold! Fuck off!! But wait, she said my first name and identified herself, and those are two things direct marketers don’t do so they must know me. Yeah, but they still probably want something from me anyway."

Having completed my internal discussion and come to a decision, I politely yet firmly replied "Well, no" and hung up. Since I was up now, I decided to crank up the beast and see who loved me. As I was reading emails and blogs the phone rang again, but this time I was prepared and let it go to the machine. About thirty minutes later, curiosity got the better of me (I would normally just delete it without listening) and I played the message…"Hello, Peter? This is ‘now I could understand her‘ and I was wondering if you’d like to come over for dinner tonight?"

Oh fuck! I could have handled that better! It was the lady from two farms away (they have some stuff stored in my shed, so every now and then they give me meat or invite me to dinner so I don’t throw all their stuff out on the street). The thing is, she has a speech defect, and unless you’re really paying attention, she can be pretty hard to understand. What had happened, was just as I answered the phone here husband came in and asked her for something.

Sorry, I just realised that this does nothing to clear up the confusion I caused yesterday. You see, because I got a dinner invite I just assumed it was Saturday, because that’s when people inviter people to dinner.  Not working, and being woken up the way I was didn’t help much either. So that’s why I said "I’ll see you on Monday (my time)", at the bottom of my post, for as you all know, I don’t post on Sunday’s. Oh, and I didn’t think it was Saturday for just a little while, I thought it was Saturday until Melissa sent me an email explain her comment (at around 3:30pm my time). I think this must be an all time record for the most numeric time references in any one post!

Blog_packages_014
Now that we’re back on track, make sure you come back tomorrow if you want to see what’s inside these boxes. For all those bloggers out there who go out of their way to be polite and supportive to their fellow bloggers and get nothing, this is really going to piss you off!! And to anyone that has never received a gift from a fellow blogger, tough shit.

Ha ha ha ha!