Monday, June 30, 2008
The Hair has wangled his way to Zac's place at Dunsborough for the night, theoretically so they can work together on a an oral presentation for history. Rumour has it that Zac's mum is strict about these sort of things so we'll see.
Mrs Holt Press and I had a late dinner of noodles while watching some quality TV, where else but on ABC1, "The Girls from Belarus" followed by a fascinating episode of Compass about a young woman's search for independence and identity in the face of a controlling fundamentalist father.
The BIG game against the MR Gladiators lived up to its billing, it was a very good game. Sadly we lost 3-0 but not before a real battle. It was a tale of two halves, they out-played us in the first half, scoring 2 goals. Our defense just couldn't get the hang of marking players and being accountable. Perhaps because they so raely have to! A rev up and re-focus at half time brought significant improvement with Cornerstone dominating the game and having many opportunities but still failing to score. Then, in the last 5 seconds of the game MR scored on a breakaway to finish 3-0 winners.
They have a much better coach than our kids!! He coaches the country week team that Sport Boy has been selected in and it showed in their discipline and organisation.
After the game he affirmed that it had been by far their toughest game of the season.
I'm not sure if our kids can beat them next time they play but we at least know we're competitive with them.
Scenes from a taxi ride.
There was an interesting vignette in the taxi last night, played out in two parts.
I took a couple to Bunkers Bay Resort, past Dunsborough, a $60 fare, where they were going to dinner, a gift bought for them by their children. We talked about football most of the way, they are long-suffering Dockers members, she a teacher, he an electrical engineer.
I gave them my number and they rang a couple of hours later for me to come and pick them up for the return journey.
This time the tone was different, the lady was on the phone some of the way and it became obvious they had received some bad news while they were at dinner.
I didn't say anything until they opened a conversation with me then remarked "It sounds like you've had some bad news".
It turned out that the lady's mother had died and they had just received the news.
Suddenly the football didn't seem that important or relevant.
They told me a bit about her, that she was quite elderly and that she had suffered from Multiple Sclerosis for many years which put a bit different perspective on the situation. They descibed her last 10 years as being trapped inside her (non-functioning) body yet still having an alert brain.
The lady was going to leave for Geraldton the following day to begin dealing with all the usual affairs that go with a bereavement.
Interestingly near the end of the journey, the conversation again turned to football, perhaps in a way grounding us and high-lighting that fine line we walk between the everyday and the eternal.
Death awaits us all. Life is made up of the myriad inter-actions, conversations and relationships that happen along the way. We never know where anyone else is on their journey, nor how close we may be to our destination ourselves.
And none of us knows when the Dockers will win another game!
Sunday, June 29, 2008
The sun is up and so am I, but not for much longer, my bed and toasty electric blanket awake!
Saturday, June 28, 2008
When I got home Mrs Holt Press' car was not here. Considering it's 4.00am that's unusual.
Either she (and the car) have been abducted by aliens (unlikely)
she has taken Favourite Daughter to the hospital (more likely).
FD rang earlier to ask if I had any strong pain killers as she had the beginnings of a migraine and her eyes were bothering her.
I suspect things have worsened and maternal responsibilties have taken precedence over warmth and sleep.
(It's very cold wet and wintery in Busso tonight)
Of course, if it was aliens I expect I'll read about it in the Sunday paper.
I had my monthly testosterone jab this arvo which may explain why I'm not so tired now, although I was certainly zonked earlier. I went for an hour without a fare around 9.00 o'clock and had a lot of trouble staying awake.
Before the injection we ran the final Phat Phriday for the term, indoors in the gym due to the weather. We had a big crowd but the program wasn't as tight as it should have been due to insufficient preparation and we had to wing it a couple of times. The main game worked well though, that old youth group favourite, the "eat a melted chocolate bar out of a disposable nappy" race! Theoretically a Snickers bar tastes like a Snickers bar regardless of how it's served, but, there's something about seeing a lumpy melted brown blob in a nappy that takes away your appetite, even your appetite for chocolate.
Only 7 1/2 hours to the big soccer game, which I suspect will be played in wet conditions.
Time to getr some sleep so I'm fit and ready!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
There are 8 West Coast fans, 2 Dockers, 2 Essendon, 1 Collingwood, 1 Hawthorn, 1 North Melbourne and 1 Geelong fan.
I'll give a prize to anyone who can correctly identify who barracks for whom from the picture!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Predictably their feeble retort was "92 and 94".
My response was "What, last millennium?"
It's always good to start the day with a smile and a laugh!
The rest of the day was quiet, just doing work on the footy trip.
Tonight I painted for the first time in over a week. The experimental project I'm working on is still not looking very good though!
It was very sad to hear the news that Jane McGrath, wife of Aussie cricketer Glenn, died yesterday after an 11 year battle with cancer. She was only 42.
I turned 47 on Saturday.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Then the three hour journey home with stops for fuel, food and drinks.
He slept a lot of the way, leaving me to do all the driving.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Mark Thompson is happy and so am I! I asked for a Cats win for my birthday but they delivered a good old-fashioned shellacking! A 135 point victory, the biggest loss West Coast have ever had at Subiaco! 28 goals to 5! Gary Ablett was on fire, Chapman and Mooney kicked 5 goals each, Tom Harley dominated the air and the Cats were rampant all over the ground!
Favourite Daughter, Sport Boy and I had a ball, especially in the last quarter. 1000's of Eagles fans left at 3/4 time, where was their loyalty? They were only trailing by 116 points! So we took the chance to move out of the confines of the sub-zero altitude seats we were in behind the goal and up to the grandstand on the forward flank where the view was a million times better and the yo-yo exercise everytime someone in the row wanted to come in or out of the ridiculously narrow aisles gave way to a panaramic view of Subiaco Oval and the Cats continuing on their merry way to a thumping percentage boosting victory.
Add to that the fact that North Melbourne unexpectedly knocked off Hawthorn today and my birthday present was complete, Geelong now a game and percentage clear on top of the AFL ladder!
We sang all the way back to the car after the game!
It's been a great day. Sure I turned 47 and am feeling suddenly older slower and sorer because of it! But, the kids won their soccer game this morning 4-0 with Sport Boy playing really well, the CFFL mid-season draft went well as I traded aggressively and managed to outfit my team almost entirely with Geelong players, Sport Boy is over the moon at being able to buy a genuine FIFA World Cup soccer ball from Jim Kidds for $100 off the original price, and we dropped in to Leederville Oval on the way to watch East Perth hold on to win against Claremont in the last quarter of the WAFL.
And now we're at the Letchy's place enjoying their friendship and hospitality!
Happy Birthday to me
I'm as pleased as can be
The Cats won you see
And my family loves me
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Happy Birthday to me
Happy Birthday dear Marcus
Happy Birthday to me!
All I want for my birthday is to see Geelong beat the Eagles tonight at Subiaco.
Sport Boy and I are heading up there straight after soccer in the morning, which will be straight after I get whatever sleep I can between now and then.
The taxi was VERY QUIET tonight but I was rostered off at number 6 so have only just gotten home.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
My office is something of an Aladdin's Cave of toys games and puzzles, I've been collecting them for over 15 years and keep most of them at work.
Kids often ask upon entering, "Why have you got all these toys and stuff?"
"Do you like it?" I ask in response.
"That's why I've got them!"
It's been quiet the last couple of days which gave me time to put together a new one, a marble roller coaster, technically called "Space Odyssey". In truth it's not entirely new, I've had a couple of sets for years and had them set up at Carine but when I found three sets heavily discounted recently I bought them and now I have one mega-set, which in turn enabled me to construct my most ambitious track ever! The newer sets had great new features like short straight sections and corner pieces for the track, making it easier to set up and engineer.
As you can see from the video, it works, most of the time.
My plan is to add a second stage to inter-twine with track one, this one made out of long looping track pieces rather than all the straights.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I inflicted another merciless beating on the ladies at the Scrabble Group tonight. Sadly, they are so unconcerned about the score they hardly even notice whether they're winning or losing!
But I know!
There has been a bit of on-going discussion in the comments section of my "Opening Closets" post from last week. Wander back for a look and add a comment or opinion yourself if you feel like it.
Don't forget too that I'm now writing a Footy Blog. I am making good progress in preparation for the Melbourne Footy Trip, only three weeks until we go, yeah!
I think I should warn you that my "Coolness Quotient" has shot up several points today. I now have a page on Face Book! I can just feel the coolness radiating off me as I blog!
Obviously I don't have time to be a dedicated FaceBooker so I'm concentrating on one small area of interest, the Phat Phriday Group on Face Book! Favourite Daughter "invited" me to join!
Here we will discuss the intricacies and subtle nuances involved in planning and running Phat Phriday via virtual meetings, the sort of meeting you have when you don't actually want to meet with anyone! It is already working well, look how much cooler I am than I was yesterday!
Talking of Phat Phriday, I've posted a few collages of the action from last week, in reverse order just to confuse you!
Just a reminder of the various ingredients: eggs, tomato sauce, Coke, chocolate, ravioli, hamburger, fries, creamed corn, milk, water, tuna, coconut milk and a vegemite sandwich! MMMM Yummy!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Phat Phriday went really well, especially with the help of 5 young people to run it-The Heir, Favourite Daughter and three of her friends. We played "Spin a Mystery Meal" and were all amazed at the kid's enthusiasm and dedication to the task!
Three contestants each took turns spinning a wheel to select items to go in their meal, all of which were placed in a blender, mixed and poured for their consumption in a sculling race!
None of the items were a problem on their own, but the combinations they spun for themselves certainly made them less appetising!
From memory there was a Coke/Flake(chocolate)/tomato sauce/Tuna drink; a coconut milk/hamburger/chocolate/egg combo and a french fries/milk/tomato sauce and creamed corn concoction in one round.
Later mixes included some or all of: ravioli/tuna/egg/diet coke/jelly snakes/water/and vegemite sandwich!
No sooner had one group finished than ten more kids were eagerly volunteering to have a go. Most of them finished the whole cup full although one or two gagged at the first mouthful and couldn't go on.
As per the official rules of a sculling race as laid down by the IOC, the winner is the first one to finish the drink and place the upside down cup on their head. This of course reveals which competitors have truly finished. Plenty of kids ended up with goo in their hair at the end!
We were all happy with how it went but I did see a look of consternation on the nurse's face as she watched from the sidelines! There were no reports of Phat Phriday induced illness after lunch thankfully.
NB. The pictures above are from last week's very successful Phat Phriday Launch, Frozen Chicken Bowling which received 100% approval in our blog poll. (Thanks to the other three of you who voted:)
PS. Out of a sense of duty combined with guilt I did actually cook the bowling chook and ate some for lunch one day, with no ill-effects despite the loud protests of the entire Holt Press family!
Last night was one of the busiest shifts I've had in months. At one stage there were 22 jobs waiting. I was in a maxi taxi so had plenty of bigger groups to transport around. Apart from a couple of long drives to no-shows or cancellations I had a good night and made about $250. Even though I was rostered off at number two I didn't finish until nearly 4am, a couple of hours later than normal. Most of the customers behaved themselves which was a bonus. One lady I picked up works at The Ship and when I told her that I did the paintings that hang in the room with the pool tables she was embarrassingly effusive in her praise of them, and me! When I further confided that I was Favourite Daughter's Dad she was equally warm and full of compliments, telling me I should be very proud of her as she is wonderful. I am and she is.
Favourite Daughter is working with her in the bar tonight so there'll probably be an interesting conversation between them.
Our game this morning was at Dunsborough but I'm pleased to say it didn't start until 12.00 so I at least got a few hours sleep between taxi-driving and soccer coaching. We had a couple of kids away so I recruited an extra player to make up the starting 11. There was a bit of controversy about this but I can't say anything here in case the wrong people happen to read my blog!
(If you are a wrong person reading my blog please ignore this section and move on, there's nothing to see here.)
The kids played well and won the game 9-1 with Sport Boy scoring a hat trick.
I spent a bit of time cruising a few garage sales this afternoon and did something unusual for me, I bought some plants! Several hanging baskets and a few potted plants from a lady who is about to head off on a trip around Australia with her husband. I hung them in the patio outside the kitchen window and they do look good. There wasn't much else worth buying, just a couple of Christmas ornaments and some art paints.
I finally managed to pick up the book shelves yesterday afternoon and today did some rearranging in the study, taking two smaller shelf units out and putting the new one in. The Heir made a successful bid for one set from the study so had to then do a big re-shuffle in his room as well. He has a talent for fitting ever more pieces of furniture into a confined space, in this case the smallest room in the house.
After dropping The Hair and his mates off at an X-Box Sleepover I settled down to watch the footy but was disappointed that the Hawks got up to beat the Crows in the last couple of minutes, a. because I'd tipped the Crows and b. because they are above the Cats on the ladder so a loss would have been to our advantage.
The Heir is home from work and in just under an hour's time we're going to watch the Australia V Ireland Rugby Test, Go the Wallabies.
It's taken from a hike through the Stirlings with Laurie on a Wilderness Intervaention Program, many many years ago.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Meanwhile, Phil has been writing about their reacclimatization to Afghanistan, you can check it out at Itinerant Indigent.He has a funny story to tell about this airstrip.I mentioned my new blog for the Melbourne Footy Trip last week. I've developed it a little further and have decided to make it my regular footy blog, with news, reviews, tips and competitions plus lots of links to footy sites. If you like footy check it out here.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I spotted an ad on a noticeboard in town today for a set of shelves, very reasonably priced at $40. I went round to look at them after soccer training and quickly decided to buy them. Then the fun started!
I had The Heir's car, the Blue Beast, but for the life of me could not open the back tail gate!
Was this some sort of revenge Karma for his flat tyre exploits with my car in Perth?
He wasn't far away, at work, so I drove down there to either find out the secret of the tailgate or swap the Blue Beast for my car.
"The key is in the glove box" he explained.
"Why" I wondered!!
Back to the vendor, open the back, lay down the seats and carry out the shelves.
They wouldn't fit! Just! It was a matter of millimetres, but that was enough, it wouldn't fit.
The spare wheel stand was in the way. It's in the back because the space norammly assigned to the spare wheel has been taken over by the LPG gas tank.
It was bolted in so we broke out a socket set to see if we could remove it!
We tried for 20 minutes mind you, but to no avail!
It wasn't coming out, and the shelves weren't going in!
"Sorry, I'll have to get a trailer and come back tomorrow!!"
Only an hour of my evening wasted!
I watched the State of Origin tonight and enjoyed seeing Queensland square the series with a 30-0 shellacking of the cockroaches.
As I said at the start, the rest of the night was spent looking for things I couldn't find!!!
A CD Rom to install the scanner on the new computer. No good.
Favourite Daughter's Yr 10 Graduation certificate. No!
My Grand Final ticket. Nowhere to be found.
Of course, I did find a whole lot of "stuff" that I don't need or want to keep in the process.
There's a black hole somewhere near here that is sucking up all the things I'm looking for and in return spewing out "stuff"!
Time to dig out the Garage Sale signs, if I can find them!!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Half way here I got a call saying he had a flat tyre and the wheel brace didn't fit!
He inherited all of his mechanical ability directly from me,without even a scintilla of his grandfather's (much more useful mechanical genes) making their way down the hereditary line.
He rang back a little later to say that it turned out the wheel brace did fit after all and he was back on the road. It should be noted at this point that Alex was with him but this did nothing to improve his chances of mechanical success, if anything it diminished them!
Fridgetown is customarily cold so I'm grateful for the pot belly stove warming up the house. Hopefully there'll be an extra doona on the bed when I retire shortly.
I was relieved this morning when at the 4th attempt I managed to obtain tickets for the footy, the Geelong v West Coast game on my birthday. For a little while it looked like I'd miss out, as it is they're in the restricted viewing section, low down behind the goals at the Subi end. I'm not complaining though, I'm just glad I got tickets. I got a couple of extras for Favourite Daughter and Sport Boy if they want to come and help me celebrate my birthday. Mrs Holt Press has booked into a training weekend at Northam to mark the occasion!
Monday, June 09, 2008
Sport Boy's team were losing 2-0 at half time but in a much improved second half came back to win 3-2 and manintain their unbeaten record.
And I can't let the weekend sport report go without mentioning the Cats good win against North Melbourne on Friday night. It was close all night but Geelong held sway to win by a couple of goals in a high scoring game. It was a weekend for big comebacks, with Sydney knocking off West Coast with almost the last kick of the game, and Carlton getting up over Port Adelaide in similar circumstances, when both teams had trailed by over 30 points. Couldn't resist sending Chris a text after the Eagles lost, "Cheer Cheer the Red and the White".
"Get stuffed Marcus" was her prompt reply!!
I've just watched a very moving film I recorded on SBS a week or so ago called Sophie Scholl, the true story of a 21 year old German girl who was involved in a movement called The White Rose, who resisted Hitler and the Nazis in WW2 by distributing anti-war flyers.
They were executed for their "crime", becoming martyrs for their ideals and their faith. I have heard of the famous anti-war protester, Deitrich Boenhoffer, who was also executed for opposing Hitler, but had never heard of Sophie Scholl. Her courage and conviction in the face of danger and ultimately death were impressive and inspirational. Her final words before being beheaded were:
"How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause. Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go. But what does my death matter, if through us thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?"
Wikipaedia has a good brief biography of Scholl, who was voted one of the 10 greatest German citizens in history in a nationwide poll.
Friday, June 06, 2008
With a little help from my friends, I've resolved the ticket payment fiasco!
For the full story, go to the Footy Trip Blog.
Friday night normally finds me behind the wheel of a taxi, but not tonight.
Because tonight Geelong are playing North Melbourne and I'm staying home to watch it on TV.
I'm driving tomorrow night instead.
Today saw the rebirth of Phat Phriday, the lunchtime program of crazy games and competitions we run at the school. It's been in recess for 12 months so it was good to bring it back, and buoyed by the strong support in my web poll, 100% in favour, (thanks to all 4 of you who voted) we did indeed proceed with that old favourite "Frozen Chicken Bowling". And in a first, Favourite Daughter, Crazy Friend and The Heir all came and helped me run it.
Photos to follow.
This not only sets the process back a few days, it also meant we lost the cheaper airfares I had originally booked, the price having gone up $20 in the last few days!!!!
Inattention on my part led to the mistake so I'm not happy with myself!
I'm hoping I may be able to sort it out tomorrow but I suspect it will have to run its course which means no progress till next week! Just when things were starting to come together really well!
I'll be more careful next time!!
Volleyball went well tonight, we won against the team who were on top of the ladder. My new team plays at a much higher and more intense level than anything I've experienced before and I'm still adjusting to it, but doing OK.
I'm starting Phat Phriday again at school tomorrow, the lunchtime program of crazy games and competitions. I advertised that the first week would feature an old favourite, "Frozen Chook 10 Pin Bowling". This afternoon I got a phone call from a teacher voicing her objections to this game on the grounds of wasting food. I talked it over with the deputy and they reassured me that it wasn't a big deal, that there are bigger battles to be fought, and it was OK to proceed as planned!
I don't feel bad about sacrificing one frozen chicken , value about $8, for the cause!
But, seeing as I discovered a gizmo for putting a reader's poll on my blog, I'll open the question up for you to give your opinion!
Vote on the poll today and help shape the future of Phat Phriday!
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Soccer training this afternoon was a little frustrating with kids getting injured and not wanting to cooperate. Sport Boy wasn't well today so he didn't train.
Barak Obama has finally "clinched" the Democrat nomination in the presidential primaries, which I'm happy about, I like him and hope he'll be President. The strange part of the story is Hillary Clinton's refusal to concede defeat even though Obama now has the numbers to seal the nomination. She's nothing if not resilient! I guess that's a quality one develops if you're married to the world's best known "adulterer".
I've always had an interest in American politics. One of my claims to fame is having heckled President Ronald Reagan at a rally in San Diego in 1984. I'm also a great fan of The West Wing and all the intrigue and behind the scenes goings on in the White House.
For what it's worth, I don't think Obama will choose Clinton as his Vice Presidential running mate, and I'm not sure it would be the dream team combination people seem to think it would be. I don't think Hillary is willing to play second fiddle.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
In fact, that's what it's called, "Melbourne Footy Trip", creative huh?
The main action won't start for another month but I had fun setting it up tonight, adding a few new elements to jazz it up a bit. There's lots of footy links too so it may develop a life of it's own during the footy season.
You can find it at www.melbournefootytrip.blogspot.com
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Pleased with myself I then cooked dinner on the BBQ before printing and framing several photographs to update the gallery on the study wall.
All very productive and satisfying.
Favourite Daughter and The Hair came home from their 3 days at the State Youth Games full of stories and laughter but both very wiped out from all their exertions and lack of sleep. Both went to bed early. She really likes her new bed and he is rapt with the $2 CD player!
Sport Boy has extended his sleepover at Jacob's for another night so the house is quieter and less energetic without him around running or bouncing or kicking a ball etc.
It's back to the real world tomorrow!
Monday, June 02, 2008
All the more sweet seeing as the Cats returned to the winner's list in style last night by thunping the Blues. I wanted to get Stu over to watch the game but he obviously forsaw they would lose and high-tailed out of town for the weekend!
Mrs HP and I had a look around the markets this morning, finding very little quality amongst the junk, just a couple of books and a couple of toy planes for my office.
A quick stop at Woolies for bagels blew out into fruit and BBQ meat and numerous other things and a bill for $62 at the check-out!
Similarly my excursion to Bunnings for a new, bigger kitchen rubbish bin ended up producing not just the bin but 4 storage crates for under FD's new bed, 3 rolls of gutter guard, 3 different sizes of batteries to re-arm the remotes and clocks and smoke detecters, two kitchen stools and a tape measure!
I knew Fremantle were in trouble when they took a 2 point lead into 3/4 time against Port Adelaide. Sure enough, their customary final quarter fade-out saw them go down by 5 goals, to set a new AFL record, losing 5 games in a row after leading at 3/4 time in each of them. Not the sort of history they were wanting to create I'm fairly sure!
Sport Boy is staying the night at Jacob's so Mrs HP and I took advantage of our "just us" status and went and got noodles for tea and a couple of movies from the video store. "Away From Her" was tedious and ordinary but "The Astronaut Farmer" was quirky and funny and quite entertaining.
Tomorrow I get to sleep in again!