Sunday, August 31, 2008

Football Football Football....that's what God made weekends for!

Good news sports fans, Cornerstone under 11's won their quarter final this morning 7-0.
Sport Boy had a good game but Jacob was the star with 4 goals. They now progress to the semi finals next week, probably against the Redbacks who beat us a few weeks ago when Sport Boy was out after his appendicitis and Daniel was away too. We should be much better this time round. Because of the importance of the game I've even taken the radical step of having two training sessions this week!!! Sport Boy went to Bunbury with Ben for a country week practice game this afternoon, leaving me free to cruise a few garage sales and an auction without complaint. I got a few badges at one but very little return elsewhere so I headed home to watch the Cats destroy the Eagles by 99 points.
It's always good to beat West Coast and also to maintain good form before the finals start next week, notching our 13th win in a row and a 21-1 season, one of only four teams ever to do that in 150 years of football. But, the real interest in the game was in the scoreline: I had $10 riding on it in a bet with Patesy who I gave a 15 goal start. The Cats needed to increase their lead by 5 goals at 3/4 time and when they hadn't kicked a goal by the 10 minute mark of the last quarter my money looked gone. But then the boys started to respond to my urging and yelling and piled on 6 goals to reach the required total easily and guarantee my $10 dividend!

Having only had 3 1/2 hours sleep between the taxi and the soccer I went to bed for few hours then got up to watch the Franklin-Fevola shoot-out. Lance got the two he needed for 100 in a season in the first quarter. Fev needed 8 for his ton but kicked poorly and never looked like it in the first half. However he came with a rush in the second half and managed to kick 7 before the final frantic minutes. His team mates did their best to feed him but Hawthorn wouldn't play along and managed to thwart him at the death, leaving him stranded on 99 for the season, the first player in history to finish on 99.

The day of football has had a sadder end as the Wallabies are in the final throes of a thrashing by South Africa. It got so bad The Heir went to bed before haf time!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Busy Day and Night and Morning!

It's been a busy day, just a brief run down before I go to bed.
Phat Phriday at lunch time, throwing a fish at a cream cake and milk crate tug of war. I have a youth work student I'm supervising for the next few weeks.
A clean-up session with community service students after lunch.
After school my tail gate was mysteriously wide open and my dodgy battery was thus completely flat; time to replace it so a trip to Repco followed.
Sport Boy went to a birthday party at the rec centre pool.
Mrs Holt Press has gone to Northam for the weekend.
The Hair is still not well.
The taxi was busy (and profitable) tonight.

Tomorrow morning at 9 the soccer team play in a knockout quarter final game. It's 3.30 now!
Hopefully the kids will have had more sleep than me!

Tomorrow's post preview: I'm on the front page of the local paper!

Friday, August 29, 2008

16 Squares and Two Heads

A couple more recent paintings.

QOTD: "I could never be a politician. I couldn't bear to be right all the time." Peter Ustinov

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Red Squares

As I said last night I've been painting quite a lot lately and here are a couple of my works. The first one is quite large, painted on linen, a first for me, it's a bit smoother than canvas. People often remark that my pictures have an Aboriginal feel to them. That is not my intention but I acknowledge the similarity in style at times. The photo doesn't show it all that well but there is a lot of small detail in the concentric patterns and layers so it took me several days to complete.

This is another one in a similar style to what I've done a few times before. They are popular and I enjoy doing them so I guess I'll keep going. Monet painted a heck of a lot of pictures of his garden after all!! (That's where the similarity ends of course!!)
Sally doesn't like me including words in my paintings but Mrs Holt Press does so while I respect my old friend, I have to disagree on this point.

Soccer training was better than normal today: I asked the kids to bring their game day attitude to training and to a large extent that's what they did. We're into the knock-out stage of the finals now and play Vasse in the Quarter Final on Saturday. The kids are pretty excited about the do-or-die nature of the finals, I think they'll be a bit nervous come Saturday.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hormone Implant via Cannula

How did you spend your afternoon? I spent mine having a hormone implant via cannula!
In other words, a testosterone implant.
Here it is in all its graphic detail courtesy of my mobile phone.

The nurse prepares the instruments.
A local anaesthetic. "Just a little sting"! No kidding!
Leaving the needle in to "set a trace" whatever that means?

Sterilised and ready for incision.Scalpel please.
What's so funny?
The incision ready for insertion of the cannula!
The cannula goes in. A stainless steel tube through which the capsules will be inserted.
Loading up, 1,2,3.
Now press the plunger and they're in, just like that.
Two other doctors came to observe the procedure for teaching purposes.
Sewing up the wound.
Only one stitch required.
A picture of concentration.
All finished.
Loaded up and good for 6 months!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Holt Press Health Report

The Hair was still sick this morning and continued throwing up during the day. He vomited after I blogged last night, just as we were settling down in bed, though thankfully he made it to the kitchen sink before disgorging his dinner. The Heir helped with the clean up. he's gone up to Perth today. I'm not sure if the two events are connected.

After both tablets and injections having failed to correct my low testosterone, I went to the Dr today to get an implant. Unfortunately I left one of the implant prescriptions behind so he was unable to do it and I have to go back tomorrow. I spent an hour browsing around Dunsborough including eating the worst pie I've ever had. It tasted OK but it completely fell apart in my hands and I had to turn it upside down to stop it spilling all over me and the table. In the end that didn't work either and I had to ask for some plastic cutlery to finish the job.

I completed another painting tonight; I'm very happy with it and it looks good in a silver frame.
I'll post pictures of my latest works of art soon.
Lee was so impressed with my art when they came over yesterday he offered to hang some in their church auditorium to brighten up a blank wall and to give me some exposure.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Grand Finale

It's over.

China won.

So did the Cats for the 20th time this season.

The Hair is not well, he stayed at a mate's place last night and had a bad headache, shivers and some sort of "hallucinations". He assures us there were no drugs or alcohol involved.
He's still got the headache, shivers, a sore throat and a temperature but he's better than he was last night. He's asleep now, hopefully that will do him some good.

The Heir has returned home after two weeks living on site at the resort while he filled in for the manager who was on holidays. Its good to have him home again.

We had Lee and Kathy and their three little boys over for a BBQ this arvo, it was great to catch up on all their news and to welcome them to Busso. I hope we'll get to see them often and strengthen the friendship we began when we were all at Joondalup.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Opal Fever

Can the Opals do what no-one has been able to do before? Beat America in the Basketball?

Already today Ken Wallace won the K1 500m gold and tonight in a stunning finish Matt Mitchen won the 10m platform diving gold, the only diving gold not won by China!

Go the Opals.

Several Hours Later, after finishing my shift in the cab.

The answer is No! Not even close! Terrible shooting and a completely dominant American team combined to consign Australia to silver for the third time in a row. Disappointing but in light of how good the yanks are it's a notable achievement.

In other disappointing results Spurs lost their second game of the new Premier League season, 2-1 at home to Sunderland, and Cornerstone went down to the MR Gladiators again, 3-1, BUT it was a fantastic match in which our kids played extremely well and had several chances to score goals which may well have turned the result our way.
We're into the knockout finals from next weekend so it's do or die from here. The kids have played so well all season I really hope they get one more crack at the Gladiators in the Grand Final. Sport Boy played a great game in his return following the appendectamy.

I overheard the following snippet of conversation from a couple of the MR players during the game:
MR Kid 1: "So much for not being as sharp because he's just had his appendix out!"
MR Kid 2: "Yeah, he's even sharper".

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Happy Hooker

Gold Gold Gold!!

Australia has won it's first male track and field gold medal since Ralph Dubell in the 800m in Mexico City in 1968! (The first Olympic gold medal I remember happening incidentally!).

The newest Aussie hero is Steve Hooker who won the pole vault and set a new Olympic record!

I was driving the cab at the time but celebrated with cheers and fist thumps!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Darlow Show

Scott Darlow and his band playing a couple of songs at Phat Phriday last week. The boys came round on Saturday night to watch the footy.
Not only is Scott a talented muso and speaker, he's also a huge Geelong fan like me!

Good news for Sport Boy today, the Dr has given him the all clear to play sport again. He'll be able to play in the big soccer game against the Gladiators on Saturday. We went down to the park for a kick around this afternoon before I headed off to volleyball.

On the Olympic front, the Opals beat China to advance to the gold medal final against the USA in the basketball. Sadly the Kookaburras lost to Spain and can't win the gold this time round.
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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lightning Bolt

Ussain Bolt! Wow!

The 100m - 200m double, both in world record times!


What a star!

It was a tough day for the Aussies. The Boomers predictably went down to the USA Dream Team but the really disappointing result was losing to Japan in the Softball in the 12th innings! It was a nail biter of a game and more than once Australia looked like they had it only for Japan to fight back, and ultimately win!

I visited the local papers and the police station this arvo to start some work on a project I've been thinking about for a while aimed at educating kids about the impact of car crashes and road fatalities. Three young guys from Busso were badly injured in a terrible crash on Saturday night. They are lucky to be alive, the car was in an unbelievable mess. One of them is a kid who used to go to the high school. I know his Dad too through masters footy, I was just talking to him about his son a couple of weeks ago and he was telling me how well he was doing. Now he's in critical condition in hospital, the result of speed and foolishness!

I came home and painted after soccer training; I needed the therapy! The soccer team ought to be called Jekyll and Hyde United considering the contrast between training and games!

The paintings are coming along well, I hadn't done much for a while and am enjoying getting back into it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Aussie Girls

I'm still buzzing after Sally McLellan's stunning silver medal in the 100m hurdles at Beijing.

She was so excited last night when she made the final and tonight she almost launched into the stratosphere when her name came up for silver after the photo finish. The leader and favourite, Lolo Jones of the USA hit the 9th hurdle and stumbled out of the lead and McLellan ran for her life and just got 2nd. It was fantastic and her post race reactions and interview were joyous, total shock and unrestrained celebration rolled into one.

Earlier Anna Meares took silver in the sprint cycling. Her recovery from shocking injuries just 7 months ago to reaching the sprint final is amazing and courageous. She was the only Aussie to win a cycling medal.

In fact it has been the Aussie girls bringing all the glory at these Olympic Games, in the pool especially. The rowers and sailors at least had a few men winning gold but it's been the girls games so far.

Having said that sadly the Hockeyroos and the Stingers (water polo) teams were both eliminated today. The Kookaburras are still going well and face Spain in the semi finals.

Other notable performances today ere the German outsider winning the men's triathlon, the Russian girl breaking the pole vault world record and Britain's complete domination of the cycling.

In news other than the Olympics, I went to a Waste Wise meeting in Margaret River this afternoon to find out a bit more about ways to decrease littering and waste in schools. There were lots of good ideas, I just don't know how many of them are practical for me to take on in my role. It needs a whole school approach to bring about real change. Most of the schools involved in Waste Wise are primary schools where it is perhaps easier to motivate kids to get involved?

I spent the evening finishing a painting I've been working on for a couple of weeks. It's taken a fair while because of its size and detail so I'm glad to have completed it. Mrs Holt Press started work early this morning at the resort so she went to bed early tonight. The Heir was home for a while, a rarity lately as he's been working very long hours and staying at the resort.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mullalyup Gallery

On Sunday afternoon Mrs Holt Press and I went to have a look at an unusual property for sale at Mullalyup, a small town on the SW highway between Donnybrook and Balingup. It's the Mullalyup Gallery, which was originally the stables of the old Blackwood Inn. It's a fantastic old two storey building with 3 large gallery spaces as well as a commercial kitchen, large shed, three toilets, shower and two (bed)rooms upstairs, accessed by a wonderful wrought iron spiral staircase. It could continue to be a gallery or be converted to a really interesting house. But, that's not really necessary because it comes with a house as well! A rammed earth house with three bedrooms and loads of character. Huge high ceilings, exposed beams, timber posts etc. The house is pictured in the top left corner. It sits on triangular 3 hectare block next to a creek and reserve. Part of it is heritage listed, the section in the middle picture above, having been built in 1864!

I loved it and I think Mrs HP was impressed too. It seems very reasonably priced especially considering how much is included in the total package.

Are we thinking of buying/moving?

No, not really.

It just sounded so interesting and attractive I wanted to have a look at it first hand. The thought of owning a gallery with heaps of space for painting (for me) and craft (for Mrs HP or anyone else) has a certain appeal. Of course we are very happy living in Busselton and not keen on the thought of moving away from the ocean, friends, church, the kids moving school etc. But it doesn't hurt to dream or expand your vision. If the kids were 6-7 years older/finished school I think we'd jump at the opportunity.
I'm not discounting it but it would be a huge decision to make now.
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Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Darlow Show & The Cat Show

I slept in this morning but kept one ear on the Olympics on the radio but the real action came later this afternoon when Australia won 2 gold and 1 silver medal in the rowing in the space of about half an hour.

I cruised a couple of garage sales and found a few more toy planes for my office but not much else. Steph and Noel were having one in preparation for their move to a big house overlooking the ocean on Geographe Bay Rd. I drove up to have a look at it and catch up with Noel who was busy painting before they move in. It was good to talk to him about a few things and to feel a sense of confirmation about the big decision I'm contemplating. No more to say yet but hopefully soon there will be.

I went to Woolworths to buy some food for the BBQ tonight, Scott and the band are coming round after church to watch the footy. They're big Cats fans like me.

There was an interesting "encounter" while I was going through the checkout. A little kid in a car out the front was blowing the car horn, long, repeated blasts which had lots of us shoppers looking and wondering what was going on, especially as it kept going despite the attempts of an older kid in the car to stop it. By the time I walked out the mother/driver had returned to the car. I was looking at her and the kids wondering where she had been and why it had been allowed to go on for so long. The mother must have felt some measure of disapproval from me because as she drove off she gave me the one fingered salute!

Church was great. Rod and Steve showed a short DVD about Christian Surfers, a ministry group they are both involved in. Then The Darlow Show started playing some songs and sharing some stories with the congregation. It was similar to the stuff they did at the school but more open in terms of their faith and motivation. The people were right into it; no surprise considering that they are brilliant musicians and that Scott is very engaging, very funny and had some really good and challenging things to say. They then moved beautifully into some great worship songs to finish the service. Mrs Holt Press and The Hair both loved it and I was really happy with the outcome as it had been my initiative to get them to the church and it had worked out extremely well. You can check them and their music out on their my space page, is the link I think.

While the boys sold CDs, talked to people and packed up their gear I came home and stoked up the BBQ. All was going smoothly until the gas bottle ran out when the chicken was only half cooked so I had to do a quick run for another gas bottle before I could finish cooking dinner. Scott, Kalem and Lynden came round, along with Lynden's cousin Brett and his mate Tim so I was glad I'd bought plenty of food. Then it was down to the serious business of watching Geelong play Sydney at the Olympic Stadium. The Cats were good, especially in a couple of bursts where they twice kicked 6-7 goals in 13 minutes and went on to record a good 39 point win. 19 wins and 1 loss with two rounds to go. The season gets better and better.

Sport Boy was very excited to have them at our place for dinner and buzzed around the whole night, asking questions and being an excellent host, serving drinks and dessert. Scott is an occasional reader of Holt Press so he knew of Sport Boy and was keen to meet him too.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

In Between jobs

I've slipped in to home during an unexpected lull in the taxi to take my medication and catch up with Mrs Holt Press who informs me she spent $8.50 at the Country week Soccer Team fund raising clothes auction tonight! Mostly on items that didn't sell in the first round and were reduced to a bargain price of 50c. We love a bargain here at Holt Press!

Today went really well with The Darlow Show at school, playing their music and talking to the kids about Aboriginal culture and reconciliation. I was really glad to have them and got positive feedback from staff and students.

My phone has rung which means I've got a job to go to.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Feast Continues

It's been a busy day. I helped run a sausage sizzle at lunch time to raise funds for the Red Cross. It was part of the community service program that all secondary students now have to complete so there were lots of kids assisting, most of them usefully. We sold every snag and raised a good amount of money too.

I had planning and prep to do in readiness for Scott Darlow's visit to school tomorrow. I've set up a full day of performances for him as well as a slot on the Phat Phriday program. He was at Busso a couple of years ago and was really well received so I'm hoping he'll be a big hit again tomorrow.

In the afternoon I had a regional cluster meeting with all the chaplains in our region. We've gopt a couple of new ones so it was good to meet them and network a bit. YouthCare are employing a new Area Chaplain in the SW shortly which should be a really positive development. They're also still looking for someone to fill the position at the new Cape Naturaliste College two days a week. I'm trying to encourage a young guy I know to put in an application, I talked to him about it again tonight.

Tonight I reffed 1 game of volleyball and played in 2, for 2 wins. I'm getting better and feeling more comfortable in the team now. They play at a much higher standard than I'm used to and it's taken me a while to get up to speed. I still feel like a fish out of water at times but I'm at least making a contribution in other areas and even got a few spikes and blocks in tonight. Watching the Olympic volleyball is pretty motivating, they are awesome!

Of course, all these tasks had to be fitted in around keeping up with the Olympics. I had to come home briefly to get a few things for the BBQ and happened to time it perfectly to see the Aussie girls sensational gold medal win in the 4 x 200m freestle relay. I was crying by the end of it, it was a fantastic performance. Often it's the unexpected victories that are the most inspirational.
I've just been watching a Japanese equestrian competitor who is back at the Olympic Games after a 44 year absence, having last competed in Tokyo in 1964!!!!! He's now 67!!!!! Wow
Then there's Ivan Tassev, a 41 year old volleyball player for Bulgaria who are ranked #4 in the world! There's hope for us old blokes yet!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Absentee Notes

Real excuse notes written by parents for their absent children (with original spelling):

* Please excuse Lisa for being absent, she was sick and I had her shot.

* Dear School please ekscuse John being absent on Jan 28,29,30,31,32 and also 33.

* Please excuse Gloria from Jim today. She is administrating.

* Please excuse Roland from PE for a few days. Yesterday he fell out of a tree and misplaced his hip.

* Carlos was absent yesterday because he was playing football. He was hurt in the growing part.

* Megan could not come to school today because she has been bothered by very close veins.

* Chris will not be at school cus he has an acre in his side.

* Please xcus Ray Friday from school. He has very loose vowels.

* Please excuse Pedro from being absent yesterday. He had diahre dyrea direa the s...

How good is Michael Phelps?

The best ever! 11 gold medals to his name and every chance it will be 14 by the time the games are over.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I am enjoying the Olympics. The Equestrian show jumping tonight was great with Germany just holding out Australia for the gold. Leisel Jones won her first individual gold medal in her third Olympics. The Boomers crashed again but the Hockeyroos and the Kookaburras are bothing unbeaten. It's a sports feast and I have two TVs and the radio going most of the time.

The highlight today was seeing a kayaker from Togo win his countries first ever Olympic medal, a bronze, though from his joyous reaction you'd have thought he'd won the gold. He pumped his arms then snapped his paddle across the bow of his kayak in celebration. It was a great moment.

Sport Boy is just as into it as I am and tonight requested that he be allowed to take the portable TV with him when he went to bed so he could finish watching the Norway v Japan women's soccer (he was barracking for Norway).

Mrs Holt Press worked at the resort with The Heir today, and will do so all this week. His boss is away, The Heir is filling in for him and they needed extra staff so she got the job. She went to bed at 7.00! Admittedly she did get up again for a while later but I think it tired her out.

I saw the Dr. yesterday who had my latest blood test results. My testosterone levels are still low despite the change to injections so he has suggested I try an implant! It sounds bad I know but he assures me it's simple and effective; a local anaesthetic, a small incision in my tummy, poke the slow release tablet in and sew me up! Good for 6 months supply apparently!

My Mum flew to Victoria tonight to spend a couple of weeks with old friends Allan and Lorna in Geelong. Allan's health has deteriorated significantly of late and Mum is going over to give Lorna some morale and practical support. Allan is in his early 80s and they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last year.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Look Elsewhere!!

Had more to say on the Footy Blog than here tonight.

Chunder Kid!

Blog Back Log Pics

I finally tracked down a download that enabled me to upload pictures from my phone to the computer today, which means I can catch up on a few blog posts posted without pictures from the last few months.

This is from the night I got the taxi bogged in a slippery paddock out past Yallingup at 4 in the morning and had to be rescued.

Some of the kids from school protesting against the lack of resolution of the teachers dispute which ultimately resulted in them, and us, missing out on Country Week this year. The govt have made a decent pay offer at last but have not responded to other concerns expressed by the teachers union and thus directive one remains in place. Hopefully with a state elction called the dispute will finalky be resolved. Hopefully!

Sport Boy in hospital prior to his appendectamy, smiling through the pain as he is entertained by Captain Starlight.
One of several personalised plates I photographed while I was in Melbourne, this one was outside the pizza bar near the internet cafe in Glenroy. Perhaps not the best or smartest message to be displaying on your car.

As predicted, I slept till about 3 this afternoon, dozing in between snippets of the Olympics on the radio and the sounds of Sport Boy cheering and urging Stephanie Rice to victory in the 400m individual medley to win Australia's first gold medal in Beijing.

I pottered around cleaning up various messes in the car port and patio, throwing out as much as I could. At a garage sale yesterday I bought a small TV for $15 to enable me to watch both the SBS and Ch 7 telecasts of the Olympics simultaneously. Sport Boy is loving the Games, watching everything with equal avidness regardless of whose competing or what the sport is.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Just finished a 12 hour shift in the cab and I'm knackered.

Coached soccer at 9. We lost 4-2 but only had ten players so it was a good effort.

Refereed The Hair's soccer game at 1.30.

Hit a couple of garage sales, bought the paper, watched the Olympics and dozed in the recliner.

Mrs Holt Press had to wake me for my shift which started at 6pm and finished at 6am with me hardly able to keep my eyes open! It was a busy night and therefore a profitable one :)

I will surface some time this afternoon!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Let the Games Begin

The Olympics have started. We're watching the athletes march in to the opening ceremony at the moment. The opening has been stunning so far.

Nepal are marching in at the moment.

The big question is how will they light the Olympic flame? Based on the show so far it will be pretty spectacular.

We started our Olympics earlier today, the Phat Phriday Olympcs that is!

Paper shot put, paper javelin, the one legged gymnastics balance, the backwards long jump and the bicycle tube tug of war. The kids loved it, especially those who won gold medals, the chocolate variety.

The Heir and Karlien helped me run it now that Favourite Daughter is living in Perth.

I had some connection problems before I could post this so several hours later I can confirm the lighting of the flame was indeed spectacular.
Also that Favourite Daughter is home for the weekend, it's good to see her.
Sport Boy had a mysterious attack of leg pain tonight, complaining that it was burning! He was pretty distressed but nothing we tried seemed to help. Eventually he settled a little and fell asleep on the sofa. I left him there.
Before the Games
It will come as no surprise that Geelong won tonight, beating the bottom team Melbourne by 116 points. Geelong have been transformed from a side that a few years ago would have been susceptible, despite being high on the ladder, of dropping a game they should never lose. Time and again Cats fans watched them fail to deliver when they really should.
Not any more! The Cats are ruthless and machine-like. Regardless of who they're playing or what the circumstances, they approach every game the same way, and nearly always get the same result! That's now 35 wins from their last 37 games, the best winning streak in AFL history. The finals are just four weeks away and they show no sign of easing up, of pacing themselves, of protecting their stars. They just play great footy, week in week out. And I love it!