Friday, April 28, 2006

Today I am going to ramble, so consider yourself warned. When I say ramble that simply means that I am going to start off this discussion without any real point and see where it goes. It may end up somewhere extremely useful and perhaps solve some of the world's great dilemmas, but to be honest, that is unlikely. It might be that I could actually solve some significant problem plaguing humanity but that would almost certainly require more effort than I am prepared to put in at this particular moment, ie. waiting for my email to download. Perhaps if I could piece together all the time I spend waiting for my email to download into some coherent, thought conducive pattern, I would have the opportunity to make some significant inroads. But my email has now downloaded and I haven't got time to worry about that now.

Time management is something that I am not exactly noted for. DW and I have been meaning to discuss it when I can find the time. Twelve years and counting. I guess I'm a bit of a "it'll all work out" kind of person, and so far, it has all worked out except for those things that didn't. That might sound like a bit of a pointless statement. Fair enough.

Did I mention its Friday? I have only been at work for three days this week and already I feel burned out (bernout?). BUT, I think good things are in the wind, wafting their way to my door. Must open that. The last two nights, my youngest has actually slept through the night. DW might disagree as to the benefit as it has meant that she has had to get up at 5:30am two very cold mornings in a row to give the lad his first feed, while I have had to feed him at 11pm the night before, after the heater has been on for a few hours. This may not seem fair to most people but I am not most people. I am not even many people. I am at best two or three people, depending on how much coffee I have had. By the way, Iris is a very good movie.

Anyway, my email is jumping up and down obviously trying to get my attention (who said the paperclip was the most annoying thing on the planet?) so I had better go and pat it and find out if I have made any blunders yesterday. Mostly it'll just be me replying to every other email saying I don't really need viagra or any natural substitute thank you and I'm confident that my bank details are fine. It takes so long to reply to them all and I find that after fifty or so, by replies do get a little terse and I may come off as not being very polite. I do try and help all those deperate people in Africa who need help transferring large sums of money to keep it from falling into corrupt government hands.


Thought for the day: "Tinkle". Its cute, sounds nice, even when said to yourself, amuses kids, makes me think of Disneyland and coins dropping on tiles, or maybe water features at a garden show. Anyway, gotta go to the bathroom.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Ok. I'm back. I know I have been slack and everything so let's just move past that, ok? I have a very good explanation which requires a whiteboard and at least three different colour markers and considerable gesticulation, all of which are difficult to do in a blog. There are also several multivariable equations. Let's just get over it ok.

I'm back at work and I am missing being at home. My holidays were less than relaxing but I still find I enjoy being home more than being at work. Not that work is particularly stressful and I actually have a very good job. It may not be exactly what I want but then how many people get to do exactly what they want?

DW was feeling a bit guilty for being sick over the break and leaving much of the housework and looking after the kids to me. She reads this blog (may well be the only person who does) and is also worried that I might give people (the imaginary ones that read this) the idea that she is too hard on me and a bit of a grump. Well, its time to set the record straight.

She can be grumpy and sometimes even bossy but these are not defining characteristics. These are products of the environment and I think that pretty much everyone has these or other vices in equal or greater measure. I can be grumpy occasionally and at home I get to tell the dog what to do and believe me, I try. Not a particularly bright dog.

DW has chosen to stay at home and look after the kids and domestic duties. I have never insisted or even requested that she do this. I know that some people consider this to be less of a choice and more of a collapsing under social (and often parental) pressure. They believe women who stay at home and adopt "traditional" roles set the whole Women's Movement back. If the Women's Movement is so fagile that choice is limited to defying tradition, it has a bleak future. Fortunately, I believe, that is not the case. If the tradition were specifically to be subservient then tradition be damned. But it isn't. The "traditional" role for women is based on a biological imperative for the survival of the species. The problem is that tradition took on a whole lot of unnecessary baggage that doesn't help perpetuate our species.

So what is relevent today? I think it is simple. People - not just women and not only men - have the right to choose their own destiny. We have not yet guaranteed our survival but there is not quite the pressure there once was. We no longer need everyone to try and procreate. Those that wish to should be allowed and those that don't should not feel pressured.

DW has made a choice. We discussed it but the choice was always hers to make. The path she has chosen is not simple, or easy. The requirements of her job may not seem to have the intellectual demand of a career but that is taking a very narrow view. Maintaining a house is simple enough when you have kids who like to clean up after themselves and only eat microwave meals. They would also have to be naked.

I don't live in the aforementioned house. Our first child probably should have been called Tsunami and our second child has only just stopped chiming every hour, and by chime I mean throw up. He probably should have been called Chuck. Our backyard is clay and it sticks to clothes better than lint. Both kids eat like there is no tomorrow and given their combined appetites, that will be true one day. I thought both kids were stuck on full volume until they both got much louder.

When I get home from work it is like walking into a tornado, buffetted for an hour or so until they both go to bed. Peace settles and DW and I try and have a meaningful relationship in the following hour or so before we get too tired to drag ourselves to bed. The alarm clock is going nuts at 6:30am (possibly both of them) and the next day starts. DW lives in the tornado. She has to put Tsunami and Chuck in the car to do the shopping. If she can put up with that, I can put up with her being a little grumpy and even a little bossy. I still think she is amazing.


I hate B2. B1 is ok though.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Its been a couple of days since I last wrote and I blame lack of sleep. I haven't had time to scratch myself in the last couple of days and now that I have finally caught up on that, I can write a little bit and then try and catch up on the sleep.
Just a quick update on the garage cleanup - see, that didn't take long.
I've decided to write about the weather. Not because I couldn't think of anything and so I've gone the small talk route. I actually like Victoria's weather. Granted it is unpredictable, at least most of the time. We can have some pretty cold days in summer and some equally cold days in winter, sometimes even colder. Don't get me wrong. Winter is not my favourite time of year but that's because of the short days. My commute means I leave home in the dark and get home in the dark during winter and I can go for a whole week without seeing my house in daylight. I like my house. I like daylight. I like to see my house and daylight getting along. I could blame winter but I choose to blame my employer, whom I also believe to be responsible for the war in Iraq, global warming and the total lack of manners in teenagers.
Anyway. I know what you are thinking. "Anyway" really isn't a sentence in the strictest sense. Also, you may be wondering if and when I'm going to get back on track about the weather. I'm sorry for the digression but that teenager thing really rankles.
The weather. Also not a sentence but still a worthy topic. I like being reminded of the connection between distant locations by the weather. Wind and rain sweep across the landscape without any concern for the difficulties faced by those little people who forgot their umbrellas and are shielding themselves with a single sheet of newspaper. Oh how I laugh at those people and then run away. I always carry a compact umbrella with me which has some people thinking I am overly pleased to see them until I whip it out at the first drop of rain.
I should mention that I also like the heat of summer and the whole gamut between. However, I think the weather I like most is the cold, sunny days in winter. We actually get quite a few and I don't know what it is about that contrast but it makes me think of distant places and adventures and hot chocolate with marshmallows. I usually have to settle for the latter, but I can live with the that. Who knows, maybe one day I'll be running for my life in the streets of Marakesh just wishing I had a hot chocolate. You gotta love anything that lifts you up out of the ordinary and for me, today, that is the weather.


My thought for today is "duck". Not a lot happened today.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I am not great at cleaning. Part of the problem is that I tend not to see the problem until it is too late. How do I know when its too late? When I stand in the middle of my mess and I realise that I don't know what to do. I want to clean it up, or more accurately, I want it clean and orderly and DW thinks it will help build my character if I do it myself. As I have mentioned earlier, character may be overrated. Also I think my character is pretty much formed for better or worse. That is not to say that I can't improve myself. I just don't plan to. Well, not until I get seven decent nights sleep in a row. Then I will consider it. Anyway, I expect that this may also be contributing to the initial mess and my subsequent inability to cope with it. When I see a big, impossible mess, I crawl into my shell which I keep near the door so I can find it.
Still, I am currently undertaking the mother of all the messes I have created - the garage. And I am winning. Well, not so much winning as losing with more confidence than before. Its a puzzle to me. I have spent the past couple of days trying to clean up just the workbench. In total I would have spent about 10-12 hours at a guess. I can report that the bench is now clean and I can tell you exactly where every tool that I own is (except my work gloves and heavy mallet - but they were not in the garage when I started anyway). That just leaves the wood pile and the great big mess in the second bay. Probably another five days should do the trick. The thing that really bugs me is that DW cleaned the same mess up (at least one very similar) in about three hours last year. The whole shebang. She even swept. I guess the difference is that she just looked at the tools and rubbish and threw stuff away and put tools that were of similar shape together and threw more stuff away.
I suppose I think about the function of the tools and the potential uses of the rubbish and have difficulty getting past the fact that I don't like to throw anything away that I might possibly find a use for. Still, I can make the cut when I need to, it just takes me longer. I'm probably too close to the problem mostly because I am the problem. DW says just think of all the character I'm getting. Yeah, right.

Until the next time.

Giggling like an idiot may well be a sign of madness. Who cares.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Only a short time to blog today. I've been busy and have probably spent a little too much time in veg mode in front of the TV. Fortunately, that's not something I do too often these days, but you need to occasionally. DW wasn't well today so I took my little princess to a four year old birthday party today. Watching people interact is something I prefer to imagine doing rather than actually doing but, if I have no option or alternative entertainment, I will resort to the real thing. Don't get me wrong, the parents of this mob of four year old, nearly four year olds and assorted siblings are actually very nice people and may one day read this and so I'd better speak well of them. Don't worry; I'll happily speak my mind of anyone who doesn't live in the same town as me. My problem is I can be a little aloof/distant/grumpy. I don't always present the most welcoming visage and that bothers me only occasionally and never really enough to do anything about it. So I smile when I should and make witty remarks about the kids and the cake and watch my own offspring as she charges about as though I injected the red cordial directly into her heart.
So who do I watch? The kids. I guess that most of the other adults are doing something similar to me and manufacturing an appropriate appearance to blend with the current crowd. To be fair, this group were mostly from DW's mother's group so they knew each other pretty well and may well have been less guarded with each other than I'm suggesting. I have no idea. I was watching the kids. The kids are so definite in character that even uncertainty is presented with conviction. It is quite extraodinary to look at a child and apply the sensibility of an adult and watch as they shatter all expectations and simply, openly and honestly reconfigure themselves at will. It is exactly the same with adults except the simple, open and honest part. It isn't an easy thing to describe. Adults are capable of behaving appropriately with those notable exceptions who "lack social skills". We all know people like that. Kids form a partnership when they play well together and it serves are greater purpose than to simply blend. Obviously they don't always play together and they can be cunning and nasty and not very angelic. Still, this group of kids are probably fairly indicative of all kids in similar circumstances. They are mentally and physically fairly equivalent, and have shared society since they were born. They are not yet truly competitive as winning hasn't taken on a special meaning yet and yet they love to strive together and understand the basics of fastest, strongest, best. The just don't mind if it isn't them.
Parents mind. Maybe five year olds mind. I'll let you know next year. Three year olds don't get it yet. I try not to mind but I really do. Kids can be fun to watch but they can also tell you something about the way you have positioned yourself in the world, and they society you keep. The choices you make aren't just for the welfare of your children, but their society.


When playing with kids always have one hand ready to defend your crotch. Its not fun explaining why you kneed someone's kid in the face.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Why don't kids like to sleep in? My little girl is exhausted after a very big weekend with family and friends and late nights and more chocolate than even she can poke a stick at. Yet the moment the smallest hint of light creeps into her room from outside, she has to be up and making as much noise as is humanly possible. And it simply doesn't make sense that everyone else in the house shouldn't be able to enjoy the beautiful morning, not matter how bleak it might be. I probably should admit that as I write this at 7:30am, it is a perfect mid-Autumn morning, the sun is rising over the suburban sprawl and the blue sky is peppered with just enough cloud to give the day character. I am a night person, but I can still enjoy a beautiful morning. I just like to get a little more sleep beforehand.
You see, my little boy decided that he wanted breakfast at 5am. Now he is still breastfed so that duty falls to DW (dearest wife). However, between 5:30am and 6am he decided that he wanted more and eventually I had to give him a bottle as well. He took a little while to settle but by 6:30am, all was quite, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse. 6:35am Princess needed to go to the toilet. She is toilet trained but she considers the whole effort something of a performance and what performer doesn't want an audience? 6:50am and I have masterfully convinced her that it is still night time and she will be warmer and happier in her bed. 6:55am Princess declares the day has started. 6:56am, DW declares that while her day has not started, Princess is right; mine has. Not so much a declaration perhaps, as a rolling over and disappearing under the covers.
It will be an interesting day. I may write more later.


It takes character to smile at the morning sun as it pokes you in the eye. Character may be overrated.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter! Mine started officially at 5:45am when my nearly four year old daughter came charging into our bedroom declaring that the Easter Bunny had, in fact, arrived. Unofficially, my wife and I had been tending our 8 month old pretty much the whole night and had not been able to sleep for more than half an hour at a time since we first tried to go to bed at midnight. A heart-felt plea for a little more sleep was knocked flat by a little girl who knew it was her duty to go and follow the trail of Easter Eggs left by a chocolate toting giant rabbit. She also didn't want us to miss out on any of the fun, though her idea of sharing the experience didn't initially extend to the eggs themselves, just the joy of seeing her find them. After some persuasion, she relented and allowed DW (dearest wife) and myself a chocolate bunny each (there were three after all) and kept the remaining 17 assorted eggs for herself. Yes, there were twenty but one had been sacrificed in honour of parents everywhere. Its my way of giving back.
By 6am the fun was over and chocolate was smeared over the face of the little princess. She managed to scratch her mouth on the first egg, such was her enthusiam to devour it. At least she took the foil off. I may have stolen an egg as well. So now I am stuck listening to ABC Kids (hey, I don't have to face it) while being pestered every couple of minutes by an increasingly bloated princess for more chocolate, as if the next piece will somehow magically cure the over-full feeling. I suppose it just might work - and also cure the chocolate craving, at least until morning tea. But that won't be my problem. DW has the watch from 9am.

Again, Happy Easter!

Chocolate doesn't cure anything, but let's face it, it doesn't need to.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Ok, so I've missed one day already, but I had a very busy day yesterday and couldn't find five minutes to drop a note on the blog. Obviously that is just not true. Basically the times I COULD have done the blog were not convenient and I finally had some time last night but decided that it would be just rushed and pointless. But on reflection, that isn't actually a bad thing for a blog. Anyone who has a blog knows it serves the same purpose as a diary in so far as it can be very cathartic. Some people maintain a diary to record events of the day or remind themselves of how they felt at certain times.
Writing is a very simple way of channelling thoughts that can often be unkempt and disjoint. I do not wish to simple tell the world what I did today nor do I want this to be a little rant about how I feel. Those things may occur for whatever reason but they are not my motivation. I simply want to write. I like putting my thoughts down in some tangible form, though I do find my hand isn't so used to holding a pen as it once was. Perhaps as a writer I should feel a little embarrased by that but I don't.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

On we go. Well, after a little bit of playing around with the settings and management tools I think I've got a pretty good idea how this whole thing works. I may be wrong. I'll just keep plodding along for now.

Tomorrow I am on holidays for 11 days and this is rather exciting for me. Part of the reason I started this blog was to get myself back into the habit of writing daily. I do enjoy writing but I find I need to have my head in the right place before I can really focus and I am easily overwhelmed by the external pressures in my life. The things I blame for keeping me from writing are not really to blame. They are normal functions of a normal person's life and they do allow for creative time. I just need to be a bit more forceful about taking that time. Creativity may not be something you can force but taking the time to look for inspiration is. Hence this blog. I intend to "force" myself to take the time each day to spend just ten or fifteen minutes writing about whatever inspires me at the time. If nothing springs quickly to mind, I may end up getting deep and meaningful about my small stack of business cards or the holographic picture sitting on my computer monitor or some other inanity and I do apologise now. Hopefully I can either find something interesting to challenge my mind or I can make the something interesting of the small stack of business cards.

Anyway, must do some more work as holidays start tomorrow.

Think positive thoughts - crap still happens but at least you can be upbeat about it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Well, today is an auspicious day. Or not. It maybe for you. Anyway, today I launch my first Blog. I'd be very surprised if anything remotely interesting appears here for the first couple of days but I promise I'll say something interesting before, let's say the end of April. It's too much pressure trying to say anything interesting before Easter but I think I can realistically expect something to happen before May and I work best to deadlines. Just not tight deadlines. Ok, you are probably getting some idea of how I plan to write this blog. To start with, I'm just going to assume that someone is actually going to read it. If you are reading it, then I am right (just nod and smile - thanks). Then I'm just going to type whatever comes into my head until I find a better way of organizing my thoughts and producing something meaningful. Not that what's in my head isn't meaningful, just that it might seem a little random to unsuspecting passers-by. This may be you. Ok? Ok. Well, that will do for this little post but I'll try and get something more cohesive out later today when I know more about the site management and so on.

Asta La Vista, Maybe!
(still working on a good tagline)