Sunday, July 31, 2011

Decorating the Second Gel Child's room

Preparations and Painting 

How long does it take?

I have been expected to make over the eldest gel child's new room by 'remodeling' the wall paint.

I mean, decorating it better than what was left for her.

I do not know whether her mother would have liked the paint colour chosen by gel child #1 (you know I mean the third child, but eldest gel, by a minute or less), but at least it is not purple, black, red or green. In fact, I would have chosen it too, so all's well as far as that goes.

The fact that eleven foot ceilings come into it makes it a bugger to contemplate on my own-some.

And that three walls out of five are actually weird combination of Masonite wood paneling, hessian fabric glued over that, and then some kind of card-paper/plainwallpaper glued on to that! Like a soft feeling painted wall! Which is Not at all like the wall on the other side that is Much Newer, of actual plasterboard, and not like that surface of the chimney making up the fifth wall that has a rough cement surface.

There has been the odd offers of help, or one-on-one time trying to do this decorating, the youngest saying she would help while the other waltzed off to a friends place last weegen! I sent them both off anyway.

Yesterday, there was a smidgen of help in plastering over blemishes in the old walls. Went through more spakfilla than I wanted, but at least they had a go!

Apparently I was supposed to start painting this afternoon, but there was still blemishes to fix, and then a girlfriend called them off to see a movie. Ah well. Presently, the kettle is cooling. Again, bye 4 noo.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Headless Chook Syndrome


The To Do List is decreasing or evening out 

Or, A weeks "Diary extractions"... 

The front lawn and garden has been deshevelled for three weeks. Finally, it is less so. Some leaves, twigs, branches and logs are now out of sight, once spring kicks in...

The front veranda post has been lifted back, the bearers been reinforced with an eye out for a builder to maybe do a better job. There is a bit of creaking when one walks past... Some wrought iron pieces need to be re-assembled at some stage too.

The painting of gel#2's room is about to start as soon as I think the walls are puttied up enough and clean and smooth. That has been the weekend project, and I think the gels think I am putting off the painting for another week the process has been so slow.

The back yard feature has been fixed and tweaked. The rotten end of the upright has been cut off and an extension bodgied together for ten bucks rather than a new post for ninety... And the cross piece that could not be kludged together to make a longer one was replaced. It was used instead to bodgey up the extension to the post... There is more light in the kitchen now the evil looking overgrowing vine-like weedy bloody plants have met with my friends bonfire.

The trails of tyre/tire marks through the lawns has been sort of fixed.

The weeks washing put away.

A new Portable Vineyard and Alcoholery Blog started.

A Dan Brown book finally finished.

Some suspect moles on upper chest and lower back CUT out at the unearthly time of 9am Saturday Morning! The evidence to be sent off and examined- I suspect there will be a positive outcome. But these days in SEOz, you cannot be too careful if you know you spent the first few years of life naked in the sun, then dutifully tried to look healthily suntanned from mid teens to mid thirties...

And I just boiled the kettle before I started this.... ANOTHER COLD COFFEE- 2 in 24 hours, sheesh!

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Portable Vineyard

The Portable Vineyard
An IMBY Project!
[Not Chapter One]

What Is It? "The Portable Vineyard" is potted grape vines In-My-Back-Yard.
When?  Established [about] 2004.
Where? Central Gippsland, Victoria, Australia, called a cold climate area.
Why?  We were on a budget and because I had never before thought about fermenting grapes.
How? Cuttings off new already planted six Shiraz Grape Vines IMBY
Who? Tone- stay-at-home-dad ex-rigpig geologist and wine lover

Rather than repeating a website here, I am going to tell it differently instead, referring or using that site until I have the whole thing there- here!

Furry boots is it then, and why?
When we first bought the house in 1998 there were four old grape vines [the garage vines] of some sort in the garden that were producing funny tasting grapes, maybe just an ornamental as the grapes are not table or wine grapes. Which coincidentally was harvest time in Victoria! The house itself is about 100 years old. The old vines have been referred to as... Foxey grapes... by a wine-making-equipment merchant slash wine-maker.  Up until then and since too- I think of them as nearly a table grape and not actually wine grapes. Maybe Traminer? Really- for the 'stil.

When it all started
2011 April, loaded with 32kg
Homemade Basket-press
Autumn 1999, there was a bunch of grapes on the garage vine, so I went to see a home-brew guy down Main Street - Paul was his name- and he suggested I buy a beer brewing kit to make wine from these strange grapes. A hundred bucks later I set off on a brewing and fermenting adventure. Got some grapes and apples and honey and with the beer kit, started it all off, and, there you go, 4 dozen bottles wine and heaps of beer for 1999.

A wine press and large bottles clutter up office, cellar and shed. Obviously need a Special Shed...
Secondhand crusher
The Alcoholery was originally the garden shed (another reason we bought the place, as well as the cellar under the family room and the irrigation system) and is where some of the crafting of wine, beer and spirits is done, bottles and bins and tools stored. For Wine Making At Home I spent some considerable time making an Oak Basket Press during 1999.

In late 1999, our Spring, I sourced some year-old Shiraz rootlings from the Riverina in northern Victoria, Australia. I left them for another year in pots, then planted them in the backyard. The first harvest is noted on the old website.

2002- a brilliant Idea!

Going through the family photo album and the website, I see that in 2003 I planted some potted cuttings from pruning the established Shiraz vines in 2002- yes- they grew enough! In the places that the vines were though, it was not good enough to encourage good growth, and so were all dug up and potted again. There is not a lot of room around the house in the garden to plant a vineyard as such, so potting the vines seemed a good idea!

First harvest original Shiraz, 2003

First Cuttings- first planting.

The local supermarket had large plastic plantpots on special, so I bought a few and transplanted the two- year old cuttings into them. Originally I was going to put some limestone gravel as a bottom layer and soil from the garden and composted material as the rest. But it turned out the gravel was granitic instead, ah well.
This is some more on the development that year.

My system of grape growing
One: At pruning time I am endeavoring to propagate cuttings for 3 to 6 potted vines per year.
According to one book, for my own consumption, I need between 50 to 100 vines. Now there are about 30 pots producing a crop. Currently 20 Shiraz, 5 Pinot and 2 Chardonnay that turned out to be Pinot anyway. That's what you get when the cuttings and the new growths are not labeled...

Two: Grow cuttings in a pot, transfer to a bigger pot, them final transfer to the largest move-able pot. A three year journey, and the start of fruiting.

Three: As the cutting grows to a meter and a half, careful pruning at the 100cm and 150cm points there about to start training spurs/canes in order to have at least four cordon points, each of up to 50cm long.

As I say, it's all purely amateurish, learning as I go, and YouTube is bloody good for that research.
I worked for a few years in a vineyard and it's attached winery, and that helps a lot.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I have a bug
With me
About me

I have so much
house things
I have to do
want to do
need to do
and don't care when it is done....Carelessedness-itis

Garden Blitzkreig UN-complete,
still have to rake up shit
cut up shit
move shit
with a shitty chainsaw
on an extension lead.
Where's Geoffry Peterson's dad Grant? Help!

Removing old shit caused
an outside feature to fall down
and that cost 40 bucks and
time fooling around and
making a huge mess at the backdoor
and a big Kludge on a rotten
post top. Extension anyone?

My Getting
my self bogged twice in half an hour with
my two cars in
my own yard was not on
my favourite things to do.
Last week.

Endless vacuuming of the hoose
The letter box made with
love for the child bride is
falling apart... 13 years is a long time?

The gels need desks for their rooms...?

So many
Too many [?]
Sc-Fi mags
National Geographics
Archealogical Diggings
- to finish

Paint eldest gels room
so she can move in
to her OWN room

[breathe in]

Paint the Bungalow too.

Wants.... well don't let me start.

And I find the time for this.............................. Ho Hum I wonder what the rich people are doing?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I know it was wet, see?

It rained and the ground was wet. 
Boggy, in fact. 

Yep, I knew that, but still...

There is a tree lopper making his way along the street, tidying up low branches of the nature strip trees. He has been doing it for a while now. I thought, at last, he is up to my place. I dutifully moved the family car further into the backyard yesterday so I could park the van after it. But, no, it was raining and no workmen doing the trees at my place

In case you don't keep tabs on it, the backyard here received another 35mm or 145points, or 1.45 inches of rain up to 9am today...

After dropping off the gels and their friends this morning, I drove right in again, and left the van out of the way too after the next grocery delivery run.

Well, not really...

I had swerved in to the front parking area a little too fast and moved sideways a little into the drain at the front gate.
And got bogged to the hubcap.
Freaking hell!
Spent 10 minutes rocking forward and back, throwing in dead foliage under the wheel, some flat wood pieces, a log, and then went away.

Tried to get the car out of the back yard to tow out the van.

BOGGED the wagon in the backyard too!

A bit of gravel, some gentle too-ing and fro-ing and swearing, and IT MOVED. T'anks a lot Marvin!

So then I moved the car to the van, looked for a towing rope [I had one somewhere] but made use of a new length of nylon rope I only just bought. A nice yellow one. Inserted tow ball into van tow bar, wrapped rope around it and the wagon's tow ball eight times, and tried to pull the van free. Very gently.

Ah. Nah. No way José. Too wet, bugger it, the wagon slipped--- so STOP!
Another driver may have helped at this stage!

Sucked it in, swallowed my pride, and asked the tree guy for help.

Yep- no worries! Just had to fetch his Ford F250 ute* from the garage across town... 10 minutes...

Yep! it pulled the van out no worries! Gave him a bottle of my best homemade red wine.

The van and the wagon left big tracks in the lawns, bugger it.

That was my hour lunch break- getting out of a bog of my own causing!
Yeah, the ground was soft, so I really did not think clearly about it, and shit happens.  Wet dirty shit...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Djya Know wo Oi H8?

I hate not a lot.
But Dislikes- wow.

I could go on and on and on

Pruning trees, over head, and one cutting slips down and nearly stabs you in the eye even though you are wearing glasses. How does that work?

Doing the right thing on the road and indicating changing lanes but the dickhead waiting in front thinks I want to to a U-turn where he is, and he does one RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!

Doing the right thing and being a good guardian, and getting told doing a bad job! By non-experts too.

Go to spit out the window, but the window is shut.

Told I am lazy. Slack, not lazy. Clumsy, not lazy. Forgetful, not lazy.

Kids told over and over and clean crap up.

Cleaning kids rooms...

Leaky iron roof...

Car display system playing up, or CD player crapping out.

Windy days when I would rather be at Maui...

Paying the utility bills, and not see any improvement in the wattage, heat and cleanliness...

Paying a grand for a Sony 30" and the bastard's colours fade away...

The cat leaving messages. Anwhere. But expecially on my cream carpet. Where it can remain hidden for days and drive you MAD looking for it around the house, on shoes....

More shoes for growing kids- can't we get stretchy things that last more than the semester?

Paying a tradesman too much for a ten minute job. If it is that easy, should have been for free!

Mowing lawns. Gardening in general?

Finishing a great book. hate that sometimes

Redoing a DIY repair job cos I forgot one step.

Going back to the hardware store to buy MORE stuff cos I cut the wood shorter than required...

Tidying up the garage/shed........   a nightmare to come

Forgetting any appointment cos sooo busy doin other crap.

The pain in the butt for forgetting the appointment.

Also I dislike really overly opinionated and so obviously BIASED persons in front of me, or on the radio and TV and or in the newspaper. Oxygen wasters and mega-wankers!

Going to work and there is nothing to do- a wasted bloody trip. Shut up Muttley!


Dislike the lack of an opportunity to geologise in any way locally for a profit.

Helicopter Underwater  Escape Training.
In England.
In Winter.
Or anytime really.

Long helicopter trips across water.
When there are tropical thunderstorms all around.
In the evening.

Sore back and knees- so I dislike getting older then.

experience and
go together.


Is that all? Did not hurt at all!

It took 2 weeks to sort out a limp...
The limp was from a walkathon done at school for the school...

The tip TAP tip Tap down the hall before breakfast said it all.
It does hurt Daddy!
Well, I thought a sprain should have gone by then too.
Thinking back on my friend's girl- well, I better do something, she walked around with a broken bone in the foot for six months, must be a sore point with her Mum now...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Little ol lady, grrrr

A rant and rage, not family value

Little ol lady, grrrr

Bile and sweat.
Little old lady said I should exercise.

I already do a fair bit of walking on the job, from the van to the store room where the goods are, about 150 paces in, 150 paces out, back in , back out, for three shifts a day.

For insurance purposes, now the crims can see see
what's available, instead of being able to hide behind
the shubbery and finding NOTHING HAHAHA
Which is no where close to the TEN THOUSAND steps the doc said I orta do...

My knees are either itchy or stinging with occasional pains, the back wanted to stop moving mid job today, I am not supposed to Crack My Back, like in when you crack ya knuckles...
I cut down the side hedge today between delivery shifts. Even got a sweat up! And NOTHING in the eyeballs this time. The poor electric chainsaw (I am in surburbia Marv!) lost it's chain a few times, but so far so good.

But the little old lady that never knows that when she says anything, I just want to leave. Age does not mean you act like you are absolutely correct and  and and ah wtf, it's my job, the client has to be coddled etc etc.

But still...I unfortunately got to know her and her late hubby, and just have to put a brave happy face on it. Bugger.

She had watched a Brit show about ex-celebrities from the 70's and how they are coping with old age... I have not watched it. Reaching the middle of my life span has not encouraged me to lift the exercise regime above getting out of bed, lifting the kettle...

I have been accused, justly or not, of being a lazy bstd, like, not concerned with making more money to send all the kids to a better school or even getting a better job. Or being told after complaining on missing the rig life and it's money, "that's your choice", with no apparent empathy at all expressed!  Or being a busy body and wanting something that is not mine. Hmph, once I needed a hand and given a backhander instead. What about being too nosy about something that concerns me and mine? Same thing.   Or being told on the phone "I would punch you..." Bloody great. I really do not have the words to "put people in their place", or make them shut up and think about things before they open their mouths for their So Important and So Quick Comments regahgh34r6242@#$% rage rant geZUZ!
Am I too nice, and just a floor mat? I do let slip inappropriate things, and suffer silently later-  You IDIOT!
Always comes back to haunt me! Or someone will kindly refresh me memory of the slip-up. Thanks. Or let what others do to me go, cos really, what the fuck is the point of the pettiness, theirs and mine.

Those people. They are not on my bbq list. I had wanted to be on theirs, like ie sharing a common lifestyle like oilrigs. Or you would think so. Been there done that high pressure job, and the next job down that line will be when the gels can be looked after and I don't feel so guilty deserting them just fore money... and the job will be what I can handle, but not what I can think I can handle! Limitations are appearing and maybe I always had them?

My kids: are fine; well adjusted- to me; well looked after- by me; are considered great kids by everybody. Well, that's what I am told. So thanks to all those who helped me or is helping me. But. Am I to be concerned, like, that's not what it is in fact...? Reality is completely arse about?

And now- the Sun Shines In. lot of shit to move though... :-(
I would like to shut the door and just go, but being a parent and a child of great parents and the partner of a great wife (RIP Tarn who Picked Me And The Hoose don't forget.) who also had great folks. I have to go on in my own way. Tarn's always there, like a bloody ghost I spose, or the angel/devil on my back.

Really don't see why I bother getting up. Not lazy, but losing focus on other big things that people choose to do? I cope, I know I have to make a bit more the next few years as I do have twin gels... I have things that others dont, and everything I need really. But I cut people out, don't like spending money at the pub or cafe anymore, I cannot keep up with Desperate Housewives or Parenthood or Brothers and Sisters anymore, and the bills keep chipping away at the rainy day money and and

Stuff it, some people think they know better, and well, Good On Them, thanks for that and now shut up "Front Door" Behind You and piss off. Wankers.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A change over

But who does the Change?
And then. When it's done... what is missed.

Son#1 left the Hoose [temporarily] in February to stay in The Big Smoke for tertiary studies, sharing a place with some other noisy YAs.

He was supposed to sort out what he wanted to keep here for when he came back home and to sort the junk out so that Son#2 could have his room... He was going to use the Piano Room on his return home, not as big as his old room, but as he sleeps all day and parties elsewhere all night- only needs a sofa bed...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Chaddy Cooks tour

Like my Irish Cooks Tour
Short but long

When I was pretty young, my mum took me, and my brother as well, to see Santa at the newish Myer store at Chadstone. The getup was up on the roof if memory serves right.  And a sunny day, being Summer Marv.

For the last couple of years, I have avoided the Myer Christmas windows in the Big Smoke and taking the gels shopping anywhere in town or the Big Smoke.

But now...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Digging through the past

Is it right to dig and send
Torn by what I think, the "ethicalness" of it all

As I have scanned through a mine field of memories, or should I say, recalled mind sets of yesteryear, I wonder at the clarity of the images my parents gathered while I was growing up, and can I post off images to old friends of renewed acquaintance. My poll question has no replies as yet- a reverberating, silent, NO?

So does digging through the past help me at all? Not that I need help! I mean, I think this: I treasure the childhood memories, and is it going too far, and who really cares. APART from me, dummy

With the scanning project- So far, I have got to my eighth (try spelling that a few times!) birthday party, and a group of kids sitting about a table singing or eating. I am pretty sure it was my first party with friends, and the images bring back memories of those kids. Thirteen years of being in the same classes with some of them.

No one has really bothered to keep in touch with me or many other people since I left that town, apart from using social network sites. Like as if, attending those Catholic schools did not engender a strong network of friends forever, compared to today. I have tracked a few people via Google, FriendsReunited and FaceBook, and now count them as names, not actual real friends, on a list as most just acknowledged me. But Robyn says ello now and again. Mick, Trev, Brigitta, Lisa Z and even others from uni are not into that tech thing I guess. Not that I would leap into the car and go see them for a drink.  A few thousand miles for a beer is not my sort of thing, nor flying them down for a weegen either! Once maybe... But then Chris and MArsh, I might- But I missed Chris' 50th and prob Marsh's too. Bugger.

I could not track Macca my best friend from the primary and secondary schools down at all the last ten years, and had to resort to search engines, found an email address that turned out to be his sister. That was cool- a tech win for me. What is funny is that my old girl friend, next went out with a guy, that next married Macca's sister, now they are divorced. Circles of shit. Maybe I am better off not knowing everybody's news, I certainly don't like my sad parts.

One image of the group has my best friend doing the bottle popping sound with finger and side of the mouth- Macca was famous for that. Up until the end of high school, we were mates. When I left our town for uni, but made few trips back, he was one guy from school I tried to remain in contact with. After a while we drifted apart, and only through our parents did I manage to keep track. learnt he has kids younger than me! Whoa there, really?

Me, keep track. Pitiful, scrounging?

Another kid at the party, Paul, was the adopted male son of boy-girl twins, Helen was his sister. Paul's dad attended a business school nearby, and when he was 10, they took them to America, to the land of the then very strange way of- "Commuting" - to work through the- "beltways" - of Washington. That I remember that strange word or two was because of a conversation dimly remembered between his mother and mine. On their return to Oz, he was placed in the Anglican secondary school, and we never saw each other again.

Gerard was there too, a nice kid, his dad was a cop. They were transferred elsewhere the next year, but I do use his name and face to remember that I had a childhood full of friends. The two other faces I cannot see properly, but I imagine one would have been Terry Tugboat, and the other, quiet Wayne. I made up Terry's name lying on the rye grass of a gently sloping playground, staring up at the blue sky and fuzzy clouds a few years later. Terry the Tugboat seemed pretty funny. Macca, Supermidget, Tug and Broomy.

The little girls I knew at the time are now either mother or grandmothers, maybe divorced and or childless. Some I liked back then, Lis and Kim, are divorced, which is weird. And if I say that now that I could see that coming back then- you would larf an larf in disbelief, ROFL probably. However, I was hurt to see those girls go through that shit.

So the question remains. Should I be a complete dippy nerd and search, and post off these images of these kids to their "parents" as it were?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Family Pictures- a generation in slides

Saturday Night Fever Esh-tic
Scanning Slides for a Picture Show

Altogether, 12 Reels, 120 slides each......
Last year, my mother, hence forward to be known as... "K"... lent me her slide scanning device AND ALL the family slides taken from since I was BORN to my brothers wedding in 1988. A lot of slides, Marv... The family jewels include 12 reels of slides and a few dozen photograph albums, because we were the most photogenic people in the world... Mum and Dad had a few camera 'tween them as I was growing up, so a few old anniversary things were documented for (my) posterity. last night I started a journey back to where I just peed where ever I wanted too... and at who ever was dumb enough to let me automatically let go with no pants on- beginners. Anyway---

Dig a hole

If you want something done, dig it yourself?
A hole lot of scanning...

So after spending a year in the spare room, the slide scanner that my mother let me borrow along with twelve 120-slide-per-reels of the family's history from my baby hood to brother's marriage on celluloid- 28 years...was dug out. And so I was into digging a deep hole for myself one way and another.

12 reels- roughly one thousand four hundred and forty slides to remove and place in a holder three at a time, scan, and put back. Then transfer to the hard drive 12 at a time, trying to label them with at least a Year and a Month, and maybe a commentary...

Unfortunately, I do not have the state of the art slide projector and when replacing the slides in the reel, are they going in properly? The first few I pulled out were this way or that, labels facing different directions. The Agfa slides have some wording, "Look through from this side, Dummy". I had to find a landmark or a car so that the usual way of mounting the bastards was the same for all the different companies, like Kodak and Acme... Lucky for me, some landmarks and the driver's side has not changed in fifty years...

Are they supposed to go in upside down? Facing back or forward?
I know that projecting images on celluloid is a tricky game, and I believe I may have to go back over four reels and re-position the damn things. It is hard to believe, but loving mum did not reveal what I should do- "obviously?"

I may have to pay more attention (again?!) to the next reel I pull out and judge, and go back to the others...