The Zombie Defense

Okay, I think I’m on to something here:

http://www.couriermail.com.au/entertainment/weird/man-shot-cop-because-he-thought-he-was-a-zombie/story-e6frep26-1225932824691

A bloke (in America, naturally) has opened fire on a police officer who was trying to arrest him, claiming that he thought the cop was a zombie and he was just defending himself.

This seems to open up a Pandora’s box of possibilities. Sick of your spouse? Just carve them up and cry zombie! Weary of your neighbour? Well, it’s okay to embark on a shooting rampage if you have reason to suspect that they’ve zombified overnight. Judging by the smell coming from next-door, in my case it’s a distinct possibility.

Be alert and well armed – who in your life do you think may have turned zombie and what are your self-defence plans?

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476 Responses

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! A PRECEDENT at last. (Exits singing “I’ve got a little list, I’ve got a little list and they never will be missed”. Badly)

  2. Hehehe. You didn’t get it from me.

    *Gulp*

    Umm, Greybeard – none of us are on your list, are we? I swear, I didn’t know about the coffee at the Pancake Manor.

  3. Well, I did, but you sacrifice me at your peril.

    As a teenager I had recurring dreams that my entire family had turned into a cross between zombies and The Borg.

    Naturally when they drove me into therapy years later, my therapist LOVED that one.

  4. OH – Zombie Management strategy.
    I’ve found that it helps to call screen, and whatever you do, NEVER send them Xmas cards.

  5. Also, keep plenty of gravedirt and salt on hand. Sprinkle them with either and it reminds them they’re dead and they shuffle peacefully off to rest.

    That, or a sledgehammer to the head. Depends how you feel.

  6. I have the cat’s ashes tucked away in a closet until we get around to planting a tree for him. Does that count as grave dirt?

    Meh.
    Must clean toilets.
    Children will be here some time before 5.30, and no doubt will need to use them.

  7. I had four children to use as zombie bait to lure the undead in the other direction while I ran away. Unfortunately, the teen seems to have realised this, so SHE ran away.

    Oh, well. I’ll just have to use the neighbours’ children.

  8. How’s it going, Quokka? Hope your pre-teen prep (i.e mountains of chocolate covered sultanas) has helped you retain your sanity. And yes, cat ashes should be an acceptable grave dirt substitute.

    Don’t worry, Catty. You’ve got three left – if they all run in different directions that should confuse the zombies sufficiently. Just because they eat braaainz! doesn’t make them the sharpest tools in the shed.

  9. Oh heavens no! None of you are on the list – not even NowhereBob. Where else would you find such a group of radical yet practical thinkers and serious philosophers? I mean, even the concept of using your own kids as Zombie decoys would actually seem weird to some people! Crazy, eh?

  10. I have not met Nbob, but have seen photos.
    Yesterday as I was rushing up Elizabeth Street from borders, some 6″4 clown who greatly resembled these photos ambled out of Elizabeth arcade with 12yro Princess Ipod in tow.
    Having surfaced in the midst of pedestrian peak hour, he noticed that Princess Ipod’s shoelaces were done.
    So he bent down to do them up for her, while Princess Ipod pulled out her Iphone and sent a text to someone (the person who irons her underwear, or who flosses her teeth for her? Must have been a servant because no child this useless and self-absorbed could have friends, just staff)….so the crowd surged as everyone trying to get in, out and past the arcade attempted to get past Princess Ipod and Papa.

    I’ve been meaning to quiz Nbob if he has an evil twin who needs Bitch Slapping as I can’t imagine Nbob getting sucked into doing up the Bobette’s shoe laces.

    Its most unfortunate. Must bring Nbob here so that he can wax eloquent on the topic of Dad’s who do up their little Princess’s shoelaces. Not that he could probably find much to add to the vent that I spat upon the unfortunate Bloke, who was fetching me from further up in the street.

    Jimminy.

    Anyway, Sire Greybeard, and fellow zombie killers…please forgive me for letting those two live, but I was wearing rubber soled shoes and had no sharp object on my person with which to bludgeon them to death.

    The Bloke has taken nephew and niece shopping in the Myer Centre.
    I’m allergic.
    Then they’re going to see some sort of movie.
    I selected the movie, based on duration of the movie, of course….120 minutes, value.

    Meh.
    Must study, must study, must study.

  11. That’ll teach you to carry a basket of poisoned apples or maybe a box of chocolate spring surprises. I was very flattered at a family birthday party last night. I waved to a 5yr old great-niece and she screamed, did a “home alone” face and fled into the night. Literally. Aaaah!

  12. You scary, scary, thing Greybeard – so much for that Santa Claus gig, then.

    Enjoy the serenity, Quokka. Did they have fun with the leaf blower?

    Magic Man and Elf Boy have spent the last few days snarling at one another and brawling constantly. Thank the Godess they’re going back to school tomorrow. I’ll try to save my happy dance until I’m outside the school gates.

  13. Too wet for the leaf blower so I made as much noise as possible when I was cleaning the pool.
    Argh…just got the call, they have had enough shopping.
    Gotta go.

    Oh well, I was about to take a study break anyway.

  14. Hang in there. You’re nearly to the end of Day 2 so you’re… two sevenths of the way there. And at least you’ve still got the Bloke at home.

    Gee, I’m a little ray of sunshine at the moment. I’ll go and fold some laundry – that should depress me enough to take the edge off.

  15. Fret not, Greybeard. My dear old dad has a grey beard, and for the first 12 months of their lives, all my children were afraid of him.

    He must have mellowed with age – I was afraid of him until my mid 20’s. I’m still a little wary, even now.

    Speaking of not fretting, Quokka, spare a thought for my teen’s foster carer. You have the niece and nephew for a week, but she’s stuck with my daughter for two months. Unless the teen runs away again, which is always on the cards.

  16. I’d forgotten how hard it is to amuse children on wet days.
    They do seem a little shocked by the idea that they’re in Queensland and it’s raining, all the time. Am trying to remind myself that for the bulk of their young lives this big brown country of ours has been in drought, so what’s normal to me is an aberration to them.

    Still. My idea of a good holiday was two weeks of uninterrupted time on the couch reading Tolkein. I can’t relate.

    Thank Gaia for Xbox, the internet and box set DVDs.

    Uncle Blokesy took them through the science centre and the museum last time they were here, and they weren’t overly excited about it – side effect of having a school teacher as a mother, I would think. So this time I’m opting for things that are less educational and more frivolous.

    I think they can go ice skating tomorrow, (I figure if someone snaps an ulna, at least waiting in A&E for three interminable hours fills up the rest of the day, at least) and there’s always GOMA. I think the Valentino collection is still on.

    Funny thing is, I don’t think any of them – even the Bloke – believe me when I say that the beach will be miserable. Just looking at the cloud movement on BOM I’m sure that there’s endless chop and unpleasant winds along the coast from Coff’s Harbour to Gladstone.

    They’ve decided that they want to go to movie world in stead of Sea World, for the rides. I’m tempted to put my foot down on that one, as I don’t like the idea of kids being on rides in this foul weather, the week before they have to go back to high school. Is that being unreasonably neurotic, people? I might make Uncle Blokesy clear that plan with their parents first.

    Morgana, just how foul is the beach today?

    OK.
    Must study.
    Hope you had fun folding your washing MM. Am amazed you got any of it to dry, I’m in the throes of putting all our bath towels through the dryer as they’re just sucking up extra humidity on the rails in the bathroom, and I’d like it to be at least Wednesday before the children discover what a Brisbane household smells like after three weeks of constant rain.

  17. Catty, we’ve cross posted.
    I was wondering how that was going.
    I wonder what your teen will make of being randomly assigned to a foster carer. Have you found a counselor that you feel comfortable with yet? No point being with one that you don’t click with. That ‘click’ is apparently the most important aspect of the therapeutic process. Or so my textbook says.

    Which reminds me, I should be reading it.

  18. The whole process is frustrating and upsetting and bringing my own buried insecurities to the surface. So now, all I really want to do is hold the teen’s head in the bowl while the Boss pushes the flush button over and over again, until I feel better.

    Or better still, a bubble bath with Tim Tams and brandy. Or a nap. Or a nap in a bubble bath. Or something.

  19. Mmm… mouldy. We’ve had precious little sun to dry the washing, but I think the cold, gusting winds help speed evaporation.

    The beach has been intermittently showery, gusty and fairly uniformly grey for the last two weeks, Quokka. It’s like living in bloody Old Blighty. You can assure them that they’d have a vile time. I dunno about the rides, though – do you think they’d get wet? Well, you get wet on the Viking’s Revenge Flume Ride, that’s a given, but on the others? Maybe walking from ride to ride would be a bit dampish, but there’s always umbrellas. I’d chance it, myself.

    Poor Catty. Please don’t feel badly about yourself, we think you’re wonderful. Don’t nap in the tub, though, you may end up sleeping with the fishes. Here’s some digital sushi: @@@. May not go very well with chocolate, though.

  20. Poor Catty. Have you looked online? some of the parenting support group websites are truly wonderful.

    If it makes you feel any better, niece has updated her interests to include Cheer Leader Practice.

    Please try to imagine my face as she tells me these things and I try to keep Supportive Interested Expression, when I’d really like to grab her by the shoulders, shake her like a rat, and force her to read Anne Somers till her eyeballs bleed and she hates footballers with a life-renewing passion, just as I do.

    My nieces were raised on Daria.
    Now THAT’S a role model.

    Sigh.
    FKN tonsillitis assignment has hit a seriously boring patch.
    I’ll be back.

    And MM…I told them you’d already told me that.
    I’ve been reading between the lines of your comments for the last two weeks and I quoted you directly by saying that all your kids have done for the last two days is snarl and fight, and they LIVE at the beach.

    Thursday seems likely to be the warmest and pleasantest day so if they’ll settle for getting wet and catching a chill, then I can stay home and study for my prac on Friday.

    If they do get soaked to the skin and catch something noxious, I’d prefer it to be as they’re heading back to NSW, but I suspect their parents would prefer they don’t catch anything at all.

    Niece is going through the Daisy Duke fashion phase which doesn’t offer much in the way of protection from the elements.
    Do I need to elaborate, or you’re with me?

    Been there, done that, with the added element of goth makeup and black Stevie Nicks lace accessories, so while I can’t judge, I can vouch for the fact that yes, one gets many, many chills and aches from attempting this look when it’s below 20C.

  21. The Boss pointed out that Spring is finally arriving. You can tell because all the teenage girls stop wearing cutoffs and tank tops, and start wearing hoodies and ugg boots. After driving through bogan territory this afternoon (we were all in t-shirts), I have to agree. The only teenager I saw without a hoodie was pushing a pram. (Did I mention this was bogan territory?)

    Thanks for the encouragement. They’re aiming to con the teen into returning home for Christmas. This will probably occur more because the foster carers are going on a week-long bikeride/camping trip over Christmas than from any desire to return to the family home. Plus, we have a pool. A week on a bike/in a tent, or a week alternating between air conditioning and a huge pool? No brainer, really.

  22. I LOVED Daria. Her, and Danger Mouse. ABC3 should repeat some good ‘toons instead of this modern rubbish.

    Well, if the Niece (whichever way you put the vowels that word looks wrong to me) is a Goth she can wear black tights under her Daisy Dukes, surely? Good solid ones, not cobwebby ones.

    In a few years time, Catty, the Teen will regularly get down on her hands and knees to apologise for being such a brat. It may not happen until she’s a mother herself, but it WILL happen. Hope you can hang in there ’till then.

  23. Agreed! Daria, check; Danger Mouse, check. We were always telling the kids to “Shush Penfold”. Above all, The Apology, check. It may take a while but they get there. Usually after encountering someone else who is “the centre of the universe”.

    My favourite(?) Daisy Dukes are the ones with tatty pockets hanging out under the ragged hems. At least Lyn’s ultra-short shorts had proper hems in the 70’s. Ooooh how I loved those shorts. The memory lingers most pleasantly. Mmmmm.

  24. Yes.
    The Daisy Duke shorts.
    I was wearing a pair of them and a lace up bodice top when the Bloke first met me – I was in my ‘adopted’ mum’s kitchen and one of her boys had dragged him home for Sunday night roast.

    He too still fondly remembers those shorts.

    When we went over to Perth to meet Dad’s family 2 years ago (my family is complicated. I didnt’ know Dad had family back home there until 2 years ago) – my 75 yro cousin waxed lyrical about the pretty yellow dress his wife was wearing when he first met her, and he said to my Bloke ‘So what was Quokka wearing when you met her?’

    The Bloke, to my chagrin, replied ‘Huh? I dunno. Not much, probably, back in those days.’

    And I was trying so hard to look Restecpah.

  25. There should be teenage education classes that alert you to the fact that when you are well past middle age and sporting more liver spots than freckles, some idiot will still be asking your spouse the question ‘What was she wearing when you met her?’

    As much as I’m mortified by the fact that I have to live with the Daisy Duke response, at least I don’t have to answer ‘harem suit’.

    Thankfully that guy wasn’t a keeper.

  26. I didn’t like Daisy. She was too up herself. Much like her shorts, really. Sorry, that was crass, but it had to be said.

    I loved Danger Mouse, Roger Ramjet, Secret Squirrel, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and Motor mouse/AutoCat (from the Bananana Splits). Where are they now? I’d hazard a guess they’ve been locked in a vault by evil TV executives, never to be released – just in case we expect current programming standards to equal the classics of bygone decades.

    Oooh, my chocolate chip muffins smell ready. Supper Time!

  27. You should be more carefu what you write! This, “the ever-present threat of zombie attack”, fom your egg-blog was clearly an incitement to zap a zombie!

  28. Where in hell did the ‘L’ in ‘careful’ go? Must (in future) be more carefu!

  29. Carefu:

    (1) N. (english-chinese portmanteau word of modern origin. care-fu) A form of martial art practiced by those who worry about their opponent’s well being. Characterised by the giving of simultaneous advice and violence. e.g. “your mother knows better than you do + head-kick”.

    (2) N. Mediterranean island near Corfu (q.v.) Now used exclusively as a isolation facility for the garrulous elderly, esp. ancient mariners.

    (3) Adj. (scottish) Be cautious. Example: Carefu Jimmy, er ye’ll hae a noo set o’ stitches!

  30. Ach, wee Beardy, it happened tae me too. I hae me stitches put aboot when I dropped me haggis the noo.

    And now for something completely different:

    The weather faerie must die. I was watching the Cold Lotto (they call it the weather report, but we all know they draw a number out of a hat to work out the next day’s min & max temperatures), and they said sunshine, blue skies. I got up today, and it was sunshine and blue skies. So I put bedding in the wash and hung it on the line. Now it’s freaking-well raining! I am NEVER going to get those blankets dry by bedtime. What’s the most toxic chemical I can buy to spray the bastard weather faerie with?

  31. Old Spice or Brut should do the trick, Catty – Lynx if you’re desperate.

    Quokka, I wouldn’t mind seeing you in the harem suit – do you reckon you could wear it to the next breakfast?

    Welcome back, Stafford – you’re also missing the ‘r’ in from but what’s a few dropped consonants between friends? Don’t lose your terminal g’s, though, or we’ll be having words.

    Greybeard, hehehe. After the school holidays I could do with a little rest spell on Carefu!

  32. Catty – one of the members of Team Slum Lord that hosts the Green Menace next door is, in fact, a Weather Bastard Faerie.

    Many comments about the stupidity of staff at BOM are made in Casa Quokka and they all end with ‘Well, X works there and we have daily evidence of her levels of idiocy, so why are we so surprised when they screw up?’

    The BOM radar yesterday showed clear skies and yet there was steady drizzle for about 5 hours straight. Today we have bright blue skies, so I sprayed the cat enclosure with All Germs Must Die and hosed it out. Their snugs and bedding (all quilted stuff that will not dry if it turns ugly and rains) are in the washing machine as we speak.

    The forecast was for grey skies, clouds and showers and 23. Today they’ve changed that to fine, 26 and perhaps a few showers in the afternoon.

    No doubt once I get the snugs and the cat igloos on the line, the Weather Gods will frown.

    Meanwhile, The Bloke has decided that its a great day for the cable ski park. So they’re on the highway to the north coast dealing with the traffic snarls. Apparently the Tunnel was closed for 2 hours this morning after a commodore caught fire (I think they did it on purpose because Can Doo is on hols this week and cant stick the boot in about it.)

    Anyway, if you’re wondering what happened with the weather, my theory is this – we got your blue skies and you got our drizzle and misery. They got the forecast right, just attached them to the wrong towns.

    Meh.
    I’m off to vacuum, hang as many loads of washing as I think will get dry, and clean the kitchen. And then I get to study, and then when the family returns, I get to take the dog to the vet for an antibiotic shot as he’s got another ear infection.

    Yesterday Uncle Blokesy took the kids to the lolly shop at south bank. I went in to open up their windows before and discovered about a kilo of lollies in there.

    Last time when he did this I removed the lollies and let them have them – in limited quantities – for afternoon tea and after dinner.

    This time, My Don’t Care Factor is high so its just ‘Yup. Bloke can deal with that, and I won’t be cooking meals till the lolly stash is gone.’

  33. Oh Joy! As I were a-hangin out the clothes, I did spy the first snake of summer. Photos and, er, “striking” videos on me blog shortly.

  34. Ahh, the first snake of summer! Can the first mosquito be far behind?

    On the subject of weather, we’ve now got clear skies and sunshine – and dangerous surf conditions. Swings and roundabouts.

    A kilo of lollies, you say? Surely you should pick out the red ones? Meh. There’ll still be so many numbers it probably doesn’t matter.

    What’s for dinner, Aunty Quokka?
    Chupa chups and jelly beans, kid. Snakes for dessert.

  35. How’s your Happy Dance going, MM?
    Did you make it to the school yard or did it start this morning?

    How unimpressed must every child in SEQ be this morning, after 2 weeks of rain, to see blue sky and the mercury rocketing up.

    Greybeard, this snake..any chance you could bag it, tag it, and deliver it through the windows next door? St Patrick may have driven the snakes out of Ireland but I suspect that all it would take to drive the Irish out of my neighbourhood is one small children’s python, dropped through the iron grills on their windows. If those Irish girls MUST scream, then I think at least we should give them something to scream about.

    MM, the harem suit is long gone but one day, if you are very very good, I will show you a photo, circa 1985, which combines the harem suit with the Bette Davis Perm, the Cloris Leachman eye shadow, and the phoenix rising earrings straight out of King Tut’s tomb, which, now I look at them, I realize were the size of baby rats.

    Not my best look and I don’t think Townsville was ready for it, but it was definitely effective at weeding out the faint-hearted among prospective suitors. Down side, it was like a tractor beam to the Mushroom Trippers.

    Lesson learned.

  36. You’ve just resurrected some awesome memories, Quokka! 1985 was the year I started Clubbing in Townsville. Bugger. Now I’m getting all nostalgic for my misspent youth.

    I’m also getting jealous about the lollies. All I have are a bag of strawberry creams, a bag of peanut m&m’s, a box of Roses, a white Lindt block, and a packet of brazil nut toffee. Oh, and a box of Junior Caramels. Actually, that’s not so bad, is it? Scratch the jealousy – this lot should do me until at least Wednesday.

    It’s pouring down. The clothes dryer has just died. The Boss can’t fix it as he’s out of town this week, and his sparky dad can’t fix it because he’s gone camping. However, given that he’s out camping in this downpour, I’ll probably have no trouble convincing him to help me hunt down and torture the weather faerie.

    I’m all out of Old Spice and Lynx, though. Will Impulse do, Madam?

  37. Poor Catty. The FKD dryer in times of downpour is indeed a trial.
    Remember my washing machine breakdown that took about 4 weeks to fix? It felt like four weeks, anyway.
    The only plus side to that was that my nice neighbour over the road that I’d never really met was down there coz her Dryer had flipped out so at least I got a friend out of it.
    And another Ally against the Green Menace.

    The bad news is that I just heard someone from BOM saying that the cyclone season is likely to start much earlier in Qld and be much more serious than usual. 1974 rerun, they’re saying. So I suspect that our Big Wet is likely to dribble down towards you.

    I had a quick peak in the fuller of the two lolly bags to see how much tartrazine is likely to fuel their brains for the next few days. I see that their tastes haven’t changed and there’s no good stuff, just these sour things that modern children seem so intrigued with, these days.

    I still have my stash of chocolate coated sultanas to tide me over.
    Right.
    I’m on the third load of washing, I’ve done the kitchen, the basic tidy up, and am about to vacuum.

    Don’t worry about the weather fairy, there’s a line of rain clouds brewing over the Darling Downs. If it storms before my cat igloos are dry, I’ll be spending the afternoon making voodoo dolls of the Weather Girl from next door and I’ll be playing Pin cushion with every rust encrusted pin that falls out of my sewing closet.

    Can’t wait to hear Fifi’s version of Sir Greybeard and the Serpent. Her variation on the scrub turkey video was ‘Well, he DOES provoke it.’

  38. Brief pause in the Happy Dance to allow for correspondence.

    But I AM very good, Quokka… come on, show me – you know you want to.

    Catty, I don’t know what you’re complaining about. All I’ve got is a block of Rolo. Still, when you consider that if I wait to eat that until the kids are in bed and my visiting Mother is dozing in front of the TV I can have it all to myself I suppose it’ll tide me over for one night.

    I do feel terribly sorry for you about the dryer, though. My ex-dryer died just a few days into that more-than-a-month’s rain we had earlier this year. Do what I did – hang shirts off hangers from the door jambs (laundry limbo is fun for the whole family!), drape stuff off hooks and corners and the backs of chairs. And dress the children in black… it doesn’t show the dirt as much.

    Good luck with your serpent acquisition programme, Quokka. If I find one I’ll pop it in a mailing tube and send it down.

  39. “Can’t wait to hear Fifi’s version of Sir Greybeard and the Serpent. Her variation on the scrub turkey video was ‘Well, he DOES provoke it.’”
    She lies – dang woman would say anything to embarrass me! (Anyway, he started it.) If you want a serpent Quokka, this one’s available, if quite bitey. I can provide a suitable bag and the beastie is just sitting outside in the Banksia tree. Although it does take a swing at me if I get too close. Your call?

  40. Tempting.
    The Bloke’s parents are visiting on Friday.

    And nothing says ‘ Welcome’ like a snake coiled around the toilet cystern.

  41. What is it about this country? If it’s not snakes in the ceilings, it’s rats. And both of them have to share with bloody possums. This wouldn’t be such a problem, except that the horrible things have a habit of dying up there, instead of crawling away into the bush. Dead possum STINKS!

    Huh. Please excuse that little Aunt Irma rant; I took the blankets to the laundromat, and the sun came out ten minutes after I got back home. Honestly, that weather faerie is going to SUFFER!

    StrawberrycreamsStrawberrycreamsStrawberrycreamsStrawberrycreamsStrawberrycreamsStrawberrycreamsStrawberrycreams…….

  42. Hey Catty, how did you get your strawberry cream mantra to escape the edge of the box like that? Cool.

    Go for the snake, Quokka. You’ll never regret a snake, right Greybeard?

  43. Fifi has a friend with no resident bloke to deal with dead possums etc. So naturally she gets one to snuff it between the laundry wall and the close-spaced outer battens. Right under the kitchen. Since her kids were gagging and me being a nice guy (No, really. It was a full moon) I volunteered to remove it. I won’t go into too much detail but let’s say it was falling apart and had lots of things living in it and lots of leakage. Luckily I watch crime shows. Breathing mask – real one with filters – Vicks under the nostrils, disposable gloves and a blunt hooked thing from my collection. After two showers and disinfecting my clothes I have only the nightmares to remind me. See? Blokes can actually be useful. Occasionally.

  44. When we purchased our house in 1995, the estate agent told us it was a deceased estate and had been empty for 8 years since the German that owned it had gone into a nursing home.

    The house came with all its 1950’s furniture, drapes, blinds and accessories. There was a large and ugly black stain on the mattress in the main bedroom, which prompted some speculation from both of us about how the German’s Italian Wife may have departed this world and exactly what kind of institution the German may have really spent his last days in.

    When we foraged below stairs we found a metal box from WW2, a collection of small but very pretty blown glass Egyptian Oil Lamps, and a collection of shell casings leftover from the German’s revolver.

    When we get the bobcat in next year to dig up the back yard, I’m hoping we won’t dig up whoever it was that the German was shooting at.

  45. Hey, Greybeard. There’s a funny mouldering sort of smell coming from under my floorboards… and I can’t escape the incessant ticking, as if of a telltale heart. Since I’m blokeless, can you come up and help me deal with it, please? I mean, you’re an expert and all.

    Awesome, Quokka – you might unearth a bunker! Then you’ll have somewhere for the MIL to stay, next time she visits. The more unexploded ordinance, the merrier.

  46. Gee Madam M, I’d love to but bzzzt, pfft, crackle – sorry, must have a bad line. You’re breaking up.

  47. Aargh! It is the beating of his hideous heart!!

    Meh. I’ll just turn up the volume on ABC for kids.

  48. You know, Madam, I don’t think it is Greybeard’s heart. I think it’s Mayhem’s Mum, trying get your attention.

    Carn, Greybeard, isn’t it time you let her out?

  49. Greybeard has no heart.
    Nbob keeps telling me this, and who am I not to believe him?

    Well, the kids seem to be enjoying my ‘Don’t care’ attitude.
    They finished one sack of lollies and had deep fried horror from the local fish and chip shop for dinner. With fat from the potato scallops dribbling down their chins, and BBQ and tomato sauce slathered over as a tribute to vegetables…they said ‘this is great. We never get takeaway at home.’

    To which I replied ‘Well, I’m studying, so you’ll be eating it all week.’

    Aunt Irma finally seems to be losing her grip on me.
    Gees she’s an exhausting companion.

    How you doing, ladies?
    I’m off to watch the Telly for a bit before I dither my way through tomorrow’s hell experience of the 8am class and the Bloke’s 5am departure for Cairns.

    As that noble snow explorer said ‘I am going for a walk. I may be some time…’

  50. Snow explorer… hehehehehe… “Yup. It’s white. It’s cold. Can I go home now?”

  51. Why go to the snow when you can shave ice in the comfort of your own kitchen? Or go to the 7/11 for a slurpy, either way.

    Tomato sauce is rich in healthful lycopenes, Quokka. Let them drink it by the bucketload. And a diet of takeaways for a few days should constipate them to the point when they become sluggish and manageable. Plus, you don’t have to cook! Sorry to hear the bloke’s going away, though – be strong. It’s Day 4… your hump day.

  52. In our house, tomato sauce on chips constitutes two serves of vegetables.

    My kidlets love me.

    Incidentally, did you know that potatoes are one of nature’s own stress relievers? The chips Quokka fed her visitors will have counteracted the stimulating effect of a kilo of lollies. Well done, Quokka. You’re a natural at childcare.

  53. I think I did know that, Catty. That’s why I’m magnetically attracted to the Kettle Chip aisle around this time of the month (mental note: acquire Kettle Chips urgently).

    Quokka is doing excellently well. That’s why I think she’d like to have my two for a week or so these Christmas holidays. Why not send your three up as well, Catty, so she’s got a handful? What dates are good for you, Quokka?

    Quokka?

    Funny, I’m sure she was here a minute ago.

    BTW, all the best for the exam. You got through last time, I’m sure you’ll do well again on Friday.

  54. I’m back.
    Albeit temporarily.
    Yes, the Bloke is in Cairns and it being hot and the children being Southerners, they are hiding in the air conditioning watching some sort of DVD and pinging text messages to all their friends.

    When I got home from class I brought sushi and then they filled up on ice cream.

    I’ve just cleaned the pool (why is it that frogs insist on making their way into filter boxes when there’s a perfectly good pond they can paddle in?) and now I’m waiting for the spa to heat up so that they can go sit up there and bubble till they start to dissolve.

    Between getting boiled in the spa and humidified by the humidity, I doubt they will have the strength to walk the dog with me later in the evening.

    Last night they had beer battered fish & chips and tonight I’m thinking might be a good time to venture down to King Aharam’s for Kebabs. Apparently they’ve never had pfofferjes (sp?) and as this is tantamount to child abuse in my eyes, I plan to take them across the road to the ice creamery in Boundary Street and introduce them to baby Dutch pancakes.

    I calculate that this plan adds at least two hours of fun with a fleuro pen and a text book to my day.

    I need three months advance warning if there are more than two children in my house, this gives me ample time to order extra sets of shackles for the dungeon under the stairs and it gives me time to prime the thumb screws.

  55. I’ve just self-diagnosed a hideous disease. I’m not going to tell my doctor about it – last time I told her about a self-diagnosed illness, she ran some tests and found out I was right. This time, I’m going to smile quietly to myself and see if she can figure it out on her own.

    Should I start a sweep to see how long it takes her? I dibs ‘never’.

  56. I love King Aharam’s! But how can you go there and not have baklava or a crispy delicious lady finger?

    Mmm… nuts and syrup.

    Okay, well three months from now will be just after New Year’s, Quokka. Best start greasing the shackles as soon as you’ve finished with the exam.

  57. How I wish i had some small children to lend you Quokka. Alas, only my tall, handsome, sensitive & articulate 27 year old son shares our house and you wouldn’t want *him* around. He’s back from the West End share house. Lady problems. At least he seems to appreciate home a little more – what with no addicts, drunks, thieves or bi-polar GF’s.

  58. Catty, what’s wrong? What are your symptoms?

  59. Aha! I’m on to you, Madam! You want to make a diagnosis, call my doctor to tell her, and then claim the sweep!

    But seriously, it’s just some stupid auto-immune thing. Nothing a weekly trip to Tahiti wouldn’t fix. Especially if I can con Timothy Dalton into suntan lotion duty. And there would have to be baklava. Lots of baklava. Love it! You ARE planning on getting a super-sized box of baklava to share with us, aren’t you Quokka?

  60. I wish I had a disease that could be cured with baklava.

    Oh, a twinge. I think I do!

    Swiftly, someone – baklava, stat.

  61. Don’t forget the bubble bath and the vodka. It’s an essential part of the healing process. Well it is for those of us without access to Tahitian beaches – and Timothy Dalton.

  62. While Mr Dalton is a fine actor, I cannot say that “access” to him would in any way improve my life. Honey-pepper Vodka and gooey baklava OTOH could beguile me while Fifi enjoys the bubble bath. Unless it’s a large bath. And I’ve added a glamour shot of my good friend Goldie just for you Ms Cat.

  63. Why thank you, kind Sir! But what’s this about Honey-pepper Vodka? Sounds intriguing!

  64. “Natural honey from wild bees in forest areas is harvested and spices are added to give a rich honeyed flavour with a spicy edge. It is often drunk hot, however at normal temperatures it makes a fine accompaniment to a range of deserts or cakes.” I haven’t tried it with baklava, but I’m willing to put my taste buds on the line for the team. Further reports to follow.

  65. Mmm…gourmet rocket fuel.

    Tune in for the first in our new series, “Greybeard’s Gastronomic Grizzles” when our intrepid investigator of gustatory sensation unites Russia and the Middle East in an explosion of flavour.

    Meanwhile, I’m going to confirm for you that doublecoat Tim Tams go well with coffee.

    *nibble*
    *slam*
    *slurp*
    *sip*

    Yep, people. We’re onto a good thing.

    Meanwhile, Magic Man has made a little tribe of Lego people. He makes them worship him as their God at least once a day. They even bring him tributes (I’m resisting using the word ‘sacrifice’, here). Last night’s was fish and apples.

    That’s normal, right?

  66. Not to worry, unless of course he starts beheading them or ripping out their little leggo hearts and says it will make the crops grow. In which case you may need an exorcist.

    Oh, the pain of the baklava.
    I looked at it, wondered if it was another one of these things that they’ve never seen before and will turn up their noses at, recalled that the last time I fed them a sweet with ground almonds in it they announced it tasted like cough medicine, and I opted in stead to buy some rather large slabs of chocolate fudge and coconut ice from the ice creamery up the road.

    The lacklustre teen behind the counter asked if she could put them in the same bag and I said ‘I don’t care. This is my idea of providing dinner for my nephew and niece. If the contamination bothers them, tough. I figure its gotta beat trying to convince them to eat vegetables.’

    The teen bestowed a beaming smile on me and said ‘You have a GREAT night.’

    I’m thinking she has an Evil Aunt somewhere too.

    OK.
    The Famberly has gone off to Movie World today.
    Ah, the Serenity.

    I snuck out of the house before any of them were awake to do laps at the pool. I left Uncle Blokesy a ‘to do’ list before I got home at 9am. i.e. make sandwiches, find snacks and drinks and sun screen, do chores….Got in, the list was done, and he looked exhausted.

    For bonus points the cat had gotten so excited about Fresh Litter in her box that she’d spent the morning jumping in and out of it, stalking invisible frenemies, so the Bloke was trying to do his chores whilst trying to contain psycho kitty and her bits of Natty Cat to one room.

    Nyak Nyak Nyak.

    I’m off to find my fleuro pen, make a cuppa, and enjoy the peace. Now…where did I leave that last piece of fudge?

  67. Must be excited pet weather. The savage killer attack bunny was so pleased to see me this morning that she did NOT try to claw my hand off as I refilled her feed box. Instead, she tried to climb up my terry towelling robe sleeve.

    As she is not given to bursts of affection, I was delighted. Until I realised she was eating a hole in the sleeve at the elbow, trying to get out again. Stupid rabbit.

  68. Enjoy your peace while it lasts, Quokka.

    We had a pet rabbit called Snowball when I was a kid. She chewed through everything.

    Dad tied her up with rope – Snowball chewed through it.
    He tried thicker rope – she chewed through that, too.
    He tied her up with chain and she chewed through that as well.
    We took her inside and she chewed through the TV cord while it was on. She lived, but didn’t survive: Dad gave her to the TV repairman and she died of myxomatosis.

  69. A Pet Rabbit? Eeuugh! It’s a killer! A killer I tell you!

  70. I listened to Richard Fidler interviewing some guy from the writer’s festival who’s written a book about his experience working in the funeral industry in America.

    If you guys are at a loose end, go to the 612 ABC website and have a listen.

    He was unintentionally hilarious, and when asked what people do with cremated remains, said that some people keep them inside stuffed toys.

    Which is really only funny because I happened to have the dog’s stuffed chew toy in my hand at that moment – a guinea pig…and it did make think on whose cremated remains I’d like to stuff inside the dog’s chew toy. Now, you see, if I had a blog, that’s the kind of question I’d be asking my audience. Which is why it’s perhaps a good thing that I do not as yet have a blog.

    Then – speaking of cremation – a Fire Truck pulled up outside the Bog Dweller’s abode and a couple of fieries sauntered off into the building beside the Green Menace, apparently to do some Fire Safety Checks and educate the household about how not to catch fire when the Irish set our world alight.

    Good to know that I’m not the only paranoid resident of this street who’s convinced those idiots are indeed The Most Likely To Burn The Boarding House Down.

    Sigh.
    3 hours of serenity left.
    Does sniffing highlighter pens cause brain damage, I wonder?

  71. Eye doan’t fink sew.

    *sniff*

  72. No, no, no Quokka, of course not. Sniffing highlighters is a culturally necessary oooh look a wildebeast!

  73. Ms Cat, Goldie is quite offended by your response. She is a mother herself you know and lives next to my clothesline. Not all animals can be cute and furry (like me) you know.

  74. Just don’t sniff white-out. It makes you very pale.

  75. Greybeard, sir, your little friend’s mere presence has been the catalyst for an outbreak of hives and a nasty nervous tic.

    I confess, I’m speciesist. If Goldie intends to sue, tell her not to ask Mr Boylan as he is Santaphobic and will probably be too sympathetic towards my condition to represent her.

    And Madam, I never sniff white out – it makes me black out.

  76. I thought I was starting to mould earlier on, but it was just green highlighter. All good now I’ve switched to yellow.

    I have looked into my crystal ball and I see takeout in my future.
    Quan’s, most likely.

    So long as Goldie is partial to grasshoppers and dispatches them before they can fly into my bedroom, she’s welcome here any time.

    Is there a name for grasshopper phobia?
    Aside from ‘Sook’, as Uncle Blokesy likes to define it.

  77. Acridophobia. Which fits, really, seeing as you also loathe those acrid body sprays that teens delight in.

  78. Which reminds me, Quokka, I’m assuming that by this stage of the niece’s visit, you are also loathing Cody Simpson. Just soak cotton balls in vodka, and cram them in your ears, you poor love.

  79. I wanna go and live with Aunty Quokka! She’s got all the good takeaways within walking distance.

    We’ve only got Thai, fish and chips and the stinking pristine ocean… I want green pawpaw salad, stuffed calamari in clay pot and pork sparerib in flame!! Now!!!

    At this point it should be obvious to all that Aunt Irma has come to visit the beach. Although she’s usually welcome… it’s always nice to not be pregnant… for some reason I feel very snarly this cycle. Venus must be retrograde or Mercury’s sulking or something.

  80. That’s grownups food, that is. I love grownups food.

    Now excuse me while I go make myself a smiley face sandwich on wonder bread. (with the crusts cut off). And if I’m a good girl, I can have a Tic Toc bikkie for dessert.

  81. Mmm… edible clock with sugar icing.

  82. Catty – Thankfully I have no idea who Cody Simpson is. And with luck and good management, I hope never to find out.
    The guest room, which provided accommodation for all three of my nieces while they were growing up, has a wide screen TV nook built into the wardrobe space and without making it look too much like Daria’s padded cell, I’ve managed to pretty much sound-proof the room.

    I hate noise so one of my requirements for the renovation plans early in the piece was that I needed to be able to shut two doors between me and the children’s Habitat.

    After last year’s effort, the number of closing doors between me and the children’s room has increased to Three. This is because Aunty seems to be growing more cantankerous with the passing of time, either that or Teen TV is just becoming way more obnoxious than ABC for kids was a decade or two ago.

    So I have no idea what they’re doing in there.

    Anyway, right now they are at the ice skating rink at Boondall with Uncle Blokesy. After laps this morning we took them down to Lock n Load in West End for breakfast. There we fielded questions like ‘What is pesto?’ and ‘Why isn’t the water in this pitcher cold?’ and ‘Why isn’t the waitress friendly?’

    Ah, Country Folk.
    We tried to explain that you pay extra for bad service and ill-tempered and unwashed waitering staff in our suburb but the children didn’t look like they understood our explanation.

    So. We dragged them through a few shops, ending with the Cupcake Parlour – now that made them happy – so that’s dispensed with the need for me to make cupcakes coz there’s like an entire week’s worth of calories in one of those things.

    Cupcakes are in the fridge for PMTea.
    I’ve told them that anyone who comes back from ice skating with a broken bone doesn’t get a cupcake…so hopefully that will motivate them to stay upright and return with their ulnas intact.

    MM- yes, I found that Aunt Irma was particularly grouchy this visit. Which is an improvement on painful (for me, at least, no doubt those mercyndol work wonders on my personality as far as those exposed to me are concerned) – I’m calling it change of seasons. I think its all the extra humidity from the rain. Brain Bloat, I think.

    Yesterday when I cleaned the bathrooms I found traces of what looked and smelled suspiciously like vomit in the toilet in the Big Bathroom, so as nobody has complained of indigestion or Bali Belly, I think I’ll attribute that one to the Evil Influence of Cheerleader Practice and consider it another disincentive to cook for them.

    Tomorrow’s meal plan revolves around sausages, party pies, and hash browns.

    http://www.barbequesgalore.com.au/products/product-view.aspx?id=924

    This is what tomorrow’s meals will be getting cooked on.
    Our old hibachi fell apart so my mission for today was to find a new one.

    That done, I am going back to sniffing highlighters.
    Ciao, all.
    Enjoy your sugar benders, ladies.

    I wonder if Greybeard is outside poking sticks at the wildlife trying to persuade them to snarl and snap for the camera some more? I’m concerned about his concern with Catty’s spider phobia.
    Next time he posts a photo of a spider’s web, I’ll bet you it’s adorned with hundreds and thousands to try to entice Catty to come closer.

    He’s a worry.

  83. Just finished rearranging the laundry/tool room/junk depository. Ah for the new house! I get a SHED with the laundry at one end and a WORKBENCH at the other. Just need a slab outside for the forge and the larger anvil.

    As for the wildlife, I do NOT poke them with sticks. Much. I may have tempted the snake with toes but it (probably she) was dead cranky to start with. Goldie gets a grasshopper if I can catch one when at the line – all kindness, me. On a romantic note, I knew Fifi was The One when we visited a reptile park. The bloke doing show and tell asked if anyone wanted to help him put the snakes away at the end of the show so I hopped in. At one point I had one in each hand and one of them wrapped itself around so I couldn’t shift it. So I turned to Fifi and said “can you hold this for me please?” She did & my heart sang.

  84. Nice hibachi, Quokka. Looks like it could double as a cauldron, too – never know when that might come in handy. Good luck tomorrow!

    Yes indeed, Greybeard – nothing says ‘I love you’ like a facility with serpent handling.

  85. Reptiles, spiders, no invite to PMTea…

    That’s it. I’m going somewhere else. I’ll be back when the creepy crawlies have been evicted.

    Or when someone cracks open the vodka. Whichever comes first.

    *slam*

  86. Gosh, GB, my response to that request was always a very snippy ‘go handle your own snake.’

    Thanks MM.
    Catty?
    Catty?

    No.
    She’s gone.
    I blame Greybeard for lowering the tone of the conversation to include cold-blooded creatures.
    Next thing he’ll be filming rugby players passed out in the gutter outside his house, hissing and writhing.

    Hmmm…what was I doing here?
    Oh yes.
    not studying.

    Thanks for the thoughts, MM.

  87. Catty? Catty? Here, puss puss puss.

    You can share my vodka. I didn’t get any cupcakes, either. But I do have some home-made shortbread biscuits… want one?

  88. Meh.
    Pass the vodka.

  89. Vodka AND shortbread? Now that’s more like it!

  90. It must be walkers shortbread though.
    None of this Arnott’s parrot food BS.

    Studying.
    And avoiding the MIL.
    A friend is assisting me in this by taking me out for dinner and the ballet after my prac exam.

    have a fun day kids, I’ll check in tomorrow.
    I expect to see GB poking something new and exciting with a sharp stick.

  91. Store-brought shortbread? The very idea! This is Scottish Grandma’s recipe, lovingly home-made shortbread.

    Quokka’s going out for dinner and the ballet. It just gets more grown-up and sophisticated in Quokkaworld.

    This evening I will be doling out sausages and hamburgers at the cricket club for the under-10s. If the rain doesn’t stop we’ll be at home watching Scooby Do.

    Spot the difference, anyone?

  92. My, but you ladies have interesting lives! The most exciting thing about my day (so far) has been scoring a Cadbury Creme Egg out of the claw machine.

  93. Not sure whether the “creepy crawly” epithet applies to the eight-legged, no-legged or bearded varieties of pest. I think I’d better slink away. Besides, this “flourless mandarin, almond and chocolate cake” won’t bake itself y’know. I wonder if it would matter if I used a bit of extra chocolate? Smooth, darkish Italian chocolate from the Green Flea market.

  94. Although the cake sounds intriguing, Greybeard, you slink right back here… you’ve yet to report on how honey-pepper vodka goes with baklava.

    Honestly, man – there’s serious scientific research going on, here.

  95. That settles it. Greybeard MUST come on our fat… uh, I mean, faCt finding tour of America.

  96. Excellent. We could do with a sherpa.

  97. Hmmm. I can feel this Sherpa tensing already.

  98. Remind me when I’m awake properly tomorrow that I’ve come up with a solution to BCC pool fencing regs – just electrocute the FKRS. There’s nothing like a few volts running through a toddlers fat little fingers to dissuade it from climbing a fence.

    Works for sheep.

  99. Oh that’s right, some fool left their children with me for a week.
    That’ll learn em.

  100. How was the ballet and adult dining experience, Quokka?

    Now tell us more about your plans to put shock collars on toddlers… shame it’s a bit late for me to try this strategy. Mine can unbuckle things, sadly.

  101. No, its more the Electric Fence strategy as an alternative to the BCCs new and ridiculous pool fencing laws. I’m all for pool fencing, but they’ve hit ridiculous heights by saying that any tree or shrub within 900mm of your pool fence needs to be removed. This includes trees in neighbouring properties.

    Now, this could work in my favor because there’s a Chinese Elm in the flats next door that overhangs my garden pond and apparently now I have ground to dispatch the FKN thing.

    The flip side of this is that I’m an enthusiastic gardener (or I was, before Brush Turkeys moved in to dig up my petunias and my ferns) and this means that every tree and shrub I’ve planted on the perimeter of my property is now at risk too.

    I’ve worked with kids and I know damned well that some kids are just prehensile. They’re born knowing how to scale walls, fences and trees and nothing short of a few volts is going to deter them.

    So I think that the Tree Removal clause should be replaced by the Low Voltage rule. i.e. a low voltage electric fence around suburban pools.

    I’m just disappointed that I didn’t think of this a decade ago when I was having trouble with the neighbour’s free range Under Fives. If I’d only had the foresight to wire up my Shoe Closet, those kids would have a much better understanding of Boundaries and Privacy.

    The ballet was beautiful.
    ‘Fonteyn remembered.’
    A tribute to Dame Margot, wonderfully done.
    Naturally I dozed off in the second act, but that always happens, regardless of how much I’m enjoying something, and it’s why I usually refuse to go out after 9pm.

    Ah, the rain.
    Uncle Blokesy wants to go to the Eumundi markets.
    i.e. Drive two hours in the rain to wander though an acre of mud.

    I’m seriously tempted to offer myself up as a human sacrifice and take Niece to the DFO for a few hours. It’d probably involve less pain and suffering.

    They’re not awake yet…so I’m off to make my fourth cup of tea…very, very quietly.

    Slushy up your way, MM?

  102. Sunshine Coast Weather Report: It POURED all last night… including at the cricket ground, so much for the U10’s first match of the season. The rain stopped an hour or so ago and now its cold, grey, overcast and blowing a gale. My mobile just bipped with an alert advising of the risk of floods on the coast and hinterland. Probably not ideal for Eumundi – and why is it that the weather was beautiful all week while the poor little weasels were in school and now it sucks again?

    This electric fence thing could solve a number of problems, Quokka. You may be able to repel scrub turkeys with it as well. I doubt it would have much effect on the Irish, though – too thick-skinned.

    So, how was the exam?

  103. I was Rain Man.
    I aced it.
    Think I lost one or two marks, but for 20 minutes there I functioned like a machine.

  104. Oh and thanks for the heads up.
    We’ve agreed on The Ginger Factory as an option.
    I’ll phone them first to make sure it’s not under water.

    Have fun and stay dry, folks.
    Gotta go.

  105. Congratulations on the acing Quokka, don’t exams feel good when they’re over? Oh, and Colin sends his regards and says this wet weather makes raking up the leaves and mulch much harder for poor hard-working turkeys like him.

    Fifi has declared this to be a “stay home and catch up on our reading while eating leftovers” weekend. The cake was surprisingly light, with a few more chocolate chunks than maybe necessary.

  106. Repeat after me, Greybeard – there is NEVER too much chocolate! I have as much sympathy for scrub turkeys as they used to show for my herb garden i.e. nil. So suck it up, Colin.

    Good one, Quokka… and give my regards to the Gingerbread Man.

  107. What’s this? *”a few more chocolate chunks than maybe necessary.”*?

    Greybeard! Wash your mouth out!

    I like the electric pool fence idea. If the neighbours’ kids won’t get out of the pool, all you have to do is push the fence over into the pool so that everyone in the water gets a jolt. That’ll dissuade the little beggars.

    Madam, don’t buy the buckle-up shock collars. Always go for the key lock variety. Then eat the key.

    Oh, and Quokka, forget DFO. Go to the nearest Jay Jays. They not only have 20% all stock, they ALSO have their stocktake sale on. There are hundreds of items at $5.00 – so with the 20% off, you only pay $4.00 an item. Bargain!

  108. Myah.
    Too late, took them to the Mt. Cootha lookout (as the north coast seemed rather horrible) and from there Uncle Blokesy made the mistake of pointing towards Jindalee and saying ‘There’s the DFO just there’.

    So we wound up at the DFO.
    Then we got lost trying to find our way back home and thanks to the bloke 1. Removing the referdex from the car last weekend and not restoring it to it’s rightful place behind my car seat 2. Him offering advice via the GPS on his mobile phone such as ‘Turn left here. ‘ and then revising that to ‘No! That should be Right!’ once I was already in the wrong exit lane, we wound up in Ipswich.

    There he insisted he could find his way to College’s Crossing using only his wits and his GPS. We wound up at the end of a dead end road by the river, looking at cows and a cluster of dumpsters.

    So I told him he was sacked as tour guide, backtracked until I found the train line and then followed it to the bright lights of KFC. Then we argued about which way to the Moggil Ferry, found it, and the rest is a blank. Kenmore has that effect on me.

    We staggered in around 5pm and I’ve fed them Quan’s and I’m off to have some Stay Calm Blend Tea. Which would work better if it was blended with Valium.

    I shall report in tomorrow with comments on Brush Turkeys and chocolate.
    Chocolate saved the day today, when all was going awry and we stopped for diesel I fortified everyone’s spirits with a block of Cadbury Snack.

    The Bloke can’t stand it and I felt that this was suitable punishment for taking us to
    1. Ipswich
    2. A field with cows and dumpsters
    3. The tip, which he falsely suggested was the turnoff to the Moggil Ferry.

    The thing was that he began all this by announcing to the children that Aunty Quokka has No Sense of Direction while we were supping at the Summit.

    I suspect that this will be one of those trips that the children are still talking about when we’re dead and gone.
    ‘Remember the time they got lost trying to find Karana Downs and we almost wound up in Warwick?’

    * Shakes head.*

  109. MM, I see the weather’s forecasting another torrential deluge up your way. Well, and ours, but Casa Quokka sits on top of (and is slowly sliding off) a very large hill. They said another 100- 200 ml. I hope you’re above the high tide mark.

  110. Hehehe. Ipswich in the rain. Those kids can’t say you haven’t shown them a marvellous time. And it just shows: what problems CAN’T chocolate solve? Well, obesity I suppose.

    The weather is amazingly foul, but so far we’re dry. Poor Magic Man missed out on cricket on Friday night, though. They got as far as the coin toss before it bucketed down. No kidding, there were actual buckets.

  111. We were promised 25C by the weather faerie.

    It’s currently 17C. Stupid weather faerie.

  112. It’s gloriously chilly up here. I’m relishing hanging on to my feather doona for just a little while longer.

  113. Yes, its lovely and cool here too, but I see that the wind chill factor is keeping your apparent temp about 6 or 7C below ours.
    I’m waiting for the rain to loop back around and hit us one more time, Brittney Spears style.

    Niece was looking antsy after breakfast so I’ve just parked her in front of Desperately Seeking Susan. Nephew is killing things on X-box with the cat on his lap, so I figure that gives us an hour to run away and do laps.

    Madonna, my favorite baby sitter.

    Catty, you live in Melbourne, where the weather faeries are all capricious and evil. I am not surprised.

    Later, folks.

  114. We’ve yet to submerge but it’s so blowy and cold I might go and put a jumper on.

    Looks like a two doona night tonight!

    Hope the plane manages to take off, Quokka. I don’t think Madonna could reconcile you to THAT disappointment.

    Oh, and literature fans – check out the Auslit review site. They’re going to review our anthology! I know, you’re all so excited you can hardly stand it.

  115. Yes. Yes I am. A link to the site, thank you Madam. No hurry. Now will do.

  116. Hehehe.

    I think it will be: http://auslit.net/reviews/reviews-of-australian-literature/

    and the anthology is called “Undercurrents”.

    But it’s not up yet.

    Well, how has everyone survived the weekend? At several stages last night I thought I’d be typing this with Floaties on, but the rain’s stopped for the moment. Don’t worry, though, its still grey and gusty. It should be sheeting down again any minute now.

  117. Childless, hallelujah.

    Madame, nicely done.
    Want to put a link up?

    And are you still above water?
    As usual our back patio turned into a 10cm high moat at the peak of the deluge, and there’s a channel of mud downstairs between the car and the cat pen, but thankfully I had the foresight to ensure that the concrete in the pen was above the high tide mark.

    The cats voluntarily removed themselves back down there after breakfast, so clearly they’d rather be in a damp dungeon than risk waking up to another day of children.
    Antisocial little beasts.
    I wonder where they get that from?

  118. Like Mother, like fur-children. Enjoy the serenity!

    I think we must have cross-posted, Quokka. When I have a definitive link I’ll stick it up. And thanks, we’re still above water. Don’t even have to dog-paddle, yet – but I am lashing empty baked bean tins together to form a raft, just in case.

    The SES can only do so much.

  119. Tins?
    We’re on a hill, so if it turns into Wild Water I’ll be lashing my limbs to Tupperware with duct tape and riding the rapids, to Luggage Point and Beyond.

    The Bloke and I sat and goggled at each other last night and said ‘Why do we always feel like this after a week with these kids?’

    My theory is that its because they wake up every day, look at you blankly, and say ‘So, what are we going to DO today?’

    He liked this theory but said that its doubly exhausting because the subtext is ‘So, how much are you going to SPEND on us today?’ which is just not something that my lot would have even considered.

  120. It’s exhausting just reading about it! I’d better go and have a nap on your behalf, Quokka. Then I’ll be all refreshed and ready to read Madam’s review.

    Incidentally, are you guys doing any more anthologies, Madam? Need any contributors? Got an agent? Can I have him too? Oh, that’s right, I have to finish the book first. Damn. And I was so looking forward to that nap.

  121. Sorry, I probably have been woeful company.

    Well, heartfelt sympathies for those of you who still have children to amuse in the rain, but now that I’m childless, I’m loving it. Everything is so green and it all smells so fresh. Well, perhaps not the shower recess, where there’s another layer of orange slime building over the layer of Clearasil that’s been building on the glass tiles for the last week. Nothing that a bit of BAM won’t cure.

    We tried to keep ourselves awake last night, waiting for the next squall to move in off the coast. It didn’t seem to get heavy here till about 1am so that was a futile hope, but gosh it’s beautiful. I think its washing away all the Brisbane filth that’s accumulated in the last 10 years of drought.

    And Greybeard is right.
    The brush turkeys are hating it. They’re wandering around looking forlorn and forsaken, the ugly yellow scrotums shrivelling around their necks, utterly unable to keep their mounds above 21C.

    Win.

  122. Quokka – I am always right. Speaking of which, I showed your description of that little trip where you got lost and blamed The Bloke to Fifi. She laughed, she glared, she hit me with “The Siege of Stalingrad”. About 1000 pages of large-format paperback. I don’t understand women.

    I’ve put up a tarp over Colin’s mound and I’m thinking of a kerosene heater for his poor little chicks. And no Dolphins around here, though certainly Bull sharks.

  123. Sounds good, GB, but I hope you’ve got a bic lighter and some redhead firelighters to help out, otherwise the kerosine heater will be a wasted effort.

    You can tell Fifi that when we got stuck on the Ipswich Motorway Upgrade (which is saving the world one day at a time by cutting off access to Junk Food Alley – Macca’s must be spitting) I went past a large roadworks sign that said ‘GPS Nav will not work on Roadworks’.

    I hissed at the Bloke ‘Did you see that?’
    A series of squeaks and beeps from his Sat Nav, followed by the words ‘I’ve got it, you need to take the next exit,’ indicated that the answer to this was ‘No’.

  124. The Boss travels all over the city for work. He is the grand poobah of finding places. It’s me who can’t find my own arse with a map. The burger-meet in March saw me shivering on St Kilda Beach and everyone else admiring Havsy’s Lightsaber app in a nice warm hotel. Thank goodness Mayhem rescued me!

    Greybeard, forget the kero heater. Get one of those biers. Once the fire’s nice and hot, put Colin in it. Turkey in Bier is somewhat of a delicacy, I’ve heard. Or is that supposed to be Turkey in Beer?

  125. Brandy would be better, given that I’ve ordered Turkey Flambe.

  126. Heaven. Green things for dinner, lots and lots of green things, and nobody here to complain about them.

  127. Lucky you. The Boss whined all through dinner about the *ugh* “vegetation” in his stir fry. Pest.

  128. Mmm… toasted turkey.

    Catty, I don’t have an agent, or you’d be welcome to share him – or her. The review isn’t up yet, I’ll post a link when it is. And I’m not sure if we’re doing one next year… I’ll keep you posted.

    Greybeard, those ‘Siege of Stalingrad’ lesions can be nasty. Rub a bit of scorched earth into them, that should help.

  129. I thought you were supposed to use an infusion of orange blossom and almond oil. Or is that for hawk scratches?

  130. Poor Colin. If he had a browser at Chez Mulch he’d feel quite threatened and unloved. I’ve come down with my son’s Manflu and have taken to me bed with scorched almonds – never mind yer scorched earth. Luckily Fifi just has a cold, so she can look after us.

    The female obsession with vegetation continues to baffle me. They eat the stuff, expect us to, go all gooey if presented with the collected reproductive organs of dicotyledonous plants and even wear clothes with depictions of the same. Tomatoes are an acceptable vegetable, as they taste a little like tomato sauce. Chilies are good for flavouring but there is little else. Unless cheese is a vegetable?

  131. Cheese is not a vegetable, Greybeard – but potato chips are.

    Mmm… cheese and onion potato chips. That’s two veges at once!

  132. Wash down those cheese and onion chips with a can of XXXX, and there’s your five food groups covered.

    Not that I’m much of a beer fan myself. That said, if they ever make a beer that tastes like vodka, or brandy, or rum, or frangelico, or baileys – I’m in.

    Which reminds me. Greybeard, my dad always swore by hot rum and lemon for manflu. He said the hot and the lemon were optional. Get well soon.

  133. Thank you both! Cheese & onion for the daytime TV and Rum & lemon to get to sleep. A wise man yer Dad, Ms Cat. I accidentally made a Rum, Lime, Brown Sugar & hot water concoction once and that was good too.

  134. Ha, I just discovered what the Fail Whale is when I went to look at twitter and saw the Fail Whale mocking me.

    Looks like I will have to study and cook dinner after all.

    GB, I am shocked that Colin lacks a browser in his lair.
    Must be quite the murky mudpit down there by now.

    I love vegetables and would be happy to subsist on them so long as nobody got snippy and took cocoa out.

    Cocoa is a bean, yes?
    Beans.
    If only God had seen fit to do something so flavorsome with lima beens, we’d have proof she was a woman.

    GB I hear chicken soup is good for convalescence. I’m sure Turkey soup is better, and I’ve been looking for a guinea pig to trial that on. You’ll do.

  135. Cocoa is most definitely a bean, Quokka. When you consider that a block of chocolate also contains sugar (from cane) and soy-based emulsifiers, it’s almost like eating a wok full of stir-fry.

    Mmm… chocolate wok.

    On the subject of chocolate, has anyone else noticed that a chocolate place has opened at South Bank? Maybe we could have our next breakfast there…

  136. Seconded! Chocolate + market to follow. Sounds good.

  137. Huh. I’ll just sit here and sulk while you’re all out having fun together.

    As usual.

  138. Que?
    That is one of my Dog Walking lurks. And Uncle Blokesy’s head office is down there. I will have to quiz him about this.
    Oh yeah, and maybe even walk the dog.

    No, the dog refuses to get off the couch, on the grounds that he might get his feet wet.

    Smart dog.

    I am most definitely up for breakfast, just not this weekend.

  139. How about not next weekend, but the one after… I think it’s the 23rd/24th of October?

    Except Catty – she can sulk anytime.

  140. Sounds good. Well, not the sulking Catty bit, but the food part.
    There’s the small matter of a prac exam knowing how to test cranial nerves later in the week. Perhaps I’ll practice on Greybeard. I’ll bring a torch and a mallet.

  141. And the tuning fork.

  142. You know the “Oh, oh, oh to touch…” rhyme, I’m assuming. If not, I’ll fill you in.

    Excellent! Well, who’s for the Chocolate Bar? I’m assuming its not actually called “The Chocolate Bar”, but something much swankier. Although, I don’t know if they’ve got bacon or not. We might have to revert to Lock ‘n’ Surly.

  143. Sulking in 3… 2… 1…

    Now.

  144. Catty, I will sulk along with you. Unlikely that I will be up for breakfast that particular weekend, as it’s chemo week.

    On the plus side, it’s the final one, so by a coupla weeks later I plan to be good to go!

  145. This is odd.
    I’m sure I posted a link to an article about Piaf here last night. Uncle Blokesy doesn’t know of any new chocolate shop down there but we will investigate.

    He asked if you meant Piaf, which is the French Cafe in Grey Street. He likes their coffee. Dunno if they have a breakfast menu but being French you’d think they’d know something about Crepes. And I like crepes.

    When the sun comes out I will take Detective Dog and investigate.

    It is meant to be very hip and cool and arty though.

  146. Crepes are arty? Oh, well that’s me out. I’m a bogan.

    Mayhem, to sulk properly on these occasions, you will require a dark corner, vodka, and Cadbury. I’d advise you to practice pouting in the mirror beforehand. It took me hours of practice to get my pout right.

  147. Crepes are fab, but I’m not sure if I can do arty.

    It’s not Piaf, though. It’s called Max Brenner’s: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/chocablock-full-of-sweetness-20101008-16bwn.html

    Good luck, Mayhem. We’ll have to have another breakfast to celebrate your recovery!

  148. http://www.maxbrenner.com.au/menu/menu.pdf

    Slight problem – I can’t see bacon on the menu.
    This is probably a bit gooey for my tastes, but I’ll come down for a cuppa and watch the spectacle of the rest of you eating chocolate and banana coated pizza if I’m in the minority.

    Like I said, my spouse makes his living building hospitals.
    If some of you must be sacrificed to the cause, so be it.

  149. Chocolate and bananana coated pizza?

    Thats it. I’m adding foot-stamping to my sulking repertoire.

  150. I know, I’m a freak among womankind.

    I had to go to a Hen’s Gathering at that chocolate fountain at the Stamford a few years ago. All I ate was egg and lettuce sandwiches because the sea of gluttony was just a bit too much for me to bare.

    Uncle Blokesy is still giggling over that one, so before he gets the chance to tell you I will admit to coming home and complaining that there was no wholemeal bread and the Tip Top Low Fibre had sucked in the smell of chocolate slime farts.

    The Bloke used to work opposite the Chocolate Fountain and he was quite convinced there was a Jenny Craig Can Get FKD meeting there at least twice a day.

  151. The Bloke now tells me its grounds for expulsion from Faffaholics Anon if I decline chocolate syrup before 3pm.

  152. Mmm… not really a very breakfasty menu, is it? Shall we give Piaf a try, do you think? I hear they at least have drinkable coffee…

  153. It looks nice for afternoon tea or dessert after a show or something.
    Which is why I liked those Gueylan cafes when we were in Sydney. And given that it pissed down rain and didn’t make it above 17C last time we were there, the hot chocolate and the stodge was just what I needed to sustain me on the 500m long hike back to our hotel room after watching Bell Shakespeare at the opera house. Well, I saw the first act at least. I’ve never been conscious and sentient through a second act of anything.

    It was a bit sick making seeing people eating breakfast in there though.

    If the sun is still out this arvo I will saddle up Detective Dog and go investigate their breakfast menu.

    I am not averse to browsing for chocolates in the AM and reserving a small stockpile for when my blood sugar drops later in the day, or when Aunt Irma gets down and dirty.

  154. Mmm… stockpiled chocolate.

  155. I wish the link to that review I sent you hadn’t gotten lost in cyberspace. I’m sure it said that all the chocolate was imported from Israel.

    Which makes me a Chocolatist, as I’d be far more excited if it was imported from Belgium, or Switzerland.

  156. Israeli chocolate?

    Hmm… I’m not convinced, either. Not only is Israel a long way from Switzerland, as you point out, I’ve got a lot of sympathy for the poor old Palestinians.

  157. Agreed.

    But mostly I just think that chocolate covered pizza is the work of a sick mind.

  158. Chocolate and pizza. Two great concepts separately, not really crying out to be conjoined.

  159. Right. Exploratory mission with Detective Dog, to Southbank.
    Lets just hope I remember what I’m doing when I get there.

    I have to negotiate a line of orange witch’s hats to escape my lair. Energex are replacing the power pole outside our house tomorrow, so they’ve asked the Irish not to park outside in a 300m line for the next 48 hours.

    I’m waiting for the Irish to get home, identify the cones as witch’s hats, and yell out ‘Hey Seamus. Why do you think Australians paint these tings orange? Is it for Halloween, d’ye tink?’ And then abscond with the lot to the pub.

    Can any drunk, anywhere, ever resist nicking off giggling with a witch’s hat?

  160. There’s been one on son’s wall for years. I didn’t ask. must be his Oirish ancestry. Begorrah.

  161. My cousin used to steal street signs… several with the pole still attached.

    I didn’t ask, either. Must be the Scottish caber tossing gene coming out.

  162. I have a black one on the coat stand but it’s for ceremonial purposes only. I think that’s what you get from mixing Welsh and blackfella ancestry on my Dad’s side.

    Well.
    I have been to south bank and the dog has shat, pretty much right outside Max Brenner’s cafe which means I can never go back there again.

    Prior to his moment of indiscretion, we peered through the window to observe what all the Asian girl students were eating and it was indeed chocolate slime with lots of pink marshmallows. Someone at another table was eating the pizza. I think that’s what got the dog’s guts churning.

    Most curious was the cluster of dark and hairy men seated outside and talking intensely about who knows what in some Furrin Language. They looked like they’d stepped right out of the line up from the 911 suicide bomber ID shots so just in case they’re planning something special, I’d rather not be there to enjoy the fun. Not what I was expecting.

    I investigated Piaf and will post a link to the menu.
    However, the menu further up and across the road from Max Brenners at The Point seemed far more inviting.
    It’s varied a little from the one that I’ve dropped the link to, i.e. the French toast has been changed to Creme Brulee French toast with berry compote. Yum.
    They’ve also got a spanish omelette on the menu and I’m pretty sure it said something about zuchinni fritata and chipolatas…well, perhaps not in the same sentence, but it did look tasty.

    I will need to book. They have plenty of space upstairs and down and probably some nice views upstairs.

    The Maitre D did a marvelous job of sucking up to Detective Dog whereas the French waitering staff at Piaf just gave us this look of ‘Eh…you and your filzy dog, pees off back to McDonalds where you belong..’

    http://www.thepointrb.com.au/09/PDF/June2010/BREAKFAST.pdf

    Mental health warning: The bloke says that he has seen Cyclists at Piaf.

  163. Thank you, Quokka and your loose-bowelled canine friend for the South Bank wrap-up. Creme Brulee French toast? I’m there.

    If Piaf have cyclists, on the other hand, I’m NOT there. I’d rather dine with bed bugs.

  164. I know, it did sound good.
    On weekends I wake up lusting after either bacon or maple syrup. I just don’t like to combine the two. Unfortunately the Jetty cafe at Bulimba has recently decided its only serving Maple Coated bacon so I’ve stopped going there until they learn that some traditions must not be messed with. If they change the menu (and bring back the banana waffles with peanut icecream) it might suit for a future gathering.

    The Bloke has extended his Cyclist Warning to include any flat area that sells coffee. Which is why I like the idea of being upstairs at The Point, far away from their manly essence and hopefully out of hearing of their manly conversations. There’s nowhere for them to park their bikes at The Point without some irate local throwing them into the T-junction, so hopefully this will deter them.

    Well, I went looking for the Piaf website and got an ‘under construction’ symbol. Which is a bugger of a bugger as I do like menus to speak for themselves. Half the menu involved reheatables like fruit toast, banana bread, bagels and jam, and the actual Chef prepared stuff was rather limited compared to what they’ve got on offer at the Point.

    Uncle Blokesy has not eaten at the Point but says that several workers in his office go there for lunch regularly so it must have something going for it.

    Here is the piaf address in case they get it organized:
    http://www.piafbistro.com.au

    Forgive the delay, I was summoned to dinner.

    Now.
    What day is good for you?
    Sir Greybeard is still convalescing and may need to add an extra teaspoon of cement per day to his Turkey Consomme if he is to recover in time for our gathering.

    Where’s Catty?
    Here, puss puss puss…chocolate coated pizza crusts for dinner, your favorite…

  165. Did someone say chocolate?

    I’ve been distracted. The littlest kidlet has a birthday this weekend, and has announced he wants a Torchic cake. Torchic is his favourite Pokémon. So I’ve been trying to find a decent picture to use as a template.

    Torchic! Huh. Pikachu I can do – I’ve had three years practice with the oldest kidlet’s cakes.

    If it doesn’t work out, I’m going to withdraw my life savings from the bank and disappear to Fiji for a few weeks.

    Especially considering the dear child has announced to his class that he will be bringing in cupcakes with fish on them, this Friday. “Fish!?!!” exclaims I. The littlest kidlet sighed and rolled his eyes. “Yes mother. Friday is my show and tell day. We have to bring in something about the beach or the sea. And that’s fish, isn’t it?” I pondered this for about five seconds, and then asked him if tuna patties counted as fish cakes.

    Aren’t I horrible?

    Oh, that reminds me. Aldi has more cupcake decorations in this week’s catalogue. This batch has witches, ghosts and frankenstein heads. They also have bags of gummi body parts and chocolate eyeballs. But still no zombies.

  166. Thanks for the scouting Quokka and, er, dog. Reminds me of a priest we had years ago with a black Lab named Deefa. “Ho ho” people would say, “Deefa Dog!” “No” he would reply, grinning evilly, “Deefa Kate”. I liked that man. The menu sounds excellent & even Fifi approves! I can man-up for this Sunday, as long as you can deal with the hideously infectious, lung-ripping coughing etc. Possibly some time a wee bit later might be better though? I’ve checked & Sundays seem free of Leonard Cohen concerts, Scottish feasts, Nun’s birthdays and Superhero themed parties – all of which fall on Fridays and Saturdays – until the end of November. Don’t worry if I turn up in a mask and cape, or a dirty habit. Just means I’ve got the dates mixed up.

  167. I suspect our breakfast date will be determined by Morgana’s babysitting service. Sundays are good for me, too.

    If we do leave it till the 24/10 Monster and Mrs Yuppy might be back from Las Vegas.

    Catty the bulk sweet stores here sell soft jelly tropical fish, if you ring around I’m sure you’ll find them. They taste like crap but kids seem to like them. Filled with lots of colourful shades of tartrazine.
    Just the thing to stick on a cupcake.

  168. Energex are due to arrive any moment to remove – and hopefully replace – the power pole out front.

    See you all when the lights come back on.
    Have fun, kids.

  169. It doesn’t look like I’ll be going anywhere today. After tucking the kidlets up in bed, the boys got straight back up as soon as I left the room. Horseplay was involved. So was blood. Lots and lots of blood. Apparently the oldest kidlet decided to practice his Liverpool Kissing on the youngest kidlet, but his aim was off and he headslammed his brother’s nose instead.

    The frantically called ambulance arrived with sirens blaring, which cheered up the screaming little one no end. They assured us there’s nothing seriously wrong, and to keep up the ice pack we were smothering him with. However, the poor dear may require a day off school today, as the bleeding may start again if he’s too active. And he will certainly have two massive black eyes in his birthday photos this weekend.

    Greybeard, I think all priests get like that after a certain age. We had an 80 year old priest who was retiring. At his farewell dinner, he was telling us about a trip to Thailand. Before long, he was teaching the assembled diners the national anthem of Siam. Sung to the tune of God Save The Queen, the words went something like this:

    Arwah, Tan-ar, Siam.
    Arwah, Tan-ar, Siam.
    An-ar Siam.

    Go on, sing it. Those of us who cottoned on straight away got a huge laugh out of listening to the cottonless who kept singing. The priest merely sat smiling quietly to himself.

    I can hear sounds of movement – I’d better go check on the kidlet’s face. Tata!

  170. Oh dear… hope the bleeding’s stopped, Catty. Sounds like you’ve got some culinary challenges ahead – I’d go with the jelly fish if I were you.

    I won’t be down this weekend, but you can go without me and I’ll keep Catty company with the sulking. The 24th would be good – or do you think we should wait until Mayhem’s finished chemo and can grace us with her presence?

    I definitely vote for the Point. Cyclists can’t tap-tap up stairs.

  171. Yikes, Catty, that sounds awful.
    Hope he’s on the mend soon.
    Plus side, at least you won’t need makeup to dress him up as Fester Addams come halloween.

    MM, I think there’s a few other CBG gatherings already scheduled for this weekend.
    Isn’t Nat having her James Bond themed BD party?
    Or was it Janet’s 40th party that’s on this weekend?
    I have no clue, but someone with a Life and the capacity to stay awake past 9pm, or a less chaotic Twitter feed than I will know.

    I am up to my ears in study so I will be going no further than the computer nook this weekend.

    But the 24th works for me.

    The weekend of the 31st is booked.
    Don’t laugh, I am quite serious – my mother in law’s birthday is on Halloween. STOP LAUGHING!

    I checked my social calendar and I have scheduled the entire month of november to have panic attacks while I’m studying for finals. There’s the little matter of a 70% minimum pass rate for end of year exams.
    I think my blood pressure just jumped 10 points just from typing that.

    What was I talking about?

  172. Heh heh heh. Witch Mother-in-law was that?

  173. Now I remember. I’m on sleep deprivation again thanks to the FKTards next door.

    If you’re in Brisbane on the 24th, I vote we do breakfast.
    Then just let us know when you’re back and being that Mayhem is on her last bout of chemo, you can do another breakfast, and it can be my turn to play Wall Flower.
    I’m fine with that.

    Well, I survived my day of Powerlessness & we now have two power poles and a whole new world of ugliness outside Casa Quokka.

    For the past week energex have done leaflet drops in all the letter boxes and on all the car wind screens asking residents who park in our rather narrow street NOT to park between numbers x & y where the 5 new power poles are going.

    I did try to tell them that the Irish can’t read but I don’t think they believed me.

    Come 8am this morning none of the cars that are permanently parked on the street (the Bog Dwellers) had moved. Which may have had something to do with the loud doof doof boozy festivities that were still going on in Bog Dweller Central at 3.30am this morning.

    Which meant that Energex had no choice but to park their trucks across my driveway and across the nice neighbour’s across the road, thus rendering the entire street inaccessible to through traffic.

    There’s a child care centre at one end and the local primary school at the other but it was far more important for the Irish to snore until they emerged at 2pm, giving filthy looks to the crane driver, the cherry picker, the digger, and the six guys with shovels and chainsaws who’d so rudely disturbed their hangover.

    I made it to the pool to do laps this morning and one of my pool buddies called out ‘Quokka! How’s your Irish Tunnel workers? We saw the news this morning about the tunnel worker who drilled through the main road by mistake and hit two cars before he realized what he’d done, and we immediately thought of your Irish Tunnel Diggers. Was it them?’

    Bound to be.

  174. I hope you’ll be making zombie cupcakes for the MIL, Quokka. I think you can get untraceable poison sprinkles from Guatemala via the internet.

    OK, then, the 24th it is. Have we decided on the Creme Brulee French… I mean, The Point and who’s in?

  175. Sorted.
    The Point.
    9am Sunday the 24th, or do you want later or earlier?
    You, me, the Bloke, Greybeard and Fifi?

    I’ll DM Monster, as I doubt that he’d notice a Twitter alert.
    And if he gets back to me, I can twist his arm about halloween candy…

    Who else is a likely suspect?
    Can’t think, sleep deprived, can only remember the names of Melbourners. And Chaz, which is useless as he’s WA.

  176. Jaysus, Mary and Joseph Quokka! Yer on to those puir bhoys like Cromwell and William of Orange put together. Tis jist a bit o’ fun they’re wantin’. Before they floy back to the Ould Sod t’ resume their studies as brain surgeons and physicists, like? I’m partial to a drop of the creature meself, and divil a bit of harm it does me.

    Or, from the other set of genes, some ideas I used out west when it was oil drillers on shift work with the very same habits. Much of their preferred noise making requires electrical power. Without leaving fingerprints, either remove the fuses and throw away the ceramic fuse holders; or remove, cut the fuse wire and replace. If the fuse box has been re-done with modern circuit breakers, suspend a water bomb filled with VERY salty water above the circuit breakers. Stand well back and break the balloon with a pea-shooter or shangai. The resulting damage will take time to repair, their fridges will defrost, their beer will be warm and their music(?) silenced. Careful placement of a pin through a switched-off power cord (don’t zap yourself) will short-circuit and trip the breakers as soon as it’s switched on. If the pin is broken or cut flush with the PVC outer coating, it’s almost impossible to find and thus avoids suspicion or retribution. Removing a bayonet-fitting bulb (again v. carefully) and placing a circle of foil across the contacts will blow the lights.

    Someone who wasn’t as nice (furry and harmless) as me would know how to remove the glass from the metal base of a bulb and 1/2 fill it with a recipe including petrol, detergent and other common substances, after which you replace the glass and seal with strong air-tight adhesive (several are suitable at your Selleys bar). That person would then advise that the hardest part was placing the reassembled bulb into the socket without breaking it. They would also advise that when switched on, the filament would instantly burn out, igniting the napalm-like mixture. Bit *I* am not that person.

  177. We’re in. For the breakfast.

  178. Marvelous advice, GB, if only the main switch wasn’t right beside their front door (their flat has a side entry opposite my bathroom) where they loik to loiter, have a smoik and occasionally take a piss over the railings into the ferns that grow between me and them.

    As usual I found the regular assortment of empty cans and half empty UDL bottles littered in the grass by our garden stairs so when I returned from our sojourn to the Dog Park earlier, I sent them soaring into the air back from whence they’d come. They vanished into the overgrowth that passes as a garden in Bog Hollow, never to be seen again.

    The six energex workers clustered around the power pole gave me a strange look and then started giggling like embarrassed school girls.

    Men are always surprised that I’m such a good shot.
    I remember early in our courtship the Bloke being quite horrified and saying ‘Shit. Where’d you learn to throw like that?’

    Its one of the side effects of being raised by a man.
    Possibly there are others but I’m sure they don’t stand out.

    Oh, and before anyone suggests it, yes, I have a nice collection of roofing screws and I’m just waiting for the right moment to use them. Cyclone + downpour would be that moment.

  179. Hehehe. It’s nice that we have such a comprehensive knowledge of sabotage at our disposal. Don’t try the napalm-filled light bulb at home, kiddies – but you should note that it will only work with an old fashioned filament style incandescent bulb, I think. For the spark.

    The 24th it is, and 9 sounds fine. So, Brisbanites, where exactly is this Point and what’s the parking like?

  180. Yes, disturbing, isn’t it?

    I have woken up with residual grumpiness because the garbage truck appeared before 5am to collect all the bins that they couldn’t get to yesterday because the Irish vehicles + energex trucks were causing an impassible bottleneck in the street.

    Our garbo usually makes a point of tossing bins in all directions but this morning I think he was enacting retribution at having to come back, and he went all out to make as much noise and mess as possible.

    So now I’m cross with myself for sounding like one of my horror maiden aunts and saying ‘Why is it so hard for these cretins to do what the letters asked them to do and shift their FKN cars for just one day?’

    My grumpiness is fuelled by a note from Energex saying that they need to come back next Thursday and switch the power off for another 8 hours because they were unable to get all their work done yesterday.

    Even worse, there’s an article in the Curious Snail talking about how young people these days have no manners and are horribly self absorbed and I found myself nodding and agreeing with every word.
    Which is a new Personal Low for me.

    Anyhoo.
    I will force myself to Think Happy Thoughts.
    Breakfast.
    Marvellous.
    The Point is on the corner in little Stanley Street overlooking and directly parallel to the Streets Lagoon Pavilion at South bank. Or whatever they’ve renamed it these days.

    Its directly opposite that T intersection in South Bank where the market stall folk have car access to get in and out of the Markets. So its pretty much dead in the centre of the cafes in Little Stanley Street.

    There’s a parking station in that street.
    We will probably park outside Somerville house and walk down, weather permitting.

    Its quite close to the train station at South Bank if you want to take that option, or I think City Cat 3 is the closest ferry.

    Mind you, when I got sick of Energex and the Songs of the Irish yesterday afternoon, I loaded Detective Dog into the hatch and took him for a nice long soothing walk along the river walk at Bulimba. There he was admired by no less than 6 Ferry Captains, all of whom had closed up shop at 3pm because of all the gunk floating down the river in the high tide/floodgate release from Wivenhoe. It was quite the Sea of Muck and they said it was much worse at the UQ/West End/Toowong stretch.

    They said that they’re expecting this to happen regularly over the coming months, so be warned, city cat users – Pond Scum is coming for us.

  181. Pond scum, zombies, Irish ditch diggers… Brisbane is a jungle! Get out while you still can!!

    Oh well, Quokka – the disruption to your electricity supply will ensure a lovely long disturbance and distraction free day of study. That’s if you can hear yourself think over the trucks and machinery.

    *Sigh*

    You’re welcome to come up here for the day, if you like.

    P.S: Thanks for the info – I’ll consider my options.

  182. It would have been amusing if the workers had dug the holes, then sent letters saying they’ll be back next week to put the poles in them. Then when they got back, there’d be too many Paddies in the holes to put in Poles.

    Boom Boom!

    Yeah, I know, that was weak, even for me.

  183. You’ve got an excuse, Catty, it’s been a tough week. Any more bloodshed at your place?

  184. Thanks MM.
    But this is what industrial strength ear plugs are for.
    I like to stay home when there’s workers about to make sure the dog doesn’t jump on the cat scratching post and bark at them.

    Catty – they’ve been digging holes for weeks, and they’ve covered them with sugar bags and surrounded them with hazard tape – because I warned them that when it came time to uncover the holes, odds were good they’d find Paddy, Mick and Aisling at the bottom of the mud pit, their one cold dead hand still clutching a half empty can of UDL and the other on the phone to yellow taxis, demanding to know when their ride to the Pig N Whistle is going to turn up.

    The baffling thing is that today when I trundled off to school there wasn’t a car in the entire street.
    Now that I’m home, I notice that the cars have all parked as far away from the new electrickery poles as possible.
    So I’m assuming that the Irish are worried that the poles will keel over and land on top of them.

    If they’d managed to stay awake and alert to watch the process yesterday they’d have noticed that the Energex boys dropped the FKRS a good 5m into the ground and then rammed them into place before stuffing the holes full of fast drying cement.
    I think its called pile driving when they bang them in until the earth shakes and the crockery falls of the shelves, but don’t quote me.

    If the bog dwellers had paid attention when they drilled the holes a few weeks ago they would’ve heard – as I did – the sound of the drill hitting rock and the workers yelling ‘FK. We’ve hit FKN rock. Did it break the drill? FK this rock’s FKN hard shit.’

    Short of a lightning strike or an earthquake, those poles are going nowhere.

    More than ever I’m convinced that the Irish aren’t just rude, they’re actually retarded.
    Why is it so hard to comprehend that parking your vehicle beneath the spot where an energex crane is swinging a power pole is a DUMBARSE thing to do?

    The Bloke keeps trying to remind me that 50% of the population has under 100 IQ. And that in Ireland you need to think of this figure and halve it, because of generations of foetal alcohol syndrome…but gees…is it that hard to work it out?

    Crane swinging pole towards car – BAD.
    Pole sealed in cement 5 – 6m below ground – GOOD.

    I’m trying to figure out how they got this stupid and short of them being on the opposing football team to Lobes and getting headbutted by him repeatedly, I just cannot fathom how anyone could possibly end up this brain damaged.

    Some days the Bloke reminds me I have to stop, breathe, and remember – these are people so stupid they can’t unsnib a toilet door.

    So, Catty, hows Fester Jr?
    Turned a nasty shade of red, black and blue yet?

  185. The kidlet’s eyes didn’t go nearly as black as expected. He merely looks like he didn’t sleep last night.

    I credit this to our immediate and intense application of ice packs. And cuddles. Lots of cuddles.

    I have many cuddles. Not for the Irish, though. Or for Energex. If they want cuddles, they’ll have to cuddle each other.

    Pensive and morose. That’s the mood here. I’m going to find some spaghetti. Then I’m going to eat the spaghetti. Then I’m going to find a comfy chair to be ponderous and morose in. I don’t intend to move until I realise that it’s the Kidlet’s birthday tomorrow and I haven’t baked his cake or wrapped his presents yet.

    Oh, crap. I’d better go do that, hadn’t I?

  186. Catty, one year I did the Coles cake as my migraine fall back and the kids were perfectly happy to eat it as it contained a whole lot of colours and additives that I’d normally try to shield them from. Birthday girl came into our room at midnight to announce ‘Quokka, I feel BLECH!’ and vomited the entire contents of her BD supper a metre and a half across the room. I was up all night with her.

    They survive these things.
    Because she had a crap birthday I told her we’d organize another one a week later when everyone was feeling better. At the roller skating rink. She was just chuffed.

    One bakery bought cake isn’t going to send them into therapy. Whereas reaching adulthood and discovering that they don’t have your powers of resilience to bounce back from a killer migraine, a runaway teen and a visit from the ambulance to quell the flow of blood and tears – well, that would give me cause to beat myself with the hair shirt.

    I’d be negotiating with the kid to take an advil tonight, so that you can wake up fresh tomorrow, ready to ferry him to the local Italian pastisserie to choose whatever bit of decadence his heart desires.

    Kids are remarkably forgiving.
    The Coles Marble cake was niece’s choice, and she was entirely content with it. Until she threw up…

  187. Got the fail whale at Twitter after some truly bizarre screen fails.

    I have to rescue the Bloke from the rain and then we’re off to watch both repeated episodes of Glee.
    See you in the morning, Invisible Friends.
    Have a fun night.

  188. Thank you. You have fun too.

    I’ve made the cake. Double layer strawberry. I’ve made Torchic. I shall assemble the cake with chocolate fudge frosting in the morning, and attempt to transfer Torchic onto it without totally destroying the whole thing. For now, I shall wrap the gifts. If I can remember where they are….

    Is it nap time yet?

  189. Yes, Catty. It is nap time. Torchic and his merry band of gifts can wait until the morning.

    I’ve just got back from the cricket pitch. The U10s and their coaches were happy to play in the moderate rain, but called it quits when the rain became extreme and driven by gusty squalls… just as Magic Man was about to have a knock. Oh well, at least we got further than the toss.

    I love Twitter, Quokka – I won a book from Penguin just before I went to cricket. The Bloke’s right, though – you’ll never go wrong underestimating the intelligence of the masses.

  190. Catty you’re a legend.

    MM, think of it this way, the squally misery that they’re enduring is the perfect preparation for beating the Poms on their own turf. That’s the sole point of cricket, or am I missing something here? Perhaps something to do with getting drunk and vomiting and sexting on planes…

    I’ve been trying to be more loving and understanding towards the Australian male obsession with cricket.
    Its not football (cardinal sin) and thanks to heros like Shane Warne the Australian public is well educated about the importance of treating early hair loss and getting botox when it looks like you’re wife might do a four page expose outlining what a FKhead you are in the No Idea. All of which is marvelous for the economy.

    See?
    I’m getting soooooooo much more tolerant with this men and sport thing. I’m almost a reformed character.

  191. It must be bedtime.
    MM, I just reread your post and thought you’d won a penguin.
    I blame humpybong for all his chatter about that penguin show on the TV last night.

    Congratulations.
    How do you win things on twitter?

  192. Ooh, I wish I’d won a penguin. It probably wouldn’t appreciate the lack of ice floes around here, though.

    They asked us to title an undiscovered Sherlock Holmes story. I responded “The Impenetrable Affair of the Snivelling Weasel” – and voila!

    Good luck for the birthday, Catty… and save us some fairy bread. That should post well.

  193. MM, I like it.
    I have a great friend up your way who lives next to some disreputable drug dealer types and she writes Whodunnits for young adults…not in print yet but why let that stop us?

    She was looking for titles and I suggested she go for a series, along the lines of ‘Trixie Belden and the Mystery of the Exploding Meth Lab’.

    It is an utterly gorgeous day down here in Brisvegas. Apparently the wind chill factor has the apparent temperature down to 10.6C but its just beautiful.
    Looks like your boys will have an entire weekend of relishing the great outdoors before the big wet returns during the more respectable hours of School Time.

    You’ll just have to tie a good sturdy length of rope to them in case they become airborne on the cricket pitch.

    Catty, I hope the Melbourne Weather Fairy is blessing you with an equally gorgeous day. How many small folk are due to invade…er…grace your home with their presence?

  194. BTW, I have an idea…Fairy Penguin bread.
    We just need to patent a plastic cut out and see that it hits the Ikea stores.

    We’ll be rich, I tell you.
    Rich.

  195. Fairy Penguin bread… I love it! Do you know any plastic extruders?

    It’s a beautiful day up here, too. So we’ll celebrate it by going to Woolies. Followed by a bike ride.

    I used to love Trixie Belden when I was tiny, I think you’re on to something. Tell your friend to make her best friend a vampire and she’ll be in J.K. Rowling’s income bracket in no time.

    Good luck, Catty. Remember, after the party (and the cleaning up) can come the vodka!

  196. No, yet another deficit in my list of useful social contacts.

    Hey Catty…when you emerge from the festivities, I got a tweet back from monster. He doesn’t know if he’ll be back for our breakfast (in case that cheers you up any) but I told him of our troubles (unable to find suitably ghoulish halloween candy) and asked him to think of us if he’s in the candy stores. I suggested Zombie, Pirate, and this, which should look just marvelous on a chocolate ganache coated muffin:

    http://www.candywarehouse.com/roadkill.html

    So we’ll see.
    Surely a man who is holed up in the Bellagio in Las Vegas for his 10th anniversary has nothing better to do than to brave the crowds of squalling children to find eyeballs and intestines for the likes of you and I…

    Now.
    Onto business.
    We ventured out into the chill wind this fine morn and wandered into the Point, to check if the coffee is toxic and there are rats in the muesli.
    There are not.
    The Bloke said the coffee was very good, his omelette with chorizo and relish was excellent and I sampled the French toast bread with Berry ‘compost’ (he can’t say compote so I just go along with it) and flakes of honeycomb. I sat there making those noises that Meg Ryan made in When Harry Met Sally. Thankfully the other patrons were doing the same so it wasn’t mortifying at all.

    We have a winner.

    Problem being that I could have eaten three serves of it and still wanted more.

    So.
    I have booked a table for 6 for 8.45am Sunday 24 October under the name ‘Quokka’.
    The Maitre D said it gets rather hectic on Sunday mornings from 9am so if we can get there closer to 8.30am we can avoid the 30 minute delay on food that you can expect if you turn up after 9am.

    I said I’d check with you all and see how you felt about getting there a bit earlier. No problem for me but I live here and I’m awake with the sparrows.

    Oh, and I double checked my directions and it is indeed where I said it was, corner of Little Stanley Street and Ernest Street. If you can see the Imax South bank cinema, you’re close.

    The Bloke said to issue a warning that if you park in the SB car park it can be quite expensive. Stephens Road outside Somerville is a good stand by & is where we’ll be leaving the Chariot.

    If you fit a sail to those bikes you’ll end up on Fraser today, MM. I don’t suppose you guys read the Monica Edwards Wish for a Pony series when you were kids too?

  197. Mmm… gummi roadkill.

    8:45 is fine by me – surely if Greybeard leaves hosing out the oubliette until later he’d be able to make it, too?

    Thank the Bloke for the parking info – I’ll try for Somerville, too.

    Never heard of Monica Edwards, I’m sorry to say. I went from Famous Five to Agatha Christie without drawing breath… and since she wrote about 300 books I had my hands full!

  198. 8:45 will be fine and dandy. Thankfully with all this rain I haven’t had to hose the oubliette for ages. I did give Mayhem’s Mum a box of balloons so she could make colourful little sets of water-wings for the rats and now the place looks quite festive! Last time I looked she was teaching the rats synchronised swimming. Should never have let her watch the Games. Y’know, if Can-Do Campbell runs fibre through the drains, I might even give her a computer to blog with. Not a proper one of course but maybe an Apple.

  199. Marvelous.
    Sorted, then.

  200. And what is wrong with Apples, Greybeard? Queensland Police have been using them for years, and they only ever lose incriminating files.

    The party was wonderful. The Torchic cake was a success, the three visiting children had a ball, and the kidlet loved his presents. Nobody puked, nobody bled. All in all, a good day!

  201. Congratulations Ms Cat. Amazing result for a kids party, and don’t it feel good when it’s over?

  202. Congratulations, Catty. I hope you’ll be spending the rest of the weekend in a bubblebath amply supplied with vodka and Tim Tams… it seems only fair.

    Wow, another day of weekend dawns fine and sunny. The kids might actually be able to enjoy their play-date. It doesn’t seem quite real.

    Enjoy, everyone!

  203. We hates the sun, preciousss. It burns our poor tender eyes this morning, yess. Now where’s our nice dark cave & a panadeine. Or two.

  204. I have been up since 5am and am currently farking about with my Enemy, the Harvard Reference System. Thankfully I remembered to read the rubrik and observed that I’ve failed to respond to a requirement that’s in the rubrik but not the assignment question that’s worth 25 marks.

    Meh.
    There will be No Sun for me.
    Enjoy the day, peoples.

    Well, those of you who haven’t woken up fitting the criteria to meet classification as ‘the Undead’. The rest of you were assumedly up late having fun and deserve to be woken up by leaf blowers and drum kits.

  205. I watched Iron Man 2 with Elf Boy and went to bed at 8:30, Quokka… does that count as “up late having fun”? We were both a bit subdued because Magic Man was at a sleep-over. I don’t even know what a rubrik is, so good luck – I assume you’re not talking about those multi-coloured torture cubes.

    Meanwhile, Greybeard seems to have had a hard night on the moonshine and possibly lost his ring to boot. Who wants to go to Mordor and help him look for it?

  206. Well, that depends.
    Will there be fairy bread, or just leftover troll like last time?

    He really needs to learn to put his ring on a chain and stop fiddling with it.

  207. If you eat all your cold troll, then you may have some fairy bread. The centaur trotters are not compulsory… they’re mostly lard, anyway.

    Is it freezing cold today, or is my circulation packing up? I just feel like climbing back into bed under my fluffy, soothing feather doonas but sadly I have to take the offspring on a play date.

    Happy Harvard, Quokka!

  208. I knew a fellow with a magic ring. When he took it off, his marriage became invisible.

  209. Yes, its cold and somehow I’ve just been talked into going out to do laps.
    Yesterday one finger and three toes went numb while I was out in the wind walking The Dog and by I had to stop myself looking up circulatory disorders in my textbooks and remind myself that Wind Chill, assignment based inertia and paranoia were the most likely diagnosis.

    I skimmed twitter and see that Mayhem wants to come and says others are keen.

    Can I delegate the task of herding cats (i.e. to Breakfast) to one among you who doesn’t have 700 words to skim off an assignment and the functions of assorted cranial nerves to know by heart by the end of the week?

    So long as I confirm numbers by Friday night we should be OK. They did say that Sunday is their busiest breakfast day.

  210. I’ll attempt to herd the cats via Twitter, Quokka and present you with a final head count on Friday.

    Now I’m back under my doonas with a good book.

    *Shiver*

  211. Good, and may the Goddess of Cat Herding (Anubis?) bless you.

    Much better you than me, otherwise the heads may end up on pykes in the town square.
    I’m not reknowned for my patience during the month of October.
    😦

  212. 🙂
    A frown? Maybe this is what I meant…

  213. No patience during October?

    Hmm. Must be a touch of the Halloween Tetchiness. Try not to scratch the rash or it’ll scar like buggery.

    :p

  214. Jacaranda allergy.
    It causes mood swings, irritability, occasional bouts of hysteria and bursts of Tourette’s.

    Speaking of rash, two of my cats had their summer haircuts a week or so ago. Every time we do it there’s a predictable 10C drop in the night time temperatures…which means that one cat is wearing the Dog’s Surf Life Saving coat/T shirt to bed at night…anyway…all my cats are neurotic and after Hair Cuts,one usually licks a section of his tail until it’s raw and it bleeds.
    So far this weekend he’s managed to remove two different types of Elizabethan collar (the flower pots you put around their heads).

    There was a soft one – made of shower cap type material, which supposedly fits through the cat flap without the cat standing there going clunk, clunk, clunk.. and there’s the traditional stiff plastic one.

    So on day 1 Ron figured out how to rub his head up against the bolsters on the sofa so as to FK with the fitting of the soft collar until it was completely inverted and he looked like he was wearing a hairdresser’s cape. And I caught him, looking like a Stefan reject, licking his arse raw.
    So I chastised him for once again smarter than the vet thinks he is, and fitted him with the stiff plastic collar.

    This morning he went downstairs into their Dungeon. When the Bloke ducked down there to investigate what he was up to, he found the cat in his hammock, collarless, happily licking his arse raw, and the Elizabethan collar upside down in a kitty litter box, with a fresh terd either side of it.

    On days like this I’m grateful cats can’t speak.

    Enjoy your book, MM. The Bloke says its meant to drop to 10C again tonight, and once again you’re copping the full force of the winds.
    At least it’s meant to be sunny again tomorrow.

    Yay, the washing will dry.

  215. Anyone who’s been to UQ develops a Jacaranda allergy. Just the sight of those soft purple blooms is enough to make you come down with a full blown case of the heebie jeebies. I still sometimes have “unprepared for exam” nightmares.

    Fabulous! I love a chilly evening. I’ll put on my ugg boots and watch “Sherlock”. Hmm… better make sure I have adequate chocolate supplies.

  216. Remember the slippery slope to the Science block in our school days?
    I can’t count the number of times I was unseated by the FKN jacaranda blooms on those stairs.

    I’m sure the biology staff planted them there as a trap for the slow and the unenthused, rushing from a long snooze during a double period in the Western Wing to a date with a bunsen burner for FKN biology…

  217. I still have those nightmares, along with the “oh my god the exam is today and I haven’t set it” and similar teacher-themed horrors. Teachers don’t like Jacarandas either. You have to mark endless piles of semi-digested crap with occasional nuggets of intelligence. To a deadline. The mind can only take so much stupidity before reeling off to the scotch bottle. Luckily I only had years 11 & 12 for some years before escaping the classroom altogether. The older they get, the less painful to mark – even touches of humour appear along with the intelligence. They used to compare the stains on their exam papers. Coffee rings meant a late night and were considered a bad omen. Colourless rings with a faint odour of scotch were amusing. They sometimes speculated (aloud) whether I was more generous when fortified with alcohol. Pizza smears attracted complaints, especially from those girls with the ultra-neat and organised papers. I don’t know why they were so cruel – I hardly ever teased them?

  218. We always called them BackVerandah Trees. I liked them when they flowered. The rest of the year, those trees look like the backdrop for pretty much anything of Poe’s.

    Good luck with the study, Quokka. Try not to leave any coffee rings on your paper – apparently that’s the teacher’s job. (How about exam papers with $20 notes stapled to them? Did those ones cop a scotch stain, Greybeard?)

    MM, tell me if Sherlock’s any good. I only get to watch TV when the planets are properly aligned, and I won’t be going to that much trouble if the show was crap.

    Speaking of crap, the Boss has the day off tomorrow, which means he’ll be eBaying all day. Oh, joy! More eBay crap to find cupboard space for! I’d be able to store all his crap in the new shed – except that he still hasn’t put it up. Yeah, he did buy the shed on eBay.

  219. Catty, sorry to butt in but I’m a Sherlock Holmes nutter. All the books, most of the movies and TV series and books about. I really enjoyed all three episodes of Sherlock and I’m hanging out for more (you can’t finish it there!) Very clever update on a much-loved character.

  220. Greybeard’s right, Catty – Sherlock was fab! It’s school tomorrow, so sling them all into bed early, do yourself a favour and catch episode 2.

    Quokka, I loved Biology. It was Physics that gave me the screaming heebie jeebies. It’s a terrible shame, though, that all these academic associations have completely destroyed my enjoyment of an objectively beautiful tree.

    Oh well, I can still enjoy Poincianas.

  221. You can’t have had Miss McAdam, then…although she did play favorites with one of my best friends up until the point where all the boarders vanished when we were on Boot Camp at Lake Cootharabah and she forced the rest of year 11 to go trudging through the swamp in the dead of night for the purpose of scaring the crap out of small nocturnal creatures.

    For the benefit of those who hid in the toilet block eating chocolate until we’d heard the sound of her footsteps die off into the distance, she waited 7 months till the end of year exams to add the following question among the usual things about single celled organisms and decaying rat anatomy:

    Q. What is a Paddymelon?
    A. A native fruit grown on vines and commonly found in the Lake Cootharaba region
    B. An introduced plant species featuring tomato sized fruits.
    C. A small marsupial.

    My friend, up till then the teacher’s pet, and a consistent 7 stud marked the answer as A and Miss McAdam announced her error on Day 1 of year 12 biology and proceded to rub it in for the rest of the year. My friend had a breakdown later that year and returned to Central Queensland.
    I’m quite sure the paddymelon incident tipped her over the edge.

    Miss McAdam was furious that I got the answer right and asked me to describe it’s appearance and habits as she thought I’d cheated in the exam.

    Mind you, after the biology class farked off, she stayed for the phys ed camp and as my canoeing partner managed to break her leg in three places the week before camp, I got to share a canoe all the way up to Harry’s Hut and back again – in the rain – with the FKN biology teacher.
    I estimate she weighed in at 5 times my body weight.

    I got neck strain from sitting at the front of the canoe, which was pointing straight up into the air, and trying to stretch the paddle to reach the water.

    I still have nightmares about that trip.

  222. Ah, school camp. It’s never like in the movies. I didn’t have quite as traumatic a time as you did, but I did manage to sprain my ankle on biol camp.

    I had Mrs Sharma, a softly spoken and quite lovely Sri Lankan lady who never snuck anything untoward into our exam papers.

    Did you do the experiment on chicken imprinting? My chicken, Maria, lived with us for about 7 years and still remembered me to the day she clucked her last cluck. In fact, she was the chook that started the family habit of chicken keeping. Vale, Maria.

  223. Sprained ankle? Clever girl…Why didn’t I think of that?

    I remember Mrs. Sharma, she never taught our year but she was a sweetie.

    I vaguely remember the chicken episode but nobody in their right mind was going to allow chickens into the boarding house. They said it was unhygenic but I think it was more to do with the series of alcoholic chefs that they employed in the kitchens below. They would’ve wound up in a stew. Or the beer, depending on the day.

  224. I was a Biology teacher before going to the Dark Side of IT. Heh, heh, heh. My favourite line was “trust me, I’m a teacher.” This was always greeted with howls of derisive laughter and cries of “don’t do it!” Funny thing is, they always volunteered. I still have a photo of a very large skinhead, complete with DocMs, laid out on a bench, with my scalpel poised above him. I had (have) a wonderful folding scalpel – sort of scientific flick-knife which I would play with while grinning maniacally. I liked to give them a little surprise at irregular and unpredictable intervals. Did you know you can stick your hand in liquid nitrogen or pour it on your palm as long as you judge it properly? No volunteers for that one. Pity.

  225. And I hated camps because I had to stay up all night keeping everyone in their own tents/beds and then lead the march next day. Bloody teenagers. Bloody co-ed schools. Bloody hormones. Meh, they were fun anyway, mostly.

  226. Quokka and I know nothing of co-ed schools, Greybeard. We were denied the opportunity of teenage pregnancy and venereal disease due to our incarceration in a secular convent.

    Still, there was a boundary between us and the boy’s school… if you lowered your standards enough to go there.

  227. Yeah well! Just try being the one denying the opportunities. YOU! Back to your tent (giggle, giggle). I’ll be talking to your mother when we get back! T’weren’t always the boys as was a-wandering. But no pregnancies I ever heard of from many, many camps. I think I deserve a clap. No wait! I didn’t mean . . .

  228. For excellence in the field of teen pregnancy prevention… a round of applause for Greybeard!

    He wanted A clap, not THE clap.

  229. Chicken in beer? I thought it was supposed to be Turkey in Bier? How did that work out for you, Greybeard – or did you go with the soup instead?

    I never in my life went on a school camp. I think mother lumped them under the same heading as holidays and birthday parties, so they just didn’t happen.

  230. You can recreate the experience, Catty. Just camp out in the rain and stay up whispering and giggling for 3/4 of the night. In the morning, have cornflakes for breakfast with powdered milk made with water that’s full of mosquito wrigglers. Then go on a 10km forced march.

    Oh, and don’t forget to catch a bus to your campsite that smells like vomit and feet. You’ll want to sing ’99 bottles of beer on the wall’ about 99 times, too.

    What have I left out?

  231. No more please! I’m havin’ flashbacks Man. Not cool.

    (And Colin is well, uneaten and still dodging in front of the @#$% car when i drive in.)

  232. Colin is a scrub turkey. They’re about as destructible as theTerminator. He’ll outlast us all.

  233. In my day the buses didn’t have air conditioning, and the windows were either jammed shut during a heat wave or impossible to close during torrential downpours

    And there were those skylight things that added to the Sprinkler Effect when it rained.

    Those of us who are vertically challenged never had a hope of getting those things shut.

  234. Madam Morgana has some great ideas:

  235. Bloody hell that’s scary, Greybeard. Don’t look, Quokka, you’ll have nightmares for weeks.

  236. I will look tomorrow after I’ve handed in this bloody assignment, and I’m feeling brave.
    Or foolish, as it may be.

    So long as it doesn’t put me off breakfast on Sunday that is.

    I was forced to leave my Study Habitat when both computer printers ran out of paper. I bought a ream of paper from office works at the beginning of this damned thing so that’s how many trees have died for this assignment.

    So long as at least one of them went SPLAT on top of a brush turkey mound, it was worth it.

  237. Well, he’ll almost certainly outlive the Boss.

    I did end up going to the doctor after all, and gave her a list of symptoms. She sent me off to have a million or three blood tests, and I went back this morning for the results.

    The diagnosis was not what I expected. It appears I have something called Fibromyalgia Rheumatica. (No honorary doctorate for me!)

    Apparently I have to avoid coffee, alcohol, chocolate, sugar, gluten, dairy, white bread, and tomatoes. Oh, and naps are out too.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Yeah, right, like that’s going to happen.

    Anyway, when I told the Boss, he said “You’re screwed”. Then HE laughed and laughed.

    I thought he was going to die laughing. The only thing that stopped him was kicking him repeatedly.

    Yep. Colin has a much longer life expectancy than the Boss.

  238. Oh, poor Catty… but seriously, tomatoes? What the hell can a tomato possibly do to you? And I would have thought a tired, aching person could use MORE naps!

    On the upside, bubble baths can be taken freely and I believe massage is beneficial. So stop kicking the Boss, pass him some oil and tell him to get stuck in.

  239. Yes, the doctor did mention hydrotherapy. Wouldn’t you know it, I already have one of those gadgets you attach to the side of the tub, to turn your bath into a spa. How very fortuitous!

    And although that list of foods to avoid list is long (and soon-to-be largely ignored), it fails to mention salt, or fat.

    CHIPS! YEAH!

    And cupcakes. Muffin sized chocolate ones. They’re in the oven right now. (I DID say soon-to-be largely ignored, didn’t I?). Blame the doctor – she said I need to get plenty of gentle aerobic exercise, and I figured beating the cake batter by hand qualified as exercise.

  240. This really sucks. Why couldn’t you get a cool disease, that required you to lounge on silken cushions for at least 20 hours a day, drink as much as you could hold and eat a minumum of 500g of Belgian chocolate a day?

    Oh, and completely avoid housework in all its forms.

    *Ouch*

    I think I feel a twinge starting now. Swiftly, plump my silken cushions.

  241. Shall I unscrew the vodka bottle for you, too? I’ll even taste test it for you. Frequently.

  242. Fabulous!

    Does it taste alright, Catty? Hey, I’ve heard cranberry juice is packed with antioxidants and etc. How about a cosmopolitan?

  243. Catty, that stinks. You’ll have to look for a whole new set of pleasant indulgences – to the Googlator!

    If you’re there Quokka, there’s a very, very short video for you at the end of http://greybeardwastaken.blogspot.com/2010/10/awww-first-snake-of-springtime.html.

    Enjoy!

  244. I’m not in the least concerned.
    I can see the hole in it’s head where the microchip processor fell out.

  245. My pet crow will have it by now…

  246. Have the microchip?

    Mmm… hot, crispy, microchips.

  247. Vodka yum MM. Hav sum!

    Oh. All gone. *hic*

  248. Ooh, poor Catty, I just saw that. This is the penalty for skimming while I’m farking about with assessment.

    That sounds painful.
    I too would trust in the curative powers of chocolate.

    OK.
    Veni, Vedi, vexi…I came, I saw, I returned to my normal state of vexation i.e. I’m here because the computer decided to print out three pages of my assignment in wing dings and what appears to be a hybrid of German and Klingon.

    I might go and watch TV in the hopes that it’ll be past it’s burst of schizophrenia when I go thump and swear at it later.

    How goes the Lego War, MM?

  249. Isn’t it Veni, Vedi, Visa – I came, I saw, I did a little shopping?

    Oh, and Quokka, have you tried switching it off at the wall and on again?

    (Thanks for the advice, Moss).

  250. Elf Boy won the Lego figure… but the battle has only just commenced. Magic Man contributed 70 cents towards the purchase price, so he wants the big shiny sword that goes with it, in exchange for a little dull sword. Elf Boy was happy to take Brother’s money, but is now very reluctant to give up the lovely shiny sword…

    Meanwhile, if I hear the words ‘lego’ or ‘sword’ one more time I might start screaming and never stop. Plus I’m coming down with a cold.

    *sigh*

    Let the games begin.

    How’s the assignment, Quokka? If switching it off and on doesn’t work, how about dangling it out of a second story window? Maybe you can scare it straight.

    Have a good day, Catty. Don’t forget to eat plenty of chocolate and tomatoes and have a lovely long nap.

  251. Madam, you could always play the evil mother card. Confiscate both swords. Heh heh heh heh heh….

    Then send them to Quokka. She might be able to use them for Leprechaun dissection. Extra credit on that assignment, hey Quokka?

    Or maybe Greybeard can use the shiny one. Now that the Colinator is armed – literally – it’s only fair that Goldie should have her own weaponry.

    As for me, I am going to take your advice, Madam. I’m off to meet a friend for coffee and cake at the food court. Then I shall come home for a nap. Who cares about the dust bunnies? They will still be there tomorrow. Although they are growing rather rapidly. Hopefully I won’t need those swords to fend them off….

  252. Catty – dust bunnies, meh. Mine have been eaten by the dust bears. And they’re all flammable.

  253. I’m cultivating my dust bunnies, Catty – and I call the dirty grey fringes of dust on the blinds “Italian lace”.

    I’m sure the grime of negligence and disinterest is a hot new trend in interior decoration. Either way, I can’t be arsed dusting. Enjoy your outing and nap!

    Greybeard, Quokka has asked me to keep a head-count – you’re 2 for brekkie?

  254. Oh yes please. Fifi never misses a breakfast+market combo.

    And yesterday I saw the first BT chick of the season. A little brown ball scuttling from the mound to the jungle, er garden.

  255. And that, Sir. Greybeard, is what you call Spatchcock.

    The dust bunnies in Casa Quokka have turned into Dust Behemoths. Which makes me immensely grateful that there’s no leggo weapons lying around otherwise they’d be armed and dangerous.

    MM, I used to deal with this kind of child feud by using a technique I learned in transactional analysis. The girls hated it, but once they realized I was deadly serious it never failed to get them to sort the problem out between themselves.

    ‘Aunty Q, X won’t share the mousetrap.’
    I don’t know why it was always the friggen mousetrap.
    So I would look at them and say ‘Right. Let’s analyze this. Who has the problem?’
    Blank looks.
    ‘Right. Well, I don’t care about the mouse trap so it sounds like its you two who have the problem. By the powers vested in me, I declare that you two therefore are the owners of the problem and it is therefore up to you to solve it. If you wish to make it my problem, go ahead. I will be happy to solve the problem in a way that suits me and possibly nobody else. i.e. my solution to the problem may be to put the mouse trap away behind the Xmas decorations for three months and tell you to go find another game. Does that work for you? No? Amazing. Well, how about you go off and see if you can come to a toy-sharing arrangement and I’ll check back in ten minutes. If the mouse trap is still a problem, trust me, I have a solution.’

    They hated me, but it never failed to work.

    Ah, academia.
    Well, I took the offending assignment in, still not quite finished, to ask her a question on another matter, and thankfully she noticed that I’d answered the question wrong and made it far more complicated than it needed to be.

    Which is something I’m prone to do with assignments.
    So this does simplify matters and solve the issue of the excess word count, but it will still require some farking about.

    Roll on week 14.

    MM, thanks for the cat herding.
    I’m going to assume that Mr. and Mrs. Monster Yuppy are non-starters unless I hear otherwise. He said he didn’t think they’d be back by then, and from what he’s said about excess baggage (18 kilos of shoes?) Rachel may well be arrested by the fashion police on the way home and forced into therapy.

    Does anyone remember that episode of Black Books where they went on holiday and Fran packed 28 pairs of shoes?

    Nice head counting MM.
    Just remember, you have a sword and a knife at your disposal, if the breakfasters become unruly…

    Did I mention there’s a rather wonderful home made chocolate fudge stall at the south bank markets?

  256. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/10/13/3036945.htm

    BTW, is anyone else having trouble with the Indian ‘Maam, I am calling about your computer’ scammers? They’ve been phoning me for weeks.
    I really need to learn the punjabi phrases for:
    ‘Please go away and have intimate relations with your mother’
    and ‘When you have done having intimate relations with your mother, give me your personal details so I can pass them onto the police.’

    They just don’t seem to understand these phrases when I shout them very loudly, using the king’s English, into the phone.

  257. 1. “Could you wait just a moment?”
    2. Place phone in drawer.
    3. Check at 5 min intervals or longer if peacefully studying.

  258. Those phone people use the ‘broken record’ technique. They keep paraphrasing the same thing until they get the response they want.

    I counteract this by doing a spot of paraphrasing of my own.

    I.e.

    W: We are calling you today to ask you about your mortgage. Our company…

    Me: No thanks, I’m right for mortgages.

    W: That is why we are calling you today. We would like to ask…

    Me: You’re calling me because I don’t need a mortgage?!!??!

    W: We would like to ask you , who is your current mortgage with?

    Me: Really, I’m right for mortgages. Honestly. But it’s been nice talking to you. Thanks for calling.

    W: We want to know who your mortgage is with, so we can ensure you are not paying too much interest…

    Me: Oh, how kind! Hey, what about you? Are you paying too much interest? Who is your mortgage with?

    W: We are calling to offer you a mortgage…

    Me: No thanks. I’m right for mortgages. But it’s been great talking with you. Thanks for calling.

    W: If you just tell me who your mortgage is with, I can…

    Me: Oh, of course! Silly me, I got sidetracked. Who did you say your mortgage was with?

    W: No, I was asking who your mortgage was with, so I can…

    Me: No thanks, all the same. I’m right for mortgages. But it was lovely to hear from you. Thanks so much for calling. Have a lovely day, won’t you?

    (This can go on for twenty or thirty minutes before they get the hint and give up).

    The Microsoft scammers would get much the same treatment. And anyway, if they did manage to rip me off, I’d sue them. I can afford a really good lawyer, too, just as soon as my $18mill arrives from the Nigerian lottery. It should be any day now.

  259. I like it.
    Except I might put the phone next to the TV and tell them I can only speak to them during add breaks.

  260. OK. This has just made it to the top of my bookmarks folder, along with Moko’s suggestion of ‘google translater’ bookmarked to phonetic pronunciation in Hindi of ‘Go away and have intimate relations with a goat.’

    I think I’ll run an experiment to see which of these three options gets the desired result.

  261. ‘HwVy hwVy loBw Bjxw qQw krdy mihrm BweI b[d qr& qyrI AMbVI’ should cover the first phrase, Quokka. Lots of qs, aren’t there… and I’m not sure how you pronounce the open bracket.

    Are you on the ‘Do Not Call’ register? Silly me, I suppose computer scammers don’t care whether or not they’re supposed to be ringing you.

    Are you SURE you won the Nigerian lottery, Catty? I’m pretty sure I won it, but not to worry – you keep the Nigerian millions and I’ll make do with the 21 million pounds I won from Facebook. Funny I should won something from Facebook when I don’t have an account, but that’s how luck works, I guess.

  262. Headcount update:

    Janet may be joining us if the results of the chemical peel she’s having the day before are not too catastrophic.

    That is all.

  263. Catty, you’ve got more energy than me.
    I prefer to swear at them and put the phone down, if saying ‘No’ fails to get them to shut TF up.

    And yes, I’m on the Do Not Call Register.
    Next time he rings I’m going to tell him that I have made a complaint to the police and if he’d just oblige me by talking for another 60 seconds they will be able to trace the call.

    At that point I think I’ll put the phone down, press my bookmark of ‘police siren’ and carry on with the fun that is October.

    Janet is getting a chemical peel?
    I wonder if I can interest her in a tupperware product that does the same job for half the price?

  264. A tupperware chemical peel? How on earth does that work… put a mixture of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and bicarb in a lettuce storer and insert your head??

  265. I must never complain about being a bloke
    I must never complain about being a bloke
    I must never complain about being a bloke
    I must never complain about being a bloke
    I must never complain about being a bloke
    I must never complain about being a bloke
    I must never complain about being a bloke
    I must never complain about being a bloke
    I must never complain about being a bloke
    I must never complain about being a bloke
    I must never complain about being a bloke
    I must never complain about being a bloke

  266. Yes, Greybeard – and don’t forget you get to pee standing up, too!

    *sigh*

    It’s just not fair…

  267. http://www.tupperware.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/AUS/website/productgallery/productcollections/prepessentials/twistable++peeler

    Behold, the Twistable Peeler.

    Comes in a range of fashionable colours to match your kitchen, or, if desired, your blood and bruise marks.

  268. Hehehe.

    It’s very stylish – does it come in purple?

  269. When I can get a tupperware lady to answer my phone calls, I will ask.

    Apparently they can’t be bothered with people who just want to buy 2 or 3 things, you need to ring and say ‘I want to have a party!’ before they’ll talk to you.

    My old tupperware provider had much lower standards.
    I miss her.

  270. Tell her there’s fairy bread. It must be a party if there’s fairy bread, surely.

  271. And balloons.

  272. No! Not balloons!! They choke turtles.

  273. Next time there’s one of those charity balloon release things, want to come along and join in the fun?
    You’ll need to bring pins and a willingness to make children with leukaemia cry.

  274. Ooooh, I’m THERE!

    Serves them right for choking turtles.

  275. Good, I look strange doing it on my own.
    BTW, I had another idea for fairy bread – edible sugar stencils. I take it you’re all familiar with Lady Cottington’s Pressed Fairy Collection?

  276. Stupid dodgy links.
    MM, I think the previous bit of Terry Jones artwork may have tripped your porn filter.

  277. FAERIE!!! KILL!!! KILL!!! KILL!!!

  278. That’s right, Catty – those damn faeries have got it coming.

    Porn filter, Quokka? What porn filter? I’ll have to adjust my settings to make sure all future porn gets through.

  279. Oh well, maybe the spam faeries ate it.
    I just assumed that you’d child proofed your PC for images of squashed faery buttocks.
    It seems like the logical thing to do.

    Hey, how do I play at twitter on the Sad Children’s Stories thing?
    It looks like fun.
    But being computer and twitter-illiterate, I have no clue.

    I’m itching to add
    ‘Silver Brumby Road Kill’
    ‘Hairy McLairy gets the Mange’
    ‘Slinky Malinki shat on your pillow’
    ‘Angelina Quadraplegia’

  280. Oh that’s right.
    Its feeding time at the Zoo.
    I’ll ask Yob.
    he’ll know.

  281. Pearlie and the Zombies.
    Harry Potter and the dyslexic spell book.
    Spot and the Injection-Happy RSPCA worker.
    Chicken Little discovers Steroids.
    Wombat Stew 2 – The Leftovers.
    Snow White and the Seven Paternity Suits.

    Hey, this is fun!

  282. I know, but I still don’t think I’ve figured out how to play.
    Probably got something to do with the fact that I still haven’t installed the Tweet Deck, so the ‘how to’ instructions make absolutely no sense.

    I have woken up every day this week thinking of creme brulee toast. Truly, it’s evil, and the sprinklings of honeycomb on top….

    Speaking of which, Catty, when I googled the Max Brenner cafe I found reviews for the Sydney and Melbourne ones.
    Having walked through it I stand by my assertion that its too gooey for my liking. Full of teenagers, too, although that may just be because the time when I’m out walking Dog is the time when school’s out. I don’t think it can hold a candle to the lindt cafe or the Gueylan cafe in Sydney (Did I hallucinate the lindt shop?) but I’m kicking myself I didn’t take the kids there.

    If they’re going to vomit, what better place to induce it?

  283. Meh.
    Energex is here.
    have a fun day, folks.
    See you all after 4pm.

  284. I’m not familiar with the Sad Children’s Stories of which you speak, Quokka, but to participate in a group thingy on Twitter there’s usually a hash tag… like #31witch, a spooky story one Moko and I have been playing around with.

    So you probably have to type “Black Beauty and the Knackers” then follow it up with #sadkidsstories (or whatever the hash tag is).

    Hope this isn’t as confusing and irrelevant as I suspect it might be!

  285. Jack and the bean allergy.
    Miffy gets Myxomatosis.
    Mother goose is cooked.
    The Saddle Club – Groin Rash Bumper Issue.
    The Magic Faraway Tree meets a Lumberjack.

    Almost an excuse to sign up for Twitter! Almost. But not quite.

  286. Hehehe… groin rash bumper issue.

  287. One of many, many reasons to despise horses.

  288. Not the miniature ones! My Aunt breeds them. They’ll just give you diabetes because they’re soooo sweet.

  289. Thanks MM.

    Ah, another day without power or the internet.
    Curiously I got lots done.

    The hilarious thing is that when energex went to reconnect the power at one of my more obnoxious neighbour’s homes, they discovered it had not been wired up according to code by whoever had done the renovations. Energex then refused to supply power to said home until the owner got a sparky out to fix it.

    So, being the helpful soul that you know me to be, I warned them that the home owner is a lawyer, and prone to getting upset if his Rights have been impinged upon, so they should expect A Letter.
    And then, just to impress on them what an Important Person he is, I gave them the names of one or two of his more infamous and shall we say, unsavory clients…heh heh heh…which then eliminated any sympathy that the Energex workers had for leaving them Powerless.

    He heh heh heh heh.

  290. I think another day of either no phone or no power looms.
    Apparently optus and telstra were meant to move their wires before yesterday so that Energex could remove the old power poles.

    Energex were good and pissed off with them, which, I suspect, had something to do with why Optus arrived soon after they left whining that Energex had cut off their connection at the box further down the street.

    Meh.

    Have fun without me, folks.

  291. I’ll be running around packing and tidying up and then in transit today, Quokka, so I don’t know how much fun it’s going to be.

    Plus taking Magic Man to the bloody rugby league comp. I REALLY hope he doesn’t break anything… except the opposition. It’s open season on the opposition.

  292. Ah, I love the sound of a screaming opposition. Especially when blood is involved. As long as it isn’t mine.

    Isn’t it odd how children can be so kind to puppies, but so ruthless with their enemies?

    Have a good day y’all. I’m off to make caramel fudge.

  293. Right.
    I’m back.
    Once again I have power, phones and water.
    Bastards all came after me at once.

    Catty, I want fudge too but I guess I’m stuck with cat terds.
    I’m jealous.

    MM – good luck with the child wrangling, and I hope you have a good trip.

    Hungry Lurking Breakfast Enthusiasts:
    Our table is booked under the name ‘Quokka’
    The Point
    corner of Ernest and Grey Street.
    8.45am Sunday.

    I booked for a few extra seats to cater for those who are undecided/unwell/jetlagged/missing strips of essential flesh.

    Looking forward to it.

  294. Excellent!

    See you at the Point. Except Catty, for whom we’ll save a crust or too.

  295. Or maybe a bacon rind. Cats like bacon rinds don’t they? Having fun today. I dug out an old IR receiver and remote control (another remote – wheeee!) from a TV card and fiddled to get it working with Windows Media Centre. Now I’m putting Win 7 on a “write-off” but functioning laptop and connecting it to the TV and home network. If everything works, when Fifi gets home from her Greek History day at UQ, we’ll be able to play movies from the laptop, and browse the web on the Teev. I’ll bet she’ll be impressed. She loves remotes – the more the better.

  296. Ah, remotes.
    I found a remote wedged in the mud beneath our house when we were doing Hard Rubbish clean up this morning.

    I’ve left it by the chicken wire on the footpath.
    The streets are packed with Junk Trawlers.
    I kid you not, a hi-ace loaded with Jawas took most of the chicken wire earlier.

    No doubt Tuscan Raiders will return for the rest of it when night sets in. I’ve sealed all the doors and windows so we’re safe, for now.

    Junk Trawlers are scary.

  297. Ooh, chicken wire. I wish you’d told me you had some spare, I could have picked it up after lunch. I think someone showed our chooks a DVD of “Chicken Run” and now they’re constantly striving to be free.

    Chicken Roundup is our new family bonding activity.

    Congratulations on the restoration of your power (and water, too, I hope), Quokka.

    No last minute additions that I know of – see you all you know where, you know when… No, Catty, nothing. Look, is that a faery I just saw?

  298. The chicken wire used to be tacked down over the garden with tent pegs in an effort to keep those Evil Black Fowls of Foliage Death from digging everything up, so it wasn’t in particularly good shape.

    I’ll go see if the Jawas left any.
    If you don’t hear from me again, it means The Sand People have taken me.
    Which means you’ll need to message Anikin to come rescue me. You know what those tuscan raiders are like. And the ones around here all drive falcons.

    Now.
    Back to my Creative Referencing.

    Ever since my efforts to organize Havsy when he was here, I’ve had the philosophy that you announce what’s happening, and let whoever is going to turn up – turn up.
    The only other way to organize Burgers is to rustle up a few sheep dogs.

    The kind that bite.

  299. you’re in luck, there was a tangle of it underneath a box that the Jawas missed. Probably only 5m x 80 or 90cm W though.
    I’ve dragged it up the side and I’ll roll it up properly tomorrow am and chuck it in the back of the hatch. Assuming I remember, but its not far to backtrack if I do forget.
    No point writing it in my diary as the cat is feeling vengeful about moving into Day 8 of the Bucket on his head and has taken to chewing entire pages out of my diary, so I’ve had to remove it from the Cat Domain.

    Bloody felines.
    Not you Catty.

    Perhaps we should send her a new scratching post along with Greybeard’s discarded bacon rinds?

  300. http://www.brisbanezombiewalk.com/

    You lot do realize that this is on tomorrow, n’est que pas?

  301. Mmmm, thanks I hadn’t. Bacon in the morning and BRRRAAAIINNS in the afternoon. Yummy.

  302. Bacon? Did somebody mention bacon?

    Oh. That’s right. You’re all having fun without me. Here it is in my diary – “sulk until at least 1:00pm”. I think I shall emulate Buckethead Cat, and eat the diary page.

    Bleargh. I should have coated it in chocolate first.

  303. I’m missing something here (apart from bacon – leaving soon). What is it with Catty and cute little faeries? Are they like Quokka and turkeys? But why? These are all questions. Must remember to take the camera. If we’re very, very lucky, Q & MM will do the Bacon Dance – a rare and ancient ceremony, performed in honour of missing Burgers.

  304. No, but we did do the French Toast Trudge up the hill once we’d made it out of your sight.

    Catty, we found Pirate Iron-on-Transfers and thought of you.

    Thanks to all for coming to breakfast.
    I’m finding their breakfasts rather delish so won’t need much in the way of encouragement to return.

  305. Look, up in the sky!
    Its a bird, it’s a plane…
    No! Its a Darwin Award Wannabee!

  306. Bloody hell! He looks like Rocky the Flying Squirrel. I kept expecting Bullwinkle to appear.

    Thanks for coming to brekkie, all. The company was even more fabulous than the food.

    I was fortunate enough to get a tour of Casa Quokka. She has the most glamorous windows in the world and I’d quite happily move into her pool house on a permanent basis. What do you say, Quokka? The Victorians sometimes had hermits lurking in their gardens.

  307. Most impressive! I wonder who did the calculations before the first flight? Or was it just “Hey, I bet I could glide through that jagged, narrow cleft in the rocks without ending up, y’know, dead?”

    Sorry I missed the Casa Quokka tour. I could have shouted “pogue mahone” and “honea ma diaoul” (sp?) to the Irish and fed the turkey. Only, um, Quokka, I think you’ll find that picturesque Victorian hermits weren’t equipped with 9 & 6 year old boys. They don’t so much lurk as rampage.

  308. In future all under age visitors to Casa Quokka will be dosed with the cat’s psychiatric medications and then of course, locked in their pen. If I’m feeling benignant I’ll toss down pieces of the mousetrap, one by one.

    Occasionally I have mental health patients lurking in my garden. You are most welcome to join them, although I must warn you that they don’t bathe, and they are inclined to shout.

    • Don’t bathe, and are inclined to shout? Hey, so THAT’S where the teen went!

  309. BTW, How did I get here? I thought this was the home page for pubmed.

    Again, lovely to see you all.

  310. At $2 a tablet that’ll be quite expensive, Quokka. You may find that getting them drunk on fortified wine is more cost effective.

  311. Ah, yes.
    I see you’ve got a strategy to get through puberty.

  312. Not quite. By the time they hit puberty, I’ll need all the fortified wine I can get… there won’t be any left over to sedate children!

  313. How was the fudge?
    I’m kicking myself I didn’t get some.
    Well, Aunt Irma is kicking me for my negligence but after all, that’s what she does.

  314. We walked past the fudge with our heads held high, without regret (much). Then came the Churros. Ooooh the Churros. Good venue Quokka. Temptation everywhere, must try it again.

  315. Indeed. Its dangerous having that as my dog walking route. Which is why I try to stick to the treacherous hill to the UQ route when the fudge peddler is about.

    Well, hopefully I’ll have nothing better to do than sit about and eat after Dec 2 so we must do it again.

    I do rather like that venue. And I found a new gelato bar a little further up the road that has some marvelous looking gelato. Pistachio, with enormous great chunks of nuts in it. Yum.

  316. And Ahmet’s is rather nice if anyone prefers lunch, and likes Turkish.

  317. I love Turkish – how’s their baclava?

    The fudge was much appreciated by all who consumed it, thanks Quokka. But next time they want to try the ginger variety.

    I’ve never had a churro… it’s kind of a Spanish crunchy donut, isn’t it?

  318. Fudge. Mmmm…..

    Churros. Mmmm…..

    Baclava. Mmmm…..

    Great. Now I’m hungry. Anyone fancy popping over and cooking dinner for me?

    I though not. *sigh*

    Glad you all had a fun breakfast.

  319. I’m not really cooking tonight, Catty… it’s more reheating. You’re welcome to some left-over shepard’s pie, though. It’s not quite as ancient as the last lot. Peas or broccoli?

    • Sorry. There are only two green things I’ll eat. Spinach, and green M&Ms. Unless you count old cheese – in which case make it three things.

      But thanks anyway. I allowed myself to be conned into buying pizzas. I made sure one of them was covered with jalopeno peppers, so I didn’t have to share. He he he he he he!

  320. I hope Quokka’s off studying somewhere because this is genuinely, dead-set embarrassing. It’s bin day tomorrow in sunny Chelmer, so I wheeled the green one down the back to fill up with tree clippings (making room for the new house – hah). Anyway, I’m wheeling away and there’s a noise behind me – bonk, pause, bonk, pause – like something hitting the bin. So i stopped to look and Colin walked right up to me, looking cranky, within 30cm. We eyed each other off for a bit, then I tipped the bin and pulled it facing backwards. Sure enough he was attacking it as soon as it started moving. So down the back we went in convoy. He waited till I broke up the branches and stuffed them in, then followed me all the way back, pecking the wheels and sides. I think he’s gone completely nuts. Why do I have an insane turkey? Maybe some of Quokka’s pet anti-psychotics would help?

  321. Its really very simple. You just need to explain that the Wheelie Bin isn’t after his missus.

  322. And yes, I am studying. I’ve spent the better part of an hour checking online references and transferring them manually, via visual, memory and typing skills – from the MAC to the Dinosaur. Turns out they don’t speak the same language.
    Skynet’s first action, come the apocalypse, will be to drop the Big One smack bang on top of Apple.

    • You’re awesome, Quokka. I would have given up at about the enrolment form stage.

  323. I know the cure for Colin, Greybeard – a hot lead injection.

    Keep up the good work, Quokka. It’ll be over before you know it. Unless that’s what you’re afraid of, of course. In which case, it’ll drag on forever.

  324. Greybeard, have you considered that maybe you’ve nicked some of Colin’s building materials? He may have been attacking the green monster that was taking HIS new house away.

    Or maybe he wanted to get in for a ride.

    Curious! Hoping to solve the puzzle, I tried to step into Colin’s mind. To think like a turkey, I tried to BE the turkey. Unfortunately, the Boss chose that moment to hand me a coffee and a freshly opened packet of chocolate chip biscuits.

    Gee turkeys are messy.

    Now the Boss has banned me from being a turkey. Sorry, Colin.

  325. Finished the FKN thing.
    I promise to be much more sociable tomorrow.
    xox

  326. Thanks Catty. I was drinking a quaint young Merlot when I read that (ie cheap plonk). It wasn’t improved by coming out my nose. LOL.

  327. Congrats, Quokka.

    Hmm, interesting strategy Catty. In order to understand why the kids make such a mess around the house, I will attempt to BE the children.

    See you later, people. I have to strew hundreds of tiny lego blocks around, pour chocolate milk on the couch, pick a fight with my brother and somehow make my feet really stinky… perhaps Gruyere in my Crocs?

  328. Ah. The stinky feet dilemma. The trick is, find a pair of socks that you really, really like. Put them on. Each morning, take a fresh pair out of the drawer. Look at the fresh socks. Look at the socks you’re wearing. Decide you like the ones you’re wearing better. Don’t take them off. Drop the fresh socks into the laundry hamper – it’s easier than folding them to put away. Do this for two weeks.

    The best part is that because there are socks in the hamper each day, Mum won’t realise you’ve been wearing the same socks for two weeks. Until you take your shoes off in the car, that is.

    For added stench, make sure some of the chocolate milk splashes on your socks when you’re tipping it on the couch.

  329. Mmm… nothing like the nauseous, sour reek of spilt-and-not-quite-cleaned-up milk, is there?

    My two used to sing a song that went:
    “Black socks, they never get dirty
    The longer you wear them
    The stronger they get
    Sometimes, I think I should wash them
    But something keeps telling me, ‘Don’t wash them yet!’
    ‘Not yet, not yet, not yet!'”

    I thought it was humourous, not a creed.

  330. My kidlets sing it too. I always thought it was the Official School Song.

  331. Not up here it’s not. I think ours is “Surfing Safari”.

  332. Could be worse. Could have been something by the Wiggles.

    *shudder*

  333. Argh!

    Now I can’t get ‘Hot Potato’ out of my head!!

    Mashed banana, mashed banana…. Somebody, just shoot me.

  334. Cold spaghetti, cold spaghetti….

    Aaaaaaaaah! It’s contagious!

    Run away!!!

  335. I don’t have children to annoy me with their inane music.
    What I do have is this FKN samsung water saving washing machine that sings the Prozac Song every time it’s done…

    The Bloke and I keep inventing words to it.
    One day there will be a special entry about this in the DSM.

  336. Samsung just hit the top of my Christmas Wish List.

  337. Wrong, Catty.
    Bear in mind that this is the same washing machine that broke down a few weeks short of hitting the expiration date for it’s warranty and you all listened to me whine and complain about how long it took them to fix it, earlier this year…
    The main reason we bought it was because we had one of those water saver deal refunds with our local council which gave us $200 back on the cost price.

    No way will I ever buy another Samsung product again.
    And after the way the Fischer and Paykel machines broke down when we were living in the unit at Redcliffe last winter, they’re not high on my list of Functioning Electrical goods either.

    I think my brain fell out.
    Super tired today, thanks to the unpleasant arrival of Aunt Irma. Came home after class and watched ‘Walk the Line’.

    Meh.
    Must feed animals their dinner.
    Uncle Blokesy is on a plane between here and Cairns, saw him disappear around 5am and I think he’s due to reappear around 10.15pm.
    Somehow I don’t think the Critters will hold on for that long.

  338. If you hear screams, it means I’ve fed them a tin of cat food that they don’t like and they’ve opted to cannabilize me….meow.

  339. You could always try them with Irish stew?

  340. How’s your psychotic pecking friend?
    and where are you on Twitter?
    The lads tell me that I’ve set all my security settings to ‘stun’. So I’ll have to invite you into the Quokka Compound over there.

  341. http://twitter.com/QuokkaT888

  342. I remember the agony of the washing machine, Quokka, but I must say I’m very happy with my Samsung fridge. It’s a stylish pewter colour, with fridge on top and freezer drawers underneath… with their own little light and everything! And a water dispenser in the door. Its only drawback is it plays that “Oh, I wish I was in Dixie” song if the door is open too long – which works well as an incentive to shut the damn thing. Still, if it breaks down around warranty time I won’t be a happy camper. Time will tell…

    Greybeard is Greybeard3, with a stylish light blue egg – robin’s egg, perhaps?

  343. I can’t recommend much of anything, except the Mistral products. Every brand leaves me with a vague feeling that the appliance is going to break down any day now.

  344. We had a singing fridge in the flat at Redcliffe last year.
    Agreed, most annoying, esp. when we were trying to clean the FKN thing. At least machines stop singing when you pull the plug.

    Greybeard seems to have found me, which is good.
    That red glowing Turkinator eye will come back to bite him in the arse, though. Next Green Bin Day, I would think.

    This rain is turning our birds psychotic because it’s too cool to mound effectively. Most of them have left the neighbour’s nut tree and made the journey across the road to the park, where there’s trees and a gully. Spotted 12 of them chasing each other through there when I was on doggie walkies yesterday. Apparently they’ve learned that the best way to dispatch the competition is to chase it up onto the 4 lane road by the park in peak hour.

  345. *Splat!*

    Wild turkey hash, anyone? I believe the wheels of a semi-trailer, overloaded and exceeding the speed limit, make a very effective tenderizing tool.

    Shame it won’t work for pigeons – the little buggers fly too well. Still, maybe if you break their wings first…

  346. Shhh, Madam, or you’ll have Bert from Sesame Street sending his goons over to break your kneecaps.

  347. Big Bird?

  348. AND Snuffalupagus.

  349. It’s okay. I’ve got the doors and windows locked and if I see anything primary coloured I’ll shoot first and ask questions later.

    Hang on, Snuffalupagus is invisible, isn’t he? Damn!

  350. They’re not the ones you need to worry about, Madam. It’s that little red monster, and his dark army. I’ve seen them everywhere, with their smudged eyeliner, torn black clothing, messy hair and sad, sad eyes. Yes, you don’t want a visit from the Elmos.

  351. Hehehe. The Elmos.

    Thanks, Catty. Now I’m off to school pick-up, cackling inanely to myself. If I had a cat, I’d take it with me!

  352. And to think I came *this* close to wearing my Elmo singlet to breakfast on Saturday.
    I thought it would frighten Greybeard.

    I still think that, but I’ll save it for another time.
    Anyone heard how Mayhem is doing?
    I seem to have missed her at twitter again today, and my twitter feed is doing what it usually does which is offering up some parts of conversations but not others.
    I have no FKN idea what JB is on about today.

    I did swing by at CBG and got a chuckle out of Lobes giving relationship advice.

  353. Given that my advice to any spouse of his would be
    1. AVO
    2. Intensive therapy to get to the core of her masochism.

  354. Eh? Frighten Greybeard? Only the thought of stepping into a classroom can do that. Oh the nightmares.

    And “Ask Auntie Lobes”? “Dear Lobie”? Lifeline would never keep up with the demand. Must check him out. I’ve been wrestling a cranky laptop into submission. Why will the wifi OR graphics work properly, but not both?

  355. You’re asking this of us three?
    Care to rethink the logic of that?

  356. I’ve got an answer for you, Greybeard – because it is a computer. In asking it to function as you require, you are asking it to deny its essential essence, which is to fuck up especially when time is critical.

    Quokka’s right, though. Asking us for computing advice is like asking Lobes about relationships.

  357. Sorry – all fixed. Just screwed things down and it stopped screwing up. I might even do a blog on this little project. How to turn a crap, chucked out laptop into a Home Theatre PC (low quality). Now I can not only flick between channels, but browse websites and play Youtube videos! In the middle of boring movies and everything. Excuse me a minute, I better see why Fifi is crying . . .

  358. My advice for recalcitrant computers is hitting them and swearing. It seems to work.

  359. ‘Asking us for computing advice is like asking Lobes about relationships’

    Ah, yes. How many d’you reckon he’s tossed out the 5th floor window so far?

  360. Difficult question, Quokka. I mean, for him to have a relationship a woman would have to be silly/crazy/desperate enough to let him near her.

    I suppose that’s what roofies are for.

  361. And cruise ships.

    Did I mention that niece’s life ambition is to become a dancer on a P&O cruise ship?

    If one of my nieces had said this, there’d have been an hour long educational lecture about Dianne Brimble and the dangers of floating packs of sociopaths.

    I think I’ll leave that lecture to her parents.

  362. Bless her.

    Well, you know what to get her for Christmas, then – a pack of those swizzle sticks that change colour when your drink’s been spiked.

  363. I thought you had to pee on them and wait for them to turn blue?

  364. My mistake.
    You pee on the floor and then YOU turn blue.

    I knew there was a technical glitch there somewhere.

    OK.
    Dinner beckons.
    later, folks.

  365. Quokka, read back over the last half a dozen comments. Then DO NOT EVER let Uncle Blokesy’s niece ANYWHERE NEAR Lobes.

  366. We’re resigned to our fate & have a plan to evade it.
    She’ll marry a footballer, they will both make headlines.
    When this happens, we will be on sabbatical in Tuscany, someplace peaceful, where our mobile phones will not work.

  367. Well, at least her photography habit is kind of giving her practice with the paparazzi.You’d better start giving her tuition in the finer points of diamond appreciation so she can secure an adequate engagement ring – just look on it as superannuation.

  368. Paparazzi? Better remind her to wear panties when out in public.

  369. MM – all she really needs to know is not to hoof it down the S-bend. That’s a sure fire way to make a bad day get worse. At least a week worse.

    Catty – I need to bring you up to speed: while niece was here she took lots of photos of herself. I was confused by the constant stream of flashing lights from the pool up the back and said to nephew ‘WTF is that?’
    ‘My sister. She likes to take photographs of herself. She does it all the time.’

    I think she was posting them on facebook.
    So long as she still had her clothes on, Not My Problem.

  370. They just about show more skin clothed than naked, some of these lasses.

    Mmph, grumble.

    Is it Metamucil time yet, dearie? I can’t seem to find my bifocals…

  371. Time for a bex and a good lie down, that’s for sure.
    I went to bed convinced that my Aunt Irma headache would be gone when I woke up.
    I was wrong, and have resorted to destroying my liver with paracetamol.

    I couldn’t find the candy store that JB was muttering about at Twitter.
    I found a Fish Factory instead.
    I think the ‘overflow’ has either moved or else maybe the last mudslide at Colmslie creek sucked it off towards luggage point.

    Hm.
    I had some reason for being here but cannot for the life of me remember what.

    Ah yes.
    BOM cancelled the storm warnings.
    I looked at the radar to see a red and yellow clump over Ipswich turn black.

    God does love to smite Boganville.

    Meh.
    Should go study.

  372. Damn, I wish we were having a storm. How hot has it been the last few days? Just a hellish foretaste of Satan’s Season, a.k.a. summer.

    *Sigh*

    Carnival tomorrow – pray for me, please.

  373. Sounds horrible.
    What would you like us to pray for?
    Floods, locusts, plagues of african killer bees?
    These things can be arranged…

  374. Hmm…

    Well, it’s not an agricultural show so the locusts wouldn’t be much of a threat.

    I say we go for the african killer bees, please.

    At least it’s only once a year

  375. Kiddies on the port bow! Load the Waspulator if ye please Mr Hornblower.

  376. Cap’n Greybeard…my spies tell me you should Aim the waspulator at the guy on the bucking surfboard.

  377. Oh crap.
    Optus are back, they have a cherry picker and it looks like they’re here to disassemble my phone lines.

    Bastardos.
    have fun all.
    Catty you’re quiet…fudge burns perhaps?

  378. There WILL be a mechanical surfboard at the Carnival this evening… just more evidence of Quokka’s psychic powers.

    Feel free to aim the Waspulator straight at it, Greybeard – I won’t be having a go. I’m saving up my money for a ride on the teacups.

  379. Finally, I get a shot at the computer! The Boss has helped himself to a day off, and has barely been away from the computer the whole time.

    Seeing as I couldn’t get near the thing, I took his pay and went shopping. No new shoes, though. This season’s summer sandals aren’t designed for Womble feet. But I did play the claw machine, and got about a week’s worth of chocolate bars. Yay!

    He’ll be back in a minute. If I’m on the computer when he gets here, he will stand directly behind me, leaning over my shoulder and asking annoying questions, like “Are you going to be much longer? Is that REALLY important? Can you go and make me a coffee?” Note: he doesn’t really want coffee. He wants me to get away from the computer so he can use it. For the next four hours. And he wonders where all our downloads go every month!

    Madam, have fun with your carnival. I wish I were going.

    Oops, here comes the Boss. I’d better go put the kettle on.

  380. Ah Catty, there’s a section in my Home Theatre PC blog (coming up soon) on finding cheap second computers for students and, er, bloggers. When we had one between five, it was the looming-over-the-shoulder thing all the time. Now we have (temporarily) seven between three of us. Embarrassing really, but three were freebies.

    Must head for the shops for chicken, basil, pine nuts, cream and blueberries. Lazy dinner last night but Fifi seemed unaccountably pleased. Ham, salami, pate, semi-dried toms, Double Brie, a sharp & crumbly cheddar, white grapes, black olives and red wine. and fresh crusty bread. It’s no use. I’ll never lose weight.

  381. Mmm… smallgoods.

    I’ve got a good way to get the Boss off the computer, Catty – buy him a porn DVD. Of course, it may lead to him pestering you in other ways but at least you’d get an hour or so on the computer.

  382. A porn DVD? I’d get that from Cash Converters, I guess. They’re the nearest porn broker.

    No, I’ve got the computer back now. It’s Beer O’Clock and the Boss has shot through. Only now I’ve got three lots of homework to do – uh, I mean, to help the kidlets with.

    Get me some faerie floss at the carnival, will you Madam? I need bait for the Faerie trap.

    This one’s for you, Quokka:
    http://madameguillotine.org.uk/2010/09/07/a-zombie-ate-my-cupcake/
    (I saw a copy at KMart today, and thought of you!)

  383. You & me both, Sir Robin…er, Greybeard.

    Well, I followed JB’s lead on the zombie candy and discovered that they did indeed have kilo sacks of gelatinous body parts at the Overflow store near bunnings at Cannon Hill. So I bought one.

    I’m still not entirely sure what I want this for as I loathe and despise most of the children in my neighbourhood…if the Bloke asks I’m just going to tell him its an insurance policy against Egging when the vile little sh!ts hit puberty.

    I read up on Halloween etiquette and apparently if you’re anti-social but not anti-halloween you can put a bowl of treats at your doorstep with a sign that says ‘You’ve got what you came for now Fork Off’.

    Well, the last part may be my own.

    I also bought a two foot long bloodied vampire bat and hung it on the garden gate, just for the hell of it. Its unlikely that any but the most daring of intruders will see it, but the Bloke usually comes home a bit wobbly from rum on Friday nights and I’m looking forward to the ‘WTF?!!!’

    Overflow were also selling hairy life-sized rats, so I’ve scattered a few around the house. Wonder how long it will take Uncle Blokesy to realize there’s a rat on his towel rail?

    I also blu-tacked one in place in the magazine slot of the letter box, little nose and ears and red eyes just peeping out.

    I don’t expect the local snot goblins to notice it.
    That’s for the mail man, because he’s yet to make eye contact with me when I pass him in the street. He’s one of those ‘talks to the tits’ guys. Unless of course his neck is deformed from the weight of his safety helmet and years of being swooped by cranky magpies.

    Overlfow also had Reece’s products, so I’ve finally managed to purchase a Nutrageous bar. Its sitting in the fridge, awaiting The Bloke’s arrival so that I can use it to justify the presence of all the other useless crap I bought.

  384. Nice one Catty. I saw it in Avid but it looked like it required more talent than I could muster.

    I saw those sugar roses for sale in the oxford st deli at Bulimba, though.

  385. You scattered rats around the house, Quokka? Are you sure your kitties won’t get to them before the Bloke sees them?

    Maybe you should stick one on the Nutrageous Bar in the fridge. Heh heh heh heh heh!

    Actually, you could stick one in Greybeard’s fridge, too. Not only will it discourage him from breaking the diet, it will be a good reminder to throw a couple of crusts down into the Oubliette for Mayhem’s Mum.

  386. I got one of these bowls at reduced price because the battery operated hand is FKD. So I’ve filled it with zombie candy and lolly pops and topped it with a rat.

    None of this will be safe come the apocalypse (when the cats wake up and emerge from their snugs demanding sustenance) but I’m getting some sort of perverse pleasure from it.

    I’ve got ghastly stomach pains from sampling the zombie parts. A friend of mine in the US warned me that whatever it is they put in that corn syrup over there is just noxious to anyone with the slightest leaning towards preservative intolerance. She’s right, its way worse than glucose. Anyway, it looks very impressive. I’m not a big fan of Xmas so I can see myself getting into this Halloween Decoration business. The cats will destroy it all of course but as none of it’s made of glass or anything else that’s likely to turn noxious in a cat’s intestines, who cares?

  387. Ooh! I nearly forgot.
    Overflow also had 6 foot high wall stick ons.
    There was a witch, a skeleton driving a hearse and a zombie. It comes in a flat pack, you can peel it off, stick it together (by numbers, so it’s idiot proof) on a wall or on a glass door and you’ve instantly got a menacing figure. The instructions say you can unpeel it and re-use it later.

    I bought a witch and I’m stockpiling it for some future halloween event. Maybe one when we’ve finally got a deck and a front door here at Casa Quokka.

  388. Keep the witch for February – when all the neighbourhood kiddies start doorknocking to sell those insidious fundraising chocolate bars.

    Mwahahahahahahaha!!!

  389. Oh, I love the Dia de las Muertos cupcakes and the bleeding heart. Amazon, you say? Very tempting.

    Well, I’ve just staggered back from the Carnival, feeling like a skeleton driving a hearse. The hoopla stall – on which I slaved – was strategically positioned across from the “Smash a plate with a cricket ball” stall. I can still hear the sound of breaking crockery – and little else! *Shudder*

    I love the sound of the 2ft bloody bat. How do you think one would look, hung over my bed? Hehehe.

  390. Perhaps you should go to JBs ‘link salad’ blog & check out the vid of Bruce Lee playing ping pong with nanchukkas.
    that could inspire you.

    I’m sure Avid in West End had that book.
    They gave me three cup cake books to look at and I took the one that seemed within my capabilities.

    Can check if you want.

  391. Bruce Lee is (was) fabulous. I must have seen “Enter the Dragon” a dozen times. They don’t make them like that any more.

    Thanks, Quokka – only if you’re passing. I’ll quite enjoy asking for it around here. I might go up to Maleny, find the cutest little booke shoppe there and ask them to order it in, while rhapsodising about the bleeding heart one. Hehehe.

    Ah, how beautifully the day dawns when there’s no Carnival at the end of it! Happy studying, and try to have enough r and r so your brain doesn’t melt.

  392. http://www.makemezombie.com/

    Just in case you’re wondering WTF JB did to his twitter avatar. I couldn’t figure out how to apply it to my Quokka avatar. Probably just as well.

    MM I should be down there sometime this weekend.
    Will see if they’ve still got it or if there’s been a zombie rush.


  393. I had to google this to figure out WTF had been torturing you.
    that does look bad. At least it wasn’t darts or guns. I always wanted darts and guns when I had to work on fetes. I was always on the food stall and had to field questions like ‘but is there wheat in it?’ when ‘it’ was obviously FKN pasta.

    I’ve forgotten what I came here for again.
    Never mind.
    Brainnnnnzzzzzzz.
    somehow my lack of them is JB’s fault, today.

    Taking it easy, doing chores, off to city to help Bloke select present for his mother’s BD tomorrow. Miserable sod always leaves it till the last minute. She said she wants ‘Feel good movies’.

    Might have a look in the ABC senior citizens box set TV series collection. Maybe Hyacinth Bucket.

    Later, folks.
    Glad you survived the horror, MM.

  394. Yep.
    Avid have put one aside pending your approval.
    A zombie ate my cupcake by Lilli Vanilli (sp?)
    $26.95.

    I’ve got money on it that Catty will know where you can get it cheaper.

    I will take a look in Borders while we are in the city later on, too.

  395. Gingko, that’s the stuff. Sharpens the brain and… I forget what else. Hehehe.

    Went to the markets at Yandina this morning and found nothing to buy. Well, some stuffed olives and some absolutely delicious strawberries, but no dubious bargins dredged from someone else’s garage or Grandmother’s attic. I must be losing my touch.

    Have you seen this one?
    http://www.amazon.com/Ghoulish-Goodies-Creature-Cupcakes-Frightful/dp/1603421467/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1288411518&sr=1-2
    It’s got snacks and savouries as well as cupcakes – you might need one before the young uns come back.

  396. Very cute.

    Well, we’re home from the city after the MIL BD shopping episode, and I’ve got the box set of To The Manor Born for her. We looked at ‘Waiting for God’ and ‘6 feet under’ and got the giggles but decided there could be Repercussions from that.

    She requested Suzanne Clachere (sp?) and nobody who sells CDs has ever heard of her. The guy in the nerd hole at JB punched it into the computer and looked at me woefully from under his mohawk, his head dragging low from the weight of the hubcaps hanging from the craters in his ears, and said ‘Who is she?’

    I told him she was Justin Bieber’s Granny.
    That drew a grin from him but he still couldn’t find her.
    I suggested Amy Whinehouse as a substitute for Granny’s BD and the goth actually GIGGLED but the bloke didn’t.

    Borders doesn’t have the zombie cupcake book so we’ll have to wait to hear from Catty.

    Avid are usually good about holding things, if you want they can probably stick it in a cupboard until your next trip down if you want to take a look at it.

    OK.
    I have to cook a chicken.

    We bought Nightmare on Elm Street to watch later tonight.
    There will be screams. Freddy scares the sh!t out of me.

  397. Hehehe. ‘One Foot in the Grave’ would have been another good choice… but I’m sure she’ll enjoy a spot of Penelope Keith.

    It’s Suzanne Clachair and you can buy her albums via her lovely, soft-focus website (and probably nowhere else):
    http://www.suzanneclachair.com
    Might come too late for the birthday, but Christmas is just around the corner.

    Disclaimer: Madam Morgana does not endorse Mme Clachair, nor has she ever listened to any of her music. Except maybe in a lift, by accident.

  398. Which has just escalated my fear of becoming trapped in confined spaces to a whole new musical element…

  399. Hi y’all. The Boss has just upgraded our computer to 50GB. He has been on the computer ALL DAY downloading stuff, and is now at the top of my “Pain In The Arse” list. Tomorrow will be just as painful. Apologies for the long absences.

  400. We’ve missed you, Catty. What are gigabytes compared to the opportunity to faff with your invisible friends? Tell the Boss to hurry up or we’ll be after his firmware.

    Meanwhile, BOTH my parents are here for the weekend. Puts Suzanne Clachair into perspective, I can tell you that. They don’t call it halloween for nothing.

  401. Both parents? AND the hooplah stall?

    IT’S THE APOCALYPSE!!!

    Or a good imitation of hell, anyway.

    Just as well you’re a mother, MM. You can cope with anything, even this weekend.

    And when it’s all over, you can go hide in a bubble bath with vodka and Tim Tams. You’ve earned it.

  402. Thanks, Catty. The only sadness is that Valium is so hard to come by these days. Just imagine a lovely vodka-soaked bubble bath, munching on alternate handfuls of Tim Tams and benzodiazepines. Now THAT’S what I call soothing!

    How are you enjoying your gigabytes?

  403. On more than one Christmas/mother’s/father’s/parent’s birthday, the Bloke has been known to glower at me and mutter darkly ‘You’re SO lucky you’re an orphan.’

    you’re not missing much today, ladies.
    The Bloke has headed off to Twin Towns to squire The Queen of the Damned out to lunch. Which means I’m left here with the housework and my verucca.

    I’ve hung my 2 foot bloodied vampire bat off the porch railings to cheer myself up. there’s not a child in screaming distance so clearly, its done it’s work.

    The Bloke looked at it as we were departing for the pool and laps earlier this morning and he said ‘You know that’s one really ugly scary FKN bat. It will make little kids cry. You do know that, don’t you?’

    Heh heh heh heh heh.

  404. That’s the Halloween spirit, Quokka. Lure them in with lollies and then scare the secretions out of them with a 2 foot bloodied vampire bat.

    We’ve carved our pumpkin, but it’s for personal use only. The lock’s staying on the gate, I’ll shut the garage door to protect the car from eggs and any trick or treaters will have to look elsewhere for their sugar high.

    Take that, America!

  405. The Boss has valium, and he doesn’t use it. I’m in trouble if he ever goes looking for it.

    I doubt he will, though. He’s having too much fun with his 50GB worth of downloads. Pest.

    We’re with you on the ‘sticking it up America’ thing, Madam. We’ve purchased a vast quantity of Halloween Candy, we’ve locked the doors and switched off the outside lights, and now we’re eating all the Candy ourselves. Nya, nya, nya-nya, nya!

    Have fun with your bat, Quokka. If it were me, I’d be hiding on the fence, dangling it down on a fishing line in front of unsuspecting brats.

  406. 50GB of downloads eh? Hmmm, I must let him know about my plan – 120GB for $50. Heh heh, you’d never get him away from it.

  407. Well, Halloween passed uneventfully, praise the lord.
    There was silence in the street all afternoon while I was studying & playing #movies in my pants with Doc Yobbo, then the phone rang & I remembered that I hadn’t vacuumed.
    the Bloke got home just as I finished and I looked out the window to see a tribe of children assembled across the road outside the Noisiest Family In the Street’s house. There was a gaggle of very cross looking women at the helm and they were flanked by a couple of big bruiser type Dads who brought up the rear. They collected Mrs. Noisy’s children, left her behind, (smart plan) and took off at a brisk pace to work the perimeter of the block. From which point I didn’t see or hear them again.

    I did see my nice neighbour next door to Mrs. Noisy come out with her children to see what was happening. So I saw a way out of the ‘Don’t bother me just take the candy and go away’ dilemma, and I took my candy bowl over to see if she wanted to unload it on them when they came back.

    She wasn’t keen on jumping on the Halloween bandwagon but her kids were thrilled at the bowl of candy. She said that the families either side of her hadn’t told her anything about the Halloween Walk but she didn’t feel like she was missing out on much.

    Given that the chaperones of the Halloween March all looked like they were heading for the Death Camps, I was inclined to agree.

    Anyway, I’m quite pleased at the Women’s Militia involvement this year. last year it was just Mrs. Noisy and her nearly as noisy friend, letting their own kids and a bunch of their friends run up and down the street screaming without any kind of guidance or supervision apart from the odd angry Squawk in between beers.

    It looks like there’s been some sort of bloodless coup this year that’s wrested control of the event away from those two. Not sure why the Mothers didn’t invite my friend across the road but my observation of Mother’s Club is that sometimes they behave more like 12 year old girls than 12 year old girls do.

    Ah yes – the Muscle Dads stared up at my bloodied bat with obvious disdain, had a conversation between themselves, glared at me (my kitchen sink looks down over the street) and turned their backs.

    So this is a satisfying turn of events.
    Looks like the kids are insisting on celebrating Halloween but the parents approach the event overwhelmed with paranoia.

    Gosh those parents looked grim and miserable.
    Hard to imagine it taking off here the way that it has in the USA.

  408. Picnic at Hanging Rock In My Pants.

    The parents were grim and miserable because they would rather have been at home, swillling chardonnay, beer or neat OP rum and catching up on the sports scores/failbook/who’s boinking who.

    I hope your bowl of lollies was full of that red rocket fuel that makes them bounce off the walls for hours and hours, Quokka – that’ll learn ’em!

    Getting rid of my parents today… Happy Dance pending.

  409. Happy, happy, joy, joy, happy, happy, joy, joy…

    Why aren’t you dancing, Ren?

  410. My Happy Dance is more of a cranky shuffle, since Aunt Irma arrived today.

    And Quokka won’t believe it, but my mother has started wearing White Diamonds! What do you think, should I ask to see the bottle and then accidently smash it to smithereens on the tiles? The risk being that it will soak into the grout and my floor will smell like White Diamonds for the next six months…

  411. Aieeyyyyeeee…that’s awful.
    The disturbing thing is that I suspect it’s compulsory to wear it after you turn 65.

    Which makes me worry that when we dement we’ll all be wearing some Brittney Spears fragrance.

    Its bound to be a symptom.

    While I was scrabbling in the kitchen I found that recipe for chocolate peanut butter cups. On the following page is a super recipe for cherry ripe slice. Working on the assumption that you ladies will require both, I’ve tagged them and popped them in the Bloke’s pidgeon hole (his sock drawer) for him to photocopy them at work later on.

    We will have to work out some secure way for me to pass them onto you and avoid Internet Trolls procuring your personal details. I suppose there’s the Direct Message Function on twitter.

    Just switched on PC to check radar and discovered that the rain is not where it should be, on top of Havoc and Catty. Its heading towards my washing line. And the Samsung will at any moment sing it’s Prozac Song of Joy telling me its time to wash the towels out.

    Damn.

  412. Cherry Ripe slice, too? Clever, clever Quokka.

    When I dement I’m going to wear Old Spice and call everyone ‘Me Hearty’. I don’t think I’ll acquire a parot, though – I have my hands full looking after the kids.

    I suppose the solution is just to buy her something more acceptable for Christmas. When I was a child she used to wear 4711. *Sigh* Happy Days.

    How did the MIL like “To The Manor Born”… or hasn’t the Bloke stopped rocking himself long enough for you to enquire?

  413. That would be a parRot. A parot is what a vegan pirate would wear.

  414. Drop anchor there yer lubbers! I already wear Old Spice and call people “Me hearty”, not to mention Shipmate, Scurvy Dog and Jim Lad. And I’m training Colin to sit on my shoulder. Does that mean I’m . . . dementing? Noooo!

  415. There, there, Greybeard. In half an hour or so you won’t know what you were worried about.

    Sweet, merciful dementia.

  416. Yes, Greybeard, dementia is an inevitable thingy in the wossname of… ooh, look! Shiny! Where are my teeth?

  417. Maybe your teeth ran away with my perky breasts and sense of adventure, Catty.

    *Sigh*

    Aging is the pits.

  418. The Bloke has no recollection of yesterday’s events and he says he prefers to leave it that way.

    Do try not to make me laugh, I did yoga for an hour earlier, and all my yoga muscles are begging for a nice dose of nembutal and some hot fudge.

    My father had all his teeth removed when he was 22. Apparently that was standard practice back in those days (he was born in 1914, so they were poor, he had left school at 12 and this was the recession) so by the time I came along rather late in life, he had serious trouble finding his teeth and so kept several spares.
    Veteran’s affairs were paying for them by then so the cost was of no concern.

    He kept one set in a glass dish of Tooth Draino by the bed, another in a glass dish of Tooth Draino in the bathroom, and another set floated freely between the back and front seats of the Valiant, partially obscured by a quantity of used hankies and ’emergency’ toilet rolls that counted as Necessities for any outing further than 300 yards down the street.

    Fortunately no child in the neighbourhood was ever allowed near the house where That Man dwelled so my school mates never discovered what lurked in the pink Italian ice cream dishes within. However he did go through a phase of picking me up from expensive private girls school in the afternoons. One day he came upon me chattering to a group of friends at the bus stop and he offered all three of them a lift home, before I could issue the appropriate warning. i.e. ‘Watch out for the TEETH!’

    Thankfully at some point all their parents realized he was at least three times over the limit and put a quick end to that.

  419. Wow. Doesn’t THAT give a whole new meaning to putting the bite on someone?

    (Tooth draino… snh! snh! snh!)

  420. Yeeesss. Me Dad was born in 1911 and had a full set of false choppers. When we were kids (and with his grand- and great-grandkids) he would say “Ah! there you are, give us a kiss” then project his upper plate forward a couple of inches, just as he got close. Think Alien without the acid. Scarred for life we were. In his 80’s he got a set of those wind-up teeth for startling small children. Ah well, he never lost his marbles or his sense of humour.

  421. *Shudder*

    I was going to say more, but I got a sudden urge to brush my teeth for 20 minutes and floss. Twice.

    I can’t believe you had a Valiant, though, Quokka. I used to have a gorgeous gold Valiant 2-door coupe, but I had to get rid of it when I had Magic Man. No anchorage points for the capsule.

  422. It was the 1963 powder blue model.
    I think it had some Christine type wiring as one of them still stalks me whenever I attempt to visit the beach. Any beach.
    I have moments of spine chilling panic when it passes by. Even the Bloke is creeped out by the way that FKN thing manages to find me.

    Dad got rid of it shortly after he hit a cyclist. He and the cyclist had both stopped, at a stop sign. The valiant, egged on by beer and barbiturates, kept going. The cyclist was not pleased. A week later Dad traded in the powder blue AP5 for a less conspicuous and less capricious tan model.

  423. We have something similar with Maui campervans. They just keep showing up, every time we travel. They’re like Chicken Man. (They’re EVERYWHERE! They’re EVERYWHERE!)

  424. Hmm. I have something similar with Bad Men.

    Doesn’t matter what they’re driving, they always seem to be able to find me.

  425. Men and potatoes. Some people just seem to get the bad ones. Maybe you should borrow your mum’s White Diamonds? That way you’ll attract a sugar daddy, and if he’s bad too, it doesn’t matter – stats indicate he’ll have a heart attack before you make it to your first anniversary. Especially if you wear a lot of red lace with that White Diamonds. Hubba hubba!

  426. http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2010/11/03/3055823.htm

    I bet you anything this little stunt will get Renee Geyer onto Top Gear. I heard she got confused and mixed up the brake with the accelerator.

    Perhaps Jeremy Clarkson could give her some tips…

  427. I heard she’d reversed into a parked car, then hit the accelerator too hard and surged forward into an optometrist’s shop.

    There are obvious jokes about being in the right place if her eyesight is that bad, except that the parked car belonged to a fascinator designer – so I think it might have been the universe meting out a well deserved punishment for crimes against fashion.

    I wonder how Nay-Nay feels about being Karma’s plaything?

  428. I’m just amazed that fascinator designers make enough money to AFFORD cars, in order to park them for Renee Geyer to total.

    From the footage, it looks like she did a pretty comprehensive job. And driving a Toyota, too. Doesn’t she strike anyone else as a Cadillac woman?

  429. Nope. too obvious.
    Cadillac shouts ‘Drug habit’.
    Whereas Toyota just whimpers ‘prescription medications’.

    When we did pharmacology the lecturer brought in some figures about the sales for prescription meds, of the variety that ferried Heath Ledger from this world.

    Apparently all the old junkies have realized that its far, far easier to con a bunch of GPs into keeping them stoned AND they get the PBS to pay for it, thus negating the need for them to join the ranks of the underworld to support their habits.

    You want to wander through West End with me any week day and see all the aging hippies wobbling about off their tits on prescription painkillers.

    I have a nephew who is a musician and has rubbed shoulders with Richard Clapton & Renee. Can’t repeat his comments here but I gather that some of those old rock & rollers are still doing what came naturally 20 or 30 years ago.

    Is that no so, Squire Greybeard?

  430. Ooh yes! I have a funny story re Sam Neill & Marianne Faithful for some offline occasion. Alas, some of our old R&R heroes aren’t playing with a full cerebrum. If they ever were.

  431. Sam Neill and Marianne Faithful? Not a coupling that immediately makes sense. Hmm… now I’m intrigued. We must have breakfast again soon so you can regale us with this tale.

    Hey, yeah. We were meant to be having an event to celebrate Mayhem’s recovery. Mayhem – are you recovered?

  432. Sorry, it was just an “illuminating conversation” which he found quite funny. Better not tell Catty but ol’ Marianne is away with the f-a-e-r-i-e-s.

  433. FAERIES! KILL! KILL! KILL!

  434. Oops

  435. Catty, if you set up those electronic mozzie zappers and spray them with patchouli I hear that it attracts faeries.
    bzzzt…

  436. Oooh, yeah, gotta get me a Faerie Zapper!

    Hang on, wasn’t that one of Frank’s kids?

  437. Must be a love child.
    Moon Unit and Dweezle are legit, I think.

  438. Greybeard knows where you can get a hand-held faerie zapper, Catty. It’s like a tennis racquet with high voltage.

    Want one for Christmas? I’ll tell the Boss.

  439. Meh.
    The Bloke was away in Cairns overnight so I had to take the wheelie bin out and deal with our deranged animals at feeding time.

    Cats are all acting like the world has come to an end because he didn’t come home last night. If they keep this up I might have to see if I can skype him in so that they can sit in the computer nook and air their complaints to him.

    Isn’t this rain gorgeous?
    I wonder where we’ll get to the point where we are sick of rain? After that 10 years of drought it is just so nice to see the gardens flourishing. Especially mine.

    Oh well.
    Must do chores. Will have Poor Sore Paw later on – off to GP to get my verucca burned off the sole of my foot.

    Having fun with your new oven, MM?

  440. I LOVE the rain. Except on Friday, when Magic Man is supposed to have a cricket match.

    Well, I haven’t stuck my head in it yet, Quokka. As far as I can work out it’s at least 10 degrees slow – which is an interesting contrast to the old one, which was more than 30 degrees too hot. The children refuse to eat souffles, though, so it’s not really an issue. It bakes bread alright, I know that.

    Good luck for your wart lasering! I hope you have plenty of analgesic chocolate to hand… or paw, as the case may be.

  441. Turns out it was a corn.
    The end result is the same.
    Burn, shriek, pain, limp. Better than trying to walk the dog on the damned thing though.

    Did the oven guy test it when he installed it?
    My oven turned 10 this year so I had the oven guy come out to replace the seals and explain to me why it was switching itself off every time I wanted to make scones.
    There was something wrong with the temperature regulation and it had been wrong for about 5 years. It was just selective about which days it wanted to play up and it objected to Scone temperatures of 240C.

    All good since he replaced the part and adjusted the temperature settings.

    I do find that muffins get miffy if I don’t cook them at just the right temp.

    Meh.
    Must check radar and go study.

  442. I’ve got one of those dual wall ovens. The top oven door lifts up, then slowly slides shut – usually just as I’m trying to get stuff out. And if you turn it up above 160ºC, the smoke detector goes off. It does that whenever we make toast, too.

    You could burn your corn off in Madam’s oven, perhaps, Quokka? Or try Healing Balm from JR Minerals. It kills off warts and corns without pain in just a few days. One of the kidlets had a wart on his toe that had been burned five times but kept getting bigger, and the healing balm got rid of it in only five days.

    Oh, and yes please, send me a sixpack of them there Faerie Zappers. I’ll pay you in backrubs.

  443. Or Radium Weed. It’s got roundish leaves, little yellow flowers and corrosive milky sap. You squeeze it on for a few days and – zap! – your unsightly skin lesions are gone.

    I don’t think the guy did test it, as in with a thermometer or anything. He just sort of switched it on and went, “There you go.”

    Still, the installation was so bloody expensive I’m scared of getting him back. I’ll just work out what it’s doing and compensate. Not too hard to add 10 degrees or so when I use the oven. The burners are fine.

  444. Have you tried kicking it and swearing? It works with my car.

  445. Hehehe. No. I’ll give it a go. Any particular curse words?

  446. Well, you could always threaten to pitch it into the fires of Mordor.
    That or you could have your BBQs there.

    The corn is gone. It was on the sole of my heel where most of the weight bearing happens and I just could not be arsed FKing about with creams and lotions. I had no hope of keeping a bandaid or a plaster on it during the day and I relented and phoned the doctor when the plasters wouldn’t stay on at night either. Apparently I wriggle and kick, which explains why the cats refuse to sleep at my feet.

    They prefer to sit on my chest or pin my arms down.
    Never been sure why the cats are intent on restraining me thus at night but perhaps I punch AND kick.

    Well, the Bloke’s Qant-arse flight has been delayed for an hour+ so I’ll probably be asleep when he gets in.
    I’m guessing they had to ground the flight to see if the engine was likely to slip off and explode as they were passing over Ingham.

    MM if its a new oven, it should be covered by warranty, surely? I reckon it’s worth giving them a call and asking. I don’t think they ever installed my oven to the right temperature and its been so much better since I got it sorted.

  447. I find it much easier to swear at recalcitrant appliances than I do at appliance repairmen. Except when it’s my sparky FIL – I have no trouble swearing at him at all. He doesn’t like being kicked, though. How odd!

    For a comprehensive rundown of abusive and insulting profanity, Madam, I highly recommend you read pretty much any comment Havsy has written on any BI post.

  448. Getting there slowly… this fricking blood clot has delayed the process somewhat.

    I was thinking about the 21st of November, that’s a Sunday and coincidentally 6 months exactly since my diagnosis. It’s going to depend though on how I handle the radioactive therapy… I don’t know yet when that starts, won’t until next Tuesday.

    What do you guys think?

  449. Breakfast sounds marvelous but I might have to do a wait and see. I finish exams on Dec 2 & expect to be a bundle of cranky nerves (none of the functions of which I can remember) until it’s over.

    If I balls up on the one next Friday I’ll have to sit a supp a few weeks later. Not feeling at all confident as its a prac and I tend to panic and freeze in those things.

    Mayhem, what’s been happening with your health?
    Twitter is doing this thing where I can only see one half of a conversation. Just checked and I can see people talking to you and to Jen but nothing is coming up from either of you. And given how chatty Jen is at this time of day I know its got to be a twitter fail. Is there a report at your blog?

  450. Look what I found.
    Is that Jane Lynch?

  451. What’s this about a blood clot, Mayhem? Hope it’s a tiny one and away from all your crucial bits. Good luck for the radio… I’ve heard that at worst it’s like sunburn.

    Well, given exams and what-have-you (including Magic Man’s cricket commitments), maybe we should leave it until after the 2nd of December? That will give Mayhem plenty of time to be feeling better and Quokka’s exams will be over.

    Hmm. Another rainy Friday. Someone up there is anti-cricket.

  452. P.S. Yes. That IS Jane Lynch, with helmet hair.

  453. . . . and so is someone down here.

    Good luck all, with health, exams & even cricket. Think of me tomorrow night, suffering through the Leonard Cohen concert (smirk).

    Should I tell Catty that I *was* a fairy once? Very embarrassing when one of my year 12 maths students said “Sir, someone told me you were a fairy?” “Only on Friday & Saturday nights and occasional matinees” I replied.

  454. Health Update: I have a DVT high up in my left arm, along with a nasty infection. Was pretty crook for a few days there. Antibiotics and 3 months worth of injecting myself twice daily with Clexane will hopefully see it off.

    Unfortunately my PC at home has died, so I have very little opportunity to check in or update my blogs. I use The Brat’s computer when he’s at work, and steal the occasional few minutes here at work.

  455. Yikes Mayhem, that’s nasty. All the best for a speedy recovery.

    Morgana, if you’re going to be in Brisvegas just organize something and I’ll see how I’m tracking on the day as to whether I can take time off. If I’m still studying I’ll just have to do a brief mental health assessment to see how deranged I’m feeling and whether I’m fit for human company. Generally I’m not, during exam study.

    OK.
    Off to class.
    The viagra thing wasn’t sticking in my brain so I found this one:
    ‘On old Olympus’s towering tops, a friendly viking grew vines and hops.’

    The viking conjures up an image of JB in his zombie viking halloween getup, thus being a vivid reminder of the (dys) functions of the 8th cranial nerve – hearing and balance.

    Drunks being notorious for being
    1. loud
    2. hard of hearing
    3. falling over

    Who’d of thought that an image of JB would help me remember the cranial nerves.

    The disturbing thing is that his tweet about running naked down the halls of parliament house has somehow attached itself to the zombie viking image…

    Gotta go.
    Is that more rain?
    Morgana your kids just aren’t destined to play cricket.

  456. Viagra thing? We used to chant one about virgin girls. Far less memorable than zombie JB staggering naked through Parliment House. Hmm… not the best place to find braaainz!, I would have thought.

    Leonard Cohen ?! You’re a lucky, lucky fairy, Greybeard. Enjoy and then kindly deliver an in-depth report.

    Poor Mayhem. Look at it this way, you’re getting all your ill-health over in one action packed year. After this you can live ’till 100 odd, hale and hearty and mocking us as we crumble.

  457. So it’s GREYBEARD who’s been peeing on my handkerchiefs!

    That’s it. Prepare to be doused with Arpége, Sir.

  458. Promise him anything, but hit him with Arpége.

  459. No, no Catty, it’s not me, I’m innocent. Of that anyway. I handed in my wings and XXL pantyhose years and years ago and haven’t been a fairy since.

    Those pantyhose taught me the value of leg-shaving. After half an hour there were black hairs sticking out through them everywhere – not a good look up close I can tell you. And if you were jumping around, they tended to sag towards the knees. “Adjusting” them didn’t look too flash either. I was glad to switch to knee-britches and buckled shoes.

  460. Now I’ve got visions of JB and Greybeard in their respective costumes skipping down the halls of parliament house, hand in hand.

    What does one say to someone heading out for an evening of Leonard Cohen?
    ‘have fun’ hardly seems appropriate.

    ‘have you hidden the razor blades?’ seems more like it.

  461. Oh i haven’t been allowed razor blades for many years. Hence the signature facial adornment y’know. But you definitely need to be in the mood for Leonard. I’ve listened to him at entirely the wrong times in the past. Bad move.

  462. An appropriate salutation might be “Is your clothing and demeanour sufficiently somber?”

    Got friends coming over for lunch. Eek! I feel like Paula Duncan in the Spray and Wipe commercials… must hide evidence of filth and chaos.

    Later, dudes.

  463. Well, our lecturer yesterday gave us the cheering news that we have seven days to lift our game or most of the class will fail our prac exam on Friday. Then she told us that the other class gets an extra week to study because it’s not convenient for their teacher to grade them on the same day as us.

    So I could be rather quiet this week.
    Can’t face twitter, there’s far too much chatter about cricket for my liking.

    Later folks. Have a good weekend.
    Oh and Catty, Pool Party at JBs. Bring rum.

  464. Maybe she’s just saying that for the sake of last minute encouragement?

    Happy Studying!

    and… Marco!

  465. Polo!

  466. Hehehe. Pina Colada, Catty?

    I can make you a Virgin Colada, Quokka, since you’re studying…

  467. Oooh, yes please!

  468. yeah nice

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