Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mum

On January 6, 2012 my Mum died suddenly. We weren't expecting it.
I'll write something here one day that will attempt to convey the love we all have for her and the loss we're feeling, but for now, here's a video of some of the moments from her life.


video

Monday, October 12, 2009

Joseph Mallozzi - The FAQ

There are always new people popping by Joe's blog and often the same questions are asked. Joe is usually polite enough to answer them repeatedly. Other times, he directs them to the Search Engine function, or if he's having a bad day, he just ignores the question and the person who asked develops a fear of abandonment, quits their job, sells their home and goes and settles in Peru to become a shepherd to some Yak.

Well Joe, your search engine sucks and Peru have asked that you cease and desist as they're quickly getting overpopulated and running out of Yaks, so here's an FAQ page for you.

Please Note: This FAQ has been answered by myself. Therefore it contains lots of paraphrasing, the odd quote and the recollections and ramblings of my blonde brain from the last 2 years I've been annoying Joe on his blog ("Only 2 years?!" I hear Joe exclaim with incredulity). So beware.

Joe, feel free to tell me to add, edit or banish any part or all of this entry at any time. It's so much easier to give a Birthday present that if you don't like, can just be deleted. Saves having to explain to the lady in the shop why the "I Like My Men To Sparkle" T-shirt wasn't the hit she thought it would be.

So here goes...

Why do you blog?
Joe has stated a number of times it's another way in which he keeps his writing skills fresh. Because writing for Stargate, creating the odd Horror Movie script, a comic book and short story aren't enough. But it could be because those people who came and installed all the bars on his windows after his house was cased didn't realise he was home at the time and is now locked inside wearing rubber ducky pyjamas and tissue boxes for slippers.

When did you start blogging?
The Joseph Mallozzi weblog started on November 21, 2006 while Joe was travelling through Hong Kong and Tokyo. Prior to that he had a blog at Gateworld.

Do you blog every day?
Indeed he does. Unless he gets kidnapped by Baron Destructo and held captive on the moon. Despite these extenuating circumstances he still did manage to create a daily blog entry, we just couldn't read it. The WiFi connection on the Lunar Surface is rather dismal.

Are comments moderated?
Yes, all comments are moderated.

Do you read all of the comments?
If we are to take Joe's word, yes. And really, that's all we've got.

Who are the dogs on your blog?
They're Joe's. Mostly. I'll explain the 'mostly' bit in a minute.

Let's introduce them in age order.
First of all, there's Jelly...

Then there's Maximus...

Followed by Bubba...

And finally, Lulu...

Ah, I mean, Lulu...


While Jelly, Bubba, Maximus and Lulu are the permanent residents of Palazzo Mallozzi, there is also the seemingly always present, Brie.

She could be described as holding the "Also Starring" title in the opening credits when these pups finally get their own sitcom. Even though she is apparently not officially a Mallozzi canine (or so we're told), Brie always seems to be around getting involved in some kind of trouble.

But as to who she belongs to, I can't help you there. Joe?

Along with the regular pup dogs there are often some cameo appearances when Joe heads off to visit his family in Montreal (consider that an answer to the question of, where does Joe's family live?).

We have Baby, the um, unique looking moggie, who is much loved by Joe's Mum.

And Felix, who seems to have sucked Baby dry of all her (?) cuteness and taken it for himself.

Following a recent observation as to the likeness of a retired greyhound and Carl Binder by blog regular Shiningwit, we may now have an explanation as to why there is such a close bond between Joe and Carl.

You know we love you right Carl?

What breed are your dogs and how old are they?
From the May 10, 2009 entry, so add 5 months to their ages (I'm lazy, what can I say):
"Jelly, Maximus, and Bubba are pugs – droopy-eared. Lulu and Brie are French bulldogs – bat ears. Jelly is 10, Maximus is 9, Bubba is 7, Lulu is almost 2, and Brie is 3 months old. Army? Yes. I plan to train them in blade work, small weapons fire, and the ancient art of karate."
Carl is a greyhound.

Who does Brie belong to?
Refer to my previous comment. No idea. Joe's not spilling. All I can give you is some references to try and work it out for yourself.

Jim from Jersey just came out and asked on May 8, 2009.
JimFromJersey writes: “So Joe, spill on Brie! Are you babysitting? Thinking about welcoming a new member to the family? Having um…doggie play-dates? What’s the scoop on that adorable little pooch?”

Answer: Let’s just say she visits a lot.
Once again, on May 9, 2009, he wasn't giving anything away.
Marsha R. writes: “Does Brie perhaps belong to someone who was in NM this week?”

Answer: No.
Here's a cryptic clue from August 6, 2009.
Fran writes: “Is Brie the newest edition to the bunch? And do they all get along with each other?”

Answer: Brie is a guest. And, yes, they do all get along. More or less.
And when pushed during Happy 1000th blog celebrations, Joe was still all tight-lipped.
"Das – Brie is what you call a frequent visitor."
So don't bother asking.

What bands do you NOT like?
Hint: Don't ask him who his favourite Beatles member is.

What shows do you NOT like?
Hint: Also, do not ask him what his favourite Friends episode is.

What do you NOT like for dessert?
Hint: Don't send him anything with fruit or mint.

How do you feel about vegetarian dishes?
Refer to the October 7, 2009 entry in which Joe, Carl, Lawren and Ashleigh visited a Vegetarian Restaurant. I'm going to defend the restaurant by saying, could you have chosen any more random dishes if you tried?! Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni is vegetarian guys! So are a lot of pizzas! Seeking out beet infused chocolate cake is just asking for trouble. By the way, the outfit you were sporting that day Joe, it suited you, so see you at the Pearl Jam concert man!

Will you read my script?
No. Ok, I'll rephrase. Sure, if your agent sends it to the studio via official channels.

Why won't you take on my ideas?
Then they'd have to pay you. Well it's that or the fact your idea to include every member of SG1, SGA, SGU, The Ori, Replicators, Wraith, Genii, Goa'uld, Tok'ra, Asgard, Jaffa and the elusive Furlings in a giant space battle involving the ships from all races and wrapping up every unresolved storyline isn't feasible within current budget and time constraints.

How do I become a writer on Stargate?
Have your agent contact their agent.

How do I get to star on Stargate?
Have your agent contact their agent. Or win a contest.

What did you study?
Joe has a Masters in English Literature (although I think he's snuck in a Marketing degree somewhere too).

How did you get started?
From December 23, 2007 mailbag:
"Answer: I got my start in animation. After querying dozens of animation studios, I was invited to forward some writing samples to one studio that was about to start production on a couple of a animated shows. They liked my samples (a Seinfeld spec and a feature), sent me the show bible, and invited me to pitch. They bought one of my pitches and so began my professional writing career. I eventually worked my way up from simply writing for animation to story-editing and development. Then, using my background in animation (where I learned to hone my craft) and armed with those live-action specs, I moved into live-action with my writing partner Paul Mullie, working on a teen comedy called Student Bodies. After work on various shows, some good, some not so good, some not even not so good (Big Wolf on Campus, Lassie, Largo Winch, The Lost World) we were invited to pitch for Stargate SG-1 (after Robert Cooper had read our spec feature – Note how important it is to have a spec script or two if you’re looking to break into the business). We pitched, sold a pitch, and a did a good enough job on our first script (Scorched Earth) to land us on staff."

Did you know there is a book in Window of Opportunity, "Latin for Novices" by Joseph Mallozzi?
I'm going to hazard a guess and say Yes, seeing as Joe was one of the people that wrote the episode.

What foods have you eaten for Weird Food Purchase of the Day?
Habanero Apple Sauce - The apple portion was almost deadly.
Preserved Bean Curd
Stappj Bitter
Squid/Fish Sauce
Balsamic Vinegar
Honey Habanero Mustard
Crazy Ice cream flavours from Japan
Pocari Sweat - Just watch it and you'll see.
Shredded Squid - I think Joe's slightly tipsy in this one.
Duck Tongue **shudder**
Durian Fruit
Crispy Fried Pig Brains
Oxtail - Guest starring the lovely Carl Binder
Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine
Pork Blood Tofu
Wheat Grass
Smoked Canned Cod Liver
Sour Prunes - Are there any other type?
Chicken Feet
Spicy Peanut Butter - Guest starring Lulu
Beef Tendon
Dehydrated Crab
Joe says this entry is shrimp. In these parts we call them Prawn Crackers. Free with every purchase of Number 28: Lemon Chicken.
Wasabi Peas
Rose Petal Soda
Water Chestnut Jelly
Ksar Pistachios

We're still waiting for the Liquor Cabinet instalment of WFPOTD. Hint, hint.

Are dog's yawns contagious?
Funny you should ask. Check out the unfunded scientific results here.
What? You expected me to post the results here? I can't do all the work. Just click on the link.

What are some of your favourite restaurants in Vancouver?
Fuel... No, I'm not putting all the links to every mention of Fuel. I'll be here until your Birthday next year.
La Quercia
Campagnolo
I know I've forgotten one here so instead I'll just do a link to your Feb 6, 2009 entry listing restaurants you recommend in Vancouver..

Who is that on your banner?
It's Maximus - Lord of Looking Cosy.


What email address can I contact you on?
I'm embedding it so you don't get spammed by every Canadian Pharmacy and Genuine Rollex with 2 L's seller.

How do I post a question for the mailbag?
Post your question in the comments section of the most recent day's entry.

Where do I send protest lemons/death threats/gifts of kindness?
To the studio.

The Bridge Studios
2400 Boundary Rd
Burnaby, BC V5M 3Z3, Canada


Why didn't my comment get approved?
It's either headed straight to the SPAM bin (ask Das how she manages it so often) or you've written something outright offensive (also ask Das how she manages that - just kidding D).

This from the October 4 entry as a guideline:
"Fourthly – I failed to approve a comment for the first time in a long while today. The poster started off by informing me that she had a post modded at Gateworld and was in the process of uploading her anti-SGU harangue all over the net – including, I guess, my blog. Well, not really because the rant was so obnoxious, I deleted it. Just so we’re clear (although 99.999% already know this and have been most respectful in stating your opinions)… Feel free to continue posting your comments about the SGU premiere. Liked it or loved it? Tell me why. Didn’t like it or have mixed feelings about what you saw? Would love to hear your critique. As long as you’re not a jerk about it, your comment will be approved."
Who is your writing partner?
Paul Mullie

Is it true there are words to the music of the Stargate opening credits?
Indeed there are. Click to hear them. Was that a two or three part harmony Joe?

What's with you and Joe Flanigan?
How did that question get in there?

What is Spambait?
Prior to the launch of the official Spambait blog, when Joe received an email from a Nigerian Prince or Banker looking to offload $20 million he'd respond to their request as an alter ego and post to his personal blog. This could be:
- Cookie Monster
- Agent Wexler
- Aloysius P. Hazzencockle
- Baron Destructo
- Margaret Quibble
- Norman Shuttlecock
- Percival H. Lintmuffin

It does make you wonder if it really is Joseph Mallozzi on the other end of his blog.

Where did you grow up?
Montreal, Canada, Earth, Milky Way, etc, etc, etc.

When did you start with Stargate and how did it happen?
In summary, Season Four of Stargate: SG1

From an interview at this place
"Our agent contacted the show and asked if we could pitch. He was told to send in writing samples. After they read our writing samples, we were invited to pitch. We sent in five pitches. They liked three and gave us the go-ahead to write an outline. We did. They asked us to revise it. We did. They told us to write a first draft. We did. They liked it enough to bring us on staff."

What are some of the books you recommend?
"Consider Phlebas" - Iain M. Banks
"Old Man's War" - John Scalzi
"Player of Games" - Iain M. Banks
"The Blade Itself" - Joe Abercrombie
"Before They Were Hanged" - Joe Abercrombie
"Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell" - Susanna Clarke

These were the ones you mention a fair bit. Any others you'd like to add, just let me know.

How do I participate in Book of the Month?
On the right-hand side of the window, there is a section called BOTM Club Selections.

It will note the current book selection, when it will be discussed and whether the author will be joining us for a Q&A. The discussion starts on the Monday of the week listed and Joe will let you know when he is sending off the questions to the guest author.

You will also receive a reminder (kick in the pants) prior to the discussion date to get finished reading. If you are having trouble sourcing the book, don't hesitate to ask any of the participants in the current day's comments. They're extremely helpful and can quite often point you in the right direction for getting yourself a copy.

Which authors have already participated in BOTM?
Matthew Woodring Stover - Heroes Die
Jasper Fforde - The Big Over Easy
Elizabeth Moon - The Speed of Dark
James Enge - Blood of Ambrose
Michael Moorcock - Elric: The Stealer of Souls
Conrad Williams - The Unblemished
Jonathan Carroll - The Land of Laughs
Michael A. Burstein - I Remember the Future
Ellen Datlow - 19 New Tales Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe
Brian Michael Bendis - Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl - I can't find it!
Nancy Cress - Dogs
Mark J. Ferrari - The Book of Joby
David Louis Edelman - Infoquake
J. J. Adams - The Living Dead Zombie Anthology
Jeff Vandermeer - City of Saints and Madmen
David Weber - On Basilisk Station
Brian Lumley - Necroscope
David Anthony Durham - Acacia
John Twelve Hawks - The Traveler
Glen Cook - The Black Company
Sarah Langan - The Missing
Justina Robson - Keeping It Real
Stephen Dobyns - The Church of Dead Girls
Catherynne M Valente - The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden
Lois McMaster Bujold - Cordelia's Honor
Not quite an author, but still worthy of being included in this list, John Picacio
Jennifer Pelland - Unwelcome Bodies
K. J. Bishop - The Etched City
Kage Baker - In the Garden of Iden
John Scalzi - The Android's Dream
Joe Abercrombie - The Blade Itself
Jeffrey Ford - The Empire of Ice Cream
F. Paul Wilson - The Keep
Lou Anders - Fast Forward 1: Future Fiction from the Cutting Edge

Once again, if I've missed anyone, just let me know.

Who from the Stargate franchise have done guest Q&A's?
David Blue of SG:U
Brian J. Smith of SG:U
Stargate Producer John G. Lenic
Paul McGillion of SGA
Executive Producer’s Assistant - Ashleigh
Director Peter DeLuise
Stargate Art Department - Draftsman (draftsperson?) Kate Heslup
Amanda Tapping of SG1, SGA and SG:U
Stargate Playback Supervisor Krista McLean
Stargate Actor Mike Dupod
Stargate Creator/Showrunner/Executive Producer/Writer/Director and apparently Duck Smoker (?), um, who was it again, I've forgotten after all that, that's right, Robert C. Cooper
Stargate Writer and Executive Producer Paul Mullie
Ditto to what was said above for Robert C. Cooper but instead it's Brad Wright (not sure on the duck smoking bit though)
Writer/Director/Executive Producer and owner of the most hideous suit ever made, Martin Gero (if you don't want the world to see, don't post it on Twitter).

Stargate Special Effects Master Scott Stofer
Stargate Atlantis Costume Designer Val Halverson
Stargate Atlantis Stunt Co-ordinator James "Bam Bam" Bamford
Stargate Atlantis Actor and Wraith (looking not so Wraithy), Tyler McClendon
Geez Joe, how many are there?
Stargate Atlantis actor, virtual doctor and all round nice guy, Robert Picardo
Stargate Atlantis Physics Consultant and woman of PG15's dreams, Mika McKinnon
Stargate Director Will Waring
Stargate Director of Photography Jim Menard
Stargate Visual Effects Supervisor Mark Savela
Stargate Atlantis Props Master Kenny Gibbs
Stargate Director Andy Mikita

If there are any I've missed I apologise. Send me the link and I'll add it.

How do I get an invite to your Chocolate Party?
When you work it out, let me know.

Is it true that Zac Efron is a fan of Stargate?
Yes! And it's in writing here. Sorry, it's not really an FAQ for you Joe, but I'm still stunned.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

When a Dog's 1st Birthday Goes Baaaaad...

My Husband and I have been sifting through old photos. Well, can you say you're sifting when you're actually just hitting the Next button on the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer? To keep things simple, we'll stick with the old terminology.

So, we were sifting through old photos and found some of Ralph's 1st Birthday.

I'm not really one to treat dogs like kids; other than I drive them around everywhere, I take them to the vet if they get even a slightly sniffly nose, I tell them to stay away from the dog up the street that humps everyone's leg because I think he's a bad influence, but other than that, I don't dress up my dogs (except at Christmas) and don't celebrate their Birthday with anything much more than a Dentabone (except for Ralph's 1st Birthday). Yeah, I'm in denial.

Ralph was born on December 1, 2004 and looked a little something like this (well 5 weeks later he looked a little something like this)...

Look at the widdle, tiny, bubba.. ahem, sorry.

So for his 1st Birthday we picked up some party hats, some giant Denta Bones, cranked up the music and our little family partied like it was 1999. Then again, 1999 was a real let down so let's just say we partied like it was Ralph's 1st Birthday.

First off we had to get them ready for the party. So the party hats needed to go on.
Kelpies aren't known for their love of hijinx and general frivolity. They're working dogs. They're serious.
"Alright, alright. I look like I'm having fun don't I?"

We managed to get a hat on Ralph pretty easily but he seemed a little distracted.

"Did someone say Scooby Snacks?"

Jack wasn't dealing too well with being dressed up.

"This is so humiliating"

We finally managed to get Ralph's attention long enough to take some Birthday snaps.

"Why doesn't Jack want to be part of my Birthday?"

Now let's try for a photo that is actually in focus.

I think we should have got bigger Birthday hats.

Now for the Birthday Party Goody Bags in the shape of a Denta Bone to make this party really get kicking. And this is where it all went pear shaped. It very quickly went from a happy party where all the kids are getting sugared up on fairy bread to some serious dummy spits with kids crying and needing to go home for a sleep.

"You've got my toys, I sleep outside now, I share my Mum, you're not getting my Denta Bone!"
*Bottom of blog entry

In Jack's defence, prior to the arrival of Ralph he used to sleep on my bed (that was also pre-Husband), go for 3km walks every day either in the bush or by the ocean, he had as many toys as any dog could want and kept them in good condition, he'd get all the scraps and generally all the attention.

On the first night of Ralph arriving at our home he was put in the laundry and cried... and cried... and cried. I'd already raised Jack so I knew what was coming, but for my Husband, this was his first dog and didn't realise how much work they take. I'd rather he find out with dogs than kids! So on the second night, Ralph was put outside, along with Jack and next thing Jack knew, he had a son/much younger Brother.

"Ok. You can sleep with me. But just for tonight. Tomorrow, you're back on your own bed Mister"

Almost 4 years on from Ralph's 1st Birthday, Jack and Ralph are inseparable. If you take Jack in the car and leave Ralph behind, Ralph will jump in the car when I get home and refuse to get out until I take him and Jack for a drive. I can't take Ralph to the vet without Jack. And Jack insists on being on the table with Ralph while he's getting examined. I'm not sure if it's to be supportive or to mock him when he has his temperature taken.

I'd say it was Brotherly love, but Jack's attitude towards Ralph is more like his protector. Ironic considering the size difference.

Despite the minor dummy spit over the party goodies, we all had a great time. Besides, aren't Birthday's all about getting the family together?

* A compromise was reached in relation to where the dogs sleep and it was decided that wherever was best for them they would sleep (except on our bed). So on Summer nights when a nice cool breeze is coming through, they're outside, during cold, Winter nights, they're inside.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What the....?

My business partner has regular digs at me about my small world.
Whether it's going out for your Husband's Birthday to a random pub and finding most of your High School there, finding out you used to do Little Athletics with your Husband's best friend when you were both 6, being introduced to a new worker and realising it's your life-long friend's ex-boyfriend from High School (not the same High School by the way), staying at a resort on Koh Samui and noticing a star on the bar you get when you shout the entire bar a round of drinks with two names on it and it turns out to be a co-worker and his fiancé's, you know, that type of thing.

It's generally been isolated to the Australia Pacific region, but today's incident has trumped all other small world incidents.

So I receive an email from Trip Advisor about their "Best Kept Secrets".
I decided to check them out, but once noting the destinations became all ho-hum and thought I'd check out a couple of the resorts I'd stayed at in Thailand to see if they were continuing to get good reviews (I desperately want to get back to Thailand soon).

I was flicking through some of the recent photos uploaded by reviewers and noticed this one.


Oh yeah, I remember that pool. At about 8am every day my Husband and I would waltz down to the beach when no one was around yet, go for a dip, then laze in the pool exactly like that girl is in the.... hang on. That's me!

Yes, the girl in the pool in that photo is me enjoying my morning at the Imperial Samui on Koh Samui.

The photo was uploaded onto TripAdvisor in December, so if the date hadn't have been there I probably wouldn't have looked twice. But when I saw the yellow li-low it reminded me of the one I used while there, then the hat, then, yep they're my bikinis.

And if you have any doubt, here's a close up my other half took of me doing exactly the same thing at a later time in the day. There really wasn't much movement from me between 8am and 5pm other than drifting where the tide of the pool took me for 6 days (I swear I got out to pee though).

I don't know who the reviewer is, other than he's from Malaysia, but what are the chances that someone who decided to review that resort, just happened to snap that picture and that I happened upon it.

By the way, the resort, location, pool and staff were amazing.

Oh, and my business partner said it's going to be pretty tough to top this one.
Come on Universe, ball's in your court now. Let's see what you can do.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I found my GPS!

Exciting news and I'm sure you all feel better for knowing this.

Back in January I wrote an entry about the case of my missing GPS that was in the safest of all safe places. Yep, January. It's now, what, almost the end of June and it's only just re-appeared.

Before exploring this scintillating topic further I do need to correct a slight untruth in the heading of this blog entry. I didn't actually find my GPS. I need to extend my gratitude to the hard-working cleaning staff at Bulleen Wash and Wax, or Suds and Duds, Clean and Spiffy, something like that. I had attempted half-heartedly on a few occasions to track down that hiding place of my GPS with no luck. Using The Force to find locations had been working thus far with no major mishaps. Now before you go and call me lazy, I have some damn good excuses (excuses - classic sign of a lazy person).

1. Usually my back seat (and rearvision mirror) is taken up with these two furry critters.

And even if they're not in the back seat, their dog rug is, which makes rummaging under the seats a trifle difficult and if I'm wearing a material that fur can cling to, I exit my car resembling a female version of Chewbacca after just a few minutes of hunting. So really, unless I was going to go hunting for my GPS naked, it wasn't going to happen. And I don't know the neighbours well enough yet for them not to call the cops on me.

2. Even though I've been living in this house for almost 5 years now, each time I go to see my parents I seem to accumulate another long lost possession of mine that they don't want to keep on storing and it ends up in my boot.

Anyone want to play, guess that object and its purpose?

There's many layers to the contents of my boot. And I did briefly start shifting things around to have a hunt around for the GPS, but once I realised that it has taken years of speed humps and vibrations to make those objects click together to fit into the boot I didn't want to disturb it further. And before you state the obvious by saying, "Why don't you just take all that stuff inside?" I'm going to rebut with, because our house is also full. The previous owners of our house were not storage idea geniuses. Who installs a set of wardrobes in a bedroom where the doors never open up completely to give you access to the shelving? You can either get to half on the left or half on the right, but never the entire shelf! Sheesh.

Anyhoo....

So back to Bulleen Vac and Wax, Shine and Gleam, maybe I should go and check my receipt for their real company name?

I can see the look of despair on the faces of the staff of this car wash when they see me pull in. I try to make the time between their tortuous task as long as possible, because I care about their mental health, but sometimes the fur just gets beyond amusing and I have to make the trip.

The Manager walks up, greets me, looks at my car, sighs, I make my best "Sorry" face and go and get a coffee while they go about their business.

It's amazing some of the long-lost objects they uncover. If the car-washing business doesn't work out for them, I'd be happy to write a reference to pursue a career in archaeology.
This time the Manager came to see me mid-clean with a message from the cleaners. "They want to know if your dog is now bald". Ha ha, very funny.

He then went on to suggest ways in which I could perhaps reduce the amount of dog fur accumulating. He suggested one of those dog harnesses. Yep, got one. Imported from Germany by BMW no less. He said that maybe I should leave the harness in, rather than pulling it in and out as the fur is probably falling out during that process. No worries, except that the only time I take the rug out is to come here for a clean. Out of ideas, he then asked how big the dog was. When I said there were two and one was 45kgs he muttered under his breath, "Well that explains it".

And indeed it does. I know how much I moult, and while I weigh the same as our big guy Ralph, there's a much greater fur/hair to surface area ratio happening. I just have my head, he's got an entire body of moulting potential. And he has the pointy sticky-in fur too.

So now a week on I still haven't put the dogs back in the car and I'm the worstest dog Mum in the whole world... according to them.

Just give me a few more days enjoying my fur freeness and then they'll be back in the car, furring it up, heads out the window, doggy grins on both their faces and I know I'll feel better having them back in there too.

Next time, leather interior.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Living with Nature...

The Good and the Not So Good
If you've read some of my other blog posts you'll know that from our little home on our bit of land we wake up to sunrises like this...

Marvel at the beauty of nature on mornings such as below...

Be amazed at the colours in nature when one of these appears ...


And other times just think, "Wow".

All which make us sigh in contentment and is a big part of why we love our little patch of dirt.

There are a lot of people that move to our suburb so they can experience old trees, sunrises, sunsets, rainbows and watch storms, but they forget what also comes with living surrounded by nature.

For example, meet Edward. Arachnophobes, I dare you to click on that picture to see it enlarged.

The irony of what we named this spider only became apparent after I'd read the Twilight saga (yes, yes, start mocking me). And also for the fact that due to the size of the spider we believe it's a female.

She stupidly wandered into the house one evening. Luckily I found her on the wall before my Husband. He has a shoe/spider reflex that would match that of an upset Iraqi with a certain former US President placed in front of him. I managed to trap her and throw her outside. Even though I can't bring myself to kill spiders (or anything for that matter), it's still a little unsettling when you throw the spider out into the dark and you hear a deep "Thud".

Now meet Jim. He's a 2 foot long Blue Tongued Lizard. Harmless. Really. Just don't go poking at him with your digits, should you value them. During Summer he brings himself to my attention when I can hear him at the front door trying to get in.

It's good to have a lizard like Jim living in your backyard. He keeps away the snakes. So yeah, watch out for those too in the warm months.

So now I come to the actual point of this entry. Our latest moment with nature is mice. And naturally there are no photos to show you because the little buggers are so damn fast. Except for the one we found last night lodged in the bread crumb tray of the toaster. Glad I didn't feel like crumpets. It would have been interesting to see how long it took either of us to correctly identify exactly what that burning smell was. "Chicken with its feathers still on?", "No, no, it's a more meaty smell".

In an effort to drive them away just by removing opportunity, our pantry is now empty of anything that they could possibly find appealing. Ok, now that we've removed the chicken stock cubes there's nothing else they could find appealing. Then there's the things that you just forget about.
Such as that personalised Easter Egg that you never got around to eating. Mice took care of that for me.

And last night, as I'm cooking away at the stove, my Husband and two dogs are diving around the house in pursuit of two mice who had decided to risk showing themselves in public. A Kelpie, Ridgeback x Bullmastiff and a man who refuses to be outwitted by a mouse make a formidable and determined team.

I have friends who say they couldn't live in a house knowing there were mice, but if you decide you want old trees, uninterrupted views of sunrise and be surrounded by nature, you need to take the good with the not so good. I'm still yet to coax my friend down from the ceiling after telling her about the mouse that kamikazed out of the pantry onto me before scampering away.

We haven't had this many mice before, but previously when we've had a few around, nature usually just balances itself back out and they disappear. What's the hold up nature?!! Ahem, sorry about that.

So why did I decide to write this pretty meaningless entry? As I was typing this up I had a mouse run out from under my desk and another jump out from the empty box I'd had my lunch in. It seemed appropriate. Hey, at least it's not rats.

Friday, April 10, 2009

This is my desktop wallpaper at the moment...


Doesn't it suck?!

There isn't a day when I don't think, "mmmm Thailand."
The people, the weather, the food, their love of the surroundings and appreciation for what they have. **sigh**
If you've ever thought of travelling there, it's a must!
And if you need any advice with locations, time to travel etc, happy to help!

Update: If you are feeling extremely concerned about the riots in Bangkok, make sure you do some reading into what is really going on and not just the stories the tabloids are running.