Not Handling Conflict

I'm terrible at dealing with conflict and confrontation. I usually take criticism personally (even when it's prefaced with "Don't take this personally...")

Whenever there's a bun-fight and I'm not directly involved, I'm the one trying to inject some humour and smooth out relationships. If I am involved, I'll be the guy either slowly stewing or loudly venting. Just picture one of those cartoon angry people with steam coming out of their ears!

The good news is that I believe I have a fair amount of patience. What will it take for me to be able to handle conflict better?

20 Random Things About Me

Michelle at seeking serenity has listed 20 random things about her, then asked 12 other people to do the same. So here's 20 random things about me:

  1. My middle name is Samuel
  2. I wanted to be a pilot and an astronaut when I was younger
  3. I've shrunk since I was 20 years old (I reckon it's because I have collapsed arches on my feet)
  4. I am not much of a computer hacker
  5. I wear my Grandpa's dressing gown (looking a little raggedy, but very comfortable)
  6. I have a little bit of 'something' that moves around under the skin of my kneecap (bone? cartlidge?)
  7. I don't like wearing a watch
  8. I am the 4th Thomas Samuel Williams in a line from my great-grandpa
  9. My ankles click-clack often when I walk, and my knees click when I bend them (I am not a good sneaker when playing hide-and-seek in the dark)
  10. Before my beautiful wife Olivia, my longest relationship was 6 months (when I was in High School)
  11. My shin has a small hole in it, and when I crouch down a feel the meat/muscle bulge through the hole under the skin
  12. I'm a little frightened by spiders and creepy crawly bugs
  13. I have a little bumpy bone sticking out of my chest
  14. I don't like eating cantaloupe
  15. I have a scar from a burn on my right upper arm
  16. I have one filling
  17. My wedding ring is the only "jewellry" (is there a more masculine word?) I wear
  18. I possess a good memory, but a terrible inability to recall people's names or jokes
  19. The best joke I know goes like: "Knock Knock! Who's there? Interrupting cow! Interrupting c...Moooooo!"
  20. I don't enjoy cricket - watching, playing, anything about it
Not as easy as it looks. I stayed away from gross things too ;-)

I'll tag one person - my bro Simey - to do the same thing. Go Simon!


I once read somewhere that if you're over 30 and haven't tried sushi, you probably never will. I consider myself fortunate enough to be introduced to the joys of very fresh raw fish, served Japanese style, by my friend Leigh, on our trip to Japan a few years ago.

While sushi is fish served with rice, sashimi (my favorite) is just the fish, thinly sliced, served with a garnish. The types of meat served may include octopus, squid, tuna, salmon, and salmon roe (I'm not so good at identifying the meats yet).

Sashimi is eaten with chopsticks and served with soy sauce and wasabi, a spicy green horseradish paste that is hot at first but does not leave a lingering hot sensation like a chilli would. The way I was shown to eat sashimi was to mix a bit of wasabi with the soy sauce in a platter, and dip the pieces of fish into the mix with the chopsticks. Mmmm. Sashimi is also commonly served with very thin slices of ginger.

So what do I like about sashimi? I love the texture and taste of the fish (which is usually not a very fishy kind of taste), I love the flavour that the wasabi adds, and I don't ever feel bloated from eating this very healthy food. I even eat all the garnishes too, so I'm glad to read that it's considered polite to eat everything "down to the very last grain of rice" in Japanese culture!

Some links:

A Grand Sunday Afternoon

We decided to go for a drive on Sunday afternoon to get out of the house. Though down here in Melbourne's south-east the weather was supposed to turn sour, the sun was out, and Olivia had two great suggestions (keeping them secret from the kids of's more fun that way!)

So we headed down the road to our first stop, Tooradin Airfield, to play on the playground and then watch the planes. TJ was ecstatic, and Maya too was excited. And it didn't rain.

We got to see the a red biplane called "The Red Baron" take off and do spirals high up in the air, a big helicopter land and take off, and a very small plane (I reckon the aerial equivalent of a motor bike) and a couple of planes land and take off repeatedly, perhaps for pilots in training. The Tooradin Airfield website is here, we forgot our camera and so couldn't take any photos :-(

After this was Olivia's second brilliant idea: down the road to Caldermeade Farm for a coffee. I was ecstatic, Olivia was excited, and the kids didn't have a say, that is until we had jam and scones and got to see the animals. The setup at the farm is really good - there's a restauraunt/cafe with hand-made dairy and farm stuff that was quite busy, an observation deck to check out a huge rotary milking machine that milks 50 cows at a time (the farm had 400 Fresian cows in total), and a couple of other animals in the nursery. Too bad the kids were either too tired or not interested enough to pat the baby animals. Maybe next time!

It was great to get out of the house. And even better that we didn't get rained on. All up, a Grand Sunday Afternoon.

Simey Returns

It used to be that for news on my brother Simey, I had to check Google:

That was, I can ring and speak to him directly as he and his beautiful wife and son are back Down Under! Welcome back bro!


I mentioned previously that I have a 10- to 15-minute commute by car every day. We are currently a 1-car family but Olivia and I have realised that this must change with the onset of kindergarten next year.

So I have been looking into the options to enable me to basically get to work, so Olivia can have the car:

  1. get a 2nd-hand small car, with the associated registration and maintenance (and of course petrol)
  2. ride my bike (ummm, there are issues with that!)
  3. get a scooter
I like option 3 because both registration and petrol will be a lot cheaper. A downside is that only I will be able to use it, and I will not be able to take the kids anywhere. I'll also need a motorcycle license and a change of clothes each day.

Any thoughts? Has anyone been through this process and is willing to comment?


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