Coming Soon: My Perth Trip

I'm real excited that I get to go to Perth this weekend to visit my brother Simon and his beautiful son Samuel.

This will be my first trip out west - I'll get to help Simon celebrate his birthday, as well as see some of Perth in the early days of summer (I hear it's in the mid-30's over there...yippee!)

Updates as they happen :-)

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"It all gets mashed up in your tummy"

Disclaimer: Please don't read this while eating.

One thing I remember being told by my parents as a kid, when faced with food that looked "damaged" (e.g. a piece of cake that had fallen on it's side on the plate), or the fact that I didn't want my gravy on top of my potatoes but instead to the side, was "It all gets mashed up in your tummy".

Knowing my parents wouldn't lie to me, and seeing some proof out the other end that indeed everything gets mashed up, why is it that sometimes when you burp, you only burp up the taste of one component of your food?

For instance, if I eat salad and a roll and lemon pepper tuna, up to hours later, my burps will be lemon pepper tuna with not even a hint of the salad or roll. Cucumber is another thing that seems to haunt my oral blasts. Ditto any sort of medicine.

I reckon the organisation who comes up with a way to "burp the flavor of the food you really favor" (patent pending) will become the next Kraft or Hienz or Cadburys.

Additional disclaimer: I hope you didn't think this post was going to contain the answer. This is just another person asking the question :-)

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The Perfect Christmas Gift, For Me

Yes, I know Christmas is some time away. But yesterday I came across the perfect gift for me (via Make):

Yes, that is an LCD display with the weather forecast, time and coffee strength :-)

Amazon lists this "Melitta ME1MSB Smart Mill & Brew 10-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker" at $199.00. Other features include:

  • 10-cup programmable coffeemaker grinds and brews automatically for ease of use
  • LCD display with animated coffee and region-specific weather information via MSN Direct
  • Info via FM signal; no setup, subscription, or Internet connection required
Pity these things wouldn't work over here in Australia (we don't have the SPOT-FM-radio-goodness happening).

While I'm on Christmas, check out the ol' Holiday Snowglobe. He he.

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My Christmas Facts

Fact 1: Christmas is coming. When you have kids, you can say this with a straight face in November, and mean it in the same way as "next Saturday is coming" or "dinner-time is coming". It seems that close. Truth be told, we've been talking about Christmas in our little family since early September :-)

Fact 2: For kids, Christmas largely means presents. Sure, they get to see family, remember Jesus' birthday, eat lots, give gifts and set up Christmas trees, but the majority of thinking about Christmas is thinking about getting presents.

Fact number 2 isn't necessarily a bad thing. Olivia and I do everything we can as parents to discourage greed, encourage sharing, and talk about being unselfish, and what other people will enjoy (which is hard for kids...and adults, come to think of it).

I guess as a parent you kind of feed off your kids' excitement over Christmas. In the real world, work goes on, life goes on, and maybe I just want Christmas to be more than just one or two days. I admit it: I get excited in the long lead-up to December 25th!

I enjoy giving gifts, and so does Olivia. Olivia brings a high degree of practicality to Christmas - she makes lists, she ensures everyone is taken into account, and some years has had all the shopping done and wrapped by October (this year, she's just putting the finishing touches on buying gifts today).

As you might be able to tell, I really admire her organisation skills. If it was left to me, I'd be telling people what I was *gonna* get them instead of a last-minute gift voucher...

Past posts on Christmas: Christmas Reading, Christmas is coming...

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Fight Club, Part 2

Last night after posting about Fight Club the movie, I happened across a related link on Technorati's "Fight Club" page that I had to post about: Dennis the Menace meets Fight Club:

There's some more funny ones at sirspamdalot's blog.

Hee hee!

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Fight Club

A quick note: I love the movie "Fight Club" (movie site, IMDB link). It's about a nameless insomniac whose accumulated material possessions can't prevent him from feeling like there's something missing. He finds temporary solace in attending support groups for diseases he doesn't have, but even those fail to give him comfort when an equally desperate woman begins showing up at the same meetings for what seems to be the same reasons. Then he meets Tyler Durden, a confident, headstrong anti-modern-society soap salesman, and together they accidentally start a men's support group with a difference: Fight Club. Eventually, what starts out as a rebellion against social roles tumbles towards anarchy, and this is where the film gets interesting.

There is of course fighting in Fight Club. About a third of the movie tracks the narrator's depressing existence - his designer house, morbid occupation, and many and varied support groups. The next third deals with Fight Club itself, with some darkly funny episodes. The final part is about Tyler Durden's new project, which the narrator races to discover.

It's kind of hard to categorise this movie. The film is not really action, not really drama, not really humour. I reckon it's a black look at the modern man and what happens when people decide to make a difference.

The movie is rated "R" in Australia: it has one short and not particularly graphic sex scene and a fair serve of swearing, plus some brutal fight scenes, but it seems to be given such a harsh rating because of the depiction of anti-social acts (like suicide attempts and self-mutilation) and a plot to blow up credit card company buildings, from the point of view of the infiltrators (this plotline is revealed in the first couple of minutes, so I'm not giving anything away here). If this was a movie about cops who were out to catch the bad guys, I reckon it would be rated MA. It's just my opinion, but in my mind it's only about as bloody as Rocky II. And I'd go so far to say that unlike most modern action movies, the villain does not invariably die a horrible and bloody death.

A turning point in this movie, which up until that point could have been a darker, more twisted Ferris Bueller's Day Off, occured about halfway through the film when Tyler Durden talks to the men in a Fight Club chapter and delivers the following lines (taken from the IMDB quotes page for the film):

Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war...our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.
The above quote really sucked me in. Brad Pitt delivers it brilliantly. Tyler Durden is right. And what am I going to do about it?

There's lots more lines reflecting a discomfort and mistrust of modern society that are uttered almost as throw away phrases (you have to listen carefully because not a single sentence is wasted in the film). I think I'm attracted to Fight Club as a film because it's honest and admits there are questions, without necessarily trying to provide answers. Watching this movie is a bit like watching a train crash in slow motion - there's such a build up that the ending seems inevitable, but I reckon the film has many surprises and keeps you thinking.

My friend Phil had a quick appraisal for the film after sitting with a group of guys to watch it late last Friday night: the biggest waste of two hours ever :-)

Decide for yourself, and go and rent Fight Club!

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Olivia's Weekend Away

A couple of weeks ago Olivia went away with the many girls in her extended family, to Queensland. She took Heath, which left me & the kids to have a "bachelor" weekend.

Olivia had a great time, aside from a few mix-ups with hotels. Her flights were good (she flew Virgin), and judging by the number of comments Heath was a delight. I've included a picture of him with Olivia's Oma here, because, well, I think he's gorgeous :-)

Meanwhile, down in Melbourne, you'd expect that things with TJ, Maya and I would be pretty low-key: take-away meals, half-washed clothes, late nights, kids unshaven. Yep. We also managed to go to the museum (sans camera), watch the very funny movie Over the Hedge, and get to the airport to meet Olivia. I figure three things in three days is doing pretty well.

I'm glad Olivia got to spend the weekend away having fun and relaxing, and catching up with family. We really missed her, and were very glad to have her back. I realised during her absence that she brings so much to our little family - I may have a lot of reasoning ability, but she has all the sense in the family.

Love you Wifey!

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[Listening to: I Can't Answer You Anymore - Elliott Smith - 3 Titres Inedits Promo (02:41)]


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