TJ's "Japan" booklet back cover

TJ recently brought home a booklet he did in his Japanese class.
TJ's "Japan" booklet back cover, October 2007
This is the back cover. He's very happy with his first attempt at writing in "script" (or "cursive" as we used to call it, back in the old days). I'm real proud of my big Prep boy, and just wanted to share :-)

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Book Review: The Best of Enough Rope

I was forced to spend some time in an airport recently and after perusing the bookshop I picked up The Best of Enough Rope excitedly. Cheekily subtitled "1001 interviews you must read before you die", I was expecting great things.

In the last few years, sadly, I've watched virtually no Enough Rope (Monday nights, ABC) but not by choice: until our most recent move, we weren't able to pick up ABC well enough to tune in :-(

What little I have seen on TV and reading the book confirms that Andrew Denton is one of the best interviewers going around. His manner makes his guests feel at ease and he knows when to respond with humour or inquisitiveness, when to change the subject or when to dig a little deeper. I got the feeling while reading The Best of Enough Rope that he really was interested in the many diverse guests whose interviews are in the book. The amount of research he and his team do allows his guests to open up and get past the surface-level, which makes for a more revealing interview.

There are celebrities and ordinary people in the collection of interviews. Bill Clinton, Bono, Dave Grohl, Mark Latham, Rene Rivkin, Cate Blanchett, Jane & Glenn McGrath, Chopper, Rolf Harris and more all open up and of course cover diverse topics (I even got some respect back for Bono when he admits that " a currency and I want to spend mine well"). Alongside these people are interviews with cabbies, homeless people, a woman who lost limbs to the London bombings, a schizophrenic and his Mum, members of a "living library", and so on.

The book is entertaining and informative, sensitive and "real". I especially like the little intros where Andrew recounts some of the circumstances around each interview. I eagerly anticipate a volume 2 of The Best of Enough Rope coming in future years.

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Kids Too Smart for Christmas

On the way home today TJ was looking through a catalogue to try and think of something that he might want for Christmas. We suggested he could write a letter to Santa with his request.

"Santa knows what we want, Dad. We don't need to write him a letter," he explained.

TJ finally picked something out. "It starts with 'X'," he said, and pointed to the page with an X-Box prominently displayed. I looked over at Olivia and replied, "Maybe something that's not $400".

Olivia mouthed a silent "Yes!" in agreement. She was probably thinking I'd encourage him with asking for the X-Box. However, this time I showed admirable restraint and maturity.

After a few minutes of thinking, TJ piped up, "But Dad, we don't have to pay for it, Santa can make it."

And I was stumped. Kids are officially too smart for Christmas.

And now I'm going to have to keep quite about all of this until it blows over!

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Visiting my Bro in Newcastle

Last weekend I was lucky enough to travel up to Newcastle, visiting my brother Nathan, nephew Isaiah and niece Hannah.

They live about 30 minutes from Newcastle itself, in an area that's bordering on being "the country". There's a couple of really nice things about this area; the sub-tropical climate (bring on the hot weather - I love it!), how close it is to the Hunter Valley wineries, and of course the picturesque countryside.

Better than the location though, was actually spending time with my family. I hadn't seen Nathan for almost a year, and it was great to chat, have a couple of cold ones, and be "Uncle Tom" while playing with the kids.

Nathan is my "little bro". He and I were quite close growing up even though he's the youngest and I'm the oldest, and like me, he's always up for a chat. We even enjoy similar music and movies. While I was up there last weekend, he kicked my butt at Trivial Pursuit, did more push-ups in one go than I can do in one day, and showed me a thing or two on his guitar. He also let me read a few comic books. Can you guess his favorite comic-book character?

Isaiah is getting to be a big boy who loves playing with trucks and digging (just like his Grandpa), and Hannah was absolutely gorgeous - I'm sure she smiled for the whole time I was up there :-)

I'm grateful that Olivia let me go. All in all, a great holiday.

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Heath's Spoon License

Heath got his spoon L-plates yesterday, demonstrating careful and skillful use of a spoon:

His award-winning technique goes as follows:

  1. What is this? It is a spoon. Round and shiny.
  2. I am hungry. Food goes, a little lower.
  3. I am sated, and happy. Spooning is fun.

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Olivia's Birthday

My beautiful wife turned         last Saturday, spending half her day in airports after coming home early from a wedding in Queensland to tend to her sick family :-(

Happy Birthday Wifey!

We had a small birthday party for her yesterday, where I snapped a photo of her looking contented in her kitchen.

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The Tastiest Hand Cut Cajun Wedges on the Mornington Peninsula

I think Gold Class Cinemas, Karingal, is the only place anyone would ever spend $11 on a small bowl of glorified chips. Here's the exact description from the menu:

hand cut cajun spiced potato wedges, a side of sour cream and sweet chilli sauce

Sounds perfect, hmmm? But wait till you see what's printed on the receipt - "FAT FRIES"!

These must be the tastiest hand cut cajun wedges on the Mornington Peninsula, because they're the most expensive :-)

It's like they've sucked you into the Twilight Zone of high expectations. Just because I can lay back in my seat, and be able to call for food and drink anytime I want, must mean I want to pay handsomely for it.

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Blog Updating

I'm just doing some behind-the-scenes work on this blog. Sorry if some old stories come up to the surface again in your blog reader.

Admin Thomas

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My Work Space

Here's the area where I spend my time at work:
My work space, June 2007
I thought I'd put up this picture for posterity because at the end of this week, I'm moving to new offices.

Here's some things that stand out for me about my old office:

  • I have a window, which I'm very happy with as I'm fond of natural light.
  • There's plenty of wall space for all of my photos, posters and kid's artwork.
  • I would say I'm a neat person...what do you think?
  • I've read all those books :-)
  • I love my dual-monitor setup.
It'll be sad to see my old office go.

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