Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Post Christmas relaxation

The bulk of the silly season is done, now cruising in the gap before New Years. Christmas was good, got some time earlier on in the month in Perth and had a good time with friends and family over the Christmas season.

Was a good Christmas this year, very happy. And good to have a bit of down time from work.

Monday, November 28, 2016


Last day before going back home for some holiday time with the family. Yay!

Going to be a bit odd to be in our home town but staying in a hotel. Still, get to have time to catch up with everyone. And have time away from work.

Win, win!

Monday, October 31, 2016

All Hallow's Eve

Got to take the kids out trick or treating tonight. Although I'm not a big fan of the holiday (or Christmas either, but that's a seperate issue), it was nice to be able to chaperone the girls so they could have a good time.

Saw lots of other families out and about, with kids of various ages. Commented with a few of the other parents about sugar loaded kids on a school night. This little one at least has been sensible and is in bed ready for school tomorrow.

Thought of a stupid "if we won lotto" idea, to drive around in a van with 'free candy' hand painted on the sides and giving out loads of lollies. The list of reasons why that is stupid is pretty long...

Very glad to not have seen any incidents or any people misbehaving. No doubt they were out there, but at least none came near my flock. That's something to be thankful for.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Quickie post, marking the date the brake pads on the 4WD got done. Brand new rears, 95% on the fronts.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sadest of the sad

A great life has come to an end.


Today we had to have one of our dogs put to sleep. She was 11 years old and had had several medical issues during her life. She was getting old prematurely, she was breaking down and we could see she was struggling.

We could have kept her hobbling along on medications and supplements and what not, but that would have been for our benefit, not hers.

We made the hard decision and had her euthanised by a vet. We had the vet come to our house, where she was with her family and surrounded by love. She slipped away calmly, and we all held her as she took her last breath.

A great life has ended, and now her spirit is free to run over the rainbow. The thunderstorms will trouble you no more.

Good night Blaze, til we meet again.

Saturday, September 10, 2016


My beautiful, awesome wife bought me some drawing supplies for our 4th anniversary. <3

I'm still very time poor, but it is nice to have some good quality pencils and blank paper to draw on. Better than working around lined paper.

And variety! I'd previously just used whatever pencils I had on hand, usually a budget bargain hard writing pencil. Having a suite of different pencils gives a lot more options.

Now the hard part - making the time to use them!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Sweet score

It's September in Darwin and that means it's nearly cyclone season. That means pre cyclone clean up, when people put old junk out on the verge for the council to take away.

The thing is, not all of it is junk. :)

Between last weekend and this weekend we managed to collect a few hundred dollars worth of stuff. I'd prefer to sell it all so we had a few more dollars for bills and stuff, but there's a reason people put it out on the verge instead of selling it.

Would feel a lot better if I could afford to just buy the stuff my family needs (even second hand) rather than picking through other people's garbage, but at least we were able to pick up a few things we can use.

Maybe one day we'll have a bit of disposable income again.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

eReader update

Back in June I had an issue with my eReader. I was about a third of the way through a thousand plus page book and it lost my place. The only way to get back to my page was to go to the start and click 'next' several hundred times.

Not gonna happen.

Then I found out that the newer version of the firmware had a 'go to page X' function.

Finally got around to doing the update. Had a few teething problems with the updated version not reading the sd card with all my books on it. But got that sorted out.

Yay, I can finish my book!

When I have enough time... -_-

Friday, July 29, 2016

Punch in the guts...

...then kicked in the teeth.

Paid extra tax this year and tightened up the belt so that we could get a refund this year, or at least break even.

Nope, got another tax bill. Greaaat. Just what we needed. :(

Friday, July 22, 2016

Twenty years

Went ice skating with the family today.

Seems kind of odd to go ice skating in a desert town like Darwin, but they set up a temporary rink for the school holidays.

First time ice skating since the 90's, almost exactly twenty years since I last donned the skates. Made an okay showing of myself, was a little wobbly but didn't stack it. I enjoyed myself - despite having just gotten back to the heat from the frozen bottom half of the country, and having been looking forward to not wearing boots on my feet.

Was a good time, glad I went. Doubly so that it was a chance to spend time with the family.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Journey home

End of another major outing for work, now driving north up the middle of the country and heading home.

Good thing my last course was on at the same time as part of this outing, means less time away from the family.

Was only away from them for about two months this time, bit less actually. And this should be the last major outing for this year. Maybe. So yay, more time at home with the family! :D

Friday, July 1, 2016


I love reading. I know some people aren't big fans of it, but spending hours reading a book sounds like a good time to me.

A couple of years ago I bought myself an eBook reader. I prefer real books but this gave me the option to carry lots of books in a small amount of space when I travelled (I like to pack lite). And the e-ink screen is not back lit so it is easy on the eyes, I can read for hours.

For the first time since I got it, I found a problem with it. There was a power issue and it dropped the bookmark on the book I was reading. I was up to around page 350 on a 1100+ page book. :|

The pain with this particular book reader is that it doesn't have a "go to page x" function. So in order to keep reading I have to start at page one and press forward three hundred plus times. :(

But there is a solution! One of the later versions of the software added the 'go to page x' option (someone was smart!) so all I have to do is update the firmware.

Shame I won't be able to do that until I get home. In August. *sigh*

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Muddy shoes

Grrr... last day, all done, nope. Gotta run around in the cold rain and mud one last time.

Wouldn't be too much of an issue but I only have one pair of sneakers with me and I'll be flying early in the morning. No time for cold wet shoes to dry out.


Oh well, suck it up and move on.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Rainy days

Down in the bottom half of the country at the moment, learning stuffs for work. It's worked out well for me, having a bit of a buffer so I can aclimatize from the Darwin heat to the (icy) cold of the bottom half.

Not so good for all the other chaps who went straight from the hot north to the cold mud.

I'll be joining them soon enough.

Sunday, June 19, 2016


Got a chance to go and see the new Warcraft movie. Normally I like to watch trailers and feel that the movie will be 'better' at the cinema rather than just waiting for the dvd.

In this case, I went in blind, just happened to go because a few friends were going. Didn't even know there was a Warcraft movie.

Overall, it was a fairly average sword and sorcery movie. Plot was okay, game aspects were nodded but overall a resounding 'meh'. Not one I'd recommemd running out to see.

What really stood out to me was the orc skin tones. They started out suitably green but scene by scene they got lighter until they were pretty much human skin tones. Probably to make them more relatable but it really stood out to me.

The characters were okay but there was probably too many principle characters to get invested in them. Good for making epics, but they got diluted so when one dies, there's no emotional content to draw the audience in.

I did like how they handled languages, and didn't opt for the old "everyone just understands everyone, because" trope.

Don't regret going to see it, but wouldn't recommend it. Wonder if they'll make a Starcraft movie? :P

Saturday, June 11, 2016

First week away

Being away from home sucks.

Being away from home and not knowing when exactly I'll be back double sucks. :(

Down in the bottom half of the country, bit colder down here than it is in Darwin. Missing the heat a bit but getting used to the cold. At least I haven't been rained on yet.

Missing the family, glad to have mobile phone so we can message and talk.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Phone re-load

Getting ready to take the phone on the road for a few months, so did a major clean up and upgraded the memory.

Have lots of room for music now, the tricky bit is to find a decent music playing app with features that I like.

Not going to load any movies on though, this phone is pushing four years now, don't want to burn the screen out from watching movies for hours at a time.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Got my guitar strings on over the weekend, guitar is looking nice and spiffy now. The strings are coloured as well, brass on the big strings and the nylon ones are blue, red and yellow. Looks like a folk guitar.

Currently gearing up for another work trip away, around three months. Not looking forward to it but it should mean more dollars in the bank.

Also means more time away from the family, might be back around August sometime. #SadPanda

Friday, May 13, 2016


Yay! Got some new strings for my guitar. :D

My Mum sent me some guitar strings as an early birthday present since I'll be away for a while. Should be able to swap out the strings myself, it isn't too hard.

Not too sure if I want to bolt on a strap stud yet. Be good to fit a guitar strap and be able to play standing up. Oh wait, need to learn to play first!

Yeah, not made a lot of progress on that front. Entirely my own fault, I should make time for practice - at least a few times a week. Not that I get a lot of say on how I spend my time normally.

Still, fingers crossed I'll get the chance to put the new strings on this weekend.

Sunday, May 8, 2016


Blargh... hate having a drippy, snotty nose. :(

At least I should be able to get a little rest today, maybe. Hopefully.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Most of the time, when I remember dreams, I only dimly recall them in the first few minutes after waking up.

Sometimes, I remember them longer, long enough to share them with my Wife.

I might get into the habit of writing them down in the morning. I've read somewhere that it helps to develop memory and increase your chances of lucid dreaming.

Plus it might give me some ideas for creative writing!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Current projects

I love being creative.

I definitly prefer to be a creator rather than a consumer. If I could have my dream job, that would be movie producer. But each movie is a multi million dollar gamble, with no guarantee of profit (or even any income at all!) It is truly a rich mans game.

At the moment I have three creative projects running. The first is guitar; I'm trying to learn how to play. Not very hard though, I spend very little time practicing. My main excuse is that I can't afford new strings, but that's a pretty lame excuse at best.

My second is writing. I've been doing creative writing on and off for a number of years now. And I'd be so much better at it if I wrote regularly. Or had people read and provide feedback on what I've written.

I just found a writing community who specialise in old stule CYOA type stories. I might give that a go, get some feedback.

My third project is making unfinished storyboard type videos for youtube. It can combine my desire to create movies and write stories into a one-man-show type of studio. It'd be like storyboards with audio. A few challenges on that front, but it gives me an excuse to draw more.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Lost posts

How frustratement.

I use the Blogger App on my phone to write and publish my posts. For the first time, I had some sitting there with "publish failed" on them. And I think I lost a few as well.

Not sure why it wasn't publishing, but a phone reset got it working again. Not that anyone would notice if I wasn't putting anything up for a while! :P


I'd been thinking back to the old "Choose Your Own Adventure" books I used to read as a child. I had a go at writing my own a few years ago but didn't complete it since I couldn't hold all the plot elements in my head at once (among other things).

This morning I was looking at better ways to organise it to keep a better idea in my head.

At the moment I'm looking at doing the rough outline on paper, then laying it out in page numbers in a spreadsheet, then coding it in html to chuck it up on my website.

Now all I need is time...


I've been doing a bit of poking around today and -yay!- managed to unlock one of my old YouTube accounts. :)

I still can't get at the one with the LEGO video on it, but I'm not that fussed about that one.

I had been considering just creating a new channel, but I'd rather use an existing one. Especially since the videos I'm planning on making (maybe, fingers crossed!) won't be getting heaps of views.

We've yet to see if I'll be creating anything at all. In order to pull it off to a standard I'm happy with, I need to improve my drawing skills and (if possible) get a halfway decent microphone. That second one is not very likely at the moment (or anytime soon). But the process should be fairly simple... write out some short stories, record the dialogue, then draw some pictures.

Easy to write...

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Home life

Home for a week of RnR, before getting stuck back into work. Lost a lot of resources during the month down south, now trying to gain them back.

Most of the week now gone, got about 6% of what I wanted to do actually done. Last chance to get some more done tomorrow.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

End of the month

Left Darwin at the end of February and been down near Port Augusta all March. Not a happy month - dust, dirt and flies. Never enough sleep and the food is ... enough to survive on but not really what I would call "food". :)

And all this timevaway from my family. :(

But it is nearly done, should be home again before the end of the weekend. :D Work is work, but it will be so good to get home, have some time with the family. It never gets easier, being away for so long with minimal contact.

But all things end, just a few short days to go. Lost a fair bit of weight, will be interesting to weigh myself again. I was about to change up my pants size but at the moment I am using an old occy strap I found as a belt!

At least I've been able to get some decent food into me today. Yay for fresh fruit and veggies! Yay for fresh, cold milk!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

On the road

Off on another road trip, down to South Australia. Same on I've done before, difference is Tania will be waiting when I get back home.

Being away for a few weeks sucks, but it is much better than being away for months at a time.

This time I'm a bit more mentally prepared. Having done it before, I have a better idea of what I am in for and what to expect. No doubt there will be new and different challenges to overcome, but that's one of the reasons we do it. To become better.

Just gets annoying when we get jerked around for no good reason. Missed out on part of my rationed food and missed out on a shower. Neither is a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but the little things add up to make the whole thing unfun.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Bombing of Darwin

Got to spend time with the wife today, went in to the city for the commemoration of the bombing of Darwin in WWII. Really liked the ceremony, the artillery put on a bit of a re-enactment using era appropriate weaponry. The cannons were quite load.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Cruise sick

Can't say that I've ever had a hankering to go on a cruise. The big draw that I hear people raving about are the drinks and doing nothing - neither of which are things that appeal to me. I'm not a "lounge by the pool getting wasted all day" kind of guy.

Having said that, I wouldn't mind setting sail on a reasonably big ship, going out to sea hunting sunken treasure or something. Not a little tug boat size ship, something like a coast guard or research vessel sized ship or bigger.

Currently in the news, another cruise ship has docked with an outbreak of gastro. Considering that they are a closed system of sorts, have thousands of people from different parts of the country and go visiting other countries, they become a petri dish of mixed bugs.

No wonder people get sick. Pass, not my thing. I'd rather keep working. Or have a good hobby to keep me busy.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Week Six

And a weak performance. This is relating to my writing, with the week of the year. Was ahead on my word count but now that we've clicked over to a new week, I'm pretty sure I've fallen behind.

There is an old quote about writers, not sure who said it: "Anybody can say you can't write, don't let them say you don't."

Failing on that count, at the moment. :(

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Day Twenty Three

Although not sure how to count. It's day 23 by the calendar, but had very little actual practice time. Tonight I was encouraged to have some time on the guitar, though could only really work on my fingering a bit.

Still putting fingers down too wide and muting one or the other string to the sides of the one I am aiming for. On the plus side, fingers getting a bit stronger and the ends should be getting tougher, over time.

Probably need to trim my nails even shorter than they are, especially on my left hand. Might try that before picking up the guitar again tomorrow

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Missed days

Been too slack with guitar, not going to get very far without practice. Need to focus but can be tricky with a little one who jumps all over you the moment you get home.

Glad I don't work from home. Be nice to in some regards, but would be pretty difficult on work days that aren't school days.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Day One, sort of

Started practicing a bit on the guitar toniggt, though admittedly not much. Was working a bit on my fingering, still hitting the next string along and muting the sound.

Tried to write a bit today too, but I didn't get up early enough. Might have to get up earlier next time.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Day Zero

Well, I'd had a few different plans for an "unboxing" video of sorts when I had a chance to muck around a bit with my new guitar for the first time, but didn't end up videoing it.

I did have a play and (unsurprisingly) I totally suck at it. Considering that it is the first time I have picked up a guitar and have had no lessons, nobody is surprised by that plot twist.

Pretty sure that the first thing I should focus on is going to be my fingering. I noticed straight off the bat that I tend to contact the next string down and mute it. So I need to really arch my fingers to get the tips in there without touching the other strings.

Although I'm trying to do this on a zero dollar budget, my first expense is going to be new strings. I did manage to tune the guitar, but it started drifting out of tune almost instantly. The strings are old, pretty much the original strings that came with the guitar as far as I know. The guitar used to be my mum's and she didn't get much of a chance to play it.

I can get cheap strings online off eBay no drama, though while I'm learning I should probably spring for good ones so I can train my ear. Or not, the budget is the budget.

Maybe on the weekend I'll get a chance to sit down and do a video. Here's hoping!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Second night

Bit sore and managed to stay busy most of the day but seems like not much got done.

Well, daylight is disappearing, the radio is on and we have enough stuff unpacked to prepare a meal instead of having to get takeaway. Some stuff got damaged, but that should get sorted out, hopefully.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

First night

Moving and being transient had kinda become a thing for me. Moving around every few months for work, travelling interstate - it all sort of blurs in together. Seems like the last year and a half I've been one rung up from living out of a suitcase.

I couldn't go home, so home came to me. ♡

First night in our new home. Next stage of our lives is starting.

Monday, January 11, 2016

New house

We got the keys to the new house today. It is ... quite small. I could stand in the back yard, stretch my arms out and almost touch the back wall of the house and the back fence at the same time. :( Smaallll...

On the plus side it is pretty nice, and it is practically brand new. We're the first tenants in it. Couldn't find any major issues with it so far. Plus there is heaps of storage room.

Our gear is scheduled to arrive tomorrow, fingers crossed it arrives on time. And there isn't much damaged...

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Family shrinkage

It was good while they were here, but the boys have gone back to WA along with the daughters' friend. Place is a lot quieter now, which is kinda good and kinda bad. Teenage boys will be teenage boys, always competing and trying to be top dog. It's nice not to have an argument every ten minutes, but it's sad having a quiet house.


Next week we should be moving into the new place. Fingerz crossed things go well. Here's hoping.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Put a second video up, mainly just to test the custom thumbnail option on Youtube. Probably not the best use of resources, but I'm going to claim the high ground and say it is better than a video of random stuff some people post.

Haven't written much this week (read: anything) but I'm currently ahead so not overly stressed. Should have more free time once we're settled in the new place. Or less time, depending on how much I practice on the guitar.

On the plus side, loving being able to have more time with my family.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

And the writing begins

Despite all the distractions, I was able to get a few words down yesterday. My targets are pretty generous, so there is pretty much no excuse to be falling behind. While the boys are here, we will be busy doing family things and when I go back to work then that will take up time too. Plus when the home furnishings arrive, I'll need to focus on that and helping get the house set up.

But when I can, I'll be sneaking in time to get some words down. I have until November so it isn't a tight deadline.

Though if I have limited time, I'll be giving preference to guitar practice rather than writing.

Friday, January 1, 2016

And the cycle renews

And so passes away 2015, a turbulent year I spent mostly away from my family. I think I only saw my wife and the kids for one month out of the twelve. Had a lot of ups and downs (admittedly mostly downs) but I'm optimistic that we're on an upward swing. Financially we're getting on top of things but these few weeks during the move are very turbulent. Lots of extra expenses though I'm saving where I can.

My main goal in 2016 is to learn to play the guitar. I don't have any lofty dreams or overzealous ambitions for my playing, but I do want to be improving throughout the year. So long as I make the time to practice, then I should be right. Right?

I'm not sure how much writing I will be doing. I've been trying to committ to writing since 2007 but haven't really gotten into it. I get motivated, want to write but then when I sit down in front of the computer and ... nothing. I have ideas, I have stories in my head that I want to tell but they come out very dry and clinical. If I wrote more, no doubt I'd be better at it; but it's one of those things were you have to go through the hard slog before it gets better.

My true passion is video, producing movies and video clips and such. But I don't have a few spare million lying around. And there's no money in it, not in Australia. Now, if I won lotto... :D

I'll have to settle for making little videos for me, just me playing (or more likely, trying to play) my guitar.

Can't wait for it to arrive!