Farewell 2006

Well it should be a fun night, we are of the dinner with the girls (Mel and Linda) to ring in the new year with friends and funny movies. David and I have been tasked with selecting the movies. To that end we have selected the following; Scary Movies (1, 2, 3 and 4), Not Another Teen Movie, Bring It On (one of my all time faves) and Kung Fu Hustle.

Another movie we will take along and by the sounds of it may not make it all the way through is Charles Band’s Blood Dolls. Given to us my Craig and Mark who received it from their friend Richard. The go with this movie is to watch it and pass it on. If you get it from us (it will most likely be poor Roberta) you have to do the same. Let’s see if we can get this B movie shown around the world!

My only other cool news for the evening is that we found some Windy Peak Pinot Noir Chardonnay (the bubbly kind) which we haven’t been able to find local and acquired a taste for when last in the Yarra Valley. So glad to have that find. Also on the agenda is the 3-course meal from the girls and some cowboy shots.

Yep it’s gonna be a great night! Headaches all round tomorrow.

Have a great new years eve (and new years day) all. I look forward to a fantastic 2007.

Oh and the picture is of the Voodoo Toothpick Holder that Craig and Mark got us for Christmas. It is WAY cool.

World of Warcraft Taketh Thee

Jammin and ClickityIf you’re wondering where I have been the past few days… I’ve been in the World of Warcraft.

David and I have been questing like crazy and I’m now a level 25 (soon to be 26) Orc Hunter named Jammin, seen in the picture here with my pet Clickity the Scorpian.

World of Warcraft is very addictive and a massive waste of time, but I love it.

While I’ve been playing I’ve been thinking about my 2007 goals (rather than resolutions cause they never happen). One of which will probably be to play less Warcraft (sorry Blizzard – the game makers).

So for at least until dinner time this evening when we are going to be venturing out one more time with Craig and Mark (they return to the States tomorrow), I can be found in the realm of Dath’Remar. FOR THE HORDE!!!

Friends, Food and Movies

Yesterday, Boxing Day, David and I had a very quiet morning at home, playing a whole bunch of Wii. We’re getting better at Tennis, Bowling and Baseball… I think Golf is a little too long-winded.

My Wii age yesterday was 60, today it is 31 YAY, not bad for a 32 year old (soon to be 33).

Our Wii console code (AKA friend code) is 5438 0753 0484 5073.

The afternoon brought about dinner with friends and the family of friends. We made the long trip way around the bay to Craig’s parents’ home in Seaford. We had a great BBQ dinner and heard many a story about a young Craig and all his shanannigans.

Craig’s Mum, Grace, had created one of her famous cheesecakes and I indulged (as you do). It was great as always and I stared at the left overs thinking for sure I could fit another piece in, before my rational mind retorted that had I tried I just may burst.

After dinner we went to the movies at Southland and saw “Night at the Museum“. It was an intesting movie but probably not one I’d recommend spending the cost of a full-priced ticket to see it. It is a bit Jumanji, mixed with Mannequin, mixed with Home Alone. Sure there were some very funny moments in it, but over all it was kind of predictable. And predictable humour, is not as funny.

It was a sad farewell at the end of the night, as we bid Craig and Mark goodbye… they are only here until the 31st and we’ve been fortunate to have two opportunities to catch up with them during their whirlwind trip. Thanks immensly guys and we look forward to hopefully visiting you in Seattle in the future.

The night for David and I wasn’t quite over there, we had to head over to Tullamarine Airport to pick up Mel and Linda we were returning (at 12.30 at night) from a trip to Mission Beach in far north Queensland. They caught the plane in nice 32 degree (c) heat, only to arrive in Melbourne 4 hours later and be confronted with temperatures around 12 degrees (c). I can tell you, their shorts and tees were not keeping them warm.

The girls delivered home, we finally crawled into bed about 1am. And awoke this morning around 10am.

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Oi! What a whirlwind week it has been… shopping and prepping for a Christmas that isn’t really much of a Christmas and has actually lead to a small amount of disappointment.

It appears we left our run too late and the presents we have sent to Sydney for family have failed to arrive in time. And for that we are truly sorry to all those who had to go without this Christmas… but believe me the presents are worth the wait.

A couple of days ago we got to catch up with Craig and Mark who have recently moved to Seattle in the US, they are back for a 10-day trip to spend Christmas at home. It was a HUGE secret that we have known about for a while and Craig surprised his mother who apparently cried tears of utter joy to see him.

Craig’s ability to keep things under wraps was amazing. It appears he even pre-dated a couple of blog entries so as to appear to still be at home in Seattle, while actually flying over here.

It was a great night when they came over and we indulged in some Caipiroska (Vodka, Lime, Sugar Water and lots-a ice), and the Little Brittan Live DVD. It was an amazing show which I am certain will be even more amazing being there in person.

Today Santa brought us a couple of presents; besides the Nintendo Wii there was the Legend of Zelda (Wii game), a Cookbook for David (cause he loves to cook, and I love to eat), Egoiste Platinum (for David), Sennheiser HD 515 headphones (for me) and the Terry Goodkind book “Chainfire” (also for me).

The fact that we’ve missed out on Christmas with family is not so good and we miss them terribly… hope you all had a great Christmas day.

The Book of Bunny SuicidesA special shout out to my friend Roberta from Italy… thank you very very much for my wonderful books, The Book of Bunny Suicides and The Return of the Bunny Suicides. Incredibly funny viewing… and so wrong of the owner of a rabbit to laugh so hard at such things.

We just got off an iChat hook-up with David’s family, they all crowded into Jody’s study to have a chat. Maygen was very quiet to start, but soon wanted to show us everything, everyone got for Christmas. And Jacob got a new KTM 65. Lucky kid is up to his 3rd or 4th bike and I can get even my first one.

Been thinking about my 2007 goals in preparation for the new year… but more on that later.

Hope y’all had a great Christmas Day. Ciao!

Wii for Me

Our Nintendo WiiIt should read Wii for us, but that doesn’t rhyme now does it?

Yes it’s true, the image you see here is actually OUR very own Nintendo Wii. And like most purchases here it has a story…

Why am I blogging it and not out playing it? Well you see, set up is very very easy and the little sucker connected straight to our Wi-Fi network (after putting the password in of course) and what’s the first thing it does once connected to the Internet… starts downloading an update… and then once it’s finished that, it does another one!

I tell you what manufacturers are amazing these days, if it has an Internet connection they can send things out not quite right and fix it up later, not that I’m complaining, obviously the updates are needed and hopefully will ensure everything runs smoothly.

Now how did we get such an unattainable item? Over the past few days, David has rung every single store he could think of and every location of every type of store. No one has any available. They are already taking pre-orders for the next batch not due in Australia until late January early February.

Well David, being the genius he is, checked out eBay, but no way were we gonna get one there, he was messaging every single person who had a Wii listed in Melbourne and asked if they would sell it to him direct (which you’re not supposed to do I might add). A couple came back with quotes of $700 or $800+ and there is no way we were going to pay that!!! Are they mad?

For his next trick David found the site www.mywii.com.au and after reading about the lack of Wii’s in Australia decided to take a chance and put the call out to anyone who happened to have one for sale. Guess what… he got a great many responses saying what a shame it is that there aren’t enough to go around… and one saying he’d sell one he had on pre-order (a second one) for $525.

While I wasn’t excited about paying $525 for something that only cost $399 I was overjoyed at the idea of having one around for our two week Christmas holidays, all that entertainment is surely worth more than $126.

So a huge thank you goes out to Beatmaster who had presence of mind to pre-order two consoles. And while I know that his pre-orders were bundles that included games, I don’t mind that he got Need for Speed, cause I gotta say it’s not a game we’d probably play very often anyway.

Having just checked out the MyWii site, it actually appears that our new Wii might have been nefariously acquired… seems that Beatmaster actually cancelled his pre-order but got a call from ToysRUs to ask if he still wanted it… and given that he could on-sell why wouldn’t he say “yes”? I just hope that this doesn’t mean that some little Johnny is going without one for Christmas. But as his name was the book I’d suggest it was reserved for him.

So all that said, it’s still downloading the second lot of updates, I’ll report back with my Mii Code and first reports about game play soon…ish.

Let’s Learn Italian

Italian FlagBeen checking out some PodCasts of late to see if I could pick up some Italian as a way to better converse with my lovely Italian friend Roberta.

There are of course many commercial tapes / CDs / books that can get to learn Italian and of course I could even go off to school to learn it (and just might next term). For now however I’ll check out the PodCasts.

There is a list of Foreign Language Lesson PodCasts at Open Culture. I only recommend one of the Italian PodCasts in the list… LearnItalianPod.com iTunes Feed Web Site

The guy who runs the other one listed “Let’s Speak Italian” promises a daily PodCast series but doesn’t really deliver as he only makes it through five lessons and the sixth episode is basically an ad to go get the whole series from his site at a cost. I’m not against people making money from their efforts, I am however against people who are not up-front about such actions. Actually the first episode doesn’t even have any Italian in it… it’s an introduction to the guy and his intentions.

The LearnItalianPod.com seems really cool, they have many many lessons online and are continuing to do updates. The only problem I think I’m gonna have is learning Italian as a spoken language, I’m not learning how to write it properly or the correct spelling and most of my correspondence with Roberta is written.

Roberta’s English is great, my Italian for now is non-existent. In the past I have studied Japanese, Russian and German. I’ve looked into Spanish and will probably have another look at it in the future. I’d love to travel some day and don’t want to be one of those annoying English-speaking tourists who expect all the world to speak my language.

So for now, let’s LearnItalianPod.com.

Awesome Live Music

Kanvas Grey Album CoverLast night we had the fantastic opportunity to check out some live music, having been invited along to watch our friend’s band Kanvas Grey play at Barbukka on Smith Street in Collingwood.

Kanvas Grey was the headline act for the night and was preceded by three other performers, Crisis was an interesting band and probably not my favourite for the night. The singer describes himself as a male lesbian… interesting but having seen him quite accurate. The other member of the two piece band played the drum (yep just one of them). Their songs were heartfelt but some notes seemed to be a little too high for the singer this night. Check out Crisis on MySpace.

Second performance of the night (and my fave) was Shane Sewell. Shane is a great singer and his songs are awesome. He needs to record soon, I’d buy his music without a doubt. I’ve only seen Shane perform once before and both times have been great. He should start headlining himself some time soon.

Third act for the night was an outfit called Glory Tuesday. At first I was a little scared it was going to be a gospel group… I was pleasantly surprised when the group belted out some glorious poppy, jazzy, regaey numbers. Had I known when the merchandise was selling that they had a CD I’d have bought it, by the end of the night when Trudy’s friend showed us the CD it was too late. As with all the bands in today’s post Glory Tuesday are on MySpace. Check them out.

The final performance, and the one we came to see was Kanvas Grey. Ben and the guys had a successful tour of the UK earlier this year, wowing the pommy audiences. And back on home turf they didn’t disappoint. The band has been working on some new tracks of late, which Ben Thomas describes as a little more political in nature. We got to hear a couple of the new tracks on Saturday night and I for one was impressed. Kanvas Grey on MySpace or the official Kanvas Grey website.

Optus Update

It appears that today David has spoken with Optus and they have finally come around to the logic of the situation and understand that $175 is not worth losing customer goodwill over AND getting bad mouthed around the traps.

Further David knows the Director of Customer Service quite well and kind of let it drop a couple of times, given that the people we have been dealing with report up the line to this director they appear to have relented on their position. YAY. So with any luck we’ll have a couple of new cars in the near future.