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Archive for the ‘driving’ Category

I PASSED!!!!!!!!

Posted by captainbeaky on March 25, 2008

ripped-l-plates.jpgSo have you guessed what this post is about yet? As you may have gleaned, I did indeed pass my driving test. WOOOO HOOOOOOO! Was a bag of nerves all day, but the moment I got in the car, I became strangely calm. Drove for half of the journey to the test centre, as I didn’t want to be exhausted by the time I got there. Had a really nice female driving examiner, and started off great. I know I messed up on rushing a lane change, and I stopped at a light when it was on green, but it was  weird road layout thing that confused me. Did a 3 point turn no problem then drove back. Like I say, I knew I stuffed the lane change and the lights up, and my instructor, who was next to me during the test, said I would loose marks for taking my hands off the wheel while we were stopped at the lights ( they were icy cold from the air con!), so I went back into the test centre thinking I had already failed, so imagine my surprise when she handed me my test results and told me I had passed! Bearing in mind, youre marked out of 100 and are allowed to fail on 15 areas only. I was marked down 1 on lane change, 2 on road position (?) and 1 on leaving a safe gap, so I still managed to get myself in the top 90+ marks bracket – awesome!!! I am so pleased and relieved! Yet another thing crossed off my list of major accomplishments.

  • Get a job
  • Becca get a job
  • Learn to drive
  • Buy a house

3 down, 1 to go! Not done much else today, so am going for some tea and cakes in St Kilda, and hear about Becc’a first day at work, then back here for curry and beer! Weathers taken a turn for the worse here as its dropped to 23 degrees and last night was thunderstorms. Rain forecast on and off for the rest of the week too, but I cant complain. We NEED rain at the moment. Anyhow, Im off to do more driving, but on Burnout Paradise. The perfect way to get it out of my system – time to drive on the wrong side of the road, on the pavement and bash into other road users! I’ll just have to remember NOT to do that when Im on the actual road now! T’raaa-a-bit!


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More evil than a pound of mashed up Dundee cake!

Posted by captainbeaky on March 18, 2008


No post yesterday as :-
  •  We didnt do anything spectacular
  •  We were both ill

We both ate a frozen quiche last night, that must have gone off or something, as later on the pair of us endured hideous stomach cramps, sweats then the inevitable bum gravy. Very unpleasant indeed. the stomach cramps kept me awake way past bedtime last night, so I rang in late so I could catch up on lost sleep. Neither of us have eaten all day, but we are both feeling better now. Last time I buy a quiche from Safeway!

In other news, Becca starts her job next week, after Easter. Im not sure if Im repeating what she’s said on her blog, but there is is anyway. What have I been up to…..er….. working, watching TV, and thinking that this time next week, I will either have a Full Victoria Driving License, or crying into my pint and booking another test ASAP.  

Played a bit more Frontlines, but the kill-a-thon is wearing a bit thin now. I reckon I pushed myself to get back in the FPS saddle too quickly. Nevermind, I’ll just press on with Metroid.  The 360 really isnt doing it for me at the moment. Ooooo….the moment I typed that I checked a gaming news site and found that Forza is getting more cars tomorrow, one of which will be the Maserati Gran Turismo – DEFINITELY be getting that.  Im also more surprised than anyone that last night I actually chose to read my book over TV and gaming!!!! I never thought Id see the day! On saying that, it IS an extremely good book though, and easily as addictive as a good game. Just one more chapter……..

So there you have it, pretty uneventful really. Better decide what we’re having for tea. Nothing too volatile thats for sure! Oh, and 10 points for recognising the post title reference (Andy’s not included ;o)

Posted in driving, Games, Health | 1 Comment »

My New Babies! Oh, and something about a Grand Prix-thing???

Posted by captainbeaky on March 16, 2008


So, as you can see, Ive changed things around a bit. I was getting a bit bored of the old look, and it felt a bit “Windows-ey” so Ive gone with this theme. I think it looks more fresh, and clean, but post a comment if you think otherwise, or have problems with it. 

I’ll also have to apologise for the lack of posts over the past 2 days. On Friday (you may or may not be aware) we were celebrating Becca getting a job! Wooo hooo! Working at a lab over in Clayton (East Melbourne) doing science (though not with GLADOS – sorry nerd reference). She is starting next week I think, but will know more details soon. So, to toast this news, we went out to a fabulous restaurant, right on the sea front, and managed to get a seat on the balcony overlooking the setting sun – it was lovely. And Im not sorry to say that the food matched the view – it was bloody stunning, and I reckon we’ll be going there revisiting it extremely soon. Strawberry and apple crumble topped with macadamia nuts – yum!

Saturday was spent in and around St Kilda at house inspections. We visited some really nice places, and one, which was simply stunning. Right on Marine Parade (sea front) with huge rooms, walk in robes and a patio with doors from the front room AND the bedroom. However, it was a bit out our price range, but its not hurting anyone to have a nose around.Today was driving lesson (last one before my test!) and more house inspections. The one we went to today was a really nice unit, with a massive amount of storage a great bathroom and a really nice kitchen but wasnt really in a great area. Much further from the beach than Id like, but at least we know what else is around.  After that, I went down to the beach to catch the flypasts by several FA18’s fighter jets and a rather low flying Qantas 747 – was mighty impressive, but what the photos (on facebook and webspace, page “oz photos 4”) dont show is the noise, speed, and just how low these things were. Like I say, impressive. The Grand Prix itself has been pretty good from our pespective, although I dare say if I lived up in Albert park itself I probably wouldnt say the same. Lots of eurotrash hanging around, dressed in awful, ill fitting clothes and being brash and noisy. Despite us being about a mile from the circuit itself, the noise coming from there was pretty loud. We were both really surprised at just how much we could hear the cars bombing around. 

Finally, a quick game update. Metroid 3 is damn good, feeling atmospheric and tense. The control scheme takes some getting used to, but once you adapt to how unusual it is, it becomes second nature. Much more like using keyboard and mouse than a standard console controller. I just cant help wonder how much grander it would have felt if the Wii had a bit more grunt under the bonnet.  Some moments are just aching for more grandiose graphics and effects, but on the whole its a great game. More details to follow – Im only just off the 1st level. Frontlines again, is a good game. The presentation isnt anything spectacular but it has solid gameplay. The FPS aspect of it is never going to challenge COD4 or Halo 3, but there are a few aspects where it excels. The open ended levels are truly opened ended, with more than just 1 avenue of attack, and multiple choices on how to tackle the same objective. The other area that plays out well is the variety in the gameplay. You can run around on foot, get in a  tank, a helo, a plane, or just hide in a corner and control a plethora of RC tanks and helo’s to shoot, missile or just kamikaze the enemy.  Single player seems short, but I guess its just a warm up for the multiplayer, which I havent tried yet. I think I’ll get myself proficient with everything before taking it online. Oh, and Im still slugging through the rest of the levels in Mario Galaxy. I cant seem to put it down, despite having “finished” it. 

The week ahead is not shaping it too badly. Going to the Melbourne Comedy Festival Gala on Wednesday night, Becca should start her new job next week, and its Easter weekend coming up. I think I’ll be working it, but only if the company want to pay for taxi’s there and back – no buses up there on public holidays.  Then its driving test next week – gulp! Been 40 degrees today, and the forecast for tomorrow is 39 – damn its hot – first time I’ll ever be going to work in shorts! 

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Haircuts, Trainers, Tests, Gig’s & Games

Posted by captainbeaky on March 13, 2008

maximo-wenn.jpgPhew – a been a lovely hot day, full of nice things. I’ll start last night.

Went out late (about 9-ish) to see Maximo Park at the Billboard, which turned out to be a club, but with a stage and stuff for bands. The venue was pretty good for bands, as it had several raised levels as you went further back from the stage so you had a good view of the band no matter where you were. The atmosphere was brilliant and the crowd loved the band and the music, which surprised me as I didnt imagine they would have a big following over here. They played out of their skin and got a great reception, with the only downside of the night being the price of the beers. $16 for 2 pure blondes! So thats about £3.50 each for a bog standard bottled beer! Oh, well I’ll know for next time. We got back around 12.30am so Im glad I had booked the following day off, as Otherwise it would have meant only 4.5 hours sleep.

As it turned out, I got close to 12 hours kip and didnt wake up until 11.30am!  So aquick shower then down the new hairdressers. Im always wary of going to a new place, as its always a worry that theyre going to butcher you, and Ive had some bad cuts from some terrible scissor merchant before. However, I was really impressed with this place. the girl who did it was talkative and seemed to love bringing me tea. I was really pleased with the “do” and will definitely be going back.

On a high from a good haircut, I went into the trainer shop near our road, and had a squizz at a new pair of Adidas they had in, which were REALLY nice……so I bought them! The guy in there was a bit of a trainer nerd like me, and also a fan of Adidas like me, so we had a good chat, and a moan about horrible flouro trainers!  I’ll make sure my new babies have pride of place on my next post – my camera battery is on charge right now. 

Went straight from there to Carlton for my hazard perception test for driving. hte journey there was more of an ordeal than the test itself as the Grand Prix has slowed things right down. The tram goes right past the course and you can guarantee a shitload of euro-trash will get on it at Middle Park and be load and annoying. The Grand Prix, as it turns out, is both exciting, and annoying! Anyway, I digress.  The test itself seemed more like pot luck more than skill. YOu got presented with a picture, taken from the drivers perspective saying htat your driving forward, or whatever. You then got a prompt saying, “you want to slow down” or “you want to turn right” then the video plays and you have to click the mouse when you think its right to do so. Except that you only have about a 0.5-1 second window to do so safely. This led to it being rather sporadic, and you didnt really know if you should clock the mouse when you actually thought it was the correct time, or try to second guess the random computer time which judged you had selected correctly. Regardless of any of this, I passed with 71% (pass mark was 54%) so the next step is the practical test in just under 2 weeks time. 

On a second high from passing the test, I went into town, and met Becca, who informed me that her interview went well. Seemed like a good job, with decent prospects and only 4 other applicants. The place said they would let her know by Monday at the latest so keep your fingers crossed.  Went a got a lovely fresh made smoothy then on to JB Hifi where I got Frontlines for my 360 (I know its another kill-a-thon game, but its more BF1942 than Call of Duty, and it was on offer this week for $79) and got Metroid 3 on Wii second hand for only $69. Even better than that, the woman who served me at the till gave me a brand spanking new copy of the game instead of a pre-owned version. Bargain! Not played either of them yet and not sure if I’ll get chance tonight, but you can be sure I’ll post my thoughts on both. I wanted to get Zak and Wiki, as again it was on special, but its sold out. Hope they get some more in before the offer runs out.

So there you go, its been a thoroughly enjoyable day off, with a lot of things purchased, and accomplished. On to tomorrow, where they reckon we could be on for another 40 degrees celsius day, so I hope they got the air con on in the factory. I think Ive remembered everything thats gone on, but if not….tough!

Posted in Clothes, driving, Games, Music, weather | Leave a Comment »

Less Ache. More Mario. More House.

Posted by captainbeaky on March 9, 2008

174926__hugh_l.jpgWell for once, a fair amount has happened since my last post. On Saturday, we spent most of the day in and around St Kilda, looking for houses, and going to inspections. Its all good practice for when we do come to buy a place, and it also gives us more of a feel for which areas are good, bad or indifferent. Went to a lovely place on the seafront that is within our price range, but it (and nearly all of the places we visited) all have their auction dates pretty soon, so we probably wont be able to bid. However, thats not the point of the exercise. What is heartening is that the sellers seem to be getting jittery about a the poor market conditions, and are knocking money off properties. Im sure when we looked a few weeks ago there was very little in our price range, but now theres a ton of stuff. All nice 2 bedroom properties in decent suburbs, and most of them would be up for consideration, had we the finances to bid. Its what we’ve sent most of today doing too, taking in 3 properties in the area. Very nice. Although its been 35 degrees hot so walking around has been energy sapping. 

Went round a mates house from work yesterday after our house hunting, for a few drinks and a meal. It was all very sophisti-ma-cated with high brow banter and everything. Very posh! Had some nice wine and some tasty beer and got to give his dog a fuss. Didnt drink too much though as I knew I had to be up early for my driving lesson this morning. All went well, which is good as I thought I may have been a bit rusty after no lessons for 2 weeks. To be brutally honest it was a bit boring. We just drove around for 90 minutes, not really learning anything. i shouldnt moan really, as its all good practice for my actual test. 

Played a  lot more Mario Galaxy today and it really is one of my favourite games of the past few years. Its just so much fun, its really addictive and you always want to see whats on the next level. Its unabashed merriment and I dont care if its seen as a bit childish. I think ive pretty much had it for now with realism in games. Fun is where its at, and as such, I’ll probably take my Brothers advice and buy Beautiful Katamari for 360 too. No bloody deaths, no “gritty urban environments”, no frustration, no “fiendishly clever A.I.” just pure unadulterated fun. 

Plans for the week…..I was going to go into work tomorrow but after looking at the bus timetables, I find that there is NO publice trasnport going anywhere near Boeing, so Im going to have to give it a miss. Maybe next public holiday, if they want me to work, they can pay for a taxi – we’ll see. Not sure what we will get up to tomorrow though. Becca goes to her volounteer work on Tuesday, Ive got more badminton on that day too, Wednesday we’re seeing Maximo Park, Thursday Ive got off, got a haircut and got my hazard perception test. Crook has a job interview (fingers crossed), then and Friday the chaps from work have a social thing going on in Port Melbourne so will get to meet some more people from work.  After that, its another solid weekend of inspections – should be really good. Ive thoroughly enjoyed this weekend, as its always good to look round other peoples places! 

As a parting shot, have a look at this video. Thanks to B3ta for bringing it to my attention, and for making me laugh my arse off at it! Enjoy! 

Posted in animals, driving, Friends, Games, House, Job, weather | Leave a Comment »

Aching. Badminton. Houses. Mario.

Posted by captainbeaky on March 7, 2008

badminton.gifNo prizes for noticing I didnt post last night, because as anticipated I was VERY tired after badminton. Id forgotten how much of a physical workout playing is. I was sweating as much, if not more, then 30 mins on a treadmill, and this was a LOT more fun. The guy I played with was probably on an even footing with my skills, which made for a really enjoyable match. My past 2 badminton partners have been either poor or outstanding, so this was much better. The place where we went to play was huge, and mighty impressive. Custom built for when Melbourne hosted the commonwealth games. I felt really invigorated after our game, but that quickly turned to tiredness, and aching. I still feel achy, and I reckon it will be worse tomorrow, but you have to go through this every time you let exercise slip and start it up again. Hopefully next weeks game won be so bad. 

This weekend we’re starting the whole house search thing off, in a big way. Got almost full days of viewing for tomorrow, Sunday and even stretching into next weekend. There are a lot more properties to have a look at if you want to go for 1 bedroom places, and while the some of them may not be what we’re after, it gives us a good idea of what to expect. Sunday will be my penultimate driving lesson before my test (unless I am REALLY rusty after a 2 weeks away from it). Scary. Only 17 days to go. Booked my hazard perception test booked for this coming Thursday too.

I was going to have Monday off as its a public holiday here (Labour Day) but I dont really feel the need for a day off, and they need help getting stuff sorted (and overtime rates all day will be nice!) so Im going in, and having Thursday off instead. Got a late night at a gig on Wednesday night, and as I mentioned, my hazard perception test is on Thursday afternoon and I need a haircut too, so its going to be a useful day off. And Im looking forward to a lounge about the house too.

Still loving Super Mario Galaxy. It is so nice just to listen to jolly happy tunes, watching bright green grass and blue skies roll past the foreground. Its just so much fun and brings memories back of the first time we played Sonic the Hedgehog on the Megadrive. Who’d have thought I wouldnt even touch my 360 for a whole week!  

I may not post tomorrow night as we’ve been invited around the house of one of my colleagues at work. A very dry, and amusing Scot who lives just up the coast in Albert Park. Should be a good night, with beer consumed, so I’ll post on Sunday night instead. Have fun!

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The Transvestite & Sheep Post……

Posted by captainbeaky on February 25, 2008

campstan.jpgOK, a proper post today, so lets start with yesterday. Driving was uneventful at best. Slow speed manouvres are still a bit of a pin, but other than that everything is going swimmingly . Got 4 weeks to my test so not really that long considering Im only having 1 lesson a week. After driving, we went to see Priscilla, which if Im perfectly honest, I wasnt really looking forward to. I thought the film was a 7/10, I dont like theatre, and I like musicals even less, but a promise is a promise so I had to go. However, I soon changed my tune when it started. It was a good laugh, faithful to the movie, had great sets and outfits, the musical numbers were (mostly) out straight out of the film so were at least memorable and the performances were great. I dont think even the most cold hearted people could have failed to love it – was thoroughly enjoyable! Thinking about going to see Spamalot now, but I think my brief venture into theatrical hijinks will end there.

Today, has been a pretty routine day. Up early for work, had another enjoyable day ACTUALLY getting stuff done and completing jobs that I started. So unlike all of my previous experiences in engineering. 

Oh, I promised a review of Black Sheep too, so here it goes. Its fairly good. Next….! The whole film has a similar feel to Peter Jacksons early films in the sense that its humourous, gory and preposterous…so all good then! My only criticism is that it bogs down in a few places, whereas Jacksons films were relentless non stop affairs. Saying that though, if youre a fan of B-movie schlock horror its worth watching. Id give it a 6.5 out of 10.  
Beccas gone to Knit Club tonight so got the place all to myself. So far Ive done crazy things like….eat food! Watch Primeval! Do the washing up! And shortly……..I will be……..having a shave……..and….a…..shower!!!! oooooooooooooooooo! In other news, have you heard australian magpies – theyre great – nowt like UK magpies – have a listen.  And you can check it out anywhere if you dont believe me – Becca thought I was mad when I told her I heard that noise come from a  magpie!
And finally…..thanks to the B3ta newsletter for this awesome find. A great website dedicated to Camp Records, purveyor of groovy 60’s gay pop records! My favourites include “Mixed Nuts” (check out the lyrics), “Im so wet”, “Leather Jacket Lovers” and “Florence of Arabia”. However for sheer jaw dropping excellence, feast your ears on “Homer, the happy little homo”. I kid you not! Quite a catchy tune too!

Posted in animals, comedy, driving, Film, internet, Work | Leave a Comment »

Not much of anything….

Posted by captainbeaky on February 17, 2008

21.jpg…and before you ask (except you wont cos you either dont know how to use comments of none of you  read this blog!), the picture is just for comedic effect. I came across it randomly whilst on an internet wander, and it made us both laugh, so there!

Didnt do much at all today….which was extremely nice! First port of call was a driving lesson which went well. Not making so many little errors when pootling about, but still need to hone my slow maneuvering skills. After getting back, I took a walk up the paper shop to get the Herald Sun and some pop then got back ASAP as its been really hot today, probably getting on for about 34 degrees. I then spent most of the day watching the Man Utd/Arsenal FA Cup match, and all the rest of the games on Match of the Day. The Man Utd match was a really good 90 mins of entertainment. Aresenal just didnt turn up and it could have easily have been 8-0 to Man-U instead of just 4-0. I cant believe Liverpool got beat by Barnsely too – shocking. Having a rubbish season, considering the money theyve spent. Also, sad to see Wolves get knocked out by Cardiff, although they did deserve to get beaten. They played bloody terrible. Had a nice homemade steak and onion baguette for tea tonight – really hit the spot, and watched a bit more TV, and then remembered I hadnt made a post today – nearly forgot!

No plans for tomorrow except go to work and try to sort my predicament out, so the next post I make I will either be much happier, or angry and annoyed. I hope its not the latter.  

Posted in driving, Food, Football, Work | Leave a Comment »

Houses, Cars, and Bjorn the Unicorn!

Posted by captainbeaky on February 9, 2008

peggle.jpgBeen a pretty quiet, relaxed day today, which was lovely after my 1st week at work. I really do appreciate the weekends now Im earning a wage again. Woke up at 9.30am (bliss compared to 5:45am!), and had a mooch about until my driving lesson later on. Was a little rusty to start with after over a week away, but the prats on the roads didnt help. The amount of suicidal cyclists, cycling up the wrong side of the street in the road, and dopes not indicating when changing lanes were a pain, but whereas a few weeks back I would have panicked and flustered over them, I took it all in my stride and just got on with it. 

After that we popped into St Kilda to get the papers, have a wonder about, get some food in one of the cafes and just pootle around. Got back and spent the afternoon looking at houses (have a squizz at this one which I wish we could get in time – we could afford it but I need 3 payslips as proof of income and it will sell before then – boo hooo!), calculating what mortgage we could get, looking at cars, and seeing whether it could pay for me to lease a car through work rather than buying one. 

I also decided to dispell the hype and finally got round to playing Peggle today….and Im hooked. Its strange, cos you dont actually DO anything, but its both addictive and relaxing at the same time. Id recommend it to anyone as it can be played casually too. I was going to buy it but did a quick search and found that its coming to Xbox Live soon, so I will get it then. So there you go, for as much as I have a go at Becca for playing Jewel Quest on her phone when we have a Wii, PS2, 360, DS, etc…. I also  spent the afternoon playing a game thats basically pachinko!  Ach….I dont care – try it out and you’ll probably be as addicted as I am!

St Kilda Festival tomorrow, so will be V-E-R-Y busy here. The TV news reckons over 400,000 folks will be coming here to sample the comedy, music, theatreworks and general “activities”. We’ll go in and see how busy it is, and how long we can tolerate it for. I think it sounds like a great idea….but 400,000 people in a place thats probably as big as Kings Heath seems a bit crazy for my liking!  

Posted in Cars, driving, Games, House | Leave a Comment »

The “Im too tired to post” Post

Posted by captainbeaky on February 1, 2008

yawn.jpgChrist Im tired! Ready for bed now and its only 8.30. I reckon I must have overdone it at the gym (or the beer I had to “finish off” after using a small amount in the chili I made for tomorrow) this afternoon. Weather was much better today, so decided to make use of my free 1 week pass and pump some iron! Spent much longer than anticipated in there, as the podcast I was listening too was damn good, and I was enjoying messing with the running machines and playing with the new weights machines. Had a nose in the changing rooms too – very swish. Nice and clean, electronic code lockers, individual opaque glass shower cubicles with shampoo, conditioner and body wash dispensers. Very impressive.

Didnt do much else as we didnt really feel like it. Gonna mooch around Boeing next week after work. For all I know, I could be getting a lift back each day, or could be starting on the day shift, so I’ll just take it as it comes.  Strange to consider that today was my last free weekday, since over a year ago. Oh, I booked my driving test for March 25th, so only 52 days to go – doesnt seem very long when you say it like that, even less so when you consider Ive only had 12 lessons so far! Oh well, got plenty of time to get some more practice in between now and then. 

Just finished watching the 2nd bit of that Ross Kemp in Afghanistan documentary, and I have to say its damn good. Really gives you a good idea of what its like being stuck in the middle of a firefight out there and its pretty scary. Even the generally annoying Kemp seems shaken and shit scared by it all, which isnt surprising when there are bullets and RPG’s flying over your head. Well worth a watch if you can still get the torrent of part 1.

For tomorrow, we’re going into Melbourne to see if we can see whats going on with the filming of The Pacific (I dont think we’ll get near it, but worth a try), have a bit of a mooch about and hunt out another rooftop bar, seeing as we so enjoyed the last one.  Get myself a lie in too, seeing as they’ll be coming to an abrupt end in a couple of days. 

Posted in Blog, Drink, driving, Job, TV | Leave a Comment »

Band of Brothers 2…..kinda

Posted by captainbeaky on January 31, 2008

brosintro.jpgNothing really spectacular happened today. It rained all morning, so it made driving a little more interesting than usual. 1st time pootling about in the rain, and it went ok. More of the same….just wetter! Didnt go to the gym afterwards though as the 1st visit is starting to take its toll. My stomach and arms are aching like a swine, so Ive put a repeat visit off until tomorrow morning, when I intend to go, no matter what! Played some more games, well…I say “some”, I actually just mean Forza 2 with my steering wheel again. Starting to remember why I played it so much. Its just so damn satisfying to buy a slow-ass car, upgrade it, tweak all its settings (and not in a chavvy install underlights, “phat” exhaust and a body kit kind of way) then prove it out on the track. Won some really tight races today and had plenty of smashes. Its ultimately more rewarding than Gotham Racing 4 as you can see the fruits of your labour pay off, you dont feel the desperate need to pass on the first lap, or bounce off the other cars. Just bought the extra track packs and more cars so I’ll give them a spin later.

In the papers today was news that Flinders St rail station, and the adjoining areas will be closed from tomorrow night until Sunday morning, to allow Spielberg/Hanks et al to film some material for his forthcoming WW2 miniseries “The Pacific”. By all accounts, its sounds like “Band of Brothers in the Pacific”, which should be prett-aaaaaay, prett-aaaaaaaay good as I loved  Band of Brothers. Might pop into Melbourne on Saturday to see if I can see anything going on. Exciting!

Plans for tomorrow include the aforementioned gym, then I think we’re going up to Boeing to have a mooch around the area, and see how long a walk it is to the nearest tram stop.  That is, if the rain holds off, which it should according to the forecast. Oh, and a bit more Forza 2. Might tackle some of the 1 hour long endurance races.

Posted in driving, Games, Oz | Leave a Comment »

Wheels, Cheese and Chairs

Posted by captainbeaky on January 30, 2008

Today, again has seemed quite busy without actually being busy at all. Started off with the delivery of some of our stuff from the UK. Some of which we wanted and picked correctly, some of which we didnt want, and some of which we wanted and unfortunately picked the wrong box. For instance, I wanted the rest of my 360 games, and instead got PS2 games, which isnt really surprising seeing as the boxes contents were listed as “Games”. All of the box descriptions were a bit vague, hence apart from the boxes like “Drum Kit”, or “Sewing Machine”, its a bit of a lucky dip. Anyway, we ended up with my comfy office chair, some DVD’s (but not all of them), PS2 games, PS2 guitars for Guitar Hero (which we didnt want), Sambe De Amigo for Dreamcast (again, which we didnt want), Becca’s sewing machine, some of our kitchenware, Beccas pic-er-nic basket and my Xbox 360 racing wheel, which annoyingly didnt have the wheel clamp in the same box. However, it sits on the desk ok and doesnt wiggle around too much when using it. Had to pop to the hardware shop (which I enjoyed tremendously – seeing what new stuff/hardware Australia has to offer!) to get some allen keys, cap heads and some washers to assemble my chair, which is all done now and a damn sight more comfortable than the hard wooden kitchen chair I was using to play games.

 Just got back from doing a “big” shop and saw some superb cheese, that we promptly bought. No, its not “coon cheese“, its ………




Strong and Bitey!!! Sounds like the description of a police dog, not a cheese! Things here have such great names (and No Andy we have yet to find anything called a chuzwazza!) Bought all the ingredients to make my lovely chili to so Im looking forward to having that before I go to work. Was kind of strange having to do a shop for work stuff too, although for the short term, Im going to check out the works canteen and see what it has to offer. Fingers crossed its as good/bad as the legendary Denso curry, or the badboy breakfast!

No real plans for tomorrow. Got another driving lesson at 11.15, after which I’ll probably book my test. Gave Vic Roads a quick ring today and the tests are currently being booked in the region of March 17th, so a good 6 weeks lead time. So really the sooner I book a test the better. Anyway, after the lesson I’ll probably go for my 2nd punishment at the gym. Im not aching at all today, which is quite scary, although I seem to remember, the 2nd and 3rd days post gym were the worst after my last hiatus from working out. Making the most of these lazy days anyway, as Ive only got 2 more non-working weekdays left! Cant complain really though, as 2 remaining days form over a year off work aint bad at all!

Managing to catch up some decent downloaded TV too. Ramsays Nightmares USA (what did we do pre-bit torrent?) is both fantastic and vile. Some of the states of the kitchens are unbelievable. Cockroaches and bugs living in the seals of fridge doors, green mouldy burgers,  layers of fat on the walls – its shocking. Also loving Monkey Dust too. Ivan Dobsky is a brilliant creation as well as the divorced dad. Shame it didnt get past 3 series though.

Oh and I almost forgot…..Scrub Turkey Update! The program was great. It was basically about these wild turkeys, which are on the endangered list, and only seem to live in a small populated region of Queensland. Seems nice. However, the turkeys are incredibly inquisitive and destructive, ripping up flowers, ruining crops, getting in folks houses through open windows and literally trashing the place like a burglar had given it a going over.  But because the turkeys are rare, youre not allowed to do anything to them. Even throwing stuff at them could get you in trouble. However, it didnt seem to stop folks. This old lady hated them, and spent nearly all her day on turkey patrol, setting up ghetto blasters connected to sensors to scare the bejesus out of them, throwing kitchen implements at them, and best of all, putting up signs around her veggie patch that simply said “Piss Off, Turkey!”. One guy finally cracked though and after one got in his house and broke and load of plates, ripped up all his sheet music and shit everywhere, he went out, found the nearest turkey, threw an avocado stone as hard as he could at it, which killed it and then honey roasted the bugger! Justice, Aussie style! Well worth a watch!

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“Hello, Jerry”……..”Hello, Newman”!

Posted by captainbeaky on January 29, 2008

seinfeld6.jpgIts felt like its been a busy day today, but in actual fact, its not! Started off with another driving lesson which again, went well. Did a 3 point turn right first time, not so hot with reverse parallel parking but parking in general is getting a lot better. Just gotta keep on plugging away at it and see about booking a test, as theres supposedly a 4-5 week lead time, by which time I should have got it all down. 

Then I decided to give the gym a ring and go in for my free 1 weeks pass thingy I got through the mail. Got straight on the treadmill and there was my first shock – the thing was like a bloody computer. About 10 different options to pick straight off which was  bit overwhelming, but I decided on one of the “Personal Trainer” options, which lets you do a simulated fitness test,  from the Army, Navy, Police etc…. or one tailored to you based on your age and weight.  I chose the latter as Im no bionic superman (yet!) but it still knackered me out. My legs felt like jelly afterwards, but then I noticed another nice feature of the treadmills – you can watch the TV on them, actually ON the machine! Even better than that, as well as all the terrestrial channels to flick through, they had a “DVD” channel which was showing back-to-back Seinfelds!!! Fantastic! So I endured a few more minutes on the treadmill and on the bikes, which had the same screen. It was great! Its also a bit more pleasant than the gym in Kings Heath, as the building is right on the sea front, so rather than the obligatory wall of mirrors to look at, youve got a lovely full length window to look out on the beach and the sea – bit of a change! Had a go on some of the weights machines too, but my arms started to give out after a while so called it a day and came home. Overall, though, the place is great and I think I’ll definitely be joining once my first paycheck comes in. All that remains is to sit here and wait for the inevitable aches and pains – joy!

Not sure what we’re up to tomorrow as some of our belongings are being delivered at 10am, so will have to sort them out – see how we feel after that. Its trying to drizzle here at the moment so I hope it doesnt continue. Still…..its a great smell outside – rain on hot tarmac is lovely!

More interesting though, is the name of a TV program on tonight and moreover its subject. Its possibly the funniest name (well I think) of a TV that I can think of. OK, ready….now say it in a voice-over man style voice…….

The chant…….of the scrub turkey!

Outstanding – Id like a dog, and Id like to call it “Scrub Turkey!” Awesome! You can check the program out here, and I’ll be sure to let you know how it was tomorrow!

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Watch Monkey Dust Now!

Posted by captainbeaky on January 24, 2008

I dunno if anybody has heard of it (or maybe you have and I had my head in a paper bag for years), but ABC in Australia, have just started showing episodes of it here. Monkey Dust is an animated comedy show, that can be quite subversive, and focuses on the darker sides of British culture. Its fupping great though! It was superb, sitting here in St Kilda, thousands of miles away from the Black Country, watching this on TV (NSFW, contains “language” and is very funny!)



I hope you like it. It kind of reminds me of an animated version of Viz. It has reoccurring characters (with Omar, Shafiq and Abdul being my favourites, along with Roy of the Roasters) and well worth a look. If it aint on TV, Im sure you know about Bit Torrent….

 So today was pretty busy. Started off with a driving lesson, which went well, again. More highway driving, low speed manouvres and general practice. What is good is that theres no such test as reversing around a corner. The instructor thought I was a mental for suggesting such a thing “Why would anyone reverse around a corner, its dangerous”?! I cant argue with that, only breathe a sigh of relief that its not tested. I was rubbish at it back when I had lessons in the UK.

After driving we caught the bus over to Chadstone, with the hope of buying all our gym equipment and trainers. Cutting a long story short, I came away with only 1 top, as it was litterally the only sports item in my size in any of the sales. Everything else was top dollar, including all the trainers. I dont know what we are going to do. There doesnt appear to be anywhere that sells cheapy trainers, I cant wait until we recieve all our belongings in a few months time and Im not buying trainers online as I want to try them on beforehand. Will have to see if there are any out of town sports centres, if not top dollar it (begrudgingly) is. However, I did manage to get some cheap sale Diesel trainers for everyday wear. Nice and lightweight, which is exactly what I was after. All the trainers I have with me here now are fine, and look great with jeans, but they look like boats on the end of my legs when I have shorts on. So these Diesel ones are perfect.  $220 reduced to $140 – bargain.

Another highlight of today was watching 2 guys in a lolly/rock shop make a bunch of special order “wedding” rock. You can order yours and someone else’s name in rock for special occasions! How great is that! I found it fascinating watching them mix, cut and roll it, and the consistency of “rock” when its being made is amazing – its like a huge viscous glassy blob – has to be seen to be believed. This had the knock on effect of making Becca buy a bag of rock and me buying a massive 1KG bag of offcuts from when they make it.  Yum yum. 

Whilst being at Chadstone, I decided to go and see Aliens vs Predator 2, as it was on its last day at the cinema. And….its….exactly the same as the last film really, adding only a small amount to the Aliens/Predator lore. Im sure to the impartial, its a terrible, predictable monster movie but seeing as its me, and I tend to love most things Aliens or Predator, its an OK film. Nothing really spectacular, no great acting performances (REALLY!?!?), special effects are run of the mill and nothing really to recommend about it. And for once, why cant the Aliens attack in the sunlight. Honestley, watching one black monster fight another black monster…..at night….in the rain is nigh on impossible, more-so with the camera cutting to different angles every 2 seconds.  I also found it shocking that its only a 15 certificate here. I mean, you get to see skinned people, Aliens bursting out of children and arms falling off due to acid exposure. How is this possible?!? However, if you like Aliens or Predator, Id say go see it, if not Id give it a wide berth. If youre a fan of the previous movies, Id give it a 7, if not, Id give it a 4. 

Phew – I didnt think this would be such a big update as it doesnt “feel” like we’ve done much today, so sorry if Ive wasted too much of your day.  So in summary…..watch Monkey Dust, eat rock and look at how its made, watch/avoid AvP 2 and er……take care of yourselves…..and each other!

Posted in Blog, driving, Film, Food, Oz | 1 Comment »

I like driving shocker!

Posted by captainbeaky on January 22, 2008


Its true – I dont know if its the new instructor, the roads here or the lack of gears but Im really enjoying my lessons. Low speed maneuvers today, which I was crap at in the UK, and after 1 lesson with this guy, Im already better than what I was. Still not great, but its an improvement. Next lesson is on Thursday at 8.30, so we’ll see how I cope with rush hour traffic!

Other than that, I ve not really done much today. Sorted out a new bank account, played a fair bit of Xbox (Halo 3 online is really addictive!)  and watched a load of British TV (TV Burp, Primeval, Gordon Ramsay, Grand Designs). I know you folks in the UK often complain that TV is crap and theres nothing on, but seriously…..try Australian TV! Its shocking! Becca had her hair cut (looks much better) and thats about it. Off to Yarravile tomorrow as the weather is back to its sunny norm. Might see if I can pick our gym stuff up too. 

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