An Ode To Antony

Antony Green

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more brainy and more accurate:
Rough winds do shake the country,
And election night hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the studio light shines,
And often is his laptop power dimm’d;

Dinner is ready to go in the oven.
The cheesecake is in the fridge.
I await my evening of Antony.

Once every four years is not enough.
Who knows what the night will bring?

Whatever it is, Antony will
keep me informed
with his laptop and his pie charts and his
analyst ways.

And then, almost like a dream
he will be gone *sob*
and the election will
be over.

Then the waiting will begin again
another four years
or two or thereabouts, if you are lucky
and he covers your state election.

But wait! What light through yonder Internet breaks?
He has a blog..
Alas I cannot comment
and tell him how much I respect him. :(

Perhaps he will search
for his name
and find this post
one day.

Aussie Culture, elections, Men I Love To Watch, politics

Please Excuse Me. I Must Bitch. Cheese With Whine Here.

Today seems to be Day 109 of the evil flu from hell, though I know it cannot truly be that long. Time is passing so slowly in this unwell state of being. The little things are beginning to irritate. This is going to be a rare negative post. Normally I try to keep the positive on here at the blog.

Bear with me. I support ya’all when ya’all snark it up from time to time, so support me in my snarkiness. ;) And then at the end I talk about politics, which ensures this will be a post everyone will hate.

Houston, We Have Neighbours.

Actually we got neighbours a while ago, I just never mentioned it here on the blog. They are not at all what I hoped for. I had hoped for people who might be friendly, people who might say hello, perhaps people we could become friends with.

What we got is elephant feet. These people STOMP around like elephants. Unfortunately because all the units must be sitting on the same concrete base? It sounds like they are walking right down my hallway. It is freaking me out. It is like having ghosts or something. I don’t even know how anyone could stomp around like that all day – it must be bad for their joints. Can anyone say hip replacement in later life?

I’ll be sitting here writing, the STOMP begins, and I turn around expecting to see.. I don’t know.. maybe a catwalk model doing a fierce walk, or some burly security guard – or even the other half arriving home. Then I remember what the noise is. They’ve been here for about a month now and I still haven’t got used to the STOMP. As yet I have been very good. I have not STOMPed back. But after this week I am tempted. Maybe I need to STOMP so they can realise how noisy it is?

We saw them in their driveway when we arrived home last week. The Other Half went out to get the mail. No hello. :(

Paid Post Insanity

I’ve been having some trouble with a few blogs in my Google Reader. It’s like this. I subscribe to what seems to be a rational, friendly, excellent blog written by an interesting blogger. Then they get accepted into Pay Per Post and suddenly go from posting once per day (or 2-3 times a week) to posting 5-10 times a day. The quality of posts goes from wow, I really enjoyed that post to cringe worthy stuff. I try to keep up. I try to tolerate it.

I write to the blogger and let them know I am feeling overwhelmed. Most other people would just unsubscribe but I try to let them know what they are doing can drive off their readership. Unfortunately most still keep posting insane amounts of posts, even after that. ;( I don’t get that. If you drive off the readers your alexa ranks go down which means you can’t keep being paid. So you might be raking in the cash right now but later you’ll be left without readers and without income.

Don’t get me wrong, I support a bloggers right to be paid for their posts. But I believe more than 3 posts in one day is too many. If you’re hitting me with more than that, don’t expect to keep me as a reader much longer. I’m sorry. I just can’t keep up and the content quality isn’t good enough to make me desperately want to, either. And I’m a fast reader!

The Australian Elections

Oh, someone stab me in the forehead with a fork already. There is nothing I dislike more than a blogger who seems to believe that one political party is better than another one, that their candidate for PM will change the world, make lives better, and fix all the pain in the world simply by getting elected. Good, reasonable bloggers that I usually love reading have apparently lost their minds in the midst of apparent hysteria that their chosen messiah KRudd might be elected.

They have forgotten that 90% of the voters turn up at the polls and think “Am I all right?” If yes they vote to keep the government. If no, they vote for a change. They don’t care about war, poverty, green issues, or the ugliness of one leader VS the other. They are selfish. They care about themselves. Issues, schmissues. Polls, Schmolls. They have a right to be that way, and they each get a vote to do with what they want. That is the reality of elections where everyone is FORCED to vote. These people would not bother to turn up on polling day if voting were optional.

So bloggers, please note. Nothing makes a reader cringe more than someone saying things similar to “Labor is guaranteed to win” “KRudd is our next PM” etc. This assumes facts not yet in evidence. And if it turns out to be wrong, you’ll hate yourself for having said it. It’s like you’re putting a jinx on. If you want Labor to win you don’t want to be putting the jinx on.

A Positive Note

There is only one good thing about elections. There is only one man I would ever consider a God of Politics and a politician he ain’t. I’d vote for him though. I look forward to election night and spending the evening with him. I’ve seen him on TV a few times already and he has me all excited. Antony Green is an intelligent man who can make an election downright sexy. I wish you had such a man in the USA, my American friends. Do you?

I wish the one we have in Australia would sit down to have some decent glamour shots taken of himself because I can’t find a blog worthy photo. I’ll try and get some screenshots on Election Night. This time two weeks from now I will be preparing myself for the evening of such incredible televisual delights from the ABC election coverage that one gets to experience once every four years on Federal Election Night. Fellow fans of Antony Green will agree – we do not hold elections often enough!

Aussie Culture, bitches, politics, potential disaster

Australia : Land of hippies and flakes?

One of my favorite Aromatherapy tricks involves putting a few drops of peppermint oil into the morning shower, once the hot water is hot. I buy my peppermint oil from Coles, it’s about $5AUD. My American friend Sephy had never *heard* of Aromatherapy. How is that possible, I wondered? Until I suggested to him to purchase some peppermint oil, which seems to be an almost impossible thing to get in his country. That’s bizarre. If you’re American and reading this, can you mention where you might be able to get these products other than online?

Here in Australia, you can buy pure essential oils at every supermarket I have ever been to. You can buy them in *most* chemists and health food stores. You can buy “fragrant” oils (note, not necessarily pure essential oils and there is a difference) at almost every $2 store and bargain shop. Incense you can also buy almost everywhere. We also have a lot of products on our shelves which incorporate Aromatherapy. Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, body lotions, etc.

Some of the products I love to use in the shower that involve Aromatherapy are the Aveda products. These came to me as a surprise during a hotel stay a couple of years ago.

Aromatherapy is quite a complex and diverse field and I’ve been studying it for a few years now. I found a few great online resources if you’re interested in knowing more

Aromaweb – Lots of great articles, worth a read.
A world of Aromatherapy – has a good oils a-z section which gives quick info on the oils and what they do
Essential Aura Aromatics – has a lot more detailed info on each oil.

Does the availability of Aromatherapy oils all over the place mean Australia is a land of hippies and flakes? Or does it mean that Aromatherapy is a valuable thing that works? What do you think? :)

aromatherapy, Aussie Culture, health, shopping, Snoskred hearts

Out in the country.

One of the major differences between city and country is petrol stations. That’s gas stations, for our US readers. We have two in the town itself, and another two near to it on the highway. Going to get petrol/gas is like a major ordeal. And here’s the reasons why.

1. Not enough pumps.
There are four at the one we go to most often. They have one pump each side, so you can have 8 cars filling up at once.

2. One pump is always broken.
The other half thinks it is on purpose to get people to use the more expensive fuel. But it doesn’t work and often that’s one space without a car in it.

3. People in the country never just fill up their cars.
They have jerry cans and containers and all kinds of fuel containers which they pull out of seemingly nowhere once they have finished filling up the car. So you’re sitting there thinking.. they’re done, yay – and they end up taking another 20 minutes filling things up.

4. The place where you pay is some kind of black hole.
People go in there, and they seem to vanish for a long time. There is only one person taking money and most people do not pay cash.

5. There is nowhere for people to put their cars while they pay.
So the cars stay right in front of the pumps, leaving everyone else to sit in their cars waiting for the black hole to open up and spit out the people in front of them.

6. The people at the back pumps have nowhere to go if the people at the front aren’t ready to go.
There’s no spare room for cars to get past, there’s always cars queuing behind the cars at the back pump and if the car in front isn’t done, nobody can go anywhere.

7. People in the country often tow things behind them.
This can include boats, caravans, trailers full of all kinds of odd things. Horse floats are another wonderful item you often find on the towbar of the car in front of you.

So in general, a trip to the petrol/gas station takes roughly 30 minutes from when you drive into their driveway. You sit there and watch the goings on, which are either amusing or horrifying. Usually this is when the in car mp3 player chooses to play the best songs available on its little memory card and these are the songs I wanted it to play when we were actually driving so I could sing along to them.

Aussie Culture, cars, country life

Ah Adelaide, I knew you well..

I’ve been here over a year now. It seems like forever. But sometimes, memories of the city I used to call home come to me as a surprise. I actually spent a whole night dreaming of places in Adelaide. So for those of you who might live there and consider leaving there, here is your future in one simple blog post.

The Myer Centre.

Originally built to house the new Myer, and containing two outrageous floors of amusements on levels four and five in the part that was not Myer but was called “Dazzleland” including an indoor roller coaster, I did spend quite a lot of time in this building over the years. It’s a shame that they quickly shut Dazzleland down. I have fond memories of the roller coaster. Here is an ad about it!

However in Adelaide nothing good stays around for too long, it seems. Downtown was yet another example. Magic Mountain, that was another. Anything involving fun, you can’t have that, apparently. That’s what the Gold Coast is for. People would rather save money to go there than have fun things in their own state! ;(

The Botanical Gardens.

How lucky you are to have such a gorgeous place right in the middle of the city. Hidden in the middle of the Botanical Gardens there is a hothouse of such goodness, and it contains a pond which is teeming with tropical live-bearing fish. It is one of the most relaxing places on the planet, I think. How long is it since you were there, people reading this who live in Adelaide? What’s your excuse, huh? And I won’t even go into the goodness of the Zoo.

The food.

Oddly, this is one thing I really truly miss. Leaf and Ladle, which makes great soup and salads in town. The Sushi Train. And some local places we used to go to and eat great food. Our names for them were not the same as the real names for them and I can’t remember the real names for them! But there was a great place on Grange Road near Tapleys Hill Road which make the best burgers. And there’s a great chicken place on Tapleys Hill Road which made the best roast chicken and chips. And Barnacle Bills. And Vilis Cafe.

The public transport.

You don’t think it is any good? Move out of the state for a bit, you’ll think again. The trains run on time. The tram is brilliant. Even the buses were reasonable. The 99b, I miss that greatly. But I loved the trains, and the last two places we lived were very close to train stations, which I loved.

The city.

I haven’t really had much of a chance to explore the city of Sydney. The main part of the town where I live is not very exciting really. But Adelaide city, there was always so much to see and do and places to go and even if you didnt have anything to do there was a lot of fun to be had watching other people. The shops were great. I miss the shops.

However, there’s some things I don’t miss, like the slow driving everywhere, the 60km speed limits, and the beaches. Not when I have these new beaches here, and great snorkelling within a short drive from home.

adelaide, Aussie Culture, growing up

Stunned.

You would not believe my Dad.

We went to the pub tonight for the usual meat raffle night. When the other half and I got there Dad’s standing out the front and he says “I can’t get any money out of the ATM, Mum’s put it in the wrong account or something”. So he was standing there waiting for her to go online and transfer it to the right place with the atm slip in his hand – it says insufficient funds, and he’s got the sad face on. “I can’t even get a beer”. The other half gets him a beer, he goes and tries the machine again, he can’t get anything. Mum sent $20 over with the Tamworth boys because that’s all she had on her.

At the end of the meat raffling you put your membership number (or name) on the back of your raffle ticket and then it goes into a barrel and they draw out a number, you win a $20 voucher.

So somewhat prematurely, and because the boys from Tamworth were there and he was explaining how that worked to them, Dad pulls out his membership card and puts his number on the back of their raffle tickets. Then he goes away and starts winning money on the pokies.

I’m sitting there drinking coffee and watching the meat raffle, we win one, then another meat tray. Then they do a membership draw, which is basically all the members numbers and if you’re in the club you win it. The number pops up and it looks familiar, so I look at the back of the tickets Dad wrote on, and it’s his! I jump up to go tell him, he’s in the middle of getting $180 that he won on the poker machine. He goes over and he shows them his card, and that’s $1,600 and change right there.

He takes $10 of the $180 and wins another $130, and while he’s waiting for the attendant to pay the credit then he hears his membership number called out again – he’s also won the $20 voucher he put his number on the back of the tickets for.

He never did manage to get any money out of the ATM, and now he certainly does not need to!

He is always most likely to win. ;)

Aussie Culture, country life, family, pokie machines, yay

Blue Triangles

Because everywhere we went yesterday is a holiday destination type place, there was a terrifying amount of numberplates with blue triangles on them. For those not Aussie, that means there was a lot of Victorians on the roads. The further south we went, the more there were. Tempting as it now is to crawl into bed and hide under the quilt until March or so, we have stuff to do, so I just have to try and hide my fear and horror.. ;)

I don’t think I’m too good at it because the automatic reaction when I see a blue triangle is to scream loudly “Victorians, keep away from them!”

No offense to my Victorian friends and readers, it’s just that you are scary on the roads. Might I suggest when you cross the border, you steal some numberplates from the state you’re visiting?

And to those unfortunate people who hired a car only to find it had Vic plates, you should have given the car back and walked.. ;) It probably would have been safer. For everyone.

Am I state-ist? ;) Sounds like it..

Aussie Culture

Strawberry Madness

Well it’s not Christmas without strawberries in my opinion, so I was looking everywhere for the darned things. All the local grocery stores had them but I would not buy them – they were all yukky and some were even *mouldy!* Eew!

So I said to my Mother the night before that we should go to the Organic Grocery in a town about a 20 minute drive away (coincidentally where my PO box is and where the best pies on the planet are) and she said ok, be ready at midday. Well my sleep patterns were as usual all messed up, and I got into bed about 7am which gave me about 4 hours sleep before I had to get up, and even though I was really tired, I got up with the assistance of Lukas Rossi singing to me.

So I got dressed, walked down the street to the parents house, nobody there. Not even a mouse. So I turned on the TV and waited, and they showed up about an hour later, and then Mum was all “I didn’t say we’d go, I didn’t say midday” and she didn’t want to go but I talked her into it, so she decided we would try another place here in town before we went driving “all that way” (16kms) to the other town!

This from a woman who used to whinge about driving from one side of Tamworth to the other, when Tamworth is half the size of this place. It’s to be expected.

We ended up at this place in town we’d never been to before and I am soooo thankful because not only did they have great, non-mouldy strawberries (which I have a desire to go and eat the whole punnet right now but resist I must) but their other fruit and veg was incredible. I even got cherries, all perfectly the same ripeness. YAY!

Now I just have to make sure she’ll keep going back there, because I am soooo tired of crappy fruit and veg from supermarkets..

Aussie Culture, country life, family, food

Blah Humbug

Nobody around me is in the Christmas Spirit, at all. Those guys work in retail. By the time Christmas gets here they are exhausted, and they have to work a 13 hour day when they go back to work for the sales.

My Mother is the worst. No christmas tree. No lights. No presents. It’ll just be like any ordinary day, except we will be eating prawns and lobster.

Speaking of which, it is very strange that I actually get fed less seafood at their house now living near the coast than I did when they lived in Tamworth, a 3 hour drive from the sea.

Yesterday we went to the Meat Raffle, and my Mother won twice with the same *number* – out of over 9,000 numbers. How freaky is that? We got us a nice chicken pack and a ham, so roast chicken for dinner today. YAY! Then my ticket won a pack so we got a roast beef and a beef steaks and sausages pack. I cooked the other half sausages, eggs and bacon for dinner.

It’s been raining here for the last 2 days. This is a good thing. When you live in the country you never say anything bad about rain. In fact you enjoy it, you go out and get wet. Yesterday there were people playing golf in a major downpour while we were at the sports club. That’s called nuts, in my opinion. Lucky there was no thunder around.

I was just checking through my emails and a scammer lad sent me this –

I JUST RECIEVE YOUR MAIL RIGHT AWAY YOU KNOW GO TO HAIL WITH SO CALL FBI NEVER YOUM MAIL ME AGAIN

Well I don’t know about going to Hail.. :) But I like hail too, almost as much as rain, as long as the car is in the garage..

Annoyed Snoskred, Aussie Culture, Christmas, scambaiting

Chinese Appointment

Every week, I seem to be in charge of making the appointment for Saturday Night Chinese. This could be because it is the only telephone number I have memorised here. Back in Adelaide I used to have a lot of numbers in my head, but here I need only this one. It’s at this restaurant which has a beautiful view over the Shoalhaven river, and it’s about a 15km drive from our house, down a road past lots of cows that I say hi to, when it’s daylight saving. When it’s not, it’s dark, and you can’t even tell the cows are out there. :(

It’s at an RSL club that we belong to, they have a bar, pokies, and the restaurant. I never seem to win on the pokies much anymore except last week I accidentally bet a lot more than I thought I was betting, and won $20 in one shot.

We’ve been to the *other* club three times this week, Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. They’ve been having these meat raffles with hams and turkeys and roast porks to win. So far we have two hams, one roast pork, no turkey, and two meat trays. On Sunday we went to the other club, won a ham and a pork, then went to the Chinese club for dinner because we missed it on Saturday and won a meat tray there too.

Soon it’s the special Christmas raffle day at the *other* club, they are raffling off a whole bunch of things, every time you buy a meat raffle ticket or a coffee you get another ticket. I have the winning one here. :) shh don’t tell anyone..

But on Wednesday night, we did not win a single meat tray. It was depressing. At the end of the raffle you write your name and member number on the back and it goes into a draw for a voucher, and I won that instead! w00t $20 ;)

Well I off to get ready for the Chinese.. ;)

About Snoskred, Aussie Culture, family