Dialup

December 27, 2005 by  
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If you were wondering, dialup internet is slow. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. It’s stinking hot today and we’ve been out looking at furniture in the Boxing Day sales – we need a coffee table and TV unit – but didn’t find anything we were willing to plonk our money down on.

Tonight we may head off to watch The Chronicles of Narnia on the big IMAX screen at Southbank. Right now Kate is sleeping under the breeze of a fan while I explore the internet I had forgotten in the past 10 days I’ve been married.

Christmas

December 25, 2005 by  
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I realise because it’s Christmas not many people will be accessing their computers, but this is a big Merry Christmas to everyone out there. Our honeymoon was great, relaxing. Photos and some posts to come, but in the meantime have a good Christmas and New Year.

Honeymoon

December 19, 2005 by  
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Honeymoon Beach
No, I’m not blogging on my honeymoon, just a pre-saved, future-dated post, as WordPress allows me to do. If you couldn’t tell, the picture is cobbled together from three pics I took on my mobile phone when visiting our honeymoon destination earlier this month. Not having my real camera then, this is the best I could do.

I could say our wedding yesterday was beautiful, fun, etcetera, but I can’t really talk about it, since it’s Thursday as I write this, and I’m not getting married for another 56 hours. I’m sure it will be all those things, but I won’t preempt the event.

I will, however, preempt the honeymoon to say we’re having a great time in the beautiful weather – sun, sand and surf! And other activities with which you shall have no need to concern yourselves.

Bucks

December 16, 2005 by  
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I had my bucks party last night which was a good time. It was during the week and only two days before the wedding because my oldest brother, and best man, couldn’t travel the 1,000 km to here before then. About 18 of us went out to a restaurant that does really good guy’s food – great pizza, pork spare ribs, that sort of fare. Afterwards we went and played futsal (indoor soccer) for a few hours. I have no time to elaborate on the good time we had, as I’m getting married in 10 hours and 45 minutes, and should already be well asleep.

Everything for the wedding should be set and ready to go, so I’ll catch you on the other side of singledom.

24

December 16, 2005 by  
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I’m getting married in 24 hours. That’s one day, or less after this is posted. It’s coming along quickly now!

48

December 15, 2005 by  
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I’m getting married in 48 hours. When the clock ticks over, that’s less than two full days away.

Run

December 15, 2005 by  
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I just ran the 4.5 km (2.8 miles) home from work in 20 minutes 53 seconds. I was a bit disappointed, as I’m trying to break the 20 minute barrier, something I haven’t done since I started running again after a long break. “Since I started running again” has been, admittedly, only the last two weeks, and about four or five times.

My best recorded time over that distance that I can find is 19:43, from October 11, 2004. Yes, I used to record my times so I could see how I was improving. When I had a membership at the university gym (and for $8 per week, why not?) and went running on the treadmill regularly, I usually ran 5km but never kept record of how long it took me. From memory it was around 21 minutes on average.

Having a good look at my family tree, you would for the most part think it was a pear tree. I have no idea what a pear tree looks like, but you can make a logical connection from the general body shape of the folk who have fallen from it. We’re on the whole, short, stocky and ‘big-boned’. At the same time everyone in my immediate family seems to be quite limber, no matter their body shape. Our body types (and eating habits) mean we gain weight quickly and a little too easily, but that also seems to provide us with large stores of energy, allowing us to work longer, harder and faster when we choose to. Or in the case of some of us, play sport longer, harder and faster without letting up, even at times of pear-shapedness.

And so this post comes full circle. I’m running again because it was the only exercise I was getting and, while I hadn’t gained more than 5kg (11 lb), I realise how much stomach circumfrence I’ve gained since I stopped. Not that I measure that, but it had become obvious beyond the denial I was employing. In general terms I also have no problem with gaining a few kilos, but coming up to my wedding I wanted to get back into a little bit of shape. Speaking of, it’s now exactly 57 hours until the ceremony commences.

57 hours 33 minutes

December 15, 2005 by  
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It may not be that exact, depending on when things gets under way, but it is that long until my marriage ceremony is scheduled to begin. It’s a strange feeling of both anticipation and now a little nervousness. I never thought I had revelled in my singleness, at least not in the way you might think – I’m not seeing a future of losing those nights out with the boys and other such tom-foolery because, well, that’s not me.

What I do know is that being single has led me to become fairly selfish with my time management. I have a lot of me time. Me blogging. Me watching sport. Me reading news and other blogs on the internet. Me either staying up late or getting up early to do those things. Me playing sport. Me, me, me.

In 57 hours and 33 minutes, that will change. It’s not that there will be no more me, but there will be us in a way that there hasn’t been before, and in a way that far supercedes me. Perhaps the nervousness comes from being unsure of how extreme, easy or difficult that change will be. No, the nervousness comes from being sure – knowing I can’t be selfish about my time management any more, and knowing that effecting the change smoothly is up to me.

Racist Aussie

December 13, 2005 by  
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Over 1,000 people baying for blood. They shouldn’t be here? Where did you come from mate?

You should see some footage, available here (11mb file-need to follow link before download – unfortunately it’s White Nationalist TV Presents – The Battle for Cronulla). It’s shown all over the world, so you’ve probably seen something about this. I was seething with rage that this could happen. And not only that, but by the next day, after the ‘retaliations’ in Maroubra (sp?), the tv news hardly showed any footage or said much of significance about the mob violence the day before, instead only talking about the cars that had been smashed by ‘Lebanese youths’ in apparent retaliation.

The footage of over a thousand ‘white’ people marching through Cronulla Beach, yelling racist chants, chasing anyone of middle eastern appearance, showering ambulances and police with beer bottles as they tried to protect victims, THAT is the footage that needs to be played over again, that Australians need to see and be disgusted by. The thought of it, again, makes me furious. Sure there may be cause for anger at a few who are violent, but the whole point of the rule of law is it is supposed to be considered, rational, controlled. Mob violence is mindless, and in the same way I can’t think about this without getting angry, so I’ll just leave it here.

Seven Days

December 10, 2005 by  
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What I forgot to mention in that last post, as I was downloading my CountdownClock extension for Firefox, was that in exactly seven days and eight hours I will be standing at the front of the church watching my beautiful fiancé, Kate, shorten the distance between us for the last time as an unmarried couple.

Each step towards me down that aisle will mark the last time we are that far apart when we are not husband and wife. Forever. The distance can’t be closed soon enough.

I refuse to apologise for the sappiness I exhibit, I’m getting married! So bite me.

WC06

December 10, 2005 by  
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My grandmother’s funeral was a good afternoon of remembrance that included sorrow and laughter. For the first time in about seven years we had all the cousins on that side of the family together. It was good to catch up down at the ‘pub’ after the wake. Pub earns the single quotations because it’s hard to call such an upmarket establishment a pub. I’m sure it used to be one, but it’s been renovated and refurbished to a contemporary style that doesn’t seem to be a pub, and certainly wouldn’t be what any of you dear readers are thinking of when you imagine a ‘pub’. Though I don’t know what else you would call it.

None of this matters even a bit… I’m simply obsessive about detail and explanation thereof. Quite clearly, I digress.

On to the post’s title, WC06. It is with great joy I read the headline from BBC Sport, Eriksson keen to avoid Australia. Sven-Goran Eriksson is England’s coach. The draw for the World Cup finals in Germany next year starts at 5.15am my time and divides the 32 teams left to compete for the World Cup into 8 groups of 4. My favourite quote from Eriksson is this,

If I had known all about the rivalry, I would never have played that friendly against them. It was far from a friendly game. They wanted to beat us – and they did.

He refers to the friendly match between England and Australia where England were beaten 3-1 by Australia. Yes, and we still want to beat them, and we will. I don’t know if it’s possible to draw both, but my dream group would include England and the United States. I had held no particular animosity towards the Americans until their coach Bruce Arena said in an interview with Sports Illustrated that he believed Australia and Trinidad & Tobago were the weak teams in this World Cup. Bring it on.

I think there are 64 games in total over the two weeks or more of the tournament, and SBS will be showing every single one of them live. I’m sure Kate will read this at some point. I love you babe.

Yes, I love foo-ootball.
But not as much as you my doll.
But still, I love foo-ootball.
Always and forever.
Always, and, foreverrrrr.

Unfortunately there’s a pesky side of life called university and the tournament will start right around exam time I think. I could say only the important games will have to be watched, but we’re talking about the World Cup!

UPDATE: Australia gets drawn into a group with Brazil, Croatia and Japan. It’s been noted before that Australia has a lot of players of Croatian descent, so that should be a good game for them. I don’t like the group so much though because it’s a tough one. Any group without Germany, Brazil or Argentina would have nearly guaranteed us a place in the second round because the top two spots in the group would have been contested between four teams. In these three groups though, one of those teams is almost guaranteed the top spot, leaving three teams fighting it out for second spot, making things a little more difficult. Also, as I mentioned before, I would have liked a clear ‘bad guy’ for us to play against. It does give a team that extra edge to play against traditional rivals, old foes or those who would insult the team. I speak of England, Iran and the USA. Ah well, bring on the World Cup in six months.

Mary

December 3, 2005 by  
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This is my grandmother, Mary.

She died on Thursday night at about 7.45pm at the age of 90. The following pictures are all from her 90th birthday party earlier this year. They are the only pictures I have taken of her.

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My grandmother was a strong woman. Growing up in country Australia post World War One wouldn’t have been easy anyway, but breaking her back after falling off a horse guaranteed a tough go of it. Putting her on a horse that was known to be jumpy and likely to buck was only meant to be a joke, but left her with a broken back, effectively paralysed from the waist down at the age of 18 or 19. She went on to have five children (the youngest is missing from this photo).

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On Tuesday evening I went to the hospital late, with many immediate family already there. It was a familiar scene, us gathered around watching her laboured breathing. I, at least, was both saddened and encouraged by any movement, or attempt to open her eyes to see us stroking her hand, white hair or simply watching in silence. Earlier in the year we gathered at the hospital when she was in a similar position. She was given 12 hours to live then but, after everyone had been to see her one last time, she started to pick up, didn’t let go and kept going strong until this week.

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The things I remember about Grandma? More recently, having a beer with lunch at the nursing home. Older memories are of her house at Hawthorne, demolished and replaced by units now. Climbing the tree in the front yard at the risk of a swipe from her walking cane. Eating her homemade ginger biscuits or getting some sweets. Exploring the garden or the garage. Pulling out the 50-year-old toy suitcases from under the bed in the sunroom to make a mess and have some fun.

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Grandma was a lot of fun. She was quick-witted and didn’t hesitate in administering a tongue-lashing, whether it be to one of her nine grandchildren for not minding their manners, or to my father. Also for not minding his manners. This is my immediate family at Grandma’s 90th.

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The funeral will be next Thursday.

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Nada

December 2, 2005 by  
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Zilch. Zip. I haven’t updated in, what, a week? Who knows? Things are busy down here on the ranchero. I’m getting married in 15 days. Tomorrow I’ll be spending all day in the hot, hot, humid heat sanding down a table and chairs. I might stain and varnish them if I feel up to it. Then I’ll go out in the sun and kick the footies (soccer ball and rugby ball) for a few hours I think. Much to be done I tell you.