It's a completely cool, multi-purpose blog.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Movember starts here

How would that handsome phizog look with a big bushy beard, an elaborately curled "Belgian Gentleman" moustache, or perhaps a Hitler/Chaplin mini-mo? We'll find out this November, or rather Movember.

Here's the deal. I make a public spectacle of myself for a month by growing inappropriate and itchy facial sculpture, you donate some money to prostate cancer research and depression support services. Sounds fair.

My page is at

With a bit of luck, I might even end up as cool as these guys:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Flickr, still the place to be

I just uploaded a bunch of photos to the Flickr account (

It was a low-key weekend but an entirely pleasurable one, except for working on Saturday.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I don’t usually blog about work, on the basis that if somebody has to pay me to turn up somewhere it probably isn’t very interesting. However, MPOW recently set up a course for learning Auslan, aka Australian Sign Language, and it’s chuffing brilliant.

We’re 3 weeks in and I’m fascinated. It’s very intuitive, and I love the way that you set up a situation in your “signing space” and then can tell a story within that space. That is, if I establish first that my back of my right hand is “car” and the index finger on my left hand is “Jim” then I can easily go on to show that Jim is in front of the car, Jim is behind the car, Jim was hit by the car, Jim was working under the car and so on.

Similarly, you can improvise once you know a basic sign. So if you know “walk” (two fingers on your right hand walking across the palm of your left hand), then you can intuitively say stagger, tiptoe, hop, bound and so on.

There’s a horribly designed but content rich website called Signbank that I spend a lot of time on. Basically it’s an online dictionary and each word has a wee video to show you the sign. The connections between sign and meaning can be straightforward, witty or baffling, but are usually interesting.

The politics of the Deaf community are also interesting. Many Auslan users don’t consider themselves as disabled, and I can see their point – if I turned up at a party and everybody else was signing I’d be the one in trouble. On the other hand, you’d want to be covered by the same anti-discrimination legislation as, say, wheelchair users.

Next week a new teacher takes over who is himself Deaf, and the whole class will be “Voice Off”. I’m a little bit scared at the prospect, but also excited and I expect it’ll be a lot of fun.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sarah Blasko, I think I love you

Thanks to ever-generous babysitters, and the lovely Lou, M&I were able to enjoy 2 contrasting gigs on Thursday and Friday.

The second one was the amazing Sarah Blasko at the Enmore Theatre, and it was a stunning show. She has an incredible voice, is as poised as Audrey Hepburn, wore amazing clothes and the hometown crowd couldn't get enough of it. It was the kind of gig where even the lighting was good enough to deserve comment. A drum solo and a rendition of Xanadu were the icing on the cake.

Blasko's support was El Perro Del Mar, whose sideshow at the Oxford Art Factory constituted our entertainment on Thursday. We really like her records but we weren't sure that the lush arrangements would translate well to the stage. Unfortunately she was obviously financially constrained, because the show was simply her amazing singing, a laptop, and an odd bearded character with a 2-fretboard guitar. It wasn't really conducive to the otherworldy vibe of her albums. Luckily there was a small posse of us there and we had a good time anyway.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Cool dudes

Our trip to Avoca Beach for the long weekend was affected by cold weather and continuous drizzle. The beach was out so we had to go for wet walks, or stay in to read, watch DVDs and play canasta. Suited me just fine.

Yesterday it got weird. It's spring in Australia but for some reason we had a severe but localised hailstorm in Castle Hill that left ice all over the garden. The kids loved it.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Catch up

Right, a quick update before I fall off the blogosphere and float out into cyberspace.

Friday: M graduated! A very exciting day given a twist by the fact that The Wiggles were receiving honorary doctorates at the same ceremony. Afterwards we broke our month of boozelessness with some rather good champagne.

Saturday: We had a big party to celebrate the graduation at Karen and Steve's house, involving lots of cocktails. Heaps of fun.

Sunday: Hung over.

This week: I was off work sick from Tuesday-Thursday with a Mystery Illness, but I feel fine now. Basically I felt a bit nauseous and weary with occasional dizziness. I took advantage by upping my score in the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die to 880.

Coming up: It's a long weekend, so we're up to Avoca for the first time in an age. Rain and cold forecast. I'm off to check the cinema listings. Cheery bye!