. . .

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Yep, that's the situation. Blogstipation has set in. I think it's a combination of a number of things. Going on holiday, experiencing so many things in a short amount of time, waiting for photos to be developed, I feel like I'm in a kind of post-holiday limbo. I have so many things to write about that I don't know where to start. It's very frustrating I must say. I have to start somewhere but there are so many things to say - I don't really know how to convey the feeling of sitting on the balcony of the Top Pub in Apollo Bay, looking at the foreshore, listening to the waves and watching a spectacular lightning show play above the mountains. I don't know how to explain the stress evaporation that happens to me every time I am near the ocean breathing air that comes fresh from the mountains and the forest. I can't fully convey the feeling of freedom I felt while driving a car for the first time in a year. I want to show you the other-worldly "hobbit-like" sleepy hollow called Gellibrand. The land that time forgot. Weeping willows, dappled sunlight, an old hotel and a picturesque valley. Blossoms, ferns, majestic hills and valleys that exceed imagination.

Well, now that the creative metamucil seems to be working, I will leave you with a photo of the hotel where we stayed for 4 nights and the road that led to such a beautiful sense of freedom.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I apologise for the lack of posts - I have been on holiday. Actually I'm not sorry I was on holiday so forget that last sentence.

The itinerary:

Thurs 22 March 2007:
- Train to Southern Cross, V-Line train to Geelong
- Pick up car at Budget Rent-A-Car
- Drive to Apollo Bay
- Check in at Great Ocean Hotel (a.k.a. "Top Pub")

Fri 23 March 2007:
- Golf at Apollo Bay Golf Course (18 holes)
- Check out pub, decide it's not worth hanging around, sit on balcony with a few beers

Sat 24 March 2007
- Golf at Apollo Bay Golf Course (18 holes)
- Dinner with Grandma and Dad at Middle Pub
- Drop in at Grandma's house
- Back to hotel, check out the 2 pubs in town (yikes!), sit on balcony with a few beers

Sun 25 March 2007
- Golf at Apollo Bay Golf Course (18 holes)
- Visit Grandma & Dad

Mon 26 March 2007
- Check out 10am - Ocean Road Hotel
- Coffee!!!!
- Drop in at Grandma's to say goodbye
- Drive down Ocean Road, through Lavers Hill, Gellibrand, Colac and to Geelong
- Spend ages trying to find a service station to fill up in Geelong
- Drop off car at Budget Rent-A-Car
- Get to V-Line depot 5 minutes before train departs for Melbourne
- Southern Cross Station - Melbourne

And that was the Apollo Bay holiday!

I have so much to write about so this is the first of many posts. I will be reviewing many things, including the Top Pub, Budget Rent-A-Car, V-Line, and the Apollo Bay Golf Course. I need to develop the photos to give a better sense of what I am talking about. Yes, I am using a film camera, not digital. This is not for any particular reason other than I had no camera and I bought one of those disposable Kodak cameras with flash ($24.00). When the photos are developed I will be reviewing the camera as well!

My first review is the luggage from Strandbags:

The Skyway Montlake - $72.00 (on special!)

If you are thinking of travelling anywhere, get a piece of luggage that has a handle, wheels and is lightweight. It makes a huge amount of difference when you are navigating Southern Cross station to not have to put your shoulder out. Especially when it's a hot day and you are sweating like anything and can't find a place to buy a bottle of water. That's when a wheelie suitcase comes in handy. I had 2 other bags and they were a nightmare to carry on my shoulder. Trust me. Get wheels and a handle. This was the best piece of luggage I have ever owned. Brilliant! Lots of compartments, made from micro-ballistic nylon material and with a zero-gravity frame. Okay, the description they give it makes it sound like I'm taking it on the next space mission. And micro-ballistic (do they shoot it with a little gun?) sounds like something you would see on MythBusters. But it is a good suitcase and I recommend the crap out of it.

P.S. This is not the sort of thing I would recommend buying on Ebay. I got this at Strandbags because the people know what they are talking about and because you can actually check out the compartments and see for yourself. The photos on Ebay don't give the best idea of quality and size. Also, a suitcase is not the sort of thing you would want to compromise on...

Until next time....more photos and reviews to come.....

Monday, March 19, 2007

Welcome to A Gonzo World Carnival!

It has been wonderful reading everyone's posts - I marvelled at the diversity of the locations, writing style and interpretation of the theme "share your world". Some funny, some heart- wrenching, some joyful and some downright frightening.

On our journey, we skip back and forth from Australia to the UK to the USA, to Austria to the Philippines and to South Africa. Along the way we meet many amazing people who open their doors and invite us in to their world.

A big thank you to all who submitted posts for the carnival. The Gonzo Blog Carnival Series is sponsored by For Your Success. Special thanks to Fear and Loathing - The Gonzo Papers.

Without further ado, let's get started....grab a coffee....or a beer...and prepare for the road ahead...

Remember when leaving comments to let people know you are visiting from the carnival ... Happy reading!!

"...I am 90% Average American. Being an Australian, I think that's quite an achievement..."
LJP (Yours truly) from SAVESAVESAVE discussing cultural misconceptions of Australia in I Can Talk Good.

"...I was in college in 1979, at Park College in Pittsburgh, when the genie of nuclear disaster first ecaped the bottle..."
Kilroy_60 from Kilroy's The Gonzo Papers has a frightening wake up call in What Happens When Warning Sirens Sound At the Nuclear Plant Near You?

"...Where Route 30 meets 41, a few miles down
the road, collide into where I am from..."
Indiana, USA - Sara from Aspiring Romance Writer takes us with her on a journey to her town in the poem Hometown Girl.

"...I love the fried green tomatoes, cotton fields, football on fall Saturdays..."
In Montgomery, Alabama, Sheila Noblitt from Alabama Kitchen Sink shares her homecoming experience in Home is Where the Heart Is.

"...This is a commuter rail station in my home town of Elgin, Illinois..."
James Jordan from Points of Light introduces us to the Night Station.

"...I’d pushed away everyone in my community including his father and found myself alone and terrified..."
From Byron Bay, NSW, Australia: Joanne Hay from The Nourisher shows great courage in taking us into her world and her journey in About.

"...a true constant in all its flowing colors..."
From Vienna, Austria - Shakir Hasnain from The Crimsonflaw Lived To Tell The Tale takes us into another realm in the poem My World.

"...like the ugg boot, they have never gone out of fashion here ..."
Fellow Australian MillyMoo from Blurb from the Burbs made me laugh and cry with her Wince Inducing Words.

"...I have no mother. I have decided to write her off..."
From Cape Town, South Africa - Acidice, in her blog acidice reveals her difficult choices with My Ex Mother.

"...The two cats on the sides and the two snowmen are hand me downs from my sister..."
From the Philippines, Friday's Child in her blog Friday's Child displays her home and her festive spirit in My Home is My World.

"...the middle of last week we had about a foot of snow. Not much compared to what they got in other places..."
In Northeast Ohio, we find Anthony from The Lives and Times who explains to us why he will Remember the Winter of 2006-2007.

"...Like our brothers in Bagdad, we're under-deployed here..."
Mark Brown in NJ from My-Poem-A-Day explores war and politics in his poem Springtime.

"...It's always nice to get back after a trip and sit down with a cup of English tea..."
Naomi, in her blog Diary from England reminds us that no matter where you travel in the world, There's No Place Like Home.

I couldn't think of a better way to round off the carnival - with a nice cup of English tea. And the feet up on the desk. Perhaps a little snooze....
It's been a long journey.

Maps courtesy of Google Maps Australia.


Friday, March 16, 2007

The time is nearly upon us but you still have time to submit your post. It can be a new post, or perhaps one from the archives. This original post explains the rules.

Thanks again to Fear and Loathing - The Gonzo Papers and For Your Success.

Please note that the last date for submissions is 11:59pm on 16th March 2007. Happy blogging!!

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Just when I was starting to get worried, my denim jacket arrived yesterday. I am sometimes apprehensive about ordering things from Canberra. For some reason, I don't think Australia Post likes addresses with "DC" in them. But here it is.

I bought this Jacket on Ebay for $5
I wouldn't have necessarily bought it if I had looked more closely at the postage. It was $15. Still, a denim jacket for $20 isn't prohibitive, it's just a tad steep. It arrived in an express post envelope that would most likely have cost $7. I don't like artificially inflated postage costs and Ebayers who practice this should be sent to Abu Dhabi by unregistered post.

So, here it is. I actually quite like it.

It's a good addition to my new wardrobe. This is probably the first time I have bought a whole bunch of new clothes for about 10 years. Speaking of which, my Doc Martens are getting a bit scrappy. I must say my last pair lasted for a lot longer - 12 years or so. I bought these ones about 4 or 5 years ago and they started to fall apart straight away. I think I got a lemon.

So I might just go scouring Ebay for Doc Martens. Or I could buy a new pair for $180.00 Gee, let me think now....

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The global blogging phenomenon suggests that we should uncover, discover and welcome different worlds to our own. This is a great way of finding out new things about people and places you never knew existed. What makes us unique? How do we see the world? What makes us who we are?

To kick this off, this site will be hosting:

A Gonzo World Carnival !

This is your chance to "Share Your World". Your country...your home...your state...your unique world and how you define it.

The Carnival will be published on the 19th.

Submissions close on the 16th so please get your posts in early!

The Ground Rules:

* Submit one post, past or present that fits the theme of "Share Your World" ...your home, your town, your state, your country etc. One entry per blog. The topic is quite broad in terms of options. As long as the post relates to your world.

* Only English language posts will be accepted

* Send your submissions to violetfrog7@yahoo.com.au

* Each post must include:
-Your name as you want it to appear in the post
-The title of your blog
-Your blog URL
-The Name of the Post
-The URL of the post

Entry deadline 11:59pm on March 16th, 2007.

Show your Gonzo Love by putting up a A Gonzo World Carnival! banner on your site.

Spread the word and get your posts in!!...

Special thanks to Fear & Loathing - The Gonzo Papers and For Your Success.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I had lunch at Le Grande Tofu yesterday. Had a brilliant vegie noodle soup with shiitake mushrooms the size of saucers floating around in it. And I always try and get a new kind of drink instead of just getting Coke or Pepsi...argh! Now I've done it! (turns around to see S.W.O.T. team kicking down the door)...

So I decided to get this little beauty: "Kickapoo Joy Juice"

I have a number of questions for the makers of this very tasty drink (it tastes a bit like Mountain Dew)

1. What is a Kickapoo? Does it mean what I think it means?

2. Why is it called "Joy Juice?" (Actually, no. I don't want to know.)

3. What is that picture supposed to represent? I think it's supposed to be two characters (a kangaroo? A dude with a tomahawk? What is that?) flying around the world / galaxy trying to balance on a cauldron that is on fire or boiling. WTF? Somebody enlighten me here.

It is a great drink, and I really enjoyed it. I had to keep the can because it made me giggle. I'd love to know the answer to these questions.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Windows XP. Everyone was excited when it came out but there are a couple of things that are perplexing. When you run a few computers on a network and you run Windows XP on all these machines, the sharing and permissions folders get confused and suddenly one or more of the computers decides that you don't own your own computer so you can't access your own files. Or anyone else's files for that matter. This has happened not once, not twice, but over 30 times, possibly more - I think I've lost count.

These are my fixes to get it to work again:

Sharing & Security Checklist:

* Share this folder / file
* Permissions - Everyone - Full control (3 ticks)

* Security Tab
* Advanced
* Owner Tab
* Change owner - Administrator
* Change owner (Insert your owner's name here eg. JSmith)
* Tick "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" both times
* OK

* Back to Security
* If no names are shown, add "Administrator"
* Apply
* All other users should appear again (if they had disappeared, which they often do!)
* Make sure administrator, users etc. have full permission

* Permissions
* Tick "Inherit from parent the permission entries that apply to child objects. Include these with entries explicitly defined here"
* Tick "Replace permission entries on all child objects with entries shown here that apply to child objects"
* Apply (may take a minute)


However, I have done this series in the checklist and the permissions have a mind of their own. They can revert back overnight when you are not looking. We got our computer guy in to fix it and he did exactly the steps I followed above. I know because I watched him the whole time. And wouldn't you know, the permissions reverted back (or should I say REGRESSED) as soon as he left the building. Windows 98 made a lot more sense when it came to networking. Perhaps in the long run, Windows XP will show itself to be a Windows 97. Hopefully there will be some updates / fixes soon.

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Free Windows Registry Scan

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Ahhh. What a way to start the morning. This brilliant AC/DC T-Shirt arrived in the post this morning. It was gift wrapped very nicely and even came with a free gift - a black rubber bracelet! It felt like it was my birthday and I was turning 15! Here it is in all it's glory:

*Sigh* Original vintage AC/DC top, Bon Scott lineup, circa Highway to Hell.

I managed to bag it for $6.99 - it was delivered in 2 days. What more can I ask for? Well, lots of things. That car from Supernatural for a start. And 2 tickets to Seattle. And a Google Page Rank of 5. But I digress. I remember being in Olympia, Washington at a school dance and AC/DC came on the loudspeaker, sending everyone crazy. I stood up on a table and declared that AC/DC are Australian. I was yelled down, nobody was prepared to believe me. Yep, that's right. In Olympia, these people thought that Nirvana may have been Australian, and AC/DC were American. Oy Veh.

Why then, has AC/DC lane been recently opened in the heart of Melbourne CBD? And why does it say in Wikipedia that the band was formed in Sydney in 1973? It is widely known that members of the band spent time living in Prahran, VIC. And where did people think AC/DC were in the "Long Way to The Top" video? Swanston Street, San Francisco? I don't know. Sometimes I just don't know.

Okay, Bon Scott was born in Scotland, and Angus & Malcolm Young were also born in Scotland, but they all emigrated to Australia. And Phil Rudd and Mark Evans were born in Melbourne, Australia. So there. I'm tired now from my rant. I'm going to get a coffee.

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Okay, I know I've done a lot of rants lately but here's another one. I have been enjoying my time reacquainting myself with Ebay, but this particular thing sticks in my craw. (What the hell is a craw anyway?)

I hate it when you buy something from an Ebay seller and they have the logo that says "Bank Deposit Express", then when you have bought something from this person, and can't get out of it (because that would be a backsliding scumbag thing to do!)...

...and you click on the "Bank Deposit Express" logo and it proudly displays:

"BANK OF ABU DHABI" or some similarly obscure bank. I mean, what the hell is wrong with the Commonwealth, ANZ or National Australia Bank? Why does it have to be "CHICKEN FEEDERS CREDIT UNION" or "WEST AUSTRALIAN DRAGONSLAYERS CONFERENCE MEMBERS BANK"

...so then you spend ages trying to look up branches of these bizarre banks and find out that the closest one will take you a 2 hour drive to get there. What is the point I ask you?

So. Unfortunately you can't tell which bank the seller belongs to until after the purchase, I will definitely remember the sellers who bank with the "CANBERRA STILT WALKERS BANK" and similar crimes against humanity for next time.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

After battling the demons from the Ebay Jinx, peace is now restored to my part of the globe. For some background info see The Dreaded Ebay Jinx, The Ebay Jinx Continues and Die Demon Die!!! The Ebay Jinx Will be Laid to Rest!!!

I grabbed a serious bargain on Ebay - this excellent striped off-the-shoulder top for 0.99c

That's right! 0.99c!
The postage ($3.00) actually cost more than the top itself, which is quite exciting. And it arrived quickly too!

I am beginning to update my wardrobe from the ground up.

This top arrived today. It was a pretty good start:

I ended up paying $4.35 plus $5.00 postage. I bought a top similar to this about a year ago for $16 so I have saved $6.65 (the neighbour of the beast!!) Ha ha!

No seriously, the Ebay Jinx is no more. Vanquished. Squished. Exorcised. Buggered off. Finally.

I don't expect to see any more supernatural activity on Ebay.

Speaking of which, it might be appropriate to finish with a moment from Sam & Dean Winchester from "Supernatural":

Dean: "Let me know if you see any dead people Haley Joel."
Sam:"Dude enough."
Dean:"Sam who you think is hotter psychic? Patricia Arquette, Jennifer Love Hewitt or you?
Dean:"I've got a question for you. You've seen a lot of movies, yeah?
Kat: "I guess so."
Dean:"Do me a favor. Next time you see one, pay attention. When someone says a place is haunted don't go in."

P.S. Back to shopping: I want this car.

It will be mine.

Or at least something very much like it.

I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to use left-hand drive Chevys in Australia.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia - don't sue me!

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Friday, March 02, 2007

*Sigh* All that computer stuff has really dragged me down when I should be enjoying the upcoming weekend. So, I'm going to find some things that will cheer me up.

1. The Peccary

This is the cutest creature known to man, the Peccary. It is native to South America. It eats grass, roots and cacti. It cannot be domesticated. It generally ignores humans. I am feeling better already.

2. It is a sunny day, blue sky etc.
Yeah. That sort of helped.

3. I am going to the park tonight. With my mp3 player. To walk off this stress using loud music and hand weights.
Yep. It's doing the trick!

4. A nice cold beer.
I know I know. I'm having one of those low calorie ones like "Pure Blonde". Even though it tastes like camel's urine at least it won't interfere with my efforts to burn calories.

5. It is possible I shall be having home made (yay!) mexican chilli beans tonight.
I'm so excited I could do a Beavis Cornholio impersonation. I could, but I'm not going to. I'll let him do it.

Speaking of cheering myself up...I found this description (courtesy of Wikipedia.org) on Beavis aka Cornholio. I love how he is taken so seriously...categories, sub-categories, behaviour etc. This text comes courtesy of Wikipedia, link shown below:

..."Cornholio emerges whenever Beavis consumes large quantities of sugar and/or caffeine or other stimulants and enters a hyperactive phase, with symptoms including convulsing, nonsensical jabbering and gazing cross-eyed at his fist. The final transformation is usually triggered by mention of vaguely Hispanic-sounding words: he pulls his shirt over his head (producing a makeshift hood covering his hair) and begins marching around randomly, his hands at either sides of his face with palms forward, making loud proclamations in a quasi-Spanish accent.

Cornholio apparently hails from Latin America (once stating that he is from Nicaragua), claiming his home to be Lake Titicaca (the word already providing amusement to Beavis), which is actually in South America. He states his mission in life is to find "TP" (toilet paper) for his "bunghole" (anus), as his "people" are "without bungholes". This apparent contradiction is typical of the nonsense he frequently spouts: at other times he claims he himself is a bunghole, he has no bunghole, he is a gringo (which is actually true, as he has blonde hair), or calls upon "the Almighty Bunghole" (either himself or his god). He has also expressed an interest in oleo, presumably because it rhymes with his name; he combines it with "bunghole" to create his most famous cry, "bungholeo-o-o-o-o!"...

"The Great Cornholio." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 1 Mar 2007, 20:01 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 2 Mar 2007.

And with that, I'm off. I need TP for my bunghole. Have a good weekend!

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You may remember my post on Couriers Please No Thank You!!!
Well, here's some background information. I received a computer last year from EYO Technologies in Sydney. It arrived broken. Busted. Kaput.
So I sent it back, expecting a new one, since I had paid for a new computer.


I got back a "repaired" version of the beat-up thing I received in the first place.
I tried for months to get the sound card to work (it was after all, a computer bought for the purpose of recording music) to no avail.
I finally sent it back after realising I could never get the sound card to work. It wasn't a software problem and just because I couldn't get it to work it didn't mean I was a failure as a computer nerd!! I am only starting to recover now.
When I received it back again this week, the sound card "sort of" worked intermittently. But now the DVD drive had disappeared off the "My Computer" icon and the DVD would not open. Neither would the CD drive, which had never worked and now I find out, was supposed to work as well.


So guess what? I'm sending it back again. I do not hold out much hope as EYO insist on sending things with Star Track Express with NO "This End Up" or "Fragile" stickers. Nothing. And they wonder why it arrived to me in a mess. Twice. Now that they want to fix it and send it back. That's great but I'm starting to lose hope at this point. The DVD drive doesn't work because I was told "somebody forgot to connect the power cable"?!?!?!? And the explanation for the sound card not working was that they forgot to disable the onboard sound card when they put in the Audigy 4 I ordered. I have offered to give EYO Technologies a roll of fragile tape so they can put it on my computer when sending it back. If they remember...

I ask you. Does this happen to anyone else? Am I alone here?

All I ask is that people send happy thoughts for the computer to arrive back to me fixed and in one piece. I'm crossing all my fingers and toes for this one.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Some people mentioned that they enjoyed the drawings on my blog so I thought I'd gather up my best efforts and compile them in one place. So, without further ado, here they are:

My Favourite MP3 Player (Caveman Pic)
Nightmare on Web Street (HTML Nerd Nightmare)
Maseur Sandals - Aaahhhhhh!!! (Stressed Before & After)
Jamie Oliver is a Genius? (Dumb Chef)
How to Cut Your Washing Up Time In Half (Stressed Dishwasher)
Hairy Adventures (Half Shaven Look)
Don't Drink and HTML (HIC!)

Hope you enjoy them. Feel free to comment!

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