Saturday, May 31, 2008

Warm Tinny

Those creative ratbags in the ad agencies have been at it again and produced an hilarious advertisement for Campbells soup.  MDR keeps telling MB about it but she keeps missing it on TV, luckily though it's on Youtube.  A great send up of Aussie beer ads.  Speaking of advertising the MB family are also enjoying Wil Anderson's new program on the ABC "The Gruen Transfer", this is another great vehicle for Wil Anderson and uniquely entertaining.


Remember when the "wireless" was the big chunky radio with the scratchy sound? The MB household was propelled into the new wireless age today with the help of neighbouring MENSA member, CC, who installed a new Linksys Wireless-G ADSL2 802.11g Gateway. CC very patiently explained all of the marvelous security features and has set up the wireless network to accept only computers that are registered at the gateway device. CC also made the wireless network invisible to all other computers as well as encrypting the wireless signal. All in all MB is very impressed with this new device and is thoroughly enjoying the extra internet speed or as Linksys put it, "blazing fast connection", as well as the portability offered by the wireless network.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Government Charges Rant

MB hasn't renewed her passport for some time and recalls that the fee when she did so in 2004 was around AUD$100.00 for a passport with a validity of 10 years.
Just heard from PTA who renewed his today that the current fee for a basic 32 page passport with 10 year's validity is now $200.00 and as he'd mislaid his old one, which was about to expire, there was another fee of $66.00. Jeez Louise, that's a huge slug. What with income tax, GST, stamp duty, land rates, exorbitant parity pricing fuel excise and alcohol excise to name a few we must be shelling out at least two-thirds our income to the bloated ranks of fat cats in the City Councils, State and Federal Governments.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Kevin Rudd's Love Child?

Whilst browsing through a friend's friends on facebook MB came across Tapio Shrey, a member of the European Youth Parliament, who looks uncannily like Kevin Rudd.  Young Tapio shares Kevin's boy next door looks and aspires to politics, could they also share DNA?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Gecko Chronicles

Some freaky news from Darwin this week about a rather adventurous gecko. Living in the tropics means sharing your living space with a bunch of geckos.  They especially love hanging around walls and ceilings near the lightbulbs so they can catch unsuspecting insects and many a night the MB household has observed large geckos cannibalising baby geckos. 
MB's pantry has one very large gecko dubbed Gary. Gary ventures out of hiding when the pantry door is closed, then when one opens the pantry door one sees a sudden movement out of the corner of one's eyes which always gives one a bit of a start. Gary is the biggest gecko MB has ever seen and he's still growing.
In view of what's happened in Darwin MB recommends you always keep your trousers on when in the tropics!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Save the Pandas

Pictured is Eljay feeding the panda bears, plus one polar bear. Eljay picked some leaves off one MB's indoor plants, piled them all up nice and neat on the landing then arranged the bears around their "snack" in a very neat circle.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Trivia Games

Just read in the Green Guide (Melbourne Age) that Buzz!: Quiz TV for PS3 is due out soon. Any mention of electronic games usually make MB's eyes glaze over and bring on a fit of yawning, but mention Trivia Game and MB is agog. 
If only she had a Playstation 3.  This latest version of Buzz, made in the UK with Australia's own Jason Donavan doing the voice of the cheesy host, looks even more promising with users being able to download additional question packs and even write their own questions.  There will also be a facility for players to compete with others over the internet. These are definitely wishlist items.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Lesson #2 with the FBI

Learnt some more staples of Italian cuisine last night with Daniele. Daniele very charmingly stresses he is a "full born Italian" or FBI and has been classically trained in Italy. Daniele likes acronyms, one of his printed recipes calls for EVOO and MB was completely mystified, turns out it's extra virgin olive oil, obvious really.
Last night it was Osso Buco, Risotto alla Milanese and Biscotti. The Osso Buco was served with the Risotto and was superb. Risotto is a fairly tricky dish to make so it was good to learn the proper technique. MB however did manage to toast the rice in the first stage and thought it was ruined, but thankfully it turned out fine in the end.
The Biscotti were amazingly easy, again this is something MB has struggled with in the past.
You really can't beat learning by doing. Next week it's seafood dishes, including the ever popular calamari.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

ASX Investor Update May 08

Feature article in the latest bulletin from the Australian Stock Exhange - "Better returns from long-term investing".  What a scoop!  They must have had to really draw on some huge resources to work that one out. 

Thursday, May 08, 2008

First Class at La Scuola Italiana di Cucina

Four hopeful students turned up for Daniele's class on Tuesday night. First lesson was how to make that perennial favourite, Tirami Su. Ill Maestro's (Daniele) version is very rich and actually easier than the one MB learnt years ago from her Italian language teacher. Tirami Su actually means pick me up and it's not pronounced Tira Misu.
Next up was Bruschetta, then Pasta Amatriciana. The pasta dish was a lesson in simplicity and absolutely superb.
Daniele is very passionate about his food and his teaching is really quite inspiring. One of the students doesn't eat tomatoes which Ill Maestro handled pretty tactfully considering the tomato is the cornerstone of Italian cuisine.
Next week's class will focus on Biscotti and Osso Buco.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Melbourne Comedy Festival Roadshow

The Melbourne Comedy Festival Roadshow rolled into Cairns last week with three shows over the Labour Day long weekend.

MDR had seen it advertised in the papers last week but with most of the weekend spent building a vegie garden and chopping down trees at father of MDR's, it was forgotten about until Sunday.

The duo hastened into the Civic Theatre on Sunday around lunchtime to buy tickets but were told tickets would only be available one hour prior to the 8pm show.

Not to be deterred MB jumped online back at home and bought two tickets which turned out to be in the second row, this had the pair speculating that the third and last show in Cairns wasn't going to be very well patronised. This turned out not to be the case, the show was in fact a full house.

The 2½ hour comedy gala had the audience doubled over in laughter the whole time with the highlight being Tripod, these guys are really talented entertainers with their lightning fast repartee and songs with ridiculous lyrics.

The stand up comedians were amazing and entertaining, MB never fails to be impressed with their bravery in fronting a crowd with absolutely no props and actually making a bunch of strangers laugh, it has to be most daunting experience ever.

Dave Thornton, Hannah Gadsby and Asher Treleaven were the standup highlights for MB. Greg Fleet was OK but his long winded LSD trip story wasn't really that amusing, although some his observations around Cairns were pretty good, especially his take on the Cairns' Table Tennis Stadium, which is really just a small building no larger than an average size restaurant.

The roadshow is a great way to showcase a sample of Melbourne's truly singular festival in far flung places around the Australia. MB noticed on the website that the roadshow is also being taken to Singapore this year. Will be interesting to see how it's received there.

La Scuola Italiana di Cucina

Daniele the chef at the nearby Crystal Cafe in Redlynch Shopping Centre is starting up Italian cooking classes tonight.
MB has heard that Daniele is an ex-chef from Panaroma Restaurant in town so has decided to attend the first class tonight to try and get some more knowledge on genuine Italian cooking, one of her favourite cuisines.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

What a Load of Horsesh*t

The Vegetable Garden project for CF is nearly complete. To ensure a bountiful crop MB advised that plenty of manure and blood & bone is necessary, so MDR put out some feelers and was told by an equestrienne colleague where he could find some free horse manure.
MB & MDR called in today and filled up the ute. Surprisingly enough the horse manure didn't smell at all, resembling more a mound of dry compost. Luckily this was so as the wind was very strong and blowing "manure dust" over the pair.
Will be unloading the manure later today into the custom built vegie garden enclosure. The topsoil will be delivered tomorrow (Labour day public holiday) from Limberlost and seedlings can then be planted.

Sausage Tree

Cairns Botanic Gardens are home to some very weird and wonderful botanical specimens. Pictured above are the fruit of the sausage tree, a native of tropical Africa.
MB took Hiroko & Keiko for a visit to the gardens on their second last day in Cairns. The trio also had a delightful long lunch at the Botanic Gardens restaurant, always worth a visit.