I Blogged Myself

Why do you always come here? I guess we'll never know. It's like a kind of torture, To read this blog, y'know.

Welcome to the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational blog since Kermit left just a little bit of the swamp in his pants.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Congratulations To Javatari!

Well done to Javatari (and - more importantly - to his lovely wife) on the birth of their son Jake early last week.

What a happy time for all.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

ANZAC Day - The Birth of a Nation

ANZAC Day, 25th April, is a day that is very dear to the heart of all Australians. It’s a day when we remember those who have fallen in times of war, in service to their country, its people, and freedom for mankind. (Those who picked themselves up again, dusted themselves off, and continued marching are also remembered.)

ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.*

However, ‘ANZAC’ means so much more than that. It embodies what it meant to be a ‘Digger’; a ‘Battler’; a ‘Battling Digger’. ANZAC is the true essence of being an Australian. (The New Zealand aspect of it is – appropriately – forgotten and ignored.)

In the words of the official Gallipoli Campaign historian, C. E. W. Bean, the ANZAC spirit "stood, and still stands, for reckless valour in a good cause, for enterprise, resourcefulness, fidelity, comradeship and endurance that will never own defeat".

Of course, C. E. W. Bean was a drunkard and a cad.

Where does the term ‘ANZAC’ come from?

Well, I’m glad you asked – although I’m a little startled that you suddenly appeared mid-way through this post to interrupt my train of thought and ask me a question. Still, you’re an incorrigible young fellow or miss, so I’ll indulge ye.

ANZAC Day is held in both Australia and New Zealand on the anniversary of the first major offensive to use ANZAC troops on the shores of Gallipoli in Turkey in 1915.

Now, let’s not get carried away with racism on a day like this. I’m not ‘anti-Turk’. After the Easter Sunday debacle, I want to make this clear straight away. In fact, I adore everything about Turkey and the term ‘Turk’. I love to eat the bird at Christmas time (freshly roasted), and I find great amusement in the character by the same name in Scrubs. As for charming women who live in Melbourne but who once married a Turk and bore forth a delightful package (called a ‘child’) eleven or so years ago, dubbed her ‘Princess’ (or possibly another name in real life), and then began reading this blog (therefore fulfilling her life’s desire), … she is a gem.

Ahem. I digress.

… better than anyone I know.

When World War I began on 4th August 1914 (of course, they didn’t call it ‘World War I’ at the time … although, they did called it ‘The Prequel War’ for a short period), Australia committed 20,000 volunteer troops to the war effort under the control of the British Armed Forces. Those troops were soon on their way to Egypt where a plan was underway at the request of the Russians to neutralise the Turkish war effort and effectively take them out of the war.

The Turks, that is. The Russians weren’t interested in us surprising the Turks and taking the Russians out of the war. That would just have been silly.

At oh, six hundred hours on 25th April 1915, the First Expeditionary Forces of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed on the beaches of Gallipoli, now known as ANZAC Cove, to an unexpected welcome.

And not the sort of ‘party pies and sausage rolls, streamers and balloons, tressle table with butcher’s paper tablecloth, music blaring loudly as the Turks sang “C’mon, Aussie, C’mon”, dancing the two-step’ welcome, either. They had guns (which was considered by the British to be, quote, “fairly poor form”, end-quote)!

The plan was for the ANZACs to attack the Turks across the peninsular, destroying the Turkish defences in the Dardenelles and leaving the channel open for the British to sail into Constantinople and remove Turkey from the war completely. I’m not sure exactly how they planned to do this last part. Maybe they intended to ‘wipe them off the map’, because records show they had an astoundingly large amount of "Easy Off BAM" on board.

However, the British plans had been made based on outdated tourist maps of the area, so instead of landing on open grasslands, the ANZACs found themselves facing rolling hills and steep cliffs covered with prickly bushes – a countryside that was being defended by a very tenacious Turkish Army.

Is that where the term ‘Turkish Delight’ comes from?


How about ‘Tenacious D’?


So anyway, what was initially intended to be a ‘quick and decisive strike’ soon turned into a ‘stalemate’ (which is posh chess-talk for ‘bugger’).

Many Australians died at Gallipoli. Presumably some New Zealanders and British soldiers did as well, but there are no records of this, apart from the official ones. Turkish troops cut a swathe through the Aussies, who dug trenches in the beach and bunked down for the night.

'The night' turned into twenty-three years. Many heroic stories came out about the bravery of Australian soldiers at Gallipoli. There was Simpson and his donkey (whom he did NOT call ‘Homer’), and probably one or two other stories as well.

Thankfully, the ANZACs retreated from the fighting just a few minutes later, having successfully stolen the one document from the Turks that they had sought. And here it is:

Recipe for ANZAC Biscuits


* 1 cup plain flour
* 1 cup rolled oats (regular oatmeal) uncooked
* 1 cup pure cocaine
* 1 cup desiccated coconut
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1/2 cup butter
* 2 tbsp golden syrup (or honey)
* 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
* 2 tbsp boiling water

ANZAC Biscuits, photo 1.


* Combine the flour (sifted), oats, cocaine, coconut and sugar in a bowl.
* Melt the butter and Golden Syrup (or honey) in a saucepan over a low heat..
* Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the water and add to the butter and Golden Syrup.
* Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and mix well.
* Spoon dollops of mixture, about the size of a walnut shell, onto a greased tin leaving as much space again between dollops to allow for spreading.
* Bake in a moderate oven, 180C / 350F, for 15-20 minutes.
* Cool on a wire rack and seal in airtight containers.

ANZAC Biscuits, photo 2.


* Eat them.

ANZAC troops dashing for the cookie jar.
The recipe would be in safe hands by tea time.

Happy ANZAC Day, everyone. I hope I’ve been able to properly educate you on the trials and tribulations of our troops. Enjoy your ANZAC Biscuits accordingly, knowing that so many Aussies died bringing you the recipe. Perhaps enjoy them with a slice of turkey on top, just to show you’re not favouring one nationality over the other.

* Because the word is an acronym, it is incorrect to write it as any of the following: Anzac, anzac, or AnZaC. And when discussing the day, you should also use a capital D, like this: ANZAC Day. Anyone writing it incorrectly can see me after class.


Friday, April 20, 2007


Here's a "Friday Fun One" for you ...

Open a blank Microsoft Word document. Type (or copy and paste) the following into the document:


Now press enter.


Magic, huh? Now change the first 10 to 5, and the second 10 to 20.

See what happens? One relates to the number of sentences, and the other relates to the number of paragraphs. Now go and tell all your friends about it.

Cut fully sick.

Rinse and repeat.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Hilarious Howard

Irrespective of your views on Australian politics, you'd have to agree that having a bumbling Mr Sheen as Prime Minister of our country for so long has certainly provided us with our fair share of laughs.

So it's in honour of our tragic PM that I present to you ...

The Top Ten Moments
In John Howard's Political Career

Number 10:
“John Howard Farted”

Number 9:
“Young Johnny Howard, Lady Killer"
(Lawyers' note: Not homicidally)

Number 8:
“Kiss Me, You Fool”

Number 7:
“John Howard Drunk”

Number 6:
“John Howard Tying His Shoelaces”

Number 5:
“John Howard’s Senior Prom”

Number 4:
“John Howard Does 'The YMCA' With His Homies”

Number 3:
“John Howard Is Stupid”

Number 2:
“The Von Howard Family Singers”

And in the Number 1 position:
“John Howard Plays Cricket"
(watch it here)

In honour of the man who is John Howard (John Howard, if you’re wondering), I found this collection of clips on YouTube that represent the man in the best possible light. YouTube - is there anything it can’t do?*

* The washing.

Whoops, no – I’m wrong about that.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

I'm Not Racist, But ...

My family and I spent a lovely Easter Sunday enjoying a BBQ lunch on the side of the Yarra River. It really was a delightful time - Wifey, Sweetums, my parents down from Sydney, and an older couple who are close family friends.

We arrived at 10:30am and set up on a vacant table-and-chair setting, five metres from two of the communal BBQs.

A group of Japanese people were just setting up on the BBQ when we got there, so we settled back to wait until they were finished. We were in no rush.

Cut to three hours later, and we were starting to get hungry. But the group of Japanese people had grown from six to twenty-six, and they were still using both BBQs to cook their food.

There was no regard for anybody else using the BBQs, and no concept of “communal sharing”. It was getting a bit ridiculous.

When my Dad went over and asked them how much longer they’d be using the BBQs that are meant for everyone, he was told to get here earlier next time.


But, you see, it’s a culture thing. It’s “our” culture to cook the food, then bring it back to the table and eat it together. It’s “their” culture to stand around the BBQ cooking their food, and picking it off a bit at a time, eating it as they stand there talking.

There were no intentions of sharing the community BBQ at all. They’d claimed it for the day, and hang anyone else who had food waiting to be cooked. Three other groups of people asked them for one of the two BBQs as well, and were promptly told to nick off (my wording, not theirs), and the whole thing really put a dampener on the day.

It wasn’t their BBQ to commandeer for all of Easter Sunday – in fact, it was their responsibility to share the BBQs provided by the council with other community members.

We found it quite annoying (even without the level of disrespect paid to my always-charming father) that they had a total disregard for anyone else’s cooking requirements.

By 1pm, we’d worked our way into a cooking queue on a BBQ further down the river, and we were happily sitting down to eat by 1:30pm.

When we packed up and moved on at 3:30pm, the group of Japanese people were just starting to pack up and leave as well. No one else had been able to use either of the two BBQs they’d been hogging since 10:30am.

What a charming attitude.

Not me and not my food.
But that's the BBQ in question.
(And my hat, strangely enough.)

But it got us thinking; we understood the difference in culture on display here, but the whole “when in Rome” approach made us think that they should either have brought along a portable BBQ if they intended to be using it non-stop all day, or perhaps hold such a picnic at someone’s home. Alternatively, they should have restricted their use of the hotplates to just one of the two BBQs.

At the very least, they shouldn’t have been so snappy and rude to my Dad, who really is a very nice and polite guy. Much more so than me.

Is it insensitive of me to think along these lines? It really doesn’t matter that they were Japanese (except that I was able to concede it was a cultural thing). If “typical Aussies” (to really generalise the matter) had done the same thing, we’d have been even angrier about it – the Japanese context at least meant we understood the reasoning behind the apparently BBQ selfishness.

Perhaps they were simply ignorant of the inconvenience they were causing other picnickers, but more likely is that they just didn’t care. Maybe they weren’t aware that the rest of us only needed 20 – 30 minutes on the BBQ to prepare our entire meal, but I think if they’d been more thoughtful and considerate of others, they wouldn’t have had their car tyres let down as we left.

How rude!


Friday, April 06, 2007

Sorry, Kids ...

Guess who I ran into yesterday.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Sweetums Update # 5

Today is Sweetums' six month birthday (or anniversary, if you prefer). And as it's my fifth Sweetums Update, I thought I'd break with tradition and show you five photos of him. But this will undoubtedly be the last time his photo appears on my blog.

We've got a big Easter weekend ahead of us. My parents decided a fortnight ago that they'd come down from Sydney to spend the long weekend with us in Melbourne, so Wifey excitedly arranged a big banquetty lunch for both sets of parents and Wifey's sister, her husband, and their two kids (a two year old daughter and a son who's just seven weeks older than Sweetums).

It's going to be a fun event (Wifey has even printed up individual menus for the occasion that I'll be laminating for her), and we're very much looking forward to having both sides of the family around for an Easter meal. It's a shame my siblings and siblings-in-law couldn't also make the trek down from Sydders, but they're saving their money for a trip in October to celebrate Sweetums' first birthday - and that's definitely gonna be a bigger, far more important event.

(Caution: Religious Joke Ahead!) Sweetums has very much been looking forward to seeing Grandma and Grandpa again (it’s been a long time since he saw them last), and he has a LOT to tell them. In fact, their impending visit has been ALL he’s talked about for the past two weeks! For their part, I know Grandma and Grandpa are bursting at the seams to see Sweetums again, and I just hope they travel safely on the roads. It won’t be any fun if they die on their way down here. We’ve already had one death at Easter.

I'm looking forward to waking up and finding chocolate bunnnies, etc, not only at the foot of MY bed, but also at the foot of Sweetums' bed - which Daddy will no doubt have to help him eat. :)

Wherever you are and whatever your traditions and beliefs, I hope you have a safe and happy Easter long weekend.