Sunday, August 27, 2006

Special Father's Day edition!

Okay, so with Father's day coming up I thought it would be ideal to hustle on the "backyard structure formally known as the studio". After all, I worked out that most normal dads spend their weekends doing stuff, with the toolbelts and the hammers and the building and the power tools and the hurrrrr-ting...

So I did those exact things. I needed to get off the couch, since I've been watching way too much TV on the war in Lebanon, and the mass media / UN outrage over Israel's "disproportionate" military response to Hezbollywood's attacks.

Too right, and I hope those bullies Israel have learned their lesson: the next time Hezbollah rain 4,000 missiles down on them for 12 months, they should jolly well respond more proportionately. They should send some very stern mobile phone text messages telling them to please stop, maybe even resort to some name-calling. It would be almost as effective as a UN disarmament resolution.

Reuters headline: "World outrage as Israel targets small furry animals"

Okay, sorry for the rant. I've just read the Protocols of Zion. It's all true, of course. Every word. Those darn Jooos. There's a Joo behind everything, you know.

Speaking of Joos, a quick message from our sponsors

This week's post is brought to you by philanthropist, Billy Gates. Did you know that Bill Gates provided more than $10 million to hand over 1,000 acres of highly productive greenhouses in the Gaza Strip to Palestinians after the Joos were evicted? The Palestinians trashed them all, of course, and now they're worth nothing. But it's the thought that counts.

Now back to more important things. The "studio's" roof was mostly finished, complete with razor-sharp ridge capping. Remind me to never climb up onto the roof or touch it ever again. Naturally, it required a test period of rain. Victorian weather duly obliged and provided me with suitable roof testing periods. I should be happy that it only leaked in ONE place.

All visible mistakes have been digitally edited out

Meanwhile, I bought a brand new door jam on Ebay for 20 bucks! Saved around $60! Whilst that will not go far towards healing the loss of $1300 on Ebay earlier in the year, it did mean I could spend the savings on a new door. Which I succeeded in butchering to get into the jam. I presume the name "door jam" signifies that one must forcibly jam it into the available space.

Naturally the kids helped out by mostly staying out of my way and not killing eachother.

It's important that Sam feels I trust him with power tools

In fact there was a lot of trust all round

In my family, traditionally we have never really celebrated Father's Day or Mother's Day. I think this habit came about as a result of two things. Firstly, both days were fabricated by department stores to sell stuff. Here's the proof; when do you ever see an advertisement for Supercheap Auto on Mother's day weekend, huh? Huh?

Secondly, the particular parent in question each has their own birthday. So if you want to buy them pointless gifts, that's the time to do it. Then at Christmas everybody gets gifts anyway, so nobody can complain that once a year is not enough.

I just want you to know my door is always open.
No, seriously, it's always open. It won't shut properly.

How gratifying it is that our odd little family tradition has been validated by the Civil Liberties lobbyists. As if they can enrich our society any more than they already have. We're so blessed now that we have been banned from telling Irish Jokes, opening doors for women and suggesting things like marriage and family are a good idea. We're so enlightened now that we must teach our kids they are all a big cosmic accident, they have no origin, destiny, or purpose, and then sit back and wonder why they kill themselves at such a massive rate.

What were we thinking? To have a special day to honour "Fathers" clearly offends people who aren't fathers?

You all have my permission to screen dump the following and print them as bumper stickers.

Hopefully then nobody gets offended, and you can still go gift shopping at department stores. Providing you buy gifts that are non-offensive, no sexually opressive things like power tools. Perhaps a carpet swatch or a blank piece of paper. Luckily I got my door jam already.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Miss me?

There are obviously a lot of very upset people out there, at my family blog being inactive for so long. I even received some death threats.

Okay, those were really from the guy I sacked, or possibly from a religious demographic upset that I called the Profit Mohammed a "pirate". But I like the other explanation better.

Anyhoo, I thought I'd better pen a few words about various stuff. There is big news in the Atherton household. To get you in the mood, we'll start with these two cutting-edge pieces:

- Israel is bombing Lebanon
- Mark Webber is driving for Dead Bull in '07.

Now, a quick word from our sponsors...

Click to enlarge and possibly read

I know not everybody share's my obsession with Formula One. Many of you wouldn't know Michael Schumacher if he deliberately parked his shopping trolley in the Pringles aisle to stop you getting the last Sour Cream & Onion. But I'm going to explain it to you anyway. Formula One is the longest running comedy series on earth. It is a rich tapestry of hilarity, with switched-on actors, brilliant script-writers producing ongoing theme-style humour and and funny one-liners.

Take this snippet from the Hungarian episode, where McLaren team boss Ronnie Dennis answered a question about whether they would give their test-driver a race gig, in a hilarious build-up where the journalist actually expected a straight answer:-

''We've taken decisions and acted on the decisions, we have a variety of strategies which are activated by certain circumstances beyond our control. We know exactly where we'll go, and what we'll do according to what unfolds over the next few weeks.''

Sidesplitting!! And this one, from the token-foreign-sounding character Flavio (even the name is funny), manager of Renault, in a scene were people were talking about the popularity of Formual One:-

The people looking Formula One because everything together. Is the driver, is the team, is the performance, is the private jet if you want. Is the helicopter, is the girl, the star. Include the team. And I believe you put a big mistake.

Not since Con the Fruiterer has there been such loveable stereotypes.

Mark Webber went where??

And did you see the episode where Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya left in a huff after being told off for crashing too much? So he said "Fine! I'll go to America and race NASCAR where my crashing will be appreciated"

Then he forgot to tell his wife Connie, who likes buying shoes at Monaco, that now she will have to do all her shopping at 7-11 but said "Look on the bright side, at least we can get steak and chips much cheaper than at Monaco". Then they had a big argument in Spanish, which always makes for good comedy, Connie saying something about him wanting to race cars that look like "Children's breakfast cereal boxes"

Priceless. Then Mark "Dundee" Webber, in true Aussie fashion, refuses to take a pay cut and makes the sideways move from Williams to Dead Bull, whose engines blow up less. Then an Englishman in the Williams team calls Webber a "bit of a whinger"! Hilarious.

And the whole circus is run by a grumpy midget with little-man syndrome called Bernie. It is one of the funniest TV shows since Scrubs.

Now for the Atherton family news. For more details on the karting caper go to my (slightly-formal) superkart blog. In brief the next race is Winton September 23 (moved from Sept 4th) which gives me just enough time to clean out all the Phillip Island mud. Hopefully by then I'll have a sexy new steering wheel and seat, reputed to be 20% more aerodynamic as it lowers my massive head about 100mm. It's supposed to be more comfortable too, which would be nice since I'm grossly unfit and Winton is a very physical circuit. Air Conditioning and CD player may be installed later.

Meanwhile, Sharon's uncle Cliff is just finishing off a V8 Commodore Cup race car in readiness for the Australian Commodore Cup round at Phillip Island. The series is seen on SBS' Speedweek. It's a beautifully built race car, prepared in their new workshop which is as big as most people's blocks of land. Seriously. Don't be surprised if you see the name Domaschenz in amongst D'Agostin and Zukanovich.

Sharon in Sydney for the Darren Hayes concert/ Girls weekend

cars, Sharon's is doing funny things with it's water and oil, which don't mix, apparently. Since the kids have caused more bodily depreciation than the car's actual value, we decided it's time to get Sharon a new car. So Uncle Cliff and I went to the Port Melbourne Auto wholesalers (he has an LMCT licence) to save some bucks and hopefully get something nice.

Sharon said she wasn't fussy, and wanted something "easy to park". At the first wholesaler I was greeted with a sea of Bentleys and Rolls Royces. So it wasn't a great start.

A pointless picture of something you've all seen a bazillion times

I rather like the idea of a Volvo, but when I tell my friends, nobody believes me. Two guys from church have already threatened to disown me if I buy a Volvo. C'mon! Cheap, European quality, and safe.

Naomi became the proud grandparent of some little new guinea pigs recently. The smallest and darkest one was called Midnight, or Blackie, or Mr. Twinkles, or some other such name befitting of a small cute furry rodent. Anyhow, Omi had to bid them a sad farewell as they were farmed out to better homes. Sorry, Freudian slip, I meant "other" homes. Or "new" homes.

Mr. Identity Crisis

Naomi went off to Bacchus Marsh last weekend for a horse show. She won four ribbons, which is remarkable considering she doesn't actually have a horse (I was told she borrowed someone else's). Seriously, both her parents were genuinely upset at not being able to attend. Sharon was sleeping off a nightshift and me, well I was....


What my so-called studio looks like without a roof

That's right. I finally dragged myself from the chasm of lethargy and put brand spanking new zincalume roofing. All by myself. Just me, some good weather, a cordless drill and lots of unseemly language, and finally it's done. The sense of achievement and relief is overwhelming.

And again, without the roof. See? It's not there, well, up the top, you can't quite make it out, it's just take my word for it.

It's all good, of course, until it actually rains.