Friday, September 29, 2006

Ach Liebe!! Meine Auto!!

I hate cars. Sodding things they are (please excuse the profanity). Murphy's Law doesn't generally apply to us, but when it comes to cars...

We thought we were home and hosed when we bought an Uncle Cliff- approved VS Commodore (for much less than what Mum and Dad paid for theirs, I glibly add. Heh heh). Gone were the days of the Skyline's fun-but-fragile manner, where Sharon spent most of her time walking three kids to school after trying to start the damn thing (once again, please excuse the unseemly language) or just bailing out from the burning oil smell. Nope, now we have a common but reliable, popular and safe Australian mass-produced automobile.

Ach!! Despite some plans for something nice and different, common sense forces me into mediocrity

Buy a Commodore they said. Can't go wrong they said.

But NOOOOoo, even our new dependable Commodore can stop on the side of the road and give Sharon some enforced exercise with some annoying problem. Thanks to a dodgy ignition pack ($250). Two hundred and fifty bucks!! It's a Commodore! You're supposed to be able to fix them with bananas and fencing wire!

Maybe I should have bought a German car after all. So who's laughing now? Probably Mum and Dad with their one that actually works.

The Skyline you ask? It's having a ball doing what it's always wanted to do. We sold it to a guy with 5 acres who needed a paddock-basher for his annual Bathurst 1000 paddock races. Which reminds me. Nobody ring me on Sunday Oct 8th. I'll be watching Bathurst. I missed it last year on account of being overseas which was far more interesting. But I'm not overseas this year. So I'm watching Bathurst.

Before all this happened we decided to do one-third of a backyard makeover. I hired one of those Dingo-thingys to dig up some soil in order to lay some new grass in one section. Once that was done successfully, stage 2 water restrictions came into effect so now there's no point in laying anything that needs watering. Whacko. But it was all worth it just to play with the Dingo. They are more fun than they look. I even managed to pop a tyre off it's rim.

having long tired of conventional modes of transport, I recently tried something new. Even this thing broke down

With Sharon off horseriding last Saturday I had the kids all day so we took the new Common-door (pre-ignition failure) up to the You Yangs. The You Yangs is our local national park. It's main feature- lots of big rocks, and some kangaroos. And more rocks.

And Kangaroos.

No Sound of Music jokes please

Hey Dad! There are some girls down there here having a picnic and they're dressed all old-fashioned-like..

In other news Naomi's slutty guinea pig Anna (again please excuse the profanity) has gotten herself pregnant again and again, she does not know who the father is. But being a Christian family we graciously accept her in spite of her mortal sin and were all blessed with three more little newborn vermin sometime Sunday.

and well you might look guilty you promiscuous little rodent

And in far more interesting news I raced at Winton two Saturdays ago (last race on P-Plates! After that no more excuses). The results are now on , I can bore you with the details there. But as a small indication I went 14th to 6th in race one.

I can't think of any particular socio-political rant at the minute so you're all off the hook.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

So much peace it hurts

Firstly, don't forget it's been ONE WHOLE YEAR since Sharon and I jetted off to beautiful Germany for a much-deserved holiday. So, to mark the occasion I have tarted up the travel blog Now with masses of cool photos in each original posting, more witty anecdotes, mindless nostalgia, and a prize for every reader*.

So, anybody wanna buy a car? Sharon's Skyline was about to sue us for vehicle rights abuses but, as callous as this sounds, it will hopefully die before we go to court. The abuse was not so much the lack of servicing, it was allowing children near it. Not satisfied with defacing the nice fire-engine-red paint job, they took to the interior with textas. Now the engine is developing some major internal bleeding in sympathy. Okay, I can't blame that one on the kids. That's my fault.

It's in the trading post now and hopefully we won't have to pay someone to take it away.
I am very grateful for that short-lived hip-hop culture car show "Pimp my Ride". Firstly, it legitimised the word "pimp". I don't have to explain to the kids about people profiting from women selling their bodies. Now I can say it is a colloqial term meaning "to enhance". Secondly, you can use it in trading post advertisements instead of "needs work".

Nissan Skyline 6 cylinder. Rare 5-speed manual. Koni shocks all round. Needs pimping.

Once again, instead of get fussy and spend a fortune to buy a perfect little late-model runabaout, Sharon's uncle Cliff once again seduced me into an alternative. Uncle Cliff is the family "car guy". He buys and sells more cars than we've had lukewarm showers and is a mechnical guru. He's always got a spare car or six lying around.

So, at a price which leaves us enough money to build a new pergola (so Sharon tells me) we've picked up a fire-engine-red (!) VS Commodore with reconditioned everything. Sure, it's bigger than we planned, but the selling point for Sharon was the CD player. The Skyline's radio was stuck on ABC radio. I tried to tell her that listening to horse racing and talkback was entertaining, but for some reason she would rather listen to Darren Hayes.

What an interesting couple of weeks! For those who have asked, thank you, but I am fine since the death of Peter Brock. In fact if anything I have to be careful not to be insensitive about it. As an inspiration to millions, an engineer and race driver, he was a total genius. The few times I bumped into him, he seemed to be a very soft and pleasant man. In that way, his loss is incredibly sad.

Fondest memory. And my favourite Touring Car formula- Group C! (Please disregard the flagrant tobacco advertising)

But maybe I've learned not to revere TV personalities so much. For all his incredible motorsport and business success, fame, Tibetan Bhuddism and motivational philosophy, he couldn't save his fifth "marriage"/relationship. This might seem perfectly normal, admirable even, in ammoral secular modern life. For me it's extremely disappointing and simply means he's as flawed and human as the rest of us.

He seemed to belong more to the public than to his own family and it's hard to tell to whom he was closest.

For that reason, his death is even sadder. I suppose I am saying this not to be insensitive but in the interests of not over-eulogising someone as we tend to do in the immediate aftermath of a tragic death. I'm glad I'm not famous. If I was, Germaine Greer might say nasty things about me when I die.

Come to think of it, I shouldn't mind at all if Germaine Greer said nasty things about me any time. Bring it on. The rest of you, I expect you to say nice things about me at my funeral. Just leave out the bits about the car abuse.

So we lost Steve Irwin, Peter Brock, and Colin Theile in the same week. "Colin who?" I hope you are not asking. If you don't know, well, he's not a conservationist, or a sporting star, that's why you don't know.

Also this week we found out that the Pope knows more about the Koran than most Muslims. But, according to the moderate Muslims, he shouldn't say bad things about the Profit Mohamed because this can "cause violence".

Funny, I always thought that violence was caused by the people partaking in it. How many Catholic Nuns have bludgeoned people to death claiming "Dan Brown made me do it"? That's right. Nun (sorry).

Enough tedious Catholic stereotypes! The Pope's ride has been pimped

Speaking of Nuns, a Nun in Somalia was killed by Muslims. A Reuters source stated the attack may have been because of the Pope's words "which angered Muslims who thought it showed their religion to be innately violent".

Okay, it was Reuters, but let's pretend for a minute that it was actually true or not too wildly exaggerated. So let me get this straight. You criticise Islam for possibly being "too violent". The allegation angers Islam so much, that it starts killing people.

We are the religion of peace. Believe it or else we'll kill and maim you. Geddit? See the irony? Funny, huh? Hilarious eh? What? You're not laughing? Why not?

So, Pope Benedict, stop or you will go blind. Blind, as in you will get your eyeballs plucked out by a lunatic.

*sorry, should have read "surprise for every reader"