Tuesday, January 30, 2007


I've been writing this post in my head for a few days now, figured I should actually do something about it.
Its been all fairly mundane, settling in stuff.
News of Aveline dying was just crazy and still sinking in. We missed seeing her by a week when she came to Sydney.
She definatly was a hot pink Mohawk in a land of greys.

Rob mentioned that he felt odd not doing much touristy stuff cause that what it still feels like we are.
We have our spent time, on the computer, getting bank accounts, mobiles, Arizona drivers licenses (passed computer and driving test first go..woot!), bought a car- 2000 Subaru Outback stationwagon, auto and all wheel drive. We wanted a manual but not many around, everyone does AWD, and Outbacks seem the car of choice after the Land Behemoths. It has heated seats!!
We know we have plenty of time to do the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Wupakti etc....
Thinking of driving to California in a week or two to visit folks. See how Rob's contract is going and if I get a job by then...I'm in no rush.

Got my second Spanish lesson tonight...must start practising and do my homework. Its at the local school so we can walk there. Rob and Mike are going to brush up on there vocab and grammar. I thought I was too much of a beginner but the teacher thinks I'll be fine cause he goes back and forth. If it seems beyond me I may also start a real beginners class aswel.

Flagstaff is Sister City to Katoomba/Blue Mtns so they raised the flag at City Hall. There seems to quite a few Aussies in town.
Saturday was Sam's 6th Birthday party which was fun then rolled into heap of folks and their kids turning up for a Aussie Day BBQ. I got the flu aches and pains and by 7pm had to leave cause I was feeling horrible. Total shame cause it was good to meet new people.
A soak in the hottub and 12 hours of sleep put everything just about right again.

Yesterday we went sledding which was a much needed headspace clearer. It hasn't snowed in a week so there were clear patches but the hills were good enough. Heaps of people and many screams, near misses and total wipeouts. It was kinda funny and I don't think anyone lost a bodypart.
I manage to get spun around, going downhill backwards at speed and totally collect some kid at the bottom. He walked away like it was normal.

So we are settling in, hanging out, playing WOW on a rental computer, cause we are geeks and needed our fix. The expansion "The Burning Crusade" seems awesome. Who needs the Grand Canyon when we have Flying Mounts, new shiny Daemons and dragons for pets!?!

Everyone is great here and its fabulous to hang with them. Miss everyone at home but between blogs, WOW and email all is missing is the Chardy, beer and Thai food....


Friday, January 19, 2007


Actually I feel horribly wide awake, headachy and slighty dried out. Woke up at stupid oclock last night but was able to push past it and sleep till 10am, but not tonight. Its partly altitude and jetlag. 7000ft isn't huge elevation but its very dry here.

The whirlwind tour of Taipei was fun. Big and busy. East meets West. Noodles and Starbucks. It reminded me of Nairobi and Mexico City, all very modern and but still with a air of not. Maybe its the materials the buildings are made from, bit more grey concrete, or the funky bright neon signs which seem abit yesteryear, or the smell of sewage in the street. Its hard to explain without sounding all "well Sydney is so much cleaner and brighter so nahh".

We took two tours on Tuesday. The morning on was out of town to the north coast. Drove up to the big port town of Keelung, there is a big Buddha Statue and a huge brass bongy bell.
Then to Yeliu, which is a sandstone outcropping weathered into funky shapes. It was humid but the sea breeze was loverly. It was great to see some of the landscape outside the city, sheer cliff and jagged peaks, all very volcanic, flat land definatley a premium.

Got back to town spend the arvo walking the streets and having a nana nap before the Night tour. There was only us two which was ok, but a bit strange. First we had a Mongolian BBQ dinner, not sure if the tour guide was a little disappionted when we said we had done this before, but all very yummy. Next he took us to Snake Alley - Tourist Night Markets. It was narrow, brightly lit with folk selling geegaws, trinkets, jars of eyeballs ...umm actually I think they may have been eyeballs. Basically a small Paddys Market except with guys draining snake's blood into glasses.
The other side was open air and a bit more interesting, but I'm afraid that night markets especially Asian style ones just don't live up to my imaginings. Plently of neon but not enough spotlights and hover crafts.
From there we walked to Lungshan Temple, which was beautiful and full of people offering food, incense, candles and cash to whatever god or not god may be listening. It was dark and smokey but off to the side was a bright office area with megaphones which kinda broke the atmosphere. People were taking a number to pay US$20 to have their name pull into a piller of candles which looked beautiful. Its all about the cash, as usual, but if its going toward the upkeep of the temple then its a good plan on some monks part.
As goddless as I am I still get into respectful mode when I enter places like that. Mocking is done in a whisper.
After the old world we went to the new. Tower 101, which funnily enough has 101 floors and is the tallest building in the world. We took the super fast ear poping elevator to the 89th floor, and the view was awesome, the world looked liked teeny tiny ants. It would be good go up in the day just to see the surrounding landscape but the city lights were stunning.

It was fun and I'm glad we got to go, even for a short time.
Got to Flagstaff ok, except out luggage was still in Phoenix, but we got it today. All good except for the big glass jar of Vegemite broke in Robs backpack. Part of me mourns the lost, a big part, but part of me giggled cause I know how much he hates the stuff, only a small giggle brought on by jetlag and altitude....no really it was only a small chuckle. Poor vegemite.
It was -10c when we landed, brisk. Today was sunny and brisk. There is snow, not a huge lot but there is a storm a coming tomorrow which will bring more.
We opened a bank account- Wells Fargo, my checkbook (they use checks here- odd) has a stagecoach on the pages.
Haven't been to Granny's closet yet but had lunch/breakfast with Mike at his local. $2.99 big freakin breakfast. Eggs on toast too easy, not enough choices. So many choices.

Well enough blather, I may try and got to sleep or I'll be zmobiefied even more.
Night night


Monday, January 15, 2007

I'm doing this for you.
Rob posted this over at ForBattle, couldn't have put it better myself. On a plane in 5 hours.
Last night I dreamt of snow.

Thats it. We're outta here. We're gone.

You guys sick of saying goodbye to us yet? Well too freakin bad; some things take awhile to do properly... and saying goodbye to you lot, like many of my projects, is something I intend to do half-arsed at best. Maybe even quarter-arsed. We could stretch this out for years.

The last couple of days have been brilliant, and could only really have been better if we'd been able to bend time to let us spend the whole time chatting one-on-one with everyone. I'm going to miss sitting around someones backyard with a beer crapping on about Midori Shots (tm) from a crossbow like you wouldn't believe. But we'll be back, and you'll hopefully be coming to visit, so it'll all be good.

Taking the Flaming Sword of Flatulence Jokes to the place where it'll do the most good, Be Seeing You, Ob and Coz.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Tickets- CHECK
Intriguing sealed documents- CHECK
Hostel in Taipei- CHECK
Packed Stuff To Ship- CHECK, mostly. Vegemite, Mint Slices, computer to go
Backpack packed- Nah, Sunday night jobby
Farewell BBQ- CHECK, be there.
Cleaning Flat- CHECKish
Black Footed Ferret Spotting Organised- CHECK
Cool, Calm Exterior- CHECK
Tummy Butterflies I'm Not Admitting To- CHECK


Friday, January 05, 2007


Well no, but normal things are very rarely funny. She sure loves her Cucurbita pepo though if stuck she will happy munch on a Capsicum annuum.


Monday, January 01, 2007


He knows when you have naughty, he knows when you have been nice...
and he has a scythe

Christmas has come and gone, 2007 is here. Another done and dusted.
2006 was pretty good. Hardly traveled at all though, got Green Card, moved house, went from Lab Monkey to Beer Monkey to Unemployed Sitting In PJs Till 2pm Playing World of Warcraft Monkey.
Can't complain.

Christmas was a hoot as usual, though damn cold for a few days there. Not as impressive as Mindys place though.

Bathurst got more rain in one night than they did in the last couple months and the tent we slept in didn't blow down and was mainly used by the kids as a Game Boy den.

BMX Bandits

7 adults (9 for Xmas lunch) and 2 children managed very well for 5 days and no one was stabbed.

Uncle Tom's pride and joy. '52 Ford Mainline. Shiney.

New Years was good. We bought a ton of fruit from the markets, and I do mean 45 punnets of Strawberrys, box of Mangos, Pineapples...
Despite the chill in the air we bravely drunk Daiquiris and Margaritas to see in the new year.
Wishing you all the best for 2007 and beyond. Still no jumppacks and headjacks I notice.
Keep on trucking.