Merry Christmas or Merry Xmas

Elena, Madeline, and I would like to wish everybody a merry Christmas. I'm not wishing anyone a happy xmas. If you're celebrating xmas then what are you actually celebrating? The letter X like a muppet on Sesame Street? I'm celebrating CHRISTmas. Don't leave out the birthday boy!

Merry Christmas!

Elena driving in Australia

As promised, here is the video we know you're going to love: Elena driving in Australia! Enjoy!

Its an Update

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Hi peoples,
Just thought I'd make an entry since its been a while. We are finally settled in our new place.... and its awesome. We love our new house. We are sending another DVD diary to everyone in the next couple of months when we've got enough footage to put on it and we're going to give a tour of our new place.

Other news is I've finally got my own personal website. Visit http://www.mikesitehere.com . It is currently under construction and when completed will have alot of interesting stuff about Elena, Madeline, and I. Ok this is where you come in. What do you want to see on my website? Leave your suggestion in the comments below to and I'll see what I can do.

Cheers

We're moving

We're moving... Emails were sent out last week with all the details. If you didn't get the email then ask someone who may know our new details. I'm saying this so I don't give our new details on our blog.

Anywho, here's a video.

Video Diary - Driving with Mike

Instead of writing what I want to say I thought I would just say it. Enjoy.

Leave a comment and tell me what you want to see in Video Diary #2.

Mike Guglielmucci News

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Many of you will of heard the recent news that Mike Guglielmucci has confessed that his so-called battle with terminal illness was a fraud. This is a mind-boggling turn of events that is sending shock waves throughout the Christian community here in Australia and beyond. Michael is apparently seeking professional help, while his family and the rest of us are left to figure out why and how all of this happened.

A whole range of emotions emerge when something such as this comes to the surface - from anger to compassion.

For some insightful comments from Mal Fletcher on this issue, click here.

In the mean time, let's pray especially for Mike, for his family, and for the churches where he has had a highly profiled role.

P.S. To read the media statement from the National Executive of the Assemblies of God in Australia, click here. Mike is the composer of the recent best-selling song Healer.

The news that Mike Guglielmucci has recently confessed to faking his terminal sickness is a shock to everyone. Like myself, most people who talk to me are in disbelief and bewilderment. Lots of questions are flying around ... "How did this happen? What are we supposed to think and feel about this? Where do we go from here?"

There are a variety of responses to any situation such as this, all of them appropriate:

ANGER. It is totally normal to feel very angry about this. People have been lied to, betrayed, deceived, and they feel ripped off. Leadership is a gift from God, as is influence, and when anyone uses that platform for personal gain it is an abuse. When you have prayed for someone, supported someone, and even given financially to help them in their time of need, it's natural to feel very upset when you find out that they have been a fraud. Yes, we are to look to God rather than leaders but church leaders are representatives of God and when they fail to do so in an honorable way, even God himself is angry. Lying is a serious sin (read Acts 5 if you don't believe me).

COMPASSION. You can't help but feel some pity for Mike and his situation. You feel sympathy for what must be going on in his inner world and the unmet needs that have driven him to this life of deception. He has shattered his personal reputation, endangered his future, and embarrassed not only himself, but his family and friends. The guilt and shame must be incredible.

FEAR OF GOD. Moments such as this remind us all that personal integrity is one of the most important qualities to develop. Integrity means that there is an integration between what people see on the outside (when everyone is looking) and who you really are on the inside (when no one is looking). When we fail to live in integrity, God usually gives us some space or time to repent (see Revelation 2:20-22). If we abuse God's grace during this time, there will be an inevitable exposure of our duplicity (see Proverbs 28:13). What we build with our charisma (the gifts and talents God has given us) we can destroy in an instant through lack of character. The sobering thing is that we are all vulnerable to deception and have the potential for great evil inside of us. How desperately we need to live in the fear of the Lord, which is the awareness that he is always with us, and which is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). We reap what we sow - not immediately but eventually.

DISAPPOINTMENT. We live in a generation that longs for heroes and that needs models - people who walk the talk and who live lives worth following. Mike was a role model - a voice to this generation, an incredible talent. What potential and what a platform of influence he had. His fall is a loss for everyone. Yes, we all have feet of clay but, even so, it's very disappointing.

PRAYER. I hope your heart cries out like mine does. We need to turn afresh to God and pray ... for ourselves (that we will walk in the light, living in authenticity and truth), for Mike (that he will experience genuine repentance, deep heart change, and restoration), for his family (for healing grace and consolation), for church leaders world wide (they we will avoid the pursuit of superstar status, an intoxicating state, that we will walk in truth, and that we will build the appropriate accountability processes around us that we all need), and the watching world (that they will see God in our humble repentance and broken hearts).

Maybe you identify with one or more of these responses. As I said, all of them are appropriate. I pray that you will be able to process your thoughts and feelings with some safe friends. It's not time for gossip but it is a good time to debrief this situation so that we all can learn from it.

How will this incident affect the Christian church? Only time will tell. Thankfully, we have the testimony of the church in the first century who battled through challenges such as false doctrine, fraudulent leaders, and intense persecution. With God's grace and wisdom, we can do the same.

Hungary lifter out of the Games with horrific injury

BEIJING (AFP) - Hungarian strongman Janos Baranyai tore his right elbow on Wednesday as the Beijing Olympics weightlifting competition took a terrifying twist.

As the lone Hungarian lifter in the Games hoisted 148kg for his final snatch attempt, his right arm buckled and got caught out of position behind him as the weight came crashing back down on his limb.

The 24-year-old, ranked 33rd in the world in the 77kg category, cried out in pain and lay on the floor as medics rushed onto the platform and carried him off in a stretcher.
"He was taken to hospital," International Weightlifting Federation technical official Rock Huh told AFP.

Baranyai's condition was not immediately known.

Here's the video. Not for the weak.

Essential Olympic Munchies

Here's what we've got to help the whole Olympic watching experience better:
Only two things are missing: Vegemite and Tim Tams. FYI, we are watching the Beijing on a TV made in China. I wonder if the Australian Olympic Team uniform is made in China too?

The Dream Highlights

The Olympics are here! Now that channel seven decided not to have 'The Dream with Roy & HG' for the Beijing Olympics I thought that I would show some highlights here. Enjoy... and Go Aussies!





P.S I predict Australia bringing home a swag of medals by beating the Americans in the pool! Go Aussies!

Aussies caught up in Olympic ticket scam

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Olympic officials will ask a judge in California on Monday to shut down an online Beijing Olympics ticket seller accused of scamming Australian, US and European sports fans and travel agents out of tens of thousands of dollars.
The slick, professional-looking website, www.beijingticketing.com, boasts offices in Sydney, London and New York.
It is believed the offices do not exist.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has received complaints from hundreds of alleged victims in Australia and the rest of the world who fear they have been duped.
Some customers handed over more than $US57,000 ($A60,600) each for tickets, but received nothing back.
The people behind the website appear to have vanished just days before the opening ceremony in Beijing.
The only address on the website leads to an office in Phoenix, Arizona, but desperate fans hoping to travel to Beijing discovered another dead end when they visited the office.
The office was empty.
When AAP repeatedly called the phone number on the website, it rang out.
Texas-based travel agent, Jolanta Sochacka, is one of the scam's biggest victims.
Sochacka told the Los Angeles Times newspaper she purchased $US57,000 ($A60,600) worth of tickets for a family of seven but has not sighted the tickets.
When Sochacka asked a friend in Phoenix to check out the address, the friend found an empty office and no sign the company ever resided there.
"I've been in business for 18 years, I'm aware that there's fraud out there," Sochacka told the LA Times.
"But they looked so legitimate, their website was so elaborate."
The IOC and the US Olympic Committee (USOC) have had success in shutting another suspected Beijing Olympics ticket website scam down.
On July 23 they won a restraining order in Phoenix to close www.beijing-tickets2008.com.
On Monday, the IOC and USOC will ask a federal judge in San Francisco for an order to shutdown beijingticketing.com
The FBI may become involved in the investigation.
Other apparent victims of beijingticketing.com include internet entrepreneurs and software developers, who say despite their own expertise and experience with the internet, they were fooled by the elaborate website.
The site boasts: "We manage our extensive network of ticket agents through our three international offices - London, New York and Sydney".
David Boctor, a Los Angeles Internet entrepreneur who runs his own online retail store, paid beijingticketing.com $US11,505 ($A12,230) for hard-to-get tickets to the Olympic opening ceremony, swimming and diving.
He told the LA Times he became suspicious when the company stopped answering his phone calls in April and his credit card was charged for airline tickets he did not buy.
"If I failed to recognise this internet scam, very few other individuals with less of an e-commerce background would have had a chance," Boctor said.
"So I can empathise with others in the same position."
Another computer savvy victim California-based victim, Jonathan Murray, bought $US4,950 ($A5,260) for Olympic equestrian events.
"I work for a fairly large software company, and the team I manage is responsible for dealing with Internet crime," Murray, originally from Britain, told the newspaper.
"So it was quite amusing to everyone at work that I had been scammed on the internet.
"The important point I'm making by talking about this is that this was a bloody good scam."
Meanwhile in Beijing, Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) deputy chef de mission Lynne Bates said everyone involved in the Olympic family had been encouraged to purchase tickets through the official CoSport agency to avoid such problems.
"Of course it's disappointing," she told reporters in Beijing.
"We realise and understand that the IOC are looking to shut down and take further action on that website.
"But we at the Australian Olympic Committee of course have encouraged everyone, all our shadow team members, everybody that's part of the Olympic family, and advertised it very very widely, that CoSport are our official ticket agent and encouraged all enquiries and everybody to go that way.
"So hopefully there's not too many (affected), but as I say all the people that have followed the co-sport line will be fine."

Zombie Harmony - A dating site for zombies

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Found this website called Zombie Harmony. Its a dating site for Zombies. Just what everyone needs. Check it out here:
http://www.zombieharmony.com/

Things to do on Annual Leave - Watch TV

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I've been watching a bit of TV while on annual leave. At the moment I'm watching Oprah's Favorite Things show. What is that all about? These women were fainting over panini makers and body butter like they were 16 yr old Asian girls at a 1987 Michael Jackson concert. It was on in December last year but we've just got it now.

Click here to check out a compilation of the crowd's reaction

The Third Night Home

Well we survived Madeline's third night home. Everything is getting better. She's sleeping more, if only her parents could. We are slowly getting used to our new routine.

The Second Night Home

Last night was Madeline's second night home. All I can say is all the rumours you hear about midnight feeds and being sleep deprived are ALL TRUE!!
For those of you about to have a little one arrive to the world believe all the rumours and stories. I was the worlds biggest skeptic until 1 am on Sunday morning... and again at 2am, 4am, 7am, and 9am.

It's a Girl!

We would officially like announce the safe arrival of our new daughter Madeline Deborah-Elizabeth Elliott. Born July 15th at 11:44am. Weight 5lbs 15oz Born at Bendigo Base Hospital.

Photos have been emailed to friends and family. If you haven't recieved a photo yet then email us.

Thanks to everyone who voted on the Official Poll. It was difficult keeping the gender a secret for so long!

The Pope Lookalike

I've been thinking about the World Youth Day. Is it just me or does the pope look like Emperor Palpatine from Starwars?

Uncanny or resemblance what?

The worlds most expensive dunny roll holder

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Elena and I were in Bunnings yesterday and found the worlds most expensive toilet roll holder. Who pays $114 for a dunny roll holder? Does it make that trip to the commode that extra special? No sir I don't think so. Let's just sell it as a collection with a gold toilet brush, velvet toilet seat cover, and a chrome toilet roll.

View from my desk

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This is a photo taken of my desk at work.
One of these things don't belong here... can you guess which one?

I don't know either... I just thought I'd post this photo coz I've got nothing better to do

Happy July 4th - Muppets Style

For All You Collingwood Fans

Aussie Food

These little things we cook up on the barby

Brekkie - breakfast
barby - outdoor cooking hotplate
Chips - crisps
Coffee scroll - sticky bun
Damper - a big scone cooked on a campfire
Flat White - café au lait
Four n Twenty - make of Australian pie (as in Nursery Rhyme)
Hungry Jacks - Burger King
Lollies - sweets
Macca's - Mc Donalds
Pavlova - Australian meringue (after Polish dancer Anna Pavlova)
Sanger - sandwich
Snag - sausage
Tucker - food

Biggest jar of Vegemite Ever Made (3.5kg) 1988. This is the stuff we eat like peanut butter.

What Makes Australia Great: Big Stuff

Big Banana (New South Wales)
In a land full of big things, the Big Banana at Coffs Harbour is one of the biggest, both in fame and stature. And it's only a short drive away from the charming town of Bellingen and the World Heritage Listed Dorrigo National Park.

Big Pineapple (Australia)
The other heavyweight in the Big Thing Universe, the Big Pineapple is located on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. It is also home to one of the finest souvenir shops in Australia. A pineapple in a snowdome, can you imagine anything more beautiful?

Big Merino (New South Wales)
You'd have to travel a very long way before you came across a more innovative use of concrete than the Big Merino at Goulburn. It truly is one of the engineering marvels of the modern world. Go there, and when you leave spread the gospel.

Big Ned Kelly (Australia)
In 1878 Ned Kelly shot 3 policemen and became the most wanted man in Australia. Australians don't like authority so he also became a national hero. After that it was inevitable that a 6m likeness would be erected at Glenrowan, the site of his capture

Big Tasmanian Devil (Australia)
As big things go, the Tassie Devil is somewhat underwhelming but I had to include something from Tasmania and the alternatives, the Big Coffee Pot, the Big Apple and the Big Penguin are too stupid, too cliched and too short respectively.

Big Lobster (Australia)
If the Big Lobster was located on the east coast it would undoubtedly rival the Big Banana and the Big Pineapple as the greatest big thing in the world. Instead it's found down the road from Adelaide and its true grandeur remains largely unrecognised.

Big Potato (Australia)
The Big Potato is in Robertson, the town where the movie Babe was filmed. You might have expected therefore that the local tourism board would opt for a big pig. Instead they've gone for a big brown lump that looks like a giant kangaroo dropping.

Aussie Slang Made Easy

Let's say you’re an American male on a visit to Australia and you meet this dinki-di Aussie sheila.
You click, and she wonders if you can meet her later, say at 5pm, near the lifts by the chemist’s on the first floor of the Oz Building.
"No worries, mate," you say, having already picked up that Aussie expression.
And, yes, you know that lifts are elevators and the chemist’s is the pharmacy or drugstore.
A really good start to what could develop into something great.
And so at 5 o’clock...
Before it’s 5pm you rush into the Oz Building, which you discover to be a shopping centre. You had a map and it was easy to find.
The elevators are there all right but there’s no drugstore. Well, even a true blue Aussie sheila can get her bearings wrong.
So you wait by the elevators, and the minutes tick by.
By 6pm you just know you’ve been stood up...

But what about her?

Well, she was there before 5pm. She was waiting near the lifts by the chemist’s on the first floor but when you didn’t arrive by 6pm, she just knew she’d been stood up.
Unfortunately, the American knows the ground floor of a building as the first floor. Any Australian knows that the first floor of a building is the first floor up from the ground floor, or what the American would know as the second floor.

The moral of this little story is: Know a little bit of the local language.

A recent development is using level instead of floor, hence Level 1, Level 2, and so on, to avoid confusion. (Of course, Level 1 may not be the ground floor either, particularly in buildings with underground levels.)
There are a number of Australian words and phrases, for which Americans, or people influenced by the American language, use different terms.

Here we go:

barrack for. Cheer. as in barrack for the Blues (a sports team). Warning: Don’t use root willy-nilly unless you know what it means in Australian.
battler. Someone who tries hard despite money problems.
bitumen. Paved road, asphalt.
bludger. One who won’t work and usually relies only on Social Security payments.
bonnet. Hood (of a car)
boot. Trunk (of a car)
bottle shop. Liquor store.
bushfire. Forest fire, wildfire.
bushranger. Outlaw, highwayman.
BYO. Bring your own (wine). Said of restaurants without a liquor licence.
cask (of wine). Boxed wine ready to drink from a spigot.
chemist, or chemist’s. Pharmacy or drugstore.
come good. Turn out okay.
cut lunch. Sandwiches.
deli. Milk bar, delicatessen.
esky. Insulated container (usually to keep beer cold).
flake. Shark meat, what you usually get in fish and chips.
give it away. Give up.
grazier. Cattle or sheep farmer.
holidays (sometimes colloguially shortened to hols). Vacation.
knock. Criticise.
lamington. Sponge cake covered in chocolate and coconut.
lift. Elevator.
lolly. Candy.
lay-by. Buy on instalment without taking the goods until fully paid for.
milk bar. Usually a general store.
newsagent. Newspaper shop.
non-smoking area. No smoking area.
offsider. Assistant or partner.
out of pocket. Spent more than was received.
pavlova. Meringue and cream dessert.
perve. Be a peeping Tom, or to look with lust. From pervert.
pictures. The movies, cinema, as in Let's go to the pictures.
ratbag. A weirdo or something like that.
ropable. Extremely angry or bad-tempered.
sealed. Paved, as in sealed road. Not a dirt road.
shellacking. Criticism for a thorough and shameful defeat.
shonky. Dubious, unreliable.
shopstealing. Shoplifting.
sunbake. Sunbathe.
takeaway. Take out, to go.
windscreen. Windshield (of a motor vehicle).

This Doesn't Happen in Australia

Guess The Name of Our Newborn

Everyone has been asking us for the name of our unborn son or daughter so we thought we'd ask everyone to guess what the name is. Leave a boy name or girl name in the comments below. You can leave as many names as you want. We will announce the name of our baby when he or she is born about July 18th.

Jedi attack: Darth Vader spared

A man who dressed up as Darth Vader, wearing a black garbage bag for a cape, and assaulted the founders of Britain's first Jedi church has been given a suspended sentence.

Arwel Wynne Hughes, 27, attacked Jedi church founder Barney Jones - a.k.a. Master Jonba Hehol - with a metal crutch, hitting him on the head, prosecutors told Holyhead Magistrates Court in Wales. He also whacked Jones's 18-year-old cousin, Michael Jones - or Master Mormi Hehol - bruising his thigh, in the March 25 incident.

Unfortunately for Hughes, the incident was recorded on a video camera that the cousins had set up to film themselves in a light saber battle.
"Darth Vader! Jedis!" Hughes shouted as he approached.
Hughes claimed he couldn't remember the incident, having drunk the best part of a 10 litre box of wine beforehand.

"He knows his behaviour was wrong and didn't want it to happen but he has no recollection of it," said Hughes's lawyer, Frances Jones.
District Judge Andrew Shaw sentenced Hughes to two months in jail but suspended the sentence for one year. He also ordered Hughes to pay 100 pounds ($200) to each of his victims and 60 pounds in court costs.

Barney Jones, his brother Daniel and cousin Michael set up the Church of Jediism, Anglesey order, last year. It claims about 30 members.
Jedi is the faith followed by some of the central characters in the Star Wars films. In the 2001 United Kingdom census, 390,000 - 0.7 per cent of the population - listed Jedi as their religion.

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

*_BARACK OBAMA:_*The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a CHANGE! The chicken wanted CHANGE!
*_JOHN MC CAIN:_*My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized theneed to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on theother side of the road
*_HILLARY CLINTON:_*When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to crossthe road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure --right from Day One! -- that every chicken in this country gets thechance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't aboutme.......
*_DR. PHIL:_*The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that hemust first deal with the problem on 'THIS' side of the road before itgoes after the problem on the 'OTHER SIDE' of the road. What we need todo is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his'CURRENT' problems before adding 'NEW' problems.
*_OPRAH:_*Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is whyhe wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chickenlearn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'mgoing to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across theroad and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.
*_GEORGE W. BUSH:_*We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just wantto know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chickenis either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.
*_COLIN POWELL_*:Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satelliteimage of the chicken crossing the road...
*_ANDERSON COOPER - CNN:_*We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yetbeen allowed to have access to the other side of the road.
*_JOHN KERRY:_*Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now againstit! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken'sintentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.
*_NANCY GRACE:_*That chicken crossed the road because he's GUILTY! You can see it inhis eyes and the way he walks.
*_PAT BUCHANAN_*:To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.
*_MARTHA STEWART:_*No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had astanding order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the pricedropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insiderinformation.
*_DR SEUSS_*:Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, thechicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.
*_ERNEST HEMINGWAY:_*To die in the rain. Alone.
*_JERRY FALWELL:_*Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth?'That's why they call it the 'other side.' Yes, my friends, that chickenis gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say weboycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberalmedia whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like 'the otherside.' That chicken should not be crossing the road. It's as plainand as simple as that.
*_GRANDPA:_ *In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebodytold us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.
*_BARBARA WALTERS:_*Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to thechicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how itexperienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish itslife long dream of crossing the road.
*_ARISTOTLE:_*It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.
*_JOHN LENNON:_*Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, inpeace.
*_BILL GATES:_*I have just released eChicken2007, which will not only cross roads,but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of the Chicken. This newplatform is much more stable and will never cra...#@&&^(C% .........reboot.
*_ALBERT EINSTEIN:_*Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?
*_BILL CLINTON:_*I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition ofchicken?
*_AL GORE_*I invented the chicken!
*_COLONEL SANDERS_*:Did I miss one?
*_DICK CHENEY:_*Where's my gun!

Unique

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How To Get Around Australia

Ah yes, this is something some tourists may not quite think to ask when first planning a visit. Australia is about the size of Continental Western Europe or the main bits of the USA. So assuming you’re not limiting yourself to one city while you’re here (and yeah, some do just come and visit the Sydney Opera House, climb the bridge, ride a ferry, go to the zoo and the Blue Mountains, and then go home), you’ll need to figure out how you’re getting around this big brown land.

Your basic choices are: Plane / train / bus / drive / boat. Or walk or bicycle, but we’ll skip that for this particular explanation. And yogic flying is generally not recommended due to the distances involved.

Flying used to be very expensive, but airline competition in the last few years means it’s no longer necessarily the most pricey way to travel. Qantas and particularly Virgin Blue and Jetstar are now fighting for your airfare dollar, and the cheapest plane tickets are often not much more than the cost of a bus. So if you’re not interested in seeing the scenery along the way (apart from clouds and nice views of the cities as you flew in and out), and especially if you’re flying between capital cities and in a hurry, this is the way to go. Smaller local airlines cover some of the regional cities.

Note however that the cheapest air tickets are generally non-refundable and non-changeable, so you need to be absolutely certain of when and where you intend to fly. Check all the terms and conditions carefully, like that doozy with Jetstar whereby if you’re not checked-in 30 minutes before takeoff, they won’t let you board, full stop. Ground transport can also add a bit to the cost (a taxi could be more expensive than a cheap airfare), though most cities have relatively inexpensive airport buses. (Sydney and Brisbane also have airport trains.) Oh, and expect to pay extra for food and drink on Jetstar and Virgin.

Trains and buses continue to be a good option for some trips. Apart from Darwin by train, they generally serve the city centres, which may mean no extra time or money for ground transport. Booking ahead will often get discounts, and passes can be bought for extended bouts of travelling. They also serve the smaller towns, whereas you can generally only get to the bigger cities by plane.

The scenery can be terrific, indeed the (fairly expensive) tourist trains such as The Overland, Ghan and Indian Pacific use this as the drawcard. Sipping champagne while watching the countryside rolling past outside the window sounds pretty civilised to me (as long as the company is good), though they’re not known for their speed.

The Melbourne to Sydney and Brisbane XPT trains are a little less salubrious, but still reasonably comfortable, and a little faster. If you’re looking for TGV-style very fast trains in Australia though, you’ll be disappointed.

Bumping around in a bus (major operators: Greyhound, Firefly) making quick stops for meals at road houses may be a little less comfortable than a train, but you’ll get where you’re going on the cheap, and buses go to plenty of the smaller towns where planes and trains don’t stop.

Driving is also an option. Many overseas backpackers either buy an old car for the length of their holiday, or rent cars for particular trips. Obviously this is the way to go if no public transport serves where you’re going, and a taxi isn’t do-able, or you just want to do things at precisely your own pace.

Visitors from overseas should make sure they have a licence in English or an International Driving Permit. And for gawd sake don’t forget we drive on the left, and read up on the fiddly rules for where you’re going. (Hook turn, anybody?) If heading out into the bush from a big city, you may want to plan to make the first part of the trip by other means if heavy traffic freaks you out, and if going into the remote areas, take appropriate precautions: food, drink, comms.
The main candidate for travelling by boat is to from the mainland to the northern side of Tasmania. There are various classes of fare (the trip is overnight) and they can take cars on the boat. Avoid of seasick, natch.

So in summary, weigh up your options according to the priorities: destination vs money (some services have travel passes) vs time vs comfort.

PS. Please note: No, there is no bridge to New Zealand. And Uluru is not a day trip from Sydney.

National E-security Awareness Week

National E-security Awareness Week has been launched to highlight simple steps Australians should take to protect themselves, their families and their businesses online.

The internet is a very useful and entertaining medium, however it is important that people stay smart and think about online security.

Here are five tips for creating a more secure online environment:
1. Install, use and update your security software at home.
2. Use strong passwords and change them regularly.
3. Use common sense when sharing personal information online.
4. Think before you click - if it looks too good to be true it probably is!
5. Be smart and stay informed and visit http://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/

For more practical tips, advice and information on the National E-security Awareness Week events and partners, visit: http://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/

I Love Lego



For the past month, I have been making a toilet out of lego. I have just put the last brick on my lego toilet today. I guess I was bored. Its life like. Now I gotta incorporate some plumbing.

Mike & Elena of the Week

Welcome to Mike & Elena of the week. Each week we pick a couple to be the "Mike & Elena of the week". We search Google images for other Mike & Elena's.

This weeks other us's award go to these two.

Couple cheat online... with each other!

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A MARRIED couple who didn't realise they were chatting each other up on the internet are divorcing.

Sana Klaric and husband Adnan, who used the names "Sweetie" and "Prince of Joy" in an online chatroom, spent hours telling each other about their marriage troubles, Metro.co.uk reported.

The truth emerged when the two turned up for a date. Now the pair, from Zenica in central Bosnia, are divorcing after accusing each other of being unfaithful.

"I was suddenly in love. It was amazing. We seemed to be stuck in the same kind of miserable marriage. How right that turned out to be," Sana, 27, said.

Adnan, 32, said: "I still find it hard to believe that Sweetie, who wrote such wonderful things, is actually the same woman I married and who has not said a nice word to me for years".

The New FG Falcon at Debut in the V8 Supercars

Ford fans will get their first look at the all new FG Falcon based V8 Supercar racer this weekend when the car goes on show at Melbourne’s Sandown Raceway.

Ford has announced that the car, code named FG01, will be rolled out of the Ford Performance Racing workshops in Broadmeadows for the Midas 400 race weekend at Sandown.

Based on Ford’s recently launched FG Falcon XR8 sedan road car, the new Blue Oval weapon will feature a striking ‘Nitro’ blue with white themed livery.

The FG01 prototype will reside in pit lane for the duration of the event, from where Team Vodafone driver and V8 Supercar Champion Craig Lowndes will steer the new race car on a number of demonstration laps of the twisty 3.1 kilometre track.

Channel Seven pit reporter Grant Denyer will be riding as passenger, giving the V8 Supercar world a glimpse of Ford’s future in the sport.

“There has been a lot of excitement at Ford surrounding the launch of the new FG Falcon road-going series, and that excitement has certainly extended to the development of our new race car,” said Ford Racing Manager, Ray Price.

“Our new V8 Supercar has been in development for over 18 months, and it is great that we have been able to get FG01 out on the track so quickly off the back of revealing the new model Falcons.

“Ford’s V8 Supercar teams have been invaluable in having the car we have numbered FG01 ready for a mid-year homologation.”

FPR, Triple 8 (T8) and Stone Brothers Racing (SBR) played a pivotal role in building the FG test car which is called T2 internally – T1 was the test car for the currently raced BA/BF V8 Supercar model.”

“FG01 signifies a fresh look for the Fords, the best way to describe it is that it’s much more aggressive, I think everyone will be really pleased,” said FPR Team Principle Tim Edwards.

As the official Ford homologation team, Triple 8 has been involved in the development of FG01 and they are responsible for technical compliance of the vehicle within the TEGA ‘Blueprint specification’.

Additionally T8 contributed its aerodynamic expertise, designing and supplying components for testing.

Stone Brothers Racing (SBR) assisted with various technical elements of design and integration
“A mid-season homologation will ensure Ford teams are awarded the maximum amount of preparation time for when we’re ready to bring the FG to the track to race,” Price said.

The FG V8 Supercar and Ford’s traditional line-up of Falcon’s will hit the track this weekend at the Midas 400, Sandown Raceway June 7-9, further information at http://www.sandown400.com/.

50 things I learned from watching Planes, Trains, & Automobiles

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Here is a list of 50 things I learned from watching Planes, Trains, & Automobiles

  1. Don't throw away your rental agreement the next time I get stranded in a rental lot and my only way back is to walk down a freeway and runway.
  2. Pull your car over, before trying to take your coat of.
  3. If you decide to throw your cigarette out the window of the car, make sure that it actually does leave the car, or better yet, use the ashtray.
  4. When you spend the night at a motel and you want to take a shower, check out the shower first to find out how it works, or you might end up with soap all over your face and no more water.
  5. If you decide to throw your cigarette out the window of the car, make sure that it actually does leave the car, or better yet, use the ashtray.
  6. If you ever have loads of shower curtain rings and have no money, sell them all off as earings.
  7. If you let someone pay for everything, you feel like a freeloader.
  8. Lawyers are thieves (well, I guess we didn't really learn anything there).
  9. If you've purchased a first-class airline ticket and are assigned to row, it's unlikely you've been seated in first-class (how many rows of first-class do you think there could possibly be)?
  10. If you're driving a 1986 Dodge 600 ES Turbo and it catches on fire, your radio will be fireproof and will actually work better afterwards.
  11. A freshly made bed in a motel will look like a queen size when you first enter the room, but in the morning you'll realize it was only a double.
  12. It is possible to buy pajamas that will clash with every fabric pattern you share a room with. 21. Smoking in the 1980's was good for you.
  13. The cast of Family Ties was on the cover of Us Magazine sometime in 1986/1987.
  14. Grace, the secretary of Ferris Bueller's high school, has lost her job and is now a customer service agent for Marathon Car Rental.
  15. If you fall in front of a moving vehicle, it will stop right before hitting your head.
  16. Never, under no circumstances, NEVER put your hands in between two pillows.
  17. It's possible to have a baby come out sideways where the mom don't scream or nothin.'
  18. The theme song to Flintstones will go over better in a karaoke bar better than 3 Coins In A Fountain.
  19. Just because people don’t know your destination doesn’t mean they can’t tell you’re going the wrong way.
  20. $2.00 and a Casio won't get you a hotel room...no matter how well you display the watch.
  21. Paying for a hotel room with cash ensures you will not get caught if you back into the building with your car.
  22. Wearing shower curtain rings as earings may grant you access to bars even if you are underage.
  23. If it seems awfully easy to hail a cab in NYC there is probably a very good chance it was someone else's cab.
  24. Even though you have just squeezed your car between two oncoming 18-wheelers the consequent dents and gouges can be buffed right out.
  25. Make sure to remove your wallet from the glove compartment just incase the car is to catch fire
  26. It's a dang rare thing these days to find someone who's proud of their town.
  27. After an accident it's ok to "laugh beacuse we all right now!"
  28. A tie will make a poor ear warmer when walking across the tarmack.
  29. Always call for a room first, NOT your wife to say you are in Witchataw.
  30. It is better to get a noogie than an indian burn.
  31. During Thanksgiving you should always end phone conversations with gobble gobble.
  32. Always have a friend vouch for you when you've worn the same underwear since tuesday in order to get a motel room.
  33. When losing control of a car and awakening your passenger, tell him we almost hit a deer to smooth things over.
  34. Sitting in a seat of a burned up car makes you feel like a big whopper.
  35. Taking a picture makes it last longer.
  36. You have more of a chance finding a three-legged ballerina than you do a hotel room when theres a storm in Witchita...
  37. Lugging a trunk around New York City seems to be harder than anywhere else.
  38. Holding tightly onto a dashboard will cause your fingers to sink into the dashboard.
  39. Breaking something can be always blamed on faulty engineering.
  40. Even though the discount cards are still honored at the motel, you'll have to be be charged for a double...but with the discount, it'll work out about even.
  41. Selling shower curtain rings to people ensures they owe you a favour.
  42. If you're willing to pay 10.00 for a cab, you're willing to pay 50.00....75.00...
  43. Never lose possession of your Diner's Club Card
  44. Casio watches draped seductively over your arm are not considered good enough for a room at a crappy motel which is probably empty anyway over thanksgiving.
  45. Like your work, love your wife.
  46. You can't rent a car with shower curtain rings.
  47. You can't rent a motel room with a Chalmer's Big & Tall credit card.
  48. Just go with the flow, like a twig on the shoulder of a mighty stream.
  49. Casio watches don't work as currency. You need a good watch for that.
  50. And finally.... Like your job, Love your wife.

Whats the name of that game?

I found this great video on You Tube. Someone has built a life size version of this board game..... Wait a minute I have to explain something before I continue. I can't say the name of the board game because the first word is a creature that Elena is afraid of while the second word is Trap. So for the sake of Elena reading this and freaking out I will say that this creature rhymes with 'House' so that's the word I will use....

So with that explanation out of the way let me start again...

I found this great video on You Tube. Someone has built a life size version of this board game. Does everyone remember the game 'House' Trap? You land on a particular space and it's suppose to set off the trap and you hope that the trap actually captures your 'house'. I remember getting 'House' Trap for my 10th birthday and I think its around somewhere... well part of it anyway. I think I've lost some bits and some of the 'houses'.

Anyway the whole point of this post is to show you the full size version of the 'House' Trap board game. I thought this was pretty good. After watching it I think I will go out back and create a full size Monopoly board with real size hotels and houses.

7 Weeks to go

Hi All,
We can't believe it, this is week 33 and what a journey it's been. We have been getting everything ready for the big day.

Its been way too long between posts so we thought we'd tell everyone whats happening. We have about 7 weeks to go until our baby is born. With that said, time is running out to vote whether our new born will be a boy or girl. You can vote on the right hand side of this page. The poll will expire on the due date of 18th July and of course we will let you know what the official result is.

We have bought a video camera to capture all the important baby moments and put them onto dvd and send them to our family and friends overseas. Keep an eye out soon in the mail.

Baby Update

We are in week 22 of the pregnancy... yay!

Prosperity Gospel Album

Our Future Son or Daughter

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I thought that I would use photoshop and super impose Elena and my photo together to see what our future son or daughter will look like when they are about our age.
WARNING: This may freak people out... I know it freaked us out.

Our future son if he ever decided to bring back the mullet
Our future daughter

New Ultrasound Photos

G'day, here is the latest ultrasound photos of bump




Don't forget to vote if Bump is a boy or a girl

Whats New?

Hi sports fans. Its been long time no see. We have really good reasons for no entries this month... we really do. My birthday was great. Elena surprised me with 2 tickets to see Jason Alexander's Comedy Spectacular in Melbourne in April. It should be fun. The best thing about this is that we got the 6th row from the front.


One of these things do not belong here:
I was greatly disturbed this week about what I saw at work. I went to the vending machine and saw cans of John West tuna mixed between Kit Kats, Mars Bars, Snickers and various other Chocolate Bars (Sidebar: I don't care what anyone thinks, Aussie Chocolate is way better than that American chocolate). What the heck is tuna doing in the vending machine? Has anyone decided to have a snack and go "Man, I could really go for some tuna right now" or say "Darn, I bought some bread to work but I forgot to put something in my sandwich. Just as well theres Tuna or I'd go hungry". Who's ever picked Tuna over a Mars bar anyway? I have never thought "Hmmm I could really go for some tuna right now" I have never seen anything like this ever and thought that it was so unusual that I took a photo of it with my mobile phone. If anyone has any ideas what tuna might be doing in the vending machine then that would be great.

Baby News:
Another thing too. We are now officially half way through the pregnancy and we have the second ultrasound booked in for tomorrow. This is the ultrasound where you can see more than the first one. We will be able to tell if 'Bump' is a boy or girl (Unless he or she crosses his or her legs). We won't be telling anyone the gender until Bump is born. The official poll on the right will expire when bump is born. Currently 72% of you say that Bump is a boy while 27% of you say that bump is a girl. Feel free to study the ultrasound photo and vote. I've heard comments about him or her looking like myself. I'll try not to give myself a big head especially if Bump is a girl. The weirdest thing is for people to think our future daughter looks more like her dad and not her mum.

Comeback tomorrow for a new photo of Bump!

I may grow older but I'll never grow up

Crikey, Tomorrow is my birthday! I can't believe that I'm going to hit the big 3-0. I'm actually in denial.

Some highlights of these 29.9 years since I've been on earth so far include:

  • Moving out of my folks place
  • Moving out of my folks place
  • Moving out of my folks place

Did I mention moving out of my folks place?

Some of my regrets:

  • Not finding out what the Colonel's 11 secret herbs & spices are
  • Not trying bungy jumping
  • Not trying sky diving
  • Not watching Seinfeld from Season 1 Episode 1 to Season 9 Season 180 continuously without stopping
  • Not being on the TV show 'The Mole'
  • Not being on The Amazing Race
  • Experiencing an episode of Australian Idol
  • Not moving out of my folks earlier....

The worst thing about that is when people find out that its your birthday its peoples duty to remind you. To everyone: I know its my birthday, everytime I open my wallet theres my drivers licence with my date of birth on it. If I'm in America I would have already missed my 30th birthday since it would read 2/1/08 (January 2) not 1/2/08 (Feburary 1).

Happy Australia Day

Happy Australia Day everyone!

If you don't know what we're talking about its Australia's answer to Independence Day.

To Celebrate this joyous occasion here's the Australian Nation Anthem to the tune of Jimmy Barnes Working Class Man



I can't forget Australia Day without showing some Crowded House

What Makes Australia Great - Aussie Food

Ok, so here’s the deal-e-o: we’re talking food today. Not just any food but Down Under cuisine.

VEGEMITE
Vegemite is a dark brown savoury food paste made from yeast extract, used mainly as a spread on sandwiches, toast and cracker biscuits, as well as a filling of pastries like Cheesymite scroll, in Australia and New Zealand. It is similar to British Marmite, New Zealand Marmite and Swiss Cenovis. Vegemite is made from leftover brewers' yeast extract, a by-product of beer manufacture, and various vegetable and spice additives. The taste may be described as salty, slightly bitter, and malty - somewhat similar to the taste of beef bouillon. The texture is smooth and sticky, much like peanut butter. It is not as intensely flavoured as Marmite and it is less sweet than the New Zealand version of Marmite. Vegemite is popular with many Australians and New Zealanders, who commonly consider it a "national food."

TIM TAMS

There are many reasons to come and visit your two favourite Aussie and American in the land of Oz. Although we promise everyone a rockin' good time in the land down under, the real reason you should visit (reefs, architectural icons, a perfect climate and general fabulousness excepted), is a little cookie know as the Tim Tam - "the most irresistible chocolate biscuit." Tim Tams are awesomeness in biscuit form. Chocolaty wafers with a smooth caramel center dipped in chocolate - what's not to like?
Oh wait, there's more ways to get your Tim Tam on. You have your choice of mouth watering centers or you can even get them double dipped in chocolate. If you're into kickin' it old school, the original Tim Tam is filled with a light and fluffy chocolate cream. And better yet, they are healthy. In Australia, there are no calories, just "energy" and the Tim Tams have lots of it. Isn't that wonderful?
Being a creative, inventive and boozey people, the Aussies have even figured out how to incorporate the Tim Tam into a drinking game. It's called the "Tim Tam Slam." You can read about it here . A Tim Tam Slam has been performed by Natalie Imbruglia and host Graham Norton on the So Graham Norton television series in the United Kingdom. American actress Jennifer Love Hewitt also performed one live on Rove McManus's Australian talk show Rove Live after professing her love for the biscuit


PIE & COKE

This one is a Meat Pie and Coke. I think its Aussie tradition to combine 2 things that health professionals call junk food and label it as a meal. You have these everywhere, the Football, the cricket, everywhere. No you don't pay $3.50 - try $7 for both together. Yep, the sporting events have their own constitution. Most places know as soon as patrons step inside the ground, you lose any sense of their being a life outside of the stadium.





CHIPS & GRAVY & COKE
This is the Chips and gravy and Coke..... There's a place around the corner who make the best chips and gravy around. You have not lived until you've tasted them. I don't know how they do it or what they put in it but it tastes perfect. This I'll have at least once a week or once a fortnight, depending on how I'm feeling. I'm very spontaneous and if I'm driving past the shop I will sometimes stop and grab me some.

What Makes Australia Great - Cricket & Yobbo's

Traditionally, cricket fans have been gentlemanly. They watched the game without showing much emotion. They cheered good play from opponents and arrived at the game in respectable attire such as suits and ties


World series cricket attracted a new breed of fan to whom cricket was not always the main attraction. Known as Yobbos, these fans liked making noise, taking the crap out of people and dressing up in silly attire. They brought with them drums, horns and instigated Mexican waves. Cricket games subsequently developed the kind of carnival atmosphere more commonly associated with football.

Yet despite having many distractions to the game, the Yobbo's were far more one eyed in comparison to the gentleman fans of days gone by. Instead of cheering good play by opponents, Yobbos booed like a fan at a football game; and chanting obscenities


For a while, the Yobbos had harmless fun but it was only a matter of time before they became the subject of complaints from the wowsers in the members stand. The members voiced their disapproval of the excessive noise and subsequently, the Yobbo's musical instruments were banned.

The members were also offended by the Mexican wave as whenever it reached them, they remained seated to which the yobbos booed.

Yobbo's also had a habit and breaking into chants. It wasn't long before security began ejecting anyone suspecting of starting the wave or having a good time.With their musical instruments banned and their Mexican wave under attack, the Yobbos searched for new means of entertainment. Throwing items such as plastic cups and half eaten meat pies was the logical solution. This new form of entertainment caused serious problems as occasionally an unsuspecting cricket fan with no interest in food fights found themselves in the lions den of a pack of Yobbos. In such situations, protests to watch cricket in peace were greeted with sadistic laughter or perhaps a meat pie to the back of the head.

Yobbo's also began entertaining themselves by invading the pitch. This was a concern to channel nine commentators as they looked silly when they spoke about the pride of playing for Australia only to then see Australians running onto the field without wearing any trousers!

Authorities initially tried to calm Yobbism by ejecting troublemakers. Unfortunately, no matter how many were ejected, thousands remained to continue the troublemaking. This left the authorities with only one option; sell half strength beer. Many yobbos were outraged and vowed to boycott the cricket.

Other yobbos developed ingenious schemes to smuggle alcohol into the stadium. They discovered that water melons could be injected with vodka. Fruit salad could be soaked in booze over night and port could be placed in coca -cola bottles and look like the real thing.

Yes, If you haven't been to the Cricket you have no idea what you are missing.

By the way, Kudos to all you who have ever been in bay 13.

What Makes Australia Great - Long Weekends

Australia Day is coming soon and this weekend is a long weekend. I think Aussies just find an excuse to have a long weekend.

I would love to celebrate my own long weekend by creating my own public holiday by celebrating "Bogan Day". This would consist of a parade with guys with Attire with Shirt that is usually flannel in nature or promoting bands such as MetallicA, PanterA, AC/DC, Sepultura, Iron Maiden or Megadeth. With their hair grown long cut into a mullet. In this parade early-model Holden or Ford cars would drive behind their owners.

The day could be spent watching AFL Football with a BBQ lunch. They could also give out free tickets to the Footy for anyone with any of these names:
gazza
wayne
kevins
hazza
shez
barry/bazza

Feel free to add this idea and anyone reading this that wants to actually help me get this idea off the ground, please get in contact with me by leaving a comment below.

What Makes Australia Great - Men At Work

Jan 26th is Australia Day and to celebrate we are going to be looking at different things that make Australia great.

For starters here's the song Down Under by Men At Work.

My Nintendo Collection

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Sorry for the long delay between posts but I have a good excuse.

You see I'm an avid collector of all things Nintendo that I have put my photos up for all the world to see. I started my collection back in 1990 with a life size Super Mario action figure (No I don't use the word doll). So check out my great collection everyone!



Ultrasound

As promised here is our first Ultrasound photo of 'Bump' at 13 weeks. 'Bump' is due July 18th. Don't forget to vote on whether we are having a boy or a girl.


Updates On This Blog

Hi everyone! Just thought we'd tell everyone whats happening. At the moment I'm experimenting with a new look for this blog, not too sure what it's going to look like yet but I'm looking for template, the new template should be finalised within a couple of weeks or so. Also the Official Poll has been started again simply because the total was not calculating correctly when it was saying 9 votes when there were actually 12.

We have added a Crikey Friends feature which is a Blogroll, which means that if you add our blog to your site we'll return the favour. Just add your blog address in the comments below.

We would ask everyone to also subscribe to our feeds and everytime this blog is updated you will be notified via email or a feed reader.

We also appreciate any feedback, questions or comments on how to make this site even better. Just leave a note in the comments section and we WILL respond.

Oh yeah, come back here tomorrow for a big surprise as we've got some big news!!

Well thats about it for now.

Have a good one

Caption This: Waterproof Electricity

WATER & ELECTRICITY together at last like Forest & Jenny!!! hmmm? Maybe not!


I took while in New Zealand back in '05 at Parachute Festival. I saw this guy filling up his 600 ml bottle of Mount Franklin spring water. I quickly got out my camera and took this photo. Yes its 100% real and not photo-shoped at all.

Fancy yourself a caption writer? Leave your caption in the comments below.

Inventive Invention of the Moment

What do you get when you cross CSI and the beach? This really cool beach towel!

The Real Reason I Got The Fugitive

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I just brought the Fugitive on DVD. Some may ask why I've done that when you could have just downloaded it. Well I'll let you know.

Being an avid fan of the TV show scrubs I was suprised to find out that the Janitor is actually in it. I thought it may have been the prospect of the Janitor editing his copy of The Fugitive just to screw with his mind but its actually true. I've decided to buy my own copy of Fugitive so I can see this with my own eyes. Besides its a good movie anyway.

What I'm Thinking

If we decide to sponsor a child does that mean someone in Africa will walk around with my name on their shirt?

Inventive Invention of the Moment

Transparent Toaster
Do you love toast, but you always burn it? Then, this invention us for you. This transparent toaster allows you to see the bread while it is toasting so you just have to take it out when the colour is right. This idea is based on a transparent heating glass technology.

Mike & Elena Of The Week

Welcome to Mike & Elena of the week. Each week we pick a couple to be the "Mike & Elena of the week". We search Google images for other Mike & Elena's.

This week's winner is these two:

Found another Mike & Elena worthy of this award? Leave your details in the comments below.

The REAL Citizenship Test

The controversial Citizenship Test introduced by the Howard Government last year has conjured up a fresh wave of political fire after findings revealed that one-fifth of applicants were failing to reach the 60 per cent pass margin.

To begin with, the idea of testing knowledge of Australian culture in an academic environment always reeked of political gorgonzola. It emerged as a slightly desperate attempt by the Howard Government to put the square peg of immigration into the round hole of compliance. The idea was well-intentioned, but its execution was rather ill-conceived and somewhat irrelevant.

For instance, knowing who Don Bradman is, and his contribution to Australian Cricket, doesn’t really strike me as a major indicator of the quality of a person’s Australian-ness. (Just quietly, I think that was Little Johnny’s insistent suggestion when they were drafting the potential exam questions) But anyway, we have the test, and now it’s under question for its apparent difficulty and the rate of failure.

Some may say, “Well if you don’t put the work in to understand the answers to the questions (which are actually made freely available before you take the test), then clearly you don’t have the level of commitment that is required to be part of Australian society”. Which is a decent point. But certainly the intention of the Howard Government was to ascertain the level of cultural digestion potential immigrants had reached, rather than seeing if they could pass an exam they already had the answers to.

In saying that then, the question really has to be asked, if we are testing potential immigrants of their level of Australian cultural knowledge, what happens when we point the focus at Australians themselves? Surely Australian citizens should be able to pass this test with ease?

Being Australian is a feeling, a real feeling that you cannot gauge with bureaucratic nonsense.

As a result, I decided to knock up a bunch of questions that engage the real heart of Australian culture.

Q1 ) What is the correct style of footwear to be used whilst mowing a sloped lawn?
a) Steel Capped work boots with sock protectors
b) Tennis shoes with holes in them
c) Wet rubber thongs.
Answer: C

Q2 ) If you see a funnel-web spider in your garage, what is the correct thing to do?
a) Call “Wires” and a representative will come to safely remove it
b) Squeal like a girl and hide under your bed
c) Poke it with a stick for laughs
Answer: C

Q3 ) The word “Girt” alludes to….
a) A combination of grass and dirt
b) The fungal bacteria that develops on a girl who doesn’t wash that much
c) …the fact that nobody has used this word in an actual sentence, ever.
Answer: C

Q4) What is footy?
a) A foot fungus
b) An african foot disease
c) The best game ever
Answer: C

Q5) How much does a pie & coke cost at the footy?
a) An Arm
b) A Leg
c) Your first born
Answer: C

Q6) Which one of these people is not a famous Australian
a) John Farnham
b) John Howard
c) John Stamos
Answer: C

Q7) Who is Glenn McGrath
a) The Australian Prime Minister
b) Mardi Grath's Brother
c) A legend
Answer: C (I will also accept A)

Senator Chris Evans, if you are desperate for a re-tweak of the test, I’m available.

Feel free to add questions that should be there in the comments below.

Get Down

Hi Everyone,

This year we plan to beat my blog entry record of 240 which was first set back in 2005. This is the 3rd year of The Crikey Files and post #463. With that said we're hoping to post something everyday. Sometimes its difficult coming up with new content and entries to write, that's why there was a lack of entries in 2007. Any idea's about what to blog about are welcome. Just leave your idea or question or whatever in the comments below (Whatever does not mean advertisements for that stupid Crazy Frog ring tone).

Also, you'll find that we have added a poll on the left. We are interested to see what people think our new born baby will be. The poll closes on the due date which is approx July 15th so get voting now because every vote counts (Whatever that means).

Here's Audio Adrenaline's film clip 'Get Down'

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone... Hope the New Year fairy brings you all something awesome.

Here's New Years from Sydney