Monday, 7 December 2009

Ch ch ch changes

What's new..

- My amazingly amazing wife is 5 weeks away from giving birth - or somewhere in the vicinity. I can't wait!
- I'm enjoying work.
- I've never been so healthy. I eat healthy food (mostly organic) and I'm sleeping normal hours.
- My genealogy research has yielded many new and exciting results.
- We've finally paid off our credit cards!
- I posted this previously, to the wrong blog!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

CostCo: The Trail of Blood

Lucy and I ventured to CostCo on Saturday. Big mistake. The store had only been open for a week and was the first for the franchise in Australia, so I expected things too be a little hectic. Well, hectic would have been a help. Instead I found matters to be out of control. After 30 minutes outside, lined up just to purchase a membership, being whipped by icy winds in the shade of the monolothic red CostCo cube, we finally made it inside. Venturing into that place without one of their giant shopping trolleys is the act of a mad man. By the time that I had filled my arms with bulk organic dark chocolate, a giant jar of sun dried tomatoes, two massive bags of Tasmanian mussels and some freshly baked bread, I knew I'd be in trouble.

Well didn't the shit hit me like I'm a fan of the stuff! I casually started towards the checkout, realising then that at the end of line I couldn't quite see the bloody start! So, arms full, I stood and waited, and waited, and felt myself becoming something not all that different to the arms on an analog clock. Yeah, you know they move, but they don't quite seem to be doing much when you're paying attention. This was just like that. At no point did I ever really feel like the line was moving, but after two friggin' hours I finally made it to the check out complete with the chuppa chup offered by the staff to placate my rage.

Two hours in a line and my mussels were losing fluid rapidly. I also felt a bit uneasy, not only about the wait and the weight of my goods, but for the fact that a steady trail of blood was in front of me and sticky beneath my shoes, having been dripped by the number of poor saps who had thought buying any sort of red meat was going to work out well.

Parking wasn't any better. The store's parking lot of course was full, so we had to park next door. That was $5 on top of the $60 membership we paid to join the obedient throngs in praise of the almighty red cube.

So will I go back? Yeah, but not in the next month, and never again on a weekend. I'll also be sure to be ready to buy a shitload of goods in bulk, making sure to bypass all of the weirdo items that seemed to be at every turn of an aisle. Who would have seriously thought that a store would need half an aisle full of nappies for grown women. Either there are a seriously high number of chicks into the whole adult baby thang in Australia, or senior citizens are in worse shape than I had generally imagined.

CostCo has a lot of potential. $5 for a massive bag of mussels leads me to this heavily researched conclusion. But DAMN - does it ever need to manage the crowds better!!

OK, it's after 4am, I've had my food, I no longer feel like I need to go for a jog after waking up at 1am, full of beans. Time to sleep.

Monday, 10 August 2009

18 weeks

Baby Patten is at 18 weeks and all is well. I'm excited!

Thursday, 18 June 2009


Swine flu? Regular flu? I don't know, it's one or the other. We've all got it. I suppose we'll know when we head off to the clinic later today or tomorrow.

Oh yeah, the scan - we're 10 weeks in. I saw the baby's heart beat and the head. :)

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Big update

I've been hiding out, and recovering, as opposed to "getting over" the loss of our baby. Maybe it was nature's way of saying that it wasn't the kid's time, and that perhaps something was wrong with the pregnancy. Who the fuck knows. It still hurts.

My life has changed a lot this year. I'm happy, and I'm a lot busier than I once was. I no longer have a lot of spare time on my hands, or even a reasonable amount. That bothers me, but it's something that will in time be ironed out.

A typical day these days sees me wake at 5:30am, head out the door at 6:55am, and take two trains, arriving at one of my two work locations almost on the dot of 8:30am. I work, and I enjoy it, and I'm for the most part in an environment in which I'm allowed and encouraged to develop myself further. It's nice, and certainly a lot more social than in my previous station.

I get home at around 6:30pm, and after a quick chore or two, cook dinner, and by the time I've eaten, or occasionally having bathed my lad, it's 9pm and my bedtime.

Yeah.. I go to bed at 9pm. A biiiig change. No more 3am's, and no more late mornings. I can't stay in bed past 7am on a weekend now, even if given the opportunity. I'm wide awake, and restless.

Weekends are a bit of a struggle. There's just not enough time to do as much as I'd like. I want more time.

My ongoing RMIT studies - are a necessary pain. I don't particularly feel that I.T people are all that logical, or reasonable. Hence programming languages and instructions are as cold and irrational as an ice cube inserted into one's pee hole. Sure, the instructions might make sense to someone with a less than bureaucratic grasp of conversation and communication on a human level, but it's not for the likes of I.

My wife and I need to get out and about. We need to meet some people. Melbourne is a great city, but outside of work, it's very hard to meet people and make friends, unless you spend time either in a social group, club, or are a bar fly. Since I don't go to pubs here, and haven't one anywhere near me, that last option isn't too likely, and I have yet to figure out if I'm a club joining guy, especially after all of the annoyance the Wilderness Society and their constant bombardments caused.



1. Last fortnight I went to a book launch for Dr. Jennifer Jones' "Black Authors, White Editors." I was surprised though. The author, whom I had previously spoken with, ended up calling upon me to do the launching! There's a story behind that, but one probably too tedious to anyone not interested in genealogy and my historical ties and obsessions.

2. My bread is improving. It looks great, tastes great, is multi grain, brown, isn't made via the use of a bread maker - and the damn crumbling/fragility problem is getting a lot better (am open to suggestions however).

3. A scan today. Fingers crossed.

4. I think in a brainstorm today that I may have nailed the narrative flow of my book. An issue which had kept me from tackling even a since sentence for a considerable amount of time.

5. I'm well on the track of two fraudulent characters, whom I aim to publicly humiliate for the use of my grandfather's name (more on this when prodded perhaps).

6. I didn't get swine flu from the kid who had it at my work. Yay!

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Times, they are a changin'

A terribly hard week, followed by the best. I'm now a married man, have a wonderful wife, and things are only getting better. It still doesn't take away the pain of loss though.

However, we can only move forward, keep active and occupied.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Tough times

The most painful word in the English dictionary...


Saturday, 7 February 2009

Up for air

Finally a chance to slow down and take a breather!

The last few months have been the most hectic and life changing I've ever experienced. It's been highly enjoyable, but it is nice to have some time now to potter around the house, to work on some hobbies, do some character illustrations for a friend's book, and simply relax without having to be off to the next scheduled activity station in the playground of life.

I'm home alone. Mr. 2.5yrs old is off with his dad, Lucy is an hour away studying and I hve nothing to do except make some pumpkin bread for next week's lunches at work, do a touch of TAFE work, and stuff about, carefree and casual. Hurruh!

Before I do relax completely though, I would like to share an observation:

Melbourne trains are shit.

People in Sydney, Newcastle, Illawarra and the Mountains might complain about Cityrail, but believe me, they have got nothing on Connex for sheer incompetence. The wee before last there were as many as 100 cencellations on the Melbourne network - each day. Much of the blame was put on driver unions and the heat buckling rails, but that's a very poor cop-out. Had Connex and the VIC government bothered to give drivers comfortable conditions in the 40C+ temperatures, and allowed for gaps between rails to ensure they wouldn't buckle (seriously, they are so dumb as to weld rails together down here), there wouldn't be nearly a tenth as many issues to deal with.

I left home before 7:30am yesterday, and for a 50min trip, I didn't make it to work until 9:45am, and that was without the high temperatures and driver issues from the previous week.

Every morning and every evening I have to stand at the edge of the platform, playing door roulette, hoping I am able to guess where the train carriage will stop, so that I can get in first and HOPEFULLY get a seat. If Melbourne had doulbe decked trains there wouldn't be an issue like that anymore. Further, if Connex had trains with flip seats like Cityrail I wouldn't have to face strangers on most occasions, nor would people grumble as they attempt to share the little available leg space.

I like Melbourne a lot more than Sydney, but the latter has nothing on Melbourne's growing issues with public transport, electricity and water - all of which are issues that were supposedly in reverse not so long ago. It's a great place, but it's going to turn to shit soon if matters aren't handled appropriately right now.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

The Score

Back on January 2nd 2008 I posted my list of New Year Resolutions and Hopes. So it's time to take a look back, reflect and see how things panned out for me in 2008.

1. Find THE woman. Not A woman.

CHECK! Not only did I find her - we're getting married in less than a month's time and we've also learnt we have a baby on the way! Quite frankly, after that nothing much else matters. But onto the rest regardless...

2. Souths win number 21.

NOPE! This was a long-shot. One I hope for every year, and will be hoping for yet again in 2009. Go Souths!!

3. Either make living in this town more rewarding, or finally surrender and move to the inner city of Sydney.

SORTA! Well, I did leave for greener pastures, but I didn't surrender either. Melbourne is a happy medium. It provides me with a quality of life similar to that in the Blue Mountains, whilst avoiding the rushed feel and negativity I've always associated with Sydney.

4. Finish my genealogical novel.

NOPE! I didn't finish, but I didn't stand still either. I have delved deeper into the source material than I had previously thought possible and it has lead me to new twists and turns in my writing. Now all I need is more free time.

5. Be a little easier on my brother.

YEP. Now all that's left is for him to be a bit tougher on himself!

6. Learn to play flight of the bumblebee on trumpet, and sound good at it.

NOPE. And living in the city where I can't escape to the bush to practice, I think I'll keep that one on the backburner. Perhaps learning piano (electric and with headphones) might be the better option.