Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

More house-building progress

Stinkin' hot (well, IMO, anyhow): 11am, and 31C [88F] indoors -- despite having fans going all over the place. And we're not even truly into ''summer'' yet.

Here's the latest pics of the house-building progress. If you can't read my added comments, you can click on the photos and they should enlarge (for added clarity).

Have a full roof (including two whirlibirds, one at each end); doors and windows (no walls, though); and the electrical cables have been strung and light switch/electrical outlet boxes have been installed (but not hooked up).

Bricks were delivered yesterday morning -- as indicated by the various piles, in the photos.

Plugging away at the Dissertation; not much else to report.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Good use of a receding hairline

The Lady and I have a certain (but flexible) division of labor in our care of The Kid. I tend to do the bath -- partly because The Lady has a bad back, so it just makes more sense for me to do it.

One of the kid's favorite bath toys is a pair of dolphins with suction cups. She beckoned for me to come closer and lean over...

Clearly, Daddy's extra forehead surface area has **some** usefulness. :)


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Stealth holiday

Hm! Happened to glance at the calendar just now as I walked through the kitchen, and realized that it's Thanksgiving!!!

Um: Happy T-Giving?

Funny how, when you live in a country that doesn't celebrate -- or even acknowledge -- a holiday, it can just drift right by you, without your noticing.

Happy T-Giving, all you Yanks!!!

Last year, we went out to dinner to celebrate. This year, I don't think we'll bother.


Why is my body falling apart?

Until about two weeks ago, I always considered myself a reasonably healthy guy. Oh, sure, my desk job, followed by my Dissertation work, have colluded with my middle-age-instigated slowing metabolism to give me a bit of a spare tire -- but except for the very occasional cold or flu, no major health problems. When someone in the house gets sick, it's either The Lady, or The Kid, or both: it passes me over, or else I get the half-strength, half-duration version.

But: Getting a flu that The Lady didn't (for a change!); my mystery allergy; my one-and-a-half-day sleeping sickness; and now this!

Last night, about 6:30pm, just as I had carried The Kid in from her evening bath, the room started spinning. Abruptly. Weird.

Immediately set her down on the bed, haphazardly tossed a diaper on her (to prevent accidents), and kneeled by the bed, head on the mattress. Of course, The Kid took this as her cue to play Climb on Daddy, and broke into fake tears [it's a phase; she puts on tears when she's reprimanded] when Daddy said, ''No Dear, not right now.''

Unfortunately, I was home alone with The Kid, as The Lady was out for drinks with co-workers in honor of someone leaving the department for greater things. Felt like I might potentially pass out... although I've never passed out before, so I wasn't sure what it felt like. After a few minutes of struggling to not fall off the floor, I climbed up on the bed and lay down. More minor debates with The Kid; more tears.

Suddenly remembered that when you feel faint, you should put your feet up, to help concentrate the blood towards the important stuff. Did this; maybe helped, but not sure.

Worse if I closed my eyes: When I feel ''off'', my instinct is to close my eyes -- but that just causes a ''whoosh'' sensation that's even worse. Keeping my eyes open and staring at a fixed object across the room (or on the ceiling, when I was lying down) provided structure.

After a bit, everything stabilized, but I was still a bit concerned about being alone with The Kid. So, phoned across the road to Mum, who came across to keep an eye on me until The Lady returned home.

The room-spinniness lasted the rest of the night. However, it improved such that I could prop my head up and watch t.v. or read: much less boring. But if I turned my head too suddenly, or got up to use the bathroom or brush my teeth -- hoo baby!

To a certain extent, I just embraced it. Like a carnival fun house: just be sure to hold your arms out to the side, for balance. Wacky.

And then, the next morning (today)... I'm fine. Well, just a touch of light-headedness. But 95% fine.

So: What was that all about? And, why is my body being so unreliable lately?

And: What's next?


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Belated bummer news

I keep forgetting to blog about this (hm! ''blog'' is a verb -- whazzat, a gerund? them things where a noun is used as a verb?).

Found out on Sunday that Father Frank (or Father Charlie, or Peter -- remember, I usually use pseudonymns) is indeed being shipped off to a new church. Professionally, it's a step up, as instead of being an assistant pastor, he'll have his own church. However, it's detrimental to our budding friendship, as it's way out the back of beyond, about 800km north of us (since 100km/hr is the standard highway speed limit, that's more than an eight hour drive away). In a minor turn of phrase, the town contains his name: it seems that Frank's being sent to Franklinville (or Charlie to Charlieville; whatever).

His new gig starts in mid-Feb., so we'll have a few more months to hang out, at least -- although I'm mostly busy with my Dissertation, trying to (hopefully) wrap up the bulk of it by the end of the calendar year (but it looks like it may spill over), and him working six days a week (funny job, pastor-ness: work on a Sunday, get Mondays off...).

Anyhow, that stinks.

Hopefully I can have some elbow room, time-wise, to set up my recording gear and at least record Pastor Pete/Father Frank for some guitar parts on some of my songs.

And -- hey! -- I suppose there's a vague chance that ten years from now, he'll get re-transferred to somewhere a little bit closer to Brisbane.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A cooler face for the warmer days

About once a year -- usually coinciding with the early stages of summer -- I shave off the facial hair. (Well, the beard and moustache: I retain the eyebrows.) I figure: why carry the extra insulation? And plus, when I start sweating like the monkey I am, the rivulets of sweat percolating through my beard tickles, like.

So, mid-morning today, I shaved it off. The Kid -- luckily -- wasn't freaked out. We'll see what The Lady says about it (I already cleared it with her last week; just hadn't got around to doing it).

Every time I shave off the ol' beard, I notice -- or am reminded of -- things about my face. I'll leave it for you to peruse. The ''before'' version is under the ''about me'' link in the upper right of the blog page.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Rip Van Winkle

Sunday, while we were out doing errands, I felt bizarrely fatigued: I just wanted to sit down (or ideally, **lie** down) the whole time. So, went home, flopped in to bed around 12:30 in the afternoon -- and except for the occasional potty break, slept the entire afternoon, and into the evening. Got up, had a bite to eat, and then flopped back into bed. Slept solidly through the night.

Slept all day today (Monday), too. Feel better now.

Dunno what it was. Maybe some sort of uni-symptom cold or flu? Except for a mild scratchiness in my upper throat, I felt fine.

Dunno. Weird.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

House progress

As of a few days ago, here's what our house-in-progress looks like.

Ayep! :)


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Free stuff!

Every once in a while, one of the local neighborhoods has a ''pile your semi-useful junk on the curb, leave it there for a week or two for folks to paw through, and then the trash collectors will take it away with your regular stuff'' event.

As I've probably mentioned, I'm somewhat into woodworking; I'm cheap; and I'm a hoarder/re-user. So, after driving past all these tempting piles of goodies, I finally stopped by nearly every single one of them, poked through, and grabbed what seemed useful.

Perhaps not surprisingly, when you actually get out of the car and look more closely, the piles devolve into more ''trash'' than ''treasure''. Still, I managed to score a few scraps of wood for future projects. Also included was a plant stand.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Utility of blogging

Blogging is a really good way of keeping friends and family informed as to what you're doing. It's more elegant than a weekly ''mass e-mail'', as people can opt in [or out] as their time and interest dictates.

I came to this recognition when I realized how much I missed Old Roommate's blogs; realized I feel far less ''in touch'' with what's going on in his life.

[Hint, hint. I think he still has me on RSS feed.] ;)


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Aussie high school reunion

Last night, was The Lady's guest at her high school reunion. Man!!! -- never seen that many 37yo Aussies in one place. ;)

Similar to what happened at my 10yr reunion (oh so many years ago), the main people she hung out with in high school didn't show up. (Except for one.) I was arm candy, the exotic imported American husband -- which was fine with me.

Apparently, I'm a flirt -- although I just call it ''being nice to people, and talking to salesclerks and waitstaff like they're regular people'', and The Lady admits I do it with the guys as well as the gals. Anyhow, possibly because I was friendly to the lady behind the bar (about the age of my college students), I kept getting mine and The Lady's soft drinks for $2.20 for the pair. Even my weird, non-alcoholic blended drink, I got for $2.20 the pair. Of course, I tipped her (tipping's ambiguous in Aussie-land; not the norm, like in the U.S.) -- but the bargain drinks happened even before then. Dunno.

Cover charge for the reunion was twenty bucks a head. Every half hour or so, they brought around these teeny little appetizers. Then, about two hours in to it, they finally brought out fancy pizza, and flavored thick-cut french fries. The rest of the grown-ups were being too dainty to dig in, but after it was clear that no one else was going to consume this food, and everything was starting to get cold... I attempted to eat my twenty dollars worth.

Came pretty close. :)

The decor in the bathrooms (hey -- I drank a lot of sody-pop!) was weird: The decor must've been ''prison chic'', as the toilets were the stainless steel jobbies like you see in jail. (Never been incarcerated -- but I've done interviewing work in jails.) The non-sinks were interesting, too: Imagine a long, white plastic cutting board, slightly tilted towards the rear wall, with a trough across the back. That was it. The water from the faucet came down, hit the board, and what minimal spray and splashing there was (the faucets had diffusers) splashed away from the user. Pretty clever, actually.

Coincidentally, I just finished reading this blog entry about toilet habits. Some things just line up...


Friday, November 10, 2006

Used CDs

Since I live in a whole 'nother country to my folks, they tend to just give me money for my birthday. Which is fine. :)

I'm **waaay** behind on my CD-buying: My running list (a word processing document) keeps getting longer by the month -- albums ''to get'' and bands ''to check out''. Plus, the only good used CD store I know of is downtown -- and I only get downtown about once a year -- just not on my normal path.

So: Shipping is US$1 per CD -- plus another buck if you're international (which I am). Good selection; **isn't** one of the bigger, mega-sized companies, yet has a good range of selection. And, even including the shipping time (takes about a month to reach me, here in Aussie-land), the price per CD is still cheaper than at the local used CD places -- and **waaaay** cheaper than new CDs 'round these parts.

Picked up a few CDs I've been meaning to get, plus a few others that I can't seem to find, which probably means they were swiped during the burglary three(?) years ago.

For people who are in their mid-30s or thereabouts, I recommend: The Connells, Ring; The Smithereens, Green Thoughts; and The Smithereens, 11 [i.e. Eleven]. Would've picked up the new Weird Al album, but they were out of stock at the time. Did, however, pick up the Lady Sovereign album with the ''Love Me or Hate Me'' song on it; hip-hop, which I'm open to if the lyrics are intelligent and not too cuss-y or misogynistic.

Found out about this song by doing my once-a-month watching of the local music video t.v. shows; trying to still stay in touch with what's going on in pop/rock music, despite my age. Seems like most people's musical preferences freeze with what they listened to in high school or college; I'm trying not to be like that.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Kid music tendencies

A few minutes ago, I was describing (via e-mail) The Kid's musical tendencies to Kevin of The Palo Pinto House Pants House Band fame. Figured I'd recycle it in my blog...

If you're not into kid stuff, skip this whole entry. :)

With minor editing:

When I tried my accordion (one of the many instruments that I own, but don't really know how to play...) on The Kid, she kept grabbing my wrist and pulling it away from the keyboard -- her indicator for me to stop. (note: Still not really talking. Good communication, though: when she wants company, she pats the ground, or the seat, next to her and says ''Sit.'' When she wants me to follow her, she takes my finger (her hands aren't big enough to take my hand) and pulls me along. When she wants me to sit down on the sofa, she stands in front of me, grabs the outside seams of my pants, and steers me to the seat, then gently pushes.) She enjoys strumming guitars, though -- when I bring out the electric guitar, she borrows my pick, and when I go into pawn shops, she walks down the guitar aisle, strumming each guitar as she passes.

She also **loves** the drums. My mix-'n'-matched drum kit is out on the veranda, under a sheet (to keep the dust off), and often she'll duck under the sheet and start banging away. Sometimes uses sticks, sometimes just her hands. My hope is that in the next ten years or so
I'll have an in-house drummer. :)

No pressure, of course...


House construction progress

Roof joists/framing was delivered, pre-fabricated, this morning. By the end of the day, the workers had installed the entire roof framing. Impressive!

Looking even **more** house-like!

Pics eventually...


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Bad move for getting bandmates

Monday morning, I picked up the The Lady around 7:45am from her professional-type conference in the U.S. I'd foolishly gone to be late the night before, so she, I, and The Kid all had an afternoon nap on the bed. And, although we're typically night owls, we all went to bed early (for us!), around 11pm: for The Lady, jet lag; for me, lack of sleep.

The phone rang at 12:20am. As do most people, thought it was some emergency -- possibly something from the U.S., about a family member. But, no -- it was a lady calling back about the message I'd left her (three days prior!) regarding her ''starting a band'' ad she'd left in the local weekly music magazine.

Handy tip for rounding up bandmates: Don't phone people -- umm -- after midnight.

Granted, in my message I'd said I was a night owl, and she could phone up to 11pm or so. But that was on a **weekend**, for goodness sakes!

So, many points off, for that. I took the cordless phone, and went out into the kitchen to find out whether this person was worth auditioning. Turned out our musical styles weren't very compatible (she doesn't like the Ramones!!! Joni Mitchell a big influence [I respect J.M., but really isn't within my realm of songwriting]). So, that was a waste.

Ah well.