Sunday, June 24, 2012

Farewell UUG846

After 124,564km it's time to bid farewell to our trusty Kia Carnival. UUG was the first new car we ever had and was our first people mover, and for the 5 years of our novated lease she served with distinction.

Last Tuesday we took delivery of ZBZ592 - our new Kia Grand Carnival and our trusty steed for the next 5 years. And what a beauty she is!

Out with the short wheelbase and in with the long. Out with the thirsty petrol engine and in with 2200 cubic centimetres of the best turbocharged diesel engineering Korea has to offer. Out with silver, in with platinum. Out with steel rims and in with alloys. I could go on, but you get the picture.

So as a salute to new and old here's a few snaps.

Happy motoring.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New car day

Today Karen took delivery of our new car. It's a 2.2L, 4 cylinder, 6 speed auto diesel Kia Grand Carnival.

The old standard Carnival is off to the auction house just as soon as Kia work out why the check engine light won't go out! 125,000km and now this! Help me.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Work lunches

I often take leftovers for lunch, and when there are none it's often the tried and true staple of tuna and tomato toasties.

Sometimes I even cook up a meal especially for work lunches. One of the last ones was a chilli con carne with kangaroo mince. Lovely!

Last night I whipped up a vegetarian curry. I got 4 serves out of and it tastes lovely. So I'll couple this with a flat bread and voila!

Karen's birthday

It was Karen's birthday today. It marks the end of our mid-year family birthday festival beginning in mid-May with Owen, followed by myself, then Patrick at the end of May and Karen today. It's a lot if birthdays in a month.

Dinner was the slow cooked beef casserole we cooked last night followed by a lovely chocolate mud cake from Michel's. Happy birthday sweetheart xoxo

Working from home

Working from home each Monday is a real bonus for me. Having worked from home daily for the 4.5 years before returning to Computershare was great and allowed me to be there when the kids got home and share in different aspects of the kids lives at all different ages.

While it's only one day a week now, I enjoy seeing Lily when she comes home from pre-school at lunch time and taking the boys to swimming lessons in the evening and also helping Karen get the kids off to school in the morning. Having a chat and a cuppa for morning tea with Karen (when she's not busy running around doing pre-school/scouts/kids stuff) is great too :)

It's also great not having to commute one day and just enjoying the extra couple of hours at home with Karen and the kids.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The scouting movement

Last year Angus joined Cub Scouts. This was followed shortly thereafter by Patrick joining Scouts and Karen volunteering to become a Scout Leader. And finally this year, Owen also joined the ranks of the Cub Scouts. 1st Upwey was booming!

About 5 years ago the 1st Upwey Scout group (Cub Scouts and Scouts) was in trouble and almost closed the doors. Fast forward 5 years and it's the biggest group in the Dandenong Ranges with waiting lists (unless you bring a leader). This is fantastic news and speaks volumes about those involved over that period.

The kids get so much out of it and get to use the resources that such a large organisation has. Patrick has done canoeing, welding and blacksmithing at weekend camps this year, all the while enjoying the outdoors and being with some mates. How cool is that.

Angus and Owen have participated in the family camp as well as night hikes, bike hikes and outings to places like Tree Adventures in Belgrave.

None of this could happen without leaders and a committee. The Cub Scouts currently enjoy 5 leaders while Scouts have 3. And given that the movement is now co-ed at all levels, it's great that there are 3 female leaders across the group (including Karen). And it's also great to see that such a great organisation with a rich history is alive and thriving.

January 2013 is Australian Jamboree and it is being held in Maryborough, Qld. Karen and Patrick are both going along with 2 other leaders and 14 other scouts from our troop. 10 days with 12000-15000 scouts and leaders from across the country doing all sorts of activities sounds awesome. I'm sure they'll have a ball.

Historically, some scouts hang around until jamboree and are then lost to girls, part time jobs, cars etc. This happens in all sports and interest groups with kids at that age. The disappointing thing is that Venturers and Rovers exist for youth of that age to continue in and keep building on what they've already learnt and maintain those peer groups and networks as they grow and mature. But with so few (in the past) making that progression, many groups don't have there own Venturers Unit or Rover group. In our area, Venturers and Rovers are largely a district gathering.

At Upwey we have a number of Scouts that will hit the end of their scout age over the next 12-18 months and there are moves afoot to see if we can setup (resurrect) our own Venturer unit. And I've thrown my hat in the ring. I'm sure it will be a big learning curve, but with my amazing wife by my side to guide me with my training I'm sure I'll be able to do it and that we'll be able to juggle our many family commitments.

So anybody reading this out there I'd encourage you to encourage your kids to give it a go. And if you like a bit of adventure yourself, you could do a lot worse than dip your toe in the scouting waters.

From my experiences so far it's a great organisation with loads of support and great people.

If you've got a question, leave a comment.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Long weekend

This Queen's birthday long weekend Dad is coming to visit. As I don't mind getting something for free I entered a competition for tickets to Indie Game:the movie at ACMI. As luck would have it I won a double pass. So now Dad will be heading straight to ACMI and we'll catch a movie.

The movie is a documentary about independent game development and has rave reviews. That's pretty good for a doco. Anyway, I'm looking forward to it.

Also, being a long weekend, there's no kids sport :) Sleep in!