Archive for October, 2008

Pa Kettle Awards #1

The inaugural Pa Kettle award for lazy TV programming this week goes to:

20 to 01: Twenty old 20 second clips, each shown in preview, in full and in review, and then as teasers before each and after every ad break, linked with cheesy patter from that old warhorse of Australian TV, Bert Newton…. who looks like his face is now made of pink plastic and sporting Australia’s most well known hairpiece. Bert, we loved you. Why do you insist on trampling all over your reputation?

Runners up:

Australia’s funniest home videos

a.k.a “Clips of people getting badly injured or kicked in the gonads” to a sound track of canned laughter and the Benny Hill theme plus an inane and annoying commentary in a supposedly ‘funny’ voice. And mostly not made by Australians

and “Download”

Being: “Stuff we stole from Youtube made overseas so we’re unlikely to get complaints

only because Videos goes to the expense of a studio audience for some reason, and Download has multiple presenters.

*** This post is a Thursday Three


Golden moments

For those family members who couldn’t make it to Russell’s 50th party weekend in Emerald, below the fold there’s a picture of the clan taken in the Emerald botanical garden last weekend by a bemused Chezk backpacker.. Continue reading ‘Golden moments’

Should I drink it?

My Bulgarian neighbour usually asks me to look after his mail and keep an eye on the place when he goes on holidays. Every time he returns bearing a bottle of “Bulgarian brandy”, or “rakia” as a gift.

Pictured is this years bottle, which he gave me with the apology that “mostly we make our own brandy which is better, but I hope this is good.”

Now, a couple of years ago he came back with some of that home made rakia.

I tried to drink it, I really did. But it didn’t matter what you mixed with it, it still tried to fry my tonsils.

Eventually, as I’d hurt my Achilles tendon, I ended up mixing the last dregs with a bit of water in a ziplock baggie and freezing it. It made a great cold pack (the alcohol lowers the freezing point so you end up with a mouldable ice pack.)

Now, I have absolutely no idea how to check if the bottle pictured is even brandy, not rat poison, since I can hardly enter the name into Google.  There is a 40% number on the bottle, which presumably means 40% alcohol.

Ideas anyone?  Is this a rakia for drinking, or a rakia for lying down and avoiding?

Around The Bay in a Day 2008 Ride report…

I rode from home (East Bentleigh) to the Westgate onramp and was a good citizen and waited for the official 5:30 opening unlike some.

The run down the bridge was a bit scary. Just after the bridge there was a 2-down only 10m ahead of me; fortunately I was keeping some distance as it got awfully dark in places. People were taking out bollards quite regularly. It also got very dark in places on Kororoit Creek Road with no decent street lighting.

As I was a bit worried about the knees (they’d been twinging over the previous week so I’d rested them) I was ignoring my ego and taking it pretty easy. The ride down to Geelong was against a headwind, so finding a bunch or two to draft helped my knees a lot.

However, after Geelong when we 250 riders split to the left, the long slope up to Leopold tested them somewhat, as did the climbs between Drysdale and Portarlington. Then of course, the headwind and some drizzle greeted me on the haul to Queenscliff.

Waiting for the ferry (arrived at about 10:50, was supposed to catch the 11:30, but ended up on the 12:00) I ate my chocolate chicken sandwich (the chocolate cake icing had smeared everything in the package) and caught up with a fellow bent rider, Charlie (who wasn’t on his bent).

The ferry attendant got snarky about me waiting to put my bike on the outside of the stack (the tail box is too fragile to have bikes leant on it).

Not a lot to report until the dreaded climb up Mt Martha, which I crawled up in granny gear with everyone passing. There was a hellofa crowd at the top recovering, but I decided to recover while I coasted down the other side. The last part of that descent is really a bone-shaker!

Another slow section up the hill to Mt Eliza, but a quite a rush after the climb, coasting down the hills at over 60km/hr – then the short climb to the top of Olivers Hill and riding the brakes down the hill into Frankston, but still doing about 70 despite smoking pads.

Just another Beach Road ride with a nice tailwind back through Seaford. Got a “Hi Raptor” from Mbike23 (a BV Forum rider) who rode with me for some kilometers (thanks!) who proved to have more left in the tank than I, so I waved him ahead at Edithvale.

A coffee at Mordialloc was just what I needed to get home, so I bid Beach Road adieu at Warrigal Rd and headed northward as the siren call of a hot shower seemed very loud at this point.

As I write, I certainly have very tired legs after almost exactly 9 hrs of riding, but the rest of me seems fine. A personally moulded seat and a headrest are definitely good for minimising other aches and pains!


According to the cycle computer I actually rode only 235 km in 9 hrs and 10 minutes with an average speed of 25.6km/hr. That’s about the same speed as last year, but a longer ride, and since I was taking it easy to spare my knees, I figure that’s not bad!

Since I officially started tracking mileage in July, I put in 2011km of “official” training rides, with a maximum training ride distance of 150km about 4 weeks prior to the ATB.

Ol ’75

Doug has (had) a contest going: write a 75 word story….. here.

The comment thread for it is … here.

My first entry is a take on the Thousand and One Nights…. the second echoes Conan Doyle. I’ve taken the lazy writers’ path, using a back story that the literate reader will recognise straight away so that I don’t have to soak up unnecessary verbiage in scene-setting. It’s a wheeze that the writers of syndicated Star Trek paperbacks have made an art form.

UPDATE: I won, wow!

What’s been happening?

It’s been a busy week or so at Chez Chicken, and the next couple of weeks continue the trend.

Last week, Ms Canada returned from a month long trip to the UK, so there was some catching up to do. Last weekend, she guested her cousin from the US and his wife, and we showed them around the Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula.

This week, on Friday, the Boy takes his drivers license test. (UPDATE: HE PASSED!) Then on Sunday, I’m booked to ride 250km around the bay in a day on my bike with 15,000 other riders.

Next week we have the valedictory dinner for the Boy’s graduating class and then the next day, if I survived the ride , we’re off to Emerald in Queensland for 3 days for my brothers’ 50th birthday.

So the blog has taken a back seat. More news after the driving test and ride.