Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Blackout Dinner

Power's been out since half past noon and Synergy doesn't know when it'll be back.
So we're camping in our lounge. Dinner by candlelight. Mmm... :)

Monday, May 29, 2006

The Most Dangerous Man in the AFL

Don't fuck with Dean Laidley.


So we're up to the cooing phase of JOOB's development and it is hard not to hear words that aren't there. The first identifiable word I heard was 'hello'. I said hello to him and he repeated it back at me. We did this several times before he got bored. Now of course TP was out of the room when this happened so of course she didn't believe me. That is until he started to say 'Audi'. Expensive tastes our boy has. Then it was 'Google' and the most recent word is actually a name: 'Al Gore'. Sounds like a moonbat ride-the-IT-boom dude to me. No pressure.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Baby Milestone: He's Still Asleep!

JOOB's still asleep! Bloody hack.

For the first time since he arrived on this planet, I've woken up without being awakened by him. Without his grizzling or crying "HUNGRY!" in my ear. Without doing the zombie shuffle while trying to feed him. Without being coffee-starved while he guzzles down his breakfast.


I could get used to this.

Let's hope he does.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Nuclear: Why now?

So the government has finally worked out that fossil fuels are bad. The question I want to know is why have they ignored the problem up until now? And why the sudden urge to 'go nuclear'? There's been a lot of 'free' advertising for the nuke industry over the last couple of months - the 60 minutes special for instance - and now the government wishes a debate about the issues? I'm very suspicious about the timing.

What's changed in the last fifty years? Nuclear power still faces the same problems it did back then:

  • It is expensive - although nukers will tell you that a nuclear power station now compares favourably with coal. Of course by that they mean that it is only twice or thrice as expensive rather than ten times the cost.
  • It is dangerous. Chenobyl and 3 Mile Island. Need I say more?
  • It produces radioactive waste that is dangerous for fifty thousand years or more. This is the biggie as far as I'm concerned. I feel guilty leaving behind problems for my kid and grandkids. Fifty thousand years is ten times longer than all of recorded human civilisation. You can bet that in that amount of time someone will turn the waste into a weapon.
No, the only thing that has happened is that the power source of the 20th century, oil, is supposedly running out. The government has realised that Oz is sitting on 40% of the world's supply of yellow cake (mostly Uranium oxide) and that makes their economic rationalist eyes light up with glee.

So they're trying to take the first steps in ensuring that nuclear energy is the power source of the 21st century.
  • Stage one is to ship the stuff to everyone that already has nuke power - even those that haven't signed the nuclear proliferation treaty ie. India.
  • Stage two is get the country hooked on the stuff so that there won't be an outcry - except from those loony hippy greens - when they mine Kakadu.
  • Stage three will see mass proliferation of nuclear power across the globe
  • Stage four: profit and global domination.
Personally I'm not overly adverse to the global domination bit - just as long as it's me that is doing the dominating - but I see fundamental problems apart from those listed above. Nuke energy is only one short step from nuke weapons. Good for us to have, bad for others to have. Where do we put all the waste? NIMBY for fuck sake!

Why replace one polluting energy source (fossil fuels) for another polluting energy source? The only advantage nuclear power has is that it is proven and ready now. But we're not in an immediate energy crisis. Why not take the opportunity that is presented and grab it by the short and curlies? Petrol prices are on everyone's mind. Why not increase the subsidies and incentives for creating renewable energy sources? You'll have inventors climbing over one another hoping to ride on the back of that horse.

Why not? Because there's not long term profit. Patents only last twenty years. After that anybody can use the technology to harness 'free' energy. There's no chance to influence and dominate if you can't control the fuel supply. After all it is far more important to make another couple of billion than it is for Mum and Dad to be able to cook the peas at night if they're a little late with the bill. You can't do that if they're getting free energy from the sun, can you?

They want to go nuclear because then they'll still have control.

Signs and Parenting Rooms

One of the things you begin to notice soon after becoming a parent is signs. Signs telling you where the nearest parenting room is, or, if you're laden with a stroller, where the nearest lift is. While most of Perth is accessible with a stroller there are quite a few stores that won't be seeing our business for the next few years.

Another thing you notice is the quality of parenting rooms. We're not exactly connoisseurs yet, but we've noticed a great disparity in the effort certain retailers take when establishing a parenting room. For instance, Myer Perth. Located on the first floor near the lifts. Lots of changing stations, lots of seats, and a few cubicles/rooms that are used mainly for breastfeeding by shy mothers (most the others just use the seats in the main area). All good (the only downside is that there is only one communal toilet and that has been out of use for the last week).

Compare that to David Jones Perth. Second floor. Not near the tiny - almost can't fit a stroller and parent into it - lift. Note the singular. Lots of comfy seats in a communal area, a playpen for older children, but only 4 changing stations and they're locked away in dinky little rooms that are used for breastfeeding. Each of the rooms has a door that automatically closes and only one seat, so if the family (or even just your partner) is with you they're locked out. Dumb, just dumb. To make matters worse the tiny rooms stink of baby poo. There's no ventilation fan.

Of course, the best place we've found is Carousel. Ground floor. Central. Maybe more than one - haven't found them all, which is good. Lots of changing stations, a separate area with lots of curtained cubicles for shy mothers, a playpen for older children, but the coups de grâce is the television. The only down side is there are only two seats facing it.

If you know of any better or worse places please leave a comment.

Seven Weeks After: Or Life In A Baby-Centric World

You know you've been around the baby a lot when:

  • Your vocabulary now chiefly consists of words like "posset", "piddle", "poop", and "poot".
  • When talking to the baby, you find yourself speaking in an octave only dogs can hear.
  • You rhyme everything ie "Mummy tummy", "gooey pooey", and (good gods) "chubby tubby grubby bubby"...
  • Your partner sneezes, and you immediately squeal: "Oooh! That was a BIG sneeze from a BIG little guy, wasn't it?"
  • Your nipples develop their own "spider sense" - they tingle when baby's due for a feed.
  • Your clothes all reek of sickly sweet milk (because you leak) or slightly curdled milk (because the baby possets).
  • You get excited by the contents of the baby's nappy.
  • Seeded mustard relish has somehow lost all its appeal.
  • Any outing, however brief, is now circumscribed by the location of every known Parents Room, or public toilet with nappy changing facilities and a discreet corner where you can breastfeed.
  • When you or your partner talk about going to bed together, you both mean "sleep" not "sex".

Should Ljiljanna be concerned?

Headline and photo from the frontpage of Saturday's West.

Friday, May 26, 2006


While out for a walk today I noticed a flock of pelicans spiraling down from above. The lakes near where I live are a favourite hang out for them at this time of year so I hurried to catch a photo of them landing. Unfortunately they never set down. The lakes were too crowded.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

What do...?

What do the above three men all have in common?

Apparently the My Heritage Face Recognition Demo reckons I look like them. No wonder it is still in beta.

1-0, 2-1 & 7-4

It has been a great 48 hours for Australian football with three of our national teams winning:
  • The Socceroos beat Greece 1-0;
  • The Matildas came from behind to beat Mexico 2-1;
  • The Futsalroos won their second match in the AFC Futsal Championships by beating Kuwait 7-4

The Apocalypse Is Nigh

There are at least two things wrong with this picture:
  1. Potty Elmo
  2. Try Me

Borders Open

We spent the morning visiting the new Borders store in Perth. It's in the old Lincraft building, if you can remember that - they shut down awfully quick after the major refurbishment. IIRC it is somewhat ironic that Angus & Robertson used to have a store in the same building (maybe even the same spot) when it first opened. The store is small for a Borders store but large for a Perth bookstore. It divided into two floors.

This is the entrance from Hay Street. Unfortunately, as you can see the cafe is a Gloria Jeans.
The top floor (Hay Street level) is where you'll find fiction and magazines. The fiction selection is good, probably the best I've seen in Perth for many a year. Likewise there is a decent selection of magazines including some up until now had to be ordered online. For the geeks, there is a stack of graphic novels to choose from - as you can see from the pic they have their own section. For SF/F buffs, it's so-so. You probably own most of their stock already.
On the lower floor you'll find a small range of DVDs and music CDs. I don't think this range will do well for them. JBs has a better selection and cheaper prices.
Also on the lower floor is more of the non-fiction. There's quite a lot to choose from, but for my money Boffins is a better choice. At least for my interests. Borders do have the largest selection of kids books I've seen including a bloody great load of picture books. Lucky JOOB.

Overall it's a valuable addition to the Perth bookscape. Unfortunately, and I presume that this is because the store is brand new, the organisation of the titles is a little confusing. It took me a while to find what I was looking for.

Go see.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


If you've ever travelled to any of the larger cities around the globe then chances are that you've seen Borders. Well, according to my spies, tomorrow the Perth store opens.

So what, you may say if you're uninitiated in the secret Tao of Borders. What's so hot about yet another bookshop? Two-hundred thousand books. That's what's hot. Plus they have a cafe which means you can practically live there, which I did last time I was in Singapore.

See ya there.

All look the same

Do Asians all look the same? Take this test and see how well you do in telling whether someone is Chinese, Japanese or Korean.


I saw the following sign out the corner of my eye while rushing to make an appointment. If I'd had more time I would have taken a picture.

Theraputic Massage
Women Only
Does that sound a little suspect to you?

Mothers' Group, Or: Doing Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Took JOOB along to our first mothers' group meeting this morning, which went off without the slightest sniff of an incident. Good baby!

This was something of a surprise, considering that 10-ish was the earliest I'd ever managed to get out the door with JOOB, and so I'd spent the past week attempting to train up for a 9am departure and failing. It didn't seem remotely possible to be showered, dressed, breakfasted, *and* have the baby fed, changed, dressed, fed again, and ready to roll by 9am, but we not only managed to be out the door in time, we even fit in a bath for JOOB. Good husband!

Talk about getting six impossible things done before breakfast. Now to the housework. Good hell!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Boo Hoo

The old skribe kiss of death has worked again. See, any time I discover a product I really like and I keep buying it in preference to any other similar product I soon find that the product inevitably becomes discontinued. This time it is bacon. For the last few years I've been buying Globe Meats back rashers mainly because unlike every other brand available they're not overy fatty. Today I found out that Woolworths (the only place I know where you can buy them) has discontinued the line. So the kiss has worked again. To make matters worse, after a brief web search - hoping to be able to order them direct - I discovered that Globe have been sold to the same people that own Watsonia. I guess it is time to say good bye to bacon. Maybe my arteries will thank me in 100 or so years.



Monday, May 22, 2006

Seen in the City

While heading home from the city tonight I noticed an Audi A4 with the following number plate:

Now I have to say that I found this odd. Not that there was someone driving an $80k car who is a fan of the RSPCA - admittedly that is weird enough - but that the RSPCA has such a fan base that there are at least seven other licence plates out there (speculation on my part).

Or perhaps the RSPCA is so well off that that was a 'company car'. Or maybe the RSPCA just pays its employees gobs of money. Maybe someone has got a side business selling off the parts of the animals they put down. Or perhaps, just perhaps, this is where all the Lotto money goes - you must have seen the ads with the rescued pony. I'm pretty sure there is an Audi in the background hidden somewhere. But anyway, it is a weird number plate to have. Or perhaps I'm just very, very, very tired.

Sunday, May 21, 2006



I have been assured by TP that this is a bouganvillea. I'm not a flower person. The only reason I can see for growing plants in the backyard is if they're good to eat. Anyone know any recipes for bouganvillea?


Even TP has no idea what this plant is. Anyone have any ideas? It seems to be extremely popular with the bees and paper wasps however. I almost got stung taking this photo. It would have been worth it if the bee had stayed there just a moment longer.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


While out wandering along the South Perth foreshore today we saw this gaggle of...well, we're not entirely sure what they are. The avid birdwatcher, TP, believes they might be black cormorants but she's far from certain. They were gaggling on the condemned jetty at Fisheries WA. I guess they, like most of the fishermen I see there at dusk, can't read the 'condemned' sign.

His first smile




Do you remember this commercial?

Well here's how they did it:

Real Life Simpsons Intro

I found this on YouTube. It's the intro for The Simpsons but filmed with live actors. It's well done. Watch for the hints that it was filmed in Britain.

Six weeks On: Some Tips On Coping With Life After Baby

We've made it to the six-week milestone. Theoretically, from this point on, things change: the JOOBzilla is no longer a squalling newborn with random sleeping patterns, but a responsive baby with regular sleep-feed-and-play cycles.


We'll see how it all pans out.

What we've learnt so far:

  • Do the barest minimum housework neccessary for daily needs ie. laundry, meals (and dish-washing). You will not have time/energy for anything else.
  • Sleep when the baby sleeps. You won't get another chance. (This one is particulalry hard to stick to - you always want to catch up with housework. You won't. Just go sleep).
  • One-pot cooking, or one-step meal preparation. You won't have the time or energy to cook more than one dish at a time, or deal with the washing up afterwards.
  • Prepare meals you can eat one-handed and eat quickly - preferably without slopping it all over the screaming baby whom you will be nursing in one arm at the same time.
  • Oh, and get used to never finishing a meal while it's still hot. Even the simplest bowl of cereal may go two hours between taking the milk out of the fridge to downing the last spoonful.
  • Snack. Sensibly, of course. You won't eat properly at meal times anyway, so you'll have to graze whenever the opportunity occurs. Always carry fruit or snack bars on you.
  • You can never have enough nappies, or baby wipes, or baby wraps, or changes of clothes, or clean bed linen, or...
  • Therefore... Easy-care baby clothes and linen. You may not have time even to hand-wash laundry, much less dry-clean.
  • Infacol. Get some. It'll help with wind-related colic.
  • You will not have much time or energy for a social life or the internet. Maybe a half hour a week. Just get used to it.
  • You will not have much time or energy for your own family. Make time. Even a few mintes each day. Let them know they're appreciated. Your sanity depends on it.
  • It'll seem like forever at the time, but it'll soon be all in the past.


Friday, May 19, 2006

Casino Royale Trailer

I've only just seen this. Thought I would share. It looks good, despite the fact that I think they should just let the franchise die. Of course, they won't as long as it keeps raking in the millions.

It all adds up


The Amazing Race in Freo

So The Amazing Race: Western Australian Special aired last night, about six months after they filmed here.

I could have slept - bedtime is 8:30pm these days - but sheer bloody-minded curiosity drove me to stay up and watch it. And boy, was it worth seeing how dead Freo looks in the middle of the day.

Amazing Race Amazing Travel tip: If, while on Rotto, you miss the ferry back, simply catch the ferry to Hillary's instead and then cab it to Freo. You'll arrive half an hour before the Freo ferry docks.

The lesson? If you're a USian tourist, do NOT ask directions from an Australian :)

Incidentally, the team that cared least about winning has won Amazing Race 9, which just goes to show that being an out-and-out arsehole does not always get you to the finish line first.

Waste Management

There's been a fair bit of talk about Australia being the storehouse for radioactive waste. The argument is that since it was mined here then we should be responsible for the waste. Now apart from there being no similar policy for other energy sources - should we send all our fossil fuel waste back to the middle east? - I actually have no problem with this idea. With one proviso. Secure storage of nuclear waste isn't cheap and the times involved before the waste becomes safe is in the order of millenia (some up to 50,000 years or more). So this means that we have to cover that cost. Now base rate of $1/kg sounds fine by me, and of course we'd have to take inflation into consideration so let's add an anatocism of 1% (I'm an optimistic about our economy =) to that for every year of storage. Let's take a worse case scenario and say we'll store it for 50,000 years. So that would come to roughly $11713566086530747339140669859104000000000000000000... [shitloads more zeros]...000/kg. Payment up front of course.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


We just returned from JOOB's first blog meetup, at the Brass Monkey in Northbridge. While JOOB isn't technically a blogger he has been the subject of many blogs. This is the biggest meetup we've been to (the biggest ever apparently - JOOB really knows how to attract a crowd), with lots of new and fascinating people. Here's some photos:


Some of the bloggers there were: Brett, Richard, CW, Jon, Dee, Goatlady, Clay, and Rachel.

Zoo Time

We visited the Perth Zoo today. Here are some pics:


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Tool Time

One of the changes I've noticed since becoming a parent is that I like to build things. Things made of wood. Things for my boy.

Now, let me just say that I failed woodworking at school which was a bitter blow to my cabinet-making father. While he was one of the leading veneer workers in the state I could barely hammer in a nail straight. My only saving grace was that I never chopped off any appendages with the bandsaw. Perhaps if I had I may have passed the unit.

Fast forward twenty years and suddenly I'm assembling flat packs. Now, don't snort with derision this is a big leap for me. And it's not all just allen key screws either. There have been nails to hammer in and every single one of them have been straight. I even marked out the widths on the board so I knew I was hammering into wood. Baby steps for you. Big leap for me. Maybe watching Scotty Cam all these years on Burke's Backyard Blitz has finally had an effect.

Now I suddenly have an urge to buy power tools and to hack down defenceless Jarrah trees. I want to build three legged toy boxes and have TP decorate them with sea shells. Suddenly I understand Tim 'The Tool Man' Taylor. Now, I truly am a man.

Driving Rant

Q: What's worse than a driver that takes 10 seconds to move when the traffic light turns green?

A. The same driver having previously moved half-way into traffic when they mistakenly took off at a green arrow.

So eager to move off then but 30 seconds later it was too much bother to stop applying your makeup and hit the accelerator. Idiot!

There seemed to be a plethora of idiots around Osborne Park today. Drivers blatantly driving the wrong way down one way streets, narrowly missing on-coming cars. Turning right at 'No Right Turn' intersections and thus causing peak-hour traffic to back up, and then realising that they were never going to get across and roaring off in a huff and almost hitting another car.

I think I'll avoid Osborne Park for a while.

Monday, May 15, 2006

JOOB Volunteers For Medical Experiments

Okay, he didn't so much volunteer as get volunteered.

It was for a study on the lung capacity of pre-term infants, for which some healthy full-termers like JOOB were required. Two tests were performed, one in which he breathed in an inert gas that allowed the researchers to measure his respiration, and a sonar test on his lungs. For both, JOOB is asleep.

All very safe, all very excitig in the field of infant medicine and medical technology, and all very public-spirited and forward-looking of us.

What I hadn't expected was the bonus of being able to bugger off with Skribe for a couple of hours and just have some to ourselves. Yay! Hooray for medical experiments! We strolled along Rokeby Road and my sweetie bought me chocolates. Anyone else need a healthy baby for research purposes?

On the other hand, we've also discovered that JOOB has a sadistic sense of humour: he'll sleep peacefully for anyone, except us. For us, he reserves colicky fits, a refusal to sleep in any position except on his tummy, and an unpredictable sleep cycle. For his grandparents, and complete strangers, he'll drop off to noddyland as soon as they lay him flat. And he'll sleep for exactly as long as they need him to. What an amusing little darling. He's undoubtedly our little boy, alright :)


What is it with Coles South Perth? Their express lane is abysmal. Today there were twenty of us curled down into the meat section because there was only ONE person on the checkout. Meanwhile the surpervisor and another checkout chick are gasbagging about their boyfriends cars not two metres away. Coles really need to learn a thing about express service. The first place they should look is Woolworths Perth.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


We went to Fremantle today (TP's first mother's day) and while there we visited the Gotheborg, a Swedish tallship that was built using traditional methods.
The ship was open to the public and there were absolutely stacks of people looking it over.
The crew at least seemed to be enjoying chatting with everyone who came aboard.
The attention to detail is magnificent. This is the main figurehead. Even the spars have their ends carved into claws.
The Gotheborg is in Fremantle until the 25th May, 2006. It's at Victoria Quay between C and D shed. Check it out.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Five Weeks After

What happened to Four Weeks After? The parents came for a week to meet their grandson and congratulate him on reaching his first month, that's what happened. JOOB received some astounding presents from his second cousins and great uncles and aunts, and, we suspect, now has a bigger wardrobe of clothes and accessories than we do.

JOOB's a month old already. It still feels like he was born only yesterday and forever ago, and we find ourselves wondering if and when that perception will ever fade away. Maybe when we both finally get a full night's sleep? A-heh.

JOOB has also become a little colicky. Just when we'd finally graduated him from sleeping in the laundry basket to sleeping in his own cot, he develops these inconsolable screaming fits which result in me spending the nights in the lounge with him so Skribe can get some semblance of sleep and be able to function normally during the day.

Mother revealed that in her day, they used a popular brand of Gripe Water to help colicky infants sleep. But what they didn't realise til some years later was that that Gripe Water contained opium. No wonder I was such a quiet baby compared to JOOB - I was doped to the eyeballs :)

We're using Infacol, which contains no secret magical sedative substance. Pity, that. I think that a lot when JOOB's being especially deafening.

Mother also taught me a trick to help quiet JOOB when he starts crying - stick his hand in his mouth. He starts sucking on his hand and immediately quietens. Long enough to find a parenting room at least.

Well, the grandparents have left, Skribe has finally gotten JOOB to sleep, and tomorrow is my first Mother's Day. It's been a busy week, punctuated with odd and amusing revelations. Things can only get stranger from here on in.

Friday, May 12, 2006

And who's that?

JOOB meets his grandfather.


This is my favourite picture.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Iraq went from the 4th largest army in the world to the second largest army in Iraq.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Going Cheap

I wonder if it fits on a floppy disk.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Who's that?

JOOB meets his grandmother.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Official: I am evil!

Satan's Lil' Helper
The results are in, and it appears that you have scored 86%...
Whoa. You're not just an atheist... you're an evil atheist! Satan's Lil' Helper sees atheism as a good excuse for covering up a whole array of misdemeanours and crimes, because after all, there's no divine punishment awaiting them when they meet their doom. Whilst not believing in God, Satan's Lil' Helper would be ready and waiting to give God a metaphysical wedgie should he ever pop into existence. Keep on sinning, you evil little thing, but just try not to get caught...

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on pentagrams
Link: The Atheist Test written by chi_the_cynic on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Now Available At Coles Carousel

Apparently, we Chinese also invented bottled water and developed it into a major export industry. Now you know.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Is it possible to be allergic to your own baby? I have developed an affliction: when I spend lots of time with JOOB I get very thirsty. REALLY, REALLY thirsty. I can't seem to get enough to drink. Now, I would be concerned about diabetes if it occurred normally, but it only occurs when I'm around him. It also occurred every time I visited KEMH. Weird!

Topical News

Just heard this:

An AFL umpire has been run over by a fire engine. Apparently he didn't hear the siren.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Australia: 140th Least Failed State In The World

I love these sorts of lists.

The Failed States Index 2006 places Australia way down the list of 146 tested nations at 140th, making Australia a less failed state than say, Sudan (1st), but a more failed state than New Zealand (141st)!

Why? Is it because New Zealand's the home of Middle-Earth and Narnia, while Oz is the home of Mad Max?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Three Weeks Later

Whoever coined the phrase "to sleep like a baby" obviously never had one.

As Skribe often observes (somewhere between amazement and amusement), Baby sleeps like one possessed: grunting, snorting, squealing, yelping, eyes rolling back and head lolling round.

And then Baby falls deathly silent and lies so still you want to prod him to check he's still alive.

So the days and nights have been punctuated by these alarming moments which we have come to realise are the norm. Fun little creature. Can't wait to find out what new terrors await us as he develops and starts really coming online.

To Keet and everyone else who sent encouragement, many thanks. My last post was meant to be funnier but all those fitful nights have evidently impaired my ability to convey humour.

As proof that I still retain my usual light-hearted approach to life, here are my favourite games to play with Baby:

  • Tip the Baby - when baby falls asleep at the breast, lean precipitously forwards, left, or right, until Baby startles awake. Laugh evilly.

  • Puns Illustrated - when Baby falls asleep at the breast, use him as prop in a game of Guess What This Is? Laugh evilly.

  • How Dead Is Baby? - when Baby falls asleep at he breast, nudge, tickle, poke, blow on him, raise a floppy arm and drop it...etc and award points based on how far you have to go rouse him, and especially for having to invent a new move to wake him. Laugh evilly (if you still have the energy).

  • The Early Morning Commercials Game - when Baby won't fall asleep during the small hours and you are forced to endure early morning television commercials... okay, not so much a game as several pointless counting games, akin to the sort you make up when trapped on a long road trip.

And so on...

Fortunately, I have the ever-wonderful Skribe as a fellow traveller, without whom this journey would not be half as enjoyable. Thanks, sweetie.