Thursday, May 26, 2005


This blog has been acting wierd on me lately, so I've made a new blog - a follow-on from this blog.

The bookmark remains the same for the NEW blog: - put it in your Favourites Folder right now! lol Also, just check and confirm your Blogrolling (etc) links as well.
Maljam's Revamped Blog - (

Monday, May 23, 2005

(*) Socks you can imagine

Hiya Paige! Have a smiley day!
(NB. I got rid of a 'smiley frog' gif from here - it seemed to slow my blog down to a crawl for some reason!)

The cutest and best post in a blog I've seen for a while:

Does life get any Better...?
My youngest child crawled onto my lap this evening, curled up and said:
"Ahhh...this is this bestest spot in the whole world.."
It really is the little things that make it all worthwhile. I am incredibly blessed!

Thanx Alice!

Life is soooo exciting... one of the ladies packing pulms with me also sells socks... I bought myself 4 pairs of the warmest, fluffiest, most comfortable socks you can imagine - for just $2 a pair! Whoo hoo! Well, it is getting a bit cooler nowdays... we had a -2 last night ... that's right - MINUS TWO!!!

I'm picking up the remaining things from mum's unit on Wednesday. Out of mum's remaining cash for things like this (before the 'estate' is settled etc), I'll be hiring a ute and doing probably two trips to Springwood and back. My brother is painting the place, just to freshen it up a bit so it can be sold. I've already picked up 2 TV's and a video, and a few small bits of furniture - whatever I've been able to fit into my little car! Wednesday will see a fridge/freezer, washing maching, microwave, 2 lounges, 2 cabinets, a bookcase, and a folding table with some outdoors chairs take temporary residence in my garage - which I need to make some space in for this stuff tomorrow - mental note!

I had a sleepless night last night, so I spent some time surfing and looking for silly pics to add to the Message Board. Check out some pretty funny pics here.

Well, just a quick one tonight.

Mallard d'Quackers

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

(*) Zinnia Interviews Mallard!

Here's a change from the usual 'meme' - Interview a fellow blogger by asking them five questions about themselves, and let them post their interview answers on their blog. Thanx Zinnia for the concept.

Zinnia: I was happy to interview you because I read your blog regularly so it didn't take too long to think of questions I would like to ask. Anyway, here are your questions:

(Mallard: NB. I found this a whole lot harder than I imagined it would be to do this! But I gave it a go, all the same.)

1. Children can be very creative with language as they learn it. When your boys were younger, did they 'invent' any words or phrases that you still use?

When Seb was born, JD was 3 1/2... he couldn't pronounce his brother's name, but introduced him proudly to people as "Basil-teen" - very cute! One that immediately jumped into mind when you asked the question was one we still use... "Crackle" = fart/flatulence - it must be a 'boy' thing! hahahaa. Also 'doing a poo' is an "uggie" - I have no idea why, but they still say that occasionally! hahahaa. Even now, JD is sometimes called "Mr Boy" (which makes him almost cringe nowdays!), Seb is "Mr Boo", and Ix is "Ix-ah"... When Ix tries to get cute with me, he still calls me "Dee-dee"... sometimes it works... lol. A lot of phrases and words they use are adapted and corrupted from things they've heard on videos etc... like stuff from Shrek, "That'll do, donkey. That'll do." They love to sing, and make up words as they go along, especially in the car... eg. making up the words to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" like, "In the jungle, the dirty jungle, the lion sweeps tonight..." hahahaa.

2. Aside from being a father, what personal achievement in your life have you been most proud of?

The first would be my original marriage - I never thought someone would love me unconditionally, as I have a rather sordid past that still affects and haunts my present and future in many ways. To know love, be loved and be able to love was an amazing experience I do not regret for one instant. The second (and more worldly) would be finishing my 3-year Diploma of Theology, majoring in Evangelism, back in 1996... at the time 'christianity' and 'church' were a major part of my life, but nowdays only the philosophical/sociological side of it all has any personal relevance to me. It's an achievement because I never finished my schooling, so 10 years after leaving school it was a high point for me in a way.

3. If you could do whatever you liked to earn a living, what would be your ideal job?

Working alongside young people with reading and learning difficulties. Because of my past - this is impossible. But, I can still help illiterate adults learn, and I love to help people live their life more effectively, so that would be ideal in a way as well. If I could do something like that, be near my boys - but live on the Greek island of Hydra at the same time - THAT would be sweet! But that aint gonna happen anytime soon! lol. But - it's sure nice to dream.

4. Which was the best birthday you've had so far in your life, and why was it so good?

Hmmm... hard question to answer... for some reason, I find it personally very hard to celebrate birthdays and special days like Xmas etc. I know it's crazy - I make the effort for the boys, of course! I don't know why it's like that for me... my best birthday would have to have been as a kid aged about 10, at a scout hall, with lots of kids and loud kid's music and lots of food and running about with boisterous games... and memories of my long-dead Nan in there somewhere as well. I don't know why that one sticks out for me. Scout halls still smell exactly the same, you know?! lol. Apart from that, it'd be my 30th birthday - plus my wife turned 23 and my son turned one all within a fortnite of each-other, and we had a heap of close, special friends get together at a small local cafe we had all to ourselves for an evening. JD didn't know what to do with his first piece of chocolate cake - so it went everywhere EXCEPT his mouth! Very cute! It was great just to hang out with some old friends and just 'be' - so many of those people have moved on over the past four years as well... oh well... no-one can take your memories away from you, and I treasure them.

5. Do you eat duck?

No way - that'd be cannibalism.. but being divorced, in lots of ways I have to eat my pride... does that count?!? But I don't eat duck mainly because - I can't usually afford to! hahahaa. A good question tho - thanx for making me smile along the way!

Thanx so much to Zinnia at 'Real E Fun' -

Monday, May 16, 2005

(*) Simple timepiece

The boys and I spent the most time together we've had for a while - 4 hours! Yeah, I know - it sux, but I take what I can get. Anyhow, Alex took some pics of the start of the NSW State Rally in the middle of town (they were in the last post, I think...), then we spent a while at the local Fire Station which held an Open Day display. Free lunch and lun with fire hoses and fire extinguishers and large red trucks... a little boys' heaven! Later on we spent a while at another Open Day at a new large local Pet Store, which highlighted a large Jumping Castle - which kept Seb & Ix exhausted for a bit! JD and I went for a bit of a wander thru the store together - we always can just hang out, no problem. I didn't have to worry about leaving the other 2 'alone', as such - the teenage girl facilitating the jumping castle knew them well from their school bus, and there were two other families from their school on the ride at the same time! Ahhh, the joys of living in a country town - everyone knows everyone (well, almost...!) All round I drove 120km's - but I just didn't mind at all! The boys are loving their new place - so I'm very relaxed and excited about it all for them - whoo hoo.

I lashed out and bought myself a new watch the other week... I spent an absolute fortune on it... 250! Yes - 250! CENTS! Yes, it's only a $2.50 special at Go-Lo, but it'll do as a simple timepiece. It was cheaper than spening $10+ on a new wrist strap for my normal watch! What a tightass I am sometimes... well, when you're literally survivng on a pile of coins some weeks... hahahaa.

The mediation with the boy's mum the other week went quite well... she admitted a few things, and acknowledged that some of her attitudes are quite unreasonable - but she's not gonna change them all the same. That's fine - I'm not banging my head against a brick wall anymore - it was causing the brickwork to get all flaky and break apart and leave a mess on the carpet, you know... D'oh! In other words, she just doesn't have the same effect to emotionally entangle me in her shite anymore - and it's a lovely feeling to be free of that. It's only taken 4 years! The boys are fine, we can always talk about the boys (under her version of reality), so I'm happy. I'm still sitting on an 8 out of 10 - 4-or-so days in a row... it must be a new record! lol. Mind you, deep down I must have felt disturbed by the whole process... a few nights' later I had the most bizarre dream - I was going to the toilet and I was totally covered in poo! That is like my "Room 101" - I hate poo! ARGH! So, maybe deep-down, I still feel like $#it about it all? Who knows... but it's not affecting me as much as it used to.

I've been using SMSPup for about 2 years or something - it's just that I keep forgetting to use it! For Aussie users, you can send free SMS text messages to a mobile phone for free from your computer... and the last time I checked, I had 80 call credits! Ack! I'd better start using them, eh?!

Here's a quickie - Zinnia caused me to think of doing this... what have you found to be a good hangover cure? I've found, apart from staying drunk (not always a practical solution! lol), something hot and greasy the next morning works a treat for me - bacon and eggs! I have no idea why, either! What things have you found to work for you?

On This Day...
Born: Liberace (entertainer, 1919); Henry Fonda (actor, 1915).
Died: Sammy Davis Jr (entertainer, 1990); Jim Henson (pupeteer, 1990).
Useless Trivia: The riverboat 'Iron Mountain' disappeared without trace mid-Mississippi River, June 1872.
My Soundtrack: "Ampology" Hoodoo Gurus; "Anthology 1" Beatles.
Weather: Cool SW breeze & cloudy, mid teens.
"There was an old man from Tibet
Who fell down the hole in his toilet
He went down the drain
And out through the main
And they've not found a trace of him yet."

Email: mal [@] maljam [.] cjb [.] net
Message Board:

"Excuse me, which way is the stage?" (Audience member, lost at Altamont, 1969.)

(*) Mum's Eulogy

(NB. Written and read by my brother and here lightly edited by maljam)

Rae Patricia Xxxxx 18/8/1929 - 1/4/2005

Death ends a life, but not a relationship... a relationship that struggles on in the mind of the survivor, to which there is no end.

And so today we gather not to mourn, but to give thanks and celebrate the life and accomplishments of quite a remarkable woman.

Rae Patricia Xxxxx was born at her grandparent's home "Glenferrie", Calypso Ave Mosman (Sydney) on the 18th August, 1929. One of three daughters... she is survived by her sister Pam, her other sister Joan having passed away several years ago.

My mother's great claim to fame was that her birth heralded in the Great Depression, but her memories of the time are not all that grim. This was due to the fact that her father was an officer in the Royal Australian Engineers (RAE...?), and during the depression the lived on the headland at Cape banks, La Perouse (Sydney). As her parents' first real home, she had happy memories of a dog and pet rabbit, playing with the children who lived in "Shanty Town", and of hijinks in an old abandoned Chinese cemetery close by. For several years the family was stationed at Fort Scratchley, Newcastle, followed by a time at George's Heights, located on the headland at Middle Head (Sydney).

It was during this time on the military base at Middle Head that my mother first met her future husband, whose father, a lowly Staff Sargent, was also stationed there. Part of the same "gang", she remembers him as quite an obnoxious and bossy lad at the time... her sister Pam recalling him bossing them about and always wanting to be in charge of the proceedings. Separated briefly during the Second World War, where families were moved into civilian accommodation away from the base, it was not until after the war when my mother was sixteen, that she met up with my father once again. She recalled seeing a tall lad that looked vaguely familiar, riding a bicycle through Mosman Junction... and as fate would have it, they resumed their relationship.

With her father stationed in Japan after the war, her parent's marriage had become strained and eventually led to separation. So her memories of this time were not always happy. But - memories of spending holidays with her beloved grandmother at Lane Cove and being treated to "High Tea's", all prepared on a wood-fired stove that same day... of her grandmother's vast rambling garden, with the smell of Honeysuckle always reminding her of this haven. (NB. Honeysuckle featured across the front verandah of our home too). Another was a memory of sheltering in neighbour's celler during the submarine attack on Sydney Harbour during the war... thinking how exciting it was, that was until she heard the sounds of cannon fire and the explosion of shells as they found their mark not all that far away.

Attending Mosman High School, much to her sister's angst, she was an "A" grade student, being very studious and wearing the flattering school uniform of the time - heavy school tunic, black stockings, hat and gloves. Choosing Secretarial Studies, she became a Legal Stenographer and personal assistant for a prominent legal firm in the city. All this at a time well before computer technology, with memories of masses of legal documents, all typed in triplicate and always with a deadline to meet. If a typing mistake was made, it was often necessary to start all over again, rather than risk making holes in the paper whilst correcting a typo. These skills were to serve her well in her latter years, as secretary for the Manly 16-Foot Skiff Club , by which time she had mastered the marvels of information technology.

In her spare time she enjoyed the company of a number of boy friends (who, by the way, my father made a point of making feel most unwelcome... an example being his insistence on rowing my mother and her sister across the water back to Balmoral - minus their dates). She was also a soprano in the chorus of the Mosman Musical Society for several years. With a fine voice, good looks, intelligence and a sharp witty mind, she was quite a good package in those days, and it was obvious my father, in his own way, realised this. A frustrated writer at heart, my mother was also an avid reader and crossword buff. As such, I have fond memories of composing many short verses and limericks with her as a teenager, recalling one in particular...
"There was an old man from Tibet
Who fell down the hole in his toilet
He went down the drain
And out through the main
And they've not found a trace of him yet."
I know mum would be horrified by my telling of this ditty, but Rae was one for wit and loved the telling of a good joke. She was also what one would call a film buff, another Bill Collins of the mountains, entertaining people for ages with the discussion of films and associated genre.

The remainder of my mother's story pretty well parallels that of her husband... Married at the Sacred Heart Church, Cardinal Street Mosman on the 12th of January 1952, theirs was a partnership that lasted a total of 44 years. until her husband's death at age 66 in 1996.

With two sons - DMK (born 1954) and MJK (ie. Mallard, born 1964), theirs was not the easiest of lives, but as children we never understood this. We both have memories of our mother selfishly serving my brother and I massive servings of dessert, in order to prevent world war three... never realising this meant she often went without dessert herself. With many financial hardships and health problems along the way, my brother and I never lacked for anything, and most important of all - we knew we were loved. When (Mallard) was diagnosed with a speech impediment as a young child, it was mum who spent time with him, fostering a love of reading... this led to her volunteering at the language laboratory of the local Primary School for several years.

Oh, there were moments when we drove her to distraction... an example being of my mother standing inside a playpen ironing, whilst I was having a tantrum on the outside. Of her tackling me to the ground and juicing half an orange on my face when I was all of twelve... mind you, I deserved it. I'm sure (Mallard) has his own memories, but I do recall us getting her back one day by turning on the flood lights whilst she climbed into the pool one night - naturally, all the neighbours were at their fences ready for this spectacle, and my mother was mortified by the occasion.

With her husband heavily involved in the Scouting movement for the majority of his life, and weekends spent on Sydney Harbour sailing 16 foot skiffs, VJ's and converted surf lifesaving boats, my mother often referred herself as a sailing widow. For many years, every Easter was spent up at Gosford for the annual sailing regatta - Rae catching up on her reading and crossword puzzles, whilst her husband was in his element on the water with his rag-tag army of boys. Mind you, she enjoyed the time she had to herself, never resenting her husband's interests and commitments, being a great support and inspiration to him in all his endeavours and achievements - achievements such as "Citizen of the Year" and the "Queen's Coronation Medal" for saving the lives of a number of boys from drowning during a boating incident.

It is important to note that Rae was not only the mother of two boys, but also a mother figure to hundreds of boys who passed through the portals of the scouting movement. She took pride in all their latter achievements, both professionally and personally, but with the passing of time unfortunately lost contact with the majority of them.

In 1986 my father was awarded the "Order of Australia Medal" for services to Scouting and the community. It is a little known fact that at the very same time my mother was honoured with the Title of "Lady Rae" - Lady in Waiting to Lord Lovat, Chief of the Clan Fraser in Fort Augusta, Scotland - a loving tribute from a man who loved his wife dearly enough to arrange this tribute to her, in recognition of her part in the scheme of things.

It was due to the ill health of her husband that a decision was made to move up to the (Blue) Mountains, settling eventually at the Waratah Village, Springwood. Initially reluctant about leaving their home of 36 years, Rae came to love her time in the mountains, and with the death of her husband two years' later, she came into her own. I have visions of her playing Snooker and Carpet Bowls in the community hall - something I thought she would never do. Also she was a volunteer guide at the Norman Lindsay Gallery as well as a volunteer at the Springwood Community Centre, she spent time going on short trips and shopping expeditions for her ever-expanding wardrobe.

The birth of her three grandsons JD, Seb and Ix, was an absolute delight and joy for her, not only being very proud of them, but also of their mother M, who she loved dearly.

It was only in the past two years that her health started to really deteriorate, and with the complications associated with kidney disease and heart failure, she realized she was on her last journey, and in her own words - she was happy to go. Her final illness found her being admitted to Nepean Hospital, where after sixteen days she succumbed quietly in her sleep - a blessing for those all involved.

So, it is with much love, admiration and respect that we say farewell to a woman who was not only a wife, mother and grandmother, but my best friend. Finally together again with her husband, she will be missed by all who had the privilidge to know and love her... from the depths of my heart I say thank you, goodbye and God bless.

Thank you.

Here's the previous posts about my mum's passing. 1 2 3 4

Sunday, May 15, 2005

(*) Flattered and flattened

Gosh! I have just been interviewed by Zinnia at Real E Fun... I'll have to ask her if I can post my response on here first, tho! I am flattered - and flattened!

I spent a bit of time writing some catching-up emails this arvo... but still I ran out of time! Argh!

Last weekend, the boys and I watched the start of the NSW State Rally, and here's some photos that 6-yo Ix took of it all - aint they simply fantastic?!

I'm still sitting on an 8 out of 10 - still! And I'm not even in love! hahahaa.

Week 117
I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Texas:: 10-gallon hats and arrogance
  2. Scholarship:: Free University
  3. Runner-up:: There aint no second prize
  4. Mustang Sally:: R'n'B
  5. Jones:: Brian, late Rolling Stone and their founder
  6. Hard to get:: no comment
  7. Jewish:: circumcision - the unkindest cut of all
  8. Crew:: Call me Ahab (memories of Gregory Peck's waving arm harpooned to Moby Dick!)
  9. Cable:: Across the bottom of the ocean
  10. Assistant:: West Coast Promotion Man
Week 118
I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Android:: Marvin, the Paranoid (Got to see HHGTTG!!!)
  2. Revenge:: of the Nerds
  3. Knight::'s Tale
  4. Stranded:: The Saints
  5. Weakness:: Lying
  6. Greed:: too much waste
  7. Walter:: Pidgeon
  8. Dense:: Drysdale
  9. Sheep:: Lamb $#it
  10. Propane:: BBQ's
Week 119
I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Grandma:: sadly missed - always there, supporting, great hugs
  2. Pet:: Cindy and Sam jumping against my bedroom window at 3am
  3. Desolate:: Mungo Brush - desolate beauty
  4. Backspace:: outside the backdoor
  5. Common ground:: The SCG
  6. Storm:: watching lightning 10kms out to sea from North Head
  7. Dark:: turning off all the lights deep inside Jenolan Caves
  8. Water bottle:: 1 1/2 litre Berri Tomato Juice
  9. Training:: running up 50+ steps to prepare for rowing and eight
  10. Dot coms:: not a good business deal lately

Now, if Mr Bean had a baby...

(*) The Ultimate Blog - seriously!

If you have never read a blog before -
Read this one:
Real E Fun

Zinnia is a non-religious funeral celebrant, and she writes like an angel! I won't say anything else but - read her! This is 11 out of 10 blogging - and a best-selling book-in-waiting.

"It's not the characters that are ace, it's the way your descriptions make them come alive."

Zinnia - you are my hero... you give me a fresh hope for the human soul.

(I normally don't give blogs such huge positive wraps as this - but I seriously cannot help myself with this one.)

Saturday, May 14, 2005

(*) So damn proud

Just one day to go! I think they worked out that each one of us manually handled a minimum of 21,000 plums by hand - each, each day, for 4 weeks! ARGHHH!

The boys are going great - spent a fantastic day with them last weekend. Mum's ashes were interred on Thursday into the ground with dad's. I'm feeling quite fine about it all. Altho, sorting thru some of mum's old videos, I spent 3 hours today looking at tape of the boys since their births! I was crying, laffing, smiling - just feeling so damn proud of 'em! Were they really only that small when they were born...?!? I mean, Josh is as tall as my neck at the moment - and still growing! lol There was good footage of both my parents, and my nan too - all who have now passed away. Wow - what a good day. Plus - I'll be able to register my car on Monday no problem - that's a HUGE worry off my little mind.

Apols to not being a regular blogger lately - nor visiting any blogs either... by the time I've been getting home of a late arvo, I'm too knackered to do much of anything at all, let alone go surfing! BUT - I'm not concerned about it... Ms Paige here is just an added luxury for me, when I have the time to tend to it all. Today's been the first day in ages I've been able to sit and fiddle with my messy blog a little bit...

Out of a scale of 1-10, I'm sitting on an EIGHT!!! Whoo hoo!!!

Yes... they're at it again!

This is pretty damn funny! Check out the "Superdickery" site!
"... has some rather silly comic book artwork (published quite a few years ago) that has some hidden and not so hidden messages in its pages. The pages haven't been touched up - they are shown as they were published. Chortle as Batman and The Joker compare boners and Jimmy Olsen has a hankering to don women's clothing… "
(Thanx to DwarvenOne for the link!)

Internet Website Links

Friday, May 06, 2005

(*) 1,000,000,000 plums

(NB. This was written last night!)
Hiya Paige - long time no talk with! That's OK - I've been leaving home early and getting home late... all thanx to about 1,000,000,000 plums! Argh! lol Getting there - about another weeks' worth left to pack... unless they start to go off too much... sheesh... By the time I get home, have a shower, get some tea happening - I sit down - and I've had it! Snoring and all of that... sheesh... the other day I sat down and had ONE beer (only one! - and promptly fell asleep! It's not that it's hard work - by no means! It's just a long repetitive day standing... at least everyone in the packing shed are quite mad - I fit in like hand into glove... it's almost like I can slip into 'Moofie' mode and act a little silly - it's lots of fun. That's why I keep going back - it's just a fun place to be, really. It's been the mostest fun at a temp job I've ever had! lol That's the people, of course - the actual work - packing plums, is as boring as %$#@! lol A great lot of people to have around to work and hang out with during a long day in a noisy shed.

Mother's Day is this Sunday.. I've got a few mixed feelings about it, since it's been 5 weeks tomorrow since mum died. Generally I'm feeling quite fine with it all, and every now and again I'll start 'thinking' - and get a bit sad. But, that's OK.

Seeing the boys on Saturday (fingers' crossed) - going together to the Fire Stations' Open day, and then onto a small fair afterwards... jumping castle and all that... and watching the start of a car rally... I can't wait to hang out with them again. I miss them like crazy... it still aches, you know. I guess that's a pain I'll just have to bear for ever, you know! Oh well... $#it happens... it's just the depth that varies, hey?! lol.

Any marriage proposals coming my way will be considered at the moment... hahahahaaa! Just missing someone to come home to and hang out with and talk with. My housemate's always good value to hang out with, but I never 'talk' to her about deep stuff, you know. That's OK. It's just the phase of the moon this week or something... d'oh! lol.

Well, it's getting towards 8pm, and I think I'll hit the sack! Terrible, isn't it?!? "I'm too old for this $#it!"

Email: mal [@] maljam [.] cjb [.] net
Message Board:

"Excuse me, which way is the stage?" (Audience member, lost at Altamont, 1969.)