Posted by: Owen in Reviews 1 Comment »

Ok, I confess, Im hooked! the new series Heroes has got me, and I cant miss a minute! Much like the old series of spiderman, batman, superman etc. We finally have a series that creams all of the above.

8:30pm Wednesday nights on Channel 7 or Prime (if you happen to live in the regional areas), dont bother trying to call me or take me away from my spot on the couch, coz im am fixated for approximately 1 hour of enthrawling television.

Heroes for those of you who dont know is a show based on the superhuman powers that a select few people have. The superpowers include but are not limited to the following:

  • Healing power – the cheerleader can regenerate from any injury
  • Flight/speed – one of the guys can fly
  • Stop time/ time warp and space – the Japanese guy can stop time and transport to another time and place
  • Mind reading – another guy can read peoples minds
  • Invisibility – one guy is invisible – but i havent seen him yet…
  • Strength & Psycho-ness – One girl can break stuff and beat people up…
  • One guy can absorb someone else’s power
  • Ghost – one of the guys can walk through walls like a ghost and his son can manipulate electronic equipment

That’s about it, but I think there are new characters being introduced in the next couple of weeks so you must get and see this great show.

The funny thing is about television programmes these days is, they are getting so good, and like the Soprano’s series that we have just finished watching over the last year on DVD, television programmes/series are a great alternative to watching movies.

Aqua E Vino is an amazing little bar in the heart of Yarraville city. It is primarily a cigar and cockail bar, with a vast array of fantastic cocktails and a cigar selection to just die for.

The Wife, Clarkey, Ads and I went out tonight to celebrate their near purchase of their first home. Wow if I could recount that saga to you, you would be amazed. However I am talking more about the post boardroom auction dinner that we all had at the Yarra Lounge, fantastic tapas and what seemed an endless supply of Sangria, which helped us all to slip into deep and meaningful dialogue.

After dinner, which finished around 10pm, we wondered off to Aqua E Vino, only to be met with a sign on the door saying private party!, can you believe it on a Saturday night!!! Rather than just accept it, we decided to wander upstairs and see what was going on (some people would call this gate crashing). When we got to the top of the stairs we were met with a lot of men in masks and women dressed in beautiful costumes with feathers and stilletos and fishnet stockings, wow!

Oh yes, where was I, thats right talking about Aqua E Vino, and Ads and my desire to taste a different type of cigar. We wondered up to the bar dressed in our costumes (jeans and t – shirt attire) and asked for a cigar, we were lead to a HUGE cabinet that stocked a large range of cigars. Ads decided that tonight we were going to try the Romeo & Juliet size 4, which turned out to be fantastic. Unlike some of the cigars I have smoked, it lasted a long time, and rather than get hot down toward the stub, the temperature held very nicely, and I didn’t have to throw it away until about an inch and a half from the end. The Romeo and Juliet No. 4 was really smooth and had a good taste. This time I decided not to remove the label and just enjoy the whole thing. We moved on the the Blarney Stone pub after being asked to leave the Engagement party and enjoy a couple of drinks to see the night out.

If you want to get out at night and you dont mind a small taxi fare over to the West side, just head onto Aqua E Vino and see what it has offer, leather seats, great small meals, cocktails that will keep you guessing all night and a nice cigar to see the night out.

Ads & Clarkey, The Wife and I had a wonderful night and now that we’re nearly all over 30 decided to call it a night at around 1:30am, the signs of getting old… Ok not you Clarkey!

Have a good night and I’ll keep you posted.


Posted by: Owen in Post 30 278 Comments »

I was at work today, going through the insane motions and filling in the hours between when I start and when I finish, which is about 13 hours at the moment, when all of a sudden there was an email…

Thats right it was an email from Ads, who reminded me of our new little tradition for alternate Thursday nights (when we are both allowed out). Ive started calling it the P,P&P night, which is quite simply, Parma, Pot and Poker night. Its not really a tradition or a commonly known acronym, its just something that I made up. But when Ads sent me the email it made the rest of the day just fly with anticipation.

I flew home, keeping to all the required speed limits, particularly under the bridge at Point Cook (Melbourne bound), and picked The Wife up and headed off to meet the Clarkesori’s at the Wahoo bar on the corner of Malvern road and High street.

The Wahoo bar has the relatively new poker phenomenom in the form of ‘Pub Poker‘ playing every Thursday night. Its free, and you put your name down, after registering, to sit in at a table and play a round of poker, there is the 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 rounds on two tables and the first two from each game win the round and gain a certain amount of points, which count towards the finals round in approx 10 weeks. Get this, if you’re not too crash hot at poker, you still gain points by buying drinks and a meal at the bar! A great incentive to have a few extra beers to get you to the finals.
Tonight Ads did really well and came 4th in one round staying until the end of a timed out match, whereas I bombed out losing to a pair of 4’s, with an ‘all in’ I was sitting pretty (or so I thought) with a King, Ace flush draw with nothing in the flop, turn or river to help me!

Hey but thats the game and what makes for a good night to commence the wind down towards the end of the week. The meal was fantastic, and it was really good to break the week up with a night out.

If you want to play poker, there are heaps of places around that have a lot of similar nights such as the above, that are free, so look one up and get to it!

As my wife commented prior to me writing this blog – what is an ardent non-smoker doing writing a blog about smoking cigars? It’s true, I used to be a smoker and I used to like it very much, I dont know why, but in my late teens and early twenties, it was something that I just did.

Well let me just commence this blog with a few health warnings and then this will alleviate me from any liability of the imminent purchase of your next (or first) cigar 🙂

  • Cigar smoking is bad for you
  • It can cause mouth and numerous other cancers
  • Cigar smoke is toxic
  • Cigars are not safe alternatives to cigarettes

Ok, now that we have the bad stuff out of the way, in this blog I want to accentuate the positives of smoking a cigar rather than focus on the negatives. Maybe this is where we say that everything in moderation…

My first smoke of a cigar must have happened some years ago, when I was a smoker, and looking for something else to smoke that was novel. So I went into a tobacco store and would look up the back behind the store keeper trying to choose a cigar that wasn’t outrageously expensive and would probably 9 times out of 10 end up with a Wee Willam.

Since those days, I may have only had a cigar in times when someone has had a baby or found out their wife was pregnant… actually, I might be developing an addiction, given the amount of children born in my close circle over the last few years, oh dear! But in all seriousness, I have only really smoked a few good cigars and the last two that I have smoked have been with Coolio, who along with Crumpy, are cigar smoking connoisseurs and who have inspired me to add this topic to my blog.

In going through the content of my research about this topic, I realise that this entry would go for absolutely ages if I dont break it up a bit. So stay tuned for future entries which will include, cigar etiqutte, types of cigars, aged or fresh, and even a bit of history about the cigar, that will further educate you (and me), into ‘the noble art of cigar smoking’.

Our first addition to the house, in fact week one after moving in, was a beautiful Ilve oven that was a necessity if you saw the state of the previous oven… At the same time we also purchased one of the most coverted whitegood items – a dishwasher!! Now i’m not going to go into the long tales of ‘who’s turn is it to do the dishes…oh well, I cooked and so Im not doing the dishes… it’s your turn… no its your turn…! but I will say that this issue is one of the bones of contention in our house. I must admit that having a dishwasher…(and no I’m not talking about the 1950’s style that wears an apron and waits with baited breathe and martini in hand, the husbands home coming)…is something that I think all people aspire to owning, I’m talking the fully electronic, you stack and walk away type. Nothing is worse than at the end of the day, having to come home, cook dinner, sit down, only to then have to do the dishes, just think of how many hours this consumes of our leisure time, the time we’d rather be sitting down glaring at the tv, unwinding after a hard day at the office… or better still be out tinkering out in the shed.

Oh yes back to it, as I was saying, we purchased a dishwasher, not knowing where it would go in the kitchen, but somehow in our desparation and excitement realising as long as it could be plugged in and used STRAIGHT AWAY that we really didnt care. However in the next couple of weeks our excitement turned to frustration as the dishwasher which was meant to be delivered with the rest of the stock was put on backorder and would not arrive for a couple more weeks. These couple more weeks passed and then still no word. Ringing Harvey Norman, they didnt know where it was and then having to ring the supplier, they said it was going to be another month!! Well the wife hit the roof, and very politely asked for a refund for the dishwasher and went straight down to the supermarket to buy a new pair of rubber gloves and dishwashing liquid… I couldnt help but be humoured at the level of constraint shown by the wife during these very tense moments, where I thought world war 3 was going to start between Miele and the wife.

Since then over a year has elapsed, and with a wife that is totally obsessed with cooking, it doesnt make it any easier on the washing up duties as one small meal seems to require the use of 90% of our washable dishers! With this in mind, we decided to try again and purchase a dishwasher, hoping that this time it would actually make it to our house. We went to a different supplier (David Jones) and went through the whole rigmarole of which one would be best for us, and amazingly we chose the exact same model and yes it was a Miele. So within two days it was here and now occupies a corner spot in the dining room. I understand the reason to actually buy a dishwasher is to install it but, with our impending renovations due to commence, we decided to wait, and really just enjoy looking at the boxed up dishwasher at meal times. As soon as it is installed i’ll let you know.

The unveiling!

Posted by: Owen in The Shed 1,461 Comments »

Now that I put you through that last entry, which I am embarrassed to tell you, took me months to finally publish, I thought I will follow up quickly and show you my shed while its still there.

The reason I want to show you now is that we are about to commence renovating our 1950’s box and create a more modern living environment, and unfortunately in the path of the renovation is the shed. So over the next couple of months we will have to first reduce the size of the shed, removing sections two (the gym) and section three (the storage) and getting rid of the storage that we dont need and then the rest in section one (the workshop) for a limited time ONLY!

So without further ado here is my shed in its former glory:My shed

So let me know what you think, does it have potential? Are you jealous :o)

Since this photo, we had the asbestos guys come through and remove all asbestos products from the shed and so its looking like its been skinned. But I have nailed a couple of cement sheets to the open parts just to keep the weather out until we reduce it in size.

Over the years of renting and living at home, I have always longed for a shed to house all of the stuff that isnt allowed in the house and to have a place where I can just go and potter around, when life gets too tough in the house.
I have had many a conversation about the different types of sheds with mates of mine and what they’ve done to improve their ‘little tin box out the back’. Be it from fully decking out the shed with carpet, plastering the walls, painting, adding a bar, lounge suite (sometimes better than the living room, of course bought at a nearby garage sale), us ‘men’ really know how to have all the comforts of the home in our shed.

When L and I were looking around for our first house, on the list of things of the must haves, was a shed, then the off street parking, the two bathrooms etc… and of course in a working class suburb that were looking, a shed was to a man as important as a home is to a woman, especially back in the 1950’s.

Before I start to show you all a photos of my current shed and you all start drooling, I will attempt to describe it to you. My shed is a 1950’s style shed measuring approximately 13m x 3m, clad with asbestos cement sheeting and with a cement tiled roof. On the inside it has been internally sheeted with 3mm masonite sheeting to the ceiling and sporadically around the walls in all different sorts of colours. There are two windows down one side facing into the backyard. The door to get in the shed is an old, what can only be described as a ‘bitsa’ door, it has some panelling, 4 different types of handles, peeling paint, a lift to lock function, this cool old bolt and latch that is severely rusted and a couple of hooks that are used to either lock you in or lock you out.

Also inside the shed are the original work benches that look to have been there just as long as the shed, they are really solid and made of hardword (like the rest of the shed), and to take a close look at the benchtop there must be a couple of holes for every project ever proformed on it, some large and some small. The mind wonders to think of all the little odd jobs, and toys and minor modifications have been made to things over the years… I admit the shed has seen better days and currently is in need of repair, but you will hear about this in future entries.
Being such a large shed and considering our house was devoid of any cupboards, a lot of the stuff that should be in the house has made its way out to the shed as STORAGE. This is a scary notion if anyone has seen over the years how the man’s shed has become the final resting place of junk that no longer has a place in the home. I have currently sectioned the shed into three sections. Section one – the workshop, this is where the workbench is and all of the tools, and has a distinctive smell about it, you know the one of petrol, oil, sawdust and old cut timber, ahhhh, that sweet smell. :o) Section two – the gym – yes I do have a home gym that is currently being used about 3 times per week although its space in the shed is under fire from section three. Section three – the STORAGE – this is the ever increasing space that seems to move like the tide and I think if it wasnt for the fridge standing guard and separating the gym section from the storage section we’d have problems.
To conclude this entry, the shed is an amazing place, it truly is a place that a man can call his own! it doesnt really matter to us what it looks like or what size it is, the shed is a place that is a forever changing environment, and once you start spending time out there, it will become quite addictive and before you know it you will lose hours out there.