I was driving home last night from a night out with my girls, and we were following a number of taxis that were doing their usual to-ing and fro-ing for a Saturday night with the many people who rely on them for a safe ride home in whatever state.

I have often been a tough critic on taxi drivers for their general road manner, particularly staying in the right lane on a freeway sitting just under the speed limit and not letting anyone pass! Arrrghhh!! But I thought I would focus on this entry about what the taxi drivers have to put up with on a daily basis with their sometimes grossly intoxicated occupants.

I have many times required the services of a taxi ride home after I have had that ‘one too many’ and always got home safely and in the most cases the most direct path to my place of residence. I have seen on the television and first hand what some taxi drivers are put through during a normal day at work and I think it is unfair and wrong, that any person can be treated like that carrying out their daily job to earn a living and support a family.
So today, I just wanted to say a big thank you to all those taxi drivers that work the late shifts and take us all home safely. Please consider the people who work in this tough job and provide us with a service that is a relentless unrewarding task.

I am working through my list of tasks around the house as mentioned in a previous entry, and one of the things on the list was to hang the curtains in baby M’s room. L has done an amazing job of making some beautiful pink and baby like curtains, and so it was my turn to now hang them; an easy job you may say, but…

I carried out the usual investigation that precedes any ‘little’ project and I tapped around the wall to locate a stud where I could fix the screws into that hold the brackets, but due to a cupboard door needing to open up in the curtain space we had to move the brackets up the wall approximately 100mm. In doing so I could not locate any studs in the area that I could fix into that would allow us to open the curtains all the way, so it was off to the hardware store to buy some plasterboard anchors. Plasterboard is a gypsum product which is not ideal fixing substrate for fixing anything heavy unless it is into a structural component on the other side ie a part of the frame. I purchased some anchors that would support up to 20kg, because as you may already know curtains can be quite heavy and this particular window is about 2.5m wide by 1.8 high.

The anchors are very easy to use, they are self drilling, meaning that all you need to do is insert them into the plaster with a philips head screw driver, you then insert the bracket or whatever you want to fix to the wall and use a screw that is supplied with the anchor, and as you screw it into the wall it ‘butterflies’ out and grips the plasterboard. The idea being of the anchor is to increase the surface area of the fixing which makes it harder to pull out through the weak plasterboard.

Sounds good you say! Unfortunately, it didn’t go that easy for me this time and with much sweat, a bit of colourful language and some serious head scratching, I realised that when I put the screw into the anchor instead of the screw ‘butterflying’ out on the other side of the plasterboard it tangled around the insulation that was in the wall and failed to butterfly!!! Not knowing this until I hung the curtains, I applied the weight and the anchors pulled straight out of the wall!

Following this disaster and with not 2 but 4 holes about the size of a AUD 5 cent piece in our new plasterboard and freshly painted rooms I began tapping around and trying to find another way to fix these curtains. Don’t you just hate it when a little job, something that should have taken 10mins to do, takes more time than some of the larger tasks.

Anyway, I decided to extend the span of the curtain rod and fix the brackets to wherever I could locate a stud just to get the job done. I thought to myself it is better to pre-drill the hole which allows the screws to go in easier. Well, pre-drilling into a 50+ year old house frame with hardwood timber is not as easy as it sounds. First of all, you need to use a power drill and have some decent drill bits. After several attempts at getting the correct depth of hole and two drill bits later, quickly running out of suitable sized drill bits, I had the holes completed. Finally I was on the home stretch, I fixed the brackets to the wall and hung the curtains. Those brackets will be staying there a long time!

A couple of things to remember when buying brackets for curtains and installing them, don’t rely on the size of the screws they provide you with in the packet of brackets, consider the weight of the curtains prior to hanging them, make sure you fix the brackets into adequate supports, and use patience and calm when doing any project…

On the 22.2.08 my/our little girl came into the world and what an amazing day that was and will forever remain. Yes little M was born safe and sound, weighing in at 7 pounds and 10 ounces in the old speak (3.465kg), and so you would be safe to say that the last couple of weeks for L and I have been quite busy, and I am happy to report that we are making the transition of being DINK’s to SIWK’s very nicely. Sorry that is a terrible acronym but if you know the correct term for single income with one child then let me know.

So after a couple of attempts a few mates and I went out for an afternoon lunch to ‘wet the baby’s head’ which means basically that a few of the boys go out on the town and have a few beers to celebrate. However, in an effort to always provide my readers with some education, I managed to find someone who thinks they know what they’re talking about and has provided the following description for your reading pleasure: Since the 1600s, the verb ‘to wet’ has meant to celebrate by drinking, though the earliest use of ‘wet the baby’s head’ as such dates only to the 19th century. When a baby is baptised, its head is literally ‘wetted’ by the priest, so the custom of fathers inviting friends to ‘wet the baby’s head’ is just a sort of secular baptism, as it were.

Well there you have it spoken like a true champion or rather a really good bullsh*t artist who got himself out of another bit of trouble with the missus, very believable, don’t you think?!

So the boys and I headed out for lunch (quite civilized) a few beers and we end up watching some footy and then going to Crown and Casa Del Oro to purchase a cigar each. Casa Del Oro is located in the Crown complex and there is a shop that is a humidor, which means that the cigars are out in the open for close examination. Not being the expert in cigars yet, I stuck to a cigar that I had smoked before the Partagus no.4. There aren’t too many places these days to have a cigar and so we went to a place at Crown that has an outdoor balcony. We continued our conversation and enjoyed a nice glass of scotch to celebrate the occasion. I think the days of having a big night are over for me, but I must say I am glad. An afternoon with a couple of friends, a nice meal, a few beers, a cigar and a scotch, what more can a man want, and what a wonderful occasion! Here’s to M!!