Friday, June 23, 2006

For Gail

I can't believe that soccer isn't more popular in the States when they have little hotties like this playing!! So Gail, when you get sad about your boys coming home too soon, feast your eyes on "Landon"!

Me - well I have Argentina v All Blacks from Buenos Aires to look forward to, although without Sky Sport I have a feeling I'll have to wait until 3.30pm Sunday to see the replay. Now that's a long time to avoid seeing the score. Must remember to go change my homepage so that Xtra doesn't spoil it for me with their nasty little news updates.

Today though, the sun is shining and the birds are cheeping. How sad my life is when getting all the towels dry out on the line is the most exciting thing about Saturday. Oh well, there's always Landon to look at.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Yadda, yadda ...

Wednesday night and I've got "Bathe in the River"(by The Mt Raskil Preservation Society featuring Hollie Smith) stuck in my head. The radio station the girls have on in the office has been thrashing it and I'm not complaining. Just love that voice.
Kip & Cat - you must try & find it to play on your little do-dacky music thingies! It's written by Don McGlashan for the film "No 2". Ahhh... Don McGlashan. Blam Blam Blam, The Front Lawn and then The Muttonbirds ... love that man (although it's a little disconcerting that the girls at work consider him a new find and I've been listening to this man for over 26 years!)
Now that winter is officially here, it being the shortest day and all, the winter sport of knitting has taken over again. Considering I made something like 30 scarves last year it was a little disturbing to find that I didn't actually have one for myself - I seem to have a bad habit of giving them away to whoever admires them first. I've got a gorgeous pattern courtesy of Cat that I want to start but as a quick fix I whipped up this one with some fluffy stuff from the $2 Shop.
Then for something to do at lunchtime I've started this little cardigan with more $2 Shop yarn. Despite close inspection we can't decide whether its really wool or just "plastic" and the label is no help. Says "Made in China" and nothing else - not even what ply so I've decided to go for "Adventure Knitting" and throw caution to the wind, not letting little details like that or techie stuff like "tension" and needle size get in the way of a good time. I'm also ignoring comments that it's starting to look a little large for a one year old and explain to the doubters that it's for a one year old sumo wrestler. Ha! Have no idea what I'll do with it once it's finished so if you happen to know a one year old sumo wrestler, let me know!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Galub Jamun & Soan Papdi

Blogging is a funny old thing & the funniest part is who or why people come to visit.

The entry about Tana's Handbag not surprisingly got a lot of hits via Google searches from rugby playing nations - big wave out to all of you who visited from Aussie, Ireland, UK, South Africa, Argentina & Singapore (Singapore??).

Via Google searches again Galub Jamun & Soan Papdi provide an equally large amount of hits. Far be it from me to deny anybody the pleasure of these taste sensations so I've inserted a link over to the right for Haldirams where I'm sure all my visitors from USA & Canada can sate their appetite for yummy Indian treats.

So who are the rest? Of course there are those who are near & dear to me who visit and sometimes leave a comment (for which I am always grateful) but who are all of you others? It's not a matter of life and death but just piques my curiosity and amuses me that out there in huge pockets of USA & Canada etc are people now quite conversant with the ups & downs of the All Blacks, shopping in South Auckland and life in NZ generally. People who visit sometimes several times a day. C'mon. Put your hand up. I'd love for you to leave a comment.

Blog Freeze

You know those days where you wish you had something profound to blog, or at the least something marginally interesting, but there just ain't nothing there? Today it's one of those. Doesn't help that I've been visiting over at Anne's blog where she has written the most thought provoking/touching post I've read in a long time that several hours later I am still mulling over. Marigolds will forever now be "Anne" to me.

No, here at Madcow, we're into shallow & inane and in that spirit I give you the Lamington. I was going to say it was a little bit of Kiwi-ana but of course these came from Australia so perhaps we'll have to compromise and say they are Antipodean as I'm sure our consumption of these delights matches our Oz cuzzies.

This from Wikipedia: "Lamingtons are a type of sponge cake (or more traditionally, butter cake) squares, coated in a layer of flavoured gelatin (or traditionally chocolate icing or strawberry jam), then desiccated coconut. They are sometimes served as two halves with a layer of cream between them, and are commonly found in Australian and New Zealand bakeries. The strawberry variety is more common in New Zealand, while sightings of a lemon variety have occurred in Australia.
The gelatin is a thin mixture, into which squares of sponge (one cookbook
states 4 cm per side) are dipped, and the gelatin is absorbed into the outermost layers of the sponge where it sets. (Similarly, the strawberry jam or chocolate icing is absorbed into the sponge.) The squares are then dipped into the coconut and left to dry."

And this from He Who Shall Not Be Named: "Leave my Lamington alone! I've only had eight!"

(Holy Cross School had a Pizza Drive this week but bugger the pizza when you can buy a tray of these beauties. Of course I have eaten none of them ... wiping coconut from the mouth...)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Wednesday - the slippery slope towards the weekend!

My aunty in Christchurch sent me these photos of her backyard today. Sometimes I have to be grateful to be living in "tropical" Auckland (although I can hear from here Lisa snorting that we don't know what "real" snow is!) Here there's been nothing so dramatic. A bit of rain, a bit of wind and no power for a day. Not that I'm complaining about that especially as they sent most of us home from work yesterday. Out here in Rewa the power was surging away quite happily so it was a real bonus. I watched movies, scrapped a little and even cooked! Well perhaps "assembled" would be a more accurate description but there was boiling on the big white hot thing involved so I think it counts. (When I told himself I'd been sent home from work his first comment was "Why, what did you do this time?" Charming)

Must remember my shiny new red raincoat in the morning though - I want to get to the sale at Meric at lunchtime. Geeta tells me the skirts we were looking at last week have been marked down and it's not really a payday if you haven't spent it all by 2pm is it? This skirt thing has rather taken on a life of its own although I'd forgotten after all these years of trouser wearing how bloody drafty they can get in the winter. Makes me crave the good old days of Witches Britches. Now whatever happened to them? You'd think in these days of retro clothing some bright spark would re-invent them. Back in the dark ages mine were green (for school) and red for the rest - both of course with masses of white lace & black ribbon. I used to think I was Christmas although perhaps Halloween may have been a more appropriate. Warm, yes. Glamorous, no!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

All Blacks 34 Ireland 23

Old news now but still a smile. Couldn't find a pic of Luke McAlister for Anne so you will just have to make do with our boy Dan. He didn't play last night but we can look forward to some mmmm...mmmm moments later in the month when they play Argentina. Start searching those cable channels now! (Now tell me rugby isn't a good girlie sport!)

Our other bit of Ireland was Friday night at The Bog - the new local Irish bar. Good beer, good music, fantastic food & I love the outdoor fireplace (& bigscreen tv). Happy Birthday Jimmy and congratulations on gaining a year!

It looks out over the Telstra Events Centre - this is not a good pic I know but it's a little "hi there" wave for Russell.

Then just for mindless trivia ... did you know that the purple bits in this engine cost the Madcow $234. I'm sure they're very important and after all they are purple. He Who Shall Not Be Named would sleep with this engine if he could. Me, I'm not so keen but I do admit it's looking very pretty these days. Now if only it would GO.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A Big Biscuit Day!

Isn't it a hoot the way some some little family foible becomes part of our lexicon! My Auntie Ena gave me "har-karks" - lollies or candy to the rest of the world but if someone in our family says "I could do with a har-kark" we know exactly what they mean. I have called crocodiles "crocadogs" and pipe bands "bom-sticks" for probably all my life and now thanks to Kip I have "Big Biscuit Days"! Today was certainly one of those.

Yesterday was crappy - one of those days at work & home that could so easily NOT have been crappy if someone, somewhere had said those two magic words. "Thank you". Mmmm...not to be.

Today though I couldn't sulk about it. When I arrived at work this morning, there tucked behind my computer nearly out of sight were these little gems. My darling Esitamaki is leaving us soon to live in Wellington and today she left me these gifts on my desk from her last trip to Tonga - I think part of her leaving process, making sure that we have little reminders of her. (As if we could ever forget her!) This sweetie darling understands my passion for handbags so well and I just adore this one with the matching wallet. Perfection. And earings! Bliss.

So there I am purring (or should that me moo-ing being a Madcow?) and little Sonya delivers these over the counter. Before she left for her trip to Canada we had talked about how much I wished I was going with her so I could visit Pam, and about our "perfectly normal girl passion" for the chocolate of the world. Ta-Da! Maple Chocolates!

Could it get any better? Aaah yes. Geeta's Butter Chicken freshly made this morning for me to take home for my dinner. I'd love to show you a better shot but somehow it disappeared out of the pot. Don't know where. All I can say is that He Who Shall Not Be Named was last seen searching my address book for Geeta's address so that he could move in there. Nothing like a bit of cupboard love is there!

A Big Biscuit Day - makes the crappy ones that much more worthwhile doesn't it.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Happy Birthday Betty!

well actually queenies birthday was ages ago but today is the day she lets me have the day off work, so cheers!

After reading Anne's blog I went searching for a queenie pic to out do hers. How strange - not one to be found. Instead I realised how rather over the top my card buying obsession has become - boxes of the things! I just can't resist. If they make me laugh I have to have them. To justify the huge amount of money I must have spent over the years I'll have to start posting some of them here.

This one is especially for Cat - I know she'll love it!

And this was from Lisa who shares my obsession and got me totally hooked on "the interesting thoughts of Edward Monkton"

Saturday, June 03, 2006

6am rambling

With nothing better to do (well, nothing I wanted to do) I've been surfing SKY looking for a movie and I have to tell you there's not a lot on at this time of the morning. My choices appear to be "Guns for San Sebastian" in all it's faded glory with Anthony Quinn dressed as a monk, a documentary on the Holocaust which is probably good but seems a rather bleak way to start the day, or having to endure Tom Hanks (ugh) playing Tom Hanks (ugh) in The Green Mile.

Still none of these could be any worse than "De-Lovely" that I saw the other night. De-Lovely? More like De-Crap. I should have known better. It starred Kevin Kline afterall.

Mr K is not a man blessed with a huge acting talent is he?

His emotional range appears to be
angry, sad, happy.

Oh yeah he runs the gamut doesn't he. I think what really tipped me over the edge though was an interview with him I saw recently where he added sneering condecension to his range. What a guy.

Still it WAS Cole Porter and so I tried but oh deary me. If I was looking for any insight into the mans life I should have read a book, phoned a friend or perhaps we could have all joined hands and tried to contact the living. What a poor excuse for a script, a film, a reason to eat popcorn.

The only saving grace was the soundtrack but then with Cole Porter how could you lose? I ended up going out to the kitchen to do the dishes & just came back into the room when I heard the music start up again. With Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, Mick Hucknell (yes, even Mick was good) amongst others it was a feast. The big surprise to me was Let's Do It, (Let's Fall In Love) by Alanis Morisette - I think I might have liked it!

Of course nothing ever compares to my old bit of vinyl "Red, Hot & Blue", the Cole Porter tribute album in support of AIDS research. When you hear Annie Lennox sing "Everytime we say Goodbye" can you ever get her version out of your head? Oh shit. Now I'm either going to have to find this album on CD or invest in a new turntable. (Given the amount of vinyl now laying waste in the bookshelf here perhaps that would be a good idea).

It's gone 6.30 now and the next lot of movies are beginning. Off to see what I can find or (perish the thought) I could actually go get dressed and do some work .... mmm ... nah.

Sunday morning 4am

Not a lot of sleeping going on here so may as well have a quick update. The Trade Me auction finally closed at $22,800 for Tana's handbag after a number of suspect bids were removed. I really hope they front up with the money - she seemed a very pleasant young woman and good on her for seizing the moment. No doubt, like every other young woman in NZ, she's got a crippling student loan and could do with a break!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Tana and his handbag

He Who Shall Not Be Named was checking out the blog last night (ever vigilant that boy in fear his mother will try to advertise him as marriage prospect), and wondered why I hadn't mentioned the Trade Me auction for the infamous handbag. How remiss of me! Especially as the Madcow blog is getting so many hits doing a "Tana's Handbag" search. This is indeed big news in the rugby world with hits here from United Kingdom, Argentina, South Africa, Australia and Thailand (Thailand? Rugby in Thailand - now there's a thought!).

The purse owner in a moment of pure genius, listed the now-infamous handbag used by Tana Umaga to hit a team-mate on the NZ online auction site Trade Me and last time I looked it had hit $1,000,0100 although on they report the total as $100,000 after Trade Me removed some rather suspect bids.

Either way Nicole - good on ya! The auction comments are worth that much for entertainment value alone. Check it out here for a laugh. Hopefully the link works but if not search on Trade Me under "Hurricanes Handbag & Cellphone"

Continuing on the rugby theme the following quotes struck a chord. After your "turtlesque" comment the other day Gail I thought you'd enjoy more confirmation that sports commentators etc are indeed eejits!

"You guys line up alphabetically by height." and "You guys pair up in groups of three, then line up in a circle." - Colin Cooper - Hurricanes head coach
Chris Masoe (Hurricanes) on whether he had visited the Pyramids during his visit to Egypt: "I can't really remember the names of the clubs that we went to."
"He's a guy who gets up at six o'clock in the morning regardless of what time it is." - Colin Cooper on Paul Tito
Kevin Senio (Auckland),On Night Rugby vs Day Games - "It's basically the same, just darker."
David Nosafora (Auckland) talking about Troy Flavell "I told him, 'Son, what is it with you. Is it ignorance or apathy?' He said, 'David, I don't know and I don't care.'
David Holwell (Hurricanes) when asked about the upcoming season: "I want to reach for 150 or 200 points this season, whichever comes first."
"Andy Ellis - the 21 year old, who turned 22 a few weeks ago"(Murray Mexted)
"Colin has done a bit of mental arithmetic with a calculator." (Ma Nonu)
"He scored that try after only 22 seconds - totally against the run of play." (Murray Mexted)
"We actually got the winning try three minutes from the end but then they scored." (Phil Waugh Warratah)
"I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body." (Jerry Collins)
"That kick was absolutely unique, except for the one before it which was identical." (Tony Brown)
"I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father." (Tana Umaga)
"Sure there have been injuries and deaths in rugby - but none of them serious." (Doc Mayhew)
"If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing again."(Anton Oliver)
"I would not say he (Rico Gear) is the best left winger in the Super 14, but there are none better." (Murray Mexted)
"I never comment on referees and I'm not going to break the habit of a lifetime for that prat." (Ewan McKenzie)
Murray Deaker: "Have you ever thought of writing your autobiography?"Tana Umaga: "On what ?"
"Well, either side could win it, or it could be a draw."(Murray Mexted)
"Strangely, in slow motion replay, the ball seemed to hang in the air for even longer."(Murray Mexted)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Home again, home again, jiggedy jig!

It was just a day in Hamilton but it felt like a week. He Who Shall Not Be Named had to go attend to his traffic charge down there and there were many, many moments during the day that I regretted ever saying I'd go with him - the day will go down in Madcow history as one of the more frustrating and pointless experiences only to be matched by close encounters of the WINZ, IRD or (insert name of any other government agency here) kind.

By midday, and after things had gone horribly wrong, I finally lost my cool and accosted an innocent official (as only a Madcow Mother can) and by 2.30pm things were close to where they should have been in the first place, but it really made me wonder. If you don't have a white, middle-class mother who is prepared to stamp her dainty feet what happens to you? Little wonder we have so many angry young men out there feeling disempowered.

It was the icing on the cake really for the week (or is that still to come? There are afterall still three days to go.) The Madcow Mother has spent a couple of days in hospital when the doctor suspected a blot clot. Fortunately her chest is clear but there it is, in her lower leg, doing its worst and she's home now, receiving the "rat poison" as she so delicately puts it. You'd think by now I would have received a customer loyalty card or something after the hours I've put in sitting on their nasty little plastic chairs - surely by now I must be entitled to a free cup of coffee or perhaps a complimentary frontal lobotomy?

You've got to laugh though don't you? David Darlings gift of Tana & his handbag yesterday certainly took the edge off yesterdays head banging moments. Today Lina did the honours with this little treasure (which sounds uncomfortably familiar to me).

New Company Regulations, approved by Fair Employment Act 2005

Dress Code - It is advised that you come to work dressed accordingly to your salary. If we see you wearing Prada shoes and carrying a Gucci bag, we assume you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a raise. If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you may buy nicer clothes, and therefore do not need a raise. If you dress just right, you are right where you need to be and therefore do not need a raise.
Sick Days -We will no longer accept a doctor's statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.
Personal Days -Each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturday and Sunday.
Toilet Use - Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilet. There is now a strict three-minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of the three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the stall door will open and a picture will be taken. After your second offense, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the "Chronic Offenders category". Anyone caught smiling in the picture will be sectioned under the company's mental health policy!
Lunch Break -Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch as they need to eat more, so that they can look healthy. Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure.Fat people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that's all the time needed to drink a slim fast.
Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations,insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternation and input should be directed elsewhere.
The Management.

PS. Just watched an item on "Sugar Shack" about the underground sport of Purse Fighting. Oh dear Tana, this is just not going to go away is it!