Monday, 28 February 2011

Porteño or how we got out to a restaurant in the evening with Georgia for the first time

It can be done. Feed and change Georgia before we leave and choose somewhere nice and close to home. Porteño is only 10 minutes walk away so if we have any disasters it is a short trip home and everything will be hunky dory.
Weeell, sort of. Georgia did get a bit grizzly a few times during the meal but not enough to be major pain. It was only after we'd ordered dessert she needed to be taken outside for some settling. I quickly wolfed down my share of dessert and left the rest for Michelle while I took Georgy outside to chat with the doorman. I settled Georgia, Michelle settled the bill.

We had to take turns nursing and eating a few times. It was worth it to get a decent feed. Last time we were here I raved about the suckling pig. This time, if anything, it was better. The Morcilla, blood sausage, was decadently rich and creamy.

Kingfish Ceviche, corn, cucumber, sweet potato and bottarga

BBQ Eggplant, Tahini, Pearl Barley and Preserved Lemon

Spanish cider

Woodfired Suckling Pig

Blood Sausage with Red Peppers in Garlic

Crispy Fried Brussel Sprouts with Lentils and Mint

I was wearing my new Grinderman t-shirt and one of the waitresses was a fan (of Grinderman - not just my t-shirt) and she said the night of Grinderman's Sydney gig at the Enmore the band ended up here at Porteño for dinner and drinks. And speaking of celebs. Celebrity patissier Adriano Zumbo was eating here tonight too. Obviously man can not exist on macaron's alone.

So we haven't been totally scared off doing it again. As a matter of fact I can't wait.

Porteño is at 358 Cleveland Street Surry Hills.

Note for Grandparents and interested persons. Click HERE for new Georgia photos.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

7 weeks

This time last year we spent almost seven weeks travelling around Japan. All good holidays seem to fly. The Japan trip was no exception. We could've stayed there for months it went so fast. Now we've just reached the seven week point of Georgia's journey. The last seven weeks haven't flown like a Japanese holiday but neither have they dragged. The first time Georgia smiled it was like every gorgeous sunrise rolled into one magical toothless gummy moment. My heart sang, my spirit soared and my eyes leaked like a sieve. In the week or so since that moment the smiling and grinning have become part of her. She smiles when we say hello when she wakes up. She smiles when we sing. And she smiles when her daddy dribbles any old shit when he is telling a story.

Don't get me wrong it hasn't all been wine and roses. Well, except for Valentine's Day; Michelle bought me a rose. But it has been the most rewarding time of my life so far.

This time last year we were dealing with some of life's challenges. This year we're dealing with the challenge of a new life.

The next time we go on a holiday we'll be taking her and already I know it will be the best holiday ever.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

We go out for lunch

We finally got out for lunch. In a restaurant. This is the first time eating out with Georgia so we went for something pretty relaxed and casual but still with excellent food. Cafe Sopra is above (Sopra means above in Italian) Fratelli Fresh, a fruit and vegie market, not far from our place. It has always had excellent Italian inspired food. Last year it was awarded 1 Chef's Hat by the Good Food Guide.

Sopra is noisy enough to be soporific enough to keep a baby asleep. Until, that is, she needs a feed herself.

Luckily Michelle ordered cold dishes - vitello tonato and a rocket, bresaola and apple salad - so when she was interrupted it was no drama to put down the eating irons and feed Georgia. I got to finish my parmesan encrusted chicken scalopini with "Sopra"-slaw because I'm not equipped to feed little ladies.

I got to play the proud daddy while Michelle finished her meal though.
We finished with a fabulous creme brulee.
It was great to get out again. It has been a while. Cafe Sopra was as awesome as ever and very kiddie friendly.
Cafe Sopra is upstairs at Fratelli Fresh at 7 Danks Street Waterloo.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Chapter 5 Section 116 of the Commonwealth Of Australia Constitution Act

116. The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.

It is based on the US version but in effect a little weaker. Almost gutless when push comes to shove.

So why are Christians always angry?

Saturday, 12 February 2011


Here a couple of things that have got my goat recently.

States urged to impose total ban on mobile phone use in cars.
The nanny state gone mad. Yes using a mobile phone or texting in a car is dangerous. Have you ever been behind someone yakking on a mobile while driving? They look like they're driving pissed. By all means ban hand held devices, but hands free? The study suggests that even hands free devices are distracting and could cause accidents. Maybe, but this is taking the nanny state too far. The law would be almost unenforceable anyway. What will they ban next? Passengers? Do you know how distracting passengers can be?

'Appalling' law lets schools expel gay students.
This absolutely appalling law is a relic of the Wran years when homosexuality was still illegal. Holy shit have these people ever heard of basic human rights? The law allows private schools to expel gay students not because they're disruptive or are "flaunting their homosexuality" or harassment. But just because they are gay. What the fuck? It's like outlawing lefthandness or brown eyes. Fucktards.

Christians put faith poll on the agenda.
The Australian Christian Lobby have organised an event where Christian leaders will question Kristina Keneally (Premier) and Barry O'Farrell (Opposition leader) on a range of "social" issues. The ACL did this during the Federal election with the two Federal leaders too. Hello, Church State Separation anybody? Why the leaders pander to this out-of-touch and un-representative to the majority of people in the state I don't know? Maybe I do. Votes. The ACL, and Catholics for that matter, agenda is probably the newly approved Ethics Classes in public schools. For some reason the various religions have been allowed to come into public schools and teach scripture classes once a week. While the classes were technically not compulsory, ask Nowra and Ulladulla High Schools about that though, students who had permission from their parents were not allowed to do anything constructive. No school work or homework was allowed so as not to disadvantage the poor kiddies in the scripture classes. Recently though ethics classes were trialled as alternative to scripture classes. In the trials apparently more than half the kids chose to do the ethics classes instead of scripture. This outraged the Anglicans and the Catholics. I don't know why they have their own fucking schools after all. Now the government is rolling out ethics classes across the board. Ethics are cool. I wish I had them. Last week the Opposition Liberal Party dropped its objection to ethics classes and their promise to remove them from schools. This has again outraged the Christians. It appears to me that the Liberals have seen how the wind is blowing and how popular the ethics classes actually are with voters.
The scripture classes have no place in public schools. Ethics classes are appropriate for public schools, or any school for that matter. If the Christians want to teach scripture they can go and start there own schools. Oh. Hang on. They have their own schools. Hundreds of them. Well piss off out of the state system then. We nominally have a separation of church and state in this country.

DNA and dollars are killing capital punishment.
You'd think this abhorrent practice would be outlawed just because it is barbaric but if DNA evidence and the cost of executions is doing the job, well that will do I suppose. The execution rate in the US has halved since 1999 which was the peak year for judicial homicide in the USA.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Vaccination day

Little Georgia started her schedule of vaccinations today. She's already had one Hep B shot in hospital. All up today she had 2 injections and some syrup to sip on.
The first injection was for Pertussis, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Haeomphilus influenza type B, Hepatitis B and Polio.
The second shot was for Pneumococcal and the sipping syrup was for Rotavirus. Georgia drank the Rotarix pretty easily. It is quite sweet apparently.

Mum preparing as well as she could.

One shot in one thigh and another in the other.

Poor Georgy howled. Look at the tears. Hopefully it won't be too painful over the next few days. I got the DTP booster a couple of months ago and the injection site in my arm ached for days
It didn't take her long to calm down and she had been fine ever since.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

It has only been 6 weeks! Today in fact.

I can't even remember what it was like before Georgia came along and it's only been 6 weeks. Sure we were happy but, Jesus Georgia, you've filled a hole we only had an inkling we had. I'm well into my 40s now, and don't I hate saying that out loud, but I feel like a clueless 20 year old kid again when it comes to parenthood. I can't say parenthood has been easy but there is a naturalness to it I didn't expect. I suppose there are a few billion others going through it at the moment on top of 2 million years of evolution so I shouldn't be too surprised. If Ozzy Osbourne could successfully raise a family there's hope for us yet. There have been dramas, tears and frustration. God knows how the parents who have difficult babies cope, she has been a dream baby. I reckon there will still be tears a plenty in the years to come. Give us time. We'll fuck up somewhere. However I'm looking forward to watching her grow up more than just about anything. One minute you can't wait for her to do something new and the next you want to stay in the moment and wish she wouldn't grow up so fast. And it has only been six weeks. Even in the short time we've had the changes have been coming too fast and yet not fast enough. It is so confusing. All we can do is take some happy snaps to cry over in the future.
You are the best thing that ever happened to us Georgia.
Thank you.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

5 weeks

More photos here.

You really can't afford 50 bucks?

The recent Queensland floods brought out the best in Australians and, unfortunately, the worst. Many Aussies spent time, money and sweat to help out the victims of the floods. Many of us donated to the Premier's Relief Fund. This disaster will cost billions. It may be the most expensive natural disaster in Australian history by orders of magnitude.

Of course the Federal Government has to foot the bill for much of the repair bill. Just how are they going to pay for it? Billions of dollars don't just magically appear out of consolidated revenue. They will have to cut some expenditure but there is a limit to the cuts any government can make. A quick dirty way of raising a couple of billion bucks is a one off levy. This is what the Gillard government has chosen to do.

The levy is only going to be levied on those who make more than 50 grand a year and they're only going to be hit with a 0.5 percent surcharge on top of their usual Medicare levy. For the lucky few earning more than 100 grand a year the levy is 1 percent. Yes lucky few. Only 1 percent of Australians earn more than 100K per year. If you earn less than 50k what are you complaining about? You won't have to pay anything.

I was a little shocked by the furore this has caused. What a bunch of whingers those affected by the levy are. At the bottom end of the scale it is 48 cents per week. Yes 48 cents. If you earn 100K it is $4.81 per week. This is only for one year. Are you telling me Mr or Ms $55,000 a year you can't afford $52 in one year to help reconstruct Queensland? Or $250 if you earn $100,000. Oh the hardship. Whingers.

Before any of you 1 percenters get up on your high horses, in a good year, and I've had a couple, I've earned enough to be slugged a fair whack with this levy too you know. And what about the personal donation I made to the appeal you say? Well good on you then. Do you want a medal? I contributed too. It was tax deductible after all. Every bit helps. So we're making a compulsory contribution now. Get over it. We've been paying 1 percent extra for Medicare for years because of our incomes. Don't you consider yourself lucky enough to earn enough to be slugged with extra taxes? Shit, I do.

So you're not convinced how the government will use or misuse your money? The money per week that amounts to less than one of those lattes you have every day. Well governments use and misuse your money every day. Again, deal with it. Why doesn't the government cut more of those other programs that you don't believe in anyway? Well, they are cutting stuff. It may not be one of your pet projects but it is someone's. You can't please everybody. Deal with it.

Some people might even say why should I fork over my hard earned when these people are living in a flood zone and are under insured? Why should I bail out people who haven't prepared for themselves? They've chosen to live in a risky environment after all? Well, because it is the right thing to do. We call it social responsibility. Sometimes we just have to help out those who have to deal with something so extreme. These sort of disasters don't happen very often. Hell, speaking of flood zones, we're talking an area the size of Germany and France combined. Practically all of Queensland is at risk. It means you couldn't rebuild anywhere if you wanted to avoid risky areas. Even Toowoomba, which was hit by the inland Tsunami, is 700 metres above sea level. Silly buggers building homes in such and obvious flood zone. How dare they ask for help?

Now the mad monk, Tony Abbott, and the Liberal Party have asked for donations to help fight the flood levy. Oh the irony. I think, and this is entirely supposition, that Abbott is only so vehemently against the levy because, one, he didn't think of it first, and two, because if the government says the sky is blue he would say it was green. Nice work Tony.

I'm happy just to do my bit. Shit, I might even get more tax back this year than I'll be paying in the levy anyway.

Rant over.

Update 4-Feb-2011
I'm not the only one that thinks this way. Thank you John Birmingham.