Monday, April 28, 2008

Free Comic Book Day: 3 May 2008

Just thought I'd let you all know that Saturday, 3 May is Free Comic Book Day! Go head down to your nearest participating comic book shop on Saturday and grab yourself a funny book. I know we will, my daughter is all ready to grab another free comic book herself.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hail Storm

We had a little hail this afternoon. We just got back from a day at the city and not a few minutes after getting back hail started pouring. It was only a short shower but this was the first time the kids got to see hail and they were fascinated by the little droplets of ice on the ground. It wasn't too long ago that we were in a middle of a heat wave and now we get frozen rain!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

IKEA Play Room

The wife, the kids and myself are quite the fans of IKEA. We were there when IKEA opened in Adelaide for the first time a couple of years ago and we've been regular visitors since.

One of the great things about IKEA is the kids playroom. The playroom is a great area where the kids can have fun while the parents can browse the store. It's more than just a room, really, as it It has a huge ball swim, a movie nook and activity tables for the kids to pass the time with. It's fully staffed and the kid's always have a great time, albeit only for an hour. It's always the highlight of our kid's visits to IKEA.

The first time we went, the little boy wasn't yet toilet trained so he couldn't go in. That didn't make for such a good experience for all of us. Since then, our kids visit to IKEA always means a visit to the playroom. Too bad though that it would be the girl's last year of using the playroom as she'll be over the age limit come next year. We know she's really going to miss it.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hainanese Chicken Rice

It was the ANZAC day holiday today and we invited our friends over for lunch. I prepared Hainanese Chicken Rice which was just great on a cool day like today. There are tons of Chicken Rice recipes on the web and I've used a couple to come up with my own version. Chicken rice is basically chicken boiled in a stock. This is then served with rice prepared and cooked in the same chicken stock. The chicken itself is mildly seasoned so it's served with some chilli sauce ( I used the bottled kind ), dark soy sauce and a ginger/garlic/sesame oil sauce. I complete the meal with some blanched bok choy with oyster sauce and store bought fried shallots. Chicken and rice, a complete meal.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sports Sunday

We had a very tiring day. It was our second basketball game and it was good that it wasn't that early at 9 o'clock. We arrived just as the game before us was finishing up. I actually had a longer playing time this time around but still no points. At the very least I got to put the ball on the floor and had a couple of attempts but still not yet on the score sheet. It's ok, like I say, it's all about the exercise anyway. Bonus is that we won again!

Oh, and for my bro, just so you know that I actually play, here's a pic. That's me in number 23! Yup, the team manager assigned me Michael Jordan's number. heheh.

After the game, we were still thinking of taking the kids out biking but our good friends clued us in to a free sausage sizzle ( or BBQ ) at a park. It turned out that the free food was sponsored by the Tea Tree Gully Volleyball Association. They had several volleyball courts laid out in the park's grass as well as a free magic show, balloon animals and a jumping castle for the kids. I even had another go at playing volleyball and joined in a game with some of the people. Like my basketball playing, this was again the first time in many many years that I actually got to play volleyball and I have to admit, it was fun as well.

I guess I'm taking this exercise thing to heart. For the Filipinos in the audience, I'm sure you'll recognize it when I say, "Hindi lang pang pamilya, pang isports pa!" Hehehe

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Swimming Lessons 18 Months On

It's been 18 months now since the kids started their first swimming lessons and they're making such good progress. The little boy has moved up 2 or 3 levels now and is learning the basic strokes. He can float unaided and is doing his best with his free style. We notice that although he kicks well enough he seems to lose his puff after only a meter or two of paddling. But, he has utterly no fear of the water. He constantly goes under water and would even do an underwater somersault for us. He would sometimes dive and kick his feet over the water and come up grinning at us just proud of what he just did.

The girl is halfway through the swimming levels now and practicing her backstroke and freestyle over the deep end of the pool. They're now doing laps over a 10 meter stretch and making sure they do the correct strokes. I'm quite impressed as I think she keeps good form and swims quite fast. She used to be a bit afraid of the deep end but just this morning she declared that she wasn't anymore. I sometimes joke with her that she's actually a better swimmer than I am. Come to think of it, I never really had a proper swimming lessson. All I had was childhood afternoons spent at the beach just down the road from our house.

At any rate, I think giving the kids swimming lessons is a good thing. Now, we don't really have to be too anxious about them being in the water, whether in the pool or at the beach. We know they can handle themselves well enough. Although it would be some time before we find ourselves at the beach again now that the cold weather is starting.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Adelaide Blogger's Meetup

Thanks to Shai, I got to join my first blogger's meetup today. The April edition of the Adelaide Blogger's Meetup was great. It was interesting to meet so many people. My blogging has always been for a very specific audience ( I'm looking at you, family! ) but it was actually nice to share some of our blogging as well as the motivations for blogging with a few more people.

Unfortunately I didn't stay for too long and because there was quite a huge turnout didn't really get a chance to meet everyone. Hopefully I'd have more time next meetup to mingle some more but it was good fun nonetheless.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

While Waiting For The Bus

There was an accident on the road in front of me while I was waiting for the bus this morning. A car turning right on the crossroad got hit by another car trying to beat the red light. It was only a few meters from the bus stop that I wait on in the mornings. It was a pretty bad accident as I actually got to see the impact and the crunch of metal on metal is a bit horrific. It was a good thing that the drivers were still able to walk away from it.

I actually called triple 0 ( the Australian emergency number) to report the accident but put down the phone when I noticed a police car arrive. A couple of seconds later I got rung back by the emergency people and I had to explain that the police were already there. They told me that next time I had to stay on the line until someone answered otherwise they'd just waste time ringing people back. Anyway, I'll remember to do that next time. Hopefully I won't have to do that again for a long time.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

First Basketball Game

And I didn't embarrass myself. :) We started early last weekend but the gym was already full with the teams and supporters milling around. It wasn't too hard to spot my teammates, as we all had brand spanking new uniforms courtesy of our team sponsor. After a quick opening ceremony, we got started. Our team was actually first off the blocks and had the first game. I had a couple of minutes play myself which wasn't too bad for a start. Luckily, I didn't do too badly and we actually won the game by 2 points.

There are around 10 teams with a triple round robin so the games would probably be every week until September. We do have quite a few good players on our team so I probably won't see that much action. At least I get to have some sort of exercise during the week.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Kid Funnies Part 25

The little boy was a bit sad when we picked them up from school. The girl explained to us that he got into a misunderstanding with another boy which resulted into a little shoving match. Although it was all sorted out by the time we got there, our little man was still feeling down. The rain had just let up as we were on our way home and as I was driving, the wife and I wanted to find out more about what happened.

With a small voice and on the verge of crying he started to to tell us the story. He looked up and suddenly with a big smile and wide eyes pointed out the window,

"Look! A rainbow!" he exclaimed.

And just like that, all was forgotten and we couldn't get him to talk about anything else but the especially brilliant rainbow all the way home.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I Love Parcels

I Love Parcels
Originally uploaded by chazzvid
This was in a box waiting for us when we got home tonight. I just think it feels nice to receive parcels in the mail. Anyway, I got online and completed our Justice League and Futurama collection. I've also longed to get the US box set of The West Wing which has heaps more special features than the one released in Australia.

One thing I also got was a Missal book each for the kids. We think it's time for them to be more involved at church and we figured getting them something to read and follow during mass would help. Hope it works.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Raising Geeky Kids

A comment from a good friend got me thinking about how geeky our kids are. Being an avowed geek myself, I'm not surprised that my kids upbringing is full of geekness.

They've learned to read early and they know their way around a computer. They watched and enjoy the Star Wars films. We like the animated Justice League. They play Scrabble, Monopoly and Lego and enjoy going to the library.

I guess the geeky things we tend to like when growing up, our own kids end up liking as well. So, what's geeky for us is just normal for them.

But, I do want them to do do more things to break out of the geekness, so to speak. There's actually a video on the net featuring Gever Tulley and 5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do and I'm actually seriously considering doing some of them. It's quite interesting and the talk is more about safety than anything else. In today's world where everything is labeled unsafe for kids, there are things one can do to educate the kid.

1. Play with fire.
2. Own a pocket knife.
3. Throw a spear.
4. Deconstruct appliances.
5. Break the DMCA
6. Drive a Car.

The video presents really interesting ideas that allow kids to do explore more of their world in ways that seem to be labeled "unsafe" by most.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Basketball Practice

The Filipino community here have a basketball league and have a little tournament every year. This year I got signed up to join up. It's not really too much of a big thing. I'm already at the "mature" age bracket so I was assured that the games wouldn't be as strenuous nor as physical. Not that I was a great basketball player to begin with but I figure this would be a chance for some much needed regular excercise on my part.

Because of this, we've added a new routine to our Sunday morning bike rides. This morning we went to the basketball courts and I shot a few hoops and dusted off my "mad bball skillz". The wife and kids joined in the fun as well, shooting and passing the ball around.

Actually, I used to play basketball for fun during college and earlier in my working life but ever since we moved here I've never ever played a straight up game. So, it would be interesting to start playing again. I hope I don't embarras myself too much when the games start next week.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Justice League

I've always liked my superheroes. I remember with fondness the Saturday morning showings of the Superfriends and enjoying every minute of it. Looking back, the show was a just perfect for kids and probably sparked my interest in comic books which we collected off and on throughout my growing up years. These days, Superfriends now would look hopelessly dated and probably not enough to sustain the interest of today's sophisticated "kid" audience.

Enter, The Justice League. I guess I can think of it as this generation's Super Friends. Ever since they revamped this series I've slowly been building up my collection of the box sets. Although I've had the collection since last year, it's only now we've started watching it as a family. I didn't think that our kids would appreciate it at first but I'm quite surprised how we all enjoying it immensely.

The first two seasons was titled Justice League of America with only 8 of the big name superheroes involved but the next season had a bigger stable of heroes to work with hence the name change to Justice League Unlimited. The first 2 seasons, although quite good, didn't really have enough episodes that were easily accessible for the kids. Although they enjoyed the stories, some of the action was a bit too scary for them. Starting with Justice League Unlimited they actually opened it up a bit more and there were quite a lot of great kid friendly episodes as well as stuff that the wife and I really enjoyed ourselves.

The kids enjoy it even more and not only do we rock out to the opening intro of JLU but they also get to share in my love of comic book superheroes. They can even name the secret identities of all of the big superheroes now!

Justice League is totally different from the staid and often silly Superfriends but I think it's a good change. We're already on our last disc of the 3rd set. I hope they release more seasons soon... :)