Wednesday Jan 21, 2009

Too much kids computing

Oh dear. Jake (10) was sitting next to me playing a game on my notebook. He stood up and said to me...


... and headed off to briefly return. For those not in the know - brb is Be Righ Back.

Tuesday Nov 06, 2007

Toy Recall - HOLY CRAP

I just had my dad call me to tell me about this toy recall.

The toy (Bindeez Craft Beads) won the Australian Toy of the year award! Now they find that

"The colourful beads contain the same chemical as the illicit drug GHB, otherwise known as 'fantasy' [...] the product actually contains 1,4-butanediol [...] When metabolised, 1,4-butanediol converts into GHB."

My (almost) 9 year old daughter loves playing with these things!!!

Sometimes as a parent I have the absolute sh\*t scared out of me.

I will be packing these up to be returned as soon as I get home!

Monday Sep 03, 2007

My Dad, by Lucy (age nearly 9)

I say nearly 9 as she doesn't like people saying she is 8.

I was cleaning up the lounge room and came across this and had to share it.

My Dad is called Alan Hargreaves. He works at Sun Microsoft Systems. He gets to go to other countries for work around the world. He gets me lots of souvenirs. He often stays in his office at my house. He is special and he loves me.

My dad likes playing Second Life on his laptop and being with my mum and playing with me. He also likes doing his work.

What can one say to that!

I love my kids!

Wednesday Dec 20, 2006

Lucy's modelling competition

The voting closes on Friday. It looks like only those folks with Australian IP addresses can access the site. If you think that it was a good picture of her, please vote. For details see my previous blog entry. You can vote once per day per model per email address. All votes gratefully accepted.

Sunday Dec 17, 2006

Lucy in a modelling competition

My daughter Lucy, who turned eight on Saturday, has a photo up in a modelling competition. We are being encouraged to have folks vote for her. I would really appreciate anyone who thinks she's had a good photo taken to do so by going clicking on her photo and voting (and encouraging friends to). Voting requires an Email address (they send out a thank you email and a couple of links when you vote). Pramod, she's wearing the outfit that you haggled for me for on my last day in Bangalore.

Note I've used the image as the link as while I have not received my copies, I have purchased copyrights to the photo shoot. If you can't see the image, you can click here. There appears to be a problem with accessibility of the site from outside Australia, I'm following this up with the website.

The terms and conditions of the competition state that if AKC believes that anyone voting is bypassing the normal system of vote casting by continously changing their IP address, AKC reserves the right to disqualify that contestant. Please be sure to ask your friends and support crew not to do this as, ultimately, it will disadvantage your chances.

The terms and conditions of the competition are available here. The important ones relating to voting are:

  • 5. Participants of this site may only use programs such as Netscape® Navigator®, Netscape®Communicator®, Safari and Microsoft®Internet Explorer® (or equivalent web browsers) in trying to win the prize. Use of any other software not designed for browsing the World Wide Web is expressly prohibited. No electronic devices or software programs may be used to falsify winnings from this site. In the event that use of non-approved client software is detected, we reserve the right to invalidate any prize or claims to the prize. In the event such fraudulent attempts to claim a prize is uncovered, such individuals will be subject to prosecution.
  • 6. Aussie-Kids.Com reserves the right to permanently disqualify from this promotion any person it believes has intentionally violated these rules or otherwise tampered with this promotion. Any attempt by any person to deliberately damage this Website or undermine legitimate operation of the poll constitutes a violation of criminal and civil laws and, should such an attempt or attempts be made, we reserve the right to seek damages from any such person or persons to the fullest extent permitted by the law.
  • 9. Voting is enabled via a simple polling method installed, activated and monitored by our webserver. It permits only one vote from an individual computer within a 24 hour period for any contestant entered in the "STRIKE-A-POSE" Photogenic Quest. It does not permit multiple voting due to the restrictions enabled through our software which identifies the IP address of the person (computer) voting. Aussie-Kids.Com is not responsible for any software malfunction that may occur during voting. Aussie-Kids.Com is not responsible if voting is not possible due to the networking of some computers in government bodies/departments or business houses and will not enter into any discussions or explanations as to this fact before, during or after the voting period.

Wednesday Nov 01, 2006


OK, Halloween is not as big a thing in Australia as it is in the US. That being said, for the last few years we have had kids come around trick or treating, and our kids have gone around too and generally had a pretty good time.

This year, Lyn (my wife) decided to "do up the house" for halloween. I've got a series of about 66 photos (most of which she took) on Flickr.

A sample of which appears here.

House done up for Halloween

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Friday Oct 20, 2006

The things kids say

Lyn went to wake up Lucy to get her ready for school today. As she walked up to her bed, she opened her eyes and happily said,

Happy my allowance day.

Saturday Dec 24, 2005

Merry Christmas Everyone

Well it's Christmas Eve out here and it's about 40 degrees Celsius!

Every year we go back to the town I grew up in and the kids participate in a tradition that has grown up since we were kids. We do a Saint Lucia procession with all of the kids visiting each house and singing to people. Over the years people have started to contribute lollies for the kids to have an after procession party.

This year, my boy (Jacob) got to be Santa and carry the sack into which the lollies were put.

About half way through, he started complaining that the sack was getting too heavy to carry! You should have seen his hair when he took the suit off when we had finished!

Anyway, best wishes from us here "down-under".

Sunday Aug 07, 2005

Customer Complaint to the Tooth Fairy

My wife called my earlier today to tell me of what Lucy dictated to write on her blackboard before she went to school this morning. The background is that she has been putting her tooth under her pillow for the last 3 days and we didn't know.

I think this is not good enough.

You should have gotten my tooth last night.

Please get my tooth tonight and make sure you get it.

It will be in the tooth box and I want to see it gone tonight.

I hope you give me $6 now.

Lucy xoxo

I suspect Lucy has been overhearing too much in the way of customer complaints.

The tooth fairy will visit tonight.

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Sunday Jul 03, 2005

Visiting Koolang Observatory

Over the weekend, I helped a friend of my wife to move house. I ended up driving a three tonne truck about 250km all up.

She's moved to this lovely locality called Bucketty. About an hours drive from where I live on the Central Coast.

The really cool thing about it is that her landlord runs the Koolang Observatory, which is less than a minutes walk from her house. Last night we were the guest of this gentlemanat a night show and the kids came along too.

Koolang Observatory was designed and built with two purposes in mind - to make science, especially astronomy, more accessible to the general public; and to be a resource for those involved in teaching astronomy to children of all ages - K to 12.

We saw some wonderful views of eta-carina, canopis and a globular cluster (whose name currently escapes me) through the 20" Newtonian Reflector. We saw Tempel-1 the night before the impact (which just occurred) on a 10".

What was really outstanding was the timing of things looking at Jupiter. It started that we could only see two moons. While we were looking we had a third come out from behind the giant and a few minutes later a fourth came out of it's shadow.

All up the kids had a great time, as did Lyn and I.

If you're within a few hours of the area, I'd certainly encourage you to book and visit.

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Friday May 06, 2005

Football (Soccer) Season

Well, its actually been going for a few weeks now.

This year both Jacob and Lucy are playing in the Joeys.

They've had a few relatively large wins. Jake scored his first goal ever the other week and unfortunately I was working that Saturday. He's showing a lot more confidence now.

Lucy is also starting to get her confidence although she had not played before this season.

My father managed to snap this one while I was working and got both of them in frame. Click the image for a larger version.

Friday Mar 18, 2005

Lucy is feeling better

I've spent most of this week on carer's leave.

Monday night we took Lucy into hospital (Wyong), as she had an incredibly bad cough.

The night staff at Wyong were great.

On initial examination, the doctors were very concerned as it looked like she had some kind of chest infection that looked like the onset of pneumonia.

Lucy spent most of that night on oxygen and hourly ventolin, all provided by a mask. She really did not like the ventolin as it was steamy and it got in her eyes, so her solution was to cover her eyes with a dry flanel.

At about 6am the next morning they organised for an ambulance to transfer her to the children's ward at Gosford (as in spite of all of the state politicians running around sayng how they have been doing wonderful things for Wyong Hospital, it still lacks a children's ward!!!).

She spent all of Tuesday at Gosford (who also had wonderful staff through all shifts). What we really appreciated was that Gosford Children's Ward provides a place (with beds) for one parent to stay free of charge so they can be near their children. Lyn stayed. I think her presence comforted both Lyn and Lucy as Lyn was not required through the night.

Lucy spent a lot of time in the craft/play room and enjoyed that part of her stay very much.

She came home after lunch on Wednesday and is on a decreasing schedule of ventolin through a spacer for the next week.

She went to School yesterday, but both her and Jake were still asleep about 8:30 this morning, so Lyn decided to let them both sleep it out. Lucy is still pretty hyper from all of that ventolin and (though I think he wouldn't admit it) I think Jake was pretty worried about her.

Unfortunately for Lucy, she is not to play sport for a week, so she can only watch the first soccer game of the year that she and Jake were supposed to be playing tomorrow.

My heartfelt thanks to the staff of both Wyong and Gosford Hospitals for nursing my special little girl back to health.

Friday Dec 24, 2004

Compliments of the Season to All

Well, it's Christmas Eve here in Sydney. We're about to head home. We're taking the kids out to Carols by Candlelight at The Entrance this evening. We've gone to this one for the last few years and it's always been an enjoyable experience.

Then it bundle them into bed (leaving out the lemonade and chocolate cake for Santa and the carrot for Rudolph) and the looks of wonder and joy tomorrow morning as they open their gifts.

We're doing Ribs on the Barbecue and I'll be opening a few bottles of the home brew (and bottling the next lot).

The weather forecast for today and tomorrow looks ominous...

Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
New South Wales
Issued at 11:42am on Friday the 24th of December 2004
For remainder of today and Saturday

Moderate flood warning for Namoi River at Goangra and downstream.
Minor rural flood warning for Lower Gwydir River Valley.
Minor to moderate flood warning for Barwon/Darling River upstream of Bourke.
Moderate to major flood warning for Darling River downstream of Bourke. 

Very High Fire Danger for the Central West Slopes and Plains, Riverina, and
Lower Western until midnight Friday. 
Scattered showers and thunderstorms in the eastern half of the state today.
Scattered showers and thunderstorms in the northeast Saturday, clearing showers
in the southeast. Dry in the west.  Warm to hot northwest to northeast winds
ahead of south to southwest change moving through the southeast today reaching
central coast in the evening and Queensland border by tomorrow afternoon. 

This forecast is issued daily at 05.15, 1120 and 16.30.  For more information
visit the Bureau web site at

I hope we don't get washed out tonight, and I certainly hope the kids get to play with their gifts outside tomorrow (and I'd really rather not be outside working the barbecue in the rain).

Anyway, Monday and Tuesday are public holidays in New South Wales, so I won't be back until Wednesday.

Merry Christmas to all.

Friday Dec 17, 2004

That's me for the week

The highlight being that Jacob and Lucy turned 6 this week.

Tomorrow we are giving them a party at chipmunks. They are also having the chipmunk visit the party. Should be fun.

Hopefully I may get to turn comments back on next week.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday Dec 15, 2004

Letter from School

Last week, the kids brought home a letter addressed to the parents of Jacob and Lucy Hargreaves.

Full of apprehension, we opened it and discovered that there was to be a presentation night for the school on Tuesday night and both Jacob and Lucy were to receive awards.

It turns out that only five kids in each class received awards.

Lucy is always drawing and colouring in, so I guess it was no real surprise to see her receive the award for Arts and Crafts.

The surprise was that my little boy, who always says "I can't remember" when I ask him what he did at school today, got the prize for mathematics. Funnily enough, on the way in to the presentation (before I knew what they were getting), he suddenly pipes up with

"Daddy, did you know that nine plus five plus four is eighteen?"

Quickly adding them up myself (tick, tick, tick), "That's right Jake! Well done!" :)

Isn't it wonderful how your kids can surprise you?


* - Solaris and Network Domain, Technical Support Centre

Alan is a kernel and performance engineer based in Australia who tends to have the nasty calls gravitate towards him


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