Vernicious Knids

Random musings and snapshots about life, love, travel and everything in between...

Monday, June 26, 2006

An open letter to the Socceroos:

Dear Socceroos,

Firstly, I would like to say a very big domo arigatou gozaimasu (thank you) for performing as magnificently as you have done so far. Australians everywhere - including this one - are proud of your fantastic achievements...and we know you can continue it against Italy tonight!

I have some small requests for tonight's match as follows:

I want to see Harry Kewell as ecstatic as this after Tim Cahill scores his 1st goal against Italy: (I don't care if Harry is on crutches, he can still jump like this!)

I want to see this kind of action shot at least 4 times against Italy: (Don't feel you have to restrict yourselves to 4 goals though!)

I want to see John Aloisi repeat his stripping gambol after scoring his first goal against Italy:

And finally, I want to see Mark Viduka and the entire squad bamboozle the Italians as Kewell did the Croatians:

(I'm sure you'll agree that my requests are modest!)

Whatever the outcome tonight - but I know it will be a WIN! - you guys have put Australian soccer / football on the world stage; and that can only be a good thing.

Vernicious Knids

(Photos are from
FIFA World Cup 2006 - seriously, what would I do without this site?!)

PS Don't forget to vote in the poll on my sidebar!
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Saturday, June 24, 2006

No more "Mind Candy" for us...

Aaron Spelling, the legendary producer of such notable TV moments as Charlie's Angels, Dynasty, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, The Mod Squad, TJ Hooker, Starsky & Hutch, Hart To Hart, Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, Charmed and 7th Heaven has died from the stroke he suffered last week.

(Photo is courtesy of CBS News)

Growing up penniless in Dallas, by the 1980s he was worth over 300 million dollars. He was married to Carolyn Jones - best known as The Addams Family's voluptuous matriarch, Morticia - for 13 years, and married Candy Spelling - mother of Tori and Randy - in 1968. I guess she's going to be pretty lonely in the 123 room family home.

What was your favourite piece of "Mind Candy"
or "Mindless Candy" if you preferred the critics' version?
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Friday, June 23, 2006

Socceroos - I salute you!

I am deliriously happy. The Socceroos have advanced to the "Round of 16" of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

We entered this competition as the underdogs, and most had written us off, but the underdog is a role we excel brings out the best in us. It allowed us to defeat
Japan (3-1) and score those 3 goals in the final 8 minutes of the match. It allowed us to defend admirably against Brazil (who beat us 2-0). And finally, it allowed us to draw with Croatia (2-2).

Thank you Craig Moore for scoring our 1st goal against Croatia!

Thank you Socceroos for never giving up - and being able to bounce like kangaroos!

Thank you Harry Kewell for scoring the 2nd goal against Croatia that sent us through! (And for being named Man of the Match!)

And finally, thank you to the fans who never stopped believing!

Look out Italy...we're coming to get you!

FIFA World Cup once again provided the treasure trove of photos!)
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I got up at the ungodly hour of 4am this morning so that I could watch the Socceroos Vs Croatia, and Japan Vs Brazil.

So I'm watching Japan being slaughtered by Brazil on TV (currently 3-1) and reading the Socceroos desperately trying to draw even with Croatia on the FIFA matchcast site (currently 1-2). I'm a bundle of nerves!

Look at the joy on Craig Moore's face after scoring:

I want to see this happen again at least twice within the next 20 minutes! Australia must win or draw to advance the next round...C'mon guys I know you can do it!

(Photo from
FIFA World Cup 2006 )
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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Can you say "Kawaii"?

There's been a distinct lack of warm and fuzzy in my blog here's the antidote:

Baby ducklings:

A baby seal pup:

A baby goat:


(Oh yeah, "Kawaii" means cute!)
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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

And the theme is...Hope:

Today is World Refugee Day and this year the UNHCR is receiving even more needed attention due to their most famous Goodwill Ambassador - Angelina Jolie.

UNHCR helps to protect 19.2 million refugees,
including 9 million children.

Female refugees are particularly vulnerable.

Visit the UNHCR site to learn even more.

(Photos are from the
UNHCR site.)
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Monday, June 19, 2006

The news gets worse...

Not only am I dealing with the disappointment of the Australia - Brazil game, but now it looks as though Japan may soon be the target of a North Korean missile test. They appear to have finished fuelling a long-range ballistic missile - most likely a Taep'o-Dong 2 missile. Experts believe they have stockpiled enough plutonium for 6 nuclear weapons but no-one really knows for sure.

(Official coat of arms taken from North Korea's Official Homepage)

Taro Aso, the Japanese Foreign Minister, added fuel to the fire by saying "If it is dropped on Japan, it will complicate the story. It will be regarded as an attack." He later clarified with "We will not right away regard it as a military attack." Disturbingly, he is considered one of the most likely successors to Koizumi when his term as Prime Minister expires in September 2006.

Pyongyang Art Studio - based in Beijing - has some interesting posters and artwork for sale, as does North Korea Propaganda.
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I'm counting on you!

The Socceroos before the Brazil game:

A kangaroo fan:


The Boxing Kangaroo returns!

A tense first half - no goals scored and very tight defense by Australia.
I hope they can maintain this in the 2nd half!

(All photos from the 2006 FIFA World Cup)
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Saturday, June 17, 2006

I Spy, with my little eye, something beginning with...R:

As promised,
here are my responses to
assigned letter of:

(The letter R is brought to you from Scribblaphy )

Now, the rules state that you must list 10 words starting with your assigned letter and explain why those words have meaning to you. But come on people, when have I ever followed the
meme rules?! (Oh yeah, I did once!) Which moves me nicely into the first word:
1. Rebel: I've never been one to follow the well-worn path for the mere sake of toeing the line. In fact, I've always tended to question rules and the status quo. Note that I question because I wish to understand and improve, not because I'm an anarchist...there's a subtle difference between the two. So what started me on this relentless questioning?! Well, that would be the 2nd word:

(This ravishing reading beauty is brought to you from a Google Images search)

2. Reading: I live to read. I could quite happily live without TV, movies and music as long as I had books. As a child, my punishment for naughtiness would always involve the removal of reading privileges. In school, I used to read during classes - I'd conceal the book under my desk while my teacher wasn't looking. As far as I'm concerned, books are the gateway to new worlds, adventures and ideas and I'm forever grateful that I have the ability to read. My final "R" words are different but related:

(This roly-poly rabbit is brought to you from Boomersint)

3. Rabbits: What do rabbits have to do with reading, I hear you mutter... Well I'm about to use a lot of "R" words so stick with me! Growing up I was more into vampire novels (
Anne Rice) than Fabio-style bodice-rippers, however I was always partial to "quality" romantic tragedies such as Romeo and Juliet. With such memorable lines as:
"Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!
For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night."
(Act 1 Scene 5)
How could a girl not swoon? But I never would have guessed that my very own Romeo would turn out to be a Japanese usagi (rabbit)! Uh-huh, my better half was born in the Year of the Rabbit, so the letter "R" has become very significant to me, as has our final word:

(These radiant roses are brought to you from my camera!)

4. Romance: True romance is not just about roses and rings (both of which I have, by the way!). To me, it is more rhapsodic and redolent than the fleeting nature of petals. It is tangible and reviving and it reveals itself in numerous ways - the gorgeous bouquet above, is just one! It makes reality delightful.
If you wish to join the alphabetic fun, I'll leave you to choose your own letter. Just leave a comment, so I can visit your scribblings!
Thanks for reading my ramblings.
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Friday, June 16, 2006

A truly beautiful game:

Argentina have convincingly exorcised the demons of the FIFA 2002 World Cup where they failed to progress past the first round. They absolutely blitzed Serbia and Montenegro by scoring 6 goals! Scoring began in the 5th minute and continued up till the 87th. Serbia & Montenegro did not even get a look in.

Will it be a Spain Vs. Argentina final?!

2006 World Cup Fever...

I have an addiction, a contagious addiction. That's right, I'm enslaved by the 2006 FIFA World Cup games. I will not tell you how many games I've actually watched, but I am missing out on way too much sleep. Not liking those European time zones!

My devotion is so strong, that I've temporarily renamed my blog - okay, I'll wait while you scroll back up to check if I'm serious!

...Told you I changed it!

Spain creamed Ukraine last night, a very memorable match (4-0) - the largest winning margin of the tournament so far.Tonight, Ecuador blasted Costa Rica (3-0). The
England Vs. Trinidad & Tobago game was exciting...The T&T goalkeeper worked very hard and pulled out some spectacular saves, especially in the 2nd half, but England was able to sneak 2 goals in at the last minute (2-0). Sweden really need a win in their next game (in about an hour) to ensure they receive a place in the 2nd round.

I can hardly wait until the
Australia Vs. Brazil game on June 18! (Did I tell you that Australia is still at the top of the table for Group F!)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Art of Waiting - Japanese Style...

Sit down, kick your shoes off and relax.

Is the sun too hot? Let me adjust our red waxed paper parasol for you.
There, that's better already.
Focus on the sound of trickling water in our small bamboo fountain.
Moving water is so soothing, isn't it?
If you sit very still, you may get the chance to see one of our dragonflies
fluttering in the still, hot air.

Okay, your table is ready now...

(My response to my assigned letter from Carolyn at The TMI Spot
is on the way...Enjoy your wait!)

(I took the photo at Takao-yama last summer.)
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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Ash-coloured Pouch Bears...

Australia is not only home to the marvellous Socceroos,
but something even cuddlier...
Phascolarctos Cinereus or the Koala!

In the wild, koalas will live in loose-knit groups if enough suitable
Eucalyptus trees are present - but only one koala per tree.
Similar to humans, female koalas mature earlier than the males...
2 years as opposed to 3-4 years!

The koala's pear-shaped body allows them to balance more readily in trees. Their opposable digits enable them to grip tree trunks more readily. Additionally they have rough pads for grip on the underside of their paws to increase their traction while climbing.

An adult koala will eat between 1-2 kilograms of gum leaves per night and their large noses are sensitive enough to allow them to select the choicest eucalyptus leaves. The connoisseurs of the Aussie bush!

The nutrition they receive from gum leaves is quite poor, consequently they have little energy and hence spend most of their time sleeping.
The original couch potatoes?!

Koalas don't have sweat glands. They cool themselves by licking their arms and spreading them as they rest in the trees.
Not a bad life!

Photos taken by me at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane in December 2004.
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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The long wait is over...

Finally, finally, finally...
Australia has won a game in the
World Cup!

Thank you Tim Cahill (above), John Aloisi and the entire Socceroo just made an Aussie in Japan
very, very happy!

Australia 3 - Japan 1

And for tonight at least,
Australia leads Group F with 3 points!

Photo taken from FIFA 2006 World Cup
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Monday, June 12, 2006

C'mon Aussies...

The Socceroos (Australia) are playing the Blue Samurai (Japan) right now in the 2006 World Cup. Australia has already almost scored 3 times's going to be a tense night.

Loyalties are divided in our household tonight!

Photo taken from here.
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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Gelatinous Eyeball Goodness!

What do you spend the most time thinking about?
Friends? Family? Love?
Travel? Blogging?
The deeper spiritual meaning of life?

All of those are important of course, but I'm confident that
food, glorious food, - and Kirin Nuda Life Sparkling - spends the most time in my mind...

Think about it, you wake up in the morning and what do you think about? - What's for breakfast? What's
in the fridge that I can quickly prepare? Do I have enough time to eat and get ready for work? Okay, just a coffee then, and I'll grab something on the way...

The rest of the day you focus on
snacks, drinks, lunch, and what on earth are we going to eat for dinner tonight?! Maybe we should just go out for sushi? Should we bother about dessert? (Note: obviously that last question was meant in jest - the answer is always yes!)

... Quiet In The Stacks gently interrupts to ask "When are you going to get to the

Step 1:
Remove your freshly chilled packet of warabimochi (gelatinous eyeballs) from the fridge. Open the packet and spend some time admiring how they glisten in the light. Check to ensure that you have your packets of kinako powder and black sugar syrup ready. Triple check that your green plastic spear is present and accounted for.

Step 2:
Tear open your packet of kinako powder and artistically but delicately sprinkle over your eyeballs - the ones in the dish! Or alternatively drench every single eyeball with a thick coating of kinako powder as illustrated below.

Step 3:
Generously pour the rich black sugar syrup over the eyeballs, ensuring that every individual eyeball receives the same lingering kiss of syrup. Take your trusty green plastic spear and gently separate the eyeballs from their sticky embrace.

Step 4:
Insert your trusty green plastic spear into the centre of an eyeball and pull gently from the sticky mass of sugary, gloopy goodness. Ponder the wonders of rice, sugar and soybean flour and gently pop the quivering eyeball into your expectant mouth!

Step 5:
Repeat Step 4 until the eyeballs are all gone...

(All photos were taken by me - at great personal inconvenience - before consuming the said eyeballs!) Posted by Picasa
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