Welcome back everyone!


It’s been a long time between drinks for those of us here at the powerlot.net. Very little blogging, web-paging, linking, foruming or any other sort of internetings have been done for well over a year.

Much has happened, people have moved, changed (inside and out), left jobs and schools, started new jobs and schools (sometimes more than once) and all sorts of other interesting things.

In the interests of a clean slate and a the chance to get things going again without any excuses for procrastination (well, any more than normal), I have decided to archive my old blog: Can You Spell Cacophony and replace it with this site. Actually, this site will be for my standard and boring ramblings about life, work, family and any other chips on my shoulder. I have already created another blog: Out The Bladesage Gate, which will be for my gaming, writing and wordbuilding exercises (and related nerdery), but it has taken a little while to get going. Watch this space.

In case you are wondering, “What do you want?” is a tilt towards my late father with whom I would always have a race each time we spoke on the phone to ask (as rudely as possible): “What do you want?”. To which of course the correct response would have to be: “nothing from you”! Still miss you Dad, and all your stupid emails that started with FW:.

You might be looking at this terribly boring theme and wondering what I am doing, but there is method to my madness. It’s plain (as per the name), it’s simple and it has very few options. I have regularly said that one of my hobbies is “fiddling with my wordpress blog and very rarely writing anything for it” and that is what I am trying to deal with here. If I can leave off all the fancy options and pretty pictures and widgets and plugins, then I might actually get around to writing instead of fiddling… I’m not much of a writer really, but I’m a hell of a lot better at writing than I am at web developing. Let’s leave it there shall we.

So thanks to anyone who made it to the end of this post. Read it here: My goal is to write at least one post a week (even if it’s not much more than a couple of links) on either this site or on The Bladesage Gate every week. Eventually, I want that to be at one on each, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

j j j

A final serve of fish and chips

This one has been sitting in my drafts pile for a while, so you’ll have to forgive its lateness.

As you may be aware, my Dad died in September last year.

When I got back to Esperance after the funeral and went back to work I found an envelope in my pigeon hole. I opened the envelope and in it was a $50 note. Most puzzling.

I asked B1 (boss #1, not to be confused with B1 of “are you thinking what I’m thinking B1?” fame?) what it was about.

On the same Sunday afternoon that I had rung to say that Dad had died and that I wouldn’t be coming to work the next day, a woman had come in wanting to pass on some money to me.

It turns out that some time previously, Dad had loaned this lady some money for a taxi fare after a conference or something similar. Rather than work out some complicated way of getting the money back he simply told her to come into the pharmacy when she was next in Esperance and pass the money on to me. Along with the message that I was to buy a meal of fish and chips for the family.

Of course, when B1 explained why I was not around to give the money to, she was as shocked as the rest of us had been.

Two weeks on, we did just as Dad had asked. Bought a big serve of fish and chips. Bought a jar of pickled onions to go with it too… Dad always loved his pickled onions with fish and chips.

So thanks Dad for a final serve of fish and chips. It seems appropriate somehow that even now that you have gone, you are still spoiling us.

j j j

Last Goodbye

When I was 12, I went to Swanleigh. Mum and Dad and the other boys were in Laverton for the first half of the year, Monkey Mia for the second (Dad had long service leave).

Once the excitement of a new environment wore off (didn’t take long), to say that I didn’t handle the separation from my family very well would be an understatement. I wasn’t quite so bad mid-term, but whenever I had to leave, or get left behind, the blubbing really started.

One time really stands out. Dad had come down to Perth with a school camp. He came and took me out of school in the morning for some reason (might have been for a dentist appointment, I had plenty of those around that time). I don’t remember much about the morning, but we probably had morning tea somewhere. There was probably a present for me in there too (there usually was).

I do remember what happened when we got back. I remember standing in the car park. Dad was supposed to go and meet up with his school group and go off to the movies. I wanted to go with him. I’m sure the movie probably appealed to be, but I just wanted to stay with my Dad.

So I did what I often did at times like that: I cried. Not loud, screaming, gimme-what-I-want type crying. Quiet, sniffly crying; what Dad used to call “sooking”.

He tried to reason with me, which didn’t help much. I wasn’t in much of a mood for reason. I just didn’t want Dad to have to leave.

That is just how I feel now.

Some years later, Dad told me how bad that day had made him feel. How he had eventually just had to drive off, leaving me sooking to myself. By then, I understood. I understood what he had done. I understood that sometimes you do just have to do things you don’t want to. That even when it hurts or makes you feel bad, some things are just for the best.

And that Dad is sometimes the best person to decide when that is.

Funnily enough, by the time year 9 came around, I didn’t have the same problem. I mean, I still looked forward to coming home and didn’t look forward to going back all that much. But from that point on, there were no more tears when I had to leave Mum and Dad and my brothers.

That day was important in the process of me learning to stand on my own two feet. I’m an independent man now, with a wife and children of my own. And my Dad helped me to get there.

But right now, that doesn’t matter. I just don’t care about that. I just want to stamp my feet, scream, jump up and down and sook my little heart out. Because right now, I’m that 12 year old boy who doesn’t want his Dad to go.

Bye Dad, I love you. It doesn’t feel like it now, but you’ve done your job right. I’m going to be able to stand on my own two feet. I just don’t want to.

j j j

…insert title here…

I’m not sure what to write here. In fact I’m not even sure I want to be writing anything.

My Dad died on Sunday. He had turned 60 earlier in the year. He was semi-retired and had so much more planned for the rest of his life. Besides me, he left behind my mum and two brothers, 13 grandchildren and 1 great-grandson.

None of us can believe it. I don’t know what to think.

j j j