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Monday, August 30, 2010

2 Blondes, A Doc and a Ginger do the Extraordinary.

The day has been and gone, the day that my wife, my brother-in-law, his wife and my brother's girlfriend lose any shred of sanity and go through the hell of a 100km walk. Now this walk was not just for the hell of it, but for Oxfam, the international charity helping underprivileged people and communities all around the world. So the fact that this trek to hell and back was for charity makes my close family slightly less insane but let’s just say I still have the men-in-white on speed dial.

This blog will be a retelling of my time as a support person to these stark raving mad folk as they trek though some of the toughest walking trails this side of the Sahara (ok slight exaggeration.) My day started with me going to work just like any normal Friday. My wife and her team had gone to Sydney the day before and were starting at 8:30 am. So here I was stuck at work in Canberra while my wife was about to start her walk 350 kms away at the Hawkesbury river. Shit bloke aren’t I.

This meant I spent most of my day staring at my phone, hoping to see some update on the interwebs as to how they were travelling. Needless to say I didn’t get much work done and I am glad my boss didn’t catch my constant starting at the twitter and facebook screens on my mobile. As I sat in my comfy office the team were walking through to Checkpoint one, a grade 5 trail (which is basically 1 step shy of mountain climbing) that took them to the middle of the Ku-rin-gai chase National park.

3pm rolled around and I high-tailed it out of work and hit the highway. With G.A.P and Australian Gamer podcasts to keep me entertained I hit the Hume highway and headed north. Just as I was about to stop and refill the tanks (mine not the car’s) at Macca’s I got a call from my wife stating they were at the second checkpoint, 32 km’s into the walk. She said that my brother had got there in time to see to their support needs and that they were feeling really good especially as the hardest part of the walk was now over. I was feeling like the worst husband in the world at the moment, not being there in the team’s hour of need. So I grabbed a Large Cap and a Big Mac and got back in the car.

I got to Hornsby at about 7:30pm and headed to my parent’s flat. Once there I met up with my brother and old man and got to preparing a few things I thought the walkers could use. Knowing that one checkpoint would be at about 4am in the morning and it would be bloody cold I set about making my famous Chicken and Sweet corn soup, thinking that the warm chickeny goodness would be just the ticket at that ungodly time of the morning. With the soup in the slow cooker and my brother’s Pasta salad in tow we waited out the front for the other half of our support crew to pick us up and meet the team.

At about 9pm we got picked up by my brother-in-law’s sister-in-law and her friend (not as confusing as it sounds) stopped for the requested bucket of hot chips and headed to checkpoint 3. We got there about half an hour early so we set up a nice picnic for the walkers. Chairs, rugs, food, drink all was ready for their arrival and I had all of my pep talks sorted out in my brain. A line of walkers steadily streamed by, their walking lights bobbing along towards the checkpoint and then we saw them, storming towards us. And I mean storming; things were not good for the team and with the exception of my wife the team was in a bad place (mentally not physically. Physically it was quite a nice spot!)

This is where irony hit home hard. My wife the only happy team member at the time started to vomit. By vomit I mean she was seriously wrestling the bear and to make matters worse this bear was a grizzly. This was the hardest time of the experience for me. My wife, who I had watched for the last 8 months prepare for this event had to pull out 46km in. Devastated only begins to describe how I felt. What was even worse was the fact that I knew my wife was feeling twice as bad. The only good to come out of this was the team seemed to pull together and use this setback in a positive way. The remaining three members used this as motivation and the mood seemed to change from one of anger and exhaustion to one of steely determination. From this point on there was no doubt that these three would finish the walk.

Stay tuned for Part two of my Oxfam walk round up tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Oxfam 100km walk

I just thought I would put this up for those that are interested.

On Friday my Wife, Brother-In-Law and two others will begin the Oxfam Trailwalker 100km walk. This walk starts from the Hawksbury river and Finishes close to Taronga Zoo on the harbour. It must be completed in 48 hours. For those that know the area it is a very rough and hilly trail with the first two checkpoints being catagorised as level 5 walks (one step shy of mountain climbing)

So if you are interested in how they team is going you can check them out at, on twitter @trailwalker42 and on Facebook in the group "2 Blondes, A Doc and a Ginger"

On the walk they will be doing live updates on Facebook and Twitter as to their progress and I will be updating my Twitter (@Hewso81) as well as I follow them around and meet them at the checkpoints with well earned food and drink.

So if any of you have a spare $5 or are interested in how they are going please head to the website and make a donation. Every little bit helps.

Thanks for your time

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Incepting Expendable Infamous Nightmares

Welcome all to: My first post (be careful to hold in your excitement!).

In an attempt to get some more writing experience and to satisfy my delusions that people actually care what I think I have started this blog. It will hopefully be informative, humorous and ever so slightly strange all at the same time. Basically my personality on the virtual page.

Now that the introductions are over, on to my first topic. Inception.

I was late to the party for this movie, not seeing it until about 4 weeks into it's release. During these 4 weeks I had friends, family, neighbours and even the bloke at the bottle-o telling me I am a crazy S.O.B for not having seen it yet. I was told it was an amazing film with a brilliantly executed story. So going in I had huge expectations that this was going to be the film of the year.

Well I was a little let down. Don't get me wrong, it is a good movie - hell a great movie but not the life changing experience I was led to believe. Basically my feelings towards this movie are as follows: Heat + (Matrix - Bad leather outfits) = Inception. It was a clever heist movie and nothing more. Now this isn't a bad thing at all and I think that it will be remembered for years to come, but not in the way that a movie such as "Lawrence of Arabia" or "Gandhi" is. I feel it will be remembered in a similar to the way "Back to the Future" or "Jurassic Park" are, great fun movies that took an existing genre and added something new. I guess I am saying that Inception is an awesome movie, just not the second coming that some reviews are suggesting.

Now on to the actual Second Coming - The Expendables.

When I say "second coming" I mean the return to the wonder of the 80's action flick and all of the excess it entails. Really if you like Guns, Gore and things that go boom you need to get out and see this movie. I have read some reviews that indicate the story is lacking and the character development is non existent and the only response I have to that is "NO SHIT DUMBASS!" This movie doesn't need small details like character development or plausibility and the story only has to be an excuse to blow a hole bunch of bad guys/buildings/cars into tiny little pieces. This is a movie to go see after you have been at the pub with your mates and is exclusively targeted at this crowd. I can't imagine that this will appeal to many of the fairer sex but for the burly blokes out there this is a must see.

Next, Infamous. Being new to the PS3 I have only just gotten hold of this gem of a game. For those out there who haven't played this you need to give it a whirl. A beautiful open area (that thankfully isn't New York again), an interesting story and a guy who can wield electricity and move about like Spiderman. This really is one of the best games I have played recently and is a great reason to own a PS3.

Speaking of the PS3, is it just me or is the PS3 becoming more of a Media centre that plays games than a Games console that has media capabilities? I know it is a fine distinction but with Play TV, I-view, VidZone, the upcoming Channel 7 catch up service and obviously Blu-ray capability the PS3 seems to be focusing more and more on being an all-round entertainment package as opposed to a Hardcore gaming system. Not a bad thing, just an observation.

Finally I just want to mention the new Avenged Sevenfold album - Nightmare. If you like your metal with a splash of different you really owe it to yourself to check it out. See below for a link to the video for the title track it is worth checking out (not for the kiddies though).

Well that's it folks, My first blog,  I hope you enjoyed and please feel free to add comments below and tell me how dreadful it is.