Greetings and Salutations Slack Attackers,

I know it's been a while since I've put anything worthy to "electronic" paper, so to speak.

Work has been pretty hectic over the last couple of months. Besides my normal job requirements of a Field Service Engineer (FSE) supporting 600 employees and their computer systems, I'm really getting into web development. I stuck my hand up to manage our FSE web site which consisted of about five different pages. I think at last count we now have over two hundred and fifty different pages of information that we all now use.

The last web update of my home site was about a month ago, but I'm going to try and put some new photos of my November Australian trip up before you all start spamming me. My website has turned out to be a sort of godsend. It used to cost me about $2.50 a letter to send a few photo's back to Australia, now seeing as I have a PC, scanner and digital camera, it doesn't cost me any thing other than developing 35mm pictures.

Last Tuesday I went out and got a 1996 KTM 620 enduro motorbike. The bike is basically a 4 stroke dirt bike that is road registered. One of the guys at work was getting rid of it so he could buy a poxy trails bike of all things. I went and had a quick butchers hook at it, it had never been dropped, scratched or dinged. I thing the guy only bought it for pose (that should read WANK) value. I don't think he even tried to push the ability of the bike, it only had 5000 miles on it.

I forgot about all the extras that come with buying a bike. It cost $215 to register the thing. of that $190 was stamp duty/sales tax. I then had to get a skid lid (helmet) $250, goggles $35, gloves $25, motorcross boots $250, motorcross pants $100 and comprehensive insurance for $180. I still have to get my bike license $40, body armour $150 and a motorcross jersey $50, so it does start to add up
I tried to go out riding on Saturday morning. There was a little light drizzle around and seeing as I really love roosting in the rain, I was out trying to play. That lasted all of 20 minutes due to the thermometer being the wrong side of 0c (32f). The afternoon was a lot more promising as the rain had stopped and the thermometer had climbed to a balmy 5c (40f). I got all kitted up in all my motorcross gear including my warmest winter ski jacket and went out again to hit the dirt again. 10 minutes out, it started to lightly drizzle again so I kept going thinking it would ease up. 5 minutes to start pissing down cats and dogs. I was headed up the hills and the rain really eased off considerably when I reached the snow line. I thought great, this is going to be a great ride, yeah right. The further I went up the hills the heavier the snow became and the colder it became. After 10 minutes more of riding, hoping and praying it would get warmer and the snow would stop, I had to stop. It was snowing a blizzard, every time I wiped my goggles but would take 5 seconds for more snow to impede my sight. Add the fact that it was bone chillingly cold, even with all my warm clothing and motorcross gear, I decided headed back.

Who would have thought that a guy born and bred in the middle of the desert would have to give up a motorbike ride because of snow? On the way home I stopped off at a local coffee shop that was full of ski bums and powder hounds in their ski clothes. I needed to get a big dose of hot chocolate to try and warm up a bit. I got the strangest looks from everyone in the shop as I was in my full motorcross gear. One guy even asked me if I had been riding. I would have thought that would have been pretty bloody obvious so I replied "Na mate, it my first time skiing, I heard it might be dangerous so I dressed like this for protection". The guy say OK and walks off to his mates.

I'm looking forward to the next couple of months or so. Next month I'm off to Las Vegas for a couple of days with one of my best mates for a little R&R. The in April I'm off to Dallas to see one of my good Aussie mates to test the quality of his latest shipment of Bundy rum. I'll also hook up with the sister in-law and her husband as well as a few friends from "the Alice" who have returned back to the United States of a Miracle.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Stay Happy ;-)