Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Learning to Drive
I have been having a ball since Christmas, learning to drive the jeep that Santa gave me. I started off slowly, with Dad showing me how to steer and use the speed controls. I cruised around the tiled floor fairly slowly, learning how to get into tight spaces and sometimes getting stuck. Mum wasn't really happy with this stage because I sometimes bumped the furniture. Then Unka Mark and Aunty Vicki visited and Unka Mark took me outside into the courtyard. Lots more space and a chance to get up more speed. There is not much point having a jeep and only doing easy things, so I was soon jumping over the hose and then up and over a ramp that Dad and Unka Mark put up. It took a bit of practice to do the ramp jump properly and I had my first accident when I didn't get it straight and toppled off the edge of the ramp, but I am pretty good at jumps now. There was one embarrassing incident when I was giving Aunty Vicki's bear, Jessica, a ride. She just couldn't hang on and kept falling off. I ended up pushing her off the track. She wasn't happy about that and neither was Aunty Vicki. Now I am good enough to go out onto the real road and spend time doing wheelies in the lane outside our garage. Mum says that she doesn't want me to turn into a hoon, but I won't because the jeep isn't powerful enough for that. Maybe next year???
Remember, to see bigger images just click on the photos. And check out earlier postings in my archives; there is a lot of good stuff in there.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
It's not just Santa that gives great presents at Christmas time. Family members like to give each other presents as well. This time Mum and I combined to really surprise Dad with something he thought impossible. While the Oldies were on their trip through the UK they found a beautiful and dangerous brew. At a pub in the middle of Dartmoor they sampled a cider called Scrumpy Jack. Scrumpy tastes superb but it has a kick like a mule. They found out about the kick the hard way, much to the amusement of the other people on the tour. Dad has been telling the story ever since they got back, and looking for Scrumpy in all of the likely places, but with no luck at all. He decided that it must only be available in the UK. Well, small bears and Mums don't give up so easily. With the help of Google and several hours on the computer we found a place that imports it. You should have seen Dad's face when he opened the present. Now he is watching the cricket and sipping Scrumpy and is as happy as pig in mud. Never underestimate the detective abilities of Mums and bears.
Santa Did It Again
How does Santa know just what a small bear wants more than anything? He did it again this year. When I got downstairs on Christmas morning there was a huge bag there that just had to be for me. I managed to climb up and see what was inside and it was so exciting that I fell into the bag and had to get Dad to help me out. There was a jeep in there. Not just a jeep but one with radio controls! It had been modified so that a bear my size can get his backside into it, and controls that let me drive it even if I am not riding in it. I can even hook a tow rope onto it and drag Scruffy around in the race car I got two Christmases ago. Santa sure knows how to pick presents. I hope he did as good a job for all of you.
Seems like Christmas time is party time. The Oldies have been hauling me around to parties just about every day. The two best ones were Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Mind you, I enjoyed the parties but I had other things on my mind. On Christmas Eve we went over to Trent's place and watched the Carols. I sat right in front of his big TV most of the time where I could see everything. I liked the way Santa dropped in before he went off on his Australian rounds. I thought Humphrey Bear was a bit of a bad example to small bears; it looked like he had messed his trousers something horrible. I did find a great tree thing to climb but I was made to get down straight away. It turned out to be a lamp thingy and Mum said I could have got electromacuted. Anyway, I really wanted to get home and see if Santa had been yet. We went to the Hyatt for Christmas dinner with Unka Mark and Aunty Vicki. They bought their bear with them. She was called Jessica and she couldn't hold her drink as well as I can. I had to wear that stupid "Santa Paws" hat again, but it was worth it. Santa bought me something really special and I was eager to get back home and have another go with it.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
One More Sleep!!!
Only one more sleep to go, remembering that power-naps don't count. I am still at my elf-catching spot waiting to see if I can find out how presents appear under my tree. Maybe I can catch Santa in the act and find out how he breaks so many of the laws of physics that Dad has taught me. All I have to do is stay awake.
To all of my readers around the world, Happy Christmas from Bart and his Oldies. We hope that Santa leaves you something really special, that the spirit of Christmas lives in your home, and that you enjoy the holidays.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
With the Big Wheels
The best railway museum that I have been to is the one at Port Adelaide in South Australia. There are lots of big engines there and all sorts of carriages and you can climb into lots of them. These wheels are at the entrance to the museum. They are from one of the first steam engines to run on the line between Adelaide city and Port Adelaide. The rocks that I am sitting on are from the original Port Adelaide station platform. I love museums. It is great to see the sort of things that people used way back even before Dad was my age. I do wish that one of the engines that the wheels came from had survived, they were built in 1856 and those really old ones look fantastic.
As Far as They Can Go
Here's another photo of the Oldies on their big trip last year. They are at Land's End, as far to the west as you can go in England. Actually they could have gone a bit further down a narrow, winding, steep path onto some rocks but sometimes they show surprising common sense. It was an unusual day when they were there. The weather was fine and sunny. Usually it is cold, windy and wet and tourists can't get pictures like this. The lighthouse on the rocks in the background (I think that should be backocean) is called Longships Light. The first lighthouse on this rock was put there in 1795 but it was only 12 metres high and waves often broke right over it so a taller one was built there in 1872. There is a helipad on top of the lighthouse now so that workers don't have to make the dangerous trip out to the light in boats any more.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Beads by the Bear
Here's a montage of what Mum and I have been making over the last couple of weeks. Not just the single strand with different colours on it now. We are into the multi-strand and spikey stuff now. It takes a lot longer to make some of these but they sure look good when we finish them. More beads on the strands means more spilt beads and more chasing around for the bear who has to catch them before they hit the floor. I get lots of hints watching the way my favourite cricketers make their catches, and I am getting pretty good, even if I say so myself. Mum just can't do without me.
Only five more sleeps until Santa comes. It's a tough time for small bears and kids because patience is not our strong point. Interesting parcels are starting to appear near our sparkly Christmas tree but so far none of them has my name on them. They are presents from Mum, Dad and Trent to each other, so I guess that my bundle of goodies is coming with the old whiskery bloke. I hope there is something techno in it because Mum won't let me keep her iPhone. I am spending a lot of time on guard near the present pile. If any of those sneaky elves comes in and tries to add anything to the pile I will grab him and try to get ransom for him. I hear that it works if you can catch a Leprechaun, so maybe elves are similar. If I catch one I will let you know. My favourite guard spot is near a box at the end of the pile. It has almost the same colours as me, so I am pretty well camouflaged when I am near it. The trouble is that I can't watch cricket (and it's much more even with the South Africans as adversaries), swipe the sometimes-unguarded iPhone, be upstairs beading with Mum, making aeroplanes with Dad, and still be on guard. And I find that if I sit still long enough I go to sleep. I wish Santa would hurry up.
Friday, December 12, 2008
The Way to Go Gnome
Every year at the Floriade garden festival these little guys appear in their hundreds. A special area is roped off for the gnomes to live in for the month so they can sit there and watch the people passing by. They come in all sorts of colour schemes, painted by kids at all the Canberra schools, and there is a batch of prizes for the ones that look the best, the funniest or the most special. I always stop and have a chat with them because gnomes have some funny ideas about people, and especially about dogs. They are most impressed with my travels but they try and claim that a gnome like them was the first "small person" to travel round the world and send cards home. Maybe, but how many of them have a blog? Small bears rule, OK?
Naughty or Nice?
These things were on the table this morning and I just had to try them on. They are actually things that Mum is wearing to her work Christmas party this afternoon. People are supposed to dress up as naughty devils or nice angels; no prize for guessing which one Mum picks. She was a bit peeved to find me wearing them, but agrees with Dad that I am one Helluva bear.
Monday, December 01, 2008
It's That Time Again
It must be December again. How do I know? Well, over the weekend the tree that I am not allowed to climb because I might get electromecuted was brought down from the garage roof and installed in the lounge room again. And all the strange critters that infest the house at this time of year appeared again, critters like Rudolph Noorayev and all the Santas, not to mention the odd cows, bears and just about anything that has been made to look vaguely Christmassy. Speaking of which, I want to protest strongly about the way in which I have been forced to look Christmassy for this photo. A silly Hat labelled "Santa Paws". Really. Apart from that, I really like this time of year. Mum will have Christmas carols on continuously for the next few weeks, there will be letters and cards from all round the world, and best of all, Santa should leave me something special in just a few weeks time. I guess that I can put up with the silly hat that long.
It's Actually Mine
It will be Mum's birthday soon and Dad and Trent combined to buy her a special present. You see, Mum is a real techno-junkie, so much so that the boss at her last job called her Gadget Girl. So what better present than an iPhone. Because of the strange ways that telephone companies work, Mum had to be told about the deal early so that she could OK it. Seems strange to me but small bears don't really understand people-business. Great excitement and anticipation then for a few days until the courier man delivered the package. Now I am of the firm opinion that anything interesting delivered here should belong to me, so I have been really busy since then learning to use the thing. Mum and I have loaded all sorts of goodies onto it from our big Mac and it is amazing just what the thing can do. Dad isn't impressed. He has this old-fashioned idea that phones are things you use to talk to people. The camera, GPS, calendar, calculator, games, etc aren't phone things as far as he is concerned. That's fine because I only have to fight Mum for the iPhone. It's a great toy for small bears (and Oldie Mums).