Monday, January 31, 2011

Tork's Aussie Mummy Blogger Award - January 2011


I am a bit excited to introduce to you, the first award in a long series of awards for bloggers: The Torkona Award

Run and judged by myself, a series of awards by me, a (soon to be) Dad Blogger, Gamer Blogger, Humor Blogger, etc etc.

Awarded randomly throughout the year, this award will hopefully bring great prestige to those that win, especially for the person winning this one, being the very first Tork award ever.

The award will go to the best Australian Mummy Blogger in January 2011.

What are the prizes?
  • one mummy will win an entire post dedicated to their blog, posted here, with reasons why it is awesome and the winner
  • with my blog reaching over 5000 views a month, the person will receive a great amount of awareness and traffic for their blog and the opportunity of plenty more followers
  • a really cool 'trophy' to add to their blog
  • 10 runners-up will receive a link from my blog to theirs
How is it being judged?
  • I am judging each blog received prior to 21st February 2011. Winner will be announced shortly after this date
  • blogs are judged based on posts in January 2011 only
  • high praise is given for well written blogs
  • extra marks for the heart warming stories
  • brownie points given for a good, fair dinkum laugh
  • sorry, you have to be an Australian Mum for the inaugural award
 Why am I doing this?
  • Because Aussie mums are awesome
  • I want to reward talent where talent is due
  • I want to reward mummy bloggers for spending part of their days blogging and not spending hours upon hours on Farmville :-)
  • Why not?

So if you would like to nominate a blog, or vote for your own blog for the inaugural Torkona Award, please leave the link as a comment below.  Please don't just leave a comment to nominate your blog or someone elses without adding the link as well, otherwise how can I check it out? Any more questions or discussions, please also leave below.

If you want to spread the word of this award, share it with the social media links at top of this post, or add this following code somewhere on your blog:

<a href=""><img border="0" src="" /></a>

Good luck, and may the blogs be with you!

- tork

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Songs to Inspire - Song 3


Feeling unmotivated? Need inspiration? Need to be inspired?

Inspiration comes from within, you sometimes just need to be reminded - Torkona

One of my favourite songs of all time. Smashing Pumpkin's "1979".

This song is uplifting as well as relaxing.  Billy Corgan has an amazing voice and this track has a unique tune to it.  Hope you enjoy it.

- tork

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rift: Planes of Telara Review


This is a follow-up to my question is it worthwhile playing Rift?

So I've just finished up for the night playing Rift: Planes of Telara. Got a good 2 hours in on the Beta run.  Played in PvE (Player versus Environment). Here's what my first thoughts were.

  • Man, these controls are difficult to get used to.
  • Hmmm, do I have to click this guy to start a quest?
  • Argh! Where's the 'target nearest enemy' button?
  • Man, I'm having a bit of trouble facing my opponent.

As you can probably guess, I was playing solo.  Even though a few buds were online, they are too levelled up to bother joining them.  Solo is fine, for now.

But WOW, the graphics are really good.  Your main character isn't as sharp as I'd like it to look, even though it is early and not fully kitted out, it still doesnt look as sharp as Warhammer Online did.  But the environment is great.  I wish I got a screenshot when I was standing on a ledge, over-looking a large valley.

Here's one (check out my over-sized novelty sword hehehe):  

I've been playing as the Warrior and it's been fun.  I would have liked an AE class though (AE stands for Area of Effect, where your character can call an ability that causes damage to a greater area). I have no idea if I get AE abilities as I level up, but this would have be good to be able to easily find out.  It probably is if I went searching harder.

Overall, it looks like it is going to be a fun game to level up.  Can't wait to find out what the PvP is like (Player vs Player).  I do really like the amount your can train in your soul tree to gain abilities and specialities.  It seems like it has a lot of depth. I would think there would be a lot of unique characters of the same class.  This what I see as the best part of the game.

So to summarise, in my 2 hours first impression, I want to play more. Give me more!!!  It looks like it is going to be a good MMORPG.  But, it is still in Beta and there aren't as many people online at the moment as there will be.  Saying that, there were no bugs and no latency playing from Australia on a North American server.

Can't see myself buying it at the moment, there still is a lot to learn on how the game works before I buy.  Still yet to see my first Rift open in the sky, so I wanna learn what that is all about! :-)  

Hopefully this post will get a bit of awareness for the game and get some Aussie servers.  Perhaps too the team at TRION worlds can give me a free copy *begs*

Rift: Planes of Telara - An exciting new MMORPG, but try before you buy!

- tork

Is it worthwhile playing Rift?


Today, I've landed myself an invitation to have a go at the BETA for a new upcoming MMORPG called Rift.

Trailer looks great, action scenes sound awesome.  It looks graphically fantastic and I can hardly wait.

But am I going to be disappointed just like I was with my first MMORPG Warhammer Online, a game where there were so many bugs and a crap end game? I haven't played a massive multiplayer since. Do I want to spend hour after hour chasing creatures for loot, levels, and attacking other online players with satisfying final blows?

The answer is "hell yes". Rift looks like the game for me.  After a few hours on Beta, I will put up a review.

But, do I have the time to be able to play online gaming, now that I am a soon to be parent? There are more important things coming along now than trying to keep up a character's level to join my guildies.

Do you always have to give up the things you loved when you become a parent for good?  Love to know how other parents have kept on gaming whilst having kids.  There is no pause button in online gaming when a kid starts crying!

Baby is going to be the most important focus point in my life, and I have the feeling I am not going to give a shit about any online games after little squirt comes along, hehehehe.

But for now, Rift Beta. Perhaps a year after it comes it out I'll be ready for gaming again and will know for certain if they game is any good :-)

Still undecided though whether or not it is worthwhile playing Rift..

- tork

Australia Day Hangover 2011


bLErg!! It's only Thursday, that's not fair.

Another holiday has come and gone.  Australia Day done for another year. A day off from the rat race cooking a BBQ, hanging with mates, playing the Xbox and whinging about what song came in at number 1 of the Hottest 100.  My usual Aussie day tradition!

I haven't got a hangover, I 've got a holiday hangover.  Too much enjoying myself and not working, giving me aches and pains, knowing work is on again today.  *sigh* At least there is only two more days of it! ... YERS!!!!

What did you do to celebrate Australia day? Have you a holiday hangover as well? Or are you from overseas and would like to know more of what Australia Day means to us Aussies?

Drop us a line, I'd love to know if this morning you are struggling as much as I am, or what you did to celebrate the day.

Now, time for a coffee (ok brain, left foot forward, then right foot. Repeat until standing in front of coffee making device).

- tork

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Australia Day 2011 - My Australian Poem

Dad Poem - from the words of a Father

I wrote this poem many years ago.

I love it.

I love Australia and to celebrate Australia Day on 26th January 2011, I am showing it to all Australians and the world.

I hope you love it too.  If you do, please share it via my Facebook & Twitter buttons above. I'd love it to pop into a newspaper somewhere.  Its been a dream of mine for a long time to get this printed.

Cheers Knackers ;-)

- tork

Songs to Inspire - Song 2


Feeling unmotivated? Need inspiration? Need to be inspired?

Inspiration comes from within, you sometimes just need to be reminded - Torkona

A song doesn't need to be a soft, melancholic tune to be inspiring.


This song is from the movie Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny. A personal favourite of mine.  These guys are two fat, funny guys that rock hard 'awesome style'.

This song inspires me to get up, have a laugh and just enjoy myself for the day.  I hope it does to you as well.

WARNING: This song is fucking awesome (that means it has naughty words), so make sure you turn it up loud for full effect!! :-)  Enjoy.

- tork

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Third Trimester - It's slowly starting to sink in

When does it finally start to sink in that you are having a baby?

The wife is in her third trimester and little squirt has been kicking away for ages now. But, as the father, I rarely get a chance to feel it squirm.  Well, not as much as mummy does!  Not being the one that is pregnant doesn't always remind you that you are expecting a child very soon.

So, when is a good time to freak out that you are soon to be a parent?  Well, I think it's when the cot actually arrives and you start to put it together.  Ours arrived today, but I am yet to put it together.

I've been staring at the cot every now and then, just pondering what life is going to be like.  Also wondering how much effort I'm gonna need to convert a flat pack into a baby's bed.

I think it is starting to set it, but for a while still I'd like to breathe easy and not touch the cot.  I'd just like to sit back and be as I have before being pregnant, before it will probably all sink in.

Just to take in my last moments of my previous life before we bring a pooping machine into this world.

As a suggestion to new mums & dads expecting their first born:

Reflect on your past before you become a parent. But don't wait too long until you start building it's cot.

Tomorrow, I will build the cot...

..and I cannot wait ;-)

- tork

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Unborn babies speak to their mother from the womb through dreams


An interesting phenomenon has occurred and it is not the first time.

My unborn baby is speaking to its mother from inside the womb!

Yep, sounds like its a story from a horror movie or something like that, but let me explain. See, the child is not actually 'speaking' as such, but coming to my wife in her dreams.

So we had a name that my wife was set on choosing for bubs.  We were happy with the name and were more than likely going to choose it.  But, baby came to my wife in her dream, telling her that it does not like it at all.  This freaked my wife out!  It felt so very real to her.  Now, she is adamant that the baby does not want to be called this name.  We are also not the first person this has occurred to.

Since telling people of this dream, we've found other people with similar stories.  One woman had a similar dream, where she is calling out the baby's name that they picked for it, but the baby would ignore them and not come to its name.  They didn't change the baby's name after the dream.  When it was born, they called it the same name as in the woman's dream, and the baby didn't react.  When they called it a different name, the baby would squirm and look happy.  Seemed to happen on several occasions, so they went with the different name.  Coincidence? Probably.  But I have a better one.

A different woman was close to giving birth, perhaps a week or so away.  She had a dream that the baby was sitting on its bum in mum's stomach and looking up at her mum, waving.  She was waving back. Kind of cute, yeah?  Well, when time come to give birth, she couldn't naturally because the baby wasn't in the upside down position it was supposed to be.  It was in exactly the same position that mum dreamt it to be!

Woah.. cosmic..!

I'd love to get my hands on some official research if any exists on this sort of thing! I will see if I can get my hands on any.

So, we have a dilemma.  A dream where the baby didn't like its name! So we are probably changing it..

Man, this kid is getting its own way already, even before it is born!! HAHAHA!

So, if you are (or were) a pregnant mum, have you got any similar stories? I'd love to know, its very intriguing!

- tork

Talking Toy Video


Well, it looks like I am turning into a blogger that posts random videos!  But this is an important one.

As a new parent, I thought it important to notify other parents of this great toy.  It is an important new toy for all the mums and dads out there.

(This is terrible, but hilarious at the same time. hehehehe)

- tork

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Defining Photo of Queensland Floods


I recently found this photo.  Look at how high the flood got to!
It defines the devastation of the recent Qld floods.

The Wheelie bin hangs from powerlines at Goodna after ending up there during the floods that swept through Brisbane and Ipswich, January 14, 2011

Crazy :-(

Remember the spirit of us Aussies always shines bright. We'll get through it.

Click here to see a flood photo that might make you smile instead :-)

- tork

Original flood photo sourced from here.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Songs to Inspire - Song 1


Feeling unmotivated? Need inspiration? Need to be inspired?

Inspiration comes from within, you sometimes just need to be reminded - Torkona

So, I decided to every now and then chuck in a post of a song that is uplifting. Song that is rejuvenating.  I stumbled across this bad boy.  I felt it necessary for it to be my first post of this type.  I hope it uplifts you as it did me.  Enjoy.

Baz Luhrmann - Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)
- tork


I want a Hoverboard!


So there are a lot of new gadgets out there these days that we didn't think possible decades ago.  There's the iPod, Mobile Phones, Justin Bieber..

But, why don't we yet have Hoverboards??  The movie trilogy Back To The Future showed us that by 2015 we will be using Hoverboards as a replacement to the skateboards.  In the late 80's, this got everyones imagination running wild!  Especially mine.

So where are they?   Why haven't we heard about any prototypes?  Why aren't I hovering over water at great 'knots' to escape from baddies?

Well, I can see a few issues:

1. The issue of building them
Would they actually work? Is it actually possibly? It must still be a difficult task to create a board that will lift you off the ground and push you into a certain direction that you want to go, at least in the outside world.

I'm not the most scientific guy going around, but wouldn't at least a powerful magnet at the base of the board be enough to repel away from another magnet beneath the board?  For example, a large, flat area where the ground surface was a strong magnet and the board had the magnets of the opposite force to repel.  There could be a venue similar to roller rinks or ice skating rinks that you could go to to use these!  Oh, am I giving away a massively popular business idea that could take off world wide?  Hey, if someone wants to go ahead and build these, then DO IT!  That's what I want!!

But surely some technology exists to build these boards.  Hey, if Celine Dion can still sell records, surely anything is possible!!

2. Safety Issues
Yes, these hoverboards (if possible to build) would surely be a dangerous item to use.  But, so can bicycles.  So can, Roller skates and Skateboards.  A hoverboard though might be a tricky thing to stop moving forwards or backwards.  This would be tricky to overcome. Perhaps a foot button you press? Ah ha! Problem solved!  Yes, no?

3. Illegal Usage
I can see the headlines; "Man uses Hoverboard to break into premises".  They could quite possibly be used to lift yourself over someones high security fence to gain access to your stuff to nick it!  This would be one reason why they probably already exist but are sitting in a Government warehouse somewhere marked "Top Secret". There are unfortunately people in the world that will take any advantage to get what they want, such as stealing your goods.

Anyway, what do you think.  Do you think its high time Hoverboards make their way on to the market? Do you think they are possible, or is it all just a pipe dream stemmed from another Hollywood fad.

Look at this embedded YouTube clip below of an artist that has built one.  Looks great! I want it.

Well, in any case, if the Back To The Future movie is right, they will be awesome! Hopefully, one day... Man, I sincerely hope it happens.

- tork

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

People are Awesome


Ok, I don't think that I will do this sort of post very much, but with the terrible Floods in Queensland Australia at the moment, that cover 75% of the state (approximately the same area size as Germany & France put together), I think that people would like to see something uplifting to help their moods. People are awesome. Enjoy!

- tork

Funny Panda Photos


Funny Panda Photos!
(pandas are so cute hehehe)

image0011 8.jpg
Mum? Can you come and get me down now?

image0022 3.jpg
I'm not coming out.
You'll have to come in and get me.

image0033 3.jpg
Kung Fu Panda...bring it on!

image0044 2.jpg
On the count of three.... lift!

image0055 2.jpg
Does this log make my butt look fat?

image0066 2.jpg
Betcha can't see me.....

image0077 2.jpg
Oops! Slight miscalculation.

image0088 2.jpg
You go. I'll just stay here and rest my head a little bit.

image0099 2.jpg
It wasn't me! I didn't steal this bamboo shoot!
It was just sitting here, I swear it!   

image01010 2.jpg
I'll give you 2 seconds to get off me or I'm calling Mom.

image01111 2.jpg
Pardon me but do you have a napkin?  

image01212 1.jpg
Darn paparazzi! Could we have a little privacy please?

image01313 1.jpg
Dear Martha Stewart:
I have this brown stain on my nice, white, fluffy butt...

image01414 1.jpg
Shhhh! I'm reviewing...

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I cannot believe that I'm stuck in this tree again.
What is the matter with me?

image01616 1.jpg
I'm sure there's a way out somewhere.
I saw an ant go this way yesterday.    

image01818 1.jpg
Absolutely nothing accomplished.
The perfect day for a panda...

image01919 1.jpg
Forgive me Father, for I have sinned...

- tork 

Top 5 Sax Solos in Songs

What are the greatest and best Saxophone solos in a song of all time? Well I am glad you asked because I have compiled a list of the greatest! Well, perhaps not to you, but this is my Top 5 Saxophone solo songs. I hope that these aren't obscure but well known! Thank you to the 1980's for your input in this list.

Man, nothing beats a Saxophone solo in a song. They just don't do it anymore and it's just not right. The feeling it gives you, it's just fantastic.  This list has been compiled to hopefully give attention to a dying style. Any future muse-o's out there, scrap that autotune crap, AND BRING BACK THE SAX!!

Here's my list.

5. Men at Work - Who Can It Be Now
Who can it be now? I don't know, answer the door.. Oh look, it's a Sax solo!  I'd like to think that this is how I'd play the Sax, kind of average and at least giving it a good Aussie go, like these lads.

4. Tina Turner - Simply The Best
3:03 mins in, doesn't last long, but one of the most memorable going around. Too bad its Tina Turner though!

3. Aretha Franklin - Respect
1:06 in.. Demand respect! (for a good bit of sax solo).  Excerpt is from the movie Blues Brothers 2000. I think this is because I'm a massive Blues Brothers fan that I like this, but this song is just too much fun.  Too bad I couldn't find a better vid.

2. Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street
0:20 secs in, there's the sultry sax man, kicking it in front of a smoky background.  I have to tell the truth though, I only recognise the Sax in this song.  I can never remember the words or anything like that.  Whenever I hear that Saxophone though, bam.. Awesomeness.

..and the number 1 Sax solo in a song of all time..

1. INXS - Never Tear Us Apart
I'm not telling you how long in it is.  You'll know when the sax solo occurs.  It's when your hair stands up on end and the shivers run down you spine.  That's when it occurs!

Best Sax Solo ever, one of the greatest songs of all time.

There you go, just a few of the greatest Sax solos of all time.  I'm certain that this is a list I will be coming back to and adjusting.  Love to hear what you think of them! So, drop us a line :-)

- tork

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What Mummy Does for Work


For homework, a class was asked to draw their parents at work.
This is Jessica’s drawing: 


Here's the letter the teacher received the next day:
Dear Mrs. Jackson,

I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer. 

I work at a hardware store and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week after the floods hit. 

I told her we sold out every single shovel we had and then I found one more in stock and several people were fighting over who would get it.   

Her picture doesn't show me dancing around a pole.  It's supposed to depict me selling the last shovel we had in the store.

From now on I will remember to check her homework before she hands it in.

Mrs E. Smith

Increase blog traffic with social media links


Want to increase traffic to a site or blog? You need to learn how to add a Facebook share link and a Twitter tweetme retweet link to your page!  See the two links that I have got above for facebook and twitter? Click them to see how they work! They are great, don't worry about all this SEO nonsense!!

I want people to see my blog and these social media links are a must have to increase your traffic.  I have had them for 2 days and I have already doubled my daily traffic. So, I thought i'd tell everyone about how I did it! I was unable to align the facebook and twitter icons horizontally but I eventually came up with the code to align them via the TABLE HTML code (fyi - they only align once people post them to facebook).

Now, to add both these links to your site or blog, simply copy and paste the code below into your HTML code of your site or your HTML editor of your blog.

<table width="30%">
        <td><a name="fb_share" type="box_count" share_url="PUT URL HERE">Share
<script src=""
        <td><script type="text/javascript">
tweetmeme_url = 'PUT URL HERE';
<script type="text/javascript" src=""  align="absmiddle"></script><br><br></td>
    <td><span style="font-size: xx-small;"><a href="">social<br>links<br>

Put the URL of the page that you want people to share or tweet wherever it says "PUT URL HERE".

If you have any problems, drop a comment below.  Have fun and good luck!

- tork

Friday, January 7, 2011

From the school books of children


Thursday, January 6, 2011

How to choose a name for your baby


Why is it so hard for my wife and I to pick a name for our expected baby? We can't decide! We’ve had a name for a fair while, now my wife wants to change it!  I am now also not sure the first and middle names go well together.  Bah!

I think that the hardest decision is not whether to have a baby, not which school it should attend, but the decision of what to call it!  Today is an age where everyone is trying to pick a name that is unique. But with unique names running dry, people are turning towards names such as Talon or Sha’neeqwa.  I don’t think it possible to go down that path.  I mean, the first name is part of a bird’s foot for god sake!  The other one just sounds like someone sneezing.  It was so much easier for our parents, or our parents parents.  Names like Betty or Mary.  Classics! John, Paul, George, err, Ringo.  Yeah! How fantastic!

When picking a name, you have to think about what swear word it rhymes with or what terrible nicknames it could get.  Dolores? No way.  Richard? Pfft, forget it. FYI - If you have no idea what Dolores ryhmes with, see this Seinfeld episode here.

So what are we going to do? How do we fricken decide what name to choose?

So I’ve decided to create a guide to help decide what to call a newborn.  See if you agree with me! :-)

1. Don’t worry about what other people think
What ever name you decide upon, someone is not going to like it.  If you’ve told people what you are calling him/her before it is born and someone doesn’t like it, don’t worry about it.  If you change it, someone else is not going to like what you change it to! So you cant win.  Reside in the fact that someone is not going to like it, so prepare yourself to expect it and don’t let it get to you.  Also, don’t tell people the name you pick before it is born!

2. Don’t get too tricky
It’s a good thing to be unique, but we don’t want to have any Quonza’s or Sha-naynay’s out there.  Yeah, take an old fashioned name at remove the odd letter or add perhaps an extra one, but don’t flip it around too much.  My buddy Jyhnee has a heck of a time spelling his name!

3. Don’t ryhme with swear words and watch the nicknames
Mr & Mrs Head should not call their son Richard, and even though the show Glee is really popular right now, I wouldn’t suggest naming your kid after Puck.  Think about what names rhyme with and what swear words imaginative kids could come up with.  You don’t want your kid growing up being teased now, do you?  But don’t worry about it too much.  Kids will always find a way to pick on whatever name, no matter what it is!

4. Don’t follow trends
Twilight may be a popular movie, so go ahead and call you kid Bella or Edward if you like.  But remember, at roll call in school, when announcing the name Bella or Edward, don’t be surprised to watch half the class put their hand up.  That’s not a bad thing, but if you’re after something unique then stay away from naming after trends (The number of Michael’s or Jackson’s out there skyrocketed after his death).

5. Make it mean something to you
If you can (or want), try and make it mean something to you.  Whether it be related to a great memory you have or of a beloved family member, it will mean more to you. Your child can carry it with them to never be forgotten.  This can also help you to pick out a name if you are having trouble.  But, if your best and most beloved memory was in Wagga Wagga with your granny Dolores, you may just want to buy a baby name book and pick one with your eye’s closed ;-)

Hope this list helps us! As well as anyone else out there.   Hopefully my wife and I decide on a name soon.  But don’t forget, it might be a bit of a struggle for now, but we are enjoying the struggle and hope you do too!

- tork

PS. Shout out and much love to anyone called Dolores or Richard!  Especially to all the Sha-neeqwa’s out there ;-)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

RE: John Safran vs Father Bob


This is a response post to my original post: John Safran vs Father Bob

Okay, so since my first post of Father Bob, I decided an update is in order.

Father Bob is catching John Safran in the race to the most twitter followers by 1st of February 2011!!  He is gaining an average of 20 followers per day.  This would be a gain of approximately 520 followers in the time frame left.  Multiply that figure by 10 and that is the amount of followers we need.  5200 more followers!!!

But I've also figured out how Safran is cheating.  At their homepage, Safran has made his link to his twitter above Father Bob's!  And with the fickle youth of today, they follow Safran but get easily distracted and forget to follow the Padre! Solid evidence of Safran cheating twitter!

So, we need to pick up the pace.  If you follow Father Bob on twitter, hash tag #FatherBob and link back here if you seriously want to help speed things up.  Word needs to spread as quickly as possible! I want to start trending this cause to win the race!

Come on guys, this is just a bit of fun!! Lets help Bob beat Safran!  Be a part of something awesome! Father Bob will have this over Johnny Safran for a long time if we can do it! hehehe.

So tweet, re-tweet, hash-tag #FatherBob, forward this page, whatever you can do, it needs to be done to speed things up!!

Look back at my original post here if you want a reminder on the cause: John Safran vs Father Bob

Join me, and follow Father Bob on twitter by clicking HERE!  Ignore John Safran, lets win one for the oldies!! :-)

- tork