16 June 2009

Mt Hotham, im now here.

Well, its been ages since my last report, but that’s just a sign of how full on it has been for me. These last few weeks have been a bloody ripper I can tell you. I have spent some great time with my family. Have been up to Brisbane and spent time with my great friends Tim and Charlie. Performed as Freddy Fargon for Victor Brays team at the Winter National Drags at Willowbank Raceway. I spent a couple of days at Wintersun Nostalgia Festival in Coolangatta. And then flew back to Melbourne and spent a couple more days with my brother John working on his 32 Ford Roadtser.

John dropped me off to Maffra (my hometown) on Sunday 14-6-09, and then the following Monday I was off to Post Office to sort out my ‘working with children’ card, which is a legal requirement here in Australia when working in jobs that entail being around kids. A bloody good idea I reckon.

Sue (my sister) and I did some running around getting last minute things sorted, as it was to be the day that I head for Mt Hotham. We arrived into Hotham around 6pm, and as we drove up the mountain it started snowing. Luckily the snow wasn’t thick enough that we had to fit the tyre chains. Now, I’ve never really been in snow like this, so it was a real trip for me to see what it looks like to drive into falling snow in the dark. Only way I can describe it, is that it looks like sci-fi movies when they hit a button that sends them into hyper speed and the universe goes rushing by at a ridiculous speed. It was awesome.

We parked our car down the hill (as you cant leave cars up in the township at night unless you pay stupid amounts of money to do so) and we caught the bus up the remainder of the way, which wasn’t that far up really. Naturally being nighttime means that I actually haven’t really seen that much yet. But the inside of the lodge is freakin amazing. There are 3 levels. Top floor is the sleeping quarters, which contains nine bedrooms that mostly have a double bed and two bunks. I currently have a nice single room with a double bed in it, but that will change when it’s booked out, and I will then jump into the mangers room with my sister, which has four bunk beds.

The middle floor is the kitchen and lounge room. These are both massive areas, and one side of the rooms is completely roof to wall glass that spans the width of the lodge. There is a direct drop outside that then overlooks the hills that are in the west, and the sun sets behind them (which I’ve been told, is a sight to behold. I will get pics asap and show you all). The bottom floor has a TV room incase anyone wants to just chill out and get all square eyed.

Once I had the lodge tour, it was off up the hill (walking through the snow) to the local pub known as ‘the General’. Here I met Amanda, who will be my boss whilst I work for the ski school as what they call a Day Attendant. Basically from what I know, I will be making sure kids enrolled in the ski school get fed and looked after and that staff are looking after the place and cleaning up etc. im yet to be given the official rundown, but for now that’s pretty cool and will be a very different pace for me.

We ordered pizza to go, as we needed to be at a one-hour course that taught us how to inject adrenalin needles into kids that may suffer from allergies and asthma etc. So if they have an attack, we all need to know how to administer the adrenalin and getting the ambulance on the way and so forth. It wasn’t intense, but the guy who presented it opened the night in a weird way. He explained a bit of his life story and told how he was a ambulance officer for 26 years, and that he then had a major bike accident that left his back stuffed and as a result became addicted to his medicine etc. At which point, I humbly asked him if I had mistakenly come to an AA meeting. The guy took it well, and now I understand that all those years ago when I was a kid in school, why my reports always said ‘Ricki insists on being the clown of the class’. Old habits die hard.

Once the course was complete, it was back to the General for a meet and greet with staff, and then home to the lodge. It’s cold outside, but not freezing like I thought it would be. I could still walk around in jeans, tshirt and a couple of polar fleece jumpers without feeling it. And once inside the lodge, it’s constantly warm anyways, so it’s great. I reckon these next eight weeks are going to be a pretty awesome experience. I’ve basically got the next week off, although for the next 3 nights at the lodge, we have 29 people staying as part of a training session for ski instructors. So the lodge will be busy, but im not in full on work mode just yet. So hopefully I will get time to have a good look around over the next few days and get some great pictures of the area for you all to see.

25 May 2009

some pics from the last few days.

ok, so i finally got them loaded up on photobucket. here we go.

this is the car i stole from my mum. its a classic aussie icon of a driver. solid as a rock, and drinks fuel like a samoan family drinks taro.


driving to melbourne in thre fog, and this was around 1030am. insane.


the billykart that my brother has made for his 2 daughters. he made it in one day and a night worth of work. freakin awesome




and here we go. hot rod building time. this is how i found my brother John when i arrived at the shed at lunchtime thursday. he is giving his usual friendly greeting


we had a LOT of work to do within 2 days in order to have the roadster ready for primer on the saturday. john focused on the body, i did all the little jobs that needed doing like interior trim panels, floor panels, brackets etc.




floor template made from cardboard


then when complete, i cut them out of plywood and here ya go. too easy


body off


then i dropped out thre rear end


front end on


front end off


then pulled apart the front end so i could polish up the axle ready for paint.


i took 5 and grabbed a pic of the day outside and the view over the top of the shed. not bad aye.


then we flipped the body up on its end so john could get the underneath sorted. this rod will be as mint underneath as it is on top


on the dolly trolley and all body complete and ready to go on trailer and down to the local smash repairs for primer


and the engine put to the side to await the return of the chassis


with all that done, it was decided to grab some brews and head round to good friends Dave and Mels to sit in their spa and watch movies. the massive TV is in front of the spa, so its an awesome way to unwind.

numbnuts (johnny) was first in


then dave and i joined. i call this picture 'the birth'. now you can see why chicks go nuts for me huh? LOL


then afterwards, i snuck into Daves shed and snapped some pics of his cars and his current project






then on my way home from melbourne to my hometown, i found this.one massive farkin bird. i dropped a piece of bread and got into a fist fight with this bastard for about 15 minutes until i judo chopped it in the right eye and it fell over and died. at least the locals can rest easy at night now after almost 3 decades of being trapped under its evil rule. long live me, there new hero.


24 May 2009

some hot rod going ons

Tuesday may 19th, 2009

Today started in a most perculiar way. To start, I awoke around 6am and wandered to the toilet, only to find the back door wide open. I went into immediate ninja stealth mode and made my through my sisters house to ensure all was safe. I flicked on the lounge room light to find someone curled up on the couch. I couldn’t see who it was, but figured they had arrived in the middle of the night and just hadn’t closed the door properly. I went back to bed.

I was then awoken at 7.30am by my loving mother. Who shook me and asked, ‘Where is my breakfast’? I then explained to her that I had made it the night before and could be found in the cupboard in a box with ‘cornflakes’ written on it. Got to love ya mum….ha.

Once mum took off, my sister, sue and I headed over to the town of Sale to meet up with my other sister Sandra and my niece Rochelle who is due to drop a baby in August. Was great to have lunch with them, after which, I looked into different mobile phone plans etc to see if it was worth getting a new phone, or another sim card. Im yet to decide on what option is best.

Shopped around a bit looking at jackets etc for the mountain, but decided to hold off a little bit before I buy anything. Went and opened a new bank account here, and then back to Maffra (my hometown), where I grabbed a ‘working with children’ form from the post office. Over here it is law to possess a WWC card if you are to be employed in any job that may involve contact with children on a prolonged basis. And seeing as I may be working alongside kids on the mountain, I have to get one of these cards.

Its now close to tea time, so im just typing in my daily report and then heading off for tea. My 14yo niece Elizabeth (Lizzie) is an amazing cook who has lots of potential to be a top chef if she wanted too. But alas, she wants to be a lawyer first, then wants to be prime minister of Australia. And frankly, I don’t doubt in any way that she will achieve her goal.

And im off to eat. Laters.

Wednesday 20th may, 2009

Today was a pretty relaxed day (as are all my days at the moment). I fell out of bed, which was the couch last night due to my snoring and my niece not getting any sleep the night before when I invaded her lower bunk bed, haha. Once I was up and showered I took off for a walk to the other side of town to my mums place where I would then acquire her car to use for a week or so. During my walk I stopped in at a local clothing store and grabbed a warm top as I only have a jacket with me here and the chill is enough to need a bit more warmth.

My mum wasn’t at her house, but my step dad Norm was there hand painting the number plate on the car I was to borrow. Somewhat confused, he informed me that it was due to the plate being quite old and worn and he was worried that Police may pull me up on it. Well, im pretty sure they will be even more attracted to a number plate that had been crudely hand painted, so will be interesting to see how many cops pull me over.

Came home to my sisters and did some house cleaning, grabbed in the washing etc and then had a delicious stirfry for dinner, yet again cooked by talented niece, Lizzie. Yum. And now reporting in before I head to bed soon to get a good sleep on the couch again.

Tomorrow I’m off to Melbourne to spend a couple of days in the shed with my brother working on his 1932 Ford Roadster. I can’t wait to get into it.

Till tomorrow, seeya.

Thursday 21st May, 2009

So I awoke all fired up about getting to Melbourne and hooking into my brothers roadster, but my sister sue gave me a heads up that I should wait an hour or so as by all reports there was a white out on the roads. Basically, it was foggy as hell and you couldn’t see much in front of you. So I had a nice slow start, saw the nieces off to school, had breakfast and then made tracks.

Sue wasn’t joking. The fog was insane and I could barely see 15 metres in front of me. I kept the pace a little less than the speed limit as I was in no hurry. Fast forward an hour or so, and I was STILL driving in dense fog. Go figure, but it was odd as it was 11.20am, not exactly normal fog times. As I got closer to Melbourne it wore thin and before I knew it I was standing in the shed with my brother John. I whipped down the road and got us some lunch, and then we tore into it.

We had great progress as my brother worked on the body and I made up the MDF interior panels, plywood floor panels and dropped the rear end off the chassis, amidst a few other small jobs. It wasn’t till around 11pm that we decided that we had done enough for the day, as tomorrow was a full on day if we were to have the body completely prepped in time for priming it on Saturday.

I head inside, enjoyed a hot shower and was asleep in no time.

Friday 22nd May, 2009

After a very broken sleep, I woke up feeling very sore. My back, arms and legs were killing me (I’m not used to working a normal day, LOL). I scoffed me some toast and shot into the shed where it was all guns blazing to get the roadster done on time for priming tomorrow. Johnny worked hard finishing off the body, getting all last pin-spot holes filled with skims of bog. I focused on making brackets for mounting the trim panels, some sanding and taking the engine and trans off the chassis. And also disassembled the superbell front end and polished it up ready for sand blasting and paint.

By 6pm we had everything ready to go. The body was now on the home made dolly and with the help of a good mate Dave (doesn’t everyone have a good mate named Dave??), we put the body onto the trailer ready for tomorrow. We chin wagged with Dave for a bit and decided it would be best to grab a couple of Jim Beams and head over to his place to sit in the spa and watch a DVD. The best part? We could do both at the same time. Yes, thanks to the wonders of good design, the spa bath in part of the entertainment room, so we sat in the spa for a good 4 hours and watched a couple of movies, including the Aussie classic car flick “Running on empty”. Pure brilliance.

Dave and his lovely missus Mel, are salt of the earth folk, and a pure pleasure to spend time with. In the shed Dave has his 55 Ford Customline, a 34 Ford coupe, and a Hemi powered Model A Roadster in the works. Bloody awesome.

Its now 3am, im tired, I look like Grandpa Simpson but with teeth, and im ready for bed. Enjoy the pictures, I reckon the one of the three of us blokes in the spa could become quite the scandal pic for Womans Day Mag. Haha.

Saturday 23rd May, 2009 (and some Sunday too)

Today was a more relaxed affair. With the car all ready for primer and loaded on the trailer I went for a lonely wander to the local Mall to look at stuff. There was stuff there, and then I left, pretty awesome really. Caught up with my Dad and said ‘hello’. He said ‘hello’ back. That was pretty much it, not bad after pretty much 7 years of not talking. Stubborn old bugger. Hahaha.

I then grabbed the Melways (Melbourne map) and took off into the unknown to catch up with my mate Jason who was part of the USA trip in august last year. We went for a cruise to his Mum and Dads place to have a look at dads 36 Ford 5 window coupe and 56 Ford Victoria, and stupid me, forgot my camera. DOH!!!/ oh well.

Back to Jasons and we decided to start cracking cans of Jim Beam. And lo and behold, we drank much, and then we walked (or more staggered) down to the shops and got some mean arse pizzas and stocked up on Jim Beams. We then sat for the rest of the night, drinking, jamming tunes on the guitars, watching tv and youtube searching drag racing, bmx stunts and bands. A farkin cool night if I may say so myself.

Got to bed round 3am, up at 8am and then showered and hung round a but and then made tracks back to Maffra. And here I sit, writing this and uploading pictures. Its bloody warm outside and it’s another great day in Aussie. I’m about to jump in the car with my sister and head back towards Melbourne to pick up my nieces from their Dad. Stupid me, if I had thought about it, I could have picked them up from there and bought them home. I just wasn’t thinking. I need more Jim Beam to help me I think.

Hope you’re all well back home or wherever you may be.

Rock on.


pictures to come a little later. or you can check out http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=85493&id=627921924&saved
if youre not patient enough

18 May 2009

Right, well im catching up on last few days here, and trying to remember everything that has happened, so bare with me a minute.

I was lucky enough to have sorted out some time with my girls on Saturday morning before I had to shoot off to Tauranga for a party involving mostly fellow Mavericks (a hot rod related club of people made up of good bastards, and me, haha). So I picked up Ash and Jess at 9am and we headed out to my good friend Angela’s place to see her and be there when a couple of guys came to look at the 1939 Ford she is selling.

Once that was completed, we jumped in the car and did the classic ‘Dad takes us to McDonalds’ lunch trick. Good old solo dad trick from way back. Hehe. Then we popped round to say see-ya-later to Rachael of ritasue clothing. Then dropped the girls off before taking my trusty mitsi to its resting place whilst im away, at my good friends the Fishers.

With that done, it was off to Tauranga for the night, where I knew full well I wouldn’t get any sleep as I needed to be at the airport on Sunday morning by 530am. Yay for that. Sheesh. Now the Mavericks were mainly gathering in recognition of one of our members turning 21, and only 2 mavericks even knew I was coming, as I wanted it to be a surprise. Well, it seems it was, and it was great to see so many Mavericks in one place (not many people would understand why, but it just was).

Then come 130am, and it was time for Angela and I to head back towards Auckland. I was driving, so it was a nice slow paced drive back as I felt no need to rush. I got to the airport, Ange threw me out and I booked in. all smooth sailing there. Although I was over the weight for luggage, the lady was nice to me and didn’t charge me extra. Yay.

On the plane and away we go. All was going smoothly when all of a sudden.

‘This is your captain speaking, is there a medical doctor onboard?’. Nope.

A little later.

‘This is your captain speaking again, is there anyone on board who suffers diabietes that may have some insulin onboard with them?’. nope.

A little later again.

‘This is your captain speaking, we are now changing course for Sydney as we have a medical emergency on our hands, and its closer and we need to get to ground asap and it’s closer than Melbourne’.

No worries, we diverted and knew we would get to Melbourne approx 2 hours late. The medics took off with the person on the plane and I had just enough power on my mobile to text my brother and tell him to delay meeting me, no problem. Landed, got to the luggage part and scored my suitcase, but alas, no guitar. Hmmmmm. I asked around and got pointed to the oversize luggage collection area. Alas, still no guitar, however, there was a large group of people waiting there and it turned out the conveyor belt was broken. Now of course you would think they would just put everything on a trolley and bring it round??? No, that made sense, so instead they just waited till it got fixed. Which meant, we waited till it got fixed too. Oh well, at least I got my guitar and I headed out to be greeted by my brother and my two absolutely too beyond cute neicec Emma-Jane and Abbey-Lee.

I was in dire need of a shower as I had been wearing the same clothes since Saturday morning, and I was rather………pungent. I feel so sorry for the two girls who had to sit by my side on the plane. They tolerated me somehow. Eegads. Shower and fresh clothes and my brother John and I were off to a rockabilly show in Ferntree Gully, which as luck would have it, is were he lives, so it was a 2minute drive down the road.

Had a great time there, a couple of beers, watched a few bands, and missed out on seeing about 4 others that played after we left. Its weird here in aus, rock n roll people are strange. If songs had a certain tempo, they danced, but wouldn’t clap at the end of the song they would just stand there and look at their watches until the next song started. Then if the song was too fast or slow, they would just walk off and sit down and complain about it. Its almost like you could play ‘rock around the clock’ a hundred times over and they would be in heaven. Weirdos.

With that done, we grabbed a bite and headed east to my hometown of Maffra where we stayed at my sister Sue’s place. When I got to bed it was around 11pm (1am nz time). So I had 4 hours sleep on Friday night, so that was the only sleep I got from Friday morning, till last night. I was beyond tired, and I slept like a dream. Apparently, I snored like a chainsaw and kept the whole house awake, but I don’t care, I needed the sleep.

And now here I am writing you, its warm, its clear blue skies, and its great to be here. I do however miss you all very much. It’s going to be weird to not be able to just pop up the road to see many of you. But im sure you’re all going to love the break. Hahaha.

See you in my next report.


Ps – I forgot to take my camera to the rockabilly show, dumb. Was some kool cars in the carpark. Next time.

here i stand with a box of fuel in hand. good old JIM


having a big ole hug with fellow maverickian Jerry


group shot. this is one hell of a bunch of people to party with


13 May 2009

It's been ages. But here we go

ok, so there's a lot of catching up to do as its been a good month since my last blog. life has been very full on. between the red shift, doing my normal gigs, doing a few voodoo kreepers gigs, trying to get time with my kids (not successfully thanks to their mother may i add? not happy), and packing up house and getting ready to fly to aussie in 4 days, has meant my attention has been elsewhere.

so sorry for the delay, but yeah, i promise to get my ass into gear and be more frequent once i land in aussie and start getting to shows etc. i have a lot to take in in my first 5 weeks in aussie, including time with family, going to brisbane for wintersun and winternational drags. sydney for about 10 days to see friends, then back to melbourne where i will then get reasdy to head to Mt Hotham to help my sister manage a ski lodge. its gunna be a LOT of fun and i cant wait to learn how to ski / snowboard. im hoping it will help me a lot with getting back into shape.

anyways, i will try get some pics loaded up soon with some updates, but it may be easier to just focus on starting everything rolling once i hit aussie.

take care


08 April 2009

Freddy does it again

what's next from this guy? he sings, he works out, he is always fighting off hot chicks, and now he plays guitar. sheeesh

07 April 2009

The Red Shift - Nostalgia Drag footage

thats right folks, its hit the youtube screen already. just a snippet of whats to come on The Red Shift