Well apart from the hordes of players that couldn’t make it in the end, last night (and because I’m taking a while to crank out these posts nowadays, this means Tuesday 28 December) ended up being quite enjoyable – thanks to the discovery of some untapped raw FIFA talent in form of one Mr. Damen Oosthuizen.
Seeing as I had to make a trip through to Tygervalley to get a longer chain for the pendant I had bought for Chantelle for Christmas, it kind of made sense to organise an evening of FIFA kick-about considering it may very well be the last time I get out of the house for the foreseeable future with Jessica’s imminent arrival.
However, one by one the invites toppled over, with Mr. Brown’s schedule clashing, Mr. Stapelberg busy preparing for his mini holiday, Mr. Storbeck struck down by a sudden bout of illness and Mr. Smith detained by sudden and unexpected family commitments.
Work on our house continues unabated, and this weekend it was the turn of our messy back corner to receive its much needed transformation, clearing out all the rubbish the previous owners left us to deal with and instead replacing it with a bright and shiny new present from Mom and Dad.
A garden shed.
Now this gift is absolutely perfect, because up until now my lawnmower has slept in the house, and my tools under a makeshift shelter in plastic bags out in the back. In other words, this will please Chantelle to no end indeed! :P
The shed itself is an Australian product which my dad picked up online and after collecting it last week, he and the rest of the Lotter clan arrived this afternoon after lunch with heavy box in a rented trailer and a boot full of tools.
Construction was hampered a bit thanks to the annoying, gusting winds which seemed determined to slow our progress, but the sky was at least clear and the sun shone bright as Ryan, Dad and myself armed ourselves with screwdrivers and a lot of patience.
Only a few mistakes made here and there, but after a couple of long, hard hours, the shed was up, looking pretty and awaiting her payload.
As for the men – well an ice cold beer and Scooters pizza felt like a just reward!
In other words, thank you Ryan and Dad for your time and labour, and thanks Mom and Dad for this awesome gift. We really, really appreciate it! :)
Had a good weekend this weekend, a more stay at home one than last weekend of course, but a good one nevertheless. Things kicked off with a rather poor movie choice for Friday evening’s entertainment, with Chantelle and myself opting to catch the newly released Step Up 3, a movie franchise which had proved to be quite entertaining in its first two iterations. However, the same can’t be said about the third, featuring a horribly cliched story, weak acting, poor pacing and really just not much in terms of cinema quality. Of course, the dance choreography was brilliant as always, but that’s pretty much that – and I dare you to try and not laugh the ridiculous restroom ‘attack’ sequence! :)
Of course with Chantelle being back on work duty with Louise and Whammy off to Thailand for another holiday, I was left to my own devices for Saturday and so after a bit of admin work like paying off our Boardman’s account, trading in a couple of games and buying a second XBOX controller to get Chantelle to play Blur with me at home, I popped in at the Strand Municipal Hall to catch some of the karate on display at the 2010 Boland Development Tournament. By the looks of things the tournament was well supported, with a lot of little ones partaking as well as the Boland junior team that will be heading off to P.E. in two weeks time for the national competition.
From there it was off to Bellville (Ryan’s pad to be exact), where we had moved our long overdue XBOX gaming session in the hopes to attract more friends to join us – as it turned out, this didn’t happen and so in the end if was just the three usual suspects as Terrance, Ryan and myself found ourselves battling it out fiercely on the brilliant arcade racing title, Blur, peppered with some FIFA soccer battles just for a change of pace.
The original late lunch braai plan was replaced with pizzas from Scooters across the road and our evening entertainment turned into a proper animated film fest as we managed to watch both the slightly disappointing Planet Hulk together with the awesome Batman: Under the Red Hood all in one sitting – without falling asleep for a change! A couple more games of Blur rounded off what had been a pleasant 8 or 9 hours of guy geekery, and I found myself once more on the N2, heading home and trying to remember that I was now in the real world and should now NOT be attempting to race past ever car I deemed competing with me on the road! :)
Sunday was a change of gear and I found myself listlessly doing some household chores, watching some more of the enjoyable High School of the Dead anime and finally getting some more [Prototype] game time in, before I was summoned out of my shell and called to meet up at the guest house where we were joined by the rest of the returned Montgomery clan and I got to show off my superior braaing skills yet again. The hours slowly passed with plenty of story telling to take in, before we were eventually joined by Retha, Miguel and Helena who popped in after being out in the area, meaning that for pudding and coffee we were pretty much a full house of laughs and gigles!
And that was pretty much that. Back home we rounded things off with some awesome Blur battles between Chantelle and myself (man does she get annoyed when the races don’t go her way!), before I hit the keyboard for some much needed blogging and she got catch up on all the latest Idols developments!
Whew, done. So all in all, a pretty damn good weekend off after all if you ask me! ;)
Although I did get a fair bit of home maintenance, furniture shifting and re-packing done this weekend thanks to the new carpet finally getting laid in the second bedroom on Friday afternoon, Saturday was pretty much a minimal work day as come 13:00, Mr. Brown and Dr. Storbeck arrived on my doorstep, followed by a surprise drop-in from Mr. Lotter Jr., completing our fearsome foursome.
The task for the day was of course to break out the XBOX 360 and squeeze in as many FIFA World Cup 2010 simulation games in as possible, trying our best to predict or equal what has been and what is still to come in the real World Cup.
As it turned out, lack of game time on Karl’s part actually meant he was performing ten times better than normal (:P), and opened the afternoon’s scoring account with a fantastic, cracking half-volley shot from a cross-in from yours truly, that simply rocketed past a despairing Ryan and Terrance keeper!
The afternoon progressed and we slotted in a lot of games, with Mr. Brown seeming to have the worst luck of the day, considering the fact that by the end of it all he was pretty much the overall loser, having lost the biggest number of games!
But in fairness we had some cracker games and for the most part they were all a very tight affair, usually ending up with only a single goal difference and on more than one occasion we found ourselves trading blows through extra time and then taking it all the way through to penalties, where some of us (Ryan for the most part), simply couldn’t get to grips with EA’s new penalty taking system!
But hats off to them for providing us with some absolutely tense moments, some brilliant goals (that Ronaldo shot from Ryan was an absolute beauty!) as well as the usual array of howlers, like Karl’s missing of various open goal tap-in opportunities! :)
But the simulated soccer couldn’t go on forever because the main drive for Saturday’s get together was of course the big 16:00 quarterfinal clash that saw an in form Argentina take on a just as in form Germany (who I am behind to take this whole damn thing!) and what a match for the Germans it proved to be! My bountiful snacks that I had stocked up on for the extravaganza kept flowing from hand to mouth and the disbelief of how easy Germany was making it look in dismantling Diego Maradona’s team just kept on growing!
Around half time I set about getting out of my cosy couch and started up the fire, which then happily burned itself down to some fine coals as the game reached it’s rather unexpected conclusion, marking the moment where we switched gears by bidding farewell to Ryan who had another engagement to get to, leaving Mr. Brown, Dr. Storbeck and I to put together a lekker braai and enjoy some more hanging out time.
Despite my attempts to ensnare them into watching the second match for the evening at my place, they resisted my charms and instead opted to hit the long ride home and catch the first bit on the radio, thereby saving them a much later return to Bellville. In fairness, I can’t really argue with that logic, but they did miss out on some great snacks I tell you! ;)
So thanks guys, it was an absolute blast having you around for the footy. Maybe next time we’ll be lucky and Mr. Dean and Mr. Oosthuizen will also be able to join us for an even bigger clash of the Titans!
(But the footy visits didn’t quite stop there believe it or not, because Sunday was still on its way and we had a last visit before their trek to Potchefstroom from Wayne and Candice to enjoy, and little did I know that Wayne had literally just laid his grubby paws on FIFA 10 – and you just know we HAD to test it out on our return from supper…)
Well, we’re finally back from what has been an absolutely brilliant break from work, the excellent four day weekend courtesy of Easter Weekend. Unfortunately Chantelle worked every single day of my four days off, but luckily for me, I was able to sketch in some great social time dashed with a splash of personal time! :)
Thursday evening kicked off with a braai at our place (well technically I suppose I should mention that we had already gone out on Tuesday night to Ben’s on the Beach to celebrate Chantelle’s raise and on Wednesday night to Panarottis to celebrate my new car), with Chantelle and myself playing host to Terrance and his new beau, Lize. As what now seems the order of the day, I put in a fantastic performance behind the coals (must be the new braai and classic Champion Braaier apron I tell you!), and ignoring the darkness all around me, managed to produce some rather tasty goodies if I say so myself! We sat and chatted and ate like kings, before Terrance and I managed to goad Lize and Chantelle to accept a round of 30 Seconds, in which the team of C&C actually did rather well for a change! :P
Friday saw me tackle some housework in the morning before my doorbell rang and I ushered in Mr. Brown, back again but this time sans the new partner. In other words, it was gaming time. And so we got stuck in to some Resident Evil 5, Gears of War 2 and Modern Warfare 2, before eventually powering down and heading out to the mall with the plan of grabbing some new gear… which unfortunately didn’t exactly pan out as what we had planned. It turns out that on a public holiday, Somerset Mall pretty much shuts the doors of all its shops! So settling for a delicious Subway for lunch, we headed back home in the Getz and got to grips with our game controllers once more. Evening rushed upon us pretty quickly and so the decision was made to pick up some Ooskus for supper (as per tradition) and Rush Hour 2 was selected as the viewing for the night, an action-packed Jackie Chan comedy that simply never lets one down! (Needless to say, Chantelle was quite keen to still be at work when she heard that was what we chose to watch for the evening!) :)
Saturday morning I busied myself with housework (still left over dishes from Thursday evening!) and some shopping, trying my best to hunt down a chocolate Lindt bunny for Chantelle – but can you believe everywhere I looked they were simply sold out!! I also tried my luck in getting some transfer papers from the traffic department, but alas, I should have known that the GB office was closed. Back home I pottered about, writing some blog posts and watching some Mazinkaiser anime, before heading out to the mall once again with the purpose of meeting up with Chantelle and her two miniature charges, Holly and Maddy, for a movie and a hunt to try and locate a standalone scanner.
Now the movie, How to Train Your Dragon, was a really fun blast, thoroughly enjoyed it, but the hunt for a standalone scanner was a completely different animal. Browsing around, it quickly became apparent that it is in fact cheaper to buy a all-in-one printer with a scanning option than purchasing a standalone scanner unit – are these people insane?!? Anyway, I couldn’t find one that I like on the shops’ floors, so it looks like I might buy the entry-level Canon LIDE 100 scanner, but hell, that’s going to set me back R737! On the other hand, I did stumble across Red Faction: Guerilla for a R100 at Incredible Connection, and of course knowing me, couldn’t resist this bargain which I then purchased and went home to play, spending the next three or four hours straight with controller in hand!
Sunday and Chantelle was straight off to work again, leaving me behind to take care of even more household chores and get a little blogging in, before I put on my walking shoes and trotted down to Pick ‘n Pay in order to buy a cooldrink which was to accompany on my lunch time trip through to Claire and Riley’s pad in Newlands.
As it turned out, lunch at Claire and Riley’s was really enjoyable, as it was a family affair starring Mom, Dad, Ryan, myself and obviously Claire and Riley, making it the first family get together since Mom’s birthday back in Feb. Claire’s newly renovated flat looks amazing and now with their large and in charge 50 inch Panasonic plasma and matching PS3 to dominate their lounge, the flat is really beginning to look rather ultra stylish! I took some photos of the pad for Chantelle’s sake, and boy is she jealous! :P
Oh, the food was simply divine as well. Weber chicken, roast potato, etc. You get the idea, proper Sunday lunch! :)
Back home I managed to convince myself not to do any work and instead told myself I’ll just quickly play an hour or so of Red Faction: Guerilla. Yeah right. I spent the rest of the entire day, well into midnight playing the damn game and loving every minute of it. The only break I took was to watch a quick episode of Mezzo DSA (fun show) and have some of the delicious stew Chantelle brought back with her from work. Oh, and to make Chantelle a much needed cup of coffee!
Monday morning, and having survived the embarrassment of Chantelle once again recording my snoring concerto, I set about quickly tidying up the place in expectation of Ryan’s arrival, for a planned day of manly bonding over a super long XBOX 360 session. And when I say play XBOX I mean play XBOX. We started just after 10:00 playing Gears of War and drove all the way through until about 18:00, polishing off all five chapters without resorting to violence towards one another. The only pit stop we put in was for a stroll over the road to Pick ‘n Pay and then a making of toasted cheese sarmies in the pan, but man was it worth it. From start to finish, I can see just why the original Gears of War was a popular a game as what it is.
However, the time for Ryan to finally go home was upon us, and kicking him out into traffic, Chantelle and I finally got to spend some quality Easter 2010 time together by hitting the Tallahassee Spur in Somerset Mall for a nice supper and then into Ster Kinekor for a viewing of Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side.
And that wraps it up for what in the end turned out to be quite an enjoyable Easter 2010, even if it was filled mainly with an inordinate amount of gaming! :)
It kind of looks like the boys are going to be doing an XBOX gaming evening just about every second weekend now, pretty much neatly coinciding with Chantelle’s on weekends (fancy that). This week I decided to shake things up a bit and convince Ryan to allow us to host a Modern Warfare 2 evening at his 40 inch equipped pad with the help of my fabulously bling FaceBook event I created especially for the evening. Amazingly enough, he grudgingly agreed (he hates Modern Warfare 2 with a passion it would seem) and so the stage was set for a Friday night of XBOX madness once more.
Or so it could have been if the Modern Warfare 2 fanatic that is Damen was actually in the Western Cape for the weekend, or for that matter Cannon Fodder Karl who chose a coffee date above some manly bonding.
However, despite these two greats falling by the wayside, we could still count on the manly Brigadier Brown, Staunch Stapelberg and the Lethal Lotters to make the night great and so the four of us found ourselves plonked down in front of Ryan’s television come 19:00, with his 3.5 surround sound blasting our eardrums out left right and center.
The obligatory chit chat out of the way, we sank our teeth into a quick spot of Modern Warfare gaming, where the incessant whining of how much he hates the game from Ryan was quickly extinguished by some well place grenade launches and machine gun fire.
As is now the established norm, Brigadier Brown was once again head and shoulders above the rest of us plebs in terms of skill level, but we had some awesome firefights, heightened by the booming sound that threatening to call the complaining neighbours over any minute now. However, Ryan did eventually reach his saturation point and so we abandoned the run and gun gameplay for the more cerebral strafe and shoot, swopping MW2 for good old FIFA 10, our beloved workhorse that has in actual fact not had a decent spin for quite some time now.
Splitting up into teams of Brown + Lotter Jnr. versus Stapelberg and Lotter Snr., the tone and pace was quickly set by messieurs Terrance and Ryan galloping to a quick fire succession of wins, leaving Dean and I scratching our heads and pondering our next move.
However, their speedy dominance was not to last as Dean and I came blasting back in the game, taking a succession of games in our stride despite the blatant, uninterrupted fouling and bad sportsmanship emitting from their every move, and emerging comfortably as the overall victors on the night – leaving a legacy that Terrance and Ryan shall now have to work hard to overcome the next time we lock horns.
In other words, as per usual it was a pretty damn awesome night of chips, drink and thumb twiddling. Truly the best a man can get…
Wow. Serious, I’ll get around to organising another day in GB event when I get the chance boys, but before then I need my social calendar to calm down just that little bit and give me some time to breathe! ;)
It all started last week really when on Tuesday evening Chantelle and I made our way over to the cinema to catch It’s Complicated, which turned out to be a pretty fun watch. Wednesday then followed up with an impromptu visit from Retha and Miguel to our part of the world on the pretense of putting the necessary kilometers on for his new shocks. We met up at the Waterstone Village Spur after karate practice and ended up spending a good chunk of the evening dining and catching up as per the norm.
Thursday evening Chantelle and I then met up with Mom, Dad and Claire to watch the stage production of Grease at the Artscape, also a brilliantly fun bit of popular culture to absorb I tell you. Friday then saw me abandon Chantelle to her own devices (she was working in case you’re wondering) and I joined with Ryan, Dean and Terrance at Ryan’s noisy pad for some excellent Modern Warfare 2 and FIFA 10 XBOX action!
(Admittedly, Saturday I took a breather, but I did work on my CodeUnit blog all day so you can’t really call that a day off, now can you? :P)
Sunday we played host to Rob and Laluna, though our planned visit to Barbados for some drinks was cut tragically short by a whole lot of yawning and snoring emanating from the instigators themselves, i.e. Laluna and Rob of all people! But I did spend two hours on the golf driving range so technically I was out and about.
Monday saw Chantelle nip off work at lunch and join me on a trip through to Durbanville where we hooked up with Trish and Karl and their peeps (including Wayne, Candice and Mr. Brown) to partake in a birthday braai bash in honour of Trish’s upcoming birthday on Wednesday.
Yesterday I got off again (though Chantelle was working a late so again it probably doesn’t quite count), but come today it’s back in full swing, with a visit tonight to the Barnyard Theatre to catch Broadway Rocks with Karl and Trish in support of the Fisantekraal Animal Welfare group. Thursday I’m sitting without a car seeing as it is back in the shop, so nothing planned as of yet, but don’t hold your breath, Friday we’re back to being social butterflies when Wayne and Candice join us for supper here in Nagua Bay (as well as for breakfast the next morning).
Oh, and Saturday evening happens to be the Funakoshi Karate Fundraiser Ball event, meaning dress-up fun for everyone.
And then Sunday, finally a proper day off, where weather permitting I plan on sneaking out with Chantelle to some remote forest conservation area, take with some good reading materials and pack a nice yummy picnic basket.
You really can’t say we don’t deserve it! :P
It turned out to be quite the sociable and relaxed weekend this time around, with Chantelle and I kicking Friday off by heading out to Bellville after work in order to visit with Mom and the rest of the family in celebration of mom’s 53rd birthday. As per usual it was an excellent braai followed up with lots of catching up chatter between the brothers, sister and folks, all nicely washed down with lots of great tasting little snack goodies – the perfect family get together in other words! :P (Not that Chantelle lasted all that long mind you – before I blinked twice she had taken her leave of us Lotters Original and sneaked off to the couch where she happily snored away much of the evening!)
Saturday was a pretty chill affair for the first part, with Chantelle sleeping away just about the whole morning like a dead person and I happily entertaining myself with Ryan’s Devil May Cry 4, before we finally set foot outdoors in order to hit the Pick ‘n Pay and grab all the necessary goodies for afternoon braai time. So whirlwind housekeeping and setting up, and pretty soon our guests of Damen, Michelle, Robert, Karl, Trish, Dean, Zania and little Zandea arrived, heralding the start of an awesome evening in the company of good friends. As is now quickly becoming the norm, I served up a masterful array of good tasting meat off the braai (seriously this ultimate braai that Chantelle bought me is awesome!) and it combined well with all the light snacks that Chantelle created including green salad, spanspek and some home made garlic roll. And don’t forget the ice cream filled, chocolate lathered sugar cones for dessert either!
And while watching the South African cricket team take on India provided the bulk of the day’s entertainment, the evening was not to pass without building some competitive spirit and so out came our 30 Seconds for its maiden voyage, providing some excellent games in which I’m sad to say, Team Lotter/Montgomery were soundly beaten by Team Storbeck/Oosthuizen! (But boy did Chantelle become a little bit too competitive by the end of the matches – get one little thing clue or description wrong and she’ll take your head clean off, mark my words! :D)
Seeing as we had held the braai early afternoon (15:00 to be exact) in order to accommodate the Stapelbergs and their little one, the rest of the crowd bid their farewells while there was still plenty of time left on the day’s clock, meaning that Rob and I got to ring in bedtime by watching the surprisingly fun Death Race starring Jason Statham in the lead – lots of car and gun action in case you are wondering!
Sunday morning saw us sleep in pretty late, before finally rousing and setting Chantelle to work on crafting some delicious french toast with bacon and fried banana for breakfast, after which Rob and I set about playing around with Dean’s copy of Ashes, which turns out to be a surprisingly fun cricket game – not that I can bat to save my life of course!
Following that we kicked Rob out of the house and set off for the mall, where I finally picked up a copy of Twilight (the first book) for Chantelle from CNA and then an awesome little paper shredded for my study here at home. (But no toaster mind you. Still can’t find a four piece toaster that both my wife and I see eye to eye on!)
Back home it was time for serious chillax as Chantelle stretched herself out on the couch in front of American Idols for the next couple of hours while I faffed around writing blog posts, doing the dishes and in the end playing some games (Again, Devil May Cry 4 is awesome. ‘Nuff said). Evening eventually rolled by and we found ourselves surely but steadily drawn in by the amazing Will Smith Seven Pounds drama, before ending the night off with Chantelle working on her Sarie competition entry, toasted cheese sarmies and just some general office and braai dishes cleaning up.
And testing the new office shredder of course! :)
First up was the five-star gourmet meal that Chantelle cooked up (she can give you all the details in case you are curious) for Retha and Miguel’s late night visit here at Nagua Bay where they regaled us with tales from their recently completed month long holiday over in Europe. That in particular was an awesome visit considering the fact we hadn’t seen them since December (Miguel we haven’t seen since our wedding!), so it was a great chance to catch up and receive some awesome goodies in the process! ;)
Another bit of fun and games on Thursday night actually came an hour or so earlier on my way home from work, when I pulled off at Checkers in Muizenberg to get something to eat because my blood sugar must have been quite low considering I was on the verge of passing out behind the wheel! But to cut a story short, I returned to my car, pie in hand, when I watched a truck slam into the overhead railway bridge, literally collapsing the poor driver’s entire container and I imagine, leaving him with quite a bit of explaining to do to his boss when he finally made it back to work! (Geez, these trucks hitting into that low bridge happens far more frequently than what I would ever have imagined!)
Anyhow, Friday I finished up feeling pretty good about myself after having completed three 20 minute sessions on the treadmill, one in the morning, one at lunch and one directly after work. No hassles with the legs, no particular fatigue, just a plain old good sensation of having achieved that! Not that I returned directly home mind you. No, seeing as Chantelle was on work duty and Ryan had just received a rip of the Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths movie I so wanted to see, I headed off to Bellville to join up with Karl-Heinz, Terrance and Ryan for some FIFA madness, where we slotted in a couple of games and some great goals for the next two and half or so hours! (Karl managed to finally end his goal drought and banged in three goals on the night, one being an awesome back header that completely flummoxed the keeper).
Saturday morning I broke tradition by starting the day off by watching the above mentioned Justice League movie, and man was it as awesome as I had hoped it would be. The only problem after that, was of course that nothing else seemed quite as exciting for the rest of the day! Now initially I had planned to do a ton of web work over the course of the day, working on websites, typing up documents, etc. but thanks to the oppressing 35+ heatwave that engulfed the area, I was pretty much left lying on the couches, watching anime, rugby, reinstalling Ubuntu and playing Devil May Cry 4 (and doing the much hated housework), so at least I ended up feeling fairly relaxed by the end of the day.
Funnily enough though, the one game I had been waiting for the entire day, namely the Stormers Super 14 clash, I actually ended up missing on the night, but all for a good reason it must be said. One phone call from Chantelle and all of a sudden I found myself sitting down at the table with a couple of glasses of beer in my hand and enjoying a fabulous snoek and crayfish braai with Chantelle, Wammy and Louise, and some of her guests, all under a fabulous warm summer night sky. It was lekker (and so was the Devil May Cry 4 gaming session which closed off the night for me).
Sunday however I didn’t make the mistake of turning on the TV to early and so I did actually end up behind the keyboard for the most of the day, but considering the horrible wind and heat outside, I guess it wasn’t too bad a play. Lots of blog posts neatly scheduled, an important letter scripted and proofread (well mostly anyway) and some further work on the Funakoshi website project that seems to be continuously trudging along, pretty much made up the most part of the day. Oh, and plenty of Devil May Cry 4 slotted in between. Turning out to be a damn good game, just as good as the previous one after all.
Outside of that, I did make a quick stop at GBL in the afternoon to have a look at Chantelle’s buggy wi-fi access point (as well as keep Candice and her mom company), and then later take Chantelle out for supper at the Sunset Spur after her shift ended come 21:00.
So it was a good, Melrose cheese spread filled weekend of not doing much, meaning I’m all rested up for what could potentially be quite an important week for me – though more on that with tomorrow morning’s post in case you’re curious! ;)