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“How’s your bum for grubs?”

Those who want the test point out that values extend back to the language and the accent and the test should include aussie terms and the proper accent. Some of them are familiar to us American’s like “gidday” or “goodanya” but others are much harder to interpret and could keep many American’s from passing the test…. Unfortunately for our kids, even though they are in Australia and could use those words with impunity here, their parents remind them they are Americans and they could give offense with those terms at home or to other Americans and can not use them…. When they want to sound Australian, they will have to stay away from our curse words and stick with the “mates,” “Sheilas” and the occasional “how’s your bum for grubs.”

Tribute to Grandma Lucille

We were saddened by the news this morning that my paternal grandmother, Lucille Gilliom, had passed away just hours earlier in Indiana. She was 98 years old. We knew when we left last month that she was in failing health, but my Aunt Sandy assured me that if Grandma had been in full possession of…

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We have so many lessons to learn. We expected Australia to be a lay low location in our nutty itinerary, comfortably nestled between the frenetic pace of the New Zealand campervan experience and our nomadic monthlong wanderings through China. The first week was nothing of the sort. Unfortunately it was a primer in the uncertainties…

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Vans, The Top 6 Reasons They Should Leave Our Roads

That’s when I found what would save me from at least some of the torment (the screaming and yelling of young children kind, you know what I mean), a little device called an iPod…. We rested at a ridicoulsly high priced motel and despite sleeping in a bed with a child who I will not name at this time constantly smashing into me and secreting a steady dose of methane from his overworked bowels, I felt no more up to a drive in the morning…. The next few hours were no better as my iPod died and the previously unnamed child reduced the air quality of the car to an all time minimum…. No further comment.As you may (or should I say should) have noticed this is written in a very joking manner, I do not mean to insult any who drive vans, have caught ‘van feaver’ as it is called, or any suburban mothers and most of all not the unnamed child, I am simply putting forth my opinions about one of man’s craziest inventions.

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The Crocodiles and Anne Are Crying

We were in New Zealand when McKane’s friend Noah emailed us that the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, had been killed. At first we thought it must be a joke or a mistake because the cause of death seemed so improbable and the larger than life Irwin had always seemed invincible. Of course Noah was right…

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The Shoe Spewing People Mover

Minivans gained street cred when Chili Palmer, the hit man played by John Travolta in Get Shorty, prowled the streets of LA in a rented Oldsmobile Silhouette (“the Cadillac of minivans”). Our Toyota Tarago is a mean machine well suited for urban warfare with sliding rear doors on either side. With these escape hatches fully…

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Motel Woes in the Australian Hinterland

Some of our friends have running bets on how long we’ll make it on the road. There’s the chance that we will drive each other crazy in three months, someone will get sick or injured in six, or the most likely in their minds, that we will run out of funds in seven. Oh, they…