week 21...
only here for the beer

Port Macquarie

This reminds me of that moment in Sleeping with the Enemy when Julia Roberts realizes her husband is back to kill her because he's arranged all their cans of spaghettios with the labels facing out. But this is creepier, because it's beer.
get ready, get set, for inebriation day...
Hey kids! You know that stuff daddy drinks when he's watching the game on Sundays? Of course you do... it's golden in colour, goes down smooth and seems to solve all of daddy's problems. It's called beer!

We'd like to welcome our special guest, Uncle John! Hi, Uncle John! Well, look at that... Uncle John already has a beer in his hand. What's that, Uncle John? You made it yourself? Ha Ha! But that's impossible! Beer is from the store!

You made it in your garage? In a bucket? Well then, it must be good.

Step 1: The Can
Oh, I see, you just mean you have beer cans in your garage... Hey, wait a minute! That's just sludge! You can't drink that! It's all syrupy and honey-looking. This must be what beer looks like before it's beer! Can't bring that to the footy game! Now that you've opened the can, what could be next?
Step 3: Add Water
Into that same vessel (it's really just a bucket) goes two liters of boiling water, and then 20 liters of cold water. What's that, Uncle John? Uncle John says that's because they need to make sure the sugar is mixed in, and everything reaches the "magical brewing temperature" of 25 degrees Celsius! Yummy!
Step 5:
It's time to fill up those super-clean bottles with freshly made beer! What do you mean, we can't drink it right away? How long does it have to sit in the bottles? A whole WEEK? Aww, but I want beer now! Hey, good thing you made some last week, huh?
Hey! I've got an idea! Why don't you teach us how to make our own beer! Then we could all have some! Yay! It's learnin' time...

Step 2: Ferment
Hey, look everybody! They're pouring it into the fermenting vessel. Into that vessel there's also putting one kilo of sugar to make sure that everything ferments properly. You know what fermenting is, don't you? Why, it's what makes beer so much fun!
Step 4: Washing
Ewwww. Looks like there's some dishwashing to be done. I'm glad we're just watching and not helping. Hey, here's a riddle: If Uncle John makes 60 liters of beer a week, but he drinks 54 liters of beer a week, what does he get? Give up? Drunk! Get it?
Step 6:
It looks like our brewing lesson is almost finished. They're capping all the bottles to put on this week's shelf. They should be ready by next Monday! Thanks, Uncle John!

And that's how beer is made! Whew! What a long day! Shall we all crack open some of last week's batch and keep drinking until Polkaroo shows up? You think that's the best idea you've heard all day? Me too! See you next time, kids!

meet the forrest family
As usual, we thought we'd be staying a couple of nights, and we stayed over a week. We really don't mean to do that, it's just that we can't get enough of these Aussie families! They're so nice!

The Forrests are no exception. Just think of our extra time here as research into the Australian nuclear family. Let's delve, shall we?

John Forrest
aka. "Grandad." John's a busy man, but never too busy to stop for a beer, or two, or three.
Trish Forrest
We're sorry to say this is the only photo we have of Trish. Too busy with the grandkids, I guess.

At least we had a partial photo of Trish. With Leighanne, we've got nothing. Some reporters we are. Leighanne's the oldest daughter.

Jamie's the first mate of John the brewmaster. He's also married to the master's daughter. Some people will do anything for beer.

This gal is full of fun and smiles. We think it's because she works under the same roof as a Ridgey Didge outlet. We'd be smiling too.

You can't blame us for this one. We didn't meet Simmy, but we know he lives in Melbourne, works for Telstra and is really, really nice.

An 18 month old bundle of fun. She's got a thing about bouncing balls, erasers and trampolines.

Note from the future: For photos of Leighanne, Simmy & Tayla's new brother Braden, check out Week 63.


This 11 year old is already a supermodel for Settlement City. Good thing she's got brains, too.


The biggest hugs and the loudest screams in the house. Ask her to do that thing with her nose...


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livin' on the ridge Ridgey Didge Pies:Beers:Today's Weather:
Last week I had my very first Aussie Meat Pie. It was the out-of-the-freezer-and-into-the-oven kind... quite yummy and certainly not what I expected after all the hype about how much of the meat is camel and bone shavings. (Of course, I like hot dogs too.)
  But today I had my first "real" meat pie, and I'll never go back to the freezer variety. If Ridgey Didge Pies were a public company, I'd buy stock in it (I've already got stock in Krispy Kreme Donuts, so I'm not kidding around here). Someone needs to introduce this product to Manhattan, and knock those dry pretzel guys out of business. The world needs more Ridgey Didge Pies. Ridgey Didge, I'll be back for more.

- At the bottom of the beer tally, once they lost count at 700.
baby attacks! Aim's Dessert:Tiramisu Difficulty Level:Today's Weather:
Holy Frickin' Frack! It's a giant baby! It's huge! It's bigger than huge! It's Huuuuuge! It's going to eat up all those little dollhouse people! Run for your lives, dollhouse people! Run for your lives!
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... chomp!

"Must be the after effects of the Ridgey Didge."
- Kevin.
empty space Movie of the Week:Signs Kev's Rating: PoorAim's Rating: PoorToday's Weather:
Don't bother seeing the new M. Night Shayalamayamalam film. And if you do spend the money to see it (preferably on a cheap matinee), don't expect a startling revelation, a surprise ending, or a breakthrough story. In fact, don't expect a story at all. I'll fill you in...
  First, start with the movie Independence Day. Remember that one? Yes, the flag-waving Hollywood claptrap alien flick starring Will Smith. No, the other one.
  Okay, got that in your head? Now, take out all the explosions. Next, take out all the special effects and giant alien spacecraft. Take out the army, the president, the White House. By now, the script should be down to about five pages.
  Now, take this five page script and have it read to you over two hours by an 80-year old volunteer from a retirement home... nice... and... slow. Bingo! You've got Signs!
  Save your ten bucks and buy some daks with Kev's face on them. Now THAT's money well spent.

"I would've just burned down the bloody crops so the aliens
wouldn't know where to go."
- Trish.
frozen in time Chili Heat Level:3/10 House Volume Level:9/10 Today's Weather:
This rainbow lorikeet was but a moment of silence and tranquility in a day that only hours later would explode in baby gurgles, laughing, lego crashing, screeching, trampoline bouncing and half-drunken cheering of double-jointed body trick displays. Let's just enjoy this moment, shall we?

"Gah! That's just not right!"
- Kevin, commenting on this.
flip of a coin Length of Bus Ride:10hrs Cost of Bus Ride:$59 Today's Weather:
We've reached the moment of truth. Does one continue south to the land of expensive hotels, climbable bridges and iconastic opera houses? Or does one return north, to the warmth of Pay TV, friendly gals, and hardly any rules? The gazelle faces mankind's greatest decision... North? Or South? (Incidentally, from that quote can you guess the movie that was showing on the bus?)
  The choice was simple. So Dave, it's back to Brisbane for us while we wait for the trikes to have their final touches put into place. Leave the light on for us.

"We've got twenty mintues 'til the bus leaves, is there
time for one last Ridgey Didge?"
- Aimee.
pining away Pizzas:Today's Weather:
We made it to Brisbane... again! For those of you eagerly awaiting the Bikeabout, you'd better not be lining up outside the Sydney Opera House - that's our old starting line. We're trying to stay ahead of the weather so we've leapt 1000km north: a full "biking month." Hopefully, that should put a nice dent into the Queensland rainy season.
  Besides, you didn't want us to start at that silly old opera house anyway. You'd rather see us start and end this expedition at the greatest, most famous Australian icon ever: the Big Pineapple! See you there soon!

"I didn't say 'pink', I said 'Jess stinks.'"
- Dave.
knows New Game:Spiderman Video Card Required:64Mb Today's Weather:
We knew Louie would remember us. There's not a nose out there that smells better than this one, and there's not a foot in fifty states (or eight, as the case may be) that smells more than Kev's. It's a perfect match.

"Don't you find my faults lovable?"
- Aimee.
where's wally wombat?
At this rate, you'll probably find Wally under the table. At least he's a happy drunk.

Look for Wally every week!
daks: (n.) Men's undergarments. It's unclear whether the term only refers to tightie-leg boxers, or all men's undies. In any case, be sure to visit the giftshop for the lastest in dakie fashion.
I was so scared I nearly cacked in me daks!

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© 2002 Kevin Beimers & Aimee Lingman. When you wish upon a chip...