Who is Dags anyway???
(Like I'm sure you REALLY want to know)
Last updated June 2020
General boring stuff
(feel free to yawn at will)
|Birth date||13/5/67 (late birthday present still
Pssst. You wanna see a REALLY bad head, well get a load of this ... it's a pic of The Dags when he was 19 - here
|Current Hometown||Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Earth
|Hair colour||Brown. I did go
through a blonde faze a long time ago - hence the photo
|Eye colour||Green or blue, depending on the alignment
of the planets
|Weight||Around 85-90 kilos ... I've had a bad case
of C&C which has increased my weight in recent times
*. These days I'm now back into exercising so with luck
it can continue to keep my 'fan credibility' in check.
* C&C = Cooking which my other half does really well and Cadbury 'cause she works at the chocky factory and gets the stuff in bulk (in our place we measure chocolate by the KILO and not the gram). It's a bit hard to stay slender with these two temptations
|Relationship||I am currently attached to my wonderful
other half, Lynne
|Education||I left school after Year 11 in May 1984
and entered the workforce one month later. So no college,
university or TAFE education for this little Dag.
|Qualifications||Certified Novell Administrator (CNA)
Netware 4.11 (totally out of date and worthless
Certified Novell Administrator (CNA) Netware 3.12 (even more out of date than the one above)
Certificate IV in Computer Maintenance
Certified in ITIL v3 (Foundation, not that I remember any of it)
Can touch type. I once clocked around 63 WPM, but that was on a really good day. Because I have terrible handwriting, the keyboard is my friend.
|Employment||My main claim to employment fame is I
worked for Toyota Australia for 28 and half years
(1989-2017) and even appeared in their self published
Toyota Australia history book 'Shifting Gears.'
|Ambitions||In 1985 I had an ambition to live to the
year 2000, so I achieved that ... obviously
I'd love to run a film festival where all the films being screened ... are my own (preferably with an audience in attendance) - yes I can see it now, welcome to ... Dagfest!
To appear in the Thursday edition of the Herald/Sun newspaper in the Entertainment section as an article regarding a film I've made.
I think every short film maker has a desire to make a feature film one day and I'm no different. How awesome would it be to see a DVD of a film I've made on the shelves in JB Hi-Fi! Even better would be a cinema release!!! Well in a way I'm half way there 'cause I've at least written the screenplay!
I'd love to to have a Wikipedia entry which someone else has created, though currently I'm not cool enough for that just yet.
|Friends||Fortunately I've been blessed with having
an array of good mates throughout my life. In recent
times these are the guys I've been hanging out with the
Using their nicknames: From L to R - Sully, Spankin', Dags, Ads, Uncle Darth, The Robster, The Vile, Andy (who I don't see that much of anymore since he moved to Sydney)
Absent: MPS, Rusky Babes, The Lenny, Geoffro
|Travelling||I'm not much of an avid traveller though I
have been on a number of cruises in recent years.
I did go to the US twice. Once in 1993 with three mates of mine and again in 2018 with ... three mates of mine. The latter trip of which was due to winning Family Feud on May 4th, 2017. Below are some pics from the 1993 US trip, with me were Reidy, Shane and Justin.
A funny moment on the roof of our hotel, ya gotta love a bit of US patriotism
I'm couching down because behind me is a sheer cliff. Needless to say I only stayed here for a couple of seconds, just long enough for the pic to be taken
The lads and myself after a great day of being tourists, and spending lotsa money
One of my highlights was driving a convertible in the US. Notice our Australian flag on the aerial, yep the Aussie boys were in town!
|Most embarrassing moment||I'm sure there's been plenty, but this one
sticks in my mind the most...
In the mid 80s I was walking through the city on my way to a sci-fi convention wearing this black cloak made of light material (I did that sort of stuff back in those days). I was feeling pretty suave and cool knowing everyone was looking at me - which as I realised later was for all the wrong reasons - when suddenly a gust of wind came from behind and blew the cloak over my head. In one moment I went from looking at all these faces thinking I was 'it and a bit' to suddenly seeing nothing but black. Honestly I don't think I could've gone any redder.
|Unusual quirks||All physical injuries seem to only occur
on my left side.
I bite my nails and I enjoy it.
I have been a Best Man at weddings for four different grooms - what can I say, dudes just love having a Dag by their side on that special day. :)
I'm actually out of proportion regarding my height. Based on the length of my legs (my upper ones especially), I should be a lot taller than I am, alternatively based on the height of my torso, my legs are too long. In other words I'm a little outta wack.
When I brush my teeth, I'll hold the brush in my right hand to do all the front facing teeth, but will swap the the brush to my left hand to clean behind them.
When I was using computers all the time (ie both at home and work) I needed to ease the tendon strain on my right mouse wrist. To fix this I taught myself to use the mouse with my left hand at work which also included swapping the buttons over - and believe me that caused no end of confusion and difficulty with the IT support team. Funnily enough at one point I had two computers on my desk each with a mouse on different sides, so yes there were a couple of times I had to compare two spreadsheets on two screens using a mouse proficiently in each hand.
I'm somewhat obsessive compulsive in that I thrive on routines and I'm a slave to the clock. As an example I'd rather be at an event one hour early than one minute late.
Have a very competitive nature. When I play any game, I don't enjoy it unless I win (though not "at all costs" because I never cheat). Usually I can handle losing to a superior opponent but I hate being beaten when I make mistakes.
At a party I'll choose a glass or cup for drinks and place it somewhere in the house so I can go back to it again and again so I never have to use a fresh one.
Speaking of drinks, at home I drink everything out of a small Vegemite glass. Chocolate milk, lime cordial, Blackberry juice you name it. It's the smallest glass you can find and I do this to stop myself drinking too much of anything.
Due to an issue with my eyesight, I actually wear an eyepatch over my left eye under my glasses when I'm reading a book.
I absolutely love Kentucky Fried Chicken and Krispy Kreme doughnuts but I'll never buy either of them. In fact I've ONLY ever had them when other people have bought them for me - ie bringing a KFC bucket to a party or a box of KK doughnuts to a work function. It's simply against my religion to pay for food which is so unhealthy, however, I'm not breaking any of my own rules if someone else has done the purchasing and just happens to offers me some.
I hate any form of nuts (peanuts, cashews, and so on, though I don't mind the coconut sprinkled on snowballs/lamingtons) and don't talk to me about peanut butter - yech, it's the anti-Christ of all foods! As for seafood, can't stand any of it - "leave the fish in the sea" I say, though I don't mind flake from the fish and chip shop and I really like prawn crackers.
Can't stand brown coloured shoes (probably because I used to wear them) though hiking boots are acceptable.
I actually lost a "Baby tooth" when I was 34 years old and the "adult tooth" started growing through at that time but then kinda just stopped in mid stride. I mean, who loses baby teeth at THAT age! Finally in October 2015 I got a bridge installed to fill in the space.
I'm very nostalgic when it comes to science fiction fandom of the 1980s. In fact I can recall events from that era better than anything that might've happened in recent years. As a result of this I've written the 'History of' articles for both the fan clubs Austrek and Star Walking Inc.
My bedside alarm clock is deliberately set 30 minutes fast. The idea is that when I wake up in the morning, the ol' noggin will become active quicker if it has to decipher what the real time is (sounds good in theory at least).
As a proud Australian, it's funny that I loathe Vegemite, Australian TV shows and most Australian films.
I don't wear a watch, and yet I'm more punctual than most people who do wear one. Funnily enough I'm a huge fan of Tag Heuer watches, but if I ever owned one I probably wouldn't wear it that often due to their high price.
It can take me ages to buy things (clothes, appliances, etc), but once done, I'll usually own these things for years/decades.
For years and years I only ever wore plain black clothes, especially at work. Then one day I had an urge to change my image by buying clothing in different colours. Now I don't mind wearing colours at all.
It might be hard to believe but from the late 1990s until I left at the end of 2017, I would drive to Toyota in the morning and have a snooze in the car, I even had a special pillow for it and everything. My sleep would last until exactly 7:48am where I would wake up thanks to my phone alarm and walk into the office just before 8am. It was particularly great in Winter when the car was so warm and cozy after having the heater on. However, sometimes my little snooze would become the full REM hardcore sleep and on occasions I'd wake up in fright not knowing where I was.
I always wear sunglasses (aka cools) when outside during the daytime - even on cloudy days. Due to my light coloured eyes, natural daylight is really uncomfortable for me without my cools on. The unexpected benefit of this is I don't have any 'crows feet' around my eyes despite being over 50 years old.
I own a couple of science fiction costumes made in the mid to late 1980's and not only do they still fit, but I still wear the Star Wars one in promotions!
I really hate using telephones so don't ever expect me to ring anyone.
I used to hate eating vegetables until I started making my own pasta sauces, rice sauces and soups which are nothing but vegetables - this was back in my 'I'm single and I can't cook' days. These days of course I eat all my veggies thanks to Lynne's wonderful meals. :)
Discovering that skim milk was better on cereal than full cream milk. I never considered using skim milk on the most important meal of the day (it gave me shivers just thinking about it). Now, using full cream milk is like drinking cement.
I once had a reputation for being the last person to ever leave a party. My record is 10:30am (when the party started at 7pm the night before) and that's without going to bed! Next to this was an 8am departure from a party after everyone else fell asleep. What can I say, I never liked to leave parties until they were officially "finished". Party, party, party!!! That's my motto.
I have no tolerance for people who drive their cars at night without their headlights on! If it was up to me I'd cancel their licence straight away, the same for people who turn corners or change lanes without indicating. Assholes!!!
Yes it is a known fact that during my employment years I always took holidays to watch the Summer Olympic Games on TV. My holidays consisted of a three week break - two weeks to watch the games, one week to recover (and boy did I need it). When the Games are on I will devote practically every waking moment to watching the sports and because I don't have Foxtel it was just good ol' free-to-air. If I do go out somewhere, I will look for a TV to keep up with the latest updates - even at restaurants. Yes I will admit that by the end I do start to go a bit stir crazy and Lynne certainly loses her enthusiasm for it too. I also do the same for the Winter Olympics but they usually don't get the same amount of TV coverage. But the cool thing is I watched every race Usain Bolt ever took part at the Olympics LIVE.
I have a fascination with customised car number plates and I don't know why. If I'm driving around and see a personalised plate, I always try to read it. In fact I even keep a listing of all the Sci-Fi ones I come across - here
My answering machine message once went like this (insert deep movie trailer type voice): "bah bah bahhhhh, in a world gone mad, only one Dag can save society as we know it. But he's too busy making a movie about it at the moment, so leave a message after the beep and pray that he's still out there, somewhere". So I guess it's no surprise that I came home one day and found I had 8 messages waiting for me. When I played them back the first message was a legitimate one from a business, yet the following 7 were all hang ups that took place AFTER the intro message had played. Upon ringing the company back the person said they enjoyed the message so much that each of their staff rang up in turn to have a listen.
I love empty space in my house. At one time or another I have had an empty kitchen cupboard, an empty drawer in my kitchen and tall boy. I also had heaps of empty cupboard and drawer space in my ensuite vanity and, get this, I once had a totally empty spare room - just four walls and NOTHING ELSE! I thought that was mega cool. Alas everything changed when Lynne moved in, now we don't have enough room. LOL
I don't drink or smoke (well some would say that's an unusual quirk). In fact I gave up one of my biggest vices years ago - Coka Cola and all forms of soft drink, who would've thought it possible! In fact my Coke drinking at parties became so legendary someone would just hand me a glass of the ol' Black Death before I'd even asked for it.
|Dream job||To be a film director/film maker would be
nice. Speaking of which, have a squiz at this Darren Maxwell Films
I've also worked on a number of other productions as well. To see my complete production CV click here
|Memorable moments||From most recent to the oldest.
Way back in 2014 I was approached by a Sydney film maker who was keen to make a video documentary about my Batman collection which included my fandom and film making history. Well after years of being in production, the film Batman and Me was finally finished and premiered at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival the end of June 2020.
What is particularly significant is the film is a fantastic time capsule of my Batman collecting years and how it once looked all setup in the room.
In April 2020 I created and hosted a live online Facebook show with MPS and Geoffro called Talk Nerdy To Me when the Covid-19 crisis kept everyone in lockdown. Even though our show was pretty small we had a few dedicated viewers who would tune in each week. Well one of them enjoyed the show so much she made all three of us a special award.
It took a while to get it going, but in 2019 I produced 25 episodes of my own online webseries called Sci-Fi Zone which I was pretty happy about. It was good to finally get some of that nerdy knowledge out of my head and onto the screen.
Not only was winning Family Feud again in 2017 a blast, but we all scored a free trip to the USA from it!
Being made a Life Member of Austrek in 2016. After being a part of the community for 32 years (at that point) and knowing more about the club's history than anyone else, I was rapt to be awarded with this honour. Naturally I'm still a part of the club and continue to attend their events.
Standing on the apartment balcony of a cruise ship in New Zealand looking down at the people on the dock. For decades I would be the person on the dock looking up at these people in envy wondering "how did they get there?" Finally the situation was reversed which was immensely satisfying.
Hanging out at a pub with all my buddies. I organised a Bucks Night for a mate's wedding in 2007 and he wanted to start off with a get together at the Elephant and Wheelbarrow pub in the city in the afternoon. As a non drinker I don't go to these venues but when we were all together, laughing, joking and eating lotsa hot chips, it was a blast of a good time.
Having a ride in a super stretched limo that was soooo long the rego plate had it listed as an 'Accredited Bus'. The event was a friend's wedding of which I was Best Man. The trip involved drinking Coka Cola out of champagne glass as we cruised around the City and up Lygon St having a great time cracking jokes and singing songs on the radio. Absolutely fantastic.
Being a part of the Star Wars team for Bert's Family Feud in October 2008. Our Star Wars team took on a Star Trek team and it was the most amount of fun you could imagine - what helped is that our team won! It was great for us as we were all playing for charity so there was no pressure, moreover, our Star Trek opponents were all great friends of ours so there was no way we weren't going to enjoy ourselves. Loved every minute of it.
Spending a weekend veggin' in front of the telly. Sure it's sad to have this classed as a memorable event, but if you know the busy social life I used to lead, then you'll know this was indeed a luxury. On top of that, one entire day was spent watching a 14 episode 3rd season marathon of Deep Space Nine on Foxtel at a friend's place. Sure I might be a nerd, but on that day, I was a very happy nerd.
For two decades I was renouned for always being the last person to leave a party, what can I say except I liked to party on to the very end. Well in 2006 I attended a 40th birthday bash after completing a gruelling all day shoot for one of my films (Continuity) and was totally stuffed. Finally at 11pm I just couldn't go on anymore and opted to leave. Well people were so shocked at my impending early departure they actually took photos of me with clocks in them showing the early time for prosperity! LOL
Getting a surprise birthday party for my 39th birthday in 2006. Yep I walked through the door into darkness and got met with a chorus of SURPRISE!
In around 2005 one of our friends organised a luncheon at this fancy city restaurant which was so popular you had to book a table six months in advance. So after waiting for what seemed like forever, our lunch date finally came around and when our group of 10 rocked up, they put us in our own fancy room with our own dedicated waiter. Now it was already a buzz just being there, but we had a fantastic time because the food was excellent and the company (all of us being jovial Sci-Fi fans) was great. Even though it was one of the most expensive meals I've ever had - especially for a cheapskate like me - it was worth every penny just for the experience. What a great day!
Halo 2, later to become Call of Duty 2 then Call of Duty 4, Xbox nights with the lads at Adam and Cheryl's. Big screen, big sound, great games, great company, lotsa Coka Cola, lotsa chocolate and lotsa killin'. I tell ya, who could ask for more!
Now I admit from the outset I can't cook and to be honest I don't want to know how to cook, but believe it or not I HAVE actually cooked a large meal for two dinner parties (around 10 x people each). Sure it was the same meal on both occasions but I did it all myself. So what was the meal? Well I once learned how to make my own vegetable pasta sauce so that was on the menu and can you believe on both occasions it went down a treat.
Starting off my brand new DVD collection with a $20 purchase of Plan 9 From Outer Space - well you've gotta start with something good enough that all your other purchases will be judged by! Speaking of which, be sure to check out my classic film collection
My best mate Geoffro getting married (when Lake Wendouree still had water in it)
The Sydney bus trip from 2002. A large group of us hired a couple of mini-buses and headed up to Sydney for the Star Wars Magic of Myth exhibition/Jedi Con. Honestly, we were high on Coka Cola, energy drinks and chocolate for both the trip up and back, eventually my voice gave up from all the laughing. It was definitely one of those "you had to be there moments" and fortunately a good portion of the trip was captured on a number of video cameras with night vision.
Seeing in the year 2000. I can honestly tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing at the stroke of midnight. I thought the year 2000 was a great chance for the world to fix all its problems and start afresh in a new century/millennium, but alas that didn't happen. BUT I still collected a lot of 2000 mementos from that night which I still have.
Room 30 at the Force III hotel in 1999 which was party time central! We had such a good time that my girlfriend (who I met at the con) and myself went back to the hotel exactly one year later to celebrate our anniversary in the same room.
Becoming immersed in the world of Internet chat rooms throughout the mid to late '90s. I made many wonderful "on screen" friends from North America at A Chat Place (part of Earthweb), and it was really disheartening to see it eventually close down because I effectively lost all my online friends overnight - one day they just weren't there anymore.
The room party at Force II in 1997 with the NSW Star Wars fans. This was a major nerdfest night where we actually had a "nerd off" contest whereby PJ and I took on the NSW guys to see who knew the most Star Wars trivia - I reckon we won that one easy. As a Star Wars fan it was a truly joyous night.
Being an integral part of the successful Star Wars 20th Anniversary Celebration Banquet in 1997 which was held in an aircraft hanger due to the scale of the event! In fact I defy any other Australian sci-fi banquet to top the scale and quality of that night. As it turned out even the Star Wars 30th and 40th Anniversary Celebration Banquets held in 2007 and 2017 respectively (also run by us) didn't come close to it.
I was at work one time in the 1990s visiting a customer and noticed as I was leaving a group of people were trying to get a Mainframe emulator to run on a PC, and as I had 'some' experience setting these up I opted to help them out. So I sat down and started clicking icons, adding IP address strings and doing all this other stuff whilst they stood there bewildered watching me in action. Now because they WERE watching so intentely I was absolutely certain it wasn't going to work which would've been massively embarrassing. So with my breath held, I clicked the application icon and TA DA I got the login screen! I then left them with a "my work here is done!" attitude and felt like the world's best PC engineer which put me on a high for the rest of the day.
In 1996 we held our first ever Sydney Skyforce social club meeting which was a phenomenal success with nearly 300 people turning up. Afterwards our Melbourne contingent/support staff and Sydney helpers (around 25 people in total) went out to dinner to celebrate. We ended up at this little pizza joint who connected all their tables together so we were the only people in the place. After having such a great day and being blissfully high on our success, the dinner was a fantastic night full of fun and I don't think I could've loved Star Wars or our club anymore than I did that night.
Somewhere in the mid 1990s I attended a professional movie poster auction where I actually registered as a bidder - the first and only time I've ever done this in any auction. The thing is I was only interested in one item, an original 1966 Australian Batman The Movie movie poster. Now all I had on me was $50 and after waiting for what seemed like hours for this item to appear, finally with my precious numbered card in hand the poster was announced. Now with no word of exaggeration, in the milliseconds it took for the auctioneer to say the reserve was "$50" and for my brain to process "hey that's all I've got", a million cards went up and within seconds the price was like $160 or thereabouts. So I never got to raise my bidding card even once after waiting all that time. As a sad PS to this, the guy who bought the poster was sittiing on a chair right in front of me!
Being told by the Toyota HR department in the mid 1990s that I got the job I applied for in the computer department after beating 16 other applicants, despite only having 8 months of theoretical knowledge on PCs. Prior to this I was a security officer at Toyota for six years, talk about a significant career change.
During Easter in 1995 Star Walking Inc. ran its first solely Star Wars themed convention called Force I. With four days up our sleeve we spent all of Good Friday setting everything up, whereby due to the excitement of the impending event we had over 30 extra people at the venue volunteering to help out. One of my main jobs was to assemble all the AV gear in the main programme room when I saw three of the volunteers, all from different states in Australia, talking about Star Wars comics. As they conversed I stopped what I was doing and just watched them because these guys had only just met for the first time, right here, right now, which in turn meant new friendships were forming right before my eyes - and the convention hadn't even officially started yet! Watching the three of them just made me realise how great the Star Wars community truly was and how important it was for me to continue my role as a club/convention organiser within it. Since then of course our social club has been responsible for many friendships, relationships and even marriages (with kids). For myself I finally retired from the committee in October 2011 after 23 years of service ... only to return for a second stint from 2013-2017.
Doing some live singing acts with Geoffro in the 1990s, including our version of the Monster Mash, the 13 Days of Halloween (effectively the 12 Days of Christmas but with a sci-fi theme) ...
... and the now famous Elvis Brothers where we sang "Are you Lonesome Tonight" whilst being bombarded with tons of never ending streamers from the audience. It was a crack up especially as we just kept right on singing ... badly.
Discovering personal computers: I once went past a computer store in the early 1990s which had this text advertised in the front window "486DX6616MbRAM101K/B200MbHDD" and I actually KNEW what all that meant! Eventually I would work in the IT industry for over 20 years.
Creating an 'instant panel' with Geoffro in an empty panel room at a 1994 sci-fi convention one day, we finished with an audience of 16 people who came to watch us yapping away not realising we were just making stuff up as we went along.
Going to America and visiting Skywalker Ranch in 1993. This is our group out the front of the Main House - I'm second from the left (George Lucas' office is top right).
Getting the 5th highest score on Steve Sansweets (the worlds largest Star Wars collector) Star Wars pinball machine. I took a photo of my name up in lights and everything!
Buying an unpackaged Batman collectable whilst in the US, only to discover when I got home that I already had one "mint in packet" on display in my bookshelf. Doh!
And yet another great US story. On this particular day our host invited one of our four guys and myself to an outdoor movie screening in a park on the other side of San Francisco Bay. Unfortunately when it finished we needed to be driven back to our hotel in the city, but our host only had a two seater car and there were three of us! So what to do? Fortunately our host owned a Mazda MX 5 convertable so with my buddy in the passenger seat, I sat on his lap and it was just soooo lucky the roof came off because my chest and head were above the roof line. Sure enough we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge like this with me in the open air doing what in four years time would be classed as my best "King of the World" impersonation. The really funny thing is the dude taking our toll money didn't even give us a second glance, yep, it was just another Saturday night in San Fran!
I went to a guy's 21st party where a pool table was setup in the loungeroom. Towards the end of the night three guys and myself started playing a few games ... and kept going until 10:30am the following morning. It was funny seeing the hosts go to bed, only to wake up in the morning to see us still playing. We knew it was getting late when we could suddenly see chairs and tables through the outside windows that were previously all dark. Funnily enough that guy reconnected with me in 2018 after not seeing him for 25 years.
All the parties (mostly in the the 80s and 90s) where I enjoyed fantastic indepth science fiction discussions. These usually occurred late at night when things were quiet, people were relaxed and the real nerd in me rose to the surface.
Going to Adelaide in October 1987 to celebrate Star Wars turning 10 (Australian release). A bunch of us drove a Tarago over to SA and had a really wonderful time with our fantastic Adelaide hosts. The funny part was us driving to the venue for the banquet and getting lost. We kept doing U turns everywhere as everyone in the Tarago kept saying "turn here, turn there" to our poor, hapless driver who was one of our group. As the locals looked on in astonishment all we could do was yell out the window "it's OK, we're from Victoria!"
Back in the 1980s, the Star Trek club I was a member of had a costumed ten pin bowling night at the old Southern Cross Hotel where I got dressed as the Grim Reaper. This meant I had to bowl with a restrictive skull mask on and even though I couldn't see properly I still got a few strikes and even won a game or two.
Visiting a local amateur theatre group called Starforce back in October 1984 and discovering the science fiction fan community (fandom). As soon as I walked in the door I knew immediately this was the "social scene" for me ... and after 35 years I'm still a part of it. I enjoyed Starforce so much I ended up becoming its longest active member by serving in four of the group's five years of operation. I even have a few of our last performances on video for prosperity.
Seeing a preview screening of Return of the Jedi on August 14 1983, two months before its official premiere. I had front row seats and sat right in the middle - just what any sixteen year old kid would want. Mega awesome!
Seeing Star Wars for the first time in 1977. I was 10 years old when my mother took me to the cinema - Hoyts Cinema Centre #1 which remained the home of Star Wars films right up to Revenge of the Sith in 2005. Luckily for us we were able to get the very last tickets for the evening screening, where I can recall with vivid clarity how we were the final people to enter the sold out cinema and were seated in the very back row with the brick wall behind us. As they were trying to rush through as many screenings as possible in a day, the lights suddenly went out, the curtains opened and off we went. No trailers, no shorts, nothing. It's hard to believe how my entire social life and my future was put on a new path barely two hours later.
|Sporting moments||In the late 1990s I played indoor cricket
for around 4 seasons including two losing grand finals.
In 1987 I competed in one season of competition ten pin bowling where my team of two, which I called Sardaukar from Dune, came second overall - allowing for handicaps. Currently my highest bowling score is 207.
Won first place (yep, even got the trophies) in four go-karting tournaments - one of which was on a wet track. I also had quite a number of second places as well. So heaps of podium finishes.
I played Volleyball with a team from work for a season, but I wasn't keen to keep it up when the official sign-in form had a clause on the back stating "you could be injured or KILLED playing Volleyball". Yep that was it for me, see ya guys.
In the late 90s a mate and I teamed up against all these challengers in a pool competition at a pub. As we were both sober, we easily beat all our competition to the point where opposition teams were lining up to take us on. I suspect we must've been there for over four hours winning well in excess of 20 games before we were eventually defeated. Since the challenging team always pays for the game, the end result meant that bar our very first game when we were classed as challengers, we never forked out another cent for all this great entertainment.
I have a reasonably high success rate of winning games at air hockey.
I was the overall winner in a poker session one night at a friend's place. Now I'm not a big poker player at the best of times but on this one occasion I cleaned up. So what prize did I take away as my booty? A basket of chocolate. Yeah baby!
I could never get into the Customisable Card Games that were released for Star Trek and Star Wars in the 90s, but a friend of mine did. He taught me how to play the Star Wars one and using his cards we played a game ... and I won! I then made a point of never playing the game again so I could proudly announce how I've NEVER been beaten in a Star Wars CCG game - a perfect 100% winning record. LOL
Played a round of Fuseball (table soccer) with a mate of mine. It was only a "best out of three" match but it had the intensity of the World Cup because we were so evenly matched, even if our skills were of a low standard. Eventually I came out triumphant 2 games to 1 - talk about mega tension!
I never play any game for money, but on one occasion when I was Ten Pin Bowling with friends, $5 was put in for me. The winner was the person with the highest score over three games and sure enough that was me. Yep, I was suddenly $35 richer.
But not all of my sporting moments are positive ones...
I once played Backgammon with a friend of mine back in the 90s and I suffered the worst defeat in a Backgammon game you can imagine. I didn't get ANY of my pieces from my home side over to the board next to it until she had already won. I have never played Backgammon since then and never will.
I once played a game of Monopoly with my girlfriend at the time and when we started she kept getting double 6's on the dice and I kept getting 1's. So by the time I completed my first lap of the board to collect $200 she was already well into her third lap buying up most of the property - and guess who kept landing on her joints! Yep we played right to the VERY end where she owned the entire board and I can't tell you how depressing Monopoly can be when you lose like that with no hope of winning. Geez I was annoyed.
In 2011 I had a Ten Pin Bowling night with some friends where I won the first game easily enough with 145 points, but in the second game - for no reason I can understand - I not only came last, but I only scored 92 points which is the first time I've scored less than 100 in decades! Ironically this was the same night Roger Federer got done in the Aussie Open semi-final in straight sets so maybe it was simply a night for regular winners to lose ... badly.
|Computer gaming moments (including arcade games)||Highest score on
the original arcade version of Asteroids 142,000
(I clocked the machine back to 0) although no one
was there to witness it
I once got 60,000 on Asteroids with my FIRST ship so I had around 8 spare ships in standby (you shoulda seen 'em all lined up at the top!). I got so excited about the possibility of getting a super new high score I lost all of them by the time I got to 98,000. Doh!
Being short of money for two player pinball, my friend and I opted to play the KISS pinball machine using one flipper each. Believe it or not we won around 30 free games in total and were there for hours using the same winning technique. The KISS gods were obviously smiling at us. :)
I once clocked the old Empire Strikes Back pinball machine which was pretty groovy
I scored a free game the very first time I ever played the Star Wars Trilogy pinball machine
I've won numerous free games on the Star Wars Classic pinball machine, including getting the 5th highest score on Steve Sansweet's machine - see photo above - which goes to prove I can conquer any Star Wars pinball. Just to emphasise this point further, here's another high score I got on yet another Star Wars pinball!
I once clocked the old Dracula pinball machine
I once got a super duper high score on Star Trek: The Next Generation pinball machine and I even had a witness watching the magic unfold. When the game was finally over the girl watching actually said "now that was impressive."
I once took on two opponents (the assholes quietly allied together and ganged up on me) in a Red Alert PC network game and I beat both of them! Yeah take that!
One time at Adam and Cheryl's I took on a bunch of 17 year old kids in a Call of Duty 2 Xbox marathon and just wiped the floor with them! I beat them game after game and all they could do was moan "Daaaags!" every time I blew one of them away. Absolutely loved it!
I once had a very high success rate when playing Xbox games (Halo 2 and Call of Duty 2 mainly) at Adam and Cheryl's place - I probably had a 92-95% victory ratio between 2005-2007. Unfortunately my winning streak with newer release Call of Duty games isn't as common as it used to be as I'm now usually in the top three or four in our group of six.
Speaking of Xbox nights, we had a big Call of Duty 2 session at Adam and Cheryl's once. What was intended to be a top night for The Dags suddenly turned into major concern as I discovered I'd left my glasses at home. Knowing I would have major problems looking at the big screen, I got Adam to make me an impromptu eye patch for my weak left eye. Well guess what happened! Even with restricted vision (only one eye with no glasses) I still beat everyone LOL
|Acting and Film Making achievements||Although I'm not
widely regarded as a good actor, I have nevertheless
managed to pop up in a few short film productions here
Bounty Trail. I only got this role because the other actor didn't fit into the costume ... which was mine
Cold Patrol. I played a Rebel trooper extra in this along with various dead bodies
Jedi Heritage. It was good to be back as my usual Imperial self in this film. Not only did I have a couple of lines but I even got a close up which I have to thank the director for ... hang on that was me! LOL
Master Race From Outer Space. I was an extra in a non speaking role as my sequences were in a "silent film" part of the movie
7th Victim. My first lead role in a drama with lotsa dialogue and I even got to KISS the girl! To see the film, click here
Continuity. I'm only bit part player in this 'cause the director was an ass! Hang on that was me! LOL. To see the film, click here
Checkpoint. My second lead role in a drama, unfortunately despite my best efforts I concede my acting was pretty terrible, click here
Oneself, Oneself Two, Oneself Three. All of these feature myself ... and no one else! To see the films:
Despite not having acted in many films, I've worked on a number of them (including my own). Refer to my production CV - here
|Other achievements||I once painted a Star Wars mural on my high
school wall and after 30 years it's still there (click on
the link to discover its history)
Owning the car number plates SITH and SITH 2 which I'm pretty happy to have
From the early 90s I've had a jacket which is adorned with sci-fi related patches, it's featured at the top of the page but has been extensively modified since then. Every patch I've sewn on by myself and I'm pretty proud of how it has turned out. On top of this, there must be a couple of hundred bucks worth of patches on it. See here for more information and updated photos.
I was given a THX cap when I was at Skywalker Ranch back in 1993. To this day that cap is still my favourite. Sure it's old, weather beaten and worn out, but it still gets used when needed - the most recent time being April 2020.
Aside from appearing in two versions of the game show Family Feud, I also appeared as a Star Wars character in the TV game show 1 vs 100, although I got punted out of that pretty quickly.
|Other (left over) interests||Model railroads
Cars and car racing
The History Channel on Foxtel
The TCM channel on Foxtel - when it was in operation
|Fandom Achievements||I've been in the sci-fi fan community
since 1984 and in that time have helped organise a number
of conventions, banquets and other special events.
If you want to see a detailed list of what I've been involved in, just click on the link Been there done that
But just to highlight a couple of points.
I co founded the National Star Wars club Star Walking Inc. and served on the committee for 23 years (1988-2011). I then returned in 2013 for another stint (2013-2017), making my total contribution to the club 27 years.
I ran three science fiction conventions which were rather successful. If you want to learn more about them here are the links:
Con 9 From Outer Space in 2012,
I became the editor of the Star Walking Inc. newsletter (The Force) which I converted into a full colour, digital-only production. For almost three years I pumped out an issue every month (bar one month) even when I was on holidays or running one of my conventions. Of particular significance is I wrote over 99% of the material in it.
I was also one of four presenters and the audio editor of the Star Wars podcast Star Talking which ran for 42 episodes.
I also have a listing in Fancyclopedia 3 which is pretty groovy, but the thing is I didn't write it, someone else did! So maybe someone considers me to be a cool dude after all!!!
|Collections||You know the old scenario: a young guy
living at home gets a job and suddenly discovers the joys
of a disposable income. Well for me I fell into the
spending trap in a BIG way.
Batman merchandise (quick race me off to the Batman collection page!)
1984 Dune film merchandise. There wasnt much of it so it was easy to keep on top of. In May 2009 it was finally put on display in my home after being in storage for over 15 years.
Star Wars and Star Trek movie posters. I recently needed to move my poster tubes from one place to another and couldn't get over how many I had. In the end sold many posters off.
Sci-Fi movie soundtrack albums (LPs only). When CDs became the main music medium in the 90s the collection effectively came to a close, which is kind of handy because they're all stored in a large box which is damn heavy.
Various self adhesive stickers of all shapes and sizes. I've got heaps and heaps of 'em and not a single one has cost me a cent - donated, found, stolen, you name it, but never paid for!
Classic Sci-Fi movies and some TV series from before 1965 on DVD, some of which I still haven't seen yet! Check out the list here
|Costuming achievements||Won 1st prize at 1985 Austrek
Christmas party costume competition (Ringwraith)
Won Best Group (THX 1138 police robots) at Galactic Tours convention masquerade in 1986 with George Chouvardas
Won 1st prize at 1987 Austrek Christmas party costume competition (Stratiotis Apo Thanatos [Soldier of Death])
Won an award at Kinkon III costume parade in 1988 (Beast of the Imagination)
Won 2nd prize year 1988? Austrek Christmas party costume competition - called Flash
Won Best Group and Judges Choice Award at Star Walking The Convention masquerade in 1989 (Standartenfurhrer Vogel from Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade) with Chaela
Won 1st prize at 1990 Austrek Christmas party costume competition (interactive pirate ships with Geoffro)
|Food||Cadburys Chocolate, fettucine
cabonara pasta, fried rice (no seafood),
Hawaiian pizza with mushroom and onions
(nicknamed 'Hawaiian Premium') and Weeties
cereal (spot the odd one out of that group)
I discovered recently that all my favourite foods start with the letter "P":
BTW the chocolate reference includes Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Ice Cream, Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Topping, Chocolate Biscuits....Yeah baby!
Also anything made by Lynne is my favourite. :)
|Drink||Chocolate thick shake with extra
chocolate and skinny milk.
For decades Coka Cola was my drink of choice especially at parties, but in mid 2013 for no reason I can fathom I just stopped having it, along with all forms of soft drink.
Another Dag drink of choice is lime cordial and soda water. Ohhh yeah! It's nector of the Gods!
|Music artist||There's no one in particular, though I
collected a lot of Dire Straits albums
in the 80s with 'Alchemy' being my all time
favourite. I also enjoyed The Damned in
the early 90s thanks to the influence of my girlfriend at
I'm a huge fan of Jean Michel Jarre and will quite often pump the best of his stuff through the PC speakers at home when working.
I also really enjoy Australian rock music. Dragon, Cold Chisel, Midnight Oil, Australian Crawl, Divinyls, Skyhooks, Mondo Rock, AC/DC, The Church, The Angels, Icehouse, INXS, Mi Sex, Savage Garden, etc all easily as good as anything from overseas
|Sport||Formula One car racing -
the only sport in the world worth watching, I also really
like Formula E as well.
The Olympic Games - both Summer and Winter. When the Games are on TV, my life is effectively put on hold just so I can watch them.
Snooker - Only when it's played by the professionals (eg on shows like "Pot Black"). I can honestly watch game after game for hours.
AFL (including AFLW) Football - I've only been watching this regularly since 2009 (see story below). I won't go to a game in person but I really enjoy it on TV.
Other sports which grab my interest are the Le Mans 24 hours and Nurburgring 24 hour car races providing they are commentated by the Radio Le Mans Team - and yes I have watched whole races over a few days. The Indy 500 is another great car race to watch too.
Interestingly the one sport I really got attracted to in 2019 was US football/Gridiron. I found that once I had an understanding of the rules the sport became really enjoyable, though I tend to only watch College games rather than NFL as College games tend to have a raw and unpredictable nature about them being on an amateur level.
I am a Carlton supporter which is something I inherited from my parents, but I don't go to the games or anything. As it turns out every Carlton game I've ever attended in my life - which is only around six of them - Carlton has lost.
I actually lost interest in footy during the 1990s and the 2000s due to the massive changes that occured in the 1980s which I didn't agree with. However, I started getting back into the sport during the 2009 season and have really enjoyed watching matches on TV since.
In fact there was an occasion where I talked my other half out of going to see the 2009 Star Trek film on a Friday night because I wanted to stay home and watch the big Geelong/Footscray football match that was on at the time. It was at that point I realised I needed therapy! LOL
F40 and F50 - talk about
ultimate dream machines. I have a passion for Ferrari due
to their long involvment in Formula One
Ever see a Formula One car up close and personal? Very nice indeed. I think they were particularly beautiful in the early/mid 2000s
|Books||I havent read any for a long time
now as I don't like committing the time to reading them.
However, I enjoyed the Tom Clancy novel The Sum
of All Fears and Frank Herberts Dune
I also enjoyed the Legends of Dune novels The Butlerian Jihad, The Machine Crusade and The Battle of Corrin and thoroughly loved 'em, even if the body count was pretty high, and a tad gruesome at times. I also finished the Prequel to Dune trilogy House Atreides, House Harkonnen, House Corrino and they were excellent.
|Films||Classic (30s-60s) sci-fi films
- There's plenty of them out there that's for sure,
however The Day the Earth Stood Still and
Forbidden Planet top the list.
Dune (1984 version) - I only fell in love with this after I finished the book. The beginning really IS a very delicate time.
Tron - what would you give to herb around in a light cycle, tank or recogniser! Tron: Legacy was a magnificent sequel and in 3D just blew me away!
Dark City - not sure if I prefer the Director's cut over the theatrical release.
Star Wars - all of them (no surprise there I guess) though my personal favourite by far is the '77 version of A New Hope.
Batman Returns - sure some of the Penquin stuff at the end was really dumb but it was worth it just for the Catwoman/Batman sequences.
Contact - science vs religion, ya gotta love it for that reason alone.
The Thing (yes all three versions '51, '82, '11) - I actually call the '82 version the "doung doung" movie as all the music just goes "doung doung".
V for Vendetta - a brilliant film, worth it for the fact they don't take V's mask off.
War of the Worlds - the Tom Cruise version ... yes feel free to yell at me but I thought it was fantastic because for once the 'hero' of the film isn't a hero at all and is just a normal guy trying to protect his family.
Return of the Living Dead - I just love this film as expressed by the best line ever "I know you're up here because I can smell your brains!" and the equally memorable "I love you Tina and if you love me you'll let me eat your BRAINS!" Great stuff.
I, Robot - sure it's nothing like the books but who cares.
Cloverfield - absolutely outstanding and totally believable in every way. It had me hooked from the very beginning.
Spider-Man 2 - I liked the others but number 2 was simply fantastic because Dr Octopus wasn't a typical bad guy.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - I really loved the fact Koba from the apes started the war and it wasn't the humans who were the aggressors, talk about a total about face from the the usual humans vs 'whoever' scenario.
Casablanca - this is such a good movie in every sense and offers great repeat viewing. Funnily enough the movie makes you wish you were at Rick's Cafe in Casablanca yet all the characters in the film are wishing they were somewhere else.
Sleuth - a 1972 Michael Caine and Lawrence Oliver film that most people don't even remember (don't worry, I have it on DVD), but geez it was good.
District 9 - a brilliant film which turns the concept of racism back on itself being set in South Africa.
Lord of the Rings - as a trilogy of films they are just outstanding and get my vote as the best film trilogy ever made. I really appreciate how you can remove their start and end credits to create a perfectly seemless 12 hour film - using the Extended versions of course!
Yep, it's all about the cloak :)
|TV Shows||Original Twilight Zone
<insert "do de doo doo, do de doo doo's here>
M*A*S*H - my vote as the best TV show EVER made
Battle of the Planets - Zoltar and the Spectra troops were so mega cool
Babylon 5 - you knew once the Shadows were introduced it was gonna be awesome
Star Trek: The Next Generation - no wonder the Trek franchise went through the roof when this came out, though it only got really good from season 3 onwards
V: The Mini Series - as a sci-fi fan, how could you not enjoy this, though give the weekly series a miss as it was terrible
Batman: The Animated Series - I call this the definitive on-screen Batman
Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and Angel - good all round entertainment with some excellent character development
The new Battlestar Galactica Mini Series and TV Series which iIn my opinion it's the best Sci-Fi show ever made. In fact I call it the Babylon 5 of the 2000s and is my absolute favourite Sci-Fi TV show
I also really loved Caprica. It really worked for me in how they made a Sci-Fi TV show but removed all the typical Sci-Fi trappings (ie space ships, laser blasters, etc). Just pure drama all the way and the last 20 minutes of the final episode was a ripper.
The new version of V. I thought it was a really great and well thought out remake.
Gotham - sure Batman purists can't stand it, but I really liked how they tried to bring the Batman universe into a real world setting, plus the backstories of all the characters was fantastic.
As dorky as it sounds, I really got into Damages with Glenn Close and Rose Byrne though I haven't seen season 2
Other shows which appealed to me are the US version of House of Cards, The Blacklist and The Walking Dead. On top of this, Westworld really pushed my buttons even though it's so dramatically intense using a non linear storyline that it's not for everyone.
run to win. If I cant win then I wont
run!" - the dude from Chariots of Fire
"Well done Commander" - Khan from Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan
"Whoever said its not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game probably lost" - Unknown
"Will you play the Black Knight?" and "Challenge me!" - Black Knight pinball machine
"Dont fail me again, Admiral" - Uncle Darth from The Empire Strikes Back
"Winners never quit and quitters never win, but those who never win and never quit are idiots" - Despair.com, sure it's a bit harsh but geez it's funny
"Those who think they know everything are annoying to those who do" - Shane Morrissey
"Four things come not back: The spoken word, time past, the sped arrow, the neglected opportunity" - Unknown
"We learn something new every day, but sometimes what we learn today is that what we learnt yesterday ... was wrong" - Unknown
"Coming second makes you the first loser" - Shags
"Sack the juggler!" - My old mate Kenneth, this is used when someone breaks something after dropping it (plus it's a bit more humourous than the standard "Taxi!")
"Movin' and groovin', rockin' and rollin', twistin' and shoutin', gettin' down, doin' the do and partying hard." - a common Dags response when he's asked how he's feeling
Q: "how are you feeling?" A: "aww yeah, nothing that death wouldn't fix" - a classic Phil Mizzi response
"I'm so hungry I could eat the crotch out of a low flying duck" - Michael McGoldrick
"Morning" - said with an upbeat chirpy demeanour, "GET F***ED!" is the grouchy response - Rob Hamilton. This was used a lot on his film shoot Checkpoint where the day started with a gathering at his place at 5am, so when someone walked in and said a cheerful "morning" the response was pretty automatic
"Party, party, party!!!" - Dags
"I never met a sleep-in I didn't like" - Dags
"Never rely on the unreliable" - something Dags has learnt heaps of times from those who were a letdown
"I've got places to go, people to see, universes to conquer" - a common Dags response to questions along the lines of "why are you leaving?" when he's departing from somewhere
"They always come in twos" - when Dags sneezes he usually does so twice in succession which is when this quote gets spoken
"I'm just trying to sail the ship in a straight direction, but the rudder's broken, the propeller's going backwards, the masts are snapped, the sails are torn, the crew's abandoned ship and there are reefs ahead" - a traditional Dag response when asked how things are going at work
"You're on my Christmas card list" - a common Dags saying when someone does something special for him. The real joke here is that Dags doesn't actually send Christmas cards, but getting onto the list is a pretty significant achievement
"I'd love to but I'm trying to cut down" - a common Dags response when offered something he really doesn't want
"What a turtlehead!" - a typical Dags insult, often shortened to "What a Turtle"
"I've got this great idea for a film!" - a classic line used by Dags' film making buddies when anyone had an idea for a new film to make. Typically this line was used if the film was never going to be made or was intended as a joke.
"Look! I've got FAN CREDIBILITY!" - Danny Oz. 'Fan credibility' is a somewhat derogatory term for gaining weight, specifically around the waist. It derives from the idea that most Science Fiction fans don't exercise and therefore carry some excess around the middle.
"I'm hearing the call" - used when Dags wants to go to bed. The idea is that the bed is calling for him and we all know how much Dags loves his snooze time
"Do you know the song Video Killed the Radio Star? It says video killed the radio star, but DVD killed the video star, Blu-Ray killed the DVD star, online streaming killed the Blu-Ray star and yet radio is still going strong!" - used by Dags to highlight the irony of life and history.
"Duuuuuuude!" - this is squealed at the highest pitch Dags can muster and with decent volume as a form of greetings to his great mate MPS, it really works a treat in public places
"That's the second dumbest question I've heard all day" - used by Dags when someone asks him something stupid. For the joke to work the other person needs to innocently ask "if that's the second dumbest then what's the first?" and the automatic Dag response is "that one!"
"Party hard and rock on!", "Show no mercy to the dance floor!" - common Dags statements to anyone whose departing from his presence
"I don't know where he is, but I can tell you where he isn't" - a typical Dags statement when someone is looking for a person who isn't at their desk at work and they ask Dags if he knows where they are
"What a load of frogs" - Dags usually exclaims this in place of the more traditional bulls***
"I'm just contemplating the future of the universe" - A common Dags saying when he's about to have a 5 minute rest on the couch (which will end up being a two hour sleep), much to Lynne's chagrin
"It's going off like a fat kid at Christmas", "it's going off like grandma's undies on ANZAC Day" - Dags sayings for when something is going really good
"It's going down like an actress on the casting couch", "it's going down like a hooker on a bunch of midgets", "it's going down like the space shuttle on re entry" - various Dag responses when asked how food is tasting and it's really good
"Nerds of the world UNITE!" - Dags, this is usually exclaimed during nerdy Star Wars conversations
"Somethings are easier than others, but nothing is ever easy" - Dags refering to the process of film making
"Gurgling" - a term used by Dags when someone is speaking too much and not making any sense
"It's nothing that a can of spray paint wouldn't fix" - This is used by Dags whenever someone complains something is the wrong colour, no matter what it is - even food and drink
"I've got the thrillin' for some killin'" - Dags, when he's in the mood for some Xbox multiplayer shoot 'em up action
"And how do I know that? 'cause I'm a <loud> NERD!" - a common Dags statement after saying something really nerdy (usually obscure Star Wars trivia) at a Star Wars fan club meeting. Typically the crowd joins in for the loud NERD bit