Monday, May 31, 2010

Well I've started

I just guzzled the first of the mixed in powders to make me shit explosively. I did it to Flogging Molly's Worst Day since Yesterday. I felt I needed backing music to take my mind off the process.

The mixture tasted unpleasant. I don't understand how is it they fail to flavour these things, make them at least palatable. What if I chucked it up? I certainly feel like chucking up after I drank it.

At 6pm, over a period of an hour, I have to drink a litre of other mixture. I shudder to think what this will taste of.

The worst think I've had to imbibe as part of Mikey's Medical Malarkey was a horrid barium mixture that coated the inside of my stomach so they could see how surgery went. To make sure it painted the entire interior they stuck me in the equivalent of a paint mixing machine and shook me up and down.

Anyway, the entire process is fucked. I mean I have to do it, but I hate doing it. I hate medical tests. I loathe them. I hate surgery. I hate getting anesthetic. I hate being so fucking fubared that I have to endure this fucking crap all the fucking time. It sucks the wang.

I know, I know. I complain about my lot in life and compared to so many people that have it worse seems pretty feeble. But I'm not them. Their experiences are not mine. All I can do is compare my shitty crap with people around me that don't have that shitty crap and feel somewhat bitter that I have to deal with shit.

Perhaps it will all be worth it if they find something. But if they don't, then what? Is it being intake sensible for the rest of my life, nibbling a lettuce leaf like a scared rabbit lest I trigger abdominal pain events that leave me doubled over and breathless? I don't want to live like that.

I don't get to do that much. Please don't take delicious food away from me as well.

Pah, self-indulgent misery. Just pissed off. I'm sure by tomorrow I will be blithely discussing hilarious tales of my drenching the arse of my girl's PJs with a thin patina of poo water or something. But for now, now I am going to wrap myself in pity and likely blub a bit when that disgusting concoction I just drank causes all guns to blaze in the colon department.

UPDATE: I've just crapped water for the fourth time in twenty minutes. It's an odd sensation shooting poo water out. Same muscles are used as normal, it's just that it's almost total water coming out. I haven't been this cleaned out since last time I had the snake. So, HM, shouldn't you have reduced gut pain? Well you'd think so, except I don't. Pain is still there. But chances are it's pain from spasming tubes as the chemical laced water pours through. Hooray!

UPDATE2: I just enjoyed the wonderful experience of crapping poo water in the shower. Fortunately it was all water and I was able to take the flexi-hose off the wall and spray it around the tiles to ensure all splatter was cleaned away. Awesome. Also, turns out my ring is chaffed to shreds and the mere kiss of soapy water on the area was enough to make me squeal in the manner of someone being a grievously assaulted by a hill person. Hooray! Many hats in the air.

UPDATE3: I sneezed...

UPDATE4: ... twice ... lucky I did a couple of loads of washing on the weekend.

Poverty is also a mutha

Creativity is spurred by many things, such as poverty or restriction. Making use of the things that you have etc.

On day one of Operation Double Snaking I was reduced to eating an array of specific foods that were basically white foods - white bread, boiled rice, and so forth.

As I scanned the list of ingredients certain items popped out in the 'yes we can' category.

Eggs, cheese, white bread. I had that for breakfast.

As dinner rolled around I remembered the dish rarebit - which is essentially cheese and milk mooshed into a paste and spread over toast and grilled. Quite nice. So I put on my investigating shoes and, thanks to google found a recipe attributed to the late Keith Floyd. Apparently the proper recipe involved the yolk of an egg and wostershire sauce.

So ... I adapted, I overcome. I changed the recipe and created this ...

Cream, yolk of an egg, grated cheese and a liberal dose of Paul Newman's South Wester Sauce.

I spread this mixture over three pieces of precooked toast and into the griller they went.

I don't mind saying, I thought this experiment would result in inedible sludge. But after some hard core grilling the sludge settled into a soft taffy like goo and turned golden brown. The toast beneath was infused with the mixture and was yielding to my fork like a horny milk maid.

It was delicious. Delicious I tells you. So much so I texted the tale of my culinary triumph to theWife.

I can cook like three recipes. So now I have added a fourth.

At this rate, by the time I am in my near Winter years I will be able to tell my caring robot how to make at least a dozen delish dishes.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

They said you'd never make it...

In Canberra we have a frozen custard store called Goodberries. It's called a bunch of other names as well because the original company went bust and the franchises split into their own entities.

I wonder if they have match ups in a deserted custard warehouse estate ala the between network showdown that happened on Anchorman?

Anyway, the frozen custard is delish. And filling.

I always get Vanilla with Dime Bar and Flake.

The large frozen custard is about 600 mls I think in volume. Thick, gooey vanilla custard that tastes ... tastes what an angel's cloud might taste of were it rendered into a frozen custard form.

I am at the start of a two day fast before my double snaking. Now the preparation for day 1 didn't say I couldn't have frozen custard. It did say 'plain yogurt' so I took the logical extrapolation that's what's good for Yog is good enough for FC.

So today, for day 1 of the fast where white only foods can be eaten, I elected to get a large vanilla concrete. So called I assume because when the frozen custard sluices out of the machine it looks like concrete coming out of the mixer.

Then I elected to order another one.

It has been 10 hours since they were ordered. I have just finished number 2. I nuked it for 40 seconds to make it like a drink.

I accomplished a miracle of consumption. Go me!

Of course over the next 24 hours I am about to shit it all out, but still, it was nice going in.

Finally those capitalist pigs will pay for their crimes comrade, eh? Eh?

The public service is in a constant state of reform. We're like a maintained website or a living organism that mutates or evolves. Actually devolves in some cases given its tendency to swing from being pro-contractor, anti worker then vice-versa.

Since I've joined I think my agency has been in reform the entire time. Under different names of course. X review, Y reform program, Z efficiency study.

Being a worker it usually has a minimal impact. I just get on with my job and do it and hope 'insert reform process here' doesn't fuck me around.

However, now and then, the reform process intrudes on me in that I get asked for my opinion. I even have to participate in off-site naval gazing. Who are we? What is our function? Who are our clients? Why do we serve?

This participation was recently forced upon me.

For once, I got into it. I got to meet a bunch of non national types and talk to them about what they did and learned heaps about what we do, the clients we serve, our function and yes, who we are. When personnel issues came up I even volunteered to be the group spokesperson.

I went total bolshie. I said we should have at our heart a staff welfare first model. Where numbers factor in conditions of service as a main priority. That we, the workers, who get asked to do so much have management make sure we're looked after.

I even actually have the leftist / black power "workers of the world, unite!" upward fist, said "right on" and referred to the assembled workshop peeps as "comrades". I took questions from management on what to do with workloads for the periods where they're under used (I said something about national IT infrastructure allowing redirecting of workload where the tasking could be done electronically) and costs and so forth. I responded that a happier workforce was more productive and therefore they'd get more out of the staff if conditions of service were met and enhanced.

Then I sat down, my heart-racing. Not only for talking a mile a minute and reduced intake of air, but because I'd unloaded a bunch of bolshie "right on, workers united will never be defeated" talk where managers were present.

Needless to say I wondered if I'd done myself a disservice by being so candid with constructive criticism.

Turns out, I hadn't. My boss passed on feedback from managers saying they appreciated my positive input. She said 'You know it's nice to hear talk like this. It makes you seem different to the person whose always talking about his bottom [hairiness, shape, ability to talk, values, production types etc.]''

'I know, ' I said. 'It's like I'm Jekyll and Hyde. Two different sides. That, or a centaur ... with an enormous arse.'

Thank-you, goodnight. Try the veal, tip your waitress...

Mikey leaves on a high note

George: Alright, well why don't we smooth the head down to nothing, stick a pumpkin under its arm and change the nameplate to Ichabod Crane?

TheWife often says I think I am in a sitcom. In that I deliver faux hilarious (self-perceived) lines after key moments as per would happen in TV land. Actually, not even key moments. Just any moment. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.

I share this delusion with George Costanza. In The Burning he admitted that he had a problem at work in that he'd deluge his co-workers with a series of bad puns that easily outweighed the few genuine laughs he got in. Jerry recommended to fix this that he, George, leave on a high note. In that once he got his big laugh George said 'thanks and goodnight' and left the room.

The above line was George's retort to a problem of a statue's head being damaged. Earning the big laugh George waved goodbye and left.

The other day I was back at the dentists. I too deluged my attendees with a series of poorly timed and delivered jokes and attempted witticisms that on occasion worked. Indeed the Dentist said I should do stand-up. A compliment I firmly assigned to the "being nice" category. That was after I said 'What happens at Dentist's conventions? I mean don't you know everything now about the teeth? Does someone ever stand up and say "Guess what? We found a new tooth. Turns out it was near the brain".'

Anyway after the filling I endured a far more painful procedure, the clean. Not only did I start the dentist's appointment with a litre of diet coke in me, forcing me to have a loo break midway, I confessed to the hygienist that I downed six plus cans a day.

She was horrified. Like Kurtz at the end of Apocalypse Now in horror.

'Aiyee,' she shrieked. 'That no good. The PH of coke very low. It wears away your enamel.'

Which is where the pain came in. Turns out the enamel of my teeth under the gum line wasn't all that thick. So when she used "the gouger", that's exactly what it felt like. I actually cried at one point and she kept having to pepper her polishing with apologies for causing me pain.

At one point, whilst remonstrating with me (I at least avoided the over-sized teeth + brush "how to brush properly" dental fucking school that I usually get), she held a vanity mirror up so I could see all the gunk in there.

I also noticed my nostrils were unusually hirsute. I try to keep the hair up there to not encroach beyond the interior but I must have let this slide of late. All I could think was that the poor dentists who'd given me a filling before had gotten an eyeful of disgusting snot forest.

On the way out the assistant from the filling was filling in at the reception counter. She organised my next filling, another cavity found during the clean. Remembering the mirror full of hairy horror that she'd seen during our tooth a tete, I felt I needed to tell her next time I'd take of it.

'Don't worry,' I said cheerily. 'I'll sort it out by next appointment. I'll make sure I give them a nasal Brazilian.'

She laughed, dare I note more than "just being polite", and with that I stepped out the door.

Thank-you, goodnight. Try the veal and tip your waitress.

I just did a nudey dance for my cat

He stared up at me, eyes narrowed with imperious impassivity, sitting nestled on the cushion of my arse warmed Dr Evil computer chair.

I'm not sure what he thought of my junk, swinging side to side like the stem on a bobbed for apple. I think maybe I'm just grateful said junk blended in with the bulk of my bod and he, the cat, decided against likening it to the near dead shredded bobble atop his cat scratching post.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sometimes I tell porkies by T Abbott, esq.

Tony Abbott has come out and said what most of us already know, that when people talk sometimes they talk shit. Tony said that, if it's in a speech or a policy document, then you know what, that's gospel. Outside that straitlaced wordy environment locked in a printed wordy matrix, then take it with a grain of salt.

You can see an ABC take on this here.

You know what? Kudos. He has admitted what most of us do. We embellish, we plead, we counter, we argue and so forth. And sometimes, in the heat of the moment, what we say may not be 100% accurate.

The only trouble is that Tony, and indeed all sides of politics, have been guilty of attacking their rivals over seemingly innocuous comments and blowing them out of all proportion. They all do it, and, to my lefty mind, conservatives are the biggest shockers at it. Remember Peter Garret getting blasted by the coalition during the 2007 election for his 'when we get in, we'll just change it all' joke to shock jock Steve Price? The coalition went absolutely bananas bonkers over that and jumped up and down and gibbered with froth that this "jocular statement" was indeed the Fabian society's equivalent of the freshly revealed Protocols of the Elder's of Zion world wide conspiracy to force socialism down the throats of one and all.

Naturally coalition types have been defending the Tonester's rare admission of reality. My favourite was from Joyce.

From the above link...

The man demoted by Mr Abbott for making too many gaffes, Senator Barnaby Joyce, also defended the Opposition Leader.

"What someone might say to their lover in the heat of passion is entirely different - or should be entirely different - to what you would say to the lady checking out your groceries at the supermarket," he told ABC New Radio's Marius Benson.

I heard this interview and, to his credit, Marius countered with 'I don't understand your analogy'.

I don't know about Joyce, but when I am in the throes of passion I like to blurt out supermarket themed love statements.

'Oh god, price check ... on ... tomatoes... bananas $6.99 a kilo ... oh god ... two loaves of Noble rise for $6, save $2.70 ... oh god, Oh God, OH GOD ... ahhh ....... ahhh ... ohh ... ah ... ... ... um ... clean up in aisle three...'

Thanks Barners for the great words.

UPDATE: I went looking to see if, at the time, Tony piped up about Peter Garrett and the Steve Price moment. While at the time Tony, as far as I can tell, didn't join the PM and others in denouncing Garret as some sort of communist agitator intent on bringing back collective farms, I found this on the Tonester's site where another sycophantic punter brought up the "change it all" line, and Tony then promptly thanked them for reminding him of it. Absolutely no remarks about 'look, heat of the moment etc' of course.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My boss was pwned, by rules and by action

WARNING: Nerd tales. If you don't know D&D 3.0 or 3.5 this won't make sense. It'd be like me reading about engines in a car magazine; 200CC engine equals a WTF? from me. So I am sure the following is of minimal interest to non pen and paper gamers.

I ran a one session Eberron session that featured a Necromancer as the boss (ie main villain, with a bunch of supporting henchmen in the form of monstrous skeletons). The necromancer was invisible (greater) for the entire fight which, in D&D3.5, makes for a much more challenging encounter.

I have a bunch of house rules that I use in the campaign; for example action points "recharge" to full at the start of each session (action points add 1d6 to a roll, 2d6 if level 8+, and a character has a finite amount that only recharges when they go up a level). Another is if a target takes half their hit points in a single hit then they have to make a fort save to avoid stun.

The necromancer got whacked with a shout spell, failed his safe and was deafened. He almost took half his hit points in that one hit. Ha, I noted gleefully, he nearly had to make a stun check.

At that point C pointed out the Necromancer's spectral hand, a glowing blue hand that allows him to deliver touch attacks at range, was in the blast zone. Now in retrospect I misread the rules and thought he took damage when the hand died - in fact he took that damage when he created it. But since I forgot to take that damage off when created it was only fair I stacked it on the Shout damage when the hand was blown away. This tipped him over the halfway mark and he failed his save and this meant he was stunned for a round.

Damn it. A wizard stunned for a round is in a bad position indeed. They stand there and gibber. And allow horrid players to go snicker snack.

Then, at the end of the fight, another house rule kicked in. Normally in 3.5 once you're under 0 hit points (how much damage you can take) you fall over unconscious. My house rule is a DC 15 Fort save lets you keep on trucking instead but you're at -4 to rolls and concentration checks needed for spells. Also, instead of auto dying at -10 you die when your death number is passed; which is negative number of the average of Strength and Constitution values (or -10, whichever is better)

The necromancer was on -11, still up, but on the cusp of death. He blew his teleport concentration check by 1 and started to flee by foot. Next round he'd was planning on turning to gas and fucking off. As an invisible creature he had a miss chance of 50%, meaning if hit he could negate the damage through a roll of 50 or less on percentile dice - which he managed to pull off several times in a row.

P had a solution to this invisible often missed nearly dead mage issue they faced. I have to admit it was a very neat idea.

P's character, a psionic warforged, had a power that allowed him to grow. Grow big. From 6 feet tall to 18 feet tall. By pumping extra power into it, instead of taking a standard action (you get one of these in a combat round), it was instant.

Falling prone is a free action.

So P's character became huge sized, 18 feet tall, then simply fell over ... onto the square where the invisible mage was. It wasn't an attack on the mage but the square he was in, so a miss chance wasn't granted, and the mage had to make a reflex save to avoid it. Even if he made the save, it was to reduce the damage by half. I ruled a 2000 pound warforged delivered a 3d6 damage spread to each square it landed on. Only 5 damage was dealt.

Only 1 was needed.

The most annoying thing out of it was, that while the mage went squish, all his stuff survived because it was hardy enough to resist the suddenly massive sized head dropping on top of it.

Damn you C and P! Damn you to hell!

Monday, May 17, 2010

1234 I declare a thumb war

At my work, and most govie departments, agencies, statutory offices et al, we have work specific thumbies. As in you can't just use any old thumbie.

My work bought a few and parceled them out.

Today I was burning some disks for a colleague off his thumbie. When I went to leave for the day I found the cap to mine was missing. I saw, on his desk, a loose cap. So I went over and checked.

I had no way of identifying his cap Vs mine.

So what did I do?

I smelled it. I don't know what I expected to find. A hint o'me? That my pocket fluff has a unique odor and his doesn't? I even considered smelling my thumb drive stick then the lid to see if they gave off the same "tinge".

Then logic kicked in and instead I scanned his desk to see his thumbie - with lid in place - and figured the simplest explanation was he gave me his thumbie sans lid and I returned it with mine on.

Still ... the sniffing to see if it's mine ... that was a weird first step I took for identification of my lid. I think I'll just put a little sticker on the inside for next time so I can tell at a glance and not rely on my nose.

Also, I have a reduced sense of smell. So why I would go down the twin olfactory route I have no idea.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tony was once a health minister

The Tonester has since said he will back the tax on cigs and efforts to force them to be treated like hard core hard copy p0rn. But in the initial glow of the government sternly raising cigs in an effort to A) increase revenue and B) use taxation of a noxious activity in order to induce less of it, Tony said a lot more.

That it was at its heart a Tax Grab.

"I'm not in the business of defending smoking, I want to make that absolutely clear, but I also want to make absolutely clear that this is not a health policy, this is a tax grab," Mr Abbott said of the tobacco tax increase in Sydney on Thursday.

"In fact it is a panic tax put in place by a government who's spending is out of control.

"The Rudd government is addicted to spending in the way that some people, sadly, are addicted to nicotine."

In response to changed packaging laws, Mr Abbott said he wanted to see evidence of its effectiveness in reducing smoking habits.

"It is interesting that he wants to put cigarettes in some kind of plain paper envelope, a bit like he wants to wrap up his emissions trading scheme, his big new tax on everything, in a kind of brown paper bag and hide it from the Australian people," Mr Abbott said.

"When I was the health minister we certainly supported graphic health warnings.

"The main thing is that this is a government which isn't fair dinkum about anything."

Great stuff. He used to be a health minister. In fact, here's what the National Tobacco Strategy, 2004-2009 -available on the health department website (Abbott was Minister of Health from 2003 to 2007) - said about taxation on cigs.

6.1.3 Regulation of Tobacco Tax

Taxes on tobacco products increase prices which helps to discourage consumption. The Government provides funding for anti-smoking programs from general revenue through the budget process.

Policy intention
To make tobacco products less affordable.

Evidence of effectiveness
Th e World Bank has concluded that raising tobacco taxes is the single most important step that governments can take to reduce smoking among both adults and young people, particularly in lower socio-economic groups[98]. On average, a 10% increase in the price of cigarettes results in a 4% reduction in smoking by adults and a 16% reduction in children, reducing overall tobacco use but increasing tobacco tax revenue[98]. However, any moves in Australia in this regard will need to be cognisant of the potential for illicit trade and would require further analysis. This would include, but not be limited to, the impact on consumption possibilities (e.g. price elasticities of demand, revenue effects, health effects); and distributional and equity considerations (e.g. would raising excise cause more harm to addicted smokers, who are disproportionately poor, than it would save in terms of preventing young people from smoking?).

Progress in Australia

Since 1983, the excise on tobacco products in Australia has risen in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The retail price of cigarettes has already increased in the last fi ve years through government action. Examination of A New Tax System documentation reveals that after the introduction of per stick excise and the application of GST, premium branded 25s were expected to rise by approximately 6.5%.
Increasing the price of tobacco products will decrease consumption more in low than in high income groups. Nevertheless, tax increases will cause financial stress for people on low incomes unable to quit: price increases would not be acceptable in the absence of greatly improved quality of, access to and affordability of treatment services and therapies (see Section 6.3).

This was just one of the measures from the strategy that were identified for the lowering of smoking rates. Sure, it has some negative side effects on low income punters, but then the positive side effect of not dying statistically far earlier for their giving up smoking probably balances it out.

Tony Abbott was the worst Health Minister I can recall since I gave a shit about politics some 20 odd years ago. This is a man who actually put politic point scoring ahead of the improved quality of life of Australians. Hell, lives of Australians.

I think he also wanked on at some point about how Obesity killed more people than smoking now anyway. Well, you have to eat to live Tony, some of eat more than we should. And only what 20% of Ozzers smoke but 60% of us are overweight for our age?

Yeah ... it probably does kill more. But as I recall Tony, you said that regs on junk food ads was not the way to go either.

Inevitably there will always be some people who are more susceptible than we would like to less-healthy messages, but that's life. The question is, what is a reasonable approach for a responsible government in a free and pluralist society to adopt? You know, I'm sure if I was to decide that particular media outlets, for argument’s sake, were more responsible and better than others, and to try to enhance them and diminish others, people would say that that was very unfair and was the kind of thing that was quite incompatible with the exercise of government authority in a free and democratic society.

Look, I'm a reluctant regulator. Regulation is something we do when absolutely necessary as a last resort, when there is a clear benefit, when the benefits of doing something fairly clearly outweigh the potential cost, including all the transitional costs, then you consider new governmental programs, new governmental regulations.

Look, the point I make is not that some people are influenced for ill by advertising, I don't deny that for a second. The point I make is that we've got to accept a certain amount of suboptimal outcomes because we live in a free society and, to some extent, people need to be able to make their own mistakes.

Actually, I agree with him on the last point. I don't think cigs should be illegal, but I recognise they're insidious and rather pointless at that as well, and I don't have a problem with a whacking great tax on them to encourage punters to give them up.

At any rate, Tony Abbott will say or do anything to succeed in politics. Even flying in the face of facts. But then, that's the right for you.

He could be our Prime Minister

I know I am late off the mark for this, since it was reported on the 10th, but still, it's worth mentioning now .

Fucking hell. After Turnbull was rolled he said Abbott told him RE Climate Science 'That I am a bit of a weather vane on this issue, mate'.

Weather vane? Mentally deficient more like.

Wiki's new look

I hate it.

I know, who am I to tell a bunch of volunteers who spend millions of man hours providing me free content on pretty much every subject ever and which represents the greatest website on the planet, that the new look for their beloved portal sucks?

Well ... it does. They moved the search bar to the top instead of the side. And, if I want to revert to the old way I have to create an account and log in to get that window back.

Not only am I a greedy user of others people's work who takes, takes, takes, but I am lazy. I clicked onto the page and they lost me at having four fields to fill out.

Fuck that shit.

PS Still hate it.

PPS Love wikipedia.

I will now ruin this song for you

Duran Duran are the classic 80's band. The voice, the look, the style, the genre. Powerful stuff.

Here's 'Girls On Film'

TheWife got theNoo some Bernstein Bears books the other day. I loved these books as a kid. When my mum did teacher training she even copied one of their books by hand, blowing up the size to A2 and scribing it on cardboard. I think the book is still in the roof at their place.

This is one of the books theWife got noodles.

Yep, when I read it, I sang it to 'Girls on film.'

Tonight as he was tootlin' off to bed he was singing 'bears ... on ... wheels'...

School memories

School was not that fun for me. Blessed with a grade f bod and grade d personality it was not a rock 'em sock 'em robot of an experience.

I was e-chattin' with a friend the other day and I remembered this particular nugget. My librarian was a bee-atch. Serious mega bee-atch. She fancied herself as something spectacular. She was not.

One of her tricks was to psychoanalyze students that crossed her path. In year 11 she once bailed me up and, with coffee mug in hand, proceed to talk about my serial habit of being a manipulator.

And what was it that sparked this j'accuse?

I'd asked to store my rather unfashionable yellow stack hat behind the counter because I was sick and tired of having to scrub dicks and balls off it that fuckwits had drawn on there with permanent marker.

Manipulator? Sure. If it meant 10 minutes less of the school day spent buffering protective head gear so badly drawn meat and two veg could be removed then yes, I was a manipulator. Thanks librarian.

She also had people with late books banned from school trips. And put up name shame posters featuring lists of book abusers around the school.

However, I should note that she did have health problems that could have exacerbated her ill disposition. In addition to a lung issue that required a respirator for bad days she had a mustache. Which, for a lady, is not a good look.

During the late 80's, West German army disposal Greatcoats were all the rage, especially during winter. One winter a guy called Troy sprayed the inside of his great coat with Brut 33, then followed the Librarian around whilst vigorously flapping his coat's sides in and out.

She had an attack and had to spend a couple of hours in her Darth Vader chamber re-charging.

In retrospect, 20 years on, I recognise this as a dangerous thing to have been done.

At the time I may have given Troy a high five.

Things not to say in the govie car on the way back from the off site meet

There were four of us.

During the meeting I'd noticed this for the first time then spent much of the meeting plucking at it.

In the car, after a frustrated attempt to address this latest biological error, I then said 'Man ... I have a really hairy ring finger.'

I think it was the combo of hairy and ring that sounded wrong.

Actually the use of finger following the hairy ring probably didn't help either.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lee Mack on Graham Norton

This was screened on ABC2 the other week. This bit made me laugh so hard that I nearly choked. John Cleese's reaction is just priceless.

See here.

Gaming naming fun

In our Eberron D&D3.5 game the lads seized an airship from world domination seeking evil doers The Emerald Claw. Thanks to a shady contact via the Captain whose life they spared, they had the airship 're-birthed' and now own it all legal like.

They decided to call it The Hindenburg. The airship also came with a skiff, essentially a flying speedboat. It too needed a new name.

I suggested the name 'Oh the humanity' but was shouted down in committee...

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Bath time with a two year old

I am a nervous nellie. I have partial OCD where I even put away sharp objects on the faint almost remote chance that I will pick it up in the night whilst sleep walking and attack people with it.

Yes, I really think that way. You're talking to a man that used to do laps of the kitchen table as a means to pass the time while his toast browned.

So when it comes to bath time I am seated on the robust little red chair that's a (Surname) family heirloom and over-sighting.

Actually nervous nellie status aside the recommended age kids can bathe by themselves is like five. So I am doing the expected OH&S level of oversight. A good thing too. A number of times he's stood up and nearly fallen were I not there to catch him.

Bath time is pretty kewl. TheNoo has a keen playful mind and puts his assorted bath toys to work entertaining him and me. There's dinosaurs that yell 'hello!' then hide under water forcing me to pitch the other dino over the top of the shower, which bounces off the wall and into the water, so it can search for its lost friend. There's the funnel duckie game where Mr Duck is out for a waddle and theNoo drags the filled funnel over to douse him causing Mr Duck to go duckshit on him and scream 'QUACKQUACKQUACKQUACK' and attack the funnel. There's the open mouthed fish that attempts to eat the other toys and who gets sent to time out - 'No fishie! Time-out!'.

Then there's bath art.

TheWife got TheNoo a series of bath crayons. They're pretty good, though getting the lids off is a tad annoying. TheNoo however press gangs me as the artist in bathroom residence and gets me to scribe pics on the side.

He lists the elements of the pic he'd like to see represented. Eg House ... door ... window ... short window ... chimney ... roof ... smoke. Then, when completed, with a cheeky grin on his face he fills a funnel (or inverts it and grabs a cup to tip water down the spout end) and washes the pic away while I howl in mock loss and suffering.

Other pics featured include a car (driven by a cat) and a cat itself ... whose tail gets confused for smoke because smoke is seen in the house pic and the car pics. So today he got a smoking cat after I convinced him the squiggly bit off its arse was the tail and that the cig dangling from the cat's whiskered mouth was where the smoke was now at.

Of course sometimes it's not a precision delivered amount of water via a funnel or small cup but a beach bucket worth that naturally sprays onto the floor and over my pants. This has lead to more than one costume change by me during bath time on account of being fairly well soaked.

TheWife gives theNoo a count down when it's near time to get out. 'Five minutes!' she'll shout. Then maybe 20 seconds later, as theNoo's concept of time is a tad rubbery, she will shout 'Four minutes'.

When time's up he pulls the plug up, usually when asked but always if you reach for it. Sometimes he will drag the water emptying time out by stuffing a flannel in the drain. When the water's mostly gone then he will stand up to be lifted out. He gets a choice of three hooded towels to use - usually selecting blue - then on occasion will ask for some mirror time. So we lift him up to see the vanity mirror and he grins at mirror him and mirror parent. I will usually slowly reach for his tummy, which he will see in the mirror, then he will bat my hand away.

Back down on the ground he will sometimes ask to look in the other mirror - which is in theWife's clothes cupboard and is a floor to mid chest affair. He stands, his little tummy protruding, examining his frontal nudity. Then ... with that door closed he charges off to the dining room table, clambers up the chair, and assumes the being greased up, nappy added, and PJs clad position.

TheWife does that bit, and cleans his teeth. Then down he gets, charges back to where I am and screams 'EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE' to show me his clean teeth - to which the response is 'nice teeth!'.

Then he says 'Stories?! ... Please?!'

I agree, then he charges back down to the reading chair. Of course now he sits in the big chair and I am relegated to the lowly position of the other robust red chair.

So... bath time. For those of you toddler bathing then I have to say it can be fun - and wet. But I think bath crayons definitely make it more fun for them and for you. Sometimes he even lets me colour in his awesome protruding belly button which he then swishes clean by belly dancing his tummy side to side.

This parental snapshot was brought to you by Mikey(tm). Established parent since 2007.

Tales ... of theNoo

TheNoo has entered the obsessive phase. His twin passions are "carsode", which is his shorthand for an episode of play school that features a toy car being constructed out of cardboard, paint, and microwaved play-doh, and Monsters Inc. The latter is bearable. I've now seen it about 45 times. Lucky it's such a good movie even if now I am watching stuff in the background just to see what's there.

Today we were in the end room. He was pottering about as Monsters Inc blared and I was reading the paper. TheNoo wiped his hand on my leg. At first I thought he was patting it. Then I smelled the reek of shit.

He'd breeched, inadvertently scratched back there, then upon getting poo on his fingers naturally wiped it off ... on me.

Fair enough. Fortunately my trackie-daks had already been ruined by me just an hour before when at Bunnings I'd sat down with theNoo to help him paint a box for mummy day and gotten paint all over them.

The other day I was at home and heard the car pull up with theWife and theNoo. Unlike most people he's generally happy to see me and will even try and find me in the house. For a laugh, and to snare a cuddle, I decided to sack out on the front lawn and pretend to be asleep. The idea would be that he would see me, run over to check me and, as he was in reach, I'd grab him and wrestle him into a cuddle position.

He walked right past me to the door. TheWife said 'look noodles, there's daddy.'

I heard him turn. Then there was a sharp pain in the side of my head.

Turns out he'd had a hard plastic half filled sippy cup in his hand. Rather than risk getting close to me, and thus risking a likely snatch and grapple, he decided to "wake me up" by pitching said sippy cup at my noggin.

You have to hand it to him. That's pretty smart.

Cuddle. Avoided.

Friday, May 07, 2010

More stories!

Lately theNoo's been demanding stories where he's the star. If you tell the story of Shrek you have to, for example, insert him into the narrative. Hence the appearance of a faerie "the noo" that appears alongside Donkey when Shrek turns up to remonstrate with the soldiers for polluting his swamp with make-believe characters.

Last night, and this morning on the way to day-care, theNoo demanded a tale staring himself ... and mummy!

I was pressed. I had nothing in the bank. It went something along these lines...

'Once upon a time there was a boy called (TheNoo). And he lived with his mummy in a tall tower in an enchanted forest. One day a prince came to the tower seeking to rescue a princess and Mummy said bugger off. But (TheNoo) wanted adventure so he sneaked off and asked the prince if he could go with him. And that he thought he knew where he had heard a princess was being kept captive ... in SNAKE MOUNTAIN! Named for the discoverer, Edward R Snake. And also ... the mountain looked like a snake. So they headed off for SNAKE MOUNTAIN! and sneaked in through the snake's cloaca. There they found the princess in the dungeon ... only it wasn't a royal woman ... it was a sheep! And Princess was her name. And also the Prince wasn't a prince - his name was Prince and he was an effete rock star. Then (TheNoo) said 'Oi, shouldn't you be shearing that?' and Prince said 'I'm not sharing this with anyone'.

He seemed to like it. He asked for it twice. But then he's two. He's amused by vomit noises.

Bacon smells good

A cooked breakfast smells awesome. Your eggs, your bacon, your toast and your coffee. Even if you're completely wrung out in the guts with a hangover or moaning piteously with severe swollen gut pain your taste buds kick in and, despite no wish to eat, you nonetheless salivate.

I blame Pavlov.

Anyway I was walking into work and past the greasy spoon cafe that services the white collar industrial park where I work. They have, for some reason, an extraction fan (industrial strength) that powers its forced air down and across the path that skirts the side of the building.

I walked through it. Right through concentrated breakfast smells all rolled in together like when you swirl Milo in ice-cream with a spoon until it's a gooey pale brown paste.

As a result I smelt delicious. Indeed I would think that all Dharmic types and 1/3 of Abrahamic faith types would have found me tasty and irresistible. The 2/3 Abrahmic 'no pork' types may even have found me desirable in a "bad boy" way for being laced with the taint of bacon.

Perfume companies take note. Bugger off tinctures of flowers and exotic orchids. Just distill the smell of breakfast and give that to the overly made up David Jones ladies that stalk the foyers with their sample sprays.

Of course the danger is that you would be more attractive to cannibals but still ... what are the odds of encountering a cannibal? What? Why of course injured man with an arm cast. I will help you with that sofa. Yes, good idea. I will get in the windowless van first...

Monday, May 03, 2010

Finger fail

Recently I was at a training day. Well ... half day. We finished early. Everyone went back to work. I went home.

I realised when I arrived at the training place that I had received training in that particular room ... 12 years ago ... ethics training on joining the public service.

Eep. 12 years passed in the blink of an eye. Like that X Box commercial with the baby that turns into an old man. Only with more use of stamps and licking of envelopes.

Anyway, the finger fail.

Our compare, or MC, or lead instructor - whatever you call such folk - was an agreeable sort who mixed her running of the course with use of humorous anecdotes. She was skilled at her craft at being able to take something dry and dusty and make it seem at least a little moist.

In the good way.

One of her chosen elements was asking us to signal with a double thumbs up if we'd accomplished the example task. I got into it. Normally I am a bit of a sulk merchant, bah humbug and sneering of such things. But a bunch of us lads from the section were there for it which made it fun, and we got to have a hint of joy from reading each others in session postings. So I went with it, raised my digits in the air and waved them around with gay abandon ... only to realise that I wasn't waving my thumbs around like a mobile phone at a concert ... but my index fingers.

Yes, I'd inadvertently gone the Shooter McGavins.

Finger. Fail.