Sunday, October 31, 2010


I'm medicated, it's raining and I get to go back to bed.

That's the good stuff.

The rally looked awesome

I so wish I'd been there or seen it as it happened.

Reading up on some of the accounts now.

I love this bit from Stewart.

"Unfortunately, one of our main tools in delineating the two is broke. ... The country's 24-hour Political Pundit ... Panic Conflictionator did not cause our problems, but its existence makes solving them that much harder. ... The press can hold its magnifying glass up to our problems and bring them into focus to illuminate the issues -- or they can use that glass to light ants on fire and host a week of shows on the Dangerous Flaming Ant Epidemic. If we amplify everything, we hear nothing."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Not this time, Israeli temptress

Despite my salty tinged tongue I am actually quite a polite person. Which makes me a sucker for cold callers and spruikers both because I typically will not abruptly end the conversation on them.

In Canberra, in civic mall, there's a number of small stalls in the middle of the thoroughfares. One of them is home to the pushy Israeli cosmetic girls.

About three years back I was walking along, minding my own business, when I saw what looked like free samples at the shop. I went to see. A blonde bespectacled girl talked to me. I responded. Next thing I know she'd gripped me by the wrist and was applying salt from the dead sea to my hand to ex-foliate it. Long story short, ten minutes later and desperate to escape, I'd purchased sixty dollars worth of salty products if only to escape her grasp.

Today, whilst waiting for theWife who was in a nearby shop, it happened again. Only this time I had theNoo with me.

She was persistent, I'll give her that. She applied a new salve - just came in this week ! - and cleaned my iHand - so called because that's where I write memory prompt notes which has a character capacity of less than a tweet. Ink shards and filth fluttered down on to her counter top and she pointed at it to demonstrate its effectiveness.

I am on record as being on the end of the spectrum of being sexually unexciting. I look like a combo of Michael Moore and Piers Akerman.

It was then she made an error - not that I was going to buy anything.

She tried flirting.

There were questions about my relationship status - I don't have a ring on but I did have a child with me - then there came the press.

Yep ... she pressed herself against me. Full on thigh through shoulder including some side-boob.

Pressed against me she was when she then informed me that today, and today only, everything was 25% off. And if I bought now she'd throw in anything from the top shelf.

I tried to tell her that expansive purchases in my household required mutual consideration - the twin missile keys turned at the same time method of agreed expenditure - but she was ready with a counter to that. 'Buy it for her as a surprise then...'

Nice try. I pointed at the shop where theWife was and said 'Well, she's in there. I will go have a conversation about gels with her then.'

I left ... and made sure that when we headed out of that shop it was in the opposite direction of booby press.

Sorry Israeli temptress, you failed this time... just some advice. Don't try the full body press flirt technique on an ugly man. We can kind of see through it.

We're practically like twins me and him

Batty, from Blade Runner: I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain... Time to die.

Mikey, who keeps playing Warlords II
: I once saw a bat kill a griffon

Friday, October 29, 2010

Obama V Stewart

I read some of the press that came out of the interview. It was a touch negative.

I didn't see it that way. I saw two very intelligent men discussing issues and the end result being both expressing severe frustrations at the many, many hurdles needed to do anything of substance.

If you haven't seen it then please do.

Banking fail

Needing some money I headed to the bank.

It is the day after public service pay day.

At lunchtime - when I went there - the ATM was down for maintenance.

What are they? Defective? If that was a planned maintenance issue then someone needs to be choked about the neck with the chain they secure pens with.

I walked off muttering like Bad Boy Bubby, ignoring the precinct wide email warning we'd received that there was a bee swarm in the vicinity.

Banking bastards!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

That on the other hand was kewl

When I got in there was a colour print out on my keyboard. It was left by my boss+++. Just for me cos he knew I'd get a kick out of it.

It made me laugh. Last year I pointed out to him that Captain Kirk had a crew loss rate that was significantly higher than Picaird. He challenged me to prove it. Two hours later I had.

I'm still winning.

Last year he also gave me a copy of this one.

UPDATE: And on B's desk he put this one.

They tried to make me go to rehab...

Today I got a call from some nice sounding man about my medical condition. At work. On my work phone. This seemed like an unusual topic to be discussed so I asked why. He said my boss had asked me to call. He then proceeded to say that I could have a case manager to help me with my medical stuff.

I was pretty pissed off. I know we'd discussed the possibility of medical case management before - though it wasn't really applicable to my condition (ongoing, unending, non-life threatening). But to get a call out of the blue from someone wanting to discuss my personal health issues was pretty fucked. I mean if they wanted me to explore this option then really ... they should have sat me down and gone through it.

This came on top of a pretty hectic week where I was trying to get reports edited to publishable standard. Due to time and resource pressures I had not done as thorough a job as I could have done. Unfortunately this was picked up and I had to spend more effort rectifying it than I would have spent if I had just taken the extra time to do it. I can only say that time was against me when I made the choice but that only washes so far.

So feeling a little low from a professional fail I then get a cold-call from the rehab section wanting to involve themselves in my life. I asked him to email me the relevant 'what they can do' stuff, and it even involves the potentiality of your case manager going to your doctor with you.

Yeah ... that ain't happening.

This all went down just before lunch but I was in a sad place and didn't want to talk to my boss about it. I kind of hoped it was a mistake - that she'd inquired about the process and they accidentally started it.

I was mad enough to text S, who's in my section, and have a blurt about it and he rightly said that it wasn't coming from a nasty place. It's actually coming from a genuine concern / supervisor assistance place - even if the starting pistol kind of went off before I knew I was actually in a fucking race.

Then I was editing our in house staff newsletter and I was going to put a pic of L from her wedding in. I thought about including the pic of us work lads that fronted for the ceremony.

Then I saw I was in it. With my tucked in shirt I looked like a balding Piers Akermann.

As I went on my walk today I couldn't but feel futility wash over me. What was the fucking point in walking every day and trying to avoid dairy and trying to eat small and sensible when it did fuck all for me? I still look like that fucking arsehole from Toy Town that could never fall over because he had a big ball for a body. I put all this pain and effort in for no real gain. Oh sure, maybe I am no longer adding rings to my tree trunk like I used to, but I do feel that my efforts should be physiologically rewarded in some way.

Anyway, I got home and theWife too agreed with S that even if it was all badly handled it's still not from a bad place. But with it following on the heels of that and my hideous visage thanks to photography I dunno ... I just feel like muck.

The Daily Show with two of my fave people are on - Obama and Stewart. That's good for what ails me.

UPDATE: I mentioned to S that maybe instead of inviting a case manager along to my doctor, I could simply invite them into the toilet and let them see me attempt to pass a shit. Then, if it was sludgy, I could invite them to piss my shit off. He's yet to get back to me on that...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

W-a-a-v-e goodbye...

I found out today that Backie McStab, a former boss (I think she was 7 of 15), is fucking off somewhere else.

Good riddance.

A nastier boss I have yet to endure. She is the only person I know of that actively and maliciously set out to hurt me in the workplace. Since that is the sociopath in the fruit shop who pulled a knife on me when I called his never-appearing 'it will be here next week' car stereo Snuffalupagus.

In my 20 months in my current building I don't think I've said a single word with BS and barely even exchanged eye-contact. I confess that I was worried if she had said something to me then the anger would have risen to the surface and I'd have said something unprofessional, so it's good she's going.

It be nice too if she took Buckwheat and Manhands with her as well.

Still if it's just her going then I guess the triumvirate of the fucked is now just a dastardly duo.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I haven't killed anybody since 1984....

With thanks to True Romance

Tonight I had a role-playing character die in game. My 4th edition D&D Dragonborn, Skalie Meat, fell in battle. In 4th edition you roll D20 when you're under 0 hit points. On a 1-10 you advance a step to death, 11-19 you restart your death clock, and on a 20 you effectively wake up with a few hit points. If you roll three results of 10 or less in a row then you kark it.

I was on step two on the death clock. C's PC had to make a single heal check, needing a 10 or better on a twenty sided dice to bring me back.

He failed by 1 point.

What did C do? He looted my character's body and fucked off to town.

Fair enough.

F also lost his character in that combat, with C the only survivor. Both F and I had a think about when the last time we lost a character was. For both of us it was over ten years. For me I think it was 1998 when in a Cthulhu game I lost my character, a some-time Bikie, to squid-head himself.

Wow. That's a long time between character death drinks.

Still, dare I say it, I had fun. Yep, I said it. I had a fun time playing 4th edition. I still don't like what they did to my song, ma, but I don't mind humming a few bars.

Dang I gots the work blues

I spent the better part of a decade of having minimal oversight in what I produced work-wise. The downside was no one gave a shit about me. The upside was that I had near full control over what I did.

Then awesome new boss came ... came with techniques and an interventionist management style. She also knew more about the job that me. I kind of fell into it. She trained for it.

So what does this mean? Checklists and pointing out of errors made by me in documents with suggestions for re-writes and commands to go henceforth and fix it up. Not her fixing it. But her expending effort in telling me what needs to be fixed. As in she could have just fixed it and it would have been done. Instead instructions on how to do it so I will know for next time.

Professionally, this is good. This is what I need. It's the rocket up my arse I should have had years ago.

But sometimes ... sometimes I get disheartened by my fails and just sometimes I don't want to be taught how to fish ... I just want the fucking fish.

Fill comments with your own work blues, you know you got 'em.

Parental uh-oh

TheNoo's being going through toilet training of late. For the most part he's getting the hang of it - the hardest bit I think being the idea of holding on until in a safe place to drop trou and go.

But there are issues. Potties for example are a small target area, especially if you have undies and pants rolled down near it. There's also the placement of the peenie in that it needs to be tucked in pointing down rather than resting on the lip - since any use will spray the pants.

'Now noodles, you have to tuck your nob down,' I say as I gently push it in, then apologise for touching his junk.

So today ... today I am going to the toilet. There's some urgency. Luckily the toilets in this building don't have the gap between the porcelain and the seat, so unless you have your nob perched on the seat and pointing outward you’re not going to get inadvertent gusset damp.

So what happened today?

Yes, that.

My nob was not tucked down and consequently I not only got gusset damp but I got droplets on the floor – which, I will have you know – I dabbed up. I will not leave my number ones on the tiles for others to slip-slide on.

Anyway, a classic ‘do as I say, not as I do’ maneuver. At least, if he knew about it.

This morning he came in to where I was asleep, said ‘Cuddle!’ and climbed up and gave me a morning cuddle. Aw… that was nice.

Mikey risks a funny email

Joke emails in the workplace can be fraught with peril. There's always a risk the recipient could be a thin-lipped humorless type, or have a particular view or outlook that’s never come up before, but your e-aside sends them over the edge of the angry cliff.

In the public service there is a basic rule for joke emails. Don’t pass them on.

Many people ignore this. I don’t. I tend to delete. If I do want to share its goodness then I will extract it manually and send it from a non-work machine.

Yay me.

We had our pink ribbon day morning tea – an excellent in work charity event to promote funding for breast cancer research. After-all, who among us does not like the boobies? Either in owning a pair or enjoying semi-fettered access to some.

My Boss+++ got into the spirit of it. Over his business shirt he wore a T-Shirt that looked a lot like this.

I suspect it’s not an official fund raising Pink Ribbon day effort – at least – so a Google image search indicated. But it was pretty funny.

Later, when I got back to my desk, I sent him a short email…

You look like you were playing Demi Moore in the pottery scene of ghost, assuming they had a pink glaze...

Now that’s a risqué thing to send a high ranker, though I felt fairly safe because I remember him telling us all about his favourite scene in Step Brothers that involved a tea-bagging of a drum kit.

He didn’t respond. I was a tad worried. I need not have been.

Later he told all the other high rankers about it at their meeting and they all laughed.


I leave you now with a link to the best pisstake of the Ghost scene as seen to date by moi.

Community – it’s an awesome series – give it a go.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Booner cops

I dislike utes and ute drivers. If I see a sparkly ute in an urban environment I assume the driver is a cock-spank unless circumstances prove otherwise. I know it's a highly judgmental way to think, and I even admit bigoted, but then my evidence of interactions with ute drivers and seeing them in action on the roads almost justifies it.

So I have to ask myself why the fuck the Australian Federal Police here in Canberra decided to bring into play a bunch of souped up police utes branded as Rapid Responders.

Is it the inner bogan in the cops rising to the fore? Or do they honestly believe that utes give them superior response capability?

Given the high incident of fuckwittery that is present in the ute owning / driving population surely it seems an unusual move from the boys in blue to sign up to motoring in the very same?

Inquiring minds want to know.

The new roll

Arrgh, don't you fucking hate it when there's a new loo roll and you try and get it started and you end up gouging a half inch roll into it and you like ruin a good 20% of the sheets?!

Fucking low quality pieces of crap to wipe up my own pieces of crap.

That's stellar parenting

We try and give the sailor talk the heave ho. But, frustration bubbles to the fore now and then and, well, swearing is likely genetic anyway. When the anger rises so does the ability to control what we say and the tone in which we say it falls away.

I hate getting dressed. When you're riven with aches and pains and have to deal with the equivalent of 30 kilos of padding on your gut getting clothes on is annoying. Add to that reduced flexibility from years of not bothering to be flexible then it can be quite irritating. Putting on socks and undies especially so.

So ... if I get stuck with undies because my foot didn't neatly slip into the circle, or I have to bend awkwardly on occasion I will hiss out a curse.

TheNoo's going through toilet training. This means taking down of his undies and pulling them back up.

As he was pulling them up today they got stuck.

'Oh for fuck's sake,' he yelled.

Yep, that was because of me and my own undie pulling on issues. Stellar parenting Mikey. At least it was topically generated.

Where Mikey has something in common with both Palin and Shakespeare

Shakespeare is arguably First Citizen Number #1 in the pantheon of literary greats. I should know, I was forced to study him in 2 Unit English for the HSC (Henry IV, Part 1 - which sounds like an awesome tongue in cheek action sequel to be honest).

I will however confess that the S-Man and I didn't really get on. The only engagement I had that I enjoyed was finding what rude words were back then and transporting them like an indigenous person accidentally sucked into the slipstream of a departing time traveller back into the future where I'd attempt to use them in speech. The only example I can think of that is "pizzle" which is S-talky talk for prick.

Shakespeare, in addition to frustrating 95% of English students in the future and inspiring the 5% try-hards who actually got it, coined new words. Several hundred I believe. And with the printing presses firing up and publishers soon working out there were other texts out there that could be printed that were not the bible then eventually these new words filtered their way into the consciousness kind of like corn passes through the digestive system. I wonder then if people suddenly blurted out an S-word whether they then immediately said 'Funny, I don't remember eating that?'

Sarah Palin, who I like to think is the most dangerous woman in the world for her ability to fire the passion of the aggrieved bitter people in the US who cling to their guns and their religion - yep, Obama nailed it when he said that - and give them permission to counter-scream at the change of their culture from a single white picket fence world to a complicated one where multiple faiths and skin tones cruise on down main-street, is a big fan of social media. Instead of having to temper herself like politicians before her on the anvil of mass media, she uses Fox (who are media in a very broad sense in that they have the ability to communicate messages to a mass audience but without any of that other media dross like editorial balance, right of reply etc) and twitter and facebook to spread her very curious combination of Fargo meets The 5,000 year leap.

Recently she called on Muslims to "refudiate" extreme elements of the faith. She had inadvertently created a portmanteau of repudiate and refute.

When roundly laughed at she then whined that Shakespeare created words so, therefore, so could she.

Well ... snootiness aside, she's right. English and all language is a living creature. It's like a website in it's not static unless, of course, you are exceptionally snooty or your language style is deeply ingrained. I don't think for example my mother will ever use the word pwn in a conversation.

Except of course Palin's a stupid mol who is hurting America.

Anyway, this is all a long winded way to say that I too like to create words or expressions, even if they are dialectically employed by a group of one - moi.

I have decided on a portmanteau of my own - Wikfin.

What then is a Wikfin, Mikey?

Glad you asked.

I wiki at least once a day. Sometimes many times a day. There have been times when I've deliberately clicked the random button just to see what happens. If I am watching a show or reading something that mentions a person or a place or an event, chances are I will wiki to find out more.

Sometimes I find stuff that I think is Pure. West., so named for the sequence in the Mr Plow episode of the Simpsons where the Simpsons encounter Adam West at a carshow next to a batmobile and the aged actor complains that batman doesn't dance anymore and that he has fake muscles. He then points at his own chest, tapping it, and says 'Pure. West.' to indicate the muscles as seen in the Teev show, were all him - Mr West.

Glad I got that off my own unmuscled chest.

So if I find something that is Pure. West. I want to share it with the world. Since it's found on Wiki it's a wiki find. But that's like nine characters including the space. I can shorten that down, give it a light Just-Cuts style trim, to just six. Hence - Wikfin. Short for Wiki Find.

So ... what is my Wikfin that I want to share.

The Jerusalem Syndrome.

I forget how I came across it, I think I was reading about American Fascists, but I was intrigued by the subject covered. The idea that visitors to the holy city sometimes experience a religiously themed mental illness shortly after arrival.

This is my favourite section - the best bit in bold.

Type III

Jerusalem syndrome as a discrete form, uncompounded by previous mental illness. This describes the best-known type, whereby a previously mentally balanced person becomes psychotic after arriving in Jerusalem. The psychosis is characterised by an intense religious character and typically resolves to full recovery after a few weeks or after being removed from the locality. It shares some features with the diagnostic category of a "brief psychotic episode", although a distinct pattern of behaviours has been noted:

  1. Anxiety, agitation, nervousness and tension, plus other unspecified reactions.
  2. Declaration of the desire to split away from the group or the family and to tour Jerusalem alone. Tourist guides aware of the Jerusalem syndrome and of the significance of such declarations may at this point refer the tourist to an institution for psychiatric evaluation in an attempt to preempt the subsequent stages of the syndrome. If unattended, these stages are usually unavoidable.
  3. A need to be clean and pure: obsession with taking baths and showers; compulsive fingernail and toenail cutting.
  4. Preparation, often with the aid of hotel bed-linen, of a long, ankle-length, toga-like gown, which is always white.
  5. The need to shout psalms or verses from the Bible, or to sing religious hymns or spirituals loudly. Manifestations of this type serve as a warning to hotel personnel and tourist guides, who should then attempt to have the tourist taken for professional treatment. Failing this, the two last stages will develop.
  6. A procession or march to one of Jerusalem's holy places.
  7. Delivery of a sermon in a holy place. The sermon is usually very confusing and based on a plea to humankind to adopt a more wholesome, moral, simple way of life.

Bar-El et al. reported 42 such cases over a period of 13 years, but in no case were they able to actually confirm that the condition was temporary.

I can totally imagine the scene now...

'Hello ... Housekeeping ... (sticks key in, opens lock) ... ah, no one here. Let's see sheets, pillow cases ... time to change the bed... oh no, no sheets! ...(runs to phone, calls reception). Hello? It's Anya, room 312. Yes, the occupant, we have a Type III repeat Type III.'

So ... you are charged dear two point six readers ... to henceforth promulgate the term Wikfin and, when you have a Wikfin, to share it like Sarah Palin would within the bounds of social media.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Jon Stewart on National Public Radio

National Public Radio is kind of like the ABC here in Oz in terms of quality of editorial, reporting and the like. Only it exists by corporate sponsorship.

They recently had an interview with Jon Stewart.

I just put it on and listened to it in the dark, just me and the computer, the room filling with laughter of the crowd at the 92 Y in New York as Stewart was interviewed by Terry Goss.

Great stuff. Totally worth 45 minutes of your time in a dark room. The man is my hero. And I have decided that I am totally adding him to my laminated asteroid deflecting powered by man hugs card.

Sorry S, you got bounced.

UPDATE: Listening in the dark totally reminded me of, as a kid, listening to the BBC radio play of Lord of the Rings. It was a top notch program with great voice actors, music, and the full panoply of radio sound effects available in the mid-late 80s.

When we moved into this older house in my home town my parents turned a large bedroom into two very small ones. For some reason they left a gap between the wall and the ceiling because they had misunderstood gravely the kind of brothership I had with my younger brother at the time and they thought we'd talk each other to sleep like 'do ... do you think they would do it?!' twins. No, they were wrong. We kept to ourselves or threw shit at each other through the gap like a cold breath apart meeting of trenches in World War One.

With the house safely extended and our persons on other sides of the house - like nearly 30m away - I'd still go and hang out in my old room now and then because it had the old radio and the black and white TV in it. That is until the latter was seized by my younger brother by simply dint of taking it and put in his own room - and he was allowed to do it because ... my parents banned us watching TV after dinner and he was the youngest and had two years of TV to catch up on. Yeah ... bit of a parental fail on that one.

The old radio is what I listened to Lord of the Rings on.

It was a transistor radio - just - and I think it had a clock in it - no, wait it was a thick dial used to tune to the right band. It was plastic - again, just - heavy duty white with this strange black sandpaper like glued on facade, very thick almost cardboard paper, that I gradually tore away in small specs as I listened to Lord of the Rings.

They played it over a summer holidays. I remember because during the run we were down at the coast - forcing together the family into tight confines for festive cheer or some such. Because the olden days where taping shit from the radio - yes kids, we did that, was difficult then you had to either listen to it live or miss out. So since it was still playing I'd go sit in the old kombi van and listen to it on the stereo. At least, I think I did. I might be conflating other late night summer radio "viewing" experiences into the one memory string.

Anyway, even now part of me wants to re-listen to Lord of the Rings some 25 years after I heard it because it did such an effective job of pulling me away from the real world, and taking me to Middle Earth where one could imagine themselves as someone of well, maybe not importance, but definitely hero material and not just a poor fuck like Dennis grubbing around in a muddy paddock.

I leave you with this thought ... there's some lovely filth down here...

PS I think this is a link to the radio play. I will audiology-scope it out and "hear" if that's the case. It is it! Awesome. I still remember the intro music.

PPS My mum was a ABC journalist at around that time. She used her resources to bootleg copy me the radio play of the Hobbit. She also one birthday got me rune stones because she heard an interview about them. That's so cool she did that.

Sigh ... why?

Just watching ABC news. There's a story about locals up in arms at a planned housing of refugees in Inverbrackie in South Australia.

I have to ask ... what's their beef? They're worried 400 extra people will put strain on schools and doctors? It's 400 people. It's just a small number. It's not ravenous rapine hordes. They're people like you and me... wait, not like you and me. They're people that, chances are, are genuine refugees who have fled persecution.

Seriously ... we can't open our hearts to that?

Would I care if they were in my neighbourhood?

Of course not. If anything they'd improve the place.


UPDATE: They're seekers, not yet found as actual refugees. Here's a link to the ABC news website story. According to the story they will have onsite medical care anyway.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Area work made my bitch and musings on group house living

I've been delayed with more core job, and am a few days behind. So I've been trying to catch up. Today, finally, I did it. I had a big silly grin when I left work that the awfulness that was the oppressing overhanging loomage of undone work was now largely de-loomed.

Speaking of work...

I got into a silly email round with Awesome Boss. We were talking about flatmates. As a throw away line I said the following (pretending we were flatmates having a fight).

Also did you eat the last of the Brie? That was mine. I clearly marked the lid. Also, it's your turn to do the washing up.

Her response?

Go buy me a packet of tampons, b!tch.

I have to admit, that was gold. It made me laugh. How ... how could I top that?

And then ... then I had it.

Clearly then the super size because you're such a huge mol.

I declared myself the winner of that exchange ... and rightly so.

Later we were sharing group house tales. She said she experienced this from a flatmate that went mad ...

She literally drew a line down the centre of the house - including bathroom, fridge, kitchen drawers and cupboards. My stuff was not allowed to cross that line. If it crossed the line she'd fling it across the house and then come and earbash me about it for hours.

I totally had no idea how to deal with her. So I left and found another house. There were seven people living there, although I don't think I met them all. They were all feral and of questionable hygiene. But it was preferable to living with scary line-girl

Gold. An actual line drawn.

I had flatmates that ... offered their room to a stranger at a bus stop cos they didn't want to live in the house any more then wondered why we said no ... a flatmate that locked my bathmat in his cupboard and would take hour long baths where he'd wedge a chopping board across the porcelain then cut up and eat oranges off it ... a flatmate who swore blind she'd smoke outside then proceeded to smoke inside and her ashtray was a giant fuck off glass effort that she'd leave balanced on the arm rest and it would constantly fall off and face-plant on the carpet ... a flatmate who, when I was talking to religious door knockers would put Pantera on the stereo and thrash head fling to it ... a flatmate who threatened to call Operation Noah on the dope smokers in the house ... a flatmate who once had a domestic with her boyfriend and proceeded to grab his KFC dinner and jump up and down on it then later tried to whack him in the head with a four litre cask of fruity lexia ... oh and a pair of flatmates who actually demanded that they pay less of line and handset rental for the phone on the grounds that occasionally they were interstate visiting their parents.

All seriously bad stuff. TheWife had her own fair share of difficult flatmates, including one that forbade her to use the washing machine on the grounds I was visiting too often ... and who demanded I replace her bar of soap in the bathroom because I had used it ...

Let's face it ... group houses ... often, they sucked.

Have you tales of group house woe? If so ... share...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ear worm - old school

You kids, and your music, likely won't be aware of the goodness that was the Six Million Dollar Man.

I even had the action figure. And, unlike Action Man, it was a hard plastic effort that with little preparation could be readily turned into a playground weapon.

Unfortunately for some reason I have ear-wormed myself with the theme song.

I've also been slow-mo running when walking back and forth from my work station while humming it.

I was downstairs buying pizza from the 20 nothings. Because I kept erupting into "song" I felt I needed to explain it.

20 nothing said 'Oh, is that what it was? I thought you were doing Austin Powers.'

Fair call.

Which leads me to link to this...

Pure Gold ... member.

4th edition D&D - I played a game

When D&D 4th edition came out I was ... underwhelmed. I didn't like that macro-rule changes that had taken place, and that my lovingly acquired previous material was now too hard to adapt. Consequently I poo-poo'ed it.

And rightly so.

But, well, armed with a Starter Kit - and the three books which I had purchased when 4th ed was released - the other night our lads ran a game under the auspicious of the delicious D.

It was not unfun.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not unfurling my banner for 4th ed and waving it back and forth like an extra on the barricades in Les Mis. But I admit that it had its moments.

For me it felt less like D&D and more like a combo of Talisman and HeroQuest, both of which are also fun games to play.

It was also a lot like WarCraft in that I was able to crack a level after two battles.

I played a Dragonborn fighter. In our first encounter – due to not having a full grasp of the powers available – we were embarrassingly taken out by a pair of goblins and their pet wolves. However with the vast self-healing available to 4th ed PCs were luckily regained consciousness to find the surviving gobbie going through our pockets and torqued him.

Although I think D fudged a couple of rolls.

Anyway, it may have been the company I was with – who are awesome – and the setting – a nice place. It may have even been the bacon free banana bread cooked to perfection by the resident Vegan.

But … it did not suck.

However, it’s still not D&D. More like a hybrid of Basic D&D with some bits from the other editions and Talisman / HeroQuest.

I guess the best way to put it is 4th ed D&D is to the other editions as putting the lane bumpers down is at tenpin bowling…

Monday, October 18, 2010

Australia Chant Fail

I cannot stand overt displays of unthinking patriotism. To me it seems to be an uncritical praise of a concept that is basically artificial - that of various positive attributes assigned to a particular nation state without due consideration to all the interwoven factors that make up its history and cultural identity.

Hey, I love my country. I love that it has a history of (mostly) egalitarian fairness and it's not afraid to cop, in most cases, to fuck ups such as treatment of native Australians, some immigrants, and nuking the countryside in the cause of the cold war.

But what particularly shits me is Aussie, Aussie, Aussie; Oi, Oi, Oi.

It's not even our fucking chant. We stole it. From the Cornish.

It's up there for sheer annoyance and wankering with USA! USA! USA! - which should only ever be used ironically.

I was in the queue to get a coffee. It was a long queue. So I snaffled The Canberra Times to read while I waited. It had three pages devoted to St Mary Mackillop's Canonisation.

When Mary's time to shine came, when the Pope read out her name, what happened?

Yep ... some fuckwits took up the chant.

Unbelievable. Apparently nothing is sacred from a moronic call and response chant of insipid nationalism. Not even a canonisation.

PS Linked to SMH above as I couldn't find an online ref to the CT article.

PPS Bumper sticker response to the same cretins that have the Australia: Love it or leave it sticker. Australia: Love it, see what's broken, fix it. Otherwise, fuck off. Yeah, that's tellin' 'em.

PPPS Religious stuff about MM aside, she was a good egg who helped people. That's a pretty kewl record to have. Even without the whole imprinted on a tea towel crap that's going to come with it.

Physics Fail

In year 11 I decided on a course of intellectual rigour for my HSC preparations. I did a bunch of snooty courses - 3 Unit maths, Chemistry, Physics, Economics etc.

I soon realised I had little or no interest in all of them. By the time Year 12 rolled around I'd dropped back to 2 unit maths and gone the combined 3 unit general science. Economics had been fucked off in favour of film studies back in year 11 within three weeks on the grounds that the lads in Film had spent one lesson watching The Holy Grail. I will take Python over the J curve any day of the week.

The year 11 Physics teacher was spectacularly bad. You know how animals can sense fear? Well high school kids can sense shitiness in teachers. He managed to make a difficult sometime obtuse subject that much more difficult and obtuse. Oh, and very, very boring.

I spent most of year 11 physics reading fantasy novels under my desk. I got sprung a few times. I didn't care.

Today, in the car, I honked up a big goob. I coughed and it sprung, fully formed, like a little ball of snot tacky, into my mouth.

How was I to get rid of it? Well I was in the spanking car, the one we pay lots of money for. I needed to be careful. I couldn't just wipe it under the seat.

So ... I decided to yak it out the window.

Making sure there was no car next to me, I wound down the window and spat.

Here's where the physics fail comes in. Spitting gum out a window works because it has mass and is able to resist the incoming energy of the slipstream. A wad of gooey Mikey goob does not have much mass.

It blew back into the car and splat wetly across the between front and back doors strut.

Maybe ... maybe I should have paid more attention in class ... ?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Parental fail - stealing costumed thunder

When your little man is dressed in his Aldi sourced Buzz Lightyear(tm) costume, if you're getting ready for a shower don't dash naked into the lounge, your towel on your shoulders and scream "I'm Buzz Lightyear too!' and run off down the corridor, the towel stretched out like they're Buzz's wings.

Because your costumed child will chase you down that same corridor then punch you in the arse for identity theft.

He was not happy.

Rally sign goodness

The lads at The Daily Show have created a site where you can load up sane signs and have them peer tested for sanity. All in support of the 30 October Rally in Washington to restore some fucking sanity.

I loaded up a couple - though it's only one per email address.

Here are mine - there and here. However I have to fully confess I ripped off the idea for there from someone who did that to a 'Make your own Tony Abbott poster' during the 2010 Oz election.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

24 out, the rest to go

Yay! The Chilean mine rescue is going along without a hitch!

Go all concerned with the rescue. Pats on back, glasses hoisted in celebration etc.

Don't hate me Patrick...

TheWife was away recently. When she goes for more than a couple of days I like to splurge out and get "me foods". Often I will also order a poo-load of delish Thai or Chinese food and live off that for lunch and dinner over 72 hours.

I went up to the supermarket for some additional supplies.

I'm not proud to say it - though it was on special - I bought a tub of Sara Lee Vanilla ice-cream.

That night I cooked up some apple pies in the disgusting old pie maker, made especially gross by the ribbons of fat curling around the pie cavity's rim.

I put a pie in a bowl. I added a big scoop of Vanilla ice-cream.

I had a spoonful.

It ... wasn't the same.

The pie admittedly was badly cooked - it had burst and I probably should have cleaned the pie maker before I cooked it - but let's face it I've eaten pies near burnt black before and loved it.

It was the ice-cream.

I think
It had been about I think a month or more since I last had full fat luxury vanilla ice-cream. When I had it, it tasted strange. Not ... not great.

I didn't eat all of the pie, nor the ice-cream, and ended up chucking it. I also chucked the other pie.

I think ... I think I've actually lost my taste for ice-cream.

Holy snapping catfish. How the fuck did that happen?!

Anyway ... the Sara Lee Vanilla remains in the freezer. Untouched save for that one scoop I had from it.

I dunno ... maybe ... maybe something is happening here? If this was some sort of rite d'passage coming of age movie where dancing and singing was a fundamental component, right now my foot would be inexplicably tapping with acute rhythmic sensibility as I looked on in wonder and bewilderment and dawning possibility that I, King Nerd of the first two acts, could actually ... could actually be King Dance!

Or some shit like that.

If someone had said to me one day I'd lose the taste for ice-cream I'd have called them a liar and started a game of roshambo on them on the strength of their hurt casting.

But don't get too excited. I haven't turned my back completely on all dairy. I bought a mini-pizza for lunch today. It was a bit cheesy. I suffered from that tonight. I also had a delish re-visit of a deep muscular inner buttock muscle spasm that feels like someone drove an awl into it. I don't think that was cheese related though. Just the sick joke my genetics has given me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Deck of Many A___ F____

In the game of Dungeons and Dragons, one of the kewler experiences you could have was to encounter a Deck of Many Things. Basically the game designers linked the face cards - or whatever they're called - in a Tarot deck to a bunch of mega stuff that could happen to a character. You draw up to four cards and ... well ... the cards fall where they may.

In the adapted 30 year old Dragon Magazine adventure I am running for the lads I had in it just such a deck. Basically 50% chance of something very good happening ... and 50% chance of something bad.

The lads all decided to draw four cards each. Various things happened, on balanced skewing good. So good in fact three people drew The Sun result.

When D&D hit 3rd edition they decided to throw away the alternate experience point progression of the past, where different classes (or "professions") went up at different rates. Instead the one rate for all. Also, the rate was a mathematical progression of 1+2+3 in that level 2 was 1000 experience points needed, level 3 was 3000 experience, level 4 was 6000 experience and so on. So instead of the millions of experience points needed in previous iterations to crack fancy high levels, hell now you needed less than 100,000 points to get to 14th.

Okay, big fucking whoop. So they changed how experience points worked and did the currency equivalent of re-issuing a new money at a different value.

All editions of Dungeons and Dragons, including the (spit) dreaded Fourth Edition, stand on the shoulders of the others in that a lot of the content carries over from the past. Indeed until fourth edition most of magic items that are classic standards appeared in the late 70s in one form or another. Most of them transferred in power and price into the new editions with very little changes.

Only the thing is ... with the Deck ... well ... they fucked up. Because they left The Sun card in without a change. Which in addition to giving the drawer a spanking new useful wondrous item ... gave them 50,000 experience points. Don't get me wrong, even in the previous editions to the 3.5 we're playing, 50k was a nice chunk. But at the levels you were at when you ran into a deck it might put you up a level, or get you a little way there.

In third ed ... well ... I think three of the player characters jumped four levels.

Well says I. We play it where it lies. But when I get home I am looking for errata. Within five minutes of making it in the door I googled for it.

Turns out in 3.5 (a kind of mini-edition released between third and fourth), after their careful consideration of all the crap that needed to be fixed in the 3.0 version ... they missed fixing The Sun... and so yes, errata was duly issued.

They dropped the 50k gain to just 20k.

But ... well ... too late. Because I let the giddy practically feces flinging sugar rush from an all brown sugar fucking monkey tea party at the zoo players level up during game. By rights I should have fucking googled for it there and then and taken advantage of P's WiFi to confirm my once-again accurate GM spidy senses that something was amiss in 3.5 land.

However, like I said, that's how it went down. They could have gotten well fucked by the bad cards - and indeed one did with another player blowing their kewl card to get them back. Hell, even P turned down the extra exp because as skilled as a game mechanic engineer he is I think he wanted the challenge of doing it incrementally as he had done to date (though I did nix the alignment change to super tie-a-hot-chick-to-a-railway-line-twirling-mustache-villain result he drew earlier because of his voluntary sacrifice).

So, well, I guess I just have to up the ante challenge wise. Because we're playing the Eberron setting, where the typical name level non-player character they will meet is tooling around level 10, it means they're now some of the most personally powerful adventurers on the planet.

Did I mention they also got their hands on a flying ship?


When I got back from the toilet during a mid session loo break, there was a mint condition red D&D box on my chair - shrink wrapped and all. The players were all grinning at me, fox like, their little foxy eyes glinting with amusement. It was a gift - for me!

I expected a trick. 'What ... did you guys replace the contents and get it professionally re-shrink wrapped?' No, they hadn't. It was the red box set art and the old Basic D&D font etc. For a second I thought they'd found a super mint red box edition copy (released 1983) and I was actually momentarily loathe to crack the box and lower its value.

But ... they clearly wanted me to open it, grinning as they were with expectation of hilarity to ensue. I also saw the words 'Starter Kit', which wasn't on the original red box either.

So I opened it ...

It was a Starter Kit - basically a cut down intro to the D&D game to entice people with a taste of the full game at a lower price so they will consider going and getting the core books.

Only it was a starter kit ... FOR FOURTH FUCKING EDITION!


Oh how they laughed.

And, given P's on hols for a couple of weeks and we're putting the main game on hold until his return, you know what? ... I agreed to run it.

Damn you fourth edition!

My views on this are well known.

Mah workin' PJs on

Part of the problem for US soldiers in Vietnam was that the enemy was not readily obvious. The infamous black pajamas dilemma in that Viet Cong wore the typical daily dress of the average peasant when fighting because that's what they were - average peasants who lived and worked in their communities. The coastal and delta people as I understand it had similar cultural practices and dress as well. Only the hill tribes were markedly different.

Damn tricky of insurgents not fight in uniform! I believe however the North Vietnamese Army elements that sent forces to the south travelled and fought in uniform.

On a side note the counter insurgency in Malaysia worked because it had a number of factors going for it on the plus side - the insurgents were ethnically Chinese, the population were more easily relocated into controlled settlements that offered employment, access to land, and resources (unlike Vietnam where villages had been in the same site for a thousand years in same places and the people were shifted under protest to settlements literally miles from their fields), there was no friendly state for guerrillas to cross into, terrain was easier to interdict, and the core strategic aim was protecting the populace from infiltration and influence as opposed to fire and movement of Westmoreland and Co.

Anyway, enough about tales of cold war days, on to my PJ pants.

Still sick but feeling a bit better I had a look at what to wear on the PJ bottom front. As long time listeners know I wear girl's PJ bottoms as my choice of night wear on the simple grounds that they have elasticized waists for comfort, and the absence of a slit in the front where my old fellah would flop out if I sat wrong or received visitors*.

Despite recovering from illness I felt like being productive. But what to wear? Ah, purple plaid PJ pants. The snuggest fit ones. The waistband is secure but does not saw in. If I jump up and get down then they won't ride their way to the floor. Which means if I am doing stuff they will stay up.

Yes, I apparently have preferred PJ wear for working in.

Go me.

* Though I admit if I had full tantric command a frontal slit could be useful when guests were about. Because if my hands were full, such as carrying a tea tray, and I needed to gesture to a guest I could order it from its hole, slip it out like a summoned snake rising out of a basket (♫♪ dah nar nar nar nar, dahna nar nar nar nar nar nar ♫♪), and point percy in the requisite direction.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pammie Hanson

It is said by some that electronica take-up in Oz is faster than most other countries - VCR, CD players, DVD players etc, we had a greater penetration into the populace with such things and quicker too.

I guess to same could be said for pig ignorant politics in the form of Pauline Hanson and One Nation, who burst giddily onto the Australian political scene by winning the Federal seat in Ipswich in Queensland despite having been dis-endorsed by the Liberal party. Yes, that's right, the Liberal party. It seems they had standards back then.

The Pauline Juggernaut then took off and in the 1998 QLD state election incredibly they won 11 seats, with one of their victors a part-time Santa. I wonder what would have happened to a child if they'd asked Santa for world peace? Possibly told "Get fucked, hippy" then drop-kick punted out of the grotto.

But by October 1998 she was gone and One Nation was all but dead in the water by 2001. Despite the goodness that was the Tampa led election, with Hanson blaming their poor showing on the Liberals - and not without some truth to this I think - mainstreaming her risible policy ideas like temporary protection visas.

A number of Australian-American politics commentators have noted the similarities between One Nation and the Tea Party movement (and apparently Planet Janet sniffed recently we needed one too). Also some of the more histronic commentators too bear a similarity akin to that of Hanson - backward, conspiracy theory laced idiots with access to the cyber airwaves.

I am speaking of Pamela Geller.

Geller is the most vocal anti-Islamic blogger in the US to date in that she has the greatest profile for someone that would make us look away in pity and disgust were they spouting their crap on a box in Martin Place.

She is symptomatic too of the distillation that occurs on the right whenever a Democrat is in the white house. They just go batshit insane.

At any rate, read the above article and how Geller turned the Islamic friendship centre two blocks away from Ground Zero into some sort of victory mosque as raised over places of Islamic conquest back in the middle ages in the eyes of more than a few Americans.

Now ... now she's everywhere on the airwaves, mostly Fox and affiliates, as the representative of the no camp. It's akin to a news org hosting the Grand Dragon of the Klan in a debate on a synagogue coming into town.

What a repugnant, repellent woman. If indeed ... she is a woman.

Fucking hell.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Saturday night is the most delirious night of the week

I decided to stay at the Wedding. I made sure not to breathe anywhere near the bride and groom lest what I had was infectious.

It was about 530 by the time I left and I faced a 30 minute drive home.

It was pretty scary. I had the shakes when I started and my vision was swimming towards the end. At one point I was going to pull over and have a rest but then I reached a kay from home and decided to push on.

I got into the house, downed some cold and flu meds, stripped off and shuffled shaking into the shower.

I stayed there for 20 minutes.

Summoning courage to leave I managed to make it out and crawl naked into bed. I sent a couple of texts then sacked out. Over the course of the next 11 hours I awoke several times, moved beds twice, had a couple more hot showers, and was convinced I was the linchpin of a very carefully organised cosa nostra like organisation that had selected me after watching me for a while then beamed their corporate matrix into my head of how it all worked out.

Each time I woke up I had to say 'just a dream' but I lapsed back asleep and re-entered the Mafia mets the Matrix world.

I didn't even get long leather coat out of it.

The fever largely passed by 5 am and I got some more normal sleep after that. However I feel hideous and am just going to lurk around the house like a gollum for the day.

This makes the second Saturday in a row where I've had an acute hallucination laced fever. Seriously, what the fuck?!

Saturday, October 09, 2010


I am feeling super meh. Had a bad night, woke up badly, went back to sleep and had weird vivid dreams, woke up again and felt like paraffin wax warmed shit.

My arse decided now was the winter of its discontent and proceeded to force me to go lots. Thanks arsehole. So, so painful trying to pass it.

I decided to have some lunch and it got stuck. Thanks stomach.

But still I went for my walk and as I did I listened to a Beeb interview with an elderly transplanted to the UK Portuguese painter, Paula Rego.

The interviewer started with the obvious. 'You're 75...' to which the painter simply replied 'Oh god...'

Still it was a cool interview, though Rego was clearly irked by some of the overly lyrical questions. But it was interesting to hear how as an artist she'd dealt with the Portugal of her childhood - under a dictatorship aided and abetted by the Catholic church much like in neighbouring Spain, with subject matter including a series of works showing the impact of illegal abortion.

She lived near the sea. She said sometimes girls that had died getting backyard procedures washed up out of the sea, all bloated like a cow.

That's some fucked up shit right there.

She also talked about the culture of domestic violence. The rich she said had thicker curtains to block out what went on. But in the poor neighbourhoods you heard it all. Men, drunk, coming home from the tavern, and laying into their wives.

I was born in the early 70s. Thank the progressive forces that we've come a long way since then.

Off to a wedding ceremony despite being crook as. I have the communal signed card from work. My guts are on fire, my arse is screaming, and I'm going to chuck up. I think I might have to bail once I've handed it off.

I loathe feeling this way. I just want to crawl into bed, go to sleep, and wake up feeling better.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Not ... gay ... enough

I recently added myself to the Mother Jones website email alert list. I get a daily spotlight of recent posts etc. It's good stuff. Well written, well researched. Kudos.

Anyhoo I got a link to this story. It's about a judge ruling on an asylum claim.

His verdict? That Mladen Zeljko Todorovi, a Serbian national who claimed victimisation from police back home and who was seeking asylum on the grounds that his homosexuality made him a target for law enforcement abuse, did not look gay enough.

Seriously. Not gay enough. Just how fucking overtly or stereotypically gay do you need to be? Did Todorovi need to hop on the back of a flatbed truck clad only in a banana thong and have the truck reverse BEEP-BEEP-BEEP into the courtroom all the while why doing a super athletic dance to convince the judge of his 'I like dick more than bush' proclivities?

I know, I know. How did this arse-hat of a judge get hired? Mother Jones links to this Wash Post article that indicates it's because the Bush Attorney General put ideological purity ahead of jurist skills when it came to putting people in such slots.

God bless America. Because on the right, it's your "values" that count first before any modicum of reasoning ability or talent in your field.

Argh, sometimes the world just frustrates me.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Mikey shares some thoughts with a fellow snake man

S from work is undergoing a reverse throat hole examination. He's not happy about it. The process to clean you out is just short of a major injury to the fucking nuts in terms of agony about your poor squirty guts / low self esteem at losing full excreta systems control some forty years too early and he's been emailing away his pain. And, upon suggestion from a local internet forum to meet up and have beers, told them all they were cunts for suggesting it to him on this day of all days.

You internet forum, sir. You sir have been pwned.

I sent him some supportive words, and he responded with more tales of woe. I attempted to make him feel better and then descended into a stream on consciousness rant about my childhood. Oh, and I just remembered, while trapped in the college library for all day and getting a semi from mildly rude comics, I had to wear a hideous turtle neck skivvy. Hey, you think that's bad. I once found a pair of super thick nerd glasses worthy of the base cello player from The Seekers who had the tremendously exciting name Athol Guy in an old person smell laced box of tat for sale at the local St Vinnies. As I lifted it out, the delicate stink of future death tinging across with a fairy breath whisper over its black fake-wood grain plastic frame, and held it up I made a urgh sound of horror ... whereupon my mother suggested I keep it for my next pair and pop new lenses in it instead of buying a new frame.

This will come clear when you read the below.

The first volley has fired.

*edit* Make that first, second, third and fourth volley.

My toilet asked me if I'd been eating vindaloo again. We laughed. I love that it doesn't judge me.

I have to drink a cup of this ColonLYTELY ever 15 minutes for an hour, then another dose of the Picoprep. I'm starting to look forward to the sour bomb/mango tang.

S has left to go have dinner with her mother, and told me to sleep on the couch.

Yay me.

Good luck man. You're going to need it!

Oh lord, I beseech thee!
I clad myself in sackloth and ashes;
And cast my face t'wards the earth
whilst atop my porcelain throne.
Why hast thou forsaken me?

I have the shakes now. Somewhere amidst this evacuating haze I watched a movie - Sherlock Holmes, to be precise. It turns out a film is ruined by constant pausing, and mad dashes to the loo.

I keep getting phantom smells of the foods I crave - eggs with salt and pepper, honey chicken with fried rice, chilli flavoured kettle chips - which, combined with the taste of this vile concoction called ColonSPRYTLEY, makes me want to puke. Only the thought of fecal splash back keeps me seated and unsoiled.

My body weight is down about 48 kilos. We have run out of toilet paper, the baby wipes being depleted early on in the war being raged inside me. I suspect the battle will be over within the hour; I think of my intestines as the honourable Samurai, and these cleansing fluids as the invading Vikings. They just don't play by the same rules, and my innards are getting right fucked over.

Passing wind is now just a fading, happy memory. There is only pain, water, and the knowledge of an imminent, deeply scarring medical experience.

Oh god it's so fucked when you can no longer risk a fart in case you shart. You just know, you KNOW the next piece of arse garse is going to have a liquid fuelled centre.

If you have a bendy hose on your shower head it means you can shart with giddy fucking clear on a fart because if though it has a liquid fuelled centre, or - if you will - like the liqueur centre on a fancy pants $30 dollar box o panty dropper, it don't matter if it be a sharty because you can just hose it away, much like you did on the footpath when excreting muck and decayed vegetable from the fruit and veg shop you worked on Saturday mornings just so you could buy a fuck off huge box of charcoal chicken and chips afterwards and revel that you earned it because the only fucking way you'd EVER get chicken and fucking chips from your parents was to join the after school chess club that met once a week in the demountable classrooms up the local Centre of Advanced Education - a kind of proto uni that just handed out teacher's certificates and where my mum would leave me all day as a student at the CAE, instead of staying to look after me at home*, in their library and I'd just read their comics only there were a few underground comics with chicks' bush and that in it - because it started too early after school and went too late not to let me have a yummy chicken and chips dinner.

Crazy like a fucking fox I am.

(taps side of head).

* As a side note I should say this. My mum entered tertiary studies as a mature aged student. I think she was just turned 40. She came third in her year and she turned out to be a shit-hot teacher, then later a librarian. In around 1980 we were living in the boondocks of NSW, at a large station my dad managed for the Irish owners. In the year we wore there it was sheer hell. White-anting workers who resented my dad's being appointed by distant Irish landed gentry. Unpleasant environment. Living in a caravan for six months while the residents of the homestead refused to move out (the under-manager). A new school where school wasn't the most fun - all of that. Near the end of the hell year my parents decided to restart. My dad quit and we moved. My dad at around 42 went back to uni as a full time student, and mum just after him. For three years the put themselves through uni, doing all manner of part-time and piecemeal work to make ends meet while also living off savings.

I couldn't imagine the courage and determination to succeed that would have taken, let alone the fact that both of them came to Australia as single immigrants initially and as a married couple the second time, having actually met in Australia. Not only that for my mum to be struck down with MS at the prime of her life and lose mobility over five years and spend the last decade in a fucking chair, and now having to deal with memory issues as well. And not bitch and not moan but just do what needs to be done.

I am an utter soft cock compared to them. The bravest thing I've ever done is move towns to go to postgrad uni. That's pretty much it. Oh, and have a prostate exam. And maybe, just maybe, writing this blog. Even if I do redact a lot of stuff from my life.

Yeah, that's right. I don't tell ya everything. That scare ya, don't it?

Twatwatch - Jim DeMint

Jim DeMint is a conservative senator in the US. Like many on the right in the US he's decided that ideology comes before reality. Now I respect people have the right to their own belief structures - but only if it's not imposed on other people. This no talent joke of a human being likes to think he's a values man in that he thinks gays and unwed mothers shouldn't teach.

When I joined the public service back in the mid-late 90s I was told, no fooling, by some colleagues that there used to be a rule that women - when they got married - had to leave the public service.

Why? Um ... because.

Oh how we laughed at such backward thinking.

Since Obama got in certain elements on the political right have gotten more hard core right wing. DeMint always was but now he's getting some traction for his views, hence the idea that he's allowed to take his biblically inspired - I say inspired because Jesus as I understand it never said anything about gays or unwed mothers - views and I guess condemn those people that don't fit his created in 6000BC world view. Legislators have an especially important role in public life to be as broadly inclusive as possible. To not march down the road of bigotry and exclusion.

The man is a twat. I feel sorry for the people of South Carolina.

Besides, the irony of it all is this. Hard core fundamentalists in the US typically remove their kids from the public school system anyway and home school them.

Writers as seen on TV

Whenever film depicts a writer writing chances are there will be a voice-over of the writer repeating what they're writing. Also the writer will be reacting emotionally to the writing as it's being written. Sad writing has tears smarting in the corners of the eyes. Funny scenes have the writer having a chuckle or even guffaw. Sexy writing ... well ... I don't want to even know about that.

The thing is, when you write, unless you type fuck off fast then you will be "speaking" internally quite slowly. Like someone speaking along to a learn a foreign language tape: yes - waiter - I - will - have - a - bread - roll - with - my - soup. Can - you - tell - me - where - the - bidet - is?

So really, if they're going to be depicting a writer writing and doing the voice over thing then it should be drawn out like they're wading in treacle. Also, what about typos? I mis-key every sentence at least once. You never see them striking out words written and re-typing. I just did it then. How would that be reflected.

Finally when I am writing I rarely overtly emotionally react to what I am writing. I don't cry if I write something sad. I don't laugh if I write something funny. I may, however, typer harder and slightly more quickly if I am rage-blogging. I also admit I will mouth softly along with what I am typing now and then. I'm doing it now.

Anyway, writers on film as depicted writing. Not real. Not realistic.

Of course that's down to the whole 'how do you visually depict an internalised activity?' problem that is inherent in film depiction of anyone doing any remote activity that has a hint of deep concentration.

Still, I find it annoying.

Actually one show gets it right - Californication - which has Dave D of X Files fame as the gonzo-style writer who is big on enjoying the company of ladies. If they show him taping away on his typewriter - and seriously, who still uses a typewriter? - he will show little if any emotive reaction.

Except of course ... well ... that's David Duchovny for you.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Bean Bag Hand

When I am lying on our bean bag I like to grip a big chunk of beans through the bag and hold them in my fist. Then I let little bits dribble away until the fist o beans collapses back into the bag leaving my fist empty and hollow.

Am I the only one that does that?


By dint of a hint of dairy

I gave up dairy laced food I think about a week ago. Last night I partially relented. I had a little bit of grated Halloumi on our delish olive tomato pasta as cooked by theWife. No reaction - excellent - because apparently for some people with dairy intolerance then sheep / goats milk derived products don't cause a reaction. Duly noted. Even if Halloumi is fuck off expensive at about $5 for a 200 gram block.

Then I had some sorbet ... with a hint of cream from a cracked open box from our many boxes of lactose free cream we purchased when we thought it was Lactose Wot Done It.

Yeah ... pain lanced within 20 minutes. And of course in that time I'd had a second helping so when it did lance it was worse. Bloating, gas, cramping pains. That more than uncomfortable feeling that you want to pass out poop but if you try you got nuthin'.

Later, high on pain meds, I though 'what the fuck, I've already dialed back the pain. Why not indulge?' So I had some cereal with proper milk and a dash of the cream. Yeah, there was pain from it – and the aforementioned gas bloats – but hey, like I said, already doing the good chemical business so it didn’t hurt as much.

Except of course meds wear off. Which they did when I awoke and … still in pain.

Damn you dairy! (shakes fist).

By the way, milk substitutes. On balance, having sampled a number of white milk impersonating liquids, I have to say ... milk ... there is no substitute.

There you go advertisers. I'm doing your job for you again. I except a fucking cheque this time.