Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'm a weak, weak man...

I pride myself on being largely immune to advertising - both broadcast and sneaky. Especially online advertising. For example for broadcast ads, like in newspaper sites, I mentally blank out the ad squares and rarely notice any of their content. As for the sneaky ones I know I am not the 999,999 visitor and thus have not in fact won a plasma tv.

Today ... today I faltered. I clicked. It was a broadcast ad on the SMH.

It was this.

A Benedict Bagel?! I had to find out more. I
ts basically an Egg and Bacon McMuffin with the bun swapped for a bagel and the addition of hollandaise sauce. Even though it's a hefty 400+ calories ... well ...

I will get one tomorrow.

Damn you McDonald's! Damn you all to hell (maniac, blew it up etc.)

UPDATE: It's the next morning. I got one for myself and TLR. Verdict? Delicious. DAMN YOU!

On Wednesdays I go shopping

... and have buttered scones for tea!

The other day we went shopping. While watching theBoy at play I got called over to look at some clothes by TheWife. They were pajama bottoms ... for a lady.

‘Do you think Michaela will like these?’ asked TheWife.

I had no idea who or what this Michaela is.

‘Um … I have no idea. Who is she?’

‘You know,’ urged TheWife. ‘Michaela …?’

She nodded her head in a conspiratorial matter.

I knew a Michaela in high school but, with not having anything to do with Facebook I haven’t interacted with her, or any other Michaela, for 20 odd years.

‘No … nup …drawing a blank.’

TheWife hissed softly.

‘She’s you…’

I hadn't realised that my ladies PJ bottoms wearing had been assigned a cover identity. Well I did now, and I embraced it with hunger of a pale, occasionally glittering, 100 year old vampire for a fresh seventeen year old girl.

Left: Artist's impression of "... Michaela ..."

As for the items selected, they were nice. Blue patterned efforts. One had lacy cuffs, though TheWife then loudly announced that ‘If Michaela doesn’t like those “she” can always cut them off’. Another had a snug fit elasticized waist which was proven on wearing to be the most comfortable PJ pants I have ever, ever worn.

So … we’re going back for some more.

Ladies PJ Bottoms are the tasty shiz.

UPDATE: Due to a sore tum and wanting something both supportive and not too painful a cinch at the waist I wore them out to a nerd night. Then I filled up the car while wearing them too. The dude behind the glass didn't even bat an eyelid.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wikfin - Uncanny Valley

I started reading the wiki for Up ... then clicked on to Uncanny Valley.

It sounds like a dodgy p0rn title featuring characters from the X-Men...

You haven't given us time to hide

With thanks to The Life of Brian.

As you know I am the oft victim of Drive-By-Boganing or DBB (1).

A DBB is where you, the innocent pedestrian, ambling along freely in the wide, wide, world, likely on some sort of purpose built path by the road's side, have a car-load of fuckwits roar past who, through the open windows of their mighty iron-steed, cast forth vitriol and abuse at said walker.

I think it's happened about a half dozen times since I moved back to the south of Canberra into "Nappy Valley" (2).

Any hoo, today's effort was a pearlier of a DBB. It wasn't so much what was said - I couldn't actually hear anything beyond dopler-infested gibberish - it was more the timing.

I hadn't actually started walking yet.

We sometimes go to the north-side of Canberra to the revamped Westfields in Belconnen to do shopping and sic theBoy on the free Pirate-themed play-area while we flop exhausted into the chairs not owned by the uptight donut shop nearby. On the return TheWife sometimes drops me with my Mp3 player a couple of kays from home so I can have my daily walk.

So I was gainfully dropped off and the good lady TheWife and child sped off around the corner, and I was waiting for passing traffic to clear before I crossed to the road, when today's lucky DBB contestants came belching along. Two guys and two girls in a white Toyota dual-cab ute. So in other-words an el-primo bogan chariot brimming with bogany contents.

I had only just thumbed on one of my leccies from 100 objects but yes not yet taken that forward step when they crossed in front, girls gaily laughing a'titter at their manly men upfront having upbraided me for my many faults - almost certainly for my size given I'd never met them and they didn't know anything about me. Also it was I think the first time it's been a white dual-cab ute that's done the DBB - though utes have done it to me before (twice from memory).

It was like an updated short-film attempt where the retro folk classic of Bangor was changed to a hard-hitting Ozzer version. Instead of Edwardian a'courtin' funsters in an open topped vintage car the setting had been dragged kicking and screaming into the seedy bogan side-belly of southern Canberra - an urban blighted suburban wasteland of roadkill McDonald's fries boxes squished gold-foil thin across the gravelled tar of undulating street-scapes - and the vintage car morphed to a ute staffed with a genetically-superior-to-me mobile double date.

Mind you the lyrics would need updating...

Didn't we have a lovely time the day we went to Tuggers
A beautiful day, we had lunch from drive-thru and all for under a twenty you know
But on the way back I cuddled with Jack and we opened a bottle of glue
Singing a few of our favourite songs as it was chromed around

What a pair of Lord and Lady Douchebags.

(1) I'm assuming the singular and plural are the same - like with sheep!
(2) Tuggeranong

My son the writer

TheBoy is 3.6 years old. He loves stories. Tonight he wanted a verbal made-up one. I asked him to give me the starting synopsis - typically it's stuff like Humpty and Stumpty play with my tool box - so I could start telling it and crafting it as I went.

The synopsis?

'Ellie and Dellie are swimming superheroes!'

Yep, that was all him. The names of the characters - never heard them before - and what he wanted them to be.


Naturally during the story they saved him when he fell in the river. He tends to star in these stories. For the most part the characters that routinely appear - like the same stable of actors in a Judd Apatow (1) production are - TheBoy, Humpty and Stumpty, Russell (from Pixar's Up), a Monster (who is friendly), and The Robot. They get up to all sorts of mischief together.

(1) We've been on a JA kick of late. All seventeen eps of Freaks and Geeks (damn you NBC for fireflying it!), Pineapple Express, and now Undeclared. Awesome stuff. Apatow's talent makes me seethe with jealousy.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Like riding a gorram bike

When I was in year 12 for some moronic reason I sentenced myself to a Saturday morning job. I rose at sparrows, rode my pushie into town, and worked from 7:30 am until about 1:30 pm in a fruit shop. My job, by and large, was two fold. The first part—opening up 50 kg sacks of potatoes and stuff two kilo bags with taters. The bag couldn't be more than 2.1 kg. Sometimes this would be livened up with other veg, like carrots, but for the most part it was potatoes.

It was a mind-blanking factory style job. Hour after hour of stuffing bags by hand. Rich soil would cake under my nails or give my puffy boy-man flesh a patina of grime. I'd even get a bath ring inside my nostrils from breathing in all the dirt.

As 1 pm came around it was time to put down the sacks and bags for part two—the clean up. I had to hose out the entire back area of the shop, sticking my finger over the nozzle to get a mist-jet and swish-swash wake the curves of dirt and muck down to the chuck hole. Given the amount crud on the floor, like off cuts of spoiled vegetable that had been pared from its parent because of ick and dropped onto the concrete slab, the chuck hole would have to be cleaned out by hand a couple of times during the process. The job ending out through the roller door as the last of the receiving bay / loading dock was cleaned. I earned about $4 an hour. I'd blow one third of it on a quarter chicken and chips from the local charcoal chicken shop (though I'd have to take money for that—I didn't get paid until the next Saturday).

The job was supposed to only go until 1 pm but I'd end up sometimes working back until 2 or 3 pm. I didn't get paid for that. It was only until I was doing TAFE and talking to someone who knew about salary awards that I mentioned I was grossly underpaid. I was let go two weeks after that.

But the skill—of washing crud off concrete and brick—was not lost. It all came back to me in a screaming hurry when I had to tag out with the wife to hose off the patio we had put in because we'd discovered half a rain forest had laid a bed down in our gutters which caused them to overflow when it rained. With a pergola roof going in we needed to fix it all now because they'd be harder to get at.

Pavers now sparkling clean. Mikey ... sodden. I ended up having to do that splayed stiff legged gun fighter calling you out walk of discomfort for the laundry door and strip off my soaked clothes in there before doing an undies run for the shower.

Lucky theBoy didn't see. Lately when I've been undies out he's run at me to give pay back and squeeze my tushie.

Damn pay back.

Still, I have that minor glow of having done something semi-worthwhile. Then went and did something utterly not—blogging this and wasting all your fucking time for recounting a memory of a crappy weekend job and a minor soddening of me in this adult life.

However you have to admit A minor soddening of me in this adult life is a terrific album title.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Deniers drop in on Canberra

Encouraged to come to the NatCap by a "commercial radio announcer", 3000 anti-Carbon tax protesters came to Canberra today - bused in by the organisers no less - to have a noisy roar at those darned leftists ... and ... and their music. Check out the ABC news story on it.

To the left is an AAP photo of the event as seen on the ABC site (I linked to the image as I am not sure on copyright for that).

I just love the sign.

JULIAR (1) along with the declaration that the PM is Browns bitch (sic). Yes, they forgot the apostrophe. You know if you're going to go to the effort to put kewl flames on your protest banner ... at least get the grammar right.

Like the Tea Party "Protests" in the US (2), I suspect this one was likewise a sea of pale puffy flesh.

Still ... at least their protest signage were not commercially mass-produced ... unlike the anti-miner's tax rallies bank-rolled by Gina Rinehart and "Twiggy" (the mining magnate, not the model). Signs which were then apparently gathered up at the end of said "protest" to be safely stored for the next event.

Ah the puffy monochromatic right on a protest jaunt. What a sight to see. I wonder if they sang '10 communist red bottles standing on the wall...' on the way back to Sydney?

UPDATE: As anon has pointed out there were some mass produced signs. Also apparently not 3000 people. Half that. Which is about 15% of the number that signed the petition that went to Combet this morning asking for action on climate change. Also the Coalition of Youth against Climate Change coordinator was on JJJ's Hack program and somewhat smugly noted her org had 58 000 members ... which is more than the ALP or the Libs have (3). At any rate 2GB's - the offending radio station - sad, pathetic Fox-esq effort to be a playah in political discourse instead of a shrill red faced laughable character that they are was most hilarious. Oh, and I forgot one of the crucial demographic identifiers for these peeps. As the climate change youth coord noted almost all of them were middle-aged. You know the ones that won't be here to experience the effect of said climate change... but will have to pay a few dollars more for lecy and petrol. Fuckwads.

UPDATE 2: Bernard Keane of Crikey had this to say (Crikey 24 March) of the protester's demographics and perhaps the reason for their uniformity of cultural ethnic background.

What was interesting about the crowd wasn’t so much its average age -- 60, at least, meaning most of them would likely 1. be over-compensated for a carbon price and 2. never live to see the really serious effects of climate change -- but its colour. If you didn’t know that climate denialism was primarily a feature of the over-55 demographic, you could explain the age thing away by saying it was a weekday rally and lots of other supporters would have been at work. But there was no multiculturalism here, and not just among the small One Nation contingent forlornly holding up "Pauline was right" signs. This was a monocultural crowd, overwhelmingly Anglo-Celtic in the old phrase.

Why don’t people from European backgrounds reject climate science at the same rate as old white people? Why not Asians? Why weren’t there elderly Italian women railing against Ju-liar (and one assumes, out of respect for Christopher Pyne, that’s not a subtle anti-Semitic reference).

It’s the same reason that Pauline Hanson showed up, trying to parasite off another cause as part of her campaign to live off public election funding for, apparently, the rest of her life. These were once her people, not because there’s any endogenous link between xenophobia and climate denialism, but because it’s not really about climate change or immigration, but about social change and the social and economic transformation of Australia in a way that older, white Australians resent. This crowd grew up in a monocultural, British country that relied on protected industries -- particularly the "real jobs" to be found in manufacturing. They grew up with a political system dominated by old white men. Australia has changed beyond recognition for them and because of their education levels and their age, they aren't as well equipped to handle it as others are. They therefore feel disoriented, dispossessed and resentful, particularly because they don’t hold the same pre-eminent position they used to hold socially, economically or politically.

This is why there’s such a strong conspiracy theory fringe to climate denialism. The placards about UN and IMF plots yesterday weren’t coincidental. Like most conspiracy theories, they’re driven less by paranoia than by a desperate search for reassurance that someone, somewhere, however evil, is actually in control of what’s going on, and the right order of things could be restored.

In the end, it’s not even really about climate change for these people. It was immigration for One Nation. It was the republic before that. People disoriented by rapid change will always find an issue to take up in their search for reassurance.

Faced with the revolt of these people in the form of One Nation, John Howard exploited the asylum seeker issue brilliantly as a form of a bait-and-switch -- he took a tough line on asylum seekers, while massively cranking up permanent and temporary immigration, as the economy demanded. He convinced One Nation voters he was one of them, while doing the very thing that they were most aggrieved about, in the interests of good economic policy. It was one of Howard's political masterstrokes.

Media watch this week also looked at the comms side of the issue. How is it then that these people came to this side of the issue, or even energized to give a fuck in the first place? It's simple - as evidenced by how the peeps came to Canberra - commercial talk-back radio. The jocks they listen to being middle-aged white men often of a conservative background. Who look at one side of the "debate" - the fringe 'it's not man' side - and rarely, if ever, have on any scientists from the mainstream side of the "debate".

Poor old Australian Anglo-Celtic whitey. Have to share the planet with other people. Wah.

Disclosure: I am an Anglo-Celtic whitey. Fortunately I was blessed with parents that helped expose me to multiculturalism at an early age through our University's church (4). Perhaps then I was lucky to have had the advantage to experience and enjoy other cultures and I escaped that bizarre mindset that so grievously afflicts segments of Australia's populace.

(1) The Ju Liar tag courtesy of Alan Jones who sprayed invective at the PM during a recent phone interview, where the prissy Jones was all ruffled by the fact the effective ruler of the country was a bit late to the phone. Who the fuck does Jones think he is to monster the Prime Minister like that?! The man is a ghastly arse-tick of the right-wing media landscape.
I put "protests" in quotes because while a bunch of typically over-fed white people from the higher end of the tax bracket whining about progressive taxation ("Git yer dang hand out of mah pocket!") may consider their stance worthy of such a label I sure as fuck don't. I wonder if they realise that progressive taxation is a) broadly accepted across the world as a keystone of government revenue and b) it was introduced to the US by ... a Republican (Teddy Roosevelt)?
Though it should be noted it's far easier to e-sign up to a group like that than become a paid up member of a political party. And in the ALP you have to be a member of a requisite union to be a paid up member (though you can join the ALP-lite organisation that does just need an e-sign up, but you don't get voting rights for branch stuff - and they have a couple of hundred thousand members as I understand it.
We also had living with us for a year a Ugandan student named Millie, whose favourite show was A Perfect Match, which she'd watch, legs hooked over the chair while she applied nail polish to her long luxurious nails. It was through her experiences I found out about Idi Amin and the sheer horror that mongrel inflicted on his people. She was so, so nice. I wonder what happened to her? I think she returned home after graduation to work as an agronomist.

In work encounters

The first encounter (1)

When I started in the public service over a decade ago, despite being gainfully tertiary in my qualifications, I commenced as a lowest possible government drone (sector 7G). The lowest of the low were the mailroom lads ... which is of course what I was (though a slightly higher grade in a support cell area). That's back when I had my arse-long ponytail (pre-bald spot) too. I ended up pushing a mail trolley around corridors, my ponytail a swish-swashing behind me like one of the Brady girls, and looking like the comic store guy from The Simpsons sprung to three-dimensional life.

So when I see mailroom lads with their trolleys tooling around the corridors I am reminded of that time in my employment life. It had its ups and downs - the people I worked with were nice enough and the work was not challenging, however I didn’t like the way other public servants looked down on me and the work itself lacked meaning or purpose for me.

I likes to have a purpose.

The other day I saw one of the trolley dudes coming along. He was a shorter man but what really caught my eye were the giant set of mutton chops he had fuzzing out of his face. The exact same facial hairstyle on his far taller colleague that also tools a trolley around. It seems the mailroom lads of circa 2011 have adopted the reverse movember as their hirsute stock in facially hairy trade.

I’m glad that wasn’t around when I was on the trolleys. I don’t think I could pull off the bristling chops.

The second encounter

I am a short man. I don’t think of myself as short, nor do I have short man syndrome (2). I just tend to think I am normal height and the people that I meet when I’m walking down the street just happen to be taller than average. It’s a good way to look at life. Mind you as I walk along, if I have my eyes straight ahead, I tend to end up level with a girl’s neck or with a boys pec.

I rarely experience what it is like to be physically dominant. My older brother has that—he’s 6’3”. Plus he’s a teacher and has to have a loud ‘now settle down’ voice to go with it. His height gives him a physicality that I lack.

But the other day as I was stepping into the lift a shorter person stepped out. She must have been under five feet, but perfectly in proportion. Suddenly I got an insight what it must be like to be tall. To be that dominant. To tower over others. I have to confess … I liked it. To be able to strut around with the subsconcious understanding that you could likely smash anyone you came across by dint of size alone. Must be good for the ego. As Abe Simpson once said of Homer - 'I was always proud you were not a short man.'

(1) One of my favourite type of nerd books—okay, role-playing game supplements, are collections of one-shot encounters. They present a person, place, predicament, or protagonist in 1–2 pages that you can drop in with little notice into your game. Indeed KODT has a section, not statted out though, called Bait and Tackle where they give a small synopsis of a situation in progress then a game master only behind-the-scenes to what the situation truly entails. You give over the info in game and let the player characters at it. It’s good stuff—and it’s often surprising where such an encounter can lead. It can often be a trigger for an entire side-story for your campaign.
(2) Contrary to urban myth, Napoleon did not have ‘short man’s syndrome’ because, as Mark Steel pointed out in his Radio 4 lecture on Napoleon, he was not actually short. Napoleon was the average height for a man of his time. If he had other issues, such as megalomania, they were not caused by a sense of physical inferiority.
The Mark Steel lectures are awesome. Most of them are on YouTube - so check them out today!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Speaking of bars

Not the good kind where Irish, Scotsmen and Englishmen go. No, the grill bars of a piss trough.

For you ladies not in the know a piss trough is where us lads stand to go our onesies. The one at my work has a grill to allow drops to fall through from when you're finished (and start) but prevents your feet from actually touching the metal of the trough beneath. The one at my work also flushes less frequently to save water so has the added advantage of increasing the delightful heady smell of urine within the vicinity. Which, if like me you're in there for long periods either chucking up, straining one out or escorting in electricians to change the light bulbs, can be a right pain in the nostrils.

While I was using the trough I had my Mp3 player out. No, it's not what I call my penis. It's my actual music listening device. I was thumbing on the unit so I could pick up where I left off with round 10 of 100 objects.

I have a poor grip. I always have done. I never liked guitar or playing the piano as a result of it because I suffer discomfort when trying to do anything with my fingers more intricate than two-finger typing. I frequently drop things. It's annoying. It's one of the few things that will spark off a 'OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE' from me. Okay ... one of the many. But if I drop something then I get irritated.

I dropped my Mp3 player.

It swung for a small pulse of time from the ear phone jack before kinetic forces caused it to break free and drop with precision through the bars of the piss trough grill. The Mp3 landed on its back on the tidal flats of fading urine, the scrolling red characters on the LCD winking up at me.

I had to lift up the grill, gingerly pick up the player and go wipe it off.

You know what ... the sheer scale of the maximum drop fail apart from something expensive and/or alive deserves another eruption.


Area man lowers the bar

I am a disgusting man. For example I pick my feet. Not just the soles of my flat feet - which often end up in near agony when stood upon - especially if I track across the laundry floor where kitty litter shards cobble across tiles like tiny baked caltrops, but also the webbing between my toes and my toe nails. I now I have no toenails to speak of.

Perhaps it's because I'm so far out the end of the bell curve on looks that it really doesn't fucking matter what I do or what I say. If a lady (or lad) thinks of me in that way well, then they have issues. So I have the blessed advantage of being able to use my bad body business for comedic value.

Like talking about 'my shits'.

I told S about a Mikey epic arse-wipe fail. Not sure if I ever blogged it so blogging it now I will.

Once, when I was a student for the third time (post post-grad), I went to the toilet before class. It wasn't a great experience - using toilets at the library never is because of the echos of your motions in a broader place of silence worship (1). You tend to get a little shy about expressing yourself vocally when straining to push one out.

Any hoo I went, went to class, went home. As is the nature of such things I didn't need to use the toilet again for twos until I had a shower.

It was then I found I hadn't wiped properly. How did I know? The mass of fecal stained paper pulp I discovered in lodged between my arse cheeks when I went to tend to that area with soap.

I remember the sheer horror as I felt the lump and, not knowing what it was, grappled around until I had it clenched and brought it up close to my failed eyes to see what the fuck it was.

I think I screamed, dashed the pulp to the tiled floor, then stomped the remnants down the drain holes until the entire horror of my arse-wipe fail was washed away.

After I told S that tale ... I then said 'so I have sunk even lower in your eyes now.'

Yes ... I'd managed to lower the bar even lower. I think if my life was like the high jump bar in PE then I'd have to dig a ditch at this point (2).

(1) TheWife used to use a disabled toilet near her desk because she was shy about noises. Fair enough. Except she later found out to her horror - courtesy of taking theBoy to use it when she took him to work - that the stall not only amplified noises ... all desks within ear-shot could hear it. She never used it again.
PE - or Physical Education - is the name us Ozzers give gym class in school. Like the US system it involved showing your developing body to class mates, running around getting red faced and sweaty, then enduring the burden of exposing yourself once more to your peers (2a). Hooray. Except ... for me ... about in year six that all stopped as I had water on the knee and could no longer do such running around due to extreme pain. Of course this helped me become twice the man I am today. Before this time I had to participate. I was in year two were learning to do high jumps. Jumping backwards over the bar. I was scared of the bar. I didn't like the idea of flinging myself backward over a solid object - even if it was designed to pop off its pegs at the slightest contact. If offended my sense of security. So how did I resolve this fear? Simple. I dived under the bar. Problem solved. Obstacle overcome. Of course the teachers didn't see it that way. But then PE teachers and I have had a historically troubled relationship - they saw me as a fatty exercise-dodger, which I was, and I saw them as evil sadistic c__ that had a special seat reserved on the roller coaster to hell if such a negative after-life exists for all the bad people in the world. As an adult, now twenty years removed from schooling, I've yet to revise that opinion.
(2a) As Jerry Seinfeld famously said of gym class in high school ... 'Any day you had gym class was a weird school day. It started off normal. You had English, Social Studies, Geometry, then suddenly you’re in Lord of the Flies for 40 minutes. You’re hanging from a rope, you have hardly any clothes on, teachers are yelling at you, kids are throwing dodge balls at you and snapping towels - you're trying to survive. And then it's Science, Language, and History. Now that is a weird day.'

Things that seemed like a good idea

Eating that second hot fudge sundae - the very sundaes you swore blind to stop eating - two hours after the first one.

I'm now bloated, with the scalding chill of chocolate down my throat, and coughing. However, if I hadn't had thrown the dead Sundae container in the bin, chances are I'd be at the skerricks of fudge sauce that remains.

I've eaten enough of these sundaes to see when the machine gets reloaded with the hot fudge sauce. It comes in a thick transparent plastic bag ... which looks like a sepia toned photographic negative of the liposuction fat-bags liberated for fancy soaps and sundries in Fight Club.

Which has a logic to it. That's what a sundae ends up as - fat.

Stupid sundae habit.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mikey's Mp3 likes

On my daily walks I've started listening to podcasts of the talking kind. I used to crank up some music before I'd go to mind blank out the associated pain of exercise and then typically end up singing along as I ambled and look like I was in a musical stage adaptation of Bad Boy Bubby.

But now ... now my poison is interviews or stories or books. If I get the good car - with its modern AUX jack that can play music devices - I'll listen to whatever selection I have on as I go ... which, let's face it, despite all attempts to curb it, is typically a to-and-back McDonald's run.

So for my typical day-to-day fare I've been downloading All Things Considered and The Morning Edition shows from National Public Radio - which I only recently became aware of. So, so good. Intelligent, informed, edu-ma-cated peeps talking about world and national events in a lucid, meaningful manner - completely unsullied by 'a-l-l-l right ... we have Jonesy in the studio ready to have a midget rub depilatory cream over his pecs and we're going to live broadcast his reaction ... also something something black thunder something who weekly mags and icy cold cans of coke.'

It's like 'where the fuck has this been all my life?!'

I can totally see now about the echo chamber effect of the internet. Where you find and seek out the like minded to cluck-a-cluck in an excited mutual support babble. Why waste your life debating bogans on the Herald Sun Bolt Board when you can simply point and laugh at them with the like-minded on another website? It's the same with listening to NPR. Others have their Zoo radio experience - hosted by the oddly surreal Glenn Beck-esqs doing crazy radio stunts like convincing people there's a new underground amusement park in their area and chuckling as gullible fuckwads tool around all weekend to find it for the grand opening. I get to listen to quality programming for next-to-free.

Anyhoo the other Mp3 podcasty vehicle I've gotten into - and an entire year too late - is the BBC Radio 4 100 objects series (1) - where the British Museum gives a 15 minute lecture about an item in their collection and what it reveals about the history of mankind as a whole. I've listened to the first five now.

Wow. Just wow. It blows my fucking mind.

We live in an age of such sheer brain wealth. It makes me grin for the future.

Now if only we could do something about commercial radio.

(1) Courtesy of reading about it in an article in last weekend's Spectrum section of the SMH

I'm not proud ...

Earlier this year I saved a dog during a big storm. Go me. Highlights from that include wheeling it in a shopping trolley with an umbrella slotted above it past a veranda full of smirking beer guzzling legs a-splayed tradies and my picking the dog's turds up the next day from our moist lawn.


The other day - while on my daily walk - I encountered another dog. I'm not sure where it came from but, as is is the way with dogs, it started following me. Even when I dashed across the road when it was distracted it found me again and followed, its giant tongue lolling as it happily trotted beside me.

Only I wasn't in the mood for saving dogs. The last incident was a right fucking pain and for one not an experience I wanted to repeat. This one was not a cute little mournful thing, a-shivering in the rain and looking up with big puss-in-boots-from-Shrek eyes. This was a fuck off big dog - a rottweiller I think - that was packing a sausage greater in all dimensions than my own. It also had no collar so tracking the owner would be difficult, and with our fence down for repairs we'd have no way of securing it in the yard.

So I did the manliest thing I could think of.

I hid from it.

I had slowed my pace to a doddering amble and it trotted off ahead of me and started to sniff around someone's front garden. As it did I blended in behind a tree - my gut protruding way out like Alfred Hitchcock playing hide and seek at a Hollywood party - and waited. It looked around for about three minutes, paced up and back, then eventually proceeded on its merry way down the street. Presumably looking for me.

Waiting until its back was turned and it was well in the distance I dashed 10 metres down the side between houses path and quickly sped off into the gathering afternoon sun hoping our paths would not cross.

They didn't. Dog successfully avoided.

If our fence was up I probably would have succumbed to my OCD right-thing-itis but, well, the fence's failure is my serendipity.

Yes indeed. You bet your sweet bippy it is.

Finally ... speaking of dog-related comedy...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A little bit fancy...

I haven't been blogging of late because I've been feeling meh. The desire to write or read slabs of text each day becomes a little depressing - even if it's for fun. It used to be I read most of the SMH and The Washington Post political section most days in addition to Crikey and now various Salon pieces. But lately ... no, seldom interested. Perhaps because I've been doing report preparation which is intensive editing.

But well I have to put the meh aside. It's important to write and write often according to S King esquire if you want it to be something more than an idle lottery fantasy. So I try and do this if only to fool myself that I can be something more than I am.

So ... a little bit fancy. That's McDonald's latest tag line - which links into the Black Angus which has been deemed by McD and its many punters as their joie de verve.

We went to a zoo for our public holiday break and in one of the towns on the way the McDonald's there was all kitted out in semi-fancy attire, yes, I shit you not - tuxedo T-Shirts. When at McDonalds I like to read The Daily Telegraph. It's a guilty pleasure. Kind of like finding a low brow lad mag in a pile in a waiting room - Aussie Post or something. I read it for the short bullet style articles and laugh spitefully at their cartoonish mo-twizzling right wing punditry. But they didn't have it. Instead there was the town newspaper. What the fuck - when in named-after-Rome. So I read it ... then I saw there was an article ... on McDonald's ... being a little bit fancy - complete with a pic of the staff. It wasn't an ad. It wasn't an advetorial ... it was an article. An actual article.

Holy snapping barrel bottoms scraping Batman.

I suppose you can't blame them. It must be hard being a local paper nowadays with staffing needs Vs money coming in. The main dailies are hemorrhaging money with the loss of classified revenue - of which Keating once said they were 'rivers of gold' ... back in the pre-web days. I can imagine for regional papers it may even be worse. Town papers even more so.

Still ... there's always ads from Rosita who is in one town for one week only - Country Comfort Inn etc.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

It's the end of the world and I know it ... thanks to Google

The tsunami that hit the coast of Japan and is now rippling across the world like a cracked whip is messed up. At 8.9 it's the fifth biggest quake since records began.


I was doing some surfing and kicked off my home page y'all. Which is, naturally, Google.

And there it was. The tsunami warning. On Google. The world's most visited website.

When I was a kid I watched a lot of kewl old re-run style sci-fi movies. People from the future never came from countries or nation states. They'd come from some sort of mass consciousness unified world like the Star Trek federation. Where differences were put aside in what united us instead. Where money didn't even exist - which I never understood in Star Trek cannon. Indeed as Seinfeld famously quipped 'I love that in the future we all decided on the one outfit we'd wear. We'd have a vote and it would be the silver v-neck jumpsuit.'

A Utopian or world-unified future government is almost a cliche. But it's used because it works. Because the future where the world is united in such a fashion seems ... utterly futuristic.

But ... tonight ... that was a step. Google warning the world, transcending nation states, transcending any and all governments. They had the power to tell us things. To communicate to all of us.

If this was a movie there'd be a montage of people in various shades of brown, yellow and white looking at the screen showing the Google home page and nodding with the warning. Different time zones, different dress ... different hair ... looking at the one global website warning us all that dire things had come.

It may not be a silver v-neck jumpsuit ... but it's a start.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Why are so many elderly smokers struck down by buses?

The next specialist

So recently I had to go to yet another specialist. The same specialist I saw eight odd years ago after I was diagnosed with IBS and then proceeded to largely ignore anything she said.

Along for the ride was M, my case-manager. It's a weird situation having a case-manager, though she seems nice enough. She asked about my family - and told me about hers. We share little men with asthma issues - though hers is a teen now and has had several bouts in hospital.

Then into the specialist we went. It was a candid frank discussion about maladaptive eating, fibre issues (I have an approx level of 5 and it should be nearer to 35), about the joy of eating, the giddy thrill of downing a Large sized McDonald's hot fudge sundae. Just how fucking good it tastes even though it's 502 calories and would require a brisk seven and a half kay walk to burn it off.

The other night I had two, one after the other.

The weird thing is that before I went on my sundae kick I'd lost weight from being careful. Then ... then I went into this frenzy that at one point saw a stack of empty sundae tubs in the bin on the box next to the computer, tiny skerricks of fudge still clinging to the inside of the plastic, but only as far down as my tongue could not reach.

It was a bizarre thing to do considering how reasonable I'd been. I think it's because they were delicious and because they seemed to have minimal effect on my pain levels. Like they were made in a lab or something.

So the talk went well. I have to start eating breakfasts again - I haven't had a regular breakfast for nearly a year now (maybe on the weekend if we're out, but otherwise no). The reason being that I was feeling like shit - bloated, gassy and spasmed - when I woke and I really didn't feel like eating until midday rolled around. That was according to the specialist likely because my bod was still processing the gunk I'd snacked up into it late at night.

I told her how much I loved to load up The Daily Show then tuck into a sundae. It might be my self-diagnosed OCD, but I was actually fixating on that each day. The time when I'd be able to put on my favourite TV show in the world and eat the most delicious thing in the world.

And there in lies my fucked up relationship with food. Food colours everything I do. If it's something I enjoy doing - watching TV, reading a book (1), going to the movies, being out and about down town - I want to eat while I do it and I want to eat something my body craves. Let's face it - the body does not crave spinach and salad and all things good for you. It wants dense calorie rich goodness that sparks off an endorphin rush so good you feel like a cig afterwards.

The specialist said that I had to think about neck up and neck down eating. Neck down is when you eat because you're hungry - you're meeting a need. Neck up is entertainment. For taste, for pleasure, for enhancing what you're doing by yumming down food.

She was dead on with that. She also said that if I wouldn't give it to my own son then perhaps I should consider not having it for me. Also that if a restaurant has a drive-thu that's usually a good sign they're peddling crap.

I had a moan about McDonalds, given their sundaes I am addicted to, and said by rights Ronald should be a massive fat fucker that the nine other clowns in the car had to lever out with a board. Also that his red nose wasn't artificial. She laughed at that.

The good old seven signs of shit also got a mention, including her loading up the diagram on her futuristic and wondrous uber large mac monitor to talk about the ideal result being lots more fours and threes - the latter she referred to as 'pollywaffles' after the '80s chocolate bar of the same name. I told her about how my guts doctor had called the ideal movement a 'lovely log' and we all laughed. Also the specialist - being a girl, the case-manager too - then gave a wistful (2) sigh because said guts doctor is known for being a tall, handsome genial kiwi and considered a bit of a spunk-a-hunk in the Canberra medical community.

Yay me and reflected glory from knowing a good-looking desirable man. I have that at work as it is - although minimal reflected glory. Basically I think the girls see me as a moving obstacle in getting in their way of flutter-eye-lidding at S and his cock-eyed grin bearing manliness.

Fair enough.

The meeting ended with a print out of meal ideals - in comic sans no less! (3) - that I need to aim for, with smaller amounts of protein rich food (fingers of protein she called it, showing her hand with her fingers together to show the ideal amount). She also said to do my best to nix my sundae habit - replace it, for example, with a Weis bar or a small low fat serve of ice-cream with some berries (4).

That's a given. I think I knew I had a problem when the same lovely Zaftig girl served me at Tuggers AND Erindale drive-thrus on several occasions when I purchased between four and six sundaes in one session, leading to an embarrassed 'oh ... hello ... again' from me. Also when I'd gone to Fyshwick and discovered that they'd run out of hot fudge sauce, I left their paltry drive-thru (5) and ... drove to Erindale to get my fix.

Anyway, I'm glad I went. I'm glad too that I am going to kick my sundae addiction. I honestly felt like a drug addict might feel going on that one last bender before rehab.

Which is good. Because if they do try and make me go to rehab ... well ... I would probably go.

UPDATE: S just informed me that in his anti-hedonistic days of theologically induced door-knocking that hot girls would sometimes open the door while naked - though he never took advantage of that situation. I now hate him. it's like he was a chaste Alvin Purple or something.

(1) OCD and food meet with my odd habit I got into as a kid of reading Asterix and Cleopatra while eating hot cross buns on a Good Friday - I think I did that eight years in a row. I told a friend about that once and she actually put her copy of it in the mail for me to enjoy that easter. Aw, what a spesh!
(2) When I was in Year 12 Ben Elton did one of his stand-up routines on I think The Big Gig - which was this awesome stand-up comics plus skits show that was on the ABC and hosted by Wendy Harmer. It's where the Doug Anthonys got their big break. Ben Elton was doing a bit on tampon commercials and describing all the attractive twenty something women on their menzies as looking wistful. He also pointed out that if men had periods we'd be forever moaning on about it and it would likely end up being a topic of manly discussion - "There I was headed to the field in my cricket whites and wouldn't you know it I got my period". Hilarious stuff. For the next week we ran around asking the girls if they were feeling "wistful". This is a massively rude thing to say and the lady sensitive Mikey - well, sort of - would likely think twice before commenting on a woman's cycle. Also when we went through IVF I got to know far more about the process than I ever did - including when mucus is up it's time to go, go, go (throws self out the door, parachute blossoms).
(3) Yes, Comic Sans is a hilariously overused font. So much so that if us nerdy fonties see it used in the workplace we roundly mock the user with our snootery. Even though thanks to our government nature we're mandated to use Times New Roman. Just once, just once I'd like to put a report out using Chiller.
(4) I started that tonight! Only ... I enjoyed the weis bar so much I went and had another one shortly after the first.
(5) I did however buy a small fries. I didn't want to be rude.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Double secret probation google fail

I was checking out the stats function on blogspot, which I like to look at even though I get about 120 hits a day and 110 of those are via a google image search.

Still, I has an ego, and I like to know. Occasionally I am sufficiently curious to re-read a post that was long written ago and that some poor sap clicked on to.


So I check out traffic sources. I saw this result.

Okay. A good topic. Safety first before air-powered indication of wind direction.

Which post was that then?

The bottom one - which links to that post

So not only did the searcher link to a site that did not provide information about weather vane stability, the person that was the subject of the post ... well ... can hardly be called stable either.

I wonder if they read the post? Sigh - we will never ever know.

Look who's back and ready to suckle on the taxpayer teat

Yes it's Pauline Hanson who is nominating for the upper house in the upcoming NSW election.

So punters, what does she get for being in the upper house? Assuming she wins of course.

Decent wage, great conditions, a staff, an excellent pension depending on time served so on and so forth.

No wonder this ... thing ... keeps having cracks at getting in to parliament. She's set for fucking life if she does.

I wish this distilled essence of the worst aspects of boganinity would simply just fuck off.

UPDATE: Naturally she's outraged people think she's a racist. Seriously. In fact noted former one nation stalwart David Oldfield - who has an inexplicably very hot very whacked out wife - had a moan that not letting muzzys buy her house didn't make her a racist because Islam is a religion, not a race.

He [Oldfield] strongly criticised Ms Keneally's accusations that Ms Hanson's policies were racist and discriminatory, saying the Premier's comments were the opposite of freedom of speech.

His listeners agreed, welcoming her back into politics.

"Congratulations to Pauline Hanson. I think our government needs a good shake-up. She's truthful ... I think give her a go, because this country is such a mess," one listener said.

Another listener said Ms Hanson was just repeating what others were saying to "stop bringing these immigrants into Australia".

One caller raised Ms Hanson's refusal to sell her Queensland home to a Muslim buyer last year "because I don't believe that they are compatible with our way of life, our culture" as an example of racism, but Mr Oldfield dismissed his comments, saying: "What's racist about that?"

"If Pauline Hanson, doesn't like Muslims, she has a right not to like Muslims," he said, comparing it to whether Ms Hanson liked or did not like rainy days.

"Technically speaking, Muslims are not a race," he added.

Mr Oldfield said he, like the Oxford Dictionary, defined racism as one race viewing itself as superior than another race, citing the Nazis' belief in supremacy over the Jews.

Wow. Just wow. He says Muslims - rightly - are not a race but follow a faith but then goes on to say the jews are a race - it's not a religion. When in fact while both can be considered Ethnoreligious both have enough adherents from other racial cultural backgrounds to be considered a more a theology than ethnicity (1).

One Nation - the swamp that was evicted from the land where those gold coast megamansions that appear in the $20 a ticket raffle for the boys' home are now.

(1) However I won't deny the strong presence religion has in certain cultural outcrops - Roman Catholic for Irish Americans and Italians, Islam for many Arabic-Americans, Buddhists for certain Asian expats, Judaism for the Yiddish
diaspora driven from Eastern Europe now spread throughout the globe. The fact is Hanson hates the lot of them and in her own fucking words says that people who come to this country have to "assimilate" - what a ghastly arsetick bloated wreck of a woman she is.

"I believe in people coming here, assimilating, becoming Australians and be proud of this country and abide by the laws of the land.

"I don't think there's anything wrong with that."

I struggle to understand the pig ignorance of someone like that. But then TBL helps me know more.

And now a kiss

TheBoy finds my constant demands for kisses annoying. He will typically either shriek "NO!" and hold his hand up like he's warding off a just revealed super villain or run away. If, however, he is busy doing something then he will usually remain in place.

So I will go 'and now a kiss', close my eyes and start lowering my head down to receive one. That's his cue (1) to intercept my lips with an object close to hand. For example the cob of corn he is eating. I say in a "curses, foiled" voice 'Corn kiss!' and he laughs.

He was playing with items from his toy tool bench. I demanded a kiss. An item went up for an intercept.

I kissed it.

It was his toy drill, bit first, now in my mouth.

Then he turned it on.

"Drill kiss!"

(1) How embarrassment. I originally had "queue".

Humpty, Stumpty and Red Apple Cigarettes

Lately instead of proper books at story time for theNoo I’ve been telling him Humpty and Stumpty stories. I forget how Humpty and Stumpty had their genesis but I think he came up with the names himself.

The stories always start like this: Humpty and Stumpty were two hobbits that lived in an old hollow tree down by the river…(1)

What’s in the story depends on theBoy. I say ‘okay then, what do you want to hear?’ He will look around the room, or have a think, then eventually say ‘Humpty and Stumpy (insert activity here)’.

Examples include:
Humpty and Stumpty play with my toy-box
Humpty and Stumpty eat birthday cake
Humpty and Stumpty and the blue car
Humpty and Stumpty go on a bridge
Humpty and Stumpty get small
Humpty and Stumpty sing to me

It’s dreadfully adorable stuff. I basically have to make up a story on the spot and make it interesting. It’s kind of like theatre sports meets a kid’s story circle.

Occasionally, like the Batman TV series, special guest stars make an appearance in the stories. Like Russell from Up and, oddly enough, Santa Claus who at some point in the story gives theBoy presents or suffer egregious accidents when he test-plays with theBoy’s stuff – like his play tool bench – and accidentally cuts off a finger which theBoy then sews back on using his play Doctor’s kit. Humpty and Stumpty also often turn up to our house and either play with theBoy’s stuff, or sing him a song, or eat cake with him. At key moments in the story I reference theBoy's reaction in the story and say “then you said …” and he fills in “YES!”

Here’s a recount of the Humpty and Stumpty get small story (2)

Humpty and Stumpty were two hobbits that lived in an old hollow tree down by the river. One day they were in the attic and going through a trunk that once belonged to Great Uncle Bulgaria (3).

‘Wow, look at this!’ said Humpty, holding up a small bottle.

‘What is it?’ asked Stumpy, excited.

‘I think it’s a magic potion,’ said Humpty. ‘Great Uncle Bulgaria was an adventurer.’

‘There’s no label,’ said Stumpty, examining it.

‘Well let’s be adventurers too! Nothing says adventure like downing the unknown contents from a bottle!’

Humpty and Stumpty each took a big gulp. Suddenly … they started to shrink.

‘Oh no!’ said Humpty (4), ‘we’re getting small!’

Humpty and Stumpty, along with their clothes, shrank down to the size of an apple. They looked at each other then at the large attic around them.

Just then … a rat came into view. With Humpty and Stumpty small the rat to them was the size of a horse!

‘Oh no, a rat!’ shrieked Humpty.

The rat charged across the wooden floorboards of the tree-attic for the boys, who turned and fled.

‘Run for the table leg!’ cried Stumpty. They ran for the leg, grabbed on, and started to shimmy up it. As they made it up off the floor the rat arrived … and it started to climb.

‘It’s after us!’ screamed Humpty.

Stumpty had an idea.

‘Grab on to me!’ he yelled. Humpty reached down and grabbed Stumpty by his shirt front as Stumpty clung with his legs around the table leg.

Stumpty’s day job was a waiter in the local village tavern. Often he was called on to deliver a small dose of cracked pepper. A small dose … from a big pepper grinder (5) which Stumpty wore on his back like a barbarian would wear his overly-compensating sword.

Stumpty reached over his back and pulled free his pepper grinder as the rat climbed below.

‘Hold on!’ he shouted and leaned out. Humpty grunted as he took the weight of Stumpty’s lean, his knuckles whitening at the strain.

Stumpty held the grinder out … then started grinding. Pepper gently rained down onto the rat.

It sniffled. It snuffled. It SNEEZED.

‘ACHOO!’ went the rat, the force of its sneeze dislodging it from the table leg. It fell backwards, twisting and turning until it landed back-first on the floor with a thump. It flipped onto its feet and scurried away for the darkness.

Suddenly Humpty started to grow … and so did Stumpty. They grew and grew and fell backwards onto the floor, landing there once again fully sized.

‘We’re big again!’ said Humpty, ignoring the fact even at his normal size was only the mass of a three-year old boy.

‘Yay!’ said Stumpty.

‘Let’s agree never ever to drink strange liquids from bottles ever again,’ said Humpty.

‘Agreed!’ said Stumpy, giving Humpty a high-five.


So there you go, that’s a typical Humpty and Stumpty story. Nothing that’s ever going to set the Children’s lit world on fire but, well, he seems to like it. In this case the audience of one is the most important audience I have, so it’s totally worth it and I get a massive buzz that he likes it enough to ask for them.

Stories for kids are kewl.

(1) Obviously that’s a copyright issue and at some point they’re going to have to morph into the dreaded term ‘little people’.
(2) It’s not going to be exact to what I tell theBoy because saying something off the cuff is a different process to actually writing it down.
(3) Again another copyright violation fail. I might take a step to the north and make him Great Uncle Romania.
(4) At that point my voice goes into a comedic ‘helium sucked down’ slash Munchkin voice to represent his smaller smallness - remembering of course they’re already hobbits aka little people.
(5) And that is my Red Apple Cigarettes. A constantly re-appearing item in Mikey’s tall tales.

The meeting

So I had the meeting with my case-manager.

Last year my work put the semi-heavy on me to make use of an employee support mechanism where you get a case manager to help you manage your medical woes within the workplace, as well as help your supervisors better understand your needs.

Needless to say I was hesitant. It’s a big privacy give-up to spill all your medical secrets into the work system. What if they hold some of that information against you, for example?

However I later found out, upon suggestion from my supervisor, that there’s an extra lot of medical leave you can access if you have chronic health issues that mean you end up burning all your sick leave and most of your rec solely to manage the day-to-day needs of your medical condition. The rationale being that an ill-health person using all their leave solely to exist means they don’t have a pool for normal sickness like flu or blargh, and don’t have their yummy rec which they need to recharge batteries with.

So knowing having a case manager made seeking this pool in the future easier, and with the plus side of the intervention putting me in a stronger position to educate my work about my needs – such as heading off for short walks as part of pain management but not having to piss fart around recording that on flex, then I agreed to do it.

My org had run out of internal case managers so they out-sourced it. I have an issue with out-sourcing of stuff like this to companies because it’s my private info being held by a third party. But in this case the potential benefits outweighed it so I accepted it.

The meeting went well. The two people I talked with were helpful. They pointed out where they could be of benefit – for example providing a report to my work that indicates a series of needs and adjustments needed and outlining how my condition is such that on those occasions where I say ‘I had to mung pills, I will be in at lunch’ it is completely and utterly fucking justified.

So that made me happy. Plus they laughed at my dumb jokes – like when they asked if I’d considered joining a support group for IBS and I’d said ‘trust me, you do not want to be sitting in a room with 20 IBS sufferers … then there’s the frequent dashes in and out of the room by members so they can go to the toot.’ I also got to use my oft mentioned line ‘I am almost literally full of shit’ to describe what it is to be constipated dominate and that I shared this condition with Elvis. They asked if I could sing like him and I said no, unless I was having a hard time in the toilet.

That shit has left the building, uh-huh-huh

They’re coming along to a specialist appointment with me – with a dietician no less. The case managers, knowing the particular specialist, said ‘she’s going to demand you lose weight’. Which given her normal role is completely fair enough (1).

But while the meeting went well … I still left pissed off. The reason was they showed me the referral letter from my work. One of the reasons listed for it was ‘poor performance.’

When you’re depressed and in pain the last thing you need to hear is how shit you are. Now admittedly I’d dropped the ball a bit last year, but that was more due to a confluence of crap that landed as opposed to me sitting around on my fat can doing squat. I work really hard most of the time, in spite of my condition, and to have that shower-fart of a workplace counselling still following me around months later reminds me that I copped what I felt was nasty knife to the back and now I am pissed off all over again with the remembered memory.

It was then somewhat ironic when I got into work and found I’d had a couple of well-done emails for a recent report from those very same people that gave me the 'bad puppy face rub in the wee' lo those months before.

I’ll admit, I am not one for taking criticism. When you’re in constant pain and sads it’s even harder than normal. But I took a leaf out of the legendary theWife’s book and embraced the feedback and spent a lot of effort to rectify it and call attention to that rectification. So with that spirit, and the rectification accomplished, it grinds my goat to see this shit stain from last year still floating around like someone doing a turd in the bush and not burying the toilet paper properly (2).

When I got home I vented to theWife and, because I was feeling so wretchedly sad (3), demanded she order Pizza-hut goodness (4).

Which I am now going to have to record on my intake diary.

Cue Mendoza.

(1) Later I got a call from the rooms asking if I’d filled out my ‘Dear Diary I am such a ghastly tubbo’ record of eating for the past week like they’d asked. I said I’d mislaid the letter and that I’d estimate what I’d gobbled. ‘Well we did tell you when you booked that you would have to do that, and it was in the letter’ snitted the receptionist. Being somewhat pissed off I retorted ‘we all make mistakes, and thus I will estimate it.’ Fucking hell, there’s not need to be shitty about it. Maybe she’s suffering relevance malaise or something? It can’t be easy being middle-aged and working as a receptionist.
(2) Near my home town there’s a famous landmark where a 19th century criminal, according to local legend, had his hide-out. Over the years it’s become a sea of graffiti and it’s rather unsightly. I used to visit it on occasions as a kid when we’d take out-of-towners to see it. It was forever ruined on the last visit because in the rambling over it I’d come across someone’s badly concealed shit and dried now-glued-to-the-rock-with-poo toilet paper clinging nastily to the granite surface. Now, each time we pass it on the way to and from my home-town, I am reminded of seeing that horrible toilet paper rippling in the breeze while stuck fast to the rock with human feces.
(3) It had not helped at that point of having run out of happy pills the night before and gone 24 hours without an anti-depressant. The head spins plus mood swings were pretty intense by the time I made it home.
(4) Cheesy bread – oh my God. Potato bites – dear lord. Chicken wings – wing-astic. Good for me? Hell no.

I received ... no reply

We had someone leave recently. The card which was wandering around the office like head lice at a day care went missing. A call went out to find it.

A’s farewell card seems to be lost in the etha. If you know where it is can you return it to me please.

Isn’t that an adorable spelling of ether?

A, concerned at the potential loss of her farewell missive, responded to all.

Gee, I hope it's been found!!

I felt the world needed me to respond. Fortunately for Mikey, despite having munged some pills, I knew to send it just to her.

Me too. Or we'll have to mime a card being handed over at arvo drinks.

That happened to me in a nativity play - I was the inn keeper. There was supposed to be a lantern in the wings for me to grab as I stepped out with Mary* and Joseph - but it wasn't there. So I had to hold my hand up, fist down like I was gripping something, and pretend.

Later I played a wolf in an adaptation of Dahl's Little Red Riding Hood. In the middle of my big wolf speech my tail dropped off. I threw it into the audience like a lupine burlesque performer.

Still got it! (waggles tie)

I'm ... heavily medicated...

*All boys school so Mary was a dude. Which, if that had been the case in 4 BC when Jesus was born, would have been a miraculous birth.

As is typical with Mikey messages … I received no reply. But in the end it’s all about me and so with that in mind, was it worth it? It sure was. Because that’s some fucking funny shit right there.

Friday, March 04, 2011

The Oz wanks on about Canberra

(With thanks to Casso for the link)

Yesterday The Australian, the loss-making paper of the Murdoch empire that claims it is "the heart of Australia" had a sooky whinge about Canberra. In that apparently we're too damn educated slash involved in the public sector for our own damn good since it leads to elitist views like same-sex marriage being on offer for people who prefer their same sex as a life / romance / sex partner.

The Prime Minister has been in Canberra long enough to know that the values of its tertiary-educated, public sector-dominated electorate do not always coincide with those of the wider Australian community.

You know what, I will concede that. Educated people whose careers are in the service of others tend to have differing view points to other localities within this country. We're also blessed with decent working conditions, protections, and reasonable incomes. All of which probably sticks in the WORK CHOICES IS GOD craw of the lurking malcontents that hiss and sneer in the darkened corridors of whatever hideous crap fest The Oz resides in. Indeed given the recent exposes by Crikey about the working conditions of the sub-editor's pool for News Limited with timed breaks and rather unreasonable conditions then they're practicing what they preach - less conditions means more profit.

Government and society ... is not about profit. The Oz doesn't realise that.

But the Oz doesn't like the idea of us Canberra people have our own laws and shit in that it's grumpy that Federal Labor under Gillard is set not to challenge our latest attempt to have decent same-sex marriage laws. On the grounds apparently that there's other pressing stuff for the parliament to worry about.

And while support for same-sex marriage can be found across the political spectrum, few would claim it is a national priority when set against other pressing reforms such as disability insurance or health reform.

Huh? What the fuck? So if the Gillard government doesn't intervene - thus less work - then apparently that's setting back disability insurance or health reform.

That doesn't make any logical sense. Indeed for mentally deficient people it wouldn't make sense either. But that's The Oz for you.

The view that Canberrans shouldn't decide the manner in which two people legally hook up and can have a fucking ceremony for fuck's sake annoyed rightly people in our nation's capital.

Enter The Canberra Times.

A national newspaper, headquartered in another city, thinks that you, fellow Canberrans, are imbeciles; too prone to dangerous ideas to be allowed to govern your own affairs.

The Australian declared yesterday that, because the values of the ACT's ''tertiary-educated, public sector-dominated electorate'' don't always match the wider community's, we must be muzzled. That neither we nor, by extension, Northern Territorians, should have the right, through our parliamentarians, to write and live by our own laws.

Damn straight. Dear The Oz. Cram it up your distended arsehole with walnuts.

Which reminds me. The Oz also said this:

The Australian makes no judgment about issues of personal choice but recognises that it is always a mistake for governments to move too far in front of mainstream public opinion on social issues.

Interesting point ... Let's see ... in this November 2010 poll 57% of Australians in favour of gay marriage.

So it's not the government too in front ... it's the Oz too far behind.

By the way the Northern Territory famously had its right to die legislation over turned by the Howard government. In October 2009 The Australian's very own news poll found 85% of Australians supported the concept of right to die.

The Oz. Where logic need not apply.

What’s in a name?

If you’re an organization that is seeking to use violence in a political manner you need a hard hitting fuck off name. A name that will strike terror into those you seek to terrorize. Hence names like Black September, Schutzstaffel (aka the SS), Brigate Rosse (aka The Red Brigade), or the Symbionese Liberation Army.

Then … then you have the fail names. Names that do not strike fear but rather invite ridicule.
A classic example is the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Now in their defence their name existed before the acronym of their name was made more famously associated with another meaning by the good people at the American Pie movie franchise (1).

However once MILF became ingrained
in the meta-consciousness of world popular culture to mean a man’s willingness to go up stream where something the size of their head passed down the same course at some point then the front probably should have re-branded. Though that would be a hard choice to make - what with all their stockpiled merchandise branded with the word MILF (2).

Here's a most-hilarious post I prepared earlier on reliant on the comedy gold this situation offers.

I was tooling through wiki last night. With The Daily Show lost to pay TV in Oz it’s back to watching it online late at night when the new ep gets posted. Fortunately the interface is a bit better in that you can buffer a segment and for the most part get through without the dreaded freeze ruining whatever bit was in motion before it locked. Sometimes though you have to buffer a number of times to get it through the end.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that does this but when I hear something discussed I don’t have much knowledge about then I will go on a wiki jaunt to know more. The subject of Gaddafi came up and, knowing that he was a most interesting person I knew little about apart from the fact Spinal Tap did a tri-arse kick on him, I went on a wiki-jaunt while TDS buffered on up. I have a habit of encountering interesting links when reading a wiki page and right-clicking open a new tab so I can drink in that delish wikery after I’ve finished with this page.

After scanning Gaddafi I went to a one of these tabs. It was on something called The Toyota War – so named because of the prevalence of technicals on the battlefield.

What the fuck is a
technical? Turns out that it’s the short hand name NGOs gave locally recruited mercenaries with their machine-gun mounted pick-up trucks that were hired to protect their operatives – the name coming from the funding mechanism used to recruit them: Technical Assistance Grants.

So I scoped out the technical page. In war ravaged Africa it seems that, like other feudal systems of old where ones power was measured in the number of armoured knights you could marshal, a warlord’s power/reach and rep was backstopped by the number of these gunned up battlewagons they could put into the field.

Then back to the Toyota War page. It was then I came across a mention of a particular outfit that made use of the Toyotas they found (3). They were the Transitional Government of National Unity - a rebel group then effective rulers in Chad in the early '80s.

Nothing funny about that, right? Well Chad has two official languages - French and Arabic.

So what does the Transitional Government of National Unity become in French? Gouvernement d'Union Nationale de Transition.

Yes, that's right, their acronym - by which they were known - is GUNT.

I wonder … if when they drove into a village and to give their terror proclamation where they demanded the rounding up of resources such as boys to be drafted and women to be molested … if their speech was called …

… a vagina monologue?

(1) The first of these spin-offs from the original three movies, American Pie: Band Camp, had only one of the original principals, Eugene Levy, and went straight to DVD. Talk about squeezing the last of the juice out.

(2) ‘Juan, we’ll have to attack the government outpost – we simply have to get rid of these 20 MILF branded fragmentation grenades’.

(3) The wombles of Wimbledon will be shooting you down