Monday, April 30, 2012

What an appalling betrayal of trust

So the Health Services Union report into financial dodginess has come out and it reveals senior figures in the union spent millions of dollars on goods and services without going to tender or even obtaining comparative prices, with goods and services often purchased from close associates. It also has no real accountability for $600 000 spent each year on credit cards, and even after this was brought to light ... still no accountability measures have been brought in.

By contrast in the public service you need someone with three different grades of approval to sign off on a purchase of less than 5k and they have to wear the responsibility for the purchase if it proves to be not justified. You can lose your fucking job over an unjustified purchase.

Health Services workers are some of the hardest working and least paid for their work people in the services industry, and many are recent immigrants doing shitty jobs others won't do. My mother's retirement home for example is practically a United Nations of workers from all over the globe, and most from poorer countries at that. Health Services Union members have all been manifestly let down by a combination of apathy and greed. Not only that these senior leaders have blackened the union movement with this crap and given those on the right, those that wish to retard the rights of workers and to pay them less, political capital out of it. How they must all be hooting in their plummy tones, monocles toppling into their glasses of top notch plonk with all their mirthful jiggling (1).

Seriously, how utterly fucked? Each and every single one of those people who took money from the union coffers, either directly in credit card fraud or indirectly by giving deals to mates for inflated-in-value goods and services, should be cast out not just from the union but from the ALP. 

Just appalling. What a total, total let down.

(1) Okay, okay. Not everyone who dislikes unions is a plummy voiced rich type person but have you ever heard a pack of Young Liberals? Now imagine them 20 years older.

It may be a dusty cliche but it still has power

There's this saying 'When America sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold'. Sure, the saying is a hoary old chestnut but it's one that has resonance. After-all a cliche is a cliche because it works. 

Perhaps that's why I glom on to US politics so much. Because what happens there domestically impacts on every corner (1) of the globe. Be it in acts of war or global moves to fight environmental degradation the US is and will be for decades to come the catalyst for whatever happens in the future. Or the block that stops what should have happened from happening.

And it's the blocking that impacts the most. Because without sensible politicians doing sensible things in the US then the insensible happens ... like marching lock-step off the cliff of human-activity-induced climate change. In the recent Republican Primary process only one of the contenders openly stated a belief in human-induced climate change and the need to do something about it. One. Uno. A single person.

In the past the divide between conservative and progressive politics in the US was not as great. Great deals were done—Tip O'Neill, then Speaker of the House in the US in the '80s, and Ronald Reagan, for example, were able to come together to resolve differences despite partisan animosity (despite O'Neill starkly stating Reagan was the then dumbest person ever to be in the White House). Perhaps in part because back then politics wasn't 24/7 animosity. Democrats and Republicans socialised with each other and their views, while opposing, were not in stark diametrical opposition. Hell, even O'Neill and Reagan were allegedly friends outside the bear pit that was federal US politics; with Reagan joking they were 'friends after 6 pm'.

But not any more. Since Obama got in the GOP in the US has gone bat-shit insane; indeed more insane than when Clinton was in. Now the GOP has fully embraced short-term hard right populism, as fostered and brayed forth by Fox news and right-wing talk radio, in the face of the long-term health of the nation and more broadly the entire fucking planet. And thus the planet is held hostage to the ideological whims of frankly many crazy, crazy people (2). People who take pride in staying true to what they believe as opposed to what any fucking evidence says, even lying through the teeth to do so.

A classic example is Senator Jon Kyl who maliciously claimed Planned Parenthood in the US, who provide quality reproductive health access to poor women in the US, spent 90 per cent of their resources providing abortion services. When pointed out the number was actually 3 per cent, with Kyl thus having inflated the amount by 3000 per cent, his office released a statement to say that Kyl's remark was 'not meant to be a factual statement.' 

Seriously. That happened. Then there's all the crap from other morons on the right about terror babies and claims that 78-81 plus Democratic members of congress are communists.

Think I'm a silly progressive leftie what with my empirical atheism and fancy degree(s) and shit and that I am talking out my bung hole? I certainly admit to having strong views about progressive politics and regard conservatives as a combo of the foolish, malicious and both. But like many 'on teh left', I have grounded my views in the very thing that makes me progressive or '...left wing...'; a healthy appreciation of reality and a willingness to sacrifice my short term comfort—what, an extra $500 a year for leccy?—for long term gain (you know, cleaner air, a more stable climate etc.). Not to mention standing up for principles of basic fairness such as equal opportunity, educational opportunities extended to people not lucky like I was, and not monstering people based on the colour of the skin, their sexual identity, or the religion they happen to practice or be raised in.

Here's what Thomas E. Mann, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Norman J. Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, have to say about the GOP of now in The Washington Post.

We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.

Read the rest of the article, Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem, at The Washington Post.

(1) But the world is a sphere... SHUDDUP!
(2) Craziness of course likewise reflected in conservative politics here in Australia. Though the difference with Oz of course if we catch a cold then no one really gives a fuck.

Double duty

I love going to children's birthday parties. I'm not weird. I don't have a fetish (1). I just genuinely enjoy playing with kids, and the bigger the numbers and the more sugar (slash) additive infected they are the better.

I think it's partially because their love of play is still there. Their willingness to be silly and interact and build on stuff as established during the play is just golden.

On the weekend I did double duty. Saturday was a birthday party in a park for a five-year-old. On the way to it I'd seen a truck and tried to convince theBoy the party was in the truck, it being a "party truck", and that a ramp would be lowered for us to drive up into it. He didn't buy it. But when we went to the playground he decided the large play gym was a party truck and that the rope bridge connecting to the pole was the emergency exit. As we played I maintained a faux German accent, SNL-style, and said things like 'You party hearty in the party truck', 'You can run amok in a party truck' and 'What happens in the party truck, stays in the party truck.' Later I could hear theBoy running around shouting 'Party hearty in the party truck!' Aw, how awesome.

The next day's party involved a three-hour drive to Sydney for a three-hour party and then a three-hour drive back again. It was for our nieces so I didn't really know anyone else. But within 30 minutes I was being mass pummeled by balloons by sugar (slash) salt crazed kids. Then we played a game where a bed tethered to a bunch of balloons was a sky bed and it took us up into the air then across the sea to a weird land—I think we called it San San Swar—where things were different and we had to say what was different. For example, 'In San San Swar, people have three bottoms!' The kids fully embraced the game and came up with all sorts of stuff; like the people of San San Swar grow sunglasses out their heads or trees out their bottoms.

And the average age of kids at the party? Four. Four!

The sheer inventiveness of children in games like these just blows my friggin' mind. Then of course along comes the crippling of self confidence thanks to puberty and a low entry number on schooling's social ladder. Thus the end of carefree childhood and hello miserable teen years.

I will leave you with this bit from Jon Stewart in reference to his kids (2).

'At seven and six they still have that incredibly innocent enthusiasm, but the sarcasm has not [started] ... They would never come to me and say "the zoo, nice idea, arsehole." There's that purity still of spirit I fear is going to go away.'

(1) On the way to party one I purchased a $1 scratchie for theWife (because she has a happy joy face when she sees a scratchie) when I was getting my paper. The girl at the counter was probably 14. As you know I tend to do schtick when talking to counter people because it amuses me to do so. In this case I ended it with something like 'Still, even if I lose it's a win. I'm a silver-scratching fetishist.' Cough ... cough cough.
(2) From the interview with Tilda Swanson when talking about what it's like for her to be the mother of 14-year-olds, from 26 January 2012. Unfortunately blocked for us Ozzer types on account of fucked-in-the-head copyright restrictions by pay TV over internet streamed content. Fuckers.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Oh Joseph wept...

Thanks to my Judeo-Christian upbringing I tend to still take the Lord's name in vain even though I don't believe in him as a divine being. For example, 'Jesus wept' is a go to insult for me as is 'Christ on a bike'.

Mormons famously don't swear but I suspect even they would be tempted to utter the occasional oath when circumstances dictate, magic underwear or not.

So I am reading the Time 100, the list of the world's most influential people. Mitt Romney's former boss, Bill Bain, from vulture capitalist firm Bain & Co wrote the entry for Mitt Romney.

Here's an excerpt.

When I asked Mitt Romney to join Bain & Co. in 1977, I knew he was brilliant, but there was much I didn't know. As founder and CEO, I liked being first in the office when that was practical. On Mitt's first day, he arrived first. I came in earlier the next day, and there he was again. I decided to shake Mitt up a little and have some fun. I walked out of my office, stood in front of his desk and said, "Mitt, you are beginning to piss me off." He said, "What? What?" I asked him, "Why so early?" He said that after helping Ann with the children, he would visit the sick from his church and then come to work. We all looked at one another and applauded him.

Here's the bit I took away from it.

On Mitt's first day, he arrived first. I came in earlier the next day, and there he was again. I decided to shake Mitt up a little and have some fun. I walked out of my office, stood in front of his desk and said, "Mitt, you are beginning to piss me off." He said, "What? What?" I asked him, "Why so early?" He said that after helping Ann with the children, he would visit the sick from his church and then come to work.

Just imagine. You're a poor, sick-as-all fuck Mormon where Romney is your ward president, or however they describe the leadership role in the church, and he drops in on you BEFORE he goes to work ... and he turns up at work stonkingly early.

Joseph wept, indeed.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fool's errand not foolish

The other day I had run out of SUPERMEDS!™. I lay swollen with gas in the end room barely able to think from the pain and discomfort let alone sleep. At 3 am, partially I think to do something active to perhaps walk it off after ten minutes of stomach jiggling did fuck-all (1) I went out to the shed. Why? Because once I'd spilled a bunch of SUPERMEDS!™ in there and even though I'd combed over the shed with all the intensity of a non-white nineteenth century gold fields' worker fossicking intelligently through a tailings pile I thought one may have eluded me.

As I strode out, with just my cock hole-less ladies' PJ pants on for clothing company, I kept chastising myself for going on a fool's errand.

'You know there's nothing there, you fuckwit,' I hissed at myself, my guts roiling with poo gas. 'This is an errand ... an errand for fools!' (2)

And as I muttered and farted, traversing across the dew-slicked lawn in dark of night, I also foolishly woke up theWife, my combined miasma of Mikey-noises and door clanging lethally combining to stir her from her slumber. 

Anyhoo I went into the shed and I looked around, the cold air soothing given my being sweaty and hot from bloated tummy writhing. 

Then I found one. A SUPERMED!™. It was enough to take the pain from nine to a five within just a short while. And the fact I'd worked myself into a state of pessimism only heightened the joy at its use.

Go the fool's errand. Sometimes ... not so foolish. After-all, did not a wise person once say a broken clock is still right twice a day? (3)

(1)  You can imagine how someone like me with an appalling sense of body image and shame for being so big felt having to have to jiggle my stomach up and down at all let alone for ten minutes. 
(2) Okay, I probably didn't say it exactly like that. It was probably more like Foul Ole' RonBugrit, Millennium Hand and Shrimp—only mine was 'Stupid fucking guts fucking c__ fuck, fuck c___ (2a), fool's fucking errand, fuck etc.'
(2a) Obviously I mean cunt when I say c___. I am underscoring for those sensitive types that can't hack it in print. Though really why do papers bother with the underscores when people will obviously read c___ as cunt? Why am I doing it? 
(3) Though really it should be a stopped clock. A broken clock where the time is simply not ticking over correctly would remain wrong save for the occasional brief moment once a full day has passed forwards or back with its errant ticking, would it not?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

theBoy gets a prize

We use prizes as part of our parental arsenal. As in if he's good then he may get a prize. If he's not, then he doesn't get it. For example, down at the coast then we bought a $20 Creator lego set (1) and declared if he was good for the three days we were away he'd get it. And he was! He's also currently a dozen numbers away from winning his big good boy prize, a kewl-as-all-fuck pirate cove play-set, a prize that's been in the potential offing now for about two months. So long has it been on display as a potential prize I think the box has started to get that sun-faded blue cast to it like the uber prizes no one ever wins at a side show alley game of "...skill...".

theBoy didn't get a prize today for being good—though presuming he is good through to bed time he will get one more number towards the pirate cove. But just before dinner—where I was on over watch and sitting next to him—he decided to award himself a prize. As he sat at his chair he wrapped his fork in a paper napkin.

'Oh!' he exclaimed in mock surprise, holding up his napkin-wrapped fork. 'What's this? A prize!'

He unwrapped it.

'A fork,' he said with apparent joy. 'Now I can stab people!'

I couldn't help it. I collapsed into long loud laughter as he sat there grinning at me. The event however was marred somewhat by his then sliding off his chair and trying to stab me with the fork.

(1) No ... you don't assemble Lego idols of God. It's a brand of Lego where the set allows you to make three different kewl vehicles out of the one set of bits.

Living bellows

There's nothing quite like the sensation of holding your cat out before you, hands grasped around their mid-section, as their flanks heave in and out while they regurgitate slick yellowed streaks of matted fur. Fortunately I heard her in time to do it and was able to simply tip her out over the garden, letting her yuck fall into the still verdant green of our weed-scaped lawn.

By the way, I am using my Beloved, my Toshiba tablet to blog this. Only instead of using the touch screen I am using the rolly polly red rubber keyboard theWife bought me a while back. Hooray! It takes some getting used to, you have to strike the keys a bit more directly and there's two small space-bars instead of a single fatty, but it's still way better than the touch screen.

So ... tablet blessed people ... do you find the sensation of the finger tip on the touch screen after a while to be a little unpleasant? For me it feels like when you've used a lot of sticky tape and your finger tips feel like the top layer of skin has been pockmarked and/or now has dots of tacky on them.

Still ... beats how it used to be. Laptops are now passé!

UPDATE: It happened again. Same cat. Same disgusting feeling of holding her heaving flanks. Yucky!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

So we nipped to the coast

I am not, nor ever will be, a beach person. When you have my body plus memories of bad sunburn as a child, the beach is not a place of passion and fun.

But still—we went!

We stayed at a caravan park in a two bedroom unit. It was decent. For example it had a flat screen TV (1), dishwasher and a proper shower. Comfort is important to me!

Anyway ... the highlights

Going to the pool and having theBoy do fearless leaps from the side then cuddle his mum’s back as baby turtle and mummy turtle.

Lying with theBoy on the bottom bunk of his room, the slats a mere foot above my head, doing Storyverse sessions … or later on the Queen-sized bed with the sheets pulled over our heads and looking at the pattern of the doona cover with the light through it.

Getting a text that the fucking report that had been fucking signed off a week ago hadn’t been fucking printed and was now a fucking week late. Not that I could change anything from that, and nor was it my fault, but still … quite irksome. Indeed, fuckingly so. A highlight solely from the unpleasant intrusion of work. Luckily it all got sorted with a quick WTF?! call back to theBoss.

Going to see The Lorax. Awesome movie, the most beautifully rendered animated movie I’ve seen to date, with the story (slash) script also most-excellent. It’s probably the best Dr Seuss adaptation so far. The experience was only slightly marred by theBoy going full C.I.D. Investigator in the cinema when he realised theWife and I had eaten the rest of the popcorn; ‘YOU ATE IT ALL! YOU’RE NOT MY FRIEND!’

Playing an improvised robot war game at the local Woolies with theBoy, shooting lasers at each other while theWife paid for our glorious bundle of delicious ‘at the coast—yay!’ foods.

Walking past numerous reclining or standing kangaroos that littered the park we stayed in, their numbers so many you had to watch the ground for wet pellets of roo poo.  And they’d watch you, their heads slowly turning as their liquid black orbs impassively looked on.

Doing craft at the garage-style craft rooms attached to the park and then playing with all the castle toys out the front of the rooms when the craft was left to dry. They had a number of play castles so theWife divvied up knights and the like between them and decided they were team blue and team red, each led by a dragon of that colour. Another girl from the park joined in. One of the conical turrets could pop off so I kept popping it off, turning it over, then putting soldiers and knights in it as it was now a hot tub. Then I did Eddie Murphy as James Brown, singing about the hot tub, causing theBoy to howl annoyance and flip the tower top back to proper mode. Later he embraced the whole hot tub thing and was oft heard to be singing ‘In the hot tub; rub a dub a dee!’ and asking if the water would make him wet—‘Yeah!’

Whilst waiting for theWife to wrangle a purchase of junk food from the local general store (slash) takeaway theBoy and I standing on a rain slicked deck and pretending a half-barrel planter was a sky island where the lads from Storyverse had holiday homes. theBoy decided he got around between the various houses, hanging from the underside of plant stems I imagine, via use of a jet pack. When we spent Summers at the coast I spent long, long hours just riding around on my pushie. Being heavily invested in (A)D&D and fantasy books I’d pretend the field of tall stemmed flowers with great knobbly heads was in fact a great city of wizard towers where wizards would scheme and craft magics. So it was a real joy to suggest a line of play—plants as buildings or localities—to theBoy and he just run with it.

Having old 80s songs courtesy of the static-littered TV on in the background as we had dinner, theWife idly singing along to almost every song (2).

Sitting on the balcony of a café as driving rain slanted down but its slanting was away from us so we could remain and just enjoy it.

theBoy being in bed ready for lights out and me then sticking my tummy or arse into view from around the side of the door so he could point and cheer—‘It’s daddy’s tummy!’

Playing silly games in the car like eye spy where it’s colour not letter-based—‘I spy something beginning with green!’

Getting to nod off in the car, my fluoro-green beanie pulled low over my glassless eyes, my head snuggled up against my horseshoe pillow, and drifting into near sleep as sounds of theBoy, theWife, and the music wafted around me.

There are other moments too, of course. These are just the ones that came to mind when thinking about it.

It was a truly awesome getaway and made awesome because it was with my two favourite people.

Hooray for holidays!

(1) However the park had failed to hook in a digital signal. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever actually stayed in a caravan park where you got decent reception. Not that it mattered, we weren’t there for TV.
(2) She is the lyric queen!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Heavily medicated happy fun time head action

I was reading an inadvertently hilarious kids' book to theBoy down in the end room. I was lying on the felt-sponge memory foam mat theWife purchased from ALDI to improve my lying on the floor experience. She's a good egg. 

Anyway I was reading it as theBoy was clambering all over me, he dipping in and out of actively listening in accordance with whim. Fair enough, I was too busy enjoying the eye-watering hilarity of the book. 

So it was a while before I realised that he'd been sitting on my head, or rather bending over and jamming his arse right up against where (ordinarily) forehead gives over to hair. 

I then had to gravely pause the recitation and ask what he was doing. 

Cue wheezy giggling.

Threats via the medium of sea shanties

There's a lot of Sing About It! in our household. We're forever bursting into song about the mundane and it's typically centrered around wrangling of theBoy. For example, 'It's time for you-o-o-o-o-o to put on undies! Immediately! Concurrently! Not on your knee! But your tushie! Ee tee cee!'

As a child of the '80s I can vividly remember the Let's Sing! books. Colourfully illustrated music and lyrics of popular Australian kids' songs mixed with a blend of safe rock ('Band on the run' by Wings, for example). Being absolutely comics mad but without any real ability to get comics (1) I'd leaf through the books when he had them in hand since I could squint and pretend I was reading a comic. 

In amid the dominant Australiana were pieces such as shanties. Shanties like 'What shall we do with the drunken sailor?'

Today, as I chased theBoy around with the lion-headed door snake, I got to sing threats to the tune of that song—'I'm going to bite you in the head now, I'm going to bite you in the head now, I'm going to bite you in the head now, with this lion-headed door snake.'

Music ... it's the gift that keeps on giving.

(1) My local library had these illustrated book (so, comics) plus read-along-tape combos. I never listened to the tapes but I cracked all the boxes and read the comics. The hilarious thing ... they were either classics or biographies of famous people. I read Lord Jim, Crime and Punishment, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the biography of Thomas Edison etc. I can only remember bits and pieces from them though. Still ... cunning old library, eh?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Muckin' around

Today theBoy and I were playing on the trampoline. I angered him just as he was standing at the zippered entrance.

'I'M GOING TO BITE YOU!' he screamed, his head just through the zipper and he looking like a pre-schooler version of Jack "All Work" Torrance from The Shining. As I collapsed into laughter he wormed his way through the zipper of the mesh wall and I could only barely fend him off when he got to me. He then changed his chanted threat to a more palatable (for him and me) 'I'M GOING TO TEETH GRAZE YOU!' That's where he doesn't bite down but you still get an impressing of his teeth into your flesh. It's like a drive-by shooting—a warning to back the fuck off or get-out-of-X-trade-now. Fortunately he only teeth grazed me the once and luckily not near the snag point of my vestigial nipple (1).

Earlier we'd been doing Virtual Hide and Seek with some of the lads from Storyverse. Rat was one of the players as was I. Rat has a bit of OCD in that he repeats the last word or phrase he says; e.g. 'Goodnight everyone, everyone!' So Rat and I got stuck in a logic trap where he said 'Humpty, Stumpty and Stumpty' and I said 'Humpty, Stumpty and Stumpty?' and Rat responded 'No, no, no. Humpty, Stumpty and Stumpty!' (2).

'Let's have another game of Hide and Seek. Only Rat and Daddy can't play!' said theBoy and said that he invited Robot in their place. I asked why Rat and I weren't invited and he said it was because we were annoying. I decided Robot had his kill switch on and attacked the other players with chainsaw arms and that the likely saboteur was Rat, given Rat's having been dis-invited from playing hide and seek.

The end result was that Rat, Synybabat—who was dragged into it by declaring theBoy was a monster on the radio and via billboards—and I all got chopped up. So did the radio station where Synybatbat has news-style ads read live on on air after he's assigned someone monster status—(cue commercial radio voice) 'All r-i-i-ight, this just in, theBoy is a monster, signed Synybatbat'. If you must know the announcers names Terry and Brian and occasionally some off-air stuff will make it over the mike—'Hey, Terry, can you close the door, mate?' 'Sure can, Brian.' (and so forth) (3).

But the massacre was all in good fun.

Yesterday, as theBoy was clambering atop me, I looked at him and said will all earnestness 'I love you, Chooky.'

His response?

'I LOVE SNATCHING AND BITING!' He then dove for me, jaws agape.

I feel a bit like the Mad Scientist father whose beloved genetically-atypical son is kept in a secret basement.

(1) Is that redundant to add vestigial given I am a guy?
(2) It was only much later I realised that it should have been 'Humpty and Stumpty Stumpty' but, oh well, it was said and that was what was acted on.
(3) Alan Jones they are not.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Never sit in the Dr Evil chair naked...

... or O--- might take one look at your dangler and, with his roughened tongue, then lick your pee-hole...

Stupid fucking cat (1).

Oh, I recently had another workplace-induced OH&S assessment of my home in order I can legally work from home. That's the third in four years. And it's the third time they've suggested I get a different chair. They have a point. I have now fallen out of this chair about a half dozen times since we bought it, including one memorable occasion when I snapped the wheel strut.

I better have a shower before the cat comes back and licks my... 

(1) It's not the first time either... 

Nozin' Aroun'!

I've been home alone with theBoy for the past few days. I think it's actually the most time we've ever spent together just him and me. For the most part it's been fun ... except for the Lamby-delivered sproing to my right eyeball when he jabbed his plushie into my eye socket. 

When I've been yakkin' away—I yak a lot, even when alone, because I thrill at the sound of my own voice and what issues forth (1)—about crap in general I've occasionally then augmented the action with some AV goodness by diallingup a YouTube video to show him what I've been talking about. That way I can legit reveal stuff like an eccentric British man flinging flaming cars from a homebuilt trebuchet. I've also shown him admittedly more adult tinged stuff from I loved as a kid like clips from The Young Ones

Anyway, it's been fun. But now and then the irking by me of him is dialled up way too high. I sing, for example, insulting songs to the tune of popular children's TV theme songs. 

Like this one as using the song and half the lyrics of 'Special Delivery Service' from Postman Pat.

Special Delivery Service ... theBoy is smelly
Special Delivery Service ... and very girly
Special Delivery Service ... he is a girl
Special Delivery Service ... his vagina's whiffy

This of course somewhat annoyed him and he was rather vocal in his disdain. 

Any inference theBoy is a girl is also somewhat fraught with the risk he will counter that claim with the overt evidence to the contrary ... via pulling down his pants—'So, not a girl!'

Indeed he's quite happy to fang his nob out. The other day he came up to me, grinning, only wearing a shirt and elasticised-undies. He'd pulled his entire set of junk out the side of the leg band so it all looked a bit like a squid-man in profile were Squiddy wearing a skivvy. He then did one of his Numfar-esque merry dances. 

It's one of the funny-hard bits of parenting. Admonishing them even as you find their societal violation  hilarious—'He's doin' what we all want to be doin'!'

There's a quite a few mentions of junk in Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live (2). My fave was this writer telling Milton Berle that when he sold jokes for $7 a pop to Catskills' comedians he'd sold a couple that riffed on the fact that Milton had a large cock. Berle then asked the writer if he wanted to see said cock

From Milt's wiki...

Saturday Night Live writer Alan Zweibel, who had written many Friars Club jokes about Berle's penis for other comedians, described being treated to a private showing: "He just takes out this— this anaconda. He lays it on the table and I'm looking into this thing, right? I'm looking into the head of Milton Berle's dick. It was enormous. It was like a pepperoni. And he goes, 'What do you think of the boy?' And I'm looking right at it and I go, 'Oh, it's really, really nice.'"

Apparently the next thing that happened was Gilda Radner entered the room.

theBoy just came in and made in offer. He mimed throwing something at me then announced 'it was poo!' We then had an poo fight where we scraped poo off our bodies then threw a palm's worth of muck at our opponent in a dramatic fashion. It looked like a bit from Spaced crossed with The Hillbilly Bears when the bears shoot at each other across a valley but while re-using the same bullet. My favourite bit of poo gathering was the face scrape, Evarding your fingers down your cheeks then rolling up a snowball of make-believe-shit. He tried to evade me by rolling foetal onto the couch, using the couch wall as cover. I simply stood over it and him and dealt a coup de grâce, Godfather-style.

It was kewl!

(1) It's like verbal blogging. Holy Crippen (1a) I have a problem.
(1a) Also, why Crippin? There's a conference's-worth of material in me. 
(2) If you love SNL then read that book. There were bits that made me howl with laughter on one page then choke back a sob on another. Tragicomic at its finest.  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Not even a second's pause

Sometimes I irk theBoy to the point that he yells 'I AM GOING TO BITE YOU!' then dives at my chest, jaws slavering. 

So I got him to agree if I ever irked him to the point of inciting mastication that he should have a word he could yell to indicate his distress and let me know to back off. 

In deference to the fine work of The Family Guy I suggested banana. Suggestion accepted. 

It seemed to work except he started dropping it for more steadily mundane matters. Like being lightly prodded to move or asked to not smash his grubby hands at Daddy's newly arrived Knights of the Dinner Table.

'Banana! Banana! Banana!' he chanted, over and over.

I'd had enough.

'That's it, Chooky,' I yelled over the top of his banana chanting, 'your banana-use privileges have been suspended due to over-use!'

Without missing a beat—a single beat, mind—he simply changed the chant.

'Apple! Apple! Apple!' he sang-chanted. 'The new word is apple!'

There's no defeating him. 

Later he turned 'I AM GOING TO BITE YOU!' into a game where I was lying on the couch and he was balanced on my body, pinning my left arm to my chest. His body was arced and stiffened, his jaws agape, and I could only just use my right hand to lift his little rigid body high enough he couldn't actually gnash on my chest. I laughed so hard I wept, especially when he added a hint of sibilant hiss. 

He is the funniest little man I've ever met. And he's four!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Black eye and a feather in his cap

Colonel Cathcart lived by his wits in an unstable, arithmetical world of black eyes and feathers in his cap, of overwhelmingly imaginary triumphs and catastrophic imaginary defeats. He oscillated hourly between anguish and exhilaration, multiplying fantastically the grandeur of his victories and exaggerating tragically the seriousness of his defeats. Nobody ever caught him napping.

-- Joseph Heller, Catch-22 (1)

When theBoy was first with us then being new parents it meant we tended to panic about things. One night, and likely due in part to crap sleep for everyone, we'd convinced ourselves he was blind because he didn't flinch when we jabbed at his face with a plushie. I think I even scraped his eyeball. We started wailing that we were too young to be special needs parents which, in retrospect, was a remarkably insensitive thing to say given how hard being a special needs parent must be, depending, of course, on the specialness and the needs.

I had theBoy with me today. We had an awesome play date at Casso's, doing up sticker pics and making a Hoot plushie use a castle tower as a long drop toilet; 'Quick, get out of the way! Hoot ate a curry!' Plus I got to do Hoot impressions which I have to confess I find ... is a hoot

Any-hoo(t), later we were mucking around the big bed. He'd put pillows against my pyramid-pointing legs and pretended it was a cubby. He then ended up near my head  and was flailing at my face with one of his sleeping aids, hanker-chef-like puppets with a cushioned head in the shape of either a bear's head ('Forty') or a lamb's head ('Lamby').

It was dark. We had the lights off and the curtain drawn because he happily lied and told me he was tired and I had offered that we have a little doze on the bed because I was super rat-shit tired. So I didn't see the Lamby too well when he was flailing at me. He power drove it, nose first, into my eyeball. A blaze of white scored across my vision and I howled in pain. I actually felt my eyeball compress when it happened and, even now four hours later, it's throbbing like a mother-fucker. It's starting to puff too, and a black eye has already developed.

Perhaps then revenge for our panicked plushie-thrusting all those years before.

Now the feather. While theBoy is only four and a bit I still try and answer questions as honestly as I can and with some detail. If I see something cool I will also explain it—such as calling things up like shuttle launches to show him how they took off and how they used booster rockets to get it into space. I figure it all goes into his juicy hard-boned noggin (2).

Tonight, just before bed, he asked what a mashup was, and then sang a bit of 'Row your boat'. I thought he meant rounds—where (as per the wiki) two or more voices sing exactly the same melody but with each voice beginning at different times so that different parts of the melody coincide in the different voices, but nevertheless fit harmoniously together. 

'No,' he said. Like when you sing Row, row, row your boat ... jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way.'

I had forgotten I had told him about mashups, then shown him the one from Glee

And he'd remembered it all and understood it. 

Mind (equals) blown.

It almost makes up for the searing blossom of pain that is spasming across my eye. Still he was super apologetic and sad when it happened. I'm so glad he has a sense of empathy instilled.

(1) With thanks to this piece on McChrystal for the quote and saving me from looking it up.
(2) His skull density is incredible. As determined from the sheer number of times I have taken a hit from his melon to the upper thigh or groin. It hurts. He fearlessly leaps onto you when he can and this comes with inherent risks of skull Vs parent collision.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I just got kicked out of bed for laughing. We were both reading but mine was a funny one. My giggling irked her. It's fair enough. She's reading The Left Hand of God which is a fuck-off awesome book. I was sullying the seriousness.

Still ... this is the day the laughter died.

And what am I reading? Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live.

Quick, what book have you on the go and what do you like about it? This is a genuine pitch, not an unsolicited comment plead. Call now!

Today I saw a picture of the Swedish Chef from The Muppets. Later, every now and then, I softly blurted a high-pitched 'BLORT! BLORT! BLORT!'

It's good to be me.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Now that's comedy

theBoy has an instinctive grasp of comedy. Changing words to rude words, hilarious singing, and other amusing behaviour. 

Tonight he did a twist on PLAYGROUND! which is where he yells the word loudly then clambers on top of you to use your body like playground equipment, such as sliding down your tummy.

The twist? CIRCUS!

He yelled the word, clambered onto the big bed where I was lying with my stupid headache and trying to rest it away, then sat atop my back and started bouncing.

And as he bounced ... he hooted circus music.

Even I as crippled with my headache as I was I found that super awesomely funny, both in concept and execution. 

That's mah boy!

I think it's ingrained behaviour now

My parents were (slash) are not the most humorous of people. Oh they like comedies—BBC fare is most accepted—but general free flowing ha has was never their thing. 

If you were free styling and you happened to go semi-blue their glowering would become more overt. Furrowed brows, shaking of the head, and mutterances (1) like 'always in the gutter' or 'below the navel again!' 

Me? I embrace crudity. In the end we're all bags of water with one to two entry holes and at least one exit. There's comedy in them thar sack of meat. Universal comedy. I'm sure for example fart jokes are present in all cultures, from the deepest-in-the-jungle-tribe in the Amazon through to the most refined of gentlemen's clubs; 'Oh, I say, I appear to have released the foul winds of hell into the gold room!'

In order to battle my ghastly IBS-afflicted tum I take various supplements. Inner Health Plus or similar. One in the morning and one at night. It's a cylindrical pill for the most part. Since I've had a headache since before Easter this morning I also took two generic paracetamols. The entire to-be-swallowed-pill-combo nestled in my cupped palm, the paracetamol discs together, the Inner Health Plus hanging point down below them. 

Yes, it all looked like balls and a cock. And yes I laughed. And yes I then I swallowed them.

Mikey. Below the navel and embracing the gutter since the early '70s. 

(1) Portmanteau! Muttering meets Utterances. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A bathtime surprise

I added something to tonight's bath for theBoy—me!

theBoy came into the bathroom, nude, and skidded to a halt. He looked at me, sitting there in the bath, water sloshing over the porcelain rim, my back against the wall and my face in gloom like a low-rent dealer in greasy spoon's back booth. 

'What?' he said, or a word to that effect. theWife came in and saw me there, grinning.

So he hopped in with me. I spent the entire bath shielding my junk, because it felt weird not to. First I used a white plastic tray, which became a swimming pool for the tiger riding a dinosaur—now that's a fearsome combo! Then I cupped my hands over my offending area when theBoy decided to move the pool to dry land ... dry land being the plateau of my bulbous tum when the tum meets my pecs. 

Getting out of the bath was a challenge. The bath was oily from theBoy's oil—he can't use soap due to his sensitive skin—and at least 10 per cent of its volume capacity was given over to assorted bath toys. Indeed the sheer amount of toy-based jetsam bobbing in the oily water pre-plug-pull fully put me in mind of the garbage compactor sequence in Star Wars (1).

To get out I had to roll over to my stomach then lift myself to my knees, then very, very carefully stand up. Gripping any safe place I could I carefully stepped my way until I was able to gingerly step out ... and then immediately had a shower to get rid of the film of oil clinging to my reverse-nubile Satyr-like bod-bod of twink antithesis.

Oh, dear. I've done it again. I've cooked up a string of words that will likely draw the attention—like Sauron's lidless eye atop a dark tower—of the Aussie Hot Boys' website. Will their poorly designed gay erotica seeking web crawler once more craft a link to here in the mistaken belief it is swimming with delicious boy-on-boy oily action? Who knows? But we can say if it does happen then any gay man seeking sexual solace here has been poorly misled. 

For shame, Aussie Hot Boys, for shame.

(1) Is it just me or is that sequence implying irregular shaped metal can float?

It's a kind of magic

With thanks to Queen and Highlander.

I don't think I will ever get over the sense of wonder of being able to use my tablet or loaner iPhone and simply dial into the web and call up pretty much whatever I want when I want it.

Today I lay on the big bed with theBoy, he having spent a merry 20 minutes treating me as PLAYGROUND! where he grabbed or sat on various parts of my body and pretended they were elements available in kiddie-type fun setting—slide, swing set, spring-mounted frog, monkey bars and so forth. We then started doing Humpty and Stumpty stories, theBoy accepting my story pitch of the brothers having recently acquired a small motorised corner shop, painted it pink, and now driving around to dry it more quickly.

The idea of a house driving around was cool and I wanted to show him it in action. I had my Beloved next to me, my Toshiba tablet, so I reached over and tried to find a segment on the web that showed The Goodies driving around in their house, a memorable episode for me. 

Alas I couldn't find it. But there was a wealth of Goodies-related video goodness, so we went through a bunch of those—Ecky Thump, the Beans ads, Walkies, various title sequences and more. Just lying there, calling them up, then playing and laughing and giggling.

It's a kind of magic, indeed.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Thanks, Bob

Adios to Bob Brown. A fundamentally decent man that has spent his life sticking up for people and the environment. He will be missed.

Walls are my three-wheeled car

With thanks to Mr Bean and his car's nemesis the Regal Reliant (1).

A few years ago, during a session of the then Monday night role-playing group I belonged to—now long since dissolved but well-loved while I was a part of it—I broke a wall. Broke it. I flopped heavily into the spongy no-legged couch—the sort of spongy effort that compresses to the thickness of a blanket when seated upon—only instead of landing on the couch my back slammed into the plasterboard wall above it. Unfortunately I'd impacted at the mid-point between the frame struts and I put a largish vaguely Mikey-shaped indentation in the wall. It happened at the start of the evening so I spent the entire session in a state of embarrassment. In all it cost $200 to fix. 

Later that year, thanks in part to the door stopper being knocked from its perch (2), I smashed the handle of the front door into the wall when I opened the door too far. That also cost a couple of hundred to repair.

More recently, within the last two years, I christened the house we're in with a hole of its own.  Regrettably it wasn't an accidentally-created hole but rather one born of rage. It was when theBoy was still having a bottle at night. As I recall I was maddeningly frustrated at his distress, fussing and fighting off my attempts to give him the bottle. Seized with fury I hurled the milk-filled baby bottle out through his doorway ... and into the wall opposite. Cue baby-bottle-bottom-shaped divot. A divot later spak-filled with some sort of handy(man) paste that, when dried, did not really match the same whiteness of the surrounding paintwork. Later we covered up the '...rage hole...' with a pin board for theBoy's artwork.

Tonight was the last current act of recent death-defying, the death-defying being the in-the-community thing I've been doing for the past few weeks.  A similar thing starts up in May but it will be with a blend of new people and some of the people I've done it with lo these past many weeks. And I have to admit tonight felt a bit like the last day of camp where you're all buddies and feelings of good will are extended to all.

It's been the most fun I've had in yonks and it helped me actively tap into a part of me that I actually like. I know it's unusual for me to be pro-me but in this case it's a part of me that I am okay with being semi-considered as being okay at. 

Anyway, there was a warm up event. It was a fun thing and it involved having to suddenly react and tag a person before they could touch the wall. Innocent fun, healthy fun!

I weigh north of 100 kg and I am well within the mid-range of the height appellation considered short. So a sudden stop for me has with it a compacted density that perhaps an ordinary person lacks. 

I was on running away duties and I ran away. Alas when I touched the wall I did more than that. Enter horrid cracking noise and hello presence of livid crack.

Fortunately the coordinator laughed it off and told me not to worry about it. And unlike me ... I didn't, either. I accepted his 'don't worry about it' in the spirit it was given and I am presuming he'll just note it as a maintenance issue the next time the rooms get an inspection.

I should have little icons of walls with Ghostbuster's-style red circles with strike-thrus tattooed up my forearm like the painted-on kill sigils as seen emblazoned on the side of a fighter ace's plane. 

Anyhoo, the death-defying. I am looking forward to it re-starting and I'm just hoping the new people I end up doing it with are as welcoming, fun, interesting and just joy-burst inducing as the guys I just went through the trenches with. They were, and shall remain, good eggs.

(1) Yes kidz ... and your music ... if you italicise a string of text and within that text string is a word that is typically italicised then you de-italicise it.
(2) When I was in junior high I went to a dinner thing at friends of my parent's place. Their son was in my year and I had been in primary school with him. He had a younger brother. We were left to our own devices and we ended up picking on said younger brother. For some reason he went into his room and wrote hate messages about us on slips of paper, waded them up, then stuck them in the body of a rubber door stopper. We then read them as he ran into his room hooting with laughter at us. So we then shut him in his room and wouldn't let him out. Later we gathered up the hate slips and told him we'd show the parents unless he paid us for them back. We forced him to give us like six dollars. As I recall I split it with my fellow conspirator. And from that day forward we never spoke of it again. Even when I transferred to the school he was at. Just not mentioned. In retrospect it was a pretty mean thing to do to the brother but then I did get three dollars out of it. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The dangers of the insta-comment

In the public service you have to take care not to offend people. What's considered offensive? What a reasonable person might consider offensive. So it's a tad rubbery.

Given as I am to bursts of attempted comedy (1) then this can (and does) get me into occasional trouble when, one might argue, I have stepped over this rubbery reasonable line.

S--- took sick midway through the day. Showing signs of fever theBoss advised S--- to pack up and go home. Being a caring boss she suggested a home remedy concoction.

Naturally, I had to say something. And remember, I'm Mikey—insta-comment is my bag (baby).

'Honey, Lemon and Ginger! They fully sound like stripper names!'

I got a semi-hushed MIKEY?! but really, is that so bad? I suppose I did make matters worse offering to stand up and say in a breathy voice 'I'm Honey' and then mime a bump and grind on an imaginary pole.

Earlier today I mentioned that we were like 'White Russians' in that we were in exile down one end of the building away from the rest of the team, but that our surroundings were pleasant. We have, after-all, a nice view and our corner window is shaded by a pleasant leafy tree. I meant White Russian in the exile sense, with many of the aristocratic types settling in Paris, but in the moment the comment left my mouth I was concerned that those in ear shot might have thought I made a racially-charged comment. I tried to explain—'No, no, I meant we're like the exiles from the Russian civil war that ended up in Paris in the 1920s'—but as I did I realised I was then presuming they knew there was in fact a Russian civil war at all in the first place.

In the end I kind of trailed off, ending with a mumbled 'Ah, forget it'. Five minutes later I crafted a potted history of the White Russians with links to the various pages then emailed it out.

I keep forgetting that other people don't know obscure factoids about da past and shit.

Insta-comment(s) fail...

And, yes, I realise this is yet another hilarious stripper-themed post. I am aware I am a low-in-number-of-tricks-word-pony...

(1) I'm like George Costanza—"I can usually come up with one good comment during a meeting, but by the end it's buried under a pile of gaffes and bad puns."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sometimes it's a throat-puncher of a day

My big report got all the way to the boss++ for its final hurdle when three pages had to be yanked from it. As the report is being printed it means finding three pages of content to fill the hole ... or losing another page. Since, as you'd probably be aware, hard copy printing is in lots of four pages due to how a publication is put together. 

I spent five hours frantically putting together replacement content, getting it proofed, organising photos and the like. And of course it means everything gets pushed back and I will miss my performance agreement set deadline. Hooray, adios $315.(1)

Then there was the finance crap. In any public service organisation then finance paperwork is painful. Why? Because it has to be painful in order to make sure everything is above board and to keep many public servants gainfully employed processing that paperwork. You can actually end up spending more tax payer dollars in lost productivity filling out paperwork than the monies listed within said paperwork. But that's how a big org rolls. 

Anyway I am not a finance person. The forms we use are largely incomprehensible to me with code columns here, account codes there, and assorted other codes hither and thither. But I tried my best and submitted it. The forms came back littered with red pen of circled errors and the correct information. Once more I saddled up and attempted to once more ride against the finance windmill ... only to fail again ... and two more times after that. Finally it was done, save for some additional paperwork which I foolishly attempted to print. 

I say foolishly because naturally the printer took my two page email and turned it into 142 pages of a single left-justified column of one-character-wide gibberish. Even when docs were sent to colleagues; gibberish. In the end I took S---'s advice and clean printed it into virgin word docs then wrote a note explaining what I'd had to do given originals were not available for printing. Unless, that is, they accepted gibberish.

I think it's safe to say that today, given the three attempts at printing which resulted in gibberish—manually cancelled by me at printer-point when I saw the dreaded crap came shooting out—that I in effect murdered an entire tree, with a thick wad of printed-on paper dropped into the blue wheelie bins where dead office paper goes to then be shipped (apparently) to China for recycling.  

So yes it was a throat-puncher of a day. The sort of day where if you saw it coming, and it was possible to physically assault then you would ... by punching it in the throat. 

Still ... I am okay at what I do. Even hideous obstacles like this popping up can be dealt with. But in the full throes of it, like for example an end-of-the-day-mass-gibberish-printing-fail, it can be horrid. I admit to swearing and carrying on semi-chicken like, and then having to be conscious not to be full swear-bear and fully revel in it so as not to offend surrounding colleagues. 

In Japan apparently some companies have a room with blow up dolls of senior execs that they allow people to beat up with nerf bats so as to let off steam. I think we need blow up printers (slash) faxes that we can smash at here in good old white collar Oz, Office Space style

Fuck I hate it when IT fucks up. It's the icing on the crap cake.

(1) I'm on the top of my increment for my level. So instead of getting a performance-linked pay rise I get lump sums. And since I am taxed at the second-highest-rate my lump sum of around $500 gets taxed down to that amount. So really it's not as brutal a loss as not getting a raise.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Casso's pet bird has a stripper name

"Keiko" also has a number of poles in her cage.

I wonder how much she charges for a private flutter?

Things that sound odd out of context

'A partially-masticated Lamby is quite moist.'

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Take that, linear narrative!

During a recent Storyverse session theBoy decided the dragon Silly Simon, who always gets things wrong unless it's a Wednesday (1), was telling theBoy, Humpty and Stumpty a story. The story was about a pair of snails—Humpty Dumpty and Comety Stumpty—who lived in a pair of underpants and who climbed up the haft of a shovel to go shopping, as there was a snail shopping centre atop this mighty tool of gardening. They were off to buy money apparently, as you see, that's wacky.

So in other words theBoy had initiated a frame story; a story within a story. The Storyverse session was all going along tickety-boo when theBoy demanded that Optimus Prime then turn up in the story being told. So Silly Simon included him in the tale, with the Autobot leader meeting up with the aforementioned snails—snails clearly based, to Humpty's annoyance, on himself and his brother, Stumpty. 

It was then theBoy broke my brain. How?

He called up Optimus Prime. Yes, called him up while Optimus was in the story being told by Silly Simon the dragon. theBoy rang Optimus and over the phone then inflicted upon the robot some capricious magic—'Instead of Optimus Prime you say Optimus Bum!'. theBoy then followed this up with other calls to give more geas-like orders such as making him speak with a German accent or speak in a lady's voice. theBoy was egged on by Humpty, who was sitting with the others and listening to the original Silly Simon led tale, who yelled suggestions like 'make him stand on one leg!'

Optimus Prime (in the Silly Simon told story) got steadily more upset. He kept trying to break the magic but without success, for example yelling 'My name is Optimus Bum! Not Optimus Bum!' whilst hopping on one leg. Whenever Optimus tried then failed to break this curse then Humpty Dumpty the snail would simply repeat his name—'I'm Humpty Dumpty'—to remind people he was also in that story. Each time he did a clearly upset and now shrill-voiced Autobot leader would shriek at him to 'shut up!'

The next day, on a car trip, theBoy was gleefully chanting to himself 'I'm Humpty Dumpty / SHUT UP!' over and over again. 

Anyway it was such an awesome trippy concept to break into a story within a story to interact with that sub-layer of characters that it just blew me away. It was like something out of Inception.

What a Chooky!

(1) As Silly Simon is naturally wacky—he says the number three as 'Pineapple' and then eats rocks thinking they're pineapples—then on Wednesdays, traditionally a wacky day, he becomes normal...

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

I got a well done...

I suspect recognition of how awesome you are must be pretty high up of the hierarchy of emotional needs. After-all, even if deep down, we all crave praise. Hell some of us nakedly demand it with untold exuberance, ringing it out of even the most careworn praise deliverer.

Recently I sent out the staff newsletter. It's an actually fun work thing I don't mind doing because I'm allowed to have (limited) free reign (1) to spice it up with a little bit yuk-action. I whack in amusing side-bars, links to wiki-pages, and even interview colleagues about interesting jobs they've had in the past. It's an esprit de corps morale boosting thing. 

Anyway my old boss+ liked the latest one so much he pinged me to say well done and CC'ed in the new boss+. To her credit she re-voiced that praise in our (much dreaded by me) weekly meeting.

So yay me for getting praise. Of course I ruined the benefit of the glow moment later in the (overly long) meeting with some semi-tasteless commentary and observations. But, well, I wouldn't have been me if I hadn't.

One darkly hilarious moment was that that boss+ opened the meeting with a speedily delivered sermon of 'if you have the shits about stuff, don't let it fester, talk to someone about it'. I'm still heartily pissed off about my week of horror where I got three slaps in quick succession; for my overt comedic commercial favouritism of local cafe praise, for my failing to meet the dress code, and for bothering people with my time-wasting raising of concerns about health and safety. Her 'don't let it fester' speech also included a line along the lines of 'and if someone says something offensive then say something' (2). Naturally I took that as a semi-dig at myself.  

Anyway, it was nice to get a well done. My old boss+ (and former direct boss) was always awesome at making sure to give encouragement and praise. I do miss sot. 

Stupid living-in-interesting-workplace-times. 

During the meeting—which included two remotely sited staff listening and contributing via speaker phone—we were also told that the newly installed gas-powered barbecue next to the building was ready for operation. It's identical to the ones you find in parks the Canberra area; a button is depressed, you wait for a bit, gas ignites. Fairly simple stuff.

Only it turns out we're not allowed to use it until someone comes from the building maintenance area and officially demonstrates its operation to the building manager.

This pissed M---, one of the speaker phone listening in peeps, well off. Largely I think because she used to be the building manager until she moved to a regional office.

'Oh that is frog shit!' came her voice, bellowing out of the speaker phone.

Frog shit indeed.

(1) Paradox!
(2) My boss had to go to a re-scheduled hearing test. She'd missed the original appointment because she hadn't heard her iPhone reminder go off. I know, hilarious. Anyway she was about to go and in a soft distorted voice I wished her luck with the test. 'Mikey?!' she said, in a shocked and appalled voice. 'You can't say that?!'. It was then I realised she thought my soft distorted voice, making fun of the fact she couldn't hear very well, was taking the piss out of the way some deaf people speak. I then spluttered out a 'no, No, NO! I was just doing a bit about you not hearing well'; but I don't think she believed me. Sigh.  

The twelfth spice

With thanks to theColonel.

I was on dinner over watch whilst theWife grappled with the hairy besotted she-beast that is the TPC, an exercise bike technically owned by the shell corporation CassandraAwesome Ltd. (1). theBoy was having fish fingers, beans and corn on the cob.

Lately theBoy has developed a bad habit; picking his nose and eating the findings. Unfortunately he finds our annoyance at it amusing. But he also does it because well for him he's on a snot eating journey and who are we to judge?

Being a smart little Chooky he's on the constant lookout for ways to enhance his fun. So naturally he then rolled the corn cob under his nose like it was a rotisserie chicken down at the local take-away, presumably to get a yummy tinge from the snot crop frosted across his philtrum.

It was disgusting. When I told him that was gross, as was his broader habit of nose picking then eating, he immediately launched three nose pick (slash) eat attempts, all accompanied by a high-pitched throaty Jabby chuckle.

He didn't eat all the corn. I offered to cut it off the cob for him but he said no.

Oh well. So endeth the dinner.

It was only much later, when lying on the big bed as he dried himself on me—having responded with 'DADDY TOWEL!' when asked if he wanted the Froggie towel or Owlie towel post-bath and he then chasing me up the corridor to the big bed so as to carry out his threat—when I realised what had happened between him finishing dinner and me preparing the bath.

I must have forgotten what he'd done in regards to the paddle wheeling a corn cob below his nose because during that twixt dinner 'n' bath phase I'd idly cut the kernels from the cob then eaten most of the sliced off segments with thin slivers of cheese.

I didn't eat all of the corn though. I left some of the kernels, along with a cheese sliver and some of the fish fingers theBoy had failed to eat, on the chopping board, my having been distracted from a final consumption by a then-nude child charging off, tummy in full pronation, down the corridor. 

Later theWife came in from her cycle and saw the remaining food gathered there, winking provocatively (2).

So it's understandable she was annoyed to be told of the corn nozzling when I emerged from the bedroom.

Daddy fail.

By the way, try listening to 'Building on Fire' by The Talking Heads. It's seemingly impossible not to hear the line '...It's not love...' as '...snot love...'

(1) The tickets on her!
(2) theWife's line, taken from her circa 1994 article about procrastination that appeared in the student newspaper of our university.