Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ate too much

Last night was 'snacky tea'. That's where as the adult units of the family operation declare that neither of us can be fucked making something proper for tea and we're each on our own for night food. 

Thanks to discovering A2 milk does not fire off my guts on intake (1) I've been binging on cereal; almost always Rice Bubbles. I'm attracted to the sense of happy fullness that Rice Bubbles gives. My tummy is full and the after-taste is sugary milk. 

So last night I ate Rice Bubbles ... about six times. Sometimes I had it in a clear mug. Sometimes in a plastic cereal bowl. Sometimes I added fruit. Sometimes it was just raw sugar and honey. 

This morning my stomach rebelled. My normal IBS re-asserted itself on volume grounds and put me through a punishing set of waste removal. I imagine my guts are an ancient rebelling machine deep in a sub-complex of a dystopian future where humans had to flee beneath the earth and fearful priest-technicians are before the shuddering engine, babbling ancient strictures in order to calm its rage.

In the most-awesome new series Once Upon a Time Rumplestiltskin, ably played by Robert Carlyle, grants petitioners wishes. However the benefaction they seek has a cost; 'All magic has a price' says Rumplestiltskin with a sneer when he presents the contract for signing.

Too many Rice Bubbles has a price. It may be magic coming in but it is most decidedly un-magic going out.

The constant chasing of the dragon (2) of sugared afterglow is not worth the very conscious later abdominal torment as I grip the safety bar like a wounded Civil War soldier about to get his septic limb sawn off (3).

I just have to remember; all fun in moderation.

(1) Empirical testing has revealed I have an adult-onset allergy to proteins (casein) found in A1 milk. A1 milk being the dominate type of milk produced in Oz. A2 milk comes from certain types of cows and it's now available for purchase at twice the normal milk price in Woolies and Coles.
(2) The other day I went on a Wiki Jaunt in things related to Opium. It was most illuminating. As an interesting aside my parents have a Japanese opium pipe. It's a weird array of tools poking out of a ceramic case. 
(3) Stupid typo of sceptic instead of septic now fixed.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Some randoms

It's a grizzled day outside. Rain slashing intermittently, a gloomy grey sky. Our windows are tinted so it makes for an even darker atmos. I want to curl up under my desk and sleep.

My over-the-partition neighbour is C---. He's awesome.  He's a comedy nerd, well-read, and an all-around excellent conversationalist. He also has a proper manly voice and has the man frame to match. Only the thing is both he and I have assorted shelving clutter that obscures our faces. So he's forever looking at me from between folders and jutting up books. Like we're having a covert conversation between shelves in a library. If we're clearly wanting to talk, and we're in a position to do so, then usually one of us will stand because the whole Wilson thing is getting a bit too much.

The other night theBoy came to me for kiss cuddles before bed. He complained about my smell. 'You need beard rub!' he demanded. I complained no one was leading me to get beard rub. So he grabbed my hand, pulled me from the bed in the end room, and led me to bathroom to get the beard rub. Sometimes he won't kiss me 'cos of my beard. So I have to do 'Jagger lips' and plump them out so he doesn't risk hair graze. Aw.

I had lunch at a local cafe. Just as the waiter was coming to get my order then Flinty (1) from work, called him over; intercepted! It look fifteen minutes to get to me as he was the only one on the floor and it was fairly busy. I'd been looking forward to my trip out to the cafe but on the drive in I saw Flinty an Co. in the rain heading up to the shops and I knew they were going to the same place as me. Sigh. Anyway my meal arived about ten minutes later. Something had gone tragically wrong with Flinty and Co's table 'cos I called for a takeaway tub just as their fist dish arrived They had waied about fifty minutes. During my delish feast I kept casting sidelong glances to get an update on their food situation as I felt bad about their situation. At one point Flinty started hooting with annoyance; 'It's been an hour and a half!' she boldly declaring at one point (that being about fifty minutes I believe). On the way out one of them asked to let their colleagues know they'd be late 'cos of the uber long wait. Anyway ... one of those things. I suppose it was a little bit of poetic justice to get my food before them considering they'd guzumped me on the ordering but that would be pathetic of me to get the gids on about that.

It's still raining outside. At work the sky turned near black about 3 pm, the black occasionally lit by a tear of lightning. Wind shook the glass in their settings. 

Recently my work area, a pod of four work stations, got suddenly taken over by colleagues when their area got evacuated. They'd found an earthing wire was touching something it shouldn't. So they called in emergency technicians and moved those nearby away. Within the space of five minutes my reverie was utterly ruined by the appearance of a suddenly full workstation pod. Four people, including me, busily tapping and talking away. One of them, the baldest interloper, was having a stressful call. Their presence stressed me and I wished them gone. Fortunately they were I came back from lunch.

Hiss hiss...

In Humpty and Stumpty theBoy shot down Bad Synybatbat's iceberg helicopter. The wreckage started falling to earth but in the sky were two parachutes. Bad Synybatbat and his now permanent companion, Captain Hypno, a pirate captain under whose eye-patch lurks a hypnotising WomWom crystal. Which, when triggered, induces mass-hypnosis. theBoy naturally shot their parachutes down and Bad Synybatbat dropped into a trap (or cage) floating in the water while Captain Hypno fell into the water. The pirate captain made it to shore minus his hypnosis crystal (it dropped out during the swim) and a hand (bitten off by a shark when Captain Hypno had reached out to get the fallen hypnosis crystal when it detached from the confining restrictions of his ocular cavity. As the captain staggered onto the sand he was captured by zombies. The zombies took Captain Hypno to SpaceJail, which is on Titan, and handed him into the warden who was then ethically obliged to treat Hypno's many ailments. But still, job well done, zombies, you get a spin on the prize wheel. A misnomer theBoy and I adopted to stand for the selection of a prize from the bounty hunter pool. The zombies selected br-a-a-a-a-a-a-ins. theBoy handed in Bad Synybatbat after some side adventures involving a giant squid and its ink defence and also got to choose a prize. He chose to get br-a-a-a-a-ins and give them to the zombies as a present. Aw. 

Later, after I severely annoyed him, he threw a torch at me with full force. It whacked into my wrist. Had it hit my head it would have really hurt. Maybe smashed my glasses. He was very sad about what had happened, actually genuinely sorry and making sure I was okay, but it meant repercussions. And that meant angry tears, sad tears, and then sleeping. He has a cold again, he has little lungs, so he's coughing lots and is chesty. That's probably not helping either. I feel super bad because I was being super annoying to him since I'd gotten home because I kept trying to cuddle him and he didn't want any of that. So he was primed to go off. I love him so much I'm always just trying to grab him and hold onto to him so I can remember just how awesome this is but he finds my constant need for affection and reassurance annoying. Jesus, dad, like, get a life. I'm off to the hover park with my space friends (zooooooooooooom).

It's night time now. As in nighty-night time. I just talked to my brothers and dad. They're away overseas for my younger brother's wedding (alas work and co. prevented my going). I got to talk to each of them. It's funny because they're each having their own experience. Together but alone. One's getting married. One's been married but is no longer. One's still married but his wife's been brain-fried for the best part of five years and yet she remains tethered to life. They each have their joy for this but they each have their sorrows. All of us possess the genetic disposition of sads with almost all of us having grappled bouts of it at one or more points in our lives. Times like these can be trigger points for feelings and for memories because we tend to look about what's happened rather than what's happening. 

Anyway I hope it all goes well. The church where they're getting married is a rickety Colonial-relic of a Church of England that my brother and soon-to-be-wife found on one of their tourist adventures, with both of them being in the tourist trade. So they declared it their spot and within it seems no time at all there they go, getting married. TheMum would have loved it. I could imagine her, before MS ate her legs and alzheimer's ate her mind, being in that setting. Seeing the view of the beach, the sand fringed by sea and by jungle (2). I can imagine her looking out with a wry smile, her thinking of times she'd had in her adventurous youth.

Well, that's enough randoms for now. To the randoms closing mobile! (zooooooooooooom)

(1) There are just some people you do not get on with in the workplace. Flinty is one. She finds me childish and irritating. And probably unprofessional. Plus I need her help now and then and we clearly find the forced interaction uncomfortable. Like cousins in ill fitting formal attire being sent down the aisle ahead of the bride and being asked to hold hands with each other. 
(2) Fuck it, for the first day of this post this word was juggle. Now I am imagine her being somewhat pensive surrounded by a number of jugglers as she works out how to get past the juggle invasion of the beach sand.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Where Mikey can safely tag out

I gave up giving a shit about my building, in trying to get things fixed. It all just got too hard. But then a miracle happened; A--- happened. 

A--- got hand-balled the role of collating and chasing up requests to the maintenance area to get building repairs made. And because we're in an older building then older building things happen; the electrics surge and blow lights, too many people using appliances throws the fuse out in the lunch room; the toilets routinely fail to properly flush or keep flushing

So A--- dutifully follows stuff up. He will call people. He will email. He will accept and act on suggestions where possible. For example the shredder that's blocking a narrow resource-room corridor will now either get sent away as surplus or moved to a safer place. Most importantly for me he will actually escort the technicians or tradesman as they do their work, not leave them unattended as almost everyone does. 

In other words a thing I used to painfully do as a kind of do-the-right thing-because-no-one-else-will add on to my duties is now in fact an actual workplace-add-on-assigned to A---. Which means he has authority delegated to him to ask for stuff, the support of people because they hate doing it and hate busybodies like me nagging at them to get shit fixed, and he has actual work-time assigned to do it. 

It's a massive burden lifted off me. The stair lights, of which the six have never before been all fully lit are now fully lit and have stayed fully lit. Why? Because A--- followed up the likely culprit of a failed transformer and asked to get it fixed. And followed it up; he followed it up! An actual other public servant actually followed, doggedly followed up, a maintenance order until it got fucking sorted. 

In my 15+ years that's never actually happened. 

One of the last jobs I logged before I logged jobs no more was for the mens toilet nearest my workstation. The cistern kept flowing. The toilet didn't overflow; it just was in perpetual flush refill. This meant the aging pipes made a constant whistling wind vibratory flush sound that emanated out through the false ceiling and into surrounding workspace. It was annoying. The only way to stop it was to whack the side of the cistern to joggle the workings within. Only the next time the toilet was used the same problem would occur. 

Rather than risk repeated whackings to the side of the cistern, since not all people can do it and you can whack it so hard you can calve a chunk of porcelain off and slice open your hand (1), we declared it off limits. I put up a out of order sign on the toot and asked people not to use it. 

That was five weeks ago. After the first week we follow it up. We're told the owner has cancelled the job only they didn't tell anyone. The job is reinstated. K---, one of the lads around the corner knows I've placed the request and asks me to follow it up. We follow it up. We're told that the owner has been told to do it or we'll go to the tribunal! I know, dramatic. A week passes. We follow it up. Turns out—ha, ha ha, the job we'd logged has been placed against the other office block in our suburb; my organisation having buildings scattered about and, well, nature loves a cluster. So the building owner has said 'no, not us' because, you see, it not them. It was the owner of our building that was meant to do it. Only no one had noticed this mistake until week three. Job re-directed. We wait a week, K--- prompts me once more, and we follow it up; response is 'You will get a call any day now! It will be today—tomorrow morning at the latest.'

Tomorrow morning at the latest arrives. In past my pod entrance trots our usual plumber. He reminds me of an non-tonsured monk. His haircut is about a no. three and he has a lithe muscular build. He's quiet but if I bafflegab on at him if I'm on escort duty—'What's the shittiest shit thing you've ever seen?!' (2)—he usually responds. 

So what's different about all of this? I am not the one he called; nor am I the one escorting him. It's A---! Why? Because A---'s been given the job of wrangling the building maintenance crap and A--- actually gives a shit about getting it done. 

They vanish from view. There's some light clunking. A whoosh. Another light clunk. Some more whooshing and then door banging noise. Three seconds later there goes usual plumber, A--- escorting him out. 

From the time I first saw him to the time I saw him leave then less than 90 seconds had passed. That's right; 90 seconds. 

I believe that's a faster in-and-out exit time that the armed robbers in the jewellery robbery scene at the start of Beverly Hills Cop 2, and Brigitte Nielsen has a fucking stopwatch.

Five weeks to administer the assigning of the job; 90 seconds to actually perform it. 

The public service; sometimes it's soft-core Brazil.

Anyway, I got to send a joyous email to the building's occupants saying the lav had been fixed, noting that whole Beverly Hills Cop 2 bit I used above after having first road-tested the gag to K--- and friends when I announced the unusual speed at which usual plumber had plumbed, and made sure in the email to laud A--- for all his recent fine work at properly, actually properly, attempting to maintain the OH&S standards of an older trouble-prone building. 

I know it seems petty, I know it seems trite. But when I walk in and see all the stair's lights are lit—still lit, mind, with none of them yet blown—it actually sends a tiny pulse of glad shooting through my firming infirm bod. The lights are like mini-beacons of hope, of reassurance, that A--- is on the case.

I sent him another thanks email. A thanks for taking on the escort and contact duties for the fix-the-toilet-gig. He said it was nice to be appreciated. I just massively appreciate the fact I don't need to do anything any more, that I can tag-out to A--- and I know he will do a better job. And on top of that A--- welcomes suggestions and I'm not made to feel like an arsehole for pointing out safety issues afoot.

So you kids—and stay in school—make to thank your workplace-glue peeps; peeps like A---. The people in your workplace that do the first aid crap, the building warden shit, and the onerous and deeply unsatisfying role of trying to get repairs made. Because they make your working life less shit by making sure things don't get too shit. They are, in essence, shit-shields. 

Workplace-glue peeps; they're your shit-shields.

(1) You then of course proceed to not notice that you sliced your hand open and then you bleed all over the cover of a friend's book as you walk to the car-park and you then have to lick the book clean wit' tongue to get the blood off
(2) It was probably this case...

An eerie coincidence but nonetheless useful advice

I am a man with poor self esteem. Mind you I have a lot to be poor in self esteem about— a lumpy mostly-failed body (1), patchy hair, I'm irritating, I moan (slash) whine a lot and so forth—but even with justification, feeling like you suck can be somewhat of a burden. Not just for you but people around you. I can't, for example, readily accept praise because when someone says a nice thing about me I can't but help think 'but you don't know about the rest of me and how much that bites the wang'. I can see how that would give a praise-giver the irrits.

Unfortunately this self esteem crap bleeds over into when I am trying to be creative. I have a conceit that I can write except when I write I have a thought niggling away telling me that what I am producing is illegible piffle. Naturally this makes me less likely to write; why bother to write when I suck at writing? (2)

I was thinking about this on a drive home and wondering what I could do to get over that hurdle of feeling like I suck at writing. The thing is of course unless you write and write lots then chances are you will suck at writing. Sure it helps to have a modicum of talent but if anything merits the description of 1 per cent inspiration, 99 per cent perspiration then it's writing; since unless it's on the fucking page then it's not actually written. So I basically have to convince myself that even if I do feel like what I am writing is horrid yuckyuck that would make a slush pile reader void themselves across the pile when they read the first page that the mere fact I am writing improves my ability to write.  It is, therefore, still a win even if I feel like a massive loser.

As I thought this encouraging thought of accepting that what I write may suck but the mere fact I am writing may lead to future non-sucking I murmured to myself the alliterative advice of 'fake it until you make it'. 

At the time I was driving I was listening to a Marc Maron podcast. He was talking with Sara Benincasa, a real ear-opener of a podcast given her frank discussions of mental health issues when at college. 

It was at the exact moment that I murmured 'fake it until you make it' to myself that Maron said those same words to Sara in the podcast.

I stared boggle-eyed at the combo of Mp3 and spherical speaker jacked cumbersomely into a cigarette lighter adapter and wondered what other similar eeriness was going to gush forth from the Maron podcast.

Well ... nothing did. But still it was a total mind-fuck to hear my own spoken advice instantly echoed and, not only that, echoed by Marc Maron. A man who in the grip of his own esteem issues about his perceived career being in the doldrums decided to start a podcast interviewing other comedians and, through that simple act and a surprising discovery that he was a naturally gifted interviewer, re-booted said comedy career in addition to achieving commercial success in a new medium (3).

So there you go, a combo of me and Maron gave me some useful advice; fake it until you make it. 

Now I just have to get busy faking it.

(1) I should point out though despite my assorted body issues I have full mobility, full use of my hands, and I am not in a chair. So really I should probably shut the fuck up about a mostly-failed body when there are people out there grappling with far more hideous health-related issues than I do. But, well, the trouble with poor self-esteem is, ironically, that you tend to care more about your own woes than that of other people. Sorry other people!
(2) Case example. I just realised after three years that the blog label tag I have for exercise is misspelled as 'excercise'. How did I not see that?! Only it's embedded in about a thousand posts. So I have to keep it as a label tag even though it's incorrect. Well fuck you, typo. I have created a new label tag called 'exercise' and I'm going to use that! ... Alongside the incorrectly spelled one since due to legacy issues I need to keep using it. Mendoza-a-a-a!
(3) Maron does live ad reads in his intro—!—and has a number of product deal link ins for websites where you can drop the WTF code for a discount and he 'gets some shekels on the back-end'. He also makes money from sales of the first 100 eps on DVD, merchandise (or "merch"), as well as from a tip jar. Maron also sells streaming access to older episodes behind a paywall with the latest 50 eps of the podcast being free to listen to. Indeed Maron's paywall is in fact the first paywall I've ever paid to access; and it was totally fucking worth it!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Turns out I am a skeleton lord

Some months back I was playing D&D3.5, or Dungeons and Dragons, third edition, second release (the .5 being released in 2003). 

Our party was exploring an active temple of Set and we came across a room with skeletons manacled to the wall. The middle one had on a fancy necklace and some gold bracers. We presumed correctly they'd animate and the melee kicked off with a called shot to a pelvis with an arrow, the skellibobs then released from their bonds so they should click-clack across the stony floor to have at us fleshies. 

They were enhanced types from memory, though still readily defeated and I was feeling cocky in the heady aftermath. I think the fact they gold tat of skeleton two radiated magic sparked the impulse and my declared action for my victory-infused gnomish rogue / bard was 'I put on the necklace and dance around singing "Look at me, I'm  skeleton lord."' I then happily asked what happened. 

A Necklace of Strangulation is what happened. 

Forgive the nerd bleat but it meant 6 hp (my character had about 30) a round (six seconds) until dead; with minimum of a limited wish needed to remove it. As we were around seventh level such magic was beyond us. P--- the GM took pity and allowed an in-game combo of skill rolls, and caster level checks to augment a remove curse spell to, well, remove it. 

Suffice to say the fact my character's final words could well have been 'Look at me; I'm a skeleton lord---URK!' has entered our gaming group's memory cloud.

I recently added a tool to my atop-the-TPC armoury of devices (1) to amuse and assist Mikey; my skeleton-hand-themed backstratcher (2). No only is it useful in its intended role of horror-genre back scratching—for my hairy back gets slicked with sweat sometimes when I ride and the entire region prickles up with the itchies—but the scratcher is long enough that from my TPC ensconced position I can whack the controls atop the halogen heater positioned below my plastic chariot. I can turn the heater on and off and even adjust the intensity with skillful taps of the skeletal-back-fist (3).

So it turns out, in essence, I am a skeleton lord.

Bow down before my bicycling bones, puny fleshlings.

(1) The TPC being the exercise bike I ride each day in order to stave off assorted health horrors. TPC standing for The Purgatory Cart, the name given to the bike after theWife fixed the setting so it wasn't on maximum difficulty, the previous name on said max difficulty being The Hell Wagon.
(2) I love the intro line for the wiki for backscratchers; A backscratcher (occasionally known as a scratch-back) is a tool used, as the name would suggest, for relieving itches for areas that cannot easily be reached just by one's own hands, typically the back.
(3) And as a player of DragonQuest, the old SPI RPG, I had a character with a magic item that could cast the Hand of Death spell. I believe it squeezed a target's heart and they took Endurance damage each round. It was a homebrew item that I made up since the game did not have a ready list of magic items like D&D had. The pic I draw of the item looked remarkably like by skeletal-themed backscratcher. What are the odds?!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I didn't like the way ghost me was staring

When I started riding the TPC last night I soon realised I'd forgotten to restore the privacy shield; the towel hung up across two thirds of the window, secured in place under a block of wood jammed atop the sill in the shed. The shield required so I don't have to see my reflection in the window.

So despite the fact I'd started I couldn't handle seeing exercising me. So I got off and restored the shield. It took about five minutes to do it because I am hopeless.

I don't understand gyms with the mirrors being every where. Even without glasses those mirrored places are a horror for someone with a poor sense of body image. David Jones, with its Mirror, Mirror on Every Wall is just as bad. 

Boo for seeing my own reflection; boo!

Anyway, off for a ride now. I have on my old stripy grey and blue shirt. It used to be prime-wear (1), and now it's relegated to sleeping or riding in. And I have my white striped tracksuit pants that make me look like a Mafioso with a delusion of sporting ability.  Hooray!

And ... as ever ... thus I grind on. 

(1) Wear was initially misspelled as war. Damn you, Editor Casso!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Now that's Computerus Interruptus

theBoy is an only child. Which means of course he doesn't have to battle siblings for attention. It also means we're his playmates first and foremost.

He's pretty good at demanding attention. And since he's still a raging Id monster—as all children are—then his demands for immediate attention can be irritating.

If I am writing at the computer I HATE being interrupted. Chances are I've gone into my own world and, as I write, I usually have a half dozen or so competing thoughts or ideas roiling away in my noggin. So any interruption drags me away from that world, or reverie, and I then have to deal with the interruption. My default mode of mood is now 'irritated'.

The most irritating interruptions are usually theBoy induced.  A typical—and most-hated one—is his suddenly appearing by your side to grab onto your mouse-using arm.  He then hangs off your arm to prevent you from using said mouse.

Today his Computerus Interruptus surpassed previous efforts. As I was writing he ran in with his large clear plastic bottle of tennis-ball sized multi-coloured plastic balls then upended the bottle and tried to shake the contents out on me. My reverie was torn away as balls rained down and I started hooting with annoyance; 'What the hell are you doing, Chooky?' theWife had to come in and intervene.

Of course I can hardly complain. I was the same way at his age, and I had two brothers to compete with.

As I was writing this post, here in the lounge-room on myBeloved (an Android tablet), theBoy starting grinding on his back along the top of the brown vinyl poof which was right in my eye-line. So I couldn't but help notice his grinning melon in shot as I tapped away.


Friday, September 21, 2012


I'm atop the TPC again. I'm 1.4 kays in. Kays used to be my go to metric. It meant near the end I might go faster so as to end the torment of exercise. If I saw a 5.5 then, 'hey-ho, let's go' and off I sped (1). Now though the metric is time, 40 minutes being the goal as doctor-ordered if I am to have a chance at staving off lifehood-disease induced horror to add to an already over-flowing cornucopia of health-issue shit.

I did
Literature of War as a subject at uni. It was a brutally confronting yet awesome subject in which I got to watch war movies and shit. It was in that class, or possibly one of my film units, that I got to see Full Metal Jacket. I was the only one who laughed at the funny bits. I must have looked a bit like a tubbed-up De Niro minus the tatts and cigar as per the remake starring said De Niro (2) of Cape Fear where he intimidates other cinema patrons with his smoke-laced guffawing.

And I'm spent. I have now finished riding. Let's carry this conversation on about me and the
TPC. For old time's sake.

I took a bunch of stuff away from
Literature of War; for one what a surreal hell-scape war is yet at the same time it shows the courage found within it. 'War maketh the man' has a still-powerful grip on the Western psyche. Another other was the nature of the known time and how knowing how long you'd be in theatre for was actually more depressing than open-ended commitment but one with a promise of rotation away from the front-line when time allowed. Vietnam, for example, was basically a 12 month tour. You got in, you did you time, you got out. In World War Two the end point was not known. However experience soon proved, as I understand it, to be about a year of active front-line duty before being rotated away. From D-Day through to the end of the European war some US units had about 170 per cent causalities. As in some had cycled through so many men that some units had no original soldiers left from the initial charge up the beach in June, 1944. 

In Vietnam the knowledge of your end date ate you. You got superstitious; short-timer syndrome (3). The closeness of the date, the greater the panic of something getting you just as you got out; or you'd take a horrible wound that may maim you for life. Some avoided newcomers for fear their greenness would draw aggro in a fight. Others avoided the short-timers for fear the ill-luck -that chased them would take them as well. Men started scribing calendars on their ballistic vests, crossing off the days as the time drew near. 

So in essence that's what it's like riding to a time instead of a distance; because, you see, of the loss of hope. It doesn't matter if I go fast to take it away because I have to do the time instead. It sucks hairy balls. So I screen seeing the clock and put the display on distance and aim for about 9.5 kays before I switch over and check the time. At that point I assess my pain and discomfort and, if I need a break I'll take one. If my hip is sending out snapping dry vine signals then I will simply call it and stop for the night rather than pressing the sense of discomfort.

Tonight my arse went nearly completely numb. I had to get off at 35.51 and stand for a while as my arse throbbed back into life, assisted by gentle rubbing from myself. 

Yes, I spent ten minutes in the shed gently rubbing my arse ... only to then get the fuck back on the TPC and make the full desired 40 minutes (4). 

And thus I grind on.

(1) Wouldn't spode be kewler than sped?
(2) Can you think of any other celebs other than Robert De Niro with the surname of De Niro. You can't can you? So ... so why is that? (knock, knock, knock) (Young man goes to the peephole and looks through. He sees the back of man's head) Er yes? (back-facing man speaks) You Andy De Niro? (Andy at peephole is nervous) Yes (The man laces his fingers behind his head and flexes. There's a crunch audible despite the door. The man speaks) The actor? (Andy gulps. The man lowers his hands and his head dips slightly. He continues to speak) Star of 2011's pilot Fear of Cohabitment, a show an IMDB reviewer said 'This cliché-laced romantic comedy aimed at men 18-25 is about a man in his late-thirties who finally gives in to his much-younger girlfriend's demand that she move in. The promise she made to sweeten the pot? Anal. The horrid tagline of " 'cos he's going to hit her sweet pot" an example of the tired genre of spicy teen-lure that forever corrupted the term sweet apple pie". A pilot where you played ... (the man's head shifts, perhaps as if to more closely inspect something) Friend Mover Two and your only line was 'Hey, Derek, way to tap that sweet pot. Let's bones it up for your boner' whereupon you lift your fist up so he can bump his fist onto yours and then you do so? And as your fists connect he says 'Rock on, Friend Mover Two,' the scriptwriter cleverly using your generic character name as your character's just bestowed joke name? That you? That you Friend Mover fucking-Two as played by Andy-fucking-De Niro? That you? (Andy De Niro swallows then replies) It's ... it's a stage-name. (The man's head nods) Yes it is Mr Andy De Niro. Actual name Robert Andrew Clakebrake. I'm an actor too; it's a tough gig. Name like Clakebrake I'd fuckin' change it too. (In the distance a hushed shout is heard. The new voice is also a man's but high. The voice's owner is excited, like a puppy) You need back-up Bobby? (the back-facing man ignores the intrusion) But De Niro? That's a little high-vis. That's what you kids say, right? High-vis? High Visibility. That right, Clakebrake? (The higher voiced man is closer, though he still cannot be seen by the now outed-as-Richard-Andrew-Clakebrake. He speaks, voice still eager) Bobby, you need me? We jump this clown? (The man's head turns to the right slightly) Back off, Joe, I got it. (Higher talker backs away. Back-facing Man speaks again). And since you're used to changing your name then change it the fuck again. Do we have an understanding, Clakebrake? Do we? (Richard Clakebrake twitches. He speaks) Er ... yes. (The man leaves. The higher voiced man follows and offers a suggestion) Let's go get a fucking In and Out Burger, Bobby. Fuck me they're delicious. But ... but can we eat in? The fuckers are always doin' shit to my food unless I stare at 'em when they cook it at the grill. (The man agrees) Sounds good, Joe. Now where did you park the fuckin' car?' (AND SCENE). 
(3) Interestingly there's a book called The Short-Timers. I had no idea that it was the book that Full Metal Jacket was based on. Huh, you learn something every day.   
(4) I actually did two and a bit minutes over without realising. Go me!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bernardi V Faulkner

Bernardi's bigoted inference that gay marriage would potentially lead to 'Man Marries Dog' scenarios has gotten a lot of press. And rightly so; 'right-winger says breathtakingly offensive thing' is always interesting news to talk about and Bernardi, of course, has form in this arena. The fun of mocking said views and the laughing at people that support them; yay! 

UPDATE: I felt I should put the full paras in from his speech. For the entire Bernardi view on marriage see the Parliament website and select the Senate Hansard and dial up 18 September 2012.

If we are prepared to redefine marriage so that it suits the latest criterion that two people who love each other should be able to get married irrespective of their gender and/or if they are in a sexual relationship, then what is the next step? The next step, quite frankly, is having three people or four people that love each other being able to enter into a permanent union endorsed by society—or any other type of relationship. For those who say that I am being alarmist in this, there is the polyamory community who were very disappointed when the Greens had to distance themselves from their support for numerous people getting together and saying they want to enter into a permanent union. They were disappointed because they were misled that this was about marriage equality and opening up marriage to all people who love each other.

There are even some creepy people out there—and I say 'creepy' deliberately—who are unfortunately afforded a great deal more respect than I believe they deserve. These creepy people say it is okay to have consensual sexual relations between humans and animals. Will that be a future step? In the future will we say, 'These two creatures love each other and maybe they should be able to be joined in a union.' It is extraordinary that these sorts of suggestions are put forward in the public sphere and are not howled down right at the very start. We can talk about people like Professor Peter Singer who was, I think, a founder of the Greens or who wrote a book about the Greens. Professor Singer has appeared on Q&A on the ABC, the national broadcaster. He has endorsed such ideas as these. I reject them. I think that these things are the next step. As we accede to one request we will then have the next one which will be for unions of more than two people. We will have suggestions for unions of three or four people. I notice the Greens are heckling, but the point is that they misled their constituent base and there was an outcry about this. Where do we go then? Do we go down the Peter Singer path? Those that say this is the end of the social revolution have no history of being honourable about that. They continue to push and challenge our social and cultural mores. We simply cannot allow such an important social institution to be redefined, especially when Australians do not see this as a priority issue. 

It should be noted that Peter Singer's views on when 'mummy and a horse love each other very much' are more nuanced than the whole 'There's a pig---let's do that!' type inference that Bernardi was banging on with.  


But the politician whose comments on gay marriage most resonated with me was Senator John Faulkner's

I support the Marriage Amendment (No. 2) Bill 2012. I support this bill because I support equal rights for all Australians. This should not be a debate about the virtue and value of marriage as an institution, nor about its role in our society. Nor is it a debate about the role and prominence of religion—any religion—in our nation. It is a debate on the simple question of whether it is right for a government to deny some of its citizens access to a secular, government-recognised status on the basis of the gender of the person they choose to share their life with. I support this bill because I believe that no government should deny rights to any citizen on the basis of race, sex, religion, country of origin or sexual preference.  

Marriage is a secular legal construct. To exclude it from others by dint of who they choose to be with is wrong. 

If you don't like gay marriage then don't get gay married. But otherwise let people who have been disenfranchised and monstered for most of human history stand up before friends and family and enter the legal state of marriage like all the rest of us. 

To say otherwise is bigotry.

Unfortunately for gay Australians, and their friends and family, Federal parliament voted down the measure.

But as Albanese noted there is something at least positive about all of this.

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese, who backed the legislation, says the vote shows there has been significant progress towards legalising gay marriage.

"Just a few years ago there wouldn't have been the support of anything like 42 votes on the floor of the national Parliament for a marriage equality bill," Mr Albanese told reporters soon after the vote.

"All the figures show that there is majority community support on this issue... and I think at some future time, Parliament will catch up with the community opinion."

Eventually parliament will get there. Remember proud naked bigotry and racism was once a popularly-held viewpoint in the parliaments of this country. In just over a hundred years from that style of thought we've gone to near-acceptance of same-sex orientated people as actual, you know, people. 

Maybe the Fabians were right? Make like the tortoise and just keep grinding on, one foot at a time, and eventually you will get there.

A morning

If I sleep in the end room, which is more often than not due to crappy sleep, then chances are I will awake around dawn. That's normally down to the light seep of the new day through the curtains. The other reason is of course my IBS.

My guts were okay when I turned out the light but by 5 am I was awake with gut pain, lying there trying to doze. Eventually light seep and pain was such that I couldn't and I retrieved myBeloved from under the couch bed and surfed my go-to media sites (1).

In truth I guess I was waiting for theBoy. If I am in the end room then he will come in at 7 am, snuggle in next to me, and we'll play Storyverse for about 20 minutes until theWife emerges to get dressed post-shower. 

This is the hardest part, the pausing or stopping of morning Storyverse. It's one of theBoy's flash points; which, of course, all kids have. Those parts of the day where they're going to be a speed bump or a hindrance 'cos they will likely get toey or distracted (getting dressed in the morning; oy vey!)

Today at least though he was okay with it and he trotted off to get changed, annoying theWife muchly in the process as he's five and an 1-2-3 step process like getting dressed turns into 1-#-o--3.1.1-3 or some other chaotic combination of parentally desired activity meets curious Id. 

When theBoy snuggled into me this morning he said he'd been awake for a while (2). Just lying there and waiting for the clock to tick over to 7 am, the time when he's allowed to come in and wake us on a weekday (8 am on Saturdays) (3).

Aw, isn't that spesh. I was waiting for him and he was waiting for me. 

(1) I know this feels like a comment-fish but what are your go-to media sites for news and so forth? 
(2) Today's tale involved a number of elements. One was the jumping in and out of books. theBoy jumped into a book about trains and found himself in the cab of a coal-powered steam train hurtling through a dark tunnel, whistle-shriek fading behind. He jumped out of that one pretty quickly. Another was the making of presents for Something the Owl (2a) from the Meg and Mog series of books—we'd purchased a bulk-pack of the stories at the markets on the weekend and he's gleefully taken to them—which included making him a book about super bugs; fusions of super heroes and insects (slash) arachnids. Instead of Superman it's Superfl. That's not Spiderman that's Spiderspider. 
(2a) The owl's name in the books I believe is Owl. We called him Something the owl 'cos theBoy said that's what it was.
(3) We actually leave theWife's iPad out in the lounge-room for him to use until one of us is up to wrangle him. You know you're a parent when you risk manage your expensive life-toy being played with, unsupervised, by a five-year-old just so you can get some extra sleep. Today though he preferred being snuggled in his bed, waiting for 7 am to roll around, then come and snuggle in mine. Aw. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chunks blown

An ex-colleague, whose presence I miss, had one of the crappier live events happen; her dad died. It was a sudden death and, given she's younger than me, I presume her dad was younger than mine.

I don't what the etiquette is for saying that's fucked. I think I will leave a day and then send a text.

My dad emailed us his will today before he heads overseas for my brother's wedding. By simple dint of geography I get to be executor. He noted the bulk of the money is set aside for theMum so as to pay for her home care should he die before her. I shudder at the thought of that job; being executor and then guardian for my mum. I hope the probs he's okay and nothing happens. I've already lost my mum in the almost-worse way of dementia. Losing theDad would be both sad and horror.

Of course my dad is still here and L--- just lost hers. I ache for her. I hope it all goes okay with the farewell as well as it can.

It all bloweth the chunks indeed.

My afternoon

I've taken to blogging live from atop the TPC (2) where I sit in my truncated glory, my reddened anus seemingly flared outward. Allow me to digress, but look away if you're easily disturbed. You know when you have the squirts that by about the sixth wipe in four hours, eight if you've luxed out and purchased unethical fuck-the-planet triple quilted ply (1), where the end point of your digestive tract is now rubbed raw and stings---likely looking like an embarrassed sarlacc minus the sand and teeth. So it feels like that and that's because of how it sits on the seat. Combined that is with also feeling like someone is applying pressure with the fat end of a bowling pin through a Christmas pudding bag to your inflamed anal region.

So, my afternoon. All of us are storing up moments to ponder fondly as we sit sprawled out in our camping chair before a table of home-crafted tat in our near-winter years. But to add some tang to those sepia-toned thoughts here's some afternoon randoms from today.

Consoling theWife for getting the work-lonelys. She's one of those glow-people where their work relationships are infused with teasing joy, where work is just that much more bearable because they're in today. She shouldn't worry; she is joy to work with.

Seeing theBoy at the shed window, from just the philtrum up, his forehead crinkly framed by the brow of his school hat. I asked him how he went at school and he confessed he'd been kept inside for being naughty instead of going outside for outside time but he wouldn't 'fess up to why. 'I don't love you!' he added with a yell and thumped his fist ends against the window. My privacy shield, an old blue towel draped across two thirds of the window and secured in place by an off-cut of wood, promptly fell off. Ah, I mind-hear you think, 'Two thirds? What's so private about two thirds? There's still a third. All I merely have to do to defeat your vaunted shield is to shuffle a bit to the left.' Well the shield is not for you, it's for me. It's so I don't see my Marge'sPortraitOfHomer reflection in the glass at night-time; my ghostly me appearing, framed in the window, in all my self-loathed glory. Take that, reality!

Speedily getting ready to head out to ride the TPC only to then not only drop the screen-door key in behind the cat litter tray in the laundry but to then step in a great runny mud splodge of steaming cat business. The underside of my left sock was sodden in what looked like the slurry of trench-war mud. I had to then pause my hurried exit for the shed and clean up best I could. Yay.

Doing some nerd-stuff to help pass the time. It makes work a little more bearable. After-all, I don't have a theWife to work with. The heroes are currently being attacked by blood-sucking tumble-weeds as they huddle with their horses beneath an improvised shelter as a sandstorm rages outside.

Having lunch outside with theBoss, old theBoss, and S---. It was a nice day and all manner of topics were discussed. Old theBoss had a comedy-moan about how if he had any advice to anyone in the public service it was to avoid (large-scale long-lived fuck-up). It was a delight seeing S---. She got screwed over in employment but then fell on her cat-like feet into a better job through sheer dint of skill. It's been a month since she left and now her new job is beyond casual chat at lunch range. Poo.

Zipping around in the leased-car. I usually drive the shit heap; our before-ago car. The difference in quality of experience is considerable. But as theBoss says, what a first-world thing to care about.

And a bunch of other stuff to come, when I remember it.  

UPDATE: Ah, that's right, Cory Bernardi got sacked 'cos he played the 'if TEH GAYS get married then people will want to marry an animal' card during the Senate debate. I did remember that being another stand-out moment of the afternoon. 

UPDATE2: I didn't actually end up watching anything when I was riding the TPC. I spent the whole time writing this post, labouriously tapping away with ole righty index. Oh I stopped here and there to check some things but for the most part, the time was spent blogging. Which means I get to now legit watch teev whilst lying down. Excelsior!

(1) The pink perfumed paper that smells like the perfumed decrepitude of the sad-old-lady-and-her-tat stall.  You see those stalls at the markets. The lady sits, sprawled out in her chair, exhausted from life. On the folding table before her are doilies and unpleasant knitted clown people, the results of her choice of mental opiate to stave off the realisation that the end is near-nigh.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Back again

Sigh. Back here again on the TPC. I'm ten minutes along and at 2.6 kays. I'm going slow today. I'm watching Real Time with Bill Maher via myBeloved, my new now-settled name for the very device I am tapping from here atop the TPC; my Toshiba tablet.

Though this sucketh the wang to be up here with bone pepper crinkling in my ears in the house are promised comforts. A hot shower---I will ensure the dish washer and washing machines are off before I enter so to suppress incidents of suddencold---and a theWife-made chicken lasagne with A2-infused bechamel sauce.

Oh, yeah. That's worth a little wang-suck on the TPC.

UPDATE: It's post ride and I've had my shower. It was a long and languid soak. So much so that I went super-prune, the tips of my fingers now nicely dimpled. 

I got to around 41 minutes when I stopped, deciding to revise my get-off-point to hitting 10.5 kays given I'd gone a little slow.  

I'm sore, but not super sore. So I suppose that's a kind of achievement.

Yay for incremental improvements in the reduction of exercise agony!

Monday, September 17, 2012

A live post from atop the TPC

I'm sitting atop the TPC—the exercise bike cruelly endowed upon me by Casso!™; the barbecue-flavoured edible doily new from Demtel records—and I'm about to attempt a 40 minute ride.

It's horrid, the riding. My arse is still sore from yesterday and so my tank is going to get ached-numb within three minutes. My bones will most likely make an inner sound like the grinding of a pepper grinder, the sensation exiting from my body through the middle of my ears;  bone pepper I suppose I will now have to call it.

And despite this I grind on. Thank the probs (1) for SUPERMEDS! and my pain-cancelling tablet, myBeloved. You're my peeps and I owe everythin' to yo.

Peace out.

Mikey hits publish, selects teev to watch, then wearily grinds the fuck on...

UPDATE: It's now ten minutes post ride. Time of tank aching numb: 14 minutes. Time of getting off the bike was almost exactly 30. I stood for a bit, rubbing my aching arse, watching the end of The Thick Of It, cursing at myself for pushing on for so long and that I should recognise I am a massive boiled egg (3) and not some sort of Herculean Übermensch that gaily sits with their spine heroically positioned like they're standing in a chariot on their winning lap down at the hippodrome (4). 

But, then, I got back on because, well, just because, and I finished the set. I've partially numbed the pelvic region with a healthy aeration of Nurofen spray, to counter the ache-numb of my tank, but it's not enough.

Okay, boys, hit the shower! Good game (slaps naked back as boy runs past), good game (slaps back), good game (slaps back) etc.

(1) It's my secular way of saying 'the Gods', with probs being probabilities, because (cue Cher voice) "'Cos I don't believe in Gods up there.  Way high above my hair, oh no.'
(2) The Thick Of It is just a stand-out awesome series. I cannot recommend it enough (2a)

(2a) That initially read 'recommend it enouhg', like I'd been killed near the end of a sentence. 
(3) Couplespeak for feeb, as in 'feeble'. Why? This is why.
(4) Do you reckon Bogan chariots would have 'I support the Hippodrome and I vote if I am accorded the privileges of Roman citizenship' carved into the back end of their sedan chairs?

A road trip

As regular readers know our car lease plan has a minimum kays a year component. Which means we have to go on semi-epic drives every few weekends in order to avoid attracting a large amount of Fringe Benefits Tax for when the lease point is reached.

On the weekend we did a drive to a markets held at the coast. I wasn’t feeling great so I was medicated up the ying-yang and slept some of the way there.

The markets was awesome; a hundred stalls in a park that wrapped around a sea wall of a rocky inlet. The contents sold were mostly never-needed tat—there was for example one stall that had two dozen wooden signs with variations on the theme of paternal shed ownership (Dad’s shed; Grumpy dad’s shed; Grandad’s shed, Grumpy Grandad’s shed etc.)—or assorted locally-made or home-made foods like sauces, chutneys and the like. However there were enough stalls selling books—the stocks dominated by heaving bodice rippers—to make the stall perusing for me worthwhile.

theBoy had a total blast. In addition to seeing an ant farm of bees—bees sandwiched between plates of glass in a frame—he got to throw tree bits over the sea wall and onto the wet sand and rocks. He also got to eat three sausages out of three sausage sandwiches, leaving theWife the job of taking care of the sodden-with-sauce-but-now-sausage-absent bread remnants.

When we started the market exploration theBoy elected to force-drag theWife instead of me so I ended up getting to explore alone. I got perhaps halfway around the inlet when acute abdominal pain struck. I needed to go; stat. Seeing a crosswalk leading from the market park to across the road to another park I figured that park would have toilets. I staggered over there, staggered the length of the park only to read a sign saying the toilets were back the way I’d come from. So  I staggered back, then up a grassed slope, and along the street until I found them.

Wow, toilets were these! Proper inside toilets that were well-maintained and clean. And while they were the stainless steel prison toilet kind of affair, they still had their plastic seats and there was no grotesque melange of sodden toilet tissue and shit awaiting me when I peered into the bowl. They even had toilet paper, on a roll, in easy reach of the seated position. So I went, a great fierce push of pain and then … empty. Yes, that’s right, this sudden fecal visitation resulted in PAG! Poo After Glow; that empty feeling you get when you’ve successfully done a proper bowel motion and there’s no resultant pain afterwards.

I drifted back down the hill towards the markets, practically floating in the air from being blessed with such heady fecal freedom.

Now I could easily have labelled that the best part of my day; and it was pretty awesome. It’s a rare event for Mikey’s system to get a good result, as fleeting as a single motion that can be. Indeed when theWife asked what my favourite part of my day was I initially nominated that.

But in retrospect the best part was before we’d even left where we’d parked—back up the hill in the CBD of the town next to a pub. As theWife was getting something from the car theBoy tried to make me dizzy. He grabbed my hands and started running around me, causing me to spin in place. ‘You’re getting dizzy, you’re getting dizzy!’ he chanted, a wide grin on his face. We broke into fat giggles as he let go and I staggered for a half dozen steps until I got my equilibrium back.

That was the best part of the day by far.

A Storyverse update—two new characters join the fray

theBoy introduced two new characters to Storyverse.

This first is Steve Basco. He’s a thief. He doesn’t have a ‘voice’ as such yet. Nor are his powers or properties fully established. But if a story has a need of a thief character then we have one; Steve Basco!

The second is Glitterbot. He’s gold and silver robot that sparkles in the light; a cross between a battlemech and a Twilight vampire. Glitterbot puffs glitter clouds from his exhaust ports. 

Initially his voice was, alas, a clichéd effeminate-type voice but that choice obviously didn’t sit right.

So I asked theBoy for another option

‘You do the voice like you do for the caterpillar from A Bug’s Life’ said theBoy.

Yes, that’s right, he’d gifted Glitterbot the voice of Heimlich.


UPDATE: The origin for 'Steve Basco' is revealed. theBoy semi-lifted it from the host of Deadly 60, the kids show, Steve Backshall. How funny.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

What the hell?

I was at Woolies (1) today getting my weekend paper. I just get The Sydney Morning Herald weekend paper as my hard-copy paper. That's it. The rest I read online, though I do also by the occasional hard copy mag like The Monthly (2).

So I was getting the paper and I went through a narrow express lane. It reminded me of a sheep run to be honest. The person on the check out was a twenty-something Asian girl, pretty, with a small zit blossoming from within her philtrum. She had her glossy black hair in a short pony-tail and a pair of glasses perched on her snub nose. 

On the front cover of the paper was an article about the currency note printing scandal the Reserve Bank is caught up in with senior officials alleged to have sat on evidence that some of their people were allegedly acting in a somewhat snaky manner.  

As she scanned the paper she saw the article. 'What the hell?' she said. She grabbed the folded over paper and starting reading the piece. 'What's all this about?' she asked in wonder. 'Um,' I said, 'I think it's that we licensed our currency technology—you know, plastic notes—to other countries but we allegedly bribed their officials to give us the contracts. Like in Vietnam or Malaysia or something.' That explanation was confusing so I tried a couple more times to get the gist across. She asked a few more questions as she read as I paid via credit card, but she quickly exhausted my limited knowledge of the subject and then I was left standing there for a while as she kept reading, eventually handing the paper back when the person behind me in the queue for the sheep run started getting toey

In truth I was half-tempted to give her the paper on the strength of her interest and wonderment then go get another one down at the Newsagent's. But I decided that would weird her out and walked off, leaving her to greet my fellow sheep that had been queuing impatiently behind me.

What a totally unexpected but awesome response from a service person whilst making a rudimentary purchase! (3)

Oh, a shout-out to Casso. I was at the office complex out in the bush. The large one where roos bound through the car park. Guess who's manning the greasy spoon? Grumpy and the Pirate. 

The poor fuckers. She looked especially grumpy. And he was glorious with a freshly-shaved head and splendid in his guise as a Mingol seaman. Glorious, but saddened, the weight of his fate heavy upon his broad piratical shoulders. 

(sad) Yarr.

(1) i.e.Woolworths, the second largest or largest grocery retailer in the country. You know, just in case you're not a local Ozzer and you didn't know what the fuck a Woolies was.
(2) When we were at the coast on our mini-break I got a trashy mag for holiday reading. The trash mag I chose? Nexus. And it was totally cool. I loved the thin paper. I loved the font. I loved the densely packed layout. I loved the ads. The subject matter. The letters to the editor. And the glorious trust they have in accepting and putting out what which crosses their desk. Guys, I salute you! Interestingly the issue I got had some dude promoting the idea that reflux was caused by not enough acid in the tumtum; the idea being that reflux is half-digested food shooting back up the throat and if you had the right amount of acid to begin with there'd be no food to escape, would there? One of the solutions was a daily glass of apple cider vinegar and a dollop of honey. The exact same treatment my Dad has followed for twenty years and a treatment my mother boasted cured my dad's asthma. Or something like that. Anyway, it was an awesome read. Especially the interview with the dude talking about the giant battle that happened in Antarctica between the allies and South Pole Nazis in around 1947...
(3) Had a weird purchase experience? Share it with ole Mikey.

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Storyverse Tale

We do Storyverse during bath-time after, that is, theBoy finds then deals with a taunting Fat Controller.

Tonight theBoy starred in Storyverse, he's usually present, and for some reason a lady squirrel protester armed with a placard ran out and started whacking him with her placard whilst screaming abuse. I forget what her cause was, I presume it was just. Since I had my Time magazine to hand I started lightly whacking theBoy's noggin with the mag held out flat as he sat in the bath.

theBoy pushed my mag-armed hand aside. 'I kick her!' he yelled.

'Where, Chooky?' I asked, curious as to where he'd aimed his foot.

'The 'gina,' he said happily after a moment of introspection.

I cracked up, bent double in a screaming gigglefit. theBoy's grin remained as I convulsed on the chair.

'And everyone cheered!' he added.


What it is to have a belly full of milk

When I was about 12 I found a two cent coin in my Cornflakes. My parents complained, though I’m not sure what that involved in pre-internet days, and a rep from Kellogg’s drove around to our house in his company car bedecked, as I recall, in Kellogg’s branding.

I don’t recall my two cent coin sparking a product recall but the nice man from Kellogg's did load us up with a bunch of free cereal.

We could have had anything from the Kellogg’s range—Coco Puffs, Nutri-Grain, Froot Loops!—but it was not to be (1). My parents, being somewhat puritanical when it came to food (2) elected to select packs of Cornflakes as their compensation for the inadvertent currency-lacing of my cereal. That and a single packet of Rice Bubbles, an exotic cereal treat for our bland breakfast ways.

I’m not sure if that incident sparked my love of Rice Bubbles but I’m certain it helped. Because when I moved out of home for the first time I basically lived on Rice Bubbles … and white bread toast; foods denied to me in the home.

I love how the Rice Bubble mound rises with the milk pour and the snap, crackle, and pop purrs from the bowl with a crinkly come hither. And I love how raw sugar sprinkles to nestle amid the milk and half-submerged bubbles and how at the end there’s a delicious slurry of partially dissolved sugar crystals in the dregs of the milk.

I went off dairy about three or four weeks ago after particularly nasty bouts of IBS that left me crippled and broken. I’d long suspected I had a milk protein allergy and the exclusion, save for A2 milk which has a different protein type, has seeming confirmed that dairy is my major abdominal pain trigger.

It’s been hard, I do miss cheese, but the fact I could have A2 milk and that I could drink (slash) consume significant quantities of it without any abdominal pain was a delicious discovery. Something I’d not been able to do with normal milk for years and years.

So I’ve revisited my dark master of Rice Bubbles. In the past three weeks I think I’ve gone through two normal-sized packs and one family-sized, all by myself. I’ve had it for lunch at work, I have it as a dessert at home. Delicious lovely sugary Rice Bubbles. Sometimes I have it with just a tub of fruit—diced peaches, for example—or a handful of sultanas. More often, especially at home, it’s crusted with raw sugar and further enhanced with a fat dollop of honey.

And for the first time in absolute ages I can slosh around with a giant belly full of milk with nowt or nary a symptom of the traditional crippling abdominal pain that would come with such a voluminous ingestion of dairy.

Thus it is with life. One door closes—dairy and all that entails, and another opens—A2 milk, which I can guzzle, and a whole vista of pain-free cereal intake is now available.

Hooray for finding out things!

(1) Oh God I loved Froot Loops, but I only had it when I went on sleep overs at a friend's place.

(2) Wholemeal bread, ice-cream on special occasions etc.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Oh that's right

We've had two cats for over ten years. The first, L---, we got in 1997. She is somewhat prickly. The other is O---. We got him in I think either 2000 or 2001. He's a beautifully tempered cat who rarely makes a noise. He likes to bunt you in the head with his melon, pressing his furred cheek against yours. 

They're inside cats and for the most part they keep their ick to themselves. But every now and then you have to deal with unpleasantness. Unpleasantness such as the fur-ball that's more gastric juice than hair that slicks onto the carpet leaving a Shroud of Turin-like stain forever reminding you of what happened. Or perhaps the occasional nugget of poo that had snagged on their arse fur only to then drop midway up the corridor that serves as the spinal cord of our house. 

Then there's the wee. On occasion they void themselves outside the hooded litter tray. It's usually a fail induced effort on our part since they tend to do it only if the litter's a tad manky. We change it, or rather theWife does, every two to three days depending on the odour. But someimes they get impatient and whoosh, then there is piss. 

Recently I walked back inside through the laundry from a successful damn good seeing to of the formerly-but-still-owned-by-Casso TPC—a wax figurine exercise bike that came to life then ran-rode amok in down town Tokyo; someone call the Beasties! Only I was in sock-clad feet when I then strode through a lake of cat piss and thus the soles were now nicely dampened with U'rine du'Kat (1).

I had to strip off my socks, walk outside around to the front door, wipe my feet as best I could, and then get a charity-wheel's spin worth of kitchen towel to mop up the lake. Once that was done then it was down the ground with the disinfectant and a flat sponge to hazmat-team clean of the remnants of the feline voiding. 

Cats. It's nice when you get snuggled, and confronted with FiercePurr! But not so nice the crap bits. And the wee bits. Oh, and the sick; oy vey the sick!

Cat sick. What a way to end a post. 

Yours, Mikey (2)

(1) New, from Calvin Klein.
(2) One of the last blogger boats still moaning on out in the dark cyber sea. 

A swing and a miss ... but a hit

I managed for the first time in three days to meet my doctor-ordered minimum of 40 minutes exercise bike riding a day, the time and effort assigned to counter my sedentary life, my being ample of frame, and the fact theWife does the vast bulk of the chores, and all the gardening, and I therefore miss out on the incidental exercise you get from just being an active person instead of being a Nashkel miner of a grump (1).

So today I made it to the full 40 minutes needed. Only my pelvis and upper leg where I had my hip replacement ached like a m'fo (2). I needed something to take the ache away so I reached for a tube of some ice gel. The first dollop I squeezed forth dropped to the floor, its splat point unfound. The second dollop fell free as well, though I found where that landed with a smurf-squish on the floor tiles just next to the bathroom vanity. I had to soak the splat up with the toe end of my sock.

The third dollop was an unfortunately big one (3) but I managed to slop it into the place where my thigh ends and my groin begins. Of course naturally some of the dollop let fly as I streaked it towards the drop zone and a splash of the gel landed across my scrotal sack.

I'm presuming there's a 'don't put this near your genitals' warning on the box and thus in this case the fail is not on the makers but on my seeming inability to land a blow in the most manipulated area of my hirsute body.

So yes, in relation to the groinal region where junk resides then ice gel is indeed not nice ice, baby.

It stung like a m'fo!

(1) Nerd!
(2) As per the pronunciation of m'jo by young Number Two in Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me.
(3) Tee-hee!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Nauru re-opens

I thought when the Howard government was banished back in 2007 that crap like 'The Pacific Solution' was at an end. 

Except of course push factors, the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka and ongoing turmoil in Afghanistan, has meant that arrivals of asylum seekers by boat has massively picked up.

Alas it means offshore regional detention is now being re-trialled, with the mothballed Nauru facility being re-opened, with Manus island in PNG to follow. Though at least the ALP is in the chair and even though I hate the notion of offshore processing I'd rather it be under the auspices of the ALP than the Coalition any day. I'm just hoping the conditions in both those places excel what they were like under the Coalition—with inmates suffering acute mental health issues as a result of their 'incarceration' when the Coalition had government.

Of course big ups to the Coalition for their politicising of refugees once more. You have to hand it to them to be willing to man up and scrape the bottom of the barrel and foster once more intolerance and bigotry within the Australian public. And there's no denying that's exactly what they're doing. It worked in 2001. It will work again in 2012, now there's a handy civil war just ceased and sending the numbers soaring. 

As luck would have it, despite the fact Abbott pledged they'd lift the humanitarian intake to 20 000 if they got office, they're walking back from that claim.  Because, you see, they've made this debate so utterly toxic that to even accept ridgy-didge "queued" (1) proven refugees is now a bridge too far for them.

They're a bunch of dog-whistling bigot-pandering fucktards with a skerrick of common decency between them.

By the way, this is what a refugee is; "owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it."

There's a reason 90 per cent of those that went to Nauru the first time around were found to be genuine refugees. Never forget that even if asylum seekers come from better circumstances, and have access to money to afford the fare, chances are something compelled them—typically violence or persecution—to risk their lives and what little wealth they had to take that chance. 

(1) The notion that there is a "queue" that gets jumped is still largely a fallacy. We take 13 750  refugees a year on humanitarian grounds, this being boosted to 20 000. For the most part they're taken from the ranks of long-term refugees in permanent camps, many of whom have been residents of those camps for many years. And they're taken from all over the world, with Sudan being a prime example. So these people sit and moulder for many, many years in these camps, with no means to meaningfully develop their lives. Awaiting the possibility, the possibility mind, of re-settlement. Thus those that have some means, such as a family selling all that they have so one of their family can make a run for a safe, stable Western country, attempt to avoid that fate by taking a chance on making it to Oz. And really, can you blame them? I sure as fuck can't. How lucky are we to live in a stable country where I won't be shot based on my ethnicity or sexuality, where I can turn a tap on and clean water comes out, and where I will be cared for by a medical system should I fall ill? Oh, and I can rock up and vote on voting day without having bullies scare me away or trying to hack off my arm with a machete. We take what 175 000 people a year? And only 20 000 (from 13 750) are from the direst of circumstances that for the grace of luck there go we. We should take more. As a nation built on immigration, with our greatest influx being the years following World War Two where we accepted refugees from the shattered remnants of Europe, we should take more.