Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Yes it takes that long. No we can't do it ourselves.

My personal hero Kath quit her job this week.

In an unrelated story, at my own workplace, I was arranging to send some students some important letters. Instead of using modern technology to print the letters and send them, we are now required to send them to another department whose responsibility it is to change the font and re-format the letters before they are sent out so that the letters have a different font and are reformatted. No other changes are made, nor required.

Please refrain at this point from pointing out any inefficiencies in this process.

Three days later, I received the letters back before they were sent to the in-house printers instead of being printed by the printer next to my desk.

When I sent the letters, the first line read

"This is to certify that John Smith of 10 Jones St, Smythtown has done a course ..."

When I received the letters back, the first line read

"This is to certify that John Smith, 10 Jones St, Smythtown has done a course ..."

Did you spot the difference?
I did.
I wrote back:

"Looks like somehow the font-changing process has removed a word, changing the meaning of the letter from a statement confirming that a person residing at an address has done a course into a statement meaning that somehow a person, a street address and a suburb have all somehow done a course.
Obviously a grievous error has occurred.
Please change it back as these letters are only for specific people and not entire streets or suburbs for that matter."

The reply came within the minute:

"I made the decision to remove the “of” as it does not not read correctly. "

See what you're missing, Kath?

Monday, December 13, 2010

I feel sorry for the leprechaun peddling

Last Xmas I got a remote controlled helicopter. I was the king of the world because I could fly it around the pole in the kitchen (mostly) without hitting Mele and making her angry.

This Xmas, Charlie has learnt a new word 'eeCop', which is a Germanically efficient way of saying "Show me some helicopter videos or a real helicopter or I'm going to scream until I get a collapsed lung"

So I got on uuChuuB.

Turns out I'm not practising enough.



Seeing as I'm breaking my oft-held rule about not just re-posting videos I find, I may as well also report the best comment from that site: "He's a Witch i tell ya! WITCH!"

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Combine the two and "Jingle Bells" takes on new meaning

The League has new staff cars!

They're like those car testicles, yet somehow even more brainless. Although maybe not in the country where "Red Hot Summer Deals" are advertised on deep orange backgrounds with un-melted snowflakes drifting around.

Friday, December 10, 2010

"And then I dropped a stitch!"

Take two people who are intelligent, witty and outgoing. Both can tell an amusing story to a crowd with ease and have everyone laughing. Both can conjure up quips and one-liners on the run in a conversation by reading the situation and understanding the rules of humour and good timing.
One is male and one is female.

Why is the male then referred to, and remembered as, "a funny guy", and the female is always "Crazy!"?

I know the answer, it's a rhetorical question: it's because we still, as a society, fear and mistrust intelligent, outgoing females. Look at the etymology of the word "hysterical". Essentially, having a womb was thought to make you insane. This meant that hysterectomies were originally performed to treat female insanity - which itself was a very wide umbrella.

By the early 20th Century, women were allowed to use this word for "crazy" for occasions which were "funny". This was becoming necessary because as (white) women were slowly being allowed to vote and drive, this put them within earshot and they would, inevitably, do this "laughing" thing.
So "hysterical" needed to remain in broad use because it was difficult to tell whether a woman was laughing because she had heard a joke about about washing or embroidery or some such or if it was because she was just crazy as clown-shit and needed her womb removed.
Obviously, being too simple to actually be involved in the sophisticated world of adult male humour, women were not performing the same action as men when something was amusing. The very thought! Thus was the modern usage of "hysterical" born (there's some of that sophisticated male humour we were just discussing).

So remember girls, next time you're laughing at something, be careful, or you'll find yourself straight-jacketed and organ-robbed quicker than you can say 'bum-trumpet'.

And remember, everyone else: next time you think fondly about a female who you find witty and outgoing, are you thinking of her as "funny" or "just so crazy!"

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

At least none were stuck together

You know those delightful little urban myths that occasionally happen in real life? The hope for little miracles upon which Antiques Roadshow is based, where some innocent is happily browsing a bookstore or Seconde Hande Shoppe and comes across a quaint little trinket which just happens to be worth millions.

[Actually, I take that back about Antiques Roadshow. Its success is based on the audience's hope that Old Lord and Lady Picklenose will present their supposedly priceless Faberge eggs only to be told that these particular examples were a popular prize at fairgrounds during the 1970s. "Probably worth between 5 and 10 pound - to a collector" the expert will explain cheerfully while Sir Chumpbottom's greasy smile droops down around his tweed lapels.
Don't even try to deny that you've secretly shouted 'Sucked in, y
ou greedy twerp!' when that happens. But I digress.]

My thing is old books. I love the way they smell, the cool old tooling covers, the quaint little drawings and poems inside along with the copperplate inscriptions and the exciting dates - if they have any. I know nothing about it, but I still love the feeling of treasure hunting when I go into second hand book stores, looking for either comics or a bargain.

So there I am, in Port Elliot, about twenty minutes away from raiding the famous bakery and scouring the shelves for something cool.

I come across this:


It really is a beautiful little item, about 8 by 10 inches. 1865. Unfortunately, it appears that most of the pages have long ago fallen out - it's just cover boards and title pages. Fortunately, it's full of old drawings and lithographs. Like this one:


And this one:


Nice, eh? Then there's a few different ones like this:


and, erm, this:


Now I know what you're thinking.
You're thinking "What marvellous drawings! What fine detail! I must see more!"
You're thinking that because that's what I was thinking too. Then I turned that drawing over and found, well, this:


No problem. Very artistic, right? Right. Artistic. Great composition, a wonderful example of early photography in the naturalistic form which ....



... ah, yes, see, this is also a fine example of, um, what's obviously a collection of artistic interpretations of the early twentieth century appreciation of femininity as exemplified by the emphasis on .....

R ... right.
Hrmm ... well that still doesn't mean that I haven't stumbled upon a grouping of art works which can be recognised as representative of an era famous for its lithography and the skill of its craftsmen and artists, many of whom were ...

Okay then. Maybe it's just a coincidence. Maybe the collector just happened to have put all the racy ones at the front and kept the real groundbreaking artistic work at the ...


Nope. More naughties.
Okay, if the next one isn't sexy, then I definitely haven't stumbled upon some stone-aged secret spank book from a deceased estate.
Closing eyes, crossing fingers, turning page ... and it's ....

Oh.
Fucking great. Here I was, hoping to find a bargain first edition and here am, potentially handling the dried remains of millions of little 'first editions'. Gross.
Surely that's it.

Oh man. What is this stuff?
It looks like nuns were really the thing back then. I suppose they had to work out some way to spice things up - what with everything being taboo'n'shit. It's not like today with the internet and everything imaginable at the touch of a button. They probably didn't have a whole lot of weird fetishes or anything because it's not like ...



Does this book come with hand sanitiser?



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ferris! It's not working!

I'm angry at a book. You need to help me.

Go and find any teenagers you can and ask them:

1) Have you ever heard of 'clocking' a game?
and
2) What does 'clocking a game' mean?

I know. I'm 30. I've played games you could actually clock. Kids these days need to tell me if some author knows what she's talking about.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ladies, turn away now

Figure this out:

Background: 23 months ago I started my first full-time job. Ongoing, secure future, benefits, super, the lot.
Downside?
It's an office job. I spend 8 hours a day sitting on my arse. When I get home I spend most of that time sitting down, studying.
Then Charlie turned up.
No time for the gym, no time for extended jogs - exercise is a very low priority, because now I think in terms of time. Constantly balancing the hours I spend away from Charlie and Mele with the hours I can possibly spend with them.
Summed up: I would rather spend the two hours after work before Charlie goes to bed with him than pounding the streets in search of fitness. And that's exactly what I do.
I haven't exercised regularly for two years. Hockey sort of counts, but it was once or twice a week and it's over now.

Problem: Just before I started the job I was riding 10kms a day or jogging. I weighed 82 kgs. Fast forward through 23 exercise-free months and how much do you think I weigh now?

Have a guess.

Go on.

Got your number?

Wrong.


I now weigh 72kgs.


How the fuck does that happen?

I think I know, but I will reveal the answers in the next post after we've had a few guesses from the floor...

***
UPDATE: Or maybe I'll just save my breath.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Duck garnish with long pig

Here is what I set out to make:
(Follow in my greasy footsteps!)



Here is my mis en place en progresso:
(Note the sunflower oil - this becomes important later)




Here is what happens when you have neither a deep fryer basket nor sufficiently long tongs with which to fry your duck portions:




Please let all take note that I did not flinch
when yon arc of oil did splash 'cross my wrist.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Being a gravedigger is tough.
Always physically - ‘specially into rock.
Sometimes emotionally - ‘specially for family.
An’ sometimes it’s just fun - ‘specially when they ain’t dead.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

We didn't have time to collect all the blood we had come for, but the leader will be happy, even if the police aren't.


(link)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Two questions which may reveal much

1) Why have I just spent an hour reading a year-old, statistics-heavy article in The New Yorker about the state of health care in McAllen, Texas, which I'm pretty sure I've read before?

2) Why can I never get more than three of five toes through the leg-hole in my jocks on any given morning?

Monday, October 18, 2010

There simply aren't enough Xmas present gags

Dear everyone,

I'm waiting for a Powerpoint to load and send so I can practise my first ever lecture to students, but that's not important right now. I was Googling for old school photos to use in the presentation and came across this little gem:



It was on a page where they'd gotten all these old scholars to write in their memories and that kind of thing. Like going to your granny's, but online.
Anyway, one of the oldies sent in a photo of their brother, reproduced below.



I'm sure the Feds will be raiding my blog any day now ...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I've obviously got the first search in mind ...

327, you've let me down in the past. I've set you small tasks, challenges, if you want to call them that. And you've come up with a range of excuses and let the whole thing slide. What's the point in knowing someone who knows about computer programming if they can't whip something up for you now and again? I mean, it's not like you're doing it for free - all the profits will be split, 50/50. I bring the inspiration, you bringing the typing.
This is one you can do. And it's going to make a bucketload of cash.
It's called Tyoodle.
It's basically Google, but instead of finding amusing cat pictures, it finds that tune that's been stuck in your head for 5 days straight and tells you.
  • WHO originally sang it!
  • WHERE the fuck it's from!
  • WHAT other bands have used the bloody thing as a sample to trick you into thinking that the original artist isn't the original artist!
  • ALL of the movies and TV shows it's been used in!
It will have a REVOLUTIONARY selection of inputs ranging from simply typing the tune into the search box:
"Da na na nuh nuh, naa na na na na"

Tyoodle result:
The Entertainer
Scott Joplin

Brilliant!

To a microphone-based query where you can simply sing the tune straight at your computer and Tyoodle will analyse your tune and find your mystery song!

[sings into licensed Tyoodle mic]: Den den den-nah nah nah nah nana/Den na na na naahh

Tyoodle result:
Money for Nothing
Dire Straits

This is also especially helpful for instrumentals. Observe:

[sings into licensed Tyoodle mic]: "bip bop bip bop bip bop bip/bip bop bip bop bip bop bip/bip bop bipa bipa bop bipa bipa bop bipa bipa bop bip"

Tyoodle result:
Popcorn
Gershon Kingsley

Incredible!

Then you just have the link to iTunes or Amazon or both and Cha-CHING! (Tyoodle result: Money - Pink Floyd).

So 327, stop messing around with whatever it is you're doing and spend a weekend getting this thing off the ground. I've already done all the heavy mental lifting, you can just get coding and next winter we'll be warming ourselves with flaming $100 notes.

Friday, October 8, 2010

I heard someone lost an arm once ... oh wait ... that was ... that never happened.

Memo to everyone at the Central Markets: can you all please just calm the fuck down? You're not going to miss the damn lift if you don't form a tight wall around the people trying to get out. Just take deep breath, step back and let everyone get out. Then you may resume your panicked shoving. When I'm well clear.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

They will still have room tidying as a chore then, I'm sure

Here's one of those little moments that make you stop and reflect about the turning of ages blah yak etc.





You know how there's that thing about not sitting so close to the TV because it'll make you blind? It was basically one of those parental things that was a mish-mash of boogyman threat and hidden practicality. The boogyman bit was sort of based on the principle that those old TVs came out at around the time that the nuclear age was really taking off and anything that made light was RADIOACTIVE. The grain of truth came from the fact that staring into a flickering lightbulb hurts your eyes (strains corneas, rods, cones, etc).

The moment came when I realised that I'll never be able to tell Charlie not to sit so close to the damn TV or he'll fry his eyeballs.
Why?
What's your TV made out of? LCD flat screen?
What are reading this off of right now?
How am I going to explain the difference there?



He has never been exposed to a CRT TV.

You know what else he's never seen, and will probably never use?
A pulse phone.
One day he's going to ask why we call it "dialling" when we're clearly "pressing".

But the question I'm waiting for with keen interest is:




I'll probably explain it and get a slackjawed stare.

"You mean you carried around your work on little pieces of plastic? That you could just lose?"

You forgot 'panopticon'

I've been utterly silent lately because I'm writing a lecture and a literature review and editing someone's Masters thesis. But all this homework reminded me suddenly of my undergrad days ... (man, I wish I had a pipe to smoke while I reminisced) ... basically, it reminded how I pretty much three rules for writing a successful (read: passing) essay
  1. Start with a funny story. Always gets the fingers moving, the brain lubricated. Make it funny, wake the tutor up. Throw in a swear or two.
  2. Crack the half-way mark and you're pretty much there. This is where the story comes in. Nothing eats up word limits like a nice long story about some shit you did when you were ten. This 'half-way' mark also works progressively. If you're half-way to half-way, hey! You're practically half-way there! You've broken the back, now you just gotta tear that sucka home. Refer back to that story you started out with you're pretty much almost a third done.
  3. Use the word 'juxtaposed'. This should have been at number one. Once you've managed to slip that baby in, you're reeling in the distinctions and hitting the pub. This also works for 'conflate', 'hegemony', 'ideology' (of course), 'stereotype' (that was in the title of half of the courses I did) and my personal favourite: 'palimpsest'. Always had to look that one up, but it was worth the extra 5% that I normally needed for pulling an all-nighter, sleeping in and missing the 9am hand-in time.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Doesn't even taste like soap

Dear everyone,

You know how you love Thai food and then you decide to try cooking it and it doesn't turn out too bad so you reckon you could get down with nature and grow some of that coriander in a pot and so you buy some and it immediately dies and so you buy some more and plant it in the dirt and it goes to seed more quickly than the stuff you bought in pots carked it and you swear off trying to grow it ever again and go back to paying two bucks a bunch from the supermarket and it's always slimy and you end up associating Thai cooking with slight failure even before you start?

I used to be like that.

Used to.

But it turns out nature works.

That bit where it goes to seed? Apparently those seeds contain some of free-love, hippie-huggin' magic because now I ain't growing bunches of coriander, I'm growing trees.

Check out my forest.


Yeah.
King Coriander swingin' through tha treez
(of coriander).

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How could I forget?

Silly me. I completely forgot to mention what I did on the weekend.
It was this:



I play hockey. That's me receiving a gold medal for winning the grand final with my fine team of scholars, maniacs and roustabouts. By jingo it was exciting. More exciting for the fact that we beat the team of dolts and drongos who I was playing last year when a particularly doltish drongo swung through and dislocated my thumb. I know he couldn't have purposely aimed to dislocate my thumb and leave me unable to care for my infant son properly for a good few months (try changing a nappy one-handed), but he certainly is the kind of stubby-fingered arsehole who makes it his business to slip in as much dirty and dangerous play as he can get away with.
How do I know this?
I spent the entire game marking him.
Yes, the same guy.
The same guy who cost me two days in hospital, a week off work, months of therapy and a career loosening jars for Mele.
I know he's the same guy because he deliberately stuck his stick between my legs to trip me over.
And I had to follow him around for 70 minutes and stop him ever touching the ball or coming near our goal.
Did I do this?
Did I ever.
And I marked him off the field.
He had nothin'. Slow, grumpy, unfit and, at the end of the game, medal-less.
My one regret is that I didn't get to shake his hand and show him mine.



Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thoughts

1. If I had to choose between scrabbling around with my fingers, trying to extract the tissue that had dropped flat to the bottom of the box and killing a puppy, there'd be a lot less dog poo in the world.

2. No food could ever taste as good as freshly-cooked chips and gravy smell on a cold winter morning spent doing errands at uni.

3. Katter has exactly what Abbott and Gillard (sorry, Julia) don't: personality and passion. I'm not sure he isn't a dangerous lunatic, but at least he gets excited. I'm fairly convinced that Rudd and Gillard use the same teleprompter
that
only
shows
one
word
at
a
time.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Your dipstick's showing

Here's a little family secret. Not my family, specifically, but most families who I am familiar with tend to keep this one under the spare bed when polite company calls. If you're reading this, then this is probably your family secret too. It's a secret because we're all educated people (well - we can all at least read) and there's something a weeny bit trash about This Big Secret That I Keep Hinting At But Will Not Divulge Yet For Some Reason.
The clue was in the previous sentence: trash.
Got it yet?
Need more word association?
Tabloid. Celeb. Goss. The Stories. Brangelina. Bennifer. Perry. Brand. Nicole. Paris. Lipo. R-Patz. Kristen. Tailor. The twins.TMZ, Perez Hilton, Who Magazine and The Vine. I just typed all those out without even having to go a'googlin'. They were right there, front lobe, centre.

Celebrity gossip.
Without generalising too much, almost every woman I know would have hit the green buzzer at least twice during the above list. But no one talks about it. Not to me, anyway. And why would they? Oh high and mighty I, with my books, my extensive mental Wikipedia of factoids and Simpsons trivia and my snide indifference towards all tales of professional entertainers and the trust-fund elite.
"Jannisten is still single?" I scoff. "Are you aware that I've recently finished reading On The Road and Raymond Chandler is among my favourite authors? Did you know that Stanley Kubrick used a camera lens originally built for NASA in order to film interior scenes in Barry Lyndon?"

No. Celebrity gossip journalism is to mixed conversation what the bucket bong is to high tea; one simply does not bring it along in the first place. Nor does one mention it, nor admit any kind of knowledge other than that which can be gleaned from public news stand posters which are briefly glanced towards (never studied) en route to the library.

Behind closed doors, I'm assuming it is a different matter. Someone is keeping Perez Hilton in pink hair-dye, but I wouldn't know.

But I am not here to (further) point out the vapidity of following celebrity gossip, because this blog entry is about to become the site of a further secret unleashed, and I would hate to get any mud upon myself.
I shall illustrate this with a quick story. A few days ago, Mele found an article on the internet which she knew I would find interesting and stimulating. She immediately unplugged her laptop and skipped into the kitchen where I was preparing my famous poulet provençale. No, dear friends, it wasn't news of an upcoming Jackson Pollock exhibit. But it was accompanied by this picture:


"Look!" she said. "The world's most expensive car!"
"Oh yeah," I replied, before she could further furnish me with the factoids and details which she had earnestly and lovingly learned from the article. "The Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic."
"It's ..."
"One of three ever made. Recently sold for between $30 and $40 million. Looks vaguely like a phallus."

For I too, am a gossip fiend. But I don't care about people gossip. I care about car gossip. There is such a thing. I know it because I've been in conversations with men (for some reason it's mostly men) who have recently watched a Top Gear episode. They'll start talking about it, because that show is a great font of what lad mags refer to as 'pub ammo'; factoids and stories with which to dazzle your fellow drinkers at the boozer.
"Saw the new Nissan on Top Gear," they'll say. "Looks pretty hot. Apparently they build 'em on a special pressure rig to get all the tensions and stuff right."
"Cool." That's about all I can offer, because I don't want to come out with the fact that I've watched that particular episode about 5 times since it originally aired in the UK two years ago and was made available for download over at finalgear.com. Nor do I want to start that conversation either, because car gossip isn't like celebrity gossip. Celebrity gossip is finite. Brangelina can only adopt so many handbagsshitfuckimeantosaybabies per week. Tayluh can only procure so many new mates while making a new album/movie. S/he is only human.

Car gossip is based on car facts and goes on forever. Especially if you throw Top Gear into the mix. Most people claim that Top Gear makes a boring topic (cars) not only interesting, but massively entertaining. This is true. Not for me. For me Top Gear takes a fascinating topic (cars) and turns it into pornography. I am riveted, but slightly ashamed of myself, yet I cannot, will not, turn away. My wife is comfortable with this lifestyle. She has even enabled it at times, going so far as to buy me magazines and toys. I haunt car-related internet sites and pore over delicious pictures and numbers. So help me, I've even been caught watching grainy videos at work.

Which brings me, or should I say us (you can see where I'm heading gentlemen), to the Bugatti Veyron. This is every car gossip's starting point. This thing may well exist, but even in the metal, its whole could never be as great or as real and supernatural as the sum of numbers and facts which exist in the minds of everyone who's ever watched a Top Gear episode in which it stars, read a magazine article about it, looked it up on Wikipedia, typed it into Uchoob or all of the above.
Like me.
Like YOU.
If you know the word 'Veyron', you know facts about it, mate. And don't deny it. This is your secret just as much as it is mine. We don't discuss it with our mothers, we don't dissect it over beers with our friends, we don't try to get our ladies enthusiastic about it. But we all have our dirty little stash of Veyron numbers somewhere in the back of our brains. Behind the '80s music trivia which only comes out at quiz nights; behind the fashion knowledge which you don't remember collecting and behind the stuff from old Cosmo's you hoovered up in some bone-headed teenage quest for learning about girls. Behind all that is the dark, greasy little cardboard box marked "Veyron facts".
I'm not about start spraying Veyron facts all over this blog like a boring uncle after too many homebrews, but to bring this little analogy to a close, I'd like to illustrate the difference between celebrity gossip and car gossip.
I will now relay two conversations held between imaginary people. The facts are real, the people are not.

Celebrity Gossip Fan #1: Oh my god, have you seen how skinny Angelina is?
Celebrity Gossip Fan #2: I know. Look at that, it's just not healthy. And how many kids does she have?
CGF#1: Like, twelve now? I don't know. How does she look after them all?
CGF#2:
She has a nanny. She's got to.

This goes back and forth a few times until the latest topic wears thin and CGFs move onto to other topics and become normal people again.
Observe now the Car Gossip Fan ...

Car Gossip Fan#1 (I should have chosen a better acronym): Bugatti Veyron? That's the one with a 16-cylinder engine.
Car Gossip Fan#2: And 4 turbos. It puts out 1000 horsepower.
Car Fan #1: And ten radiators. Did you see on Top Gear how it's got an air-brake?
Car Fan #2: Yeah, it gives as much braking power as a Ford Fiesta.
Car Fan #1: 0 to 100 in 2.5 seconds.

[Let us move away for a moment, and imagine these two conversations were taking place at the same time and continuing to their logical conclusion. Now let us move back and listen in once more ...]

Celebrity Gossip Fan#1:
I really don't like what Labour's done since the last election, but honestly if Tony Abbott gets in, I really will have to kill myself. And a Liberal voter.
Celebrity Gossip Fan#2: Yeah, I want to say 'Don't worry, no one would vote for that maniac', but the latest polls are so close. I mean, I can't believe there are actual women who are prepared to vote for a man who ...

[You get the picture. Celebrity gossip has long ago fulfilled its function as a conversational tidbit and the two people have moved on towards relevancy. Let's see what's happening at table number two ...]

Car Fan #1: ... and if the Veyron started as the McLaren went by, it would still catch it to 200 miles per hour.
Car Fan #2: But in that drag race over a mile, it was still so close because the Veyron's a heavy car, no matter how you look at it.

You'll notice our Car Fans haven't moved much beyond the Veyron in the ensuing half hour.

This is why celebrity gossip is a secret: it's private and fun to share.

But car gossip is still a taboo: it's embarrassing to bring out in the open, and once you do, there's no putting it back in the tube.


Broom broom!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sensitive, educated, obsmervant

Franzy (to student hired to do envelope stuffing): Okay, so, if you want a coffee or anything, the kitchen is just there.
Student: Thank you.
Franzy: No problem. I'm about to make a pot of coffee, would you like some?
Student: No, thank you.
Franzy: Tea? We have tea too.
Student: No, no thank you.
Franzy: Water? Milk? Anything you like. Please help yourself.
Student: Thank you, I'm fine.
Franzy: Okay - let me know if you need anything.

Fifteen seconds later.

Helpful colleague: Did you know that Ramadan started yesterday?
Franzy: Sure thing.
Helpful colleague: Did you notice that student's hijab?
Franzy: Huh.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

They could thank me with cash

And while I was ferreting out the links for the previous riveting Re-Hash Of Stuff I Saw In The Main Stream Media (Blog Sin #5!), guess who I found out like totally by accident is getting hauled before the UN on human rights violations?
North Korea?
Libya?
Nope!
It's us!

You'd think the Liberals would be all over that one in this election environment.





(Oops! Wrong link! Yuk yuk yuk!)

If an Adelaidian wants to shake your hand ...

Listening to the one o'clock ABC news:

Penny Wong promises water.
Tony Abbott promises about the same.
An Adelaide bishop weighs in on politics (Since when was this okay?!?) (Obviously no link = no relevance)
An Adelaide school student found with wondering the corridors with a samurai sword ...
...
after being suspended for threatening to shoot people
.
A(nother) house shot at this morning.
A woman faces court for breaking into her ex-boyfriend's house with cable ties, a knife and syringe of insulin. (I wish I could find a link for this one)

Me: That's the news around here these days: national story, national story, fifteen minutes of the Hourly Psycho Roundup!
Mele: They're not psychos. They just don't get along in a very Adelaide way.

Well said, my darling.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I'll let NGA have it for half price


I found out this weekend that I have two more readers than I thought I did. Hello! It was lovely to see you both!
Everyone else ... hello!
That's right! I am procrastinating! The reason being that I had one of those really enthusiastic email meetings with both supervisors, in which I imagine them both nodding slowly, saying 'Hmm' and swivelling their leather chairs towards the arched windows of their sanctum. They observe the slick hill mists slouching 'cross the campus before turning back to me and saying simply: 'More reading'.

Inspirational.

Monday, August 2, 2010

My head really shines like that

I saw this somewhere and thought "That looks easy!"
I'm pretty sure it's what Charlie goes through when he looks at pencils.
Or me driving the car ...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I won't even get started on the poo

I was asked recently what having a kid was like.
'Best thing you've ever done?'
'Absolutely,' I replied. No pause. No thought. No question. 'But,' I went on 'This is my line on it: having Charlie was the best thing that's ever happened to me, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.'
Why not?
It's best to get the heavy stuff out of the way first. (Parents, skip on over to essentialbaby and play a few rounds of 'Find the Commenter with the Oldest Breastfed Child'). Everyone else thinking about parenthood, sit down and listen up, because, like that amusing jihad instructor said:

Parenthood doesn't just change your life, because change implies some sense of reflexivity. Like you could change back or change to something else. There is no going back. Childless You is gone for good. So long. All that remains are memories, photos and subpoenas.
Childless You and You-With-A-Kid would barely recognise each other, let alone get along.

CY: Hey, Franzy! Coming out drinking? The earlier we start, the longer we can go for, the more money we can spend! Right on! High five!
YWAK: Sorry, Franzy. Gotta leave you hangin', clone. The baby gets up at 7:30 and I'm about ready for bed.
CY: Drag, man. Anyway, have fun changing nappies! I'll text you from wherever I end up at midnight!
YWAK: Right. Actually, don't send a text because I leave the phone on because ...
CY: Bye!
[Sound of Harley roaring off into the sparkling sunset]

Just like that.

My advice to the couple of people who have asked me if having kids is a good idea has literally been: don't have children. Forget about it. Leave it alone. Find something more constructive to do with your time and energy. And when the awkwardness has just about reached its peak, I tell them that, even if after hearing a new parent tell them categorically not to have children, they still want to do it, because it feels right, then that's probably the answer. I don't think that having a kid is like choosing a new TV. Parenthood isn't a product you can get consumer advice on, you have to decide for yourself.

We did. We decided.
And look what happened:



Probably the worst argument against having kids ever produced.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Along with "Cool Guys Don't Look at Explosions"

Far be it from me to simply re-blog a good line, but this one from an opinion piece (which The Age has apparently re-blogged from The Guardian anway) requires dissemination, praise and envy. Here, the writer is thinking about remakes and shark movies and comparing the near-perfect Jaws with Open Water, which I didn't see because I thought it was about Moses:

"The long and the short of it is: you don't send a bunch of five-metre, slightly-out-of-focus great white sharks to do a humongous eight-metre mechanical shark's job. It's a basic rule of cinema."

Monday, July 12, 2010

Rule #75

If you are not sure if you've called the right number, then you haven't.

Rule #75.b
If the reason for your call takes longer than 10 second to explain, you are a wombat-faced buffoon with no cognitive filter between brain-stem and mouth.
Remember to water yourself periodically.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Haven't I said it all these years?! NAKED, I TELL YOU. (And a tool)

Although sometimes you can just wake up in the morning and sunlight shines a little brighter. With headlines like this, who needs breakfast?

"Cricket world rejects former PM Howard for top job"

Nothing fills the tummy like huge warm lumps of schadenfreude. Unless you sprinkle them with quotes from the article like this:

"Australia's bid to install John Howard as world cricket chief has ended in humiliation for the former prime minister"

and

"Opposition to Mr Howard was so strong among the nations from the subcontinent and Africa that the move to make him president of the International Cricket Council did not even go to a vote."

AHA! No! Enough! Enough already! I couldn't have another bite! Please! I will relax with the sports sections now ... eh?

Seconds?

Okay.

"Federer sulked. He sneered. He was ungracious, sarcastic. He made surly excuses when credit to Tomas Berdych was all that even his most ardent admirers wanted to hear. It may be going too far to suggest he soiled his legacy as the sport's greatest champion but this was excruciating to watch and hear."

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Have you ever borrowed someone's time? How do you give it back?

I've got to admit that, while it would be incredibly frustrating to have happen to you, and while it's spiritually demoralising to watch happen to your own country's team (or the team of a country you believe should win), I love bad refereeing decisions. Livens the game up. Makes me laugh. Laugh at the impossible! Ha! Ha ha!

Which brings me to Franzy's blogging rule No. 39: You know you're scraping when you blog about television. I've always maintained that this blog wouldn't be a diary or a scrap book or a bitch-about-work journal. It's been all three over the years and there's been ups and downs, periods of rain and drought. Lately, however, I am (like I imagine the much-missed, but always just around the corner Ninjacockle) finding myself not only time-poor, but brain-poor as well. We only have so much luv to guv, as our trans-Tasman neighbours would put it (ut). So, to turn this briefly into a journal: I work 9 to 5. I get home. I do family stuff. I put the boy to bed. Three nights a working week, I sit down in front of the computer and try to read and write PhD stuff. It's tough. Lots of the time I don't make it. Saying 'No' to close friends who just want to come over for dinner and a baby-viewing is much, much harder than saying 'Nah, tomorrow night' to studying from 8pm until 10pm or whenever the words begin to go double on the screen.

I am writing this at 11pm. Screw what time-posted thing says. That's Yankee time. 11pm it is. And the worst bit about that is that I'm trying to line myself up with the little picture in my head of the masterful genius writer, slaving away while the rest of the world (time zone) withers and slumbers. But the fact is that my brain is a little tired. I'm not cracking code for living, but I'm not digging ditches, either. My brain's default setting after about 8pm is: "Whiskey/TV". Turning that into "PhD then flighty, creative book ideas" requires a little more flick of the switch. Even churning out a blog entry which doesn't rely on my son's radiant beauty for value is usually beyond me.

You'll notice in the graphic to my left, that my main activities, work and sleep, are the only ones I can prove that I do on a regular basis.
Sleep because I am still sane(ish)(or am I?)(Who said that?)(etc) and work because I'm able to pay for this internet and the food that keeps me from falling over.

The only non-accounted-for activity is 'Time I should spend being creative'. I say this because it's normally time that ends up being TV or Brainless Internet surfing.

But tonight, it's blogging.

Where the hell did all this energy come from?

I yam goen to bed

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hákarl for Pim!

Congratulations, Julia Gillard!
But, more relevantly, congratulations Pim Verbeek, you've timed your exit so as to illicit the least media coverage possible of the Socceroos not making the final 16. Somewhere, in a plane over Africa, Pim is chewing on a rollmop, watching Australian news coverage, steepling his fingers and muttering "Eeexchellent." (This is how one sounds while masticating the vinegary fish of defeat).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

And with a special appearance by Pete Best on vuvuzela ...

So I'm watching the World Cup, because it turns out not to be on between 1am and 8am, but starting at the grown up time of 9:30pm every night, and I'm wondering ...




A) Beatles fan?

or

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm going to do some work this afternoon though!

Today, I am home sick from work. It's the kind of sick where you're not really that sick but your immune system is a bit depressed and since everyone around you seems to be dying of advanced zombiism, it only figures that a bit of bed-rest is a good thing.

It is taking a super-human effort not to:
a) Do housework
b) Cookc) 'Just' finish off a bit of Phd work
d) Sit down with a blank sheet of paper and plan a movie script
e) Do anything outside in the garden

Instead, I have been devotedly watching cartoons and drinking hot coffee.

And trying not to think about what happened when I dropped Charlie off at childcare.
Take a knee, team. This was tough:

Normally, when I drop him off, I'm on the morning sprin
t. Every detail of the morning routine is precisely timed and any deviations cost precious seconds and result in being late(r) for work. That boy is fed, changed, packed and in the car with black-ops efficiency. Any extra nappy change only speeds up the rest of the process. I am David Copperfield and Enrico Rastelli, only faster and better-looking.
I swish into childcare in my finery, keeping a friendly banter while I sign Charlie in, then I put him on the floor, facing away, ask him what on earth that thing is, then I am Elvis, baby. By the time he remembers I was there, I am cutting off fools on South Road and getting my fix of baby-boomer radio on my way to the Bacon Factory.

This morning was different. I wasn't in a rush. We ate breakfast together, played blocks, talked of old times. We even read stories and brushed our teeth with real toothpaste. Oh! How we laughed. Instead of the whirlwind drop-off, I strolled in, bade a good-morning to his fan-club and signed him in. But when the time came to sit on the floor, he went full attack barnacle koala. Buried his face in my jumper. I had to sit down with him and play with the toys enough so that only about fifteen other babies swarmed around (I'm kind of the Pied Piper that way) and he felt okay enough to sit in front of me. And not on me.
I stood up quietly.
I left the room.
I shut the door.
Then, I made the crucial, fatal error. Every parent does it and it never, ever helps:
I looked back.
He was looking for me through the window. I waved and left with my hands covering my ears.

I've mostly convinced myself that he is actually going to have a much better time playing with the other kids, rather than wailing and being bored with a sick dad, but ...

***

Anyway, here's me on my sick day:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Question of the weeeeeeeeeeeek!

"Do you think the reason we've been having so many earthquakes recently is because we've
taken so much oil out of the earth's crust? You know, because oil is a natural lubricant?"


I'm not kidding about this. I tried a few half-hearted rationals, but they're not worth even recording. I mean, where do you start?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

With two sugars

And in the black fountain of hot, fresh coffee, I saw the scalded, drowning souls of my enemies.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Kath, get ya lippy out

It's becoming more and more difficult to resist just posting photo after photo of young Charlie. I realise that the writing blogging is fairly non-existant these days and the things I do write are almost like shouting into a ravine. The only blog-worthy thoughts I've had recently are to do with the over-all foolishness of making cigarette manufacturors re-package their product in plain brown boxes, as though this will stop people from buying them.

Idiots! These are drugs. The bestest things about all drugs aren't the pretty boxes they come in. Ask anyone who has ever tried any kind of drug why they wanted to and I can guarantee their first answer won't be "The enticing packaging".

(Nb. As I have never knowingly met any drug users myself, I am only alleging this based upon a movie I saw once in which several background characters appeared to have been drug users in the past)

Okay, fine then. I'll stop blog-whinging about what a blog is or isn't lately and just make with the baby photos.

Kath, you were warned.



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Burqas, priest's collars, skull caps and digger's hats

I've been thinking about this issue for a while now.
I think I might have boiled it down to something equating to ideology vs culture.
Yes, burqas oppress these women and are a symbol of that oppression.
No, I don't have to understand it to accept. I understand the cultural significance of the burqa (and dozens of other religious/cultural symbols), but that doesn't mean that it doesn't offend my own cultural sensibilities.
Burqas are bullshit. I say so. I hate what they stand for and the fact that they symbolise ownership and control of women.
I can feel like that and say it because that's the cultural attitude I was brought up with and I've considered my membership to my own culture and accepted it. If I was convinced that the culture which supports the burqa is the right way to go, then I would pop over and join in. That's Australia - I can pretty much do what I like and wear what I like. Like people who wear burqas.
If we start banning burqas, don't let's kid ourselves that it's about safety or any of that other propgandist garbage. Unless we ban all cultural and religious symbols, no matter how benign or offensive to our own sensibilities (think priest's collars, skull caps and digger's hats), then a burqa ban is pure xenophobia. And that's not the Australia I want.
We're not going to effect a cultural change in the people who expect women to wear burqas (wearers included) by banning one expression of that culture.

Glenfiddick, in case you were wondering

Help! I'm trapped in an exegetical treadmill!

I know they all this the Golden Hour, when everyone has gone away and the door is closed and the internet is quieted and the work flows, but it's cold and my neck is sore and my brain keeps tugging at my trouser-leg like a little boy I know and whispering "Hey. There's a nice warm tumbler of whisky in the next room. That would help you define why the critical concern among children's literature scholars is in fact limiting their discursive scope!"

You ever get that?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Got any good sarsaparilla?

Hoooooo-ee.
Sometimes (most of the time) sitting down at 8:30pm after dinner to work on the PhD is like pulling teeth. Not my teeth - somebody else's. But somebody unrestrained by leather straps or high-dose chemicals. Somebody who can have a real swing at you if you loosen that headlock.
All you come out with at the end of the nightly ordeal is a few teeth and sore eyes.

I did actually have a meeting with both supervisors last week and, unlike the black days of The Proposal, neither of them used the phrase "read the riot act". They liked some bits I'd written. They gave me the "Keep it up, sonny" usually reserved for the newest coal miner who learned how to heft a pick in a tight space.

Unfortunately, I'm back at the beginning. And all my enthusiasm got me a deadline. Not some vague "let's meet when you've got something to say" type deal. June 2nd. 2pm. Have something readable. I feel as though I should be muttering this into a shallow dish of whisky while some slab-faced bartender pretends to listen. That would be pretty darn sweet. The Great American ideal of alcoholism is an alarmingly attractive one. Ask any non-American bloke who's ever read a detective novel or heard of Moe's Tavern.

Problem is that my head is cold. And I've got a great idea for a new book growing like a face-hugger implant and the only time I'll ever get to start squeezing out the ideas is between now and when I'm genuinely overcome by the need watch the latest Boondocks.

Wish me luck.

I hope you all enjoyed the photos.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Surrounded by mirrors

Look out for the next picture in the series: "Charlie reading this blog post"

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's not a hiatus, I'm just bizEH

Which means photo posts!

This is a tree and a sky. It symbolises colour and loneliness simultaneously.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's nice to be important ...

... enough to be quoted on a real published author's website!
It was more fun to write scathing reviews of books whose authors I would never meet in a dark alley, but it also gives a little flush when someone likes a review.
You too can gaze at my words of wonder here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Quick review of Where The Wild Things Are movie

BOW-WOW.
What a complete dog of a film. And not those dogs which stay with you forever, even though they only live for fifteen years and the last two or three are a bit iffy because of canine dementia. I'm talking about the kind of dog that has fleas which live in warrens of mange on its bum. The kind of dog that chews its genitals, loudly, for hours, next to the dinner table, while slowly releasing something liquid onto the carpet.

It was that bad. Don't see it. They managed to turn a delightful children's book into a story about a bunch of whinging Gen-Xers who are over-sized muppets. The monsters literally spend the entire movie talking about what a bummer their lives are. Or something. We fast-forwarded most of it. There was no story, no drive, no interest and the magical land that appears as a forest in Max's bedroom is replaced by "and then he gets in a boat for some reason and travels to an island with various bleak landscapes." It was as magical as an IGA car-park at 6pm on a Sunday.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Pop quiz:

It's night. You're about to go to bed with your copy of Freakonomics. But you're thirsty. Real thirsty. Parched. You don't want tap water, you want rainwater tank water and the jug is empty.
You go outside to the tank.
It's a cool night, and quiet. Easter holiday madness is over and at 10pm it even smells like everyone is returning to work; there's a definite whiff of washed work shirts and pre-made cheese, tomato and depression sandwiches cooling in the fridges of the neighbourhood.
You're about to fill the jug, but you hear something. Like someone coughing ... or are they lifting something?
Nope.
Your next door neighbour is a single guy, about 50, lives alone. Plays guitar and is very involved with naturopathic healing and stuff. He's also six foot three and lifts weights. A lot of weights. When he says he'll watch your house while you're away, you don't even worry about shutting the front door.
And he is getting laid.
Right in his laundry, by the sounds of it. It also sounds like, even though it's a wildly-abandoned/laundry-based bonk, the sound of a thirsty, slumber-bound neighbour filling up a water jug bare metres away will kill off most of the eroticism built up by the close proximity of all those detergents and bleaching agents.

What do you do?

A) Go to bed thirsty, but happy that your neighbour has found Love in the Laundry.
B) Fill the jug. Stuff it. If they can fuck next to the mops and buckets, they can probably focus their attention elsewhere while I'm getting a drink.
C) Fill the jug very quietly. Which, of course, will get you a drink without interrupting the mood, but the prolonged exposure to The Sounds of Intimacy will result in you having the image of a body-building naturopath shagging on his washing machine floating through your mind while you're trying to enjoy Stephen Levitt discussing the parallels between the rising instance of abortion and the decline in crime rate in American citites.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy I-Though-We-Lived-In-A-Secular-Society-But-I-Guess-Not Day!

Seriously, why the fuck have we not stormed parliament regarding the fact that because this is a Christian holiday the rest of us (and there are a lot) aren't allowed to buy alcohol?
Yes, it's true, last year I pretty much ruined day one of a family holiday because I bitched and moaned and whined about the same situation.
'It's okay,' I reassured the Yorke Peninsula general store/bottle-shop owner 'I'm not a Christian.'
'Sorry, mate. It's the law.'
'But ... but ...'
I wish I had said more. Or broken something. But it wasn't his fault. He should have just turned the other way while I left twenty bucks on the counter until the next day though.

No, I don't actually want to go out and buy beer on Good Friday especially. I just don't want to have to live in such a back-wood, no-string-banjo kind of country where religious freedom is a right, as long as you observe just one group's one kookie rule. Which you don't have a choice about anyway, because it's the law, just like not molesting children.

Topical Humour Man, awaaaaaay!!

Seriously though: Rove did free tomato sauce day. Why can't we have Ring It Through On Easter Saturday Day?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Maybe I should have just gone to bed

Then there was the time when I was working on my PhD's literature review, gathering all these sources and awesome quotes, and I was pretty tired and not really thinking clearly, so I decided to do something non-brain-heavy, like putting all my hand-typed references with page numbers into properly-linked citations using EndNote. So at about 11pm on Tuesday night I carefully and slowly went through my Word document, replacing the typed out references with ones linked to my bibliography. Then when I open it up the next day, it had kept all the citations (author, date), but not the page numbers I'd added in and assumed would stay there.
So I still know what book the quotes come from, but no longer which page of that book.
It's okay, I'll just have to read them all again and remember where they're from. There's only twenty-five or so - books, that is.
How hard can it be to find sixty or seventy specific quotes?

Monday, March 29, 2010

No, it's not a euphemism for number threes.

Did y'all even realise that the boy tweets?

No one reads this either

Major scandal: At last week's state election, a Labor politician got in trouble because some volunteers were handing out How To Vote cards at polling booths upon which were written something like:

Put Your
FAMILY FIRST

  • Blah
  • Blah
  • Blah
Authorised by Labor party candidate, Michael Blogs.

And everyone is up in arms and legs. Can I get this straight, please?
Yes, they didn't have red t-shirts on, like Labor party commies, but light blue ones like Straighty One-Eighty Family First bible-bashers.
Yes, the card did say 'Family First' on it, quite prominently. But who are we protecting here?
People who can't read?
In that case, how could our disenfranchised and duped illiterate brothers and sisters read anything on the card? Let alone the crucial words "Family First"?
So the people who are getting duped by these dodgy How To Votes, can read? Is that right? What's the problem then?
Oh. They don't want to read. Not too much anyway. Just enough to get that time-wasting, three-yearly chore out of the way without feeling like someone's going to force them to hold hands with a homosexual person.
Democracy: in, out, back to three more years of reading the sports section first and recycling everything else (you know, the sections where the people in ties don't have backdrops stippled in sponsors' logos). Let me put it another way: did you know that literally millions of people get killed fighting for dreaming about the possibility of having the opportunity to get handed a How To Vote card?

One that doesn't look like this.

And you're moaning because some prankster handed you a fakey and you didn't read it properly and wasted your vote? If you care enough to complain about voting for the wrong guy and looking stupid, then it follows that you would probably care enough about the whole process to take more of an interest and actually read what's put under your nose to, you know, avoid looking stupid.
But I'm obviously wrong there.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I'm sure Bill Hicks would also approve

This weekend I:
  • Ate four kinds of animal;
  • Fixed a car engine. My car engine. Getting my hands greasy and dirty in the process and saving myself further expense at the mechanics;
  • Attended a BBQ;
  • Drank beer;
  • Prepared and cooked BBQ ribs;
  • Destroyed a noxious vine, preventing it from further choking my crops, by climbing a tree, attacking it with a handsaw and pulling the fucker out of there with my bare hands, impressing both son and wife in the process; and
  • Took care of my family in many manly ways.
So, if someone asks you "Who da man?", you tell that person "Franzy's the man. Franzy is."
Or, if you're more in tune with the late great George Carlin, say "Who da man? Not you! You da fuckin' honky!"

It should also be noted that I prepared a lovely pumpkin soup, shopped for vegetables and plum sauce, did the vacuuming, changed a bunch of nappies, administered shoulder rubs and tended the bonsai.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

That, and being drunk

Almost nothing else makes an idea for a good blog disappear faster than sitting down to write it.

Writing the first sentence and waiting a second, brilliant sentence to appear before losing patience and hitting 'Publish Post'.

Sorry team, I'm pulling this all out from under my fingernails after two hours of study after eight hours of work after six and a half hours of sleep after eight hours of work after six hours of sleep.

After Charlie had a few sick nights last week and I was reminded of the good ol' days back when he was hungry every two hours without fail, I was also reminded that I probably would have traded anything for a solid amount of sleep.
It's not the same heroic feeling of making it through to the morning light when you were a kid. It's not even that hilarious panic that sets in when you trudge home from the pub and look up to see the palest blue leaking into the night and you know you've got work in twelve hours.
It's probably more akin to the inevitable horror that torture victims must experience when they see the bolt-cutters and realise that they have plenty more extremities. Every corner in your body and mind begins feeling like it's been vigorously rubbed with sand-paper and you're just as cheerful about the whole thing too.

Monday, March 22, 2010

You could say the answer was blowing in the wind ...

While telling a story, how many times can someone say "to cut a long story short" before it becomes redundant?
Yesterday, I counted four.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wwwwwuuuuunnn ......

And now he is one.
He got brownies and juice at the park.

And looked at planes with Mum.


Happy Birthday, Charlie.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pardon my pedantry but ...

Shouldn't it technically be DON'TabortSA.com?
I mean, far be it from me to help out some already-beyond-help, right wing, lip-twiddlin', cousin-fiddlin' nut jobs, but if they are against abortion, shouldn't they effectively avoid a party name that directly suggests that they are in favour of RU-486ing the entire state?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

If you could just reassure me that I'm not crazy

Doesn't everyone give the two-fingered Jedi command-wave as they approach automatic doors?

For those lucky ones who missed out last time ...


If any of you four loyal readers (Shippy, River, Kath, Jono) buy it, I will sign it! Any name you like. Then you will be able to produce this little tome at future parties and your guests will wonder at just how you managed to get Fidel Castro to sign an Australian children's book!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bewbs

I know I've probably brought this up a few too many times, but it bears repeating: theage.com.au, the website of one of the more respected broadsheets in the country, cannot seem to stop posting pictures of scantily-clad women. And it's becoming more shameless.
A survey of women about breastfeeding in public on their "catering to bored mums" site essentialbaby.com.au (as opposed to ... the other kind? The expendable, non-essential tykes?) ran with the title "Breastfeeding in public: do you?" and this picture:



Fair enough? Sure. Breastfeeding. No problem.
The
link to this survey from another page contained a little image with it, you know: to catch the eye and illustrate the nature of story.

This image, of course:


Did you even read the last few sentences?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Entrepreneur Man Strikes!

I'm selling 2 tickets to Kangaroo Island and a TV.
Tell me you've seen a better non-Chuck Norris-related eBay listing and I still won't believe you.

Tell me you've seen a wackier question for an eBay seller and I'd love to see it. I really did get asked this, just scroll down the bottom of the listing:

"where is Kangaroo island?"


Actually, I can even tell you about it a wackier question. Actually, it was more of a conversation. I was telling someone about selling these tickets to Kangaroo Island, and the wacky questions I get about it (another was "Does this trip depart from melbourne, or another city/state?"). I went on to intimate that although I would mock these individuals in private (er, and on a non-linked blog), for having access to the internet, and yet being unaware of it's knowledge gathering capabilities, I actually went and visited Wikipedia and SeaLink online to confirm my sources (as far as that is possible). In visiting Wikipedia's entry on Kangaroo Island, I discovered that it is Australia's third largest island, behind Tasmania and a place called Melville Island in the Northern Territory. I relayed this to my audience, to which they responded:

X-:
Well it is the largest island in Australia.
Me: Actually, third largest!
X-: What's the first?
Me: Tasmania.
X-: That's not an island, it's a state.
Me: Is it surrounded by water?
X-: Yeah.
Me: It's an island.
X-: It's a state.
Me: A state and an island are two different things.
X-: Whatever you say!

This was a real conversation.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Yeah yeah, Poor David Kiely


Can we please stop pretending that Miranda Kerr doesn't look like a twelve-year-old? Power to her, go be a model, make your money, girl, razzle dizzle. But really, this little blogger has had enough. There's something a bit off here.






An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32