Saturday, October 31, 2009

Oh Miranda

Miranda Devine, one of Fairfax's resident rightists that they seemingly keep around for balance purposes (which is odd because the only one of the non rightists / centrists you could really say was fully avowedly leftist is David Marr - and he dangerously grounds his writing in logic), is a proud fan of speeding and cars and similar shit.

She also likes Top Gear (confession: so do I, but not so hardcore as to have an anatomically correct blow-up Stig doll).

Anyway, Miranda Devine fully gets off when people go her on the net. She does. She teasingly drops a hotmail account address at the end of her various knee-jerk righty screeds and encourages people to vent at her. Then, ignoring all the sensible emails where people pull her failed arguments apart like travelling side-show fairy floss, she will serve up the more deranged points made and indicate by sleight of hand it is the representative mean of her correspondence.

On Thursday, Devine opined about the recent case of an irate cyclist having a physical altercation with a bus driver - the cyclist claiming misbehaviour on the part of said public transport employee. I don't know the right or wrong of what happened in that incident (sounds like an assault to me), but to Miranda, well, that cyclist is merely the representative mean of cyclists.

Here's some choice snippets.

Roads are for cars, not Lycra louts [This was the header]

This is classic angry cyclist behaviour, as if it's up to the cycling fraternity to forcibly educate the motoring public and instil fear like jackbooted Soviets.

How aggressive do you have to be at 5am, anyway? You never hear of rowers, joggers, swimmers, yoga artists or other dawn fitness devotees attacking people.

It wasn't the first time bus drivers have had to contend with irrational cyclists.

The ideologues who have fostered the road-sharing lie must think a few dead cyclists and pedestrians are a small price to pay for getting cars off the road, because that is their ultimate aim: to make driving so unpleasant, slow, expensive and fraught with hazards that motorists give up.

So far, all they have done is create a dangerous sense of entitlement among other road users. Harold Scruby and his Pedestrian Council are much to blame for the attitude that far from sharing the road, cars are there under sufferance.

Needless to say, her views (which typically do), irked a few people. MD decided to have another crack at the topic, all the while exalting that she'd had an effect.

The intro read thusly: "You always know when you write about the battle for road supremacy between cyclists and motorists that you will touch a nerve. But the avalanche of email and online comments in response to Thursday's column shows an extraordinary new level of sensitivity."

The conclusion she reached was this;

The good news is that sensible cyclists are beginning to accept responsibility for their behaviour ... [snipped examples of cyclists apologizing for their bad behaviour] ... As with everything in life, courtesy goes a long way.

How freaking hilarious that she actually had the hide to say "As with everything in life, courtesy goes a long way" given her screeching missive - that she linked to - of the day before, in addition to pretty everything she's ever written, ever.

Miranda Devine, I suspect - even though you were sired by another Conservative screeder - that perhaps, deep down, you view your role of a righty as some sort of ironic performance art.

In the aftermath of the Victorian Bushfires, Devine at one point hilariously suggested that if anyone should be strung up for causing the fires, it was nasty pasty greenies and their anti-burn off stance.

Yes, indeed. Courtesy goes a long way. Especially when they're still pulling charred bodies out of houses.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ah, the cubs ...

When I was a kid, I was a cub. That seems an odd conflation of animalia doesn't it? Like some sort of Goat-Lion like you see in those split flip books where you can make up combinations of animals etc.

No, I mean that when I was younger - a child - I was a cub scout.

It seems an odd move for someone who loves leisure so much and whose idea of embracing a beautiful day is to possibly have the window open as I watch a DVD or play Warlords II.

But pre-puberty, before I swelled up like a someone with an acute allergy to bee-stings with puffy during and post puberty weight, I was a moderately active kid. Oh sure, I didn't like sport that much, but I still ran around, climbed trees, jumped puddles etc. And, I was a cub scout.


Cub scouting was, to put it mildly, a weird thing. There were some surreal moments. Standing around in a circle and chanting rhythmically before doing a squat and doing some more chanting is a little odd. Then there's the shorts, the hat, the woggle and so forth.

So here now are some brief cub memories from Harrangueman.


The kid who was in the circle where we did the "dib dib dib, dob dob dob" recitation who didn't want to let the side down and nick off for a wee, and during the ceremony proceed to wet himself, his shorts, his leg, his cub sock and the wooden boards of the cub hall.

Me lying about some made up person who had to be surgically removed from their dirty socks as part of my one minute speech about hygiene which was needed to get some sort of cleanliness related activity badge.


Me preferring being a seconder (2nd in charge of a gang, I forget the official name, in a cub group) to being a sixer (the boss) because I could order younger kids around but, ultimately, someone above me had to be responsible for actual results.

Having a sheep dung fight under shearing sheds where we were camping and copping a piece of shit to the face.


On the same camp, not using the Hessian sack screened tin an makeshift toilet for four days for number twos and badly turtle-necking during the mini-bus ride back home and barely making the safety of the proper lav when I got to my house before it all came out.


Washing up breakfast dishes on a camp and seeing dead bloated rice-bubbles swimming around the fetid wash-up water, then gagging when a bubble touched my precious smooth skin.


And, finally ... for some reason we all thought this was a good idea. During a period of free time we were walking along the banks of a wooded creek - cubs on each side of the creek. As a joke, someone threw a rock across the water near the other group. We then proceeded to have an all out rock throwing war - not aiming at each other but rather arcing the rocks high in the air so they came down like ballistic missiles - and we'd make various explosion noises and slow mo diving "nooooooo" sound effects etc as they were landing or in-bound. This giddy geology themed fun then ended abruptly when the inevitable rock hit the inevitable head and the wounded cub had to be driven to hospital for emergency stitches.

I'd like to see the badge for that!

I loved being a cub. But, I grew up. I aged. No more was cubs allowed for me. Instead I was upgraded, almost against my will, into the Scouts. A year later, as I recall, I got asked to leave because I was too disruptive. I think that was during the three years of "no sugar for Mikey", my parents putting me on Fructose instead - which, as irony would have it, is some kind of super sugar - so that's a fail for the 80's medical profession.

I like to tell people the reason I got asked to leave the scouts was ... that I wasn't prepared enough.

Dib Dib Dib, Dob, Dob, Dob indeed.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Road rant spoiled by cough

By and large I am a safe driver. In that I stick to the speed limit and try to be considerate to other motorists - such as letting them in ahead of me so forth.

So it irks me when mofo fuckwits who are sharing the road with me break social conventions like not waving thanks when you let them in, or are speeding non indicating lane weaving sons of a motherless goat.

Like this fuckwit this morning. Weaving, speeding, not indicating. It got my gander up.

'YOU STUPID FUCKING DICKWAD MOTHER FUCK-'

At that point, my face slightly purpling with rage, my soliloquy was interrupted by a cough.

A great hunk of goob then sailed out of my mouth, turned like a half hearted tower diver, then landed on my seatbelt a'quivering.

Shame-faced, I had to scrape it onto my index finger and wipe it some place out of the way.

If only life was like TV where you could have another take.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Area man pwned by two year old son

This morning theWife was wrangling theNoo, getting him ready to head out the door for daycare. I was on my way to the shower but I wanted to say goodbye. So I wrapped a towel around my nude bod and headed out to say adios.

Now I'm a dude. So really, only the nob and arse needs to be covered. So my towel began at stomach level and ended at my knees.

TheNoo looked up at me, then pointed.

'BOOBS!' he shouted, pointing at my chest.

Pwned.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

European Carry-all actually spotted being used

There's this Seinfeld ep where one of the story elements is that Jerry has a fancy European Carry-all, which sort of looks a bit like a handbag. It gets stolen in the episode and Jerry shrieks to a passing cop "Officer, that man took my European Carry-All". When the cop blank faces Jerry is forced to say "my handbag, he's got my hand bag."

Today I saw this dude at my local shops. A heavyset fellow with gray hair, and a mo, he had ... a European Carry-All. And indeed I wanted to shout 'Officer, that man took my European Carry-All.'

But I am older now, and too sensible for such things. I texted Beve RE my EC spottage and he admitted surprise that I didn't in fact shout out the line - or at least tell the cashier about it (she was like 18, so she'd have no frame of reference about Seinfeld anyway). Besides, so little faith in my growing as a person and learning stuff like tact.

Earlier today, while in Civic, I spotted an older man dressed in a T-Shirt. As irony would have it, his T-Shirt had been neck-holed - badly - the irony derived from the fact neck-holes were also covered in a previous Seinfeld episode.

He didn't have a European Carry-All. No, he had a fanny pack (aka bum bag). On his side? No. His rear, where the word 'bum bag' suggests it should be located?

No, he had it to the front. It looked like his scrotum had suffered a combination of necrosis and reverse gravity then burst from his pants like the alien baby from Alien.

Bum bags. Always a bad look. Like being a guy and being naked save for socks.

The bloats

There's this flavoured milk ad that's been on the teev for the past few weeks of a bunch of 20 somethings cruising around on a hedonistic road trip and, in between adventures, sustaining themselves and their youth juices with said flavoured milk.

We laugh at the ad knowingly because when normal people down 600 mls of milk in a quick hit they get the dairy bloats and don't actually want to do much after that. Let alone jump into creeks, surf, horse riding, and other tampon packet territory activities I have failed to mention.

Anyway, tonight I suffered the bloats.

I don't know why it seemed like a good idea to have 300 mls of custard + ice cream + cream + banana for desert. Probably because the concept seemed fuck of delish. And it was. But it didn't settle on the old tummer so well.

But ... I'd had my heart set on a pie. A delish pie. So despite being groggy with custard bloat, I cooked up a pair of fruit pies.

I had one - with cream and ice-cream. It was also delish. But then it made me more full. Not painful full, but uncomfortable full. Like when you binge on Chinese food.

Ten minutes later, my stomach noticeably even more "protrudy", I ate the second pie.

Now I have severe custard and pie bloats. Big time. I'm farting like a farty mofo, and groaning from the pain of too much food ingested.

Stupid sexy pies singing their sweet shortcrust pastry siren song. Damn you! Damn you to your delicious pastry hell!

(shakes fist feebly at fat encrusted pie maker)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Early morning teev tells me "I will Zumba"

No I won't ex-voiceover man from Australian Big Brother who is narrating this infomercial. Your excited tones have no impact on me when it comes to this "Zumba". It looks painful and sweaty.

And I literally shuddered at the mention of "Granny Zumba". Because that sounded like just a nasty, nasty p0rn site that even the internet would want to reject if it could.

Shouting from the roof tops

Texas likes to pretend they're more American than America. So much so when the rest of America took a step back to sanity with Obama, Texas' governor actually muttered thoughts about secession.

Texas also executes more people in the US than any other state. They dislike people telling them not to do it - it's their lynching party and they'll cry if they want to - and as such they have put a number of hurdles in the way of any prisoner daring to challenge the sentence they've been handed down.

Recently the New Yorker had a long article about an executed Texan inmate - who went to the gurney protesting his innocence even while resigned to his fate - who received this penalty for the crime of immolating his three daughters in a house fire.

You can see the article here.

Essentially the broad thrust of the piece is that the man was likely innocent - and his was found guilty on forensic arson evidence and investigatory skill that was, as one of America's pre-eminent fire investigators stated when reviewing the evidence, akin to that of a psychic or mystic - using Fire behavior lore based not in science and empiricism, but learning at the knee of an old timer fire investigator.

Willingham, the con, unfortunately had his final appeal based on this scientific re-evaluation of the evidence, completely ignored by the panel in Texas that confirms whether an execution should stand.

Justice Scalia of the US Supreme Court, one of the rightist ideologue jurists shoe-horned by Bush into the court, and famed Death Penalty proponent, said recently there has not been "a single case - not one - in which it is clear that a person was executed for a crime he did not commit. If such an event had occurred in recent years, we would not have to hunt for it; the innocent's name would be shouted from the rooftops."

Isn't it great how the high and mighty have to eat crow.

So the US National Coalition Against the Death Penalty are indeed "shouting from the rooftop" about this case.

The US has seen numerous Death Row inmates found subsequently not guilty and released while on the journey from existing until death. How an intelligent first world country can still embrace the death penalty - from a moral, legal, or even logical viewpoint - is beyond me.

How awful must it have been for that man to be executed for the deaths of his daughters from a tragic accidental house fire. How just gut wrenchingly awful. That poor man and his poor family.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Simpsons Generation

I remember when Howard (former Australian Prime Minister) was in, for a brief (odd) moment he enjoyed a slight uptick in the positive feelings of "da youf". Conservative columnists claimed this starry eyed love of Howard was due to a love of country, because - you know - Mainstream Values etc - and something about loving money was a good thing. These kids were coined as South Park Conservatives.

This demographic bubble'o'love popped shortly afterwards. Probably when da kids, who in addition to loving money, worked out the earth they were to inherit was going to be left in a somewhat fucked condition by Howard's mine loving cronies.

Anyway, onto my topic. Assigning seminal shows to brand a generation with. For me, if I had to choose, I would be of the Simpsons generation. Because I hit late teens when it came out, and the show's goodness got better and better as the 90s rolled on (peaking - in my humble opinion - with the season with Homer goes to College and Burns' Casino).

During its rise all us youf of the 90s pretty much to a person watched it. We saw morality plays play out before us. We understood much of the layered high and low brow references within it. You could repeat a snatch of dialogue to a similarly aged peer, and chances are they'd know where it was from, and what it was about. Doing lines from the Simpsons could be used as a shorthand means of discussing issues. In summary it was us and we were it - the Simpsons Generation.

How this really came home to me was the other day when intereacting with someone not of the Simpson's generation - my boss.

My boss thinks I tend to waffle on a bit in the wordy form. When I write briefs I tend to have a lot of background - minuting every aspect of the topic so I cover my bases. I think it's because I write for an e-reader, where space isn't an issue, and he came from a world of paper minutes where space clearly was.


As he left my desk he said 'remember, small words.'

I responded by saying a Simpson's line - 'him card read good' - from the Ep where Bart is made Burns' heir. Shorthand - amongst us Simpsons types - for simple.

He misheard me. He in fact heard 'Him can't read good.' I know this because he (sort of) laughed and said that as he walked off. I think therefore he thought I was having a go at him.

Simpsons induced FAIL.

Still, if I had to choose between a world of No Simpson's and a miscommunication boss offending, then I would choose miscommunication boss offending.

Because I don't want to live in a world without Zinc.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sharman Stone on Lateline

The Coalition have been desperately screaming that the recent uptick in boat arrivals is due to pull factors - that our domestic refugee policy changes are responsible for it.

Sharman Stone was just on Lateline pushing this barrow.

One of her dot point reasonings?*

SHARMAN STONE: Leigh, there's always been global distress, sadly there probably always will be. If you read the UNHCR reports of the global trends and they publish these annually, you will see that in fact there's been a contraction of numbers around the globe, especially in places like Afghanistan where you in fact have had enormous resettlement in the last few years. This is something that we need to be very pleased about.

But if it's just about the push factors as this Government suggests, why haven't we got those Eritreans, the Sudanese, the Congolese all in these boats? Because that's where the biggest growth in numbers of asylum seekers are.

They're not on the boats because they can't afford the cash required by the criminals, the smugglers and they haven't got the contacts.

You know what, she's right. They're Africans. Hardly any Africans have the geographic ability to make a port, then travel thousands of miles by boat when they do to reach Oz, let alone the financial capability to do pretty much anything but survive day to day because they are, for the most part, extremely poor subsistence farmers that take it in the arse when the weather is not their friend - in addition to surviving roving bands of insert-warlord-here or rival claimants trying to drive them from their turf.

Tamils on the other hand live on a fucking island in our fucking region and can get on a mother fucking boat because they live on a mother fucking island and can sail said boat to Indon and then Oz, or escape to SEA then try from Oz there - on a mother fucking boat.

It doesn't make their plight or circumstances any less deserving of attempting to try for a safer or better life by their doing so. They're on the losing end of an unpleasant civil war where the losers are being treated in appalling circumstances. It's a big fucking der they're trying to get out.

The coalition make me sick. Again. Racist dog whistling tards.

*UPDATE: The transcript has been published, so I swapped out my approximation of SS's words -
'There are increases in Congolese and Sudanese refugees - yet they're not on the boats because they can't afford it and don't have the contacts.' - with what she said. Source is Lateline.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Breakfast FAIL

I've had bad guts for a couple of days. So I am dosed up on pain killers and hoping the brown tide will soon be in.

So what did I have for breakfast?

Nachos.

FAIL.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rove FAIL

I am playing a hint'o'warlords for a bit while having a break from my DVD new release movie (I rarely watch films all the way through in one hit, instead 5-10 minutes chunks with activities like this in between).

I have Rove on.

In his opening monologue Rove asked the audience 'who got hit as a kid with a wooden spoon?'

I put my hand up.

What the fuck? Like he can see me? Do I feel like I'm part of his audience in the studio? What's next?! Loving Hey Hey?

Holy fuck.

Area man has a vagina

Not in a reverse she-male sense, though if I was I guess that'd be a he-female. An opposite, if you will, like bat man has his opposite in man-bat in DC comics. Not that man-bat was a she-male - it was a horrible twisted humanoid shaped bat with rudimentary limbs.

No, I am packing the vertical smile in 'the weepies at movies' sense.

I just saw Pay It Forward. I'd been meaning to see it for ages, as the preview I saw touched on its idea of paying it forward (you get a favour from a stranger - so you do the same but for three others), which intrigued me a great deal. I liked the concept.

Anyway ... um ... spoiler.









The ending is a tad sad. And it made me cry.

The reason I got to see it was because I mentioned to a friend how I'd been intending on seeing it at some point, and the next time I saw him he presented me with a copy to own - purchased courtesy of one of those 'through the looking glass' bizzaro specials ALDI has now and then.

How cool is that?! He paid it forward ... with a DVD of Pay It Forward!

Anyway, that's the second time in two days I've gotten teary at a movie.

Maybe I have my period?

If it was a man period I guess it would shoot out my nose. Luckily we have some tapered tampons in the house so I can plug up the old nozzers. Mind you, I think all tampons are tapered. Imagine if they weren't? That would be a cluster fuck of a design. Perhaps in the former Eastern Bloc they're shaped like potatoes or something.

Oh - theWife saw an ad in a recent Cosmo for tampons that promised a hint of luxury to the user. Seriously. Luxurious tampons?

What will the world think of next? Bottled tap-water at a 4,000% mark-up?

That's right ... they already did...

UPDATE: Of course to state I was effeminate for crying in a movie says a lot about my dodgy notions of masculinity. Hey, what can I say? When I was a kid we could take toy guns to pre-school. That made a man out of me. That, and Commando comics. Apparently.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hilarious

There's an SBS news report on a recent Cambridge study about the starting age of children. Apparently the optimal age is 6, according to the report.

The hilarious thing is that the voice over girl on the news item keeps pronouncing Cambridge as Kambridge instead of Came-bridge.

Nice one mimo.

Note to self

If you leave a chicken bone from a Chicken Kiev in the bin without the lid, your cat will keep getting the bone out of the bin to gnaw on it.

I must have picked that fucker up about three times until I twigged that was what was happening

Said cat also likes to chew on plastic bags. Anyone else's cat do that?

It's a horrid noise.

Well whaddya know, they actually do make that sound

Today I was in Civic. I was walking through the outside mall when my path crossed that of a flock of pigeons.

They cooed.

Now I'm aware of pigeons cooing. The only thing is, that's the first time I can remember ever actually seeing real pigeons do it. Previously my only experience of pigeon cooing was via the teev.

I feel like that Leunig cartoon where the people on the couch were watching the sunset live ... on tv.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Love Actually

I'm crying and laughing at the same.

Fuck you Richard Curtis. You freakish talented comedic heart string puller.

Break glass in case of emergency

I keep emergency clothes at work. One (1) set of undies, and one (1) shirt.

Why?

Well, I have IBS. Sometimes with IBS things happen. Unpleasant things. In the arse area. It can get ... weird.

The shirt was because once I swapped out the one I was wearing for my T-Shirt at work, kept for exercise at lunchtime and a change pre / post walking in case I got the sweats on.

I swapped the T-shirt out because the shirt I was wearing was ... ill advised. It was too tight. Like button bowing out tight. Like if you sat on the lav you had to hoist the shirt up first like Daisy fucking Duke in case you blew said buttons off and they shrapneled into the door. This too tight shirt became my emergency shirt.

Today, during lunch, I got some food stuck. It happens now and then. I had to tell the lovely cafe people I'd be some time, Captain Oates style, and asked them not to clear away my stuff. Then I went outside, out of view of their windows, and spent five minutes yacking up half digested roast lamb.

Alas ... I had a partial vom dribble on the shirt I was wearing.

So when I got back to work, the dreaded too tight shirt was called into service. I felt like a superhero - not because I have powers - but because I was wearing what felt like a skintight latex costume, and I was worried I was displaying a hint of man nip to co-workers.

It was most uncomfortable ... and I am going to fuck it off for good. Life's too short to have in your wardrobe shitty shirts that remind you that you're packing excess bulk.

Oh - and while I am at it - I have to confess some irritation at myself for inadvertent hypocrisy - judging someone for their appearance. While in the cafe I saw a bunch of IT lads headed out the door. One of them was a big lad - with glasses - a double chin. He was happy, smiling, joking with his friends. And my first thought was 'how can you possibly be happy when you look like that?'

How fucked is that, that I am bringing my own shitty fucked in the head sadness at my body shape and laying it at the door of someone I don't even know just because they were fat'n'happy?!

That's fucked.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blowback, old school

In strategic terms, the term Blowback has gained currency of late. Blowback is, essentially, a long term negative repercussion for a short term covert Intelligence powered strategic manuever.

A classic blowback is the US involvement in the Afghanistan war. Arming the Afghanis with high tech surface to air shoulder launched missiles helped hasten the end of the Soviet occupation when said missiles took out helicopter gunships and, in some cases, fighter bombers. When you rely on helis to get your ground pounders to the position, and some nasty peasant armed with a one million dollar rocket launcher is lurking in the hills, it makes occupation that much more difficult.

In addition to arming up the Afghanis, the yanks also gave the Pakistani army, and their intel service, buckets of cash for running interference against the Sovs.

All well and good. But, as demonstrated aptly in Charlie Wilson's war, when the Russians left, the yank's interest in the region left as well. All these inspired types that had been abetted, trained, feted and fed then had time on their hands, and in an interest in the 'what next for Afghanistan'. They had a fight amongst themselves and, thanks in part to continued support from wealthy Islamic countries, the fundies in Afghanistan won. Bin Laden got sanctuary then ... September 11.

That's the blowback.

Another blowback, which interestingly enough Obama actually referred to in a mea-culpa sense when speaking in the region earlier this year, was the overthrow of the Iranian government in (I think, without cheating and looking in wiki) '53 This lead to the Shah of Iran's regime. This not exactly democratic regime, with a Secret Police that rivaled the Stasi in its penetration of society with informants, eventually rubbed the populace up the the wrong way and ... viva la revolution, in came the clerics.

More delicious blowback.

Now in the defence of Five in the UK, bankrolling an Italian journalist / editor willing to promote a 'war, what is it good for - everything! Pass me the pizza' during World War One when Italy, then fighting with the UK and French etc, was wavering in its commitment to the fight, was a likely considered a no brainer at the time. Even when said journo offered to get some pipe hitting war vets to get medieval on the pacifists' arses.

Unfortunately the portly pensmith turned out to be one (1) Benito Mussolini, who adapted his arming up the lads for lefty smash into his black shirt movement and its embrace of synchronized stiff legged marching / saluting, and dictatorial governance. Basically, fascism as an achievable political outcome.

Blowback. The funny thing is, it happens so many times.

You know as in ... 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it'

Sing-a-long

I used to be in a choir. Seriously. I think mainly for the free sausage rolls in winter. I was like a pastry obsessed ET following a line of meaty reeces pieces up the nave of the school chapel.

Pre voice break ... I sang okay. Nothing to write home about - mind you - who the fuck would? 'Dear Home, I sing great. Love you, signed the boss. Kiss Kiss Hug Hug. PS bin goes out on Monday'.

But post break ... I wasn't exactly Homer ("Christ ... Christ is born"), but I did suck it down a notch.

However, that doesn't stop me singing along to songs on the radio. Or, to the web - like the Amazing Horse (see below).

When I am driving, and it's just me, and I have a reasonably well known CD on, then I will belt it out. Unashamedly. Even if it's rude (especially if it's rude - Tenacious D, hello!).

But ... if the singers have an accent, if you sing-a-long, do you sing as you ... or them?

I guess it depends on who is singing. If it's the Cranberries, then you pretty much have to go Irish on that ("And their tarnks and their gurns, and their gurns, and their gurns") etc. If it's Eminem then ... yes, I guess it's like Slim Shady too. And a hint o Dido? Indeed. And Blondie on Blondie - yessy doody.

So there you go. There is no depends. If I sing, I sing as them. Badly.

Except for Karma Chameleon by Culture Club. On Singstar 80s it is, to date, the only song (on easiest level), I got the top rating for ... and I beat theWife on it too!

I rawk the tasty groove.

Awesome web find

Courtesy of S. Nice work S.

Amazing Horse.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Urinal FAIL

The other day I took my lunch into the toilets at work. I don't like to eat with a full bladder, yes - chalk that up to OCD, so with my just purchased deliciousness I stopped off at the lav first. The toilets at work are a bit Get Smartish in that there's a number of doors to reach it - four doors from my desk in fact. It means that the actual place where bowels are moved are divided off from the sink area where people faintly whiff their hands with a presence of water. Herein lies where I left my lunch.

So I am through to the final room, at the group urinal (doesn't that sound weird?), when boss++ walks in.

Boss++ - 'Is that your lunch out there?'

Me - 'Yeah. I feel bad that I took it into the toilets'.

At this stage he's using the group facility as well.

Boss++ - 'Well, you didn't take it into here, so that's okay.'

Now I'd finished, and was half out the dividing door. But something, something within me felt compelled to release this - like King Midas' barber. I had ... I had to confess.

So I partial turned to him, while he's still in Operation RELEASE, and said 'At home I have above the cistern shelving. Sometimes I take my food in there.'

Boss++ - 'Um ... er ... hmmm'

At that point I left, taking my lunch with me.

What the fuck?! Why the fuck did I feel I need to share that?! Perhaps it was because I blogged on my cistern shelving previously and thus it stayed on my mind?!

At any rate. Epic FAIL.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mind expanded

I have friends that work in a variety of fields - though given the nature of Canberra most work in fields that assist others - teachers, public servants, policemen, etc.

I'm also fortunate enough to have two friends who are nurses - and they tell me nursing tales. Which are both disgusting and informative.

Last night I learned a new phrase. The phrase which is apparently the descriptive given to a guy who has a partial erection due to a full bladder. I had one this morning in fact. Apparently its a common reaction as seen in old dudes with catheters.

That descriptive is "Piss Fattie".

What an awesomely useful phrase. Thanks C!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Hey Hey ... that's fcked

Hey Hey it's Saturday recently got resurrected by the Nine network for a couple of reunion specials. Rumint was that Nine was also testing the waters about bringing it back.

Former host, Daryl Somers, who has apparently been living on a farm for the last 10 years and sitting by the phone waiting for the call to come in, likewise is back as host. This time he's in a suit instead of a colourful Jenny Kee like jumper.

Hey Hey is essentially an olde time variety show. Lots of segments sown together and Coda'd by a man in a duck suit giving away a random prize to a punter. One of these segments is Red Faces, where entertainers (professional and many, many not) vie for a small cash prize (and recognition).

Yeah ... recognition all right.

There was an act on called The Jackson Jive. Which was a pisstake, naturally enough, on the Jacksons. Apparently this act had been on the old Hey Hey many years ago and it was bought pack as part of this whole reunion thing.

The act included blackface - people blackening their face with make-up so as to superficially resemble dark skinned people - in this case the Jackons. As an especially hilarious subversion the one playing Michael, had white make-up. Because the former pop star had his skin lightened over the years due to a dermatological condition he suffered.

I didn't see the skit. Because I didn't watch Hey Hey then, and I don't watch it now. I did watch a little bit of the first reunion episode from last week, if only to confirm my annoyance and sneering attitude towards its crapness.

Crapness confirmed.

But I don't need to see the skit to know it was a moronic, fucked-in-the-head, utterly repugnant thing to allow on TV.

I am for free speech. I think every cretin deserves the right to speak their mind. Obviously yelling fire in a crowded theatre is a line that should not be crossed, and this includes calls for violence from (insert righteous fuckhead figurehead) here.

But part of free speech is knowing when to self-moderate. Use of blackface make-up in this manner, and it doesn't matter what the intention was, says to the viewer that they regard people with dark skin as a figure of fun. It's an almost mythic insult that is part of the rich fabric of entrenched racist attitude. It's up their with using the N word to describe a person of colour.

The entertainers that did it might not have realised the impact something like this would have. In Australia, our relationship with darker skinned people - mainly Aboriginal Australians - has a different cultural context (more akin to the context of Amerindian North America).

But Hey Hey should have known. They are part of mass media. And mass media knows that they have to be so, so, so fucking careful with how they depict people and cultures, lest they cause damage and hurt to others.

For all those people that think this is a storm in a teacup, that Hey Hey is copping way more flack than they should have for this issue, then they don't understand how poisonous and how evil entrenched racism was (and still is in some parts of the world). Blackface is a part of that entrenched racism.

Like all the other fucked in the head attitudes like women belong in the kitchen, that some people of specific religions are shifty or homicidal, fat people are greedy, short people are would be European Dictators etc, it belongs as a relic of an unenlightened, ignorant past.

Not on prime time family television show.

Oh - on the off chance someone from OS reads this - Hey Hey does not represent the views of typical Australians. And least, I sure as fuck hope it doesn't.

Finally, big ups to Harry Connick Junior, who was a panel judge, and who flat out called it for what it represented.

More shirt fail

Ben Elton famously opined that men, by and large, have three shirts: the work shirt, the good shirt, and the party shirt. So for them, when getting ready for a social gathering, it was an easy choice. Girls on the other hand had hundreds of items and, when choosing one to wear, would remove them from the wardrobe and throw them on the bed and then spend hours sifting through to pick one.

For work, I have a selection of shirts to choose from. About 5-6. I also admit to, of the options, having some that are multiple copies - my Inspector Gadget shirts.

One normally worn during the work is my long sleeved purple number. It's of a thicker material, so when cold, I can wear it without a jacket when it's a bit nippy outside.

Only recently the nippy thing RE the purple shirt happened inside.

I was at work for about an hour before I noticed there was a light grease stain on my shirt. The stain was centered around the pec level. In fact, specifically, around the nipple part of the pec level.

Yes ... it looked like I'd been lactating.

Stupid mystery stains!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Some light fails

I like pies. Not pies from a bakery. I like fruit pies, that I make in my Sunbeam pie maker, that I then nosh with ice-cream and cream. Indeed, toast-watch has now given over to pie-watch since I eat the latter with a greater frequency.

The annoying thing about making pies is the waiting for the pastry to thaw. Sure, you could nuke it for 30 seconds. But it can go a little slimy feeling doing it that way. Typically instead I go the three bears and leave it out until it's just right.

The other day, without thinking, I left it on the stove. We have a big gas range stove. It's always on in winter, on a low heat, to provide warmth to the front end of the house. It has big old timey diver's boot thick lids for the hotplates so you can safely contain their warmth.

I left a pastry sheet on one of those lids.

Yeah ... much like the concrete shield the Soviets stuck on the Chernobyl reactor - it didn't contain all the energy the pumps out.

When I went to get the sheet it was liquidy. Not quite a puddle, but on the cusp of a puddle. A puddle cusp of pastry. And you know what? What epic coda to this fail is?

I still tried to makes pies out of it ... and only gave up when I attempted to lift up a cut out segment and it dripped off the knife.

Which brings us to a more recent fail.

In the public service, unlike the Liberal and National parties, we believe in human caused (or at least heavily impacted) climate change. Even if the science is still yet to be beyond super settled for such folk, we're applying the insurance method of 'if there's a significant chance it's true then let's act as if it is'. Kind of an enviro Pascal's Wager (wiki that - I can't be fucked linking it).

So we're forging ahead and doing things like adding to our font 4 sized email disclaimer serving suggestions 'please consider the environment before printing this email'. Or changing the lighting in our lifts from Close Encounters bright to 'hey baby, check out my pad' low-medium setting on the dimmer switch in a bachelor apartment from the 70's, via LED lights.

All good stuff - and eagerly embraced by moi.

I was recently on a course. They had the cardboard pyramids on the table for you to put your name on for the benefit of people who are not you to know - along with a marker pen for the all important writing aspect. Only ... the pyramid was slotted in a stiff clear plastic holder. It was easy enough to slot the pyramid out to write on it, but getting it back in was a bitch. I had to peel back the flanges on the slot things and kind of cram it in like you do with a puzzle piece where you're only 70% sure it's the right fit.

'Fuck me,' I thought to myself. 'They didn't think that through.'

About an hour later, I noticed a green coloured laminated piece of cardboard next to the drinking glasses. I'd assumed it was the house-keeping stuff they provide on courses - like a safety card on a land locked airplane about where the fire exits are and what the varied beeps and bleats from the Emergency Control might mean.

Nup. On it were printed some lovely icons that were all "environmentally" in nature (e.g. a stylized fluoro globe) along with some text. Some text regarding the cardboard name pyramids and their fucked up stiff plastic shields.

Yeah ... turns out you weren't meant to write on the cardboard pyramids. The cardboard was a bracing material support for the fucking plastic. You were supposed to write on the plastic, with the white cardboard shield providing in addition to its tensile properties - the opaque background by which the letters on the plastic could then be read. There was an important Gaia-esq message about how this was part of the pulling together stuff we needed to do because every bit of carbon reduction helps.

Again, I am pro-reduction. I just wish they'd placed the little green sign a little better on the table so numpties like me would notice it and pay heed. Like if it had balanced against the water jug or something.

So now there was a whacking great First Name on the cardboard that needed to be taken care of. So I did ... by turning it from legible if child-like printing of characters to a maddened intense Pollack like scribble.

I think all the effort I went to, ink consumed, frustration etc. likely meant a net negative impact on the efforts of Carbon amelioration by the course providers.

However, I should note that of my table of three course members, inc myself, none of us actually wrote on the plastic as our first response. We all missed the laminated hint-sheet.

Lesson learned for next time. Always check for instructions ... and actually read them.

Oh, attention sky-waitresses. I actually do pay attention to your marvelous pre-take off aerobics-meets-props dance because I want you to know I value your efforts. I do. That and I am also entertained by the fact that there's a row of you down the aisle in full 3d perspective and it kind of looks like you're doing a futuristic wedding dance floor homage to YMCA.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Hypocritical snootiness

All of us are hypocrites in one way or another. Take me. I laugh at poor signage - especially the poorly applied possessive apostrophe on an s. Even though I make the odd mistake in that area as well.

So confession time. Here are some corkers.

I used to pronounce Halcyon as 'Hally-con'. I had never heard it pronounced so that's how it sounded in my head when read.

Also, I don't understand pronunciation guides in Dictionaries. And struggle to know what verbs, nouns, and adjectives are.

The other day we were watching Glee - the excellent High School Dramedy that focuses on a singing club. For some reason I kept confusing Alpaca with A Cappella. I said alpaca for like 10 minutes until it clicked it was A Cappella.

Nice one, smegwit. So yeah, I am a hypocrite. I look down on people that can't talk fancy when I can't talk fancy sometimes myself.

Mind you, I will always sneer at people that say 'youse'. 'Cos they sound like a cockhead.

See? I just did it again. Youse can feel free to mock.

Up the Builder

TheNoo has finally cottoned on to the existence of Bob the Builder. Bob is voiced by the flatmate from Men Behaving Badly and his pals are anthropomorphic construction equipment for the most part. We have one short Bob the Builder episode on a Kids multi-show DVD - with eps of a variety of shows (including those naughty red menace faeries from Adelaide who were alleged to have been let go at one point when the actresses unionised). The ep we do have is about 10 minutes long.

TheNoo wanted to watch this episode. Again, again, again, and again. In fact, when theWife was off delivering a meal to a friend, theNoo ran in to the end room where I was and excitedly asked for Bob to be replayed about seven times.

Only it's not Bob. It's Up.

For some reason theNoo calls him Up the Builder. And when he sings along to the theme song it's 'UP THE BUILDER' clear and loud.

So Up the Builder it shall be henceforth.

PS I fucking hate Lofty's annoying fucking high pitched voice. And those fucking pickers whose shack they build. And I think they have a scarecrow friend whose a klepto.

TheWife is worried theNoo will demand Bob the Builder clobber/toys/dildos etc. I don't think we have to worry about that. It will pass... won't it?