Tuesday, 27 October 2009

...suburban and coke

I never realised buying a house is such a protracted affair. Oh my God!

Why can't it be simple? Why can't you just walk into The House Shop and say "I'll have 42 tonnes of house please! Do you deliver to affordable suburbs?" And why are there so many people involved that look like either a gameshow host, an apprentice game show host or an extra from Prisoner.

It's oddly like shopping around for another life at the moment, or at least shopping for the scenery we'll be looking at for the next 5+ years, what we're spending big bucks on, what we're going to be constantly fixing.

"Should we go the ready-made, modern, urbane life, or perhaps an old, rambling, big block, outdoorsy future? Hmmm. I guess it depends on what's on special, and if they'll throw in a free lemon tree".

But it's sort of exciting at the same time. Finding a nest, a home, a hub for a new family. Though I reckon the birds have got it figured out; find a tree and stuff you mouth full of twigs and grass. Simple! At least they don't have to spend every Saturday hangin' out with Larry Emdur and Pat the Rat.

Update: The Bub has ten fingers and ten toes (total). It has a normal heartbeat, and it freaked Daddy out for the first time by suddenly rolling over when I was looking at him/her during an ultrasound. Tonight we put in an offer on a 3bdr weatherboard on a nice big block with definately enough room for a toddler to swing a cat in. Sorry Moochy.



Friday, 23 October 2009

...facebook and the holocaust

I've been deliberately steering clear of controversy in this new blog incarnation. There's far too much of it out there anyway, and its overrated. But it's Friday afternoon and I am not in my usual devil-may-care frame of mind for this time of the week. I blame my colleagues.

Firstly, with hindsight I realise that posting the news of my impending fatherhood on Facebook was not a good idea. While we had recently told the 'inner circle', it seems there are many long lost friends and Aunties who are offended that they were not at the top of the notification list. My defence, "Well they're going to find out anyway, and probably not by us because news like this travels fast and it was only a matter of time before someone else mentioned it. And think of all the money we've saved on phone calls. People are now calling us saying WTF?."

The defence is weak, and I have one paw in the doghouse. I blame technology.

Also, on a vastly unrelated note, why do we give Holocaust deniers so much publicity? If someone doesn't believe in the Holocaust they should be allowed to. If someone wants to believe that WW2 never happened, why stop them? If you want to believe in Santa Claus, be my guest. Obsessing and protesting over Holocaust denial is just giving the deniers the publicity they need to sell their books. Just ignore them, and they will disappear.

Happy Bloody Friday!

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Wednesday, 21 October 2009


The fact that its been 20 years since Pixies released their seminal album Doolittle makes me feel a tad old. Not that I was listening to Pixies in 1989, I discovered them a few years later.

I think they are well described as 'musician's musicians, achieving success through their enormous influence rather than mainstream popularity. As a teenager learning guitar, they absolutely stunned in their ability to demonstrate what is possible. Double octave bends, harmonic distortion, fantastically oddball beats, Black Francis' cockatoo-like vocals mollified by Kim's sexysweet vocals, all with a zesty latino hint, all in kooky 2-3 minute parcels of audio bliss. They are my favourite surfer/latino/surrealist/punk/space/pop band. An acquired taste but to this day, I can't ask for more.

I just got tickets to their Melbourne gig next March, and I just heard they are releasing a studio album after 19 years. Woohoot!

Here's a clip from their follow up album Bossanova. Aren't they cute! All fresh faced and optimistic. Nowadays they look overweight and bit hagged... a lot like me. The sound on the following vid is a bit awful. This is in fact the only 'official' filmclip the Pixies ever made, a 20 second clip of the band running through a quarry slowed down. It was always about the music.

hold my head
we'll trampoline
finally through the roof
on to somewhere near
and far in time

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Friday, 16 October 2009


"Video games don't kill people, they just kill their minds"
Bart Simpson

I've been playing computer games since my Dad brought home a precursor to modern consoles back in 1981. It was state of the art, and had 4 awesome games in it, controlled by a large red dial/knob thingamy...



Wall tennis...

and Soccer...

It was just like the real thing, only less fun. The future looked bright.

I spend most of 1984 seeing this...

I clocked this baby dozens of times.

And soon I was playing this at my friend's houses. We couldn't afford a NES of our own. That or my Mum was a complete tight-arse killjoy.

But despite being born at the right time to soak in computer games from an early age, I was never a fat couch potato kid, ne'er were my peers (I am now though, despite having a Wii). I still spent a considerable amount of time outdoors on my yellow BMX, popping monos and wheelies (but never bunnyhops coz bunnyhops are gay).

And over the years I have destroyed hundreds of Capital Spacecraft and thousands of starfighters. I've shot down dozens of B-52 Flying Fortresses and downed countless AM6 Zeros. I've sunk submarines off Guadalcanal and divebombed Japanese airfields in the Marianas under heavy AA fire.

I've blasted ten thousand aliens (all of them nasty) and dismembered zombies with a chainsaw. I've killed terrorists with shotguns in dawn raids, and I've ran over dozens of pedestrians (accidentally).

I've done such things as ripped people's heads off with the spinal cord still attached, I've knifed people in the guts and sprayed their blood all over the room . Well I had to, or else they would have killed me!

And aside from the blogging, I've turned out perfectly normal. By that I mean I haven't actually killed anyone for real. I've never even hit someone, aside from my big sister but she deserved it because she kicked me square in the balls because she "just wanted to see what would happen". I'm even a bit of a vegetarian. I eat fish.... and duck. Well a duck is basically a fish isn't it because it spends most of its life on water. So I eat any animal that lives on or near a water body. I even give money to MSF to stitch up the poor people wounded in war zones.

So why do some people insist that computer games are the root of violence and obesity in our society? Stupidity is the root of violence and obesity in our society, and stupidity is born of low education and a lack of moral guidance. Despite what some people believe, I can tell the difference between an armless green-toothed zombie on a TV screen and a fellow pedestrian as I walk to the shops, aned therefore not have the urge to shoot them. Anyone who can't hopefully received urgent medical attention at a young age.

In the 1960's a guy in the USA went to see Disneys Snow White at the cinema. After that he came home and stabbed his mother 100 times because he belived her to be the wicked witch. Perhaps she was, but my point is that based on the anti-games people argument, we should ban that film because it incited violence. Lets not blame a sick mind, it's far easier to blame the movie/computer game/heavymetal song lyrics.

If computer games did affect the kids so profoundly, then my generation, who played a lot of Pacman, would spend much of their time in darkened rooms, popping pills and listening to repetitive music.

Heaven forbid!


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Tuesday, 13 October 2009


Oh yeah, blogging.

Because I'm an gi-normous dag, and like Leela from Futurama once said, "My life isn't as glamorous as my webpage makes it look", I can cheerfully admit to be thoroughly enjoying the complete series of Hornblower DVDs I borrowed off my mother-in-law.

Bally, big, boy's own adventures, smashing those damned Froggies, Wops and Dagos and blowing over Boney whilst running around with pistols down your trousers yelling "A-hoy!" "Aye Sir" and my favourite "FIRE!" (pronounced FYE-ORR!).

Ball tearingly enjoyable stuff. Scupper me skull and crossbones and Roger the cabin boy. Hip-Hip, Hoorah! Double rum ration for every man (sorry ladies, but only loose women drink). Anyone who disagrees, the penalty for insubordination is DEEAAATH!

Horatio Hornblower fye-orring a canon.



Friday, 9 October 2009



Sure new cars are nice to drive in many respects,and I like the fact that I've been giving a new flasho work vehicle. It makes a nice change from the old ute with the grass growing in the back. But it goes 'beep' way too much for my liking.

Turn the car on.

'Beep Beep Beep (put your belt on)'
"Yeah, yeah gimme a bloody second. Geez. So impatient."

'Beep (you are now in reverse)'
"That's because I put the car in reverse. You have an extraordinary grasp of the obvious."

'Beep Beep Beep (there is something behind you)'
"Yes I am reversing toward the fence that I CAN SEE because I have my OWN EYES and I don't need a stupid beep to tell me."

'Beep Beep Beep (the something is getting closer)'
"That's coz I'm deliberately driving towards it."

'BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! (Danger! There is a large clump of soft green grass behind you now!)'
It's freakin' grass! And you're a freakin' 4WD you stupid yet luxurious piece of patronising crap!


Take me back to a simpler time. A time when cars just chewed up your David Bowie mixed tape and didn't constantly bug you out by going 'Beep' in your ear.


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Monday, 5 October 2009

...the blogger of doom

Well the planet certainly is having a big of a yawn and stretch at the moment. Major earthquakes in Indonesia, a tsunami Polynesia, floods in India, a typhoon in the Philippines. It's almost as if the earth is trying to shrug of the itchy parasite that is the human race.

I've been to Padang, and stayed in that big hotel that is now just rubble. In fact many of the places I've visited at in Indonesia have suffered complete devastation after I left.

  • Padang, West Sumatra, September 2009 - Major earthquake. Major landslides around nearby crater lakes. >1,500 dead.
  • Sibolga, North Sumatra, December 2004 - Boxing day tsunami destroys the town. ~240,000 killed
  • Bukit Lawang, North Sumatra, November 2003 - Flash flood destroys village. 239 dead.
  • Cianjur, West Java, September 2009 - Earthquake and landslides. 86 dead.
  • Pangandaran, West Java, July 2006 - 7.7 magnitude earthquake and tsunami destroys fishing village. 668 killed.
  • Kuta, Bali, October 2002 and 2005 - Dual terrorist bombings kill 225.
  • Yogyakarta, Central Java, May 2006 - 6.3 magnitude earthquake, 5,782 dead.
  • Medan, North Sumatra, September 2005 - Mandala Airlines 737 crashes in the city enroute to Jakarta, killing 144 people. I caught the same flight a few years earlier.
Spooky. Don't invite me around to your place for dinner. If I am some sort of a cosmic lightning rod, I'd stay away from Lombok, the Gili Islands, southern British Columbia and San Francisco for a few years, though I think the real moral of the story is that Indonesia is a dicey place to live at the best of times. Poor buggers.


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Saturday, 3 October 2009

...tings to do

My to-do list for the next 6 months...
  • buy car
  • buy house
  • become a dad

Crikey! Life just got rather interesting.

I wish I could just skip forward and have it all done, out of the way. The suspense is killing me, and we've only just started. But instead I'm about to drive to some 'affordable' suburb to inspect some 'affordable' crap house in the 'affordable' price range $400,000 - $500,000.

We'll be right. Compared to many, we're quite fortunate to even be in that position. But I wish we could just spin around the loungeroom to this, and have it magically happen without even having to think about it.


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Thursday, 1 October 2009

...mastercrap and the lost world

I love cooking. I love food. I hate Masterchef.

More generally, I hate 'reality' TV.

I hate the hype. I hate the voiceovers for the ads who talk in that engineered, breathy, phone sex voice. I hate the long pauses. I hate the drum rolls. I hate the faux seriousness they present it all with. I find it condescending. It hurts my brain.

Specific to Masterchef, I hate how they call the Premier of Queensland a 'celebrity'. I hate the fat bastards who lord it over the contestants. I hate the fact that I'm not getting paid a ton of money to eat yummy food and be a fat bastard. I hate that they don't have a women judge. I hate the looong pauses and that spooky music as the judges taste a dish, as if the future of the human race depends on the piquancy of Dave's Thai Pumpkin Soup.

But what I am enjoying is the BBC's Yellowstone in HD. Wow, that place is the freaking Lost World. It never ceases to amaze me how the U.S. has a poulation of 250 million, yet it still has vast tracts of unspoiled wilderness and a significant proportion of the world's megafauna, though like Australia, I guess it has to do with habitability. Yellowstone is a volcanic crater around 2000m elevation, and it gets down to -35 C in winter... not ideal for farming, but Utopia for horny Bison.