Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Now, I hope you all counted down to New Years' according to the atomic clock "Leap-second" adjustment.
The correct way of counting down was FIVE-FOUR-THREE-TWO-ONE-ONE- HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Why they didn't just slip the extra second in after everyone went to bed is beyond me. Heck, I'm sure many sore heads could have done with the extra second's sleep-in. I suspect the NY parties at the atomic clock observatories are a cracking riot.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Funnily enough, not two minutes after he stormed out the door, the place suddenly looked tidier.
I'm now hiring again. I'll only hire narcissists, psychopaths, people in therapy/anger management classes, ex criminals, terrorist sympathisers, or Jehovah's Witnesses. I don't know if it's my judgement of character, or just the Melbourne west.
Perhaps I could hire this person; the lesbian Asian bus driver who was fired by the council after she wrote a note calling some commuters "spear chuckers with prams".
Wow. A racist, Asian homosexual public servant. I don't think I could put it any better than the columnist who said I pity the thought police who have to untangle that discrimination spaghetti.
Monday, November 24, 2008
A spokesmoonbat from Strange Phenomenon Investigations said of the phenomenon (six now)
"Some experts believe it could be linked to global warming and craft from outer space are appearing because they are concerned about what man is doing to this planet."
O........kay. "Experts". Should a quasi-scientific thinktank really be consulting Leonard Nimoy, Steven Spielberg and David Duchovny?
Now I'm going to attempt to sound balanced, un-dogmatic, humble and apolitical. Here goes: Even if it's true that human activities are causing catastrophic weather pattern changes (WHICH IT'S NOT) and that destroying capitalism and evil human achievements will stop it (WHICH IT WON'T even if it was true, WHICH IT'S NOT) I am officially incapable of ever believing it. Ever. That's just what happens when truth gets turned into religion. Or when remotely plausible theories are used to embellish theories which are completely insane.
Now if this Strange Phenomenon Investigations group want to make themselves really useful perhaps they can investigate phenomena which is truly baffling and challenging to the human race. Like why do photocopiers break down at the moment of highest urgency. Or why at work, after two hours of absolute quiet, a dozen floorsanding contractors suddenly and simultaneously pile drive their way into my warehouse, elbowing their way through the door and all claiming the same petty, imaginary problem with their machines. Or why people still actually believe what they see on MSNBC news.
Still, the SPI theories do help to explain one thing, namely why we keep calling them "little green men". Now, if these, um, experts, are so sure that aliens are concerned about mankind's inhumanity to the planet then we are assuming that those impressive flying vehicles of theirs, which are currently cluttering up the atmosphere above Britain, do not emit greenhouse gases. Otherwise that would make them little green hypocrites.
And we have more than enough of those down here.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Sunday morning, get up, curse at last night's dishes and the fact that the kids have helped themselves to brekky and left a mess to add to the whole ordeal.
Sharon's off to a rehearsal at the Geelong Performing Arts centre for Becky's dance classes' big concert. Curse the fact that these pagans must schedule things on a Sunday morning when we should all be going to church. I tell Sam to do the dishes which he does. Then I tell him to do them again properly. Grizzle.
I take the remaining two kids to church. During the service, for some reason, they play Butterfly Kisses, that masterpiece song of Daddy's-little-girl cringy schmaltzness. I fail to see the prophetic purpose of it.
After church, get together with the usual clique and complain about the state of the world. Grizzle about the fact that Becky's dance concert is tonight at dinner time and going for 2 hours. On a Sunday night. School the next day. Who arranged that? Dear little Becky has been annoyingly going on about this concert for weeks now. How important can it be?
Take Omi to see her four-legged friend Opal. She's misbehaving today. So is Opal. Stop at the supermarket to get something which didn't make it onto Sharon's shopping list earlier in the week. I expect to be going back to the supermarket at some stage later that day.
V8 Supercars on today. Good. Sammy and I can relax and watch them. Just when the race gets interesting I gotta go and pick up Omi from Opal's paddock. Grizzle. Too many kids. Can't I just sell one?
Get home and the in-laws have arrived for Becky's dance concert. I forgot about that. They're always here when there's some motorsport on TV. Grizzle. They must think all I do most weekends is sit around watching car racing. Okay, so I do, but that's not the point.
We scoff down tea early and I get indigestion.
The two Vodafone Fords are leading but with a fast closing Tod Kelly it's getting exciting and...now we all have to pile into the SUV to go to Becky's concert. Grizzle.
I'm as tired as all buggery by this time, as we wait in the foyer of the Geelong Performing Arts Centre. I kill the time by grizzling about the scam of getting parents to pay for dance lessons and then charge them for a limited number of tickets to the end of year show AND not let them take pictures!
The show starts as I am mid-doze wondering whether Jamie Whincup snared the V8 title or not. The seniors are okay and I admire the courage of the intermediate boys dancing ballet-like in front of countless mates. Back in my day that would have earned a fatal beating.
Some of the juniors have the coordination of those people who go ice-skating for the very first time when they really shouldn't.
Then out come the preppies, and something happens.
There's my little Becky Boo, and she looks gorgeous. I can't take my eyes off her. My Becky is the sweetest looking, has the biggest smile, and has the rythym of a dancer. She's just the best. Don't argue with me. I couldn't care less if all the other cute little girls are channeling Shirley Temple. I'm hardly looking at them anyway. They're okay I suppose.
Moments before she began moving so beautifully to the tune of "A spoonful of sugar" (Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins), several years of neglectful parenting flashes before my eyes and in an instant it's all gone. For a second there I was too conscious of how unfair and horrid I've been to her, but then I suddenly can't remember anything else that happened that day. She is blowing us butterfly kisses.
Monday morning, go to work with a spoonful of sugar stuck in my head. It has a calming influence. That's odd- normally it would fill me with rage...
Friday, November 21, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
And it includes what must be one of the most innovative and useful gift items of all: inflatable fruitcake.
Seriously, who eats real fruitcake? It's like dark matter. Sharon and I have been married for (wait... I know this one...) 15 years and I'm sure there is still a piece of our wedding fruitcake stashed somewhere. It's probably become magnetised by now.
But with the inflatable fruitcake you can create some holiday cheer without having to worry about offending the person who gave you something you not only will never eat, but think is one of the most hideous recipes ever to be vomited up from the depths of hades.
Check out some of the testimonials for this amazing innovation:
I have an allergy to candied fruit. ... Now, with the Inflatable Fruitcake, I can experience the holidays without collapsing on the ground, gasping for air as hives break out on my skin. ... Candied fruit is poison and should be banned from airplanes and schools. Now if I could only find a girlfriend my life would be complete.
When can I buy a franchise of this place??
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
For some reason, the older you get, the more stuff you do. I've been doing stuff, Sharon's been doing stuff, the kids have been destroyi...doing stuff. You get the picture. I blogged earlier that this year was already the year of the date clash, and that was by month two.
It's basic maths. I must find ONE WEEK out of 52 where
1) I'm not desperately unable to leave work,
2) Sharon isn't at work, or a quilting weekend,
3) There isn't a pony camp, or
4) dancing lessons, or
5) the extended family (which extends across the entire Victorian midwest and some parts of Germany) doesn't have a 21st/ wedding/ birthday/ footy tipping competition which requires our presence
6) A child does not bring home from school a project due yesterday (actually brought home from school a week ago), or the flu, or gnits, or rabies.
7) The horse/cat/guinea pig(s) is/are sick
So, when you calculate that over 52 weeks of the year and factor in religious holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and the Grand Prix, the probability of being able to take a holiday successfully is actually around 1 in 10 to the power of 9, or 1 in 1,456,079,001.
Well, okay. I made that up. Poetic licence. Real mathematicians bugger off now.
So, you see, it's not always my evil billykart racing which is to blame. But we found one week, a little window of fortune which enabled us to get up to the Hawkeses' legendary Pretty Beach house. We'd heard all about this place but were beginning to doubt it actually existed.
So, armed with the Uebergang's DVD player for the trip up we headed off, not really at any stage believing it was really happening. Oh yeah we did...um...stop at Wakefield Park/ Goulburn for some billykart racing. Well, c'mon. I was doing all the driving. I needed to be rewarded with some....more driving.
By that time, the kids had learned at least half of the screenplay from the brilliant Flushed Away starring Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet and Ian McKellen and I was rather enjoying listening to it, sans pictures.
As if feeding unexpectedly tame Kookaburras on the balcony was not enough, Pretty Beach is all it cracked up to be and more. I won't ruin the pictures with excessive verbage.
Besides, there is little to satirise about (finally) getting to relax with the fam, and do stacks of what I love doing the most: NOTHING. Just the ticket. For once I turned off the phone. Huzzah!
Thanks to this hungry Kookaburra, my hand modelling days are now over. MY HANDS..!! MY BEAUTIFUL HANDS...!!
We were also able to catch up with the Sydney Hawkeses at Parammatta on the way back. Particularly "smashing" was seeing chip-off-the-block Peter and wife Bams, both back from Chennai after doing some amazing stuff. Well, I can't be young anymore but I can let someone else do it for me.
There's something exceptionally manly about a Hawkes. Sammy catches up with The Godfather, carrying on a fine tradition
Even the Hawkeses' Parammatta oasis is worthy of a holiday. Hot-tub, brilliant company, beer, botanical gardens. Sigh. Bye for now.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Indeed, once or twice, the family did get to come and stand in the pits at Phillip Island and try not to get run over by sports cars, while watching feral superkart people behave like idiots. So my next move was to commandeer the nice new company van only for races which mean I could sell the trailer. I sold this idea to Sharon by suggesting it would be one less thing to clutter up the driveway. Of course, that the van barely fits two other people failed to come up.
But, for the next race, it's back to the future; we're all going up on a (drumroll) FAMILY HOLIDAY to Sydney, beginning with a day of billykart racing at Wakefield Park/ Goulburn. Which means I need a trailer. Fortunately, the one I had was sold to a mate, who is lending it back to me, now with LED lights and a jockey wheel. What a great scam.
Now get this- apparently, when you buy a horse, even if it has rego papers, top-end breeding and pedigree, it can still get sick! Fancy that. I'm still not really sure about it so I'm going to check the contract again, but I'm sure the lady said our cute little Opal could never get sick.
I first noticed it when we were lunging her and she would bolt off, run around the yard, jump over stuff and buzz past us really close like Maverick and that other less important character in Top Gun. A couple of times she even had a nip at my nice jumper. Oh well, I thought, that'll learn me for wearing my Sunday best out in the paddock.
But our agistment lady said it wasn't right, so I rang the vet. After saying hello (which cost me $300) he suggested that our sweet, demure little girly pony Opal was suffering from an increased testosterone problem and was behaving like a stallion.
This was confirmed at the next visit, when we found Opal sitting back watching telly, sinking beer and chips, burping, scratching herself, leering at the other ponies and swearing at me every time I tried to talk about how it made me feel.
So it was off to another vet for an ultrasound, which meant towing a horse float. As mentioned earlier, when it comes to towing trailers I like to think I've been around the block once or thrice. But towing one laden with a 500 kilo animal who acts like it's just downed three kegs of Red Bull is unchartered territory. In the end, our big-bottomed friend towed well. What's more, my oil-burning Captiva drove no differently with 1-tonne of trailer full of hyperactive animal hanging off the back, than it does on it's own. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
Moving on; we arrived at the home of our charming equestri-vet Emma, who pumped Opal full of enough sedatives to relax a gang of Hell's Angels. I'd always known that horses sleep standing up but never really accepted it, until now. Opal's eyes glazed over, her bottom lip hung like mine did when I got some fillings last week, her spindly little legs wobbled but by golly, she stayed upright.
And all this with Emma's arm, holding an ultrasound scanner, plunged right the way up her big horsey bottom. This was the ideal time to ask Naomi if she really wanted to be a vet.
Well folks the news is good and bad. Good because the enlarged ovarian tumour we thought she had doesn't seem to be there. Bad because now, we have no idea what's making her act like a bloke. Ideas, anyone?
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Our Mum has been mistakenly referred to at times as a drama queen. Hopefully this is in reference to her love for theatre, rather than a propensity for losing control of her emotions at the slightest conflict. Because she doesn't have that problem. Give it time.
Personally I prefer "Patron saint of drama".
Now, since our folks can't stay in one place for more than, oh, about 19 years (darn transients!!) they are currently selling up the place in Nairne to score a place at Mount Barker. In the process, and through various comedies involving mainly sheer fluke, Mum discovered that there is in fact a Patron Saint of Real Estate: None other than Jesus' earthly dad, Joseph.
I've already had a go at Anglicans on my other blog here so I should tread carefully, but did you know that if you bury a statue of Saint Joseph in the back yard (upside down mind you) you will have no trouble selling your house?
Evidently, Saint Joe was quite the versatile one, being also the Patron Saint of Not Being Doubtful or Hesitant, Dying Happy, and Fighting Communism (I like him already).
Mum, determined to alarm Dad by appearing as though she actually may take part in some pagan-inspired, blasphemous church folklore ritual, went looking for a Saint Joseph.
Personally I don't think God would mind if Mum and a group of equally insane friends had a Saint Joe burial ceremony for no other reason than to take the mickey out of the whole idea, possibly downing a bottle of bubbly along the way. After all, this is the same woman who names her costume mannequins and talks to them.
It would worry me more if they did it, and then the house immediately sold.
Anyhow, she stumbled across this one;
Looking very holy and clutching a stainless steel corner edge, this Saint Joseph is sold by Archie McPhee, who's promo is "Slightly less disappointing than other companies" (I like them already). Their blurb on Saint Joe is;
It's never been easier or more affordable to bring the power of a Patron Saint to your aid. Each 3-3/4" tall, hard plastic Saint comes with a 3" stand embossed with the Saint's name and a removable backdrop with the Saint's title, patronage and a prayer to help invoke the power of that Saint.
AND, they provide a copy of the traditional prayer, which is:
Most holy St. Joseph, I beseech thee to intercede on my behalf to help me find a worthy buyer for my home, preferably one who will pay full price and waive inspection. AmenMcPhee's then advises you to exhume the little effigy once the property is sold, otherwise it will keep changing hands (the house, that is). It's only $4.95...US dollars what's more, even cheaper.
And if you need more information on various patron saints, McPhee's is the place. Why, they've got figurenes of
-St Anne- patron saint of lost objects
-St Martha, patron saint of Waiters and Waitresses (some theological humour there)
-St Homobonus, patron saint of business people
-St Vivian, patron saint of hangovers
-St Clare, patron saint of television, and
-St Adrian, patron saint of butchers, arms dealers and prison guards
Plus the obligatory Jesus Air Freshener, Moses Action Figure, Jesus decorative tape, Holy Toast (like a cookie cutter- you press it into the bread, toast it, and presto! The Virgin Mary appears in your toast and pilgrims come from all over and demand you build a shrine), and then these;
"The Fighting Nun is our most popular punching puppet, and with good reason: she has a habit of fighting for what's right". Oh, dear...
But what really rocks my boat about McPhee's, even after going through the range of action figures including Edgar Allen Poe, Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde and a skydiving Sigmund Freud, is that they have a whole different section entitled "our weirdest products". And all those other ones were...?
Here you will find a ceramic smoking baby, wind-up hopping lederhosen, cow acupuncture model, yodelling pickle and a bacon air freshener. All quite reasonably priced too, I might add.
Well, Saint Joseph or not, I hope and pray M & D have no trouble selling their house. I now have some housewarming gift ideas for the new place.
Friday, August 01, 2008
It all started when Na'omi threw one of those chunky rubber superballs into the wall. On the other side of this wall was me, sitting down during my relaxing after work and not tolerating the slightest interruption phase.
I attempted to give all three kids a lecture on how they mustn't throw things inside the house because I cannot be bothered buying them another when they break this one. A house, I meant.
The lecture went quite well with all munchkins standing obediently and feigning attention. Then I tossed the ball back to it's owner as a profound act to punctuate the lecture. Unfortunately it hit Omi in the face.
I think right there my point got lost.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Well, the first thing isn't so fun; a report into the fatal 2006 Black Hawk helicopter crash has been released. And boy, haven't the media jumped on it as a cover-up-conspiracy-safety-standards-deliberately-reduced-
nothing-about-it story. ABC Newsradio's Jennifer Byrne seemed to be on a mission to harangue the ADF's Neil James into admitting that defence funding cuts were directly responsible for the deaths of these young soldiers. He wouldn't, but did mention that lack of resources prevailed during the 80's and 90's. Labor years. Oops.
Some salient points from the report included factors like "personnel... took higher risks during operations...had a 'can-do' attitude.... were not adequately supervised..."
Higher risks? Can-do attitude? Working unsupervised? Egads! We cannot have that in our defence forces! And let me get this straight; military personnel tried different, often risky, maneuvers to land helicopters, as part of their training??
Yes, this IS shocking. After all, when they are called to extract wounded soldiers from the Afghani-Pakistan border under heavy Taliban rocket fire, they should take it slow and easy. Relax- the Taliban are fully respectful of Australian Occ Health and Safety procedures. Don't fire on the chopper, Aziz- he's obviously a learner. The last thing we want is the worksafe inspector spoiling our jihad with his high-viz jacket and clipboard an' all that. That would be really bad.
In more news, those madcap and zany mullahs in Iran have been test-firing rockets as a show of strength. They even sent one happy snap for western photo albums. Naturally, Reuters and AP jumped on it:
The Revolutionary Guards released this photo to the world to demonstrate it's unflinching readiness to defensively respond to the Israeli threat of responding to the Iranian threat to wipe out Israel. Problem is, some farsi-speaking genius in the Iranian agitprop department discovered how to use photoshop and one of those missiles isn't actually real. Here is the real, un-altered photo:
Well, okay, not entirely un-altered. The camera was way to far off to hear the clicking noise. But you get the point. Personally, if I was an Iranian Revolutionary guard, I'd be quite happy with three out of four Sahabs getting off the ground. After all, they were purchased at a Russian garage sale. So why the need to digitally alter a photo- to enhance the appearance of military might or computer geekness?
Of course, environmental groups were delighted. If you must insist on exterminating 6-7 million Jews, photoshopping the appearance of firing a fourth missile instead of actually firing it, reduces your carbon emissions by 25%!
Which got me thinking- why stop there? Surely Ahmadinejad can simply photoshop a picture of him standing atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, surveying miles of decimated Israeli population. Then the Iranians will have the impression of a conclusive victory over the "Zionist cancer". Reuters wouldn't even find out unless someone tells them. It would keep everyone happy and nobody has to die.
Anyhow, the major news agencies were advised about the deception. Not only were the photos pulled but in some cases the "farsi-cal" event made it's own story. Which is unusual, since normally the media stops caring once they've sold their quota.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard, however, were not swayed by the whistle blowing. They then released what they claimed was the REAL photo.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
But face it, you love it, really. I'm only funny when I'm angry about something. And it's not entirely unrelated to our family life. I manage to indoctrinate Naomi constantly with all this stuff.
Before my current rant I want to make a couple of contributions to a book my paternal father (yes that was intended as a joke so please don't write in) was apparently writing some years ago; his own lexicon of words from the Strine Language;
Gum-mint. The country's administrative and legislative body
Sponsor Billy: ways in which one is accountable to one's community
Okay, rant time: According to the profit of doom Al Gore, and a bunch of gum-mint funded scientists whose numbers are greatly exaggerated, we are polluting the planet to hell. So much so, that young people are so scared they're almost suicidally delusional.
So I'm one of these unclean lepers who thinks the whole Anthropogenic Climate Global Warming Change religion is, demonstrably, a load of old bollocks (scientific term). Or, as we are apparently known now, Climate Change Denialists.
But that doesn't stop it from being bollocks with a lot of teeth. It could force us to pay $8.00 a litre for fuel. We could be arrested for not turning off air conditioners in summer. We will have to pay someone every time we flatulate. We will be forced to buy an expensive, stupid, small, queer-looking overpriced Toyota which doesn't actually emit less GHG than what most of us drive now, and whose construction involves processes more environmentally catastrophic than a Ford F100.
Never mind the common knowledge that burping cows emit more GHG than just about anything. Oh, and you can't simply kill them all and force everyone to become vegans. The cows' rotting carcass will emit more GHG. Talk about a rock and a hard place.
But get this; according to a former CSIRO scientist, not only is the fanatical AGW church hell-bent on sending us back to the stone age for an erroneous cause, they are actually putting us in great danger and preventing us from making advances in finding cheaper, more readily available fuel and food.
It reminds me of when our gum-mint gave $40m to the world's richest car company to build a large hybrid car they were going to build anyway. A Labor gum-mint lady was heard to say "The only downside is that the hybrid Camry will be too big, not like my little Prius".
Ah yes, Green Lady. But you see we need bigger cars sometimes, to help transport people. Remember people?
Anyhoo, I've posted the bulk of this banished CSIRO-reject's claims on my other blog here.
I strongly urge you to read it. I feel it is my highest sponsor-billy to do so.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
No family news to report. But, in light of the G8 summit, I came across this "generic article". With some small tweaks and insertion of additional detail it can be cut-and-pasted by anyone, journalists even, to report on just about any international crisis meeting. It's a bit like recycling Jesus conspiracy theories, although not quite as profitable. Credit to Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times, link here.
By reporters everywhere
An ineffectual international organisation yesterday issued a stark
warning about a situation it has absolutely no power to change, the
latest in a series of self-serving interventions by toothless
“We are seriously concerned about this most serious outbreak of
seriousness,” said the head of the institution, either a former minister from a developing country or a mid-level European or American bureaucrat. “This is a wake-up call to the world. They must take on board the vital message that my organisation exists.”
The director of the body, based in one of New York, Washington or an agreeable Western European city, was speaking at its annual conference, at which ministers from around the world gather to wring their hands impotently about the most fashionable issue of the day. The organisation has sought to justify its almost completely fruitless existence by joining its many fellow talking-shops in highlighting whatever crisis has recently gained most coverage in the global media.
“Governments around the world must come together to combat whatever this year’s worrying situation has turned out to be,” the director said. “It is not yet time to panic, but if it goes on much further without my institution gaining some credit, preferably some sort of grant, for sounding off on the issue, we will be justified in labelling it a crisis.”
The organisation... has long been fighting a war of attrition against its own irrelevance. By making a big deal out of the fact that the world’s most salient topical issue will be placed on its agenda and then issuing a largely derivative annual report on the subject, it hopes to convey the entirely erroneous impression that it has any influence whatsoever on the situation.
The intervention follows a resounding call to action in the communiqué of the Group of [number goes here] countries at their recent summit in a remote place no-one had previously heard of. The G[number goes here] meeting was preceded by the familiar interminable and inconclusive
discussions about whether the G[number goes here] was sufficiently representative of the international community, or whether it should be expanded into a G[number plus 1, 2 or higher goes here] including China, India or any other scary emerging market country that attendees
cared to name.
The story was given further padding by a study from an ambulance-chasing thinktank, which warned that it would continue to convene media conferences and sue government departments
until its suicidal plan to counter whatever non-existent crisis was gathering had been given substantially undeserved attention.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
*warning: sexist comment approaching
Apparently when women get depressed they go shopping and get a new hair colour. Men are not much different. Not only did I change the blog to a soothing blue colour, so as to help minimise reader rage at my blatant conservatism-ness, I also did this;
Trainspotters amongst you will notice that it's got a sexy new colour. It made me feel better about a bendy weekend at Phillip Island recently, where yet another top three result went begging.
The only thing missing was a big expensive launch in a London function centre with lots of laser lights and smoke and dancing girls and live performances by Kraftwerk (the budget kind of ran out way before the final coat was applied). But we managed to run it in at Wakefield Park (Goulburn) without smashing it up.
Sammy made the trip with me so it was a great boys' weekend. Meanwhile, the girls stayed at home and no doubt did lots of girly things.
Yep, like I said. Not much thinking lately. BYE.....
Monday, June 16, 2008
When I first got the recall notice, deep down I hoped it was some really interesting problem, such like: "Holden has identified a condition whereby if the vehicle's audio system is tuned to ABC Newsradio the vehicle will explode in flames the moment you drop below 100 miles per hour. This issue can only be rectified by a licenced Holden dealer, Keanu Reeves or Sandra Bullock. Please note this issue does not otherwise affect the normal operation of the vehicle's radio".
Sadly, it was only this: "Holden have identified a condition where the right hand side indicator lamp fitted to the driver's side door mirror will not operate if the rear window demister is switched on".
Which got me thinking- who designed this car- Microsoft??
On other matters- I have been asked recently why I oppose a Bill or Charter of Rights, one of the many ideas floated at the recent heavily-stacked-with-socialists 2020 summit.
I'm sure to come up with a more erudite explanation soon, but here's a good start: a stabbing murderer in NSW is suing the NSW Government for allowing her access to knives.
If anyone wants me, I'll be in Alaska.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Now hopefully you'll look past that crude fusion of Aussie and Southern USA greetings, and read on. First the daily headlines;
Good news this week when Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeated his call that "Israel should be wiped off the map". An Israeli spokeperson choked back tears of joy saying "we're extremely encouraged by this news. Someone in Iran is actually acknowledging that Israel is on the map in the first place!"
In other news; leading up to the USA elections, Republican and Democrat campaigners have joined forces and designed a joint campaign sticker in an unprecedented show of bipartisan unity.
Apologies for the low level coarse language. I'm only quoting so it's okay.
In news closer to home, Becky is enjoying her dance classes. The other day I had the task of picking her up from dance lessons, for the first time. Admittedly, watching a motley bunch of 5 year old girls wearing brightly coloured tu-tus and stomping on the floor with all the rhythmic coordination of a peak hour freeway pile-up, is not my cup of tea. Of course, the standout performer was my Becky Boo. I'm not in the least bit biased.
The dance lessons are held at the local Anglican hall, where I realised what a trainspotter I've become, since all I could think about was how much their hardwood floors desperately needed to be touched up. Oh well, I suppose that's from a motley bunch of 5 year old girls wearing brightly coloured tu-tus and stomping on the floor with all the rhythmic coordination of a peak hour freeway pile-up.
Sam plays his Nintendo a lot and is getting really good on the race car simulator. He's dropped below 50 secs at Talledega and I feel this will really help him when he is old enough to drive.
On the weekend just prior to the weekday upon which I typed this very text which you are now reading (for any techno-nerds keen on learning exactly what day that was they can research this by examining the blog date at the top of this post and count back) we travelled to Horsham for Sharon's cousin Melissa's 21st birthday party. We made the trip in this type of vehicle, which I acquired only recently;
Ours is much like the one pictured in this advertising image, except ours will probably never be parked or driven on or anywhere near a beach, nor driven by perfect-bodied twenty-something parents with perfectly behaved kids who don't wreck the car's paintwork. And ours is a different colour- one called "Imperial Blonde", named after a woman who leads a small sovereign country whilst using her birth control pills to tell which day of the week it is.
I know, I know, what happened to the Falcon XR-6 Turbo I hear you all ask. Well, firstly it's my job to save my employer some money and having an XR6 Turbo would have the same weekly cost of running a tropical island resort. A diesel vehicle is a fuel/money saving measure. Well, it was, until Chairman Kevin hit us with a sneaky, lying, spin-doctoring, greedy, stupid and annoying diesel tax. To make up for the fact that it's a gutless oil-burner I got one with leather, big wheels, a big CD player, a refrigerated glovebox and lots of little storage spaces which we'll still be discovering for many years to come.
Secondly, it has SEVEN SEATS. So on long journeys we no longer endure the three children whining annoyingly about sitting next to eachother for the whole trip. Nope. Now we have two children whining annoyingly for the entire trip that they didn't get to sit in the cool, novel, rear seat. How did I fail to anticipate that little eventuality?
Okay, so I now have a 7 seater SUV. My life is officially over. But it will never qualify to live in the gararge, which is looking very healthy at present.
Moving right along, the 21st birthday party gave Becky Boo the chance to bust some moves on the dance floor
While some of us looked on with excitement...
No, really it was a typically rocking Horsham get together with the usual over-catering ensuring that lunch, dinner and breakfast was covered for several days for several families. However, we had to bolt early the next day (Sunday). Omi and I were keen to attend a Jewish festival known as Shuk Hashishim, celebrating Israel's 60th anniversary, being thrown at St Kilda.
You see, Naomi has chosen Israel as her subject country for a school project on nations of the "Asian Continent". To clarify if Israel was eligible, Omi asked the question of the teacher and without any creative licence whatsoever* I paraphrase the conversation thus;
Omi: Miss, does the "Asian Continent" include the Middle East?
Politically correct teacher gleefully assuming that Omi wishes to do a project on a Muslim country which is so multiculturally aware since us evil Western Imperialists have been so utterly cruel and oppressive to all of them: Why of course Naomi! That's a wonderful idea! I mean, yes it does include the Middle East.
Omi: Good. Because I'd like to do a project on Israel
Politically correct teacher with colour draining from her face believing that Israel is an evil Western Imperialist country oppressing poor multicultural Muslims but knowing she must feign approval lest she sound anti-semitic: OH...oh...well, right...YES...good...wonderful idea!
*a blatant lie
So there we were, at Mount Scopus College in St Kilda, soaking up the Hebraic celebrations. Mount Scopus College, by the way, was featured in SBS's Insight forum two days later. You know, the TV forum where they gather the extremes from each opposing faction, let them argue vehemently and call it "open discussion". On this occasion it was the topic of faith-based education. I'm surprised that Doctor Timothy Hawkes was not there. I expect he was invited but declined, being a little tired of the media attention. In the end it looked like a Kevin Rudd inspired socialist interfaith love-in.
Anyhow, back to our Jewish Experience. I cannot quite believe how excited Omi was just to see the ultra-orthodox, rabbinically-garbed gentlemen walking down Hawthorn Road at Caulfield, even before we'd arrived. I had to be careful we didn't act like tourists at a zoo..."Oooh! Look at the Joooz! Look at the cute little kids in their yalmukes!" I confess I had no idea this enclave of Melbourne's inner suburbs was like a Little Brooklyn, except classier. I was not at all surprised they need to congregate so close together.
I suppose I sound a little crass and patronising, but I'm trying to capture the innocence, beauty and purity of Naomi's developing heart for this special group, the apple of YHWH's eye. She was genuinely chuffed to be amongst them, absorbing a little of their spirit. She's picked up her Dad's firm belief that these people are living, breathing, walking proof of an eternal God's eternal promises.
Fortunately we weren't entirely at sea. We bumped into people I'd previously met at a Christian Supporters of Israel meeting at the Biet Weizmann community centre in Caulfield, a couple of weeks earlier.
Like Ori, for example. Ori is an Israeli "emissary" from Jewish Youth organisation Bnei Akiva, who will tell you some amazing, and little known things about Israel's (miraculous) achievements in agriculture, academics and technology.
Then I saw Avigail Zeiri, a welfare worker who assisted in the massive evacuation and repatriation of Ethiopian Jews from Ethiopia's unrest in the 1980's. In this operation over 15,000 people were shuttled to Israel in 48 hours. On one flight, apparently, they left Addis Ababa with 1014 people, and arrived in Tel Aviv with 1015, after a birth on board. Amazing stories, amazing people. Avigail is one of those people who smiles with her entire face, and she greeted Naomi in this fashion, with the predictable but charming comment of "what a beautiful name you have"
Me? I was just happy to see some Jews enjoying themselves, instead of only mourning their dead as I saw them do two weeks earlier at their Yom Hazikaron. It's hard to explain or convey how I feel around these treasured folks. Theres something infectious about their joy in the face of, not just hatred, but worldwide efforts to make them hate themselves.
As we left, Omi noted soberingly that she'd never seen a school with such high fences. We also noticed that even the vandals in St Kilda/ Caulfield had a certain spirit about them. Just look at the professionalism of this piece of urban revolutionary art, which should make it onto my list of interesting signs:
So, with a gleeful step, a batch of new ideas for Omi's project, a tinge of political incorrectness, and the unfortunate song "Can't touch this" embedded in the brain for a few hours, we headed off home in the new environmentally friendly economical multicultural interfaith nuclear family transporter to relax for the first time in 48 hours. It has definitely been run in.
For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. Adonai do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me. Ruth 1:16-17
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Not content with simply having a stand-off with financial disaster, we went one better and stomped out to the dusty main street, spurs and all, for a full-on gunfight. We bought a horse.
Nope. The girls decided on cute little Opal and before you blokes out there question my manhood, I plead the following; Not. My. Department.
She comes from good stock, a stud called Glen Gwin at Colac, and apparently other horsey people say she is quite well known. She is 7 y.o. and 13h. Right, that's the technical jargon outta the way. All I know is she eats like a, well, horse, needs to lose a few pounds, and if you slap her on her big fat bottom she runs away.
It also means we finally get to use the pinkie-coloured straps and horse blanket which god-mum Katie H sent Omi (three times). I really should brush up on my equestri-speak.
Oh yes, and Becky's doing dancing lessons and Sammy's learning tennis. You know when they say the eldest child gets all the attention? They're right.
I had my first race of the season at Calder Park for the Vic Club series and, as comic book guy says; "Worst...meeting...EVER". I got bashed from pillar to post, reminded that as sophistimacated as I make it look, superkarting is, basically, feral. To try and salvage some elegance for the racing website, I wrote a little article on the old Aussie Grand Prix days at Lobethal. Swotting for it was quite the eye opener. Motor racing was brave stuff in the first half of the 1900's (as opposed to now, when it's just plain stupid). Brave stuff indeed. I am now officially disappointed with my parents that they didn't have me 30-40 years earlier. Shame on you, Mum. And shame on you for this...
...a photo which looks eerily similar to this
Since when did you have Leftist leanings?? Or, more accurately, Leftist "slouchings"?
Speaking of which, I received a very important fax at work the other day (yes, I do attend a job occasionally). It said:
MELBOURNE CARBON TRADING EXPO!! Does YOUR business measure up?? Come to the Melbourne Carbon Trading Expo, a true business to business trade show where you'll find over 50 exhibitors who can help YOUR business CUT your carbon emissions, helping reduce your impact on Climate Change and save you money! Sign up now for free attendance...
I had cleared all available diary space to be able to attend this event, as I am very keen to learn how we can run our business premises entirely on lentils. But examining the flyer more carefully I couldn't find where it said attendance was compulsory. How disappointing. How else are we environmental vandals going to learn to contribute to The Greater Good TM unless we are gently encouraged to be forced to attend a carbon trading expo? Next year's Carbon Trading Expo had better be mandatory. If it's not, they're missing the point.
Still, being keen to reduce my impact on climate change TM, contribute to the Greater Good TM and raise awareness TM, I filed the flyer in the appropriate pigeonhole
It's good to see Chairman Kevin tirelessly promoting thinktanks, groupthinks, talks and summits. Evidently by month three of Chairman Kev's control takeover he had already formed 47 committees to talk about stuff. Forty-seven. That's the great thing about Kev. He lets everybody talk (except his own ministers).
As I write this, the coming weekend sees the much-talked-about, talk-of-the-town talk-fest of talky talk-ness, Kevin 07's '08 2020 Summit. I'm not sure if that last number represents a date, or the running total of Kev's summits thus far. This summit is all about "Fresh ideas for Australia's future" and "raising awareness of relevant issues".
Yep. "Raising Awareness" TM. About, what, things like Climate Change? Well, the only people who haven't heard of "Climate Change" are guys called Gilligan and the Professor, people in comas, and some Alaskans. But sure, why not raise more awareness. Many of Chairman Kev's hand-picked "Best and Brightest" (I take it that is now a trademarked term) are from SUV-driving green elite groups.
And sure, brainstorming ideas is a great, um, idea. In fact isn't that why we have the public service, Cabinet, and Parliament sittings? And MP's? And their constituents? Nope. better still, assemble a massively expensive group of Chairman Kev's hand-picked and approved greens, jaded journalists, scriptwriters, prostitutes, potty-mouthed university radio announcers, lawyers, new-age spiritualists and actors to bring fresh ideas. The same fresh ideas they've all been brainstorming loudly and annoyingly for the last gazillion years.
Yep, as Chairman Kev says, having this Summit, is "throwing open the doors of democracy"...by putting pivotal national decisions into the hands of smug people we didn't vote for.
Don't get me wrong, I love Cate Blanchett. She's gorgeous, and she was hauntingly fantastic in Tom Tykwer's Heaven and quite brilliant as Hepburn in The Aviator. But if she keeps bleating about how taxpayers should fund more artists making movies that nobody wants to see, I'll cave in and buy an Australian Idol CD just to demonstrate that popular and commercial are NOT always dirty words. Cate, baby, if an Aussie movie bombs at the box office, it doesn't mean artists need more government money. It means they should learn to stop making crap.
In fact, I'd have joined them in their public protests if I hadn't been so darned busy working a normal job, staying with the one woman, raising a family, giving children the mother/father relationship they are psychologically proven to need, contributing to the economy, and so on.
Anyhoo, FINALLY, in some states in the USA at least, their struggle is being won. They are triumphantly walking down the aisle and getting hitched, legally. Huzzah!
Sadly however, and as a damning indictment on our homophobic, backwards society, they now have to fight another struggle to get divorced.
This kind of glorious irony is a bit like watching those groin-crushing incidents in Australia's Funniest Home Videos of Kids Seriously Maiming Themselves. You know you shouldn't enjoy it, you know you mustn't laugh. But you can't help it.
With so many people going from being gay, to married, to divorced, it may help explain why this girl here...
...can't find a man. Certainly this particular photo offers up no explanation whatsoever. Our gorgeous, street-smart godsister Katie has talents ranging from savvy wordsmith to brutally honest fashion critic, and she is bafflingly single. Clearly this is a problem. A big, inexplicable problem. And it requires a big solution. And I think I've found it...
We're going to place Katie's personal welfare in the hands of 1000 of Australia's best and brightest poets, actors, human rights activists, hemp-smoking lentil-eating SUV-driving greenies, jobless political dissidents, public servants and gay divorcees, and hold a summit. And if that doesn't work we'll just have another one. Next week.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
2008 has already begun as year-of-the-date-clash (bet the Chinese haven't thought of that one). But I won't bore you with the reasons why. I still haven't learned to cope with the reality that when something happens, something else is usually happening at the same time.
I'm using this post to catch up with some belated family housekeeping matters. Firstly, congrats to big brother Matthew for landing a full time job as 2IC to the Director of Music/ Middle School at Pembroke, Adelaide, SA, Oz-Stray-ya. Kind of ironic that he gets a gig at Middle School level when his previous employer allegedly knocked him back for a promotion as he "didn't have enough experience at Middle School level". I won't name the institution, but it shares it's name with that of a luxury German car.
Here's an exchange we had after I sent her an email with a link to all the things which happen which are blamed on Global Warming.
Mumsy: I'm more interested to know if you're going to purchase (as seen on same webpage as the article) the 'CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED' dvd of "Jesus didn't Exist" by...such LUMINARIES as Jesus Seminar Fellow (what's that?) Robert M. Price, Professor (of what?) Richard Dawkins ... All this for an undisclosed price and in "crisp Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio"!!!!!
Me: Right, so Jesus doesn't exist now? Can't these cultural elite/ career atheists agree on anything? If he didn't exist, how could he have been married to Mary Magdelene? Or have been "revived by the coolness of the tomb"? Or been gay? Or an alien? Or "just a great bloke with some top ideas"? Or a virulent anti-semite?
And then, of course, there's Ebay- Google will look at what you're browsing, pick a key word and generate an ad saying you can buy that kind of thing on Ebay. So if you're reading an article about Kevin Rudd, there will be an advertisement on the side saying "Thinktanks! Great deals on thinktanks on Ebay".
I then attached, for Mumsy's benefit, an example of what happens when automated ad generating goes horribly wrong, after I was browsing for info on the Sudanese genocide.
So, as Mum and others are slowly learning, it's highly web-fashionable and trendy to leave prominent space on your webpage to the mercy of a Google-owned, automated random ad generating robot. Never mind that people reading your website about healthy eating will be lead to a site promoting suicide by weed killer. Or, that the net resource for Rabbinical Judaism will contain links to Hog's Breath. Or that whilst reading an online speech by the Archbishop of Canterbury, you'll be redirected to a site demanding sharia law (oh wait...that one was synonymous).
That reminds me, and I digress with another transcript of an exchange, this time with my highly talented godsister Katie on the subject of music, late last year:
Katie Eleanor: I'll serenade you anytime, godbrother. I'm currently working on an acoustic version of Prodigy's inspirational hit "Smack my Bitch Up"
Me: Is that what they're saying? I always thought it was "Smack my Bishop". Never had Prodigy pegged for Anglicans.
That was quite a prophetic comment now that I look at it. And once Katie has finished her acoustic version maybe we can serenade the Bishop of the Diocese of the Mu...
ANYWAY, where was I? Oh yeah, automated Google ads...
So, wanting my blog to be trendy regardless of the risks, my comrades at The People's Cube have come up with some similar ads to spice this blog. Really, they are randomnly generated.
Now, on a more civilised and far more enjoyable note, another congratulations goes to our German Frau Claudi, or more specifically her sister Katherine. Katherine has just given birth to, as they apparently say in Germany, "a little dwarf". Rather than lecture Claudi on the political incorrectness of such phrases, as they are insulting and demeaning to dwarfs, people suffering from dwarfism and garden ornaments, better just to post a piccy of Auntie Claudi and her new dwarf. I mean nephew.
Recently I have noted a spate of dwarfs born with lots and lots of hair. Our nephew Zane, and a couple from church to name some. Obviously whichever mutated gene causes this has not yet found it's way to Germany, which is good because Nicolas's father Uwe's hair is very, very grey.
Herzlichen Glückwunsch to Katherine, Uwe and Auntie Claudi.
Now click on a google ad and see where you end up. A site about tall people, perhaps.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
While I was off racing at Oran Park late 07 we got a new government, and I forgot to blog about it. Mum always used to say "Don't talk about religion and politics". Well, I've pretty much stuffed that bigtime for the last 38 years. But it seems our brilliantly gifted Naomi shows the same disregard; late last year, I noticed she had defaced a copy of the Herald Sun which was lying around. It must have been following a visit from the Horsham Grandparents, since that's the only way the Herald Sun would ever find it's way into our house (what can I say, I prefer to be correctly informed, not dazzled with magic). It was also about the time a bit of cheap journalism had dragged up footage of poor Kevin Rudd eating his own ear wax during question time. Big deal. So I chew my fingernails. Besides, everybody knows poor Rudd, like so many others, have been forced into eating their ear taters due to the crippling poverty caused by the evil John Howard (because before JH and GWB there was no such thing as poverty).
Anyhoo, on this day in November 07 Omi had taken a pen to every page of this beacon of media integrity, occasionally by drawing moustaches on people, which is fine and befitting of someone in her age group, but also with some interesting commentary. One of them was written below a current picture of our new PM, and said;
Kevin Rudd needs some cotton buds for Christmas
No cynical, jaded and sarcastic political commentary from me could possibly top that. So you're all off the hook.
Apart from this:
As I write this Sharon has just enjoyed her first half-day without 3 kids for almost 2 months. Little Becky-boo was a first time school kiddy today and has been rabitting excitedly on about her impending promotion for most of that 2 months. Well, most of last year actually. But I was a good Dad. Not once did I say anything like "you don't know what you're saying" or "the novelty will wear off instantly" or "glad you're looking forward to it... mwhahahBWAHAHAHA....".
No, I should just be glad she relishes the idea of school. I am not-too-old enough to remember that I used to HATE being told "Ha! School! They're the best years of your life!". Used to hate it. Don't now- because it's BLUDDY WELL TRUE.
So that was two months of grafitti-ing, denting, scratching, spreading rodent-related debris around and other general carnage. Although we did hear, from some other parents, of this thing where you "find things for them to do, like going to the pool or a park". Brilliant idea. We'll note it down for next time.
However, one of the things I cannot blame the kids for breaking, and (finally) a good excuse for not taking them to the park, is this;
That's right. Jan 7th was the date of my postponed-from-'07 surgical procedure- Hallux Valgus correction. Which is just a sexy name for angle-grind-bits-of-bone-from-bunion and force-the-big-toe-straight operation. Sharon once described to me exactly how they do it and I really wish she hadn't. So now my foot looks like this.
But that's not the gross and potentially offensive photo I was referring to, I'll get to that at the end of the post. Now in case you're wondering, the post-op foot in question is the one on the left. I put the right side one there, partly because I had no choice because it's attached to my other leg, and partly for comparison purposes. Or maybe you already worked it out because the left one looks like the udder from a dead, bloated, purple cow.
So I won't be walking for a while without some assistance. It did involve two and a bit weeks off work which was gainfully used to watch the Oz open tennis and over $100 worth of DVD's.
When the DVD supply ran out and with two weeks of total boredom and immobility, I found it amazing what you can do with that interweb thingy. Between the cricket and the tennis finals I managed to locate the Ark of the Covenant, just by googling (Indiana Jones was wrong, it ain't in Tunisia). Then I learned that Bill Clinton's husband Hillary is really a confused woman with a potty mouth, and Gazan Palestinians apparently need over half a tonne of flour per day...each. I was about to discover a cure for Alzheimer's but I had to go back to work.
Okay, now for the gross and potentially offensive photo. I can't let a posting go by without a rant, so: This post was brought to you by the government agency who rejected an online literary award for a version of The Three Little Pigs because it was deemed too offensive to Muslims, cowboys and builders.