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Showing posts from August, 2006

2006 - Where Shopping Is A Baffling Ordeal

I'm not in a good mood right now, and I'm especially cranky about supermarkets. Perhaps I'm just a little touchy, because I gave my MP3 player to my sister so she could put some new songs on it; however she can't drop it back to me and I can't go pick it up, so I was forced to do the shopping last night whilst listening to supermarket muzak. That's enough to upset anybody. However, it's not mainly what I'm complaining posting about today. There's just so many things to get angry and bewildered about in the supermarket these days. There is too much stuff available in the shops today. You can't just buy "butter" anymore. My local supermarket seems to sell a different variety of sandwich spread for every individual who will ever shop there. There's varieties that come with or without lactose, cholesterol, animal proteins, salt, and omega threes; offerings that promise to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, and still more tha

Biff, Sniff

I know it's only Monday, but I'm sick of this week already. You try looking busy for nine hours a day when you only have about thirty minutes of tasks to accomplish. It's a lot more tiring than working hard. I shouldn't have picked the week before the major sales drive kicks off to start full-time hours again...this has "long week" written all over it. I know what I'll do this week; I'll proactively intergrate dynamic strategies and add quality focus to the customer experience, all while valuing diversity! (Okay, that's what I did at work last week, but it's more of a journey than a destination). Still, it is a nice change to get away from Xander occasionally. As Scott Adams says of his cat , Xander thinks any time I don't spend on him is wasted time. It doesn't matter if I'm trying to re-shelve my books, paint my nails, cook, write, install a smoke alarm...he will meow, gnaw on my ankle, push my hand with his face, whatever he can

Friday Follies Return!

Yes, it's the long awaited return of the Friday follies, proving you can't keep a good woman down forever. But we begin today with some sad news; overnight, the International Astronomical Union voted to remove Pluto's status as a planet. . So please take a moment to think of poor Pluto, in it's far-flung lonely corner of the solar system, sobbing to itself and saying "What did I do?" Now, I realise that the IAU probably doesn't do this kind of thing very often, but surely they should have known better than to dump Pluto right before the weekend? It means that Pluto will show up on the IAU's doorstep at 1am on Saturday, drunk and crying, "What do you want me to do? I can change! I still love yooooouuuuu !" Anyway, on with the show, cram-packed with all the best links (I waste time, so you don't have to!) Scott Adams has been spying on our meetings again, and turned it into another Dilbert strip . It's what we all really want to know -

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

There is a moment that comes when you know, you need a holiday. My life is a succession of these moments lately... I loaded all of my groceries on to the checkout at the supermarket...and then added the entire contents of my handbag. My mother came over with some food for me and I muttered "just add it to my in-tray". I put out a dish of food for Xander's stuffed toy monkey, then put Xander on a shelf so he wouldn't distract the monkey whilst it was eating. I boarded the bus and said to the driver "I'll have two sliced wholemeal loves please." You see. It's bad. It is that time of year; winter is coming to an end, airlines and hotels are cutting prices, and everyone - everyone - is going on holiday except me. Even my grandmother, who turns 80 this year, travels - we're talking here about a woman who visited Egypt in the months after the Luxor massacre . Not me. I haven't had what one would call a "real holiday" in nearly three yea

I Know A Man, He's Out Of Touch...

Well, Tony Abbott (or the Mad Monk, as he's sometimes referred in Australia, with no affection whatsoever!) is at it again, sticking his nose in where it's not wanted and he doesn't fully understand. This time, he's weighed in on stem cell research. I'll admit that Mark Latham was wrong about many things, but he got it right when he said of Abbott, "The man is forty five years old and still hasn't worked out if he's a politician or a priest." There's precious few issues that Abbott won't put his theological spin on - not even research into potential cures for life threatening diseases and paralysing injuries. With parliament due to have a conscience vote this week on stem cell research, Abbott has popped up in the media , saying allowing stem cell research is a "slippery slope" to human cloning, that is relates to the destruction of human life, and that in any case, there's no evidence that stem cell research provides any ben

But We Should Emulate Barnaby Joyce!

Last night that vanguard of investigative journalism, Today Tonight , took time out from their usual stories on The Neighbours From Hell, Girls As Young As Twelve Getting Pregnant To Cash In On The Baby Bonus, and Heartless Companies/Scam Artists Victimising The Elderly, to present a new expose: Porker Politicians. Yes, the literal fat cats in Federal Parliament setting a bad example for the nation. The ones they particularly focused on were Joe Hockey, Kim Beazley, and Amanda Vanstone. The show's recognised expert popped up, announcing in a voice faintly quivering with indignation, "Politicians are role models ." No, I'm sorry. Any young (or not young!) person who uses Amanda Vanstone for a role model has much greater problems to worry about than their weight. ~~~~~~ Sometimes I wonder if people simply need something to complain about. Today is a beautiful winter day, sunny and warm. Yet this morning as I stood at the bus stop I watched the cars go past for about fi

What The Youth of The World Thinks Of America

For non-Americans, thinking about America is like thinking about the weather. It's there, it's a fact of daily life, there's nothing you can do but accept it. So... what I've been wondering, is how the way young people feel about America has changed in recent years. When I was in my late teens and early twenties, around the turn of the Milennium, I went through that stage of life common to many young people: virulent anti-Americanism. Though I should just add, it meant something different then. First of all, we didn't hate Americans, or want to hurt them. Nonetheless, we hated what America stood for - the global bullying, the rampant cultural take-over, and all the other things that saw hundreds of thousands of people participate in anti-globalisation protests of the era. We didn't know exactly what we could do about it, but we didn't like America one little bit. Then September 11 happened, and everything changed. There was a global outporing of sympathy for

We're Just Not People Persons

Yesterday was a superb late winter day, cool with a sunny blue sky, so Boof, Funky and I loaded up the 4WD and headed to the Watagan Mountains for a picnic. After scouting a couple of locations, we settled on an empty picnic ground at a lookout, with a stunning view of Lake Macquarie, and settled down to tuck into our tabouleh and blood orange vodkas. The peace and quiet lasted for about three minutes, then the 4WDs started arriving. In the space of a few minutes, they pulled into the carpark, one after another after another, until there must have been about 30 of them. And these were real 4WDs, workhorses with bullbars and double mud flaps and (gasp!) gun racks, not the delicate little gold-coloured thing we arrived in. Soon the occupants of the vehicles spilled out. They were mostly dressed in...camouflage gear. "Oh dear," I said quietly, "You know what people like that want to do to people like us." But strangely, they didn't start cooking a BBQ, or shooting
Treacherous, untrustworthy, dishonest, sneaky, mean-minded, rascist, bigoted, pig-headed, short-sighted, tunnel-visioned, obsequios, bullying, stupid, vicious. - Words used to describe John Howard by former Liberal leaders he has served. A number of friends have remarked recently that I must be upset by the news that John Howard is staying on as PM to contest the 2007 election. I reply, "What are you, crazy? This is the best thing that could happen!" Because I want to see the little bastard lose. Yes, that's mean. But meanness has become part of the spirit of the nation over the past decade. Just picture the moment: Howard on the stage of the ballroom of the Wentworth Hotel, flanked by Hyacinth Janette and his creepy little offspring, conceding defeat. Cut to the gathering of the Labor party faithful, Kim Beazley claiming victory. Imagine that this nightmare was over. What act of celebration could possibly do justice to such a moment? Cracking open the expensive champag

Now The Drugs Do Work

A recent study has found that 17% of Australians admit having taken drugs at work. I have to admit I'm a bit sceptical about this. Ever since, I'm looking around the office wondering exactly who are the one fifth of my colleagues who are "flying on instruments." But unless someone has nine Mars bars for morning tea or proclaims "I am the owl!" whilst on the phone to IT, I don't think I'd be able to tell. Who are these people anyway? I've done some pretty crazy things in my time, but I've never taken drugs at work. It's waste good drugs when you've got to work. (I don't doubt lots of people use drugs...after all, someone's watching The Uplate Gameshow With Hotdogs . But at work ?) Anyway, we like the good stuff on the weekends too. Apparently Australia has the world's highest rate of ecstasy use per capita. If you're looking to invest in the stockmarket, the Chupa Chup company is my tip for the week. And Ch

Love Hurts

As I think I've mentioned before, I have an incredible capacity for injuring myself. Even when it doesn't seem possible, I can guarantee that I will fall over it, fall off it, cut myself on it or crash into it. I don't know why this always happens. A recent study by the University of Queensland found that drinkers are four times likely than non drinkers to injure themselves (they needed a study to find that out? If they'd gotten a few of my friends together with a couple of bottles of vodka, we could have proved the same thing in a couple of hours). But I barely drink anymore. All of my most recent injuries occurred when I was purely sober. Take yesterday afternoon... I was taking the garbage out, and pulled the front door shut behind me in a hurry to stop Xander from escaping. So much of a hurry I forgot to put the lock on the latch. Okay, so I was locked out, but the kitchen window was open, so it was okay. Or so I thought. The base of the window is 5 feet off the gr

What I Overheard...

I overheard this mobile phone conversation in my office carpark this morning at 11:30am: Woman on phone: "Anyway, I'm leaving for the airport now, my flight to Melbourne is at 12:15." ------ "No, I've got plenty of time, it's only 10:30" ----- "No, it's not 11:30." (Checks watch). "OH SHIT!" (Dashes to car) And the thing is, this woman looked like the very proper sort who would never normally swear. Anyway, there's no way in hell she could have made her flight - it's about 40 minutes just to get to the airport from here. For more, check out Overheard at the Office .