Summer Blogging

Monday, 29 December 2008

We've been very quiet lately. That's because I've been pretending I'm a real writer. Most newspaper columnists, exhausted by the strain of churning out 500 words a week, are on leave now for up to six weeks, replaced by summer stand-ins. Ditto TV hosts, newsreaders and radio DJs. Most of us will have been back at work for weeks by the time Adam Spencer returns to brighten Sydney's mornings.

Xander and Nico (the blog, not us as people, or as person and cat) should have done the same. Maybe the apathy and plummeting readership around here could have perked up if we had a younger, lesser known but actually better guest blogger for the summer. But as always I didn't bother organising anything in time, so now you're stuck with a Xmas-leftover-and-wine bloated Nico until 2009 rolls around to improve my enthusiasm.


How many times have you heard it said, 2008 was a shitty year for just about everyone? The aforementioned disasters, no end to the conflict in Iraq, Rudd starting out with so much promise but turning out to be dull and (for many of us) useless, the financial crisis... then in our personal lives, just about everyone I know has had Something Shitty happen to this year. Health problems, break ups, financial worries (I had all three!). Despite the fact that it means here comes thirty, I've never looked forward to a new year more than 2009. Not the celebrations but the year itself. You have to love the Chinese Year of the Cow.

Carbon Cutless

Monday, 15 December 2008

PM Rudd has just announced Australia's climate change targets, and no one is very happy. Environmentalists have rightly pointed out that the actual targets are far too low. The climate change denial brigade have declared global warming doesn't exist anyway. As usual, the most lively "debate" is to be found on the Daily Telegraph website. Witness this cherishable missive from "Benny Hill of Cessnock":

ITS A MYTH!!. The planet is cooling not heating and has been since at least 2000. Carbon dioxide is NOT a greenhouse gas, but an essential gas for plant growth. The more CO2 there is; the more plants grow. If KRudd was able to remove every skerrick of CO2 from the atmosphere - all plant life would cease. The biggest cause of heating in the atmosphere is water vapour; not CO2.

(Does he lie awake at night worrying people will try to steal his water by drinking it all from his garden hose?)

This blogger is not happy because, as usual, as a childless middle income earner I'll be having to pay more. I wouldn't mind doing so if it actually achieved some good, but the package includes $4 billion of subsidies to the coal industry. I don't understand these subsidisations. Did the government of the day subsidise the whaling industry when it was being phased out in this country? Why can't coal miners, and loggers, steel workers etc go get other jobs? Oh, I know there's an economic crisis and all, but this seems like a particularly poor argument, unless people think at least if the sea levels do rise they'll have more time to enjoy their newly waterfront homes.

A five percent cut in carbon emissions is ridiculous. It's weak. It helps nothing. Europe is aiming for a 20% cut by 2020 and surely U.S. President Obama will be similarly ambitious. Once the initial euphoria had passed, the Rudd Government have done little to impress in 2008; and they seem determined to doom us all.

Poor Weather at Circular Quay

Monday, 8 December 2008

Even The Best Of Us Go Broke

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Remember the days when you would have to ask your parents for an emergency loan, "just to tide you over" till pay or dole day? You'd offer immediate repayment, and attendance at your niece's school play, and anything else you could think of to convince them to fork over the cash. It was for many of us a necessary evil of our student/just starting out days, but you always felt kind of shitty making that call.

Well, you needn't have felt bad. The great General Motors is now doing the same thing. They've reached the corporate equivalent of being five days from payday with 3 cigarettes and a packet of two minute noodles that's past it's expiry date. These people who would have raised an unholy snit if their taxes had been raised, are now counting on the government to bail them out. So don't feel too bad about the cumulative $6800 you borrowed from your parents in your early twenties ($210 of which was ever repaid). It happened to GM as well, and you didn't have a team of accountants on staff (unless you did, which is probably why you were always going broke).


Overheard at Town Hall Station:

Announcer: The train on platform five is going to Bondi Junction. First stop Martin Place, then Kings Cross...

Teenage boy: Kings Cross? I thought that was just on Monopoly, I didn't know it was a real place.

For Xander

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Cat Macros - by Tom Smith

I is a kitty and I has good fun
I is entertaining everyone
Dint used to be an internet icon
Till my mom got a digital Nikon
Now she stalks me round the house
Interrupt when Ize chasin a mouse
Waitin for me to make a silly pose,
Stickin that camera up my nose
Goes to compooter, she starts playin
Makes up something I might be sayin
Upload the pic for all to see,
All her online friends go SQUEEEEE
Cat macros.

So I go cuddlin wit a stuffed bear
Gettin peanut butter all over my hair
Sprawled in a sunbeam, swattin at flies
Trapped in the laundry wit big sad eyes
Lickin at toesies, scratchin at fleas
“I Can Has Cheezburger, peese?” — [chz. FTW!]
Mom still doin her photo shoot,
Good thing my little furry butt is cute
Stickin my nose in an empty dish
Lookin for an invisible fish
I has no idea what you just said
So here’s me with a pancake on my head
Cat macros.

Now I is songcat singin this bridge
From my stage on top o’ da fridge
I is only two years of age
But I got my own MySpace page
Da silly pictures people wants
But only wit impact fonts
I keep dis up, but for how long?
Oh hi, I transpozed yur song

So I has lyric all my own
Can I has leftover to take home?
I is Emo Kitty, I has angst
I gots yur breakfast, k, thx
Invisible Walrus step on you
No, I has mighty feline fu
Yur full o’ win - Yur full o’ lose
Last Verse Kitty is not amused
I’m in yur Thai food, nibblin’ ginger
I is stealth kitty, bein a ninja
I’m in yur spookhouse, bein a haunt
I’m in yur limburger — DO NOT WANT!

funny pictures

(Click on pic to vote - we get on mayne page mayb? kthx)

Just Not Cricket

Monday, 1 December 2008

A coworker of mine is a big cricket fan, so the TV in the office is tuned to whatever Beverage Cup is on during that given day. Now, I'm Irish, so I just don't get the cricket. No one in my family ever watched it and I have no idea how it is scored, or why. But it all seems very strange to me. How many other sports incorporate tea brakes, matttresses strapped to legs, or an audience who are considerably more physically active than the players?

And it goes on for days. It all seems such a gentlemanly game, yet the players - how do I put this nicely - tend to behave in a decidedly ungentlemanlike manner. And no wonder - they're bored. If my job consisted of standing around all day with zinced lips, interspersed with lavish meals, I'd be planning escapades at night too.

So the solution is to make the game faster. Take away the safety gear, switch to metal bats and stop taking the day off if it rains (how delicate do the players think they are?). The occasional scrum wouldn't go astray either. If Shane Warne had actually been properly worn out at the end of the day, I'm sure he and Simone would still be together.
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