Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Can I have it on a t-shirt? Please?

(Its from http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots.html, which makes me laugh...)

Pavlov's Cat's Christmas Meme

1. Do you have a tree and if so, what is hanging on it?

A selection of baubles, some little wooden decorations from Charlie's first Christmas, a couple of hand made decorations from day care in Alice Springs, and some Christmas lights. Tinsel was left in the garage in the interests of cat and baby safety.

2. What's the most successful piece of Christmas cooking you've done so far?

By common assent the roast rolled lamb. Helped along by the meat thermometer I was given for Christmas. For me personally the purple skinned sweet potato that is so sweet it caramelises on the bottom when you bake it, but it's a vegetable so it's okay!

3. And the least successful?

The Christmas tree shaped ice creams with toblerone and mars bar that I tried to make without Christmas tree moulds. But they tasted really good when I ate them all before Christmas.

4. Which bit of your Christmas shopping are you happiest with?

The steering wheel toy I found at Woolies. Charlie loves it and has already spent hours playing with it. He also loves Gemma's activity table, also from Woolies, and she likes it too.

5. Have you opened any of your presents yet? What was it / were they?

I opend all of them on Christmas day (yesterday). I got Pirates of the Carribean II, a cookbook for leftovers, a magazine rack, two meat thermometers (accidental double up), a baking dish, and a calendar. Plus $100 because my MIL didn't know what to get me. Apparently the magazine rack and meat thermometer (1) are for the house.

6. Do you have any bad Christmas associations that will have to be tackled?

Last time the step-father and FIL got together there was a bit of alcohol involved (FIL) and a bit of religious discussion going on (SF= v religious; FIL= confirmed atheist). I was hoping that wasn't going to happen again. Thankfully it didn't.

7. What's your favourite carol? Why?

Little Drummer Boy - I think it's the Bob Seger version. It's a Christmas Carol without being too Christmas carolly if you know what I mean.

8. Which part of your Christmas plans is most likely to go awry?

I thought it would be getting lunch on the table on time, but it was actually the MIL's Christmas present. We bought her some t-shirts in her favourite colours because we couldn't find the DVD she wanted (because it doesn't exist). Husband has taken her shopping in Canberra today to find something else as well.

9. What's your favourite thing about Christmas?

The food. This Christmas the Legacy Christmas pudding. Yum yum yum.

10. What's your least favourite thing about it?

Christmas decorations appearing in early November, endless musak Christmas carols, pressure to spend too much money.

11. What Christmassy thing have you seen or heard in the street or on the teeve or in the bolgosphere that has
a) touched your heart

The local posties put a home made card in our letterbox for us. A lovely gesture, much appreciated.

b) hit a nerve

That retailers are expecting people to spend more than 8 billion dollars in the post Christmas sales. Buy one less thing and give something to charity maybe.

or c) made you want to barf?

Not quite barf, but images on the news of people fighting over something in a shop made me leave the room. Is it really that important?

12. Who do you wish you had contacted to say Happy Christmas but haven't so far?

I probably should have called my brother yesterday, but I was so tired I forgot.

If you would like to see what Dr Cat had to say in her meme you can find it here.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Crass Commercialisation Season

I would like to wish all my atheist friends a happy crass commercialisation season. I hope that you all get something lovely under the crass commercialisation tree, or at least something worth cashing in to buy something else.

On a serious note I hope you all have a lovely holiday with or without family, whichever is your preference and travel safely or stay at home safely (a serious concern with the number of suicidal cupboards afflicting For Battlers lately).

For those of you with new family members this Xmas don't be upset when they prefer the paper the gifts were wrapped in. With a bit of effort you can get them to gaze at their lovely gifts for about 5 seconds before going back to the paper. Makes it all worthwhile.

We started our own season of cheer this morning by being late to the neighbours Xmas Champagne Breakfast. We arrived just as everyone was clearing their plates, so we lied and said we ate with the kids before coming. Then we sent Charlie off to be entertained by the hosts 11yr old son, who did a marvellous job bless him, and passed Gemma around to be admired and got down to a good old neighbourhood gossip. We had to leave when my tummy was threatening to rumble really loudly and give us away. Luckily we could claim the baby was tired and needed a sleep. We then walked home (neighbours are like 2 minutes walk and we were still 20 minutes late, sheesh some people!) and cooked up our usual start to saturated fat Sunday - bacon and eggs. The same breakfast that we could have had with the neighbours had we been on time. We also had the option of champers and strawberries, but it was a bit early for us. Not for some of our neighbours though. Some afternoon sleeps going on this afternoon I bet. Hopefully I will be one of them.

So happy 2007, if we don't see you before then, and knowing how slack we are don't bet on it.

Monday, December 18, 2006

it was The Day Of the Tentacle!

have I raved enough about this game yet?*

so, we've just been talking about iron-on transfers, which puts me in mind of my own Cunning Plan: to whit, getting a decent image of the Toasty Warm Hamster from The Day of the Tentacle and putting it on t-shirts for all the little Lemmacelihordlings. and one for me. oh yes, I need one too...

it's really not as easy as I thought. come on, I would have thought that plenty of people would have realised the astounding +6 Cuteness of the Toasty Warm Hamster!

but I did find a guy who is making comic strips using images from the game. currently trawling through them to see if there happens to be a TWH lurking in the background, although the chances are slim. the comics are a little patchy, and I guess it helps if you've played the game, but I did think that this one was pretty apt when it comes to Plans of World Domination:

start small, and work your way up :-)

* the answer is, of course, No.

Update: through close scrutiny of Tentacle screenshots uploaded by other enthusiasts, I've found tiny wee hamster images in their inventories. witness now! relatively crappy but tantalising glimpses of (respectively) the frozen hamster, cold wet hamster, and toasty warm hamster -

I suspect victory is in sight. hopefully a cleaner, sharper, only-pixellated-because-that's-retro-and-ironic victory...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Cunning Quilt Plan update

We now have 12 quilt pieces returned. That's almost half. And here's a picture.

Jasper's Quilt

All very different but all very creative.

If you have a letter bagsed and still haven't put puff paint to fabric please think about getting it done over the next few weeks. It didn't get done before the birth... It won't get done before Christmas. I definately want it finished before he turns one! I think that's an achieveable goal. Let me know if you need any help with materials. (Ob, I have all the dyes if you are still keen on the tie-dye)

Also, JaneDoe appears to have skipped the country without doing her square, so I guess that means Q is now up for grabs again. (unless someone knows for sure that she wants to do it when she returns... whenever that might be)

I better get my squares done....

Thanks everyone.


TASMANIA'S bushfire crisis would not be so severe if the state's forests had been logged rather than protected, Federal Forestry Minister Eric Abetz said today.

Don't need no stinking trees. They just catch on fire. Log Log Log

Friday, December 08, 2006

Walk with me

Howard sketched the changing attitudes of the aspirational voter in an interview with the Herald two weeks before he called the 2004 election: "The old story … you see a bloke driving by in a Rolls-Royce in America, you say, 'I'll have one of those one day'. But sometimes the old Australian [attitude] resents the fact that somebody else has got it.'

Err, no. We think (a) he's done his dough, and (b) wanker.

Cheney's Gay Daughter is Pregnant

The palm of my sword hand is tingling.
US Vice president Cheney has a gay daughter, Mary. For all the usual suspects this is, and has been for a long time, a big deal because they are small minded embarrassments to humanity who will ensure the aliens simply bomb us from orbit.
Well, now she's pregnant. Quelle damage!

"Not only is she [Mary Cheney] doing a disservice to her child, she's voiding all the effort her father put into the Bush Administration," said Janice Shaw Crouse, hag-faced bitch and a senior fellow at the Beverly LaHaye Institute, run by Concerned Women for America.

So, Mary is selfish for (a) wanting a child; and (b) for not considering her father's politcal position?
No, Janice: you are the selfish one.

"Children deserve the very best we can offer, and gay adoption - by definition - intentionally denies children either a mother or a father," said Carrie Gordon Earll, a self-righteous lunatic with no sense of reality or compassion and an analyst for Focus on the Family. "Adoption laws should put the needs of children first, above the desires of adults."

So, it is better for a child to remain a ward of the state than to miss out on ONE of a mother or a father?
And, the always unspoken, 'single parents are incapable of raising children' is there too. Hmm, lets look at the numbers on that one.
'Put the needs of children above the desires of adults'!!!! What planet is she from? Children only exist - by definition - due to the desires of adults, you moron. Adults want kids, or just sex. Ergo: kids.
Yes, children deserve the best we can give them. The best we can give them is a loving environment; a hopeful future; a functioning democracy; an education; inspiration to be good people; a desire to better the world; a decent minimum wage so they can avoid poverty traps and all the associated problems of low socio-economic status etc etc So, you will deny that to a child because it's parents would be gay? The desire of an adult that get trumped by the child's here is the desire to be a bigotted fuckwit.

As lmh pointed out: Mary's kid has rich parents - it'll be fine! If you want to worry about children in need then look at poor people.

Think of the children?
I am.
That is why I am cleansing the world of stupid fucks like you.

Also, I'm sure you'll all be glad Howard has made nannies tax-deductable to help women get back into the workforce. Of course, you have to pay for the nanny up front, then claim it next year. I swear he must genuinely look perplexed when people say 'middle class welfare' to him.

Soylent Green is people? Yeah, well in my dis/utopic vision (a) only people who anger me get processed and (b) they deserved it.
"I'm sorry, you can no longer be classified as 'human'. You have been reassigned as...(checks list).. Food for the Worthy!"

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Water on Mars


Well, pretty much for sure, anyway. Cool huh?

I figure we're just a couple of short decades from flying cars now.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Check out: Will type for food

http://willtypeforfood.blogspot.com/ is good fun.

Check out Alan Kohler's 2006 Political Cliche Market Report

and other solid blogging fare such as the recent Victorian election

"As a matter of fact, about the only party with clear policies is the little known Party For The Worship of Gaknor The Magnificient, which stands on a platform of Death, Destruction, a Reign of Blood, Fire, Torment, and More Public Transport, which is why I voted for them."

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

New KenoAtHome!

(or Tax on the Mathematically Disinclined)

I'm a geek.

I went the other day to visit the lovely Cozling at work at the West Ryde Leagues Club and Government Pension Reclaiming Centre, and while I waited for her to finish her shift I perused all that was available to me in the manner of flashing lights that take my money away. I read some of the pamphlets on the table, issued by the government, which inform you that the chances of you leaving with as much money as you walked in with are mathematically insignificant. No surprises there. I also read that poker machines in NSW are required by law to return 85% of the money put into them, which was kind of interesting, if only because it made me wonder how they check. And then I found the Keno rules.

Did I mention that I'm a geek?

The first page of the Keno rules says in BIG SHINY LETTERS that if I win the 10 number jackpot I could win ONE MILLION DOLLARS! The last page of the Keno rules tells me in tiny legalistic print that the odds of winning the 10 number jackpot are 1 in 8,911,711. Wow! And I thought the pokies were bad! Thats like an 11% payout rate. But thats only one of the MANY EXCITING PRIZES you could win on a 10 number bet, so I wrote a little computer program to tell me the odds on the whole game.

Oh yeah; wallowing in geek city over here...

The payout for Keno varies, depending on how many numbers you play, from under 65% to microscopically above 75%. For every dollar game you play, they just put 25 cents in their pocket and then start thinking about prizes. And it gets better, because the vast majority of prizes are pissy little things, like $10 or less, and everyone knows that if you win a pissy little prize you just put it back in the game... and they take another 25 cents out of every dollar.

So now, using the miracle of modern mathematics, RobCo is proud to present KenoAtHome! Just like the real game but with BETTER ODDS! Plus the drinks are cheaper! Ready to play?

1) Take a coin out of your pocket.
2) Flip it.
3) If it was heads, send me 50 cents; if it was tails, I owe you 25 cents.
4) Repeat as desired, and send me the results!*

* RobCo reserves the right to refuse payment for any results which differ from the mathematical norm by more than 1 standard deviation.**

** results differing from the norm by greater than 1 standard deviation can be detected if you can answer the following question in the affirmative: "Does RobCo owe me more than 50 cents?"***

*** prizes will be rounded down to the nearest whole dollar.

**** "Geek" is a wholly owned trademark of RobCo.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Rudd beat Beazley. I'm crossing my fingers that this means things might get better? Lets get stuck into the bad guys now mmkay?

they made milk come out my nose

Look at their other stuff on youtube. the grizzly bear attack is pretty funny

Friday, December 01, 2006

*victory dance*

Its petty, and I know it, but all the same:


Estate Agents of Procrastinatory Doom failed to turn up to our final inspection with the right forms for us to get our bond back... or answer any of my several phone calls... or even find someone who could talk to me when we turned up in person on their doorstep. I thought they might be gearing up to try to keep our bond.

But I found a website which mentions the little-known rule that I can file to get all of it back without their signature, at which point they are given notice and have two weeks to file their own claim. Mostly, I just did it so they'd at least answer my calls.

They never responded; we got it back today. All of it.

For once, the fact that these guys never respond to anything worked in our favour!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Get Stuffed

The grotty bit of paper that the stuffing recipe started from got lost in the cleanup this year, but I wrote this down from memory on Monday, so its probably not _too_ far wrong. If you taste it before you add the bread and bake it you'll swear you put in too much chilli and its going to take someones head off, but it always seems to come good in the end...

From memory:

500g italian sausage, skinned and crumbled (used half chorizo this year)
4 cloves garlic, diced
3 cups onions, chopped
3 cups celery, chopped
1/2 cup fresh jalapeno peppers, diced
4 teaspoons ground cumin seed
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 cups walnuts, chopped
corn bread and/or regular bread. I can't remember what the recipe specified for amount here, but I used (scaled to a single batch of stuffing) 1 loaf of cornbread from Mouse's recipe and about 1/2 a vienna loaf of white. Cut it all into ~1" cubes.
1/2 cup fresh coriander, chopped
1 cup chicken stock

Saute the sausage in a bit of butter til browned (~8-10 minutes) then add garlic, onions, celery, and jalapenos and saute til softened (~10 minutes). Stir in cumin, chili and walnuts over heat until thoroughly mixed, then remove. Add bread and cornbread. (At this stage, before or after the bread, you can cover and refrigerate overnight.)

Add the fresh coriander and stuff the bird. Put the leftovers in a baking dish and sprinkle the chicken stock over it. Cover with foil and bake at 220 for about half an hour, then remove the foil and give it another 20 minutes to brown.

The recipe I took this from claimed to feed 10, but they must be voracious eaters those 10; I've found it'll do about twice that. I tripled it for 55 this year, and it came out about right.

Mashed Potatoes, a la Robs Gran

500g Butter
300 ml Sour Cream
a splash of Milk

Garnish with one small potato, if desired.

Putting The Mrs Back into Mississippi

Pandagon has a article about polygamy and the sister-wives bitchin about not getting sex very often, cause they only get to be a ON wife once a month, rest of the time you are OFF.

We all live in the same house. We have a bunk-bed double on the bottom and single on the top. Husband, first wife and the "ON" wife sleep on the bottom and the other two "OFF" wives sleep above. We find this very intimate as we all are sleeping in the same bed though on different levels and we can still feel and hear what is happening when sex happens in our bed.

I'm never looking at a bunk bed the same way again....

Lucky I'm moving to a more enlighten state where this sort of thing never happens....

The Cornbread Recipe

I missed out on Turkey Day because my uterus is crap. An unspecified infection attacked early friday morning which had me in a bit of pain. Three days on many intraveinous antibiotics had it in retreat and we are now at home with many more antibiotic pills.

The thing that was most worrying about the experience was that they threatened to send the boys home without me while they kept me in hospital, since there was no room to put us in the maternity ward. But luckily I got a single room in a normal ward and beds were found for the boys so they were allowed to stay with me. Jasper charmed every nurse on the ward, of course.

Some of my cornbread did make it to Turkey Day, and as usual various people apparently want the recipe again. It's been almost as traditional as Turkey Day itself to hand out the recipe in the week following. And so I'll put it here and maybe people will be able to find it in years to come... maybe.

This recipe was given to me by an American family I met in Adelaide years and years ago. It's more like a cake than bread.

1 cup sifted plain flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup yellow corn meal (polenta)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup margerine (slightly melted)

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and corn meal. Add eggs, milk and margerine.

Bake in hot oven for 20-30 minutes.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Der Warnecke Code

Associated Press reports from the Vatican and South Korea broke the news to the world today that world famous cryptographer, Lord Mattress Hammer, and slightly reknowned art-thing-guy, Sir Harry Simspon KA have finally cracked Der Warnecke Code.

Crazy Old Ana and Two Eyed Pete have produced a crazy two-eyed baby.
This was the final piece that allowed the code to be cracked in quick-sharp time.
The baby's name is Eliza. 'El' is Spanish for 'The'. Which means the baby is 'The Iza.' The Iza, I tell you.

Thank you.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

And we're back

Yes we do have a new e-mail address. The first bit stays the same and the second bit becomes @bigpond.com. It only took me three tries to set it up using the 'foolproof' fast set up CD that came with the modem. Of course if I had read the instructions and had the password with me rather than thinking my raddled mummy brain could remember it, I would have been right the first time.

Yes, I was at Turkey Day. I'm salivating just thinking about it. Also, for people who don't have children of their own, I was very impressed with the hosts' laid back attitude to small children, namely Charlie, laying waste to their house.

Despite being an alleged geography teacher I would be hard pressed to tell you where real countries are, much less imaginary ones. At least I think it's imaginary.

My guess about the stain is that it was either left too long before being treated or was given the wrong treatment thus setting the stain. Lucky you never really liked that shirt anyway.

I think that was it? If not, I blame the raddled mummy brain.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Pride and Prejudice Postscript

And so Elizabeth moved to Pemberley where her love for Darcy grew ever strong. And for his part, Darcy's love for her turned to growing adoration with each day. And so it was that ten months later, despite the Darcy's being immensely rich and socially connected, Elizabeth died in childbirth screaming in pain and terror.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Don't DO that!

Just got a phone call from the butchers. He's got an order written down for _A_ 30 kilo turkey - the idea of which kinda makes the skin crawl, if not the earth tremble - as opposed to 30 kilos of turkey, in turkey-sized lumps (for a given genetically-inbred hormone-infused definition of "turkey-sized".) He was confused. Which is fine, except he started the conversation by saying:

"I'm looking at my order for Christmas turkeys..."

...at which point he paused, having picked up on a certain amount of angst from the other end of the line. It may have been my yelling:

"WHAT?!? Those aren't for Christmas, they're for TOMORROW! Please tell me I have turkeys for tomorrow!"

All sorted; not a problem. I have not had a heart attack, the butcher knows the plan, and you will not be eating turkey-shaped lumps of mashed potatoes. Unless you're just into that sort of thing. Don't let me stop you.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Jasper Stats - finally

For those of you who didn't get the emails (we were tired and distracted and didn't quite get all the email addresses right!)

Jasper Rufus was born 10.01 pm, Saturday 11th November 2006 by c-section, weighing in at 4.305 kg and 53 cm long.

The fun started at 1am that morning when the waters broke. There was thick meconium (baby poo in utero) so we were immediately put on a monitor and given a drip to speed the labour at 6am.

Since I couldn't move much because of the monitor (which showed Jasper's heart rate was perfectly normal and stable the entire time despite being 'in distress'), I worked my way through the drug options throughout the day until reaching epidural stage at 7pm. By 9pm we hadn't got past the 9cm we had reached in early afternoon and thus pulled the c-section card rather than waiting any longer.

I must say the nitrous oxide is brilliant!! It turned the world into a happy spinning place until being dragged back down into contraction land... but then I forgot about it. It also gave me synesthesia (I could feel sounds). So Topsy suggested I use it. So for most of the afternoon I sang through the contractions. Well, more like a loud drone note, 3 per contraction, but it was probably better than moaning or screaming on Topsy's nerves. My brain has already filtered out most of the day's experience into a few vague memories.

Okay. TMI, I'm sure.

Here are some photos

Monday, November 20, 2006

anything you can do, we can do with oil and maple syrup

Picture this if you will, I go out for a jumping good time at the Enmore Thetare dancing around like a fool at The Cat Empire gig. Eventually get home, have shower to wash the drid sweat off and collapsed in bed going ooh, ooh i hurt and i'm sooo tired. sleeeep for me. It;'s your turn to look after the baby tomorrow.

So, I'm preacefully sleeping, the sleep of the exhausted the next morning when Daen tries to get my attention by having his own smashing good time.
The bastard!

Yes, in a concerted effort to deny me my sleep in, he pulled the kitchen cupboard over on himself. We lost all our big serving bowls, some plates and bowls, a jar of oily marinated eggplant and a jar of maple syrup. It was a delightful mess.

And before you panic, MrNw and Torby and I are fine

Friday, November 17, 2006

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Time to say farewell!

The time has finally come. While I have had an enjoyable stay with you all, and have learned much, the time has come for me to leave. I must once again live amongst my own people.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

here, Ob, have another Atheist hell...

... this one's less yellow.
but, relatively, it's a lot less funny and harmless, too.

I was going to just call this post 'AAAAAArrrrrRRGggghhHHH my eyes!', but Ob has unwittingly helped me to be more succinct. spooky coincidental bloggin', dood.

I was reading about Ted Haggard's downfall on TOA's site today and took a bit of a trawl to find out more... which took me here... which led me... here.

it's a documentary from the outside looking in, not the other way around, which is good, or I would have passed out from hyperventilating from now. but it's still freaking me out that A) there are people like this in the world, and B) they feel that this is a positive portrayal of themselves and are pleased with it. I think it might still be a good idea to build the For Battle Bunker up under the garage. y'know. just in case. bring a shovel to the Chrissie Pissie, m'kay?

I'll leave you to fume at a nice little quote from the movie via a review at The Guardian:

"I want to see young people who are as committed to the cause of Jesus Christ as the young people are to the cause of Islam... I want to see them radically laying down their lives for the gospel, as they are over in Pakistan and Israel and Palestine."

sigh. listen, don't let me do another post unless it's funny-ha-ha, not funny-freak-me-out, alright?

An Atheist Hell...

Is here. Funny, I always thought it would be warmer, and less yellow.

All together now!

This is one that we can all join in on.
My friend Cassie wrote a more thorough diatribe than i have time to recreate anew, inspired by this article:
Original post is here is you want to comment to Cassie directly.

I don't know if I am spelling evisceration right...
Simon Jenkins, once a self-anointed defender of Standard English, is now celebrating the fact that the Scottish Qualifications Authority has decided to allow SMS speak in their exams. Oh, thank the heavens, that this lofty knight has coming riding out of the backwoods and given up the cause of archaism!

Sir Simon seems to think that a revolution is coming, heralded by the decision of the SQA, a revolution carried on the backs of the ‘champions of reason’ – and that these champions are the people lazy enough to use SMS speak in examinations.

The revolution for Sir Simon is one of spelling reform, but I am confused as to how SMS speak can signal a reform any of us would want.

I have no problem with SMS speak as a functional language for short, simple conversation – necessity being the mother of invention, in this case she invented a way to circumvent character restrictions on a cheap form of communication. What I object to is its use in longer, more in-depth communications, such as essays, fiction or opinion pieces, when it clearly doesn’t have the range of meaning to convey what needs to be said.

Sir Simon seems to be confused: on the one hand he wants spelling reform, to make the English language more democratic and accessible, but on the other he is championing this ludicrous new ‘language’, which is patently incapable of speaking for the multitude.

SMS speak is fine to tell people you’re running late, or you’ve got the job, or any number of other teaser messages – a way to give the bare bones and wait to flesh out the story when you’ve a keyboard or a person in front of you – but it won’t allow you to tell your story there and then. You can condense basic words – you, two, then, etc – all you like, but what about more complex words – terrified, ecstatic, depressed? How can they be incorporated into SMS speak?

I notice that Sir Simon doesn’t use his lauded SMS speak in his own opinion piece on the matter. Perhaps because it can’t adequately convey his meaning?

Sir Simon goes on to champion spelling reform, saying that our labyrinthine and archaic orthography is a way of, essentially, keeping the rabble out, as Latin was once used, when “knowing your ‘ie’ from your ‘ei’ or ‘-ible’ from ‘-able’ does not affect a word’s meaning one jot.”

What about, Sir Simon, the difference between a good, honest knight, such as yourself, and the perpetual night of orthographic antiquity, which you long to save us from? What about, Sir Simon, the difference between wholesome, as it is currently spelt, and holesome, as you suggest we spell it?

I suggest Sir Simon’s argument is holesome, indeed.

For example, Sir Simon gives the Americans as an example of those who readily embrace spelling reform (and suggests that the British have rejected it only because it reeks [or would you prefer wreaks, Sir Simon?] of Americano). Sir Simon has obviously forgotten the uproar that occurred when Webster’s Third was published – this edition had the audacity to suggest that the meaning of words could be dictated by their use. “How will we know the correct way to speak?!” the Americans cried.

Of course, this isn’t the same as spelling, but it shows that Americans are as willing to be told how to use language from on-high, and to use these commandments to distinguish themselves from the rabble, as the ‘deplorable’ British.

Sir Simon also gives Shakespeare, and his multifarious spelling choices, as an example of how it was possible to “convey the clearest of messages with random spelling”. He is, of course, ignoring the fact that Shakespeare communicated in a primarily oral medium, which meant spelling was a non-issue, and the fact that Shakespearean spelling isn’t clear, and has to be regularly tidied up for the general public.

“[George Bernard Shaw] was right in claiming that archaic spellings were maintained to keep the poor illiterate,” Sir Simon writes, insulting poor people everywhere by calling them too stupid to understand something rich people have no trouble doing. I was always under the impression that what kept the poor illiterate was not the confusion of two, to and too, but inferior or no education. Does Sir Simon know better?

Obviously not, because earlier in his piece, he claims that whenever he writes ‘cough’, ‘bough’ and ‘through’, he thinks of the “teeming millions of students who ask their teachers: why? There is no answer.” An example of bad education if ever I heard one. There is an answer and reason to every spelling quirk – from its language of origin, to a craze for a particular clump of letters, to popularisation by an author. It may not be a reason you like, but it exists.

The fact is, English is a confusing language, its spelling especially so. It is so confusing because it is confused – a hodgepodge of loan and portmanteau words, a vital and changing language. This is why I and thousands of others love it. It’s confusing, but millions have mastered it, and millions more can – all they need is a decent education.

Sir Simon brings Orwell to his arsenal, claiming that he associated the dogma of orthography with totalitarianism. But what I remembered from Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four was a language stripped of meaning by being rendered simple and dull. A language which shares a lot in common with SMS speak.

I doubt Orwell would be praising the rise of ‘ur’ ‘2b’ and ‘l8r’ as heralding a new wave of spelling reform. By suggesting that it is, Sir Simon offers us a brave new world in which, because we are too stupid to understand Standard English, we must use a language too cramped to express anything but the meanest, poorest sentiments.

Rage, rage against the dying of the lite.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Having a la

Gratuitous plug for a concert wot is happening in the next few weeks. I should be singing in it, but there is a chance that my presence will be required elsewhere should someone decide to be extremely late, err I mean, fashionable (just my luck he'll rebel so early :)

But even if I'm not there, you'll know everyone else - Fitz, Bethan, Annabel, Gui, Nick, BaggyTrousers, Kitty, Wenchilada. It's a bunch of pre-1600 stuff we've been working on and need a chance to use it.

It's on the afternoon of turkey day... so come hear us sing and then we'll go stuff ourselves stupid.

Darlington Concert.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I guess I shouldn't have expected anything else.
The tabloids of London are giving a foretaste of the world debate. Two armies face off at the entrance to London tube stations...
Two tabloids, both with the Stern repot on Climate change on the front page, are sold side by side. However, one of them is whinging about how the taxes to fund climate conservation will cost Joe Taxpayer.


Australia, as a nation, votes with it's back pocket. The war debate was overshadowed by interest breaks on mortgages, and so on and so forth.
I very much expect it lives by its back pocket. Supporting local industry is all well and good, but we'll buy the cheaper option.
It doesn't look good people.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Smashing Time - Post Script

We have a new shelf! Topsy built it (of course).

It appeared that the evil* estate agent just wanted to nail the old shelf back up. So Tops has built our own free standing replacement which we can take away with us when we go.

And with the help of generous friends jetisonning excess stuff for a variety of reasons, the shelf is just about full already. (That's not all of the stuff in the picture)

The carnage of the old

And the new

* redundant adjective - all estate agents are evil.

Monday, October 30, 2006

How much stock to put in serendipity

Knowing when it's time to move on, and how much stock to put in serendipity.

I wandered around Sydney Uni last Thursday - a week after did my last shift at the Marly.

I was planning on being a gentleman-of-leisure until I became Wandering Adventurerer (The last 'er' is compulsory) but today I had an interview for my next job. It was a fairly profunctury interview. I am qualified, and it plays to my natural talents.

I look forward to put it on my CV. It's a short-term thing: a total of 23hours over five days over five weeks. $920 by my calculation.

I am now a scrotum model.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Let's play with the muse. Briefly.

Okay, so i borrowed this from a friend. No time for originality any more.

Hemingway once wrote a story in just six words. "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."
He said it was his best work.

Trust Hemmingway to come up with something like that, huh?

Wired Magazine recently did a feature, getting genre writers to do the same.

Joss Whedon: "Gown removed carelessly. Head, less so."
Margaret Atwood: "Longed for him. Got him. Shit."

Let's all be poets and storytellers!

Oh, and Meg? Any entries along the lines of "Would you like some wine? YES!" will not cut the mustard this time...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Hel Looks

I don't know why this look works, but I think it does. I do know that I wish I had her confidence, and her cheekbones.
30 September 2006, Kaapelitehdas
Molla Mills (27)
"I'm wearing five meters of old drape. I used to have curtains made of this very same cloth in my bedroom for years.
The 40's inspires me again. And rock'n roll and old lovesongs which I listen to at work. Helsinki inspires me, too. I just moved in here. And crocheting, of course. There's always a crochet hook and a ball of wool in my bag!"

More where this came from here.

Thanks to Laura for the link.

Tops is triffic

Okay. We know this, but his work is also acknowledging it. And thus we get a night out at the company's expense.

So, if you had $200 to spend on a meal, where would you go?

Monday, October 23, 2006

just for Laura...

Too good not to share

Here is a visual-perception challenge for you. See how quickly you Can find the dogs in the picture in the picture below. Read the text below before looking at the picture.

Typical comments by GIRLS taking the test:
1. "I couldn't see a dog and I stared at the picture for a good 10 minutes."
2. "I think it is one of those pictures where you have to stare at a certain spot and then everything comes into focus, but it never happened to me. I'll give it another try later."
3. "I almost didn't find the dogs at all!"
4. "There is a dog in this picture? Where?"
5. "This must be a joke; there are no dogs in this picture."

Men seem to do better at this than women, for some reason.

The following are average times for men and women to locate the dogs:
Women - 12.46 minutes
Men - 1.23 seconds

Hint: The dogs appear to be white with black spots.

Freetrade? My arse!

Today's news is that Vegemite is now banned in the USA, as it "contains folate, which under a technicality, America allows to be added only to breads and cereals. "

So... a potential black market in Vegemite?? Ob, Coz...?!!!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

I'm Not Going Back On What I Said But...

When mentioning I'm moving to the Land of Everything, a few people, mostly random strangers have exclaimed..
" I've heard the shopping there is awesome"
"What! You have been there and never gone to a Outlet Factory Store thingy? OMG!"
"Shopping, why else?"

Nothing wrong with that at all, not judging....at all.
I'm not much of a shopper here so it never really occured to me as being a highlight.

But that said I may dabble a bit, stick my toe in, embrace the culture sorta thing.
My first purchase....

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Despair next year

Okay. I'm sure you know by now that I'm a huge fan of the Despair demotivators. And I know some of you are keen too.

This year they've decided not to bother with any new designs. The deal is that you design your own calendar. http://calendar.despair.com/

I'm going to order one definately, but if any of you would like a calendar too, then I'm happy to share design ideas. And maybe we can get all our birthdays printed on the calendar too.

Who's in?

My favourites - consulting, change number 2, demotivation and sacrifice 2, but they're all clever.

Thursday Rogue State Blogging

But apart from that nuclear thing, what else is happening in North Korea?

Sketch Contest Held
Pyongyang, October 14 (KCNA) -- A sketch contest was held in the yard of the Nam Gate in Mt. Taesong in Pyongyang on Oct. 12 and 13 in celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Down-with-Imperialism Union. The contest drew many artists and university and middle school students. Divided into the groups of experts and students, they competed in sketching and semi-sketching of objects and figure sketching on the spot.
The participants in the contest produced more than 150 sketches by fully displaying their talents.
Such works as "Holiday Morning," "Those who defended the walled city of Pyongyang", "Korean Wrestling", "Our dance and our song", "Cheer up" and others were highly estimated for their high ideological and artistic values.
Kim Jong Il developed sketching, which used to be an elementary skill for fine art, into part of the cultural and emotional life of the people in the era of Songun.
There is growing social interest in sketches in the DPRK and sketching has become instrumental in enriching the flower garden of popular art.

Kim Jong Suk Remembered
Pyongyang, September 23 (KCNA) -- Members of the Korean Democratic Women's Union in Pyongyang had poem recital and singing "Mother Still Lives with Us" at the Women's Hall Friday on the occasion of the 57th anniversary of demise of anti-Japanese war hero Kim Jong Suk. The event began with narration and chorus "Mother Is Alive with Red Flag." Put on the stage were colorful numbers including Oungum ensemble "My Mother," a famous song, trio "Kim Jong Suk, Our Mother," story telling and poem recital "Mother Still Stands on Mt. Paektu" and group singing and story telling "She United People Close around the General."
The performers truthfully represented their ardent yearning and reverence for the woman commander of Mt. Paektu who lives in the hearts of the Korean women and other people for the undying feats she performed on behalf of the country and the people, the times and the revolution.
The audience was deeply impressed by the songs which reminded them of the immortal feats Kim Jong Suk performed by giving birth to leader Kim Jong Il, the bright future of the Korean revolution, amidst the tempest of the revolution, thus giving steady continuity to the revolutionary cause of Juche and putting the Korean women's movement on a new higher stage.

Official North Korean News Agency. Funny in a mad as a fraking cut snake kind of way.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My cunning plan - update

Well, I'm now officially unemployed (but not in Greenland since I could be mistaken as a beached whale and thus becoming a target for local hunters). There will be a new member of household in six weeks or less. (aaarrgghhh!)

So. Now we need to get this plan sorted before he arrives. I have X in my possession and I hear that Mindy's square is complete. So for the rest of you, it's time to make the design a reality or, if you now decide you can't be arsed, to relinquish your letter to someone on the waiting list (yes, there is a waiting list)

Here's the list of letters and people.

A - MizDawn
B - Tina
C - Ob
D - Hunnydeath
E - Wenchilada
F - Pip
G - Bel
H - Hrothgar
I - DrNik
J - EvilStig
K - Taffy
L - Mindy - complete
M - AnythingGirl
N - Mathilde
O - Snerg
P - Speedy
Q - JaneDoe
R - Cozling
S - IAutumnHeart
T - Meg
U - BaggyTrousers
V - TheDelightfulNannaTM
W - MissKrin
X - Barb - complete
Y - MissD
Z - MrC

Waiting list/Spare squares - Fushia, DV, Deense

Thanks for the help and enthusiasm so far. I have spare time and can organise materials if you need help. Just let me know.

The original post with design specs http://forbattle.blogspot.com/2006/08/my-cunning-plan.html

Not So Special Broadcasting Service

To borrow a line from Dave Hughes:

"I'm angry."

Why? Ads on SBS. Thought I'd try to have a relaxing watching of tv last night and to my surprise, SBS decided to put ads in everything. Started with mythbusters. Took a while for me to work out what was going on. There were ads and then the show continued. Took a while for me to realise that they were actually continually advertising through the programme.

So when did this all start? I found a media release from SBS in microsoft .doc format dated 1st June 2006 which said things like they were going to raise an extra $10m from this, using it to make more news (1 hour programme) and fund local drama and documentaries. There are a few excuses given, but to be honest it made it really hard to watch. I'm just not used to ads in the middle of SBS programming. There was a couple of shows I wanted to watch but I just couldn't in the end. I had to switch it off. It became irritating.

There's a reasonably good discussion about it on Lateline.

Monday, October 16, 2006

tiny tiny tiny things...

this one's for Coz...

this one's for me...

this one's.... For Battle!

or perhaps afternoon tea and a bit of a lie down...
go here and be cuted out of your tiny, tiny brain.

Friday, October 13, 2006

(Inter)National Stuff Yourself Stupid Day

Many of you ForBattlers will already be familiar with the American holiday of Thanksgiving from previous revels. And this year I was going to track you all down and deliver you all your individually hand-made invi... oh wait, that was someone else. About a different holiday. On a different planet.

You know me; I'm a lazy git. If you're one of the regulars here, we'd love to have you round for this year's celebrations. If you haven't got an invite yet, its because I don't have an email address for you that works. Enclosed please find the same crappy bulk email thats all anyone else got either - the only difference is I'm leaving off Hrothgar and Laela's actual address to protect the innocent (plus the people who live there who I actually know.) If you can make it and you don't know where to go, chuck me an email at rbmoser gmail com and I'll get you some directions.


Hello Everyone!

The time has come once again for that great American tradition Stuff Yourself Stupid Day! (Oh all right: Thanksgiving.) Wherein we enact the age-old battle between the Ravenous Hordes (thats you) and my liking for leftover turkey sandwiches by cooking a really silly amount of food and then inviting you all round to eat it; last year the turkey sandwich (singular) won by a nose due to a couple of last-minute cancellations, so you've all got some ground to make up. As some of you may not be aware, Coz and I are hoofing it off to the land of turkeys itself come the end of the year so this is the last time for awhile we'll be able to do this, and its also our chance to start saying goodbyes - a process we fully intend to stretch out for at least a month. As you may also not be aware, we're getting turfed out of our house the end of THIS month, so we'll not be holding this at our familiar old pseudo-Spanish monstrosity. Fortunately some foo... *ahem*... our gracious and generous friends Laela and Hrothgar (whoose penchant for volunteering has already gotten them into no end of trouble - some people never learn) have offered their house. (I'm fairly certain Scruffy hasn't been told yet; no fair spoiling the surprise.)

For those of you who've missed these in the past, or are too scarred by the memories of last year's Turkey-rita to recall, heres how it works. You supply:

Your partner, should I have been so rude and/or ignorant as to not invite them myself.
Your children (there are generally a fair few. we don't promise not to teach them bad habits, but we haven't lost one yet.)
Any of our mutual friends whose email address I didn't have to send this to.
Something to drink.
A chair each, if its not too much trouble (we have some spares.)
A folding table, if its not too much trouble (or let me know and we'll come get it.)
An RSVP with a headcount for dinner (let me know if you're a veggo) as soon as you can, so I can order the birds.
And, ONLY if you are one of those compulsive people who feels the need to contribute food, you can bring a desert.

We supply dinner, chaos, noise, and merriment. The date is Saturday the 25th of November. The address is hidden from your nefarious prying eyes, evildoer. We'll aim for dinner at 6:30, but if you can't stay for dinner, come for the afternoon and watch me poke turkeys; I should be there from about 1pm on, so anytime after that should be fine. I've invited a few of you from out of town - we'd very much love to have you, but obviously we'll understand if you can't make it. If you can but need a place to stay let us know; we'll be freeloading homeless ourselves at that point, but we may be able to help sort you out.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sobering stuff? I'm going to go eat my recycling now...

"As humanity’s consumption of resources increases, World Overshoot Day creeps earlier on the calendar. Humanity’s first Overshoot Day was December 19, 1987. By 1995 it had jumped back a month to 21 November. Today, with Overshoot Day on October 9, humanity's Ecological Footprint is almost thirty per cent larger than the planet’s biocapacity this year. In other words, it now takes more than one year and three months for the Earth to regenerate what we use in a single year."

The full article.

I nearly wet myself

For all you cat fanciers out there!


because I fail Trackback 101, here's the image from tigtog's blog about a meet up on thursday night (although I think I might have managed to link it to the right post on tig's site correctly, see, I am not a complete luddite). any Battlers up for it?

carry on.

Monday, October 09, 2006

It's Just Not Cricket

Unless you...

field one handed

Say "Whizzo" a lot

You dress the part

8-Month pregnant women bowl

And you wear the appropriate shoes

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Its All The Raj

After a hard day beating the servants, nothing is as refreshing as a G&T. Top Hole

Smoke me a kipper. Back in time for Tea and Medals.What!

Viceroy Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood and his Loverly Lady Companion, with news fresh from the Mother Country.

A Sari sight complete with Tigers arse

The Punjab Problem. Tricky that one. I say kill them all.

A party isn't a party unless it has at least a dozen costume swaps

Friday, October 06, 2006

An email from Jehan in Santiago, Chile

[Jehan is ex-Marly. He is spending the year doing some course or another at a University in Santiago.]

How do, fine rapscallions? No, I haven't lost my mind. But, to some degree I
have lost my English. I'm so accustomed to speaking Spanish that I feel
really awkward attempting to express myself in my native tongue. It's like
visiting someone who was once your best friend but it all came to an end
five years ago when you killed his dog. Wow. I'd never encountered an
awkward silence in an e-mail before.

In an attempt at keeping true to the spirit of these emails and avoiding
useless details that only I could ever find interesting, I shall talk about
the socio-economic situation in Chile. Don't worry, it'll be fun and
informative. Like that naked news channel.

Chile has, according to my flatmate, the third highest rate of disparity in
the distribution of wealth; those who are rich are so rich they don't know
what to do with their money and the poor are so poor that they can
completely avoid this problem. The rich are concentrated around the
foothills of the Alps in a region called "Las Condes" which is filled with
upper class apartments and huge houses that make the Eastern Suburbs look
like a dump.

As you move out of this area the houses begin to change. Especially the
south of Santiago, where the houses start to look like wooden shantys that
have little to offer aside from a heap of potential sponsorchilds. 70% of
all the crime that occurs in Chile occurs in this area. Being a testing
ground for free-market economics we have a small group of people earning
heaps and a large amount of people living on the minimum wage, which is
about $270 a month. Chile isn't as cheap as Thailand and if you want to feed
five children without sacrificing one to feed the others it could be pretty

In this sense, riding in a bus from the poorest neighbourhood to the richest
is like moving through different worlds. The people are physically
different. In the poorer areas, they're are much more more indigenous
features while the higher ground seems to be filled with Europeans. The
south of the city and the periphery seems like the garbage dump of the
modernised rich areas. Living in the centre (with more of a working class
feel) I don't feel like a spoilt westerner nor risk getting assaulted every
time I leave the house.

Education is the only way to achieve a degree of security and be able to
avoid scraping by on minimum wage or possibly less, but it is incredibly
expensive. My university is the most expensive and the cheapest courses cost
double the minimum wage. For someone on the minimum wage they'd have to
clone themselves twice to be able to feed themselves (barely) and then pay
the fees. Better make sure it's not an arts degree.

Watching the news is like an action movie. Recently, with the 11th of
September (famous here for the date that Pinochet forcibly came to power in
1973) there were a heap of protests. Some crazy friends of mine went but I
preferred to keep my distance. The police come in and arrest anyone they
see, use watercannons at their own will and people (when it gets bad) start
throwing rocks and some even hurl molotov cocktails. Last month a molotov
cocktail was thrown through a windown in a historic monument in the centre
(La Moneda).

For those who've bothered to read all this, I hope you've found it
informative. Never in my life have I seen such inequality in one city, and,
even after over two months, I still find out more about how people scrape by

There's heaps more to say but that'd mean heaps more to read. Before this
email becomes like the final installment of the "Lord of the Rings" I'll
leave it there.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Smashing Time on Monday

And luckily we missed it.

After breakfast, we wandered off to the shops to grab the paper and see what shops were open.

We returned home to find one of the kitchen cupboards having a little lie down.... and the kitchen floor completely covered in broken glass.

Those of you who have been to the house will know that above the kettle is the cupboard where we keep the large collection of coffee cups, wine glasses and tavern mugs. On top of the cupboard we keep a collection of large glass jars that we use as storage containers. In fact, the mug and bottle collection was getting a little large for the space.

Well.... we have considerably less of them now.

Most of the few survivors were lucky to be draining or awaiting washing on the sink, but there were some that survived the fall miraculously.

We also lost the kettle and Tops' coffee machine when the shelf fell on them. The toaster appears to have been protected by Tops' stainless steal bodum. Having broken so many of them he was determined to get one that was indestructable.... and he was right!

The bin is completely full of shattered glass and despite multiple sessions of sweeping and vacuuming we will be finding glass around the place forever, I'm sure.

We can't really replace much right now since there is no shelf to put it on. But now we know what to put on the Christmas wish list....

We are just glad that we weren't under the cupboard when it went and neither were the cats.

Why did it fall, you ask? Having examined the wall, I think the question is now, why did it stay up as long as it did? It was held on by.... SEVEN nails! And a bit of paint.

Nothing like good workmanship.... :)

Topsy has some photos of the carnage which he should post soon... (hint)

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Bittania, I Weep for Thee

The British are mad.

Don't get me wrong; lovely people on the whole, but totally mad.

What, you don't believe me? Answer me this then: how is it that they make some of the nicest ales in the world - not lagers or pilsners mind you, but some really fine ales - and the only beer that you can absolutely guarantee that you can find in every pub in Britain is Fosters.

But wait! Whats this? What new beer is this that adorns every second billboard in the UK? Could we perhaps be saved from the evil Fosters?

XXXX. *sob*.

Friday, September 29, 2006


When are too many buzzwords not enough? How many catchphrases can you fit in to a 1 hour meeting? Well....

I went to a meeting earlier this week which somehow had the agenda entirely changed, and the conversation entirely filled with buzzwords. It was a conversation to the masses supposedly about network issues that affect us, and what is going to be done about them. Instead of that, we were showered with buzzwords. Now I've never been a huge fan of jargon. While I can appreciate that it can be a good way to abbreviate what you are saying, it can also be a pointless way of making something obscure and inaccessible. Given that what guy is fairly high up, it's likely that most of his catch phrases will be thrown around the halls with wanton abandon in no time at all, and I didn't want any of my colleagues to be at a disadvantage if they heard them. So I listed as many as I could remember, and tried to help define them. For your education and amusement, I present the following list of "words" and "phrases":

"we need to be dynamic"
"we should use the shared services model"
"we need to apply the 80-20 rule"
"ubiquitous versus bespoke services"
"below the line"
"brown money"
and my favourite
"uncollapsing the core"

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Stuff on my cat! &c

I was hangin' out with MissKrin in the Kingdom of Loathing, and someone posted up a link worth sharing. Pretty funky medieval obsessed artwork. These are my picks, but there's a few good ones.


Monday, September 25, 2006

But wait there's more... books

We went to the last hour of the Lifeline bookfair on Sunday afternoon. Zoe has already posted on what it was like at that late stage, so I'll get straight into what we got for our $10 green bag full of books.

For him:
A Consise History of Australia by Robert Lacour-Gayet
Battle for Manhattan by Bruce Bliven Jr
Herbs and Spices by John and Rosemary Hemphill
The Conquest of Mexico in two volumes (got both) by WH Prescott
Those Damned Rebels: Britain's American Empire in Revolt by Michael Pearson
An Introduction to the Australian Federal Parliament
Ben Hur
Basic Astronomy by Patrick Moore
The Civil War in America by Alan Barker
Gary Jobson's How to Sail
Rockets and Missiles by Bill Gunston (he said he would have been happy to pay $20 for this book alone, so he's feeling pretty pleased with his haul)

For me:
The Aunt's Story by Patrick White - only one of his I could find
Lady, Behave! - just because I liked the title
Elizabeth Crowned Queen: The Pictorial Record of the Coronation (because I have a soft spot for our Lizzie)
The Terrace Times Cook Book: The Rocks Edition
Mrs Dorothy Floate's Secret of Success Cookery Book
Feed the Brute - which tells us Remember ... if more women were better cooks, the divorce rate would very probably go down! I guess it depends on how your husband felt about being called a brute.
The Yoghurt Cookbook - for it's inside cover blurb: The Yogurt Cookbook is a collection of over 250 exciting recipes which utilize that mysterious and creamy substance made from fermented milk believed to restore virility, prolong life, cure insomnia, improve the complexion, relieve sunburn, ulcers and stomach aches, and to serve as an antidote for food poisoning and excessive drinking. (Zoe I think this one may be good for your collection if you don't already have it)
I also snaffled three copies of Witchcraft Magazine, including the 10th Anniversary edition, for such great articles as 'Join an e-Coven: Meet cyber Witches and techno pagans online'; 'Witch Wars: How to resolve Witchin' Bitchin'; and 'Do you believe in the Goddess or could you be an Atheist Witch?' I think these babies will have a post of their very own.

Finally my personal favourite: Reading for Profit by Montgomery Belgion. When I first read the title I had visions of relaxing on the lounge reading while the money rolled in. Unfortunately it means bettering yourself or something. But what really got me was the blurb on the back cover:

Although British by birth, Montgomery Belgion (born Paris, 1892) is at much at home abroad as in England, Not only was one of his previous books translated into French and another into German, but he has passed more than thirty years on the Continent (mostly in France) or in the United States. Nevertheless, he read Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare before he had heard of Racine, and thinks more of Wilkie Collins than of Eugene O'Neill. In America he worked for a publisher, but on the whole prefers his authors dead. In the war 1914-18 he came from Paris to join the H.A.C., later obtaining a commission in the Dorsetshire Regiment. In the second world war he was a captain in the R.E (Transportation). He got away from France in June 1940, but was taken prisoner in the following year in Greece. Reading for Profit was written in a German Oflag out of lectures delivered to fellow prisoners.

I'm guessing it made more sense in 1945. But then you get to the bit inside the front cover and it has:

Lectures on English Literature Delivered in 1941, 1942 and 1943 to British Officers Prisoners on War in Germany by Montgomery Belgion Lately British Prisoner of War no. 182.

I don't know why, but the Lately ... no. 182 really got me. I think that one little sentence may even make me read the whole book.

Best of all, the next Lifeline book fair is in April 2007. I'm planning daycare days already.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Time for favourite links of the week...

Well, first i would like to assault you with The Evolution of Twentieth Century Dance. Harry, perhaps you can take lessons - there is already at least one shameless, balding white man who can dance out there. (best with sound)

Being daggy is totally cool.

And now this that has been stolen from numerous places, with apologies to gilbert and sulivan:


I am the very model of a modern movie buccaneer,
When playing Captain Jack, it's like a Rolling Stone has snuck in here,
Although the script has major holes that you could drive a truck through, dear,
I know the slightly druggy stance will still advance my film career.

I'm very well acquainted, too, with characters satanical,
The whole gamut, from A to Z, from putz to puritanical,
But here I am, again, alongside extras wearing manacles
To save us all, once more, from foes impressively tyrannical


To save us all, once more, from foes impressively tyrannical!


I'm very good at slightly otherworldly folk like Scissorhands;
My Michael Jackson made a breeze of Willy Wonka's businessman:
I won Winona over then tattooed her on my arm, just here
I am the very model of a modern movie buccaneer.


He won Winona over then tattooed her on his arm, just here,
He is the very model of a modern movie buccaneer!


I know our filmic history, my Bogarts and Oliviers;
I've dazzled many critics with my acting sensibilité,
I've never won an Oscar, but, although you'll think this sad of me,
I've played on an Oasis song, so balls to the Academy!

I play iconic loners with astounding versatility
My Ed Wood was a tour de force in black and white (and lingerie),
Let he who doubts my principles, or questions my abilty,
Be beaten back, confounded by my impeturbability.


Be beaten back, confounded by his impeturbability!


I had to cut the N A from "Winona", leaving "Wino" there
Wino Forever's not so nice, but - what the devil? - c'est la guerre
It hasn't stopped me going out with models and celebrities:
The latest one to catch my heart is that Vanessa Paradis.


It hasn't stopped him going out with models and celebrities:
The latest one to catch his heart is that Vanessa Paradis!


Yes, I am the very model of a modern movie buccaneer
In Pirates of the Caribbean Two I pushed my luck, I fear:
I briefly contemplated making Captain Jack a Muskateer,
Like Gerard Depardieu, but with a kind of Friar Tuck veneer.
I realise that playing Keith is what will make the kiddies cheer,
And send my earnings soaring higher, way above the stratosphere
So Keith it is, once more unto the breach we go, once more, my dear:
I am the very model of a modern movie buccaneer.


He is the very model of a modern movie buccaneer!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Yay Books.

It's almost become a meme, skiting about the great book bargains purchased at various book fairs and I'm not one to be left out. So my haul from the Yass Montessori Preschool Spring Fair is as follows:

for me:
Agatha Christie: Partners in Crime; One, Two, Buckle My Shoe; and The Listerdale Mystery
Ngaio Marsh (New Zealand's answer to AC) Overture to Death; Enter a Murderer; and Death at the Bar.

for the kids: Playtime by Tricia Oktober; Stone Soup by Tony Ross; Snap! Snap! by Colin and Jacqui Hawkins; and Tigger Bounces into Fall (I have to admit to buying this one because it's a Tigger book and I didn't read the title first).

Total cost: gold coin entry(with complimentary balloon soon residing on the hall ceiling but fortunately kindly replaced), $5 for books, + numerous bikkies and cupcakes for an inquisitive little boy.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I think this is one for us...

Inconvenient Truth

Again, it is one of those things that the people who really need to see it are exactly those people who never will, because they are that kind of person. Reverse-selected demographic.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Chivalry isn't dead....

But it does stink a bit. So can we just let it go?

I blame society.

Picture this... You're in a lift - the back of the lift. And there are two guys in front of you. The lift reaches the bottom floor, the doors open.

And then nothing happens.

I'm waiting for the people in front of me to move so I can exit the lift. They are waiting for me to leave first. So we are all standing around like idiots in a lift going nowhere. Social awkwardness ensues.

You just can't win. I'm terrible at being gracious. I'm perfectly able to open my own doors or park a car or wait my turn exiting a lift. I don't need assistance or special treatment and I have a rough time being pleased about it. (I've been to places where, when this sort of activity took place, a tip was expected - I'm not paying for services I didn't ask for - Yes, I'm ungracious AND miserly.)

Okay. I have had to swallow my pride recently and accept seats on trains. But considering I'm carrying around more than my fair share of the population right now I kind of need that concession and there is an obvious reason to need it. And I do thank people for it. But for most of my life, my legs have been as sturdy as the next man's.

There was a piece recently in the SMH (http://blogs.smh.com.au/allmenareliars/archives/2006/09/the_myth_of_mal.html) about how men are oppressed into being the breadwinner and that they don't know how to behave since they get glared at if they try to be polite as they have been taught - either they appear as unchivalrous bastards or condescending arseholes. (Yes this is an exaggeration)

I think women are left in just as much confusion. We are taught that we are equal to men and that we should stand up for our rights and take responsibility for our lives. And yet we too are either evil lesbian feminist bitches or pushy demanding gold-diggers. (another exaggeration)

Gender stereotypes are changing daily and while we've come a long way since the stone age, we still teach these stereotypes to the next generation whether we mean to or not. I suppose the confusion on how to treat strangers politely in a social situation is inevitable. Some people seem to traverse this minefield far better than me.

Does this bother anyone else... or am I just having a cranky week?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Village of the Damned

Who said Scientologists were nOrMAl? Ohh thats right no one!
This is just wierd and scary and scary and wierd. Everyone knows that the best way to react to rapid frothing is to be cool, calm and collected and not whail on them with the Flaming Sword of Rightousness.
I admire Mark the cameraman, though I'd have paid money to see the Sword.

From From Week Ever via Pharyngula

They just enturbulated my arse.

Friday, September 08, 2006

For Battle? Feuerzangenbowle!

somehow, in my wanderings through the net-o-sphere, I found something which is so For Battle, it hurts. a German/Austrian version of sangria, which is heated like mulled wine, with a cone of sugar on top soaked with rum and then set on fire.


can it get any better?

according to german.about.com this is a New Year's custom. they also have the recipe, but there's plenty of other recipes on the net:

Feuerzangenbowle (pron. FOY-er-TSANGEN-bow-luh):
In addition to champagne or Sekt (German sparkling wine), wine, or beer, Feuerzangenbowle ("flaming fire tongs punch") is a popular traditional German New Year's drink. The only drawback for this tasty punch is that it is more complicated to prepare than a normal bottled or canned beverage. Part of the popularity of Feuerzangenbowle is based on a classic novel of the same name by Heinrich Spoerl (1887-1955) and the 1944 film version starring the popular German actor Heinz Rühmann. The hot punch drink's main ingredients are
Rotwein, Rum, Orangen, Zitronen, Zimt und Gewürznelken (red wine, rum, oranges, lemons, cinnamon and cloves).

with a ForBattler of German extraction I'm amazed he hasn't inflicted this on us before. shame on you, Stig! or perhaps you realised that with our predeliction for sangria and mulled wine, we'd get around to adding the setting it on fire bit some day.

as you can imagine, there's plenty of photos on Flickr of people setting fire to their punchbowls. that bit makes me sort of concerned about the quality of the glassware.

I also looked up the 1944 movie of the same name. here's the synopsis from a BBC website:

The story starts with a group of distinguished people sitting around a Feuerzangenbowle. They start discussing the pranks and fun they had at school when it turns out that one of them, Dr Johannes Pfeiffer (played by Heinz Rühmann), didn't attend a public school and never experienced these joys with his private teacher. In the mood brought about by the drink, they decide that the famous author is to be sent to a small town and to go to school there for some time. After changing his hair-style and shaving off his beard, Heinz Rühmann looks quite like the other pupils, which is rather surprising since he was 42 years old when the film was made. So Dr Pfeiffer attends this school, plays all the pranks and has an enormous amount of fun while also falling in love with a pupil from the nearby girls' school.

hmmm... not at all suspicious. apparently it now has a cult following where the audience takes props to the cinema a la The Rocky Horror Picture Show. what else do you do with a movie about a drunk 42 year old doctor dressed as a schoolboy, pranking about and falling for a schoolgirl? it's a natural!

or maybe not. but the drink?

be still, my beating liver.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Germaine wields her own flaming sword

From The Guardian:

"The animal world has finally taken its revenge on Irwin, but probably not before a whole generation of kids in shorts seven sizes too small has learned to shout in the ears of animals with hearing 10 times more acute than theirs, determined to become millionaire animal-loving zoo-owners in their turn."

Check out the whole article here.

Deep Fried Coke -- You Knew It Had to Happen

Gonzales deep-fries Coca-Cola-flavored batter. He then drizzles Coke fountain syrup on it. The fried Coke is topped with whipped cream, cinnamon sugar and a cherry. Gonzales said the fried Coke came about just from thinking aloud.

Monday, September 04, 2006

For Battle!!!!!!!

Yes, we played Pirates of the Spanish Main on Saturday night at Tops & Mouse's and then Coz, Rob, MrNw and I had to go to Games paradise and get our very own ships and islands and everything!. We then came home and played some more. We were mighty, I was Lord of the Ships (I stole two of Coz's). However, halfway through Sunday afternoon I realised that at the age of 29, I am in fact a 14yr old nerdy boy. How sad!

Oh and Coz has better photos I'm guessing.

Friday, September 01, 2006

I want one of these

at http://coyotescorner.com/tshirts-fem3.htm

see also http://coyotescorner.com/revpat.htm

that is all.

update: apparently you want one of these too! so
go here, give us your size and colour by wednesday, and we'll put in an order. because we like you. no, really :-)

ha ha ha ha oh god they are serious

The Maine National Guard are giving families a cardboard cut-out of their loved one while said loved one is in Iraq or Afghanistan. Just in case you miss them.

Is it just me, or is this REALLY weird?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Train Seats

Whats with people and those folding train seats? You know; the ones where its facing one way, but if you pull the back across it will face the other way? (Those of you who don't take a train to work are just gonna have to trust me on this...) A couple of times a week at least I watch someone get on the train and come up to the following situation: 3 seats in a row, the ones on the ends with people on them, facing each other across an empty seat in the middle. And they move the seat before sitting down. Why?

I'm not saying I particularly care; it only bugs me because I just can't imagine whats going through these people's heads. Its not about sitting facing someone; theres someone facing you either way. Its not about facing forwards or backwards; it seems to go either way. (Its not even about me needing to shower more often, because they seem to move it to join me about as often as they move it away, when its even my seat.) Its not a huge amount of effort - though I've seen people put packages down to do it - but it is some. Why bother? All I can figure is its some kind of nesting behaviour, like cats circling before they lie down to make it all comfy.

Happened 3 times on the train home last night and it got me wondering. If anyone can explain it, I'd love to know.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I have a secret

A while ago, I read about an article about people sending anonymous postcards with a secret on it. It was so cool and i just found it on the web.

It's touching and funny and sad and lovely.

Now Taking Submissions

for the coolest links of the week.

#1 http://www.fugufish.org/frog/?p=38 What would you do with 8 treadmills? Someone get Graehme Murphy on the phone... (It's a film clip - best with sound though pretty damn funny without.)

myeh myeh hrefs not working again...