Monday, July 31, 2006

Dear Valued Client

I've recieved a couple of these internet bank fraud messages but I've got to say this one has the worst english of any of them.

Most of the others were quite slick but the language in this one makes it sound like it originated in Nigeria!

Honestly, is anyone ever fooled by this stuff?

Dear Valued Client of National Australian Bank!

Our Technical service have updated our security SSL certification system. This updates help us to avoid fraud transactions with your personal account and keep your money resourses in safety. Also this updated system makes your connection with bank account and other our services more codify with 1024 bite protocol, so you can be sure that nobody else will get access to your account in our bank system.Due to this updates we have temporarily blocked your account, you should reactivate it to make transactions again. You should only to log in and we will automaticly restore it. You can easily do it, click the link below:

We appreciate your business. It's truly our pleasure to serve you! This email is for notification only. To contact us, please log into your account and send a Bank Mail.Don't reply to this message. It is automaticly generated by our Customers care centre.

National Australian Bank Customers care centre.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

For some strange reason...

for the last couple of years I have thought that 33 would be a great year for me. Well, it started out okay with sick baby going to sleep about 12.08am, after doing a huge poo and getting a clean nappy, and sleeping until 5.30am. Then Mum rang to wish me happy birthday and tell me that they had to put their 18 yr old cat down today. Finally I dropped a glass on the kitchen countertop, breaking the glasss and then half of the broken glass fell onto my foot, bruising and cutting it at the same time, then a shard of glass cut the underside of my big toe. And now Australia has just lost the Bledisloe Cup, again. Hopefully the next 364 days of being 33 will be better than this one. Whinge over now.

Friday, July 28, 2006

A link for the ferret fanciers out there. You know who you are!

Medieval Ferrets

have you been touched?

Come one, come all and declare your love for our saviour, the flying spaghetti monster.

If you are a true believer, you have the chance to out yourself to the government as a 'pastafarian' on census day.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Hypothesis. Conclusion

A brand new Fashion Swat from Something Awful. Its cheap, mean and nasty but it makes me laugh.
Thank the Flying Spagetti Monster we never had to do Science Fairs. Did anyone in Oz ever have to do one? The first i ever heard of it was watching 'Degrassi Jr High' (which is Canandian i know, but same diff).

Makes me want to email Ob's Mom, cause i'm sure she has a few proto-nerd photos of her beloved son she would love to share.

Community Service Announcement

Warning Will Robinson - David Hasselhoff has a video out to accompany his rendition of Jump in my Car. Watch at your own peril. Wulfers and I were unlucky enough to be watching Video Hits (we were channel surfing honest) when it came on. Not knowing the dangers we watched it for a laugh. It's interesting how the video clip revisits the 'glory' days of Knightrider and Baywatch, as if to remind everyone of who he is. But that's not the yukky bit. Even the girl he's trying to pick up who is young enough to be his daughter isn't the yukky bit. Oh no, it's the (urrrhhhhhh I'm shuddering just thinking about it) pelvic thrust. There I've said it. The image is burned onto my brain. I have never seen anything that could make both Wulfers and I simultaneously feel really grotty and not in a good way. Wulfers later said it was like someone had told the Hass to test out his hip replacement or something. It is wrong in so many ways. So you've been warned.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

oh for goodness's sake!

get over to this place.

cute? uhuh.


oh yes.

there's also bedding and tubing abungo for all furry critters, although the emphasis is on 'carpetsharks', as ferrets are lovingly referred to.

and who wouldn't let Little Jimmy play with his carpetsharks on the cream berber?

as long as there's one of these hanging on the door handle, everything's fine...


For those of you that know about Cheapass Games, this will make you laugh!
I spotted this shop in Melbourne and people looked at me funny when I took a photo of the sign and kept snickering.

My blog and Flickr has more Melbourne stuff. It will have even more next month when i get more Mb to use.

Silly Little Things

Some days working in North Sydney is an education.

Rode up the elevator today with two older gentlemen in shiny suits, heading for the arid executive heights of the top floor, a snatch of whose conversation went:

"These people have no idea what they're doing. I can't believe all the fuss over silly little things like... customer service. They have no idea what it costs us."

There was no sarcasm involved; trust me.

Fortunately, the 18th floor is NOT leased by my company.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Pre-warming the glasses

We all know about the stubby holder - the oh-so useful invention that helps stop your beer heating up unpleasantly before you've had a chance to drink the thing. We have wine coolers and eskys and any number of convenient ways to keep alcohol cool in the hot Aussie summer.

I get that.
Really, I do.

And I do also get the fact that when they recommend drinking red wine at room temperature they do not mean 30 degrees. But where it all falls down is that the great Aussie reds were born in the heat, with the dirt and the fruit and the sun- all full to bursting in the mouth. So when it is sodding below 15 degrees, the wine is too cold to taste.
I've taken to running my glass under hot water before i fill it, sitting the bottle near the heater, nestling the glass between my knees, anything to try and coax the flavours out of this gorgeous blood ruby 2003 Limestone Coast Cabernet Sauvignon that is being transformed into a flavourless, vaguely red sort of drink type thing by the cold.

But what I reckon.. Wha' oi rekk'n is.
We need some sort of reverse stubby holder for red wine in winter. Not one that keeps it cold, or even just stops it getting colder, but one that somehow manages to heat it up slightly. Enough to counter the chilling effect of the air, enough to raise the bouquet. May be, knowing you lot, a deluxe high powered one capable of mulling wine, in a range of fetching medieval colours. Personally, i'd settle for something, some way of imbuing my reds with the fabulous flavours i know they have.
Other than clasping the glass between my thighs, I mean. (Though that does work rather well...)

Let the French have their light pinot noirs, let the Italians have their chianti. As far as my reds are concerned, room temperature is 20 degrees. At least.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Dave's Syndrome

Can someone please explain this to me....

Britain set to swelter in record temperature

The highest temperature ever recorded in Britain was 38.5 Celsius at Faversham in Kent, on August 10, 2003.

The government issued a heatwave alert under a new system introduced after a 2003 heatwave which killed more than
2,000 people in Britain and 27,000 across Europe.

Bookmakers have slashed the odds on thermometers reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.7 C).

"We could easily be left red faced tomorrow," said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams.

British workers should be allowed to leave their ties and jackets at home and go to work wearing shorts in a bid to stay cool, said the Trades Union Congress, which represents 70 unions with nearly seven million members.

Ok, 40c is hot, we all have been there. Sydney generally gets a few days over Summer, that leaves us flat, but does anybody die?
How the hell do 27,000 people die from the heat?
I know it can be a problem with very young and the old, plus the smog won't help...but really, people.

Its Not That Hot.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Would you like a jelly baby?

Just finished watching the season finale of Doctor Who, and no i'm not going to give away anything...much.
I will admit there was a hint of a tear in this old girl's eye, but I cry reading the back a cereal packet so don't read anything in to it..much.

I have totally warmed to David Tennent, but I even hadn't finished warming to Chris Eccleston. There is only so many school girl crushes I can keep going at once, sheesh, Its getting crowded in here.

Everyone loves a Final Battle for Earth Itself, bravado, taunts 'my evil plan is waaaay better than your evil plan, so ner ner'
Nemesis V Nemesis.... but which ones?
My lips are sealed, until they are not.

Sontarans....hmmm maybe
This guy still gives me the heebies even after 20 years. I remember him having tied Sarah Jane (yes?) to a rock and taking his helmet off for some evil gloating. Freak.Me.Out

The Silurian's.
Probably still pissed about Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart destroying thier base, so I imagine revenge would be sweet. They also have that cool third eye thing.

A bit of Master.

The Doctor has been lacking in the whole dashing evil genius to match wits with...shame really. Everyone loves a villian they secretly admire and want to hang out with.
There was a bit of crush action happening in our house over the Master, as i recall.

Who the hell are these guys??

Its not these bobble heads or 'Ice Warriors' as may rather be known by, I'll give ya that for free.


Cutest. Monsters. Ever.

So I hope this rambling, barely held together post helps....
It is just an excuse to look at Dr Who stuff, and pretend its for the greater good.

what do you do with a prime minister no-one wants??

Lots of things according to this site

thanks to TigTog for having it in her sidebar. (ooh that sounds rude)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Suddenly feeling very safe and sound

My best friend from high school lives in Israel with his wife and son. I got this email from them today after spending several worried days as the area they live in (Haifa) is being bombed.

Hi all,

Just a very quick update, we are all fine, Hezbollah has been bombing Haifa and the area all morning so we are in a kind of protected/secure room - safe and sound though - nothing has really been close to us, although we've been hearing warning sirens and bombs all morning. Really really not pleasant...we are waiting for the all clear from the army to leave the shelters and then we will head for the safety of Jerusalem - where their rockets can't reach. For those who don't know my mum arrived here on Friday morning for a two week vacation - not quite what she expected I don't think! But she's holding up very well so far...

Anyway, will get back to the shelter and hopefully we'll be in Jerusalem soon - never thought I'd be saying that we're heading for the SAFETY of Jerusalem! Oh well...anyway will update you all soon. Take care meantime...

My thoughts to all those in the world today who need to find a safe place to be. I wish I could help more.


So I thought I would do my sisterly bit and look for jobs in Arizone-eye-ay for Coz.

I'm losing alot of my bolshevik tendancies as I get old, but I still feel it's a sad state of affairs when the phrase "$4.50 per hour" is so exciting you feel entitled to put an exclamation mark at the end of it.

And, who wants to eat somewhere called Granny's Closet? Granny's Kitchen, OK. But ... closet? A closet owned by a granny? Maybe you might find some boiled lollies in there.

This is the one I want her to get. Bartender on Route 66? Rock!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Somewhat travel-stained

I'm back. A week and a half in Portugal (great seafood and the best squid i have EVER had) at conference. Mostly at a conference. The couple of days i had in Lisbon before and after were fairly nuts - Lisboans are crazy drivers, hard sellers, pathological ice tea drinkers and very fit... The city centre is right on the river (10-15 km wide 'river') and consists of a dozen or so neatly arranged blocks on perfectly flat land and then slopes up gradually away from the river and incredibly steeply either side. 10 minutes walk (virtually vertically mind you) brings you to terraces with uninterrupted panoramas of the whole city. Stadium seating has nothing on Lisbon. Nothing!
Oh and there is a castle too. With resident peacocks and cats. (Aww...)

The conference was at a town 3 hours to the north - beautiful place called Aveiro - where noone got up or opened a shop before midday and even midweek the restaurants didn't close before 2 am. They really know how to live up there. The can't be bothered having a siesta in the afternoon - they prefer to get it over and done with first thing in the morning. No, seriously, the streets are empty until after midday.

ANyway, then i went to Amsterdam. (Caught a 2:30AM flight from Lisbon airport. And i thought the Perth to Sydney red-eye was bad.)
Amsterdam is possibly one of the prettiest cities i've been in. It has canals. I didn't know that. And it is flat flat flat. It possibly has more bikes per capita than Beijing. The major crime is not pickpocketing, but bike theft - locals use 2 or 3 chains on good bikes, or just settle for bad ones no one wants to steal.

And it is true: the prostitutes parade in their lingerie behind full length windows lit up in red. The red light district is spread out over most of the heart of town, and what seems kinda openminded and happy on a saturday night seems down right strange at 10am on a Tuesday morning.

Also, it is true: Amsterdam has cafes that sell coffee and coffeeshops that don't. (Actually, they do sell coffee, but that's not the point. They are called 'coffee shops' because part of the hash/marijuana licencing bargain is that they don't sell alcohol. If that "Coffee and Cigarettes" movie had been set in Amsterdam it would have been somewhat different...)

I feel bound to reassure people that i am not a stoner and in fact will normally decline the occassional offer that floats my way, but Amsterdam just does things to people. I give no apology. It's virtually cultural when you're in Amsterdam, and we all know that the main point of travelling is to experience other cultures first hand, don't we? :-) So i made the most of it.

My four-day sojourn in Amsterdam was basically a constant litany of coffee-alcohol-pot-coffee-pot-alcohol-tea-pot-alcohol etc etc etc with occasional episodes of sleep and food on the side.
And marathon 3 hour sessions of intense Backgammon in a particularly cozy coffeeshop off the edges of the map.

Here is part of an email i sent to the Boy. Enjoy.

Ah, You should be here!!!!! This place is insane, you'd LOVE it.
All i keep thinking is that i ought to be running around the city stoned with you, rather than my crazy friends. Or with my crazy friends, but definitely with you. The city is so pretty, really pretty, like a perfectly flawless apple with a rotten core. So very very good. The city functions totally happily interwoven with its licentious (and very popular) spirit. The streets smelll like pot, they have a dozen different types of bud and a dozen types of hash in every 'coffeeshop', beer isn't too expensive, food is multicultural but very expensive, and you don't have to go too far to get out of all the craziness.*

I really wish i'd brought my black pants though - there was the second of two trance parties last night, the first being the Sensations White party last weekend and last night being the Sensations Black party. Strict dress code, of course, and it was at the Amsterdam Arena so rarely sells out before the night (5000 people) so i would have probably gotten in if it wasn't for my total lack of black pants. Sigh. So i just ran around the city with crazy dan smoking too much. Fun!

*apparently, only 30 min of cycling will get you to real tulip and windmill country. Something to do next time i go.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

adopt your own virtual pet!

Turkinator vs. Santa Vaca

Folk gathered at the Tops and Mouse house after a day of moving stuff in the Tops and Mouse house and moving stuff to the Meg and Snerg house.

Above we have those ribs I raved on about earlier; tandoori on the left and kecap manis and garlic on the right. Also some meat burgers up the end and lentil burgers in the middle (for the vego, hi Tina). Notice how I analy formed all the burgers in an egg ring?

But, whose is the hand that flips the burgers? A serious question indeed!

'Tis none other than the G-Man himself, with Mr Snerg obviously paying a great deal of attention to the process. Thank you G-Man!

And here's the crew sitting around the fire. Thank you Mr Stig and little Alex for building such a lovely warm fire!

And thank you all for just being generally cool, helpfull, friendly people.

The result:

Turkinator 1
Santa Vaca 0

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Hoorah for the Mighty!

I would like to say a big mighty thanking hoorah for all those that helped in the housing movementness stuff on the weekend. The mighty crew includes: Dr Ob, Dr Nik, Dr Scruff, Tops, Mouse, Harry, Fitz... and the Turkinator (tm) for feeding the masses on Saturday.

The highlight was getting Dr Nik, Dr Scruff, Dr Ob and myself to haul some of my furniture over my old balcony and down 2 stories to ground level. Alas... no photos... but that might be for the best.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Mouse and I went to IKEA

We were looking for some storage solutions and perhaps some baby stuff as we needed to make space for the upcomming little tacker and buy a bed or box or something to keep him in.

Now, we weren't actually planning on picking up anything on the first trip, it was more of a recon mission. So, being that we were just looking, we looked at everything.

Before I continue, I just want to point out something about IKEA. It's totally full of pregnant people! Like, I'm sure I notice pregnant passers by more now since Mouse is up the duff, but this was rediculous. I'd never been to IKEA before we were expecting and I think it's because they have a force field that keeps out any group that doesn't involve a fetus!

Anyway, we were perusing the kitchen stuff when I saw this stainless steel colander. Now, I have a confession to make. I have this iresistable urge when out in public to put stupid stuff on my head, especially in shopping centres. Wastepaper baskets, pots, lampshades, cardboard boxes, those green shopping bags; anything that fits, really.

So, I saw this colander and the first thing I did was put it on my head. It was, like, such a great fit that I just had to buy it. It was also cool because you could see through the holes like archery mesh. And I also got a laugh from a couple of my fellow IKEA shopers that did seem more like outright amusement that nervousness.

I also think it was rather fetching, making me look extra sexy and a little like one of these:

A day or so later mouse came home from work with a plastic bag that some computer parts for her work arrived in. On it was this logo:

I wonder if she was trying to tell me something about the possible ramifications of putting stupid stuff on my head?

Topsy the Camel is Dead!

This from Caspian:

In April, 1934, the Oakland Tribune printed the following: "THE LAST AMERICAN CAMEL IS DEAD. Los Angeles--Topsy, the last camel that trekked across the desert of Ariz. and Calif. is dead. Attendants at Griffith Park destroyed her after she became crippled with paralysis in the park lot where she spent the declining years of her life."

You can check out the whole article here.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

And the horse they rode in on

A sordid tale entitled: 'Any dipshit know-nothing can open a pub and turn me into a complete misanthropic cynic in less than six weeks.'

I left the Marly to be cellarman at The Clarendon, to learn more about how a pub works. But luckily for me, yesterday I was able to quit in disgust.

Funkyman got fired on Sunday, yet he was the one manager of three doing his job properly. His mistake was to not get along with the Consultant who'd been hired by the dipshit know-nothing owners, so the Consultant wrote in his final report that Funkyman should get the flick without, y'know, talking about it at all. What a petty and unprofessional fucker! Especially as it's almost impossible not to get along with Funkyman and respect him. The licensee complied, so I went in on Monday and did all the ordering; covered a break; stocked the cellar and then quit.
Fuck those guys.

This was after the licensee had spent a while earlier expressing his understanding that I'd be upset by the sacking of my housemate and friend, and telling me that everyone thought I was doing a really good job (again, from the report of the consultant). Indeed the owners gave me a 'pat on the back', but not in person, of course, because that would be vaguely human and responsible.
The funny thing is that the points I clashed with the consultant over (ie when he was breaking the law) were also points over which Funkyman clashed with him. Funkyman worked nights, and me days, so he also had to deal with said consultant drunk; telling Funkyman how to do his job; and abusing the 'promo' free food privileges.

The whole six week adventure has been an awesome learning experience. It's funny how the owners know absolutely nothing about running a pub, and the consultant who they hired to set it up knows absolutely nothing about pubs.

I haven't seen Funkyman so happy since he moved into the front room.
Score one for the good guys.
Actually two: Funkyman is happy and got a new job instantly. He got job offers within four hours and got a job the next day without even being interviewed.
I'm taking about a month off waiting for The Bank to open again.

The perfect beauty of working at the Bank is that it has been renovated specifically to destroy the Marly.
Now, the Egans (owners of the Clarendon) may be a bunch of know-nothing fucksticks, but at least they're not a bunch of know-nothing fuckstick cunts like JJ O'Brien (Owners of the Marly).

As Lord Mattress Hammer pointed out "The hospitality industry is the only industry you can spend the rest of your career getting revenge on the people who originally hired you."

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Santa Vaca! Holy Cow!

I little while ago I convinced Mouse it would be a good idea to buy a chest freezer so we could purchase bulk meat, thereby saving mucho denarii.

We bought the freezer a month or so back but only just got around to heading out to Morree Meats on Saturday morning to pick up one of these:-

Actually, these are hind quarters. We bought a whole side which is about twice the size or 60 kg (or about what Coz weighs, not that I'm making any strange suggestions there).

It was actually a rather a daunting process to begin with. A half a cow looks pretty big and we were wondering if we'd bitten off more than we could chew (so to speak). We also had no idea how a cow is butchered and what sort of options are available as to choice of cuts etc.

The fellow who butchered the side for us was called Ted, who was a master of his craft and something of a showman as well. Not only did he amaze us for the next hour with his dazzling display of knifemanship, but he kept up a rather witty banter during the process with jokes, cooking tips and suggestions on what sort of cuts we might like.

For intance, apparently boneless brisket is great for making stock for clear soups as bones make the stock cloudy. Once you've made the stock he suggested removing the brisket, chilling it, slicing it thinly and serving it with horse raddish.

And the tail is apparently an aphrodisiac. Ted warned Mouse to be very carefull when she cooked it (I wonder if he trying to convince us the tail was a different part of the cows anatomy?)

While this was going on an old couple turned up asking for a pigs head, which was duly delivered and dubbed 'Joe', the name of the other butcher on duty. In the end they bought 2 for $5 a piece. All I can say is, next 'Family Favourites' dinner you can all look forward to the real thing!

I'll admit I was hungover from the previous evening, which may have contributed, but watching the initial stages of the dismemberment made me distinctly queasy. As the process continued it was fascinating the see the animal that was recognizably a half a cow turn into the t-bones, scotch fillet and roasts that I was more familiar, and argulably more comfortable, with.

Ted joked that he'd recently downloaded the latest Texas Chainsaw Massacare movie off the net and found that it wasn't gorey at all. Not surprising for a man who makes a living from dismembering animals. And some of the bones did look amazing, particularly the leg joints which looked for all the world like the finest white porcelain.

In any case, over the course of the hour Ted turned what you see in the picture above into this:

60kg of half cow turned out to give 41kg of mostly very lean meat. We had some of the fillet yesterday as peper steak and it was just mouth wateringly delicious. There's also the 2kg of ribs that I'm kind of excited about marinating and slow roasting in the turkinator some time soon (you are, of course, all invited).

Was it value for money? We weighed all the amounts of each kind of cut we got and geekily compared the bulk price to the price we'd have paid at the local butcher. It turned out that the $370 we paid for the side would have only cost $430 as piecemeal purchases from the local butcher.

It would hardly seem worth the effort (hanging about for an hour and bagging the stuff up when we got home) for the 15% saving except for the fact that we know the meat was very fresh and the experience itself was so interesting and amusing.

They should sell tickets.