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 ( 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 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


see also

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?