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)