Monday, December 21, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The ginger spice cake recipe

Can be found here. Sorry for the delay... It's very yummy and extremely easy to make.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

UNSW prepares for 2010

What makes me think that? What makes me think "My God, it's full of stars, the sequel!!!!"?


and this:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hippys with Handguns

I recently received this email from the indoor range where I currently practice with my .22 rifle.

Dear fellow Members

Many of you have seen the amazing demonstration of the Power Balance wrist bands that we had a few of recently.

Good news - the club has been appointed the Sydney reseller for them now and we have good stocks in, just in time for Christmas.

First in best dressed, so get in soon. For more info, check out their website -

Kind Regards

Now I figured this must be some kind wrist brace used in pistol shooting (the club is primarily a pistol club) so I thought I'd check it out.

I discovered that:

Power Balance is performance technology that uses holograms embedded with frequencies that react positively with your body’s natural energy field to improve balance, strength, and flexibility.

How does it work? I'm glad you asked:

Most everything has a frequency inherent to it. Some frequencies react positively with your body and others negatively. When the hologram comes in contact with your body’s energy field, it allows your body to interact with the natural, beneficial frequency stored within the hologram. This results in improved energy flow throughout your body.

Now is it just me, or do you also wonder at the wisdom of allowing people who believe this kind of crap to possess handguns? Even if the guy in charge of the club is just out to make a buck he must think that a reasonable subset of the members will buy into it.

Scary stuff.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Origin of the Cool

Do you know what's cool?

(Don't knock yourself out here folks, because you know I'm going to give it away...)

When idiots make themselves look like idiots in public? No, that's just fuckin funny. But when idiots actually _try_ to be dickheads, and instead fail and do something awesome? Now that's cool.

Ray Comfort is an evangelical christian who fights the "good fight" against evolution, by pointing out that God designed us (well, us guys anyways) to all masturbate ferociously. No seriously; go back and watch the video in that link above. If I could make shite this funny up I'd have my own show on late-night TV. But I guess Ray was a little worried that he wasn't reaching enough of the young folks with his U-Tube-for-God banana bonanza, so he decided to stage a little stunt where he publishes a copy of Darwin's Origin of the Species, adds like 50 pages of creationist propaganda to the front, and hands them out for free at universities across the US.

Yep. Ray Comfort is so confident, that he's put 50 pages worth of mindless rant against thinking on the front of the towering achievement of 19th century science, and he actually expects to come out on top.

That is SO cool.

When I first heard about this I thought they were handing out some sort of critique, or parody. But no, supposedly the complete unedited Origin of the Species, handed out for free to uni students, and he's doing this to _further_ the cause of creationism. On purpose. Without having been tricked into it. Or bribed to join the other side*. (*that I know of.)

In the Special Note to his introduction, Comfort quotes Evelyn Beatrice Hall (without attribution; one can only assume he doesn't approve of women who can think) "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Well Ray, I'll defend your right to make my case any time. I won't even disapprove.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Costumers, look this way. Also people who like zombies.


This is an extremely good use of the internet: find horrendously bad stuff that people make and then make fun of it.

Surely this cumberbund gives weight to any argument for enforced chemical sterilisation/ education gulags.

From the same parent site is this drawing of a chipmunk eating a mouse that took my fancy because the accompanying description was surely written by Coz.

The site owner's comments are perfect for example, 'a miniature fairy toilet with frog' (and dunny roll on a tree) ellicted:
"Oh, good. Somebody finally managed to combine two of the biggest obsessions in crafting: mythical creatures and bodily functions. Now if they would just make mermaid tampons, we could all go home."

Sunday, November 15, 2009

it's in your own interest...

if you love The Pink Drink(tm), we have to find a regular supply of Raspberry syrup or cordial. some of you may have noticed that today's effort wasn't quite as fully PINK as usual - I'm eking out the last of my supply.

I'm talking about the real deal, not just the radioactively bright stuff that makes all humans under 12 bounce off walls.

in my local area, Bickford's Raspberry Cordial stopped being stocked at least 2 years ago. it disappeared on their website, but I notice this evening that they now list a raspberry flavoured one. Schweppes, too, make a raspberry flavoured cordial. This Will Not Do.

I switched from Bickford's to Cascade Raspberry Syrup, but earlier this year it was discounted and discontinued at the local supermarkets and disappeared... I managed to snaffle a couple of big containers but the last one is under half full. sob.

of course we can make some, and I think I probably will just to see if I can and if it's worth doing, but in the meantime it'd be reassuring to know if anyone else can find either of these brands, or another genuinely scrummy syrup at a not too ridiculous price. both the brands advertised using Australian fruit, so I wonder if pricing themselves competitvely became too hard.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Religious Market Forces

I know, I know; Rob talking about religion again, and not even _trying_ to be funny? Yawn. But this is an interesting article - by Mark Vernon at the Guardian, but heavily sourcing George Soros' ideas - in which he uses a little financial know-how to analyse the economy of belief. Doesn't come to any huge earth-shaking conclusions, but its an interesting twist on how to look at it, so I thought I'd pass it along.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

For the tidy minded

providing a place for everything and everything in it's place.

Very possibly NSFW

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Turkey day 09... the invite

My abilities with technology being what they are... I can make a slideshow but still not manage to upload a pdf. Enjoy! And please RSVP as soon as you can, must decide on 1 or 2 turkeys really soon.

panoramas = small planets

For Snerg, because he likes creating panoramas
For everyone else, because they're pretty

Wee Planets

Sunday, October 25, 2009

When the InTeRW3bz is Dead....

This ones my favorite, though there doesn't appear to be any badly spelled lame jokes, but click on the pic for the full list...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

2009: The day of the Turkey is nigh...

So keep Sat 21st Nov afternoon and evening free... Will post up further details soon, but fairly similar scenario to last year.

If you are desperate for info in the meantime please email me.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


And we lived to tell the tale. Hopi Salt Trail bagged and tagged.
I can still barely walk but I pronounce Victory and Tea and Medals all round.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Thanks everyone!

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who helped us turn this:into this:

No, really! Thank you all for helping despite the weather :-)

Friday, October 02, 2009

Don't blame me, I'm just the messenger..

Her eyes were dark birds in fresh snow. They were the birds' shadows, they were mirrors, they were the legends on old charts. They were antique armour and the tears of dragons.

from here

Bugger her eyes. MY EYES I TELL YOU

yes, a published book.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I haven't seen The Guild...

<br/><a href=";vid=601e493a-9f80-4d4e-ad8c-62962c3c5add" target="_new" title="The Guild: &quot;Do You Want To Date My Avatar?&quot;">Video: The Guild: &quot;Do You Want To Date My Avatar?&quot;</a>

... but I really want to :-)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Demolition party on Monday

In honour of the Queen, we are seeking to remove some unwanted palm trees, followed by beer drinking and souvlaki eating.

So if you aren't doing much on Monday, and want to help in the cause (to the Queen!), let us know so we can provide beer and meat-on-a-stick for those who can help. Oh and then we can give you the address if you don't already have it.

Likely things we will need are:
* Sledgehammers to carefully demolish the current wall.
* Wheel barrows to move stuff around.
* A chainsaw to carve up the bits.
* Some chisels to clean the bricks.
* A pick or mattock (we have one mattock but more would be good).
* Some kind of crowbar or similar.

The wall will need rebuilding again afterwards but I'm not sure that we'll get that excited about it on the day. Demolition and the ensuing cleanup will probably be enough work.

The plan is:
Sledge-hammer-wielding party goers arrive from 11am.
Gentle brick adjustments are made with said hammers.
Remove the current bricks and stack for reuse if possible.
Pull down the palm trees.
Cut them up and move them to the front of the house for a green waste collection.
Take care of the remaining dirt as well as possible.
Put up a temporary wall with star pickets and shadecloth (any got any spare??).
Open beer.
Burn meat.
Drink beer.
Eat charred meat.

Who is up for it?
Or let us know if you want to come around later for the BBQ portion of the Queen-palm-dichotomy-extravaganza!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Battery powered repeat shooter nerf gun

In case anyone has any nerf guns in their possession as a result of Chrissie Pissies. Or, you know, might potentially be interested in making projectiles for fun and profit. Not that we know anyone who might be interested in such things...

Edit: Those who enjoy knitting and cupcakes and fun fibre crafts may also enjoy the pickles blog for avarious patterns and recipes. It is not necessary to enjoy projectiles as well.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Advertising Jesus

15 Christian churches are starting an advertising campaign designed to get people to come back to church.

Paul Harrison, a senior lecturer in consumer behaviour at Deakin University's Deakin Business School, said Christians should not place too much faith in an advertising campaign to convert non-believers or entice lapsed Christians back to church.

He said the subtle messages were likely to confuse and the churches would be better off putting money into understanding why people were turning away from them and what could be done in response.

But Dominic Steele, director of Christians in the Media, hopes it will have real resonance.

''They're a first invitation to a conversation about having a date with God or potentially starting a relationship.''

Drawbacks of having a relationship with God (according to me)
1. He always insists he is right
2. His friends always insist they are right
3. He thinks his book is the only one worth reading
4. He couldn't admit he got it wrong, he just made up new rules
5. Any signs you have to interpret yourself
6. He never calls, ever.
7. He can do what he likes and it's not covered by insurance
8. You can't hide and pretend you have to wash your hair because he is (apparently) omnipotent
9. He contradicts himself in his book constantly but won't admit it
10. All his friends think they can tell you what to do and who you can do it with

And another thought, I wonder how these very same christians would react if there were advertisements inviting people on a date with Allah?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

In case I missed anyone (up to date adress books are for other people)

If you'd like to know where, either email/call me or leave a comment and I'll let ya know.

Hope to see you all there.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Yes Men documentary

If you've never heard of the Yes Men, then you should.
If you have heard of them, then you should see this:

It's supposed to be out in the UK already. Not sure about Australia.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I'm (the) Batman

In memories of one of Harry's dress-up parties:

I still had one of those capes when I was cleaning out all of my stuff. Can't remember which good home it went to.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I've taken out a few sidebar links to defunct blogs. If I've deleted anything you wanted to stay either let me know so I can replace it, or pop it back in.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Why Isn't Anyone Yelling?

Read this today; apparently the Bush administration hired Blackwater to carry out political assassinations. Bastards. But the gist of the article is that no assassinations were ever carried out under the program; whew!

So why am I apparently the only one asking the question "Did we get our money back?" I mean don't get me wrong; I'm relieved that my tax dollars weren't spent on assassinating people, but I'd kind of rather they weren't given to Cheney's croneys for _not_ assassinating people either...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

For the Super-Geeks: Maths and Zombies

An outbreak of zombies infecting humans is likely to be disastrous, unless extremely aggressive tactics are employed against the undead," says the paper, titled When Zombies Attack! Mathematical Modelling of an Outbreak of Zombie Infection.

"Thus, if zombies arrive, we must act quickly and decisively to eradicate them before they eradicate us."

Image by gingiemay on Photobucket.

What more could you want?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

right up our alley. oooh errr!

TubeDuels. found by Nick here via Loyola's FB wall, so I had to rip it off... scroll down on this post to check the cool Nanna!

PS - can anyone spot Mr Snerg evil twin in stripy jamas? Snerg, is there something you're not telling us? ;-)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Om Nom Nom

Cupcakes of geeky cuteness

MissImpish is to blame

Web Comic - Want to Buy Dignity

It occurred to me on the weekend that I'd been a little lax in not sharing this web comic with you all. A dear friend of mine writes a web comic, Want to Buy Dignity, based on some situations from WoW, specifically the darker races, and it's fun and somewhat amusing. And the dark elf has a bad-ass platypus called Frumpy for a familiar, so what's not to love?

They regularly update, so if you're into web comics or WoW or both you might want to follow this one.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Important date

Mr Nw turns 40 in September.

To celebrate his venerableness, there will be a party on Saturday 3rd October.

You have been warned

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Role Models

I think I may have just found some potential role models: Margaret and Helen. Two women born in 1925/26 who have been best friends for 60 years and are now blogging about American politics, and it's fantastic. Good rants delivered as letters to each other, with the response from the other one at the end of the post. Their banner image is the two of them on motorised granny carts on the deck of a ship. Well worth reading. Hands up everyone who wants to be them when they grow up?

An excerpt from The Appreciation or Depreciation of Michael Jackson:
If it were up to me, I would establish a few rules right about now
regarding hypocrisy. Something along the lines of:

  • If you’re Michael Jackson’s father now is not the time to be enjoying the
  • You can’t be Pro-Life and Pro-War at the same time. If one of these
    dispositions has to be in your cadre, then pick one and live with the
  • You can’t deny the right to marry to some and then cheat on your spouse. The
    right to happily marry belongs to all no mater how unhappy it makes you.
  • You can’t tolerate the atrocities of one President for eight years and then
    assign the consequences to one who follows. From this day forward everything was
    Reagan’s fault.
  • The Christian Right should be forced to spend a week in Iran. May the best
    radicals win.
  • The Real Housewives should actually be housewives.

About that last one. I mean it. Really

Also, Coz & Rob, I read this interview in this morning's freebie newspaper and thought of your skeptics society, you may wish to post/discuss/ridicule this:

Dr Andrew Parker: The Bible got everything right

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009

speaking of bacon...

this is what happens when you stay up late playing FB apps.

Ken: bwain tired
Speedy: yah mine too
Speedy: need a new, juicy one
Ken: I find this game very tiring.
Ken: makes me want to sleep
Speedy: that's because it's stupidly repetitive
Speedy: they should have click and drag functions
Speedy: or just bigger fields
Ken: or an abattoir game
Speedy: HA
Speedy: have you looked? maybe there's a FB app just waiting for you
Speedy: My Little Slaughterhouse
Speedy: fruit?
Ken: sure
Ken: I mean I'm not... a fruit that is.
Ken: not that there's anything wrong with that
Speedy: ahahahahah.
Speedy: you're a cack
Speedy: you guys need to hang out with us more often. lawks.
Ken: I hang out all the time...
Speedy: except when you're cooking bacon
Ken: true. don't want bacon fat on my junk
Speedy: euw no
Speedy: still, I wonder, why not just an apron?
Ken: hmmmm.... the hospital gown look... nice
Speedy: surgical bacon cooking
Ken: novelty apron with boobies
Speedy: oh of course, must have boobies
Speedy: surgical gown with boobies
Ken: Awesome
Ken: I reckon there's a market there.
Speedy: problem is, if I found you one, Al would kill one or both of us
Ken: imagine waking up from surgery and seeing the surgeon with a pair of novelty breasts.
Speedy: or... going under anaesthetic looking at a surgeon with the same. which is better?
Speedy: now that I think of it... I'd like it better than a red nose, aka Robyn freaking Williams in Patch Adams. I'm sure he didn't get assaulted only because the kids were too sick. pick your audience well
Speedy: (not that I saw that movie. I don't think I needed to)
Ken: if you saw the shorts you probably saw the best bits.
Speedy: why, was he frying bacon?
Ken: not without his apron
Speedy: mit zer big boobies
Ken: New idea for a self help book.
Speedy: yes?
Ken: what colour is your bacon apron?
Speedy: LOL
Ken: brilliant!!!
Speedy: says more about me than my aura, that's for sure
Ken: or, I see your bacon apron has an aura
Ken: it's.... oily
Speedy: your bacon apron aura is more interesting than your own aura... what does that mean?
Speedy: it's kinda pink with crispy brown bits
Speedy: and it smells FANTASTIC
Ken: just so long as no one tries to clean your bacon apron aura
Speedy: what about edible auras?
Ken: hmmmmmmm bacon aura
Speedy: a sexy novelty
Speedy: edible bacon apron auras
Ken: crispy edible bacon auras
Speedy: or, just edible bacon aprons, what the hell
Speedy: cook your bacon, then eat it AND the apron!
Speedy: saves on shorts
Ken: brain storming has nothing on stupid storming.
Speedy: but don't forget to take a photo of your apron aura before you eat it
Ken: and then post it on youtube.
Speedy: I'm sure if you search for bacon apron aura photos on google, you'll find something
Ken: possibly.

Speedy: I love stupid storming. there's just not enough of it
Ken: my bacon aura has an image of the Virgin Mary and she tastes great too.
Speedy: OMG that's sacrilege
Speedy: that HAS to go on a t-shirt
Ken: if someone ate the virgin mary bacon aura would she still be a virgin?
Speedy: all teenage girls know that or*l s*x doesn't count
Speedy: and Mary was a teenage girl, so yes, she'd still be a virgin
Speedy: in that completely dodgy way of teenage logic
Speedy: god, now I want bacon.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Surprised and disappointed in myself

Always being able to use the internet to solve my problems, I've been searching for meat-based cocktails and yet never searched for the exact phrase "Bacon martini" before. I have no idea why I never did, given that I like both bacon AND martinis. Thanks to the conversation with DV (I'm not going to be blamed for this entirely), I now know so much about bacon as a cocktail garnish that I never knew.

Just for starters... here's some links on
and a delicious looking one on Flickr
and a photo picure lifted from a Lex and the Shitty blog post

p.s. this all started when I decided that bacon fritters had to be real.

Zombie Elves from Mars

What's your made up title for your crap Sci-Fi book?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The lemming women would be scarier, I think...

This link was sent to me by Mr oftheHills aka Bigglesworth.

It disturbs me that Morris dancers hold the key to our downfall.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Lemmings Always Get Lucky

South Point Casino, Las Vegas.

Rob, Flopeared Mule and I went to TAM7....We were very, very skeptical despite the Happy Hour Margaritas.
A casino is a very wrong or very apt place to hold a critical thinking and skeptics conference.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

For the amusement of our skeptics

Or anyone else that enjoys a good satire: an article from the Daily Mash, the UK's daily satirical newspaper, on the provenance of the bible.

Well worth sticking on your RSS feed reader.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Photo Booth

Coz and I went to a gallery showing which was a fundraiser for Second Chance, the animal shelter where she works. Because it was a fundraiser for an animal shelter - and because this is Flagstaff - we assumed (correctly) that dogs were welcome, and took Darwin and Roo along. The exhibit on was kind of cool; the artist set up one of those automatic photo booths in a variety of places around town, and collected a whole bunch of the strips of photos, which he mounted in a strip all around the outside of the gallery. There were some fun photos in there, and it was kind of cool to see some of the groups and progressions, and guess where the booth may have been at the time. And of course, to make the whole thing properly recursive (or reflective, or self-referential, or whatever wank term I'd use if I were a true artiste...) he had the booth set up at the exhibit (and was donating half the proceeds to Second Chance, so don't be too hard on the guy.)

The obvious result of all of which is:

Friday, June 26, 2009

Swine Flu coming soon to a keyboard near me

Came back from lunch today to find a colleague telling us all that there was a confirmed case of Swine Flu in the organisation. Specifically on our floor. Specifically in the bank of desks just around the corner from us.

This is a hotdesking office, although it doesn't really need to be. I love the reaction so far. Instead of stating that we should all stop hotdesking to ensure the germs don't spread too far, which might be an easy and predictable management response, they have instead chosen to order us more screen and keyboard wipes.

Oh, and sent our manager around to tell us not to panic. I quote "there's no need to run around screaming and waving your arms in the air because someone's been confirmed with swine flu". (I promptly asked him if we could run around doing so for the fun of it, being the absurdist that I am. He said, yes, and smiled)

I like the understated nature of it all.

-I'd like you all to note that I have resisted the urge to rant about this 'pandemic', and the actions that have been taken so far. Brownie points please!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Normally Lechon is a whole roast pig, which D recently sampled on a trip to the Phillipies for work. He was so impressed that he did a version for me.

First he got a (boneless) roast shoulder of pork from Woolies and baked it. Then once it is baked you take off the crackling and roughly chop the pork into large chunks and put it back into the oven at about 180 degrees for 15 minutes. You can snack on the crackling while you wait. Then you take a small bowl and fill it 3/4 full with white vinegar (just plain white vinegar, white wine vinegar isn't as good for this) and a finely julienned clove of garlic. Once the pork has finished its second cooking pile it onto a plate and put it on the table with the bowl of vingear and garlic beside it. Then grab a fork get a bit of pork and dip it in the vinegar. Then eat. D also made garlic rice to have with the pork. Which is cooked rice with garlic flakes mixed through. Really yummy subtle garlic flavour. If you were being good you could even have some steamed asian greens with it. Great way to use up left over roast pork, or a great reason to have a pork roast.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Little Colorado Adventure

So the week before last I get a call from my friend Ed, who wants to go hike the Little Colorado River canyon, or LCR as its known hereabouts. This is one of the main tributaries to the Colorado, coming in just at the beginning of the stretch that most folks think of as the Grand Canyon. Unlike its bigger brother, however, the LCR is fairly hard to get to, and consequently not very well-traveled. Chance of a lifetime - wrangle time off work and sign me up. Unfortunately its a 4 day trip, and Coz was scheduled to work 3 of them, so there was no chance of her getting the time off. And the trail sounded kind of rough for dogs (possibly should have noticed the ominous foreshadowing music at that point) so I'm on my own for the weekend.

Friday - Into the Abyss

The Grand Canyon is pretty famous for a hole in the ground, but what a lot of people don't know is that its more like a hole within a hole; it drops off sharply at the edge, then levels out in a kind of shoulder or plateau, then drops again to get to the river. Up by the LCR the first drop mellows slightly and the shoulder actually widens out to the point where its not really all one canyon anymore, which was most obvious when we went rattling down the equivalent of that first drop on a dirt road in a truck. Don't get me wrong though - just because we were driving it doesn't mean that this is easy terrain! We stopped just before the trailhead to have a look at where we were heading...

The first days hike down the Blue Springs Trail was only a mile according to some guide that Ed had read, but he'd been there before years ago and thought he remembered it as longer. That would be because its about a mile on the map sure, but its also a couple of thousand feet down, and another mile or so zig-zagging across the face of the cliff trying to find a way down that doesn't involve plummeting... Its not really hard core rock-climbing as such - the ledges are pretty wide and the hand-holds are huge - but you're still hanging over several-hundred-foot drops with a pack on your back (or lowering it by rope in the trickier bits.) Here's Ed demonstrating his trail-finding technique - I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but the upper left-hand corner of the background is about 1,000 feet lower than us at that point. No, dogs would not be a good idea on this trail.

But we reached the springs before dark (just, for some of us) and its a gorgeous camping spot on a beach with a clear, blue-tinged spring gushing out of the canyon wall. Photos of the LCR I'd seen had showed the water as a striking turquoise color, but I just figured we must have come in the wrong season or something.

Saturday - The Seven Mile Walk

On Saturday, Ed informed us, we were going down a stretch of the river that he'd never been down before, but that it should be about seven miles to the confluence with the main Colorado. For at least the first bit there were no trails though, just walking down the middle of the river with occasional ephemeral muddy banks on either side, so we got an early start. By a couple of miles down the river the water started to pick up the turquoise colour I'd been expecting - lots of side-springs coming in loaded with calcium carbonate, and the chalkiness shows up the blue that was mostly transparent at Blue Spring. The same minerals deposit out as river-wide dams made of travertine, which makes for some pretty spectacular waterfalls:

At the largest of these we met a man and his two sons, who were staying in this section of canyon for 10 days, subsisting on nothing but a 7-pound lump of quinoa. He informed us that we'd come about 4 miles from the springs... and it was about 7 more to the confluence of the main Colorado.

We started to find trails on the banks at about this point, and though they were barely-visible tracks through the head-high grass, they speeded us up a fair bit. We'd left Kent and Ed behind to set their own pace and hadn't seen them for a while, so we were starting to worry that maybe they'd missed the trails and were still slogging down the middle of the river, so we stopped to wait for them to catch up (Turns out they had just stopped to make coffee.) We stopped just below Big Canyon at a place where the Hopi Salt Trail drops into the canyon, and there were a couple of guys who had come down it just for the day... who told us, among other things, that we'd gone about 3 miles since meeting Quinoa Man, and that we had about 7 more to go before we hit the confluence! In fact, every single person I met all day who I asked about the confluence said it was 7 miles away - I stopped asking eventually. So now its 3 in the afternoon and we're a LOT further from where we're going than we thought, so we started to buckle down and cover some miles with less faffing about. The LCR canyon is still beautiful below the Hopi Salt Trail, but less striking, and the trail ends up covered with low sticker bushes so its not much fun to walk; when we go back, we'll probably stay in the upper canyon. But we did finally reach the elusive confluence, after what we guess is about 14 miles, and just on dark. I don't know about the other guys, but my legs were barely functional. Reminded me a bit of the Great Lemming Claustral Canyon Crusade.

Sunday - Down the River

Sunday had us heading down the Beamer Trail above the river, mostly high up on the walls looking down on the occasional pack of rafters drifting by. The trail was pretty exposed, but we'd got an early start again so we did most of it before the direct sun found its way down to our depths. Once we got back down to the beach we had a quick but refreshing swim (the Colorado maintaining a fairly constant and chilly 45F / 7C from its dam-fed origins upstream) and the whole day was only about 9 miles. I had some minor twinges from my knee which worried me because, after all, we were going to have to climb out of the Grand Canyon the next day, but all-in-all it was a very pleasant day; the clouds and the light were fantastic all day, and we got to watch the rafters run the wave-train at Tanner rapid from our camp.

Monday - Ascencion

On Monday we knew we had a long climb up the Tanner Trail out of the canyon, and also a good 5-hours worth of car shuttle to drive (we had to drive back out all those miles of dirt road we'd driven to the trailhead, get the car we'd left there, and drive back.) We also knew from experience by this point that Justin and Ed were quite a bit faster than any of the rest of us, and noone wanted to be hiking the next day in the hot sun. So Justin and Ed bravely volunteered to get up before dawn and hit the trail with headlamps, then run the car shuttle while we slogged up the hill. The only problem being that we only had one alarm between us, and it was running low on batteries - Justin will take it and get on the trail by 4, resetting it to wake the rest of us a couple hours later.

Except in the execution, Justin woke and checked the clock at 2 just as the batteries gave their last gasp. Rather than chance not getting up, he and Ed left then - in complete darkness - and were on the canyon rim almost before the sun caught them at 6:30. I woke up sometime before true dawn (about 5:30 that day, we think) and was on the trail soon after. The Tanner Trail isn't easy - anything starting at the Colorado in that neck of the woods has about a mile of up in it, after all - but it spaces the up out nicely until the very end (when it makes you switchback up a vertical wall for a bit, just to remind you who's boss.) It was nice hiking in the early morning before the heat, and my knee didn't bother me at all; I was out by about 10:30, and Ed turned up with the car not too long after that.

This is the view from the top. To the left of the dead tree, you can make out a tiny patch of river. That's where we hiked from this day, and you can actually see the bluffs we walked along the day before, and almost all the way back to the confluence in the distance. It was a mighty trip, and if there are bits I wouldn't necessarily do again (the bottom half of the LCR canyon, for instance) I'm still glad I did them once. Coz and I are already plotting to do the Hopi Salt Trail and spend a couple of days swimming in those travertine falls up the top.

Ed, Kent, Ed, and I at the top; Justin, alas, is missing.

More photos can be found at Coz' Flickr site.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ministry of Skepticism

Some friends of mine (who many of you would have met at our wedding - my best "dude" Alyssa and her partner Jesec - mostly Jesec) have started a kind of skeptics society circle of friends sort of thing, which is currently going under the title of The Looking Glass Logic Society (Lewis Carroll reference++). Its got a blog, entitled the Ministry of Skepticism. I tend to rant less there, but I've been posting some of my normal ranting fare over there, so I thought I'd invite you all to join us if you like...

Its a group effort, so if you feel like posting instead of just commenting, let me know and I'll get Jesec aka Bigfrozenhead to sign you up.

Friday, June 05, 2009

It was 20 years ago today...

This is cut and edited from my blog...

So today, we decided not to get the old ForBattle! sign out and head on up to Tian'anmen Square to have a bit of a squiz. Although, from what we understand, we could've, we just would have had a hard time taking photos for all the umbrella action that was happening up there...

We did get some rain today, so I guess their efforts weren't completely in vain...

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Ok LoL's Bring It On

Ok not that funny a caption I admit. But I know you all can do better....Bring it!
In case you don't know the human is Rob, the blue eyed freak is Roo and the other two are foster pups.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I couldn't resist

I just love Lol Cats.

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

I wonder if she thought this would be the caption when they took this photo?
funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The only problem

with sneaking a bikkie from the tea room at lunchtime is that you then have to make yourself a cup of tea and have another bikkie to go with it. Well, I mean, I suppose no one actually forced me. But you know what I mean. (visions of tea lady squads bursting through the door and holding you hostage with a teapot until you give in and accept a cuppa and an iced vo-vo. Actually, I haven't seen iced vo-vos in the shops for ages. I wonder if Kevin has bought the entire supply?)

For non-Australian readers (sorry Anti-ob you don't count cause you've probably eaten these) this is an Iced Vo-vo.

Piccy snicked from Wikipedia.

I've just learned, courtesy of Wikipedia, that all I have to do to get a shipping crate of these lovelies is to become Prime Minister and mention them in my election night victory speech. Bugger, every manperson and histheir dog will be doing this now.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Inochi is...

...bloody disturbing is what it is...

You know, I thought the sheep were pretty cool, but then I saw this clip and now I'm a bit weirded out. Let me just say, I really am not so sure this is safe for work, so exercise a little caution here, k?.

I mean really, Wha-huh????

An interesting teaching book.

Pardon the shotgun approach, but it turns out I know a fair few teachers, or people with kids who are or soon will be concerned with their education, and one way or another most of you read this blog or know someone who does. So when my old PhD supervisor tells me about a book about teaching which he thinks is really good, Why Don’t Students Like School by Daniel Willingham, this seemed like a good place to spread the word. Clark's review of the book is here if you'd like to see what he has to say first; I have not read it myself (yet), but his specialty has always been learning theory, and I trust him to know what he's talking about.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


AvenueQ opens at the State Theatre in August.

That is all.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Current affairs in Lego form

So I was pointed at an article in wired ( where someone had recreated some of the Guantanamo torture scenes in lego as a protoest against the actual photos being voluntarily surpressed. The point being that how is anyone going to understand the extent of what happened without the evidence.

Here's a sample of the work of the waterboarding:

Googling around found the flickr feed:

and the related blog with the pictures and current affairs storied (including most recently the G20 incident):

Oh and I forgot to mention... this person creates these using only Lego parts.

Monday, May 04, 2009


Coz brought me home some magazines.

And with much painful study, I have learned one of the great secrets of the universe. I shall share it with you. Here are the names of a collection of the... metapsychic professionals... advertised in this magazine:

Kahu (channeler)
Sarrinn (ancient spirit)
Gaia (earth spirit)
Marrianna (blesser and exorbitant over-user of exclamation marks)
Naisha Ahsian (creator of Crystal Ally Cards)
Sri Ra'am Kaa (wisdom teacher)
Kira Raa (angelic oracle)
Sha Na Ra (crystal skull)

Can you see it? The common pattern that so obviously leads to their power? Its all the "a"s in their names! Or rather the pattern of "a"s and spaces - I call it "a-hole power" for short. And thus, I shall venture forth upon a new career as a psychic pet-angel spirit trainer, and I shall be unstoppably powerful because I shall change my name to:

Doctor (or perhaps Lord?) Aaaa aaa a aaAaa!

(pronunciation guide. It is spelled with 13 "a"s - a mystical number - and a single invisible apostrophe. I can't tell you where the apostrophe goes in a public forum, or the power would overwhelm your puny spirits... without the skills taught in my FREE* guide "Aid to Attaining A-hole Apostrophe Access". *please include $29.95 for email postage and handling. Act Now and get Free Bonus Karma accredited directly to your account!)

(I have already used my extraordinary powers to channel brewing yeast, but all it ever says is "feed me sugar and drink me!" Go figure. Still, ours is not to reason... at all apparently.)

Sunday, May 03, 2009


Recipes for those who want them - to make gluten free we substituted rice & potato flour in 2:1 ratio for the plain flour.

Thai chicken balls
Zucchini and haloumi fritters
Tandoori lamb kebabs (we didn't end up cooking these as there was too much food already...)
Corn fritters with smoked salmon

The stuffed mushrooms

2 handfuls of shredded carrot
2 handfuls of shredded zucchini
2 handfuls of shredded mushroom
small amount of diced capsicum
1kg mushrooms with stalks removed
500g shredded parmesan cheese

Oven at about 160C. Mix all the shredded & diced stuff. Shove into mushrooms. Put mushrooms on oven tray. Bake til cooked & the cheese is all melty. Now this is the hard bit - take them out and leave them for about 5min to cool down so you don't scald yourself when eating them. Serve.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

someone had to do it...

might as well be me!
how to reduce 'A Good Thing' into 'Something We Can Have A Giggle About.'
it's Earth Day.

Earth Day was founded by Gaylord Nelson.

Horde: Gaaayyyyyylooooooooord!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Look out Cannes, here I come!

This is cute - it let me make this:

Soon, my directing genius will be known to all the world!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Vale Andy Hallett

you know, The Host from Angel?

he died a couple of days ago.
Obits here, and here, and plenty more if you google.

bummer. he was good.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

I should never...

..leave myself logged into Blogger on other people's computers.


*signed someone who is not DrNik*

Oh and finally some competition for chainmail bikinis

Can you guess what these are made from? Just in time for Festival!

Take that, cheese in a can!

Finally some cometition for dodgy american food.....

Although they are claiming to be Americana on the label.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

cue Episode 4 soundtrack...

and slip these babies on...

it may not be so easy to run down the corridors of the Death Star as it goes down like a sack of poo, but you'll be too busy being vaporised to worry about spraining your ankle.

blogged by this lot (do click on the link in the post... possibly NSFW depending on your work, but a bit amusing).

designed by this bloke.

desired by me.

why yes, I am a Star Wars nerd, thanks for asking :-)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Quite Possibly the Cheesiest TV Show Ever

Indolent and unemployed as I am, I've had a bit of free time for catching up on old TV shows on Hulu (which I gather doesn't work outside the US yet - sorry.) So I caught up on the amusing if schlock fantasy Legend of the Seekerwatched a Battlestar Galactica with Coz (still haven't seen the last one - no spoilers please), and then used its built-in recommendation guide to ask it what else I should see. It recommended something called "Cleopatra 2525", and hey, it stars the delectable badarse Gina Torres so how bad could it be, right?

Oh my gods, this is the absolute cheesiest Craft special I have ever seen in a long dairy-based career of sci-fi geekdom. We're talking Ice Pirates squared material here. The first episode was indicatively named "Quest for Firepower". It has to be seen to be believed. (And it ran for a season and a half... a full season longer than Firefly got.) Its main selling point appears to be that Gina steals liberally from Kylie's lycra-eating-moth-infested wardrobe (So yes, obviously, I'll be watching them all. I'll let you know if the story continues to live up to the - whats the opposite of "promise"? - of the first episode.)