Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Colour my life

In lieu of writing anything new, here is another attempt at stand up from last night. I tried some new jokes, jokes that I didn’t steal from here for a change and some went down pretty well. Others, not so well. Still learning, still writing, still keeping my day job.

Try to enjoy, and remember to have a crack yourself at some point, it is great fun.

1 in 12 men and 1 in 400 women are colour blind in Australia,  I do not know the exact stats anywhere else but they are roughly on the same level in western countries, so I am not a freak.

But I may be a super freak, because some geneticists believe that colour blindness mutated so that we can see through some animal camouflage, including the dicks who wear camo pants in Rundal Mall. You are not fooling anybody but yourself. Unless you are in the actual defence force, hunting and you are out bush, or in a forest trying not to be seen, camouflage gear is never appropriate.

Is it my super power? I would have to say no.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

10 Reasons why you should not have sex mid April

 (Or 10 reasons why having your birthday near Christmas sucks big time)

With December here Christmas preparations for families are in full swing. Shops that have been trying to spruik decorations and paraphernalia since October can now justify their keenness because everyone is starting to go bonkers. Shops and car parks are starting to go mental as Christmas gets closer and closer so people get more and more mental and present selection gets crappier and crappier.

I am one of the unlucky few to have my birthday close to Christmas; five days before Christmas for those playing at home. Having a birthday close to Christmas is inconvenient at best, so much so that I feel it is my duty to inform you to keep things in your pants, wear a sheath, jump up and down or whatever with the following 10 reasons why you should avoid having kids with Christmas birthdays...

  1. It is hard to have a party, or at least solely for your kid. There are parties happening all around, and there already is an abundance of lollies, pies, cake, and chocolate wafer sticks kicking about, but all your friends and all their kids and all your kid’s friends will be busy. They will be doing family stuff, or end of year Christmas drinks with work, sporting clubs end of season presentation nights, etc. I had my 21st birthday in April just so I could make sure my friends were available to come. I know if they were my real friends they would come hell or high water, but I did not want them to have to decide between me and their family.
  2. There will be birthday presents wrapped in Christmas paper. I know its only paper, and you have heaps lying around and it is so cheap, but you don’t it for the other kids. Make a damn effort. The same goes for relatives who are sending birthday and Christmas cards with cash; send two cards. Sounds simple, but people don’t because everyone is busy. See number 1 for the main reason.
  3. You will get relatives and friends who say that this is the Christmas and birthday present. Even if one of the presents does equal two presents, it is still not good enough in the eyes of you and/or child. You will have no control over this because times are tough in many places in the world, people are cheap and everything is going bonkers. See number 1.
  4. They will watch other kids throughout the year having a day off for their birthday. If you are the kinds of parents who will let your kids stay home from school on their birthday, consider having all of your children stay home, or send them all to school. If the date is only sometimes falling in the holidays, do it all the same anyway.
  5. I never had a birthday at school, this may sound grand to those who never got a day off and never had parents like those from number 4, but I never had a class sing happy birthday to me. I never got to be the happy show off kid who thought they could get away with more because it was their birthday. And you get more cake!
  6. Nobody really knows or says happy birthday. They are somewhat distracted by saying Merry Christmas (so at least someone is getting a happy birthday). Milestones are forgotten because there is simply no one around. You should have seen number 1 by now. Facebook is helping people to remember, but a wall post is not the same, we want human contact.
  7. Your child has to wait an entire year to celebrate something. And then what happens? Number 1, that’s what.
  8. Try to book a table in somewhere; it’s either shut or full of Christmas parties.
  9. T'is the season to sit around in airports or slow moving traffic. I live away from my parents, so if they or I want to see them for my birthday, someone has to travel. The planes are always full and there are always dickheads in caravans or camper vans doing 40 km/h (25mph) under the speed limit. Relatives will be risking their lives travelling to see your child, what if something was to happen to them? How would that sit on your child’s conscience?
  10. And every shop you go into persists with Christmas carols. Not related to having a birthday, but it just shits me in general.
By all means, go forth and practise as much as you want in April, and just to be safe March, but the best thing you can do is pop them out in October or wait until January. These things may seem trivial to you, but they make a difference on the day.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Will you, I do, What?

There is no point in denying it anymore, I am going bald. It started thinning at the back so I could convince myself in the mirror that I was still fine, but it snuck up on me. There is no hiding it, as you cannot wear a hat inside forever no matter how backwards it is facing.

I asked around for advice because going bald is not that uncommon, but the guys at work gave me an odd suggestion, “hurry up and get married before you get too thin”. Really? Hurry up before I look too shit for my photos. I just might be that shallow, but I am not about to do anything that rash.

Wedding photos are from a happy point in your life, a major event where most of your loved ones will get together and bludge on your free food. The photos will come up again and again, so why wouldn’t you want to look your best, but to get married to only make sure you had good hair in the photos has a Kim Kardashian feel to it.

The idea of marriage scares me a little. Not the whole commitment thing, even though life is a long time considering you could get only 20 years for murder, but the idea of hosting a wedding party/reception/ceremony stresses me out. A wedding is the most expensive dress up party you will ever take part in, unless you do cosplay because then you are unlikely to get married.

A wedding is only a party, but it has to be perfect. No pressure or anything. Hosting parties used to be easy; couple boxes of goon, some punch, chips, dips, done. Maybe a Streets Viennetta if it was pay week. Music? I have a couple of mixed CDs here that I made, and a playlist when it became the 21st century.

The planning that is required for a wedding is making eloping sound like a good idea. Then it would be more along the lines of changing utility provider. A celebrant comes over your house with a black folder and a name tag, you sign some forms, and then you update Facebook. Done.

I can foresee arguments in my future centred on me not pulling my weight. But if you want to get men more involved in weddings legalise gay marriage.

Right now, thanks but no thanks; I’m going to take my chances with Photoshop. If the bride can wear a veil so can I.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Those who think they're funny, please Stand up

Of all the things that made headlines last month, this wasn't one of them. 

My girlfriend dobbed me in to have a crack at stand up comedy. There is an open mike night here at the Rhino Room every Monday, and the people there are awesome and very supportive. Check them out if you are in the area.

The guys from The Chess Hammer and the Chess Hammer collective came out for support, we had a few local beers and pear ciders, and it turned out to be a good night.

I loved it. I was shitting myself, but I loved it. It is an amazing experience to make a room full of people laugh, and equally amazing to hear silence. 

Some of the jokes were adapted from this blog, and I will be having another crack soon. I will let you know how that one goes. It should be within the next week or so.

Unless I die in the arse...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Did the earth move for you?

I was emailed this, if you know who it belongs to, let me know
Last week there was an earthquake here in Adelaide. It was only a 3 something on the Richter scale, but it was enough of a tremor to make young men feel like studs if they climaxed at the right time. I’m sorry, but I missed it; I climaxed hours before hand and was sound asleep. But how awesome would that have been to reach that moment with my lady, move the Earth, and then give her a wink? It would be a moment you would tell your kids.

Unfortunately, I have managed to miss every earthquake I have been in, except for the first.

I was in Nagoya Japan on a school trip in 2001 sitting in my host mother’s lounge room doing a cultural exchange for a few days, but only succeeding in communicating in the international language of over acting mime. All of a sudden the room, and I assume the whole house, started to shake, and there was a loud roar coming from outside. I assumed it was a low flying plane or something and did not think much about it. The host mum casually reached for the electronic dictionary, and started typing in a word. She found what she was looking for, handed me the dictionary and pointed to a word.


I crawled backwards over the back of the lounge like a crab trying the fish vindaloo for the first time screaming to the door; trying to remember anything about earthquakes survival I had seen in movies. The host mum was laughing her head off – so much for polite society.

When I had calmed down, the host Mum reached for her electronic dictionary and typed in a phrase. "Did the earth move for you?" she asked and had another giggle.

On the news later in the evening, I had no idea what they were saying, but they had a chart over the map of Japan showing the earthquake being 4 point something on the crap-your-dacks scale. I would have sworn that the aftershocks in my pants were higher.

The Japanese earthquake and tsunami earlier this year was a tragedy, and certainly not funny, but I would love to think that there is someone out there, out on the fringes of the earthquake, who timed their release at the precise moment the Earth did. He would be a hero.

Have you ever reached orgasm during an earthquake? If not, do you have a favourite earthquake moment?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Trashy Holidays

Feeling stressed? Need a break? Got more money than sense? Then take a trip on Garbage Patch Cruises! You can take part in the exclusive eco adventure of a plastic bag’s lifetime when the Sea Dragon sails two months through swirling pools of garbage in the North Pacific Ocean. Just contact the 5 Gyres Institute and Algalita Marine Research Institute and say the secret phrase, “hello sailor”.

People can apply to be part a research/observation “adventure” and monitor the accumulation of debris in the Pacific Ocean following the March 2011 Tsunami that devastated the Japanese coast. Applicants who will be successful will be able to help sail the ship, take part in observations, and cough up $13,500 for the first leg and/or $15,500 for the second.


Holly fuck, 13 and a half grand to get your sea legs! Or at least the first one! If you can only afford one, will they lean over board and fashion a peg leg from floating crap?

Now, I am all for the environment, she and I go way back, but sometimes I have to question the motivation and actions of some people that champion her cause. It feels like at times that they are right up there with vitamin sales people and mortgage brokers; they’re a bit dodgy and have hidden terms and conditions on their reasoning. What is the trip hoping to achieve? Raise awareness? Get stuffed. How about while you’re there you pick up some of that toxic plastic shit and take it back to land instead of waving a flag trying to attract attention?

I should point out both the 5 Gyres Institute and Algalita Marine Research Institute are non-profit groups, and on the surface they have grave concerns about the amount of crap circulating the oceans. I feel that raising awareness is not enough anymore. Society is suffering from aware-fatigue.

Every man and his good willed dog is trying to save the planet and trying to grab the public’s attention. Only to make it aware that life is more shit than they thought. We are tired of being told that we are selfish, destroying the air we breathe, and that doing nothing is just as bad. But you don’t want a society to drop everything and help, trust me, think of consequences. Imagine if everyone started helping and doing everything they can because it was the thing to do. Now, because it is the thing to do, people will stop doing it.

If you’re not careful, environmental ideals will go mainstream and embed itself in popular culture. That would make it cool and therefore uncool because everyone is doing it. Hipsters will start firing cans of hairspray into the air, and CFC fridges will be cool because they are retro.

People in linen pants stalking farmer’s markets calling me Hitler for not growing my own food is bad enough, but hipsters burning tires is worse.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs is dead, long live Steve Jobs 2.0

The Internet is a buzzing. But instead of the hyper excitement or removed anger that usually drives such buzzing, this time it is a mournful drone; Steve Jobs has passed away at the age of 56.

What does this mean for Apple? Will they lose their vision and way without the turtleneck out front? Time will tell on this story, but for now they will still be strong. 

I have never been that keen on Apple. Not because of their products, because unlike many things they just work and fill a need, but because of the beret wearing hipster wannabes proclaiming that Microsoft was evil and was controlling the world.

What about iTunes? Everything goes on or in an Apple product is controlled by Apple and approved by Apple, and it took awhile for them to lose the DRM on their music. Even setting up your device to work on more than one of your computers is a pain, and to what end? Apple is not that innocent.

To be popular and successful in technology, you are invited into people's homes, offices, and everyday lives, and store and share their personal and secret information. In business it is always about growth, and growth is made by a tribe, and keeping people in your tribe. Apple did that well.

The products are still with Apple, and they are still great, the people who help create and share the dreams are still with Apple, and they are still brilliant, most importantly the tribe is still with Apple, and they still wear berets.

Do you think the next man out front for Apple should wear a turtleneck? Does it define the brand?


Image taken here: http://xkcd.com/934/

Monday, October 3, 2011

Twitter and science: The forbidden love

Sociologists at Cornell University, in the longest bow ever drawn for science, have been caught spending too much time on Twitter. They fed millions of tweets into a computer, and based on key words, determined and mapped moods of tweeters throughout the day. Scientists found that after breakfast Monday to Friday, people’s general mood starts going downhill. Who would have thought, people do not like being at work. Shock horror.

In the article written for Science magazine, moods were even likely to drop during the weekend, but on average a couple of hours later in the afternoon and not as much. “It could be that the elevated mood on the weekends [and later dip] is because they did not get woken up by the alarm clock,” said Professor Macy who penned the article. Maybe because it’s the fucking weekend Macy. Do we need to a study to tell us we are happier on the weekend? The later dip in the afternoon could be from the realisation that the weekend is coming to an end and the return to work is imminent, or we’re trying to decide what to wear that night.

If we consider the demographic of the average twitter user, self obsessed enough to broadcast every single waking thought that passes through their brain and spam everyone everything they think is “lol” worthy, you would expect to read a lot of tweets intending to be sarcastic. Macy did state that while the computer program could identify words, the context of the words would be lost. It would be something they might be interested in looking at in the future; with cutting edge research like this you would want to eliminate all possibilities of error. For example, “just watched Jessica Black’s Friday, my life is complete :S” should never be misinterpreted.

Macy said that Twitter and like social media is a new and interesting time for the social sciences as it presents a different way to farm data and observe interactions, and that when they slack off it looks like they are working. On a side note, it’s good to see that the stupid fad of having a press release about unconfirmed and unverified experimental data, such as neutrons travelling faster than the speed of light, was only an isolated incident. (NOTE: if the international community verifies that objects can in fact travel faster than light, I am willing to eat my words. Because time travel and light speed engines are so much cooler than my pride)

And it is good to see that scientists obtain data from non-niche sources; who cares if a farmer in Zimbabwe suffers from 3:30-itis? He’s not going to buy an iPhone 5 or even get good reception, therefore not worthy of study. They would have to print more currency for him for a start.

Do you think your tweets or Facebook status updates represent your mood?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Clean the slate

It has been a very stressful September for me this year. I have been moving house from a place I called home for four years, to a new place in a new area. Closer to friends and further from work; the way life should be. It had been such a long time between moving drinks that I forgot how stressful it was, but at the same time how cleansing it can be... similar to colonic irrigation.

It gives you a chance to wash away the filth that has been accumulating over the years, to sift through the memories inspired upon by objects once lost, and maybe get together with a few mates and have a laugh.
But that’s colonic irrigation, and this is not one of those types of blogs.

My old roommate said it best, “[moving] is a chance to clean the slate”. It pains me to say, but he is right. Moving is a clean slate; a new house, a new room, a new reason for my girlfriend to take me through IKEA and buffer their profits. It is one of the few times you can take a step back and look at your stuff and say “where did all this crap come from?” and “why did I keep all this crap?” and not to mention, “Gee I hoard a lot of crap” etc.

You could clean your slate by other means, and it got me thinking about the times when I got out the old industrial cleaner in my life and gave the slate a good scrub.

If you start at a new job, your career gets a clean slate. You can pretend to be someone cool/smart/funny and your reputation, providing it was not the reason they hired you, starts fresh. My first job was after uni and up to then, I had never had a professional conversation. There were new spots to catch the new topics, but it usually found its way back to sport or TV, and there were new and interesting people to talk to. Not at first, because the first are usually the most desperate for new friends.

You can extend your slate to not only your home, but your own self by moving town. You can pretend to be someone cool/smart/funny just like a new job but with less expectations of being professional. Then they look on Facebook and you are back to square one. When I moved to the city for university there was not a soul within 100 kilometres who knew who I was. I did not just clean the slate in this instance; I just got given a brand new one and threw out the old one.

I have never been married, but I have been in a long term relationship that went south quickly. I am told that getting divorced is similar to moving house in the cleaning slate stakes, not so much “why did I keep all this crap” but more akin to “stuff the bitch, she can have the shit”. In this case your slate is not so much cleaned, but cleared away so that you can see the stains underneath that will haunt you for years to come. Your slate now comes with baggage.

Earlier in the year there was a fad sweeping the globe for cleaning the slate of politics through revolution. I have never even attended a protest march myself, but something is really worrying when a country gets bad enough that they start throwing rocks at police. But is bringing rocks to a gun fight cleaning the slate? I believe that a political clean slate is a misnomer, as there is always baggage hanging around, usually left unattended by conspiracy theorists claiming that it was all orchestrated by the CIA. And for some of the crack pots I have had to sit next to at dinner parties, I am surprised that they could lift their aluminium hats up for long enough to find out what orchestrated means. For as far as I know, no CIA agent has ever carried a baton.

... Or have they?

Do you know of an occasion when America's national security was managed by a man waving a stick? Or  of a time when you have had a clean slate? Let me know below.

And remember to lift with your knees.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Throw another bacon rasher on the barbie

I have a problem with a bubble wrapped world, and it is not because kids will never learn from mistakes. I think bloggers of the past have covered this comprehensively and we are beyond that now. Just like observational jokes about shopping trolleys, toilet seat wars, and airplane food are overused.

My sadness from bubble wrapping the world in particular stems from the fact that there are no mad scientists left in the world. Where are the mad schemes playing out in sheds and pushing the boundaries in science and engineering? Where has the spirit of invention gone? It has all but left. Or has it?

Crazy backyard experiments have been all but eliminated by councils, local governments and national authorities by screaming "terrorism!" at everybody, but there comes a day when the every-man steps up. 

And he steps up with the goal to create a blow torch out of bacon.

Theodore Gray recently "committed [himself] to the goal, before the weekend was out, of creating a device entirely from bacon and using it to cut a steel pan in half".

Why? Who cares! That's why!

The Mr Gray wasn’t getting results, talked to the chef, and then added a side serve (read: nozzle) of vegetables. Now he has a nutritiously balanced blow torch that can be served in schools under health kicks.

How awesome is that? A couple bits of prosciutto, some cucumber, pure oxygen and you have a thermal lance that can cut through steel pans. What drives a man to try a project like that? I bet it was medicinal.

MacGyver never made anything that cool, but the airplane out of a cement mixer is close.

But I hear the food they served was terrible...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Last call for Mr Robotto your flight is boarding

The flight has now closed, can all passengers put their packages back in their ports.

The world’s first airport for unmanned aircraft is opening in Wales. But due to logistic reasons, officials have decided to just build one on land. The West Wales Airport in Aberporth, real place, has dedicated 500 miles of airspace to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in an effort to encourage firms “who are currently banned from testing in the US except in restricted airspace”. There has been lots of interest from a company called Cyberdyne Systems developing a new AI product called Skynet; it looks promising.

The Welsh Government especially is hoping that the new classification will create and develop local industries in Wales not related to sheep and bogs for a change. They are calling this the first step to getting human and robot piloted craft together in the same airspace. The aerial-racial segregation has ended.

The US, who are keen to not let a good thing go by, said in reply that “it will have its new rules for testing UAVs in commercial airspace out by 2025”; well past Judgement Day.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), or Fuck All Allowance as it turns out, limits drone aircraft testing to operating less than 400 feet and within line of sight of the operator. Scientists have only been able to test parameters on their RC Helicopters so far, so the idea of dedicated airspace is promising. The FAA says that there is experimental airspace available, but bureaucracy must be maintained even when in massive debt, and they have to be notified three weeks in advance before any flight.

As people from all around the world get used to the idea that there will be an integration of manned and unmanned airports, there will have to be some reclassification of some of the procedures around checking in. The computer check-in terminals for carriers will actually be for computers checking in. Where humans can do electronic checking in will be relabelled “Cost cutting exercises to annoy, delay, and make you line up twice”. Carriers admit that it is not very catchy, but marketing are coming up with snappy alternatives and will most likely have Richard Branson’s face all over the poster.

The future is happening already, people are no longer batting an eyelid at robots fighting for us, but yet I still have no hover skateboard. Where are the government funded grants for hoverboards? Michael J Fox had one; I wonder what happened to that?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Smile like you mean it

As a contracting engineer, I go to new sites often and I spend a lot of time meeting new people. The one thing I have found is that if they have no contact with you what so ever, it is still good to be nice and to smile. They will think you are trying to sell them something, which technically being a contractor I already have, but it never hurts to be nice. Or so I thought.

At a site recently I would run into this one lady often as we worked in the same atco-hut-make-believe-office, but she had nothing to do with the job I was there for. Going by my own philosophy, I would smile to her in the corridors (or in between cubicles) and do the small talk in the kitchen when getting a cup of tea. But I was stuck, now every time after that I had to smile and say hello.

I could pass her up to five times a day, and obligated to say hello to her every time. Sometimes I would even bust out the "long time no see" joke, which is a winner if you want polite laughter and nothing more.

I have no idea what her name was, or probably still is, nor do I feel I need to know. It will just descend into an awkward situation for some reason or another I can tell. I probably overlooked her one day when distracted by thought and automatically be an arse. She did suffer from ducks disease, so very easy to overlook.

I do not want to be an arse Sam I am, I rely on people liking me for performance reviews, and I do genuinely find people interesting. The only thing I could do is just to keep smiling. Smile like a maniac at everyone even when half a shit day has passed and the afternoon forecast is worse. So yeah, take that lady; even if you are having a bad day, you’re going to cop one of these bad boys :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cruising Together

I am currently on holiday cruising inland Australia with my Dad. My dear old Dad celebrated his 50th birthday the other week and we decided to celebrate with an adventure.

An adventure in itself was introducing Dad to blogging. You can catch our adventures in the freezing climes at 3 Weeks Riding Bitch.

Its worth it.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

For love in the country - The top 3 pickup lines for country towns

When I talk to people who have spent their entire lives in Adelaide I hear “Adelaide sucks – there is nothing to do”. Granted it does not draw the big international acts as some of the Eastern state cousins, or has the best restaurants, and even the supermarkets are closed at 9pm, but the feeling of “nothing to do” stems from not being stuck in traffic for an extra two hours a day. You have more spare time than you know what to do with. “Fuck it, I’ll go and watch Neighbours,” should never be an option.

It gives me the shits because I grew up in a country town where you could do only three things; drink, breed, and move away. Sometimes you would multitask, sometimes too much of option one and two, led to three, but in true country town fashion it was not always in that order.

Teenage pregnancy was rife where I grew up, probably still is but I am avoiding researching more, and it was a problem before the baby bonus. Harvey Norman is doing better for it mind you, even with all the restrictions. Centrelink is not kidding anyone by making the baby bonus come in weekly instalments when you can rent to buy?

A school that I went to from year 8 to year 10 (14-16 years old... give or take... mostly take... wink!) allegedly had eleven cases of pregnancy. The school where I did year 11 and 12 (do the math yourself) now has a creche. It makes sense when you learn that up until 2004 you could only get ABC, SBS, and a bastardisation of Channel 7. Foxtel/Austar helped, but not everyone got it, but everyone was getting it... wink!

It is not because the women have lower standards, or every man that you meet is as smooth as Sean Connery in a room full of Octopussies. It is because everyone is bored, and mate selection has skewed so that even nerds like me get some.

The top pick up lines are as follows:

• I have a job

• I have a girlfriend

• I know Ro... Steve

If you have a job, you have skills that conjure income and to have something to talk about other than your family tree, just to be safe. The bonus with the job pick up line is that you can buy drinks, ergo; you can hide the fact that you have the personality like soiled underpants by blurring your way to victory.

An extension of this pick up line is “I am an operator”. An operator is someone who operates machinery at the local plant. They generally have no transferable skills, but they work 12 hour shifts and earn a butt load of cash.

A more effective pick up line is surprisingly having a girlfriend. By having a girlfriend it tells women that at some stage you were not an arse long enough to theoretically “commit” to a relationship, but you must be good in bed because now you are cheating and still in one... or soon will be... wink! One of my mates swears by this method, and he is clueless to the chicken and the egg scenario.

Having a girlfriend and being an operator makes you a sex god. You work long hours and in shifts, so you, and your partner, can both cheat and still have plenty of time to get the stink off.

The third option is a little obscure but worked a charm. As I did not have a job through school, refused to cheat on my girlfriends (some did not return that favour), and was a nerd, I was lucky enough to be cool by association. One friend in particular, let’s just call him Steve, is a little bit effeminate, but has had more than his fair share of tail. And I mean more than his fair share. The girls love him, and by being one of his mates I was cool and suave by association. Very handy.

Adelaide is not as bad as people think, its residents just lack the practise of finding their own fun. Just be thankful that your daughter, or son, is not coming home to give you the bad news that you are going to be a grandparent before you turn 50. But I do feel sorry for people growing up in the city; with so much more to do they have to entertain themselves... wink!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Goal Update 3

Half the year has gone, only a third of the way through that rough draft... it is going to be a tight finish. Motivation is not the problem, I am trying to do too many projects at once. I need to step back, do some planning, and re-organise my priorities so that goals are met.

The Chess Hammer stuff is coming, it is just in an editing phase.

On the long Easter weekend I did achieve the third goal. I climbed a real rock. Have a look on the page for a picture.

Is this my shortest post ever?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Running through the towels

After a long working week my Girlfriend and I decided to go to one of those Chinese massage places that have been popping up all over the place in recent years; I never knew so many people wanted to be touched up by complete strangers... they should try the public transport system in Japan.

It was a cold and wintry sort of autumn day, and every shop had set their heating to 35 degrees in lieu of actually wearing warmer clothes. Every time you walked into a new place you had to strip down to your undies to survive the change in temperature, and then once the browsing was complete you braced yourself and charged into the shitty weather once again.

I do not understand how this is good for business. We make the difference in temperature between the shop and outside so ludicrous that we make every one come into our shop feeling sick. Yeah! Woo! Because there ain’t no business like people associating your goods with the sniffles business. If you continuously go to one extreme temperature to another, inevitably your nose is going to run so fast, conservationists are looking at harvesting the run off.

Massage parlours are no exception. If anything they are worst. Except that new “bikini clad” massage parlour on South Road, I reckon they do not even need to plug in an urn to boil water in that place.

My girlfriend and I both chose a “neck and shoulders” massage from parlour menu. She shouts me as I have no money on me, because she is awesome, and I am led into a curtained off area trying so hard to be a room; my girlfriend is taken into the “room” next to mine. My massage dude tells me to take out my keys, wallet, and phone and to take off my jacket, shoes, lose items and nothing else. He is looking at me dead in the eye as he says this; obviously people have been mistaken about the level of privacy this false room provides. Turns out they use a chamois like cloth over your clothes to massage; no need for nakedness... or fun it seems.

All about the room there are a few chairs about the place, an indoor pot plant looking worse for wear, a tub full of my things (I put them there, they did not rob me), pictures of relaxation imagery, a massage table with millions of towels underneath, and a speaker pumping out the hollow wooden relaxing sounds of a relaxed bamboo flute player. Everyone about me is serene and calm, and as subtlety as I could, I try to snort up the booger trying to escape.

The dude puts a pillow with a face hole over the face hole in the massage table, lays face hole tissue over the face hole, and then motions of me to lie down with my face in the hole. I lay down with my arms dangling down either side of the table, with my face in the face hole, and the dude proceeded to go to town on my shoulders. It was awesome. First he went with the “hello darling let me help you relax” teenage shoulder rub, and bam! I was in the relaxation elevator to heaven.

About halfway through, after he spent more than an acceptable time on my neck, he returned to my back. He started using his forearm to press into the muscles that travel alongside my spine; pressing hard and then slowly working his way up. It was an odd experience. It was pain when he pressed down, but when he lifted I was floating. As he got higher, he pushed down enough to encourage the air out of my lungs. It would have been fine with my mouth open, but it pushed out through the nose and loosened up the thin runny booger hanging about inside.

I feel a drop starting to form.

I opened my eyes in a panic; my head was all foggy from endorphins. Underneath my face and under the table were a bunch of towels and the container of face tissue. I needed to wipe away the booger before it made a break for it. I tried to reach my nose with a hand just to wipe it away, but the table was too wide and all I do is just look like I'm trying to give it a reach around. The man pushes down again, I could feel the booger droplet getting bigger and sliding out of my nose. I had to do something, but I was pinned. My muscles were too relaxed to respond, and my worries and stress started to drift off with the music. The dude pushes down again.


There was nothing I could have done. A teardrop of snot lands in the container of face tissues. I can see it discolouring the paper as my germs soak into the paper. That is what the paper was for, but I imagine the company had thought the paper to be in a closer proximity to the face. Never the less, I was getting my fair share of raw materials.


The man pushed down again and another droplet escaped from me into the container; no amount of bamboo flute can make you relax after that. “You must relax,” he said to me as I stiffened up. What could I do? Should I have stopped him and told him? I tried to get up, I was more alert than before but I was still powerless. The man pressed harder to fight my building tension.

Drip drip drip...

Faster than before booger is coming out of my nose; I could see the discolouration spreading across the tissue, like the red weed from War of the Worlds.

Drip drip drip

My mind was racing and un-relaxing. All the hard work the man put into the 15 minutes on my back had gone into my muscles, out of my nose, and into the tray beneath me. There was no going back. I then noticed the man had stopped.

“Sit up please.” I got up slowly. I turned to him sheepishly. He looked bored... not what I was expecting. He had not seen my drips. He had not noticed the soiled tissue. How dare he be bored! Fuck him. If there was no professional curiosity as to why all the work he did was going to waste, then fuck him and fuck the container of red weed tissue. Righteousness took over me. This man obviously only took his job for face value and he did not care. Then why should I care? Industrialised massage was what it felt like; rubbing people down on a large scale with no individual considerations. Normally I would have been excited on the prospect, but now it sickened me.

He finished the massage, my girlfriend paid, and we departed walking away floating on cloud nine. She felt better, I felt cheapened but justified. After that first drip I thought I was going to have a guilt riddled evening, I had the clearest sinuses in South Australia, and I did feel pretty good.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Prompt much?

June comes at a busy time this year, but what is important in life?

I have decided to take part in the 30 Day Writing Challenge, an initiative from the cool cats at the Domino Project with Seth Godin.


Go have a look and take part; it only takes ten minutes a day. Ten minutes to flex muscles that need

I have created a new page on my blog to cater for the event. I may not update it everyday, but I do tackle the prompts in the morning. I will upload them when I can. Have a look, comments are always welcome.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Where's your buccaneers?

The US Navy announced on the 23rd of May that they had developed a new weapon against pirates. I was disappointed to find out that it was not the East India Trading Company.

They are now using a mathematical model that calculates likely attacks based on weather conditions, shipping traffic, Jack Sparrow, etc. The result is a patchwork coloured map that details likely “shit happens” scenarios based on probabilities.

Piracy, in its truest profession not like the wimps on Pirate Bay, costs the shipping industry hundreds of millions of dollars a year. One company spokesmen said that his company alone expects to lose $200 million this year solely on preventative measures such as using larger ships, sailing faster, using detours, installing 12 inch cannons, and Russell Crowe (Master and Commander... anyone? Were there pirates in that? Please don’t make me watch it).

But if just one company is losing that much money, how about they all pitch in and buy a UAV? Would it not be better if an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle was patrolling the skies rather than a “paint the danger by colour” guessing game? Or, god forbid, fix the political and economical situation that would cause a Somalian to turn to piracy.

Piracy is big business and it has captured the imagination of the wider audience. That means only one thing, that there will be a feature film coming with Tom Hanks in the lead. Maybe Ron Howard directing. Let’s just hope that it stays big business and in the imagination of the masses, otherwise we will be stuck with Shia LaBeouf in the lead.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Goal Update 2!

I said no excuses, but March sucked for output.

No work was done on the novel and that is just not good enough. April has been good so far though; I have written three more scenes and have attended a workshop to help with the planning and building of my book. Good advice was received and motivation at a high.

I did however write and re-write a script for The Chess Hammer. Recording is planned this week for one of our sketches. I'm really excited and looking forward to it. It would be weird if I was excited and wasn't looking forward to it but its my sentence so back off!

Take that grammar freaks.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tattoo... bless you!

Another year, another tattoo festival, another chance for news anchors to smugly open a story with “not just for bikers and sailors” just to give me the shits.

The subject of tattoos will still divide a room even today; only a few people remain who feel physically threatened just from the shear presence of a tattooed stranger. But as the moral pendulum swings around it gives us all an opportunity to do something stupid we can regret later in life.

I like tattoos, but I have always believed that because tattoos are so permanent, that they should represent something that means a lot to the bearer. For instance, I have a tattoo of my family crest on the left hand side of my chest. It is not because I am massively into heraldry or I value my family’s history, it is because I value my family.

My family is important to me and this way I get to keep them close wherever I go. It reminds me whenever I look into a mirror of the support they give for any goal I wish to undertake.

And it reminds me to call home every now and again.

Sooky it is, but it is a perfect example of the unwavering and unconditional dedication that you demonstrate by signing with a permanent ink in a drawn up contract on your skin. I’m sure the roses you have tramp stamped across your back strikes as a metaphor for life that there are pricks along the way but by persevering you will find beauty in the end. That star sign on your foot I’m sure is to remind you that sometimes life is not always in your control – no matter how you plan. That Maori tribal symbol around your arm is your unspoken commitment in the perseverance of ancient culture in the face of an ever increasing homogeneous society.

... No?

A close friend of mine has a tattoo of a slug getting “mounted” by a wasp on his shoulder. You can claim that it symbolises that no matter who you are or how you travel, there is someone bigger and meaner who will fuck you given the chance. I personally think that it is more likely that he chose it as a symbol for his undying support of alcoholism when we were teenagers and he thought it was hilarious.

So even then, in an obscure kind of way, it represents his spontaneity and fun loving demeanour in the cyclone of craziness that follows him wherever he goes. Do I respect him? Yes. Does the tattoo represent a time when I was finding my place in the world? Yes. Would I get the same tattoo? Shit no.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Goal Update!

Finished research and outline last week. I am now the proud owner of the start of my first draft! Two scenes down so far, and many more to go.

February has arrived, and the following few months will be as busy as how January ended, so I need to pump out as much as I can now.

There will be no excuses.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Merry New Year to you all!

My dad got me out of the habit of asking people if they had a good Christmas. Now I wish them a happy “New Year” or ask them about their "holiday season", which is as generic as it comes. It was a good idea on three fronts; the obvious cultural sensitivity, Y fronts, and what would become my loathing of Christmas. I’m not saying that we should stop celebrating Christmas for fear of offending people or endorsing the “Political Correctness Police”. Far from it. I am just saying if you want to avoid that uncomfortable silence that follows when you have made a knob out of yourself in front of someone who does not celebrate Christmas, it is probably best.

But now  tis the season to make resolutions, and by late February, that becomes the season to break resolutions. Fa la la la laaaa, la laa laaa laaaa. I find resolutions a difficult subject. I love the concept that a fresh Gregorian year is a head of us and it is a time to admit our shortcomings and try to fix something in our lives that we are not too happy, or proud of. Just remember when we fail to meet them; it is not all that bad.

I prefer to call them goals. It is a little homebrand “same shit, different label” but goals are a little more flexible, can be re-evaluated along the journey, and therefore not the end of the world if you fall short.

These are my goals for 2011

1. Write a first draft of a novel
I love to write, but I only share it with a few select people. I have been writing since 2004 and I have attempted a novel in the past, but I have never finished one. I generally write short stories, sketches, radio plays, and just really odd stuff. This will be the year I turn down that self critic voice.

2. Produce either a clip, short film, or a sketch with The Chess Hammer.
The Chess Hammer is a bunch of my mates and I who just have a great time and talk shit together. We have been talking about doing stuff for a while, and this year we are finally in a position to do something. Let's stop talking and start filming!

3. Climb a real rock
It is always good to have a physical goal. Last year I ran a 54km ultra marathon, but this year I started doing indoor rock climbing, and it is pretty sweet. I do have a problem sticking to just one route because I am colour blind and have trouble differentiating between some of the rocks. I asked some people at the climbing centre what I could do about it and they climb some real rocks. Sounds like a good plan to me.

I have added a few new pages so that I can track how each goal is coming along. Drop us a comment and let me know what you will be striving for in 2011.
Good luck for the coming year!