Thursday, December 20, 2007

He's gonna get you when you are asleep...

Michael Jackson scares me.

And not just in a ‘general displeasure with the excesses of celebrity and plastic surgery’ kinda way.

But in an ‘I can't stand to look at photos of him’ way.

He has managed to do all the right things to make his facial features inherently disturbing, in the same way that horror film directors design their villains with all-black eyeballs or grotesquely distorted features. The face being such an important visual reference that any kind of distortion instinctively puts a viewer on edge.

Unless of course they are post-its on his face – stuck there to remind him which bits are awful.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The festy season

There are many ‘wrong’ things relating to Christmas and workplaces.

Tinsel draped over the photocopier in early November, motion-activated toys blaring tinny Christmas carols, flashing santa ear-rings, compulsory socialising, etc etc.

But the prize goes to the person in my group who organised our group Christmas lunch – Indian food, in the middle of the day, in 31 degree heat.


No, literally, vomit.

And no, the fact that I merrily went ahead and ate the food does not transfer any responsibility for the situation to me.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Reasons to be cheerful - post-election series, installment #1

1. Articles like this, make for very happy reading (shahd-n-froi-duh, huh).

A humiliated Karen Chijoff said her husband had left their home and she was no longer speaking to him [...] Another of Mr Howard's closest allies said the Prime Minister was the key problem. "The PM, they were just so over him. He looked old, they were sick of him," he said. "We could just see Howard couldn't win, and I could see that by March."

2. A deliberately barren Deputy PM!

3. Howard won't be appointing the next High Court judge.

4. Certain cretins certain to be removed from the ABC Board.

5. Everything Paul says here (love you Paul).

6. Bye bye Broughy, you really were a very dim operator. My favourite example, your refusal to consider sensible amendments to your NT Emergency Response legislation because you didn't like "complicated processes or amendments to Bills".

7. International headlines such as "Bush loses a friend in Australia"

*Contented sigh*

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

For any undecided nit-picking voters out there...

From the Liberal Party's policies web page, here's all you need to know in order to decide who to vote for:

Can't even spell Tasmania. What a scandal.

They'd better hope the electors of Braddon and Bass are reasonably open-minded and forgiving types.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Keeping busy

Two things I have decided are ‘not ok in the workplace’ and which I will be raising with Lindsay Tanner and his razor-gang as suitable targets in his planned shake-up of the public-service:

1. Complete strangers (normally in the lift - captive audience, you see) asking “how are you going today?” soley for the purposes of eliciting the polite reciprocation of that question (ie, “fine thanks, how are you?”) so that they can go on and on AND ON at length about their dodgy leg/ankles/heart/frontal lobe.

Not cool!

2. The pairing of a purple skirt-suit and beige crocs (with beige stockings!).

Not cool!

(Not me!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Heaven07 – my election-themed biking adventure

I guess it is the modern equivalent of the slide-show - foisting my holiday snaps on my unsuspecting readers.
But in this instance, you can simply click yourself away to another exciting intertubes destination. Unlike the slide-shows I remember, which always seem to involve locked doors and hours of lost time...

Anyway, on with the show eh?
As Antony Green tells us, the electorate of Eden-Monaro, currently held by Gary Nairn for the Libs by 3.3% is a varied electorate covering 37,619 in the south-east corner of NSW. It includes the fishing, holiday and retirement towns of Narooma and Bermagui, rich agricultural areas around Bega, logging towns around Eden and Bombala, Cooma and the NSW snowfields, Queanbeyan and the Canberra overflow, as well as Tumut and Tumburumba in the the upper reaches of the Murrumbidgee and Murray Rivers. It is also famous for being the classic 'litmus test' seat, Eden-Monaro has fallen to the party that won government at every election since 1972.

But what Antony doesn’t mention are the rich road-based delights it has to offer for the two-wheeled voter. The other week I spent a cumulative three days exploring the best and worst of riding in this ‘litmus test’ seat.
Here's day one:

Started off with a very easy run down to Bateman’s Bay. The run from BB to Bega was in all honesty some of the suckiest riding I’ve ever done. The scenery is pretty magnificent, but in terms of riding, it absolutely sucked balls.

Apart from lacking anything really interesting in riding terms, it was packed out with caravans, there were road works every 15 minutes (no one likes sitting in full gear on a 30 degree day in the sun for 30 minutes) and the wind was pure arse-suckery.

Not only was it pushing me regularly onto the wrong side of the road, it almost pushed me off a few times around corners and was blowing grit and leaves into my eyes. Not fun.

So blind, drenched in sweat and physically exhausted from clinging to the bike for 2 hours I collapsed down next to the bike in Bega. Lo and behold, I’d picked up a hitch-hiker in the form of a fairly reasonably sized stick, wedged into my rear suspension and gouging a groove into my rear tyre.

I still can’t believe I hadn’t felt or heard anything. Perhaps if the wind wasn’t howling like a banshee in my helmet I may have heard some kind of rubbing or vibration noise. Who knows how long it had been there.

With the riding being so annoying from then on I lowered my expectations and reverted to sight-seeing mode, which was probably not a bad idea as that part of NSW is exceedingly pretty.

All the beaches seemed to have tropical blue water and with recent rains, the green countryside was a sight for sore eyes in comparison to the brown and grey barren hills around Canberra.

So I started taking little detours and just took it a bit easy and enjoyed myself a lot more.

A friend had recommended I stay overnight in Mallacoota. I previously had no awareness of this part of Victoria, but I recommend it to anyone. A real wildnernessy feeling about it, and for most of the time I spent on the roads after Eden, I barely saw a soul. None of the towns feel overtly touristy and the roads are in very good condition.

The next morning I got away nice and early determined to have a better time of it riding-wise.

Here's day 2:

I was soon at Cann River and the Cann Valley Highway lay before me.

I have found the key to my soul.

Those 80-odd kilometres of pure zen sweepers are the new Buddhism.

Fwoar. The sight-lines go on forever. The road surface is sublime. The scenery is amazing and I probably only saw 2 or 3 other cars.


From then on, things did get a bit slabby and boring (also, riding behind timber trucks sure does suck, with all the splinters and crap blowing up into the helmet and into my eyes). However, all too soon I was back in Canberra and my first ever solo overnight bike adventure was at an end.

I couldn’t stay off the bike for long though, and a day later I was back on the Monaro Highway heading for Cooma, Jindabyne and beyond:

Yes, that is snow.

My first trip down into the snowies and omgwtfbbq! The roads are amazing! Shame I already used up my Buddhism analogy.

Whilst I didn’t have nearly enough time down there, I’d have to say those roads have a few Ben Cousins-like features – easy on the eye, high-performing and somewhat addictive! I spent most of my time on the road out to Khancoban and even though I’d done my planned trip out there once, I got back to Thredbo and had to turn around and do it again!

This meant I got home quite late and was aching all over, but I didn’t care.

I spent most of that evening with a silly looking grin on my face. I don’t know what it was but during that ride everything seemed to click and I was finding myself nailing corners in a way I don’t usually manage on a consistent basis – especially not unfamiliar downhill hairpins!

I’m in no way the world’s best rider, but it felt like easily my best ever riding.

But sigh, back to reality now. All I can do is start planning the next ride!

Things to do differently next time:

  • Blow up the Monaro between Canberra and Cooma
  • Brown Mountain and Mt Darragh Rd
  • Allow myself an overnight stay in the snowies and get all the way around the loop up to Kiandra and Adaminaby.
  • Get hard luggage so I don’t have to lug a tank bag everywhere each time I get off the bike
  • Avoid buying petrol in Thredbo - $1.55 per litre? Get fugged.

Monday, November 12, 2007

C'mon Matt, take off your jacket... we can play another game of Idol spot-the-difference!

This time between Kisschasy's Spray-on Pants zombies, and your outfit last night!

But no, you had to ruin it didn't you, with that anoraky thingy. But I know you had a stripey t-shirt on underneath. Corr, what a good blog-post that would have made...

And yes, this was the most exciting thing to come out of last night's episode, thanks very much.

PS All credit to the LovelyWife for the cross-cultural observations in this post...

Friday, November 09, 2007

Memo to world's biggest loser:

SHUT UP you insufferable disaster!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Four on the floor

Dear Australian Idol,

Whilst this final four does come across as a bit of a joke, I want you to know it is NOT FUNNY ANYMORE.

But, I am prepared to be patient. I just know that any minute now, the real finalists are going to jump out from behind the couch and surprise us all. You know, the finalists who can sing and who are at least partly interesting...

Let's face it, 25% of your final four comprises a one-man tribute band to Michael Buble (who himself, is pretty much a one-man tribute band to original artists - so Carl, you are doubly unoriginal), and as we all know, tribute bands belong at the Revesby Workers Club or the Epping Hotel, and not on national telly!

Quite frankly, I preferred your earlier attempts at humour.

And could you please pass a message on to the work experience hair and make-up TAFE students 'Confidence team' stylists - having the filthiest of the finalists shower in the kitchen sink is likely to score you an 'F' on your final TAFE exam exceedingly inadequate.

The caption reads "Marty skips the shower and gives his hair a quick rinse".

But perhaps that just fits in with this year's theme - 'Australian Idol 2007 - really quite disappointing'.

Yours sincerely

Previously gruntled viewer

Sunday, October 28, 2007

While y'all working this week...

Time for me to p1ss off on my bike for a few days.

Ta ta!

Monday, October 22, 2007

I still heart Emily

Tonight's Idol verdict show performance by the Young Divas (-Ricky Lee, +Jessica Mauboy, but still, thankfully, retaining Emily) only served to highlight how hopelessly talentless the current group of godforsaken finalists are.

Not a single finalist from this year's show can sing even half as well as the worst Young Diva on an off night, smoking a cigar and gargling the chorus of 'Achy Breaky Heart' with a mouth full of bourbon.

I think it must be time for another lolCarl.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fresh thinking my arse

First it was pollies ripping off lolcats.

Now it's pollies ripping off the infinite cat project!

Get your own ideas and stop ripping off teh kittez!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tax-cuts for all (straight people)

Of all the piss-weak, pathetic excuses trundled out by this Government for its failure to act on legislated discrimination against teh gays, the one that has always annoyed me most is the line that it would be 'too expensive'.

This is the idea that in providing equal access to tax-breaks and superannuation benefits, the revenue foregone would send the country crashing into bankruptcy.

In my admittedly hysterical mind, the revenue we are talking about is roughly equivalent with proceeds of crime. A windfall gain for the government sourced from the deliberate maintenance of unjust measures imposed on its citizens should not be put in the same column as general taxation revenue.

Ie, you f*ckers shouldn't be collecting that money in the first place, so don't start whinging about losing it!

This article reckons the cost to government would be about $2 billion (not clear over how long).

Seems like a lot, huh.

I just know that the boffins in the Department of Finance and Administration (DoFA - or, if you prefer, "Do F*ck All") have searched high and low, desperately trying to find the money to get the government out of this heart-breaking quandry.

But I guess they should have looked in that big barrel of hoarded surplus marked "100% pure pork".

Seems $34 billion is much easier to find than a mere $2 billion, sometimes.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Christmas has come early

A November 24 election equals a six-week election campaign, equals a six-week caretaker period!

On behalf of public servants everywhere, thanks John! Six weeks of filing and long-lunches.

And after all those things I said about you...

Man, I am going to have the tidiest desk.

While I'm here, some sites to satisfy your inner psephite:

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Just shut-up and lose already.

Image digitally enhanced. Your PM doesn't actually look this good.

The current fuss is about whether Parliament will sit next week, with K-Rudd blathering on about waste of tax-payers' dollars if the MPs fly in for a week of pointless sittings.

Apparently businesses want it out of the way soon too, so that the hoards are not distracted from the sacred annual ritual of emptying wallets and savings accounts in celebration of the birth of Christ.

My general reaction was "Meh".

But then I learnt that Aussie's (Parliament House 'cafe') doesn't know how much milk to order for next week.

It's clearly time to end the madness and uncertainty.

Just call the bloody thing and let us spank your botty good and proper, John.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Important and complex psephological post

Will Siamese twins get to vote twice at the upcoming election?

This is in really poor taste, isn't it.

Sorry, slow day.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Informed dietary choices

I overheard the following during a recent visit to the local trough 'reasonably priced cafe'.

Woman ordering from bain-marie: "I'll have the prawn and snow-pea stir fry thanks. But no rice! Oh God, rice is sooooo unbelievably bad for you. All those carbs. Yuck! No thanks...... Better also give me a spring roll.... No, make that two."

Monday, October 01, 2007

Product review - 21st century Idol analysis

If you believe what you hear, you’d think that GPS navigation devices or LCD TVs are the ‘must-have’ consumer electronics appliances at the moment.

Well, I’ve got an inside tip on what’s bound to be on everyone’s Christmas wish list this year – the Megatron4000 Electric Idol-Alike Easy-Compare Oven.

It's as nifty as it sounds, my friends.

You enter in the key characteristics of this year’s Australian Idol contestants and the Idol-Alike Easy-Compare Oven will spit out the Idol finalist from previous years they most resemble. In so doing, it fills a gaping hole in the market for automated Idol analysis.

I was provided with a demonstration model during last night's episode of Idol, for the purposes of this review, and let me tell you, the Easy-Compare Oven is a very handy addition to a viewer's suite of critiquing options.

To demonstrate, let’s enter in the key profile data for Carl Risely.

Vocal talent = -40
Originality = -50
General understanding of music beyond genre of choice = -30
Flexibility as an ‘artist’ = -15
Mediocrity = +100

Plus, following his rendition of ‘Clocks’ on Rock night, the manual tells me I have to factor in an unknown amount of the Daniel Belle variable.

And, voila!

A 98% match for 2005’s Lee Harding, described by the Idol-Alike Easy-Compare Oven in scientific terms as belonging to the genus “uno-trickus equinus”, or, in the detailed description as a “sick joke that went on far too long enough by half, resulting in arguably the world’s worst pop single (Wasabi)."


Let’s play again, this time with Jacob Butler.

The Idol-Alike Easy-Compare Oven is quite flexible in the kinds of data you can enter, so we’ll go for some different categories of information this time.

Tendency to pull annoying facial expressions while singing = +60
Vocal talent = -30
General ‘bland’/forgettable factor = +50

This time we get a 65% match for 2004’s Marty Worrall, whose ugly singing face, the Easy-Compare Oven tells us, was thought to be responsible for a number of otherwise unexplained television explosions around the country at the time.

Thanks to its constant WAPGPRS3Gtooth connection to the Binternets, the Easy-Compare Oven can keep up to date with the most recent Idol info, and so includes interesting fact snippets, like, in this instance, the fact that both Marty and Jacob have butchered “Somewhere Only We Know”.

Must-have info.

My last test-run involved Marty Simpson, and this scenario seemed to throw up an interesting glitch in the machine.

I entered in the data as per usual:

General air of grubbiness = +30
Tendency to shuffle about and mumble = +40

I expected to maybe get a 30% Dan England match, but instead I got this:

Not strictly speaking an Australian Idol finalist, but still, eerily close.

Before finishing up with the Easy-Compare Oven, I tried out one of its special features, the optional Schadenfreude add-on.

This is where you input the key characteristics of any chosen 2007 finalist and the Easy-Compare Oven cleverly assesses the level of disdain you have for that finalist.

Based on that assessment, the Easy-Compare Oven spits out a similarly droll past Idol finalist. Importantly though, the Easy-Compare Oven only selects those past Idol finalists whose exit from the show was suitably undignified and gleefully timely, to give you hope that a similar fate will befall the 2007 finalist.

So, taking the talentless, shouty, nut-job Tarasai Vushe:

Yawning schism between self-confidence and actual talent level = +100
General mania and detachment from reality = +75
Absence of vocal ability masked by predictable glory-noting and superfluous key-changes = +50

And the Schadenfreude result is:


Fingers crossed it turns out to be accurate.

Overall, I give the Megatron4000 Electric Idol-Alike Easy-Compare Oven 7/10.

Accurate enough to be entertaining, but not yet as effective an Idol critique tool as yelling at the telly and texting “wtf? I fucking hate Carl!” to your friends.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It's a LolCarl!

No idea what I'm talking about? Context.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Poll Pole position

A tale of two Aussie underdogs, charging towards certain victory…

Young Kevin Casey has been followed closely by many commentators fans as he worked his way up through the Department of Foreign Affairs 250cc championship and then a high-profile stint as foreign affairs spokesman for the opposition debut season in the premier class of motorcyle racing, MotoGP, which featured a few spectacular learning curves.

Promoted to the leadership front-running Ducati team for this year, Kevin Casey surprised everyone leaping to the top of the polls standings with early popularity gains wins on the clearly dominant Ducati machine.

It was at this stage that the Government his detractors and rivals attributed Kevin's Casey's success to the honeymoon effect extra top-speed the Ducati had compared to rival machines.

But he kept on delivering positive polling results winning, with victories in Qatar, Shanghai and Instanbul.

Then the press his detractors claimed that once the Budget was delivered Moto GP circus moved to the tight, twisty European circuits, which lacked the long straights on which the Ducati had shown early-season dominance in Qatar, Shanghai and Instanbul – then the Government would receive a massive poll bounce Casey would succumb to the more talented and technically proficient riders.

But they were wrong, as Kevin’s continued rise as preferred PM Casey's stunning victory in Catalunya, backed up next round at a very wet Donnington Park demonstrated.

Still his detractors insisted he would suffer from scandalous revelations about his past fall behind, run out of fitness and get complacent. But poll race after poll race, he piled on the points.

Coming into this last weekend, there were great expectations that a positive poll result would see Kevin's Casey's rivals lose their nerve and call an early poll and allow him to run away with the victory Championship.

After all, the previous race, in Misano, had seen 4-time election winner 7-time world champion and current electoral championship rival John Howard Valentino Rossi suffer a complete brain engine failure causing him to announce his retirement in the next term retire from the race.

Everyone had expected Howard Rossi to claw back some points after the APEC Leaders’ week introduction of pneumatic valves to his Yamaha YZR M1's engine. Add to this that Kevin Casey had piled on a massive 19-point 2 party preferred Newspoll lead 85-point championship lead and it seemed like the election championship was in the bag.

But, over the weekend, some stunning Newspoll results improvements from Valentino’s Yamaha led to a bout of crowing thrilling win for Kevin's Casey’s main rival.

This led to fervent speculation that the election Casey's ultimate victory would be delayed until after the next sittings round in Motegi, this weekend.

But Kevin Casey still commands a 10-point 2 party preferred lead 76-point championship lead with only 3 races to go.

Surely now we can prepare the ground for Kevin's Casey's triumphant arrival at the Lodge the Australian GP at Phillip Island in October as super-duper PM World Champion 2007?

Although history sounds a cautionary note for Kevin Casey. Who could foreget when in 2001 the Opposition leader at the time championship leader Nicky Hayden looked destined for victory only for that effing Tampa boat to float into Australia's waters his team mate to spectacularly take him out of the race!

Millions wait in anticipation!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Fear and loathing

I came to a sobering realisation last night.

Despite all my fretful, paranoid self-chastisement upon each and every optimistic thought.

Despite the hours spent going back over old news articles and blog posts from October 2004, in an attempt to re-live the sting and despair.

Despite the analysis of the ‘softness’ of the current polls, which should really have brought me back down to earth.

I admit it.

I have gotten my hopes up.

"Yeah baby! This thing is in the bag! Nothing could possibly go wrong now!"

I guess it might seem like there is nothing wrong with this.

But the dreadful depression that followed the 2004 result was, I think, made so much worse by the fact that I had somehow deluded myself into thinking there was a chance of ALP victory.

"Wow, you really ARE stupid, aren't you?"

And can you imagine how much worse it would be this time?

There’s such a feeling around the place that a change is a foregone conclusion, any victory for the Government will be doubly revolting. The crowing and bleating will just be unbearable.

A coaching suggestion made to football teams that have won the minor premiership and are facing the prospect of complacency in the finals series is that they should carry a brick around with them at all times.

Having used all my spare bricks for throwing off the overpass at 4WDs, maybe I should stick this photo up at my desk, to bring me back down to earth.

But people might get the wrong idea.

It is for these reasons I am undecided about whether attending any election parties is a good idea.

Who can forget 2004 when it was all freaking over before the party pies had even defrosted?

I guess, in the end, defeat is defeat and I am just deluding myself even further if I think I can mentally prepare for that outcome.

I'll have to come up with some way of coping. I think I'll choose....crack-smoking!

"Congratulations girlfriend. You worked it out."

Seems to be all the rage these days.

The least they could do is call the bloody election. I've been doing the slow hand-clap for about a month now but it doesn't seem to have worked.

At the moment it's like peeling off a really sticky band-aid, reeeeealllly slowly. Just rip the fucker right-off, Johnny!

"Nah, fuck ya!"

Yeah, well. The feeling's mutual, fuck-face.