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Friday 31 December 2010

Mr Crankypants

What a night. Went for a drive. Battery died. At traffic lights. Rang sister @ 23:30 - no jumper leads, very pregnant, has to get up in 6 hours for work... but she comes anyway. Suggested going to get leads from father's car. Established neither of us knew how to use them. Stared at each other for a while, then I said, "I'm going to have to call him, aren't I?"

Rang father @ 00:00 - no sense of humour! Arrives with pursed lips. Much crankypantsness ensues. Also much mechanical prowess, which was sorely needed. Battery resists CPR. Father returns home for tow rope. I say, "you realise I'm going to be apologizing for this for weeks?" Sister nods.

There is attaching of ropes involving father lying on the road a lot, while I wince & apologize again.

Car is towed home in disgrace. Battery charger on, crankypants back in bed. Humour appears to have been slightly restored, so yay!

Again, full public apologies & gratitude for Sister & Father, & for the multiple anonymous drivers who stopped to see if I was OK.

Monday 20 December 2010

Christmas help

I saw this article this morning, about a woman who may have to put her son in hospital long-term simply because his requirement for 24-hour-a-day oxygen is kicking their electricity bill to +$4,000 per year. Her car may soon be repossessed.

A number of people in the comments were talking about helping out, but no one had her details. So, taking my inspiration from @TheBloggess's AWESOME effort, I am chasing Cassandra down to get bank a/c details or BPAY, etc. Will post info as soon as I have it.


Sunday 19 December 2010

KANGE NGA KONA: Little development for Papua New Guinea after Somare spent 42 years in politics

KANGE NGA KONA: Little development for Papua New Guinea after Somare spent 42 years in politics

Good point - where HAS all that money gone??

Saturday 27 November 2010

Managing the Quality of the Principles

Dear Daniel

I believe a Principle Quality Manager role would only really exist if one had Official Principles which needed Management. Is this a role which directly advises, say, the AGM re the Quality of the company's Principles? Or is it more of a one-on-one thing with, say, a priest?

Please let me know.


Daniel Smith wrote:

• Principle Quality Engineer
• Permanent)
• Hertfordshire
• £Excellent + Benefits.

Monday 22 November 2010

Dear Interwebs: I need some software advice

I have a friend who teaches music, specifically country music. He has been getting requests from people in the outback to set up a virtual studio. This is a guy who hasn't used a computer since WordPerfect 5.1 was the shiny new toy, so he's asked me for advice. And as I don't know, I'm asking you :-)

His plan is to set up a system which will allow students to download tutorial videos, upload video of themselves playing for him to critique/review etc. Now, he doesn't want to use YouTube as he charges for the videos - he wants it to be available only to paying students.

Does anyone know if a software already exists that would meet his requirements? AND, whether a Mac or PC would be his best option in terms of video editing etc?


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Sunday 14 November 2010

"God will take care of it" approach to global warming

One of the GOP guys running for head of the Energy Commission APOLOGISED to BP after the government held them accountable for the Gulf oil spill. The second is this guy...

Yeah, if you take the Biblical position, God DID promise that HE wouldn't destroy the Earth again by flood - He never said, "and I'll stop you from doing it as well". Besides, the Bible also says that we are the stewards and caretakers of the Earth - doesn't that INSTRUCTION trump speculative interpretation of a passive promise?

I don't know anything about the third guy yet, but I am praying he at least paid attention to high school science.

Thursday 28 October 2010

"Christian" hate must stop

The recent Spirit Day (wearing purple on October 20) and other initiatives to address bullying of - and public homophobia towards - GLBT folk has generated a startling and distressing amount of lip-curling, spiteful contempt from many in the "Christian" community. I say that with " " because none of that qualifies as Christian in my book. That's The Book, in case you're wondering. I don't know which bits people are reading that say it's OK to destroy someone else's life.

Around 2000, I was sharing a house with a girl in London, who came from a very conservative ultra-religious home country.

She had been really upset - to the point of suicidal unhappiness - for weeks about something, but wouldn't say what it was about (although the ex-girlfriend showing up several times did give me a clue).

Finally one day, she burst into my room in defiant, angry tears and said, "OK, look - I'm gay, all right!" and I was like, "well, yeah, I knew that". She said, "you don't hate me?" and honestly I was so astounded I just stared at her. Finally I said, "of course not" and she just fell to the floor and wept.

Turned out:
• her parents had refused to speak to her for years after she came out;
• she used to get regular hate mail from her brother;
• the big share house we'd been in before we moved out together was full of people from her community, who were constantly making negative and hateful anti-gay comments;
• she was a primary school teacher who was terrified of anyone at school finding out she was gay because she would lose her job;
• she'd come back to London in advance of her girlfriend (her first and only partner, they'd been together for 4 years);
• the girlfriend broke up with her by email but STILL CAME TO LONDON and moved in with HER new girlfriend;
- and then the whole thing just imploded.

No wonder she'd been afraid to tell me - she thought I'd be angry at being "tricked" into living with a lesbian, that I'd tell our mutual friends in London, that I'd contribute to her misery in the same way that everyone else had for the last 6 years.

Because I didn't have an issue with it, because she could actually tell me what was going on, could vent and cry and speak to another human being without being spurned, she got through it. I am honoured that she trusted me, and that our house became a home - somewhere she could relax and be herself.

She was just so unbearably lonely, and it made my heart ache for her. I can't imagine being rejected and betrayed by my family, my culture, my housemates, my partner, my friends and still managing to go to work and hold my life together.

It grieves me immensely that there are people whose whole LIVES are lived this way out of fear - fear that we as a society allow and tacitly encourage.

I don't believe for a moment that giving my friend a safe place to be, that loving her and supporting her until she worked through her situation and began to see hope again, was something Jesus wouldn't have done.

Christians are commanded only two things: to love God and to love each other as we ourselves would be loved.

There's more in the New Testament about challenging our own hypocrisy and ego and sin than most of us pay any attention to, and quite a lot about not judging.

Christians are not supposed to be purveyors of hate and vitriol and condemnation.

Friday 15 October 2010

Camel Balls!

This is candy available in my local shop...

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Sunday 29 August 2010

Mother Marries Alleged Pervert Just Two Hours After He Was Indicted For Molesting Her 7-Year-Old Daughter

See... Good God. Never mind a nice cushy electric chair: days like this, I think maybe we should reinstitute quartering-by-wild-horse. 

Mother Marries Alleged Pervert Just Two Hours After He Was Indicted For Molesting Her 7-Year-Old Daughter
Barbara Whitehead Facebook

Damascus, Oregon (The Weekly Vice) - Barbara Whitehead, a 41-year-old Oregon woman was charged Wednesday after she allegedly married a man just two-hours after he was indicted for sexually abusing her 7-year-old daughter.


Just two hours after Smock's indictment, Whitehead is alleged to have married him in a secret wedding with the little girl looking on. After the wedding, the happy couple fled with the child to a Portland hotel where they reportedly celebrated a week-long honeymoon together.


Monday 16 August 2010

OpenFeint Discussion on Obama

This is only a snippet of the conversation. Firstly, the username is "untochable 2019".

And this is what s/he had to say:

Now, I've missed a sentence in the middle of those two section, I apologise. It has the words "Obama ses", so you've not missed much.

My response:

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Saturday 14 August 2010

New 419 Scam

Nigerian scam emails are so common that I - and probably most - simply delete them & move on. The ones I do read are generally bad enough to make you wonder whether they've just picked random words and whacked them together.

This morning I received one that... well, it's a new one!

A title just off enough for me to open the email, while assuming it would be a scam.

Reverend Jerry Smith, a regular [American/Australian/English-speaking] guy from wherever you're from! Orphanage! Ghana, not Nigeria! Shipping costs! Legitimate purchaser with credit card! I have your email address but not your phone number! I'm a Reverend but I'm only semi-literate!

And again, if any native speaker of English takes this as an actual email from an actual person... Well, then you deserve to be scammed.

-- Posted from my iPhone via BlogPress app

Thursday 12 August 2010


I first noticed this word being used to mean "refer back to" or "reply" in emails from Indian colleagues. India has a number of delightfully anachronistic English words still in use (such as the online article I read about how the "cads" had gotten away, but the "sleuths" were on their tail), which always amused me, but "please revert" at the end of an email...? My muttered response was usually, "to what?"

According to

Lately, it's been used twice by people who should know better, so I thought I would point it out.

It might be an actual word, but in this context it's like "refudiate" - yes, I know what you meant, but no. Don't.

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Wednesday 11 August 2010

A dog just peed on my head

I wish that was a joke. It's not.

We have a front deck which is down some stairs from the front porch. It's totally hidden from the road. I was lying on the deck with Vivaldi on the iPod, watching the bats fly black against the backdrop of grey clouds, all very peaceful.

Then I woke up thinking, is it raining?

Uh, no. That would be the big black dog who wanders through our yard every so often.


On my head.

Maybe I smelled a LOT like my dog...? Fuck knows. At any rate, there was punching, some swearing, a bit of yelping/running, some frantic checking of the health of the iPod, then a sprint to the bathroom.

I now smell like soap, shampoo & clean clothes. I may never fully relax on the deck again.

-- Posted from my iPhone via BlogPress app

Thursday 5 August 2010

Twilight Haters Rejoice...

... for here is "Vampires Suck".

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Be a Dangerous DayDreamer

All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible.
-- T.E. Lawrence

Tuesday 3 August 2010

Ha! Nice one, Sheriff...


After a tip, sheriff's deputies got a search warrant for a home in Jackson, Miss. Sure enough, they found drugs. The homeowner, Millie Steverson, 62, was arrested, even though she protested that she needs the pot to treat her glaucoma.

Investigators note the haul from the house included 30 pounds of marijuana, plus crack cocaine, ecstasy, a gun (as a convicted felon, Steverson is not allowed to possess firearms), and a stolen car. "I understand she smokes the drugs to help her glaucoma," Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin said. "By the time she got through smoking all of that, she would have X-ray vision." (Jackson Clarion-Ledger)

Friday 30 July 2010


“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. ”

—Alfred D. Souza
(-2004); writer, philosopher

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Tuesday 20 July 2010

Allie Brosh is a genius

I think I actually love this girl - how cool is this?

happiness poster from

I mean, OK, chest-bursting happiness is not something I'm overly familiar with, but if I was? I would just hold this up and point to it.

Please check out Allie's blog, twitter, facebook and Zazzle links!

Thursday 10 June 2010

Thursday 27 May 2010

The slippery slope

Earlier this week, a Puerto Rico-born US citizen was detained for 3 days and threatened with deportation. Even though his wife brought his birth certificate, they suspected he was an illegal immigrant.

This comes to mind:
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a communist.

Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the labor leaders, but I did not speak out because I was not a unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

As one day became another and others disappeared, gypsies, mentally retarded, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, criminals, anti-socials and emigrants, I remained silent because I was not one of them.

Then it was they came for me, but no one spoke for me because by then there was no one left to speak.

-- Martin Niemoller, 1945.

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Sunday 16 May 2010

Mystery Fungus

I found this in my garden - any ideas what it is?

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Tuesday 4 May 2010

Not seaworthy

This is too funny:

From the Telegraph via
AHOY THERE! A lifeboat crew rescued a sailor off the coast of England taking his first voyage. The unnamed 45-year-old man had just bought the boat, which was not suitable for sea voyages, and was trying to navigate from Gillingham to Southampton -- using only a road map.

He figured he could simply keep the coast of England on "his right" and get there fine, but forgot about the Isle of Sheppey, only about 10 miles away from his starting point. He went around and around the 8-mile-wide island all day and all night, until he ran out of fuel and went aground, rescuers say. He had a marine radio that he could have used to call for help, but didn't know how to use it. "He didn't even;know what navigational charts were," said a lifeboat volunteer who helped in the rescue.

Read the whole story here

Rethinking policy..

Monday 3 May 2010

Nature - or possibly God - is punishing women.

Why do people do this sort of thing?? It makes me want to stab them in the eye.

From WEIRDNUZ.M160 (News of the Weird, May 2, 2010)
© 2010 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.
Child-Bearing, Explained

Virginia state legislator Bob Marshall, speaking in February in opposition to state funding for Planned Parenthood, said the organization is partly responsible for the number of disabled children in America. According to the Old Testament, he said, being forced to bear a disabled child is punishment for the mother's having earlier aborted her first-born.

So, God... oh, wait, there's more:
"[W]hen you abort the first born . . . nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children." Said Marshall, the organization ought to call itself "Planned Barrenhood." [Richmond News Leader, 2-22-10]

Hang on - so it's nature's fault, not God's? Well, now I'm cranky because yet another public speaker can't maintain message consistency. He's citing the OT, but doesn't mention God at all, just a passive voice "you are being punished" and "nature".

Well, everybody knows Nature's a bitch - I mean, she notoriously "abhors a vacuum", and THAT's clearly wrong. Since women love vacuum cleaners. Apparently.

Also, if you're going to start citing OT laws as if they apply today, we're going to have to have a chat about natural fibers, shellfish and exactly how long it's been aince your last blood sacrifice. Exactly.

Should we have a poll on how many disabled chlldren have been born subsequent to an abortion? Let's get some stats in here.

Story courtesy of Chuck Shepherd, as below:
* * * * *
Are you ready for Chuck Shepherd's Weekly Intelligence Briefing? Every Tuesday at
Other handy addresses:
• WeirdNews at earthlink dot net,, and
• P.O. Box 18737, Tampa FL 33679

Friday 30 April 2010

Cat Stevens - pre-sale

Yusuf Islam, the artist previously known as Cat Stevens, is playing in Australia. I just got an email advertising pre-sale of tickets, and clicked through to see prices.

$200+ !?! I love your work, Yusuf, but for that I'll stay home and play your old stuff.

Still, if anyone else is interested, here's the link.

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Muppets FTW! Webby Awards

The Muppet version of Bohemian Rhapsody has been nominated for a Webby for Best Viral Video. While I was checking that out, I came across a bunch of other ones that made me smile.

So here are some Muppet videos, for your amusement:


"The Muppet Show" Intro

Kokomo by The Muppets

Original Muppets mana mana song

The Muppet Show - Yakkety Yak

Bohemian Rhapsody

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Tuesday 27 April 2010

It's startling to realise how much you rely on fingers...

These hideous images brought to you by my raging dermatitis, which includes a lot of swelling and cracked skin (right down to raw bits). It ain't pretty, and it ain't fun.

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Thursday 22 April 2010

Rudyard Kipling Interviews Mark Twain

How extraordinary. Two of my first and best literary crushes, in conversation. If anyone wants me, I'll be re-reading Just-So and Connecticut Yankee. 
Rudyard Kipling Interviews Mark Twain
This article originally appeared as a Library of America Story of the Week feature. An Interview with Mark Twain Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) From "The Mark...

Sent from my iPhone

Monday 19 April 2010

Can't Sleep, Clown'll Eat Me

Click Here For Sound

Yay! Happy Birthday! We hired this creepy-arse Evil Clown scare the SHIT out of you!!


Evil Clown Dominic Deville hired for stalking, threats and a pie in the face

Dominic Deville stalks young victims for a week, sending chilling texts, making prank phone calls and setting traps in letterboxes.

He posts notes warning children they are being watched, telling them they will be attacked.

But Deville is not an escaped lunatic or some demonic monster.

He is a birthday treat, hired by mum and dad, and the ‘attack’ involves being splatted in the face with a cake.

‘The child feels more and more that it is being pursued,’ said Deville.

‘The clown’s one and only aim is to smash a cake into the face of his victim, when they least expect it, during the course of seven days.’

If the boy or girl manages to avoid the ‘hit’, they are given the cake as a birthday present. Well, that’s alright then.

The frightening fun can be stopped at any time, which is handy for parents who have second thoughts and don’t fancy the cost of child therapy.

Deville said: ‘The clown will never break into a residence or show up at work. ‘It’s all in fun and if, at any point, the kids get scared or their parents are concerned, we stop right there.

‘But most kids absolutely love being scared senseless.’

Deville set up his Evil Clown service in Lucerne, Switzerland, after being inspired by some of his favourite horror films – possibly including Stephen King’s It and Killer Klowns From Outer Space.

The idea is unlikely to be popular with sufferers of coulrophobia – the irrational (irrational?) fear of clowns.

But Stephen Vaughan of Clowns International, said scary clowns could be as funny as their red-nosed counterparts. ‘I think what Dominic is doing is a great idea,’ he added.

‘Bringing a little bit of life and laughter into kids’ lives is what we are all about.’

Yeah. Ha, ha. Good one.

Click Here For Sound

Thursday 15 April 2010

Glenn Beck seeks public's advice on cover of new novel

Oh, dear God. Story below from
[Beck] described the novel as "a story of America in a time much like today where the people are confused", where the government is in crisis and a citizens' group called Founders Keepers is on the ascendant, leading to "a battle and a civil war, and life is upside-down planetwide".

Guess who'll be shouting, "don't blame me, it was a METAPHOR!!", come Insanity Day?

Glenn Beck seeks public's advice on cover of new novel

Fox News's right-wing pundit asks fans to vote on cover for apocalyptic political thriller, The Overton Window.

Fox News host Glenn Beck is asking for reader input on the cover of his forthcoming Ayn Rand-esque novel about an embattled America.

The apocalyptic political thriller, The Overton Window, is out in June from Simon & Schuster's conservative US imprint Threshold, which also publishes Karl Rove and Lynne Cheney. Threshold is home to a range of Beck's previous writing, including Arguing with Idiots ("It happens to all of us: You're minding your own business, when some idiot informs you that guns are evil, the Prius will save the planet, or the rich have to finally start paying their fair share of taxes") and his previous novel The Christmas Sweater, about a boy who learns a tough lesson when he's given a handmade jumper for Christmas.

Beck revealed details about his new book late last month to an Orlando rally of 8,000 followers, reported the Philadelphia Daily News. He described the novel as "a story of America in a time much like today where the people are confused", where the government is in crisis and a citizens' group called Founders Keepers is on the ascendant, leading to "a battle and a civil war, and life is upside-down planetwide".

The right wing presenter, whose influence over America's book charts is huge, today asked readers to vote on which cover the novel should be given, ranging from the Statue of Liberty with what appears to be a gun in her hand, to a Colossus of Rhodes-esque statue towering over the New York skyline.

Beck has taken the title of his book from a political concept of how extreme ideas can become mainstream. Gawker was unimpressed. "Glenn Beck naming his Ayn Rand (another radical fringe lunatic who's been successfully made mainstream over the last 40 years) rip-off novel after the political science theory that made his success possible is just a lovely thought, isn't it?" said the website.

Monday 5 April 2010

[AUSTRIA] poor little rich boy

From WEIRDNUZ.M156 (News of the Weird, April 4, 2010)
© 2010 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.
Questionable Judgments

* A recent epiphany caused millionaire Austrian businessman Karl Rabeder, 47, to be depressed about his wealth, and by February, he was in the process of giving it away--an estate worth the equivalent of about $5 million. Two luxury properties are for sale, with proceeds going to charities he established in Central and South America, and he plans to move into a small hut in Innsbruck.

"Money is counterproductive," he told a reporter.  "I had the feeling I was working as a slave for things that I did not wish or need."

(According to London's Daily Telegraph, Rabeder's wife was with him at the time of the epiphany, but the story curiously is silent about her view of his decision.) [Daily Telegraph (London), 2-8-10]

* * * * *
Are you ready for News of the Weird / Pro Edition? Every Monday at and Other handy addresses:
* WeirdNews at earthlink dot net,
* P.O. Box 18737, Tampa FL 33679

Sunday 4 April 2010

What the hell is wrong with me?

I can't stop crying, and I can't figure out why. It's not even really crying for the most part, it's just ... leaking. I'm not upset ABOUT anything, I just keep bursting into tears.

And I want a cigarette. It's been 9 weeks, if I go back now it's permanent. But fuck me, I want one.

Saturday 3 April 2010

How to let go

Youi (@youi_insurance): better customer service rep screening required

Youi recommends Windscreen cover - just in case marauding African pre-teens hit the streets with hand tools. Apparently.

I decided to investigate Youi as an alternative to RACQ, now that I'm not working. 20 minutes on the phone, bingo, 50% off the RACQ cover.

Towards the end of the call, the consultant is offering me additional cover for my windscreen. He cheerfully explains that this will only cost me another ~ $1.50 per month, and that the cover includes all the car's windows, "so you're totally covered, whether it's a passing truck that's flicked up a rock, hail damage, or a little black kid with a hammer."

Sorry... or a what? You did NOT just say "black kid with hammer". Surely not.
so you're totally covered, whether it's a passing truck that's flicked up a rock, hail damage, or a little black kid with a hammer.

OMG. You totally did. You actually said that out loud.

I must have made some sort of noise, because he carried on with his spiel while I sat there with my mouth open, this little voice in my head going, "y'can't say THAT!"

I was going to ring someone, to say WTF?!?, but there's no head office number listed. So Youi, if your cyber-presence is up to it, please have a word with your dickhead employees.

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Sunday 28 March 2010

Dear Politicians: if it's on the Intertubes, it's NOT PRIVATE!!

Why are politicians so clueless?

"Anime is a prime example of why two nukes wasn't enough."

--  New Hampshire State Rep. Nick Levasseur (D-Man.), via Facebook.

Thursday 18 March 2010

wire trash can

wire trash can

Sent from my iPhone

My new bunker paradise...?

For no reason whatsoever, except feeling like a Matt Reilly character, I sooooo want to live in this house! 

Its WAR!

Funny Real Estate - Its War!

Funny Real Estate - Its War!

Funny Real Estate - Its War!

I shall move in here. Every day the schoolbus will back up the driveway, open its back doors, and dump my kids into the big funnel that leads to their rooms.


Found by: Erin

Loveliest comment, by JMixx: "The original, heavy security doors are built to withstand a 2000 lb blast and are at the underground home entrance."

That's IT! I am DONE with poking my potatoes with a fork before I microwave them.

Funny Real Estate - Its War

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