December 21, 2005
December 03, 2005
I must be doing something right at work, because I got to go to Sydney on company money. Sure, I had to attend a day long CEO forum that was drier than a truckful of flour, but they put me up at the Hilton, so all is forgiven. The 43rd floor is pretty cool, unless you get the elevator all to yourself, with no stops on the way up. With the hangover that I had after my first night there, it was hard work dealing with the pressure change.
(based on my two days there) Sydney seems to have a lot going for it. It doesn't feel like it's trying a hard as Melbourne to be cool. A lot of Melbournians will talk your ear off telling you everything that's so great about their home, to the point that it all just becomes white noise. Sydney(ers, ites?) don't have the same affliction. They aren't as friendly, but at least they know how to keep the noise down a little. Maybe I'm getting old, but why does every second person I meet have their volume knob stuck on obnoxious prick? My guess is the large Greek/Italian influence, where members of a 12 strong catholic family had to yell to be heard when they were kids. I swear, it's like I'm at a club where everyone but me can hear the music and feels they have to shout their conversation.
Where was I? Oh yeah, Sydney is cool, but the weather was average. Here's a few pics of the bridge and opera house on an overcast day:
November 28, 2005
We've since used it most nights to cook up some awesome steaks, chicken kebabs and a
couple of token vegetables. The neighbourhood cat can smell raw steak from 500m, so we've only managed to eat outside once without being bothered. Every other meal is spent being glared at through the screen door. I swear this cat was human in a past life because it really knows how to make you feel uncomfortable.
Anyway, we still had the car on the Sunday, so went down the Mornington Peninsula. As well as tracking down a cheese shop in the middle of the bush and going to a boutique chocolate shop in the middle of nowhere, we visited a couple of vineyards.
We managed to blow our budget and spend a couple of hundred dollars, but it was well worth it. We got 7 great bottles of wine, including the best shiraz I've had to date. There's only one of the shiraz left now and I'm trying really hard to keep it for a special occasion. Everyday things seem to have become more special lately. I can't say if it's related.
November 16, 2005
Today, I might just leave a few key points so I can look back in a year's time and remember what I was doing at the time:
Next week, I'm going to Sydney for work. I get to meet a bunch of people who I've only ever spoken to over the last 18 months and spend the night at the Hilton. The next day is a CEO forum where the bigwigs give presentations and ask us (the plebs) where we think the company is headed. It's really just a reward for a select few achievers so they feel better about the average salary. They'll see through me eventually, but until that day, I'm more than happy to take their fancy hotels :)
My parents tried to get me to play an instrument when I was younger, knowing full well how happy it would make me. Piano lessons, trumpet lessons (and one evening of violin) just didn't agree with me at the time. Now that I'm older and full of regret, I'm going to try again. This time with the saxomophone. It's always been one of those instruments that's been pretty cool in my eyes, and I've found a place that rents new ones pretty cheap. After a year, if you want to buy it, they will put all the rental money towards the cost. You can't beat that deal!
Anna, if you've got any tips can you let me know? I realise that I'll probably have to ditch the tongue stud, but we've all got to make sacrifices.
I'm getting a new tattoo in six months or so. I haven't got the design totally figured out, but if anyone knows the tattoo that Seth from Dusk till Dawn has, it's pretty close. I want it to start at the top of my tricep, climb up over my shoulder and stick slightly out of my collar. Mum has already freaked out at the idea, so I know I must be on the right track. The problem is, I have almost no muscle mass and therefore bugger all shoulder to tattoo. I guess it would be cheaper having to use less ink, but I'm joining my work gym next month to bulk up instead. Should be fun.
A man goes to the zoo. When he arrives, there is just a dog sat in a cage.
It was a Shitzu.
October 06, 2005
As my creative side is having the evening off, I'd like to take the time to acknowledge everything that makes life great. I'm not on anything that I know of, but some things just need to be noted:
Pickled Onion Flavoured Monster Munch
The English are a funny bunch. They eat jellied eels, read News of the World and have a different accent for every postcode. They also invented Pickled Onion Monster Munch. Please note the capitalisation, it was earned. I'm lucky to have found a shop in Melbourne that imports UK foods, so I can see many of my
Have you ever had chips with tomato sauce and thought there was something missing?
I'm by no means a connoisseur, but give me a bottle of Pinot or Cab Sav and I'm sorted. Deb and I went to a Riedel master class a few days ago to get a set of wine glasses and to see if wine really did taste better out of custom shaped glasses. I always thought it was a con when people said that each variety of wine needs a different shaped glass, but I'm happy to say I was totally wrong and will never drink out of the wrong glass again.
Home Grown Anything
I planted some radish seeds in a planter a few weeks ago, not really thinking anything would happen. It's now three weeks later and I feel like an expecting father! We'll get enough for a couple of salads, so long as the possums don't figure out that they're food.
I realise the world's people are slowly turning vegetarian. More power to them ...as long as no one tries indoctrinating me. I can put up with the tree hugging and the hemp jeans, but if you hippies try making me drink my wine with some kind of tofu meat replacement, you'll want to be wearing your best running sandals.
There's more than those few things that make me tick, can you guess any others?
Answers, please, on the back of a postcard...
August 28, 2005
Went to Bar Open in Brunswick last weekend for a mates birthday. A "live big-band, hip-hop" group was playing (called Morph I think). It was the kind of music that makes you wonder why the band isn't famous and how also long it would take you to learn the flute. It was made up of a drummer, keyboard player, synth player and a frontman that played the flute, clarinet and saxophone (of course all at different times)
This Friday gone, I went to another bar north of the city (Lomond) to see a mate's band play. They were really good as well, but a slightly more laid back sound, and they can jam like noone else I've ever heard. They managed to build entire songs, with lyrics and all totally from scratch. Very cool.
I then managed to get home, after paying almost $30 for a taxi. It really makes you wish the trains ran 24-7
August 14, 2005
A few hours later, it was revealed that the pub we were in used to host... err... female entertainment of some variety. If I had any doubt about that, it was removed when someone showed me details of the window we were sitting beside:
August 09, 2005
August 04, 2005
Yeah, I like to have a couple of glasses of wine over dinner, but that's not every night. It's also true that I've got a bourbon beside me as I write this, but it's purely medicinal. Some people take valium, others count sheep. I have bourbon with a drop of Coke™ to help me close my eyes at the end of the day.
It's not like I need to have it, but people don't need to have the latest fashion either. You try telling that to your average Melbourne pretty-fucker and you're likely to get swatted with an oversized pair of sunglasses. My point is, everyone has their own little obsession, but some of those are judged more harshly by society than others. Don't tell me that I drink too much, because you're the dickhead sitting in your Chapel Street flat, freezing, because you blew your money on a new pair of shoes instead of paying your heating bill.
Who's going to be worse off huh?
July 31, 2005
Each scene looks like it's jumped right out of a comic, which makes sense, as the director used the original comics as the storyboard.
It was shot in black and white, with splashes of colour, so most of the blood is either black, white or yellow (...it makes sense when you see it), and there's enough violence to satisfy anyone's inner sadist. My favourite scene has to be where a big dude (Mickey Rourke) is driving down the road with his door open, dragging another guy along the ashphalt by his face. Here's the original comic. The film scene looks the same, but it's moving :)
July 30, 2005
Last night, instead of getting takeaway curry, or eating at a $5 Chinese buffet, Deb and I partook of a little eight course fine dining.
(The following is ripped from their website, so it may be an ingredient or two out)
- Freshly Baked White & Wholemeal Breads With Two Butters
- Organic Duck Noodle Soup
- Pickled Vegetable & Rice Noodle Salad, Asian Pesto Yoghurt
- Wok Tossed Queensland Bug Meat, Green Papaya, Spanish Onion, Chilli Salad, Passionfruit Mirin Dressing
- Crispy Fried Milawa Free Range Chicken & Country Tender Eye Fillet Salad, Watercress, Mint, Peanuts, Shallots, Creamy Coconut Dressing
- Cajun Spiced Lamb Fillet, Roasted Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Mash, Minted Tamarind Jelly
- Dessert Plate – Belgium Orange Chocolate Semi Fredo, Plum Pudding & PX Ice Cream & Cone, Mango Agar Jelly, Wild Fig Honeycomb Mascarpone Meringue, Vanilla Bean, Vodka, Choc Mousse, Maraschino Choc Cherry Souffle
- Gravity Organic 100% Arabica Coffee OR Tease Tea Served With Petit Fours
Take that Colonel Sanders
July 27, 2005
I can't wait to see the Columbians rip out all of their coca crops and replace them with humidity controlled fungus sheds.
I realise that a few people who are susceptible to schizophrenia may be adversely affected, but it's not like the other 99.5% of shroomers are ruining their lives. The only reason that psychedelic drugs are illegal is because governments know that their mental health care systems are not up to scratch. Mushrooms may help bring on people's psychological problems, but at least it gets it out in the open instead of leaving their mental illness to fester untreated.
Also, making stuff illegal only makes it more attractive to young people. The same people that the law is looking to protect. I'm not saying to scrap the law, but just realise that a lot of people are going to try drugs at some point and there's no sense in making them deal with criminals to get them.
Verdict: Standard government knee jerk reaction to a crying parent
July 25, 2005
It wasn't the cheapest thing I've ever bought... in fact I could've flown from here to Dunedin and back (and then back to Dunedin again) for what it cost me. That said, I'm really happy with it, but I just want to ask Steve Jobs one question:
"What the hell is with those crappy fucking earphones you get with them?!"
If you're reading this and think that I'm over-reacting, I can safely assume that you've never had the pleasure of trying to jam the damn things in your ears! I challenge you to buy a pair (or borrow some. I have a pair you can have) stick them in your ears and tell me that they
a) are comfortable
b) don't leak noise in or out, and
c) sound better than elevator music when heard from three floors away.
Seriously, if you can answer in the affirmative to any of these, you
a) have the weirdest shaped ear holes
b) don't sit near anyone when you listen to your music, and
c) listen to Country & Western, where the further away you get, the better it sounds
As far as I'm concerned, it's like a Mercedes coming with go kart wheels as standard.
What's the point in marketing this great (expensive) music player, if the first thing people hear out of it is the equivalent of trying to force a cow's fart out of a mouse's butt?
July 21, 2005
July 20, 2005
Gluttony: Me and the missus have been buying a lot of wine recently. To our credit, there's still some left, but it's really hard to have bottles sitting there unopened when you know how good it would taste with dinner.
I also had a work function last Friday with a 4 course meal and all the wine and beer you can fit. Apparantly I can fit a fair bit.
Sloth: Basically the entire Saturday after my work dinner and most evenings.
I reckon, another few weeks and I'll have collected all seven. Lucky I'm an atheist or God would be really unhappy with me.
July 10, 2005
One ticket to Fabric to see Plump DJs, Andy C, Krafty Kuts andDJ Hype on the same night: £11
One bottle of water: £2
err... miscellaneous: £14
Walk to catch the bus home from Oxford Circus - Free
One ticket to see Grooverider and some local DJs (plus a band with a singer that you can't hear): $38
A bottle of wine, a beer, 3 bourbons and a bottle of water: $57
Cab home $20
Even once you've taken the exchange rate into account, it's damn expensive.
The "miscellanous" does tend to remove a whole lot of other costs, but isn't value for money what all of us are after?
Anyway, Friday night was pretty cool. It started out with John Doe and Blanco: a couple of DJs playing inoffensive, easy going DnB. A live band (Beat Smugglers) came on at 1am and played some DnB(?) and hip hop. They were ok, but the singer was totally drowned out which made everything seem incomplete. Deb spoke to the sound engineer about it, but apparantly he couldn't turn the guy up anymore because of feedback. Bugger.
Then at 2am, Grooverider came on. Maybe it was because I had a few drinks under my belt, and perhaps the long hiatus had left me wanting, but it went off. The speakers were trying to tear themselves of their mounts, and my eyeballs were doing their best not to implode under the pressure. After 2 hours of relentless, dark Drum and Bass, he moved aside and let a female DJ take over (Dust). She was hard to tell apart from Grooverider, as she was technically brilliant, and was playing from the same song book. The only way you could tell them apart is she is young, white and has boobies, whereas Grooverider is the opposite.
4.30 rolled around and it was time to go; totally drained, sore feet and ears full of clay. My ears still haven't totally recovered (It's Sunday evening and I can still hear a faint buzing noise), but I'd happily go through it all over again.
Verdict: Loud = good
July 07, 2005
When has terrorism EVER solved anything? The twin towers issue didn't make anyone sit up and listen! Instead it pretty much polarized the US and destroyed a couple of countries in the process!
So there's at least two deaths and a load of serious injuries. 7 blasts that we know fo so far, and apparently al-Quaida have taken responsibility. For what? When are we going to find out what the fucking excuse is this time? It's funny that the majority of the world can get together and talk about stuff over lunch, whereas these people just blow shit up. It is never going to help your cause. Deal with it
July 02, 2005
At work on Thursday, there were three people in my team who were "soldiering on" through a variety of illnesses. Cold and flu symptoms were rife: you couldn't go for 2 minutes without someone sneezing, blowing their nose or complaining about the throbbing headache they had.
What really shits me is the way they all refused to go home because they've already used up their sick days for either hangovers or apathy days. Instead, the buggers come to work, full to the eyeballs with mucus, coughing clouds of virus everywhere and passing their crap onto me! I've been working on an intranet project since the start of May, and it was due to be signed off and handed over yesterday. Instead of getting kudos from the management and the satisfaction of a job well done, I spent the day at home on the sofa, under a duvet, watching TV and basically feeling sorry for myself.
Why is it that you never remember how bad it is having a cold? It's like childbirth (albeit to a lesser extent). Your brain completely blocks out the memories of having a cold. You can vaguely recall it being uncomfortable, but it's always a lot worse when it comes around again. The simple act of swallowing, for example. It's more like trying to jam a roll of sandpaper down the inside of your neck than swallowing. Same with the nose. Yeah, you remember having to blow it a lot, and you're constantly aware that it could start dripping at any time, but you always forget how nasty it is when you're trying to get to sleep! You can't lie on your back, or it pools in the back of your throat, either choking you awake, or (apparantly) making a noise like the last inch of a draining bathtub. You can't lie on your side, unless you want to wake up with your face lying in a pool of cold booger.
June 28, 2005
Those who know me even slightly will know that's no mean feat. I'm a card carrying atheist, and god help those who try and convince me otherwise, but when added to the reading I've done recently about quantum mechanics and free will, it does get the old brain matter into overtime.
Hehe, I read about quantum mechanics. What a dork.
Verdict: Too revolutionary for Christians, but good for anyone with an open mind... or stoners.
June 26, 2005
The problem with roo being low in fat, means it dries out easily. Lucky I like my meat very rare so last night's effort was a great one. Shame you have to let it sit for 5 minutes after cooking it.
Verdict: Like revenge - cold and bloody
June 25, 2005
So, Hollywood has managed to surprise me. I thought being this old and jaded, I would be harder to impress than some really hard piece of hardened metal, but Batman Begins was actually a pretty cool movie.
Well, as cool as a movie can get when the main character flies around wearing black tights and a Halloween mask :)
The special effects aren't over the top, with the CGI effects blending in really well. The Batmobile is believable, it doesn't have big wobbly rubber wings and fins on it like the last few movies. It's also much shorter than the traditional Batmobile, which would make parallel parking a WHOLE lot easier. Especially when it doesn't have (bat)wing mirrors to look in.
I've read some people's reviews, saying that it's trying to take Batman away from the children, by giving it a dark side. Have you ever seen the comics? They're not drawn with fingerpaint and glitter, they're pretty damn dark themselves! Not exactly bedtime reading for the youngsters. I think people confuse Batman with that confused character that Adam West played back in the 60s. The way I see it, kids these days have everything handed to them, what with their Playstations and their fast food. Damn the kids and lets have some grown up action movies again. It's not like the little buggers pay for their Batman branded McDonalds happy meal THEMSELVES, so who gives a shit if the movie isn't suitable for them? They'd just run around the theatre anyway, or cry or poo in their nappies (as is my understanding of young people).
Kids have plenty to keep them occupied with movies like Spongebob Squarepants without making Batman into the 6th Mighty Morphin Power Ranger.
Verdict: Katie Holmes has very perky nipples. And there's ninjas.
June 20, 2005
I'm not a huge contemporary music buff, mainly because I don't listen to Top 40 radio. I can't tell N-Sync from the Backstreet Boys. I couldn't tell Hilary Duff and Kelly Clarkson apart if they were wearing name tags. When a Britney Spears song plays on the radio I'm never sure if it's her, or the radio just needs to be tuned in properly. The top 40 in Australia at the moment includes a song by Jesse McCartney called "She's No You". That kid is so young, the woman he's singing about must be his mother, and what girlfriend could posibly live up to the woman who breastfed you until last month!?
But! The Top 40 radio station is not as low as you can go. If you scratch away the burnt offerings on the bottom of that cauldron of crud, you'll find a whole NEW world of nausea awaiting: The "Easy Listening" station.
From what I can figure out, they take the Top 40 songs from 5 months ago, remove 30 of those songs and replace them with 7 songs from the 80s. After adding a track or two from Melbourne's own Anthony "knee high to a grasshopper" Callea, you're left with the aural equivalent of being slowly drowned in a trough of warm elephant poop.
I work with a woman who has been with the company so long that her first office computer was a pigeon, and she refers to horses as "public transport". Now, the first problem is she likes the drivel that comes out of the tinny little radio on her desk. As she's been a fixture at (company name removed - Ed) for longer than living memory, and the management aren't keen to piss her off, in case she has some high reaching connections that no one knows about. This means the radio stays. The second problem is that Mix 101.1 is the ONLY DAMN STATION THAT IT CAN PICK UP!! There's some kind of weird architectural anomoly that blocks out all frequencies in my building except for 101100kHz! It's like the girders are spaced so precisely that any other frequency is effectively jammed.
This story as yet has no happy ending, so if anyone has ideas on how to fix the above problems, please send your answers on the back of a postcard.
June 18, 2005
June 16, 2005
Today was not one of those haircuts. I think it's on a par with the perm horror stories that you hear girls talk about (although I guess that shows my age a little). Maybe because I turned up with my hair overgrown and scruffy, the salon thought as long as I left with it shorter than when I arrived, I wasn't going to notice.
The hairdresser, I discovered, had recently immigrated from Sri Lanka. So recently that her belongings hadn't arrived yet! Now, I don't know what the high street fashion is like in Colombo, but I'm sure that they don't walk around with CHUNKS missing out of their hair. I look like a f**king lego man, with a straight fringe and round head, with... with... goddamned pieces missing out of the sides!!
I'm going to take the morning off work to get this sorted out, so hopefully by this time tomorrow, I'll either have a decent haircut, or a shaved head.
June 15, 2005
Have you also noticed that when you sit down a few hours later, at home, in your own time, your brain feels like half of it never came back from it's earlier wandering, and the other half has pooled to the bottom of your skull? The old grey matter has totally clogged up the creative pathways that should be supplying your hands with whatever they need to either write, draw or play music.
That may sound stupid, but why else haven't I drawn, written or played music for the last five years? I'm still too young to accept a total lack of talent, so it has to be some kind of outside source, and what better scapegoat than the office? The total banality of my job, means my brain has to entertain itself during the day when it's not in use. By the time I get home, it's had enough and just wants me to feed it bourbon.
One of these days I'm going to teach it who's boss
Just not today
June 13, 2005
To counteract this swiss cheese memory, and to tidy up what's still in my head I've decided to start a weblog. Since I have no real political stance, or any strong opinions in general, it's probably going to take the form of a diary. If it ever gets off the ground in any real way, I might use it instead of email (after removing all the defamatory posts about potential readers of course) Those who know (knew) me can testify that I don't keep in touch very well, so this will hopefully help.
Now all I need is a more interesting life...