Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Goodbye Gazza

Yesterday afternoon we had to take Gazza to the vet to be put down. He had crippling arthritis and the drugs we gave him to alleviate the pain also prevented him from moving around. He had no quality of life left after 15 years of a life led to the highest quality. Gazza is the reason people own dogs. His utter love, devotion and excitement made him the perfect companion. But 15 years of non-stop aerobics finally began catching up with him and for the last few months he was barely able to climb the two steps into the house.

We met as a family and drove him in the green station wagon to the vet. He had a freshly laundered carpet to stand on in the back. He had his usual exciting time, staring maniacally out of the window on at the green world going by. He was so bloody sore he snarled at Dad when he had to be lifted out of the back. We explained to the vet that it was time and the vet took out a bottle of green liquid, a syringe and a little bucket of dried liver treats. Dad helped him to lie down on the table while he snuffled the liver treats out of my hand. We all patted him while the vet shaved his leg and put the needle in. He snuffled a few more dark little squares and then relaxed his head. We rested it down and lay him carefully on his side. We stroked his wonderful mane and Dad let me take his red collar off. We cried, thanked the vet and went sadly home.

He was a good dog.

If you knew Gazza and would like to say something or tell a story about him, please write it in the comment box. We'd all love to hear about it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

THIS is what's next!

And it's not even all there is.

But what next after this? Tune in Friday for full details ...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Cut, sprout, colour or shave?

It is such a fucking beautiful day outside I just can't make myself do it. I can't sit down and write another report.
So I'm blogging instead.
I've got the stereo up REALLY loud and I'm sitting right in front of the fucker playing my totally awesome music collection that no one else really understands. Or at least understands why it needs to be so loud. The reason it needs this particular volume is that I'm going slowly deaf. And the reason for that is because I'm one of those tough guys who has always liked incredibly bassy music and appreciated the need for high-quality speakers with decent low end response to fill out the musician's intended sound design. You know: a dickhead!
So today's puzzle for all you wonderful readers to decide on is quite a treat: How should Franzy deal with his hair? There are a few options and I will illustrate them with various photos:

1. The haircut. A fairly popular option, considering that's the one I've chosen for most of my life:

2. Let it grow! Less popular, to be honest. Especially at home. Mele doesn't really relish the thought of combing her fingers through my silky locks.

3. Dye, Muthafukka! It has never been a secret that my mother loves me better as a blond. So the few times I've dyed my hair she goes weak at the knees and asks me why on earth I don't dye it blond all the time. The thing is, when she sees me with blond hair, she is probably seeing this:

When she is actually looking at this:

4. I believe the expression is ... shaved? Obviously the one I'm aiming for here, but I've only ever done it once before and that was when I was a) 19 and b) travelling around Germany and Austria. Those Germans love a shaved head. Sort of. I remember getting all sorts of disapproving looks from people who would never have looked at me twice, scared looks from people would normally have smiled at me and nods of comradeship from people who scared the shit out of me. It was obviously a confusing time in my life.
The pros stand thus:
1) Cooler for summer
2) It's free!
3) No maintenance.
4) Lots of people touching my noggin.
The cons weigh in with:
1) I have a double-pointy head. One point on top like a dunce's cap and one behind like a speed cyclist's helmet. I don't know what the hell I got up to during the brief period of my life when my skull bones were still knitting, but it must have been EXTREME.
2) Another perhaps even more embarrassing head trait, one which is at this stage an unknown. It's actually a bit embarrassing to even think about typing, but here it is: head scabs. When I get into a period of concentration, creativity, mental stress or (frequently) all three I scratch at my head. Not in a "thinking hard" scratch your head, but an unconscious tick that I never realise I'm doing until I stop concentrating, creating, stressing or Mele yells 'Head!'. I'm a little concerned that if I shave my head then it will be covered with scars and pits.
3) I could look balder than I need to.
4) Lots of people touching my noggin.
And so, for you consideration, I provide you with the only clear pictures taken of me as a fuzz-nut. The first is kind of cool, I feel. A good, comfortable look suited to an Australian summer in the early throes of global warming:

The second is more of an indication of how I will look for at least 60% of the time. And you can't even see the pointy bits.

What do I do team? Cut, grow, dye or shave? Keep in mind that shaved it has the potential to look like this.


The Other, other Sam takes out the honours this time, with his concise information, his astute guessing and his sly knowledge of where I probably would have taken my photos. It is indeed The IR Rally. The one that I feel started it all; unionists, workers and pissed off voters alike.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I refused to spellcheck in support

Television and film writers in the US are on strike. Which you have to admire, given that their's is a profession that practically guarantees unepmloyment for at least 75% of the time.
Their employers are working very hard to work out all sorts of ways to make money off of new technologies like podcasts, but not very hard at all to work out fair ways to share these new profits with the people who provide the words. And the stage directions.
I'm not sure if blogging counts as scabbing, but I guess not because I'm not making any money. Instead, I will be posting the two comic tributes to my striking cousins stateside:



River slipped in again with a sly guess at a dusty field. I was actually hoping for more interest around the whirlwind that was blowing in the picture, symbolising all kind of seemingly uncontrollable turbulence in the Australian desert. Or something.

An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32