Sunday, October 31, 2010

Being a gravedigger is tough.
Always physically - ‘specially into rock.
Sometimes emotionally - ‘specially for family.
An’ sometimes it’s just fun - ‘specially when they ain’t dead.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

We didn't have time to collect all the blood we had come for, but the leader will be happy, even if the police aren't.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Two questions which may reveal much

1) Why have I just spent an hour reading a year-old, statistics-heavy article in The New Yorker about the state of health care in McAllen, Texas, which I'm pretty sure I've read before?

2) Why can I never get more than three of five toes through the leg-hole in my jocks on any given morning?

Monday, October 18, 2010

There simply aren't enough Xmas present gags

Dear everyone,

I'm waiting for a Powerpoint to load and send so I can practise my first ever lecture to students, but that's not important right now. I was Googling for old school photos to use in the presentation and came across this little gem:

It was on a page where they'd gotten all these old scholars to write in their memories and that kind of thing. Like going to your granny's, but online.
Anyway, one of the oldies sent in a photo of their brother, reproduced below.

I'm sure the Feds will be raiding my blog any day now ...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I've obviously got the first search in mind ...

327, you've let me down in the past. I've set you small tasks, challenges, if you want to call them that. And you've come up with a range of excuses and let the whole thing slide. What's the point in knowing someone who knows about computer programming if they can't whip something up for you now and again? I mean, it's not like you're doing it for free - all the profits will be split, 50/50. I bring the inspiration, you bringing the typing.
This is one you can do. And it's going to make a bucketload of cash.
It's called Tyoodle.
It's basically Google, but instead of finding amusing cat pictures, it finds that tune that's been stuck in your head for 5 days straight and tells you.
  • WHO originally sang it!
  • WHERE the fuck it's from!
  • WHAT other bands have used the bloody thing as a sample to trick you into thinking that the original artist isn't the original artist!
  • ALL of the movies and TV shows it's been used in!
It will have a REVOLUTIONARY selection of inputs ranging from simply typing the tune into the search box:
"Da na na nuh nuh, naa na na na na"

Tyoodle result:
The Entertainer
Scott Joplin


To a microphone-based query where you can simply sing the tune straight at your computer and Tyoodle will analyse your tune and find your mystery song!

[sings into licensed Tyoodle mic]: Den den den-nah nah nah nah nana/Den na na na naahh

Tyoodle result:
Money for Nothing
Dire Straits

This is also especially helpful for instrumentals. Observe:

[sings into licensed Tyoodle mic]: "bip bop bip bop bip bop bip/bip bop bip bop bip bop bip/bip bop bipa bipa bop bipa bipa bop bipa bipa bop bip"

Tyoodle result:
Gershon Kingsley


Then you just have the link to iTunes or Amazon or both and Cha-CHING! (Tyoodle result: Money - Pink Floyd).

So 327, stop messing around with whatever it is you're doing and spend a weekend getting this thing off the ground. I've already done all the heavy mental lifting, you can just get coding and next winter we'll be warming ourselves with flaming $100 notes.

Friday, October 8, 2010

I heard someone lost an arm once ... oh wait ... that was ... that never happened.

Memo to everyone at the Central Markets: can you all please just calm the fuck down? You're not going to miss the damn lift if you don't form a tight wall around the people trying to get out. Just take deep breath, step back and let everyone get out. Then you may resume your panicked shoving. When I'm well clear.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

They will still have room tidying as a chore then, I'm sure

Here's one of those little moments that make you stop and reflect about the turning of ages blah yak etc.

You know how there's that thing about not sitting so close to the TV because it'll make you blind? It was basically one of those parental things that was a mish-mash of boogyman threat and hidden practicality. The boogyman bit was sort of based on the principle that those old TVs came out at around the time that the nuclear age was really taking off and anything that made light was RADIOACTIVE. The grain of truth came from the fact that staring into a flickering lightbulb hurts your eyes (strains corneas, rods, cones, etc).

The moment came when I realised that I'll never be able to tell Charlie not to sit so close to the damn TV or he'll fry his eyeballs.
What's your TV made out of? LCD flat screen?
What are reading this off of right now?
How am I going to explain the difference there?

He has never been exposed to a CRT TV.

You know what else he's never seen, and will probably never use?
A pulse phone.
One day he's going to ask why we call it "dialling" when we're clearly "pressing".

But the question I'm waiting for with keen interest is:

I'll probably explain it and get a slackjawed stare.

"You mean you carried around your work on little pieces of plastic? That you could just lose?"

You forgot 'panopticon'

I've been utterly silent lately because I'm writing a lecture and a literature review and editing someone's Masters thesis. But all this homework reminded me suddenly of my undergrad days ... (man, I wish I had a pipe to smoke while I reminisced) ... basically, it reminded how I pretty much three rules for writing a successful (read: passing) essay
  1. Start with a funny story. Always gets the fingers moving, the brain lubricated. Make it funny, wake the tutor up. Throw in a swear or two.
  2. Crack the half-way mark and you're pretty much there. This is where the story comes in. Nothing eats up word limits like a nice long story about some shit you did when you were ten. This 'half-way' mark also works progressively. If you're half-way to half-way, hey! You're practically half-way there! You've broken the back, now you just gotta tear that sucka home. Refer back to that story you started out with you're pretty much almost a third done.
  3. Use the word 'juxtaposed'. This should have been at number one. Once you've managed to slip that baby in, you're reeling in the distinctions and hitting the pub. This also works for 'conflate', 'hegemony', 'ideology' (of course), 'stereotype' (that was in the title of half of the courses I did) and my personal favourite: 'palimpsest'. Always had to look that one up, but it was worth the extra 5% that I normally needed for pulling an all-nighter, sleeping in and missing the 9am hand-in time.

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