waitingman: (Australia)
Seems an innocuous enough question... unless Paris Hilton asks you

A few weeks ago, Long-Suffering Partner turned to me & asked - "Who decided what order the alphabet should be in?"

Intermittently, ever since, THAT'S been on my mind...
waitingman: (World Cow)
The end is nigh... At the hands of another planet, apparently...

Some time between September 20-23rd... I wonder if I can get access to my superannuation fund by then? Not much point keeping it for my old age

Is it too late to book a flight to the International Space Station? Maybe the crew will survive - Space 1999 style...

See you on the other side
waitingman: (Default)
So... everybody knows about Australia's killer spiders, snakes, sharks, lizards, crocodiles, emus, cassowaries (okay, not everyone knows about the cassowaries, but you should) & you probably think we're exaggerating a little... or it's urban myths perpetuated by scared tourists (I admit - the DropBear is a made-up monster), but the fauna around here can still be quite alarming to us natives & genuinely frightening to the rest of the world

Here's an article from today's Sydney Morning Herald. You can read the full story here, with photos & links to other true stories of our deadly room-mates on the island...

Not all heroes wear capes: Why Aussies are braver than Brits


"Well that's the best piece of journalism I've ever seen in the Herald," said my workmate. He put his coffee down, and stared at his laptop screen in admiration.

"Which one?" I asked. "The Kate McClymont piece about ICAC?"

"No, that was OK. I mean the story about the British removalists."

Ah, of course. I knew the one he meant, but I had to correct a point of detail.

"Not just British removalists," I said, "but 'burly' British removalists."

"Yes," my friend agreed. "They were burly removalists and yet they were still scared by a huntsman spider ..."

I was forced to jump in once more: "A huntsman spider which – according to the BBC – was 'the size of a guinea pig'."

Yes, my friend agreed, a huntsman spider "the size of a guinea pig".

At that point we both just sat there for a while and considered the story. As published midweek, it was a simple enough tale. A couple had moved from Australia to Britain. A huntsman spider had insinuated itself into the shipping container.

A supervisor was quoted: "He ran two miles up the road when he first saw it," he said, describing one removalist.

Sorry, one "burly" removalist.

My friend took another sip of coffee.

I said: "I'm not even sure what burly means."

"Oh," said my friend. "It means strong, muscular, very large. These men are the best the UK can offer. They are gods among normal people and yet when confronted with a measly, placid, friendly, mosquito-devouring huntsman, the poor things run for the hills.

"I mean, if a burly Pom is this scared, imagine what a normal-sized Pom would do."

We sat there for a moment longer, letting the tale capture our hearts. That defeat in the cricket? Somehow it had lost its sting.

"They clearly don't realise they are harmless," said my friend, interrupting the silence. "If he was found in an Australian house, he'd be treated like a member of the family."

I nodded in agreement. "That's the least of it. He'd be given a nickname. 'Hairy Legs', something cute like that. Or maybe 'Mr Hairy'. If you had a toddler, she'd treat him like a pet. She'd sing him lullabies at night."

We savoured some more. The British really had stuffed up in 1942 when they failed to hold Singapore. Disappointed? We were ropeable. Then there was that thing – was it 1973? – where they joined Europe and stopped buying our lamb chops. That wasn't good either.

It was good to see them get their comeuppance.

"I have a cousin in the UK," I said.

"I have a brother," he said.

We went back to our laptops. "Should we send the story direct on Facebook Messenger?" my friend asked. "Or put it on Facebook, then tag them?"

I took a sip of coffee. "Best to do both," I advised. "That's what I did with the flying fox story."

He looked at me quizzically. I had to explain. It was late last year and The Times of London reported that Australia had been struck by a plague of flying foxes. These tiny, sweet-faced bats can, it's true, create problems with their poo. The Times, though, wasn't focused on the poo. It was focused on the size of the animal.

The name flying fox, the paper confided, grew from the fact the animals were the size of foxes. Essentially, it was a fox with wings. The way the paper carried on, you could see them dive-bombing sheep and carrying the bleating animals back to their nests.

Of course, I'd sent the link to my cousin so she might better understand how brave I must be to walk out my front door each morning; a man dive-bombed by winged foxes.

Better still, the story had come just after Mick Fanning had punched the shark.

"Oh, that was great," said my friend. "I loved that story."

I asked: "Did you send the Mick Fanning video to your brother?"

"Oh, yes," said my friend. "I posted the video wherever I could. I told everyone we're given shark defence lessons in primary school, and that Mick was just doing what every Australian is taught to do when confronted by a shark."

"Me too," I said. "Plus, I sent them the Australian Museum official entry on the drop bear – 'Thylarctos plummetus, a large, arboreal, predatory marsupial related to the koala ... around the size of a leopard or very large dog'. That really did freak them out."

My friend purred with pleasure. "They must think we are so brave – what with air-born foxes and the drop bears, the spiders the size of guinea pigs and the need to punch a shark just in order to have a weekend swim."

I nodded grimly. "We're brave, all right. I'm brave. You're brave. And we're not even that burly.
waitingman: (World Cow)
There's a reason for that... Apparently

Physics? Pah! Astronomy? Lies!! NASA? Global conspirators!!! Buzz Aldrin? A senile old grandpa!!! And Australia is the wrong shape on all the maps too...

Who could have guessed that Terry Pratchett would turn out to be the real doyen of Science Fiction. Arthur C. Clarke was just a crank

I eagerly await evidence proving that we move through space on the back of Great A'tuin the Space Turtle
waitingman: (Waitsing Man)
As some of you may be aware, I regularly post photos to LJ PhotoPhile, just because I like to get some of my photos out there & see what people think. I won Photo of the Week once & am sort of semi-occasionally featured in the nominees for the competition

A week or so ago, I was nominated again, along with a photo by someone I comment-exchange with both on LJ & on Flickr. We like each other's work & vote for each other... sometimes... when we're not voting for ourselves, I'm sure. Anyway, this other photographer replied to a comment I posted about the week's nominees & started a bit of a flame war by criticising someone else's photos & apparently getting a bit personal on their own LJ. When the reprisals got a bit much, this person said they were withdrawing from the contest & from the group & went off in a huff.. or about a minute & a huff. Needless to say that didn't last long & photos from both of us were nominated again this week for PotW

But... when I came home tonight, I found my photo had been removed from the voting page. No explanation, no notification from the Moderators... There was a comment from someone else noting the absence & I've left a 'Please Explain' comment myself. Yet the photo from the other photographer who'd sparked the arguments last week was still there

?? Life's Little Mystery # 44,516 489 016 ??

In other news... my sense of security in the new job is slowly increasing as I hear & overhear more positive feedback. I'm still kind of worried that this will all be taken away from me because I'm enjoying the job & it pays well, so it must be some kind of mistake or oversight that will be corrected soon & I'll wind up back in retail hell working for some arrogant s%&thead with a god complex & zero economic sense

It's not paranoia if they really are out to get you...
waitingman: (People Are People)
Strange Things That Only Ever Seem To Happen To Me #457,238,419

Walking into a little suburban shopping court this afternoon to get a late lunch, a rather large & obviously somewhat lame woman waved for my attention & asked me to help her walk to the bus stop about 150 metres away. I was in no particular hurry, so agreed... & for the next ten minutes as we inched our way to her destination I heard about how she'd nearly died giving birth, had a series of strokes & only learned to walk again a day before her infant son, how she only had one functioning leg & arm, her sciatica, that her two kids wanted to be scientists but she didn't care what field they were studying, only that they want to be scientists, how her friend had lost $270 through a hole in her jacket & had another $170 confiscated by the police, who'd better look out for her & how she was going to use her disability taxi vouchers to bribe a driver to give her his pack of cigarettes because she's a legend... but she had to get the right driver

How do they find me??
waitingman: (Still Waiting)
You absolutely, positively, definitely have to read this article & watch the video...

It's all there... human tragedy, slapstick humour, cynicism, car chases, car crashes, violence, human failings & frailty... & meteorites!!!!!!!!!

METEORITES!!!!!!!!
waitingman: (Waitsing Man)
enhanced-buzz-21405-1360433957-9

A Catholic radio station in, where else, the USA has produced this helpful list for its DJs

I do approve of the names at the bottom of the list attracting a more severe penalty...
waitingman: (Out There)
Back in the politically-charged late 1950s, someone in the US Administration had a great idea...

"Let's blow up the moon so those darned Commies can't have it!!"

Apparently, even the young Carl Sagan was on board with the plan. However, cooler heads eventually prevailed ~ "The project would have been carried out in 1959, but was reportedly abandoned by military officials due to fears that it would endanger people on Earth should the mission fail.'

I wonder if someone in Hollywood heard about it & came up with an idea for a TV show...?
waitingman: (Scream)
Taking a break from packing everything into our suitcases for the last time, I found an article on the Sydney Morning Herald site for all prospective parents

Are you sure you want a child?!

People who already have one & have gone through the real-life equivalent of this test, will smile & nod knowingly, I'm sure...
waitingman: (Magritte Guitar)
I made a rather low-key & brief return to live performance last Thursday night

The gig will go on my list of 'Strangest Places To Play Guitar'... a campaign launch for a Labor Party candidate in an upcoming Western Suburbs local Council election. The electorate has a high Asian population, so all the speeches were being translated more or less simultaneously ~ two sentences in English, then Chinese, then two more... & the other entertainment on the night ranged from an Asian Mario Lanza to an accordion & Chinese flute duo who specialised in what sounded like South China Sea Shanties. Odd choice, but great players

And us ~ a singing keyboardist, a singing guitarist & me... a guitar colourist, as I described myself to someone after the five song gig was done in front of a polite, but probably slightly bemused audience

Actually, that 'someone' I described myself to is a guy I met the previous weekend & deserves an entry of/on his own, which I don't have time for right now, as dinner is in several stages of preparation

More tomorrow, maybe

YES!!!

Feb. 2nd, 2012 08:22 am
waitingman: (I'm All Ears)
I want this to happen!!!!!

Maybe they could squash a few Cane Toads while they're at it...
waitingman: (People Are People)
I would like to attend, but will settle for being quite interested in the outcomes of this lecture...

If what I see in this world is mostly the result of my imagination, then my subconscious mind really hates me!!

Spending a few hours in a recording studio today, as the World's Longest Album project begins to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Today will be spent playing & re-playing guitar parts & solos recorded so long ago I'll have to re-learn them first.

So... a day of fretwankery beckons.
waitingman: (Looking at you)
Okay... well so much for updating frequently, but I've been boringly busy with a lot of stuff that doesn't make for fascinating reading if you're not me.

At least, nowhere near as fascinating as some of the things going on in the world today, according to these 'news stories'...

A couple of things though... we went walking in the Blue Mountains last weekend & have just about stopped aching enough to consider doing it again next weekend; we saw THOR in 3D again & enjoyed it at least as much as the first time; we also like the new X-Men film, critics be damned... & I turned .44 ~ the most powerful age in the world & could blow your head clean off ~ my bestest present was from my Long-Suffering partner... an Irish Bouzouki which I have long wanted & must now learn to play properly.
waitingman: (Waitsing Man)
Nice to know that after a few years together I can still surprise... & somewhat horrify... my Long-Suffering Partner.

Shopping today at the local Mega-Mall for assorted odds'n'ends, we wandered into a bargain clothing chain colloquially known as 'Less Than Best'. I was on the lookout for round-the-house winterwear & found myself browsing through the section devoted to 'official' clothing for the local Rugby League team which I've always paid lip-service to, but have never really followed, nor developed a rabid, one-eyed devotion to, but have always preferred to see them winning & am pleased when they do.

So there's this replica jersey/guernsey of said team's original 'strip' ~ basically maroon & white horizontal stripes & a strange impulse comes over me that I really want one! I've never owned a football jersey/guernsey other than the ones required for school games &, as mentioned, have never enthusiastically followed a team... but this thing called to me. Granted, it was probably the closest thing I'd seen to what I was looking for ~ a robust pullover that wasn't a sweater, but if it had been in any other team's colours I wouldn't have gone anywhere near it.

Quite where this places me on the evolutionary/machismo scale is confusing enough without wondering why this particular time & this particular item ~ purchased against the better judgment, disbelieving looks & disparaging comments of my L-SP.

But... I'm wearing it now & one thing is certain. It keeps me warm. Whether I'll start watching more football remains to be seen.

And I do know we won our game last night...
waitingman: (Waitsing Man)
Strangest comment of the day came from a Recruitment Consultant who, when asking me about the 2 year gap in my CV covering piecemeal employment & lots of travelling, suggested I write an explanation of how the time had been spent, otherwise prospective employers would assume I'd been in prison.

Prison... Right.

Is that really the default conclusion commonly leapt to by business people these days??

It's a strange world...
waitingman: (I'm All Ears)
No personal news... it's been hot & I've been working. over to the rest of the world to be more interesting than my corner:~

Paper planes in space!!

In Cyberspace, there are no pyramids
waitingman: (Out There)
So the latest Youtube & websphere sensation is an old lady filmed talking on a mobile phone...

In 1928!!

I do like the theory that Chuck Norris roundhouse kicked a hole in the space/time continuum & she just happened to walk through.

It's a strange planet...
waitingman: (Scream)


Go on... watch all nine minutes of this... just to see if it changes. I dare you. I double dare you!!
waitingman: (Out There)
So, tooling around the usual news sites today, because I'm feeling somewhat-slightly-less-than spectacular, I've been reading about the future of our planet... & how a few people believe it won't be a long one... astronomically speaking.

Well okay, the planet itself may survive, but we probably won't ~ in about 16 million years or so.

Reading about that, I wondered why I'd never heard of this 'Nemesis' the article assumed I'd be au fait with. Turns out I had, just not the name... nor the alternate name 'Nibiru' either. I'd certainly come across the theory that a large solar body orbited the sun out beyond Pluto, but had never seen any real articles or documentaries about it. So I Googled it & found a couple of videos...

And really wish I hadn't.

One is from a Youtube account holder whose collection of other videos suggests he thinks The X Files was a Science Documentary Series. The other is from a Science show obviously aimed either at children under 12, or the seriously developmentally disabled ~ to use the PC term. The former is done with such cheesy po-faced seriousness that makes it impossible to take seriously, so it's no wonder that the latter video does exactly that.

Kind of puts me off spending any more time looking at articles/theories/SF-based rantings about this hypothesised celestial body, but I remain open-minded & curious... if a little dubious ~ both about the theory & the quality of 'research' I'll uncover.

And the fact that I came across the original story while looking at an article about MasterChef in no way lessens my serious, intellectual, highbrow credentials... okay!!?

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