A journal of questionable quality

Monday, February 28, 2005

Unresolved firepower

Still no word on the proposed solution for the out of favor, out of money, indoor range. Meeting tonight should really do nothing more than confirm that the operator, having previously managed to go broke before, is about to demonstrate how to do it again.

Not happy. Resigned to overt action to make my point. You'll read about it in the news if I have to go that way. It will most certainly take the Pope out of the headlines for a change.

The weekend was ours, kids being away with their father. A quite house. A quite mind. Worked - a very loose term for what we do - on the Saturday, down to the Redland Bay area to lunch with May and Don and son Randle on Sunday. Pleasant to spend time with them. Always is. Don is 79 next Sunday.

Investigated an apparatus called 'the Boarder' at a lake on the way home - this system of pylons, cables and stuff all works together to tow board riders around the circuit at a reasonable clip, sort of wakeboarding without the wake, kite surfing without the kite, slow motion water skiing without the boat. Yvonne mentions she has seen one in action before - I wonder why the house/Xbox bound boys have not been taken to one before - anything to get them out in the fresh air.

Monday morning:
Opened the swimming account this week with a total of 2klms - 40 laps - 80 lengths, after the weekend off. Rain mid morning looked good from the roofed vantage point.

Still flippered up, giving the legs a workout, hoping to shake a bit more weight off, strengthen the knee as much as possible, anything to avoid getting it rebuilt.

Home to ring the Mother.

The countdown to New Zealand has begun with the arrival of March. All things sound normal over there, Mother sounds well, weather sounds cold, as it always does. Packing to go there will reflect the fact that I find anything under 30 degrees cold. Last time I went I was equipped with thermal underwear, the works, still felt cold. I try and convince myself it's all in my head, that it's not that cold, it can't be, I spent nearly half my life living there. I'm losing the head battle, but I intend to keep it up - never know, I might convince myself.

I went back to New Zealand one time and stayed for nearly three years, so I must have got used to the weather. All I remember about that particular time was I had myself a fine time. Took to driving cabs, proved I could make a living, proved I could afford a place with a fireplace - nothing finer in a cold country than a fireplace, ended up moving my bed out to the lounge room to take advantage of it - lying there at night by fire light. Can't remember why I came back here, but I did. Might have fallen foul of the police over there, but I don't remember specifics. Naturally.

We thought about moving back there. Yvonne went over to visit with her parents, came back convinced it was not such a good plan. I expected her to want to move back to be at her parents beck and call. She must have been unimpressed enough to leave the parents out of the equation.

Meanwhile it remains about three weeks away.

Friday, February 25, 2005

menu changes, still swimming

This swimming thing is starting to overtake me - I've been waking up mornings, not with the customary, and expected, erection, but with the thought in my mind of what I have to do before I go down to the pool. Amazing, sometimes I even wake up keen to get going down to the place, and it has virtually nothing to do with the cute South African girl who works there.

Obsession - we know them all so well. Next week it will be something else (please don't let it be the hot air balloon in India thing again), so we always have something to look forward to.

My shooting range is still dithering about with no real clue what to do. My suggestion would be 'arm yourself', if this thing doesn't go the way I like there will be blood in the water, on the walls, in the bath, and his (club owner) entrails will be drying like fresh salami beside the burnt bodies of his pets.

Not, as you well know, that I am a violent man, I just don't feel the need for self control when people seem to have a history of fucking up, and this guy does.

Less violent news: the site menu has been messed with - February's journal was to be another Flash page curl production, but in haste, faced with the end of the month, I used the standard menu slider to add week by week comments etc.

For those of you who think that the menu must be at least a mile wide, I should explain that the width you see is the width of the whole thing - it's actually driven by an external XML file which loads in the correct content according to the position.

Have you ever fired a marine flare into someone's chest?

Just thought I'd ask.

The week is over for me. We are childless this weekend, the virtue of having an estranged father who is not so estranged. I intend to kick back and do not a lot. Monday we'll be back to a deluge of emails asking for links to cracked programs that they feel are their right to have. If that is so, what's wrong with looking the bloody things up themselves? Oh, right, it's Australia, land of the do as little as possible, and wait for someone else to do it for you.

Greed is a bad thing, and I rate software collectors, them that just have to have a program because they want it, not because they have a use for it, as living about the bottom of the pond.

Amazing people about the place.

The theme:
Stuck between floors.

If you didn't get it, leave the subject alone, the ones that get it are the ones that need to know.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

we know you have a secret..

It's once again time for Australians to be dragged kicking and screaming into the real world.

We know you have a secret you want to share, and thanks to this guy - PostSecret, you're going to get your chance.

This explanation from his most engaging site:
Over 3000 visitors to a Washington DC arts festival picked up postcards inviting them to share a secret anonymously.

During "Artomatic", dozens of PostSecret cards with secrets written and/or illustrated on the back were received through the mail.

Now you are invited to share your secrets. You can help the collection grow by mailing in your secrets today.

So impressed were we by this installation we emailed him and asked for a few postcards of our own. He replied yesterday and is sending a bunch over here to the far Southern Hemisphere to be distributed to anyone with a secret - and we all know that is YOU, so that they may make themselves feel better by sharing the secret.

So, you lucky, lucky antipodeans let's have you lining up to post a secret.

This is how it will work. We will distribute the cards from here - leave a comment or email me if you need cards and I'll send them out to you.

This guy has been good enough to go to all the trouble of sending them over so the least we can do is show him there are serious secrets living in these parts.

We will also be dropping some into Brisbane city, the Universities, most public spots, in the hope that people will embrace the idea without having to be clubbed to death.

The rules are simple - you can reveal anything you like as long as you have never shared it with anyone before, and it has to be true.

There is not one person out there who doesn't have something that they have kept a secret for years, and remember, you're doing this anonymously, just so you can get to see what it LOOKS like out in the real world rather than trapped in your head.

Secrets take on a new personality when they are made into a physical object - try it, you'll see what we mean.

Got all that? Sound easy enough?

I'm not sure when they will arrive, expect a posting here, or on the site news, as soon as they appear. In the meantime send an expression of interest if you want me to save you one.

Better than church isn't it? Here you get to confess by mail. (makes mental note to set up an email confessional as soon as practical)

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

band aids in pools, where's my shooting range?

Only an obsessive would manage to swim, in fins, for so long that blisters appeared on most toes.

Only the same obsessive would arrive at the local pool patched with Band Aids, expecting that they would stay on for the minimum hour long session - thrashing about, lap after lap, flippers/fins churning, toes burning.

Band Aids do not do the job, in fact they do more damage than good when immersed in water for a long time. Band Aids also tend to get away when you least expect them to, and I suspect there is probably more than one floating about in the pool somewhere even now.

Better than the week before when I was oozing from the gash in the leg, and still insisting on getting in the water.

Walking has become a bit of an effort - even on dry land my feet are not really happy in shoes. I discovered this yesterday when I was forced to present myself, suitably dressed, to the optometrist, he who is making the new glasses.

The new glasses will make me able to see far and wide, and will hopefully arrive before I leave for New Zealand.

Wincing from raw toes and the enormous cost of glasses I make my way to the local pistol range intending to rid myself of all agro at having to pay a large portion of money to see, and the pain in my toes.

What is this that confronts us at the range? No one home? Contact number painted on the windows? There is to be no release from anger here, rather the opposite. Seems the long suffering club, the only indoor one in this city, is out of cash, out of friends, and I have nowhere to shoot.

Considering this development on the way home it occurs to me that this may well be a sign that I should be concentrating my firearm efforts more in there region of shotguns and clay targets, something I have always enjoyed, rather than in handguns, especially if there is going to be this much drama in keeping a range open. At least the trap shooting community get to shoot rain or shine.

Complications - to have a handgunners license and remain legal the law states you must belong to a club, but it seems to offer no advice on what happens if the club ceases to operate.

This is the law drafted to try and remove all the illegal weaponry around Australia in the aftermath of the Martin Bryant mass shootings in Tasmania in 1996. What good the new laws were going to do was never realized as ardent firearm owners everywhere buried their weapons rather than hand them in.

Meanwhile we all had to have a 'legitimate reason' for owning a firearm, along with the requirement to belong to an 'approved' club. The clubs, naturally, raised their membership fees in recognition of a golden opportunity to make a buck.

The club I belong to is a result of those new laws. It seems, as a result of the laws making it so difficult to acquire a weapon, more especially a handgun, that the club may have reached the point in it's life where the membership is at it's maximum and the costs of complying are too high to keep going.

I may become a very unhappy individual if I find that I have to surrender my license. I don't make for a very good unhappy individual - I tend to think along the lines of Martin Bryant when forced to contemplate life without being free to shoot when I feel like it.

On a brighter note - luckily - I managed to get in an hour and a bit non stop at the pool without losing any tape. Spenco Adhesive Knit to the rescue. Goes on, stays on. Feet not happy, but not more damaged. Expect more Spenco until the toes heal. Swimming is becoming a necessity rather than a past time - that sort of thing happens to me. This is happy. This is good. We like happy and good.

Lack of firearms - unhappy. This would be bad.

I am never going to be able to swim enough to be calm about my licenses. Expect some bad, sometime, unless, of course, I manage to get my arse into a trap shooting club that doesn't hassle me to do 'club' things.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Hunter S Thompson 1939 - 2005

Right, that's managed to put a damper on the day. The king of gonzo journalism, Hunter S Thompson, is dead.

For those cretins that have never had anything to do with the works of Hunter S Thompson, and therefore have no concept of gonzo journalism, it is best described by the BBC thus
a factual style in which the writer was an essential part of the story, and was an acute observer of American life

Hunter S Thompson was a legendary author, a magazine and newspaper writer and a powerful political commentator.

He was also a great fan of a seriously high powered weapon.

He was found dead at his Woody Creek home, just out of Aspen. It appears that he may have shot himself.

It not only appears he shot himself, it must also be obvious he shot himself. It would be the only fitting way to go for Hunter S.

My favorite Thompson book is 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas', introduced to me by Greg, one time workmate, dead now from some hideous disorder.

Greg expressed astonishment when he heard I had not read the work, and we immediately despatched a cab to pick it up from a bookstore in the city, one of the advantages of working in a cab company. I was going to take it home to read it, but I got through the entire thing in the afternoon. Possibly another advantage of working for a cab company.

A great book, a truly great book, one that I have read many times over, and I still manage a laugh just leafing through it.

Hunter S Thompson ran for sheriff of Pitkin County, something that caused some concern around the skiing mecca, but didn't make it, content instead to sit naked on his porch shooting at rocks.
This highlights the absolute need to keep the 'sniper rifle' fund rolling, it's obvious that we will have to pick up where Hunter left off, probably not literally, it's bloody cold in Aspen, and the rents have been over the moon since all the seedy movie star types took to going there.

Nearest alternative - here. Warm weather, ideal for sitting on a porch, picking off a rock or two with the rifle, hell, picking off a resident or two as well, might as well liven the thing up.

It's the best I can offer to the memory of him. I'm too old now (that's what I'm telling you anyway) to be able to ingest the quantity of drugs he would have been putting away, and I haven't had a serious drink in years, only thing left then is the firepower for which he was so well known.

Your attention is drawn to the handy donation device placed in the right most column, under the heading of 'this month's basket case' - do your bit to fight political correctness, excessive religious fervor, and now, The Hunter S Thompson 'keep shooting at rocks' fund.

I could just tell this 'political correctness' thing was going to be a big.

Now all I have to do is get to eBay® and see if any of his handguns have been put up for auction.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Politically incorrect

The Heckler and Koch, PSG1, a 7.62mm weapon described as:

'the pre-eminent precision marksman's rifle, designed to deliver surgically accurate multiple shots to distant targets'
This is the very weapon I need.


I enjoy shooting.

I'm not supposed to say that anymore. It's not a politically correct thing to say. I'm not sure who decides what is politically correct and what's not. I used to think there must be a book or something - a Dummies Guide to Correctness, something that one could refer to when about to open ones mouth in public. A publication that advised when it was ok to say something like 'I'm working like a nigger', and when it was deemed inadvisable. (If it is indeed inadvisable to use the term are we then to assume that the nigger mentioned is incapable of working at all?)

I don't think there is a book. I don't think there's any authority out there at all, other than a few bleeding heart, sniveling, retentive little dynasties, with very personal views on what should be said and what should not.

I think I might produce the ultimate guide to political correctness.

I'll do that right after I have been out blasting out a few rounds from the H&K weapon mentioned above, which will be financed by donations from people who are sick of being politically correct. People who need a new correctness advisor to guide them in these uncertain times.

You can blame all this on an article I read in the UK's Sunday Times online magazine about a Iraqi sniper hero who uses a Dragunow SWD - SVDS, in his actions against the invading forces. An extraordinary article, made more so by the fact that the Sunday Times published it in the first place.

How I saw it, it was a call to arms. I gotta get me something to defend myself 'agin that there bad darky (my new guide will confirm the word 'darky' is indeed politically correct, along with 'camel jockey', 'tea towel head', and a few others).

Hence the H&K PSG1, the weapon of choice for people who don't like to miss.

My idea, such as it is, set up a sniper nest on the roof, getting a good look at anything approaching, and pick of a few of those religious types who wander about our suburb, door knocking.

Get a few of those everyday, especially at a considerable distance, and they are going to be thinking twice about coming up this street. For one thing it's a steep rise and the added disincentive of the likelihood of a 7.62 round through the frontal lobe has to make the place off limits to all but the most battle hardened door knockers.

Any that make it must deserve a cup of tea. And then a 7.62 round in the eyesocket. Leave 'em out on the front lawn, a warning to others. Ants should start on them in about an hour. Crows will go for the eyes.

If it's good enough for Abu Othman (the Times article) to say he is doing his bit for god with a rifle it has to be good enough for me.

One thing I'm not going to bother with is the shouting to god thing - too much noise will give my position away.

But, as I said, you can blame this on an article I read in the Sunday Times, but I wasn't there to read that article, I originally went there to read the latest about a particular form of toxic additive they have discovered in a bunch of foodstuffs. Seems that about 300 - 400 food lines contain a cancer causing dye. I'm presuming they know it is cancer causing because they have already caused cancer with it.

Anyway, there I am, checking out the details, thinking that the people who caused this little drama need shooting when, pow, out of the corner of my eye I saw the link to the Iraqi action man.

It's an omen. I have to get ready. First - the book. The book will explain that it is perfectly ok to call people who make cancer causing food 'niggers', 'arseholes', 'dimwits', and many other names that I am unable to come up with at this very moment.
Trust me, it will all be in the book.

The book will change your life..
or else.
Contribute to the cause.. The great sniper rifle fund..

Submit donations so that I may afford the weapon, and then watch me make the
World a safer place.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

37 klms, 32 degrees

Third day of the week, third day I have voluntarily done some form of physical exercise.
Day one - the local pool, leaving rapidly when it become clear that I seem to have sprung a leak from last weeks war wound.

Day two - the bike, 30+ kilometers racked up ending in a sore bum and a great sleep.

Day three - today - the bike, another 30+ kilometers, 32 degrees of reasonable heat, more sore bum, and still no return of the refreshingly lovely lady who was kind enough to walk around the same lake circuit so that I may approach her from her pert behind on two laps. There is something about a nice arse that can make you forgive almost anything else that is wrong with the subject, barring two heads, eyes in the forehead etc. Well, there is with me anyway.

Still harboring dark thoughts about the injustice of having an open wound at the same time as I became enamored with the idea of swimming.

That's what's great about life in general - I get to feel hard done by because I am unable to attend the local pool, when there are people out there who are unable to go to any pool, being involved, as they usually are, in the art of war, with themselves, or sometimes other people.

I feel bitched out because I had to bike a minor distance to bring about a reversal of the trend of weight gain bought on by my ability to eat entire loaves of bread in a single sitting when there are people out there who haven't had bread in months because some dimwit blew himself up near their local bakery, causing contamination of the entire place with bits of suicide bomber - therefore - no bread.

Damien, eldest step son, son of Florence Nightingale (father), well known malingering layabout, feeling bitched out because he had a shift at McDonald's and would rather stay at home cultivating a cool look, when there are people out there who have never seen a McDonald's, so isolated are they. I have to admit that I have no idea where these people would live, I may be presuming even, but you get the idea.

Shocking the life we live here, done bad by everyone at every turn.

To lever this injustice to an even greater level, I will be required to leave this very keyboard for possibly up to two hours, shame, shock, horror, while I attend to the cleaning requirements of two institutions in the city area.

OK, OK, maybe not attend to the cleaning - more of a midweek walk through, a munch on the firms biscuits, perhaps even the removal of some rubbish from their bins, but not a lot.

To compound this shocking strain, I am required to do this all by myself, an unheard of imposition, bought about by the above mentioned Damien, him of the the reluctant McDonald's employee classification, who, in any sane persons opinion is unable to find his way home with 100% accuracy, requiring Yvonne to be on call for his plaintive cry, and thunderous looks when he has finished his shift.

Naturally it gets worse. I don't know who is to blame - the father (Florence Nightingale), McDonald's, maybe both, but by being forced to attend to the previously mentioned premises for the stated reasons I will, because of the absence of Yvonne, and the proximity to the area, be forced to travel down to the Valley for a quick perusal of the collection of working ladies who gather there on a nightly basis, something I like to do as often as time allows. I am a great admirer of working girls.

Thus fortified in the fact that they are still there, looking as 'working girl' like as ever, but not satisfied - probably due to lack of spare cash, I will return home to the unhappiness that will be unfolding as McDonald's Boy unleashes a torrent of evil scowls, some of those beauties he's been practicing in the mirror, along with fierce muttering that nobody, except perhaps another pimply wanker can understand, at poor, born to suffer for her kids, Yvonne.

Shocking injustice, just like I told you. It's great to be here, suffering as we do, other places you could get your arse blown off by some fool who decided to make a public statement outside McDonald's.

Other places they use suicide bombers to do their cleaning - how base is that? No jobs for the likes of me.

Other places they don't even have working girls to look at - how bad can that be?

Beirut's looking good..

Was a time when I wanted to go to Beirut. Wanted to go to Belfast too, and Berlin.

I wanted to see just how much damage people could do to each other and their cities in the name of religion, or freedom, whatever.

The Berlin wall came down. I had been in Europe but had decided to keep it as a future destination, a separate experience, me, the wall, the people.

They pulled the bloody thing down before I could get there.

Belfast. Same thing. A city too important to be merely added in to an itinery, deserving my entire attention. Wanted to see both sides of the place.

They stopped the fighting - almost.

Beirut, a basket case since 1985, all but destroyed, the city buildings just shells inhabited by snipers, a trip downtown could well mean the end of your life.

Come 1990 a miracle. New Prime Minister installed, manages to carry out the most complete rebuild of any city on the planet, even using original plans and drawings to restore the place. I'm happy with this. Beirut was once the jewel of the area, and looked like returning to it's former glory.

Figured a visit would be good some time.

Now downtown Beirut has a bomb crater about 15 feet deep, some serious building damage and rather a large amount of casualties. Former Prime Minister being one, and apparently the target.

Scratch Beirut as a place to visit, the place is about to descend, once again, into anarchy, as the Lebanese, USA and anyone else with an opinion blame that shitty little outpost of neurotics, Syria.

What is it, other than oil, other than religion, that causes all these shithole little counties to continually cause grief to one another?

On the other side of the mountain range the other two fools are getting ready to make a truce that will be broken within minutes. Witness Israel and Palestine - both fools to the very end. Wall builders. Now where have I seen a wall dividing a place before?

The world sheriff, USA, is loath to get too involved with any of these little outbreaks in case it finds it has rather more on it's plate than it can handle. Witness Iraq. No one is going to be left alive. No American anyway by the look of it.
The body count is rising on an hourly basis, Bush wants another $81 billion to throw at the place and now it looks as if he has to nuke Syria as well.

Does anyone (with a functioning brain) know what is going on here? Has anyone told these diseased little greasers that they are in the minority? Do the tea towel wearer's understand that no one gives a shit about humans, they're there for the oil.

If someone would come clean and announce that the sole driving force behind any military action in the Middle East is oil, not anything to do with human rights, fair elections, fair anything, perhaps the inhabitants would be happy to crawl back into their mud huts and count the money that they would find coming their way.

Maybe they would even stop destroying their own cities. You know you have found a different life form when you notice that they love blowing up their own cities.

As I said - if it wasn't for the oil no one on the planet would want to talk to you.

Now stop blowing each other up you naughty little oil rich people, or big daddy USA will have to come and deal to you.

We would send the United Nations but they're too interested in getting kickbacks for giving food, and have a really bad history of getting it rather wrong when it comes to military intervention.

Monday, February 14, 2005

an entire week passes..

..before I manage to get anything up on Blogger again.

Wasn't too busy.

Wasn't reinventing the wheel, curing obscure diseases, founding new religions.

Time sort of got away there for a week. The obsession is kicking in hard now. Friday off, so as to able to get through weekend jobs with minimum pain. Our weekend together, alone, without children. They go to their father every second weekend. This weekend he leaves them at his place in the care of his remarkably tolerant girlfriend while he travels to Sydney to do his bit for a dying family member.

Sort of a male equivalent of Florence Nightingale - in his mind. In reality he's a hospital orderly with an unhealthy interest in the dead and dying. Preparing for the next outbreak of foot and mouth, bird flu, whatever. Time comes when it happens he'll be right up there on the front line.

Sunday we investigate the old car ferry that crosses the river down a bit from where we live. Yvonne has never seen it, never been on it. It's a five minute ride, with a $1.20 price tag and masses of history. I love it. I want to drive it.

Also find a huge disused quarry, full of crystal clear water, in the middle of nowhere. Barbed wire all around, signs saying no swimming, dangerous area all the stuff that makes you want to have a look at the place, and there were a few there looking like they might be interested in getting in that good looking water.

The anomaly was / is, one side of the property proudly proclaims the area to be a part of Brisbane's water supply, while on the other side were signs saying that development permission was being sort for the area to convert it to a hazardous waste disposal dump. I hope someone knows what they are doing or we are all in for some odd tasting water.

Every other day swimming, biking, just like a good obsessive should. Not a lot else exists.

Just back from the local doctor - seems I pulled the stitches out of my leg just a bit early as we found today when I got out of the pool and found myself standing in a pool of diluted blood, the wound having decided it was a good time to open up.

Doctor unimpressed by the suggestion she double sew the bastard thing back up, inclined, as she was for me to sit quietly until the thing dried out itself. No amount of reasoning would convince her that there is not really any time available to dry the bloody thing out.

Can't get motivated to do something new with the site. Did get enough interest going to update the press kit to a slightly more 'grid friendly' layout.

The buggy is still parked up - the longest it has sat in one place since I got it. Scouted a new park area to fly in, not far from here. Looks as if it has been a toxic dump at one time, now covered in grass. Can only imagine what's lurking below.

Need to take a closer look at the surface, but if it anything remotely corrugation free then I should be able to blaze around there with minimum difficulty, assuming that it is some sort of public land.

What I save on petrol I can invest in hayfever tablets.

Nothing will beat a good beach, but I always keep an eye out for land bound places as well.

Nothing like roaring about in the buggy can take place during this 'lose weight in 20 minutes' thing that is happening, but it doesn't stop me going out and looking at it lovingly every now and then.

Figure the lose weight shit will stay until it's time to go to New Zealand - sometime near the end of March, two weeks with the ailing Mother, check out the place, back here, into the buggy. Weight should be somewhere else by then, hopefully not at another location on me, somewhere else, along the road, sweated off, never to return.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

heatwave calls for bike..

Reasons for temporary suspension of swimming:
5 stitches in lower leg after mysterious object sliced it on weekend job. Yvonne argues that the floating public don't want to see me dragging my oozing leg through their water. I believe they have already managed to pollute the bloody place just by being there. Who knows what sort of infestations they all have?

Heatwave conditions happening here right now cause mass movement of schools to indoor swimming pool frequented by me. My well documented aversion to anything to do with children means I not only won't have room to swim, but I won't want to swim.

Reasons for biking at high noon in a heatwave:
See above.

The bike has been in action. If people don't want me to dip my stitched leg in their water I will bike all over the place. 32 kilometers yesterday, around the same time worn route. 36 kilometers today, around the same time worn route.

My bike shirt, a natty little number made of some loud weird material with little pockets in the rear, doesn't want to fit me anymore. Seems I may have become bigger than it, bigger than I was when I bought it.

So, without favorite bike shirt I have been peddling, very much.

In a fit of madness I veered, yes I admit I veered, onto an even older time worn route, the dreaded lakeside track. Three kilometers of dodging senile retirees, disgruntled mothers wielding prams like weapons, and the inevitable over tamed aquatic birdlife (minus the one I ran over today).

Three kilometers of concrete joins so close together they play a railway like tick, while causing my testicles to go numb. Something about vibration they tell me. Means you have to stop occasionally and adjust everything, wait for a bit of circulation to return, and continue.

I once did 70 kilometers in one day around there. All the birdlife survived.

The reason I travel at midday is simple because that's how long it takes me to get it together enough to leave the house. Life is a complicated thing for me. It begins in the morning. I wake up. Then lots of things happen. Then I am ready to leave the house. That's why I'm out biking at midday.

When I get home there is a whole bunch of weird shit I have to do like have multiple showers, drink gallons of water, shower again, you know, all the things you do when you've just been out in a heatwave.

Once composed it gets familiar again. Lucky.

We're still fixated on grids, looking at every aspect of grids. Applying grids to web design. Applying grids to everything.

It's probably better that I stay on the bike.

Friday, February 04, 2005

technology blues..

You know the year has started when Friday comes around and the pre dinner rush is to get the eldest kid to air cadets (I think it's like Scouts with wings, but about the same amount of pederasts), and youngest son to something sports orientated. Someone probably told me but I have a habit of only hearing white noise when it concerns children.

Obviously we had a break from the taxi service thing over Christmas so we could keep them at home and listen to more white noise, usually involving them being bored or too lazy to breath. Whatever. I guess the fact that they are not mine shows a bit?

This Friday will go into the history books as the day mad friend, mad Sikh, Canadian dwelling 'Tom' (for want of an easy spelling name) finally managed to conquer a cell phone and begin a deluge of text messages to me here - in Australia.

He's been away six years now. It's been a bit of a long time without him.

We go back a very long time, me a loose Kiwi lounging in Australia these last twenty years because the weather is better, him here from Germany, having spent considerable time in Europe investigating the claim that European women are better. Having been forced to do the same sort of fact finding trip myself, and agreeing with him in every way, we became firm friends and sometimes business partners.

Canada was never on the agenda. He was going back to India to kick some arse and check out the family. Could never get a clean phone line into India, one time spent 6 hours trying to fax 3 pages. Communication - bland at best. Hotmail set up for him turns bad when there is no reliable net connection.

Suddenly, Canada. Communication is great, but the time difference means one of us is always asleep. He even managed the Hotmail thing once, maybe twice. We didn't need the fax anymore because the phone line was great.

Changing telephony providers without informing people made him a little hard to track for a few months at a time with him phoning here and forgetting to leave the new number. Naturally you can take the 'dial the last incoming number' thing, but it doesn't tell you what it was, for reasons that we don't understand, so you get to wait until the next phone account to get it, to find he's getting off on the power of being able to change providers at will and has proceeded to do so again.

But now, today, we entered a new phase. The cell phone that actually makes good with text messaging. Even better, a cell phone that makes it easy for him to pursue this new addiction.

Friday, the day marked for doing a 'just in case' backup, a gentle perusal of Grid Designs, and racking off a few way too suggestive emails to a lady I used to work with whom I constantly lust after, suddenly turns into a race to see who can push cell phone keys the quickest. He wins because he adopts the method of 'first available' - so the o's are invariably 0's and no case applied, nor full stops, with commas unavailable.

It's always good to know he's alive and well, now I not only know he's alive and well, I know what the temperature is and what intersection he's currently idling at.

Next week we may introduce him to video phones. I did attempt a webcam thing when he was doing the India thing but we got a lot of wallpaper with no humans just about the same time as the line dropped out.

I already have visions of midnight phone calls with him grinning maniacally into a phone. That's what the tranc's are for I guess.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Muller-Brockman swims..

Reasons for continuing swimming: Hot weather outdoors makes water look attractive. Hot weather outdoors makes biking very sweaty, making water very attractive. Summer time for schools sees them begin to book in to local pool in the coming weeks, therefore a sensible person would get in as much pool time as possible before they arrive and takeover/pollute the pool.
End of reasons for continued swimming.

The ongoing investigation into grid systems leads me to believe that I should have paid more attention at school, but it seems we may yet escape with a pass. It appears my obsessive compulsive disorder may have made things easier by making me more than a little particular about lining things up. That and the constant 9 point grid in my head from too much photography when I was young.

Mention was made a few posts ago about a product - we won't add a link here in case the poor buggers have to acknowledge us again - called jewelboxing, a business initiative of Coudal Partners.

Quite apart from causing a few potential clients to leap about in happy anticipation of a quality presentation, and others to adopt the standard, surly, 'why spend the money' attitude, it managed to garner us a linkback from the mighty CP themselves, with a note from Steve Delahoyde in the mail. Amazing amount of effort to go to I thought, to find us in the 35,600 entries on jewelboxing currently on the web.

And, if you're wondering - no I didn't attempt to clone their site in this blog - this is a hack of a Douglas Bowman design for Blogger (but I did have a bloody good look at their CSS - some smooth stuff in there I can tell you).

I was going to change the body text to Verdana or something cleaner, but having looked at CP's site I might wait a respectable period before I do.

On the subject of ripping off design, I am particularly taken by the excellent AirbagIndustries, and want everyone to know, were it not for this unfortunate entry I would have already had it. Bugger. Just when I thought it was going to be easy.

The guy who owns it works at Polychrome, which, unless you've had your head under a rock, you would know for doing the revamp of Apple stores, some eons before they ever got to Australia, if they ever did. How would I know I am poor and use a PC and still wear round glasses.

They also did a little e-card in Flash (which I immediately copied) for New Order some years ago, but if you didn't know the Apple thing then you probably don't listen to New Order either.

Let's face it, I'm going to have to come up with some original design.

I suppose that means nicking the China-Eight splash was not too useful either.

Let me just tell you - I own Grid Systems in Graphic Design now, and I swim regularly - and that has to count for something.

Doesn't it? (And I want to keep the China-Eight)