Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Michael McGibbon

It's my great mate Michael's birthday today (although it's tomorrow here, so that's why this post says 30th instead of 31).

So, if we'd all like to open this special YouTube message, and all sing him a happy birthday, at 4.00pm EST (2.00pm WST and who knows what the time is in Queensland....I think they are still in 1986), then he'd have lots of birthday wishes.

ali :)


Let's take a look at....Canada

Yes, this week's discussion will be around that most maple of syrups, Canada. Here's some interesting facts you may not know as a non-Canadian:
  • the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives reported in January that the country's 100 highest-paid business executives had, by 9:46 a.m. on Jan. 2, earned an amount equal to what the average Canadian would earn in all of 2007.
  • Canadians spell Centre " C. E. N. T. R. E." not Center, as would the American Center of Policy Alternatives. Had the American Center for Policy Alternatives done the same study, they would most likely have found that by 12.03am on January 1 the USA's highest-paid business executives would have already earned what the average American would in all of 2007 and eight.
  • Of course, in Quebec, the "Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives" would be called Centrez pour la politique par whingeing les r√©volutionnaires socialistes de gauche
  • The Canadian village of Glendon, Alberta, is home to the world's largest Pyrogy (pictured). A pyrogy is the staple diet of the Ukraine, and is a type of dumpling.
  • Canada gave us Bryan Adams. He is known for sappy songs, standing on his mamma's porch and being the social activist that he is, might even pop into Canada's Centre for Policy Alternatives occasionally. He is also a close friend of Prince Charles.
  • Prince Charles ears make him look a bit like a maple leaf, which is what most people associate with Canada. The rest of the people associate Bryan Adams and Not Being America but Sort of Like Being America as the main symbols of Canada.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Gnomes Town Massacre

I'm really saddened to hear that Gnomesville in Wellington Mills Western Australia was the site of a massacre last week. Nasty people ransacked the place and beheaded dozens of gnomes.

For those unfamiliar with Gnomesville, it all started when the local shire put a roundabout basically in the middle of nowhere. One day, gnomes appeared on the side representing the councilors who made the decision to spend shire money on a useless roundabout.

Different gnomes started popping up, some with themes such as "give me a gnome among the gum trees", "the human g gnome project" and my favourite, a fat gnome in green and gold called "Gnome Warne". Anyone can place a gnome there.

If you look closely, you may see "Gnome Gallop" and "Alan Carpengnome" with the slogan underneath them "Gnome more contracting out of school cleaning".... I wonder how they got there???? Hope they didn't lose their heads in the massacre.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

If you're proud and you know it clap your hands II

Case in point:

John Howard is hosting a reception at his house for Australia Day Honours.... Mr Howard's reception at his Canberra residence for the Australian of the Year candidates was not an entirely gaffe-free affair. At one stage, Mr Howard was heard asking one candidate, mathematician Terence Tao, "When did you come to Australia?"

"I was born in Adelaide," replied Professor Tao, who last year won the Fields Medal, the highest scientific award for mathematicians.

Yee haw multiculturalism!

When Howard is voted out, Australians all let us rejoice..

If you're proud and you know it clap your hands...


I don't know Sydney anymore. The recent Big Day Out seemed to attract a bunch of Howard's Children, banging on about how proud they are to be Australian. Organisers of the event suggested leaving the Aussie flag at home may be a good idea because the event was to be promoted as one of celebration, not nationalism. This request of course would be seen as un-Australian, and so flags were everywhere and "worn with pride".

To be a "proud Australian" all one needs do is to buy a polyest
er Aussie flag, most probably made in Taiwan or China, drape it round ones waste/make it into a boob tube/use it as a sling for the broken arm you received at a recent brawl you got yourself into down the local, and write on the words "support it or fuck off". Then proceed to stay out in the sun all day without a hat, mosh to music and chuck your rubbish about a showground, leaving some poor migrant worker on minimum wage to pick up your mess.

So on the eve of Australia Day I weep. I weep for an Australia, in particular, Sydney, that I don't understand anymore. What have we done to be proud lately? And why do we keep celebrating this day that for many is filled with mixed emotion because we still deny part of our history, which is essentially, the genocide of Aboriginal Australians?

We need a new day - like 1 January, the day the states became a federation. That way, everyone can participate and debate about what it means to be Australian. We are, after all, lovely, innocent, multicultural Australia....

Actually, not. Nasty pro-Lebanese gangs Vs pro Aussie gangs are fighting it out on You Tube so John Howard has decided to cancel multiculturalism and exchange it for integration and interrogation (you must pass the citizenship test to gain entry). Rest in peace Al Grasby. I want someone to go onto talkback radio and say to the Prime Minster.... "Just what is it about multiculturalism you can't face John Howard?" (as this is an aural joke, perhaps say this sentence again and you'll reveal my true feelings about the man....).

I don't like this rise in nationalism. I don't loik it. I really miss Australia and being over here in the UK, you look at Australia and the lifestyle is second to none. I love being Australian. Our stable democracy is what makes our country great..but even that is slowly being eroded, with more and more power going to the commonwealth (IR...water....anti terrorism laws). Democracy has to be cared for and nurtured.

I wonder how many of those punters at the Big Day Out really thought through what they were actually proud of.

"Humans are not proud of their ancestors, and rarely invite them round to dinner". Douglas Adams

I'm not proud at part of the history we celebrate on Australia Day. I am proud of being what I believe to be a good citizen, but you can do that in any country. Lucky then that the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) is being scrapped for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIC). Now that Vandstone has been sacked, along with presumably her department chiefs, I wonder who the DIC head will be?

Okay, this incoherent rant is over.



Friday, January 19, 2007

Belgium

We're off to Belgium for the weekend. Trappist beer here Jock comes! It is somewhat cool that it's cost fifty quid to get there and back, however, I am having pangs of guilt flying RyanAir and giving the evil Michael O'Leary more profit as well as the fact that the size of my carbon footprint is starting to look like Dorothy the Dinosaur.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Get a boot up ya!


Well, it's inevitable really. If organised labour in Austraila and other first world nations continues to ignore unorganised and exploited labour in regions such as South East Asia and Eastern Europe, factories will continue to close and move offshore.

Shame on you Blundstone. I've bought my last pair. It's another Aussie icon that's gone.

But we're all to blame - we can't think that a company that's been around from the 1870s is immune from the lure of the greenback and tradition alone can keep it ticking on in Tassie.

We can only hope that once Blunnies execs make mountainous amounts of mint, they will use Tasmania's boat building industry to have themselves a custom built yacht..... unless that industry has gone as well.

Click here to send Blundstone an email about going offshore.

thanks to The Australian for the cartoon.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Turning Britainese I think I'm turning Britainese I really think so.....

Recently purchased:
  • 1 china tea set inc. sugar bowl and milk jug from charity shop around the corner,
  • 1 crappy put it together yourself with allen key cupboard thing from Argos
Recently drank:
  • 2 glasses of Schloer fizzy faux grape wine straight from the cupboard. It really was cold enough to drink.
Recently caught:
  • My husband watching darts on prime time telly
Yes, we are turning British. I have also been talking about the weather a lot. That's because it's been raining non stop since 1975....

I think the only recourse is to send the husband off to the pub for a game of darts and invite some girlfriends over for high tea so I can put my china to good use. Oh goodie, cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut orf.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Scrabble with Grannie

Scrabble with Grannie is a ritual that involves a pot of tea, (inc. tea cosy), home made queen cakes and usually an obscure Scottish word that doesn't appear in the Official Scrabble Dictionary that would have given Grannie a triple word score, if only the masses could speak proper Aberdonian English.

It was a sad day then last week when the "X" tile went missing, presumably hoovered up into the great abyss that is the Bridge of Dee sheltered housing complex where she lives. An X is an extremely important tile and the game of Scrabble is not the same without it.

Grannie takes the game very seriously. She plays to win, which means any manner of word can go on the board. Recent installations include "bum", "boner", "sex", (although not now given that she no longer has the X factor), conjugating (not consummating) the verb to make "sexy" and thus go for the double word score, "cunt" (yes, this is not made up) and "shit".

Once, I played the word "fuck" and she added "er" to make a triple word score. This is all at the age of 94....

So, it was with great relief, when I sent an email to the makers of Scrabble to explain the spot of bother we were in with the missing X, that Grannie received not one but two "X" tiles in the post from the kind people at Mattel.

With an extra "X", who knows what word Grannie will come up with next?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Take Two Minutes for Momofuku

Don't know who his is? Well, anyone who's been on a scout camp or has kids will know his invention...

Momofuku Ando, the Japanese inventor of instant noodles, has died aged 96. All hale the two minute noodle.

Favourite two minute noodle memories include:

  • the great debate - do you keep the soup or do you chuck it?
  • Adam Johnston throwing up two minute noodles on scout camp and frankly, if you put them back in the saucepan and fed it to a brownie, they would have been none the wiser
  • why do they taste better around a camp fire or in front of the footy rather than as a dinner mid week when you're living on your own?
  • Should Two Minute Noodle Prawn Flavour ever have made it to the supermarket shelves, I mean, really...

Monday, January 01, 2007

January 1st 2007

I'm looking forward to this year, because globally, it surely can't get any worse than 2006. The The New York Times has put together a rather depressing view of the year in pictures, mostly concentrating on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine/Lebanon, Congo... the list goes on.

The execution of Saddam Hussein will not provide new hope in Iraq, which can only be described as is in the grip of a civil war. The footage of Hussein's death is barbaric and the fact that his death was recorded on a mobile phone camera and uploaded on the net puts it firmly in the middle of a three ringed circus - the intersection between the Shiites, the Sunnis and the Kurds, with the US ringmaster giving directions.

Some interesting comments of US citizens on the execution:

Adria A:
This is the biggest mistake the US has ever made. We will regret it, I am sure. I have an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach about this.


Hector:
It amazed me the power of America. I strongly feel that we should go after North Korea next, then China and ultimately Russia.

I share Adria A's feeling in her stomach. 2006 was the pits when it came to peace and the nurturing of democracies in our world. I am hopeful that 2007 will be better, but maybe it has to get worse before we can restore a sense of hope. Resolution: I commit to doing more about the pit in my stomach!

Predictions:

2007 will be the year of:
  • the environmental movement - reclaiming its position as one of the most important and well-organised movements in our history,
  • micro banking - giving the poor and marginalised economic freedom,
  • you tube, myspace, bebo and blogger - need I say more
  • goodbye to that stupid UK look - long shorts and pantyhose at the office....eeugh!
  • Russel Brand - he is such a SPUNK
  • the year that John Howard will retire to pasture - by failing to win the 2007 Australian election,
  • the messes created by neo-cons and our own inaction... a mia culpa? .... not likely:

    There are lots of good things happening on this planet - we just have to take the time to find out who's doing them and support them! Clicking here is a good start.

    Happy New Year family, friends and random bloggers.