Thursday, July 29, 2004

The whales are back. 

Good. I missed them last year. It's a sight to see them frolicking in the water. It's mighty cold down that way at this time of year, the wind tears of the Southern Ocean, maybe even off Antarctica, and whips your face like Jack Frost scratching your eyes out.

One year I took a train trip to Warrnambool, stayed overnight, watched the whales on the Saturday afternoon, went out for a nice dinner Saturday evening and caught the train back Sunday.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Thursday, July 22, 2004

I promised I wouldn't post any more kangaroo stories. 

So I'm breaking my promise.

You know why this annoys me?

I'll tell you why. The only reason Canberra is where it is - in the middle of the freakin' bush - is because politicians and public servants argued for decades about whether Sydney or Melbourne should be the national capital.

Like it matters. Oh, I forgot, it matters immensely - to politicians and public servants. Nobody else. Sydney, you want to be capital? Fine. Melbourne? Fine. Toss a coin.

But no! They went and built an entire new city - relatively recently, starting in the 1930s and completing it after WW2 - in between Melbourne and Sydney to house a bunch of politicians and public servants who live in their own little world set apart from the real drivers of the economy - private enterprise - in all the other states and cities.

And now the kangaroos are reclaiming it.

Kick those politicians outta Canberra, kangaroos!

Interestingly, here's a quote from a native woman in the nineteenth century when the land had been taken over by farmers.

At the opening of the Tharwa Bridge in 1895, the guest of honour, Ngunnawal woman Nellie Hamilton, said:

'I no tink much of your law. You come here and take my land, kill my possum, my kangaroo; leave me starve. Only gib me rotten blanket. Me take calf or sheep, you been shoot me, or put me in jail. You bring your bad sickness 'mong us.'



is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Songs of the 1990s # 1. 

The Cranberries
from Everybody Else is Doing It Why Can't We, 1993.

Some of my top ten of the nineties have been a little obscure, but this appears on a number of top ten lists.

Could almost be my all time favourite song.

From the intro that sounds like the excited heartbeat of a new born baby, changing chords deliciously; to the glorious harmony of Dolores O'Riordan's overdubbed voice; to the primeval wail at the end that echoes  countless happy/sad wails that rung from Irish stone cottages and over emerald green fields, marking a million personal triumphs and tragedies, this simple song brings home both the strength and the fragility of the human spirit - a strength and fragility that are both, puzzlingly, amplified by a dream coming true.

And if that's overanalysing it, let me sum it up like this: it rocks.

Oh my life is changing everyday
in every possible way
And oh my dreams
it's never quite as it seems
Never quite as it seems
I know I felt like this before
But now I'm feeling it even more
Because it came from you
Then I open up and see
The person falling here is me
A different way to be
I want more, impossible to ignore
Impossible to ignore
And they'll come true
impossible not to do
Impossible not to do
And now I tell you openly
You have my heart so don't hurt me
You are what I couldn't find
A totally amazing mind
So understanding and so kind
You're everything to me
Oh my life is changing everyday
In every possible way
And oh my dreams
it's never quite as it seems
'cause you're a dream to me
Dream to me



is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Friday, July 16, 2004

Check out the claws on this baby. 

It's only a few months old but check out those claws, man!
They could take your head off with one swipe.
Just kidding. Wombats are completely docile. The claws are for digging burrows. And can they move earth!
My sister had one of these a couple years ago when she lived in the countryside. It used to walk around the house, following her like a puppy. Just beautiful.
(Joe Bloggs hasn't turned into the National Geographic channel, it's just that have been some good animal stories around of late. You can't beat a good animal story.)
is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Beagle appeal. Give generously. 

Have you got a beagle? A naughty beagle? Send it down!

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

OK. One more story about kangaroos then I'll shut up. 

But this is worth it. This is a great story.

This family has a dozen kangaroos in their lounge room. It must be a big lounge room. I mean, imagine TV dinners with joeys bouncing around all over the place. You couldn't concentrate.

The print edition carries additional photos not in the online story. The photos include a Boobook Owl with a broken wing carefully wrapped up in a small blanket, just his face showing; several joeys in 'pouches' fashioned from bedsheets to resemble their mother's pouch; and the daughter holding two MASSIVE wombats. I swear they are smiling.

The story goes on:

The couple are helped by daughter Monika, 17, a wombat lover, and son Damian, 23, a building contractor with an affinity for wallabies.

Their other daughter Melissa, 21, has just left home.

I think I'd leave home, too, if there were twelve skippies bouncing around the lounge room. I mean, a 21 year old needs her space!

Imagine the conversation: 'Dad, if you bring home another kangaroo, I am SO out of here!'

(FIVE KANGAROOS WALK IN THE DOOR) 'Right that is IT. I'm TOTALLY leaving ...

... Um, dad, can you drive me to the station?'

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Monday, July 12, 2004

Do pilots have these conversations? 


PILOT: Has anyone seen the keys to my Jumbo? I'm due for take-off soon and I can't find them anywhere.

FEMALE CREW MEMBER: Well where did you leave them?

PILOT:(SARCASTIC) If I knew where I left them, they wouldn't be lost, would they?

FEMALE CREW MEMBER: Maybe you left them in the ignition. Have you checked the ignition?

PILOT: Of course I didn't leave them in the ignition. If I'd left them in the ignition the plane wouldn't still be there. It would have been stolen by joyriders.

FEMALE CREW MEMBER: On the sideboard?


FEMALE CREW MEMBER: By the telephone?


FEMALE CREW MEMBER: OK, let's get them paged.



FEMALE CREW MEMBER: Did you check the pockets of the jacket you had on yesterday?

PILOT: I've got the same jacket on today, and they're not in it.

FEMALE CREW MEMBER: WHAT? Don't tell me you're wearing that jacket two days in a row. Go and change it AT ONCE!

PILOT: It's not dirty. And don't start! I've got enough on my plate. (THINKS) Doh!


PILOT: I think I left them in the the glovebox of that Airbus I was flying last night.

FEMALE CREW MEMBER: Well, go and check!

PILOT: I can't. It just took off for Rome an hour ago.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Australia's deadliest animal. 

If you were to visit Australia, which animal would you be most afraid of? It's an interesting question. Snakes? Spiders?

No. The biggest killer in Australia is the kangaroo.

But the animal itself is not dangerous at all! It's just that people keep dying when crashing into them in cars. Collisions with kangaroos number in the thousands each year.

Kangaroos are now in plague numbers, so there are far more out there and the drought which has affected much of the country means they are on the move to find food, the poor creatures.

There are over sixty species of kangaroo in Australia, with total numbers estimated at 50 million. That's at least two for every person. (Hey, where's my two kangaroos? I want my skippies!)

They are truly magnificent, regal creatures. It is just horrible to see them lying dead by the roadside after being hit by vehicles. A couple of years ago, when I was commuting 150 kilometres, I would regularly see dead kangaroos, often at intensities of up to twenty or thirty within ten kilometres. I had to drive slowly and had a few near misses. I was always amazed at the foolhardy motorists who would fly past me at 120k/mh - mad. Taking their lives in their hands.

The linked story above reports kangaroos killing dogs. This would be a rarity and you would find feral dogs - of which there are thousands in Australia (bred from people dumping unwanted dogs in the bush - bastards) - would pose a far greater risk to kangaroos than kangaroos would ever pose to domestic dogs.

And in defence of kangaroos, I offer this story. The kangaroo saved the life of its owner. Blind in one eye, it had been adopted ten years ago by the family.

So when you come to Australia, look out for Skippy. He will not hurt you. Except maybe if you drive fast through HIS territory.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Songs of the 1990s # 2. 

Ride, from Going Blank Again, 1992.

So. The second Ride track to make my Top Ten of the 1990s.

I was obsessed with this track from the first time I heard it.

A friend taped his CD onto cassette and gave it to me. This guy used to walk around with the face image from the album on his T-shirt. He was a fan. I hadn't previous known about Ride.

Oddly, hard-core Ride fans sometimes regard this song as Ride-lite. It's often the way that fans 'expect' a certain kind of sound in everything and fail to judge individual songs on their merits. I found that with Jesus & Mary Chain and REM, among others. Musicians find it very frustrating that fans essentially want them to keep doing the same song over.

So Twisterella burned itself into my brain in those faraway days of 1992 when things were a little simpler, the days a little colder, the memories a bittersweet mixture.

And when it all boils down, that's a small but significant part of our attachment to certain songs. Most of my selections in this top ten have not just had common musical constructions that happen to appeal to me (polyphony, great beauty, a haggard and dramatic but indefinable quality built into the words or the music or just sheer total brilliance - not necessarily all together!) but most of them resonate with me for some exterior reason not altogether related to the song.

So I played Twisterella over and over again. I tried to kill it. (You know, you always expect to reach a kind of plateau with favourites where you think, 'I love this, but today, I've decided I don't need to hear it again for another two months.'

But I couldn't kill it. I never reached the plateau. I just wanted to keep playing it.

And now, having written this, I want to hear it in all its swirling, transcendent, sonic nectar-filled goodness again.

Any minute you will feel
The chemistry
Vibrations in the brain
Can't ever be explained

Slip away and out of sight
Feel the magnet of a night
The circus lights you see
Is where you have to be

If I've seen it all before
Why's this bus taking me back again
If I don't need anymore
Why's this bus taking me back again

Feel the weight of letting go
Feel more lightness than you've ever known
You can't see when light`s so strong
You can't see when light is gone ... etc

(After I publish my No 1 song of the nineties - in the next few days - I will then post links to the whole Top Ten so you don't have to trawl through the archives to find the rest.)

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Who is Tommy Hilfiger? 

And why do people walk around with his name on their T-shirts and jackets? Isn't he embarrassed?

I would be if, everywhere I went, people had Joe Bloggs emblazoned on their T-shirts and jackets.

If it comes to that, why do you need anyone's name on your T-shirt?

And why do I always end up pondering the unanswerable?

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

I'm not a blogger, I'm a 'total blogging services and solutions provider'. 

I hate jargon. Especially 'marketing' jargon.

You know, those ads that say 'total (industry) service solution provider'. It's ususally like, computers or some semi-business technical thing.

Now, EVERYONE IN THE WHOLE WORLD is a total service and solutions yadda yadda yadda of one kind or another.

This morning I heard an ad on the radio for a company that makes tea in several flavours, with the slogan 'your total tea service and solutions provider'.

They make teabags, for crying out loud. What happened to cute slogans like 'Our tea tastes GREAT!' or 'Time for tea, time for (brand)'?

I totally should be working in advertising.

Have a good day.

Your total blogging service and solutions provider.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

I had two cheese rolls for lunch. 

And they were yummy.

Then I had a cup of coffee.

Then I had a nap.

Life's grand.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Monday, July 05, 2004

Nothing at all happened today. 

Just one of those sleepy, mid-winter, will-I-or-won't-I days.

I decided I won't.

But I can't remember what it was that I 'won't'.

So if it was a negative thing that I decided I won't do, then I might do it accidentally.

Unless I remember in time.

I need to hibernate. I must have been a bear in another life. Or a squirrel.

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

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