Bang

If you have bothered to read this thing in the past you’ll know that this blog goes back to April 2001. I have all the data from every post and comment going back until then but alas it was lost in a massive hack attack. And yes you guessed it, I didn’t have the database backed up.

In time I will put the posts and comments back up. Archive.org and their wonderful wayback machine are incredible help. They will get a donation I think.

Thinking back about the early days of blogging can seem like looking back centuries. Blogging was the beginning of social media. At first you needed to be savvy with coding. Because of this it required a reasonable amount of intelligence to say what you wanted to say and have it published. Even when blogger, moveable type et. al. come onto the scene a blogger still needed to have a grasp of basic coding, the ability to set up a page and have something to say which would engage the small audience that existed at the time. Perhaps 10-20million bloggers worldwide.

Now with twitter and facebook among others the world is your oyster obviously. Although now it’s a pretty much sand filled oyster with a dash of cryptosporidium thrown in for good measure. The hate and perversion is immeasurable. There used to be a degree of respect amongst bloggers who had followers on their blogrolls, ‘liked’ their posts by commenting on them, laughed together and argued amongst themselves with the ultimate insult being the link to another’s blog being removed from their sidebar. Ouch!

The sectarianism of social media is now almost complete. Left vs right, aggressive vs passive, tolerant vs nut job & creative vs plagiarist. Well, the last one has always been ‘the way’. The web was always about all property being theft really. Not now though. From Napster to Pirate Bay. From PCs to mobile phones and your fridge telling you to order more butter. It’s a function.

By |December 16th, 2014|General, Observations, Technology|0 Comments

Obliterate

Every now and again Mother Nature reminds you who’s boss. Discounting the whole climate change debate which could use up hours in point versus counter-point, sometimes weather turns up extremes. That happened last Thursday, the 27th of November here in Brisbane. And yes, it JUST had to happen in my suburb didn’t it.

Just before 430pm I left home to go and retrieve my 4yo from Kindergarten. On the way it looked like a normal storm was brewing. Dark skies, shifting winds that were decidedly cooler and huge drops of rain started hitting the Toyota’s windscreen. Not long after the 4 minute drive to Kindy as I was collecting my son’s usual uneaten lunch from the kitchen & his shoes from the lost property box an almighty roar began. The teachers had closed all the doors and windows in prep for a normal storm. What followed was anything but normal.

Leaves were passing by the windows horizontally at a rapid rate, rain was hitting the upper parts of window frames that were well protected by overhanging building eaves. Then the hail started. Not normal pea sized hail. It was cricket ball/baseball sized monsters. Jagged, not round.

Hail - And I have a BIG hand too.

Ice for big drinks

I’ll never forget the boom of the hail hitting the galvanised steel roof toward the end of the hailstorm. It was like the clouds were saving their best effort for the last act. A final hurrah for the pewny humans below. At this point the kids were crying and screaming (mostly the boys I noticed – most of the girls were singing nursery rhymes about rain in a little group).

The Kindergarten is a large single story building. So in the centre of the building it has large skylights over the 2yo room and the infants cot room. Balls of hail smashed through them and water was pouring into the rooms. Large rectangular buckets of toys were emptied and placed under the leaks until the storm subsided. The aftermath was astounding. My wife’s car looked like it had been attacked by a rioting mob. 20 metre (70ft) high gum trees were stripped of foliage, people were walking around looking at their houses in a daze & frightened dogs were running around in an obviously confused state.

My first thought was to race home. But a quick look at Google Maps showed me a sea of red. Every road was blocked. It was approaching peak hour and so many cars would have been caught out in that storm on the road. I stayed until 630pm climbing onto the roof of the Kindy and putting makeshift covers over the broken skylights. All the while my wife was trying to get home from work. The buses and trains were non-existent. She got a lift halfway home then walked, later describing to me the utter devastation she witnessed on the way home down Ipswich Road, in the suburb of Woolloongabba.

This was her first photo in the fading light. There were no windows left on the southern side of our house & the wooden boards were left looking like they had been sandblasted.

IMG_2925

With no power until 1030pm it was quite nice to have dinner (gas cooker) via candlelight and de-brief ourselves all together as a family. Luckily the bottle shop (liquor store) was still open and had electricity.

Even though it was a huge calamity for around one quarter of Brisbane’s 2 million residents, not one person died. I can’t believe that.

Then I look at Iraq, Syria, Libya etc. in the online news and promise not to complain about insurance companies being slow.

By |December 3rd, 2014|brisbane, General, weather|0 Comments

Gee! Twenty?

This city (Brisbane) is like some sort of apocalyptic future city with armed police walking around in gangs of 6, armoured personnel carriers buzzing around, blackhawk ‘copters and F18s in the air, stainless steel barricades and dudes with earpieces floating around.

It’s very surreal. Do Americans do this to their cities when Bazz Obama drops into a school or a university for an event? Over the top.

By |November 12th, 2014|General|1 Comment

Jock free zone

While I’m definitely not a jock, I’m going to be sad at this time next week when the AFL season is over. In the hazy corners of my memory I can recall running around the backyard with a brown plastic football and kicking a ball through makeshift goals (a giant African Tulip Tree and a 5 metre high length of PVC drain pipe leaning against the Hill’s swing set). While I didn’t play much competitive Australian Rules Football I have watched and listened to an incredible number of games and just love the sport.

I got rid of cable TV 8 months ago so cannot watch as many games as I’d like. Of the 9 games each week Rupert Murdoch has sole rights to 5 on cable. But the best thing is that all games are free to listen to on radio or through various applications that the AFL has for mobile phones, tablets or on the net through their website.

Anyway, tonight the top two teams, Sydney and Hawthorn were confirmed as playing in the Grand Final next week. I’d better stock up on the party pies & sausage rolls.

It’d just be nicer if Richmond could go a bit further in he competition for a change.

By |September 20th, 2014|General|0 Comments

One reason to love the net

This report about the Scottish Independence referendum shows why I love the internet. You don’t need to spray paint walls anymore to make people consider alternative thinking.

By |August 28th, 2014|General|0 Comments

Farcebook

I have surrendered. Yes, I have a Facebook account.

I won’t post direct opinion on there, instead preferring to post pictures of odd stuff, political satire or information/pics that are amusing or thought provoking. I need to have it to keep in contact with friends – basically because the bastards don’t call or come over. That’s because they’re too busy on Facebook I suppose.

A new addition to my website is Crappy Front Fences of Brisbane. It’s a Facebook page that has been fed through to my website. So enjoy the most uninspiring front fences in the city of Brisbane and surrounds.

The page was inspired by Shit Brick Fences of Melbourne which is probably the funniest thing I have ever seen on Facebook.

By |August 22nd, 2014|General|0 Comments

Starting over

Well.

For all 2 people who read this thing, I had my hosting account compromised and nasty code injected in the database, email hijacked and wordpress php files changed. I had backups of my business site but not of this 13 year old blog – which is a shame but not overly bothersome. My wife’s blog and freelance website suffered the same fate. I do have all the posts stored on the compromised SQL dump, so I’ll get them up post by post. Won’t take long. I never said much anyway.

By |August 18th, 2014|General, Technology|2 Comments

Driving me crazy

I haven’t read anybody’s blogs for ages now. It’s a shame really. That’s mainly because the stuff I read used to be personal stories, everyday life and stories that gave me an insight into the way other people were thinking and feeling. It was all information that I was very interested in until I got married, started a business and bought a house. My personal developments turned me into an inward looking dick I think. Maybe that last sentence was a bit harsh because I’m always interested in other people’s experiences, their lives and their thoughts. But you know what I mean , I just turned inward for a while.

But anyway, one of the bloggers I’ve followed for ages has just got his driving licence. Yaksox. I always thought he’d be a driver anyway since he loved Formula 1 so much. I was mistaken. On his second attempt (not bad) he succeeded in convincing a VicRoads nitpicker to give him a piece of plastic.

In the last few months I have been hearing of my teenage neighbours’ experiences in getting their licences. I hear all the horror stories. Mainly of their stuffups. Failure to give way. Rolling through a stop sign etc. I hear of strangely aggressive and overly strict driving assessors and tales of assessors appearing to nod off during the driving exam. So when my neighbours ask me about my test I just tell them how easy it was back in 1990.

I went to the Redcliffe branch of Queensland Transport in Sutton St, Redcliffe. I had pre-paid and booked my test. I jumped into my Mum’s Holden Gemini and the instructor told me to drive around for a bit, perform a parallel park outside the Redcliffe Pool then take him to the Captain Cook Tavern drive-thru bottleshop. He bought a box of beer and I drove him back to his office, Bingo. I got a driving licence. 10 minutes. Done.

Brisbane only had half the traffic then as it does now though. I think some people are still getting their licences with my assessor.

By |May 20th, 2014|Observations, Personal|0 Comments

Shooting Star

So a plane crashes (MH370) and all of a sudden every kook becomes an air crash investigator. Honestly, are people getting more stupid?

Extracts taken from The Courier Mail  readers’ comments  (link here – not future proof and behind a paywall).

The recent flight path released might suggest they were headed for Northern Sumatra.  There are two International airports in the far north, Banda Ache and Sabang, both pretty much closed at night.  An area well known to harbour extremists. Flight path tracked by Malaysian military stops at the Malaysian international border with Indo. Hmm. I hope someone has checked those airports out.  Both have Malaysian Airlines land there, so a plane wouldn’t look too out of place.

High time the Australian government stopped sitting on it’s hands and cancelled MAS flights until there is some sanity over this whole matter.

The only credible bit of evidence so far is from a local fisherman who spotted a plane that’s lights were as big as ‘coconuts’ it was flying so low.

By |March 12th, 2014|General, Observations|0 Comments

Polling

Often I wonder if political polling in Australia will be done from now on by the same people who polled me randomly over the phone back in 1999.

I was asked to detail my radio listening habits for the day when I answered my share house fixed line phone one Friday night in wintertime Melbourne.

I can remember roughly what I said. From 6am until 9 – RRR breakfasters. From 9am until about 3pm – JJJ. 3pm until 5pm 3LO. 5pm until late The Tote Hotel jukebox.

I recall the woman on the other end if the line saying that my listening habits didn’t comply with their strict listening variability requirements.

Load of shit.

Never believe a poll.

By |February 6th, 2014|General|0 Comments

Depeche Mode car

Wow. Some people are passionate.

Spotted on Ipswich Rd in Woolloongabba, Brisbane.

Screen-Shot-2013-12-04-at-8.21.42-pm-660x405

By |December 4th, 2013|General|0 Comments

The new stupid

Any society that consumes lemon flavoured Coca-Cola is doomed. I don’t drink soft drinks (i.e. soda, pop for American readers) but when I was queued in a supermarket this morning I spied this bizarrely flavoured drink in the drinks cabinet at the checkout.

I blame the appearance and sale of such completely ridiculous flavours on stupidity.

Shredded cheese is sold at twice the price per kilogram of the same brand of cheese sold in a solid block. Huh? People complain about the cost of living but shove cheese into their mouths at double the cheapest price because they can’t be bother shredding the cheese themselves. Stupid.

Motorists queue for 4¢ off a litre off their fuel at supermarket petrol stations. An average car has a 50 litre tank. That’s a $2 saving on a tank of fuel….and people queue for 20 minutes with the engine running and A/C blowing like a mofo. Stupid.

Bottled water. Stupid. Especially one brand I saw yesterday labelled “Sports Water”. What the fuck are people smoking to waste their hard earned on such silly, expensive and useless products?

Conservative voters who happen to be poor. Don’t get me started. Argh!

I cannot stand the stupid.

By |November 30th, 2013|General|0 Comments

Attention seeker

Ahh. Blogs get no attention these days do they?

Everybody who had a good one is going through my stage of life. Either child/ren, too much work or addicted to Facefuckbook. In my case it’s too much work and being fascinated by the development of a 3½ year old boy. While at times infuriating, he is cute and I’m enjoying seeing him learn – and learn quickly!

Being an avid reader of fact rather than fiction my son has learnt to ask me the ‘technical questions’. This winter just gone, after his evening bath/shower he became aware that the wall mirror was covered in a strange sheen that prevented him from being able to see himself when I picked him up to carry him to his room. This strange sheen was, in fact, STEAM that had condensed onto the cold mirror in the bathroom.

When explaining condensing moisture in air to a toddler you get a funny look and then they just want to draw pictures in the ‘foggy’ mirror. BUT! Just last night I poured myself a beer. It’s been 28° and humid. Guess what happened? The moisture in the air condensed and formed a layer of water on my glass. Little Joe gasped excitedly while I was having dinner with him and he then said, ‘Look Dada. Condunshun‘. It took me 5 seconds to realise that he had just remembered my condensation talk.

At least one person in the house listens to me.

Awesome.

By |November 12th, 2013|General|0 Comments

Watch your mouth

News is that governmental requests for Twitter users’ information and requests for tweets to be deleted are on the rise.

While this could actually be newsworthy, take a look at the figures in the article. IN THE WHOLE WORLD governments made 1139 information requests for data in the first 6 months of 2013. That’s 1139 enquiries out of 550,000,000 users. News? I don’t think so.

By |August 1st, 2013|General|0 Comments