Monday, January 31, 2011

Matchbox Cars

When we were kids Perseus, Fanta (my brother) and I would hold regular Hotwheels/Matchbox Car race meets. Various tournaments would take place on varying tracks with varying importance. Sometimes it would be on orange plastic Hotwheels brand tracks, at other times we would use PVC pipes which we found lying around in the backyard, or planks of wood or even custom built tracks which had built-in (although not entirely deliberate) handicaps. Occasionally we would measure the furthest jumper or the fastest in individual time trials, but usually it was races of between 4 and 6 cars at a time, culminating, after several hours, in a grand final of the 4 fastest.

We had around a hundred cars each, we would relegate and promote them to the various tournaments based on their recent results and long term averages and we would draw up complex fixtures based on rankings. Each car had a name, the top cars were highly prized and stored carefully between races, while slow cars would regularly be thrown in disgust. We would argue over results (we alternated the roles of starter, judge and scorer) and would rotate the venue to eliminate home track advantage.

It was some of the best fun I ever had as a kid and, given that nobody else could be arsed posting anything, I thought I would reminisce in front of you.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

God's Performance Review

So there, God!

Human resources consultant, Colin Rawlings, interviews God as a part of God's tri-millennial performance review.


Colin: (intercom) Margaret, could you please send in the next client.

Margaret: Certainly, Colin.

Margaret appears at the door standing beside a man with a long, grey beard.

Margaret: Colin, this is God.

Colin: Thank you Margaret.

Margaret sidles off.

Colin: Take a seat, God.

God: Thanks.

Colin: Now, I've just been reviewing the information you provided.You omitted to specify your area of responsibility.

God: There wasn't enough room on the form.

Colin: Well, in summary?

God: Oh, I suppose I'd say responsibility for the entire universe.

Colin: (writing) entire universe. Big job, huh?

God: Keeps me out of trouble.

Colin: Sure, sure. Look I have to say the feedback hasn't been great.

God: Who says?

Colin: Well, there's a comment here..."If there's a benevolent God why is there so much evil in the world?"

God: Who says I'm benevolent?

Colin: It's in the job description.

God: What job description?

Colin: You would have received a job description when you first started.

God: That was ages ago.

Colin: Well you should've kept it.

God: Yeah, well. Anyway, who said it?

Colin: It's confidential.

God: Go on.

Colin: Epicurus.

God: That arsehole.

Colin: Well he has a valid point.

God: Well I've been busy. Can't stop everything.

Colin: Ok, well I have a copy of the job description here for future reference.

God: (Reading) Bloody hell. Omniscience! I don't even know what that means!

Colin: Keep reading.

God: Omnipotence? What's that?

Colin: All powerful. You can do anything.

God: You're shitting me? I can't even boil an egg.

Colin: And then there's omnipresence.

God: Which is?

Colin: Being everywhere at once.

God: Jesus, that'd be handy for the Missus when I'm down the pub.

Colin: Look, apart from evil, there's also a lot of feedback about the environment. Global warming and all that.

God: That's man made!

Colin: But you made man.

God: Yes, yes.

Colin: In your image.

God: I didn't anticipate mass vehicular transport.

Colin: What about coal?

God: I didn't know anyone would burn it.

Colin: Fatal diseases is a topic that comes up a lot too.

God: Oh now you want a cure for cancer! Ask much.

Colin: Look, quite simply, I think you've neglected your duties. And many agree.

God: I sent Jesus down.

Colin: What have you done in the last 2000 years?

God: Um...

Colin: Well frankly, there's an increasing number of people who don't believe in you.

God: Sounds like you don't believe in me.

Colin: I mean they don't believe you exist.

God: Well I guess I do keep a low profile. I don't like crowds.

Colin: Perhaps you should intervene more.

God: I used to do that but it wasn't popular.

Colin: So I hear.

God: They even wrote a book about it.

Colin: Yes I read that. I'm afraid it wasn't very flattering.

God: I could strike some people down with lightening or something. Start a plague.

Colin: Perhaps something more benevolent.

God: Oh yeah. Like what?

Colin: Stop wars, famine, suffering.

God: Or invent a way for people to communicate over long distances!

Colin: I'm afraid it's been done

God: Oh.

Colin: Well it'll take some thought.

God: Yeah, ok, I'm starting to see some possibilities.

Colin: Ok, well you put some thought into it, read my report and some of the feedback and we'll speak about it next time.

God: Ok, thanks for your time.

Colin: No, no. Thanks for coming in. On your way out make an appointment with Margaret for around 3000 years from now.

God: Can I make it a Wednesday?

Colin: See what's available. When you come in we'll have another look at how you're going.

God: Cool, thanks Colin. See you then.

Colin: Well I won't be here but good luck with it.

God: Cheers.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Death of a pub.

When I'm dead, cremate me and spread my ashes over the front bar.

To the hard drinking, the death of a pub can come as a tremendous blow.

The other day, while driving through North Fitzroy, I noticed the Recreation Hotel (formerly The Old Homestead Inn) was up for sale; to be replaced by “executive apartments”*.

The Old Homestead and I go back a great many years. If I had a dollar for each hour I’ve spent there; drinking, laughing with friends, meals, birthdays, flirting with the barmaid and playing pool I’d have a shitload of money to spend drinking, laughing with friends, meals, birthdays, flirting with the barmaid and playing pool – only this time at another hotel.

The Old Homestead is the latest in a number of hotels in the inner city to close and be replaced with apartments; a development I regard with some concern and not just because it limits my capacity to intake perfectly legal, mind-numbing intoxicants.

Pubs were important to the development of a civil culture in Melbourne. Political parties and trade unions were formed there, sporting clubs and friendly societies used them as meeting rooms and any number of bands (a great number of them truly awful) played their first gig in a Melbourne pub.

When they go, what replaces them**?

Drive out through any of the new housing estates being built on the outskirts of Melbourne and you won’t find a single corner pub. You won’t find much in the way of corner milk-bars, newsagents, fish and chip shops or phone boxes either, but that’s not the point. If you’re lucky, you might find a licensed establishment in one of the shopping centres but that’s not the same as the local boozer you can drop in for quite ale after work or walk to with the family for a Sunday afternoon roast.

Of course, many of the old corner pubs were appalling blood-houses but most were a way of catching up with friends and neighbours for a consoling beer.

Good-bye Old Homestead. I’ll miss you.

And may the new inhabitants of the “executive apartments” to be built on its site be haunted by the souls of a hundred years of noisy drunks.

* No, I don’t know what “executive apartments” are either but they sound ghastly.

** People who say “social media” can fuck off right now.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Oh dear, anothing sporting rant by Ramon. Maybe I'll make a cup of tea instead."

"Thirty seven million beers, thanks."

In breaking news allegations are emerging of a drinking session by key Australian players in the lead up to getting an absolute pantsing by the English a humiliating Ashes series defeat at the MCG.

The Age reports

A photo has emerged of the cricketers posing with fans at The World Restaurant and Bar in Southbank, reportedly taken just 12 hours before the Australian team took to the field on the fourth and final day of the Boxing Day Test.

The thrashing saw England retain the Ashes on Australian soil for the first time in 24 years.

It follows allegations by Melbourne-based Englishwoman Emily Goodyear in a British newspaper that the pair drank vodka with her and criticised their "boring" teammates for not going out drinking with them.

I think I speak for every Australian cricket fan when I say “well, durr”

If I was faced with the prospect of being whipped like an egg-sucking dog over five days in the face of several thousand jeering English fans and having the results broadcast around the world, then I would have been on the sauce from ten in the morning.

And I would have insisted on the drinks break being sponsored by Cooper’s Ale.

In related news The Boy has taken to cricket with an absolute mania and insists on discussing the LBW rule with me over dinner.

I’ve either created a monster or the next captain of the Australian team.

Possibly both.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Travel Special: Albany

A picture from our holiday...

This is not a martini

We went south to Albany (4 hour drive). Albany has a rock that looks like a dog's head. It's called Dog Rock and you can buy the postcard

Albany has a March fly problem

Albany has many Klingons driving 4WDs like the one who parked his big fat black Nissan Navara in front of our beach shelter

We stayed at my dad's place. I drank his beer and it was Best Before 2004. He has an ant problem. This is some wallpaper and lino from my dad's place

We had a power cut

LittleSquib (7) got an electronics kit for Christmas so she rigged up a wee light circuit to tide us over while she discussed foreign affairs

LS: We should do more for China


LS: Oh, come on! Can't you tell?

Not really

LS: Because everything in this whole world is made in China, including even this spoon. They have to do everything

The End

Monday, January 10, 2011

2011, And Still The Same Old Cunts

Pakistani politician Salmaan Taseer, a fomer trusted aide of Benazir Bhutto and current Governor of the Punjab Province, was assasinated a few days ago by one of his own security guards (honestly, you just can't get good help these days).

The reason the security guard went all Terminator on his arse was because Salman Taseer, in a display of logic and goodwill, opposed Pakistan's knuckle-dragging blasphemy laws that lead to the state-sponsored death sentence of a woman called Asia Bibi. Asia was sentence to be hanged for committing an atrocious crime. What she did was, she fetched some water for some of her neighbours, but because she's a Christian, her neighbours decided that the water was tainted. Anyway, one thing lead to another, there was a bit of an argument, and Asia said something about the prophet Mohammed. Yes, said something, but when religious zealotry takes hold of a community, 'saying something' is just as bad as raping a babies eye-socket with an AIDS infested cock, so the courts sentenced her to death.

Anyway, ol' Salmaan Taseer kinda then said something to the effect of, "That's a bit unfair don't you think?" and got shot for it, with a machine gun. His assasinator has since been hailed as a hero and when he appeared in court, people threw rose petals over him.

It occurs to me that on the one hand, Muslims are asking for 'tolerance', and we are to kowtow to their religious sensitivity and not say bad things about them, but their definition of tolerance only goes as far as tolerating what they believe. The second you veer from it, it's 'blasphemy'.

It's not 'tolerance' they want, it's supplication.

(Yes, yes, I know, there are moderate Muslims. There's also moderate footballers, philosophers and roof-tilers, but they're not worth writing about).

How come we can make nun porn, but not draw a cartoon of Mohammed eating an apple?


Don't you laugh Catholics, you invented blasphemy laws in the first place you wankers.

Puss - I hope you didn't get a new intenet boyfriend in my absence.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

January Stocktake Sale - Don't Miss Out!

Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes taking a break from gardening.

Through the power of digital technology, I am now offering my annual Best Of album via download. All you have to do is go to THIS LINK and all 26 songs in mp3 format are yours. What do you expect to pay? Not $49, not $39, not even $29. It actually costs nought dollars! That's right, if you download within 12 days this fantastic collection of music from the 80s, 90s, 00s and today (not including 80s, 90s or 00s) can be yours. You'll be the envy of all bloggers, tweeters, cyberbullies and trolls. Not to mention facebook status updaters. And it's absolutely safe! No trojans, viruses, worms, spyware or malware!

I know hard copies are better and they include artwork and a defined order but that's so last year. And it's a shitload easier for me to do it this way.

In other news, I'm giving up on cricket and focusing all my attention on stockcar racing.

Go Yellow!