The whole shed thing is taking off

Men’s Sheds Australia is an organisation devoted to supporting men who want to set up a mentoring project in their local community. Picture a dozen or so older blokes with time and skills (carpentry, plumbing, electrics etc), a good location (i.e. a shed / hall / old house) and some young people with time and limited skills. They are starting up a Men’s Shed in my home town and I think it’s just great – hoping to be able to support it in some way.

Some music recommendations –

1. Andy White – I’ve liked him for years, he recently moved from the UK to Oz. I just downloaded his B-Sides compilation Rare from iTunes and ammightily impressed.

2. Van She – quality retro-flavoured pop. Very nice indeed.

Sometimes sentimentality is what counts

The backflip this week by John Howard and the subsequent capitulation by Morris Iemma and Steve Bracks on the sale of Snowy Hydro, has been met with some interesting viewpoints. One argument being put forward is that government ownership of the Snowy Scheme is comparable to when Stalin used to own the farming sector.

It might be the case, but unless you’ve actually explored, lived, swam or walked parts of the scheme then it’s nothing but an abstract concept to you. And it’s a lot more than that.

Cling Wrap nostalgia

Back in 2003 I tried blogging for the first time on Blogspot. I found it bookmarked still on my work computer. I posted a whole four times, though a couple weren’t bad. One of the posts was:

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A fave site of mine: Cruel.com has featured some sites who write stories about wrapping celebs in cling wrap. I thought an Aussie version was needed:

The night was cool so far into the desert. The late hour added to the chill.
I had been walking along the dirt road for three hours now, but given the
time and distance my legs were not tired. The object of my walk was close,
and that made it alright.

The harsh glow of the halogen lights at the fence boundary shone out into
the desert darkness. At the point where the lights lost their ability to
penetrate, the much dimmer light of a gas lamp shone through the window of
the small but very clean shack. A small sign was mounted above the
reinforced metal door: Detention Centre Guest Quarters.

I knocked in a discreet but confident manner. A heard the shuffle of
slippers on linoleum, which happened to be my second favourite synthetic
material. The door opened, and there appeared Phillip Ruddock.

“Can I help you?” he enquired. I noticed his hair was slightly askew.

“Yes Mr Ruddock, you can. I am from the South Woomera Bureau of Meterology.
I have some bad news” I emphasised.

“What is the bad news?” he enquired in the overly animated fashion he is so
well known for.

“The worst sand storm since 1955 is coming this way, and we don’t have much
time. The only way we can survive is to prevent the sand from overwhelming
us” I continued emphatically.

Phillip Ruddock hitched up his pajama pants and looked at me sternly.

“This development concerns me. My clothes are being washed and ironed by the
holiday-makers in the camp. These pajamas are all I have” he said in
mellifluous tones.

“Don’t be concerned Sir, normal fabrics are easily broken down by the
corrosive nature of Woomera sand. We require something much better: cling
wrap. I happen to have a number of rolls here in my backpack” I calmly
explained.

Phillip Ruddock made a grimacing smile. “If that is what’s required, then I
am willing to do what is needed. Would you like me to wrap you first?” he
asked whilst loosening the tie on his pajama pants.

“Thank you, you are a true servant of the people Mr Ruddock” I said. Outside
I heard the wind start to roar, and I knew everything would be alright.

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Strange (and badly written). At least at the time it was in context of a Cruel.com thread

Neil Young, Iraq and the Journalistic Process

If you haven’t heard already, Neil Young recorded an album in a week called Living with War. It’s an anti-war in Iraq album and you can listen to it all from the website’s front page.

If you’ve ever wondered how an interview with someone like Neil can be cut to ribbons in the editing process, check out the transcript of the original Q&A session Rolling Stone did with Neil versus the finished product

The Stadium Band that still should be

Remember the Hothouse Flowers? I loved them in the late 80’s and the 90’s. I found out they were touring so bought tickets and ordered their 2004 CD online – the CD is excellent. But not as good as their live show.

There were 100 people maximum at the gig. I felt a little on edge, thinking ‘how are they going to respond to an audience so small?’. Well, they responded with class, passion and skill.I find it isn’t that often that you see a band live that not only recreates the magic of a favorite, but actually betters it. And the Hothouse Flowers did exactly that – to 100 people in a provincial city. If that isn’t true musicianship then I don’t know what is.

Honourable mention to The Live Room as the support act – I bought their album and it’s a worthy creation to say the least.

The Charles Feed Shed

When you live in an urban area long enough, you can forget the whole gamut of infrastructure that exists for primary producers. On a forum I was browsing, there was a Google ad for the Charles Feed Shed. Why do I have the feeling this could be used for non-stock feed purposes?

Fiction writing courses…

…can be dubious depending on where you sign up. That said, I signed up for a cheapo one ($280 for 8 weeks) – just a pdf workbook and weekly feedback from a writer. I went in cynical, but 5 weeks in I’m a convert. Just having someone objective to give you feedback is superb. That alone has inspired me to continue inflicting my drivel on as many people as possible, for as long as possible.

Must post

Can’t let a month go by without a post.

Trust me, I’m not bored with pointless blogging, it’s just that I’m doing a fiction writing course and it’s sucked all my writing time. That and a certain forum full of near-thoughtless jive (you know who you are)

“Overheard on the internets” #1

Forum dude 1: Yeah…bolt it to the base of a Piggly Wiggly shopping cart, connect the driveshaft to the back wheels, fill the tank, pull the cord, and let ‘er go.

Forum dude 2: At which point in that process do you light the burlap sack of horse shit on fire?

‘Ain’t the internet funny’ anecdote #199229983374

Most people have either experienced or heard about the huge family fight at a dinner table. Usually at some occasion like Christmas (or Thanksgiving to include my enormous USA following). It can be one of the most embarrassing, traumatic or even funny events to be experienced. And I doubt many people find it funny.

Well, it don’t get any funnier when it happens on the internet. You are still witnessing people you at least feel you know taking large dumps in the middle of the Christmas spread and then dancing around in it. And I think because it’s the internet people dance in it longer and even pick it up and throw it round the room.

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