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:


A fave site of mine: 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

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.


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

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.

The next big thing – in the next five years…

….will be a band called Jefferson Skateboard.

Mark my words, for they are prophetic.

The NAMM trauma is not over

I witnessed first-hand trauma yesterday. And unlike the ‘Nam of the 60’s and 70’s, the NAMM (International Music Products Association) of today doesn’t even have a dubious philosophy to make its casualties understandable.

The analogy between the Vietnam War and a trade show me seem a little far-fetched or even tasteless, but let me elaborate. Let’s use actual hardened and traumatised victims of both conflicts. A guy from my home town, John was a Vietnam vet. A friend of mine, let’s call him Steve, is still serving active duty with NAMM. Their stories are as follows:


John found he did bond very closely with his platoon in Vietnam, but found on a wider scale it could get ‘dog-eat-dog’ damn quickly. If it came down to a fight over the best position to sleep or food to eat, there was no such thing as being on the same side. Strongest man won.

Steve, when discussing NAMM said “I don’t want to have meals with people I don’t like”. He regaled me with stories of clashes with fellow industry professionals over limited resources (in this case access to music gear or information about music gear). It continues to be every man or woman for themselves.

Psychological impact of conflict

John admitted he did have difficulty sleeping for a long time after the war and still finds he drifts into thinking about key events he witnessed.

Steve, when asked to describe the impact NAMM has on him stated: “I hate the fucking stress. I can feel it all over my body, from sore joints to headaches to chest pains. Hate it, fucking hate it, hate hate hate hate hate.”

Geographical dislocation

John, as a country guy from a small town, found the Vietnam experience disorientating to say the least. The days off were not a lot more than an avoidance of the traumas experienced with no real sense of absorbing another country’s culture guven the war situation.

Steve, when asked about attending NAMM in Anaheim, stated “I don’t even like Anaheim. I only go there for NAMM. I can’t even go to Disneyland anymore, since it’s next door to the convention center and I’d run into the possibility of thinking about NAMM while I was there.”

Personal relationships

John described how it was difficult to describe what he’d been through to his wife and family, and had difficulty relating to friends who hadn’t served.

Steve was very descriptive on this same issue: “I really don’t like drinking next to Lemmy in the Hilton bar, or any other leftover piece of shit from the Sunset Strip. And I don’t like hangovers. And I don’t like being hungover along with 50,000 other hungover motherfuckers.”

General view on their experiences

John overall regrets his experiences at war, particularly given the political motives and public reaction.

Steve summarised his feelings succinctly: “Because of NAMM, I no longer give a fuck about gear. I’m sickened by the thought of some pierced, tattooed, and spandex-clad chick trying to bribe me to get to the front of the line where some fucking bozo can sign her tits. I don’t want to hear any music. I don’t want to have meals with people I don’t like so they can try and sell me things I won’t be buying. I’m sick of little wanna-be rock stars that no one other than their mom has heard of trying to tell me why I need to give away products to them.”

So my point is, there may not be bullets and people dying before your eyes, but the 21st Century has its own private wars for some people. And they too deserve medals and recognition.

The Spatula King

I’m going to state the obvious: one of the foundations that make the internet worthwhile is collaboration. Whether it be via blog, web or music, collaboration happens often and works well at least some of the time.

Today a friend on another forum started posting links to tracks he has composed for an album and has asked for people to critque the twenty songs linked to so that twelve can make the album. Without the internet, he wouldn’t have the dubious opinion of an Australian nurse thrown into the mix. And that’s the way it should be.

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