Balmain Boys Do Cry

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Sydney Porning Herald

I love the Sydney Morning Herald. It's the paper I grew up with, a comforting voice of authority, moderation and decency. It's where I hungrily devoured news from home when overseas, first in libraries and embassies, then online. I've always felt it strived towards a sense of balanced reporting (and I don't mean in a Fox News way), and I've looked down on people whos lips move when they read the big pictures and small articles in the Terror. So what does the SMH do to rapay these years of trust - why all today it runs a story in the feature spot on the website about a young woman, Susie Zhang, who brought a court case against her employer for sex discrimination and assault, and lost both cases. It would probably have been a routine story, if not for two facts:

1) that the judge, in dismissing the case, mentioned in passing that the applicant had posed for FMH magazine, so that her complaining about having to wear a short skirt at work (which, if you read the full judgement, was a mutual decision between employer and employee) was a bit rich, and

2) the SMH managed to get hold of the photos from FHM magazine, and has been running them all day on the front page of their website.


I'm sure they're justifying it to themselves (and anyone else who asks) by explaining that they are just highlighting the judges' terrible attitude, but lets face it - they are happily exlpoiting Susie Zhang, probably to a far greater degree than her previos employer ever did. Asking her to wear a short skirt to entertain pokie punters? Bad. Slapping her on the front page in a Bikini, to be seen by around 350,000 people? Way bad. They even thoughtfully have another picture on the story page, just to keep the theme going, and a special pop-up pictorial. Class.

Regardless of whether the judge, Rolf Driver, was correct in the law (probably) or morally (probably not), the SMH exploitation just reeks.

As a bizarre side note, one of the defence counsel for the employer / accused groper was the old battleaxe we bought our house from. A very nasty old piece of work if ever there was one.

Friday, March 18, 2005

I know the war on terrorism is serious

But this guy is an idiot.

Russian police have reportedly detained an Australian resident after he threatened to blow up an Aeroflot flight on its way from Tokyo to Moscow

Trying to blow up an Aeroflot plane?? I've had the misfortune to fly with Aeroflot, world's second worst commercial airline*, and the fact that the plane didn't blow up / fall out of the sky all by itself was a bloody miracle. All this guy had to do is wait around long enough.

*Worlds' worst? PIA - Pakistan International. *shudder* Only time I've been chronically airsick, from the dodgy food, the thick smoke in the cabin (back in the days when you could still smoke on aircraft) from cigars and, I kid you not, cheroots; all mixed up violently by the 0 point landing attempt by the work experience pilot. Didn't even have time to get the sick bag - just had to pull open the seat pocket and go for gold. I still feel sorry for the cleaners to this day.

Got a worse aircraft story? Lets hear it!

Balmain Boys are back in town

and horribly under the gun at work. Slowly working on some new posts on weddings, the Phillipines and office politics / corporate stupidity. Possibly in one long rambling post that won't make any sense....

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Back in a month or so

You may have noticed the patchy updates on this blog of late - there is something that has been taking up a fair bit of my time over the last couple of monts, and it all came to fruition last saturday. BalmainBoys is proud to announce that Mrs Stilt-to-be is now Mrs Stilt. It was a perfect day, with cloudless blue skies, all our friends and families, a stunning location, great food and drink, a killer band, and best of all my beautiful wife.

And yes, Balmain Boys did cry!

We're off on our honeymoon, so see you in a month. Take care.

Stilt & Mrs Stilt

Friday, January 21, 2005

That's MR Mauresmo to you, pal.

If only our front row looked that scary......

News Roundup

Here are a few items you may have missed in the news of late. In amongst the agony and destruction (and I’m just talking about the ALP here) are those genuine, heartwarming stories that remind us that, yes, as a species we really are completely screwed. After all, if we keep turning out idiots like these, what are our long term chances for survival?

ARIA is worried about music dumping from Asia?? That’s nothing (SMH)

A driver for the Dave Matthews Band has been charged after dumping human waste from a tour bus over the side of a bridge onto passengers aboard a boat.
Stefan Wohl, 42, who turned himself in to Chicago authorities and was released pending a March hearing for reckless conduct, drives a bus assigned to the band's violinist, Boyd Tinsley. Prosecutors said Wohl was alone on the bus at the time of the incident over the Chicago River in Michigan last August 8.
Up to 380 litres of waste were dumped over the bridge and fell on scores of people aboard a boat passing underneath. Several of the passengers, who were on an architectural tour, retched and tore off their clothes. No-one was seriously injured, authorities said.

I mean, I always thought their music was pretty shit, but what do you charge them with when there are so many offences? Would it be worse to get a busload of Dave Matthews Band CDs dropped on you? And where are they dumping those? Let’s face it – they’re not flying off the shelves themselves…..

Why Cops need to be screened a LOT more carefully (The Age)

A feisty magpie picked the wrong person to swoop when it menaced the son of a Victorian policeman in his backyard on New Year's Day.
The suburban constable says he got his high-powered .22 rifle and killed the bird.
Now the policeman, from Diamond Creek, is under investigation for discharging a firearm in a built-up area and may face wildlife offences.
Animal activists are outraged over the death of the bird. Magpies are protected.

What a complete knob – we’ve all had a maggie swoop down on us from time to time. Remember that great old theory of putting a ice-cream container on your head with eyes drawn on it to scare them off? I’m not sure whether it worked because they thought something much bigger than them was staring them down, or if they were just too busy pissing their feathers laughing to bother attacking anymore. I’m hoping someone remembers this sort of thing, otherwise it’s yet another cruel thing I have to blame my parents for.

So let’s have a good hard think about whether this is the sort of cunt-stable we really should have on the force. Perhaps Victorian police need a little more time at Police Academy dedicated to ways to resolve problems without shooting. Come on fellas (and ladies) – you know you can do it.

Pump up the Justice (The Smoking Gun)

So when the cops do catch the bad guys, they send them to court. And what is the judge doing in there, you ask? Well, he’s amusing himself with a penis pump under the desk!

While seated on the bench, an Oklahoma judge used a male enhancement pump, shaved and oiled his nether region, and pleasured himself, state officials charged yesterday in a petition to remove the jurist. According to the below complaint filed by the Oklahoma Attorney General, Donald D. Thompson, 57, was caught in the act by a clerk, trial witnesses, and his longtime court reporter (these unsettling first-hand accounts will make you wonder what's going on under other black robes). Visitors to Thompson's Creek County courtroom reported hearing a "swooshing" sound coming from the bench, a noise the court reporter said "sounded like a blood pressure cuff being pumped up." Thompson, the complaint charges, even pumped himself up during an August 2003 murder trial.

Whatever you want to get up to in the privacy of your own bedroom, or even your own chambers if the door is locked, is normally OK with me, as long as no one else is hurt or degraded, unless they specifically ask to be (and even then I’m not so sure it’s a great idea). But I would hope that if I ever came appeared might be a better term before a judge, he was concentrating on the facts of the case, rather than having a pull under the desk. Plus if you’re stupid enough to believe that a penis pump is going to enlarge your dick*, then you’re probably not smart enough to be a judge.

Go and have a read of the whole thing when you have a sec - it's pretty damn funny.

* I’m secretly hoping that during the investigation they discover that the pump wasn’t actually a “gag gift from a friend” as the judge claims, but was in fact purchased by the judge in response to a spam email about penis enlargement. That would make the whole saga even funnier.

More actual content soon.


Worth thinking about for Bloggers

I was considering writing about a few things that have been really shitting me off at work of late, but after reading this and this about people who were fired for their blogs, or more specifically the content of their blogs, I think perhaps it's better left unsaid. Apart from in the privacy of my own home while belting the punching bag.

You might want to have a look at the Bloggers Rights Blog - some interesing thoughts.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Tips for Sydney commuters

Now I know that Sinney is a big city, and there are a lot of people to move about. And I’m aware that a LOT of those people will want to travel at around the same time, in roughly the same direction – what we like to call peak hour. But here are some tips for making the experience a little more pleasant for everyone.

Train travel.

Don’t even think about it. It’s not worth the grief

Bus travel

Many other people may want to get on the same bus as you travel on. So move down the back of the goddamn bus.

And no, your bag does not need a seat because it is tired.

Yes, we’re all enlightened and PC and equal and all that these days, but if a woman who is 13 months pregnant gets on, you can stand up. Yes you. Unless you want a smack upside the head.

It may take some time to reach your destination, and there might not be enough seats. This means you will have to stand up, and hang on to one of the swinging rail thingies. For heavens sake people, use deodorant. If in doubt, use two applications. Or two brands. Whatever you need to do to make the stink stop.

Ferry travel

Ferries offer one of the most pleasant ways to travel to work. What could be better than gliding across the harbour in the morning? But there are some tips to remember:

Ferry wharfs are, generally, quite small. Ferrys themselves are quite large. So even though the wharf is full, and you are in a queue, there WILL be plenty of room on the boat. So there is no need to push through the crowd as the ferry docks – we’re all trying to achieve the same outcome and you’re not helping.

This is an especially important thing top remember if there are different ferrys that stop at your wharf. Learn which one is yours. There is nothing worse than pushing through the crowd and parking your barge arse in front of the narrow gangplank, only to discover that the boat is going somewhere you don’t want to. Don’t do this. Every. Single. Bloody. Morning. Or expect a little early morning dip care of your fellow commuters, bitch.

Friday, January 07, 2005

My little piece of paradise, lost.

It took three days to get there, coast to coast. This may not sound unusual, but I’m talking about Sri Lanka, and the distance as the crow flies is only around 200km. It was 1988, my first trip to the island, and I was determined to get to Arugam Bay, on the east coast to go surfing. Sure, the civil war between the government and the Tamils was still in full swing, and the east coast was supposedly a no-go zone for the handful of tourists still traveling to Sri Lanka. My enthusiasm was buoyed when I checked into the hostel in Colombo and spied another surfboard in the locker room as I put mine in there – someone else either had the same idea, or perhaps had undertaken the journey and could give me a few tips. I left a note on the other board with my name and room number, and later that night I met up with a long-haired, bearded bloke from Melbourne named Matt. He had actually arrived in the country only a few hours before me, and had the same journey in mind, so after lengthy discussions over a few 3-coins, a cheap curry at the Lankan RSL, and a few more beers, we had a plan.

The next morning we took a cab to the central train station, and carefully and slowly threaded our way through to the ticket window and then the platform. If you’ve ever experienced sub-continental train stations, you’ll have an idea of the mass of humanity involved in these sorts of maneuvers, we were additionally hampered by having backpacks on, and a surfboard under the arm, much to the amusement of the locals. The train we were catching was going to Badulla, away from the coast into the high country in the centre of the island – we must have looked like right idiots. The train rattled through the countryside, and slowed to an amble as we climbed into the hill country. It may have been my imagination, but it never seemed to totally stop at stations, just slow down even more, to less than a walking pace, while those exiting threw first their luggage, then themselves off, with those boarding reversing the process. We reached Badulla in the mid afternoon, long after the last (well, only) bus heading towards the coast had left for the day. Nothing to do but find a hotel, kick back, drink some beers and swap travel stories.

The next morning we waited at the bus station for sign of a bus going to Pottuvil. Eventually we asked around, and finally someone informed us that no bus would be going all the way to Pottuvil that day, but we could get as far as Lahugal, a small town about 20km shy of our destination. Being a little young and naive, we figured that this would do, and that we could simply hitch the rest of the way, so we help load our boards onto the roof of the bus and jumped on. About an hour later, when I thought I was close to passing out from the heat of being trapped in a non-moving bus in a tin shed in the middle of the day in 34C temperatures, we headed off. On arrival in Lahugal, we geared up and started walking, thumbs out, down the road. I think I mentioned earlier that there was a little bit of a civil war going on in these parts at the time. We hadn’t figured this into our equation very well – there really wasn’t much in the way of traffic! After walking for about 4 or 5 kms, we chanced upon an army outpost. They were mighty surprised to see to aussies walking along the road, but were wonderfully hospitable, offering us tea and water. We chatted to the lieutenant in charge of the base, named after one of Sri Lanka’s great exports – Kamal. He was the same age as me, but at 20 had experienced a rather radically different life. To help us out, he had his men set up a roadblock to stop all passing traffic to see if anyone could offer us a lift to Pottuvil – as I said, incredibly hospitable – but to no avail. The sun was starting to set, and with a nighttime curfew in place, we weren’t going anywhere. The army guys kindly put us up for the night, pulling out a couple of spare camp cots. Before we turned in Kamal came by to remind us where the rifles were stored, because well, “sometimes the Tigers, they attack in the night”. I don’t think either Matt or myself got much sleep.

The following day we were finally able to get onto a bus heading to Pottuvil, from Badulla of course. There was no transport for the last 3kms from Pottuvil to Arugam Bay, so we legged it. Arugam was something of a ghost town – a former bjackpacker mecca, now empty, save around 10 other people stupid enough to venture there. But the reason the place was formerly so popular was still there – a beach plucked straight out of a travel brochure, with a perfect 4-foot wave wrapping around the point, and a seemingly endless line-up following it. Oh, and no one out. If you’re used to surfing at Bondi and having to fight for every wave, this scenario is pretty much what you dream of, but never expect to find, a surfers nirvana.

I spent 3 weeks there, surfing every day with the locals, eating whatever fish the locals caught or peanut butter and banana toasties when they would come back empty handed, drinking dodgy cheap arrack with warm fanta, learning much about Lankan history and culture from talking at people at night, and generally having the time of my life. I’ve been back 3 times, and always had a great time. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel extensively, and people often ask me what my favourite place is. Picking a favourite is always a difficult thing – how do you compare somewhere like New York or Buenos Aires to Koh Pan Ghan or Aitutaki? But the place that I always end up nominating is Arugam. As the situation with the Tamil Tigers improved over the years, the tourists came back, hotels were rebuilt and new ones built, new restaurants sprung up on the beach, and even a surf shop run by an Aussie, Hawkey, who liked it so much he never left. Transport services and roads improved, with a car and driver able to do the trip from Colombo in 6 or 7 hours. After a decade or more of doing it tough, things seemed to be looking good.

Sadly this area was the hardest hit last Sunday. Of the more than 30,000 dead in Sri Lanka, more than 10,000 came from this area. The bridge is destroyed, preventing any supplies getting in by road. Lankan, Indian and French army helicopters have been ferrying food, water and basic medicines, and flying out some of the wounded not able to be treated in the field hospital. Flooding is also hitting the area badly. An unimaginable number are homeless. It’s sad beyond comprehension. I wish there was something more I could do than give money, but I guess that’s pretty much most of us can do. Just keep giving, people. You can give directly to people in the region here


I’ve been trying to write for a few days now, but every time I start I end up giving up and chucking it in the virtual garbage bin. It seems almost impossible, almost useless in the face of such disaster. Writing any more about what has happened seems not to add anything to the discussion, while writing about anything else seems trite.

One friend, who was sailing between Sri Lanka and the Maldives, is back home safe and sound. In hindsight, being on a boat in deep water in the middle of the ocean, while rough, was probably one of the safer places to be. Another friend, K, who was in Phuket at the time, I still haven't heard from. Fingers crossed.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Service interuption

BBDC will be off the air for a little while over christmas /NYE, unless I get seriously bored, and can get an internet connection up the coast.

Happy festivus

Thursday, December 16, 2004

We're number 1, we're number 1!

Well, OK we only tied 3rd with NZ - how ordinary is that. Come on young australians, get your arse up from in front of the playstation and get back out into the playground and start bullying
With a concerted effort from a few of you who aren't pulling your weight (you know who I'm talking about) we can get snatch gold away from the Philippines, or at least just get that extra 5% we need to outstrip Taiwan. I mean, look at the competition for crying out loud. You can do better than that.

Think about the bullies that once made our country great, and use the benefit of their experience. Here's some tips to help you find things to pick on in other kids to lift our run rate.

If another boy isn't into sport, can't name at least 8 members of his states' Pura Cup team, or sing the them song for the 3 clubs that finished on top of the ladder in each code, he's a poofta.

If the kid comes from overseas, or their parents do, there is a fair chance they are a wog, wop, chink, slope, or towelhead. Remind them of this.

Listening to music is OK, especially the music that all of your mates listen too, but actually playing a musical instrument is not on. Why would you waste all that time practicing indoors when you could be doing cool stuff, like hanging out?

Fat kiddies are an easy and safe target, because they can't run away, or chase after you.

Poor kids parents obviously don't care about them, otherwise they would buy them cool stuff, right? Point this out loudly and often.

Good work team, now let's get out there and hassle anyone different.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

too hungover to post anything sensible today

Feel free to talk amongst yourselves. Topics of discussion might include:

  • Why are christmas parties in the sun such a bad idea?
  • Why are enough americans so appallingly dumb that a quality program like Fox's "Who's Your Daddy" gets greenlighted?
In Who's Your Daddy?, which will air in the States as a Fox 90-minute special on January 3, the woman eventually will find out which man is her biological father. But first she must interview and observe the eight men and guess which one is her birth father. If she's correct, she wins $132,000, but if she picks one of the counterfeit dads, that man gets the money.

Pure class from the people who brought you The Littlest Groom

  • Whether posing for a plumbers crack line photo at a blue-collar christmas party really is such a great career move, or not?

Monday, December 13, 2004

Do not adjust your computer

there IS a problem with reality

First of all, those whaaacky poms at Madame Tussaudes are trying to not only pass Dirk's favourite spice girl, Victoria Beckham, off as a virgin, they're trying to convince us that somehow, in a bizzare alternate universe, George W Shrub could loosely be considered a wise man

Meanwhile, in China, they await with bated botoxed breath the announcement of Miss Plastic Surgery 2004. I'm not sure whether the sash and tiara goes to the carbon-based barbi, or to the plastic surgeon working hard to advance mankind through medicine.

The one on the left is 62 - I hope that doesn't make you choke on something. It sure freaked me out.

Back here in Australia, the name of progressive arts takes a giant step backwards as the senior curator of photography at the National Gallery of Victoria, declares Max Dupain's iconic work "Sunbather" to be evidence of his support for eugenics and a White Australia policy.

A white australian

Written by the senior curator of photography at the National Gallery of Victoria, Isobel Crombie, Body Culture: Max Dupain, Photography and Australian Culture, 1919-1939 argues that much of Dupain's work during those interwar years was informed by the then prevailing pseudo-science of eugenics, the philosophy of vitalism and the "body culture" movement. Crombie convincingly argues that Dupain's quintessential Australia was definitely "a white Australia" exclusively, a "regenerated, revitalised Australia" that would arrive as a consequence of an improved, healthy body through breeding, fine-tuned by the Australian landscape.

I'm not sure if it occured to Ms Crombie that Australia in the 1930's wasn't quite as multi-cultural as it is today, hence the use of a caucasian in the photo. As to the charge that the photographer used fit, healthy young models, well, DER! You would think that a gallery curator may hve noticed that trend in the art world over the last, say 2000 years. But maybe I'm talking out my arse, since I failed year 7 art.

But todays final absurdity must surely be the suggestion that the US wants to install Alexander "fishnets" Downing as the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The guy couldn't run the Liberal Party, and probably couldn't find his arse if it was on fire. Do you really wanting him looking after the world's nuclear watchdog.

Hopefully we will be able to return you to regular programming tomorrow. If pain persists, see your doctor

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Tool time

I may have mentioned my slight christmas phobia before. Perhaps one of the few things worse for santaphobics than the office christmas party is the themed office christmas party. It's right up there with compulsory family fun days, and sharp implements to the retina in terms of hilarity. And yes, next week, we're having one. The "secret location" that everyone in the organisation has known about for over a month has been officially announced, and the theme revealed - "Blue Collar".

Now I don't want to seem overly PC here, but isn't that just a little bit on the nose for a very white-collar industry's company christmas party? Are we so disconnected from reality that we have to play fancy dress to remember what others in society do for a crust? Or has the PA who organised it just bought a new pair of blundstones she wants to show off?

Is this collar tooblue?

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

What lies beneath

The real messages behind today's social issues - brought to you by advertisers.

There seems to be some confusion as to what australian society is all about. Fortunately, it's an easy concept to grasp - massive hypocrisy. Perhaps we're all just so jaded that we don't notice, or don't care. Here's just a small sample of current issues, taken from my morning bus ride, and how our friends in adland think of them

Issue: Women are not sex objects, merely for the satisfaction of men

Response by : Lovable underwear
Location: Massive billboard next to the Anzac bridge

Come Dave, Come John? Come on.
It's bad enough that some genius at the RTA decided that closing a lane on the bridge during peak hour traffic would be a good idea. Now I have an an extra 10 minutes to look at crap like this while Sydney drivers try and work out how to merge, which is apparently more difficult than working out Pi to 800 decimal points in your head. And in a deadly pincer action, just when the roads are fucked, they put up the ferry prices! Imagine if the Cityrail was that coordinated - the train problems would be over in no time.

Issue: Sydney doesn't have enough electricity, the plants are about to melt down, causing widespread blackouts. All while pumping up greenhouse gasses.

Response by: AGL
Location: Bus poster

This pic isn't quite as clear as the poster on the bus, but hopefully you can make out in the background, the pair of McMansions. They're a bit hard to spot behind the glowing fairy breasts (huh??) but they're there, replete with black-tiled roofs, no eaves, all the lights on, air-conditioning going, and you can't see it, but probably the dryer going as well. Way to conserve electricity.

Issue: The kiddies are all turning into lard buckets.

Response by: Disney, Pixar, Cadbury Schweppes & Pepsi
Location: Bus poster

New children's movie proudly brought to you by chocolate bars and soft drink, the basis of a healthy kiddie diet pyramid (which is topped by Casey Donovan's 2 packs of winnie blues a day. At sixteen). Disney and Pixar will claim that this is a "family" movie, but I call bullshit. The female lead looks alarmingly like a prominent non-child friendly personality - you be the judge:

There's no way anyone over the age of say, 10, is not going to be traumatised by that similarity. Imagine having to spend 2 hours in a cinema with an animated posh leaping out at you from the screen. Frightening

Thursday, December 02, 2004

And you thought we'd moved on as a society...

I'm sure that most people are by now aware of the court case concerning a former student of TARA, an expensive all-girls Anglican school in Parramatta. The student in question claimed that she was gang-raped in Italy during a school excursion* in 2001, and that the school treated her in a less than christianly manner. Initially accusing her of making the story up to avoid punishment for breaking curfew, they then made her pay for a dose of the morning-after pill, and the taxi to the airport, from where she was sent immediately home. She was accused of leading the attackers on, and forced to sign a statement to the school saying that the incident was consensual. This was also the story that her parents were told.

The girl decided, with the support of her parents, to take the school to the district court, in a civil action, for dereliction of its' duty of care, and claiming that she now suffered from anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Obviously having been through the most harrowing incident, the decision to take the matter to court was not made lightly. So how did counsel for the school, who's vision is "Education grounded in Christ's Teaching", try to discredit the plaintiffs' case?

By suggesting that because she was photographed, by a private investigator hired by or at least authorised by the school, that she couldn't have any problems

Cross-examining the teenager, Ian Harrison, QC, showed her a series of photographs, including one that he said showed her apparently "relaxed" while "in a public place". Questioning her claim that the rape had left her with low self-esteem, he said that "to sit on a bar stool ... with a skirt as short as that takes a lot of confidence".
"You weren't embarrassed by the attention it might attract?"

She replied: "It's not about confidence. It's about wanting to look like everyone else when I go out. On the outside I try and look like nothing has changed ... no one knows what happened."

He then produced a video of the girl drinking alone in the Lansdowne Hotel. Which proved what, exactly? And then went on to try and attack her for having had the audacity to carry a condom with her on the trip to Italy.

Mr Harrison asked her to explain why she had a condom in her wallet during the trip to Italy. She said it had been in her wallet before the trip. He asked her if she took it to Italy because she thought she might have sex. "Yes, but it wasn't likely," she said.
"If I had of chosen to have consensual sex then I would have had it to protect myself." (from

This made me just unbelievably mad when I read this - surely as a society we are beyond the stage of trying to portray women as "asking for it". Women (and men) have the right to wear what they want, act how they want, and not to get hassled or assaulted for it. In a civilized society we allow people the freedom to wear what they choose. No still means no. Rape is still a crime.

So was Ian Harrison, QC (does QC stand for Quivering C?) acting on the direction of his client, or just freestyling? Were these his own personal opinions, or is he merely a good lawyer / actor / attack dog? This line of questioning is so far out of line in today's society, that I can only think of one possible explanation:

*puts Ian Harrison, QC, in the witness box*

Mr Harrison, I put it to you that you work in the legal profession?

Yes, I do undertake the practice of....

Mr Harrison, just a yes or no will suffice, thank you very much


Mr Harrison, I put it to you that many members of your profession have a predilection to getting on the turps

Yes, but I

Just yes will be fine. Now I put it to you that at the time of your atrocious questioning of the previous witness, you were actually so drunk that you had no idea what you were saying. You were mouthing off mindlessly.

Come on Ian, fess up. The Law Society is happy to take Jeff back after he gets treatment. You might be able to be rehabilitated successfully as well. But remember, the first step is admitting you have a problem.

The good news is the school settled once it was named. Funny how they seem to care a lot more for their reputation than the welfare of their students.

* how come our school excursions were to places like Lane Cove instead of Italy?? The price of a public education I guess.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Tech problems now seem to be solved

Not sure what was up with Blogger, but for some reason I couldn't get in to post yesterday or monday. Was anyone else having problems? So here's a bunch of new posts.

It's beginning to look a LOT like christmas

I'm not a massive fan of christmas. Saying I had a pathological hatred of it would probably be more realistic. To me it's always been less about the birth of the little baby jesus, and more about family, fights (well, the two go together really) finding crap presents, and fucking crowds of people, all stressed out, hot and unhappy. How the hell are you supposed to achieve peace on earth and goodwill to all men when the fuckers are elbowing you in the head trying to get to the gift wrapping counter?

Anyhoo, Mrs stilt-to-be has decided that the best way for me to get over my santaphobia is full immersion shock therapy. I came home on Monday night to discover our house now sporting:

12 new red candles
11 credit card receipts
10 meters of fairy lights
9 dozen xmas tree ornaments, draped around tortured willow ( I now understand what is torturing it)
8 festive placemats
7 glass angles / trees / stars / thingies
6 xmas cushions on the lounge
5 table runners
4 reindeer antlers on the dogs
3 door ornaments, and 3 new CD's of carols
2 xmas doormats and 2 xmas tea-towels,
a stocking, a white Rudolph statue, and although I'm a little too scared to look, I'm sure that somewhere is a bloody partridge in a pair tree.

I'll let you know how the therapy is going - I'll soon be either out decking the halls, or back to decking carol singers.

A few last thoughts on young drivers

Great feedback on the hoon issue - it's obviously something that has been on peoples minds for a while. The curfew limit seems unworkable, and the issue of limiting passenger numbers may cause problems either way. The issue of high-powered cars seems more straight forward though.

Weezeil pointed out quite rightly in the comments that just placing model restrictions on cars won't necessarily slow down younger drivers, as it's relatively simple with some cash and time to soup up even a humble Hyundai into a street machine. So perhaps one of the things that should e under consideration is a ban on modifications - any modifications - to cars driven by P-platers. I say any modifications because even those not directly related to performance, such as half a tonne of fibreglass body kit, do have an impact on the mentality of the driver.

Fantastic to see Nic White throwing his opinion in - as someone who is likely to be directly affected by any proposed changes, he has some valid points. I think the bottom line is no one wants to see unnecessary deaths in cars, but until we change our relationship with the car as an whole society, it's likely these tragedies will continue. Like they used to say on Hill Street Blues - be careful out there

Cannon Fodder

as the actress said to the bishop...

what's more scary than meeting the parents? yep, meeting the minister. Sunday saw Mrs stilt-to-be and I drive down to the Southern Highlands to go to church, and then have lunch with the minister who is going to marry us early next year. Now, apart from weddings and christenings, it'd be fair to say that it's a while since I've been to church. Luckily, it was largely as I remembered it - lots of old people, a handful of earnest looking parents and bored children, and one slightly startled and badly hung-over stilt. The old blokes look resplendent in their suit jackets and sports coats - I felt a bit sorry for them since it was pushing 30C outside, and was no cooler inside despite the valiant attempts of a couple of small fans to evenly distributed the hot air around the building. The church itself is quite stunning - an old sandstone number with stained glass windows and exposed wooden beams, the perfect setting for a wedding. Well, it would be if we weren't getting married on the Central Coast, in a 70's red brick block-shaped number. But that's another story.

I managed to stay awake during the sermon, and only kipped lightly through the prayers, thanks to the time-honoured traditions of pew design - make the bastards as uncomfortable as possible to keep them alert. I tried to store a few pointers in my memory bank for later, but a lot of my internal RAM seemed to be taken up with processing Scotch 12.0 from the previous night. Mrs STB seemed to get some sort of message from it all, and was only slightly surprised when I didn't.

After the service, we had a little time to kill before lunch so wandered around town looking for somewhere with air conditioning to grab a coffee and try to spark up. There was something that had been weighing on my mind since I peered in the rectory window earlier and saw the formal dining setting laid out for us - what do I do if the Rev asks me point blank if I believe in God? I figured it's not really kosher to lie to priests, but then maybe the idea of them marrying an atheist wouldn't be the ideal lunch conversation topic. Mrs STB suggested I could get around the moral dilemma with some slightly fuzzy logic -

MSTB: Look, you sort of believe that everyone is their own god, and that you are your own god, right.
ME: Yep
MSTB: Then, you believe in yourself, so therefore, you believe in God, right? So you wouldn't really be lying.
ME: Well, I don't know if I would have put it quite like that, but lets run with it.
MSTB: By the way, how come you didn't object to getting married in a church, if you don't believe in god?
ME: It's cheaper and less hassle than getting council permission to set the marquee up on the beach
MSTB: oh (looks at me like I'm more of a freak than normal)

The Rev is actually the father of a couple of Mrs STBs best friends (and yes, they are from the same family!), so she has known him all her life. Fortunately, this association seemed to be a good enough recommendation, and I got through the interview with only the mandatory questions as dictated by our government (been married before? Changed your name? Is this really you?), another excellent reason for maintaining the separation of church and state. I discovered that Sundays are a great day for this sort of thing - the Rev has already conducted two services and delivered two sermons, not to mention listened to the whinges of the parishioners, before lunchtime, and only has a few hours before ramping up for the evening service, so the whole interview process was thankfully brief. All the necessary approvals have been obtained. The bishop of Newcastle diocese has approved a Canon from Goulburn diocese to marry us, and both were gracious enough to let my sis, a Uniting minister, do the sermon. Long story, much paperwork, but now finally sorted.

So it looks like we can now go ahead and get married after all.