Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Whatever happened to the Needle Kid?

I found myself thinking of this yesterday...

Way back, probably in about 1986, I remember seeing a kid on Freshwater Beach in Sydney come hopping out of the shallow water on one foot. In the heel of his other foot was a needle. A hypodermic syringe needle.

It scared the hell out of me at the time. The back of the beach was where you didnt go for fear of needles. Not the waterline!

I've often wondered what happened to that kid. If he ever got anything because of it. If he's still alive and well.

Insert tagline here...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Lamenting the loss of the True Schooner

Last night I had cause to complain. Bitterly.

You see, it all started when I went to the pub on the corner for a drink. Now, this is not your usual old-school pub with a long bar, twelve taps and two barmaids. This is a new 'pub'. Not that its called that, its a 'hotel'. I requested a simple beverage, a schooner of Carlton Draught.

What was placed in front of me was an abomination. The liquid inside was the only thing they got right. The glass was not even remotely schooner sized, nor schooner shaped. But rather a bizarre pentagonal-shape based vessel that gradually changed shape to a circle at the top as you'd expect. The size was all wrong, the proportions were all wrong, the glass was all wrong, wrong, wrong!

And then the cost! $4.10! I dont mind paying $4.10 for a schooner, but this, this was no schooner. A schooner glass by classic publican definition holds 425ml of beer. There was no way even close that this faux-schooner was capable of carrying more than 350ml.

The NSW Office of Fair Trading has guidelines relating to the size of glasses here. And I quote "The colloquial terms, such as ‘seven’, ‘middy’ and ‘schooner’ do not indicate any particular size of glass. Traders should be aware that any advertising using such terms should be qualified by the indication of the actual size of the glass being used on the premises eg ‘middy’ (280 mL) ‘middy’ (285 mL) or ‘schooner’ (400 mL) ‘schooner’ (425 mL)." So, in ther humble but trusted opinion, the terms are colloquial and therefore not binding? We are dealing with 100 years of drinking history. This cannot be trifled with on a whim because some inner city publican decides to make a few extra dollars by reducing the glass size but maintaining the price! It is now up to the publican to decide on his own glass size and term, which must be qualified and indicated. I wonder how small the sign is.

At least I am surrounded by individuals of like minds.

So, beer drinkers, pay attention! Or the prophecy of the Heckler could come true, and before long we are paying $4.10 for a shot glass of Tooheys New.

Insert tagline here...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The RTA and the Lawyer (not a joke)

I find this a most interesting subject.

A lawyer has been fighting a case for a client regarding the validity of a speed camera photograph.

The Judge found that "to be given weight as evidence the digital cameras that took the photos had to be calibrated every day, Mr Miralis said. The solicitor added that he believed the authority calibrated its cameras once a year".

If Mr Miralis is to be believed as a lawyer, should he not do his bar exam every week? Should the Judge not submit to questioning daily on points of law? Should nurses be quizzed on proper procedure daily? Should police undergo weapons instruction each and every afternoon?

The fact that a digital device, such as a speed camera, should be calibrated daily is abusrd and improper. If these people can trust technology to navigate their cars, provide them information, serve them beverages, entertain them and protect them, why is it being questioned when technology catches them breaking the law?

Insert tagline here...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Territorial Imperative!

For anyone who enjoys a good story with dirt and realism, you really should read 'The Choir Boys' by Joseph Wambaugh.

A novel about the work and relaxation of a group of NYPD officers, the stories appear at first to be a group of anecdotes strung together by 'Choir Practice', the euphemism for the post-work stress relief of drinking and cavorting. The main group of officers in the novel are Roscoe Rules, Whaddayamean Dean, Spencer van Moot, Father Willie Wright, Calvin Potts, Francis Tanaguchi, Spermwhale Whalen, Baxter Slate, Sam Niles, Harold Bloomguard. Figure out who the Vietnam kids at the start are and you get a silver star. As you read further you find they all connect with one another, as work colleagues invariably do.

I challenge anyone not to fall down laughing when you read about 'The Night the Padre Tried to Eat Pressed Ham Through the Wrapper' or 'The Day My Balls Blew Up'. I challenge anyone with kids not to cry when you read the chapter on Tommy Rivers.

"He removes the greatest ornament of friendship, who takes away from it respect" - Cicero. As used to effect by Baxter Slate, ever the academic. I think he's my favourite character.

Insert tagline here...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Mischa Barton kills starving people

Where is my proof? Try the article such as this. Who in their right mind would pay some bimbo $100,000 to show up, yabber on, take some free shit, and piss off? And two days later it had grown to $200,000.

Is this a case of David Jones proving it is a store of minimal ethics by lavishing some two-facial-expression "actress" with money just to stand around wearing some overpriced pieces of fabric draped over a piece of walking meat they laughingly call a "star"? At the press conference when she couldnt remember what label she was wearing, someone had to jump in and help her. Fair enough though, sometimes I cant remember what label I'm wearing. Either its Target, KMart or Lowes. It's all just so confusing. I mean how are you supposed to remember the names of all the free things you are provided with? At least they should make her pay for the clothes she picked, and give the economy a chance to recoup some of this stupid hand-out.

Maybe the men of the Matthew Talbot Hostel and the like could some through the store and pick what they like, free of charge, then be "seen" wearing these labels?

Come on David Jones. Undo some of your bad karma by making a donation to charity of equal size.

Insert tagline here...

Pure Genius

This is brilliant.

Dont give me your ballet, your modern interpretive dance, just give me four blokes, eight treadmills, and a great pop tune.


Insert tagline here...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mark Webber to Red Bull Racing

I got it wrong.

Which is a pity, cause I was hoping I'd be right for once.

Mark Webber to Red Bull Racing to join "Granite Chin" DC for next season. Given DC and Klien's records this year, they've probably finished more races than Williams. Perhaps thats what Ferrari reliability gets you.

If you charge $350000 for a road car, I'd want their team to be reliable too.

Insert tagline here...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Williams let Webber go...

While it comes as a mild surprise, I think Frank Williams' decision not to re-sign Mark Webber for a formula 1 seat next season has a few undertones of preparation.

Williams are left with Nico Rosberg, a talented driver, but perhaps someone who would have not scored as many points if his car had experienced the same troubles as Webber. The new man in is Alex Wurz. A previous formula 1 driver with proven record of solid finishes, but nothing outstanding.

So where will this leave Webber? I hope, given that Fernando Alonso is off to join Kimi Raikkonnen at McLaren, that the spare seat that Flavio Briatore has at Renault may just have the name Mark Webber (AUS) stencilled on the car. Seeing as Juan Pablo Montoya did a runner to NASCAR and got booted early by McLaren, there's our possible opening.

The announcements of next seasons lineups as they firm in over the next few weeks will tell. Fingers crossed.

Insert tagline here...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Anatomy for Beginners

This, quite simply, is morbidly brilliant television. Perhaps morbid is the wrong word, as the show is not dealing with death, but rather a pre-deceased body.

Currently showing on SBS Television in Australia, we have already seen the first three episodes, dealing with Movement (muscles, bones, joints, tendons), Circulation (blood vessels, nervous system), and Digestion (mouth, throat, stomach, intestines). The fourth and final episode relates to Reproduction.

Hosted by Doctor Gunther von Hagens, a groundbreaker in the field of "plastination", where the "water and fat are replaced by certain plastics, yielding specimens that can be touched, do not smell or decay, and even retain most microscopic properties of the original sample" (quote), it is a fascinating look at the machine that is the human body. A dissection of a donor cadaver is undertaken with each show to display the separate systems that we use daily. As he says in his clipped German accent "I will unravel the mysteries of the human body". And unravel he does.

Find a link to the Channel 4 UK website here.

I do get a laugh out of the fact that the station warns viewers that it contains "Adult Themes" and "Nudity". No mention of the fact that they will be breaking a real human body down into component parts for our education. I guess in a way it is nudity of the most extreme variety.

Insert tagline here...