Monday, 31 December 2007


29 and 30 December - Weeks end during the holiday period all seems very strange - Lilith seems very chilled out all things considering, she doesn't get along very well with her temporary neighbour but she never really seemed to anyway - and who knows what could happen.  Finished a book, had late notice dinner guests including one who was very highly strung and seemed to live in an alternate inverse gravity universe that requires him to spend most of his hours upside down - went to the Timew New Roman Beach (as opposed to the Verdana one) which was rather pleasant, especially seeing all the schlubs pulling their hair out as they looked for a place to park their automobiles - had some fuel and a movie in the afternoon (with appropriate recreational breaks in the interim) - 'No Country For Old Men' was actually quite good despite being a little slow.  I've always got a soft spot for a suitably menacing icy cold angel of death nemesis - but I should have been paying closer attention to the last scene.  Maybe I missed something.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Why Are Mechanics So Unkind?

27 and 28 December - A late night romantitude attack from a broken hearted DJ meant less sleep than one would have hoped for (there were other factors that contributed but I'll stick with this one) and the holiday period doesn't extend to all at this time of year.  Fumbled around with spreadsheets for a while but couldn't seem to crack anything but also needed to get myself to a bicycle shoppe of some type for some urgent repairs.  Now, Chevette only weights in at a slim 9 kilos (at last weigh-in anyway) which is nothing when carrying up or down a flight of stairs - however, when you have to lug her from the bottom of Woollahra up Queen St and across Oxford (a miniscule ride but a surprisingly long walk) you start to feel it - with the chain wrapped around her hub like a xenomorph face hugger's tail around the throat of a hapless victim you can't even roll her.  Not having established much of a relationship with the overpriced Paddington based cyclery I wasn't too surprised at the standard mechanic response (leave it with us and we'll get to it sometime) - I tried to negotiate a speedy resolution but they were having none of it - can we do it now, No, we're too busy.  Can I do it myself?  No, no personal repairs in the workshop.  Can I buy the tool needed to fix it?  We don't have it.  Can I borrow the tool and do it outside?  No.  I'm stuck here mate.  Yes, well I was in an accident last week on the way to work and I had to go home (Your point???) - eventually managed managed to pique up enough interest in the intractableness of the problem to secure the services of a hammer and a pin to knock the chain out and back to her home but why do they have to make it so difficult?  It's not my fault you're stuck in a bike shop - so don't make me pay for it.  But thanks for fixing my baby all the same. Spent an evening - still living the post party life of Slurms McKenzie - but things seem to be improving on some fronts.  Late night thoughts of Excel formulae may yield results but it's doubtful - one wonders what my purpose will eventually be?  Survived another day and took a journey back to Gordon to pick up a few bits and pieces - stationery, tools, cat, time capsule, hookah, spare binikis (ah, the detritus of life).  All seems good on the eastern front - drunk too much post local pub crawl (a lot of toffs around this neck of the woods) - hangovers are never pleasant, especially when combined with machine grade noise making from slurmed out small men (who are, it must be said, doughty).

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

I'll Bast Your Turkey; I'll Cook Your Goose!

Christian Holiday Period 2007 - Working from home is all well and good but productivity can be somewhat hard too maintain, still, one must admit that it beats the alternative.  Dissipated celebrations this year - a most enjoyable ride to the north side almost ended in tragedy with Chevette's tricksy loose chain coming loose near the end of the journey - one bump too many on Merriwa St and she skidded to a halt as the chain wrapped itself between the hub and sprocket, no issues staying on but no chance of the chain coming loose anytime this year it seems.  Still, alternative transportation measures could be arranged which was some mollification but not enough.  Ate enough to almost be sick with the fambly - did some present exchanges as is the pagan tradition - drove home with a broken bike and heart.  Christmas with children is different to Christmas ... without children - but, it's all well and good, especially when one is able to dine on a new animal - a Dickens Stylin' Goose with stuffing made from rice rather than breadcrumbs always goes down a treat I'm supposing ... much watching of fillums at various venues and readings of literature broke up the semblance of a holiday ... not sure what the rest of the year might hold.  As per usual, this time of year offers no respites.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

What It's All About

21 and 22 and 23 December - People kept on yelling at me in the morning which is never a pleasant way to go about the day - didn't seem to get much better and although I've committed to task myself with tasks over the upcoming period I did get the definite sensation that things were certainly winding down with a good percentage of the people around me gearing up for apparently well deserved breaks.  A cancelled race slowed down the evening somewhat although a fair amount of riding was done - some inappropriate evening entertainment mulled some tension that was building up and a morning of mucking around and an afternoon of cleaning served to be rather therapeutic.  However, there's only so long a gentleman can spend in that particular endeavour and with the sense of holiday period building an evening at pub followed by gargantuan meal in the apparent style of the homeland.  There aren't too many Slovak and/or Czech restaurants in this town but there is certainly one - mumbling the few Czech words I knew I haphazardly ordered both entree and the largest sounding main they had and was rather shocked at the sheer volume that beheld me even from the first dish of crumbed and deep fried foodstuffs - I don't quite recall ingesting this meal in any of my visits to the centre of Eastern Europe but I am sure that it is eaten there.  Couldn't even bring myself to finish the starchy carbohydrates and was floored by the main - pork steak, pork schnitzel, a kransky sausage, more fatty roasted pork, potato dumplings, bread dumplings and sauerkraut in both green and red varieties - I did drink a few beers prior to consumption but hadn't eaten since substandard pancakes in the morning - I was bested by the meal ... soundly.  I managed to force myself through the lion's share of the meat (although there was plenty to feed a pack of hyenas should they have cared to be wandering through the Cross) and at least sample a portion of the extras but there was plenty left afterwards and i was wimpering as the meal was forcibly removed me - unable to take the defeat.  Cleared my head with a ride but still couldn't get the taste of ash (and pork) from my mouth.  Relatively bleary in the morning but once again the ride cleared me right up as I prepared myself for a morning of snorkelling at Clovelly - pretty murky water which wasn't helped by the sight of paper disintegrating right before my eyes (one can only guess what that might have been) but there were fish, I got wet, I didn't swallow too much water and it served to create the best cigarette I can remember smoking in an age ... this is what the habit is all about!  When people ask you why you smoke and you can only shrug back because for the life of you you can't imagine why you think you enjoy that vapourising tobacco you've just inhaled.  Occasionally, just occasionally (unless you're one of those lucky one-a-day-ers who mock you with their control who enjoy each and every coffin nail) you get one like this.  And it's awesome (but yes, not exactly worth it).

Friday, 21 December 2007

Hacked Again!

Fool me once, shame on you ... fool me twice, shame on ... uh ... you can't fool me again!

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Slurms McKenzie Lives On

December 18 and 19 and 20 - So tired, so tired.  Plagued by Excel formulas as I try to rest - despite not being able to sleep because of the numbers coursing through my head I did manage to make it in and turn some of those thoughts into working spreadsheets of action.  Had a bit of cheap steak action at the Captain Cook Hotel where some aggressive parking turned into a friendly exchange with someone who we probably didn't want to have a fight with (even though the gentleman who was accompanying me was quite doughty although small). 
Dealt with very excitable little people - had to carry one of them a little bit further than I expected to have to carry her - did get fed for my pains though.  Oceans 13 is better than Oceans 12 but worse than 11 - but still not that good a film - have been avoiding watching it for weeks now so I'm glad I've got it over and done with.  I think I need to pay more attention though.  Frangelica's rear tyre had a dramatic end - after riding her fixed for the past few weeks it's been fairly shredded with the strings dangerously exposed - had bought a replacement tyre in the morning but hadn't changed over - as I took the final skid at the bottom of the McMahons driveway I heard a very satisfying pop and it was all over.  Could have dramatically reduced the frustration of fixing by replacing before the tube was torn asunder but that wouldn't have been nearly as much fun.  Survived a small dinner party but exhaustion still frustrates my plans - not everyone is on holidays.  Still the fatigue continues but after another stressful day I escaped to do the '30' themed alley cat in celebration of Pretty Boy's arrival at that age - too laden down with technology and other valuables to race so schlepped it as a checkpoint and was home in time for Arthur's Pizza (significantly improved from my last visit there and so, so much better at Paddington than Bondi.  More web duties in the evening but at least someone's site is no longer under construction.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007


16 and 17 December - After sorting through the detritus of the previous night's festivities - broken beds and excessive glassware seemed to be the most prominent offenders - spent a little effort in the AM trying to convince one of the younger accomplices of the benefits of attending the Bronte Beach Courier Christmas party.  Despite little success in having a happy camper adult veto meant a threesome took the journey.  Arrived a little late but just in time for the annual hill climb - having broken down Chevette for cleaning I had Frangelica with her hill friendly small gear as my steed hoping this would help my chances - unfortunately road bikes and those with meatier thighs than I meant that winning was not really in the cards but a respectable middle position was attained.  No issue with the initial steep climb but after it flattened out I found myself spinning on burning lungs and a very painful journey to the top, to the top, to the top, bop ba bop!  Maybe if i quit smoking I'd have a better chance but that doesn't really seem to be on the cards at the moment.  Had one of my better performances on the track stand but once again, not enough and threw a frisbee around for a while which certainly seemed to change the little one's tune about actually wanting to be there.  After getting lost and rained on on the return journey went to see 'Into The Wild' (after more convincing of the little one ... adult veto has its advantages - there seems to be a lot of films out there which are based on books I've actually liked at the moment).  Movie didn't really convey the whole "stupid kid" theory (a la Timothy Treadwell) that was alluded to although ultimately dismissed by Jon Krakauer but it certainly did give me thoughts about opting out for a while.  Responsibilities are very annoying.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Tis The Season

14 and 15 December - Struggled through again, did make it in on time this day although the people who I was supposed to be on time for ... weren't.  As it were.  Had a small beer out at Observatory Hill after work where the unions were trying to recruit the messengers to join the valiant course by bribing them with sausages.  Some people are cheap, other's aren't.  A good idea certainly but with the vast majority of long timers all giving it a miss and the lion's share of the actual messenger community being transients coming through town or peckers just doing a season (not me, not me) I feel the chances of success are rather small.  It's a nice idea though.  After dining on the northside and going back east I had to deal with Small and Doughty's intoxication and, far more difficult, had to deal with the fascinating conversation of the Scottish guy - managed to pinpoint the strange noise that happens when my stereo is boosting it's bass - for some reason the light fittings are in tune and vibrate in sympathy to the Nightmares on Wax or whatever baritone happens to be playing at the time.  Saturday was spent riding in and out of town - cursing the world and trying to do last minute holiday season errands (at least I've got the goose under control) - a nice evening on the balcony ... once one gets started on Cosmopolitans it's difficult to go back to something less toxic - still, the clarity that the cocktails affords is better than the fug of wine - it allowed me to enjoy the impromptu striptease that made me retract an earlier statement.  And I'm not complaining.

Friday, 14 December 2007

Does It Have To Get So Personal?

12 December - A bit of drama on the western front throughout the day - experienced some new experiences in the human resources department and on the corporate ladder with both the rungs below and the rungs above - one seems to be going better than the other but am sure all will end well in the end (although one must remain optimistic it can always go the other way).  It's good to know that others are more stressed than I am - in any event, after one escaped I soon followed in order to pick up me mam from the heart of Redfern to grant her the boon of Burgerfuel (and is there a better way to treat one's mother?  I think not) - not only did I sup mightily but I also finally filled up my card with stamps which will mean one free hamburger next time I'm in the neighbourhood (and let us hope that it is none too far away). 
A comedy musical with comp tickets is twice as funny as one paid for - not only did we have brilliant seats thanks to me charming Mr Benetto but the performance was perhaps even superior to the one that bemused us so many months ago.  And who knows, it may have even made a convert out of the maternal.  A bit late ... 11 and a 1/2 years too late, it's bennelong time but it's over now.  Hurrah. 
Fighting the alarm clock still and not doing too well at this stage - still struggling in the murky depths of the HR world - breakdown in communications technology resulted in me getting into trouble (again) and substandard pizza and overpriced drinks didn't do too much to resolve it - a second dose of musical political satire also didn't do too much to improve the atmosphere - the Wharf Revue just seemed to fail where Keating! succeeded - maybe it was the amateur production values, perhaps it was the show tune style music or maybe, just maybe, it was the fact that they just weren't very funny.  Somewhere along the way I heard Johnathan Biggins sardonically dismiss Mr Benetto's effort as populist entertainment but at least HE was funny and HE could write a tune ... and what a tune, I still can't get 'I want to do you slowly out of my head' and I can't even remember (and don't want to remember) a single chord of the show that was apparently ' ..riotously funny, brimful of sardonic attitude and performed with elan and skilful dexterity'.  

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Another Good Point!

Good Point!

Do I Get Time Off For Good Behaviour?

10 and 11 December - Lack of verifiable consciousness in the AM meant a vital piece of communications technology did not make the journey to the office with me - this had a knock on effect of altering the rotation of the planet and got me into some slight trouble which required my silver tongue to escape - was overwhelmed by the dearth of calls that had been inflicted upon the poor device in my absence - a sum total of three (3!!!) missed calls - two from me calling to see if it was on or near my person and one from Mr Small But Doughty to locate it once I was in the residence - sometimes a guy just wants to be wanted.  For some reason I'm still wanted at the confidential place - I suppose I was pleasantly surprised to get the letter saying my probation was up but not quite sure what this means in the scheme.  But who ever really does?  Celebrated a birthday in the evening with a quietish evening of slight intoxication and spent the rest of the evening trying to work out how to get my f**kin' new router to work - is this punishment for years of siphoning of free bandwidth from those too lazy or generous to secure their hotspots?
So tired, so tired.  Learned a bit in the afternoon on how people try to impress CEOs and spent an evening sociamalising with the partners - wobbled home after finding out how surprisingly young the boss of bosses is - created a new masterpiece with blueberry banana bread and watched a very bad Canadian film about a very bad serial killer but couldn't make it to the end.  Maybe that's the punishment for one of my other bad habits?

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Monday, 10 December 2007

Good Deeds and Life Lessons

8 and 9 December - It fast approaches - a day of toiling int he kitchen and on the streets to acquire bread for sammiches and other assorted ingredients to make pancakes of a surprisingly good consistency.  Had feet sliced by a disarmingly handsome podiatrist in an effort to scrape back the long term damage of being immortal - twas a long time coming.  In the afternoon found myself at a gallery opening - a bit postmodern but a half decent band and loads of free booze - and just walked in off the street - passed several others on the way home - definitely could take advantage of this circuit if i was a little younger and more inclined to crash parties.  After some late night shopping I think i may have overestimated my capacity - but that's for another day.  Did some fixie training in the AM - once you go fixed you can never go back (apparently) followed by bruncheon near the eastern beaches.  Got a bit lost in the clickerverse but found myself free to ride another day.  

Saturday, 8 December 2007

The Day Rob McKenna Dropped Into Town

6 and 7 december - The results of the sparkle meant I would be late and was beaten in by the one who I'd thought would not make it and was disappointed by the one who I'd hoped would.  Not the only one to shirk their duties on this day.  After struggling through the day I found myself struggling with the salesmen at a vendor do - got really nothing to say to this crowd but it is my bidness so it must be done (have to say I do have a soft spot for one of the engineers though).  Missed out on the thunderstorms that are plaguing my city - flooded the lowlands, soaked the office workers and even killed a man (apparently) and all I wanted to do was immerse myself in the short lived nurturing of the clouds.  Another day at the farm passed with little event and took an evening at an overpriced tourista restaurant where I met a new relative from the other side of the world - the extremely well travelled Vlado from Bratislava (90 countries!  That's hard core) who seemed perfectly delightful, tis a pity the language barrier prevented a more in depth relationship - one of these days I vow I will conquer that one.  Still, stressed me out a bit as barriers seem to be the norm at the moment but got a good deal on a router, and after a little tinkering I finally seemed to get it to work.  Bet it won't solve my problems though.

Worst. Ad. Ever.

YouTube - Toyota Killer Wasps
What self respecting cyclist would ever put himself in an ad for an SUV?

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Sparkle Sparkle

3 and 4 and 5 december - It was a while ago now but I believe there were some thunderstorms that were rather disconcerting to someone who was going to ride home but not as troubling considering that it was only a ride home and not the entire day (but I always found it rather fun to spend a day in the rain ... for the first few days anyway) - Summer Heights High is the best thing I've seen on television in ages, not that there's been too much that I've seen ... a stressful day followed by an even more stressful day, managing people is not always that much fun, especially when it forces you to miss out on a night at the movies - ripped scenes are no substitute, especially when they lead to far too late an evening of things that one shouldn't be doing.  Hermaphrodite may be small but she's doughty and sometimes that's all one needs and she took me to the black and white and sparkle (???) ball where I had something relating to a ball - didn't make a fool of myself which is always a positive at a work function but was probably a bit silly in taking her home.  Interesting to note the number of people who called in sick for the day and miraculously recovered to attend the festivities.  But then again, they're just kids.

Sunday, 2 December 2007


1 and 2 December - A bikecentric weekend starting with a far too early wakeup call for young Dylan's coming of age (and coming into his first bicycle without training wheels ... but with gears which i was most disappointed with) - despite the plethora of five and unders all seemed to go rather swimmingly with minimal loss of skin (although it must be said that it usually grows back) - excellent venue at Sydney Park, was too distracted last time i passed through the playground to notice that all of the street signs and traffic lights were actually a playpen and were a miniature streetscape (in my daze i think i must have been under the impression that i'd become a giant for a few minutes) - managed to drag out a reluctant someone to the final screenings of the Bike Film Festival - a bit of bike porn and some great traffic footage but all in all not the kind of films i'd write home about but did give me some much needed inspiration to get off my a**e and perhaps have something for next year.  Met the organiser the next morning and talked about pretty much every subject that one could talk about - very interesting guy (for a vegetarian bike riding hippie ... Miranda Devine would have loved him) and didn't let him talk me out of realising what must eventually be realised.  Did make a slightly poor judgement call on how the night should be concluded but i stand by actions regardless.  Sunday morning involved another far too early wakeup for more bike shenanigans with a very cruisy alleycat through the history of Sydney - points based, mostly by chance and lady luck was not smiling on me that day - pleasant day to do it though.  Some very hard northside riding back and forth - had a completely non stop Pyrmont-Gordon journey that avoided the bike path on the harbour bridge (the non stops are very inspiring but can be kind of tiring) and a similar return with a brief McMahons pit stop that yielded very little in chocolate fudge consumption.  Pity, I like chocolate fudge.