Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Saddlebacking - A definition

Saddlebacking: sad•dle•back•ing \ˈsa-dəl-ˈba-kiŋ\ vb [fr. Saddleback Church] (2009): the phenomenon of Christian teens engaging in unprotected anal sex in order to preserve their virginities

After attending the Purity Ball, Heather and Bill saddlebacked all night because she's saving herself for marriage.

This always happens to me

Just because you read it in a book doesn't mean that it's true.

There's no such thing as a John Updike.
<not anymore, RIP>

Monday, 26 January 2009

No Longer Young

Concerts from grand old masters are usually interesting but it's hard to guarantee greatness.
I'm a recent convert to Neil Young - I'm the first to admit that I was barely aware of him prior to living in Canadia but I had a few CDs pressed on me while I was there and a month of driving around the states with limited music meant that I listened to his 'Best of' a lot and I was fairly transported by his searing political songs and almost feminine rocking voice - it helped that he'd just released a protest album that was being heavily pushed by the liberal National Public Radio while I was travelling the continent of North America.  When it was announced that he was playing in the Big Day Out I made tentative plans to return to the festival of young people but, as is always the way these days, it sold out pretty quickly and I was forced to do a last minute purchase of relatively crap seats at the Entertainment Centre in order to see this legend of the stage perform.  To be expected, it was an older crowd, most of his fans were sure to be of an earlier generation but there was a fair mix of ages - all of whom were introduced to his music at various stages.
When a man has such an enormous body of work with commercial hits that spread over his 40 year career it was going to be very chancy that he'd end up singing any of my favourites and whilst there were a couple here and there that I recognised it seemed that in trying to please everybody he ended up pleasing noone at all - I would have loved to have heard 'Southern Man' or 'Let's Impeach The President' but perhaps these songs just aren't relevant anymore to an America (and let's face it, I don't live in America) that no longer lynches black people and now elects them as President - it's also a bit late to impeach a man who no longer sits in the office.
I don't know how many concerts Neil Young has performed over his long career but he certainly seemed like he was going through the motions on Saturday night - came out, started singing a few songs (some I knew, some I didn't ... my ladyfriend who possessed an even more reduced knowledge of his music knew even less) - his first banter with the crowd was a brief statement accusing them of being a bunch of alcoholics and later he muttered that he expected more applause from ... (wait for it) ... Sydney? (this instigated a small burst of excitement as the crowd recognised the name of the city that they were in) - he introduced his band that included his lovely wife, thanked the supporting act (This Morning Jacket is a really good group) and finished off with one of his lesser hits and then departed the stage.  As was to be expected the shouting of encore brought him back on where he regaled us with the Beatles hit 'A Day in the Life' before shuffling back off stage and out of my life.  It was good.  It wasn't great.  He really just didn't seem that excited to be there but if I was 68 and had performed thousands of shows in my life I'd probably struggle to get excited about playing the entertainment centre as well.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

It's been a while ...

It's been a long time.  I seem to have been distracted lately and every day I think about it I get a wrenching feeling in my stomach because it's been so long.  I have to rectify this.  Recovered from bike crash?  Have done a race?  Seen a concert?  Gone away for a bit?  Got annoyed at work?  Had a few fights and reconciliations?

The Batbike

Monday, 19 January 2009

The Curious Case of Forrest Gump

I loved Benjamin Button, the similarities are pretty overwhelming ... I almost wish I'd never seen Forrest Gump in the first place. Maybe I'm secretly in love with Brad Pitt? No ... never ... but ...?

Obesity v Height

Anti-discrimination legislation is important but I've had to squeeze my skinny 6'3" ass into economy seating plenty of times (not that I fly that often) and I've always got to deal with seized up buttocks and knees.  I pity fat people who have to go through the humiliation of negotiating an extra seat but one must remember that in this world of cheap protein weight is not the only thing that's increased in this day and age.  The average height of people has increased signficantly ( and airlines are still building seats for short people.  Let's start catering for tall people before we bend over backwards for people who just don't know when to put the fork down.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Deceptive Is Deceptive, Any Way You Look At It

Apparently some stupid kid in America with woefully inadequate developed etiquette skills sent almost 15,000 texts in a month ( - far be it for me to criticise, all of them happened to be on unlimited texting plans which does mitigate one of my primary objections to this insidious form of communication but it still irks me intensely that phone companies continue to tell us that we are getting $100 or $200 or $300 worth of calls for the low, low price of $50 (or $30 or $75).  The fact of the matter is that we are only getting the lower amount worth of calls because that is what we are paying them.  Deceptive pricing is deceptive pricing.  Considering that the the true cost of sending the small packets of data that are SMSs is microscopically small ( it's criminal that these companies continue to charge so much and then they have the audacity to tell us they're being generous with their infinitely confusing plans.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Sacrificial lambs on the altar of fashionable eating - Opinion -

A truer statement I have seen but this is definitely picking up on a few points.  I'm firmly in the Mr Pink category of the tipping philosophy.  I don't mind shelling out a bit extra when the service is very good but I despise most vehemently deceptive pricing.  If a restaurant imposes a booking fee or surcharge on top of the bill then they should outright say that it's an extra charge and not a service fee.  I expect any financial transaction to be done professionally - good service should not be rewarded it should be expected.  If a company wants to rip off their staff and force them to survive on their gratuities then it should be publicly stated and their prices should be reduced accordingly.  I have no problem with a public holiday surcharge - it's a common addition and all restaurants should be paying their staff penalty rates anyway - their costs are higher so their prices can be higher.  Likewise, a corking charge for licensed premises is also fair enough - Australia is one of the few places in the world where BYO exists - but to sneak in extra costs of a few dollars here and there and still have the expectation of tipping?  Why even have prices on the menu when there will be no relation to what's actually paid?
Don't get me started on the Canadian anomaly of not including the two (2!!!!) service taxes plus tip that get added on to everything bill over there.

Pumpkin Pie Based Cancer Cure!

This would be fantastic for me ... but it's been a while ...