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bucket of chips

Update on two mundane things that arose at the same time -> early May.

1. Driving a car. It’s been pretty okay. Still haven’t gone that far, the furtherest probably being down to Mum’s. It’s extremely convenient for things like that. Like all convenient things it’s easy to forget how inconvenient life was before it. I always drive at the speed limit or under it but I seem to be very much in the minority. Especially on the highway. It used to bother me a lot but less now. It’s interesting how various public campaigns like quit smoking, drink driving etc. seem to have gone fairly successfully (at least that’s how I see it) but speeding seems to be one of those things that many people do as much as they can get away with. Maybe it’s that most people think they can safely drive faster than what is prescribed, and maybe they can. It’s just one of those things (like telling half-truths) that makes life a heck of a lot simpler if I don’t do it.

I guess I don’t drive anywhere near enough to get really frustrated with other drivers. Last Monday we drove through Torquay and up through the middle of Geelong to N.Geel – through all the traffic and traffic lights – and for me that was draining. I can only imagine what it would be like driving in busier places.

It’s a bit disconcerting playing a couple of hours of GTA V then going straight out and jumping in the car IRL. I am concerned I’ll just slip into game mode an mount the kerb, run the red light and ram the guy in front. I still have moments of wishing I’d got a Cube instead of the Micra. It’s barely less bland than a korean car.

2. Cat. It’s been a whole lot of fun having a cat. Since May she’s been gradually getting used to being part of the family to the point where she’s now pretty cocky; meowing and head-butting me an hour before feedin’ time—literally putting her paw on top of my hand and saying ‘hey, … food’. Well not quite literally, but the hand part is true. Charu is obsessed with food.

I have now had to clear three (3) dead offerings out of the house. One, a pigeon in the weeks after Charu started living inside. The pigeon looked like a murder scene investigation set-up on the kitchen floor with drops of blood and small feathers around it. Charu witnessed my dismay when I found it and shovelled it out the door, and I fancy she had a facial expression of remorse, confusion or something like, ‘but I thought you’d be happy’. Then there was a small, drowned-looking mouse in winter. Then last night a full-sized rat. Both the last two placed in a central-axis of the house, near the heater and where I put my bag when I come in. Charu was lying next to this dead rat and rolling around looking all coy and happy. The rat looked very fresh and thankfully not bleeding. It’s hard to get used to this death aspect of cats.

In some ways it’s not a great co-incidence that these two things, getting a driver’s license and cat happened at the same time. We’d like to go away for longer than a night but always end up thinking about the cat going hungry. We’d like to take Charu with us but cats aren’t like dogs. It got me thinking about the history of cat domestication and I read a little about it last night. Indeed, while dogs have been around us for much longer, and are into the whole travelling nomad hunter tribe thing, cats on the other hand only started hanging out with humans once we started settling down into farming anchored down lifestyles.

, , — YS @ 12:06 pm, September 11, 2014

Here’s a couple of things I came across recently.

  • 12 hours of Hitchcock interviews. I listened to the whole thing. All considered, he was a pretty modern dude. Born in 1899, and 63yo when he did this interview – which was over 50 years ago, he still sounds very modern considering. He talks about the actors like they were chess pieces, but I imagine most directors are like that. Another good thing about it is he names names. If someone was disappointing Hitchcock says so. I guess because of litigation you don’t here that kind of thing much these days.
  •  cat-sight This is a small sample from here. It is supposedly showing what cat vision is like. The top image is human sight – it is blurry because it in the periphery. So, cats have a slightly wider arc of sight but colours are a bit weird, everything’s a bit fuzzy and they can’t see as far as us. I was kind of surprised. Yes they can see better in the dark but I thought they had super-duper vision in all areas. I’d feel kind of ripped off if that’s all I could see.
  • In the car I’ve been listening to a radio station called ‘Hot Country’. It’s contemporary, commercially-oriented country music. It’s a whole ‘nother world.

, , — YS @ 2:15 pm, August 31, 2014

excuse me while I get my lols on

The Greater Western Sydney Giants AFL team have been around for a few years now (5) but you’d be forgiven for not having heard their theme song yet, since it’s usually only played when the team wins. They don’t win often but they did last Sunday. I’d like to meet the committee who gave the “Okay!” to having this song as the team theme song. It’s awesome. As far as I know teams don’t ever change their song. I wonder if there’s a large community of Eastern European immigrants in the greater-western part of Sydney. This song makes me want to do that cossack dance where they cross their arms and get down with the feet kicking out and all. It’s way better than any other of the ‘new’ footy team theme songs – most of them sound ‘80s-ish.

, — YS @ 6:27 pm, August 19, 2014

damn, it’s cold.

It’s been so cold this winter my fridge decided it wasn’t needed and headed up to the Gold Coast for a couple of weeks.

I can never remember one year to the next and it’s not helped by moving from once house to another but I’m almost sure last winter wasn’t this bad. The heater in the last place was woefully inadequate. It was a little thing clipped to the wall and plugged into the power point. The few times we turned it on all it did was burn a bit of dust inside of it. Despite that we got through winter okay. It felt like it was over pretty quickly. I don’t remember freaking out over seeing what the overnight minimums were.

When we were looking at new places to move into, and looking at this place, I saw the heater and thought it looked pretty crap but I thought, Hey we got through last year with basically no heating—it can’t get any worse than that can it? Well apparently it can. I think I’ve complained about it before but this particular house wasn’t designed very well. The main living areas are at the south end of the building so at this time of year they’re like meat-lockers all day long. In the flat last year, even though the walls were only those cheap (‘cinder blocks’ is what the americans call them) grey bricks with the air in the middle of them, the main wall faced north so any sun would help. Here, the warmest parts of the house are the laundry and the toilet: duuuuuuh -> that’s the sound of the 1950s zombies that designed this house. I’m getting too old to live in houses that have no effective heating.

, , — YS @ 10:07 am, August 11, 2014

Dish Cafe in Geelong

I just wanted to give a quick but big thumbs up to Dish in the middle of old Geelong town. Personally, I find very few places that I really like to go back to. Most places I go to are over-priced with average food or have reasonable prices but nasty food. The whole Waterfront area of Geelong is a tourist-trap full of terrible eateries these days.

And I can remember back to the late 90s/early 00s, and even earlier when the area around little Malop st, McLarty place, James street was full of interesting shops. All of the walk-by shopper traffic was sucked away by the Westfield monstrosity. Plus I bet rent prices went way higher than was affordable for most shop-owners.

So anyway it’s great to see a new (relatively new?) cafe in that area.

They make almost all of the stuff they have for sale. It’s good quality and very good prices. Dave, the chef, is a really friendly bloke too.  I guess another thing I like too is that when we go in there on a Saturday lunchtime it’s fairly quiet. Good for me, not so good for the business. Although I’d like to think they are much busier on weekdays with the office crowds.

HipstaPrint

, , , — YS @ 12:10 pm, August 3, 2014

Caution, Pinch Point

Untitled

YS @ 10:48 pm, July 31, 2014

Your Chance To Win!

I always tell myself Yeah Man time to get back with the regular blogging and make a post every day for a whole month! but it never happens. I guess at least keeping things from completely flat-lining is better than nothing.

Untitled
loping around the court like a big baboon

I used to play Squash as a chitlin and it’s strange to think that it’s been well over 20 years since I played. Je wanted to play tennis. I said tennis is really hard, why not squash. This was about a month ago. I finally got corralled into going a doing it today. I thought the physical exertion would kill me but it wasn’t that bad at all. Why did Squash never take off in a big way? Is it because it’s played in a sterile little white box instead of the sexy great big outdoors? Is it because the damn ball doesn’t bounce. Who cares, right?

The one thing I did notice as having changed is that the racquet heads are way bigger.

— YS @ 4:43 pm, July 19, 2014

let there be!

HipstaPrint

I have to say for once here is a newer thing than the other things that doesn’t suck—and that’s great. Fluorescent tube light had been the bane of my recent life (at least while living in korea). Yes they are energy efficient but it’s a horrible glarey unrelaxing light and they were everywhere in korea: restaurants, homes, workplaces = everywhere.

So when I saw these energy-efficient, coiled fluorescent-style light bulbs in the supermarket I steered a wide berth, for a while at least. Then I thought, okay we’ll try the kitchen. Pretty soon they spread to everywhere in the house. It’s pretty cool that they can be only using 14watts but emitting the same amount of light as an old 60watt globe. And the best thing is it’s a warm white.

— YS @ 11:28 am, June 26, 2014

Ow! My ankle!!!

I’ve been watching a bit of the world cup and I’m trying to get into it but the feigning injury in order to get a free kick thing is really laughable. Pathetic you might say. It’s the job of the coach & players to exploit rules as best they can, so really it’s the governing body’s fault for not changing the rule on tripping somehow.
I guess I should be barracking for s.korea since they stand half a chance of going into the finals but of the games I’ve seen the Ivory Coast team seemed the most impressive. They have a big tribal rhythms fan squad playing the whole time. I thought Nigeria would too but no.
Aussie Rules is still a far, far better display of athleticism.

, , — YS @ 8:38 am, June 18, 2014

“We go where we choose”

I remember once going to the immigration museum in Melbourne and seeing this big walk-in diorama explaining the immigration journeys of different groups of people to come to Australia. And in a porthole window was a cat with the above inscription.

When Elon Musk finally starts sending spaceships to Mars a cat will slip onboard. The astronauts will eventually find it but they’ll keep it because the human loves the cat.

I has a cat.

Ouh?

She had actually been here all along. I remember in the first few days of being at this house, going into the backyard and seeing this cat sitting out there. I wagged my finger at it as if to say, no no no you can’t be here, because I really like the native birds too. Je eventually found out from the neighbours that they were kind of caretakers of the cat. It had been abandoned by someone and the neighbour was feeding it regularly but because they already had a cat (that lived inside their house) this cat always stayed outside.

One day Je decided she wanted to feed the cat and with a guilty expression brought home a packet of catfood from the supermarket. Anyway, long story short, we started feeding the cat (which the neighbour was fine with) and she has moved with us and is now named Charu. The quick adapting to being inside leads up to think she started off maybe as a christmas present and was ditched because someone moved or something like that. From what the neighbour told us, Charu was just past kittenhood when they started feeding her, so we’re guessing she’s about a year and a half old.

I am chief namer of all things in this house so I chose Charu. I thought she looked a bit like a bengal tiger (eventhough I later read that a cat that’s a mix of tabby and calico is called a calaby) and Charu is a bengali female name meaning beautiful.

I know that cats kill native wildlife. And I know that western domestic pets are part of our overconsumption and that they use more global resources than Africa. And I know that supermarket petfood is rubbish. But in the end we’re not robots and I’m not mr.spock.

Chara Charu Calaby

, , , — YS @ 1:27 pm, June 11, 2014

The Four Of Us Are Dying

I haven’t been watching much old TV but one thing I have been going through from its very start is the original Twilight Zone TV series. It’s pretty damn impressive. The first season was waaaay back in 1959 and a lot of the story lines still stack up well. It’s far back enough that almost none of the actors in it cross over into other tv shows from the mid to late ‘60s that I’ve seen. The only exception so far was the episode title People Are Alike All Over that has an actress who later went on to also appear in the pilot for the original series or Star Trek. Funnily enough the pilot leaned heavily on the storyline of the Twilight Zone ep.

There’s been several episodes dealing with the Cold War that I would’ve thought would be too touchy to talk about then plus a bunch of plum science-fiction speculative ideas that were really impressive. The fifties really were a highpoint for SF in book form so it must’ve rolled on into other media too.

whatyouneed

Maybe it’s partly the silver-screen effect but the women seemed really beautiful then too. Interesting hairstyles or whatever. I dunno. The above image was schlepped from the TZ wikia site and is from the episode titled ‘What You Need’. I could’ve hunted it down myself but that would mean turning on the other computer.

The title of this here blog post is actually the name of one of the episodes which was also used by the band Nine Inch Nails as a song title 48 years later. To me that’s a great example of how edgy the Twilight Zone was for a TV show. And as such it was stuffed away in the Friday night 10 to 10:30pm timeslot. Wouldn’t want anyone actually seeing it now would we?

That particular episode contained lashings of noir/Hitchcock style lop-sided frame shots and as it happens is available to view on yootoob.

In some ways a good comparison is the X-Files except the Twilight Zone probably had a lot less budget and crammed all its goodness into half an hour. In fact it seems like Rod Serling did a lot of the sourcing, adapting and writing for the first season himself. So the next time I hear The Simpsons or something parodying his quirky narration style I’ll have a better appreciation for how ahead of its time the Twilight Zone was.

&&&

In hindsight The Black Keys don’t need me promoting their new album. Mainstream media seems to be doing a fine job of that thankyou. After a few listens I’m kind of underwhelmed by it too. I should qualify that by saying that I didn’t really like their album before that either. I mean, it was okay but not as good as their early stuff. I know there’s only so many places you can go when you just got a guitar and drums, and that was always the thing about the earlier albums; as good as they were, I could only listen to an album and a half before the structures were all too samey. I was listening to the Turn Blue album while washing the dishes and in that dumb way that iTunes does, it started playing the next thing straight after. The next thing was the El Camino album and I tell ya I didn’t know it. ie there’s no difference in the sound of the two albums.

With Turn Blue, some of the production aspects (that this chap danger mouse contributed) sound tacked on. Also as a wannabee bass player the bass sound they used on several tracks sounds really unenthusiastic. And lyrically it’s heavily influenced by Dan’s relationship break-up with some famous woman. Jilted/love songs will always be popular but a little hard for me to relate to in this part of my life.

But I’ll be constructive. So what could have they done? Five or whatever albums of good, raw guitar & drums -> it’s obvious that they had to broaden their sound somehow. I think I would’ve tried some sort of non crowd-pleasing, long concept album. They’ve earned enough money/fame to do something really nutty so why not go for it? For posterity’s sake I’ll include this pic of Dan _Uber_gene unintentionally (0((()(??????)())))) getting his Hitler on. This could’ve been the look that tipped them in a whole new musical direction.

Dan UBERbach

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Tomorrow looks unsure,
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What are you waiting for?
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