Category Archives: Humour

The Father and His Pack

The story begins like an Aesop fable, like the hare and the tortoise. A this and that title.
Dr Zeuss may have been a better style, a flatpack have you seen, but can you read instructions? Almost Yoda-ish really!
Well we recently purchased a guinea pig enclosure off a leading auction site. It was the simple, the easy solution, delivered straight to our door … in a flatpack.
Now some may not experience the terror, the dread, of a box that arrives as a flatpack. Some might even relish the opportunity to open a box of parts and assemble them conforming to the extensive instructions.

The Curse of Ikea

We have the Swedes to blame for this phenomenon, for this test of human endurance. Though credit where credit is due – the Swedes are kind enough to provide relatively detailed and easy to follow instructions.
But they have provided the inspiration to other countries, like China! Who have decided that instructions are overrated – after all men never read the instructions anyway.
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And so having unpacked the numerous parts and worked out which side is up and which is down, counted the numerous bags of screws, joins, brackets and dowels – I go in search for the extensive instructions.
Thinking I’ll be getting a multi-page tutorial I find a single page sheet where step 1 alone uses virtually half the panels and accessories and all I can see is a few arrows. At this point I admit concern for completing the task in a timely manner and for that matter resembling anything like the picture.

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Yet being male could I let this get the better of me? No, I tell you!!
I soldiered on, I grasped the bull by the horns and persevered with the hour long job.
By time I’d hit 3 hours. Ok, I confess the odd evil thought crossed my mind … Who needs guinea pigs anyway, sure the kids wouldn’t notice, bet the next door’s cat would have fun.
Oh, be gone! No, I will continue!

The Pack Comes to Life

I think the kids must have realised I was close when in my Frankenstein moment I exclaimed it’s alive!
Having spent the majority of the morning, the noon and now afternoon creating this house for the beloved guinea pigs finally I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The pessimist would exclaim it’s a train – but not I, no here was the finish of a day’s work – the culmination of toil, the fruits of my labour … Here was the palatial abode for the guinea pigs. Hope they blooming appreciate it!

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All Things Orange

Today is the day for orange, a self proclaimed day of honour for the oft forgotten colour ORANGE.

For too long black, blue, red and, yes even, brown have dominated our homes, our work environments and our fashion.

But it’s time for change, time for renewed vigor, action … It’s time for ORANGE!

Do You Like Orange?

Orange, actually is named after the fruit, it’s synomynous with the Dutch, fanta, and a spray tan gone wrong. It’s the colour of the Golden Gate Bridge, it’s sunsets, the flowering Banksia, and safety gear.

Without orange we would just have stop and go – no speed up or slow down.

The amber ale, the amber stone, agate … and what about the entire district of Orange, NSW. Or the flags of Ireland, India, Niger and Cote d’Ivoire. It’s the national colour of Holland – the heir apparent is the Prince of Orange.

Oh, and of course the foods, oranges, carrots, mangoes, apricots, papaya, pumpkin, sweet potato, peaches, persimmons and tangerines.

Facts About Orange

Did you know that orange only became orange in the middle ages? The first recorded (written) reference as a colour was in 1512. It really is named after the fruit! Before this it was referred to as yellow-red.

Other facts about orange:

  • The Golden Gate Bridge is painted with Deluxe International Orange
  • Orange (or deep saffron) is the most sacred colour of Hinduism
  • On the Indian flag orange represents courage, sacrifice and the spirit of renunciation

The Colour Orange

Orange is associated with halloween, Thanksgiving, Autumn (or fall for the Americans), it’s vibrant and considered an energetic colour.

Sitting right between red and yellow, orange is associated with excitement, enthusiasm and warmth. It is also linked with food, not only fruit, but ripening crops and considered a food stimulating colour.

Interestingly orange is also a polarising colour, you love it or hate it. It’s the attention colour, the stand out – it’s why in the States they clothe prisoners in it.

Spare a Moment for Orange

I ask you take a time to ponder the colour orange, to give this attention seeking yet polarising hue just a moment of your time. Does it elicit joy, warmth and excitement? Or do you just see the moment between red and green at the traffic lights? The work crew at a construction site? Or worse, the Annoying Orange!

So, with Halloween just gone, Thanksgiving on the way, and a friend’s orange t-shirt whisked away due to a perceived fashion faux pas I proclaim November 22nd as Orange Day.

The Morning Train

Are you a commuter? Jumping on public transport to get to and from work?

I’m amazed that we can squeeze so many people in such a confined space yet not say a word.

In fact we’re more likely to be texting, calling, blogging than meeting new people.

Sure the environment doesn’t lend itself to developing long term relationships – but I’m sure there must be stories of meeting your wife or forming a great friendship all seeded during a commute to work.

Not me though, it’s Angry Birds or Traffic Rush, maybe a podcast or some music – anything but start a conversation with the person next to you!

The Commuter Challenge

I must admit, there is something of a voyeur in me, I do enjoy sitting in the seat at the end of the carriage and for fun seeing how many people I can make eye contact with.

I think it’s time to break the ice, the commuter challenge or icebreakers – maybe start singing a the Albert Hammond song – I’m A Train, or call out “GROUP HUG”. Surely we cancome up with some great commuter icebreakers and lighten the mood of the train ride!

Guessing by now you’re glad you don’t ride on my train.

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Rites of Passage

In cultures throughout history the journey through age has been marked by the rites of passage.

Wikipedia defines it as: “a rite of passage is a ritual event that marks a person’s progress from one status to another.”

Vanuatu rite of passageFrom the tribes of Africa to the Australian Aborigines the journey from boy to man is marked by a whole host of trials, tests and rites of passage. Some of the most extraordinary are captured on 10 Bizarre Rites of Passage. Including the Vanuatu land divers, who as an act of manhood climb rickety old structures and dive headfirst to the ground – it’s bungee jumping Vanuatu style! As the boy gets older he climbs higher and plummets headlong towards the ground.

From Boy to Man

So too in modern Western society the rites of passage are marked by key events in a young man’s life.

My son is encountering one of his earlier rites of passage. Unlike other cultures he doesn’t have to confront lions, leap off rickety structures or be isolated with groups of men. No, my son’s rite of passage is much worse, more confronting – he’s embarking on the modern day rites of passage! It deserves a heading …

The Modern Rites of Passage

Blue tooth fairyThe modern rite of passage my son is confronted with is the dreaded tooth fairy! That’s right, no lions, no fearful leaps off towers, Fletch has a wobbly tooth and is awaiting its release so he can receive the fabled stash from the tooth fairy.

But our modern rites of passage go beyond just the tooth fairy, there are others, so here’s my top 10 list of modern rites of passage:

Top 10 Rites of Passage

  • The move from The Wiggles to Ben 10
  • Standing up to go to the loo
  • Sitting in the front seat of the car
  • Owning your first DSi or numerous other i devices
  • Money for the canteen
  • Tying up your own shoelaces
  • Pocket money!!!
  • Learning the mantra “no, I can do it”
  • First day of big school (kindergarten)
  • The art of deception – at 12 asking “what is Santa bringing this year?”

I’m guessing there are a few Westernised rites of passage I’ve missed, they may only be geographically limited to Australia … any others?

Not Perfect

Back in 1999 – yes last century – was a great song released by Baz Lurhman. For those who haven’t heard it check it out on YouTube: Baz Luhrmann – Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen).

It turns out it was written by a Chicago columnist, Mary Schmick who indulged herself by writing a graduation speech that went viral!

The Perfect Model

Now with my own kids, I consider the advice that I pass on to them … especially in light of the blitz they’ll receive from media and peers.

The constant chase for unattainable perfection – and I’m not talking about a pursuit of self improvement, but perfection of image. A constant chasing of societal perfection – an exterior paint job rather than an inner working in making the most out of the clay that’s been given.

Why are we so compelled to chase perfection? Why do we wish our lives away wanting a different this or that? The “if only I” syndrome … if only I had more money, a different nose, a better job, more confidence.

We’re forever wishing to be something or someone else, not realising how blessed we are in what we’ve been given.

There is no perfect model, no Mr or Miss Right, there’s no human that is flawless, just some flaws are more easily hid.

Not Perfect

I came across a song that I felt worth sharing – written by comedian, Tim Minchin.

I love the line, this is my life and I live in it – but unlike Tim, I think my life is perfect … perfectly flawed, perfectly imperfect!

An SEO Guide for Google

This won’t be an extensive post, after all, are there rules on how long a post should be?

Is there a minimum?

Already I’m past 20 words and counting … how many more before it’s a legitimate post?

This wasn’t started as a ramble … but has become one. In fact a short post by me apparently is impossible.

Oh, Get to the Point!

The whole reason for this post was a small dig at the optimisation team at Google. In fact, I’m wondering whether to offer them my services to enable the to improve on their results?

After all … if you are Google what would you expect to rank well for?

Umm, how about “Search Engine”?

Keyword: Search Engine

So I’ve typed in “search engine” and sure enough … position 1 … is

  • Dogpile
  • Wikipedia
  • BING!!!!
  • Google

I’m thinking maybe Google need to consider their SEO skills, maybe they should try and create a backlinking strategy? I wonder if they are short on content?

Maybe I should set them up a directory listing!

The Lunchtime Battleground

Warning: Smoking causes Irritable Bloggers.

Do Non Smokers Have Rights

Where to smoke?As a non smoker – OK you dragged it out of me – a reformed smoker! I have become frustrated giving up only to inhale the fumes without the filter.

Yes, it’s a rave. Yes, I know there is nowhere else to smoke. Yes, smokers have a right to smoke (currently). But why is it I have to share?

Reclaiming the Corners

There are only a handful of spots in the city, within a reasonable proximity, that would be a nice place to sit down and eat lunch. Yet I never ordered smoked sandwiches!

What is it about the die hard smokers today? When I was a smoker I was considerate of others – even I didn’t like to eat lunch with cigarette smoke being blown all over me.

For the third time in the past couple of weeks my lunch has been overwhelmed by the inundation of smokers.

Come on, give a guy a break – can’t I occupy a small corner of the city without being encapsulated by a cocoon of smoke?

The Sounds of Battle

As Sydney continues its stroll through the winter months, a patch of sun is proving the battleground for lunchtime activities.

But how do I compete? The chomping on a sandwich does not seem to phase my neighbouring smoker. As they exhale a waft of fumes the best I can do is eat with my mouth open! Maybe a loud belch would do it? Flatulence?

Give me land, lots of land …

I do empathise with the narrowing scope of designated smoking areas. Even the pubs are off limit.

Sure smokers have the right to smoke. Sure the outdoors is the last bastion.

But how about our non smoking rights? How about the decency to wait for me to at least finish my mouthful?

Is it too much to ask for a small sanctuary of scenic land in the city where I can breathe the fresh air of car exhaust, air conditioner outlets and all the other inner city fumes without the addition of cigarette smoke?

There must be others. There must be supporters who are sick of cowering behind their desk silently eating their vegemite sandwiches staring aimlessly at the swirly screensaver.

It’s time to make a stand! It’s time to step up! It’s time to take back our city streets, our doorways and the virtually extinct city bench!

Arise You Lunchtime Warriors

But how are we to reclaim our corners? Compete for the sacred place? Two words … Whoopie cushions.

We may not be able to flatulate in public but mock flatulence may work. Next time you are invaded by a throng of smokers let loose the whoopie cushion!

Disclaimer: Public flatulence is ill advised