Tag Archives: humour

Australian Coat of Arms

The Kangaroo and Emu

Standing astride our national coat of arms are the Kangaroo and the Emu. National symbols of pride? Of our unique culture and Australian fauna?

No, the kangaroo and emu form part of our leading food sources! Are there other nations that treat their nationally recognised coat of arms as good tucker?

The UK coat of arms boasts a lion and a unicorn – so can assume they don’t eat those. Henry VIII had a dragon and a dog … again don’t think it formed part of their daily cuisine. In the US, it’s the bald eagle … endangered species and highly protected.

But here in good ole Oz we take our national symbols of pride and proudly serve them on the dinner plate!

You got to love the Aussie way!

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.
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.

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!


Oh 2012 Already

Has anyone else suddenly woke up to see it’s nigh on half way through January?

For that matter have I missed the boat? Happy new year …

2012 has started off at such a pace I can almost feel Easter!

I hope to write a blog or two a week – but damn this year is moving fast.

Is it just me or are others watching the Fridays arrive at a speed that is scarily fast?

The Law of Supply

It’s funny when you have an abundance of something how you squander it so quickly. For Christmas I received some after shave – the former bottle barely lasting with drops extended for weeks – yet

now a new bottle – well I’m a walking perfumery! Splashing here and there as if it were infinite.

Time appears like this too – when I was in my teens, my twenties, gees staying in bed till afternoon seemed reasonable enough. Now I couldn’t possibly squander that many hours.

Increasingly days are treasured, moments and events held onto.

The Year of the Dragon

In the Chinese calendar we’re about to enter the year of the dragon … Not sure of the significance of this, but for me it’s year of the dog.

As of new year we’re now owners of a rescued dog – beagle cross boxer.


As you can imagine kids love it and for me it forces exercise every night!

And so I’ve returned to the blogosphere, albeit not triumphantly with profound words of wisdom but still it’s a start. So happy new year readers and hope to chat more in 2012.

Crowd Dancing

I’m sure you must have tried it – especially if you’re a commuter … crowd dancing.

That last minute run to the station or the bus stop, or maybe it’s another situation, like trying to exit the movies?

For me it’s the all too often mad rush to Town Hall station. From the office to the station is around 4 minutes if everything’s clear … of course there’s always a but!

Where’s My Lift

It starts with the lift, well actually 3 lifts for 11 floors. It just seems that synchronisation is not a strong point for our office lifts … so four minutes has already blown out with a few minutes wait.

So this is where the fun begins … having left myself a copious amount of time to make the station (oh, say 5 minutes) it’s now the mad rush to get to the station.

Let’s Play Frogger

Out of the lifts and there’s the main road … standing between me and the mad dash to the turnstiles.

Anyone remember the game Frogger on those little hand held game consoles? Well three lanes of traffic, a pretty constant flow and a very keen pedestrian to get across.

Off I hop, skip and jump to weave my way through the traffic hoping there’s a sufficient gap and safe passage … really do feel like that little frog jumping through logs and dodging the cars.

Stage 3: Crowd Dancing!

Time to skip through the constant flow of traffic, the mass of humanity streaming towards a few tiny turnstiles to be shepherded onto trains.

crowd dancing in Town HallI have less than a few minutes to make the train, there are a sea of people between me and the platform and they seem to be more interested in chatting, window shopping and chatting on their mobile phone than moving in an orderly manner to the station.

And so, with the waltz and maybe a foxtrot, I dance my way through the crowd … don’t think I rival Fred Astaire but it sure does feel like I’m crowd dancing – more than once staring straight into the eyes of a pedestrian moving in the opposite direction forcing a polite sorry and rapid change of direction!

Yes, I know I should leave earlier, maybe even learn after the first dozen times that there are delays … but hey, how would I brush up on my dance moves!

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?

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!

Feeling a bit sheepish

Sometimes I feel like the urge to baa!

Is it only me or can others see that our lives are so often lived like we are part of a flock of sheep?

Shepherding SheepWe go through the daily motions and routines – work, chores, travel, even hobbies. We live in circles of friends that become our flock. Oh and if that gets muddled we become like chickens yelling the sky is falling!

I had to explain to my daughter about social norms, the acceptable bounds of society. As long as you remain within these boundaries, the “socially acceptable” then life can be plain sailing – analogous to feeding on pasture.

Pushing the Social Norms

I love the show Shaun the Sheep, a children’s cartoon. The sheep, at least one of them, bucks the system, changes the rules and doesn’t conform to the status quo. If you haven’t seen it do yourself a favour and check it out on YouTube: Shaun the Sheep – “off the baa“.

Pushing Social Norms

Life tends to be much more normal than Shaun’s! Though I find it remarkable that even those that do live outside the social norms tend to surround themselves in enclaves of like minded people. Hey nothing wrong with that – it’s only natural. But seems amusing that while trying to live on the edge you find the place to fit it

Who’s the shepherd?

Dan Perez posted a blog on Captain Smack and the Blogging Matrix. It captured the moulds we tend to fit into – the rules set by market leaders who shepherd our way through the blogging matrix.

But who is setting the rules? Who are the market leaders? Who’s the shepherd?

What type of blogger are you?

All these rules, societal expectations have got me thinking about the importance of blogging, its merits, the platforms we are taking and, in my humble opinion, I came up with three types of bloggers:

  • Those who shift the paradigm
  • Those who comment on the paradigm
  • Those that are promoting the paradigm

We’re all here for some sort of profit, whether to influence our social circles, to observe and share our views or for financial gain.

So which are you? Are you an influencer? Or being influenced? Are you shaping thoughts or being led? And if so, who is it that is leading you? Where are they leading?

The Final Word

T D Jakes always finishes his video casts with “The Final Word” – which seems apt, for part of what spawned all this thinking was who is leading me? What am I allowing to lead my life? My thoughts and actions?

There’s a passage in John 10:11-13 which addresses this. Through it you can truly assess whether what or who you are following is worth your attention.

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