Tuesday, 28 February 2006

Missing Australia

Boy! do I miss the hard life in Australia. (Picture: Tasmania Christmas 2003)

Sunday, 26 February 2006

Lunar Olympics

According to NASA it is only a matter of time before we will watch Lunar Olympics from the moon on TV.
The low gravity will ensure spectacular ski stunts and crashes will happen in slow motion.
I guess all the events will be very slow indeed and that they would have to speed up the frame rate of the TV pictures, as to not bore people to death. They could always play stunts and crashes back at normal speed in order to show the impressive or gory details.

Lunar Olympics
Skiing on the Moon

Saturday, 25 February 2006

Berry Decoration

One of the differences between women and men is put in the spotlight when it comes to the decoration of the home. Say, take a bunch of branches from a tree, possibly a bush, filled with dried red berries, tie it to a nail on the wall and suddenly the room is brought to life. Men wouldn't have thought of that in a million years, the best we have come up with is the stuffed heads of animals we have killed while drinking beer.
Well, the wife thought our wall in the living room needed to taste the hand of "The Decorator". So we have one of those dried berry thingy branches on our wall and you only have to raise an eyebrow (not to mention high-legged farts) before the berries loose their grip and drop to the floor. We find those berries everywhere.
The other day I found a berry floating in the toilet-bowl, don't know how it got there but there it was. Despite three days of flushing and other unspeakable hardship it's still there. I have named it: "Unsinkable Molly".

Friday, 24 February 2006

Chuck Norris Facts

The other day I came across another one of those phenomena that everybody seems to know about, but somehow has escaped my attention.
This time it's little known facts about Chuck Norris.
  • There is no chin behind Chuck Norris’ beard. There is only another fist.

  • Chuck Norris doesn’t wear a watch, HE decides what time it is.

  • Chuck Norris does not get frostbite. Chuck Norris bites frost.

  • The quickest way to a man's heart is with Chuck Norris' fist.

  • Most people have 23 pairs of chromosomes. Chuck Norris has 72... and they're all poisonous.

  • Chuck Norris has two speeds: Walk and Kill.

  • Chuck Norris doesn't shower, he only takes blood baths.

  • Chuck Norris can divide by zero.

  • Chuck Norris invented black. In fact, he invented the entire spectrum of visible light. Except pink. Tom Cruise invented pink.

  • On his birthday, Chuck Norris randomly selects one lucky child to be thrown into the sun.

  • Chuck Norris did in fact, build Rome in a day.

  • Chuck Norris invented a language that incorporates karate and roundhouse kicks. So next time Chuck Norris is kicking your ass, don’t be offended or hurt, he may be just trying to tell you he likes your hat.

  • Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table, because Chuck Norris only recognizes the element of surprise.

  • Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding.

  • Two wrongs don't make a right. Unless you're Chuck Norris. Then two wrongs make a roundhouse kick to the face.

Tuesday, 21 February 2006

Silverfinger

Welcome to my secret lair Mr. Bond, James Bond. I believe you only have one round left in your pistol, choose your target wisely. MUAAHA HA HA HA HA HA!

Monday, 20 February 2006

Idiots & Maniacs on the Motorway

Just had a thought on my way to work this morning.... eh.. ahem.. well alright..., I heard it on the radio: People who drive slower than me are idiots and those who drive faster are maniacs.

Durians

When I first came to Singapore I had never heard of Durians before, so when I started seeing signs at shop entrances and at the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) with the text: “No Durians Allowed”, I was puzzled. The signs were not of much help, just the classic symbol of forbiddance, the red circle with a red line across and a pictogram of the offending object inside the circle, looking like a pineapple with spikes. Why innocent fruits were persecuted to the extent that it wasn’t allowed on the premises of retail and in the public transport system was a complete mystery to me.
Then I came across a Durian at a fruit and vegetable market and the riddle was solved. The fruit emits the most repugnant stink imaginable and not only that, the smell is sneaky too. The first faint whiff is kind of sweet and prompts you to inhale deep through your nose to identify the smell. This is when it gets you; I can best describe the smell as something between a banana and the ten worst farts you have ever smelled. This description made my aunt suggest that it was like monkey pooh, which I on reflection don’t think is fair; monkey shit is nowhere near as bad, honestly.
The fruit is green and the size of a rugby ball with some big spikes. The meat, which is the part of the fruit that is eaten, is a whitish/yellow and looks very much like the lard your find around the organs inside animals when they are slaughtered.
In other words, it smells bad and it looks bad, so how about the taste? I couldn’t tell you, the smell and the look repulses me to no end and I see no reason to experiment in the name of open-mind-ness. My wife of course told me I was a chicken for not trying and it took a couple of years before she admitted that she thought it tasted just as bad as it smelled and looked (I did momentarily plan to conjure a confession out of her by surprising her with Durian for dessert, but I didn’t have the heart and we would never have got rid of the smell from our apartment).
The fruit is an acquired taste, as you would have guessed, and is very popular in Singapore and Malaysia (and other Asian countries too, I presume). It is claimed that the best flavour is just after the Durian has fallen off the tree and enthusiastic connoisseurs take this quite literal. Late at night in an Asian jungle you might come across a man sitting silently on a chair with a machete in one hand and torch in the other listening with all his attention for the quiet bump of a Durian hitting the ground. As soon as the sound of a fallen fruit reaches him, he will jump up, knocking over the chair in his haste, turn on the torch and run as fast as he can towards the sound of fruity impact and hack open the Durian to devour the still warm flesh.
Most Asians are very hard working people and does not have time for nocturnal expeditions into the jungle and have to buy them on the vegetable markets, but they will have to provide the transport home themselves.
Once when we were travelling to Kuala Lumpur by train, a family dragged a whole sack of Durians into the carriage. After complaints from several passengers, the conductor told them to put the sack on the platform at the end of the last carriage. It was too late, the smell was there with us all through the eight-hour trip; it’s the kind of smell you cannot get used to and ignore.

Want know more?
Durian
MRT

Saturday, 18 February 2006

Hattori Hanzo Kettle

The other day when I put the kettle on the stove I forgot to put the lid on. As usual my vivid imagination kicked in and I got this image in my head of Lucy Liu in Kill Bill right after she lost the duel in the snow covered Japanese garden. The wife didn’t see the resemblance and rolled her eyes the way she does a lot around me.

Too bad Lucy’s character got bumped off, she may have been a bitch that had it coming, but I really liked the no nonsense way she ran her board meetings.

Speaking of kettles, I really like the old fashioned chromed ones, I love pulling faces and see them distorted on the mirror surface, It's a good way of passing the time while waiting for the water to boil.

Friday, 17 February 2006

Death by Laptop

When I first heard about fuel cells possibly replacing rechargeable batteries in laptops, I immediately thought about the headlines we might see in the near future.

Nerd found dead in his dorm room, it is believed he died by accident when inhaling carbon dioxide from his laptop's exhaust in the confined room.

Or

Nerd found dead in broom closet, it is believed to be suicide as a goodbye note was found on his still idling laptop found in the closet with him.

I then learned that the by-product would be harmless water vapour. Isn't that actually supposed to be good for your skin? Either way, spotty nerds might soon be a thing of the past.

Want to know more?
Fuel Cell
Nerd

Wednesday, 15 February 2006

Toilet Games

I used to play snake a lot when going to the loo. I know a statement like that invokes certain images, shame on you and your dirty imagination! What I’m talking about is the game called snake found on Nokia mobile phones. Sitting on the loo is pure downtime seen from an intellectual point of view and that’s why I always bring something to read when going. At work I don’t normally carry around books or magazines, I get my news from the Internet so I don’t buy newspapers either (although a newspaper can be a good emergency replacement for toilet paper in case you were not paying attention when you first walked in and sat down). What I always carry around is my mobile phone and this has turned out to be my saviour in my battle against toilet cubicle boredom.
Recently I was given a new company phone and to my great disappointment it turned out that Snake had fallen out of favour as application number one in mobile phone amusement. Instead the games; Street Race, Backgammon II and Golf Tour was installed as default. A quick glance at them made me disregard them as suitable for potty entertainment and with a sigh I resigned myself to a future where toilet graffiti would be the best exercise that would be provided for my brain cells while marinating in the unsavoury atmosphere of a public toilet.

During a session in a toilet cubicle, so new that no graffiti had yet materialised and the only reading material was the instructions on how to use the toilet paper dispenser, I pulled out the phone to give the games another try. To my big surprise I got hooked on the golf game (insert your own joke about fondling a stick and whacking balls here). In real life I have always considered golf boring at best and full of people dressing in silly clothes using expressions like; Par, Birdie and Bogey. Now I speak the green lingo of golf, I know when to use a driver or a wedge and I dream of doing a hole-in-one (which I always thought was a synonym for sex on the first date).

Tuesday, 14 February 2006

Damn Birds

Look what they did to my boy, they massacred my boy.

Saturday, 11 February 2006

DVD Rental Thoughts

DVD rental stores suck here in England compared to those in Australia, the selection of titles available is not that great. As usual the movies are sorted under different categories such as; Drama, Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi and so forth, just like they are in Australia. But here, when you go to the Horror section you only find twelve movies and a tumbleweed (which really belongs in the Western section). Also, whatever system it is that they use for sorting the films, it has certainly not been inspired by the alphabet. It's not that big a problem in the smaller sections, but in the larger sections with thirty movies it does get a bit tedious trying to find what you are looking for.
At best I find a DVD library divided into categories annoying, when I go to a rental store I usually look for some specific titles and it is not always obvious to me which genre the movies I'm after belongs to. A good example is: "Shaun of the dead" which is a Romantic Zombie Comedy, where does that belong? (incidentally, it is a movie that I recommend, it got a nice "Evil Dead 2" take on the horror genre). Couldn't they just put everything in one big section, sorted alphabetically and use colour codes on the boxes for genres?
Also like in Australia you can buy ex-rental DVD's after the big promotions have ended at a reasonable price, only here in England you can find new ones cheaper on sale! If I wanted a DVD that looked like some French guy had used it for spreading Foie Gras on his baguette, I would buy a new one at Virgin or HMV and I'd still have change left over for both bread and spread made from a tortured goose's liver.

Wednesday, 8 February 2006

Damn it's cold

Currently I’m working on a construction site, were the main plant rooms are of the “open to air” kind with only three walls and a roof. Damn it’s cold; I can’t believe that I complained about sweating when I was working in similar plant rooms in Singapore and Darwin a few years back, I wish I was there now. The nature of my work doesn't require me to move around much, most of the time I’m just plucking away my laptop trying to get all sorts of unlikely equipment communicating with each other, all the while I’m doing knee bends to keep warm.
There’s a requirement that all people on site wears safety gloves. Fortunately the powers that be only cares about the palm of my hand and couldn't care less about my fingers. So in order to operate my laptop without errors of the “fat finger syndrome” kind, I have cut off the fingers on my gloves. Eddie Eight finger screwed up, he didn’t catch on to that it would be a good idea to remove the gloves before cutting the fingers off (he can still pick his nose, but he later received a bad cut to a finger from a frozen booger he had wiped off on his pants).
An Englishman is very understated in his language, he won’t say something like: “I’m freezing my ass of here” or “I can’t feel my feet“. No, when it is so cold that his nose falls off and drops to the floor to shatter in a dozen pieces. He will just bend over, pick up the bits in his handkerchief and stuff it away in his pocket while remarking: “It’s a bit nippy today”.

The worst part is that it has been pretty mild this year, so far....

Sunday, 5 February 2006

Brighton

Yesterday we went down to Brighton on the English south coast. Here's some fresh photos.

That's not a beach, where is the sand?

Does this mean that the doughnut was invented in Brighton? I'm not gonna say what the hole looks like up close.
Mmmmmm..... doughnuts....

The place to go.

A hangout place for evil carnies.

Ha Ha Ha Ha Staying Alive, Staying Alive, Staying Aliiiiiiiiveeeeee!

The national dish of England. If you go to Brighton you gotta have Fish 'n' Chips. I was very disappointed that it was not served in old newspapers, I believe the lead content of newspaper ink gives the dish a superior flavour. The brown stuff in the bottle in the background is malted vinegar, stay away from that, it's horrible.

View from the Brighton Pier.

Another view from the pier.

Want to know more?
Brighton
Doughnut
Fish 'n' Chips
Carny
Staying Alive

Friday, 3 February 2006

Road Blog

Driving to work I heard a joke on the radio: "If space is a vacuum, who changes the bags then?".
At that moment I drove past a Smart Car and it struck me that it looked a lot like a vacuum cleaner. Next thought was: "I wonder where the bag sits on one of these?".

I decided to investigate. Every time I passed a Smart Car I looked at it as closely as I could without loosing control of my own car. They are not hard to study, there are plenty of them around London and since they drive at least 10 miles below the speed limit, you go past them all the time.
I came to the conclusion that the bags are all sitting behind the steering wheel.
The Smart Cars all seem to be driven by middle aged women of the kind that like to push the seat as far forward as it will go and still they lean as far towards the windscreen as the seat belt will allow. They have a half frightened look on their faces as if some psycho at any moment would swing an axe through their side window: "Heeeere's Johnnieee!".

P.S. I realise this blog post is rather rude towards middle aged women. I shouldn't make up my blog posts while I'm driving, sure hope the wife don't read it......

Wednesday, 1 February 2006

Blue Moon

This photo was taken by one of my friends. What's wrong with it?