Saturday, September 23, 2006

Driving on the Left

A policeman in Oldbury, West Midlands, England, pulled over a weaving car. "I attempted to speak to the driver, who appeared to be fumbling around with the controls," said the constable. "At that point the passenger leaned across and stated, 'He's blind'."

Sure enough the driver, Omed Aziz, 31, had lost both eyes and three fingers in a bomb blast in his native Iraq, and his passenger was giving him directions so he could steer. Aziz denied charges of dangerous driving, but was convicted and given a three-month prison sentence, which was suspended, plus a three year driving ban. (London Times).

Apparently the judge thinks that should be long enough to grow new eyes.

From This is True

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Throwing the First Stone

A Minister was walking down the street when he came upon a group of about half a dozen young boys, standing around a dog. Concerned that they might be hurting it or planning to, he went over and asked what was going on. The boys told him that the dog was a stray, and they all wanted to take it home and make it their own, so they'd argued about it, then decided to have a contest. Whoever told the biggest and best lie would get to keep the dog.

The Minister was appalled. "You boys shouldn't be having a contest to tell lies!" he exclaimed, then launched into a long sermon against sinning, lying, cheating and generally being dishonest, starting with "Don't you know it's a sin to lie?" and finally ending with a description of how to live a virtuous, honest life, such as he himself did.

When he finished, there was dead silence for a minute, then the smallest boy gave a deep sigh and said, “Alright Minister, I guess the dog is yours."

Sensational Steve Circus

Yesterday saw live coverage of the memorial service for Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter. I always saw him as a fairly ordinary bloke who liked animals and had a good way in front of a TV camera, but boy, did I undersell him. Apparently, he was a Saint who never did anything wrong in his whole life, an Aussie Legend and he Changed Our World. The Prime Minister opened the circus proceedings, and the Show went on… and on… and on. If I ever hear John Williamson singing 'Hey True Blue' again I'll vomit, but hear it I will, because it's fairly obvious the ageing, long out-of-stardom Williamson is hoping that the exposure will make him popular again, as well as making his song standard fare at all future funerals. Brave little Bindi, reading a speech about her Dad, and vowing to continue his work, brought a tear to everyone's eye. And that moving climax, one man slowly loading Steve's ute with all his camping gear, while all the other zoo workers formed an avenue of honour, then his ute disappearing out of the arena… The psychologists after the Show, counselling all of us on how to deal with the trauma our kids will be feeling, without once mentioning the most obvious way - tell them he died and what death is.

I'm not criticising Steve. Quite frankly, I think he would agree 100% with me and stick the finger up at the whole thing. It was a media circus put on by morons for the benefit of total strangers with the emotional maturity of five year olds. Expect that sometime in the coming year 20th September will be officially declared 'Steve Irwin Day', and meanwhile, back at his grave, the earth will continue to be disturbed as Steve turns over in his grave… and over… and over.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mini Movement

I ordered a Mac Mini from Apple's online store yesterday, the dual core Intel and Mac 1.8 gig model. I looked at all the Intel Mac options but it was the sheer size (or lack of it), and cheap price, of the Mini that won me over. For a guy who's losing his eyesight day by day, the main priority was to stick with the 21" monitor I use, which looks to me like a 12" would look to you. Sure I'd have liked one of those spanky new LCD-monitor included iMacs, but one the size I need would set me back a lot of money, compared to the Mini. And once you make the decision to stick with your existing monitor, suddenly all the other Intel Macs become a bit pointless.

On Apple's website, it said shipping in 24 hours. All day I tried to access my Order History only to have an error message pop up saying their ordering system was undergoing maintenance. Finally, today at lunchtime I see my order at last, and the shipping is - wait for it - 8 days until it ships, and I should have it around 4th October, 14 days from now. Now I don't mind a little exaggeration, but 14 days instead of 1 is pushing the limits a bit. So I rang Apple's freecall number to ask why. What I got, of course, was a guy who could barely speak English following a script written out in front of him, and my questions like "How come it takes 8 days to ship?" were answered "First you will receive an order confirmation via email, then a shipping email when Shanghai ships it…" It's not just that he didn't answer my questions that annoys me, but the fact that he probably couldn't even understand me at all.

Eventually I realised myself why the extra delay - because I 'customized' the Mac by ordering 1 gig of RAM instead of the standard 512 meg. If you order a heavily customised system, I can understand there will be a delay while someone assembles it, but adding one RAM chip isn't really in that league. Apart from the fact that it takes 2 minutes to do, it would be a pretty standard order, so why don't Apple have 512, 1 Gig and 2 Gig standard units already on the shelf?

I'm a little disappointed but then I usually am whenever I order directly from Apple. I've had Macs since 1984, a long series of them, and experience has always shown that they are best bought anywhere but from Apple directly. They have the best, most innovative products in the world, and lousy customer service. But then, is it Rotten Apples on their part, or Sour Grapes on mine?

Pope in the Poop

The Pope made a few comments in his speech last week which got Muslims upset. Frankly, I don't blame them. Whether he was quoting from an old text or not, his comments were very insensitive. Following that, the church issued an apology, if you can call it that. The 'apology' went along the lines of 'Well, if what the Pope said caused Muslims to take offense because of their own sensibilities...' This is an apology!? You tell someone he's a bastard, then you say to him, "Well I didn't offend you, but if you took offense because you're sensitive about it, whereas most people wouldn't be…" And how come the Pope apologised anyway? According to Catholic dogma, he's infallible.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Who farted!?

HOUSTON: International space station astronauts pulled an alarm and donned protective gear yesterday after smelling a foul odour that turned out to be a vapour leaking from an oxygen vent, NASA said. My question: If it was an oxygen vent, surely the vapour leaking out was oxygen? Oxygen doesn't really have a foul odour, in fact it's kind of sweet and tangy, and anyway, these guys surely being astronauts should be used to the smell of oxygen! I smell a conspiracy to cover the truth here... admit it, NASA, someone panicked after sucking on a tube of baked beans and you're trying to make the incident more palatable to the public!

Astronauts put on protective gear after odour noticed

Crocodile Tears… of Laughter

The question that we've all been asking, of course, is if Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, was killed by a stingray not a crocodile, wouldn't there be a lot of really angry crocodiles out there now? There they are, waiting their turn and commisserating how their brothers have failed more missions than the CIA and FBI put together, then along comes this stupid flat fish that just casually flicks it's tail at him and wham! No more Steve! Candanian funny man Norm Macdonald sums it up beautifully:

Monday, September 18, 2006

Ron Barassi

If you've heard of Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, or Michael Jordan, you've got some idea of what Australians think of Ron Barassi. Even though the news of the past week has all been about the crocodile hunter, Steve Irwin, and his media-circus televised funeral, Ron Barassi is never out of the news. Just look at a few of these search results from Google News:

Footy legend Ron Barassi … it's not every day Ron Barassi comes to town … Barassi was the legend … AFL legend Ron Barassi says … affair began when he saw Ron Barassi play … water-walking Ron Barassi … how much torture can a man take, wondered Ron Barassi … AFL legend Ron Barassi, a patron of Melbourne … I was there three weeks after Ron Barassi… Melburnian of the Year Ron Barassi … Ron Barassi revolutionised the game … identities nvolved in the station were Ron Barassi … October's Barassi Cup in Canberra … Carlton went on to win following Ron Barassi's half-time exhortation … action-packed 70th birthday year for Ron Barassi …

You get the idea. Australian football is just like American football, except you can understand the rules in the Australian version and Oz footy players don't chicken out by wearing body armor onto the field. And the fans are just as fanatical, and if there was ever a man who could be called "THE' legend of the game, it's Ron.

Now Australian footy grew up in Melbourne. In fact, for many years the Victorian Football League, or VFL, was the only place in the country you could see it played at anything like professional level. That was Ron's heyday. But time moves on, and other states began to field their own teams, then their teams began to actually be reasonably good. They've improved so much in fact that this year, none of the Victorian teams made it to the Finals. Ron Barassi wants an Official Inquiry into why. Well Ron, legend or not, I'm afraid I'm going to burst your bubble here and save the fans a lot of money here by telling you the answer before the Inquiry even starts. The fact is, they just weren't good enough! That's it, no need to look further. A series of round-robin games was held as usual, in a totally fair way, and all of the Victorian teams lost. You need to look down at your jumper, mate, and notice that it says AFL now not VFL. The League has been the Australian Football League for a while now, and it's inevitable that the number of Victorian teams will go down and that other states will win. Personally, I reckon it's pointless having teams for Fitzroy, Essendon and Carlton, for example, if none of the players in those teams are from those areas anyway! Get over it, Ron. I'd like to see every single Victorian team retired and replaced by a single Victorian team. Maybe then, with the best players from all those useless little clubs, you might have a chance of making the Finals again.

Ron Barassi Website

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Stupidest Species

I take back what I said a few days ago about cows being dumb. I take back everything I ever said that implied that humans had intelligence. I saw this video on YouTube today and thought, straight away, "what could I possibly say on my blog today that said it better than this video?" So here 'tis. Oh, and before the author of the video gets too self-righteous, he needs to ask himself, "how can someone know how to edit videos together and not be able to spell the most basic words in the dictionary?" It's 'graze', you fool.

If 'survival of the fittest' is any rule, then the guy rollerblading from the second story of a house must already be dead. Somehow I don't find any sadness in my heart or sympathy for his relatives, though. If you raised one of the people featured, you need to be asking yourself, "was my whole life just a waste of the planet's limited oxygen supply?"