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Me getting shy with a balloon
Various rantings, thoughts and points of view from a 29 yr old father living in Canberra.
Name: Mick
Email: mickATblightDOTcom
Age: 29
Lives: ACT, Australia
Mood:The current mood of mickrad at
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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Do you work? Do you need to live?

The $12 Million Dollar Work Choices campaign rolls along as Johnny and his league of cohorts continue to plough through the country like a Canberra Bushfire. It's scary shit. Even more scary than following Bush and Co. into a foreign land for oil. And scarier still than the possibility of being shot in the back when running away from 'Terror Agents'. We all work (yes...we do), and we all need money to survive. The cost of living isn't going to go down, but oh no Johnny doesn't care. He'll just reduce the wage bill for the nation and expect the same amount of output... If you want to get fired up a little more, read this over at LoadedDog: Shitty Low-Paid Jobs for Everyone. Maybe you care. Maybe you don't. But this WILL effect you, and everyone you know eventually.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I feel naked...

You can tell when you've become too dependant on your mobile phone when: - You left the house without it, get to work and contemplate driving all the way home to get it - You don't know how you're going to line up lunch with someone like you do every day with your phone - You wonder if you're going to get an SMS from a competition saying, "Reply in 5 minutes to win $100,000!" - You think it will be lonely without being attached to your body. - You miss the ringtone (It is currently Regurgitators "Song Formally Known As...") - You go to listen to the radio on it while you walk from your car to the office and get pissed off. - You see a bird sitting nearby that you want to take a photo of, but no...your pocket is empty.. See how much we rely on these things?! *Sigh* I feel naked....

Monday, October 24, 2005

Is your soul worth more than $6000?

Over at Reasons You Will Hate Me, there's a post and comments about the guy who got paid $6000 for standing in the background of those hugely annoying Inustrial Relations Ads (could they be on more often?). Would you do it? Would you want to have your face attached to this thieving, short-sighted, extravanaga campaign? Come on...$6000 is a lot of money. You could rub your hands at glee that they gave you 6 grand for doing nothing. But then again, is it worth the karma repercussions?

Oh yeah...

...and can someone please tell 'The Hoff' that we are taking the piss out of him. Of course he won't know what that means, but he'll still smile, give you to pistol fingers and his cheesy grin. *yawn*

Weekends are good. But sometimes, on the monday, you pay for it.

I had a fun weekend :) On Friday night, my mate from Sydney came down and he convinced me to go to see Ben Lee (Best Male Artist of the Year according to ARIA) at the ANU Bar. Now, I am not the hugest Ben Lee fan, and I've always thought he is pretty up himself, but the guy has talent. He is an excellent songwriter, and as my mate said, he has the ability to hold a crowd by himself. For some of the gig, he had a backing band, but for almost half of the 90 minutes that he played for it was just him, a guitar and occassionally Lara on the keyboard. Sometimes I think his problem is that he opens his mouth to talk, because it's not long before he mentions how many aria nominations he has, or how he has come from his bedroom to be Clare Danes' ex :P Saturday was an excellent day. The kids and I spent the day together, and it involved walking/running in the rain, bunkering under my sisters doorstep, the kids playing with their cousin and playing at the park. I think Ewie enjoyed the swing :) Saturday night I went bowling for the first time in 5 or 6 years. It was a work function for the Indoor cricket centre and it was a huge night. I also now realise that I must have at least 4 standard drinks in me before getting 100+ in bowling. My first game (sober) was a paultry score of 70, whilst the 2nd game I cracked the triple figures for 105. It was still pretty ordinary compared to how I used to play, but I guess not playing for so long didn't help. There's something about bowling alleys that make me smile though. I really like the atmosphere and the smiles that it generates. The key to happiness at bowling? Don't take it seriously. The guys in the next lane definitely had that theory down as they attempted bouncers, spinners and long bowls from the seats. It's good fun. Later that night, and after totally stuffing myself at Zeffirellis, a few of use went on to The Lighthouse. *shudder* Now, this place used to be called 'Sails' and it used to be my hangout, I guess you could say. My Friday nights, when I was 18/19 consisted of 2 for 1 drinks at a place called 'Vegas' (in Belco) and then we would stumble down to Sails when the cheap drinks finished and drink some more and party the night away. Then, repeat this ad nauseum on Thursdays, Fridays or Saturdays. Sails is now called The Lighthouse and on this particular Saturday night from about 11 till 12:30, it was dead. I guess there may have been about 60 people there, whereas in the boom times you would be fighting your way from the bar to the dance floor with about 400+ people. Back in the day I used to be able to recognise most people down there, but obviously 10 years later I look at the all the 18 and 19 yr olds and wonder if I was actually like them..... Scary stuff, but I digress. It was a fun night. I still drove home though (back streets are great) and I crashed in anticipation of the Allan Border Celebrity Challenge that I witness at Bradman Oval in Bowral yesterday. Cricket = Relaxation = Beer = Fun = Tired. It was a great day. Dean Jones smashed an awesome 89, and Border cracket a solid 65. It was excellent to see some of the ex-players, like Geoff Lawson, Greg Matthews, Ian Healy, Courtney Walsh and Colin Miller have a run. Heals even got a wicket (when impersonating Merv Hughes). I drank too much beer again and I crashed last night. I so wish I didn't have to work today, but oh well I have to pay for my non-stop lifestyle somehow...... And paying for it I am. I think I have gout. Yeah, I'm only 29, but every time I have a big weekend involving lots of beer and fatty food I get a pain in my foot that spreads from my toes to my consume my whole foot. It makes it hard to walk and it usually take 4 or 5 days to settle down. My dad has gout and lucky me, I appear to have be given his dodgy genes. Anyone have any good gout remedies? I am on detox today and drinking lots of water. Hopefully it will feel ok for me to play indoor cricket tonight, but somehow, I doubt it will get better. it'll probably get worse during the day... Anyway, enough of my whinging. Hope you had a good weekend dear reader....

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Would you have won a million?

So, the million bucks went off on 'Millionaire' last night. I didn't even watch it, but if you are wondering whether you could have done it, here's the questions that he answered to get there. (Hover your mouse over the question to see the correct answer) ------------------------------ Here are the questions Rob answered to win the million dollars. How would you have gone? Level 1 for $100 A common feature of bedside clocks is the what button? A: Snooze B: Snarl C: Snoop D: Panic Level 2 for $200 Which of these is a common sight in the office? A: Water buffalo B: Water spider C: Water cooler D: Water torture Level 3 for $300 A cricketer hitting the ball over the boundary without it first touching the ground scores how many runs? A: six B: five C: four D: three Level 4 for $500 To be prudent only in dealing with small sums is to be penny-wise and pound-what? A: Silly B: Buffoonish C: Foolish D: Puerile Level 5 for $1000 Also the title of a well-known song is the film Sweet Home what? A: Alaska B: Arkansas, C: Arizona D: Alabama Level 6 for $2000 In which state or territory is Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo? A: NT B: NSW C: QLD D: WA Level 7 for $4000 What was the name of former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher's husband? A: Denis B: Danny C: Darcy D: Daryl Level 8 for $8000 In electronics, what does IC typically stand for? A: Insulated circuit B: Integrated circuit C: Inducted circuit D: Isolated circuit Level 9 for $16,000 In which track event did Craig Mottram win Australia's only medal at the 2005 World Athletics Championships? A: 800m B: 1500m C: 5000m D: 10,000m Level 10 for $32,000 Which anniversary of the Eureka Stockade was celebrated in 2004? A: 150th B: 160th C: 170th D: 180th Level 11 for $64,000 A 1991 novel by Alexandra Ripley, what is the sequel to Gone with the Wind? A: Another Day B: Tara C: Rhett D: Scarlett Level 12 for $125,000 Jarlsberg cheese is an original product of which country? A: Germany B: Holland C: Norway D: Switzerland Level 13 for $250,000 In the wild, which tiger is the biggest of the big cats? A: Sumatran B: Siberian C: Bengal D: Bali Level 14 for $500,000 Which Ivy League university awards the annual Pulitzer Prizes? A: Columbia B: Harvard C: Princeton D: Yale Level 15 for $1,000,000 Which of these popular 60s TV shows premiered first? A: Bewitched B: Get Smart C: Hogan's Heroes D: I Dream of Jeannie

Monday, October 17, 2005

I's shocking. I am Big Day Out Virgin.

Big Day Out tickets went on sale last Friday and it was apparently the biggest selling day of the Big Day Out ever. Why, you ask? Here's the first announcement of acts: The White Stripes Iggy & The Stooges Franz Ferdinand Kings of Leon The Mars Volta AFI Sleater-Kinney The Magic Numbers Soulwax 2manydjs The Living End Gerling Dei Hamo Magic Dirt Cut Copy End of Fashion Faker The Grates Youthgroup Wolf & Cub Now, sadly I have never been to a BDO. Because of this fact I have missed out on seeing Nirvana, Metallica, Rage Against the Machine, Foo Fighters (seeing them in December!), System of a Down, Red Hot Chili Peppers (although I saw them at the Hordern) and many many many more acts that have graced the BDO stage over the last 10 or so years. I am going this year. Yes yes. I am going. I have heard rumours that Audioslave may be coming, and perhaps even the Chili Peppers again. But there is always lots of speculation. Mind you, I don't have my ticket yet. I have to pop down to Landspeed Records this arvo and get 2! :)

Friday, October 14, 2005

A night of surprising TV quality..

Morgan Spurlock, better known for his 30 day Maccas binge in Supersize Me, has returned with a new show called 30 Days. I watch it last night (ok, I drafted this on Friday, so it was last night then) as he locked his credit cards away (a Paypal card too??) and moved to Columbus, Ohio for a month to work, live and breathe on America's (pathetic) minimum wage. ($USD5.15 an hour which is $AUD6.85 an hour. It has not changed in 8 years.) Australia's minimum wage is $12.30 an hour ($USD9.25) and has been applied to move up to $13.00/hour I like Spurlock. He manages to portray the subject he is attacking with poise and clarity, even though he has to be frustrated and pissed off with a lot of things that he sees and experiences. So, he and his fiancee Alex, managed to find an apartment in a dingy part of town, (just upstairs from a former crack house!) and with no furniture and no money, they go searching for jobs. At least they both had jobs pretty much straight away, even though washing dishes and sanding walls are not what you would call career paths. The interesting thing was, that for those 30 days, their lives pretty much consisted of working, eating, sleeping and commuting. There was barely time (or money) for play or for any entertainment. Of course, the show was probably editted in such a way as to make the viewer believe this. It worked though, because the main thing I got out of the 60 minute show was a) I am so glad I don't live in America and work a minimum wage job and b) I am so glad that Australia has Medicare! It cost Both Morgan and his fiancee $300 + to walk into an Emergency Room to get their ailments checked out. The bill of about $1000 for 2 people to visit a emergency room shocked the crap outta me. This is what the temporary and casual workers get for not having a cushy job that includes Health Insurance. So after rent, bond, electricity, food, a little bit of entertainment and then the medical bills, they ended up around $1200 in debt after a month. Bloody crazy stuff! It really makes me appreciate what I have, and what I have had for most of my life.Too often we all just take our lives for granted, but I think it would take something like a 30 day experiment, or even a 12 month experiment on minimum wage with nothing, to really understand what it's like to live without luxuries. Anyway, good on Ten for showing this show, along with the 30 minute drama, The Surgeon, that was on before it. Another quality Australian show that will probably get buried and axed within a year, but at least we get to see them for a short period. I'm still seething over Channel Seven's decision to axe Last Man Standing, which has been one of my favourite shows of the year and one of the only reasons I turn the TV on lately. I still wish that someone else would pick it up and continue the show, but I guess that's pretty unlikely.... TV that I like to watch? The Simpsons Last Man Standing Arrested Development Scrubs Merrick & Rosso Myth Busters Drawn Together South Park and now The Surgeon 30 Days

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Notice to all residents of the United States!

Notice of Revocation of Independence - John Cleese (the Honourable John Cleese formerly of Monty Python fame and now political genius) To the citizens of the United States of America, in the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories, except Utah, which she does not fancy. Your new prime minister (The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a minister for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect: 1. You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up "aluminium." Check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and neighbour', skipping the letter 'U' is nothing more than laziness on your part. Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters. You will end your love affair with the letter 'Z' (pronounced 'zed' not 'zee') and the suffix "ize" will be replaced by the suffix "ise." You will learn that the suffix 'burgh' is pronounced 'burra' e.g. Edinburgh. You are welcome to respell Pittsburgh as 'Pittsberg' if you can't cope with correct pronunciation. Generally, you should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up "vocabulary." Using the same twenty seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. Look up "interspersed. "There will be no more 'bleeps' in the Jerry Springer show. If you're not old enough to cope with bad language then you shouldn't have chat shows. When you learn to develop your vocabulary then you won't have to use bad language as often. 2. There is no such thing as "US English." We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of "-ize." 3. You should learn to distinguish the English and Australian accents. It really isn't that hard. English accents are not limited to cockney, upper-class twit or Mancunian (Daphne in Frasier). You will also have to learn how to understand regional accents - Scottish dramas such as "Taggart" will no longer be broadcast with subtitles. While we're talking about regions, you must learn that there is no such place as Devonshire in England. The name of the county is "Devon." If you persist in calling it Devonshire, all American States will become "shires" e.g. Texasshire, Floridashire, Louisianashire. 4. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as the good guys. Hollywood will be required to cast English actors to play English characters. British sit-coms such as "Men Behaving Badly" or "Red Dwarf" will not be re-cast and watered down for a wishy-washy American audience who can't cope with the humour of occasional political incorrectness. 5. You should relearn your original national anthem, "God Save The Queen", but only after fully carrying out task 1. We would not want you to get confused and give up half way through. 6. You should stop playing American "football." There is only one kind of football. What you refer to as American "football" is not a very good game. The 2.15% of you who are aware that there is a world outside your borders may have noticed that no one else plays "American" football. You will no longer be allowed to play it, and should instead play proper football where your hands cannot be used. Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. It is a difficult game. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which is similar to American "football", but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full Kevlar body armour like nancies) We are hoping to get together at least a US Rugby sevens side by the end of 2005. You should stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the 'World Series' for a game, which is not played outside of the Americas. Since only 2.15% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. Instead of baseball, you will be allowed to play a girls' game called "rounders," which is baseball without fancy team strip, oversized gloves, collector cards or hotdogs. 7. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry guns. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous in public than a vegetable peeler. Because we don't believe you are sensible enough to handle potentially dangerous items, you will require a permit if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public. 8. 4th July is no longer a public holiday. 2nd November will be a new national holiday, but only in England. It will be called "Indecisive Day." All dates will be the spoken & written in the correct order: Day, Month, Year. 9. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and it is for your own good. When we show you German and Japanese cars, you will understand what we mean. All road intersections will be replaced with roundabouts. You will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour. 10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips. Fries aren't even French, they are Belgian though 97.85% of you (including the guy who discovered fries while in Europe) are not aware of a country called Belgium. Those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called "crisps." Real chips are thick cut and fried in animal fat. The traditional accompaniment to chips is beer, which should be served warm and flat. Waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with customers. 11. As a sign of penance 5 grams of sea salt per cup will be added to all tea made within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, this quantity to be doubled for tea made within the city of Boston itself. 12. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all, it is lager. From1st November only proper British Bitter will be referred to as "beer," and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as "Lager." The substances formerly known as "American Beer" will henceforth be referred to as "Near-Frozen Knat's Urine," with the exception of the product of the American Budweiser company whose product will be referred to as "Weak Near-Frozen Knat's Urine." This will allow true Budweiser (as manufactured for the last 1000 years in Pilsen, Czech Republic) to be sold without risk of confusion. 13. From 10th November the UK will harmonise petrol (or "Gasoline," as you will be permitted to keep calling it until 1st April 2006) prices with the former USA. The UK will harmonise its prices to those of the former USA and the former USA will, in return, adopt UK petrol prices (roughly $6/USgallon- get used to it). 14. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun. 15. Please tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us crazy. 16. Tax collectors from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all revenues due (backdated to 1776). 17. Last but not the least, and for Heaven's's Nuclear as in "clear" NOT Nucular. Someone please inform the smiling gnome currently impersonating in the role of president. Thank you for your co-operation and have a nice day. John Cleese You quite simply....ROCK!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Gym = Pain = New Muscles = Lethargy = Sweat = Sore Back Pocket

I've never been a member of a gym. Well not past the complimentary 1 months memberships where I go twice and then couldn't be buggered going again. I want to join a gym. Not really sure why. I don't really need to lose weight and I am not (too) weedy, but I have always thought being a member of a gym gives you some sort of freedom to go to a place any time and use it whichever way you want. This also includes not going when you want to as well. Basically I want to be fit though. Beyond the weekly game of indoor soccer, I don't do much exercise (Ok, I ran a marathon, but that was like 6 months ago and I haven't jogged further than to the bus-stop since then) Thing is, gym are intimidating places. There seems to be 3 different sorts of people that go to gyms. 1. The Gym-Junkie. These ones are obvious. They have big muscles, flat stomachs. Monogrammed towels and are flying along on each machine like they own it. These are the ones that I feel like to scorn and scoff at the beginners and amateur gym types (like me). 2. The Gym-Tester These people are like me. Everyday chicks and blokes who just want to do some exercise in their (restricted) time off in the pursuit that they can get rid of those beer bellies and love handles. They probably come and go and don't really have a regular schedule. More than likely just turning up when they remember they have a crap load of money coming out of their account each month to go to this place. 3. The Gym-Pervs Usually blokes around 35-50 who go to gyms to look at the beautiful young people that they reckon they might have a chance with. They will sit on machines for half an hour sometimes, just so they can look at the cute 20 yr old instructor giving a 40 yr old women a lesson on the "Hip-Flexor" machine. These are the guys that probably inspired the opening of 'Fernwood'. (Probably named Dick) So, if I want to join a gym. Which one?? There seems to be a number around that are big, popular and well-resourced, but why should I pick one over the other? I was leaning towards a new gym opening in Woden called Elite Physique. I thought it would be cool to be a member from the start of a brand new gym. Maybe get to know people and all that. They even have a full-size olympic boxing ring, and TV screens on all their cardio equipment. Funky. But then I started to compare membership prices and discovered that CISAC (aka Club Lime), offer gym AND pool for less than the price of a membership at Elite. Plus, they are closer to home. (is it better to have your gym closer to home or work?). There's also Bodyworks, who have 3 gyms in Canberra (wow, close to Work and Home) and even one in Batemans Bay, cause of cousre on my holiday I like to keep up with my program. It's confusing, but hey, I'm gonna do it. Any suggestions for where I should go, and is there anyone who wants to dive into the proverbial gym-pool with me? I hear it's better to have someone you join with to keep you motivated to go! Oh yeah, and is it work $73 a month (gym and pool at CISAC) to have something to do in my spare-time?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Brain Explodey

Ever get that feeling that you solve all of your problems in your head if you just erased your memory and started again? My head is so backed up with stuff that it just serves to confuse me, complicate things and tire me out. I just want a clear head. That's all. Maybe I should try drugs......

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