Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Quote of the Day

Housemate Country was describing my cat Jonah's latest effort in the litter box of doom. The stench was unbelievable given the size of the kitten. You could market them as weapons of mass destruction. Death wrapped in fur and four legs.

Holy shit says Country. If he was a bloke I have high fived him.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Go Fish

Scumbagland yielded a whole lot of hours of boring waiting around today.

It had rained, typically, for the entire Christmas break, making the mine we were going to impassable. At least until the dozers had knocked a few layers off the existing roads to expose a bit of dry dirt. What does that mean? Five hours of waiting around with people you don't know much about.

I've been in this situation before, you see. Plenty. One amazing guy broke the awkward silences by bringing in riddles for us all to do. I've played music games. We've all spent hours playing target practice with the plentiful stones. I have a collection of fossil leaves and other interesting stones from trawling around where the truck has been parked for hours.

And I also have a pack of cards.

That's where that interesting cross-section of people becomes far more of a hinderance. We're constrained to what everybody knows how to play. The lowest common denominator. Sometimes you can jag some really good card players and set up a tournament of sorts... Other days, like today, it's junior style cards in the form of Go Fish!

There's something campfire-ish about tucking a bag of rags under your butt and dealing out the cards while you're sitting out there in the nothing of a mine. People open up to slagging each other off a bit, letting out their sometimes guarded senses of humour, relaxing a bit around people they normally don't talk to. Face it, it's better than ignoring each other and trying to sleep on a wonky bench seat in the back of a truck [ie sauna]. Sometimes a decent person will emerge through the chance to be sociable.

Go Fish stumped me today. That's a pretty basic card game. Should we hold Scumbag interviews with a mandatory gaming skills test?

Should I be campaigning for a card game rules book to be part of the daily equipment?

Dear Scumbag Boss Peoples,

I am writing in order to place a request for a copy of certain card game rule books to be placed in the glove boxes of all working vehicles (and possibly those that aren't, for later). We lower Scumbags feel that it is in the best interest of crew dynamics and sociability that group activities such as the participation in card gaming are an asset to crew dynamics and staff satisfaction. This, in turn, leads to a greater sense of camaraderie amongst employees and therefore a more positive approach to the safety of others within the crew.

Yours Sincerely,
The Scumbags in Scumbagland.



Can we have some staff training days too?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Resolutions?

It's leading up to the end of the year. That precious time where you think of all the resolutions you can make for the coming year. Where you plan to instigate changes, usually radical, and hope they make your life swiftly better.

Reality usually reduces that to one simple sentence.

"I'm never going to drink again."

However, I face another New Year's Eve of not drinking and instead falling asleep on the lounge in front of the television. In previous years I have played in front of drunken mobs of idiots, wishing I could join the throng in order to not witness the tragedy from under the bright lights of sobriety. This time around I've got to work a nasty long shift New Year's Eve, and a 4am start isn't particularly condusive to partying after work.

So what will be the focus of my lounge-bound life-altering resolutions?

Up Yours, Alright.

Up Yours, All Right


That's it. Whatever way I can find to say Fuck You, This is ME I want to embrace and try it out.

Hey, something's gotta work. This past year I've been run down by the people I trusted, I've given myself more the enough knocks of my own doing, chance has given me some dodgey turns and frankly I didn't want to come out of it alive.

Why? I think I got so caught up in wanting to be wanted that I lost sight of the real me. The sometimes funny, intelligent musician who had a genuine love of seeing new things and finding wonder in the world. I want it back. Fuck you, this is ME.

And if you can't hack it...

Don't bother sticking around.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Do You Ever?

Do you ever:

Wish you could play music all day and never stop?

Want to work with friends and not losers?

Hope that the chick you just saw a picture of and thought she was gorgeous would realise that Mr. Wonderful was actually you, the person who doesn't actually have a penis?


No???

Maybe it's just me then.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

PhotoHunt: Fast

The PhotoHunt theme this week is Fast. The immediate thoughts are of speed and motion. Trains rushing along a set of tracks in the middle of nowhere. Jet contrails. Streaks of tail lights in long exposures. The blur of a cricket bat being swung during a game in the hot Australian summer.

Since when has the obvious been fun? A deadline prevents me from bothering to set myself up for any of the obvious shots, however let's pretend that I've actually been clever and approached the task from a different angle completely.

What goes fast around here?

I mean, REALLY fast.

345mL Is Not Enough


That's right, BEER. It doesn't stay for long at all. It comes and goes again altogether far too quickly for my liking. Especially at this time of year.

Why on earth does the silly season demand that people "get together for a few drinks before Christmas"?
Fuck off.
Why not get together for a few drinks at any time of year for absolutely no reason but the hell of it? It would make Christmas a hell of a lot easier to cope with when it comes to cash flow. Not only do I need to buy presents for the family, I've had to buy carton after carton of beer.

Stuff the silly season. In future, if you really want to drink with me you won't wait until December.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Family Extended

Ah, that ever-evolving process of change that is life. I’ve taken on a flatmate, known as Country. He’s a fellow Scumbag Industries worker and a true champion. To my home life he’s brought hours of supermarket indecisiveness He’s a fellow Scumbag Industries worker and a true champion. To my home life he’s brought hours of supermarket indecisiveness, a brilliant excuse to cook more often, and of course, several too many hangovers. It’s only been a couple of weeks.

Another addition to the Groove Shack is Jonah. A kitten who is both frustratingly loaded with testosterone and unmeasurably cute. He’s perfect.

Jonah came into my life in a typically weird way. Every day the Scumbags stop at a particular bottleshop on the way home, to grab a beer after a long day of dealing with grime and grot. Consequently, we all know the staff by name and have a good relationship with them. One day my favourite staff member showed me the stray kittens that had been born out back of the shop.

Marg, I want one.

I didn’t get one that particular day, but about a week later. I was working alone, so I had a whole dual cab ScumbagMobile all to myself, and nobody else in a hurry to get home at the end of the day. Perfect for kitten-catching.

The kittens had holed up at an abandoned shop next door to the bottle shop. I made my way through the overgrown yard, plucking blackberry thorns away from grabbing at my work clothes as I went. For the first time this summer, I was glad for the heavy thickness of our uniforms. The trek through the yard behind me, I climbed onto the verandah of this abandoned shop and peered around for these supposed kittens. I spotted one, a black and white little cutie with blue eyes who looked scared to death - like he’d never seen a human up close before.

I made a diving lunge for this kitten over boxes, milk crates and old shop shelving. Missed. Nowhere to be seen. But then… I spied the tips of a pair of little black ears. I reached in and snatched. Hauling him up by the neck, we stared each other down. He was incredibly scared but bold. Too young to figure out what his claws were for, he waved them around in the air and instead leaned in and latched onto my thumb with his teeth. Little fucker drew blood.

Meanwhile, old Marg is peering over the fence. She’s pretty short, so all I can see is her eyes and the top of her head.

Did you get one? She yells.

Holding my little trophy in the air, still by the back of the neck, I showed her. There was blood streaming out of my thumb and running down my right arm.

Fucker bit me Marg!

Here, put him in a box she says, and flings an empty beer carton over the fence at me.

It doesn’t end there. I grabbed a beer from Marg, still bleeding and laughing uncontrollably about the whole adventure, then proceeded to try to make my new little charge a bit more comfortable for the long drive home. I’d grabbed a bunch of rags and the plan was to put them in the carton with him so that he had something to snuggle up on and feel comfortable in. I’d keep the box at home as a bed for him, something familiar.

Nice plan. Thankfully I’d thought enough to roll up the windows on my ScumbagMobilebecause as soon as I opened the box my little guy made a leaping dash. Smack! into the window. He then Made a run to hide somewhere in the back of the truck.

Ah well, I thought. I’ll find you when I get back to the yard.

It must have looked great on the security cameras at the vehicle yard. It’s about nine o’clock at night and there’s Vic crawling around the back of this truck for a while and then coming out hugging a beer carton! Not only that, but talking to this beer carton.

Ah well, the things you do to build a family.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Scumbag Phraseology

There are a few main phrases to be aware of as a Scumbag.

That’s What She Said - This can be used at any time as an interjection to a conversation. A show-stopping statement.

Vic (talking about a grease buildup) : Holy shit it’s hard.
Anonymous Scumbag: Yeah, that’s what she said.

I Fucked Me Back Ay - Often accompanied with hobbling actions, this is based on a worker who did not last very long at all in Scumbag Industries. A Dead Set Unit, who spent a night shift playing on some over-exaggerated injuries. Basically the guy got the site safety officer at the time involved and sent my stress levels through the roof in a few short seconds. The other guys picked up on this phrase and started using it to make me laugh about the entire episode.

From there it became a way of breaking the silence. The guy has long since been shuffled off, and I’m not sure whether half the workers really know the origin of the phrase. It’s just something we say to break the tension now.

Wanna hat? - [Why? ‘Cause you’re a cock]. There are lens cleaner wipes out where we Scumbags go, that are in little individual packets with the brand Uvex upon them. Somewhere along the lines a bored imagination took hold of this and ran, twisting them into a brand of condom. Usually the phrase Wanna hat? is accompanied with the action of reaching into the top pocket to fish one of these out and attempting to hand it to the person receiving the comment. Why? ‘Cause you’re a cock is most often implied in the statement and not needed to be said. Unless the person is a Dead Set Unit.

Watch this fuckin’ idiot - One from the self-proclaimed King Scumbag, this must be stated with rising volume and pitch. Out of respect one of his phrases has been appropriated into general usage. Originally to warn of an approaching idiot driver, the usage has broadened to include general workplace hazards as well.

What have you done for me lately? - This is what happens when a bunch of Scumbags get together socially. Out comes Eddie Murphy doing stand-up comedy with Raw, and we all have a new phrase to play with. This one is so new it’s guaranteed to almost make me wet myself laughing, or at least reduce me to tears.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Scumbag Lingo

It’s about time I introduced the world to some of the Scumbag lingo. We have our own way of speaking, derived by spending far too many hours together in sometimes extreme, other times extremely boring, and most often isolated conditions.

Scumbag - One who has earned the title through being a good worker and good person. This title is not just bestowed upon any old person who rocks up for a shift. You can depend upon a scumbag, you can have a laugh and you will look after each other no matter what.

Deadset, or, for more emphasis, Dead Set - Serious, absolutely true. For example: Dead Set, I fell over a rock with every bastard watching me. Another example can be displayed in the following conversation:
Vic: Deadset mate, he’s a fuckin’ idiot.
Anonymous Scumbag: Deadset?
Vic: Dead Set.

Translation:
Vic: Seriously, he’s an idiot.
Anonymous Scumbag: You’re serious?
Vic: Absolutely.

Unit - A worker who is most definitely not a Scumbag. This may apply for a small period of time, in humour, to a Scumbag who has done something idiotic. This may be phrased Dead Set you’re a fuckin’ unit, mate. A deadset unit.

Most often the term unit is used to describe those with little to no aptitude. They could be dumb, oblivious, dangerous or just downright lazy.

Festy Cheese Beanie - The worst of the worst. This term applies only to the opposition. It literally translates to “foreskin” and this translation has been described in great detail within earshot of the offending crew members, without their knowledge that this is actually how we refer to them. The Festy Cheese Beanies are inferior workers, with inferior knowledge and equipment. They have amazing amount of distaste bestowed upon them by the Scumbags.

Mad - Excellent, amazing, deadset awesome. Example: I found this Mad new way do the job.

Goggle Box - The fluttering of the eyelids upon a woman’s clitoris. This is a hypothetical sexual manoeuvre invented on a boring day, laughing at this term inscripted on a wash pad storage box. ”Check out her eyelashes! Vic, I bet she could give you a mad goggle box!”

Saturday, September 5, 2009

SuperSucker

I bought a vacuum. Two thousand watts of cheaply made supersucking household domesticy. Ahhh. I love it almost as much as my kitchen.

The vacuum is good for everything. I give them hell. These things don’t only do floors. They do window sills. Blinds. Skirting boards. Upholstery. This thing will suck up all the dead flies out of the light fittings. Hell, why bother with swiping a spiderweb down with a cobweb brush? Don’t you get sick of the fucking spiders crawling down the handle, or falling off on to the floor? Suck them out of existence and the spider that came with it will disappear in a whirlwind of cyclonic beauty.

Deeply engrossed in my domestic supersucking bliss I decided to clean the bathroom. I did the edges of the mirror, the top of the lightswitch, in beside and behind the toilet. All was going well, beautifully even. And then I spotted a bunch of offensive dust specks on top of the toilet roll holder. Well we’ll just suck those out of existence too then!

Note to Self: In future DO NOT place the nozzle of the supersucking awesome vacuum cleaner (on maximum suckage setting) anywhere near a toilet roll.

Before I knew it, the entire roll was gone. Unravelled all the way down the tube and spinning madly in the cyclonic catcher. Holy shit that was quick! I thought as I started to laugh, standing alone in my own bathroom holding a vacuum nozzle and looking at the empty roll on the holder.

So from now on I think I’ll stick to vacuum cleaning everything except the roll holder.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Quote of the Day

Again, to Scumbag Queen, The Mole.

Aww cheese. Yum. I love cheese. It’s my favourite of all yellow foods.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Scumbag Muffins

A while back, the Scumbags were working 24/7 on a machine. This doesn’t normally happen, unless one is getting pulled apart for repair – a shutdown. Usually an engineering company gets pulled in to run the repairs and it goes full stick for about a month, maybe more. You get to know the people from the other companies because you’re all there day after day, night after night.

I was on night shift supervision the entire time. Four nights on, one off. As it happened, one night I was working away on a particularly tough job, right in front of the engineering foreman’s office. It’s never a place you want to have to work, because that area also houses the site safety supervisor and all other sorts of demons. This particular night, though, the engineering foreman wandered over near me, fiddled about with a tool and some air lines for a while and then came right over.

He’d hooked up something to make my job ten times easier. It was an air chisel – a cylindrical vibrating barrel that he told me with a grin not to get too excited about.

I handed it back at the end of the shift and thanked him. You owe me one he said, with a grin.

Shit. That was a priority job that I never would have finished before morning if it wasn’t for that tool. I think this means I’ll have to get in the kitchen. By the time I get home from this site I’ll get four hours sleep, get up and bake and come back to work. It has to be something quick and easy. Muffins!!.

It was a winner. I pulled the Scumbag crew up for a break around 11pm and the engineering foreman came over to tell me he’d already had four breaks just to have a muffin. They became a hit where I brought in trays (actually cooked by my flatmate instead) for pretty much the entire work site to get into.

Since then I’ve laid pretty low on the muffins. Last week, though, I decided to bake a whole bunch in my new sexy kitchen. I was up at three in the morning and baked enough for pretty much every worker in my company to get one. Plus a few left over to butter up the foremen at the site I’m working on currently.

Later that morning I clocked on at the work site and scuttled off to fill my travel mug with the first coffee of the day. While sipping away, I walked past the safety supervisor’s office. He’s a lovely, generous, loud guy who happens to be able to see a lot of the indoor activity from his office. Vic! he yells out. You shouldn’t need a coffee this early! You haven’t even started yet! I pulled up a section of his doorway and explained the muffin project. Turns out he fancies himself a bit of a cook, and has spent more on his kitchen than it cost to build the house. We challenged each other to a bake-off. Specifically muffins.

Two days later, doing the same travel mug filling run, he spotted me. The corridors are a hive of activity at that time of morning. There’s blokes everywhere getting work orders and paperwork signed, getting coffee and getting ready for a day in the field. Mr. Safety Man yells out to me through all this:

Oy VIC! When are we going to have our Muff-Off?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Surprise Chef

I’ve been eating a lot of salad lately. It’s easy to knock one together, and I can keep the ingredients for a long time without them going off. I also don’t have to worry about finding a microwave at work to heat up my lunch in – which if you have a kick-arse reheatable luinch that you’ve been looking forward to since getting out of been at three in the morning, it’s guaranteed the ones out on site in Scumbag Workplace will have given up the ghost.

The fun thing with my approach to salads is that anything I feel like seeing in the bowl gets thrown in. A handful of fresh beans? Chopped cashew nuts? Any thing goes and mostly it works out.

I’ve been using labna chopped into it to replace dressing. Labna is a cheese of sorts, a very soft yoghurt ball thing that tastes awesome and tends to spread throughout the salad and coat everything in it. But the other reason I’ve been using labna is… I haven’t stocked up on the dressings yet. My relatively new pantry is bare when it comes to corruptible greats such as mayonnaise and assorted vinegars.

Last night’s salad effort included the last of the leftover roast chicken. I decided that the labna would no longer cut it when it came to bodgey dressing ideas. It was time to get creative. I had a lot of crunchy elements in my salad, which was lucky. The only elements in my pantry corruptible into some sort of dressing were of the asian factor.

What a brilliant experiment. It was simple and so effective.

I grabbed half a lemon and juiced it. Into that I put a splodge of sweet chilli sauce. I tasted it and mixed them by adding more until they balanced out – not to sweet and not too sour. Then I beefed it all out by adding olive oil and whisking it briefly. Fuck yeah. Yummy, and perfect for chicken and crunchy style salad.

Often I have invention disasters in the kitchen. I fail to see all the factors in what’s happening and end up with a bin-able offense. But when I pull it off, well I have to say I get pretty proud. This particular adventure is definitely a “save that one for later” recipe.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Now Playing:


The brilliant Aussie hip hop outfit, the Hilltop Hoods are back with a new album State of the Art. While I’m not usually a fan of this genre at all, these guys win me over with brilliant construction. Their backing is varied and very closely linked to jazz and funk. The vocal timbre for their rapping is more light and bouncy, more rhythmic and humorous than the forward-pushing angry vocals typical to the genre.

Here’s some standouts:

Track 1 - The Return
This album builds from the opening notes. The introductory track commences with a suspense-laden motif that changes context immediately as a funky main guitar riff enters, becoming a fill support for the overall groove. At times the entire backing will drop out unexpectedly, and then return full swing in order to emphasise certain lyrics. Nicely mixed, there’s a little jazzy keys improvisation at times to fill out the complexity in the backing.

Typically Australian in lyrical content, we have humour mixed with politics - The System is broken/the cistern is broken/the shit is just floating. As I mentioned before the vocal style is rhythmic and bouncy, fitting with the funky backing.


Track 3 - Chase That Feeling
How can I resist a track that includes a syncopated violin ostinato? From the outset, a piano (ahem, keyboard) riff sets the scene for this to be a far more serious song than the others. There’s a sung chorus, incredibly well built up with orchestral backing which is inspiring to say the least. And I will take that feeling/Take that pain and replace that feeling comes out under the chorus, emphasising the point of the song.

Of all the tracks, this is worth the most attention. If you’re Australian and own a television, you might have already heard it, since it’s already been [abused] appropriated by Channel Ten for station advertising.


I find it hard to listen repetitively to this album. The vocals in hiphop always tend to get to me after a while. But for a once off listen every now and then this album is brilliantly thought out, funky and definitely worth playing at high volume.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Quote of the Day

...goes to Scumbag worker The Mole.

”It’s more useful than a cucumber in a women’s prison.”

Friday, August 28, 2009

Without Music!!!

Note to anybody moving a CD player with a carousel:

MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO CDs IN THE CAROUSEL WHEN YOU LAY THE THING ON IT’S SIDE

I went to open it up the other day and there was a sickening crunch. The tray stopped in its tracks, halfway out. I tipped it on the side and hit the button. No matter what way I moved the whole setup, there was no I was getting that to go anywhere with the press of a button. So I grabbed it and pulled.

CRUNCH

followed by

tink tink!

and now a tray all the way out with no discs in sight. More button pressing and the thing wouldn’t retract either. Time for surgery.

[Bear in mind that I had consumed most of a very cheap bottle of white wine in all its horror. Every step I describe here seemed like a good idea at the time.]

Safety first, I unplugged the whole setup and set to work busting into it with a screwdriver. Fifty screws and a sore wrist later, I popped the case off and found the three offending discs. They’d slipped over the back of the tray and jammed it.

Now is where I turn the thing on and hope that removing the blockage has magically fixed the operation of the tray. No dice. Bastardfuckingbastard. Dammit.I spot the gear that runs it in and out. I poke it gingerly, as if it might wake up and suddenly spring into normal operation. I poke it more roughly. I try to spin it, in order to remind it what it should be doing of it’s own accord. I try a bit more forcefully to spin it.

CLUNK

At this point I realise that I’ve probably stuffed it for life now.

Well stuff you, thinks Vic. I’ll beat you another way then. I’m drunk and I require music.

I plug my wireless router into the stereo games input. I normally have this setup and it works fine. Brilliant. I’ll use my computer to listen to the backlog on my hard drive and rip my CDs to it when I want to.

I fish out the trusty laptop, fire it up and hunt down iTunes.

”iTunes has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.”

Sorry for the inconvenience???. Sorry? Needs to close??? You didn’t even fire up in the first place, fuckwit. Not happy, Jan.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

How to Clean Up Minor Grease & Oil Spills

Preparation time: 10 minutes, and two cigarettes.
Serves: At least six hours of continual work in various areas around a machine.

Ingredients:
2 cheap plastic buckets (1 without handle)
1 plastic bag
1 bag rags
1 scraper
1 pair incredibly cheap crappy leather gloves
1 pair degreasing gloves
1 sperm suit
degreaser

Method
1. While smoking first cigarette, prepare buckets. Insert plastic bag into bucket without handle and roll the edges under, so that the bag acts as a liner for the bucket. Put degreasing gloves and scraper in this prepared bucket. Pour degreaser into the other bucket with handle.

2. Finish cigarette, put on sperm suit and incredibly cheap crappy leather gloves. Stand, have conversation, and light second cigarette. Walk to machine.

3. Finish second cigarette and locate nearest spill within machine. Scrape excess spill with scraper and place bulk in lined bucket. Once excess is removed, take off incredibly cheap crappy leather gloves and replace with degreasing gloves.

4. Take one small rag, dunk it in degreaser and wring out the excess. Make sure this is done over the bucket so as to not make any more mess and conserve degreaser. Wipe over the spill area.
*Do not place used degreasing rag back in degreaser bucket. You can use this rag multiple times before it loses effectiveness on spills, at which point it should be discarded. A common mistake is to place the rag back into the degreaser and reuse it. This will only turn nice, clean degreaser into oily black slop.

5. Replace degreasing gloves with incredibly cheap leather gloves and dry area with clean, dry rag, leaving no streaks.

6. Take cigarette breaks as required.

7. Repeat degreasing/drying process if necessary, before moving on to find more spills.

IT’S NOT THAT HARD.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Quote of the Day

From a recent day out with Boz and EspressoHead

Boz: You should join the Vulcan pick-up lines group. It’s awesome.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Vic’s ”YOU’LL LEARN” list

Chorizos go in Chimichangas. DUH
(at least they do in my version)

Measuring cups are required for measuring things.

There will come a time when you will, undoubtedly, require salami.

Every roast potato “fuck-I’ll-chuck-it-in-it-can’t-be-that-hard” experiment has been utter failure. Look up trustworthy advice and follow it.

Saucepan does not equal Frypan.
You don’t own a frypan.

The big fuckoff burner at the front of your stove won’t simmer. It knows only hard boil and flat out.

Five gladware containers is NEVER enough.
Buy two packets.
Or start eating chinese takeaway more.

White corn tortillas SUCK!!!
addition from Dot the EspressoHead:
so does instant coffee. Buy a plunger.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Reformation of The Groover

I have my own place now. For approximately the last year I’ve lived in a fairly reasonable situation in a granny flat titled Pixieland. I’m glad to get out of there, though. The name Pixie is a sour reminder of a sexual happiness I’ll never get to access again and living under a roof with that title constantly brought it home to me. It was like driving a car with a muffler leak. The carbon monoxide will make you feel tired but you won’t realise why. It’s my own fault that I have not taken this step earlier, completely.

Now I have a far larger place of my own. It’s eight in the morning and there’s sun spilling across my entire living area. The kitchen is filled with marble and stainless steel sexiness. I actually have a built-in closet that almost fits all my clothes. Once again I have a room to set up as a studio for music, editing and photography. Life is looking up.

On the list to aid in the reformation of the Groover of previous times:
- more bizarre kitchen adventures
- random road trips
- MAILBOXES!!!
- far more adventures in learning weird and wonderful things

Come along if you dare, but I’m going anyway.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Vic's Red Marker Pen

Ah, the local train station. An outpost on the edge of swampland and industrial area. It's about a two kilometre bike ride from home, downhill most of the way. At 4:11am there is nobody there. Except possibly me. It's a place to relax and have a quiet cigarette in the early hours before hitting the beginning of the work day. It's cold, dark and contemplative.



It's also home to some of the most idiotic graffiti tryhards.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Busted!

A text message from one of my bosses:

It is unaceptable to smoke in the trucks you should now better

Well, that's just teasing isn't it? Smoking in the truck is punishable by termination of employment. Knowing that I was treading a fine line of getting away with it or being jobless, I was forced to hold back on my reply...

Your spelling is unacceptable. You should know better.

The Death of Myrtle [Part III]

Where we left off...

I was on my way... but the fun wasn't over yet.

If you've missed the rest of the saga, you might want to go have a look at Part I and Part II before continuing here.

I'd done a walk to some local farms and scored some oil along the away. At one of the farms I walked into, there was nobody home. I was so damned frustrated at that point I rifled through their shed anyway. I figured if I found what I needed there I'd take it and leave whatever cash I had laying there for them in order to make some sort of attempt to apologise for breaking in and taking their oil. But no avail anyway.

Finally I got back on my way, with a mixture of lawnmower oil and a little of the right stuff slurping around in my stressed-out engine. I nursed this poor clapped-out beast of a car with shot brakes toward my destination. Sometime during the previous night (before passing out) I had organised for the kelsuperstarsinger and IcePick, the friends I was to meet up with, to start making their way toward me to meet up. I planned to leave Myrtle somewhere out of sight and mind until my fun, relaxing weekend with my friends was over and only then think about what to do with her.

Oh boy, Myrtle wasn't well. Not well at all. She rattled and clattered another hundred kilometres or so, getting worse and worse as she went. Myrtle and I got ourselves to the town that joins the wiggly little back route that I'd taken to one of the most well-used highways in the country - the Pacific Highway. Home of idiots in cars, trucks, caravans, and a hell of a lot more idiots. But I digress. The lead-up to getting on this nightmare highway consists of two roundabouts. They are hemmed in on either side by guard rails. There's traffic going every which way and everybody is in a hurry to get on the highway and out of there.

Myrtle got me through the first one, just. Something in her went clunk as I negotiated my way around. The second one was where she spoke for the last time. You're Fucked she said, as she died mid-roundabout and left me with enough forward momentum to get onto the verge on the other side of the exit. There she was, past the roundabout, but half off the road and nudged up against the guardrail on a section that nowhere to pull completely off. Great.

I was pissed. I couldn't even quietly dump her now. She was the equivalent of a big neon sign flashing ABANDONED on a very busy section of road.

Luckily kelsuperstarsinger and IcePick were only minutes away from catching up with me. We ripped everything off the car of any worth to me, including the plates. I was having a hell of a time trying to get everything out of the centre console, so IcePick sorted that one out for me. Giggling the whole time, he grabbed the entire console and ripped it out for me.

With that, I said goodbye to Myrtle. We drove off toward our concert, with the prospect of drinking wine in the sun and cheering on Ani Difranco being far more appealing than dwelling on the crime I had just committed and my new-found lack of transport.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Quote of the Day

.... goes to Erin the massage chicky at Chiropractic Plus, who attempted to put right the weirdness in my shoulder. It has caused massive pain for the past few days, after tweaking it the wrong way trying to be a mechanical hero.

"Your neck is ludicrous, just quietly."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Spam

Text message spamming has gone way too far when your federal government starts using it.

"It's tax time 2009. Lodge online using e-tax. It's free. Available from 1 July. Visit ato.gov.au. Please ignore if recently lodged. Australian Tax Office.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

One of the best math jokes

Life is complex: it has both real and imaginary components.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hit, or Not Hit

Do you already know the latest stats joke?
Probably...

Three statisticians go hunting. When they see a rabbit, the first one shoots, missing it on the left. The second one shoots and misses it on the right.
The third one shouts: "We've hit it!"

Okay. So there's a bit of a point to all this. I was at Scumbag Headquarters (aka The Yard) the other day, wasting time as is the norm when you're on shift in The Yard. The resident old fart mechanic turned turned around at one point not realising I was behind him. He made a point of saying sorry to me.

What for? says Vic.

Well, I almost touched your breast when I swung around there.

Oh. I don't see my tits as a sexual thing at all. There annoying lumps of fat I'd rather do without. The guys just don't seem to be able to comprehend that though. So I come back with:

You know what the difference between almost touching a breast and being a fucking mile away is, don't you?

No? He says.

And to that I replied: Absolutely none. Whether you're a mile away or an inch away you still haven't touched, so who gives a fuck?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Scumbags find Pebbles

Pebbles?
No, not of the small stone variety.
Of the large, decaying variety.

For some reason one of our scumbag teams was sent out to pressure clean a machine part - the crowd rack, or "sticks", which is the bit that the bucket is attached to - on Pebbles. We spent an hour sitting around waiting at the workshop for directions because nobody was sure where the hell it actually was. Finally, somebody who had been around for a while recalled where Pebbles was stashed. As it turned out she was over in a nicely deserted and overgrown back corner of the mine.



See? There's her name right up there above the driver's cab.

Three scumbags, a beautiful day, and a bunch of stuff that had been dumped. How much better can it get?



Exactly as the writing on the track frame says. What now?

There's another old shovel sitting around at a mine we go to. A while back I asked around about it. What's it sitting around there for? Parts? Scrap? Turns out the thing has been there for years and isn't able to be butchered for parts. To scrap it will cost too much. So... it just sits there gathering rust and mud. I guess eventually it'll become part of a hill.

At least Pebbles gets to watch the grass grow where she lies.

Quote of the Day

The universe is full of magical things, patiently
waiting for our wits to grow sharper.


- Eden Phillpotts (1862-1960)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Getting Around With The Scumbags

Working for Scumbag Industries has some perks. We might have to be leaving the workshop at 4:30am to get to our prospective work sites, but once you get there you can end up having a pretty cruisey day.

Take this day, for example.

We arrived at 6:30am and snoozed at the gate of the mine for about an hour waiting for the guys on site to say it was okay to approach the machine. Then we get there and lo and behold... the thing still isn't ready. So you either snooze, talk shit, or take photos of the whole process.

Here we have a 4WD taking on a shovel (the shovel is that big sucker on the left).

Shovel vs. 4WD


And here we have a guy wondering how the hell he's meant to turn this thing off. Can't see him? Just on the left of the bucket there.

Spot the worker


Half a pack of cigarettes later and we're finally allowed to go to work. Some of the guys you'll have to prod awake and watch them sleepily get ready. But hey, we're all getting paid for it. It's stuff like this that makes work worth going to.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Awww



Okay. I'm trying... Let me see...

How about: Ahem. Excuse me? Uh, I think you may have missed a letter in that statement? Or perhaps you would like to take the option of inserting an apostrophe on the end of "somethin" to at least make it look like you meant it?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Death of Myrtle [Part II]

Where we left off...

Next morning I tried to start the beast and it had a bit of life in it. Holy shit! She's still kicking!

I'd had a night camped on the side of the road next to my car. It was shitty tent-pitching ground, so all I had was a swag with the canvas pulled up over my head to keep out the elements and anything else that might wish to intrude while I'm in drunken slumber.

Pretty early that night I'd managed to scare myself half to death when something plopped onto the canvas relatively close to my head. There was a bit of weight in it, and I lay there frozen trying to figure out what danger I had just encountered and how to deal with it. Since it had actually plopped onto my makeshift bed, I reasoned that it wasn't a snake. Good news there! So I psyched myself up to fling the canvas aside and found my assailant. Laying there, innocent and not threatening at all, was the empty beer bottle I had stashed next to the bed.

I woke at another point and realised the flaw in my plan to get a good night's sleep. When getting drunk, liquid consumed has to go somewhere. Ahhh. Nothing like squatting in the dark for a bush pee when you're completely unsure of your surroundings. After my earlier freakout experience, my overactive imagination was supplying me with images of myself pissing directly onto a snake and consequently having a snake bite me on the arse. Or worse.

When I emerged in the morning it was already light. The rest of the night had passed without incident and I had slept soundly until after eight. Fuck. What do I do now? I thought. So I tried the car just in case. And as we already know, she started. I checked the dipstick and it barely had anything on it after the litre I dropped into it. I went off in search of more.

There's got to be farms somewhere around here and where there's farms there's usually oil. A couple of kilometres, three unoccupied houses and one complete arsehat later, I came across a father-son combo who gave me four litres of lawnmower oil. I offered to pay but they wouldn't take it at all, which was sweet. Things were looking up! To top it off, I thumbed a lift almost immediately on the preety much deserted road that I'd been walking along.

The guy who gave me a lift had a travelling companion - a small dog who had his own little bowl set up on the passenger side floor. They were a great pair. The dog ran around and had an explore while old mate kindly waited with me at my car to see if it would still go.

She fired, and we waved our goodbyes. I was on my way... but the fun wasn't over yet.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Death of Myrtle [Part I]

Finally, after months of legging it and fare evasion, I have a new car. It's burgundy. It's a station wagon. It's a Subaru with roof racks and a tow ball. Since I'm such a short-arse I can sleep in the back of it. AND the existing stereo is pretty damn good. I am in love with it's leather seats and sticking power windows.

I don't think I ever wrote about the demise of the last car. I'd just lost permanency in my job due to a stupid decision to douse an idiot with a cup of coffee. Said idoit was a relation of the boss, so I was lucky to be kept on as a casual. Anyways, I was driving this car around unregistered. The brakes were pretty shot - actually they were totally fucked to the point of grinding for ages after you atempted to use them - so I was using the gears to slow the car and babying it along. Since I'd gone from earning a grand a week to less than half that I had no chance of fucking the car off for a new one, so I was driving a bomb.

And it wasn't even registered in my name. I had no idea that I had to swap the rego over to my name when I bought it. I thought the dealer I bought it from would do that. Anyway, as things turned happened, that little oversight worked out well for me.

I was planning a night's stay a few hours drive away to meet up with friends kelsuperstarsinger and Icepick to take in the glorious And Difranco in concert. I'd been thinking about how the hell to get there a little more safely in my unregistered bomb. [Public transport? Pffft. Australia's a big place, and we don't have trains everywhere.] The plan came about that rather than taking the police-laden traffic haven of the highway straight up the coast, I would take in the longer, infinitely more scenic journey through the mountains on all the old back roads. In fact, stuff it, I might as well leave a day early and camp out on the way.

Shit happened that made me leave very late. I can't remember what exactly. I know I was near breaking point mentally with life and my job (or lack thereof) so I was operating on the flee instinct. I packed the car with my camping gear, gave it a bit of oil and set off into the dark.

The problem with taking a mountain route is that they tend to be pretty windy. I'd forget to use the engine to brake and instead use the stuffed brakes, producing a heart-wrenching grind that just seemed to get worse. The oil-light came on, which was no big drama because the beast has had a slow oil leak since I got her and it's perpetually coming on. Nothing open now out here, I thought. I'll put a bit more in tomorrow. So I kept on going, winding my way through the darkness with a spiralling head and a car with fucked brakes.

They got worse and worse, the brakes, or so I thought. And then it happened. I was on my way up one of the larger inclines when the engine seemed to chew itself to shreds. I stopped. No forward, no backward. No start what-so-fucking-ever. Dead in the middle of the road. In the middle of the night. With guard rails on one edge of the road and a cliff on the other. Shit.

All I could do was let it roll back down the hill until there was enough room on the side to pull over. I pooped the bonnet to check it out and my heart sank. There was oil everywhere. And my oil cap, sitting exactly where I'd left it when I took it off to top up the oil before leaving. Three hundred kilometres later and the fucking thing was still sitting there being a final reminder of my ineptitude.

I flagged down a passing car and they sold me a litre of oil for fifteen bucks. Rip-off bastards! But I obviously needed it. I put it in in the hope of reviving my poor dead vehicle but no dice. Luckily I was prepared to camp! I had the essentials for a decent night's sleep in any situation - a swag... and plenty of beer.

Next morning I tried to start the beast and it had a bit of life in it. Holy shit! She's still kicking!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Welcome to Scumbag Industries

Work has been my social outlet for a long time now. The roster varies from day to day, and so does the work. Crews of varying number get sent out all the time, so it's almost pot luck who you end up with. Some weeks you'll spend sixteen hours a day with the same four people. Other weeks you'll turn up for work excited because you're rostered on with somebody you haven't seen for a month.

We call each other scumbags. It's been known to be yelled from truck windows to fellow workers. It's been known to be yelled on the street. It's our form of greeting. A term of endearment. We spend hours rammed into a truck like sardines to get too and from the mine sites. We drag our sorry arses into the yard at 4am to get ready for the day, where the conversation is thin and sleepy. We crawl into spaces that you can't even sit up in and scrape out bag after bag of grease and dirt and dinosaur shit. We share a beer on the way home, rammed into that four-wheel sardine can, sweaty, filthy and giving each other shit all the way.

A scumbag will liberate anything that is apparently "forgotten". I have a toolbag that I've only bought one item for. Everything else in there has been liberated. Relocated. Rehoused. Even the bag itself. That bag is my scumbag pride and joy. You want a tool for the job? I've more than likely got it. And if not? Well... I'll probably have it by the end of the day. Scumbag.

Rearing Up My Ugly Head

I'm back. Same old Vic, farts and all.

Expect drivel, pictures, music, more drivel and the occasional illustration.

Continue at your own risk.

Monday, May 25, 2009

View Whore

I joined a Flickr group a while back purely because I like their concept. Each day they pick a random group to "invade". They all join it for a day, bomb it with photos relating to that group, and then fuck off again. It's random, it's creative, it's inspiring, it's completely juvenile and it's totally me.

Yesterday's group was an easy one. My Photo Is Crap But I'm A View Whore. It's a great little dig aimed at those people who submit photos to heaps of groups because they get off on the number of times people have viewed their photos.

So I did a shot taking the piss out of these people. In particular one woman out of the local group of photographers who I think is a self-centred egotistical twit. She's the butt of many household jokes about photographic technique and talent or lack thereof. She's also the reason I don't go out to local photography group meetings. I can't stand her in virtual reality so I think I'll be tempted to punch her in real life.

The list I created was with her in mind, and the shot based around those trying to be her, but not quite making it.

View Whore Wannabe


Yet... I am a view whore too.

This is my single most viewed photo to date. It pisses all over everything else I've uploaded for the amount of times people have clicked on it. And I'm addicted. I keep checking back to see how many more people have looked at this picture. Even by posting it here I am tricking myself into thinking it's more popular.

Go ahead... Click on it... You know you want to...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Showers and Lecturers

Yet another expedition into pissing off my University Composition lecturer. Each semester we got a list of ideas to select from and write a couple of pieces to conform to, or rather, "be inspired by".

We spent a while looking at pieces for instrument and "pre-recorded tape". To me this is an outdated idea. Something used in the early seventies by composers trying to be different to the norm and introduce an element of the booming world of popular music into their compositions. I argued that it's a dying or even dead form. My picture of a modern equivalent would be a live at-computer mixing event to go with a set instrumental performance. Or, at least, fuck the tape idea off and go to CD. Even that's getting too old now.

This is my way of saying fuck you, lady to the lecturer. For my "instrument and pre-recorded tape" piece I recorded two fantastically boring minutes of me having a shower. I overlaid it with various water sounds from my sink and produced the whole thing on CD, titled Don't Forget to Wash Your Armpits. The problem was that I had far too much fun doing the recording and put no thought whatsoever into the composition. My argument there was that it was meant to be inconsequential anyway.

Here we go:
Don't Forget to Wash Your Armpits for Piano and CD.
Piano performed by the crappy midi on my computer at the time, because I never got the piece performed in reality.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bass Music from the Archives of Vic

Back to the exciting days of Composition studies once again. This is one I really should do over again, and multitrack it by myself. It's called Big Bottom in an obvious hommage to Spinal Tap, but also in an yet another attempt to piss off my composition lecturer with my assumed frivolity.

At the time I had to submit any sort of recording of one of my peices, so three of us got together in a room with a mic and pressed play. The balance between the basses terrible. One of the players was my girlfriend at the time, who I knew (even before I started to go out with her) was an overbearing player prone to making mistakes and not caring, and not having an iota how to listen and perform in a group dynamic. But she was a captive bass player who could read music. There weren't that many in town.

It's noisy, it's poor quality, but at least a recording exists, and that's what you're getting.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Headline

Not long ago, a new headline popped up on my feed reader. All the swine flu pandemic media hysteria was bunted (tempoarily, I'm sure) down a notch to be replaced by:

Sri Lanka army ordered to stop using heavy weapons


They too must have an OH&S advisor.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

PhotoHunt: Protect(ion)

PPE:- Personal Protective Equipment

"Shooter"


Here's Shooter, one of my workmates. He's exhibiting the typical PPE we're required to wear for the job. Hardhat, safety glasses, lace-up steel-capped boots, and because we tend to work with grease and chemicals, a disposable "sperm suit". Or, as Shooter likes to call them instead, an Oompaloompa suit.

Seems a bit over the top. Mostly. Until two days ago, that is, when I caught myself a beauty at a moment without the hardhat on. Consequently I buried an adjustment screw on a grease injector block more than a centimetre into the top of my head. A hell of a lot of incident reports, reviews and a suture later, I'm beginning to like the idea of having a chin strap to keep the thing permanently on my head.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Get Your Listening Caps On

Yes, you read that right. Get your listening caps on! Time to delve into the archives of Vic's Composition years.

This is the first piece I wrote for University. It's one I'm pretty fiercely proud of, too. The lecturer was a completely uninteresting woman who would demand all pieces to be played in class so that we students could "get input". Yet, the only input she seemed to give was to ask what the title was and what it meant.

She was a very accomplished pianist. I can barely get past Three Blind Mice when it comes to playing, so I asked if she would perform this one for me. Well... I don't think the old cow liked being put on the spot with that, because rather than the usual nothingness response she would give, she absolutely tore this one apart. Thanks, it's my first effort. Ever hear of positive reinforcement?

Anyway, despite her comments I like it. And to spite her, when we (our class) toured to another city to perform a selection of our pieces, I scammed this one into the program.

So crank up the listening caps and tell me what you think:
Catastrophe for Piano performed by Georgena Cooper.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mum and LittleTyke

Ah yes, more from the recent archives of Auntiedom. My Easter weekend was spent visiting my gorgeous sister Kat and hubby Mike. And of course, the little bundle of wonderfulness that is my niece. LittleTyke.

Everyone was sick and overtired. Pretty much worn out. Poor LittleTyke was pretty ill and giving everyone a hell of a lot of stress trying to figure out how to best look after her, when she'd be fine one second and screaming the next.

Love


Awww.

Kat kept apologising to me that LittleTyke wasn't her normal self. I didn't mind one little bit. As far as I'm concerned, I want to know all the little nuances of who she is. If she's sick, that's her normal self at that time. That's how she expresses it. She wasn't the usual million miles an hour. She was placid, slow and sleepy interspersed with major tears.

Mother and Daughter


Mostly, could tell that she just wanted to be near her mum. Awwww.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Anatomy of a Linkfest

First up: Let's hit Google up about what the advantages of going gluten-free are.

In the descriptions we find this:
Many people may benefit from a gluten-free diet, including those with Celiac disease, MS, brain fog, seizures, arthritis, osteoporosis, autism, diabetes, ..

Brain fog? What the fuck is this?

Google? I feel a linkfest coming on...

According to Dr. Wilson:
Brain fog is extremely common. It affects thousands of people, children as well as adults. It contributes to school and work problems, low self-esteem, accidents, unhappy relationships and even crime and delinquency. Although it is common, it is not a recognized diagnosis, either in medicine or psychology.

Some people have been this way for most of their life and think this is normal. In other cases, it comes on slowly or perhaps almost overnight.


Fog? Maybe that's what's wrong with England.

According to what's-his-face, brain fog can be casued by just about anything from the wiring in your home to copper, to chronic illnesses, to food, to lack of grounding and even spinal problems. What a range.

But what do we mention here? Adrenal burnout?

And what's-his-face says:
Adrenal burnout can be the best thing that happens to a person. It is a wake up call. Often, some area of life is out of balance or alignment.

Addressing burnout is often the starting point for a deeper exploration of self. Rather than just existing as a programmed zombie, adrenal burnout may be the beginning of real living.

This was the case for me, and for many patients I have worked with. I suffered from adrenal exhaustion for a number of years. As I began to understand the condition better, I made many changes in my diet, lifestyle and most critically, my thinking.

I forced myself to do coffee enemas, to walk every day and to meditate daily, although I did not enjoy doing any these things, at first.


Woah. Back up. Coffee enemas? And saying that you didn't enjoy this at first implies that you sure did later. Sicko!

But what the hell? Google?

So the article in Wikipedia states that:
Coffee enemas are the enema-related procedure of inserting coffee into the anus to cleanse the rectum and small intestines.

No shit. Oh well, yes, shit. Definately. But tell me something I didn't figure out on my own!

Gerson said that coffee enemas had positive effects on patients with tuberculosis, and later even cancer. He claimed that unlike saline enemas, the caffeine traveled through the smooth muscle of the small intestine, and into the liver. This, he said, cleared even more the gastro-intestinal tract and removed more toxins and bile than a normal enema.

Yeah right? I still prefer my caffiene orally, thankyou.

But what's this reference article? "Colonic irrigation and the theory of autointoxication: a triumph of ignorance over science". Ha! This sounds like a cracker! Let's go!

Unfortunately I hit a brick wall there - the article is blocked to anyone who isn't a subscriber to the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. Damn. But I think I proved a valuable point today. See how little time it takes on the internet for genuine research of a topic to link on to shit? Literally!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More Meme Slackness (Deal With It)

"Here's the rules--mention the person that tagged you (did that). Complete the lists of 8's (see below). Tag 8 of your wonderful blogger friends (usually don't do this, but I will!). Go tell them you tagged them (if I have time)!"

Now we all know that this is Vic's World.

Vic says:
Fuck the rules.
This is Blogville after all.
In a world without boundaries, rules are somewhat irrelevant.


So I'm not tagging. If you want to be as pathetic as I am and do the meme, go ahead and steal it. I did. Go ahead. Trust me, it feels good.

8 Things I Am Looking Forward To:

1. More sunshine. I was driving along with my arm hanging out the window this morning, feeling right and summery. The tunes were good and the weather was fine. Now it's all up and pissed off in order to make way for a preview of winter.

2. Watching LittleTyke continue to grow and learn. Auntiedom... It's made me fall in love with a baby. LittleTyke is the best. She can do no wrong.

3. The invention and wide distribution of intravenous coffee.

4. Making fresh gourmet pizza. Who knows when, but every time I think of it my mouth waters.

5. Gardening. I don't have a veggie plot yet, but the ideas are germinating. Let's hope they hurry up and take root because I need to get some seeds for winter crops germinating, too.

6. Losing enough weight to be able to look in the mirror and not think ugh, for fuck's sake you have to lose some weight

7. Beer. Always.

8. The day after tomorrow.

8 Things I Did Yesterday:

1. Yet again scored a free ride on public transport. I love that my station has no ticket machine. I get to raise my middle finger to the authorities and also spend the money I would have spent on a ticket on something far more worthwhile, like sushi.

2. I walked into a local photography gallery. Not much of a surprise, really. But this one was holding an exhibition of works by local photographers who are members of the flickr community. I got out of my shell enough to strike up a conversation with the founder of the gallery about it. We had a really open, easy conversation in a setting where normally I would have feared intimidation. I think how easily the conversation came kind of took me by surprise and made me forget to be self-conscious. The outcome: the guy looked me up on flickr and told me that he liked my work. I'm pretty chuffed.

3. Sadly, I did not invent intravenous coffee.

4. Drank tea instead.

5. Cursed my manager many, many times. I try to make an appointment with his boss, and he gives me every excuse under the sun as to why I can't. I try to resolve issues with him instead, and he palms it off on to his boss, who he has made completely unreachable. Good stuff. Much appreciated.


6. Ate sushi.

7. Grinned like a fool for having eaten sushi.

8. Resolved to continue to lose more weight.


8 Things I Wish I Could Do:

1. I wish I could settle on a plan for a garden and just get to it. I spent hours today doing drawings and contemplating where the sun goes the most. I need to revert to a good gardener friend's method of "just stick it in and if it grows it grows". As Nike says, Just Do It.

2. For one week I wish I could actually have a penis. I would have so much fun being given a whole new body part. I'm bored with all the other bits.

3. I wish to invent intravenous coffee. It's a winner, for sure.

4. Wave a magic wand and make it spring. I wasted summer and now it's raining and cold. This signifies icy mornings, multiple layers of clothes, miserable drizzly short dark days and massive power bills. The only positive I see being offered up by winter is the prospect of snuggling up under more than one doona. In fact a mound of them.

5. Retire the poor old Fuji FinePix for a more superior model camera.

6. Dammit, but I wish I could play guitar and sing simultaneously. Occasionally it works out okay, but I could never get a gig doing it. What's weird is that I can play and sing a little on guitar, but give me bass and all ability to even speak while I'm playing just disappears.

7. I wish I could be travelling. Right now. Tomorrow. Every day.

8. I wish I could think of something else to write.


8 Shows I Watch:

Huh? I don't even own a television. I worm my way into other people's lives to watch hours of Bones and the occasional other crime type show.

Stupid, stupid question.

It's Vic's World, so let's change it.

8 albums I'm granting listening time to lately:

1. Jason Mraz - We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things
Okay, so it's a bit poppy/easy listening. But it's just appealing that way. The music is cruisey enough to flow right into your soul and make something move inside you with you even being consciously aware that it's going to happen. Worth a listen on a warm summer evening.

2. Dave Matthews Band - Everyday
I keep coming back to this album, even though I am really only rocked by roughly half of it. The rest is clever but doesn't stick me right to the core in the way that some of the more brilliant Dave Matthews efforts do.

3. Lily Allen - Alright, Still
She cracks me up. The music is tongue in cheek. The lyrics are sassy. I'm in love... but I think she'd slap me.

4. Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You
Latest album: Sadly, not as good as the first. There are still golden moments on this effort, just they're less in number than on the first album. In adolescent style, I've fixated on one track with a sweetly sung little chorus of Fuck you, fuck you very, very much. The plus is that I'm not the only one. It's now our work anthem.

5. Medeski, Martin and Wood - Note Bleu
A nice best of album that just keeps me coming back. Funky, interesting, sometimes completely weird. It's everything I like to be, with a little more confidence.

6. Counting Crows - August and Everything After
This is an old friend that I bring out like a well-worn pair of jeans. I can slip into it like a second skin and feel completely at home with every inch of it.

7. Panic at the Disco - Pretty. Odd.
Apart the fact that Nine in the Afternoon shits me to absolute tears, I've been pretty clinically fascinated with this album. There's a real Sgt. Pepper feel to it. I'm not happy with committing to liking it yet. I think it's more one of those things you have to stare at and poke for a while to work out what it is, but you cannot just walk away from and forget about. Eventually you figure it out and make the decision to go with well that was a complete waste of time or perhaps the opposite of hey, that's really cool. Judgement is pending.

8. Black Eyed Peas - Elephunk
This is great for just rocking out to when you come home from work. I tend to like funky sounds when I hit the shower, but not overly complex ones. This is perfect. I challenge anybody to listen to Let's Get Retarded and not be moving along with it. You're just not human if you don't.


8 People I Tag:

This is Vic's World, remember? Steal away. You know you want to.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Quote of the Day

May you always have success in your quest to irritate those who you despise. -Ben Goode

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dad and LittleTyke

Daddy and Jaz [Part I] Daddy and Jaz [Part II] Daddy and Jaz [Part III]


...all in a laid-back afternoon.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

PhotoHunt: Purple

It's been a while since I've done PhotoHunt, but what the hey. Sometimes you have to just up and follow the sign that says "Disappear Here" for a while.

So now it's all exciting and a challenge again. When I found that the challenge was "Purple", the first thing I did was look around my flat too see what I had in that colour. Funny, it's got to be my favourite colour, but I really only own a tie that is purple, and that's it in the clothes department.

My current sheets are that colour, but I'm not really interested in taking pictures of them.

Hmmph. It's going to be harder than I thought.

Then I looked a little closer. Dammit, I sit on it every day. Duh! My couch throw is a great hand-knitted mixture of different purples and a little black. Idiot! The answer is always under your arse if you look!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Converse

"The most important thing I look for in a musician is whether he knows how to listen."
- Duke Ellington

Think about that one. The context that I came across this quote in was a section of a book regarding jamming - getting together as a group to create music, to just play. To function individually toward a common, often undetermined goal.

For me, it echoes out into life. I think whether you know how to listen is the most important thing in any person.

Take my experience recently of hitting it off with a complete stranger while we sat and shared a section of gutter. We started off discussing a local point of interest and ended up talking about various places we'd lived, and a hell of a lot in between. This conversation wouldn't have been possible if we didn't have the skills to listen and respond accordingly. That tiny amount of time spent has become to me one of the best things that I have encountered lately - to engage in a fascinating conversation with a complete stranger.

It's one of the things I miss about customer service. There was more opportunity to meet strangers and hear their stories. A lot only had interest in telling, rather than responding. They didn't know how to listen, and I did. Cool, because I was being paid to do it, but it lessens the interaction. The few that you meet that converse, actually listen and respond in a cyclic fashion... They're worth their weight in gold.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Reasons To Smoke

No-one likes a quitter.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Strangenesses

Today I found myself sitting in a gutter having a really interesting conversation with a complete stranger.

Life throws some weird things at you sometimes.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Postcards from Wallsend II

As promised earlier here are a few more shots of graffiti goodness found in Wallsend, Newcastle.

Take a walk along Ironbark Creek, which really turns out to be a storm drain, and you'll come across a few of these beauties:

A whole-wall collaboration:

[sabotaz] 80

The best portion of a wall that stretched forever (and also more of the face theme):

Facing Up

More of the face theme again, this time under a roadway.

Shout Out

Monday, April 13, 2009

Backyard Snail Relocation Program*

*also known as "Photographing a Better Snail"

Peering down the hole


Meet Mister Gastropod, our relocation test subject for today. Mister Gastropod tends to hang out on the fence. He'll move by gliding along on his foot, making his path slippery with mucus on the way. With this slippy gunge making movement easier, Mister Gastropod conracts the muscles of his foot in waves in order to reach amazing land speeds of 1mm per second. When he hangs out on the fence, though, he doesn't get into the movement thing very much. He becomes boring. He washes out onto the colourbond background too easily. He is not particularly photogenic. Hence, he becomes an ideal candidate for the Backyard Snail Relocation Program.

Mister Gastropod adapts to a change in location very easily. Unsuspecting, he will be hanging out on the fence and The Hand of Vic will descend, plucking him from his inphotogenic slumber and relocating him to a more appealing location. He will wait a few seconds in order to ensure that the Hand of Vic will not intervene and relocate him again. Then he will extend his stalks and check out his new home.

In this picture he's following his nose. Mister Gastropod has two sets of retractable "stalks" that he uses for his sensory needs. Much like us humans, the eyes are at the top and the sniffers are below. So here he's sniffing out any danger through the hole in his new leaf environment before he pokes his eye stalks through to get a look.

And after the shot was taken, The Hand of Vic rested, and will remain at rest until further relocations are required.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Irony

Found outside a Newcastle brothel.

Purity I


Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Postcards from Wallsend

Went for an early morning wander the other day in search of some cool urban art.

I wandered for miles around backs of buildings, edgers of storm drains and under bridges. This is one section I found - not particularly artistic, but a brilliantly coloured section of wall under a bridge. A great opportunity for a reflection shot...

The Writing's on the Water


Also nearby:

Newcastle


And poking his head out from the grass of the same bridge I scored the reflection shot at was this dude:

Hat Boy


More later!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Quote of the Day

I hope life isn't just a big joke 'cause I don't get it.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Blast from the past

Time is never time at all
You can never ever leave without leaving a piece of youth

- Tonight, Tonight The Smashing Pumpkins


I've been brushing the accumulated dust off a few of the old albums I've accumulated. In listening to them, I think that I've also been brushing the dust off a few old memories, too.

One of the albums I've brushed down and breathed back into life is The Smashing Pumpkins' Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, which is a two-disc odyssey mainly composed of polar opposites: fuzzed out anger, and sweet lilting love tunes. There's an overall attempt at hopelessness, but honestly it doesn't stick. What I find amazing is that even though I haven't bothered to keep the dust from gathering in layers on the surface of this album, all it takes is one listen to have it all come flooding back. You know what's coming in every song, you anticipate the opening to the next track, all those words are still tucked away in your mind ready to sing along. All without being aware that the knowledge still exists somewhere in there, dormant, but ready to rise given the need.

I think the lyric above - you can never ever leave without leaving a piece of youth - can be interpreted in a positive way. Yes, you leave a piece of youth with these things that gather dust in dormancy. But blow the dust off and it's still there waiting to be experienced again. In those moments, time is never time at all.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Alternative furniture



"London-based contemporary design firm Purves & Purves offered a flat-pack DIY cardboard armchair frame along with a package of grass seeds in the summer of 2006, promising outdoor furniture that blends in perfectly with your lawn. You assemble the 14 pieces, fill it with soil, sprinkle the grass seeds over it and watch your new Chia Chair grow right before your eyes. Interesting idea, but mowing it could be a challenge."


Wow! A lawn lounge room! All I need is a lawn coffee table to put my feet up on while I drink my eco-freindly beer by the light of the solar lanterns.

Come to think of it, I could even have an outdoor kitchen with a built-in dual purpose water feature/kitchen sink. Hell, it could have it's own super-fresh salad bar. Plenty of fresh, leafy greens. All you need, right there.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

More eBay goodness

Moustache
****slightly used moustache in immaculate condition****


With a starting bid of $150 dollars and $4.20 postage.

Here is the product description:

Four month old untamed moustache, gingery brown in immaculate condition. Long enough to cover the bottom lip but curls nicely upon the top. Stylish and workable, endless possibilities.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Would you do this?

Trawling through the occasional weirdness that is eBay, I came across this wonder:

Item Specifics

Condition:
New

I am selling a big space on my back, 50cm wide, by 75cm long for anyone who wishes to buy it. It would be a perfect opportunity for a small or large business to purchase the space on my back and advertise Their company logo, details and web address through tattooing. I will contact the press, once your purchase has been made, and have them cover the story through newspaper, internet and television news. This gives your business, major free advertising, not just on my back, but via the media who would jump at the opportunity to cover the story of the guy who sold his back for advertising. I will not get anything inappropriate tattoo'd on my back. To sweeten the deal, i will also throw in a 30cm wide and 15cm long spot on my chest as well for a web address, logo or ontact details. The offer isnt just open to advertising, but artists who want there work bought to life , tattoo artists who want their work and them selves exposed in the media.


The guy has put up a Buy It Now price of twelve thousand dollars. At first glance that's a lot. But from the picture provided, the guy is about twenty. Say he'll keep kicking until he's somewhere around seventy-five, as is the life expectancy for males around here. That's fifty-five years of advertising for twelve grand. It works out to be less than sixty cents a day. So this guy will live and die advertising your product for a pittance. Idiot!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Holy Shit it's a meme!

Run. Hide. Drool. Do whatever you do. I'm finaly excited enough to participate in a meme.

"Google your first name and the words: needs, wants, loves, hates, believes, wishes, sleeps, smells, eats, tastes, and realises."

Well, here goes.

I sifted through the first page of results and picked out the doosies each time.

Vic needs

SA doctors ready if Vic needs burns victims support
Well I know that I can be a fiery little bitch sometimes, but really you'll only get a minor scald if you get too close when I let loose. Nice to know I have a whole state on my side, though.

New canola variety just what Vic needs
Dead set? What for? Will it help me lose weight?

The Beast. Old Vic needs a home. No sissies.
This is from craigslist. I have to see more. CLICK.
"Take Vic home. Please.
...
I bought Vic to get through Winter (which we did) and now I want her gone. Love 'em and leave 'em I say."

Thank fuck that Vic turns out to be a car that David is sick of having sitting in his driveway collecting tree sap because I was getting a little worrie there.

Vic needs to find a new job
Yes, yes I do.

Vic needs coffee
Yes, yes I do.

Vic wants

Vic wants it all in one place
Well, not absolutely, but if I didn't have to go very far it would be perfect. Thanks for thinking of me.

VIC wants to see how you "Get Silly"! Show VIC how you "Get Silly"
And you can win a free smack in the head!!!

Vic loves

Vic loves Limp Bizkit
Um, sorry. No.

Vic loves Becks' '25 foot penis'
What the fuck? CLICK.
"It's huge. It's enormous. Massive."

Posh added: "If I looked like that I'd walk down the street in my panties too."

Victoria Beckham has a lot to answer for. And so does David Beckham, obviously.

Vic hates

Vic hates: Hangovers, having to work
Apparently Vic on Bebo and I have some things in common. Bebo is not one of them.

Victoria is not, and never has any ambitions to be, Sporty Spice. Like the majority of us, she hates the gym and is looking for the easy way out.
Yep. You said it.

Vic hates all sharks. This is a complete lie.
Yes. It is. Sharks are just going about living, and if present ourselves in their environment dressed as food, who can blame them for treating us like food?

Vic believes

Vic believes Barbie is the girl he wants to marry.
You're kidding? Marry a girl without any genitalia?
Fucking idiot.

Vic believes white sharks are killing whales and should not be a protected species
Ah, CORRECTION. That should actually read "Vic believes the Japanese are killing whales and should not be a protected species."
Much better.

Vic wishes

Vic wishes to raise with the inquiry the issue of “R” classifications for electronic games
Actually, I couldn't give much of a shit.

Vic wishes to record its disappointment and concern at the proposed reform
Well, I'm not an it. But I truly am disappointed and concerned that our government's attempt at economic reform consists of giving out our own tax money as a "gift" that appears to not even meet the requirements of our own constitution. We would do better with the country being run by a bunch of trained monkeys. And they could fling poo at our rivals.

Vic sleeps

vic sleeps about 19 hours a day and gets up only for meals
Sometimes I wish that were true. It's pretty much the opposite.

Vic sleeps naked to feel David’s skin
Oh, Posh. Are you sure that 25 foot penis doesn't get in the way?


Vic smells

A lot of people didn’t think it was possible for Vic to get his comeuppance
Including Vic.
Vic smelt a trap, apparently.

"You smell like Vic.", He made a face. "Or Vic smells like me."
well, if we all wear Rexona Men's deodorant and smoke, that's possible.

Vic smells the freedom of anarchy once more
Always. It's in the air down here.

Vic eats

Vic eats filth for breakfast
Hey!
There's no need to be like that!
Typically I don't eat anything for breakfast. Don't even think about piping up about balanced meals and all that shit. Coffee will do.

Vic eats!
... is the title of a picture of some asian man taking a great gobful of chicken into his mouth from a bone he is holding. Congratulations, bud. You look like an idiot. And a pig.

Vic tastes

Vic tastes a "Belgian". Vic is a great sport.
Vic tastes a belgian beer? When it comes to beer tasting, I will always be a great sport.
Bring it on!

Vic realises

Victoria realises that there will be parents who have more than one rider in the family
Yes. It's a revelation, really.
It will change my life one day, I'm sure.

Vic realises ambition but needs big plate of chips
Google, how did you know?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Project: Pair

A while back I bought an old beat-up drum kit from the newspaper. I've been dutifully practising away on it.

But some days...

Some days I just come home and flog it. I put in the ear plugs because I know it's going to get loud, and then I let all the pent-up work frustration out on this poor old kit. Weird thing is that I seem to play better when I put full emotion into it.

Project: Pair

Friday, April 3, 2009

Project: Pair

Project: Pair


[An object and the shadow created by it]

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Project: Pair

In continuation of the pairs theme:

Project: Pair


Safety glasses.

Yuck.

Yes, they have a point. I found that out the hard way one night when I was pressure blasting. Typically the water is heated and your entire body will cop a certain amount of splashback of heated, dirty water. Your plastic crappy safety glasses will fog up and be covered in beaded drops of mud, grease and whatever crap you happen to trying to remove from a surface. No windscreen wipers, so I tend to take the things off and squint instead. Well... used to. Until I copped a rather unfortunate splashback straight into my eyes of degreaser that I had sprayed onto the surface in question. I had vision problems - stinging sensation, loss of peripheral vision and light sensitivity - for days and it was all my own fault for not wearing safety glasses.

They're still yuck.

But important.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Project: Pair

I challenged my sister Kat to yet another photo project. She's doing a bucketload better than I am this time - the project was to use pair as an inspiration. On the whole I'm stuck in a rut. Mentally, photographically, physically.

I've taken a few shots, but the concept in my head for those shots has not translated into the physical. They lack interest, definition, focus. Kind of like my thoughts at the moment! Never the less, I'll slog on and see if something comes out of brutal bullheadedness today. So far this is one success that I've had:

Project: Pair

Monday, March 23, 2009

In which Vic huffs and puffs and swears a lot

Lately, due to the unfortunate demise of my car (an incident involving large amounts of oil loss, a sleep on the side of the road, a few kilometres walk and eventual abandonment of the offending vehicle), I have resorted to the "Track and Treadley" method of getting to work on those days that the Roster Gods decide to bestow a shift upon me.

Generally I'll hop on the bike at about half past three in the morning and zoom on down to the station. It's about a ten minute ride. Not far, and only one bitchy uphill in it all. The rest is exhilaratingly downward - especially when you've not long been awake. Actually, when you're still really not awake. A quick sling of the treadley over the shoulder, slog up and over on the stairs and I'm there: a platform that seems like it's on the edge of nowhere. The Last Outpost Before the Crossing of The Great Swamp. But here's where the fun begins. Here there is no ticket machine.

Well you just hop on don't you? There's no such thing as turnstiles at the other end around here. You get on, you get off. Mostly it's honour and policing.

Honour. Pffft. I could buy a ticket at the other end. There's a ticket machine where I step off. But why buy a ticket when you know that you've already scored the ride for free?

It's also become a bit of a fuck you stance on my behalf. We're pushed all the time to utilise public transport, yet it takes you four times as long to get anywhere. And cost? You want me to pay my taxes and then shell out on top of that another four bucks for a ten minute trip on a train that runs only once an hour and sometimes, occasionally, gets to the station on time? Fuck you.

Uhuh. Fuck you... until the potential of getting busted looms. Lack of honour meets policing.

Like last night. I hopped on at my station, contemplating what I was going to do with myself being nearly an hour early for work. I was in the midst of a hazy locker-organising dream when I spied the pair of befatted blue uniformed transport cops working their way toward me from the back of the carriage. Fuck you became Aww FuckIt! rather quickly. I'd cleaned my wallet out completely at home and left not a cent in there, so I couldn't even fall back on the idea of buying a ticket at the other end. What if I pretend I'm asleep? Nope, they saw me get on with my shining silver steed. What if I say I'll buy a return on the way home? Nope. These people are pretend cops, puffed up on their own authority. Not a chance in hell. BAIL!!!

Luckily, some poor bitch was in the same predicament as I was, and a little closer to them. She held them up for just enough ticket-writing time for me to get lined up at the doors to bail at the next station. So fine was the timing that one of them even offered to help me with my bike at the door.

Escaped! Phew!

Now I am at a station halfway between home and work. My regular station, The Last Outpost Before the Crossing of The Great Swamp has been left far behind and we're now right in the middle of it. I am now at The Birthplace of Mosquito. Seriously, the people here have followed the Australian supersizing tradition and have stuck a big mosquito likeness on a pole to show what they are famous for. The next train is a whole blood-draining hour away. And it will arrive after I am due to start work.

Aww FUCKIT!

So I huffed and puffed and swore a lot. I slogged away on the trusty treadley, headed for work the hard way, huffing more and puffing more and swearing quite a lot more.

Have I learned my lesson? Maybe enough to carry four bucks with me just in case. Probably not. The danger of being caught is still by far outweighed by my views of if the system is fucked, fuck the system.

Juvenile?
Probably.

Cost-effective?

So far.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Quote of the Day

Some days you're the pigeon, some days you're the statue.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

You're Welcome.

Domesticity

Confession:

I've never made muffins before.

Or a cake.

Not even from a packet.


I've never felt the need to. If I cook a dozen or so muffins, who is going to eat them? Me? But I only fucking wanted one. By the time you've hauled about and cooked the things, the craving is well over anyway. So, better off not eating them in the first place.

I had a girlfriend a while back who would conveniently do all that for me. She was the dessert queen. I've never been much of a dessert fan, but occasionally get that little craving for a nice ice-cream/cake/pastry creation in the late hours of the evening. Look in the fridge, and there'd be nothing there. But she could make it appear out of thin air. And the best thing was that you didn't really have to ask her to do it. I had her worked out. So did our flatmates. All you had to do get a nice fresh dessert brought out to you, without even lifting your arse an inch away from your precious lounge space, was mention the word to her. It would start a little craving time bomb in her head that she couldn't ignore, and off she'd go and create some taste sensation out of a can of peaches and a bit of pastry. When she left the scene, I stopped with the desserts altogether.

But just every now and then, a twinkle of domesticity appears in my mind.

This afternoon, for the first time ever, armed with a (shameful) packet mix, I hunted around for a muffin tin. And the results were pleasing. I still only really want one muffin out of the dozen that popped out, but what the hey. I could get used to the baking side of life.

Every now and then.