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?

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

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


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.