Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Anabolic Rhetoric

The two day White House environmental 'summit' concluded today with President George W. Bush outlining his plan to achieve what his environmental minister James Connaughton describes as the 'aspirational' goal of reducing greenhouse gas emisions.

When asked to clarify exactly what was meant by this definition, Bush declined, saying that while he aspired to answer the question directed at him, in reality he had no intention of actually doing so.

Friday, September 21, 2007

2 days to go, and officially shitting myself

Things To Do Before I'm 30
(23rd September)

  1. Champagne breakfast in a hot air balloon Lacking ballooning skills and suitable romantic counterpart
  2. Invent hover board (c) Universal Studios ergo high litigation potential, not to mention lack of technical know how concerning hovering
  3. Get married / have kids One week not long enough - blame late generational awareness
  4. Go to Oktoberfest in Munich and determine requisite answers through the bottom of an impressively large glass.

One out of four aint bad I guess!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Play that funky music

Things were not always this grim. I used to have a very interesting job. Once upon a time was a very popular Sydney DJ.

Don't laugh, it's true.

Well, I may be stretching the truth slightly, considering that maybe five percent of the people I ended up talking to about it had actually heard of me, but that's beside the point. What was most noticeable during these exchanges was the veritable tirade of questions that could be launched as a result of mentioning my occupation.

"Oh really! What clubs do you play at?"
"Oh really! What style of music do you play?"
"Oh really! You must be really worried about your future, yeh?"

I could never really understand the general fascination, but was always pleased with amount of conversational attention it elicited. I mean, most of the DJs I knew, while being completely lovable in their own right, were at heart music nerds of the highest order. Not unlike computer nerds in many respects.

Eventually, I made the decision to give it up. There were a multitude of reasons for doing so, but I very quickly found myself explaining them ad nauseum to a throng of incredulous scensters each time I went out.

"But why?" they would lament, shaking their beer to enunciate the point.

"I simply couldn't do it anymore." I would respond defensively. "Working 9 to 5 during the week, and then going out every Friday and Saturday night. Being forced to go to clubs when you didn't want to, missing peoples birthdays, going away parties, weddings. Hanging out with people younger than I was, who weren't my friends. And look, even if I did make it big, I really couldn't see myself being a travelling musician and being away from my (very hypothetical) wife and kids."

"I see." they would say, scratching their chin and nodding solemnly. "But tell me this, why did you quit?"

It wasn't long before the momentum of such conversations led me to feign drink emptiness and back away slowly, trying unsuccessfully to avoid eye contact.

It was pretty tiresome. The interesting thing was, no-one in the industry who was working a similar circuit to me ever questioned the decision. They understood completely, perhaps even better than I did. I think my closest friends Will and Spook were disappointed, mainly because it meant that they would have one less friend to heckle, draw texta on the face of, and buy indigestible concoctions of alcoholic beverages with questionably inspirational titles (The flaming funktrust, the kanga cricket, etc). But as they were well aware, there's only so long that your stomach allows you to drink something that was previously on fire.

During my last few months of DJing I began working at a place called Cargo, which was to all appearances a swish Darling Harbour nightclub. In reality, it was an arse pinching thoroughfare of oily haired bogans with delusions of class. It was here that I met Mikey, a beer swilling, sailor-talking ray of sunshine in this womanising wasteland. We had a simple approach to dealing with the place: Drink a lot of beer and make up jokes at other peoples expense.

It was during one of these cycles that I was approached by a girl of extremely questionable age who was obviously about to request something I'd never heard of, as was the usual fare in the place.

"Hi," She said, attempting to catch me in her doe eyed tractor beam. "Can you play [something I'd never heard of but five bucks says she saw it on video hits that morning]?"

"Sure," I said "Or alternatively, you could just wait until your next blue light disco and then hear it there."

I then erupted in peals of laughter, slapping Mikey in the stomach and retelling the story paying particular attention to my brashness and wit. When I turned around, she was still there, scowling at me. She raised her hand to her head, formed the letter 'L' with her finger and thumb, the international teen-symbol for 'loser'.

"Oh my God!" I bellowed, spilling my beer. "Could you BE any more from high school? You're like a really bad parody of yourself!"

By this stage Mikey and I were having the time of our lives; jumping around and spilling drinks all over ourselves. The track on the turntable could have been running out for all I cared, I was beyond doing anything but hoot with delight. I'm pretty sure the girl wasn't having quite as good a time as us, she made another offensive hand to mouth gesture (which made me almost die, I can tell you) and then left, never to be seen again.

Needless to say I didn't play her track. Looking back now, you'd be forgiven for assuming that I'm an arrogant, opinionated bastard. But you gotta admit, I'm a bastard who comes up with some pretty damn good drunken quips.

I'm going to pay for that night one day, I'm sure.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Very sorry for my absenteeism of late, I've been well and truly lost on Mykonos, in the Greek Islands. My hard won programmers tan is looking a very unhealthy brown.

On a lighter note, I did see my friend pay good money last night to don a crash helmet and get struck solidly on the noggin with a fire extinguisher.

Don't let anyone tell you that this end of the world is gimmicky.

Some stories coming soon.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Cap't Buzzkill and the Aftermath

[Buzz and Cold Pimpin' are in an alehouse, at the business end of beery afternoon]

An' ye know what tha' worst thing is? She's gone an' put a restrainin' order on me. I canne' contact 'er even if aye wanted too!

To be fair, you did attempt to feed her to the crocodiles.

Aye merely ORDERED it, ya' lily livered genteel!

I'm afraid, good sir, that in her eyes the difference may be negligible.

She bloomin' got away, didn't she? So where's the 'arm? Ay've been tryin' ta' think of another way of talkin to 'er, you know, to tell 'er bout me feelins'. So aye wrote 'er a poem, aye did.

Oh capital. Please impart your distilled wisdom on mine ears sir, though I surely consider them unworthy to receive the impending script.

Put a cork in it ya' dandy, and jus' 'av a listen.

let go me son, let go, aye say
for rope stretched taught will break
those learn'd knots will fault aye say
regardless sweet sail make

ye boughs are warped
ye keel askew
ye mast bereft asunder

tha' water leaks
tha' floorboards creek
tha' crew make known their wonder

'oo knows these tides that break our front
each wave widows anew,
of monsoon scale
this evenin' gail
that 'opefuls sail into


Aye think me metaphor might be a
lit'le 'eavy 'anded.

I think you should give serious consideration to never writing poetry again. Tell me, have you given limericks a crack? I believe their construct might be a little more malleable to your talents.

Ta' be 'onest, it be an old poem anyway, so aye prob'ly shouldna' use it. Aye just dunne' know what else ta' do mate.

Listen, my fish fouled friend, I have a proposal. Quite recently I have become the sole proprietor to a large fortune of engagingly proportioned 'hoes'. Perhaps you would consider accompanying me to get 'jiggy'? It has been my experience that nothing settles a partitioned mind quite like the embrace of a well endowed biatch.

Nay, nay. Ye a generous soul, aye grant ya', but me mind shan't know no rest until its 'ad its parlay.

Well said sir. Perhaps then, you might consider breaking your silence and just talking to the maiden?

An' say what exac'ly? That me bones ache to tha' point of agony from tha' drought that 'er absence 'as created? That aye'd do anything ta' be with 'er? Cap't rowboats for a livin', 'ave a 'alfwit theivin' scoundrel for a boson an' ne'er speak a word to 'er but 'appy ones?

Well, quite, although perhaps with one or two less pirate references. The sentiment is nice though.

Ay've always 'ad a 'abit of 'oldin that "to 'ave an' to 'old" 'oo 'aa in 'igh esteem.

Never would have guessed.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Job Description: Boring

Life when you're a computer programmer sure is sweet. You get to stare at a lifeless computer screen for the majority of your working life, talk in a completely justifiable nasal voice, and understand those strangely unsettling jokes on the Internet referred to as 'nerd humour'.

Yep, the fun never stops for us code monkeys. There's just one thing that I'm yet to get a proper handle on: being able to to discuss my job in a social setting. Take the following as a rough example. The scene could be any bar where you have just recently been happened upon by a comely lass of questionable virtue. It happens a lot, trust me. Us programmers must give off some kind of musky scent that attracts 'da ladiez'. An 'odor de coder' if you will.

her: So, what do you do?

I'm a uh... a computer programmer.


Which has many additional benefits such as knowing the quick-key to bringing up your desktop.

Do you know the quick-key for escaping without ever having to talk to you again?


You see my predicament. Its not that I can't be thoroughly engaging, its just that I can't be engaging on any social, personal, emotional, or theoretical level. Like, big deal!

Recently I've decided that the best way to combat the problem is to engage in a little process I like to call 'complete dishonesty'. Originally I was just going to reinvent myself as a Harley Davidson riding bounty hunter called 'bruiser' who wears cutoff denims with the reckless abandon of someone who 'just doesn't give a crap about having warm arms', but lately I've come to the realisation that the whole thing will be so much easier if i just steal someone else's identity. It will give the ruse an air of realism, and has the added benefit of saving me countless hours in development time. Everyone gets ice cream!

So, thanks to Jared's Dad and a great story that he told us over daintily held scotches in the Soho district of London last night, I am now a courageous firefighter who used to work in the second response truck in the fire department of Hobart, Tasmania. Pretty cool, eh? Here's some background on my coolness:

One night while we were sitting around playing cards in the station, the alarm suddenly sounded: A fire had broken out during the renovations of the Theatre Royal. Being part of the second response truck, we arrived at the scene to see that things were slowly sliding out of control. The fire was being fought hard on the lower levels of the building by the first team, but it wasn't hard to see that the flames were climbing toward the roof at an alarming rate. The dense, hot air forming toward the top of the building needed to be cooled, and quickly.

Noticing that the outside of the building was covered in scaffolding due to the renovations, I immediately signaled to the rest of the team to get the hose ready for a roof-based position. It seemed an obvious choice at the time, I knew my way around these kind of structures from working odd jobs in construction over the last few years. Once I'd climbed to roof level, I threw down the retrieval rope and pulled up the hose as soon as it was safely secured. By this stage, the fire had vented through the roof and the air around me was a howling wind of sucking , super heated oxygen. Corrugated iron sheets were being torn off indiscriminately and thrown skyward by the thermal currents, coming precariously close to shearing me in two. Kneeling down, my eyes a blur from the chocking clouds of black smoke, I turned on the hose and pointed the flow of water down the flaming turret.

After 6 intense hours (that seemed like 1), we managed to save the Theatre. During the struggle, a opportunistic photographer from the local paper took some pictures of the 'hero on the roof' who managed to 'thwart the fire and single-handedly save the historic Theatre'. I'm sure the boys at the station would have been none too pleased had those photos ever come to light. To this day I still haven't seen them.

You know what, this is never going to work. I think I'll just stick to 'single handedly saving the database' from the evil grasps of the 'stored procedure bug'.

I'm more of your 'ones and zeros hero' kinda guy anyway.

Small article on the Theatre