Monday, January 28, 2008

One of these kids is doin his own thing..

The headlines that the MSN 'news' channel promotes each day are without exception shallow, vain, depressing, and regularly hilarious; mostly due to their having a complete lack of self-awareness. You'll see what I mean, quite often they'll print a final headline that manages to neatly insult the intelligence of the previous two, but you can tell it's unintentional. It's a bit like the family dog who doesn't quite get why everyone finds his conical neck brace so hysterical, but appreciates all the attention he's getting regardless. You can't blame him -- Understanding conical neck brace humour really is some next-level shit.

I've been saving a few of the better MSN headlines for a while now, and in lieu of finding a final one I've decided to run a bit of a competition, which we'll call the Amazing Stumblor Story Headline Omission Game for the purposes of continuity. I assume the acronym is non-offensive, I really don't have the time to check. I'm a busy guy.

The rules couldn't be simpler: alls you have to do is guess which of the following headlines have been concocted out of the oozy depths of my subconscious (one per game), and you will win an incredible prize!

Said prize remaining undisclosed due to the fact that it totally exists, ok?

Easy one to start with:

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dr Glockenspiel Mix 1

The Irish dreamer thinks that mixtapes are the best presents ever. I'm guessing that's because she's never been the proud recipient of a lovingly wrapped hovercraft, you know, specifically. On a ratio that grades fun factor versus the potential for amphibious transportation, mixtapes by their very nature would rate quite low -- but then no-one has ever gotten laid because of their devil-may-care attitude toward giving people vehicles that can tackle any types of terrain. At least as far as I know.

And let's be honest. That's why people make mixtapes. As Nick Hornby pointed out in the book 'High Fidelity', a mixtape is like giving someone a letter using other people's poetry. If that's true, an amateur mixtape full of crappy poetry can be a dangerous thing. Give someone a stinker and your romantic hopes could be dashed forever. After all, the last thing likely to get a potential lover swooning is a 90 minute collection of Lymerick equivalents all relating to that man from Kantucket.

Luckily I have a sciency friend from Germania who is right on the money when it comes to mixtapes. He sent me one the other day that I thought I'd share with you:

How are you my friend? I hope everything is okay for you. I have some new girl where I met in my work, do you remember I tell you this story? Here are the songs that make us nostalgia.

1. Sweet Charles - Yes it’s You (mp3)
2. Sparkadia - Morning Light (mp3)
3. Phoenix - Consolation Prizes (mp3)
4. Peter Bjorn & John - Young Folks (mp3)
5. The Whitest Boy Alive - Burning (mp3)
6. Kings Of Leon - Fans (mp3)
7. Slow Club - Because We’re Dead (mp3)
8. Ambulance LTD - New English (mp3)
9. Bright Eyes - First Day of My Life (mp3)
10. Sarah McLachlan -Blackbird (mp3)
11. Madeleine Peyroux - Don’t Wait Too Long (mp3)
12. Sondre Leche - The Curse of Being in Love (mp3)
13. Yves Klein Blue - Polka (mp3)
14. The Shins -A Comet Appears (mp3)
15. Soko - I’ll Kill Her (mp3)

(Download complete mixtape here)

I meet this girl when I am singing the first song you see here by Sweet Charles. We are in the lab, and I am making a joke with the words and changing them. I am singing "Yes it's U-235, yes it's U-235" and I am laughing since this is being the periodic table element for Uranium. Hilda, she is coming right over to me and telling me that if I really wanted to make love forever to Uranium, I should choose U-238 since the half-life is being more than 6 times instead of U-235. She is a very funny girl, I like her more than 6 times.

I am happy to receive you in my house next time you are coming to Munich, it's when you want man!

See you soon,
Helmut G.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I'm Big Kev Excited

Hey tigers. Guess what day it is on Saturday? I'll give you a hint: It's the best flippin day in the whole world.

Now if you answered 'Doris Day' to the previous question, congratulations. You're an idiot. I would continue chastising you, but I'm way too excited because Saturday is, in fact, AUSTRALIA DAY! Kaboom!

It's actually a bit of a sad day this year as I'm usually getting burnt to a crisp at the Big Day Out music festival in Sydney and discussing in increasingly slurred tones the hilarity of BDO organisers inadvertently turning the Australian flag into a symbol of rebellion.

Last year also had double decker layers of ace because I was involved in one of the coolest festival fence jumps ever: I helped my boss at the Art Gallery, a 10 year member of Australia's notorious subterranean exploration gang Cave Clan and 15 of his screwball mates break into the festival through the sewage tunnel next to the main arena.

I *know*. And I seemed like such a quiet, polite boy.

Once we had arrived at the festival, my friend Bud, who had initially agreed to help me lift the heavy iron grating blocking the tunnel, was starting to have reservations.

"I dunno man. Lots of people about."

Although not necessarily keen to incriminate myself either, I was preoccupied with the thought of getting retrenched because I left my boss wallowing in effluent. "Listen," I cajoled. "I'll shout you a bourbo if you help me do this."

"Done." He said, skulling one of the bourbon and cokes he was carrying. You can also get him to eat BBQ grit using the same tactic.

We eventually found the grate near to the entrance of the main arena. Three pairs of white, pleading eyes stared up at us from the depths below. Bud and I looked at each other, looked down, swallowed hard, and then purposefully walked over to a nearby pylon to put our drinks down. A hand tapped me on the shoulder.

"You gonna break into the storm water drain?" asked the 14 year old Fear Factory fan, his eyes wide in anticipation. Observant kid.

My dry mouth minced the words. "Not exactly. Watch."

We walked over to the grating and yanked it open with surprising ease, expecting it to be heavier. Nothing happened for 5 long, heart thumping seconds, but when the first head popped out through the hole an excited cheer erupted from the surrounding crowd and people ran over to help pull out gate dodger after gate dodger -- as fast as they could climb the ladder. When all 16 were out, everyone cheered and clapped and slapped backs and then immediately dispersed.

The only person left hovering around the grate was a yellow shirted security guard, frantically looking left and right but finding nobody to grab by the shirt collar. The mob had won.

And we had a courageous story to tell for the rest of the day.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Overly Censortive

Last week I decided to conduct some research into what was generally regarded as the worst ever Beatles song. A worthless project based on a fundamentally subjective posit some might argue, but I was not discouraged. Like most hypothetical critics the task of ignoring them was simple and besides, I had some actual work that was in dire need of procrastination. To the google-mobile!

It was pleasing to see that most people considered 'Yellow Submarine' pretty dire, but my nostalgia was irreversibly bruised upon discovering the childhood favourite 'Octopus' Garden' being slagged off with alarming frequency. In most cases I noticed that it was Ringo's involvement in the songwriting that usually lead to disaster, but on more than one occasion it was the arrogance of McCartney that resulted in an annoying single simply not having the legs. Oh dear. Nothing changes, huh?

Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da is a classic example. A disgusted Lennon left the studio halfway through the recording only to arrive back an hour later completely wasted, loudly declaring that he was "more stoned than he had ever been and that they would ever be". (referring to the other members of the band) Given that this assertion was made by the same man who had only recently identified himself as both a walrus and an eggman, this was a weighty claim indeed.

Suddenly I stumbled onto something amazing:

Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da one of many songs deemed inappropriate after the September 11 attack.

Was this on the level? I read on. Apparently a media conglomerate called Clear Channel Communications (recently suspecting of having been behind The Dixie Chicks ban) released to the media a 'comprehensive' list all those songs they considered contentious and that may cause offense to Americans in wake of the tragedy.

Let me first stress that I do not find the World Trade Center attack amusing in any way, nor do I wish to make any jokes at the expense of the families who have suffered.

What I will do though is publish some of the songs that appeared on the Clear Channel list:

Dave Matthews Band – "Crash into Me"
Jerry Lee Lewis – "Great Balls of Fire"
Animals – "We Gotta Get Out of This Place"
Foo Fighters – "Learn to Fly"

I'm not making this up.

What I find incredible is that in the interests of protecting those who suffered, this organisation publicly released a list of songs that directly references aspects of the tragedy in gory detail. I wonder how protected you'd feel having lost a loved one and then subsequently coming across this list while cruising for porn conducting valid research like I did? To my mind that's the protection equivalent of setting up a safe house for abused children in the Neverland Ranch and then distributing a recommended trouser list that promotes only those that button up at the bum.

(sorry, that one grossed me out too)

Futhermore, at 166 songs total, the list could hardly be called comprehensive. Take for example:

The Bangles – "Walk Like an Egyptian"

[eyes turn kaleidescopic]

I understand completely. We must do everything within our power to stop people walking, riding, and segwaying like Egyptians.

[shakes it off]

Is this a thinly vielded accusation at the assumed perpetrators? Curiously, I couldn't find any reference to The Cure's 'Killing an Arab'; presumably because no negative message could be discerned from that song's lyric.

What finally got me though was the inclusion of this tune:

P.O.D. – "Boom"

Why you ask? Need I remind you of such musical classics that WEREN'T on the list, such as:

Fresh Prince - "Boom, shake shake shake the room."


Paul Lekakis - "Boom Boom Boom (Let's Go Back To My Room)"

No I need not.

But then I suppose if those songs were ever going to be banned, it would have happened long before now.

Tick, tick, boom.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ahh Theology

Is there anything it can't answer?

My favourite quotes:

  1. If we evolved from monkeys, then how come we can't speak monkey?

    My mum always said I was 1/8 Cherokee, but I knew something wasn't right when I accidentally incinerated the garden shed when attempting to send smoke signals. Furthermore, my name isn't prefixed with 'running' or 'dancing'. It's just Dave sadly.

  2. You got it backwards. Creationism is based upon science, reason and tons of evidence. Evolution is based on the blind acceptance of superstitions and fairy tales.

    Now I'm really confused. Evolution is the one about the chick evolving out of a dude's rib and that other guy evolving water into wine, right?

  3. I can sum it all up in three words: Evolution is a lie

    Sorry, I only got as far as 'Evolution is a'

    and finally...

  4. A missionary I knew watched a bullet headed for him do a RIGHT ANGLE before it got to him.

    Surprising: that missionaries have the ability to see speeding bullets.
    Not surprising: that missionaries are being routinely shot at.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Cry Me a River

Blackwater Worldwide, the hapless mercenary outfit responsible for assisting the American war effort in Iraq made headlines again yesterday for, you guessed it, all the wrong reasons. You might remember their number one hit: 'I shot the Sheriff, but I didn't shoot those 17 innocent Iraqi Civilians'? Nah, me neither.

Anyway, this time Blackwater security personnel released a chemical known as CS, a substance similar to tear gas, from a hovering helicopter and nearby armored vehicle directly into a crowded Baghdad intersection because, and get this..

..the road was busy and they wanted to bypass a traffic jam.

Well why not? CS gas has only been banned by the International Convention of Chemical Weapons, who as we all know are just a bunch of pen pushing nerdburgers. I bet they don't even inhale. Pussies.

American army personal at a nearby checkpoint were also heavily affected by the gas. Afterwards the senior officer at the scene was quoted as saying:

"This was decidedly uncool and very, very dangerous."

Hold on. Five-o said freeze. Did I read that right?

"This was decidedly uncool and blah blah.."

Decidedly uncool?

Huh. Let me just run a few idle thoughts by you.

Frangipani bumper stickers
Croc Sandals
Being the only kid who forgot it was muck up day
Bike riding outfits
Farts in elevators
Engelbert Humperdinck

These are all things that strike me as being 'decidedly uncool'.

Now I could be yelling Marco at the wrong end of the pool here, but the use of a banned toxic chemical during a peaceful day in the middle of a civilian area to clear a traffic jam strikes me as.. oh I dunno... like an incredibly fucking reckless act of moronic violence?

Like I said though, I can be pretty clueless when it comes to what the kids find cool. I once wore a hat with a little propeller on the top of it because I was thought that sooner or later, I'd get up enough speed to take off. I didn't of course. Looking back, I'm just pleased that I wasn't relying on it in the event of a tear gas emergency.

I guess the lesson to be learned from all of this is that if you work near the Blackwater offices, make damn sure you car pool with them on the way to work. You certainly don't want to be caught being the red-faced blubbering guy on the street cursing the manufacturers of his propeller hat for carrying misleading advertising.

Trust me.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Cap't Buzzkill and the Zoltar Run in

[Capt' Buzzkill and Beaker are skulking quietly through an amusement park in the dead of night]

Around this next corner? Nay. By th' 'airy God o' 'Ades, I know 'e be around 'ere someplace.

Ma meeep!

Always the 'arbinger of disaster, aint ye?

Meep meep MEEEP!

Quit yer bellyachin' ye braggart, th' guards are all 'ome in bed at this 'our, so ye've nothin' t' worry 'bout. Now if only we could just find th' rottin'..

Ahar! 'Ere 'e be.

Mooma meep!

Aye. A very rakishly angled 'at it is too.


Ye look fair as a feather good mate! Now just let me find th' place where ye put... 10 DOUBLOONS? By th' beak of th' Krakaan, that be wretched exorbitant. Aye tell ye mate, th' Xbox 360 got a lot t' answer fer! Thank me stars it be pillagin' week.

Zoltar awakens!

Ferchrist! Gave me th' fright of me life ye' did.

Zoltar awaits your question. Zoltar sees all, knows all,

Harr! Aye find tha' 'ard to believe considerin' yer dwindlin' target market. Where was yer power of second sight when all th' kids got bored ay? Out clearin' yer bilge 'ole?

Zoltar... predicts... everything except gaming market fluctuations.

Oright mate (elbows Beaker in the ribs). Wull, bein' all-knowin' as ye are Zoltarrrr, ye be already aware o' of th' recent 'eart troubles I be sufferin' at th' 'ands o' tha' scurvy ex lass o' mine. Awful business it was, left me reckless as a sea dog and twice as mangy. But yer see mate, aye've found meself in a bit o' a pickle concernin' a new wench tha' aye 'ad the good fortune t' win in a dice game, 'bout a full moon afore.

Zoltar is listening.

She be a salty lass and no mistake! Grim as they come. 'er foul mouth alone could stop a belchin' sea wind in it's tracks. 'Er belchin', wull tha' stops clocks. Surely, she be everthin' a man could 'ope fer. Recently we be spendin' most 'o our wakin' hours together. Fer a landlubber, she sure knows 'ow t' lub.

Zoltar is wondering what your problem is.

Wull aye once 'eard about these things called 'feelins' ye see. Aye 'eard yer supposed t' 'ave em fer people when ye be sharin' th' cutlass so t' speak. Bein' a bit o' a scallywag in recent times, aye get th' feelin' aye may 'ave lost me ability in tha' respect.

Zoltar submits to you that you are being a wuss.

Not t' mention th' trust issues she 'as concernin' th' fact aye won 'er in a game o' chance. Don't get me started..

Zoltar is considering your predicament.

"One lousy bottle o' rum?" She goes.
"Is tha' all aye be worth t' ye?". Don't get me started..

Zoltar assures you that Zoltar could not be further from getting you started. Please allow Zoltar a chance to think.

Aye just want t' know where it be goin' mate. Whuther aye should make 'er me first mate or whuther aye should just weigh anchor an' relegate 'er to th' poop deck.

Zoltar is becoming aware of the answer you seek. It will come to pass that you will shed your concerns of the future and live more in the moment, knowing that nothing good was ever achieved from focusing solely on illusory negatives. Once you have achieved this state of mind, an elegant solution will present itself and you will act decisively to achieve your goal.

Thanks fer nothin', ye' lousy machine.


Oright Oright aye was just about t' ask 'im. Ahoy Zoltar. Me mate 'ere wants t' know if th' Seekers are ever goin' t' reform.

Meep Ma Moop!

Right. If th' Seekers are ever going t' reform with Judith Durham a' th' 'elm.

Zoltar requests additional compensation before answering further questions.

Aye.. see.


Arrr.. Sorry me hearty. Th' prognosis be bleak.


[Inspiration loaned from Rosie's recent posts on Astrology and Pirates]

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Curse of the Boobsmith

That last post about novelty boobs got me thinking. Firstly about boobs in general and their contemporary relevance to a modern renaissance man (yes, still relevant), and then subsequently about the guy who actually makes them. You know, the factory guy. What about that guy? I don't know if I'm being condescending for saying so (I usually am), but I really feel for him. I've complained ad nauseum in the past about how my job is a bit of a social stigma at times, but I think my worries pale in comparison to those faced by your average novelty naughty bits factory captain. How does he feel having to explain to people what he does?

Here's how I imagine it:

Girl in Bar:
Hugo. Great name. That Hugo Weaving is simply divine. You're not an actor too by any chance are you?

Novelty Boob Guy:
Um, no. (waits for a change of subject that never comes) I umm.. I actually make fake plastic boobs.

Oh! You're a plastic surgeon?

Er, no.

Oh silly me, you make prosthetics!

Er, no. I actually make fake plastic boobs. Novelty ones. Like you see on that drunk guy over there who is loudly vociferating his fondness for pain.

(Disappears in puff of smoke)

But you know, maybe he pulls it off. Maybe his sweetness and conviction (and kickass name) are enough to render his occupation an irrelevant inconvenience to the fairer sex, and he eventually marries a lovely girl that has a penchant for exotic fauna and rollerskate parties.

Here's how I imagine their life:

*ring* *ring*

Girl Formally in Bar:

Novelty Boob Guy:
Honey, it's me.

Oh hiii! Will you be home soon?

I'm really sorry honey, I know we've been planning tonight for weeks, but I'm afraid I won't be home for dinner. One of the plastic boobs got caught in the nipple renderer and the entire boob order is backed up.

My stars.

I'm literally up to my ears in boobs right now.

I understand completely. I'll keep dinner warm for you.

You're the best. Oh ferchrist, we've just run out of honeysuckle pink. Gotta run babe.

You see? I can't help but get carried away with this, I really feel for the guy. I think this is the first occasion when I've considered the multinational hostile takeover of a small and struggling business a good thing. These kinds of operations need to be run by emotionless robots, not by people like Hugo.

Affirmative. I build wearable synthetic mammory organs. Your sexual advances do not compute. Warning! Warning!