Monthly Archives: November 2011

Hello silly season, or how I plan for my budget to survive over Christmas.


That time of year is upon us once again, Christmas. The bane of all budgeteers. But I have come up with the “Scrooge McDuck” method to save me from the horrors of budget blowout this Christmas season.

For those of you who aren’t cool like me, “Scrooge McDuck” although in a few other Disney flicks, really only came to my attention in the television show “Ducktales” (oh-woo-woo!) that was popular back in the early 90’s. He was the richest duck in the world, and was as good at saving money (i.e. being a cheap skate) as he was in making it. But he had a good heart, and had a soft spot for his grand-nephews.

OMG... I LOVED this show!

So here are the rules for the Scrooge McDuck method of trying to curb your Christmas spending.

1. Only buy presents for the kids.

Presents?!!?!? GIMME GIMME GIMME GIMME GIMME!

Lets face it, Christmas is FOR children. Well the gift bit of it anyways. When was the last time you were so excited to open your Christmas presents that you thought you would, pee your pants, throw up, pass out and dance a merry jig all at the same time? For me it was about the time I started getting *shudder* clothes instead of toys for presents. And yes, NOW I know it’s the thought that counts, but when you’re between 5-12 years old all you really care about is that you get your *insert toy of the year here* with dual action *insert prominent feature of toy here*.

Note: This only works if you are single! Brothers, sisters, parents, cousins will all understand that you’re trying to eliminate debt so the lack of presents from you to them will be forgiven. And maybe your partner will also forgive you for not getting them a present, but for the sake of relationship harmony, just get them something anyway. Seriously, do it. No matter what they say. you don’t even have to give it them in front of everyone else. Give it to them the day before or day after. Just get them something. Trust me on that. That’s doubly true if you’re a guy.

2. Know the kids you are buying presents for.

Yes they will love you, but it will cost you.

Sure you could always buy every single one of them a Playstation 3 and that would make you Uncle (or Aunt) of the year, but that would defeat the purpose of saving money. For example one niece is into the whole “princess” thing. But she is now 7. So along with birthdays and Christmas, over the past few years she has accumulated EVERY single piece of princess themed toys that has ever been created. EVER. I’m not even kidding. The girl has every Barbie that has come out since she was born. So what do I get her? Yet another Barbie (or Barbie wannabe) doll to be lost amongst all the others? No. I’ve gotten her a little tiara. And none of that plastic stuff either. It’s some sort of metal, and heavy like an actual crown should be. Cost? $20 bucks from a little store near where I live. So know your audience, if you know what they like, you can escape the expensive generic (but  you know will be absolutely loved) gaming console.

3. Babies don’t care what you get them, as long as they can put it in their mouth at some point, or throw it at their fathers crotch.

Put the rattle down and back away slooooowly.

Seriously they don’t. So put that silver rattle from Tiffany’s down. They don’t give a toss, and will most likely never be allowed to play with it anyways. Remember you’re buying presents for the kids, not an heirloom for the parents to hand down. You can get them brightly coloured socks (clean socks of course!) tied to a ball if you’re really skint. But all they want is that they can grab it in their tiny little hands, has some sort of texture, kinda soft, makes noise, and if possible used as a projectile to the head of one of their numerous contemporaries.

So there you go, 3 simple rules and your budget may survive Christmas after all.

Hello POTUS, *giggle*


So we had Mr Barack Obama come visit Australia last week and in Canberra especially when you work in government, that’s a pretty big deal.

Yes we have a ginger for a Prime Minister...

But one thing does puzzle me.

I know government absolutely adores acronyms. Well at least in Australia we do, and the USA seems the same. But why, oh why would anyone condone POTUS? That’s “The President Of The United States” for those who haven’t come across that acronym yet.

After a little bit more research, I’ve found that it was back in the late 90’s that the term “POTUS” seemed to ingratiate itself into the everyday vocabulary of those in government. Although it seems only very recently however that the term itself seems to have escaped the hallowed halls of Washington into pop culture.

To me it just sounds silly. It brings to mind names like “Cletus” (the slack-jawed yokel!). Sure Mr Shakespeare argued against judging things solely by their moniker. And I agree that a rose called by any other name would smell just as sweet, but honestly ladies, tell the truth, if roses were called “I-wish-you-were-dead” flowers or “bloody-diarrhea” blossoms would you really be all that thrilled when you received a dozen of them?

Do they really want to compare him to this?

Names have power. Especially in this day and age, where information is the key to everything.

Then it got me thinking, maybe the rise of “POTUS” could be linked to the slow but seemingly inevitable collapse of a world order, where the USA is the only super power left in the world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an America basher. I don’t think they’re the “bad guy” but nor do I believe they’ve always been the “good guys”. Like every other country in the world they’ve had their share of both good policies and bad policies. Of good statesmen and bad politicians. We can’t blame all the worlds ills on their doorstep.

China is flexing its muscles, and although I don’t believe that America needs to fall for China to rise, I seem to be a minority. A minority viewed by the majority as naive and innocent in the ways of the world.

Maybe the term “POTUS” entering into pop culture is a sign of that slightest bit of erosion of the power and prestige that the office once held.

Maybe in a world where everything needs to be shortened to fit into a tweet, “POTUS” makes sense.

Maybe I’m just thinking like a six-year-old, because whenever I hear “POTUS” I think of a large hillbilly, and the word “poo”.

Hehehehe. "POTUS"... sounds like Poo-tus... hyuk hyuk

Yes. I am THAT immature. 🙂

Hello post-drinking shopping, or I should stop doing crazy things while drunk, cause it turns out to be expensive.


Okay so I had a fairly big night on Saturday just past. I won’t regale you with all the boring details of what actually transpired, because:

a) stories that start with “Whoooaaa, I was like sooo smashed. So I…*insert crazy shenanigans here*” always turn out to be not as funny as the person telling them thinks it was

and

b) I actually don’t have much recollection of the events.

One thing I will say though is, Who0oaaa, I was like sooo smashed. So I jumped into a swimming pool fully clothed. Now for those t-shirt and jean wearing outings, this doesn’t seem to be such a big deal. It displays youthful exuberance and the propensity to dismiss societal norms. Or it could be that I was acting like a douche. But I was not wearing jeans and a t-shirt. I was in a suit and tie.

Thank god I had the presence of mind sometime during the night to park my phone elsewhere other than my pockets.

Now, for those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to dump their suits into a chlorinated pool, I can tell you this now. Chlorine is not good for suits. Or for silk ties. The suit is awash with weird stains, and the tie… well I’m not even sure how it happened but it turned inside out. As for the dress shirt, in tatters.

So upon waking up, I find myself in a strange bed with a multicoloured suit, no shirt, no tie and shoes still wet from the previously mentioned fully clothed swim. My wallet is also soaking wet. Thank god Australia has plastic currency (as in the notes are made from plastic not paper).

So of course I couldn’t actually go home in this state. I managed to borrow/beg/steal a singlet and shorts and bright yellow thongs for a quick trip to the local shopping centre, where in my still slightly inebbriated state, I blew nearly $400 on a new outfit. The shopping spree included:

– a pair of new grey trousers

– a matching button-up grey vest (rather than the suit jacket, great for the hotter months coming up)

Vests - great alternative to the suit jacket during summer

– a white dress shirt

– a pair of cufflinks

– two ties, one basic black and the other black with a hint of some design

The only thing that I can say to really justify the above expenditure is that I can use all those items for both work and going-out. And that’s a pretty lame excuse.

What’s even worse this is the second time in the past six months that I have actually done this, so it’s not like I didn’t know that jumping into a pool with a suit on would ruin it.

So what did we learn?

Chlorine + Suits = Bad

Cap’n Sweatpants + Alcohol = Stupid

Next time I should just fall off the balcony, at least my private health insurance will cover those costs… and who knows… my suit could survive the fall 😛

Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.


LOL

I can’t believe my mind didn’t make the connection with my “Hello” titles with Inigo Montoya’s line from The Princess Bride until now.

Yeesh.

And yes that movie is awesome, anything who thinks otherwise is dead inside. DEAD! The book is okay too. But I think this is one of those very rare instances when the movie actually outshines the book.

Plus look at all the great lines!

Vizzini: I’ve hired you to help me start a war. It’s an prestigious line of work, with a long and glorious tradition.

Inigo Montoya: That Vizzini, he can *fuss*.
Fezzik: Fuss, fuss… I think he like to scream at *us*.
Inigo Montoya: Probably he means no *harm*.
Fezzik: He’s really very short on *charm*.
Inigo Montoya: You have a great gift for rhyme.
Fezzik: Yes, yes, some of the time.
Vizzini: Enough of that.
Inigo Montoya: Fezzik, are there rocks ahead?
Fezzik: If there are, we all be dead.
Vizzini: No more rhymes now, I mean it.
Fezzik: Anybody want a peanut?
Vizzini: DYEEAAHHHHHH

Vizzini: HE DIDN’T FALL? INCONCEIVABLE.
Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Inigo Montoya: [drawing his sword] You seem a decent fellow… I hate to kill you.
Man in Black: You seem a decent fellow… I hate to die.

Inigo Montoya: You are wonderful.
Man in Black: Thank you; I’ve worked hard to become so.
Inigo Montoya: I admit it, you are better than I am.
Man in Black: Then why are you smiling?
Inigo Montoya: Because I know something you don’t know.
Man in Black: And what is that?
Inigo Montoya: I… am not left-handed.
[Moves his sword to his right hand and gains an advantage]
Man in Black: You are amazing.
Inigo Montoya: I ought to be, after 20 years.
Man in Black: Oh, there’s something I ought to tell you.
Inigo Montoya: Tell me.
Man in Black: I’m not left-handed either.
[Moves his sword to his right hand and regains his advantage]

Vizzini: I can’t compete with you physically, and you’re no match for my brains.
Man in Black: You’re that smart?
Vizzini: Let me put it this way. Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?
Man in Black: Yes.
Vizzini: Morons.

Man in Black: I challenge you to a battle of wits.
Vizzini: For the Princess?
Man in Black: [nods]
Vizzini: To the death?
Man in Black: [nods]
Vizzini: I accept!

Westley: I mean, if we only had a wheelbarrow, that would be something.
Inigo Montoya: Where we did we put that wheelbarrow the albino had?
Fezzik: Over the albino, I think.
Westley: Well, why didn’t you list that among our assets in the first place?

Westley: There’s a shortage of perfect breasts in this world. It would be a pity to damage yours.

The Grandson: They’re kissing again. Do we have to read the kissing parts?

Prince Humperdinck: First things first, to the death.
Westley: No. To the pain.
Prince Humperdinck: I don’t think I’m quite familiar with that phrase.
Westley: I’ll explain and I’ll use small words so that you’ll be sure to understand, you warthog faced buffoon.
Prince Humperdinck: That may be the first time in my life a man has dared insult me.
Westley: It won’t be the last. To the pain means the first thing you will lose will be your feet below the ankles. Then your hands at the wrists. Next your nose.
Prince Humperdinck: And then my tongue I suppose, I killed you too quickly the last time. A mistake I don’t mean to duplicate tonight.
Westley: I wasn’t finished. The next thing you will lose will be your left eye followed by your right.
Prince Humperdinck: And then my ears, I understand let’s get on with it.
Westley: WRONG. Your ears you keep and I’ll tell you why. So that every shriek of every child at seeing your hideousness will be yours to cherish. Every babe that weeps at your approach, every woman who cries out, “Dear God! What is that thing,” will echo in your perfect ears. That is what to the pain means. It means I leave you in anguish, wallowing in freakish misery forever.
Prince Humperdinck: I think you’re bluffing.
Westley: It’s possible, Pig, I might be bluffing. It’s conceivable, you miserable, vomitous mass, that I’m only lying here because I lack the strength to stand. But, then again… perhaps I have the strength after all.
[slowly rises and points sword directly at the prince]
Westley: DROP… YOUR… SWORD!
Prince Humperdinck: [Humperdinck’s mouth hangs open, drops sword to floor]

Okay there are bits of the movie that are now seeing it as an adult is painfully cheesy. But that’s really whats so great about it. It takes you back to that time when you were a kid, when you actually didn’t realise the cheesiness of it all.

A time when happily ever after was not just a vague possibility but a certainty. When the bad guys would get their comeuppance and the good guys would ride away to the sunset, and when the world was your own personal fairy tale.

Now, while not all of us will ever get a “happily ever after”, I think “happy right now” works well enough for most of us. As long as we appreciate those tiny slivers in time, when everything seems perfect.

It’s when I look back at all the great things I experienced as a kid that I start warming up to the idea of babies and all that jazz. I mean what better way to experience all the stuff you loved as a kid than sharing them with your own?

Who knows, maybe they’ll look up at me and ask if we could watch it again… What else can I say to that except…

As you…

… PSYCHE!

HELL NO! GO TO BED YOU LITTLE RUGRAT!

Hello diet, please someone tell me if this is stupid.


Okay, so as everyone knows I’m fat (despite what vodka, 444, Tanner and maxie say… they’re just nice. Or are great liars 😉 kidding, kidding!). But I am trying to lose the weight and also gain muscle, cause while I’m fat I’m also a stick in term of arms and legs. So I look like this:

I am a gluuuue-ton (*sigh* the 90's had the best cartoons)

As well as running 8km (roughly 5 miles) every other day, and then going to the gym for free weight training on the alternative days, rotating muscle groups between chest & arms, then back & legs, I am also trying out this weird diet.

I’m not even sure how I came up with it, but I think it’s because I read in an article somewhere that fat-loss and muscle gain are diametrically opposed to each other in terms of what you have to do calorie-intake wise. Fat loss means fewer calories, while muscle gain requires you to eat as much calories as possible. So how did the person writing the article solve this problem? He puts forward the idea that on days you do cardio, you eat less on days you do weight training you eat more. Simple right?

He didn’t really give any more specifics other than that. So I’ve gone and made up my own. If anyone out there knows anything about nutrition or anything like that, please feel free to blow this out of the water. Note however if you are merely disgusted by the amount of meat I am consuming, well I’m sorry that’s not going to stop 😛

Here goes:

Cardio/Running Days – No Breakfast / Ham & Cheese Sandwich for Lunch / 2 Apples for dinner.

Weight Training Days – Smoothie for Breakfast / Anything I want for Lunch / Some sort of meat for dinner  at least 500g of it (steaks, pork chops, sausages, chicken, whatever).

So thoughts? Am I going about this all wrong? Are those apples going to be the death of me? Where can I add bacon to this? Should I ask that girl out? Where are my pants? Should I do more running/cardio first THEN do weights?

Answers people!

Hello Movember, or a great excuse to sport really hideous facial hair for a month.


I’m not too sure whether or not Movember has caught on outside Australia. But I have noticed that it is gaining a lot of momentum here over the past few years.

Go the Sanchez!

Essentially Movember is a month-long charity event where those taking part grow a moustache (or “mo’s) or attempt to grow one, and in doing so raise fund for men’s health issues, notable depression and prostate cancer.

Visit here for the official Movember site.

So here in the capital, we’re seeing a lot more badly executed facial hair this month.

I myself and sporting a fairly bushy beard at the moment, but really this is only due to my being lazy rather than wanting to join in on all the moustache fun.

I doubt I’ll actually shave it out to sport just a moustache, while the beard works well for me, just a moustache makes me look a creepy hipster child molesting weirdo.

Actually I am...

So if none of you Northeners have heard about this yet, get your significant others to join in on it (since most of you are female and asking you to grow a moustache would be an effort in futility, and if that’s not the case for anyone, then I am truly, truly sorry) and raise some money!

 

Hello single-life, it’s all fun and games until someone doesn’t wake up early enough to go to work.


Becoming recently single, I have been once again delving into the deep dark realms of bachelor-hood.

While I am not one of those people who NEED to be in relationships, neither am I the kind of person that believes that relationships are a foul curse that should only be wished upon those that you truly despise (that’s what ‘marriage’ is for… hahaha… I’m kidding I’m kidding). But I did at one point or another exist in a state when I held those beliefs. Well of course not at the same time, that would just make a person’s head explode.

Back when I was a youngin’ (you know, when neanderthals were still competing for our hunting grounds) I always had to have a girlfriend. I would go out with people not because I liked them a lot per se, but I knew that they liked me. Yes it was a douchey thing to do and be, but I was young and stupid.

Then came the big break-up and I firmly believed that relationships were put on this earth to torture and break people.

Now… meh. I can see the benefits of being single, and I can see the benefits of being in a relationship. I’m not hankering for one or the other. Being newly single I’m not on the prowl to look for the next Mrs Sweatpants, but neither am I ignoring overtures for companionship of the fairer sex.

But the one thing I am definitely missing is the alarm clock function of the girlfriend.

I’m not saying that I expect (or want) my girlfriends to wake me up. I just wake up when they wake up. I tend to be a very light sleeper when I’m in bed with someone, and will usually rouse when they’re getting out of bed. They don’t have to do anything, simply by going on their own routine is enough to make me start on mine.

But now, being single and having the bed all to myself, I’m finding it very difficult to wake up in the mornings.

Take today for example, I set the alarm for 6am, I snoozed button that thing till 8:30am. The day before I snoozed till 8am.

I know like everything else, it’s just a matter of training my body to get up without being around anyone else. It’s just that it takes time, and at the rate I’m going in about 16 days I’m going to sleep right through work.

Now, if there was only a way I could have someone in bed with me… 😛