31 October 2006

Stuck in the cell

Extracts from an article on the newest fad of "torque-ing" from New Matilda.

'We were flying blind, really,’ says Dr Grevious T Wishbone, Berkeley-based information theorist and former bassist for the Grateful Dead. He may well be the first person in the world who ‘torqued’ when he and three colleagues gathered at a San Francisco juice bar and shockingly turned off their laptops.

We’re speaking on the phone — a popular torque-ing plug-in — and Wishbone remembers that his first contribution was a three-minute piece on why he didn’t like George W Bush, and did like Mission Impossible II. ‘All the time I was thinking “but there’s no record of this! What if someone in Toronto wants to know that I’m irritated by razor scooters?” And then my friend said something, so I had to “listen” and “pay attention” [two software extras developed in the wake of the torque-ing revolution] to him.’

Nb. I saved this as a draft to blogger a couple of days ago when I was chained to the desk working solo into the night (as I am now). But today I got two invitations to two seperate company's christmas parties! An unexpected benefit of visiting more than one workplace. Yippee. I'm going to go to both.

30 October 2006

Shipping by Kite

Maybe the future is early 20th century technology with retrofits for 18th Century technology. Like this test of a giant kite to pull a shipping frieghter along. They reckon they got a 10% gain in fuel efficiency. Not to be sneezed at really. And it looks wicked. Steam punk, man. Yeah.
"Deployed from a retractable mast on the ship's deck, the kite is controlled by a central console that operates like a plane's autopilot system, monitoring and recording over 100 measurements in fractions of seconds to keep the kite in its optimum position.

Once up, the kite flies at between 100 and 500 meters above sea level where the winds are around 50 percent stronger. In these conditions it's designed to take on the optimum aerofoil shape that ensures that the kite can maximize thrust whatever the conditions."

28 October 2006

Nick Cave

I clearly need to have a bi-annual top-up of hearing several hours' worth of my favourite artist. So right now I'm charging up some obscure battery stored in the hypothalamus which runs on dark urban mythology, messy passion and a bass voice. But there is a double purpose, because at the same time I'm compiling a Nick Cave intro CD for my friend, Lou, who has a deep love of both Sisters of Mercy and AC/DC. Of course, is very important that this CD contains a selection of songs from a good scope of albums in chronological order. Now it's a personal belief that one should be a little careful of normal sensitivities when pushing new music, and not push the unlistenable stuff. So for a true purist, a couple of tracks off From Her to Eternity* should go first. And my personal faves are From Her to Eternity and Wings off Flies (he loves me, he loves me.. not). But I'm thinking: too difficult. Too much for somone who might not even know The Ship Song (she's Scottish).

So anyone, thoughts? ** And, Read, you know that means you. Is it better to blast someone into the hardest most challenging part of a new world, or just reveal a little at a time? Actually I should rephrase that as I already have an opionion on what's better.

Do you prefer to unload all both barrels right from the start, or just let fly with a warning shot over the bow first? Take your new lover to a full blown bondage club or just bring out the fluffy toy cuffs when you're alone? Hit your audience with the full force of climate change disaster predictions, or just talk about efficient lightglobes?

* Yes, I've got Door Door and Birthday Party Hits albums from pre-Bad Seeds era, but that's just excessive.
** Any new readers especially welcome

Oh and while I've got the playlist set up, anyone else want a copy of a Nick Cave Retrospective, Aunty B style? [I.e. enough songs to make you sick] Be cool if you could burn something for me in return..

27 October 2006

Other web stuff..

Next Saturday , November 4 is the Walk Against Warming. Starting at Martin Place at 11AM. Calling for the government to finally get into gear and get some real tough legislation in place. "We put in the lighbulbs now you can clean up industry" kind of vibe.

Now I know marches can be dreary depressing things, "what do we want" .. "someone to just please listen for a change".. "when do we want it" "..now!" And it gets pretty cringey to see those marchers who think its still 1976 and are wearing their best indian skirt and carrying a plam frond, and who've given their kids some placard that's too clever for them to understand.

Well this time, at least there'll be some visual stimulation (and maybe viceral too... ) at a big debut of the Radical Cheerleaders! -- of which your humble narrator Aunty B is one. So come along, hang out, march, hide behind our block of black and hot pink if you don't want to get caught up in any embarrassing chants. And the buzz on the street is that Kochie and the girl from Sunrise program are going too. Wow, mainstream media on a protest rally, I'll be durned. Maybe see you there.

Oh yeh and if you dig petitions - here's a groovy animated one - that shows the locations of all the people who give a shit about climate change on a map on Australia. I think they've hit 40,000. (It doesn't publish your name, just suburbs and tallies).

23 October 2006

Night time

I think my neighbourhood can look a bit like a Turner painting at times. Sunsets can be melancholy things but this one was just showy and flash - its knows its postcode.

Let that be a lesson to you

Reasons why you shouldn't check your stat counter and try to make breakfast at the same time.

18 October 2006

Stacks of green paper

"There's a song called 'Red Right Hand', and a sanitary napkin company back in New Zealand wanted to use it, which was tempting ... but that was the closest I've ever come."

Nick cave, speaking in a forum of musicians led by Javis Cocker in the weekend Observer about not selling music to be used on advertising. I think I would have seen his humour in letting that one go through.. but would have been in tears had The Weeping Song been used for eye-drops or something. The whole piece is a really good read. Link via Null device.

17 October 2006

Kind of like water toture

It was late. I'd been in the office since before the sun cracked her heavy-lidded eyes over the horizon. If yesterday were a broad, she woulda still been wearing her make-up from the night before that morning when I went to work. I went to collapse into bed in my rooms, hoping that tonight would be one of those nights when that same dream didn't come creeping in through the upstairs window. Just when I started the slow waltz with Princess of Night, in comes a sound to chill the hardest man to the bone. It started innocently enough, a knock, a greeting and a cheerful click of bottles. Then it happened. Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News. I was frozen, braced for the worst. Just as well, because worse was coming. Our House. Madness. I put in extra strength earplugs. They didn't block out the horror completely. Oh god, please.. You Can Call Me Al. Paul. Simon. Noooooooo..


Hi team, thanks to those of you checking in regularly. After a very slow start to last week, things have picked up on the consultancy front with a job that was going to be Thursday/Friday stretching out to Sat and Monday too. Lovely. Just be nice if they paid, now. And that last invoice would be handy, too.

To keep you amused, in lieu of any original writing on my behalf - here are the notes from a recent boozy discussion on how to spot fake boobs. (A common passtime in my neck of the woods)
  • A bony rib-cage then a round globe majestically rising out and up over the neckline
  • Boobies that stay 'saluting the sun' when a lovely lady lies on her back on the beach
  • The seemingly magic 2 half-melons of "inner cleavage"- the part between the breasts with no visible support
  • Something about the way they move when jogging - that was from a local guy - I don't really get it though.
We're tackling all the big social issues here on buzz. If you have a pressing issue of national importance that you'd like analysed here, live, drop me a line in comments.

10 October 2006

Greasy elbows

So I'm right in the middle of a nuclear clean of the kitchen. And I don't mean the usual quick wipe of visible surfaces either. This is inside the cupboards, inside the hinges, the front and back of the cupboard doors. And so on. I will starve those darn roaches out godammit. By the way - the roach bomb apparently triggers all the females to drop their egg sacks (deduced by observation). The adults apparently go off and die, but a couple of days must allow the mist to clear and hundreds of dewy-eyed hatchlings appear to explore the world anew. Along the way of all this cleaning I discoved the stove top rings were actually meant to be silver, not black. Who woulda thought it. Oven cleaner is a freaky evil yet wonderful contraband substance.

In the words of bloggosphere super-star, dooce,
People asked me how I keep my house so clean. I call it 'having a mental illness'.

Now those of you who know me or shared a flat will know I'm not a paragon of tidy or clean virtues, and I freaking hate vacuuming. But due to the warm weather and age of this building and its abundance of crevices - Aunty B is turning into a compulsive surface-wiper and floor mopper. Bizarro be warned. Oh, no political metaphor hiding in this post either.

Astro down under

Astrobarry is coming to Australia, from, like, this Friday. OMG! MissJ got me on to his freakily prescient horoscopes. I love them not for some cosmic vibe that he is tapping into to predict the future, but because he retells myth, stories and narrative. I think I'd be happy to pick any sign and follow it (especially as he has been nagging me incessently recently about "breaking free"). Anyway, so its like $145 to see him in person -- whoa -- but, that's like a posh salon hair cut with foils and a blow dry. It'd be a wacky experience - seeing as I don't actually believe in astrology but just like good stories.

8 October 2006

Old time rock/n/roll

Word on the street is a band containing Aunty B's only male nuclear family member is doing a whistle stop Adelaide tour! They're fresh from amazing live gigs in Rio, Tokyo, Seattle and Reading, so if you live in that fair city* go on git your good self down to the Jolly Miller Tavern Hindmash - Fri 13 - 8PM, or Sun 15 Oct or Sun 22 Oct after lunch. Their combined ages may be a little higher than you're used to for a pub band but I hear they KICK OUT THE JAM. Going by the name of Iron Chefs for these exclusive fans only gigs. You heard it here on buzz...'

*with a very special shoutout to Ivy and Geetar Boy - MissI - I don't have yr email addy.

5 October 2006

High on Iron

This morning's breaking news on the ABC website is that Pie Company Mrs Mac calls for a new law to increase the percentage of real meat in pies. Yup, that's the urgent need for changes to Aussie legislation. Our refugee laws, our climate change response, our stupid terrorism measures . . just fine. Bring on the meat. Just so you're fully up to date, the call is for:
"meat in a meat pie to be defined as "real meat" or flesh attached to bone." because "At the moment the Australian icon only has to include 25 per cent "meat" and meat is defined as any body part from a range of animals including goats, deer, camel and even buffalo or rabbit."
If there's anyone reading this from overseas, feel free to laugh at my island nation right about now. Athough Mrs Mac does do a nice "beef" pie mind you.

4 October 2006

They're coming to get you..

What time in Australian history might you find public opinion pieces talking about "the fangs of the left" . . . "it became the height of intellectual sophistication to believe that people in the West were no less oppressed than people under communist dictatorship." . . ."the world would luckily see the emergence of three remarkable individuals whose moral clarity punctured such nonsense: Ronald Reagan; Margaret Thatcher; and Pope John Paul II." and that "we should not underestimate the degree to which the soft left still holds sway, especially in Australia's universities, by virtue of its long march through the institutions."

During the cold war perhaps? Or maybe - in this morning's newspaper written by our own Prime Minister. I'm frightened. No really, I'm not just trying to be funny.

But it kind of falls into place that his over-riding world view is that of the cold war. Looks to Aunty B like he simply can't imagine a different kind of world to one where there is one bad ideology (commie-terrorist) and one good ideology (capitalist-the "free world") and that the two will forever be locked in a bloody battle to the death. No room for an imperfect world where we try to make the best chances for everyone.

Maybe thats why we give people a "prize" of $4,000 when they have a kid - rather than than produce good tax-funded child care and maternity leave conditions for everyone. Well done - little breeding working person! Congratulations for giving birth in the right country at the right part of century, under our political ideology. You want to spend it on drugs or a new car? Well that's ok because you live in the free world and have just exactly the same opportunity as anyone else to live by your own choices. Off you go now.

3 October 2006

The kids are alright pt 2

The other thing that happened with youngsters last week was a Tuesday night party in the flat next to mine. It started at 10pm just as I was logging off the computer (my sole source of electronic entertainment by the way*). Tuesday night parties just scream "hospitality industry" to me and I thought, oh god, here we go, a whole summer listening to speed freaks playing hard house at 2 am on weeknights.

What in fact happened was there was much stomping up and down the stairs, and when the door opening an intensely loud blast of "ROCKET- yeah, satellite of love.." poured out through the walls of my flat. Bwahahaha. That's not .. it can't be.. Def Leppard? I got in the shower, and when I got out some other guest arrived, door must be oppening to the shared corridor again "POUR SOME SUGAR ON ME.. (in the name of love)". Yep. Dep Leppard. Hilarious. It was a glam rock bonanza for about the next hour.

As I tucked myself up with a novel there were more beautiful hits like "Time After Time" by Cindy Lauper and "Sussudio" by Phil Collins. WTF? These kids look about 23 - those songs were ancient when was 18 for gawds sake, what is the world coming to? I just popped the old ear plugs in and dozed off chuckling. Although if next time its Ronnie Size I'm calling the cops.

* well electronic from the mains anyway.. heheheh