Monthly Archives: December 2012

Happy New Year… again

No NYRsGadget Guru’s Rejoice!  You can now purchase Apps (applications) that will help you stick to your New Years Resolutions!  Hopefully one of those resolutions will be to spend much less time fiddling with Apps on your smart phone or i-Thingy.

And hope is what New Year’s Resolutions are based on.  Usually a, “I really mean it this time!  No mucking around!  Get outta my way because I’m actually going to ‘insert goal here’ this year!” type of hope.  The sort of hope that stems from the nail biting anxiety of realising that you’re another year older and things really aren’t improving.

And into this yawning gap of despair have stepped App creators who are hoping to cash in on your hopes.  And as most New Year resolutions are centred around personal health and financial goals they have come up with apps that can help you lose weight, and get rich; or at least make them very rich.

Anyway, the fitness applications will tell you when it’s time to exercise, and help improve your running time and speeds.  One will even scan your food purchases and advise you of their fat and calorie levels.  Honestly, how did we ever manage to survive as a species without these wonderful apps?!

Now, I have no idea how the Financial Apps will help you achieve your fiscal goals, but I’ll bet they won’t be telling you to stop spending money each month on stupid apps.

As for me, I’ll be re-using the New Year’s Resolutions I came up with a few years ago, because they were good resolutions back then, and still are.  All they need is a lot more commitment from me to become reality.

And the App I’ll be using is called My Brain 1.0.  Ok, I’ll admit that My Brain 1.0 has a quite few bugs, a malfunctioning memory chip and slow running speeds due to it being clogged with useless trivia.  Plus I’m fairly certain the periodic flash floods of alcohol have voided its’ warranty, but it’s got me this far; somehow.

And best of all, the battery powering My Brain 1.0 never goes fla…

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You’d BETTER Watch Out!

Everybody has been naughty!  Except for you Dr. Zoidberg...

Everybody has been naughty! Except for you Dr. Zoidberg…

“So, you don’t believe in Santa Claus eh?”  It was the mid 1990’s and my two little girls had just informed me that Santa was only Daddy dressed up.  One had just started school, and the other was a day care dropout, and already they were smarter than me!

Apparently some naughty children had been telling them tales, and with Christmas just around the corner I had to move fast.  As casually as I could, I finished my beer then rang my mate, who for various reasons is known as, Deadly Dave.

“Deadly,” I whispered, “we’ve got an emergency, so I’ll need you, your ute, and a Santa suit around here at sunset tomorrow.”  I hung up before he could say “No.”

Deadly arrived on time, and with a quick wink to Long Suffering Wife, we sailed off into the nearby scrub to ‘pick up Santa’.  There was a slight disagreement about who would be the Driving Elf, but when the dust settled Deadly kindly helped me to my feet and I said, “Goodo, I’ll drive the ute then.”

Minutes later, I puttered up the road beeping the horn and checking my mouth for loose teeth, while a deadly looking Santa stood in the back of the ute, ringing his bell, throwing lollies, and Ho Ho Ho’ing at the top of his lungs.  Doors flung open up and down the street as delighted children raced outside to see Santa!

And quite a lot of adults came out as well, with many of them handing Santa bottles of beer.  By the time we lurched into the driveway of Bray Manor, Santa was a very merry soul indeed, and in desperate need of a toilet.

My children watched in wide-eyed horror as Santa fell off the back of the ute, then muttering some very rude words, staggered to his feet.  At this point the girls, now firm believers in Santa, ran screaming into the house, while I added ‘A New Screen Door’ to my Christmas wish list.

Yes, there’s nothing like some good old fashioned terror to add a little magic to Christmas!

Ho. Ho. Ho.

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It’s the End of the World as We Know It!

Well, we're ready!

Well, we’re ready!

Open after 21.12.2012:  My fellow Gladstonians, if you are reading this then the Mayan Calendar prophecy was wrong and the world has not come to an end, so could one of you pop down to Barney Point Beach and pick me up?  I’ll be the very dejected bloke sitting on a park bench wearing an alfoil cap and a ‘Beam Me Up Scotty’ t-shirt.

Since the world began, people have been predicting its’ end.  Experts, religious types, scientists, psychics, authors, prophets, movie makers, and various nutters have cheerfully manipulated mankind’s morbid fascination with doom on an epic scale.

And nearly every culture has a Doomsday scenario.  The Vikings believed in Ragnarok, the last great battle between good and evil, followed by peace on earth.  Christians, Muslims and Jews believe in Armageddon, the last great battle between good and evil followed by peace on earth… hang on a minute?!

Anyway, as a young bloke, I lived in fear that the world would be fried by a massive nuclear fire ball, and with Ronnie Raygun doddering about the Oval Office, it seemed quite possible.  It certainly wouldn’t have been beyond ol’ President Bonzo to mix up his TV remote with ‘The Button’.

You can imagine the impact this had on my young and impressionable mind.  I mean, what was the point of an education if we were about to be turned into radioactive waste?  Now, I don’t want to lay all the blame for my poor school results at Ronnie’s feet, but he certainly didn’t help!

But since then I’ve been threatened with impending doom from planetary alignment, asteroid strike, super volcanoes, WW3, anti-biotic resistant superbugs, the Second Coming, global cooling, global warming, ozone holes, bio-terrorism and most horrifying of all, the possible return of Young Talent Time.

So upon hearing of the Mayan Calendar prophecy I merely shrugged, because I’ve got Doomsday Burnout.  But here’s a prediction of my own:  after the world fails to come to an end on 21.12.12, another terrifying prophecy will surface, and assorted pessimists will gleefully re-start their gloomy countdown, and bad prophets will start making good profits from the gullible and the panicky.

Which reminds me, I’ve still got some authentic, limited edition, Y2K compliant, Mayan Calendars for sale; each one personally signed by Nostradamus!

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You Must Remember This…

casablanca3a“Hey Mr. Bray,” said the young fella who had popped round to see The Eldest Princess, “do you like watching old movies?”

“Why, yes I do.” I replied.

His face lit up, “Me too! I really love the classics like Terminator, Alien, Die Hard, Back to the Future and Lethal Weapon!”

Apparently these movies are old now?!

Anyway, a genuinely old movie turned seventy recently, Casablanca; a ripping yarn of love and loss set in Morocco during World War 2. So, if Lethal Weapon is old, then Casablanca is positively ancient. For those of you who missed its’ premiere back in 1942, the movie stars Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine, the cynical American owner of a nightclub that some creative genius named, ‘Rick’s Café’.

Rick is stunned when his ex-girlfriend, Ilsa, played by Ingrid Bergman, shows up in town married to Victor, a resistance fighter on the run from the Nazis. Rick still loves Isla, so will he help her escape with her husband, or will he turn her hubby in to the Nazis? For the answer, you’ll have to hire it, or borrow Great Grandma’s copy.

And although the film is seventy years old, many of its’ catchphrases are still going strong:

Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.

Play it Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By’. Note: Ingrid never said, “Play it again Sam”, and you may be surprised to learn that Sam couldn’t even play the piano!

Round up the usual suspects.

It doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.

Plus arguably the most famous movie line ever uttered: Here’s lookin’ at you kid.

And Rick’s final line in Casablanca could be a timely message for my young friend: I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. So next week we’ll time travel back to the 1970’s, where he’ll discover that ‘Rocky Horror’ is another great movie, and not something you wake up beside on a Sunday morning after a big night out in Rockhampton, because “… the fundamental things apply, as Time Goes By!”

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Murphy’s Law and Car Repairs

Somone else who has trouble getting into a cars' tight spaces

Somone else who has trouble getting into a cars’ tight spaces

Sometimes trying to save money can be an expensive business, particularly if a certain Mr. Murphy pays a visit; ‘Whatever can go wrong…’

Murphy is the naughty leprechaun who occasionally pops by to test my patience, and he arrived early last Sunday morning, just after Long Suffering Wife said, “The drivers’ side window is making a funny noise.”Now, I’ve spent years heartily encouraging her to fix these things herself while I sit inside watching tele, but half an hour later I stood alone in front of the car, armed with my toolbox and humming the theme music from Jaws:       Da Dum.       Da Dum.

Ten minutes later I’d removed the car door lining, the plastic dust cover, and a fair bit of skin from my knuckles.  I immediately found one problem; my hands were far too big to get into the tight space housing the window winding unit.In crippling humidity I spent the next two hours removing and refitting the electric winding assembly, and each time I fixed a problem, a new one emerged, finding an amazingly creative way not to let my window work.

Through gritted teeth I sang, “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong, don’t let it get you down, keep pushing on!”  At this point, Long Suffering Wife rounded up the kids and dogs, and high-tailed it to the park.

After another hour of ‘fun’ my blood pressure entered the red zone, my wedding ring and watch were lost in the depths of the door, and our neighbours had learned some fairly creative phrases.

As clouds gathered overhead, I decided to at least get the window back up in case it started raining, but Murphy wasn’t having any of that.  Thirty action packed seconds later I stared in disbelief at the ruins inside my door shell, then calmly packed up my tools, put a tarp over the car, and walked inside to the beer fridge.

“So it’s come to this,” I muttered, then reached out for the fridge magnet with our mechanic’s number on it.  And he’ll be in for some fun I can tell you; particularly if Murphy pops by to help him.

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