Friday, 11 March 2011


A fluttering heart points to love
but pain is waiting in the wings.
Breathless lungs and blinking eyes
Rapid breathing, swallowing, frustration and cold shivers.

Time ticks down and breath becomes shallow.
Words spill out and eyes glaze over
as thoughts turn dark.
Too much talking,
not enough listening.
Breathing speeds up and shivers get colder.

Relief creeps up as soft words are spoken.
Assurances made and lumps diminish.
Tears return but it's OK.

Time ends, goodbyes said.
We'll meet again in a better place,
better for me and better for you.

Friday, 4 March 2011

iphone 4G repost!

Hold on to your hanbok, the iPhone 4G is coming to Korea, soon. Maybe. Eventually. The where and when are yet to be answered officially but the proverbial cat is out if its proverbial bag as far as what to expect from the new phone is concerned.

In their unstoppable plan for complete and utter world domination, Apple have released another version of their iPhone with a few changes. Not nearly enough changes to make you part with a sizable wad of cash of course but many will. Dedicated, techno-savvy consumers who like to live on the cutting edge of all that is deemed cool will be soiling their silk boxers at this one.

The new phone will have both new and improved features but thanks to the techno-nerds at Mr Jobs will not have the pleasure of announcing his secret to the world. The Gizmodo team bought (possibly illegally) and dismantled a prototype iPhone 4G that a presumably now sacked employee left in a bar and gave the world a premature rundown on what to expect, so here is an incredibly brief rundown of what they found.

What's new

There is now a front-facing video chat camera, an improved regular camera, a camera flash, a micro-SIM instead of standard SIM, improved display, what looks to be a secondary mic, there are split buttons for volume, power and mute and the volume buttons are all metallic, presumably to give it a glitzy biker feel. Or not.

And what's changed from last year's 3Gs

The back is entirely flat, there is an aluminium border going completely around the outside, it has a slightly smaller screen than the 3Gs, everything is more squared off, 3 grams heavier, 16% Larger battery, internal components are shrunken, miniaturized and reduced to make room for the larger battery

The big question that remains is when will it be unleashed on the world. Well at the moment nobody actually knows. Apple like to have the full attention of the world's media and so it is a pretty safe bet that the (re)unveiling will take place at their annual Worldwide Developer Conference in June. Steve Jobs will have a difficult time whipping the audience into a frenzy given that everyone who cares about such things will already know all about it!

One of the selling points of the iPhone is the plethora of applications available and we have found 5 of the most utterly useless that you may or may not want to waste your life away with.

5 stupid iPhone apps
1. Birth Buddy - Birth Buddy is a tool to track labor contractions and it will even let you send an email to yourself, your care provider or curious family members. 

2. Age Calculators - This app, amongst other things actually calculates your own age and tells you when your next birthday is.

3. Hold The Button - A game in which you...hold a button.

4. Hair Clinic - This app promises to give you "healthy and abundant" hair by generating "various types of inaudible high and low frequencies, promoting blood circulation. A helpful disclaimer adds that the Hair Clinic app is not a cure for alopecia and can, in fact, cause headaches if the iPhone's built-in speaker is held too close to the ears. 

5. Proposal "Will you marry me ? " - As if iPhone users have significant others. Ha.

Headlines you are unlikely to see in the UK

'He is a passive homosexual'

From The Star newspaper of Malaysia on Wednesday 23rd of February.

Perhaps the title of this post should read stories you are unlikely to read in a British newspaper as the headline is rather tame compared to the content. To keep it as brief as possible the article talks about how a lawyer at a trail claimed a man was a passive homosexual based on DNA evidence. This is the conversation the lawyer had with the DNA expert in court after the expert confirmed mutliple samples of semen were found on the defendant's anus but later admitted one of them to be from the defendant himself.

Lawyer : Which means he was a passive homosexual, or the semen couldn't have gotten onto his anus.

DNA Expert : I wouldn't be able to conclude on that.

L: I put it to you that it is a logical conclusion. Multiple DNA profiles in his anus amounts to him being a passive homosexual.

The defendant, a 63 year old man has been charged with performing carnal intercourse against the order of nature on another man.

I honestly don't know where to begin with this.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Do Flies Feel Shame? And do they have dreams?

Sounds like a mad question but I swear I recently saw a fly cowering from his fly friends in shame. 

The break room in the seed factory I worked in has a fly problem. To call it an infestation would be an exaggeration but even as few as 5 flies, milling around and trying to land on you or your food every 15 seconds is enough to warrant anger, frustration and disgust. No matter how much insect killing spray or energy you expel swinging a rolled up newspaper, they return the next day. I am fully aware that they are unlikely to be the same flies.

As I sit eating my drab lunch of pasta and roughly chopped tinned tomatoes, which incidentally the flies find infinitely more appetising than me, and drinking my 3rd cup of tea of the day and I observe what I am going to call a family of flies. Much like the gulls in Sydney's Darling Harbour there seems to be some kind of hierarchy and even though they seem to fly around haphazardly there appears to be animosity amongst their group.

Every now and again, when 2 of them get close enough to each other one leaps on the other and they wrestle around for a few seconds.

This particular day was much like any other, flies were buzzing and I was, as I have mentioned on my 3rd cup of tea when 2 flies began wrestling and a few seconds later. when it was all over (although it may have lasted hours in fly time, I'm not quite sure how it works) one flew away, apparently victorious and the other turned to face the end of the table they were fighting on and stood still, facing away from the table and away from the scene where the other flies were going about their usual, dirty business.

Now this may sound mad but as I looked at this lone fly, humiliated by one of his fly brothers he looked sad and ashamed. Perhaps it was contemplation on his face, perhaps he was deciding if this is what he wants to do with his life, buzzing around all day every day avoiding the wrath of the newspaper and wrestling for scraps of food with other, apparently stronger flies. There should of been some soft music, maybe with a saxophone solo in the background as a camera slowly panned and tilted around his head, showing that he had had enough of this life and then, as the music became more hopeful he would fly off into the sunset leaving behind all this bullshit and off to a new life, to the big city where there were more opportunities for a young fly. Perhaps it was the fact that his behaviour was so strange, the motionless figure had never before been so still that he looked  dejected and depressed. I swear he flew off in the direction of the vent in the wall that leads to the outside, to the city and to a better life. 

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

The French

I initially winced at the openness with which the fat, one armed Australian man we picked up on the way to Corryong from Albury mocked the French boys with calls of “Little Froggies!” Now however I have a slightly different attitude. I have no transformed into a racist, fear not but I do have less sympathy for these particular French people after living with them for 3 weeks.

Sacha Distel, Edith Piaf, Nicholas Sarcozy and Zinedine Zidane. The French. Freedom Fry eating, cheese eating surrender monkeys. Some say. Good wine and even better cheese, arrogance and ignorance. Shrugging shoulders and fine food. All things that have been said about the French many times and things that will be said again.

There are a lot of French people in Australia, too many for my liking actually. That's not to say I haven't found some of them charming, beautiful, sexy, endearing, generous or funny, I have, but I didn't come to Australia to be surrounded by French people, I can board a ferry to Calais to stock up on booze if I wanted to be surrounded by them.

In Sydney I came across a few, as I did with lots and lots of other nationalities and until that point I hadn't met too many in my life. I have not been to France and so the few that I had met up to that point were the tiniest sample and so in Sydney it was in no way overwhelming. I met a very nice French girl in Sydney who has become a friend, one I am sure I will see again if we ever end up back in Europe in the future and the few others I met in my time in Sydney were also fine, as far as my recollection goes.

In Tasmania I met a few more and then a few more and found that aside from the odd individual they travelled in wine slugging packs around the country, speaking French, listening to French music, watching French films, clearing entire supermarket shelves of Brie and Camembert and shrugging their collective shoulders and turning down the corners of their collective mouths to indicate they didn't know or else didn't care about whatever was being talked about at the particular moment.

But Melbourne! Well let's just call it the Paris of Australia. This is the thing about French people, they are drawn irresistibly to each other like Gallic magnets, I'm not sure if they give off a scent that only they can smell (I can actually dispel that rumour that they all smell of garlic and cheese, only some of them do) but they find each other and sometimes, if the weather conditions are right they converge into a Gallic super cell where entire aisles of cheese are swept aside and pallet upon pallet of boxed wine is enveloped as this wave of shrugging passes through. Maybe this is not uncommon to people from say Ireland, who also have whole packs of fellow countrymen to latch onto but for me, from Wales, I don't and am unlikely to ever have anything more than one or 2 fellow Taffs to talk to about things back at home or to lament over the fact that we lost to England in Rugby. Again. Maybe this is my issue but this also happens to be my blog so I will skew it whichever way I see fit.

I thought I had been around enough French people to have become inoculated against their less desirable qualities but I was dropped into an almost entirely French zone when I landed in Corryong or as I have dubbed it, the French hole from hell.

The house I was staying in for, at the time of writing, another 2 and a half days is currently occupied by 4 French 'boys' and I use the term correctly as opposed to 'men' and a guy from Finland, who shares some of my sentiments about the French boys but is on his way to being assimilated into their collective mind as he has started forgoing the tradition of putting things in the bin.

The quartet of Frenchies though are something else. The most disgusting habits and levels of cleanliness I have ever encountered and I have stayed in a shared house in University. Flies have set up camp here and I am sure they are signalling across the vast and empty countryside that maroons Corryong from civilisation to their brothers to come as there is more shit here than in a field full of cows. And they come. They must number in their hundreds throughout the house, especially in the kitchen where none of the filthy bastards, the French that is not the flies, lift a finger to wash a single dish until they want to use it and leave all kinds of food items uncovered to fester.

The living room is worse in a way as the dishes that stay on the table for days at a time attract flies away from the kitchen which makes watching the TV unbearable as every 30 seconds a fly tries to land on you with its filthy feet that have been standing in god knows what all day.

So to sum up French people are disgusting. But not all of them.  

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


The people of this very large island are not hamstrung or hog tied by stupid things like etiquette or a sense of formality. From the highest offices of government right through to the common man, Aussies 'tell it like it is.' I'm not saying this is always a good thing, it isn't, it can never be a good thing to tell it like it is all of the time but there are times when it's refreshing to be in a country where the people are not shackled by political correctness. 

A good example is the banter on TV breakfast shows. A recent sports news section showed a pretty impressive slam dunk from an all star game and as the news reader acknowledged the prowess of the athlete for jumping over a car whilst catching a ball mid air and dunking it, he finished with “we still don't need to see it 45 times.” A very tame example but one that you would not likely get on a British news bulletin. I often think the same when replays are overdone, every angle at varying speeds is frankly too many. 

The police too are quite relaxed and do not have the formality and by extension the unapproachable aura about them that British police officers have. My most recent experience came when my next door neighbour in Corryong, a regular piss head who played music loud and often aggressively attacked the nearest fence with both fists and head, decided, as if there was any sentient thought involved at all, or felt compelled to light a fire very near to the house I was staying in using our own rubbish as fuel. The rubbish was admittedly spilling over the floor from an unsealed bag (see my post about the French) but still a drastic measure I think. Jarkko, my Finnish mate in the house put out the flames with a pan of water and as I poked my head around the corner to have a gentle word with the psycho he appeared in just his boxer shorts carrying what the police later described as a 'tomahawk' which to me and you is a hatchet or a small axe. Suffice it to say the police turned up soon after and had a chat to him. After telling him, let's not forget we are talking about a drunken, axe wielding pyromaniac, to not be a naughty boy police officer 1 came to us and said “I threw the tomahawk in the out house so he probably wont find it for a couple of days and we told him to got bed so if he causes any more trouble just give us a call.” 


What if he does find it and he decides that he wants to use it or he decides that the fire we so rudely put out needs to be started again or that we really shouldn't have called the police and we need to be punished. And what if he decided to punish us at 4 in the morning when we are all in bed? Perhaps he would creep in and slaughter us in our sleep, although I don't think creeping is his style, I imagine he is more of a Jack Torrance type character. Or maybe he would plump for setting the tinderbox Australian house on fire, which I am pretty sure you could do very easily with a piece of flint and a stone. In this case I would have to say the relaxed attitude of the police was maybe a bit too relaxed. At least take the bloody axe away with you.

I have also been slightly surprised by the number of Australians, seemingly normal people who do not look like the have recently escaped from some hospital for the mentally ill, who walk around the streets with no shoes or socks on. Out of the 2 having no shoes on is the bigger deal I think because I would be inclined to think someone was even more of a nutter if they had socks on but no shoes but never the less there are a lot of people here and by here I mean in Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmania and Corryong who walk around with no shoes on. Like hobbits. Maybe they are trying to toughen up the skin on their feet in order to become a hobbit, god knows some of the have the rest of the hobbit features but honestly what is the deal with this. If you are walking form the beach to your car or carrying your surfboard and are clearly going to or from the sea and don't want anything you have to leave on the beach that might get stolen, you get a pass but other that that you are just an idiot. And you like like a trampy hobbit.

Where shoes are optional and nutters are free!

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