Welcome everybody to my commentary

I've got so much talent, it's a little scary

Is my every random thought insightful? Very

Not just entertaining- I'm a luminary

Neil Patrick Harris- Commentary! The Musical

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Patti Ann interviews ScoMan

Hello ScoFans!

Earlier this week, I was given the opportunity to be interviewed by Patti Ann. She writes a great blog, so go and check it out. And also, check out her questions and my answers below.

1) What's your all time favorite food to eat AND make?

I'm going to list a few here. During the summer here, I love to make up one of these toasty rissoley cheesy beetrooty lettucey things with potatoes (see picture) It's quick, easy, perfect for a hot night and tastes delicious. And nobody.. NOBODY does potatoes like I do potatoes.

During winter, it's Tuna Casserole. I cook up a big batch every fortnight and eat it over a few meals (the joys of living alone) I loved it as a kid, but never got to eat it much because it wasn't spicy enough for father, but now I'm alone I eat it all the time. Yum.

For breakfast (or brinner) it's bacon and eggs or pancakes. Two classics. You can't go past them.

2) Why exactly do you choose to be "eternally single?"

I think it's mostly for selfish reasons. I'm not big on comprimise. And I'm not big on having people around all that much. Sure, it's fun for a little while, but after 5 or 6 hours with someone I'm like "Ok, that's enough of you now, leave me alone" You can't make a relationship work in five or six hour bursts. And.. and well.. damn.. damn.. damn.. damn..

I've grown accustomed to my space
It always brings a peace within
I've grown accustomed to the silence as I move from room to room
The quiet that drowns, the fools, the clowns
Is so wonderful to me now
I'm locking out, not letting in
I am serenely independent and content but then I let
Myself think I can live another way sometimes and yet
I've grown accustomed to my shows, accustomed to my choice
Accustomed to my space

That one's for you Patti Ann! (and to a lesser extent, anyone else who recognises the song)

3) What is the theme song of your life this week? Why?
The one I wrote just then. Because it's brilliant. Only a pure creative genius could create such a masterpiece. It's amazing the the writer was able to capture exactly what I was thinking.

Ok, I'll choose another one and answer properly.

I was trying to find a video of the song to go in here, but I couldn't, so for those of you who are interested in listening to it you can go here.

I've been thinking about this song since writing the post on Valentines Day, in particular as a result of some of the comments I received. For those of you not listening to the song, here are the lyrics.

Tripod - My Humanity

Again and again
I do the wrong thing. I’m trying!
I’m doing the best I can
To do the right thing. I’m sorry, I’m trying.

Do you know
How hard it was for me
To say these things to you
To apologize
By writing a song for you.
Do you know

How much courage it took
To not talk to your face?

You see, I’m an artist
And you are not one
So you wouldn’t understand
My pain is deeper

My problems more complex
Than yours are.

Do you know
How hard it was for me
To say these things to you
In a song
So you don’t get to answer.
Do you know

How much courage it takes
To stand in front of people who love me!

And maybe,
This song will elevate me
To a God-like status
And then you will see
That people validate me
He’s vulnerable, he’s sensitive, he’s lovely.

And they’ll say...
Do you know
How hard that was for him,
He’s such a fucking champ!
Shame on you!
How could you hurt him?
And they’ll say...
He’s our lord!
How dare you question him?
And they’ll converge on you.

And shreds of your clothing will be flung skywards
As his legion of the fanatical devotees,
Their eyes bright with blind love.

Feast, my children!
I’m so Goddamn sensitive
And in touch with my feelings
That all shall bow down to me
And despair!

And his crowd shall come together upon you
So that you disappear from view
And then he shall part them like a dark Moses of sensitivity
And then he shall float down to
The place where you once stood
And survey the wreckage
And all that shall be left of you is...
A hat

Do you know
How hard that was for him
To have you destroyed.

Understand, I couldn’t let you live
You’d become a symbol of my weakness
Of my humanity!
My humanity

And all resemblance
To the man I once was will be gone –
Encased in majestic fantasy
Surrounded by sycophantic cronies
Paralysed by fear
I will become...

A god!

A god!


See? You replace the word "song" with the word "blog" and it's about right.. right? Okay, maybe it's a little exaggerrated. Just a little. Not much.

4) Tell us your funniest childhood memory.

I was talking about this one at work just yesterday. It's slightly embarrassing, but I can look back and laugh now. And it explains how I got one of my scars (picture below)

I used to go camping a lot with family as a kid. I didn't enjoy it, but when you're young you don't get a say in these things. I would generally pass the week away in one of two ways, either by reading a book or hanging about the camp fire. Because books are rarely known to scar, you might have already guessed this story is about fire.

One day I was sitting by the fire on my own looking at my watch and working out how many hours were left until we were heading home. I spotted a stick beside me and reached down and grabbed it, and started poking about in the fire. Eventually the stick did catch on fire and I started playing with it in the leaves in front of me. That didn't entertain me for long, so it was time to put my fire out.

I pointed it to the dirt beside me and pushed the stick down. I don't know if any of you have worn blundstone boots before, but when the wearer is sitting down there is quite a gap in them. The stick went into my boot and burned my ankle. I didn't scream, I just jumped. Some of my fellow campers saw me and had a good laugh, others didn't hear about it until later.

I don't know how well you can see the scar there. I can see it, but then I know exactly where to look and what I'm looking for. Unfortunately, it's the best picture I could get. If you can't see it, just look around the ankle, it's like a big blob there.

I just realised that's the first actual picture most of you have seen of me.

5) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

I'm quite happy where I am now, but I had to choose anywhere else in the world to live I would choose Edinborough or Montreal. Can anyone see what these two places have in common?

I'm a big fan of stand up comedy and living just up the road from the Melbourne International Comedy festival is great. If I moved, I would want to be close to another one.

Thank you Patti Ann for the great questions. It was a blast answering them. And now if any others want to play along:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by giving you five questions. (I get to pick the questions.)
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

I've asked questions of some of you before, but if you want some more I'm sure I could come up with more.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Doin' time

That's the window. That's where they'll hold me. That's where I'll be kicking and screaming and pleading with them.
"But I didn't do it!"
"We have evidence that suggests you did"
"I don't know these people"

"Really? Then I guess this is the part where we take your word for it and just let you go is it?"
"But I'm innocent, I swear"

"Sit back down. We still have more questions to ask you."
For those who don't recognise the building, that is the J. Edgar Hoover building. FBI Headquarters. And they're coming for me, or so they say.
I told one of my coworkers to be prepared for an army of men in suits to flood the office and drag me away. She told me she wouldn't visit me while I served my sentence, which I don't mind because I know she has a fear of flying (but my American readers will of course visit me, won't you? I'd hate to get lonely whilst incarcirated in your country.)

It all started with an email, which I have pasted for you to read below. The email is long, so I have highlighted some of the best parts (I started to do grammatical errors, but there are far too many of those) Either skip to them or choose a song below and sit back for an interesting ride.
(Oh, and this is the third time I've received this email)

Anti-Terrorist and Monetary Crimes Division
Fbi Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20535-0001
Date: 22/02/2009


This is an official advice from the FBI foreign Remittance/telegraphic dept. it has come to our notice that the C.B.N bank Nigeria district has released 10,500,000.00 us dollars into bank of America in your name as the beneficiary, by inheritance means. The C.B.N bank Nigeria knowing fully well that they do not have Enough facilities to effect this payment from the United Kingdom to your account, used what we know as a secret diplomatic transit payment s.t.d.p to pay this fund through wire transfer, they used this means to complete the payment.

They are still, waiting for confirmation from you on the already Transferred funds which was made in direct transfer so that they can do final crediting to your account. Secret diplomatic payments are not made unless the funds are related to terrorist activities why must your payment be made in secret transfer, if your transaction is legitimate, if you are not a terrorist, then why did you not receive the money directly into your account; this is a pure coded, means of payment?
Records which we have had with this method of payment in the past Has always been related to terrorist acts, we do not want you to get into trouble as soon as these funds reflect in your account in the U.S.A, so it is our duty as a word wide commission to correct this little problem before this fund will be credited into your personal account.

Due to the increased difficulty and unnecessary scrutiny by the American authorities when funds come from outside of Europe, and the Middle East, the f.b.i bank commission for Europe has stopped the transfer on its way to deliver payment of $10,500,000.00 to debit your reserve account and pay you through a secured diplomatic transit account (s.d.t.a). We govern and oversee funds transfer for the World Bank and the rest of the world.

We advice you contact us immediately, as the funds have been Stopped and are being held in our custody ,until you can be able to provide us with a diplomatic immunity seal of transfer (dist) within 3 days from the world local bank that authorize the transfer from where the funds was transferred from to certify that the funds that you are about to receive from Nigeria are antiterrorist/drug free or we shall have cause to cross and impound the Payment, we shall release the funds immediately we receive this legal documents.


We have decided to contact you directly to acquire the proper verifications and proof from you to show that you are the rightful person to receive this fund, because of the amount involve, we want to make sure is a clean and legal money you are about to receive. Be informed that the fund are now in United State in your name , but right now we have ask the bank not to release the fund to anybody that comes to them, unless we ask them to do so, because we have to carry out our investigations first before releasing the fund to you. Note that the fund is in the BANK OF AMERICA right now, but we have ask them not to
credit the fund to you yet, because we need a solid proof and verifications from you before releasing the funds.

So to this regards you are to re-assure and proof to us that what you are about to receive is a clean money by sending to us FBI Identification Record and also Diplomatic Immunity Seal Of Transfer(DIST) to satisfy to us that the money your about to receive is legitimate and real money. You are to forward the documents to us immediately if you have it in your possession, if you dont have it let us know so that we will direct and inform you where to obtain the document and send to us so that we will ask the bank holding the funds the Bank Of America to go ahead Crediting your account immediately.

This Documents are to be issued to you from the World Local Bank that Authorized the transfer, so get back to us immediately if you dont have the document so that we will inform you the particular place to obtain the document in United Kingdom U.K, because we have come to realize that the fund was Authorized by H.S.B.C Bank in London.

An FBI Identification Record and Diplomatic Immunity Seal of Transfer (DIST) often referred to as a Criminal History Record or Rap Sheet is a listing of certain information taken from fingerprint submissions retained by the FBI in connection with arrests and, in some instances, federal employment, naturalization, or military service.

This Condition Is Valid until 27th of FEB. 2009 after we shall take actions on canceling the payment and then charge you for illegally moving funds out of Nigeria.

Guarantee: funds will be released on confirmation of the document.


Final Instruction:

1. Credit payment instruction: irrevocable credit guarantee.
2. Beneficiary has full power when validation is cleared.
3. Beneficiaries bank in U.S.A. can only release funds.
4. Upon confirmation from the world bank/united nations.
5. Bearers must clear bank protocol and validation request.


NOTE: We have asked for the above documents to make available the most complete and up-to date records possible for the enhancement of public safety, welfare and security of Society while recognizing the importance of individual privacy rights. If you fail to provide the Documents to us, we will charge you with the FBI and take our proper action against you for not proofing to us the legitimate of the fund you are about to receive.

The United States Department of Justice Order 556-73 establishes rules and regulations for the subject of an FBI Identification Record to obtain a copy of his or her own Record for review. The FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division processes these requests to check illegal activities in U.S.A.

An individual may request a copy of his or her own FBI Identification Record for personal review or to challenge information on the Record. Other reasons an individual may request a copy of his or her own Identification Record may include international adoption or to satisfy a requirement to live or work in a foreign country or receive funds from another country, i.e. Diplomatic Immunity Seal Of Transfer, letter of good conduct, criminal history background, etc.)

FBI Director
Robert S. Mueller, III

So there you have it my pets. I could soon be locked up in a Federal Prison in the United States. Perhaps even Guantánamo Bay (sure it's closing soon, but it's not closed yet). All because I'm a terrorist, and at the moment the US aren't sure whether they want to threaten me, such as early in the email, or help me, as happens later in the email. Maybe they were playing "Good cop, bad cop" and the email was actually written by two different agents. Neither of them passed English in High School however.

And it's always the Nigerians too. You can't trust them. They're always secretly moving money in our out of the country. Whether it's a Prince or a terrorist, you just don't know.

My favourite story about the Nigerian prince by the way is when that email was sent to someone, they sent an email back saying "Sorry, my bank won't accept a transfer that big unless I have $1,500 in the bank.".. so the scammer sent them a cheque for $1,500.

But, enough of the fun and games. I don't think even The Black Fanta (also known as "Mambo Turkish Delight") can get out of this one. This could be the last time you all hear from me. Soon the men in the black suits will come for me and I'll never be heard from again.

So remember me my pets, not as the poor little Australian boy accused of using a Secret Diplomatic Transfer Payment to move funds from the United Kingdom through Nigeria to the United States before being asked to present a bunch of documents he didn't have to the FBI. No, remember me as the wonderful person I am, who tried to use their blog as best they could to entertain and to brighten your days.

PS If anyone living in the States wants to bring me a cake in prison, I enjoy chocolate cake with a file or power tool in the middle.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Change is here

You may remember me talking about change earlier in the week. And now it's here, the ending of an old layout, and the beginning of a new one.

Anyone who came by this blog over the last few hours might have noticed change slowly occurring (and then changing, and then changing again). Anyone who is here now has hopefully noticed things aren't as they once were.

First, I have a shiny new banner. That's me on the left, and Matt on the right. It's not really us, it's just drawings of us. Or maybe it's not, maybe it is really us. I guess you'll never know...

Second, I have a fancy new colour scheme to try and match the shiny new banner. I was playing with it for a good hour and a half or more to arrive at what I've arrived at, so you better enjoy it or I'll break down and cry. Or maybe I won't. I guess you'll never know...

Third, with the first two soothing your eyes, I thought I'd double the power of this blog and hit another sense. Your ears. I've picked ten different songs for various reasons, which I will discuss now. Or maybe I won't. I guess you'll never know.. unless you keep reading, and then you'll find out.

A Perfect Circle- 3 Libras
The song that inspired the name of this blog. I couldn't make a playlist and not include it.

Saliva- Ladies and Gentleman
Back in the days of myspace I used this song on my space. I felt it summed up the atmosphere there pretty well as it sums up the atmosphere here pretty well- "like nothing you've ever seen before"

Rev Theory - Voices
Because I do have voices in my head.

Tripod - The Hot Dog Man
A great Aussie comedy group. As my niece loves even bad singing, this is the only song I have ever sung for her.

Stabbing Westward- Save Yourself
After my "When I Was Young and Stupid" post, omegaradium suggested I check out this song. And I did. And I enjoyed it so much that now it's here.

Jonathon Coulton- The Future Soon
A song I enjoy because it's interesting to think of a future where we can just erase the parts of ourselves that we don't like.

Flight of the Conchords- Mutha'uckas
A comedy group from our kiwi brothers that had to go on the list because there are too many mutha'uckas uckin with my shi.

Insane Clown Posse- Halls of Illusion
This would be Matt's selection from the whole list. I needed to add a little evil for balance.

Mr Bungle - Retrovertigo
One of my favourite songs ever. It made the list for no reason other than that.

Tool- Vicarious
Made the list because of my love of Dexter and horror films, and this sums up my arguments against those who criticise me for those loves.

I will probably change the songs every few weeks. We'll see how I work that, I have a few ideas there.

As for the banner and the new colours, let me know what you think. I'm open to suggestions there, so if anyone would like to offer any advice feel free to do so.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tagged v 4.1

I was recently Tagged by ChinkyGirLMeL of "ChinkyMel's corner" and this time I had to find out what kind of fruit I am. I happened to get a fruit I'm not very fond of (and I do like a lot of fruits)

Anyway, here's my result...

You Are a Pear
You are independent, intelligent, and a free thinker.
You can accomplish great things, especially when you do them on your own.

You are direct, honest, and sometimes even a bit brutal.
There's not much that gets in the way of you and your ambition.

While you are hard nosed, you do have a much sweeter side to you.
It takes times for you to soften toward someone, but once you do, you'll be their friend for life.

I think that's pretty accurate. I also always thought of the pear as the more intelligent and free thinking of the fruits, even if they can be brutal and hard nosed.

This time I'm tagging...

Thrice (this time you HAVE to consider yourself tagged)
Hillbilly Duhn

And anyone else who wants to have some fun with this!


Tagged v 2.1

Badriyyah from "Life Through My Eyes" tagged me a few days ago so here we go.

Matt N Cosgan

2.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother and fathers middle names)-
Neal Denise

3.NASCAR NAME: (first name of your mother's dad, father's dad)-
Edward Donald

4.STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name)-
Mansc (If you didn't work out where ScoMan came from after question one, hopefully that helps)

5.DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)-
Purple Hyena

6.SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, town where you were born)-
Bradley Swan Hill

7.SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd fav color, fav drink, add "THE" to the beginning-
The Black Fanta

8.FLY NAME: (first 2 letters of 1st name, last 2 letters of your last name)-

9.STREET NAME: (fav ice cream flavor, fav cookie)-
Choc-Mint Choc-Mint

10.SKANK NAME: (1st pet's name, street you grew up on)-
Oscar McLennan

11.GANGSTA NAME: (first 3 letters of first name plus 'izzle')-

12.YOUR GOTH NAME: (black, and the name of one of your pets)-
Black Charlie

13. STRIPPER NAME: (name of your fav perfume/cologne, fav candy)-
Mambo Turkish Delight
(Okay I had to look for the name of a funny cologne on Google, I admit it)

Now to tag some people to do this as well..

Patti Ann

And anyone else who wants to have some fun with this!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

International Quotes Day

For those of you who are unaware, today is international quotes day on the bloggosphere, where bloggers list some of their favourite quotes of all time.

You can read some that were prepared earlier at my "blister" yourstruly100's blog, "Everyday is a little life" and also at Krystal's blog "Friends with benefits"

Now pets, it's my turn to throw some quotes out there..

"The difficult, I'll do right now, the impossible may take a little while" Billie Holiday

"For good people to do bad things, it takes religion." Steven Weinberg

"I just know there's something dark in me. I hide it. Certainly don't talk about it. But, it's there. Always. This... Dark Passenger. How when he's driving, I feel... alive. Half-sick with the thrill, complete wrongness. I don't fight him. I don't want to. He's all I've got. Nothing else could love me, not even... especially not me. Or is that just a lie the Dark Passenger tells me? Because, lately, there are these moments that I feel connected to something else. Someone. It's like... the mask is slipping, and things, people, that never mattered before, are suddenly starting to matter. It scares the hell out of me. " Dexter Morgan

"I was the best man at the wedding. If I'm the best man, why is she marrying him?" Jerry Seinfeld

"An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought. " Simon Cameron

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Change is coming

Change is good.
Change is fresh.
Change is new.
Change is exciting.
Change is a beginning.
Change is an ending.

And now for something completely different

Saturday, February 14, 2009

When I was young and stupid (A V-Day post)

Drunk on ego
Truly thought I could make it right
If I kissed you one more time to
Help you face the nightmare
But you're far too poisoned for me
Such a fool to think that I can wake you from your slumber
That I could actually heal you..
A Perfect Circle- Sleeping Beauty

When I was young and stupid, I met a girl. She had a boyfriend at the time, though I could tell their relationship wasn't exactly a perfect one. For example, perhaps a month into the friendship she said I should move to Asia with her where she would teach English and I would do whatever.

I asked if her boyfriend would have a problem with her dragging some other guy along with them and she was like "Oh no, when I do this he's not coming with me. We've already decided that" They'd been together like three years but hey, whatever.

Anyway, not long after, they broke up. She started to hang around me a lot because I was the one friend she had who didn't know her boyfriend, therefore, hanging around with me didn't bring back memories of him.

In time, she got depressed. I later found out she was bipolar to boot. She thought she'd never find anyone else, and would end up alone.

So, I thought to myself (remember, I was young and stupid), "Poor girl. She just wants a little male attention. I should just flirt with her, get her confidence back, and she'll go out and find a nice boy"

I remember being at lunch one day with her and one of her friends, and I went to the bathroom. When I came back, she said "She just said I was flirting with you"
I said "Of course you were, you always do"
She looked very embarrased and perhaps a little upset.
Before I smiled and added "But I'm always flirting with you too"
She looked so happy in that moment. I think that was the first time I saw her happy.

Ladies, some of you are probably reading this now and thinking "You idiot" Yes, yes I was an idiot. A MASSIVE idiot. But, I had told her many times during the friendship that I was living a life of being "eternally single", so I thought she understood we would be nothing more than friends.

I remember now telling her about guys who were checking her out. She'd always find some flaw in them. Some reason they weren't her type. And then eventually, one day she said "But he's not you"

I didn't know what to do, so I just said "So few people are"

Over the next few months she kept telling me she had a crush on me. I kept pushing her back with bad jokes. I kept thinking "If I keep her happy, she'll move her affection to another guy and find love"

I was young and stupid, I didn't realise she wasn't thinking the same way.

Over time we moved apart (geographically). When she moved away she got depressed again, and so I kept in constant contact with her.

One day she asked me "Do you think we would ever have a chance of making something happen romantically?"
I didn't know how to answer. She was already depressed. I thought, a lie was the best response. It would give her some hope of finding someone in her new town. Remember, I was young and stupid.
"Of course," I said "You're an awesome girl"

I knew it would come back to bite me.

"So what the fuck was all that eternally single bullshit then?"

That was it. She disappeared from my life. I think it was best for both of us. I was too nice to ever force her away, and she was never going to let go.

She came back recently. She has been dating the same guy for the last two years. She asked me if I was seeing anyone and I told her I wasn't. "Such a loner" she said.

I've been wondering lately if I let a chance to find love go. Maybe I could have had something with her. She's the girl I mentioned in my "Twenty Steps to a Working Relationship" So maybe I could have loved her. Maybe I could have found happiness with another person.

Or maybe I'm just trying to convince myself I'm capable of feeling love. Of feeling anything. I'm like the kid at school asking his parents why he doesn't have the cool new racecar toy all his friends have. "Mummy, daddy, how come I don't have a heart?"

But mummy and daddy can't afford to buy me a heart this month. Mummy has just lost her job and daddy is paying bills to keep his parents in hospital.

So, because I'll never own that cool new toy, I run around in a cardboard box, make the noises and pretend.

"The minute people fall in love, they become liars" - Harlan Ellison

She is everything to me
The unrequited dream
The song that no one sings
The unattainable
She's a myth that I have to believe in
All I need to make it real is one more reason.
Slipknot- Vermillion Part II

Friday, February 13, 2009

Moran Hall

I would just like to start by saying thanks for the comments yesterday. They were great. I'm taking another day off writing about the bushfires because I need it, and because I said I would.

Yesterday I mentioned going to see four shows at the comedy festival with a friend this year. I gave you a taste of the first two we'll be seeing. Well, here are our Saturday shows.

Dylan Moran- insulting my country

Yep, that's the guy from "Black Books". I love that show.

Otis Crenshaw- For Valentine's day

I agree with everything he says there. You're on your own ladies!

Otis Crenshaw is actually a character of Rich Hall's. If you liked that song check out Rich as himself.

Tomorrow there will be no more YouTube videos.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Green Hills

I never intended for this blog to be littered with sadness. I wanted my posts to bring a smile to people's faces and entertain them briefly during their day.

And with the last three posts, I realised I have missed my goal. So today and tomorrow I will show snippets of the four comedians I am seeing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this Easter. Each year a friend and I go and see 2 shows on Good Friday and two on Easter Saturday.

Here are the comedians we'll be seeing on the Friday.

Jeff Green - From the 2008 Comedy Gala

Adam Hills - Puts his own twist on our national anthem

If you've heard the song "Working Class Man" by Jimmy Barnes, that one is great.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A bit closer to home

Today, I'm not telling stories about what I've heard on the radio. It's more about discussions I've had with coworkers and the likes.

I was told one of my clients was on the television over here this morning. Her family home was one of the 1,000 that has burnt to the ground. After looking at a list of clients who haven't lodged their returns last week and having seen her name and complained about how difficult her stuff is to deal with, it made me feel bad to hear she now has nothing left.

Well that's not completely true. Her son went back to their home after the fires and all he found was a jug. A jug that was on the second floor of their house was the only thing that survived, although it now has a hairline crack.

She won't be the only one of our clients who is affected by this.

But when discussions in the office yesterday came to defending your home or fleeing (I mentioned in the last post we are the only state that has this choice), I was surprised by the number of people who would stay and fight. Especially after seeing what has happened to those who have stayed to fight.

Sure, in some cases it has been successful, but there have been a lot of lives needlessly lost.
One of the girls I work with also said her husband told her he would stay and defend their business, which fair enough his family has owned for generations, and send her and their children away before the fire got anything like dangerous. I thought, if I were him, there was no way I would risk her having to tell their children I wouldn't be joining them.
But she said the kids have been funny with the fires. They were so worried about them coming and she said "But you've been to near where the fires are, remember that water? How can a fire jump water? What happens when a fire gets to water?"
Not convinced she told them that if the fires come, they can go and hide under water in the pool. One of the kids said she thinks they should just grab enough money to buy a house an run off. Her mum then explained they don't have enough money to buy a new house and how insurance works, and she thought that was a pretty good deal. Pay a little bit of money each month, get a new house.
Today, after the popularity of the last koala that I posted on this blog, I'll leave you with this video which you may have already seen.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The fires rage on

I woke up early this morning. I lay in bed waiting for my alarm to go off.

As it got closer to the time I normally wake up, I realised how dark it still was outside.

Then I remembered the bushfires and panicked. Could it be smoke causing this darkness?

I hurried out the back and looked around. It didn't seem much different to yesterday, and the wind was blowing south.

As I am north of the fires, a southerly wind is a good thing for me. But I was concerned about those they had already evacuated, most of them were moved south of the fire.

So I got went through my morning ritual and got ready for work. I was there early and put the radio on. The first piece of news I hear is that the number of confirmed dead is now at 173. Black Friday which occurred in 1939 and Ash Wednesday which occurred in 1983, both of which we still commemorate annually, did not claim this many lives even when added together. As an Australian with parents and grandparents who grew up near and remember the tragic loss of life of the earlier two fires, who have heard the stories and hoped it wouldn't happen in their lifetime.. to now see this is saddening.

There were very few warnings on the radio. Sure enough, the fire was heading towards people who had already been once evacuated.

It was a relatively quiet morning. There were no towns under any immediate danger, and whilst they were talking to firefighters who were going home now to return on Friday (they expect it to burn at least that long), and they warned people that with winds picking up this afternoon everything would start again, people were hopeful.

But, when I returned to lunch, the list of towns under threat was 8-10 long. They told us it would happen, I shouldn't have been surprised, but it was still somewhat unsettling. Those towns have received warnings for the past few days, so hopefully everyone is out of there by now.

Unless, they choose to stay and defend their property. We are the only state in the country where you can, if you so choose, put your life in danger to stay and defend your home. There are no mandatory evacuations. If they tell you to leave and you say you'd rather not, then you stay. This has resulted in a large number of the deaths (but I think most of them were people who left too late), and it is now being debated as to whether we should be given the choice.

A woman rang the radio today and said she had seen her sister was listed among the missing in the newspaper, and on the website. She had called them several times to let them know her sister was staying with her, but the lines were so busy she never got through. The radio presenter asked how her sister felt about being missing when she wasn't, and the woman put her sister on the phone.

Her sister told her story. Her and her husband sat on the back porch and saw the fire coming down the mountains, and she asked her husband what they would do. Her husband looked at the fire and said "We'll be okay", but she didn't think so, so he told her to leave. She left him the car and started to walk. A neighbour saw her walking and offered her a ride. With how quickly the fire spread, she knew her husband wouldn't make it out alive.

In the morning they had a lawyer on (as they do every Tuesday), and this week he was answering questions to do with the fire. Someone rang in and said they had recently sold their house in one of the affected towns. However, the day to hand over the keys had not yet arrived and now, the house is burned down.

He was told that the contract would state he is to deliver a property in a certain condition, and he would need to use any insurance money to build a property in a like condition to deliver.

I think that's enough for today. I still have stories to tell, but they can wait. I know I ramble a bit in these posts, and my thoughts do not flow as smoothly as they usually do, but there is so much to say. The fires are dominating our radios, dictating our conversations and controlling our thoughts. Bear with me while I unleash these thoughts over the next few posts.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The reality is sinking in..

Over 130 confirmed dead.
Over 700 homes destroyed.
At least two towns wiped off the map forever.
It is already Australia's worst natural disaster in history, with the death toll expected to more than double (and perhaps triple) that experienced during the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires, and still 31 fires rage on.

There are three incredible bushfires currently happening in my state. The smoke from one of these has plagued my town since Saturday. Talking to different people, some are concerned. Some are confident we will be okay. Almost everyone has a bag by the door in case we are told to leave (I don't, but perhaps I should. But I have insurance, I'll run with just my phone and my wallet if I have to.)

I woke up this morning thinking it's ridiculous to think the fires would ever reach us. There are bushfires around here every year, and they are all controlled before they get too serious. It's part of living in rural Australia, these things happen. I was joking about it, laughing it off. I think my Facebook status still reads "is worried he isn't worried enough. Or maybe everyone else is too worried. Yes, it's everyone else who's wrong"

I didn't realise how much worse this fire was than any of the others I have seen.

It is concerning to look at the "Statewide Current Incident" report and see the number of fires which have no fire trucks on the scene. They can't be there. Resources are stretched to the limit controlling the three major blazes. In fact, when I went to bed last night, there were four major blazes, two of which were near here and one of which was heading this way. Sometime today one of the blazes switched direction and joined up with the other fire, which now covers some 93,000 hectares.

We've been told that if the fire comes here, we can't expect any support from the fire department.

We already had American firefighters in the country (apparently we do a bit of a trade with them, some of them come over here during their winter and some of ours go over there during their winter), we have any spare firefighters available coming in from other states, and we have 100 firefighters in New Zealand on standby. The conditions they have to deal with are amazing, as you can see in the picture above.

Anyone who isn't here is concerned about those who are. All day at work people's phones were actively ringing, another loved one seeing if we're okay and if we've decided to leave town. I have a friend with a sister in town (long time readers of this blog might recall) and she was messaging us both on Facebook most of the day. She told me her sister was deciding to leave (a quick review of her wall revealed she never had any such intentions) and I had a friend messaging me most of yesterday saying "Shouldn't you get the fuck out of there?"

But those of us who are here laugh off the concern. At the moment we are safe. There were a few alerts issued last night and this morning, but never a warning. The outskirts of the fire are still over twenty kilometres away, and at the moment the wind is on our side.

The radio was flooded with stories today as they broadcast from the shelters set up for those who have lost their homes. Some tragic, some heroic.

Three sisters were preparing to leave town and sent their three husbands to check on their parents and handicapped brother nearby. The brothers got their to find the car in the driveway, the keys in the ignition, clothes in back and three corpses inside.

A teenager ran through a burning paddock and managed to save the lives of his sister and eight other children who had been sheltering in a nearby home, after hearing his sisters call for help to a local radio station.

But what really made me sick to my stomach was after hearing the same warning all day, "Residents are warned if you live in any of these areas are warned that if you're going to leave, leave when you see the smoke, if you leave when you see the flames it's too late and you will have to stay and fight", there was a new message just before five o'clock. "If you're still in the following areas, it's now too late, you will not get out and you will have to stay and fight"

I just hope that's not the message I hear when I wake up tomorrow morning. I know when I'm awake I'm ok, I can monitor, I can leave. I don't think I'll sleep tonight.

But don't worry about me pets. I try not to make a habit of being engulfed in flames. And I promise you that if I am, I certainly won't let it happen again.
Also, I cut my hand at work today when a shelf I was moving fell apart. You'd think with all the warnings about bushfires they could spare 5 minutes of radio time to warn me about breaking shelves.
** UPDATE ** There was a missed call on my answering machine from a stranger telling me most of the houses in their street survived, and they're okay. I don't know who they are, but it's nice to know.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tagged! v 4.0

Yes, it's been a few months but I have been tagged again. This time by one of my newest pets, ChinkyGirLMeL from ChinkyMel's Corner.

What I am required to do is unleash 25 truths about myself. On top of the 10 yesterday, that makes 35 truths in two days. That is 17.5 truths each day. If this continues, by this time next year I will have told 6,387.5 truths, and I don't think I have that many.

Anyway, I am putting my own twist on this and giving my truths in a variety of different methods.

Facebook status's must have been true at one point or another. I will work through my last five starting with the current and going backwards. These will be my first five truths.
1. is waiting for Mr Turnbull to take away his $950. Why doesn't the single white man with no children ever get any breaks?
2. is loving K Rudd right now (if you gave me $950 I'd love you too).
3. is sweating like a pig.. not to mention looking like a pig, eating like a pig. And don't forget the smell.
4. crack corn and he is great! Take that you stupid corn!
5. is your friendly neighbourhood atheist.

The next five will be the first five songs I hear on the iPod when I put it on shuffle.
1. Tool - Disgustipated
2. Tool - Jerk Off
3. Metallica- Astronomy
4. Tomahawk- Laredo
5. Puscifer- Momma Sed

A list of five TV shows I watch, one for each weeknight
1. The Big Bang Theory
2. Two and a Half Men
3. Criminal Minds
4. Dexter
5. The Simpsons

Five things about my corner down under. This one will be pictures and video I think. Just to make it fun.

1- Yup, that's a real koala. A family put out water for him when he fell out of his tree due to the heat. He drank a little then bathed in it.

2 -Referees, security personnel and would be heroes with their flares from all around the world beware- attend a sports event in Australia and you will be, at some point, a wanker.

3 A real spider eating a real bird. Taken some time late last year.

4 Some scenery from just outside my town.

5 Our Prime Minister, and what I'm pretty sure are X-Ray specs.

Just five random facts about my life as they pop into my head.
1- I sleep on the diagonal
2- My boss is back in the country next week after being overseas since Christmas
3- I finised the book "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" today. It took me three days to read, and if I didn't have to work I probably would have read it in one.
4- I can do incredible things with beetroot, rissoles, bread, cheese, lettuce, potatoes and a "George Foreman" grill
5- Every Easter I spend two nights at the "Melbourne International Comedy Festival"

There you go. Twenty five more truths (of sorts)

I'm supposed to tag 25 people now, but my list of Blogs I follow doesn't add up to 25.. so tag! You're all it! And you don't have to do it the way I did, it just has to be 25 Truths.

Someone told me once that there's a right and wrong
Punishment was due for those who dared to cross the line but
It must not, be true
For jerk off's just like you
Maybe it
Takes longer
To catch a
Total asshole
I'm tired of waiting
Tool - Jerk Off

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

In this post I say "fuck" ninety three times

I am fucking(1) wonderful. I won my second fucking(2) award. It made me step back for a moment and think "What the fuck(3)?", but then the fuckin(4) penny dropped that maybe some fuckers(5) out there enjoy the fuckin(6) bullshit I write on this fuckin(7) thing.

Hillbilly Duhn happens to be the fucker(8) who enjoys it enough to pass on the award. You can read her fuckin(9) stuff here. Funny as all fuck(10). Read it, and you can fuckin(11) thank me later.

As always, there's a bunch of fuckin(12) things the recipient of this award must do. First, put a picture of the fucker(13) on your blog. Well, that's the fucking(14) thing up the top there. Take a fuckin(15) gander at that would you?
Next thing the amazing fuckers(16) that recieve the "Fabulous Fucking(17)" blog award are to do, whether they fucking(18) like it or not, is to fuckin(19) list ten fuckin (20) truths about them fucking(21) selves. Let's fucking (22) begin.
1 - When I was fucking (23) about 15 I fucking(24) stopped playing fucking(25) football and fucking (26) cricket. My fucking(27) Dad stopped fucking(28) stopped talking to me like I'd fucking(29) let him down and he didn't fucking(30) talk to me a fucking(31) again until I was fucking(32) 18 and fucking(33) making something of my fucking(34) self academically.
2- I fucking (35) hate public fucking(36) speaking, but apparently I'm pretty fucking(37) good at it, even though I notice a fucking(38) nervousness and fucking(39) stuttering when I'm in the fucking(40) spotlight.
3- I only started fucking(41) working for the fucking(42) employer I'm fucking(43) working for now, because no other fucker(44) would give me a fucking(45) chance. This fucking(46) job was suppossed to be fucking(47) temporary until I fucking(48) finished University. That was four fucking(49) years ago.
4- When I was in my late fucking(50) teens and early fucking(51) twenites I was a fucking(52) asshole who only fucking(53) looked out for him fucking(54) self. Fuckers(55) loved me back then. And I fucking(56) hated the fucking(57) attention.
5- I've been to a fucking(58) WWE live show
6- I've done over $10,000 fucking(59) damage in fucking(60) car crashes
7- I fucking (61) hate being fucking(62) touched
8-I'm fucking(63) already at a fucking(64) age where I don't fucking(65) know any new music
9- After this post, I still have 25 fucking(66) truths left to share (which I'll do tomorrow).
10- Even though it fucking(67) wasn't part of the "Fabulous Fucking(68) blog" award to fucking(69) curse like a fucking(70) sailor, I thought I'd have some fucking(71) fun. Besides, it's not that fucking(72) hard for a fucking(73) Australian to fucking(74) swear. We'll fucking(75) swear at you while we give you fucking(76) directions. "Main street? Fuck(77) yeah, I know where that is. What you wanna fuckin(78) do is fuckin(79) go straight up here, take a fuckin(80) lefty at the second intersection, keep fuckin(81) goin until you hit the round about, then hang a fuckin(82) righty and you're there."
Now I have to award the "Fabulous Fucking(83) blog" award to five other fuckers(84) (and if you've already fucking(85) got it I ain't fucking(86) giving it to you again). So, in no fucking(87) order:
Yeah, the usual fucking(88) suspects (minus the fuckers(89) who already have the fucking(90) award), but just fucking(91) read those blogs.
"In this song I say fuck(92) ninety three times"
Insane Clown Posse - "Fuck(93) the world"

Monday, February 2, 2009

Imagine that v 2.0

I was walking back to work today and spotted someone I knew but hadn't seen in awhile. She spotted me as well.

"Hi Scotty!"
"Hi, how are you?"
"I'm well thanks, how was your Christmas?"

"Yeah it was good. Good to see the family and be away from work for a bit, how was your Christmas?"
"It was good. Exciting. I became a Granmother again on Christmas eve"
"Really? Wow, that time of year is already full on. It would have been tiring for all involved"
"Oh it was. She was in labour for 20 hours and then they ended up having to do a caesarean"

"Mother and child both okay now though?"
"Yeah they are. A little daughter she had. Named her Amelia"
"Oh wow, I have a niece named Amelia"
"How bout that? Milly I call her. What do you call your niece?"

*Shocked expression*
"Because her name's Amelia Jade"
"Oh, I was going to say. This one is Amelia Jean but my husband calls her AJ"

My little brother v 2.0

Remember me telling you about my little brothers work here? And the recent hot temperature here? Well, here's another example of the people he has to deal with in his day to day life.

A guy walked in to his section the other day and said to him "It's been hot lately ay mate. But it's only been like fourty degrees. Imagine living in America, it gets to over a hundred over there"

My brother looked at him and thought "Are you joking? No? Well, I'm not going to be the one that explains it to you."