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And so this is Christmas…

I am spending Christmas at Ec’s place. He’s off at his parents’ place for 3 days. I’m here looking after his cat, and watching some of his extensive collection of downloaded TV shows – so far Archer, Foyle’s War, Air Crash Investigation, and How We Got To Now. I did much the same thing last Christmas. Because I hate Christmas. And dislike the weeks leading up to it – the closer to the 25th, the greater the dislike becomes. The week after it’s not much better.

I could give an explanation that the dislike has come from the way Christmas was always dividing my household when I was married, or that Christmas Day was the day that Lana and I broke up. The reality though is I’ve hated it all long long before that.

I remember being about 7 or 8, getting a bunch of gifts, and not being allowed to do the thing I most wanted to – run across the road to my best friend’s place, show off my loot, and check out what he’d scored. I was told he was spending time with his family, and I should spend time with mine.

I’ve no idea if Matt liked his family or not. I don’t remember if I disliked mine then (I certainly do now!) but I certainly know I wanted my friend’s company more than I wanted my sisters’ or parents’.

There it is Matt – from way back in the 70s, you were part of spoiling Christmas.


It’s started.

The latest “magical alignment of all the planets is coming so *bang!* wow, amazing new paradigm in society” nonsense.

If anyone tells you the planets are aligning, look at this:


(Click image to enlarge)

This is how “aligned” the planets are: ie not at all.

But even if they were, even if every planet lined up in a line, either all on one side of the sun, or on one side of the Earth, the combined gravitational effect on you would be about the same as a 747 flying over your head at 30,000 feet.

Pub Noise

I have a friend who is studying Auslan – the sign language.

Last night, her class had Christmas drinks at a local club, and she’s a bit insecure in social situations, so asked me to come along.

What we didn’t realise until we got there was the drinks was coordinated to be at the same time and place as the Christmas gathering for the Deaf Society. So instead of one deaf lady (her teacher) and half a dozen (hearing, and therefore speaking) classmates, the main bar at this venue was full of people engaged in very animated and excited conversations, but not a sound coming from any of them.

It really was fascinating. And almost enough to make me want to learn the language too. I learnt it a bit before my sister was able to speak, I could often work out what a conversation was about, although not much more.


tchaikovskyI recently wrote something on another site which referred to the 1812 Overture.

When I was in Canberra, I went to see it performed at Duntroon. The announcer that night told us how the piece was written to celebrate the Russian victory against Napoleon’s invasion and that’s why the French La Marseillaise is included. But I never got much more of an explanation, nor anything about what each part of the Overture is about.

I went looking for an answer to this a few days ago, and found this. I have been listening to, and reading, that page for the last few days, and so – as happens – I have had the overture blasting along in my head since about Friday.

It’s also made me curious about similar ‘stories’ associated with some of my favourite classical music.

“Evidence please?”

Something that’s been giving me the shits lately is people’s willingness to believe nonsense without questioning it. Or even worse, those who have nonsensical beliefs who carry on like they have been punched in the face when asked “Can you back that up with evidence?”

I’m the sort of person who questions my beliefs, and who asks those around me “If you think I’m wrong, stump up with the evidence? Prove me wrong?” but so few do, or even try.

I welcome someone bringing me evidence their position is right and mine is wrong, on a great many topics, but too often, the counter-argument is built on nonsense.

I should of course remember the rules about arguing with peasants, and also this great video/poem:

Do you know what they call alternative medicine that’s been proved to work? Medicine!

When did the world become so stoopud?


(I know Einstein never said this)
(I know Einstein never said this)

At work, I am slowly being driven crazy.

I am in the wonderful position of being responsible for making sure something is done, but not being given the authority to ensure it is done, or done properly.

I follow a process which will not work. I know it won’t work, but I follow it, so when it fails, I can demonstrate it is flawed. I have told my supervisor and the Director it will not work. I have explained to them at least four times the half a dozen or so reasons why it won’t work. Yet I am expected to carry the can when, a month or so down the track, there is shit is pouring on our heads because it hasn’t worked.

And when the shit is pouring on us, I explain – again – why their process won’t work, and what we should do to change it (which I have shown previously does work). Then they reiterate their way of doing things, and we go back through the whole ride again.

Meaner, Dumber, Hotter


I would love to get hundreds, or thousands, of these stickers printed out, and just wander the streets each night, dropping them in people’s letterboxes. Surely a few of them would end up on cars, or other places, and the slogan would spread far and wide.

But, knowing my luck, the next week, the Libs would replace him, and my effort would be for nought.

When Did Reading Become So Hard?

Nicola BellOne of my pet hates is people who read something, and then attack the author for words they didn’t write.

Mark Latham’s latest column in the Fin Review is a perfect example. He’s written how much he loves raising his kids, and his friends envy him. And criticises a columnist in another paper who disparages parenting and claims she only gets through it with “caffeine and anti-depressants”.

For years, the trope of super-wife/mother burdened with dopey Homer-Simpson-esque husband. In recent times, there’s been a push to break this stereotype. But when someone writes against this popular image, noone gets attacked. But Latham says “let’s not see parenting as drudgery and a chore, but a joy”, he cops it. In the weirdest twist, he even is being attacked for being disparaging mental illness. When if anyone’s making light of mental illness in Latham’s piece, it’s Lisa Pryor, she of the “caffeine and anti-depressants” flippancy.

Sharing the Costs

For a couple of months, I was living in Kotara. While there, for various reasons, the issue of domestic energy-use efficiency kept bothering me.

I was living with people who never hung washing out to dry (always with the clothes dryer), who dealt with cold or hot temperatures with heaters and air con, and were generally doing their best to keep the meter ticking.

I’m all for everyone being able to make their own decisions, but it was pissing me off knowing their choices were going to hit my wallet when it came time to divvy up the bills.