The Blog of Dabido (the Baka one). Everything in this blog is copyrighted. Copyright 2004, 2005, 2006 by D. Stevenson.

27 February, 2005

Jungian Personality Test

Tonight, my youngest Brother Jeff, and I did some Jungian personality tests. This is what it recommended to me as professions. Tell me if it sounds like me. :-) Just remember, the personality test didn't ask anything concerning careers. It only asked things concerning my personality.

poet, painter, freelance artist, musician, writer, art therapist, teacher (art, music, drama), songwriter, art historian, library assistant, composer, work in the perfoming arts, art curator, playwrite, bookseller, cartoonist, video editor, photographer, philosopher, record store owner, digital artist, cinematographer, costume designer, film producer, philosophy professor, librarian, music therapist, enviromentalist, movie director, activist, bookstore owner, filmmaker.

25 February, 2005

Bass Player Extrordinaire!

Bass Player extrordinaire! But, let's not talk about them ... let's talk about me! Look, I have a bass in my hands too you know! hee hee. This was back when I was playing with Spyke! Last band I ever played in. Finished with them either in 1992 or 1993. Posted by Hello

Gregory and Nicole's wedding Photo.

My friends Gregory and Nicole got married! Ha ha! Woooops, need to be more polite! Hee hee! Gregory is getting surplies in case his sense of humour has adverse effects on Nicole. (Yes, Gregory's sense of humour is much like my own!) :-) Posted by Hello

Christine and Cindy!

My Ex-wife Christine and her best friend Cindy. This was when we were supporting my friend Alan as he performed in his band Azure. I am lucky to have found this photo. Christine never let me keep the ones of us when we were together, but this one was with my band photo's. Posted by Hello


Turtle at the Great Barrier Reef. On all my expeditions I have only seen this one turtle. An American started riding the thing, and I told him off as we were specifically told not to do that sort of crap. His basic response was - he was an American and he paid money, so he could do what he wanted! - Thank goodness his friends talked some sense into him and he let the turtle go. Posted by Hello

What's White, Frothy, Wet and Wild and Really Fun?

Tonomi finds out why we call it White Water Rafting! Pure Fun! Wet and Wild - just the way I like it! Posted by Hello


Watch that first step! It's a doooozy! Yes, I fell out of a perfectly good aeroplane with a strange man straped to my back! :-) Hee hee! Yes, my arms are folded as I am doing the Macarena! Posted by Hello


Real Live Crocodile. Okay, so I zoomed the picture in to make it look closer than it was. I might be a daredevil, but I ain't stoooopid enough to get close enough to be eaten by a croc. Actually, this one is too small to eat a human, but it could take a nasty chunk out of you if you got near it. I have done Jet Skiing in Croc infested water, as well as Paragliding and a few other things. (Including white water rafting!) Small crocs normally won't bother you. [Don't go near them just in case though!]Posted by Hello

Ex-Wife Christine!

This is a photo of my Ex-wife. I had to sharpen it a bit, as it was all blurry. Maybe I was drunk when I took it. That'd explain the bluriness ... except I never used to drink back then. :-) This is another photo of her amongst my band pictures!Posted by Hello

My old band "Living Proof"

The backs of heads at a "Living Proof" concert. Yes, that little yellow thing on stage is one of the band. See how many we could pack in. That's a lot of people who came to witness the "Living Proof" accident on stage ... well, when I say accident, I am talking about the band. I think I was on bass at this stage. (Might have been on keyboards/second guitar - can't remember). Yes, I am a has-been! Bloody has-beens, always talking about their stupid glory days! Hopefully the crowd were canting "Liv-ing Proof! Liv-ing Proof!" and not "Live-in Poofs! Live-in Poofs!" But, you never know. Actually, I thought they were canting "Bug-ger off! Bug-ger off" Oh well! All in a days work. :-)Posted by Hello

Can We Make Noriko Scream?

Here we are White Water Rafting. One of my favourite past times. From Front to back Left to Right - Noriko, Tonomi, Me, Bella, Japanese Married couple, Tetsu our river guide. The big question I hear you ask is, "How loud could Noriko Scream?" My answer to you is, "Hey? What? Speak up! ... I can see your lips moving. Are you talking?" Tonomi was the Japanese girl who taught me "Mata Ne", I don't think Noriko spoke English. (Unless her screams were in English ... but I think they were in Japanese.)Posted by Hello

Fingers So Fast, They're SMOKIN'!!!!!

One of my old photo's when I used to play in bands. Geees, I am OLD now! So young back then. This was when I was with the band Spyke (again!) Don't think there are many photos with "Living Proof", "The Panic" or any of my other lesser known bands! I think my friend Gregory has one of me playing with the "Ephesus Theatre Group". Genuine Fender Strap, with Genuine Imitation Fender Precission bass. :-)Posted by Hello

Did you Remember to Put the Cat Out?

Here is the same tiger walking through the Dreamworld Park. As you can see, kids even got that close to it. The reason they take the tiger for a walk through the park when people are there, is so it gets used to the sounds and understands where they are coming from. Otherwise , the tigers stress out a bit because of unknown noises. Only the two year old gets taken through though. The others are too old, and can't be stopped if they decide one of those kids looks like a nice snack! (Don't fall off the rides there, because I heard a rumour all accident victims are used as tiger food. Keeps the insurance premiums down and the tigers happy!) :-)Posted by Hello

Tora! Tora! CHOMP!

Yes, Evan and I really got to pat this tiger! No cage. This was a young 2 year old Tiger. I think I might actually have an undeveloped photo of either Evan or I patting it. Will see once I have enough money to pay to get them developed. I was told off by the handlers at one stage, as it looked at me and growled when I got too close from the front end. (Pat the back end ... don't stick your head in it's mouth. It doesn't understand it's not supposed to bite it off!)Posted by Hello

24 February, 2005

A Little on Social Construction & the World.

Social constructions have always fascinated me. These are basically things and ideas which have grown up in and around societies, which if moved outside that society do not nessecarily hold the same values. Okay, that sentence needs an example to help illustrate it. The most obvious social construction to anyone in a modern society is money. That piece of paper in your pocket is only designated value due to social construction. At one stage, countries used to place the same amount in gold or silver away in a safe place. The piece of paper represented that amount of gold or silver. Now, the gold and silver are out and about in society again, and the money is basically just a representation of an agreed value. They now trade those values on the stock exchanges of the world. You can buy greenbacks, euros or any other currency that gets traded on your local Exchange. If we took our money to a lost tribe somewhere which doesn't use money, then the value of it is worthless to them. Some might say it's a metaphysical part of the real world. Others might argue that Social Constructs are not real, and will eventually lead to a collapse of the modern world. (The reasoning behind it being, that once a collapse of society starts to take place, those paper notes you have in your pocket will be worth more as fuel to keep you warm. The value will no longer exist, as it was never real to begin with. Other social constructions [in theory] will fail us in similar ways). Which leads to a nice quote I want to talk about today (hopefully with some social construction included. After that long explanation, there better be!) :-) "One is not superior merely because one sees the world as odious." -- Chateaubriand (1768-1848) Daggnammit! I always thought I was supperior for just this reason! Oh well, guess I better go back to practicing to be superior through other methods! :-) Just kidding. Seriously though, it's a nice quote. A lot of how we see the world has to do with our relative place in the world. When the world is odious to one person, it might actually be a paradise to another. I think the problem most of us have, is that the world seems odious most of the time. Part of this gets blamed on the relative social constructs which have come about. For example: With the internet readily available, a lot of people have started questioning copyright laws and their enforcement. Music is now downloadable, and those who wish to protect copyright (or at least their own earnings), are battling against those who wish to share and receive movies, music etc, for free. I think both sides of this arguement are finding reasons to believe that the world is odious. Both try to take a high moral ground, with Pro-Copyright saying they are protecting the artists income (and to a larger extent the record companies etc). The Anti-Copyright point to a time when there was no copyright, and music was free. They claim that due to the lack of copyright, people were able to build upon the ideas of others and add to society. I'll leave the copyright arguers (and other arguement arguers) to continue their fight in their own time. I wasn't planning on getting involved in this per se, as much as using it as an illustration. The point I was getting at, has to do with the fact that there isn't many people in this world who do not see some sort of injustice they wish to correct in some way or form. For all of us, the world is odious in some way (I worry about anyone who thinks the world is perfect). Does this make us all superior in one way or another? It certainly seems that way when I am out and about in society. There is always someone wanting to put me down, or back into place. Where is my place though? Depending on who the person is, it will be in a different position. It comes back to things being "relative". Those good at sport (jocks) will behave like athleticism is important, yet to a weedy intellectual athleticism may hold little or no value. The intellectual will hold intelligence higher on their importance list. So what happens when the jock beats the crap out of the weedy intellectual? They both come away feeling superior to one another. (One because they proved "Might makes right". The other because they believe the saying, "Violence never solves anything" has been vindicated). It results in many of us being placed in a push/pull situation. In one environment, we could find ourselves being the Alpha, while in others we are relinquished to an Omega position. At one place where I worked, one of the underlings in the office was the Softball Team Captain. He was in charge on the field, yet in the office he did what he was told. Within the same group of people, he held the Alpha Male cap on the field, and had a lesser cap in the office. (Being both a jock and an intellectual, he probably beat himself up at lunch time!) :-) Was Shakespeare right when he said: "The world is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think." -- Shakespeare(1564-1616) I wonder. Most people I know who can think are very worried about the direction of the world. I think most modern thinkers laugh and cry at the same time. The problem with the modern world, is most people don't like to think their way out of problems. Are the modern Social Constructions painting us into a corner? Are we heading towards a 1984 Orwellian society where thought crimes will become a reality? Will thinking a thought in our head become copyright infringement? I hope not, yet there are days when these very things seem to be the direction we are heading. The Babyboomer Generation (who seem to be in most seats of power still), seemed to be heading down the same paths. Recklessly using up resources acting like the future is still optimistic and not really caring if they leave a mess, because it will be some other generations problem. The Gen-X'ers are yet to really exert much real power in the political areana, and I am not sure that those who join are not just joining the Babyboomers due to the political cultures which abound. Will they actually get around to being effective in pulling this world out of an uncertain future which seems in many ways hopeless. With the Gen-Y'ers acting in many ways like their Babyboomer Grandparents, is there a reason to bother? Will today's lessons lead to an untimely demise of the human race? (Are we all crying or laughing now?) As a Gen-X'er, I know that our generation often acts like the Babyboomers are odious, and we are superior in the fact that we care about the planet. Yet, with the fact we are yet to be effective, are we entitled to act this way? Our cynicism has lead to a revolt against consummerism. Independent businesses became more popular for a while and the mainstream businesses have needed to re-invent themselves (often passing themselves off as Independents). Did we become slaves to a new social construction? Do we prefer to buy something regardless of quality, based upon the lack of hype and spittle? As they said in the '90's regading the Indie/Grunge Bands, "No image, is the image". Yet, when offered great deals, the bands left the Indie labels for greener pastures. Did they sell out? Well, not really. Most of those bands had a message, and the major labels were more effective in moving the units with those messages. They were basically caught within a social construction. Has Gen-X sold itself out? After all, we didn't actually change what was happening in the world, we just changed the face of what was happening. The machinations behind closed doors are basically the same. Is this why the Babyboomer Generation and the Y-Gen'ers feel superior to the Gen-X'ers? Is this why the Y-Gen'ers behave like Babyboomers? After all, the Gen-X'ers are just consumers with a different marketing plan thrown at them. As much as the Gen'ers feel the other generations are odious in their consumerism, have we ever felt superior? Or just different, like we somehow don't belong. We are caught within some social constructions we can't seem to break out of. When we try to, we can't seem to exert our own voice upon the world without conforming to the social constructions which are there. In the words of Bono from U2, "Where do we go from here?". If we follow the recklessness of the Babyboomers, like the Gen-Y'ers are, then it's into hell, where all the earths resources are consumed. Yet, organisation is one of Gen-X's weaknesses. After all, if it is organised, it's the very thing we are trying to break down. Offer a Gen-Xer something organised, and it's the very thing which will make their cynical nature question. Can we convince the Gen-Y'ers to turn from their consumerism? After all, after we're gone, they're the ones who will be suffering.

22 February, 2005

Favourite Hobby - Avoiding Death.

I've done a lot of exciting things in my time. A lot of my friends think I am crazy. There's a part of me that can never relax. This leads to all my holidays avoiding the "relaxing on the beach" type crap which bores me to tears. When I go on holiday, I like to go places, see things, and hopefully get to do crazy stuff. On my adventures in Europe, I got to go White Water Rafting, but it was only grade 3 ... boooooring! I prefer my white water Grade5 (because you aren't supposed to do Grade 6. Grade 6 being when you have no control of your craft whatsoever). Another thing I wanted to do was Canyoning in Austria. It was shortly after a group had lost thier lives doing it, and apparently the day I wanted to go had identicle conditions. The group which gathered to do it all chickened out ... except for one crazy dude! Me! Alas, as the only one who wanted to risk life and limb, they refused to let me go. (They also claimed I was unfit ... pttthhhh! I'm fat, but not unfit. I was running 12km every morning back then. I think I was more fit than a lot of the skinny people who chickened out). Hopefully I'll get to go Canyoning one day. Some other things I've done include skydiving, snorkling with a Tiger Shark, and scuba diving with a school of hammerheads near by. I've chased little reef sharks around trying to get their photo. (Reef sharks don't eat people ... these ones swam away very fast. They probably thought I was going to eat them). Ballooning I found too relaxing and not exciting enough. I prefer to fly in planes. It didn't mean I appreciated it the time I got a poor pilot though. We took off from Singapore, and the plane wobbled pretty badly on takeoff. I remember looking out the window, the plane dipped left ... the lights came up(I assume from a runway next to us) ... we dipped right, the stars came up ... we dipped left, lights again ... dipped right, the stars again. Scarey. I wonder how close the wingtip got to the actual ground when we did that? The landing in Abu Dhabi wasn't much better. We hit the runway three times (bounced) before we were finally down. Of all the flights I've taken (about 30 I think) this was the only time I actually thought we might have crashed. White water rafting though is one of my favourite past times. I have a list of rivers in the world I plan to eventually raft down. Once I was almost drowned. The conditions were grade 4 and5 on the river that day. We got up to a grade 5 rapid and the guy in front of me decided to fall out. (Decided being the operative word, as he did it deliberately in order to have some fun). When he went, he grabbed my lifejacket on the way. Splash! I was in the water going down grade 5 rapids on my arse. (Actually, I'm wearing the same boardshorts right now as I write this! They still have a rip in the back from the experience). Well, being a nice fast course, the raft went over the top of me. So I was under the raft. No big deal, I figure I'd shoot out from under the raft eventually. Only ... THUNK! I suddenly found myself wedged on a rock. So I was ON a ROCK, UNDER a RAFT. Never one to panic, I just figured the raft would slide over the top of me, and I'd come up behind it. NOPE! Having seen me go under the raft, the guide had everyone paddling upstream waiting for me to pop out! So, the raft was just staying there. Okay, I'm starting to run out of air. So I am trying to claw the raft off the top of me. Basically I was trying to push the raaft down stream. NOPE! It ain't movin'. Okay, next best thing, I tried to claw myself sideways in the hope that I'd pop up next to the raft. Nope! I wasn't moving because of the rock! Hello! HELLO! I'm running out of air! Move this raft downstream please! (See how polite I am! Told you I don't panic). Luckily it was about then that the boardshorts ripped and I shot out from under the raft. I had a nice big bruise on my leg too. The guide seemed a bit shocked. She'd done what her training had told her to do, and almost killed me. I on the other hand was feeling pretty cool about it all. Once again I'd survived death. (Cheated death ... use which ever euphemism you prefer). One of the other adventurers asked if I wasn't scared that I might have died. I told her, "No". I explained to her, even if I had drowned under the raft, my lifejacket would at least keep my body floating. There were enough guides and rafts around that they'd see me bob to the surface. All the guides are trained in CPR, so I'd be fine. She thought that was pretty sound logic. I think the guide was more shaken up by the experience than me. Personally, I don't think you can pay for that sort of excitement on an average trip! :-)

20 February, 2005

As Close to Near Death As I Care To Get

While reading another blog tonight, old memories returned to me regarding a few things in my life. The main memory that was brought back, was the year in my life that everyone around me seemed to be dying. (About 1990-1 I think). I can't remember how many people I knew died that year. I do remember that I always seemed to be up at the hospital waiting room. Though some of the times it was for other things. (Like my Ex had severe appendicitis that year too ... so that was another night at the hospital awaiting news. In her case, it wasn't bad news, unlike the other times). It also brought back another memory. The time I almost died in 1997. (Actually, there have been a few near misses in my life.) In this case, I was basically over worked & overstressed. I'd awoken that morning, and started vomitting blood in the shower. It wasn't the first or last time I'd vomit blood, but this time there was a lot of it. In previous episodes, I'd taken myself off to work. The managers had made it plainly obvious I was on a knifes edge as far as my job was concerned. (With one manager actually saying he was going to kick my arse out of the organisation as he didn't like me! Yes, it's illegal to do that. Never stops managers though.) This day, however, I decided to do the sensible thing. I thought, I don't care if they sack me, I'm going to the hospital. I was already doing thirteen hour days (or more) at work, and was being paid a pittance for my trouble. (Actually, there were a lot of twenty three or twenty four hour days too, where my manager would be walking in as I'd be walking out. He'd tell me to be back at work a few hours later. I'd have enough time to get home, sleep for one or to hours, and then back for another long day at work). My Doctor was forever telling me to quit (only at the time I didn't have anywhere else to go, and I was short of cash because I was going through my divorce). This day, I decided it was serious though. My flatmate Michelle was still at home, so I called out for her, as I needed a lift to the hospital. A few seconds later I heard the front door slam. She'd taken off on me. I was pretty dizzy. I got dry and dressed, and for some reason decided not to call an ambulance (maybe it was the lack of blood). Anyway, I drove myself to the hospital. I was okay on the way. It didn't occur to me to park in the emergency car park. I parked a block away and walked into Emergency. I explained to the nurse what had happened. I was used to having to wait an hour or two to get in to see a Doctor. This day, they let me in straight away. It was a good thing too. The Doctor spoke to me a bit about what had happened, and got me into a bed. The guy next to me must have had a heart attack or something. He was on a machine. We waved and said, "Hi" to each other. His wife gave me a strange look. At this stage, they just took my blood pressure and stuck me on a drip. They came back and checked that my blood pressure was normal, and decided to take a blood sample. The Doctor started to take it, when she was called to take a phone call. She asked me to hold onto the needle (which was still in my arm). It must have been a second later that suddenly the room looked like it was underwater and the whole thing just moved upwards. Then, there was blackness. I'd gone unconscious. I always assume the room movement and the way it looks when I go unconscious is my eyes loosing focus, and my head falling downwards. (I've done it enough to know it's always the same). The other thing which seems to be the same, is the dream I have when unconscious from lack of blood. I always dream I am being chased. I think (if my psychiatry/dream interpretation is correct) being chased means you are in trouble, trying to get away from something in real life. I came to, with the Doctor and Sister standing over me calling my name. They were still a little out of focus. I was looking at these strange people wondering who they were. They looked familiar, yet my brain was unable to place where I knew them from. I had the same problem with the room. I couldn't place it, yet I didn't know where I was. (Jaimais vu). I looked down and saw I was covered in blood, with a nice new red line of it going up my shirt. What had happened when I blacked out, was apparently I went into convulsions from the lack of blood. (aka I had a fit) I also vomited a heap of blood which had still been in my stomach. My blood pressure had hit zero. (Yes, Zero! Doesn't get any lower in blood pressure terms). Most of the blood was brown by this time, as it was pretty old. Some was red. The red line going up my shirt was from the needle that had been in my arm. When I went into convulsions, it pulled out and squirted my blood everywhere. After taking all this in, I suddenly rememebered where I was and why I was at the hospital. The Doctor was still calling my name. I answered her. She wanted to know if I was alright. Yeah, I was fine. I spoke to the sister later about what had happened. His name was Sister Ross. (Yes, my Doctor was a woman, my Sister was a man!) :-) That's why I knew about the convulsions. I'd pulled the drip out of my left hand when I'd had the fit, so they stuck it back into the right hand. My left hand was bruised for days. I told him I almost went to work that day. He told me if I had of gone, I wouldn't have made it. I would have died on the train on the way to work. (I've seen guys have heart attacks on the train before, so I know Sister Ross was probably right). They wheeled the bed away next to me. I waved goodbye to the guy who'd had a heart attack. He waved back. This time his wife smiled. Somehow I felt a bond with this guy. We'd both survived death that day. He was off to a ward I think ... or maybe surgury. (You're taking this man to surgury? Are you kidding, he's in no condition to operate!) :-) A funny thing happened when I had to go take a wiz. I grabbed the drip, and went to where I knew the toilet was. I came back to the bed, and was told off. Apparently my blood pressure wasn't high enough to go to the toilet by myself. Next time, I'd need to either go in a bottle or have someone go with me. :-) The blood sample they eventually took came back. It showed I'd lost a considerable amount of blood. I'm not a Doctor, so I have no idea how they tell this. Maybe it's all caffine and alcohol ... ha ha, I never used to drink either at that time! That test won't work! :-) The Doctor gave me two days off work. It didn't impress my manager who wanted me back to work the next day. He'd been wondering where I'd been. Apparently they almost fired me for not phoning in that day. I got to see my Specialist a few days later for a Gastroscopy. (You know, the guy always telling me to quit my job). Usually it took over a month to see him. With the letter from the Doctor at the hospital, apparently my Specialist took my condition a little more seriously. (Man I wish I could have had a copy of that letter to see what it said). The Gastroscopy just confirmed I had a bit of redness where they assume I'd been bleeding from. Previous ones never showed anything as they usually occurred a month or more after the bleeding occurred. Prognosis from the specialist was the same. He told me to quit my job before it killed me, and get some sleep. Yet, whenever I asked him to write a letter to the effect that he'd told me to quit for medical reasons, he'd refuse. (I used to joke at the time that I had a vague memory of sleep ... I think!) :-) My last gastroscopy (which was about two years ago) did show I had "what looks like a million paper cuts" (to quote my new Specialist). When I got home that night, I asked my flatmate why she ran off when I called her. Hadn't she heard me vomiting in the shower and stuff. She claimed she thought I was just mucking about. Something I find hard to believe, as she left half an hour early without having a shower. I think it was more fear. (One of the reasons I moved in with people at the time, was a previous "blood vomitting" episode when I'd been living alone. I thought living with people would reduce the risk of dying. My mistake!) :-) Well, it's about as close to near death as I've ever been. As Sister Ross said, if I wasn't in hospital and on a drip at the time, I wouldn't be here. Hopefully, it's because God wants to keep me around for a while longer to make a difference to this planet. I went back to that job, and outlasted all those managers who had sort to remove me. I stayed at that company for six and a half years. With what I saw, it was six and a half years too long. It also proved another thing to me. HR is on the side of the employers, and will always turn a blind eye to exploitation of workers and illegal happenings. If I had of died that day, I wonder how the managers would have exonerated themselves from the responsibilty. It always reminds me of that joke about capitalism. The Australian version is where you have two cows. You sell one and try to get four times the milk from the other one. You wonder why it dies.

18 February, 2005

Horoscopes Versus Psychics

The other day, I ran into an interesting link in an e-mail. I get a bunch of jokes sent to me each day, and every now and then, it has links to other things. This day, it had a link to a FREE HOROSCOPE. Well, I always like to compare horoscopes to see if they say the same thing. So far, my very first free personal horoscope has not come true. I'm supposed to be famous ... haha ... yeah! I don't even want to be famous. It's fun to compare two horoscopes from the same day from different astrologers. Often they say the complete opposite of each other. Not a very accurate "science". (Using the term science very loosely). Well, I decided to send off for this horoscope just to see how contradictory it was to others I've had done. Only, the thing I received back WASN'T a Horoscope. It was a psychic report from a supposed psychic. So much for a horoscope. This psychic claimed if I sent her US$100 she would help me to become rich, and also meet my soul mate and make me happy for the rest of my life. I found this extremely funny. I am pretty sure I don't have US$100 to spend at present. Surely any psychic good enough would have known this. The amazing thing was, it claimed I was going to receive an unexpectedly large sum of cash ... TODAY! Only, I am sitting here, and there is no unexpectedly large sum of cash. Of course, with the psychic being in the US, maybe she meant it to be tomorrow (she just named the date as February the 18th. Two other days it mentions are the 24th of Feb, and 28th of Feb for large sums of money. On the 22nd I am supposed to get good news. Okay, let's wait and see). I will take MacBeth's original stand (when he met the three witches), if I were to be crowned King, (or in this case receive large sums of money), then I won't have to lift a finger, it will happen. (I have no Lady MacBeth to push me into doing anything rash, so I should be quite safe). So, I am not sending US$100 to the psychic, and I await my money. Of course, I doubt it will eventuate. If it is true (like she says), then even my disbelief will not stop it from coming to me, because she has forseen it. Psychics like to use disbelief as a cop out. You didn't beleive, therefore your negative vibes changed what was going to happen. It's completely the opposite of the horoscope. In horoscopes, everything is written in the stars. Astrology relies on pre-determinism, much like Calvinists or Muslims in their beliefs. (It is written, therefore it can't be changed!) [Doesn't mean Muslims or Calvinists beleive in horoscopes though]. Psychics use the opposite. They can fore see things, but the future can be changed and avoided if we are warned in time. Thus precognition is being used to change the future. Very unpre-deterministic. Of course, it is so easy to find people who claim to be both, or who believe in both. I wouldn't mind knowing what they believed in more. Give them a horoscope and a psychic reading which agrees, and see whether they take it as a warning, or take it as predetermined. As a warning they'll try to avoid it, as predetermined they'd just accept they cannot avoid it. I'll leave the debate as to whether "Predeterminism" and "Precognition used to avoid calamities" are contradictory, to you. You can argue amongst yourself, or just not bother because you already knew you're side of the arguement would win ... um, yeah! Now, getting back to the 'horoscope' / 'psychic' reading. I was a bit disapointed, as I really wanted a horoscope for a good laugh, not a psychic reading. The psychic reading we can have a small laugh at when it proves to be inaccurate. Still, it wasn't what I ordered nor what it said I was getting. Did this psychic know this? Surely it is a law suit waiting to happen. Why didn't her psychic powers show her this? How many disappointed punters are out there still waiting for their horoscope readings. [How many who base their entire life on the thing? Poor punters!] Well, as a non-believer in horoscopes, I guess I won't be too disapointed when it doesn't come true. I usually only read them for two reasons. One, the laugh factor. Second of all, I like the way they wrap common sense up in a way which makes it seem like a prediction. I once met a girl who was supposedly psychic, (and believed in horoscopes). She told me my star sign was Scorpio ... ha ha! Wrong! She went through ten more of the star signs and still got it wrong (yes, for a total of eleven guesses, she didn't get one right). Final guess ... surely she had it this time! Nope! Her twelth guess was ... Scorpio! Argh! hee hee. She gave up and I told her my star sign. She then insisted that she knew that all along! Um .. yeah, it was so obvious!

Tired But Happy

I didn't get to write anything today, as my younger brother wanted to surf the net. It's now 2:30 AM, and I am ready for bed. So tired, after a hard days ... um ... hard days ... er ... sitting around all day. This sort of thing is probably why I am starving. The problem with being at home, is you're at home. People and things can interupt so easily. So, with my youngest brother on holiday, my mother's car in for repairs, I get a constant stream of interuptions. My Uncle and Aunt came over to day too. So, even though I was rather anti-social towards them, (doing the minimal amount of talking to them), there was still an interuption to my own little world. With them leaving came my brother needing to be entertained, thus a lot of web surfing and discussions on "Life, the Universe and ... " nah, I won't swipe the Douglas Adams book title. hee hee. Basically though, we sat around talking a lot. :-) Even though I am poor and practically starving in my choice of lifestyles, I am pretty much happy with the way things are. There is little stress, which suits me. I am very autonimous in what I am doing. I have no bosses, no deadlines ... just a problem with making ends meet, which will disappear once the novel is complete, or I sell a Film Script. (or get a Network Engineering job or sell a painting ... or something). Then it will be the next project where I will race against the diminishing bank account once again. Of course, I do look around for other things which will make ends meet. Something with little to no brain work. A night fill position, or video store clerk. An easy survival job to keep the stomach full while continuing writing the novels and films. It certainly beats my old lifestyle. Stress, vomitting blood, having my Doctor constaintly telling me to quit my job or else I would DIE! (Like, that doesn't add to the stress!) I guess I am still having one small difficulty. University starts again next week, so back to studying. Time to follow the advice in the Bible, and "keep my eye on the prize". Of course, in the modern world, we all have a number of prizes we chase. That's because we all need to learn to multitask (and being a man, it means I am not too good at that!) :-) In my case, I probably don't have as many things to do ... look for some work to add a few bucks to the bank balance, get my assignments in on time, and GET THAT DARN NOVEL FINISHED! hee hee. There's probablya few other things in there as well. Feed myself, remember to go to bed some time, keep myself washed, and rememebr to entertain my brother and mother occassinally. We had a good session of Italian tonight. I actually made a mistake, and my mother corrected me. It made her feel pretty good. With her struggling though, we decided to drop the French lessons, and we're going to teach her Italian everynight. This will help her memory, and hopefully also make her learn quicker. Once she has Italian down, we'll then go back and teach her French. In the meantime, she is continuing her Indonesian lessons by herself. It's good, as it keeps her out of my way while I am studying and writing and stuff. Tiem for me to hit the bed I think. Ciao :-)

17 February, 2005

Department of Agriculture

The other day I was visited by a memeber of the Department of Agriculture. He came to the door, and asked if I had any pine trees. I said I wasn't sure. After he left, I found out (off my mother) we have two right outside the front door. The guy from the Department of Agriculture walked straight past them in order to ask me if we had any! What sort of people is this Government Department hiring if they can't recognise a pine tree when they are looking for them? He must have missed them because he was looking at the foerest ... um yeah! [Okay, I didn't realise they were there either, but there was a bamboo blind between me and them. At the time I forgot they were there. Still, I am not a biologist nor working for the Depart. of Agriculture! Should they know what they are looking for?]

16 February, 2005

Another Busy Day at the Un-Office

Well, had another busy day. With my youngest brother's Camry in getting fixed, I am driving my mother and youngest brother everywhere. Normally I get to bed between 2 and 4am. Had to get up at 8am this morning to drive my mother over to my sisters house (my mother looks after my sisters kids all the time). I had some things to do myself. I had to get a Birthday present for my younger brother Paul. Plus, I went out on a limb. I actually did some food shopping. One Hundred plus dollars worth. It means my fridge is now full, but I am living in fear of not being able to pay other bills. Need to finish that darn novel, or sell a film script soon, or else rice and water will become a luxury. I got home from shopping to find my youngest brother had locked himself outside his room. Didn't exactly tell me at first. I arrived home to find him playing with string and had the ladder out to get into the loft (which is right in front of my room). So had to squeeze past the ladder to get to my own room. I asked him what he was up to. He wouldn't tell me. He wanted to know how soon it would be before I went out again. I wasn't, I'd got everything I needed in the one shop, so I was home for the rest of the day. Then he confessed what had happened. He'd locked his keys in his room (he stuck a lock on his door because he doens't want anyone knowing he has porn. But of course, our entire family knows he has it.) ... of course, with my history of locking myself out of my homes, I can't call him an idiot. (See Spinning my Wheels - Part 8) I asked him how he was planning to get them out with the ladder and string. Was he plannign on making a hole in the roof or something? No, he was planning on unscrewing the light fitting from the inside of the roof (is that possible?) and lowering the rope down into his room was going to fish the keys out. I told him it was a stupid idea. He then asked if I owned a lock picking set. Huh? Who the *BLEEP* owns lock picks? Well, he said he was just asking, just in case. I then asked him, "Do YOU own lock picks? No? Didn't think so. It's not the sort of thing people have lying around." I asked why he didn't call a locksmith. They cost about $100 to pick the lock. Nah, he didn't want to spend the money. Well, I asked him to get some wire, and we'd see if we could make some and find the instructions off the internet. He told me "No, the packet the lock came in claims it can't be lock picked." Um, why did he want a lock pick set then? Well, he then decided the logical thing to do was to break the handle off the door. After destroying my mother's dressmaking scissors, and then getting her second pair, I suggested METAL TOOLS as a better option. (Plastic handles on the scissors). He used a spanner and some other tools then to break the handle off. So, he got in. He then tried to fix the door handle, alas, it had taken too much of a beating. I was then on my computer, when he came into the room and offered me ten bucks to take him to the hardware store to buy a replacement. He didn't want mum finding out what had happened. I tried to tell him, mum wouldn't care. She'd probably laugh. He insisted that we go to the hardware store. So off we went. He found an identicle handle immediately, and purchased it. He then tried to give me the ten bucks. Nah! Keep it dude! He then asked if we could visit subway on the way home. I agreed. He decided to buy my food in lieu of the ten bucks. :-) [See, people do buy me food!] Well, in the afternoon I had to pick my mother up. So I told her about the funny events of the day. She didn't care, as it's Jeffrey's money. Still, I thought it was a funny. My mother wasn't amused though. Other funny thing my brother mentioned was he had some porn video that he claimed my ex-wife was in. He'd been annoying me for days about it. I kept asking him WHY he was going on and on about it? Eventually, he put the DVD on and froze it at a place which had the womans face on it (and nothing else). He then came and got me to show me the women. So I had a look. Nope, not the right hair colour for my ex. Also, didn't look like her though it was very similar. (After not seeing her for ten years, maybe it was her ... who knows. I don't think I would care if it was). A co-incidental event which took place tonight, was I was searching for videos to tape over (because another Japanese movie was on SBS tonight). I ran into one of my three wedding videos. None of them are marked. The reason there are three videos, is I had two video cameras at the wedding, and my friends made a mix tape of the two (even though they did accidently have some scenes twice). Actually, I think my ex kept the Mixed one. I don't want to tape over the video's as they are the only thing which I have left from the marriage in terms of memories or photo's. My ex wife kept everything else. The wedding photo's, all our holiday photo's and even my picture album from when I was a boy (which had all my baby photo's and stuff in it). At the time, she made the comment that she was trying to destroy my past, in the hope I would kill myself. She said that if I killed myself, people would think she was so beautiful that I couldn't live without her. (Yes, my Ex was rather weird. To call her a nutter might insult nutters everywhere). Well, I am still alive, so I guess that answers that question! [Hint to those who break up with someone. If they leave you, they weren't ment for you anyway. It is better you are without them and can find someone you REALLY should be with. AKA someone who LIKES you enough to stay with you!] (Yes, I know, some of you {my friends at the time} might remember I didn't even date for a few years after because I was so upset ... but hey, I wasn't about to kill myself, dispite rumours spread by my ex and her friends ... members of vulture squad!) The problem with the copies of the tapes I own, is they are slowly disintigrating. If they do fall apart and continue to loose their picture quality, well, too bad. It is still the only link I have to those ten years of my life, so I'd like to preserve a copy somehow. In a way, it isn't live or die sort of stuff, because people in the past only ever had memories to remember thing by anyway (except rich people who could afford portrait painters etc). Yes, by past I am talking over a hundred years ago! So, if I never get them duplicated, it's fine. Still, a copy and back up on DVD would be nice (till blue ray takes over or some other technology to make DVD's obsolete). There are two (or was it four) pictures I did get away with of my Ex. When we were married, she set up a shrine in my computer room (complete with dry flower arrangements and stuff), which she claimed I should worship her at. [I am willing to undertake lie detector tests on this point if you think I am making this or anything else on this blog up. They have some which are supposed to be 100% accurate.] Well, after the marriage breakup, I had those 'shrine' pictures for about a month before she realised they were missing. I got one of my friends to scan them to disk before I gave them back to her. So effectively I got to keep copies of those. Regarding my baby photo's etc, I spoke to lawyers, who basically told me, that as soon as you get married, everything is co-owned. This included my baby photo's etc, so my ex-wife has just as much right to them as I did. They told me, that if I took her to court over them, there was every possibility that the judge would rule in her favour, and I'd be left with the court costs, lawyer costs, and no baby photo's. Thus, a lot of pictures of me when I wa a baby, (which also have no negatives) are in the hands of my ex-wife (though she did tell me that she gave the album to her mother ... so hopefully, her mother has not destroyed them). My own mother has since made some photo's from the few negatives she had, so I do have some baby photo's. One day, I might even stick some on this site ... if I decide I want to scare everyone! hee hee.

15 February, 2005

Saya Bukan Seekor Gajah!

Well, today I learned a new saying in Malaysian. Saya Bukan Seekor Gajah. I am not an elephant. It will come in handy if I ever get to play John Merrick (who's real name was Joseph Merrick aka The Elephant man). Provided I am playing the part in either a Malaysian play or film. Chances, virtually zero. I tried to construct the sentence with "Tidak" which means "No", but I should have used "Bukan" which means "Not". So now, I am ready to start telling people what I am not. Saya Bukan Sebiji Rambutan. (And a good thing too!) Saya Bukan Sebiji Durian. (though I smell like one some days! Nah, just kidding.) Saya Bukan Seekor Urang Hutan. (though I might look like one!) :-) In return, the friend who taught me this phrase, got to learn what "You Nong" meant in Aussie English. She'd seen it somewhere, and didn't know it's meaning. Basically, it means "You Idiot" similar to Bodoh in Malaysian. (Thus the common Malaysian saying, "Bodoh Dabido" D'oh!) :-) As I said to her, next time she hears it, she will know what it means, and won't look like a nong! :-) Nong, is usually used for friends, or people in a non hostile sort of a way. Us Aussies use a lot worse language when someone we don't like does something stupid. So "Nong" is a polite sort of word in many respects. Class dismissed (except Melisa who has to stay behind and clean the blackboard!) :-) Also, please leave a comment or two ... or even a message on the message board. My site tracking told me that I received 58 visitors the other day. I am sure they all weren't me (I don't visit myself that often). So, just write something so that I know what you think of the site. (Whether good or bad). Is very off putting to know I have high through traffic and no one says anything. Also, at the bottom of the Side Bar on the right, there is a button to press which has a Map of the world. Place a pin in the Map so I know where you are from! :-) Thanks, Terima Kasih, Doumo Arigato Gozaimasu, Xie Xie, Kamu Bukan Seekor Gajah! :-)

14 February, 2005

Happy Valentines Day

Today was Valentines day. Last night I ran into a friend on the internet, and she was a bit upset, because she had no BF to give her a valentine. I said to her, it's not important, she has good friends who love her, and she has herself. She does not need a BF to give her a Valentine, because she doesn't need someone else to make her whole. Now, that doesn't mean that it isn't nice to have BF or GF. It's always nice to have someone who makes us feel special. If life revolves around that though, you are missing out on a lot of life. I know a lot of people break down life into basically progressing the human race through pro-creation. Of course, that might be a good explaination for why we do thing, and why social factors are important in the psyche of the human. At the end of the day though, we have to live this life. If that's all there is to it, then we might as well just go and have sex and create offspring and then die. Obviously as conscious beings, we expect more from life. Some people get caught up in the problem that they don't feel whole without something. In some cases, some people need MONEY to show off, fast cars, a nice looking partner attached to their arm. These things are rather shallow, and tend towards a sanguine sort of attitude. Everything is for show, in order to bring attention to ones self. (Some people have said the same about Blogs! Ai Carumba!) Obviously philosophers and religions have always sort for a higher meaning as to why we are here. I am very much into both philosophy and religion. Sometimes it's funny how I run into a philosophy major who tells me if I studied philosophy then I'd never look at the world the same way. I am yet to discover that, and I have read Freud, Jung, Seneca, Socrates, Epicurus, Montaigne, Russell, Schopenhaur, Neitzsche, Plato, as well as studying Taoism, Buddism, Christianity etc to name a few. Actually, I have a habit of reading anything I can get my hands on. The only things I really notice after reading philosophy and religion (which I might add, I feel are very closely related), is I think about what I've read, and decide whether I agree or disagree with it. In the case of Schopenhaur, I just found I disagreed with him a LOT. It was only after reading Alain De Botton's book "The Consolation of Philosophy" that I decided to cut the guy [Schopenhaur] some slack. Not because I suddenly agreed with him, but I realised a lot of his conclusions have been disproven with modern science. Something he didn't have access to. I am at a fortunate time in some ways, as science has progressed, and I can see the errors of some peoples thinking. (In fifty years, someone might be saying the same thing about the conclusions of todays philosophers). Schopenhaur's thinking wasn't so much wrong in the sense that he was not thinking logically, but that with the advent of new technology and new science came new evidence. Without access to all the facts, it is difficult to get to the correct conclusion. If Schopenhaur was alive today, he probably would have thought along different lines. In a way, I feel the poor guy wasted a lot of his thinking power on a question, though important, was a bit before all the evidence was in. Of course, at the time, he had every reason to tackle the question. He didn't know their would be new science to look at his question in a different way. Which brings us to the issue he was tackling. Love. What causes attraction between people? On Valentines day, I hope no one got together just so they could give and receive a present on what is basically a day invented by Hallmark to sell more cards. Well, the Church always had St. Valentines day, but it wasn't in the form we have it today. (You can go searching for the story of St Valentine on the net. It's rather irrelevant to my discussion today.) It is rather shallow to come together just to have someone on this day. Yet, I have known people who have done this. I sometimes wonder about those sorts of people. I tend to think they tend towards the Sanguine side of things, but maybe it is just my prejudice against people who are more into show than substance. (Okay, I admit that I have 1/3 Sanguine, after my Phlegmatic and Melancholic sides, with very little choloric in me at all. Don't get me started on cholorics! They drive me nuts!) Following Schopenhaurs ideas, we'd be looking for someone who is practically our complete opposite (Opposites attract? Don't think so, all the ugly people would have beautiful partners! I'd have a Japanese Supermodel hanging off my arm! hee hee!) I personally think we need to be looking for a person who can and will become our best friend. Someone we can talk to. As they say, Beauty fades with time, so you need someone you can talk to. Someone you will still relate to and love in your old age. Of course, that doesn't mean finding and marrying someone exactly the same as yourself. There are some things which can work as complimentary by partners being exact opposites. When I was married, my wife hated ironing. Yet, every Saturday I'd turn up my Nirvana/Foo Fighter CD's to maximum and iron away. Easily done when singing along to grunge. A good example of a difference which is complimentary. Of course, we had other problems due to incompatibilty. I used to go to church on Sunday, and my wife didn't like doing that. Even though she paid lip service to being a Christian, she didn't like doing Christian things. (Not unless someone was watching. Then she would love to pretend she was as pious as the next religious person). So, being similar in some respects helps the relationship along, and being different in other areas also helps. What happens though, if I find someone who is EXACTLY my perfect match both in similarities and complimentary ways, but aren't attracted to them? (Be they butt ugly, or just something about them is unappealing). My suggestion, don't marry them. In fact, don't get with them. They will make a perfect friend, but keep looking for someone you are attracted to. I would say, if you find someone unattractive, that is an incompatibility at the primary level. Look harder. Of course, not everyone will be a perfect match both for similarities and complimentaries. There will always be some thing which doesn't quite work. In that case, you will have to decide whether you can live with that incompatibility, or not. If you can, then maybe it will be a match made in heaven. If not, move along, nothing to see here. Below is a little list (not exhaustive) of what I think people (in general) should be looking for. (I avoided a lot of the Christian Cliches I hear being thrown around at Church). 1/ Attraction to the other person 2/ The other person has attraction to you. 3/ Try to find someone intelligent (breed smart babies - also they will hopefully be able to think for themselves and will have some great ideas to talk about) 4/ Willingness to learn (Important, because if they are CRAP in bed, you can teach them to be better. I know people who only want someone good in bed. If they can be taught, then it isn't aproblem. You might even teach them to leave the toilet seat how you like it! Up or down! For the record, I leave it down. It isn't a big hassle to do that for a lady). 5/ Good listener. (Let's face it, I talk a lot ... well, mainly I write a lot, I'm actually quiet at home according to my ex. But someone willing to listen) 6/ Some one good at expressing their thoughts. (Something my ex was not good at. Reading minds is bad regardless of how close you supposedly are!) 7/ Someone you actually LIKE (Love is better) (I include this one, as I have known many a girl to marry someone they didn't like, simply because they felt no one else would ask - or they'd never get another BF. Attraction and liking are two different things. You can be attracted to someone, yet think they are a jackass) 8/ Compatibility on the RELIGIOUS level. (Okay, this normally means someone of the same religion in many peoples books. If a couple can respect each others religious beliefs and agree to how they will bring up their children, there should not be a problem with this!) 9/ General compatibility (or willingness to accept the non-compatible areas.) 10/ Someone who actually LIKES (or loves) you. (This might be tricky, as some people lie just to get you into bed, or to get your money and other things! I hate it when that happens to me!) 11/ Someone you TRUST (Also, rather difficult, because by the time you realise you can't trust them, you are probably with them ... but for goodness sake, if you find you can't trust them, it's time to dump them). 12/ Someone NON violent (I think my back still has some flesh left after my marriage. Still, there was a violent streak I wish I hadn't met. I always used to tell girls, "If he beats you, leave him". I think the same also applies to guys now too! Next time, I'll follow my own advice.) I think that's all for now. As I said, the list isn't exhaustive, so if you have another one, leave it as a comment, and see if a discussion breaks out. :-)

13 February, 2005

Why My Brother Will Never Get Married.

Well, my brother Jeffrey decided to take off Thursday and Friday last week. It was annoying for me, as my work and study output grind to practically Zero while he's around. Today he's told us he has next week off too. So I doubt I'll be getting much done next week either. The reason he's taken time off, is he's bored at work. Thursday he insisted that I watch the soccer with him. It was on at 2AM in the morning and finished at 4:30AM. Normally I go to bed at 2AM, so staying up a while longer wasn't to much of a stretch. It was only a friendly between South Africa and Australia anyway. Not an important match. He'd already had Monday off for the Superbowl. Well, he sits behind me most of the day, expecting to be entertained somehow. He brings his boredom home from work. He doesn't want to do anything most of the time, but will launch into tirads concerning the world. Obviously he has too muich time to think about things at work. As I keep pointing out to him, some of his observations on the world, are incorrect. Tonight was one of his tirads against women. Maybe I am just being an optomist, or an idealist, but I really don't have as much of a negative slant on the world as he does. He raves on about how women are evil, yet he's never had a girlfriend. He's never had a close relationship with any women I can remember, and he's never even tried to. Yet, he bases a lot of his opinon on what women are from my marriage. He's had first hand experience at seeing my marriage in action. He lived with my ex-wife and me for two years when we were in Sydney. I'll fill you in on what basically happened. First, I got married. No big deal. For the first three years of Christine's and my marriage, she was supposed to save every cent she earned, while we lived off my wage. I knew she was spending a bit of her money, because every now and then she'd have a new outfit, or have her hair done. Still, she should have been saving some. Whenever I asked her, "How is the saving going?" She'd tell me it was going good. So after three years, I figured she had enough for a deposit for a house. NOPE! She'd spent every cent buying her lunch, buying clothes and other things. She couldn't even account for where it had gone. It came to about sixty thousand dollars. She claimed it was because she wasn't used to having money, so she didn't know how NOT to spend it. We were now three years behind where we wanted to be! We decided on some drastic action. We asked my old flatmate Paul and my brother Jeffrey to move into a share house with us. They accepted. During the two years at the share house together, my brother Jeffrey had first hand experience at how manipulative my wife could be in getting her own way. (I won't go into detail). She used to have a saying, what's mine is hers, and what's hers is also hers. After we moved out of the share house, Chris and I got our own place for a while. Jeff returned to Perth, and Paul moved into a Granny flat by himself and then later his girl friends house. Six months before the marriage ended, we had zero dollars in the bank. This was due to the nest egg we'd saved up being spent on taking her mother to Hawaii. The way that happened, was Chris announced to her family that she was taking her mother to Hawaii. In order to save face, I didn't disagree with her. I was very much on the spot. Her family already didn't like me. Well, Chris made the announcement, and so that I wouldn't look like the bad guy to the family, I agreed. The only difference I made to Christine's plan, was that I would also go to Hawaii. It made Chris furious, because she wanted it to be her and her mother alone. The way I saw it, I had also earned that money. It was supposed to be a deposit for a house, NOT money for Christine and her mother to have a holiday. I wasn't put on earth to be left slaving away at work to earn money for Chris to have a good time. So we went to Hawaii together, and our life savings were blown on that. A loan was also taken out to give us some more spending money. So, six months before the marriage broke up, there we were. Broke, and starting our savings over again. I ended up changing jobs, and also took on a second job. I was getting up at seven, having breakfast, going to work, working the normal forty hour job to five at night. Leaving work, going home, arrived at home, cooked for myself, washed up everything my ex-wife left (she never did washing or wiping up), then got changed. Then, off to the second job which I worked until midnight or one in the morning. Then, back home, I'd stay up for a few hours and do my University homework. Then bed for three or four hours sleep. During this six months, we managed to save ten thousand dollars. I was pretty excited. If we continued, we'd have twenty by the end of the year. After another year, forty thousand. Enough to hopefully buy a place. Alas, it wasn't to happen. Apparently, during the time when I was working, my ex-wife was secretly out having an affair with a guy. She unfortunately fell pregnant. So, she decided she'd stay with the father of the child, which was the other guy. Well, I was thrown out of the house by Christine, and she basically kept everything. Her rational was that she needed it, as she was having a baby. She also worked at the same place I had my second job. In order to stop anyone finding out what had happened, she resigned me from the job (which took me a few months to get back, as they couldn't legally accept my resignation from my ex-wife). All of this has left, of all people, my youngest brother bitter about women. As he puts it, I did most of the work earning the money, and all she did was spend it. In the end, she kept most of the money, all the furniture and everything. Things I owned before I got married, were now hers. I was earning over twice as much as Chris when we seperated. I also had to pay for the divorce (as she refused to pay anything. She said she'd never pay for it, so the only way I could ever get divorced, was to do it all. Which I did). I admit I am bitter towards my ex-wife, but I am certainly not bitter towards women in general. Most of my life, women have been my best friends. I know that sounds weird, but it is true. At school, I quite often used to hang out with a group of all girls. Before my marriage, I shared a flat with a girl named Lisa who was my best friend (and like a sister to me). Even after my marriage break up, my best friend for a while was a girl named Melisa, and then a girl named Kayleen. (There was never any romance between any of us. ) I know it looks like I change a lot of best friends, but when these girls get boyfriends, usually I get pushed out of the scene. I don't have a problem with that. Their boyfriends should be their best friends. Somehow, my brother Jeff has used this experience of mine with Christine and projected it onto all women. He thinks women are just after a man to earn money for them, while they sit at home doing what they want. (Which is funny, because raising kids is a pretty important and difficult job to do right). He also seems to forget how much our mother sacrificed for us, while our father kept everything he earned to enjoy himself. My mother worked daycare in order to keep us kids fed and clothed. My father never spent anything on us. As he [my father] put it to me one day, he earned the money, so it was his. Okay, fine. My father ignored his responsibilty towards his family. I have learned one thing from my father. Never be like he was. Children come into this world with nothing. It is rather selfish to ignore their needs and hope that someone else will pick up the slack for their care and upbringing. Still, my brother somehow ignores that side of the coin. The only thing he seems to remember was how badly I was burned. (I'm not the only one in the family to have had problems in a marriage either). A lot of his world view about women, was also put into him from some guy at work. A guy married and divorced twice. (Or was it three times!) Entering a marriage with that guys attitude ("Life's a bitch, then you marry them") is bound to end in divorce. Either it is from seeking out the 'bitches' of the world to marry, or it is from projecting that image onto the wives. How can a person do that? As I said earlier, I am an idealist. I still think there is a soul mate out there for me. I have no idea where she is (I'm hoping Japan ... those girls are so cute!), but I certainly haven't let the actions of one individual cloud my judgement. Life might be a bitch, but let's hope the one we marry is a great individual, who is willing to work with us in our endeavours to make it in life. I truely wish to find the one true love of my life. My brother thinks I am mad, especially after what's happened. He thinks I am dumb for not learning from my first experience. Well, I think he is wrong. There are people out there without hidden agendas, and who truely wish to find their soul mates. Imagine life, as a game of darts. Throw the dart, miss the bullseye, give up! No thanks! I'm still in this game, pass me another dart thanks! Terima kasih! Doumo Arigato! Xie Xie! Let's throw this sucker! :-)

11 February, 2005

Nickname Quiz

As some of you may see, there is a quiz on the right sidebar. At present it rotates between six different questions. Don't take them too seriously (or you'll be locked up in an institution). :-D Well, one of the questions is concerning my various nicknames, so I thought I'd stick some background behind them:
  • Bear - without a doubt my longest running nickname from when I was 12 to present day. This one started when the Muppets first played onTV. Everyone turned up at school trying to do imitations of the various characters. I tried to do Fozzy Bear and found I was spot on. ["Come on! Come on! You know the Bear is funny!"] This was immediately met by people saying, "He's the Bear, He's the Bear!" After that, the Nickname stuck for a long time. I've actually been given this nickname about seven times from differnt groups of people for different reasons. In a way, it became my name for a while, with friends forgetting my real name. (Some peopel still only know me as this, not knowing my real name).
  • Dog - short lived nickname only used by a few people. We were playing one of those word games (where you had to guess the rules being used). The way it was played, was you said the line, "When I go on holiday, I am taking a ..." at which point you say what you are going to take. I was playing against three other guys, Joseph, Jon, and John. I thought the rule at first had something to do with the letter 'J' so I was saying things like "Jumbuck", "Jelly Donuts", "Jabawocky" etc. I was always wrong. Eventually I thought maybe it was something else in the word ... the second vowel, the last letter, etc etc. Always WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! Eventually I figured out the rule (after many hints from Joseph, Jon and John!) It was the first letter of your name. So, the first thing I decided to take, was a DOG! After that, Joseph, Jon and John (plus some others) started calling me Dog. Actually, it was mainly Joseph. (He embarassingly yelled it at me in the UTS University Library once).
  • Dabido - The Japanese name for David is Debitto. I just made my own version of it, calling myself Dabido. Japanese sounding without meaning anything and differnet from all the other Debitto's in the world!
  • Libido - A version of Dabido given to me by some friends in AE (AsianEuro chat site).
  • Mouse - My first ever nickname. (Other than "YOU!" and "Hey! D!@^head!") After kids at school tried to invent a nickname for me from my name (Stevenson) and then giving up, they decided to call me Mighty Mouse, which got shortened to Mouse eventually. This was superceded by Bear a few years later. (Yes, I am here to save the day!)
  • Fozzy - See the "Bear" point above. Some people prefered to call me Fozzy rather than Bear, as they didn't consider me to bear like.
  • Wizzer - Given to me in school in Adelaide. Most of the kids aimed to get 'C' averages. They didn't want to stand out from the crowd. Some smart alec kid actually got A's and B's ... um ... and that was me. So I was nicknamed Wizzer the Wizkid from WA. It was used as an insult to try and pull me in line in the hope I'd start to get C's like the rest of the class. Not me! I always march to my own beat.
  • Legend - Given to me after I got a High Distinction at University, while simulateously doing a full time job (40+ hours per week), a part time job (30+ hours per week), the house work on Saturdays (ironing, vaccuuming). During this time I also used to cook for myself and do the washing up for both myself and my wife. (Taking into account travel time, I was living off three or four hours sleep each night). Nickname didn't take off with everyone. lol
  • The Old Man of Rock 'N' Roll - Given to me when I was in a band called "Living Proof" (for those who remember the band). The other three members (when we were a four piece) were 23, 18, and 18 years old. I was 24 years old. Thus, being the oldest, I was nicknamed "The Old Man of Rock 'N' Roll". Supposedly because I was SOOOooooo Old. Um, yeah! So old!
  • Nick - This nickname was given to me when I was sharing a flat with my friend Lisa. (Who was like a sister to me) Her brother's name was Nick. She claimed I was just like her brother Nick ... horrible to her! (In a brotherly sort of a way). So she nicknamed me after her brother. People would hear her call me Nick, and would ask, "Why does she call you Nick?" I'd just say "Because it's my NICK name." Some people would almost laugh ... almost. She stopped calling me it after her brother died, but a few other people continued it whenever nicknames were brought up.
That explains the origin of the nicknames. (Of course, there are other nicknames I had, and I was given Bear so many times it wasn't funny. One of my favourite incidents was when I was running through the snow at Perisher. A girl came up to me and told me I looked like a Bear from a documentary running through the snow. This cracked up my friends who knew my nickname!)

Positive Bias

Most of you have heard about positive and negative bias. (Well, I have, even you you haven't. My MarketingI class had discussions about it back when I did my Marketing Certificate). Negative bias is when you think negative thoughts about someone or some group before you actually know enough about them. An example of this in Australia, is the constant belief that all Asian drivers are bad. I always used to counteract this arguement with the fact that my friend Chris Buckthorpe was both Asian and a good driver. (A damn good driver). Negative bias is basically prejudice with a slant for believing the worst. A positive bias, is basically a prejudice for believing good things. An example of positive bias is the belief that all Afro American's are great basketball players. I've met some who can't stand the game, and aren't too good at it. A funny thing is, when something happens to re-inforce these biases, people don't usually think about it. They just jump to the same conclusions as their prejudice. There are plenty of stories I can tell regarding negative bias. Some funny, some not. Today, I'll talk about something which happened which would have re-inforced a positive bias, if I had one. :-) I once went on some dates with a Chinese girl named Christine. For a first date, we went to play tennis. (Very brave of me, to allow a girl to hit balls around on a first date). She didn't own a tennis racket, so when we got to the tennis court, she decided to visit the Pro-Shop and buy one. (I stupidly turned up with an old wooden rackets from the 1980's ... or 1970's ... or when Noah was emptying his gym room on the ark.) So, we walked into the Pro-Shop with the intentions of buying a racket for Christine. They were all quite expensive starting at a low $250. (Or as my brain said at the time TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS!!!!!) Christine wasn't too taken aback by the price, she simply told the guy it was too expensive. He asked her what she thought was a better price. She said one hundred. At this point my brain said, "Well, she'll never get it for that price!" After some haggling, the guy agreed to one hundred and fifty. Then when he handed her the racket, she said she wanted a cover for it! For FREE! Plus a sweatband for her arm! Also for FREE! My brain went, "No way Man! That'll ruin the deal!" NOPE! The guy agreed! Maybe it was a ploy she uses before a match to throw people. It certainly melted my brain. I'm not used to people haggling in Australia. Whenever I've tried, I usually get the, "That's the price man. Take it or leave it!", line thrown back at me. I asked her how she got away with it. (As though it was a trick of some sort. My brain was still trying to get around the fact that she had the nerve to go so low on the price of the racket). She assured me it was because Chinese are good at haggling. If I had a positive bias bone in my body, I'd probably believe it. I think it may have more to do with the fact she'd just come from China. Haggling might be part of the culture over there. I'm not sure. I'd have to ask one of my friends there. Being in a culture where it is more acceptable would have more to do with it, regardless of whether she was Chinese or not. Well, Christine and I never really made it. After about three dates, that was the end. I used to struggle to find things to talk about with her. (For me to run out of words is saying something.) In a way, it is a pity, as she's the very sort of person I need to take shopping with me! :-) [Just think how low I could have got a house for!]

09 February, 2005

A bit of Music Stuff

As some of you may know (or don't know), I have an interest in music. (Having played in bands, studios and for theatre companies). Below is a link to some very imaginative instruments. I like the Percy Grainger one myself. Of course, I'll leave the link for you to peruse. Electronic Music 120 years Slashdot had the site listed half a dozen times today (from different people, who all seemed to think that repeatedly listing it would make a difference). At present, I am still struggling to get my old Korg M1 working. The battery replacement was easy. The problem I'm having is getting the factory sounds back in to her. The issues go thus: 1/ Factory defaults are on my Web PC. 2/ Korg attaches to my Sequencer PC. 3/ Web PC cannot connect to Korg! No matter how hard I try it can't seem to find it! Darn! 4/ Factory Defaults cannot copy to Sequencer PC because the Web PC eats floppy disks (damages them never to be usable again!) Later I might either burn it to CD (which is a waste considering the factory defaults are 49kB big. One 700MB CD for just 49kB ... excessively wasteful.) Still, it may prove the only way to go in the future. Here is another link to some music. It's music with a Science Theme. Science Songs Another link I swiped from Slashdot. Thought it was interesting, as when I was doing my Physics Degree (incomplete), I remember the Thermodynamics lecturer mentioning a song regarding someone's second law. (Dag nammit! If only I paid attention to that song, I might have passed the subject! Of course, learning to do partial differentiation might have been more useful.) Back to the topic of yesterday (feet), here is a story about something which happened when I was in seventh grade. The teacher went to the staff room for a while. He came back to the class and informed us that he'd been talking to the Headmaster. Apparently they'd been a break-in on the weekend, where a lot of things had been stolen or vandalised. It was April 1st, so I immediately said it was an April fools joke. The teacher assured us it wasn't. He took us outside and explained that some paint had been spilled, and one of the culprits had left a foot print. It was their right foot, and the print showed they had a scar on the right foot. We were told to immediately take off our right shoe and sock so that the police could come and check our feet. Upon taking our shoes and socks off, I noticed I had a scar on my right foot, from where I'd previously stood on a piece of glass. I told the kid next to me about he scar. I was really scared. What if I got blamed. I explained to the kid I hadn't been the one who broke into the school. I lived fifteen minutes drive from the school, and there was no way I could have got there on the weekend. The kid didn't believe me, and was trying to get the teachers attention to dob me in! (The little bastard!) Luckily the teacher ignored him. It ended up, it WAS an April fools day joke. There'd been no break in. Phew! I learned NOT to trust that kid next to me again. Also, make sure they get a shoe/foot size before they make you take off your shoes and socks. Always refuse if it isn't your foot/shoe size.

08 February, 2005

First Major Baka Thing I Did This Year

As any of my friends can tell you, I have a habit of doing baka things. (Baka = silly/stupid/dumb in Japanese. Not to be confused with the Taglog Baka which = cow) Well, tonight I dropped my scrambled eggs on my foot. I've been burned more than once before, but normally NOT because of dropping things. I cooked the scrambled eggs in a microwave, so they were piping hot. More hot than if I had of cooked them in a frypan (I think). As I was getting them out of the Microwave, I dropped the container ON MY FOOT! OWWWW~! My mother thought it was funny, because she was sure I was just mucking about. (Oh yeah, chucking my dinner on my foot is a great joke.) Well, I quickly scraped the eggs off my foot and leg, and was trying to get to the bathroom to run my foot under the cold water. My mother, (thinking she knew better) got in my way, trying to drag me to the kitchen tap. Like, as if I could get my foot up to the bloody sink. I wanted to run the bath tap where my foot and the water would be easily accessible to each other. Well, I did get to the bathroom and run the cold water. My foot ended up blistering a bit, but it was mainly small blisters in a few places, and not a great big one. Previous times I've been badly burned: - Malaysia whenI was 6. My face blistered after spending the day out in the sun (that explains my good looks! My real face has been burned away!) People didn't use sun screen in those days. - Adelaide when I was 14. We went on a school excursion to the Gawler pool for the day. Even though I had put sun screen on, my shoulders blistered really bad. My blister popped on the train on the way home, and my shirt stuck to my skin. OUCH. - Sydney when I was 20 or 21. Spent the day over a girls house in her pool (with other friends). Wasn't expecting to be there. Borrowed a friends board shorts, and was only in the sun for a short period of time. Still, my shins blistered really bad. (but none of the rest of me!) A few days later the blisters turned into solid yellow casings for my shins. Eventually, they came off (fell apart - crumbled away - whatever!) My legs don't seem to look any worse for it. - Sydney when I was 33 or 34. Went to an accupuncturist to see if Chinese medicine would help my stomach/intestinal problems. NOPE! Herbs made me violently ill. Tried it twice to make sure ... yep, violently ill! The accupuncturist stuck some needles in me and placed some small round things on the end. He set these small round thing on fire, which burned slowly. One of them landed on my arm, burning a nice ugly mark near my right elbow. My mother is still fuming over this, as I had perfect skin previously. I'm still rather p***ed off by the event, because they guy didn't even apologise. He just made a weird noise and carried on as if nothing had happened. Maybe that's how Doctors avoid malpractice suites, do something wrong, make a funny noise. That makes it all better ... right? Well, tonights effort, was just pure BAKA on my behalf. Just what I needed, some more scars. My left foot copped the most, but my right leg also feels like it got burned, even though I can't see any redness or blisters. Maybe it's sympathy pains for the left foot. Only have myself to blame for tonight. Next time, I have to keep my eyes on the bloody hot container! At least the dogs appreciated my cooking. They got to eat my scrambled eggs. Dogs don't care if foods been all over the floor, or even on my foot. The other pattern I seem to notice, is that when I get injured, people laugh. Okay, sometimes it's me (as in the two cases when I broke my ribs). Other times, it's friends, family and others. Do I look funny when I am in pain? Or do my friends just like to see me suffer? I'm not sure. My ex-wife was more prone to laughing at my pain than anyone. Whenever I pointed out to her, I was hurt and ask if she would please stop laughing, it would make her laugh even more. Hmmm, even now I suspect people are laughing at me! Well, maybe that's just my paranoia. :-) Anyway, I have added even more scars to my already scared up ugly body. I should have just become a slap-stick comedian, no acting required ... just need to be myself and sustain more injuries. :-)

Why I HATE Telstra!

Well, it's now after 5 PM Perth time. I finally got on the Internet today, after my connection being DOWN (Thanks Telstra!!!!! Grrrrrrr!) A lot of the day was spent trying to get through to their Support (Faults) line. When I did finally get through, I was first of all told that no one answered the call, and was hung up on. (One of those lovely recorded messages). After trying to get through a number of times again, I finally made it ... again! This time I was placed in a queue. I sat in that queue for seventeen minutes and fifty seconds. No one answered. I hung up on them, because my connection suddenly came back up. Amazing. After wasted hours of trying to phone them and complain, I didn't even get that satisfaction. I assume that a lot of people had a problem today. I had spent the day dialing their fault line, only to have it ring and hang up on me most of the time (which is why I couldn't get through to them). Isn't it IRONIC that the number one telecom company in Australia never seems to be reachable! They never have enough staff on when I want to complain. They're a TELECOM, but I can't reach them on the phone or from my Internet connection, both of which they provide. Maybe it's because they are a telecom that they know I am phoning to complain. You can imagine them spotting me phoning up and deliberately diverting my call to annoy me further. This was the first time this year my Internet connection has had a major issue. (I've had a minor one where some days it takes two clicks to go to any web site. Most days it's fine.) Last year though, I had major issues. From August to December, I kept getting DNS issues. My computer had difficulty connecting to their DNS server. I used to be a Network Engineer, so I knew what the problem was. Whenever I phoned, I had to go through half an hour of following instructions from some stupid idiot on the help desk who probably didn't know what DNS was. By the time I'd phone them, I'd already work out that I can go to places on the Internet via the IP address, but not their name. I'd tried to traceroute to their DNS servers, and found they time out. I even told them the right hop order when it works, and the hop order when it didn't. This would never impress the Telstra Help Desk. They'd always have to go through the same routine. Is the routers light on? How many? Can you turn the computer off and restart ... etc etc et hoc genus omne ad infinitum enconentia buttocus time wasting. After half an hour of wasting my time, they'd finally go, "Well, there doesn't seem to be a problem there, we better escalate it to the Network Department." (Well, DUH!) Not that the Network Department were any better. Most of the time I'd never hear back from them. The issue would suddenly right itself, and that was it. Then, a week or two later, it would occur again. One of the problems I had, was they never seemed to take notes either. On more than one occasion, I'd phone for an issue, it wouldn't get resolved, so I'd phone back ... but there was nothing recorded from the previous day. So no one knew I'd had an issue. I wonder how many other peoples problems disappeared off the system (or where never put on there in the first place). Other times, I'd phone back, and ask how the issue was going. "That ones been signed off because it's been fixed", would be the reply. "Um, no! I think I would know if it had been fixed. I still have that issue." "Oh, I'd better re-open it then." Damn tootin' you better re-open it. Eventually, I told them, if the issue didn't get fixed, I'd go to Optus. I'd also told my old boss about it (who has some clout with Telstra. He used to work for them). Suddenly the issue was fixed! WOW! After four and a half months of crap, they finally came through! I'm not sure if it was something my old boss said to them (if he spoke to them at all. I never asked him to), or the threat to go to Optus, but something made them finally pull their fingers out. Maybe they do this to all their customers and after a while they get tired of tormenting the same one and switch to a new person. You can imagine them around the water cooler having a good laugh about it. Well, the major issues are gone, but there is still a part of me which says, "As soon as the contract runs out, I'm leaving!" Todays lack of service and lack of connectivity has made me pretty p***d off at them yet again. I feel doubly p***ed off, because I happen to be a shareholder in the company. If they treat the owners of the company this way, I'd hate to be one of their other customers. Quality of service is something that as a shareholder I am concerned about. If I am p***ed off and want to leave, how many other people are in the same boat? Are my shares going to slump because other people feel the same as me. It wouldn't surprise me. When they were a monopoly their service was pretty bad too. When they privatised and brought in competition, you think they might have improved it a little. Apparently not. The corporate culture of being slack seems to have continued. Another pet peeve of mine regarding Telstra, was back when I was a Network Engineer. Something would go wrong, we'd phone them, ask them to fix the issue. We'd sit there waiting for them to phone back and tell us it was Okay. We'd get a call eventually. Normally, the issue would resolve itself just before they'd phone back. The conversation would go something like this: Telstra: Hi, we checked your line, and couldn't find a problem. It must be an issue at your end. Us: Um, no, the line just came up. Telstra: What did you do? Us: We didn't do anything, I've been sitting here reading till you phoned. What did you do? Telstra: You must have done something. We only looked at the line. You've changed something at your end. Us: No, I told you. I've been sitting here reading. My issue last year had a similar call on two occasions. First when I first got it installed. They asked me to leave it on over night so their technicians could look at it. When I got up in the morning, it was working. They told me it was something I did. (Cool, next issue I have, I'll go to bed and it will magically fix itself. The fact that their technicians are looking at it has nothing to do with the issue. It all has to do with me going to bed!) The second time was when their network department actually phoned me back. Somehow magically, it fixed itself again. How dumb do they think we are? They might be able to fool the occasional granny or computer illiterate, but to try this crap on a Network Engineer is pure foolishness. Is it so bad for them to admit there was a problem, they found the cause and fixed it? Or do most of their problems come from the idiots they hire? I say that last one, because of the time our house phone stopped working. We placed the call to their faults department. They eventually came out, told us it was the wiring in our house, and demanded to look around, claiming we had illegal wiring. So we let them in, they had a look. Nope, everything in here was installed by them. Okay, so off they went. They came back, and told us it was WET CONTACTS on the wires. Told me to try the phone in ten minutes. Ten minutes later, I picked up the phone to see if it was fixed. Nope! But I did hear an incriminating conversation. Ours was not the only house effected. They had to fix a whole stack up, because someone (one of their bright technicians) had wired it wrong. Apparently, what had happened, was some new phone service was supposed to get installed. Not sure what happened exactly, but one thing led to another, and the technicians had managed to re-wire the entire neighbourhood so no ones phone worked. Um, yeah, I guess that's called "wet contacts", were the technician stuffs up, and wets himself. They phone him to find out what he did, and make contact with the wet technician! Yep, he's a wet contact! Oh well, Telstra still have my Internet connection under contract for the next year and six months (maybe a little less). So they have that amount of time to either get their act together, or to stuff up completely. If they stuff up badly again, I'll just move to another provider because of their constant breaches on contract (ie, not providing the service they are supposed to). Otherwise, we'll see if they can make thing work right. In which case, I probably will still have a mind to move elsewhere. It depends on what I end up having, and what's around. Still, I think nothing could have been worse than the service between August and December last year. (Except totally unplugging the thing!) In the meantime, I'll consider selling my shares if I change services providers too. Why keep shares in a company that disrespects it's customers?

07 February, 2005

Nude By Pool - Artistic Failure?

Here is a painting I did years ago. Some people regard this as a failure of mine. I'm not sure if you can see it, but it's a nude by a pool. A lot of people look at it and tell me that they can't see it. When I got back to Perth, a few years ago, I showed my mother, and asked her, "What is it?" She immediately saw it. I'm not sure what other people had against this painting of mine. Maybe it's because it wasn't actually painted on. The paint was poured on the canvas board. The paint is actually something like 4mm thick. If you look at most normal paintings, they would never be this thick (unless it's Jackson Pollock or another artist who pours paint). I thought it was a great triumph for myself when I did it (back in 2000). Why did everyone else who saw it, consider it to be crap? It takes a lot of control to pour the paint straight onto canvas like that. It's harder in some respects than painting with a brush. Still, I like the painting, and still consider it a triumph. The poor reception it has received has stopped me painting any more in this style till I get some more money together. (This much paint costs a bit of $MONEY$) There will however, be more of this style once I can afford it. This painting has approximately a litre of acrylic paint on it. It's rather heavy.

It also suffered a slight mis-hap. My old flatmate didn't like me leaving paintings around the flat. I placed it on the bath, thinking the canvas board was strong enough to support the weight. My mistake. The thing sagged, and I had a painting which was shaped like a U. The head was at the top of one end of the U, and the buttocks were at the other end of the U. It took quite a bit of effort to straighten it out. It's still warped a bit. Just like me! :-) It also meant the paint ran into the middle, and I had to correct it somewhat. What is your opinion?

["Nude By Pool" Painting Copyright 2000-2005 David Stevenson]