: : crazybrave has moved to <a href="http://crazybrave.net">http://crazybrave.net/</a>: April 2005

Friday, April 29, 2005

It's not a big stick approach. The fact that I happen to be holding a whopping great bit of four'be'two is entirely coincidental. Honest.

Pardon me while I get up on my freakin' high horse and spew forth my justified bile about this fucked up government.

You'll have to take my word for it, but when I was writing yesterday's post, I took out a comment about the way that Howard's wilful blindness to the obvious potential to offend of the conduct of a minority of people at Galipolli because he "didn't see it" would never translate into a more nuanced approach to say, "welfare cheats".

I heard that idiot Peter Dutton, the Minister for Workforce Participation ( and I'm eagerly awaiting the Minister for Aromatherapy Massage, btw) on the radio this morning:

ALEXANDRA KIRK: When you say some people, how many people do you think?

PETER DUTTON: It's hard to quantify. But the…

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Five per cent? Ten per cent?

PETER DUTTON: The anecdotal evidence as I've moved around the country talking to job network members who have been involved in the system as far back as the early days of the CES, its… you know, you get estimations of between 10 and 25 per cent, so we're not talking about insignificant numbers, but it also needs to be kept in perspective as well.

As we are all aware, the Howard government has a particular gift of perspective. The media helps them, of course:

The Government says that as many as 25 per cent of the nation's long-term unemployed may be "ripping off" the system ...

Up to a quarter, hey? We can see what you're fucking up to.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Eat my shorts

It's very hard to eat weet-bix through gritted teeth, so I'm grateful the Prime Minister appears so rarely on AM on Radio National. Sadly, he was on Thursday morning, talking about Galipolli rubbish, amongst other things. Here is part of the transcript, the part where I spat my sliced banana out:

EMMA GRIFFITHS: What about the question of the young people who fell asleep and who were seen lying on graves at Lone Pine? That's bound to upset some people. Does it upset you?

JOHN HOWARD: Oh look, I understand that, but you've got to look at the aggregate behaviour of the overwhelming majority of people. There were 17,000 people there and the great bulk of them were young Australians, and I repeat, from what I saw and encountered they behaved magnificently, they behaved in an exuberant way.

Maybe a few didn't, I didn't see that, but I'm not going to have the good name of young Australians overseas reverentially participating in a respectful remembrance, which is what I experienced. I'm not going to have their good name besmirched.

Yep, they were on those graves reverentially. Personally, I'm not offended by it. What offends me is our normally mean spirited Prime Minister yet again running the Bart Simpson defence.*

* It wasn't me, you didn't see it, you can't prove a thing.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

the dog ate my blog

Tomorrow and Thursday, and for two days next week, I will not be blogging. Not for the usual reason of laziness, but because we will have no power. Not even a little bit. From 8:45 to 4:45 on each day.

They sent out the notice last week, complete with a FAQ sheet. My favourite question was "Does Actew/AGL realise how inconvenient this is?" Heh. These people obviously never used "Piglet's Big Movie" as a toddler sedative on a near daily basis.

I shall now randomly segue to a picture of how nice the trees in Commonwealth Park are at the moment:

Sunday, April 24, 2005

On lost pleasures and new happinesses

O took Sage out for a few hours this afternoon to Give Mummy A Little Break. I tried to read the paper, but that's not the pleasure it used to be for me.

The end of it was a Spectrum article about Jeff Purser and Ranko Marcovic. (Link here, but I wouldn't worry.) They run Templar films which is the production house which made Fat Pizza. They are really interesting men, with perceptive things to say, but the article (by Diana Plater) is stoopid. For example:

And Purser is the first to admit that Fat Pizza's characters are stereotypes, and the series and film are about as misogynist and "madonna-whore" as you can get (you love your mother but only have sex with the hot chicks)".

Really. Anyone who has watched much Fat Pizza at all will know that it's also common to have sex with fat and/or ugly chicks if they are the only ones who will root ya.

I can't see the point of handing over money to read that when I get to read stuff like this:

Laura from my new favourite Sorrow at Sill's Bend has written a beautiful literary detective Jane Austen Story.

David Tiley has an startling and gracious post about the lingering effects of the Queensland Dog Act's control of the lives of Aboriginal people.

anthony from spiceblog continues his adventures in Japan. After an unfortunate if understandable karaoke-related injury he has popped right back into form.

Rex in the city considers the legacy of the Anzacs. (I issue a snort warning for those who like to drink and compute.)

There has been lots of talk lately about whether blogs are influential, or civil, or the preserve of sad nerds. There has not been enough talk of the enormous quantity of really good writing that appears in blogs. Yay for blogs.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Castles made of rock (and books made of paper)

Ampersand Duck and I took our kids to play at the castle in Commonwealth Park today. She used to play there when she was a kid, back in the olden days when someone broke their arm on the sharp rocks every five minutes. It's all squelchy soft stuff on the ground now, but exciting moments of danger are still there to be had by the devil-may-care toddler.

We sat around and talked about good books, and our 'lations and blogging, and how we hadn't had a natter for a while.* It is such a pleasure to sit and have a proper chat with a friend you've been missing. We decided to leave when a group of other parents brought out a big bag of guns to distribute amongst their offspring.

Why would you? They're nasty and pointy. It's well into the future for Sage, but I would much prefer he picked up a stick and made cool shit up in his head than ponced around with a gun for kicks.

* We also talked about dogs, partners, having yum cha tomorrow and her latest obsession, making the most beautiful sketchbooks you have ever seen:

also mr tangerine speedo

"I was listening to the Charlie's Angels soundtrack today with Bumblebee [her 8 year old son - Zoe] and remembered how much I liked the song 'Mr Tangerine Speedo', and for some reason thought about this sketchbook while I was listening. I've used all-new materials with this: fresh acid-free drawing paper and a gorgeous orange Indian khadi paper for the cover, with a grey-blue button for the tie.

mr tangerine speedo

Mr Tangerine Speedo features a celtic weave spine, which gives the book a bit more stability."

Isn't she clever? There are many more beautiful pictures at the links above.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Tony Abbott and the mystery of genetic inheritance

I have been accused of being a little harsh about Tony Abbott's motives and actions in the past. In fact, I think I've been rather kind, far kinder than he deserves.

If I was being unkind, I would have unleashed my mother on him. My mum and Dad are visiting for a few days, and tonight - after only one glass of wine - Mum referred to the Medicare "Safety Net" as "Tony Abbott's other fantasy love child".

PS - I have taken the drastic step of handing over US $12 dollars to Haloscan to release my old beloved comments from their ransom hideaways. The special bonus is you can all bang on in comments for hours before Haloscan gets cut at you. Or something like that. So fire away.

Friday, April 15, 2005

I am so up with the cool kids

Last weekend I sat around someone's loungeroom and drank their beer (thanks!) and crapped on a bit with johnboy from the third best blog in the ACT, RiotACT, and a Mr Jim Boots.

If you have one of those IPod thingies, you see what we talked about and download it here, or you can stream it from the same place. I shouldn't think it will be released on vinyl.

I haven't heard it as I have the old-fashioned dial-up, but I can promise you that TJ's boobs get an outing.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Let's watch, shall we,

over the next couple of years, and see which of the Coalition's broken promises Howard announces in an exclusive interview on cable news networks, and which ones some dumb Liberal or National shit has to stand up and cop themself.

Update - from the ABC:

Mr Howard has apologised to Australians for announcing the hikes in the Medicare safety net thresholds, but can not guarantee it will not happen again.

"We don't have any in mind but I am not going to give an iron-clad guarantee in relation to that," he said.

Don't bother. It would be utterly worthless.

Robb Corr, who did such sterling analysis during the campaign of the regressive cock-up that is the Medicare Safety Net, has had a go at his spiffy new digs here.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Things I didn't buy at the bookfair

A bit of a disappointing bookfair, all told. Came home with some gypsy music and a Johnny Cash compilation, some American history and a couple of novels. Nothing on last year's haul.

Before I went, I had read about Ampersand Duck's ability to resist buying a volume of verse titled "She Vomits like a Lady", so I kept an eye out for some special items that I found quite resistible. And yes, "She Vomits ... " was still there the next day.

As was "Three Goats on a Bender". A very handsome volume, for sure, but unlikely to sustain one's interest. Especially since it was in the expensive room.

Shocking photo, I know. Doesn't do her justice. It says: "Your one and only Mrs Mills! I was Queen Victoria's Chambermaid and other piano favourites" Unlikely, I thought.

Fucking pan pipes. Not even the llama likes 'em.

Very tempted by this, especially as the sign that sharpie is pointing to says "Bed and Breakfast. Served with pleasure!" But no.

The thing that was hardest not to take home was this bumper sticker I found in the car park:

I would have had to buy that. Probably a couple, so I could send one to Bad News Hughes, who I found originally through Burnt Karma.

(And while I'm on the linkfest here, Sorrow at Sill's Bend is a good new read and you can catch up on Freeway 9 while Jo has a rest.)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

End of Month Egg on Toast Extravaganza #5

If you were Mexican-Turkish and hungry, this would make you a good huevos rancheros egg on toast. I have gone a bit liberal on the "toast" part, after Jeanne and anthony suggested last month that any "carbohydrate based foodstuff subjected to the application of heat" would probably do. But it's a real egg.

(Yes, I'm working on the photography, thank you.)

The corn pancake is adapted from a recipe in the Adey Family cookbook "Fresh from the Garden" (now out of print; they used to run the Darling Mills restaurant in Sydney, and grew much of the food they served, so it's a very good book for veggie gardeners). The salsa is an avocado cut into chunks, and dressed with smashed garlic, lime juice and a red chilli. Yes, I had noticed it's just like guacamole, but for some reason it's much nicer in pieces.

The beans are adapted from a Claudia Roden recipe. Roden's "The Book of Jewish Food" is a thing of amazing beauty which anyone interested in their belly should read. Then, like me, you might be inspired by Claudia's references to hunt out the amazing "Life is with people", a fat ethnography of life in the shetl, the Jewish enclaves in Eastern European towns before WW2. I doubt that you will be as lucky as me, and find it on the table at the Lifeline bookfair for $5 five minutes before it closed, but you should buy it anyway. (Yep, fellow Canberrans the bookfair is on again this weekend. Yay!)

For the beans:

Soak 1 cup of kidney beans overnight and then cook them in a jiffy in your pressure cooker, until cooked thoroughly but not mushy. (If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can just ignore them on the stove while you do something else, or get a simmer mat. You could use canned beans, but they just don't taste as good. If you can be bothered cooking Turkish peasant food, you might as well do it properly.) Fry a large sliced onion in olive oil and add 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic when golden. After a moment, add the beans and a can of Italian tomatoes. Add a pinch of sugar to taste and a generous pinch of chili or hot paprika. Or one each of smoked paprika and chili, which is my favourite. Add beans and up to two cups of water. Cover it up and cook slowly the day before you want to have a nice breakfast. In the morning, just warm it add most of a bunch of finely chopped dill.

For the pancakes:

Boil 3 ears of corn, and cut the kernels off. Pop in the food processor with 3 small eggs or 2 large ones and about 3/4 cup flour. The batter looks quite heavy, but you can stir through a couple of tablespoons of yoghurt if you like. Cut the kernels off another ear of corn, and dry roast them in a cast iron frypan until starting to blacken and smoke. Stir into the blended mixture. The batter can rest for a while. Cook pancakes in a hot lightly oiled non-stick pan until brownish. You can make 4 big ones with this much batter, and they are quite thick, not crepe-y or tortilla-y at all. More like toast, in fact. Heh.

Serve warm beans with with a fried egg (start high, turn down to nothing, cover, wait), bacon and avocado on top of a nice warm corn pancake.

stanley having a little rest

This month's egg was brought to you by Stanley, a white leghorn who gets to scratch in the dirt and eat good stuff. (And who craps everywhere, obviously.)

This month's round-up is at the passionate cook

Sunday, April 03, 2005

fly like the byrd

My mate byrd knows his way around a spraycan, and has now found his way around a blog. Check out nibbling at the architecture


Ampersand Duck's car, a byrd work in progress, is here.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

note to self

If the Bowling Club has a policy of not serving a spirit without a mixer, do not allow your friend Ross to persuade them that pouring half a dozen shots of Cuervo Gold into a jug of beer qualifies as a mixed drink.

If this should occur, and Ross is charged $23.60 for this jug of "mixed drink", do not follow his instruction to capitalise on the bar staff's obvious lack of mathematical ability or business sense and purchase another jug of "mixed drink" immediately.

If you do this, you will not win the 80's trivia competition. Dean will win because one of his team jumped on a table and dropped his pants during the air guitar physical challenge. They doubled their points again after the dirty dancing physical challenge, won by two men pashing while holding jugs of beer. Dean will wave goodbye from outside. He will be looking in the window laughing his guts out because you are singing karaoke. You will be singing "Don't go breaking my heart". You will be Elton John. The crowd will go wild, but it will all be downhill from there.

After several more hours carousing you will get on your bike to ride home and fall off about 400 times before locking it up and hailing a cab. This will be a long process.

When you wake up in the morning, you will have a swollen left knee, a very sore right elbow, a tequila hangover and no trace of dignity.

Remember, Zoe, that this is the short version of your misadventures.

Friday, April 01, 2005

I'd like some feedback

Why don't female bloggers ask for feedback from readers? I can't remember off the top of my head any women doing so. If they do, it's nowhere near as prevalent as it is with male bloggers.

Mark Bahnisch has just had a stab, as has Currency Lad (who should fix his goddam feed already), and I think I remember recent requests from Nic White and Martin Pike.

Ladies? Gentlemen?

Clarification: Sorry, bit unclear here. What I was wondering about is whether there is a difference between male and female bloggers in this respect, not what anyone thinks of crazybrave. I kinda assume that if you keep coming you like it and if not, you'll go elsewhere.