2013: the Year of the Flat Pack
5 January, 2013

cats in a box
“Where did you put that Allen key?”


A Pox On Virgin
28 October, 2011

Well, what a fabulous couple of days.

My modem blew up on Wednesday afternoon. Apparently an incoming call… my “landline” is sort of VOIP… was all too much and the phone rang a couple of times and then the modem went an ominous shade of black.

Virgin – my ISP – couldn’t have been less help if they’d come around and sabotaged the thing themselves. Apparently they’re trying to get out of the wireless broadband business by a process of attrition. The help desk bloke had two solutions:

(1) Plug it into a different power point – thanks mate, I tried that before I called

(2) Get a new ISP.


I was pretty sure it was the power pack, not the modem… I happen to have three Virgin modems, let’s not go into why right now… and none of them would power up. Still, I thought, if Virgin can’t be bothered helping me, I might as well change service providers. Perhaps I might find one who, oh, I dunno, might actually provide me with some service?

I have to leave town to buy socks, so signing on with someone else meant a trip down the motorway. Thursday morning and the Optus bloke couldn’t get anywhere with his computer. It seems that Terriblestra rules the phone lines in my part of town, and the only way I could get service from Optus was wirelessly. All well and good, but his computer was telling him to give me a modem and he had no modem to give me.

Short trip to Major Computer Retailer where the more dynamic bloke at their computer desk was quite confident Optus would post me out a modem… but he couldn’t find the plan listed. In their brochure or on line. It took so long I had to leave to get to a lunch date back home.

Returned to Optus Bloke #2 this morning where it turns out the only way to get a phone and broadband bundle from Optus is via some complicated scheme whereby my mobile becomes my landline and my computer connects to a new mobile phone and gets data that way.

Me to Optus Bloke:  “No, thanks. It’s entirely too Machiavellian. What you’re suggesting seems to me like plugging in a double-adaptor, attaching it to an extension cord and then wiring in a power board, just to plug in a kettle.”

Optus Bloke:  “I don’t really understand what you’re saying. But I can tell you, if you go with Terriblstra, they’ll want your first-born child as a down payment.”

However, I can’t knock Optus Bloke #2. He tried his best, and when asked if he could refer me to a shop where I might buy a new power pack for the existing Virgin modem, he was right on the money. $12.95 later I am back in business… until the modem itself fails, I suppose.

Total Control
16 March, 2010

There’s been hoo haa on the interwebz and crusty media overnight about this little number, a “novelty” marketed by one of the big seppo chain stores that’s been devouring our local book shops. My initial thought was, “Well, it gives the wankers who’d but something like that something new to play with – geez, their tiny little appendages will be relieved.”, closely followed by “It’s good, in that they’ll waste $15 on it that might otherwise have been spent on home-brewed crystal meth”.

But then I reconsidered. I wouldn’t mind having a man remote, but the buttons wouldn’t be wasted on trivia like beer and stripping. Who wouldn’t love a “Your career is just as important as mine, so I’ll stay home with the kids” function, or perhaps you could amp up “Who cares about the footy? I’d rather have family time.”

If you could remote control your partner, which button would get the most wear?

Glassings, cotton wool and the nanny state… no, it’s not craft time, kiddies.
30 November, 2009

Just read a spot-on opinion piece re. the Queensland Government’s moves to ban glassware from all licensed premises:


How about hardware barns, though? They’re like lolly shops for out-of-control suburbanites who thirst to harm imagined enemies and innocent bystanders: very, very sharp things; very, very sharp and turbo powered things; kilometres of electrical wiring; poisons galore; carnivorous plants. Huge great panes of glass, for heaven’s sake, glass by the bloody meter! And steel-capped boots available to anyone with $19.95 – no proof of age or stat dec denying intent to maim required.

Shut down the death traps lurking in our suburbs, Anna!