Friday, April 30, 2010


It's pretty cool that Texas governor Rick Perry packs heat. But it's the fact that he packs heat while jogging that makes him awesome!

Perry told The Associated Press he sometimes carries his pistol, loaded with hollow-pointed bullets, when he jogs on trails because he's scared of snakes -- and that he'd seen coyotes in that area.

When the coyote came out of the brush toward his daughter's labrador retriever puppy on a February jog, he charged it and shot it with his .380 Ruger pistol.

When I exercise I struggle to find somewhere to put my iPod, let alone a .380 laser-sighted Ruger. And as for my state governor, I'm pretty sure the only weapon he knows how to use is a lawyer.

I love Americans.

Thursday, April 08, 2010


A while back I complained that the majority of blogs I found were as follows:

“compilations of knitting projects, unannotated holiday snapshots, spam blogs, Hong Kong teenagers transcribing the words to awful Cantonese pop songs with animated butterflies in the margins, collections of porn, "OMG CHECK OT THIS FUNY YOUTUBE VIDEO!!1! ITZ SO FUNY LOL LMAO WTF!!!!", and pictures of Every. Single. Baby. On. The. Planet.”

I stand by those words. However I must admit that there has been the occasional comedic needle in the haystack of porn, youtube links and mommyblogging. I’ve identified three that make me laugh.

1. That is Priceless by Steve Melcher

Steve re-titles the great masterpieces of the past in ways that make more sense to him as a modern 21st century guy. And let’s face it, we can all relate to Peter Paul Rubens’s 1632 painting ‘Finding of Erichthonius’ better when we think that it’s really called ‘Worst Secret Santa Gift Ever’.

2. Whooppee by Antonia Cornwell

You may argue that Antonia is a mommyblogger. However as an Englishwoman it’s impossible for her to be a “mommy”, and to that technicality I cling.

I cling because despite the fact that she blogs about her children, she is funny in a spit-coffee-out-of-your-mouth, cough-up-a-lung, die-of-cerebral-hemorrhage kind of way. How can you dismiss a woman who describes her son thusly?

"Oscar is one day old. He is shouting. He is a squat, solid, doorstop of a baby who exists on two Jekyll/Hyde extremes: either he is quietly awake and wide-eyed, just looking peacefully around at what little he can focus on, or he is angry about shitting, which would make a good album title. During Angry Hour, it's like trying to nurse Ian Paisley.

He is approaching Angry Hour now. He is hungry, and can't latch on, because my boob is twice the size of his head and he can't get a grip. His head bounces repeatedly off the boob as he fusses, grunts and shouts about shit and Northern Irish sectarianism. I hate talk of politics, and my patience is wearing thin."

3. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

When most bloggers talk about their childhoods, they recount sweet tales of youthful naiveté. Allie Brosh, on the other hand, writes about her journey from being a tiny psychopath in pigtails to being… a grown psychopath in a ponytail. Same person, different animal-related hairstyle.

So much violence for someone so (apparently) girly. If they ever make her blog into a movie, it’d look like ‘Pulp Fiction’ with Reese Witherspoon superimposed over John Travolta in every scene.

I heartily recommend all of these blogs - head over and take a look, and tell them Blandwagon sent you! You will look like an idiot when they say, "Who?", but that will only provide me with even more mirth.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


The devastation left by the hail storm that swept across the city just over two weeks ago is slowly being repaired. Paths and roads have been cleared, broken glass has been swept up, and men with clipboards have wandered about peering at shattered skylights and pock-marked cars, tutting gently to themselves.

One such man employed by my insurance company took a look at my MX5 and declared it to be a write-off. I was allowed to keep it for a few days in order to get around, but they took possession of it last Thursday. Fortunately later that day I took delivery of my new MX5, so the transition was relatively painless.

My original green 1998 MX5:

My new silver 2001 MX5:

There are a few differences between the two, other than the fact that the silver one is three years younger, has done 14,000 fewer kilometres, and doesn't have issues with wheel bearings or timing belts.

Cosmetically the newer car has a redesigned front bumper and different wheels, which give it a stubbier, less sinuous appearance. Most of my friends have said that they prefer the new look, but personally I can see merit in both. The old one took a few blatant styling cues from the contemperous Jaguar XK8, making it sleeker and more feline. However the new one is probably a more cohesive design, and the silver colour brings out the lines better... and it'll be a lot easier to keep clean.

Mechanically the new car has a 6th gear and a boot release button on the keyfob, two things I'd identified as lacking on the old car. It also has a better stereo, more comfortable seats, new tyres and stylish white-faced instruments with chromed trim.

But of course it's not all new and improved. There's a small tear in the hood which will be expensive and difficult to fix. There are redesigned storage compartments in the centre console that pop open if I nudge them with my elbow when I change gears, or even if I just accelerate sharply. There are a couple of little dents in the boot lid where someone has slammed it shut before establishing that that items within were going to fit.

Beyond all that, however, there's a subtler issue. The new MX5 feels more refined than the old one. Even under strong acceleration, the engine's note is smooth and gentle. Throw it around a roundabout and the new tyres grip almost silently rather than squealing and slipping. While it will still obediently dart around corners and nip through traffic, it no longer feels as though it's anxious to do so. It's doing it because I want it to, rather than because it's been given permission.

But that's a minor consideration. It's pertinent to note the following two facts:

1. It's already been dubbed 'Ice Weasel', because the word is insinuated by the numberplate, and because it's a pale silver colour, and because I have friends who know far too much about freeware web browsers.

2. Time between me taking delivery and me being pulled over by the police for driving like a hoon = five hours.