Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Day 50 - Halfway There

And so we (by which I mean me) have reached a significant milestone. In 50 days, I (by which I mean me) turn 30. It's also been 50 days since I started this blog.

And what a rollercoaster ride it has been so far. Monkeys, Garfield, Chuck Norris, the life expectancy of the hippopotamus - we've covered them all.

But we haven't talked about Bob Moose Jr. Mr Moose was one of those unfortunate few unlucky enough to pass away on the same day they were born. Well, not the same day, but the same date, years later. And it's still sad.

Bob Moose Jr died on his 29th birthday on the way to his birthday party. So he never got to blog about turning 30. Let's not think about that, however, but rather, about his successful baseball career with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Wait, the Pittsburgh Pirate? I know what you're thinking. Andre, don't you own a Pittsburgh Pirates cap? A cap celebrating what we previously thought was an obscure baseball team? The same team Bob Moose Jr played for?

Isn't that a little spooky?

Yes I do. Yes it is. (Here is a picture of me wearing the cap. While standing next to a Biker Scout from Star Wars, just to lighten the mood.)

So let us celebrate reaching 50 posts. But let us also remember Bob Moose Jr. And let us also thank my friend Stuart for providing me with a very fine hat indeed.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Day 51 - Why America is Awesome

This is by far my laziest post to date, but I had to share this. A 100% authentic campaign ad for the US presidential election from Republican Mike Huckabee - featuring Chuck Norris. Yes, Walker Texas Ranger.

Apparently Opra endorsed Obama today. Bah! Is Oprah a Texas Ranger? Was Oprah in Dodgeball? I don't think so! Viva Chuck. (Actually, the bigger shame is that Mr Norris is not running for president himself.)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Day 57 - Education Revolution

Firstly, apologies for the lack of posts recently. I will now endeavour to update more regularly so that you, the reader (yes, reader singular - you know who you are) can enjoy fresh servings of turning-30-I-can't-believe-it writing.

And so to today's post.

When you get older, people expect you to be a bit more mature. To be a bit wiser than when you started. In short, you are expected to have learnt something. Here is a list (by no means comprehensive) of some of the things that you are meant to know by the time you are thirty. Please score yourself as you go along.

1. What capital gains tax is.
Apparently, lots of people who are thirty or over have 'assets'. Not having any 'assets' (an unbroken run of Incredible Hulk comics from the late 90s notwithstanding), I wouldn't know. However, it is useful to know that there is this tax that exists that can totally make your tax return hard to fill in.
- I know what capital gains tax is. Duh. (3 points)
- Capital gains tax? Isn't that..? Uh...zzzzzzzzzzzz. (0 points)
- I also know what negative gearing is. (5 points)
- I utilise negative gearing (-100 points for making the housing market more expensive)

2. Who your superannuation is with, and what it's being invested in.
It is possible to have your superannuation sitting in a fund that invests it ethically. It's also possible to have it sitting in a high risk, short term gains fund, or a low risk fund if you've got the time. Alternatively, like me, you can have your super sitting in five different funds because you forgot to collect all the funds together every time you changed jobs. I like to think of this as 'diversifying my portfolio', although my accountant friends refer to it as 'stupid'.
- I know where my super is. (3 points)
- I've always known. (1 additional point)
- I also know how my super is being invested (2 additional points)
- I don't know if I even have super (0 points)
- Super schmuper. But I like Superman (5 points)
- Although I was underwhelmed by Superman Returns (6 points)

3. Which council municipality you are in.
Admittedly, many people under 30 know what council they live in because they have (a) received a parking fine from them, (b) received another fine from them; or (c) work for the council. But if (a), (b) and (c) don't apply, over 30s should know their council for a very important reason. TO KNOW WHO TO COMPLAIN TO. If you haven't had a good whinge to your council about something, you're not really trying. Here's a few things you can complain about: rubbish collection, recycling collection, the state of the footpaths, animal waste on footpaths, lack of public facilities, the level of rates, council expenditure, the state of politics in Russia.
- I know my council, thank you. (3 points)
- I don't know. (0 points)
- Um...is it the Jedi Council? (-2 points)
- Oh come on. Jedi Council!!! That's funny. (-3 points)
- Dude! Jedi Council. From Star Wars! You know, Yoda! (-1 point)
- Fine. Whatever. (-1 point)

4. Why kids today have it so much better than you did.
You have to know this. If you're thinking, well, it's tough for kids today - YOU ARE WRONG. Or under 30. You will learn.
- I had to walk 12 miles to school everyday. In the snow. Yes, in the snow, in Australia (3 points)
- Without shoes (3 points)
- And with no knees (-1 point for lying)
- Our animated films were in 2D (3 points)
- Etc (1 point)
- Wait! Kids have it tough today, don't they? (-5 points)

OK, let's score:
- If you actually added up your score as you went along: um....good for you.
- If you didn't...you got a 5. Well done. Don't go back and add the scores. You got a 5. Trust me.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Days 71 to 78 - Special Catch-up edition

Well, yes. It's been a while between drinks. Not literally, of course. I mean that it's been a while since I posted on this blog. Hopefully you have all used this time to catch up on some of the old posts.

You haven't? Well, go do that now. I'll wait.

Oh, you're back. Look, I'm sorry I haven't posted. But I'll make it up to you with this grab bag of goodies. Yes, a bribe.

Firstly, here is a site that provides you with monkey related news. It's a trifle serious for my tastes, but beggars can't be choosers when it comes to monkey news!

All right, if you didn't like that one, visit this blog. This blog puts my monkey related postings to shame. Way to blog! Blog. Blog. Blog. (It sounds funny if you say it over and over.)

Now here's something even better. Monkeys performing parodies of classic movies. Oh Youtube, how did we ever survive without you!

First up...have you ever wondered what Yoda would be like...as a monkey? I know I have.

Second up...Die Hard (Monkey Edition).

There's heaps more of these on Youtube, go look!

OK, I admit that this was a pretty weak post, but everything should be back on schedule next week!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Day 79 - The Monkey Yardstick

Leaving aside the question of whether orangutans are monkeys (answer: close enough), it seems that blogs such as this one that are blatantly pro-monkey have won over our PM.

Now he's going to give $500,000 to save the orangutans in Borneo.

This is smart politicking. In one swoop, John Howard has sewn up:
- the monkey vote
- the Borneo vote
- the "I thought hospitals were getting too much anyway" vote.

Of course, this is only if the Liberals win. Some say that this promise is a clear indicator that John Howard no longer thinks they can, and is just trying to see if he can get Kevin Rudd to copy him on everything. I agree. It is clear that we have a new way of measuring whether someone is taking an election campaign seriously or not - the monkey yardstick.

If your election campaign is flagging and nothing, but nothing, will chase those blues away, then there's a sure fire way of raising spirits high! The monkey yardstick! The monkey yardstick says "I've given up!" but in a fun, monkey-friendly way! Get your monkey yardstick today!

The monkey yardstick is great for local council elections:
"I think we should repair the footpath near the shops!"
"I think we need more monkeys!"

For arguing in court:
"He was holding the knife, was covered in blood and was shouting 'I did it! I did it!'"
"Your Honour, with all due respect - monkeys."

For the home:
"I want to watch Deperate Housewives."
"Yes, but I...well...fine. Monkey monkey monkey."

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Day 80 & 81 - Weekend Edition - And hilarity ensued...

Welcome to a very special edition of the blog that celebrates (laments?) turning 30.

When you think of the year 1978, what do you think of? If you said "It's the year that some awesome people were born in, particularly awesome blog writers" then thankyou, and stay off the medication. However, if you're thinking about the first appearance of a fat, orange cat, you'd be right too.

Yes, folks. 1978 marks the comic strip debut of that lasagna eating feline, Garfield. So, yeah, Garfield turns 30 next year, joining me and other luminaries such as Ashton Kucher and Ben Cousins.

Garfield appears in over 2500 newspapers, has featured in two movies, an animated series, a computer game and, most importantly of all...he used to be funny. I think.

As a kid, I used to collect the Garfield strips from the newspaper and then paste them in a big black folder. And I used to think they were hilarious. But maybe they weren't. Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield (and who doesn't even draw the strip anymore - other people do it for him!) said that he had made a conscious attempt to avoid social commentary. And boy did he succeed. Garlfield predates Seinfeld as a comedy about 'nothing' (aside from a fat cat).

Oh, and I used to have two 'read along with me' Garfield books. You know, you listen to the tape and read along at the same time. Only you read along with the Garlfield comic strips. And my books were not on tape, but on vinyl. And I really like italics.

There's lots I could write about Garfield, but the main thing I wanted to address was the "voice of Garfield" conspiracy. You see, in 1988 (when Garfield was 10 and so was I), he had an animated series (which went for about seven years). And on the series, his voice was provided by the excellently named Lorenzo Music. Here he is...

And here is a tiny, tiny bit of Mr Music in action as Garfield (you'll have to wait until the end - don't worry, it's quite short).

Unfortunately, Lorenzo Music passed away in 2001, so he couldn't be the voice of Garlfield in the feature films. That job went to the hilarious (although sadly, not in this case) Bill Murray. Bill Murray, you might recall, played Dr Peter Venkman in a little film I like to call...Ghostbusters.

Now, Ghostbusters became super popular in the 80s. So popular that like all popular things in the 80s it was given its own cartoon called The Real Ghostbusters. It was called "The Real" Ghostbusters because there was another cartoon called "Ghostbusters" which was based on a black and white TV series. I know, I know. It does not make sense. Don't get me started. Anway, my point is that Bill Murray didn't play Dr Venkman in the cartoon. Guess who did? Yep, Lorenzo Music. (Again, it's near the end of the clip)

So there you have it. The guy who was the first voice of Garfield was the cartoon voice of the guy who would be the voice of Garfield. Get your head around that!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Day 82 - Word Up

You have to love Webster's Dictionary (and not just because it's named after the classic sitcom character). Every year they add new words to the dictionary so that it keeps up with our ever evolving language. Fo' shizzle! So what gems did they introduce almost 30 years ago in 1978?
(All these words were really added in 1978. Honest.)

longneck (noun) - beer served in a bottle that has a long neck

Thanks Webster's! I would never have guessed that a bottle with a long neck was called a longneck! You have done society a great service.

brewski (noun- slang) - beer

As in "I ski, you ski, we all ski for brewski". All right, no one in Australia uses this word - if they do, they have been watching way, way, way too much US television. Even more than me!

shootaround (noun) - a usually informal basketball practice session

Really? I've never ever heard this word before. Don't use it, though. I think if you went around asking people if they were interested in a shootaround you may be quickly picked up by the police.

tweener (noun) - a player who has some but not all of the necessary characteristics for each of two or more positions (as in football or basketball)

Also, Tweener was the name of one of the characters from Prison Break, Series One (and part of Series Two). Way to go, Tweener, you're in the dictionary. Now all we need is a dictionary definition for Scofield (noun) - to be the modern incarnation of MacGuyver. (I apologise to all non-Prison Break watchers who won't get this. Look, Scofield is like MacGuyver - watch the show).

gimme cap (noun) - an adjustable visored cap that often features corporate logo or slogan

What rot. Now they're just making stuff up.

lookism (noun) : prejudice or discrimination based on physical appearance and especially physical appearance believed to fall short of societal notions of beauty

I knew it! I knew this kind of prejudice existed. See you at the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal, modelling agencies of Melbourne! Reject my portfolio will you?!? Here's a sample:

And now for a word that should be in the dictionary, but isn't. Please use it as much as possible:

nigglies (noun): that feeling you get just before you go to see a movie or sit an exam that you need to go to the bathroom.