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Irony, Irons and other stuff

A little while ago someone suggested I write about the misuse of the word irony in the lexicon. Well I would, but ironically I don’t know anything about the topic (See that was funny on a couple of levels). I will point out my favourite example of this societal abuse of the word – Angst ridden Canadian Balladeerette (is that a female singer of ballads?) Alanis Morissette’s song ironic. The only irony in that song is that it doesn’t actually contain irony…

“A traffic jam when you’re already late
A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
It’s like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
It’s meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife
And isn’t it ironic… don’t you think?”

No Alanis I don’t think… and clearly neither did you. I’d suggest that’s more like poetic justice… as found in the correctly titled song Poetic Justice – written by Tom Kimmel and covered by Jane Saunders.

I feel like the king when the queen loses faith
And the crowd rushes in to tear down the gate
While the whole palace slept, and I never rang the bell.
Maybe that’s poetic justice, but it’s pretty hard to tell.”

Actually – perhaps ironically that doesn’t sound like poetic justice to me – but perhaps that’s due to a lack of context. Ironically, again, Jane Saunders released an album called Poetic Justice – with the Tom Kimmel song as the title track. The song contains these lines:

“I feel like the king
When the queen loses faith
And the crowd rushes in to tear down the gate
And declare what was mine
I stole from someone else
Maybe that’s poetic justice
But it’s pretty hard to tell”

So if her album is named after the song, and she sings the song, could she not be declaring something as hers that she stole from someone else… Guilty as charged I say.

So as you can see it’s almost impossible to learn anything ironic from a female song writer… or in fact from anyone at all. Except perhaps H.W Fowler who is quoted on Wikipedia (note: I understand the irony of claiming it’s hard to learn about irony from anyone and then turning to the source of all “reputable”* information**) as saying

Irony is a form of utterance that postulates a double audience, consisting of one party that hearing shall hear and shall not understand, and another party that, when more is meant than meets the ear, is aware, both of that “more” and of the outsider’s incomprehension.”

So there you have it. An ironic insight*** into irony.

My iron beeps when it’s been left on for too long. Isn’t that a useful function. I discovered this while preparing to attend the races (of the equine variety) yesterday. Perhaps ironically*** (after my post last week) I did place a bet on a horse and it was quite literally pipped at the post. I bet $5 and lost – I figure the $5 goes a small way towards repaying Jupiters Casino for kindly inviting me into their corporate marquee for the day and feeding me seafood and cake. They would have provided me with free beer too (or heavier stuff) if I wasn’t feeling fluey and congested still. I had a day last week where I wasn’t feeling fluey and congested but then I got up at 4.55am to host the Today show breakfast people up here and the lack of sleep didn’t help my cause. (Look how I tied four pieces of information into the one paragraph – watch and learn people… For those at home wondering what the four pieces of information are: 1. My iron beeps, 2. I went to the races, ate at the corporate tent and placed a bet (all one topic (but three pieces of information I guess)), 3. I am sick, 4. I had the Today show up here last week). Wow. Are you awestruck yet? Probably not. I should point out that I’m actually not as arrogant as I sometimes sound…

* “” Denotes sarcasm
** referring to Wikipedia
*** used ironically

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I’ll bet…

The mighty Manly Warringah Sea Eagles are on a roll. I was so confident they’d beat the Panthers that I placed a bet with a friend of mine who happens to support them. Is this wrong? If I was sure the Sea Eagles were going to win isn’t that tantamount to stealing? If I was uncertain – is that poor stewardship of my money? Is gambling in and of itself wrong – or is it the associated greed? I don’t want the $5 that Pat is going to have to cough up because his team are unable to function effectively as a unit – I wasn’t motivated by greed. I just like to win. A game is infinitely more enjoyable if there’s actually something weighing on the outcome – by enjoyable I mean exciting – there’s more adrenalin involved if you actually might win or lose something depending on the outcome. But am I going to hell because of this bet? (well no, I’m not going to hell… at this point that was a little bit of rabbitical hyperbole… not that I’m claiming to be a Rabbi, or a rabbit…) Is gambling sinful? Should we be condoning or facilitating any form of greed. The Catholics have been running Bingo competitions as fundraisers for years so they obviously don’t have a problem with it. Neither does the Australian Chief Executive of Woolworths who is a professing Christian.

In that story above (by above I mean contained in the link above…) he made some pretty carefully considered statements about the decision his company has made to invest in a series of gaming establishments.

“I don’t think that’s a moral judgment, I think what is a moral judgment is that one needs to be careful and concerned about the environment in which they sell in the market facilities of that nature.”

While personally I don’t have a problem with gambling if you can remove the element of greed from the equation – if it’s budgeted entertainment with no addiction involved then go for it… who am I to say that using a pokie machine is any less fun than playing an arcade game. My problem is making a distinction like Mr Woolworths (not his real name) has made here. It reminds me of a scene from the Godfather where the Mafia Dons (head honchos) are gathered round a table discussing a move into the narcotics industry – one of them says ”

“I don’t want it near schools — I don’t want it sold to children! That’s an infamia. In my city, we would keep the traffic in the dark people — the colored. They’re animals anyway, so let them lose their souls… “

Somehow the logic in both those quotes seems strikingly similar to me – as long as we’re careful where we put the bad stuff people can go and do the bad stuff if they choose to. Gambling addiction is, without question, a destructive thing. Like the Whitlams I wish I could blow up the pokies… but then I’d lose out on cheap pub steaks designed to attract gamblers. So in conclusion I haven’t exactly figured out my position on gambling yet… but I thought that article was interesting… particularly the quote below, and the fact that Mr Woolworths said he’d be happy to sell bullets at supermarkets if it was legal and there was demand for them. Again, not a moral decision apparently. But where do we draw the line for Christians involved in business? Is it wrong to work at Maccas if they cause obesity? Is it wrong to be a lawyer? I think Mr Woolworths actually has it right in this case…

“I believe that I’ll be accountable one day for my life and so to that extent I’ll be accountable for my integrity,” he said.

literally… not figuratively

This is literally the best blog topic suggestion I’ve ever received…

“I would like you to write about the misuse of the word ‘literal,’ and about how ironic it is that the word literal has lost its literal meaning. It really annoys me when I hear comments on A Current Affair stating that “These are literally the tenants from hell.”” – Joel.

Well Joel I would quite literally love to write about that… and I will… now.

Literally literally means to:

  1. In a literal manner; word for word: translated the Greek passage literally.
  2. In a literal or strict sense: Don’t take my remarks literally.

Incorrect usage of the word really bothers me too. I would suggest that a more appropriate word, in most cases where literally is used out of context is in fact the word literarily.

  1. Of, relating to, or dealing with literature: literary criticism.
  2. Of or relating to writers or the profession of literature: literary circles.
  3. Versed in or fond of literature or learning.
    1. Appropriate to literature rather than everyday speech or writing.
    2. Bookish; pedantic.

If tabloid journalists began using literarily instead of literally it would literally solve half the problem over night.

For example the quote “These are literarily the tenants from hell” – could be acceptable if the show went on to prove that the tenants were of a hellacious nature. For it to be literally true, one or more of the following points must be demonstrably true:
1. The tenant is in fact Satan.
2. The house is in fact hell.
3. The tenant is actually dead, and the report has been beamed back from hell.
4. The house is in Ipswich (replace this suburb with the westernmost suburb in your city – I guess for Townsville readers it’s Charters Towers or somewhere like that).
5. The tenant is demonstrably a demon.
6. The tenant lives in a gambling house
7. The tenant is a scrap of material in a tailor’s box

I agree Joel, Current Affairs programs are literally the worst thing on television. They are literarily a product of hell.

Now on to other pressing issues. I had a thought the other day. Well actually, I had several. This one was to do with the “Drink Drive and you’re a bloody idiot” campaign. It occured to me that there are actually a lot of people in our society who a) are bloody idiots already, b) would like nothing more than to grow up to be a bloody idiot, or c) are not quite bloody idiots but would like to take that next step. It occurs to me that the campaign is flawed on that basis. It occurs to me now that that isn’t as interesting as it seemed in my head when I read it online. Stay tuned for my thoughts on Shakespeare and how lucky he was that his performers didn’t have speech impediments. Try saying Shakespeare with a lisp and it comes out as thakethpeare (and you spit on all the people in the same room as you). But that’s for another post. I may also make some comment about cb’s favourite new word, or new favourite new word. The word is both new, and her new favourite. Allived. To me it sounds a little bit Strongbadian – It’s a great way to transform an adjective to a verb. It’s just a shame alive actually only has one l though really.


Now coming to you in Wide Screen… at least from my end

Well, well, well… that of course is the answer to the question “what did the oil baron say when three new oil deposits were discovered in Iraq. The US of course simply said “Fire the torpedoes”, which was pretty useless because Iraq only has a very small coastline and there are much more effective ways to blow things up in Iraq. Strapping explosives to your chest seems to be one way… that’s not really funny is it. Not at all PC.

There’s not really much interesting stuff to write about today, owing to the fact that I spent yesterday in Charters Towers. It’s a hole. Or a series of them. Mostly because it contains a lot of tunnels left over from the gold mines. It is however, one of North Queensland’s premiere tourist destinations – attracting history buffs from all over the country. So if you like history it’s worth a visit. Or if you like meat pies. I’m sure it has plenty of redeeming features.

Today I took mum, dad, and Susie along to an Indy car roadshow thing in Townsville that I had to go to for work. There was lots of burning rubber, lots of noise, lots of girls in Indy outfits, and lots of the types of guys who enjoy those sorts of things. Then I went to WOW and bought a new screen for my computer… and more importantly, the new Muse CD. I’m impressed. I was worried at first. But it’s very good. It’s nothing like any of their old stuff. But Matt Bellamy is still the coolest front man strutting his stuff on stages around the globe.

That’s about it for this episode – be sure to check out the thoroughly politically incorrect ramblings at that other blog… http://philnsmiz.blogspot.com



I really don’t want to write anything about the current tension playing through the ranks of the Australian Liberal Party. But I will. Actually that’s a lie. I really do want to write about it – but if I get too political here people complain – so my apparent reluctance, or reticiance, or regret, should allay those concerns. At the end of the day I don’t really care who leads the Liberal party. The real question is just how binding a conversation between two aspirants for leadership in the federal opposition about handing over the leadership that the party hadn’t yet won should be. My hunch is that there are two arguments – not very… and very… not really rocket science is it.

I’m still deciding which camp I sit in – there are all sorts of issues that can arise within 1.5 terms in office for a political party. Making a promise to hand over the reigns mid stream is stupid. No one could seriously have expected it to go ahead – which I suspect is why it has taken 12 years for the contents of the conversation to be revealed. I suspect Mr Howard just doesn’t like the idea of Mr Costello ever running the country.

The bigger issue that came out of cabinet’s meeting yesterday was the cross media ownership developments. Funnily enough Labor and the Greens both came out swinging against the reforms. Unfortunately that’s like me coming out swinging in a boxing match with… well anyone. It’s just not going to make much of an impact. When Labor, and the Greens powers combine they form Captain… unimpressive. I don’t think they understand the words “balance of power” – that’s when the government controls enough votes in the senate to pass anything. More power to them I say. Speak out all you like. Empty threats, hollow words… meaningless, meaningless. If I was Labor or the Greens I’d be saying no about a whole lot of stuff in one big non-story for the news to pick up.

No to Howard
No to whaling
No to whales
No to North Korea’s missile tests
No to Iraq

They could launch a “just say no” campaign. They need to do something. This post is now boring me. So without further ado. Goodbye.

Oh – please note the new link on the right – it’s to the funniest blog on two heads, or you can just click here.

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Rubbed out

Like millions (well hundreds and thousands (the number, not the little colourful balls of sugar)) of others I’ve been hotly anticipating the hotly anticipated new Thom Yorke solo album, The Eraser. So today… upon its release… I bought it. And I listened to it. And now, here are my thoughts.

This album is slightly more avant garde than any of Radiohead’s work (for the uninitiated and uninterested, Thom Yorke is the singer from Radiohead). The music is a series of syncopated and sometimes rhythmic noises. With very little musical quality whatsoever. Except, and this is a big exception, for Thom Yorke’s voice. I’ve decided I could happily listen to Thom Yorke sing over any noise in the world. It wouldn’t make me happy, because Thom Yorke is a very melancholy kind of guy. But it would be a pleasurable experience nonetheless. He also writes lyrics with cool words and concepts. And his cover art is good. There’s my in depth analysis and review of the CD. I was also looking forward to the release of Muse’s new album. But it wasn’t available at Wow. I wish Townsville had a JB Hifi. Actually, that would be bad for my bank balance.

Another variation on the rubbed out theme – Steve asked me what I thought the Italian guy said to Zidane in the build up to his send off this morning, and I must confess I did not get up for the World Cup. I set my alarm, but promptly metaphorically threw it at the wall. I actually dropped my phone rather half heartedly on the floor. If Zidane is the typical French creative genius then I imagine it was something along the lines of “Oi, you French poof” which was enough to send my favourite all time player, Eric Cantona into a violent fan directed frenzy (see below) – he’s not my favourite player because he karate kicked a fan in the head. He karate kicked a fan in the head because he’s my favourite player. I’m not sure the logic there worked any better than it did in that trashy teen movie which I won’t admit to viewing. My sisters have a lot to answer for.

My parents, and sister, arrive in Townsville tomorrow – it’s the first time they’ve ever come to stay at “my” house. So I’m inventing all sorts of new house rules… actually I’m tidying my room. Maybe.

State of the Union

I’m sitting down to write this post with no actual content in mind to fill it. It’s more out of a sense of obligation and in recognition of the fact that I’ve had nothing of substance to say for quite some time. Unless of course you count last week’s efforts on the word queue and the North Korea situation. Part of the reason I’m writing this is because I’m sick of the “ronery so ronery” title sitting at the top of my blog page. Those of us still carrying the world cup torch know that the hotly anticipated all European final is on in the early hours of tomorrow morning. For those supporters out there who’ve fallen off the wagon Italy (boo) are playing France (Oh ho ho) in a battle worthy of an Olympic 10 metre platform dive final. The number of dubiously decided close games in this World Cup have done nothing to further the game’s cause in Australia. Speaking of games in Australia, I made the mistake of watching a bit of last night’s Bledisloe Cup. For those of you not interested in the petty fights between League and Union fans I’ll give a quick summary of my problems with Rugby Union.

1. Its fans claim superiority over league based on the flowing nature of the game. Sure the ball is in play longer because there are less penalties given (only because Union refs actually play the advantage rule properly), but so much time is taken up setting up the lineouts and scrums, and the ball is constantly tied up in rucks and mauls. The game flows about as fast as an arctic river. Which is to say not very fast at all. Their tries are invariably scored in an all in “stacks on” on the tryline. Hardly the result of dazzling ball play, creativity or athleticism.
2. Union fans claim the moral highground because their scrums are contested. As far as I can see, contested scrums are not necessarily a good thing. They do not punish dropped ball to the degree that league scrums do, and they take so long to get right. I can understand the ref’s concern with a correctly packed scum, because if they go wrong people will get hurt. I was once told that international rugby players develop hemorrhoids due to the pressure exerted in the scrum. And I believe it.
3. Union aficionados always claim a higher level of sophistication and intelligence than their league counterparts – this claim was historically rooted in the fact that union players traditionally came from good private school, university educated stock. But no longer. These days the Wallabies backline (traditionally the smarter team members) are more likely to have a background in League than a private school education, and they’re much more likely to be getting themselves in trouble off the field (ala Wendell Sailor – those two factors probably go hand in hand). They’re also more likely to get caught out lacking sophistication on the field too, thanks to the wonders of modern television.

Really that link and a genuine dissatisfaction with the quality of last night’s game were the only reason I made this post. I suspect I’ll also get more response from particular female readers (Miriam and Robyn come to mind) than from any passionate male Union supporters. So over to you girls…


Ronery… so ronery

Just when you thought I couldn’t get any less holy – I open a post with a Team America reference. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie… don’t. I can’t recommend it in good conscience. However, I will continue to quote it because it’s actually very funny, and now surprisingly (well it’s actually not really a surprise) relevant given situations in North east Asia. It seems the craziest man ever to wear platform shoes has taken short man syndrome to the next level. Crazy Kim the coiffured nepotist from North Korea has decided to flex his military muscles by sending 7 really expensive missiles to the depths of the Sea of Japan. It says a lot about a man’s character if he’ll gladly waste seven missiles when his people are starving. There were plenty of better places to aim the missiles. The Big Brother house maybe. Channel 9. Boy, am I mister current events or what… Why didn’t he test them by firing them at a terrorist you might ask? Well for starters Hazem El Masri was indoors… and secondly Kim Jong Il is a terrorist in training. He’s just not very good. Yet. He clearly needs more practice – the US reported that one missile fizzled just 40 seconds after launch. There’s a lot of places you can take missile jokes. But I won’t. One can only hope his missiles didn’t harm any whales. I suspect that’s why the Japanese have imposed trade sanctions – it’s certainly the only reason anyone can think of for imposing sanctions on the Japanese. I think the popularity of karaoke would be another one, and the popularity of anime… and those stupid game shows… and umm… well I guess there are lots of potential reasons actually. But I feel sorry for the poor Japanese, not only do they have to put up with a crazy irascible despot on their doorstep, they’re not allowed to snack on their favourite meal in the whole world. Whale. For some reason the rest of the world doesn’t see taste testing as a scientific test. Last I heard science was the use of the senses (observation) to test a hypothesis. I think on that basis Japan can eat all the whales they want.

Another man who is apparently lonely at the moment, allegedly, is Michael Costa. The New South Wales politician who bares a striking resemblance to Dr Evil (oh no, now I’ve also referenced Austin Powers… I’m scraping the bottom of the pop culture barrel tonight)
has apparently (allegedly) been visiting ladies of the night. More specifically a lady of the night. An anonymous lady of the night. An anonymous lady of the night who anonymously made the announcement on talkback radio. Rather than letting the event fade into obscurity Costa decided to sue for defamation – now everyone knows he was the politician named (Merrick and Rosso cut the caller off almost immediately and released an apology without naming said politician). Costa needs a new PR adviser. I fail to see how suing a radio station where the hosts were clearly not culpable (they could perhaps have beeped out the name if their production team had been working on the industry standard 3 second delay) will achieve anything. Particularly if Merrick and Rosso can prove the claims to be true – truth is a defence to defamation provided it’s in the public interest (and the moral conduct of a politician probably falls into that category – some would argue that this shouldn’t be the case, but if you’re going to hold yourself up as a public figure of good moral stature then there has to be accountability). Thankfully we now have uniform defamation laws to make defences easier to remember – it seems these new laws scrapped the public interest element too. Hooray. Defamation was the one area of law I was actually good at. I figured it might come in handy.


Escaped animals

Some animals should be kept in cages. Certainly these emos should be kept safely in their paddocks. Goats should definitely never be ‘scaped. Having played the role of the scape goat professionally for the very first time I can reveal that it is an unpleasant experience.

I now thoroughly endorse Eddie McGuire’s policy of terminating the employment of all the stupid people at Channel 9. Hopefully he’ll leave the locker room pretty stale (as in not Fresh).

It would seem Fr*sh were less than happy with a few elements of their Townsville visit – and the AFCM director was less than happy with Fr*sh, and in turn less than happy with me. As the most junior member of the Fr*sh trip I became the “fall guy.” Luckilly I’d kept all my correspondence with the Fr*sh Producer and AFCM so the buck was passed back up the chain. Not before Townsville Ent*rprise’s good name (and my reputation) were besmirched in certain circles. If you want a happy career – never work with children, animals or television personalities. The Fresh producer is the first woman I’ve met with short man syndrome. I’ve never met such a belligerent** and vindictive person – she was so lovely to deal with – until something came back to bite her. It’s not my fault that she couldn’t schedule a film shoot properly. I didn’t force her crew to stay up drinking till 3am the morning before a shoot. Grrr (that’s the first and last time I’ll spell out a sound like that on my blog. It’s a little hackneyed. It’s not even onomatopoeia – i’m pretty sure “growl” would be the word I was looking for there – I’ll make up for it by using cool words wherever possible tonight).

On the bright side, a number of really cool people backed me up. Which was nice. Our Chairman, CEO, and my manager in particular. And the totally awesome AFCM Public Relations guru who is now writing me a glowing reference which I can use to fight the good fight against the opression of the national media powerhouse that is Lyndey Milan. I hope she googles herself today. I wouldn’t put it past her to be doing that every day. I’ve never met anyone who’s been directly two faced before. This blog entry is slightlty cathartic. Maybe I should make it slightly defamatory as well, but at this point I’ve managed to keep it tied to the truth – despite the Fresh team’s flagrant* disregard for virtuous conduct.

And here I was thinking the trip had gone well. Ignorance truly is bliss. I think I’d prefer to be oblivious of any machinations behind the scenes (are machinations always behind the scenes? I guess they can be transparent) that are not my doing.

There ends the rant.

I really have no other news actually. Homestarrunner has finally been updated again.

So the words I taught the kids today were umm fangoriously, besmirched, belligerent, hackneyed, flagrant and umm linebacker…

Somebody needs to go get an icecream sandwich…***

*I told someone I’d use that word today.
** and that one.
*** for the uninitiated that was from here


Queuing up…

It occurred to me just now that Queue is a very odd word. It strikes me that the second “ue” could, be redundant. Interesting food for thought really. Apparently it comes from the Latin word Coda… I’m not sure how that came about.

That’s all I really have to say tonight. Potentially that post could have been expanded to be quite entertaining – but if I’d made it longwinded and “intellectual” people would have complained. You can’t please everyone all of the time.

I will now shamelessly plug the second most popular blog on the internet (no one likes people arrogant enough to claim “most popular” status) – check it out here.

This blog entry is now terminated… like so many journalistic careers at Channel Nine… it’s like a skeleton (boned – which when you think about it may be appropriate terminology for describing the waif like/wafer thin host of the Today show, I’m sure Eddie was just taken out of context)… in that it probably could have done with a little more fleshing out (also like Jessica Rowe). I think I’m out of Nine jokes now… Although I didn’t have nine to begin with, it’s more like 4…

Produce the goods

Well it has been a while since I last posted anything of value (some people would argue that I’ve never posted anything of value). I have been busy. Really. I have. I’m working hard – although you might disagree when you’ve finished reading this post. On Wednesday night I picked up the cast and crew of Fresh – the channel 9 (I’ll get to channel 9 later) cooking show from the airport. They are the best film crew I’ve worked with so far, and were a lot of fun to host.

On Thursday night I attended a black tie, $200 a head, 6 course banquet dinner. I’d post the menu but you’d all be jealous, I’ve now tried rabbit, crocodile, tuna loins (but where are their legs), duck and other interesting stuff… with wine to match. The dinner was the opening of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. My mother will be happy to know that I now just eat whatever is put in front of me – provided it’s been prepared by a 5 star chef… I’m being very sophisticated.

Here’s three things I learned while on the road with Fresh
1. The reason you never see flies on the set of cooking shows is because they spray the food with fly spray to keep bugs off… (I wanted to make a “bugger off” pun there but couldn’t think of a suitable way to frame it – and we all know the key to art these days is the frame).
2. The Nine network need to work harder to ensure their staff are confident about job security (I’d suggest that rather than spending millions of dollars flying the Footy Show to Germany, or having senior management catch a cab from the Blue Mountains to Sydney, they should keep their lower level staff employed.)
3. You should never begin a list with an arbitary number of things to achieve – instead you should edit in retrospect. Which I will not do now… So that you can learn from my mistakes.

People keep rewarding me for my work (which I get paid for) with produce (as in fruit and vegetables) – first it was the crazy fashion bash man with the eggplant (which I donated to a good cause), avocadoes (which i’m going to have to turn into a dip) and pumpkin – which became a pumpkin pie, enjoyed by all at work (but not prepared by me)… and now I’ve been further remunerated with items of home grown goodness. I took Fresh to a pineapple farm. The pineapple farmers were cool – they’re this four generation farming family – the farm was started by Mr Pace Sr, he had three sons, Messers Pace Jr, these sons had sons, Messers Pace Jr Jr, and these sons married and had sons, and daughters (the oldest of that generation is 15, the second oldest 14 – he drives trucks and stuff around the farm, and knows more about pineapples than anyone should at his age). All but the oldest Mr Pace still live on the farm. There’s 20 Paces in total, which sounds a bit like a duel… anyway, the Paces were lovely, and they gave me a huge watermelon, and some pineapples.

So this week I’ve had more free food than I could poke a stick at… well I could have poked a stick at it, but that would have been odd. Really, really, odd. I wonder where that expression came from.

I know I said I’d talk about Channel 9. But I’ll do that in a later post. Maybe the same one that I talk about the benefits of eloping (for Caitie’s benefit, or by her request (I’m not sure I know anything about eloping. I must be the world’s worst source of advice for any relationship issues)).