Why does it always rain on me… literally not figuratively

So when I told Donna I was moving to Townsville she said “ha… get used to never seeing rain ever again.” Well Donna, you were wrong, so na na na nana na. Our stock editorial (the writing we have on file to use for ads and send to journalists and stuff) boasts that Townsville has 320 days of sunshine per year. I’m starting to wonder if the North Queensland year is slightly longer than the standard 365.25 days. I’ve now been in Townsville 67 days. By my calculations (read estimates) it’s rained on all but five of those days. That means that at this point the standard Townsville year runs for 382 days assuming there is no more rain. What a phenomena. We should call the weather bureau, or the department of astronomy (if they don’t exist they should), or the people who make all the calendars in the world (if there’s not a centralised company there should be, not that I’m pro-monopolies but sometimes they just make things easier).

Which brings me to today’s political discussion. On Sunday after church I was talking to a couple of people about the introduction of VSU and the government’s increasing desire to introduce a user pays culture. The underlying theory can be summarised (today I’ll try to actually summarise – ie be succinct) as the belief that people shouldn’t be forced to pay for services they don’t use – and should be able to control who they get those services from. It’s the rationale behind the sale of Telstra, the proposed privatisation of Ergon and the introduction of privately funded roads with toll systems introduced to pay them. All very interesting stuff if you like economics. For the rest of us there’s apparently a worrying spin-off if VSU sucks all the life out of on campus culture. One of the people I was talking to is quite involved with theatre stuff at JCU, she was talking about a petition signed by members of Australia’s cultural alumni – former graduates of leading institutions who have gone on to taste success as Australia’s artsy ambassadors – successful actors and musicians who claim that their success can be directly attributed to the funding they received from student unions on campus. Well I have a message for Heath Ledger, Mel Gibson, Cate Blanchett and co… I want my money back. Nicole Kidman can keep hers as compensation for having to share her adopted children with a freak. But the rest of you living in your multi million dollar penthouses in America – please send me a cheque for $1210 – that’s how much I outlayed in guild fees while I was “studying” at QUT. It’s a small price to pay. I’d hate to think I spent all that money funding the future multi million dollar Australian exports. It hardly seems fair to me.

I posted a comment on Andrew the Opera Singer’s blog (as opposed to Andrew the guy who works for the weather channel) promising a link. I’m a man of my word. Here is your link. Andrew is married to Peta. Peta is Dan‘s sister. Dan is Joel‘s brother. Joel’s music can also be found here. Joel is cool. I am also cool. There are several links both literally and physically (maybe).


another grammar nazi says:

“a phenomena” (sic) is an interesting grammatical phenomenon

Anonymous says:

Are you feeling funnier today?
Are you actually funnier today Nathan?

Anonymous says:

Are you ever funny Nathan?

Nathan says:

another grammar nazi I don’t know exactly what you’re talking about – maybe you should re-read the post.

That also wouldn’t be a grammatical error – but a spelling mistake.

Your name then is an error in form – a misnomer if you will…

Andrew the Opera Singer says:

Maybe extra-curricular arts groups get student union funding.. but actual arts (as in performing and creative) courses often struggle for funding from the university!

Certainly in Opera, I don’t know of any ‘stars’ who would credit their success to a student union. Most of their funding came from competitions and other benifactors.

I had to pay $120 or something silly towards sports this year… and I’m not going to see any of that. And it doesn’t really have any wider benefit for those students who don’t participate.

I think the irony is lost on most of the union people who are trying to rally against VSU – if people like CSU they wouldn’t have to rally. The fact people don’t feel they get their money’s worth hasn’t seemed to cross their mind.

jo says:

YAHOOOOOO! bring on VSU. I cant wait. I go to a uni where the guild has banned all religious and political groups. Liberal democracy on my campus is a farce.

So to add to the list of irony, there are no political left wing groups help the guild protest against the libs VSU decision because the guild banned them!

matt says:

I don’t know what all the fuss is about. If you don’t want to pay uni fees join the military and have them pay everything for you. And receive a salary at the same time.

Then shoot guns and stuff.

madd says:

sigh. I am struggling to write comments these days…it seems the blogs themselves are comments on life, which means i would then be commenting about comments which seems like such a waste of time. Like writing a review about a ‘book review’. And i’ve also lost the love of blogsquatting, this is because i found out that i apparantly didn’t invent it. Sad. Is anything original these days? Maybe 10 people all think of the same idea at the same time just in different places…so who was the true inventor…hmmm….deeply thoughtfull.

Mitch says:

G’Day Nathan. This is an odd kind of a site. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a blog before. That’s ok though, i guess I could get used to it. I haven’t bothered to read much of this one. I might read it some more… if you’re lucky.

mel says:

G’day mitch – take it from me, long time listener, long time commenter. The trick to reading blogs is to skim read the comment for any interesting topics (because often it is not understandable to the average australian). So… here’s a little tip – skip straight to the comments. This is where the action is. You’ll thank me for it later.

mel says:

let me edit my comment – I meant skim read over the Blog…..

Though nathan has some witty things to say…. on occasion.

Anonymous says:

He’s even funny sometimes…

Nathan says:

hey mitchie baby… mum said you might be posting at some stage soon. Good to hear from you even if it’s on the pages of my blog.

another grammar nazi says:

You actually spelled “phenomena” correctly, so it isn’t a spelling error.

If you consider the use of “phenomena”, a plural noun, with the definite article “a” referring to a singular phenomenon of the Townsville year being 382 days, then you have a grammatical error. Therefore “What a phenomena” is grammatically incorrect.

My ‘nomer remains intact.

yet another grammar nazi says:

Though it might be worth noting that “a” is the indefinite article, which goes to show why nazis never prosper

mip says:

Nathan, on any of the days that it rained, was there also sunshine?

Nathan says:

Well AGN it seems you, like Hitler, will be forced to fall on your own sword (or pistol as it were… or was, although as it were is a recognised figure of speech so I guess I can get away with poor grammar on that note).

I actually originally spelt phenomena incorrectly and then edited it to make you look silly.

I may have been referring to the weather and calendar in general – all the different aspects of the weather make it a phenomena do they not? I think the (note the definite article there – the not a… you can’t have “a weather”) weather should always be considered as a collective noun – but that opens up a whole new kettle of grammatical fish…

Nathan says:

if i’d said “what the phenomena” that would have sounded retarded.

It should be noted at this point that I haven’t actually reread my post… I’m not entirely sure what I said. Nor do I care.

Nathan says:

I think because it’s a continuing phenomenon I’m prepared to refer to it as a plural – it’s not an absolute, singular instant – every day it rains the length of Townsville’s calendar year increases.

How dare you try to question me… don’t you know I’m always right.

Andrew (weather nut) says:

upon a brief examination of the available data the current forecsat for townsville is:

tuesday: possible showers
wed: becoming fine
thur: fine
fri: partly cloudy

there is also a low forming in the SE corner of the country which could cause some rainfall for the NSW region and also possibly force a few showers up into SE QLD, which incidentally is prefect weather for the QUEENSLANDERS to CRUSH the ‘roaches in.

mip says:

Hmm… common poor grammatical usage of plural nouns that end in a. Alas for datum/data, criterion/criteria and now phenomenon/phenomena, when will it end?

I doubt it will be before the weather prediction is 100% accurate and precise 3 weeks in advance. And “sunny with a chance of showers” is NOT precise.

Oh, and will they be editing the stock editorial based on your observations Nathan?

mip says:

and since it’s wrong to have “a data”, or “a criteria” when they’re used as nouns, I doubt you can have “a phenomena” either.

mip says:

I think grammar, weather and ice cream discussions have hijacked your blog smiley.

miriam says:

Attn: Weatherman

I have a comment to add about the weather. I reckon that the weather people down here in Melbourne should lose their jobs. Everyday they forecast ‘showers clearing’. Now, Melbourne weather isn’t exactly known for being all that crash-hot at the best of times, but it doesn’t rain, shower or sprinkle everyday. I reckon it’s a conspiracy. They all decide to say ‘showers clearing’ because they don’t actually know how to read the weather and firgure they are covering themselves with this ‘disclaimer’ in case it does rain.