This is the interesting and exciting blog of Christop - one of the 84 000-or-so people of Ballarat.

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Hi everyone,
I guess the blog mob has officially taken over now :)

It's still new years eve in my part of the world, while it's probably noon 1.1.04 where Christop is at :)

Well, not sure what to post... so how about some news about stupid burglars! I found this here:

Tim :D

Burglars go back to ask for receipts

Three burglars were arrested in Brazil after they returned to a house and asked for the receipts for the goods they had stolen.

The young thieves told the owners of the house in Belo Horizonte that they were struggling to sell the stereo, TV and mobile phones because they didn't have the original receipts.

A police spokesman told Estado de Sao Paulo: "We have never seen anything so stupid.

"It was obvious that when they rang the bell the owner of the house would call us straight away and they were all arrested.

"They are all underage and I think they were just really naive and thought they would get away with going back."

Story filed: 11:47 Monday 24th November 2003

A few last words
Most of the last few days I've spent discussing the possibility of an animated adaptation of one of my stories, preparing for mission, and listening to Ajith Fernando (Youth for Christ, Sri Lanka) and Rob Coyle (Youth Dimension) at Belgrave Heights Convention.
In seven hours I leave for Warrnambool. While I'm on mission I've handed the reins of this blog over to Abez, Tim, James and Sequelos.

Friday, December 26, 2003

What the...?!
I got <--this in a 'Christmas' cracker (something else that really has nothing to do with Christmas). About all I can figure out about it is that it is small, plastic, white has a ring on the end of its nose, and it came out of a cracker. Perhaps it's supposed to be a pendant?
From the cracker I also got some jokes, the least bad of which was: 'How do pixies eat? By goblin!'
The photo on the right is of Kurt Gunther, a real estate guy from Croydon. My brother Doomie has stuck it to the lid of the scanner. I don't know why. Anyway, Kurt Gunther has about as much to do with Christmas as small, white, plastic things or the crackers they come from.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Would you like MP3s with your meal?
Starting next year you could get free MP3s when you buy Pepsi, use your credit card, travel by plane or eat at McDonalds.

'As far as the diocese is concerned we do not exist.'
An Anglican church in British Columbia has been 'terminated' for refusing to marry homosexuals.

US Embassy: '...we cannot envisage circumstances under which the United States would need to resort to military action against the Netherlands...'

Yes, porn is a problem
Wow. The mass media actually admits that although porn may now be considered mainstream, it's a problem. No, not just child-porn or children being exposed to porn, but pornographic media in general.

Spiritualisation of Kwanzaa
In contrast to the recent (though certainly not the first) attempts to secularise religious holidays, Kwanzaa (a holiday which celebrates African-American culture) is incorporating more religious aspects.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Bendigo-Ballarat merger
La Trobe University's Bendigo campus might merge with University of Ballarat.

Ban on Jesus
Edinburgh's Royal Hospital for Sick Children has banned a Christmas CD intended to raise money for cancer victims because it mentions Jesus. Bashir Maan from the Muslim Council of Great Britain has condemned this case of exagerated 'political correctness'.

Monday, December 22, 2003

A wedding and a wizard
I spent most of Sunday in the city, catering for a wedding in with a few of the others from my mission team, to raise funds. We earned $2600 for the mission, which is about half the funds we need, so now we're pretty much set.
On the train into the city there was a wizard. He had a pointed hat, a staff with a crystal ball on top, a grey beard, heaps of gold jewellery and a robe. And he was covered in little bells that jingled when he moved, probably to get people's attention. He was talking to this girl about how he reckons people are like plants and gain energy from the Sun.

More storm damage
It's been pretty windy tonight, and about half an hour ago a tree in this street got blown over. It's now blocking off one lane, and the people two houses down have lost their electricity, telephone and (horror of horrors) cable TV.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Strip club becomes a church
An infamous strip club in Atlanta is being turned into a church building.

Gathering a blog-mob
On December 31 I go down to Warrnambool for a short mission trip, which will go till January 10. During that time I will most likely not be blogging at all. So I've decided that while I'm away I'll hand my blog over to as many people as want to use it. If you'd like to be part of the blog-mob, please e-mail me or leave a comment, and I'll give you access as soon as possible.
Don't worry if you've never tried it before, it's simple as. All you really have to do is type stuff in and click the 'Post & Publish' button.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

The Incredible Dead Goons are playing at the Arthouse today.

What When Where
On Wednesday I got a package from Sydney, which was pretty cool in and of itself, since it’s not every day I get a package from Sydney. Inside were my free Program diary, What When Where, and two Program badges.
What is The Program? The Program is a site that's all about the arts in Australia. You can find out what’s going on around the world’s biggest desert island in terms of exhibitions, performances, events, publications and screenings. You can find out about opportunities for creative participation, funds and media exposure. There are links to the cutting-edgest of cutting edge arts, music and culture sites from around the world. You can sign up for giveaways and win free stuff (like I did).* You can exercise your freedom of speech by submitting a review or article. And there’s info on most of the country’s major arts organisations.
Basically, what the people at The Program have done is they’ve compressed their plethora of arts info into a little, blue, spiral-bound diary called What When Where. Besides being a treasure-trove of essential arts info and resources, the diary is chockers with the work of contemporary Australian artists, and even has two blank pages per month for you to do your own diary art.
You should be able to pick up your copy from your local Australian newsagency. If you can't, make them order it.

*I also won tickets to a film screening on December 18, but I only just found that out.

The Gospel: Consumption vs. Participation

This applies just as much to the church in Australia as the US:


What do any of these things really have to do with Christmas:

    pine trees?
    'Christmas' lights?
    a fat, old, bearded man in a fur suit? Don't they realise it's summer?

Friday, December 19, 2003

On Monday I went to Koorong and found a Bible so small you can't read it. Fantatsic! And I also found some Bible-shaped erasers - a must-have for rubbing out any scriptures you don't like.
Today [yesterday really] I went to O-Zone because at Virgin music they were trying to get rid of all their cover-less discs, and Doomie reckoned he'd seen a copy of Pop for $6.95. I couldn't find it, but there are a lot of really good CDs there, and some are less than $5 - thy just have no covers. But if you don't mind that, you should check it out.
After leaving Virgin I went and listened to Rivertribe, where were playing at the entrance to Knox City. It was the second time I'd heard Rivertribe play. The first time was on Sunday afternoon when they supported Ridley (Andrew Kitchen's other band) at the Arboretum in Boronia. This time, though, I didn't get to listen for long, because it started pouring with rain, and they went inside. Jono, who plays dijeridoos and percussion, recognised me from Sunday and we started talking, and he asked me to help them pack up, since the rain didn't look like stopping.
After helping them pack up I went to Collins. Now it seems Collins Booksellers are closing down (proabbly can't compete with Borders) because the shelves are becoming a lot less full and there's 40% off almost everything that's still there. They had Mr Bean's Scrapbook for $10, so I got that (postmodern pop-culture classic that it is), and was extremely pleased to find that the $10 price was before the 40% off, so it only cost me $6. So bargains galore at Collins too, if you like books.

I just put up some new drawings at Deviant Art. Check them out:

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Temporary changes
Unfortunately I've had some template problems. This template's (hopefully) only temporary. Should have the new one up before I go to Warrnambool.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Guess what? If you search Google for 'miserable failure', the first thing that comes up is George Dubya's biography.
This is because so many people have used those words to link to him.
Also note that the page is categorised under 'Kids and Teens'.
Props to Neil.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Mark Latham
In case you're unaware, about a week ago Australia got a new federal opposition leader, Mark Latham, who I think might actually provide an opposition to John Howard. A while back, Jabir said he reckoned he might be the next decent Prime Minister.
Over the week I've been asking people, 'What do you think of Mark Latham?' So what do you think of Mark Latham?

Here are some 'articles' on him from various sources:
'Mark Latham: a cartoonist's dream' - ABC Hobart
'Will the new Mark Latham fly?' - The Australian
'Party Leader in "Drunken Fracas" with Woman Senator' - The Scotsman (here be pop-ups)
'Is Mark Latham the new Jeff Kennett?' - The Age
'Latham pledges bold vision for Australia' - Stuff
'Government takes aim at Latham's Bush gibe' - Melbourne Herald Sun
'Your experiences with Mark Latham' (readers' responses) - Crikey
'Who is Mark Latham?' (transcript) - PM
'Latham Rejects Media Labels' - Asia Pacific Media Network
Tough task ahead for Mark Latham' (transcript) - The 7.30 Report
Australian Missile Defense Decision Puts Opposition on Defensive' - Crosswalk
'The Liberals may underestimate Mark Latham at their peril' - The Age
'Arm-breaker takes helm of Australian party' - Chicago Sun-Times (here be pop-ups)
'US state department takes issue on Latham' - Melbourne Herald Sun
'Star Wars pact to test Latham' - The West Australian
'Howard's popular standing takes hit' - New Zealand Herald

Protection for aerosole art?
The City of Yarra is considering a strategy to protect graffiti, in contrast to the zero-tolerance method previously used.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

So long, and thanks for the rubbish
Friday was my last day of work for the year. It it may have been the last day of work at that job too.
This year I worked school cleaner. There have been a lot of chnages at the school during the year, and my boss hasn't been contrcated for 2004 yet. He reckons they'll probably give the job to a big company from Melbourne or Sydney.
Haydn thinks it's because we eat all the rubbish, leaving the teachers to starve.

Spot the Aussie
‘Hey, look who’s back!’ said Noel, as Keith walked into the pub. 'How was the trip?’
‘Yeah, orright, Oh guess. Talk about spot the Aussie!’ said Keith as he sat down next to his mate at the bar. ‘How about a VB?’ he said to the bartender.
‘Didn’t try ta pull a fast one on ya, did they?’ asked Noel.
‘Nah, mate. But Oh reckon they knew Oh was onto ‘em.’
‘Still. Ya don’t know what they’re hiding under those bushy beards o’ theirs. Knives? Explosives? Who knows? All ya know is halfa them’re terrorists.’
‘Yeah. Should be a law ‘gainst beards like that,’ said Keith.
‘But what really gets me,’ said Noel as they drank their beers, ‘is ‘ow they get ter bludge of taxpayers money, just ‘cause they reckon they were here first. An’ ya know they just spend it all on grog.’
‘If ya ask me,’ said the bartender, ‘they should be all lined up against the wall an’ shot.’
‘Gee,’ said Noel. ‘Don’t ya reckon that’s a bit harsh?’
‘Nup,’ said the bartender, defiantly. ‘An’ if ya don’t like it, ya can find yerself another pub.’
‘Ease up, mate,’ said Keith.
They finished their beers in silence.
‘Oh remember when Oh was little,’ said Noel, ‘an’ Oh put a five dollar coin in me mouth. An mum said, “Spit that out! An Angloman might’ve touched it!” So Oh spat it out.’
‘What would an Angloman be doin’ with a five dollar coin?’ said Keith.
‘Oh dunno.’

Friday, December 05, 2003

I'm not sure if I've already posted an earlier version of this. If I have, I think this one's a lot better.

The victim woke up and felt cold. Very cold. Opened his eyes and almost had a heart attack when he realised he was in a bath-tub full of ice, in a dark room, almost lit by a dim, flickering light bulb.
‘Ahhhhh!’ he yelled as he gripped the edges of the tub and heaved himself up out of the melting ice.
He lifted up his shirt and breathed a sigh of relief. No bloody incisions giving easy access to his kidneys.
Then he thought, How come my legs weren’t sticking out the other end of the tub?
‘Ahhhhh!’ he yelled again. ‘My legs! Where’re my legs?’
Then he realised … his legs had been stolen and sold on the black-market!
But why? he thought. It wasn’t like he was some famous soccer player or dancer with super-legs that could be used to take over the world or anything.
Then he worked it out. It was the Mr T tattoo he’d gotten on his right calf when he was 17! Everyone had always been jealous of his Mr T tat!
‘Don’t be stupid!’ said the shady character standing over him, who he had somehow overlooked until this point in time. ‘It’s an appalling piece of work. The boss won’t be happy.’
‘What’dya want my legs for?’ the victim whined. ‘What’ve ya done with them?’
‘They’re safe. In the freezer.’
‘But what do you want them for?’
‘Frog’s legs. They’re a delicacy.’
I’m not a frog.’
‘No. But that can be overlooked. I’ll just say they’re from a Madagascan giant razor-toed leopard-eating tiger-frog.’
What?! And you think they’ll buy that? Everyone knows giant razor-toed leopard-eating tiger-frogs taste worse than a tuna McFlurry.’ said the victim. ‘That’s the most flawed plot I’ve ever heard of! And how did you know I was thinking about the tattoo before?’
‘Don’t blame me, blame the author,’ said the shady character.
‘The author! Don’t you realise this’s just a story?’
‘No,’ said the victim. ‘No-one told me!’
‘Um… they were supposed to.’
‘Well I reckon it’s a pretty poor effort at a story. And how come I haven’t bled to death yet if me legs’ve been cut off?
‘Oops, sorry,’ said the author and he went back and fixed it all.

‘Table six? Madagascan giant razor-toed leopard-eating tiger frog’s legs?’ said the waiter as she delivered the meal to the table.
‘Eau yes, zose are mine,’ said the customer. ‘I’ve heard zese taste bettair zan a tuna McFlurry!’
The waiter placed the dish in front of the customer, who squinted at a large spot on one leg. It looked a bit like Mr T.
Curiosity satisfied, she dug in.

Since I haven't been blogging much, here is some
Stuff what has happened

Quest for the beach

At about 11am Saturday night, while we were in Geelong, Greg, Bevan, Ro, Lauren, Adam and I decided to go and find the beach. I think were about halfway there at 11:45, when we stopped and sat down on a gigantic roundabout.

Fridge door/whiteboard
I'm now staying at my parents place in Melbourne. It's been hard rubbish collection, and the streets are lined with old TVs, computers, microwaves, electric fans, armchairs... Thus I now have a new whiteboard. It just happens to look an awful lot like a fridge door. In fact if you had a fridge without a door, you could probably use my whiteboard to fix it, as long as you asked nicely.

A really big storm
There was an absoluetly huge storm the first night I was in Melbourne. The neighbours came over and complained to us because half of their garden was washed away, and since the water had come under our fence, they reasoned it was our fault.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Guess what everybody?
I'm at Deakin again, using their Internet.
We (James and I) stuck up a Matrix Revolutions poster in the film editing room. But we should have stuck it upside-down, I think.

Things I bought on Buy Nothing Day

    a blank CD
    a focaccia
    grape juice
    an upsized Zinger meal