Friday, February 29, 2008

A love letter to the haters

You come into my house, firing your gun in the air like you're some sort of cowboy. You think that you're going to scare me, that you're going to disrupt what I'm doing. But this is my house. My rules.

You can make noise but you can't hurt me. The laws of physics don't apply here. I control the limits of what happens. You can fire your gun into the air but I have things set up so eventually you have to put the gun down on the table. You don't have any choice about that. And what do I do with that gun I've forced you to put down?

I put it in your fucking mouth and I pull the fucking trigger.

You gave me that power. You placed all your being into that stupid hater comment. You can lie all you like but it doesn't change the truth. Everything that's you is in there and now I can destroy you. I can choose my method as well: I can spray your entrails all over the walls or I can simply erase you from existence.

None of your protestations to the contrary matter. None of your false bravado means anything. You have declared to the world that you are utterly meaningless. You have told everyone that you're scared of me. I have something you could never have. I do things you could never conceive of doing. You're desperately jealous. And desperately afraid. It's that fear and sense of inadequacy that makes you lash out.

You delude yourself that this tells the world how strong you are, how you're above it all, how you're keeping it real. All you've really done is write in letters 100 feet high: "I'm scared." And for those who say it's only the internet, it doesn't count, I'm only doing it "for the lulz" - you're partly right.

You don't count.

You don't count and you never will until you come to terms with some simple concepts like respect and basic human decency. Without that, you'll never be any more than a passing annoyance that's instantly forgotten. Treading in dogshit has a more lasting impact than your comments. When I scrape the dogshit off, the smell lingers a while. When I destroy you in comments, when I delete your comments, when I block you... you're gone. You cease to have any relevance.

At least the dogshit served a productive purpose once.

So I've got your number. You've got nothing. And I don't care. I don't want you to change. I don't want you to apologise. Because that would change nothing. You still wouldn't count for shit. You can continue to delude yourself for your whole life as far as I'm concerned. That won't change the truth. You desperately wish you had what I have.

And you'll never have anything I want.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Melbourne awesomeness - the best street art in the world

One of the great things about working in the CBD of Melbourne is the diversity. Lots of great place to eat, great places to shop, an interesting array of people. And some of the best street art you'll find anywhere in the world. Here's some examples that I shot on a recent lunch hour. Everything you see in these videos was in just two alleys, about a two minute walk away from each other.

Music in both videos is from NSG's debut album, "Working Class Superstar".

Monday, February 25, 2008

A voyage on the Enterprize - attacked by pirates!

For any Star Trek fans who are having trouble dealing with the delays to the new Star Trek movie - I have something to tide you over. On a recent weekend I got to go on a reproduction of the Enterprise that will be used in the new movie.

Actually, that's close to a complete lie. The Enterprize I was on is actually a reproduction of the tall ship that brought the first white settlers to Melbourne. Which mean it's Batman's ship. I'm not making that up. Melbourne was founded by Batman. Is your city that cool?

So maybe my weekend had nothing to do with Star Trek (although there is an image of the Enterprize in the opening credits of the most recent series, "Enterprise") and I didn't see any caped crusaders. But I am pretty sure there was a genuine pirate on board. Judge for yourself:

All in all, a fine way to spend a sunny day in Melbourne.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Angry Bloopers

I frequently get asked if I have any good bloopers. People assume with the volume of videos I make, I must fuck up a fair bit. They're right. People also tell me they think it would be funny to see me get angry when I screw up. Funny is a personal judgement but I think the answer to that one is also yes.

Take for example the video I recently posted of kangaroos on a golf course. I opened that video with a pretty cheesy slapstick comedy joke revolving around a sign for a scenic lookout. Gimme a break - I saw a sign that said "lookout" and I couldn't resist. It reminded me of an old Far Side comic.

The thing is, it was a fairly obvious and simple setup but I had a bastard of a time gettign it right. See for yourself:

Many thanks to my long-suffering girlfriend who was my camera operator on the day. Her sanity saved me when I was really losing it by reassuring me we could come back the next day. How did I respond to her calming influence? By saying:

Yeah, let's get the fuck out of here... FUCK THIS SHIT!"

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Kangaroo golf hazards in Australia

Every now and then I like to provide evidence that I'm a frustrated nature documentarian. If that's the correct word. Anyway, living in a country with such diverse wildlife, there are plenty of opportunities for making nature videos. This one probably looks like a set-up but it's absolutely legitimate.

On a golf course just off the Great Ocean Road south of Melbourne there's a golf course with a rather unique hazard on the fairways...

The tourism board should be paying me money for this stuff.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Advertising dollars well spent

I don't know about you, but I've stayed out of the so-called next generation DVD wars. I'm old enough to have actually bought a Betamax VCR and paid the price. Besides which, neither of these formats will enjoy the dominance DVD has had for the last ten years because they'll be replaced by digital downloads before they gain that sort of foothold.

A series of nails seems to be getting nailed into the coffin of Toshiba's HD-DVD format so I wasn't surprised to see an article predicting that Toshiba were about to admit defeat. But I was amused while reading the article in The Age website to see an ad for HD-DVD prominently placed in the same article pronouncing it dead in the water.

There's an old advertising joke that says "50% of all advertising money is wasted - if only we knew which 50%." He's a tip: the money spent advertising a product next to an article saying that product is dead? That's probably wasted.

As the advertising for sites like The Age is dynamic this little gem of irony will be a fleeting thing. If you have a similar sense of humour to me, you may appreciate the fact that I saved a screen shot of this little piece of advertising magic:


For the pedants:
  • I know nobody at Toshiba said "please place an ad for our product next to an article saying our product is dead"
  • I know nobody at The Age said "Let's put an ad for HD-DVD next to an article saying it's dead" - Toshiba simply bought an set amount of advertising and the ad was placed an arbitrary number of times in a particular section of the website
  • Get a fucking sense of humour
  • No, your sense of humour isn't fine, if you can't just appreciate a simple joke without deconstructing it and finding fault you are fucked up!
  • If you're the sort of obsessive dweeb who behaves this way, here a few more to set you off:
  • Ron Paul is a gay nazi paedophile drug-smuggling terrorist
  • Open source software is a communist plot designed to destroy our way of life and murder kittens
  • Your mother fucks truck drivers for 50c a throw and most of the time they ask for their money back

Can anyone tell I've had to deal with some really stupid obsessive-compulsive pedants recently?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Download NSG's album for free

A quick update. The artist whose music I used in my valentines day video has asked me to "leak" his album online. So for a limtied time, follow this link to download NSG's debut album "Working Class Superstar" in its entirity for free!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day Cuteness

The dominant reaction to this video from regular viewers on YouTube is "that's a really weird thing for you to do." Hey, don't box me in, bitches! You never know what I'll do next. Although it never occurred to me as I did the video, I suppose it's fair to say I've never done a music video before for a cutesy love song.

There's a logical explanation for this unexpected action, honest. Essentially, anyone who's watch a few of my videos is likely to have heard my Angry Aussie theme song (or at least part of it - it's the lead-in for Angry News bulletins). That music was done for me by an Indonesian born, London Bred chap who goes by the name of NSG Music.

NSG is a musican/singer/songwriter/producer of prodigious skill and he's just finished self-producing his debut album "Working Class Superstar". He gave me a copy of the album and asked me to spread the word. I spent a little while listening to the album and there was one track that seemed perfect for a Valentine's Day video.

I messaged a few other folk on YouTube who provided some chunks of video that I edited into the video you see below. Incidentally, this was way more work than I usually put into editing. I think I pushed my editing software way beyond its limits and it crapped out on me several times. I stayed up until 3am finishing this so I wouldn't miss Valentine's Day. That probably sounds insane (I won't argue) but I would have been so frustrated if I'd left it unfinished I wouldn't have been able to sleep anyway.

Without further ado, I present "Boyfriend/Girlfriend" by NSG Music featuring Miss Kaz.

As I expect several request for information from my more libidinous readers, I'll tell you now that the gorgeous and talented young lady you see lip synching and dancing in this video is known as BabyPorridge online and you can see more of her here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Psychos don't like being caught out

Further to my recent posts on office psychos, I'm still thinking through my Unified Theory of Global Dickheads. I'm sure that's a Nobel Prize in the making. According to several studies I've read, about 1 in 100 people are full on psychopath/sociopaths and 1 in 20 suffer from diagnosable Anti-Social Personality Disorder. My own unscientific observations lead me to believe about 1 in 10 people are just jerks.

I think that the biggest difference between a pychopath and a jerk is that a psychopath can't change and a jerk doesn't want to change. Jerks behave in ways that normal humans find objectionable. Their cunning approach is to be so obnoxious that we either have to let them have their way or essentially fight fire with fire - be obnoxious right back.

The thing is, if you're a decent human, you don't want to spend much time being obnoxious. It actually feels bad. While it's worth shouting down a jerk every now and then, they like to put us in positions where our lives will essentially be miserable if we retaliate. I've noticed this behaviour more and more lately.

This behaviour is far too widespread to be limited to the people who are statistically likely to have Anti-Social Personality Disorder. This is where my theory on the preponderance of jerks comes from. I think being a jerk is pretty much learned behaviour - they see that when they're a colossal jerk, people often let them get their own way just to shut them up.

But you know what? Jerks really hate it when you call them out for being jerks. It's actually fun to watch them squirm but they'll rarely admit they were at fault. Just today I was on a really crowded tram. So crowded in fact that when I got on I basically couldn't move far past the doorway. That didn't bother me too much because I wasn't staying on for very long.

Each stop at least one person would get on and/or off which involved some creative squirming away for me and a few other to accommodate the people who were entering/leaving. Finally, we approached my stop and I stood by the door waiting for the tram to stop. A woman who wanted to get off as well evidently decided she didn't want to wait for the door to open and shoved past me while the tram was still moving. She actually elbowed me in the stomach!

As I got off the tram behind her I decided to communite my displeasure and the following exchange took place:

ME: Yeah, thanks for that.

SHE: I needed to get off.

ME: So did I, why the hell did you elbow me in the stomach deliberately?

SHE: You wouldn't get out of the way.

ME: The tram hadn't stopped, I couldn't get out of the way.

SHE: You shouldn't have been in the way.

ME: There was nowhere else to stand. Besides, like I said, I was waiting to get off too.

SHE: I didn't know that, you were just in the way.

ME: Well, here's a novel idea - try saying "Excuse me" before elbowing me in the stomach!

SHE: And I suppose you would have moved if I'd said that.

ME: No, I would have told you I was getting off at this stop.

SHE: So, I was meant to just wait behind you?


Actually, I may have said "fuck" more times than that. For some reason, the conversation ended awkwardly at that point.

Monday, February 11, 2008

An important message about the US Presidential elections

Sometimes really strange ideas come into my head.  I've read so many stories about how the US electoral system has very little to do with actual democracy that it's getting scary.  The system of delegates and the electoral college creates a situation where you can be forgiven for thinking that the way individual citizens vote is all but meaningless.

I'm not a fan of conspiracy theories but when a system is so deeply flawed it gets easier to believe some of the more outlandish claims that float around.  Which may be where the idea for this video originated.  

I was planning to do something completely different but this idea got into my head and wouldn't go away.  So, as I usually do when I get weird voices in my head, I let them out and this video was the result:

The biggest trouble I had with this video was my hair.  I wanted to have a "slick" look so I put about a bucket of "product" into my hair.  And my damn hair still wouldn't stay flat!  The only real result of the mountain of crap I used was my hair feeling like crap until I washed it a few times.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

What are you doing for the next hour?

Every now and then I get weird impulses when making videos. Get your minds out of the gutter. I mean that sometimes an idea just pops into my head from nowhere, takes hold and I have to follow through with it.

The idea I had the other day was "How long could I make a video that people would still watch?" I did the lead-in video one day, essentially asking two questions:

  1. How long do you think I'll go?
  2. How long could you tolerate?

The funny thing was, almost everyone drastically underestimated how long I'd go. Quite a few were thrown because they think everyone has a ten minute limit on YouTube. I actually have one of the original Director accounts that lets you go for longer than 10 minutes. They stopped giving this freedom when too many morons posted full TV shows and movies. But they didn't take the privilege away from anyone who already had it.

So make yourself comfortable (if you dare) for a 51 minute rant from Mr Angry. I was absolutely astounded by how many people watched this all the way though. I did make an effort to make it entertaining and worth watching but still, 51 minutes... that's a marathon.

The funny thing is, I only stopped because I thought the battery was going to run out. I actually could have kept going for quite a while.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The pumpkins that ate Mr Angry

I am possibly the worst gardener in the world. The most successful vegetable growing I have ever done was a few years ago when some potatoes and tomatoes started growing out of my compost pile. Now it's happened again. We set up a little garden in the backyard and planted NO pumpkins.

The pumpkins apparently took this as some sort of personal insult and struck back. I suppose it's stating the obvious to say that there must have been pumpkin seeds in the compost. The plants have been growing so fast I thought it was a good idea to warn the little angries to be on the guard with this feral pumpkin outbreak.

My Youtube viewers have already given me a few recipes to deal with the thousands of pumpkins I'll be harvesting and I share them with you now. Feel free to add your own.

Granny's Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce
Cooked Pumpkin:
1 medium pumpkin
Preheat oven to 300F (150C).
Cut pumpkin into small manageable pieces and cut off pith and seeds.
Place cut pumpkin skin side up in a large roasting pan. Add 1/4 inch of water and bake uncovered for 1 hour or until tender. Remove from oven and allow pumpkin to cool.
When cooled, cut away skin and mash or puree. Use in any recipe that calls for canned pureed pumpkin.

Bread pudding:
2 cups half and half
1 cup (packed) plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 cups 1/2-inch cubes pumpkin bread (or egg bread) (about 10-ounces)
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 cups cooked pumpkin or 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin

For bread pudding: Preheat oven to 350F (177C). Whisk half and half, pumpkin, dark brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and vanilla extract in large bowl to blend. Fold in bread cubes. Stir in golden raisins. Transfer mixture to 11x7-inch glass baking dish. Let stand 15 minutes. Bake pumpkin bread pudding until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

Caramel sauce:
1 1/4 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
Powdered sugar

Prepare caramel sauce:
Whisk brown sugar and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until butter melts. Whisk in cream and stir until sugar dissolves and sauce is smooth, about 3 minutes.

Sift powdered sugar over bread pudding. Serve warm with caramel sauce.

The following exuberant recipe comes from the effervescent Emma who has possibly the best user name on YouTube, "KilledTheCheerleader".


big pot! yay!

cut up pumpkin no skin annoying to get off but tastes yukky!
put up potato no skin again but potato skin is yummy just not needed
ham hock on bone for yummy yummyness!!
veggie stock! lots of it boil for ages!!!

add salt and pepper to taste let it boil down!

after all lovely and cookeddd take out ham hock bone take off any left meat from bone

blend it up so all smooth and lovely add some cream if u want not too much just to make it slightly thicker!!

eat yay fantastic!!

And here's another pumpkin bread recipe:

Pumpkin Bread recipe

1 1/2 cups (210g) flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (1/4 L) pumpkin purée*
1/2 cup (1 dL) olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup (1 dL) chopped walnuts (optional)

* To make pumpkin purée, cut a pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, lie face down on a foil or Silpat lined baking sheet. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh. Freeze whatever you don't use for future use. Or, if you are working with pumpkin pieces, roast or boil them until tender, then remove and discard the skin.

1 Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.

2 Mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, 1/4 cup of water, and spices together, then combine with the dry ingredients, but do not mix too thoroughly. Stir in the nuts.

3 Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes until a thin skewer poked in the very center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and let cool on a rack.

Makes one loaf. Can easily double the recipe.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Don't waste time negotiating with psychos

A little addendum to my post yesterday about workplace psychos. Don't waste time thinking you can change their behaviour. It's that old story about the frog and the scorpion - it's what they do. Most workplaces have some sort of conflict resolution process in place and if you get dragged into one of these with your psycho by all means, participate in a positive way.

But don't fool yourself that anything is going to change. One of the key elements of a clinical diagnosis for a psychopath or sociopath is that they don't respond to treatment. You can't make them "better". They don't want to get better. So don't make yourself look bad by refusing to participate but don't harbour any illusions about the outcome.

To give an example from my personal experience, in one of my earliest jobs as a business analyst, there was one programmer who was clearly a psycho. Part of my responsibility was testing changes to the system before any changes went live and this programmer would get a tad fiesty when I delayed releases of his changes by doing crazy things like finding critical flaws. The process went a little like this:

Monday: I start testing changes he's made to the system. This is a script driven system used by operators in a call centre and it has to guide them through about 20 steps. The program falls over after the second step. It literally crashes and I can't continue. I file a bug report detailing the issue.

Tuesday: The programmer tells me the bug has been fixed and I should test it. Sure enough the bug has been fixed and I can get past step two. Then it crashes again at step five. I file a bug report. The programmer goes nuts and literally starts screaming. He tells the project manager it's my fault the code isn't ready on time because I should have told him about this second bug yesterday. The PM decides to calm the situation by taking us both off to another room to talk about the problem.

It took about five seconds to establish that the programmer was talking shit. Their whole beef was that I didn't tell them about this new bug yesterday. I calmly explained why it was logically impossible for me to have done so. I also was circumspect enough to not point out it was blindingly fucking obvious why it was impossible. The original bug happened at step two. The new bug was at step five. I couldn't get past step two to see the bug at step five until after the first bug was fixed.

As soon as it became obvious his bullshit was indefensible the programmer became nice as pie. He never admitted that his behaviour was totally fucked (let alone that blaming me for errors in his code at all was fucked) but he was suddenly the voice of reason. He actually said "Oh, why didn't you tell me that? I understand now. This was all a misunderstanding."

The PM asked if I was satisfied with the "resolution" of our discussion. I said yes even though I knew that no resolution had been reached, the smarmy git had simply weaselled his way out of the situation. It was clear to me there was no value in pursuing it so I said everything was OK.

A week later exactly the same thing happened. And I mean exactly. This same programmer started shouting and abusing me because I was doing my job (namely, providing evidence that he was shit at his job). The PM took me aside and asked if I wanted another "counselling session". I gave the honest answer:

"No, what's the point? You can see he's being unreasonable, if we go off and talk about it, I'll prove he's being unreasonable then suddenly he'll be all sweetness and light and promise this will never happen again. Then, next week, it will happen again. So long as you know he's being an idiot I don't really mind. I can ignore him."

In some senses, maybe I should have pursued it. He deserved to be fired but that would have involved making a formal complaint to HR and then a process that would drag on for months with this psycho kicking and biting every step of the way. And because of the small size of our team I would have had to keep working with him the whole time.

So getting rid of him was more painful than simply de-fanging him. He would still go apeshit from time to time but I had exposed him for what he was so he couldn't hurt me any more. So from my experience (and this is backed up by the reading I have done) it's unlikely you can actually change an office psycho. Don't waste time and energy on them, devote it to looking after yourself.