31 July 2011

Baseball Caps

I actually wear them, but who understands them? They never fit properly, they make you hotter instead of keeping you cool and your ears get sunburnt. Of course they look completely daft too, unless you wear them back to front. Then they look about as cool as wearing your shoes on the wrong feet.

29 July 2011


How could I possibly fail to understand something so simple and basic as a house. Yet somehow, I just don't get houses.

They're individually designed by university trained professionals in consultation with the end user. Then journeymen craftsmen visit the site and craft something unique, custom built and finished in the materials and colours you specify. It's not an instant process, they will work on it for months. Yet in the end, they're all exactly the same. Slightly modified rectangular boxes with 8 foot white ceilings and a pitched roof.

Seriously there's more variation in Cars which come out of a factory production line. They're not cheap either. Despite being made of such space age materials as pine and baked dirt. Sorry, I fell into sarcasm there. Compare them with say a boat, where every cubic inch is used, sometimes several times over, the space is simply wasted. It's not like land is free, it's damn expensive but you'd never know looking at a house. A 10m by 6m catamaran has sleeping accommodation for 10 people in 5 private sleeping areas, a shower, toilet, kitchen, sundeck, indoor/outdoor entertainment area along with all the boat related stuff like sail lockers and such. The furniture all comes included in the price and yet it's cheaper than a 5 bedroom house that comes with nothing and takes up a huge area. The boat is built to ride through crashing waves, but the slightest subsidence under a house and it cracks and breaks. An actual earthquake causes it to fall on your head and kill you. Most important of all, the boat is waterproof. When it rains, you stay dry inside! If you do find water gets in, everything is waterproof and you simply dry it out and it's good as new. Compare that to a house where if it gets wet inside you basically have to rip out everything including all the interior walls and start again.

It's just water

I'm not saying that you should build a boat on land, but surely there are better ways of building in the 21st century than baking dirt into little blocks and then gluing thousands of them together to make a house. I'm not finished with all the things I don't understand about houses, but more later.

26 July 2011


I can't be alone with this one. Is there anyone (including caravannista) who understand Caravans? Ok, so I'm a motorcyclist at heart. I happily head off on a multi week trip with a daypack on my back and nothing else. Hell, I travelled 6 months around the world with a backpack which was filled with Cave Diving gear, 2 tee shirts and a pair of shorts. So there's no way I'm going to get the concept of hooking up 3 tonnes of stuff to the back of the Camry, a tinny on the top and heading off to Brunswick Heads for a month in a caravan park.

Still, the concept that they sell is that it's “luxury touring”. You can take all your own little luxuries along that make the holiday a holiday. The funny thing is that the average caravan is more expensive than you could possibly imagine. I thought of them as being like souped up box trailers with windows. Not so. They're as expensive as a house! Ok, so only the most expensive caravans are more than the cheapest house, but even so, you're looking at 50 grand for a basic one. If it lasts 20 years and then is worth nothing that's 2500/year. If you put the 50 grand in an interest bearing deposit instead that's 3000/year. So having the van is costing 5500 every year. That's enough for 2 people to fly to Fiji and stay in a resort for a month every year. Hmmm let me think, if you like luxury: Month in a resort in Fiji or a month in a tiny box in a Caravan Park in Brunswick Heads sharing a toilet and wearing thongs in the shower to stave off tinea. That's even without site fees. It's 56 dollars a night for a square of concrete to park your van on and a shower stall next to the guy who blows his nose, compared to 80 dollars a night for an ocean view bure in Fiji with all meals thrown in.

This really is Brunswick Heads Caravan park, don't you wish you were there?
So there's no luxury involved. It's far from a cheap holiday. What is it that attracts people to caravanning? I can only assume that they just like to make everyone drive the whole Pacific Highway at 60 km/h on a long weekend.
This really isn't Brunswick Heads

25 July 2011

Lack of Perspective

I don't understand people's lack of perspective. Tiny things get blown out of all proportion and significant things are ignored completely.

I was at the Coffee Van today and one of the girls at work was complaining that she wasn't going to be able to feed her children if the Carbon Tax comes in. That's right, she wasn't going to be able to feed her children... Just like Southern Sudan I suppose. We can only hope that the UN will arrive with some aid to help the poor woman. Everyone around her was agreeing what a terrible thing the Carbon Tax was going to be. I did point out that the average Carbon burn in Australia is 6 tonnes per person and her contribution would be 135 dollars a year if there were no compensation (which there is, about 50% on average). No, apparently 135 dollars a year really is all that stands between her children and starvation. Someone did point out that she could give up one of her 10 large double decaf moccochino's on soy per week and cover the whole thing, but that's also apparently out of the question, so the kids will have to starve then.

Two Soy Latte double decafs thanks

If it was just one person then I could get over it, but the whole nation is gripped with fear about a tax of 135 dollars a year. (that's going to be 50% offset). The government has fallen from winning an election a few months ago to the lowest approval ratings *ever* recorded. People are *seriously* talking about an armed revolt. http://carbontaxrevolt.org/

The average wage in Australia is 65000 dollars a year and this tax is effectively about 65 dollars a year. About 1/1000th of an average wage earner's income. So we're taking to the streets with guns over that are we? Yet we happily hand over Income Tax which for an average person is 13000 dollars, plus a medicare levy of 975 dollars, plus 75 dollars flood levy, plus council rates of about 1000 dollars, leaving you with about 50000 dollars in the hand, which when you spend it attracts GST (like VAT) of 10% for another 5000 dollars in hidden tax. So we hand over an average of about 19000 dollars without a murmur of complaint, but less than a hundred bucks is the end of the world? Yes, apparently it is.

23 July 2011

Science Documentaries

I've never understood Science Documentaries.  They're pitched so low.  Clearly aimed at people who have no interest in science at all.

I've got a tip for the makers: the people with *no interest* will *not be watching*!

Can you imagine if they did the same with other shows like football?  Instead of the Sunday night game you got this:

"We're here to make football **FUN**.  We know you think Football is just a bunch of mindless morons running around and falling down, but if you look closely, Football has it's own special beauty.  Now we're not going to watch an actual game, played by professionals, we're going to get dressed in funny clothes and pretend to play Football with children who don't know the rules either!  Come on, it's going to be great!"

Two girls, a candle, a balloon and a rubber outfit, yet still boring

22 July 2011

I just don't understand

For years I've been saying, "I just don't understand".  Today I decided to collect my lack of understanding in one place.  I hope that it's not enough to pull into a singularity of confusion.

I'll start this blog off with the very first thing I noticed that tipped me off to the fact that I just don't "get" the world.

CARS....  I started my motoring life as a motorcyclist.  On my motorcycle I can pull in the clutch, change gears, blip the throttle, brake (front and rear independently as needed) and steer any amount from one lock to the other while I activate the indicator.  All without moving a hand or foot from their normal place.  Now that might not sound like a common task, but it happens at every corner!

Then I learnt to drive a car.  What a nightmare.  To steer you have to take your hands off the steering about 5 times to get from lock to lock.  The location of the horn button varies randomly depending on where you're steering.  The location of the indicator is different when you're on highbeam and low beam.  What the hell???  To change down in a corner I have to take one hand off the wheel to operate the gears.  And what gears!  On the bike you push down to go down gears and up to go up gears.  Not in the car.  Left then up for first, down and left to get second, up in the middle for third, you get the idea.  Between all those gears are neutrals!  Endless neutrals.  What are they for?  Who needs a neutral between 3rd and 4th?  Down below there are 3 pedals despite the fact I have only 2 feet.  I could have driven an automatic, then there are only 2 pedals, matching the usual number of feet, but that's of no help as they're arranged so only your right foot can work the pedals, leaving your left foot with nothing to do.

Surely there's room for something else to distract you from the road