Saturday, 26 April 2014

Wait, How Do You... Everything?

From the things I post you would probably think I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the collapse of society.

I don't really, it's just very interesting, much more interesting than the complex and ultimately impractical structures and devices I design when I'm bored.

Anyway, the collapse of society!

So, society has collapsed!

The EMP has knocked out all our technology or the zombies have sent us into a panic or a disease has wiped out 70% of the Earth's population or I guess aliens?

The point is shit has gotten real.
No-one is manning the power stations.
The chain of supply has been interrupted.
We're on our own.

Keep calm!
What first!?
We have to be smart about this!


I guess loot it?

Everyone else is looting it!
And even if we do manage to loot it, it'll eventually run out!
OK, uh...

How do you grow your own food?
How do you preserve that food?
How do you make your own materials?
How do you make your own clothes?
How do you build your own house? One that doesn't rely on all the shit we don't have any more to function properly!
How do you source safe drinking water?
Does anyone know how to make penicillin?


And there's no electricity because the zombies ate all the power plant dudes or the tech is all fried because of the EMP aliens, so we can't check the internet.


Everyone else got here first!
Some people cleared out all the reference books and some people wanted to burn the fiction section to stay warm in winter and then there was a big fuck off battle between the cultureless weenies and the booklovers!

If only I had compiled a survival library before this happened!
Survival for Dummies!

Society hasn't collapsed yet!
It's not too late to squirrel away a reference library of helpful instructional tomes to keep you and yours alive in the challenging years to come!


OK, they probably don't have 'How to make Penicillin for Dummies' but that's where you have to branch out and get books like this!

I grabbed me up a copy of this recently and while I haven't actually got it behind glass, it is sitting there calmly reassuring me that I will have some idea of what to do should the world as we know it end*.

And while I can't say that I am putting together a 'How to Everything for Dummies' library with assorted references and instructional texts, I can't promise you I'm not.

Also this is why we should make sure that local government doesn't shut down our libraries.
We'll need them when the shit hits the fan.
But we probably shouldn't mention the zombies in our letters to our local members of parliament... People get weird about stuff like that.

*Realistically I know what I would do is panic and die or get gathered up into some hey-feudalism-so-great-let's-try-that-again! warlord's harem or something.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

You Ain't From Around Here, Are Ya?

When I was younger my family lived in Canberra for a good few years and then Coffs Harbour for for a few years after that.

For non-Australians that means we lived in the Australian Capital Territory* (which is inside New South Wales**) and then coastal New South Wales for the first 11 years of my life.
Formative years.

Most of our other relatives lived down in Melbourne. In Victoria.

We only saw the aunties, uncles and cousins a few times a year but every time we did we ended up with a small child regional dialect stand off that was ridiculous in how seriously we took it.

The thing is, after living in Victoria for 19 years since then, I honestly can't remember which state uses which of the following terms.
I just know that I was using the right ones and my cousins (and then high school classmates) were using the wrong ones.
Because they're dumb and stupid***.

Anyway, for your edification, here are some state-specific names for very important thingies.

Prep vs Kinder


In Australia you have a year before school where you go to a sort of childcare to get used to the idea of school, your first year of school, then grades 1 through 6 and those are your primary school years. After that you go to high school for years 7 through 12 and voila! You're finished with basic schooling!
The important thing is what people call those initial two years because they use the same names but switched around.
In one state you attend pre-school (preps) and then your first year in primary school you are in kindergarten (kinder).
In the other state you attend kinder and then your first year in primary school you are in preps.

Now, it should be obvious here who is right and who is wrong.


Hair Ties vs Pretties


In one state you secure your hair with hair ties, in another state you secure your hair with pretties.
Well lah-di-dah pretties! Your hairdo is sooooooo fancy now that it's being safe guarded by a pretty!
It's a hair tie, guys. It ties your hair.

Bubblers vs Drinking Taps


I honestly can't remember which one I used to say at school but I assume it was drinking taps because bubblers sounds so stupidly cheerful and effervescent like they're trying to make drinking water this wonderfully uplifting experience.

Potato Cakes vs Potato Scallops


This one is nice and simple.
These right here are potato cakes.

These are scallops.

And these are scalloped potatoes.

Nice and straightforward.

Bathers vs Swimmers vs Togs


We say bathers.
I am not opposed to the term togs, it is a fun word, it's fine.
I refuse to say swimmers. Swimmers are sperm. Bleh.

For all I know I'm using a mix of terms from one state and terms from another based on how much sense I think they make, rather than staying true to the terms of one state.
Because I'm adaptable and flexible like that.
Except when I'm not because other people are wrong and stupid.

*Usually referred to as the ACT
**Usually referred to as NSW
***I mean, they also put tomato sauce on their fish and chips instead of vinegar so bleh bleh!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Car Gazing

I don't need a new car, I don't even really want a new car.

My good old Holden Berlina station wagon is hanging in there just fine even though I think it's almost old enough to get a driver's licence of its own.

But recently I've found myself kind of fascinated by some of the little 4WD thingies getting around the place.

I tend to judge cars by a specific set of criteria
  • What shit can you fit in them?
  • How sturdy/reliable do they seem?
  • Do they have a reasonable amount of clearance? (None of that low-rider scraping your bumpers coming out of the driveway bollocks)
  • ... Are they a nice colour? *coff coff*
Now with my station wagon it has a few handy features for those with weird random priorities.

My car looks like this except this weird teal-green-blue colour that no-one can agree on.
  • The boot is big enough that you* could put an appropriately sized foam pad down in the back and sleep there if you were on the move.
  • It has a roof rack for carrying other shit.
  • It has enough space in the rest of the car to store stuff you move out of the boot so you can have your on-the-run/keep-moving-to-survive/OK-maybe-you're-just-on-a-roadtrip nap.
  • It's been reliable enough the whole time we've had it even though it hasn't had to do a lot of off-roading or anything.
Yay my big dorky car!

Anyway, the two cars that have been noticing around the streets recently are of a completely different style.

They are:

The Jeep Wrangler


The Toyota FJ Cruiser.

Now neither of these vehicles has a lot of storage space.
Even with my bitty body I'd have a bit more trouble curling up for a nap.
There's no roof rack.
They only have two doors, even though they may have more than two seats.
But I keep looking at them.
I don't know why.

Maybe I'm envisioning myself bouncing across the landscape on the way to save the day (or on the way to run away from something that is trying to prematurely end the day).
Maybe it's something about the shape.
Maybe it's the fact that I can't stop sniggering every time I see a 'smurf' coloured one driving around.

Blue body, white hat!
No idea.

I mean it probably isn't going to lead anywhere but look at the little things!

And if I did end up getting one for whatever reason and becoming one-of-those-douches-who-has-a-4WD-and-doesn't-need-one at least I'd be one-of-those-douches-who-has-a-4WD-and-doesn't-need-one-but-can-still-fit-into-a-normal-size-carpark-and-not-take-up-a-ridiculous-amount-of-space.

*If you too are 5'1''

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Laptop Update!

It works!

It's a miracle!

They took it apart, left it to dry over the weekend, cleaned it with magic elf elixir, left it to dry some more, put it back together, tried to boot it up and were - they told me themselves - quite frankly shocked when it did!

After cloning my hard-drive they ran it through some memory tests and stress tests which it passed!

There is evidence of corrosion and yes I've probably shortened its life* but it's working just fine at the moment.

I don't know what I did to deserve this reprieve but I do know I am going to be a hell of a lot more careful about where I put things :-/

So in summary: Yay!

*I'm sorry, baby, I'm soooo sorry! :-(