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30 January 2008

Inky in the flesh... or at least in the plush

Look at who arrived on my desk at work today!

It's my very own Inky Mascot. Even his newspaper skin is made from dog-related newspaper articles!

Many thanks to Rochelle and her crafty madskills for brightening up my Wednesday.

23 January 2008

Lili at the Gym

So I'm doing my sumo squats (VERY flattering, let me assure you), sweating, and listening to my iPod. The thing that I'm listening to makes me laugh, and the middle-aged woman doing lat pulldowns nearby glares at me with a 'oh the young people today and their gizmos, never get to play outside with the other children, shutting themselves off from the world with their LONG HAIR listening to these BEATLES and it's not even SPELT right DEATH OF CIVILISED SOCIETY' kind of face.

My question is: would she have been more or less disapproving if she'd known I was listening to the audiobook of Christopher Hitchens' God is Not Great?*

*interspersed with high energy, low quality numbers like Avril's Girlfriend.

22 January 2008

More Awesome

1. US author Sherman Alexie, author of Diary of a Part Time Indian, is awesome. And he has a boner.

2. Oedipus, in 8 minutes, performed by vegetables.

11 January 2008

Five Reasons why Mexicans are Awesome

1. Mexican food.

2. Corona.

3. The way that whenever characters on TV go to Mexico, everything is shot with a yellow filter.

4. 2006. All police officers in Nezahualcoyotl are required to attend a fortnightly book club in order to keep their jobs. This is a two-pronged approach: firstly, it broadens the minds of the cops (most of whom didn't stay at school past grade 5). And secondly, it proves to the public that not all cops are scheming low-lifers. "The principle is that a police officer who is cultured is in a better position to be a better police officer," says Jose Jorge Amador, the head of public security.

(replace the words "police officer" with the words "human being" and I reckon we've got ourselves a Charter for Life)

5. 2007. The reading program (it's called Literature On Alert) is still going strong. And still amazingly creative. They've translated some of the best works of Spanish literature into... into Cop. Like this, from Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude:

Many alfas later, in front of a 44 squad, Col. Aureliano Buendia had a 60 about that distant afternoon when his father 26 him to 62 ice.

They're police radio codes. They're giving this new version of the book to new recruits, who then, astonishingly, ASK FOR MORE BOOKS. In normal Spanish. And then they go home and buy books for their CHILDREN. One cop has published a novel. Another is studying Law in his spare time. They have creative writing classes and group storytelling sessions.

I think I want to be a Mexican cop.

Can you IMAGINE what life would be like if everyone, in every job, did this? What the world would be like? Sigh.

04 January 2008

The Story of Beekeeper John and the Bees

On my summer holiday, I helped my Dad liberate some honey from his bees. These bees live down at our block of land at Glenaire, although we do have 2 hives on the roof in Clifton Hill as well.

Step 1: We approach the hive, with some trepidation. The Bees* are very suspicious.
Step 2: Beekeeper John puffs some smoke onto the hive, which calms the Bees.
Step 3: Beekeeper John takes 2 of the 8 frames from the hives. This is where the Bees make honeycomb and fill it with honey. Special Helper Lili stays in the car and observes.
Step 4: The Bees** get REALLY REALLY ANGRY because Beekeeper John is stealing their honey. It's lucky he's wearing his special Beekeeper Suit (btw, it's white because Bees are less likely to attack white. Except obviously in this case, as he gets five stings.)
Step 5: With a heated knife, we break the seals on the honeycomb.
Step 6: The frames are put into a centrifuge...
Step 7: ...and Beekeeper John spins them round and round so the honey flies out and drips down the sides.
Step 8: Then we just open up the tap on the bottom of the centrifuge and all the honey comes out. We strain it to get rid of the wax.Step 9: Nom nom nom. We got about 3 litres off those two frames.
Step 10: Then we go replace the empty honeycomb back in the hives. The Bees*** are still pretty pissed, but they are enjoying their lovely view.
*Nerdy Bee Fact #1: Honey is the only natural foodstuff on earth that doesn't perish.

**Nerdy Bee Fact #2: Bees dance at each other to communicate the location of nectar sources.

***Nerdy Bee Fact #3: Taxes were paid with honey in Ancient Egypt.