Fish Biscuits

Yes, you heard me Fish Biscuits!

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How about a big plate of fish biscuits!

We all have a need for profanities, anyone who doesn’t swear is about five seconds away from a catastrophic stroke (it’s called externalizing). The problem with profanities is that of social acceptability when used in public or around small children. So what’s the solution I hear you ask? Simple, it’s fish biscuits. Everyone loves fish, either for eating or watching and who doesn’t love biscuits. Consequently, if you start yelling out fish biscuits every now and then no one is going to complain. People may look at you like you’ve gone stark raving mad, but it’s better than the look of disapproval when you drop the other f bomb or heaven forbid the c word. Who knows, you may even get a laugh out of it, even from the person you’ve just referred to as a fish biscuit.

To help you get started here are a few lines you could try:

1. Fish Biscuit! (works well when sustaining a self inflicted injury)
2. You are a god damn fish biscuit!
3. Son of a fish biscuit.
4. You can go get fish biscuit.
5. I don’t give a fish biscuit.

So, there you are, a simple solution to a first world problem.

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How To Enjoy An Evening

A very simple set of instructions on how to get your evening off to a good start.

Sit down somewhere nice.

Me sitting somewhere nice

Get some family together.

My brother and soon to be sister-in-law

Enjoy some nice food and a drink.

Important for food and drink to enjoy the view to

Watch the sun go down.

Going

Going

Going

Gone

It’s not that hard people, now off you go, try it for yourself.


Perryman’s Bakery and Leather Satchels

How a leather satchel led me on a journey to a bakery and my childhood.

My leather satchel (the inscription is another story).

My old address inside the satchel

After the recent move I found the satchel given to me when I started primary school. It’s almost impossible to find bags made like this one any more. It’s over thirty years old and still looks in mint condition. Perhaps it’s also because I became ‘too cool’ for a leather satchel for a long time. Anyway, I opened up the satchel to find my old (really old) address written in the bag. Oh, how it took me back to Margaret Street, North Adelaide Primary School and Perryman’s Bakery.

Margaret Street North Adelaide

When I went to primary school you could put orders in each morning at Perryman’s Bakery (which was a couple of doors down from the school). The lunch monitor would take the orders down to the bakery and then pick up the food just before lunch. Their pies and pasties are smaller than standard Aussie versions, but were perfect for the average primary school kid. There was even a selection of buns and pastries you could get (I still grin thinking about the cream bun). On a visit last year I was saddened to find out students can no longer order from the bakery as it was deemed ‘unhealthy’ (unlike the rubbish many kids bring to school in their lunch boxes these days). I can easily think of far worse things the kids could eat besides freshly made pies and pasties from a quality bakery.

Perryman's Bakery - Corner of Margaret and Tynte Streets North Adelaide

Perryman's pies, pasty and kitchener bun

For a long time I didn’t return to Perryman’s after first moving from the suburb and then the state. Now, I try get there at least once each time I visit. My family has been introduced to the bakery (with great appreciation I might say) and I plan to continue the visits. Today’s lunch visit and walk around the Tynte Street area reawakened me to the beauty of the North Adelaide area and how lucky I was to be able to go to child care, kindergarten and primary school all in the same street. No, I wasn’t sheltered, just really privelaged. All of the institutions (for want of a better word) that I attended in that street left me with nothing but the fondest of memories and what I feel was an excellent start to my education.

Barker Kindergarten - Tynte Street North Adelaide

Barker Kindergarten

North Adelaide Primary School

My brother and I were lucky enough to have our own cricket pitch directly out the front of our townhouse (which ironically are not as historic as the rest of the surrounding area). It was quiet, safe and most importantly fun, although the tree someone has planted in the middle of the pitch (shown in the picture) would not have been tolerated back when we were using it. We got to play front yard cricket, not the standard backyard version, the lamp post was an auto fielder (if you hit it on the full you were out). Our new house has a grassed area directly out the front which hopefully the kids will be able to use as their own personal sports arena when they are old enough.

82 Margaret Street North Adelaide

The cricket pitch, with more recently added obstacle

One of things about Tynte Street is that it is an old Adelaide street, with many of the buildings being over one hundred years old. You don’t appreciate this when you are ten, but when you are thirty seven you see things differently, with age comes beauty. North Adelaide Primary School is one hundred and forty one years old now, I only wish my kids had the opportunity to be exposed to that sort of history. A walk down to the end of Tynte Street and you get to Lefevre Terrace where you can see how ‘old money’ works and fantastic examples of why North Adelaide is so expensive today.

Lefevre Terrace (old money)

Sometimes I think I could easily return to all this on a permenant basis. One of my concerns is that with familiarity brings comtempt (or at least indifference) and that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Perhaps it is best left for the occassional visit.


From Dawn Till Dusk

Inspiration from sunrises and sunsets

Sunset along the Westernport Highway

This is the sort of inspiring vista that has helped me to refocus my energies in the past few days. Perhaps it is also because we seemed to have turned a corner in the season. The cold and wet of winter has eased slightly, with the sun being given an opportunity to shine.

Partly cloudy, brisk mornings lend themselves to some beautiful panoramas. Low lying fog still slinks around, rolling over the lake until it is melted away by the sun as it eases above the horizon and peeks through the morning clouds.

Sunsets are works of art at the best of times, the immense summer sun disappearing below the horizon is my favorite, followed closely by the sun setting through broken cloud. As spring approaches the heavy overcast grey clouds of winter are breaking up treating me to that broken cloud sunset I so enjoy (bring on the summer sun).


Clarity of Thought

Last night was one of the most fatiguing nights I’ve had in a long time. This follows what seems to be a long period of perpetual fatigue. The problem with being tired all the time is you become grumpy, lazy, lose focus and as was happening to me, begin to question what you are doing with your life. You see, I’d started to think that it was time for a change in where my work life was going. What was really annoying me was the inability to find inspiration in a possible new direction.

On my way home to our new house I have to drive past a couple of small lakes surrounded by parks and wetlands. The area is really quite pretty, but today was different. At this time of year (winter in Melbourne) I’m coming home from my night shifts around sunrise. This morning I saw a sunrise that turned a light on in the universe for me. It wasn’t any more or less beautiful than many sunrises I have seen, but it obviously triggered a response in my brain at a time it was ready for some inspiration. I guess you could say the vista was inspirational for me.

I went home and had one of the best sleeps I’ve had in a long time. I woke up refreshed with a new zest for life and a realization that I already do the things I love (probably explaining why I struggled to find an alternative for so long). The evening brought a totally rocking sunset which just knocked my socks off. The universe really was on fire for me today (pardon the pun).

Anyway, I now have a new lease on life and a clarity of thought I haven’t enjoyed in a long time. At every opportunity I intend to stop by the lake even for one minute on my way home to enjoy the view, it is both calming and inspiring. I’ll take some photos of the vista and post them up to share with everyone.


Why We’re Totally Screwed

Some days I feel like banging my head against the table then running off down the street screaming like a Banshee. It’s usually after I’ve reached a tipping point in my frustration with society. So, like a cathartic purging, I’m going to dump a few of my major issues I have with society. It’s pretty much a summary of why I think we’re all totally screwed and have lost the will to evolve.

Religion

What religions are these anyway?

Yeah yeah, I know, religion has bought us so many wonderful things. Not directly though, more as a muse for artistic endeavors, painting and sculpture to name a few. But, and it’s a big one, organized religion is responsible for some of the most heinous atrocities committed against our fellow humans, all “in the name of god”. So many wars have been waged, people persecuted, governments influenced and collective guilt instilled all in the name of religion. The simple solution, do away with the whole lot. There is no place for religion in the influence in the affairs of the state. Personally I like the idea of Humanism. The only good thing that has come from war is technological advancement. Many would argue that is not necessarily a good thing, Douglas Adams suggested that perhaps getting down out of the trees may have even been a bad move.

The Class System

Looking down their nose at us or a sore neck from the pole up their bums?

The idea that some people think they are better than others to the point where they can not be touched by the “common man” makes me choke on my own bile. The cost alone of maintaining this nonsense would keep me in lattes for at least a week or two. Supposedly someone had to give birth to them all (some may be robots or at least wax), they came screaming into this world the same as the rest of us, how that gives them the right to be rude to the everyone I don’t know. If it turned out they were all aliens from outer space that would be a different issue, then I’d care about what they got up to.

Mass Media

New hair? I don't care.

Don’t believe the hype! Anyone who thinks mass media is an accurate representation of society is seriously deluded. Either that or we are all deluded and it is an accurate representation (my head hurts now). Seriously, who gives a wet slap in a flood? Google “Kim Kardashian’s new hair colour” and you get no few than 154 news articles related to it. When I heard this new hair colour being discussed on the radio I felt an overwhelming urge ring the station and unload a verbal tirade. Having seen and heard people doing that in the past I felt it best to avoid being labelled as another “disgruntled raving lunatic”, so I bit my tongue. Thankfully WordPress.com has given me a wonderful place to vent and avoid having a massive stroke. Oh, and it’s not lost on me that by discussing my issue here I am in fact perpetuating the problem (don’t they say any publicity is good publicity?).

Instant Coffee

Why the hell would I want to drink this (sorry, more bile)?

Made from real ground dessicated mouse poop.

When I can have this.

The perfect latte.

Made with this piece of truly beautiful industrial art. It also happens to make a latte.

A true work of art. The Atomic Coffee Maker.

Is life so rushed that we need to have our coffee instantly? Seriously people, take five minutes out of your day and drink proper coffee, and not some soy mocha decaf frappé chino with a twist of lemon either (almost as bad as instant).

I already feel better. I understand some people won’t agree with me, that’s their choice. The wonderful thing about freedom of choice is that it’s there to make if you want it. I guess I just don’t like other people’s choices rammed down my throat (not unlike what I just did to you). I have lots more that I believe is wrong with society but first I need to visit what is right. I think it’s time for a latte.


Infernal Machines

Matthew Inman from theoatmeal.com did a great piece on “Why I Believe Printers Were Sent From Hell To Make Us Miserable” that is both hilariously funny and true. Printers fall into the category I call “Infernal Machines”, to me this covers any device that despite all the technical advances of our modern society we have been unable to make it function properly (or at all). By function properly I mean work. Some recent experiences have highlighted another device that fits into the infernal machine class, that being the not so humble toaster. Whilst Matthew suggests printers are from hell, I believe each toaster when made is then inhabited by the soul of a dead criminally insane individual, who can then continue harassing us for eternity (or a least as long as you own a toaster).

How does a toaster when left on the same setting with the same bread produce such random levels of browning from raw to incinerated? The settings on a toaster appear to be to be either a random number generator (the random number being the number of pieces the toaster will burn), or an ingenious dial where the cooking level between each setting say 2-3 or 3-4 is either based on a logarithmic or exponential scale. My toaster seems to alternate between the two but has a leaning towards an exponential scale.

Same toast, same setting, WTF??*
  A – Ingenious dial with either logarithmic or exponential settings. B – Who knows what the fuck these do? It’s a toaster, you should put toast in and it should cook it. My phone has less buttons than this.

Clearly Jasper Fforde’s Toast Marketing Board have serious quality control issues. The idea that a toaster can consistently produce pieces of toast that meet your requirements is as absurd a stapler (another infernal machine) that works properly. The only chance I think we have of saving the toaster is if the boffins and NASA decide that their astronauts need some nice warm toast whilst in space.

Astronaut Steven Smith loves his toast thanks to his NASA toaster.

It would take several decades and about $50 million to perfect but no doubt it would work perfectly (or destroyed in a large explosion on first use). If they make a cordless drill that looks like this:

NASA cordless drill

I would expect their toaster to look something like this:

NASA toaster

 It might weigh 35kg and use more energy than the sun produces in one week, but I strongly believe it would produce the perfect piece of toast. Something not dissimilar to this:

Perfect toast, nom nom.^

On a final note whilst looking for some images to steal for this post I came across this toaster. It’s the Rowlette Rutland Premier 4ATS-151 4 Slot Stainless Steel Toaster. It retails for £124 or $186 AU (roughly $5,000 US) and looks like the kind of toaster that says I’m going to toast the fuck out of your bread. I have a feeling it may be based on valve technology instead of the solid state electronic crap we use today. Basically, until the NASA toaster is ready sometime around 2025, I want one.
Rowlette Rutland Premier 4ATS-151 4 Slot Stainless Steel Toaster
Remember, enjoy toast in moderation.

* Just a photo of different toasting levels. If you thought I’d actually done an experiment on this and recorded the results you’ve clearly over estimated me.
^ Not my problem if you like your toast darker or lighter. The NASA toaster has only one setting, perfect. The NASA toaster pictured above is actually someone’s home made PC, clearly they have far to much spare time on their hands.

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