Sunday, April 29

what i learned from other bloggers (updated)

Some of the things I learned from various bloggers who visit here regularly:

  1. How to combine reality and a fantasy identity in one post.

  2. To cultivate a dialogue with a large circle of blogfriends, by replying to comments and by commenting at their posts.

  3. To forget about always explaining everything, instead sometimes just doing a stream-of-consciousness rave, trusting that readers will get the gist of what you mean.

  4. Posting NPD self-portrait photos with weird effects and from strange angles.

  5. Using scientific terms, and Medi-posting.

  6. Posting on undies and dunnies.

Can you match those four techniques with the bloggers' names? You can copy and paste this list as a comment, then add your guesses:

hotboy = number ___

keda = number ___

lee ann = number ___

menzies = number ___

carslemane = number ___

ion = number ___

PS - If your name's not there, that doesn't mean I haven't learned from you.
PPS - Updated. I originally posted before I was ready, by hitting the Publish button instead of the Draft button.

Thursday, April 26

HNT - R.I.P. loyal friend

This post contains a deliberate mistake.

I was moved by the number of people who expressed their sympathies over the passing of my dear old Number 6 Beer. None.

But to commemorate the drinking of the very last bottle of my old friend, the best lager I ever made, here's one of the few known photos of Number 6.

The ethical code of this blog means that I cannot show any naked pictures unless they're of moi. Surely just one is OK? It's been altered to protect the identity of the model. She was plastered at the time anyway. To remove the vertical ripples and get a clearer idea of the deliberate mistake, just click the picture.

Click the picture

Did you spot the deliberate mistake? The bottle actually contained brew Number 8, not Number 6! It's clearly a Dark Ale, not a Lager. That was too easy, wasn't it?


I wrote this "R.I.P." post before I discovered that Osbasso's old friend has just been killed by a drunk driver. No offence or disrespect is intended.

Tuesday, April 24

birthday party

Every year, skinheads all over Europe celebrate my birthday with marches or riots. It could be because I have the same birthday as Herr Hitler.

Last week it was my birthday, so they were at it again. Some people even baked cakes.

To balance things up, here is a picture from my favourite birthday. Is your favourite birthday in the distant past too?

Saturday, April 21

beer report

Just opened the second-last bottle of the 2-year-old Number 6 Brew. This is possibly the best one I've produced, I'll be sorry to see it go.

A couple of days ago we had dinner at a German restaurant here, and the menu had a special deal - a Wiener Schnitzel with a free beer. Naturally I ordered the schnitzel, and asked them for a weissbier. They said the free offer didn't cover weissbier, only Australian beer. So I ordered a weissbier and told them just to bring me the free Aussie beer as well.

The other beer I drank was Schneider Weisse. The waitperson was about to open the bottle when I stopped her just in time. The label showed it was "kristall", i.e. crystal clear, with no yeast in it. She apologised, and fetched a bottle of hefeweizen, i.e. cloudy.

I was able to do a side-by-side taste test, German v Australian. I'd hate to offend any Australians reading this, so I'll just point out that there's a Melbourne beer brand actually called 'Piss'.

I used the Aussie beer as a palate-cleanser between gulps of Schneider, but basically I should have asked for a spit-bucket like at a wine-tasting.

As for the schnitzel, there were two on my plate, one on top of the other, and you could hardly see the plate for meat. I finished one, not bad going for a vegetarian, and took the other one home, to the delight of the dog.

Hotboy has resorted to home brewing again. He's going to try making wheat beer, but he hasn't said whether it's the German Weissbier style, with the cloudy appearance and the funny-smelling yeast.

I have just started a batch of non-wheat beer, but using a bohemian yeast as in Weissbier. It will be interesting to compare the results of the hotboy brew and my effort. Stay tuned for the battle of the beers.

Monday, April 16

careers of famous friends

When I was a kid, Alan lived across the road from me, and we were best buddies. At a time when I was still listening to Cliff Richard and The Shadows, Alan turned me on to Beatlemania.

Alan and me

One year, four of us performed at the Sunday School Christmas party, miming to "I Wanna Hold Your Hand". My hair was curly and wouldn't stay in a fringe, so my father made me a fake fringe out of black wool and elastic. He also made the two hardboard cut-out guitars, in the shape of my ukulele.

Cardboard cut-out Beatles

A year or two later, Alan became head of the sunday school, and I went to the devil. Since those days, Alan has lived a decent and worthwhile life as an activist church minister, and was last year appointed Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland (BBC announcement). For non-Scots readers, this means he's a sort of Archbishop of Scotland.

But I've just discovered that Alan is not the only famous person I used to know. When I was an 18-year-old medical student studying anatomy, I spent a year taking apart a dead person. There were six of us students to each body. One of the guys sharing my cadaver was called Ian. He later moved to Australia and went on to invent a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. He won a gong in 2005. I may possibly have contributed in some small way to his success. Due to hangovers and other chemical imbalances, I actually missed many of the anatomy classes, and this would have given Ian a clearer view and better access to the body on the slab.

Another old school chum, whose mother was the love of my father's life (unconsummated) worked his way up to become one of the leading suppliers of sausage skins to the Glasow meat trade. That could have been me if only my father had married more wisely.

But much as I admire the achievements of my former friends, I'm sure they would also admire my success if they only knew about my work here in New Caledonia as an amateur brewer. And I hate to boast, but I have also had some success at the McDonald Institute, where I was head researcher in the Department of Misanthropology. Not to mention my volunteer counselling work with the HNT scheme.

Obviously, I flunked the anatomy exams, but I still learned some basic anatomy, and I think I've got what it takes to be a waxer.

cuttlefish off the menu

Just watched a brilliant documentary about cuttlefish, which have the highest brain to body ratio of all invertebrates. Not only are they intelligent, some species can also put on amazing lightshows.

Give them a mirror, and they'll stare into it for ages. And one kind, the flamboyant cuttlefish, has developed a preference for walking:

walking cuttlefish
I'll never be able to order barbecued calamari rings again. Can you love another species? At the same time as you're eating it? I've already given up dolphin, dog and orang-utan. Next thing you know, supermarkets will be taking kangaroo steaks off the shelves.

That TV program came in the same week as My Family And Other Animals. Thank goodness for the British media. Okay, the BBC Radio World Service has gone downhill, now it's mainly sport and listeners' letters. Cheap to make. But the Brits still know how to make great TV.

Watching "My Family And Other Animals" reminded me how much I like Greek people. Is that racist?

Thursday, April 12

HNT room for expansion

I've been inundated with a request to show the 14 pairs of undies I bought recently. I must say, buying a size larger does give one extra room to luxuriate.

I used to think that Robert Plant wore a banana down his trousers, or else he was born with an outsize willie. Now I know his secret - you just buy your jocks a size too big, and your tackle expands to take up the extra space. They say that nature abhors a vacuum.

Art Photo
(click for filled-out undies)


Tuesday, April 10

still celebrating/cerebrating, with quiz

Still can't get over my brain scan result. This morning walking the dog, when nobody was looking I jumped for joy.

Lee Ann tried the eye test at What do your eyes reveal about you?, and scored as "Diamond Eyes".

I tried the test and got this result:

Eyes full of Pain - People tend to overlook you, which makes you feel less worthy of their attentions. You sometimes wish you could just disappear from the world around you. You have been hurt very badly in the past and you just wish that someone would understand you, and what their cruelty is doing to you.
Does that sound like me? Dearie dearie me!

So I tried another quiz at the same site, this one was called How Will You Die? I got a great result. I'm going to die peacefully of natural causes.

So overall, I'll have a long life with eyes full of pain. What a fortunate creature I am!

There's another quiz, called How are you in bed? Apparently I'm:
A Slave To BDSM - admit it, you like being tied up and being told you've been very naughty. You like teasing your partner and making them squirm, and not letting them be able to do anything about it. Some people think what you do is sick and disgusting, but you know it's all in good fun.
This is news to me. Maybe that's where I've been going wrong. Note to self: try tying self up, instead of playing with oneself. That might help.

Saturday, April 7

future masterpieces

My blissheid friend recently posted an example of how well he can write if he just puts his mind to it and cuts out the mumbo jumbo.

If he preserves it, it'll be worth a fortune one day. It's only about a page long, but in the distant future when most people have given up reading and writing, a one-page masterpiece will have the status that Shakespeare has today.

I'm offering to pay him to write the definitive one-page adventure of a half-aristocratic semi-Prussian genius who goes off the rails after his parents bash him once too often. He falls into bad company in Edinburgh, flees to Germany, then runs away to Glasgow, before escaping via Australia and the Douglas Hurd Islands to New South Caledonia. Along the way, he meets a decent woman and a trusty hound. Anyway, that's the outline, but the blissheid can turn it into literary magic.

These are the pictures for the artwork of the book.

bad egg and sidekick

bad influence future blissheid

getting unbalanced

a better class of bad influence

Thursday, April 5

HNT MRI inner beauty

In my eyes this is a thing of beauty.

It proves that I have a brain and there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. What a fortunate patient I am!

The second picture is of course embarrassing - the scanner caught me with a finger up my nostril.

A Happy Easter to our remaining reader. The Easter Bunny was here already:


Details for anatomy nerds:


TECHNIQUE: Sequences were performed before and after Gadolinium.


Post surgical changes are noted involving the left side of the mandible and
left submandinbular soft tissues consistent with a previous submandibular gland excision and radiotherapy. Increased signal intensity in the left side of the tongue and is consistent with post treatment atrophy.

No recurrent submandibular mass or abnormal enhancement is demonstrated to suggest tumour recurrence or metastatic spread.

The left parotid gland is either quite atrophic or has also been removed. The right parotid and submandinbular glands are normal in appearance.

No lymphadenopathy is seen in the neck. There is some asymmetry of the para pharyngeal fat planes consistent with atrophy on the left secondary to previous treatment. No abnormal soft tissue mass is identified.

A contrast enhanced sequence was performed through the brain. There is no mass lesion or abnormal enhancement demonstrated and in particular no evidence of enhancement along the path of the left 5th nerve.

The ventricles are normal for age. A few scattered white matter hyperintensities are noted, non specific in appearance but likely to be ischaemic.

SUMMARY: Post treatment changes are noted in the left submandinbular region as described. No recurrent mass or abnormal enhancement seen. No evidence of metastatic disease. What a fortunate patient this is!

Tuesday, April 3

looking over the shoulder (updated!)

I don't know if you've ever had an MRI scan, but it's not the most relaxing experience. They slide you into a long coffin-shaped enclosure, then blast you with magnetism. The noise is like being machined-gunned from all angles inside a washing machine. And they tell you to stay completely still for half an hour, when every fibre of your being is urging you to get the hell out of there. My dog would be out of there like a shot.

Half-way through the procedure, they turn off the machine-guns, and pull you out of the coffin to inject you with dye. Then it's back into the coffin and on with the artillery.

I went back to the hospital the next morning to pick up the results. I once studied anatomy for a year, and normally I would open the envelopes and read the x-rays and the report, but this time I decided that I would control the results, rather than the other way round. For one thing, I won't be seeing the specialist again till Thursday, so what's the point of me knowing the scan result so soon? If it's bad, I would have days of fretting until Thursday (and worse after that).

Also, Don Juan said "Keep death at your left shoulder." The idea is that your death is your friend and can remind you of the fact of impermanence - that things change, that things end, that this body will die, that this life will come to an end.

So I've stashed the scan results under the house with all the home-brew, and for the last few days I've been thinking about what they represent (the results, not the bottles). Maybe a clean sheet. Maybe something nasty. Or perhaps just an inconclusive report which is neither one thing nor the other (the pathology doctors have to cover themselves, I suppose).

At one point, when the stress levels got too high, I thought to myself - what would a hot boy do? Besides blissing out, I mean. Of course! He'd do some Tai Chi. So, though I hadn't done any Tai Chi for a few years, I gave it a go. Amazing how all the moves come back to you without effort. In fact, if you actually try to remember it, you suddenly can't. You need to switch off the mind and let the movements do themselves. After 20 minutes, I had done the whole routine and I was the king of the world.

These last four days of procrastination (deferred gratification?) have been pretty happy, a special time, potentially my last days of innocence. Such good fortune! But today it's time to read the report. I am just going downstairs and I may be some time.

Later: I went for a jog to shed some nerves, then I went to the cellar and brought up the brain scan and 2 bottles of beer. Sitting in the garden I opened both bottles and then the big envelope.


TECHNIQUE: Sequences were performed before and after Gadolinium.

SUMMARY: Post treatment changes are noted in the left submandinbular region as described. No recurrent mass or abnormal enhancement seen. No evidence of metastatic disease.

Translation - I've got a brain, and it's completely normal! What a fortunate creature I am once more.

Effing brilliant!

They even give you a CD to take home, with all of the pictures of your head. This one's rather attractive, though I say it myself.

There'll be more bottles opened tonight. Break out the shampoo!

Sunday, April 1

i'm no fool

When I lived on the other group of islands, the Hotbollah terrorists declared a flatwa on my blog, threatening to sabotage it on 1 April. Of course, they haven't got the technology to track me down here. So far, everything looks pretty normal.