Saturday, February 23

cleaning out the cobwebs

Big clearup of the basement last week. Best place to be anyway in the hot weather. Stacked up the beer all in one place and found I'm down to my last 140 bottles or so. At this rate I'll need to get brewing.

Another new thing last Monday - I volunteered as a guinea pig for a research project where they wire you up with electrodes all over your body (all above the waist unfortunately) then they give you psychotherapy. The deal is that I get free head-fixing (not that I need it) and they get free elctrical data on the psychotherapeutic process. A win-win situation. Naturally I had to pretend to be a bit psycho to get on the program but that's nothing new for me.

Actually they wire the therapist up too, and all the wires disappear into a computer. To break the ice I said "I've seen this movie, it's the one where the computer blows a fuse and my personality gets sucked into your brain, and vice versa". I think I may have freaked her out.

For an hour I talked about my parents and my childhood and how it relates to what I'm doing now. Then at the end of the session she was tentatively peeling the electrodes off my skin, and she said "I don't want to hurt you". I said "don't worry, I've got a German mother, I don't feel pain."

She set me some homework, I've to write for 20 minutes non-stop every day without censoring or caring about spelling. It's not so easy. Probably blissheids experience something similar when they're meditating. The mid wants to wander off or to censor or to rebel. I've been typing my stream of consciousness to a new blog, which I would link to except that it might influence my future postings there if I know it's being reaad. Maybe I'll link to it in 6 weeks after the research project finishes. I know you're dying to read it.

Yes well, I've been a bit too busy to actually complete the wiring of the possum address system. The possum actually moved out, of its own free will, to the new possum nesting box. But my triumph was short lived. The next night it moved back in to the ceiling above my bed. In the short term I've adopted a more buddhist attitude to the whole thing. When I hear it coming home at 4 or 5 in the morning, I smile paternally, almost relieved that it hasn't come to any harm on its travels. As it scrapes around and makes its bed, I jam the spare pillow over my ear and settle down for some more kip. It actually feels a bit like the dorm at Portsmouth barracks when I was a schooolboy cadet; or like all the youth hostels when I did the world tour. The reassuring communal feeling of sharing bunk beds with a crowd of anonymous room-mates.

Actually, at Portsmouth we would be awakened at 6 a.m. out of our hangovers (oh the bliss of the cheap scrumpy) by a sailor's voice shouting over the P.A. - "wakey wakey! Hands off cocks! On with socks!" What did he mean?

Last but not least - in the previous post what a delight to have a visit from the fragrant keda!

Sunday, February 17

farewell possums, hello possums

A crowd of possums have taken up residence in the roof space. I thought of giving them some rat poison but they're cute animals, that is when they're not pissing and shitting all over the place, and mating, fighting and screaming in the ceiling above your bed.

Anyway, I used my background in systems analysis to draw up a grand plan, using masses of mothballs (which they apparently hate), and a 400-watt ultra-sonic screamer which I'm building. Ingredients for the screamer project:

  • one PC running audacity (to generate high-pitched waveforms then mix them with processed random animal sounds and punk bands)

  • one old hi-fi amp, connected to the PC

  • 15 metres of cable

  • two 400-watt horn tweeters, placed at the holes in the roof where the animals go in and out.

It can't fail. I just have to carefully time the activation for when the possums are out feeding. Otherwise, switching it on when they're already in the attic would trap them in there and torture them with noise, like in Iraq.

But as any general will tell you, you need a multi-pronged attack. So first of all I'm building some nesting boxes to hang in the trees, so the animals will have somewhere new to live after eviction. You see? Carrot and stick. What the world needs now.

So I'll be setting the alarm for about 3am one morning next week, before they come home from chewing gum trees. If there's no more posts here, assume I've fallen through the ceiling half-asleep in my pyjamas. I love the night life!

As it happens, there was a possum person in the audience at the concert on Wednesday, the female impersonator Harry Bumfreeze. If only I had asked him for advice, that might have helped. He is currently in New South Caledonia recuperating from an appendix operation, and sadly has had to postpone scheduled appearances in Scotland.

Nobody but the hard core ever comes to this blog now. If I can be bothered after rehousing the possums, I'll launch another exhibitionist blitz, with a genre-busting 3-D HNT.

Wednesday, February 13

wishbone welcome

Over in Australia, Albert watched yesterday's symbolic "welcome to country" ceremony, performed in the Australian parliament by the indigenous community.

welcome to country

And today the government responded with a national apology.


Albert tells me it was a moving experience and a long-awaited break with the mean-spirited stance of the previous government.

I read a post at about a Japanese band called Zizoh, who are a clone of Wishbone Ash. Listening to them on youtube is like taking a trip back in time to the 70s.

Speaking of time-trips, I dreamt last night that I was visiting hotboy and his domestic bliss. He was toiling over some writing, perhaps a university assignment, and I was able to offer him some of my old university essays if he wanted to plagiarise them. There were a lot of other visitors, mostly drug people, and I headed off to Waverley station to catch my train.

I know how to eat sleep, and dream. But because I'm fortunate to be an advanced flatheid, I am also able to reflect on things. With Doctor Robert's help I'll discover the meaning of the dream. But what do you think it means?

Monday, February 11

new caledonia now on ikea map

ikea hacker is a blog where people contribute their IKEA hacks - unorthodox ways of using IKEA products.

Last year I sent them one of my hacks, for a TV stand made with two ikea tables and a blob of blu-tack. Now they've published it. I'm going to be famous! Who said New South Caledonians are only good at cricket?

Monday, February 4

sunblock sponsor opportunities

As everyone knows, ever since the end of apartheid in South Africa, Australia has stepped in to assume the role of world leader in white racism.

Amazingly, Australia recently accused an Indian cricketer of racism when he allegedly called this Aussie player a monkey:

The judge appointed to decide the case has now ruled that the Indian player is innocent of the charge, because he didn't actually say the dreadful word monkey, he only called the Australian by the Hindi term 'teri maki' which simply means motherfucker. That's alright then.

This controversy may now be over, but another one is coming up. The new Australian Prime Minister has vowed to open parliament with a formal apology to the Aboriginal community.

While some well-meaning commenters believe that "a government sorry means that Aboriginal people can get on with making their lives better", others are wondering what will happen if Aboriginal leaders refuse to formally accept the apology. It's going to be very interesting. This debate has come along just in the nick of time for the Aussie media - for a while there it looked as if they might have to start focussing on international events.

Last time I was in Australia, I was stopped in the street and asked whether I was for or against saying sorry. I said I was strongly in favour of the British PM apologising for the Battle of Culloden and the Scottish highland clearances.

Friday, February 1

tourist information about New South Caledonia

This scenic cablecar is one of the many tourist attractions here in New South Caledonia. I haven't tried it yet but they say the experience is quite electrifying.