28 February 2007

Hits And Memories


Yes, we too have decided to demean ourselves with a collection of "Best of The Xander and Nico Pod". Some of these least worst posts are personal favourites, others are posts that alleged readers apparently enjoyed. In any case, it should keep the Pod going until my writer's block lifts.

Politics

Advice for Kevin Rudd, as he becomes Federal Opposition Leader December 4, 2006 (the most-read post I've ever published)

John Howard to stay on as PM August 10, 2006

On Ten Years Of The Howard Government March 2, 2006

Nico's new political rhetoric February 24, 2006

On Work Choices And Compulsory Voting October 28, 2005

The Australian Political dictionary October 23, 2004

Miscellaneous, Etcetera

Let's Ban Everything February 6, 2007

Ten Point Plan To Promote Australian Values September 13, 2006

What It Means To Be Australian September 12, 2004

An Open Letter To Xander April 27, 2006

The Truth About Psychics November 1, 2006

My One Woman Battle Against Poor Punctuation December 11, 2006

I'll be adding to this list - I find trolling through my archives a bit much to handle in large doses.

23 February 2007

Friday Follies - Cheney Style!


Well, I don't know what we've done to deserve it, but yes indeedy ladies and gentlemen, right at this moment, Dick Cheney is in Australia.

What a difference it makes. You can see the spring in people's steps. The air seems fresher. And if you listen closely, you can almost hear the shotgun blasts travelling through the breeze.

So there could be only one theme for this week's follies - all the finest Cheney humour I could find (and it's a lot easier than finding WMDs!). *

  • All rock stars have "riders", or a list of tour requirements - here's Big Dick's. (This isn't a joke).

  • Australia will give him a fitting welcome, anyway.

  • Proof the White House had prior knowledge of the threat posed by Dick Cheney.

  • ...but it was all just a Vietnam deferment flashback

  • Ten ways Dick Cheney can kill you

  • This explains everything - Cheney is the voice of God.

  • Share Cheney's opinions of almost everybody.

    EDIT - I simply have to add this one. Proof what a Big Dick Cheney is.

    If you're all Dicked out by now, here's something completely different...
    this would have to be a contender for newspaper headline of the year.

    *Some of these links have been previously published in this blog. But I bet you didn't click on them then, either.
  • 22 February 2007

    A Magnificent Victory


    So, Britain is pulling it's troops out of Iraq. Surely the sensible option, though not for the reasons the U.S. claims. Members of the Bush administration have stated that the British withdrawal is a "victory", as it indicates the increasing stability in Iraq. (To quote Dick Cheney - any excuse will do! - "I look at it and see it is actually an affirmation that there are parts of Iraq where things are going pretty well").

    Proving that whilst Saddam may be dead, at least part of his legacy lives on. Every time he had the crap bombed out of him through the 1990s, he would afterwards proclaim it a "magnificent victory" for Iraq. (Always a useful tactic if you're on the losing side of a punch up - pick youself up, dust yourself off, and proclaim to your attacker, "That showed you!").

    The U.S. had to put a positive spin on the British withdrawal, of course. The alternatives being admitting the situation in Iraq is a catastrofuck, and/or saying to the British, "Okay, run off and leave us now, you weasels! Oh, but you will be there when we invade Iran, won't you?"

    Back in this sunburnt country, things are no less silly. Our own John Howard has stated that the British withdrawl is justified because conditions in southern Iraq have improved, yet to withddraw Australian troops from the same region would be "a victory for the terrorists". And I hope Kevin Rudd continues
    his good work by pouncing on Howard today. Just between you and me, I'm beginning to suspect that as well as being duplicitous, heartless and bigoted, John Howard is actually beginning to go insane. I'll leave it at that for now, but will have a lot more to say soon.

    In any case, it looks like 2007 will be the year of magnificent victories all around.

    20 February 2007

    The Google Election Indicator


    Everyone (okay, everyone like me) wants an idea of who's going to win this year's Federal Election. There are several ways to get an idea; the traditional indicator of the Newspoll results or the more sporting analyst can look at the latest odds being offered by Sportsbet.

    But if you want a gauge of what the mood is out amongst the general public, you can't go past the Google Election Indicator.

    Like every narcissistic blogger, I'm always watching my sitemeter to see where the visits to my blog are coming from, and especially the searches people have made to lead them here. I've noticed a new trend lately: people are actually seaching for terms such as "Australia after Howard" or "End of Howard government". There seems to be a sense in the online community at least that this really is Labor's election to win, and the Howard era is coming to an end. I certainly didn't see anything like it before the 2004 election.

    Of course, I don't want to overstate the importance of this; a person seaching for "Howard doing great job" or "Government win election" is hardly likely to end up at this blog (unless of course they're searching sarcastically). And overall my hit count is too low to definitively monitor social changes. Nonetheless, it's an interesting little phenomenon I will definitley keep an eye on.

    16 February 2007

    Friday Follies - Home Truths


    Homes and decorating have been much on our minds round the Xander and Nico way lately. So we present to you this themed collection of Follies...

    Tips on turning your bedroom into a fort

    A little collection of
    housemate from hell stories.

    At least I'm not moving in with
    socialists. Oh, wait.

    Speaking of weird flatmates...

    Okay, this is off topic, but see if you can spot the typo in
    this story from News Ltd...

    While you're here...I value your opinions. As you'll have noticed, all the links on this blog open in the same window. But would you rather they opened in a new window,
    like this? Please register your vote in the handy little poll on your right!

    14 February 2007

    My Interview Hell


    I've been attending a lot of job interviews lately. I can't wait until I actually get a new job, then I can spend my time doing something more pleasant, like having a hysterectomy, attending meetings of the Young Liberals, or being imprisoned at Gitmo. (I'm kidding, of course! I would never want to spend time with Young Liberals).

    The whole thing is deeply unsettling. First you've got to find the right building, according to the interviewer's garbled directions, then once you've finally located it and done three laps around before actually finding the entrance, you're confounded by the building directory, which evidentally hasn't been updated since 1998 (have you ever noticed how in every building directory, there's always one company name which is missing half its letters?) and have to put up with the looks of disdain that those who "belong" in the building have for the lowly visitors.

    All of this is as nothing, of course, compared to the actual interview experience. I can tell you, I am absolutely fed up with filling in the same almost-identical forms and answering the same almost-identical inane questions. Now, no one could deny that the actual process of applying for jobs is so much easier these days thanks to technology - you just log on to a job search site and once it has your details, you can find the jobs you're interested in and apply automatically. So why on Earth can't a similar technique be used for interviews? The potential employee could make a video of themselves answering the stock-standard interview questions, and employers could then search for and view relevant candidates, without anyone having to pretend that it really is "very good to meet you".

    This is my idea, but anyone who wants is free to patent it, as it would make my life right now a heck of a lot easier.

    Maybe I'm just grumpy since attending these interviews is involving a lot of long days and a lot of travel. So as I was returning home on the train last night, and heard the announcement "The train will be stopped at this station for ten minutes. Passengers who wish to get out and stretch their legs are obliged to do so", I hopped to it. I assume that they meant "Passengers who wish to get out and stretch their legs are welcome to do so", but I didn't want to take the chance.

    12 February 2007

    K. Rudd In The Polls, Howard vs Obama


    Kevin Rudd could be forgiven for feeling a little smug about the poll results right now. He's currently the most popular Opposition leader since 1975, with a five point advantage over John Howard as preferred Prime Minister. And, even better news, Labor are ahead of the government 58-42 percent on a two-party preferred basis.

    I'll bet when Mr Rudd was growing up, he never expected to have the expression "most popular" used about him. Let's face it, the man is a little...well, as the comedians have been asking, "Is Australia ready for a Prime Minister named Kevin?" Apparently, the mood is "Yes".

    Does this really mean anything though? After all, Mr Rudd hasn't really done a lot since he became leader; parliament has been in recess nearly the entire time. People are just sick of John Howard. I don't mean sick of the arrogance and selfishness and lies; that's nothing new, and people voted Liberal before. It's just plain old boredom after eleven years of the same old.

    Although I have the greatest sympathy for Americans having to put up with George W. as president, at least they know it's only for eight years, maximum; in 631 days, he will be gone. In Australia, John Howard could theoretically remain PM for another 10, 15 years, and there's not a darn thing those of us who don't like him can do about it.

    That's pessimistic, but it's going to take a lot more than excellent poll results to lure me out of my election agnostic's beliefs. I just can't forget the Mark Latham hype last time around, which made the defeat of 2004
    all the more devastating.

    ******

    Speak of the devil....

    John Howard, never one to let a chance for publicity to go by, has come out
    attacking Barack Obama, saying that Mr Obama's plan to withdraw troops from Iraq would "encourage those who want to completely destabilise and destroy Iraq to hang on and hope for an Obama victory".

    Mr Obama has dismissed these comments as empty rhetoric...and they are. I suppose Howard thinks there are large numbers of potential voters in the U.S. who carefully analyse what Howard is saying before making a decision. Either that, or Howard remembers George W. Bush's
    attack on Mark Latham prior to the 2004 election and thought, "Me too!"

    Either way - Mr Obama, Howard's comments do not reflect the opinions of this Australian, at least. (I want Hillary to win in 2008, but that's just because I think either of you would make a fine president, and you are young enough to run in a later campaign.) Anyway, we're talking about a man who described the farcical execution of Saddam as a "great victory for Iraq"...


    And John - don't you have an aged care package to work on? (Maybe you've worked out that you're wasting your time - they're going to vote for you anyway).

    09 February 2007

    Friday Follies - 100% Anna Nicole Smith joke free


    Brace yourselves. The Man himself, Dick Cheney, is coming to Australia.

    We're all very excited about the
    wonderful new features of Microsoft Vista.

    Wednesday One Liners...at work

    Bug's Butt Bulletins, again.

    When I die, I want to come back as
    the bastard operator from hell.

    Finally, a little tale from my own place in space.

    File this one under "unprofessional"...

    A new lady started at my office on Tuesday. She arrived in reception at 9am and asked to see the manager. (She didn't introduce herself either, I might add).

    I informed her the manager was in a meeting, should be out shortly, would she care to wait?

    So she took a seat...and pulled a sandwich out of her bag and started to eat it.
    Sitting in reception, at 9am, on her first few minutes at a new job!!!

    But it's for the best. I was worried that she might be viewed as a possible replacement for me. As it's obvious that's not going to happen, there's no need for me to do what I usually do with potential replacements I'm asked to train: tell them how I like to start the day by sending a threatening email to the CEO.

    06 February 2007

    We'll Ban It! We Don't Want It Around!


    There's been much fuss lately about "bans" of so-called Australian summer traditions, such as the Australian flag at the Big Day Out, and the Mexican Wave at the cricket. By and large the bans haven't worked; people are carrying on the "offending" behaviour to a greater degree than before, apparently out of a sense of defiance.

    Do you wonder if it was all planned this way? Maybe those who issued the "bans" were using reverse psychology to get those flags-a-flying and the waves...a-wavin (sorry for that one, I guess I can kiss my chances of a
    Bloggie goodbye).

    Anyway, if it works, I'd like to give this reverse pschology stuff a try. Therefore, here are some things I want banned immediately:
    • Schoolchildren giving up their seats for adults on public transport
    • Use of deodorant
    • Nightclubs and pubs which provide free water
    • Orderly queing
    • Obedience of traffic signals (double penalties applying at pedestrian crossings)
    • Big Brother (okay, maybe BB should in fact be banned. But it provides a huge self-esteem boost; at least thirty minutes a day of people I can feel superior to).


    On the other hand, I would in fact make it compulsory for people to listen to (and believe!) right-wing radio talk show hosts.

    Got any others?