Month: February 2008

A Slice Of My Life

Annette: “Do you know who Malcolm and Donna are?”
JSR: “It’s not ringing any bells.”
Annette: “Tess mentioned them in this Nut and Bee order. She says she’s staying with them in Palmerston North and you know who they are.”
JSR: “Nope.”
Annette: “Knowing your old friends they’ll have absurd nicknames like…”
JSR: “Like ‘The Weaz’!”
Annette: “Yeah”
JSR: “And ‘Turbobunny’ …”
Annette: “Exactly”
JSR: “And I’ll be all to Tess like “Ohhh, you meant The Weaz and Turbobunny! Why didn’t you SAY?”

Sad. But true.

Industry! Science!

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27/02/2008, originally uploaded by jsr.spathi.

At last, they’re finally starting to do some work on the shitty building next to our place. All the components for scaffolding, etc, are now outside. Can’t WAIT for this to be tidied up!

…enshroud me in thy purple cloak.

My sleep monitoring machine arrived – complete with a blood oxygenation sensor (which attaches to a finger) and an airflow meter which is a little tube that runs up to under your nose, and has another couple of smaller tubes that fit into your nostrils. I made Fremen/Dune jokes while wearing it.

Anyway, I spent the night with these things attached and have mailed it back to them – I toss and turn so much that the fremen tube came out a LOT, and I had to put it back in each time I realised. I hope they got SOME usable data out of it – it’d such if I sleep so badly that it’s out of scope of such portable equipment and I have to go into a clinic and have more serious gear attached.

Also Lazlow

I am a big fan of the Grand Theft Auto games. Especially the radio stations therein.

So, when I watch an episode of “Terminator – The Sarah Connor Chronicles” and they open with shot of a terminator being constructed and an “In the Future…” voiceover….

I cannot help but finish it with “..there will be robots.”

Curse you, Rock Star.

Scallywags Performing Antics

Politicians behave similarly to high school children when in Parliament. Indeed, the example I am linking to is at the upper end of the scale – no-one was punching anyone else in it, for starters.

I didn’t actually know that these supposed adults acted like this until I was a teenager and actually saw footage of them openly mocking and heckling each other as they tried to speak in session.

Can someone with more political experience than I explain why this is acceptable? If I had employees who constantly acted like this during meetings, I would sack them with no regrets.

I Am Not An American.

Well, I could be – I’m white, and suitably plump, but I’m not American.

Nevertheless, I feel like commenting on the US presidential elections, so I shall.

I would vote for Obama, it’s not even a contest. Hillary .. seriously, I just cannot get past her war vote. To me, her voting “Yes” on war with Iraq means that:

(a)She is either stupider and more easily led than the kinds of hippie scum who think that singing “War! What is it good for? Ab-so-lute-ly NOTHIN’!” outside a government building is Speaking Truthiness To Power. Even those freaks worked out that ‘W was going to invade no matter what anyone, including weapons inspectors, found or failed to find.


(b)She’s a ruthless psychopath who would throw away thousands and thousands of US lives, and thousands or hundreds of thousands of Iraqui lives, for the sake of her own politicasl career and aspirations.

Also, did I see her crying on TV the other day? Was she crying over the bodies of US soldiers coming back in body bags? From a war she voted for? Nah, course not – she was crying over the thought of not being elected.

I’d still happily vote for her instead of anyone who’s still prepared to stand up and say that they’re a damn replublican.

Shameful chest-beating

I was a bit worried about posting this, because I really do want to move beyond bullshit tribal monkey mind, but what the hey:

So I’m in the supermarket parking lot, right, with Annette in the front seat and a delightfully full load of shopping in the back. I’m reversing out of a car park on a corner with exit doors on it, and I’m just about reversed out far enough that I can go forwards and turn at the same time to get onto the main way out. When this guy in a BMW zooms up and stops. In the exact and only space I can turn into to get out. I look at him. He looks at me. I wait for him to back up. He looks at me. I make the little two handed fingers-down “Back up plz” wave. He looks at me for a beat, then makes the same wave back.

Bear in mind that (a) he is backing up in a straight line, (b) there’s nothing behind him, and (c) he drove into this position to cause the issue. I, on the other hand, have to back up around a corner, into a stream of people exiting the doors, and I was there first.

I am, of course, enraged. Ladies, you don’t understand this, and that’s okay. It’s a guy thing and it’s hard-fucking-coded into our genes and that’s that. I am enraged, and this man is a shitpot, and I’ll back up when and only when Satan ice-skates to work.

I look at him. He looks at me. We break eye contact at the same time. I look very visibly at my watch, and then lean back slightly in my chair. He now knows that I Have All Day, Dude.

He shrugs. He FUCKING SHRUGS. He adjusts his sun visor slightly. In an underground car park, he adjusts his sun visor IN FRONT OF ME. I mouth the words “Of course you know, this means war.” at him.

I maintain eye contact with him and lower my sun visor, until it moves down enough to break our eye contact. I now can’t see what he’s doing.

“Is he moving?” I ask Annette.

“Nope”, she says. “He’s just sitting there.”

This will not stand. I have to out-think him. What would James Kirk do? Sleep with some alien priestess. No, not an option. I’m on the right track, though … I need to change the conditions of the test

And then.. it comes to me. I know the rules to this. So does he. It’s somehow okay if he looks like a spaz doing this shit because I also look like a spaz. If this devolves into a yelling match, it’s okay, because we’re both acting like idiots. So what needs to happen is that one of us has to not look like an idiot for sitting here and not moving.

“I”, I say to Annette “have a fucking awesome idea. Watch.”

I turn on the emergency blinkers, open the door, and get out. I make eye contact with the guy and walk around the front of the car. He’s slightly upset looking – he sees how big I am, and I’m getting out of the car – am I going to get physical? He’s worried!

I, however, am ice cool.

I pause in front of the car. It’s time … I make my move.

I spin on one foot, and pop the bonnet of the car, putting it smoothly up on the stand. I keep eye contact with Mr BMW and I see it actually dawn in his eyes what I am about to do.

I look down at the engine, I look around at passers-by, I look back at the engine. And I scratch my head. And then I stroke my beard. To the very best of my ability, every atom of my being and every nuance of the way I’m acting screams out “My, WHATEVER is wrong with my CAR that prevents it from MOVING?”

I raise an eyebrow at Mr BMW. What’ll you do now, dude? If you stay there, you look like a retard waiting for a busted car when you don’t have to. If you get out and start yelling, I stay calm and you look like a fuckwit. It’s checkmate in one, my worthy foe. There’s only one option. Take it. Take it like a man.

He’s yelling. He’s YELLING AT NO-ONE IN HIS CAR. And he puts it in reverse and BACKS THE FUCK UP. And he SQUEALS HIS WHEELS as he shifts into gear and drives off.

I instantly close the bonnet, get in, and drive away. Forwards. The theme music from Rocky is playing. Cherry blossoms are falling around my car. Women want me, and men want to be me.

Now, understand that this, I admit, is purest alpha-male bullshit. It’s lame. It sucks. And yet, just thinking about it as I write this gives me a wonderful warm feeling deep inside.


So this afternoon I spent an extended period of time in consultation with a specialist about my terrible sleep habits. He has diagnosed me, with a VERY high confidence level, as having sleep apnoea and needing attention because of it. I was pretty much expecting this, especially after having more than one girlfriend say “Hey, did you know you stop breathing lots when you’re asleep?”.

In order to check out what was going wrong, he stuck a skinny bendy camera scope thing up my nose, and all around my sinuses. In order to do this without me losing my mind, he first anesthetized … my nose.

This rates pretty highly on the Peculear Sensations-O-Meter, I can tell you straight up. The numbness extends into your sinuses. That whole area feels like a void. That’s some fucked up shit, right there.

Anyway, he’s getting me set up with a sleep study device, which has wires and clips and plugs and THE MATRIX HAS YOU NEO and you get it all set up and then sleep as normally as you can while it gathers telemetry. He is about 100% sure that this will lead to me being given a positive pressure darth vader mask which I will have to wear while sleeping from now on in order to Not Die. Apparently in accelerating cases like mine, there is a risk of simply slipping into an oxygen depravation coma – not cool.

(I’d just to take this opportunity to point out to Chris R that he may have had an RFID implant in his hand, but that I now NEED TECHNOLOGY TO LIVE. BEAT THAT AND STAY FASHIONABLE, BITCH!)

I don’t want to get too excited about the possible upside, but he seems to think that the results of me using this device will be very VERY noticable. Could I actually one day wake up refreshed and clear-headed? Dare I dream it could be so?

In other news, DUH.

Bullying harms kids’ mental health.

A new study provides strong evidence that being bullied can cause children to develop depression and anxiety.


I attended two high schools as my parents switched me from Mountainview High to Timaru Boys High School because they were concerned about my academic performance at Mountainview. Ironicall I hated TBHS so much more than MV that I bunked off FAR MORE classses attending it. I don’t think my grades improved at all.

TBHS had all the same shit as any other high school (like, say, having to show up at classes! The nerve!) and a whole new swag of other unique shit mostly driven by the unspoken pretense that TBHS was a sort of jolly hockey sticks boarding school with tuck shops and prep and “I say! Bad show!” and one of the worst things about it was that bullying was pretty much accepted and if you complained about it to teachers (like I did, exactly once) then you were told in so many words to Man Up and Build Character and Bad Show For Snitching.

Fortunately for me it got around in 7th form that I was often seen talking to girls (usually my ex-schoolmates from Mountainview) and since most guys at TBHS thought that women were a strange, alien species to be stared at from afar, my mysterious ability to communicate with them made me slightly cool and less likely to be subject to the kind of casual low-grade bullying that’s pretty much background noise for a fat computer dork attending High School.

I remember when the Columbine happened. And I was talking about it to my parents and they were going on about how horrible it was that those kids could do that, even if they were bullied at school by the kids they shot. And I said that I would never ever turn a gun on my fellow pupils … but I UNDERSTAND how they could.

This led to an argument which, even on the adjusted upwards to compensate scale that I use to grade arguments with my folks[1] was still at least a 8.9 – on a par with the time I mentioned that despite the fact that I was tired and had something to do it was okay because I had some NoDoz hanging around somewhere. THAT led into a 2 hour discussion on How Drugs Are Bad. From my mum, who has maybe 7 cups of coffee a day. For Fucks Sake. But I digress, hugely.

I honestly wish I could go back to visit myself at that age, or ANYONE else that’s been subject to bullying, and just say “See all this shit? The fucking INSTANT you leave High School and get out into the real world? It ALL goes away. Immediately. And forever. And you and the rest of the smart guys that get picked on for being nerds go on to get paid SHITLOADS because in the real world smarts are IMPORTANT, and all those rugby chumps go on to pump gas and hang drywall and in the unlikely event you see them again they’ll be trying to impress you. And you will be bored by it.

[1] This is an actual conversation I have had with my mum:

Mum: Hello.[2]
JSR: Oh, and what’s THAT supposed to mean?

[2] It was her tone of voice. You had to be there.