Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Even Sisyphean Tasks Still Need Doing

The Starfish Story…

A young man is walking along the beach after a storm, and sees thousands and thousands of starfish have been washed ashore.

Further along he sees an old man, walking slowly and stooping often, picking up one starfish after another and tossing each one gently into the ocean. 

“Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?,” he asks. 

“Because the sun is up and the tide is going out and if I don’t throw them further in they will die.” 

“But, old man, don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it!
You can’t possibly save them all, you can’t even save one-tenth of them. In fact, even if you work all day, your efforts won’t make any difference at all.”

The old man listened calmly and then bent down to pick up another starfish and threw it into the sea. “It made a difference to that one."

h/t Matt G via OldNFO

Sunday, 4 October 2015

What would happen if ...

I drove to the range this morning at a sedate pace, obeying all the road rules, and intently monitoring my surroundings.

It wasn't due to a hangover after drowning my sorrows at the big game results.
It wasn't a response to the shooting by the Iranian teenager in Melbourne.
It wasn't because of a significant traffic police presence.
It was due to a "what if ..."

You see, I had committed to shooting both revolver AND semi-auto in the weekly competition, and intended to test some new ammunition in a couple of rifles. This meant I was carrying enough firearms and ammunition to start a small war. Well, would you believe a nasty tribal conflict? How about a street gang turf war?

In addition to this, I had plans to start a homebrew of ginger beer after the shooting, so I had a couple of plastic containers of a crystalline, whitish powder (raw sugar), and some chemicals (steriliser, de-chlorinator) on the back seat.

I was wondering, "What if I were to be stopped for a traffic infringement? How long would it be before I got out?"

Friday, 2 October 2015


I don't go out of my way to identify myself in cyberspace. Even with the limited information available, it would not be all that hard to find out who I am in meatspace, but I don't make it trivially easy.

That makes it somewhat difficult to brag about my children - if I identify them, and admit the paternity, then identifying me is absurdly easy. Do I care all that much? Not really, but why make life simple for the thought police? These days, just having an opposing opinion can be viewed askance, and make problems that I don't need.

So, I wrote all that to explain why what follows is mostly obscure reference, rather than direct links and quotes.

My daughter is a dancer. I think that she is a very GOOD dancer, but she is not ONLY a dancer. She is also blonde, but she is most definitely NOT the archetypal "dumb blonde" - being among the best high school students in the state doesn't happen by lottery (yet).

Having performed with a number of dance companies in the state, she has finally hit the big screen! The big screen at the Cultural Centre, that is, with a solo dance piece that she helped create being screened multiple times over several weeks.

They say that pride is a sin, but I don't care - daughter of mine, I am proud of you and your achievements. Forgive me for not making it possible to easily identify you.

You can't choose your family ...

I had an ... interesting ... conversation with my cousin (female, mid-thirties - the French have gendered nouns, why can't we?) yesterday.

She was raving about the Australian government now forcing people to work until they are 70, and bemoaning how unfair that was.

Sadly, I am all out of fucks to give, and it was annoying as shit, so I just HAD to correct her, somewhat forcefully.

1. The government is not forcing anybody to work until age 70 - they are removing the financial support that sees people receive OPM (Other People's Money aka "the age pension") once they turn 65.

2. There is NO LAW that mandates ANY retirement age - if you have enough resources to live on, then don't work. It's your choice. The statutes only talk about how old you must be to qualify for certain benefits (paid for with OPM).

Sure there are clauses in various superannuation policies that say you can't take out your money until you reach a certain age (barring certain extenuating circumstances), and these are there to comply with Australian law, but if you have other ways of supporting yourself, there is no compulsion to work.

3. If it comes to either working until 70 or starving, then whose fault is that? Nobody else but you made those choices (overseas holidays, new cars, having children, drinking, smoking - all when you couldn't afford it) and fuck it, you can live with the consequences. Or not, I don't care.

4. Just because you are a fool when it comes to money is no reason to transfer OPM to you, EVER. Maybe the next generation will see your stupidity and learn something. Or not, I don't care.

Of course, this attitude makes me heartless in her eyes; it's FOR THE CHILDREN!!!!

5. What is more heartless, seeing fools (and their children) face the consequences of their own willful stupidity, or taking money from ME (who made mostly smart choices), that would otherwise have gone to making things better for MY children?

I swear, the more I see of the effects of the welfare state, the more I want to see it burn to the ground so the survivors can start over.

Now piss off, I need to reload.