Category Archives: rant

Despair for the human race

OK, so I am a spelling prescriptivist.

But when I get a spam fax that reads

Be efficient and sharp this year! – Put a Postage Meter on your desk and avoid the Post Office cues

I just want to cry.

Or, you know, run to mock it on the Internet.


Posted by on May 7, 2008 in languages, rant



The auction is this Saturday.

I am not doing very well at distracting myself into not thinking about it.

Over the past 4-6 weeks, clearance rates around Melbourne have dropped to below 65%. Prices for comparable properties have fallen by $30,000 or more. We will be lucky to reach the amount that the second offer was for (the one that the agent knocked back without even talking to us because it was too low).

Do I sound stressed? I am stressed. The effect of all this stress is that I am a bit miserable without any real reason to be unhappy. I am not good at being powerless – and there’s nothing I can do to improve the selling price at this point. I’m not even cheering myself up with thinking about OMG ESSEN! because even that may fall through if the house does not sell at all. And while I recognise that this is unlikely, Stress and Misery have kicked in with their nasty little messages. And I don’t like it, because I like to think that I am an upbeat and positive person.

Realistically, it is unlikely that the property will not sell at all.

It is possible that it will not sell at auction – even that it will not attract even a single bid.

The agents *think* they have 2 or possibly 3 bidders. First home buyers and investors, mostly. All they can talk about is what is wrong with the property (I am told that this is normal real estate bastardry).

We have to set a reserve price by Saturday.


I just feel a little bit sick.


Posted by on April 8, 2008 in rant, realestate



A friend told me the other day that a mutual friend/acquaintance had passed an interesting comment on me. He described me as “very down to earth and practical”


Gentlemen, take note. “Down to earth and practical” does not rate high on the list of Ways I want to be Thought Of.

One of my great frustrations is the extent to which I am forced to be practical, to make sure that the things that need to be done get done. In fact, I bitterly resent that this leaves little time for whimsy and fun.

I was really quite upset about it, even though I know he didn’t mean it at all unkindly.

Then I reminded myself that being upset doesn’t achieve anything, pulled my head in, and attacked my To-Do list.

An aside. Last week, I created a new tag – not your earth logic. It has since occurred to me that that could potentially be applied to 90% or more of the posts I make here. Ooops.


Posted by on March 19, 2008 in not your earth logic, rant



Dear Tram Company,

When it is about 472 degrees outside (well, at least 30 anyway), and the minimum overnight temperature was  a steamy 26.9? Please do not run trams with the heating jammed on. Especially when I have to go in to the office.



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Posted by on March 18, 2008 in rant


To-do list progress – and mother anecdote

Today, I had a work meeting. And two children at home. So we went into town and met my mother for lunch, then I left her and the girls to explore the city while I nicked off to my meeting for 2 hours or so.

Now I must say from the start that being able to do this is fantastic. I am very very grateful to my mother for minding the kids, especially as she couldn’t have done it for most of last year.


Over lunch, I slipped her $40, which seemed a generous amount for any incidental expenses that she and the kids might run into on their wanderings. I knew that Biggie wanted to go to Smiggle (which is like porn for pre-teens) with her handbag-full-o-change, and figured that Otto might want something too. I also mentioned that I had planned to get them some books to take on our holiday, and if they saw Ballet Shoes or a Charlie and Lola book then that could be a good thing to pick up.

We arranged to meet at 4pm in the Ladies’ Lounge at David Jones – this is a wonderfully archaic place that very few people know about – basically, a lounge area outside one of the ladies’ toilets, with comfy sofas and mirrors and room for elderly ladies (or younger ladies who know it exists) to rest up before braving the shops again.

At 4, I was kicking up my heels with the old dears at DJ’s, when mum rang to say that she and the girls were having ice cream and would I come to join them? Sure, no problem, off I went (I got a pair of shorts for Fraser on the way, breaking my run of not buying anything at this year’s Myer stocktake sale).

During the 2 hours I was in my meeting, my mother bought my children:

  • 3 bags of rock candy. From Suga. Not little bags, either. “They’re for the drive down to Lorne” (Me: They’re for the entire holiday and then a bit).
  • 2 HARDBACK books for the Bigster, including Ballet Shoes ($29.30)
  • a Charlie and Lola book for Otto
  • Smiggle out the wazoo (Biggie thinks around $35 or so)
  • Ice creams

It’s like this every time. She’s on a pension, but she has zero self-control. She even tried to give me back the $40. The worst part is the sweets, because she KNOWS that we don’t like her giving them sweets. She even bought them each an identical 250g bag, presumably because they are craptastic at sharing. Let me deal with that, please.

I talked about it with my brother tonight and we agreed that I can do nothing about it except NEVER ask her to buy anything again. Also, next time I will be sensible and give the emergency money stash to a more responsible person.

It is frightening when the “responsible” person in the group is 9 years old.

The rest of this post is very boring. It’s a progress update on the to-do list I posted yesterday.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on January 10, 2008 in children, family, house, parents, rant


Melissa and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day


Woke up to the”let’s piss on Agricola, because that would be funny” party on BGG. While in theory I realise that it was a misguided attempt to be funny, and was not meant in any way seriously … it was a really dumb and mean idea. I have said my piece, although none of the instigators of the “prank” has done me the courtesy of a reply.

“Jeez, grow a sense of humour”/”Get a thicker skin” is one of those have-you-stopped-beating-your-wife-yet comments that simply shows that the person making it has no reasonable response.

It’s also made me consider the openness of much of the industry. The publishers and game designers that participate in and post on forums, answering questions and clarifying or elaborating on rules and on the design process. Repaying them by putting down their efforts – not for cause, for a game design that didn’t quite work (or didn’t quite appeal) – but for an arbitrary whim “because it would be fun” – hardly rewards that. This is not telling Lookout Games or Z-Man that the gaming community wants to see quality games rewarded.

Let me be clear –  if someone plays a game and dislikes it then I would fight for their right to rate the game as they see fit. It’s the haters who are deliberately sabotaging a game that they even admit they would probably enjoy that I don’t understand. Someone compared them to the jocks that turn over the clever kids’ boardgames, which I thought was a great comparison.

Anyway. Very very upsetting morning. We’d planned to do some (urgent) shopping and then pick the kids up … but …

Then I finally heard from our doctor – could we bring Otto in in an hour to check whether she needed a repeat of her antibiotics? Only problem was, she was half an hour away at my parents’ place and they weren’t answering their phone. We jumped into the car and zoomed over and they beat us home by about 5 minutes. Got to the doctor with 2 minutes to spare. She sent us off to the children’s hospital with a referral letter – so I spent the next 2 hours or so waiting in triage with Otto (and this was the “quiet” time).

We finally got through to see a doctor – who had the same first name as Otto, which Otto found pretty exciting. Dr Otto referred us to one of the more senior doctors, who decided that yes, she did need more than just antibiotics. Unfortunately, he mentioned “putting a needle in” in front of Otto, who got rather distressed. She then had numbing cream slathered on and covered with a dressing, and we were left alone for a while. She sobbed and sobbed – the numbing cream and sticker were really uncomfortable for her, poor bean.

Weird moment – I took her to the toilet, but there was already a woman in there with her son. She was getting him dressed, washing his hands carefully, etc., then came out and we started to move in. “Oh!” she said, “I didn’t flush the toilet.” – and she went back in and flushed. She clearly knew that she hadn’t flushed, and wasn’t going to bother as long as no-one would know that she was the culprit. Weird.

They then brought Otto some medicine called (imaginatively) Pain Stop. It’s your standard dose paracetamol – with the extra kick of codeine. It certainly helped her to settle down – she still has a slightly stoned look on her face.

And then – time to  hurt her :(  These doctors, too, stressed the potential seriousness of what they were doing – which is good (knowing that they know what they are doing) but also kinda scary (OMG she could be scarred for life).

We eventually were released with antibiotics and a piece of paper with “Pain Stop” written on it – and instructions to see our GP on Monday. All in all, I think we were at the hospital for around 4 hours.

Home – via the supermarket and the pharmacy – to more vitriol and hating. Most disappointing were a couple of people I know personally who apparently don’t have the respect for or understanding of the industry that I thought they did. At the moment, this is something that I can’t help but take personally, so those reactions in particular were extremely hurtful. It feels like a betrayal. One is someone who I expected to really enjoy the game … and he might, but – well, at least tonight, it won’t be with my copy.

This is something that  I just don’t understand. Where is the fun in arbitrarily dissing something that other people have worked hard on (by all accounts, successfully)? Why is that an amusing or clever thing to do?

Congratulations, haters. You’ve successfully knocked a game that is still building a reputation and still seeking pre-orders for its English edition down 95 places in the ratings.

Now if only I could understand why you would want to.

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Posted by on November 17, 2007 in children, family, games, health, parenting, rant


Work-Life balance?

My beloved had a sick day today (ear infection catching up with him?)

He has taken at least four support calls during the day. Including one just now – at 10:50pm.

He worked Saturday, so I got to take both kids to the Kindergarten fete on my own.

Normally I would shrug it off, but he also “has” to go to work on November 9th in the evening.

November 9th is not just any day. It is our wedding anniversary. We always go to the Zoo during the day, and this year we were going to go out in the evening. He has the day’s leave booked already.

There is not enough money in the world* to make this right.

*This is hyperbole. There is, in fact, enough money in the world to make this right. But I am thinking of a big number with lots of zeroes in it.

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Posted by on October 15, 2007 in rant, work


How low can you go?

Otto’s creche was broken into this morning.

Otto’s community-based, not-for-profit, cares-for-120-kids-over-the-course-of-a-week childcare centre.

They broke a window to get in and took, among other things, the safe (ripped it out, destroying the cupboard it was hidden in), the computer with the children’s developmental records and  also lots of the things (vouchers and products) that have been donated for our upcoming major fundraiser.

This is the second break-in in about a 2-week period. Clearly, the first was just to see where things were.

The goods have apparently been recovered (dumbass robbers) but it is still extremely upsetting for everyone.

Robbery is despicable. That’s a given. But how much lower is it when people steal from community-based organisations that are there to help people.


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Posted by on October 3, 2007 in rant


Banks and D’Oh!

I had to go to the bank last week, to prove my identity so I could be a signatory for a bank account. In Australia, that means providing the bank with “100 points” of ID.

At the bank. Friday.

Me: Here’s my driver’s licence

Bank Dude: That’s 40 points

Me: Here’s a credit card.

Bank Dude: That’s 25 points … 65 so far

Me: Here’s my other credit card.

Bank Dude: That’s from the same bank. Sorry, no banana.

Me: Um, my medicare card?

BD: Another 25 points. Congrats, we’re up to 90.

Me: [rummaging through purse] Um, a store card? A museum membership card? My car registration letter? Doctor’s bills? [in my defence at this point, the notes do say "a utility bill" - I thought the car rego might count]

BD: No can do, sorry

Me: I’m in the phone book!

BD: Um, nope.

Me: Otto, get away from the door!

BD: Passport?

Me: Don’t have one.

BD: Rates notice?

Me: Probably could scrounge it up. But my husband has it at work, and I really wanted to get this done today.

BD: No can do.

Me: *sigh*

BD: But a reference from a barrister or one of these other named people is worth 100 points!

Me: Yes, but don’t have one here.

BD: Well I’ll print it out for you and you can see if you can get one.

Me: *sigh*

At home, later that night.

Me: *rant rant rant* about bank intractability, can’t they accept some combination of the many cards I carry with me, etc etc etc.

[look at reference form]

*rant rant rant* and look at this, the referee has to sight a primary form of ID and I already told the guy I don’t have any of those. This is so dumb, I bet I can NEVER EVER pass a 100 point ID test. [astute readers will note the skilful use of exaggeration here]

Fraser: Why don’t you use your passport?

Me: *rant rant rant* it expired and I didn’t renew it.

Fraser: Um, dear? Look in the cupboard?

There is my renewed, albeit unused, passport.


At the bank. Monday.

Me: *eats crow*

Bank Dude: *Is very gracious in not mocking me.*

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Posted by on September 19, 2007 in rant



Dear Dickhead,

Your car would not start an hour ago.

It would not start two minutes later.

Or a minute later, or a minute later. Or even a minute after that.

It has been AN HOUR, dude. Right outside my window.

Your starter motor has something going for it, at least.


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Posted by on August 16, 2007 in rant


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