Random Observations

A few observations, comments and other ephemera…

Do not under any circumstances ever order whitebait!
On the Thursday before we closed up business for the Christmas/New Year break, the entire office went out to lunch on the company budget, which is about the one tradition we have at GTP. When I say the entire office I mean myself, Dale, Bevan, Dale’s Dad (who does accounts for us), Bernie (a Swiss guy who’s doing part time work for us at the moment) and Gail (who runs a web/print design out of one of the rooms next to us and who would have been left all alone in the building while we were out pigging ourselves which just would have been mean otherwise). Dale had selected the venue (as company Director he was paying for the meal after all) and so at 11:30ish we all ended up at Steve’s Restaurant, overlooking the river.

It was a weird day, heavy cloud cover that threatened torrential rain without ever delivering it, humidity high enough to make the view to the opposite shore foggy and indistinct, and sudden gusty breezes from out of nowhere. Nonetheless Dale decided we’d eat out in the courtyard. I don’t know why, possibly it was cheaper. In any case the strange weather may have influenced my decision to go completely insane and order the whitebait.

The problem of course was that I had no idea what whitebait actually was. I knew it was seafood, obviously, but beyond that I was a bit shaky. I think I had some vague impression of it being some kind of small shrimp or prawn which would be very enjoyable deep fried in a golden batter which is how it was described on the menu. As it turned out I was wrong. Very wrong.

Whitebait it seems is a small, sardine like fish which is cooked and eaten whole. When I say whole, I mean whole, as in head and bones and scales and digestive system and all. Ack.

Needless to say I was quite horrified when I was served a gigantic pile of these tiny fish – even if they were deep fried in a golden batter. In fact the batter somehow made it worse, it’s bad enough that your food is looking at you, let alone through crispy golden eyesockets. But, I could hardly send it back. I would have looked like an idiot. And, I suppose, Dale would have had to pay for two meals for me – but mainly I would have looked like an idiot. So I had no choice but to tuck in.

Actually it wasn’t that bad. So long as I ignored what it actually was it was kind of like eating slightly oily and mushy chips with a faint flavour of sardines and charcoal. Luckily there were some sauces provided – the sweet chilli was particularly good – so I munched away with an impassive expression on my face making carefully considered comments like “not bad” and “a little salty” like some kind of whitebait connoisseur when asked how it was. All the while suppressing my gag reflex.

I managed to finish almost all of the horrid little things before the sweet chilli sauce ran out, at which point I decided I just couldn’t face any more. There were about five or six left at the bottom of the dish, but I decided the kitchen staff could go hang if they were going to be upset by that, so I stubbornly left them behind. I spent much of the rest of the day feeling queezy and burping softly, and didn’t fully recover my appetite until late Friday.

(By the way I should point out that none of the blame for this horrible experience falls at the feet of Steve’s Restaurant – it’s all down to me ordering the wrong thing. For all I know it was really excellent whitebait 🙂

So, no more whitebait for me thanks!

If It’s Catchy, It Means You Stole It by the Sneeze
If this is not the worst song ever written, then it’s damn close. Constructing a song from the lyrics of other well know songs is actually a great idea – so long as you have a decent tune, select lyrics that actually fit the meter of that tune, and don’t sing every line four times in a row. Let’s look at an extract from the song in question shall we?

Yesterday,
Allmytroublesseemedso far away,
From Michelle, Michelle, Michelle-Michelle-Michelle, Michelle, Michelle ma belle,
Michelle, Michelle, Michelle-Michelle-Michelle, Michelle, Michelle ma belle,
Michelle, Michelle, Michelle-Michelle-Michelle, Michelle, Michelle ma belle,
Michelle, Michelle, Michelle-Michelle-Michelle, Michelle, Michelle ma belle,

When you consider that it’s sung in high weak, reedy, voices and the “Michelle” lines only have two notes (something like A-A A-A A-A-A-A-A-A A-A A-A A#-A) it’s like (and about as enjoyable as) listening to morse code. Lets have a look at another extract shall we?

Falling down like love,
Falling down like spring rain keepsfallingonmyhead,Spring – rain – keeps fallingonmyhead,
Fallingonmyhead,
Over you,
Over you,
Over you,
Over you,

Or maybe…

WhenIwasyoung,
Ineverneeded anyone those days are gone,
(yesterday)
Ineverneeded anyone,
But Michelle, Michelle, Michelle-Michelle-Michelle, Michelle, Michelle ma belle,
Michelle, Michelle, Michelle-Michelle-Michelle…..

If I ever see Tom Morgan on the street, I shall personally shoot him. In the meantime I will mainline Reseda Casino and Letter to Memphis until this musical monstrosity is wiped from my brain.

I hope.

And while we’re on the subject…
… of the Pixies, the guitar riff from that new(ish) smash hit Powderfinger song (Love your Way? Sunsets? One of them anyway) is obviously copied from the b-side version of River Euphrates. Just thought I’d point that out 🙂

Dale-isms
My boss, Dale, simply cannot write. He couldn’t write a coherant English sentence if his life depended on it. He can speak perfectly intelligably – in fact everyone in the office’s livelyhoods depend on it since he does all the marketing – but the minute you put him in front of a keyboard it’s as if the linguistic sections of his brain go into to total spasm. For instance, from the email newsletter he wrote today to send out to our clients…

“Unfortunately many e-commerce sites usually needs a price reductions on your products to attract a sale”

“I would like to wish you a prosperous new year over the next 12 months and beyond for your business”

Thankfully he is at least dimly aware of his failings in this area and gets me and Bevan to have a look over anything important he writes before he prints or emails it 🙂

Website Updates
It will no doubt please everyone to hear that over the Christmas break I had sufficient rest and relaxation to totally unwind from the working year and get my writing mojo/groove back. Unfortunately I got it back on Friday, a mere three days before having to start all over again at the begining of a new work year. Believe me, no one is more annoyed and frustrated about this than myself.

With another two weeks off I could have written a bunch of new chapters for the Tales of the Geek Underclass not to mention totally revising and updating the entire site. As it was I only had time and creative juices enough to do some more work on Zurv

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