Worst Anzac Day Ever!

Well, except for maybe the orginal one.

Well, call me naive but I only just figured out that the themes to all three CSI series are by the Who. I mean Who Are You for the original CSI is pretty obvious, but it took an episode of The Simpsons*The one featuring the Who obviously to enlighten me about CSI: Miami (although I still have no idea what Who song it actually isMagic Bus maybe? I dunno). Some poking around online revealed that the track with the really cool synth loop that starts CSI: New York is Baba O’Riley – although most people would probably call it Teenage Wasteland. So there you go.

Changing subject entirely, last week we had the Anzac Day long weekend. Rather than being content with merely the mandated three days off work I opted for four and a half instead – although I didn’t really enjoy them very much.

On the Friday morning I woke up feeling awful with some kind of flu/death cold, but decided it wouldn’t look good if I called in sick on the Friday before a long weekend and so dragged myself into the office for apperance’s sake. I managed to last until just after 12:00, at which point I decided that if I was going to die I’d rather do it at home, and left. On the Saturday I still felt pretty bad, but took it easy and by the evening was thankfully feeling a lot better.

On Sunday I was fine. So fine in fact that I decided to do what I’ve been saying I’ll do for the last decade or so and go to the Anzac Day dawn service. This decision was no doubt influcenced by the fact that rather than get up at 3:00am and catch a train/bus into the main service at the State War Memorial in King’s Park I could get up at 4:30am and amble down to the service at the local War Memorial in Haliday Park. So I got my clothes all sorted and laid out, and set my alarm for the pre-dawn hours.

The first sign of trouble with this plan occured at about 1:00am when I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep. I dozed fitfully for the next three and half hours and by the time my alarm went off was feeling absolutely exhausted and ill. So I reluctantly decided to skip the service, and rolled over to try and get back to sleep.

This didn’t work. I finally dragged myself out of bed with a pounding headache about 8:00am. By 9:00am it had become clear that it wasn’t just an ordinary headche, it was a migraine of epic proportions. So I took what analgesics I had in the house and went back to bed.

Usually my migraines progress as follows…

  1. Get migraine.
  2. Take whatever pain killers I can scrape together out of the medicine cabinet and go to bed.
  3. Sleep for four or five hours.
  4. Wake up feeling totally drained and spaced out, but with migraine gone.

This migraine however went…

  1. Get migraine.
  2. Take whatever pain killers I can scrape together out of the medicine cabinet and go to bed.
  3. Totally fail to fall asleep thanks to constant pounding pain in head and neck.
  4. Lie in bed for hours wishing I was dead.

Possibly contributing to my inability to sleep were the various groups of hoons downstairs holding Anzac Day parties. Actually, they probably weren’t so much Anzac Day parties as “we’ve got a day off work so let’s invite everyone we know around to get drunk and make noise” parties. They certainly suceeded on the last point. There seemed to be at least two parties, one of which favoured “Best of the 80’s” CDs and the other which favoured rap – favouring rap in fact to the point where they cranked their stereo right up in a friendly attempt to completely drown out the 80’s music. The 80’s party joined in the game by cranking their stereo up to drown out the rap, prompting the rap party to retaliate in kind. So my prolonged migraine experience was enhanced by the Eminen vs Fergal Sharkey mix of Cleaning out my Closet.

Eventually (after dragging myself out of bed and doing some research online) I called up the folks and begged them to bring me round some ibuprofen (in a cruel twist I’d normally have ibuprofen on hand but had run out a few days before). Thankfully they did so, and it damped down the pain to the point where I was able to actually sleep a bit. The migraine (and the parties) finally gave up the ghost about 1:00am, and I thankfully fell into a decent slumber for the first time in 24 hours.

WORST ANZAC DAY EVER!*Well, obviously the original was pretty bad for the ANZACs and the Turks, but I mean worst I’ve ever had to put up with.

Needless to say I didn’t go to work on Tuesday. Sleep deprivation and general post-migraine vaugeness are not really conducive to successful website programming πŸ™‚

(I felt great on Wednesday though – you don’t realise how wonderful it feels to be out in the sun and fresh, cold air with clear vision and a clear head until you’ve spent a couple of days without them).

Some other things worth mentioning – the repeats of Dr Who on the ABC have reached the “Key to Time” season. This is where the Doctor goes bashing around the cosmos collecting the six parts of the said key which are disguised as various mundane objects scattered throughout the space time continuum. It only occured to me the other day that this is exactly where Douglas Adams got the idea for the scattering of the Wikkit Gate in Life the Universe and Everything (if anyone doubts this insight it should be pointed out that Adams was a script editor for Dr Who at this point, and in fact penned the second story in the Key to Time sequence The Pirate Planet). This shouldn’t actually come as much of a surprise, after all Dirk Gently’s Hollistic Detective Agency recycles huge chunks of the never finished Dr Who story Shada (Professor Chronotis was originally meant to be a retired Time Lord, and even in the finished novel his time machine is still quite obviously a TARDIS :).

Also (while on the subject of TV science fiction) Channel 7 have finally got around to screening Stargate: Atlantis. Naturally they’re screening it at an ungodly hour of the night, so I’ve been taping it – a system that has been working quite well except for the one time when I somehow managed to tape the ABC instead and ended up with a reality TV show about yuppie Americans being dumped in remote third world countries and freaking out because there’s nowhere to plug in their hair curlers – which would have been quite amusing except I wanted Stargate damnit!

Anyway I’m really enjoying it. As much as I enjoyed the original Stargate SG1 you have to admit that the series really is past it now. The galaxy has been pretty much explored, we pretty much know everything that’s out there, we know all about the Goa’uld and pretty much have the technology to keep them at bay, we know all the characters inside out and just about all the stories that can be told have been told. Whereas in Atlantis you’ve got a small team of new people with very limited resources stranded on the other side of the universe in an alien galaxy facing an enemy just as bad (if not worse) as the Goa’uld and that we know almost nothing about. It’s a much more risky situation and allows for some great story telling again.

So yeah, I’m a big fan of Atlantis. Some more of the reasons being…

  • The Wraith. Take an elf from the Lord of The Rings movies, soak him in bleach for a few days, give him fangs and some facial hair, and then dress him in one of those trenchcoats the bad guys wore in Dark City. Oh, and make him hiss a lot. The perfect cool villain or what?
  • McKay. It’s great to have a member of the team who’s a real pain in the backside. McKay is a damn smart scientist/engineer, but he’s also arrogant, egotistical, a complainer, a bit of a coward, and doesn’t suffer fools (ie: just about everyone else in his opinion) at all*Hmmm, reminds me of me πŸ™‚. He’s hilarious! And he’s Canadian, which brings us to the next point…
  • The Atlantis mission is international. There are scientists and military from dozens of countries involved and so you can tell who’s who they all wear flag patches on their shoulders. You can entertain yourself for hours*Well, OK, a few minutes at most. picking out and identifying the flags on all the extras. Like that guy in the Jumper with McKay when they open up the roof for the first time – he’s Czeck! I know because I looked up the flag he was wearing! Yes! I’m such a geek! πŸ™‚
  • Doctor Beckett. He’s Scottish and has an entertaining accent. One of those fast sort of Ewan McGregor clackety-clackety Scottish accents that are really fun to listen to and then try to imitate badly. And what’s more he wears the cross of St Andrew on his shoulder, not the Union Jack, which*I am of vague Scottish descent and therefore like every other non-Scottish person of vague Scottish descent around the globe am a fanatical Scottish Nationalist on principle, except where it might have to involve actually doing or indeed knowing anything about the issue of Scottish independance. Hooray Bannockburn! Boo Culloden! Three cheers for Bonnie Prince Charlie! Ect! πŸ˜€ is great to see. Hopefully the English members of the mission wear the cross of St George.
  • The new Stargate. The blue lighting and glowing star-dots are great. Orange lights and engraved constellations are so 1990’s! πŸ™‚
  • Torri Higginson πŸ˜‰

Also now on at a riduculous time of night is Battlestar Galactica (I said they were going to do that), so I’m taping it as well. I am almost ridiculously addicted to that show – I’m just compelled to find out what happens next. It’s just so damn cool!

(Please insert here about ten paragraphs of fannish ranting about why Galactica is about the best sci-fi on TV at the moment. Thank you.)

One of the small, yet slightly interesting things I’ve noticed about the series is that the 12 Colonies seem to be named after the 12 signs of the Zodiac. I don’t know if this is something they’ve adopted from the original series but so far we’ve had mention of Caprica (sorry, that should be Cylon Occupied Caprica ;-), Sagittar, Gemenon and Picon. Presumably we’ll eventually hear from Aquon, Tauron, Leonar, Cancon, Aeron, Virgar, Libron and Scorpus – or something like that πŸ™‚

OK, I’ve ranted on enough. Got to cook lunch (my oven is finally online! Hooray!) then go and buy some antihistamines before I devolve into a picanthropus*Obligatory Stargate joke. or something πŸ™‚

Testing! Testoing! 637!

On holying water by process of boilin’ it.

Why should test data be boring? I say make it as interesting as possible! For instance (from some work I was doing today)…

Job Application Form

Personal Details

Name: Lord Mojo Mountbatten Signh Nahasapeemapetilan

Address: 123 Anathema Road, Ankh Morpork, Morporkia

Date of Birth: 31/02/1776

Tertiary Education: Doctor of Invisible Writings, University of Tackleford (1842)

Secondary Education: The Greta Garbo Home for Wayward Boys and Girls (1835-38)

Skills: All own teeth. Can crack walnuts with ’em.

Languages: English, Estuary English, West Country English, Swahili

Hobbies/Interests: Practical Thanatology, Theoretical Kite Building, Horse Whispering

Career Objective: To obtain gainful employment of such a manner as to provide fiduciary compensation sufficient to offset the herculean inconvenience of the labour required

Personal Objective: To crack brazil nuts with teeth

Employment History:

Position 1:
Dates: 01/10/1845 to 01/10/1845
Employer: The Impure Water Company
Position: Steam Engine Oiler
Duties: Oiling Steam Engines
Reason Left: Fatal Grease Fire
Position 2:
Dates: 06/10/1845 to 12/10/1845
Employer: Hanling Brothers’ Circus
Position: Tiger Trainer
Duties: Training Tigers
Reason Left: The Hanling Brothers’ Circus Disaster, 1845
Position 3:
Dates: 18/10/1845 to 23/11/1845
Employer: Brother Malachite’s Pharmacy and Drugstore
Position: Senior Tube Technician
Duties: Overseeing intermediate and junior tube technicians
Reason Left: Repetitive Strain Injury
Position 4:
Dates: 01/01/1846 to Present
Employer: Holier Than Thou Inc.
Position: Holy Water Boiler
Duties: Holying water by process of boilin’ it
Reason Left: Years of dehabilitating scald injuries


Reference 1: Lord Berners – The Grange, Hampshire
Reference 2: Brother Malachite – 123 Aubadon Street, Manchester
Reference 3: Morgan the Artificer – 2 Little Britain, London

Personal Reference 1: Monsiengnor Albert Jurech – Temple of Sigmar, Marienburg
Personal Reference 2: Great Cthulhu – Lost City of R’lyeh

Far more interesting than fields full of “Test” πŸ™‚

De Muris Carmen!

Well, there we go. Everyone’s favourite rodent serenader has won the Papal election. Cardinal Ratzinger (sorry, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI) is now Pope with all the mystical theological powers that position entails – which may or may not include the ability to crack walnuts with his teeth.

Judging by the photos in all the papers he does quite look the role – like someone’s jolly and good natured grandfather, or maybe a beardless Santa Claus. Obviously the Cardinals decided to hark back to all those medieval Popes who enjoyed a good meal, as opposed to the rather skinny and ascetic John Paul. Appearances aside however he’s apparently a staunch conservative, so we’ll just have to see if he’ll end up moving the Catholic Church forwards, backwards, or just keeps it running on the spot.

While I don’t know if he’ll be a good Pope, I do know one thing he’s good for – search engine hits. My ramblings about St Malachy and comments on what a great name Ratzinger is saw my visitor numbers jump from 13 on Tuesday to 314 yesterday. I’m quite pleased at the idea of 314 people looking for solid information about De Gloria Olivae and ending up reading my ill-informed rants, it’s probably done them all a world of good πŸ™‚

Hmmm, I’ll have to check out what the Malachy pundits are saying about Ratzinger (sorry! His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI). They’ve had a couple of days, they should have found a weak and subjective link to olives by now. I would have been much more impressed if St Malachy had said something like De Muris Carmen, but that’s probably just me πŸ™‚

Better go, I have work to do.

Hang up the Translation Habit

Well I finally managed to track down the lyrics to Laisse Tomber les Filles by Fabienne Del Sol. The trick of course was just to search merely for the song title, not for the song title plus ‘Fabienne Del Sol’ – as it turns out it’s a cover of a (seemingly) quite well known song. Or at least there seem to be dozens of recordings of it by various artists stretching back to the 50’s.

So now I have my lyrics, and can happily sing along whenever it comes on the radio. Or at least I could if I knew how to pronounce French. I’m quite sure that French spelling is fairly straightforward and logical but being poisoned with insane English spelling from birth my brain just refuses to see how Je dirai c’est bien fait pour toi, Je dirai Γ§a t’apprendra could possibly come out as “Zher deela sev ya papal twa, Zher delyes satep onwa”. Actually, despite being no expert in French, I suspect Fabienne may be slurring her words a bit. Not that I care, it still sounds great.

One thing I was unable to track down however was an English translation. Or at least I could track down the lyrics of an English cover – but the author had clearly decided to just take the title of the song (“Drop the Girls”) and write some completely new words around that theme to fit the tune, resulting in a song called “Hang up the Chick Habit”. This is eminently sensible – translating lyrics from one language to another isn’t that hard, but trying to maintain meter, syllabylisation (is that even a word?), and rhyme is a nightmare – but it wasn’t what I was looking for.

So, for my own edification and amusement I decided to prepare my own translation (with the assistance of Babelfish). It doesn’t attempt to be singable – just to give an idea of what the song is actually about. So, without further ado I present Give up the Girls (which has to sound less dated than Hang up the Chick Habit at least…)

Give up the Girls

A hasty and somewhat dubious English translation of the French song Laisse Tomber les Filles

Give up the girls,
Give up the girls,
One day one is going to leave you,
Give up the girls,
Give up the girls,
One day you’ll be the one to cry,
Yes I cried, but not today,
No I won’t cry,
No I won’t cry,
I’ll say that you deserve it,
I’ll say that’ll teach you,
I’ll say that’ll teach you,

Give up the girls,
Give up the girls,
The ones you play cruel tricks on*This line could actually be “The ones that play cruel tricks on you“, but given the tone of the rest of the verse I decided to go with this lyric until someone tells me otherwise πŸ™‚,
Give up the girls,
Give up the girls,
You will pay one of these days,
One does not play with impunity,
With an innocent heart,
With an innocent heart,
You will see what I mean,
Before very long,
Before very long,

The chance gives up,
That which does not know,
That to leave the wounded hearts*I can make neither head nor tail of these three lines, so leave them as Babelfish translated them in the hopes that readers smarter than me can make some sense out of them.,
You won’t have anyone,
To comfort you,
You will not have stolen it*Another line I’m confused about πŸ™‚,

Give up the girls,
Give up the girls,
One day one is going to leave you,
Give up the girls,
Give up the girls,
One day you’ll be the one to cry,
To feel sorry for you there will be,
No one but yourself,
No one but yourself,
Then you will remember,
All that I told you,
All that I told you,

Then you will remember,
All that I told you,
All that I told you,

Then you will remember,
All that I told you,
All that I told you,

Amazing Tales of Real Estate Stupidity

On the whole – in my experience – Real Estate agents are not the smartest people in the world. There were all those dramas with Josie (my property manager back at the Gables) for instance*She is apparently now a very big wheel in the state Real Estate Institute. As someone who lived under her “management” I find this terifying.. Or the ones with the people who took over when Rebecca got totally fed up with Josie’s incompetance (such as their reluctance to join the 20th century by accepting rent payment in any form except cash or cheque). Or the various issues with the people I bought this place from (like quoting the price $5,000 too low). Basically it seems as if people who can’t suceed in any other career gravitate towards property sales like a moth to a flame*You’ve hijacked my brain, Like a moth to a flame, If you don’t release me, I’ll leave just the same, Moth gonna fly, Moth gonna fly, Moth gonna fly….

My workday today did nothing to damage this opinion.

Case One: One of our real estate clients called us up with instructions to switch their email hosting over to their new, on-site mail server. On being asked why a small real estate office would need their own mail server, they informed us that sharing just one email address around the office was getting inconvenient. When asked why they didn’t talk to us (ie: the company that hosts their website and email) about this, they said that they talked to the people who service their office computers instead, because they’ve been dealing with them for years.

Cost we’d charge for setting up any number of new email addresses for them on their current hosting? Maybe $22 GST inclusive.

Cost of their new mail server? $20,000.


Case Two: A new client, setting up a real estate site with us wants to put pictures of food on it. Why? Because people won’t expect to see pictures of food on a real estate site, so it’ll make the site “memorable”.

He’s quite right, people don’t expect to see pictures of food on a real estate site. They expect to see pictures of real estate.

Honestly. These people are living in Bizzaro World.

Time for a Quick Quiz

Question 1: What do you think would be an appropriate time to play the Offspring with your stereo pumped up as loud as it will go?

  1. 12:15 on a Saturday afternoon.
  2. 12:15 on a Friday night/Saturday morning.
  3. 12:15 on a Tuesday Night/Wednesday morning.

Question 2: When one of your neighbours knocks on your door to complain about the noise, what do you think would be an appropriate reaction?

  1. Apologise and turn the music off.
  2. Apologise and turn the music down.
  3. Inform said neighbour (by yelling at the top of your lungs) that you have no respect for him because his girlfriend sold you “bush weed” and said it was hydro, threaten to beat him up, then change CDs to Marilyn Manson just to make a point.

If you answered 3 for both questions you may well be the guy living opposite my bedroom window!

It’s times like this I really wish I had an electromagnetic pulse cannon.

Rapsberry Swirl with a Double Glaze

Well, it turns out John A. hasn’t killed off the forum, he’s just removed the link on the site. It’s still there when you know where to look. Which is good, for obvious reasons.

You know, when The Cure are being used to sell pet food*Love Cats being used in a cat food add, so it’s not quite as nuts as it seems. I mean, it’s not like Killing an Arab is selling horse feed or something., the end of the world can’t be far away.

Dolphins. Blade Dolphins.

Hmmm, well it seems it’s a good thing I didn’t join the Scary Go Round forum because it seems to have vanished. John A’s probably killed it again. He apparently does this when he gets seriously annoyed by the kinds of things people are posting. Things like plot predictions for instance, or threads dedicated to how hot particular characters are. Apparently the last time he killed the board it was in response to some seriously disturbing posts of the second kind in relation to Zombie Shelley, I don’t know what’s done it this time. Oh well, maybe the forum will re-emerge at some point, or maybe it won’t. I hope it’s the former – it was quite an enjoyable read.

In the meantime I figured I’d take those tests from Helen and Ali’s blogs…

Which OS are You?

Bright and cheerful? Strong and stable? Tendancy to do more than is asked? This test doesn’t know me at all! πŸ™‚

Which File Extension are You?

Now this I like. This is one accurate test! πŸ˜€

Which Nigerian spammer are You?

Well that’s good to know!

Oh I forgot to say yesterday – I had a particularly surreal dream Friday night as a sort of prelude to the general insanity of Saturday. It was about dolphins, all the different kinds of dolphins. Like bottle nosed dolphins for instance. Or blade dolphins, you know, the ones with with two retractable blades in the front of their flippers*In pretty much the same positions at the cannon in the wing of a Spitfire.? And how about those Roman or ‘heraldic’ dolphins? All orange and mottled black like giant goldfish with a big black marlin-like sail down their backs. Man, stuff my dreaming brain comes up with. πŸ™‚

Before going I should mention that (this is horribly insensitive, so be warned πŸ™‚ that Cardinal Ratzinger (the guy who seems to be handling a lot of the Pope-work now there’s no Pope) has the best name ever. I mean Cardinal Ratzinger. Like, the Cardinal who sings to rats. Or of rats. Isn’t that great!?

I think so πŸ™‚

Potential Dog Thieves R Us

I had a particularly surreal day yesterday.

I went over to Morley to do some shopping, nothing surreal about that, I’m just setting the scene. I needed to get some expanding gap sealant to fill various holes around the apartment that were letting things like cockroaches and pot smoke in. I also needed some new shoes – my old ones have some major holes in the soles which isn’t a problem in fine weather but causes some problems when it starts to rain, and since Autumn finally seems to have arrived I figured I’d better do something about it.

(Actually I did try and do something about it with a bit of amateur shoe repair. I cut new soles from some plastic sheet I had around and stuck them into the shoes with my hot glue gun. This didn’t really work, the plastic was too stiff and started cracking as soon as I put them on and the hot glue didn’t seem to stick properly anyway. The repairs on my slippers went perfectly though.)

So I wandered around Morley buying hadware and shoes and such. Then it was back to the bus station where the surrealism started courtesy of an old woman who seemed to be entertaining herself by hitting people with her cane and ordering them to smile. THAWCK! “Smile!”. She wasn’t hitting people particularly hard, being a feeble old woman, but it still seemed somewhat counterproductive to my eye. Once the bus arrived she grabbed a seat right at the front and replaced the cane-thwacking with grabbing people’s arms in a vice-like grip as they went past. GRAB! “Smile!”. She was probably insane πŸ™‚

So the bus started off. It was a different number to the one I used to catch (since I only have to get to Bayswater now I have a wider selection of buses to choose from) and took a much more direct route without all that annoying rat-running through tiny suburban streets around the aquatic centre. All was going well and quite normally when the driver’s two way radio suddenly crackled to life and filled the bus with a conversation between a guy and girl planning to meet up at “The Deen*The Aberdeen Hotel that is, a popular nightspot – or so I’m told“. Apparently their mobile phone signal had got tangled up in the ether with the frequency used by Transperth buses. So, we journeyed down Coode Street listening to them deciding what time to hook up (they eventually decided ‘around 6:00’) and an interminably pointless story about how the guy had convinced the DJ at the Deen that he was ‘Kevin’s brother’, despite not actually being so. Thankfully they eventually hung up πŸ™‚

So I arrived back home and got to work doing handyman-like stuff. I was minding my own business drilling some holes in the bathroom wall when there came a loud THUMP THUMP THUMP at my door. Not just a ordinarily vigourous thumping, a distinctly angry thumping. So I got down off the chair I was balancing on and carefully opened the door, holding the hand drill ready in case I needed to defend myself.

Standing on the other side was a middle aged tattooed man in a singlet with a distinct smell of Jim Beam*Or something quite alcoholic. What am I, a brewer? around him. “Have you got my dog in there?!” he demanded, with both vigour and spittle.

I was struck dumb for a few seconds in sheer confusion. “No” I finally managed to blurt out.

“You sure?” the guy demanded, slightly less violently and apparently a bit confused himself.

“Yeah” I answered, stepping aside to let him see into the apartment. “No dogs in ‘ere mate*In situations like this it’s best to address people as ‘mate’ and drop your ‘H’s. It makes you sound like a true blue dinkum bloke rather than a potential dog thief.“. He peered inside uncertainly for a few seconds, muttered “OK then” and walked off, probably not entirely convinced.

It should be noted that I have absolutely no idea who this man is, or what’s happened to his dog. I’m vaguely worried that he’s going to come back with the police and a warrant to search my unit for pilfered canines and then when they find nothing I’m going to be sat down at a table and have a bright light shone in my face while a Seargent shouts “We know you took the dog, what did you do with it you sick freak?!”. But then vague worries like this are just part of my day to day existance anyway πŸ™‚

So yes, very surreal.

Talking of surreality I have to mention a paper headline I saw earlier this week. Charles/Camilla Wedding Postponed for Pope’s Funeral. Show that to someone five years ago and they wouldn’t believe it. There’s been an inordinate amount of media fuss concerning the Royal wedding this week, at least one TV station broadcast the whole thing live, which seems particularly pointless to me as the show would have gone something like…

Shot of Windsor Castle. Car drives out of Windsor Castle and down 50 metres of road to Guild Hall. Charles and Camilla get out of car and walk into Guild Hall. Half an hour’s footage of outside of Guild Hall. Charles and Camilla walk out of Guild Hall and get into car. Car drives up 50 metres of road and into Windsor Castle. Shot of Windsor Castle. End broadcast.

OK, they may have broadcast the blessing ceremony in the castle after that (I neither know or really care) but still, do we really need to see all this in real time? It’s enough to turn you into a Republican.

And of course the whole thing has stirred up the Republic issue again. The Republican Movement celebrated the wedding by having a Yum Cha breakfast on the basis that this was a ‘very Australian’ thing to do. I would suggest that it’s actually a very chic and trendy thing for rich middle class yuppies to do, which only confirms my views on the hardcores of the Republican Movement.

I should probably clarify my views on the Republic issue here before I receive a whole load of hate mail or something. I’m not a Republican, but neither am I a Monarchist. I’m a Status-Quoist. I don’t really have any problem with the way things are run at the moment and as such don’t see the need for all the bother and expense of changing things. I mean, OK, technically we’re ruled by the Queen, but it’s not like she ever does any serious ruling. She just rubber stamps all our laws by proxy via the Governor General. If she was bossing us around all the time I could see a reason for getting rid of her, but she doesn’t, so why the problem?

That said, if the majority of the Australian population want a Republic (which polls suggest they do) I have no objections. I think the whole debate (on both sides) is akin to arguing over which end to crack eggs, but people will have their weird little obssesions about ‘freedom’ and such, so what can you do?

(Mind you, the day Camilla becomes Queen is the day I lead the march on Government House with a flaming torch – but a lot of Brits seem to think the same way, so what are the odds of her actually becoming Queen? Princess Consort is a much more reasonable compromise).

Anyway, enough on Charles and Camilla and onto the other major story of the week, the Pope, or rather the new Pope that the Cardinals are going to elect in a few weeks. There’s some pretty scary candidates being talked about, some real hardcore fire and brimstone types, particularly a few of the guys out of Africa. But they probably won’t get in. The College of Cardinals has shown itself pretty good at selecting moderate*Moderate for the Catholic Church that is compromise candidates over the years rather than anyone too controversial. I could go off and research the various candidates at this point, but that sounds like too much work, so I’m just going to take the easy route and turn to good old Saint Malachy πŸ™‚

Saint Malachy (for those not in the know) was an English Bishop who in the middle ages was paid to make a pilgramage to Rome by someone else on their behalf – which was the kind of behaviour the Medieval church found perfectly acceptable (and Martin Luther so annoying). In any case he made it to Rome and on arrival (so we’re told) collapsed to the ground and started muttering away uncontrollably in Latin. These days we’d diagnose him as suffering severe travel fatigue and put him to bed with a cold drink, but the Romans of the day decided he was in a prophetic trance and one of them was quick enough to jot down everything he said. It turned out (we’re reliably informed) that he was running through the tally of future Popes, giving a short Latin motto or description for each one. Almost as soon as he finished theologians got to work trying to make it all match up, and the great game of predicting the next Pope based on the prophecies of Saint Malachy began (and has never really stopped since).

As with all vague predictions (Michael De Nostradame anyone?) you can basically make the prophecies of Saint Malachy say whatever you want them to. Probably the biggest problem lies with the fact that for a lengthy while in the middle ages there were two rival lines of Popes (one in Rome and one in France) so you can pick and choose as to which Saint Malachy was meant to be talking about (some even try to fit them all in, but this isn’t hugely popular as it means you tend to run out of predicted Popes in the 18th or 19th century and where’s the fun in that?). But eventually over the years a general concensus has been reached on who fits where, and we can confidently report that the next Pope will be De Gloria Olivae or “The Glory of the Olive” (whatever that may mean).

(For the record Pope John Paul II was De Labore Solis which may refer to him being born during a solar eclipse, his working in a limestone quarry during World War II for a company that used a sun as its logo, or perhaps nothing at all).

So, we’re going to end up with “The Glory of the Olive”. What can you say about that? Except idly speculate about the new Pope having some connection to Judaism, or ‘working for peace’, or coming from an olive growing region, or having a fondness for stuffed olives at Papal tea-time.

Much more interesting is the Pope after De Gloria Olivae, who will be Petrus Romanus – “Peter the Roman” and the last Pope!. Malachy (presumably having got all the preceeding stuff off his chest) gets positively chatty with this one informing us that…

In persecutione extrema Sacrae Romanae Ecclesiae sedebit Petrus Romanus qui pascet oves in multis tribultionibus; quibus transactis, civitias septicollis dirvetur; et Judex tremendus judicabit populum.

Or in English…

During the last persecution of the Holy Roman Church will sit Peter the Roman, who will feed the sheep during many tribulations, and when these have passed the city of the seven hills will be completely destroyed and the great Judge shall judge the people.

That’s right people, the destruction of Rome and Judgement day! Something to look forwards to there and only two Popes away! Good old Malachy, knew to end it all with a bang rather than a whimper.

So, let’s all keep an eye on whoever the Cardinals elect, and see who can be the first to connect him to olives, glorious olives πŸ™‚

I was going to write more, but I’m all worn out now from sarcasm, so you’ll all have to wait for the next installment in my amazing life. Yawn πŸ™‚

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