Monday, March 3, 2014

Who knew Planned Parenthood were so kinky...

I'm always glad when I hear about government funds being used for sex education, it's such an important thing for young people to learn about, but I have to admit that I was a teeny be surprised when I found out that the government is now funding educational videos to teach teenagers all about the joys of safe, sane and consensual BDSM [link].

Oh Planned Parenthood, you kinky buggers.

Okay, maybe that's a bit misleading.  It's not like the government specifically gave Planned Parenthood a bunch of money with the instructions "Why don't you go and make some videos about whips and chains and spanking and all that stuff that the young people are into these days".  It's just that Planned Parenthood is funded by the government, and they just happened to make a video that they posted online.  So some people are getting a tad worked up about it.

You know, in the "gather the torches and pitchforks and let's burn the heretics" kind of way.

Given that this is a rather delicate topic, and we're talking about impressionable youth here, there has naturally been a lot of concern about it.  How dare Planned Parenthood teach kids about how to have enjoyable, consensual, well informed, kinky sex!  Surely we should be pushing the good old "If you have sex before you're married then you'll get pregnant and die, even the boys!" method of sex education.  After all, it's worked so well for us in the past.

That was sarcasm, in case I wasn't completely clear.

Personally, I think that they're being a bit naive.  Do they honestly think that the average 16 year old doesn't already know more about this stuff than they ever will?  Anyone who's spent more than five minutes on Tumblr ... the natural habitat of the teenager ... will be aware of just how much kids know about naughty rumpty pumpty kinky stuff.

Seriously, it's full of things like that.  Pictures, stories, essays, all from teenagers who are both fascinated by and well educated about the details of BDSM.  I'm sure that most them could put a Dominatrix with 20 years experience to shame if they put their minds to it.

And they don't just know about the mechanics of it, they're also terrifyingly well versed in the psychological aspects.  Planned Parenthood might say "It's all about building trust", but your average 16 year old could probably write a 200 page thesis on the topic, along with examples, comparisons, diagrams, and a rather captivating fanfiction story using Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as the main characters.

So if you're worried that Planned Parenthood is somehow going to corrupt the youth of today with their incredibly benign video, you really shouldn't.  That ship sailed a long time ago.

Monday, February 24, 2014

It was just like Dead Poet's Society, but with a lawnmower...

The other day at work I had one of those worlds colliding moments.  I was having a meeting with a project manager and I saw the name of my old high school English teacher on one of his project plans.

I think we all had that one teacher in high school who was just plain cool.  You know the one, who treated us like the adults we wanted to be instead of the kids we really still were.  For me it was this guy.  I still remember what he said to us on our first day of class, basically that he'd treat us like adults as long as we behaved like them, and that anyone who wasn't interested in being their could leave, he didn't care.

No one left, and everyone turned up to all of the classes.  Of course, that might have had a little bit to do with the fact that at least three quarters of the girls in the class had a crush on the guy, but still.

It turns out that he's now a bit of a rock star in the education field.  Generations of kids who were taught by him, all having gone on to various fields, all willing to step up now and help him with his programs and projects.  Apparently that's what a lifetime in education gets you, an army of well placed minions ready to do your bidding.

And good for him, he totally earned it!  He was definitely one of the best teachers I had in high school, and I'm sure a lot of kids would say he was the one teacher who made a difference in their lives.

But if I'm honest, he wasn't the most influential teacher I had.  That honour goes to someone who wasn't even a teacher.  His name was Big John, at least that's what we kids called him, and he was the gardener at my primary school.  

He had a shed in the main courtyard where he kept all his tools and his workbench, and when he wasn't mowing the grass or trimming bushes, he used to make us kids little presents out of scraps of wooden board and old greeting cards.  I still have some of the little wall hangings he made me, and I'll always treasure them.

I think the reason we all loved him as much as we did is that, in a place full of teachers and administration and other adults who all seemed to just be there to scare us or judge us (at least that's how it seemed to us), he was just so completely accepting of every kid in that place.  We all knew, instinctually, that he was a good person and we were safe while he was around.  He'd let us sit with him while we ate our lunch, or stand around in his work shed (which was really just a carport type affair with a door that they closed up in the evenings) and watch him make things.  We all knew that wherever he was was a safe space.

He understood us, and we all felt it.

I read on a message board a little while ago that he'd passed away, and I can't say I was surprised.  He wasn't young when I was in school, and that was more than 30 years ago.  But the sheer number of comments on that post from people who remembered him overwhelmed me, all of them talking about how much they'd loved him.  

There were a lot of teachers in that school, but I think Big John was perhaps the most influential adult in the place.  We were all lucky to have known him.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Does Fernando sound like a good name for a narwahl to you...

I think I've found what might be the cutest kid present idea ever.

Imagine this, you take a drawing done by a child, send it to this website [link], and they makes a stuffed toy based on it.  How awesome is that!

I'm always completely in awe of arty people like that.  How on earth do they do it?  I can barely draw a straight line even if I'm using a ruler, there's no way I'd be able to scrabble together enough artistic ability to make a toy based on a kid's scribble, let alone make it look that good!

Is it wrong that I want to draw one myself and send it to them to get made?  I think if I did it would be of a spaceman narwahl, complete with astronaut helmet.  I'm not sure how I'd go about hugging him, what with the horn and all, but I'm sure we'd work it out.

At least I would if I had the faintest idea how to draw a narwahl spaceman.

Seriously though, I think this is one of the cleverest gift ideas I've ever seen.  What a wonderful thing to do for a child, showing them that you value their imagination and creativity.  It's definitely a step up from "Lets stick your picture on the fridge", that's for sure.

But why on earth did I have to find out about it AFTER Christmas!  I could have saved a lot of present shopping angsting if only I'd known about it earlier.

Isn't it always the way?

Note:  I'm not getting compensated in any way, shape or form for writing this.  I just thought it was really REALLY cool.  I mean, come on, who wouldn't want that purple stuffed dog by the little five year old girl!  I totally would, and I'd call him Henry McWoofington.  He looks like a Henry, don't you think?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The end of an era, not to mention the most delicious potato feta balls ever...

Just around the corner from where I live there's a cafe.  They make a good breakfast, the staff take the time to get to know their regulars and learn their orders, the parking is great considering the location on a busy main road, and they have a nice little table just the right size for me stuck away in a back corner.

Is it any wonder that I quickly became a regular?

Every Saturday morning I find myself here, sitting at my regular table with my regular breakfast and my laptop in front of me, just killing a few hours before going to do the grocery shopping.  They know my name, bring me my breakfast without me having to ask for it, and the manager seems to have an almost supernatural instinct about when I'll need a top up on my diet coke.  Sure they may have a tendency to forget the butter, but nobody's perfect.  In almost every other respect they are a good, reliable cafe.

Or perhaps I should say were.

They've changed hands!  My regular cafe has changed owners and now it doesn't look like my cafe anymore.  I walked in this morning and there's grass in the outside dining area.  Grass!  Sure, it's fake grass, but still.

And the menu has changed.  My usual order isn't on it anymore.  Sure, I was able to order something that was an approximation of it, and it was nice enough, but the toast wasn't the same and the potato feta balls had been replaced with normal hash browns.  God I'm going to miss those potato feta balls.

But the worst betrayal?  My table is gone.

The old owners had about half a dozen tables set up in the small inside eating area and I'd always pick the one in the back corner where I could just sit for hours and not get in anybody's way.  But now they've replaced it with an enormous table for ten.  How on earth am I supposed to write without feeling self conscious if I can't sit with my back to the wall?

I kind of feel like I've been evicted and nobody bothered to tell me.

I know I'm being unreasonable.  Things can't stay the same forever.  But I'm just feeling a bit displaced at the moment, sitting at a brightly striped table out on some rather unrealistic looking Astro-turf.

I suppose I should try looking on the bright side ... maybe these guys will remember the butter.

Monday, February 10, 2014

I think Germany might be trying to give Putin a conniption fit...

I made the decision to boycott the Winter Olympics this year.

Not that it's any great hardship for me.  I'm not exactly known for being a sports fan.  People at work are always talking about football or cricket or soccer, but I can honestly say that most of the time I have no idea what they're going on about.  Hell, when people ask me what my favourite sporting competition is, I always ask if Celebrity Poker counts.

But if I was going to watch something, the Winter Olympics would probably be it.  After all, they've got ice skating.  And bobsledding.  And the one where the guy on the skis goes really fast down the hill and then jumps at the end.

And who doesn't love the one where they jump at the end?

But this year I decided against it.  I've got far to many friends in the LGBTQ community to feel right about it given how Russia's been acting lately, so I scratched it off my TV watching schedule and decided to indulge in a couple of weeks of "How Clean Is Your House", "Escape To The Country" and "Auction Hunters".

In other words, my usual viewing schedule.

But a part of me wishes I was watching it, if only to see just what Germany is going to do next to thumb their noses at Russia's anti-gay stance.

First they chose a lovely rainbow motif for their opening ceremony uniforms [link].  I know that the official stance is that they're the colours of the Olympic rings or something like that, but I don't think any of us are actually buying it.  Lets get real here, you don't pick a uniform that makes your team look like they just got back from Mardi Gras without knowing what sort of message it's going to give.

And then yesterday the couples figure skating team opted to do their routine to Glee's version of "Le Jazz Hot", a song from Victor/Victoria that was sung by a woman dressing as a man so she could pretend to be a cross-dresser.  And they opted to use the version sung by a gay man who plays a gay man in what some people would argue is the most gay friendly television show ever [link]!

I have to say, Germany, that's some pretty impressive underhanded shade you're throwing there.  You get the award for being the most passive-aggressive little buggers at the Winter Olympics.

Bless, you make me proud of my German heritage.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Parenting win or fail? Either way, this guy's just plain awesome...

Parenting is a strange concept, isn't it.  It's like "Here, have a human being.  Try not to kill it before it's old enough to get a job, would you?".

Still, most people seem to manage okay.  At least so it would appear given how many of us actually make it into adulthood.  Of course there are your parental nightmares, the ones who shouldn't be allowed to look after a blue eyed kitten let alone a kid.  But for the most part parents just seem to be people trying not to let anyone else know they don't really have a clue what they're doing.

And then there are the ones who take parenthood to a whole new level.

Take this guy for instance [link].  This is what I call a parenting win ... or a parenting fail, I'm not really sure which.  Either way, he's my new hero.

I mean, what sort of evil genius comes up with the idea of torturing their kid by waving to the school bus dressed in a different costume every day just because their kid didn't want them coming out to say goodbye?  I've heard of some pretty good ones before, picking the kid up from school wearing pajamas, the use of mortifyingly sweet nicknames, etc, but this is some top notch humiliation.

Of his many and incredibly varied costumes, I have to admit my favourite is the wedding dress.  I bet it was his wife's and she had no idea he borrowed it.  Can't you just imagine the yelling later on when he came in?  "What the hell?  How did grass stains get over the hem of my wedding dress?  God damn it, Dale!  What did I say about wearing my dresses!".  The toilet was pretty good too, although it worries me a little that he just happened to have a spare toilet bowl lying around.

I do have to wonder, though, what a grown man was doing with so many different costumes.

And just what exactly was he thinking when he put on that Little Mermaid outfit?  Those shells don't cover anything!

Monday, February 3, 2014

I think I've found Nemo, he's on my desk at work...

I've worked in an office for almost twenty years, and if there's one thing I've learned about cubicle dwelling, it's that you need to personalise your space.

Hang up pictures, scatter around little toys and novelty items, that sort of thing.  Hell, you can even decorate your computer monitor (mine is surrounded by polished stones, all blue tacked in place) or hang wrapping paper to disguise the fuzzy cubicle walls (I chose a bookshelf motif ... well I do work in a library).  It's all about making the place your own, considering how long you have to sit there every day.

But if there was one thing on my desk that always made it feel like mine, it was Snitchy S Snitchington III.

Snitchy was a siamese fighting fish who lived in a small bowl on top of my filing cabinet.  For well over two years he was my office companion ... at least he was until he went into a gradual decline that ended in a six week death scene where he lay melodramatically at the bottom of his bowl and waved a fin feebly above his head.

What can I say, I like my fish to have a sense of the dramatic.

Even Snitchy couldn't last forever though, and eventually he blurbled his last, and was given a 21 flush salute in the upstairs ladies bathroom, as was his due.  He was a good fish, and he was definitely missed.

But after poor Snitchy's demise it was like I was cursed.  Sushi McFishsauce, Sir Bubbles Glubbington, and Monsieur Poisson all followed in quick succession, but for some reason it never seemed to go very well.  Sushi was gone within a couple of weeks, Bubbles within a couple of days, and I don't think Monsieur Poisson even made it to his first lunch break.

I still have no idea why.  I wasn't treating them any differently to Snitchy, but none of them survived for very long in what was quickly becoming known as "the fishbowl of death" by my oh so caring workmates.  Obviously I wasn't meant to have another fish after Snitchy, so I gave up.  There would be no more fish at Kellie's desk.

At least, that was until this week.

At first when I brought Catherine & Heathcliff in my workmates were worried.  I'd already killed three fish (four if you count Snitchy), did I really want two more on my conscience?  But they quickly got on board when I explained that I don't have to feed them, clean out their bowls, or flush them when they inevitably shuffle of the fishy coil, because they're not even alive.

Robot fish!  Can you believe the things they can do these days?  They're actually children's toys, but I got some for my nephew's birthday and I couldn't resist.

So now I have a couple of robotic clown fish happily bobbing around on my desk, and the only thing I need to do is change their batteries every now and then.

At last, a pet care chore that even I can't screw up!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Facebook is about to get a lot more X-rated, I'd wager...

As a species, we're kind of obsessed with sex.  Nothing inspires, motivates and thrills us more than coming up with new and sometimes bizarre ways to do the horizontal cha-cha.

And honestly, I don't have a problem with that.  I love seeing just how creative people can get in the pursuit of the perfect O.  How else would we have ended up with such gems as the X Rated Ring Toss, the I Rub My Ducky Massager, and the oh so irreverent Jesus Butt Plug (links are NSFW, by the way).

But I have to admit I'm I'm not sure if I'm completely onboard when it comes to the new app they're creating for the Google Glass [link], It's a handy dandy little program that sends a video stream from your glasses to your partner's, giving them the unique experience of being able to watch themselves have sex.

Now I like a new sex fad as much as the next person, but does anyone else think this is a bad idea?  Just think about it.  Think about all the weird faces you pull in normal every day photos, ones taken in public.  Do you REALLY want to see the faces you make when you're mid coitus?

Sometimes ignorance really is bliss, my friends.

But the thing that would worry me the most, I think, is the fact that you're streaming video from your glasses to theirs, and vice versa.  What happens if you press the wrong button and accidentally upload your video stream to Youtube?  Because I'm pretty sure it would violate their user policy, not to mention being incredibly difficult to explain to Grandma.  

Or even worse, what if you accidentally started a livestream!  Performance anxiety is bad enough without having Bronyboy1986 commenting on your style, position and flexibility in the chat box.

The internet is already such an easy place to fuck up in.  No matter how many times I hear of people accidentally trying to "google search" for something embarrassing in the Facebook status update box, it never fails to amuse me.  How long do you think it'll take before people start accidentally posting their rumpty pumpty video recordings to their walls?

On second thought, this is going to be hilarious!  I can't wait!

Monday, January 27, 2014

I'd never be accepted into a bikie gang ... maybe a moped one...

I've always been a big believer in equality.  The idea that no matter your age, race, gender, sexual orientation, or steak cooking preferences (I like mine blue), you deserve to be treated the same.  I know it doesn't always happen, that change comes slowly sometimes, but I guess I just took it for granted that we were moving forward, not backward.

But I have to admit, the new laws that they've put in place here in Queensland about bikie gangs have me feeling very uncomfortable.

For those of you who aren't familiar with what I'm talking about, some pretty harsh laws have been put into place in Queensland that are extremely biased against anyone who is suspected of being part of a motorcycle gang [Link].  From what I understand, bikies can be punished much more harshly for crimes, and now it's even illegal for three or more members of a motorcycle gang to be together in public even if they're not doing anything wrong.

As you can imagine, that makes it a little difficult for bikers to protest given that any gathering will be seen as illegal and they could all be arrested.  

I haven't really paid as much attention to it as I probably should have, I'm not a bikie and I don't know any, but I read an article today about how they've arrested the first woman on bikie related charges, a librarian [Link].  Well I may not be a bikie, but being a library employee that was bound to get my attention.

If someone breaks the law, I totally agree that they should be held accountable for it.  But to say that certain people are going to be treated differently to everybody else ... I don't know what to do with that.  I get that some bikie gangs have been connected to criminal activity, but can you use that to justify turning them into second class citizens who don't have the same rights as everybody else?

I suppose when you get down to it it's not about the ridiculously disproportionate laws, it's about the message behind the restrictions.  The message that says some people don't deserve the same rights as everybody else.  If this was done to a particular race or culture all hell would break loose.  What makes these people any less deserving of protection of their rights just because we're talking about a club rather than a culture?

There has been quite a lot of discussion about it around here, and no matter what they might think of organised crime or bikie gangs in general, most people seem to agree that taking away their equality is a pretty dangerous road for us to be heading down.  They're bound to fight back, and I can't say that I blame them.

Honestly, I can understand why the bikies are still wearing their colours, despite the risks.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Caffeine and phenylalanine ... a match made in heaven...

I'm not a coffee drinker.

I think I've probably had maybe three sips of coffee in my entire life, and two of those were definitely by accident.  A friend of mine says she's never seen me look as offended as I did the day she mistakenly gave me her coffee instead of my hot chocolate and I got a big old mouthful of it before I realised.

But just because I can't stand coffee doesn't mean I don't love me some caffeine, and I like to get my daily dose in the way the good lord intended.

Via copious quantities of Diet Coke.

Actually, I don't drink that much, nowhere near as much as coffee drinkers seem to slam down on a daily basis.  I usually have two cokes a day, which doesn't even have the same caffeine content of one cup of coffee, but I still get disapproving looks.

Why on earth do people get so upset with cola drinkers?  I've seen some people regularly throw down five plus cups of coffee a day and no one says boo to them.  And if a standard cup of joe has about 95mg of caffeine in it, they're consuming 475mg a day in comparison to my 80mg (average of 40 per coke).  Surely logic would suggest I'm getting the better deal here.

Of course, there's the old "But it causes cancer" argument.  It's a hard one to defend against, mainly because it's always been a completely unsubstantiated rumour.  How are you supposed to defend against something that everyone completely believes, but no one can prove?

At least no one's proved it up until now.

According to this article [Link] scientists have found that the colouring used in cola drinks might be carcinogenic.  The risk varies depending on which drink you're looking at.  Coke was almost risk free, but Pepsi had a higher risk level.

Excellent!  I'm glad to see science is doing its part to keep the Coke/Pepsi feud going strong.

No doubt all the cola nay-sayers out there will believe that this proves everything they've said all along, that cola beverages are deadly.  But according to the article Coke tested with a negligible level of the ingredient in question.  So doesn't that mean that, theoretically speaking, Coke is safe?

Personally, I'm not too worried and have absolutely no plans to quit any time soon.  The soft drink companies love us and just want us to be happy, right?  After all, they made sure to include phenylalanine, which is a synthetic endorphin, as one of their ingredients.

And any company that puts uppers in their drinks is okay by me.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tales from the bachelorette party...

... From the table at the bar.
Sue: (waving the newly unwrapped riding crop around) Really guys, you shouldn't have... 
Jane: It was nothing. 
Me: We wanted to get you something practical. Something you could use. 
Mary: You mean she has a horse? 
Jane and Me: (together, grinning) No. 
Mary: (eyes widening) Ohhhhh.... 
Sue: No, I really mean it. You shouldn't have! I'm going to have to carry this thing around with me all night! In the city! People are going to point and stare! 
Me: Well, that was kind of the point. This IS your batchelorette party, a little ritualistic humiliation is to be expected. 
Jane: Just be thankful you're not a guy, otherwise you might be naked and handcuffed to a streetlight by now. 
Mary:  ... remind me not to invite you lot to my batchelorette party. 
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why my friends and I shouldn't be allowed to pick out presents for bachelorette parties.

Actually, we shouldn't be allowed to pick out presents for any occasion.  One friend never really forgave us for buying her a large, lifelike looking dildo as a going away gift.  But she was moving to the country!  And she was single!  And I knew FOR A FACT that she didn't have one already!

Really, we were just acting in her best interests.  Any amusement we felt at her embarrassment as she opened it at her going away party was purely circumstantial.

Monday, January 20, 2014

And here I thought the only thing I had to fear from eggs was cholesterol...

I guess we all know that young Master Bieber has had a few problems lately.  What with his spitting on fans and peeing in mop buckets and graffiting hotel walls, he seems to be trying for the title of "Douche of the Year".

And to add to this ridiculously long list of stupid antics, now he's been accused of egging his neighbours house [link].

Okay, so that sounds like a pretty juvenile thing to do, but hardly something that they'd arrest him over, right?  At least, it wouldn't normally be, except for the fact that if he did do the egging, he caused OVER $20,000 WORTH OF DAMAGE!!!

Holy crap, just how many eggs are we talking here?  Or were they all hard boiled and he smashed all their windows with them, because that's the only way I can even imagine that eggs could cause that sort of damage.  But that seems to be what has happened, and if they manage to prove he did it then that's a felony, and as he's only in the country on a working visa, he could get turfed right back to Canada.

Understandably, Canada are less than impressed by the idea.

So it looks like Justin Bieber could be deported back to Canada if they manage to prove that he egged his neighbours house.  Jeez Canada, did you forget to say "No Backsies" when you sent him down to the US?  That's a rookie mistake I'm guessing you guys won't be making again, hmm?

As an Aussie, I can sympathise with Canada on this one.  We're notorious for claiming people when they make us look good, but dropping them like a hot potato when they start to give us a bad name.  We happily claimed Russell Crowe while he was making good movies, but as soon as he stared to act like a bit of an asshole we all suddenly remembered that he was actually born in New Zealand.  And when Mel Gibson went through his infamous "Sugar Tits" anti-semitic phase, we were all "Mel Gibson who?".

But in all seriousness, it's incredibly unlikely they're going to deport the guy.  No matter what you think of his behavior, he's still a rather rich fellow.  No country is going to willingly throw out a rich guy with all his oh so appealing tax paying potential unless he does something a hell of a lot worse than egging someone's house.

Maybe if they manage to pin the cocaine possession charge on him [link] it might happen ... but even then I'd doubt it.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A roomba with a view...

I've never been what you'd call a dedicated housekeeper.

Considering what a strict cleaner my mother is (if you put a glass down for five seconds, she'll have it washed up and back in the cupboard before you look around for it again), I'm a bit of an anomaly.  I don't keep things as clean and tidy as I was taught to.  Occasionally the dishes overflow in the sink, the dust bunnies roam free beneath the beds and the windows remain besmirched by fingerprints.

So you can just imagine my cries of joy when one of my Christmas presents this year was a robotic vacuum cleaner.

Have you seen these things?  They're called Roombas, and they look like a cross between a smoke detector and R2D2.  They whiz around randomly, turning whenever they reach an obstacle and sucking up everything in their path.

In theory you could keep them running indefinitely (with short recharging breaks) and your floors would never be dirty again!

And I have to say, I love the little bugger.  I just switch him on, set him loose, then sit back like the lazy, lazy creature that I am and watch as he zooms about picking up dust, cat hair, and abandoned breakfast cereal.  I've named him Roger and so far we're getting along famously.

But as wonderful as this little gadget is, do you know what would be even more of a hit?  A Bathroomba!  If they could come up with some little gizmo that ran around your bathroom removing soap scum, whitening grout and unclogging drains ... I think I'd pay just about any price for one of those.  Seriously ... any price.

I know there are heaps of products out there that advertise a hassle free bathroom cleaning experience, but I've yet to come across one that actually provided what they advertised.  Scrubbing free my ass!

Yep, a Bathroomba would definitely be a hit, and how far away could it really be if we already have a fully automatic, self regulated, infra-red guided vacuum cleaner at our disposal?

Does anyone out there feel like inventing it?  I'd totally be willing to be your first customer!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

She doesn't look too bad for a thirty mumble year old dog though, don't you agree...

I think we all have that one toy, don't we?  The favoured toy that, no matter how old we get, we just can't seem to get rid of?  It survives the annual toy donations to charity when we're children, gets spared in the moving-out-of-home culling, and the next thing you know you're a thirty mumble year old woman with a stuffed dog that lives under her coffee table and guards the remote controls.

Or is it just me?

That toy, for me, is my yellow stuffed dog called Kimmy.  I have this vague recollection of naming her that after a little girl who lived across the street, because she had yellow hair, and the dog was yellow ... well it made sense to me at the time.

God, but I loved that dog.  Still do, if I'm being completely honest.  I slept with her every night for years, and even now if I'm feeling sad hugging her will always make me feel better.  She's that little link to my childhood, and I love her to bits.

So I was understandably shocked when, while wandering around on eBay, I stumbled across someone who is selling "Vintage Dakin Drooper Dogs".  

Aren't they cute?

Huh, so that's what they were called, I never new that!

And they're selling quite a lot of them too.  eBay has 46 of them listed!  Where on earth did they manage to get so many stuffed dogs made in the 70's in pristine condition?  Was someone hoarding them somewhere and they thought now would be the perfect time to try and offload them on eBay for thirty bucks a piece?  

Is there a huge market for thirty year old stuffed toys made of highly flammable materials?

It was a bit of a shock to see the picture though.  It's been well over thirty years since my Kimmy looked anything like that.  Over time her fur has gotten quite pilled, and she's lost her eyebrows and nose.  Not to mention the stitches on her lower back where, at the age of eight, I had to do some emergency surgery and red cotton was all I could find in Mum's sewing box.

I still think you're beautiful, Kimmy
The funny thing is, until I saw the picture on eBay, it never even occurred to me that she was looking old and worn.  I didn't notice the stretched out ears, the grubby fur, or the white cloth starting to show at the seams.  To me, she was just the same as when I was a toddler.

I guess it's true what they say, love is blind.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Just call me Ms Moneybags...

So there I was, minding my own business, and suddenly it's 2014.  How the hell did that happen!  I've only just got the hang of writing "XX/XX/2013" on all my paperwork, and now I have to go and get used to a new year.

The bloody nerve!

So I suppose you're all just on the edges of your seats to find out what my New Year's resolution is.  After all, I was so adamant about not having one last year [link], could I have possibly changed my mind and decided to come up with something this year?  Well, as fate would have it, I actually have.

This year my resolution is to get a grip on my finance.  To start investing in something other than World War II photographic memorabilia and Doctor Who trading cards.  

My resolution is to become a day trader, trading shares on the exchange!

Okay, so maybe that's overstating it a teensy bit.  The reality is that while my brother was visiting over Christmas he forced me, using his evil brotherly wiles and a liberal dose of blackmail, to open a trading account and throw a couple thousand into it.

So I guess it's less of a New Years Resolution and more like sibling peer pressure.

Still, I've had fun with it so far.  I made out like a bandit the first two days, increasing my money by 50%.  In hindsight, it probably wasn't the most realistic introduction to day trading, but I wasn't complaining.

Of course reality was only to happy to kick me in the butt the next day.

Since then I've made a few (okay, a lot) of mistakes, and my "profit" has gone down a bit.  Turns out the general rule is buy low, sell high, not the other way around.  Who knew!  But I've still come out well and truly ahead so I'm going to call it a success!

Look at me, being all financy!  I'm sure I'll be a millionaire in no time ... that's how it works, right?