Cheeseburger Gothic

"A skeevy wangboozle as crooked as mouthful of Dickensian urchin teeth"

Posted October 2 into Blunty by John Birmingham

Apparently all my investments in ergonomically sexy chairs and exotic dark matter standy mats were bullshit.

Well, this sucks. I just bought an ergonomic keyboard and before it even arrives the whole field of ergonomics is revealed to be a skeevy wangboozle as crooked as mouthful of Dickensian urchin teeth.

I don’t much care that companies and governments might be wasting hundreds of millions of dollars a year on dodgy “ergonomic chairs, keyboards and consultants”, as reported by Fairfax Media yesterday.

But I care heaps that I might have just wasted $39 on a discount Microsoft ergonomic keyboard from the Beast of Bezos and it may not immediately cure my crippling minor discomfort from typing too much.

Who'd a thunk it? Me, at Blunty.

1 Responses to ‘"A skeevy wangboozle as crooked as mouthful of Dickensian urchin teeth"’

Dave W puts forth...

Posted October 3
I swear by the ergonomic keyboard. The rest of it I'm sure can easily be explained away by the need to keep moving.

After all, I don't just sit on the couch for hours on end in the same position. Eventually I move just to ensure that I can drink beer and eat salted pig nibbles. Why would the work environment be any different?

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Amazon sale: The Golden Minute

Posted October 1 into Books by John Birmingham

Amazon's sentient robotic core emailed me a while ago to ask if I would like to have THE GOLDEN MINUTE featured as a special deal this month.

I figured, why the hell not!

Also, I'm trying out a new affiliate link here, because reasons.

So if you haven't got a copy of Smith and Cady's latest yet, and you are a slave to the Beast of Bezos, follow this link and you can get all the tasty discount sauce you want.

2 Responses to ‘Amazon sale: The Golden Minute’

Barnesm asserts...

Posted October 1
Excellent bargin, low cost and over the top explody goodness, what more could I ask for?

Seriously, is this all I am asking for? I need to expand my horizons.

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allenwsnyder swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 21
The Golden Minute is one of Amazon's Kindle Daily Deals today, for $1.99. I have to admit, the two-sentence description sounded totally stupid to me: Deputy US Marshal John Titanic Smith...really? Puritan Jihads..really again? But there were a lot of five-star reviews, which could mean nothing, but was enough to get me reading the prologue via Amazon's Look Inside feature. The prologue is well written and it totally grabbed me, maybe not quite instantly but close enough. Purchase made.

Also, all the Trumpist one-star reviews on A Girl in Time is moving me to purchase it at $4.99, even though I know that if I wait long enough it will be on sale for $1.99 or less. (Only one Trumpist three-star (!) review on The Golden Minute, so far, but from someone who doesn't even know how to spell "heroine." [Insert shrug emoji here.])

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I found Girlclumsy's next gig

Posted September 27 by John Birmingham

Running a cat sanctuary on the Greek island of Syros.

But she'll need to beat out 40 000 other applicants.

It would make for a better comedy if Havoc got the job but.

5 Responses to ‘I found Girlclumsy's next gig’

Barnesm mutters...

Posted September 27
I think it would be funnier if they both had to job share

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted September 28
Come out to my place at Malibu. We'll talk.

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Leftarc ducks in to say...

Posted September 28
Live stream it, make it a reality TV show. Gotta be a way to monetise this.

Dave W reckons...

Posted September 28
I'd watch just to see cats get thrown off the island, but only if it was literally.

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WA n'ker mutters...

Posted September 28
If you could make dough from clicks, you could usr terms like pussy heaven ,greek island, could probs make a packet without going to hell.

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I have let myself down. I have let Apple down

Posted September 25 into Blunty by John Birmingham

From Blunty today:

I have had a horrible realisation. I don’t need a new iPhone. But it’s worse than that. I don’t need a new phone of any sort. If I was rocking a Samsung, or Pixel or any smart phone released in the last four or five years, as long as I could replace the battery … I wouldn’t need to upgrade.

This is an awful, shameful thing to know about yourself, but I had been creeping up on awareness for a while now.

The eye-watering price tag for the latest fondle slabs from the blessed fruit company did surely hurry me along to revelation, but it was an instance of calculated generosity that pushed me over.

I replaced the battery on my old iPhone 6S Plus a week ago. With nearly 750 charging cycles on the clock it was, as the iMinion from the Genius Bar told me, “about to be consumed”. They sounded both horrified and impressed by that. Apparently not many batteries survive in the wild long enough to be “consumed”.

On the upside though, it frees up some money to buy a new iPad Pro. My curent iPad is nearly seven years old. I figure to retire it to the kitchen.

7 Responses to ‘I have let myself down. I have let Apple down’

Murphy_of_Missouri swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 25
The only downside of my iPhone SE is that it isn't waterproof. Otherwise, it does what the 4 and the 5S did.

Worse, instead of buying an Apple smart watch, I got a Fitbit Ionic instead. :D

Still on the Outer Marches

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Leftarc mumbles...

Posted September 25
Does your Newton still work?

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Bondiboy66 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 25
Does your old iPad still work properly? Our one works - but crashes with many websites. It's so crap it's been relegated to being a fancy Kindle machine.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted September 25
Yeah, it's a bit janky, but it works fine for consumption. I want to upgrade because Scrivener and Word are a bit too slow and jumpy on it to be useful.

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Dirk mumbles...

Posted September 25
And in the next episode you reveal that you are cheating on Siri by installing Google Assistant?

"Step towards the dark side, my young Padawan ... ";)

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HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted September 25
me LG G6 fkn ROCKS..then again. I ONLY bought it cos a got a free LG TV in the deal. BUT. I still believe it kicks the skany fkn arse of the POXY TOOO FKN DEAR RIP YA OFF BASTARD THATS FKN STEVE POX HEAD JOBS!!

I know qualoity when I see iot. I should, I look at me self every day iin the mirros and just go....FKN WOW!...THATS GOOOOOD!!

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jl swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 26
Hell, my WallyWorld cheap Chinese smart phone does everything I could ever want... for eighteen dollars. But I did buy iThings for my daughters, and I swear by Macs for the home computers.

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Your new personal trainer: a Labrador

Posted September 21 by John Birmingham

I've made a couple of changes to try and get rid the weight I stacked on the last year or so. Some obvious, like doing more strength training to build up my core and support that dodgy spinal column. Some less intense, but just as effective. Like walking the dog every day.
I used to walk Sophie for an hour, at least three or four times a week, but over the years as she aged and became less able to handle anything more than a gentle trundle down to the corner and back, I lost that calorie burn without even thinking about it.
Walking Maggie every day the last two weeks, I've been given to remember just how much exercise a younger dog can provide.
I've been taking her out at about five or six in the morning, before wrangling Thomas to school. Mostly we walk down to the river and back, a forty minute round trip that includes a pretty gnarly hill climb. It routinely burns 400 calories according to my Apple Watch.
That's a helluva start to the day. If I do a gym session at lunch I can get that up to eight or nine hundred calories. And a jujitsu class will pile on hundreds more, although I can't measure that directly because I have to take the watch off. With incidental movement through the day, I've been torching somewhere between 1200-1600 kcal a day. With no bakery treats or hot chips to speak of, that's making a difference.
But I reckon it all starts with that dog walk.

8 Responses to ‘Your new personal trainer: a Labrador’

insomniac mumbles...

Posted September 21
Hence fat cats I guess

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Murphy_of_Missouri has opinions thus...

Posted September 22
My iPhone tells me, once I turned on the fitness tracker, that in January I walked an average of two miles a day per week, if I was lucky.

During the summer at my current lifeguard job, I averaged almost five miles a day. Granted, that was twelve miles on some days, and two on others while I recovered. Once I got the Fred the Fitbit Coach, I decided to see if I could stick with those Oceans miles.

So far, I've managed to average five miles a day. Some by walking before class, some after classes, a fair bit on the elliptical trainer at the gym, and a lot by walking Abbie the Boston Rat Terrorist.

Not sure how much luck I'm having with the body weight as yet.

Still on the Outer Marches of Oblivion.

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jason mutters...

Posted September 24
Had a very dodgy Achilles tendon for a long time. Had to change my gait to reduce stress on the calf and Achilles. Walked my dog for an hour every night concentrating on form and posture. Achilles is now perfect. Sadly my dog (world's best dog) can no longer manage much more than around the block.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted September 24
Yeah, my old Lab, Sophie is the same. She can only just make it down the street and back.

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Bondiboy66 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 25
My father used to take the family dog walking when she was still with us, she was a cross German Shepherd/Lab/something. Loved going without a lead, would wait to cross roads, stayed close etc.. Thing is, Dad would walk further than the dog wanted to. When she was tired she'd just up and turn around for home, and be there when Dad got back!

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NBlob puts forth...

Posted September 29
She Who Must Be Obeyed attended a Harvard Business School short course at a converted stately home in England. Included in features were; "Main hall, p,nearly rooms, bar, resturaunt, heated pool, gymnasium, and Rocky & Sandy the Labradors. Please note Labradors are on a strict 1st in booking basis." Guests made a 30 minute appointment with Rocky or Sandy, as one would a masseuse. They then led you around the grounds before retiring to wicker beds on the porch in summer & by the fire in winter.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted September 29

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Rob ducks in to say...

Posted October 2
My older dog has pug-dysplasia so her back legs have started to give out. She wasn't much of a walker to begin with, so when I did take her for walks I would end up walking the lankier pug while carrying my special needs pug. So basically I got a weight lifting session and a walk as I carried a 10 kilo lump'o'pug down the road and back.

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Champion hoaxer dies. For real this time. Seriously. We mean it

Posted September 20 by John Birmingham

I've never been one to pore over the obituary columns. I did do a column about obituaries recently, because they are an acknowledged art form and you get some pretty brilliant examples of the form every now and then.
This one, from the New York Times, is almost perfect.

Alan Abel, a professional hoaxer who for more than half a century gleefully hoodwinked the American public — not least of all by making himself the subject of an earnest news obituary in The New York Times in 1980 — apparently actually did die, on Friday, at his home in Southbury, Conn. He was 94.

The Times piece recounts the life and misadventures of renowned prankster, Alan Abel, who died recently at the age of 94. But if you read the obit closely you will see how carefully it is worded to avoid the possibility that he is bullshitting them again.

"According to records in the National Archives, Mr. Abel enlisted in the Army in 1943," the writer hedges carefully. And after the war he resumed his college education, earning a bachelor’s degree in education from Ohio State University in 1950... "university records indicate".

The italics are mine. The caution was all the Times.

Alan Abel faked his own death in 1980. Not for insurance money, not to escape the complications of life that sometimes lead people to try this on, but for the sheer fun of it. He loved making newspapers and magazines and old school media in general look like idiots. They loved revealing his hoaxes, when they weren't directly victimised by them. He pulled off dozens of scams over the years, from his very first effort running a political organisation with the sole aim of passing laws making it compulsory for animals to wear pants, to running a phantom candidate in the 1964 presidential election, Yetta Bronstein, a Jewish grandmother from the Bronx.

“Vote for Yetta and things will get betta,”

The Times recalls Abel telling the Washington Post in 2006 that “Walter Cronkite is still mad at me. He’s not mad at Hitler. He’s not mad at Castro. He’s mad at me because I fooled him with ‘A nude horse is a rude horse.’ ”

The whole thing is a joy to read, and yet a little sad too. Nowadays Abel would probably be a YouTube millionaire. But his devotion to the purity of his art, and it really was an art, found him living out his days in poverty. He didn't need to. Some of his pranks and hoaxes attracted true believers who would have been happy to give him all their money. The Times recalls him returning a cheque worth $40,000 to a supporter of the campaign put pants on animals. He did admit to staring at it for a while before sending it back.

If you are looking to divert yourself for a couple of minutes, and have a sad smile at a gentle soul, now departed, go read the whole thing. It's wonderful.

4 Responses to ‘Champion hoaxer dies. For real this time. Seriously. We mean it’

Rhino mumbles...

Posted September 20
He’s probably related to Boylan in some convoluted way.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted September 21
This was my first thought.

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Nocturnalist has opinions thus...

Posted September 21
Hah, I had a book about this guy when I was a teenager called "Don't Get Mad, Get Even", which was full of stories about stuff like this that he'd pulled. I had no idea how much of it to believe, but this post corroborates a couple of the weirder ones so I guess I can believe most of them, which is awesome.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon mumbles...

Posted September 21
Not sure if i'm getting more cynical as i get older but that seems like a guy from a completely different time. Shame there isn't more of it - my father in law wanted to hire a boat and get dressed up as an arab and sail/row into the harbour once . . . this was before 2001. But still just to stick it to the xenophobes even back then. He scoffed at the ridiculousness of his sister's pride of place photo of her and the Pope (they were actually salvation army background and not catholic) and one his brother treasured of his brother, George W jnr, John Winston H and Steve Irwin. Wanted me to photoshop one of him and Yasser Arafat of all people.

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