Tag Archives: travel

Australia It Is

I’m putting up with a little feces storm; it’s flying off the fan in all directions.

Let’s start with work. Lately it’s been grueling. I’m coding like a mad twenty something, wasting my weekends for the man and being very much the good little corporate drone. I do my best to avoid crazy hours but I’ve foolishly allowed myself to care about the problem. I’m kind of surprised that in my boomer dotage I am still capable of going into deep code: that weird state where you have dreams about iterators and interfaces. In my feverish coding dreams I’m always one step from nailing a problem, all that remains is a stupid little tweak, but for the life of me I cannot see it.

Moving on: my wife and elderly demented mother-in-law have fled the US. They’re both back in Canada where my wife is attempting to get her mother placed in a facility that can handle her Alzheimer’s. My poor wife has looked after her demented mother for almost two years and it’s completely worn her down. Caring for the Alzheimer stricken elderly is far more draining than looking after newborns. I’ve done both and believe me babies are a breeze. And, if one demented mother-in-law wasn’t bad enough, this week I learned my mother has a “growth” near the speech center of her brain. We’re awaiting biopsy results so we don’t know what the “growth” is, but brain growths are never good news. 

We need a vacation which brings me the results of the first ever ADND poll.  I asked a simple question: which country should we visit, Argentina or Australia? I didn’t expect any answers but a few readers chimed in and, the last time I looked, Australia was the winner! Until two months ago Argentina was still in the running but it looks like Kirchner is a bigger economic imbecile than Obama. You go girl!  Until the economic dust settles Argentina looks like work so it’s off to Australia in the fourth quarter.

I’ve started marking places to visit. If anyone has suggestions please drop a note.

Argentina or Australia

We’re planning a major trip for the fourth quarter of 2013. It’s been over a decade since my wife and I last sojourned beyond North America so this year we’re going to spend a few dollars, before the Obama economy reduces them to useless paper, and see more of the world. Two countries have long topped my must visit list: Argentina and Australia. I’m attracted to each for different reasons. We would like to visit both but resource constraints mandate one. So I thought I would ask you, dear readers, to help us make up our minds.

In Australia’s favor, it’s a large English-speaking country inhabited with unique flora and fauna. Who doesn’t want to see many marauding marsupials?1 Visiting Australia would let me tick off another continent leaving one, Antarctica, to visit. I know getting around the country would be like a North American road trip and culture shock would be limited or non-existent. From the outside Australia seems like a warmer, drier and less polite2 version of Canada sans Quebec.

Spanish-speaking Argentina presents a few more cultural barriers, but in Argentina’s favor, it has the highest mountain in both Americas, shares one of the greatest waterfalls on Earth, sports a great new world city, Buenos Aires, and is populated with people who have limited respect for their government. Disdain for the ruling class: it’s a sure sign of an enlightened people.

On the basis of current events this is a no-brainer; Australia easily wins. Australia, like Canada, is a relatively competent and safe democratic state. But, on a darker note, and just like Canada, Australia is overrun with prattling lefties on the government’s payroll. I see no serious ideological differences between the CBC and the ABC. Australia, like Canada, still supports the anachronistic British crown, but in their favor, they’re on the republican edge and if Chuck, the idiot, becomes king they may finally cross over to the dark side.

Argentina’s recent past is problematic. They provoked and lost a stupid Falkland sheep pasture war. They alternate between clueless Peronista cronies and second-rate fascists. You know your government is pathetic when Madonna makes musicals about it. The current Kirchner government is hopeless and is wrecking the country’s finances at Zimbabwean speed. This is all bad, but taking a contrarian tack, Argentines have already been there done that. When currency collapses and defaults are regular events people plan for them. Argentines have much to teach the world when it comes to ignoring, working around, and sabotaging the designs of our delusional masters. They know their government is incompetent, sometimes dangerous, and not be trusted — especially with money. In this regard they’re light years ahead of Americans.3 Such chaos would scare off tourists in many parts of the world but nobody is raising red flags about Argentina; it’s not Gaza or even, post Arab spring, Egypt.

So where should we go? We promise to weigh any hints or suggestions you leave. Click the following link for the first ever Analyze the Data not the Drivel poll.

Should we visit Argentina or Australia?

  1. Here in Missouri we often find dead opossums, members of the sole North American order of marsupials, on our highways.
  2. Canadians are too polite. Assholes won’t learn if you don’t call them assholes.
  3. Don’t worry, The One’s inept regime is educating large numbers of Americans on the dangers of out-of-control finances. Soon Americans will join more enlightened nationalities, like Mexicans, in their contempt for government.

Faith a guilty pleasure

Faith Korean TV

Faith Korean TV

It’s a quiet Labor Day weekend in the drivel dome [1] and your fearless reporter is a tad bored. I could help with the housework or get out and exercise but I have better things to do. Last night while trolling the intertubes for something to watch on Hulu I came across a transcendentally awesome Korean TV series called Faith.  I know what you’re thinking. I haven’t fallen off the skeptical horse. I’m still the same old judgmental know-it-all bombastic boomer asshole you’ve come to know and love. The series Faith has, as far as I can tell after many long hours of couch research, nothing to do with religious faith. This is one of the many reasons I adore this show.

Faith is basically another Asian martial arts epic. After the demise of the demigod Bruce Lee it’s been mandatory for Asians residing east of Himalayas and south of Siberia to work martial arts into the plot whether it makes any damn sense or not. The Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Vietnamese and other East Asians all follow Bruce’s mandate with various spins. Naturally, the most odious and predictable martial spins come from the mainland Chinese. With few exceptions mainland martial arts goes something like this.

Evil plots are afoot that are threatening the unity of the homeland. Nefarious forces, mostly internal, sometimes external, are plotting to bring down the well-ordered Middle Kingdom. A charismatic badass plans to exploit disunity, dishonor the people and shit all over the ancestors. Something must be done! The ruler, usually a wise emperor, or a really hot empress, tasks some typically reluctant super warrior to off the badass. The super warrior may have ambivalent feelings about the current ruler but never about the homeland. Sure the current ruler is a decadent pussy boy with weak Kung Fu and that’s too bad for him but damn, the country is not going down on my super warrior watch. Predictable mayhem ensues, bodies pile up, evil almost triumphs, gloats too much, and then falls to a combination of super warrior martial arts and old-fashioned hubris. In the end the homeland is saved and the closing credits suggest the super warrior might get some serious tail. I find it interesting that Hollywood is constantly destroying western civilization while mainland Chinese films forcefully reiterate that the homeland will always abide. I think it’s safe to say there hasn’t been an original mainland Chinese martial arts film since Bruce’s glory days.

Thankfully the South Koreans are not like mainland Chinese. Without the burden of an oppressive humorless government forever threatening serious consequences for plot wrong-think South Koreans can show some humor and originality. Faith is an excellent example. We know right away this is not standard martial arts because the bad guys are mainland Chinese threatening to overrun little Korea.  Even odder, our hero and heroine are the oddest of couples. He’s a tall 14th century ultra-ninja-oid that can shoot lightning bolts from his hands while she is a ditsy 21st century plastic surgeon.  It’s your basic boy meets time wormhole meets girl story. Faith only gets better after the hero drags the ditsy surgeon back to the 14th century. The result is a comical, martial arts, chick-flicky, self parodying guilty pleasure.  You can see the cast members thinking WTF between their lines and is there a better endorsement than that?

[1] Analyze the Data not the Drivel is not suitable for succinct self-deprecating self-reference.

Bankrupt Nation Wins the Olympics

Thanks to the all squiggling FSM it’s finally over! We, (citizens of the USA for the rest of you losers), have triumphed! We crushed those upstart crony Chinese communists, smothered our long-standing Russian adversaries and overwhelmed our cocky British hosts. All that remains is to hear the sweet loser chanting about how it’s not about medals, or countries, or even wining and losing: what utter horseshit! The entire obscenely overpriced Olympic spectacle is just one giant primate chest thump. Today we get to pound our chests, bang the lower ranked females and crap all over the forest floor. God I detest the Olympics.

Final 2012 Olympic Medal Count

Let’s look at the our triumph from another point of view. The USA is currently running a yearly deficit of 1.27 trillion dollars. Our acknowledged debt is 15.92 trillion dollars. Our unfunded liabilities exceed 120.13 trillion dollars. If you want to depress yourself just load up the Debt Clock and watch the numbers tick inexorably up and up. In short we are completely and thoroughly broke.  Dividing the USA medal count into these numbers yields:

  1. Price per medal vs. yearly deficit: 12.18 billion dollars.
  2. Price per medal vs. acknowledged debt: 153.08 billion dollars
  3. Price per medal vs. unfunded liabilities: 1.15 trillion dollars.

Yeah, we’re big winners when it comes to piling up debt! I’d happily trade all our medals to balance the budget. Hell, I’d give up all American medals from all Olympic games to balance the budget. Now I’m sure many American athletes will object to this deficit reduction plan. Perhaps with all the stress of training, surreptitious doping and getting strangers to pee in bottles they missed the transcendent One’s memo; “You didn’t win that medal, someone else won that!”