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How to be Hapless

Dec. 23rd, 2008 10:33 am Freetime Books - Cool New Bookstore

A friend has opened a cool online bookstore


(I was under no form of duress when I typed this)


Aug. 21st, 2008 08:31 am Thoroughly modern Hapless

While I used to know a bit about computers, I must confess, as I grow older, I find myself caring less and less about what actually goes on inside the box. All I really want to do is to run the programs I need to get through my day, check my emails and if I manage to post this blog on the first go, I’ll be happy. Anyway, until my electro-apathy is absolute, I still read the odd article on computer technology. The one I read yesterday’s paper first lured my attention with the possibility of Angelina Jolie featuring as Lara Croft in future versions of the Tomb Raider PC game (“…in her photorealistic glory…”) Obviously, as an adult, my primary interest was in the ability to rapidly render high resolution images and their applications in CAD and virtual prototyping; and nothing at all to do with Ms. Jolie/Croft’s shorts. Well, alright, but it wasn’t all about the shorts and it turned out to be a reasonably interesting puff piece about AMD’s Cinema 2.0 technology. I was happily reading away, raising my eyebrows appreciatively whenever they used exclamation points or big numbers, until I arrived at this sentence:

“Powering all this are AMD’s new range of ATI Radeon 4800 series graphics cards, capable of harnessing an incredible 1-teraflop of computing power.”

Teraflop! I ask you, how am I meant to take this highly expensive piece of hardware seriously with terms like teraflop being bandied about? Don’t tell me what a teraflop is, if I wanted to know what a teraflop was, I’d Google it. This is why I don’t care what happens inside the box.

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Jun. 30th, 2008 11:56 am

 You know, I'm all for irony but I just looked up the price of a text book I'm expected to buy and it's the exact same price the TV I was saving up to buy. Ok fate, enough already! I'll buy the bloody book!

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Jun. 26th, 2008 08:31 am

In the last instalment of these random key taps of mine, one of the characters* was wearing a cape. Now, I know what you’re thinking:


“That’s alright for him, he’s imaginary! But what about my cape wearing needs?”


These may include:

  1. I’ve just been transformed into a member of the undead and I’ve got the diner suit and best of breed sash but I need to accessorise.
  2. I’ve suddenly developed super powers.
  3. I’ve just returned from the new world, introduced tobacco to society and now I want to impress some silly bint too stupid to walk around a puddle. 
  4. I wish to torture a Spanish bovine to death. 

Well, fear not fellow cape fanciers, help is at hand!



(Although some of them do look suspiciously like ponchos)

* I actually made it up, all pure fiction. Any similarity between those depicted and the actual voices in my head is purely coincidental.

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Jun. 13th, 2008 01:01 pm We now cross to the deepest inner workings of Hapless Pete’s mind…

The scene opens to the interior of an 1890’s railway switch room. Lining one wall, large cast iron levers stand unused, dusty and cobwebbed. On the wall above, flanked by decades of crudely posted centrefolds, a clock with no hands hangs, its pendulum unmoving. Opposite sits a man, looking remarkably like Hapless Pete wearing horned rimmed glasses, furiously operating an antique manual telephone exchange. A second man, identical to the first, except without glasses, is staring disinterestedly out a dirty and fly specked window.  He is wearing a cape. At his feet, a huge ginger tom cat lies sleeping in the fetid yellow sunlight, quietly purring and farting regularly.

“I’m just making that synaptic connection now” the first man said, frantically plugging a cable into the already tangled board. “Formulating proper response”

“What is that idiot on about now?” wondered the second man, as he watched the first leap up and rush to an over to grey steel filing cabinet, its draws permanently open, paper spilling onto the floor boards.

“Ferrous! Pi! Catherine of Aragon! Pancreas!” cried the first man in increasing desperation, grabbing random wads of paper.

“I told you to do your home work” the second man said to his bespectacled twin

“Yes, yes alright!” said the first “Don’t just stand there, help!”

Sighing, the second man walks over puts his arm around the shoulders of the first and gently leads him back to the exchange. In the tones of an adult speaking to a befuddled seven year old, the second man says: “It’s alright, just tell the nice lady you want two sausage rolls with sauce and a can of coke”

“Uh, yep, lunch, right, got it” said the first man, sitting back down adjusting the bakelite head phones

“Good” said the second, theatrically raising his right hand and delivering a round house slap to the back of the first man’s head. Quickly, the second man leans forward, lips millimetres from the first man’s ear and in a voice swept off the arctic, says “You’re the reason we don’t wear lace up shoes”

“Hungry!” announced the cat, mid post-nap stretch.

“Yes, he’s getting it now” said the second man.

“Hungry NOW!!”

“Oh for god’s sake! Can’t you wait?” asked the second man heatedly “Isn’t it bad enough that I have to put up with your filth?” he asked, gesturing to the centrefolds “They’re not even the same species as you, you freak!”

The cat fixed the second man in a stare that would freeze helium and after a pause of fifteen heart beats, stood on it hind legs and walked over to the second man in a decidedly un-cat like manner.

“You know” said the cat, in a surprisingly deep voice “If you were half as smart as you think you are, you’d realise that I’m an anthropomorphic manifestation of the primary psychological motivations; whereas you are just a twat in a cape. Pop culture iconism my arse, what makes you so fucking super?”

“Um, guys?” asked the first man “Can you hear typing?”

All three stop and listened.

“He’s right” said the cat “I definitely heard 28 keystrokes just then”

“And again as you spoke” said the second man. ”Somebody’s writing down everything we say or do!”

“Or perhaps it’s the typing that define our actions” mused the cat.

“Don’t be ridiculous!” said the second man “You know full well that we operate on a strict policy of self determination here. To suggest otherwise..”

“It’s coming from here” interrupted the first man, his ear against the fourth wall.

“Right, let’s get to the bottom of this” said the second man, rolling up his sleeves.

The three characters set to work tearing down the fourth wall and soon a gaping hole in the internal logic is formed.

“Are you sure that’s not a load bearing premise?” asked the first man, nervously looking up into the chasm.

“Never mind that” cries the cat “There he is! Get him!”

The three set upon the mysterious typist, wrenching a way his keyboar……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………


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Jun. 11th, 2008 08:33 am As I was saying...

 You may have noticed my absence. Have no excuse for this and the world’s weakest explanation: I was happy.

I’m not unhappy now, but as someone who defines himself as Hapless, being happy does pose somewhat of a logical paradox. Yes, gentle reader, your erstwhile author was reduced to a zero quantum state of contentment, blissfully non-existing in the vanilla blancmange of suburbia.


In recent weeks:     My TV blew up
                                  Both arms fell off my glasses
                                  The watch band snapped on my favourite fake Rolex
                                  I managed to draw blood bumping my head, bending over in the dark
                                  I slipped and fell in a GoLo, upsetting a huge tray of lighters that went every where

If that doesn’t make me Hapless I don’t know what will.

 We’re back baby!

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Feb. 25th, 2008 10:10 am Just time for a quick one

 I can’t believe I’m this busy after being back at school for only a week. Apparently play time is over and all spoon feeding and hand holding shall cease forthwith. My instructors seem to be working under the somewhat irrational assumption that I not only remember what I did last year but I understood what I was doing at the time.  I haven’t the faintest clue how they got that idea, I know I didn’t do anything to promote it. The crunch came last Thursday in my Applied Mechanics class. The teacher walked in and immediately started writing equations on the board with the opening phrase:

“Continuing from your work last year…”

“So much for foreplay” thought I “Geez, if you’re going to do that to me, you could at least offer to buy me a drink first.”

As the afternoon wore on, I sat there thinking:

“I know I’ve seen this stuff before, it does seem familiar. In fact this whole situation seems awfully familiar…oh crap”

With some relief I discovered I was, in fact, wearing pants, although vaguely disappointed it wasn’t all a dream Needless to say I’ve been hitting the books ever since. I pretty much have to; as there’s only three of us left in my stream it’s becoming increasingly difficult to avoid the instructors eye (This is further hampered by my somewhat gigantic stature and tendency to be out spoken on any subject you care to mention) Anyway, I’m sure I’ll muddle through, after all, it’s only mechanical engineering, not rocket surgery.!

nicola314159 has just visibly flinched.

I know I shouldn’t mix metaphors on an empty stomach, or is that scotch and muscle relaxants?  I can never remember. Just be safe, I’ll stick to similes while operating heavy machinery.

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Feb. 18th, 2008 08:29 am I is a uni student (Again)

 Today is my first day of classes for the year. I must say I’m keen to get started, not least because I’ve started to climb the walls with boredom, a fact that some of my recent postings will attest. Sorry about the silliness folks, it was that or let my recently acquired Sudoku addiction get completely out hand.

Insidious bloody puzzles! As with all my obsessions, it started innocently enough. I’d buy the paper, read about issues gripping the nation: The economy, sport, the drought, sport, terrorism, sport, celebrity marriages, sport…Arrgh! Enough with the freaking sport already! This is what I get for buying the The Herald Sun of course, but The Age is a socialist rag and next to impossible to fold for reading on public transport. Anyway, one day after reading the comics and pondering if anyone has ever found Fred Basset funny, I made the tragic mistake of having a go at the Word Jumble. Oh, how I rue that day! After that, it was a rapid downward spiral to quick crosswords, combo crosswords and finally cryptic crosswords (The crack of word puzzles) Like all addicts, I tried to justify my behaviour: “I’m improving my spelling” I’d tell my self “I’m increasing my vocabulary” I’d say “I’m learning to think laterally” Lies! Lies, lies, damnable lies! Why didn’t I stick to gin and self abuse?*

Then along came Sudoku. Those innocent little squares. All I had to do was fill in the numbers from one to nine, how hard could it be? No more having to chase down a three letter word for a Scandinavian brownie (a Nis incidentally) or having to know a smew is a type of fishing duck. Nine lots of nine integers and all I had to do was line them up: “How childish” I thought “I’m sure to become bored something so simple” Within days I was fixated with Twins and Triples and, finally, the mysteries of Ariadne’s Thread. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, count yourself lucky. Run! Save yourselves! Don’t worry about me; soon I’ll be preoccupied with the thermal expansion of bolts or some such nonsense (Or mechanical engineering, as my teachers prefer it to be called). Everything going be alright… now where the hell does that five go?

* I don’t wish to be unpleasant, but friend of mine is a school teacher and he suggested he might like to use some of these ramblings of mine as examples of creative writing for his class. Frankly, I could live with out the pressure of being a positive influence on future generations and that sentence should put stop to it nicely.

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Feb. 11th, 2008 09:23 am If I could be serious for a moment...more people would listen to me.

 You know you can tell a lot about a person by at which page their dictionary falls open.

Oh, come on, like you don’t do it. Who hasn’t slipped away from a dinner party to check out the host’s lexicographical predilections? Really? So it’s just me then? Well, I suppose that’s why the invitations have slowed down. Anyway, if you let my dictionary fall open the first word you see is:

Fenks n. pl. Fibrous parts of a whale’s blubber, refuse of blubber when melted.

Mmm… makes your mouth water just thinking about it doesn’t it?

“I’ll have a double blubber whale whopper with extra fenks thanks”

“For an extra 50 cents you could upsize to a Harpoon Happy Meal with a side order of fried blow hole.”

“No, no, so long as it died brutally it's fine with me”

Now for the record, I eat meat. I like eating meat and in spite of the Heart Foundations recommendations, I have no intention of stopping. What I don’t do is make excuses for it. I don’t claim to eat meat for any other purpose than my own enjoyment. If this makes me a monster then so be it, but at least I’m not a hypocrite.  Growing up in the country, I’ve killed animals for food (Ducks, rabbits, chickens, sheep and cows for the most part) and I’m fully aware of how a living creature becomes my dinner. I have no problem with this. What I do have a problem with is claiming that eating an animal is good for it.

Now it could be argued that by killing millions of cows, sheep, pigs and chickens a day for the food industry has, ironically, guaranteed the survival of their species. By farming these animals and giving a financial impetus to ensuring a continuous supply this has resulted in them becoming some of the most prolific species on the planet.

But here’s the thing: You can’t farm whales.

Hunting whales does only one thing: It decreases the number of whales in the world until, eventually, there won’t be any left. It’s that simple.

Now if you like eating whale, good for you but don’t try and tell me you’re doing it because you care deeply about the species. People eat whales because, presumably, they like the taste and/or possibly out of some nostalgic cultural adherence, either way it has absolutely nothing to with furthering the scientific knowledge of the species. To assert otherwise is insulting to anyone with more than half a brain and makes the claimant look like an arsehole.

Oh, and one last tip: When confronted with footage of the bodies of a mother and calf being hauled aboard one of your whaling ships, don't play the two bit shyster and claim that there's no evidence that they were related, that just makes people angry.

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Feb. 4th, 2008 09:02 am What you won’t read in the paper

… In other news, the high number of igloo fires, caused by faulty smoke detectors, has been blamed on increasing levels of irony in the area; although police suspect it may be the work of roaming gangs of surrealists. When asked to comment, Bertrum Custard-Sprocket, noted Dali-ist, gave an interpretive dance based on the mating habits of Canadian salmon. He was later arrested for unwarranted use of street theatre and simply being annoying. Defence Council for Mr. Custard-Sprocket stated they would challenge the charge of busking on the grounds their client feared change….

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