Saturday, 31 December 2011

Goodbye 2011, Hello Twenty Twelve.

  It's a new year and we're all making our resolutions aren't we? Some involving our careers or relationships, others involving getting things done better, faster more often. While I'm not against the ''biggies'' I think we can postively reaffirm our lives every day by completing a host of what I call ''tiddler'' resolutions. These are the little guys that everyone can do and don't cause any disruption too your New Years Eve pre-resolution routine either.

  Let's consider weight loss issues, instead of ''I will get thinner'' resolve ''I will look thinner'' by wearing black lots or growing your hair over some of your neck rolls. Often flexing around family and peers can sometimes give them the false impression you've been working out and are looking more ripped than usual, or partially ripped if you weren't ripped at all previously, so resolve to ''Flex at least once every gathering of friends or family''.

  If you want to make a resolution along the lines of promising to keep up with people better or ''being a better friend'' this can easily be done by joining up with any number of automatic email delivery services. You can schedule emails to be sent weekly or bi-weekly it's really flexible, remember to always end your messages with something like ''been having trouble with my email, if you want to chat more better call me'' this adds a great personal touch and if anybody has anything valid to say they will ring you which saves money though does have the disadvantage that some of these satellite acquaintances will make contact with you but that's what voicemail is all about isn't it?

  Working harder or being better at work is one of the most common resolutions you will hear and it's potentially the most strenuous. I suggest getting to work a bit earlier, nothing life changing just one or two minutes should do it, but is that enough? We'll it's certainly more work therefore qualifies as a success even if you don't do any more actual work, hey, you're trying and bosses love seeing initiative. Another easy one is make a promise to read every third memo, you've probably been reading one if five or six but reading one in three will give you a better idea of what's going on in your workplace. Now you seem to be the best of the worst in the office, hello promotion, then you might be sending the memos, look at me now Mom!

  Regarding trying harder in relationships resolutions it's so so easy, men share a feeling twice a week and ladies pick one night every two weeks not to talk through the sports news and you're all set.

Let's all have a great twenty twelve, try it, it's shorter. 

Monday, 26 December 2011

The First 'First World Problems'

  People complain a lot don't they? Considering everyone I know has at least shelter, food, water and most of them a whole lot more. It makes me really annoyed sometimes but these ''first world problems'' are valid I guess in the context of modern society and I bet there were people whining about their ''primitive world problems'' even back in the stone age. 

  For example the ''cave men''? We would say cave people these days and quite rightly but you know there must have been only so many caves to go round. I have only seen four caves total in my life so premium cave space would have been highly sought after. There must have been loads of gossip over how '' The Grunks sucked up to the Chief to get their sleeping area away from drafty end of the cave, I wish we were the Chief's pet ''.  That will get really boring fast when you're just trying to survive without being eaten by a Sabre Tooth Tiger.

  Any sort of cave person-al grooming would be viewed as pretentious so having your pals rolling their eyes at each other over your ''I can't get this wolf pelt to sit right on my hips'' complaint wouldn't be hard. You'd also hear plenty of bitching over the girls who can't stop checking out their reflection in the pond, ''She thinks she's the fertility God's gift too men'' will probably be muttered behind their backs.  

  First world problems/complaints have been going on for thousands of years, although I might omit the plague years when most gripes were actually well founded, so ignore them or join in? I'm just about to ring a few friends and complain how I'm too damn funny and talented and how it's a burden to eventually have to be a role model for up and coming writers.   

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Dear Santa: A Gift for You!

  I guess Santa Claus is now in his cleaning up and putting away tools stage of his working year before the biggest job of all, the delivery. It's funny that he trusts the Elves to help with the present production but not with delivery, maybe they don't work well unsupervised?

  On the subject of Elves I think Santa might want to tweak his human resources policy to get the most out of his workforce. Most of the Elves I've seen are tiny except in the Lord of the Rings where they are tall but seem more interested in platting their hair than any hard graft in a toy factory.

  I propose each Elf be paired with a Dwarf in a buddy system. Dwarves are historically hard workers, they often sing whilst working which is great for morale. Any piece of toy or tool that a Elf can't handle a Dwarf certainly can, leaving the Elves nibble fingers to contend with any electrical circuitry etc.  Dwarf will also keep a tricky Elf in line, if they think they are going to sneak off the job while a Dwarf is around they better get ready for a shock!

  I'm not saying Santa isn't doing a great job, I'm just trying to give something back in a proactive way. When the big guys comes calling Christmas Eve I'll have more than a cookie and milk waiting, I'll have this letter full of good advice and that's the gift that keeps giving the whole year through. 

Illustration by Bruce Lugli.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

A 14 year old Dan takes a swipe at government.

  Politicians are dumb dudes aren't they? They go on and on about stuff like climate change and workplace legislation but never take the time to sort out the big issues. Why can't we have a price ceiling on pizzas at $3.95? They want to stay in government but won't make the hard decisions and I don't get it, pizzas have never been government subsidized and it's well overdue.  

  And the guys running countries now are really boring suit types. I think each country should pick a rock star and make them the President. I would have David Bowie for our leader, for Britain they should have Meatloaf and the USA could have Anthony Kiedis because he likes drugs so much and so do they. This would make all political stuff cool as under my plan congress and speeches and stuff would tour from city to city in a partying and rocking out roadshow, also you could buy your own Presidents merch and not look like a total dorkenheimer.

  Income tax is collected to pay for everything but I think you should be able to choose where your Dad's tax money goes. If you want roads you can attach a short story on how roads are cool and all that. This way everybody gets a fair way in the how the country gets run not like now when they build more schools or trains and I'm like ''whatever''.

  Or vote for me next election that I'm old enough to be in and I'll give you a voucher for a soda or run off a copy of 'Epic' for you. FAITH NO MORE ROOLS!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Ready, Set, Decorate!

  Architecture and set design on television shows is something that has affected my life more than it probably should have. For instance when I inspect a home for sale I compare the living area to that of the Brady Bunch's which seemed like it was a couple of hundred square feet and about thirty foot high, more like a cathedral for flared lapels than a family home. If there's ever a brick or stone feature wall I'll always think ''Pfft, I don't think Mike would've chosen that, haven't these people ever seen an Brady design before?'' 
  On Happy Days, I feel Al always had a lot of wasted area where patrons could have been seated on the dance floor as bands weren't really playing that often, he wasn't maximising the earning potential of his establishment and it showed in his general attitude to his customers and somewhat spoiled the otherwise chirpy vibe of the show for me.
  One of the shows that were more realistic in their sets was Blossom. I always felt the Blossom house seemed about right for a single parent who was a musician, it was small enough to be intimate whilst providing plenty of hiding spots for the hard drugs we all know that those showbizzy types go in for.
  Family Ties is easily my favorite for set design. The spaces were just the right size, tasteful and elegantly decorated providing for a high standard of finish. It was noticeably always fairly dimly lit which has really influenced me in my lighting choices. I mainly have lamps on dimmer switches which I've marked so they remain in what I call the ''Keaton Zone''.
  Drop me line if you have any more interest? I'd be happy to mail out some swatches and colour suggestions I've collected from the Alf and Rockford Files sets, they will certainly never go out of fashion, quality never does.  

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

(N)ice Age

In a year or two the next ice age will begin and that's going to force seven billion humans plus all the animals and insects on the planet into living around the thin strip of habitable land near the Equator. 

This will bring about a lot of huge changes in our lives but the biggest will probably be; manners, we're going to have to step it up a bit people! If you're sharing your dwelling with 43 other humans, a rhino, a colony of termites and some pelicans for example, you're going to have to be pretty careful what you do and say to keep the peace.

Be respectful of other creatures habits and rituals, there's lots of nocturnal animals, so loud music is out and don't slam that door, you know the possums were up all night foraging, that sort of thing.     

It's important to make a list of jobs and delegate them evenly between the species, granted it's tricky to convince the lizards it's their turn to clean the kitchen but if these things aren't kept on track chaos will ensue.

You have a little time so use it wisely to prepare for the next big chill, store pencils, paper, good quality cardboard for making signs and schedules these are the organizational tools that will get you through the next ten thousand years of nasty weather and keep the household ticking along smoothly.