Sunday, December 26, 2010


And now, some Blandwagial Christmas Thoughts:

- I've eaten too much ham.

- I've eaten too much turkey.

- I've eaten too many variants on little Christmasy desserty things based on shortbread.

- At my parents' place it's 23 degrees and gently raining. At home it's 40 degrees and unbearable. I've never been so happy to be trapped in a building with my family.

- My parents have Foxtel. I've watched so much lifestyle TV that when I close my eyes at night, a tiny Shaynna Blaze-Vaughan rushes in and redecorates the inside of my eyelids, then Peter Maddison drops by to add a conservatory.

- I felt bad because I cheaped out and gave my 13 year old nephew an oversized lava lamp that I don't want any more instead of a proper Christmas present. Then I discovered that he thinks it's the coolest thing on the planet and his friends are burning with jealousy. It's good to know that I understand the 13 year old mind.

- For Christmas my parents gave me a silver-plated icebucket and a pitchfork. I can't for the life of me imagine what they think I get up to in my spare time.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


It should be noted that my last post (the one about the inevitability of me buying blaxploitation music compilations) is the 1000th installment of Get On The Blandwagon! Somehow I've found enough to bang on about for one thousand different posts. Or one thousand and one, if you include this one.

So what sorts of topics has this blog examined over the last thousand posts. Here are some enlightening comparative statistics:

Important People

Number of posts mentioning Ursula Andress - 31

Number of posts mentioning Roger Corman - 11

Number of posts mentioning Jesus - 9


Number of posts mentioning gin - 16

Number of posts mentioning vodka - 12

Number of posts mentioning mineral water - 3

Financial Maturity

Number of posts mentioning my vast MST3K collection - 51

Number of posts mentioning my vast Lego collection - 10

Number of posts mentioning my vast mortgage - 5

Important Holidays

Number of posts mentioning Christmas - 50

Number of posts mentioning AndressFest - 27

Number of posts mentioning Thanksgiving - 2

Number of posts mentioning Valentine's Day - 1


Number of posts mentioning God - 14

Number of posts mentioning Satan - 12

Number of posts mentioning Buddha - 1

Number of posts mentioning Allah - 0

Number of posts mentioning Pam Grier - 6

Quality cinema

Number of posts mentioning Alfred Hitchcock - 0

Number of posts mentioning Federico Fellini - 0

Number of posts mentioning Coleman Francis - 6

If you identify any other telling statistics, please let me know. I'm prepared to be alarmed.

Monday, December 20, 2010


I was browsing in a CD store on Friday night and I came across this. The price was steep, but there was never any serious question of me not buying it. I honestly don't think I had any choice in the matter.

Two CDs of classic blaxploitation movie music, including Curtis Mayfield's 'Pusherman', Isaac Hayes' 'Shaft'... and the theme from 'Blacula'. As if that wasn't enough, it also came with a book about the black action genre, and had a picture of Pam Grier on the cover that seemed to say, "Buy this CD or I'll kick your ass."

You can see why I was powerless before it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


The awesomest thing you will see today.

Try doing that with My Little Ponies!

No, seriously, please. It'd be cool.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Respect (redux)

Fans of schadenfreude and karma will be delighted to know that one can never escape the long arm of the Australian police. Or at least that I can't escape it.

As mentioned a few posts ago, I recently managed to slink my way through a Random Breath Test station while tanked up on champagne. On this matter the police remain blissfully ignorant, or if not blissfully ignorant then just blissfully impotent, which has much the same effect from my perspective.

My success here has been offset, however, by a separate win for my state-sponsored nemeses. They have brought all of their advanced technology to the fore and managed to catch me in a speed trap. Reckless maniac that I am, I was doing 99kph in a 90 zone, while driving to a house party in the country.

I'd thought that the posted 90 limit was some sort of printing error, since the trap was on a quiet rural backroad that should have been, under any sensible scheme, a standard 110 zone. But apprarently not. The cynic might believe that the absurdly low limit was actually a cunning ruse to tempt drivers into speeding - if doing 99kph on a paved country road can be sanely classed as "speeding" - but said cynic would not be adhering to the spirit of road safety.

The bustling metropolitan thoroughfare in question, clearly bristling with the schools, side streets and invisible dinosaurs that require the speed limit to be low and strictly enforced.

Fortunately the speeding citation only carried a $75 fine and no loss of demerit points, which is good, because I don't have many points left and I shudder at the thought of not having a license. But happily that day of automotive crisis has not yet come, and I can still legally cause fear and consternation on the roads. Or at least as much fear and consternation as one can create with a dinky little convertible and a bright yellow scooter.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Since it was a nice day and I needed the exercise, on Saturday I decided to walk to my favourite cafe for breakfast. On the way I wandered into a couple of garage sales.

While I appreciate garage sales in principle, in practice I'm rarely awake early enough to get anything decent out of them. The good stuff goes quickly, as any experienced garage sale follower will tell you.

But I'd woken early on this particular morning, so I was walking to the cafe at around 8am. I came across one garage sale on Chapman Road, and bought a pretty patchwork bag made from scraps of old saris as a Christmas present for my niece. Not bad for a dollar. A few minutes later I stumbled across a different garage sale, and encountered this, laid across the bonnet of the seller's car:

It was love at first sight. I stroked it, feeling the warmth and softness, and wondered how I could make it mine. What would they want for it? $300? $400? Maybe I could bargain a bit. I asked the woman for the price.

"I'll check with my husband," she said. "I think it was $45."

Happily she didn't notice my mouth hanging open. She went inside and I heard her calling out to confirm the price.

"How much did you want for the rug? Was it $45?"

"Yeah, $45."

"Okay." She came back out, looked at me, looked at the rug, grimaced slightly and said, "$40."

"Sold," I said, trying not to sound too gleeful.

The skin is caribou. The husband shot and skinned it himself in Alaska, and then moved heaven and earth to get it all the way to Australia. But apparently the wife hated it. So now it's on the floor on my living room, making me happy and warming my toes.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


'Tis the season to be jolly well astonished that another year of Get On The Blandwagon! has passed. I mean seriously, why? Why do I write it? Why do you read it? Why haven't I been hunted down and murdered by Leigh Sales or Tiger Woods or infuriated lesbians with long memories?

Oh well, their loss (and inability with IEDs) is my gain. Here we are at the 6th anniversary of Get On The Blandwagon!, celebrating six years of speaking truth to power, as long as "truth" is taken to mean "banging on about Lego, underorganised dinner parties and Ursula Andress' breasts" and "power" is taken to mean "a largely disinterested internet".

As usual, I like to take the opportunity of my blogiversary to look back over the last year and take stock of my achievements. This year it seems to have been primarily about pouring scorn on various organisations and individuals, which suggests that my ranting old crank gene is kicking in right on schedule. As such, I'd like to nominate the following list:

Top 10 People or Groups of People I Have Alienated Over the Last Twelve Months

10. Mormons

9. Chardonnay drinkers

8. Western Power

7. Diversity departments

6. The state police

5. The Prophet Mohammed

4. Eric Van Lustbader

3. Cory Doctorow

2. The Lillyman

and, by quite a significant margin...

1. People selling stuff on

According to the Get On The Blandwagon! Modern Blogiversary Gifts List, the sixth blogiversary is properly marked with gifts of iPod accessories. So get onto gumtree, people, and find me something stunning.

Monday, December 06, 2010


Late last week somebody hacked my home wireless network with the apparent aim of downloading as much video as they could before they were forcibly stopped. The network is password protected, but that didn't prove to be an impossible barrier. Starting around 8am, they downloaded around 250MB's worth of data each hour, every hour, throughout the day and all through the night, until they exhausted our limit and my ISP throttled the bandwidth down to 128kps. Then they apparently gave up on it... leaving The Flatmate and me with severely limited internet for the rest of December.

Fortunately after I contacted my ISP they arranged to shift me onto a different plan that gave me more download limit for the same money, so our broadband is back up and running. In addition, The Flatmate has changed the password for our network and changed the settings so that, regardless of passwords, only registered machines can access it. Of course there's every chance it could happen again, but if worst comes to worst we can just switch off the router whenever we're not using the internet. And call the police.

The question that springs to mind is this: who searches for a nearby wireless network, cracks its password protection, then drains its bandwidth by the fastest means possible, discarding it like an empty juicebox when its exhausted?

We normal people makes excuses, looking for the rationale we would use if we found ourselves doing the same thing. Perhaps the hacker thought that he was accessing an unlimited network from the nearby university, and thus being not taking anything that couldn't be instantly replaced? Perhaps the culprit was a lonely Chinese student hitting back at the racism he encounters every day by exploiting his uncaring neighbours? Maybe he's a guy so addicted to HD streaming video porn that he finds himself stooping to all sorts of chicanery to get his "fix"?

I don't think it's any of these things. I thinks it's just that he's a psychopath, in the literal sense. He wants to download vast amounts of data and has the programing skills to find a way to not pay for it. The concept of inconveniencing or hurting other people, or that those other people have to pay for his data, doesn't enter into the equation. It's not that the moral angle is overridden: it simply doesn't occur to him.

Which is not to say that I won't set him on fire if I ever find out who he is. I'm just recognising that it takes a person with a complete absense of empathy to do this, and we normal people have difficulty comprehending such a thing.

Saturday, December 04, 2010


How did I ever manage to get along without this website?

Kim Jong-Il Looking At Things. For all your Kim Jong-Il looking at things needs.

Thursday, December 02, 2010


Now that it's December, it's time to put up the Christmas decorations at the Fortress of Blanditude. So tonight I've hung my arty spiral tree from the ceiling and festooned it with festoonery, I've garlanded tinsel across the kitchen island, and I've set up my nativity in the entry.

At least this year I've managed to avoid inserting any historical incongruities.


Last night I went to a Christmas party at the home of a friend of a friend, and a festive time was had by all. After much tasty wine and canapes, sordid anecdotes from people who have much more interesting lives than me, and gales of admiration for the host's frankly gigantic Christmas tree, we all tottered off around 10.30pm.

How much have I had to drink tonight, I wondered as I burbled home along the Graham Farmer Freeway. I've had a fair bit, but I feel perfectly clear-headed and alert, so it can't have been that much. Let's see, I had three glasses of that nice champagne. And a glass of the shiraz that I thought smelled like freshly baked bread. And was it two half glasses of the cabernet? Hmmm. Actually it's a good thing it's a Wednesday night rather than a weekend, otherwise I'd be worried about running into a Random Breath Testing station.

Naturally as I crested the next hill I saw flashing blue and red lights up ahead. I was so sure that it couldn't be an RBT that I assumed there'd been an accident. But as I came closer I saw the line of traffic cones arranged to make a bay for cars to pull in and have their drivers tested. The bay was empty. Even as I registered this, one fat policeman peeled away from his colleagues and sauntered across the bay to fetch a new batch of cars.

Aw crap, I thought.

I let my car drift up slightly in speed, without making any sudden moves, and closed in on of the car in front of me, so that the natural break in the traffic appeared to be right behind me. And this little psychological trick worked: my MX-5 was the last one to scooch through, just barely, before Constable Tubby waved his orange glo-stick to direct the car following mine into the breathalyser lane.

No doubt some readers will get pissy at me for drinking and then driving, perhaps imagining that I was blindly swerving across the freeway singing 'One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer' at the top of my lungs while taking liberal swigs from a bottle of pilfered cognac. However this was not the case. Was I over the limit? Possibly. Was I in a fit state to drive my car? Absolutely. I was surprised, given the amount I'd had to drink, but there are a lot of factors that determine how a body processes alcohol, and I guess they were aligned correctly for me last night.

Which is a long-winded way of saying if you don't approve, bite me. If God had wanted me busted, he would have made that fat copper move faster.