Horror movie right there in my.....brain

(In case the song lyric is a bit too obscure for you.....)
I had awful dreams last night. It was like my brain was determined to scare the crap out of me. I think it stemmed from two things.
A_Right before we went to bed, M showed me a text message he got on his phone, a creepy hoax forward thing "we're watching you, pay us or die" VERY FREAKY
B_I went to the gym in the evening, and I hate walking around at night by myself. I convince myself that I'm going to be attacked by a random stranger and spend the 3 minutes it takes me to walk back up the hill, freaking out and walking quickly whilst looking over my shoulder. This is worse on some days than others, and yesterday I happened to notice two guys sitting in a parked car. This is all it takes to set me off. Normally I can rationalise to myself that I have a fighting chance when its 1 on 1, but 2 on 1, odds are not so good. So you can see where my brains going here.

Obviously got home without incident, but the added layer of worry with the weird text message on M's phone meant for some strange dreams.

My first dream (that I remember) I was at a house party, and there were about six girls (I think some were old primary school friends LOL) and we decided to watch a movie. I think I protested that I didn't want to watch a horror movie, but they assured me it wasn't that scary. As the film progressed however, it most certainly WAS a horror movie, with an awful plot, and the scenery looked like the house in Hostel, if you've seen it. Since I was dreaming I felt like I was IN the horror movie as well, eventually to the point of someone's face melting in my hands.
I think at this point I was so freaked out mentally, I told my brain I didn't want to watch the movie anymore (in the dream). I think this was my initial attempt to "tell myself to wake up" except I've never been very good at that in dreams.
So Dream-me tells my friends I'm not wtching anymore, and the horror movie morphs into the "main" part of the dream, and its all bad and the girl I'm sitting with tries to kill me before I run screaming, and at this point I successfully manage to tell my conscious brain that I want to wake up, I don't like this dream. So I did, and I was kind of groggy, but I could tell it was early enough that if I wasn't careful and I woke up TOO much, I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep for the few hours until I needed to get up.

The problem with this was though, that everytime I tried to go back to sleep the dream would come back, in the middle of the awfulness, so I tried to think of happy thoughts to distract myself. I particularly remember singing that Colbie Calait song "Bubbly" in my head and seeing the video, which is pretty and romantic, and light and sunny.
This ended up with me imagining a serial killer standing behind Colbie Calait slitting her throat.

I know, charming isn't it.
I think there was lots of stabbing and acid and burning and screaming in this dream, I was feeling quite terrified at the idea of slipping back into it.

M ended up getting up sometime around then, so I woke myself up properly and focused on the sounds of him, which allowed me to drift bak to sleep without the terrible images of singers being gutted.

Cue second dream. This one feels like a Lord of The Rings and Harry Potter movie rolled together, very fantastic and otherworldly. Vivid colour, lots of green, whereas the last dream was all brown, sepia and dank feeling. Somehow I manage to piss off an ogre thing and he spends the rest of the movie trying to get me, before trying to drown me in this giant lake.
Then I wake up and think "wtf" I'm getting up now, I don't care WHAT time it is.

So feeling a little mentlly exhausted now, which explains why I forgot to bring something to work that a friend was going to pick up. Gah!


Same blog, new colours :)

Let me know if you hate it. hehehe

Also, I've condensed all the tags into one item on the sidebar. So now if you want to read more about a topic, you can either
I'm still searching for an easy way to convert my template to a stretch Three-Column if anyone has any hints. All the walkthroughs I've found so far look kind of tricky, and I am not that techy.

Has Foxtel taken over? Or is it simply spin marketing

I get the feeling my household (ok there's two of us) is part of an ever-shrinking demographic.
Somehow gradually it feels like people who don't have Pay Tv (what Australian's call "cable") are being pushed into the outer, in mainstream media.
Are we really so backward because we don't have it? We're still of the mindset that having Pay tv (hereafter referred to as Foxtel, since its the main provider) is a luxury, not a neccessity. Unlike the impression I get from US programming, Free-to-air isn't that bad in Oz. At least, I should preface that with "during prime time (6pm-10.30pm)". I'm sure daytime and 2am programming is better on Foxtel than free-to-air, but when I lived at home I frequently found we watched Free-to-air, not Foxtel, during prime-time anyway.

I can only assume, with the barrage of advertising for shows, on channels we don't get, that we must be a minority now, rather than a majority.

Some examples recently

  • Pay Tv has its own awards here, much like the Daytime Emmy's in the US I imagine. That's fine and all, except they're also encroaching on The Logies, with Love my Way winning Best series for 2007 (Channel W).
  • Then in 2008, both Best Actor and Actress were from Shows on Foxtel channels- Stephen Curry for The King (TV1) and Alison Whyte on Satisfaction, (Showcase). They don't even have a "Subscription" category, they just take over Free-to-air!

But I digress.

So what the cold hard facts of the matter? Are we a minority or a majority? Is Free-to-air dying a slow and painful death?
Well in 2005 :
Free TV exists in 99% of Australian homes, with 67% of Australians owning two or more TVs. Pay TV penetration has remained fairly stable (at around 24%) despite the publicity push that came with the launch of Foxtel’s digital offering in March last year.
This is an interesting look at how the introduction of "digital" Foxtel affected the rate at which households took it up. (And where's the other 1%? People that live in boxes?)
The common misconception is that half of TV’s entire viewing audience is watching pay TV, but that figure only identifies “eyeballs” within pay homes. 75% of homes do not have pay TV.

“I find agency chiefs and clients saying, ‘Well pay TV has 50% of the audience’. No it hasn’t. It’s got 50% of viewing of the households who do switch on to pay TV,” Allen explains.
Aha. So Foxtel are simply spinning their figures to make it look like "everyone" has Pay-Tv. When in reality, only a quarter of homes do, and of that quarter, they watch Free-to-air HALF the time!
That's not a stat to be proud of really, no wonder they're not waving it around.

A more recent stat, as at June 07 (most recent figures from the Australian Film Commission) 2,082,128 households had some form of Pay-tv.
This is a penetration of approximately 26 per cent of all Australian households.
So not much growth in 2006. Who knows what Pay-tv will do in the future however, as in DEC 1995, stats were as such

Foxtel 2,000

Optus 1,000



Australis Media




One can assume Austar didn't quite exist yet, and another company altogether (since gone bust) had the lions share.

Vastly different to the breakdown even in 2000







So if in Dec 2000 there were 1,344,000 subscribers, and in June 2007 there were 2,082,128 it stands to reason there will be another 700, 000 subscribers by 2014, give or take population growth, and not applying any other principle to the formula. That's what, 7% I think of the population. Not exactly exploding then is it?

So. We're NOT in the minority because we don't have Foxtel. The way the figures are going in fact, we may never get Foxtel.

So why does it feel like everyone BUT us has Foxtel? Because they're sneaky. Because they WANT us to feel like we're the ones left out. Damn marketing genius.
OR, maybe we're simply in an affluent area. I'm leaning toward the marketing.

Do you have pay tv?
Do you want it if you don't?
If you DO, do you feel its really worth it? From what I can see, we'd be looking at a price per month of AT LEAST $88.80. That's $1065.60 a year. My gym membership costs less than that!


Click on image to make it bigger?
A fun little excerise at Wordle it works by submitting any words you like, and it makes them this little picture with colour variation, fonts and direction all changeable options. I put my tags in, to make the picture above :)
For some time-wastin' fun, just pop on by, its Free!!

We've been had....

And not in the fun-and-sexy kind of way. In the, you've-been-duped kind of way.
Thanks to *A* for bringing this to my attention. Unfortunately it appears that the Undiscovered Tribe is not quite so undiscovered after all.
Yahoo Buzz details
As it turns out, the story is only half true. The men in the photo are members of a tribe, but it certainly ain't "lost." In fact, as the photographer, José Carlos Meirelles, recently explained, authorities have known about this particular tribe since 1910. The photographer and the agency that released the pictures wanted to make it seem like they were members of a lost tribe in order to call attention to the dangers the logging industry may have on the group.
I did kind of know this I guess, the part about trying to find evidence of them to prevent logging. I didn't however, know about the 1910 part. Hmmm.
Oh well. Nothing is as it seems on the net hey....

We're going on holidays, did I tell you?

I woke up this morning, feel hungover, of all things. And yes, I do have the right day, its Monday. I haven't drunk any booze since Friday night, so I can only imagine it was severe dehydration, which even in itself, makes no sense, since I drank no less last night than any other night.

We got a new laptop computer at home. Yay!
I wanted to take a picture with the webcam, and use it as the post, but I keep forgetting, getting distracted with all its other features. It has bluetooth, and a DVD drive, and a webcame built into the top of the screen. Its all very exciting. We've only had it a week, and its already got the majority of our CD collection on its hard-drive (160GB).
So now I can blog from home again, whee! Our primary reason for getting it, other than the fact we were in need of a home computer, is that we're going to Europe in 9 weeks (Yes NINE WEEKS!) and we want to take it with us, so we can upload our photos as we go, and download our video and photos off the camera, making more space.
Our theory is that we're doing a bus tour, and then driving ourselves around, so it should be too painful to lug around.
Here's for hoping anyways :)

For those interested here is the bus part of our tour, in handy map form (I'm a pictures person)

I'm trying to get excited.
It was exciting when we decided to do it.
It was exciting when we put our deposit down.
It was less exciting and more stressful when we were frantically saving to pay the tour off in time for the early payment discount.
Now I'm trying to find the enthusiasm again. NOT to say that I don't want to go anymore, certainly not, more that it doesn't really feel like we're going, since we paid all the money, its just ...*gone*. Do you know what I mean?

So anyway, I'm hoping to blog while we're away, and not the "hey we saw the Eiffel Tower today, wow, its certainly huge hey?"
But more, about the little things, the coffee (of course), the weird customs, weird people, stuff like that.
Any thoughts? We've got plenty of time before we go remember :)

Lexophiles; come close

The longest word in the English dictionary is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, which Wikipedia helpfully provides as
a 45-letter word which refers to a lung disease contracted from the inhalation of very fine silica particles, specifically from a volcano. Research has discovered that this word was originally a hoax. It has since been used in a close approximation of its originally intended meaning, lending at least some degree of validity to its claim
How wonderful is that? You can make up a word, and it might still count. There's hope for us plebs yet.

The longest recognised place name, Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu
(88 letters - Wiki Entry here)And of course you can't talk about really long words without mentioning our old favourite, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (34 letters- Wiki), but its not a real word and is only included in dictionaries as a Proper Noun, the name of a song.

(Funnily, Blogger's built in Dictionary recognises Super..... but not the two official words above...)


This is my favourite song at the moment. I had a major jones a while ago for Mika's song, Happy Ending, and now its Rihanna. SO ANNOYING, this song has been released but isn't on her album, which I already own. They're going to Re-Release Good Girl Gone Bad, with this song included as a bonus track. I really hate when record companies do this, and it happens with DVD's also. By releasing the same thing with added features, essentially they're punishing the :suckers: (me) who were stupid enough to buy the first version, which ipso facto, MADE THE ALBUM POPULAR ENOUGH TO RE-RELEASE IN THE FIRST PLACE!
How stupid do they think consumers are! Its frustrates me no end.

Gah! *breathe*

Also, when you watch it, look toward the end, is she wearing a lace leotard/body stocking?

I don't like this clip. Looking for it to post here was the first time I'd seen it, and I'm terribly disappointed in it. She looks mannish for most of it.
I really liked her haircut for Umbrella, but this version I think has overstepped that oh-so-careful line of edgy/manly. And I think she looks too thin, unhealthy, whereas in Umbrella, she has quite the hippy silhouette, and I was rejoicing the return of the curve. *sigh* she has fallen victim to celebrity thinness though.

Another thing I noticed in this video is Rhianna has a tattoo on her neck. I quite like it!
I know another girl who has the Southern Cross tattooed on her neck, not quite in the same place as this one, more under her ear, and larger than this, say thrice the size.
I'm not a fan I must say. I think the Southern Cross is way over-used in Australian culture, I've seen that many tattoos of it.

I still kind of want a tattoo. Friends of ours, the girl wants a tattoo, and she was thinking of having her son's name and birthdate done. But it sets a dangerous precedent doesn't it? All your children deserve real estate on your body somewhere then don't they? And what do you tell them? "Sweetheart Mummy doesn't have your name because she was a giant wuss and it hurt too much after the first one"

I just couldn't decide what to get. My sister recently equated the pain of a brazilian wax to a tattoo. Her argument being, if you can put up with the torture of having your lady garden ripped out piece by piece, surely you can endure a red hot needle jabbing you repeatedly. I just don't know, she hasn't actually had a tattoo so.....

Perhaps LadyLou can shed some light for us?

I remember being in high school and for a period it seemed all my friends were getting tattoos (if she jumped off the Harbour Bridge...). More to the point they were all getting great tattoos. Relevant, suited-them-down-to-the-ground type tattoos that they were unlikely to regret. At the time I was kind of into spiderwebs, I would doodle them often, and they became a (admittedly very small) trademark for me. So I was actively encouraged to get a spiderweb....somewhere.

In retrospect, I'm very glad I didn't because it would be so irrelevant now. The only thing I keep coming back to for an idea is my star sign, Libra, as I know that's never going to change at least.

(here's that Google Image Search. Tattoo image searches certainly are fraught with danger aren't they? Look for the woman with the breasts....)

Oh well. :)
*text colour edited

We're suckers.

Ok, I'll wear that.

RESTAURANTS using fancy typeface on their menus can often get away with fancy prices too with people perceiving complicated font to mean complex food that needs greater skills to prepare.

Researchers at the University of Michigan found people believed if that if the font was harder to read then the task was harder to do.

Looked at the other way, researchers said this meant that clear font was likely to lead to the perception that the task was simple and people were more able to complete it.
My example, that I whipped up, shown below. (Forgive the terrible graphic, my ability in this is extremely limited.)

Yep, I reckon its probably true. The Left could be in a restaurant, the same menu on the right looks like it could be on the chalkboard at the pub, with the addition of "Schnitzel or Steak $10 Tuesday".

Gordon Ramsay deals a lot with issues like this on Kitchen Nightmares. Especially when there's a restaurant that is failing because they're trying to be too fancy in a small town that can't understand their menu. I'm an avid watcher so this is less surprising for me than someone else possibly. A particluar episode I recall, the chefs were all French, and they were trying to do Fine Dining, in a town in Scotland that couldn't understand what they were meant to be eating.

Return of the tree sap.

Six months ago I did a post on whether Lemons were the answer. Now someone hasn't done their homework at the Daily Telegraph and is trying to make it sound like Tania Zaetta has only JUST become a spokeperson for this product.

*nb, the entire point of the lemon post was that I would attempt to boost my metabolism by drinking lemon in water first thing in the morning.
Sadly, I never even managed ONE glass of the stuff. Oh how quickly we fail.....LOL

Best movie of its genre

As compiled by the American Film Institute. (so no foreign films of course)

Courtroom drama

1. To Kill a Mocking Bird


1. Lawrence of Arabia

Science fiction

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey


1. The Wizard of Oz


1. Vertigo


1. Raging Bull

Romantic comedies

1. City Lights


1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs


1. The Godfather


1. The Searchers
Easily view the Top 5 for each genre here at News.com.au
Compiled by American Film Institute, their listing here but I will warn you, its a bit click here, then here etc. BUT there is a cool quiz, and you can take it over and over because it doesn't give you the correct answer.
Leave your score below and I'll tell you mine. :)

No surprise really...

After seeing K's results on this quiz, I gave it a go.







Pride:Very Low

Take the Seven Deadly Sins Quiz

Thanks for the link K, entertaining stuff. :)

Exercise/lay on couch eating crisps.....decisions decisions

I am struggling lately, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Its cold, its wet* and rainy, and going to the gym isn't high on the priority list right now. My utmost sympathies to Fiona down in canberra, apparently its 3 degrees down there. YUK!
So yes, the snowy pic above is a gross exaggeration, I'm probably only going to encounter sub-10 degree temperatures if I want to venture out after work to go the gym. It is Sydney after all.

But I've been trying to go. I even managed to go before work the other week. Its got to be at least 12 degrees in my bedroom in the morning right? How can I be expected to get up in that? hahaha.

Another difficulty I've faced is not entirely unexpected. Compliments.
Yep, you heard me. I'm a strange and twisted beast, that rather than feeling re-inspired by compliments, I feel more inclined to slack off. The fruits of my labour two months ago have started to take effect it appears, in the form of a slightly more trim physique, and loss of some (not all) of the dreaded back fat. I am re-claiming my waist!
So I've had a couple of people make a small remark about it, you know, you're looking good/you've lost weight etc. (Aside- Funny how people always say diplomatically "you look really good!" with a bright smile, when we all know they mean have you lost weight. All we can do is take it on the chin, and say thank you, and feel rewarded for our efforts. LOL)

Anywho, so my efforts have been noticed, and as a result, I'm slobbing around a bit more! Damn! This is not the desired effect! I should be thinking "Yay It's working! Go and burn more calories and you'll look even better!" but, no.
Instead my brain tells me "Nah you've done some good work, you earned that donut. Yes, wash it down with a sugary soft drink, and how about those Twisties, you earned them too..."
So now I'm trying to focus a bit on how good exercising makes me feel, and how I feel less tired all the time when I do.
I must not fall off the wagon this winter! Who's with me!?!
*"...and I'm just plain scared!"
For those of you playing at home

Its called Hedging your bets...

As you may be aware, a number of changes were scheduled to come into effect on eBay.com.au on 17 June 2008.

Most of these changes have been delayed by almost one month and are now scheduled to commence on 15 July 2008.

PayPal Buyer Protection will still increase to $20,000 on 17 June 2008.
Current policies regarding accepted payment methods still apply. This means PayPal is required on all listings on eBay.com.au. Other payment methods (i.e. bank deposit, cheque/money order) may also be offered until 15 July 2008.

As previously communicated any listings that do not comply with eBay's Accepted Payments Policy will be removed. We strongly recommend that in order to ensure your listings comply with the Accepted Payments Policy you remove any details of payment methods other than PayPal or pay on pick up within the item description. Listings that have other payment methods offered within the payment options field will be allowed to expire as these options will not be displayed to buyers from 15 July 2008.

There are a small number of categories where PayPal is not mandatory. There are also some categories that do not qualify for PayPal Buyer and Seller Protection. Learn more about these excluded categories.
As mentioned PayPal Buyer Protection will still increase to $20,000 on 17 June 2008.

To ensure you benefit from PayPal's Buyer Protection Policy, eBay strongly recommends you use PayPal when paying for your purchases on eBay.com.au.

From 15 July 2008 the available payment methods will be limited to PayPal, Visa/MasterCard, or pay on pick up.

The decision to delay these changes was made by eBay following the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) draft notice issued on Thursday 12 June 2008.

eBay released a media statement on Friday 13 June regarding the ACCC's draft notice.

Read eBay's statement and community announcement.

Please note that some of our onsite communications will still refer to changes taking place on 17 June 2008. These communications are being updated and should reflect the new date of 15 July 2008 within the coming days.


The eBay Team

:read: we're not allowed to introduce it right away, but we'll get this pesky legal trouble out of the way first, and then we'll screw you over.

*Apologies if you also got this email from Ebay, and this is old news.

Interestingly, I think this is the first email I've had direct regarding this, otherwise I had to get my info from the news websites and the homepage.

Btw Ebay, thanks for sending this to me on the 18TH OF JUNE

Checkout Rage

What a shocking, sad story. news.com.au

Mr Tripp was shopping at 7.30pm when an argument broke out near him. Witnesses said a female customer accused another shopper of pushing ahead of her in the queue and insulting her.
She spotted the abusive youth at a customer counter in the supermarket a moment later, and called her partner on a mobile phone.
He allegedly stormed into the store and she told him "That's the guy, that's the guy".

But he thought she was pointing at Mr Tripp, a 57-year-old structural engineer, not at the youth in the queue ahead of him.
Mr Tripp was punched once in the face.
But the single blow was so hard, he collapsed unconscious on to the supermarket floor, blood gushing from his mouth and nose. He was rushed to hospital but his life support was switched off yesterday morning.

Police arrested 37-year-old Tony Virsami and charged him with murder. His partner Antoinette Richardson, 37, was also charged with murder.

The Alcopop farce continues

Liquor industry dodges law with wino-pops
Now apparently they're going to try to get around the new tax by making WinoPops. Hmm, doesn't that sound yummy. Like a West Coast Cooler on a paddle-pop stick. Or Amy Winehouse re-inventing herself as Jessica-Simpson-esque-wholesome-fun?

I digress. They're talking about them being 8%+ !
Sweet! (I Swear I'm not an alco) They will have to be between 8-22% because that's the wine classification (I wonder where low alcohol Champagne's and Light Wine's are categorized then?).

They should have ditched the stupid tax immediately. Within weeks of the stupid tax being implemented, spirit sales went up. Yeah, because that's a better alternative, letting the twits mix their own drinks. No longer can you effectively count your drinks when you mix them yourself. M and his mate Todd have been known, on many a hard night to start out with 1 finger of bourbon in a tumbler mixed with coke, and by the end of the night they've got one finger of COKE. And they wonder why their heads are sore in the morning...

The flip side of increasing the cost of drinking, is that drugs become a more attractive option:
"If you can buy an ecstasy pill for $20, why would you buy alcohol?" Australian Hotels Association director Bill Healey said
Also, its official, I'm a binge drinker. How ridiculous, considering I can legally drive home after 3 drinks in 3.5 hours (I add the 30 minutes to be on the safe side)

The last thing I want to say on this, annoyingly I can't find the news article I read, but Rudd has hurt himself politically in Queensland also through the Alcopop tax. There is a very narrow margin they're holding there, and the tax has hit "bundy-drinkers" hard in the hip pocket.
Can anyone say, Knee-jerk Politics?

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