Monday, June 30, 2008

Oz final installment

One of the first pictures of Australia that Johnny sent to me was of Somers beach just a few minutes walk from his parent's beach house. Absolutely stunning in summer time. The water running through the center is actually a little creek that runs into the ocean, snuggled safely between the wooden fence.

I went to Australia at the very beginning of their winter season. Drought and an overcast sky dramatically change what is obviously the same place.
He emailed that picture to me August 22, 2007. Only in my wildest dreams did I dare to imagine that I would stand in the same spot with him and take my own picture of that beautiful beach.

Later that day we went to Cape Schanck a beautiful, blustery, windswept beach.

On Wednesday, my last day in Oz, we went to downtown Melbourne and had a look around an art gallery. This painting caught my eye in particular. Notice any similarities? Imagine the perspective shifted to the left and a bit closer in...

Cape Schanck, the place I had visited the day before, I found rendered in oil from an artist who painted it back in 1865. That struck me as amazingly cool.

goodbye Perth, hello Melbourne

The sadness of saying goodbye to Protium and Thump was greatly eased by the large quantities of alcohol consumed late that arvo and well into the evening. If memory serves there were 2 Vodka Mudslides, 1 Black Cruiser (also a vodka drink)and 3 glasses of champagne (nah, I didn't care for the taste, but the bubbly effect was nice). Plus there was that wee matter of someone passing me one and saying, "here try this". BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Were they ever disappointed when I didn't cough myself silly, puke my guts out, or sit in a corner contemplating my navel for 3 hours. In fact, the only effect I was aware of was a brief numbing of my spine that went away after about 10 seconds. The ROFLMAO mentioned in a previous post was actually prior to the passage. HA! Betcha thought you were onto something there. Nup.

What I can't remember is if there was wine involved? I thought there was, but can't remember anything more than the image of sitting in Protium's workshop sipping a glass of vino. Might have been a seperate occassion. Anyway, with that kind of lubricant in me, I slid up the airport able to tolerate the pain of parting and taking great care to appear normal to the cabby.

In fact, as I was standing outside waiting for the taxi to arrive a car pulls into the parking lot followed closely by a cop with it's lights on. Two police officers get out to shine their flashlights on the occupant and to give the car a once over for other potential money making opportunities.

And there I am trying to have a normal conversation with Thump and thank her properly for all the new experiences I've had and NOT get overheard by the police. :D When I get pissed, but not when I am pissed, volume is one of the first things I lose control over. I seem to recall Thump shushing me a bit. ;) Or maybe it was me shushing me, which is even worse and probably way more noticeable. Luckily the taxi pulled up then and I poured myself into it.

I did finally leave Perth, 13 hours after the flight was initially scheduled to leave. Friday the 13th departure date, flight leaves 13 hours after scheduled. (insert eery music). *snerk*

And from there it was straight to Melbourne hosted by Johnny with details to follow in later posts... but not many. :)

you will RESPECT their religion

or you WILL pay a $5,500 fine.

That's right. RESPECT their religion. Not just tolerate it. Not just not discriminate against it. You must actually RESPECT it.

Catholic World Youth Day is being held this year in Sydney Australia from Tuesday 15 to Sunday 20 July 2008.

And while that Catholic event is going on...

Thou Shalt Not Annoy Them.
EXTRAORDINARY new powers will allow police to arrest and fine people for "causing annoyance" to World Youth Day participants and permit partial strip searches at hundreds of Sydney sites, beginning today.

Possible offensive behaviors include
-wearing a T-shirt with a message on it,
-undertaking a Chaser-style stunt,
-handing out condoms at protests,
-riding a skateboard
-or even playing music.

If clothing is offensive to them... I wonder how they feel about the burqa or the Shiik head towels (wtf are they called?), or the Jewish yamaka?

If stunts annoy them, what if they stumble upon a Muslim responding to one of the 5 calls to prayer?

What if they pass a store with a Buy One Get One sale on Trojan brand condoms?

How the fuck is skateboarding anti-catholic? That's a new one to me. Or is it just because getting passed on the sidewalk by a dude on a skateboard is annoying for about 3 seconds?

Notice the vagueness of the law. Who gets to decide what is annoying? The one wearing the gun and taser. And you WILL comply and you WILL respect them or you WILL pay AU $5,500 for your annoying behavior.

BUT get this. If you flash a CWYD participant, the fine is only AU $1,100. So if you must protest the event, show them your willy but NOT your copy of Atheism: the Case Against God book, and do NOT wear your "Jesus is a fraud" t-shirt and do NOT play that Beatles song "Imagine" around any of them.

This "law" will be in effect for the entire month of July, not just the five days of the event itself.

Thanks for the pic Sean! :)

Saturday, June 28, 2008


God's Almighty Anus

God's Almighty Vagina

Cheers to Reed and Joe for the laughs.

E Pluribus Unum

Quoted in total from Reed's blog because it deserves a full read. HA! Reed needs to be read. Hope you sign the petition, I was number 276.

Pluribus Unum, Motherfucker

The American national motto, as Benjamin Franklin coined it, is E Pluribus Unum. It means, “Out of Many, One,” and perfectly captures the idea of America as a great melting pot: where whites and blacks, natural-born citizens and Mexican Americans, Christians and Atheists can live together and share the status of American.

Our other national motto, the more famous one that is touted on gaudy posters in every public school in the nation, was crapped out by McCarthyist reactionists and “Red Scared” religious nuts in 1957 as a knee-jerk reaction to Communism. The regal Latin model was shouldered out of the way on a loophole: it was only the motto de facto and was not passed as the national motto by a Congressional Act. Until McCarthy and his loons started yelling about it, the motto didn’t have to be passed by Congress to be official, but they needed a loophole and they made one.

So what’s the big deal?

In God We Trust is not only tacky and grammatically awkward, it not only makes the rest of the developed world see us all as Midwestern snake-handling Pentecostals with bouffants, it not only pales in comparison to the elegant Latin motto that epitomises the American dream, but it disenfranchises those who don’t trust in a single god and ostracises them as un-American. “We” means all Americans. All Americans do not trust in “God.” Some Americans think the concept of a god would be downright silly if it weren’t so harmful. Some Americans believe in a creator who does not demand their trust like a violent alcoholic husband. Some Americans believe in a goddess with a light muslin sundress and a daisy in her ear. S0me Americans believe in a space alien that threw frozen souls into a volcano and is always a little short on change. Some Americans trust in three or four gods. Some Americans trust in twelve gods, a monkey, two zebras and a plate of grilled halibut but absolutely do not, no matter what the Conservative media says, trust in or believe in a pee-drenched marmoset from Xerxes IV. And those people are still Americans. They are the “We” that do not trust in “God.” Must they continue to be disenfranchised by a remnant of McCarthyism?

I am a direct descendant of President Thomas Jefferson. Peyton Randolph, another direct ancestor, was the President of the First Continental Congress. My family was very active in the American revolution. My ancestors arrived in the 1600s and facilitated the organisation of the American colonies, risking their lives and spilling their blood to ensure that America could be a nation where all peoples were accepted. Most of my family from that time, the ones we have any biographical information on anyway, were Deists and did not believe in a god who needed to be trusted. They believed in a god, not God. My family, those who were first on these shores, would not be covered under the “We” in “In God We Trust.” For me, this battle–I’m going to call the preservation of church-state separation what it is: a battle–is a deeply personal one. Evangelical and Mainline Protestants are not only rewriting the history of America and debasing the writings and opinions of our founders, they are rewriting the history of my family and disrespecting everything my family held dear and fought for.

Once again, America is under attack from the Church. Where my relatives once fought against those who wanted to claim America for the Church of England and the Royal Family, now I must fight against those who want to claim America for the Evangelical and Mainline Protestant churches. With over two hundred years of apathy built up under their size 48 belts, it’s not going to be easy to rile up the indignant spirits of the American people. I’m not sure that side of America’s spirit still exists but in small secluded enclaves, but we can use our small voice to shout, and keep shouting, that America is being abused by the Christian church and a President who suckles the newly reincarnated angerbaby* of McCarthyism at his evil teat.

Well, it’s time that I raise an angerbaby of my own. For the past several years, the use of “Under God” and “In God We Trust” haven’t bothered me as much and I chose to focus on less stereotypical Atheist and Humanist causes. Today, I had a woman stop me on the sidewalk after reading my bumper stickers to tell me that I should be imprisoned for, “crimes against God’s America.” I told her to fuck off (not in those words) until I finished my coffee and I am, “coherent enough to listen to your garbage without wishing brain cancer on you” (in those words).

Long have I been swollen and pregnant with irritation over our national motto and McCarthy’s crew’s addendum to our Pledge of Allegiance, “Under God,” but that bedraggled old tart broke my water right there in front of Tudor’s Biscuit World in Downtown Roanoke. I’m cradling an angerbaby of my own now and I will be pitting my angerbaby against George Walker McCarthy-Bush’s angerbaby as soon as he’s done teething.

Sign the E Pluribus Unum petition to revive what America used to mean: a place for all Americans to be Americans, not just the monotheistic ones.


Heard over at T&A's blog that George Carlin died while I was in Australia.

Aussie Flora

Throughout my stay in Australia, the most amazing foliage would catch my eye, both its intrinsic beauty and its exotic uniqueness from anything I'd seen before.

This particularly lovely flower caught my attention even before breakfast and had me out the door to take a snap.

High up the tree it was clinging to was this web glinting in the sunlight.

These lovely palm trees can be seen outside the entrance to the Perth Zoo. (If you look carefully you can see the animal flags.) :)

I call this one "Reflections".
It was just an "oops" shot, but I thought it turned out nicely!

Several times the close-up view was dramatic and demanded a pic. This grass was outside the giant tortoise display at the Perth Zoo.

As was this brutal looking thorny plant.

I'll bet with PhotoShop this sillhouette of a blossom would really snap.

I was fascinated by the smooth trunk on this palm tree.

Dramatic "sun through the branches". lol

The funkiest blossoms I noticed in Australia had to have been the banksia blossoms. They look like bottle brushes to me. :)

The next two are closeups of wild flowers that they sow along the roadsides north of Perth to beautify the area.

Pretty huh? lol

Friday, June 27, 2008

up up and away......

June 14, 2008

My flight from Perth to Melbourne was scheduled to leave at 1:30pm. Being the eager and overly conscientious traveller that I am, I was there around 11:30am. Left again at 2:30pm having got my bag checked to Melbourne and found out the plane wasn't leaving until 8:30pm that night. Not wanting to spend the arvo at the airport I taxied back to Protium and Thumps and proceeded to have a fantastic evening.

At one stage I know I literally was rolling around on the floor laughing. Right outside the dunny. Can't remember what was so funny. It was... something about Protium breaking the bog roll holder and ....OH YES!!! Thump fixing it by smashing it back together again. (The end pin had come loose). The image of dear Thump not taking no crap offa nobody particularly a bog roll holder was just too much for me.

Literally ROFLMAO. You haven't fully experienced life until you've been in a situation (booze enhanced or not) that warrants literally rolling on the floor helpless with laughter.

The reason I got that schnockered and tried things I'd never done before was the flight got rescheduled AGAIN for 12:30am and didn't actually LEAVE Perth until 2:30am. AARRGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!

But the fun times on Protium & Thump's carpet more than made up for the flight delay.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I guess the lighter fluid on the cake was a bad idea Thump!... oh well, it's the thought that counts.

Happy Birthday Fiery...

We miss you.

Protium & Thump


Friday, June 13, 2008

or not......

FUCKING QANTAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Guess who's flight got cancelled?

Guess who got to stand in a long sweaty slow moving (1 metre per 20 minutes) que for 3 hours to check in a single piece of luggage ?

Guess who's flight won't leave until 8:30pm (another 5 hours from right this minute)???

Damn you're good!!!!!!!

So... in the mean time.... what to do, what to do??? Think... think... think...Well, I could always blog! :) I know you are shocked at that decision. ;)

So I'm over at Reed's blog and whaddya know but he tagged me for a meme. HOW BLOODY COOL IS THAT? And nice timing Reed! :)

The Atheist Thirteen

[In order that we might find out at least a little bit more about each other in the atheist blogging community, I've come up with a little meme. That, and I'm away this weekend at my sister's wedding and won't be blogging.] ~Thus spake Nullifidian.

If you’d like to take part, copy these questions, and answer them in your own words on your own blog.

Q1. How would you define “atheism”?

Ain't no fucking gods, no way, no how.

Q2. Was your upbringing religious? If so, what tradition?

Born and bred a Lutheran in the midwest of the U.S. of A.

Q3. How would you describe “Intelligent Design”, using only one word?

More words- The biggest load of FUCKING BULLSHIT to fall from the mouths of fundies.

Q4. What scientific endeavour really excites you?

Stem cell research. This is a huge step forward for medicine, blocked by fundies who quiver in awe at a booger sized clump of cells but don't give a wet rat's arse about starving children, abused housewives, or any other post partum human being.

Q5. If you could change one thing about the “atheist community”, what would it be and why?

Pride. That atheism would be something to state boldly and proudly, "I AM AN ATHEIST!" and not something that is hidden or shameful.

Q6. If your child came up to you and said “I’m joining the clergy”, what would be your first response?

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Good one!!!! HAHAHAHA!! Oh stop.... I can't breathe.... Oh... you're serious? *snerk* Why would you want to do that?

Q7. What’s your favourite theistic argument, and how do you usually refute it?

Pascal's Wager. Refutation- Don't you think god would know I was faking it?

Q8. What’s your most “controversial” (as far as general attitudes amongst other atheists goes) viewpoint?

I'd rather not say, it shits people when I do. But I wish more than anything that I was wrong about it.

Q9. Of the “Four Horsemen” (Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris) who is your favourite, and why?

Meh. I'm not overly partial to any of them, I've read some of what they wrote and that has been enough for now.

Q10. If you could convince just one theistic person to abandon their beliefs, who would it be?

My parents. I think there lives would be better if they stopped believing and started living!

Now name three other atheist blogs that you’d like to see take up the Atheist Thirteen gauntlet:

Sean the Blogonaut

next stop...

Melbourne! :)

A very special thank you to Protium and Thump who made this whole trip possible. Staying with you for two weeks wasn't nearly long enough and I will sincerely miss you both and of course your dear dog Jake. It was awesome to be able to live and laugh with you. Good times and great memories. I hope we get a chance to make more some day.

The plane leaves at 1:00pm. See you there!!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Adventure on Rottnest Island

Today's adventure was a trip to Rottnest Island, known affectionately by the natives as "Rotto". Rotto is a small island off the coast of Western Australia that has been used as an aboriginal penal colony, a military base and a vacation getaway.

Check out the Perth horizon from the shore of Rotto.

Rotto's most famous residents are the quokkas, a furry little marsupial roughly the size of a rabbit.

When Rottnest Island was first discovered, 70% of it was covered in forest the majority of it being this type of tree.

Check out the wicked undergrowth the early explorers had to hack through to get anywhere!!!

A beautiful little bay on the far west end of the island.

A pod of about 20 dolphins cavorting in the surf.

Dinosaurs discovered on the way back to Fremantle.

Dinosaur lego blocks being offloaded from a cargo ship.

Perth's nighttime face, truly breathtaking.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dr. House

Thank you Nightmare! I needed a laugh today.

And my new blog crush... Church of Jesus Fucking Christ Need a laugh, click on the link and enjoy. Ohhhhhh the humor!!!! :)
Proud citizen of the United States of Canada and NOT JesusLand. Why? 'Cause we voted an Independent, former heavy weight professional wrestler as the governor of our state. BOOYEAH!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

killing time on a new blog

I'm going out for dinner in 41 minutes. YES!!!!! :D

And what am I doing in order to kill time while I wait?

All together now......



In order to not let the excitement keep me jumping for the 2 hours I've known about it, I found a new blog to amuse myself with. Which means mining the archives for gems and HOLY FUCK IT'S FUNNY!!!!!!

A big huge thanks to Reed for the link to the Church of Jesus Fucking Christ. My two favorite bits (yes I said favorite bits) so far are...

I have GOT to get me one of these!

And this, a rare shot God's Anus. It’s a wide, gaping hole emitting His glory.

I hope you enjoyed that rare glimpse of the creator's bum.

35 minutes and counting.

But that's not accurate because that is when the taxi gets here. I should be down there by 20 after so I don't miss them. I should start getting ready at 10 after. HOLY SHIT ONLY 15 MINUTES TO GO!!!!!! YIPPPEEEEEE!!!!

Just enough time for some more Church of Jesus Fucking Christ.

Monday, June 9, 2008

And now... the weather

Captain Oblivious reporting to you live from Perth. Apparently at 8:30a.m. this morning, "at least one tornado smashed its way through southern Perth today, ripping roofs off houses and causing mass blackouts", the Bureau of Meteorology said.

"Winds reached 104kmh at Ocean Reef in Perth's north, with a bureau spokesman saying they would have been much stronger in Rockingham." That's roughly 40km north and west of where I'm staying!

Where the hell was I? Apparently nowhere near anything other than squally rain. WHEW!!!!!

This is Captain Oblivious signing off.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

drive to Yanchep

The plan was to drive up to Yanchep, about an hour away and expore the Crystal Caves, walk on the Koala Boardwalk, participate in the weekends only Aboriginal Cultural Experiences, hopefully have a bit of shopping luck at the McNess House Visitor Centre and Souvenir Shop and end the day at the Yanchep Inn (and pub) with a nice long look at the southern hemisphere's stars before heading back to Perth.

We stopped off at TwoRocks first and had a look at the beach and the Indian Ocean. WOW was that beautiful!!!! And the sand was spectacular! Soft, white sand with interesting flecks of dark in it.

I should have brought a bag to take some home with me. I wonder if that would clear customs???

This is a natural ocean sponge that Thump found where you can get a hint of the color and texture of the sand.

Oh, and we brought the dog. Jake really enjoyed kicking up his heels at the beach. Then we all got back in the van and headed off to the Yanchep National Park.

No where on the website (dedicated to National Parks in Western Australia) did it say "No Dogs Allowed". In fact, no where did any of the websites hint at the fact that the "No Dogs Allowed" policy is supposedly universal throughout Australia proper. At least, that is what the lady at the ticket booth said and what was confirmed on the snippy little piece of paper she handed us.

"No dogs allowed! No, not even on leashes. No, not locked in the car, either."


So we found a tavern that looked like it might be nice to kick back, look at the ocean, and tip a few.

Until we got around back and the cheese factor blew us off the charts.
Check out UberNeptune guarding the passage by the sea. The eyes are even red and we were placing bets as to whether they glowed at night. There were tacky statues of that nature throughout the car park and leading up to the tavern. So much so, that in all good taste we couldn't bring our selves to go there.

Back to the van, back to Perth, back to the bottle shop where I picked up a nice 4 pack of Vodka & Chocolate that tasted like you were drinking desert and a flask of vodka proper for the orange juice in the fridge. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Fiery- a self-portrait

American Tourist

Consider this a challenge to put your own self-portrait on your blog. Something that is revealing of your personality without blowing your anonymous identity.

Let me know if you do! :)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

trip to the Perth zoo

Went to the zoo today. Had a great time! Was surprised at the number of exhibits that were "closed". Ended up talking to two zookeepers who said that it was because they were deleting animals from their collection and expanding the existing habitats.

Fair enough I suppose, keeps the animals happier even as it limits the diversity of their collection.

Pair of Gallopogus Island Tortoises. WOW were they huge!!!!!!

Don't they just LOOK ancient?
* * *

Alpha meercats gettin' busy. (Ya have to see animals mating at least once at the zoo, and for me it was the meercats. *snerk*) "Mommy! What are those two doing?" "They're cuddling sweetheart!" "Really? Cause I thought they were mating."
* * *

Peekaboo with a giraffe

* * *

This Javan Rhino looks like it's in a timeout. The other one had just emerged from the mud puddle when we got there, still all glistening. Missed it by THAT much! :)

* * *

"Why are you taking a picture of a seagull?" "Cause I've never been this close to one before." "Oh for crying out loud!"
Where I come from, seagulls don't get that close to people. This one was within a metre of me.

* * *

The Tiger
How cool did the reflection turn out!!!!

* * *

Kangaroo sleepin' in the sun within 3 metres of me. No fence, no cage, just me, the path, and a wood log fence seperating us. :)

* * *

Perth is famous for it's black swans. In fact most tourist souvenirs features the black swan prominently.
Perth is also situated on the Swan River named for its striking denizens and noted for its extreme depth.

* * *

This was the funkiest little snake I'd seen. It could have nestled in the palm of a man's hand. The exhibit was really well done and created the perfect miniature environment.

* * *

All the other pics are mine but this one of Simo the Saltwater Crocodile. He was completely submerged in the water and dead asleep the entire 5 minutes or so I stood and marveled at this huge predator.