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May 2013
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August 2013

Newest Yorker of all

Longterm Roomates2
Eric & Ernie, not celebrating same-sex union legislation.

It's not often I've had the opportunity to say this, but I kind of feel my university newspaper scooped The New Yorker. By about 20 years. Because that was where and when I first heard of the theory that Bert and Ernie were gay. Of course, the University of Sydney's Honi Soit continues to go under the radar, unlike The New Yorker.

Then, as now, it seems a little unfair to force Bert and Ernie out of the closet, especially if they were never in it. Of all the roommates who aren't actually gay (they share a room but not a bed, unlike Eric and Ernie above) Bert and Ernie are the best choice to depict two very good friends celebrating same-sex civil union. Two characters not just popular with children and their parents, but popular with children and their parents across the generations. And owned by a great big and historically litigious corporation. This'll be in the public eye and drawing the 'what about the children?' argument whether desired or relevant, or not.

Irrespective, it'll sell some issues - even if it doesn't quite 'sell' the 'issue'.





Leg... Oh!
(Or: Pull the other, other one.)

Jobs We Do At Home

My five-year-old nephew Hunter drew an excellent picture at school, illustrating 'Jobs We Do At Home'.

It features Hunter, his brother Dylan, his sister Olivia, his Dad and his Mum typically toiling about the house.

Look closely:


Kids Lego copy


Clearly, the job Hunter, Dylan and Olivia do at home involves picking up Lego.


Mum vacuums


Mum vacuums. Note the long tube with the attachment on the end. 

Perhaps Mum's third leg - the curvy one in the middle - is in fact the vacuum cleaner, at her feet.

When not working at home, Mum is a doctor. She says her kids rarely see her vacuum.


Dad uses laptop


Dad is also a doctor. And he also appears to have a third leg.

At home, it seems, he works on his laptop. Sometimes, if the picture is to be believed, without his pants on.

Okay, I'm willing to accept Dad's spine protrudes to form the vestige of a tail; it occurs more frequently than you think. For a kid, even a tiny protrusion looms large - hence Hunter's extreme depiction of it.

Actually, the reason for Dad's third leg is far more interesting.

Turns out Dad was discussing one of his favourite bands, Alice in Chains, with Hunter. Alice in Chains' 1995 self-titled album features a three-legged dog on the cover. And a photo of Francisco (Frank) Lentini on the back. Marvel at the resemblance: Hunter has rendered his Dad after Lentini.






Clothing Time



Suddenly, a parcel arrives, and I'm excited - I see by the packaging that it's from Tom Waits. Well, it's Tom Waits merchandise, from Anti, the label he's signed to. A hoody, from a new line of clothing. I'm plenty excited.

How excited?

I'm reaching for my phone, to take a photo of it before I've opened it.

I know I'm gonna blog about this.

Already, I'm formulating the title:

'Tom Waits for No One'?

Nah. I'd have to have used that before, surely.

I know.

'Clothing Time', after the title of his debut album.


And then - I kid you not - I wake up.

That's right.

I purchase merchandise related to the artists I love, over the internet. While I sleep. And then devise stupid puns for blogposts, ensuring - to the best of my ability - that I'm not repeating a stupid pun I devised earlier. While I sleep.

Yay me.


** Addendum **

 My buddy Annemarie sent me a link to a Tom Waits hoody on Etsy almost before she'd finished reading this post - turns out dreams can come true!









I have a very old iPhone 3GS. I'm quite keen to replace it with an iPhone 5. I approached my service provider online. They have a chat system for immediate service. Here's the transcript of our conversation.


Thank you for choosing [mobile service provider]. Please wait for a site operator to respond.

Connected to [Operator's Name]

Me: Hi [Operator's Name]. I'm an existing [mobile service provider] customer with a very old iPhone and I'd like to upgrade to an iPhone 5 [1]

Me:  Hello?

Operator: Hi there, I'm an Online Sales Support rep.

Me: Cool.

Me: Where do we start?

Operator: Let me help you getting one.

Operator: Please provide me your mobile number.

Me: [number provided]

Operator: If I can have your full name, billing address and DOB, I can look into the account for you.

Me: [name provided]

Me: [address provided]

Me: [date of birth provided]

Operator: Thanks for providing the information.

Operator: I checked and found that you are eligible for free upgrade. [2]

Me: Excellent.

Me: What do I do?

Operator: You can upgrade for a new iPhone 5 with out paying any upgrade fee. [3]

Operator: Please let me know the plan you like along with the iPhone 5.

Me: Is there one similar to the plan I'm on? [4]

Operator: Let me check your current plan.

Me: I like the $80 per month because it includes 2GB of data.

Operator: I see that you are currently on a $59.00 plan. [5]

Operator: Not to consider data a concern.

Operator: I will offer you 1 GB free data every month.

Operator: How does this sound.

Me: That sounds great. Can I have that free data and remain on a $59 monthly plan? [6]

Operator: The $59.00 plan no longer exists.

Operator: We have $60.00 plan instead.

Me: That sounds good. So I'd effectively have 2.5GB of included Data?

Operator: Yes. I hope this saved you spend.

Me: I think it will. Thank you.

Operator: You are most welcome.

Me: What do I do next? Do you send a phone out to me?

Operator: Yes, the handset along with the SIM will be sent to your door step.

Operator: You will not be charged for delivery.

Me: Thank you very much.

Operator: You are most welcome.

Me: How do I ensure I don't lose data like phone calls and messages from my current phone?

Operator: Not to worry.

Operator: You will be receiving alerts based on your usage.

Operator: This will help you plan your data usage further.

Me: Thank you. I am referring to address book information and other information currently stored in my phone.

Operator: Yes, please.

Me: Is there an easy way to ensure none of that is lost?

Operator: Not to worry at all.

Me: Thank you.

Operator: I will be making a note in your account stating all the offers that was offered.

Me: One final question

Me: Am I eligible for the 8000 frequent flyer points bonus?

Operator: Please proceed.

Operator: Yes, you are eligible for 8000 QFF poins as well.

Me: I am very pleased indeed.

Operator: Thanks.

Me: You, sir, are most welcome.

Operator: Thanks for your appreciation.

Me: When may I expect the new handset to arrive?

Operator: The new Handset along with the suitable Nano SIM will be delivered in 3-5 business days.

Me: Thank you.

Operator: You are welcome.

Operator: Is all good to proceed to process the order?

Me: Yes please.

Operator: I would like to know your preferred colour of the handset and the storage as well.

Me: Black, please

Operator: Okay.

Me: Do you need anything else?

Operator: I would require your email and shipping address.

Me: [shipping address provided]

Me: [email address provided]

Operator: Thanks for providing the information.

Me: Thank you for being most helpful

Operator: You are welcome.

Operator: We would like to be helpful to our customers.

Operator: Do you wish to add on an Insurance to your handset?

Me: How much extra will it be?

Me: Per month, I mean

Operator: It will cost you $13.99/month.

Me: Yes, I will add insurance.

Operator: Thats an good idea.

Me: Is there anything else I should know?

Operator: It is almost done.

Operator: You will have to accept the Critical Information Summary.

Operator: The CIS outlines you the plan inclusions and pricing details.

Operator: This will appear next to your chat box.

Me: okay

Me: Waiting for it to appear

Operator: Please accept the CIS that is sent to you.

Me: I see the handset costs $11. How much would change (price etc) if I wanted a 32GB or 64GB phone?

Operator: If you go for 32 GB handset the fee will be $15.00/month.

Me: So when you say 'free upgrade', I'm still paying for the phone.

Me: Which part of this transaction is 'free'?

Operator: I meant to say that you are eligible for free upgrade.
That means you will be not paying any fee to upgrade the contract.

Me: My contract was for two years, and it ended.

Me: You're not actually giving me anything for free.

Operator: As few customers will not be eligible for free upgrade, they will have to pay the upgrade fee and proceed with the upgrade.

Me: The ones who are upgrading before their contract ended?

Operator: Yes, correct.

Me: I have to decline. You've not given me anything for free. You've not rewarded my loyalty at this time.

Me: You've been very polite about it though.

Operator: Let me offer you $100.00 credit.

Me: Let me offer you, I'm going to consider my other options with other service providers. Let me offer you, be honest up front. You almost had me.

Operator: I am sorry for any misunderstanding in this interaction.

Operator: I apologize if it is my mistake.

Me: I'm sorry I let you waste half an hour of my time.

Two days later my iPhone 3GS mysteriously died.

So who can tell me which company does the best deal on a 64GB iPhone 5?

I should be able to get one for free once the rumoured iPhone 5S finally appears, right?




 1: Note my use of the word 'upgrade' relating to my intention to procure an iPhone 5. At this stage, I'm happy to purchase one.

2: Oh joy! Did you hear that? I want to upgrade to an iPhone 5. My service provider tells me I can - for no charge! You know what I thought he meant. You thought the same thing initially, didn't you - unless you work for my service provider, or share my service provider and have been in my position.

3: It clearly sounds like I'm being offered a free iPhone 5.

4: I'm not actually on a plan; my last one expired. I'm still billed at the same rate, but I now own my own handset, and could take it to a new service provider and get on a cheaper plan. Or pay as I go. I've just been too lazy. And I figure, if I go back to this service provider, they may even reward my loyalty.

5: But I'm not really on a plan though.

6: Still not on a plan though.