Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Washing Machine Sings

I'm used to cleaning my clothes in fairly old washing machines.  They don't have fancy back-lit displays, and they don't have doors in the front where you can see the clothes.  My parents' washing machine is one of the ones that tries to escape from the laundry during every spin cycle if its contents aren't perfectly balanced.  I like to think it is trying to get to the kitchen to hang out with the dishwasher.

Anyway I moved into a new place a few months ago, and my flatmate owns a pretty swanky washing machine with fancy lights, lots of moving parts and three different sections to put washing powder.  For a device whose sole purpose is to make my socks clean again, I think it's a little bit over-designed.  It makes beeping noises whenever I touch it, and sometimes the door locks for no reason after the load is finished, and a Mexican standoff ensues between man and machine.  I threaten to disconnect it from the power and water, and it suggests I go to work wearing only my belt and shoes.

The thing I like about the machine though, is is plays a little tune as it finishes its cycle.  It's almost like the little engine that could; he's battled with those clothes for a full hour and forty minutes, and now he's triumphed by bringing them back from the dark side.  I would sing a song too. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bristol Stool Chart

Last week I was rogaining with a friend of mine in the Snowy Mountains.  If you aren't familiar with rogaining, it's basically running around the bush for 24 hours trying to find as many orange flags as you can.

At the start of the event you are given a map like this:
The flags are represented by the red circles, each with a different point value shown beside.  All the competitors frantically draw on their maps with a quiver of highlighters and pens, trying to find the optimum route to reach the highest score.  The competitive teams manage to cover 70-80km in 24 hours, which seems reasonable until you realise how few roads there are.  Needless to say, I've not yet been part of a competitive team.

Rogaines are usually held in fairly remote areas, and competitors are expected to bring their own water.  For this particular event (because we were in the mountains), the organisers told us the water in the creeks was fit for drinking, without boiling or filtering.  We had the option of taking purification tablets with us, but we opted for a roll of toilet paper instead, laughingly calling it a 'bad-aid solution'.

About 12 hours into the rogaine we had racked up a tidy score and drank plenty of creek water, but my team-mate's stomach began to protest.  The toilet paper became our most valuable commodity for the next 12 hours.  To give you an illustration, I present the Bristol Stool Chart:

I have it on good authority that my friend's deposits ranked very highly on the chart.  The lesson to take away from this: carry one of these items next time you want to drink from a dirty creek:

Friday, April 2, 2010

Epic fail

My friend started a blog at the end of last year and it initially showed some promise.  There were some genuinely funny posts, and a number of enthusiastic followers, but the blog has been stagnant now for at least a couple of months with the total number of posts resting at a humble 19.

So, I've taken the task of creating my own blog to see if I have more staying power than the venerable Tomurai.  If I do create more than 19 posts I'll probably leave it at that and call it a day, but let's face it: it's likely I'll lose interest before that happens.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with this: