Clawing my eyes out as I type this…


(Credit where credit’s due: I spotted this on, and they pinched it from Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to go hide under the bed where ElmoSapien can’t find me…)

From golf to gardening…

Once upon a time, I was a young nipper. These days, I’m probably a middle-aged nipper. Still, it beats elderly curmudgeon by a country mile. I wonder at what precise age one moves from nipping things to curmudgeoning them? How does one curmudge, anyway?

Anyhow, I was a young nipper. Other people have the photographs to prove it. And every other weekend, I’d spend time with my father and step-mother on a property about 20km outside of Armidale. They didn’t run the property — they just rented a house that happened to be on the property, perfect as it was for the raising of many, many cats, and a couple of mildly dysfunctional dogs.

As a nipper with two siblings (hello siblings! I’m sure one of you will be along to correct my dates, or faulty memory, before long… and, indeed, he was…), we had to more or less make our own entertainment. And one day, noticing the preponderance of cow dung around the property, and having access to golf clubs — through, it should be noted, our grandparents rather than our father — we hit upon perhaps the worst sport ever devised: Cow Pat Golf.

The rules were simple. There really weren’t any. You simply approached a pat, took a swing (it’s here that it occurs to me that we probably weren’t being allowed to borrow clubs of any quality at all) and observed the results, in accordance with all that stuff that Newton had worked out a couple of centuries earlier. History suggests that apples, rather than cow dung, were the source of his inspiration.

We worked out fairly quickly that dry, aged matter was better than freshly delivered targets; it flew further and disintegrated into little clouds quite far away from us, as distinct from a squelch, a splatter and a scream as we realised that we (and everyone around us) was now dripping in fresh, wet… well, you get the mental picture…

Anyway, all of this came flooding back to me today. Because instead of finding free cow pats, and playing golf with them, I was buying them to put on the garden, in nicely sorted bags. Somehow, I don’t think I’ll be taking the one golf club I have right now (a loaner of no particular quality) and introducing the fine sport to a new generation of Kidmans, however. Perhaps that’s for the best.

Sidenote: Curiosity got the better of me, and I just did a Google search for “Cow Turd Golf”. And in a move that should perhaps shock nobody, there’s a YouTube video of the sport in action. I’d like to claim the copyright, however — we were doing it a quarter of a century ago. Beat that for prior art!

Election fever!

Let’s see if this poll thing works:


(Feel free to leave a comment outlining your choice, if the mood strikes you)

Why did the monkey fall out of the tree?

10 Work, clean, look after kids.
20 Repeat 365

If only the editor worked, and I could insert line 15 (“Sleep”) in there somewhere.

Now, while I try to work the code out, you can check out yet another review, live at today:

Beyonwiz DP-H1: “At its core, the H1 is essentially a high definition digital TV tuner, and we’ve got to be honest here — they’re no longer quite as exciting as they used to be.”

Somewhere here on Earth…

It’s late, I’m tired, and all my funny has been used up (or drained out) by the kids.

Still, even though the newsagent’s is closed right now (as I’m writing this) it’s more than likely open right now-in-the-future (when you’re reading this). Which means two things — firstly, I’m speaking to you from the past. Spooky, or what?*Macworld

Secondly, it means that you’re mere moments away from being able to head to your local emporium of fine printed products, where you can hand over a very affordable $6.95 (or live chickens, if they accept them — but most don’t) for the October 2007 issue of Australian Macworld Magazine. Head to page 82 for my latest opinion column, this month with a decidedly green theme — 47 things to do with a non-recyclable iMac. Some of which I’m sure people are already are doing, and several of which I’m sure nobody is doing — yet.

OK, you can go now. The magazines aren’t going to buy themselves, you know. Although if they did…

(Alex was last seen running in the direction of the patent office screaming “Rich! I’ll be RICH, I tells ya! And they said I was crrrrrazyy!”)

*Definitely ‘What’. Or perhaps ‘Meh’.

There ain’t no technology I can’t kill…

Now, I’m not the World’s Greatest Gardener — a title which is bestowed, as far as I can see, through owning a coffee cup that lets all and sundry know that you are, in fact, the World’s Greatest Gardener. Humorous arrangements of fig leaves and thumbs may be involved on the cup, but these matters seem strictly optional.

Instead, for reasons which are too complex to go into here, my coffee cup would seem to indicate that I’m called Belinda, and that I’ve seen the Polar Bears at Sea World On The Gold Coast. Just in case anyone was confused, that’s not really all that true. I’ve never even been to Sea World.

Still, the fact remains that I’m not the World’s Greatest Gardener. But my affinity to test, and then break technology remains unflustered by the mere act of moving matters into realms arboreal. To wit, an electric mower, purchased yesterday from Bunnings. Constructed this morning, by me. And, naturally enough, 75% of the way round the garden, it dies. Dead as a dodo, with a power switch that merely goes “Click”, instead of “Brrrrm”.

Now, if anyone needs me, I’ll be out the back with a pair of scissors. For some time, it seems.

When you’re stoned, baby, and I am drunk…

iPods. Everyone seems to love them. Except, apparently, the Eskimos of the frozen north, who view them as a nuisance, invading the igloos and eating all the fish*.

Apple just keeps on making new ones, which means I’m then employed to write about them. I should be grateful, I suppose, as per today’s example, live at

iPod Nano (3rd Generation): “Apple rates the Nano as being capable of ‘up to’ 24 hours of music playback. Usually, that’s code for ‘if you’re really lucky you might get 20′”.

*Ah, wait. That’s Polar Bears. Easy mistake to make, you see — they’re both natively white…

Hast Du etwas Zeit für mich, Dann singe ich ein Lied fuer Dich

In between ranting at avaricious IVF couples and doing the whole Web 2.0 thing (just as it’s about to become Web 2.1), I also write stuff. Witness the following review, live today at

Apple iPod Touch: “Nobody’s ever going to write War and Peace on an iPod Touch, so it’s not a killer flaw…”

Being a freelance journalist makes one something of a word harlot, however. Over at, you’ll also find my words of wisdom, albeit on a different product:

Dopod C730: “The C730 is something of a case study in how to take great and interesting technology and then make it irrelevant through poor interface design…”

My word infidelity doesn’t just stop online, either. The latest issue of PC User also has my finely toasted verbs and accurately roasted nouns within, in the form of a review of the Netcomm BP504UK Modem Router WiFi Bundle. So even if you’re nowhere near the Web — which seems unlikely if you’re reading this — then you can head to the local News agency for your Alex fix. Go on. You know it makes sense.

Facebook Benchmark 1.0…

Righteo. Having finally succumbed to the modern social networking peril that is Facebook, I’m going to put it to the test. Specifically, I’ve put about 100 friend requests out there in the last five minutes (which naturally means I’m sick of bloody text confirmation boxes) — but how long will it take until they’re either accepted or rejected? If the strength of a social networking application is in the speed of social interaction, then this could be interesting. Or I could be really bored.

Let the record show that Stephen “Social Butterfly” Fenech was the first cab off the rank, about 12 seconds after he was in fact added…

You’re STILL doing WHAT? You feel WHAT?

This story just gets stupider and stupider

 “She said when they found out they were having twins, her partner who was carrying them, said she felt desperate and wished that one embryo would just go away.”

Here’s an idea. Have neither — frankly, for the mental protection of the poor kids, put them both into adoption/foster schemes (and yes, I know neither of those is perfect solutions either). Then you, and your partner, can go away anywhere you particularly feel like… but nowhere near kids, OK?