Christmas in Adelaide beckons….

Adelaide on my mind 😉

…and what do you suppose my mind is on? Family? Friends? Presents?

Well, yes of course but there’s a little piggy inside JudgeG that’s crying out ‘BALFOURS! PIG OUT!!!’

Sure they might have twelve-step programs and Betty Ford Clinics for detoxing from alcoholism, drugs and so on…but I can’t see they’re ever going to be able to invent a cure for my addiction to Balfours Pasties.

The most I ever had in one day was four. And my god, did I feel bloated and a bit sick after that. I was waddling around like a penguin. But it’s not my fault, see? It’s an addiction, an illness if you like. I blame society. Or at least that damn bakery in Adelaide!

And of course I can’t escape their propaganda anywhere when I’m back home (as the picture below clearly shows). I can get a ‘hit’ any time day or night with those 24 hour convenience stores in the city.

Not even the public shame of going through the airport scanner with my stash stops me…“Are they ALL pasties?,” the security screener exclaims rather too loudly whilst looking confused… “it’s just that I’ve never seen that many together.”

Hmmmph. Everyone’s a critic!

It's beginning to look a lot like....Adelaide!

Now if only Balfours could invent a 97% Fat Free pasty, I’d be in heaven!


Swedish Christmas Bazaar in Sydney

Yesterday the Swedish Church in Sydney held their annual Christmas Bazaar. James and Yoda study Swedish at the cafe located next to the Swedish church and naturally wanted to check out the bazaar. I was asked to tag along but was stuck waiting for a Woolies Homeshop order to arrive before I could jump in the shower and head into town.

I eventually arrived at the Christmas Bazaar about an hour late but stil in plenty of time to see everything. It’s a micro-bazaar and I couldn’t help but think how much bigger and better it could be with a bit of proper management and publicity behind it. Still, not to say we didn’t have a good time – we did – just that I kept envisioning how much better it could be with me running things behind the scenes 😉

The Bazaar is held in a closed-off lane behind the church. It’s a strange location and many passers-by were quite bemused when they saw the banner and the activity as they walked by the normally obscure little lane off Elizabeth Street.

Yoda and James bought raffle tickets and both won! SAS airline glasses which looked like they were from the 70s – tres cool! And a selection of Swedish language books including a songbook for Ållsang På Skansen. Both were happy with their prizes.

Afterwards we retired to a couple of local pubs to get out of the heat and have a few refreshing beverages!

Here’s a gallery of photos I took at the bazaar. They’re shown small on this page but they’re really quite large shots – you can click on them to see much bigger versions.

Avoiding Katy Perry

Ever since singer Katy Perry sued Australian fashion designer Katie Perry, she’s been on my ‘people I’d most like to see burned at the stake’ list.

If you don’t remember the story, Katy Perry (the slag singer from the U.S.) sued Katie Perry, a fasion designer just because she had the same name. Two facts to remember: U.S. singer Katy Perry isn’t actually Katy Perry – that’s not her real name. And secondly, Australia’s Katie Perry had been trading with her (real) name before the (fake) U.S. singer Katy Perry made it huge.

So we have Katie Perry, an Australian fashion designer being sued by a fake Katy Perry – a b-grade slag singer from the U.S. The legal action only stopped when the media got hold of the story and it all blew up. Did slag Katy Perry apologise to innocent fasion Katie Perry? No, of course not!

Anyway, it all presented a bit of a dilemma for me because I’d fallen in love with the song ‘Hot and Cold.’ This was slag Perry’s follow up to her megahit ‘I Kissed A Dog (and I licked it)’. There was no way I was going to putting any of my hard earned moolah into slag Perry’s coffers but I did love the song.

The solution?

I found the solution last night thanks to and Almighty Records in the U.K. Almighty have done one of their fabulous cover versions of the song. Dance-pop at it’s best. GBP1.29 for a 4 track download single from 7Digital. So I now have ‘Hot & Cold’ Almighty Anthem Mix and Anthem Radio Edit plus two other versions. JudgeG is very happy about this! Hot & Cold will be appearing on my Sansa E260 mp3 player very soon! – my alternative to the Evil Apple Empire

There are two things I hate above all with today’s commercial music sales environment – downloading songs and Apple’s strangehold on the market.

I like physical CDs and CD singles. Until recently I’d never considered purchasing music downloads – instead I’d go to extraordinary lengths to source the physical discs from the other side of the world if necessary. I’d downloaded a few old 12″ tracks from the 80s from Youtube because they are unavailable commercially in any shape or form. But that’s been about it.

Recently I had to admit defeat and realise that there were a few songs I really wanted that I could not get as CD singles. What to do? I hate Apple with a vengeance. After very bad experiences with a malfunctioning iPod shuffle and iTunes crashing my computer, I made a personal vow to never have anything to do with the Evil Apple Empire again. I won’t have any of their software on my computer and that’s an issue since they have a virtual monopoly over the paid download music market.

There are other contenders but their range is limited particularly when it comes to foreign, obscure and back catalogue tracks. What to do, what to do? - here to save us from the Evil Apple Empire

Coming to my (at least partial) rescue has been, a paid music download service from the U.K. I’ve found it’s really my kind of service. I don’t have to install any proprietary software and it doesn’t try and take over my computer. I signed up for an account and the only hitch was that it wanted me to be in the U.K. I solved that by putting a London postcode in my registration details. Problem solved!

I used 7Digital again last night to buy tracks from Almighty Records, The Saturdays, Paul Van Dyk and a classic 12″ Soft Cell mix from the 80s: Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go. The prices were very reasonable – 99p per track and some even cheaper than that. One was only 50p. My kind of prices!

Downloading the tracks was relatively simple – you can do them together as a big zip filed or individually. There’s a thing called 7Digital Locker to help you but I’ve found that a bit useless. I just download them in the normal way.

Physical CDs are still my preference and I still go out of my way to purchase them but I have to admit defeat sometimes and realise that 7Digital may be the way to go in the future when tracks are only available on download.

The following bit of pop campness also came to my attention solely through 7Digital – I’d never heard of it before. It’s a hooty version of a classic 80s track…

Extreme faggotry…..with Alcazar

Christmas…..Alcazar…..Wham….it all adds up to extreme faggotry in this video which redefines uber-campness and resets the bar so high it may never be breached. Unless it’s by another Alcazar video!

Sometimes it’s just f****** fabulous to to be a fag!

While I’ve always hated the original version of this songs, I will be coughing up whatever moolah is required to own Alcazar’s version. It’s just sooooooooooo Gay.

And so is JudgeG.

(thanks to Gustav for spotting this piece of cinematic homosexuality)

Surviving 41C….at IKEA

JudgeG as Hagar

JudgeG as Hagar

Holy Hectopascals! How do you survive a 41 degree day in Sydney? Well, for James the answer was going to IKEA. And he roped me into going too.

James and Yoda have their last Swedish lesson for the year on Tuesday night and there’s going to be a bit of a Christmas party. Everyone has to bring along Swedish food and so it was another trip to IKEA for James (and for me, deputising for Yoda who is on a 4-day astronomy bus trip around country New South Wales).

JudgeG’s flat was sweltering by 11.30am this morning but outside felt like someone was holding a giant hair dryer in the sky and pointing it towards Sydney. It felt like blast furnace. In agreeing to accompany James to IKEA I was aware that at least their would be air conditioning at the end of the journey. And luckily for us, all trains we caught were air conditioned too.

With Christmas rapidly approaching, IKEA is full of Swedish Christmas decorations and other goodies. Like Juleskum. Juleskum? They look nicer than they sound. We had to go through the entire store first to look at all the weird and wonderful Scando-creations and giggle at all the funny Swedish names they were called.

The place was packed – particularly with screaming kiddies but at least it was very well airconditioned. All of Rhodes Shopping Centre was thank god! We noticed there was a new Target and some new smaller shops so naturally we went to have a sticky beak. I also picked up a bluetooth headset for my gorgeous Nokia e63 mobile phone at last. I picked up the Nokia BH-105 which is charging in the lounge room as we speak! I’m hoping it’s going to be a good purchase and not a dud.

James feeling a little Christmassy at IKEA Back at IKEA James scoured the mini-Swedish food mart looking for something particularly Christmassy that doesn’t actually require any preparation, cooking or even heating up. Something wrapped in plastic and ready to eat!

The final choice was some kind of biscuit thing that looked Christmassy and only cost $6.95 for 9. James’ kind of value! He also picked up Yoda’s contributions to the party from the IKEA freezer chest – those little green pastry things that look like they’re coated in plutonium or nuclear waste. Apparently they’re a Swedish delicacy. At least it wasn’t pickled herring – that would have been going too far.

All about Christmas in Sweden The photo on the right gives you a good run down of Christmas in Sweden (click on any of these pics to see larger versions) where the winters are long, dark and cold. As opposed to the Sunday shopping days in Sydney where the weather is like living in a blast furnace! James pointed out that it was 8C in Stockholm today. Yes, that’s way too cold but 41C is just insane. Couldn’t we meet somewhere in the middle – say about 23C?

An airconditioned train ride back to the city was followed by a hot walk to the bus stop, a long bus ride and another 10 minute walk in this frightful November weather. I’m home now – fans are on, windows are open and I’m trying not to move too much. Gotta stay cool! We’re due for a cool change and a thunderstorm tonight so hopefully that means I’ll be able to get to sleep.

And dream of ducted airconditioning no doubt.

Nej! Nej! Nej! Too bloody hot!

Nej! Nej Nej! I'm protesting against the weather!

I’m gonna be so bloody hot today I’ll be screaming in Swedish! (“Nej!” meaning “No!” in Swedish.)

“Jag tycker inte om väder!”

Jag heter Jan. Jag är inte glad!

Inte glad Jan!