May 29, 2009

DIY Guide to Hogwashing the Stupid Swine Flu

Or Oink Oink, Cough.

I`m just loving the pandemic pandemonium.

It truly brings out the moron in everyone. I have some Aussie kin stockpiling and getting their knickers in a knot since a P & O Cruise became all infected on the high seas of northern Australia and turned into a floating media freakout.

Normally in Australia when there`s any issue at sea, they just start chucking people overboard . I was so waiting for that to start happening.

Anyways, here you have it…

Dinky DIY`s Guide to Surviving Swine Flu

Medicinal Mix-up When authorities find the dead woman with her undies around her bloated, bluish face in your cabin be sure you and your buddies pass off the GHB they find in her blood as a Tamiflu mix-up. Relenza sounds so like Rohypnol ...anyone could make that mistake.

Fashions of the Flu The industrious Mexicans have jumped on this opportunity to provide to the eager market options for the fashionable swine flu facemask.

My tip is the cute little Miss Piggy snout or try this flambostic and crafty take on the new look. But then when it comes time for Aussie`s to put them on, I reckon someone should get them made up saying Chk Chk Boom!… the ticking timebomb of plague.

Mwah Mwah, Darloink! According to The Huffington Post

A single sneeze propels 100,000 droplets into the air at around 90 mph, landing on door knobs, ATM keypads, elevator buttons, escalator railings, and grocery cart handles… as many as 150 commuters can be sickened by one uncovered achoo."

Normally my solution would be to take to air kissing but the NY Times says even that`s a faux pas now. Sigh. Good manners just fly out the door when a pandemic comes to town.

I Vant To Be Alone "Social Distancing" is actually being recommended by world governments. This is the fancypants term for staying away from people. Yay! Another triumph for our already paranoid, alienated, disconnected modern world. You didn`t feel like going to your wife`s highschool reunion before but now you have the perfect excuse Sorry honey, W.H.O says socialising is out… and I was so looking forward to it. Or your whingy best mate wants to drag you along to another humiliating singles night in her desperate attempt to feel young and desirable again. But o-oh… It`s just this swine flu thing, spreading like wildfire! Young singles are the incubators. Better stay at home and watch The Hills.

We`re All Doomed! The bacon sickness is obviously the Wrath of God punishing the Mexicans for that South American priest indugling in his great big sex romp with a single mother on the beach and the rest of us for global warming. Pray furiously and consider smiting the kids yourself… grotty little spreaders kids can be. And teenagers! With their sinful CyberSpacebook, Twittering and Sexting crazes, their oversexualised exuberence, their tweeny teeny fleshlicious MTVness. They are all over each other in unholy swine saliva swapping. Don`t close down the schools, use them as lures to round up these wretches en masse and them them wipe out the future together.

Spicey Can Be Dicey Shikimic acid is a major active ingredient in Tamiflu and it comes from star anise. But it aint gonna help despite Chinatown herbalists doing a roaring trade on anise during bird flu and again this time round. The raw material ''goes through several intermediate steps [to become Tamiflu], and some of them are very toxic," said Norman Farnsworth, director of University of Illinois at Chicago. We suggest buy shares in star anise farms (there are some in NSW) and sip on your Pernod Anise for good measure, it`ll give you a nice buzz and help you forget the lunacy this sooky flu is causing.

A Pommy Cow and a Chinese Chicken walked a bar in Cancun… but Australians should be alerted the Koala Cough which originated in the town camps of Northern Territory where hygiene is notoriously bad. Medical experts suspect that petrol sniffers were coming into dazed contact with the infected animals and transmitting the illness through all their other filthy habits.

  • It is said to be spreading rapidly throughout the country mainly because of the stimulus package promoting local travel and thus encouraging folk into the infection zone around Uluru.
  • Symptoms include drowsiness developing into extreame fatigue whereby the victim loses motivation to do even the simplest of tasks beyond slow chewing.
  • Demographics most at risk are IT, Real Estate and Finance sector workers recently made redundant due to their oversexed nature. Koala cough CAN be spread by sharing sushi dinners and taxi cabs.
  • Be vigilant! Suggested treatment; turn off the television, throw out the newspapers and turn down talkback. Try buying out of manufactured panic. Experiment with not living in a constant state of fear.

All the same, if you sprout a curly-wirly tail, might want to drop by your GPs.

May 26, 2009

DIY Guide to Hotels, Motels and Bonk Stops

OR Hotel World

En route from Austria to here (Germs as I like to call the Vaterland) my car broke down. Right near this country`s seediest hotel.

Definitely 100% sure it was a highway-side shagging hotel.

This one appeared to be frequented by child groomer-looking types that wear eighties tennis shoes with suits. It was shudder inducing entertainment to watch the human tide that ebbed in and out the Casino door while we drank Burger King coffee and waited for roadside assist.

I am totally mesmerised by the magic of hotels and when your feet are as itchy as mine, you end up staying in loads of them.

The luxury of crisply laundered linen and wide tiled bathrooms. The way the towels, tissues and toilet paper are delicately folded into welcoming origamis . And don`t get me started on hotel lobbies! The poised possibility of these intersection is irrisistibly thrilling.

Dinky DIYs Guide to Hotels, Motels and Bonk Stops.

Hotel Life Be alert when approaching hotels or motels on dark desert highways. These joints might look nice, though remember you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. I once stayed in a youth hostel in Tel Aviv that was full of slightly off characters who had forgotten hotels were usually transitional places. It was fun to begin with but then just got scary.

Stars In Her Eyes . Ten year old me was so overwhelmed by the grandeur of five star foyeurs that I would immediately take to calling my brother Alex, Sander and inexplicably rolling my r`s.

Mini Me Mini bars are the ultimate test of self discipline and the lonely room culture of motels. I`ve seen them undo perfectly normal human beings… is it the mininess that is so novel? Tiny little bottles and pint sized packets are speaking to you from behind the itty bitty fridge door. Devour me, they cry, ravage me at $6.95 a pop charged straight to your card.

Truck-Stop Terror Driving north last year I was caught in a deluge that refused to ease up and forced me into the Bates Motel of Ballina, NSW. I hardly slept a wink under my fly-spotted, moth-eaten synthetic bedspread listening to truckies talking through the paper thin walls, with their distinctly Wolf Creek gravelly voices. Horror. I skidaddled first thing in the morning before I came across Norman... or his Mother.

Boutique in BrisVegas Once in Brisbane I stayed here and I`m convinced this is the best place to stay in town. Funky rooms, big TV, walking distance to everything you need PLUS internet and complimentary coissant breakfast at very decent rates. The discerning travellers first choice for Brissy. (they should pay me for this kind of love.)

Doing the Continental I`ve had pretty rocking breakfast experiences the world over but became very fond of having eggs fried in front of me in all the B and Bs of Vietnam. Complimentary breakfast... When they mention this as they hand me the key, my knees unfailingly go weak. Along with late check out I`m not sure there is anything I would rather hear come out of the mouth of a bellhop. Maybe, Oh and Madam, a message from Mr Clooney, your ballgown is hanging in the closet and the limo will collect you from the lobby at eight. That would also be nice.

Heartbreak Hotel There`s nothing like balling in a hotelroom alone to make you feel like a washed up rockstar. Mini bar self-medicating and other demons often lurk in the wrong room at the wrong time. But, be astute. If the bell hops tears keep flowin and the desk clerk is dressed in black. They have probably been so long on lonely street they aint ever gonna look back and you would be better off shelling out the extra dosh to get a nice spa suite and treat yourself to dinner. Trust me, those dodgy joints are supposed to get you thinking Michael Hutchence thoughts. Get out!

We haven`t had that spirit here since 1969. Unregistered guests have been known to overstay their visit to hotels by hundreds of years. Yep, I`m talking the supernatural kind that rattle chains up hallways and run ice cold hands down your neck. Check out the world`s most haunted hotels here.

Great Aussie Hotels
  • Lake Argyle Village is on the edge of the most spectacular views, motel is 1950s pastel paradise
  • Victoria Hotel Rutherglen must stay for the June Queens Birthday Winery Walkabout
  • El Questro actually means nothing in Spanish or any other language. But it sounds cowboy cool. This place was once a free loving utopia that, as they all do, failed and is now in the very commercial hands of wiser folk. Christ, it`s amazing though.
  • Grey Gum Lodge, Nimbim. Best bargain and best kept secret place to stay up here (even though its flooding at the moment.) The owner, I think her name is Shirley, is a pretty interesting lady and has a flair for shabby chic sans the shabby.

May 24, 2009

DIY Guide to Genius

Or Stand Tall, Poppies

Are you a smart cookie seeking hope? Or a dopey drawers looking for a clue?

This may help…

Dinky DIYs Guide to Genius

Blow off school. This is step one to achieving genius. Do not matriculate, this could completely spoil your plans of genius. Einstein flunked high school, Bill Gates dropped out of uni, chess freak Bobby Fisher didn`t graduate but they are all pretty fondly remembered for being sharp. Thomas Edison barely made it out of kindy and Winston Chuchill ended up in a secondary military school but only after trying at the entrance exam three times. Bit of a bummer if you already went through the whole shebang. Prepare yourself for medoicrity?

Get nuts. Blessed are the cracked for they shall let in the light.

You know how they say you can be too smart for your own good, well there is some suggestion that geniuses are more likely to be loony tunes than your average Joe Blow. Many were swinging on a bipolar pendulum others were hearing voices, some were a little OCD (or a lot). Pythagoras started out cool but then possibly went a bit… obtuse. He founded his own religion and believed beans were evil. Scholar Samuel Johnson was plagued with unsettling ticks we now know to be tourettes syndrome and was gloomily suicidal. Kafka and Proust were both hypochondriacs.

Neglect personal hygiene. Michaelangelo was definitely smarter than the average bear but he was also a filthy grot with no personal regard for his body odour or cleanliness. You`ve seen the frizzled state of Einstein`s hair, he could use a good honey oats treatment and he used to pick up used butts of the street to smoke the tobacco. Celebrated inventor Nikola Tesla (who was vioently repulsed by pearls) was obsessed with pigeons to the point where he would wander around Central Park covered in the birds and their poop. Fortunately he remained celibate because he thought it helped his science.

Be Male…. Ok ok ok, not so! But one does find a rather alarming tiltage in the literature towards blokes. This is, naturally, because women have a better grasp on modesty and reserve. But if you want to blow the booby trumpet look no further than the Brontes, in particular Charlotte the grand dame of chick lit and passionate child hater. Otherwise try ol` Hypatia of Alexandria (feminist icon from roman antiquity, she was mathematical, philosophical and a bit of a stir, the latter possibly causing her murder by a mob) or the aptly named Marilyn vos Savant.

Suicide outta here! Van Gough started by cutting off an ear and sculling glasses of turps only to finish checking himself out with a bullet to the chest. Empedocles did it, but he didn`t really mean to. So conviced was he that he was godlike, he hurtled himself into Mount Etna with a band of witnesses who he had promised to return to in moments. Needless to say, all they got back was a clever smelling puff of smoke.

Be a patient corpse. Real genius comes to those who wait... a loooong time. Most accepted geniuses achieve the coveted status well after they have died young, sick and impoverished.

Then again, it may all be overrated. As Stephen Hawking put it, "People who boast about their IQ are losers."


In Aussieland we have Tall Poppy Syndrome which is a particularly ungenerous aspect of the Australian collective pysche where we like to cut down those folk who rise above the rest... like a poppy gone all gangly and out of control.

In Germany, where I am bunkered down this week, they have Schadenfreunde (Schaden: damage, harm; Freude: joy) a distantly related local concept where the Germans take great delight in the misfortunes of others.

We like to keep the bastards down, our German friends like to see them fall over. Which would you prefer?

May 20, 2009

DIY Maintain Your Epic Rivalry

Read my article for Design Federation here on infamous rivals in the creative field and be inspired by the greats on new and exciting ways to defame, disgrace and drive your arch nemesis nuts.

Now while many of you might not like political blogs I do need to be sure my thoughts are reaching the right people so I am working from the assumption that everyone hear is aligned, as I am, with the side of the Pirate. Ninjas begone. This is no place for you...

Confused? You must be old.
Read here and here for more information and act like you totally always knew that.

May 12, 2009

Dilly Dilly Gin Drunk

OR DIY Joins the Lavender Mafia (and you thought that was just a right wing myth!)

There is a very wonderful man named Robert who runs the cocktail bar at the Rose of Australia Hotel, next to the train station at Erskineville in Sydney’s inner west. This is, by the way, my favourite pub in Sydney and I cannot speak highly enough about the beer battered fries or the staff.

But Robert is extra special. He’s like a cocktail whisperer. The concoctions he brews behind the bar are frothing fantasies of fruity flavour and his wicked sense of humour can be glimpsed in the cheeky appellations he bestows upon his creations.

If you happen to be in there, do say hello from the Russian and I.

Some of the neatest tricks Robert taught us were his infusions. He flavoured spirits with exotic spices and additions. For example, the main ingredient in his Monica Lewinsky is cigar infused vodka. He actually had a vat of Absolut that he would rotate Wee Willam cigars in. Wonderful stuff!

One infusion he didn’t do but which I happily stumbled upon at the Breakfast Creek Hotel in Brisbane was Lavender infused Gin. I don’t believe they do it anymore, but I am rather partial to a bit of Mother's Ruin and I bet you are too so never fear, Dinky DIY is here!

And since I have this periwinkle wild flower on the brain at the moment, I have a whole carpet bag full of lavender blue dilly dilly tricks!

Lavender is a member of the mint family (bet you didn’t know that) and flowers or leaves can be used fresh and both buds and stems can be consumed after drying.

English Lavender is the most commonly used variety in cooking as it’s sweetest. Don’t be buying it from the flower shop and whacking it into anything unless you feel like choking down on persticides, you either have to track down some culinary quality stuff or grow it yourself which is a piece of cake.


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried lavender
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle gin, (naturally I only drink Sapphire Bombay but whatever.)


Add lavender to gin and allow to infuse for 1 day. Strain and store.



  • 2 1/2 parts lavender-infused gin
  • 2 1/2 parts Vermouth de Provence
  • 1 part Cointreau
  • Ice
  • twist of orange rind for garnish


Combine gin, vermouth and Cointreau in a glass/shaker. Add ice and stir thoroughly. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with the twist of orange and serve.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. You can infuse lavender into almost everything to get a bit of fragrant fanciness into your cooking.

  • Try making lavender extract for sweeties like lavender cupcakes. (lots of info and recipes here)
  • Lavender sugar is a handy little something special to have about. (Put 2-4 tablespoons of dried lavender buds into each cup of sugar, allow the plant oils to meld for 2 weeks before you use it sprinkled on toast or pancakes.)
  • Lavender infused honey just means a few springs in a generic honey to add a purple pizzazz to the taste.

Recipes that love to lap up lavender:

  • Panna cotta, crème brulee and ice cream. Milkiness and laverderiness go together like a varicose vein running up a lily white thigh. Shocking, but inevitable. Do it, it’s good.
  • Lavender chocolates
  • As a herb it can be a substituted for rosemary and goes nicely with mustard (try it with au gratin potatoes)
  • It is a major ingredient in Herbes de Provence my flirty Francophiles. Make like a slutty provincial milkmaid and rub that lavender on a breast today!

And, oh baby, this is a mighty effort from Our Lady Martha Stewart (Thanksgiving Living magazine for 2007)


Serves 12


  • 3 cups of granulated sugar
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup of dried lavender
  • 4 cups of fresh lemon juice (16-20 lemons)
  • Ice for serving
  • Lemon slice for garnish


Bring sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan stirring until sugar has dissolved. Stir in Lavender. Remove from heat, and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain, discarding Lavender. Let cool. Stir in lemon juice. (Lemonade can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.) Serve over ice, and garnish with lemon slices and fresh lavender sprigs.

May 9, 2009

Happy Mothers Day from Dinky DIY

Mothers mothers mothers!
One of life's precious bothers.
But take them apart,
And you'll find they're all heart,
Yes, we lovers the mothers the mothers.

No smothers from some mothers, no smothers.
Then, can't get them off! Some others.
Calls three times a day
"Just saying, g'day..."
What duffers, those mothers, dear mothers.

Some folk have MILF mothers for mothers.
I daresay those folk mainly suffers.
Oh what a stir,
All eyes on her!
Imagining her under their covers.

Some folk have it rougher than others.
Hundreds of sisters and brothers!
But each gets his share,
Mother takes care.
Great huggers, are mothers, great huggers.

But, I tell you if I have my druthers,
Well I wouldn't want anothers'.
She's handful enough,
Though she does make me laugh.
I quite like her, ol' mother, me mothers.

May 7, 2009

DIY Stick It To The Man

OR Rise Ye, Children of the Revolution

Feeling a little antsy, like you want to up the ante.

Me too.

Here’s Dinky DIYs Guide to Sticking to The Man.

Brush up on your constitutional law and secede. In 1969, after a running dispute with the Western Australian government about wheat quotas, Leonard Casey stuck his proverbial middle finger up at the bureaucratic bullies and seceded from Australia. He created the Principality of Hutt River and crowned himself Prince and his wife, Her Serene Highness Princess Shirley. Just 500 odd kms from the city of Perth, with its Hutt River Dollar and motto Dum Spiro Spero ("while I breathe, I hope") it is an oddity of Australiana and the country’s only micro-nation.

Tune in, turn on, drop out. So you think you have what it takes to be a counter-cultural revolutionary, man. Groovy. .. but you’re too late. This war was started before you were out of your pampers, friend. So, step away from the cheesecloth, put down the acid tab and get with the program. I’m talking cyberdelics ("turn on, boot up, jack in") and the Hacker Ethic. Don’t shirk and squirm, you media manipulated mortal, hackers are not only evil guys who work for the Chinese government, they are bohemians fighting the good fight. This is about freedom of speech, information and lifestyle. In which the real revenge of the nerds begins....

Incite Terrorism. Only kidding, I’m just a wannabe radical trying to catch the attention of the censorship bugs. Terrorism is evil, kids. It makes Americans wee themselves with fear and start irrationally bombing countries nobody has ever heard of before.Besides, everyone else is doing it, resist the mainstream.

Author a pamphlet. What a dull suggestion, you say? Carefacter: 0 If you fricken knew anything, you would know this is how all the important anarchists and envelope pushers got it done.

Martin Luther, Jonathon Swift, Karl Marx, Lewis Carroll, Adolf Hitler, Leo Tolstoy... you would be among controversial friends.

They all got articulate and printed up nifty little pamphlets pushing brilliant new thoughts, crazy musings or theories that rocked the sleepy establishment.

Build some Killa Skillz: And you thought you were managing survival just fine, right? Well, do you know how to score a sneaky second passport? How to keep your money safe from an asset freezing crisis or how to make cheese or how to get out of a car boot if you find yourself at the mercy of kidnappers? Hell, do you even know how to make a snare? The rumblings of this revolution are all over the WWW, people are arming up, stocking up and building some serious skills in preparedness for whatever cataclysmic disaster may face our fragile planet in the future. Time to tap into the inner James Bond cum McGuiver and go Mad Max on this world.

Find a man and stick something to him. Be it by sticky tape, super glue or stapling, if you have no causes to bear, no forces to fight but by golly you want to make a statement, then find thee a man and stick it to him. It might make you feel better. Of course I take no responsibility for the consequences.

May 4, 2009

Dunny-side Reading & The Trouble With Magazines OR How To Instantly Feel Better About Your Life & Save Money In One Small Step

My father is, like many men I know, an avid toilet session reader. Now, if any of you are toilet readers you may have already learnt the secret trick to this. A big book, with large text and preferably humorous content will keep you entertained over weeks of loo sittings.

I was at some friends of ours a few weeks ago and found they had a Suicide Bunny book. It was full of cartoons and very pleasant to flick through whilst distracting oneself from the task at hand.

My dad had the very dense biography of Mao Tse Tung next to his toilet for years, but recently something alarming happened. He finished the book.

To the delight of my step mother, this temporarily shortened his otherwise somewhat extended visits to the dunny.

He was desperate; he needed something to keep him entertained. Until he started collecting her
Madison magazines, material he wasn’t particularly interested in but fulfilled the simple reading requirement and had lots of pretty pictures (the Russian also used to nick my glossies for the same purposes until I saw the light and ceased buying them forever... but we’ll get to that.)

So, the other day he was able to recount to me his horror when he read the true life tale of a yoyo dieter who was obese when her husband was diagnosed with cancer and then, much to her delight, began to lose the weight without even trying as he slowly succumbed to the disease.
He was outraged at the underlying moral of the article, Hubby Dies I Get Skinny (peculiar and disturbing.)

It just reminded how evil women’s magazines are. I had forgotten, since I made a conscious decision over three years ago never to buy them. And I was something of a fan, I liked the trashy tabloids that you grab at the checkout, the advertising-dense fashion bibles and the girly reads. I bought them as treats, but found they left me wanting.

In every aspect of the word. By the time I had read through the mag I was of the opinion that I wasn't pretty enough or skinny enough or successful enough, no matter how high my self esteem was before I started reading. I would be making mental lists of things... stuff... that I needed as I read.

"Oh, I need to get that dress/top/jeans/shoes/car/watch/man/career/lifestyle."

I now recoil at the sight of a
Shop Til You Drop, Cosmo, Cleo etc because I feel the evil, targeted insecurity-breeding bad writing leaping out of the shiny glossy pages at me.

The bitchy women-trashing, celebrity-spying that feeds into their reader’s insecurity (which they certainly are partly to blame for) disgusts me.

The eye-scratching betrayal of the sisterhood by sending befuddling mixed message in articles that offer empowering, self-esteem booting information placed next to a double page spread of airbrushed teenage nymphs with lesbian undertones.

The moronically recycled sex tips have been in circulation so long my “tweenie” cousins could recite the list of Must Do’s when giving a blow-job (oh yes, they catch them young with the insidious
Dolly and Girlfriend) without even really knowing what they are talking about.

It’s gross.

These mags are brimming with pictures that have been digitally altered in sophisticated programs. Altered beyond belief even when the subjects have mostly gone under the scalpel themselves to render their own bodies so unreal that we now have a warped idea of what is natural and beautiful.

It sucks. I hate them. Opt out.