Friday, October 19, 2007

Let me tell you a tale #4: How not to fall asleep

Let me tell you a tale is a series of stories told by Mike Minutillo about the various antics from his life. Some of the characters will have been changed in order to protect the innocent or to make me appear more colorful as a human being. Some of the events will have been changed to increase their comedic value.

Last night I was bored. To be clear I don't really get bored. It was once said of me that if I were to be locked in a rubber white room for 10 years I'd come out a little hairier but otherwise much the same. I chose to take it as a compliment. A testament to my ability to keep myself occupied and amused with nothing but my brain.

Regardless of this, I had nothing to do. I was kind of tired and my brain came up with an activity that required little actual work on it's behalf. It suggested Scouta.

I don't hop onto Scouta as often as I should which is a shame. Scouta is a recommendation engine for online media which personalizes it's recommendations to by observing your viewing behavior. It was started by our very own Internet deity Richard Giles who I am sure will correct my definition in comments [Hi Rich :)].

The basic upshot of this is that rather having to scour the Internet for good stuff, it comes straight to you. It's very good at it. Last night I was complaining that it had never shown me anything I didn't like. Ha! Is that a bad thing?! Wake up man.

Anyway, I was watching this awesome video featuring Guy Kawasaki chairing a panel of some of the webs biggest success stories. I was about 45 minutes into the 1 hour video and then suddenly I was waking up. I had fallen asleep in that achingly familiar and yet still quite painful position of sitting in a chair with your chin on your chest.

The previous paragraph sounds like the video put me to sleep. To be clear, the video was really good, I was just that tired.

Time for bed, I told myself. All the kids are asleep, the dog is in, the cat is in (See I pay attention to those Channel 10 ads), and I'm obviously tired. In my sleep-addled state I struggled with the bedroom door for about 15 minutes before realizing that my wife had locked it. This is likely to prevent her suffocating in her sleep under the pile of children that like to sleep on top of her. I got into the room and beheld the glory that is my bed.

My bed is big. It isn't huge, it isn't palatial, it's just big. This is good because I am a big guy. I appreciate my bed. Not just because it is big, but because I don't sleep in it very often. There are a couple of reasons for this.

Firstly, the pile of aforementioned children makes it incredibly uncomfortable. They are very snuggly, just not with me, which means I get faced with a bed full of kicking feet.

Secondly, I snore. Apparently I don't just snore, I make a noise that sounds like a herd of sheep being sucked through a Boeing engine (what a great visual). As my wife is a light sleeper and I am an Olympic gold-medalist sleeper I tend to allow her a good nights sleep most of the time by sleeping on a fold-out at the other end of the house. That is, she gets the best nights sleep one can get under a pile of children.

But tonight I wanted my bed. As I said I love the bed. It came to us from my mother-in-laws house where my sister-in-law used to sleep on it. Before that the beds origins are lost in the mysteries of time. It could be that it spent 14 decades travelling through Europe as part of a circus troupe, entertaining the mighty and meek alike with it's death-defying antics once catching the eye of a beautiful czarina and being chased out of Russia across three continents before finally finding a hiding place here in Perth. It might have just sat a shop waiting to be bought. I choose to believe the former. It gives the bed character and makes life more interesting.

So anyway, I climbed into this wondrous bed and settled in to sleep. After a few moments I heard a weird a grating noise. That's weird I thought to myself. It was a softish sort of noise and I thought that maybe my wife was snoring. As I'm a heavy snorer I had no real right to complain. I closed my eyes and decided I could live with it.

A few seconds later I heard it again. It didn't sound like someone snoring anymore. It sounded like metal being dragged through wood. I had a few seconds to contemplate this and then the scream occurred.

It wasn't a particularly blood-curdling scream. It shouldn't have had the heart-wrenching effect that it did even if it was coming from the woman I had chosen to spend the rest of my life with. The reason it affected me so badly is because I was also falling the 3 and a 1/2 foot to the ground that she was.

After spending several seconds checking to ensure that I was still alive, that my wife was still alive, that our house hadn't been magically transported to some demon dimension of agonizing shock and pain, I got up and switched on the light to determine what had happened. It turns out that the weird noise I was hearing was actually the sound of the end of the bed shearing off.
Apparently 5 years of worrying that the door was going to burst open revealing an angry Russian monarch accompanied by an armada of woodcutters had left the bed in no position to take my weight.

At least that is my daughters theory. I think it has more to do with a pile of crazed children jumping on it frequently but she's five and knows everything so who am I to argue.

And that is my tale. Anyone else ever had furniture collapse on them? Or been woken by a blood-curdling scream? Let me know.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Moments in Time

Tomorrow (Thursday, 4th October) is my sons 2nd birthday. In case that doesn't get your jollies up I did some "research" to find some other excuses for you pop the champagne.

470 years ago - The first English-language Bible was printed.

212 years ago - Napolean Bonaparte first rises to national prominence with a "Whiff of Grapeshot" (this one is just for Cameron Reilly)

124 years ago - The Orient Express ran for the first time.

76 years ago - Dick Tracy first appeared.

57 years ago - Snoopy made his debut appearance.

50 years ago - The Russian Empire first chucked a beeping dustbin named Sputnik 1 into orbit.

In response to this the American nation launched their own trash in the form of a TV show called Leave it to Beaver.

22 years ago - The Free Software Foundation was founded.

And 2 years ago - my son was born. Happy Birthday Will. I love you heaps.