Thursday, December 21, 2006

PETA - People for unEthical Treatment of Anyone else

It appears that PETA is at it again, with the call renewed call by 'pop star' spokesperson Pink for a ban on mulesing of sheep.

Pink? Couldn't they convince anyone else? I see Pamela Anderson is a PETA spokesperson, too.

I present a list of fact based articles regarding the practice of mulesing, the PETA campaign, and PETA as an organisation.

I suggest you give all those sites a good read and make up your own mind.

Mine is made up.

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The inexorable passing of Time

It's recently come to light that I've grown older. It's not just the fact that I've got two kids, two cars, and bills out the wazoo. It's more of the people around me, and what I suddenly realise they're doing.

For instance, the group of guys I went to school with. I know where all these guys work and their job roles, but not what it is they do, day to day. Two accountants (coincidentally both named David), a digital imaging salesman, one temporarily unemployed, a tennis coach, a communications salesman, a bit of a multi-skilled drifter, and a real estate manager.

One is a CPA that recently started his own business. Sure, I knew that, but it wasnt till I saw his website that I realise what sort of business mind this bloke has. It's not till you read background of what people have done for the last 15 years that you fathom certain things.

Most of these guys are in fields that I have no remote idea what is involved in the job. Sometimes you cant help but be impressed by people you know well when you find out how much business knowledge they possess in their relevant field.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

The second pointless VB promotion

VB have done it again.

For this summer's cricket series they have issued not one, but TWO, ridiculous talking figurines, David "Boony" Boon and Ian "Beefy" Botham.

We can look forward to a season of incessant crap banter, humourless off-the-cuff comments, and complaints about the lack of VB.


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Monday, December 11, 2006

A statement from the V8 Supercars Stewards

Media Statement
11 December 2006

From: V8 Supercar Stewards
Re: Sunday Race 3, Round 13 incident

Following analysis of the television footage and incar telemetry from the incident involving Rick Kelly and Craig Lowndes from Sunday's race, the following has been decided:

Rick Kelly has been disqualified from Race 3, with the subsequent loss of points scored in Race 3 only
Craig Lowndes has been classed as finishing in 30th place and has had his point score amended by the addition of the requisite points
Rick Kelly will be stripped of the 2006 V8 Supercar Driver's Championship
The 2006 Driver's Championship will be provisionally awarded to Craig Lowndes

The incident has been deemed not to be a racing incident. The drive-through penalty administered during the race has not sufficiently addressed the result of the incident.

There is expected to be an appeal, but unless either team can produce new evidence, the result will stand.

V8 Supercar Stewards Committee
V8 Supercar Driving Standards Committee

Post Secret

Found this site in my travels this morning.

It is a fantastic bit of work, allowing people an anonymous outlet for 'dirty little secrets' or hidden shames that they can display proudly to the world.

Give it a run. I might even send the guy a postcard.

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Friday, December 01, 2006

The rich get richer, the poor get the shaft

It's amazing what bosses will say they deserve to pay themselves, while moving jobs overseas as cost-cutting measures.

The article shows that bank bosses are earning more in total capacity since last year, despite bulk outsourcing of workers. And they wonder why we dont like banks?

Next time I ring ANZ, I want to talk to Mr. John McFarlane himself. If he earns $3M+ a year, he should answer my questions, as well as everyone elses.

Before you bitch and moan about shareholders being able to oust boards and the like, think about how many shares are issued in the banks, and how many you would need to hold to have any sway at all.

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Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Prestige

Went out to see my first movie in a long, long time last night.

I was supposed to be going to see an ABC Radio National free preview of "A Scanner Darkly" with Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder, which I was keenly anticipating. But when the ABC Radio National crew couldn't get their act together and decide who was going to be let in, myself and my fellow movie-goers absconded down the hallway and into the first available theatre.

Luckily, it happened to be showing The Prestige.

By the writers of "Memento", Christopher and Simon Nolan, and directed by Christopher, it shares a similar story-telling device of a chopped up time sequence. But, like the part of the trick it is named after, delivers the Prestige at the very end of the movie quite dramatically.

The Prestige is part sci-fi, part period piece, part mano a mano thriller. Christian Bale is better than Hugh Jackman, with support from Sir Michael Caine, David Bowie, Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall. They've even got Daniel Davis (Niles from "The Nanny") as the chief judge.

Do you like solving mysteries? Go see it. Do you like tricks? Go see it. Do you like tension? Go see it.

'nuff said.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Does this not ROCK?

I ask you!

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Another entry on my 'list of things I'd like to be able to do'

After seeing Alex Lloyd and Chris Isaak in concert at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney last night, I've been forced to add another entry to my list.

List of Things I'd Like To Be Able To Do:
#71: Make 2900 people sit still, be quiet and watch as you sit on a stage with an acoustic guitar and sing

Alex Lloyd did it most effectively with a rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Alleluia".

Chris Isaak did it with "Blue Spanish Sky".


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Monday, November 13, 2006

Australian Rugby, take a closer look at thee

A treat for you all this week...a special guest rant by an outraged correspondent.


The time has come for Australian Rugby to have a long hard look at itself. Being pushed around by the All Blacks and South Africans is one thing, but when Italy start to smash our scrum to smithereens, something is drastically wrong.

In fact, I can’t remember the last time any scrum with Australia went forward, and certainly not since the time of Enrique ‘Topo’ Rodriguez.

What is being done to correct it? We bring in heavier guys and we still go backwards! Here’s something we should think about, why don’t we pick the best scrummagers in the country, rather than guys who can’t pack down successfully against Ballarat’s U/10b team.

No side can get anything going if the forwards don’t go forward. And this spring tour is the perfect example.

George Gregan has done more for his selection prospects by NOT going on the tour. The lack of direction without him is ridiculous. Granted he isn’t a Ken Catchpole or Nick Farr-Jones, but he is the best we’ve got at the moment.

Now, old ‘Knuckles’ Connolly, what is going on with the experimentation in the backline? I can understand Giteau to halfback with no Gregan, but surely you could tell Rogers at 5/8th didn’t work against Wales! Yet we have one of the top two number 10’s in the world standing at inside centre getting wasted.

The first time Larkham went to first 5/8th on the weekend, he put Rogers through a huge gap, maybe that should have rung alarms bells to change it, but no, lets stick with it.

I call on Gary ‘Storky’ Flowers to put an end to this debacle and have the best XV players in their position playing for Australia, and screw how many players come from which state policy, that appears to be happening now.

Finally, how can we waste either George Smith or Phil Waugh on the bench, when Rocky Elsom is only good to give away penalties and get sin-binned, and Wycliff Palu seems to be a gentle giant! We have former hard-men like Tony Miller et al turning in their graves.

Test matches like the last two weeks cannot continue, it’s the best advertisement Rugby League ever had.


My limited rugby mind agrees.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Downright UnAustralian

Lately I find myself doing something that many people would call UnAustralian. Mostly in sporting events.

Namely, supporting the opposition.

I was glad to see Wales draw the rugby test against Australia. I enjoyed the rugby league test match that Great Britain won against the Kangaroos on friday night as well, even though we lost.

Maybe its a sign of the overwhelming thrashings that Australian sporting teams have handed out through the last twenty years, and its time for our comeuppance? Its natural to want to see a dominant force crumble. Give someone else a go. We saw it in Formula 1 with the Williams teams of the late 80's and early 90's, and now they're struggling. We saw it in cricket in the 80's, with the West Indian teams, now beginning to restore the former team play that made them famous.

In a few years I'll probably feel differently. Particularly if we haven't won a rugby test, league test, cricket series, hockey championship, or world bowls cup between now and then.

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The greatest ad ever...according to most men

'nuff said.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Marble Theory of Marriage

For those of you unfamiliar with this, the Marble Theory of Marriage goes a little like this.

During your first year of marriage, you put a marble into a jar every time you make love.

Once the first year is done, on each subsequent occasion of love-making, take a marble out of the jar.

According to theory, you will never empty the jar.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Ostentatious Charity

This guy is right on the money.

Say no more.

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A real King would have a brain. These guys are just morons.

It makes me wonder why people do what they do. And, even more perplexingly, why they video it and sell it.

Take these clowns for example.

A group of boys, in a DVD that they filmed, edited, and were selling in schools, is shown engaging in several practices that highlights their numerous skills in assault and property damage.

The call themselves the 'kings of Werribee'.

Let's sort something out right off the bat. These clowns are not 'kings'. They are not even princes. I hesitate to even call them insects, as I'm sure an insect has some semblance of a brain. Can we go any lower on the evolutionary scale? I dont think so.

It is right that the investigations into this matter are beginning to chase them down. Already several f the boys have been expelled or suspended from school. I wonder which "exlusive private school" they are from?

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Why should I suffer from your lack of foresight?

I read with dismay the article of this morning regarding predicted energy shortages.

Now, the question I have already posed is worth reiterating:
Why should I suffer from your lack of foresight?

I want to know why I may have to endure blackouts and energy shortfalls where I live, because a large scale property development that is entirely unsuited to its locality is consuming twenty times more power than my family, just to run the now-necessary air-conditioning systems?

I know, they're cheap to build, cheap to buy, and families love the big new house in the tree-less development. But I wouldnt want your energy bills come summer.

Until the principles of ESD (Environmentally Sustainable Development) along with alternate sources of energy are brought to bear on new estates, we will be forever playing catchup with our energy supply reqiurements.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

What is he really saying?

This has got to be one of the best bits of re-subtitling I've ever seen.

I dont know which movie this is taken from, but it is very humourous, even if the lead character has a distinctly bad reputation.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006


No, its not the electric clock/coffee pot that prepares hot coffee with second degree burns for your morning wake up call.

No, its not the electric wok that you cant toss vegetables in.

No, its not the mechanical bowler-hat tipper that grips to the wearers head with prongs.

No, its not even the motorcycle airbag jacket.

It's the Leaf Blower.

This is a device that deserves the capital letters in its name, due to it being the tangible incarnation of the pure evil that is disrespect for your fellow man's possessions.

Why is that people think nothing of firing up the leaf blower and making enough noise to wake a dead man then proceed to send the dirt, leaves and dead bugs flying through the air to land haphazardly on the neighbours lawn/path/washing/car/pets/children??

While the leaf blower stops short of being chindogu (the Japanese word coined for the art of the useless), it is certainly close.

Here's some links to demonstrate my thinking:
- a nice chindogu link for you
- a nice link to pictures of japanese inventions
- a list of somebody elses idea of useless inventions
- and some of these are not useless, merely unfit for widespread use (the personal rain catcher is my favourite)

Many of these, classed as 'useless', are in fact more beneficial than the leaf blower. Why? Because at least they take into consideration the people around them, unlike the anti-social leaf blower.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

What we have learned from...

...Michael Caine.

When someone is "...only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!", then that generally means you've gone too hard, too soon.

A valuable lesson in todays society.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Bathurst run and won for Peter

Bathurst is done for another year. And perhaps no more fitting winner than Craig Lowndes, the kid Peter Brock mentored for a long period.

The removal from the equation of Mark Skaife and the first HRT car following a first lap incident with a slipping clutch and an unavoidable crash with Jack Perkins, this really only left Lowndes as the choice to give Brocky a spiritual #10.

Being a year that I didnt watch it start to finish, instead choosing to invite friends over to partake of food and drink and observe the race for minutes at a time, perhaps I missed a few incidents that people will talk about. Thats what highlights packages are for.

The death of Mark Porter in hospital following the race after a severe crash on friday afternoon lends gravity to a situation that is stated wherever motorsports are undertaken. Motorsport is dangerous. We've lost three people to motorsport in a short time, including the death of a Japanese drag racer in Victoria recently as well. The crash involving Paul Radisich could have so easily turned out far worse.

Maybe Bathurst is becoming anachronistic. Concrete walls abound with limited or no run off at the top of the mountain, and a series of crests and dips giving no chance for view ahead. Not an ideal in which to place several fast and heavy motor vehicles. It was fun in the 60's and 70's, when the vehicles were a little slower, although the lack of fences meant that anyone leaving the track wound up in a paddock or were halted by a tree. The 80's bought about several large scale incidents involving several cars, including a few shortened races owing to track blockages.

Naturally, every Australian motorsport fan understands what Bathurst means, which has been built up through history. Although maybe the torch is being passed, and the flame a little less bright for the Mountain. The men who bought about the shift in the ATCC to a professional series are going or gone. Jim Richards exit from teh race this year owing to a mistake are reminiscent of Larry Perkins exit of a few years ago. A case of 'getting too old for this sh*t'?

Big call time. Maybe its time to leave Bathurst behind. Consign it to folklore and legend. It's created a few, and its taken a few away.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

I've left my body to science, but I'm afraid they've turned it down

Just going through a series of motions at the moment regarding an insurance company that shall remain nameless (and faceless would seem thats how they prefer it) regarding old injuries and policy coverage.

It seems that said company will not realise the futility and stupidity of their own actions in their stubborn refusal to remove a certain exclusion from a policy I hold.

I put to you the following precis:
Injury to certain joint, ten years ago, 100% recovery, results in exclusion to policy from condition arising from said joint.
Current physio for TOTALLY UNRELATED condition.
Request previous exclusion removal as condition no longer applicable.
Said company refuses on grounds that "you are undergoing treatment, regardless of area or joint affected, so we shall not remove exclusion."

Yes, yes, I see, it all makes sense now! You're recovered, but something else has happened, so we'll ignore that and concentrate on the healed injury instead! We're geniuses! Or are we genii?

No, you're an irrational, large, international corporation.

'nuff said.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Bathurst time is coming...

Its nearly time for the annual Bathurst homage that is the 1000km race around Mount Panorama in Bathurst.

And this is the kind of thing that you watch it for!

Craig Lowndes gets clobbered by a flying tyre.

Peter Brock 1991 Qualifying Lap.

It will be the first year in a long time that Peter Brock wont be there at all, which is sure to make it a little special. I hope we see a bolter come out on top this year.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Much respect to Bev and Terri

After seeing the funeral of Peter Brock yesterday, and the memorial service at Australia Zoo for Steve Irwin today, I have a great respect for the personalities of these two women.

That they would let themselves be so immersed in the public eye at a time in their lives that is not easy to deal with in the privacy of a family is an enormous red tick against their "for" columns.

Whilst Terri Irwin has not spoken publicly, or rarely been seen, this has not diminished her in any way, for the willingness to let her husband be celebrated by the Australian public at his "Crocoseum" is to be applauded. The offer of a State Funeral for Steve was made, and declined, his family instead opting for a private funeral and a public memorial service. In this way, Steve was given the honour afforded to him by family and friends as befits his life, and the public had a chance to show their support and love for the man as a public figure.

The acceptance of Peter Brock's family of a State Funeral for the man perhaps went against his life principles a little as people have pondered, but it shows the family acceptance of Peter as a public figure, loved by a great many Australians. Be you in the Red or Blue camps come race day, people looked on Peter as a hero of his time.

I would also include Julie, Peter Brock's current partner, for her showing at this time. I do not know of the history of Bev and Julie, but it is testament to the two women that they can both show commonality at this time.

Let us return to The Mountain and pray for The King come October 8.

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Sunday, September 10, 2006

The King is Dead

It has truly been a terrible week for Australians.

Following Steve Irwin's untimely death on monday, came the news on friday 8 September that Peter Brock had been killed in an accident in WA.

A man who was one of the shining lights of motorsport, who with Dick Johnson, took the touring car scene in Australia from part-time and amateur status to the beginnings of the professional series it is today, was gone in a tarmac rally crash which destroyed his vehicle and left his navigator in hospital with severe injuries. Luckily the co-driver, Mick Hone, is expected to recover.

You want any more proof of how much Peter Brock contributed to his own legend, look no further than the 1979 Bathurst 500 race. Leading by 6 laps for the win, then sets a lap record on the final lap in a Torana. Look no further. Whilst I dont remember seeing that one, I certainly watched a few Bathursts with the likes of Brock, Johnson, Richards, Grice, Moffat, & Perkins.

9 times Sandown winner. 9 time Bathurst winner. The King of The Mountain.

Thanks for the inspiration Peter.

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The new colour name game!

Whilst perusing a catalogue that arrived in the mail the other day, I was struck by a particularly fanciful game that most purveyors of clothing, paint, fabrics, cars, etc, etc are playing at the moment.

Its the new colour name game!

For example:
Pumpkin Patch have childrens clothes in colours such as palm, popcorn, mud, monkey,polar, horizon, orange rock, and cucumber. Granted, you can guess what these may be closely related to. But what happened to green, white, brown, light brown, red, orange and light green? Is your choice of colour somehow adding to the credibility of an overpriced item?

And Holden, with their new Commodore range in Heron white, Redhot, Ignition, Phantom, Nickel and Impulse. All so someone can say "I dont own a blue car...its Impulse! Get it right pleb!" The fanciful colour name game strikes again! Its not "orange with a bit of gold mixed in to make it shine a little", it's Ignition.

I still think the best counter is from Ford. Colours the likes of Bionic, Breeze, Dejavu, Ego, Fantasy, Chromaflair, Lightning Strike, Menace, Neo, Octane, Seduce, Shockwave, Silhouette, Toxic, Vixen and Winter White. "Just look for me mate, I'll be the one driving up your street in the Shockwave Falcon". Blank pause on other end of phone. "The blue one?"

Yes mate, the blue one.

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Monday, September 04, 2006

Death of an Australian

It is not often that the death of a famous identity leads me to write anything. Or even to make more than a passing remark.

However, the death of Steve Irwin, aka The Crocodile Hunter, has done just that.

The news that he had been killed this morning, our time, was a bit of sad news.

It is difficult to imagine what his wife and kids are thinking, particularly because of the man Steve Irwin was outside the family. If he had such a presence, such an aura of energy, such a willingness to show wildlife and its fragility outside the family environment, we can only imagine what a forceful family man he was. It wasnt until the Enough Rope interview with Andrew Denton that I, for one, understood his passion and verve for what he did.

Many thanks, Steve, you did educate a lot of people. The Americans have shown a great fondness for him, and the news has broken to the US nightly news reports as lead item, which goes to show you what a guy he was.

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Friday, September 01, 2006

Fathers Day vs. Mothers Day

Fathers Day in Australia is upon us again this Sunday. It seems odd that the Father Day editions of sales and catalogues all arrive in the mail in the week of the event, starting on the monday.

Yet for Mothers Day (note how I capitalise these days, for they are important!), the catalogues seem to arrive two to three weeks in advance. Maybe this is to do with my vague recollection of the dates, but I'm sure I've seen Mothers Day catalogues in late February. Mothers Day is in May.

Please dont interpret this the wrong way ladies. You deserve Mothers Day. But I get the feeling that stores are somehow holding mothers love to ransom for a couple more weeks of sales.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Whatever happened to the Needle Kid?

I found myself thinking of this yesterday...

Way back, probably in about 1986, I remember seeing a kid on Freshwater Beach in Sydney come hopping out of the shallow water on one foot. In the heel of his other foot was a needle. A hypodermic syringe needle.

It scared the hell out of me at the time. The back of the beach was where you didnt go for fear of needles. Not the waterline!

I've often wondered what happened to that kid. If he ever got anything because of it. If he's still alive and well.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Lamenting the loss of the True Schooner

Last night I had cause to complain. Bitterly.

You see, it all started when I went to the pub on the corner for a drink. Now, this is not your usual old-school pub with a long bar, twelve taps and two barmaids. This is a new 'pub'. Not that its called that, its a 'hotel'. I requested a simple beverage, a schooner of Carlton Draught.

What was placed in front of me was an abomination. The liquid inside was the only thing they got right. The glass was not even remotely schooner sized, nor schooner shaped. But rather a bizarre pentagonal-shape based vessel that gradually changed shape to a circle at the top as you'd expect. The size was all wrong, the proportions were all wrong, the glass was all wrong, wrong, wrong!

And then the cost! $4.10! I dont mind paying $4.10 for a schooner, but this, this was no schooner. A schooner glass by classic publican definition holds 425ml of beer. There was no way even close that this faux-schooner was capable of carrying more than 350ml.

The NSW Office of Fair Trading has guidelines relating to the size of glasses here. And I quote "The colloquial terms, such as ‘seven’, ‘middy’ and ‘schooner’ do not indicate any particular size of glass. Traders should be aware that any advertising using such terms should be qualified by the indication of the actual size of the glass being used on the premises eg ‘middy’ (280 mL) ‘middy’ (285 mL) or ‘schooner’ (400 mL) ‘schooner’ (425 mL)." So, in ther humble but trusted opinion, the terms are colloquial and therefore not binding? We are dealing with 100 years of drinking history. This cannot be trifled with on a whim because some inner city publican decides to make a few extra dollars by reducing the glass size but maintaining the price! It is now up to the publican to decide on his own glass size and term, which must be qualified and indicated. I wonder how small the sign is.

At least I am surrounded by individuals of like minds.

So, beer drinkers, pay attention! Or the prophecy of the Heckler could come true, and before long we are paying $4.10 for a shot glass of Tooheys New.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

The RTA and the Lawyer (not a joke)

I find this a most interesting subject.

A lawyer has been fighting a case for a client regarding the validity of a speed camera photograph.

The Judge found that "to be given weight as evidence the digital cameras that took the photos had to be calibrated every day, Mr Miralis said. The solicitor added that he believed the authority calibrated its cameras once a year".

If Mr Miralis is to be believed as a lawyer, should he not do his bar exam every week? Should the Judge not submit to questioning daily on points of law? Should nurses be quizzed on proper procedure daily? Should police undergo weapons instruction each and every afternoon?

The fact that a digital device, such as a speed camera, should be calibrated daily is abusrd and improper. If these people can trust technology to navigate their cars, provide them information, serve them beverages, entertain them and protect them, why is it being questioned when technology catches them breaking the law?

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Territorial Imperative!

For anyone who enjoys a good story with dirt and realism, you really should read 'The Choir Boys' by Joseph Wambaugh.

A novel about the work and relaxation of a group of NYPD officers, the stories appear at first to be a group of anecdotes strung together by 'Choir Practice', the euphemism for the post-work stress relief of drinking and cavorting. The main group of officers in the novel are Roscoe Rules, Whaddayamean Dean, Spencer van Moot, Father Willie Wright, Calvin Potts, Francis Tanaguchi, Spermwhale Whalen, Baxter Slate, Sam Niles, Harold Bloomguard. Figure out who the Vietnam kids at the start are and you get a silver star. As you read further you find they all connect with one another, as work colleagues invariably do.

I challenge anyone not to fall down laughing when you read about 'The Night the Padre Tried to Eat Pressed Ham Through the Wrapper' or 'The Day My Balls Blew Up'. I challenge anyone with kids not to cry when you read the chapter on Tommy Rivers.

"He removes the greatest ornament of friendship, who takes away from it respect" - Cicero. As used to effect by Baxter Slate, ever the academic. I think he's my favourite character.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Mischa Barton kills starving people

Where is my proof? Try the article such as this. Who in their right mind would pay some bimbo $100,000 to show up, yabber on, take some free shit, and piss off? And two days later it had grown to $200,000.

Is this a case of David Jones proving it is a store of minimal ethics by lavishing some two-facial-expression "actress" with money just to stand around wearing some overpriced pieces of fabric draped over a piece of walking meat they laughingly call a "star"? At the press conference when she couldnt remember what label she was wearing, someone had to jump in and help her. Fair enough though, sometimes I cant remember what label I'm wearing. Either its Target, KMart or Lowes. It's all just so confusing. I mean how are you supposed to remember the names of all the free things you are provided with? At least they should make her pay for the clothes she picked, and give the economy a chance to recoup some of this stupid hand-out.

Maybe the men of the Matthew Talbot Hostel and the like could some through the store and pick what they like, free of charge, then be "seen" wearing these labels?

Come on David Jones. Undo some of your bad karma by making a donation to charity of equal size.

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Pure Genius

This is brilliant.

Dont give me your ballet, your modern interpretive dance, just give me four blokes, eight treadmills, and a great pop tune.


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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mark Webber to Red Bull Racing

I got it wrong.

Which is a pity, cause I was hoping I'd be right for once.

Mark Webber to Red Bull Racing to join "Granite Chin" DC for next season. Given DC and Klien's records this year, they've probably finished more races than Williams. Perhaps thats what Ferrari reliability gets you.

If you charge $350000 for a road car, I'd want their team to be reliable too.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Williams let Webber go...

While it comes as a mild surprise, I think Frank Williams' decision not to re-sign Mark Webber for a formula 1 seat next season has a few undertones of preparation.

Williams are left with Nico Rosberg, a talented driver, but perhaps someone who would have not scored as many points if his car had experienced the same troubles as Webber. The new man in is Alex Wurz. A previous formula 1 driver with proven record of solid finishes, but nothing outstanding.

So where will this leave Webber? I hope, given that Fernando Alonso is off to join Kimi Raikkonnen at McLaren, that the spare seat that Flavio Briatore has at Renault may just have the name Mark Webber (AUS) stencilled on the car. Seeing as Juan Pablo Montoya did a runner to NASCAR and got booted early by McLaren, there's our possible opening.

The announcements of next seasons lineups as they firm in over the next few weeks will tell. Fingers crossed.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Anatomy for Beginners

This, quite simply, is morbidly brilliant television. Perhaps morbid is the wrong word, as the show is not dealing with death, but rather a pre-deceased body.

Currently showing on SBS Television in Australia, we have already seen the first three episodes, dealing with Movement (muscles, bones, joints, tendons), Circulation (blood vessels, nervous system), and Digestion (mouth, throat, stomach, intestines). The fourth and final episode relates to Reproduction.

Hosted by Doctor Gunther von Hagens, a groundbreaker in the field of "plastination", where the "water and fat are replaced by certain plastics, yielding specimens that can be touched, do not smell or decay, and even retain most microscopic properties of the original sample" (quote), it is a fascinating look at the machine that is the human body. A dissection of a donor cadaver is undertaken with each show to display the separate systems that we use daily. As he says in his clipped German accent "I will unravel the mysteries of the human body". And unravel he does.

Find a link to the Channel 4 UK website here.

I do get a laugh out of the fact that the station warns viewers that it contains "Adult Themes" and "Nudity". No mention of the fact that they will be breaking a real human body down into component parts for our education. I guess in a way it is nudity of the most extreme variety.

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Monday, July 31, 2006

The All-Blacks new haka

The All Blacks, New Zealand's National Rugby Union team for those of you who are unsure, have recently performed a new haka, or traditional dance that they perform before each test match.

Go here for a history of the haka.

How many times can Bruce McAvaney say “controversy” in one telecast? What’s controversial about it? Maybe if the Australian’s took some pride in their aboriginal past we might have a similar traditional dance with ceremonial meaning.

Maybe the Scots could throw cabers at the opposition before a test match.

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A blurring of nations

Over the last few weeks the Israel/Lebanon conflict has raised a lot of questions that have been asked in several forums. And again here.

When the conflict flared, there were claims of up to 25000 “Australians” in Lebanon that would require rescuing from danger.

It has since been discovered that 3000 of these people were indeed in Lebanon on holiday or visiting family. The other 22000 are Australian citizens who permanently live in Lebanon. Why are these people suddenly in danger because they are Australians? If they are permanent residents, why are we being called on to rescue them from their homes at our expense? If you live in Lebanon and hold Lebanese and Australian passports, then you are Lebanese, and have chosen your life. The only conceivable reason you may hold an Australian passport is if you claim something from the Australian government, hence the Australian people. Are you Australian? Good, here’s your Australian passport. Are you Lebanese? OK, there’s your Lebanese passport, deal with the consequences that go along with it, you don’t get both. Dual citizenship is not merely for convenience. Even watching television of late and seeing protests regarding the conflict showed young Australian men of Lebanese backgrounds claiming that they would “spill blood to protect their country”. They’re not talking about Australia, the country they live in, work in, and have families in, the country that shelters them from conflicts such as this.

The other thing that has been bought to light is the incidence of Australian citizens serving in the Israeli army, following the death of a young man who was an Australian citizen serving in the Israeli army. A good many of these people are from America, as well as Israelis, and reports of up to 100 Australians serving. Many of these may have been born in Israel and subsequently moved to other parts of the world, therefore forced to undertake National Service in Israel. But there are many volunteers in the Israeli army who need not serve.

One question I would ask is; would these people, Lebanese or Israeli, even entertain the notion of serving in the Australian armed forces?

I have no problem with people of diverse and different cultural backgrounds adopting our country as home. It is beneficial for many that they retain a great many of their cultural traditions. What is not fair is to use religion as a tool for maintaining foreign citizenship claims. You can be Australian and Muslim, rather than Lebanese. You can be Australian and a Buddhist, rather than Chinese. You can be Australian and Jewish, rather than Israeli. Many sons and daughters of first generation immigrants claim to be of their parent’s nationality. There was a reason why their parents came to Australia. They saw a future, in a new country, with a new nationality. I wonder how many of their children will claim to be Italian, Lebanese, Brazilian, Mexican, Israeli, Greek, etcetera.

There’s a lot to be said for roots, but until people realise the futility of certain religiously motivated disagreements, violence like this will exist till the end of mankind.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The doped up American kids

Man, oh man, just when you think the American's cant get any weirder, along comes a company like CampMeds!


I find this particularly disturbing:
"All my best friends take something," said David Ehrenreich...

What sort of peer pressure is this breeding? It's not a big stretch for a kid to come home and say "Mum, all my friends are on Zoloft, why aren't I?" What better way to make a kid depressed enough to require said Zoloft medication? Hopefully mum will have the sense to answer "because those kids aren't getting inspiration, love, control, warmth, happiness, a stable home, etc, etc, etc. Now, go play outside."

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Monday, July 17, 2006

The lessening importance of birthdays

Another one come and gone...33 under the belt and somehow it doesnt really matter as much. There's the milestone birthdays, 18, 21, and the new one of 30 instead of 40.

Is this a statement of society that we celebrate 30 now? Have you made your first million yet? Have you gone into hock for your 2 bedroom designer unit yet? Do you even have a partner? Are we celebrating 30 because by the time 40 rolls around your first or second child is 9 months or so old and you're in no position to party with your friends? Maybe you just dont want to face up to the fact that you're 40 and realise that you've got to work till you're 75 in order to finance your retirement?

Whatever it is, I really dont mind birthdys passing. The more I have, the more my kids get. And the more I get with them.

Philosophical enough for you?

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Monday, July 10, 2006

Another life in the world

Well I'm still here...after a lay off for the birth of my daughter. Another new life come into a big, mad world.

Life goes on, even if it is a little more important and meaningful.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Things we say to make us feel better...

For women:
It's good luck if it rains on your wedding day.
You've got to take something positive out of your 'special day' if you have no sunny photos, a wet dress and damp guests.

For men:
Girl sperm is stronger than boy sperm.
Don't feel bad that your family surname may not make it through the next generation, at least your taddies are strong swimmers.

The fact that my second child is a girl in no way enters into this. You never know, she might become a Thoroughly Modern Woman and keep her own surname.

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Friday, June 16, 2006

But haven't they seen ice hockey?

From Ruck and Maul on

From Russia with shove

We run this cable story without comment: Russians playing a game of amateur rugby have been arrested by police who mistook the match for a mass brawl. "We got a call to our control room saying there was a fight involving a lot of people on some waste ground just outside town," RIA news agency quoted a police official in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don as saying. The players and supporters, nearly 100 people in total, were taken to the local police station. They were released without charge when officers realised they had been playing rugby, the news agency reported.

The Russians are used to ice hockey, aren't they?

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Why does rugby league bother with scrums any more?

The following is an email I recently sent to the Footy Show and Sunday Footy Show on channel 9. I tried locating a feedback or question page on the website, to no avail, so these were the only other options of any expertise.

Hello panel

I have a question regarding the modern scrum feed.

In years past, the scrum feed went up the centre, with the hooking role called into play to contest the ball in the centre of the scrum. The feed was to go down the centre of the two packs once down. It was a genuine contest of strength and hooking skill.

Now, we see feeds travelling into the scrum between the legs of the prop closest to the halfback. This gives any opposing hooker no chance to contest any ball. Often we see the far side prop or even hooker with his head out of the scrum if it packs too quickly, without penalty or recall by the referee to repack the scrum. The ball path is very predictable, which enables the halfback to quickly step to the second row and retrieve the ball from under the lock/second row line.

Even from the shape of the scrums it is easy to tell that the packs are applying little force to try to push the other pack off the mark. This can be seen as compared to rugby union scrums that are generally very low and horizontal in their shape, indicating the force of the packs opposing. Rugby league scrums are now very upright and often degenerate into a loose group of people instead of a pack. Although many rugby union scrums appear to be fed in much the same manner these days, losing the element of a contest.

Is there any movement back to a genuine contest at the scrum? Forward sizes are sufficient to maintain a scrum push, and many of them are much more mobile than their predecessors. A hooker would therefore return to his originally named role, and the idea of an each-way bet on a scrum win bought back into play.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.


(the Great White Hype)

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Thoroughly modern parenting

Some people shouldn't be allowed to have children.


Not when there's people in the world who can't. Perhaps a simpler adoption process and a 'one-strike' drugs policy might clear up some of society's problems.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Dive! Dive! Dive!

Ah, football...nothing like a slow-motion replay to show what some of these players can really do with a ball.

However, a tip for all players on a world stage such as the World Cup, with its constant replays:
Dont hold your face if you get an elbow in the ear. Even a three year old kid can tell you where it hurts if you ask them.
Dont hold your knee if you get kicked in the foot. Sure its all connected, but they're not that close together.
Dont hold your knee if you trip over the ball while someone challenges you. You lost it, you deal with it.
Dont flop like a fish if you feel a hand on your shoulder near the box. Chances are they're waiting for you to fall over to make their job easier.
Dont get up and act hard done by if you lose your balance in a tackle. A bad tradesman blames his tools, even if it is his own body.

Oh, and the classic from Brazilian actor/player Rivaldo from the last World Cup...dont go down holding your face and writhing about if a ball hits you in the shin. It makes you look like a bad loser. Or worse, a bad winner.

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The World Cup begins for Australia

After only staying up to watch the first half of a dismally-policed football World Cup opener for Australia, I awoke this morning to the news that Tim Cahill had stamped his authority on the match and scored two goals in the dying minutes, before John Aloisi slotted a third to give Australia its first ever World Cup goals. And our first win!

Triple J called for a new public holiday, to be named Tim Cahill Day. It would fall on 12 June every year. Thats sure to be right around Queen's Birthday, hopefully giving people the opportunity for a 7 day weekend if they play their sickies right.

I think Kaiserslautern can drown in green and gold for a few days yet. Next, it will be Munich on 18th June against Brazil, then Stuttgart for Croatia on 22nd June.

Bandwagon riding by me? Sure, why not.

But I'd bet Johnny Warren is happy wherever he is.

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Monday, June 05, 2006

Some people are just too thick for words

Like this guy.

A 19-year old fan approaches and AFL footballer in an airport and taunts him, calling him (allegedly) a "d*ckhead". He then proceeds to be questioned as to what he had said, repeats the word, then has his nose punched by said footballer.

And now he considers legal action against the footballer? Me, I'd be sitting back thinking I was lucky that he didnt tear me limb from limb and ignoring the whole issue.

Just because this footballer is in the public eye doesnt mean you can berate him as you wish. If I walked up to a stranger and called him a d*ckhead, I'd probably expect a punch in the eye.

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Monday, May 29, 2006

Williams please give Mark Webber a car that can last!

Following yet another frustrating retirement for Mark Webber while in a promising position in a Grand Prix, I offer the following:

Dear Frank Williams

I know you're a great Formula One 'stalwart' (if I may use such a term), but please, when will Mark Webber be given a car that is worthy of his potential?

Mark has proven, beyond doubt of many, that a successful car beneath him will lead him, inevitably, to a position atop the podium. Mark has led several laps of two GP's this past year. Firstly the Australian GP, where he retired whilst leading. Secondly, the Monaco GP, where he was leading before his first stop once Kimi and Fernando had pitted. Given a chance to do a few more laps on his then fuel load, may well have resurfaced from the stop in the lead. His third in Monaco last year shows he is capable of scoring points, even on the most difficult racetrack in the world.

I have been a Williams fan for some time, since the Nigel Mansell era. I've seen Coulthard, Hill, Senna, and Villeneuve all succeed in winning races and championships with your brilliant cars beneath them. And even before that, Nelson Piquet and Alan Jones took your cars to championships. Can we please add one more?


The Great White Hype

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Blindness has a name...

It is Matt Cecchin.

In the name of all things Blue I call you blind, Matt Cecchin! Your report that Danny Buderus had lashed out at a faceless Queenslander (they all look the same to me) for no reason nearly cost NSW the game in Origin I.

I'm glad Brett Finch saved you.

Bring on Origin II.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Jim Anchower school of thought

Hola Amigos!

I know its been a long time since I rapped at ya, but I've been kinda bummed out with work and all.

Aside from the fact that the whole country's been going nuts with talkback of one kind or other, nothing has stood out enough to earn rage this past week.

Maybe next week we'll see some action.

Much love to Jim Anchower and Herbert Kornfeld.

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Friday, May 12, 2006

What is a police officers life worth?

Apparently, according to Chief Justice Jim Spigelman, if killed whilst doing their duty, as much as anyone else.

Read here.

I find this grossly unfair and offensive.

Police are the upholders of law in the community. To be killed whilst doing their job is a travesty that should not be taken lightly. Naturally, police acknowledge that they are targets for violence and hate, but none expect to be in the situation that David Carty and Glen McEnally were in.

David Carty: beaten to death outside a pub by a group of men, one of whom he'd reprimanded that day for offensive language.

Glen McEnally: shot whilst confronting a group of men in a stolen car.

Someone I know carried Glen McEnally's coffin.

Maybe His Honour is right, and compulsory sentencing is not the answer. How about this, Your Honour? Place offender in locked room with three of the officers work colleagues for thirty minutes. Fists, feet and fury may accomplish the rest.

You have nothing to fear from police if you are doing no wrong.

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Idiotic Scheme #3749

Why do people feel so enriched by assisting others to break the law?


I wonder what ethical conundrum this will bring if someone evades a breath test, then happens to hit a pedestrian or another vehicle and seriously injure or kill somebody? I'd like to see them stand up in court and say "Road Spy was my accomplice!"

Then see how fast they hide.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The unwritten TV content warnings

The television ratings in Australia consist of written and verbal warnings before programs that contain the following subjects:
  • Language
  • Violence
  • Sex
  • Drug Use
  • Other, including:
  • Adult Themes
  • Medical Procedures
  • Supernatural Themes
  • Horror
  • Nudity

Fair that you should warn people when these things are coming up. But where is the warning for the more mundane, and potentially subversive subjects? Content such as:

  • Religious Agendas
  • Political Agendas
  • Paid comments
  • Paid product placement
Perhaps it is the stations who are free to view such issues as 'free speech' if they so desire, and decide to broadcast them or not. It's easy enough to tell if something is an infomercial parading as a legitimate broadcast, but what of the easily offended christians, catholics, anglicans, buddhists, and islamics who can so simply and easily be inflamed by religious comment that is at odds to their own, be it wrong or right? Or the staunch republican who sits seething silently in their home after seeing a political interview that covers items of monarchy and mother country? Or the pro-choicer that switches on their television to hear an anti-abortionist spouting their own views without equal rebuttal?

I'm glad I dont have a television at the moment.

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Interest rates go up

The RBA has raised rates 0.25%.

I'd love to be a real estate agent about now.

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Things to do before I die

A radio interview this morning regarding lists of things to do before you die got me thinking.

Mine is quite short.

1. Meet Winona Ryder
2. Meet Scarlett Johansson
3. Suggest possible tryst with myself and aforementioned ladies

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Caltex Scab Grab

I filled my car with fuel yesterday. Not a task thats very out of the ordinary. Aside from the little sign I noticed at the pump whilst filling up. It stated that anyone paying with a credit card would be subject to a 1.50% surcharge on the cost. This rose to 3.0% depending on your card type.

What the hell? This from Caltex, a company that posted a 2005 RCOP of $414 million? They rake in a huge profit (2.2 cents per litre of fuel served in 2005) and feel compelled to pass on a minor charge such as this? Although, this is only at the Caltex franchises, and not the Caltex Woolworths stations. Doubtless they will bleat that they "absorbed the charge for the whole of last year before finally passing it to customers". Yet their profit rose by $64 million.

To be fair, Caltex gave their shareholders $84 million of this as dividends (31 cents per share). I guess the rest went to R&D. Although Caltex states that their Australian operation has "no crude oil or gas exploration or production interests". Maybe R&D stands for Rulers & Directors.

My information was gathered here.

I note that Caltex does not provide a 'customer feedback' section on their website, only a phone number. Nothing like a little venting from consumers to crash servers.

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Friday, April 28, 2006

The great interest rate debate

Once more, this time on the back of the fuel price rise debacle of recent weeks, the spectre of interest rate rises arrives once more. And, as usual, there is the outcry from people who will be sent to the wall if rates rise a mere 0.25%.


Something, however, lets me feel very litte pity for these people. It's not that their predicament is out of the ordinary, quite the opposite.

But lets face it, if you, as responsible finance officer for your family, do not examine the worst case scenario for a loan of this magnitude, you have only yourself to blame. The banks and mortgage brokers will bend over backwards to give you the money, merely hinting at the cost per month to repay. And, naturally, its all based on current interest rates.

Most of these loans have a 30-year term. Three, zero, thirty. A lot can happen in two years, let alone thirty. 6.74% interest rate now, fine. You can bet your bottom line that it wont hang around for 30 years. If you dont ask your mortgage institution to calculate differing rate repayments, more fool you.

While a lot of cashed up people are getting out, sitting on their money, and waiting for the near future. When there'll possibly be a lot of places going rather cheap.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Bane of the Computer Age

A recent PC spyware infection and subsequent refresh has bought to light the multitude of viruses and malware written today for advertising.

But it gave me time to think about a few things.

No, I dont need a bigger dick. If I want that I'll use photoshop.

No, I dont want to make her scream all night. If I want to do that I'll send her spam emails.

No, I dont want $100 free credit to play poker with. If I want that I want to be able to spend it someplace else, like ebay.

No, I dont want a free college degree. I've already got two, I dont need a fake one.

No, I dont want insider stock market tips. If I want that I'll get the Rivkin Report.

Damn it all.

I guess its a symptom that most of the sites that install these things are sites you probably shouldnt be visiting anyway.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Best Invention in Human History

Big subject.

Sure, there's the wheel. The combine harvester. The Hill's Hoist. And man didnt invent fire, he, or she, merely controlled it.

But I say the internal combusion engine is the best invention in human history.

Think about it. The wheel was an obvious decision once you've watched a log roll down a hill. But who sat down and said "I've got a great idea...I wonder, if we compress a mixture of fossil fuel and air, then ignite it...yeah, get my tools!"??

The combine harvester wouldnt be possible without the internal combustion engine. Neither would fire engines be there to put the fires out.

Sure the world might last another million years if we hadnt polluted it with the end result of burning fuels, but the advancements are such that harmful emissions from these are getting to a point where you could almost breathe exhaust gas for months without a problem. I'm not volunteering to try though.

The internal combustion engine comes in all shapes, sizes and uses. Work, rest, play, sport, entertainment, cars, bikes, boats, and planes. It's got them all covered.

Hooray for the internal combustion engine.

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

The US goes mad yet again

How do you get so fired up that you start firing a gun at a baby shower. Ask these people.

Read me.

A little over the top? You couldn't write gold like this stuff in a million years!

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Myths of Childhood

Anyone who intends to have, or has, children needs to see this show. It is quite simply an informative and intriguing look at parenting and what it is to be a child in todays society.


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Friday, March 31, 2006

Formula One: Friday

Well, well, well...

Finally got myself to a Formula One grand prix event. Given that it's only friday, the first day the F1's turn wheels in anger in the 4-day event, the opening days viewing was stupendous for a long-time fan, first-time live viewer.

I'll get some pictures up once I finish the weekend, digest what I've seen, gotten back to Sydney, and taken care of the inevitable credit card bill I rack up doing all this.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

The Cult of "Me"

It appears from a recent weekends observation that a lot of people are increasingly caught up in the cult of "me".

What is the cult of "me"? It is the "I" generation, the people who want it all, and the people who get it all. It is the feminism argument of the 60's and 70's all over again. You can have it all...the house, the car, the holidays, the sunday morning cafe lifestyle, the weeknight eatery outings, the designer apartment (nobody buys flats or units anymore, thank you New York), the corporate job with promotion potential, and so on.

Did I forget the family?

So, it appears, did the cult of "me".

What's it going to be like to grow up without knowing your grandparents because they were 75 when you were born?

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Beware iPod wearers

iPod wearers prepare to elevate more than your social status.

Prepare to elevate a foot into your arse.

Next time someone wearing an iPod fails to hear a car turning in or out of a driveway over a footpath, fails to hear a car coming as they walk across a road against a red man, fails to hear a bike coming, fails to look or listen when walking out a doorway, fails to move when asked cause they cant hear a damn thing, beware the foot.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

George goes South...

South Sydney football club members voted on sunday afternoon to accept a $3 million bid to let Russell Crowe and Peter Holmes a Court take over 75% of the management of the club.

And George Piggins promptly said that he was done with the club. "I'm finished, I'm at the stage of my life where I have other interests, I would rather look after them...I'll be watching on TV. You'll never see me at a football game again. The football club as it stands now doesn't represent what I represent so I'll move on." George, as great a club man as he was, cant bring himself to avert his eyes from what was a glorious past for the club. Keep looking that way George, and you may not need to look forward at all.

South Sydney represented a distinctly working class population since their inception. Redfern Oval still stands as a symbol to the faithful as a spiritual home. Souths management know they can never go back there full-time because clubs can no longer survive on sweat and cheers. Money, sponsors, managers and players are what keeps modern clubs in action. Here's hoping that Souths now have managers capable of generating income, to keep players and build a team that is recognisable from season to season.

Go the Bunnies!

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

The high-school sports carnival that is the Commonwealth Games

Well they're on again. Four years already since Manchester. For any of you non-British subjects who dont know what the Commonwealth Games are, picture a high-school sports carnival with more flags.

Not that I wish to deride the ability of some of the competitors, but a serious student could beat some of these people. Yes, it gives international experience to these tiniest of nations, but some of the national championships are a bigger test to the bigger nations. The Australians have sent a big team. We had to, its at our place. We've had a barbie and invited the guys nobody really talks to cause we dont get a chance to see them at the Olympics.

Maybe the world feels the same way about us when we send a winter olympics team. "Oh look, the Australians are here, Hans! Let us make friends with them!"

I might feel differently in ten days time when its nearly over and I've been proven wrong by the two competitors from Brunei.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The northern beaches Pavlovian response to rain

Here's a thing...

Any normal day coming towards the city or business districts in the North Sydney area finds an inordinate amount of traffic on the two major roads, Spit Road and Warringah Road/Roseville Bridge.

However, when it rains, or even looks like rain, the sudden verdict of the majority is 'we shall drive to work today!'

This Pavlovian response and its consequences far outweighs and advantage gained by driving. Sadly, this is more a reflection on the state of the current public transport options from the beaches than the ability of the roads to funnel 50% more vehicles through the same space.

An aging bus fleet that is slowly being replaced may help, but the simple fact is there are too many people and not enough road to put the cars on. Granted, one bus may remove as many as 100 cars from the roads, but you'd need a lot more buses to get it to a point where those who need to drive could do so without fear of running an hour late. And until the shift begins, it matters not how many people catch buses, as there are always 200 cars with one occupant for every bus.

And I'd like to know who the fool at Sydney Buses was that approved the new fleet. Who, in their right mind, creates a bus fleet in a climate like Sydney with vehicles that have no openable windows?? Add to that the fact that the fleet relies on a mechanical system for cooling that seems to take no account of how many people are on the bus, and you've got a recipe for mass flocking away from public transport.

More cars, more Pavlovian response, more trouble.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

It begins

Simple as a few mouse clicks and a bit of information.

We all have something to say, its just that most of us dont deserve an audience, but that doesnt stop us from trying.

More to come...