Thursday, September 29, 2005

Are you Pro Terrorism or Anti-Government? Is there a difference?

John Howard and the State Premiers have agreed to introduce a raft on new legislations to “combat the threat of terrorism”.  Essentially, these extend the authority of Federal Police to detain suspects without charge via electronic tag and home detention for 12 months at a time.  A whole year… of being confined to your house… WITHOUT CHARGE.  Essentially the government now has the authority to lock people away from society for no more than a notional view of theirs that you are a potential terrorist.

Apparently the government has information that they have 800 people on file as suspects that could be a party to terrorist activities in Australia.  Eight Hundred.  Eight Hundred people who apparently are plotting terrorism?

Seriously, where do they get these numbers?  I attended a seminar for work on terrorism and security and a very senior Federal Policeman told the audience of people in charge of public and private infrastructure that there was no real terrorist activity in Australia although Willie Brigitte was a member of al-Qaeda.  So we have gone from zero to 800 in a bit over 12 months?!

Let me tell you the real reason for the magical 800 and the new legislation to protect us from them… it’s the governments view to rule the country by fear and to keep the public paranoid about a perceived threat.  In 4 years, we have had two major terrorist events in two cities on the other side of the world from Australia.  Yes they happened, and they were tragic, but why do we suddenly need these new draconian, anti-constitutional laws that deny people their democratic rights as citizens of Australia?

Its simply because Howard wants to remain in power and needs to continually demonstrate his tough stance and his role on the world stage, which in all honesty is two fifths of sweet FA.

To the Federal Police monitoring internet traffic for pro-terrorism (read anti-government) propaganda, my email details are on the right hand side there of your screen.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A hot shitty day

I can't believe my work today... at about 1:30 today, the air con ceased to function. I sit by the window and have a weezy vent above me and the sound it makes all day dims into background noise that you don't notice until it stops... suddenly...

It wasnt hot today, but it never came back on at all and come 6pm tonight when I left the office, it was rather "funky" in the office. One of the girls in the team is 8.999 months pregnant and she was feeling rather feint and quesy this afternoon.

About 4pm, an email came out from the facilities guy saying that there was an electrical trip and that A/C wouldnt be on until the morning...

Then I heard a little rumour that they have actually shut the A/C down for maintenance deliberately and because they wanted to skimp on money, they did it during the day rather than pay penalty rates for night work. Given I work in a 24 story building there would have been about 1200 pissed off people today.

My company doesnt own the building, but we are the principal tenant and the owner of the building believe it or not is a filthy rich Singaporean widower who is as tight as a fishes arsehole. Hence the credence to the rumour...

To top a perfect day, my carriage was cut down to 4 carriages and whilst I got a seat, it was cramped. Then when the passengers slowly filtered off and free seats became available the guy sitting next to me didnt get up and give us some room. He was also one of those arm rest hogs. I was up against the window and the Blue Mountain trains have armrests like movie theatres do... protocol is that the middle rest belongs to the guy in the window seat while the aisle rest belongs to the guy on the aisle - sounds reasonable. Well this guy was a "I'm entitled to both arm rests" kinda guy. Well I was punching away on the laptop and found my arm hanging on the keyboard in desperate need of a rest and he's reading his New Christian Daily newspaper sprawled out across both rests.

*SHOVE* I go... and get momentary relief. Then when I am mid typing and hence elbow leaves the rest he sticks his elbow back on the rest.

The arsehole - good christian type too! - plays this silly game all the way to Lapstone where he got off. He could have moved at Blacktown and by the time he did get off, I was ready to bloody hit him.

So hot, tired and sweaty from the office and a cramped train i got home... Niki offers me a beer instead of my usual mineral water and the treadmill fades away for the evening as I watch the NFL on Fox.....

Monday, September 26, 2005

Fumbbl Cup IV

I have signed up for the Fumbbl Cup. The Fumbbl Cup is essentially the global world cup of Blood Bowl. Any registered coach is able to enter one team in a variety of qualifying tournaments with the ultimate aim of getting to the final 32 teams which will be a straight knock out.

The method to get these final 32 teams is incredibly confusing and I rate myself a snowballs chance in hell. I have though been drawn against a rookie coach from Germany who has only ever won one game of Blood Bowl on fumbbl.

I will keep you updated on my progress, I have two weeks to get the match played.

Fumbbl Cup IV :: FUMBBL :: Online Blood Bowl League: "
Do you have what it takes to win the


Greystanes Cricket - Round 2

Greystanes opened their home ground this weekend and it has to be the driest patch of dirt this side of the Great Dividing Range! The field was bone dry and the grass was dead and the council has “aerated” the field to try and get some life back into it. The result is this dust bowl: Image hosted by

On the plus side, the home game saw a BBQ set up and Big Nick Nardo’s “Marque” was erected on the boundary.

Image hosted by

Image hosted by

Then after a few snags and a chat, Greystanes won the toss and BOWLED!! Yee Gods, skipper Terry Hoban did a Ricky Ponting and sent the opposition in. But it proved successful early on as both Terry and Enoch Harris with the new ball took early wickets to have the opposition at 2/20.

To sum up a long day in the field though, the slow outfield kept the scoreboard down but crucial drop catches saw Wenty Leagues crawl to 153 all out. Terry Hoban was the pick of the bowlers with 5/14.

At stumps in reply, Greystanes are 1/8 off 8 overs with Simon Agius the man to fall to what appeared to be a very unlucky LBW decision.

With the rain this week, the outfield should green up a bit and settle down to ensure Greystanes remain at undefeated after 2 rounds.

(More photos available in the Lime Kettles Photo Album)

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Bloody football...

Spent Saturday night at the Aussie Stadium to see my team the Dragons play the Tigers for a spot in the Grand Final. You can read all about it in the papers, but I am basically gutted. Can't blame anyone, can't blame the ref, St George were simply outplayed by a Tigers team that threw the ball around and seemed to never make a mistake.

The crowd though was huge and I took the girls to their first really big game. They have been on the grass at Kogarah, WIN and Penrith Stadiums before, but this was their first big game under lights with fixed seating. Kate said "I think the players would be so nervous because their are so many people here... I'd be nervous too if I had to do my dancing in front of all these people."

But to their credit, the girls cheered all night. I spent most of the night with my head in my hands and biting my nails, but the girls were chanting "Saint George! Saint George!" all night right up to the final siren. Brooke was giving the Tigers fans heaps behind us all night...

Kate though took the loss hard as she was very pumped for the game. She was wearing my old jersey and was so excited. But what really was strange was that she was very sad at half time. We asked her what was wrong and she said "St George are losing... they only have 6 points"... Pretty weird seeing your own kids actually giving a shit about the football... I would have loved for the Saints to win just for them not for anything else.

This morning after the game, Kate made for me while I slept in a bit, a big banner sign saying "Go The Dragons!". She even got some poles from the back shed to stick it all together with sticky tape. About 8 A4 pages, some red paint and sticky tape all before I got up...

I can only imagine if we had won... the girls would have been going ballistic.Posted by Picasa

Good painting, bad camera...

I have come to the realisation that my camera is not real good at capturing miniatures... the paint looks gluggy and hideous. In reality, I am pretty happy at the first one. I will leave the base now too and concentrate on the remaining models and then base them all at once at the end. Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 23, 2005

Dwarf Painting - The Inking Process

Stage 2: The inking has just been done (and is still wet). Purple and yellow ink for the clothes, chestnut for the skin and horns (looks crappy atm, I know...) and a black paint wash on the beard... You'll notice the beard has now gone grey. Dont know if a double base coat is a good thing or not yet.

Also I am not too sure about inks... Never really used em before... Posted by Picasa

The true cost of petrol...

Petrol Prices starting to take their toll...

Credit to Dave for the pic Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Says it all really...

Credit to gumbi for the pic... Posted by Picasa

Short hiatus... duty calls...

My daily updates wont be happening for the rest of the week as I will be on a training course for work...

Yippee! The world of sprinkler systems and their maintenance awaits! zzzzzzz

Dwarf Painting - Base Coat

This is the first shots of my dwarf blood bowl team paint job. It looks rough and ready as it is only at base coat stage so what you see here is "undercoat". The next stage will be some chestnut inking of the beard and flesh areas and then purple and yellow inking for the shoulder pads and tunic and gauntlets.

I am unsure of how to get the bone horns to look good... I have base coated in Bleached Bone and am considering a chestnut wash followed up by highlights of Bleached Bone and then white... Is that how bones/horns are done?? Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The link above goes to the blog of Matt Forbeck, author of the recent Blood Bowl novel... yes a novel about this stoopid hobby I am addicted to...

Will have to get me a copy via Amazon... unless it is being sold in Australia via retail????

Late night...

Had a late night last night as I was sitting up watching the NFL Monday Night Football game which saw my team the Redskins beat Dallas with a 14pt 4th quarter come back to start the season 2-0.  The NFL is, as I have already mentioned, my favourite sport out of the US and I love my Foxtel so I can watch it regularly.  It’s a shame that the free to air stations don’t pick it up and give Don Lane another crack… oh well.

And because there are so many breaks in the NFL and hence ads on the tele, it’s a great sport to watch whilst you do other things and last night I picked up my first Dwarf and started painting.  I have gone with burgundy/maroon shoulder pads and yellow gauntlets and boots for my Dwarf team and am 75% finished the base coats of one lone dwarf.  I will post a pic when done, but I am amazed how much beard is on these dwarves!  No wonder they have an MA of 4…

Consequently, I didn’t get to bed until 1am and hence am feeling a little groggy today… the coffee isn’t kicking in as it should.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Mark Latham - Enough Rope Review...

Last night I watched the re-screening of the now infamous Enough Rope interview of Mark Latham.  I was a person who voted for Latham, who thought he was a good prospective PM and who was a clearly better alternative PM when put up against John Howard.  He was in my view raw, a bit rough around the edges, but was there to give people a fair go.

Since then, we have had his resignation and the falling out from that.  Now he has released his book and has given a right serve to all and sundry, mostly to people from his own Labor party.  He has also clearly given a huge serve and told a few home truths on certain media identities and they have obviously been made to look like fools.

I think this is important to mention because the media have talked up his behaviour on this interview in a big way.  They said he was delusional and a bit of a gibberer.  However, in contrast I found him to be clear, articulate, convinced of his side of things and he was far from a gibberer.

I will say though that I think he has suffered some form of significant mental breakdown and even though he denies it, his decision to pull the pin was one for his mental well being.  I do believe that he lacked conviction on the Beazley Dirt File and that he wasn’t strong on that point, but I got the opposite vibe when he was discussing the media.

It now means that the media have an issue to ensure that they report the facts of the interview rather than hysterically defend themselves at the expense of the truth.

Read the transcript of the interview here.

The New Painting Project!

My good fumbbl mate Twahn sent me up a team of dwarves for me to paint and they arrived yesterday.  12 figures, 3 of them painted already to a very high standard, all wrapped in bubble wrap safe and sound.

My problem is that they 3 painted ones are painted well above my standard but they will need to be stripped back.  I will feel really bad about stripping them as they are based with flock as grass and everything.

I have ummed and aghhed about the colour scheme and last night looking at the figures, I decided to go for a maroon and yellow scheme.  With a little bit of white and using a bronze for the metal trims, I am thinking that they will turn out OK.  The beards I will do a traditional brown and stay away from red beards which seems to be in vogue at the moment.  The Troll Slayers though will have the red-orange mo-hawks as is their custom…

All in all, I am going to take my time with this project… I am going to do one as a test case and then if it looks OK, go into mass production.  I wont strip back the 3 painted ones until the other 9 are done as they make great guides in picking out things in the models that I may have missed.

Two things that I am really terrible at that are very good on these figures however are faces and boots.  For some reason, I just cant get faces and really struggle getting the tones right and the eyes done nicely.  Also,  boots I tend to slap some brown on and don’t get too fussed, but the boots of the dwarves are done with 3-4 colours and full highlights.  Very nice and very tough to beat!

Photo Albums

Using Photobucket, I have started up some photo albums for the site.  The link is on the right nav panel over there à and it will contain mainly cricket photos and photos of my own gaming exploits as they happen.  Plus if something else warrants it, then they too may be “photoblogged”.

For the cricket followers, photos from Rnd 1 are up and ready to look at!

Also, I am happy to host any avatar graphics for my forum that you want… just let me know.   You can email me at Lime Kettles by this address:  MAIL

Monday, September 19, 2005 - Download Freeware and Shareware Computer Utilities.

Stumbled onto this site this morning... if you have PC problems and the like, may be worth a visit... My own PC has been acting up lately and I may look for some tweaks etc here. - Download Freeware and Shareware Computer Utilities.

Greystanes Win!

Image hosted by

Greystanes 137 def Parramatta Leagues 123.

After finishing at a reasonable 2/41 at stumps on Day 1, Greystanes
suffered a mid order batting collapse to see themselves at 8/89 chasing
the now seemingly huge target of 123.

Pete Nahlous however saved the day with an ultimately unbeaten 22 and
skipper Terry Hoban scored 11 at #10 to eek out the winning runs.
Some wayward bowling by Parramatta (18 extras!) and some bizarre field
placements assisted the cause as the boys from Greystanes finally got

The win means we have already equalled last years win
tally (woohoo!) and are at home next week at Daniel Street Park

Remind me not to do that again...

Big day yesterday at the Bat & Ball Hotel and then onto the NRL at Aussie Stadium with the boys and then half of us went back to Parramatta for dinner at the Monkey Drum which wrapped up at about 11pm.

Given I had my first beer at midday and didn’t stop until 11pm, I am in a fair bit of a state this morning… Office is quiet today as all bar myself and the admin girls are on some form of leave or work travel… So it will be a quiet one today.

A full weekend wrap will be posted later today but be on the lookout for a report on the Greystanes B11’s coming from behind to win a thriller in the opening round of the season including some ordinary pictures…

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Friday, September 16, 2005

Why Dubya minds his pees and queues

It's good to know that the world leaders are doing such a great job at the UN Security Conference... Or is it a kindergarten? George W needing permission to go to the toilet and Johnny and Tony sniggering about the cricket whilst that little black kid Perez rants on about "vengence"

World Peace? Trade? Security? Doesn't get discussed it seems...

Latham: Bombshell or Dud Round?

When Mark Latham was leader of the Labor Party, I was of the view that here was a man to tell it like it is and to cut through John Howard’s political gibbering and to bring down the Liberal government, which quite frankly has done more to deteriorate this country than any other event since the Second World War.  I was looking at Latham as a means to an end to rid us of the xenophobia and down and out religious persecution of those of non-Anglo-Saxon Christian faith.  In my view, I could live with the wheeling and dealing of tax issues and health and social security as long as Australia was maintained as a country with people of good will and positive outlook on life that was multi-cultural and accepting of others.  Now we are country of bigots, racists and religious zealots who see themselves as modern day religious crusaders who seek to deliver the people of the Middle East to Democratic Christianity.

In Latham I saw a man who would deal with issues on their merits and would see the end of the political manoeuvring that Howard exploits to gain popularity such as the Tampa incident or the exploitation of the word “Terrorism” as a justification of anything and everything.

Now a mere 10 months on, Latham is a shell of a man who is bitter, twisted and out for some sort of revenge against people from within his own party.  Sure he takes swipes at Howard and Costello, but the surprising thing is how he has pretty much decimated the persona of Kim Beazley (who I personally don’t think is a strong leader anyway) and hence potentially struck a mortal blow to the Labor Party in their ability to win the next election.

The Liberal Party will be dining out for months on Latham’s comments and book extracts and will bluster their way around the Parliament so as to avoid any real meaningful debate whilst pushing through their Right Wing policies through securely held Senate.  We now have no contest in the Senate due to their overwhelming balance of power (Barnaby Joyce’s conscious aside) and now in the House of Reps, we will see political debate pushed aside in favour of rhetoric about Latham, Beazley and the demise of the Labor Party.

Mark Latham has therefore gone from being the potential winner in the fight against Howard’s conservative views to potentially handing Costello a smooth transition after the next election and hence potentially 2 more terms post the next election to the Liberal Party.

Discuss this and other issues on the Lime Kettles Forum.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

LINK: Perspectives on Painting

What this guy says! I am still hurting that my first opponent gave my Eucalyptus Drops 3 out of 7 for painting... apparently because my bases weren't based (is Chaos Black not based?) and that I had the *hide* to not fill in the slot gap of the base itself...

Seems to be a lot of attention to my bases... what about the Farking Halflings themselves!

*Credit to ozjesting for the link...

Boing Boing: Where are the celebrity D&D TV shows?

Interesting concept... Reality TV show involving Celebrities playing D&D! Who would you want to play D&D on TV?

Let us know on the Forum

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

LAUNCH: Lime Kettles Forum

Have a look over there to your right nav panel... see the phpBB logo?

Well that link will take you to the all new Lime Kettle Forum. Enjoy!!

Rude Prick...

I am currently sitting on the train home and its just on 7pm and I have to say I was pretty rude to someone who I apparently know.  Half way across the light at the corner of William and College St’s, in the dark, I hear a “G’day Clayton!” and I turn and there is a guy in full cycling gear on a pushy at the front row of the light.  This person was wearing a helmet and cycling glasses and I said “G’day mate!” and kept going as I was preoccupied with a) beating the light and b) getting to this train.

I then realised I had no idea who it was and I must have come across as a rude prick.  If that is you, let me know it was you, and I am sorry about that…

Insert Generic Bland Post Heading Here.

I am a bit stumped for words this morning.  I usually have something to rant about, but I feel rather uninspired at the moment.  I feel a little bit flat both physically and mentally and I think this is because my boss is overseas at the moment.  Generally, I would be flat out doing stuff and he would be adding to the fire, but this week I have been busy but haven’t had him stoking up the pile of work faster than I can finish it… So whilst I am hardly sitting back at work twiddling my thumbs, I am not overly stressed as well.  This has meant that things haven’t necessarily got under my skin like they usually do I suppose…

So when I haven’t got anything to rant about, I am stumped to find things that are good enough to dedicate a whole posting to.  But a few things this week include:

·          I have scored a set of Dwarf Blood Bowl figures from my good fumbbl mate Twahn.  These Dwarves will be my next painting project.  Last night I posted up the Eucalyptus Bowl results and commented that I was chuffed at my Sportsmanship placing, but I did fairly poorly on the Painting side.  I admit I rushed my Halflings to get them ready and I have no great claims on being a master painter, but still I’d like to improve.  My weak point on miniature painting is skin / flesh areas and facial details.  The Dwarves haven’t arrived in the post as yet (Twahn lives in Melbourne) but my knowledge of their features is that they do have little beady eyes in amongst the beards.  I am going to practise some techniques on some generic fantasy miniatures I have at home, but I really want to make the Dwarf team look good.  Also, a strong colour scheme is needed as well.  I was thinking yellow and blue in the old “Dwarf Giants” style, but that may be a bit plain…  Any suggestions, let me know.

·          This weekend is going to be a big one socially.  My mate Gools is relocating to the Gold Coast in a month so we’re having a few celebratory functions to give him the proper send off.  This Sunday it’s the football where we’re seeing the Tigers hopefully knock the Broncos out.  We’re meeting at a pub at midday and the game kicks off at 4pm, so you can guess what we’ll be doing in the meantime.  This will be followed by a night out in which our wives and girlfriends will catch up with us and we’re having another slap up meal.  I think Thai is on the cards, so that will be good.

·          My favourite American sport, NFL kicked off on the weekend just past, and my team the Washington Redskins got themselves a win in the first game.  I really enjoy the NFL for its tactical side and I know a lot of Aussies don’t appreciate it, but it is in my opinion the best US sport.  I think Baseball is boring (and I love cricket!) and Basketball turns me off with the overhype and the “bling bling” extravagance.  Ice Hockey is not on the radar and they lost a season to strike actions and also it’s so damned hard to watch on TV that you may as well not bother.  But the NFL is a very structured game that is like chess and if you know the game, you will appreciate the subtle differences of between 4-3 defence of a 3-4 defence with a linebacker blitz.   I got to watch the Ravens – Colts game on FOX and I must admit the use of the linebacker on the line of scrimmage by the Ravens was a very good tactic.  Sure they lost, but that was because their offence was shite.  (I have probably lost over half my readers at this point…)

That’s probably enough generic posting for now… maybe I will get the shits today and take it out on you all tomorrow with another rant of some sort…

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Eucalyptus Bowl Results

The final standings of the Eucalyptus Bowl Tournament I participated in are up at this link

I didnt do too badly given I was playing Halflings... and I came equal 2nd in the Sportsmanship category... which is a warm fuzzy...

All Over Red Rover...

Well, its all over.  We have lost the Ashes.  After weeks of lack of sleep and sitting up until all hours, it has come to nought.  I really thought we had some hope today when we took 4 wickets in the first session, but the costly dropping of Pietersen on 0, 15 and even 60 cost us big time.  On reflection, we were totally outplayed and didn’t deserver to win or even draw the series.  We took the First Test easily but then the next 4 were all England with the whip hand.  Sure we only lost by small margins, but still we were fighting hard to keep up with England.

So after 18yrs, The Ashes are in England’s possession and I am old enough to remember when we won it off them but I don’t really recall being under the hammer by them and fighting to win it back except for one memory of going to the SCG and seeing Greg Ritchie getting bowled by Dilley and Australia collapsing on the first test in that series… that must have been in 1984?

So now we are in a new era of Australian cricket.  There is no point in getting too despondent and I am already looking forward to the return bout in Australia in 18mths time.  It is good to see competitive cricket again rather than the fodder that has been served up to us in the past 5 years or so.

But having said that, changes need to be made.  Warne said after last nights play that he looked forward to the return series in 2007/08 and I think he may be able to hang on.  But as for the rest of the team, I would expect McGrath, Hayden, Langer, Martyn, Gilchrist to be gone from the XI that played last night.  Also fringe players Gillespie, Kasprowicz would also be gone.  That means we need to find 3 batsmen and 3 bowlers and a keeper to come through in the next 12 months.

For keeping, I am not sure of his age, but Brad Haddin seems to be the heir apparent.  A good batsman, he will play both Tests and ODI so I think unless there is an unfortunate event, he will be the next Test keeper.  Gilchrist’s glove work was very sloppy last night.  He did take a good catch off McGrath, but there were byes and he wasn’t getting across to take legside deliveries from Warne.  His batting is off the boil too… so he probably has only 6mths in the team.

Batsmen:  Hussey is a clear candidate.  Hodge has had a good domestic season last year and got a tour but did nothing but sight seeing.  This seasons Sheffield Shield will determine the next Test batsman.

Bowlers:  MacGill needs to get more time, but he is behind Warne who has not let age detract from his bowling.  Warne’s slip fielding is horrendous at the moment, so if we can hide him in the field, he can still play.  We may need to look at the option of playing two spinners more often just so that we can maintain winning form.  In the pace department, Tait has shown promise and although a little bit rattled by Pietersen last night, will come good with time.  Stuart Clark of NSW has been pulled into the squad to cover for injury and he looks like a likely candidate.  The pace bowling is a worry though and again we need someone to step up in the Sheffield Shield.

So we will go through a cyclical effect and will wear a few more losses, but at least its better than smacking Zimbabwe around…


Sunday, September 11, 2005

Match Report: Greystanes Cricket Club vs Parramatta Leagues

Season 2005/06 got underway yesterday in unseasonally warm conditions.
Greystanes were drawn to play away against Parramatta Leagues at Belmore
Oval, North Parramatta and it was the home side who won the toss and
elected to bat.

Opening the bowling for Greystanes, skipper Terry Hoban got an early
breakthrough and removed the off stump of one of Parramatta's openers.
This followed by another breakthrough at the other end with Simon Agius
bowling the other Parramatta opener.

In trouble, the 3rd wicket partnership consolidated slowly but that
broke down when Paul "Noyz" Brewster was brought in and he took 3
wickets in 2 overs to have Parramatta reeling.

Joe Puglisi chipped in with a wicket (a rank long hop that was hit to
Pete Nahlous at midwicket) and he got in early with smart arse comment
of the season when he apologised to the dismissed batsmen for bowling
such a shit ball.

At 6/52, things looked grim but Parramatta steadied with a 40 run
partnership for the 7th wicket but once the breakthrough was made the
tail fell in a heap. Pete Nahlous bowled some great leg spin to take 3
wickets which included 2 stumpings by Angelo Buultjens and Parramatta
were all out for 123.

At the innings break, the light started to fade fast and Greystanes
could only manage about 10 or so overs at the crease. At stumps
Greystanes were 2/42 with yours truly (28) and Cam Imbesi (0)
bowled in the fading light by looping slow balls.

All in all, a good start to the season and a first innings win is on the
cards for next week.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Bush's go on Vacation...

I received this today and it made me laugh... Those Bush Boys know how to have a good time! Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 09, 2005

School Train...

I have a 10am meeting today in the city (I work not quite in the city on William St) so I decided to take advantage and come in late and go straight to the meeting… Consequently I am on the 8:21am from Glenbrook and it is packed with school kids.  I have realised that I am quite old now… the “kids of today” seem very alien to me.  Probably not the girls… they were wearing the regular hair styles and had junky jewellery on just like when I was at school, but the guys!  Shit… They have more tints and highlights in their hair than you can poke a stick at and are quite happy to wear jewellery – bracelets, rings mostly – that would get any person of my era bashed “back in the day”.

I graduated high school in 1990 and to me, it seems like it is still fairly recent, but then you realise it was 15 years ago.  Ancient history in school terms.  I think about people who would have graduated 15yrs before me (1975) and that seems a long time, but then I relate it to today and I still think in my head that it was “just a few years ago”.

I guess nobody ever loses that feeling…

I will be 33 years old in December and I have one daughter in school myself and one not far off it.  When you say that, it makes you feel old.  But on Saturday I am turning out again for cricket with my school mates and we’re still hanging out together and over a few beers we still talk about those times from school… the day Joe whacked Cutajar, the day my mate Siebs and I had a full on fight at the back fence and drew blood but was the worst fight ever seen, the days we got our drivers licenses and hooned around our neighbourhood going for “Milfy Runs” which consisted of 2, 3 or 4 carloads of teenagers pulling up out the front of one guys house in the late evening / early morning hours and yelling out obscenities at the top of our lungs… and then Terry got booked by the cops…

These old stories have lasted those years and we are still hanging out together.  We now though have wives or girlfriends we may as well consider wives, most of us have kids and some of us are going to have kids soon.  Our “group” is getting larger.  Saturday nights at the pubs and clubs are slowly giving way to BBQ’s and beers on a Sunday.  I consider myself very lucky to have friends such as mine and when people criticise me that I should put away the cricket bat and concentrate on other things, people fail to realise that its not about winning and losing, but rather its about creating more stories and enjoying the good times.

Bring on the summer!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Barbara Bush comments on survivors spark outrage...

Are you black? Are you underpriviledged? Well why dont you go somewhere and wait for a catestrophic natural disaster to relieve you and your impoverished family of your aches and ills and you too can be relocated to a nice airconditioned sporting facility in a brand new city.

Welcome to Social Planning and Welfare Barbara Bush style...

Planes, Trains and Automobiles... and a few other things.

A few things that are going on or mulling over in my mind:

Petrol Prices (again!):  Why are we suddenly paying $1.40 a litre!  It has gone up remarkably in the past week (again).  It seems the trend to have 10c jumps every 1-2 weeks!  This time they’re blaming Hurricane Katrina.  Yet oil prices fell from US$71 to US$66 a barrel… somebody needs to do something about this price gouging every time there is an incident overseas.  Next they will be rising petrol by 10c if George Bush’s dog needs to go to the vet….

Cricket (Ashes): 5th and deciding Test Match starts tomorrow night.  Personally I cant wait and will probably be sitting up all night glued to the tele.  This Test Match is going to be a defining moment in the next 5-10yrs of Australian Cricket.  Win, and we will move forward selectively pruning the aging players from the team in a calm manner.  Lose (or draw) and you will see the next Australian Test XI with a multitude of debutants and we will slump dramatically down the pecking order of Test nations.  The old hands may hang on for the Super Test in Sydney next month, but that will be it.

Cricket (Local): My own cricket team starts its 11th (or is it 12th?) season together this weekend.  We are away to Parramatta Leagues and are down one more division from our wooden spooning effort of last season and are playing B11’s.  That’s the great thing about cricket, as the waist lines expand and the skills deteriorate, there is always a lower division to move to.  I have had one net session two weeks ago – that should hold me in good stead, don’t want to overdue it before the season starts ;-)

Car:  It is time to trade in the family car.  The silver station wagon has served us well through the years of toddler hood and is now looking tired.  It’s a 2001 Falcon Station Wagon in reasonable nick with 73,000 kms on the clock.  Not sure what I can get for it, but I plan to talk to my leasing company as to what they need to pay out the remaining months (18 or so) on the lease.  The replacement car is the debate, I believe we will get a better deal by getting another Ford and I am aware that they are keen to sell run out models, but with petrol prices the way they are, we are considering downsizing.  I am by no means a rev head and have no idea about cars… if any of you can recommend a reasonable family car, let me know.  I also have a light scrape on the rear door (don’t ask, a carpark pilon jumped out at me), not sure whether I should get it fixed or try and get what I can for it as is.

Trains: New timetables are running on time.  I haven’t had an issue with the performance.  However, overcrowding is a problem and my own carriage here in car #8 of the now 7:11am train is 50% more crowded.  90% of seats are taken as opposed to 60% previously.  I don’t like people sitting next to me on the train in… I write this blog and I then do work emails.  I had a guy yesterday blatantly looking over my shoulder and reading my screen whilst I typed my post on the Hurricane.  Very rude to read another persons newspaper, but another persons emails!  Yuck.  Luckily today, I have nobody next to me as I have put my bag on the seat… a lot of people got on at Emu, but there is still a couple of vacant seats so nobody asked me to move my bag.  Is it wrong to leave your bag on the seat?  Who cares!

Miniatures: I have now got the miniature painting bug back… I am searching for Blood Bowl miniatures and if anybody has any to sell, let me know.  I would like a Dwarf or an Elf team of any persuasion mostly.  I also would be keen on Skaven.  Essentially anything I guess… I have 2 Orc teams, an Undead, a Human and now a base Halfling team.

NRL:  Am very excited about the weekend of sport ahead, including the NRL Final Series kicking off.  My tips are the Cowboys, Storm, Saints and Parramatta.  I think the Tigers and the Broncos despite their 4th and 3rd placings are ripe for the picking.  I think both the Cowboys and Storm are primed for some good form, but hopefully not too good as I think (and hope) that Saints can go all the way this year.  Manly may upset Parramatta, but it’s a longshot.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Now that the fun is over...

I have been writing about the fun times at Eucalyptus Bowl these past few days and I have enjoyed it immensely however life isn’t all about fun and games and even though I have been having a good time, it is about time that I give my 2 cents on the situation in New Orleans.

Putting aside the natural disaster itself, as these are an inevitable part of life around the Gulf of Mexico, the response from the US government has been appalling.  I have read a few posts in other blogs defending Bush and claiming that these “anti-Bush” people are jumping at media sensationalism and to be honest I think that is appalling.  The fact of the matter is that the flooding of New Orleans was a natural disaster that cost many many lives, but I want to know how many people died during the week after from lack of care and from violence.  How many people died in the heat and the crowds at the SuperDome and the Convention Centre?  This will be the true test of how “successful” rescue efforts were.

The fact is that the Governor mobilised National Guardsmen and issued “shoot to kill” orders against looters on Day 2.  On Day 5, many people at the two main gathering points in New Orleans were still in the same clothes and without food & water.  Why is it so easy to mobilise military muscle and not easy to drive a couple of tankers full of water into the city?  Why is it so easy to have helicopters flying around cherry picking people off roof tops yet you cannot organise trucks of any description to ferry people out?

In all seriousness, that SuperDome holds 65,000 people for sporting events and yet when 20,000 people are inside it, they cannot organise public transport to get people out in an orderly fashion?  20,000 people is not such a big crowd given that the New Orleans Saints gets 3 times that many every second week of the NFL season so why was it so hard to get them out?

In this modern day, the end result has been a tragic disaster.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Eucalyptus Bowl - General Stuff

I have written plenty on Saturday’s Euc  Bowl already, but a few of the funnier moments and side comments that I have…

The venue was a great idea…. I am sure that the Bardwell Park RSL had never had so many geeks descend upon them all in one sitting before, but the staff were great.  Apparently the hire of the venue which came with all the tables & chairs and the odd staff member picking up glasses and cleaning up was only $300.  Bargain!

The turnout:  I am amazed how much support blood bowl has in Sydney.  I played in a Sydney League in the early 90’s that had at its peak 20 or so coaches, but to get 38 for a one off event was great.  The ages of the coaches varied too and some young guys who wouldn’t have been old enough to play in the early 90’s make up the bulk.   A few of us old hands too were about which was good to see.

The personalities:  I know a couple of the SWL guys already from going to the odd Tommy Dean gig and the like, but it was good to meet some of the new fumbbl players like Rabid_Bogscum and Virral.  Also finally met “Babs” in person and I was also keen to say g’day to DM who makes the odd comment here on this blog.  DM had a fantastic home crafted board and took the photos that were linked below.  Was also good to meet DaemonicLazoth in person and he was the victim of the funniest moment when Tommy took his lunch… Other new people I met were dancollins who was very funny and I also met a guy (Brendan) who lives about 1km from my place who is very keen on the miniature side of things and has offered me the odd local game.  For the record, the SWL’ers who were there were Skonos, gumbi, Beefygoodness, chunky04, ozjesting, dancollins, DaemonicLazoth, DM, AnthonySoprano, Doubleskulls and yours truly ClayInfinity.  I hope I haven’t missed anyone…

Painting:  I was very impressed with some of the painting talents of the players.  Also I noticed after the event that painting scores (and sportsmanship) come into the mix for determining the overall champion and this has inspired me to take up the miniature side of the game a bit more enthusiastically.  I am thinking of buying a whole team via eBay and taking my time and painting them up nicely.  Some of the work at Euc Bowl was amazing with the most interesting was the use of cello tape as a “perspex visor” on a Pro Elf team.

Technical Points:  I very much liked the “everyone gets 2 skills per game” rule.  Made the post match stuff simple and the teams stayed in tact throughout the tournament.  Also the TR110 rule was great as it allowed teams to take Stars and be a bit adventurous with their lineups.  Another plus was the 2 day event.  So many tournaments are played over 3 days in a long weekend that for those of us with families it makes it hard to attend.  MOAB for instance is on the October long weekend… I doubt that I will be able to go…  On the negative side, my only comment was that the skills awarded should be rolled.  That will mean stat increases could come into it and more importantly, mutations and traits.  Chaos teams were severely disadvantaged IMHO.

Overall it was a great success.  I want to thank Chunky and Doubleskulls for the work they put into it all and I cant wait for next years event – which I have been assured wont be on Fathers Day!


Fathers Day!

Had a great Fathers Day yesterday that was very relaxing and quiet.  The day started with bacon and eggs in bed with orange juice after a sleep in.  Scored some pressies off the kids which were fantastic.  Little Brooke made me a whole bunch of drawings and cards from Pre-School and the main piece of craft I got was a little balsa wood star that had been painted glued with shiny stars and in the middle was a little picture of her.  A strip magnet was glued to the back and I have taken it to work today where it will be stuck somewhere there.  Kate bought me from her school’s Fathers Day stall a pair of gardening gloves and a trowel “because I love gardening” plus a thousand cards and drawings and paintings.  They weren’t great pressies in the traditional sense, but its very special to have your kids put so much effort into their craft just for you.  Fathers Day is now starting to be a big event from my girls’ perspective and it hits home how much of a role you play in their lives.

I then watched a bit of SportsWorld in bed until I had to get up and get ready to go see my Dad for Fathers Day lunch.  We drove down to Greystanes to Mum & Dad’s and the girls had presents for “Grandpa” as well.  Dad got a microwave heat pack “because he has a sore back” and I am sure it will come in very handy :-)

We then went to the Shun Tak Chinese Seafood restaurant in Parramatta and absolutely gorged ourselves.  No other words to describe it, but we all pigged out.  Kate & Brooke enjoyed trying to use chopsticks and ate chicken omelette, spring rolls and Kate even had a couple of Gow Gee’s (sp?).  We also had Peking Duck, Sizzling Beef, Salt & Pepper Prawns (my favourite), Spicy Pippies, Dim Sims, Sang Choy Bow and of course Fried Rice.  The big dish though was a whole lobster from the tank that was cooked up and we (well mainly Dad & I) got through most of before we conceded defeat.  Add on a beer and a couple of glasses of wine and I was well and truly stuffed.  One of the best meals I have had in ages.

Then it was a leisurely drive home to watch a very good game of football on TV (which my Saints won and secured a vital Top 2 finish in the NRL) and I dozed in front of the news.

A great day, but it makes going into work today so much harder….

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Eucalyptus Bowl - Photos!

Here are some pictures from the Eucalyptus Bowl on the weekend... Many thanks to DM for taking these and posting them all up here

General room shot. I am on the 2nd table in this shot about to start my first game against Vanessa's Goblin team.

Game 3: Me vs Tommy Dean... These were taken at the end of the game as we're just wrapping up... I had come close to tieing the game and Tommy is a bit amazed at what hit him...

Paperwork... always paperwork to do post match...

Deeproot (in his stylish helmet) laying havoc against the High Elves

One of my other trees with prone High Elves around him and a little Fling under his arm...

My prize!! My Stunty King football that I have won!

Prizes! The Prize Table... Not bad set of trophies and gear! Well done to Chunky and Doubleskulls for organising the whole event! Posted by Picasa

Eucalyptus Bowl Round Up

Well, I did it! My first tournament after two years of playing online on fumbbl and the odd tabletop league game and I have to say I loved it! I am amazed that there were 38 coaches in attendance and it turned out to be the biggest Blood Bowl tournament ever staged in Australia...

I played 3 games on the Saturday on a shared ticket with Anthony Soprano who played the 2 games on the Sunday and I have been reliably informed tonight that together we became the Stunty Champions of the Eucalyptus Bowl!

I don't know exactly how we ended up overall, but I played 3 games with a 1/1/1 record... not too shabby considering I was expecting to go 0-3. For the record, my game wraps are below and I will post a more generalist comment about the Tournament on my train trip tomorrow.

Game 1: vs Goblins (3-0 Win)

My first game was against a fellow stunty team of Goblins and I had mixed feelings going into the game. The models were extremely well painted and my opponent (a nice girl from QLD called Vanessa) seemed to know her stuff. She regaled me with tales of tournaments past as we set up and I contemplated how I would stop a fellow stunty player given my defence is all about tackle zones... She had taken just two trolls and 5 rerolls and given I had 2 treemen plus Deeproot and 2 chefs, I decided to take her up the guts with a power game. She had better AV (7 to my 6) but I thought that the trees would wreak havoc on her.

And that was how it happened with me plowing huge gaps with the trees, isolating her Stupid trolls and running the ball. Final score was 3-0 and I had inflicted 4 casualties to nil. In fact, I never lost a Fling off the field and completely overwhelmed her team.

This left me amazingly in First Place after Round 1 and I was the only coach on maximum points!

Game 2: vs Chaos Dwarves (0-0 Draw)

Going from Goblins to a front loaded Chaos Dwarf team was a real swing in game style. My opponent, Brendon, had loaded his team up with Ripper the Star Troll, a Minotaur, 2 Bull Centaurs and a swag of Chaos Dwarf Blockers. His only two Hobgoblins had both skilled up and he had one with Dirty Player and one with Sure Hands. The downside of this was he only had one reroll which I promptly stole away with my chefs.

When I told him my two skills from Round 1 were Diving Tackle he replied "Doesnt matter to me, I dont dodge!" I started to question the sense of taking Halflings into a tournament...

I received the ball and started well. My trees laid the smackdown onto his line and I concentrated on Ripper and the Blockers. His Minotaur was lurking in the backfield and I decided to not go the one turn Fling Toss and grind it out a little.

Luck was with me and all though the Bulls were blitzing my flanks, I kept them at bay but soon became mired in my end of the field. However, with no rerolls, the Chaos Dwarves failed their fair share of blocks and I then luckily Badly Hurt Ripper who didn't regenerate! A hole appeared and I scampered into the clear. Then a Chaos Dwarf blocker stretched himself in a blitz and double skulled the block! I was away and my little Halfling (the one with the Pot on his head) ran and ran and ran. The halfling was blitzed again by the Hobgoblin who was the lone defender and I survived that and only had to make two dodge rolls to score. But alas, I failed and the half ended at 0-0.

At half time, I only had 4 Flings left as the carnage had been rampant. I expected to be overwhelmed but the lack of rerolls cost Brendon big time as the Minotaur failed numerous blocks and the Bull Centaurs failed blocks as well and one even failed the Sure Feet roll when he was seemingly in the clear.

The Trees got left behind at the Line of Scrimmage and soon enough I had one fling with the ball with about 6 opposing players bearing down on me. I did the only thing a Halfling can do in that situation and I punted the ball downfield to empty space and without realising it was a possible tactic, the Chaos Dwarves had no one back there to pick it up. The lone halfling got smeared, but it mattered not as time expired - 0-0! Casualties were against me 1-6. Ouch!

Game 3: vs High Elves (1-2 Loss)

The game was against my good mate Tommy who is the #3 High Elf Coach in the World (according to NAF rankings) but he was a bit unsure of how to play against Halflings. After explaining how Throw Team Mate works, he set his defence up and left the last quarter of his field empty. I set up, left Deeproot off the Line of Scrimage. Received, Fling next to Deeproot gets the ball and Huzzah! The Fling is flung down the field, perfect pass, runs into the endzone and the mighty High Elves are down 0-1 and they havent moved a muscle!

To Tommy's credit, he never made that defensive mistake again and he ground out a 1-1 scoreline at the half obviously wary of my scoring potential... He kept his Elves clear of the trees and whilst I kept my line in tact for 7 turns, he broke through on the 8th turn and scored. It was a shrewd move as my numbers were getting less and less as his blocks did sting.

Second half, he plays more aggressively and even though I made a good fist of it, Tommy scores in the 4th turn knowing that even if I am successful with a Fling Toss TD, he has plenty of time to take the win.

I decide to give up on the possibility of the win and go for the draw. He sets way back in his own half and I creep forward with a cluster of flings under the branches of the trees. I try to draw him out, but he holds firm knowing what is coming. He pesters me with a few line elfs to prevent me from getting really close, but finally on Turn 7 I throw the Fling and he lands but in 3 tackle zones!

I fall over and the ball is spilled and the game is lost. Final score 1-2, casualties 0-4.... Great game though! :)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Presenting the "Eucalyptus Drops"!

Well here it is people, all done. Tonight I finished off the last of my little Halflings - 11 in all - and they are ready for the big tournament on Saturday. These pics are of the Drops with their Star Player Deeproot Strongbranch. The Drops will be joined by two more trees ably supplied by Mr Tommy Dean and we will take this damn Eucalyptus Bowl by storm! Weeeeeeeee!!!Posted by Picasa

Margo Kingston's Webdiary: Dividing Australia: it ain't Muslims doing it

Here here! This article is spot on and articlulates exactly what a) government ministers are doing and b) what John Howard is not doing.

Link Here

J-Bro, Media and Our Quest For Gossip

I don’t (didn’t?) like John Brogden.  I thought he was a smarmy, cheap politician who got by on attempting to undermine everything and score points off the failings of the incumbent government.  I don’t believe he ever proposed viable solutions to the trains or health or any other matter, he simply repeated the mantra “Bob Carr can’t make it work, get rid of him”.

That being said, I also have distaste for the fact that grubby details of the personal lives of high profile individuals are pushed upon us as “news” and that we as a population now have this insatiable thirst for celebrity gossip.

Perhaps now we should take some lessons from the John Brogden suicide bid and the fact that the Daily Telegraph (the number one peddler of gossip) was to publish more allegations of misconduct from as far back as 2003.

What John Brogden did was wrong; very wrong.  He was rightly and publicly crucified for the 2 sexual harassments and the vile racial slur on Helena Carr.  He resigned in disgrace and I cannot be happier about it.

That however should be the end of it.  He held a position of authority and potential leadership for our biggest state and his actions clearly showed he wasn’t fit to be that leader.  He was shown to be the fool that he truly was and he fell on his sword.  But once that was done, the media should then have focused on his replacement.  Who was to lead the Liberals, how would this affect Morris Iemma having to deal with a different and surely better political opponent? There was so much more pertinent news worthy stories as a result of the Brogden resignation you could have filled 3 newspapers.  Instead, the Daily Telegraph dragged out people who approached them to claim that they too were harassed by Brogden in 2003, that there was rumour that he was having an affair with a staffer and that he attended a function and left with a women who was not his wife.

This stuff is irrelevant and not newsworthy.  Once Brodgen left the public position he held, we should not care what he does or did.  He is not the first person to cheat on his wife and he won’t be the last.  He won’t be the last guy to try and pick up women with bad lines fortified by a bit of liquid courage.  And given that he no longer had any form of responsibility to the people of NSW, then we should not care either.

Now that he has failed in a suicide attempt, perhaps we should take a good hard look at ourselves and say do we care about this stuff and that perhaps we can focus and raise the collective intellect of the people by analysing the issues of the fallout of the resignation from a political perspective and not focus on the tits and arse chasing sensationalism that seems to fill our newspapers.

Remember that on the day that the Telegraph chose to fill its front pages with Brodgen dalliances, perhaps hundreds of people died in a tsunami style event in New Orleans and that 1000 people have died as a result of a stampede in Baghdad.  Do these events not rate in comparison of a failed politician making a bad taste proposition to an unnamed woman in 2003?  If you have an answer for that question, I think you’ll find that the Telegraph made a serious error in judgement.