Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Round 3 of the great “Install A Modem On Dad’s PC” is on tonight… hopefully this time it goes OK.
Greystanes Cricket won the second last match of the season and secured 2nd spot on the ladder. Semi Finals now beckon!
Unfortunately we have the bye last round so to keep the momentum and to have a bit of a laugh, we’re having a inter team 7 a side game (or thereabouts) for 20 overs a side.
If we get more players / rings ins, all is good, but on the basis we have around 14, it will be 7 a side with 4 bowlers bowling 3 overs and 2 bowlers bowling 4 plus a designated keeper.
No LBW’s probably, only 5 outfielders, all the families and kids coming down, beers, snags, a few laughs.
Should be a good one. If you’re in the area on March 12 come on down!
Listening (In The Car):
Monday, February 27, 2006
A smallish news item this weekend about Jack Thomas (aka Jihad Jack) who was found guilty on Friday for accepting money from al-Qaeda and for being a terrorist sleeper or some such. This ladies and gentlemen is the face of Terrorism In Australia. And guess what, he wasn’t “of Middle-Eastern Appearance”. Shock and horror perhaps! Not really, the news item was dutifully reported with our man Jack walking to and from the court with his dowdy mother on his arm and his white clean shaven face looking immaculate in his Lowes suit.
My point is that this guy wasn’t the atypical terrorist under the bed, back pack carrying, 72 virgin seeking madman from the East side of
So what does this say? I would propose that all this terrorism media hysterics has actually contributed to an extreme element of people – be they Muslim or not – and actually putting ideas into the heads of individuals such as Jack Thomas. I am glad that they have caught him and he deserves what he gets, but lets not forget that the second largest terrorism attack on
Listening: U2’s Boy. Part of my 1980’s U2 collection.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Friday, February 24, 2006
No real post today… Got home from work last night at 10:30pm and am now back on the trains early (6:20am) for an 8:00am meeting. I thought the advent of technology would mean we’d get more leisure time? Instead we get to go in early for a global video conference hook up with
So I am now catching up on some zeds and only have the laptop open for musical purposes.
Listening: Arcade Fire’s Funeral
Thursday, February 23, 2006
The news is breaking that the New Zealand Warriors have breached the salary cap and are set to start the upcoming NRL season on negative points plus a hefty fine. I am glad that the NRL are going to apply the full penalty against the Warriors because the Salary Cap is the one thing that the NRL relies upon to have competitive seasons and cyclical results of teams. A closer, more even comp means more fans through the gate and more TV and sponsorship revenue. In essence, without the cap, the NRL would become lopsided and some teams will only be there to make up the numbers with zero chance of winning – look at the English Premier League and what a free market can do.
So the Warriors break the cap and they get punished. Good. What is disconcerting is that the NRL’s Chief Auditor of the salary cap, Ian Schubert, wasn’t responsible for detecting the breach. It has been reported that the Warriors themselves, after a change of administration, discovered the breaches by the prior administration and notified the NRL. Essentially they fell on their sword in fear of an audit and thought they would get leniency for volunteering the breaches to the NRL.
What I want to know is why Ian Schubert & co didn’t detect the breach when they only recently conducted an audit of the Warriors? The Warriors’ books were examined and deemed clean and yet there was a half a million in undisclosed secret payments to players. The press and the NRL however have been lauding the good work by Ian Schubert and have actually used this episode to praise the auditors. It’s a joke… that an auditor can go in and do a detail audit and yet find nothing untoward and have the club turn around a few months later volunteering that they have been cheating.
If this was a PriceWaterhouseCoopers or a KPMG audit in the corporate world, there would be a serious inquiry. Instead Schubert gets praised for his “continuing good work at uncovering salary cap cheating” and the press have also dug out the 2002 stories of how the Bulldogs were also caught cheating by Schubert.
But my recollection of the events of 2002 was that the Bulldogs were caught only after a pair of investigative journalists uncovered illegal payments to Bulldogs players as part of the Oasis Redevelopment project. In short, a third party looking at something else non-league related caught them and blew the whistle. Ian Schubert though had once again given the Bulldogs books the seal of approval and yet he is lauded for his good work.
In short the salary cap is clearly being breached by clubs and only good luck and fortune (and a guilty conscience on the part of the Warriors) has resulted in cap breaches being detected. Ian Schubert over the years has a zero success rate and I think its about time that the NRL look into other means of policing. Perhaps hiring a PwC or KPMG with greater powers to delve into player personal financial records would be a step forward as opposed to an old ex-Rooster lock forward waltzing in every so often.
Something has to give and if the NRL want to be taken seriously, then they need to reform their system.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
This morning I am writing from the passenger seat of Dad’s car as we drive into town. I have been “attempting” to install ADSL onto Dad’s PC for about 2 weeks. Let me say it has not been a smooth process.
After churning to Internode from Telstra Bigpond back in November, I have been raving about how good and quick the service is, so after realising Dad has been spending over $200 a month on 56K dialup (yes!) I convinced him to switch ISP’s and get onto internode.
Well we applied on line and seemed smooth. The modem arrived with some sketchy settings on a pdf emailed to him. I went to install the modem and 2 problems. One, an Ethernet card was not installed on the PC and two, internode were having problems seeing the modem on the line and suggested that a Telstra fault lay on the line.
Delay as one we buy an Ethernet Card and as we wait for Telstra – which to be fair, they did come out surprisingly in just 2 days. Telstra however say that there is no issue with the line but in fact the modem supplied by Internode is faulty.
After waiting on the internode help line via call back mode (which can take 2-3hrs!) Dad debates/argues with them that it’s the modem and not the line. The conversation typically goes from “no it cant be our modems” to “yes sir, we’ll send you a replacement”.
Two business days later (yesterday) the modem gets to Dad and I go last night to install it. After a small hiccup with the Ethernet drivers, I cannot get the ADSL gateway open as per the internode instructions. I log a call with internode and they are again having extensive delays on their help desk and hence we await a call back. In the interim I log onto the bloodbowl chat via my laptop and get some REAL tech support and get chatting to my mate gumbi. If you want to get real tech advice, talk to someone in IRC – its where all the geeks hang out :-)
Gumbi gets me to configure WinME to read the modem via TCP/IP protocols etc (I’m not 100% clear on what he did – but it worked) and I was able to connect! Bugger Internode! Then however whilst it is very quick compared to the old dialup, the speed is really only 300-350 kbps when we are paying for 1500kbps. Quicker than 56, but not what we were expecting.
Its at that point Internode call back and for the next 90mins, I am on with this techie. Nice guy, but sheesh, I wish they would stop instantly laying the blame on Telstra. “Must be a line fault” he says, and is incredulous that Telstra had been physically out and checked the line just 2 days earlier.
The modem “works” at reduced speed, but I cannot get to the Linksys site to configure the modem. It is timing out, stalling, freezing and hanging at the very site that forms an integral part of the installation of ADSL. Yet I can connect to anything else!
We try downloading Firefox and it works “better” and hence the guy says Internet Explorer must be the issue – yet IE6.0 is what the site is designed for! But whilst I get partial access to the Linksys config site, I can’t get to the firewall and security settings of the router and hence it goes un-configured.
Finally the tech agrees that if the only problem is the linksys configuration, then it’s a modem issue. Another one! He says, yes there has been an issue with the Linksys modem I have and they have had 50 returned this week, which is incredibly high. I tell him (yet again) that this is the second modem we’ve had that if their hardware people don’t contact me tomorrow (today) then I will churn Dad out to an ISP that doesn’t provide dodgy hardware.
I await that call – but seriously, is it too hard to expect that a company provides working hardware? Also their “installation guide” which is a one page pdf that is vague at best leaves a lot to be desired with many features / settings not stated or stated with options that aren’t even available when you try to do the install.
I churned from BigPond to Internode and kept my fully working ADSL modem from Telstra and it works fine. Internode works beautifully for me as a churn, but as a new install the experience has (and still is) shoddy.
I await their call….
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
I don’t know what it is, but ever since the new train timetable, the crowds on the trains have increased dramatically. I have gone from having the pick of the carriage at Glenbrook and getting my same seat every day to scrambling to get on and find a seat at all. At Emu Plains, which is 2 stops away and is traditionally the place where the train fills up, the crowds on the platform have gotten larger and of course because there aren’t even any seats at Glenbrook, many people are forced to stand.
In addition, like yesterday, they will throw in the odd day in which there will only be 6 cars instead of 8. People couldn’t even get on the train yesterday let alone a seat!
Not anymore, the trains are packed, it impacts the effectiveness of the AirCon (and I know I am even lucky to have A/C) and people instead of quietly snoozing or reading are quietly seething. Not so pleasant anymore.
There is an earlier train that leaves at 6:50am that I may now try and get because the 7:10am is now just shithouse.
Listening: The Last of My Midnight Oil Collection – 116 songs from 12 albums/EP’s… 7 ½ hours worth!
Monday, February 20, 2006
With not really knowing what to expect, I took Kate & Brooke to the soccer yesterday to see Sydney FC win through to the Grand Final with a 2-1 (4-3 aggregate) win over Adelaide United.
I have always been a soccer player and fan, but had only gone to see a match in the old NSL once when about 5 blokes and a dog turned up to a
We crawled through, parked at Sydney Girls High and had to get the girls to frog march pretty quickly to the ground. But the thing was there were heaps of people in our predicament who had similarly been caught short and were held back by the crowd. This was amazing as
I picked up the tickets whilst Noyz, to save time, took the girls to the merchandising stand to buy some flags for them and we took our seats about 3mins before kickoff. The ground was packed and friends of ours Siebs & Denise had text me that they were there and saving us seats. Funnily enough
The crowd was massive and we were sitting half a bay from “The Cove” which is the area behind the northern goals that host the hard core
And I suppose I was a little bit apprehensive taking a 4 and a 6 year old girl to a soccer game, but the fans were in good spirit and very family friendly. People were drinking beer (take note SCG Trust!) and there was no trouble whatsoever. Families were everywhere and the girls got right into it, particularly Kate who spent the last 20mins standing on her chair with the crowd with her flag in the air joining into the “ole ole” and the “Sydney Sydney Sydney!” chants.
For $40 a family pass (2 adults, 2 kids) it was great value and a great atmosphere. Well done
With the win, it means
Friday, February 17, 2006
The King Is Dead! Long Live The King! - Glenbrook Kings that is!
NAF World Headquarters :: Blood Bowl: "NAF Coach Rankings"
Well Tony Abbott was defeated and all I can say is thank goodness common sense prevailed. Whilst the media covered Peter Costello’s personal experience in greater detail, I think the argument against Abbott was summed up very succinctly in a 10sec newsbyte I saw yesterday. “It is an issue about common sense. The Minister does not have the technical expertise to make this judgement”. Very true and I am glad that the religious views of one man (even though he is the minister) have been defeated but Big Kim opens up a whole new can of worms – do Ministers in Parliament now need to have technical qualifications to make the decisions that they need to make? OK, so Abbott isn’t medically trained but he’s the Health Minister. Do we need a medical doctor in that role? Treasury – do we need a highly qualified economist? Agriculture – do we need a farmer??
Yes, interesting dilemma and perhaps one that needs to be perhaps given some thought. If John Howard does have a medical person in his party, should he be elevated post haste to the role of Health Minister? I reckon he’d do a better job than that TOOL Abbott.
Moving away from things political, it is Friday and the weekend beckons. No playing cricket, so the Saturday will be spent around the house, fixing Dad’s computer (installing an Ethernet card and connecting to ADSL) and then dinner with friends Glenn & Brooke. Sunday will be a lazy day, Kate has a party I ‘think’ in the morning, and then I will try today to secure tickets to the soccer semi-final Sydney FC vs
Work today will hopefully pass swiftly… but after taking yesterday off to see various doctors for my foot, I am sure to be back logged.
Listening: Lenny Kravitz Greatest Hits
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Finally after a week and a half, decided to get my foot checked out and
yes, its broken and bad enough that they initially wanted me to have a
cast on it. Physio thought mobility however was best and I am now
strapped up and I must admit it feels better. His estimate on how long
it will take to heal will be 4-6 weeks so my cricket semi finals are in
So, I will do what I can to keep off it and do as little as possible
(LOL! Won't be hard!) and see how it goes.
X-Rays every two weeks to see progress... Hopefully with semi's in 4
weeks I "may" be OK to play...
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
“I was reading an article in the Daily Telegraph the other day and a Muslim Imam said that
Senator Anna (?) Vale. Liberal MP 13 February 2006.
That is perhaps not an exact quote, but that is what I heard on last nights evening news in a press conference held outside Parliament House with respect to the debate on RU486. After hearing that quote, which is so wrong on so many levels, that I am thinking of packing up and moving to somewhere where politicians don’t carry on like complete idiots. How can anyone seriously stand up and say that. Really, surely there must be some sort of IQ test before a politician can take the oath to serve the country. Between corrupt kickback merchants and complete idiots, this country really is doomed.
So let’s just clarify what Senator Vale is saying here…
1. “I was reading an article in the Daily Telegraph”. She is predicating what she is about to say on the basis of perhaps the closest thing
2. The whole bringing in Muslims into the RU486 debate is just wrong and in these times where the politicians and media seem to be continually sprouting anti-Muslim rhetoric all the time to make us seem like a nation of xenophobic bigots, then this is just horrendous.
3. “The rate that we keep aborting our babies, we will abort ourselves out of existence”. Firstly, by who does she mean “we”. Non-Muslims? Again, racist and bigoted in that “we” are better than “them”. Secondly, does she not realise that the medical procedure for abortion has been around for many many years and that the world still strains under what is now a global population of 6 Billion or thereabouts? Whilst I am not in favour of China’s one baby policy or the fact that Indian’s seemingly abort female babies at a drop of a hat, the fact of the matter is that 100,000 abortions a year in Australia is not the end of the human race… oh hang on, she means “white Anglo-Saxon Christian People”. All those Indian and Chinese don’t count as real people………….
I rest my case.
Listening: Radiohead “Pablo Honey”
Monday, February 13, 2006
A strange weekend this one with not much planned and yet I feel pretty worn out today. Perhaps that’s because I am on a slow train from Penrith after putting my car in to be fixed at Holden.
Basically I did the yard clean up thing on Saturday morning with the grass about a foot high in length after leaving it unattended for about 3 weeks. I was away at
Then it was off to cricket in which I wasn’t actually playing (because of my toe) and was sitting on the sideline cheering the guys on. We were defending 208 against the #1 side in the comp and we well on top having them about 6/130 odd but then they needed only 17 with 3 wickets in hand. Then it was 6 to win with 1 wicket in hand before we managed a run out to end the game and seal the win. That should give us 2nd place now and by rights a rematch against that team in the Grand Final if all goes to plan.
Sunday was more odd jobs in the morning with a finish up of the yard and then fixed little Brooke’s bed with a couple of well placed screws. Then it was a joint afternoon tea for my sister in law and mother in laws birthdays. Kids swam outside, the womenfolk sat outside while the men folk sat inside watching the cricket – very typically Australian.
Then it was home, dinner and not much else, although I played two games of Blood Bowl on fumbbl and lost both…
One thing I did do though was buy some headphones for my laptop so I will be able to listen to music on CD whilst I type away at this blog for instance. Coupled with my new Internode broadband and my new appreciation for downloading music via BitTorrent I will have plenty of new CD’s to listen to. Today, I am listening to a compilation of about 12 Midnight Oil albums (116 songs!) compressed into a single CD. Fantastic!
Friday, February 10, 2006
Yesterday saw the conscious vote in the Federal Senate over the body responsible for determining the future usage of the drug RU486. For those who do not know, this drug is an “anti hormone” that when taken by a pregnant woman, will lead to the body rejecting the foetus and hence inducing a miscarriage. The drug has other uses including certain types of cancers mainly in women (read breast cancer) and can be used for a variety of other medical reasons.
RU486 was removed from the review of the TGA by one man; the Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott. Tony Abbott is a man who went to
So our Tony, decided to take RU486 out of the system so to speak and banned it. He, as Federal Health Minister, can do that I presume, but the fundamental issue here is not that the drug is good or not, but rather that Tony Abbott did this with NO medical knowledge. He has as much experience with medicine as I do, which is essentially what I know by reading the newspaper and seeing my GP every once in a while.
So with no real medical training and knowledge, Tony took the drug off the review board and closed the file.
Well a strong protest was lodged by all manner of lobby groups and the end result was that the decision that Tony Abbott made was reviewed by the Senate. The Senate had to vote whether Tony Abbott was correct and sustain his one man banning of RU486 or overturn his decision and return the drug for review by the TGA. Now with the Liberal Party holding a massive upperhand in the Senate, the concern was that if the vote went down Party Lines, the drug would be kept off our shelves for ever. Fortunately the vote was deemed a “conscience vote” and all Senators could vote as they saw the issue independently.
Not surprising Tony Abbott was overwhelmingly voted down including 27 out of 30 women senators voting to have the drug returned to the TGA. I am surprised myself that 3 went the other way!
Tony Abbott’s view on this decision? Well he is “seething” according to my radio news this morning and that he feels that “backyard abortions will be the end result”. WTF? I cant see how that can transpire as a result of having a medicine reviewed by medical experts?
Tony Abbott, U R A TOOL.
I have “acquired” a full version of Windows XP complete with a Key Code.
It says on the disk “only to be used with a new Dell PC” and I don’t have a Dell PC let alone a new one, so I am a bit bemused as to whether I should upgrade my PC or not?
I also don’t have an original copy of Windows 98SE (my current OS) and hence if I destroy my PC by bodgying up the upgrade, then I wont be able to roll back to Win98SE.
I am also concerned that all my hardware has 98SE drivers and that I may not be able to use things like the monitor, printer, modem etc etc.
Am I validly concerned? Is XP all that important (I cant use iPods etc at the moment because it needs XP) or should I stick to Win98SE until I do make a new PC purchase – which could be a while.
Anyone who has any advice, please let me know.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
More random musings today, I guess I am still on holiday mode which is preventing me from ranting on about one thing in particular.
Telstra. I received in the mail yesterday a letter dated 31/1/06 stating that I owe $153 or our Telstra Bigpond will be disconnected. Funny thing is, we disconnected ourselves from Bigpond some 6 weeks ago and I paid what I thought was the final bill on 25/1/06. How I now owe $153 and it warrants a threat of something that has already happened puzzles me. Considering that my monthly bill at Telstra was $59.95, this bill represents 2 ½ months or so of unpaid bills. Considering I pay my bills each month, and yes I may have missed one accidentally I guess, but to be in arrears 2 ½ months (approx, its not a precise split and I don’t pay “half bills”) seems rather odd. I had rung Telstra as well and there was no disconnection fee either… intriguing. Perhaps I will ignore it and see what they do when they find I am already disconnected?? Can they interrupt my Internode service? I don’t think so.
Another annoyance is my car has a warning light on it and I cant find the owners manual to work out what it is. It’s an orange icon of an engine block on my dash. Its not RED which would cause me worry, but rather its orange. Its not due for a service and it doesn’t have as far as I recall, a service warning lamp. If anyone is an expert in Holden dash boards, let me know. I feel stupid ringing up Holden saying “I have a little light on my dash, what does it mean”… I presume it means that Holden will charge like a wounded bull to fix some mythical problem.
AWB Scandal. I have been probably uncharacteristically quiet on this issue. To be honest I don’t quite understand it how come our Australian Wheat Board was paying bribes (the media seem to be calling them “kickbacks” but they’re been polite) to Saddam Hussein’s regime. They seem to be on a quest to find out if and if so, who were in the loop on this matter from the Government. Its easy – all of them knew about it as it was a systemic payment to
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
No real news or rant today, just a few floating thoughts…
Firstly, my toe seems to be improving. I still cant bend it nor can I put weight on it, but I am getting around a bit easier… the bruising is coming out and all my toes now have a purplish hue. Nice. At least the foot fetishists are leaving me alone now J
Train today is again 6 cars (instead of 8). I don’t understand how this happens. Where are the missing 2 cars? Do they go on strike? Did they meet a couple of sleek XPT carriages last night and didn’t come home? Seriously, how can the 2 cars go missing? I have a seat, there are no seats left and we have to pick up a stack of people at Emu Plains & Penrith yet.
I am on the late train because I stayed up late to watch the Super Bowl on replay. I avoided the media yesterday successfully and therefore didn’t know who won, so I was watching it “live” so to speak. I love the NFL, am a Redskins fan and was cheering for the Steelers, but it was hardly the most exciting game ever.
And Keith Richards is a walking corpse.
I bought a couple of D&D books at CanCon you may recall, but I actually downloaded two more via Limewire last night as well. The Players Guide to Faerun and the Ebberon Campaign Setting. 50 and 75 MB pdfs respectively. I love this new broad band plan I have, only when you get off Telstra do you realise how bad it really is. I also read yesterday in the smh.com.au tech section that Telstra is planning to raise its onselling prices to other broadband carriers. This will mean a raw $10 month price increase across the board, no matter who your provider is.
I see this as a clear ploy by Telstra to reduce the flow of customers going away from them. I upgraded to a 10GB, 1500MPs plan for the same price as my old 500MB, 512Kps but when people who are perhaps not tech savvy or are price sensitive realise that this same upgrade would be $10 more expensive, it will stop some people switching. Really, how can it cost Telstra “more” money to rent their lines to alternative carriers? The ACCC should look at that one.
That’s about it, people are standing in the aisles now on the train…. good on ya CityRail.
Monday, February 06, 2006
She does nothing, she can't act, sing or dance and is famous for being famous. Therefore if that fame starts to wane, then release a "rumour" of a sex-tape.
I have seen the original tape of her and her boyfriend... yes its porn, but it would have to be some of the most boring porn ever made....
Still, I guess that just supports the fact that she really is a bad actress...
Is a lesbian tape among Paris's possessions?
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Not a great past few days. Firstly, my Uncle passed away on Wednesday
in Brisbane and I went up there for the funeral on Friday. Very sad as
he was only 56 years old. Its unnatural for someone that young to pass
away and was extremely sad for my Pop who at 80, outlived his oldest
son. Dad gave a eulogy which was very good and he outlined all the good
times that my Uncle had with he and his other brother. It was a "happy"
funeral if you can have that, and he was remembered with some of his
favourite songs (Rolling Stones etc) and his defacto partner of 14 years
Gail gave me his old Vietnam service medals. I was very touched by
that. Uncle Keith never had children and she said it was appropriate
that I have them.
So I flew back to Sydney on Saturday morning, after a heavy night on the
drink with Mum & Dad and my Uncle Geoff and went straight to cricket. I
promptly opened the batting and after a solid start with a boundary and
a couple of singles I got hit square on the toes with the atypical
"sandshoe crusher". I jumped around like a right girl, thought about
retiring hurt, faced another ball, realised my front foot was no longer
working and consequently nicked the ball to first slip.
I hobbled off the field realising I should have retired hurt.
When I took off my boot, the little and second inside toe were
black/purple and clearly broken. Nothing much you can do about it but
hobble about. It hurts to walk, can't drive (its my right foot) and I
can't mow the lawns today as I planned and I have no idea how I will get
on with work tomorrow.
So it looks like a day of watching the cricket on TV.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Foolwholaughsatdeath sent me a message that my comments weren’t working… I then realised I had accidentally ticked “moderate comments” on the blog options and I had heaps in my Blogger Account box. They are now all cleared, published without moderation and should now be automatically loaded.
Thanks for all the comments I received, including the 8 (ignore my test post) for my “Worst Gaming Experience”…
Now that I have your attention, I just wanted to get off Blood Bowl today and onto the biggest pet peeve I have at the moment and that is the increasingly racist behaviour that has been reported in our media. The fact that a thousand or two yobs can beat the crap out of passing Arabs at Cronulla on a Sunday afternoon, the fact that hordes of Lebenese can organise themselves for a coordinated rampage on the basis of racially motivated revenge, the fact that South Africans and Sri Lankan cricket players are sledged with racial abuse, the fact that friends of mine of Indian descent are abused by “Australians” at the cricket and the fact that now in the media non-Anglo-Saxons are denominated by their racial background are all clear indicators that this country is descending into an attitude that being racist is OK.
Then we have the biggest bigot of them all, John Howard, spruiking that “
You can stick your Queen and Anthem at the moment Johnny, I prefer to go out to my local Indian or Thai restaurant with friends of a mixed multi-cultural heritage and kick back and have a good time. No need to “conform” to your ideals to “be Australian” – there’s a lot more to it than that.