Friday, March 31, 2006


One thing that only a couple of people know about and that’s only because I have been too busy with work at the moment to hold a conversation with anyone other than via email is that I applied last week for a job on the spur of the moment in Dubai (of United Arab Emirates fame).

The job advert got emailed to me by a work professional association I belong to in a general mail out and I thought “why not”? Talked to Niki and considered it from a family perspective very loosely and I guess on the basis of being intrigued as to how big a “Big US$ tax free salary” was, I shot off my CV without much thought.

The only reason I bring it up today is that I got the “Dear Clayton” letter saying that they thanked me for my application, but I was unsuccessful.

Which is fair enough, it was no skin off my nose but it did bring a bit of a strange dynamic to my life this week.  Once the CV was sent, we (Niki & I) were both in the dark as to how friendly or unfriendly the UAE is and as a mother to two young girls, Niki was a bit worried – and rightly so.

I shot off the CV quickly because the deadline between me receiving the advert and the deadline was only 48hrs but once done we started to openly and for me, internally, ask a lot of “What if” questions.

Starting from “What if I got the job?” down, a lot of thought went into it on both our parts and whilst we never openly sat down and said “we’ll do this, this and that” it was never too far from my mind.  I guess if they wanted to interview me, it would become a lot more serious a discussion, but because it was one little emailed word document sent to the other side of the world it had a bit of a surreal feel to it.

Also because work was really busy, I hadn’t had a lot of time to chat to people other than a “guess what I did email” to my mates which resulted in a few jokes (e.g: “think of the money you’d save on clothes for Niki and the girls – how many burhkers (sp?) does one woman need?” ) and also I shot off an email to a mate of mine who is a Palestinian living in Australia who has a Jordanian wife and has property believe it or not in Baghdad.  His reply (in jest) was along the lines that I had better be prepared to stave off large amounts of Arab sheikhs wanting to give me good quality camels for Niki.

So it was all jokes and laughs and now that’s all it is because I got the reject email last night… and to be honest it’s a bit of a relief.

Listening:  The last of the massive Cure CD… has lasted me a good week and a half.  Which this morning does include the track “Killing An Arab” – how coincidental!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Aussies Win, My Eyes Are Losing

A “Lime Kettles Lite” posting today as I sat up until 2:30am watching the cricket last night and then got a case of the wandering mind that prevented me from going to sleep until about quarter to four this morning.

Spent this morning’s train trip snoring away and am now at the desk already thinking about going home – and its not even 10am yet!

I did though briefly get the paint sets out again last night and am going to paint my female Pro Elf team that I won at CanCon.  As a bit of a practice run though, I am painting my single miniature “Goblin on a Pogo Stick” to blow away the cobwebs… will post a piccie when done.

*/me yawns*

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

St George Versus the Ordinary Fear Of God

Went to the football on Sunday and took the girls to see Saints vs Souths. There was a fairly good turnout, but it was a strange day as it was Russell Crowe's first game after the takeover.

Whilst walking in to the ground and around to our seats, Saints scored a try in reserve grade and the ground announcer said "and its St George 12, South Sydney 8 on the ordinary fear of god scoreboard". WTF? I didnt quite catch what he said, but I had never heard the words "Ordinary Fear of God" uttered over a ground PA.

Then the conversion was successful for the try and the announcer said again "And its now St George 14, South Sydney 8 on the ordinary fear of god scoreboard". Again dismay at what was being said. Had Souths been taken over by Hillsong? Was Russell Crowe a Scientoligist ala Tom Cruise and was using this as an avenue to promote his religious beliefs? No, that wasnt quite right. It wasnt Russell's religious beliefs he was promoting, but rather his new band "Russell Crowe and The Ordinary Fear of God". Well done Russ, you spent your share of $3M to buy the Rabbitohs and you have a captive audience to sell advertising of your latest music projects.

And Russell made sure he did too, with the half time adverts heavily ladened with Russell ads for 1) his new album (My Hand, My Heart) and 2) his tour dates coming up in April. (I am sure he is coming to Newtown RSL soon!).

Now I am all for Russell and his mate Holmes a Court buying the Rabbitohs, but seriously, get some "real sponsors"! Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 27, 2006

All stations to Penrith...

Note the train station in the background... One of my local stations... Posted by Picasa

Comm Games Over - Thank Christ

The link below pretty much agrees with me on my views of the Comm Games. Thank Christ its over!

Phrases I never wish to hear again (in no particular order) | The Spin Starts Here: "I think its good that all those athlete get their 5 minutes of fame from beating the poms and a dozen africans at some dodgy sport that only means shit every two years. The alternative is their five minutes of fame would be robbing the local 24hr servo or gang raping some doe eyed 18yo bogan girl.

As for Jana pittman, she deserves to be eaten by beazley and vanstone."

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Testing the patience of a saint: the Dragons will do it again

As a Saints fan, this sums it all up for me... but I have my fingers crossed :-)

Testing the patience of a saint: the Dragons will do it again - League - Sport: "Just in case you forgot, St George and St George Illawarra have
shaped as contenders every year since our last title in 1979. And
every year we have to endure people who should know better saying:
'This year could be the year for your guys.'"

Friday, March 24, 2006

On the train home... Friday at last

Another shitty day in a generally shitty week over with.  The good thing is that the working week is now over.  This weekend, without cricket, will be a bit calmer.  I am looking after the girls tonight whilst Niki goes out with the Kindergarten Mums for dinner and then Saturday is a pretty normal weekend day.

Sunday, we’re going to take the kids to the football at Telstra Stadium for Saints vs Souths and then have our cricket presentation dinner afterwards.  I won’t win any trophies this year after coming my usual solid 4th in the batting lists.

I need to calm down though and get some sleep… too many late nights at work (until 9pm) then I am not getting to sleep until 1am because of the travel and wind down…  I did download the movie Wolf Creek  via BitTorrent so I may watch that.

Also, this wireless card is neat – posting once again from the train “live” so to speak!

I'm on the train! Literally!

Am trying a wireless modem and connection for a couple of days whilst I am out of the office and at another site for work. Am doing some work in the Disaster Recovery Office and our telco said "Would you like to be set up Wirelessly whilst I am here". I said sure and here I am - posting from the train!

Had no reception at home in the Mountains, was very patchy from Penrith to Blacktown and now I am between Parra and Strathfield, and I have a strong signal.

Have been able to connect to the web (hence this posting via Blogger) and IRC and have been able to chat to OldBugman on fumbbl this morning.

My MS Outlook is buggy and wont seem to connect properly, but I can potentially write emails for work when the signal is strong.

Anyways, thats it for today... Friday is here finally :)

Site Cleanup

I have just cleaned up / changed alot of the links and stuff on the
right hand side bar... Some links went because I don't use them or I
access them from my Bookmarks on both my work and home PC's and the new
stuff is stuff that I am currently reading regularly. Its amazing how
you can find that sites you used to use regularly don't exist anymore.

Also, I have added a link at the bottom for my Flickr Photo account. I
have a free 20MB month storage there so I will use that regularly, but
thats only 10-12 pics a month... I spose that's enough...


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Its official - I am a Cube Farm Resident

I work in an office.  You know, the open plan types that are made fun of in Dilbert cartoons.  I used to have an office, but that was gutted to make way for workstations due to growth.  I actually prefer workstations because I felt like I was in a fish bowl at work in an office.  Now its all open banter across the partitions and its pretty good.

Of course the neighbouring departments are now closer as a result so the social activity and banter between my department and our neighbours HR and Payroll has increased.

Which as a result means that all birthdays are celebrated with a cake where loads of people stand around the corridors and share the cake and sing a verse or two of the Happy Birthday song.

The strange thing this morning was that I got an invite for “Birthday Cake For Liz” at 10:30.  The issue is I didn’t know who Liz was.  I accepted.  At 10:30 a cake was promptly presented in the slightly open area where cake is traditionally shared.  The boss of HR made a short speech for Liz on behalf of her birthday, we sang and then a girl who I had never seen before in my life said thanks and I shared a piece of blueberry cheesecake.

Now we disperse and I look over the cube farm around me, and I still cant see this girl “Liz”.  I feel might weird I have just celebrated the birthday of an alleged colleague I have never met and who even now I have no idea where she site.

Welcome to the work place of the New Millennium.

Going Off The Rails

How long was it until I used that pun in my subject line hey?!  Well this morning has gotten off to a bad start with firstly the car park being nearly full at Glenbrook Station and now not able to get a decent seat on the train from Glenbrook.  In times past, the carpark was less than half full and the train was a case of getting my “usual seat” by the window with a spot to hang my jacket.  Sure as the train got closer to the city it would fill up, but it is now very full at Glenbrook and I am dreading where all the people will fit when we get to Emu Plains.

Seems as though that people have sprung up all over the place and are now taking the train… I must have missed the memo from Blue Mountains Council saying that we were being inundated with refugees from Cronulla who were seeking refuge from the marauding hordes of Lebanese beach goers.

So it appears that I now need to get up earlier and get on the earlier train and see if that relieves the issue.  I don’t mind the long travel as long as I can do it in relative comfort, but since the new timetable some 6mths ago, it is getting less and less comfortable on the 7:10.

But I didn’t want to turn this post into yet another train rant… I was keen to discuss that non-event the Commonwealth Games.  I am sorry, but the media have to realise that the Games is not solely a swim meet.  I am not the biggest supporter of the Games (as you may realise) but at least we could have more info on it other than swimming?  And is it just me, but I saw a couple of our female swimmers get out of the pool yesterday and noticed that the girls were very muscular, inverted triangle shaped bodies, bulging out of their swim suits and are breaking World Records by entire seconds rather than fraction of seconds.  Now correct me if I am wrong, but if these girls were called Wei Xhou Ping and were from China, they would be castigated for “being on drugs”.  But when its an Aussie, its pats on the back all round and a rush to sign them up to media deals and other endorsements.  Maybe I am being sceptical, but really how can a record at say around the 65 second mark that has stood for some time be smashed below 64 seconds and nobody bat an eyelid?

Listening:  A massive Cure MP3 disc with a lot of 1980’s albums on it:  Boys Don’t Cry, Faith, Japanese Whispers, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, Mixed Up, Pornography, The Head on the Door, The Top, Three Imaginary Boys.  A mere 8hrs of Cure-ness.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What a shitty day...

Very late posting today as I have been flat out today.  I had to pick my car up from Holden after I had to take it in (yet again) and then I was supposed to go to the physio for my back – but I realised I had mixed up the times, so instead of an 8:40am, I was scheduled to go in at 4:40pm!  Therefore, I had to cancel the appointment and head into work.

I drove in and it took me a good 2 hours!  The plus side was I got to listen to my friend Tommy Dean do the breakfast program on Mix 106.5FM.  It was good to hear Tommy on commercial radio, but MixFM!  Sheesh!  Between the ads and the traffic reports, he was clearly more funny than the two regular hosts.  The girl – Sammy Power(??) – sounded like a complete moron.

Because of the traffic, I missed the 10am Early Bird parking by seriously I kid you not 1 minute and hence my parking bill has doubled for the day.


What a shitty day.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Well we stuffed that...

Spent this weekend locked in mortal park cricket combat with the entirely Tamil Parramatta Leagues.  In short we lost by a large margin, but we bowled and fielded excellently and yet we couldn’t bowl Parramatta out until 6pm on the Saturday and then got behind in the run chase and it was all over by 5:30pm on the Sunday.  We simply got beaten by the better team on the day and I hope to be honest that they go on and win the Grand Final next week.

We lost the toss and had to field first in overcast skies and we were well on top having them at 2/18 but then their opener went on and made 76 and their number 4 supported him very nicely and they put on about 80 for the 3rd wicket.  We never gave up and when the break through came we ran through the middle order to have them 7/130 odd but then they put on another decent partnership of 52 for the 8th wicket to get them to all out for 199.  In a semi, chasing 200 is a very big task.

Then on the Sunday, we got off to a horror start.  Yours truly went for 5 to have us 1/6.  Then it was 2/6 and then it was 3/7.  Not a very nice feeling.  From that point on we were way behind the 8 ball with the need to score runs but also conserving wickets.  The run rate required built up and apart from a nice 41 from Cam Imbesi, we just didn’t get firing.  All out for 105 trying to bat out for a draw… a pretty meek response.

But they played well, we went to the pub and had dinner and of course talk turns away from what might have been to next season.  Considering we got the wooden spoon last season, this was a pretty fair turnaround.  We have our club presentation night next weekend where the trophies are handed out and we get to have a few free drinks and some laughs – and that’s what its all about in the end.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Hey! I told you so!!

I mentioned just on Wednesday that I wouldn't be surprised if Howard invades not just Iran but also our Civil Liberties... well guess what, Johnny is a Lime Kettles reader!

Phone taps won't be random: Ruddock - National -

Friday, March 17, 2006

No Train Post Today

Spent the morning at the physio to help with my back (I have the whole right side of my thoracic spine in knots) and then drove into town.

Being Friday, all I am focused on is the weekend and hopefully a big win in the semi final tomorrow against Parramatta Leagues.  Parramatta was coming last until they beat us in the last game before Xmas and haven’t lost since.  They are a decent team (even when they were losing in Oct / Nov) and have finally gelled and have been getting results.  It will be close but we are quietly confident.

My back is fine to play; the toe is OK but does ache a little after exercise so other than that, I am raring to go.

Hope to get a big crowd down to the game – Daniel St Park Greystanes; play starts 1:30pm on both Saturday and Sunday.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Slashdot | Dungeons and Dragons Online Impressions

I am a big D&D fan/player with years of rolling the blessed d20... I have however avoided the MMORPG's other than a dalliance with Neverwinter Nights a few years back. They are very addictive games and I am happy to keep to my "hour and a bit" games of Blood Bowl.

However, D&D in the true sense online is something that I may check out. Never been into World of Warcraft, never even seen Everquest, but something with the "check for traps" feel of D&D does raise my interest.

Even if it was just a way to get my friends from table top days online together at the same time, it'd be worth it.

Slashdot | Dungeons and Dragons Online

Commonwealth Games - What a Waste

Well last night was the opening ceremony of the biggest underwhelming event in Australian sporting history.  I am sorry, but I just can’t get excited about the Comm Games and I am sure I am not alone.  Now I will state I didn’t watch the ceremony last night but I had running commentary from Niki and the Girls in the other room.  The girls were really excited about the Games and wanted to sit up and watch it.  It started at 8:30 (past their bedtimes) but we did the patriotic thing and let them stay up.  8:30 comes and you then sat through an hour of banal interviews of athletes and discussing how “excited” we all are.  OK, so Channel 9 made good use of a captive audience to plug their celebs and sports stars on their books.

Then the ceremony starts well with a unique flying Tram (very Melbourne) and the girls are finally pumped (Ray Martin just doesn’t appeal to the 5-6 yr old set).  But it degenerates straight off the bat to the politicians and dignitaries having their say, which whilst a necessity, I thought would have been better placed at the end of the artistic part of the ceremony.

Soon enough cries of “boring” are heard form the girls and they get restless as the Queen prattles on.  At this stage, I am justifying my stance of watching Little Britain on Channel 2 and soon enough, the girls go quiet as they’re asleep.

Niki persists and all I hear from the other room of “Oh my God” and “That’s ridiculous” as it seems that big fat Blinky Bill style Koalas, rubber thongs and the captains of the AFL teams dominate the remainder of the ceremony in front of large sections of empty seats.

Well done Melbourne, you’ve just proven once again how you can totally wreck what should be a national event and turn it into an Eddie McGuire AFL promo.  Nobody cares about AFL outside of Melbourne and whilst you may get away with it in Australia, people from Tanzania, Canada and Trinidad & Tobago have no idea who Nathan Buckley is and we in Sydney don’t give a toss.  (Flame away Tommy, but you know it’s true).

Well enjoy the games Melbourne, but the First Test from South Africa starts tonight and I will be watching that after Lost.

Listening:  Black Eyed Peas “Monkey Business” – perhaps one of the best albums I have downloaded from BitTorrent yet.



Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Once Upon a Time...: Holy Mother of God

How long until Johnny Howard undertakes this kind of action? I wouldnt be surprised if something is already in place in "the name of national security"

Once Upon a Time...: Holy Mother of God

Google Mars

Un-bloody-believable: Google Mars

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Cricket Social Day Photos

No post today as I was out on site for work and hence didn't get a chance to rant on the train...

I have however put up some of the photos from Sunday's cricket match and BBQ. They can be found here. I have loaded these onto as an alternative to photo bucket.

It has a limited amount of upload per month (and I used all of it doing these pics) but I think the quality of site is better and it enables you to post comments about the pictures.


Monday, March 13, 2006

OMFG! What was that!

Went to bed last night after watching magnificent batting by Australia to post 4-434.  Ponting was brutal and Hussey is perhaps one of the most effective batsmen I have ever seen in ODI’s.  The guy is all class.

Good move to bring him in ahead of Martyn and then Symonds following late.

In my mind, it was good night South Africa.

Awoke to find that South Africa chased the massive score and set a new world record themselves.  I new the pitch was a belter and I new that they would get at least 300 chasing, but to get 434 and win, OMFG!

OK, I haven’t seen any highlights and I haven’t read many newspapers and just am going off the stats.  But Mick Lewis conceding 0-113 off 10 overs at the age of 34yrs is the biggest dud selection by our selectors since Spofforth was a boy.

To think that this heavy set bum who trundles around for Victoria is a better bowler than:  Gillespie, Tait or Kapsprowicz is a joke.  Stuart Clarke is not much better and to have Clarke and Lewis in a team alongside Bracken and Lee is a travesty.  Once McGrath went out of the tour, we needed an experienced bowler.  Gillespie should have been called in immediately.  If for some reason that he is being left out of the team because he shagged Trevor Hohn’s wife or something, then Kaspa should have been included.

If Australia is content to let Glenn McGrath contest the 2007 World Cup (where he will be 37) then we should be content to have Gillespie (a comparative baby at 30yrs of age) play and Kaspa on stand by.

Bracken is a good bowler and 5/67 shows that, but he needs to be nurtured amongst experienced bowlers not thrown in with Neville Nobodies like Lewis and Clarke.

Batting, the side is going magnificently – even before last night.  The bowling though is in disarray and if Gillespie was sent to the boondocks because of his Ashes performance, well Mick Lewis needs to go back to Melbourne 3rd Grade and take a good hard look at himself.

/rant off

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Weekend That Was

What a weekend! I got back from Melbourne on Thursday night and went straight to Mum & Dad's for little Brookie's 5th Birthday dinner. Pizza and ice cream cake. Brooke got a number of presents from Mum & Dad, but the favourite was the Cinderella costume... She was very happy as the Saturday was going to be her Disney Princess Birthday Party...

By the time Saturday came around, Brooke was busting at the seams. So excited to have about 8-9 friends and cousins over for a fancy dress party. This is the table at lunch time - so much pink! All her little school friends made a big effort and some of the presents were just too much. By the time the kids went home, we were exhausted - particularly Niki who had been getting the house and food ready for days!

And today, Sunday, we had a social game of cricket and tried to make a big deal and emphasis on the "social" element of the game. We had alot of the wives and girlfriends and kids down and probably the most handsome BBQ man ever ;-)

The game itself was "Wogs" vs "Aussies" and unfortunately, the Aussies got trounced by around 90-100 runs. A few house rules, 24 overs a side, all players must bowl at least 2 overs and no more than 4. Can't get out for a duck and last man of the 7 players can carry his bat.

And because of the obligation that EVERYONE must bowl, then this photo is the only evidence of me bowling. If I have my way, it will NEVER EVER HAPPEN AGAIN! :)

A great day was had by all, but geez it was hot... semi finals next week! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Am here in Melbourne for the final leg of my trip... of course, because I arrived at Adelaide Airport 25mins before my flight and not 30mins, they refused to let me check in my luggage (one lousy bag) and hence put me back 75mins to the next flight.

This screwed my social plans with the SWL Blood Bowl guys, and we ended up cancelling.

But when I did get to Melbourne, Enoch (see his picture at cricket below) rang me to say he was in Melb as well for work and we caught up for some "Singaporean Food"... ie it was a restaurant around the corner from my hotel.  It was late, so we settled for it.  Not the best food, but at least I was able to talk to someone about something other than work.

So, tomorrow I do a days work here in Melb, City of the Hook Turn (you Nutters!  JUST TURN RIGHT!!) and then back to Good Old Sydney Town where its Brookie's 5th Birthday and I can relax with Pizza and Ice Cream.... ooh, to be 5 again!

The End of the Longest Day

Left home on Monday morning for the office... worked Monday and then checked into the Hilton Hotel in the city at 6pm.

By 7:30pm I was at the Enmore Theatre seeing the opening of the Sydney "Cracker Comedy" Festival courtesy of my good friend Tommy Dean.  Tommy himself was the 2nd of about 20+ comics each doing a 5min routine.  Show was hosted by Mickey Robbins and Steve "The Sandman" Abbott and I got to hang out with Tommy at the back stage "after party".  Many thanks to Tommy for the ticket and the generousity, it was a great way to fill in a Monday night.  Also got to shake hands and share a lamb cutlet with Vince Sorrenti, Garry Who and Indira Naidoo.  Elle McFeast was also there as were a host of comics (ie the 20+) plus more.  Excellent night.

Back to the hotel at midnight, tried to sleep, back pain kicked in and i was up earlier than i planned at 3:45am.  Showered, packed, into a cab, at the airport by 5:30am for a 6am flight to Perth. (Hence the reason for me staying in town)

Landed in Perth at 8am local time, worked all day including running a 3hr training session for WA staff.  Did some stuff with the WA risk people (i work in risk management if you didnt know that) and got to the airport for a 5:15pm flight to Adelaide.

Due to timezones, was scheduled to land in Adelaide 10:30 Central time (is it called that??) but due to a nation wide airport ticketing system meltdown, we were delayed in Perth an hour and a quarter.

We land in Adelaide at 11:30pm and I taxi it to this hotel in the city of Churches and I am now typing this at 1:00am local time after catching up on my sydney based emails... And we all thought emails would make us more productive.

A day here tomorrow before flying to Melbourne in the evening.

Good night!


Monday, March 06, 2006

Kids & Technology - What a Pain in the Back.

Am all packed today and ready to fly out tomorrow morning at 6am to Perth “for the day” and then I will finally get to a hotel on Tuesday night, 10:30. Followed by a days work in Adelaide and then onto Melbourne.

Seems ridiculous that I couldn’t get a flight to Perth until Tuesday morning…

The weekend was a good one mostly, but I have done something to my back in a big way and am dosed up on Celebrex, Voltaren and Nurafen. Sound like 3 Demons of the Apocalypse! I have had horrendous nights as I have been waking up in pain during the night and have had to sit up in fits and starts. Saturday night was the worst as I had perhaps only 90mins sleep in 3 different sessions.

The drugs work though and I was still able to do things on the weekend including we finally fixed Dad’s PC problem of connecting to the internet. He decided to use the tactical nuclear strike approach and buy a whole new system. A Toshiba Laptop bought over the counter in the city, and he’s away. The good news is that he has given me the old PC to tinker with. I am tempted to scrap it and add a lot of components to mine and then install WinXP, but I think I will go the easy route and reformat it, install Win98SE on it and give it to the kids.

Speaking of computers and kids, Kate was sent home a notice from school asking for permission to give her access to the school computers and the Dept of Education’s “e-Learning” system which gives all kids an email address and limited access to the web. Kids will be able to surf sites approved by the Dept and even participate in “chat sessions”. All of it bar the last bit sounds ok to me… but chat sessions? IRC is unfiltered and raw content and to expose kids to that, even amongst just themselves seems odd. The sessions are moderated by a qualified teacher… Sounds not real bright to me to give this kind of technology to kids so early… given Kate has just learnt to read!

Still it is amazing to compare the use of computers in the class room compared to when I was a kid. I remember in 5th grade the school acquired 2 or 3 Apple Microbee II computers and we played “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego” on a green screen. We thought it was amazing that a girl call Carmen Sandiego could hide from us for so many hours… all in living “green” colour.

When Kate enrolled in Kindergarten last year, I was surprised that there was one PC for every two kids and they were all kitted out with MS Office and printers and neat colour monitors…

So, we will give Kate permission I think. No reason to hold her back from this stuff, but I am wary on how they will use the technology given she’s only going on 7.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Is he a batter? Is he a bowler? Is he he handy in the field?? NO! It's Enoch our resident #11 extraordinaire. Gotta luv the hat... Cricket semi finals aren't far away people!! Posted by Picasa

Howard's Ten Years

10 Years.  John Howard has been around leading this country for 10 years and I have read a fair amount this week on the man John Howard and how amazing a feat it has been to remain at the helm of Australia for such a long time with perhaps another term achievable at the next election.

Yes, 10 years has been a feat and I do acknowledge that John Howard is a “master of politics”.  The man has survived crisis after crisis throughout his tenure and has always come up smelling like roses.  Even as I type this, the government is undergoing scrutiny over the AWB kickbacks and illegal payments to Saddam Hussein and it looks like if anyone was to fall over this, it will be Alexander Downer.  And if anyone does, you can bet the entire budget surplus it wont be John Howard.

But all this praise over the man makes me sick because being a “master of politics” does not make you a “Great Prime Minister” and I would have to say that this country has taken huge backward steps on a number of social and international issues as a direct result of Howards “vision”.  The country is now racially intolerant, is disrespectful to our Asian neighbours, is highly taxed with the funds of those taxes going into non-social projects.  We have an ever increasing reduction in medical services, Medicare is heading south and the Government would like nothing more than scrap it and let the rich pay for it and let the poor have none.  We have record employment levels, yet we are facing a reduction in services to the elderly and reductions and future abolishment of old age pensions that will mean we will have to work longer.  Howard sees nothing wrong with making people work into their 70’s even though the population growth will see jobs to people ratio reducing.

Housing is becoming scarcer and the ability to own ones own home is becoming virtually impossible.  I have a mortgage, I can’t see myself ever getting ahead of it as the cost of living rises and the requirement to refinance and use home equity to fund lifestyle items (pools, cars and holidays for example) become the norm.  The nation is addicted to credit and this is principally driven by the fact we have less disposable income due to tax rates.

Yes, we are a country of indebted racists with a prospect of working to pay the bills (and more taxes) until we retire from our menial jobs feet first on a stretcher in our 70’s.  Well done John.  Glad you’ve enjoyed your time as PM.  Was it worth it??

Listening:  Queens of the Stone Age:  “R”

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A few of my friends have asked me about Blood Bowl and the CanCon tournament a few weeks back and given that I am only playing Table Top in tournaments, its hard to get guys involved coz there is no "league" as such... Hard to explain the game, but I was trawling through my photos tonight and stumbled across this... this is a shot from my 2nd game during the tournament for the start of the 2nd half (I can tell this coz my opponent has less than eleven players - hehe) and I think it also shows up my Dwarves nicely.

Why am I saying this now? Well there is the April Leviathan Tournament at Quakers Hill, Sydney. I will be playing and am happy to give anyone interested some lessons / games in the lead up and maybe you'd like to play? Tournament is the weekend after Easter, Saturday and Sunday. Posted by Picasa

Been sooooo busy...

Work has been very busy and it gets even busier next week when I do a three day road trip around the southern Australian states next week.  Got my itinerary yesterday and because of flight timetables, flights already booked and the fact my work will only fly with Qantas and won’t consider Virgin, I have a particularly hellish itinerary.

I have to be in Perth on Tuesday morning 9am Perth time and I wanted to fly out the night before and get into Perth Monday evening… but all flights to Perth are booked and I have to fly out 6:00am Tuesday morning, so therefore I am going to stay in Sydney overnight on Monday after work and get to the airport early and fly out.

I land in Perth after a nearly 5 hour flight at 8:30am Perth time and go straight into my meetings.

Work the day in Perth and I have further meetings in Adelaide the next day.  So I fly out of Perth at 5:15pm and land in Adelaide 10:30pm Adelaide time.  What a long farking day!  It’s a 2 ½ hour flight from Perth to Adelaide… and you lose 5 hours of time.  By Tuesday night, I won’t know whether I’m Arthur or Martha!

It then gets a bit more reasonable as I work the Wednesday in Adelaide and fly from Adelaide to Melbourne in the late afternoon to touchdown at Melbourne 6:30pm.  Hopefully will catch up with the SWL guys in Melbourne for a beer Wednesday night and then work the day Thursday and land back in Sydney 5:30pm Thursday.  Thursday though is my little Brookie’s 5th birthday, so I will miss the morning of her birthday, but will try to make up for it in the evening (if I can stay awake!).

Then its back to work in the office Friday….

So, you can look forward to some eclectic postings from me on my travels around the southern parts of Australia next week.

I am going to Queensland as well on the week after (March 15 iirc) and am unsure if I will spend a night in BrisVegas.  I will try to swing it so I can and then catch up with my good mate Gools…

Listening:  U2’s “War” from my U2 Albums of the 1980’s collection…

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Windows ME - Help ME!

Round 3 of installing Dad’s ADSL service took place last night and unfortunately I am a long way behind on points. After sitting at his desk until quarter to one in the morning, we were still unable to connect his PC to ADSL.

What we did do was install the third modem that Internode sent to us (a Billion) and that went very smoothly and all seemed to be in good working order. The only problem was that we couldn’t ping any external IP address and we couldn’t load any web page. Seemed to be a settings issue and we tried and tried again.

With no luck whatsoever, a call to Internode help desk rendered assistance after waiting an hour and a quarter (!!) and we were able to establish that the modem was working, that the line was good (we tested the modem on my laptop with 100% success) and that the PC was able to connect to the modem via pinging the gateway. The only issue was we couldn’t ping the Internode IP address.

However, the Help Desk guy could see us on his screen. We were on the Internode network and the Billion configuration panel was telling us we had an established connection. All lights on the modem that were supposed to be lit were lit and there seemed to be no impediment to why we couldn’t connect to a web page.

So after engaging and disengaging the Billion fire wall and after playing around with auto detect DNS and hard coding the appropriate DNS’ we still couldn’t get the net up (or email). The Internode tech guy asked me to look at the “NAT Sessions” screen and he was surprised that there were no NAT sessions recorded (I don’t know what a NAT Session is) and this seemed to stump him. Essentially modem worked, Ethernet card worked, line worked, yet no net. Only missing piece was something with the PC itself which runs WindowsME.

As we all know WinME is not the best (probably worst) Microsoft OS and the techie suggested that we reinstall ME as whilst it has its flaws it should still be possible to connect to the net. I did this last night and we took 30 mins to reload WinME but no luck.

So I called it quits and drove home and am stumped as to what the issue is. Anyone got any ideas!?!?

[edit] - a Whirlpool forum topic can be found here, so if you can assist, please post either here on Lime Kettles or on the Whirlpool board. Thanks!