Sunday, July 30, 2006

Quiet Weekend

Had a good weekend this weekend with great start on Friday. Kate firstly won her 50m running race at her first ever Athletics Carnival. She also came 2nd in the skipping race...

This photo is of her showing her "stickers"!

Then on Friday night, both Kate and Brooke got invited to join "Troupe", Kate in the U/8's and Brooke in the U/6's and it's competitive dancing in teams. They learn a routine and then perform it against other dancing schools at places like shopping centres and Council halls. To get into it, means they've done very well and have impressed the teachers there, so we're all very proud! :-)

The rest of the weekend has been pretty quiet... the girls got involved in washing cars in our street for charity and washed 9 cars including our Ford. Today has been a quiet day where Niki & I went out for lunch together at the Lapstone Hotel whilst the girls stayed at their cousins for a day. Very nice day today!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Frustrations with Technology

OK, seems as though my emails to blogger are being stopped intermittently.  My morning post yesterday went out fine, but a subsequent post I did yesterday afternoon has not… Don’t know if its works mail server or the blogger people or what, but my afternoon posts are sometimes done hastily when something annoys me so much that I want to get it down so they tend to be more sharp, to the point and in yesterday’s case aggressive… But whilst it resides in my sent box it hasn’t hit the blog… annoying.

Secondly, a rare work related post.  For a particular reason involving a court case, I had to find correspondence in my email archive from 2003.  So I open up my works archiving system via an Outlook folder and search.  I find that there are NO emails from 2003, 2004 and anything before August 2005!  WTF?  So I log a call with Help Desk, who investigate and after much deliberation say that my “archive” has been stored on my C drive and not a network drive.  That means when my laptop archives away emails, it saves them in compressed format on my hard drive!  Then in August 2005, I had a major problem with my laptop and they wiped it and rebuilt it.  This meant that all my archive folder was wiped away!  Now when they did that, I did save the stuff in C:\My Documents to a network drive and restored it after the rebuild, but this archive file is about 6 branches down into the Windows\Outlook file structure and is encrypted to not look like a file I had created!  End result, archive gone, no recovery, thanks for coming.

Someone in IT today is going to not wish they had come to work today!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Early Morning

Early start today… have an 8am meeting and decided to catch the train and snooze away (apart from my blog post).  The train is so much better than sitting in traffic.  I am in a comfy seat, in pleasantly warm carriage and have my own music selection to keep me company (currently playing best of Billy Bragg) as opposed to traffic, frustration, concentration and all radio stations interrupting their adverts and the occasional song with a traffic report telling you that “if you think it’s bad, wait until you get to the Glebe Island Bridge!”

I would hate to be a suburban train user (the silver slugs – not quite a bullet, but slower and with slimy floors) but the Country Trains have their benefits.

Also, my morning post went through OK, but the short post I sent in the mid-afternoon didn’t!.

Now for some zzzz’s……………

Random Gaming Bits

Just some things on the gaming front.

Firstly, if you’re a 16-18 year old girl in NSW who plays World of Warcraft, then you should check this out.

Secondly, bad news for Games Workshop as they report that they have had a poor announcement when it comes to Financial Year Results.  Read the report here.

Thirdly, Wizards of the Coast have opened up a “D&D Fan Film Contest”.  If you’re handy with the handy-cam and want to have a crack, go here for further details.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Something is going screwy at the moment… All my postings from the train are not going through when I log on to my network at work yet when I check my blog later in the day and notice the daily posting is not there, I resend the email and it goes through… weird.  That is why yesterday’s “morning” post went through after 5pm yesterday…

Will look into these tech issues, if anyone has a view, let me know.

Now to matters at hand… I want to state right here that the Australian attitude to this crisis is pathetic on all fronts but the worst aspect of this is the small minded bigoted attitude of common Australians and the vile diatribe that is going on on talkback radio at the moment.  All this talk of “what are all these Lebanese doing with dual citizenship” is disgusting.  Some views expressed include leaving them there in a war zone as they are not deserving of rescue.  Have these people watched the news?  These people we are rescuing have Australian accents, they are from places like Wollongong and Albury.  They are legitimate Australians in need of a hand.  And yet the poisonous talkback talks about how we have given these “wogs” a free ride into the country.

Lets just say that this was England.  How many Aussies are in the UK on dual citizenship?  One of the occasional contributors to the comments section here I know is an Aussie working under a foreign passport.  How many English / Irish / Scots are here in Australia under their passports?  Living, working and enjoying the benefits of an Australian lifestyle?

The fact that these people in Lebanon are “of Middle Eastern appearance” (a term I hate) we seem to think they are in the wrong and that they are rorting the system.

The reality is it is mid summer in Europe and the Middle East and corresponds with Australian school holidays, many families go back to their country of descent to visit relatives.  To me, 25000 is not a huge number.  Its half the Sydney Football Stadium, its 25% the capacity of Telstra Stadium.  You get the same amount of people out to a football match.  Is it really that implausible that across Australia that a similar number of people are visiting a foreign country that has a high representation in our general populace?

If the North Island of New Zealand bombed the South Island and we want to rescue every Aussie citizen in New Zealand, you can bet there’d be a lot more than 25,000.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Morning Has Gone To Pot

A belated post this morning… my train this morning was initially cancelled and then a 4 car (instead of 8) set turned up unannounced that I managed to get the last seat on in the rear carriage.

Train was crawling, not really following a timetable and I spent the trip trying to do the work that needed to be done first thing and then dealing with disgruntled passengers (namely a woman in her late 40’s asking if she can have my seat.  No lady, I am not shutting down my laptop and standing for 1hr so you can do your make up!)

Had a guy sitting on the floor at my feet too, who was probably a bit soft mentally who kept playing with my umbrella which was also lying on the floor.

Got to the office 15mins late for a meeting with the US office via Video Conference, so it meant trying to inconspicuously sneak into a meeting but having to cross across the camera to get a seat.

So, my rant this morning on Israel will have to wait… I am now (again!) flat chat.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Back To Work

After the successful weekend for Kate’s birthday, its back to work today and I had to stand on the train all the way to Parramatta… you can tell that school holidays are well and truly over now.

Whilst the party went well on Friday night, the rest of the weekend was jam packed. Saturday was dancing day and both Kate and Brooke had their half year concert on at the Uni of Western Sydney on Saturday afternoon / evening and they did really well.

They both only did one event, but some of the older girls were on for 5 or 6 dances each and I can see the future where instead of one hairstyle and costume, it’s a good half dozen and learning how to do quick changes. Also, the Acrobatic class put on a performance and Kate’s eyes lit up – she wants to learn to do cartwheels and somersaults and all sorts of weird body contortion things… not too sure if that’s perfectly safe… mmm.

Sunday had my mum & dad over for lunch and more singing of the Happy Birthday song. Sunday was Kate’s actual birthday so she also got our presents as well – a bike being the main item – and after lunch we all went down to Penrith Lakes so Kate could ride her new bike and Brookie could show off how she can now ride without training wheels.

It is no surprise I went to bed before 10pm last night… blood exhausted and glad to be back at work! LOL!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Oh What A Night!

Well what a party! The kids all had a great time and Niki & I survived :-)

Kate really enjoyed herself and she got really spoilt with a stack of presents. With the flashing lights, the glow sticks and the balloons, it was a good "rave"...

And of course, at the end of the night, there were lolly bags and every kid got to take home a few balloons and of course, there were enough left overs for the birthday girl! All up a very successful night!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Lights, Camera, Action!

We’re all set for tomorrow nights Disco Party… the lights have been set up (thanks to Pete for those) and the sound system is all ready to go (thanks to Tommy for the speakers), music is all done with just under 3hrs of your favourite dance party songs (if you’re 7).  All that is left is to cook the party sausage rolls and frankfurts, and hand out the glow sticks as the kids come through the door.

Tomorrow, we’ll be doing balloons, getting the cake, clearing out the last junk in the garage and she’ll be ready to go.  The guest list is up to 32 and we haven’t received any knock backs – mind you there are so many bugs and flus around at the school, that there’ll be a percentage of kids who wont get there… our own little Brooke seems to have a temperature every 2nd day and she’ll probably be having today off pre-school.

The rest of the weekend is no less busy with the half-year dance concert on Saturday afternoon and Kate & Brooke are both doing a number in that.  Saturday night I am hoping to catch up with some of the guys who are playing at the Eucalyptus Bowl Blood Bowl tournament…  some guys are coming up from Melbourne, so it would be good to say g’day to them (Elan and Miyuso).

Sunday is a planned picnic with Mum & Dad to celebrate Kate’s birthday at the Penrith Lakes.  The weather is the factor here, with rain predicted I think… If not, it’ll be lunch at home.

So a fairly full long weekend with tomorrow off… just need to get past today at work :-)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

New Blog: The Superficial - Because You're Ugly

Have added The Superficial - Because You're Ugly to my blogroll... basically celeb gossip and rubbish for blokes...

The Art of Diplomacy

Am enthralled at the moment with a game of Play By e-mail Diplomacy at the moment. Head over to the Lime Kettle forums for details, but the game involves you taking the role of one of the 7 “Great Powers” of Europe in 1901. Each player is randomly given their role (I scored England) and each Power has a number of armies or fleets to manoeuvre around the board – which is a map of Europe. The goal is to achieve control of 18 of the 34 cities on the board but the twist is if you go it alone, you will be stuffed. You need the assistance of others to achieve objectives and that assistance is garnered by negotiation and diplomacy.

Obviously, as England, I have France and Germany on my doorstep and expansion of the English will be via one of those two areas but also, the Russians lurk on the other side of Scandinavia and the Austrians, Italians and Turks also have their desires.

So it all comes down to a massive wooing exercise with plans put on the table to opposing players and you need to get their support or consideration. Each round of negotiations goes for a week, so it can get detailed and prolonged.

We’re in Week 1, so this is where the land grab for unoccupied areas (Spain, Holland, Norway etc) is on in earnest but eventually the Great Powers will start bumping into each other on the board… it’s a great game that I have wanted to play for years, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.

The Ultimate Zidane Clip

For those who love Benny Hill music and are still amused by Zidane jokes, click here

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Middle East - Where will the solution come from?

Running late this morning and am on the later train which results in people having to stand… good on ya State Rail

I have read and watched the news with interest and George Bush’s obvious supportive stance with Israel over this escalating situation… He argues that the reason this is happening is because of Hezbollah’s kidnapping of some Israeli soldiers.

He is kidding if he thinks that the whole reason for this chain of events is based on the kidnappings!  Israel / Hezbollah have exchanged kidnappings, murders of militants and civilians for decades.  The suicide bombings are in retaliation of some form of occupational discrimination / violence which in turn is for earlier violent acts.  In short violence has resulted in more violence which resulted in turn in more bloodshed.

Yet GWB will let you believe that Israel are acting solely on the basis of the kidnapping of two soldiers and that there are no other motivations and that based on that moral high ground, then Israel’s action is fair and just.

What bullshit and is either the rhetoric of an idiot or a warmonger.  I hope it’s the former, but I suspect that it’s the latter.

What happens if the Arab Nations as a whole decide enough’s enough and openly attack Israel?  Sure Hezbollah is fighting back, but what about the Lebanese standing army (I presume there is one?) and the neighbouring nations such as Syria, Egypt and co?  What happens then?  Does GWB engage them all!  Surely he couldn’t physically do it, so does that mean Nuclear?  I cant see this easing off, so whilst you have always had simmering hostilities and the odd suicide bombing, this worries me as it seems to be taking off in a big way and I cannot see any way that a peace deal could be brokered.  Pessimistic maybe, but in this instance, this worries me more than Iraq or Afghanistan

Maybe I suggest a moderate country take action and step in?  The US brokering peace deals has failed because of their own selfish interests.  The UN has failed as they are a puppet organisation bereft with internal politicking.  Maybe a country with no involvement in the Middle East and a multicultural view on the world should step in.  If it wasn’t for our own idiot Howard, we could fill that role… but what about Canada or even a New Zealand lead peace process?  Send school-marm Helen Clarke in!  She’d make em sit in the naughty corner until they learn to behave…



Monday, July 17, 2006

Normal Service Resumes

Well after driving in Thursday and Friday last week, I can happily say I am “back on the rails”.  Driving from Glenbrook to the City may be slightly quicker, but apart from the expense, I am against it because it is sooo bloody draining.  Concentrating on traffic, getting frustrated and worried if you will make it in on time just make the 20mins it saves not worth it.  I have felt crappy all week and I put it down to the number of kilometres I did last week.  On Monday I drove to Newcastle and then back via Tuggerah and then in and out of the city Thursday & Friday and on the weekend I did plenty of driving as well with 3 trips to Penrith and a drive to my mate Tommy’s on Saturday plus a drive to my mate Pete’s house on Sunday (didn’t drive home though, had a few too many beers hehe).

So, can’t believe I am saying this, but its good to be on a train!

This week is going to be a short one as well as I will be putting in for annual leave on Friday to host Kate’s birthday party.  We bought some roll up carpet flooring for the garage yesterday and we have culled a lot of the songs I downloaded out on the basis of being rude or plain out shit.  Means I need find another 20 or so songs by Friday… any suggestions of kid friendly pop let me know.  The good thing is because they are so young, they think all the oldie songs are “new” so Kate is really happy to get the Time Warp, the Bus Stop, the Nutbush and those sort of songs… hehe, they’re daggy and they don’t even know it!

Also this week, my first foray into PBeM gaming (that’s Play By eMail) started last night with a game of Diplomacy.  Basically one week to barter, deal and negotiate via email and then email your moves by 4pm Sunday.  I got drawn England which, if you know your Diplomacy, is a good country to have for newbies… which suits me down to a tee.

Also, got introduced by Tommy to the game “Carcassonne” and have already signed up to play it online.  Am not very good, but it’s a nice quick game which only takes 15mins on the PC vs the computer, but live on the table takes only about an hour.  I showed the online version to Niki last night and she seemed to think it was a good game to play (it’s a tile laying game in which you build roads, cities and farms for points in a domino style) so thanks for the tip Tommy, will probably pick up a boxed set.


Friday, July 14, 2006

An Open Letter To Israel

Whilst I play Blood Bowl on the free fumbbl website, one of my fellow gamers, Symmetrical who hails from Newcastle in NSW has posted an Open Letter To Israel. I think its worth sharing with everyone and I think he's fairly well on the money. The international response over some now 4 pages (probably will be far greater than that when you read it) makes interesting reading as well.

Good onya Symm.

An Open Letter to Israel by Symmetrical

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Post From The Work Desk

Drove in today and had a dream run that took me from Glenbrook at 7:10am to my desk at 8:30am with a petrol stop in between… School holidays make such a difference to the roads and trains its amazing.  Perhaps we should look at setting school hours back 60mins to perhaps give more breathing room on the roads.

Speaking of breathing room, the government is looking to pump all the toxic Carbon-Monoxide fumes from the overloaded M5 East Tunnel out the ends of the tunnel and into the atmosphere.  Never mind the surface dwelling residents and / or businesses near here, they’re just gonna have to put up with it!

All the stuff about smoke stacks, state of the art exhaust and they say now “bugger it, just blow it out the front and back doors”…. nice one RTA / NSW Govt / whoever else was responsible.

Not that I use the M5 much, but it is always congested in terms of cars and pollution and is perhaps the most farcical tunnel in Australia if not the world.  I reckon a tunnel through the middle of the biggest third world city in the world wouldn’t be as polluted.

Today at work, I am meeting free and hope to get over the hill on some of my long running side projects that never get to be front of mind… I also have to knock off slightly early today as I have to pick up Kate from my Mum & Dad’s today… Mum is taking her shopping for her birthday and she’s really excited.  Kate has definitely moved beyond dolls and is now a clothes horse at the age of 7…

Also, will be driving in tomorrow as well as Niki and the girls will be coming in to join me for lunch which is nice.   They’ll have lunch and probably swim up the road at the Cook & Phillip Pool for a few hours until I knock off…



Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Blogger barters his way to home ownership

Blogging your way to a house... interesting...

I have an old Pacer Pencil if anyone wants to trade! :-)

Blogger barters his way to home ownership - web - Technology -

Slow News Day

I was on the train this morning and suffered a very heavy case of Bloggers Block and had really nothing worth saying.  The Howard Costello thing bores me, the tragic Mumbai bombing leaves me with nothing worthy to say and with the World Cup over, I am suffering a bit of post World Cup blues.

Work is very busy, I am not short of things to do and have been enthralled in a game of Werewolf on my forum boards being run by friend of LimeKettles “JoeKano”.

Diplomacy will start 15 July (this weekend!) and I am keen to see how that goes…

Blood Bowl continues on on fumbbl and unfortunately I wont be able to attend the Eucalyptus Bowl tournament on Saturday week, so therefore my painting has taken a bit of a back seat.

All in all, I am in a bad cruise mode at the moment and need something to spark me up… need a good Big Brother scandal perhaps… oh that’s right we had that already.

On a personal note, a big shout out to the many people I know who have had babies in the past few weeks:

-          Enoch and Anitha’s little girl Rebekah

-          Matt & Sheree who had a little boy (name escapes me!)

-          Rod & Trish who also had a boy Darcy

-          Phil & Caroline who had a girl Alexandra…


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Paris Hilton...

Is she or isn't she?

Forums Down seems to be down… I have had no correspondence as to why, but for all those playing Werewolf and Diplomacy all I can ask is for your patience.  I shall try and uncover the reasons why.


What's The Fuss?

I don’t get it.  Howard said 12 years ago that he’d serve only 1½ terms in office.  That was at the start of his run as Australia’s longest serving Prime Minister.  Costello at the time would have been a nobody who was yet to do his first Federal budget and was probably overly ambitious for that time in his career.

It now all comes out that Howard’s promise has been broken – Yee Gods!  Howard Broke A Promise!! – and now via a “media leak”, Costello is seeking retribution.  Well that promise was due to be met 5-6yrs ago and only now has Costello raised it publicly?  Only now has he had the balls to throw his hat into the ring?  The snivelling Costello was not given the leadership as promised because Howard knows he’s a complete twat.  A Costello led Liberal Party would get slaughtered at the next election it contests irrespective of the Labor Party leadership and Howard is doing the right thing by the party.

I hate Howard and I hate the Liberal Party, but you have to admit that Howard is a better leader than Costello.  Costello has no compassion, no sense of civic duty and no sense of how the vast majority of Australian’s live.  He is 100% focused on the budget and the numbers and in his mind if that is all going well, then the country is doing well and the population is happy.

That is so wrong.

This country needs some civic / social reforms.  We need to get education and health back on the agenda as top priorities and we need to stop being slaves to the interest rate.  The big end of town has had a decade of booming times and its about time that the balance be met with spending and policy to be best directed at the peoples interests rather than corporate Australia.

Foreign policy needs to be reversed and our involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and any other US actions needs to be reversed.

This is what will win an election, its only through the incompetence of Beazley and the Labor opposition that this opportunity has not been grasped.  Costello will have no chance against any form of organised Labor campaign, so Howard is hanging on.  And so he should.  He has made this bed and he now can lie in it and reap the results.  He will either hang on via another scare campaign or he will be heavily defeated… and even I begrudgingly believe he has earned that right.  Costello has no claims on taking that away from Howard.

Monday, July 10, 2006

What a long day...

Apologies for the lack of posting today, but today I was unable to be at
a computer until now and I have realised how addicted I am to email and
web... I had to travel up to Newcastle and the Central Coast today for
work (a 3hr drive in morning peak) and have only just gotten home.

To make it harder, I got up early for the World Cup Final and set my
alarm for 4:30am. I promptly got up when it went off and jumped in the
shower and went out to the loungeroom to turn the TV on to watch the
pre-match buildup and SBS was on an adbreak.

I started to brush my teeth and then I heard the commentators talking
about the 1-1 scoreline and what an enthralling match it had been!
WHAT!! The game was at half time! They had moved the kickoff from 5am
to 4am and I had missed half the game! Plus the goals! AAAAAGGGHHHH!

So much time dedicated to watching the damn World Cup and I miss half
the final... abandoning my teeth and shave, I sit down and watch the
rest of the match. And all I can say is what the fuck was Zidane
thinking? France were on top and looked the better side and after
Thierry Henry was subbed, Zidane has his career defining moment and is
sent off for headbutting.

Morale went to Italy and it showed in the shoot out and they didnt miss
on the way to 5-3 on penalties. Just quietly though, penalties is the
worst way to decide a match... play on for Golden Goal I say...

Anyway, will post again tomorrow from the train... and Hi to anyone from
Latvia reading this, I see from my Cluster Map I have had several hits
from Eastern Europe! How cool.

PS - this post has broken the world record for exclamation marks!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Saturday Morning

Just have spent downloading 1.5Gb of "100 Songs For Kids" for Kate's
party and the files were full CD files... ie not MP3 and when you open
it, it opened up to the CD burning software (file extension .NRG). When
I looked at the cover art, I discover when they meant "Kids" they meant
under 3 yr olds. 4 CD's of "Mary Had A Little Lamb" etc etc.

What a waste! I dont think that would go down well on Party Night.

Today we're heading off after lunch to buy a new vacuum, a new iron and
probably get Kate fitted for her new bike for her birthday... Dinner
tonight with friends at the Como restaurant at Blaxland and the kids are
away at Niki's mum & dad's for babysitting....

The bad news is I have a shit load of work to do for work and will spend
about 3hrs tomorrow doing just that....

Friday, July 07, 2006

Friday Fun

Running late this morning saw me once again having to jog across the carpark to make the train at Emu Plains… Made it just in time, but running in a suit is not for me… well running in general is not for me, lets face it.

With Friday here, thoughts turn to the weekend and what’s doing around the homestead.  Charlie the Cat has settled in well and we’re learning to live with the manic mood swings of a kitten.  He goes from cuddly and wanting to purr against you to rabid tail chasing, shadow boxing dynamo in nothing flat.  He went to bed with Kate last night and happily slept and laid with her until 10pm and then he decided to run around like a maniac and get “friendly” with Zoe our Golden Retriever.  Poor Zoe… she has been with Niki and I since before kids and has had to endure two babies / toddlers poking and prodding her and now when you think she can retire from being a plaything for infants, we get a kitten!  Zoe is very keen on him though and wags her tail in that Golden Retriever “full body” manner but that just sends Charlie into fits of energetic manic activity and he attacks Zoe’s fluffy tail.  Very funny…

The weekend itself is pretty quiet with dinner with friends on Saturday at one of the local restaurants and I think that’s about it on our social calendar.  May be a weekend of odd jobs and appliance buying – we need a new iron and a new vacuum.  Looks like a visit to RetraVision is in store.

Happy Friday everyone.

PS – at the bottom of my nav panel on the right, I have set up a Cluster Map which apparently will start to map where my hits have come from.  Interesting…

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Tin Foil Hats For The Discerning Nutter

Do you think Aliens are transmitting radio waves into your head? Are you concerned that you may be next on the Alien adbduction list? Do you believe you have a sense of suave sofistication that others don't.

Then do I have a website for you!! Click here for the latest in fashion for the lunatic fringe...

Welcome to Charlie

A big welcome to the newest addition to the Lime Kettle family, Charlie the Wonder Cat... a new Russian Blue cross that Niki found "accidently" at the pet shop...

Isn't he cute!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Brookie the Bikie

I did forget to mention that this weekend saw little Brookie finally learn to ride her bike hell for leather without training wheels...

We went down to Penrith Lakes on Sunday for our nephew Alex's 10th birthday and we took Brooke's bike down and she had 1000m of straight to ride along.

By the end of the day, she was able to turn as well!

The Style Police: The turkey slap that stopped a nation

sweatergirl over at The Style Police has an opinion on what went on at the BB house and the subsequent media storm yesterday.

Pretty much sums it up for me...

The Style Police: The turkey slap that stopped a nation

And the lights went out...

With Kate’s Disco Party coming up soon, we bought a few things on eBay to use in the party.  The first to arrive yesterday was a revolving ball lamp with multi-coloured perspex lights.

Well the thing is it turned up half crushed.  Looks as though it was squashed under something in the Australia Post truck and as a result it met its demise on the way down from Queensland.  What is somewhat annoying is that the lamp was not packed better.  It was simply slotted into its box without Styrofoam, bubble wrap or any other form of protection.  Also, without any fragile stickers, it was probably schlepped around the various mail handling areas without a care in the world.

Now luckily enough I only paid $11 plus postage for this thing, so the loss isn’t that big a deal, but you would like to think that people would package things better.  I have sent an email to the seller – which is an online auction house rather than an individual – and will hopefully get a replacement.  In the interim, our search for party lights continues.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Rail Fares Up

I was interested to note that Rail Fares have gone up today.  I only found this out after a conversation with my father in law and I must have missed the news leading up to it… to me the whole increase has gone in under the radar and with little public debate.

I honestly can’t understand how a government can authorise an increase in these times of higher petrol costs.  The trains run on electricity and apart from the fuel that goes into their maintenance trucks, they have little exposure to the impact of higher fuel costs.  So that cant be used as a justification.

Also, I was of the view that CityRail had to demonstrate improved services and reliability to timetable to justify increases and even then there would be a large public debate via the media.  But they seem to have cut services and changed the timetable to reflect their poor reliability (i.e. moved the goal posts) and BAM they are now suddenly on time.

The increase is unjustified and unfair.

I was also interested to note Peter Costello’s view on altering the Constitution and make a number of traditional services now under State Govt control under the Federal responsibility.  Costello for me is a worm, but this idea may have some merit.  If the NSW Govt no longer had to worry about Ports and other peripheral matters, then they could spend their larger portion of attention on directly impacting areas of government spending – namely Public Transport, Health and Education.  To do this, I think they need to change the way Local Government interacts with State Governments but in general I think this idea has merit.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Big Brother says no to turkey slapping. Eventually. | The Spin Starts Here

Two of the biggest idiots in the Big Brother house have been kicked out for Turkey Slapping Camilla. Offence occured at 4:30am, kicked out mid afternoon. Read what the Spin Starts Here has to say below:

Big Brother says no to turkey slapping. Eventually. | The Spin Starts Here

Also, for pics, click here

Kate's Ballet Results

Just a short note that Kate got her ballet exam results on Friday and she got a Distinction! 85 out of 100 and 2nd in her class by only a single point.

Considering she is the youngest in her class and some kids are two years older, this is a fantastic result. Well done Kate!!