Wednesday, August 30, 2006
On an early, 5:50am train this morning as I once again have a teleconference with our Los Angeles office and today is probably the last opportunity for a post until Monday / Tuesday next week. I am off for 2 nights in Bowral / Moss Vale area for a work conference and then from there, driving down with Niki to Shepparton for my mate Joey’s wedding. It will be 2 nights in “Shep” as well and then I am having a belated Fathers Day on Monday and I’ll be having the day off work and we’ll keep Kate home from school.
A small news story that had some airtime yesterday was the arrest of John Lewthwaite on a breach of his parole conditions. For those who don’t know who John Lewthwaite is, he sexually assaulted and then murdered a little girl about 25-30yrs ago and was jailed but released 7yrs ago. The reason this story catches my attention is that the girl who was killed was in the suburb I grew up in and her younger brother was in my year at school. Now not meaning to speak ill of anyone, but this guy and his family were incredibly weird people and the kid was virtually a recluse at school. I cant even remember his first name, but we all knew him as the brother of the murdered girl. In hindsight, it is clear that this kid and his parents were incredibly traumatised and he would have had a horrendous home life. Today I feel very sorry for them and understand now why things were the way they were.
Having had this experience then, every time John Lewthwaite gets a mention, it brings back school day memories and when he was released from prison on parole I can remember the huge public debate and I can remember the family, in particular the mother, being interviewed in which she feared for her life as Lewthaite was going to come back and kill them.
Now yesterday, his name is again front page news. Why? Well Lewthwaite was caught and charged with willfully exposing himself in public. When I heard that, I presumed he was at school or other inappropriate place flashing himself. Instead he was in the sand dunes at Wanda Beach with another man. So what they’re saying is that they caught him having gay sex in a secluded beach sand dunes.
So what is the point of me writing all this… well it just made realise that the press have jumped onto the murder of the Haans girl and have given that story exposure yet again, they again went to the mother of the girl Gwen Haans and interviewed her yet again and they had her holding pictures of her daughter which are now old and faded and you have to ask why? Why drag up these stories for the arrest of a pervert in the sand dunes along way from their house and 7 years after the release of their daughter’s killer. Why? They give that talking dish rag Debnam the opportunity to grandstand and verbal the Labor Government about it but you have to ask for other than political point scoring why does this story need airing once again? In the meantime, they harass now an old lady with her photos and her memories and now I realise how truly awful their life has been.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Users of the Lime Kettle forums will have noticed ALOT of downtime lately… this is because apparently my provider – www.hostedboards.com has gone belly up. But their friendly email to me this morning says all data and forums of their clients have been shifted over to www.freepowerboards.com and that service will now continue.
Let me know if any users have “issues” with logging in etc etc.
 - the link to the boards has not changed... it is still accessible from the nav bar on your right --->
Weird feeling this morning… Today is going to my only real day in the office this week (am in for a half day Wednesday) but because of business travel, today will be my only full day until Tuesday next week. Am out on site tomorrow, am traveling to Bowral on Wednesday afternoon for a work conference through to Friday, then a wedding in Shepparton in Victoria on the weekend, followed by a Monday annual leave day. So my motivation for today is not that high!
Weekend was a pretty quiet one. Did a quick tidy up of the lawns on Saturday followed by lunch at my place with Mum & Dad. Saturday night Niki went out for a school trivia night whilst I stayed at home and watched the St George game.
Sunday was a 1yr old birthday party for my mate Mazo’s son at
I did watch a movie which I downloaded – “V For Vendetta” with is it Natalie Portman? Not a bad movie actually… one of those political ideology movies which is set into the future but makes you wonder about your own government of the day. Set in
I am into downloading movies at the moment. After watching
Friday, August 25, 2006
Was bored on the train this morning and was dozing in the sun and totally forgot to write my daily post… I have only just remembered now at a bit after 11!
Had a lazy morning this morning and hung back at home with the kids a bit and got the late, late train which didn’t see me into the office until 9:30! Tsk tsk!
Now I am plowing through paperwork and documentation and have no meetings in my diary except for the regular team lunch at the pub. I should also state that next week is going to be a mixed bag work wise with me being on site in Sydney on Tuesday (Penrith to be exact – close to home) and on a conference on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday down in the Southern Highlands. From there, Niki is picking me up and will be heading to Shepparton for Joey &
So in short, my access to a PC and then time available to make posts and do my usual stuff will be rather limited. So for those of you who play with me in Diplomacy, or in my Diplomacy game that I am GMing or on the soccer site XpertEleven or the cricket game site Battrick.org or the Blood Bowl crowd at fummbl.com, you have been warned that I wont be about so much next week / next weekend.
Still, I will have the laptop with me and there is always the work dial up :-)
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Had one of those days yesterday that was more about eating and drinking than actually working. Firstly, I had lunch at Nicks Seafood at
This was followed by a night out with “Foolwholaughsatdeath” who is a regular commenter on this site and he was out from
Joined by Chris “gumbi” Delaney, we had a few beers at Paddy Maguires which was right near
Wasn’t an awfully late night – I got the 10pm train home – but given the lunch, drinks, dinner, drinks of my day I was very tired on the train and crashed out as soon as I got home.
But this morning though I feel rather worse for wear. An early start, I’m on the 6:50am and couldn’t face breakfast and don’t really feel 100%... Must have been that dodgy Chinese food :-)
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Realised when I got on the train last night home that all my folders in my Outlook were no longer “available offline” as I hadn’t set my laptop properly to run remotely from the network. You’d think that any IT dept worth its salt would set up a new laptop so that a user can read emails etc in an offline mode. So at the moment, from an email and file network perspective, my laptop makes a good paperweight.
I will fix this up today.
Which is a good thing because I have been meaning to write about this for a while and saw it again this morning. Origin Energy are giving away lightbulbs in train stations. Saw it at Town Hall this morning. The catch is, you have to line up and fill in a form of some sort before they give you a sample of their light bulbs. Why is that? Why in the hell would someone line up in a 10 deep queue to get a free box of light bulbs?
Seems incredibly odd and something I wouldn’t do…
On the social news today, regular contributor to Lime Kettles – Foolwholaughsatdeath – is in town from
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Late post today as I left my laptop in the office overnight as I was to get an upgrade… and what an upgrade I have! A brand spanking new Dell Latitude D620. Looks very sleek… has a great screen resolution and is a “wide monitor” that gives a lot more ability for me to juggle applications.
Only downside is that all my non-work standard build tweaks are gone. I have reinstalled Firefox, but lost all my extensions but I have recovered those to an extent and found some new ones to boot. Restored my Firefox theme (Mostly Crystal) and all that but what is most annoying my is I have misplaced my Bookmark html file (I am sure I saved it) and I have also lost all my passwords! Idiot! Should have backed all that up.
Well I must be off… trying to grips with the new keyboard and typing is a real biatch at the moment. Also, I lost my wireless mouse for a clunky cabled version… but they are working on that as well.
Monday, August 21, 2006
On the late train this morning, which is packed, and am pretty tired after a long weekend of merriment.
To recap the weekend, yes I took the girls to Blaxland Library and signed them up. They were allowed to borrow up to 10 books each (!!!) but we stuck to 5 each and the girls had a real ball sitting in the library on bean bags reading books. I too signed up and now have a library card and went hunting for some sci-fi / fantasy genre… picked up two novels, one by Turtledove and one by Eric Lustbader… names of the novels escape me.
Took Kate to her birthday party and Brooke and I went to the local park and had hot chips under a shady tree before walking through the local markets. Brooke rummaged through the trinket jewellery but had her eyes on a wooden jigsaw puzzle that was in the shape of a dolphin. A little treat for her…
Niki came back in the afternoon after her scrapbooking day which she really enjoyed and then I set off on the bux night.
The Bux Night went off without a hitch and we had a great time. Started with a BBQ at the best mans place and of course the obligatory “entertainment” before we headed onto a full size city bus which we had hired and into the Rocks. Joe (the buck) had invited his brothers and his younger brother’s mates (all around 19-20yrs old) were up to no good basically trying to pick up anything (and I mean anything!) that moved. We old stagers paced ourselves on the beers and as we went from pub to pub basically had a whole bunch of laughs. Bus pick up time was 2:30am and it all got a bit blurry for me as my head filled up with beer but I remember stopping at Auburn McDonalds were we impressed the locals with singing and dancing and a 3am call to Niki to let her know I was fine and having a good time… I am sure she appreciated the info :-).
Sunday morning was a world of hangover but that was cured by Joe’s bride to be setting us on our way with fried eggs and bacon with juice and coffee. I then went onto a games day at my mate Tommy’s place where 5 of us gathered to play some new board games… The highlight was “Betrayal at the House on the Hill”. Highly recommended game to play with 4-5 people.
By 6:30pm I was home and very tired… At least now I can rest here in the office! LOL!
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Friday, August 18, 2006
A very busy week comes to a close. I found myself at midnight last night working on emails from home and am getting quietly snowed… Hopefully things will ease up in the next week or so, but I doubt it :-(
Am going to have to address with work why I spend 10-12 hrs physically in the office per day and yet still find myself behind or playing catchup despite doing “extra bits” like answering emails at midnight. I’m not alone though as the emails I was answering were sent to me around 10:30pm by work colleagues in
But Friday posts are generally concerned with the weekend and this weekend have a big one planned. Saturday morning I will be looking after the girls and we are planning a trip to the Blaxland City Library. Going to get the girls library cards and Kate is going through a crazy reading stage in which she can never have too many books. She has a party to goto at lunchtime, so that will be the mornings task!
Then the weekend turns very much into a boys weekend with firstly my good mate Joe’s Bux Night. Joey is finally getting married and has led a full and exciting single life, but he has finally found a wonderful girl in
Sunday, bleary eyed and ill, I will be going to Tommy’s house for a gathering of gamers for a general “games day”. Tommy has the board game bug big time and a number of people are coming around to play whatever he has. Apart from concerns re hangovers, it will be a great day of dice, chips, beer and laughs. Maybe not the beer…
Note to self, must take the camera and take photos… if I remember, look forward to a photo expose next week :)
Thursday, August 17, 2006
I can’t believe the negative press received after last nights game mainly from people who didn’t watch it or watched it on TV.
Well, for me given that I was there in the cheap seats behind the goal ($20, bargain!), I thought the night was a big success. The atmosphere was great, the ground was full bar a few member seats remaining empty and the crowd was boisterous through out. The Green & Gold Army at the southern end were leading the chants and had a large banner which covered half the bay.
The game itself, I thought was very competitive and the Kuwaiti’s gave there all and at stages dominated us. People have to realise that the Australian team tonight was picked from A Leaguers who have only played pre-season games and that showed with a number of poor passes and touches, particularly in the early parts of the game.
But these guys will go on to form the nucleus of our 2010 World Cup squad and I thought it was fantastic that such a big crowd turned out for them. They started to click in the last 20mins and produced 2 very classy goals. The first was a real team effort scored by my man of the match Travis Dodd and the second was a great individual run (by Dodd again) and a neat tap in from Petrovski.
For those who criticise a) the game, b) the players or c) the sport in today’s press, blow it out your arse! Soccer is here to stay and is now waking up in this country. You don’t have to support one code at the expense of others, I think soccer – like cricket is – will be the countries unifying national football code. You can still like NRL, AFL or
Bring it on! Can’t wait for the next game!
[Edit]: Just realised I picked the score after re-reading yesterday's post... w00t!
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Some may deride the quality of the Australian Soccer team that is about to take to the park tonight in our first home Asian Cup Qualifying against Kuwait, but I don’t care… these guys will make the bulk of our 2010 World Cup Squad so tonight is as good as any to introduce them to Australian audiences.
Yes, we haven’t got Kewell and Cahill and Neill, but this is an Aussie team playing on as big a stage as we can get outside of the World Cup. I am going tonight, its only $20 in the gate, the game is sold out and the SFS or Aussie Stadium is the best place to watch football of any code in the country when its full – and tonight is sold out!
I have no clue about the opposition and expect us to win 2-0, but I don’t think it will be a cake walk.
But the main flavour of this game will be to physically a soccer game live involving the Australian team rather than by the TV set from
Its time to enjoy a good game with a few beers and celebrate!
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
The UK newspaper, The Observer lists 15 websites that have changed the world. I have never heard of craigslist.com and I think myspace.com is a waste of space, but the others I agree with... Anyone think they missed one?
The Observer | Review | Websites that changed the world
Another beautiful day today and makes me wish that I wasn’t in a suit heading into the city. We went for a picnic on Sunday at Euroka Clearing in the
But nope, it’s another day on the train and work beckons. The train is full this morning and I have way too much work to do. My working day now has truly extended to working on the train (no snoozing for this black duck) in both directions. Reports to write, emails to draft, documents to review and then when you get to the office, its more of the same and things that crop up and are “urgent” and you need to do them straight away and yet you’re still expected to deliver the things you were going to do before the urgent stuff…
Australians they say are perhaps the hardest working people in the world. The old stereo type of the Japanese salary man who basically lives in the office seems to have been passed over in favour of the Aussie worker who works the 9-5 hours, but tacks on 2 hrs at the beginning and the end of the day. 7am – 7pm is now the norm it seems. My boss is in at 7:00am each morning… and yet doesn’t go home for 12 hrs.
For me personally I get in at 8:30, but apart from this blog, I work on the train. In the evening, you don’t even think about leaving until 6:00 and invariably I am on the 7:00pm train home and am now working still. So, this laptop is open from 7:15am to 8:40pm and yet I still feel like things don’t get done.
Maybe I will go for that walk….
Monday, August 14, 2006
If you follow the NRL, then you’d know that this seasons comp is not the best ever, but it certainly is the weirdest. So many teams in the top half of the competition are on big losing streaks and if you read the press, nearly all of the Top 8 are going to not make it. My team, the Dragons are on a 5 game losing streak. The Broncos 6, the Sharks 7 and this is coupled by winning streaks of
Normally the Top 8 teams will tic-tac wins and the comp will be fairly even, however at the moment outside of the 3 winning streak teams, nobody can buy a win. I suspect that at some stage one of these teams needs to break their duck egg and all will be well again.
So how can the Dragons do it? Well for starters they can tell their forwards to stop off loading in their own 20m area, particularly Ashton Sims and his penchant for throwing flick passes! Saints play a very lateral game, but if they fail to hold the advantage line, well then you’re losing ground every ruck when you throw desperate passes. When we went forward from dummy half, they looked OK. Bailey and Ryles made plenty of metres when they decided to tuck the ball under the arm and go forward, but that really was only 1 hit up in 3.
Some players seem to go missing for long periods of time too… Isemonger, Creagh and Young? Did they play? Why was Greenshields playing second row in the 2nd half? The guy weighs 70kgs wringing wet.
Any way, rant off… normal transmission resumes tomorrow.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
A rare opportunity for a weekend post... the girls had a friend over to
stay last night and they're preoccupied with dancing in the garage and
watching Lizzie McGuire movies and we dont have to be anywhere until
11ish for a picnic with Niki's family.
So I am reading the papers online, checking all my gaming sites and
Spent yesterday watching my nephew Alex playing soccer in the morning
and went to Penrith Plaza to buy "stuff" - socks & undies and new
drinking glasses to be exact. Penrith City Council had an open day in
which Penrith was diplayed in all its glory... The local mayor was
looking regal in his red robes... until I saw that he had daggy jeans
underneath! And the local talent troupe came out and did performances
that were pretty ordinary mixed with consistent PA malfunctions coupled
with a MC that made some pretty distasteful comments about picking ones
nose and that the winner of the raffle was a S.Khan and he made some
comment about foreigners and terrorists... all pretty standard Penrith
red neck fare :)
Watched Pirates of the Caribbean II last night on bootleg DVD... it
seemed like a good movie, but we were interrupted heaps by the phone,
cat, dog, kids plus the DVD quality was poor... was one of those "filmed
in the theatre with a handicam jobs". I was told by the person who gave
it to me it was good quality, but I'll be having words... particularly
as the sound was consistently out of sync enough to be annoying and then
at one stage for 1minute was out of sync by 10 seconds...
And I am sure a few scenes were cut!
Anyways, off to find something to download... maybe another movie... I
watched Wolf Creek on my PC as well yesterday and it was great quality.
Friday, August 11, 2006
and the world goes to pot. I left the house yesterday at 4:30am for a 7:00am flight to Brisbane and when I finish my days work up there and am looking forward for a long but peaceful trip home, I see a) Kim Beazley and Wilson Tuckey dukeing it out on the steps of Parliament House and that 21 planes were intended to be blown up out of London (they showed this on the in flight news… interesting…). Well relax peeps, I am here on the trains once again and made it out of BrisVegas in one piece… just mind you, that place is one strange town if their cabbies are anything to go by. The cabbie I got to the airport was perhaps the weirdest individual capable (??) of driving a motor vehicle I have ever met.
Getting into his cab, he was abused by some rough looking bloke on the footpath for reasons I cant fathom still and he proceeded to stick his head out of his window with a tirade of “f#cken c#nt” and other niceties. Once we were off, he talked at a million miles an hour about drugs, his son, his son smokes marijuana, how QLD Premier Beattie wants them to drink they’re own sewerage (this is true, he’s not making it up) and that Terrorists are everywhere and that we should stop people travelling and we should make some sort of national light rail thing to get more cars off the road and avoid road fatalities…. and… lots of other stuff. I spent the whole 20min trip “uh huh, yep” to avoid any form of confrontation and besides that’s all I had the chance to say between his nutty chatter and his expletives at other motorists.
Then I had a lovely flight back with 40-50 under 12 year old Japanese school kids on some foreign excursion. It was pure comedy watching the stewards/es trying to control all these kids, who were seemingly without guardians, who refused to sit down in their correct seats, treated the plane like a school bus and ran up and down the aisles whilst “light refreshments” were being served. Given that the kids didn’t speak English, and the stewards couldn’t speak Japanese, it was hilarious. At one point a gay steward in a camp voice says “Do you speak Cantonese? I speak a bit of Cantonese.” and the kids looked at him blankly as he said something in his alleged Cantonese. The stewardess with him quietly says, “They’re Japanese not Chinese” and he says “Well they all look the same to me!”.
Hasn’t John Howard and Pauline Hanson done wonders for this country… God Bless Us All!
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Am heading off on sudden business trip to Brisbane tomorrow... I have to
be on site at around 9am so I am getting on the 4:53am train tomorrow
and this is after I got home tonight at 9:30pm.
No games tonight, no blood bowl, home, dinner, bed.
Will post Friday night or something, but for those who like their daily
dose of Lime Kettles, you'll have to wait until then :-)
Well we did the census… and I have to admit I didn’t put in “Jedi” for religion. Given I wasn’t christened and neither are my children, I thought it appropriate that I state what was the truth – we’re not god fearing Christians in the sense of going to Church on the weekends and I ticked “No Religion”. Niki was a bit funny about how she was the only one in the family that had a defined religion, but I think it reinforces my own views that just because your parents as a baby didn’t spend a Sunday morning in Church getting your head wet doesn’t mean you’re a “bad person”. My girls are taught manners, respect for adults and the laws of society and convention. If they want to embrace an organised church when they’re old enough to understand and make that choice, well that’s their prerogative. Better to attend church and be involved in that part of life than into drugs or worse.
So, I guess the census makes you realise that there is a thing such as “No Religion” but it should also be reinforced that you’re not some pagan, goat sacrificing psychopath. However, when looking at the code of the Jedi yesterday, it makes sense in its simplicity and actually makes a good case for the way we “should” be living. In particular the clause “Respect Life In All Its Forms”.
If God fearing George Bush took that statement to heart, perhaps we’d be a better world for it.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Census Night tonight. Every 5 years we’re asked to fill in a comprehensive form detailing ourselves and our families and strangely enough any visitor that may be staying overnight. I always found that interesting given that future infrastructure decisions can be influenced by the fact you had your Aunty Mary from
And what if you’re on the town and you’re a single man and you manage to pick up a young lady and head back to her place? Do you have to sit together and do the census? “Sorry, what was your name again? I have to put you on my form?” Imagine that, a one night stand enshrined in census data.
Also, I always like the question about religion and maybe its these sensitive times with the “War On Terror™” but I have missed this time around the jokes about if you put your religion down as Jedi and they get 10,000 Jedi’s on the census then they are forced to list it as an official religion. Those jokes seem to be absent this week… maybe its because the new Star Wars movies weren’t as successful as they thought.
The biggest movie in the last 5 years have been the Lord of the Rings. Perhaps people could list their place of birth as Rivendell or “The Shire” and state their age as “One Hundred and Eleventy First”. Religion: Dark Disciple of Mordor perhaps?
The possibilities for buffoonery are endless… and why not, its not like the government’s actually going to do anything constructive with the data with the exception of putting all Muslims on “a list”…. mmm, you don’t think they will???
[Edit] - Daniel Bowen's Blog has a similar story on Jedi's and Census. First time I have seen it mentioned this time around.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Just realised that my last post was Thursday night, bit slack of me….
But not much happened this weekend. I went to the NRL match on Friday night between
Been stewing about it all weekend… grrr.
Had a lazy weekend though with the highlight being that I did go for a long walk and did the whole Glenbrook / Lapstone walk. From my place went through the bush and up the escarpment to
But yesterday I went down the otherside of the escarpment and it was incredibly steep! At least I was going down, but even with the many staircases constructed, some parts were near vertical and if you slipped off the staircase, you’d have a long drop ahead of you and there was no handrails… Amazing though, you’re stepping down a heavily wooded near cliff and if you look above you, you can see rock overhangs and the odd cave. It was pretty impressive.
Got down to the bottom of the gorge and was then at the base of
I then came out at the RAAF Base and had to walk around that and made it to the top of
From there it was back to
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Man, what a day! Work was busy from 7:00am on the train through until
8pm tonight. Got home to see the penultimate episode of LOST and am now
ready for bed as I have to be at work by 7:30am tomorrow. No train
though, will be driving in... so thought I'd drop a line here and now.
Will be going to the footy tomorrow night to see my Dragons take on the
Eels at Parra Stadium. Niki has a hens night so I have offered to give
her a lift home whenever she needs it, so I am "on call" from after the
footy until dawn I guess :-)
So, I will be in the car at around 6am tomorrow and could be still going
late into the night depending on when and where I have to pick her up...
luckily the girls will be staying at their Nanny & Poppy's. At least
the weekend is quiet... no plans as far as I can tell. Which is good!
Off to bed, see ya's later... may make a post sometime tomorrow from the
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Last night, my good friend Tommy “ozjesting” Dean performed on Rove Live as the guest comedian in a short 3 minute stint. It was probably Tommy’s biggest TV gig given the audience / ratings that Rove gets and also on top of that, it was Rove’s 2hr extended show covering the Big Brother finale. So he can be sure he now has a legion of 14 year old girl groupies :-). Kate sat up to watch him way past her bedtime and she was very impressed that she has met someone who is on tele.
Also, just a plug for some of the gaming stuff happening over at the Lime Kettle Forum (see the link to the right there à). There will be a new Werewolf gaming starting up soon (being run by Tommy) so anyone keen on that post their interest. Also, Pat is running Diplomacy games (Game 2 is looking for a player or 2) and as a player in Game 1, I am very happy how it plays so I am running a game for a few friends of mine.
Also, last night I posted a link to Xpert Eleven which is a free online soccer management simulator. If you have played Hattrick or one of the many PC games such as Championship Manager then this will be of interest to you. Registration is free, you can create your own team complete with team colours etc etc and you can play in a league run by me. Details on the forum!
Still on things gaming, the SWL Season XV is coming to a conclusion, new players always welcome.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
In late this morning and spent the trip in reading a book I have borrowed (Break No Bones, by Kathy Reichs) and didn’t even fire up the laptop, so a quick post from my desk at work…
I notice with great interest that yesterday Johnny Howard said “I will contest the next election”… remember this phrase. Read it closely.
It means he and the Liberal Party believe he will beat Beazley and Labor at the next election. I kind of agree with him that a Costello lead Liberal Party would falter at the election, but Howard gives the swinging voter something of a security blanket – better the devil you know etc etc.
What goes unsaid in this phrase is as soon as the Liberals win the next election, Howard will be off like a bride’s nightie and will throw the leadership of this country open to an internal debate that will see factional voting determine the next PM of
So whilst you may feel that you’re voting for Howard on the basis of his record (which I dispute, but lets just say you like it), then you will be actually voting for a Costello or a Malcolm Turnbull or heaven forbid an Alexander Downer.