Thursday, May 31, 2007
Things have been a bit hectic, but oddly enough I am looking forward to a long weekend... why? Because I have JURY DUTY! Yay!! Some people would go "ah fuck!" but not I... at the very best I get a day off work (and hopefully am dismissed very early in the piece) and at worst I get to sit in whilst some local drug lord appeals a speeding fine and I get to say "GUILTY!".
NSW Local Court Judicial System? I say Bring It On!!
Am I odd to be looking forward to such a day? Why do I have visions of LA Law and some attractive "D.A's"? (We don't have DA's in Australia, unless you're referring to Dirty Aussies...) Why can I see the local court version of Ice T layin' down the law as it is righteously written despite him "bein' a brutha".
LOL... God I am stupid...
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
The issue I want to raise today is that it appears that the "scandal" involving Therese Rhein (wife of soon to be PM Rudd) and her ownership of a firm in breach of Industrial Relations laws has been totally been a non-event in the eyes of the average punter.
The polls, if they can be believed as an indicator of support, have not blipped since this so called scandal blew up. But apart from some sort of dirt dishing, what does it actually mean for Rudd?
His wife has sold her firm. She is clearly a savvy business woman as she knows that once her husband becomes PM, this profitable business (which is a recruitment agency for Government departments) will go bust because she will see her market share dive as people dont want to be seen to giving business to the family of the PM.
So she sold up. This is a clear indicator that the Rudds clearly believe that they are in a winning position and despite the dirt being dishes, they have lost their personal economic benefit in a profitable business because "they know" that the profits will dry up next year. What better indication of confidence is that?
So in a nutshell, the Rudd's come through it unscathed, they make a sound economic decision based on the future projections of a Labor government and I can bet you down to a dollar that the Labor Dirt Dishers will find someone on the Coalition side of the fence that has a wife / husband / relative involved in a less than savoury business deal involving Industrial Relations....
Oh hang on... didnt us taxpayers fund the payouts to John Howard's brothers business about 2-3 years ago?? Someone with the surname of Howard refused to pay entitlements.... mmmmm....
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Brooke's team won her age group at the first attempt! We were all very proud... she did really well.
Sad thing about today's society though was that photography was banned due to the "Child Protection Act". Of course a DVD is available for a largesse sum of cash... but still, not to be able to take snaps at the venue is a bit sad.
Anyways, we took some photo's early this morning before we left. Click thru to a Picasa Web Album of all the photo's we took today...
|Brooke's Eistedfod Debut|
Saturday, May 26, 2007
With 2 subs rotating, she sat out quarter 3 and then gave great service in the 4th quarter from Centre to allow 3 more goals to be scored.
Very impressive game from our Katie! Well Done!!!
Friday, May 25, 2007
Kate has netball early tomorrow morning, but other than that I think we're ok for Saturday. Sunday Brookie has a dance troupe performance and Kate has a friends birthday party at Adventure Golf ( i.e. putt-putt) on Sunday afternoon.
Other than that, its laying low and perhaps mowing the lawn and washing the car(s) and I also saw yesterday a Mobile Dog Wash in the area too... so should look to get Zoe the Wonder Dog spruiced up too...
Saturday was going to be a games day with Tommy & co, but that got cancelled last minute as Tommy's away on tour so I will probably take advantage to paint up some more miniatures and do some writing for D&D... I have been asked to get a regular D&D game running too, so I may give that some thought.
Hope you all have good weekends :)
Thursday, May 24, 2007
TalkBloodBowl.com :: View topic - CHAOS ALLSTARS 2007!
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Minichello: Stand out performer for NSW. HAd a great game in a beaten side. 8/10
Hayne: Solid debut that will be marred by the giveaway try to Lockyer. Brilliant individual play to score his try in the last seconds of first half. Deserves retaining. 6/10.
Lyon: Did he play? Says he kicked some goals, but did he play?? Living on his reputation before he went to the UK and ate all the pies. Get rid of him. 1/10
Cooper: Given he was the "defensive" centre of the two centres, he did more attacking. Solid play without any mistakes and the odd great trysaving tackle. Retains spot. 7/10
King: Attention selectors - IS NOT A WINGER! Great player, but out of position sooo many times. 5/10
Anasta: Great first half... went missing in the vital 3rd quarter. But so did his teammates. 6/10
Mullen: Rookie who had a shocking kicking game (its OK to make the ball bounce mate!) but is a talent and should not be made a scape goat. 6/10.
Kite: A solid bench prop who started instead and didnt do much. 4/10
Buderus: Crafty game, but is he ageing? Is Robbie Farah deserving? 6/10
White: Badly broken nose in first tackle of game. Did nothing other than keep the trainers busy. No game impact. 3/10
Mason: Actually played a pretty mature game as a leader for the team. No great damaging runs though... quiet by his standards. 7/10
Hindmarsh: Thought he played great, but got weirdly substituted.... thats a coach thing though. 7/10
Ryan: Very good toiler in the back ground and played mistake free. Possible captain should Buderus go... 7/10
Bailey: Should have started, didnt get a rhythm, but did the work of 3 men. 7/10
Simpson: Did alot of tackling, but I questioned his selection at the start... he's a Mason clone who is less effective... 5/10
Tupou: Shouldnt have been picked and did sweet FA. Send him back to the Roosters bench please! 1/10
Gidley: Hampered by the fact that he didnt get on until the 60th minute... why? Played OK, but I don't see why he was there... 3/10.
My Team For Game 2:
1. Minichello, 2. Hayne, 3. King, 4. Cooper, 5 El Masri, 6 Anasta, 7 Mullen, 8. Bailey, 9. Buderus 10. Ryles 11. Mason 12. Hindmarsh 13 Ryan. BENCH: Hoffman, O'Meley, Creagh Farah.
Feel free to disagree :-)
and its already open.
DAMN! How embarrassment!!
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
So Liberal party reps met with Channel Nein execs to complain... how bizarre... what ever happened to free speech? Surely the McLeods Daughters script writers were simply portraying a day in the life of a typical Australian worker? No body seems to dispute the accuracy of the scene... just that its "not portraying the government in a good light".
Watch it yourselves here:
YouTube - McLeod's Daughters gets political
The Government cant be seen to be sitting on their hands about this issue when they have acted can they? Well... whilst technically they acted, perhaps it could have been done, say about 4 years ago?
That David Hicks spent so long without trial and even without charge should not be forgotten. The fact that he was held by a foreign power subject to that foreign power's military system (not their civil legal system) and held in a sub-human compound in a distant remote location should not be forgotten as an issue for this election.
Yes he is home, to serve the remainder of his sentence, but do not forget Messrs Howard and Downer have done little dare I say nothing to bring this issue to resolution under fair Australian law.
Monday, May 21, 2007
I am also now concerned about how religion indoctrinates children into a rigid way of thinking that when given the opportunity to explode into at best "exclusionism" of others to the worst militant action in the name of God - i.e. suicide bombings.
A person who has crystallised this for me is Richard Dawkins and his book the God Delusion. He tells a clear and coherent and using logic, scientific fact and in some cases mathematics to propose a hypothesis that God does not exist and that it is the creation of man via a neurological reaction within our DNA. What this means in laymans terms is that we are in built to question our purpose in the universe and that we have eons ago created god(s) to supplement this biological urge.
Pretty out there theories but if there is one thing that I agree with Dawkins is that Evolution is fact, Creationism is no truer than fairies and pixies in the garden and that Religion of all types is a poisonous mind trap that can be exploited by others.
Now in Australia, we allow free speech and anyone can voice their opinions. Religious people do this all the time with door knocking and preaching in various ways to convert a person to join their faith. Each religion has their own views, but essentially it is all the same... "we're correct, all the others are wrong, join us".
Now however, the great paradox is if you sprout the view that you dont have any God and you believe in science / evolution and that we're simply carbon based life forms that have evolved, then you get shot down.
Case in point was that last night I bumped into (missed the first half) of Richard Dawkin's documentary "The Root of All Evil" which was on the ABC last night. He came across to me as a person exploring religion and its beginnings and proposing his theories as a counter view. It was logical, clear and well presented. He interviewed an American Evangelist and a Muslim Cleric in Jerusalem and engaged with them on debate.
In both cases the Preacher and the Cleric were both very aggressive, very intimidating and both had an absolute hatred in their eyes for Dawkins. In the case of the Preacher, he had a truly "evil" look about him that Niki and I thought was quite disturbing.
Then in response to the show, I read this article in the Sydney Morning Herald. It is really a pro-religion dismissal of Dawkin and his theories. Clearly the writer has a religious influence in their life, so it is no surprise that it is anti-Dawkins.
What chilled me though was the paragraph about the interviews with the above mentioned Preacher and Cleric:
"As a Lourdes priest, a Colorado Springs evangelical pastor and a Jew-turned-Muslim leader discover in Dawkins's uncompromising interviews, his inquisition is just as persistent, his version of "the greatest story ever told" just as offensive."
Hello? What about the nutcases being interviewed??
This is my point, no matter how much you want, you cannot in this day of freedom of speech speak ill of religion. You are deemed "delusional" (pun intended) and an immoral evil person. But as Dawkins puts it "We are all atheists. People of Faith are atheist to all but one God - their own. I in turn, have just gone one God further"
Friday, May 18, 2007
We are all different and in my view each human being can believe what they wish to believe without persecution...
But I have to say, some people pray on people's gullibility and wish for hope for whatever ails them. This week has brought all this in my head for a number of reasons and from a number of examples.
The Secret. If you thought Religion was hocus-pocus and conditional brainwashing of the weak willed, then what do you think of The Secret. A lady from suburban America is making millions by telling people to buy her Book / DVD and learn that you can get things by simply focusing on it. Wishing is probably a better term. People, wake up - you are being taken for a ride!!! Its a load of rubbish.
And I have said it before and I will say it again... Religion is the original gullibility complex and I have listened to this week's series of Podcasts from Triple M's Spoonman show (check out the podcast link on my right hand Nav bar ->) in which Spoonman questioned whether a person should or should not convert to another religion for love. i.e. would you become Jewish to marry a Jewish person? The subject started out well enough but degenerated into Creationism vs Evolution and Spoonman told his view that he thought religion as a whole was a crock of shit... then you should see the hate that comes down the phone lines and emails from "Good Christian Types"! This turned into a bigger than Ben Hur subject which turned into the next nights show in which he invited listeners to prove to him that you dont need to be a person of Faith to have a good sense of moral decency. Well you should listen to the podcast to see how many hateful things are said by "Good Christian Types". Again I raise this to highlight how we seem today to be incapable of believing in something without having alternate views rammed down your throat...
Of course Spoonman refers to a number of biblical passages involving gang rape and incest and murder and asks the Christians why these things are in the Bible and why they should be the way for people to get their moral compass from. Its a very interesting hour of radio.
Then another thing today is the death of Jerry Falwell... the evangelical preacher who has probably been responsible for more hate and vitriol against minorities than anyone else and who was the founder of the Zionist Christian movement which is the founder of what is the basis of today's US Government's Neo-Conservative movement... another example of religion leaching into the lives of everyone from you and me through to the poor people suffering in Baghdad because of US Foreign Policy.
If only we could all just believe in our own thing - and if religion is your thing thats fine too - and let others be who they want to be without trying to convert them and make them subservient to your belief system, the world would be a better place.
Maybe I can ask The Secret people why they cant wish for world peace...
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Firstly, I have had a bad run on the trains lately with people hogging the seat and / or falling asleep on me. Every day this week, I get someone next to me who thinks that they have a god given right to both armrests. When I sit in the aisle, I lean on the aisle armrest and leave a bit of space. This week however, I have had different guys sit down, plonk both arms down (in one case, one guy forcibly shoved my elbow with his) and "stretch out". The train trip then becomes uncomfortable as we both do the "the middle arm rest is mine" thing.
Then last night I got elbowed in the face... a guy sits down and proceeds to put his laptop bag on his lap and go for a rummage... no biggie until I (who was playing my PSP) copped his elbow on my forehead. Do you really need to be so inconsiderate that you donk people in the head? No real apology and he kept on rummaging elbows out like a farking chicken.
And this morning, I had what I call on the trains as "the Drifter". The guy who dozes, leans, leans, leans and then just as he touches you jumps up with a start realising he's fallen asleep. He then straightens and drifts off again until he once again leans, leans, leans and JUMPs. Its a 10 minute cycle that annoys the shit out of me. Is it rude to just whack people when they do this?
Aside from my trains... a few things I have thought about... The guy who got $1M for being bullied (read about it here). Seriously. Where are going as a community? What parent allows there son to sit in a dark room and play PlayStation all day. I was bullied at school... so where many others and you get over it. Grow up mate, take responsibility. The courts have now legitimised this kid as a "loser" who has "no prospects" for relationships or work... $1M? They should just put him to sleep if thats really the case... Nobody is worth nothing.
Question: Why did Kate Ceberano go from a winning contestant for Dancing with the Stars (remember, she's an entertainer and had some dancing ability already - I hardly recall any of her film clips being of her standing still) and then finds herself as a Celebrity Singer helping the Celebrity Non-Singers (she's with Daniel Kowalski who is the biggest gay swimmer since Ian Thorpe) on It Takes Two. Umm... hello... new album? Plug Plug Plug... its sad when TV turns into subliminal advertising... I wonder if Channel 7 gets a % of her sales?
The guy who made the Virginia Tech videogame... loser! He should be given $1M as well. Did anyone see him interviewed?? Now there's a guy who deserves some of "Coxies" money...
Ahhh... that feels better... rants off... you may now go about your business. :)
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Well it appears as though the budget announced last week has failed to stir the people to give John Howard another term (not that he'd be fulfilling it)…
I don't get all this rubbish about it being close and will come down to the wire. The truth is the Australian Liberal Party will very shortly be absent from any major political office in the country. I am not sure if this has happened before, but by years end all States and the Federal Parliaments will be held by Labor. Where does this leave us though? Whilst I have never been a fan of Liberal policies, you do need a strong opposition to keep the governing party honest.
If we have no opposition, then too much power can be a bad thing as well. You can imagine where we'd all be if the states had been Liberal in the past 5 years!
But having said that, having an ageing old man with 1950's values who lies through his teeth constantly has cost this country more than enough. Whilst I have my concerns, lets ring through the changes and get this election over with!
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
BoardGameGeek has this thread running on the subject and there aren't many tears for GW... and I am not crying either!
Put it simply, Warhammer is overpriced rubbish and the better games with better rule sets and better cost to the consumer have died as an officially supported game and we now live on eBay and second hand copies and rule updates published by enthusiasts....
/rant off :)
They finally have the new aircon system online… they turned it on this morning and just now, I can start feeling cool air at my desk. You cannot believe how much of an impact small things like aircon can impact the enthusiasm for work. Yesterday we had no aircon and we had no toilets on our floor for some reason (the bathroom was full of workmen with copper pipes and arc welding equipment). So yesterday not only was it hot, I had to take a lift to another floor to take a piss… brilliant!
All seems well today, but given this building I am in is 40 years old or so, it wont be long before something else breaks….
I mentioned yesterday as well that I wanted to do something else… well I have thought about it and have done some research and whilst I am about a hundred years of chucking in my job, I have been giving some thought to doing some creative writing and trying to get some d20 game material (Dungeons & Dragons) published.
I have been playing D&D for 20 years and I have had my fair share of ideas spin around my head so I am going to as a hobby try and get some of it published… several companies in the RPG area are advertising for submissions and I may have a crack at it.
You never know, I may just be good at it or it may be a little hobby sideline that seems me earn a few bob on the side…. At the moment it's not a career thing, but a "lets see where this goes" kind of thing.
Monday, May 14, 2007
I have seriously been thinking of doing something different with my life.
That is a large statement to write down and that simple sentence really looks stark and confronting... but we went up to Leura yesterday and pottered around the village and had a nice lunch and enjoyed the fresh air. A quick look into the real estate windows shows you can get a nice cottage house with well kept gardens for sub $300K... would mean not being able to work in the city anymore and hence the corporate income would stop... but then so would the requirement to service a large mortgage...
So, half the income, half the bills... mmm... sounds promising!
But then the alarm goes off this morning and the working week starts and you have to be on the train and I have to get to the office and sit in the heat and punch away on a keyboard and answer emails and push paper and ring people and do the "work" things...
And then I think I could be sitting at my cottage in the warm winter sun... writing a book or something in tune with my gaming passion... tough choices. But is it doable?
Friday, May 11, 2007
It seems as though everyone is making the right machinations to coming to this realisation, but seriously its cricket... not World Aid or anything remotely charitable. Its just cricket.
Can the tour, can Zimbabwe's status as an ICC nation and get on with it... We did the same to South Africa in the late 60's / early 70's and it took 20 years, but change came.
But all this pussy footing around about upsetting the ICC and as Channel 7 news reported it this morning "upsetting the Asian members of the ICC" (which is Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) is a crock of shit. I dont know why it is, but the ICC is a schism of 2 groups and we seem to be split on Asia / Non Asia (but isnt Australia in soccer terms now Asian?)... seems odd, but lets just let common sense rule and we wont go.
Again, Australia is getting shown up again by New Zealand when they previously pulled out of the tour and showed better guts than we seem to do...
And what will the ICC do if we dont go and dont pay some preposterous US$2.5M fine? Kick us out? Yeah, not likely. The Australian Cricket Board should tell the ICC to go shove it... send a "World XI" if they want, but no Aussie needs to go.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
But not all work... I won't get into work issues, but I have been busy on the gaming front too...
On Tuesday night, played my Round 7 game of the Spike Cup - a western Sydney Blood Bowl League - and won that game 4-1. I am now running second with a 5-0-2 record and face the unbeaten (assuming they win Rnd 7 as well) Dwarves (how ironic) in Round 8. Using the new LRB5 rules, the comp has been excellent!
Also, have been getting ready for Eucalyptus Bowl in July... am playing the Death Roller and the team is all ready to go... I also finished painting my Pro-Elves and am now back to the Skaven... when they are done, the next project is a Rotters team for CanCon 2008... busy on the painting front!
Still on Blood Bowl, my mate Noyz has bought himself a game board and a team and we'll start getting him back into the game... he hasnt played in about 10-15yrs, so it will be interesting to see if he's still as keen as he was.
On other things, its Mothers Day weekend... so it will be a busy weekend seeing our Mum's and then also giving Niki a good day on Sunday... I have a present, but its a secret ;-) ssssh!
Podcasting - am loving it... my evening routine now involves downloading the podcasts i have subscribed to and I must admit I was pissing myself (embarrassingly so) on the train this morning listening to Tony Martin... very funny.
OK... sorry for the lame evening post... something tomorrow :)
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Well people, the news out of the States is that there is a plot, that there is an ending and that there is a point... but we will need to wait until Series 6 in 2010.
I have said all along to my friends and family that the show will run for 6 seasons... and it has been confirmed.
Lost will end in 2010: "Author: Michael | Category: Entertainment"
Too little on the big picture stuff (climate change), a swag of money for Uni's (good thing, but hardly THE most important thing) and a notional tax cut. Whilst the tax cut is small, I do fear interest rate hikes more and a significant tax cut would heat up the consumerism in Australia (and dont we just LOVE to buy) and then the home loan rate would go up.
So I will give credit where it is due and the Liberals have looked at the big picture economically to ensure that the risk of rate hikes is minimal.
However, I believe it is time to look at infrastructure and the future and start investing in some smart capital projects to ensure future social and environmental prosperity. The response from the Government has been piece meal and token and the broader community is looking to the Federal parties to show some direction... of course with an election campaign looming, I am sure they will come out with a last ditch effort to buy votes by promising these things.
Overall, Budget was a non-event given the cautious "softly softly" approach coming into an election... and at least they didnt blow our mortgages on extravagant tax cuts.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
I like radio shows... I like breakfast radio and the like but a) the ads shit me and b) the music gets in the way sometimes and I am not 100% aligned to one station on the basis of its music programming... (Triple M best suits me, but sometimes there is only so much Barnesy one can take!)
So, now that I have a PSP and I now know how to download music and other MP3 files to it I have now taken to podcasting these shows... You will see on my Blog Roll on the right hand side of this site the current radio shows I am podcasting. If anyone has any others (doesnt have to be radio comedy) let me know!
Monday, May 07, 2007
George Bush would give us the proverbial two fingers...
But not our Johnny! No way!! He puts our guys on a plane and flies them to jail in the US of A.
Well done Australia... way to go...
Oh, and what about David Hicks... nevermind...
Aussie software pirate extradited - Technology - smh.com.au
"My people didn't tell me I had lost my license" was her tearful defence as the Judge (who deserves a medal) sent her down for 45 days...
Apparently he has stipulated no special treatment and that her stay at the Correctional Hilton at the pleasure of Governor Arnie would be as per any other misdemeanour sentence... which I believe in the State of California for an unemployed black man is 5 years hard time.... (I may have made that up?)
Now all we need now is for her to serve her time and then make a teary apology on Oprah or something afterwards...
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Kate was given the Goal Attack position and for the first time (due to Netball's odd rules) was allowed to shoot for goals... and in the 2nd minute of the game with her first shot, Kate popped it straight in - nothing but net!
Very proud we were!
She also worked very hard in defence and took many intercepts to set up her team with more shots and had a few more herself, but was unable to convert. Then at half time, it was her turn to have a half game and she sat out the rest of the match with the Redbacks leading 1-0.
The second half was a bit more even as the Springwood team started to get a number of shots and they had one little girl who came close with every shot and eventually she got the equaliser in the 4th quarter.
A great game, Kate got "Girl of the Match" from the coach and we now have a very excited budding netballer in the house!
Friday, May 04, 2007
This weekend is a bit busy given the lazy ones we've had recently. The Blaxland Redbacks U/8's Sparkles go around again in the Netball after being rained out last week... so I am looking forward to that, but also the coffee and bacon & egg sandwhich that I will have for brekkie :)
Saturday night, friends Julie & Con are coming around for dinner... Niki's cooking up Mexican style fajitas and burritos and tacos apparently... mmmm!
Sunday is a combo birthday for my Dad and also my nephew who is turning 1. So its lunch at my sisters place... which will probably turn into dinner, so it will be a long day.
So thats about it, lots of socialising and the netball is always a laugh... Go Sparkles!!
Well I did manage to get the last seat (I was first in the door at Glenbrook) but it was cramped, the A/C wasnt working properly and when we got to Emu Plains alot (and I mean ALOT) of people couldnt get on... reminded me of those photos of Indian trains where people hang out the doors and ride on the roof.
So that was a grand old start to Friday...
I have also registered with the Fed Govt's "Do Not Call" website to stop telemarketers... I bet it doesnt do jack shit.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
In particular, this one, this one, this one and this one.... :-)
I received an email from Pandora yesterday stating that due to US Legislation changes they can no longer offer Pandora outside of the US. As an Aussie, that means me!
I cannot follow this legislation, but there is a petition and a blog link trying to explain it all...
If you're a Pandora listener, you should have received a similar email to me...
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Would we be comfortable with it being called a "foolish lapse"?
'Foolish lapse' of woman, 30, with boy - National - smh.com.au
You can follow the game via the Diplomacy 2000 site and track my demise ;-)
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
So building management decided to install a new supplementary unit and built a big bulk head to store it in.... only problem the unit itself is 2 weeks away and because they have stuffed around with the existing aircon, the what was pathetic aircon we did have is now running at quarter capacity for the next two weeks.
I feel like packing up and taking my work over to the internet cafe across the road and working from there.
This is going to be a long fortnight....