Saturday, June 30, 2007
It is Kate's 8th birthday in late July but with school holidays intervening, she gave out invites to her classmates on Thursday for her party. This party is a month away.
One little girl came up to Niki on Friday and said "Sorry, but I wont be able to come to Kate's birthday party because we have Church".
In 24hrs, a parent has stopped their child attending a birthday party in 4 weeks time because they have to go to Church!
Lighten up people!! Let the kids have fun!!!
Friday, June 29, 2007
Sometimes though, you wish you can just capture something then and there on the train and pass that on to you my dear readers. I have had a few of these train moments this week... so in summary I will share them now:
The Sex Was Awesome!
Coming home the other night, a girl sits behind me and she is already yacking on her mobile phone. Loudly. I fire up the PSP and I am loading my FIFA 07 Soccer game and right in the pause of the music as the game loads up I hear clear as a bell. "We spent the whole weekend making love! The sex was awesome! I came about 5 times". Now I am no prude, but why do early 20's somethings feel that the quiet train is a place to talk loudly into the phone about your sex life? Of course I hit MUTE on the PSP and listen in to her chat, but it tapered off into discussions on shopping and so I pumped up the volume and tuned out. Needless to say when she did get off the train at Penrith, she was still yacking.
Train pulls into Penrith station on the way to work early one morning and the train is reasonably full. A lady, wearing a pastel lime green tracksuit who is in her late 40s and of a "rotund" build gets on the train and squeezes into the little single seat under the stairs. I am sitting one seat back from her and facing her as she then stands up in the aisle and takes out some hand cream. She rubs her hands with the white cream and then starts doing stretching exercises... reaching for the stars and then trying to touch her toes. She repeats this several times. She then walks briskly up the aisle. Then she's back. Then she's up the aisle again and back again. I realise she is walking "for exercise" up and down the aisle. She does this a further 3-4 times and I realise she is wearing pink bed socks instead of shoes.
She then takes out a pillow and with an air of obsessive compulsion takes out a square pillow and proceeds to wrap her matching lime green scarf around it... and its hard to describe but it took her about 10mins to do this as she was obsessed with getting it perfectly straight. She then sits down and does ALOT of shuffling of said pillow as she goes from leaning against the window to leaning against the wall of the stair well in her little single seat. She has also procured a large (think double bed size) pink blanket and she spends an eternity shuffling and getting comfortable. The woman sharing the seat opposite her gets up at some stage and moves away to the next level of the train... clearly fed up with this delusional woman. I should also say at all times this nutty lady had a massive smile on her face and her eyes looked wide... I now think in hindsight she was on some sort of medication.
When she is comfortable we're now near Strathfield and a girl has sat down opposite her. The girl has a bad cough and keeps coughing. The nutty lady then glares at her and tells her to take her cough outside... the girl moves away.
She finally seems to doze off in her blanket as we're going past Newtown and just 5mins from terminating at Central. If you dont know Sydney geography, she has taken 75km of an 80km journey to get comfortable... one of the most bizarre things I have seen on the trains.
The Silent Killer
Last night coming home I am sitting next to a young lady in her 20's. I am playing PSP and she is reading. Then I smell it. A vile fart. Horrendously bad - and I have my own benchmarks in that area - and it seems to be coming from my right side ( i.e. the girl). She keeps reading but it is really bad but she doesnt seem fazed. I know it wasnt me and I am sure it was her, but I cant be sure. It passes only for it to return 10-15mins later. Now I know it wasnt me, but what if it wasnt her? Then she may think it was me?! Bloody hell... it was bad.
She got off the train at Emu Plains and I didnt smell it again and I now submit this scenario to dismiss the notion that "Whoever Smelt It Dealt It".
Thursday, June 28, 2007
But in short, I received an offer a week ago, finally negotiated the final terms yesterday and then quickly this morning I saw my boss and gave my 4 weeks notice. Fortunately he took it very well and whilst disappointed in terms of the disturbance it will cause at work, he is supportive of the move and wished me the best. I in turn will spend the next 4 weeks "handing over" and I am happy to do so given the reaction this morning was a good one.
My last day here at "Old Job" is 26 July... my start date at "New Job" is TBA, but I am asking for a week off in between.
The new role is my bosses job at another organisation and is a great opportunity to step up, see a bit of the world, work in a different style company (I am moving from Property Development to Heavy Engineering) and of course there is an improvement in the pay...
So, all is good, depending how the next 4 weeks go, I may get a bit bizarre with my posts....
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I have lifted this from today's email from crikey.com.au who lead their email with the following comment from long-serving Sydney political journalist Alex Mitchell. Crikey say that they couldn't put it better themselves and nor can I, so I copy this verbatim...
"This is the last throw of the dice for John Howard. He is doing one big favour for the mining industry which he has faithfully served in public life for the past 30 years by rolling back Aboriginal ownership of their tribal lands. Cynically, cruelly but utterly predictably, he's doing it under the hypocritical colours of humanitarianism. (Very similar to the invasion and occupation of Iraq sold as "spreading democracy"). In his four terms as PM, he has starved indigenous health, education and housing of funds, abolished ATSIC and pointedly marginalised the Aboriginal Affairs portfolio. This particular pre-election pitch is aimed at Lateline viewers, readers of The Age and The SMH and ABC stalwarts, the demographic that constitutes Australian (small "l") liberalism. These are the feeble-brained, hand-wringers who are congenitally incapable of separating the wood from the trees. They are types currently heard sobbing: "I'm no fan of Mr Howard, but at least he's DOING SOMETHING!" Yes, he is: he's giving the mining giants the leg-up they need to start exploring, digging and quarrying in indigenous lands in the Northern Territory and then elsewhere. He is being aided and abetted by Kevin Rudd's craven behaviour. Instead of falling into line with Howard's agenda, he should have demanded complete details of the plan, the highest-level briefing, sought face-to-face meetings with Aboriginal leaders, state premiers, police and army officers and taken the lead in a national debate. Instead, he mouthed pieties such as "I'm taking Mr Howard at his word" and "I believe the Prime Minister when he says he is responding to a national crisis" etc etc. Has anyone realised that these are almost the same words used by Kim Beazley when he backed Howard during the Tampa scam? By his pusillanimous approach, Rudd has vacated leadership on the tragic issue of rescuing Aboriginal communities and given Howard the opportunity to play his sickening Father of the Nation role. Paul Keating, you were right about the Rudd team of fixers, hucksters, flyweights and spineless opportunists." Alex Mitchell
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Rapper calls Rove Live 'racist' | NEWS.com.au Entertainment: "US rapper Xzibit has walked out on a scheduled appearance on Rove Live after what he claims were racist comments from production staff."
Apparently though that there are some devastating environmental impacts in the area of the De-Sal plant, but that price was deemed acceptable as it will be located in Sydney's environmental disaster which is Kurnell.
So apart from some minor enviro protest, its a done deal.
But then it rains... its pouring and we all rejoice because the Dam is "HALF FULL"... I though in my pessimistic state tend to think of it as remaining as "HALF EMPTY" and therefore, before the Drought returns (which it will surely do given the El Nino / La Nina effects) we should build the damn De-Sal plant. But the Greenies say "no! look at the rain! we're saved!"...
Anyone with half a brain should realise that Australia is in serious shit if we do not provide water from other sources as opposed to drying up our natural water courses... has anyone seen the photos of the Murray Darling Creek? It used to be a mighty river... now its no good except for tadpoles. And all this enviro concern is over a headland of land in Sydney's south that is already riddled with petro-chemicals and other nasties.
De-Sal Water... its the best and only way forward.
Monday, June 25, 2007
I have noticed a great influx of comments of late, and I am very happy to take them on board, but can we do more than "Anon"... Even in the body of the comment a "John" or "Mary" for example would at least enable me to have some sort of continuity of who is talking to me about the things I blog about...
A small gripe, but next time you post a comment, let me know who you are... nicknames are most welcome :-)
Scenario 2: A US Sailor whilst physically in Australia as part of naval exercises is caught in an internet sting trying to solicit sex from a 14 year old school girl (who was an Australian police man (or woman) posing on the internet as a 14yr old girl). Australian authorities want to detain the sailor for questioning with a view of laying charges. End result - the US Govt gives the two fingers and the sailor is free to leave Australia where he may return to the US and perhaps continue with his paedophilia tendencies.
Double standards? Scenario 1 is a criminal, but his nationality does not stop the US throwing the full book at him when pursuing victims who have balance sheets the size of third world African countries, but when the reverse happens and the US citizen was trolling the net for under age sex, thats OK...
WTF is going on in the world?
Friday, June 22, 2007
This leads to rampant alcoholism, alcohol induced violence and general anarchy as the aboriginal people essentially have nothing else to do.
But what is the solution? The Howard Government has banned alcohol and pornography and drafted an extra police presence that sounds daunting but in reality is only 50 or so police officers (10 from each state). Remember, the NT is as big as Europe and has such remote areas that 50 people on the ground wont be a huge impact.
So, we essentially shut down the grog and the porn (and I presume any other drugs) and get kids into school and force parents to sober up. All very noble, all very well intentioned, but why stop at the Aboriginal communities of the Northern Territory? Why not help every other innocent child victim of the perils of modern drug abuse and ban such drugs in all parts of Australia?
We can't do that can we! Its part of "Australia's Culture and Values" that we can all have a beer after a "hard day's yakka".
Seems hypocritical to me... lets lockdown the "blacks" to make sure they grow up to our standards of Anglo-Saxon values... Next maybe Howard may think its a good idea to take the Aboriginal Children away from their parents and place them with good moral upstanding white Christian families and/or Religious Orphanages...
Hang on, didn't we do that already in the 50's?
Thursday, June 21, 2007
At 10:30am, I had the shot and by 3pm that afternoon, was starting to feel really crap. Then when I woke up yesterday morning, all was well and I haven't had any issues since.
It is a funny concept though... the fact that the human race has been in existance for millions of years (or since 7000BC if you ask a creationist) and has survived ice ages and tropical conditions and we now decide in the last few decades that it would be wise to jab ourselves with the flu virus to prevent the flu?
Why is this so? Why do we feel compelled to immunise against a relatively minor ailment? Is it "just because we can" and if so, will this do some long term harm to our evolution as a species? Again, if you're a creationist, the answer is No...
Anyways, I was jabbed, felt a bit off, am over it and have moved on... but it makes you wonder.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
So.... how about this cyclone (sic) that we're having!
Ever since the hail storms that wreaked havoc a few years back, the Bureau of Meteorology is quick on the draw for "Official Storm Warnings"... well if there was a hailstorm or a cyclone coming, we thank you for the warning, but really there isnt alot we can do...
But is it just me or are we getting more warnings of more cataclysmic events that then just peter out to sweet FA? Are we going to get so many warnings that we'll end up with a Crying Wolf mentality until one day we really do have a big event and half of us get washed out into the sea?
Well, I am ever hopeful because I would really love my Blue Mountains residence to become a property with "Ocean Views"... think how much it would go up in value!!
Monday, June 18, 2007
Why do these things happen? What makes a person capable of doing such an act? Human nature is at times a cruel and fickle thing...
Then there is the other story of how a man crashed his car and killed his own children and then fled the scene! The weird thing is the media found him at his house packing up all his possessions before the police did and then he was able to flee before the cops arrived... bizarre!
Really, makes you wonder doesn't it...
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Except before and after this wonderful evening away (to celebrate our upcoming 12th wedding anniversary) my weekend has been soured by 14 Year Old Customer Service...
First, McDonalds on Saturday lunch time... took the kids for a treat before we left them with Niki's parents and the whole thing was a disaster. I stood in a queue of one person for 15 minutes whilst the 14yr old girl serving tried to understand the concept of filling the guy in front of me's order... Twice he repeated it, several times he sent her back after she brought the wrong thing ("no, I said Chocolate Thickshake, Not Caramel Sundae!") and then when heavens above he tried to pay with a credit card, she completely lost the plot. I think I saw him sign 3 times!
When I did get to the front it was a simple order (2 medium burger meals and 2 kids happy meals)... but she brought the girls out coke's when I wanted a fanta and an OJ, she gave the girls sweet & sour instead of mustard sauce and basically couldnt add up to three if her life depended on it...
By the time I got my order, the queues were 7 deep (apparently the other 14yr old girls at the other counters weren't much better) and when done and the girls wanted a desert, well the wait was another 15 minutes...
Then we picked the girls up this afternoon and took them to the movies... saw Shrek The Third and the girls wanted something from the "Candy Bar" (why is it called that?) and a bag of Skittles and a bag of M&M's cost $11.40 (don't start me on prices!!). I had a $20 note and thought I would help the girl out by giving her a $1.40 in change as well... that floored her.
Girl: "Um, why are you giving me $1.40?:
Me: "To make it easier on the change... $10"
Then she flummoxed me by taking out a calculator... she started punching numbers and got would you believe $2.79. She said "ahhh, that can't be right"... No shit Sherlock!
Convinced her the change was just $10 and she delved into the till... she only had $50 and $20 notes and silver. Seriously. She apologised but she then counted out $10 in 10c and 20c pieces... I was now furious, I think I said "You have got to be fucking joking" pretty loudly and the teenagers behind me started to laugh. I even asked them if they had two $10 notes in exchange for a $20 and they just shrugged... I had to cup my two hands to take all this fucking shrapnel and I returned to Niki who was now seated in the theatre and basically dumped it in her purse.
Just then another Candy Bar trolley came into the theatre and Niki took all the shrapnel down to get a $10 note of him... he was apparently quite pleasant and then informed Niki she had 50c too much... the dimwit at the other Candy Bar gave us too much.
So, memo to companies... on peak weekend periods, please hire competent staff... ones that can add up and use a register and perhaps comprehend customer service!
Friday, June 15, 2007
Then, during the State of Origin, (the night before her exam) she came out to the lounge room and her mouth was bleeding and she was very upset.
As she should have been as the molar tooth that was being used to hook her orthodontic expander in had fallen out and whilst it was out of the gum, it was still attached to the expander!
We calmed her down, got the tooth free and she spent the night in our bed given she was very sore and sorry... she had a whole where her tooth had been and now had the sharp hook of the expander catching on the hole and I guess her tongue and gums.
Nevertheless, she got up in the morning, did the ballet exam and came out beaming that she had done well and hadnt made any mistakes! Then it was off to the orthodontist who did an emergency patch job in which he clamped the now free wire like expander so that it wouldn't be sharp in her mouth, but she will still have it for at least another couple of months...
She was very brave to do her exam and she seems to have done very well and we await the results...
|Grade 1 Ballet Exam|
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Not much I can say or blame about that, despite the QLD winning try coming from a forward pass and a dubious penalty, but ultimately the better team won the game and the series.
So it becomes a bit of a naval gazing exercise as to how the cause of NSW can be improved. Clearly the NSW team needs a clean out and players in good form should be picked as opposed to reputation. I believe we will probably lose the 2008 series as a result as well, but thats what happens when you allow some players to hang around on reputation.
Definite players never to play again include: Jamie Lyon, Braith Anasta, Steve Simpson, Brent Kite, Danny Buderus.
Players who should only be picked on form if it warrants it next year: Matt King, Matt Cooper, Brett Kimmorley, Nathan Hindmarsh, Andrew Ryan (and only one of Hindmarsh and Ryan should be picked - not both), Luke Bailey, Anthony Minichello.
Of the current team, I would persevere with Jarrod Hayne, Brett Mullen, Greg Bird, Brett Stewart and Willie Mason. The rest are up for grabs...
I would be looking at for immediate inclusion Robbie Farrah at hooker, Mullen into 5/8 and retain Kimmorley for Game 3, persist with Stewart over Minichello, give King a chance (but only one) at centre and look to an exciting winger not a centre to play wing... Nathan Merritt? In the pack, persist with Hoffman, but look to a young tyro on the bench as opposed to Steve Simpson - someone with a bit of passion... Steve Southern at the Cowboys springs to mind... maybe Watmough from Manly... Front Row? Where is Mark O'Meley? Slot him in, but I just dont think Brett White is the guy for NSW. O'Meley brings that nutty aggression...
I dont want to sound like a repeat of the papers this morning, but the time has come for the big broom....
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
A cute little Russian Blue Cross kitten we named "Charlie" entered our home and was incredibly playful. Over time Charlie has taken to us well and is very cuddly and spends alot of time with the girls and in fact generally sleeps in Kate's bed for the first few hours of every night.
All great except one thing... Charlie is growing and is I guess going through adolescence and in male cats that means one thing - killing.
Charlie whilst retaining the cuddly demeanour around the house is a killing machine in the back yard... since Friday he has attacked 2 birds and a frog and on each occasion has brought his prey to the back door generally whilst it was still alive. I had to put a sparrow / finch type bird out of its misery on Friday and I removed a dead frog on Sunday and yesterday he attacked a bird and had it in his mouth until Niki was able to prise its jaws and the bird flew away (which is a good sign I guess).
I am ambivalent to all this in the sense that Cats Kill Birds... its Mother Nature... and that as long as Charlie stays in the backyard (which he does) then the birds will stay off the grass and our trees once they know he's about... and they do because when he's patrolling the backyard you can hear the birds squawking at him from up high.
But Charlie has now realised that the feathery things he chases outside also includes our Cockatiel "Jimmy" amongst their number. Just yesterday we have twice caught Charlie standing on his hind legs "rocking" Jimmy's cage. We locked Jimmy in our bedroom and when Niki went in the bedroom, within seconds Charlie was on the bed just inches from Jimmy's cage.
Jimmy at this stage is rather blasé about Charlie, but that will change should Jimmy be knocked over because Jimmy's cage is actually broken in that the top piece will come off if it hits the floor... and Jimmy doesn't fly either (he has wings, but chooses to walk - thats another story) so if the cage gets knocked over, Jimmy will be lunch.
So now we are keeping them separate, but what can we do? Seems as though now we have to isolate one of them everytime we go out and even when we're home, we have had Charlie making beelines to the cage every chance we get... and Niki doesnt want him outside as she's worried about the local wildlife. Do cats grow out of this??
Monday, June 11, 2007
Australia, as a Commonwealth country gets today off despite a) we pretty much all want to be a republic in our own right and b) today isnt actually the Queen's real birthday.
But it is a day off, so we'll take it!
It is reason to celebrate as Paris remains in custody (the evil girl that she is) and the world is safe at least for the next 40 odd days... amazing how a spoilt rich girl gets so many headlines given the worlds problems...
The rains in New South Wales have abated for the time being and whilst us people in the mountains were not in danger of flooding, I was joking the other night that there was so much water falling from the sky that I thought my property may soon have water views - despite its 230m odd elevation above greater Sydney! hehe!
Today has been a lazy day... I have glued and pinned some blood bowl minis (a Minotaur and a Beast of Nurgle to be precise) and am still painting the orcs slowly for my mate Noyz. Kate has a ballet exam practice this afternoon and I am waiting to watch my Dragons take on the Cronulla Sharks in the NRL match this evening... and thats about it, nothin' else happening but I did just return from the Village shops were I picked up a Cappuccino... love winter holiday afternoon's in the mountains :)
Yesterday, we went to Tommy's son Asher's 5th birthday party. Super Hero theme and Batman turned up to entertain the kids! He's a comic mate of Tommy's who does kids parties in a variety of costumes... he was excellent and had a pretty well done Batman costume and entertained the kids non-stop for over an hour. He was then off to do another party as a Mutant Ninja Turtle apparently.
Saturday was pouring rain and we basically did Sweet FA apart from visiting friends Julie & Con in the morning and Niki's parents in the afternoon...
Been a very relaxing weekend... should be more of them!
Friday, June 08, 2007
WTF is happening there?
Will those other people who are feeling "unhappy" about being raped in the showers, living with impending violence around them and poor food et al be now released because they've got "a rash".
Words escape me... I cannot believe the clear favouritism.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Trains were late, out of timetable order and essentially I think the trains were just scrambling to get into the city and it was pot luck if you were in OK or if you were held up. We also sat outside Emu Plains for about 10mins as some train in front had broken down and the trip was really kyboshed due to the weather.
Arriving at 9:30, I found I wasnt last in as the roads were equally atrocious and essentially we have come to the point that on wet weather days, Sydney grinds to a halt.
This is comforting too given the stat announced yesterday that over the next 10-15yrs, Sydney's traffic will increase by 50%. Should be great commutes in then hey!
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
What are the best 100 Web 2.0 sites and services? We don't know. But you do.
Yesterday's crash in Victoria is a case in point... when we drove on horse and carts and trains were steam powered life was much simpler then. Now we have express trains and we have Double-B semi trailers both doing 100+ km/h and they cross paths over a dinky little rail crossing. Surely we should be looking at over passes these days... or at least move the barriers further back than 10 feet from the tracks... To think a truck doing such speeds can get so close to a train is so negligent from a design point of view that its criminal.
Rail and Road Engineers take note... don't leave anything to chance. Put the barriers and warning lights back 100m and you will remove such a large amount of risk to make these sort of incidents virtually impossible to reoccur.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
The reason for my lack of sleep is comical however... got home last night realising I needed to get up at 4:30 this morning and was looking for a very early night... ate dinner, started to chat to Niki about the home refinance and was planning to be in bed a short time later. Then a knock on the door startled us and it was my next opponent in Blood Bowl! I had totally forgotten I had booked a game for my local league to be played on Monday night! Flustered and apologetic I invited Mark in and thought "there goes my sleep". A game goes for typically 2-3 hrs, so I thought we could be done by 11pm, but alas it was a very tense game, lots of action, and some unusual events (Pitch Invasions, Riots) plus the game was played in the pouring rain which effected the rules and added complexity and to top it off Mark was a patient player who planned his moves over in his head before doing much on the board.
End result, I won 3-2 at 12:30am this morning!!
Dashed to bed, couldnt sleep because I was impatient about getting to sleep and then the next thing I know the alarm is going off... 4:30am! Rise and Shine!
It is now 11:30am... have had 4 coffees already (3 at breakfast, one from the shop) and I am worried that I may fall asleep at the cocktail function tonight....
Self inflicted I know, but it was all my fault... I had in my head the game was on Thursday... whats that thing they say that you can only remember 7 things in your active memory? I think I was trying for 8 and blew a gasket :)
Monday, June 04, 2007
Oh well, and their loss I say! I could have been so good at pointing "the bone" at someone before "sending them down" to the Big House.... I could then have had lunch with the Prosecution team (coz we wouldnt have needed a long trial... in my opinion, if you've managed to get yourself in front of a judge, you must have done something wrong) and over lunch I could have helped them with their next case and told them how the world really is and that all this civil libertarian stuff is a load of pinko-greenie cods-wallop!
Oh how they have made a mistake! I could have been such a good juror!
Gotta go now though, I have to cancel my download of "Judge Judy - Series 1, 2 and 3".
Friday, June 01, 2007
No netball tomorrow as the mighty Blaxland Sparkles have the BYE... seems odd that they dont keep competition points or scores but then feel obliged to give you a bye? Why would that be?? So tomorrow I miss out on the coffee and bacon & egg rolls for breakfast, but we do get to have a much need lie in.
I am also pleased to report that the girls at home are seemingly less obsessed with Big Brother this year than last year... in fact the whole 2007 series seems to be a bit of a yawn, but the girls have quietened down on the show and watch only the Friday Night Games show as a virtual stand alone...
Which is great considering the new reality TV show being pumped out in the Netherlands where the makers of the Big Brother program (Endamol?) have put up a show where a terminally ill patient wins a new kidney from a prospective donor. The donor is selected by the viewing public via SMS...
Seriously, how sick is this? Lets mix up terminal illness with SMS voting and game shows and people's emotions for the entertainment of the general populace! Yee Gods! Can't wait for that to hit our shores in Australia (which it surely will). When will common decency prevail?