Wednesday, October 31, 2007

And idiots are not confined to America...

Tony Abbott.  You're an idiot.  The Labor Parties Health spokeswoman makes a significant point that the Liberal Party cant even organise itself to ensure Ministers can meet their committments...
Perhaps it was an Act of God Tony that kept you back??

And just for a laugh...

Here's another Chaser special clip on Americans...

Further evidence of stupidity

Further to my earlier posting today, here is a video clip from The Chaser interviewing Americans on the basic fundamentals of September 11. See what is happening people! Stupidity is catching!!

Thanks to Pete for bringing this clip to my attention.

More Crap News

I dont mean I have bad news, I mean that there is more "crap" in the news today...
Why does an Australian Idol evictee story occupy slots 1, 5 & 8 on the most read news articles in today?  Why is it given a lead position on the website?  Why does it attract over 200 comments from people?
People, there is an election going on.  Read about the Health, Education and Foreign Affairs policies about the political parties.  Be informed of the Environment and the Economy.  Make an informed decision to cast your vote on November 24.
By all means enjoy Australian Idol if its your cup of tea, but what these stats tell me is that virtually all traffic coming into is going into hyped up media dribble about a girl who got voted off a popularity contest.
As at 10:56am, here is the Top 10... it makes a damning indictment on the Australian People:
  1. Tarasai burns her last Idol bridge - IDOL rubbish
  2. 'Haunted' swing keeps rocking - this was in the news on Monday yet still occupies #2 position
  3. Hunter takes 'Bigfoot photo' - another drunken Kentucky farmer takes a photo of his mates wife and thinks its Bigfoot
  4. Top 10 mistakes bosses make - A poached story about some pseudo academic report on bad leadership
  5. Now Tarisai lets fly on Natalie - IDOL rubbish #2
  6. Hawkins blows off Gale feud rumours - More excuses to show Jennifer Hawkins in a bikini
  7. JT surly, no word on gay rumours - Justin Timberlake gay?  Who knows, who cares....
  8. Tarisai issues holy warning - IDOL rubbish #3...
  9. Little girl survives plane crash - An actual news story... its human interest, but its actually news... well done.
  10. US hunter takes 'Bigfoot photo' - More Kentucky Farmer, why?

So congratulations Australia... be ashamed, very ashamed.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Odd Office Behaviour

The guy in the next "cube" calls the guy in the "cube" across the corridor and one two "cubes" down on loudspeaker phone (and I mean loud) and asks the other cube occupier to come over for a discussion...
Happens once a day at least... why cant he stand up and call in a marginally louder voice "Hey Stephen, you got a second?"
Is this normal behaviour?  Feel free to share your examples of Odd Office Behaviour...

When did the Taliban take over the US Justice System?

A 17yr old boy is sentenced to 10 years jail for receiving a consensual blow job from his 15yr old girlfriend.
Was this sentence imposed in:
a) Afghanistan
b) Iraq
c) Indonesia
d) The United States
When you have made your decision, read this and note the many biblical references...

Rail Fare Increase...

I was prompted last night by a bearded Dwarf wearing a bucket that I should write something about the proposed 6% increase of train fares and my stout friend was in deed looking forward to my rant about the hypocrisy of it all...
But, to disappoint him and other Dwarfs, I am actually ambivalent to it... in my personal experiences trains have improved marginally.  The new timetable does seem to work for my trains (and I cant speak for all lines) but the Mountain trains are reliable.  They leave on time and they have arrived on time in what I would consider reasonable accuracy.
In addition, as long as the fare increases go back into further improving reliability and other aspects such as security and cleanliness, then I dont mind the increase.  Train drivers, like anyone else, need pay increases to cope with the Howard Governments core promise of keeping interest rates low (except the 5 times that they went up) and to be honest, I am not ranting on about the trains like I used to.
So, fair pay for fair return of infrastructure.
Now that I have said this, my next train ride will be un-airconditioned, will run 30mins late and the driver will miss my stop....

Monday, October 29, 2007

Why is it...

That when one party adopts an extreme view of a particular subject, in this case outlawing pornography and homosexuality, does one of its members (pun intended) get caught short of being a model party member...
And to take the cake, hows this for an excuse:  "I may have been drugged by my political enemies"...
WTF am I talking about?

Click here....

Weekend Party Wrap

Well... that was a big weekend of food and drink.
Niki's birthday was celebrated on Saturday night when we went to the local Lapstone Hotel with the kids and had a big meal.  We played it safe and even took a taxi (the kids loved that!) and Niki and I had a bottle of wine with dinner and the kids ate up Calamari and Pizza and we just relaxed.
Our neighbours were there too doing the same thing... we should have car pooled!
We got home at around 9pm, put the kids to bed and then we both promptly fell asleep on the lounge!  LOL! Aren't we young ragers!!
Then Sunday morning - and it really was MORNING with Daylight Saving kicking in - we were lazing around the house and went to lunch with my mum & dad at Grappa's at Leichardt.  A massive meal that was... we shared 5 different entree's and then a main each and then desert with garlic pizza crust bread and heaps of wine... I tell you it was very tiring driving home, but we made it back around 4pm and you guessed it, we had a nap!
Niki dozed on the lounge and I laid on the bed with the iPod and the next thing it was 6pm... a very lazy weekend indeed!

Friday, October 26, 2007


Last weekend we were offered a free piano for our place as long as we paid for the removal and we went ahead and did it!
It was delivered today whilst the kids were at school and I just got off the phone with the girls who were ecstatic about it!
It was an older couple's piano that had sat in their family for years and they wanted to get rid of it and offered it to anyone willing to have it taken away... this was relayed to my brother in law who asked us and we said "sure!".

$380 to ship a piano from Mosman to the Blue Mountains and now we have some really happy kids!
Kate played a tune down the phone to me and said "Daddy, I was so surprised I closed my eyes and hit myself in the head to make sure I wasnt dreaming!".
Gotta love kids!
It needs a bit of a tune as some of the keys are a bit sticky and that happens Monday.  I dont know the people from Mosman, but their generousity is most appreciated.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Blood Bowl World Cup - Congrats To France

Well, the Blood Bowl World Cup has been played out in Nottingham in the UK over last weekend and results are filtering through that Team Australia came 14th out of 48 teams and that one Aussie player - "Kransky" - came 10th overall in the individual placings with 7 wins & 2 losses.

The Cup was taken out by a French team and if you want to hear some bad La Marseilles then click through to the YouTube link...

Well done all, great event from all accounts and I may put it in my diary to goto the next one....


Today is Niki's birthday and we had a good morning (early) this morning with presents and the girls made cards and pictures for her.
The girls are at school and I am at work and Niki is having coffee and lunch and nothing else today... a good relaxing day which she deserves!
Her mum & dad are over tonight for Chinese takeaway and then its a busy weekend with the usual running around but we're going out Saturday night as a family and then Sunday lunch with my mum & dad.
Happy Birthday Nik!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

You can't take your money with you...

John Ilhan of Crazy Jones Mobiles, worth $300M odd dollars drops dead of a heart attack at 42.
Seemingly of good health, tee-totalling devout Muslim with 3 or 4 young children (all daughters?) drops dead suddenly whilst walking near his beachside home in Melbourne.
I am sure all this stuff happens all the time to the average person, but when these things happen to a public figure it makes you stop and think "shit, what if that happened to me?".
Speaking of me, I am 34, I drink socially but have many social functions (hic!) and whilst I dont and never have smoked, I do bugger all (read no) exercise.
Makes you wonder why he died and many others live un-healthily.
I have no reason also to say this, but in the back of your mind you wonder if he wasnt on some sort of "substance" that caused this.... it just seems so un-natural to keel over dead in a park at 42 (unless of course you have a knife in your back)....

Monday, October 22, 2007

Irony At Its Best

Oh and one more quick thing, with all the Andrew Symonds racial monkey taunts going on in India, isnt this just too ironic!!

Non Election - Off to Melbourne This Arvo

Well, another week and another business trip.  Am off to Melbourne this afternoon to escort one of our London brokers around one of my companies work sites... I deliberately not mention were I work etc because I know people in internal corporate affairs in all companies routinely Google their own companies and the last thing I want is to have my name, my blog and my work all linked.  (I bet they also blog their own names, the narcissistic bastards!)

So when work is busy, it becomes hard to write posts!
But I will be in Melbourne tonight where it is apparently wet and cool... as opposed to the 35+ degree heat here in Sydney.


Well, the "Great Debate" was had, but I have to say it wasnt much of a debate... it was in front of invited Parliamentarians and dignitries rather than a cross section of the general public.

Also, the Libs have been accused of cutting off free to air broadcaster Channel 9 for using the dreaded "Worm"  - which clearly showed Howard getting slaughtered.  But who were turning the worm dials?  If it was the live audience, wouldnt they have just been party hacks from both sides who would probably turn the dial full "Left" or full "Right" depending their allegiance?  Howard and Rudd could stand up and admit to molesting children and they'd still get a positive reaction from their supporters...
And Howard used the debate as a platform for launching a new policy... this time on Climate Change in which he would put together a Climate Fund in - wait for it - 2011.
Thats 3-4 years away!  WHY?  Surely this issue is a "NOW" issue and he says "relect me and I will put in place a fund for Climate Change in 2011".  One, he wont be there and two, will that fund be contingent on the Libs winning the election after this one?
Seriously, the debate was a bitter one with alot of empty rhetoric, and the Libs continuing to pull out the "under Labor, interest rates will rise"... hello John, they've risen 5 times in the past 2 years on your watch mate.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

ELECTION: Howards Cuts Not Enough

Generally, it appears that the "Tax Bomb" has imploded rather than exploded and any internet poll you care to name has the people stating quite clearly that they'd rather have promises on services.
This is good, because I am quite sick of this country being run like a business and how we all hang onto tax cuts like its some sort of pay rise.  I am also pleased to read that many people are now linking the tax cuts to high interest rates and that Howards core promise of keeping interest rates low is actually under threat.
It is amazing though given its so hard to read about this stuff when the press is dominated by:
  • Ben Cousins from the West Coast Eagles is arrested for drugs (shock! horror!)
  • The lead story on this morning is about American actress Sandra Bullock and having some sort of issue (really, do we care! Why is this "lead story" on
  • Andrew Symonds getting racially vilified in India - but lets forget our Immigration Minister hates the Sudanese!
So well done Australia, lets keep the election in perspective and understand the issues rather than being fed the mindless dribble in the press.
.... Now what's the latest on Brittney Spears.....

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Animal Meme

I have been tagged with this Animal Meme by Arthur_Vandelay, so here goes:

An interesting animal I had...

well, i have had plenty of animals over the years, but nothing beats my goldfish that I had for about 12 years, from the age of 6 to 18. When he had reached his 12th year, he was huge, translucent white and floating on his side on the bottom of the tank. The Vet said he was alive, but was senile / suffering from Fish Alzheimers... (he lost his 7 second memory?). Anyways, I had to put him out of his misery, but thats another story...

An interesting animal I ate...

Tokyo, 1999... was offered calamari in a restaurant. Thinking of battered calamari rings I accept. What I didnt expect was the live squid brought out of the tank, placed on a stone platter, hacked 3-4 times with a meat cleaver by "the Chef" and asked to "enjoy".... had a bit of the still writhing tentacles, but that was it for me!

An interesting thing I did or with an animal...

Not me, but a kid in high school was known to catch field mice and at night dip them in methylated spirits, light them and release them across the back yard and enjoy the "blue flame" that streaked across the yard. Sad, cruel but true...

An interesting animal at a museum...

Can never go past the T-Rex skeletons... fascinating.

An interesting animal in its natural habitat...

I am a big fan of the Hippo... they seem so slow and lazy at the zoo... and you think they'd be the African Jungles version of the big dopey Labrador dog, but in fact the Hippo is one of the most dangerous man eaters in Africa! Freaky.

Tagged: Fat Aussie, Daniel Bowen, Dan English

ELECTION: Howards Tax Breaks...

This morning's Telegraph said it all... the clear headline reads:  "HOWARD DROPS $34Bn TAX BOMB".  Initial thought is "wow", but lets read the fine print...
The tax cuts are over a staggering 3 years... 2010/11 is when you'll reap the benefit of Howards legacy... and guess what, it'll be not long before the next election when that comes in... nice play that one, keep the tax breaks coming throughout the next term to give you a platform to buy the election after that.
Then lets read the detail.... for the average worker on $50,000 per annum, this "tax bomb" equates to $33.65 a week.  Seriously.  Is that it?  And you have to wait three years to get it... and in three years time $33 bucks is probably only $25 in todays money due to inflation..
Vote for Howard and we'll give you net $25 a week in three years time...
Hardly the $34Bn TAX BOMB is it?
Also, if you read the front page of todays Telegraph (and I am having trouble finding a jpg of it), the caption under the obligatory photo of a "housewife and kids" is the line:  "But I'd rather see more spent on services like Hospitals".
And that my dear readers is the point.... So many billions in budgetry surplus, the Hospital and Public Education system are in disarray and Howard wants you to re-elect him for a partial term for $25 bucks a week in your pocket.

Australia, we deserve better!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Weekend Wrap

Well, I had a very full and busy weekend!
Saturday morning:  Helped Kate do an assignment.  She's in Year 2 and she had to compile a Power Point presentation about her family.  In the end she had about 15 photos of her extended family and the thing she couldnt do was save the photos to her memory stick and initially how to paste them into powerpoint.  She learnt that very quickly and once the photos were on the stick she was away and new already how to do backgrounds, fonts and slide transitions!  Modern kids... sheesh!
Saturday Afternoon:  Cricket.  What a disaster.  Chasing 179, we were 0/45 at stumps on day 1.  We lost all our wickets in an hour and a quarter and were all out for 97 or so.  Had to follow on and were about 9/85ish when time ran out!  I scored 30 in the 2nd innings and was happy with that on a personal level, but the team had a collective Barry.  The destroyer was a 16yr old kid who took 4/8 off 6.2 overs in the first dig and about 5 for in the second.  Never seen a young kid bowl as well as that... big banana inswingers.
Sunday:  For the first time in an age, I spent the day at home doing chores and cleaning up... I started by giving the lawn a "Weed & Feed" and then Niki swept and I pulled some weeds from the backyard and come lunch time we had the yard looking 10 times better than it was.  Then we went to the garden supplies place at Blaxland and ordered 2 cubic metres of garden mulch for next Friday and had lunch at Subway with the girls.  Subway is good value and a damn sight healthier than anything else!  Then it was grocery shopping and afterwards I went to the hardware store to buy a wheelbarrow.  The only one left in the shop - apparently there was a run on them! - was an already assembled one... unfortunately it just didnt quite fit into the hatch back and so I had to partially dismantle it on the side of the road.  At home, I then spent another hour putting it back together... joy!  We then had friends Julie & Con + kids over for dinner and we BBQ'ed some steaks, snags and meatballs with onions.  Niki whipped up some salads and then we ate waaay too much.  I had a few beers and a glass of wine and then desert of ice cream and chocolate topping.  Then by 8:30 our guests went home and by 9:00 I was snoring on the lounge... until Niki kicked me into bed.... zzzzz

Well The Election Has Been Called

November 24... finally Howard calls the thing and we can get on with it...
If the polls are to be believed (and I am not a huge believer in them myself) Rudd should win in a landslide... the margins seem to indicate that the election will be a formality, but lets be on the lookout for dirt file stories and how Rudd is in favour of eating babies or something...
But be prepared Australia as both parties will spend the GDP of a small country on advertising... *yawn*

Friday, October 12, 2007

Another Sad Day - Floppsy

Niki and the girls went to the movies yesterday and when they came home late in the afternoon, they found our rabbit Floppsy had died in the cage...  The girls, Kate in particular, were hysterical and when I spoke to Niki on the phone they were incredibly upset in the background.  Apparently Kate had been playing with Floppsy and nursing her just before they went to the movies and so when they got home it was even more distressing for her.
Floppsy was the stray rabbit we adopted so we dont know how old he was, so maybe it was just one of those things, but we've had a terrible run of pet deaths over the past 6 months or so... but the girls are now worried that Matilda the Guinea Pig will be lonely and they're determined to get a new guinea pig or rabbit to share the hutch...  I am not keen but they absolutely love their animals and when I left for work this morning Matilda was on their laps in the loungeroom being cuddled.  I guess I will hear today that we will have a new addition to the family already.
This morning though we buried Floppsy in the front garden... the girls took one of the many spare paving stones and enscribed his name on it with love hearts and flowers and he is now resting next to all the other pets - Tonya, Rosie and Jimmy.  I have to say - its getting a bit crowded there!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Overzealot Councils

School holidays have been on while I was away in London and as is tradition in my local area, many kids meet at Glenbrook park to play.  The kids get together and the mum's have coffee and watch their kids play on the swings and run around the park... all very simple stuff and you would think totally normal...
But oh no... not the Blue Mountains Council... they have done something incredibly stupid... they have FENCED OFF THE PARK AND BARRED ACCESS TO ALL!
Why?  Well the sign proclaims in big letters - "Park Closed Due To Dangerous Trees".  Yes due to the risk that a branch may come down in the local park from the gum trees and the higher than normal number of kids in the park due to holidays, they decided to close the fucking park!  HELLO!  Its the Blue Mountains... do they know why the mountains are called BLUE?  Its because of the haze that the billions of eucalyptus TREES give off in the sun.  There are trees in the Blue Mountains!  Thousands of them!!  And yes, there are some at Glenbrook Park.  Yee Gods!! How amazing!!
So the council has shut the park until they can determine what to do... local Greenies (and they too number in their thousands, and in this case I am with them) are aghast that the council may rip out the majestic gum trees from the park.  So there is a bit of a stand off and the lovely park is closed off with 10' high cyclone fencing and "Warning" signs.
If this logic is to be followed, the council should be asking all of us to stay indoors under our beds in case something falls on our precious heads.... but even then you're at risk because the bed may collapse as well...
Ridiculous!  Can we not get some common sense back in the world!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Marion Jones - World Class Loser

OK, enough of the gratuitous self posts from London...
Marion Jones... busted drug cheat... giving her "pieces of silver" back to the IOC.  Crys tears of apology...
Suck it up... maybe they should consider jail time for drug cheats.  Get caught using steroids at an Olympic event - 5 years of hard time in the jails of your home nation.
It makes me sick that this woman (and I use that term loosely - have you seen the size of her!) got lauded over at Sydney 2000 when it was clear she was on the juice.  Her husband got busted for roids (he was that massive shot putter) and she had muscles a man would be proud of and when she won all those races by the proverbial mile, we all gushed over her.
Well I said it then and I am justified - a dead set cheat.
And what is her punishment - she hands back the pieces of metal that made her rich beyone her wildest dreams... oh what a shame.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Home - At Last

Yes, made it back! Had a great trip... work went very well, we got a good result for our efforts and the socialising was good as well... busy, but good.

A few snapshots of my trip:

Me at Stamford Bridge just after full time... my seats were right there! Fantastic crowd and atmosphere. No goals though :(

My street where I stayed in London... my hotel is down the right side near those trees... Harrods is in the background on the cross street at the far end. The buildings on the left are normal apartment houses... very rich to live in Knightsbridge. The Capital Hotel was small, quaint, but reasonably priced and the staff were excellent.

Speakers Corner on Sunday morning... a Muslim man was speaking about how Islam is misunderstood and two American Jews were counter-pointing him. The guy with the hat (obscured) and his son (?) holding the bible aloft were criticising Islam for their "death to infidels" stance. The Muslim man countered that Infidels were only those who entered Muslim lands for "raping and pillaging"... travellers of faiths are always welcome... It was a good debate which I listened too for a good 10 minutes.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Mid Flight Posting

Am in Bangkok... actually slept pretty well and I think I got about 10hrs sleep!  It was a bit fits and starts, but overall the 15hr flight felt like 4hrs only... which is good.
Problem is its 4pm now in Bangkok and I have just had breakfast!  Means when I get to Sydney, it will be dawn and I will feel like dinner...
I presume that Qantas will serve dinner soon into the flight  to Sydney to try and get us to adjust... I dont feel like Bacon & Eggs and then dinner so quickly in between.
My mobile phone died as well... seems as though it turned itself on during the flight - Blackberry's have some odd "auto on" feature and when I landed it was humming away... that scares you because they say to turn off mobiles etc!

On My Way Home

Well, I am packed and about to check out... spent my last day in London doing some shopping on Oxford and Regent Streets and I also saw a guy get hit by a double decker bus!  The bus wasnt moving quickly, but he got hit hard and ended up laying on the road, but he was conscious...  lots of onlookers, but he seemed that he will be OK... pretty awful though.
Also spent a fair amount of time at Speakers Corner listening to nutters go on about religion and politics... mostly religion.  If you ever want to meet people who are insane, go to Speakers Corner and check it out!
Went through Harrods as well... place is a palace to consumerism!!  So much stuff from Ferrari's to Teddy Bears.  Bought some pressies there as well.
Had lunch at a small pub off Regent St and had the best Fish & Chips ever!  Beer battered Hake, mushy peas and tartare sauce and chips.  A couple of pints of Smiths as well and I watched most of the Fiji - South Africa rugby game.
All in all, a good day, my feet are killing me and I hope I can sleep well on the plane home.  My next post will be from the Southern Hemisphere!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Work Is Over - Time To Relax

Well, the very heavy week of work in London is over... I dont leave the UK until Sunday night, so in the interim I am having some R&R.
Watching the Eng v Aus Rugby test tomorrow with some of the guys from the London office... will also be having one last dinner in a posh London eatery Saturday night to toast our success and then on Sunday, its a quiet day of site seeing and shopping.
I am soooo tired.  Will sleep all the way home I think!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

London Continues

Been a very busy week... I gave about 6 presentations yesterday, had a business lunch and then a dinner as well for the third night in a row... the food and drink is doing my girth no favours!
Its nearly 7am now and I am about to pop out for a morning walk in the drizzle, but I am really enjoying London.  I hear at home the weather is in the mid 30's already and the fires have started... going to be a long summer i think!
So in short, nothing much to report here in London other than work / meetings / lunch / meetings / dinner continues unabated!
Great fun though!

Monday, October 01, 2007

London Weekend...

Have had a very good weekend in London... been very sporty.  Went to the soccer as I said yesterday and it was brilliant!  Had "Champions Club" tickets in which we had a free feed and a few beers before hand and then seats in the 2nd tier of the grandstand close to half way.  The atmosphere was unbelievable and was the best crowd I have ever been a part of.  The Chelsea fans took up 90% of the ground, but the small conglomerate of Fullham fans were in fine voice as well... it was like both sides were doing the New Zealand "haka" across the ground at each other.
The game itself I really enjoyed and both teams pushed their luck on the break and both teams could have (should have) scored a couple of goals each.  Unfortunately it ended 0-0 and I didnt get to hear the crowd go nuts for a Chelsea goal.
Dinner last night was at the oldest Indian restaurant in London and the food was fantastic!  Then it was back to the hotel for a much needed sleep, but it wasnt easy.
This morning, I woke up at 6am on a Sunday (never done that before!) and after a bit of emailing and work catch up, I went for a walk.  I ended up doing a whole lap of Hyde Park and that took a bit over an hour.  Then it was time for a shower and a look for a pub to watch the NRL Grand Final.
I wasnt really keen on this years Grand Final, but the atmosphere at the Fulham Slug was great as they had alot of big screens up and the place was packed with Aussies.  We then realised we will be here next Saturday for the Australia - England Rugby World Cup clash and instantly decided we'd be back at "the slug" next weekend for that.
Then I went for more walking and we to Harrods... amazing place and I will go back for presents at the back end of the trip.  They had an opera singer at the escalators singing so loudly and using the acoustics we ended up watching her for about 10mins.  Then it was into the food hall and we picked a few chocolates and truffles to try as well...
Lunch was at a traditional English Carvery were roast beef and roasted ham was served up with all the trimmings... along with a bottle of Portugese red wine, I was well and truly feeling stuffed!
But then it was time to do some work and we camped in the hotel bar with the laptop and discussed tomorrow's presentations.  We then realised it was 7pm and so my boss John and I went for dinner at an Italian restaurant about 10mins down the road... more wine, spaghetti, coffee etc and I am now truly truly stuffed and tired.  Its 9:30pm, I have to make some changes to my presentation tomorrow and then its time for bed... hopefully a few more hours will be forthcoming tonight!