Sunday, December 30, 2007

David Hicks Freed

In the slow news days between Xmas and New Year, conspicuously timed to be AFTER the recent Federal Election, David Hicks was freed today .

David Hicks should never be remembered as an "innocent man", but it needs to be held up for the public record that David Hicks spent 5 1/2 years in jail without being charged or convicted.  What got his freedom was that he came to an arrangement with the US and Australian governments and was allowed to be repatriated and held in incarceration until after the election.

You can tell this by the way the media have been labelling him these past few days.  Words like "terrorist supporter" or "friend of Osama Bin Laden" are used... not "convicted terrorist" or out and out "terrorist" nor "prisoner of war" nor any other term that may be legitimately labelled against a man convicted of crime.

Instead we get this media dance and use of flowery language that tries to portray him as evil yet he is in reality an innocent man.  (Remember, we're all innocent until proven guilty!).

Yes, David Hicks is a man who was perhaps misguided, stupid, money hungry or a little of all three.  Yes, he was captured during a gun battle with US soldiers in Afghanistan (you remember, the place BEFORE Iraq).  But other than being an active participant in a war, what has he done wrong?  And if he has done something criminal, why wasnt he charged and found guilty.

So, now we have what can be best described as a man who would be suffering from the side effects of the brutal torture in Guantanamo Bay and he will be pursued and lured with media money.  He cannot before 1 March talk to the press as part of his deal and he must report to a police station 3 times a week... why, who knows...

The media, particularly Terry Willesee on SkyNews, seemed indignant that he didnt apologise in his written statement.  Why should he apologise?  I did note in his statement he thanked alot of people, but I think those that he didn't thank stood out more than anything else.  No thanks for Mr Howard or Mr Downer who assured us for the past 5 years that they were doing "all that they can" to get Hicks released.  No thanks for his US Military legal advisor's - Major Mori - who seemed to be a bumbling fool rather than a competent lawyer and was after all a paid member of the prosecution being the US Army.

So, in short, we wont be seeing the Hicks case disappear in the short term.  The media circus as 1 March approaches will be huge.  Hicks' pleas for peace and quiet from the media will fall on deaf ears and he will have trouble adjusting to an Australian society that is very different from when he would have left Australia...

All I can say is good luck!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Wrap...

Well, Christmas has been and gone for another year and I have to say it was one of the better ones. I think our approach to having one family get together on Christmas Day and one on Boxing Day worked very well. Our girls were much more relaxed, they got to spend time doing what they wanted rather than being ferried in a car and the days leading up to Christmas were much more relaxing than last year.

Christmas Day was spent at my sister in laws Lyn and all of Niki's family gathered for lunch. We had a hot lunch this year with baked potatoes, broccoli & cauliflowers and beans and carrots. Hot turkey and cold ham accompanied this and we basically stuffed ourselves. We even got a game of road cricket in and the girls swam in their new swimmers and using their new goggles & snorkels despite it being overcast and cool...

Before lunch however, the girls woke us up at a respectable time of 7am to open presents and the girls got what they have been asking for for weeks: Kate a PlayStation 2 with Singstar and Brooke got a Nintendo DS Lite with games.


There were other presents, but this was the main game for our girls and they were very excited.



Boxing Day was my family over to our place and we had a cold lunch after I had gone down to the Fishmarkets... I left the house at 5:15am to be there at 6 and I picked up about 3kg of prawns and 8 Balmain Bugs.... very yummy.

Funniest thing of course was my family all belting out songs on the Singstar... lets just say we all hum the national anthem!



All up a better Xmas than last year... to be able to spend each day at one place was much better rather than driving like a mad idiot!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Xmas To All

Yes, I am busy and all that, but not to end on a heavy note, I would like to wish all my regular readers and passers by a Merry Happy Xmas and a safe and enjoyable New Year.  Today is my last day at work and so given I wont be attached to a PC all day, my posts will be sporadic over the break I am intending to be back at work on 14 Jan, but as I alluded to yesterday, that may change between now and then. So unless something radical happens in the world, Lime Kettles will die down a bit for next few weeks.

But come 2008, I will be back on deck where you can read all about my stubborn opinions and irrelevant diatribe once again!

Merry Xmas,

Clay

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Xmas Wind Down?

My life is frantic at the moment… work is going through a huge shift at the moment and I can’t really say too much at the moment, but the company is looking to change its strategic direction… that is management speak for all bets are off!

 

In addition, with that added distraction, a major contract needs some urgent attention and my earlier note here that I may have to head overseas in January is looking like that could be January 2.  I think I will find out today / tomorrow (well I have to, its farking Xmas for those here in my office who seem oblivious to that).

 

In amongst all this hectic work load, the usual Xmas fare of lunches and drinks continues unabated… somewhere you’re supposed to get some sleep!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Force Moves In Mysterious Ways

Very funny... kudos to Victoria at work who passed this on...

When Cultures Collide

When Zorba the Greek meets Arnham Land...

Plane Troubles

After having a two day business trip to Melbourne, when it comes to getting home you really do wish to be able to teleport back

Yesterday though I had one of those days”…

  • Booked on the 6pm flight, I miss the check in window by 4 minutes (I had luggage if I didn’t I could have gotten on).
  • Was rebooked into the 6:30pm flight and I go to the gate to wait
  • Boarding time was supposed to be at 6:10pm, but nothing seems to be happening.
  • 6:40pm, I observe all the flight crew walk off the plane not a good sign.
  • 6:45pm announcement that due to mechanical difficulties, the flight is CANCELLED. Please proceed to Gate 21 for re-ticketing I join a stampede from Gate 24 to 21!
  • I am booked into the 8:30pm flight and I head to the Qantas Club lounge lounge is packed and I have to queue to get a bite to eat and a drink!
  • Boarding was supposed to be 8:10pm no word however.
  • 8:30pm, were invited to go to the gate Whilst we were told it was to be Gate 7, it has been moved to Gate 1. Confusion reigns.
  • Get to Gate 1 it is closed. Nobody is boarding.
  • 8:40pm commence boarding, I am actually 3rd person to board and get my seat.
  • At this stage, I have finished the novel I bought on Sunday and now have nothing to read.
  • 9pm, plane backs away from the gate much apologising is taking place over the PA system.
  • 9:15pm we take off.
  • 10:30pm we land seemed to be descending for ages. Flight time was announced to being 53mins but it clearly has taken longer.
  • 10:45pm, after I had a window seat, it takes an age to get off and get to the baggage carousel. No bags
  • 11:00pm My luggage isn’t there and after everyone goes, myself and about 10 other passengers are informed that our luggage is on the flight landing now they split the 6:30 luggage over two flights.
  • 11:30pm I have my luggage I am in a cab at this time of night and the fact he is a speedy driver it only takes 45mins to get home Cab fare $190.
  • 12:30am zzzzzz

Joy!


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Flight Cancelled!

The powers of free WiFi access and a laptop running low on battery have enabled me to post this from the Qantas Club in Melbourne after my flight has been cancelled due to mechanical breakdown and I am now waiting for a flight two hours later!
 
Elan, if you read this, you are the Prophet of Doom...
 
 

Quick Line From Melbourne...

Hey, its after midnight and I am back in the hotel in Melbourne...
 
Niki came down with me on Sunday morning and we had a great day walking around Melbourne, shopping and browsing... it was great to feel like a couple again!
 
We went to dinner last night at Tutto Bene (sp?) in Southgate and it was a really great meal... had some nice wine and some of the specialty rissotto dishes and all within walking distance of the hotel.
 
Niki though left this morning and flew home while I have worked today and will do so again tomorrow in our Melbourne offices.  Tonight however I met up with 3 of my blood bowl friends and played two games of BB whilst having a BBQ and some beers at St Kilda.  A much more relaxing evening than having to entertain or be entertained at corporate dinners.
 
For the record, I drew with Elan 1-1 and smashed GnW 4-0.... :-)
 
So, checking emails here... off to bed!  What's news?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Odd Game of Cricket

Played cricket today... Day 1 of a two day game.

We won the toss, batted and yours truly played OK to score 19 before I nicked one to the keeper. What I didnt realise then that my score of 19 would be the sides highest score as we were bundled out for a paltry 89.

We're coming first playing the team running 5th and we bat horrendously!

But... we then bowled and had about 2 hrs left in the day and BAM! We rolled em for 68 and we took the last wicket in the last over of the day... we've taken first innings points and can look forward to some batting practice next week!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Rushing... Rushing...

Well, Xmas has hit with a vengeance.  One last week of work, I have to go to Melbourne, the Xmas lights are not up yet, the kids need photos with Santa, the lawn mower is ready to be picked up and I only have Saturday morning as a window of opportunity to mow the lawn – which is at record high levels due to the rain – and guess what…

 

The doctor believes I have torn my “meniscus cartilage” and I am booked in to see the orthopaedic surgeon for an initial consultation in January.  The Doc feels that they will send me for an MRI and then probably “trim” the offending flap of torn cartilage.  Joy Oh Joy.

 

Because I am spending Mon / Tues / Wed in Melbourne, I am flying down on Sunday morning and taking Niki with me as well… I’ll take her shopping on Sunday afternoon and then dinner on Sunday night, but she’ll be flying back on her own (her first solo flight!) on Monday.  I am looking forward to that very much as we haven’t been out to dinner alone since our anniversary in June!!

 

But when I get back, I have a Xmas drinks on the Thursday and then the last day of work on the Friday will apparently be basically a lunch and not much else…

 

Also, yesterday, at the office we were debating the merits of sending a delegation of people to Spain to deal with our recalcitrant contractor who is based in Ferrol… given we’re talking about January and its mid-December now, this sudden trip is extremely very sudden!

 

Talk about rushed!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Concert Success

Concert Success

The concert last night went extremely well the girls danced very well and made us all very proud.  They had to spend the whole night backstage so we had to sit through the Drama groups rendition of Oliver before we could see them but then they were able to go onstage and take their bows and Kate could see us up the back and was waving hugely.

Then when it was all over, despite being told to wait for Niki to pick them up from backstage, they had run up the aisles to us and both were bouncing around very excitedly.  Brookie especially was jumping around in her Jesters costume and couldn’t stop giving hugs and kisses to everyone.

Poor Niki though was worked to the ground after she had spent a considerable amount of build up time (weeks!) either doing costumes herself or ferrying other kids around whos mums were also doing costumes and then spent all of last Saturday and Sunday at rehearsals and the photography sessions and then yesterday at Panthers for 12 hours solid for more rehearsals and then the big show itself Mum of the Year in my mind!

Thanks to Mum & Dad and my mother in law Beryl and niece Lizzie for coming out to see the girls too they really appreciate it!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dancing Concert 2007

Dancing Concert 2007

Whilst I have been living my life recently there has been a strange culture in my household known as Dancing”…

My girls are into dancing in a big way and whilst I am at work, Niki is invariably taking them to dancing lessons nearly every night of the week.  Ballet, Tap and Jazz and Troupe these are words that are constantly bandied around the dinner table and I am, due to my working life, invariably unaware of the finer details that goes into these lessons.

But all that comes to a head tonight with the annual Christmas End of Year Dance Concert and the girls have been busy rehearsing and even this year Niki has been flat out with making props and costumes.  It has been a constant underlying current of activity at our place that I hear about all the time but rarely get to see

It is though a very big event and the Evans Theatre at Panthers Leagues Club tonight will be chockers as the parents, extended family and friends of every kid cram in to see the fruits of the years work.  For Kate and Brooke, my parents and Nikis mum and sister attend and that is replicated for every kid so there is easily 1000 people in this theatre.  And do you think my girls are nervous?  No way!  I left this morning and Brookes hair was already in curlers and Kate has an appointment at the hairdresser today and its all ready to go.

I had the privilege last Sunday to go to the dress rehearsal and what makes this year different from the past 2 years is that Brooke is in 3 dances herself rather than one and for the first time the girls are on stage together at the same time.  Also, without being too boastful or biased, they both are front and centre in their respective dances and Kate has a small solo bit as well so its all very exciting.

I will be leaving work after lunch today and heading home early to make sure to get there on time even though I thought I would hate the dancing when I had 2 daughters, I have to say that nights like these make you very proud.

Good Luck Girls!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Gang-Rape: A 'childish experiment'...

Gang-Rape: A 'childish experiment'...

This story is horrendous

Seems as though a 10yr old had consensual sex with 6 people, 3 of which were aged 17, 18 and 26.

Yet the judge seems to think it was just a childish experiment’…

WTF is going on here?  The girl is 10 years old.  She cannot give consent.  End of story.

The underage participants need to be dealt with via the childrens court, but one guy was TWENTY-SIX years old!!

How can this be condoned?


Oh, theyre Aboriginal um yeah. Move along, nothing to see here.

You know you're from Sydney when....

You know you're from Sydney when....

Funnily enough, I know / associate with most of these:

-You were there:"And the winner is....SYDE-NEY!". And where do I start with the 2000 Olympics? (Not to mention the 4 years' build-up prior)

-You know not to try getting a taxi anywhere near the 3am changeover time.

-You've walked the city streets looking for a taxi (in a drunken mess) at the 3am changeover time.

-If you live on the Northern Beaches, crossing the bridge is for special occasions only, and a mission at that.

-Comparatively, Shire-ites experience this feeling in crossing Tom Ugly's. (For the ignorant: Tom Ugly's links the Shire with civilisation)

-You've hugged the "free hugs" guy who spreads the love at Pitt St Mall

-You know the dude who stands at the corner or George and Market Streets outside Myer, pleading for money for his "Supreme Court Trial".

-You're familiar with the old guy who sells those material bracelets around Town Hall & outside the George St cinemas. But never bought one.

-You know who the "Chasers" are.

-You'd like to be chased by the Chasers (unless you're a right wing freak and have something to be ashamed of)

-You've never done bridge climb, and you're never planning on it.

-NIGHTRIDE!

-"At night, rave near the guard's compartment, naked with a blue light" means something to you.

-You went on multiple school camps at Narrabeen

-In what could only be described as some form of punishment, you went on a school camp to Canberra, complete with visit to Parliament House and that damn lake with the big fountain. Thanks to this trip, however, we know never to bother going to Canberra AGAIN.

-The best trips were always the school camps to Jindabyne!

-Still on school: you grew up in Sydney if a pedophile and kiddy fiddler disguised as a giraffe who called himself "Harold" visited your primary school under the pretence of sexual education. Hello, he had a van; With no windows. Blindingly obvious he was a fiddler.

-"No hat no play" being drilled into your head made you the UV-aware person that you are today.

-You can understand just what the train guards are saying on the PA announcements (For the record, it's usually: Stand clear, doors closing")

You haven't been to the zoo, except on a primary school excursion where you threw stuff at the animals. (or alternatively.. zoo? what zoo?)

-You've been to PBH at some time after dawn.

-You know if you went to Scruffy Murphy's, you should either (a) hang your head down in shame or (b) never tell a soul you were there...

-You've never seen Kings Cross in daylight.. unless its on your way home. Same goes for Taylor Square and that stretch of grass near the fountain, otherwise known as "Trash Island". And the adjacent fountain, "The Communal Douche"

-You've swum in the fountain at King's Cross
-A trip to Mt. Druitt warrants a pillow in the car

-You don't like Bondi, but would choose Tamarama, Bronte, or any of the Northern Beaches any day. Maybe not Cronulla if you're anything other than Anglo-Saxon.

-You know that the "Bra Boys" are anything BUT cross-dressers.

-You can pronounce and spell the following:
Coogee, Woolloomooloo, Wollongong, Parramatta, Woronora, Warawee, Waitara, Yagoona

-You know that Turramurra and Tamarama are two different places.

-You know what "Glamarama" is actually the name for. And you know why.

-The sight of drag queens does not phase you.

-If the train is expected in ten minutes or less you figure CityRail is having a good day!

-The beauty of the harbour does not surprise you

-Riding the ferry is not for leisure or pleasure, but a mode of transport.

-However...You don't even use the ferry as a form of transport because its too frickin' slow.

-You know what tzatziki, baklava, hommous, yum-cha, pad thai, dolmades, tabbouleh and pide are and you've eaten all of them.

-You know how to say hello (and possibly some swear words) in at least one language other than English. Most likely Croat/Serb/Bosnian/Macedonian, Greek, Arabic and possibly Indonesian or Chinese.

-You've ever "studied" for exams at the State Library

-You wanted to kick that stupid man dressed in a donkey suit in Pitt St Mall.

-You laugh at or console anyone who's ever lived/had to live/from/been to Canberra.

-You see a guy wearing pink, and don't automatically think he's gay

-You know straight men can drink soy latt├ęs, too.

-You treat Baristas like they are your dealer. Coffee is your drug.

-You've heard the following uttered from a dog statue: "Hello my name is [dog] (what is his name?), I was once the dog of the great Queen Victoria........If you toss a coin in I will thank you. Thank you. Woof Woof!"

-You NEVER catch the monorail and think it's a useless, expensive-to-catch piece of crap. "Class A" waste of space. After all, it's not an episode of "the Simpsons", is it? ("Monorail....Monorail....MONORAIL!"). Monorail= so 80s

-You know it might be quicker to walk from Central to Circular Quay at any given time than catch a bus down George St or a train

-You know where all the 24-hour drinking establishments are.

-You're scared that when you walk past Town Hall steps at any given time, two dozen emo children are going commit mass suicide, declaring "It's a cruel, cruel world, maaaan"

-You think: what is it with P-Plated Subaru WRXs on George St Friday and Saturday nights. And Industrie shirts with the collars up.

-Fireworks just don't get you excited anymore. (Come on people, we have them for ANY thing). And just in case anyone is thinking of doubting this fact, here's a short list of the occasions for which the City of Sydney has/ has had fireworks.
-Australia Day (Granted)
-Anzac Day
-NYE (times 2)
-The Sydney Harbour Bridge's birthday
-Queen's Birthday
-ANZAC Day
-When the QE2 departed Sydney Harbour (yay, let's fanfare a bunch of people who could afford $100,000 + for a cruise and spend taxpayers' money doing it!)
-The Easter Show...oh not just one night, but each and every night!
and, my all time favourite reason for fireworks,
-The Australian Idol Grand Finale (EVERY YEAR!!!).
-Football Games (mainly Origin or Finales)
-NEW for 2007: APEC Summits. Only on the condition that we, as Sydneysiders whose money is being spent on them, don't look at them.

-The Easter Show is something that s only okay to go to until you're 16, and only after that if you're taking your OWN kids.

-You think Showbags at the Show are a waste of money

-It's not called the Underground, the metro, the tube or the subway, but it's just called "the train".

-You've been to at least one "Big Day Out"

-You drank in Hyde Park, underage,on at least one year of the Mardi Gras.

-You know it's pronounced Circular "Key" not "Kway"

-You hate the State Labor Government, but somehow they still keep getting elected. They promise change; it doesn't come. Then they get re-elected.

-You wear a scarf/gloves/beanie/puffer jacket when the temperature hits below 18 degrees.

-You've accepted the (annoying) rule that no thongs are allowed to be worn into clubs. But you'll always try to sneak in anyway. Or beg.

-You have just accepted that all bouncers are pricks.

-You know what I mean when I say "The Shire"

-You say "Wog" and don't think of it as derogatory. And neither do the wogs around whom you say it.

-If you live in the Western suburbs, a night out in the City is a big deal. So much so, that you're forced to get a HOTEL room in which to stay the night...hahaha.

-If you live in the City, you'd never go into the suburbs.

-The word "Westie" is used as an insult.

Back to Work...

Back to Work...

After the birthday festivities, it was back to work today and I was crammed in the train today like a sardine.  Ended up having to sit in the 5 seats facing each other and then got caught with a mix of guys and girls who sit like guys and girls with the legs splayed or not so by the time I got to Central my left leg had gone to sleep big time.  When you get 5 people on a train facing each other and each with bag(s) and umbrellas it sure makes for an uncomfortable journey.

The reason it was cramped was because we only had 6 cars instead of 8 I just don’t understand why the car numbers fluctuate? Do they forget to attach them at Lithgow or something?

And the wet weather just is now getting me down bugger the farmers and drought.  Travelling in the hot humid weather with rain is not pleasant.  One day here or there is OK, but this weather has been going on for ages now

mmm. Boring post that one hey ;-)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me!

Birthday today… but it’s a working Monday… bugger.

 

But still, I had a good weekend… and a big surprise this morning when Niki & the girls woke me up at 5:30am this morning with bacon & eggs for breakfast!  I had my alarm set for 5:15, and when I instinctively hit snooze, Niki grabbed the phone, woke the girls and they made me breakfast before I had to get up and have a shower.  So there I was in the dawn light with Brooke dozing beside me, Niki looking sleepy and Kate wide awake bouncing around whilst I ate my brekkie!  However, they all soon crashed when I did get up and when I checked on them later, Niki, the girls, Zoe the dog and Charlie the cat were all asleep on the bed.

 

For pressies, I did very well as well.  Mum & Dad bought me a brand new 19” widescreen monitor for the PC!  My old 17” flat screen got fried in a storm some time ago and I had been using a 15” CRT in its place, but now I am looking at 19” widescreen!  Very impressive!  A huge difference.  Thanks mum & dad, it’s a beauty!

 

Now the rule I have with birthdays is that I like to get things that I don’t need… I don’t like to get shirts or socks and those sort of presents.  If you need clothes – buy them, but gifts in my book should be non-essential nice to haves.  However this causes Niki all kind of angst as she says she cant buy me music or DVD’s because I download them, she was going to get me an iPod, but I bought one in Singapore, and she has no idea about my gaming hobbies and knows that most of the stuff I get comes in from the US or UK.

 

But she told me she went down to the local gaming store – The Tin Soldier at Penrith – and she was very worried about it.  I wasn’t and nor should she as she and the girls gave me a miniature painting workstation and a magnified desklamp with halogen lights!  The workstation was flat pieces of 3mm MDF that had to be put together with glue and I was up until midnight putting it together and whilst it doesn’t look as neat as the ones on their website I put together the corner unit and one of the paint racks and now I have somewhere to store all my paints and brushes etc.  The lamp is great as well as I always paint hunched over under a 75W bulb and get sore eyes…

 

So all up a great set of presents that fit my criteria of “fun stuff” and whilst today is a work day, I will be heading home as early as I can today….

Friday, December 07, 2007

MySpace Bullying

MySpace Bullying

As a tech user and a blogger and a parent of two kids who are all ready computer savvy they send and receive emails to friends who have moved away I am always conscious of stories like this one.

Seems very sad that a parent would do such a thing and that this sort of bullying can get out of hand I have no real comment to make about all this that hasn’t already been said in the press, but for the sake of putting this stuff up here and to be aware of your childs internet habits and usage.  Never let your kids surf the net alone always keep the PC in full view of the main house and whilst you don’t need to spy on your kids, you should be aware of who they are chatting to on MySpace or MSN etc etc.

The whole reason I try to keep up with technology (and this blog is an example of this) is that I don’t want to be blindsided by something when my kids are old enough to be doing things without my knowledge.  Kids will always do that, but I want to know what the latest technologies involve and what they entail.

This caused a wave of issues not long ago, when the press were reporting high phone bills because parents were blindsided by SMS bills from their kids.  You don’t see that much anymore because to kids, texting is now secondary its chat logs and forum boards now and because that doesn’t cost as much, you as a parent can get caught out by this because its not hitting you in the wallet.

Anyway, beside all that this is another classic of the Ugly side of people

Birthday Weekend!

Birthday Weekend!

Its my birthday on Monday and I will soon have to up my age on my profile here by one more digit

35 years old half way to 70 for some reason it seems a bit more of a milestone age than 30 did.  I am now in my late 30s.

Still, I like to think of myself as young and I do still play cricket (badly), like to go out with the boys (and really pay for it the next day) and I still get very little sleep like I did when I was a uni student but the body is finding that harder to deal with.

This year for me has been a bit of a milestone I have changed jobs, feel a little bit more financially secure (yet I still am trying to work out where it all goes!) and I have seen my little Brookie go to school which changed the whole dynamic of our household.  Its been a tough year on the health front with Niki & I having our ups and downs and even Kate had to have orthodontic work done.

So this weekend, I am kind of keen to have just a nice birthday nothing outrageous play a bit of cricket on Saturday, Mum & Dad are coming over Saturday night where we will eat in because Brooke will be in curlers for her Sunday dancing and refuses to leave the house looking like that!.  Shes only 6 and is already conscious of looks and being fashionable!

Monday itself will be a working day, but I will be home early and to be honest I don’t know what were doing!

So, happy birthday to me!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Rain Rain Go Away

Oh No! You can't say that, think of the farmers and the drought!

Well I am. Firstly another rainy day this morning brought tears to
little Brookie's eyes as it dawned on her that today was the day that
Kindergarten Girls were allowed to use the play equipment at lunch but
because of the weather, that would likely to be not happening.

To rehash a quote of the famed ozjesting "rain makes my babies cry".

Then coming into work today, I missed my train because I had to park too
far away and then got caught in an all mighty downpour which resulted in
the trains grinding to a halt due to "multiple signal failures and track
flooding".

Actually it was a bit surreal as somewhere east of Strathfield, we had
to crawl along the tracks that were about a foot under water! Never
seen anything like it as the railways with all their ballast and pipes
are generally well drained...

And my grass continues to grow unabated... my broken lawnmower remains
unfixed (did I tell you my new lawnmower died on its 2nd use?) and I am
sure I saw a family of pygmies running through there this morning! ;-)

Seriously though, the rains have brought plenty of frogs and our cat -
"Charlie The Grey, Hunter of Glenbrook, Slayer of Lizards and Toads" -
has been having a field day including bringing in one of these frogs for
us to enjoy in the house... thanks very much Charlie!

Anyway, Gmail continues to be inaccessible at the office and I am
sending this in Plain Text from my work email... hope it works,
otherwise this post will be deleted!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Damn Work IT

Has blocked my access to Gmail and now I cannot do discrete email posts to the blog... means (like I am now) having to come into Blogger and do a manual posting...

I could email from my work account to the blogger mail-post thingy, but when I do that I get my work's email disclaimer (which names my company) and I have no idea how to do that...

If you know how (in Outlook 2003) to turn off your company email disclaimer, can you let me know...

This is important... having to log in to Blogger will really change my timing of postings and will result in me being less likely to (or inclined) to shoot off a quick posting re a funny link...

Damn IT Depts!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Kyoto

One thing that I have forgotten to mention this morning is new PM Kevin Rudd signed the Kyoto Protocol.

From what I can see today, our economy hasn't packed it in and there are not suddenly 100,000 people out of work. Reading the papers today, there have been a number of damning articles on how we, via the negotiations of ex Liberal Minister Robert Hill were able to allow our carbon emissions to INCREASE between 1990 and 2012 as opposed to the rest of the world requiring their emissions to decrease.

And now they're saying that we'll over shoot the target of the allowable 8% increase by 1%... and now we will have to pay by being further under the hammer in the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol.

But, that should teach us a salient lesson on putting people more in tune with making an economic profit in charge of a subject matter that required a bit of long term vision for the greater good.

Well done Mr Rudd for doing something on Day 1 after years of stymieing by your predecessor.

Getting back into it...

I am going back to exercise.  Would you believe that there is a 24hr gym open at Emu Plains and I went there last night at about 10:30pm.  Its not a flash gym in any sense of the word and the bikes are a bit out dated but the treadmills are fine and the weight room is also fine.

I have a tread mill at home (gathering dust) and the dog is keen for walks so every night I will do one of three things - go to the gym, walk the dog or walk on my treadmill.
 
At a BBQ on Sunday my mates and I decided to make a pact to lose 10% of our weight.  Lets just say three of us raised the century mark... and I was one of those.
 
So, pending my knee snapping in two - which it felt like on the bike last night - I will be adopting an exercise routine.
 
Last time I did this, it lasted 6 months... lets see if I can keep going this time!

Monday, December 03, 2007

He's not mucking around...

Kevin Rudd signed the Kyoto Protocol today!
 
I think I can hear the wheels of the Mining Boom grinding to a halt from here... oh no! the sky is falling!

Mondayitis

Have a bad case of Mondayitis today... had a good weekend, we were out and about but I wasnt terribly busy (Niki though was flat chat with dancing on Saturday) so I spent my Sat morning relaxing with a coffee at the local cafe before heading home on a rainy Saturday morning to paint some more and then went down to cricket with the fatalistic requirement that no matter the weather you have to turn up... which we did and which the captains and umps called it a day at 1:15pm and agreed to a one day game next week.

So it was off to the pub and a couple of beers and then out to dinner with friends...

Then Sunday was a big Xmas BBQ and I forgot the camera, but the day was excellent and we didnt end up leaving until after 6pm... Jumping Castles, a BBQ, a wading pool for the kids, a bit of one touch soccer of grown ups vs the kids and waaay too many beers... (Niki was driving!)

But my good mood came acropper last night. After getting home, I decided to give the lawn a quick mow. My lawnmower (which was Dads previously and was some 20+ years old) died yet again last week and instead of getting it repaired yet again, I went to Bunnings and bought a new one. Brought it home and it worked fine last week.

Looking to run the mower quickly over the backyard - 7pm on a Sunday night - I pulled the cord and felt something crack and the cable became stuck and would only pull back about 30cms. One farking mow and its done something to itself. All my good humour went out the window. Now I have to find the receipt and get it repaired via Bunnings (which I presume will take months) or I can take it to the local lawnmower place and pay for it myself.

Not sure what to do with that, but the grass is still growing!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

More dumb Americans...

Can't believe they get on TV...

And watch for the last line... "You tricked me!"

Let me tell you sweetheart, it wouldn't be hard!