Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mad Light Bulb Giveaway!

A funny thing has happened over the past few days here in our suburb...

A whole bunch of Indians descended on our suburb, each with a fold up chair and one of those red/blue striped laundry bags. They then proceeded to sit out on the median strips around our suburb in the shade and I had no clue as to what they were doing.

Then on Friday, the door bell rang... and standing at the door was an Indian girl... and she offered me some spiel that she was from some sort of company and asked me how many energy saving lightbulbs I would need in the house? "Twenty?? Thirty??" she asked... Me, in a daze, said "what, are you giving me free lightbulbs? Why?" She then said, "Wait here, I will be back in five minutes" and then I asked her if I had to do anything for these lightbulbs.

She said "we have to take your name and details down on our computer". Nevermind how they powered their computers by sitting by the side of the road all day, I said "No way" and told her not to worry about it... she seemed genuinely dismayed, but relised that I wouldnt fall for her scam.

Then yesterday, the doorbell rings again... this time, the girls answer it expecting a neighbourhood kid, but then I hear the dreaded "Hi, is your mummy home?" and I head for the door.

Standing there was this nerdy looking guy with acne sporting a lime green polo shirt with some indiscernible logo and a crackling CB radio on his hip.

"Afternoon sir, I am from the Blah Blah company and I am offering to fit your house completely with our energy saving lightbulbs!"

I said, hang on... weren't you here on Friday. He is puzzled and then asked...

"Was it an Indian person?"

I answered in the affirmative...

"Well they're really dodgy" was his reply.

Stunned, I said "Well you're not to genuine sounding yourself and I said no to them and I will say no to you too... thanks" and then I shut the door.

Can I ask... why are people willing to give you a huge amount of energy saving lightbulbs? What's the catch?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Went away for a night...

to Echoes in the Blue Mountains for no reason other than we could!

Great place, amazing views of the mountains and I now have a real desire to do some serious bushwalking.

There was a spot out in the distance in the valley below which fascinated me called the Ruined Castle which apparently you can walk to and the trip is 7 hours. It says "for experienced walkers only" and not for the faint hearted... well, I am going to do some practice walks and take it on down the track.

We walked around Lady Darley's Point, down to the Three Sisters and of course took in the great views from Echo Point which was quite pleasant on a week day afternoon without a huge amount of tourists as there are on weekends.

Anyways, here's some pics:

Niki with the Three Sisters

Me with the "Ruined Castle" behind me on the left. This shot was on our balcony ;)

Me at the bottom of Lady Darley's steps... shear drop behind me.

Us at the base of the VERY steep stairs to the Three Sisters

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Glad my taxpayers dollars aren't being used...

...to buy out bad debts like they are in the US!

The US Congress is debating the need to spend $700Bn of tax payers dollars to bail out bad debts from its financial institutions.

$700 billion dollars!

That is the largest rescue package ever since the Great Depression and is an alarming fact that the US economy - of which we're tied to the hip - is in severe trouble.

Of course, with the markets failing, investors move into secure / solid asset classes like Gold and Oil and the price of oil surged upwards by $25 a barrel which pundits here in Australia are saying will increase our bowser cost by 25 cents a litre.

$2 / litre petrol is not far away people!

So whilst our taxes are not being spent on this farcical payout, the trickle down effects on our costs of living will be huge.

Funny, I heard an ad on the radio this morning for a special on LPG gas conversion for your car... timely ;-)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Why the AIG bailout is bad news for all...

OK, some seriousness today...

The collapse of one of the worlds leading insurers AIG and its subsequent rescue by the US Federal Reserve in exchange for 80% of the companies ownership is very alarming.

I am not sure if Australians are aware of AIG other than the fact that they are the sponsors of Manchester United, but the reality is that many Australian corporates rely on AIG for insurance and the collapse of such a large entity will spell operational cost increases for those corporates and hence those costs will be passed on to their customers - i.e us punters.

To put it into terms we Australians understand - HIH Insurance collapsed leaving debts of $4.5Bn. AIG needed A$107Bn to bail it out... roughly 25 times the size... and yet we Australians still spit when we hear the acronym HIH.

But the government bailed out AIG in the US and now own 80% of the company. Whilst that is a good thing in the short term, how can such a large company now be owned by the government and continue to operate... I believe that what the US Federal Reserve has done is stopped AIG imploding but it will still die a slow death and ease the sudden pain on the economy.

But what next? If AIG has collapsed, then what about the other big players in finance? How many companies need help? How many will get it? And what happens if the US Federal Reserve continues to buy up ailing big companies?

We suddenly move from a free economy to a government owned economy.

Is that not Communism?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'm OK... but its been pretty bad!

Well, I have had a cold this past week... a few sniffles... but I don't think it will blow up into full on ManFlu.

ManFlu is a horrendous virus and one that should be treated as below:

Niki had a bit of a runny nose too... but not as bad as me!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Weekend Over... Does it matter when you're unemployed?

Wow... life seems on cruise mode at the moment...

Today was Monday and I had no Monday-itis!! I tell you what, I am seriously thinking about going to see the World Vision people and asking them to sponsor me rather than some poor unfortunate in Africa. This life of lazy luxury is actually getting appealing!!

But it can't last forever, but I can report that I am now talking to three job prospects, all of which I would take in a flash... so hopefully it won't be long now.

Now, the weekend... (am trying to work out what was different about the weekend in comparison to Friday or today?)

Saturday we did the Dancing / Shopping routine and the sad thing for me is that I have given up playing cricket this summer and I was being given score updates as to how the boys were progressing without me (poorly!) and I ensconsed myself on the lounge on Saturday night to watch the two football finals that were on, including my own team the Dragons who also played poorly to be smashed out of the competition...

Sunday... well we went out for lunch... and I watched more football! It was a bit of a second Fathers Day given Niki and the Girls were so sick the weekend before.

Now today, well that wasn't much different...

Wonder what I will do tomorrow??

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

On The Painting Desk - Khemri Done

Have finished my Khemri Blood Bowl team... even played a match with them today (and won!).

Quite happy with the way they turned out... the pinning of the pieces was extraordinary in that each miniture was actually 8 seperate bits (except the Mummies which were a full casting).

Very fiddly to put together, was really put off doing it in the first place because of it, but now that they're done, I am happy with the look of the team!

Khemri Mummies

2 Blitz-Ra's and 2 Thro-Ra's... really happy with the eyes on these guys

The Skeletons... differing helmets are a nice touch.

Team Shot!

All up, this has taken me about 6 weeks to do, but I do paint teams in a sporadic fashion... 15mins here, an hour here etc... the pinning though took more than the painting!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Fathers Day Wrap - Spewing!

Well, the weekend started off well with dinner out on Friday night at Restaurant Como at Blaxland and then the Saturday was family day with afternoon tea with Niki's parents at her sisters and then dinner with my parents Saturday night... all was well.

Then at around midnight, Kate threw up in bed... sheets changed etc etc... then she threw up again. And again and again and again... between midnight and 4am, she threw up about 30 times. Nothing solid by that stage, but she was dry reeching very badly.

Then just as she settled down pre-dawn, little Brookie started as well... and by dawn, Niki was joining them! So Fathers Day morning found me in rubber gloves, sponges, buckets and cleaning up after them all.

I myself, solid as a rock, not even queezy!

Then we found out that all of Niki's sisters family was also ill and it turns out it stemmed from my brother in law's mother who had fallen ill on the Friday and we all caught it.

Then Niki's parents went down on Monday with it... and yet I am still fine... I even ordered myself a pizza for dinner on Sunday night as my Fathers Day lunch was cancelled and nobody other than the pets or I was hungry.

Happy to report, that the girls are now ginger but have recovered and the worst of it only lasted during the Sunday... so we'll try to do our Fathers Day plans next weekend.


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Honey! You need to...

give me a blow job now! Otherwise some "heavies" will get us... don't ask questions, just do it!

This would have to be the funniest story I have read in ages... what an idiot!


Thursday, September 04, 2008

US Presidential Elections - YAWN

The running mate of John McCain's teenage daughter is pregnant and there is a story breaking now that the potential VP of the United States also had an extramarital affair...

We've had Obama vs Hilary... we've had Clinton sex scandals prior to that...

Its all too much and goes on for far too long!

When is this election happening? Enough already!

If you want to read the latest, click here

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Still about...

Went into the city yesterday for a couple of meetings re finding a new job and whilst they went well, I still am truly a number of weeks at least away from finding something... its amazing how slow the job search process can take and today marks 2 months since being paid out at my last company.

Financially, because of the pay out, I am relaxed, but I have to say that the weekdays are starting to get a bit long and I am keen to do "something".

When I do find something and sign a contract, I will be happy and delay the start for as long as I can so that I can actually do something meaningful here...

So in the meantime, I am perusing the adverts, making calls, chasing leads and such and such... would rather be in holiday mode though!