Friday, April 30, 2004

Teacher of the Year Award

When I had decided that I wished to attend uni to study Information Technology, I was informed that it was necessary to study applicable mathematics at year 12 level. This was to be done at night school at Canning College, which just happened to be next door to Curtin University of Technology.

I firstly attended a Flying Start maths class. The teacher was a lovely lady called Carolyn Lukas. She was an amazing teacher as pupils in the class were all over the place from spud maths, year 10 to year 12. She would go around the classroom and deal with pupils on an individual basis. Not an easy task. Carolyn encouraged me to go to the applicable maths class, even though the term started seven weeks earlier, and gave me additional homework to do.

I noticed in the local paper the other day, and was unable to scan the newspaper photo properly, that Carolyn won the Premier's Teacher of the Year Award Term 1, 2004 for the Canning education district. An award thoroughly deserved and I'm very happy to see her gain great recognition.
Thought For This Morning

I'm not picking my nose. My nose is sucking my finger.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

A Simple List Of Things That Never Get Finished

Broken biscuits at the bottom of the biscuit tin

There are some more that I will add later (perhaps even simple lists such as this one...)

The last piece of bread from the bag, especially if it is a crust
Bits of vegemite or jam in the jar that can't be reached using a knife
Fly spray [note - frugal bastards use fly swats]

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

What's In a Word?

Today's word is "mandate".

Just what does it mean? Is it when a woman goes on a date with a bloke? Just the one bloke? I am assuming that there could be a "mendate" (and that's not Kiwi-speak either). What if a man goes on a date with another man, would that also be acceptable?

Do we need to introduce new words into the language that can be used by either sex? Is it code for our leaders to be gay? How many times have we heard John Howard or George W. Bush talk about their "mandate"? Some tabloid material here.
You May Have To Wait For GMail

It seems that I may have been a little early in my proclamation regarding the arrival of GMail. It has been offered to me because I use Blogger and is not available for the general public to sign up for, not just yet. Still, I can receive an almost 4MB file but not a 10MB file. So it could be pretty useful. Looks good so far.
Yu-Jin's Party Preparations

Yo, everything is aiming towards readiness for Yu-Jin's fourth birthday party. His birthday is on Friday but he is having a McDonald's Party on Saturday. We've been to a couple of these for his friends and it doesn't seem to be a bad way of having a party. The catering is taken care of and there is a playground for the kids to enjoy after their junk food.

Last night I received another phone call for one of Yu-Jin's friends who will be attending and at that stage there were more girls than boys coming. It did even itself up and I bumped into another parent this morning who will bring both of his kids. That makes four boys and four girls coming. Hopefully it will be a good afternoon not spoilt by tears and tantrums. I expect to see a bit of huffiness. And it may not come from Yu-Jin either.

Miky was too worried about the catering and she doesn't need to be bothered by the trouble at this stage. Our house is a little too small to be inviting hordes of kids around. Looks like I will be typing up her assignment tonight. Shouldn't be difficult - I wrote plenty of it!! Ha ha. Let you know how it goes.
Gmail Has Arrived

Hi Folks. I posted a blog about it before and now GMail has arrived - email from Google. I've just decided to try it out and it offers one gigabyte of free email. Howzat? Find it at

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Anzac Day

What a busy day. I stayed up really late last night and got up just before 5 am. I guess that this is the one day of the year that it isn't too difficult to get out of bed. I enjoy being able to pay my respects to those who have served our country in war time. There is a tradition in this country - it rains, it is cold and it is miserable on Anzac Day. It's a given.

Not so today. It was somewhere around 18-20 that early in the morning and climbed to 30 degrees. "Risk of a storm" was the forecast last night. Perfect bloody day. So I guess that I was a little disappointed to see so many people sitting down at the time that I arrived for the dawn service which started at 6 am in King's Park. There are always thousands of people. Nice sunrise.

The most disappointing aspect was the complete lack of a cannon shot after one minutes silence following the Last Post. It scares the bejeezers out of everyone and is worth the wait. Was it some terrorist that stole the gunpowder or what was going on. There was a nice touch of a Spitfire or similar fighter plane roaring overhead seconds after the conclusion of the service. Later there was a flyover by four biplanes in formation.

Back home for a big brekkie then off to Subiaco for the fruit and vege shopping. Miky cracked a boonta after a little thing about her driving and so we had some drinks at a cafe. Went home to watch Essendon knock hell out of Collingwood - always a good thing to do on Anzac Day. Some bastard decided to start the game an hour early and so I missed the first quarter!

Following the footy all of us - me, Miky, Yu-Jin, Aunty and Grandma - went to Cottesloe Beach. On the way we stopped at the Duyfken replica. It is a replica of the first European ship known to sail to Australia, in 1606. Yu-Jin was very excited about boarding it and wanted to go everywhere.

Down to Cottesloe Beach and pretty damn busy it was. Yu-Jin wanted to go in the water and crawled halfway along the beach as though he was a dog. He had a great time. Afterwards we had that great Aussie dish - Fish and Chips. Ok, it's not just Australian.

Great way to spend Anzac Day.

Friday, April 23, 2004

The Meaning of Irony

How's this for irony - a tow truck that is all smashed up. Mind you, the cynic in me thinks that it was done on purpose to distract the attention of passing drivers so that they are more likely to be involved in an accident themselves.

Yu-Jin is so Intelligent

Strangers mention this all the time. "Oh, he's so intelligent." I think it is code for the fact that he never shuts up. He is such a chatterbox. If you go for a trip on the bus he is constantly talking and asking questions. It is amazing. Thirty minutes non-stop. Or maybe it has something to do with him being small for his age and people think that he is much younger than he is. He didn't really starting talking until he was two and a half.

Having One Arm Is Not Such A Handicap

My argument here is that you can brush your teeth with one hand.
You can wipe your bum with one hand.
You play golf better if you only use one hand - (the other one tries to steer the ball too much).
It only takes half the time to put on a shirt or jumper.
You can still hail a taxi.
You can still play the one-armed bandits at the casino.
The one-finger salute is still possible.
Remote controls only need one hand.
You may encounter some difficulty if a robber asks you to "Stick 'em up" as you only have one arm to stick up.

(This blog is reaching a low point, don't you think?)

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Dirty Stinking Filthy Abo Bastards

I rang Miky last night before leaving work. She told me a story that happened to her yesterday. She went to the city with Yu-Jin, her sister and her mother. They did some shopping and so Miky had a large bag with her.

Almost as soon as they got on the bus to go home Yu-Jin fell asleep. About that time a group of Aboriginals got on the bus. A woman sat across the aisle kept looking at Miky and a bunch of them sat behind Miky, as she was sitting in the second last row. Miky had put her bag on the floor as Yu-Jin was sleeping and it was quite large. She wrapped her leg around it also.

In the time that this woman was looking at her one of the bastards behind her stole her purse and she didn't notice. When they decided to get off the bus Miky had a really bad feeling about them and checked for her purse. To her horror it was gone. She raced to the bus driver and told him not to let them off as they had stolen her purse. Miky even opened the shirt of one of the bastards behind her and didn't find it. While she was kicking up a stink the guy gave Miky's purse to her sister. Miky knew that she had $20 in it but when she looked there was only $10 left. Her claims of "They've stolen my money" were backed up by a passenger who told the driver to go to the police station. The bus driver didn't know what to do.

My take on this situation is - don't trust ANY bastard. Doesn't matter what colour they are.
- the bus driver didn't want anything to do with the situation
- if anything had come of this the Abo's would have said that the purse fell on the floor and they picked it up to return it.

Proving anything could be difficult. Talk about lucky to get the purse back. After a while Miky remembered that she had spent $10 therefore no money had been stolen. Doesn't surprise me in the slightest. I'm sure that Miky will be even more careful about her purse from now on. I would hate to think of the trouble we would have to go through to cancel credit cards etc.

Miky was surprised that they could have taken the purse as it was in a bag that was wrapped around her leg. Don't be surprised by anything or anyone.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Who is the new Hamas Leader?

Interesting question, not? Hamas is definitely not a democratic organisation, is it? We have a new leader but we aren't telling you who it is. This is supposedly so that they can't be targeted by Israel for assassination.

That has me thinking. Are there any prominent people in the world, especially Hollywood, who have disappeared from the public eye? If we never see Michael Jackson again does that mean that he is the new Hamas leader? One of his songs previously included the lyrics, "Kick me, kike me" where "kike" is a derogatory word for Jews. Possible connection?

I would be interested in hearing other people's view. If there is anyone reading this anyway.
Miky's Birthday

It was Miky's ahem, ahem birthday yesterday. Well, it is rude to ask a lady's age. She had forgotten herself actually. I didn't need to buy a present because she bought one for herself a few weeks ago, before I even had my birthday.

I bought a cake and brought in home after work. Following tea Miky wanted to light some candles and get Yu-Jin to help her blow them out. He had just woken up after his afternoon sleep and wasn't in the best mood so she had decided to humour him. It certainly made him feel better.

After lighting the candles Miky wanted Yu-Jin to sing "Happy Birthday" to her. Instead he blew out the candles!! I have it on video too. Talk about funny.

As I said, Miky forgot her birthday. Koreans are supposed to have special seaweed soup on their birthday and Miky completely forgot about it until after she had cooked tea. I dunno, some people.
Whiteman Park

I managed to organise something last weekend. I wanted to have a gathering of friends and this included some kids the same age as Yu-Jin. That meant making a few phone calls so that we could all get together on Sunday at Whiteman Park. This is a large area where you can have a BBQ, see some very old tractors, a few children's playgrounds, a tram, some pottery shops and a cafe.

The weather forecast four days out was for fine and 29 degrees. Perfect BBQ weather one would assume. A bit closer to the day we were expecting 26 degrees and showers the previous day. On Sunday it was raining. I received two phone calls and another just after we left whether the get together was still on. Couldn't see why not.

I had organised for us to meet in the main car park. My mistake was that there were about four or five car parks and it seemed that everyone parked in a different one. We managed to find each other and have a good time. The rain didn't bother us too much.

It was great to see some of my friends and their kids, who all wanted to go in the pool, and it is something that we should do more often. My mother- and sister-in-law also came and I took them for a ride on the tram. It was a pity that they didn't get to see any kangaroos or emus. Luckily I didn't have to pay for Yu-Jin because he is under four.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Printer Cartridge Rip-Off

Be careful out there people if you don't wish to be ripped off when purchasing printer cartridges. I bought a multi-function printer (yes, yes - I know that the words "I" and "bought" rarely go together in a sentence as I am a frugal bastard) that was the same as my mum's. That way if I could find a cheap printer cartridge we could save money on the postage. Up here for thinking, down there for dancing (in the middle for romancing).

Anyway, replacement cartridges for our printers were only $15, black or colour, from Adelong. I did a Google search to find them. This is a company that have been advertising for ages in the computer magazine that I buy so I thought that I could trust them. And, lo and behold, I was able to trust them as they delivered the goods. Made the purchase on the Internet.

My mum lives in a small country town in South Australia, called Bordertown. You have a reasonably decent map if you can locate it. She went to the local computer shop (I'm shocked that one exists too) and asked about a black cartridge for her printer. They wanted to charge her $34.95 for it, hardly surprising really, and it was the same brand. Mum showed them the printer cartridge box with the price on it and told them how much I could buy them for. The shop assistant said, "Oh, I must have put the short barcode in. I'll put the long barcode in."

Get out of town. The price dropped dramatically to only $16.95!! We are talking about an almost third-world outpost here. They are still making enough money to be happy on this product. Where on earth did the extra $18 profit go that they were so willing to forego?!

Be armed with the information first folks and don't get ripped off. I know there will be some of you who swear by refilling your cartridges but I don't want the trouble. Sometimes I'm not as frugal as I could be.
Car Names I'd Like To See

How about a bit more truth in advertising? Why can't we have some car names that truly represent the intentions or feelings of the buyers?

300PE - Penis Extension - for those men with a big ego but little performance material
280M-LC - Mid-Life Crisis - men of age 40-60 who need a flashy sports car to drive the secretary around but don't know why
200KLH - Kids Left Home - a car for the ladies in their late 40s - early 50s. Two door coupe of course
Shopping Rip-Off

Don't get caught ladies and gentlemen. On Thursday night we went shopping. One item on our list was shower gel, as soap isn't great on my body. I sometimes come out in a rash. I don't like paying more than $10/litre. So, I was quite disgusted to see shower gel in a 250 ml bottle for $4.22. On the shelf above it was a 500 ml bottle of bath wash for $4.55.

I stood back and thought about this. Then I checked the ingredients. They were exactly the same. Same stuff, different bottle, different target market - obviously people who buy shower gel are more gullible. Purchased the bath wash and it works fine.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Just wondering if anyone was interested in being notified when I publish some crud on this site.

Email me here.
Silly Message

"This page is left intentionally blank"

Well, der. It's not blank anymore is it? Who writes these things? And who is the publisher in this case?
Human Behaviour

There are aspects about human behaviour that are downright intriguing. Most of the time humans act with very little compassion or thought for their fellow human beings. Take humans when they drive cars. Just how uncaring can they be - cutting you off, failing to indicate, running red lights, failing to stop, etc, etc.

Then something strange happens. For instance, traffic lights stop working. Any person who knows the road rules knows that in this situation you give way to your right. So, guess what happened?

That's right. The traffic acted as though the traffic lights were operating normally. Some traffic turned to the right from opposite directions and after a short period the traffic from those two directions started going forwards. After some time the traffic stopped and allowed traffic in the other direction to proceed. It was as though nothing had happened. Astounding.

This was an instance of human beings acting like an organism, much like ants behave.
Music Affects Your Driving

Good sounding study, this one. If you listen to certain music you are twice as likely to have an accident while driving was the finding. Two of the music pieces mentioned were Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" and the Prodigy's "Firestarter". I can certainly understand the second one.

I remember when I was an apprentice and used to drive 180 kilometres from Bordertown to Mt Gambier on the weekends. I used to sit on 100 km/h but I noticed if I played a tape of Motley Crue's "Kickstart My Heart" I was doing 120 km/h by the time the song finished. Adrenalin-pumping songs certainly have an affect on your driving.

Interestingly the study also found that one of the best songs to listen to was by Norah Jones. I believe that it is more likely to put you to sleep and so is one of the most dangerous songs to listen to whilst driving. You can't believe everything in these studies.
Can You Judge a Society By Its Traffic Flow?

I used to live in South Australia. The drivers of South Australia were known for their courtesy to other drivers. Sydney has a very poor reputation for driver courtesy. In Los Angeles apparently you can be shot for using an indicator to change lanes! South Australians are no longer revered for their manners on the road.

I was wondering about how a society is viewed by others by looking at its traffic flow. Society is much more pleasant if drivers let other drivers move in front.

Are we more pleasant people in Perth?
Or is it just that we are letting women in front which shows a bit of desparation/flirting?

I think that someone needs to conduct a study about this.

What is a Metrosexual?

Now that David Beckham is constantly in the news the term metrosexual is being bandied about. Just what is a metrosexual? My dictionary is over ten years old and isn't going to be able to give me a definition.

Is it someone who only has sex in the city?
Or someone who only has sex with people who are not from the country?
Or someone like George W Bush who inflicts great damage to cities?

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Driver Education

Australia doesn't seem to be too strong on driver education. Whenever we have a holiday period in Western Australia it is double demerits for drivers that break the law. That means that you lose twice as many points on your driver's licence than usual if you are caught breaking the law.

I did quite a bit of driving over the four day Easter period. The amount of people that I saw not wearing seatbelts, failing to use blinkers, speeding, not stopping for stop signs, etc etc, beggars belief. Far too many people breaking the road rules.

Tonight when I drove home I saw some mum holding a child on her lap in the front seat. Excuse me - do you have a brain? Don't you realise what a stupid thing that is to do? If there is an accident who is going to be the first passenger killed? Not only that, I saw another mother doing the same thing less than a minute later. I can't tolerate these people. They have no sense of wellbeing and protection for their children.

I see a few white people doing this but at the risk of generalising, the majority of perpetrators are Muslim or Aboriginal or Asian. Asians are notorious for not restraining their children in the car. What sort of people are we breeding in this country?

In other countries it may well be acceptable to not wear seatbelts in the car but not in Australia and I don't think that the government does enough to educate these people. I remember being in a taxi, yes I did pay for somebody else to drive me about, in Korea and there were no seatbelts in the back. Horrifying journey let me give you the tip.

That's enough ranting and raving for tonight. I've been in front of the computer monitor all day and I've had enough of it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Play Fighting

This topic is brought to you by "Save me from my misery". If anyone else would like to sponsor a topic feel free to drop me a line here.

Yu-Jin missed me today when I was at work. He had mum, aunty and grandma to look after him all day but as soon as I entered the door he wanted to play with me. It was difficult work to convince him to wait until after I had finished my tea. And he was a little upset when I wanted to have a cup of tea following that.

Mum and aunty, who had been tucking into the chocolates during the day, decided to go for a walk. Yu-Jin and I were supposed to have a shower together so that I could finish off some work that I didn't do at work today. That was their plan anyway. Yu-Jin wanted to play and so we were play fighting.

The kid is pretty strong and although he is quite skinny he has a lot of energy. In fact we were wrestling and fighting for 30 minutes. That's not a bad workout and I probably burned more calories than mum and aunty! At one stage I noticed that he had blood on his lip but his adrenalin was pumping and he hadn't noticed. After 30 minutes he was most upset that I wanted to stop and have a shower.

As I stood up Yu-Jin thought that he could start another game by running away. That didn't last long as he slipped in the kitchen and collected the door jam, hurting is leg and arm. Silly boy. I tell you what though, my neck is really stiff at the moment. And probably will be for a couple of days.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Did I Say That Yu-Jin Was Sick?

After only two doses of medicine we went for a walk to the playground and river nearby. I persuaded Yu-Jin to ride his tricycle and believe me, it was hard work. He was insistent upon me riding my bike and putting him in the child seat. Once he was on the trike their was no stopping him. It's about 1.5km to the playground and from there he rode over the bridge until we reached a sign which said that the bridge was 500m behind us. We rode back to the bridge and the playground and mucked around there for quite a while. You would never think that the kid had been sick. He rode all the way home and with no fuss at all. Must have been 3.5 - 4km of riding. He simply enjoyed it.

The river behind the weir wasn't too pleasant to look at. We need a decent rain to wash away that algal bloom.

Korean Needs To Be Encouraged

I have noticed that Yu-Jin has been wanting to do lots more with me over the past two days. I think that it has something to do with the fact that his halmoni and imo (aunty) don't speak much English and communicate with him in Korean. He talks to me because he knows that the response will be in English. I feel for the little guy because when I go to work tomorrow he will hear nothing but Korean. And that will be the best thing for him. I'm all for it.
Yu-Jin Has Been Sick

Yeah, he wasn't too well from Saturday afternoon. It was quite obvious to us that he had another ear infection. We thought that we could leave it until the next morning but at about 10pm he was really complaining about it and couldn't sleep. So we called a doctor to see us rather than drive to the childrens' hospital and wait for 3-4 hours. That cost $A100. Am I losing my frugality, I hear you ask? Not really, we'll get most of the money back from Medicare. Besides, the doctor comes to our house and eliminates a 40 km round trip and all that waiting.

Our plan was to pick up my mother- and sister-in-law from the airport at 6am. Suprisingly, with very little sleep and no medication (what the doctor had was too strong for him), Yu-Jin still wanted to go to the airport and he didn't fall asleep. I think perhaps he recognised his halmoni (grandmother). She just wandered out of the customs area by herself without any luggage. I knew that meant they were having some problems and so I knocked on the door to see if I could come in and lend a hand. Sure enough, they were going through every item in my sister-in-laws bags. Of greatest concern were the food products that they had brought over, particularly dairy products. After they had identified a cappucino pack, clearly labelled in Korean, they asked if it was a product of Japan (their flight had originated in Japan). This question was asked several times - obviously they don't notice the difference between Japanese and Korean scripts. Then they discovered that Korean dairy products were ok. No more hassles. Enjoy your stay.

What's In A Name?

I used to play indoor soccer with a Macedonian team. They all knew each other very well and I worked with two brothers who were in the team. As such some of the introductions lacked names. One particular player wasn't introduced to me too well. Every time he got the ball they all yelled, "Naza, naza." I thought that his name was Naza and so called it too. His name is Slava. Naza means "pass".

It reminds me of my days as a cub, you know, before boy scouts. One of the leaders was called Baloo, another Bageera and another Shere Khan, after characters in The Jungle Book. Years later I would greet these grown men, in their 50s or 60s with a "Hi Baloo" or "G'day Bageera". It took a long time to realise that they weren't their real names.

That first introduction is really important. Perhaps I am too literal minded.
Frugal Bitch

The Guinness Book of Records records Hetty Howland Green as being the world's greatest miser. She held $US31m in one bank alone, and we are talking about someone who lived from 1835-1916, therefore the value of money can be calculated as being much greater now. She was too thrifty to heat her porridge (my kind of woman) and used old newspapers as underpants. Her son had to have his leg amputated due to her delays in finding a free medical clinic.

I am sure that, even though I don't have about $100 million or more in one bank account, I could top that. My son wouldn't lose his leg - I'd be damn sure to find that free clinic.
Shopping Trolley Advertising

Something struck me while riding my bike yesterday. And no, it wasn't a car or an insect. I saw a shopping trolley and it had an advertising board on it which said, "It pays to advertise. Why don't you?"

It got me thinking. How accurate is the target marketing on shopping trolleys ads? Generally the ads are for businesses within the shopping centre where the trolley normally resides. I tend to think that this is a very narrow view. You see shopping trolleys abandoned in the streets all the time. They could be used to advertise for local businesses in the area where they are abandoned. What about aquatic sports such as swimming, canoeing or kayaking? How many shopping trolleys have you seen in the vicinity of the river? That would be remarkably well targeted marketing.

I could go on. But I am suffering from a bit of a brain fade and so I won't bother.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

News From Yu-Jin

Bit of a shock tonight. Around 6pm Yu-Jin told me that he wanted to have a shower. What is shocking about that is he never asks to go to the shower. He was a bit tired as he seems to have another ear infection. Will these sorts of things ever stop? After his shower he was complaining about his ear and complaining about something painful to himself is something very rarely done. Miky has been really sick and spent most of the last two days in bed. Her mother and sister will be here tomorrow to stay with us and that should cheer her up.

Yu-Jin had a friend's birthday party to go to today. They held it at their house and were expecting not to get too many people as it is Easter. Heaps of people turned up and it was a good time to be had by the kids. No sugary sweets, just natural energy. All the kids got a lolly bag as they went home. Yu-Jin didn't even have any birthday cake - it was a sponge cake and he doesn't like it. How can a kid of his age be so fussy? I was surprised how well a group of four year-olds played together with few fights and no tantrums to speak of.

The Sickly River

A week ago I rode to Bunnings to get the Sunday paper. Passing by the river I noticed it to be relatively clean. Yesterday I took Yu-Jin for a ride on his new kid-carrier seat on my bike which he really enjoyed. I was shocked when I saw the river. The algal bloom that has covered the river within a week was phenomenal. It is all the way along. There was the occasional spot that was not so badly affected. I sure hope that they clean it up soon.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Brave Kid

Some time ago, about two years in fact, Yu-Jin was in hospital for three days due to a respiratory virus. He had a drip in his arm and a tube in his nose so it must have been uncomfortable. And yet, not once did he complain. The nurses commented upon his bravery all of the time.

Yesterday, my first blog-free day as it turned out, we decided that he should have another round of vaccinations as Miky had the day free from TAFE. Yu-Jin had a diptheria and whooping cough injection, a measles injection and a polio syrup. The doctor couldn't believe that he didn't cry. She gave him three lollipops and the nurse felt she had to give him something so he got a packet of tissues. Which, by the way, have been snaffled by mum. Last time he had vaccinations the doctor was so surprised when he didn't cry that she said, "My kids are 16 and 18 and the needles still make them cry."

He is a brave kid. And he never fusses when he has to take medicine. Which makes it all the worse when he actually whinges about something.

Flag Envy?

There was a report on the news last night, which I happened to miss, about an Australian woman in the USA who had an Australian flag flying outside of her house. What I understand is that the locals complained so much about it that the powers that be told her that she has to remove it. She is only allowed to fly an American flag. I mean, WTF? What the hell is going on? Are these people really that narrow-minded? Is there some degree of flag envy? The Australian flag only has six stars but they are bigger than the American's stars. What is the world coming to?

It reminds me about a story when I was at school. An Aussie exchange student to the US was threatened with being returned home because she refused to sing the American national anthem and swear allegiance to the flag. I'm telling you, that would really go against my principles too.

In this country I think you are pretty much allowed to fly any flag you like. On Saint Patrick's Day there would be more Irish flags flown in Australia than the normal amount of Aussie flags.

An Egalitarian Society

Australia is a country in which the society is close to that of egalitarianism, or equality, for all people. Regardless of what you have heard about racism in Australia most people are given a fair go. There is one issue in our family however. Yu-Jin goes to kindy and the teacher's name is Mrs Lucas. At childcare none of the carers uses a title. They are all known by their first names. Or, in the case of Tui, she is known as Poohy Tui, but that's another story. Yu-Jin is finding it very difficult to adjust to Mrs Lucas. This is because he goes to childcare with a boy called Lucas. So, his kindy teacher has a title that he hasn't had to use before, and she has a boy's name. It's all too much for him. And he certainly can't treat them equally.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

My Kid Is The Poo King

It seems everywhere we go Yu-Jin has to do a poo. I don't know if it includes some fascination for the toilet architecture of others or not. For instance, we will go out to McDonalds. Even if Yu-Jin has been to the toilet before we left home, there is a fair chance that he needs to use the public convenience. And it is almost certainly for the need to have a poo. This kid is outstanding in his ability.

Tonight just topped it off. I had an award ceremony for Curtin University tonight to attend at the Sheraton Hotel. During the ceremony who do you think had to be removed to go to the toilet to do a poo? None other than the King of Poo, Yu-Jin. Well, I haven't seen the inside of the toilet at the Sheraton.

On a lighter note, Miky has decided to give me $50 for my birthday present. That is because today she decided to buy herself some new shoes and used $50, from me for her birthday, which is in 12 days time, and felt that she could offer me the same without feeling guilty. Sometimes it's difficult to be a frugal bastard when other people are so willing to spend your money.

Let's try something different. Comments can be sent to me here. Good night.
It's My Birthday

Yes, 21 again. I know. Getting on a bit.

My mum rang this morning and a couple of minutes later so did my sister. I went and woke Miky up and she said, "Who was that?"
I said "Mum and Deb."
"Why are they calling you? Is it your birthday?"

Yes, it is my birthday. And my wife forgot. Again.

Miky asked if I wanted a card and said that she didn't need one for her birthday. So I said, "Do you think that is going to get you off the hook?"

I mean, really. If I forgot her birthday or our anniversary their would be hell to pay. Women like to test you with these little things.

I don't blame her. We didn't celebrate my 30th a few years back. Too busy at uni at the time. She has an awful lot on her plate at the moment and she's not a morning person. I still love her.

Dunno what we'll be having for tea tonight. Have to go to the Sheraton after work and so don't have time to do anything special.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Not Much On My Mind Today

You know that you are desparate when you look for a car accident to find an opportunity to kiss someone.

Drivers That I Hate

Pretty much anybody in a Volvo, tradesmen's vans or other modes of transport, Toranas (always full of Yobbos) and I can't say that I have a real liking for Mercs or Beemers - the drivers of these vehicles act as if they own the road.

More Tips For Staying Frugal

When you see a tin-rattler, somebody collecting for charity, walk on the other side of the path. Or even walk alongside somebody. Old people are good to walk next to because they usually stop and give some money giving you the chance to walk straight past.

When you buy something only use notes to pay for it. Keep all of the change in a piggy bank and take it to the bank to deposit every month. This way you have lots of money at the end of the month and you start to get a bit sick of paying $5 for the newspaper anyway. It wasn't so difficult to do when the $2 note was still in circulation. Be disciplined people. You can't become a Frugal Bastard overnight.

Don't press so hard when you brush your teeth. Your toothbrush will last much longer and you won't have to buy them so often. Another brushing tip is use a tiny amount of toothpaste - you actually don't need to fill the head of the toothbrush because it goes a long way. If you fill the head with toothpaste you just end up spitting it out anyway. And that is a shameless waste of money.

Book holidays to exotic destinations that have just come under terrorist attack. These places will be dying to get tourists and fares will certainly be cheaper. Accommodation will be very affordable. And there are probably some nice palaces in Baghdad that could put you up.

Monday, April 05, 2004

A Challenger to the Frugal Bastard Champion?

Word has it that the world's richest man, IKEA's founder Ingvar Kampard, is a bit of a frugal bastard. Apparently he travels only in the economy class. Ha! I've never travelled outside of the cattle class either so he's not going to take away my crown that easily. Wish I had $US69B to play with though. I've bought plenty of his stuff along the way. So I have helped make him the rich bugger he is.

So, if I have to lose my crown to someone it is better to have had a hand it who it goes to.

Clothes Design

I've got a great idea for all of you budding frugal bastards.

Trousers without pockets.
If they have to have pockets put a zip on them with a padlock.
If you can't afford a zip then make sure that they have deep pockets.

Frugal Bastards Tips

Go shopping when the shops are closed. If shopping hours have been deregulated and so the shops never close, then move to a part of the country that is so backward and conservative (hey, that sounds like Perth) that they haven't deregulated shopping hours yet.

Window shopping is another good way to go. Except is you want to buy a window. Because then it can become quite expensive.

Leave your wallet at home. A great money-saving tip that one, and one of my favourites.

Put on your trousers with the deep pockets.

The Frugal Bastard's Motto

There's no such thing as saving more. You have to Spend Less.
Miniature Train Rides

Yu-Jin and I went to the miniature trains at Castledare, just down the road, yesterday. I purchased a secondhand child seat to put on my bike - no point in spending money on fuel to drive there as it is only about 1.2 km away. We were joined by two of Yu-Jin's childcare friends, Jesse and Ethan and two older children.

As you know I am a frugal bastard. I've made it quite clear to Yu-Jin that it is too expensive, five dollars for me, so he must go on his own. It is his fun and he is the one I am doing it for. So Yu-Jin is quite happy to go by himself. He even hangs onto his own ticket. It is good to see him have a good time and he enjoyed it with his friends. We had to have a picnic first as one train was stuck under a bridge and caused a holdup for about 30 minutes.

Got some video of the event and may upload it to my Website soon. Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

A Few Small Matters

Minties are having a competition to design the cartoons on the next wrapper. My man Nick Souter has a cool Website and it's mainly about cartoons. Some time ago I said, on Nick's comments area, that the current cartoonist was an absolute disgrace. Gee, Nick's Website must have some reach for this guy to be fighting for his job. Go Nick!!

They say that men are stuck in their ways. I don't know about you but I can see why. Let's take the small example of folding socks. I have only been close enough to about three women in my life to know how they fold socks. My mum, one of my aunties, and my wife. Let me give you the lowdown - none of them do it the same way. And they are adamant that their method is the ONLY method. And we men are stuck in our ways? It must be a safety issue. Just do it one way so that the woman you are closest to doesn't get upset and nobody gets hurt.

Not everyone suffers from mental illness. I have seen people who can't stop laughing and have mental problems. They don't seem to be suffering too much. Enjoying it too much probably.

What is with American Idol? The poor buggers get one minute, yes, ONE MINUTE, to do justice to a song. Australian Idol let them sing the whole song, you know, three minutes worth at least. Is this because the attention span of American TV viewers is so short? Or is it because longer songs would get in the way of advertising? Dunno personally. But I think that those Americans with longer attention spans are the ones who can concentrate on something for the WHOLE minute.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Tarnished Reputation?

This may come as quite a shock to you. I paid money to enter a museum today. Even more of a shock may be the fact that I paid more than I was expecting to.

Today I planned to take Yu-Jin to the museum. He is dead keen on dinosaurs and here was a good chance to get out of the house on the weekend and it wouldn't cost too much for the entertainment. Prepared a $2 coin for the operation.

Miky made me change my shorts as my arse was too big and made all of the crease lines and wrinkles disappear from the back. Slipped into something more comfortable, for those eyes at least that would see my bum, and I forgot about the coin. Imagine my dismay when I got to the museum and realised that I didn't have my change for my cheap day out!!

I may be cheap but I wasn't about to ask for change to pay the minimum to enter. I slipped a $5 note into the donation-entry box. Oh the humility.

Perhaps it is my frugal bastard ways coming back to haunt me. I did have that not-so-peculiar Australian ability to totally ignore donation boxes as I entered museums and cathedrals in Europe. You just pretend not to see them. It's quite easy once you master it.

A big thanks to those people that have commented on my Frugal Bastard blog. It's a pity that I'm such a tight-arse that I could be bothered to fork out $15/yr to get a site where I can allow uploading of comments. It feels good to know that somebody is reading this.
Fashion Show

Did some shopping in the city today. We usually go to McDonalds as well - Yu-Jin likes the free toy with his Happy Meal (TM). Took him in to Toys 'R Us to see what he would like for his birthday. I explained to him that he could look at the toys so we knew what to get him but that we weren't buying anything today. Worked alright for a while but ended up in tears.

As we were leaving Miky noticed that it was 1:30 and there was a fashion show on in the city that she was very interested in seeing. Yu-Jin actually watched it in silence except for a few questions. Maybe it was the loud music that caught his attention.

Luckily I spotted a friend from uni and didn't have to stay for the whole time.

So there we were. The three of us.

The Fashion Designer - Miky
The Fashion Critic - Yu-Jin (he's very fussy about what he wears)
The Fashion Disaster - Me

Need I say more?

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Kiddie Rides in Shopping Centres

Hate them. Never gonna put my $2 in for my kid to get a stupid ride. Yu-Jin wants to ride in every one that we pass. Fine, sit in it son. Pretend that you are driving somewhere. But I'm not going to waste my hard-earned dosh on it.

Obviously there is another angle to this - the guilt trip. Many of them display prominent messages that they are raising money for charities.

A funny thing happened a few weeks ago when we went to Joondalup, about 40 kms north of where we live. I had to take some money out of the bank (control yourself people - I don't do this often) and when I came back Yu-Jin was just finishing a ride on one of these machines. Can't remember if I was going to blast my poor wife over this or not but another father grabbed his kid from the machine and thanked me. "Yeah, no worries mate," I thought. It wasn't me that paid. Another father had paid the $2 and Yu-Jin and some other kid got a ride for free.

At least Yu-Jin can grow up knowing that he has been for a ride on one of those machines. Not paid for by his frugal bastard of a father tho'.

Friday, April 02, 2004

New Movie

I've uploaded a new movie to my Website. I call it Ninja 1 and it features Yu-Jin acting like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. All for about eight seconds. You'll need Apple QuickTime to play it.

I need to work on the lighting effects a bit more with my home movies. I'm new at this so give me a break.

Do I have a Problem?

Am I being unreasonable here or not? If somebody gets you a drink in a glass or a cup is it unreasonable to expect that glass or cup to be filled? I think not. If you have a big glass their excuse is that you have enough in the glass already. If I wanted less to drink I would have gotten a smaller glass.

It's like getting your plate with dinner on it with little more than an appetiser-sized meal on it. Why should I have to go to the trouble of getting myself seconds? Fill the plate up with the amount that I want to eat in the first place.

I have transferred about 175 photos associated with my Jap Blog and now I have lost the four pieces of paper that identified all of the photos by name. It is going to take me ages to link the Jap Blog properly.

That's enough ranting and raving for now. Over and out.
Paying for Parking

The other day at work I had to drop a document off in the city. The boss gave me one of the company cars to use and this was great. I also combined it with my lunch hour and did my banking. Well, it was 3:30 pm and I think that I deserved a little slack.

It had to happen. I hate paying for parking but I managed to park just around the corner from where I had to drop off the document. I paid 20 cents for six minutes and raced to the building, into the lift, up to the correct floor and then back down again once I had delivered said item. I thought that 20 cents wasn't a bad effort. Considering in Sydney I believe some car parks are charging up to $11/hr.

My happiness soon turned to grief as I found two parking spots at the front of the building and they both had at least two minutes left on the meter. I could have parked for free.

Random Stuff

I have a strange feeling about Swedes. I believe that they are one of the 12 or so countries in the world that have outlawed smacking children. But what is it with bikes that they ride? Is there some special law that only allows men of height well in excess of 200 cm to ride them? Do they have special extensions for the seats or something? They look like they are as high as the old penny farthings.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Google News

Not only do Google supply the best search engine on the Web - - a price comparison engine - - but now they are looking at providing 1 GIGABYTE of free email. Here's the news - gmail.

I'm all for free stuff. That's why I'm a Frugal Bastard.