Wednesday, September 29, 2004

How To Try To Buy Votes.... And Make Yourself Unpopular

There must be a job up for grabs in Western Australia. That of Advisor to the Premier. We are about to have an election in WA, probably within the next six months. Geoff Gallop, the Labor premier, thought that he would make a popularist declaration a few days ago. And now he is not smiling at all.

The Perth Royal Show is nearly upon us. With the hugely expensive entry fee that is unpopular to boot. Geoff Gallop made an announcement that children 15 years and younger will be able to attend for free this year. Yep, the government dipped into our pockets and will fork out an estimated $1.7m for that. Obviously money well spent with an election looming thought his personal adviser.

Try telling that to the nurses who have been trying to get a wage rise for donkeys ages and have been refused because the government doesn't have the money. And didn't that spur them on with their protests and strike action. Well excuse me. Why on earth should a function like the Royal Show, a private business, be subsidised like the show. And come on, we are talking about $9.50 per child.

To obtain free entry you will require two coupons from the newspaper. It so happens that the paper to distribute the coupons is the Sunday Times which has a more favourable coverage of Labor's activities. The Worst, er, West Australian newspaper, which has a not-so favourable political comment upon Labor's activities, also offered to run the coupons but was knocked back.

The day after his wonderous, generous announcement, the premier was unavailable for comment. Why didn't the smug git have anything to say in his defence? It had blown up in his face so badly that he couldn't even defend his own actions.

On the news tonight they mentioned that 14 hospital staff had collected $10m in the Powerball Lotto last night. Apparently only one had told his boss to stick his job. Perhaps he was going to spend time at the Royal Show.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


What a load of codswallop. I saw a guy this morning drive through a red light in front of me. Then he decided to change lanes and turn without so much as a blink from his indicator. Shortly afterwards he was speeding.

Town of Vincent Supports Safe Driving my arse.

Too Much TV

When one of the first words that your kid says is "McDonalds" then you know that he watches too much tv. Just after our shower the other night Yu-Jin said to me, "Are you crying dude?" which comes from the latest ad from McDonalds. Don't forget that he is only four and obviously impressionable.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Political Football

Here's a term you may have heard in the past. It means – a problem or issue that is discussed among groups or persons without being settled (

Ever heard of the word "omen" before? Some sign that brings thoughts of impending doom.

Picture this. The Liberal Party is trying to win their fourth federal election in a row. John Howard goes to the AFL grand final where the Brisbane Lions attempted to win their fourth premiership in a row.

Brisbane lost. Has John Howard been playing some other sort of "political football"?

News Just In

A bus at the Paralympics has crashed, killing seven people and injuring 26 others. At least that is a net gain for the amount of athletes.
Another Guy Sebastian Bash

Guy, or should that be "Girl"?, Sebastian sang another terrible rendition of the Australian national anthem at the AFL grand final.

What the hell was the AFL administration thinking? This is a MAN'S game. You should have a MAN singing the national anthem. It was truly horrible. Why wasn't Shannon Noll singing it? He would have sung with a deep voice for starters.

Maybe I should call my blog "". Can't stand the bloke.
Wish List

Whilst having breakfast in bed, to celebrate our seventh wedding anniversary, and which I had made, Miky came up with an idea. She wondered if she should write a wish list of all those things that she wants to get done after she finishes her study. I did it a while ago at uni as I couldn't get anything done around the house during the semester and really needed to be able to focus. I managed to get most of the items done.

I think that Miky's list should be entitled "Shit That I Wish I Had Time To Do..." There is so many things that she wants to do but just doesn't have time for. Spending more time with Yu-Jin would be high on her list. Then there is the gardening to take care of and she has some big plans there. Miky also wants to take Yu-Jin to swimming lessons and he is pretty keen on the idea. Travel, buying clothes, spending more time with friends. I don't know if she has any plans to spend time with me. We'll just have to wait and see. He he.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

A Macedonian Farewell

Our Macedonian friends are leaving Australia and heading back to Macedonia to try their luck. Yesterday they hosted a party full of Massos, Bosnians, Slovenians and Croations. Ok, there were a couple of Aussies and a Korean as well.

Attending parties like this with an open mind is one of the best experiences that you can imagine. These people have travelled far and wide, been involved in war, and had so many experiences in life - there is much that you can learn from them.

During one of the discussions with a Bosnian guy, he mentioned that he comes from a country of Muslims, his family are Muslims, and therefore he isn't supposed to drink beer or eat pork. But, these were activities that he partook in as he wanted to be friends with everyone. He said that you are stupid to have enemies. How true.

Other valid points that he made regarded Americans. He had seen their soldiers in the UN and they were hopeless. All they knew what to do was push buttons on big guns. They had no brains for fighting. This was coming from his experiences and so I couldn't argue with him. Well, the American soldiers aren't known for their brains, just their brawn. He also said that everybody has the same size arsehole. By showing them US dollars people in many countries had their arseholes get bigger. There is a sublime message their and he made the point that Australia wasn't in that position yet.

This man had many interesting things to say. Europeans were more carefree as they believed that a house was just for sleeping in. On the other hand, Australians work almost solely for their house. You can't be buried with your house can you? It was the work of the Australian government to put you into debt (the Australian dream of home ownership) and that kept you in check. It helps to maintain the gap between the rich and the poor. You had to work to pay off your debt and didn't have time to protest at the government's policies. Some very wise words.

Something else of note that he said, and that surprised me somewhat. For the first two years that he spent in Australia he couldn't understand anything that was going on around him due to the language barrier. Then he thought that he wanted to understand and so made the effort to make Australian friends. He found Aussies to be very helpful and understanding of his efforts to learn English and his Bosnian friends just made fun of him.

So many people at the party mentioned that Australia was the best country in the world to live in. And we Australians pay such high taxes but it is the price for the freedom that we enjoy. Pretty hard to argue with, don't you think?

Back to the farewell. Tears welled up in my eyes and so did a lump in my throat as I said my goodbyes. Our Macedonian friends are lovely people and it will be difficult to see them again. We were initially worried about maintaining contact when they bought their house and moved 20 kms away. Yu-Jin never forgot his best friend, Marko, and they have remained good friends. This will make it harder but I really hope they can maintain their friendship. Perhaps it will be the kickstart to Yu-Jin learning to write and garner an interest in geography. I guess investment in a Webcam isn't a stupid idea either. It is rare to make friends with such nice people and I don't want to cut the relationship.

Yu-Jin is pretty sad about it but he wants to go to Macedonia. I've told him to save his money and wait until he is six or seven years old. We need time to save money and get some holidays and it would be lovely to go.

There is another sad point - the loss of mutual friends. You know, those people whom you only see because they are friends of your friends but are nice people too. Contact with them will be severed. Bit like a divorce, I guess.

I wish them well. We all do.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Brisbane Going For Immortality

If Brisbane Lions win the AFL grand final today it will tie the league record for four consecutive premierships with Collingwood. Although, when Collingwood did it there were only 10 teams and no salary cap. Now there are 16 teams and a salary cap.

My guess is that Collingwood would be first to complain that the Lions have $600000 a year more to spend in excess of the salary cap than other teams and that it wasn't like that in their day. Yes, but Collingwood would have bought the players that they had anyway. They've always been like that.

Go the Power. Port Adelaide was one of those teams that you either loved or hated and I had a hatred for them. Now that they are in the AFL and not the South Australian National Football League I have a lot of respect for them. And I love the way they play footy. Biff and crash, no prisoners taken. We'll see today though.

Friday, September 24, 2004

And In The Women's Tour

Just to show that I'm not sexist - there are 1201 women with rankings. And an Aussie is the lowest rank.

And she would probably crap all over me too.

Having said that, there are no women from Bahrain or the Democratic Republic of Congo. Don't believe me. Here's Proof.
How Many Players Have Rankings?

I thought that having posed the question I should answer it. Well, I've found the rankings for the players, and looking at the men, I've noticed that you are ranked if you have an ATP point. At the bottom of the list are 240 men tied for 1413th rank with one point. That means there are 1652 male players who have a ranking.

And every single one of them would crap all over me.
Yu-Jin's Kindy Photos

Kindy Class

Yu-Jin Himself
Classic Bit Of Reporting

On the news tonight the reporter spoke about Lleyton Hewitt, the current world no. 3, beating the world no. 510 Medhi Tahiri (how far do those rankings go?) in 21 mins, 6-0, and "showing the gap" between the players in the rankings. Here's the match result.

So, how big is that "gap"? Obviously not as big as the "gap" between world no. 1 and world no. 4 during the US Open Men's Final. Hewitt, then at no. 4, lost the first set to Roger Federer in only 18 mins. Obviously there wouldn't be much difference between world no. 1 thrashing world nos. 4 or 510, would there?

Frugal Bastard Tip Of The Week

I've found a way to stay healthy and save money. My car needed to be filled with fuel the other day. There is a petrol station on the corner, which accepts discount vouchers, just as I pull into work. I noticed their price for fuel and during my lunch break I walked to another petrol station, only a few blocks away, to check their price. It turns out that they had the same price. Quick walk back to the car and off to the petrol station that was closest, so as not to waste fuel, and a quick fill-up.

I'm not just a pretty face. Come to think of it, I'm not even that.
Konglish Word For The Week

"Disemploy" - to have one's employment terminated, to be sacked, to be fired, to lose one's position within the paid workforce.

Korean-English, or Konglish, raises its head at our household occasionally. I thought that this one was a gem and just had to be shared.

Licence Plates

Being a bit of a stats man (lover of statistics) I can't help but read the licence plates of cars. I had to laugh yesterday when three cars in front of me was a car with the licence plate "PIGGY". And two cars back in the other lane was one with "MEEOW". I shit you not.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Shame On The Legal Profession

A few days ago a magistrate was found guilty of having sex with an underage girl, who was 15 years old at the time, some two decades ago. The magistrate, Michael Frederick, is now 57, was sentenced to three years jail.

Shame on the defence lawyer. Shame. Part of the defence was that Mr Frederick had been in a prominent position, done much work in the community (as evidenced in the article) and would suffer an undue loss of income.

So, is it ok for some unemployed scum to go to jail for the same crime but a rich, well-employed scumbag not to? His crime is the same but because he has more to lose he should be treated differently? I think not. He should have thought about his behaviour more strongly if he was in a prominent position. It's not one law for those in prominent positions and another for the scum of the earth.

Sentenced to home detention whilst waiting to appeal - I can understand that to some degree. He would face a tough time in jail but I don't believe that is the point. Anybody that goes to jail should be kept in safety.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Goldilocks and the Three Bears - a Tale of Juvenile Delinquency

Yu-Jin wanted to discuss Goldilocks and the Three Bears while we had a shower last night.

We all know the story. Mummy Bear makes some porridge. It is too hot so the bears go for a walk in the forest.

Goldilocks enters the Bear house and tries the porridge. Daddy Bear's porridge is too hot, Mummy Bear's porridge is too cold but Baby Bear's porridge is just right, so she eats it all up.

Then Goldilocks goes into the lounge and tries the chairs. Daddy Bear's chair is too hard, Mummy Bear's chair is too soft, and Baby Bear's chair feels great, but Goldilocks is too big and so breaks the chair.

By this time Goldilocks is tired and so heads up the stairs to the bedrooms. Daddy Bear's bed is too hard, Mummy Bear's bed is too soft but Baby Bear's bed is just right and so Goldilocks goes to sleep in it.

Now, the Bear family arrives home.
Daddy Bear exclaims that, "Somebody has been eating my porridge."
Mummy Bear says that, "Somebody has been eating my porridge."
And Baby Bear says that, "Somebody has been eating my porridge. And it's all gone!"

Into the lounge room they go.
Daddy Bear exclaims that, "Somebody has been sitting in my chair."
Mummy Bear says that, "Somebody has been sitting in my chair."
And Baby Bear says that, "Somebody has been sitting in my chair. And it's all broken!"

Up the stairs they head.
Daddy Bear exclaims that, "Somebody has been sleeping in my bed."
Mummy Bear says that, "Somebody has been sleeping in my bed."
Baby Bear says that, "Somebody has been sleeping in my bed. And she's still there!"

Goldilocks wakes up at that moment and flees the scene.

Here's where I thought about the modern day ramifications of this story. The police would be called by the bears. Following an investigation, charges would need to be laid against Goldilocks.

Firstly - break and entering. Although this charge probably wouldn't stick as the door had been left open and I don't believe that there is a charge for entering.
Secondly - destruction of private property. That chair needs to be paid for by somebody.
Thirdly - stealing. That porridge didn't belong to Goldilocks and she had no business in consuming it. If Goldilocks had committed this crime in England in the late 1700s or early 1800s then she would have been transported to Australia for a period of seven years. No parole either.

There would be some conjecture about the jurisdication that Goldilocks could be tried in - a Bear Court or a Court of Law. Was Goldilocks a juvenile who wasn't old enough to be held responsible for her crimes?

Questions need to be asked.

What was Goldilocks doing away from home that early in the morning?
Were her parents taking responsibility for her?
Were her parents together or was Goldilocks a child from a broken home?
Was the government funding Goldilocks to live on the street?
Was she a runaway?

Why were Daddy and Mummy Bear sleeping in separate beds?
What was going on between them?
Domestic problems in the Bear household perhaps?
They don't sound entirely innocent here.

Much of this sadness could have been avoided if the Bears had locked their door and not been so trusting and naive. If they had installed a burglar alarm then this unfortunate incident may not have happened.

Whatever the investigation reveals, Goldilocks was going to require a good lawyer.
Just a Few Things

Did I say that our seventh wedding anniversary was next Tuesday? Did I? I'm an idiot. It is in fact next Monday. Luckily Miky doesn't read this blog so I won't get into any trouble. Although, I am the one who remembers anniversaries better out of the two of us.

I'm Rich

I found some money the other day. Ten cents to be exact. Well, ten Singapore cents to be more exact. That comes to a total of 8.44841 Australian cents, according to my favourite currency exchange Website, And that's not taking into account the fees involved with the currency exchange. It would be cheaper to have left it on the ground. Another one for the collection, I suppose.

Brownlow Medal Fashion

Definitely something for the guys to get excited about. Especially the winner's, Chris Judd's, girlfriend. What a stunning red dress. Or lack of it.

I wonder if the players who are gay will ever be able to bring their boyfriend?

Who Pays For The Funeral?

I heard a news report this morning about a man who attended his own wake. Some guy got killed after being hit by a train. His sister identified the body and they had the funeral. All went well until the wake. The sister went outside to the porch and her brother was sitting there. No, he wasn't a ghost, it was him in the flesh.

Who was in the coffin? Not her brother, that's for sure! She rang her son, who had been a pall bearer and they were just about to cremate the body. Not long afterwards her brother decided that it was time to leave. He appears to be a bit of a loner.

My question is, who pays for the funeral? It must have been a nice send off but the dead man, as yet unidentified, didn't have any family or friends present, unless by coincidence they were known to the loner, and being unidentified the funeral parlour wouldn't be able to bill the man's estate for the costs. Sounds like a costly mistake to me. All those tears over somebody they didn't know.

Glad that it isn't me paying for it.
The Brownlow Medal Debate

For those of you not in the know - the Brownlow Medal is the Australian Football League's honour for the best and fairest player. There has been some conjecture over the years regarding this award.

It was named after Charles Brownlow who was a prominent VFL administrator (person running the league) and has been awarded since 1924, even though the league began in 1897. Here's a list of the winners. Argument exists that it should be named after someone else, someone who represents Australian football and not Victorian football.

I say get over it. When the West Coast Eagles and Brisbane Bears joined in 1987 it was still the Victorian Football League. It wasn't until the Adelaide Crows joined in 1991 that it became known as the Australian Football League. The AFL hasn't been around long enough to have a prominent player/member of the administration to have a name change. Changing the name will lose a great deal of heritage.

There is a call to have it judged differently. The umpires, who may never have played the game, get to vote on the three best players, 3-2-1. Some well known identities have called for the voting system to be changed. Maybe the coaching staff from each club could cast five votes, 5-4-3-2-1, for a total of 10 votes. The umpires have enough on their plate without having to worry about the best players.

What rubbish! The umpires, there are now three of them, as opposed to one umpire up until about 1990, are at the centre of the game. Nobody is better placed to provide insight into the best playes. They are at the coalface. They see more of what is going on than anybody else. How many times have we seen commentators, many of whom haven't played the game, show how very little idea they have of what is happening only five metres from the ball? They have blinkers on and can only see what we do best of poor television coverage. If you watch the game properly you witness the shepherding or leading, the encouragement that is shouted and other goings on behind the play.

The umpires are still best placed to pick the best and fairest players, in my opinion. No need for a name change either. Perhaps the only thing that could change is when the count is held. Instead of being three weeks after the home and away season and held in grand final week, it could be staged in the week following the final home and away matches. After all, the Mark of the Year and the Goal of the Year are awarded to play only from the home and away matches. Believe me, their are some spectacular marks and goals taken during the finals series. I think that these awards should be presented following the wrapping-up of the season. Brave men play in finals and do brave deeds.

Well done Chris Judd from the West Coast Eagles on winning the 2004 Brownlow Medal.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Smales WA Fashion Design Awards Pictures

As promised, here are some pics from the night. It wasn't easy to be video taping the event and try to take a photo at the same time. So, forgive the quality a little bit, hey?

It will be our seventh wedding anniversary on Tuesday week so the event was pretty good timing.

The Designer and the Husband

Ready to Wear

Ready to Wear2

Evening Wear

Corporate Wear

Sunday, September 19, 2004

2004 Smales WA Fashion Design Awards

Yep, that's where we headed last night. Miky had entered the competition in the student section in three categories - ready to wear, evening wear and corporate wear. The night started off well at our table when Catherine Foote, a designer who runs Muze, won the Swimwear Design award.

There were four main judges and Annalise Brackensiek was one of them. Annalise sat two tables away from us, and although easy on the eye, she obviously doesn't have a good eye for fashion.

Miky didn't end up winning anything and she most certainly should have won at least second place in the corporate wear category. Her designs in ready to wear and evening wear looked fabulous too. It was quite disheartening but she'll soldier on.

Most of the judging for the student divisions was ok but in the established designer sections there was some real crap that won. Garbage, some of it.

Anyway, I'll post some photos of the night sometime soon.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Conflict of Interest

As I was walking to the bus stop on Tuesday and passing the motel on Albany Highway, a lady stopped me and asked if there were any decent supermarkets nearby. I replied that Westfield Carousel was just down the road. She didn't know anything about Westfield Carousel. So I mentioned that there was a Coles and a Woolworths supermarket inside. Oh, yeah. There is an Action supermarket across the road from Westfield Carousel.

"What's Action?" she asked.
"It's owned by Foodland", I responded.

Then I told her about the Coles supermarket in a shopping centre that was a little bit closer. She thanked me for my help.

Did I mention the conflict of interest? I have shares in Coles Myer, Woolworths and Foodland. I may have been helping her out but I was due a share of the money that she spent. Not only am I careful about spending my money but where other people spend theirs as well.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Yu-Jin Has Been Crook

As of the weekend he has been sick. Like a really bad case of asthma as he was very wheezey and had a lot of trouble sleeping. Thank goodness Miky finished her dresses for the Smales competition and they were due on Monday, as she has stayed home for the last three days to look after him. In fact, it was a blessing in disguise, as Miky hasn't been able to spend much time with Yu-Jin for quite a while and him being sick has allowed that to happen.

He seemed alright this morning, his cheeky self, and when I rang Miky she said that he was being really naughty. Sounds like he is perfectly healthy and ready to go back to childcare.

I guess that the majority of time that he is behaving himself is when he is sick. And he became sick following my cutting of the grass. Another reason not to do it too often.
Nick Souter Has Disappeared

You heard right, Nick Souter is nowhere to be found. His blog has disappeared. I believe that it is for reasons of national security. You can still do a Google search for cached material that has been left scattered on the Internet. Perhaps the disappearance act is for his own safety.

Speaking of Personal Safety...

I finally got around to fixing the blown lamp (it's not a globe - a globe is a graphical representation of all or part of the Earth's surface [source - Ivan Huser, former electrical instructor at TAFE in Mt Gambier - he retired whilst teaching our class]) in Yu-Jin's bedroom. The damn lamp was black and broke in my hand as I was trying to unscrew it. So I put that piece in the bin.

The rest of it needed to come out with a pair of pliers, don't try this at home kiddies, and broke into more pieces. I was loosening the fitting so that I could get a better grip when all of the fittings fell down. Trying to stop everything from falling onto the floor I managed to cut the end of my middle finger and didn't the blood start pumping out. Miky was studying at TAFE and so I had to get Yu-Jin to put the bandaid on. I had to hold my finger together. He wasn't frightened of the sight of blood at all and was quite willing to help.

The normal bandaid wasn't too strong so I used one of Yu-Jin's Pooh bear bandaids and it worked marvellously. I thought that it was just a marketing ploy but it is very good quality. You could say that I had poo-pooed the idea of using something aimed at getting kids to put pressure on adults to buy them something because of the branding. Still not totally convinced.

It is slightly more difficult to type this blog as I have no feeling in the end of the finger. One sensory faculty down a bit on power.

Monday, September 13, 2004

FB Strikes Again

I'm not one to turn up an opportunity, especially when it is going to save me money. I noticed that the fence next door was falling down badly. As I was weeding the front yard I saw my neighbour pop outside.

So I asked her about the fence. She replied that she needed a hammer to fix it. Well, I have a hammer. How about swapping your lawn mower for me putting the fence back up? She accepted that and got the lawn mower out for me.

About 15 minutes and I had the fence back together. She did ask if I would like to mow her lawn, if I still had the energy to do so. I said that that may be a possibility. (I did that once I'd finished cutting the grass at my place)

My grass constituted about three catchers-full, quite a bit really on a small block. It is only the second time I have cut the grass in two years of ownership. Just have to find the opportunity to swap some labour for the mower. I've just mended the fence enough to last until the next time I need to use the mower. I ain't silly.

Mind you, I did pay for the mower fuel.
How Am I Going?

On two bloody legs! My car is cactus at the moment. I went to start it yesterday and all it did was make a "click" sound. Funny, tried it again and got the same sound. Had me buggered as nothing has been obviously troubling the car recently. I rang one of the local car parts shops, luckily they are open on Sundays, and he said that the battery was probably flat.

I drove to see them but they were closed by the time I arrived and so I tootled off to Super Cheap Autos. Had to run home and get the battery so that they could do a test on it. Got back to the shop five minutes before closing time. The test showed that the battery was ok. And it bloody well ought to be ok as it is a 2 year maintenance-free battery that is only 15 mths old. As it was a little bit low I bought a battery charger and charged it overnight. It was a tad difficult to get the security screen locked with an extension lead coming out of the laundry and the main door couldn't even be closed.

Jumped out of bed first thing this morning to reconnect the battery and give it a burl. "Click". Bugger.

Had to take the bus/train/feet to work today. Could be that way for the next week as I can't get to a mechanic until the weekend.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

It's Enough To Make A Frugal Bastard Cry

The new Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre opened a couple of weeks ago. Yu-Jin and I went along as there was an exhibition to celebrate and it was free. Yu-Jin enjoyed getting balloons and there were a couple of exhibits that interested him. It was mainly about home renovations, mining companies and wine/cheese tasting. As he was suffering a bit from hayfever it was a bit much for him and we had to stop for a drink and some chips.

Strange as this may sound I didn't mind paying $3.80 for the chips as they didn't put the lid on the box properly and so we got more chips than expected. But the $3.40 for a 500mL flavoured milk almost brought a tear to my eye. You wouldn't pay any more than $2.20 anywhere else for it.

I hear that parking is $4.20 per hour. That's why we parked just outside the city for free and caught a free bus into the city. No point in ruining my reputation.

Australian Electoral Commission Form

This form came in the post from the Australian Electoral Commission the other day. It was a check on my enrolment details and there was a section that contained my details. They were all correct. There was another area that was set aside for remarks. So I wrote "Top bloke" in there. What a dill. I should have written "Frugal Bastard".

Animal Farm

I grabbed this DVD on the weekend. It is based on George Orwell's classic book, Animal Farm, which I read in school. I thought that Yu-Jin may enjoy seeing the animals talking. He did like it and it made him think about the way humans behaved. Maybe a little bit young to be thinking like that. I don't want him to turn into a Greenie.

New Smoking Laws

What about a bit of self regulation for the smokers. It seems that only non-smokers are making the rules governing where smokers can light up. It's about time we saw the smokers take some responsibility for their actions and imposed regulations upon themselves. They are obviously sick to death of being told where and when they can smoke and it would be nice to see them actually do something about it.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

How Dumb Do They Think I Am?

I received some mail from the ANZ bank yesterday. That seemed a bit unusual as it was a bit early in the month to be receiving mail from them. I opened it and it began like this:

"Dear Mr Ham,

To thank you for being one of our best customers....."

At this point my suspicions were raised. And they continued by offering me the low interest rate of 9.50% for the first six months if I borrowed any amount of money above $500 against my credit card.

As if I want to borrow money against my credit card. How stupid do they think I am? I get the feeling that lots of people will fall for this and I think that it is a dirty, underhanded trick. I hope the two banks that I have shares in don't follow the same path.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Fathers' Day

Breakfast in bed. What a delight. Pity that I didn't see any.

We decided to go roller skating. Mainly because I had a two-for-one voucher. Can't help being a frugal bastard. Yu-Jin was not impressed with the skates although he had been excited about going to the skating rink. All he wanted to do was go home.

I went for a few laps and then tried to get Yu-Jin onto the rink. Talk about bitching and screaming, foot stamping and hat throwing. Not impressed at all. It took an hour and fifteen minutes to convince him to go for a lap. I think the promise of going to McDonalds for a Happy Meal (TM) had much to do with the decision.

In the end he did a couple of laps all by himself. Didn't need to use the hand rail either. Didn't fall down. Wasn't skating too much though, just walking. I didn't hit the deck myself but crashed into the wall a couple of times. Might have to use the inline skates next time.

Lunch at McDonalds afterwards. One happy kid for how he enjoyed roller skating. Unbelievable. I new that it would be the way. As soon as we finished I new that Yu-Jin would want to continue. And that's the way it panned out.

While my boss was on holidays I had to work a bit harder. In the first week I only managed to get to have lunch once as there was that much work to do. Therefore, I had a few hours up my sleeve to use at my leisure.

At my leisure my arse. Not long afterwards Yu-Jin complained about a sore tooth. And it wasn't the two teeth at the back on the top that had a fair bit of decay. There goes my time off.

We weren't able to take him to a school dentist, even though he was attending kindergarten, because he doesn't turn five this year. Bugger.

So I went to my dentist. I did think that if Yu-Jin was going to use up my time off I would make him wait for me. We visited a company that built Miky's immobiliser and they cleaned up the immobiliser for free. Just a bit of water had gotten into it. Then we went to my accountant to do my tax return. For forty five minutes he had to colour in his Spiderman book and read other books. Pretty well behaved I have to say. At one stage he was counting pigs - eleven, twelve, fourteen, sixteen, eighteen, nineteen, thirteen. It made my accountant laugh when I mentioned that he obviously isn't going to become an accountant. Or perhaps one in the Rene Rivkin mould.

We were a little bit early when we arrived at the dentist's surgery. The library across the road was open and we went to read some books. Interestingly we found a story about teeth and it helped Yu-Jin to understand what the dentist would be doing to him.

At the dentist I had to lie down on the chair and have Yu-Jin on my chest and hold him. The dentist's first reaction was that Yu-Jin's top teeth were decayed too close to the nerve and that he would have to go to a specialist. Then I got the news that there were two teeth on the bottom that needed to be looked at also. And he didn't want to do them.

That left me a little incredulous and I asked him if he would do the bottom teeth. I had given up my time off and the dentist wasn't prepared to fix my son's teeth. He said that he would try.

Yu-Jin was very well behaved for the first filling. The second filling involved the removal of some food under the gum and that hurt Yu-Jin therefore a few tears ensued. Following that the dentist said that because Yu-Jin was such a good boy he could come back and get fillings done on the two top teeth. Then he admitted that he was just trying to handball the job to a specialist as children are quite difficult to deal with. But Yu-Jin did very well. He was a bit disappointed that he didn't get a gun to put his teeth (or gums) to sleep. I had spoken about that quite a bit.

It turned out to be not a complete waste of a day.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

There's Been A Bit Going On

From The Mouth Of Babes

Had to get the plumber around again. This time for a third repair of a burst pipe that they mended. It split almost all the way through this time. Anyway, this young bloke came around. We had a chat and then I had to go to work.

Yu-Jin was coming with me and asked me, "Why does that man have chicken pox?"
I had to explain that they were freckles. Little did Yu-Jin know that the man was walking just behind him. Luckily he has two small kids and it didn't bother him.

The things that kids says sometimes.


St Kilda Football Club coach Grant Thomas said that his players would be coming back from Brisbane with respect. This was before getting on the plane and heading to Brisbane.

They came back with respect alright. Respect for Brisbane after being demolished by 80 points in a final between two teams who finished the regular season second and third. What a football lesson.

Al-Qaida Operative

You have to wonder about that idiot, Cornelius Horan, who interrupted the men's marathon during the Olympics. Is he an Al-Qaida wannabe? Doesn't seem to have any trouble infiltrating major sporting events, as he did at the British Formula 1 Grand Prix, even though he is a known pest. What if he had a bomb vest? Al-Qaida want to keep their operations low-key but this guy seems to have no problem.

And what about the Greek judge giving him a one year suspended sentence? Suspended from what - a bridge, his toes, a wrecking ball on a crane? The less people like that running around on the streets the better.

Memory From My Childhood

I was making the bed yesterday, shock horror, when I recalled the words of my mother. When putting the sheets on she wanted me to make sure that I made "hospital corners". If she was to say that to me today I would want to know why I need to do hospital corners as my bed isn't in the hospital. At least I don't have to cook hospital food.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Code Speak

"We apologise for the delay. Our customer service department is experiencing a high number of calls at the moment. If you please continue to hold we'll be with you shortly."

Decoded - We are bloody busy.
- We need to get some coffee.
- There aren't enough people employed to answer the phones.
- We don't believe in customer service.
- The call from the boyfriend is more important than yours.
- Our product is crap and so lots of people are calling to complain about it.

- We have to say sorry. The boss said so. Answering the phones to listen to your problems doesn't rate with us. If you can be bothered waiting we'll talk to you at some stage.

It's always the same message. I'm thinking of putting it on my answering machine.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Battle Of The Wardrobe Malfunctions

Here's a TV special that we'd all like to see. Miss Universe, Jennifer Hawkins, vs Janet Jackson in a Battle of the Wardrobe Malfunctions. By now we've all heard about Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction at the Superbowl where her pierced breast flopped out.

Maybe Miss Universe has gone one better during a catwalk. She stepped on her skirt and revealed her g-string. And she kept on walking. No show stopper like Miss Jackson.

Interest in the catwalks is going to increase. What's next? Maybe a sponsorship by her underwear manufacturer.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

New Banana Cake Recipe

It was my turn to cook tea last night. Miky was studying late. Nothing special - just chicken schnitzels, steamed vegies and some leftovers. But I decided to bake a cake as well.

I came up with my own recipe:

3 mashed bananas
1 1/4 cup of soy flour
1/3 cup self raising flour
1/3 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
100 grams of butter
300 grams of forest fruits yoghurt

Mix it together in a large bowl. Bake in a 180 degrees C oven for 50 minutes until very brown on top. Don't worry about the butter melting and bubbling out of the tin. Oh, yeah. The tin. Grease a tin or tray with butter first.

Surprisingly it tastes ok. And I'm not suffering from food poisoning this morning which is always a good sign.