Monday, February 28, 2005

Looks Like A Cripple, Feels Like A Drink Driver

It wasn't easy to even hobble around on Saturday morning. I had to get Miky to drive me around. I know when I see a guy being driven around by his girlfriend/wife in a sports car I get the feeling that he is a drink driver who has lost his licence. And that about sums up how I felt.

I'm expected some emails regarding my male chauvinistic attitude but it is how I felt. Miky didn't particularly enjoy having to drive me around either. She even had to take me to the polling station for the State election and referendum on trading hours. A very large lady at the polling station asked me what had I done to myself as I limped in front of her. When I said it was a squash injury she said, "Serves you right." I said that I was trying to get fit but really wanted to say, "I want to get rid of this fat. Perhaps you should take it up a few nights a week." I don't know what stopped me.

I'm not too concerned that the Labor Party was re-elected as it means that Colin Barnett has fallen on his sword and we won't have to hear from him again. Perhaps somebody with some charisma, charm and spunk will lead the Liberal Party soon.

But the fact that Western Australians have fallen for the argument put forward by the independent retailers, who have a licence to print money by being able to open on a Sunday, that they would be gobbled up by Coles and Woolies and small business would be wiped out, has irked me somewhat. What a load of bull! Talk about living in the Dark Ages. What sort of a backwards thinking state do I live in. I find it too difficult to get all of my shopping done on a Sunday and who wants to join the ratrace on a Thursday night?

I don't think that we'll be having Daylight Savings anytime soon. Are there no forward thinking people in this state? Crikey, and I thought South Australians were conservative.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Omen For Today's State Election

A lot of today's election has been fought over making enough water available to Perth, either from a desalination plant or, just recently, by building a canal from the Kimberley, way up north.

It rained a little bit today and I thought to myself how that would affect the election results. Would it hurt the Liberals' chances of taking office, as they wish to build the canal, because people make think 'We are saved, we have enough water' or would it herald the coming of a new season / a change, that we need in this State.

Only time will tell. Omens are a load of bunkum anyway.
I'm An Old Crock

I went to play squash last night. Miky warned me about a former flatmate who played squash for the first time and hurt her arse so much she couldn't walk properly. It was meant to get me fit. Not meant to get me an invalid pension. Yes, I picked up an injury.

The King of Squash Championship is a nice little tournament. There are four glass courts, which is a little difficult to get used to initially, and we had nine players. Numbers were picked from a cup to determine your playing court. Top court was no. 12 and no. 9 was the bottom court. If you win you go up, lose and you go down. Six matches were played, three of seven minutes and three of six minutes. Points are scored on every play.

I drew court 12. Got thrashed by Dean 21-10, although Dean admitted that I wore him out. That's when I picked up my first injury - a blister on my thumb. On the last point of the match I crashed into the wall and hurt my left shoulder. Not as serious as Matty Hayden though.

Felt alright after the first game - not too buggered. Spoke to Chris Lark, a squash professional who runs the competition, and asked him why he put me up against the no. 1 seed in the first game.
"He's the no. 2 seed. Fudz is the no. 1 seed."

Guess who my next opponent was?

I was leading Fudz 4-2 when he played a drop shot, his trademark shot as it turns out, and I lunged to reach it, pulled up quickly and felt something go in my right calf. That was it for the night. Magic spray and ice didn't help. The calf feels like it is experiencing a really bad cramp. Don't know if I've torn a muscle or just pulled one. This morning it is still really sore.

I guess I am an old crock. Yu-Jin gets his cast cut off and I go and join the injury list. Miky is NOT too pleased about it. She may have to do the driving this weekend. The drive home was interesting. I used my right foot for the accelerator but the left foot handled the brake. It's going to take a while to live this one down. And Miky never forgets. Or lets you forget for that matter.

Friday, February 25, 2005

AFL - How Does Your Team Rate?

Adelaide Crows - Can play good footy wherever they go. Haven't had a strong coach for the last few years. Stone the Crows. Created the Crow Throw, i.e. a very fast, illegal handball.

Brisbane Lions - These buggers play well anywhere, are tough as nails and when they hit you, you stay hit. The benchmark team for comparing the league. Were also-rans until they joined forces with the competition's easybeats, Fitzroy, and, along with a generous salary cap allowance, have become world beaters.

Carlton Blues - Full of Wogs, bought all of their players and premierships, dirty bastards e.g. Diesel, David Rhys-Jones, all too often beat Champion teams. Bastards the lot of them.

Collingwood Magpies - Nasty, ugly footballers. Full of their own self worth. Think they can buy everything, everyone and wish to be idolised. The most dispised team in the competition and the team everyone wants to see lose. All bastards. Can only win Grand Finals in October.

Essendon Bombers - Most fabulously gifted players play for Essendon. Their skills are incomparable. Best team, by number of premierships, and the most supported throughout Australia and the world (probably because they have linked with those ugly footballers from England - Man U). It is an absolute pleasure to watch how they play the game. Can be guaranteed to beat the Eagles in September.

Fremantle Dockers - From the port where aggression at the ball and the body are fundamental elements of the game. Unfortunately they have little idea of playing the game like a team from the port. Very wishy-washy. Don't see much action in September. Don't see much action in April, May, June, July or August.

Geelong Cats - Carry handbags wherever they go. Not called pussies for nothing.

Hawthorn Hawks - The Hawks have over-achieved until the last decade and just lately they have been lead by a icon in the gay community. Nothing more needs to be explained about their demise from power.

Kangaroos - Formerly North Melbourne, i.e. sold out to the corporate world. Used to have a good player who also played with others' wives. Now being coached by the Junk Yard Dog.

Melbourne Demons - Form like a yo-yo. Up one year and down the next. Very much underachievers. Interestingly they find it very difficult to get enough matches on their home ground, the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Pt Power - From the port where aggression at the ball and the body are fundamental elements of the game. And they carry it out.

Richmond Tigers - Has beens. Won a lot of premierships in the past but filling up the trophy cabinet with wooden spoons at the moment. No stars, no coach, no hope. And still the fans support them.

St Kilda Saints - Full of show ponies. Very strong show ponies, I'll admit. Quite flamboyant at times. Have been the laughing stock of the competition until recent times.

Sydney Swans - Couldn't win a game in Melbourne so they moved to Sydney where they receive generous salary cap concessions. What more needs to be said about these middle of the table sitters.

West Coast Eagles - Travels very poorly but unbeatable at home. No matter how badly they play they always beat the Dorkers, er Dockers. As they say, lions at home - cream puffs away. For too long they have relied on a run-past player (Ben Cousins - not trying to single anybody out).

Western Bulldogs - Best dung heap in the league, i.e. very difficult to beat at home. Hopeless away from it. Dirty, scratching, ugly footballers. Would be better at wrestling than football.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Clichés In The Real Estate Industry

Am I the only person that finds it really difficult to read ads for real estate in the paper or online? Who on earth dreamt up all of the clichés? The real estate industry is due for a shakeup in the marketing department. These terms are overused and have lost any meaning that they may have once had.

Neat as a pin - who wants to live in a bloody pin? Have you ever seen a messy pin? A bent pin maybe, but the gays are known for being neat and tidy. So I guess it doens't matter what type of pin it is.

Renovators' delight - a dump, a heap, start from scratch necessary. Do renovators delight in fixing up crap, overpriced houses? I think not. Unless they are certifiable.

Room to move - if I can't swing a dead cat in the space available it certainly isn't big enough to live in.

One owner - oops. That's for a car. Why don't we see more of this in the real estate industry? Mind you, the house could be 40-50 years old anyway.

Close to all amenities - the toilet and the kitchen are the most important amenitites that I would be looking for.

Sea glimpses - squint or get the binoculars or telescope out if you want to see the sea.

Walking distance to the beach - it could be miles away. I once went for a walk for 17 kms to a place in Norway, out of Tronheim, because I had a computer game by that name. Had lunch and then walked back again.

Has potential - the last idiot owner buggered up the job completely and you had best look for a vacant lot if you don't want the hassle or expense of fixing it. Don't touch with a barge pole.
Detention Is The Only Answer - A Cynical View

You may, or may not, have heard about the case of a Chinese woman, Cui Yu Hu, who has been refused a visa to stay in Australia with her family. The first option is to deport her to China. Small problem - no airline will transport her because she is too frail. Perhaps the Australian Government should pay one or two hundred thousand dollars to charter a small Lear Jet and take her back to China in style. Not sure where they would leave her as she has no home, friends or family in China.

Now the government has come up with the solution - put her in a detention centre. Yes, she can't be a danger to the Australian public if she is locked away. Just think of the mayhem that a 104 year old Chinese woman, who probably doesn't speak any English, could cause in our streets. It would be criminal to allow her to freely roam the streets. Yes, lock her up and throw away the key. Even our mental patients would rather not stay in detention centres. Society is better off without illegal centenarians living amongst us and wreaking untold havoc. Untold because we've never had any.

If she stays locked up in a five-star detention centre for eight years then Australia could lay claim to having their oldest resident. Wouldn't that be something to look forward to?

What gets me is that the government has the power to lock someone in a detention centre for the rest of their lives, if no other country wishes to take them, but the scumbags of this country that need to be locked up for the rest of their natural lives aren't able to be. How bloody ridiculous is that?

Some Rubbish

A single mum has kid/s but no husband/boyfriend/partner. So what do you call a mum who has a husband/boyfriend/partner - a double mum?

If a blinding machine makes blinds what does an f'ing and blinding machine make?

"If you only see one movie this summer" - you either have kids/work too hard/think that all movies coming out of Hollywood are crap/can't afford to go to the movies.

Proof That Rugby Players Are Dumb

Let's see how clear cut this situation appears to be. Rugby team stays in a hotel. Rugby team has a curfew. Rugby team is told about the curfew. Coaching staff goes to be. Many of the rugby team get drunk and break down a door in a girls' dormitory at a college. One member of the rugby team sexually assualts, remember this is after 3am, one of the girls by feeling her up.

What transpired - rugby club gives rugby player one hour to show due cause as to why he shouldn't be sacked. Rugby player is sacked. Rugby player thinks that it is unfair that he was sacked. Rugby player feels that rugby team didn't give him enough support.

How dumb is this guy? Who in their right mind would support his highly inappropriate actions? He only got kicked out of the club, not quite out of society like he should be. How can he not realise that most of Australia feel his actions were abhorent?

And rugby league wants to educate their players. What is happening in schools and in the homes of people such as these?

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

From The Mouth Of Beckham

I see that David Beckham has spawned again. And he and Posh called their latest arrival Cruz, which is Spanish for "cross". I did see him admit that, "It was hard this time," to find a name for the baby.

Excuse me. I would go so far as to say that he didn't appear to do a great job the last couple of times either. I'm just wondering if it has anything to do with cruzeiro, the currency of Brazil. Is he planning to move to Brazil or is there the likelihood of some sponsorship from Brazil?

Call me a cynic.

Crash On The Kwinana Freeway

I spent 40 minutes on Mill Point Rd yesterday on the way to work. It normally takes on 5-6 minutes. Some idiot had stolen a car, along with three of his mates and had been chased down the Freeway by the police. He then crossed to the wrong side of the road and collided head on with a taxi. The taxi driver is in a critical condition, the driver is ok (isn't that always the way?), one of his idiot mates is dead with another injured and one guy escaped.

The police blocked the whole of the Freeway. I was late for work but I feel really sorry for the people heading south - they were banked back for miles and had no way to go except get off at South Perth.

The driver of the stolen car was apparently on parole for car theft! Bring back capital punishment I reckon. One less, along with his accomplices, blight on society. There is no room in our society for these idiots.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Must Be Getting Old

Squash starts on Friday night at Curtin Uni. It employs a system whereby you play somebody for seven minutes and try to win as many points as possible. If you win you move up a level. Lose and you go down. After seven minutes I reckon I will be well and truly knackered. And if I win the first match I go on to play someone better?

Like I said, I must be getting old. Tendonitis has been playing up in the knee for the last couple of days. I've been riding my bike pretty much every morning and taking the odd walk as well. Did a quick jog a couple of nights ago and the knee gave me some pain and locked up for a bit.


Kids grow up fast, don't they? I am organising sleepovers for my son and he's only four. I don't remember when my first sleepover with a friend was - probably not until high school I should imagine. His friend Jesse came over and I let them watch a movie before getting them to compete to see who could eat their tea the quickest. After having their showers I sent them to Yu-Jin's room at 8:30 saying they could play and talk until they liked. Well, the movie Black Hawk Down started then.

For the next hour it was, "Can we have a drink?" "Can we have a tissue?" "Can we have another drink?" They were bothering me just as the Black Hawk was shot down. I can't believe that I missed the critical point in the movie and so I don't know if it was a missile or a gun that brought it down. Anybody able to help me? Terrible timing on the kid's behalf. They were good kids otherwise. And they were up at 6:30 the next morning.

Something the soldiers kept calling when a missile was incoming was "RPG!" I guess that they aren't referring to "Role Playing Game" and would like to know what the term stands for also.
Monsters Inc

I've mentioned before that Yu-Jin has been very busy colouring in monsters and putting all over the walls in his bedroom. Well, here are a few of the monsters in question.

Monsters Inc

Where's Mike?

.. and Sully?

AFL Tribunal Fixed Penalties

The fixed penalties system for offences committed during an AFL match appear to be working already. So far Carlton have lost Scott Camporeale for one week and that is very welcome news.

I hope this new system works. All too often players have been able to get off scott-free when they were guilty as sin. Take Jonathon Brown for instance. He should have had at least four weeks on the sidelines through suspension last year and got off because the charge was incorrectly laid. Definite overhaul of the system required. Let's hope it works. The more Carlton and Collingwood bastards that are rubbed out the better.

Monday, February 21, 2005

The Young Fella Is Brainwashed

Miky has been complaining about not having enough time to do everything. This includes handwashing of Yu-Jin's school uniform. He has two sets of uniform and so they require washing about three times during the week. I, yes the Frugal Bastard, told her to buy at least one more set to make her life easier. It isn't as though he is going to grow out of it anytime soon. It is size six and he is really only a size four.

On the way to school on Friday Miky asked Yu-Jin about buying another uniform. He said to her, "Don't buy it mum. It's a waste of money. We're saving our money to go on an aeroplane to Korea."

He sure takes after his old man.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

UWA Picnic and Pictorial

Miky thought that it would be a good idea to go out for a picnic today. She was right. We invited some Mauritian friends and it was great to get together in the Sunken Garden - and old style outdoor auditorium which had plenty of shade. I guess that UWA is only 20 minutes drive from my house so it wasn't too difficult to get too. It was also a lovely setting and great to catch up with friends.

Winthrop Hall

Winthrop Hall Clock

Weather Vane

Arts Department

Arts Department 2

Greek or Roman?

Entrance to Winthrop Hall

Yu-Jin and Sophie

How To Make Students Feel Great About Themselves

The Labor Government of Western Australia has a great plan for making students feel great about themselves. They have just announced that if Year 10 and 11 students wish to graduate they will be required to carry out 20 hours of community service.

Why? Don't we have enough criminals doing community service at the moment? How exactly will that improve self esteem? How much community service do you have to do after bashing an old lady and snatching her handbag?

Think of all those people that would love to go back to school to complete their education and need to be treated like a common criminal for the priviledge. How would you feel if your son or daughter was about to finish school? I think that it will encourage kids to quit school following Year 10 so as to avoid it.

Bureaucracy gone mad.... or madder!
Old McDonald Had A Restaurant

To the tune of "Old McDonald had a farm".

Old McDonald had a restaurant
High cholesterol
And in that restaurant he sold burgers
Big Mac, cheeseburgers
With a salad here
Cola there
Here a cake
There a juice
Do you want fries with that?
Old McDonald had a restaurant
High cholesterol

Guess I'm not great at writing parodies.

AFL Best And Maybe-Not-So-Fairest

I'm with the oldies on this one. The Brownlow Medal goes to the best and fairest player in the league throughout a season. No dirty play, no suspensions or any misdemeanours. The best player who hasn't been found guilty of dirty play.

Is the AFL not happy with the talented and fair players that have won the medal in recent years? Why the change? Maybe change the award's name to the title of this blog. What kind of nutcake decided that it needed to be changed?

Perhaps it was the same bloke who decided that they should have a woman commissioner, just for the sake of it. I'm with Essendon, of course, Geelong and even those bastards from Collingwood with not having an extra commissioner just so that they can have a woman. You get one in there and she will realise that she is one of nine. That's not too fair - there should be at least four or five out of the nine being women. The current commissioners are the ones who will lose their positions. Popularists. People running organisations shouldn't be popularist. Look at John Howard. He runs corporation Australia and looks like an idiot when he tries to get the popularist vote. But I digress.

We'll see if they can bugger up our great game. You'll get dirty bastards like Greg Williams winning the Brownlow with these new rules. Hang about. He did win the Brownlow under the old rules. Hmmm, something should be done about the rules but they certainly shouldn't be relaxed. Perhaps banning all dirty Collingwood and Carlton players from winning the medal, i.e. the whole playing list, would do the trick.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Secret Trolleypersons' Business

You have to wonder about this breed of human - the trolleyboy/girl. I wonder what the skills required for the job are:

See how many studs you can stick through your bottom lip/eyebrow/nose/cheek.
See who can grow the mangiest beard/goatee.
See how many earrings you can poke into your ear lobs/middle area/ear top.
See how long you can grow your unkempt hair.

Obviously feral is in. The people in this industry have the look and I'd be nervous about employing them. Not too many of them seem to have muscles - they all look rather weedy. And they also look rather weedy.

Cigarette Butt Litterers Shame File

Don't throw your cigarette butts out of the window while driving in front of me.

Shamed Person No. 1:

Perpetrator: Man, grey hair
Car: Blue BMW Z3
Licence Plate: 1AAE874
Location: Mill Pt Road, South Perth
Time: 7:47am, Tuesday 15th February 2005

Shame, you rich prick, shame. And it isn't the first time I have seen you do it. And it was 42 degrees a bit later in the day.
Shame Perth's Women Drivers, Bloody Shame

Not a happy trip to work this morning. Whilst merging at an on-ramp to the Freeway I left enough space to let the bloke on my left stay in front of me and some woman driver decided to speed up and push her way in. Not very safe, quite rude, and pretty poor driving.

Worse was to come.

Driving down Hay St in West Perth and I was stopped at the lights. Lane on my left to go straight and mine also. Lane on my right was a turning lane. Lights change to green and I accelerate away from line. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed the car on my right getting closer and closer. It was just about to sideswipe me, and would have cleaned up the traffic lights on the other side of the intersection anyway, when I managed to stop and blow the horn. The horn position on Ford Falcons is an abomination but I did get it to work. This woman stopped only a few inches away from my pannelling and then waved me on as if I could go. The stupid bitch was supposed to be turning and had no right to be going through the intersection. What was she thinking?

1BDX763 - Silver Toyota - look out for her.

Two intersections later she got into the turning-right lane again and wouldn't look in my direction. Not surprised. If her lip-reading skills were any good she would have a good idea of my feeling from beforehand. I put on the handbrake and put the car into neutral but forced myself not to get out of the car and point out that the arrow on the road means that you have to turn.

I may have lost it completely. As I have said before, there is not enough road rage for the idiots that deserve it.
When Does The "Last Time" Mean The Last Time?

Obviously not when John Farnham is involved. A couple of years ago he promoted his "Last Time Tour" and it sucked a lot of people in to pay exhorbitant prices to see this great icon, and ego, of Australian music just one more time.

A year or two later he was doing some more singing on another tour, and he's touring with Tom Jones at the moment. Somebody sued him for false advertising, rightly so, as "The Last Time" should mean that we never have to hear from him again. Which may be altogether too soon anyway.

Now his management has been planning for five months to give a concert at the 90th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. Thank you Helen Clark, the Kiwi Prime Minister. She said that it would be inappropriate for a concert to be held with John Farnham singing. I couldn't agree more. Gallipoli should be a solemn ceremony where our respects can be paid to those that fell fighting for freedom for everyone. Not some blue light disco or dance party. Who the bloody hell does John Farnham think he is? More like who he was in my opinion.

Helen Clark has just raised the relations between Australia and New Zealand to new highs. I'd vote for her if she was Australian. Let's keep the dignified and respectful ceremony that we've always had. Drop the ego trip Mr Farnham.
Help At The Hospital

The other day when Miky took Yu-Jin to Princess Margaret Hospital she left her address book there. We received a phone call to ask us to collect it.

I rang from work just before 5pm. No answer.
I visited after work just after 5pm. Paid for parking. Difficult place to locate. Door locked. Guy next door said they were open from 8-4.
Called in early the next morning on my way to work. They were open but the lady who looks after lost property wasn't in until 8:30. Nobody else had key. Nothing was written in the lost property book. Didn't want to return during lunch and so I asked about posting it. Obviously they didn't want to ruin my reputation as I offered to pay for the postage and they refused. On two occasions.

I know they were trying to be helpful but it didn't feel like it. Thank you to those ladies anyway.

Verbal Instructions

Picked up the bed frame last night. The guy who constructed the pieces told me about the bolts to put it together and the verbal instructions that were with them.
"Verbal instructions, eh? Are you sure they aren't written instructions?"
"No, verbal instructions," was his reply.

Couldn't wait to get this home and listen to the verbal instructions. Was it going to be like the card from ANZ which played music when you opened it? It turns out that they were indeed written instructions and I didn't bother to read them. I am a man and we don't need instructions to follow when building something.

Nice smell of varnish filled the room.

Free Financial Advice

Received a phone call last night asking if I would like some free financial advice. Consultants would be in my area offering financial advice for free.
"What's this scheme about?" I asked.
The girl on the other end proceeded to ask if there was anybody working in the household, did we have any loans etc. I told her it was none of her business and that I didn't need her advice.

I am curious as to what they were trying to sell. And how many people they sucked in.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

New Definition - Moon Walking

Everybody thinks that moon walking is something that Michael Jackson perfected. I have a new definition, and the best practitioners are plumbers and builders. It involves some fat bugger walking along, in a pair of shorts usually, and his bum crack is showing. Therefore, he is mooning whilst walking, hence the term moon walking.


Yu-Jin and I have been watching the Spiderman cartoon on Channel 10 in the mornings. The jokes are corny, the cartoon itself is nothing spectacular, and it really is 1950s style humour. Can't imagine why it would be popular with today's younger generation. Interestingly, the movie has only been made recently due to progress in filming. Stan Lee, one of the creators of Spiderman, believed that the technology has only just become available to allow the movie to be created effectively. Based on the not-so-special effects from the cartoon, the movie could have been made years ago, IMHO.

Friendly People Get Up Early

A bike ride in the morning has become a regular thing for me. Mainly because I can't get up early enough to go for a walk. I have noticed that most people you come across in the early hours are friendly and will say hello. And it surprises me sometimes just how many people are out walking or riding. Mind you, there aren't too many young people involved in these early morning activities. I don't really have time for it at the end of the day.
Curtin Uni Vice Chancellor Moving On

I heard on the radio this morning that Curtin University Vice Chancellor, Professor Lance Twomey, a nice bloke by all accounts, is retiring. He's been there as long as I can remember. I did meet him once when I made the Vice Chancellor's List. I believe that his fellow academics came together to hear his speech and they may have been expecting to hear "how good it has been to work with you".

It went more along the lines of "50 staff per year will be made redundant" and "unpopular classes, and their staff, will be cut". I bet it didn't go down well. Consider that most lecturers would be earning about $70000 p.a. for their positions.

Fifty staff to bite the dust, eh? Let's see, I'm sure that I could name three or four of them. I saw some dead wood in my time at uni. By heck they take a long time to do anything properly at the uni.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

What on earth were IKEA thinking when they named this series of desks? I'd like to know what it this means in Swedish. Do they have a test for how their ranges translate? Made me laugh anyway.
Posted by Hammy

Dad and the junior fella. Not a bad look, eh?
Posted by Hammy
Do The People On Radio Have No Conscience?

This morning on the very long trip in to work, as there was a breakdown on the Freeway, I heard an advertisement for the Mercedes Sprinter. Obviously reasons for the name. The next advert was for road safety "Drop 5, Save Lives".

Not a lot of thought went into putting those ads together.

My Heart Was In My Mouth

Just after dropping Yu-Jin off this morning I was stopped at some traffic lights where we had two lanes of traffic each way. A boy, maybe six or seven, approached the median strip on my right hand side and then walked in front of my car. Now, traffic in the lane to my left was moving rather freely. A car went by and then this kid just ran across the road. No looking or anything. Slight shock set in. I could just see this kid getting cleaned up. A car did have to slow down for him but the boy has no road sense, whatsoever.

I can see why so many pedestrians get killed. I'm just surprised that there aren't more during the peak hours.

Pole Top Fire Irony

Perth has been affected by quite a few blackouts in recent days. The ironic thing is that they are caused by the rain. Yes, you did read correctly, rain. Western Power has told us that dust has settled on the insulators on the power lines and with a bit of drizzle it makes a short between the lines. The wooden power pole catches fire and you have a few thousand people left without any power for a few hours.

Apart from a few deaths that this kind of problem has lead to recently, the Labor Government may lose power, electorally speaking, because of this issue.

In The WTF Department

Lots of incidents whilst driving to work this morning. I did see one woman, as I drove in front of her car, who had a towel draped across the drivers side window to keep the sun out. The fact that she couldn't see anything out of her side window obviously didn't bother her. I found the image quite disturbing - how on earth did she think that she could drive safely?

Chain Letter - At Long Last

Not that I want people to start sending me chain letters but I finally received one today from Thomas Aka in Liberia, Africa, asking to help his family out with the $15.5m worth of gold etc that they had. In return for helping him to get it out of the country I could take 25%. What a nice fellow.

Bugger. He said that I shouldn't tell anybody - it must remain confidential.

This must be an Irish banana. If you remember the joke - Q. Why did the Irish banana company go out of business? A. Because they threw away all the bent ones.
Posted by Hammy

Monday, February 14, 2005

Kings Park Waterfall
Posted by Hammy

I enjoy playing with the digital camera too much
Posted by Hammy

Posted by Hammy

More flora from Kings Park
Posted by Hammy

Is it Christmas?
Posted by Hammy

Don't touch the prickles
Posted by Hammy

Kings Park Flora
Posted by Hammy
Trip To Kings Park

Hot day yesterday. Not too much to do so Miky suggested we go to Kings Park. Top idea that. Videotaped, digitally, the trip in over the Narrows bridge. We even got some rain, which was rather odd. Lots of people up in the park. Not too many flowers about. Nice way to spend the afternoon. Got to play around with my digital camera too.

Bought Yu-Jin a jigsaw puzzle with lots of reptiles on it and he was busy with it when it was time to go to bed. Do you think that he was happy about that? No-sir-ee.

First day at school - broken arm and all.
Posted by Hammy

Dad and son
Posted by Hammy

The Missus
Posted by Hammy
If It Is Broken, Fix It

Perhaps you recall a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that Yu-Jin may have broken his arm. He went to school the next day before going to the doctor, whose diagnosis was that the arm wasn't broken but it may be severely bruised and quite painful for some time.

Fast foward two weeks and I have had to dry Yu-Jin after his shower and help him change in and out of shirts. At night time he has been waking up in pain. Miky took him to Princess Margaret Hospital for Children this morning and as soon as the triage nurse touched his arm she sent him off for an X-ray.

"Yep, it's broken," was the diagnosis. He now has a plaster cast on and that will stay for the next two weeks.

Tough kid, I must say.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

FB Buys A Bed

Did some serious shopping today. First place we visited sold futons and all we wanted was a base. Found one that would do the job and the price was ok. Had a look at another futon place but they were $100 dearer.

Next stop was Bedshed. I had visited the store in Cannington last week and chosen the mattress that I liked - a pocket-spring version. It was on sale at $200 off and I thought that I'd be a smartarse and try to get it cheaper elsewhere. Being in sales myself I felt a bit guilty about this. But, what the hell.

Different store, same price. No budging on the price. Took my business back to Cannington's store which I felt good about. The guy, Christian, said, "Thanks for coming back, Mark," once the sale had been made. I didn't know what to say.

What I was thinking was "The reason I came back was that I couldn't buy the damn thing cheaper anywhere else."

I am a Frugal Bastard afterall.
A Limerick

A tour company once sailed on the Bosporus,
But the water was found to be phosphorous,
Operator Mike said to Stan,
"The strait tour we must can,
'Cause it's just causing a loss for us."

Incidentally, I've been to Limerick in Ireland.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Gee, wasn't I a skinny lad?
Posted by Hammy
Holy Heck!

Well blow me down. It works! I posted a photo to Blogger through Hello from Picasa (I know this doesn't make sense yet) but there it is. I am not quite sure where the photo is being hosted, although it did mention peer-to-peer networking. I guess if I turn my computer off you won't be able to see the pic.

Let me know if you can see the pic of Grandma, Grandpa and the Grandson. Please.

Grandma and Grandpa with the Bouncing-off-the-walls Grandson
Posted by Hammy
Lost ... But Not In Translation

As a family we sat down and watched the epic TV program Lost last night. Yu-Jin had been bugging me for a few days to watch the show with the man in the tree and I had no idea what he was talking about as I haven't seen a great deal of anything on the tv of late. It just so happened that there was a body in a tree following a plane wreck on a deserted, or so we think, island. Nice premise.

I didn't want him to stay up too late and he fell asleep after less than 20 minutes anyway. But he did see what he wanted to see.

Getting to the translation bit. There is a Korean couple that were on the plane, strangely enough, and they don't speak any English. The girl even said so in Korean. Interestingly there are no subtitles and the audience has to work out from their body language, more than anything, what they are saying. It is a bit unfair that I have an interpreter right here but their dialogue was so basic I knew pretty much everything they said. Reading between the lines of course - just the main words. More to the point, Miky said, "That guy's not Korean. His Korean is ok though." Looking at the guy his ancestory is definitely Korean but he doesn't have the accent. I would say that he was born in the US and can speak Korean well enough but hasn't lived with too many native speakers, or not enough of them to get the dialect. The girl is a star in Korea so she had the accent.

I wonder what people who don't understand any Korean were thinking. Probably, who are these Chinese and what the hell are they talking about?

People are going to hear more about the Koreans in the near future. Well, North Korea has just announced that it is a Nuclear Power. I bet they are busy writing speeches for George Dubya now - they couldn't have him adlibbing and appearing to be a blithering, wandering, mindless idiot. Oh, perhaps he does write his own speeches, in that case.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Just Like Stirling Moss

When I am out and about having a walk I feel just like Stirling Moss - the famous British racing car driver. He said that whenever he was driving he couldn't help but think about exit routes in case of an emergency. It harks back to his days as a racing driver. Back then you had to be prepared to exit the race track if there was any trouble ahead. It was instinctive rather than reactive. When he drives these days it is the same thing.

Now, getting back to me, my favourite subject, when I'm out for a walk I can't help but see bottles, cans and cartons. Thanks dad, for reintroducing me to this. I feel like Stirling Moss, there's an exit, all the time.

Maybe it is only me that understands.

It's A Small World

I had a phone call on Monday from a wholesaler. He gave me his first name and I needed to get his email address to send him some info. When he said his surname something went "ding" in my head. It was the same as the people we bought our house from.

Now this guy was from Busselton, which isn't too far from Bunbury, where the former occupants of our home moved to. I asked him if Carol was his mother. No, she wasn't. Then I explained why I asked and that it had been a bit of a long shot and then he said, "Was his name Brent?"
"He's my uncle."

This may seem strange but if I were to ask you if your mother's name was Carol and she happened to be your aunty don't you think that you would mention that? If I hadn't done a bit more explaining I wouldn't have found out.

Like they say, it is a small world.

Dawdling Dog

Out for a walk this morning, pretending to be Stirling Moss, and I came past one bloke who was walking his dog. The dog was dawdling behind him however. Said "G'day" and kept on my way. After visiting the Post Office I returned home and bumped into him again. The dog was still dragging his heels behind his owner.

I said to the guy, "I've got a four year old like your dog."

I dunno what it is. Going for a walk with Yu-Jin you have to hold his hand to make him keep up. Otherwise he falls behind. I don't think the guy understood my comment. He was so shocked to bump into me again at that hour of the morning (just after 6).

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Accountants Rule

Imagine being an accountant. One of our MDs is, along with his engineering degree, and he was just walking around, going from office to office, counting something on his fingers.

It must be hard work at the top.
Australia Card Is On The Cards

All this business about Cornelia Rau, a mentally ill woman who was locked up in the Baxter Detention Centre for four months without mental health care because she pretended to be a German migrant who had lost her visa, can only lead to one thing. The reintroduction of debate surrounding the Australia Card. If all of her personal details were known they would have discovered who she was a lot sooner and there wouldn't be the public uproar that there has been.

Perhaps Australians are better off because of this incident or perhaps they are worse off. The Australia Card, which the Hawke Government tried to introduce in the '80s I believe, would have your Medicare details, perhaps licence details, all sorts of personal info contained within and people would be left with less privacy than they have now.

Or maybe the government needs to introduce some mental health facilities into the detention centres. Leave the rest of us alone.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Working Hours Irony

I'm a morning person and have been used to starting work at 6am over many a year. Miky, on the other hand, is not a morning person and is still a bit of a mess by the time I drop her off at work, even after having had a coffee.

I'm glad to say that she has kicked the coffed habit, as part of her detox program, and with Yu-Jin going to before- and after-school care now she wants to pick him up early. She is out the door by 7am to get to work early so that she can knock off early to pick him up.

My job doesn't allow me to start before 8:30am. Well, I could but I wouldn't get paid for that time.

I find it quite ironic that the early riser starts work late and the late riser starts early. We'll see how long before she gets sick of this.


On the telly the other night they had a presentation of "The World's Greatest Circuses" or something. It was supposed to be about the Moscow Circus and was hosted by Nikki Webster. You know, I have a thing pronunciation and the girl needs to learn that "recognise" has a "g" in it. I would have thought that a singer, different "g" sound, would need to enunciate properly. Disappointed I was.

Anyway, there were no animals in this show and therefore a great deal of acrobats. Just what affect do you think that that had on Yu-Jin. He started juggling things and doing some very strange stretching routines when he went to bed. Contortionism may be just his thing.

Thankfully with his arm still very sore he won't be doing too many acrobatics.
Do Number Plates Play On Your Mind?

They do on mine. In Western Australia we have new number plates that start with "1" followed by three letters and three numerals. The first letter was "A" but we are now well into the "B"'s. I can't help but read the plates as acronyms.

For Example:

1AFL123 - Australian Football League
1ACS383 - Automated Control Systems
1BLF893 - Builders Labourers Federation
1ACT373 - Australian Capital Territory

Yeah, you're probably right. It is just some more crap that goes through my head.

Riding The Men's Way

Yu-Jin and I rode to Bunnings on Sunday to pick up the paper. On the way back I suggested we go "the men's way" instead of "the girls' way" - i.e. the long way instead of the short way.

What should have been a five kilometre ride turned out to be an eight kilometre ride as we found out that the bridge only one kilometre from home had been closed for maintenance and we had to backtrack almost the whole way. It didn't make him go to sleep any earlier, let me tell you.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Trip To Grandma's House - 29th January

We arose at a reasonable hour this morning and walked to the Adelaide markets for breakfast. Yu-Jin had fish and chips for breakfast (!) and I had some lovely pancakes. Walked to Victoria Square to go for a ride to Glenelg on the tram. Once there we went to the jetty and for a walk along the beach. On the way back to the hotel we wandered through Victoria Square.

Checked out of the hotel and paid $11 for parking - bastards. They charged us for overnight parking and then for a few hours of daytime parking. I asked quite clearly last night, on more than one occasion, what time we had to get the car out and the guy said that we could park all day. I would rather have paid the $19 for valet parking and not have felt ripped off!

Went to the Brickworks which is a market and looked for a gift to get Miky. I found one stall where they engraved a copy of a photograph onto metal for a necklace or whatever and thought that that would make a great present. I even had a decent photo of Yu-Jin to work from. It turns out that I was the guy's first customer and he had opened his stall four days earlier.

Tried to ring a few mates from the airport on the way out as I hadn't had time to visit them. One had gone to Bunnings and I couldn't get the other guy's number from Directory (Non-)Assistance. Must be a yuppy who doesn't have a landline.

At the airport the security was pretty strict. Everyone but dad went through the metal detector and our carry on luggage went through the x-ray machine. I noticed that dad went through the metal detector ok but they took him aside for something from the x-ray machine. Next thing you know, he's disappeared. About ten minutes later he appeared. Poor old dad - he hadn't thought about the pocket knife that he was carrying! They didn't want to hang on to it for him and wanted to throw it away so he had to wander out to the car to put it away. He is so innocent. I don't know, what is wrong with security - not allowing someone to go to the departure lounge with a pocket knife. Whatever next? I did notice an old lady get a hard time after going through the metal detector.

Yu-Jin slept all the way after getting upset that the movie wasn't on. Even through the landing. They showed an episode of Kath and Kim firstly. It turns out that the old lady who had the problem with the metal detector sat next to me. I welcomed her by asking, "You must be the bionic woman?" Kath, nearly 80, had a metal hip and knee. All the security checks had made her unwilling to travel by plane again. She had to be felt up by a female security guard.

Perfectly well behaved
Trip To Grandma's House - 28th January

Up early, 6am, after a late night. Drove to Adelaide and it rained for quite a bit of the way. Arrived in North Adelaide for mum's visit to a specialist. Yu-Jin woke up just after mum and dad had left the car and so we walked around North Adelaide taking photos of wonderful old buildings. Took about 100 photos.

One really nice thing about that really conservative town of Adelaide are the lovely heritage buildings that survive. Quite a bit of history there and it looks marvellous.

Bought lunch and drove to Daphne and Malcolm Hunt's house. They are Adelaide Crows supporters so they deserved to get some stick. I remembered my childhood which involved a fair bit of meeting the old relatives and could understand how Yu-Jin possibly felt. "Who are these old people and will I ever meet them again?"

Did some shopping and looked for the hotel. They were offering valet parking for $19 and when we found it we drove around the block to turn around so that we could pull into the driveway. Well, this is where the fun began. Just after dad did a u-turn, the car conked out. On the street. We pushed it to the side of the road and were lucky that it was 6 o'clock and so the traffic wasn't too bad. I took all of the luggage to the hotel which was two blocks away and checked us in. Mum and Yu-Jin we able to go to the hotel and I helped dad to work on the car.

We spent about three quarters of an hour pfaffing about and found that a wire had fallen off the coil. That's all. Across the road was a cheap parking spot for $5 overnight. Much better than $19.

Had a lovely bath in the Rendezvous Allegra Hotel Adelaide, got dressed and had tea in the restaurant. Thought that the prices weren't too bad but I turned out to be only the price for an entree. Tea was quite nice though. I rang Miky and then dad and I went for a walk along Hindley St. Little bit tame by European standards I must admit.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Trip To Grandma's House - 27th January

Visited Lorraine and Ashley Geeves this morning. They live in Great Grandma Jones' house - my mum's grandma. Her father built it for his mother around 1942. We did some shopping down the street and I let Yu-Jin play in Apex Park for a while. After lunch I did a few things on the computer for my mum.

Great Grandma Jones' House

Apex Park in the centre of Bordertown

Later that afternoon I took Yu-Jin to the Bordertown Memorial Pool. It was the first time that Yu-Jin has been in an outdoor pool. He enjoyed it enormously. Lots of smoke surrounded the pool as there was a fire in Ngarkat National Park.

Just as we were about leave I noticed one bloke and it turned out to be Sandy Crawford, my old physical education teacher. He has been at Bordertown High School for 26 years. Apparently the Biology Pool has been filled in for car parking. You may also notice that the house on the corner of the Bordertown Primary School has been knocked over.

Dad and I walked about 7 or 8 kilometres tonight in 1 hr and 45 mins and collected 98 cans/bottles/cartons. A record that will stand for ages no doubt.
Trip To Grandma's House - 26th January

Australia Day - I've been waiting to get some of my friends together to have a BBQ. Just the thing to do on Australia Day. And it was 39 degrees C. Just the weather for a BBQ. Typical in fact. My mate Kev, his missus Barb and her kids Chloe and Ben came up as did another mate James and his son Blade.

From the left: James, Hammy, Kev, Blade and Lachlan

The barbie was a bit slow to get started which allowed the salads to be delivered by my sister. Yu-Jin was really waiting for his cousins to come as they are much closer in age to him than Ben and Blade. Yu-Jin had a good time mucking around with his cousins and he had been dying to give them some activity packs and chocolates that I had bought for them. In fact, because I had forgotten them a few nights before when we visited them he got really upset with me.

Yu-Jin, Lachlan and Riley

I got the skateboards out of the shed and we had a bit of a muck around. The boys found an exercise bike in the shed and so, in 39 degrees, we had races to see who could go the fastest. There is life in the old boy yet as I got up to 34 miles per hour - about 55 km/h.

Dad and I went for another walk tonight and collected 23 cans/bottles/cartons. Another thunderstorm approached and missed us again. Most disappointing.
Trip To Grandma's House - 25th January

It was 40 degrees C today, and at just the time that I was cleaning the back verandah. This morning we went shopping and mum bought an electric shredder. I popped into Bordertown Visitor Information Centre to pick up some postcards. Chris Mackerath started crapping on about the tourist sites in Bordertown, "Oh, we have white kangaroos in the park nearby." I mentioned that I grew up in the town and she continued to babble on and then said, "What did you say?"

The Bordertown Hotel, i.e. The Pub

The disused Bordertown Railway Station

We went for a drive around Snob Hill on the eastern side of Bordertown and past Clayton Farm. I read all of my old letters from friends overseas and shredded them. Later that night when I rang Miky she mentioned that I should keep all of them. I got rid of them because I was sure that she didn't want me to keep them.

Shed on Clayton Farm

As I mentioned earlier, it was a big cleaning effort. I cleaned up the verandah in the heat of the afternoon and then did the pantry floor. Dad was still down at the farm so I was on my own. Later in the evening a thunderstorm approached the town but stopped just on the outskirts. Yu-Jin and I checked it out a few hours later and it was in the same place. Bit eerie that. Did see some smoke from a fire started by lightning in Western Flat.

Quick Question

If orange juice is called OJ why isn't apple juice called AJ?

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Trip To Grandma's House - 24th January

We went to Naracoorte today to do some shopping and to visit the farm. I let Yu-Jin play on a train in the park firstly and then we had a look around the farm before heading into town to get some fuel. A couple of hundred litres of it, no less. No point in wasting those discount fuel vouchers. And the bonus points that will appear on the credit card statement. Yu-Jin went back to the farm with Grandpa while Mum and I did the shopping. Picked up a few more discount fuel vouchers along the way.

Bought Red Rooster for lunch. When we got to the farm Yu-Jin didn't want his lunch as he had had three pieces of raisin bread from Grandpa, who was worried about the amount of food left for him, and so we kept it for tea.

Grandpa shore a sheep and then got Yu-Jin to help him crutch a lamb. I have this on video, digital format (Quicktime), if anyone is interested. Probably not though.

Vege patch down on the farm

Meet the sheep

Grandpa shearing a sheep

Yu-Jin helping to the crutch the lamb

Thirsty work

Yu-Jin was obviously excited by all that was going on, including looking out for snakes while holding a shovel as he and Grandpa walked around the property, that he wanted to stay the night. My Dad stays on the farm overnight so that he can check on the diesel pump that is watering all of the back paddock. Grandpa didn't think that it was a good idea as he had to get up every two hours during the night.

Before heading home we went down to the irrigation channel. I wanted Yu-Jin to have a bit of a walk around in the water to cool down. It was about 35 degrees C that day. As soon as he entered the water he slipped over and got himself quite wet. That meant that the drive home was conducted with a sleeping boy with no pants on.

The irrigation channel that Yu-Jin almost went for a swim in