Saturday, April 30, 2005

It Was The Boy's Fifth Birthday Today

I had promised him a flight in a helicopter and he missed out last weekend. We hastily organised it for today, his birthday, and managed to get the last flight of the day, as the weather was closing in and the pilot had to get back to Fremantle while he still could.

As it turned out my friend Ben turned up fifteen minutes late and we were about to board the helicopter when he did so. I enjoyed the flight but spent too much time watching it through the viewer on my digital camera trying to video it than watching it for real. Got a few nice snaps and hopefully some interesting video.

The Boy Is Quite Interested During His Flight

Overlooking The Mitchell Freeway Which Runs North Of Perth City

Perth Doesn't Look So Bad From Up Here

Happy Birthday Boy Enjoying The Flight

The View Above Kings Park Was Wonderful

Overlooking The Bell Tower On The Swan River Foreshore At The End Of Barrack St

Oh No. We're Going To Die! The Pilot Has Passed Out.

Don't Let Your Friends Take That Special Photo, Even If They Have A Digital Camera Themselves.

Doesn't matter. He took another shot and it came out ok. Five minutes of fun was over in, well, five minutes I guess. Gee, how am I going to top that for Yu-Jin next birthday.

As an aside, one of my friends, Yu-Jin's best friend's dad, rang to say that he had gone to the party today in a hurry after hastily wrapping the present and couldn't find Yu-Jin having a party anywhere in the building. Then he looked at the invitation and it said RSVP 30th of April - the party is next weekend even though I booked it three weeks ago. The venue is very popular is booked about a month in advance.
I Never Thought It Would Happen To Me

No, this is not a letter to Penthouse Forum. I haven't had too much trouble with my computer in the past. The last 24 hours or so have made a bit of difference to that fact. Actually, it has been going on for a bit longer than that.

Over about the last week there has been the occasional "Operating System not found" message generated. I thought that it may have been my wife, as she can be a bit of a jinx around technology, but it wasn't the case.

Last night the computer just wouldn't start and I was greeted with this message every time I tried. I pulled things out of my computer last night that I have never done before. After trying to boot from a CD and being told that XP didn't exist and that I had no hard disk drives, I spent some time swapping power cables, parallel cables and hard disk drives, and came to the realisation that my HDD with the operating system installed had died. Oh shit. Oh big shit.

I believe that I have a six year warranty on the parts of my computer and pulled out my receipt. Yes, I am the type of bloke to keep that sort of thing. No technical support from Gateway on the weekend.

I checked the newspaper for some HDD prices and rang a mate at Austin Computers but found that he works for another branch across town now. Bought an 80GB HDD for A$75, cheap enough I thought to get me out of trouble. Considering I bought an 80GB HDD from Austins a couple of years ago for A$201 it didn't hurt so much this time around.

Installed it, put XP back on, installed many of my programs again and I am back in business. I guess that I didn't lose too much on the drive as I had moved most of the files I wanted to keep and it was mainly OS files. I guess I have a clean install now and not so many unused application files. Good opportunity to get the latest versions of the applications that I use anyway. I am grateful that I have had my computer for so long before something like this has happened.

Friday, April 29, 2005

What Is Happening In The World?

It used to be safe to travel around the world.

When I travelled I didn't bother to lock my bags. Now look at what has become of Schapelle Corby who didn't lock her bag and went to Bali - only to have some bastard stash 4.1 kilos of drugs in her boogie board. It looks like she will spend the rest of her life in a jail in Bali as I can't see her being released.

When I travelled to New York City I went inside the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. It was safe back then. Maybe there was that bomb scare a couple of years before in the carpark in the basement, but still.

When I went to Japan it was safe to travel on the trains. My friend Wayne said that you could set your watch by the trains. Now one train runs a little bit late and a hundred or so people lose their lives. When we ventured out into the country I did notice that one train was about four minutes late but it didn't become derailed and kill lots of people.

Perhaps the world isn't that safe a place anymore.

Frugal Bastard's New Hair Products Range

Are you sick and tired of those hair care products that are rated "Gentle enough for daily use"? Do you feel that you are being pressured to use them everyday and washing your money down the shower drain?

Fret no more - use Frugal Bastard's Shampoo and Conditioner - the once a month wash. Gentle on your hair and your pocket.

More Fighting In The House

My son got up this morning and changed the channel using the remote. A feeling of shock came over me. He knows how to manipulate the channels now. No longer can I feel safe watching my program. I am a prisoner in my own home. Ok, that's being a bit dramatic. Do I need to buy another telly so that my viewing is safe?

At least the young bloke is ahead of his grandpa. I don't think grandpa changes the channels using the remote yet. It was only a very few years ago that he would change the channels on the telly.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Surely This Is The Way For A Frugal Bastard To Go

I don't know if you have heard but we will soon be able to be buried standing up. Here's the article.

I guess this is the scenario:

A cheap bastard dies.
He doesn't want a lot of money to be wasted on a traditional burial.
None of his friends are cannibals.
He goes for a cheap burial.
No headstone is included.
He's placed in a box, a hole is dug, after the cows are shooed away first, the box is placed into the hole feet first and then covered over with dirt.

All for about A$1000.

Sounds nice and cheap to me. I wonder if I can be buried standing on my head. Only problem is that Victoria is the only state in Australia where this has been approved. I wouldn't be caught dead in Victoria. I may have to live a little longer so that some WA company can get approval for the vertical burial.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Schapelle Corby Pregnant? - You Must Be Kidding

The latest news about Schapelle Corby, languishing in an Indonesian jail, is that she is pregnant. We all know that she is screwed but only metaphorically speaking, not literally. What is all this about Indonesian jails being harsh and uncompromising? Surely they don't allow conjugal visits? Mind you, she is kept with male prisoners.

The poor girl was ordered to take a pregnancy test after the rumour spread that she was two months pregnant. Why? What has it got to do with her trial?

Rumour has it that she is also a drug smuggler. I don't believe that either. Pregnancy test came back negative. One rumour down, one to go.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Anzac Day - The Good And The Bad

Anzac Day must be the easiest day of the year to get out of bed before five a.m. After watching a recreation of the Gallipoli campaign the night before, it felt good to be getting up. In the documentary they mentioned that the British and the French landed on other beaches in Turkey along with the Kiwis and Aussies. In all my time I had never heard that the French were involved. So much for being educated. I believe that there is a lot about the First World War that we will never be told.

Lest We Forget - A Poignant Reminder

They were expecting thirty thousand people at the War Memorial in Kings Park yesterday, despite it being only nine degrees. Beautiful morning however. On the large screens that were erected they played film with lots of footage regarding the intended Japanese invasion of Australia and how we Aussies had to fight in the jungles of New Britain, at the time, to repel them.

The Flame of Rememberance

Large crowd at the Flame of Rememberance

The ceremony is always professional and it was followed by a flyover by a Spitfire and then six biplanes. The War Memorial itself was closed for repair which was quite disappointing as they have been working on it for a long time. They announced a bus to take people to the Vietnam War Memorial in the park for another ceremony. Seeing as the Vietnam Vets weren't welcomed back to the country properly, perhaps as a result of us not winning the war, I thought that I would pay my respects. I seem to recall last year promising myself that I would make the effort.

Vietnam Memorial Pavilion

A few hundred people gathered for the ceremony. There was no public address system. Lots of people were drinking their coffee and seeming to enjoy themselves instead of paying their respects in solemnity. There was no bugler for the Last Post and Reveille (spelling?), instead they used a tape recording. We were asked to sing the national anthem but it was the slowest version I have ever heard and everybody sang out of time. Only a handful of people knew the second verse of Advance Australia Fair. There were quite a few Vietnam Vets from a Bikie club and I had some deep down respect for them as they have been through something most of us wouldn't even be able to watch on TV. Overall the ceremony was a little disappointing.

Gathering crowd at Vietnam Veterans' Memorial

Yu-Jin and I watched the Anzac Day march on the TV. Once I arrived home it was too late drive back to the city and find a spot to watch the march. Then we went to McDonalds for a snack and Yu-Jin raced around the playground with some other kids.

Then the real Anzac Day traditional began - Essendon vs Collingwood at the 'G. Essendon got up for a win and that made my day. Following the completion of said match I went to a friend's house so that we could go for a helicopter ride. I was five minutes early but they weren't home and I thought that they may have been confused and already gone to the heliport - a fenced-off area next to the Swan River just out of the city. I have a voucher for a 25% discount for four people. And I have promised Yu-Jin to give him a ride. We were going to do it yesterday but my friends were a bit late in getting to our house. As it turns out the helicopter was fully booked for the day so Yu-Jin and I played on the playground and had a look at a marshland via a boardwalk.


After tea we watch "Supernanny". It is interesting to have a TV show that shows how bad parenting leads to kids misbehaving - and it is Yu-Jin's favourite. He loves to talk about the "naughty room" or the "naughty step".
"If I had a naughty brother where would we put him when he was naughty?" he asked.
I think that we are a bit better at parenting after watching this show and Yu-Jin is a bit better at childing as he knows what will happen to him when he is naughty.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

What's The Difference? - Wife vs Mozzies

Come home from work. Missus arcs up about some cucumbers which aren't to her liking. Yes, typical end-of-the-world stuff. Decide to go outside and do some work. Know that the mozzies will be bad. Look for mosquito repellent. Don't find any. Proceed outside anyway. After 20 minutes realise that wife isn't as bad as mozzies.

You can slap mozzies - don't try with wife.
Mozzies keep coming - wife eventually gives up.
Mozzies constantly attack you - wife only does it a few times a day.
Mozzies make annoying noise - wife makes annoying noise.
Mozzies stop bothering you when you come inside - wife can bother you inside or outside.

You Can Take The Boy Out Of The Hitler Youth

... but can you take the Hitler Youth out of the boy? Interestingly, before the conclave to elect the Catholics' new Man of God on Earth, Pope Benedict the 16th, Joseph Ratzinger said that if he was elected he would bring the world's religions closer together.

Apparently he was a member of the Hitler Youth. It makes you wonder just how close the religions of Catholicism and Judaism are going to become with him as the Pope.

The Famous Always Die In Threes

It seems that when one famous person dies there are always a couple more that go with them. Just who are the three latest to drop off the planet?

Pope John Paul II.
Prince Rainier III

Who is number three?
Sir Joh Bjelke-Peterson?
Al Grasby? - can't even find a decent Web page about the former Whitlam Government Immigration Minister.

Who else of note died recently? Or is it only Hollywood actors who die in threes and am I barking up the wrong tree?

Friday, April 22, 2005

Reality TV Imitates Real Life

I wasn't going to but I ended up watching The Amazing Race on Channel 7 last night. I thought that the challenge to find one padlock amongst 3000 that would open with a key that you picked was pretty damn difficult.

Miky turned to me and asked if I had any problems opening the post office box as she found the key quite difficult to get in sometimes. I mentioned that perhaps she was doing the same thing as the contestants on the telly and trying all of the post boxes. No, but she did admit to looking up the number in her address book a couple of times. And then she said she had left in disgust when she hadn't been able to open it a few times!

Very similar scenario to the show, don't you think?

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Dealing Drugs - Not A Good Idea

The Bali Nine. We are going to be hearing a lot about them in the near future. What a bunch of idiots. IMHO it doesn't matter whereabouts in the drug trade you get involved, it is not a good idea. Doing drugs, dealing drugs, trafficking drugs - it makes no difference.

With all of the publicity surrounding the Schapelle Corby case you think they would have known better. Mind you, there could be some compelling reasons for these people to decide to be drug mules. The offer of $15000 may have been too much to resist, especially if they had a drug habit or a debt to pay back and could see no other way around it. Not only have they ruined their own lives but those of their families. The drug lords are untouched and probably not too bothered.

I agree with the lawyer for two of the Bali Nine who said that their clients were "Stupid". Very succinct - very unlawyer-like. No argument from myself.

What I find incredible is the fact that the Australian Federal Police, who knew that the run was on, have been criticised for allowing the Indonesian Police to arrest the drug runners in Indonesia, where the death penalty still applies, instead of waiting for them to arrive in Australia. What planet are these critics living on? Should we be letting Australian drug runners into our country and then arresting them because they won't be put to death here? What about the death, illness, social breakdown and family breakdowns that they will help inflict in this country?

I have no time for druggies or the people who supply them. If there was to be a whip 'round for the expense of the bullets, as death by firing squad is the most likely outcome, I don't think there would be any problem with the money being raised in Australia. Why on earth should we protect the lives of these people who have shown callous disregard for the lives of other humans?

Good on the AFP and the Indonesian Police. Let the Indonesians sort them out because they will do the job properly.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A Post - By Request

Things are hotting up in the Pacific. China, an emerging superpower, are flexing their muscles against an economic giant in the form of Japan.

Basically the story goes a little something like this. In the time of the early 1900s Japan was a military machine and hell-bent on colonising the rest of Asia. In 1910 Japan annexed Korea after having killed Queen Min in 1895. Apparently her death was not a nice incident. Japan ruled Korea until 1945 when the Yanks kicked them out. A similar story could be told about China and several other Asian countries.

China copped a lot of the Japanese war-time aggression. We could mention Nanking. I could do some study on it but I'd rather my mate Nick let us know the story.

To cut a long story short, the Japanese history books don't mention the atrocities that their military personnel carried out during war-time. The Japanese government refuses to apologise for the atrocities committed, fearing that they would have to pay compensation. There is no mention, correct me if I am wrong, of the women of Korea who were forced into prostitution for the Japanese army personnel, the so-called "Comfort Women". Wikipedia has a decent article on the matter.

What we are seeing now in China, by way of protests against Japanese-owned companies and embassies, is the Chinese people being allowed to voice their opposition to the way their people were treated by the Japanese so long ago. If the Chinese government doesn't crackdown on the protests, as would be normal procedure, then they are ratifying the protest. Until the Japanese take responsibility for the actions of their people the protests will get stronger. Korean people feel the same way. Every time the history books in Japan are watered down there are mass protests in Korea.

Over the centuries there have been many wars fought between Japan and China, with many of them being fought on Korean soil. Korea was just caught in the middle.

It is time for Japan to apologise for its warcrimes. The voice is getting louder.

As a footnote, I heard on the news this morning that Japan may be willing to make an apology to Australia for what happened during the war. This could get interesting. Will little Johnny sell us out - an apology as long as there is no compensation tied to it, perhaps?

Thanks for the heads up, Nick.
My Take On Dancing With The Stars

Didn't see any of season one. Couldn't have given a bugger. Season two, however, was must see viewing - not that the celebrities were people we watched from other programs or anything.

The format of the show was great. No hurt, no greed, no ridicule (sounds like Sonshine FM), bit of controversy (judges comments/scores and the dancers that got through each round). Great bit of tv. And the hosts weren't obnoxious either. Music was great and the costumes were excellent, on the whole. Something that the whole family could sit down and watch together. The late finish was a bit of a pain as Yu-Jin quite liked the show.

I was a bit concerned when Steven Bradbury took to the dancefloor in the final with all of the other contestants. If they had all fallen over he may have won.

Tom and Kym deserved to win but I would have preferred to have seen Holly in the final. Ian did well in the final though.
Who Chooses The Pope's New Name?

Ok, I know that the new Pope chooses a name, generally of a previous Pope that they hold in great admiration and one that they would like to mirror. But Pope Benedict the XVI? Wasn't this the guy that created a cooking method for eggs?

After 455 years of electing an Italian to the Catholics' top job on Earth, they chose a man from Poland and now one from Germany, Joseph Ratzinger. What is going on there? I thought that the Catholics were a conservative mob. Who is next - a Palenstinian?

I'd be a bit worried that the Vatican City is next of Dubya's hitlist. Look at the election - it wasn't exactly democratic now, was it? Out of the 1.2 billion members of the Catholic Church anyone who has been confirmed can be chosen for the position of Pope. However, only the cardinals who are under the age of 75 are allowed to vote. There was something like 120 cardinals but only 75 who made the age limit. So, only 75 people out of 1.2 billion got to choose their leader. Still, the election was a little more democratic than that of China - bit more choice and a few more votes cast.

I wonder if KFC are going to honour the new Pope with the Joseph Ratzingerburger.
Miky's Birthday Dinner

Miky definitely wanted to go out for tea last night for her birthday. What surprised me is that she chose a Chinese restaurant as she finds Chinese food to be too greasy. Never mind, we had eaten at this place once before with a group of my friends from uni.

Diamond Chinese Restaurant

Miky made her own top a few days back and it looked pretty nice. She also bought Yu-Jin some new clothes and he looked pretty smart. Being a Tuesday the streets of Northbridge were not overly packed.

Miky and Yu-Jin in Northbridge

We had pepper squid, supreme vegetable claypot, beef chow mein and Chinese tea for our meal. I always forget how they make the chow mein, which is with braised beef, and remember when my mum used to make chow mein and how nice it was, and go ahead and order it only to be followed with disappointment at what the meal really is. Will I ever learn?

For much of the meal we were the only people in the restaurant until a large Chinese family arrived. I think an old man wanted to show off how rich he was as he purchased two Snow Crabs for his meal. You should have seen how quickly the waiter bounded down to the fish tank to get them. I don't blame him as they are priced at $20 per pound! You could also purchase crayfish, eel or perch.

Snow Crab

It was a lovely meal and a nice way to celebrate the day. Yu-Jin's birthday is now only 10 days away and then we are finished for the year. I liked the fact that I didn't have to drive all the way home after work before turning around and going back into the city.

Family Pic

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Sunday's Happenings

We got up to a bit today. Miky had a meeting with her partners in their business venture which is due to be launched at Subiaco Markets in about four weeks. They will be opening a boutique to sell their clothing.

Yu-Jin and I went to the pool in the morning with Jesse and his dad Richard. I noticed that if we bought a family pass, 2 adults and 2 children, we would save $2.40. It was worth a try. It doesn't say that you have to be family in actual fact. They gave us the family pass without any hassles. Perhaps Richard calling me "Honey" helped persuade them. Following more than an hour in the pool we played soccer and threw a boomerang around.

After watching the footy, where Freo disappointed me greatly by losing (I may have won a lot of money at work had they won), Miky bought a half cake for her birthday which is on Tuesday. I won't tell you how old she is but we will celebrate her 40th next year. I then proceeded to spend a further two and a half hours digging up the backyard. After my shower I put on my old footy shorts and, even though I could fit in them, they were about six centimetres too small around the hips.

Not a bad day.
Bowling Alley Fun

Yesterday in the arvo I looked after Yu-Jin and his friend from school as Miky went dress shopping with his mum. I'm glad the kids played together ok. I spent a good hour in the morning digging up the backyard too. Later on the friend's dad came over after work and we went bowling.

What a turn up for the books. I bowled 156 including five strikes, a run of three in a row (a turkey), and one spare. I've never bowled so well in my life. Ok, I have only done it a few times but doubt that I've even broken 100. We set the boys up with a ramp as they are too small to bowl properly and we didn't want the bumpers set up.

In the second game the boys weren't interested and Miky wanted to have a bowl for Yu-Jin. She's left-handed and has a sore wrist so she bowled with her right hand. Still managed to knock a few pins over and I thought that I would give it a go. On Yu-Jin's turns I bowled left-handed. I managed to get a spare left-handed although the first bowl was a gutterball so in anyone's language it was a strike. Well almost. As good as.

Not a cheap activity but it was good fun. I'm afraid that they may want to go bowling with us more often. The boy's mum beat me 117-110 in my second game.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Celebrity Spotting In Subiaco This Afternoon

I don't know who his offsider was but I saw Andrew Vlahov today when I went to do my fruit and vege shopping in Subiaco. If you don't know, he is a former Perth Wildcats captain in the NBL, former several-time Olympian for Australia, and now part owner of the Wildcats. He is a tall man and very powerfully built. He has Vinaigrette sauce on his Subway sandwich, I was walking past and overheard, and he must own a big 4WD as he was leaning on it whilst talking on his expensive-looking mobile phone.

On another matter, I wonder if Subway advertise "6 grams of fat" in the States? I don't think too many people would know how much that is.
Clinton Puts Hand Up For Relief

I heard recently that Bill Clinton was appointed a UN envoy for tsunami relief. I don't think Bill knows what he is in for. His job will be to have donor countries and countries receiving donations communicate their needs better and to streamline the process no doubt. I think Bill is doing it for the wrong reasons.

Methinks old Bill heard "Sue Narmy" relief and thought that she was another White House intern.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

United States Declares War On Tourism

Wasn't that a funny incident the other day? You know, the Aussie, of Chinese descent, going to the Capitol Building and asking, most politely I believe, to see President Bush. On being told that he wouldn't get an audience with the President he said that he would wait.

And wait he did. With his two suitcases. Quite patiently. Quite disconcertingly for the security guys who thought that he might be a suicide bomber. A SWAT team tackled him to the ground, long after evacuating the area. They then blew up his suitcases and found only clothes and parts for a CD player.

Apparently they wanted to charge him with "endangering the public". With what was he endangering the public? Maybe he was on a mission for the Free Trade Agreement. I must say, his manners were impeccable.

Now, isn't the world a safer place?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Last Couple Of Days Happenings

On the weekend we were invited to a BBQ at one of Yu-Jin's schoolfriend's place. They have a large backyard filled with a pool. I must say it was pleasant to forget about the boy for a while whilst he played with his friend. The women prepared food for tea and we men cooked the barbie. Having a fellow Essendon supporter to yack with was a bonus. We wiled away a few hours until nearly 9pm when it was time to go. Next barbie is at my place.

Visit To The Zoo

Yu-Jin had to go to childcare yesterday while Miky was working. It is the school holidays in WA and so he joined the holiday program. They had a trip to the Perth Zoo and Yu-Jin enjoyed himself. He's been to the zoo about three times now and doesn't get bored with it. I'm very glad that he was able to have the chance to go. Today his plan is to stay home with mum and do drawings. His drawing skill is rapidly improving with help from mum. At the moment his best efforts are when he has something to copy. For someone with his ability he is very keen on drawing/colouring in and can only get better with time. Miky will be hanging some of his paintings on the wall and has bought the frames to mount them in.

100 Things About Hammy

100 Things About Hammy

Freaky Chick did one of these lists and I thought I'd have a go too. Pretty hard work actually.

1. I have jumped my own height and set the Bordertown High School high jump record on four occasions in Sports Day competition, and several times outside of competition, but only held the record once.
2. I have recited pi to 150 decimal places. (π ≈ 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993 75105820974944592307816406286208998628034825342
11706798214808651328230664709384460955058223172 5359408128)
3. I have read the Guinness Book of Records from cover to cover, been named as a contributor and met the editor, Peter Mathews.
4. I grew up in Bordertown, South Australia. Map of Bordertown.
5. I've counted from 1 to 10 in 17 languages.
6. I'm a qualified electrical fitter/mechanic - electrician by trade. Completed my apprenticeship at CSR Woodpanels in Mt Gambier.
7. Have a Bachelor of Commerce with double major in Information Systems and Electronic Commerce from the Curtin Business School at Curtin University of Technology.
8. I had my first car, the Green Machine, otherwise known as "The Beast", a green '75 Toyota Corolla, for eleven and a half years - it's still in the family.
9. Don't drink.
10. Don't smoke.
11. Don't do blokes.
12. I travelled Europe and the USA by myself for 12 months from the age of 21 after finishing my apprenticeship.
13. Currently live in the second home that we have purchased.
14. I am driving only my second car - a '96 EF Ford Falcon.
15. I'm a lifelong supporter of the Essendon Football Club. Here's the AFL's site.
16. I'm a lifelong supporter of West Ham United Football Club.
17. I'm a numismatist.
18. I also collect stamps - a philatelist.
19. I've been called a capitalist pig bastard.
20. And I'm definitely a Frugal Bastard.
21. I don't own a mobile phone.
22. My first landlord's son, Daniel Millard, won the Stawell Easter Gift in 1997.
23. I held the positions of treasurer and public spokesperson for the Mt Gambier Senior Athletics Club.
24. I played senior colts football for the Bordertown Football Club, the Roosters, for two years (1988 and 1989) for two premierships. Bordertown had lost the last three grand finals by six points or less. I also represented the league, the Tatiaria, as ruckman.
25. I won the Division III Tatiara Cricket Association premership for the Mundulla Cricket Association in 1987-88.
26. Represented the Tatiara in three Burdon Shield (under 16) cricket matches taking a total of six catches and scoring 1 n.o., 1 and 0.
27. My best bowling figures in a match were 4 for 26 for North Gambier C grade in a semi-final where I was on a hatrick after taking the fourth wicket but it was the last of the match and I also scored 32 runs in that game.
28. My best batting was 70 n.o. in approximately 45 minutes vs Kongorong for North Gambier C grade which included three 6s (my only 6s!).
29. Won B-grade indoor soccer championship at Mirrabooka's Herb Graham Centre with VEP Makedonia.
30. Won B-grade volleyball championship with Mt Gambier.
31. Won the A-grade club championship at Blue Lake Golf Club in 1993. My lowest handicap has been 18.
32. Scored an A+ in Yr 11 Geography.
33. Scored almost straight A's in Yr 9.
34. Read the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in two days for the MS Read-a-thon.
35. I've managed 39 holes of golf in one day.
36. Was once kicked off a train in Germany for not having a Czech visa.
37. Got married on Grand Final day in 1997 in Kings Park, WA.
38. Became a father at 5:55 am on 30th April, 2000.
39. I have visited 22 countries, outside of airports (not international territory), other than Australia.
40. My first computer was a Sega SC3000H and it is still at my parents' house.
41. My in-laws live in Korea - pretty close to the perfect distance away.
42. I have one of the best relationships with my mother-in-law - we don't speak the same language.
43. Favourite Formula 1 driver - Ayrton Senna.
44. Had breakfast standing next to Billy Connolly in Heathrow Airport.
45. Saw Gary Ablett kick 14 goals and 7 behinds at the MCG in 1993 versus Essendon. The Bombers won by 24 points and Paul Salmon kicked 10 goals 6.
46. Can say my name in a few languages - and it makes speakers of that language laugh.
47. Saw an ice hockey World Championship Pool B match between Denmark and Switzerland in Copenhagen.
48. Went to see England vs USA at Wembley, won by the English 2-0 with Alan Shearer scoring both goals.
49. Only ever attended three concerts - MC Solaar in Copenhagen (left before he came on as it was too loud), Hunters & Collectors at Telstra Rally Australia and Avril Lavigne at Challenge Stadium, Perth.
50. Driven the 2700 kms from Adelaide to Perth by myself in two days.
51. Passed my driving test first time - both car and motorbike.
52. I've seen Queen Margrethe of Denmark in person on her birthday in 1994.
53. Minus nine degrees in Rovianemi, Finland, is the coldest I have experienced.
54. Visited the Arctic Circle on a few occasions.
55. Norway is my favourite country, besides Australia.
56. The best holiday I ever had was in Japan.
57. The most Weetbix I have eaten for breakfast is 12.

59. The most points that I have scored in a basketball match is four.
60. Favourite Slovak phrase - proti smeru hodinovych ruciciek - anticlockwise.
61. Don't believe in God.
62. Don't believe in the Devil.
63. I have a really dark sense of humour.
64. Favourite TV shows - Seinfeld and Red Dwarf.
65. Favourite movie - Falling Down or anything with Arnie.
66. I have the ability to wiggle my ears.
67. I have the ability to wiggle my eyes.
68. I have the ability to belch extremely well.
69. I own a Kylie Minogue Greatest Hits CD.
70. Stayed in Carbisdale Castle, Scotland - the world's best Youth Hostel.
71. I once had a goldfish that I called Willy Wally Wilbert. He only lived a few days. That can happen when you take them from a pond, I guess.
72. I've come within six inches of scoring a hole-in-one but never managed to score an eagle. My best score off the stick is 78 at Maylands, WA, on a par 68 course.
73. I've only resigned from one job but I've never been fired.
74. Nicknames include Scoohooter (I rode a YB100 Yamaha - a little motorbike), Hammy, Hammus Bonus, Big Ears, Prince Charles, Green Eggs (and Ham - I love this one), Hammy Hamster, Hamster and Wingnut. It sounds strange to be called Mark.
75. Never scored a goal in three years of junior soccer or in indoor soccer. I played goalie in indoor soccer but did take a few penalties and played a little bit on the pitch.
76. Was once asked to sit out of the game of rounders in primary school because I played too well. Did that ever cut me.
77. Two other boys that I went to school with were born on the same day. And Bordertown isn't a big place, mind you.
78. A flat-top is the only haircut that suits me.
79. I only sing in public at the soccer, which is generally for Perth Glory games.
80. I've attended every Anzac Day Dawn Service in Kings Park since moving to Perth in '95 although I know of now relatives who fought in the First World War. My Grandpa fought in WWII.
81. I visited Las Vegas and didn't gamble. That's because I'd already lost US$20 in Reno.
82. Once I was awoken by an earthquake.
83. Lasagna is probably my favourite food, however, my mother-in-law does a cucumber kimchee that I could eat all day.
84. I've had more than 46 bases and extensions (fillings) done to my teeth - that's a lot of needles.
85. I've never run over a cat or dog but have hit a few birds with my car.
86. I love Fords. Holdens, and their drivers, suck badly. They are closely followed in second position by Subaru owner/drivers.
87. I can drive using my knees.
88. Driving at night time with sunglasses is another skill I possess. Have only done it once.
89. I once drove to Mt Gambier from Bordertown, a distance of 180 kms, without changing gears once I had reached fourth gear (in a manual).
90. I've ridden for three kilometres with no hands on a bike. The furthest I have ridden in one day is 70 kms.
91. Most consecutive push-ups that I have done is 70. We were training for hockey and played some soccer. If your team was scored against you had to do 10 push-ups. The next goal that was scored against you it was 20, and so on. Good for the fitness.
92. Mauna Kea in Hawaii at 4245 m above sea level is probably the highest altitude that I have been. I did climb Ben Nevis,1343 m above sea level, in Scotland without the use of a vehicle though.
93. I'm a morning person.
94. I've never been beaten at Arnie Armchair's Howzat Cricket, Ubiquity (a board game), and backgammon.
95. I have 15 aunts and uncles plus their spouses. There are somewhere in the vicinity of 28 first cousins around the place.
96. I can hold my breath for about one and a half minutes. Some people would say that is about three and a half minutes too short.
97. I used to be quite good at doing handstands and walking on my hands. My centre of gravity has shifted a little since those heady days.
98. My cars have been broken into about three times over the years.
99. I am one of the world's worst dancers - think Elaine on Seinfeld.
100. My favourite subject is myself - which, if you have reached this point, you would probably already have worked out.

Man, this was much more difficult than I expected.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Eddie Everywhere MP?

This is laughable. Kim Beazley, the Labor Party leader, announced the other day that Labor may target high profile personalities, such as Eddie Maguire, Kevin Sheedy et al, to run for office under Labor's banner.

Eddie Everywhere for MP? I don't think so. For one thing he is widely known and disrespected for being a Collingwood bastard - maybe the bastard bit fits the Labor Party. That surely won't appeal to the majority of voters though. Another thing is that people are sick of seeing him everywhere. It doesn't matter what program you are watching on Channel 9 he pops his mug up somewhere. Who needs to see more of him.

Eddie is a busy man and I would hope that if he was asked to run as a Labor Party candidate his response would be, "Who wants to be an MP?"

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Those Carlton Bastards Have Done It Again

It's just typical of Carlton, isn't it? They play like champions one week to score a come-from-behind, backs-to-the-wall win against Essendon. Next week they play Collingwood into form. It's a disgrace. And just before the Anzac Day clash between Collingwood and Essendon. Not something that the Bombers need.

Did Eddie Maguire get into the pockets of Carlton this time?

No Subtitles

We borrowed some movies the other night. One of them was The Locals - a flick from New Zealand. Pretty spooky and I was feeling sick during one of the scenes. I don't know how the actor wasn't sick portraying his character. But being from NZ Miky was a bit upset as she finds the accent very hard to understand. She was constantly asking for a translation.

What I did find disturbing was a complete lack of subtitles. What about the hearing impaired, for a start? I don't know. Rednecks in America can get subtitles when they are interviewed or on a funny video selection. Why not the Kiwis?

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Avril Lavigne Concert

It was a blast last night. I'd found out from one of the girls at work that there was a concert on last night at Challenge Stadium. Tickets were $75 and seeing as my birthday was coming up that seemed like a good present. Miky didn't want to go - the music would have been too loud for her anyway. Yu-Jin wanted to go.

So I phoned Ticketmaster7 and waited for 23 minutes before getting to talk to somebody. Only took four minutes to book the tickets. While I was waiting I looked at the seating arrangement on the Internet so I knew where we would be. Way back from the stage.

Challenge Stadium is only five kilometrieve how busy Subiaco is after 7pm on a Wednesday night - busier than when I drive to work in the morning. Traffic flow was ses from where I work, as it turns out. I can't bellowed to a minimum so I just parked on the kerbside and we walked about 500m. Saved five bucks for parking anyway!

No cameras, plastic bottles or glass were allowed in the stadium. Still took my camera and I have some FANTASTIC video clips that I took. I only wish that I had recorded the whole concert as the sound reproduction is better than being there. It was ear-splittingly loud, though not distorted, and my video clips, about 20MB each, are excellent. I love my camera.

The support band was THS and they weren't bad. Couldn't make out too many of the words though and there was quite a bit of music being played when none of the guys were strumming their guitars.

Avril put on quite a show and the crowd were quite excited. Yu-Jin enjoyed it. He last 40 minutes of Avril's show before zonking. It was 9:40 anyway. He had done well to stay awake that long. The show finished at five past 10. Excellent.

How much did this Frugal Bastard pay? I had heard that the tickets were going cheaply because it wasn't a sell-out. I picked mine up for $40 each!!

Rock on Avril!!!!!!!!!!

Avril Lavigne on stage last night

This photo has been touched up (extra light) so that you can see it. We were miles away but the loudness was astounding!

Avril's Concert - as seen by us

Avril's Concert - with the light turned up

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Who Is Better Organised?

Let's compare the city of Rome and the State of The Vatican with the USA, for a moment. Look at the organisation for people wanting to pay their last respects to Pope John Paul II. A million have already done so. Look at the millions who would like to pay their last respects to President George W. Bush - they are shit out of luck, for the moment.

People have been waiting patiently for up to seven hours to see the Pope. They want to do this desperately. People waited eight to 10 hours to vote for the President. Did they want him that desparately? And don't tell me that they were patient.

Rome seems to be doing a marvellous job and there is only one place for people to vote, with their feet.

The US had a few more polling booths and it took far longer to vote. The US couldn't organise a two-door shithouse. At least when it comes to elections.

Cool Number Plate

Spotted this a couple of days ago. Middle aged gent driving a black Saab convertible with the number plate "WHO GIVSA"

Cool Sticker

Spotted this morning on a ute with at least six aerials and two large spotties - sticker saying "MY OTHER RIDE'S YOUR MUM"

New Invention

I have to contact Cochlear about this one. I have an idea to increase the number of MP3 players in the market. I think that they should implant them in hearing aids. If you don't need to be deaf you should be able to enjoy music and not have to stick something else in your ear.

Does The Indonesian Government Feel Threatened By Australia?

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono must feel threatened by us Aussies. His country is torn apart by another earthquake and while he is visiting his people don't let the Aussie Forces fly in and help out. Just what exactly does he have to fear from us? Never mind that his people are homeless, hungry and helpless. In the spirit of cooperation we should have been able to carry out our humanitarian mission unhindered, I would have thought.

The Australian Government is more worried about the Indonesian troops than the other way around, surely.

Public Students Do Better At Uni Than Private Students

This is what the latest research shows. I can see it now, droves of students being forced from private schools so that they do better at uni. The report also mentioned that private school students do better in their final year at school. Perhaps they get into more difficult subjects because of their higher scores and this is the reason they do worse at uni? The arguement is that private school students are better prepared for the rough and tumble of uni life.
Probably The Best Lecture I've Attended

2005 is the Year of Physics and it has been 100 years since Einstein wrote his Theory and General and Special Relativity. It was something like another 16 years before he won the Nobel Prize for it.

The University of Western Australia put on an Einstein lecture last night and it was brilliant. The people waiting for the doors to open were initially geriatrics who were encircling the building, looking as though they had escaped from the nursing home and now didn't know what the next move was. Then the young people started to turn up and there were many dweebs, geeks and nerds among them - gawky looking people. And there had to be one - the jumper-tied-around-the-neck type. Only thing was he had two jumpers around his neck. The guy sitting next to me was reading "A discourse on salt, cadavers and pungent sauces".

Once the doors to the Octagon Theatre opened there was an excited rush. I took my seat in the second row and who should next to me but the jumper-tied-around-the-neck type. The professors presenting the night were using a Mac. Yes, I think I was surrounded by nerds. And just to prove this the first question asked was how long did it take for light to get from the Sun to Earth. Who else would answer this but me? I did answer it first and then a few more people did as the professors couldn't hear us. Next question regarded how long light took to get from the Moon to the Earth. Before I could calculate it a little girl yelled out "one second" and that was close enough for them.

Some of the subjects covered during the night:

Time Dilation
Length Contraction
Barn and Ladder Paradox
Uncertainty Principle
Existence is only possible by observation
Positronium Annihilation
Curved space makes gravity
Area of a cirle is not pi x r squared in space, which is curved
Gravito Magnetism
Schwartzchild's Singularities - Black Holes
Light Amplification through Stimulated Emission of Radiation - LASERs
The Universe is absurd
Laser Interferometer Detectors
Cosmological Constant
Dark Energy
Cold Dark Matter

Following a few experiments/demonstrations and running a bit overtime they had question time. The amount and range of questions was amazing and they had to wrap it so that people could go home but people were welcome to come onto the stage to ask questions personally. Of course, I had a question but I listened to everyone else's questions and the answers that came forth as well. The lecture was supposed to go from 6:30 to 7:30 but actually finished at 8:30. And did I enjoy myself or what? It was fascinating stuff. Next thing is to visit the Gravity Discovery Centre and the Perth Observatory.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Words People Use

On Triple J this morning the news reader talked about the funeral of "Pope Joel".

In the same news report the Victorian Premier, Steve Bracks, was talking about a police shooting of a suspected attempted murderer and mentioned that the matter would be investigated and "oversighted" by the Police Commissioner, I think. I thought that an oversight was when something was neglected or missed when it should have been noticed. Perhaps he meant "overseen".

Desperately "Sea King" New Helicopters

I'm assuming that the Australian Government will be looking into the purchase of new helicopters following the crash of a Sea King. These helicopters are 30 years old and for one of the best trained armies in the world it is a bit of an indictment to have to use such outdated equipment.

Here comes another groundbreaking deal with the US despot regarding purchasing military might.

Prince Charles' New Wedding Plans

So Prince Charles is postponing his wedding for a day to attend Pope Joel's (sic) funeral. Perhaps "Mumsy" can attend the wedding now, that is if she can find time in her busy schedule. Why doesn't he have the wedding at the Pope's funeral? All of the world's dignitaries will be in attendance and he wouldn't have to pay for much of the show. Surely he could find an archbishop to bless the wedding. Only problem is that Charles is from the Church of England and the Pope's mob are just slightly differing in their beliefs.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Interested In A Seminar On Tuesday Night?

Did I mention that it is free? University of WA is putting on an "Einstein Returns" seminar complete with info on:

Quantam Physics
Dark Energy
Black Holes
Gravity Waves

It is to be held at the Octagon Theatre at UWA from 6:30 to 7:30 - get there by 6pm. Should be loads of fun.

I did mention it was free, didn't I?
A New Princess of Wales

I was expecting my mum to jump on this subject but she has remained quiet. I know that this is close to her heart.

What is the world going to think about the new Princess of Wales, Camilla? Not too much I'd guess. But there will be a lot of people who don't really care either. The Prince of Wales gets married and his wife becomes the Princess of Wales. Automatice. Nothing to argue about. Been done through the ages. It is just a title. Does it really mean anything? And if it does really mean something, are the people that it means something to being a bit too finnicky, too picky, and too involved in the meaningless life of blue bloods?

I'm on the side of the fence where I don't care.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


If Il Santo Padre Giovanni Paolo II - Pope John Paul II - goes into a coma you can bet that it won't be for 15 years.

I'm an atheist but I will say this - the world is about to lose a great man. Maybe I don't believe in everything that he stands for, and that he abuses his power by beatifying more people than any other Pope to gain a groundswell of support for the Catholic Church, but he is a man of peace and goodwill. PJP II has done a good job and I don't see much point in prolonging his life.

I also don't see any point in praying for him. Praying for the head of the religion? How absurd. If he isn't a good enough man to get into Heaven then he should go to Hell. If those places even existed. Why pray for someone who is 84 years old? He's had a good innings. Maybe I am missing the point altogether.

Riposa In Pace - when your time comes Karol Wojtyla. You have served well on Earth.

The Kent Street Weir

Not often you get to see this sight - the Kent Street Weir overflowing. And to think that although it rained half of Thursday and all day Friday we had very little rain in the metro area. I almost went in the drink when I went to take a photo of Yu-Jin with the ducks and the drake as I slipped on the mud. Holding your balance when looking through a camera focus point isn't that easy. Came close to a Funniest Home Video moment.

I'm A True Blue Aussie

I've got meself a barbie, so I must be a true blue Aussie. Hmmm, still don't drink alcohol, not even in copious amounts. Maybe I can't consider myself to be true blue just yet.

I've never been one to adhere to convention as I bought the BBQ out of season. The rains had just come and I got this one a big cheaper than normal. The Frugal Bastard always has an eye for a bargain. Mind you, there is still a bit of BBQ weather left in Perth. The next week we will have temps in the mid to high 20s. Funny thing, the weather. Only yesterday we had a maximum of 15.4 degrees one week after hitting 41.4 degrees. Try to work that one out.

A Simple Christening

Can you believe my wife? It is the first time that I will use my new BBQ and she goes and cooks rice!! So, all that I was able to cook was some sausages, chili and cheese (splashed out a bit), and onions. I don't know, some people.
Jay Schulz

What is worse?

Being 19, a probationary driver, getting caught speeding at 80 km/h in a 40 zone with a blood alcohol level of 0.065, losing your licence for six months, costing your team between $500000 and $750000 this year in sponsorship money or

playing football for Richmond?

Friday, April 01, 2005

I'm On Prince Charles' Side

For once in his life. A journalist, and I use the term loosely, asks him how his is feeling about his wedding in eight days time. What sort of question is that? How many years did this guy spend in the school of journalism to ask such a stupid question? Did he even graduate?

Prince Charles replied with a beautiful piece of sarcasm, basically "glad you noticed" and then said under his breath, but not out of range of a microphone, how "I can't bear that man anyway. He's so awful, he really is", and how he "hates doing this" (giving interviews). Here's the article.

And now the press are saying he is the heir to the throne and should be able to behave a bit better. I totally support him on this issue. If some lamebrain asks one of the most stupid questions of the century then he deserves to get pasted. I would have said something pretty similar to old Charlie with perhaps a few more choice words for good measure. Why should anyone in the public eye have to put up with crass journalism? Charles only said what he was thinking and he is being lambasted about it? Surely any good person says what they think.

Onya Charlie. And we are better off with that cheating, attention-seeking, ever-controlling woman called Diana too. Maybe I agree with him twice in his life.

Dominoes Stalemate

Not that I am a dominoes officionado but, I was playing with Yu-Jin tonight after work and we ended a game in a stalemate. All of the pieces had been picked and it was left with a one at either end and we had no more ones to play. I was gobsmacked.

Well bugger me if it didn't happen two games later!! Twice in three games must be akin to throwing a coin and it lands on it's edge.

What Use?

I had a thought today. Oh, no, not another one you say. Well, what use are bottle openers on your keyring? It's not as if you can crack open a bottle whilst you are driving, is it? Not unless you are Jay Schulz I guess. "Drink drive, stupid, dopey, idiotic flipping jerk" should be Richmond's theme from now on.

How The Socceroos Could Become World Champions

Making the World Cup Finals would be a start. I think that they should import a few of our Aussie Rules players. At least they can shoot on goal. Have you seen how well these players can kick an oblong ball on the ground towards goal. Not only are they more accurate than the soccer players that represent this country but they also don't stand like rabbits stuck in the headlights either.

I guess there is the little matter of the goalkeeper standing in the way but that is a minor point.
Judging People And Their Actions

It occurred to me this morning, whilst driving to work in the rain, that judges are not, in fact, judgemental.

Take for instance the idiot with the Carlton Football Club licence plate who went through a red light in front of me, mine went green and he was still in the intersection, and then proceeded to turn right without using a blinker. Any reasonable person would come to the conclusion that this person is, without doubt, an idiot, dickhead, and a person incapable of driving who got his licence from the back of a Weetbix packet.

A judge on the other hand would be looking at the facts of the matter. Yes, the driver in question failed to stop for a red light. Yes, the driver in question failed to indicate when turning.

No judgement made about the person's character is made. Do judges judge people or administer the law in light of the facts presented to them?

I would like to see something in the sentencing guidelines about how stupid the driver is, in the judge's opinion. After all, he is only one of those Carlton bastards.
Warning - Poor Taste Posting

You have been warned.

Is there any truth in the rumour that the Pope got his feeding tube on Ebay? I guess that Terri Schiavo doesn't need hers any more and her husband Michael may have sold it to make a few bucks for his courtroom defences.