Monday, October 31, 2005

Blogs Teach You Tolerance

Maybe not all blogs teach you tolerance and acceptance, that much is true. But I have noticed recently as I expand my blog reading that I have become more tolerant and accepting. Maybe not so full of myself and self-centred. Who am I trying to kid?

The blogs that I read are quite diverse. I learn to see the world through other people's eyes and appreciate what they are going through. I can even learn from their experiences. Let's see now. How about a few examples.

I've just started reading the blog of a Mormon family who are in Japan for a year. This is not something I would normally see myself doing, as I enjoy jokes about their religion, but their story is interesting and worth a browse. I've opened my mind somewhat. Don't think that I'll be taking up the religion though.

Then there is the Grumpy Editor and he is really funny. Much like an old coot in a rocking chair on the verandah. I love his humour and can see myself being just like him when I'm older. Bugger, I'm a lot like him now never mind when I'm older.

There's another blog which talks a lot about knitting (You know who you are). Hmmm, not a task that I have attempted for many a year but there is a style and substance that keeps me coming back. The knitting is in combination with programming and techie stuff. Quite a mixture.

I should make mention of a racy blog from New York, New York where all kinds of topics are mentioned. The blogger appears to be quite warmhearted and very honest and I can appreciate that. Maybe she lives her life in an entirely different manner to myself but I love to hear what's happening in her life. And she has a very supportive blogging community so it is great to hear what other people are saying also. The affinity that she shows her readers is something else.

And who can forget people that just try being "stoopid"? There's a bit of me in that blog, I can tell. More than a little bit at times as I have my share of clowning around.

If everyone is the world was the same as me I certainly wouldn't want to read their blogs. I wouldn't even want to live near them. Well, maybe. If I closed my ears to what everyone was saying and didn't open my mind I would certainly be narrowing my viewpoint. Get out there and read a few blogs. There are more than enough to go around. I've had a couple of IM sessions with fellow bloggers and shared many an email. I haven't met any bloggers that I didn't know already but one fellow blogger spotted me at the shopping mall. Most bloggers are personable. Bit like me really. And maybe they are a little more open-minded. And probably more so than when they first started blogging.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

And So Ends Another Weekend

It all started so well. Managed to tidy a bit of a backlog at work and then the bosses blew smoke up my arse for a bit. I rather enjoyed that.

After work I parked my car near the city and wandered in to the barber shop where I normally have a fight with the lawnmower. That's "have a haircut" if you don't speak Strine. And what an interesting night it turned out to be.

I arrived about 5:40 I guess and I had to stand and wait it was that packed. Shortly afterwards someone got up to have their haircut and I managed to park my arse. A bloke walked in and straight away you could tell that he had issues. Let's call him Old Psycho, shall we? He would have been mid-thirties though. The giveaways included the thickset brow, the racquetball racquet poking out of his back pack, the moustache, his hunched back and the simpleton manner of his speech. Immediately he voiced his displeasure at the queue.

My turn came and the young lass asked me to take a seat and would I mind waiting a short time while she swept the floor. That didn't bother me in the slightest. Three or four minutes later she attended me and asked how I would like my haircut. Not being my normal quick-witted self I didn't answer "off" but instead mentioned that I would like a flattop. She apologised profusely as she didn't feel comfortable with that style and didn't wish to do it. No matter. I would wait for one of the Tims to do it. Yes, two guys by the name of Tim work in the shop. So I sat back down.

Now Tim the Bosnian had just started on a guy, who incidentally came in after me and jumped at the chance when asked "Who's next?" as I had unwittingly prepared myself for quite a wait and wasn't expecting to be called up so soon. Italian Tim was nearing completion of his client. Old Psycho started grumbling loudly about the wait. And then the girl who was free next packed up her stuff and prepared to go home. Old Psycho had a go at her because she should be working until 9 pm and how dare she leave at 6. I'm sure he didn't take into account that she probably started when the shop opened and shouldn't have to work an 13 hour day.

Then another guy came in and he had an appointment with Bosnian Tim from 30 minutes ago. Well, didn't Old Psycho fire up. "You can't make appointments. That's playing favourites. It should be first come, first served." Not a happy chappy was he. The girl who was going to cut my hair refused pointblank to cut his hair with his attitude. Italian Tim was just about to do my hair but he ended up doing Old Psycho's hair instead to placate him. Bosnian Tim came over very apologetically but I said that it was better for everyone in the shop that he get his done and get out of there.

So the African-American dude, don't know his name, got the job of trimming my hair follicles. When I mentioned that I wanted a flattop he said, "Yeah, I can do flat-tops. I started cutting flattops when I was in school. Everybody in the neighbourhood used to come to me to get a flattop. In fact, everyone from the city came to me for a flattop. I've been doing flattops since about '80." Tickets please. In fact, this guy did have tickets for his customers he was that popular. Any black guy that came into the shop did those silly group handshakes and threw in a few, "You da man" or "What's up my man?" comments. And when one sexy lady came in he gave her a hug and peck on the cheek. Yep, with his diamond earring in each ear he looked like a fairly fly guy.

I was sitting next to Old Psycho for my haircut so I couldn't comment much during. Once he'd left though my barber told me that "He looks like the sort of bloke that will go home and get a gun and come back and shoot everybody." I said that he looks as though he'll be going home to tell his mum and bring her back to the shop to tell the staff off. Not long afterwards an older bloke came in who could have passed for Old Psycho's dad. Woah.

I was tempted to leave my haircut like this. My barber dude in the background.
Is there an alien in the house?
Not too thin on top.
Secret Service agent. Maybe.
Man in black.

Friday night saw me watching the International Rules match between Australia and Ireland. It was the only tv that I watched since last Sunday.

Saturday morning I was spent reading a few blogs and downloading some pictures from my camera. I had to rush around a bit to make my way to Collier Park Golf Club for my 8:30 tee time. I played for the third week in a row with Shayne and we were joined by a Fijian lad by the name of Ratu. On the practice greens my chipping and putting were nearly spot on so I was looking forward to a good game.

Struck my first drive into the trees but I did have a shot that necessitated playing out of the sandy lie, under a tree, over the lake and over the bunker to reach safety and still have a chance of getting a par. Well, I was in a good mood and took the shot. And it came off wonderfully although I ended up just short of the green. I exclaimed that "It's going to be a good round today." No word of a lie but for the first 11 holes I hit my putt to within two feet of the hole, no matter how far away I was. That wasn't too great on the 6th as I put the ball two feet from the hole from a greenside bunker and promptly missed the putt and put it two feet away! I shot a 47 on the front nine with 17 putts.

Ratu is only a young fella and before playing on the previous Thursday he hadn't played for three years. He's at flying school in Jandakot and already has his pilot's licence. Before his visa expires in April he wants to get his commercial pilot's licence. He left his sandwedge on the 4th green and didn't realise until the 7th green that that was the case. Luckily the group behind us had picked it up. This kid hit some wonderful shots and I couldn't believe that his handicap was 32 and that he was using rented clubs that he had no feel for. Give him three months and he'd be playing of 16-18 in my opinion.

On the tee at the par-5 8th Shayne spoke as I was teeing off and I shanked it left into a tree. With a couple of great shots and a fabulous iron I was on the green and putting for par. Lipped out to be two feet from the hole. I could have killed him.

Ratu chipped in on the 12th and then Shayne hit the pin on the same hole with a putt from about 40 feet away. Once again, I left my putt within two feet of the hole. I think that I only left two putts short in the entire round.

On the par-4 13th I drove into the trees and then hit another miracle shot through all of the trees and onto the green. Amazing. It was going to be my day. I started commenting on how long I used to drive the ball when I was a younger man and did a practice swing using a swing reminiscent of my younger days. It felt really good so I tried it out on the next hole, another par-5, and struck I hit a monster drive, which just rolled into the water and I still recovered to make bogey.

Ratu on the left and Shayne on the right. I'm not really as white as Michael Jackson - I've got lots of sunscreen on so that I don't get burnt.

Ratu proceeded to leave his wallet in the pro shop after we finished the game. Young boy makes me laugh.

Had a couple of disappointing 3-putts for a total of 20 but still shot a 47 on the back nine. A total of 94 off the stick. Only five weeks ago when I last played at Collier I shot a 112 off the stick. I'd have to say that it is my lowest score on a par-72 course.

Let's have a look at the last three games, shall we? ACR - Australian Course Rating.

Whaleback - 5570m, Par-71, ACR-67, 95 strokes. (28 over ACR)
Marangaroo - 5616m, Par-72, CR-68, 95 strokes. (27 over CR)
Collier Park - Island/Pines 6184m, Par-72, ACR-72, 94 strokes. (22 over ACR)

I've realistically added 600m and taken off 6 shots in the last three weekends. An if a couple of putts dropped I'd continue doing it.

Last night I was chatting away on IM to a friend from uni who is back in Singapore. She may pay us a visit in December and that would be fantastic. It was very late by the time I headed to bed and so I didn't feel like making my bed. Slept on my son's beda and awoke this morning with a vey painful crick in my neck. That will teach me for being lazy and I will have to visit my friendly chiropractor tomorrow after work.

Sunday morning saw me was the dishes which had been piling up. After brekkie I painted the cornices in the living and dining rooms along with the passageway where the ceiling was given a complete paint job. It appears to have come up ok and looks a bit fresher. I plan to do the walls once Miky comes back. It'll be her job to decide what colour to do them. I don't like getting blamed for anything that goes wrong.

After lunch I journeyed into the city to do the rounds of the tourist shops as I was looking for an akubra for a Korean friend. Managed to pick up a nice one and got one for myself in the process. Another item on the list was a stack of books for the friends' kids that we plan to visit on our trip around Korea. English books are hard to find and expensive to purchase over there. They should be well received.

On the way home I dropped into Bunnings to get some lawn seed. I'm not happy about how sparse my backyard is after five weeks of loving care and thought that some overseeding was required. Got quite a bit of info from the lady who knows all about gardens and I was informed that I should buy some dynamic lifter as the problem was probably very poor soil. I knew this to be the case so didn't argue.

Upon returning home I watered the backyard and did some more weeding (does it ever stop?) in the meantime. I then cut the dynamic lifter bag open seconds before reading that it wasn't recommended for lawns. Too late she cried! Raked the sand and then spread the dynamic lifter. Raked over the dynamic lifter and then broadcast the lawn seed. Raked over that and watered again. Just before coming inside I decided to cover the backyard with black and some clear plastic. Trying to get a little greenhouse effect going here. Yesterday was a beautiful day and reached 22.9 degrees C. Today was quite wet but it still reached 22.3.

Time will tell if my little experiment has worked. And I've only got three weeks to get it right. Where the lawn has grown well it looks great and is very thick. Hopefully the plastic will stop the birds from eating the seed as well. One flew in just moments after I turned the sprinkler off. My place must be on the pigeons' fine dining list.

I've spent the last hour and a half typing this up. Did anybody bother reading it all? Once Miky returns the posts will be smaller as I won't be allowed to spend so long blogging.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Another Definite Sign That A Haircut Is Required

The last couple of days I've been driving to work and noticed that my hair has been touching the inside roof. Yeah, it's sticking up a bit and it's time that I had a mop chop.

Welcome To The Twilight Zone

Anyone believe in coincidence? I'm building a big list below:

Mr Wilson from Markham, Canada, comes to the blog of Mark Ham, from Wilson, as the Frugal part of the name suggests that I must be Scottish like his father and catches his eye. Mr Wilson studied at Seneca and my next door neighbour when I was a kid had the surname Seneca. Not only that, but Mr Seneca's cousin, also a Seneca, came to live in Australia and where did he come from - Canada of course?

Coincidence, or weird, or a mixture of both? Keep you posted.
Forgot To Mention A Bit Of Excitement In Perth

There was something that I missed out in last nights posting - there was some excitement, or was it drama, in Perth. As I was walking down Albany Hwy a cop on a motorbike with siren wailing and lights flashing sped through the traffic and turned up Wharf St. He was followed soon afterwards by the radar buddies in a vehicle.

I turned down Wharf St myself and could see two sets of flashing lights up by the level crossing where the street and the train tracks meet. On my way back from the post office I noticed the lights still flashing. Now, if I'd had my camera, and if it wasn't raining so heavily, I would have made the trek to the crossing as I am a bit of a morbid bastard. Obviously someone got hit by a train or something.

Some 10 mins later I spotted an ambulance with lights and siren blaring racing towards the city. Well, it appears that whoever was involved in whatever circumstances survived the initial contact. Come to think of it, I wouldn't have reached the scene before the ambulance left so it would have been a waste of my time as there would have been nothing to see. Any blood would have been washed away anyway.

It was a bit exciting though. I'll have to listen to the local news to find out what happened.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Thoughts, Deeds, Dumb Things, Combinations Of All Three

I'm running out of ideas for post titles. Woke myself up at 5:30 this morn and thought, "I've got plenty of time to do something before heading off to work." I was rather hoping to wake up early so that I could finish painting the ceiling in the living and dining rooms. Took me a whole hour to do the second and, hopefully, final coat. Looks much better.

Read some of my favourite blogs whilst having breakfast. Remembered to have a shave before heading off to work. I'm employed in an office so it is a good idea to appear cleanshaven everyday. I have forgotten a couple of times since the missus hasn't been here. Not that she was home to tell me to as she started work a lot earlier than I did. But I digress.

Work is very hectic at the moment. With the resource sector boom it seems everyone has money to spend, or at least wants a quotation or information. And what with one of the guys in my section being on holiday for this week and the next I have discovered the joys of working overtime on salary just for the simple pleasure of not having people harrassing me for work I am doing for them. Yes, I'm a little bit overworked at the moment. As soon as my colleague comes back my boss will be off for a week. That means that I'll have even more responsibility in that week. Then I go away for just over three weeks. If chaos reigns then I will be welcomed back with open arms. Not really. There will be a pile of work for me to do as soon as I land. Guaranteed.

Came home after laughing about the Janet Jackson joke on John Wilson's Blog and sharing it with one of the bigwigs at work. Luckily my work time finished 15 mins earlier so I was goofing off in my own time and wasn't made to feel guilty about it. John stumbled across my site because of the altogether catchy name I have given it and instantly fell in love with it. No, he just stumbled across it. What's freaky is that he lives in Markham (think about it) and he studied at Seneca - my next door neighbour growing up had the surname of Seneca.

Before going inside I turned on the sprinkler to water the to-become-lovely-carefully-manicured lawn. Rang my son to have a chat and see what has taken place in his life today. Did a bit of surfing. Turned off the sprinkler. Prepared tacos followed by the act of eating them. Noice.

Decided that it was high time I checked my mail, of the paper variety, so I got dressed for a late evening walk. Thought that I felt a couple of spots of rain then rationalised that it was just mosquitoes divebombing me as they do at dusk. This happens regularly as I live near a large body of water. After a few more footsteps I came to the realisation that it was indeed raindrops. Grabbed my umbrella. Bloody good idea that turned out to be.

The rain got heavier as I was walking. But I knew that would bring about one of the simple pleasures of life - snail squashing. As the night wore on the amount of gentle squelching that took place at the soles of my shoes increased greatly.

Had a few thoughts. People say that moths are not very bright. You know, "like a moth to a flame." I disagree. When the moth reaches the flame he becomes very bright. Albeit for only a few seconds until he stops combusting but you've gotta admit that he does become quite bright. Not strictly intelligent however.

Who creates the word verfication for comments on blogs? I have images of a two year old banging away on the keyboard or trying to type as quickly as possible to come up with some combination. We shouldn't be allowing two year olds to work so hard. They can't be paying them enough for their talents. At what age are they going to burn out? Gotta take care of our kids. Certainly shouldn't be letting them work until late in the night. By the age of two they should definitely be sleeping through the night and therefore not be available for the 2-3am stint at the keyboard.

There, I think my head is empty of crap now. I'll have to go to bed and let it fill up away for tomorrow's instalment. Perhaps my feet are full of crap or soak it up during the day and when I lie down at nighttime it drains into my head.

Another thought has just popped in there. I have discovered a new talent. And I'm very good at it. I can grow a five o'clock shadow by three o'clock in the afternoon. I thought that it was my shaver and so bought a new one. Nup. Just my extraordinary talent to grow facial hair. And no, my mother isn't Iraqi. 'Nuff with the jokes about my mother and me wanting to look like her.

Good night.
Making The Punishment Fit The Crime

It has come to my attention that there is some bloodlust out there in the blogosphere. All this talk about capital and corporal punishment and I don't appear to be doing my bit. Giving my opinion to the world, that is. I'll attempt to draw up a charter of punishment that fits the crime.

Talking back to parents - One slap on the bott bott.
Talking back to teacher (unjustified, that is) - One slap with a rule on the back of the hand.
Stealing a car - 20 lashes/week for one year.
Destruction of private property - Must repay damaged property and suffer 10 lashings/AU$1000 value.
Throwing water in Tom Cruise's face - Sorry, no crime here.
Causing a traffic accident as a result of one's stupidity and killing an innocent party - 10 years in jail coupled with weekly whippings.
Committing adultery - Not on in my book. Must walk around nude at work for 3 days. If this is a turn-on then must never be seen naked in public again. If the criminal doesn't have a job then see the following punishment.
Not having a job and bludging off the rest of us poor bastards - 20 lashes/week until employment is gained.
Racing on back streets - Must drive a Travant for the rest of their natural lives.
Not paying for fuel - Must repay stolen amount, plus costs, and take 10 canings on the bare backside.
Urinating in public (except for 5 years old and under) - Must wear watertight leggings filled with own urine for one week.
Graffiti (only a crime if not funny or artistic) - Clean it up and go to art classes.
Manslaughter - 20 years in jail unless completely accidental.
Murder - Death.
Genocide - Death.
Stealing a piece of bread - Lifetime solitary confinement. No possibility of parole. Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

Back to work people.
Big Thumbs Up For The Death Penalty

Response to my recent posting "Off With His Head" has shown a resounding vote of confidence in the upholding of the death penalty. At least that is the way I see it. Over to my spin doctor.

Against the death penalty = 4
For the death penalty = World population - 4

Current world population

It makes a change for me to be supporting the winning team.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Off With His Head

Another Aussie drug trafficker in trouble. BIG trouble. The Singaporean courts have sentenced Nguyen Van Tuong, an Aussie citizen, to death by hanging. I really don't agree with this article calling for our Government to demand clemency. It says that "Australia does not support the death penalty and we should be at pains to ensure we do not send even an inadvertent or tacit indication of resigned acceptance."

What BS. I think that you'll find a lot of Aussies support the death penalty. It's just that the practice has been outlawed. What misery was going to be wreaked upon the citizens of Australia if he had managed to import 400g of heroin?

His brother was in trouble and so he decided to import the drugs to help him out. What trouble was his brother in? Obviously not as deep in the shit as Nguyen Van Tuong is now. Don't think I'm being racist as he is of a Vietnamese background having been born in Thailand and came to Australia with the Boat People. Far from it. Drug traffickers deserve the death penalty, no matter what their ancestry. There must have been so many other options available to him to help his brother that wouldn't make other people suffer.

My sympathy levels are extremely low in this case, if you hadn't noticed.
Discrimination Is Alive And Well

In the car tonight I heard an ad on the radio from Sanity whereby if you buy a packet of tampons you'll get a $5 voucher to spend on a CD. Not a bad deal but there is a catch. You must be a girl and 13 or older.

What about us guys? It's not every day that I purchase tampons, I must admit. More to the point what about girls under 13 that have reached womanhood? Haven't you heard in the news that that stage of life can be reached at 10 years of age? Face it, we pump kids full of hormones it is a natural reaction for their hormones to be affected. Not only that but better nutrition also leads to the lowering of age for the onset of periods. Ooh, I said it.

There was no upper age limit advised however. Those of you women over 50-55 are free to make your purchase and claim your voucher. I'd like to see a 95 y.o. walk into a store and try to use a voucher.

I also think that it is an intelligent play on words - Sanity and sanitry. See, I can approach it from several levels.
MicroSoft Has A Lot To Copy, Er, Learn

I've been using Windows Media Player to rip my CDs into MP3 format. I was quite happy with the way it was going and it did a reasonable job. I did hit a bit of a snag once I'd finished the albums and started on the CD singles as the track descriptions, composer, etc were found to be a bit wanting. Media Player would play the CD when ripping and then stop the music and eject the CD when completed. Slightly annoying but nevertheless.

I made a discovery lately that when ripping and not having the music played I could listen to iTunes playing something else instead. It was then that I realised the descriptions were so much more accurate on iTunes as well so I would use them when I had to update the garbage in Media Player. Editing track names etc was such a hassle.

Recently my computer crashed. The OS died and would't boot under any circumstance. It necessitated an in-place upgrade. In layman's terms that means I had to reinstall the operating system, or in my case a second instance of it, and it kept all my files intact.

An odd thing has happened. Windows Media Player refuses to install properly. What a blessing in disguise. Nero's Showtime will play all of my Windows-type files/videos and I've had to delve into the CD ripping capabilities of iTunes. Wow. It rips in mp3 format as well. The songs play as you rip but don't stop when you decide to eject the CD. I can save the files where I like and at the bitrate I want - nothing's changed there. The more accurate descriptions coupled with the oh-so-much better ripping experience has changed my attitude to iTunes.

Which lead me to think that MicroSoft have a lot to learn about the experience of users coupled with their products. And that will probably lead to a copying of the ideas of Apple and the usability of iTunes. Haven't we seen that before? Anyone know where the idea for Windows came from originally?

A funny aside occurred when I went to rip a Belinda Carlisle single. I know, I'm opening myself to ridicule but I was young and impressionable and she was quite attractive. Perhaps I thought that she could even sing. Anyway, iTunes recognised the CD as one of about eight different ones including something by Something Komeiny. I didn't think that the Ayatollah had put out any music of his own.

Hey Nick, do you remember The KLF: What Time Is Love? I'm listening to it at the mo'.
Time For A Haircut

When I woke up yesterday I noticed that my hair was a mess. And when my hair is a mess there is nothing that can be done to save it. Definitely time for it to be cut off as that tends to get rid of the problem of bad hair. At least for 2-3 months.

The Real Painting Has Begun

Last night I put some real paint on the ceiling in the living room. Painting isn't one of the most fun jobs around the house but it reminded me of when Miky and I lived in our Mt Lawley flat. When Yu-Jin was very little we waited for him to go to bed then we covered all of the furniture in one particular area and painted that room. For a few nights in a row we were up until midnight and felt quite buggered afterwards. It was very rewarding work though as our paint job came up very nicely. I let her choose the colours though - I'm not that stupid.

The day after we sold it I popped back to ask the new owner if she could send any mail on and gave her our new address. To my shock she had lots of friends over and they were painted the walls green and purple. All our lovely work was gone.

I know as soon as the ceiling is finished it will be time to paint all of the walls in the house. I'm not that stupid. But I'm stupid enough to be the one to do it.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

A Meme!

I have been meme’d!! and tagged by Lori! If you don’t like memes then don’t continue reading the post, if however you want to read further, then please do. Please note: Hammy's Mum, Ben, Kinki and NYM I have tagged you to continue the meme if you wish. There is no obligation but I may chuck a sad if you don't.

Yes there are some rules/guidelines to follow: Remove the blog at #1 from the following list and bump every one up one place;add your blog’s name in the #5 spot;

1. Unraveling the Princess
2. I’m a Rainbow Too
3. Much Ado About Sumthin
4. Lori’s Cubes
5. Frugal Bastard

My frienz!
Hammy's Mum

What were you doing ten years ago?

I'd just moved to Perth after circling the globe for 12 months. I was working as an electrician at Plummers Industries in Perth. Never to make that mistake again I have sworn to plant trees for the Government than to work there again.

What were you doing one year ago?

Working at my new workplace having graduated from uni recently. I'm still there! My job is as a salesman with technical experience, project management and customer support.

What were you doing yesterday?

Playing golf with some new friends, riding my bike with some not-so-new friends and purchasing some paint and painting equipment.

Five snacks you enjoy.

Chocolate, chips, meat pies, chocolate muffins and ginger nut biscuits.

Five songs you know all the words to.

Advance Australia Fair (first verse, anyway) - National Anthem
Everybody Wants To Rule The World - Tears for Fears
Run To You - Bryan Adams
I'll Be Back - Arnee and the Terminators
I'm Too Sexy - Right Said Fred

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire.

Count my money; look at ways of saving more money to keep my millionaire status; holiday more; buy more shares; Buy a better house.

Five bad habits.

Not tolerating fools (not giving them a second chance is probably my bad habit); correct everyone’s spelling and pronunciation; being too honest (don't ask my opinion is you don't like hearing the truth; being too tight; Not really planning far enough ahead (I blame having a kid for this one).

Five things you like doing.

Playing golf; watching sport; going to the movies; blogging; travelling.

Five things you would never wear again.

School uniform, really tight shorts, holey underpants, hmmm - this one's tougher than I thought - too small shoes, lipstick (maybe!)

Five favourite toys

Doggie (used to belong my cousin who is now 40), army men (my son has them now), cars, lego ™, board games (never been beaten at Ubiquity).
That Was The Weekend That Was

Gee, I'm starting to fit a lot in on my weekends. On Saturday morning I was booked to play golf with cousins Shayne and Joe, two guys that I played with last weekend. We played this time round at Marangaroo Golf Club. I arrived first and that was unusual as I've never been to the place before and went the wrong way, twice. I was thinking to myself, "It's a little bit built-up to be a golf course". And so it was. The entrance looks more like a school.

Joe and Shayne arrived just after I'd paid and was about to head to the practice green for some putting practice. Very important to get the speed of the greens correct so as not to look stupid when on the course. I complimented them on picking a perfect time for golf as it was warm and sunny. Just then the course controller asked us if we would head to the first tee - a full 20 mins early! Bugger. Nobody was warmed up and ready.

And it showed. I shanked my first drive into the trees. I had some mixed feelings after finishing the first hole with a triple bogey seven with three putts. On the third hole it started raining. And I didn't bring an umbrella or a jumper. It stopped raining by about the time we putted out on the sixth. After three holes I had given away five shots to Joe. It is his home course but I don't like to get beaten. Joe went an amazing four holes in a row where he only one-putted. One of them included a par-3 for seven when I three-putted for bogey. Could have been a much bigger turnaround for me.

Yackas - very sharp leaves. More like a woody grass.
Watch out for the bio-hazard - no water hazards to worry about.
These guys watched our every move on the 8th tee.
I guess the golf wasn't too special so these locals didn't show any great interest in proceedings.
More of the locals.
The 17th at Marangaroo Golf Course.

On the sixth Shayne hit his second shot into a yacka. And the bugger wouldn't play it where it lay either. I started to play a bit better and by the end of the front nine Joe and I were level pegging on 47. Joe only took 15 putts and I had 19. Game on.

We both parred the 10th and then on the 11th I hit a nine and fell four strokes back. Talk about being behind the eight-ball. It was then that I started to play with strength and determination to brilliantly fight my way back into the lead. That's BS of course as Joe just starting playing worse than me, including a nine of his own on the 17th. The last, a par-4, was a challenging hole, uphill, into the wind and I decided to play it like a par-5 and take three strokes to reach it. Well, I landed on the green in three and then sank a 10 footer for par! On the back nine Joe took 52 with only 14 putts and I had 48 with 14 putts. Joe had an astonshing nine one-putts for the round.

I'm fairly happy shooting another 95 and can see myself getting down to 90 soon. I thought that Marangaroo was quite short but it turns out to be longer than Whaleback where we played last week. The tees were set right back on every hole and some were further back than the marked length.

After arriving home I cooked lunch and then rang the missus. Had to be quick as I had a bike ride appointment with my friend Ben and his nephew Nicola. Or is it Nicholas, the French accent loses me at times? I was surprised how far it was to Ben's house. It doesn't seem nearly that far in the car. So I was a little bit pooped when I got there. We weren't sure where to go, airport or Ascot Waters, but headed to Ascot Waters. Nice and gentle ride and it was nice to be travelling in a group and not on my own. Ascot Waters is a rich mans' paradise but there is a bit of nature on display. A good place to bring the boy and the missus for a walk when they return. It wasn't too strenuous a ride but I still had the trip home in front of me. Had to get home before dark and only took two minutes longer than the initial trip to Ben's place. Not bad. Covered at least 36.5 km on the bike. Needless to say I had an early night.

The cyclists.
Not bad digs down at Ascot Waters.
Ascot Waters Marina.

There was a bit of wildlife to see along the canal at Ascot Waters and the surrounds were quite peaceful. What do these rich people do on a weekend? Obviously they aren't at work but having to be at work during the week you think they would be home. Nevermind. Like I said, quite peaceful. Even if the locals didn't show their best side.

Still not built-out yet.
Swan with cygnets.
Bottoms up
This artwork should probably be considered too risque for conservative Perth.
Sleepy pelicans on the canal.
Bridge to escape civilisation.

Ben is always worried what I will write on my blog after getting together with him. He needn't worry as he has a blog so I can't possibly say anything bad.

After getting home I took the car to Bunnings to get some paint and painting equipment. The ceiling in the living and dining rooms needed to be painted.

Sunday saw a bit of a sleep-in. Quarter to seven before I turned on the radio for the news. Washed the clothes and hung them out. Moved the furniture and covered up what remained with plastic so as not to get paint on. By now the V8 Supercars were racing at the Indy 300 on Surfers Paradise. Sat down to watch that. Definitely not time to work. Actually, I did do the first lot of primer. The ceiling was badly stained due to water damage from a storm about 15 months ago now. Or is it longer than that? I can't remember. Had lunch in between coats. Whilst waiting for the Champ Car race I weeded the garden and did some watering. Caught a European wasp whilst gardening. Caught him with my fly swat.

My new pet - a European wasp.

When the Champ Car race finished I was about to do some painting when my mate Bill rang and asked me if I was going to watch the Glory play. I'd forgotten about the match. I'm glad he reminded me. Bugger the painting as I had more important things to do.

Members Equity Stadium prior to kickoff against the Melbourne Victory.

Bought a ticket from a scalper which saved a bit of money. It was even for a seat but I wanted the standing area in front of The Shed, which is general admission, so it didn't make any difference. Stood next to Dougy and we had a great chat throughout the match. Glory beat the Melbourne Victory 2-1 courtesy of a goalkeeper error when clearing the ball that hit Naum Sekulovski's arm and rebounded into the goal. Here's the match report.

There was more farce than just the goal from a handball. Damien Mori, our best striker, was in the starting 11 but wasn't allowed on the pitch because he had his wedding ring on. The rules state that no jewellery is allowed. After five minutes, and apparently some skin and blood loss, he still wasn't able to remove the finger and so had to be substituted. So we played the first five minutes with only 10 men and were left with only two substitutions for the rest of the match. Needless to say, it was the same useless referee we had in the match against Sydney FC.

The boys in The Shed came up with a nice little ditty to the tune of "The Addams Family":

"Your mother is your father,
Your father is your mother,
You just ****ed your brother,
Mark Shields the referee"

Something along those lines. Nice way to round off the weekend. And now it's time for bed.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

More "Hammy needs" - In Case You Needed To Read More

Stumbled across a few more needs for Hammy.

Hammy needs a night on the town! - But does the town need Hammy?
Hammy needs to connect to a PenguinSecure server and try again - Sounds a little rude.
Hammy needs a kick up the backside - Nope, I had one when I was younger.
Hammy needs to adjust his video - No, signal strength is fine and all the channels are tuned.
Hammy needs diapers - Gee, I'll have to import them as we don't have them in Oz.
Hammy needs to get his head out of his arse - Sometimes I couldn't agree more.
Hammy needs to arouse some interest - And this is what I'm using? Doomed.
Hammy needs a new PDA - Still got the one I bought 15 years ago, or was it 10?
Hammy needs food n water u know!!!! - no shit, Sherlock.
Hammy needs to see a pout - That's a month away yet.
Hammy needs a jukebox - iTunes does me at the moment.
Hammy needs to get rid of his SIG - beats me what the hell this means.
Hammy needs (at minimum) an effective Back-up - Hammy does not need to getted backed-up.
Hammy needs to pull Ish's dick out of his butt - Not true. Who is telling stories about me?
Hammy needs more metal looking glasses - I do look more intelligent with glasses but my eyes are fine.
Hammy, needs some testing - I like IQ tests.
Hammy needs fresh wood shavings every week or two - Topped off with chocolate topping please.
Hammy needs to go on there just because he's so cool - One of my few fans.
Hammy needs six months in the Bahamas to recover - From what? Exhaustion, running out of crap to rabbit on about?
Hammy Needs Scan - Only if the public health system covers the cost.
Hammy needs some lovin' - I think Google is prying again.
Hammy needs to report the roper - Is this some rodeo term?
Hammy needs a specialist home - I don't have special needs.
Hammy needs to get out of the house - If you've read this far you probably do too.
Hammy needs feeding - Damn right. It's breakfast time.

Hammy needs to get ready to go and play golf so he'd better finish this post.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Hammy Needs

This is fairly cool, if not a bit nerdy. Or geeky. Thanks to Freaky Chick for this and I read what Tom needs too. Type in your "Name" and "needs" and Google it. I used Hammy instead and utilised quotation marks too.

Here's what Hammy needs:

Hammy needs help - I'm beyond help.
Hammy needs help!!! - What's with the help?
Hammy needs scan - You may be lucky enough to find some grey matter in there.
Hammy needs attention - Oh yes, I'm crying out for that.
Hammy needs easing out of this world - Hmmm, a bit dramatic methinks.
Hammy needs a new home - Not until I've just finished renovating this one thank you.
Hammy needs medical attention - Doctor, doctor, give me the news.
Hammy needs to go down on this server! - That's a little bit double entendre, isn't it?
Hammy needs to lose some weight - Does Google know me or what?
Hammy needs better material - Cut it out, I'm trying my best. It's original stuff we're dealing with here.
Hammy needs the "Hummer" - As if I have enough room in my carport for a Hummer.
Hammy needs a break - Holidays are coming soon. Relax.
Hammy needs an exercise - Google is spying on me. I just have a feeling.
Hammy needs a trip to the vet - Why might I ask? Have I contracted distemper?
Hammy needs a good twang before pre-season starts - Hamstring is one of my nicknames.
Hammy needs predictions - Lotto numbers would be good.
Hammy needs to get craphack - Huh?
Hammy needs to tell me what to do - That's one of my specialities/talents. Whatever.
Hammy needs an exercise wheel in its cage - It's not a cage, it's an office. The engineers work in the dungeon.
Hammy needs some rest - Thank you for joining me. You probably need some too.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Hamburgers Are Good For Your Heart

New research shows that eating hamburgers has benefits for your heart. Well, maybe not real research. I've come to this conclusion myself.

Why do we exercise? To make our hearts beat stronger, right? We run, play sports (not including chess in this category), row, aerobicise, powerwalk with weights - no, wait. The powerwalking with weights is just to show that we are complete losers. Scrub the last activity. All these actions make our heart beat more strongly.

Take the hamburger. It lays fat in your arteries. Clogged arteries mean that the heart must beat more strongly to send blood around the body. No early mornings, expensive sports apparel/gym membership or sweat required.

I think that the hamburger has been unfairly given a bad wrap. Get out there and get some hamburgers into you to make your heart more healthy.

N.B. If you eat one of my world-famous-in-my-kitchen kimchi burgers you can have the best of both worlds - hamburger and sweat in one sitting.
Who Said I Can't Cook?

Tonight for tea we be havin' lasagne. Pasta strips, pureed tomato, beef, onion, carrot, celery, herbs, cheese and salt. Peoples, dis don't take too long to prepare. 'Bout 10 mins of preparation time in all.

Dat was de time necessary for de oven to warm up to de preheat temp of 200 degrees C dat was written on the packet. Den 20-25 mins to cook. Easy, weren't it?

Whoops! Preparation time increased by 10 mins becoz I forgetted to set de oven to fan-forced and turned it to defrost instead.

Enough of the Ali G talk.

N.B. I did some bok choy in soy sauce along with steamed carrot/savoy cabbage and beans. I'm a little more sophisticated than that.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Western Australian Politics Is Finally Becoming Interesting

Thank you Matt Birnie. He's the leader of the Libs in WA's Parliament, in case you haven't heard of him. Rather an outspoken person and a little bit in your face. He pulls no punches and it's great to see the back of that wishy-washy Colin Barnett. Wet fish he was.

And Matt is livening things up in the WA Parliament. He's managed to get rid of the Sports Minister, Bob Kucera, a nice bloke but not really focussed enough in his portfolio, after revealing that he had an interest in some shares in Alinta which gained from the government handing the company $88m. The Premier, Dr Geoff-I'm-So-Trustworthy-Gallop, has a ministerial code of conduct which doesn't allow for ministers to have a conflict of interest. Matt Birnie called for Bob Kucera's sacking but he resigned his ministerial post so as not to put pressure on the Premier. Well done, Matt.

That was last week. Last night it was revealed that the husband of the Minister for Drink Driving, er, Planning and Infrastructure, Alannah McTiernan, also has shares in Alinta. And the Justice Minister, John D'Orazio, has some conflict of interest as well. I would dearly love to see the back of Alannah McTiernan. They weren't able to get rid of her even with three drink-driving offences but this could be the last straw.

Problem with that is the Labor Government may fill the ministerial portfolios with people who actually have more ability and will do the job more effectively and efficiently. Who am I trying to kid? We are talking about Labor after all. If the best people for the jobs were already in place then Labor is seriously doomed. There'll be no deckchair shuffling on this Titanic.

So what's the answer for Ministers? Don't get married so that you family can't bring you to grief? Or try to conceal the marriage? Maybe that's what Kim Beazley's wife, Susie Annus, has been attempting. With a surname like that you think she'd jump at the chance of changing it.

Matt Birnie, if you can finally do us all a favour and rid us of the inept Alannah McTiernan you will be my hero.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

How Are The Public Expected To Know The Speed Limit When...

Some guy from the local council or Dept of Roads has set a speed advisory camera up in Subiaco in a 50 km/h zone and vehicles travelling at 51 km/h are greeted with the message "well done"? Only in the last few months have they changed this particular stretch of road from 60 to 50 but the person who set them up doesn't even know what the speed limit is.

Shouldn't have the damn thing if the information that it displays is misleading. Maybe I should complain to the council. If I utilise the term "well done" it will be in a sarcastic way.
My Computer Is Telling Me Bad Things

I discovered something very nasty last night. My computer gave me the following message.

"Windows could not start because of an error in the software.
Please report this problem as:
load needed DLLs for kernel.
Please contact your support person to report this problem."

I hope Google can help me out as I can't even boot from a disk. Scheisse.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

There's Life In The Old Dog Yet

Decided to have a game of golf today. Even managed to get to the golf course, Whaleback Public Golf Course, before 8 am. Had to wait until just after nine to get a hit though as they were booked out. No matter, it allowed for lots of putting and chipping practice.

It was quite a windy and overcast/bright/overcast/bright day, if you know what I mean. I was teamed with Joe, Daniel (first gamer) and Shayne (Joe's cousin).

Joe, Shayne and Daniel.

It was rather interesting playing with a first gamer. Apparently Daniel had been skiting how it was going to be such an easy game and how he was going to beat everybody. He is the only person I've seen hit the ball behind himself twice in one game. Off the first tee he hit a brick wall and the rebound ended up behind him. On the second hole he hit a tree and a similar result ensued. At the end of the round we ended up giving him lots of encouragement as he hit a few good shots and managed to do some putting from about the 4th hole. Had a bit of trouble getting onto the green beforehand.

Everybody was talking about Michelle Wie, golf's newest prodigy. I read that she was playing a par 5 when he shot landed in a bush so she took a one stroke penalty for a drop. She then ended up chipping in for birdie! If you need to pull a trick out of the bag it wouldn't be a rude thing to say "I need to do a Wie".

My extra putting and chipping practice came in handy as I shot a 46 on the front nine, with three consecutive 1-putts (all for bogey), my first par in a long time, and only 15 putts in total with no 3-putts. The back nine wasn't quite as good but I came home with a 49 including 16 putts and no 3-putts. The two 7s and the eight that I had didn't do the scorecard any favours. Mind you, I did shoot a 95 and broke 100 for the first time in (almost) living memory.

Some interesting happenings during the round occurred. Shayne almost chipped in from some 100 metres out. It was a fabulous shot. On the 285m par 4 12th I chipped with my putter from 20m away (had a nice tail wind for the drive) as I had a bunker that couldn't be negotiated and overshooting the green would have meant the ball finished at the bottom of a very steep slope. I lipped out for birdie with the following putt. It was my only chance for birdie in the round. On the par 3 13th Joe duffed his chip shot and then chipped in for par. It was the only chip in for the whole game. Same hole and Daniel teed off and didn't reach the ladies tee, even though we were on the same patch of grass. Normally the men tee off across the water but due to ground under repair they moved the men's tee onto that of the ladies. On the par 3 18th Joe was putting for birdie and could only manage a bogey. On the par 3 6th in the group in front of us one of the blokes hooked his shot badly, it hit a tree and then ballooned out and onto the green. And I got it on video.

Had a moment of clear thought during today's game - If you are going to judge a person it should be in the same manner as a judge a golfer. Give them the full 18 holes before you make your mind up about them.

I'm back baby. There is life in the old dog yet. We'll see if it's still there when I play the next round.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

A Short Article About The Dominos Pizza Dividend

I was reading the annual report from Dominos Pizza Australia New Zealand this morning. I know, I have no life. It was from this document that I learnt my share of the company is 1/60000th. Quite insignificant really. Guess I don't have a lot of voting power when it comes to major decisions. It does mean, however, that I earn profit from every 60000th pizza that is sold in Australia and New Zealand by Dominos. And they sell 800000 a week.

Following the company's listing on the Stock Exchange there was a six week period whereby earnings as a publicly listing company were taken into consideration to pay shareholders a dividend. We were paid the princely sum of A$0.007/share. It's almost laughable. My cheque was just large enough to buy, wait for it, a pizza. Not enough to buy one where a surchage is applicable though. Mind you, they did provide me with a shareholder discount card.

I wonder how much my four pizza effort last weekend has aided the company in becoming successful.

New Weapon For Terrorists

What will terrorists use to disguise their bombs now that backpacks aren't looked upon favourably? Anyone carrying them is looked upon with suspicion. My guess is branded calico shopping bags. Who is going to suspect somethone walking around with a Coles or Woolies shopping bag? Not too many people I reckon as you think that these people are do-gooders by nature with the environment's best interests at heart.

People, take care when you spot someone with a branded calico shopping bag. Be alert, not alarmed. Call the National Security Hotline (1800 123 400) if you see anything suspicious. Your country's safety depends on being vigilant.
Big Stab At The Health Kick

It took me until 1 o'clock to get motivated enough to jump on my bike and head off into the sunset. I've wanted to ride around the Swan River on the cycle path for a long time. And they've even put a cycle path along much of the railway line.

Not long after leaving home I thought that maybe Perth had been attacked as a mushroom cloud was rising over the ridge.

Looks like a mushroom cloud over the ridge.
I think that it's actually a burn-off by the Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM). Nothing to worry about.

My trip towards the city took me to the Swan River foreshore near Burswood Casino. Heaps of families were out today, and let's face it when the temp reaches 27 degrees C in October why not, with BBQs and playgrounds being put to good use. Quite a few people were walking and cycling on the path next to the river.

Looking across the Swan River to Perth.
Burswood Casino.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Dutch launch an attack on England to regain some territory. It is quite obvious that Captain Cook was not the first European to discover Australia. We really should be rewriting the history books as the Dutch were here much earlier than the English. Willem de Vlamingh named the Swan River in 1697. The Dutch should take the opportunity whilst the English are busy in Iraq, Afghanistan, and maybe still Sarajevo.

Captain Cook certainly wasn't the first European to land in Australia.
Willem de Vlamingh.
This is how one artist thought that the Willem de Vlamingh's landing would have appeared.
Claisbrook Bridge from across the Swan River.
East Perth from across the Swan River.

It was quite pleasant along the Swan today. There were a few boaties out and I was surprised to see a couple of dolphins near the Windan Bridge. Nice bit of work that is too.

The guy in the back doesn't seem to be enjoying his day out on the Swan.
I've lightened the picture so that you can see something. This is the walkway underneath the Windan Bridge.
Train shooting over the top of Windan Bridge. There are also six lanes of traffic.

Just near Ascot racecourse they were holding the ICF World Championship. That was news to me. How can we be hosting a world championship and I haven't heard anything in the news? I think that's a serious indictment on our poor local media coverage.

The girls were really powering on past us standing on the Garrett Road Bridge during the ICF World Championships.

In all I covered just on 32 kilometres. And man, am I saddle sore. Half the time I thought about "Betty Swallocks" as it was a warm day and I'd read Ronnie Barker's sketch only the day before. But I feel much better for it. I even managed to get up the hill in Victoria Park without stopping, or dropping into the girls' gears, i.e. anything below 7th gear.

That hill in Victoria Park. Sure, it doesn't look that steep but it certainly is different if you are in the saddle.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Work Choices - Diminishing, They Are

Sorry if I sound like Yoda. The Australian Government has been bellyaching about their new Work Choices package. Basically they want to make it easier for employers to employee employees which may, or may not, result in decades worth of working conditions being eroded. Conditions such as meal breaks, overtime (penalty rates) pay, holidays etc. Apparently enough employees have been complaining about the need to only have two weeks paid holiday leave per year instead of four weeks. Hmmm.

The Government believes that workers should have the choice to make that decision. I find it a little disturbing. Nowadays you are generally employed under an Award Agreement and your working conditions are laid out and fairly straightforward. The plan is for the employer to offer you a contract with what terms and conditions they like and it becomes take it or leave it. People that have a job now won't be affected. Those that change jobs most certainly will be. I think that the young are most likely to be exploited as they aren't so aware of the current award conditions.

Why do we need this form of labour reform? At my last employer I had a set pay rate, that I had negotiated, and I decided that instead of having my 10 minute smoko break (paid as you are due a 10 min break for every four hours that you work) and a 20 minute unpaid lunch break, that I would work for four hours and eat my lunch in 10 minutes. That way I had an extra 20 minutes in the day. I also worked nine hours a day instead of eight in case anything cropped up and I needed to take some time off. If nothing cropped up he could pay me for 45 hours without overtime.

I was more than happy to work like this. But, a big but, I had a boss who treated me fairly and I wasn't about to be ripped off. I don't see that happening in a lot of workplaces including many places I have worked.

I think that there is a bigger picture here and it has been seriously overlooked. This is really a Government initiative to reduce welfare benefits. It must be well diguised at the moment as nobody in the media has made mention of it. If you are offered a contract that is blatantly going to reduce your benefits you are quite within your rights to refuse it. BUT, if you are on welfare benefits and refuse to take a job your benefits will be cut. Dole bludgers beware!! You will soon be taken out of existence by new laws. It's not about making it easier for employers as the Government would have us believe.
Early To Bed And Early To Rise ......

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

What a load of BS.

Frugal Bastard's tips for becoming healthy, wealthy and wise:

Invest in growth stocks
Don't be frivolous with money
Invest in education
Study each situation carefully
Disemminate the BS from the good advice
Eat a proper breakfast
Keep active and play sport
Find someone like-minded enough to share your ideals
Have fun with your family
Make the most of your time off
Make goals and work towards them
Pay no attention to crap sayings

Or, on the other hand:

Become a standover merchant
Invest capital where returns are highest
Surround yourself with heavies
Don't take any crap from anyone
Rule with an iron fist
Be your own boss
Be Grateful That Seagulls Are Scavengers

On the morning walk today I noticed 14 seagulls bitching and carrying on over a McDonalds french fries packet and I thought to myself, "If only seagulls were more caring and sharing of their fellow bird just how many of them there would be." Then I thought that we should be grateful that they remain scavengers.

Look at the human population explosion. Instead of hunting and gathering all the time, and let's face it that is what the seagulls are still doing, we managed to settle down and get enough food together in communities. Storage of food was a particularly important development and we don't need to fight for food anymore. Unless you live in the earthquake-ravaged parts of Pakistan, that is. The people there resemble seagulls at the moment.

So, if seagulls were able to use their birdbrains and just think things through a little bit better they would be able to provide for all and their population would explode. Be happy that they are annoying birds desperate to get their share. It keeps their numbers down.
What's The Time Mr Ham?

I was checking out Dawn's Frugal for Life blog yesterday and she has written a piece on time measuring devices and how she hasn't had one strapped to her wrist for three years. Mainly because there is a proliferation of time measuring devices in her surrounds. Good point. I have lots of time measuring devices at my place and my suspicions were that none of them would register the same reading.

This morning I put that suspicion to the test. Not quite Mythbusters-style though. Not big budget at all.

Watch - 6:35
Video/DVD - 6:36
Clock radio - 6:49 (I like to get up 15 mins early to listen to the sport before making a move in the morning)
Microwave - 6:33
Clock/barometer/thermometer - 7:05 (It's cheap, nasty, a gift and broken)
Computer clock - didn't have it on
Telephone - 6:23
Stereo - 6:34
Clock - 6:39 (Amazingly I do have one of these time-telling pieces [wedding present])

Yes, my suspicions were correct. Funny thing is that even though no two pieces of equipment tell the same time I am still a very punctual person. When I go for my walk I can usually tell what the time is to within a couple of minutes as I have a fair idea of how long it takes to get to each point along the way.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Asia Earthquake Appeal 2005

I don't want to ruin my reputation but I've just made a donation for the Asia Earthquake Appeal 2005 from the Australian Red Cross. It was more money than I've donated in an entire year before. Those poor bastards need it more than I do.

When I was a kid it was awe inspiring when news about a major devestation took place but it didn't stay in the news for too long. Nowadays human tragedy stays in the headlines for much longer. And rightfully so. As a kid I felt helpless as I didn't have any idea how the world worked and what could be done to help people who had befallen such tragedy.

Well, it is easy these days. Jump online and send an aid organisation my credit card details. As long as the aid organisation isn't some Russian Mafia outlet then the money should get to where it needs to. And it is certainly easier for the money to be collected. I wouldn't say I have a favourite charity but the Red Cross gets the bulk of my donations.
Rain Spoilt This Mornings Walk

I choofed off this morning thinking that even though the clouds were dark as it wasn't raining now it wouldn't be in the near future whilst out for my walk. Wrong. Luckily I had my coat with a hood so I didn't get too wet. A funny thing happened before I reached the point where I turned around. A guy coming towards me was pushing his bike and the back tyre was flat. First thoughts were, "Sucked in, loser". This was mainly because he didn't have a helmet and seeing as it is law to wear a helmet this guy was just getting something that he deserved. Before I reached him he crossed the road. Ok, there is a cycle/walking path on the other side of the road so I briefly thought that he may be crossing the road as he felt a bit stupid having a flat tyre and pushing his bike (is that why they call it a push bike?) but only briefly. A short time later I turned around, not sure why, but the guy had crossed back across the road to my side! He must have felt embarrassed.

Spare House Keys

I discovered tonight that I had a complete set of spare house keys. Only noticed this as I was fumbling about in the dark (keep it clean) for my keys and grabbed the right shape to unlock the door. Once inside with the light on did I notice that both keys were copies and not the ones that I usually used. Why on earth I have them on the same keyring I don't know. What good is it to have spares with the keys that they are spares for? Dumb point.

People Who Can Afford New Cars Are Poor Drivers

Perhaps I'm gathering new respect for people with old clangers but the amount of people in newly registered cars around Perth who don't appear to have a clue about the road rules is just astounding. They drive around at nighttime with their lights off, don't use blinkers, can't stop at STOP signs, are clueless when it comes to parking, etc. Does spending all that money on a new vehicle remove the ability to obey the road rules or does it only become noticeable once the new car has been purchased?

High Fuel Prices Haven't Affected Everyone

It has come to my tschhh attention that high fuel tschhh prices haven't affected those tschhh idiots that hoon around in their tschhh cars with turbo engines. Or perhaps, yet again, it has only just become noticeable. Tschhh.

My Son Is Becoming More Studious

I don't understand this. My son is now attending drawing classes and it must be difficult for him due to the language barrier but the teacher says that he starts to draw what he is told to even before the teacher has finished demonstrating it. I don't know how much Korean he knows but my missus has noticed that his attention span when drawing has improved out of sight. Back in Australia he received some criticism because he appeared to just follow what the other kids were doing in class and not actually listen to the teacher's instructions. Has he turned the corner?

He is doing well at taekwondo as well. There is a grading session this week and I hope that he does well. I really want to see him in action when I'm over there next month also so he better continue his class for a few days before we start gallivanting off around the countryside.
Cigarettes Are Not As Evil As The Aged Pension

A startling claim? I think not. We all know that the government has our best interests at heart, don't we? Surely there must be a good reason why the aged pension is getting banned but cigarettes aren't.

Once upon a time you worked hard, paid money in the form of taxes with some being put aside for a pension, and if you didn't kick the bucket before you turned 65 (60 for women who, by and large, weren't in the workforce) the government gave you an aged pension. While it wasn't costing the government more than was put in because few people lived to that age, the pension was looked upon as being a good thing. Congratulations for working hard all of your life you deserve to be looked after a bit. Now that isn't quite the case.

Cigarettes are meant to be bad for you. But are cigarettes being banned by the government? No. Is this just because it costs the government less money to care for smokers when they are hospitalised than the total of taxes brought in by people purchasing cigarettes? Will cigarettes only become banned when the government can't afford to cover the consequences?

Therefore I conclude that the aged pension must be evil and cigarettes are not so bad. At least a lot of smokers won't reach pensionable age anyway.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Where Do You Wash Your Dishes

I've run out of dishwashing liquid. A tragedy, I know. The dishes are piling up therefore I needed to walk down to the supermarket at lunchtime to buy some dishwashing liquid. I bought some Eco product, good for the environment, not tested on animals (dammit, I want something that has been tested on animals - there's no choice left in the world) and easy on the pocket, as it turns out.

The sales spiel on the back of the bottle intrigued me. It says, "Safe to use with Septic tanks." I don't know about you, but I don't often wash my dishes in the septic tank. I much prefer the sink in the kitchen. When the kitchen was being built then the trough in the laundry had to suffice. What are you supposed to do if you wish to use the septic tank and you have been connnected to deep sewerage?

I think the marketing department needs to take a good, long look at themselves.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Traffic Update - By Request

A while ago my friend Ben asked me to do a report. I've noticed that if I leave 30 minutes earlier, which allows me to muck around a bit before I start work, or ring the missus, it only takes 30 minutes to get to work. Traffic is flowing more smoothly and there appear to be less arseholes on the road. Not so many people cutting you off or pushing in. Probably not as much need to.

If I leave home at the normal time it takes about 40 minutes to get to work. There's a much greater amount of traffic on the road and the impatient arseholes make their appearance. I feel quite a bit more agro at this time.

Once the missus and boy come back I won't be able to leave early to go to work. More family commitments to worry about.

Not sure why but it doesn't seem to matter what time I leave work. The weather is ok and the roads are chockers. Even during the last two weeks with school holidays. During the summer months when school is off for seven weeks there is bugger all traffic on the road. It's a nice time to be driving to work.
And A Nice Finish To The Weekend

I love SBS. Whenever there is a major soccer match on they show it live across the country, unlike Channel 9 and the cricket whereby many one day internationals are shown as a delayed telecast. Really helpful when daylight savings kick in and WA is three hours behind most of the eastern states.

Last night the Socceroos played Jamaica at Craven Cottage, Fulham's home ground, in London, in an international friendly. The Jamaican defence was pretty ragged and we won 5-0. The passing was of a higher quality than I have seen before and it was a nice game to watch.

Probably the funniest thing I saw was when the national anthem was being sung and they showed the crowd and this guy wearing a Perth Glory shirt was standing and singing along. Why would a guy from Perth take his soccer shirt all the way over to England?

Sunday, October 09, 2005

A Busy Weekend Indeed

Lots happening this weekend. Stayed up late on Friday night and had the luxury of a sleep in on Saturday. Woke up about 10 mins before the shops opened and had to get dressed quickly, fill up the washing machine with clothes and get that going, and head down to Carousel to do my shopping as Bakers Delight were giving away a free loaf of bread - no purchase required. And it turned out to be one of their more expensive, and tasty, items on offer. I expected there to be quite a queue and that turned out not to be the case.

Shopping done I returned home. Did a bit of tidying up, hung out the washing, set a new load of washing, journeyed to Dominos to buy four pizzas at the ridiculously low price of A$3.95 ea. Yesterday I had one pizza for lunch and one for tea. Today I had another for lunch and there is one left for tea.

As the day was fine I went to Bunnings, my favourite shop, to get some plasterboard, plasterboard cement and all the tools required. Also picked up some pipe to fix a split pipe in the backyard retic underneath the pavers. Once I got home I noticed that the pipe was the wrong size. Bugger. Returned Bunnings' trailer, which they provide free of charge should you purchase something requiring it, and took my tap with me. I explained to one of the shop assistants that I wanted to replace the guts of the tap as I thought that it was stuffed. He said that there wasn't anything wrong with the tap and suggested a valve to purchase. The valve is recommended for sufferers of arthritis and I swear that it does the job beautifully. The tap is so easy to turn off or on now.

Fixed the pipe fairly quickly and then spent the rest of the evening putting the plasterboard up in the living room. Managed to catch a few episodes of Seinfeld while doing the work. It's handy having a job to do in the living room. Nearly finished it but ran out of plasterboard cement with only one small piece required. Another late night. Interesting French movie on SBS.

Up early this morning - the day of the Bathurst 1000 - the greatest race for V8 cars in the world. Ford vs Holden. Six and a half hours of full-on racing. Ford hasn't won since 1998. Got dressed quickly to ride down to Bunnings to buy some more cement. It started raining just before I reached Bunnings and continued for my bike ride all the way home. A quick change of clothes and then onto work. Finished the plasterboard, the suggestion of my mate Phil, fairly quickly but had to put cement over the butt joints. That will take a few days to do with a few coats and sanding of the surface to be done once dry.

A split pipe under the pavers - what a bugger.

Close up view of the problem.

Fairly easy to fix as I don't need the other pipe any more.

The finished job.

In the meantime I managed to replace the paver after filling in the hole. When Bathurst was over, damn Holdens won again, (hope you're happy Phil and that you managed to have your pyjama day) I watched some cricket and the Formula 1 race in Suzuka, Japan. Then, amazingly, I decided to do some exercise and went for a half hour bike ride. Talk about a strong breeze to push into, at least for half the journey. Once I arrived home, I don't know what came over me, but I weeded the front yard. It's a sickness, I know. Even the inside bins got emptied and I put the other bins out for collection. It's like having alzheimers. I go to do one job and find something else to do on the way to the first job and it's neverending. Had a few phone conversations with the missus and the boy in between jobs. Gosh, I'll be looking forward to going back to work tomorrow so that I can have a rest.

The blank canvas.

The (almost) finished canvas.

Maybe you'll have to call me Hammylopithicus - Hammy the Handyman.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Possibly The Most Laughable Thing I've Ever Heard

Blame the Yanks. They started all this litigation rubbish. Get this, two members of the Bali Nine are suing the Australian Federal Police.

Lawyers for the duo, claim the AFP provided assistance to the Indonesian police that led to their arrest, "which thereby exposed them to the prospect of the imposition of the death penalty".

Hmmm, let me get this straight. People caught in the act of drug-running, in Indonesia, by Indonesian police (with the aid of Australian Federal Police, yes), are suing the Australian Federal Police for allowing their lives to be placed in jeopardy because Indonesia has the death penalty for convicted drug traffickers.

I don't see any reason to sue. You carry drugs in a foreign country and get caught thereby opening yourself up to the possibility of being executed and you wish to place the blame on others? When are people going to take responsibility for their actions?

Eat shit and die druggies.
Saw A Meteor Last Night

Went for a walk last night. Good reason for it. Last night's tea consisted of a large steak that had lots of pepper steak seasoning. And that was it. Followed that with some chocolate chip icecream. Not too much mind. That necessitated the walk.

On the way home I saw a big, bright light streaking across the sky. It was a meteor and can't have landed too far away. I didn't hear anything on the news this morning about it either. Last night I was downloading some vids and one of them included a meteor nearly crashing into a 4WD full of people. Amazing.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

We've Got A Sly One On Our Hands

Yu-Jin is not allowed to eat lollies. A couple of times whilst he has been in Korea with his mum he's had teeth problems requiring a visit to the dentist. Hence the lolly ban.

He's nothing if not sly, this one. The other day when mum was at work he disappeared for a short time. My brother-in-law came home and noticed that the lift was going up and then down, followed by a brief period of going up, again in an upwards movement, etc ad nauseum. A rather strange thing to happen with no-one apparently getting on or off. The apartment where they are staying is on the seventh floor.

What has been deduced is thus; my son received a lolly from his drawing class teacher and because he knows that he isn't allowed to eat it he snuck out of the apartment and went to the elevator and pushed the buttons to go up and down so that he could eat it and no-one could see him.

The kid has some style, I'll give him that. True, nobody saw him but suspicions were raised nonetheless. Perhaps he's a chip off the old block.

Maybe I won't teach him to put the biscuit tin back in exactly the same place after he has taken what he wants so that his mother will never notice. Think I told my mum recently that I did this as a kid and she never suspected a thing.
Funny Phone Call At Work Today

I answered the phone today and received a message along the lines of "You are about to receive a talking text message." So I quickly grabbed a pen and paper and here is what the message was:

"Hey Darling, I've just finished my first job at Tarka. How did you sleep? Wanna do something fun this weekend? I love you, Phoebe."

I thought that it was so funny I repeated it and put it on the speaker phone so the new bloke I am working with could enjoy it also. It even left Phoebe's mobile phone number. I asked around the office if anyone knew Phoebe and no-one did although one bloke said that he'd like to get to know her.

Be careful where you send text messages to people. Or did she go to all the trouble of sending a talking text but got the phone number wrong?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Saddened To Hear Of Ronnie Barker's Passing

As a child we used to only get the ABC, otherwise known as Aunty, to watch. That's what happens when you live in the sticks. Ronnie Barker, a larger than life British comedian, entertained us over many years with roles in Porridge, Open All Hours, The Two Ronnies and seemed to be on our screens almost constantly.

I have fond memories of a man who was very funny and who delivered his lines with a deadpan face. There was a little bit of smut and intimation but on the whole it was generally good, clean fun. I won't be the only one missing him. I'm sure my mum has a soft spot for him too.