Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Infected Tooth

The Boy had a swollen chin last week. Miky decided to take him to the dentist at the earliest appointment she could obtain. Good thing too as he had an infected tooth. The dentist gave him two jaw-numbing jabs and then ripped it out. That night the tooth fairy took pity on him and rewarding him with five dollars.

I've Read A Book

Yes, shock horror. I've read a book. And it only took me six weeks to complete the job. Well, it was 540 pages. Riveting stuff. It's called The Rise And Fall Of The Great Powers - Economic change and military conflict from 1500 to 2000.

I didn't realise that the Europeans loved warring so much and that it held them back from economic development so badly. Great book. Really. I found it difficult to put down. Not that I'd recommend it to too many people. Pity about his predictions. I was rather looking forward to what India had in store for the world but it was printed in 1987. He did mention the rise of China but felt that Japan wouldn't falter. Those Russians never did themselves much of a favour.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cool Online Games

The Boy found a couple of cool games that we played this weekend.

Weapons of M47H5 Destruction - Weapons of Maths Destruction (If you're having trouble deciphering it). I scored 214 which was enough for 14th position on the all-time list but the submission didn't work. Don't you hate that?

Commando 2 - bit of a neverending arcade-style shoot 'em up game.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Spelling - I Still Think It's An Important Skill

I understand if English is not your first language that you may make some mistakes but I would expect signwriters to be skilled in the language that forms part of their trade. Maybe they'd had a late night on the grog and their mind wasn't on the job or perhaps the real estate agent wasn't having a good day. One little change can bring a brand new meaning.

My spelling isn't perfect but I don't get paid for that particular skill. And you could half a laugh at me too. I don't mind.

The only reason we noticed this for sale sign in the first place was because Miky had said she'd killed a magpie with her car during the day and she wanted to walk and show me the body. Two birds had been fighting and were doing loop-the-loop in front of her and she wasn't able to avoid them. It turned out that my wife didn't murder a magpie but a shrike. She was devastated, actually. If it was a pigeon I would have been happier because I don't mind the shrikes. They chase crows so they're a gutsy little bird.

Frugal Bastard 2 : Mice 0

I noticed that we have mice again so I set up a trap in the kitchen using a chinese cracker. Sure enough there was a dead mouse in the morning. Next morning I saw one scurrying along the window sill in the kitchen so last night I set a trap there using half a peanut for bait. This morning there was no mousetrap on the window sill. It was on the floor with another mouse caught. I will score for the mice if they manage to take the food and not set the trap off.

Frugal Bastard 2 : Mice 0

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sixty Five Dollars To Be Told I'm "Getting Old"

I played a lot of sport when I was younger. I was into athletics, soccer, football, volleyball, squash, grass hockey, golf and cricket. That takes a bit of a toll on the body as you can expect. Every now and again, but not too often, I would suffer from patella tendonitis - a sore knee. The pain would go away in a day or so after some rest so it wasn't a big deal.

I'm not doing any sport these days so when the pain returned I just let it go for a while. That while turned into the last three months or so. There was pain climbing steps and even getting into the car. The last straw came when playing soccer against The Boy on the weekend and I went to chase a ball and the pain shot into my knee and stopped me. Hmm, time to see a doctor.

Had to wait two days to get an appointment and it was at a clinic I hadn't been to before but not far from home. Arrived 15 minutes early to fill in the patient record paperwork and then waited for another hour to see the doctor. Who Weekly had an interesting article on Christie Brinkley's divorce and the life and death of Jane McGrath from cancer. I did notice a copy of Australian Shooter on the table - The magazine for sporting shooters. Rather odd magazine for a waiting room methinks. What if you were seeking psychiatric help?

The doctor finally came to see me and it appears that he has the same problem. He informed me that you can have an MRI but it won't show much. He'd seen two orthopaedic surgeons and was asked, "When you were a kid what did a 39 year old person look like to you?"
"Old" was his answer.
"Exactly" replied the orthopaedic surgeon.
So, although I'm not 39 I'm old. I can do some exercises to strengthen the quadriceps muscle on that leg but that's about it. And it cost me $65 for the privilege. I thought whilst I was there I'd have my eyes checked and he said my vision was better than average. That's good but probably tells me that I spend too much time in front of the screen as it can be difficult to read a book at the end of a day.

Getting old it is. Or am I already there?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Man Needs Help

I went to the bonecracker, er chiropractor, on Saturday. Whilst in the waiting room I read a women's mag and picked up the story of Christie Brinkley and her divorce from Peter Cook, her fourth husband. Sensational revelations included that he'd had an affair with an 18 year old, paid the girl $300,000 to keep quiet and given her $25,000 towards the purchase of a car. Apparently he spent $3,000 per month trawling porn sites and trying to meet women. Hello, you're married to Christie Brinkley. Either she's a super bitch or you're a super prick.

The man needs help. We should start a support group for him. Three thousand dollars a month for porn is crazy. There's plenty of decent free sites out there. Where is his support when he needs it most?

Victims Of Supermodels Gotten Old - VOSGO

When Is Ten Hours Not Ten Hours?

When is 10 hours not 10 hours? I found that out this morning when I paid for 10 hours parking and the machine only provided me with nine hours and 51 minutes. I had quite clearly paid the correct amount but been diddled. It would have been most interesting had a parking inspector nabbed me within that nine minute period as I feel that I'd have a case in court to defend myself. Or do you have a case when you are the litigant and not the defendant?

Maybe I should look a little more closely when I have to pay for parking that I'd not being short changed.

Nagging Works - Dammit!!

Our TV remote control broke down many months ago. I did look on Ebay back a bit and found one but they wanted something like $20-25 which I considered a bit too much. So the remote control sat unloved in the computer room. And the channels on the television had to be changed manually. It was a bit of a pain to change the volume however. Being a man I found that I was able to handle it.

The woman in the house, on the other hand, who, incidentally, was responsible for dropping it and losing it most of the time, was most upset not to have a remote control. It intrigues me why she found it so bothersome when, for instance, if a commercial break is on the channel that I'm watching I am quite happy channel surfing for the next three to four minutes. Basically that drove the missus mad and she said so. Why? I don't know. I thought that I was making proper use of the remote control. I'm a man and I'm not supposed to understand.

Every now and again she would arc up and start nagging about the remote control. Well, tonight I'd had enough of the nagging. I searched on Ebay. I searched on Craigslist. I searched through the 226 TV and audio items on the Quokka. I trawled the Internet. Nothing. I even resorted to emailing NEC in Australia for a dealer contact.

Then I decided to use a screwdriver to pry the remote control open. Did that, pulled it apart, cleaned the printed circuit board and then noticed that the terminals for the batteries appeared to be a bit close together. So I pulled them apart a little. A voila! Genius. Six months too late.

Now the missus is satisfied that her nagging has a magical power. I confess, in secret, that's she right.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Kevin Rudd - Prime Minister On Holiday

Kevin Rudd's election campaign slogan in 2007 was "Kevin 07". And he was duly elected Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia by the Labor Party when they successfully took office.

In the 10 months since he became Prime Minister he's been overseas on 10 trips for a total of 43 nights away. Now the Liberal Party are calling him "747 Kevin" or "Kevin 747" in reference to his travel. They're even considering printing a t-shirt with "747 Kevin" on the front and "Where the bloody hell are you?" on the back.

Why stop there? Why not create a limited edition board game along the lines of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and call it "So Where in the Bloody World is Kevin Hob-Nobbing Today? He could even star in a movie role that Macaulay Culkin made famous - Kevin, We're Home Alone.

At least when Harold Holt, the 17th Prime Minister of Australia, went missing it was a genuine mystery. Kevin Rudd is just missing in action.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Low Price Airfare To Bali But You Have To Spend More Money Otherwise You'll Be Visiting Schapelle Corby

Virgin Blue is offering AUD$199 tickets to Bali, one way, from Perth. It may seem like a great deal but, if you're a woman, you'll probably have to spend those savings buying some swimwear so that you don't end up staying with Schapelle Corby. The bikini is about to be banned in Indonesia because it is considered pornographic.

Gee, if my pornography has a bikini it isn't in the frame for long. He he. The bikini isn't the pornographic bit. That's almost laughable that lawmakers in the country could consider a bikini to be pornographic.

My missus used to work in a swimwear store and I don't think that it's more expensive to purchase a one-piece bathing costume than a bikini. So, it probably will end up being a good deal to go to a country overrun by drunk, druggies from Australia.

Konglish Word Of The Week

Some time ago, December 2004 to be exact, I brought to the attention of the world a word that Miky used and could only be described as Konglish - Korean English. It even made a listing on www.doubletongued.org as a catchword.

Last night we were discussing the plans for today. Miky has a scrapbooking class to attend so The Boy and I are going to spend the day together. We plan to do our fruit and veg and nuts and snacks shopping at Subiaco Markets and then sit down for some lovely crepes. He has his mind set on ham and cheese. I'm partial to the banana and chocolate but the maple syrup is also delicious. After that I have to visit the chiropractor. Maybe we'll then go to the pool, have lunch and it'll be time to head to taekwondo. Next on the agenda will be some soccer or football and somewhere we need to fit in computer game time. Miky doesn't want to have breakfast with us, I could drop her off for her class, and thinks that she might go to McDonalds and have breakfast by herself. That's when she introduced the new Konglish word of the week - "familyless". She was worried that a woman of her age going to McDonalds and eating breakfast alone would be seen as familyless.

It's hard to argue that the word is incorrect as it conveys its meaning very well, don't you think? Konglish is alive and well.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Time Management Skills Of An Eight Year Old

Sometimes I think that The Boy has poor time management skills. On the night that he has to go to taekwondo you have to constantly remind him to eat his tea, brush his teeth, get changed and go to the toilet. It's a battle that appears unwinnable as he always does his thing. I can't imagine how difficult he is to deal with in the morning getting ready for school and luckily I'm not the one who has to deal with that hair-pulling exercise.

Then I got to thinking. Maybe he's got it all worked out. His timing appears to be perfect so that we still get him to where he has to go but he never has to get anything done that he doesn't want to beforehand. He's the master of finding something to talk about whilst eating his tea which really slows him down. Sometimes I wonder if he is my son as he has a dislike of eating. It takes up too much of his time and there are so many other things that he would rather be doing. If you want him to do something he finds other things to do, like going to the toilet or showing you what he did at school and the like.

Yep, I think he's got it all worked out and has the best time management skills out of the lot of us.

Friday, September 12, 2008

2008 United States Presidential Candidates - Including The Forgotten About Ones

After I made my post this morning about the US 2008 Presidential election I thought about the less popular candidates. You know, the ones that you don't know about. Wikipedia has a bit of coverage about them - 2008 United States Presidential Election.

All you ever wanted to know. And then some. And yes, I had heard that Ralph Nader was running. Is H. Ross Perot still alive?

2008 United States Presidential Candidates

I'd like to give my opinion, for what it's worth, on the 2008 US Presidential candidates.

Barack Obama - He's a very charismatic and caring person. So what is he doing in politics you may ask? I don't care that he's an African-American (in the truest sense) or that he was a Muslim. You don't have a lot of choice when you are younger and your parents generally choose the religion you will follow. Personally I don't care that he is a Christian. I'm disappointed to hear that he's tried marijuana and cocaine but even moreso that he's a protectionist. His protectionist ideas stifle free trade and protect inefficient industries and the result is people paying too much for goods that are too expensive to create. Sure you protect your local manufacturers but at cost to the other countries of the world and to your own people. Bad idea. Other than that I think that he's a decent candidate for the presidency. Can't see him surviving an assassination attempt, actually.

John McCain
- He's quite old and prone to bouts of cancer. That can't be good for someone who is responsible for arguably the most powerful country in the world for 24 hours a day for at least four years. The phrase, "Only a heartbeat away" springs to mind. He's a free trade advocate and I like that.

Joseph Biden - I'm sorry, who?

Sarah Palin - only last week I would have asked the same question as for Joe Biden. Who? But she's had a fair bit of publicity recently. America, are you serious? With an elderly president you'd seriously consider having a future president with only a few years of grounding in political goings on? How many tough decisions has she had to make as Governor of Alaska? Her first son is called Track - was she expecting twins so that the other could be called Field? Maybe that had something to do with the marijuana that she's admitted to using. I'm not enamoured with the fact that she attended six colleges in six years either. Perhaps that shows, in her early life at least, that she was a bit fussy and ill-advised and did too many things on a whim rather than utilising proper planning and sticking to it. Is she a pitbull or a pig? You don't have to be a bitch in politics if you are a woman and thankfully she doesn't come across as that. I do think that with a four month old son she should be spending more time looking after him than being second in charge of the country. Her boy would be neglected if that were the case.

Is America ready for a black (half) president? Or will they vote for the old war veteran? Obama will probably improve the lot of his own people more than anyone else so he would get the nod. At least he would from me. But I can't vote. And don't get me started on the shortcomings of the US presidential voting system.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Conjuctivitis Strikes Again

By definition conjunctivitis isn't lighting as it has struck in the same place twice. I believe that lighting is described as being a phenomena anyway. Hmm, electricity is. Anyhow, I have become afflicted again but only in the right eye. I'm not sure why my conjunctiva decided to become inflamed again but the fact is they have.

That night I toddled on down to the very cost competitive Asian-run chemist not too far away. Lo and behold they had sold out. And they hadn't had the second product that they recommended for two weeks. But they gave me the name and I asked what the price was - $13.50. So I ventured to the chemist that was situated on the way home. They had the very substance but at an inflated price of $16.95. It hurt this Frugal Bastard to hand over the extra money but I had no choice.

Yesterday I was Mr Cool. As my eye was very fiery I wore sunglasses. All day. Inside. I was the coolest-looking person in the office. I dunno if it did anything for relieving strain on my eye but damn I looked cool.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Strange Thoughts In My Head

Do Muslim cricketers have lunch, tea or drinks breaks during the month ofRamadan when they aren't supposed to eat or drink during the daylight hours? Do they only want to play night games during this period?

What is scented toilet paper for? For whom do you need your arse to smell so nice?

Why does Qantas, so intent on saving money, insist on lighting the no smoking signs on their planes when it's been illegal to smoke on a plane for ever? They could save at least $5/plane/year in the fuel used to generate the electricity to light the signs. And they wouldn't have to waste electricity announcing that there is no smoking allowed.

Fathers' Day 2008

The Boy and I arose early enough on Fathers' Day. He'd made me a card and Miky had bought some chocolates. The only present I want is to go and play golf which I'll probably do in a couple of weeks.

We went to the markets for the fruit and veg and the Angry Almond shop to buy nuts, soy and rice cracker snacks along with some special chocolates for the day. I bought cherry ripes, choc honeycomb and clinkers. Yum. We did wait until we got home before eating them.

Then it was off to a new cafe, Rifolo's I think it is called, for brunch. Gee, the place was busy and we had to wait a few minutes for a table inside to become available. For brunch we had a Ficarra pizza and pancakes with maple syrup. The pizza was great (I don't know how they managed that with eggplant on it) but $15 for only two pancakes?! Not so impressive. Overall it wasn't bad. Following our meal we wandered around the streets of Victoria Park whilst the by rode his scooter.

Back home and it was time to watch the footy, Geelong vs St Kilda. I rang my old man to wish him a happy Fathers' Day. The footy wasn't that exciting so the washing was hung out and a bit of gardening done during it. The Boy and I mucked around wrestling over a miniature football in the lounge for a while.

Later that evening we had bulgogi, what else seeing as it was a Sunday, and then we watched a movie from my childhood, Storm Boy. Great family fare and a good way to finish off the weekend.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Vote For The Incumbent Or Incompetent?

There's a state election in Western Australia today. I think that they can be called six weeks beforehand and it was only two weeks ago that I found out on which date we would be voting. It must be the shortest electioneering period I've ever seen.

Now, who to vote for? The incumbent or the incompetent? Oh, they are one and the same. Perhaps it's a choice of the incumbent and incompetent versus the inept. Yes, that's a bit closer to the mark.

First - the incumbent. The Labor Party has been in office for eight years. An ad by the Liberals just stated, "Can you think of three things that the Labor Party has done in the last eight years?" And bugger me, I scratch my head and I'm unable to. We've had the Minister for Drink Driving, Alannah MacTiernan, who is the current minister for Planning and Infrastructure and John D'Orazio's legal issues. The police have been underfunded, the major ministries have been run by too few people, the health department is pretty much a mess and teachers have been almost militant n their efforts to obtain wage reform. More bad marks than good ones.

Second - the inept. The Liberals have had five leaders in the last three years and the current chief, Colin Barnett, only decided to run six weeks ago when Troy "Chair Sniffer, Bra Tweaker" Buswell stepped down from the job. Mr Barnett is a bit of a fogey but he's not old and he was about to retire. Not too many people have much respect for him. And the Liberals have had nothing but infighting over the last eight years. As incompetent as the government has been the Liberals haven't won too many political points.

It could be a close thing. I like the Premier, Alan Carpenter, but I don't like his colleagues.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I Got A Parking Ticket

I picked up a parking ticket on Monday and I'll be damned if I'm going to pay it. I've never received a parking ticket before and I have no plans to ruin that record. I took the bus to work that day anyway.

Ok, I picked it up from the verge. Miky said that a van drove by earlier in the day and it flew out the window. Yes, it's not for my vehicle. I bet the guy that lost it will be annoyed. It's a $50 fine if you agree to pay within 28 days. If not, it escalates in the amount of action taken by the law, the monetary figure increases and the possibility to have your licence suspended gets closer. I'm rather glad that it's not my ticket.

Parking ticket.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

More Fireworks Than The Beijing Olympics

Last night was bulgogi night. I know what you're thinking, it's wasn't Sunday so old Frugal has flipped. Well, instead of going out for lunch on Sunday we decided to go, by all accounts, the best pasta restaurant in Perth, Spaghi. They don't accept bookings so you need to queue. Luckily we went straight in. They may be the best pasta restaurant in Perth but I don't think much of paying $19 for lasagne and not receiving any garnish. Just a big lump of lasagne, not all that big either, and nothing else? You must be kidding me. Miky's chicken and pasta was very nice however.

Anyway, back to the story. I was cooking the bulgogi in our electric frypan when there came about more fireworks than at the Beijing Olympics. The extension cable exploded. Twice. That was pretty interesting. I switched it off and disconnected it before feeling the cable. It was pretty warm in one spot and that's when I discovered a blackened hole. Closer inspection revealed a short between active and neutral. Amazingly the fuse didn't blow. I was able to plug in a heavy duty extension cable and continue cooking. Hmm, that cable was very old and only light duty. Luckily nobody was hurt. It's now in the bin after cutting the leads off.

Exploding extension cable