Saturday, January 31, 2009

Don’t Worry About Wearing Clean Underpants

Didn't your mum tell you to wear clean underpants just in case you got hit by a bus? You didn't want to be embarrassed when the people saving your life noticed that your jocks weren't clean, did you? I always thought that that was a bit strange because if a bus was heading straight for me I don't think my underdacks would be all that clean for much longer anyway.

Well, I think that it is more important to keep your room clean in case you have a heart attack. Those paramedics in Britain are a discerning mob. Did you hear about Barry Baker who had a heart attack, called 999 for assistance and then collapsed? The paramedics arrived minutes later and took a look at his place and made the comment that, "He's not worth saving." Unfortunately for them the phone call was still connected to the emergency services line. The local papers name the guys too. They were arrested on suspicion of wilful neglect of duty.

The guys' place was a mess. Has the British National Health Service, NHS, come to a point in funding whereby they train their paramedics to be discretionary with who they bother to save? I understand that ambulances are used almost as a taxi service by many people in Britain. I don't blame them for making the comment but they let the guy die which wasn't their call. Their job was to save his life and he was still alive when they arrived.

Yhe moral of the story - Keep your house tidy people because you are more likely to have a heart attack than to be hit by a bus.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

And Now For A Bit Of Magic

Frugal Bastard presents - A Magic Trick.

It's deceptive. It's quick. It's amazing. It's somebody else's trick. Blew The Boy away though and had him going for ages.

It's one of my better tricks.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Random, Very Random, Thoughts

Q. How do insomniacs react when told to "Sleep on it"?

The early bird catches the worm. This indicates that worms have a very poor education system. Surely, as this has been going on forever and a day, the worms would have realised that they should adjust their work timetable ever so slightly so that they are a working a bit earlier in the day or a bit later. That way they would miss the early bird and, with the subsequent population explosion, they would get that much closer to their goal of world domination.

Q. What do you call a mute computer nerd with a rusty hip replacement, who's not very strong, has an incontinence problem and is conducting a spy operation on a youth holiday?
A. A squeaky, weaky geeky on a con tiki who's a bit leaky, acts quite sneaky but he no speaky.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Vietnam: The Australian War by Paul Ham

I'm not much of a bookworm. I enjoy reading the news, sports, financials, gossip, etc but not so much the books. Especially not novels. Don't need any of that gushy stuff. There was a book sale on at Myer after Christmas and I bought a travel book for Hong Kong and Macau where we are planning to visit. Whilst browsing the book section one book in particular caught my eye. Vietnam: The Australian War by Paul Ham.

There were a few reasons that I was attracted to it:

1) Vietnam is both a blight on our history and a remarkable story.
2) The history in Australian schools teaches you nothing about the Vietnam War.
3) Vietnam veterans have received little recognition for their service and I wanted to know why.
4) The book was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards 2008.
5) It was written by Paul Ham. Perhaps I'm a little nepotistic.

I bought it even though its genre wasn't on sale.

There's some 665 pages to read but it only took me four weeks to finish as I used every opportunity walking to the bus and whilst on the bus to stick my nose into it. And it was a fabulous read. I learnt so much about the reasons for Australia going to war, what they did when they were there, the succession of blundering and interfering Australian governments, the protesters against Australia's involvement, the famous battles that I only knew by name (Tet Offensive, battle of Long Tan, etc), the atrocities and suffering, the guts and determination, the life of the soldier, poisons used, conscription, the return home and why the soldiers weren't welcomed back.

Each chapter focuses on a particular aspect of life, or a battle or something happening in Australia. The book brought to life, at least for me, some of what these men were experiencing. It is about the war that the Australians fought and not so much about the Americans. The attitude of the Australian government and anti-war protesters absolutely disgusted me.

I would thoroughly recommend this book if you want a no nonsense report about the Vietnam war from an Australian perspective. And I can't wait to get my hands on another book by Paul Ham - Kokoda.

Vietnam: The Australian War by Paul Ham.

YouTube Video - She Is - Alex (Clazziquai)

I don't mind listening to a bit of Korean music. Which isn't a bad thing as it gets played in our household a bit. I struggle to find good Korean music, for obvious reasons, but when I find something I like I will play it to death. The sister-in-law brought some CDs with her when she visited recently. My missus had this song on a CD she bought in Singapore but it was labelled in Chinese and so she didn't know who he was. The mystery has been solved. His name is Alex. Which is a rather strange name for a Korean. I'll give him that. Probably just a stage name anyway. The lady singing is known as Horan. The song is from a Korean drama and watching the video clip I recognise it as my wife has seen it.

Enjoy - She Is - Clazziquai (Alex/Horan)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Online Games - World Domination

Anybody remember that classic game on the Commodore Amiga called Nuclear War? Well, The Boy and I found a new version of it in an online game - World Domination. We played it twice and ended up winning from an almost hopeless position. Our opponents were Fidel Castro, Vladimir Putin, Colonel Ghaddafi and some Chinese guy.

Actually, I prefer the original game. Especially when you can launch the Bovine Bomb at Ronnie Raygun, Gorbachef, P.M. Satcher, Infidel Castro and the like.

World Domination score by FB and The Boy

Pity that we can't view the Hiscore table.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Cottesloe Beach Visit - Watch Out For The Shark

The Boy was keen for a swim at the beach yesterday and we wanted to take him at least once these school holidays. Even though we visited Cottesloe last night we went again and at least the girls could have a decent coffee whilst they waited. It was 31 degrees but there wasn't a lot of sunshine as storm clouds moved in.

The wate was a bit rough and none too warm but it was fine after a few minutes. We had quite a decent swim and then made some buildings in the sand. The big waves knocked them about though and we were fighting a losing battle. Yu-Jin wanted to be covered in sand so I obliged. Then it was my turn. It was a strange feeling to be covered from neck to toe. I didn't particularly enjoy the sand being put in my ear either but that was an accident. Damn, it also meant that I had to take another dip.

Shortly afterwards a siren alerted all swimmers to leave the water as a shark had been sighted. Everybody left the water pretty quickly. Nobody peeing on the beach yesterday but they might have in the water! Quite a bit of commotion actually with a lifesaving surf boat zipping about and a helicopter hovering above for quite some time. I didn't catch a glimpse of a shark fin, or dismembered limb, in the 10 minutes or so that we waited. Oh well, time to go home. Excitement was over.

A thunderstorm hit last night. Quite a bit of lightning and we received some rain. I notice that until this morning Perth has received no rainfall but Perth Airport has had half an inch. They're only about 12 kilometres apart. The airport reached 43 degrees on Friday when we only had 41.8 in the city.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Meal And A Wander Around Fremantle And Cottesloe

It was one of the last nights that my sister-in-law was visiting so we went to Fremantle to have a meal at Cicerello's. They've been voted Western Australia's favourite fish and chip shop. These guys aren't your normal street corner fish and chip shop either. And they charge for it.

Firstly we went for a walk around the beach up to the Round House. Yu-Jin loved climbing on the rocks of the groyne. He is a typical boy.

Last time we went to Cicerello's I was quite disappointed with my meal. Not last night however. I had spicy crumbed fish and chips and it was lovely. Apart from the stodgy chips and coleslaw with far too much onion. It must be about the first time I haven't completed a meal but felt satisfied in leaving food on my plate. You know how I hate to waste money.

Following tea we journeyed to the cappuccino strip in Fremantle itself and had icecream and coffees at Amano. After we sat down the shop filled with people. I had mentioned that the staff outnumbered us as customers.

We had a bit of a wander about so that the sister-in-law could enjoy the old buildings and take happy snaps. Me too. I love the grand old buildings of Fremantle. It shows some culture.

Just as it got dark we drove to Cottesloe Beach for a walk. It was a lovely night and not as busy as I had expected. Perhaps that has something to do with visiting Cottesloe during the busy holiday period normally and then there's almost nowhere to park. After nine o'clock at night it quietens down a little. I was quite discussed to see one guy take a leak on the beach in full view of everyone. Sit on the white sand, not the yellow, people. Never seen anything like it, I tell you.

Photos from Fremantle and Cottesloe album on Facebook.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What Do You Do When The Forecast Is For 42 Degrees Celsius?

What do you do when the forecast temperature is 42 degrees C? Most normal people would go to work or those still on holidays might sleep in before lounging around the house for the day. In both cases you would expect the air conditioning to be put on.

The temperature reached 41.8 C when we went for our lunchtime walk. Some bastard had lit a fire in Kings Park at 6:30 in the morning. That's what he decided to do on a hot day. There wasn't a lot of smoke about as t had been contained pretty well.

Later that afternoon at 4pm it was ablaze again. We were having a sundowner at work so I decided to have a few drinks and play some pool before grabbing some photos of the smoke. It had died down a bit in the the two hours that I was busy but you get some idea of the fire.

Bushfire in Kings Park on 42 degrees Celsius day.

What a bloody jerk. Shooting is too good for him.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Shark Spotter Planes

Perth uses spotter planes and helicopters along the beaches in an effort to protect beachgoers from sharks. Due to a lack of funds, particularly from the state government, the flights did not take place every day. The incident just following Christmas last year where Brian Guest was taken by a 5m white pointer convinced the government to provide the necessary funding for flights to take place every day.

I'm opposed to it, personally. There should only be flights on the weekends. Not only would this save money but why should we be protecting bums who have time during the week to go to the beach? Quite frankly, if you are at the beach during the week you're not paying your taxes and contributing to society. And before you say, "What about the people on holiday?" consider that as a contractor I don't get holidays.

I don't see much point in the spotter planes anyway. They fly past a point once every half an hour and the have a very limited viewing angle. It's not easy to spot a shark like that.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

University of Western Australia Gardens - Nice Place for a Picnic

Miky wished to show her sister the lovely gardens at the University of Western Australia whilst she is over. Together they made kimbap, sushi for the uninitiated, and took it. There was an undercover area with seating in the gardens where we ate. Being a Sunday and in the middle of summer there was hardly anybody around.

On display were the peacocks that reside at the university and I even spotted a reasonably tame kookaburra.

On the way home we drove down Riverside Drive to see the new Wheel of Perth.

Photos - Click on the link
University of Western Australia photo album - on Facebook

South Perth Foreshore View

Last night we had a meal at Dome Cafe in South Perth. Very nice food and served quite quickly also. The girl who served me had very difficult English to understand and it surprised me to find that she was Korean. Miky wanted to take her sister along the foreshore after tea to get some photos of the sun reflecting off the buildings in Perth.

The view was quite nice and the new Wheel of Perth was clearly visible. It was a lovely evening and the mozzies didn't start to bother us until close to 9:30pm.

Photos - follow the link

Perth from South Perth Foreshore album on Facebook.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

On The Mend

I'm officially on the mend. The knee is finally pain free when I flex and the scab should fall off sometime this week. It's difficult to resist picking at it though.

When people at work ask me what I did to my knee I tell them that I survived the shark attack at Port Kennedy. I do get a few very surprised looks until they realise that I'm joking. Then I tell them the real story.

Knee on the mend four days after being skinned.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year 2009

2009 couldn't have come any quicker, could it? Hopefully it will see a huge turnaround in our fortunes. Or half-fortunes for those who invest in the stockmarket. Whilst we had a quiet Christmas we had a loud New Years.

The plan was to head to Dome Cafe in Northbridge for a meal, listen to some music as there were three stages set up and watch the Gloucester Park fireworks from Burswood Casino. We arrived at Dome, which The Boy had been looking forward to taking his aunty visiting from Korea to, sat down, chose from the menu and then were told when I went to order that the kitchen was closed. Closed?! The time was 8pm. On one of the biggest nights of the year?!

I popped down to the Diamond Chinese Restaurant nearby, another Northbridge eatery that we like, only to find that it was closed for renovations. Strike two. Ended up eating at the Dragon Seafood Chinese Restaurant on James Street. They are famous for their steamboat, which most people were having, but we wanted to order from the menu. Can't say that their photos in the menu look too appetising as they do mainland Chinese style and that doesn't appeal to us too much. We chose salt and pepper squid, king prawns in garlic butter, vegetarian delight (bit of an oxymoron I reckon - what on earth is delightful about vegetarian?) and special seafood fried rice. After some 25 minutes of waiting we decided to ask how long our meal was going to be. The waitress didn't want to help and said that some of the wait staff were helping in the kitchen because it was so busy. We finally convinced her to ask how long our meal would be and then she ended up bringing the first couple of plates back. Man, the food was worth the wait. It was very good.

Following that we headed to Icey Ice for shaved ice cream with all sorts of toppings and drinks. It was full of young Asians out enjoying themselves, as was much of Northbridge. Well, I guess it is our version of Chinatown so what else do you expect? By this stage it was 10pm and there were several drunk/stoned idiots heading towards Northbridge. We sat and watched music videos and read Japanese fashion magazines for about an hour and then watched the Jazz band set up at the end of Lake Street. They were very entertaining and were quite enjoyed by all the people watching.

New Years Eve 2008 - Northbridge is alive.

Northbridge is well and truly alive.

Jazz Band.

Jazz Band doing their stuff.

At about 20 to 12 we made our way towards Burswood and the fireworks from Gloucester Park started about a quarter of an hour out from the New Year starting. So we viewed them whilst driving over the Windan Bridge and managed to find a place to jump out from the car to see the end of the fireworks. Mind you, I was still in the car driving around the car park when the fireworks finished but didn't miss it. The Boy was asleep in the backseat though although he had seen the majority of them.

It was a good night out.