Friday, February 27, 2009

Disaster Averted - House Saved

With the Victorian bushfires recently, and still today, there have been hundreds of homes lost. Thousands of lives have been disrupted. I'm glad to report that disaster was averted yesterday in the Frugal household. Yes, the Internet connection was reinstated without bloodshed.

I went to use the computer last night and check the football score for a match in progress. Oddly the page wouldn't load. I had been checking my emails so I knew that the Internet connection should be made. After resetting the modem and still not being able to connect I started to wonder. Then I realised that The Boy had had three friends over from school and they'd been running around playing guns, etc. I looked at the extension cable for the modem and for some reason the plug on one side was sticking out a bit further than the other side. Pushed it back in and hey presto. We have Internet. Disaster averted.

The disaster would have occurred when my missus went to use the computer and couldn't check her Websites. She doesn't like computers much and when they don't work she would have gone ballistic. Little bit of a temper, has my wife.

Phew. That was a close one.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Don't Park In Disabled Parking Bays

I hate it when able-bodied people park in disabled parking bays. The other day I was heading to the shopping centre and noticed somebody do this. He parked right out the front of an ATM to withdraw some money. This really angered me and I felt like telling him so. As there was no-one else about I did tell him. I walked past and said, "Slack prick" just loudly enough for him to hear.

Gee, I felt good after doing that. I hate keeping my mouth shut when I see someone doing something wrong. And finally I had done it. After my shopping was done I returned to the same place and his car was gone. Then I noticed that the blue lines outlining the parking bay, a signifier of a disabled parking bay, were actually for "10 mins parking only". The disabled parking bays were further away and completely painted blue.

Whoops. Little bit of foot-in-mouth disease there. I felt like a goose.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stimulus Package Not So Stimulating

Sorry, I'm not talking about President Obama's stimulus package worth US$787 billion. I'm talking about Kevin Rudd's A$42 billion stimulus, or whatever it is worth nowadays. Giving the poorer people of this nation a handout of A$900 is not going to go very far in stimulating the economy. After you've headed to the bottlo, the TAB and the races what is going to be left and how much have you done to stimulate the economy? Bugger all, in my book.

Poor people are poor for a reason. There would be very few poor people that you could give $900 to that would make it work for them, e.g. investing in their education and obtaining a better paying job.

This stimulus package isn't about creating jobs for that person to obtain either. It should be about providing infrastructure for the nation that will allow the economy to gather momentum once demand returns. It should be nation building and not nation cleansing as we are borrowing the money anyway.

In Australia if you borrow money for the legitimate purpose of investing to make money you receive a tax deduction based on interest charges. It should be the same with the stimulus package. This country is borrowing a huge amount of money for it all to pissed up against the wall or for a few consumer electrical goods probably manufactured overseas. Just a bit of good for the world economy, the retail traders in Australia might enjoy it but the fact is it won't create jobs.

We should be looking at carrying out massive infrastructure projects that will benefit the nation instead of making our children burdened with a huge debt. Surely a high speed rail network, better port facilities, refining/processing factories (as opposed to selling raw materials - Australia has been the world's mine for too long), electricity generation, homes for the homeless, more education facilities, etc could have been included.

The opposition, led by Malcolm Turnbull, were right to oppose the stimulus package. Maybe it's just the cynic in me but when I hear talk of an early election, about 18 months early, it appears to be just one large vote-buying exercise.

Never mind the size of the package, I don't think that it is in Australia's best interest and I'm opposed to the way it has been formulated. Kevin Rudd is just Mr Popularity, imho. Australia is just going to be saddled with debt and nothing to show for it.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Arsonists - Time To Reinstate The Death Penalty

Temperature 44-47 degrees celsius. Middle of summer. Winds up to 100km/h. Countryside bone dry. Perfect weather for the arsonist to ply his trade.

A couple of days later and 181 people lay dead with a death toll expected to reach 300. This is the greatest loss of life since the Ash Wednesday bushfires which claimed 75 lives. I seem to recall seeing the smoke from those fires as they weren't too far away.

Not all of the deaths occurred due to arson but police suspect that there could be 30 people has died as a result of one arsonist-lit fire alone.

It's quite senseless. And so is the fact that anyone found guilty of lighting a fire deliberately and causing loss of any life is not able to be put to death. I don't think there is a place in our society for these people and we should not have to pay anything to maintain them in jail, even if it is for the rest of their life.

Bring back the death penalty. It won't bring anyone back but the arsonist certainly won't have the opportunity to ruin anyone else's life.

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Pot Calling The Kettle Black

The season proper hasn't started yet and already we've seen some biffo in Aussie Rules football. The funny part is that it was two teammates that hit the headlines. The really funny part is that they were from the Carlton Football Club. The hilarious part is that David Rhys-Jones said the guy dealing out the biffo, Setanta O'hAilpin, was a disgrace. Coming from a man who visited the tribunal on charge a record number of time, 25, and who received a suspension of two years at the age of 41 after assaulting an opponent and leaving him with multiple fractures, that's a bit rich.

I dunno what lead to the biffo and then the kick in the bum but it was only Cameron Cloke, himself a disgraced footballer delisted from Collingwood after speeding at 144 km/h in a 100 zone whilst his club was receiving sponsorship from the Transport Accident Commission and subsequently costing them a $10,000 fine, and he probably deserved it.

And it is only Carlton.

Monday, February 02, 2009

ODI At The WACA - Australia vs New Zealand

Picked up a free ticket in a corporate box in the Prindiville Stand at the WACA for yesterday's one day international match between Australia and New Zealand. The view from the fifth level was fabulous. And so was the breeze. Especially as it was 35.8 degrees and the humidity was up there. We were half expecting a thunderstorm.

The Aussies batted first in the 50 overs-a-side match and they were fairly poor in their shot selection and running between wickets. At the moment they are a bit of a rabble and it showed. The Kiwis bowled and fielded with great discipline finally bowling the Aussies out for a paltry 181 runs. Considering that two nights before Australia had taken on the South Africans (288) at the WACA and made 249 it wasn't a great effort.

The Kiwis didn't bat any faster and made hard work of it but you always had the feeling that they were in control. And so it turned out to be. Requiring only a single off the last ball to win the match they scored a boundary. Still, it was a close match and a great day out. The cricket was a bit pedestrian though.

Gate No. 7 entrance at the WACA.

Australia and New Zealand line up for the national anthems.

The WACA is quite a picturesque ground.

Nathan Bracken bowling - he looks a bit bent out of shape.

Beer cup snake attempt. The match before they managed to encircle the ground with beer cups. This was about their best effort.

Guys on the upper level were getting a bit bored so attempted their own beer cup snake.

The lights are in full effect at the WACA.

The Dancing Kiwi.

In the video you see Daniel Vettori, the NZ captain, score the winning runs and celebrate. A guy near me, obviously an overjoyed Kiwi who'd placed a bet about winning approximately an hour and a half before the conclusion of the match, gave us his version of The Dancing Kiwi.