Wednesday, September 30, 2009

China Is Only 60 Years Old - Who Are They Kidding?

I think the Chinese history book has been rewritten. Apparently China is celebrating being China for a grand total of 60 years on October 1st 2009. Excuse me? Sixty years old? What happened to the "5,000 years of history" we've all grown up on? Didn't China invent fireworks? Wikipedia says that fireworks were invented by the Chinese in the 12th Century. I have an inkling that the 12th Century was a tad more than 60 years ago.

Wikipedia goes on to say that papermaking was invented in China in the 2nd Century. Last calculation indicates that paper has been around for more than 60 years.

Wikipedia talks about the Four Great Inventions of ancient China. These include the compass from the 4th Century BC, gunpowder from the 9th Century, (aforementioned) papermaking and printing which is known prior to 220 AD (or CE if you wish to be secular about it).

Wikipedia has an article on Ancient China. Yes, I know we Generation Xers think that it's very funny to poke fun at Baby Boombers and the like as being "ancient" but surely 60 years can't be considered as ancient.

Don't let the communists pull the wool over your eyes people. It's just a load of propaganda. China is at least 100 years old. Now that should be considered ancient. Perhaps some of the people involved in writing Japan's history books were involved in the rewriting of China's history or maybe something just got lost in translation.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Perth Royal Show 2009

Public holiday in Perth for the Queen's Birthday. It's actually celebrating Queen Victoria's, of England, birthday from 1819 I believe. It always makes me laugh that we in Australia get a day off but the people of Britain don't. And the fact that she was born in May, not September.

The Boy and I went to the Perth Royal Show. It was raining before we left but thankfully the rain stayed away. The day was mostly overcast and it was a bit chilly which may account for the small crowds encountered. Easier to get on the expensive rides though. We chose two with the first being the roller coaster that The Boy was too short to on last time and then the Orbitor (but only because he was too short to go on Twin Flip) which was pretty gut-wrenching. He said to me, "I'm gonna be sick afterwards" whilst we were on the ride. Quite enjoyable actually.

First stop was the Defence Forces display where we were able to dry fire a Minimi (mini machine gun), a grenade launcher and a Steyr assault rifle at the army reserve stand. Bloody heavy bits of kit. What should worry everyone out there in other countries' armies is the fact that my little Rambo knew what every weapon was, including the rocket launcher. Then we had a go at a flight simulator at the air force section before climbing into a army truck.

Sideshow alley was a bit of a rip-off and there weren't too many games that we wanted to play. Spent a bit of time looking at the showbags and there weren't too many reasonably priced ones on sale. Ending up buying one for The Boy and he was more than happy. Ate our lunch whilst watching a Charolais competition. Wandered around the pavilions a bit looking at displays. Took in the old machinery and tools. It wasn't a bad day but a bit pricey.

Python Loop ride that we took.

Twin Flip ride that we wanted to take.

Orbitor ride that we took. This was a great ride.

Amazing juggler.

More fantastic juggling.

Perth Royal Show 2009 Photo Album on Facebook.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why Doesn't Kanye West's Girlfriend Reach Orgasm

Why doesn't Kanye West's girlfriend reach orgasm?

How can she when he interrupts with:

"I'mma let you finish. But I do the best orgasms ever."

Monday, September 21, 2009

UK National Lottery Winner - Another Scam

One of the guys that I work with received this in an email the other day - UK National Lottery Winner. Quite obviously this is a scam.

UK National Lottery Winner

Where do we start to take this fraud apart?

1. "Dear Winner" - Winner? It's not even personally addressed.
2. "emails/company address" - How exactly do you select a company address when it mentions on the next line that the prize offer is for registered member of Internet E-mail user (whatever that means).
3. "Microsoft computer ballot system" - IBM makes computers, Microsoft writes software.
4. "continents" - Include Canada (?), United state (?), Middle East (?) and Oceania (?) as continents and how does 8x3000 equal 21000?
5. ""e-mail"" - This noun doesn't require quotation marks.
6. "ms -word" - Shouldn't it be spelt as MS Word (quite seriously this couldn't have been written on a computer with MS Word doing the spell checking).
7. "internet" is a proper noun, is it not, and should therefore be spelt as Internet.
8. "." - Missing to complete the sentence. Remember rules of sentences?
9. "bellow" - I don't think you have to yell at your claim agent.
10. "" - Sounds more like a "galah" (fool) than gala (special occasion.
11. Details for payment - No bank details required. How on earth are you supposed to give these galahs enough info for them to pay you?
12. "Endeavor" - The British spelling, which is something you would expect from The UK National Lottery, means it should be spelt as "Endeavour".
13. "email" - What happened to the hyphen? Bit of consistency please.
14. "Winners are advised to keep their winning information secret to avoid fraudulent claim" - Say that in proper English.
15. Names followed by titles in different parenthesis and fonts doesn't look very professional.

Be warned - this appears to be a scam leading to identity theft. The information requested, sans bank account details, could quite easily lead to somebody impersonating you for reasons of stealing more than just your bank balance. Steer clear of this rubbish.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Piano Practice Made Fun

They Boy wasn't too happy about having to do piano practice on a Sunday even though he had been able to do his thing earlier in the day. I mentioned something about putting a video on YouTube and he picked up his attitude and put lots of effort into it. Here's his rendition of Roman Holiday.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Strange Look On The Bus

There were a few people on the bus this morning. Two guys occupied the seats in front of me so a young lady sat next to me. She took out a drink bottle from her bag and a plastic bag also came out and sat on the seat between us. I was reading a magazine and noticed the rustle of the bag and was a little surprised, and then disappointed, that she didn't bother to collect it as it was painfully obvious that it belonged to her. Next stop the two guys got off and she went to the seat in front. Of course she left the bag behind.

When I was about to leave the bus I made a point of dropping the bag onto the seat next to her. She stared at it. The kind of stare that would stop a man dead in his tracks. I saw no reaction from the bag. I believe the bag was behaving quite bravely. Just as I left I said, a bit uncaringly, "It fell out of your bag" and left it at that.

If she was big, had tatts and a moustache I probably wouldn't have bothered. Know when to pick fights you can win people.

The Most Fun You Can Have With Your Shoes On

This morning I just experienced the most fun you can have with your shoes on. At least if you don't wear shoes within your abode, that is. On the way to the bus stop, following an overnight shower, I noticed that the snails were out in force. I managed to squash a total of 47 snails and 3 slugs during my 10 minute trek to the bus. That's one snail every 13 seconds you know.

There are rules to squash by:

- Snails on footpaths must be squashed.
- Snails on grass next to footpaths are fair game if you have the time.
- Snails on walls and fences are generally safe. You don't wish to pull a muscle or be seen to be acting like a weirdo by passersby.

We've had a wet start to spring. So far we've experienced rain on 17 out of the 18 days of September. The average is for 15 days of rain for the month (although stats I found indicate that it's 11.6 days with greater than or equal to 1mm of rainfall). And the forecast is for showers every day the next week.

And still the snails keep coming. There's no end to them. And now you can see why I'm not allowed to wear shoes in the house.

Perth Forecast from Bureau of Meteorology

Perth Monthly Figures from Bureau of Meteorology

Perth Climate Statistics from Bureau of Meteorology

Bureau of Meteorology

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Samurai Is Mightier Than The Burglar

There was an interesting news article this morning about how a student had disturbed a burglar, told him to leave, and subsequently found himself in need of defending himself which lead to him decapitating the burglar with his samurai sword that he just happened to have handy. I thought this was amusing especially as the article that I read went on to say that the burglar died. No shit, Sherlock! Decapitation is usually fatal. Unless of course you are able to stick the head in milk and race off to your closest surgeon skilled in suturing. Of course he died.

Strangely enough, when I recollected this story to discuss with colleagues after lunch we discovered that the story had changed somewhat. I'm sure that this was the story but it now says that a hand was nearly chopped off leading to death. If you look at the comments somebody else noticed that it had originally mentioned head and not hand.

Fair enough, wouldn't you say? In Australia we have a law that you are allowed to defend yourself but you also can only use reasonable force. If the burglar has a samurai sword then you can defend yourself with a samurai sword. Not a gun, that wouldn't be fair. And all this over two laptops and a Playstation?

Just goes to prove that the samurai (sword) is mightier than the burglar.

* Ed - A reader pointed out that decapitation is only for removal of the head and they are quite correct.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Araluen Botanic Park and Canning Dam Visit

I had such a great weekend that I thought I might have forgotten to go to work on the Monday and had an extra days rest. Maybe it was because we were quite busy and enjoyed ourselves so much. Or it might have been because I had the Wednesday off to go to the Boy's sports carnival. Yes, I'd say that was it. Or perhaps it was because the footy was shown early

Saturday saw us shopping, cleaning the house, going out for sport and watching a bit more footy.

Sunday - breakfast, bit of washing and then we headed off to Araluen Botanic Park situated in Roleystone in the Perth foothills. One of my colleagues at work told me that she was going to take her parents there for a visit. Seeing as my missus likes flowers, and the tulips were supposed to be in full bloom, I decided to take her there. She put back what she was going to do on Sunday arvo and we made our way there. It was only 30 minutes from our place and the contrast of the hills to the concrete jungle of the city was striking indeed. The Boy couldn't get over how different it was so close to the city. The air was fresh due to morning rain and it was overcast for the first hour or so.

Not as many flowers as I thought there'd be but the place was beautiful. There was even a picnic area for BYO. The amount of Chinese-speaking visitors was huge and rather surprising. Apart from one large group of Croatians perhaps, they used the word "poleka" a few times in muddy, slippery areas where you needed to be careful with your footing, most of the visitors were asian. And the silly people brought cameras with such large lenses that they had to stand such a long way away from the flowers to get a shot. Gee, with the macro on my wife's camera I could get a couple of centimetres away. The waterfalls were delightful and it was such a nice day.

We had scones, devonshire tea and chips in the Chalet Healy Restaurant within the park's confines. All up we spent two and a half hours there. Rather than head home immediately I had noticed on the way in that the Canning Dam, a source of water for Perth, was close by so I detoured to have a look. A map in the BBQ area said that it was a 3km 1 hour walk to visit the dam, which made other family members groan, but it only took 30 minutes in actual fact. The dam is huge but the amount of water behind it isn't quite so. The levels are probably down 3-4 metres from historic levels. It's been a bit dry for the last few years.

After lunch we went swimming. I was so knackered that I could only manage 45 minutes worth. Bulgogi for tea. Great way to finish the weekend. Or was it a long weekend?

Photo album of Araluen Botanic Park visit on Facebook.

Photo album of Canning Dam visit on Facebook.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Footy Prediction - Malthouse to go

I'll make a bold prediction. Even though Eddie Everywhere, alias Eddie Maguire, has put a succession plan in place to relieve Mick Malthouse of his coaching duties at Collingwood at the end of the 2010 season and be replaced by former captain Nathan Buckley, I don't think that that is going to happen.

My prediction is that 5th placed Adelaide Crows will beat 4th placed Collingwood tonight in the 2nd Semi Final and, the two successive finals losses to Collingwood, fielding one of the strongest teams for years for the club, will Lead to Mick Malthouse quitting as coach. Why would you suffer the ignomy of going out of the finals in straight sets and then coach one more year before being relieved of your duties as coach? Nup, I think this is the end of Mick Malthouse as Collingwood's coach.

Something that will grate with Malthouse is the fact that he coached the West Coast Eagles to two premierships and, after switching to the Magpies hasn't been able to snatch one premiership, although Collingwood rarely travels outside of Melbourne to play, and it is widely accepted that they have just about the easiest draw of any team in the national competition. That will go down as a mark of failure, I think.

Big prediction, eh?

Bus Ride From Hell

Yesterdays bus ride was a bus ride from Hell.

I caught a bus that didn't go the quickest way home but one that would add only a couple of minutes to the journey. That would allow me a few more minutes to read my paper and I wouldn't have to wait outside in the rather wintery weather we're experiencing this Spring for a more direct bus to come along.

I had a nice seat at the front of the bus so all was well. That was until a lady got on the bus with her approximately three year-old in a pram. This kid was screaming "waah, waaah, no, no, no, Mummy, Mummy, Mummy, no, no, no..." from the time that started until they left. In fact, I could hear the kid before we pulled up at the bus stop she was that loud. To make matters worse it was raining so there was more traffic on the road. To make matters worse there was a traffic accident which caused quite a backlog of traffic. To make matters worse I don't have a portable MP3 player which could have been used to drown the din. To make matters worse I don't think that a court would accept it to be a case of justifiable homicide if something had been done to shut the kid up. But only just.

If I'd had a lollipop or Chupa Chup I would have offered it. There were some minty breath fresheners in my bag, which can induce a laxative effect if too many taken at once, so I did contemplate offering a sizable handful of them but thought better of it. Even the bus driver exlaimed, "My good God" after they'd gotten off.

My sanity should return within a couple of days. If ever.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

I've Lost My "Real Man" Status

Last night my wife made quiche. And it was delicious. And I'm taking leftovers for lunch today. I guess I've lost my "real man" status. But it was delicious.