Sunday, September 26, 2010

So, Who Are The Winners From The Drawn 2010 Grand Final?

Following a dramatic draw between St Kilda and Collingwood in the AFL 2010 Grand Final yesterday I'd like to reflect on who the winners and losers might be with that particular outcome and a replay on the cards.

Certainly not Collingwood or St Kilda. Not on the day anyway.
St Kilda's Lenny Hayes for his best-on-ground performance which won him the Norm Smith Medal.
Collingwood and St Kilda players who get to play in another grand final.
Players who missed the grand final but will get a chance to play in the replay. And there will be a couple of them perhaps on each team.
100,000 more spectators who get to witness the 2010 AFL Grand Final.
Caterers, the MCC and all the businesses hosting functions catering to football suppporters.
Hotels and airlines who'll be able to charge ridiculous prices for two weekends in a row.
The AFL's coffers - surely it will add close to $10m to the bottom line.
Channel 7 who will have to provide another coverage of the grand final.
Sports memorabilia outlets who will have twice as much material for sale.
The tote and betting agencies who get to run another betting competition on the outcome of the match.

A great percentage of the 100,000 spectators who won't be able to obtain a ticket to the replay and actually see who is crowned the premier.
Collingwood (fingers crossed).
People, including the players, who've made plans to travel following the grand final and have to rearrange everything which will probably involve pernalty payments to the airlines.
Players who didn't perform well or were injured who miss out on the replay, which will go to extra time if required, and miss out on the glory of a win.
Players who get an extra pay packet. By-the-way, what does this mean in regards to the AFL salary cap if additional match payments have to be made?
Those punters who had an each way bet on the match and could only lose if there was a draw - me included.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

AFL Grand Final - It's a Draw

The 2010 AFL Grand Final between Collingwood and Saint Kilda saw 100,106 spectators crammed into the MCG. The weather was perfect and the football was hard and gutsy. My heart was beating strongly when the Saints hit the lead with only minutes to play and it was pumping with scores level as play ceased.

Is this an omen for Collingwood to win the grand final replay? They didn't win on that "Last day in September", as the AFL grand final day is known, back in 1990 when they played Essendon for their last premiership due to having a draw against the West Coast Eagles earlier in the finals and causing a replay. Since WWII Collingwood haven't won a grand final in September.

The captain from Collingwood, Nick Maxwell, was upset that a result wasn't forthcoming and that a replay must be played. He wanted the game finished and a winner decided. Whatever happened to "There's no next week" when it comes to the grand final?

That blew my bet on the game each way, I suppose. I had been joking during the week that with a bet on each team the only way I could lose was if there was a draw. And so it happened.

Looks like more drama after the siren as the changerooms for both teams were flooded due to a toilet pipe bursting, according to early accounts, and then the storm hit the commentary team at the top of the grandstand.

See you again next week.

Queens Birthday Long Weekend - One Up On The Poms But One Down On The Canadians

This weekend is a big one. It's the Queens Birthday long weekend in Western Australia, the rest of the country celebrates it in June, even though Queen Elizabeth was born in April. We're actually celebrating Queen Victoria's birthday, as I explained to my fill-in chiropractor today when he asked if the AFL grand final was always held on the long weekend, and it's nothing to do with the current queen. The British don't even get a holiday to celebrate. And my chiropractor mentioned something that astounded me. Apparently Canada has left the Commonwealth (when did this happen?) and the main concern of its citizens was the loss of the public holiday should that eventuate. Their French descended prime minister at the time, Pierre Trudeau, calmed the situation down by stating that they would retain the holiday.

And here was me thinking that we had one up on the Poms for celebrating a birthday of their monarch which they didn't get when Canada has gone one better and celebrates the birthday of a monarch from an empire that they no longer belong to. Hats off to you Canadians. And I thought that Australia was the land of the long weekend.

Romantic Time Spent Watching A Movie

Our young bloke was over at a sleepover last night. It offered us a chance to spend a bit of time together so we grabbed a video. I let the wife choose whatever she wanted to watch and she picked Daybreakers. I don't think that she looked past the star of the movie, Ethan Hawke, before making her choice.

The movie is rated MA 15+ Restricted, which must be a new classification, and is full of horror, gore and blood. Not exactly romantic but it did lead to a few holds of the arm. The movie was made in Australia but strangely there was one Australian actor who spoke with an American accent whilst the others did not and some cars were left-hand drive while others were right-hand drive. Quite a good movie but the climax was a little too simplistic.

Book Review - Dickie Bird - My Autobiography

Shep mentioned Dickie Bird's autobiography in his own. I've recently finished reading it and what a fantastic read it was. Full of genuinely funny anecdotes from his playing days through to his umpiring. I wasn't aware of his upbringing or playing career for Yorkshire and Leicestershire and only knew him as an international umpire. What a charmed life he lead although not everything went to plan. Even the foreward by Michael Parkinson was interesting - unlike Shep's done by Richie Benaud.

Unlike Shep's autobiography Dickie is quite fond of praising himself and his achievements. He mentions, twice, that he has met the Queen on 27 occasions and been introduced to two prime ministers. Old Dickie is certainly no shrinking violet. I don't think that he is too full of himself but is full of a love of cricket and life. He really wants to have a positive impact on everyone around him.

I laughed out loud to some of his antics such as arriving at the to umpire his first test match so early in the morning that he had to climb the gates and was stopped by a policeman who didn't believe that he was the umpire. Dickie hated to be late and made quite a habit of being early. It's a wonder that he didn't give himself an ulcer as he appears to be a born worrier. And he must have been the only umpire to halt a game due to light - when the reflection of sunlight from windows was shining on the pitch. He also had a match interrupted by snow! Not only that but underground piping that burst and held up a game when the ground became flooded. And who could forget the bomb alert when Dickie thought that the pitch was the safest place to be and there he sat with several thousands of the spectators until the ground was cleared by the police. He was so well know for taking the players off the ground due to bad light, especially so at Old Trafford, that when asked by one spectator why the players were coming off, "For bad light?" that his response of, "It's lunch, sir." was highly amusing.

Dickie Bird - My Autobiography
Quite a character is Dickie Bird. And quite a good book he has written. If you love the game of cricket you'll probably enjoy the book. I know I certainly did. Not bad for $1 either.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Eye Drops Don't Taste So Good

For the past week I've had a sore, dry left eye. Not sure if it is conjunctivitis, although the right eye hasn't been affected, but it is annoyingly painful. Probably got more to do with eye strain and staring at a computer screen all day. The lack of blinking, coupled with airconditioning, plays havoc with your eyes.

So I tootled off to a nearby chemist this morning with a package for the last eye drops that I used. The chemist said that the brand had been removed from the market, but then discovered that only the eye cream and not the drops for that brand had been removed from sale, and went on to tell me that they were expensive, of poor strength, difficult to buy and he had many cheaper and more powerful ones to sell. Then he asked me if I wanted to wait a few days for him to get it in. Didn't this guy even see my eye? How ridiculous! I told him, in no uncertain terms, that I required some eye drops right now. Why didn't he try to sell me the better, cheaper and more available product instead of putting down the product that I'd used previously? Not very helpful.

Anyway, I've discovered that eye drops don't taste so good. No, I didn't squirt them into my mouth. They've only gone into my eye, except for the runoff which was wiped up with a paper towel or tissue, but a minute or so later I can taste the drops in the back of my throat. I'm intrigued as to why something put into the eye can actually reach the throat and so quickly. Anybody know why? I understand that the ears, nose and throat are linked but what does it have to do with your eye socket?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I Hate Idiot Drivers

Couple of weeks back I was very close to being confronted by an idiot driver. He was driving, quite quickly, the wrong way down a one-way section of street and would have been very close to hitting me if he had continued. The reason he didn't continue was to turn into somebody's driveway to avoid being hit by a vehicle heading towards him (in the correct direction I might add).

I took note of his number plate, the time and the location and got The Boy to write it down. We were heading to taekwondo training and I wanted to ring the police afterwards. I even slowed down so that he could catch up to me and I'd be able to describe the driver and his vehicle better. His driving was reckless in the manner of his speed and the road is quite clearly marked with a NO ENTRY sign. The Boy wants me to be a cop as I see all sorts of indiscretions on the road. Unfortunately they don't allow police to shoot roadusers who deserve to be and the pay isn't good enough. I'd spend all of my time filling in paperwork. What do they say? So many idiots, so few bullets.

Later that evening I rang the police to report an idiot driver and told them so. Gave the lady on the other end of the phone the registration details, car colour and model and a description of the driver. She said it was very helpful to be able to describe the driver as the number plate doesn't give them enough proof to charge the registered owner in itself. I asked what would happen, but her response was that she worked in a call centre and that sort of information didn't flow back to them, and I guessed that I'd already made my statement. I suppose if it went to court there would be no need for me to attend. Anyway, the lady looked up the registered owner's details and said that my description was very good. I asked, "Does it say that he's an idiot there?" We both had a good laugh about it and I gather from her response that the driver has quite some record of idiotic driving.

Need to get these sorts of people off the road. I hate idiot drivers.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

They Should Have Bought Me Jocks For Fathers Day Like I Asked

I asked for undies for Fathers Day. Not very original but I could do with them. You don't really want me to be going around commando, do you? Then they came up with a lame excuse that they didn't know when the day was and hadn't gotten around to buying them. Another week went by and still no jocks.

Well, I had the last laugh. Today I bought myself a real Fathers Day present. It's the Taylormade Burner 9.5 degrees driver. Oh, and I bought a new buggy and bag.

Best. Fathers. Day. Ever. I can run around without undies for a while. Perhaps they should have bought what I asked for.

The new love of my life
Fathers Day present 2010

Strange Asian Surname in Supa IGA Ad

Interesting the way that Supa IGA names people whose faces you see in their ads. I know that Low is an Asian surname but who would name their child "Really"? Really?

Everybody gets named in a Supa IGA ad

Book Review - Shep - my autobiography by David Shepherd

I've always thought that Shep was a bit of a character. One of those larger than life fellows. From what I saw of him on TV as a test match umpire he didn't appear to take any nonsense from the players. His autobiography cost me $2 so surely it was value for money.

I have to say the book was a disappointing read. Sure, I didn't know that Shep was a county cricketer in England before becoming a first class umpire. Books written by former cricketers are normally full of amusing anecdotes about the game of cricket. Ok, there were a few amusing stories but he refers to his Devonian roots and excessive girth far too often during the book. Shep was an insecure cricketer as he didn't have the ability to reach the next level and was always worried about maintaining his place in the Gloucestershire side and trying to lose some weight. He mentions umpire Dickie Bird a few times and his autobiography is the next book on my reading list.

Sorry, but I wouldn't read another book by Shep and I didn't enjoy this one by him. And the foreward by Richie Benaud wasn't flash either.

Shep - my autobiography by David Shepherd

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Credit Card Maxxed Out - By Some Other Bastard

Take care with your credit card people. I've just become the victim of credit card fraud. Whilst walking with my colleagues at lunch time I received a phone call from a private number, which in itself was a bit weird, and the guy was from the bank. He mentioned that a couple of strange transactions had taken place on my credit card and asked if was I aware of them. I asked him to call me back in ten minutes time when I would be in the office and could hear him better.

Back in the office I checked my credit card statement and found two purchases for AirAsia flights. These, in fact, weren't the purchases that had set off the bank's credit card fraud mob. There were another couple of transactions that maxxed the card out and happened late at night on the Monday and so weren't on the statement yet. Glad to see that the bank was monitoring it properly. Card was stopped immediately. Luckily the card wasn't linked to any automatic debit payments otherwise I'd have a real headache.

Now, I'm a careful bloke when it comes to money. And doubly so when it relates to my credit card. I've had a credit card for 17 years and keep a written record of purchases and the receipts so that I can check every statement off. In 17 years I haven't had a fraudulent purchase occur. Four cases in a two week period after that is certainly not a coincidence. I keep the statements and receipts for a period of two to three years then shred them. Anything with my address or contact details is shredded and not just thrown out. I discourage mail in my letter box as it is quite easy to steal to obtain personal details. When at a restaurant I go with the credit card to make the payment not trusting the waitstaff to handle my card by themselves. You're not supposed to reveal your PIN to anyone and I haven't. This annoys my wife even though she has no need to know anyway.

So how did this happen? Hm, could have been from any number of shops which have credit card/EFTPOS facilities where I make purchases from. I make purchases online but use HTTPS Websites. It's possible that the credit card details are stored in cookies on my computer but I don't think that my computer has been compromised as I have an up-to-date antivirus package and firewall. Still possible though for a virus to get through. The Websites visited may have some code installed, by others, that allows them to copy credit card details. Could have been a skimmer in the shops - McDonalds had a big problem with that recently and I refuse to use my card there. Somebody in a shop may have just copied the card details down when they had an opportunity. Plenty of ways when you think about it.

I'm sure the Australian Federal Police would be most interested in who took the flights on AirAsia. If you were a criminal, and not too stupid, you certainly wouldn't be booking a flight for yourself with stolen credit card details. It's probably gone to a third party who's using fake ID in any case. Maybe I'm just giving the crims too much credit.

Be careful with your credit cards and who has access to the details. Be vigilant with checking your statements. Use secure Websites. Report any fraudulent activity to your bank.

Reminds me of a joke.
Frank says to his mate, "You know, Ted, some bloke stole my credit card a few months back."
"Really?" said Frank. "That's terrible. What are you gonna do?"
"Well, I think I'll let him keep it. He spends less than my wife used to."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Update of a Saying

The saying goes:

The man who makes no mistakes generally makes nothing.

I'd like to add a postscript:

The man who makes no mistakes generally makes nothing. The man who makes many mistakes doesn't achieve a whole hell of a lot either.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Western Australian Taekwondo Council State Taekwondo Championship 2010

The Western Australian Taekwondo Council State Taekwondo Championship was held for 2010 a week and a half ago on the weekend. I took a lot of videos and a few photos. Have a look at my compilation of fights. Spent most of the day there and saw some decent action. The one fight I didn't decide to video, as the two girls involved know each other so well and I thought there'd be no action, turned out to be one of the highlights with one girl getting her nose smashed. And I was up close to the action too.

Frugal Bastard presents Western Australian Taekwondo Council State Taekwondo Championship 2010

Some of the ladies in action

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Book Review - The Breaker by Kit Denton

Bastards! Stupid Pommy bastards! Stupid toadying, obsequious, sycophantic Pommy bastards!

Now that I've got that out of the way I'll tell you about the latest book that I've read. It's called The Breaker and is about Harry Harbord "Breaker" Morant. A talented poet, horseman, womaniser and military man. He seemed to have led a just life but doing things mainly for himself and not for others. He ran away from his problems in Britain, the reason why was never given, and made a life for himself in Australia as a cattle/sheep drover, horse breaker, jockey, fighter, drinker and poet. One could almost say that he was quintessentially Australian.

The book started off in a very difficult manner to read. Maybe that had something to do with me having watched the movie when I was a younger but I thought that the author was trying too hard. Later in the book the writing style suited the story perfectly. It outlines his life and the important characters that he spent his life with in Australia. He had crossed over from a privileged life in Britain to one of hard, honest work in Australia. And then he made the transitition back again effortlessly. One could almost feel proud of the way he crossed the social divide.

When the time came to fight for the mother country against the Boers he did so eagerly. And he did his job well. So well that he was promoted and it appears that he was an accomplished leader of men. From what I read I understand that he was made to be to be a scapegoat for the British military following the murder of a German missionary, to appease the Kaiser, who, incidentally, had been supplying the Boers!

The Breaker is a great read. But I'm starting to consider that it has been written in just such a way. A great read. There's no way that all of the material written about Morant's life could have been documented so well. The story is too well written to be based entirely on fact and appears to be a brilliant piece of fiction.

Having just read Wikipedia's article on Breaker Morant I feel that too much has been made up. Of the three charges the book mentions that he was found not guilty on two counts and guilty on the third. Wikipedia has the findings opposite to the book. The name of the German missionary, Hesse in the book, and Heese online, is interesting that such a difference should exist. Morant, and Peter Handcock, were shot by firing squad for the crime/s that they had been found guilty of. Much to the chagrin of Australians. And the details of the court martial have remained shrouded in secrecy since.

Whatever the truth, it is completely understandable that no Australian (Morant was a British soldier at the time) has been tried by a foreign power since. And quite rightly so.

The Breaker by Kit Denton

P.S. - Some news on the case possibly being reopened - it won't be.

Bejeweled Blitz 2 Video - My Highest Score (September 2010)

Just scored my highest in Bejeweled Blitz this morning. At least I think it's something worth skiting about. Check out the video.

Bejeweled Blitz 2 high score for Frugal Bastard.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

ABB Golf Day 2010

Lovely day for golf. Any day is a lovely day for golf. I received an invitation for the ABB Golf Day at Joondalup Country Club. It's the best golf course resort in the country. Magnificent course. Unforgiving rough. Teamed up with John, a 2 handicapper, Steve and Mike. Nice company and we managed some good golf. Came in with a score of 5 under for ambrose. I even got to use John's driver on a few occasions. I have to get one of those clubs!

The greens were lightning fast and it was only two days after winter had finished. There was a swing monitor with David Milne and he gave us all a great rundown of our swing. Little bit of work to do but I'd love to have one of these toys.

Frugal Bastard's 2nd drive with the on-course swing monitor.

Joondalup Country Club Entrance
The clubhouse and putting green
Driving range

Gentlemen, start your golf carts
Bit too much flex in the shaft which is a bad affliction for a golfer

Quarry course hole 9
PGA Teacher of the Year David Milne

Tee at Lake hole 2
Some beautiful houses surround the course
Plenty of traps for unsuspecting players
Not so interested onlooker
John, Mike, Steve and Frugal Bastard
Quarry hole 2 The Moon Crater
Fabulous landscaping and one of the 18 most beautiful holes in Australia
Reminds me of Stonehenge
Very large male roo - almost maximum zoom so as not to get too close
Few balls down in the old quarry
Must. Have. Club.
Course in magnificent condition