Saturday, July 30, 2011


New term started last week and the first day was a pupil-free day. I took the day off work to be with The Boy. We had lots of shopping to do (my stuff) and then went fishing nearby on the river (The Boy's stuff). It rained the whole time, thankfully only lightly, and we tried a couple of spots. Fishing in the river isn't great fun as there are lots of branches and other submerged items to snag the line on. I swear that I caught enough snags to have a BBQ for all my neighbours. The Boy managed to hook a decent bream and landed it. At least one of us was successful.

After the missus finished work we headed to the movies to see Transformers 3 : Dark of the Moon. Let me tell you something - this is the reason that you watch movies at the cinema. It's loud, full of action, has a hot chick (who can act a bit and better than Megan Fox), includes drama and comedy, has more action, lots of twists and did I mention that it had action? Special effects were fantastic and I'd say this movie craps all over Avatar. We all enjoyed it and have seen all of the Transformers movies at the cinema. I can't imagine watching this at home. The cinema wanted to charge $18/adult but I picked up tickets for $11 each from the RAC (of which I am a member).

We prepared dinner at home and fish was on the menu. And let me tell you - it tasted very nice. Just like a bought one. And I'm not saying that just because I cleaned it and cooked it.

Fantastic day off. Don't mind babysitting occasionally. Only if it's my boy though.

Hunter And The Squeaky Frog

There was a very strange noise coming from outside. Upon investigation I discovered that a frog was making the noise. We went outside and videoed this weird happening. The frog in the video makes a loud, squeaky noise when upset and our dog, Hunter, became quite sick after licking it. Lesson for all of us in that.

Hunter And The Squeaky Frog

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Checked Your Headlights Lately?

Starting work early and at various times during winter I've had the opportunity to take notice of how good the headlights are on cars passing by. Sometimes in between buses I can count 340 cars going past. As a rule I have noticed that between 2.5% and 4% of all cars passing have a crook headlight or the driver has even forgetten to turn the headlights on altogether.

Trailers are another story. I didn't keep the exact figures but I'd say a quarter to a third of all trailers don't have correctly working lights. That's a sad indictment on our tradies. They need their trailers for work but fail to look after them. And driving around in the dark without correct lighting isn't too safe or too clever.

I understand that in Britain that there is an annual MOT test and for a normal passenger vehicle over three years of age you're looking at nearly A$100/year. I'm disgusted at times by the number of unroadworthy vehicles on the road, and the drivers who don't appear to be worthy of having a licence, and maybe an annual check of vehicles in Australia wouldn't be a bad idea. Can't see it happening though as it would seem to be just another tax. And they are not too popular at the moment.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Dinner Is In The Dog

My dinner ended up inside the dog tonight through no fault of my own. The missus and I went shopping last night and she specifically bought barramundi for tonight's meal. I asked her to take The Boy to competition training and I'd go to the normal class afterwards as I had a great deal of work to do.

When I arrived home, five minutes before needing to leave for class, I noticed that the dinner had been cooked and was covered on the table. It looked like I'd woken the dog up as he had a decent stretch when I entered the house. Got changed and took off.

After returning home the missus asked me if I'd eaten any of the food. No, I hadn't. With only five minutes to prepare I certainly wasn't about to eat a meal and had just taken some nuts and biscuits as a snack. It's difficult to train on a full stomach. Hunter, the now in disgrace dog, was in the laundry. He had been told in no uncertain circumstances that he was a bad dog. Turns out he'd eaten the best bits of barramundi and some of the vegetables. So I got a few leftover pieces of fish and some soup as the remaining veggies were thrown in the bin.

The funny thing was that all of the covers on the food where in place. It was as though they hadn't been disturbed.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Almost Embarrassed Myself With Choice of Footwear

Heading off to work early poses certain hazards. Particularly when it comes to the level of style with which one wishes to carry oneself when it comes to dressing oneself. Just the other morning, in the dark, I grabbed a couple of shoes. One happened to be a black dress shoe and the other was a sneaker. That would have been more than a little embarrassing. And more embarrassing than when I did go to work with one brown shoe and one black shoe.

Gotta keep an eye on that.

Beautiful Winter Sunrise

Yesterday was an interesting day weather-wise. Dark clouds were looming in the west but the east was bright orange and pink. I didn't take an umbrella as I thought I'd miss any rain and it would be dry by the time I left work. Just after I took the photos below I noticed a rainbow to the west. It began to rain just before the bus arrived at my stop but it wasn't heavy enough to worry anybody. However later in the morning it poured although Perth only received 4.8mm officially. When we went for a lunchtime walk there were ducks in the parkland area wading in water that was lying around. It had been a heavy shower but I need to keep in mind that the land level is only about 1m above the nearby Swan River so drainage isn't great. And it did rain later on the way home. Very contrasting weather.

That's Why We Call It A Pushbike

In Australia we have a few names for bicycles. They are known as bikes, tredleys and cycles. Perhaps my favourite term is pushbike. And if you look at the photo below you'll see why.

Marked Police Car

I reckon the gang members in America are pretty good at identifying unmarked police cars as I've seen pictures of cars with graffiti saying so. Here in Oz they generally have Holden Commodores but you can see the flashing lights situated on the dashboard and the rear windscreen panel. The cops are getting to be a bit cleverer over here and maybe, just maybe, they're producing marked police cars. Yes, marked police cars. How do I know? I saw one a couple of days ago. There must be hundreds more of them because it was vehicle number 343.

False Advertising

False advertising in Australia is a crime. If you are a telecommunications company in this country and advertise an "unlimited" plan well, by golly, it better be unlimited or the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, better known as the ACCC, which is the Australian government organisation responsible for ensuring compliance with the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, formerly known as the Trade Practices Act 1974, will come down on you like a ton of bricks. Or should that be tonne of bricks, seeing as we use metric? Ton vs tonne - interesting article.

Anyway, back to the story. On my way to work the other day I saw some advertising from a local business. I'd say it was false advertising and I'm thinking about lodging a complaint with the ACCC. Do you think it is warranted?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Charlie Weatherburn - Matt Magain's New (And First) Book

There's a new author in town. Published he is. And his name is Matt Magain. The book is a children's story and delightfully drawn with lyrical prose. Great for the younger member of the family. The star is Charlie Weatherburn - and he even has his own Facebook page -

Don't be cheap and look for it on Amazon as the printed version isn't available in second hand print yet. I've looked. It is downloadable for Kindle. Help make Matt Magain a not-so-struggling artist and buy his book. You can keep up to date with the newsletter too if you wish.

I see that the day after the book was published it was ranked 11,805 on Lulu sales rank and it's soared to 8,623rd today - in only three days. Grab it before it becomes a best seller. I've got my copy on order.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Truckie Blockade Protesting The Carbon Tax

Some sort of debate going on in Australia at the moment regarding the introduction of a carbon tax. Some sort of as the Australian people won't get a vote that seeks their opinion. We have a prime minister who, only days prior to the last election, informed the nation that there would be no carbon tax under her leadership. I guess that it's too early to start believing that there could be such a thing as a politician that can be trusted.

One large issue is the application of the tax with regards to fuel. Apparently the normal consumer won't be paying the carbon tax on petrol. But there is no such luck for the truckies of this nation. They will be expected to pay some six cents per litre extra which will push up prices for everyone and drive down, if you'll pardon the pun, the demand for the services of the trucking industry. Coupled with the suspension of the live cattle trade to Indonesia the truckies have or will be doing it tough. Hence, their drive through the city this morning and blockade of the WA parliament. We thought that 40 to 50 trucks rolled past and the news article below backs up that figure. Quite a sight in the city where you see very few trucks.

News article - Truckies blockade WA parliament

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Advice From A Psychiatrist

Don't get mad - get even.

"Doctor, doctor. I think that I'm going mad," said the patient.
"Don't get mad - get even."
"How do I get even?" he questioned.
"Don't be odd," was the psychiatrist's response.
"How do I not be odd?"
"Act normally," was the advice given.
"What's normal?"
"Look in my waiting room and don't act like any of those people."

Growth Hormone Should Always Be Used Humanely

Those people against animal testing should also be standing up for the rights of humans. No humans deserve to be a used as guinea pigs. All growth hormones should be tested humanely - see Google News heading below.

Martina Navratilova - How Soon We Forget

They say in sport that nobody remembers who came second. It is only the winner's name which is remembered. Well, Martina Navratilova was a champion but it appears that she's already be forgotten. Or the memory of her has been slightly blurred with the passing of time.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Chinese - Redundant Words

My son is learning Mandarin at school. Some of the first words that he's learnt relate to numbers and family members. It's interesting that the Chinese have words for sister, brother, older sister, younger sister, older brother, younger brother, etc. Aren't these words somewhat redundant, or about to become so, due to the one child policy? Did the Communist fathers consider this issue when implementing this policy? An unfortunate by-product methinks.