Monday, August 28, 2006

Even Superman has a bad day


I've always liked Puffins. They look sophisticated, goofy, funny, colourful and dignified all at the same time.

Reasons to Clean Your Teeth #12

Every year the famously surly Singaporeans were encouraged to smile by the benevolent dictators that run the place. I think this guy would make a great poster for this years campaign. Good for the sales of toothpaste also I don't doubt.

People adapting to High Petrol Prices.

Petrol Prices are beginning to bite here in Adelaide

Adios Amigo

Who would have thought that we could all get so excited with ball tampering. I was just thinking that I hadn't seen a Darrel Hair effigy being burned, when I found one.

All is not lost for Darrell however. In a last gasp effort to preserve the career of Darrell Hair, Cricket Australia has proposed that it would be great for the Ashes to be officiated by the world's top-ranked umpires. With four of the top ten umpires on the elite panel from England or Australia and also highly ranked, Cricket Australia proposed to ditch the system in favour of white boys (and no Billy Bowden). Instead it will be our friends from the West Indies, Pakistan and South Africa (and Billy Bowden), who get to be the arbiters of the arcane rules of cricket for our friendly joust in the Antipodes.

If things go wrong, Dubya likes holidays and knows how to show the batsman the direction to the pavilion. I mean he is really unpopular at home. He could come and umpire the Ashes and be unpopular in Oz.

Happy Birthday Elizabeth

Sing Along to the Music

Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday Dear Elizabeth
Happy Birthday to You

Beast and the Beauty

Quails Wail

Actually the hoop. I had been trying to work out what was making the very loud hooping noise in the morning. I discounted the quails, because they are so small. I was wrong. Mr Quail puffs out his chest and hoops for all his might for about a minute and then goes back in to do the dishes. Mrs Quail has started to lay eggs. I wonder if cutey little baby quails are on the way.

Beauty and the Beast

American Business Culture

I remember working for a large American company when they won a huge contract to provide advice to Sydney Water. I can remember all of the types of complaints currently surrounding Sol and his crew, trying to spruick Telstra being arrayed at the Yanquis seconded to give the good word on water management to the locals. Brash, arrogant, insensitive....There really is a huge chasm in business culture between OZ and US. On another matter, my wifes colleague recently told one of their underperforming underlings that they were doing the work of three people. (Larry, Moe and Curly). I am amazed that you can get away with that even in Australia.

All praise to our wise politicians

More funny tales of our glorious leaders.

Free Money

If you are a poor country and need a top up, your best strategy is to become a temporary member of the UN Security Council. You can expect a 60 percent increase in US Aid and about 10 percent more from the UN itself, according to a recent study. Just don't vote against the Yanquis and everthing will be fine.

Reasons for Religious Conversion (and unconversion)

"We were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint Don't get me wrong here. I have the highest respect for Islam, and I learned a lot of good things about it, but it was something we felt we had to do because they had the guns, and we didn't know what the hell was going on."
I think most people would do the same thing that the released journalists did in Gaza.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Tree Boy

This fantastic tree is a source of great enjoyment for the kids when we go to the Australian Girls Choir in Glenelg. The kids love it and Spotty tears around the gardens while they climb.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Those Wascawwy Wabbits!

Apparently rabbits are mutating and becoming resistant to calcivirus and reaching plague proportions in South Australia. Rabbits have been an intermittent threat to poor farmers since a small group were brought to Victoria and they have been breeding like wabbits ever since. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Our friends had rabbits, which were not desexed and they multiplied at a staggering rate in their back yard, so I can understand that it is real. Despite Hannah's pleading, we have never had them as pets. Spotty would love them for dinner.
I remember seeing all the poor deformed rabbits deformed by myxamitosis (is that how you spell it?) as they became resistant to the local gamekeepers rabbit eradication strategy when my brother and I went exploring near our house when we were little. They didn't die, just looked like something out of a horror movie. My other rabbit memory is when my Grandmother tried to feed us rabbit for lunch one day. Just like chicken she said. It is the one and only time that I have eaten rabbit and that was only because we were scared of her. My Greek friend swears that it can be delicious. I just can't bring myself to eat them.
How could anyone want to hurt a little wabbit? They are so cute. (Editors Note: I had to say this, because my daughter reads this and is the worlds number one animal lover.)

Cows Moo with Accent

Following up on news that birds chirp with an accent, we have news that this phenomena works for cows. Detailed fieldwork has concluded that the findings are a moot point. Udders believe it to be nonsense. Apparently it is all to do with how much time the cows spend with their owner. Now that is a scary thing.

Isn't this the truth

Thanks to the very clever Old Bag from indexed.blogspot.com

Mornings 891

It is almost Royal Show Time in Adelaide. The good folks on the morning programme on ABC Adelaide are having a colouring competition to win Show Tickets. I used to like to listen to them when I wasn't a slave to work. The hardest thing was working out who was David (thin one) and who was Matt (fat one. They have a quirky inciteful take on many things and very amusing too. Yesterday they managed to track down the NASA spokesman about the space station support role, possibly going to Woomera in the the states north. The Advertiser had it on page one earlier as a definite. They got the slightly more likely possible and maybe if scenario. They have credibility, so politicians will go on the show, even if they don't want to. Their credibility soared when the new Murdoch Adelaide Website Adelaide Now went up and day one trashed their show through a disgruntled Labour Apperatchik. Tim Noonan, the roving reporter covers the current and the odd, Coco the Guinea Pig gets the footy tipping going for the week, the Guy from the Bulletin gives the politikal spin and the Soapbox is usually entertaining. I can't even listen to it as I take the kids to school. They just want to listen to singing. "This is REALLY BORING!!!" Now I have to listen to pop songs and clients.

Taking off Your Feet

Hannah loves to make little beds for her dollies. I love the way that with the Bratz doll that you take off their feet and not just their shoes and tuck them by the bed. Now that would be good some days

Fancy Pointy Things

Many of these large cactuses grow wild around Adelaide. I love them in this larger scale rather than our garden variety pot plants at home.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Epitome of Evil

You Are 66% Evil

You are very evil. And you're too evil to care.
Those who love you probably also fear you. A lot.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Meg and Mog

The Adventures of Meg and Mog by Helen Nicoll and Jan Pienkowski are some of the greatest children's books going. Hannah loved them and Ryan loves them now. They are simple, interesting and wacky.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Bummer Lah!

Malaysian thieves used a net and rope to haul an ATM cash dispenser through a glass wall and down a flight of stairs, only to discover they had grabbed a cheque deposit machine by mistake.

The three robbers fled after realising the failure of their plan, in which they used a pick-up truck and a lorry to yank the machine from its moorings, the Star newspaper said on Thursday.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Danger Danger Pants on Fire!

My brother used to be a fire blower, to make some extra money. I just couldn't comprehend putting meths in your mouth. Very impressive, as is this. My five year old son was very impressed. I made him promise that he wouldn't do it until he was older. Thanks DAVENELLI for broadening the range of the human experience.

R is for Ryan

Ryan used to struggle to say the R in his name. It used to sound like Wyan. We got him to roar out his RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRs and that worked. He is very good now. He is really interested in the power of reading and loves to have a go with his reader from school.

There had to be a funny angle

Prohibitively High Rocket-Fuel Prices Bring Mideast Crisis To Standstill From The Onion

BEIRUT, LEBANON—As the cost of rocket fuel soared to $630 per gallon Monday, Middle Easterners who depend on the non-renewable propellant to power 10-kilogram rockets have been forced to severely restrict their daily bombing routines, bringing this latest round of fighting to an unexpected halt. Frustrated Hezbollah fighters face astronomical rocket-fuel prices at the pump.

"The way things are going, I won’t have any money left over for other necessities, such as anti-aircraft missiles, land mines, and machine guns," said Hezbollah guerrilla Mahmoud Hamoui, who is just one of hundreds of Islamic militants compelled to scale back their killing until rocket-fuel prices return to their pre-2006 levels.

Cocky Colin and Clumsy Colin

Hannah is starting to read real books. Two of her current choices are Cocky Colin (the Cockroach) by Richard Tulloch and Clumsy Colin (the Kitten).

Cocky Colin was the bravest, cheekiest, cockiest cockroach that ever lived. He could dance and skip and run faster than any cockroach in the world. Colin's home was a dark place the cockroaches called Back Off Ridge. There he lived with his mother and father and ninteteen brothers and twenty sisters and eighty one cousins. But Colin wasn't happy living in the dark. "I want to dance in the bright light" said Colin. "I want to go where the action is."

And so he does as he is chased out of the house by the fumigator, gets squished by Sumo Wrestlers and ends up on a rubbish dump, a happy cockroach. I love the way the number of relatives changes throughout the story as his life changes for better and worse.

Colin the Kitten is a little more predictable. I am curious if she chose them for my name. Is that vain?

Children's Humour

Doing some quick shopping on the way home tonight I asked the kids if there was anything else that we needed. All the things that are bad for us was Ryan's chirpy response. So true. At that time of day, all that they reall want is snacks and sweets. Tonight it was lollies and chewing gum, which they requested oh so sweetly.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Full Monty

Monty Panesar has turned his career around dramatically this summer. Last summer he was playing local league cricket here in Adelaide and trying to improve his fielding and batting. After good performances in the current test series against Pakistan, he is likely to be in the English squad for the Ashes. England haven't had a real spinner for quite some time. While he is still not Warny in any way, he is a menacing bowler. On ya Monty.

With the series win against Pakistan, the Ashes will be contested between the top two ranked teams in cricket.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Must be the Slitty Eyes

Dean Jones, the former Australia Test batsman turned TV commentator, has been sacked by his employers, Ten Sports, after being heard as calling Hashim Amla a 'terrorist' on live television during the fourth day's play between Sri Lanka and South Africa at Colombo.

When Amla, who is a devout Muslim, took the catch to dismiss Kumar Sangakkara, Jones was heard to say "the terrorist has got another wicket".

Monday, August 07, 2006

Heather Frahn

I picked up her earthen heart CD in the local talent section at the library just by chance and have been playing it regularly since. She has a lovely voice. Last Saturday night she played at the Wheatsheaf Hotel in Thebarton, my favourite bar with no pokies, nice people, nice beer and great music. The picture is taken at our favourite local beach in Semaphore.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Instant 80s Video Juke Box

1,500 eighties videos here:

Uh Oh Turning Ozzie

I have started to incorporate "no dramas" into my everyday speech. I blame having to work with Australians. It's a slippery slope now.

A Winter Sunday in Adelaide

Another glorious winter day in Adelaide. Low of 10 degrees and high of 18 degrees, about the same as mid summer Scotland, now that the heatwave has passed. Blue sky and sunny. The Clivias and Geraniums are blooming and we are picking herbs, lettuce and rocket for salads.

We headed off to the beach with the kids and the dog. Despite promising not to get wet, guess who got completely soaked. We then had fish and chips watching the sunset.

And thats the end of the story.

Just Stop!

Powerful writing here and astute observations here on the Israeli genocide campaign in Lebanon. Just stop murdering civilians!

Adelaide Transportation Gears Up

In a move to revamp the ailing Adelaide Public Transportation System, plagued with cost overruns, full buses, late running schedules and general decrepitude, South Australian Transport Minister Pat Conlon announced the appointment of an experienced "fixer" to overhaul the system. Justifying the selection of an overseas candidate, Conlon stated that this guy has years of experience talking to trains and buses, balancing the books and fixing crises.

Detailed review of the candidates experience suggests a a dodgy safety record, which has been reported regularly on ABC Childrens Television.

Rumours that the new candidate was proposing to cancel the current proposed new tram rolling stock in favour of a simpler approach have been vigorously denied.

National Tree Day

Australia has National Tree Day every year. We finally got involved this year, planting trees in Hindmarsh. Lucky the local council crew had been digging the holes. We would still be on the first one now. We just had to put the native trees in the hole and fill it in. They had a real great post basher, which Hannah and her friend Bethany enjoyed using. The event was sponsored by Hindmarsh Greening a local group focussed on small environmentally friendly interventions.

Angel Boy

Granny came over to look after the kids during the last school holiday for a day. She brought along a lucky dip and guess who got all the cute girly things-the angel headband, lipstick, girls wallet. He loves them all. Hannah is still working out angles to get them from him. She is slowly winning. She just cannot comprehend that he would want them. As an aside, don't allow 5 year olds to take headbands to school. They never come back.

Valuing Domestic Work

Filling out the census this week I felt validated when I was asked how many hours of domestic work that I do on a weekly basis. Since going back to work after staying home with the kids for four years in the last six months I find that I am still doing a lot of domestic duties. No real complaints, just interested that the question was asked. Perhaps it is a precuror to Sir Peter Costalots lecturing strategy to get men to share the housework. Next up, bigger tax breaks for Dads who do the washing and mopping. I doubt it. That guy couldn't be the common man if he was paid.

Over the course of being involved with domestic goddesses, who knew what they were doing and kids who make you address these issues, I have managed to overcome my male aversion to order and cleanliness. It is now part of my genetic code. Not a major strand, but a strong supporting thread.

Where do we all live?

So thats where they all live. I was interested that there are the same number of people in France and the UK.

Australia the next Banana Republic?

Apparently, according to those who should be trusted in the areas of economic management, the cost of bananas is going to drive everyone over the edge and is driving up inflation. More like politicians are clutching at straws for feasible excuses for the (inevitable) impact of high petrol prices in all aspects of our lives. Not surprising when you build an economy around oil and you yank the price by 50 percent. Perhaps the connection between the pursuit of a foolish war in the Middle East and the high price of oil, a massive housing bubble, rampant personal debt, a massive overseas trade defecit and a slowing economy are slightly more relevant.

Current prices are $15 a kilo and no respite in sight until the end of the year. Personally I haven't bought a banana for months and I think that is probably true of most people. I do not understand why they don't just import them. New Zealand does and our Kiwi neighbours pay around $2 a kilo (with no documented increase in phony health impacts), that have tied up a government enquiry for four years.

Australia imports everything else, giving it the largest current account deficit in history. Apparently electronic goods, cars and other luxury items are fair game, but bananas no way. It is mind boggling that a small group of growers can close out the market for bananas, to protect their turf. It is hard to imagine other industries being treated so well. Seems to me that it is the poor consumer who loses again.

Funny things those sacred election guaranteeing banana cartels, sponsored by Honest John's Nationalist side kicks. So much for free trade. Australia is about to host the last gasp effort to save the current round of Free (what a misnomer) Trade talks. This is a great example of the all the hypocracy associated with trade. What is the problem with letting in some bananas that are currently rotting the Philippines or other banana producing country. Take the case of oranges, where South Australia has a large part of the Australian market, domestic production is being fed to cattle while Yanqui oranges flood the market.

Poor bananas, will they ever recover from the economy wrecker label. You can just imagine children either not knowing what bananas are or for their parents to refuse to buy them because they lost their house due to interest rate increases driven up by Gucci Banana prices.

Think You are Poor?

Probably not.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Good Argument against Cloning

Campbell walks the Plank

It is very encouraging to see a Howard Government Minister, who tried to be too clever and smug, get nailed.

The Internet is a not a truck it is a bunch of tubes

Very scary those US Politicians as they try to create tiers of service, so that large players can hog all the bandwidth. Senator Stevens used the truck and pipes analogy. He wants to untie the tubes to ensure that all those commercials can be beamed into our computers faster. His secret plan and clever tricks involves the following.

They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet, and again, the Internet is not just something you dump something on. It's not a big truck; it's a series of tubes. And if you don't understand, those tubes can be filled. If they're filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line, it's going to be delayed by anyone who puts into that tube enormous amounts of material.

Seems like ordinary citizens are slowing the rush to judgement , with more than a million registered indignantmails sent to lobby for a more balanced approach. Some funny videos on the issue here. The Daily Show one is especially funny. Long may the available bandwidth be available to everyone, except spam.