Monday, November 30, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
I always wanted a barbie big enough to cook a person in! It is the next model up as it has the recessed wok burner, rather the raised wok burner lid.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
The mo is coming along nicely, most of you are checking http://magnumallstars.blogspot.com/ so I won't waste anymore space here on it.
Job hunting is progressing. I have missed out on a couple, one because I was selling an I.T. Manager and they were after more of an I.T. lackey. They were happy to have a manager, they just didn't want to pay for one. The other job they decided they didn't need anyone, I would not be surprised to receive a panicked call from them in the coming months.
I have a couple of other irons in the fire and there is a good chance my redundancy date will be extended or I will be able to contract for a couple of months at an exorbitant rate.
So things are happening. Slowly, but that's better than not at all.
I have done my last exam for the year, which is pleasant to get out of the way. I need to get more disciplined in my study. Each subject takes 12 weeks and has two assignments and an exam. The assignments usually cover one or two weeks of the study and the exam all 12 weeks. Typically I only do the reading required for the assignments during the 12 weeks and then the week before the exam I take 3-4 days and do all 12 weeks study. It works when I am only doing 1 subject a semester, but it's stressful and I probably don't do as well as I could.
I am going to jump to two subjects a semester next year (so I can get this bloody thing finished faster), so I will need to develop some kind of weekly study plan. The xbox I am thinking of buying may not be conducive to those plans.
So I have been busy, busy, busy. Fortunately over the last month or two I have also had time for socialising, catching up with Besso, Barnes, GuruBob, Havock and Lermontov. I have eaten at some nice restaurants including the flash Middle Brighton Baths. I have a work dinner at Donovans later this week and then a combined birthday/anniversary dinner at what looks like a nice restaurant on Saturday night (not naming it as the Good Lady Naut may read this). Finally the Good Lady Naut and I will wrap up the month with my work Christmas party at the Amora Hotel in Sydney.
All that and Sophasaurus learnt to crawl a week ago so we now can't take our eyes off her for a second.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Hmmm, decisions decisions.
Actually the man-date was full of "had to be there" moments and all the best bits have already been on twitter thanks to Havock and his snap happy iPhone.
I will reflect and say that it is always a please to catch up with Havock who is far enough removed from Blunty Havock to be very pleasant company while close enough to Blunty Havock to keep you laughing all night!
Lermontov is definitely an enigma and a fascinating one at that. Class that only good breeding can produce, an earthiness that comes from all-boys schools and the military, all nicely balanced with an intelligent self-awareness. Very enjoyable company and we were all far and away the best dressed people wherever we went.
So onto Movember. Today is the official start date, so we are all clean shaven for the kickoff! So for some photos and to see Big Bad Al's fantastic shirt go to http://magnumallstars.blogspot.com/ .
Any team members that haven't received an invite to be an author at the Magnum blog, drop me a line at email@example.com and I will send you an invite.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
It is in no way related to the GFC, it is because the business I work for has sold all its car dealerships and I my role is very dealership focussed.
Some of you may be thinking "those bastards, Naut is both talented and devilishly handsome". Well while I am both those things, I am also very comfortable with their decision and their treatment of me. 2 months is a pretty good notice period and my payout will be a very handy bunch of cash based on the NSW award which kicks the Vic awards arse! They were also very accommodating when I was facing all the recent personal dramas.
I did have a chuckle yesterday as the directors came to advise me and then had to wait over an hour for me as I was "at a meeting with a supplier". I was actually in an hour long job interview!
Anyway, at this stage my job prospects are looking good. I have had a couple of unsolicited approaches and some of the prospects look quite good. Now if I could just win the lotto ...........
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
This has always confounded me as I don't think I have any morals at all.
I see morals as a construct created by communities in order to protect both it's members and the structure of the community itself. If a community had no moral structure, it would have no sense of right or wrong and therefore no basis for the creation of laws. If a communities fundamental moral is the right of the individual to basic things like food, shelter and protection then that community is creating an environment that encourages membership and participation.
So you are probably thinking, what's that got to do with Naut having or not having morals? Well here's the answer.
I have imagined life without community, because while I enjoy people I have always been pretty self contained and never felt I needed them. My image of life without community pretty much reflected a post apocalyptic landscape where you pretty much lived in family groups (still kind of a community). While we would all like to be Mad Max for a day, it is pretty hard to buy doughnuts if there is no bakery and no matter how much fun being Mad Max is, you are still going to crave doughnuts one day.
So I choose to live within a community within the larger society, therefore I choose to accept it's morals. If I have an objection to how those morals are reflected in law, then there are paths to address that, that are intended to reach a result that reflects the majority of the community's views.
To conclude, I don't feel I have any morals at all, but as a community member I live within the moral boundaries determined by the community.
** Extra bonus special feature **
What if I was living in a country where the communities morals are dictated by a minority rather than a reflection of the majority? Simple, I would choose not to be a part of the community and so would base my actions on what I considered logical and suited me.
Monday, August 31, 2009
None of the nights were really what I would consider late nights, but I have been a bit flat lately and sleeping poorly, so I guess it all finally caught up with me Sunday arvo.
One of the things that has been leaving me a bit flat has been a distinct lack of exercise over the last 6 weeks or so. As Havock kindly pointed out over at the cheeseburger, I have hit 100kgs thanks to a complete lack of exercise and a diet that would shame even Moko’s goats. The exercise issue is due to an injury I have picked up. I was actually started to ramp things up, doing additional running outside of footy, with a mind to running this year’s Melbourne Marathon, then started to get pain from what I thought was a bruised heel. I didn’t worry much about it until during a game of footy, while sprinting to a contest, I felt something move in my heel and then a sharp, nasty pain. I had an acute case of planter fasciitis. In layman’s terms, I had a tear in the tissue that runs from my heel to the ball of my foot and makes up the arch of your foot.
This is not the first time I have had planter fasciitis. I had a mild case a few years ago, but was able to stretch it out through a couple of long, slow runs. This time there is a tear rather than a strain and it is taking forever to heal. It’s been 6 weeks and it still feels like it is going to snap every time I move quicker than a walk.
I hate not being able to run. I have been running regularly for over 10 years now and with the way I eat it is the only way to keep my weight respectable. It is also a great way to wind down. Unlike many, I don’t listen to music when I run and I try to think as little as possible (yes that is easy for me to do), it becomes almost meditative, particularly on a long run.
Hopefully I will be able to hit the road again soon, I’ve got my eye on a little run in May 2010 called the Great Ocean Road Marathon. If I can make that and run the 42.2 in under 3.30 hrs I will never need to run another marathon.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Actually scratch that, I get it, I just don't really like it much.
I can't say I am a massive reader of poetry to make me the best judge, but I have read more than the odd 4 liner about people from Nantucket or what colour roses are.
Some battlefield poetry particularly from the first World War has a certain resonance, but all said and done I would prefer if they shared their thoughts and emotions in a simpler written format.
My dislike of poetry probably stems from my appreciation of the beauty of simplicity. To my sensibilities, something that performs it's duty completely, in the simplest way possible is inherently beautiful. Poetry seems to perform it's duty of conveying a message, using a combination of words that the author finds evokes particular emotions for them, but could be interpreted completely differently by others. If the intention is to evoke specific emotions, then poetry can be a pretty haphazard way of doing it.
I got this definition of poetry from about.com :
Poetry is an imaginative awareness of experience expressed through meaning, sound, and rhythmic language choices so as to evoke an emotional response. Poetry has been known to employ meter and rhyme, but this is by no means necessary. Poetry is an ancient form that has gone through numerous and drastic reinvention over time. The very nature of poetry as an authentic and individual mode of expression makes it nearly impossible to define.
I see the written word as a means to convey information and at times solicit an emotional response. If you want me to have an emotional response then tell me a simple story, don't string a bunch of fancy words together in some kind of rhythmic pattern and expect any emotional response other than frustration, after I've spent 20 minutes working out what you are on about.
Hmmm, might explain why I generally prefer photography over other forms of visual art.
Anyway, feel free to tell me just how wrong I am.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
As expected, the GC didn't change much, the only difference of note is that Contador stole a couple of seconds lead on Armstrong. It's impossible to know for sure, but Armstrong's and the team's reaction to Contador's attack seemed pretty genuine. So Contador's attack went against the team plans which Armstrong followed by not chasing him down. I would have done the same if I was Contador and if I was Armstrong I would be using his breaking of team plans to galvanise the team around me. It is going to be interesting to see how it pans out when we hit the Alps. An point of interest is Armstrong's improving fitness. I read an article by Armstrong's coach about how Lance needed to shed muscle from his upper body. He pretty much hit the targets just as the tour started, so in terms of form, the Giro is not going to be a good guide. The first two weeks of the tour could prove to be the perfect conditioning for Lance.
The only other significant event during the Pyrenees was the attempted breakaway by Cadel. He jumped onto a breakaway group and then jumped off the front of them to form his own breakaway. He was then joined by a number of other riders including Cancellara and Hincape. At Cancellara's prompting, the riders in the breakaway abused Cadel and refused to work with him until he gave up and returned to the peleton. They did this for two reasons, first of all Astana were always going to chase hard a breakaway with Cadel in it. Secondly a number of the riders in the breakaway had teammates with GC aspirations so their teams wouldn't let them support another rider gaining time on the GC.
Cadel received a lot of criticism from people for wasting energy on a stupid, doomed attack. This came from the same people that had a go at him for never attacking. Personally I think that while it had little or no chance of success, it was a great symbolic move. It showed that he is racing to win and won't accept that just because Astana are the strongest team, they will supply the race winner. Even Armstrong called the move "gutsy" http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,,25779408-5015775,00.html .
Many people are complaining that Cadel's team has lost him the tour. Yes they had a very poor Team Time Trial and even if they had had a trouble free run they probably still would have lost at least 1 minute. But watching the team in the mountains they have been brilliant. There have always been 1 or two guys with Cadel and they have even launched the odd attack to soften up Astana. If Cadel's team had performed like this last year, the results in Paris may have been very different.
Anyway, the race now has a couple of relatively flat days before we get into the Alps. The final week of this year's tour is supposed to be a monster week and looking at the stage profiles, the mountain top finish at Verbier on stage 15 will be critical, but some later stages with downhill finishes also offer some opportunities. The penultimate stage (20) is an HC mountain top finish coming after the Time Trial on stage 18. The tour may only just be decided by the time they start the stage into Paris.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Saxo Bank have had the Yellow Jersey since the prologue, but for the most part Astana have been behaving as if they have the Jersey. Not only because Astana done their fair share of pace setting, but also because of their behaviour in the peleton. When a narrow dangerous road approaches, Astana jump on the front and ride tempo to string the peleton out and make it safer. Last night (obviously day where the tour is) when they had a simple climb with a tricky descent, again Astana hit the front and rode tempo up the climb. They weren't looking to hurt people on the climb, more to string out the peleton so they could block the road on the descent and force the peleton to descend slowly and safely. All things Saxo Bank could have done, but seem happy to leave to Astana.
This behaviour is typical of a Johan/Lance team. Very dominant and bullying when necessary to ensure their GC contenders face the minimum possible risk. It's this attention to detail and building such a strong team that won Lance 7 tours. Lance is also the ultimate team leader. If you watch the team time trial, you will notice that when Lance peeled off the front of the group he would be talking to each team member as he drifted to the back. A couple of times I noticed him pace a team mate for a few seconds, up on his toes yelling encouragement to them. I didn't see any of the other team leaders do that.
So what does all this mean for the tour? The first stage in the Pyrenees tonight is a tough one with a very high mountain top finish. The Pyrenees are generally considered a little easier than the Alps and so you wouldn't expect the race to be won or lost tonight, but foundations could be laid.
Logically, this is how the stage should go:
- Astana set the pace over the early climbs and at the base of the last so that it is difficult for the other GC contenders to break away.
- Saxo Bank lets them.
- A pure climber with little GC hopes may get away on the early climbs and Astana will let him go, although they may try and get Kloden up the road with one of them.
- Other GC contenders attack on the final climb as they need to pull back some of the time lost in the TTT.
- Cancellera battles valiantly to hold onto yellow but loses time in the last 3-5 klms.
- Armstrong and Contador watch all the GC contenders and just cover their attacks. Neither of them attack unless the other GC contenders are showing extreme weakness.
- The majority of the GC contenders end up crossing the line together.
The one thing that may throw the cat among the pigeons is the dispute over team leadership at Astana. Armstrong has been seemingly taunting Contador in the press about his lack of leadership and how maybe the strongest rider is actually the strongest leader. He has been suggesting that Contador needs to attack this climb to take leadership of the team. He is effectively saying "hey Alberto, I have your team, if you're man enough come and get it".
Now this could be brilliant mind games by Armstrong, getting Contador worried about him and pressuring him into making rash attacks and burning energy wastefully. It would be a very Armstrong thing to do and would demonstrate how much of a master tactically he is. Of course it is also possible that the whole thing is a ruse by Armstrong and Johan to draw attention to Armstrong, confuse the opposition teams and give Contador the best chance possible. I reckon the former but would not be shocked if the latter turned out to be true.
We may well find out which tonight!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
The opening Time Trial went pretty much to script. Contador managed to pull a little time on Evans, but not a massive amount.
The first big surprise of this year's event came on stage 3 when Armstrong was used his experience and found himself in the front half of a split in the peleton. The 40 odd seconds that group was able to pull out, rocketed him up the leader board. The surprise wasn't that Armstrong was in the group, but that so many of the other GC contenders missed it. Everyone was talking about the likelyhood of a split in the crosswinds and the corner where it happened was the obvious spot, but still plenty of guys got caught out.
The Team Time Trial was a disaster for Cadel. It's not so much that his team let him down, more that his team was never constructed with the TTT in mind. They were never going to set the course on fire and when you throw in a crash and a puncture you end up with a 2 minute + loss and probably throw away any chance at overall victory. I thought both Cancellara and Armstrong did brilliant jobs pulling both their teams through.
So what now? All the talk is about whether Armstrong will work for Contador or whether they will decided team leader after the first mountain stage. I have changed my mind about 30 times, so I decided to inhabit Armstrong's mind and work out what he would do.
So if I was Armstrong I would be thinking ..........
Damn I'm good (I think that even though I am not Lance). 7 time winner, I still have the pace and showed all those idiots on stage 3 what a Grand Tour is all about! "Lance should ride for Contador" they all say. Well screw that, Lance rides for Lance and Lance knows Levi and Popo will ride for Lance as well, all Lance needs to do is ask. The others probably will too. Johan is just waiting for an opportunity to shift things my way without obviously screwing Contador, just so he can shove it up those stupid, mankini wearing Kazaks! There is no way I am riding for that bunch of commies, I 'aint even taking their paychecks so I don't owe 'em nothin'. If that poor man's Mexican wants me to support him, then he is going to have to storm the Alamo! This team is my team no matter what names are written on their jerseys. When I tell 'em to ride they will ride and when I tell 'em to bury themselves for me I better see dirt flying! Screw Astana, screw Contador and screw Johan if he doesn't jump on board the Lance express!
So that's what I think is going to happen. Lance will solicit help from at least Levi and Popo and will ride for himself. If Contador wants his assistance then he is going to have to make it obvious that not only has he got Lance well and truly beaten, but can also get the most out of the team.
Unless Astana make a massive mistake or get thrown out because one of their members gets caught doping then the winner will come from Astana. There is just too much talent there.
Mind you, this is Le Tour so anything is possible!
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
The jacket has been brought in at the waist as much as it can, but it still looks to me like it needs some material out of the front of it as well. Although the front in profile looks ok. The pants now fit around the waist, but my legs and arse are still swimming in material. I don't think the cut of this suit suited me right from the start and I guess all the alterations in the world aren't going to fix that.
I will probably give myself a week to think and then take one of my new, better fitting suits to Roger to be altered. Photos will follow when I have time to get the camera out.
In other news, the start of the Tour de France is fast approaching and it could be one of the most interesting years ever. There are so many questions:
- Can Carlos Sastre go back to back?
- Does Armstrong still have what it takes?
- The Astana team will be strong, but will having Levi, Lance and Contador all in the same team hurt them?
- Will Cadel benefit from having less attention focused on him?
- Menchov won the Giro, will that hurt him in the Tour?
- What will the Schleck bros get up to?
- Which team will be dominant on the tough climbs?
- Michael Rodgers has a good team and has become a very good tour rider, can he figure highly in the final standings and maybe even win?
The make-up of the teams is making this a really tough tour for me to predict. Astana looks really strong and Armstrong has that rare ability to get the team to go above and beyond for him, but what if he doesn't end up as team leader?
No sleep in July for me.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Uni is over for Semster 1 and I think I did enough in the exam to get at least the credit I need if not a distinction. Subject for next semester is I.T. Management and so should be a bit airy fairy and almost impossible to fail (watch me now fail it).
Football is going appallingly, we are in a new competition this season and it is a massive step up. We have also been decimated by injuries, no shows and people going overseas. We are going that bad that I have played in the seniors and I am far to old for that!
We have decided we probably won't sell the house. Dad has been drawing plans for us to put in a second toilet and move the laundry, but I am not sure I can bring myself to spend the money on that.
We have been flat out, so we have done next to no socialising and I actually fell asleep in front of the TV on Sunday arvo. I haven't done that for ages.
That's about it for the moment, except that I am picking up my old charcol pin-stripe suit from Roger the Tailor this arvo. If he has done well I will give him one of my new suits to adjust. I am going to look like a million bucks, even if I am worth about $1.36.
Friday, June 5, 2009
The point of contention seems to be around what is a reasonable expectation of behaviour from our sporting hero's. There are a few keywords that get thrown around during these discussions and here are my views on some of them:
Role model: This is a doozy. Apparently everyone that plays professional sport has to be a role model to the kiddies. In my day, my parents were my role models and they would give me the moral framework to be able to select role models from other areas of society. Sports people could be role models, but all that was demanded of them was to perform in their chosen sport and if they provided a good off-field example then that was celebrated.
Professionalism: Being a professional sportsman means that you make your lively hood from your sport. So by extension, professionalism would refer to the standards maintained by that player to perform at a level that warrants payment. So in my view, you are acting in a professional manner if you turn up each game/training session in a condition to perform at the standards required.
Sponsorship: The big problem is that to pay sportspeople lots of money, that money has to come from somewhere and that somewhere is sponsors that want to be associated with the sport or individual. They want to be associated with winners first and foremost, but then also demand that their stable also project an appropriate image outside of the sport. You may think that is a fair request, here is a stack of cash now go out and win and also behave like this corporate robot. I don't think that's is really fair. My life is my own and I will live it how I choose. Judge my character before you sponsor me and if you don't like it or it doesn't fit your marketing plan, then keep the cash.
Media: The new catchphrase for the media is "it's in the public's interest". Just because you say something doesn't make it true. Why is it in my interest to know how many schooners Roy has put away or what Ben Cousins is doing hours before a game? The phrase is "in the public's interest" not "what the public is interested in".
So in conclusion to me sport is sport and what matters is how you perform on the field. Your life is your life and you deserve to be treated in the same manner as the rest of society. Some sportspeople respond to a life of discipline and dedication (Tom Hafey, Michael Shumacher) while others perform best when their personal life is chaotic and provides a distraction (Warnie, Keith Miller).
Sport people are people not corporate cardboard cutouts.
Now someone ask me why I don't think sportspeople should be tested for illicit substances.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
Apparently the bird is the word!
Sorry, watched the "bird is the word" Family Guy episode for the second time on the weekend. The Good Lady Naut has had the song stuck in her head and I am taking great pleasure in singing, huming or texting her to make sure it stays firmly implanted. Her last SMS, in reply to mine asking if she had heard about the bird, suggested that my life my be forfeit once I get home.
In other news, I managed over the weekend to buy a couple of suits and half a dozen shirts. The suits are Anthony Squires off the rack items, which based on David Jones's current catalogue normally go for about $1000 each and I got them for $400 each. I have been looking at suits for a few weeks now, in consultation with a suit expert that sure knows his way around a lapel. I am not sure if I should be thanking him, as I will never be able to buy a cheap polyester suit again! That said he has been very generous with his advice and I thank him for it. Now does anyone know a good tailor in Melbourne?
While I am on the topic of thanking people, a big thankyou to the real estate agent that offered me some advice when the GLN and I starting talking about selling our house. We still don't know if we will, but I feel in a better position to make the decission when the time comes, thanks to the advice of this kind gentleman.
It may seem a bit strange my thanking people without naming them, but I don't want to be responsible for them being inundated with people after free advice. I need them to be available for when I need free advice! But if they happen to read this, they will know who they are and know that I appreciate their assistance.
Well now eveybody knows that the bird is the word, I'm outta here!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
This post is an homage to Steve and his number plate collecting apprentice Lermontov. I spotted this beauty on the way home from work. It was dark and raining, hence the crappy photo.
The car is a Toyota Hilux Dual Cab SR5 ute and the plate is PSTAGN which I assumed meant PISSED AGAIN. I couldn't really see the driver through the tinted windows, but I did catch a glimpse that made me think it was a blond woman.
The fact that they are advertising that they are performing an illegal activity suggests that they may indeed be blonde.
So to Steve, mate this one is for you!
*** UPDATE *** To international readers, "pissed" in Australia generally means drunk rather than angry.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
We are still discussing whether to sell the house on not. I will have about a month in June/July to prep the house for sale, but the real question is do we sell? It's a long discussion that leads round and round in circles. Here is a property I like, cheap, lots of land and being close to the Hume it is as not as far out of the city as it seems.
Just in case anyone isn't aware, I won Simon Bedak's footy tipping last week which I believe adequately demonstrates my superiority over all humanity.
Pretty crappy update for someone that has just claimed to be so fantastic, but lack of sleep and stress will do that to ya! So remember, if you think you are creepy looking, at least you are not Ben Stiller!
Sunday, May 10, 2009
The film of the TV series, of the book, of the play, of the comic, of the car, of the fish, of the .....
All this Star Trek talk got me thinking, how often has a popular TV series gotten made into a series of films that has been as or more successful as the TV series? There are plenty of examples of movies being turned into TV series, Stargate is the first one I think of, but it's harder to come up with any that were a TV series first.
I am trying, but I just can't come up with any other TV series that has done it.
In other news, I am making progress on assignment# 2 and we are debating whether to sell the house as houses around us are selling 2 days after listing.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
I mentioned a couple of posts ago that the Good Lady Naut (GLN) has started a 12 week job helping re-establish playgroups for those effected by the bushfires. It's worthy work and she has been enjoying it, but it is also quite challenging. As part of her job her boss suggested she take a drive through both Kinglake and Marysville so she can better understand the parents she will be dealing with. She did so and came back with some unimaginable photos.
The photos showed a luna type landscape with black tree trunks sticking out and twisted, mangled rubble that was once houses. One photo looks down through the blackened trees onto Marysville which now consists of neatly laided out piles of rubble. Nasty stuff.
In the midst of this we have been talking about moving a little further to Melb's north, getting a few acres and building a house. It's all very conceptual at the moment, but on Saturday we jumped in the car and took a drive to see what's around. The areas we are looking are all near Kinglake/Whittlesea so we ended up driving through Kinglake to Whittlesea. Seeing what I saw in the photos for real had just as big an impact. We made sure we stopped at a couple of places in Kinglake and spent some cash to help out the local community.
On the way back we detoured via a friend's place in the area that I knew had been destroyed. When we arrived we found my friend, his partner and baby daughter in a caravan parked out the front. They are living with his parents during the week, then weekends in the caravan. They left home on Black Saturday about 20 mins before their house went up. Some of their neighbours stayed and saved their houses and some stayed and died. They looked tired and you could see an air of sadness behind their eyes. The paradox is that in a couple of years time when they have built their new house, they will be in the best position they have ever been in.
Life is a funny thing sometimes.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Check this link out. Here is a link to the actual Daily Mail article.
For those of you to slack to click the link, the essence of the story is that some guys robbing a house were scared off after they spotted a family photo containing Dolph. The obvious conclusion then is that Dolph is so tough even his photo is scary!
With this startling revelation in mind, I think I will get a t-shirt made up with a picture of Dolph on it and then I can walk the mean streets feeling safe.
Dolph, making the world a safer place!
Monday, April 27, 2009
As I like to be a man of mystery, today I will only be introducing you to one of the albums I own. I first came across this album through the track below, that was getting regular play on 3RRR. I was discussing it with a mate and he recommended the whole album.
The album is 12 Golden Country Greats by Ween. There are only 10 tracks on the album.
The track list includes:
- Japanese Cowboy
- Mister Richard Smoker
- Help me scrape the mucus off my brain
- Fluffy (Chaz tribute song I believe)
It also includes the following, which is what lead me to the album in the first place:
WARNING: Contains offensive language and adult concepts
Thursday, April 23, 2009
- I wanted to comment on other's posts which is how I wound up on jspace in the first place.
- I am finding it really hard to fit in blogging with work, baby, football and study so a shorter form is a little easier for me.
Things are particularly busy at the moment as the Good Lady Naut (GLN) as a 12 week, 30 hours a week contract to run playgroups in the bushfire affected areas. The organisation she is working for got short term funding to do this and at the end of the 12 weeks they funding is cut off. So the GLN and co-workers have been thrown in with very little organisation and are having to make the best of it, it's a tough job.
On the days the GLN works, either my parents look after Sophasaurus at our house or I have to get up extra early and run her over to the GLN's parents place. I hate getting up extra early!
So the next 12 weeks are going to be pretty full on here on the submarine, but all the GLN's hard work combined with the Ruddbucks should make it all worth while.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Not takeover the world type evil or commit genocide type evil, not even destroy another's life type evil.
It's more of an evil that effects others in small insideous ways.
An example would be when I am parked in a large busy carpark, I like to walk back to my car making it obvious I am leaving. Once I have a car following me I head up a lane about 2 lanes over from where I am parked. When level with my car, I cut through the 2 lanes of parked cars leaving the car following me with no chance of catching back up and taking my parking spot. Cue manically laughter the whole way out of the carpark.
Anyone else got any simple methods for me to express my evility?
Thursday, April 16, 2009
The Hotel Costa Verde in sunny Costa Rica.
I plan to stay in the 727 fuselage apartment made from the fuselage of a 1965 Beoing 727 and dine in the El Avion Restuarant made from an ex-CIA Iran-Contra scandal C-123.
The most amazing thing is that they brought the C-123 for only $3,000 (I assume US$s). I would happily fork out that for a C-123, even if it had been abandoned for 15+ years.
How cool a dog house in the back yard would that make!!!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Anyone out there an electical engineer, because I feel like one now.
It's interesting to know binary algebra, clocked logic circuits, coding in machine code, etc. But it is not that interesting that you really want to take holidays to learn it.
It's funny, the last subject I did was on programming and it was a breeze. I did the first assignment for that subject in about 6 hours and got 100% for it. I got an HD overall for that subject. Whereas this time I have everything crossed I get at least 75% for this assignment so I have a chance at getting a credit overall (I suck at exams).
Now to check it over for stupid mistakes.
Ps. Abe, the subject is Computer architecture and networks, I am hoping the networks bit is easier because computer architecture goes from easy to WTF in a very short period of time.
Pps. I got all my trenches dug and read a revised (but not edited) version of JP's book. Seeing as I have the assignment finished with a day to spare, I can send JP my uneducated review tomorrow and get to work demolising what's left of my easter eggs.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I am so busy that I had the opportunity to be the first person to read JP's new book, but only got a short way in before it left and came back from it's first edit. I am pissed with myself on this one.
I am so busy that I am 1 and a 1/2 weeks into my Master's subject and week 6 has just started.
I am so busy that I have taken an extra 4 days leave around Easter so that I can catch up.
My jobs for my Easter are, in order of priority:
- Start and complete assignment 1 for my Master's subject
- Catch up or even get ahead of my Master's work
- Complete trenches under concrete paths so that we can get the plumber in
- Visit parents in country
- Eat my way through the mountain of chocolate I am sure to receive for Easter
That mightn't sound like much, but I will be lucky if I get through that lot!
So if, in the next week I don't post here much or comment at your place, don't be insulted, I am just too busy and you aren't important enough ;-)
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I spent quite a bit of time deciding what phone to get. I have just saved the company about $8k on their mobile bill, so they were happy for me to pretty much get whatever I wanted.
I didn't want to go down the Blackberry path again because I don't really use my phone for email much and I have a personal grudge against the Windows Mobile OS. Stupid, freezing, piece'o crap OS that it is. I also hate Microsoft ActiveSync, stupid thing keeps crashing and making me re-install it.
I like Nokias but would only get one if I was looking for a basic, makes calls type phone.
I was really interested in the HTC Dream running the Google Android OS. I met a guy with one the other day and it looks pretty good. Problem is Optus are offering it but Telstra don't seem to be at the moment. So that means I would have had to buy one from overseas off the 'net. Bit risky for a work purchase.
So that left the iPhone. My I.T. colleague in Sydney has one and absolutely loves it. He brought his himself off the 'net as a cracked unit from the States. I don't own an iPod so I figured I might as well go for it.
Now that I have it I am pretty impressed. It is easy to use and iTunes is as well. There is an impressive range of both free and low cost apps available and they can do some impressive things. There is an app that can turn you iPhone into a level if you are a carpenter or a torch if you are caught in the dark.
My only criticism would be that it is locked down pretty tight, but there is always ways and means around that.
So I will have to download one of the blogging apps and you might start to see posts direct from the iPhone.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
This weekend was supposed to be a bit of a catchup weekend. Do some study and start an assignment, play a football practice match and knock off the last of the digging. This is how it finished up:
- Got picked by the Good Lady Naut (GLN) from work so we could go to a friend of hers surprise birthday drinks. He gets a couple of grand prix tickets for his birthday and invites me to go with him on Sunday.
- Home and in bed by midnight, I drove so I wouldn't be hungover while playing football (too old to play hungover these days. I once played a practice match so hungover that I stopped to vomit twice on the way to the game, we played 6 quarters and I didn't get a touch until the last quarter).
- Get up and go play footy. Hot in the sun and the ground was rock hard so I was pretty knackered by the end of the game. Left shin/calf badly swollen from being kicked.
- Home, shower, feed the monster and then get the GLN to drop me at the train station.
- Train to the city then to The Squires Loft with 3 mates for dinner to wet my mate's babie's head. Pub crawled from there to the Waterside Hotel and succeeded in not only wetting the babie's head, but virtually drowning ourselves in alcohol as well.
- Taxi home, lots of water then bed by 3am.
- Up by 8am with surprisingly no hangover. Feed the monster then jog to the train station complete with now badly bruised shin/calf and plenty of other aches from playing football on a rock hard ground.
- Train then tram to the track and meet my mate that has the ticket.
- Spend the day walking around the track introducing my mate to the world of F1 and Australian motorsport.
- Spend 4 hours standing in the same spot to, first of all reserve the spot, then watch the race.
- 7pm race is over and having not sat down since 11am, it feels like everything below my shoulders is only connected to me by pain receptors. As pain receptors don't actually control muscles, I very nearly fall in a heap while walking down the hill we watched the race from.
- Another tram and train ride followed by a 20 min walk and I get home about 8pm.
- In severe pain now and all my muscles are starting to seize if I stop moving for even a minute, but domestic duties have no sympathy for the weary.
- In bed, lights out at 11pm, asleep by 11:00:01 pm.
So of all the catchup I had planned, playing in the football practice match was the only thing I achieved.
Oh well, better busy than dead.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
That said, as an I.T. professional, I find the whole Internet filter issue extremely frustrating. Forget the potential for political censorship and a reduction of freedom of liberties. I just plain cannot see how it can work effectively!
We filter Internet usage at my place of employment. We maintain a blacklist and download updates to it from various sources. There is also the ability to block sites based on keywords. The problem is that as soon as a blacklist is saved it is out of date and keywords can give false positives, after all ass can mean a donkey type animal. It is easy to move a website to a new address and substitute offensive words with similar in-offensive words. Then there is the software that will allow you to bypass the filter all-together.
I imagine that most of the very illegal stuff done over the web is not website based. Websites can be tracked after all. Most of it would be peer-to-peer stuff that would make it a whole lot harder to find and how does an internet filter control what goes on in a messaging or chat type environment?
It's enough to make you think the Government is more interested in the potential to control Internet access than it is about protecting it's citizens.
The only effective path for controlling Internet access we have here at work, is to advise everyone of the rules and that we will be reviewing the usage logs. If you step outside the rules then we have grounds to instantly dismiss you.
Flinthart has had a number of posts on this subject and his latest informs us that Stephen Conroy (Communications Minister) will be on the ABC's show Q&A this Friday. I want to echo Flinthart's call for you to submit a question to the show on this topic, just follow this link.
Here's the question I submitted:
Why are we wasting money on an Internet filter that will be completely ineffective? Why not direct that funding to increase Police resources to identify and prosecute those that post or access illegal material on the web?
Friday, March 20, 2009
Whether you are a local or a foreign devil, we all know that Australia flora and funa is actively trying to kill you all the time. Redbacks don't just sit in their web, they hide under the toilet seat to launch a surprise attack. The croc or shark you don't see is the one that gets you. Snakes hide in the long grass where you can't see 'em and Dropbears are perfectly camouflaged by the foliage overhead.
Knowing this just makes the Logan man bitten by a Black snake seem really dumb! He figured an injured snake would know he was just trying to help!!! I reckon a couple of stubbies might have been involved in this incident.
Of course, reading this incident brought back memories of the truly moronic Darwin man that decided to collect a King Brown snake for the local pubs fish tank. He not only got bitten catching the snake, but he then put his hand back in the bag with the snake and got bitten several more times. He ended up in a coma for 6 weeks and lost his arm, but that isn't the funny part of the story (although it is pretty funny). The funny part is while they raced to the hospital, his mate administered first aid to keep him awake by pouring beer on him. Probably a good idea as these guys are soooo dumb, I bet he was driving!
I was looking (unsuccessfully) for the original newspaper article, complete with photo of the one armed guy in a wheelchair, when I discovered this site. The site contains 6 snake myths that have fooled gullible people and was astounded to find I hadn't really heard of any of them.
Snake Myths that have fooled gullible people
- The Death Adder has a sting in its tail. Being amongst the most poisoness snakes in the world wasn't enough?
- Snakes hypnotise their prey. How do they hold the watch without hands?
- Tiger Snakes chase people. You should run uphill to escape them. If they chase you, why would running uphill help?
- Snakes milk cows. WTF!!!!
- If you kill one of a pair of Tiger Snakes, its mate will hunt you down to take its revenge. Wasn't that the plot for one of the Jaws films?
- In Australia, there is a Hoop Snake that takes its tail in its mouth and then goes bowling merrily along. I think I saw this on an episode of the Simpsons.
So my conclusion after all this is, if you are stupid, stay the hell away from Australia.
*Note: I just found out that Terror Australis is the name of the 501st Legion of Star Wars costume enthusiasts. http://501tag.com/newlowsite/home.html
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
As part of my job, I am sometimes required to cleanup a virus effected pc and on a couple of occasions we have had a virus spread throughout our network. Not a big deal as most virus's are more concerned with propagating themselves or performing denial of service attacks on people like Microsoft, than doing any lasting damage to your pc.
Nevertheless, I still get, at a rate of about 1 per week, emails from staff that they have received warning about the latest and greatest virus that is on the loose. I usually spend about 3 seconds on google and then reply to them with a link to the snopes page confirming it is a hoax.
Sometimes the hoaxes are not even virus related, such as the one I received today which follows:
Subject: MOBILE PHONES - Do Not Call Register!
This is for Australian phone numbers!
REMEMBER: Mobile Phone Numbers Go Public next month.
REMINDER all mobile phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sale calls.
YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS
Below is a link where you can enter your phone numbers online to put an end to telemarketing calls
While the donotcall register is a legit gov website, the rest of the email is just scaremongering.
This is all no big deal when the emails are sent to me. It's a couple of seconds out of my life and I am happy to set people straight. The problem is when people forward these to group email addresses. I then have to deal with the panicky fallout.
So next time you receive a virus warning email, jump on google and search the subject or keywords with the word "hoax" and see what comes up. I reckon the little Johnny Howard said it best, "be alert, not alarmed".
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The view is pretty spectacular as they are on the crest of a North facing hill will untouched Crown Land on the opposite hill. The valley between runs West towards the Hume Highway and you can see the see the lights of Shepparton (the only part of Shepparton you want to see) in the distance.
The view of the valley is framed by a large tree surrounded by huge rocks with a large split rock below it on the slope into the valley.
The tree is so spectacular that my Aunt was moved to paint it for my parents, unfortunately I don't have a picture of the painting.Sadly during a massive storm last year, my Dad was stunned to watch a bolt of lightening strike the tree and split it down the middle. The tree is now dead.
There is no real point to this post. Moko's post about the storms in Brisbane just reminded me of the tree so I thought I would post some photos of the Old's place. I love the browns of the Australian countryside, if it is too green it feels a bit strange (unless it is a Green Frog).
Monday, March 16, 2009
Here is a short list of Dolph's more impressive achievements:
- Master's degree in Chemical Engineering
- Awarded Fulbright Scholarship to MIT
- Third degree black belt in Kyokushinkai Karate
- Has been both Australian and European Heavyweight Karate Champion
- Was Grace Jones's bodyguard and lived with her for 4 years (scary)
- Plays the drums (of course)
- Speaks three languages and bits and pieces of at least two more
- Served in the Swedish Marines
- Was photographed at the Factory by Warhol
- Worked as a bouncer in New York with Chazz Palminteri
- Is responsible for the quote I use most often in my life. "My problem is that people get intimidated by someone big and beautiful like me. They hate to think I can be smart as well."
- He looks like a gigantic blond knob
While he is no Warnie, he hasn't done too badly for a zombie!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Well there is another benefit and that is the ability to see the keywords people have used in search engines to stumble across your blog.
So far I have had 13 referrals from google using the following keywords:
10 man ration pack
20,000 leagues saturday night live video
exploding rabbits - Proud of this one
female barber shaving heads - Strangely proud of this one too
is mernda safe to live in with fire threats
kryal castle ballarat food - Embarrassed to be associated in any way with Ballarat
mafia barber - Pretty proud of this one, but also slightly scared it may get me killed
marcus ambrose koala
marcus ambrose nascar earnings
safe to live mernda
shane warne the musical - Should have been shane warne the god
the words begest fesh .com - What the hell was this person looking for and were they disappointed?
I might have to take the tip from Paul Boylan back in the JS days and start mentioning Lesbian Pantomime horses.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Now I just have to dig under the path, down the side of the house and then back under the path to the side of the house.
I already have 12 blisters and a sunburt arse crack, how do you reckon next weekend is going to go?
Monday, March 2, 2009
Project Grizzly is a documentary about Troy James Hurtubise's attempt to make and test a suit of armour capable of withstanding attack from a Grizzly Bear.
Troy is a Canadian inventor/scrap yard owner/martial artist that gets aboot (he is Canadian) the bush wearing a red beret, jackets with lots of tassells, a bowie knife on his hip and a throwing knife on a bandolier (because real mountain men know you are better off with a knife than a gun). Incidently, the bit where Troy discusses his reasons for carrying knives shows his true warrior mindset, but doesn't explain the beret.
He is an amazing man that has not only an incredibly inventive mind and altheletic physic, but also understands the importance of striking a pose and shaving lines into the side of your mullet 90's rapper style. I think I offically have a man crush!
Troy also understands the importance of riggerous testing and these make up some of the most education aspects of the documentary. I have included the following example.
Being the moden man he is, Troy has his own website here which I can see myself spending many hours on.
So if you are hunting through the bargin DVD bins and see a copy of Project Grizzly at only $2, buy it, you won't regret it.
ps. Today's Green Frog is brought was brought to you by The Good Lady Naut.
Friday, February 27, 2009
No, I have not lost my job, mind or about 12 years off my age.
There is a very good reason for this decision.
I JUST TASTED THE CHOCOLATE DRINK POWDER THE ARMY SUPPLY IN RATION PACKS.
It was good and there is enough in the sachets for 2 hot chocolates.
I might have to try the potato with onion powder for lunch and see if that changes my mind. How do you powder onion?
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Kryal Castle is situated on the highway into Ballarat, or as I prefer to think about it, the highway OUT of Ballarat.
Ballarat is a large country North West of Melbourne and is famous as a Gold Rush town and the site of the Eureka Stockade. My grandparents used to live in a place called Bunninyong which is just outside Ballarat, although with today's urban sprawl is practically a suburb of Ballarat. Having been dragged up there thousands of weekends and seen it snow more times than be over 30 degrees, I can confidently suggest that the name Ballarat is Aboriginal for Cold as f$%k!
Ballarat is somewhat of a tourist town with, aside from Kryal Castle, a mock up of the Eureka Stockade (apparently a new Eureka Centre as well, but that wasn't there in my day), a replica gold rush town called Sovereign Hill and a dinosaur park called Dinosaur World.
As we were there so often, I have been to every tourist attraction in the area about a half a dozen times and there is a common theme to them all, they are kind of second rate. Actually that is not quite fair, Sovereign Hill used to be second rate but over the years it has evolved to be pretty good by Australian standards.
Getting back to Kryal Castle, it was built in 1972 by Keith Ryal, is the third largest castle in the Southern Hemisphere and is based on a 14th century castle. The quality of it's website gives a fair indication of the standard of the attraction. Interestingly I found the following in small print in the "Night Life" section of their website:
"Kryal Castle is the ultimate destination for any sized function or event. There are many internal events such as Cocktails in the Graveyard theatre restaurant, Medieval Murder Mysterys, And many more.. Bookings are however essential. Kryal Castle, is also a great destination for any large scale event, with patron capacity of 5000 and fully licensed / catering areas available until as early as 4am for any type of large scale event. "
Hmmm, you are in trouble when your website contradicts itself. Is it the ultimate or just great? If it is the ultimate for any sized function or event then why is there a 5000 patron capacity? What if I want 50,000 patrons?
Strangely enough it is best known in recent times as a rave venue. Let's face it, in 1356 the raves were epic, so recreating them at Kryal Castle just makes sense!
I actually have fond memories of my visits there, but I think it was one of those places that work until you are about 11 years old and the "magic" starts to fade.
Interestingly, during my research for this I found out that Kryal Castle is up for sale! I was going to suggest everyone pitching it, but seeing as we can't sail Saddam's boat there, I don't see the point.
So for your next work team building exercise, I strongly recommend Kryal Castle!