Sunday, November 30, 2008

A little bubbly to calm binge drinkers?

Bolton Police are to experiment with handing out childrens bubble containers to drunks as they spill out on the streets after a night of bevvying.

Very popular with the taxpayers alliance as you might expect.
Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: 'This is completely bonkers. People want the police fighting crime, not handing out nursery school gimmicks.

Somehow I doubt that this will work outside Post Code E13 9AZ. I am trying to think through the violence potential. Nutty does not really do it justice.

Australian Idol Visionary Dies in Denmark

The Danish Architect whose vision, more than 50 years ago, allowed for the development of suitable facilities to house the Grand Final of Australian Idol has died aged 90.

Joern Utzon we salute your vision.

Move Over Movember Here Comes Decembeard?

Having never grown a moustache before, I am quietly satisfied that I can if a months growth can be used to judge. I have had some fun and raised some money for Movember, for men's mental health and prostate cancer research . I didn't sign up to participate until I could be sure that it would work. Who needs extra stress in life. And over a stupid mo. Not worth it.

Last week on the radio there were a couple of guys who sang in a band and they only sang songs about beards, written by themselves. Their next big project is to push people who do Movember to participate in Decembeard. Good luck. I know that there is a huge market for fake beards at that time of year, but I won't be joining them by going all hirsute for charity. A moustache is itchy and annoying, a minor novelty, but not exactly a fashion statement. My daughter even suggested a goatee. That you can mark my words, will not be happening.

The razor will be busy in the morning.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Oh La Largest

View of the Eiffel TowerImage via WikipediaFrench guys win modesty contest.

My friend in Singapore ran a condom shop and they only stocked large and extra large. Not too much demand for small sizes. I could certainly see the temptation to cheat on measuring your own penis and reporting it.

Obviously in France, the French Letters would have to be enormous and humungous.

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Summer Holiday Suggestions

As Australians get ready to head to the beach as the hot weather arrives, there are still some interesting budget locations abroad available for the adventurous.

See how the other half lives.

Photo Hunt: Metal

A couple of classic E Type Jags.

One of Hannah's classmates families owned the Rudge Motorcycle Business

Line Supervisor Hannah bosses along the model car production line.

Hannah and her class (and Granny Senga) went to the National Motor Museum at Birdwood in the Adelaide Hills recently. I took an earlier unscheduled trip there earlier in the term when Ryan forgot to tell me that they were going and I was deliberately late for school to do some errands and had to drive him up there.

An hour and a half away from us in the Adelaide Hills, it is a fantastic collection of mostly old, but also fairly new cars. They have many familiar cars from my childhood including a Delorean, a Model T (not my childhood) and one of the last Mitsubishi 380s built in Adelaide earlier in the year. Adelaide has a fantastic climate to preserve cars and there are many that ply the streets periodically. The Bay to Birdwood event featuring many of these cars is an Adelaide tradition.

Anyway, a good time was had by all looking at some stylised automotive metal.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Skywatch Friday

The Beach at Normanville, South Australia, close to Granny Pauline and the site of many fun beach trips for the kids. There is an excellent cafe and the beach is patrolled in summer. Very nice all year round. More great skies at the Skywatch Site.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Getting High on Tomatoes?

A Scottish Pensioner living in Sheildaig is recovering after being bust by the drug squad, who mistook her tomato crop for weed.
As Lulu Matheson was warming herself by the fire at her remote rural cottage, police and sniffer dogs burst through the door.
The officers were sure that the house was a cannabis factory – and refused to accept that her pot plants weren’t . . . well, pot plants.
Despite protestations by the 79-year-old widow that they were looking at her family’s prized tomato crop, the officers insisted on sending samples of the plants to be analysed.

I was surprised that you could grow tomatoes in Sheildaig. When my brother was in cannibis growing mode when he was in High School, he would often start off his cannabis plants in the greenhouse before transferring them outside. I don't think my mum ever knew what those interesting looking plants were. Not tomatoes, that is for sure.

Here in Adelaide there is a massive hydroponic cannabis industry, with excellent growing conditions and lots of places to hide cannabis plantations in remote parts of the state. Our last house had a very big garage which the previous tenants had converted into a cannabis growing farm. They were busted when one of the neighbours spotted the illegal electrical connection glowing red. One of our friends, who is a helicopter pilot here told me of his trips to identify cannabis plantations. He said it was very intangible the identifying factors from the air, but it was a very unique look.

Not so for the bobbies in Sheildaig. I hope they bought her some tomatoes from the supermarket to replace the ones they tested.

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Thanksgiving Turkey Quiz



America to be Turkey Free by January 20 2009. What will Americans eat next Thanksgiving? And if you were on a turkey hunt, which one would you shoot first, other than Dick Cheney?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Demise of Woolworths

As the Woolworths brand continues apace here in Australia with plans to buy consumer entertainment group JB HiFi, having already cornered a big part of the grocery, liquor, petrol, hotel and pub markets in the great Australian duopoly/monopoly theory of capitalism, UK Woolies is on the chopping block for the cost of a modest bag of pick 'n mix.

Woolworths was always a very familiar place during my childhood and many Scottish High Streets can be marked in my memory by Woolworths as an anchor tenant. They have been doing business in the UK for almost a century. It will be a devastating black hole and a very visible reminder of a business strategy gone bad.

'I quite like Woolies, but basically it's all just a bit crap isn't it?' says one browser, Steve, as he leaves empty-handed. A woman is buying plastic coathangers; another is discussing Advent calendars with a member of staff; and a boy is briefly mesmerised by a musical Santa which dances and plays the saxophone, before his mother drags him away. At the till, two young women lean with their chins in their hands, chatting to the security guard.

It wasn't always like this: Woolies once had a shop on every British high street and a special place in the hearts of millions of bargain-hungry shoppers. It was famous for selling anything from sixpenny toys to brown paper and string.

My grandmother used to love to browse around Woolworths for a bargain. I don't get the feeling that this generation values that shopping experience quite as much. Rather, a more focused offer is important.

Sad all the same.

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Her Majesties Suruptitious Spook Samovar

One of two bugs in your tea your Majesty?

The samovar was identified as a potential bugging device following a recent sweep by the security services at Balmoral.

The ornate red and yellow urn was presented to the Queen by a Russian aerobatics team about 20 years ago, at the tail end of the Soviet era.

Astonishing the lengths those guys went to gather information. I doubt much of substance other than the weather would be discussed in the Queens Drawing Room.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

I have an ESTP Blog

Seems I am a doer. (Know what I mean. Knudge. Knudge. Wink. Wink,)

This is pretty accurate and it seems my blog is a true reflection of myself.

The active and play-ful type. They are especially attuned to people and things around them and often full of energy, talking, joking and engaging in physical out-door activities.

The Doers are happiest with action-filled work which craves their full attention and focus. They might be very impulsive and more keen on starting something new than following it through. They might have a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time.

What about you?

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sarah Palin Thanksgiving Special

Would you like your Thanksgiving Turkey Shaken or Stirred?

On Thursday, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin appeared in Wasilla in order to pardon a local turkey in anticipation of Thanksgiving. This proved to be a slightly absurd but ultimately unremarkable event. But what came next was positively surreal. After the pardon Palin proceeded to do an interview with a local TV station while the turkeys were being SLAUGHTERED in the background!!
Happy Thanksgiving from Governor Palin and your friendly neighbourhood Turkey Slaughterer.

It is very refreshing in a way to see her without the phalanx of minders and the Armani outfits that go with the Presidential Election.

Next up Gordon Brown pardoning haggises on Burns night and Kevin Rudd intervening to limit kangaroo culls.

Thanks to the Huffington Post.

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Photo Hunt: Reflection

Hannah has wanted earrings since she was four. Her deal with mum was that she could have her ears pierced when she was 10. She was not happy, but she accepted it. So the day after her 10th birthday we headed off to the mall. She was very nervous and scared, but we booked the ear shooting. Just before the people in the shop fired their guns to put in the studs, Mum and Hannah checked the positions. She was happy in the end and the anticipated pain was very shortlived and not too bad. I thought she was very brave. I doubt if I would do it. It reminded me of how I used to feel going to the dentist when I was a kid. Petrified.

Two weeks later and they are healing up and she will be able to put earrings in in a few more weeks.

It reminded me what a great thing waiting and anticipating something that you really want. Too often we want everything now, rather like the kind of thinking that has lead to much of the economic meltdown over the last few months. Waiting for something is not so bad.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Aussie Blokes Changing?

As the Annual Ernies are reported today, sexism is alive and well in Australia. Some of these are classic and represent an era, surely on its way out. The Gold Ernie went to the Mayor of Mt Isa, a mining town in Queensland, who did about as good a job for for inward migration as Lara Bingle did for tourism.
Councillor John Moloney who said, there are a number of quotes here, that "beauty disadvantaged women should proceed to Mt Isa where women are outnumbered five to one."

He said, "It's a compliment. A woman can come here and transfer themselves with love and devotion in marriage from an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan. It can have a complete transformation for a woman."

And finally he said that "women who protested about these comments were blaming him for their looks."
That said there is a change of behaviour and it seems that quiche and white wine rather than dead animal and slabs of beer are showing up at the Aussie Barbie. What will the bogan blokes do while the ladies are making the salad? Survey says. Not quite yet.

Are real Aussie blokes metrosexuals or bogans?

9% (96 votes)
46% (460 votes)
In between
43% (427 votes)
Total votes
Total of 983 votes

For the record I would say that I am in between.

Two Headed Monster?

What do you name a kitten like this?

Skywatch Friday

A recent early morning from our back garden. You can see more nice skies every Friday at the Skywatch Site.
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Thursday, November 20, 2008


This afternoon I paid less than a dollar a litre for petrol. It has been about five years since I had that privilege. Thank you Thank you Opec, George Bush, Barack Obama, Woolworths, Coles, whoever.

I wonder if Fuel Watch would have any impact. Not!

Bloody Politicians.

Unusual Cricket Occurences

Andrew Symonds on the way to his maiden Test h...Image via WikipediaAndrew Symonds scored 8 runs of one ball by running four runs and then got four overthrows from sloppy New Zealand fielding during the first test in Brisbane between Australia and New Zealand.

Bummer to be out two balls later.

End of over 45 (3 runs) - Australia 124/4
MJ Clarke 48* (123b 6x4) DL Vettori 1-0-3-0
A Symonds 18* (28b 3x4) IE O'Brien 11-4-25-0
45.1 O'Brien to Symonds, no run, bangs in the bouncer and that sails over Symonds' arched back
45.2 O'Brien to Symonds, no run, Was that dropped? Can't tell for sure, Symonds clubs a short ball and the ball goes straight to Redmond at short midwicket
45.3 O'Brien to Symonds, 7 runs, Now Symonds clubs another short ball from outside off, the ball just falls short of the rope at deep midwicket and they run four, worse for N there are four overthrows as well as the ball beats the keeper. Due to scoring issues the ball is being scored as 7 runs for the moment. It's complicated and I really can't explain why
45.4 O'Brien to Symonds, 1 run
45.5 O'Brien to Symonds, OUT, what a dramatic over! O'Brien pitches it just a shade outside off and gets Symonds to poke at it, the edge is taken and O'Brien is really pumped up in his celebration

A Symonds c wicketkeeperMcCullum b O'Brien 26 (33b 3x4 0x6) SR: 78.78
There's a lot of confusion about the 46th over. The scoring software doesn't have a provision for 8 runs so it was scored as 7 runs for one ball and 1 off the next. Symonds was indeed on strike for all three balls.
45.6 O'Brien to Watson, no run, wide outside off and lets it go
End of over 46 (8 runs) - Australia 132/5
SR Watson 0* (1b) IE O'Brien 12-4-33-1

And here is a 12 from Yuvraj at a Footy Stadium in Melbourne during the stupid World XI versus Australia Series a few years ago.

Eight runs is obviously quite unusual because the Cricinfo scoring software does not allow it.

Curious how often that happens in a Test Match.

Go you Kiwis! Stick it to the ArrogantAussies. Interesting that the betting has hardly moved. People must think that if second rate Kiwi bowlers can do this then New Zealand will be bowled out for about 50. It is just like the stock market. Who knows? Entertaining all the same.

Australians hate to lose to the Kiwis. It would be worse than losing to Bangladesh.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

And the rubbish will go in what?

plastic bags awaiting recyclingImage by evelynishere via FlickrI just went to look for a plastic grocery bag to put some yucky rubbish in. We had ants in the kitchen earlier and we had a major cleanup. But where to put all the crap? Usually we have tons of plastic bags, but I have been a good environmentally friendly reusable bag user lately and have reduced my environmentally unfriendly?? disposable plastic bag collection. In our house, we rarely threw out plastic bags that did not have greasy, wet, smelly, mouldy, yucky stuff in them, so we were not really throwing them out were we??

We have now reached the end of the road, where I will have to break ranks with my wife (not a good idea) or succumb to disorganisation and forget the reusable bags.

This nightmare is in our very near future here in South Australia when plastic shopping bags are banned next May. Captain Garrett Master of the Good Ship Environment, on behalf of the Commonwealth Government tried to push for national ban on plastic bags earlier in the year, but that was rerouted to the further study department to be delayed as too difficult. Interesting that South Australia bit the bullet and moved forward. South Australia has been progressive on environmental measures before with the only container deposit legislation in Australia. Although the jury is out on the value of segregating recyclables, Ryan's Joey Scout Mob has gained over $100 from recycled beer bottles and cans from office since I started organising to recycle them a few months ago. Money for old rope I suppose.

I wonder if they will just charge an outrageous price to keep disorganised people like me honest and to keep up the supermarket owners margins as they make outrageous profits on all the new grocery carrying options that they will be able to sell and the plastic bags for rubbish that we will have to buy. Will we see a reduction in the cost of groceries? *laughs uproriously*

Rather like the enthusiasm for tackling global warming that was such a powerful force less than a year ago. That is out the window with the financial meltdown. People will be reluctant to make the required sacrifices required to meet some of the targets being set by the Australian Government. Many consumers like me will have a strong inclination to support the phasing out of plastic bags until the day that we have to buy them at the checkout. Then people will be grumpy.

So I suppose I have to admit that my inherent laziness just wants things to stay the same, regardless of the environmental issues. We can leave that for another few years, can't we?

Update. I went to the supermarket this morning and bought some plastic bags. Just as back up. You never know when I have garden poo patrol duties.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Photo Hunt: Ruin

In 1997 before Hannah came along, I went with Elizabeth and my Dad to Myanmar (Burma). We had a very interesting time getting to the areas the the Junta allow you to visit. One of the most interesting areas were the ruins in Bagan, dating back to 1000 AD when it was the capital. For ruins, they are in pretty good shape for 1000 year old buildings.

Even then we had to consider the issues of the evil junta and how our foreign exchange was supporting their regime. I wouldn't go now.

Talking of countries with y in their name. Apparantly there are at least 15. We managed to work out 14, including Myanmar. Any ideas for odd ones?

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Scottish Jokes

fallow antlerImage via Wikipedia

My memory of Scottish humour is that it was mainly about making other races look stupid compared to the magnificent gene pool that is the Scottish race. These, more self deprecating examples are likely to be indecipherable to non Scots, but carry on anyway.

A guy walks into an antiques shop and says: ‘How much for the set of antlers?’
‘Two hundred quid,’ says the bloke behind the counter’
‘That’s affa dear,’ says the guy.
‘Aye yer right!’ replies the bloke

Did you hear about the fella who liked eating bricks and cement?
He’s awa’ noo.

After announcing he’s getting married, a boy tells his pal he’ll be wearing the kilt.
‘And what’s the tartan?’ asks his mate.
‘Oh, she’ll be wearing a white dress,’

Ten cows in a field. Which one is closest to Iraq ?
Coo eight.

Mair o'er here.

And from the Montrose Music Man

What’s the difference between Alex Salmond and Shrek?

One’s a grumpy character who wanted to live in his own wee swampy country without any interference from his neighbours….and the other is a big green troll from a cartoon.

If it is in Private Eye, it must be true.

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South Australia Simpson Desert - Hot Bed of Alien Influence?

The South Australia State Government has rejected claims the true reason for the closure of the Simpson Desert Conservation Park is "the presence of aliens".
But Environment Minister Jay Weatherill told Parliament yesterday that he could "not entirely rule out the existence of aliens in the park".
"I wish to assure the House that, in fact, no aliens have been detected in the park. But I will qualify that," he said.
"This is Parliament, and it is important that I do not mislead the House. They (aliens) have not been detected, at least by officers of the Department of Environment and Heritage.
Talk about political spin. Hope that doesn't come back to bite (or zap) him later. That said, it does get hot in December and January. Really only suitable for camels and kangaroos.

Given the tough economic conditions and the challenges of attracting tourists to South Australia, there has to be an opportunity for Alien Hunting Holidays. Sort of the South Australian equivalent of Nessie. I mean there are only 176,000 square kilometres of sand to explore for extra terrestrials. That will keep some tour operators busy for a few decades.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Things that you can do with Potatoes

100_0492Image by incurable_hippie via FlickrMake chips and cushion falls.

Speaking of the vicar, A & E nurse Trudi Watson, of Sheffield's Northern General Hospital, said: "He explained to me, quite sincerely, he had been hanging curtains naked in the kitchen when he fell backwards on to the kitchen table and on to a potato.

"But it's not for me to question his story. He had to undergo surgery to have it removed."

Moral of this story. Don't hang curtains in the nude and don't leave potatoes out on the table.

My relatives used to be potato merchants. Perhaps there is a new market for the humble spud.
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Inauspicious Career Ending for Clydebank Lassie

The launch of the Queen Elizabeth 2, popularly known as the QE2, at Clydebank on 20 September 1967.

It is amazing to think that only 40 years ago they built big ships in Clydebank. Changed days indeed. I can remember watching the launch of the QE2 on a grainy black and white television in our classroom at New Gilston Primary School (school population about 25). It is rather sad that she ran aground on her last voyage.

The QE2 has had some great adventures since then. Now she is heading off into semi retirement. Good luck with your new career in sunny Dubai.
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Blind Flamingo Update

Ryan and Granny went to the Adelaide Zoo on Monday for his 8th Birthday. While they were there they saw the Flamingo that was bashed. He looks to be fine.

At home with some guys with red bums..

..and some of his bird buddies.

Nice to know that the ugly story had a happy ending.