Friday, June 30, 2006

Warming up a dreich day in Adelaide

In the complex of buildings, owned by the University of Adelaide where I work are some interesting businesses and research groups, including the company that designed and made the flame that went all around Australia before the Commonwealth Games. Today they were experimenting with their latest toy. We also have a company making paper out of banana leaves. Based on the current price of Bananas in Australia ($12 a kilo), I hope it is cost effective.


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Follow the Money Go Argentina!

I was glad that the Argentina Mexico game did not go to penalties and was settled by a wonder strike. I have Argentina in the office pool, so I have a passing interest in how they perform. Other than that, go Socceroos (and anyone that is not England).

The Jaberwocky

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought-
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jaberwock?
Come to my arms, by beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did grye and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Lewis Carroll

Ryan loves this nonsense poem. Of all Lewis Carroll's creative language, only chortled has made it into the current lexicon.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

How to start smoking again.

Our creative children made up a song to celebrate the glories of cigarettes. They are very interested, because the school is doing drug free week and generally promotes a healthy lifestyle and anti drug messages. Last week they made roll up cigarettes, coloured with ash and paraded glamorously around the house. The kids turned around the Nicorette Advert "Nicorette Nicorette Way to Beat a Cigarette" to "Cigarette Cigarette Way to Beat a Nicorette" I can remember at that age being very interested in cigarettes and pipes. My parents and all their friends smoked. My dad had a pipe in his mouth from first thing in the morning until going to bed. We experimented with cinnamon stick. Many of the psychological addictions are set at that age. We are just enjoying the kids enthusiasm. It will pass. My partner and are a virulent anti smokers. I am certain that our kids will be too.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Foley plugs the budget gap

I can't understand why the South Australian State Government is going to sock it to public transportation with the rise in fuel costs being passed on to the poor users of the (rather decrepit) system. Seems to me that we should be encouraging public transportation. Why not give public transport users a tax break to encourage them to use the system. Interesting to note that all the other state government charges are going up, including speeding fines. New South Wales and Victoria are planning increases more in line with CPI. They must have been planning to use the Snowy Mountain sell off to keep costs in line (Sorry that didn't work out). Must be time to balance the budget.

Alternative Transportation

With the cost of fuel skyrocketing and public transportation costs set to rise, we are considering investing in a camel train. Environmentally friendly (other than the poops), relaxed, great bragging rights for the kids when I drop them off, low cost, great visibility. Down side, not too comfortable and a bit cold in winter.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

John Howard Liar Liar Pants on Fire on Indonesian Influence

While Honest John flatly rejected claims that the proposed changes to immigration laws were a response to pressure from Indonesia, Senator Manystones repeated what she told the Senate on Tuesday: that the policy was a balanced response to three considerations.

These were Australia's international obligations, the need for strong border protection and "our foreign affairs obligation to keep good relations with our neighbours".

Pressed on ABC television last night, she conceded: "It is indisputable that we have taken into account the concerns of Indonesia."

Hello it is pretty obvious. On the day that Abu Bakir Bashir is released early, Indonesian politicians are paraded in front of the parliament moaning about Australia interfering in their internal affairs. How come it is ok for Indonesia to thumb their nose at Australia and not the other way. I agree with the labour spokesman. How come they are listening to them and not to Australian politicians, who reviewed the proposed laws and determined that they were flawed and should be dumped. Tell the Indonesians to get stuffed and don't change the law.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Despair to Elation in Seven Minutes

Watching the Socceroos (should that be the Footballroos) last night reminded of the many depressing 90 minutes watching the Scottish football team crash and burn, destroying a nations hopes in a series of increasingly unlikely disasters, leading to elimination in the World Cup Finals in the 70s and 80s. Only this time there was a most unlikely positive twist. My partner sat for the whole of the second half with her teeth pursing her lips, unable to come to terms with impending defeat. The hopes of the nation were lifted dramatically by the next 7 minutes of a fairy tale, that I doubt that Hollywood could have scripted better. There was an exultant scream all over Australia when Tim Cahill scored the first ever Australian goal in a World Cup Final game. An even bigger one a few minutes later and one of relief with the third and the impending final whistle. A nations hopes could live another day.

For Scotland it was always what coulda been. In 1974, in West Germany, the last time Australia were in the World Cup Finals, in a parallel with Australia's current group, Scotland were in a group with Brazil, Yugoslavia (Croatia was part of this Soviet era mega state) and Zaire. They managed to beat Zaire 2-0, drew with Brazil 0-0 and Yugoslavia 1-1. They still went out on goal difference to Brazil 3 scored 0 conceded) to Scotlands (3 scored to 1 conceded). Heartbreak for the nation.

It just got worse in 1978 with the trip to Argentina with Ally's Tartan Army and one of the worst football supporters theme tunes ever.

Ally's Tartan Army

We're on the march wi' Ally's Army,
We're going tae the Argentine,
And we'll really shake them up,
When we win the World Cup,
'Cos Scotland is the greatest football team,

We're representing Britain,
And we're gaunny do or die,
England cannae dae it,
'Cos they didnae qualify!

We're on the march wi' Ally's Army,
We're going tae the Argentine,
And we'll really shake them up,
When we win the World Cup,
'Cos Scotland is the greatest football team,

The hopes of the nation never really recovered from the confidence that they had in the team going to Argentina, enthusiastically talked up by Ally McLeod and the final result. Many Scots not only thought that the Scottish team would not only do well, but win the whole thing.
Eliminated on goal difference again. Not so close this time. The hopes of the nation crashed and burned.

The highlight was Archie Gemmill's wonder goal, one of the top ten World Cup Final Goals of all time. All in a losing cause as Scotland had to win by three clear goals to eliminate the Dutch, winning 3-2 in the end (and going home).

I read recently that this version of the Scotland strip was considered one of the top ten World Cup Strips of all times and a major fashion item in Germany. Out of bad things at least some rays of sunlight. The only good thing about Scotland not qualifying is that they would not be able to inflict the soul destroying loss of hope that would accompany another poor performance on the big stage.

Hopefully the current competition will not be so depressing for my adopted countrymen and women or "wogs sheilas and poofters" as Johnny Warren famously said. If you have to stay up overnight, winning makes it easier to go to work the next day.

Don't whiff a spliff (and drive)

Adelaide is home of the highest per capita concentration of hydroponic shops in the world. I innocently thought it was for all those monster tomato growers. I especially love the hydroponic shops set up with the home brew stores. Unfortunately there are moves to regulate the hydroponic shops, where you will have to show your drivers license (and a packet of tomato seeds, no doubt) to get equipment. The latest nail in the coffin of the weed growing industry, is the introduction of drug driving testing, along with the recently beefed up drunk driving testing next month. It wont be safe to go out at night. Apparently the tests will pick up recent marijuana use, but not residual concentration. So based upon guidance, two beers and a joint and wait an hour and you should be fine. Just don't take amphetamines. That takes longer to get out of the system. Apparently pseudo ephadrines are ok, so go right ahead and take those cold and flu pills.

Nothing like a Triple Gooberberry Sunrise in the Morning

There is a direct connection between the humour in Sponge Bob and mine. Must be why the kids always roll their eyes at my jokes. I wonder what it would taste like if you added vodka.

Fantastic Time Wasting Video

Great machines.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Breaking News Chinese concede St Andrews is home of golf

Although China insists it invented the ancient game, some of the countries leading golf executives have finally conceded Scotland has the better claim.

Jeffrey Kao, general manager of Lake Malaren, Shanghai's leading private members' club, said: "After seeing the country and playing the historic courses I would say that the home of golf is definitely Scotland and in particular St Andrews."

Another executive agreed: "The Chinese may have hit balls with sticks before they did in Scotland but they didn't have golf courses and they don't have the tradition and history of the game."

Scotland's main claim to being the home of golf lies in reports of play on the links at St Andrews for more than six centuries. The renowned Old Course is one of the world's oldest and is where the modern game was shaped.

A spokesman for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, the sport's governing body, said Scotland was the first country to "rationalise" the game and apply a set of rules. "Stick and ball games have been around for many centuries in many countries," he said. "But we like to think that the game as we know it today with 18 holes, tees, fairways, greens and a specific target into which a ball is hit was invented in Scotland."

Callum Todd, one of Scotland's leading course designers, said: "The Chinese may have played a similar game but it didn't evolve into golf. The acid test is where the first proper golf course came into being and it certainly wasn't China."

Todd said golf in Scotland may have evolved from a game played by the Dutch on ice and transported across the North Sea by traders sometime around the 12th century. "The first recorded game at St Andrews was in the 15th century but the sport had probably been around in the St Andrews area for a couple of centuries before that."

Glad that is settled. Now the Scots can rake in Chinese golf dollars without a loss of face for the guests. Chinese guests now rank just behind the Americans in average pounds spent on their golf vacations.

What's the agenda here? More Howard Hypocracy

With over 50 percent of Australians comfortable with same sex domestic arrangements, what is the problem with the ACT same sex partners legislation? I thought that Howard had the Christian/Red Neck/Anti Gay/Conservative/Socially Backward vote anyway?

Och Aye Tak the Floor!

For homesick dancin' haggisbashers, you can't go far wrong wi' Robbie Shepherd and the Reel Blend. It's like bein' back hame again.

Feeling Stiff?

With the advent of winter I have been feeling very stiff. I am working on a new limbering regime, which is improving my flexibility dramatically. All it takes is a few minutes in the morning. This is the easy routine. You should try it.

Teeth Cleaning made easy

My kids moan and groan every night about cleaning their teeth. I have decided to kill two birds with one stone. Since they are animal lovers, this will almost certainly work.

Cutey Sheepy

My daughter, one of the worlds great animal lovers was horrified when we went to get Spotty and Chester a sheepskin to keep them warm during the winter. In the shop was a kangaroo skin. She immediately decided it was wrong and became an instant vegetarian. This lasted until tea time, when she had to choose animals or vegetables. Spotty and the cat love the new found comfort. Spotty was so comfortable he did not beg to get up on the couch and flat out refused to go out to his kennel later in the evening. I had to pick him up and throw him out. Meany.

Chester the Bird Killer

Chester had his first trophy conquest yesterday, when he somehow managed to land a pigeon from the garden. He has a tinkling bell, so he must have been pretty quick. Gruesome observation of the day was watching him play with the head like his little mouse toy.

Self Serve Gas Rocket

In the scheme of things, gas is not too expensive, but if if it ever does get unmanageable, we can always steal a little. I imagine that you would get home pretty quick if you lit up the other end.

Spotty the Tease

One of Spotty's favourite activities is to go up to other dogs and try to play. He then gets them to chase him. Usually he is faster than them and wins respect when they give up. Last week he (stupidly) planned to do the same with a very large pit pull/mastiff/wild boar type of dog and his Alsatian side kick. I luckily caught him before he was ran over to be lamb to the slaughter and eaten. He gets to live another day. How could a dog be so dumb? So Spotty BE AFRAID!!!

The first time he did this was when he was very little and had only been to the local park once before. He chose to try out his prowess with a Wolfhound type dog, which chased him all the way home (about 300 meters across a road). I found him behind the safety of our garden fence barking come and get me (you ugly motherfucker). Don't let me ever say that he is bright.

Who says 0-0 isn't exciting.

I defy anyone with a pulse to deny that the second half of the Trinidad and Tobago Sweden game wasn't gripping theatre. People who moan about football not being exciting when there are no goals just don't get it. Down to 10 men for the whole of the second half, they held off a vastly more experienced and skilled opponent. Great goal keeping, determination, coaching (and a bit of luck) was all it took. Go (Adopted Ozzie)Dwight! Go (Jason) Scotland!

This razor's not for shaving

Occam's Razor, attributed to a 14th century English Franciscan Friar states that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible, eliminating those that make no difference in the observable predictions of the explanatory hypothesis or theory. The principle is often expressed in latin as:

entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem,

which translates to:

entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity.
Listening to the morning political shows often makes me want to quote this principal. Blow away the baloney. Be gone ye half truths, deceptions and distractions. More plain talk please. Just the facts...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

(Financial) Danger from Live Wires

Don't worry that it may kill you!

Brogan Nose

AFL Footy Player bashes member of public before big game. Response no police action and sympathetic coverage in the media, likely small fine.
Member of the public bashes AFL Footy Player before big game. Likely response. Police action, unsympathetic coverage in the media and likely large fine

Sex Options for the Dead

Queensland Councils want to ban brothels near cemetries. Is this to protect the ladies of the night from evil spirits or lusty skeletons? Will this mean that cemetry residents will have to travel further for a quick one?

Worse than pulling teeth.

Shopping for a bra is as stressful as going to the dentist according to a Monash University study of 600 women. Almost 60 percent found it to be an unpleasant experience.

Don't Talk and Drive

Here in South Australia, the cops have pocketed almost a million dollars by nabbing over aggressive talker drivers. They are on course to pocket another million by the end of the year. That is almost $250 per offence. As the spokesman says, the increase can be attributed to "more stringent policing". Beware!

Nigerian Serve Yourself Fuel Options

These are the ones who made it out before the explosion.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Deutsch Deco Trucks

And now for a major work productivity dive

With most of the World Cup shown after midnight, I can imagine a lot of quality work happening over the next month.

6/6/06 Good Day to do the Dantes Divine Comedy Inferno Test

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Seventh Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Very Low
Level 2 (Lustful)Very High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Moderate
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)High
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very High
Level 7 (Violent)Very High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Very High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Moderate

Take the Dante's Divine Comedy Inferno Test

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Jason Scotland Irn-Bru Adverts

Irn-Bru and Scotland World Cup ads

Thanks Digbeth

Tartan Army gets ready for 2010

For all the good natured support for Jason Scotland at the World Cup, most Scottish people probably feel like this. There is always the next time. Scots are by nature optimistic pessimists. Or should that be pessimistic optimists?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Bovine Economic Models

You have 2 cows and you give one to your neighbour.

You have 2 cows; the Government takes both
and gives you some milk.

You have 2 cows; the Government takes both
and sells you some milk.

You have 2 cows. The Government takes both
and gases you.

You have 2 cows; the Government takes both,
shoots one, milks the
other and throws the milk away...

You have two cows. You sell one and
buy a bull. Your herd
multiplies, and the economy grows.
You sell them and retire on the income.

You have two cows. You sell one,
and force the other to produce the
milk of four cows. Later, you hire
a consultant to analyze why the cow
dropped dead.

You have two cows. You go on strike
because you want three cows.

You have two cows. You redesign them
so they are one-tenth the size
of an ordinary cow and produce twenty
times the milk. You then create a
clever cow cartoon image called Cowkimon
and market them World-Wide.

You have two cows. You reengineer them so
they live for 100 years,
eat once a month, and milk themselves.

You have two cows, but you don't know where
they are. You break for lunch.

You have two cows. You count them and learn
you have five cows. You
count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
You count them again and learn
you have 2 cows. You stop counting cows
and open another bottle of vodka.

You have 5000 cows, none of which belong to you.
You charge others for storing them.

You have two cows. You have 300 people milking
them. You claim full
employment, high bovine productivity,
and arrest the newsman who reported
the numbers.

You have two cows. You worship them.

You have two cows. Both are mad.

You have two cows. You sell one to buy beer
and the other goes on the barbie.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Believe It (and weep)

Mars Bars should be called Baloney Bars after Mars tried to make amends for shoving their Believe Bar down the throats of the not so lucky Celtic periphery of the UK. Made me think about Mars Bars in Dubyaland, which are actually Milky Ways and vice versa. What ever gets them down your throat, I am sure is the marketing mantra. What next? Water on Mars?

David Coleman would be proud of these

England and its 1966 World Cup win
German efficiency in hosting the tournament and its team
Brazilian “flair”
South American “samba”
Italian “style”
Plucky/Brave/Trinidad and Tobago, just happy to be a part
Argentina, the Netherlands, Ivory Coast, Serbia and Montenegro: the group of death
“Naive” African teams
Spain and siestas
Maradona/”Hand of God”
Australia, 1974, “This is for Johnny Warren”
Scotland 2042 "Believe"