Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Lang May Ye'er Lum Reek in 2009

With all the gloom and doom as we head into 2009, just remember there is always Irn Bru.

Happy Hogmanay to everyone regardless of age, sex, religion, mothers maiden name, sports team followed, favourite breakfast cereal and hopes for the future. As Big Rab , Irn Bru advert connoisseur may say "Lang May Yer Lum Reek" or to put it in another way a Scottish variety of good luck, favoured by my dad.  "May a moose ne'er leave yer meal poke wi' a tear in its een."

Still getting over an Abba special on television tonight before the fireworks from Sydney. Those guys are in their sixties or close to it now. They were more popular in Australia than the Beatles. What gives?  

Off to bed now. We'll leave the celebrating to the others. The nice man on the television recommended that we turn on the washing machine to calm our dog during fireworks. The first one of the evening just went off. Better go and do that. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Emperor Ponting has no clothes (well not many)

Poor Rickie and the Boys have been found out by a disciplined and talented South African Cricket Team. Out thought and outplayed over most of two tests, especially when it mattered. 

The tables truely have been turned. The cricket kings of swagger and jabber don't look so good with some toothless bowling and some arrogant batting. This get out of jail stuff that we saw from the South Africans is what the Australians have been doing to all and sundry for almost 20 years. Not this time.

The days of sticking your collective heads in the sand and living with the memories are over. The fact that some of the all time greatest Australian test cricketers: Warne, McGrath, Hayden, Gilchrist, Ponting were part of the team this time last year, with only Ponting left, points to the gap. 

The fact that Australia remain ranked number one in the Test Rankings is testament to their long term success more than their current form. Clearly the rankings are not a true reflection of who is top dog in world cricket. 

Even members of the dynasty that was Aussie Cricket have a hard time facing up to the new reality.

Like the senior men on the field, the relatively recent retirees with the microphones expected the superheroes to arrive. All the Australian capes have disappeared along with Telstra phoneboxes.

And talking of attempts at world domination and train wrecks, I doubt we will be seeing new Telstra phoneboxes any time soon. "Operator Operator... have you seen any good cricketers lately?... Your call cannot be connected...... Please try again in five years when all the lawsuits have been settled ."

Next up for the Aussies after this series is a trip around South Africa before their chance to take it to the Poms as they defend The Ashes next northern summer. 

Talking of happy South Africans, no doubt Kevin and the boys will be getting a little cocky as they start their preparations for the big match in Cardiff. 

I wonder what the odds on the Ashes are? You can check here. Australia are slight favourites, although you can get similar odds for both teams.

Despite all this, in all seriousness, I would still expect the Aussies to be very competitive, especially given the English propensity to fail when things look good. 

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holiday Flowers in our Garden

Canna Lilly

Kalanchoe (one of the many varieties). Thanks River.

Cactus Flowers (These last a day)




With the cricket on television and the South Africans putting it to the Aussies, I have gone all lazy when it comes to domestic duties. I am well set up on the back verandah with the television and the computer and intermittent visits from my family. Cooking is very far from my agenda for today.

Looking for inspiration about what to cook, I read this over at Jayne's excellent blog and it made me laugh.

Grandma Mehitabel's Menu -Take a brace of hares, 6 kgs of bacon fat, 3 cabbages, a couple of handfuls of sugar.Toss, firmly, into the rubbish bin....and get some fish and greasy's.
Especially since that was what my wife brought home after her quick trip to the shops this morning. 

As we speak, the kids are trying to catch our pet rabbits. Perhaps they have plans for a variation of Grandma Mehitabel's Menu. I am sure that I could improvise. My grandmother used to serve up rabbit from time to time. I never liked the little bones. 

Perhaps it will have to be Rabbit and Chips.

Childhood Reminiscences

Browsing the intertubes last night I came across Geograph which has the goal of taking a photo of every square kilometre of the UK. It is the sort of site that you could spend hours and hours on and fitted my mood for that time. My short visit picked up many of the farms from my childhood and this photograph of Teuchats Crossroads, just down the road from where I grew up. 

Where the white building is, used to be the blacksmiths where the old man used to shoe the horses with his huge manual bellows breathing into the charcoal fire. My mum, who couldn't drive used to take us for long walks and we got to know the area very well. Later in life he used to come down the hill from his house on his bike without brakes. There was a skid mark in the verge for a good way down the hill as he used his foot to slow down. The bus also used to run between St Andrews and Leven and stopped at the corner when I used to visit my Grandmother in St Andrews. This was where I made my first bike rides to and from my house and where we went for winter walks with my mum and where people from out of the area used to come to park their cars and have some nukie. And we drove over this road to see the moon landing at Teuchats Farm on grainy black and white television in the late 60s.

So many memories for a short stretch of road. 

Thanks Geograph and Jim Bain who took the photograph. Turns out his kids went to the same High School as me in St Andrews. A few years later I think. 

Santa Drops in Late

With her Assistant. Where are the Reindeers?

The Day There Was No News

Christmas time is normally a really dead time for news and unless you get a Tsunami or if the Israelis and the Palestinians are doing their thing or Santa shoots up the mother in laws house, the sport segments get lengthened, the year in review segment is dug out and other light fare is put on the screen.

Why not just admit that there is no news and show a rerun of The Simpsons? Here in South Australia everyone takes some time off. Why not TV newsreaders.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

WTF Where are the Corgis?

I'm A Dinner Jacket to go prime time with Alternate Christmas Message on UK Live TV.

"Dear Moronic Misguided Christian Capitalist Swine Fellow Citizens of the Future Islamic Nation, let me tell you my plan for a better life. First I plan to offer a new way of living to take over the World BWAHAHAHAHA!....."

Seems the Great and the Good didn't like it.

It is an interesting idea. All the news we get is so sanitised, I think that potentially going to the horses mouth is a good thing. People should be sophisticated enough to realise the agenda at play. At least some of what he had to say made sense and was based on consensus opinion. You can take with a pinch of salt the rest. I mean who believes everything that comes out of El Gordo's and for that matter any other politicians mouths?

I'm a politician and I am here to help?
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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

From a guy I met in the Hardware Store Parking Lot.

A Christmas Lightshow Microwave

Lots of Jingling Bells Microwaves

and the Canine Christmas Easter Bunny.

And a Guy playing Christmas Carols on a Brocolli.

Merry Ho Ho Ho Holiday Greetings from my Family to Yours.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Is the Pope Catholic? and other Myths?

An example of street markets accepting credit ...Image via WikipediaListening to a promotion for the stupid sensationalist news shows that I never watch here in Adelaide. Yes more stupid than the supposedly serious news. I was shocked to hear that they were going to share how to stay out of the Christmas Credit Card Debt Trap.

Hello! Just leave them at home. Don't use them. Duh! This with retailers expecting a bumper Christmas shopping season here in Adelaide as prices rise and job security falls. Seems that not too many will be heeding the advice of the television equivalent of the News of the World.

Also in that category the thought that you can avoid a hangover by swallowing eels and vegemite and the like and that Coca Cola is an effective spermicide.

Hello just don't drink. I know that is the pot calling the kettle black, but as I get older I see that it has some merit especially if you plan to be productive the next day.

Oh and I liked the debunking of the argument related to wearing a hat when it is cold. I was so predisposed to believe that one and had no issue with selling that story to the kids when we were out in the not so cold Adelaide winter weather.

Oh well, more myths shattered and false misperceptions debunked.

Perhaps Santa Claus really does exist.
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Contraception with a Sugar Buzz?

Alternate Night After Pill?

I always wondered why Coca Cola was so popular in the Phillippines when I lived there. So many kids, so little time.

The Harvard research team found that Coca-Cola was only able to immobilize only 30 percent of the sperms within an hour. Ironically coca-cola douches increase the forward velocity of healthy sperm by almost 18 cm/hour, actually increasing the chances of striking a baby using the method.

I love the bit about the healthy sperms getting a sugar buzz and heading down town. Survival of the fittest I suppose. Good to know that scientists have money to burn on this kind of important social and medical research.

Perhaps they should check out spermicidal capabilities of Irn Bru while they are at it. Maybe there is an export market.

Imagine some of the advertising campaigns for Pepsi and the like in some of those countries where it is used for alternative purposes.

You can blame @leoc and @facibus for Todays Medical Report.

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Aurora Anyone?

Stunning photographs from The Telegraph of the Aurora Borealis.

From Wikipedia.

Aurorae are produced by the collision of charged particles from Earth's magnetosphere, mostly electrons but also protons and heavier particles, with atoms and molecules of Earth's upper atmosphere (at altitudes above 80 km (50 miles)). The particles have energies of 1 to 100 keV. They originate from the Sun and arrive at the vicinity of Earth in the relatively low-energy solar wind. When the trapped magnetic field of the solar wind is favourably oriented (principally southwards) it connects with Earth's magnetic field, and solar particles enter the magnetosphere and are swept to the magnetotail. Further magnetic reconnection accelerates the particles towards Earth.
So now you know. Apparently the Southern Hemisphere version is the Aurora Australis. Only visible from really cold parts of this part of the world. Too bad we can't just sit back and watch from our back garden. What we do have living in the suburbs is very clear sky unpolluted by urban light and one in which you can see most of the stars. I find the look of the whole sky more interesting than individual stars.
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Winter Solstice Celebrations Kick Off in South Australia

Winter Solstice is a great time of year here and we celebrate it with our Northern Hemisphere Cousins, just in different ways.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Photo Hunt: Wide

The great wide expanse of Sellicks Beach. It was just us and a few cars yesterday afternoon on the way back from Granny's. I learned today that some vested interests had tried to push through a marina for this location. Very glad that got the kybosh. It is such a glorious expanse of open beach, sufficiently far from Adelaide that it is never too busy.

This is a great time of year here in South Australia, with great weather, hanging out in our pool, holidays, Christmas around the corner and cricket on the radio (and television). I have loved cricket since I grew up in Scotland. Being in Australia it is hard to avoid, which I like.

Tonight the cricket was from Perth, where Australia are hosting South Africa in a showdown between the number one and number 2 ranked test teams. I rarely have time to sit down and just watch cricket, but rather listen to the very entertaining coverage on the ABC. I was able to watch tonight outside by the pool while Elizabeth watched The Bill, because they played late due to the time difference and rain delays. The kids had gone to bed (ha ha ha), but they thought that it was a bit odd, and came out to take some photographs. They even caught one of me signalling a wide.

Merry Ho Ho Ho to all Photohunters and in fact to everyone.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Deep Throat Chokes

For the Last Time.

According to the newspaper, he had suffered two strokes in recent years, and his memory of the Watergate era had almost completely vanished because of Alzheimer's disease.

Mystery surrounded the identity of Deep Throat - named after a popular pornographic movie of the time - for decades, until Mark Felt admitted being the source in 2005.
"I'm the guy they used to call Deep Throat," he told the US magazine Vanity Fair in an article that revealed his secret.
Vale Mark Felt.

When I lived in Washington in the 1980s it was interesting to go and visit the complex, with the unusual circular structure along the banks of the Potomac, with all the normal stuff that people need, newsagents, hairdressers, cafes and to think that a little incident within that complex and the bravery of some journalists and a man called Mark Felt had brought down Tricky Dicky.

If only that Alzheimers had kicked in 40 years ago. Nixon may have made it through his Presidency and Dubya may have never become President. Now the second one is wishful thinking and the first one is just speculation.

He even outlived the director of the movie, who choked earlier.
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Skywatch Friday

Last Monday I took the kids down to Granny, who lives close to Normanville Beach. These were taken using my fairly lame camera on my phone as I had lunch by the beach and driving home. Beautiful clear sky with one puffy cloud each.

If you are a sky fetishist, then go here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ho Ho Ho from Hannah and Ryan

You can Ho Ho Ho yourself on Flickr by adding a note to a photo "ho ho ho hat" or "ho ho ho beard" does it.

And while we are at it, a Ho Ho Drunken Ho Ho from Monkey.

This is not the Christmas Message that my Grandmother made us stop eating cold Turkey for.

And even the real thing iz funny.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Everyone's a Loser Babe in Aussie Broadband Brawl

Telstra's Visionary New Broadband Receiver. Set to be rolled out Australia wide by 2096. "We have a very aggressive roll out strategy" said a Telstra spokesman. We just need to get the government off our back (so that we can deliver the programme). It is also reported that the Telstra CEO will resign and leave the country if he does not get his way.

The arrogance of Sol "I walk on Water" Telstrujillo and Donald "Duck the Brickbats" McGauchie is dumb and mindboggling.

And here is the new Aussie Broadband Everywhere Theme Tune, set to be announced soon.


Next up mud fights, live streamed to Tumbarumba and other regional towns by telegraphic, electrified broadband pigeons by 2065.

Good Luck Senator Conroy.
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Everyone wants to do this!

On ya go. You know you want to.

And here is the World of Warcraft version, courtesty of Online Warmonger Silkcharm.

Monday, December 15, 2008

When an Eye for an Eye Seems Fair

An Iranian woman is seeking a sentence for her attacker more in line with something out of a torture manual than natural justice.

Four years ago, a spurned suitor poured a bucket of sulfuric acid over her head, leaving her blind and disfigured.

Late last month, an Iranian court ordered that five drops of the same chemical be placed in each of her attacker's eyes, acceding to Bahrami's demand that he be punished according to a principle in Islamic jurisprudence that allows a victim to seek retribution for a crime. The sentence has not yet been carried out.

Seems like a very barbaric sentence, but given the crime, pretty reasonable from her perspective. Why not an acid bath?

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Can you tweet and ride a camel at the same time?

Nice Photograph by Gary Hayes

As Australians are being softened up to eat more Camel, I have to say that this is a much better use of these ugly but graceful animals.

Thanks Gary Hayes and Laurel Papworth (who has tweeted from a camel).

Oh by the way, come on down. The Australian Tourist Board would love to arrange for you to ride a Camel.
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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Photo Hunt: Favourite

This is Hannah's favourite toy dog, Champers. Very cute and no cleaning up.

This is Elizabeth's favourite boy. Very cute and lots of cleaning up.

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