Friday, February 24, 2006

What the fuck is wrong with that?



I ask you? What is wrong with that ad campaign? Bloody has never been an offensive word and never will. It is even used on the news all the time to describe their favourite terrorist events in Iraq, Afghanistan or Bloody-Hellistan.

I think the ad campaign is a pretty good one. The last lot were a bit odd and seemed to be for the ADD kids in the US, this one seems more welcoming. Flamin' heck, I'd be encouraged to go to Australia if I wasn't already here.

Anyway, why do people get so riled up about the usage of a few choice words? If you have never listened to George Carlin's stand up routine on the 'Seven Dirty Words', I can heartily recommend it. Here are some excerpts:
There are some people that aren't into all the words. There are some people who would have you not use certain words. Yeah, there are 400,000 words in the English language, and there are seven of them that you can't say on television. What a ratio that is. 399,993 to seven. They must really be bad. They'd have to be outrageous, to be separated from a group that large. All of you over here, you seven. Bad words. That's what they told us they were, remember? 'That's a bad word.' 'Awwww.' There are no bad words. Bad thoughts. Bad Intentions.

Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits, wow. Tits doesn't even belong on the list, you know. It's such a friendly sounding word. It sounds like a nickname. 'Hey, Tits, come here. Tits, meet Toots, Toots, Tits, Tits, Toots.' It sounds like a snack doesn't it? Yes, I know, it is, right. But I don't mean the sexist snack, I mean, New Nabisco Tits. The new Cheese Tits, and Corn Tits and Pizza Tits, Sesame Tits Onion Tits, Tater Tits, Yeah. Betcha can't eat just one. That's true I usually switch off . But I mean that word does not belong on the list.

And we mentioned shit earlier, of course. Two of the other 4-letter Anglo-Saxon words are Piss and Cunt, which go together of course. But forget about that. A little accidental humor there. Piss and Cunt. The reason Piss and Cunt are on the list is that a long time ago certain ladies said 'Those are the two I am not going to say. I don't mind Fuck and Shit, but P and C are out. P and C are out.' Which led to such stupid sentences as 'OK, you fuckers, I am going to tinkle now.'

The additions to the list. I found three more words that had to be put on the list of words you could never say on television, and they were fart, turd and twat, those three.

Fart, we talked about, it's harmless It's like tits, it's a cutie word, no problem. Turd, you can't say but who wants to, you know? The subject never comes up on the panel so I'm not worried about that one. Now the word twat is an interesting word. Twat! Yeh, right in the twat. Twat is an interesting word because it's the only one I know of, the only slang word applying to the, a part of the sexual anatomy that doesn't have another meaning to it. Like, ah, snatch, box and pussy all have other meanings, man. Even in a Walt Disney movie, you can say, We're going to snatch that pussy and put him in a box and bring him on the airplane. Everybody loves it. The twat stands alone, man, as it should.

Fat people getting fucking angry...

...about fucking nothing.

You may have heard recently about a fat woman who was asked to pay for 2 seats on a Southwest Airlines flight in the US. Well on an amazingly angry blog called Big Fat Blog, they are going apeshit over what it means to fat people to have to pay for 2 seats.

First article, second article

Some of the comments in there are just plain great comedy, have a read if you get the chance.

I commented about this situation on a different blog:
The whole 2 seats for one thing seems to dominate the blog. I am not a small person, but I concede if I am too big to fit in one seat then I must pay for two. I am really surprised that these people can't accept that.

The reply:
Yeah, its certainly got its weaknesses, however, Craig, perhaps you could also look at it from the perspective that airline seats are actually too small to begin with?

I imagine that if you were judged daily because of your appearance (particularly claims that "fat" is automatically synonymous with "unhealthy" to the point where people will take DANGEROUS surgery and malnutrition rather than being overweight), you'd have a mighty chip on your shoulder too.


Airline seats are too small? I am a 6 foot tall male with quite a big build, who weighs 94 kg at present, I have been up to 130 kg and never in my time of travelling have I found airline seats to be too small.

Medically speaking I am rated as obese but I couldn't give a rats about how an formula rates me as it doesnt take into account my natural body size anyway, all it looks at is height vs weight. My older brother weighs only a couple of kilos less than me yet fits into a size smaller clothes because his shoulders and waist aren't as wide as mine. Even so, I still realise that when I was 130 kg, it was a very unhealthy weight. Even when I lost the first 10 kg I could felt a change in how I felt, it was easier to get up in the morning, I could walk a km without feeling tired, I slept much better, it doesn't hurt so much when I crash my bike, etc.

These people who are 150 kg and over and expect airlines to cater to them is absurd. Being that overweight is not natural and never will be. Sure you may have special medical reasons as to why you are that weight, but that doesnt mean everyone else has to pay more for their airline seat (because they can't fill the plane with as many people).

Hey, maybe they could avoid the 'embarassment' of situations like this by paying for a larger business class seat in the first place.

In the last month I have probably insulted jews, now fat people, what I can I rag on the muslims about...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Three Point One Four...

Another set of classy lyrics from our old friends, The Bloodhound Gang...
"Three Point One Four"

My last girlfriend didn't like me thought she might be,
Most likely a dyke she just didn't excite me,
Lefty? Yeah but that was alright,
She was hotter than the sun but she just wasn't that bright,
My mistake she was more flaky than a leper colony,
I think a wooden clothespin would have been much better company,
Ass like a donkey acting funky gave her "L" now she's a flunky,
So my love for her died quicker than a batch of Sea Monkeys,
Early bird gets the worm spread your legs or spread the word,
So what if I'm not the smartest peanut in the turd,
I'm white which goes with everything but I can come in any color,
And I'm looking for the kind of girl that reminds me of my mother,
But it's hard to find a girl with a viper tattooed on her tushy,
And how many girls do you know that can play the harmonica with their pussies?
Like em' easy and hot and sweet like a Rice Krispie Treat, gee,
You know what I really want in a girl? Me,

I need to find a new vagina,
Any kind of new vagina,
It's hard to rhyme a word like vagina,
Calvin Klein? Kinda, North Carolina,

Women are like dog doo, hear me through don't interrupt,
It's just the older that they are the easier they get to pick-up,
I'd fill the generation gap clean the cobwebs from her rafters,
Old hens would rather put out than be put out to the pasture,
No age just ain't a gauge I like my girls like my cheese,
Preferably for me fat-free American singles only,
I want my next chick anorexic, the winner is the thinner,
Won't have to take her skinny ass out to a fancy dinner,
Like Sizzler she got a beef we'll chew the fat,
If I forget to put the seat up I can put up with her crap,
Let her lash out and crack the whip but not in bed I don't play rough,
No I can't be tied down with a girl that wants me tied up,
Just independent like NOFX ,smart like Janeane Garafolo,
She'd use big words to make fun of me so that I would never know,
Bestow upon me all her wisdom of the Dewey Decimal System, gee,
You know what I really want in a girl? Me,

I need to find a new vagina,
Any kind of new vagina,
It's hard to rhyme a word like vagina,
Kevin Klein? Kinda, South Carolina,
Vagina vagina vagina vagina,
Vagina vagina vagina vagina.

Overly sensitive academics...

The Dilbert Blog: Inebriated Hillbillies are not Funny

Web 2.0 and social networking with music...

Ages ago, I used to post my top 10 listened to tracks each week in this blog (example here), but I stopped doing it as copy and pasting the artists and counts from the AudioScrobbler website became a pain in the butt.

Now AudioScrobbler has become last.fm and has jumped ahead in the ease of use and features they offer. From the last.fm website:
Join the social music revolution at Last.fm. It's fun, it's free, it's all about the music.

You get your own online music profile that you can fill up with the music you like. This information is used to create a personal radio station and to find users who are similar to you. Last.fm can even play you new artists and songs you might like. It's addictive, it's growing, it's free, it's music.

The coolest thing is the streaming 'radio' stations that are provided. If you have only a standard membership (free) you are given a station called 'neighbour radio' which uses your listening data in conjunction to others' listening data to create a radio station with the stuff you like and some new stuff you might like too. Using the open source player they provide, if you don't like a song they suggest you can mark it to not get played again. Alternatively, you can also rate a song as a favourite and it will get played more often.

The data is sent to last.fm by a plugin that is installed into your favourite music/media player. There are clients for iTunes, Windows Media Player, WinAMP, XMMS, XBox Media Center and lots of others.

Weekly Top 10 Artists - Sunday Feb 12 - Sunday Feb 19


Overall Top 10 Artists - Since December 2004 (6,631 tracks played)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

House Update #19 - It's alive! But we have fences to keep it in...

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As you can see above, we have made some more steps toward completion. In the last week, the tiling has nearly been finished, the electrical has been done and the fences have gone up. It is all looking good for pre-completion inspection in 2-3 weeks. Then we move in. Yay!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Everybody hates Hugo...

Only one number matched Hugo's numbers though - 15, 17, 43, 44, 48, with a Powerball of 29

Wow, one can only dream I guess...
LINCOLN, Nebraska (AP) -- Someone, somewhere held the only winning ticket for the record $365 million Powerball jackpot, but likely wasn't in a rush to come forward, Nebraska lottery officials said Sunday.

It makes our $19 million superdraw on the weekend look pretty piss poor.
The ticket holder has the option of taking the money in one lump sum or installments over 30 years. The cash option is $177.8 million, or $124.46 million after taxes. On the installment plan, the first payment would be $6,507,986 after taxes.

I think the installment plan would be the best way to go. Go blow your money in the first 12 months, get another $6.5 million next year when the novelty drops off (if it ever does).

CNN.com - Record jackpot winner still a mystery - Feb 19, 2006

You can't have it both ways...

Please explain on payphones

COMMUNICATIONS Minister Helen Coonan says she's disappointed Telstra planned to remove payphones without consulting with the government.

A Telstra Country Wide briefing note said the telco planned to slash 5,000 of its 32,000 payphones in country towns and capital cities over the next seven months.
A newspaper report said country towns in at least four states faced the loss of half their public outdoor phones.

To defuse the political fallout from its decision, the majority government-owned carrier planned to mark the phones with a sticker claiming the service is being relocated.

"Telstra hasn't either raised this plan with government or discussed it with me, so that in itself is disappointing," Senator Coonan told ABC radio.

One minute you want Telstra to run itself like a totally private company but in the next breath you whinge and complain that they are doing just that. You can't have it both ways. The apparently contradictory standards applied to Telstra must really shit the board of directors.

Telstra want to roll out fibre optic to every exchange in Australia to improve their ageing network, Telstra asked for the government to help pay for the plan but that was denied. So work continued on the plan using Telstra's own money, but now the government want them to allow other carriers like Optus to use the new capacity at a cut price rate. Optus has the resources to put in their own fibre optic network if they so wish, but if they are going to get Telstra's fibre optic network at such a cheap rate, why would they bother. If the government want Telstra to be a charity then they should have kept it 100% government owned, if they want it to be a private company, then leave it alone.

Australian IT - Please explain on payphones

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Why geeks make good fathers...

Whilst on my travels around the 'net I stumbled across this blog entry from a woman married to a geek. She decided to list the top ten reasons why geeks make good fathers. The list is below, see how many of these things apply to you...:
  1. 1. LEGOS. The Geek is really more of a Man-Child than an adult. In their minds, they are still 10. They freakin' still love to play with their legos, and have never grown up. I have one friend, WHO WILL REMAIN NAMELESS, that still has legos in his room. He doesn't have kids. Just legos. Of course, my children love legos and Steve will lovingly spend hours playing legos with them.
  2. 2. VIDEO GAMES. Due to the whole Man-Child thing as stated in #1, the Geek loves video games. And he's good at them too. My husband is the hit of all the kids' friends because not only can he talk video games, he plays them too. If my children get "stuck" while playing their Gameboys and bring it to me for assistance, all I can do is feebly hold it and say " Mommy doesn't know how to play this." Daddy, however, can beat the game.
  3. 3. MATH. A huge plus here. No matter how old they get, Steve can still help with the math homework. My ability to be of assistance is going to last another few years before *I* end up throwing the math homework across the room in disgust.
  4. 4. SMART KIDS. Smart Geeks make smart children. Although for the most part, it's great to have really intelligent children, when your just turned two year old is using the word PREPOSTEROUS correctly, it makes for some difficult times as they get older. I literally spend a large part of my time scheming to stay one step ahead of my oldest child.
  5. 5. UP ON TECHNOLOGY. The beautiful thing about having a Geek for a parent is that you aren't wondering what your children are doing online. You *KNOW* what they are doing online and you can limit it if necessary. It's fabulous peace of mind.
  6. 6. SCIENCE FAIR PROJECTS. Children of the Geeks always have the coolest science fair projects. And you don't have to cajole your Geek into helping. You'll find him fiddling around with the science materials whether you asked him to help or not.
  7. 7. TOY ASSEMBLY. You will never, ever have to spend six hours of your life, that you will never get back, trying to assemble some 2,000 piece toy at 3 am on Christmas Eve again. The Geek can do it in minutes flat. Usually without the directions. Whereas I have tried to assemble toys and said "Mommy has to go to the bathroom" just so I could escape and scream into my pillow in frustration, if the Geek is around, he can take it right off your hands. I now just say "Daddy is really good at this, let's wait until he gets home."
  8. 8. GADGETS. Never again will you have to wonder what that new electronic toy is that all the kids have. In fact, your Geek will probably already own it. The problem arises when the Geek won't share with the children. "Daddy, I want a digital camera." After the child leaves the room: "I'm not spending hundreds of dollars on a digital camera for him, he's too young." I say "Let's get him a cheap one." Steve looks at me as if I just said Aliens are invited to dinner. " To have it take crappy pictures?" He scoffs and walks away in disgust. No sub-par electronics in this house! How dare I suggest it.
  9. 9. SMART IS COOL. Having a Geek for a father instills the message into your children that smart is cool. They idolize Daddy. Hopefully, they'll want to grow up to be just like him.
  10. 10. BEING IDOLIZED IS GOOD FOR YOUR GEEK. Course, you have to be careful that his head doesn't get TOO BIG. That's why I blog. Gotta keep his ego in check SOMEHOW.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Fear Factor...

From the article:
Rates likely to rise: RBA
February 17, 2006

THE next move in interest rates was more likely to be up than down, Reserve Bank governor Ian Macfarlane said today.

Addressing a parliamentary committee, Mr Macfarlane said there were a range of inflationary pressures across the economy that combined meant the bank still had its finger on the interest rate lever.
"It is more likely that the next movement in interest rates will be up rather than down," he said.

One of the risks to inflation continued to be the oil price which meant headline inflation would remain near the top of the Reserve Bank's 2 per cent to 3 per cent target range.

Two things going on here:
  • Firstly, the headline does not match the actual content of the story. The headline sets up the big scary notion that interest rates are expected to rise sometime soon, whereas the RBA governor has only said that the rates are more likely to rise than fall. Anyone who has been watching the situation for any length of time knows that, but there is a large number of factors keeping the rates at their current level. The rest of the article outlines the reasons behind the RBA's decision to keep interest rates steady.
  • Secondly, is the RBA just playing games with the Australian people to keep interest rates steady?

    If the RBA says to people they might raise the rates if the conditions are right, then people will curb their spending in anticipation of the rate rise, which then stops the conditions the RBA is looking for, thus the rates don't rise. How long can this game be played until people get sick of anticipating a rate rise and it never happening, at that point they stop curbing their spending and the rates will rise causing mass panic.

Puzzling...

A couple of things I have noticed lately:
  • Canning Vale should change its name to Camry Vale. Donna and I are housesitting my borther's place in Canning Vale. Commuting to and from work I have noticed the huge number of Camry's in Canning Vale. They even seem to outnumber Commodores and Falcons. Why?
  • Why do smokers act all disgusted when they smell the fart you dropped near them serruptitiously when you walk past their 'cloud' outside of a building?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Equity mate...

I got some news yesterday that made me feel pretty good about building a house.

Across the road from our yet-to-be-completed house is another yet-to-be-completed house that is at about the same stage ours is at. We have met the people that are building the house, the guy used to work up at the HBI Plant in Port Hedland as a sparkie before it was shutdown. Well they are off to Melbourne for a new job now and will be putting their house on the market once it is finished.

It is a Ross North home, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, games, semi-home-theatre, big kitchen and drive through garage, all on approx. 730 sqm. The price they are asking is $410,000... That is without any floor coverings, blinds or painting. And possibly even no landscaping out the front.

We definitely think we got in on the home building game at the right time. Although we don't plan on selling for at least 5-8 years, it is very nice to know that after only 'spending' (someone elses money) $280K, we may have over $100K in equity in just 12 months. Will make it easy come refinancing time in a year or two to package in a large patio.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Champagne comedy...

Geez, if the US Government hadn't had enough of running around the world shooting as many people as possible, they are doing it at home too...

US Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a man during a weekend hunting trip in south Texas.

The victim, identified as Harry Whittington, 78, is reported in good condition in a Corpus Christi hospital after being hit with buckshot on Saturday while hunting quail with Mr Cheney.

Mr Cheney sprayed Whittington, an Austin lawyer, with shotgun pellets while hunting for quail at about 5.30pm (local time), the local newspaper Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported.


Mr Cheney was quoted afterwards as saying "I was tracking a quail through the forest when up popped Mr Whittington. He was between me and the quail, and if you harbour a quail you are as a good as being a quail. So I filled the old bastard with lead."

Investigations are continuing to see if the quail had a pilots licence, WMDs or participated in online file sharing.

Mr Cheney could not be reached for further comment as he was listening to his iPod...

I wonder if Mr Cheney will get charged over this? Or are the gun laws in the US so fucked up that this is allowed?

Cheney shoots hunting mate - NEWS.com.au

House Update #18 - The countdown is on...

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It is all action at the house these days. It seems like there is something always happening, quite a difference from the 4 weeks we waited for a slab, 3 weeks for bricks, 2 weeks for the roof, etc.

Well on Friday and Saturday just gone, all the cabinets were installed and they look great. One of the best and worst things about building off a plan and not having a display home to use as a reference, is that you just don't know the sizes and proportions of items within the house. The kitchen is absolutely massive. I am not going to do a Bill Gates and proclaim '640K should be enough for anybody!' but I think it will take us a very long time until we pack these cupboards to capacity.

The last 2 photos above are the ensuite and bathroom cabinets. I think the vanity cupboard should be big enough for all that crap women collect :) *DUCK*

Nick, do you have any dinner requests?

Friday, February 10, 2006

How is this offensive?

The RU486 abortion pill debate has raised a few tempers and stirred up the senate. A Greens senator decided to wear a T-shirt that John Howard has labelled as offensive...

THE rosaries-ovaries T-shirt warn by an Australian Greens senator was deeply offensive to Catholics, Prime Minister John Howard said today.

Australian Greens Senator Kerry Nettle wore the "keep your rosaries off my ovaries" T-shirt earlier this week as the Senate started its emotion charged debate over who should control the abortion drug RU486.

The T-shirt was sponsored by the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA).

Mr Howard today said the message was offensive to Catholics across the country.

"I think that was deeply offensive to many Australian Catholics," he told Southern Cross Broadcasting.

He said the Greens were sneering at a religious practice and journalists encouraged it.

"The Greens Party can practically sneer at Catholic devotional practice and think it's funny and to see some journalists standing around grinning as if the whole thing's a joke," he said.

Here is a picture of the so called 'offensive' T-shirt:


How is that offensive? My take on the message is that one person's personal religious beliefs should have no bearing on setting laws for the whole nation, only a small number of whom share the same religion.

"The Greens Party can practically sneer at Catholic devotional practice and think it's funny and to see some journalists standing around grinning as if the whole thing's a joke," he said.

Hey John, I thought it was pretty funny too, are you going to label me 'un-Australian' now?

"It's an expression of free speech and just as I don't believe there should be a law making it a criminal offence to burn the Australian flag ... I'm not trying to stop Senator Nettle doing something like that.

"But I'm expressing the view that it's deeply offensive.

"And it's the kind of silly undergraduate contribution to this debate which is regrettable but that's democracy."

Is there a hidden agenda to the PM's comments here? If I was a person who liked conspiracies, I might think that John Howard is starting his push to restrict free speech. Makes sense cos he seems to get pissed off when people say what they think about him and his governments fairly crappy handling of a few issues. AWB anyone? Children overboard anyone?

Rosaries T-shirt offensive: PM - NEWS.com.au

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Damn Banks...

Now, don't get me wrong, I think internet banking is a great thing. Anything that can help me avoid entering a real bank and standing in line for ages waiting for some surly wench to make me feel guilty for moving my money somewhere else is fine by me. I am also aware that there are many people out in the big wide world that like to do unscrupulous things to obtain money and/or goods.

Yesterday, I needed to go into internet banking to transfer some money around, credit card, extra savings, etc., and was greeted by the following login screen:
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Last thursday, Westpac decided to roll out their new improved secure internet banking site. It is all the same as before except for this login page. It is good that they are trying to stop people stealing money from unsuspecting customers but this time they have gone a wee bit too far... plus there is no way to go back to the old-skool way of actually typing a password.

The only way to enter your password is to use the mouse to click on each of those graphical keys. Looking at the source behind the page, the buttons are just a series of form controls firing some javascript functions to enter your password into the locked text box at the bottom right. What used to take a couple of seconds to enter your password now takes up to 5 times longer because javascript is shit, thus the buttons don't respond to multiple clicks all that well.

I totally understand the reason why Westpac has changed the password entry to avoid key logging applications, but this new method opens up a few more issues that are just as bad. People can now easily see where you are clicking on the screen so checking your banking in a semi public place is now a rickier prospect. Also, writing a program that can obtain where you are clicking on a web page when at a certain domain (in this case 'olb.westpac.com.au') is a trivial task. Because of the layout and constant spacing of the buttons, you can build a map quite easily of the possible buttons pressed, reducing the number of passwords to try to a handful, especially if the password uses the buttons at the extremities. Alternatively, linking into the javascript engine to get the functions called and parameters passed isn't much more of stretch.

I really don't know the solution to this problem, but making it more cumbersome to use a service is not the right way to go about business.

Could this be the AIDS/HIV breakthrough the world is waiting for?

"A Bowling alley of death, haunted by decomposing grim reaper bowling over men, pregnant women, babies and crying children was featured on national television last night as the part of a $3 million AIDS education campaign, The 60-second commercial featuring the grim reaper, a macabre and dramatic rotten corpse with scythe in one hand and bowling ball in the other, is spearheading efforts by the National Advisory Committee on AIDS to Educate Australians about the incurable disease."


Some of you you will know about the subject of the above quote, some of you won't. It was one of those ads that you remember for a long time. This article reminded me of that ad.

Researchers, including a BYU scientist, believe they have found a new compound that could finally kill the HIV/AIDS virus, not just slow it down as current treatments do.

And, unlike the expensive, drug cocktails 25 years of research have produced for those with the deadly virus, the compound invented by Paul D. Savage of Brigham Young University appears to hunt down and kill HIV.

Although so far limited to early test tube studies, CSA-54, one of a family of compounds called Ceragenins (or CSAs), mimics the disease-fighting characteristics of anti-microbial and anti-viral agents produced naturally by a healthy human immune system.


Could this be the breakthrough the medical world is waiting for?

Could this turn HIV/AIDS into just another sickness that you go see a doctor, get a needle or prescription and be on your way again?

Salt Lake Tribune - Business

Monday, February 06, 2006

Hypotheticals...

Please review the 2 sections below and come up with your best answers.

Section A: What 4 cars would you love to have in your garage and why, if money were no object?
Section B: What 4 cars would you love to have in your garage and why, on a budget of $500,000?

Dream away...
---

My garage:

Section A:
- Bugatti Veyron - just because it is the pinnacle of current automotive technology
- McLaren F1 - The first car that made the jump from sports car to super car, yet can be still used as a daily driver. Plus the 3 seats makes it practical for family use... well, my family anyway.
- 1956 Chevrolet Corvette - I think every boy has that one car he always liked to draw, the 1956 Corvette was the first car I remember trying to draw. I would go through heaps of pieces of paper drawing it over and over again.
- BMW X5 3.0d - Something to take the kids to school and trundle down the the shops.

Section B:
- Subaru Liberty GT STi - Combination of sports tourer and family car.
- R34 Nissan Skyline GTR - Something to go nuts in.
- 1956 Chevrolet Corvette - As above.
- Ford Territory - Something to load up for the holidays or trips to the shops

Politician Logic...

Are our politicians educated in any way? Or do they make these calls just to get their name in the paper and to show their electorate they might actually be doing something?

Have a read about the latest idea from a politician (Queenslander no less):
THE Federal Government is under pressure from its own ranks to more than double the first homeowner's grant.

Queensland Liberal MP Steven Ciobo said the grant, introduced at the same time as the GST to boost home ownership, should be increased from $7000 to $15,000.

Mr Ciobo, a member of a coalition group lobbying for tax reform, said the grant's eligibility criteria should also be tightened to ensure it does not go to wealthy people to buy multi million dollar homes.

"It is the great Australian dream to own your own home, but unfortunately for some it is not within reach," Mr Ciobo said.

"Prices have gone through the roof over the past five or six years placing home ownership out of reach for many first home buyers.

"The $7000 grant now available to first-home owners does not provide enough assistance, particularly now when Australian real estate is among the most expensive in the world."

Mr Ciobo said almost one in 10 Australians spent a third of their pay on rent and were not able to put money aside to buy their own home.

"Increasing the home buyer's grant to $15,000 will help tens of thousand of people exit the rent trap to buy their own place."

If you are not able to put away money after paying rent you cannot afford a mortgage. Sure people would like to buy a house but if you cannot afford to save money after paying rent, you definitely do not have enough to cover a mortgage.

Nevermind the effect of giving people free money will have on the housing market. When the first homebuyer grant came in, the building industry added $7,000 to the price of new homes almost instantly and established home values also made the $7,000 jump quite quickly. As soon as there is increased demand, prices will rise, it is simple economic theory.

Where does it end? After the $15,000 grant has been in place for a while and been absorbed into existing prices we are all back to square one.

Call to double homebuyer grant - Top stories - NEWS.com.au

Sunday, February 05, 2006

C'mon Aussie, C'mon...

Todays effort by the Aussies at the SCG was great. Watching Gillchrist take charge from the very first ball and score 88 off only 66 balls was nothing short of brilliance. The action didn't stop there. Onto Ponting who scored an also brilliant 72 off 61 balls. Then came Martyn's great stand of 79 off 75 balls. Hussey also made a great contribution in the closing overs, scoring 47 off 33 balls.

All in all it was the Aussie team at their very best with the bat. Katich, Symonds and Clarke never looked quite comfortable at the crease but they did their job in handing the strike to the attacking batsman whenever possible. The target for the South Africans was set at a very high 345, a required run rate of 6.88.

Onto the bad news. The South African innings showed how reliant the Aussies are on Glenn McGrath, allowing the Proteas to score at 5.88 runs per over for a total of 6/287 is quite dangerous. This must concern the selectors heading towards the World Cup in March next year. Lee is a good bowler but has always been expensive due his propensity for stray balls outside off stump.

Where is the next McGrath going to come from?

Is there anyone playing in the domestic series right now that can hit a A4 sized patch at 140-150 kmh 9 times out of 10?

Friday, February 03, 2006

The slimy little prick is at it again...

PRIME Minister John Howard says he doesn't believe that the Cole inquiry into the AWB scandal will need to be widened to investigate government officials.

Commission head Terence Cole has asked the Government to widen the scope of the Iraq wheat trading corruption inquiry so investigators can consider charges against resources giant BHP.

Surprise, surprise... of course he doesn't think the inquiry needs to widened to include his government, he wants to hide something as long as possible. Or until some terrorist scare becomes more important.

After reading the following section, I think Mr Howard forgot to say something...
Mr Howard said emails between AWB and the Department of Foreign Affairs in June 2003, which were released to the commission yesterday, did not accuse AWB of doing anything wrong.

"The emails released yesterday did not identify AWB as being involved in kickbacks," he said.

"The question of whether AWB has been or has not been is germane to the inquiry and I'm not going to comment on that.

"On the information that I have been given and based on the advice that I have received, I do not believe that anybody in DFAT has behaved improperly."

Mr Howard said he was confident that no-one in the government knew about the kickbacks.

"I did not know, Mr Downer and Mr Vaile did not know, and on the information that I have ... I do not believe that anybody in the departments were told that AWB was paying bribes," he said.

I think the following needed to be added:

"And anyway, if Mr Downer, Mr Vaile or DFAT did know about kickbacks, nobody told me." Mr Howard said with a smirk.


PM rejects wider AWB probe - Wheat Scandal - NEWS.com.au

Thursday, February 02, 2006

House Update #17 - Have you noticed how the eyes follow you round the room?

Flickr Photo
Flickr Photo
Flickr Photo
Flickr Photo


Well, well as you can see above, the house is beginning to really take shape. All the painting has been done now, a few bits need a revisit due to the combination of strong winds and sand on wet paint though.

What we are really waiting for now is the cabinets. We really want to see how the kitchen and bathrooms will turn out. It is such a long process (although ours has been shorter than most these days) building a house, that between the time you select all your colours for tiles, laminates, roof, gutters, etc. and the time you see the final result you get this uneasy feeling you might not have chosen quite right. Now that things are getting completed we are feeling quite good about our external colour choices.

Hurry up kitchen!

Mossad, can you hear me?

Many of you have probably seen the ads on TV and in the paper for the new Steven Spielberg movie, 'Munich'. It is a story that is inspired by the real-life events that happened after the Palestinian assasination of Israeli atheletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

The story follows a squad of Mossad agents charged with the job of hunting down the organisers of the terrorist group and killing them.

I have said it previously but if you say anything bad about the Israelis you get labelled anti-semitic. Can't these folk talk any criticism? Are they so up themselves that any accusation of any wrong doing is opposed by playing the racial vilification card? Or is it just a measure of how much the Jews control the media in the US?

The link below is to an commentary from the LA Times by the co-writer of 'Munich'. He, himself is a jew and has been labelled anti-semitic. How fucked up is that?
Defending 'Munich' to my mishpocheh - Los Angeles Times

As an aside, how much longer are the Jews going to keep complaining about how bad they were treated in the holocaust? It happened over 50 years ago now, thgose responsible are nearly all dead, they got given a whole country, they have a large control over the world's economy and have the US at their beck and call. Get over it already...

I think I'll go hide now...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Monster con...

Yesterday my car informed me with a grinding sound that it needed new brake pads, there was no warning even though the little wear indicators should squeal their little heads off way before it gets to the grinding stage. It turns out the wear indicators had seperated company at some stage which is really helpful of them.

Back to the brake pads...

I went and purchased two sets of brake pads for my car. The astute among you will notice the word 'two' in the previous sentence, the others just had it explained so I will go on. It turns out that carmakers in their wisdom decide to use different spec brake units in the middle of a production run. So for Subaru Libertys from 1991-1997 there are 2 different types of brake pad that are used on the front end with no way to tell which car uses which pad without comparing to the units that are on the car. I suppose I should think myself lucky I don't own a Toyota Corolla, which has 7 different brake pads used in the model years 1990-2001. I purchased the two sets of pads and fitted one set yesterday evening. Repco will allow me to return the unused set for a full refund.

Now I get to the point of this post. I saw an ad on TV last night for Ultra Tune's disc brake service special of $99 for front or rear. Now, my brake pads cost me $44 per end of the car, they can probably get these for much less than retail ($35 or less), they also have rattle guns, caliper clamps and hoists to do the job in a fraction of the 45 minutes (in between looking after my sick wife and bathing my son) it took me to change the front pads on my car. Now it isn't the cleanest of jobs to change the brake pads but geez an extra $65 to pay someone else to do something you can do yourself quite easily with common tools. Mobs like Ultra Tune and Auto Masters must be making a pretty penny off these simple but messy services that they provide. I say good luck to 'em but I'll do it myself thanks.

BTW, when looking for car parts, go to Repco and leave those shoddy pricks at Super Cheap Auto to go broke selling ricey crap to 'doof-doof' drivers...

UPDATE: I saw an ad in the latest Kmart catalogue for their 'Disc Brake Service' using the same pads I purchased, but they are doing the job for $139 for most cars. For a 20-30 minute job, that ain't a bad way of making a profit.