This report about the Scottish Independence referendum shows why I love the internet. You don’t need to spray paint walls anymore to make people consider alternative thinking.
I have surrendered. Yes, I have a Facebook account.
I won’t post direct opinion on there, instead preferring to post pictures of odd stuff, political satire or information/pics that are amusing or thought provoking. I need to have it to keep in contact with friends – basically because the bastards don’t call or come over. That’s because they’re too busy on Facebook I suppose.
A new addition to my website is Crappy Front Fences of Brisbane. It’s a Facebook page that has been fed through to my website. So enjoy the most uninspiring front fences in the city of Brisbane and surrounds.
The page was inspired by Shit Brick Fences of Melbourne which is probably the funniest thing I have ever seen on Facebook.
For all 2 people who read this thing, I had my hosting account compromised and nasty code injected in the database, email hijacked and wordpress php files changed. I had backups of my business site but not of this 13 year old blog – which is a shame but not overly bothersome. My wife’s blog and freelance website suffered the same fate. I do have all the posts stored on the compromised SQL dump, so I’ll get them up post by post. Won’t take long. I never said much anyway.
I haven’t read anybody’s blogs for ages now. It’s a shame really. That’s mainly because the stuff I read used to be personal stories, everyday life and stories that gave me an insight into the way other people were thinking and feeling. It was all information that I was very interested in until I got married, started a business and bought a house. My personal developments turned me into an inward looking dick I think. Maybe that last sentence was a bit harsh because I’m always interested in other people’s experiences, their lives and their thoughts. But you know what I mean , I just turned inward for a while.
But anyway, one of the bloggers I’ve followed for ages has just got his driving licence. Yaksox. I always thought he’d be a driver anyway since he loved Formula 1 so much. I was mistaken. On his second attempt (not bad) he succeeded in convincing a VicRoads nitpicker to give him a piece of plastic.
In the last few months I have been hearing of my teenage neighbours’ experiences in getting their licences. I hear all the horror stories. Mainly of their stuffups. Failure to give way. Rolling through a stop sign etc. I hear of strangely aggressive and overly strict driving assessors and tales of assessors appearing to nod off during the driving exam. So when my neighbours ask me about my test I just tell them how easy it was back in 1990.
I went to the Redcliffe branch of Queensland Transport in Sutton St, Redcliffe. I had pre-paid and booked my test. I jumped into my Mum’s Holden Gemini and the instructor told me to drive around for a bit, perform a parallel park outside the Redcliffe Pool then take him to the Captain Cook Tavern drive-thru bottleshop. He bought a box of beer and I drove him back to his office, Bingo. I got a driving licence. 10 minutes. Done.
Brisbane only had half the traffic then as it does now though. I think some people are still getting their licences with my assessor.
So a plane crashes (MH370) and all of a sudden every kook becomes an air crash investigator. Honestly, are people getting more stupid?
Extracts taken from The Courier Mail readers’ comments (link here – not future proof and behind a paywall).
“The recent flight path released might suggest they were headed for Northern Sumatra. There are two International airports in the far north, Banda Ache and Sabang, both pretty much closed at night. An area well known to harbour extremists. Flight path tracked by Malaysian military stops at the Malaysian international border with Indo. Hmm. I hope someone has checked those airports out. Both have Malaysian Airlines land there, so a plane wouldn’t look too out of place.”
“High time the Australian government stopped sitting on it’s hands and cancelled MAS flights until there is some sanity over this whole matter.”
“The only credible bit of evidence so far is from a local fisherman who spotted a plane that’s lights were as big as ‘coconuts’ it was flying so low.”
Often I wonder if political polling in Australia will be done from now on by the same people who polled me randomly over the phone back in 1999.
I was asked to detail my radio listening habits for the day when I answered my share house fixed line phone one Friday night in wintertime Melbourne.
I can remember roughly what I said. From 6am until 9 – RRR breakfasters. From 9am until about 3pm – JJJ. 3pm until 5pm 3LO. 5pm until late The Tote Hotel jukebox.
I recall the woman on the other end if the line saying that my listening habits didn’t comply with their strict listening variability requirements.
Load of shit.
Never believe a poll.
Any society that consumes lemon flavoured Coca-Cola is doomed. I don’t drink soft drinks (i.e. soda, pop for American readers) but when I was queued in a supermarket this morning I spied this bizarrely flavoured drink in the drinks cabinet at the checkout.
I blame the appearance and sale of such completely ridiculous flavours on stupidity.
Shredded cheese is sold at twice the price per kilogram of the same brand of cheese sold in a solid block. Huh? People complain about the cost of living but shove cheese into their mouths at double the cheapest price because they can’t be bother shredding the cheese themselves. Stupid.
Motorists queue for 4¢ off a litre off their fuel at supermarket petrol stations. An average car has a 50 litre tank. That’s a $2 saving on a tank of fuel….and people queue for 20 minutes with the engine running and A/C blowing like a mofo. Stupid.
Bottled water. Stupid. Especially one brand I saw yesterday labelled “Sports Water”. What the fuck are people smoking to waste their hard earned on such silly, expensive and useless products?
Conservative voters who happen to be poor. Don’t get me started. Argh!
I cannot stand the stupid.
Ahh. Blogs get no attention these days do they?
Everybody who had a good one is going through my stage of life. Either child/ren, too much work or addicted to Face
Being an avid reader of fact rather than fiction my son has learnt to ask me the ‘technical questions’. This winter just gone, after his evening bath/shower he became aware that the wall mirror was covered in a strange sheen that prevented him from being able to see himself when I picked him up to carry him to his room. This strange sheen was, in fact, STEAM that had condensed onto the cold mirror in the bathroom.
When explaining condensing moisture in air to a toddler you get a funny look and then they just want to draw pictures in the ‘foggy’ mirror. BUT! Just last night I poured myself a beer. It’s been 28° and humid. Guess what happened? The moisture in the air condensed and formed a layer of water on my glass. Little Joe gasped excitedly while I was having dinner with him and he then said, ‘Look Dada. Condunshun‘. It took me 5 seconds to realise that he had just remembered my condensation talk.
At least one person in the house listens to me.
While this could actually be newsworthy, take a look at the figures in the article. IN THE WHOLE WORLD governments made 1139 information requests for data in the first 6 months of 2013. That’s 1139 enquiries out of 550,000,000 users. News? I don’t think so.
Yesterday the Australian government decided to take a lurch to the right with political asylum seekers being shipped offshore. All this from a supposedly socially responsible political party – the ALP.
Where I live there are hundreds of refugees living in cheap motels and bedsits that until recently were used by street workers (sex workers). The refugees are all young men – mainly Afghan, Pakistani and Tamil. As I walk and drive around my neighbourhood, I see them walking, talking and just generally seeming to wander around aimlessly.
Last week I had to catch a train 3 suburbs away to pick up my work van which was at the mechanic for repairs. On the way to Dutton Park railway station my 3 year old son’s pram lost a rear wheel behind the PA Hospital. One of those stupid double wheels with a plastic wheel lock. Three guys who couldn’t speak much English sprung into action and fashioned a gum tree twig into a makeshift axle for my boy’s pram. In 2 minutes flat they had the thing fixed and shook my hand. Resigned to the fact that I had already missed my train I asked them where they were from. You could see the hesitation.
I asked if they were Afghans. They nodded. One of them spoke up with reasonable English and said that they were ‘told’ not to do anything for anyone or they would lose their right to claim asylum. They obviously assumed that by being helpful to a Dad and his son that they were in potential breach of their future wellbeing.
To Kevin Rudd I will say, ARE THESE HELPFUL YOUNG MEN THE PEOPLE YOU WANT TO EXCLUDE FROM BECOMING AUSTRALIAN? Most Aussies wouldn’t lift a fucking finger to help me in that situation. But 3 young blokes in a strange land did have the will and the nouse to fix a pram, for a father, for a son.
They are the people I want to live in this nation. Real people. People who value their freedom. People who are generous with their time and their effort.
Deport the divisive and import the willing.
I dropped my beloved HTC Desire X down a storm water drain 2 weeks ago in Brisbane City. While I did retrieve it, unfortunately I cannot seem to talk to anyone on it – which kind of makes it a fairly useless phone. It is basically now a radio when I’m in the garden using the TuneIn app.
It was replaced with an iPhone 5, which I am pretty impressed with. I’m glad I waited this long for the bigger screen and faster performance. LTE is unbelievably fast too. Getting 2 – 3 MB/s from Optus is novel to say the least. Not 7 years ago it would take 25 minutes to download a song on my dial-up. Now I can get a song from my KEXP Song of the Day podcast in 5 seconds. I can’t wait for the day when that is considered slow. Something tells me I won’t have to wait long.
So, quite quickly I am becoming the iPrick that I always hated. What’s happening to me? I’m using Twitter, burying my head in my phone and always listening to music with iTunes match or to radio from around the world on TuneIn.
Oh, and Dots is very addictive.
So my favourite Prime Minister is back. Well, my second favourite after Paul Keating anyway. Kevin Rudd has come back from the wilderness and given Julia Gillard a swift kick up the bum. The only reason I like him is because he got rid of John Howard and his increasingly UK Tory style of government i.e. promoting low wages and reducing workers’ right to stick up for themselves.
Having lived in the UK from 1996 until 1998 I got to experience the inequity in the employment market there. At first I worked for £5 per hour on a 48 hour week. After tax and rent I’d have £120 a week to entertain myself with. A pack of smokes was £3.00, a pint of beer was £2.30 and good food was pricey. I was paid well! Warehouse workers and cleaners got £2.60 per hour. In London I do not know how these people lived unless they had a second job selling drugs or robbing liquor stores (known as off-licence shops, or offies).
In 2006 when Workchoices was introduced I could see the UK/US style of employment beginning to take hold. Workers being forced to become independent contractors and being tied to their ex-employer, unable to be true independent contractors. One of my good friend’s had his salary nearly halved from $75 000 to $42 000, it nearly destroyed his marriage, he lost his house and couldn’t pay school costs for his 3 children. Like most fair minded people in Australia, I didn’t like seeing the little person being kicked in the shins. What I really despised was a government legislating to allow people to be kicked in the shins.
6 years on and things are going well in Australia. People are relatively well off. There is reward for effort. There is the ability for everyone to get ahead if they be imaginative, motivated and financially prudent.
I am scared that the next conservative Australian government will carry on from where John Howard left off. Tories are ‘lowest common denominator’ politicians. They want the lower end of society to feed the wealth of the top end. Australians don’t want that…or do they actually care anymore?
Demographics may be the ruler of our future though. As the Baby Boomers start retiring en masse, they are going to demand cheaper cost of living. The Boomers get what they want. They got educated for free, got cheap housing, subsidised industry to help build their wealth – now the rest of us are going to pay for their retirement with low wages and no rights in the workplace.
Hopefully I’m wrong, but I don’t think I will be for some reason.
I need something to assist me to sleep. I am resisting the use of pharmaceutical aids so have decided to bore myself to sleep using TuneIn. I try to find the most boring and monotonous news/documentary online radio stations, but have hit a snag.
It’s not that I have reached my 20 gig download limit. Never. It’s not that I’m still not sleeping well. No. It is that I have found the most intelligent, funny, witty and entertaining online radio stations from all over (the English speaking) world.
KALW San Francisco (NPR network) is my favourite on Sunday mornings at present.
Listening to other options makes me realise how Australian culture and media variety is so limited and so stunted. When RN now has more challenging concepts than JJJ, you know that public discourse has become more diluted than cordial at a suburban school fete.