Sunday, 23 December 2007

Curse the crass commercialisation of Christmas

Every year, the good citizens of Wareemba (which is a suburb I have never heard of, even though I cycle through it several times a week) appear to hold a competition to see who can drown the most polar bears by lighting up their houses in a way reminiscent of what Perth did when John Glenn flew over back in 1962. If there is a space shuttle orbiting at the moment, I'm sure the astronauts will be looking back at earth and going, "Look, that's Wareemba!"

I took some photos of this place in daylight the other day. It certainly looks better at night, and draws one hell of a crowd. The only thing missing last night was a couple of Plod doing crowd and traffic control.

That aside, the lights are pretty good. Monkey was completely entranced and spent all his time running this way and that pointing out his favourites, which changed every time he saw a new illuminated Santa.

The wiggly lights in the bottom left are two cyclists riding past with their lights on.

A different sort of Santa.

Another view of funny trees.

This is where the commercialisation comes from. The ubiquitous icecream van. Junior spotted it as soon as we arrived, nicked some coins out of the ashtray and was in the queue like a shot.

I hate the icecream these vans sell. If I had a business raising maggots for fishermen, I wouldn't feed it to the blowflies.

There was not one icecream van - there were two. Bleagh.

This is what really ticked me off. We drove around the corner as we were leaving and there was a high quality gellato truck, and the queue of cars was such that I couldn't stop and get some. I am really, really annoyed that this mob were not crass enough to park near the christmas lights houses so that I could have had some gellato. As they say, the important thing is location, location, location. If you are going to commercialise something, at least sell it near where your buyers are located.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Sly dogs

I am looking for a reasonable bike shop in my area. I just did a yellowpages search on bike shops in Burwood and here is the result. Notice anything similar about all these shops?

  • Aurburn Cycle Centre
    Flag no.1
    11 Burwood Rd Burwood NSW 2134
    ph: (02) 9745 6226
  • Bankstown Cycle Centre
    Flag no.1
    11 Burwood Rd Burwood NSW 2134
    ph: (02) 9745 6226
  • Belfield Cycle Centre
    Flag no.1
    11 Burwood Rd Burwood NSW 2134
    ph: (02) 9745 6226
  • Burwood Cycleworld
    Flag no.1
    11 Burwood Rd Burwood NSW 2134
    ph: (02) 9745 6226
  • Canterbury Cycle Centre
    Flag no.1
    11 Burwood Rd Burwood NSW 2134
    ph: (02) 9745 6226
  • Flag no.1
    11 Burwood Rd Burwood NSW 2134
    ph: (02) 9745 6226

  • Cycleworld Australia Pty Ltd
    Flag no.1
    11 Burwood Rd Burwood NSW 2134
    ph: (02) 9745 6226
  • Earlwood Cycle Centre
    Flag no.1
    11 Burwood Rd Burwood NSW 2134
    ph: (02) 9745 6226
  • Five Dock Cycle Centre
    Flag no.1
    11 Burwood Rd Burwood NSW 2134
    ph: (02) 9745 6226
  • Greenacre Cycle Centre
    Flag no.1
    11 Burwood Rd Burwood NSW 2134
    ph: (02) 9745 6226
  • Homebush Cycle Centre
    Flag no.1
    11 Burwood Rd Burwood NSW 2134
    ph: (02) 9745 6226
The sly dogs have registered a bunch of business names for all the surrounding suburbs at one address.

A day at the beach

Well, not quite a day. More like five minutes. I haven't been for a swim since winter, so I collected Big Tony this morning and we went to Bondi for a paddle. I just had to get a swim in before the new year, and this was looking like a last chance.

One minute after picking Tony up in Drummoyne, we are sitting at some lights waiting to turn onto Victoria Rd just shy of the Iron Cove Bridge. There is a Shell petrol station opposite those lights, and Constable Plod loves to park in a corner of the station and radar cars speeding across the bridge.

I pointed out Plod to Tony, and lo and behold, Plod lit up and tore across the intersection in front of us, heading onto the bridge. That's not normal. Usually, they only bust people heading the other way.

About 30 seconds later, we get the green and turn towards the bridge. About a third of the way across the bridge is a car sideways across the road and impaled front end into the bridge pylons. Don't ask me how the guy did it, but we assumed that he was speeding, saw Plod, hit the panic pedal and went into an uncontrolled slide into the pylons.

Nobody got out of the car. Another driver got there before us and he had bailed out to assist. Unfortunately, he stopped in just the right position to reduce the bridge from four lanes wide to one. Within a minute, even at 7am, the traffic was snarled back pretty much to Gladesville.

We only had to wait a few minutes to get around the crash, and as we headed for the beach, we saw four more police cars roaring to the crash. Funny thing is, the site is about 100 metres from an Ambulance depot, but a meat wagon was nowhere to be seen.

What a time to be speeding and have a prang like that - 3 days before Christmas. Some people are complete dicks.

I should mention that the car in question was a Subaru with spoiler - the favourite fang-mobile of boy racers. Tony got a photo, but I will have to wait until he gets home from his holiday and emails it to me.

The excitement over, we got to Bondi and prepared for a dip. We met an old guy with an accent (Russian?) getting out of the water and he said "It eez very fresht". By that, he meant fucking freezing. We lasted about a minute. The surf was breaking too close inshore to bodysurf, and the swell was too lumpy to just float around pleasantly. It was time to have breakfast.

If I'd gone to the beach yesterday after riding home, I would have welcomed a dip in the ice bucket. I was steaming. It's been raining, or drizzling a bit lately, and the upshot is that riding is like pushing an elephant through a steam bath.

Breakfast was imbibed at Aqua Bar, since the Bondi Kiosk seems to have closed for Christmas. I had the eggs florentine, and they were awful. It was a muffin, then smoked salmon, then two poached eggs, and then something that tasted like Kraft cheese that had then been grilled over the lot. The salmon was cooked, which I hate, and the eggs were gunked up this awful cheesy mixture. I ate it, since I was famished, but I had to nick some mushrooms from Tony afterwards to get the taste out of my mouth. Ugh. They've changed their menu since I was last there earlier this year, and it has not improved.

At least the coffee was drinkable.

Friday, 21 December 2007

The assumptions people make

The Silly is putting the boot into RailCorp at the moment over all sorts of corrupt practices. This story was published today.

This line cracked me up:

But Mr Graham did not respond to four emails and letters from Mr Vincent over several months.

I have it on good authority that Vince Graham never uses a computer. He is one of those executives that has an assistant to print out emails for him to read. Any responses are typed up by a secretary.

We are so used to email these days that we automatically assume that everyone uses it.

Stupid assumption to make.

The tension is almost palpable...

Oh please spare me the kind of over-egged journalistic dribble that almost had me vomiting up my breakfast this morning. Here is a story on deer culling.

The first paragraph gets going with The tension in the vehicle is almost palpable

Oh what crap. I've been out shooting from a ute plenty of times and I have never noticed any tension in the vehicle. The blood does start to pump a little faster - there'd be no point in going shooting if it didn't provide some sort of thrill. But tension? Bollocks.

The crash of the rifle is shockingly loud, even from inside the cab, and despite the high-tech ear-defenders we all wear.

Well, that says it all. A rifle shot is only shockingly loud if you are not used to hearing one being fired. I think the journo was feeling tense because it was the first time they'd ever been out spotlighting. Everyone else was probably as relaxed as a louche lounge lizarrd.

This blew me away.

The two support vehicles arrive and an RSPCA inspector, Slade Macklin, examines the deer to confirm the kill has been humane.

The whole shoot must have involved at least half a dozen people. Presumably all on overtime.

Hell, I'll do it for free and I'll bring my own ammo and beer. For crying out loud - the Department running this show could auction off the rights to shoot a few deer and actually make money from hunters.

We are in the death grip of stupid, unimaginative socialists.

Stupidest headline today

SMH ran this story today:

Shot 'multiple times'.

It turns out that A man has been shot in the leg and abdomen...

So being shot twice is now morphed into "multiple times". And in case you are thinking, "Aha, maybe he was shot six times in the leg, the story goes on to say:

Police said a Bonnyrigg man in his early 40s was shot once in the leg and once in the abdomen

Two shots do not equal multipe times. And nowhere in the story does it provide an attribution for the quote of "multiple times". The Silly could get away with it by saying that a bystander said those two stupid words, but they do not identify anyone in the story as uttering them.

Why is it so difficult for the Silly to grasp such simple concepts?

Two views of the silly season

Here we are, sometime around 7am, and people in silly hat are out on a run.

Just up the road, some mindless knuckle draggers have smashed up a bus stop. Piles of broken glass abound.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Stupid maintenance on the ANZAC bridge

There used to be a little concrete pagoda of some sort just next to the statue of the digger on the ANZAC bridge. I'm sure it was there this morning when I rode in. Imagine my surprise on the way home when I am belting down the path and had to brake hard to avoid crashing into a construction mess. The pagoda is no more.

Now if the RTA or a council does work on a road, you have warning signs galore to let you know about the road being ripped up a kilometre or so up the road. If you're on a road like the Hume, the speed limit will drop in increments to 80, then 60 and sometimes 40. The warning zones can be wider than the Korean DMZ.

The same philosophy is not applied to bike paths. Warnings are not part of the risk management plan. I'm quite capable of doing 50 km/h down this stretch, and it would have been pretty unpleasant to go smashing into this demolition zone at that speed. It would have been lawyers at 100 paces.

The worst of it is that when I pulled over to take a photo of this example of rampant RTA stupidity, I got a flat. A bit of glass went straight through my kevlar lined puncture proof tyre. I guess that is the tyre's way of telling me that it has reached its 6000km design limit, and it's time to go to the great tyre dump in the sky.

I blogged last week about how filthy changing brake pads can be. Tyre changing is no better. It's always better to get a flat on the way home, as it takes many scrubbings to get this stuff off, and walking around at work with filthy fingers is not a good look.

Mad couriers

I am not talking about insane bike couriers here. I am talking about the more "normal" sort that drive around in beaten up bongo vans.

This is the third time that I have seen this bloke around George St. He seems to make deliveries to the asian shops in the area. He went completely mental at a set of lights a few weeks back - as in lost his shit when he tried to cross against the lights and was almost run over. He went ape-berko at the driver who narrowly avoided flattening him.

And someone lets this guy drive a vehicle.

More commuting styles

A bike rather different to mine. Somewhat older, fitted with mudflaps and a kick stand of all things. The last time I had a stand on a bike, it was 1984. Same with mudflaps. Real men get a wet back.

I usually don't see a lot of commuters wearing cycling shoes with cleats - the most common thing is trainers or even sandals with the old style open pedal. I can't use a pedal without cleats anymore - it feels too wierd. Like trying to drive a left hand drive car - you only do it if absolutely necessary.

Some tell me that I am strange for wearing lycra for the trip to work. I discovered my answer on the trip home tonight - I am a creature of habit. I like to wear and use the same kit regardless of the distance I am riding, be it 8 km or 80. I don't wear one thing for short trips and something else for longer ones - I just put on the standard stuff and that's it. I don't want to have one set of shorts for commuting and another for longer weekend rides. That just messes with my head.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

More micro penis

Why can't these clowns grow up and buy a proper V8?

I am looking forward to this movie

Thanks to yellowbeard for sending me this link.

Of course Africans want to get rich. Why do you think so many of them want to move to Australia (and other western countries)? If they can't get rich at home, the smart ones will move to a place where they have a better opportunity to make a pile.

I suggest a simple swap. We export do-gooding leftie NGO creeps and import the same number of Africans. I call it a carbon-neutral swap. The Africans will have the opportunity to participate in the world of washing machines and microwave ovens, and the fluffy heads can spend their days carting water and digging for casava.

Just one catch - there's no coming back for the soft heads.

Go for greenhouse gas growth

Good news, fellow citizens. The Federal Govt has decreed that all households must contain and additional item of CO2 spewing electronic equipment by 2013. Either that, or your smallish, reasonably energy efficient TV must be tossed on the scrap heap and replaced with a CO2 guffing plasma screen the size of a minke whale.

Yes, we're all switching over to digital TV by diktat. We've had a digital set top box for years - best gizmo I ever bought. I fail to see why the government has to crack the whip here. If you want to sit in front of a fuzzy screen with crap sound, then go right ahead - that's your choice. If you can't be arsed to spend $99 on a digital set top box, that's your problem, not mine and certainly not the governments.

I wonder if they will introduce a special pension and dole-bludging supplement to ensure that eldsters and drug addled hippies don't end up on the streets because they can no longer tune into the Days of our Lives.

Then again, I am sure all the dole bludgers and drug addled smelly people are all on Foxtel, which means they are more digitally aware than our household. Those that sit around all day with their face in a bong are more likely to have a great home entertainment system compared to those that have limited leisure time.

Hell, I am off track here. Digital TV is great. But it's not the governments job to tell people how to watch TV. I bet the law of unintended consequences is that once people find out how much better it is, they spend more time on the couch and we get even fatter as a nation.

Way to go, stupid lefties.

Not the news

I was strolling through World Square this morning when I spotted four camera crews outside an internet cafe. I had a look through the window and spotted at least half a dozen Federal Police inside. I had no idea what it meant. Kiddie porn? Asian sex slave trafficking? (it is a favourite haunt of Koreans). Al Queda bomb making?

It turns out it was music and film piracy.

Get this item though from the SMH:

It is understood that heavy duty electronic equipment was discovered at the premises and that employees at the internet cafe were hired to scour the web for suitable material to download.

"Heavy duty electronic equipment"? What the fuck is that? Death rays? MRI scanners? Amplifiers stolen from Spinal Tap?

What a ridiculous thing to write. The editor who approved this should be strung up by his thumbs.

My guess is that it is "beeping stuff with coloured lights on the front and we don't have a clue what it does". Could have been a lava lamp for all I know.

I did spot one Fed that had long hair pulled back in a pony tail. The resident cyber-geek in Plod land I suppose.

What the whole scene was lacking was a couple of rows of patrons lined up on the footpath out the front, face down with their hands cuffed behind their backs. Now that would have made a great scene.

I'll never look at coffee the same way again

Graveyard Barista - this blog has potential.

If I had the time and the inclination, I might have tried to track this place down once.

But I don't, so I won't, so we'll never know where it is.

Monday, 17 December 2007

The miles doth not add up

I would like to be able to ride 100 miles a week - week in, week out. It seems I never get there. I might crack the ton every now and again, but it's as elusive as wrestling a greasy pig. Either the body just gives up and begs for a day off when I am around 140km, or I get the flu, or slip over and bung my knee, or some fucking stupid physical ailment pops out of nowhere. Who was that guy that was continually pushing the rock up the hill? That's me.

Last week, I managed a very un-manly 60km. Not bad in some respects, given that I had lungs that were still gurgling with snot thanks to a dose of flu, but pretty pathetic in the war on stomach.

I just don't know how hard core athletes manage it. How do they manage to juggle the kids, shopping, mowing the lawn, making dinner, cleaning up, going to work and all the other things that conspire to keep one immobile instead of riding like the wind?

Speaking of wind, it was howling today. Thankfully mainly at my back on the way home, but the sideways gusts at times were enough to tilt me over a few degrees. Nasty.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Non-ambulance chasing

I like to read Random Acts of Reality on a regular basis. It's a blog by a London Ambo, and I have his book Blood, Sweat & Tea on my Amazon wish list.

I am dumbfounded at least once a week by the sorts of jobs that he gets called out on in his big white truck. I've been in an ambulance once in my life (I think) and that was when I was about 10, and had been involved in a car crash that just about put four grannies in the morgue. I didn't need to go to hospital, since I was barely bruised, but they took us in anyway for a once over since the four grannies were in such a bad way.

Since then, I've had various visits to the emergency department of a hospital, and have had to take others there, but I have never, ever called an ambulance. To my way of thinking, you need to have blood spurting from several places, or bones broken in such a way that you can't sit in the back seat of a car before you get an ambulance.

I have been driven in for treatment with blood spurting from me by the way. I slipped on a tin roof whilst installing a long sheet of corrugated iron and sliced my knee open quite badly, and made the trip in the back of a station wagon with an icepack and bandage on my knee. It worked quite well. Ambulance not required.

I had to take J in last year when she had a kidney stone and was in total agony. We didn't know what the problem was, but I didn't see how taking her to emergency in an ambulance would have made the trip any easier or faster. I had to go in with her, and that meant taking the kids, so one way or another, our car was going to the hospital, so she might as well have been in it with us. Ambulance not required.

Then we've had to take the monkey in at midnight a few times with scares over a high fever. Not much that an ambulance can do in those circumstances, given that the hospital is only 10 minutes away. If he's had a fever all night, taking 2 extra minutes to get to the hospital is not going to help, particularly when it usually takes 15 minutes or more to get seen by someone and checked in, and another 2-3 hours to get seen by a doctor.

I also partook in taking a boozed mate to hospital many years ago to get his stomach pumped. Horrible process, but taking him there in a ute, as opposed to an ambulance, made no difference.

Frankly, the 000 operators should ask a few simple questions like:

"Is the victim lying in a pool of blood?"

"Can you see shards of bone sticking out through the skin?"

"Does he have a neck/head injury?"

If you don't make the cut on one of those questions, get a taxi.

I think part of my reasoning comes from the way we got medical treatment at school. You had to be able to walk to sickbay in order to see the nurse. Didn't matter if you'd just stuck your arm through a window and needed 30 stitches - you walked to her, leaving a trail of blood. If you fainted, it was up to a couple of your mates to carry you in. Ambulances are for pussies.

Some things that need to be articulated more often

Bystander gets it right with these nine points. They're not new, but they stand the test of time. Although I sometimes have trouble with this one, which means it is a good thing I am not running the Police force.

To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.

I'm more of a maximum force kind of guy. I've never understood for instance why we stopped whipping thieves.


It's amazing how many unregistered cars you can spot in a single, one hour ride around the suburb.

I first spotted this van months ago. The rego ran out in 2004 or 2005. The owner said he was going to do something about it - too late now. I've reported you, sucker.

Another car where the rego has expired some time ago - as in 2004 or 2005.

I couldn't even find a rego sticker on this car.

It never fails to amaze me that there are cars all over our suburbs that have not been registered for a couple of years. What are the residents of those streets doing - never going out for a walk and looking at their local surroundings?

All the dog walkers should take a digital camera with them and snap anything they see that needs fixing, along with the street sign and street number. That way, when they get back from watching their dog do a crap, they can report whatever needs repairing. I think it's the least that dog owners can do - given the amount of crap that they leave behind after their dogs, the least they can do is help to clean up the crap left by other people.


I thought I'd grab some snaps of different classes of people living cheek by jowl along the water's edge (note that most of these places will be underwater according to the global warming bullshit crowd - this appears to have had no impact on property prices).

Here we have a bit of a Taj Mahal on the waterfront - big fence, good sized frontage, big trees and a big locked gate. The house is so well screened, it is almost invisible from the road. Makes me wonder what sort of squillionaire lives in there.

About a hundred yards away, we have this - small house, can't afford a fence and two crapped out cars in the driveway.

Further around the water, we have this rather unsalubrious establishment with an old, rusting Commodore in the drive.

Here is the view across the water.

Here are the neighbours and their Rommel inspired concrete gun emplacement.

No rusting Commodore for them!

Christmas lights

Since some of the locals love to turn their houses into a fascinating light show, I thought I'd put a few up.

The stupid fireworks setting on my camera is a pain to work with. It only allows the shutter to stay open for 2 seconds, which is not long enough to capture some of the displays at night. At least I remembered to take a tripod this year.

I thought I took photos of this place last year, but I can't find them in our photo library. How sad these places look during the day. Check out the 1970's style brick arches. Ugh.

Loony trees. They look great at night.

Another less than pre-possessing house that looks great at night.

Eco loonie tunes

The owner of this shop has done us a favour by taking over the abandoned Post Office and turning it into a graffiti free zone. Thank goodness for free enterprise and the ability for it to drive renewal.

The thing is though, I have no idea how long it will last. I have only ever seen one person in the shop (apart from the owner) and that appeared to be a mate having a chat. Every other business in the area always has at least one person in there when I walk past - someone else is always buying ham, steak, coffee, vegies, a haircut, drycleaning services etc. This place appears to be a commerce free zone, completely free of customers.

They might be a bit nuts (well, given the allergy thing, they are presumably totally nut free), but I hope they stick around since at least they keep the building occupied. Even if it is occupied by people with beards in Birkenstocks.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Brake now or die

I finally got around to replacing the brake pads on the bike tonight. I bought two sets last weekend, but had been too bone idle to gets my hands dirty during the week. I have a particular horror about changing brake pads. I've changed a few sets on cars, and all I have to say is that bike pads are much filthier than car pads. The bike pads are made of some sort of rubber compound, and it turns to dust as it wears. That dust combines with God knows what to form a black grease that sticks to everything. Especially the brake shoes.

Changing a puncture is normally a filthy chore because that brake slime gets all over the wheels as well, so you end up with a pair of hands out of the Black and White Minstrel show after the job is done.

Which is why I preferred to ride with lousy brakes this week instead of doing the safety-first thing.

What saved me was a big box of disposable rubber gloves that we have in the cupboard. Some people use them for preparing food - I keep them around for the particularly stinking jobs like emptying the fly trap or cleaning the rubbish bins. They are the perfect thing for changing brake pads.

Except that I was halfway doing the pads when a mozzie bit me on the foot. I took a swipe at it, and now have one black foot from where I swatted the little bastard.

Win some, lose some.

Harry high pants

Our local supermarket has some council installed bike racks out the front, courtesy of agitation from our local bicycle user group. They're even near the front door of the supermarket, which is a nice touch. Normally, bike racks are put down the back of the car park in a spot that used to hold a grease trap or turd tanker.

Tonight, I saw two of the users of those bike racks. (I live close enough to walk, so I've never touched them). One of them was an older bloke in long white socks and harry high-pants. The other was a wierd looking hippy fellow, also with a penchant for wearing his trousers around his nipples.

As much as I love cycling, why does it attract such a freak show of adherents? Why can't I see normal people on bicycles for once? Most of the women on bikes remind me of Margot Kingston. The horror, the horror...

Lesbians and IVF

Another story from the Age trumpeting how right on and hip they are down in Victoria. Lesbians and single mums will be able to access IVF.

Whilst the usual suspects on my side of the fence are making a fuss about it, I don't expect there to be long queues of enormous lesbians outside IVF clinics on Monday. Nor do I expect hordes of gay couples to descend on adoption agencies if gay adoption is ever legalised in Victoria.


For the same reason that you won't see a plethora of conservatives queuing outside a Mosque this Friday to get in. I reckon that only a small minority of lesbian couples will want IVF, and stuff-all single women will want it either. I also don't see packs of gay men roaming up and down Oxford St bemoaning their lack of children.

Let me start with the poofs.

Out of all the poofs that I have ever known (and I reckon I have known at least two dozen in my life, through work or the Army Reserves or social contacts etc), only one of them has ever expressed any urge to take part in the whole family/fatherhood affair. The rest look at rugrats the same way I did five years ago, "I am sure your offspring is very cute; now, please take him/her away and let the drinking begin".

Before I became a dad, I had no interest in kids. None. Nada. Nilch. A lot of single guys feel the same way, and this is why there are so many stories about women having to drag men down the aisle etc etc. Single men love the idea that they can just ditch their job and go surfing in Bali for a year, because they have no commitments and so on.

All the poofs that I've met have been no different from straight men in that regard. Some settle down with their partner and buy a house and create a lovely home, but it is a home for them, not for a family. They have about as much interest in kids as I have in crochet.

So whilst there might be a lot of gay men in Sydney and Victoria, I reckon you'd be lucky if 5% of them wanted to adopt. If they're the nurturing kind and they're willing to put up with all the sacrifice and commitment that being a parent involves, then I say good luck to them. As Kinky Friedman said about gay marriage, "They have the right to be as miserable as the rest of us".

Will the kids grow up wierd?

Possibly. But I look at the steady parade of kids going past our front door each day on the way to school, and a lot of them are growing up wierd too. Kids from normal families grow up to be axe murderers and drunks and rapists and drug addicts and thieves, and plenty these days are turning into EMO's and goths and other wierd things, so how wierded-out can the child of a gay couple be?

Put it this way, they can't do any worse than the Abo's.

Onto lesbians. I will declare a vested interest here. Monkey does day care with a lesbian couple. They are far and away the best carers that he's had. By a country mile. If we sprog up again, I hope they are still in business because I'd happily give them all my kids, and yours as well. They are bloody great.

Are they representative of lesbians as a whole? I doubt it. They're just who they are - a couple trying to make a go of it in the suburbs. I don't see them as the poster children of good lesbians or bad lesbians or anything else. I just know that if they wanted to have kids, I think they'd do a fine job of bringing them up.

I have no idea if they want kids or not, and I'm not going to ask.

I'm not sure though that I'd want my taxes to be paying for their plumbing work though. When it comes to lesbians having kids, call me a traditionalist. ie, go and find a male who is willing to do the procreating and have him over for drinks each night until you are knocked up.

I don't really believe the whole turkey baster story. I reckon that's just something that radical lesbians tell each other so that they don't have to admit to having had a bit of cock in the process of getting sprogged up.

Do I see lesbians with kids as being wierd? Well, I don't see it as terribly natural, but I'm sure it is something that has been going on for thousands of years. It just hasn't been out of the closet, that's all.

The way I see it, if my kids were at school with theirs, I wouldn't want mine to be running around going "gay, gay, gay" all day at the other kids. I'd rather they treated people based on the content of their character, rather than their sexual orientation. If they are shitheads who happen to be gay, then call them shitheads by all means.

Anyway, I think lesbian IVF parents will be as rare as hens teeth in the scheme of things. There are 50,000 kids under the age of 12 in our area - if 50 lesbian couples in this area decide to baste up, that will be 1 kid in 1000. Nothing to panic over.

As for single women wanting to have kids, I think that idea can just go fuck off. If you want to have a kid without the commitment of a dad, just do what stacks of feral women out in the sticks do - get drunk, root lots of men and have six kids by six different fathers. There's plenty of that going on. If you can't get hammered and laid, then I see no reason why the state should cough up for IVF.


Some people are scum. There are no two ways about it. Just like there are hard working people that put a huge amount of effort into helping others (like the people the spend their weekends cleaning up our local school), there are others that are the complete opposite.

There are builders and there are wreckers.

I have long thought that it is the job of the Police and the justice system to separate the two, generally by locking up the wreckers, or giving them a good whack over the head with a truncheon. The harder the better.

It seems though that in the last 30 years, this has morphed into "exploiters" and "victims", and the Plod are now expected to protect the victims from the exploiters (ie, families like us, where we have one person working full time, one person running a small business and a couple of kids to bring up in a civilised fashion).

Scum come in all shapes and sizes and colours, as do the builders. What shits me at the moment is the pussy footing around when it comes to the rapists of the young girl up at Aurukun. They are scum, pure and simple. Just because they are Aboriginal, it doesn't mean they are members of a uniquely saintly race. It's become deeply unfashionable to call someone scum, but I reckon the term fits the situation. And they are not black scum - they are just scum. Scum doesn't come with a colour attached. If they are to be judged by their actions rather than the colour of their skin, then I judge them to be scum. Unfortunately, some loony lefties seem to be judging them by the colour of their skin, rather than their actions, and that's just wrong. Way wrong.

Weighty bollocks

How nice of Michael Duffy to bring this to our attention.

'One in four Australian children and one in two adults are already overweight or obese," the Minister for Health, Nicola Roxon, told a conference of obesity experts this week.

In the last place that I worked, we had two seriously obese people. Out of about 80 staff.

In my current work place, where the floor that I am on has about 80 staff, none are obese. None.

I have yet to see a chubby struggling to get into the lift in the morning. There appear to be no obese people at all in our building, which must have about 1000 people working in it. No fatties at all!

Now things were quite different just down the road at one of my old places of work. That building was stuffed full of public servants of one sort or another, and the cardigans and waddlers were a common sight. The food hall was just a sea of gibbletting flesh from one end to the other.

My bus run always included at least two or three chubba-lords, mainly because they always chose to sit next to me. But three out of a bus capacity of 80 is not half the population.

I see the occasionally grossly pigged out person at the supermarket - there was a lady there last night that had trouble fitting through the checkout aisle. She was that wide. But she was also that rare.

As Duffy says, are they all in hiding? Or are the standards that are being used to judge people so out of whack that Kylie Minogue and Paris Hilton would be judged as being overweight?

I am over these obesity scare stories. Having to sit next to a guts-ahoy type person once a day on the bus does not an epidemic make.

Friday, 14 December 2007

A few sights on the way to work

Here we are, around 7am and cruising around the Leichhardt part of the The Bay. The rowers are out, racing hither and thither.

Rowing coaches have really cool boats these days. Much better than the tinnies they had to put up with when I was a young blister-gatherer.

The view of the non-lonely cyclist: someone else's bum.

I've seen this bloke commuting in about a dozen times. He's got a great set of panniers on the back. If I ever trade in the road bike, I might get a setup like him for commuting.

Bright colours seem to be becoming the order of the day for commuter cyclists. I am now seeing a lot more fluoro green and yellow on my fellow commuters, which is something I like. I like us to be seen, and not run over.

Underneath the railway arch near Central. A train with a flat wheel was going overhead at the time - I could hear the "bdump-bdump-bdump" of the flat spot hitting the rails as I waited for the lights to change.

The thing that gets me about this arch is how low slung it is. I'm used to arches that are much more rounded than this. Makes me wonder how it manages to stay up with 40 tonne rail carriages bdump-ing over the top of it.

The Crown Hotel. Scene of a recent and terrible lunch with some mates. I think the chef was either short handed or having a hissy-fit. Whatever went pear shaped in the kitchen, it took us an hour and a half to get fed. Which was just fucked.

The food was good, but not worth waiting that long for. If I go back for lunch, I am going to ring before hand and ask:

"Is your chef in a good mood? Is the kitchen fully staffed? Have all items that might offend the chef been locked away in the manager's office? "

Another car carrier tied up at White Bay, disgorging cars. I thought I knew all the car carriers that do the Sydney run, but this one looks like a new one.

I always have a gander at the cars, hoping to see something interesting. I never do. It always seems to be white vans and white Hilux utes.

This is not my work. Someone else has dobbed this car in, and now it is sans-license plates. I expect it to be whisked away by a tow truck before long.

I'd love to operate a car crusher for a few days. It just seems to be an ideal job for someone that likes blowing things up.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Icecream part IV

Tonight, I lashed out and bought some Gelativo stuff - proper vanilla bean flavour and all. It's made just up the road in Rozelle, so it shouldn't suffer from being transported all over the countryside. I got a 1 litre tub for $7, brought it home and prepared to weight it, and......

..........couldn't find the bloody kitchen scales. They've gone walkabout.

I reckon it weighs about the same as the Sara Lee stuff - maybe 800gms or more. I didn't bother stuffing around for too long. I just ripped the top off and ate some.

It's quite good. I'm not sure gellato is really suited to being done as a vanilla flavour. I'll have to try something like lemon next time. And hopefully by then, I will have found the scales.
More crap from the Law Society:

Personal attacks on a Queensland judge who decided not to impose prison sentences on nine males who pleaded guilty to the pack rape of a 10-year-old girl are intolerable, the Queensland Law Society says.

Why are they intolerable? Are judges above criticism? Funny that when a judge locks up say a greenie for chaining themself to a tree, the lefties go nuts and say all sorts of awful things about the terrible judges. It's only intolerable to attack a wet-fish, limp wristed judge.

"The independence of the judiciary is and must remain paramount as one of the fundamental tenets of our justice system."

"Neither the media nor any community group, however sincere and well-meaning their motives might be in this matter, should try and supplant the due process of our justice system which is a robust one with inbuilt checks and balances," she said.

The judiciary is not independent of society. The justice system does not exist in a vaccuum. To somehow think that judges are not swayed by their personal opinions, community attitudes and the "winds of change" is bollocks. Judges are people, and as prone to prejudice and preformed opinions as the rest of us.

What this idiot from the Law Society fails to realise is that the justice system depends on the goodwill of the people. The people (ie, you and me) will support it so long as we think it is performing a worthwhile function. Judges have to be attuned to societal mores to a certain extent. Hell, activist judges like Kirby are so swayed by hipster opinion, they need to be locked away in an ivory tower to give them a bit of perspective. Sometimes, judges need to be smacked over the head. Just like the rest of us. If judges get too far out of line in relation to community standards and expectations, they'll undermine the faith that we have in the system. To be effective, they have to toe the line to a certain extent.

Hopefully, that is the last time I use that offensive word "community" in this blog.


I had walked about halfway to the shops tonight when a lady called out to me from an apartment foyer. She was unable to get her granny trolley up the stairs, and asked if I could help.

Of course I could. It took me about a minute to get her shopping up the stairs, and that was that. It didn't help that after mowing the lawn and doing some weeding, I had wrenched my leg muscles and was probably in a more wretched condition than she was. But I did my bit.

This was just another bloody example of a complete stranger approaching me on the street and asking me for something. Usually it's directions. I don't know why - I have a terrible head for maps and geography and streets, but people are always asking me for stuff. Except for beggars.

I have been out walking with a group of people, and I am the only one who will be approached. I have been walking home amongst a string of commuters and I have seen a lost person standing on a street corner, scanning the faces of those walking by, letting 10 go past and then pouncing on me. I must radiate some kind of wierd aura that only lost people can detect.

The good deed did help out though. There were no checkouts operating when I had finished shopping, and I was wandering up and down the checkouts looking for someone to take my money. So was a woman. One of the checkout chicks saw what was going on and opened a checkout, and waved me in first.

I must have had good karma written all over me.

Then again, the woman behind me was scowling and looking daggers at everyone - I would have put her at the back of the queue too.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

One more down

Crikey, there have been two cyclists killed in the last week or so in Sydney. One got knocked down in Newcastle this morning whilst out on a training ride. By a truck of all things. Nasty way to go.

I deal in risk indentification and risk mitigation every day. It's part of my job. It's something useful that I have applied to cycling a lot - I am always assessing risk whenever I am riding. A big part of my risk mitigation strategy is to avoid trucks. I do that by staying away from roads where there are a lot of trucks, and giving them a wide berth whenever I see one. If I see a semi trailer indicating to turn a corner, I don't try and zoom around him - I slow down and stop if necessary and wait for him to turn. I don't want to find myself alongside a truck that suddenly isn't turning and I have 50 tonnes of semi coming my way.

I'm patient enough now to just wait a few seconds.

This poor bloke didn't have that luxury. The truck just took him out. Wouldn't be surprised if it was a swaying trailer.

One more reason to ride

Sydney Buses has screwed the pooch again.

Sydney commuters have been warned to expect bus service disruptions in the lead-up to Christmas with more than 200 of them taken off the road due to a mechanical fault.

Sounds like it was chaos in certain areas of Sydney today as commuters stood on the side of the road and watched packed bus after packed bus just drive on by. I noticed that our bus, which normally picks up people on Parramatta Road, didn't bother stopping after leaving Norton St. It was full by then.

I had the full horror commute again. I sat down next to this middle aged woman, who gave me a look of "Oh, how dare you take that seat". A few stops later, her fat friend got on. Instead of her fat friend moving to the back of the bus, she stood over me for the entire trip in. Fat friend's fat arse was so fat that no one could get past, meaning that a few standing room only spots went begging.

It also meant that I had to listen to their inane conversation all the way into town, and put up with them passing mobile phones back and forth like school kids. I think fatso was expecting me to give up my seat to her - as if. Standing up might help her burn off a few more calories.

On matters of standing up, I had a female driver the other day, and she was most pedantic about counting the standing passengers. Once the vertical creatures reached a certain point - the number the bus is licensed for - she refused to take any more passengers.

Interestingly enough, there was a lot of room between those standing, and I had no armpits forced into my face. The bus also seemed to accelerate away from the lights without completing straining and dying in the arse.

Clearly, most drivers let people get on until elbows are poking out the emergency exit in the roof. I think the maximum number of passengers is 72, but some buses must be carrying closer to 100. That happens every day. Just goes to show how many more buses this city needs.

I am just waiting for the green goo in my lungs to clear out so I can start riding again. Screw this bus business. I'm a so over it.

Monday, 10 December 2007

My brain is fried

I have nothing to write about. Normally, my brain is frothing with ideas that demand to be written down. It didn't froth today, and it didn't froth yesterday, and it hasn't frothed much since I got the flu. My temperature went up when I got the flu, and I could feel my brain shifting down a few gears. I spent some time at work today, staring at some stuff and trying (and failing) to figure it out. Normally, I look at stuff and answers just blast into my brain. Not today. Just wasn't interested.

Funnily enough, I woke up at 3am on day 3 of the flu with the most amazing string of ideas going through my head. I'd been running a fever all day, and suddenly it broke in the wee hours of the morning and from that point on, my brain was on fire. I woke up with the most vivid flow of stuff pouring through my head, and it kept on going for about an hour after that. I was sorely tempted to get up and write it down, but sheer exhuastion kept me stuck to the sheets (along with a puddle of sweat). Before long, I felt this great gush of ideas petering out, and then they started to fade.

By morning, I couldn't remember a damned thing. All I could remember was the fact that I had an hour of amazing thoughts, and that it was now all gone.

So you've missed out on some truly interesting things to think about. And so have I.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Garden photos

Although it is now impossible to walk from one end of the garden to the other without getting a face full of spider web, the useless bastards do not appear to be having any impact on the fly population.

I thought spiders were supposed to be masters at building webs. I'm sure David Attenborough told me so - it must be true. Someone needs to tell this spider to reduce the size of the gaps in his web - I watched a few flies go straight through the web.

Their diet must be a bit lacking as well, because I also saw a large fly go right through a web, knocking a hole in it in the process. I thought these webs were supposed to be strong enough to support the space shuttle. Ah well, another myth bites the dust.

Guess which plant produced these flowers.

Lettuce. Bet you didn't get that right.

Here we have a sneaky spider waiting for prey to arrive. This spider owns a big web stretched between two trees, but instead of hanging around in the centre of the web (possibly as bird food), it has entrenched itself in the leaves, and it hangs out there waiting for food to hit the web.

Another web, with a spider that looks more like a crab that anything else. Where have all the interesting looking spiders gone?