Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas, one and all

Wherever you are, however you celebrate, have a fantastic Christmas. I'm currently in the passenger seat whilst my Chauffeur (I'm a Lefty Elitist, after all) whisks me from First Christmas to Second Christmas. It's Chauffeur's Third Christmas, so i'm tipping I might not get away with not paying penalty rates.

Have a good one, all!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Kinky Remote-Control Alien UFO Sex

Alternatively, I could call this post I got nuthin or Obligatory
"I've been busy"
post.

And I know posting has dropped off aorund here - not even a lazy-blogging sunset picture to keep you going with, but things have been afoot in my life. I've had less time for blogging - or commenting - during business hours because of the time of year, and I could come up with a thousand more reasons I've been lazy, but it's just that - I've been lazy.

Normal posting to resume tomorrow. Promise.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Product Placement

Well, not really. I do get the occasional offer - separately of this blog - to get free stuff (Things to date: New, not-out-on-the-shelves-yet hair-care range. I got copies of Grazia before they came out, Aveeno moisturiser and tested the Stripe web-radio service for 3G mobile), but I've never felt compelled to write anything up on here. Now, twice in one week, I have been.

Today, I'm pointing you in the direction of Reinvent Yourself. Not because I believe people should actually re-invent themselves, but because they're consistently cheaper on products I buy all the time. (Particularly if, like me you use hair-care products that aren't available in supermarkets, it's handy)

Secondly (And I have no idea if I'm allowed to talk about this - uh, company that's had me testing this product? If you have a problem, I'll gladly delete this paragraph. Kisses)I've been testing a yet-to-be-released haircare range called Pureology. Specifically, the range formulated for Coloured hair.

I'm completely in love with it. It's cutting my straightening time in half and I've been able to stop using one of the heat protecting/smoothing products altogether.

I don't know when it'll be hitting the shelves, but if/when they set-up a website, I'll be plugging it.

Also, can we talk about Natio?

I've been a fan for quite a while, but then, oh, then.

Then I discovered the Factory Outlet. I think it's somewhere in Richmond? I can't quite remember. But right now I'm sitting here gazing at my Lavender and Rosemary hand cream with something akin to lust. It cost me two dollars. I could easily have bankrupted myself in that outlet.

Oh, and who on earth is allergic to baby oil? Answer - apparently me. I've never had a reaction like it.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Moderation Policy

I haven’t had to have a moderation policy up until this point, but here’s the deal: There was a comment on a recent post that I thought crossed a line – it was either written by someone who knows me/ knew me, or someone who has trawled this blog for information and was trolling. I’ve done my best to preserve the privacy of everyone I know and have known on this blog, and up until now the only comments I’ve deleted have been those that revealed something about someone else.

No more.

This is my blog, and I do not have to take your shit. Clear?

You want to post snarky, anonymous comments like the coward you are, fine. I’ve always allowed that, but if I have to respond to your – inaccurate – comments about a job I did for eighteen months four years ago by revealing more about myself than I want to on the intertubes, the comment is getting deleted. And that’s my prerogative.

Don’t like it?

Feel very free to fuck off.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Deleted

Everyone sound the Eveythings Okay alarm.

And thanks, guys.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Minor Crowing

Sorry boys, no recession:

"Strictly speaking, the Australian economy just grew by 0.1% in the September quarter, kept in the black mostly by the recovery in rural Australia from the terrible drought of the past couple of years (which remains in much of the country).

The news means that those economists tipping negative growth like Goldman Sachs JBWere missed. But there is no joy whatsoever from these figures except that there are better times in some parts of regional Australia with higher grain harvests forecast"

Glenn Dyer

What will come next March with the December figures I need to have a think about and peruse the figures before making a prediction. I'm not sure what to do with predicted Christmas spending.

In the next few days, I'll make my call.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

If you've left me, why aren't you gone?

*Just a quick not: This is the worst five percent of how I feel. For the maybe thirty seconds at a time. I'm not a moper, but it feels dishonest to pretend I never feel this way. Yes, i'm not always Pollyanna

Every day, you creep into my thoughts in a new and perplexing way.

I still haven't found a way to divorce your memory from the however-many years I knew you.

I don't love you anymore, but the memory of that love can still take my breath away.

If I think about it, in total honesty, I never want to love someone as much as I much as I loved you again. It gives the other person too much power.

Which is why, in my darker, more bitter moments, I think it's likely i'll never be in a serious, committed relationship again.

I wish I could hate you. I wiah you hadn't been a part of every strong emotion I felt for those years.

Butt I still don't wish i'd never met you.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Send me all your Vampires

A gazillion points if you can tell what song that title is from without Googling.

Anyway, I've noticed a pattern of late. It's slightly disturbing, but mostly mildly diverting.

I have way too many books about vampires. I've just finished reading the first two books in the Rachel Morgan series, where the main character is a witch and her roommate is a vampire. Before that, I was reading the Twilight series, where the main character is in love with a vampire, and eventually becomes one herself. Before that, I was revisiting the Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles.

All in all, I worked out, I have 25 books that heavily feature vampires.

If people start forgoing the handshake or hug hello and just bite me on the neck, I'll understand.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Things that shit me Music Edition Part the Second

Because one just wasn't enough:

Madonna cannot dance. It's like a secret no-one talks about. I can’t be the only person who hasn’t noticed this, surely?

She seems to have three moves - kneeling on the floor and thrusting, leaning against things throwing her head/hair around – with optional hands-on-head-elbows-out move, and walking in time to the music. Also, good on Guy Ritchie for telling it like it is: Madonna, you're old enough to be a Grandmother. Get over it. Everyone gets old. Some of us realize that there’s a certain point when leotards stop being a way of showing off a hot bod and start looking skanky and wrong. It’s not about age, it’s about why you’re doing it. Also, you’re gristly and freaky looking. And a good rule of thumb? If the veins on your inner thighs are sticking out, get off the fucking treadmill and eat something.

Additionally: Put on some pants, for the love of God.

Metallica: Cheer the fuck up. You have squillions of dollars, legions of fans, gorgeous families, houses and all you could ever wish for. Would it kill you to write a song that isn't doom, gloom, and pain? I like a grand total of one of your songs, and that was a Nick Cave cover. And considering my ex was (quite literally) a card carrying Metallica nut, it isn't like I haven't heard enough. I’ve listened to every single one of your albums. I’ve seen the DVD’s and he made me listen to Blue Oyster Cult because Hetfield lists them as an influence and Metallica did a cover of one of their songs or something. So this isn’t me talking ill-informed shit. I know of what I speak.

And you do my head in more with each passing day. The further you get away from the angry teenagers you were when you first started gritting your teeth and spitting your woe-is-me lyrics at a borrowed microphone, the less sincere it sounds. St. Anger? For fucks sake. If you have to put Anger in the title of the album to keep the rage alive, you’re probably not angry anymore.

Britney: Look, I’m a fan. Nice voice, nice bod, quality pop, felt sorry for you when you went mad and all, but the film-clip to womanizer? You’ve done it before. It was called Toxic. You did the whole blonde/red/black thing then. Even the grasping the guy by the belt and throwing him down thing you’d done in that film-clip. Also, the bit where you’re “naked” in the sauna you did in a diamante-encrusted body-stocking in Toxic. And can I just say, with the greatest respect, Womanizer is no Toxic. Toxic I like. Womanizer is catchy, but not much more. I realize that the whole going-mad thing may have warped your memory or summit, but come on! Surely someone saw the plan for that video and it must have twigged?

Someone needs to have a word with the people around that girl.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Okay, this isn't exactly substance-full, either

Two things.

OW! Damn you, heavy folder:




This is the reason I am typo-ing like a mad thing today. Both of the nails on my thumbs have been decimated, and I lost the stylus for the whiz-bang phone some weeks back. I usually rely on the length and pointy-ness of my thumbs to operate the tiny, tiny keyboard accurately and quickly, and now, well, it's a little difficult to do either.

Also, as you can see, I've been neglecting my hands of late. That is one ragged cuticle. Those who know me will know that I don't usually neglect my nails (I file and buffed my nails whilst camping in the middle of nowhere. They are usually my pride and joy), but lately they've gone to hell entirely. And yes, I have old-lady hands. I was born with old-lady hands.

Two: I realise this blog is being a little neglected of late in terms of actual words, but so is everything else. I'm busy doing some research and putting together training on topics I'm not entirely aux fais with on top of my usual job, and I've had sproadic access to the Intertubes in the last few weeks. You could always jump on twitter (See the widget in the side-bar over there?), which I usually update when I'm moving about. Or Facebook, or attach some kind of tracking device to me. I don't know.

Either that or bare with me. Things will improve after this week, I would imagine.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mobile again, and more pretty pictures

This blog is rapidly becoming far more visual, I've noticed. I promise something of substance soon, but it won't be today.


Here, instead, is what I've been doing whilst I've been off the intertubes. Making Christmas cards. I've designed fifteen this year, but some are silver and gold on red, and that isn't showing up terribly well on the whiz-bang phone. Here are the ones that have kind-of-worked:



The Wreath

Santa


Santa/Bell


Christmas Tree



The Chimney

Silver Chimney


Victorian Baubles



Blue Balls


So that's what I've been up to. What's everyone else been doing?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Curses!

My mobile has been intertube-less, unable to receive messages and unable to receive e-mails or make calls since 10.47am on Saturday. Lest it be assumed I am some kind of Optus free-loading type who didn't pay their bill and is being righteously reminded to do so, let me make it clear that I did indeed pay my bill and I have the receipt number to prove it, Damn it.

If you've tried to contact me via the above methods since then, I'm not just ignoring you, I don't know you've been pestering me with messages declaring your undying love and willingness to give me a grant to fund my latest art project "Making Christmas cards seriously kicks the arse out of starting work at 8am and getting home just in time to throw food down my throat, will it to digest faster and run just as the sun sets for significantly less money than I deserve"

The title is a work in progress, but the project itself is as solid as a rock, yo.

In other words, until the matter is resolved (I'm hoping that'll be this evening, but it could be up to 24 *sob* hours from now), call me rather than text or e-mail to the Hotmail or Gmail address'.

Incidentally, my Christmas cards this year kick arse. Photos to follow, when Optus deems it necessary to get off their arse and let me send e-mails from the whiz-bang phone, or I remember to bring my camera with me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Green Wing




I've been talking about Green Wing for a while now, but I keep forgetting to blog it.

And I know I'll forget if I don't do it now, so I'll be quick.

People, go out, buy the DVD and thank me later. It is the shit. It is the bomb. It is all your Christmas' come at once. If you watch it and don't like it, there is something deeply, fundamentally wrong with you.

You are a freak. People stare at you. Young children clutch their mothers hands tighter as you walk past.

I'm not going to do a review, because reviewing it would suggest that there's a matter for debate or opinion in regards to this.

There isn't.

It is excellent.

The End.

Compensations

Last night was tough. Hot, muggy, and by the time I got home I was trashed.

Plus, I nearly choked on a bug. That happens. Nearly throwing up on my dog? Not so much.

Jess the Wonder Dog accompanies me, by the way. Just in case any males prone to over-protectiveness want to start making comments about woman running alone = danger. As does my mobile and a torch (I go through a small wooded area and up and down two fairly steep hills just to get to the pavements I pound)

Anyway, apart from feeling pretty good about getting back out there, going at the time I do has it's compensations.


Last night:





And Monday:





They aren't great, but I'm taking them on a camera phone whilst running. How much can you expect?
And how's that for consistency? Check out the time stamps. Both nights I was at the same spot at the same time. Not bad.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Banned Words

You'll notice a new widget on the Sidebar there. It's a list of words I won't tolerate in comments. Not for any particular reason, and it isn't a policy, per se, it's just a personal whim. I am open to suggestions though. The list so far contains:


  • Straw
  • Strawman
  • Ad hominem
  • Coniption (Sic)
  • (Sic)
  • Specious
  • Trunk
  • Beatles/The Beatles
  • Any member or song of the Beatles/Beatles
  • Twonk


Their name liveth forevermore

Today is Remembrance Day. A day to remember the fallen, those who gave their lives for their country, those who fought bravely and survived, those who were injured. A time of reflection, and thanks.

In particular, it is 90 years since the end of World War One. Today, in particular, I honour those who fought in that conflict, and thank them for their courage and their sacrifice.

I also, on these days, think about the families left behind - both those who lost their loved ones and those displaced by conflict. Everyone makes sacrifices during war, not just those on the battlefield.

Lest We Forget.

**Additional - Today is remembrance day, not "Use the death of millions of men as a political point-scoring exercise' some would do well to remember that. This day is not about politics. For shame.**

Tobias has an excellent post I recommend everyone read.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Why I sleep in strange positions

Because this is what frequently shares a bed with me:



She's about 25kg of bed-hog. And how can you say no to this face?



And just because she's cute as a button:





And yes, she gets under the covers by herself.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Shut up and let me go

I do have a habit, it must be said, of picking up a band, listening to a song or album until the words, notes and time signature become an indelible part of my psyche, or purchasing a bands entire back-catologue on the strength of whatever i've heard late one night on Rage or MTV.

If you've ever been near me when Third Eye Blind's self-titled album has been playing, you'll know I'm not bullshitting. I've listened, sung (and with some songs, strummed) those songs so often, i'd know those versions far better than the band ever will.

I'm rapidly approaching that point of repetition with The Presets and the Ting Tong's Ting's.

The Ting Ting's I've been getting into for a few months, and That's Not My Name would be pretty close to number one on my playlist. And after a friend reminded me of The Presets Talk Like That last Friday, I downloaded it, and i've been listening to it non-stop.

So, in an effort to broaden my horizons a little, and because I stopped listening to the radio about two years ago, I'm putting a call out for new songs. Especially with the running (Which resumes tomorrow after a four-day sickness induced hiatus), I need a bit of variety.

One stipulation: No Thrash, no Metallica, no Elvis or The Beatles and try and avoid the Easy-Listening genre' altogether. I'm looking for variety, not a slow, painful death.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The camel-back breaking straw

For me came from a source I could not possibly have predicted.

Andrew Bolt has this to say:

"Obama has not just the mandate, but the heartfelt support around the world, to achieve greatness. The rest is up to him."

There may or not be tears in my eyes right now.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Things you only forget once - I hope.

I've started pounding the pavement again. And on Saturday I pounded it hard - two hours. And here are some observations:

  • I love, hate, worship and denegrate my sports bra. It is all that is evil, and I've no doubt when it eventually parts company with me, I'll shed a tear. The instructions to get into it almost require a degree in engineering, but you literally.do.not.move.
  • When did I forget that running + chewing gum + no water bottle is the worst idea ever?
  • The Evil Sports Bra removes the need for band-aids. Runners will know what I'm talkin' about.
  • I am the only person I know who could get lost running in an area they've lived in for a year and a half and the second they walk through the door realise the phone they've taken with them and were using as a walkman has GPS. If I'm not, please tell me, because I felt very, very dopey.
  • Where I live, there's no real way to avoid running on both pavement and hills for quite lengthy periods. Exactly what my ankle is going to think of that long-term, I have no idea. I pulled up a little propy on Saturday, but considering it's the first real pain I've had in it in a year, that's a slight concern. I suppose the only other options are driving to a running track or joining a gym. But will I be able to habit myself into the gym by myself? I used to go with my ex, and I was significantly fitter than now, because we'd cajole each other into going if one of us couldn't be bothered. Is a personal trainer the answer, perchance? Do they nag you? I have no idea. (I don't know anyone in this area, so buddy-ing is out)
  • I am amazed, so very amazed, that given how long I have neglected my body for, if I start doing the right thing, it responds and does what I ask it to, and more. Why didn't I remember that? Why didn't I keep the endorphins in the front of my mind? Yes, it hurts, but it's good. GOOD. Although I have to be honest and say when I came in on Saturday from my run, I lay on the floor for a few moments because my house is tiled and I was very hot.

I used to be fit. I used to relish the idea of soccer or netball a few times a week or the gym or all of the above. I ran cross-country the day after some stupid idiot brought the exposed metal edge of a fold down chair down on my knee and it was being held together with steri-strips. I came fourth. I used to love this.

And I refuse to lose that completely. Enough neglect. Enough.

Oh, and if anyone has any ideas, let me know.

Things that shit me - Music Edition




  • The compulsory guitar solo - If it doesn't fit, don't shoe-horn it in. I've watched bands pick apart fantastic, innovative tunes and turn them into just another cock-rock song because "people will expect a solo". Solos bore me sensless unless they're on Guitar Hero. As I say above, I don't pay to hear you jam.


  • Ditto the ten minute intro. If your instruments aren't tuned by the time you get on stage, fire your roadie.


  • Faux "I don't sell out" Styles targeted at teenagers (Pink, I am looking at you. You started out R&B - decent, ballsy, R&B. Then you realised there was something about you that appealed to the teenage market and changed styles completely. I don't care if you want to make money, good on you if you can - but be honest about it)


  • People who start hating bands they like just because they sign with a label and start making money - Unless you're willing to pay them what the record company will, shut up. Do you want to spend your life hoping you'll flog enough shitty t-shirts out of the back of your van or off your flimsy fold up table to cover costs? Bet you're downloading off the latest "must-have" bit torrent site whilst you're whingeing about them selling out, aren't you?


  • Obscurity As An Art form. I give a certain friend of mine shit about this, but he isn't actually a true proponent of it, he's just got unusual taste. But what really shits me is those people who like a song right up until it enters the charts. Then, it's too "mainstream" and they find it distasteful.


  • Snobbery. I like Interpol. I like Robbie Williams. I love The Editors, and I've been to a Maroon 5 concert. I like some of Britney Spears songs, and dislike both the Beatles and Elvis. I make absolutely no apologies for my taste in music, and neither should you. There is no right and wrong in music, and if you dislike a song just because it's by Britney, you're just as bad as those who love the latest Miley song just because it's Miley.

Cause and Effect

So, I've talked about Creepy Optometrist, now it's time to show you the cause of all this trouble.

Firstly, the old glasses:



Lop-sided, flimsy and very, very annoying.

The New Glasses:




I think they're completely different. They'd want to be, considering I spent $461 on them and had to deal with Creepy Optometrist into the bargain, but I'd had at least two people say they aren't that different to the old ones.

It is taking some getting used to, having something on the sides of my eyes, though.

**EDITED TO ADD**

When I was uploading the photos for this post, I accidentally put the new glasses under the old glasses and the old glasses under the new. Just to clarify, the new ones are the black ones.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Context is everything

Heard on a documentary on Saturday:

"I hope his sleep isn't disturbed by spontaneous fires"

Morning TV Gold

Quote from the Today shows US correspondent:

"Possibly the only thing that could save McCain at this stage is a terrorist attack"

"Maybe"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oh, Lord

And now a crazy old lady is talking to me about how unfair life is, and poisonous rats.

Creepy

I was going to save this post until after the final act had been completely played out, but it's getting to the point where if I do it'll be a mammoth post, and the longer I sit on it, and the more reactions I get, the more it's annoying me.

Plus, if some of what has happened so far I talk about, it might make the final chapter easier, especially if I'm right about one of the people reading this blog.

This was also going to be a light-hearted, hopefully funny post. But considering my heart is pounding and I'm close to tears, it's not going to be.

The drama started when I decided I'd had enough of my current glasses making me dizzy and looking lopsided. I went to an Optometrist - a new Optometrist for me, but part of the same chain of Optometrists I'd seen before.

The first appointment went fine. Had the eye test, chose the frames and talked about getting contact lenses, which I've wanted to do for a while.

The Optometrist was very friendly, but I took that for disposition rather than anything else.

I'm seriously considering striking the phrase "Benefit of Doubt" from my vocabulary. It doesn't seem to get me very far.

The next week, I went back to place the order on the glasses, and have my contact lens "Lesson" - where I determine that I am competent enough to be able to get a contact in and out of my eye.

That took a while. A long while. During that time, the Optometrist made a few remarks I found strange. Well, mostly, they were questions: What I was doing that night, I look really pretty, I must be going out. What I was doing the next night, Was I going straight out or was I hanging around? Could still be friendly, I thought. Inappropriate, but friendly.

So I left, thinking it was a little strange, but maybe the Optometrist was just a friendly person who wasn't quite as aware of boundaries as I was (Ha!)

The next night I went to a friends new place, and I got two e-mails through the Whiz-Bang phone. One was a friend request on Facebook from a name I didn't recognise, and the other was a message from that same person. Here's the message, typos included:

"hey whats up keri?

im the bloke who gave you your contact lenses the other day! :)

i joined facebook yesterday and just discovered ur on this too

hope ur having a nice weekend the weather is just perfect

you looked really beautiful the other day. im so glad u were able to take ur contacts out eventually, lemme know how ur getting along with em

take care!"

My Optometrist searched for my name on Facebook, tried to add me as a friend, and then sent me a message telling me how "beautiful I looked the other day"

(Just as an aside here - I don't think I did. I was sans make-up, about a month over-due a haircut, wearing jeans and a fairly non-descript top)

Anyway. After I'd read it, I had a slight freak-out, and put the whiz-bang phone on my friends bed and paced up and down whilst my friend read the message.

When he had, he actually did a jig. He thought it was hilarious.

As did I. Until the fact that this is my Optometrist kept intruding in my mind.

They guy puts his fingers in my eye. I consider anyone who gets near my eyes to be a Medical Professional. I don't know about anyone else, but I need to be able to have a certain level of trust with people who stick their fingers in my eyes

So, canvassing various peoples views, which ranged from Make An Official Complaint to Ignore It He's Clearly Desperate, I decided that whilst I wouldn't make a "complaint", I would tell the manager of the Optometrists that I wasn't coming back, and why.

I've just done that.

I was shaking. I still am. I don't know why, but I nearly couldn't go through with it. But I felt like I had to. What if I'm not the only woman he's contacted like this? What if the next one is really upset by it? I'm upset enough to change Optometrists, but what if the next person cops something worse?

The manager was really good. I told her he had contacted me via Facebook, and I told her what the message said. She agreed straight away that it was inappropriate, and, in her words, "invasive". And it is. My glasses have been ready since lasy Monday (Two days after I ordered them, oddly) but I've pit off picking them up until now.

Apparently he's "Not allowed to do that" and she's going to be speaking to him first thing in the morning. I don't know what will come of it, but I hope like hell I don't have to deal with anything else as a result.

Because now I am slightly concerned about this guy having my mobile number and home address. I really don't want him ringing me up, even if it's just to apologise. I feel very, very uncomfortable.

So if you ring my mobile number tomorrow from a private number or a mobile I don't recognise, I won't be answering, you'll have to leave a message

I can still see the funny side of this (because really, who gets this from their Optometrist?), but right now I'm feeling really uneasy.

Photo Question.

Okay, help me understand something here.

I have a Flickr account. The badge is on the sidebar there, as you can see.

I was looking at the stats today, and noticed a theme.

Let's look at two photos as an example.

This photo has 20+ views:


This photo has no views:


Now, I'm not fishing for compliments here, but I know how good I do and don't look.

And Mount Solitary in the Jamison Valley in New South Wales looks a hell of a lot better than I do.

And, not blowing my own trumpet, but that photo of the Jamison Valley isn't too bad. And that photo of me is fuzzy. And I look terribly emo, focussing on the camera-steadying almost to the point of a pout-of-concentration.

So, do people find photos of people - regardless of quality - more interesting than good photos of places of natural beauty?

And if so, why?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Just.... Bullshit.

This story makes me sick.

Basically, the State Government is seeking to pass legislation that will demand criminal checks from people undergoing IVF procedures. INCLUDING Cancer patients who are having eggs harvested and frozen.

Premier John Brumby is defending the move by stating that since access to IVF was becoming more "liberal" (read: non-discrimnatory), the Government "needed to look at what is in the best interest of the child"

So this is what will end up happening: Cancer patients who often have a very limited time frame to be able to harvest eggs (Mr Brumby, are you aware that you can't just go in and whip them out? That you need to undergo hormone treatment over a period of time to get the eggs to maturation before you retrieve them? That you can't start Cancer Treatments whilst you're doing this and vice-versa?) before undergoing Cancer treatments that may render them infertile will now potentially be faced with two options:

* Wait until the check is completed, then harvest the eggs, possibly delaying Cancer treatment
* Proceed with Cancer treatment and give up the option of having a biological child.

That is, in a word, fucked.

Until the State Government passes legislation that demands that every parent of any child - regardless of whether they are conceived naturally or through infertility procedures - has their right to have children removed if they don't pass these criminal checks, this law will be discriminatory.

It discriminates against the infertile. It discriminates against same-sex partners, and worst of all - people who are undergoing life-saving treatment- all as a sop to those who don't want access to IVF broadened.

The State Government is proposing we punish every infertile couple, Cancer patient of child-bearing age, and same-sex couple in this State because of the religious objections of a few.

Isn't this exactly what Governments are supposed to be protecting us against?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hill of Doom Haikus

Every night I catch the train home, and walk up what I’ve termed the Hill of Doom.

The Hill of Doom is pain in the arse. I wish I could get a half-decent photo that depicts exactly how doom-y the Hill of Doom is, but it’s basically a one kilometre hill that for three quarters of it rises steadily at a 45 degree angle. The last quarter is about an 80 degree angle. That last quarter, I hate it. It just pisses me off. Especially in summer.

So I try to distract myself. I walk in time to music (I don’t recommend walking up a hill like that to the beat of “My People” by The Presets, or “Mr. Brightside" by The Killers), or playing words games in my head.

Last night, I ended up constructing Haikus. As you can see, the Hill of Doom is four Haikus long:


Haiku 1:
Hot man running past
Give me a piggy-back, Bastard.
Stupid Hill of Doom.

Haiku 2:
It’s hard rubbish day
Cars with trailers drive slow
They do say one man’s trash...

Haiku 3:
Evil Hill of Doom
Up your spine I slowly crawl
People in cars stare (They do)

Haiku 4:
Short first line because
The Haiku is restrictive
Haiku really sucks

Yes, I’m a geek. You didn’t know this?

Here's a photo of the Hill of Doom. You can't see the top quarter at all, but see that car? That gives you an idea of what the first three quarters of that hill is like.

Potential for Freakout

Caution, Arachnaphobes. You may not be happy with this story.

Basically, giant, creepy-looking spider eats hapless bird.

But what cracked me up were some of the comments:

“Pfft. I’ve eaten lots of birds”

“Can we train them to eat Cane Toads?”

“I think they should stick to eating other insects”

(Nerd moment: Spiders are not insects)

And my personal favourite:

“I for one welcome our new overlords”

I don’t know why, but that last one has been making me break out in giggles for about half an hour.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The wonders of soft focus - and the web.

I probably owe an explanation for the photo post, don't I?

Well, I left a comment on a certain website (ICLWers - don't worry, it's not terribly relevant if you don't know what it is), and made a comment about basements making the skin an unhealthy pallor.

To which an anonymous commenter chipped in with the suggestion that I myself have an unhealthy pallor.

Here's a screenshot of the comments thread and the two photos that appeared (I don't know why) of me - the photos I posted yesterday:



I was more amused than affronted, since in one photo I'm clearly leaning against a white wall, and in the other, as has been noted, I look pretty damn pink.

So I thought, bugger it, I'll post the photos in a post and see what the world has to say. Am I unhealthily pallored? (Without asking a leading question that would influence anyone either way) And here are your responses:

* Rosy
* Pink
* Rosy
* Alabaster
* "Ah the wonders of soft focus"
* Rosy
* Green Tinge
* Taupe
* Pretty & Clear
* Strawberries & Cream
* Rosy
* Blush
* Blush
* Smooth, Clean & Beautiful
* Glowing, Fair.
* Rosy
* Clear
* Smooth as a baby's butt
* Fresh
* Pinkish

Anonymous, I think the above speak for themselves.

Thanks, everyone. And just for the sake of having a larger sample, here are some more photos of my "unhealthy pallor":






Yeah, I'm deathly pale, aren't I?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Quick question

How would you describe these photos?:



And the profile picture:



In particular, I'm referring to my skin.

Answers in the comments, if you will.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Anyone?....... Dust.

Right-wing reactions to Cyclists getting rammed by hoons, thus far:

Strider - "It must be their own fault/Is it a cyclist conspiracy?/should we keep them off the road after dark?/I find this amusing"

I'll update as I come across them, because so far, I see no indignation from the right that these cyclists (who, incidentally, were using a designated lane at the time) were rammed by a car-load of hoons.

Update 1:
Iain - instead of focussing on the criminals in this piece, has chosen to attack me and completely misrepresent what I've said. Charming.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Awesome

Anyone who knows me will realise just how exciting I find the idea of this.

Genius. If this kind of thing takes off, I could even start to look forward to summer.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Just plain odd

Recieved a spam e-mail with the following subject line:

"You could be eligible for an electric wheelchair at no cost!"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Small things/Minds

HURDAT is:

a) Atlantic Hurrican Data

b) The exact noise I make if someone knocks on my door when I'm asleep

Monday, October 13, 2008

Downers and Uppers

To make up for getting all serious on your arse, here are some photos you might like.

Firstly, because I don't think I've posted it before, a view of the Jamison Valley in Katoomba, NSW:



And secondly, for Toaf, who is probably getting withdrawal symptoms from the lack of hair photos, the pitfalls of short hair first thing in the morning:



Also, don't you love the lines on my head?

I'm not a morning person.

Are we asking the right questions?

I read with interest this article in the Age today regarding the drug Avastin and it's use for metastatic cancer patients.

So far, it has been approved on the PBS for colon and lung cancer, but not other types of cancer.

Now, of course, there is a reason that drugs take time to appear on the PBS - it must be proven (and should be proven) that they are beneficial for the condition they are treating, but I do find one or two things about this concerning:

This first is that there doesn't seem any urgency or pressure from anyone to establish in a timely fashion if there are other applications - in other words, other cancers or conditions - that this medication could or should be subsidised for.

Secondly - and I think this is most important - there needs to be more pressure on the drug manufacturers to drop the exhorbitant prices of these medications.

The argument is that these companies must, somehow, recoup the cost of developing the drugs they market, and these costs are passed on to the consumer.

Which would be fine, if the consumer wasn't a patient. Whose life may depend on access to that drug. And as far as I'm concerned, it is despicable that anyone, anywhere would first think about cost when determining what medical treatment is most appropriate for a life-threatening illness. The very idea makes me somewhat ill.

These drug companies are not short of a dollar. They receive, on top of the disgusting amounts they charge patients for medication, grants from the government.

If anyone should be crying poor, it sure as hell isn't the drug companies.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

He's got the Foo Fighters? Well that changes everything!

This article about John McCain once again using songs without permission cracks me up.

First, there's the idea that using the song "My hero" doesn't make you look like an arrogant, self-involved tool.

Then there's the fact that you'd have to be an idiot to think that the Foo Fighters wouldn't crack it when they found out.

Then, and this is the bit I must stress the most - I can't think of one person, even the ones who care the least about politics - who would be swayed by the use of a song. Especially one like "My Hero".

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what happens when your media muppets start believing their own spin.

You aren't my hero, McCain, and playing a song you didn't have permission to use in an ad isn't going to change that.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Feed Issues

Just when I thought I could recline into smugness about the resolution of my feed issues, it would appear that upgrading to the new blogger coupled with the old feed being deleted has drastically reduced the amount of subscribers. Considering the drop-off occurred not just on the same day, but in the same hour as the upgrade/deletion, I'm assuming it's that, and not a sudden drop in popularity.

Either that, or it's because I haven't posted about my hair in at least a week.

Point being, if you've come here directly and there are new posts here you haven't seen pop up in your reader, chances are you were subscribed to the old feed, which no longer exists. If you re-subscribe, you should be okay. I think.

Unless it really is about the lack of hair postings?

I could have ignored this Who am I kidding?

I'm pulling myself back into the Henson drama, after reading this article.

Look, people, I could almost understand the righteous indignation that leads people to get libellous*, or cast the debate in new and interesting ways, IF Bill Henson was actually a paedophile, or some kind of proven danger to children.

But, love or hate his art, he isn't trying to do anything illegal. He isn't trying to take photographs of minors without parental consent. I've yet to see one report of a minor who he's taken photos of say they feel "exploited", or hear a negative reaction of a parent or subject who has dealt with Henson.

On the contrary, we've heard from quite a few parents and minors (or former subjects who were minors at the time) saying they're upset by the fact there is a furor in their name.

So where, ladies and gentleman, is the threat? Has there been any suggestion that Henson has so much as laid a finger on any of his subjects? Have there been any complaints from either parents or former subjects saying they felt exploited, felt co-erced?

No? So there's no actual threat?

Now, I've heard the argument that schools are for education, and that no-one should be permitted to scout for talent on school grounds, regardless or what it involves, and if that's your view, I can understand it.

But, if like some, you are objecting on the grounds that this is Bill Henson, can you explain to me why, if it's clear that he always obtains parental consent?

What are you actually afraid of? What are you actually protecting your children from?

* It wasn't until it was pointed out several times to Iain that he was actually being libellous that he amended his original post to add the words "could be seen as" to the sentence "who has aided and abetted him in what could be seen as stalking and grooming". Of course, he still wouldn't admit that what he'd said was wrong, or unfair, but that's Iain for you.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Upgrade

I've finally gotten around to it. Only took me eighteen minutes. And that was with the fiddling around to get it looking right.

Question, though. I've had this template for the best part of six years. Time for a change?

Search engine terms - last bastion of the lazy blogger

There are things in the paper to blog about - the vice-presidential debate, more abortion debate drama - but honestly? It's all a bit too serious for me at the moment. So. Some Search Term Engine fun.

David Hille Girlfriend

I wish. Sadly, I am not the girlfriend of David Hille. Is he single?

Porn on Wheels

Tell me we're talking cars here.

Lethal Lix

My ex-boyfriends ex-band. I have no idea what they're doing now. Last I heard the bass player was living on a boat on the Yarra, the drummer is probably still looking for his shirt and the guitarist I wouldn't know. I do have a copy of their demos hanging around somewhere, though.

My shoe is falling off

You're either one of two people I used to sing this (made up) song* up the back of Science classes with in High School, or an idiot.

Chances child is not yours

Dude, you need to talk to your partner about this, not me. I got nothing for you. And how would this have come up on this blog?

Suss porn pics

As apposed to the non-suss porn pics?

This is my Truth, Tell me yours Keri

Fairly sure you're in the right place. Hi there.

Who designed Shane McClintock Brownlow Gown

A colour blind idiot with no sense of style or grace, but a great sense of humour.

*I believe the song went something like this:

My shoe is falling off,
My shoe is falling off,
La di da di da di da
My Shoe is falling off

To the tune of Row, Row, Row your boat.

There were three of us, and we sang it in a round. We were really, really annoying.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Delightful

Oh, Joy

Why no media beat-up about how Catholics are over-staying their welcome and invading and bludging and stealing all our moneys and what-not?

Oh.

They aren't Moozlims?

Bugger. Better keep it out of the Main-stream media then.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Bleurgh

I'm trying, really hard, to write the next economics post (I promised Toaf. Shut up) but every time I start, another piece of the world economy twists out of all recognition and I have to re-write the whole thing.

So here it is in short until I get a chance to finish it:

Derivatives are bad. They mitigate risk on paper, but the risk doesn't go away. If it was an accounting practice, you'd get done for it.

**Edit** To the person who got here via the search the term "No-Doc Loans Idiotic":

Yes, yes they are. Very.

testing

Technorati Profile

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wow

Unbelievable

Can I just start this post by saying that anyone who thinks losing $1.2 trillion dollars in a day - just in the US - is better than lending $700 billion for a calm, orderly sale with some prospect of getting most of the money back is an idiot?

Yes, the proposed bail-out isn't perfect, yes, it doesn't address some of the problems that caused this mess in the first place, but it's a damn sight better than the alternative, as we're finding out.

My God. I've heard more than one person say that Wall Street needs to learn a "lesson" so this doesn't happen again.

To those people I say this: No lesson is worth $1.2 trillion dollars.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Visual sleeping-pill (Another economics post)

I was going to call a moratorium on economic posts here, since they’re hard to write, hard to read, and bloody boring, but I can’t let the latest round of blame-gaming go by without at least a cursory commentary.

I’ve seen numerous posts on sites both left and right finger-pointing at the other side. There’s the obvious leftist view that “this proves that capitalism doesn’t work” to the rightist view “Carter and Clinton caused this”

The first view asks you to view this as emblematic of what happens when you de-regulate, leave supply-and-demand control the price of assets and the second asks you to view the banks as pawns of government who will do what you tell them.

My view? Neither is correct. For a start, governments, central banks and regulation tweak the market on an almost daily basis. The Market is monstrously complicated, and simply taking the view that it “doesn’t work” ignores the legion ways in which it does.

As for Carter and Clinton implementing legislation that “forces” banks to lend to borrowers who can’t afford it, let me tell you something now, from a former insiders perspective; if a bank doesn’t want to give you money, a bank doesn’t give you money. Q, E & D. If they don’t want to give you money – even if the numbers stack up in your favour, they won’t. All they have to have – legally – is a reason not to. And it’s pretty damn easy to find a reason, regardless of any legislation that may be in place, to knock someone back if you are so inclined.

And even if you threaten to fine them, they’ll still knock it back, because it costs them too much in bad-debt provisions not to.

I’ve been involved in implementing lending policies and procedures at three different financial institutions, and the one thing I took away from all three was a sense of wonder at how different people assess the same application, even when they’ve got the same policies and procedures to work off.

On the flip-side, if a financial institution wants to lend, it will find a way. Low doc and No-doc loans are the perfect example. Low-Doc loans and their bastard son the No-Doc loan basically allow you to specify how much you earn on a declaration that is used as “proof” that you can afford to re-pay a loan. Now, I’ve worked in a setting where I had the say on whether these loans went through, and when I was declining “too many”, it was pointed out to me that the policy was to approve No-Doc loans that had a signed declaration regardless of whether I had reason to think the borrower could not afford it

Low-Doc and No-Doc loans were originally formulated for business owners – particularly those in the first few years where it is difficult, if not impossible, to provide evidence that you can repay a loan. (My attitude on this, incidentally, is that whilst your accountant is showing you new and interesting ways of writing off almost every cent of your profit as a business loss they should inform you that if you tell the taxman your profit is $1.87 a year, it’s going to be damn difficult to get a loan at a decent interest rate)

Fine and dandy, but the problems started when financial institutions realised that the declaration itself (If it could not be proved that the financial institution told the borrower what to write on the form – and good luck with that) renders the clause in the Consumer Credit Code useless that tells a financial institution that they cannot lend to people they have reason to suspect cannot afford to borrow.

In short, you can’t tell a bank what to do for more than five minutes without them finding a way to circumvent that legislation. And because they are such big, powerful entities and (technically) own so many assets, they have the power to bring the economy to its knees.

And you know what? Yes, this is a crisis. But I’ll tell you what it isn’t:

New

Or, realistically, any one persons fault.

To suggest that one man, or even one administration, has that much power over entities that we know can bring the economy of the world to a teetering precipice is idiotic. No one piece of legislation has lead to this crisis. All of them have, by not wanting to acknowledge the fact that the measures they’ve taken have been insufficient.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Can't sleep, clown'll eat me

I can tell it's really spring and not just moving into spring when I go from not being able to sleep to sleeping on-and-off but having very vivid dreams.

Brace yourselves for an increase in checking whether we've actually had a conversation / organised an outing / been to Crown Casino.

And completely inane posts at all hours when I wake up suddenly and with an excess of energy from a dream about hot-ballooning with someone I haven't seen since high-school.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I AM the Baby-Eating Bishop of Bath and Wells!

Because it is a well-established fact that leftists hate children, here's proof that we not only hate them, but will eat them, given half the chance:



Keep an eye on your children around Teh Left, people. And watch for suspicious looking bite-marks.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Failing to disappoint

Um. Last year, I wasn't overly enamoured by what Shane McClintock was wearing.

This year? Well let's put it this way:



Or this way:



Someone, get the girl a stylist. Now.

God, Forgive me

I’m in two minds about the declaration by Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart that Catholic Hospitals may have to close if the proposed legislation before Victorian Parliament is successful.

Particularly, Archbishop Hart is concerned about the provisions that mean whilst a medical practitioner can refuse to participate in an abortion or advise on one, they must refer to a practitioner they know to not hold the same beliefs they do.

They’re also concerned about the provision within the act that means they could not refuse to perform an abortion if the mothers life is threatened by a medical emergency.

On one hand, I can sympathise with a medical practitioner if they feel torn between their religion and their duties as a health professional.

On the other hand, no woman should be at the mercy of the belief her doctor holds. She should be able to obtain a referral is the doctor is a conscientious objector - and that's especially important in rural areas.

And she should absolutely not have to die simply because the closest hospital happens to be a Catholic hospital, or she wasn't aware it was a Catholic Hospital.

Consider this scenario: A woman has Pre-eclampsia or HELLP. She lives in a rural area where the only hospital is a Catholic Hospital. She is too ill to stabilise enough to move.

Would you be okay with both mother and foetus dying simply because the doctor is Catholic? You can't save both mother and child, but you can save the mother.

And if you are okay with that, what possible right do you have to call yourself pro-life and others Pro-Death?

Let's be honest. Pro-Lifers - the kind who don't wany any abortion taking place anywhere for any reason, are quite comfortable with maternal death. They'll label the circumstances that might lead to it "rare" and "unfortunate", but they'll still happily legislate that your mother, sister, daughter or wife should die. They will choose the possible - or even the impossible - life of a foetus over your life, or the life of your loved one.

They want your doctor to watch you die, when you can be saved.

Let me be clear - once again, I sympathise with any doctor who has to perform a procedure he or she feels contravenes their chosen religion.

But that doesn't mean I will ever be okay with any doctor choosing to put the life of a child before the mothers because of his or her religion - that, my friends, I consider to be manslaughter. If you can do something to save someone and you don't - when they've asked you to - that's medical manslaughter.

Let me say again - sympathies, Catholic medicos - Now get in there and save your patients life.

Why on earth would a practitioner who feels so strongly about their religion they'd be willing to watch a woman die when they could save her be working in a field where that exact scenario comes up? Get out of Obstetrics, Catholic Medico, and into something where you don't have to risk peoples lives to follow your religion.

This declaration by Archbishop Hart, coupled with Pope Pious coming out and imploring people in pain and dying not to die with dignity but to let God choose the hour of their death has forced me to resolve my religious impasse.

As of this moment, I can no longer consider myself Catholic. I will not be part of an organisation that condones watching women die when they can be saved. I cannot ethically do that. For the Archbishop of my town in this day and age to come out and declare that, I cannot comprehend. I cannot abide.

Ad Te levavi animam meam, but my conscience dictates something different.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'd like to thank the Academy

I have to start today's posting by going a little Gwyneth Paltrow-Oscars-acceptance-speech* and thanking everyone.

Those who've wished me Happy Birthday in the comments or via e-mail, my father and step-mother and step-sister for the lovely birthday breakfast Saturday and for dinner last night, my best mate A and girlfriend A, my brother and his girlfriend for coming on Saturday night. My mother and step-father for organising the surprise three-course meal at the winery, for the flowers, and everyone who got me a card, present, or just said "Happy Birthday"

Seriously, I've been spoilt this year beyond anything I could possibly expected. Honestly, just, wow.

Now, if you'll excuse me, i'm off to cry into my new dressing gown, just to complete the analogy.

*Please note that whilst I'm willing to compromise standards far enough for a Paltrow-esque speech, I'm wearing an excellently uplifting bra (Black half lace balconette with red-rose detail - you know the one), and am not wearing panda like make-up. Some things would be gong too far, even for me.

Friday, September 19, 2008

In Absentia

I may or may not be around this weekend, as it's my birthday tomorrow, and there are surprises in the offing.

I may update Friday, but if I don't, see you on Monday.

Have a good weekend, all.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Challenge or Mission Impossible?

Just as I thought the comment thread was put to bed, comments on this thread have taken off again.

Basically, I'd come across a website (and pamphlet drive) making false claims by a pro-life organisation, and put the challenge out to Pro-lifers to debate honestly and without deception or subterfuge about the proposed legislation de-criminalising abortion in Victoria.

As you can see, the one comment I've had from a pro-lifer has been proven to be less than accurate, and I'm not entirely enamoured of the preachy tone towards women thinking about abortion, either, but it doesn't overstep the mark.

Question is, why do I never seem to be able to find anyone on the Pro-Life side of the fence willing to discuss the issue honestly? Why don't they Tell the Truth as they claim they do?

And why are they still spouting the lie about the link between Breast Cancer and Abortion?

So, any pro-lifers (Apart from you, Iain. I know what you think) out there willing to take up the challenge?

Asploding geeks in 3...2...1

Wow. A new hitchhikers book, written by Eoin Colfer.

I have to say, when I first saw the headline, I was very apprehensive.

Then I saw Colfer would be the writer, and my heart resumed beating again.

Colfer, for those who haven’t heard of him, is the writer of the Artemis Fowl series of books for children/adolescents.

And yes, I’ve read all of them with glee. They’re fantastic. They aren’t at all like Harry Potter (Although there is magic) as I’ve seen some reviewers (who clearly haven’t read the book) state, and I love them.

I can see as well, why he was chosen. He’ll be perfect for it.

And I’m tipping cardiac arrests among geeks and nerds will sky-rocket today. I’m also predicting a Red Cross appeal will be set-up to help bookshop-repair drives just after the book is released.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Easily swayed

I also oppose the "strengthening" of Australian Literature being taught in English classes in school.

But for me, it's for no other reason than if I can save one single school-child from having to read David Malouf, I'll consider my life worthwhile.

Follwing up

On yesterdays post - Here is an excellent juxtoposition of todays climate and the Great Depression, which are the words being bandied about by some journalists.

Also, the predictions were correct - the Fed will be bailing out AIG.

I do like the rumoured structure of the bail-out though - "purchasing" a majority stake and setting up a three-year sell off of certain assets and companies to pay the money back. It gives AIG the time to do what they would have done themselves without shaking up the market any more than necessary.

Hats off, Fed. Although I am noting Bernanke hasn't been named in any of the press-releases I've seen thus far.

Interesting.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Why Lehman's won't happen here.

If you have no interest in Economics, skip this one.

The collapse of Lehman Brothers - an investment firm exposed to the crisis in the US sub-prime market has hit the stock market - particularly the financial centres - this morning with a 2 to 4% average drop and a drop in the US against the Euro.

Basically, what we're seeing is the US market sending shivers through all financial markets.

But all is certainly not lost.

For a start, the US banking, financial systems and market are already under investigation - an investigation held off from completion at the current Administrations insistence until Bush leaves office, I might add - by the International Monetary Fund.

Bush has been resisting this push for seven years. And there's the first difference between the American market and the rest of the world - the ability and willingness to take short term hits for long term stability.

The American ethos seems to be that any sign of short-term weakness will be exploited, and must be avoided – no matter what the long term cost.

Alan Greenspan understood the market. And although I may not have agree with the policy of Fed bail-outs to the market (As apposed to the floating of currency, we’re talking buy-out of stock by the Fed to inflate market prices), Greenspan kept the economy on a remarkably even keel for the time he was in charge, considering he presided during not only September 11, but also the burst of the tech boom.

The American Fed Reserve is the equivalent of the Reserve Bank of Australia. And whilst the workings of the RBA look incomprehensible to the outsider (and sometimes the insider), the Fed can be alarmingly transparent (unless you want to investigate it, that is).

The Fed has been, for the last year, in my opinion, at the mercy of the stock market. If we're talking about "swerves" in policy responding to market conditions, Fed head Ben Bernanke is the perfect example. Up until August last year, Bernanke resisted calls for an interest rate cut, citing the risk of inflation as his reason for inaction.

Two weeks later, the Fed cut interest rates, but stated there would be none further -the risk was simply too high.

That position lasted for a month, until January. Bernanke cut rates by three quarters of a per cent. Days later, there was another cut.

Reactionary? Tick. A sign that policy was at the mercy of the market? Tick. Foolish? I think so.

The other big difference between America and the three markets I’m using as examples (Our own, Europe, and the UK), is regulation.

Australia has quite a high standard of regulation in regards to Authorised Deposit Taking Institutions (ADIs) and what their provisions are in regards to investment versus deposits and loans. In short, your bank or Credit Union must have a certain amount of cold, hard cash sitting around ready at a moments notice should something terrible happen to the share market. That way, your deposits are safe, and the institution is far less likely to call in your debt should something like the sub-prime crash occur, as you’ve got significantly more breathing room.

Also, second mortgages and unsecured lending practices in Australia are more heavily regulated, and banks themselves have tighter procedures than in the US.

Lastly, the face of the finance sector has changed since the introduction of FSRA regulations, which were the last phase of the reforms to the Financial Regulations introduced during the pyramid scheme debacle of the eighties.

The United Kingdom has also showed its willingness to regulate where necessary earlier this year during the furore surrounding the bailout of Northern Rock. The advantage the UK has over the American financial sector is that the current Prime Minister is the former Chancellor of the Exchequer – the man who engineered in large part some of the financial reforms in the UK is now the head of the government, whilst Ben Bernanke is finding himself more and more unpopular even within the Fed itself.

The legislation of the UK could still stand to be further tightened, however, if a repeat of Northern Rock is not to be seen. Gordon Brown has promised such.

As for the European Market, this is the one that most interests me. The market there is vastly different, as there are the competing interests of so many different countries and the far more prevalent practice (particularly in France) for companies – including Financial Institutions to be privately owned rather than public.

Regulation there is controlled through the European Central Bank (ECB), and their response to the Lehman crash mirrored our own – an injection of cash through the system, but no panic buttons pressed. What impresses me even more is the concerted effort of Europe as a whole to keep things on an even keel through modest management. This piece highlights what the difference between the Fed and the ECB (And Europe’s larger banks) in response to a crisis.

The Fed in the last sixteen months has reminded me of a hyperactive toddler on red cordial. I feel like grabbing it by the scruff of the neck and sticking it in a naughty chair to watch the action until it’s learnt its lesson. Bernanke doesn’t seem to understand that if you tie yourself to the market, you have to deal with the up and downs.

And with the sub-prime crisis already on the cards when he did so, you can only assume the man thought he had the magic touch Greenspan had. What he didn’t seem to grasp was that Greenspan’s biggest advantage was he knew when to go on the attack and when to go on the defence.

Bernanke doesn’t.

In the RBA, and through the tightened legislation in the last two decades, Australia is primed to ride out the crisis in the US, as are the UK and European markets.

Now, if AIG (American International Group) goes down* (I’m tipping it won’t – the Fed would have to be insane not to weigh in on this one), we’re in for one very interesting couple of quarters.

Oh, and America? This is why it's a good idea not to worship de-regulation of the Financial sector like a damn god. And when are you going to regulate your Insurance Sector? Australia's has at least been self-regulated for years.


*If you can't see this, do yourself a favour and sign up for a 14 day trial. Some call the AFR conservative. Yeah, well, so it should be. It's money, not a collection of Pogs, isn't it?

This, I swear

And this time I mean it.

I am very, very close to finishing my post on economics. The problem with finishing it has been that every time I think I'm done, the bloody market opens again and I have something to add to it.

God damn you, money markets! Could your computers not just go down for one day?*

I should have the post finished by 6pm this evening. If it isn't done by then, assume my body is lying in a ditch somewhere because I've been attacked by ruffians who are after the Whiz-Bang Phone just as I press Publish Post.

Because I am going to get it done today, damn it.

** I don't mean that. I know it would be disastrous for the economy, but relevant events keep happening just as I finish it, and it's starting to get on my nerves

Monday, September 15, 2008

Signs you might just be tired

You go to put the teabag in the fridge and the milk in the bin.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Not scared yet? We'll just keep trying then

Dear Herald Sun,

I'm still not scared.

I hate to disappoint you, but telling me about "secret" internal logs (So secret they can be obtained through the Freedom of Information act!) that detail 1293 incidents (ranging, according to the limited incidents you reported from people being spat on to a sexual assault on a child) in a three year period has actually made me feel safer.

Because that's just more than on incident a day.

On a rail network the size Melbourne has, with as many people crammed on to it a day as it does, I think one-and-a-half incidents a day is pretty damn good.

And considering there's a been a 27.4 per cent drop between 2002 and 2008 in crime on out public transport system, I'm feeling safer every day.

But keep trying, Herald Sun.

If nothing else you're giving me a good chuckle.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Please, Herald Sun, tell me what emotion to feel today.

The tag line when you click on this link is “Fear Grips Railway Users”

Gripped by fear?

Really?

Am I, Herald Sun? Just let me check.

Um, no, I’m not “gripped by fear” at the idea of public transport. I’m not even that concerned by a 2.5% rise in crime, considering the use of public transport has increased by substantially more than that in the last twelve months.

And I’ll tell you a secret, Mary Bolling, I’m not even afraid of catching the last train home by myself on – gasp! – the most dangerous line in Melbourne, the Hurstrbridge line.

Want to know why?

In the 14 years I’ve been catching public transport by myself, apart from the (frankly amusing) ranting loonies you see everywhere, and I’ve had no trouble at all on Public Transport.

I know it happens, I know serious assaults, sexual assaults, robbery and the like occur, and I’m not trying to downplay what actually occurs, but you know what the majority of crimes on the public transport system are?

Rocks thrown at trains.

Vandalism.

Bored kids screwing around.

Forgive me if I’m not quaking in my boots here, Herald Sun, but apart from the inconvenience of delayed trains caused by vandalism – which I’m more than used to by now – I’ve never been directly affected by the rampant crime you’re telling me to be all afeared of.

Media beat up?

Let’s put it this way. In half an hour I’m getting on the Hurstrbridge line. And I’ll be catching it later on tonight as well. And tomorrow, and well into the forseeable future.

And I’m not the slightest bit more concerned than I was before I read this piece of tripe very informative article.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Status: Not Dead

The world appears to still exist.

I'm not dead.

But as a colleague of mine and I were just discussing, it might be that we've died, failed to notice whilst pouring over a spreadsheet, and when we come to leave for the day we'll find the doors locked and discover we're in Hell.

I'll let you know if that's the case. Presumabely hell has Internet access?

Answering the tough Questions

The answer to the question I posed a few days ago when I asked what I was talking about when I said "I've been thinking about it, and I draw the line at monkey"

Is:

I wouldn't eat live monkey brains.

Someone was talking about the tradition in a country I forgot at the time I wrote the post to eat monkeys brains whilst they are still alive.

And that's where I draw the line. I'll eat offal in all it's manifestations (Apart from tripe and kidney, which I don't like the taste of), but I will not eat a live monkey brain.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Apa-Logies

Sorry, sorry. I know there's supposed to be actual, topical posts here today, but I haven't had a chance.

Tell you what, I'll try and write one (for both blogs) on the bus on the way home.

Gah!

In the meantime, here's something to keep the girls occupied:



And boys, well, there's a copy of Alpha next to my bed, I think.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Okay, I lied

When I said I wouldn't blog it. In fact, I'm blogging it right now.

A million points if you can tell me what I was talking about when I said the following:

"I've been thinking about it, and I draw the line at Monkey"

Accounting for a difference in attitudes

I've left a comment on this thread over at Andrew Bolt's den of iniquity.

Whilst there's nothing on the surface wrong with wishing someone with a mental illness well, it contrasts sharply with Bolt's treatment of Catherine Devaney's rumoured mental illness (Detailed at this excellent website here)

Basically, Bolt and his commenters were calling for Devaney to be fired in the wake of unsubstantiated rumours that Age columnist Catherine Devaney had received a possible diagnosis of Bi-Polar disorder. Apparently that's compassion.

His commenters, as Bolt was well aware they would, went one further and suggested her views were a result of that rumoured and unsubstantiated illness.

Of course, when it's one of his friends who suffers, things are vastly different.

One word:

Bastard.

Quick update

Still in the midst of writing multiple posts. Problem is, some of them are topical, so I have to finish them as quickly as I can. That isn't helped when Guitar Hero just looks so attractive, and I keep leaving the writing pad with the half-finished posts at work.

Additionally, there's been a sisters 21st, a death and Fathers Day and a major project deadline at work in the last week. Forgive the lack of posting, but priorities, etc.

So, coming in the next day or so - my post on economics, with a link to an article with "I told you so" written all over it, finally the post I've been promising people for two months on prison reform, and whatever fluff pieces I've been hanging on to for just this kind of rush.

The economics one, at least, should be up tonight. Hopefully. Maybe.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Non-Core Promising

I know I said the next post I did would be on the economy, but something more urgent has come up.

My new hair:



It's significantly shorter, a completely different style, and a pretty different colour.

Here's a very emo shot of me concentrating on keeping the camera still:



And a shot I like to call "See what I mean? My eyes look different sizes if you take a photo from the side!":



N.B:- I've been at work for two hours. Not one person has noticed. And it might not look it in the photos, but it's a big change.

Bastards.

So, what do we think?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Not just a once issue pony

There's a been a lot of pro-choice posting here of late.

So, hopefully by tomorrow morning, I'll be posting my take on the current economic climate, and what the interest rate drop means for it.

Jebus. Exciting around here, isn't it?

By the way, there's a dicussion on this going on at another venue. You've probably all seen it. I believe I've just been compared to a firework.

I have no idea if that's meant to be an insult or not.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Launching......

For a few weeks now, I've been in the process of setting up a new blog.

It'll be additional to this one, not instead, and hopefully I can keep both running at the half-arsed full-tilt pace I'm going at the moment.

Why, I hear you not ask?

Because when I first set up the new blog, this blog ranked number one for my full name. That's worrying, if I want to write anything vaguely personal here (Which I frequently do) without worrying about future employers etc judging me on the basis of a very, very crapulous on-line rant box. There are things I'd like to talk about that I feel I can't, because this blog is so bloddy findable.

So the other blog is up. An e-mail will be going round to the usual suspects, and if you traipse around the usual haunts, you might find a link.

Otherwise, contact me via e-mail and I'll pass on the link.

Speechless, for now

I'm working on about eight posts at once, which I've only now realised is a bad idea.

Also, I'll be unveiling the blogging project that's been keeping me busy soon, too.

For now, take a look at this

Apparently, according to Bolt and some of his readers, softening of an inflated housing market is a bad thing.

I'll come back and write more on this later, but for now, sit back and marvel at the stupidity who will try and paint positive economic outlooks as a negative as long as it can be pinned on someone Bolt doesn't approve of.

**Update**

Posted the following comment at the BoltCave:

"Don't bother, Owen. Why talk sense when there are witches to hunt?

Seriously, if you don't know enough about the economy to realise that a slowdown in inflation, drop in interest rates and softening in an inflated housing market was the aim of not only Swan, Rudd and the RBA but also their predecessors, you've got no place commenting on the economy to start with"


It'll be interesting to see if it gets published.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Here endeth the lesson

I grew up on a street in Wales named after the architect and implementer of the NHS in the UK. I don't know if that colours my opinion in regards to the health system and my feelings on Private vs. Public, but here it is summed up by the man himself:

""No society can legitimately call itself civilized if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means" - Aunerin Bevan

Q, E and bloody D, my freinds.

N.B: For a time, when I couldn't afford to do otherwise, I had Private Health cover through Medibank Private.

I cancelled it last month.

Live by sword, etc.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Parents can be immature too.

This is a good thing, as far as I'm concerned.

(For those too lazy to click - a mother is up-in-arms (so up in arms she's taking payment for her story from current affairs shows, I might add) that her 14-year old daughter was taken to a doctor by the school nurse to have the contraceptive pill prescribed)

If a 14-year old girl is sexually active, it's a damn good idea for her to be on the pill. If she approaches the school nurse, is that nurse then supposed to turn her away?

Is she supposed to inform a parent who the student is clearly not comfortable discussing her sex life with, thus losing the trust of the student?

Refuse to take her to the doctor and instead end up counselling her on termination services?

Pretend it isn't happening and hope it goes away?

Fact is, some parents aren't approachable on matters such as this, or for whatever reason, a teenager doesn't feel comfortable approaching their parents. In an ideal world, it wouldn't happen, but it does.

The student in this case, clearly felt she could approach the school nurse, and as far as I'm concerned, did the right thing by ensuring at least one adult would have the trust of the student.

The schools first duty of care should always be to the student. Quite frankly, the sensibilities of the parent are a very distant second to the health of the student under their care.

And that includes their sexual health. I think it's great that the student in this case felt comfortable enough going to someone - anyone - at the school for advice and assistance.

The real tragedy here isn't that the school nurse then provided that support, it's that the mother decided that it was in her daughters best interest to involve the media, instead of having a damn long think about why her daughter didn't feel comfortable enough to discuss it with her.

I can only imagine how deeply embarrassed this girl is going to be, and how soon it will be before she's being mercilessly teased and bullied because her mother didn't stop and think for one minute about who is really to blame here and what the consequences of her actions would be.

In this case, her daughter is thinking through the consequences of her actions by making sure she takes at least some precautions if she is sexually active or thinking about being sexually active, whilst her mother is thinking only in terms of who else is to blame.

Monday, August 25, 2008

When ironic just doesn't cover it.

I’m going to start to sound like a broken record, but you know what? Tough. This is my little corner of the intertubes, and I’ll use it as I see fit.

This organisation is pro-life, as is their want. Please note the name - Tell the Truth Coalition.

Everyone has a right to an opinion. I've got no issue with that.

What I do have an issue with is this bunch of badly constructed lies:

The Victorian Government is considering the removal of all legal protection for children up until the moment of birth!

Once this is made law it will:
• Legalise ALL abortions until the moment of birth.
• Punish medical staff who refuse to co-operate in an abortion.
• Deny legal protection to women being coerced to have an abortion.
• Allow violent offenders to end the life of an unborn child without murder or manslaughter charges.
Say NO to legalising abortion in Victoria! Contact your local member of parliament today. Click here to find your local member.


Uh, guys? Have you actually read what the legislation proposes? Because not one of the above contentions is true.

Let's look at it step by step, shall we?

"Legalise ALL abortions until the moment of birth"

No, it doesn't. What it does is legalise all abortions up until 24 weeks. After this point - and here's what the bill itself has to say - "The registered medical practitioner may only perform such an abortion if the medical practitioner reasonably believes that the abortion is appropriate in all the circumstances, and the medical practitioner's belief is supported by at least one other registered medical practitioner"

"Punish medical staff who refuse to co-operate in an abortion"

No, what the bill says is that if a medical practitioner is not comfortable performing or advising a woman on an abortion or termination services, they must refer them to a another practitioner. All women must have equal access to whatever services are available. There are no prescribed penalties for not participating in an abortion. The only exception is "a registered medical practitioner is under a duty to perform an abortion, and a registered nurse is under a duty to assist in the performance of an abortion in an emergency where the abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman" So effectively, there is no change to the current law.

"Deny legal protection to women being coerced to have an abortion."

Actually, this isn't just a misinterpretation of the change in law, it's an out and out lie. There is nothing - nothing at all - in the new bill, or any of the amendments to the current law that mention denying legal protection to women being coerced to have an abortion.

Yet there are many mentions, in any resource you care to glance at, for women who feel they are being pressured. I would also suggest heading to your nearest Church, because I know most Churches do know the details of services that can assist if you feel pressured, and all Catholic churches I've attended have counselling services if not on hand, then a phone call away.

"Allow violent offenders to end the life of an unborn child without murder or manslaughter charges"

Now this one, this one is almost clever. This one almost works, if it wasn't for the structure of it. Because I suppose it would be a matter of opinion as to what a "violent offender" is, in the case of an abortion. The assumption is that any doctor who has ever performed an abortion is a "violent offender".

Now, if the word "offender" wasn't used, they'd almost, almost be able to get away with this one. But offender? Means against the law. So unless the "Violent Offender" has been charged and convicted under the Destruction of Children Act - which we know no-one has since the Menhennitt ruling in R v Davidson (1969) - you couldn't honestly call them an offender, could you?

Pro-Lifers, a challenge: If you want to protest against the current changes before parliament, that's your right. That's your democratic right in this country and most others, and I respect that.

But do it without lying. Because only the most naieve are going to swallow that bunch of lies and propaganda.

*Hat tip to Suburban Marxist andPrivate Tom