Forlorn.of.thee (fa'lo:n ŭv thē), p, my only strength and stay,forlorn of thee, whither shall I betake me, where subsist?
Paradise Lost by John Milton
.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The silly season...

Don't you just love reporters. I know one person who doesn't, Cardinal George Pell. Commenting on the miracles of Mary MacKillop, he said "Yes obviously (cancer can be cured by prayer), and there are quite a number of examples in the books."

And the headlines screamed: Books prove prayer can cure cancer, says archbishop

I think what he wanted to say was "There are quiet a number of documented cases where prayer helped cancer go into remission..." Sigh, George, gotta watch what you say.

Poor Britney, been accused of eating cute furry things! Britney Spears denies eating squirrels says the headlines. All it was, Spears's official website published a list of the top 75 silly stories.

And finally, I don't care if I have a heart attack, bugger the calories and cholesterol, I had to add this. Bacon, sausage, (deep) fried bread, mushroom, tomatoes, baked beans and fried egg... coffee! Where's the coffee??

Monday, December 14, 2009

Freebies and a long life...


Manz at Gritfix brought this to my attention, free stickers from LadyUmbrella. If Chrissy cards are scant this year, send off your free sticker. It may just arrive in time for Christmas.

For something totally different, worried about the cholesterol overdose at the office parties, you gotta read this. For those who have aversion to clicking through, it's an article about staring at boobs to live longer.

According to Dr. Karen Weatherby, a gerontologist (A what?) and author of the study, suggests that staring at women's breasts is good for men's health and increases their life expectancy. She also recommended that men over 40 should gaze at larger breasts daily for 10 minutes.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Applying for work on Russian TV


I'd love to work with Oxana Fedorova (Miss Russia/ Miss Universe) on the kid's program Good Night, Little Ones.

Monday, December 7, 2009

To all friends...

A very Merry Christmas. Another year, zooms past...




Monday, November 16, 2009

2012? Who cares?


We've been reading about global warming, greenhouse gasses, climate change blah blah...

There will be a climate change conference in Copenhagen from the 7th to 18th December 2009 and we've got all these countries hoping for great changes, setting emission targets to save our planet.

What the hell, bugged the planet. Why should Australia care, suffer the economic consequences when the major emitters don't give a f*ck.

List of countries by 2006 emissions in tonnes. Source Wikipedia

How many of the countries listed above are doing anything towards reducing their carbon emissions? China? US? Russia? India?

It's really no different to saving the whales... There's Greenpeace screaming "Whales must not be allowed to die in the thousands..." and there's Japan screaming "Sushi !"

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Australia - a short history


Aborigines:
"Damn Colonist!"
(Watching Captain Cook claim NSW in 1788)

English: "Bugger, it's Paddy and his leprechauns!"
(Watching the arrival of Irish convicts between 1791-1820)

Whites: "Yellow peril !"
(Following the arrival of Chinese miners in the 1850s)

West Europeans: "Oh my Lord, it's the wogs and Mafia crims here to steal our jobs and wives!"
(Cringing at the arrival of the Italians, Greeks, Poles and Yugoslavs in the 1950s)

All: "It's the bloody boat people !"
(Counting as 100,000 Vietnamese escape communism between 1970s - 1980s)

John Howard: "Stop the Afgans on the MV Tampa and Iraqis sneaking into Australia ! Mandatory detention !"
(John Howard playing on Australians xenophobic sentiment, won the election in 2001)

Kevin Rudd: "It's about people smuggling, like money laundering and drug trafficking. It's not about refugees from war-torn Sri Lanka."
(Rudd Government on the dilemma posed by 78 Tamils on board the Aussie customs ship, the Oceanic Viking, 2009)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cottonwool Kids and Spoilt Brats

Reading Annie's blog, made me wonder how far we've come...

"PINT-SIZED crash helmets, baby- wipe warmers, baby GPS units, temporary tattoos with mum's mobile number and food allergy warnings". We protect, mollycoddle, teach them to walk away from fights. We let them have their way, throw tantrums at the supermarket, buy them the latest toys and gadgets and more...

What happened to the sound smack when they misbehave? Where's the biff in the school playground?

Even schools now eschew corporal punishment and teachers have one less behavioral motivator. I recall being hauled up at assembly (in front of the whole school and feeling the cane), standing in the corner of the classroom, arms outstretched holding weighty tomes and running round the quad. It probably made me a better person.

Was in church on Sunday for a little quiet reflection but alas there was this couple letting their kid run amok, not just in the aisle but climbing all over the altar. Yea, Jesus may love little kids but I could have throttled that monkey...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mixed bag: Sharks, FCUM and Nessie

There is a monster great white measuring up to six metres long prowling the popular beachs of Queensland.


It bit another three meter great white almost in half (poor thing was still alive when hauled onto a boat near Deadman's Beach off north Stradbroke island). Read more here.

_______________________

Unique branding or a ripoff. English football club FCUM (Football Club of Manchester) could be accused of copying FCUK.

What's really sad is that they don't have any fans (watch the end of this clip) !



_______________________


And finally, they have found Nessie's remains. Unfortunately it was discovered in Dorset, southern part of England.

Wee ladie, am sorry tae Scootlund :0)



Thursday, October 22, 2009

End times - 2012?


Can you imaging the hostility religion causes?

Someone recently sent me an email whinging about the Halal label on Cadbury Milk chocs. "BOYCOTT CADBURY!" she screamed. "Less than 2% of Aussies are Muslims, why do we pander to them, how come they punch above their weight?" Insinuations and accusations of bribery and other devious deeds followed.

How many of the 60%+ Aussie Christian population cares whether there is a Halal, Kosher or even a Heart Foundation Tick on a block of chocolate?

What I find disturbing is that the "militant" Catholic crusaders are coming out of the woodwork. They are making direct attacks on other religions, be it kicking up a ruckus about a Halal label, or calling for Latin masses. Even the Vatican is on a recruitment drive, holding out the olive branch to unhappy Anglicans, inviting them to return to the fold, mobilising its troops so to speak.

What's sad is that there are so few differences, but so many common traits in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. To begin with, there is a common ancestor Abraham. His sons were Ishmael and Issac. Mohammad descended from Ishmael, Moses and Jesus from Issac. All believe in one god, share sacred sites and even the Archangel Gabriel revealing the Qur'an to Mohammad and the Annunciation (to Mary).

So, how about it. Lets merge the three religions and end it all. By the way did you know, the "official" view according to the Catholic Church, the end of the world is when Jews become Christians (Catechism of the Catholic Church 674).

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sweet Briar Rose


Briar Rose, the name of sleeping beauty in a tale by the Brothers Grimm. A flower with pink petals and a lovely fragrance.

Such a sweet name and yet, it's classified as a weed down under.

Sweet Briar Rose... life's just not fair eh?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mobile Blogging

Here it is, my first blog delivered via the Blackberry from the station. So how does it look? I've no idea how to position the photos.



Guess mobile blogging is great for short mutters and limited (read one !) photo.



Next stop, Bondi Beach !!

Sent via BlackBerry® from Telstra

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dust Storm - Sydney

Woke up on 23 September 2009, to find everything bathed in an eerie red glow. Sydney was smothered by thick cloud of fine red dust, carried by strong winds from inland NSW.

By mid-morning, the red hue was gone but the dust storm still raged. This was not fog...


Thank goodness, the storm has cleared today and we've got back our blue skies...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Aussie favourites and other goodies...

I've done a few parcel exchanges in my time, (usually with friends Stateside). Seldom have I given it much thought, throw in a couple of packets of Tim-Tam, a jar of Vegemite and so on.

The postage, costs three times the value of the goodies, maybe it's time I put a little effort into the task. So I ask myself, what's typical Aussie? Wine is out of the question as bottles are too heavy and likely to smash...

Here it is, my list of eight Aussie icons.


1. Lamingtons. Sponge cake dipped into chocolate and pressed into desiccated coconut.

2. Twisties. Cheese cereal snack launched in the 1950s.

3. ANZAC Biscuits. Made from rolled oats, flour and coconut, baked by anxious wives, mothers and girlfriends during World War I, packed in food parcels, and sent to the Australian soldiers in the trenches. Originally called Soldiers' Biscuits later renamed ANZAC Biscuits.

Worth noting: ANZAC is a word protected by law. One can say ANZAC day and ANZAC biscuits. ANZAC cookies, NO!!!

The Department of Veterans' Affairs say... "It should be noted that approvals for the word 'Anzac' to be used on biscuit products have been given provided that the product generally conforms to the traditional recipe and shape, is not advertised in any way that would play on Australia's military heritage, and is not used in association with the word 'cookies', with its non-Australian overtones."

4. Milo. A chocolate and malt drink developed in Australia in the 1930's. Associated with Aussie cricket and the favoured beverage for the Tim Tam Slam.

5. Tim Tams. Biscuit smothered in a coating of chocolate. Bite off the ends and suck your Milo through it... the Tim Tam Slam!

6. Whittaker's Chocolates. There is no distinct Aussie brand so I picked one from NZ. The most common chocs in Australia are made by the multinationals, Cadbury, Lindt and Toblerone.

7. Vegemite. A dark brown and salty spread made from yeast. Yum on hot toast and butter!

8. Mandura Teas. From the tea plantations in northern NSW, founded by Michael and Norma Grant-Cook in 1978.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fish therapy anyone?

Garra rufa or the reddish log sucker live and breed in the outdoor pools of some Turkish spas, where they feed on the skin of patients with psoriasis. The fish consume the affected and dead areas of the skin, leaving the healthy skin to grow, with the outdoor location of the treatment bringing beneficial effects.

Read a little bit more here.

But have you wondered what happens to the fish from devouring all that dead skin... they grow!

For M$5*, you get to while away 10 minutes, with you feet dangling in the tank and fish gnawing away those tootsies!



M$3 = A$1 = U$0.80

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'm a sucker for...

...sob stories? Or a pretty face :)

Danish mum, Karen seeking August's dad... maybe maintenance support :)



Heidi Clarke, looking for Prince Charming, left his jacket at a city cafe...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Food, shopping and stuff...

Sometime ago Vixel mentioned that she would love to try durians. Finally, after almost a decade, I've reacquainted my taste buds with that fruit. Durians have this hard thorny shell, quite difficult to open. Nowadays, one can buy them conveniently prepacked in Malaysian supermarkets. Bought four packets for M$ 10*.

The taste, heaven. The smell? Er... not unpleasant. My mistake however was to carry the recently acquired durian around in the shopping center.

On shopping centres... visited Berjaya Times Square. Can you imagine ten floors of shops, with cinemas, bowling alleys and a theme park as diversions. The shopp-a-holics can leave the kids and partners...

(I was exploring the food hall !)

The month of Ramadan has just started. This is when Muslims fast from sunrise to sundown (not even a drop of water !).

For the non-astronomers, sunrise and sunset times are published in the dailies.

During this month, there is a proliferation of little roadside stalls selling typical Malaysian fare. The daily breaking of fast in the evening is one of celebration. People buy their evening meal (...cooking is the last thing on your mind if you've been working and starving the whole day).


... and these stalls sell a famous Malaysian dish... satay!


... and Nasi Lemak (coconut rice) was a dish for the poorer members of the community, now it's found in all the 5 star hotels. It comprises the rice cooked in coconut milk, a sprinkle of fried peanuts and ikan bilis (anchovies?) and a dollop of sambal (a kind of thick chili paste).


... and I had my nasi lemak with beef rendang (a mild dry coconut curry). Not going to tough it out with a couple of peanuts and anchovies...



More weird and wonderful fruits, bought a kilo of mangosteens for M$3*. This sells for A$1* each in Sydney. Unfortunately, rambutans (the red hairy ones) weren't in season.



Much better than the Aussie Beef jerky is the Long Yok. It's thin slices of pork, marinated and then smoked.... sweetish and it's yum!



Wandering the wet markets, spotted mud crab for sale at M$22* a kilo. Crab sells for A$40* in Sydney. The poor crabs landed up on the dining table looking a little... er cut up?


Finally, Bak Kut Teh (literally translated spare rib tea). Ordered my bowl at this place, it's spare ribs cooked for hours in herbs and soya sauce.


Planning my next trip... who's coming?


* M$3 = A$1 = U$0.80 = £0.50

Monday, August 31, 2009

Temples, Churches and Mosques...

Back from a short holiday to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, population a tad shy of 7 m inhabitants (including the suburbs). A friend asked for snaps of a church, managed to do better.

Malaysia is a Muslim country but enshrined in the country's constitution is the right of worship. So, Buddhist, Hindu, and Christian places of worship are a commonplace around town.

We'll start with Po Ling Chinese Temple. Serves pretty good vegetarian dishes. (Yes, it's all about food... and shopping in Malaysia!)


Dropped by the Sri Mahamariamman Hindu Temple. Paid my M$2* for what I thought was the admission fee. Was I wrong! It was a 'donation' for a blessing. Cleansed my soul over the fire and was handed a packet containing two bananas, betle leaves and chalk (smear the chalk on the leaves and chew!)


It's said that all distances out of Kuala Lumpur start from St. Mary's Cathedral. It's located next to Selangor Club and the Padang (the Field) where the old colonials sipped their Scotch and swung the cricket bat.


Finally, there's Masjid Negara (the National Mosque).


No, its not a sect nor freemasons in purple. A condition for admittance, us foreigners had to attire ourselves in this robe :)


* M$3 = A$1 = U$0.80

Friday, August 14, 2009

Eye Candy?


It started at Wimbledon, the All England Club admitted that to play on Centre Court, you gotta be a hottie! So there was Gisela Dulko (unseeded), Sorana Cirstea (27th), and Maria Kirilenko (unseeded, ranked 59) all playing on Centre Court whereas poor Svetlana Kuznetsova, who won the French Open and Serena Williams had to slug it out on Court 2.

The SMH article also quotes a spokesman from the All England Club, Johnny Perkins, "Good looks are a factor. 'It's not a coincidence that those [on Centre Court] are attractive."

Wimbledon champion, German Michael Stich, hit the nail on the head when he said "That's [sex] is what they sell."

Now we also know that job offers are based on good looks, bugger the experience. Talent2 director, John Banks said physical appearance was still a large part of the hiring process. In some cases, it was the determining factor 90 per cent of the time.

So girls, if you're hankering for that vacancy you know what to wear...

Guess job interviews are designed to weed out the ugly and those of undesirable race.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Office 2010

For the geeks in us... this had me in stiches. Thanks KC.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Ides of March

Is buying life insurance like tempting fate? Lighting strike me, I don't care coz I'm insured!

What about the old biddies who save for, prepay their funeral or buy a funeral bond?

I'm no better, planning my own demise and a damn nifty piece of work too. The powers that be decided to close the joint and I've Gantt-ed myself out of a job by 19 March 2010.

Damn I could be hit by a bus by a then...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Racist? Never.....

We've had an expatriate manager accusing Aussies of being racist, vehement denials from various pollies followed with accusations of the guy being sour grapes.

Unfortunately, we were made made to eat humble pie when thousand of Indian students demonstrated against racial violence directed against them. Now we have this research from Prof. Leigh at the Australian National University who found that found people with Chinese names are much more likely to be knocked back for a job interview than applicants with an Anglo-Saxon name.

In Sydney, Chinese jobseekers needed to send 92 per cent more job applications than those with an Anglo-Saxon background, while Middle Eastern applicants needed to post 80 per cent more resumes.

Shame...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Beauty Marketing 101

The market is dominated by the big boys (or girls), Estee Lauder, Clinique, L'Oreal but to name a few. The market is crowded and despite the credit crunch, buyers are still willing to spend. So how can a one differentiate oneself?

By offering a unique product. Something special and unique with miraculous properties...

We have a Norwegian company, Bioforskning, synthesising a compound found in sperm and claiming the resulting concoction is the ultimate new wrinkle-busting antioxidant or the (not-cheap) offering from SkinScience (now we know how those porn stars stay young and it's free too!)

Or the offering from SkinMedica, its TNS Recovery Complex is formulated with harvested foreskin cells.

For an organic feel, how about a bird-poo facial tested by Japanese geishas since the 18th century?

Thank you MSN!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Funny this.....

"I would say that Australia definitely is different [from] the US. In many ways it was like stepping back in time... But my point is that [racism] does exist and it's got to change because the world is full of a lot of people and most economies have to take advantage - including Australia - of a diverse set of people."
Sol Trujillo - ex CEO Telstra

"I think there was a bit of sour grapes in them actually,"
John Brumby - Victorian Premier

and in today's press 1,164 articles

Indian students in Melbourne, Victoria protest over race attacks... Ethnic tensions after a spate of recent attacks on Indian students - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Finally.... in damage control mode

"I speak on behalf of all Australians when say I say that we deplore and condemn these attacks,"
Kevin Rudd - Prime Minister

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Making money on the net

From Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time comic

Didn't think it was possible to make money on the net but recently someone offered to send me $50 to stick their banner on the Fun with Finance blog, plus 30¢ - 50¢ per click. All payments made monthly via PayPal.

Did I take it up? No.

Started the blogs for fun and not looking to make money, besides I wouldn't be able to abuse anyone would I, when I'm on a good behaviour bond!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

You can't be a Christian...

... and practice Tai chi or Yoga. Reverend Viv Morse from Wynyard Baptist Church took offense at a senior citizens' Tai Chi class.

"Half of Tai Chi is Taoism and Zen Buddhism, which is in total contrast to what we as a Christian church believe in." Rev Morse said.

He goes on to say "It's about a type of meditation, and what they call search for enlightenment, where you go into things like yoga do (yoga do) or, like in the martial arts, meditations where you just emptied your mind and let it go wherever it wanted to.

Well that stands in opposition to Christianity, which says we are to be in control of our faculties."

Nice... bring back the inquisition!

Read the story here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Political Correctness?

Do you dare speak your mine? Stand up for you beliefs? Miss California did and got her butt kicked.

Was she insensitive and offensive? Should she have lied, just to win?



California in a general election ballot on November 4, 2008 changed the state Constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples and eliminated same-sex couples' right to marry. Also known as Proposition 8....

Friday, March 27, 2009

Cheap Plonk


The 16th annual Chardonnay du Monde competition was held on 11 to 14 March 2009 at Château des Ravatys, the wine estate of the Pasteur Institute at Saint Lager in the Burgundy wine region of France.

923 wines were sampled from 37 countries. After four days of judging, coming in as one of the 10 BEST Chardonnay in the WORLD is Mc Williams Hanwood Estate Chardonnay - South Eastern Australia 2007.

Yup, just stocked the cellar at $6.50 a bottle from 1st Choice Wines

Quality comes at a price... sigh ;)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lunch Lite?

Went for lunch at Fish at the Rocks with the team from work. Service was fine but the food? Can be surmised in one word... disappointing. Maybe two words... very disappointing.

Started with oysters. Considered the lobster at $108 but didn't want to make a pig of myself, instead went for the Moreton Bay Bugs at $64. Just enough for 4 fork-fulls!


Someone had the West Aussie scampi at $76, the dish looked impressive but totally inedible. Served in tempura batter but the chef FORGOT to remove the very hard shell! No meat in that either!

Dessert was a saving grace but then at $12 it better be!

Still famished, we wandered down to Hungry Jacks for a burger...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Male Fantasies !

Thanks to a couple of Tribe mates for bringing this to my attention...

From the International Tribune...

" Dressed in a plaid miniskirt, a polka-dot shirt and a pink Victorian dress, three young women named Japan's "Ambassadors of Cute" made their debut at the Foreign Ministry on Thursday and are about to embark on a mission to spread Japan's smorgasbord of fashion culture to the world.

They will lecture on Japanese fashion at international events, including an anime and fashion expo in Bangkok later this month and a cultural convention in Paris in July. To reinforce their cuteness, two pink hearts float next to the girls' official titles on government releases..."

Nice work guys. Reinforcing the Lolita Complex... and government sanctioned too !

________________________

and....

"Man caught with penis in pasta jar ... near Nobbys Beach" screams the headline.

The poilce found a 750-millilitre jar around his penis and noted that Weatherley attempted to continue "pleasuring himself in between bouts of wrestling".

A search of his car uncovered pornography, a home-made sex aid, women's stockings and a Jack Russell terrier.

Poor poor terrier...

What the f*ck is this world cuming to?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Twits and Twitter(s) !

Keep receiving these invites to keep up with mates on Twitter. You may wonder what it is...

The official blurb is "Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?"

According to Wiki it's "a social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users' updates, tweets, which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length."

Twits!

1) It costs me hard cold cash every time I send a SMS!
2) Tried signing on and I'm told...


3) Fine... Clicked forgot password and...

4) Helpdesk or support. I'd be that lucky. One has to sign in to be able to access support, and that I can't do!


Twitters

Barack Obama
Malcolm Turnbull
Kevin Rudd

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Livin' down under

I love living in Australia... well, mostly.

It's big, it's friendly, the weather in Sydney is fabulous.

But to be an Aussie means having to vote. Since 1911, one must be enrolled on the electoral roll. From 1924 voting is compulsory for everyone on that roll. Failure to vote means having to turn up in court and cop a fine. Refuse to pay that fine and you could be thrown in jail.

To be on the electoral roll also means you can be summoned for jury duty. I've copped it sweet, criminal case expected to last 3 weeks from 30 March.

Employer has kindly begged the Sheriff's office that I be let off, otherwise there goes this quarter's financial reporting.

... or I could always turn up in jeans with joint hanging from my lips mumbling "Peace man! That pig is guilty as hell."

Friday, February 20, 2009

Necessary Change?

Being a Catholic is not easy, there are more 'thou shall nots' than 'thou can'. It's no surprise to read that Father Peter Kennedy has been sacked as the Catholic priest of St Mary's parish in Brisbane for allowing women to preach, for blessing gay couples, for denying the Virgin birth and for claiming that the Church is dysfunctional.

But then, it's never easy doing anything and sticking with it, be it a diet, exercise regiment or ones beliefs. Too often, you have to choose, black or white, never gray. One is either a Catholic or one is not. You believe or you don't. You can't be a Catholic and claim that Jesus was a mere mortal and that Mary was not a virgin.

Pope Benedict was none too happy with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic who supports abortion rights. She said on NBC - Meet the Press "The point is, is that it shouldn't have an impact on the woman's right to choose."

On several issues, Obama's Democratic administration is at odds with the Vatican. Issues like abortion and stemcell research.

Would acceptance of the right to abortion, gay marriages, women priests be viewed as corruption of the fundamental beliefs, metaphorically speaking, a crack in St Peter's rock?

And I tell you that you are Peter,
and on this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

~ Matthew 16:18

Is there a growing confrontation directed against the Magisterium, that threatens the very foundation of the Church*?

Necessary change or evil corruption, what say you?

* Taken from Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (for Religious and Laity)