Saturday, December 24, 2011

Fun with printers

Pulled the little-used printer out of the cupboard today to print some DVDs to discover that the third printer in a row has died due to print head blockage.

 

After some bad language and stomping about I realised that if I only got a shot away with the infrequency that the printer does I would probably have a blockage too, and got on with it.

 

Note:  running print head cleans until you go an interesting shade of purple in the face will NOT fix this.  The problem is that the heads dry up from lack of use and moisture, similar to the concept of a dry-as-a-nun’s-nasty.  Drastic measures are called for.

 

Fixing consists of putting the print head in the cart change position, then pulling the power, leaving all the interlocks undone.  You then pull all the carts leaving you with a blocked but accesible print head.  At this stage you may optionally fantasize about pulling the bastard out and ultrasonically cleaning it in a distilled water bath, but a good peer at the ribbon cables solves that fairly quickly.  Not going there.

 

Plan 2:  fold up a lump of paper towel and put in the bottom of the printer, inside the head slide rails.  Hold in position with a pen and slide the head back over it.  Now assemble a syringe body and a bit of fish tank tubing, plus a glass of about 5% meths and the rest distilled water.  Charge the syringe, purge bubbles, set the tubing on the head nozzle that pierces the ink tank and gently squeeze the syringe to push the solution through the head, thus dissolving any crap blocking the nozzles.  Repeat for all SIX nozzles, about 1cc each.  Slide the head back across and discard the paper towel, not making multi-coloured drips on a man’s carpets.

 

Piss off for about half an hour, or a beer, whichever seems appropriate.

 

Repeat same trick.  This time, get a few bits of paper towel and soak up any objectionable puddles in the ink tank bay too, and generally anything you don’t like the look of.

 

Replace ink carts, close lid, and repower the printer.  Run the print head cleaning cycle about 6 times to get the demin water out of the heads, it’s not worth the hair tearing not to do so.    Then run a nozzle check and dump a few full page test prints in whatever colour is still recalcitrant.

 

Result:  printer produces all colours normally, for about half an hour’s swearing and about $1 of el cheapo eBay ink to recharge the head reservoirs.  Beats $155 for a new printer.  I shall have to keep this one’s electronic hormones adjusted with a more frequent run in the future.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A morning in court

Just got back from a morning in court at VCAT (Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal).

 

The real estate agent from our old rental has been trying to stitch us up with claims against the bond for things like cracked windows (that were already bloody well cracked when we moved in), pest control etc.  I told ‘em to go jump or I’d see them in court.  They took me to court.  Fair enough.  Interesting place (Moorabbin Justice Centre), a mix of professional staff, members of the public on civil and minor criminal business, and an absolutely amazing set of low lives I'd more normally associate with Noble Park train station.

 

The magistrate was a tough old bird rather reminiscent of Judge Judy, and churned through 6 cases before mine, all REAs making claims against delinquent or eloped tenants.  She was a lot easier with the one member of the public who turned up for his case though, the professionals were definitely expected to have their act together.

 

When she asked me to swear myself in, I recited the oath of affirmation from memory, which got me a peer over the glasses.  I explained I was a Justice of the Peace and had thus long since memorised it, and I think I head a quiet groan from the REA at the other table.

 

Point 1 – cracked windows.

 

REA did his little song and dance and sat down.  I got up and pointed out that there was no mention of the condition of the windows in question one way or the other in the entry inspection report, and the photos were useless – too grainy to see anything, and were taken with the venetian blinds down at the time too!.  Here’s my nice, full colour, full screen closeups of the windows in question showing they were cracked at the time of occupancy, all that’s happened is the cracks have grown over time.  Here’s more photos of half a dozen other windows in the house with the exact same problem, all caused by the rotten putty allowing water entry which rusts the frames out so they swell and crack the glass.  In a moment of pure glory, the magistrate observes yes, just like that one – and points at a window in the court with temperature-related cracking.  Indeed your honour, exactly like that.

 

I then pointed out that the windows and progressive cracking had been discussed several times at inspections during the tenancy, none of which the REA had documented, and the beak then directed a four-letter stare at the REA for not bringing that person along to the hearing as well.

 

Result – claim dismissed, respondent has produced much better evidence and documentation than the claimant, who doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

 

 

Point 2 – alleged flea infestation.

 

REA claims fleas found at premises by new tenants only a week after entry, must have been caused by our cats, flea control quotes and invoices etc etc.

 

I point out that:

•             We had one flea problem two years ago that the cats got from a kennel, which was treated and eliminated.

•             The cats get treated monthly for fleas because we don’t want them in the place either, and I’d rather prevent than deal with it afterwards.

•             Every single adjoining property has pets and some of them roam onto the property.

•             We actually vacated the property a week prior to handover, so it’s 2 weeks, not 1 – rather a long time for something the size of a pinhead to go unfed.

•             The house was professionally exit cleaned and the carpets steam cleaned which would have eliminated any fleas.

•             Nothing was noted on the exit inspection.

•             The cats have been living inside for two months in the new hours with no fleas, they more often than not sleep in our walk in wardrobe.  If they were fleas, we’d notice.  I also doubt the fleas elected to stay at the old postcode.

•             If the landlord believed the fleas were due to the cats, why did he initially offer to go halves on the cost?  Or is that a way of getting me to fund a pest control for the house to deal with the spider and termite issues it has?  No your honour, I don’t see that in the documentation the REA has supplied either.  Here’s a copy of the e-mail I just happen to have handy.  Another quiet groan from the REA's table.

•             I've gotten fleas from the seat and carpet on a Jetstar plane before from whatever filthy hippie was there before me, and while I'm not disputing the prescence of the fleas, I do dispute that they had anything to do with our tenancy.

 

Result – REA told to GTFO, it might be a convenient solution for them to blame the fleas on me, but that doesn’t make it the fact.  REA also given a serve from the bench about being so used to just turning up and getting what they want that when a respondent turns up and represents their point of view properly, and backs it with evidence and a reasonable explanation of events, they had better lift their game if they expect to get anywhere.

 

 

Outcome – VCAT order issued discharging all claims by the claimant, and costs awarded to the claimant.  Respondent currently enjoying a celebratory glass of shiraz.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lunchtime!

This tupperware container of chicken has been sitting on top of the fridge in my work lunch since Thursday.  And it can continue to sit there as far as I'm concerned, because I'm certainly not touching the thing.



I also see in the news of the day that the moron OWS protesters in New York are now on a hunger strike because the mean, nasty city council and police won't let them camp in the middle of the fucking street and prevent normal people from going about their business.

As far as I'm concerned it's an excellent idea, as long as they go and do it quietly somewhere.  I bet they make it 24 hours before they want a nice, hot, grande sugar-free, non-fat, vanilla soy, double shot, decaf, no foam, extra hot, peppermint white chocolate mocha with extra syrup from Starbucks.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This bloke knows how to rant.

I was mailed this a couple of days ago, it's a rant from a retired English police officer posted shortly after the last round of UK riots.  With one single exception, I utterly agree with all of it.  That exception is automatically blaming the parents.  I'm not saying that a lot of the time it isn't bloody well true, but not necessarily always.  You can be a role model, guide and lead all you like, but at the end of the day some kids are simply useless gobshite layabouts with low intelligence, no morals or creed, no discernable work ethic, and no hope of ever being more than a lowbrow thug.  I should know, I've got one.



Who would be a police officer in Britain today? You’d need to have your head examined.
You probably know that this week Britain has been terrorised by an underclass of welfare-dependent drug-addled criminal scum who have been allowed to run riot in the streets because the police haven’t been allowed to do their job and protect the public. The media is full of speculation about why it happened and what is the root cause.

Well, that’s easy. The root cause is stupidity, a complete lack of imagination, a stunted feral view of the world that amounts to self-inflicted moral and mental disablement. And it’s the direct product of an entitlement culture that rewards idleness, encourages victimhood, and compensates criminals.
That’s the root cause. And it happened because there was nobody there to stop it, and because the people who did it know damn well that if they are caught they won’t be properly punished. That’s why it happened. It also happened because we don’t have enough police officers in Britain; they cost money, unfortunately. And many of the ones we do have are not properly trained in riot control, because that costs money. It happened because police are not allowed to deal with rioting effectively in Britain using water cannon, tear gas, rubber bullets - the kind of thing other riot police take for granted.

Also, individual officers have learned from experience that if they lay a hand on a rioter they’re likely to be charged with assault, or worse. Ordinary officers in the police have got no chance at all. Whatever they do, they’re criticised and vilified for it by people who are not in their situation, and who couldn’t cope if they were. When the rioting first broke out, if they had gone in straight away and started cracking heads the media would have been all over them for police brutality.
They’re not even allowed to carry guns, except in special circumstances, even though gun crime is rampant in Britain, and in some places it seems like every second fourteen year-old is walking around with a gun jammed into a belt worn halfway down to his knees. Indeed, the whole thing happened because the police shot dead a man who was pointing a gun straight at them, and this apparently inflamed local sensitivities, which is the worst crime you can commit as a policeman in modern Britain.

The social justice brigade have been quick to blame the rioting on the usual suspects: inequality, unfairness, lack of opportunity. “This is happening,” they say, “because these youngsters are unemployed.” No, it isn’t. Who needs a job when you can deal drugs? That’s where the real money is. Besides, if they had to look for employment they might have to learn to read and write. “OK, then, it’s happening because they’re disengaged from society.” Oh, are they? How awful for them. Hey, come to think of it, that might have something to do with all the drugs.

A TV reporter actually stopped one of them in the street and asked him why he was doing it, and he replied: “I’ve got no money.” And I thought: “Aw, isn’t that awful? My heart goes out to the poor little lad. He’s got no money because he spent all his money on a Blackberry phone and a gram of heroin.

You’ve got money, you parasites. You get state benefits because other people work to pay for your room and board. You’ve got no job because you’re unemployable, and that’s because you’re inadequate. You’ve got no backbone, no morals, no knowledge, no intelligence, and you can’t be trusted. You’re like rats who shit in their own nest. And you’ll never make anything of yourselves because there’s nothing there to begin with. And for that you can blame your stupid ignorant parents, not your lack of opportunity.

There are people on this planet who can only dream of your lack of opportunity, you disgusting parasitical halfwits. Go tell the starving people in Somalia that you’ve got no opportunity. Tell the ten year-old in Pakistan making mud bricks eighteen hours a day for no pay. Tell these people that you have no opportunity, you pathetic pampered human vermin.

If we had any kind of justice system worth the name in this country, anyone convicted of taking part in these riots would automatically lose entitlement to state benefit for life and their house would be demolished. That would be justice. And if it violated their human rights, hey, so much the better. However, what will happen, if past form is anything to go by, is that a few hundred dregs of society will go through the courts and get derisory sentences, while the rest of them take their new plasma TVs and go back to their normal lives terrorising the people around them, which they can do because there’s nobody there to stop them.

And then everything will go back to normal for everyone except the victims, the people who have been murdered or who have been burnt out of home and business, because the police weren’t there to protect them, because there aren’t enough of them and because they’re not allowed to.
Peace. That’ll be the day.

I want one!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Quote of the day

Absolute quote of the day:

 

“So I need to mount a 2.3kg monitor to a wall. Besides magic, and drilling into the wall how could I possibly do this?  I was thinking of using a heap of those 3M strips around the edges of the monitor.”

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

One wild ride for a NZ chopper pilot

Alan Joyce:1 Unions:0

I see that yet again, with the referral of the Qantas pay and conditions dispute to FWA, a stupid and greedy union management has quite effectively fucked both themselves and their members by insisting on having their cake and eating it too.

 

While some of the pay claims themselves were not unreasonable, the TWU pushing for 5% PA for baggage handlers is taking the piss.  Even the pilots were only asking for a couple of percent, and the ground engineers not much more.  Where the unions have really overstepped the bounds of what would be tolerated is in thinking they can tell management how to run the airline.  Offshoring maintenance functions and using contract ground staff is an operational decision and nothing to do with pay, benefits and conditions, and while the unions might not like it, it’s none of their damn business.

 

I don’t like seeing jobs go offshore any more than anyone else does, but Qantas is currently the Telstra of the aviation industry.  It’s used to being the incumbent player and generates a certain amount of brand loyalty from having been there more or less forever, but with Virgin and Jetstar (I don’t consider Tiger a realistic option) offering significantly cheaper pricing, Qantas needs to re-evaluate how it operates if it is stay relevant and profitable in the industry.  Also like Telstra, Qantas doesn’t really know how to do things cheaply, but Alan Joyce is teaching it to do so, and this is lesson one.

 

Ultimately, air travel is air travel.  It’s not something to be enjoyed, it’s something people endure to get to where they want or need to be.  It’s expensive, annoying, uncomfortable, intrusive and restrictive (thanks, CASA) – there’s not a lot of lipstick you can put on that particular pig.  At least when Telstra charge like wounded bulls for access to their network, you actually get something for it in return – performance and coverage.  Only an idiot would expect to pay Vodafone prices for Telstra network quality (although there are demonstrably plenty of idiots about the place who do), but an airline seat is a pretty homogenous product.  The inflight (alleged) meal on a Qantas flight isn’t going close to justifying the extra $100 a seat either in input cost or impact on my wallet, so there are obviously some significant improvements that need to be made other than dropping the cardboard chicken to get competitive.

 

Because of competition and the opening up of the industry to cheaper foreign carriers, the airline flight buying public of Australia is now used to paying cheap, globalised prices for their travel.  Qantas needs to be able to compete on a similar footing to survive, which means lowering prices, which means lowering costs to the same levels as its competitors can operate at.  The unions need to deal with this.  However, like ticks on a dog, the unions would rather see the host bleed to death rather than make any sort of sacrifice themselves.  Hmm, I’m sure I’ve seen a very similar situation somewhere else recently… oh yeah, that’s right – the Greek economy.  That’s in the shitter too, and isn’t it surprising that nobody wants to make any sacrifices for the good of the corporate entity there, either?

 

Ultimately, a lot of the dispute is not so much about pay and conditions here and now, but future security – and that’s something that both the unions and Qantas are fighting for.  Qantas wants the right to run its business the way it wants to, and to have the right to restructure their operations in such a way they will be commercially viable in the future.  The unions want Qantas to commit to not offshoring and contract outsourcing work because it diminishes their role in the future – stuff their members here and now!  In a very similar matter to the CEPU failing their members for years in their fight with Telstra, the TWU, AIPA and ALAEA are failing their members now by acting in their own narrow self-interest.

 

Fair Work Australia isn’t going to care less about the union’s concerns about offshoring and outsourcing, because they are not there to tell Qantas how to run their business, and nor do they have the right to.  I predict they will look at the pay and conditions claims, strike a balance somewhere towards the middle, announce a determination (which is legally binding on all parties), ignore the rest of the union claims, and tell everyone to get back to work.  Qantas will get pretty much what it wants, the staff will get less that they would have gotten had the unions not been acting in their own self-interest, and the unions themselves will no doubt put out a blustery press release claiming it as a “win for their members”.  Yeah, right.

 

Nice one, unions.  Well done.  If you had to devise a way of alienating your members and highlighting your increasing lack of relevance to the modern world I don’t think I could do a better job myself.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

You have got to love the name

Seriously, the irony of that surname is killing me.

Linky

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dishwasher fun

After much faffing about I appear to have finally fixed a problem with my dishwasher not draining.

 

I’ve been blaming a kinked drain hose behind the machine due to the cabinetmaker not wanting to spend 2c extra on a bit more depth, and I have spent the last week experimenting different hose positions.  Sometimes it works for several cycles like a charm, and then it drives me nuts with drain blockage errors.

 

Finally cracked the shits with it this morning and ripped all the plumbing out from underneath the sink, and discovered the neolithically cretinous plumber who installed the thing had only drilled a small hole though the plug in the drain pipe barb the hose connects to, and a bit of crap had brought the whole works to a halt.  He hadn’t even cleaned the swarf out of the hole, so a 5mm screwdriver would not fall through under its own weight.

 

It’s now reamed out to 15mm and thoroughly deburred, and working fine.

 

The builder will be receiving a similar reaming tomorrow morning.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Conversation of the day

Shooting my new arrows this afternoon in peace and quiet when I’m accosted by a fellow club member.

 

 

FCM:  Wow, are those the new Easton Fullbores?  The max legal Vegas carbons?

 

Me:  Yeah, sure are.  Nice, eh?

 

FCM:   Can I try them?

 

Me:  Sure, grab a handful and go for it.

 

 

15 minutes later…

 

 

FCM:  These fly awesome out of my bow!  Are they factory made?  The glue joints are perfect!

 

Me:  Nope, you have to assemble them from components yourself.  I kind of have OCD about my gear, combine with night shift at work and I usually take about 8 hours to assemble a set as precisely as possible.  Pretty much anyone can get perfect glue joints but it’s a lot of practice and time, and you waste a few components before you get it just right.

 

FCM:  Wow.  Do you want to sell them?

 

Me:  Not really.  I just built them and I want to shoot them myself.

 

FCM:  Oh.  Are you sure?  I’m happy to pay a good price for them!

 

Me:  I suppose everything is for sale, but I’d want about $200 for them.

 

FCM:  But they’re only $120 at store Iggledeblonk!

 

Me:  Yes, the raw components are $120 at store Iggledeblonk.  You can drive for an hour to the store to get them, or have them shipped.  You then need to cut them and weight match everything with a set of digital scales.  You can then spend the same 8 hours assembling them that I did and see if you can get them to come out that neat, and weight matched to 0.03% again after assembly too.  The jig I used to *get* them that neat cost me $600, there are 10 on the planet, and the maker isn’t doing them any more.

 

FCM:  That’s too much, I can offer $100 at most.

 

Me:   You do realise that’s asking *me* to pay *you* about $30 for the privilege of spending 8 hours of *my* time replacing something I already have?  Thanks, but I think I’ll pass there.

 

FCM:  Are you sure?  They are really nice, I’d really like them.

 

Me:  Quite sure.  Especially as the points had to be imported from Canada which took a month, because no bugger stocks them in Australia, the bushings are non-standard and had to be ordered specially, and the nocks are single-mold Beiters from Germany which cost as much as a dozen standard one.  In fact, forget $200 – minimum is $250.  And that’s paying myself about $7 an hour for labour.

 

FCM:  Oh.  </stomps off irritated>

 

 

Fuck me… some mother’s children.

 

Friday, November 11, 2011

MTR1377 closing?

I listen to MTR1377 when I can, but I well understand the poor ratings and losses.  MTR management, here's a few tips:

(1) The grinding, never ending right wing whining of Steve Price, Andrew Bolt and Chris Smith would wear anyone down after a while, and destroys the entertainment value of anything balanced they have to present.  They're entitled to an opinion like anyone else, but make the point and *move on*.  The program producers being blatantly selective about callers that only support their point of view is also blatantly obvious, biased and manipulative.  Stop it.

(2) Alan Jones is a pompous, self important and irrelevantly opinionated windbag.  The couple of minutes he gets in the morning is a large *negative* to the value of the station,  the concept of listening to him on a regular basis would drive me away instantly and forever.  A truer word could not be spoken.

(3) Quality, middle of the road presenters like Luke Grant and Steve Vizard are worth their weight in gold to you.  Losing Martin King will prove to be a huge loss, although I can understand the ACA slot being more attractive to him.  When anything with Dave Hughes and that old slapper Kate Langbroek is gaining ratings over you, you need to look after your talent.  Collette Mann also needs to stop talking about the bloody house she has bought on the weekends.

(4) The 1980s called and they'd like their AM channel back, which is not only weak and interference prone, but a lot of radios with digital tuning (i.e. the car radio in pretty much any car still on the road) can't tune it in correctly as they work in 10KHz steps.  Get an FM channel and we might be able to hear you in places like within a 2km radius of the CBD, or anywhere near a tram.

(5) You beat your listeners to death with the same advertising, over and over and over.  I'm so sick of hearing the Spitwater ad I actually went out and bought a competing pressure washer instead just to vote with my wallet.  Get some variety happening.  Also, while I realise the spoken word ads are done to fit with the talkback nature of the station (and they're better than some annoying jingle), having the presenters read them inline with no obvious disclaimer of commercial content is at best sleazy.  Stop it.

Please get this right.  I'd like there to be one intelligent radio station in Melbourne.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

New weapon in the arsenal

Overjoyed today to pick up a drive-by of Win64/Sirefef.E on my work laptop.    >_<

 

Surprisingly, Foreskinfront kept it knocked down, but the rootkit installed itself well and truly and kept dropping new files the AV would alarm on every 15 minutes.  Disinfect required.

 

Normally I rely on a combination of Superantispyware, Spyware Doctor and Malwarebytes to knock this sort of thing down, but this time it was Hitman Pro to the rescue.  Free fully functional trial version too, a good arrow in the quiver.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Moving sucks

I would just like to announce to the world my opinion in general that moving house sucks.  Moving house into a house you just built really sucks.  Moving fish tanks also sucks.  I mean really, really sucks.  It did go off pretty much perfectly though, thanks to planning, logistics and three >12hour days.

I theoretically got to sleep in until 7am today, as opposed to the 5am starts of the last 2 days.  Theoretically.  Both cats took poorly to being incarcerated for the whole day yesterday, and the Siamese recovered nicely last night and showed it by wanting to play at 4am.  Seriously, the little bitch thinks it's fun to get under the covers on one side of the bed, burrow down to your feet, slide across and bite the other set of toes, then escape before the victim can wake up.  Repeat.  Conduct find-and-kill mission for cat at 4:15 fucking am.  Very, very am.

On the plus side, everything appears to work.  The hot water is hot, the heating and cooling could (in order) cook and refrigerate your dinner, the pathways and driveway are all in and the landscaping starts tomorrow.  Hopefully, in another week NO BARE DIRT, and the remaining hassles are to get the final fence gates done, buy a new barbecue (and get a plumber out to fit the gas point with a QD), and buy an outdoor setting.

I also have an 18 metre archery range from 2 metres inside the garage door, for the first time in 4 years I have decent TV reception across all channels, and the internet is OK too, despite being Dnopgib.


I also just scored a nice 4:1 DVI/USB KVM switch for $70 which will geatly simplify my office mess.  RDC is all well and good, but I swear computers can smell lack of physical connectivity like a dog smells fear; as soon as it knows you will have to haul out a spare monitor and connect everything up to discover why RDC doesn't work, bang - lockup.  I like my new KVM. :)

I hired a van from rent-a-piece-of-shit today to move the fish tank and shed, scored a fairly tired Ford Econovan with an 8 foot bed.  I have driven worse vehicles.  Twice.  Ever.  Impossible to shift from second to third, and I don't care WHAT you try - jerk, gently pressure, ride the clutch, double declutch, use bad language, ram the bastard - not going to happen.  The only solution I found was to rev the freckle out of it in 2nd cog, double clutch to 4th, then shift back to 3rd.  Very popular on the highways.  The difference between 4th and 5th was theoretical at best, 1st was good for about 10 feet then 2nd was a slow lug through a gutless powerband, and the cab was so narrow it was damn near impossible to turn right as there's elbow room to crank the decidedly NON power steering.  Highlight of the day was dropping the thing back, and discovering on the way that like a ute these things weight next to nothing in the back end, so with a touch of handbrake you can power drift them around the corner off the Westall Road Bypass onto Dandenong Road.  It certainly clears the commuters out of the way.

My DVD-HDD PVR died the other day, so I have replaced it with a Panasonic unit that makes toast, ties to my WiFi network (via 802.11n thank you), does streaming IPTV, Bluray, and will stream damn near anything off my NAS as well.  I only hooked it up an hour ago to make sure the BCO worked in the media room, full report later.

I plan to spend the next four days pottering, arguing over where to store stuff in what cupboard, making sense of my garage, and possibly constructing a garden shed if prevailing winds suggest it's not a suicide mission.

Right now I plan to lower the blood content of my alcohol stream and go to bed.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Greeks are revolting - more than usual, too.

I see that the head of Greece's main union, GSEE has announced a two day general strike in protest at austerity measures in the country.

It's a good job he did too, because it apparently started yesterday and nobody had noticed any difference between them being on strike or not.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Terminal velocity

Fired up the new Velocity link this afternoon.  Surprisingly for Bigpond, it actually worked first time, too.  I probably have a bad viewpoint of Telstra’s sales and activation areas in general coming from a faults background, but I still regard it as luck when it works out of the box.

 

You have no idea how painful it was to have to subscribe to Bigpond.

 

Got sent the Netgear EVG2000 router which was lobbed into the cupboard in favour of a Linksys E2000 which seems to perform very well so far.  I was hoping to get a look at the new Technicolor unit so I could sneer at it, but apparently they still have old stock on the warehouse so ah well.

 

I ended up getting the 30/1Mbps service (down from 100Mbps) as a tiny sacrifice for going for the 200GB plan, which should be more than aqueduct.  Unfortunately it does mean my torrent seeding days are about to be severely limited, as while I believe in seeding, I don’t while it is actually costing me significant money due to the pricks double dipping, so adjustments will have to be made.

 

Performance seems OK so far.  Getting full 1492 byte MTU with no frag, 32Mbps down and 1.5Mbps up which is a couple of percent above spec.

 

Luckily, I have only recently discovered that my domain host’s mail server accepts SMTP on port 587, so I will be able to continue to use their mail server for everything, as opposed to the horrors of mail.bigpond.com.

This OWS thing just keeps getting better.

In the funnist event of the whole OWS farce so far, the American Nazi Party and USA Socialist Parties yesterday issued endorsements of the OWS movement.

If any of the angry (well, miffed at their lot in life, anyway) children ever needed any further evidence that they are sheep being manipulated, I reckon the following bit should convince even the thickest person:

Produce some flyers EXPLAINING the ‘JEW BANKER’ influence — DON’T wear anything marking you as an ‘evil racist’ — and GET OUT THERE and SPREAD the WORD!”



And the funniest of all?  The authorities knew about the whole thing anyway.


Monday, October 17, 2011

But not *that* angry, apparently.

It seems that even the most vehemently held principles have their limits these days.

Interestingly, just one single day after the Sydney OWS encampment at Martin Place, numbers have apparently dwindled to 70 people who ran hard up against the nasty reality of just where the real world just keeps rolling on with impunity, regardless of whether it crushes your dreams or not.

Apparently the local police confiscated a bunch of camping gear and tents on Saturday, and one true believer chained himself to a garbage truck.  Personally I would have driven off, and I would have had the ideal place to put any remaining bits when I got where I was going.

"Our numbers are a lot less than yesterday and that has an effect on people," protest spokesman Mark Goudkamp said in Sydney, admitting many had work, study or family commitments.
About now, if you listen carefully, you can hear the thin, keening screech of those dreams going under the wheels, Mark.  Surely the principle is worth the sacrifice?  After all, aren't you rebelling and protesting against "the system", you're part of the angry 99%, nobody owns you and you're not the boss of me?

Oh... so it seems that there's a bit of... flexibility? built into that after all.  Because while showing up and acting like a hippie for a day or so is all very trendy (and you can get a Facebook status out of it, which you will post using your corporation-built smartphone), you're not actually willing to risk your job, because that would mean you would risk your house, and your car, and your smartphone, and... all those things you actually kind of like, really.

But it's the principle of the thing!

Weak.  Weak as piss.  Lame, lightweight and weak.

"I think we have to be realistic - it's going to become largely a symbolic kind of presence rather than a mass presence."

About the only thing it's symbolic of is the utter hypocracy of the participants who were willing to come along and wave their little signs and chant their little slogans while it was fun, while everyone else was doing it, while it didn't actually, you know, like cost them anything personally, and while it was trendy to be one of the sheep.

Fail to maintain the rage?  I think most of them went home because their phones were almost flat.

Indigo Davis-Sparke spent the weekend at the Sydney protest, and while she will not be able to maintain the vigil this week - she has to return to acting school - the 20-year-old believes the sit-in has already achieved its aim.

Now there's commitment and dedication for you.  This one isn't even risking their job - they're not even prepared to risk the possibility of a future job.  Because dog forbid we won't be able to afford the latest iPhone in the future.

"It's an awareness campaign as much as anything," Ms Davis-Sparke said. "So many people don't know about the unequal distribution of wealth across the world, and the damage it does."

I suggest Ms Davis-Sparke drop the acting school classes and think about some economics classes, just myself.  Or at least get some experience in retail, or maybe the fast food industry, because that's where she is going to be working for the forseeable future, I expect.

In Melbourne, first-time protester Phil Stallard said he expected the Occupy Melbourne movement would continue until mid-November.

"I'll be here, not every day, but I'll come when I can," he said.
"I'm here because society is broken on so many levels. Now is the time to push the revolution."

Well, Phil - personally I'll be surprised if it makes it through another 24 hours, because even a Blackberry will have gone flat by then.

And isn't it amazing that it's always that people define "revolution" as "I get more money and stuff without having to do anything more than I do now?"

But maintain the rage, children.  There's probably a Facebook page you can subscribe to.  I'm sure that if a million people sign up, the revolution moves closer.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The children continue to be angry

Following on from the realisation that the world's economy is basically in tatters from spending far more than we earn for far too long, I notice the idiotic "Occupy Wall Street" protests have now spilled out worldwide, demonstrating not only a lack of understanding of economics of the participants, but a woeful capability of geography as well.

Late last year and earlier this year we had the student riots where the self-empowered snowflakes of the work stamped their collective feet at the idea of having to actually pay the cost of the education that would provide them with BMWs and smartphones in the future.  In the last few months we have seen the rabble (rabble most foul, in the Greek variety) protesting that their free ride is over, and that all of a sudden there aren't any more handouts, there are no more artificial guarantees, and that basically - the party is well and truly over.

The OWS protesters are as much victims of manipulation by the organisers of the rallies as they think they are by the corporations they are protesting against.  Their basic protest seems to distill down to "Hey, why are other people making more than we do?  That's not fair!".  Gee, the last time I looked, that was called Socialism, morphing into Communism depending on how far you take it.  But if you look around, the protesters are all wearing Adidas shoes (made by corporations), designer clothes (made by corporations), and they're all clutching the latest iPhone/Blackberry/Whatever smartphones (all made possible by smartphones).  If you suggested they get rid of the latter they'd all just shrivel and die if they couldn't check their Facebook page every five minutes (ooh, another corporation).

In effect, the OWS protesters are the ultimate hypocrites, protesting about the evils of something when their actual complaint is they don't own a large enough slice of the evil for themselves.  As my fellow blogger says here, their "solutions" to the "problems" all come down to "give us more money".  Blacklistednews points out that the protesters are actually espousing concepts that create precisely the situation they are complaining about, due to a combination of being managed by the coordinators of the protests, and the protesters themselves having no idea whatsoever.

Mind you, not all the protesters are camped on public property, cover the place in crap, feeling virtuous because they're wearing Birkenstocks (ooh, another corporation - couldn't be seen in something not trendy, could we?) and waving mindless slogans on bit of cardboard.  (BTW, I particularly like the sign in this photo that says "Turn off TV" - presumably it's a form of mind control for the masses?  Yeah right, the same scruffy clueless would storm the local TV station the first time they realised they were missing Survivor.)  No, some of them are blogging too.

"The real enemies are the faceless oligarchs behind the Federal Reserve and the other central banks of the world. The real enemies are the wealthy families who understand how the central banks are destroying the middle classes and concentrating more power in governments and more wealth unto themselves."

What a load of socialist commie twaddle.  If the western world didn't have an effective banking system we'd be stuck in the pre industrial revolution, because nobody would ever have been able to invest in anything, nobody would ever have been able to finance an idea, and nobody would ever have been able to do anything more than they could afford here and now at this point in time.  The concepts of long term planning, development and progress wouldn't exist, we'd all be buying something for dinner tonight - if we could afford it - because we'd be living from hand to mouth.  Even if we could afford to buy food for several days, the refrigerator would not have been invented to store it, because nobody would have ever been able to start the company that would build them.

By the way, it's the 21st century, where's my flying car?

The 99% need to internalise the fact that society compensates leaders for leading.  That while they're happy to consume the benefits of organised society like iPods and Nikes they are also espousing precisely why society works the way it does - because they want it to.  They all want the new iPhone 4S, but don't see why they should have to pay for it.

This pathetic, confused, and easily manipulated mob of sheep are to be both pitied and despised for their cluelessness, lack of independent and skeptical thought, and willingness to be manipulated at the thought of a few trinkets.  After their smartphones go flat, and they haven't had a decent sustainably grown and ecologically friendly harvested latte with skim soy milk for a few days, they'll all go meekly home to the creature comforts provided for them by the very corporations they claim to despise, and post proud little messages of rebellion on Twitter (another corporation) about the evils of a corporate imperialist society.  They'll all go to work the next day wearing designer clothes (made by corporations), in their nice airconditioned car with stereo (made by a corporation) and made possible to buy by a bank who was willing to extend them tens of thousands of dollars of credit so they can have their little luxuries now.

When this mob can actually demonstrate the principles they claim to believe in for a lousy five minutes I might be impressed, in the meantime send in the water cannons.  Hippies were dealt with in the 60's, and this is simply the same mentality fifty years on.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Power to the people

If the slow motion train wreck of the Greek financial crisis has confirmed any of my beliefs at all, it is these two:

(1)  Your average Greek could not average a pissup in a brewery, nor reliably locate their own arse with both hands and a torch.  As an example of a shambolic inability to organise anything, they make the Italians look methodical by comparison.  Your average Greek's primary abilities are talking loudly, being arrogant, testiculating (that's the act of stand there waving your hands about while talking bollocks), selling fruit and dodging income taxes by only dealing in cash.  Driving full sik and hektik WRXs and getting about the place in tracksuit pants are also defining characteristics.

I love this bit from the article: "state workers make up a fifth of the country’s  workforce and are guaranteed jobs for life as the constitution bans firing of government employees in almost all circumstances".

I can't see how that would ever cause a problem, can you?  Nah.  But of course "Greece's finance minister Evengelos Venizelos said his country would not be made a "scapegoat" for wider debt troubles" - gee, so it's not your fault you've totally screwed your national economy after all then?  (Granted, Ireland has done much the same thing, but you don't expect the Irish to acheive much at the best of times.)

(2)  Popular government doesn't work, because people don't give a damn about anything other than their own short term expediency.  That's both natural and expected, but it does mean that you can't base a system of government on it.  This morning's paper carries a story that the foul rabble are blockading the Greek finance and labour ministries because they don't want vital austerity cuts that are the only way that Greece can meet their budget deadlines to qualify for the next bailout package payment.  Anybody but us, eh?

Personally I think this simply highlights the idiocy of the EU ideal.  Currency pegging *never* works in the long term, because individual economies perform at different rates depending on the productivity of the country, the natural resources available to it, and how efficiently it is run.  That's why Germany runs at a profit and Greece and Ireland are in the shit.  The idea has certainly been mooted but as usual the opposition to it comes from those for whom the subject is taboo for reasons of simple self-interest (again!) -  "discussion is dominated by propaganda and scaremongering, often by employees of banks that stand to lose from such an eventuality".

This paragraph is especially interesting: "there is little doubt among economists that the easiest mechanism for a country to gain competitiveness is to have its currency depreciate... Greece having its own currency is the easiest path to gaining international competitiveness. Cars and iPhones will become more expensive but food might actually become cheaper and employment will pick up within a few months".

Hands up who thinks that the village idiots protesting outside the finance and labour ministries are willing to give up their WRXs and iPhones (and designer Adidas trackie dacks) in the short term to assure the long term survival of the country.  Another show of hands for who believes that your average arrogant Greek would see his national pride slump by having their currency depreciate in the name of national survival, as opposed to carrying on regardless and sailing into armageddon?  Anyone?  Last call, anyone?  Tough crowd, even a Melbourne real estate auctioneer would be hard pressed taking bids from trees around here.

Of course, what's everyone's solution for this?  Germany should pay for it!  They've got plenty of money, after all.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is unpopular with Germans who hold investments in the banks that about to take it in the arse by effectively writing off Greek loans as bad debts, so what do you reckon the chances are that the next pressure will be for Germany to leave the EU too, as it's sick of subsidising the running cock-ups of the incompetant and arrogant?

International monetary politics aside, the other news of the morning is the iFail - nice one Tim, your first effort as CEO was to drop the company's share price by 5%.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ah, irony

Unfortunate music choice of the weekend apparently as Julia Gillard arrived at the footy yesterday, the music playing was Under pressure by Queen.

It was then followed by the Split Enz classic Six months in a leaky boat.

Oops...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Some stuff I found on eBay

Really, the mind boggles at this one.

Items for sale: boring.  But the dress sense of the seller is worth a look.  Check the embedded video.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Spam and profile hacking

As part of my small, continual war on spam, I have just discovered that the idiot who works as a massage therapist and used my gmail address as a contact point in their online scheduling system was *also* dumb enough to use the mail address as a login username.

Who wants to guess where he also had the account password reset requests go to?

>:D

Forget the e-mail majordomo crap, this is MUCH better.  Ive just signed him up to half a dozen additional shifts, requested cancellation of one for tomorrow, asked for some shift swaps with co-irkers and put in a leave request for all of December.  Ive also locked down his availability to basically 8:00am 8:05am on Thursday mornings so no new shifts can be scheduled, and because Im a prick I have just finished changing a few of his profile settings around.  His new display name of Sparky goes well with the nipple pink colour scheme, I think.

I also just found the notification system preferences, so he now gets text message notifications of shifts too, but the dont-disturb lockout is set from 6am midnight so hopefully hes in for a fairly interesting night.  Especially because I also set the notification lead times to 6 hours, so 8am shifts will burst a text at 2am.  Ive also enabled text notifications for all shift adds, drops, changes, swap requests and schedule updates, and since the system is cloud hosted in the USA it works on their system that charges the SMS *recipient* for the message not the sender.

Hopefully this will convince Sparky to lift his game, but I reckon he deserves it.  How the hell he got my surname@gmail.com address in his profile will forever be a source of wonderment, considering his profile says his last name is Elias.  *sigh*

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Dinner out

Had a nice dinner out last night at The Kitchen Cat, which used to be Fifteen Melbourne.  Tobie Puttock is still running the place and it's still a teaching kitchen, but as it's the one restaurant that was privately owned as part of the Fifteen chain, I have always suspected the owners wanted a bit more out of the place than it was offering.

Starters were an in-house made charcuterie medley with lemon and vingear picked vegetables, assorted breads with olive oil and balsamic to dip, and a spectacular waygu carpaccio with mustard mayonnaise which just melted in the mouth.

For mains I had charcoal rotisserie cooked pork belly with jus and baked nicola potatoes and lemon dressed rocket, Calley had a hand rolled spaghetti bolognese and mixed roast vegetables.

Dessert was baked custard and salted caramel tart and a French cheese platter with fruit jam and Italian breads.

I am definitely going to have a go at reproducing that carpaccio at home.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

And so it ends for another year

The dulcet roar of a poorly muffled diesel and the groan of a compactor at work announced the end of the City Of Greater Oakleigh Annual Crap Swap this morning.

Annual Crap Swap (officially titled the bulk and hard rubbish collection) is always interesting.  People produce absolutely mindblowing amounts of rubbish from I have no idea where.  They then stack this on their footpath in tidy piles ready for collection.  Everyone then walks around the suburb and collects about half of it (presumably as ammo for next year?) and strews the rest around the place so the whole suburb looks like a tip for weeks.

Whats interesting is that some people still dont get the rules around the collection.  The rubbish guys are *not* going to collect that old LPG cylinder, and I dont care if you have put it out three years running.  I would have thought that carrying it back in the first year after they collected everything else and left it would have been a wake-up call, but at this stage I wont be surprised at all to see it out next year.

The same goes for paint cans.  Leaving em there for six months afterwards as some sort of silent protest doesnt achieve anything other than make you look like a twat.  Youre still going to be carrying it back in, but I have no doubt it will be back out next year.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Genius of the week



Glad to hear it hurt.

In unrelated news, I am now receiving spam for some idiot ordering from Pizza Hut.  In North America.  If I can figure out how I'm having three dozen pizzas delivered to him soon.

Admit, you would too.

Amazing... for the first time ever I am forced to admit that World Of Warcraft does have some upsides.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

More gmail fun

Yet again am I receiving misdirected e-mail meant for someone who cant quite deal with the idea that there is only one person on the planet with a gmail address of [surname]@gmail.com.  This time its some dude here in Melbourne who apparently works part-time as a massage therapist, and the employer has some sort of interesting online shift scheduling system to let people know when theyre rostered to work, allow shift swaps and callin requests etc.

Where the fun starts is that while I cant log into the web interface without a password, because the system regards my e-mail address as trusted, I *can* do a number of things via reply mail the majordomo responds to text commands.  http://support.wheniwork.com/kb/manager-basics/email-commands

As such, since I have to put up with the spam, I am therefore fucking with the scheduling as much as possible.  I think thats only fair.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I work with some smart people

I am absofuckinglutely gobsmacked.

Some space cadet found the $5,000 fully automatic coffee machine upstairs out of beans, and couldnt quite locate the two whole cartons of beans stored in the cabinet the machine sits on.  So what was their dumb arse response?

(a)     Go out and buy beans

(b)     Try to use coffee grounds

(c)     Fill the machine to the brim with a tin of powered instant coffee then fire it up.

Lock in C, Eddie.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Game on

It’s just gone midnight on 11 September 2011 in New York.  The next 24 hours will be interesting news.
 
 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

How stupid and out of touch is our judicial system

I read with dismay yesterday that the high court has ruled the government's "Malaysia solution" to boat people as illegal.

I really see this as no more than a knocker, liberal not-hear-to-help-but-happy-to-criticise reaction from a bunch of people so divorced from the real world that you have to doubt their capacity to effectively represent the wishes of the country's people.

The reality is that Australia currently has a problem with people smugglers pushing large numbers of illegal immigrants towards us.  This problem needs a solution, and that solution is not to accept the illegal immigrants, because that sends precisely the answer to the scum who organise the boats that perpetuates the problem.  The only solution is to sent a clear, unambiguous consistent message to the people involved - you will not be allowed to succeed.

Personally I think the root solution is a lot simpler - turn the boats around well before they hit Australian waters.  If the occupants disable the engines, hook on a tow line and tow them back to Indonesia where they come from, cast them off at the 12 mile limit, and send a radio message to the Indonesian authorities that they require rescue while you're steaming away.  If they try sinking the boat, pluck them out of the water, take them back and do the same in life rafts - they're cheap in comparison.

The point of the exercise is that it's not our problem, and as soon as we do otherwise we have decided to take on ownership of somebody else's problem - at great cost, political furore and the effective collapse of any immigration standards, which are already in the toilet.

The liberals of the country will wring their hands together and decry the solution - "You can't do that!  Think of the children!" - but offer no solution themselves.

Personally I think the government should ASAP ammend the relevant legislation to permit the Malaysia solution, tell the taxpayer-funded legal representatives of the illegal boat people who have no right to be here in the first place to collectively fuck themselves, and get what needs to be done, done.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Shopping

Just got back from furniture shopping with SWMBO.

 

I was wondering why my backside felt so toasty warm until I realise it was the credit card starting to glow in my wallet.

 

Bloody hell, $7700 and more to come.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I love talkback radio

Heard the following call on the radio this afternoon.

 

Caller:  Yeah mate, just wanted to let ya know there’s been an accident in Somewhere St, in Suburb.

 

DJ:  Right…  that’s in Sydney, isn’t it?  What happened?

 

Caller:  Looks like a box trailer came off a car and took off down the road, it’s cleaned up a bloke on a bike and fed him into a wrought iron fence.

 

DJ:  Wow!  Does anyone know if he’s all right?

 

Caller:  I don’t reckon so.  The ambos ain’t here yet, but there’s a bunch of people standing around lookin’, and they ain’t all lookin’ in the same place…

Monday, August 29, 2011

Youtubing at 3:30am

It’s just after 3:30am here and I’ve been having a bit of a Youtube concert with myself, playing some of my old favourites and stumbling across some stuff I had forgotten – mostly doing a bit of an 80’s rock revival thing.  Some of the original video clips are great, some are freaking weird.  Lyndsey Buckingham’s Holiday Road video clip would be a good example of the latter, what the hell is that all about??

I decided to play one of my favourite songs, the original USA for Africa We Are The World track – fantastic song.  The best part of it for me is listening with my eyes closed, just picking out the famous voices – they’re so distinctive, they just leap out at you.  They’re voices I’ve been listening to for decades and they evoke so many memories, and even though it’s weird, Cyndi Lauper and Huey Lewis actually go pretty damn well together.  And Dan Akroyd looks seriously dorky up there at the back of the chorus.  Dude, seriously - haircut.

Then I found the remake version.  The We Are the World 25 for Haiti version.

Fuck. Me.

I actually had to look it up on wikipedia to see the "artist" list, and you've never seen such a monotonous list of self-styled, self aggrandising, utterly talentless fuckwits in your life.  With rare exceptions, the whole lot of them are a shambolic mix of "harmony", out of time ebonics mumbling and incoherent attempts at lyrics.  How the hell anyone could possibly regard any of it as being anything you'd possibly want to listen to defeats me, and mixing it all together is akin to churning vomit, dog shit and slime mould up - the individual ingredients aren't anything you want to deal with to start with, and the combination can only be described as truly vile.

You wouldn't read about it, but Celine Dion is actually the star of the track - she's basically doing Bruce Springsteen's bit from the original, and the vocal attack she's got going is both impressive and totally different to her regular genre.  Pink can genuinely sing too, as can Usher, but I have no idea what Tony Bennett is doing there - was he picked for comic relief,or because he was walking past at the time or something?

I suppose what struck me most about the whole experience is precisely how manufactured, synthetic, and unmemorable the whole lot of lackwits are.  In the original, you can pick out Kenny Rogers, Springsteen, Steve Perry, Dylan, Ray Charles, Dionne Warwick etc instantly.  Their voices are clear and distinctive, they're full of character, timbre and power.  The modern remake... is about as memorable as a McDonald's plastic cheeseburger. The "artists" will be forgotten in a few years as just another corporate manufactured wannabe who churned out a few tracks for the inbetweenies market and were then cast on the pile.  And as for the "gangstas" [c]rap artists... just sad.

Oh yeah, one last thing - who the FUCK let Babs Streisand sing?  That's bad.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Political unrest

I've been watching the slow-motion train wreck that is the federal ALP for some time now.  Not only does it interest me personally but it's got quite a bearing on my current job - the federal LNP have not exactly been NBN supporters, although it remains to be seen what that would metamorphose into should they get into power at any stage.  That's another discussion.

The biggest problem for the ALP at the moment is the unrelenting pressure the LNP seems to be able to provide, and damn effectively too.  There really are just too many targets being thrown out there or the hitting.

The ALP is more or less stuck with pursuing the catastrophic carbon dioxide tax, I fear.  The Greens likely know full well that this is their one chance to get this rammed through.  The public will remember this legacy of minority government and non-major party candidates for some time (because the major parties will keep reminding them), and I do think it's a prime example of where the looney fringe really can do some significant damage if allowed to.  Or not prevented from doing so.  If they want to should slogans from the sideline while they recycle their sandals I don't think anyone cares too much.

Ultimately, I think the carbon tax will be the rod that beats the ALP down at the next election.  Nobody likes a new tax (ever) and there's just too many opportunities for scaremongering and casting fear and doubt for the LNP not to make hay from it.  The tax won't be in operation for long enough before the next federal election for it to be proven that there's no adverse impact on the economy or consumers (assuming the ALP holds on that long, and I presume they would be waiting as long as humanly possible to call an election at the current rates of progress) so it's basically a free kick for the LNP to continue bashing it.

I don't even think Gillard can go to Bob Brown (Poofter Party) at this stage and look at face saving options, because Bob knows full well this a suicide mission, and he prefers oblivion to ongoing obscurity, knowing full well the public isn't going to forgive this one for some time.

The problem of the independents then arises.  One doesn't appear to give a damn about getting reelected one way or the other as long as his short term objectives are met, although he's not an LNP supporter.  Two have sided with the ALP because they like the political promises, and one with the LNP because that's where his political leanings fundamentally are, although he won't actually align with the camp.  What a fragile, insecure and weak bunch of people to determine the leadership of the country.

Frankly, if this government hasn't been an example of precisely why our system of government needs a revamp, I don't know what is.  I can see the looney minority parties growing over time, not decreasing, so this sort of thing is likely to become more and not less of a reality.  But I digress.

Interesting article in The Australian today on the crisis, basically saying dump Gillard for the good of the party.  On balance, I am increasingly thinking it's not a bad idea.  It gives an opportunity for the new leader to divest themselves of some of Gillard's baggage on boat people, although they would still be saddled with the partnership with the Poofter Party and the Craig Thomson affair.  All in all though, I think it's a gamble worth taking.  Tony Abbott is deeply unpopular as a potential PM against the most unpopular PM of some years, so a mediator could potentially strike a middle ground with the public.  On balance, I think it's time to go, Julia.

The ALP may also escape with Craig Thomson still in power, although tarnished - I see someone has done a quite effective Enron job on the associated financial records.  Tony Abbott's bleating aside, I suspect the case for the prosecution is about to unravel there.

The only remaining question is whether or not the independents would support a change of power by the ALP.  I think Gillard's job rides on that.

Monday, August 22, 2011

No guess someone is channeling Ryanair here.

Ah, the internet at work.

Duck Tron from Ryactive on Vimeo.

Greenwashing

Ever since the furore and hand wringing began over plastic bags at supermarkets, I made a prediction as to what the outcome would be.  Lo and behold, here's a report published this morning showing EXACTLY what I thought the outcome would be.

Supermarkets get to cut their costs by not supplying plastic bags any more, or charging for them if they do.  Does anyone see a price cut to the consumer?  Pig's arse they do, and when the surcharge is a measly 15c then you can bet your arse that the cost to the supermarket was less than that to begin with.

The supermarkets will then SELL you a solution to the nonexistent problem by flogging you reusable bags, which you will forget and leave at home, thus forcing you to pay the surcharge or buy more next time.

You now don't have any bags to recycle as bin liners, so the supermarket will SELL you plastic liners, which end up as landfill anyway, thus acheiving nothing.

So what's the net impact of all of this?

Supermarket - cost saving through not supplying bags free, plus additional profits from selling reusable bags and bin liners.

Plastic bag manufacturer - either neutral or slightly positive, as they're making more reusable bags and bin liners that use more plastic than thin disposable bags, not less.

Environment - neutral at best, probably slightly negative as the bin liners contain more plastic than disposable shopping bags.

Consumer - takes it in the arse as usual and pays for everything to precisely ZERO BENEFIT.


Like anything greenies get near, this doesn't work, is totally fucking useless, and costs the consumer more.  Most rational people don't need a reason to detest tree huggers already, but this is why.  Fuck off and go recycle your sandals or something.

I see dumb people

Some of the people I work with are cretins.

 

I just received a calendar invite for a training session at work.  The e-mail trail shows my boss nominated me for the session, which is dumb action one – I’m on night shift that week, so apparently the ability to read the nice colour-coded roster I made for the team has eluded him.  Dumb action two is when the invitation sender completely ignores the fact that my availability is totally blocked out for business hours that day, BECAUSE I DELIBERATELY DO THAT SO IDIOTS CAN’T TRY TO BOOK ME FOR MEETINGS AND TRAINING SESSIONS WHEN I’M NOT AVAILABLE.  Does this stop him?  Nope, we’ll just send it anyway and let it be someone else’s problem to sort out.

 

I just rejected the invitation with no explanation, I’ll let them figure out why.

 

 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Archiving the good stuff

I read this years ago somewhere on the net, and who knows why just remembered it.  It still makes me laugh.

When I did my taxes this year I found out that I spent over $14,000 on Dates last year. Most of that was spent on dinner and drinks in Manhattan. Now don't get me wrong, I had some very good times, some great sex, some good conversations. Hell, I even made a good friend along the way, but mainly I came away from the date feeling extremely disappointed and with a lighter wallet. Date by date it's not THAT much money but it all adds up fast!

In the past I had a habit of always grabbing the check and paying whether my date was hot or not. Whether we clicked or not. Basically I felt ashamed to let her pay. I also kept and interesting statistic and even I was suprised that only 5% of my dates even offered to pay - yes you see that right- 5%! One girl in the entire year offered to pay for the entire check. A very nice gesture. But of course I paid and doubt she was sincere. In light of all this evidence I knew I had to change some things. So, this year.....

I DECIDED TO NEVER PAY FOR A FIRST DATE AGAIN. How did I do this? First I adopted the mindset that a girl should naturally assume she's paying for herself. Now this wasn't easy at first but I quickly got used to it. Then when going into the bar/restuarant/lounge etc. I would hand the server a credit card and ask them to open tabs for us.

HEY!-Did you catch that? I said 'TABS.' Yah, don't worry atleast 95% of the girls I meet miss that one too. Just to make sure I usually confirm that the server has understood me too. I do this when the date rudely answers her cell phone or is in the bathroom (probably using her cell phone). Guys, youknow the Mastercard "priceless" series of commercials? Well, let me tell you, you won't understand the meaning of 'priceless' until you see one of these girls handed their own check for 3 20$ martinis and overpriced food (that they would probably never buy on their own). It's also very relaxing to encourage the girl to eat and drink up because even at 20$ a pop for exotic gooey blender drinks I could care less how many of them she has - cause SHE'S PAYING.

Oddly enough when she realizes that there are individual bills there will a few prolonged moments of discomfort. But don't panic. Something that took me by surprise is how many girls suddenly have to 'go to an ATM'. I can't quite figure out if it's because their cc's are maxed out on shoe purchases or that they are trying to guilt me into paying.Well, probably a combination of both, but I'm remorseless after doing this for nearly 3 months now. Which brings me to my date last night...... omg.....

Of course the classy nice Irish pub I suggested wasn't good enough for her. Nah...she needed to to go somewhere more trendy. Ok, no problem. W? Hudson? Meatpacking Dist? SoHo? Where we going? So she picks a midtown hotel bar. Nice place. Little stuffy. Drinks, not bad and Macadamia nuts on the lounge tables (complimentary) nice! Of course I went thru my usual routine, handed the server a credit card asked her if we can start tabs she said, 'sure' and took the card. 1 drink in her cell phone rang. She appoligized, (she had to get it). So I moved into confirmation mode. Our waitress even missed the 'tabs' part but she adjusted on the fly and told me no problem. Boy, let me tell you - the girl i was with could really throw down the drinks. She was drinking scotch that was older than the hotel we were in. Of course I encouraged her the whole way.

She was like, wow they have Johny Walker BLUE label! I was like, 'you ever try it?' She's like....'Nooooooo!!!'

I'm like, 'go on....just get some'. She's like 'are you sure'. I'm like, 'look, if you want it, just get it!' So she ordered one, then another, and finally one more..... wow she was probably more than a little drunk. I stuck to my Stoli and Soda, splash of Cran.

When the BILL(S) came she sobered up fast. I caught a glimpse of hers, 5 drinks plus a little finger food $319.00 I think it was. She looked shocked and sick to her stomache when she saw 2 bills. Guess she thought I was buying. Think again. (The old me woulda soaked up the bill but steared her away from the Blue) I had 4 drinks, no food and a great buzz. Pricey Stoli, but overall still a good value (i ate a ton of free macadamias and almonds) $36.00. D*mn I thought, that BLUE label will get you every time. Of course she did more than

the traditional fumble through her purse. Her face was beat red and she was speechless. She left the bill on the table and excused herself for the restroom.

I had already paid and was sucking on some ice. The waitress was looking concerned. I told her, 'look'. Sure enough my date was heading out toward the front door. I slowly grabbed my coat as the waitress ran after her. Then security or a bellman grabbed her at the door and a small shouting match ensued. Can you imagine, she wastrying to leave - without paying!

Well, I didn't stick around to see what happened. All I saw was the poor waitress standing just inside the front door with a small coctail tray. She did look concerned but not paniced. A doorman and bell hop had the girl by the arm, outside and was semi-forcing her back inside, she wasn't getting away from this bill. I paid my bill. I had my receipt. But I couldn't help wondering why she ordered 3

Johnny Walker Blues, doesn't she know that stuff is expensive? Then I wondered if they had to arrest her while I had another drink at my local Irish pub.

I haven't heard from her again. Too bad, she was pretty cute too :(