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Showing posts from January, 2007

When All Else Fails, Complain About The Trains

I'll tell you a secret. When bloggers can't think of anything to post about, we have a classified list of fall-back topics which can always be discussed and elicit a response. I can't tell you what they are though, because I'd be taken off the email list.

Well, not really. But Cityrail, honestly, I'm obliged to whinge.
The latest controversy is over on-time running, with claims that on-time running figures are only maintained through station skipping - trains deliberately not stopping at stations they were meant to, in order to keep to the timetable. The response of Cityrail chief executive Vince Graham? That skipping stops is "for the greater good of the rail network".

So, if you're a commuter who's train has missed it's station, forcing you to travel several stops further up the line, then wait thirty minutes for another train back again, you shouldn't feel frustrated and furious. You should feel a smug sense of moral satisfaction, that you…

A Hard Act To Swallow

Oh dear, soon we're all going to be drinking sewage!

And I don't just mean in the metaphorical sense that Big Brother will be back on TV soon. The water crisis in Australia has reached such epidemic levels that Queensland is considering adding recycled sewage to the water supply, and other states may follow.

It's hard to get over the "yuck" factor with this. But when you think about it, all tapwater is recycled. Tapwater comes from dams, which are filled by rain and storm water run off. And we can remember from year eight science that rain comes from evaporated water, from crystal clear babbling mountain springs...through to muddy puddles, wet roads and even sewage treatment plants.

But if we can't overcome this objection, what is there to be done? Simple really; two seperate water supply networks. One, the deliciously fresh water we enjoy now, to be pumped into people's houses, and the other for industry, agriculture, horticulture, and everything else. (And…

Bush It!

Well, it's been five years since Make The Pie Higher, a poetic tribute to the wit and wisdom of George W. Bush. Such a poem might cause a lesser man to sit up, take note, take elocution lessons. Not our Dubya. Thanks to Slate's Bushisms column, we can all revel in the pearls that roll from this man's tongue. Some highlights from 2006:

"As you can possibly see, I have an injury myself - not here at the hospital, but in combat with a cedar. I eventually won. The cedar gave me a little scratch. - After visiting with wounded veterans from the Amputee Care Center of Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 1, 2006

"You took an oath to defend our flag and our freedom, and you kept that oath underseas and under fire." - Addressing war veterans, Washington, D.C., Jan. 10, 2006

"I like my buddies from west Texas. I liked them when I was young, I liked them when I was middle-age, I liked them before I was president, and I like them during president, and …

Big Day Out Bans The Australian Flag!

Now that I have your attention, the organisers of the Big Day Out have banned the Australian Flag at their festival!

Well, actually, no they haven't. But that's not how you're going to see it reported.

Following last year's festival, where aggresive punters forced other concert goers to declare their allegiance to the Australian flag, BDO organisers have simply asked people to leave flags at home this year. But that's not as exciting a headline as Race Hate Flag Ban, is it?

I don't listen to talkback radio - as a regular user of public transport, I already get my fill of idiots blathering nonsense. But I can just imagine the frenzy they must be whipping themselves into over this one. And the conservative bloggers can't be far behind. Hark to their refrain - "IT'S UN-AUSTRALIAN!"

I'm sick of the way that "un-Australian" has been adopted by these people as an insult to slather over whom or whatever they don't agree with. Anyone who…

Troop Surge

Apparently there's a new drink in Washington D.C. called the "troop surge". It's the same as what you were drinking before, but with 8.5% more mixer you didn't want, and it costs twice the price. The bar tender serves it by throwing it in your face.

Now, what is George W. thinking, sending more troops to Iraq? It reminds me of women of a certain age, who try to "fix" their make up by adding more. That doesn't work, and neither will more troops. Honestly George, if sending more troops is such a good idea, then why is John W. Howard, the "hard man" of the Coalition of the Willing, not on board with this?

Do I have any ideas on how to fix the catastrofuck in Iraq, you may cynically ask? Well no, but it's not my job to fix it. If the people who's job it is were doing a better one (or at least, not an incompetent, ridiculous, ham-fisted one) we wouldn't be asking these questions. It doesn't help that Iraq was a war without any rat…

I Don't Understand...

...celebrity relationship break-ups. Whenever a celebrity couple calls it quits, they always release a statement saying that they still love each other and remain the best of friends. If they're so darn friendly, why don't they stay together? I'd like to see a celeb break-up statement saying "Mr. Abs and Miss Tit Lift have ended their relationship after three hate-filled months. Mr Abs will be getting drunk and breaking Miss Tit Lift's windows, whilst she sleeps with Mr Abs' best friend in a quest for petty revenge."

...electric staplers. How much stapling are you doing that you need an electical appliance to do it for you? If the answer is "enough", may I suggest you get a hobby.

...why a person would drive to the gym to use the treadmill.

...how or why a person with even sub-normal intelligence would send off a resume with an email address such as sexy169@isp.com. This is no urban legend; I recently sorted through some resumes sent in to my compa…

And They Say Politicians Don't Do Anything

Well, as we gear up for a long, long election year, I'm keeping an eye on the Rudd-Gillard Opposition leadership team, and whether they're responding to the heartfelt request I made of them when they took control of federal Labor. The latest poll results are looking good. Of course, it's unwise to put much faith in poll results this far out from the election (what were Mark Latham's poll results at this stage three years ago?), but a good result is preferable to the alternative. According to the latest Morgan poll, 64% of voters approve of the job Kevin Rudd is doing as opposition leader (as opposed to 56% who approve of the job John Howard is doing as Prime Minister) although Howard retains his status as preferred PM.

But wait. What has Rudd actually done lately? Nothing really. It's not his fault. Howard hasn't done anything lately either. No one has. Parliament is on its long summer recess at the moment (let me be an MP one day, please!) and there's not a…

No More Miss Nice Nico

How can I be back at work already? I was only on holidays for a minute!

Though it's not like I actually went anywhere or did anything. I consumed a small ocean worth of alcohol and watched a mind-numbing, butt-wearying amount of pay TV. That's all. It was a proud moment for Australia when John Howard was quoted on the Fox news bar as saying that Saddam's execution was a "great victory for Iraq", though it does prove that the man is at least going insane (Now, now little Johnny! You're supposed to be against the death penalty!)

And we saw in 2007 at the World's Biggest Custard Pie Fight. (Thank you for coming. For everyone else, I could explain, but I think I'd just rather leave this hanging there).

Nonetheless, the big story for 2007, at least around this end, will of course be the state election in March, and the Federal election, which will be in October. Or November. Unless it's in September. Unless I'm wrong, and it will be some other date.
Bu…