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(I know Einstein never said this)
(I know Einstein never said this)

At work, I am slowly being driven crazy.

I am in the wonderful position of being responsible for making sure something is done, but not being given the authority to ensure it is done, or done properly.

I follow a process which will not work. I know it won’t work, but I follow it, so when it fails, I can demonstrate it is flawed. I have told my supervisor and the Director it will not work. I have explained to them at least four times the half a dozen or so reasons why it won’t work. Yet I am expected to carry the can when, a month or so down the track, there is shit is pouring on our heads because it hasn’t worked.

And when the shit is pouring on us, I explain – again – why their process won’t work, and what we should do to change it (which I have shown previously does work). Then they reiterate their way of doing things, and we go back through the whole ride again.

Meaner, Dumber, Hotter


I would love to get hundreds, or thousands, of these stickers printed out, and just wander the streets each night, dropping them in people’s letterboxes. Surely a few of them would end up on cars, or other places, and the slogan would spread far and wide.

But, knowing my luck, the next week, the Libs would replace him, and my effort would be for nought.

When Did Reading Become So Hard?

Nicola BellOne of my pet hates is people who read something, and then attack the author for words they didn’t write.

Mark Latham’s latest column in the Fin Review is a perfect example. He’s written how much he loves raising his kids, and his friends envy him. And criticises a columnist in another paper who disparages parenting and claims she only gets through it with “caffeine and anti-depressants”.

For years, the trope of super-wife/mother burdened with dopey Homer-Simpson-esque husband. In recent times, there’s been a push to break this stereotype. But when someone writes against this popular image, noone gets attacked. But Latham says “let’s not see parenting as drudgery and a chore, but a joy”, he cops it. In the weirdest twist, he even is being attacked for being disparaging mental illness. When if anyone’s making light of mental illness in Latham’s piece, it’s Lisa Pryor, she of the “caffeine and anti-depressants” flippancy.

Sharing the Costs

For a couple of months, I was living in Kotara. While there, for various reasons, the issue of domestic energy-use efficiency kept bothering me.

I was living with people who never hung washing out to dry (always with the clothes dryer), who dealt with cold or hot temperatures with heaters and air con, and were generally doing their best to keep the meter ticking.

I’m all for everyone being able to make their own decisions, but it was pissing me off knowing their choices were going to hit my wallet when it came time to divvy up the bills.

For Health Reasons

alien_abduction-2.6-50My grandfather had prostate cancer.

His two sons had it. One of them, my father, died because it spread and became, as he poetically referred to it “cancer of the fucking everything”.

Having a male ancestor with it doubles one’s chance of having it (or something like that, the number isn’t really important). So me and my male cousins are pretty much certain of getting it, unless we step in front of a bus or get abducted by aliens before it rocks up.

Then I saw this article:

Sex with more than 20 women helps reduce prostate cancer: study

I better get cracking!

Life’s a Big Banana Sandwich

I’ve had enough time to think about it
Life’s not gunna get me down
There’s nothing can stop me
Gunna make it in this town
I’ve got a rainbow in my pocket
I’ve got a dream that just won’t die
I’ve got money my parents gave me
So it’s about time I learned to fly
Doing it my way
Singing it my way
Got a lotta love to share
Life’s a big banana sandwich
I haven’t got a care

Terrorism? O Rly?

An unhinged bloke gets a gun, runs into the Canadian parliament, shooting people before he’s killed.

Another unhinged bloke gets a tomahawk, attacks two cops, and is killed.

If you believe the media, western civilisation is under attack. But it’s a load of bollocks.

There is no great entity of radical Islam coordinating these attacks. They are random, and happened as much in 1974 as they do in 2014.

There’s always been crazies who get it into their head to take on the power centres – political, police etc. And they go nuts, carry out their attacks, and get taken down.

I’m getting a bit sick of hearing about how these nutbags are now ‘terrorists’, and their flip-outs are being used to justify the revocation of basic citizens’ rights.

Welcome to the Banana Republic

During this by-election season, I wanted to report on them for Our Newcastle. But ebola prevented that happening. I did get along to some of the election forums, and public talk-fests. They were moderately interesting, and some of them were even informative. But I came away thinking I should nominate next March when the state election comes around.

Even though a serious campaign would require about $50,000, just nominating ($500?) would be sufficient to get a seat at these public forums. And it would give me a chance to stand up and raise the issues I believe are important and need promoting.


What would they be though?


  1. A re-run of the 1967 referendum. Not the one everyone knows about, but the one held a few months earlier, to grant statehood to Newcastle and the northern portion of NSW
  2. The entire proceeds of the sale of the Newcastle port should stay in the Hunter, to benefit the communities who built the port and whose lives have been dictated to by the industries around the port. This money to be used for projects of significant benefit to the community, not to small sectional interests as is now the case
  3. The creation of a Hunter Transport Authority to determine what the region needs, and to see through the implementation of the resulting plan
  4. All political parties to have open books. In the past, they have argued that to reveal their income sources would be too administratively cumbersome. But anyone who runs a small business knows all that information is available just by running a report in MYOB, so the old arguments against transparency are a nonsense

In this town, that’s a populist recipe. And whatever the outcome, it’d be a fun race to run.

I really am tempted.

Two-Wheeled Banana

I am moving to the Tsunami Zone. That’s the name I use for the large flat expanse which stretches from Newcastle’s CBD out to the suburbs of Lambton, the edge of Kotara, Merewether, and even Mayfield.

One of the big reasons for moving there is the flatness, which will hopefully allow me to walk or ride places. I walked and rode everywhere when I lived in the zone before (although, I was a quarter the age I am now).

Earlier this year, I bought a second hand bike, but the more I examined it, the more I realised how much work it would require to be usable. Just the other day, I was looking at it with the thought it could be a project for the next couple of months – fixing it up and making it more viable. Knowing how I procrastinate, it might take most the summer. And missing the warm months would be a waste.

This evening though, I was impulsive. I bought a bike. A cheap hybrid bike to get back into the habit of riding places.

Paying money out, the improving weather, and moving back to the Zone, should be enough incentive.