Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Drawing a blank here

Guess what I got in the mail the other day??? Yup, my Pearl Jam tickets. Rebecca had a little bit of a shock at the price, I never did openly tell her... They were about $97 each + postage, so a grand total of $207 to see Eddie Vedder and the gang sing me a few songs. Bec told Amanda that we were going, so, she asked us to get her some tickets as well. So, because I am such a great guy and all, I did. So we are all going to see PJ on the same night about 3 sections apart because I couldn't exchange my seats. I'll bring a camera for this one to post...

The soccer. I know that I said that I couldn't be bothered to stay up until 1am Monday night to watch a bloody soccer game, which would end at 3am, and then get up for work at the latest by 7am. But, my meeting didn't finish until around 12-12:15 that night, so I watched it.

Now soccer is a 90 minute game. And I rooted for Australia, "cleverly" named the Socceroos, and a team which barely made to the World Cup. We were against Italy, who are apparently good at this game, having won this tournament a few times. You wouldn't have guessed it though, Australia dictated play for most of the game. And by the 90th minute, the score was nil all. But I learned that you get a couple of minutes extra time for injury time lost or something, so the game would go for another 3 minutes. During these final 3 minutes, while we were in Italy's goal area, there was a hand-ball by an Italian player which went uncalled. Then in the 92nd minute, the ball was in our goal area, where it is universally acknowledged (even by Italians!!!), that the ref made a mistake. He called a penalty against us for tripping.

Italy began celebrating before the ensueing penalty kick was made. There was no way a goalie could block the shot from that close to the net. So we lost 1-0 to some Italians, because the ref made a BAD call. Personally, I think alot of money changed hands over that game. Australia was punching above her weight to have made it into the Group of 16 (2nd round), and was playing very well. But Italy is the home of the mafia. I won't say more, but I'll let you guess the rest...

I tell ya, if I didn't want to go see Venice, Rome, or even the Vatican later in life, I would ban Italy. Yup, heap them on the pile right next to Indonesia. But I can't because I want to got there eventually.

Other matters, I'm trialing a beta version of the soon to be released Microsoft Office 2007, and I have to say that I really like it. I think that they have laid everything out much better than in previous versions (the only really good one being Office 2000), once you get used to the new structure of the "toolbars" and stuff. very nice though. I think I will likely buy it when it is released. Excel is improved a bit with bigger spreadsheets being now possible (because the 60 something thousand rows is just too small, and now it goes to 1048576 rows!!!). Anyway though, I don't feel like writing too much about it because I only started using it yesterday... But it's promising!!!

Gotta run to the lab...

Monday, June 26, 2006

Fashion Faux Pas...

Maybe someone out there can tell me this. Why are so many women wearing those God awful cowboy boots lately? I have yet to see any that look good on anyone. I openly don't appreciate fashion, I do believe in some sort of colour cooridination, and that socks are not included in colour coordination (they should be chosen with another set of standards, I like bright ones!)

A few years ago when I was out with my brother-in-law Harry (Cypryit guy) shopping for a present for his wife, we looked at some Ugg boots in a shoe shop. While we were looking, a girl came up asking if we needed any help. We told her what we were doing or something, and she started talking like you could wear Ugg boots outside and all that... To which I promptly replied that "No, you could not". Or something to that effect, and she replied that alot of people do, to which I told her that that doesn't mean that it looks good. She had a shocked look on her face, didn't know what to say, and then left us alone. I wasn't being mean or anything, but of note, it has now gone out of fashion.


Didn't think so.

So I am hoping to do the same thing with these silly cowboy boots. You're not cowboys, or cowgirls for that matter. And I don't know any guys who like the look. They don't look comfy, and again, they look dumb. High heels, I understand. They are uncomfy, and I wouldn't recommend that any woman wear them, but they do make a ladies calves look nice, and they make her a bit taller, and go well with nice dresses. See, a purpose for their existence.

Cowboy boots? I guess maybe if you're out on the range taking a stroll in the cow fields you don't want to step in a pile and fall shin-deep in crap, so cowboy boots'll help you there. Also maybe for getting your horse to move faster maybe? There probably are more reasons for COWBOYS to wear them, and the real ones are probably more comfy too. But jeez....

Another thing, I just stumbled onto this site

You probably shouldn't go there if you like muffins. It'll scare the bejesus out of you!!!

There was probably more I needed to say, but I forget. Oh ya!!

Australia plays against Italy tomorrow morning at 1am in the World Cup!!! Guess who won't be getting up to watch it!?! I'll probably be up anyway as I have a meeting tonight. Funny how I actually miss going to LSA meetings... I missed the last 2 because of work and work, but I returen tonight. I feel slack. The community voted me in with the most votes, and I can't seem to devote the time and effort I wish I somehow had.

Anyway, to my loyal followers, I bid you "A Dieu"

PS: Hi Amanda and Harry and Andrea and Alexis and Lukey baby

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Happy Friday indeed.

Well, today's Friday, and happy day for all! I'm not really upset or flustered about anything. So you may not get any rants today... But we'll have to see if that lasts until the end of this post.

Wednesday night I asked Rebecca a question. Would you like to see Pearl Jam in November? (they are a very good band who have influenced me heavily in the 90s and on and I love them... "10" is still there best album, and if you check one of my earliest posts, I bought a Best of cd... So there.)

She said, rightly I might add, that ya, but they're probably really expensive, and we can't afford it. The reason for my question was simple. They are coming here, the first 2 shows sold out, so they added a third, tickets on sale Thursday at 9am. So I was content to let the answer of "no" stand.

Until Thursday morning around 9:10am. I decided to let fate decide for me. When I got my Foo Fighters tickets last year, I was re-dialing for like 45 minutes straight and ended up with kind of crap seats, (but great show!!!) This time I thought, alright, I'll make one phone call to Ticketek (who Pearl Jam had a long court battle with over their monopoly on ticket pricing etc) and if I get through 1st try, we're going.

So I called. It rang and I got through, and ended up with a choice of seating!!! Seems like those die-hard Pearl Jam (henceforth referred to as PJ) fans who called early and booked those 1st 2 shows out and were now probably stuck with crap seats while I, who love PJ, have good seats!! So to all you die-hards not reading this blog, thanks for taking one for the team!! Me and my 8 month pregnant wife will be smiling and singing along to "Alive" with a great view of the stage while you took your binoculars!!! HAHAHAHA to you all!!!

Bec was right though, can't afford it!! Too late now though eh!?! I figure, I have spent my life saving $$ to be able to do this and that, that I have now not really seen too many concerts and I'm in Sydney! ONe of the world's majr cities. One concert a year is good though.. and that's what credit cards are for.

I was reading AussiesNan posts the other day, and got to thinking about fate etc. But she wrote something kind of in response to one of my responses to her, about bad decisions. I think what I was saying may have come out wrong. "Bad" decisions happen every day. But the only way I figure to make sure you don't make one is to think about what you are doing, and do what you think is right at that moment. So decisions that lead to regret etc become pretty hard to make when you have made the decision based on all the info available. Regarding addiction etc, while you lose choice once addiction set in, (in most cases) you still hold responsibility to the initial decision leading to first contact. Drugs, which we agree are bad, and its initial use at least is the result of a bad decision. No argument there. I believe that that initial decision made by Chris went against what he knew was right. And for me, that is the basis of a bad decision, knowing the right and choosing the wrong.

I implore you not to think that I am cold hearted or insensitive. On the contrary, I have guilt about this trajedy regardless (and probably partly as a result) of my distance. There was a strong feeling of helplessness on my end when I became aware of what was going on. As a result, I have, and do, think about fate, destiny, how could things have come out differently, and what started that path and how could it have been averted...

I ended up settling on:

1) Mankind (as a whole) has its destiny, which it will reach.
2) As a person, free will gives us the opportunity to either realize (or disregard) our potential, with regard to mankind's destiny, you can either help it along, but if you don't someone or something else will
3) Education is essential. The only way to help someone is to educate them on what is right and what is wrong. In the end, you have only to account for yourself. So if you chose based solely on what you think is right at that moment (based on what you have at hand) you've done your best and no-one can ask more of you. Regardless of the end result, you did your best.
4) Also though, one bad decision does not make a person bad. We are all flawed and will make bad decisions, the trick is to learn from them, try to right them, and strive for improvement. Hopefully by doing this, you will hopefully avoid the stress and pangs of guilt.

I think that's about enough of that... This wasn't written to make anyone feel better, (or worse for that matter), but only as a personal perspective.

This is still a Happy Friday!!!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A thousand words or more

Well, I stumbled upon this pic the other day and it fit. Take it as a state of mind.

Besides the thesis and all its' woes etc, the Oilers losing, and the list grows, so comes the problem of what to do next.

I will finish my PhD, but then where do I work. Everyone knows that I am looking in Canada, more recently I have begun to entertain the idea of working in the States (Boston particularly). Some of the groups there are doing fascinating stuff and doing it beautifully... Look up Wucherpfenig if you want some reading that will likely not interest you in the least.

My current supervisor(s) really want me to stay... But here is the biggest dilema. I love working with them, I get heaps of freedom to do as I wish, would be running my own lab, with my own students (ie workforce) to move my ideas through the pipeline faster. I would be able to get them to do the routine work leaving me to be able to develop systems and design experiments and stuff like that. I have come up with a really good project to look at something genuinely new, and I would be able to carry it out here.

But neither me nor Bec like here, but that sometimes depends on the day.

So if I ended up staying, I have a really good job with heaps of freedom and I could further things significantly, but I'd be here in Sydney (nice place to visit, but too many people, too rushed lifestyle). But, if I went elsewhere, I would end up working on someone else's project, hopefully related to what I am doing, but I would be making a compromise in favour of lifestyle. But I guess that's kind of what it's about isn't it. But if I stayed, I would be able to become an expert in this field pretty quick (especially if my suspicion is correct, I would tell you all, but then I would have to kill you, and I do like you guys, so I'm bound to silence).

Ah well, these are the trials and tribulations of one who is a bit frustrated by alot of things at the moment... Like what makes one great? Where should I be going? Why can't I do more? Why does sleep always seem to win in the end?

Why am I blabbering?
Enough. Posted by Picasa

A sad day for all ...

I just read the news.

I am a sad man now...

I'll be the first to admit that while Edmonton is not on my "go-for" lists in most instances, as I am a die hard Calgary Flames fan. When push comes to shove, I will always back Canadian teams when against the bloody American thiefs.

It's our Cup and we want it back. Although a significant number of the Hurricanes are probably Canadian, the Cup is still held captive in a foreign land.

A sad day indeed...

But I guess the bright side is that for the at least the last 2 "played" seasons, a Canadian team has come within inches of reclaiming that which is ours to begin with.

Maybe next year, maybe next year.





Monday, June 19, 2006

It is revealed!!!!

Well, here is the long awaited, heavily contested, and first published picture of our new kitchen. The first thing I would like to point out, is that Alex is not in this picture. My humble apologies, but he was in bed...

The floor grouting is almost done, and then all I have to do is put some wall tiles up and fix a hole in the ceiling where the old fan thing above the stove used to be. I also found out that wiring up a stove does not actually need an electrician!!! Ya, I did it myself, but to be safe, I removed the fuse not only to the stove, but to make sure that there would be no possibility of me frying in my new kitchen, I turned the power off to the whole house!! So everything is hooked up and working nicely!!! I even learned a bit about plumbing in the process... So I won't be calling on them anytime soon for little things... Sewage problems, they get the call. But other things, like hooking up dishwashers and mixer taps and the like, that's my job now. I even know how to shop for plumbing things!!!

Yes. I am a champion of the world!!!

But, as I presently feel like the world is caving in around me as x and y combine forces to smother me with a sum greater than either could muster on their own, I must depart and try to divide an conquer x and y once again.... And the lack of sleep cycle which began this blog rears its ugly head once again... Posted by Picasa

Sorry about this

Now I know that alot (if not all) of you have been anxiously awaiting the first pictures of my new kitchen probably alot more than the media has been awaiting the first pics of Brad and Angolina's new baby, but "I got nothin for ya man" (a Public Enemy reference for those of you playing at home).

The memory stick bit for the digital camera was left at work over the weekend and even though I did take a picture of the kitchen last night, it is stored in the internal memory of the camera. And simply put, I am not bringing that camera into work with me.... side note: I realized the memory stick was at work just before coming to work this morning, so I didn't have time to download the pics into my laptop.

So to my adoring fans, sorry.

But it does look good though. We now have overhead cupboards, and a bigger kitchen that actually looks nice as opposed to the ... other one.

Can't write much now though as I actually have heaps of work to do... Crazy eh?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Indonesia... A little more...

K, this is will be one of the last posts on my kitchen, sorry to bore you with it again. But I was pretty happy last night when I finished the area where the kitchen will be going. Grouting and all. I will do a quick wipe down tonight to get rid of the little bits of excess grout, but besides that, the kitchen floor is ready for the kitchen installation (tomorrow).

Now, back to Indonesia. Let's see, where to begin....

It seems that there are some Indonesian politicians here in the country right now, and they have stated that it would be "impolite" for them not to be able to meet with the Papuans who have been granted temporary protection VISAs by this great land. Question which I feel begs to be asked, is that Australia feels these people require protection from their government, thus the granting of "protection" VISA, so why would it be impolite for us to say "No, we don't think it is wise for us to let you meet with people we formally feel need protection from you." Also, our immigration minister has admitted in a televised interview that we have tailored our immigration policy to appease the Indonesians. Re-reading this makes me think I should have a gripe with the Australian ruling party, which I do, but that is another issue...

I think Indonesia should keep its nose out of our business.

The other issue that I am really upset about, deals with the Bali bombings in 2002. To refresh: 2 Bali night clubs were bombed killing alot of people by Islamic militants, on October 12 (1 year, 1 month, and 1 day after Sept 11).

So, the "spiritual leader" and likely organizer was captured and imprisoned. So far the story is ending happy. But yesterday, he was released, having served a total of something like 2 years in jail for his part in the bombings. 2 Bloody years for over 202 deaths and a further 209 injured.

Is this a country who is telling us that it is IMPOLITE for us to not let them meet some people who clearly feared the Indonesian government? 2 years!!!!! And then we have Schapelle Corby, convicted on openly discredited and scetchy evidence and testimony who will be serving 20 years because someone picked her as a drug mule. Her only "fault" is that she will not confess to something that she did not do. Read this link.

So let's do the math: Scetchy evidence, but heaps of drugs found in her boogie board bag, not even really hidden, (but if possesion is 9/10's) = 20 years.

Spiritual leader (and terrorist) and planner of bombings that killed and injured heaps of people indiscriminately = 2 years.

Where is the justice?

Let's say Corby's guilty, 20 years may be fair, but the 2 years I still have a problem with.

Final conclusion: A personal ban on Indonesia.

I just can't bring myself to support a country who behaves in this manner.

I apologize for the highly political nature of this post, but we're surround by it, and it affects more things in our life than I believe we realize.

But keep smiling, there is a (peaceful) cure for this disease.

Kitchen continues

Note: This is not the first time I am posting this, but the second, now third, and if it doesn't work, well... I guess you'll never really know will you...

But anyway, so the story continues because this is my site.

Friday we began to tile. The first issue we noted was that the hill in our kitchen was actually there because of our cheap chip-board (particle board maybe?) floor had a hill in it. So to overcome this mountainous problem, (pun intended) we just used a heap of cement (the rubberized version for wood surfaces, properly primed etc ... for those who care to notice).

So now, the hill's all but gone!! You can still see it if you look for it, but I am beyond caring now. So it's gone.

Now that that has been dealt with, the next issue was the fact that these tiles appeared to be off-cuts or seconds or some other thing like that. How do you know you ask.... Because of the lack of "precision" in them... There were tiles that were like 2-3 mm off from the others. While initially this might not seem like a problem, but it adds up to the point where my beautiful straight lines lost their beautiful straight ........ linedness. But, because I am strong willed, I made them fit!! And now their all down (See pic below). Once I got on a roll, I just laid the tiles down adjusting here and there, and Ross cut some tiles and blah blah blah.

Sunday came and this was the last day that Ross could spend helping me, so we just cut and laid more tiles.Monday morning came and all I had to do to finish tiling was to cut and lay about 25 tiles (some requiring tricky angle grinder maneouvering). Which I completed and then smiled. I even did a little bit of grouting (not shown).

Now I know that Jim would probably be thinking, "This guy is months away from becoming a Dr!! Man does he need to learn alot before that bridge is crossed... All he had to do was...." Next time, Marsha, airfare will be supplied.

But anyway that's about it, I feel like it's a bit of a let down though. I mean all this build up, and that's it....

How can I make this better...

OK, On Sat, Ross started cutting tiles, very shortly after beginning, he felt... unwell. But the next day he medicated himself and felt much better. (Remember this for another 5 or so lines or whatever). On Monday, I had to cut some tiles (I mentioned this earlier if you read it). Minutes after I started, my nose started to run and I began to feel unwell.... Coincidence?!?

So, at first I thought that there might be something in the tile dust that arose upon angle grinding that, while making me initially stuffy and crappy, would result in me being genetically altered with X-men - like superpowers... But then I looked at the tile box to see where they were made, and it turns out, they were only made in Indonsia <- insert my sad face here.

So what you ask, and rightly so.

Me and Indonesia have our disagreements, firstly, I have a personal ban on ever going there and knowingly supporting their economy. Reason, I am still mad at them over Shapelle Corby. (Google her and you'll see she was wrongly imprisoned for life because she had drugs planted in her bags... It was obvious). So I am mad at them for convicting a girl who's innocence was proven, and also over their reaction to Australia giving some Papua New Guineans (I believe) temporary protection VISAs. They got all upset at us, saying how could you do this and all that when they have convicted for 20 or 25 years a late 20 year old woman who will now never have children.

Relation between the tiles, my sickness, and Indonesia: They're out to get me.

That's it.

Ross was an innocent bystandard in Indonesia's attempt to teach me a lesson.

Through tile dust. You laugh, disagree, or just scoff, but it's true. When I disappear in the next few days without a trace, you'll at least know the truth. I was kidnapped and silenced for exposing the truth about the Indonesia's tile making biological warfare delivery agents.

I have to go, someone's coming. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Kitchens and Beasts from beyond

Well, my kitchen renovations started last Thursday.

This first pic is what it looked like immediately before I moved the stove, fridge and all the other stuff. The second picture, is just another view. Notice how there's no ovrehead cupboard space.... Also in the second picture, notice the tiling, the guy has changed the pattern where the kitchen part starts... I don't know why, but he did. Not shown is a hill in the floor which is painfully obvious when you enter the kitchen.

Not pretty.

So we begin Thursday by going to the power tool place and picking up the kenga hammer. First impression: Bloody heavy. And once I got it home and begun using it, I proved that first impressions are often correct. The thing weighed but 30-35 kg! And I am a man of not many muscles so I struggled from about 9:30 - 11:00 am getting very little done and sweating heaps. I also dug some pretty impressive holes through the chip board floor.

A sad beginning.

Ross (father-in-law) got to my house around 11 or so... coffee break. The hammer was so loud (I wore ear-muffs and eye goggles) I didn't hear him come in, use the bathroom, flush the toilet, and watch me for a few minutes. He used the hammer for a much larger portion of the time then I did, him being significantly bigger than me. But he complained of the hammer's wieght too..

It was kind of funny when I looked up once and saw the hammer's blade dissapear into the floor and stay there though. But this was only one of many holes to go through the floor. Once the hammer went through the floor though, I had to go around it with a hammer and chisel to dig the tiles away around it so that the hammer wouldn't go through the floor anymore.

It was a very hard day.

But at the end of it, this is what we had finished, probably just under half the tiles up. This is a pic of Alex next to my enemy. Doesn't look that big, but it felt like the whole thing was made of lead. Me and Ross ended the day on something like 5 minute shifts on it because we couldn't do any longer.

Friday: Woke up early and sore at 6:30ish am, called the hire shop to see if they had any smaller hammers (this one was a medium). They didn't, so I was sad.

Then I tried a different hire place, and they said yes they had a smaller one, so I was happy. So I went down, had a look, and rented 2 of them!!!

When I got home, Ross was pretty happy that we didn't have to deal with the big bugger again. This smaller hammer proves that bigger is not always better (Bec!!!). It ripped through the tiles much better than the beast from hell, and put way fewer holes in the floor. We were still buggered by the end of the day though, but the tiles were up, and we were able to begin prepping the floor for tiling. Yay!!!

Here's a picture of a champion of the world with a great little hammer and the last remaining tiles. Notice the pile of tile shrapnel in front of me.... I taught them a lesson they won't soon forget I tell you...

Well I can't put any more pictures into this post, so I guess that's all I'll wright about this.... No, I'll just post another one up soon.... But I got the tiles up Friday, and today's Tuesday, and I am not entirely finished... So it was hard.

Until later my loyal fans... Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 12, 2006

Spontaneous Human Combustion!?!?!?

First of all, how did this topic come up!!!??? A few interesting links on the subject though:, and also from one of Australia's leading scientific radio and tv scientists, Dr. Karl:

My view, ummm, why not?

From memory, we are warm blooded because we have mitochondria (energy producers) within our cells which create energy and a bit of heat. And we have a bunch of them in each cell, particularly the heart, which is just one big muscle. And these little buggers create enough energy to allow us to walk, run, do whatever and live... (the top section of this picture is a mitochondria just to add credibility to this post)

As a side note, cyanide kills you because it wrecks the mitochondria's ability to produce energy, so they're pretty important. Anyways, if, by some highly unlikley, crappy for you, "thing" happens and you create heat instead of energy, why wouldn't you be able to fry up like a log in fireplace on a cold winter's eve? I mean you would have millions (maybe more?) of these little potential furnaces inside you, and what if they don't like you very much? I think spontaneous human combustion is simply mitochondrial vengeance. You didn't tell them you loved them enough when they were younger ... They wanted to watch the game last night and you wanted sleep... Or they wanted that last piece of cake, and you thought that would be wrecking your diet... Who's laughing now buddy, who's laughing now....

I guess that my take home message is. ....


Spontaneous human combustion must exist because Dickens wrote it into one of his books. To prevent it though, you have to keep your mitochondria happy, but since each person's mitochondria might like something different, you better just hope they like you.

PS. Tiling was hell. Will post later. but Hell is appropriate. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Bothered by the Masses ... Revisited

Ya I know, 2 posts in one day, maybe the end of the world is coming!!!!

But no.

I thought that a response to my earlier post entitled: "Bothered by the Masses" deserved its' own spot for those who care to read.

Firstly, props must go to AussiesNan who posted a well thought out and well-written response on her blog ( I will officially acknowledge this as likely the best possible answer to a rant brought on by a slew of different protests which have garnered the equivalent of "I am in power, so I know best" responses from those in authority.

Public protests have furthered society, some for improvement, and some for our detriment. But in general, I concede, we are better for them. One thing that I think I was right on though, was possibly the requirement for organization in protests. I think that "random" public protest may be a venue for the eventual creation of organized groups pushing for a change in some aspect of society, and maybe the nature of the issue is important as well. If it is an issue such as equality of men and women, slavery, etc, than the issue will persist until resolved. Meaning that the number of protests will not die down, certain people will become involved to such a degree that they form an organization to help promote their views, and then they (eventually) get power to change things, be it either the ear of specific representatives, like minded organizations, private corporations (preferably with $$ to donate) etc.

But if it is an issue like the "Troops out of Iraq" the ramifications of protests may be proportionally related to the length of the troops stay in Iraq (and the number of casualities). I guess the effects of these protests may be felt the next time there is a similar situation, and may manifest itself in the government's willingness to take part, and to the level of participation.

So, officially, I change the bulk of my views on this. Thank you for responding to this subject, I was curious as to what response I would get. And I learned something... Jeez, almost 30 and I still learned something from my Mommy.... What a crazy world we live in!!!

Monday, June 05, 2006

The day of the devil my butt!!!

Well, today is the day of the devil, 6-6-(0)6. Let's see what bad has happened today.

If you are a semi-regular reader of this blog, you will have noticed that I have a massive presentation to do tomorrow. It ended up being something like 90 slides, each with its own bit of animation and stuff.. It is a good presentation, and one that I am sad to say, I may never give. Why? Because last night, the guy's wife (to whom I am supposed to present to) got in a car accident. She's apparently all right, and going home maybe today, but he obviously has to cancel. They have kids and she's not quite right yet. This was a big deal for myself and my Dept as my supervisor has planned a whole day out (as is customary for these things) where the guy would be giving a talk, and listening to other talks and lots of other medical things... Now we need to cancel everything... Lots of e-mails and phone calls, plane and hotel cancellations and you get the idea.

Bonus for me out of this.. I really did want to give this talk, so while I am a bit upset at this, he did agree to mark my thesis. There's no way he will not pass it. He almost has to now. So, yay for me!

Other things.... A misplaced order form thingamabob means that I can't use the machine that I wanted to use today. Crappy crap crap is about all I have to say about that.

Other topic, in 2 days, I start renovating my kitchen. I started ripping up some of the kitchen tiles, they shattered. (I think I mentioned this earlier though, but I'm still not looking forward to ripping up tiles, or tiling, yes I'm holding a grudge against the tiles... Bugger you tiles!!!).

I will try to post pics of my progress in this front, but I can't promise that they will happen before the whole kitchen is in, as I will be busy. But I will put at least one post showing the before, during, and after shots. So patience....

I gotta run and write a very political e-mail to someone who I need to get off their a$$e$ and do some work for me without making them spit the dummy or offending another person who is on my paper.....

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Bothered by the masses

While I condone sibling rivalry, violence should only be resorted to if the person is in striking distance!!! So to end the controversy, I am getting dual citizenship, so I'll have 2 passports!! One Australian for if I go to the US for whatever reason, as Australia seems to do whatever the US hints that it might think is good, and one Canadian to maintain my dignity. Don't really know why the guy asked if my parents were living in Canada, I think he was just asking out of curiosity...

But another issue has caught my eye...In Australia, we are getting (or already have) new workplace relations laws which are pretty much destroying unions. By this, I mean (my understanding) that employers and employees can discuss their working terms ($$, time, etc). This follows on to an employer being able to fire you, and then hire you on lower wages, which has already occured at least once (all staff were fired and asked to resign crappy contracts). In my department, we had this secretary who was utterly useless.

Eg: I was sick at home or something, and someone called her office looking for me. She knew I was home, but ran down the hall to my office, told my co-workers that someone was on the phone for me and that she knew I was at home, and what should she do. As a secretary, shouldn't your second nature be to say something like, "I'm sorry he's not here today, can I take a message and have him call you tomorrow?" Now I know I'm not a secretary, but isn't that part of your job? My lovely co-workers told her to take a message and she did... Good on you.... My boss, as a result of her complete incompetance, fired her. Gave her the two weeks or whatever notice... And said good bye. She fought this. And it ended up that we couldn't fire her. She then went on stress leave for a while. And when she came back to work, she couldn't work in our dept because how awkward would that be after we tried to fire her? So she worked in the human resources dept, while we paid her. We couldn't hire a new secretary because technically, she was our secretary so we didn't need one. So to run the PATIENT Clinics, we had researcher do the secretary job, untrained, and she did a great job.

Point is, the new laws would have enabled us to fire her due to her repeatedely demonstrated idiocy, and quickly hire a new person.

But my friend, (you ask), what is your point?

As you might have guessed, there has been a lot of public protest. Today for eg, there was a call out for all school children to strike today, ie not go to school. I also heard one of the head organizers say on nationwide radio, that kids should get their parents permission to strike today in opposition of these new workplace agreement legislation, but she then added that even if your parents don't give you permission, strike anyway because it's for a good cause. What's the deal with that?

Still not the issue I'm questioning, my issue is much more far reaching....

Protests have been lodged against troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, conscription, taxes, blah, blah, and blah, but when have they actually worked? The only protest I can remember that was effective was the Tiananmen Square student who while protesting initially for one thing, successfully protested against a tank's desire to run him down.

But that is the only one I know that worked, and that was a one-on-one protest, not against an institution.

Did the Viet Nam protest work? Or did the US pull out due to it taking too long and them not being able to really move forward? (Not rhetoric, I really don't know). I am convinced that they don't, and that's why people is power who want things changed, form societies etc like Green Peace, Unicef, the 30hr famine people etc. Adults who have gone through the idealism of youth protests and realized that that avenue has a voice that is only caught by popular media, but has no real power to effect change...

It's like the lead singer from Midnight Oil (Beds are Burning song of the 80s or early 90s). He started as a young person in a band proclaiming the need for reconciliation between white Australia and the Aboriginal community. While steps have been made in this direction, they're not a result of his efforts. So now, this guy is in politics trying to effect change from within the system... And we all know my views on that (if you don't read my previous posts ... the longer ones). Besides that, haven't we all heard that the only way to change it is from the inside... I'd like to know when that's actually happened. Please tell me if it has as I would really like to know.

So that's it... When has public protests actually effected change? Is public protesting the only voice that society en masse can come up with. Insanity can be defined as doing the exact same thing over and over again expecting different results. Where does this leave the masses then....Because I don't believe in pointing out a problem and simply crying wolf without being prepared to at least suggest something, follow some of my links...

Cheers good people of the world!!!

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