Friday, October 26, 2007

Media Watch

How much poorer Australia would be without ABC TV's Media Watch.

Headlines and lead lines like this are bound to stoke the fires of homophobia.

The newspapers everyone with half a brain love to hate, The Herald Sun in Melbourne and the Sydney Daily Telegraph, both published this story.

You should read the Media Watch transcript or listen to it online but just to point out a few things,

  • the babies were not ordered
  • they did not choose the sex of their babies
  • the babies were not twins (in fact many months age different)
  • they did not pay anywhere near the suggested figure of $133,000
  • for their children's sake they asked not to be identified
  • the names used were wrong anyway
  • they stated that the did not wish to co-operate with the writer
  • they were not Australian citizens
I imagine this will go to the Press Council and as usual the newspaper will get a wrist slap with a feather duster and publish a tiny correction buried deep inside the paper. This week's gay media suggests that the writer of the story has a history of homophobic writing and cites examples.

I suppose the headline, gays have babies, has lost its impact. Gee, these newspapers make my blog look a pretty damn accurate record of history.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Unkind people have called me Mattress on occasion. Fortunately I am a bit dim and have no idea what they are talking about.

We have a collection of mattresses at our car park gate. The council contractors have collected them already just in case you thought of pilfering one. It is less that six months since our last hard rubbish collection is this is the accumulation of unwanted mattresses over that period. I doubt any are worn out, just not wanted when someone moves. Such is our disposable society.

Ah, looking at mattresses makes me sleepy. Excuse me.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A tale of three Moslems

John Illhan died yesterday. He was forty two and a very successful businessman who started Crazy John's mobile phone company. Of my six or seven mobile phones, all bar two have been bought from his stores. Being handsome, fit, rich and a devout Moslem did not prevent him having a heart attack at the age of forty two. By most accounts, he was a good person.

I wonder if observing Ramadan put a big strain on his heart?

My workmate is a Moslem from Indonesia. He observes Ramadan too. He does not smoke for the period at all, observes the daytime fasting and does not bother his wife or girlfriend with wanting the biz. He says it does not worry him but towards the end of the period I was noticing he was looking less than his usual handsome self.

Another acquaintance is also Moslem. He had a serious accident when he ran his car into the back of another. His close friend told me he had fallen asleep. He normally does not get up early but because he wanted to be home in the evening over Ramadan to break the fast with his family, he decided to work early for the period. Due to the changed sleeping patterns, he became drowsy when driving his car and did not notice that the car in front had stopped. He spent some time in hospital and some of the other cars passengers were injured.

Should we conclude Ramadan is bad for your health? Perhaps it should be more of a token observance?

Speaking of deaths, just to note the passing of Jocelyn Terry, a long time ABC presenter and TV and Radio newsreader. She was of the old school very professional style ABC broadcasters. I was surprised to hear she was seventy eight. It seems like just yesterday that she was newsreading and filling in for whoever might have been absent. Vale Jocelyn.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sex and the motor car

It is Rosanna's fault. She was the one who tempted me to lay bare my soul.

I was eighteen. I have almost forgotten about this, but something reminded me today. It was one of my early sexual experiences. In one way it was disastrous but in other ways it was affirming. I learnt that not all gays were ugly effeminate old men.

There was a newspaper called the Nation Review. It was a left wing radical paper. Maybe RN's Phillip Adams had something to do with it. Maybe enfent terrible, not yet turned into being a tory, Richard Neville had something to do with it. It was full of earnest left wing writing.

But, it had classifieds. Personal classifieds. They were a laugh and serious at the same time.

I saw an ad I liked. You have to remember that this was in the days of snail mail, so when I replied to an add by written letter, it took some time to organise.

God knows why, but we agreed to meet at the corner of Bourke and William Streets in the city, outside BHP House.

I was a niave lad from the country. He was student teacher at Hawthorn Teachers College. Now Swinburne?

He knew a place to go. Studley Park. It was somewhat of a 'lovers lane' I think. I guess I could find the place if I tried.

There were other cars parked around. We were having some fun, in a very inexperienced way and then police arrived. I knew we were doing wrong. It was against the law. The guy did too. He saw the cops and said to me, say nothing, and then left the car and slid down an embankment.

I was cross questioned by the police. They accused me of being a peeping tom there to perve on guys and girls in their cars having fun. I held my nerve. They searched my car and wanted to know why I needed two chamois. One for the windows and one for the bodywork.

They left and the guy came back and we silently agreed that this was not working well. I drove him back to the city where I guess his car was parked.

But you know, this is what I remember most clearly. When we were driving back along Johnston St and he called out, 'look out'. There was a car in left hand lane. There was a car to the right of me. I was just waiting for the car to pass and then I would pull out and avoid the parked car. How dare he, a 23 year old, question an eighteen year old's driving ability.

While I would not say I was a better driver than I am now than when I was eighteen, I think I drove better then than I do now. I had much more confidence.

Choking - A Telstra Rant

My beloved isp, the largest, most popular and probably the most expensive in the country, has choked me down. I am at the speed of dial up, 64kb per second or whatever it is.

I want to complain. I am not getting anything like 64 kbps. Sites I go are not to blame as they work ok with my normal cable. I noted that one file I was downloading was arriving at 5kb per second. But it wasn't doing it continually. It would have a little rest. Actually more resting than moving.

The email system decided that picture files were too big and timed out. I had to go to webmail and delete anything larger than 100kb and then finally I was able to download emails normally, except because of so many incomplete attempts, there were three copies of many of the emails. It only took about twenty minutes for the webmail pages to load.

I am not blaming anyone else but myself for going over the limit, but this sop is very bad. I would rather be charged the normal outrageous fees that are charged. At least I would have control of the situation.

I am sure someone at Telstra searches for comments on the web about Telstra. Here is mine, heartfelt.

I have been a customer of yours for around thirty years. Apart from one two year absence, I have been a mobile customer of yours for around ten years or more. I have been a cable customer of your for eight years. You recently cut out one of my discounts. While I ok about being slowed as punishment for going over my miserly monthly limit of 12gb, I am not happy that you have made my internet connection almost unusable. I am also a very minor shareholder.

Why does everyone hate Telstra? Because you provide a poor service at very high cost.

PS I have cut and pasted this into a document format so I won't have to rewrite it when it fails to publish.

Monday, October 22, 2007

What is happening?

So much to say and so little time.

We watched some of National Bingo Night last night. Well, all of it actually. Fools! We won't do it again, that is for sure. Something dodgy about it all I reckon. We only needed one number in each game. The prophet describes the game better than I could. So tedious. Good to see an Indian person on tv. Bad that they used him a joke. (I have actually put some thought into that last sentence and that is my conclusion)

Less tedious was the Great Debate, the political debate where our Prime Minister debates the leader of Opposition party. It was a bit tedious really, that is until I turned over the Channel 9's coverage and observed the worm. I was mesmerised by the worm. I did not really hear much of what they were saying. I just watched the worm. Up and down it went in response to what they were saying, judged by an audience. What a hoot. Perhaps a cheering or booing audience might have been better, but this was a good substitute and did not impinge on the audio as cheers would. I doubt we will ever lack a worm again. We will always have worms.

Btw, because someone's partner has downloaded so many 'movies', we have been throttled for a few days, effectively we are on dial up. It is interesting to observe the difference. Anything text is quick, picture are slow as. I would not like to try to download a movie. The weather bureau's rain radar, my homepage, will not give an image, but that may not be related. Not sure why I have it as a homepage, given how rarely it seems to ever rain.

I am somewhat disturbed at the seeming ructions within, well maybe without, the Public Transport Users Association. I don't always agree with them, but I don't doubt their passion and commitment and I consider them a reasonably effective lobby group. When politicians start to get involved in lobby groups, I worry.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

World Rooting

Forget your holiday to Thailand guys. New Zealand is the place to go and it might only cost you the price of a couple of Bacardi Breezers. So when your flights turn to fancy, buy yourself a flight to the land of the long white cloud and be assured of high odds of getting your leg over. From The Sydney Morning Herald.

New Zealand women have the most sexual partners in the world, according to a global sex survey reported on Saturday.

They have an average of 20.4 sexual partners, according to a survey by condom-maker Durex - well above the global average of 7.3.

The Durex Sexual Wellbeing Global survey, which questioned 26,000 people in 26 countries, found that Austrians topped the male list with 29.3 sexual partners, more than twice the global average of 13.2.

New Zealand was the only country where women were more promiscuous than their men, who averaged 16.8 sexual partners, The Press newspaper said, reporting the survey.

The survey showed that Austrians were the youngest to lose their virginity at an average of 17.3 years, followed by Brazilians (17.4), Germans (17.6) and New Zealanders (17.8).

True to form

I received a nice book from my mother for my birthday. She is known as Fud or Nana Fud, short for fuddy duddy.

She gave me the book last night at Waves on the Beach in Frankston, which wasn't a bad place to eat. It was a family gathering for my birthday and my step father's eightieth birthday.

The book is called A Wild Life and it is an Australian story.

Here is the inscription she wrote inside.

To dear (old name) . Happy 50th birthday, 1907.
A lovely true story. I hope you enjoy it.

I did not understand what the 1907 meant. I asked her. She looked puzzled for a minute and then realised what she had written and shrieked out loud and caused other diner's attention to focus on us.

There are very many similar instances as to why she is called Fud.