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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I'm not complaining, but...

After the joy, no - the thrills, no the sheer frigging hysteria of finding out I have a decent crack at a 'real' job once more (interview next Monday - stay tuned), things have returned to the mundane ordinary.

Jessica Simpson still refuses to respond to my marriage proposals. Don't know what her problem is. Like, what girl wouldn't be jumping at the chance at life in an occasionally dry hole with an almost-employable, broken down, wannabe writing hack?

Tony Abbott has come out and admitted what we all flipping knew - that you can't believe what he is gibbering about anyway. Including those promises not to wear Budgie Smugglers again. Good on ya, Dumbo.

After being invited to be a guest blogger at another site (was told to sod off over the paying blogging job, but fine and dandy about asking me to do freebie ones), I have submitted a magnus opus featuring an all-star cast including Muffy the Monster Molesterer, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Robinson Crusoe, Moby Dick, Speed and Dirty Harry, only to have a test reader say she didn't get it. Bloody women, can't live with 'em, can't chomp 'em up for dog food.

Strangely enough, Tyra Banks has joined Jessica in stubbornly ignoring my marriage proposals. I mean, like, come on, surely one of you can be conned, eventually, one day, maybe?

My pants are too frigging tight. My hair is too frigging grey. And I have a pimple on my hairy arse. And why is it that while the hair on your head starts disappearing, great frigging tufts of it start poking out everywhere else that you don't frigging want it? Like, was it really necessary to design a male human nose that after age 40 decides it simply must sprout things like jungle vines from the nostrils?

Not that I'm complaining or anything.

Monday, May 17, 2010

What an incredibly small world!

I have had some contact with the Australian War Memorial in recent times about potentially writing for one of their publications. Earlier today that correspondence began discussing Australians who flew with the RAF in World War 2. I mentioned that a cousin of my grandmother's was with the RAF's elite Pathfinder squadron but his Lancaster bomber was shot down over Germany.

It turns out that my contact is currently doing an article about the Pathfinder squadron and asked me what my relative's name was and what squadron he was with. I could only supply the name but had no idea of anything more about my great-cousin's war service. My contact did a quick bit of looking out of interest and came back with a rather startling piece of news.

He was talking to one of the other staff at the memorial recently. That other staff member had also mentioned that his grandfather flew with the Pathfinder squadron and was also shot down. A quick bit of research later and my contact had established that this other chap's grandfather was the pilot of the same Lancaster that my great-cousin served in.

My grandmother and extended family had made inquiries after the war but never established what had actually happened to my great-cousin. It now appears that there is documentation in the National Archives of Australia about the crash and where the flight crew are buried in Germany. I shall be researching that further quite soon.

The picture above is of the Lancaster bomber 'G George' that forms part of the collection at the Australian War Memorial and worth a look at. This is much the same plane that my great-cousin and this other chap's grandfather were flying in over Germany in 1943.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Recycling isn't necessarily always good

So now we have The Mad Monk's (aka Tony Abbott) reply to the Budget. High on his list is a cut to the public service. Specifically, he states that they will not be sacking people, but instead losing 6,000 people per year by natural attrition through a recruitment freeze.

Now hold on there a moment, Jug Ears. We have heard something like this before. Back in 1996, on the day of the election, the Liberals ran full-page ads in The Canberra Times which set out a number of 'promises' it was making to members of the Australian Public Service. This included a very precisely worded assurance that staff numbers would be cut via natural attrition over the next two years. Yet almost as soon as Johnny 'Eyebrows' Howard assumed office, across the board retrenchment of thousands of public servants commenced. Tens of thousands of jobs were lost. So much for the reassurances of the use of 'natural attrition'. And now The Mad Monk expects us to believe the same nonsense all over again.

What made that 1996-onwards position even worse, was then-Treasurer, Peter Costello, coming out afterward and saving that the loss of all of these jobs in Canberra and the heartache and difficulty it caused to many thousands of families across Australia, was a good thing. I would hate to see what he called a bad thing.

Adding to the hypocrisy of the new Liberal position is that, just as widely predicted, we see the essential elements of Work Choices rearing their ugly heads again. So much for those assurances that Work Choices was gone.

For some reason, the Liberals are seemingly incapable of coming up with a single original idea these days but just constant recycling of John Howard's crap.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Telstra resolved - at last

I was supposed to be receiving a promised call from a Telstra technician yesterday, hopefully to finally resolve my issues with their mobile broadband.

Things did not get off to a good start by receiving a form letter in the mail, commenting that my concern had been resolved (it wasn't) and assuring me of all the wonderful things that Telstra had been doing to improve resolution of consumer complaints. That rubbed me up the wrong way - big time.

The telephone rang at roughly the appointed time. During my conversation, I soon realised that I was talking to yet another Level Two technician, rather than the semi-mythical Level Three that I supposedly needed to talk to. He soon determined what had been worked out back on Day One, roughly a month ago - that there was a hardware issue rather than a network issue. I was then given the jolly news that the three previous Level Three requests that had been raised in relation to this matter, had all been directed to the wrong area. By now I was thinking "Yeah, Telstra - you've improved things no end - NOT." However he actually put me onto a real, live person. What's more, this was someone that actually had some idea of what they were talking about.

In considerably less than five minutes, we had done some troubleshooting and voile - problem solved. At last. It only took a month, repeated formal complaints, a complaint to the Office of the CEO and starting action with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman to get that point. Not to mention well over fifteen hours spent with a telephone glued to my ear, most of the time on hold listening to the same infuriating tunes over and over, that made me just want to hurl the telephone receiver at the wall. But we got there at looooong last.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Melbourne drug dealer, Carl Williams, who was at the heart of the gangland war there through the 1990s and beyond, died in prison recently. He was serving time for organising the murder of several people although he was implicated in more killings than just the ones he was actually done for. Williams was bashed by another inmate and died of heart failure.

His funeral was the other day and the event received quite a bit of press coverage. Who cares that this scum is dead? The world is a better damn place without him! But get this - his coffin was gold-plated! How the hell did that come about? He made all of his money from unlawful dealings, mainly drugs - so why was there still enough money of his floating around to afford a damned gold coffin???

Williams's ex-wife, Roberta, never short of a word for the media, is now splashed across the face of a national Australian magazine, mourning the fact that some 'maggot' has stolen her daughter's father. What about all the people whose children were taken away from them via Williams's drug dealing? What about the families of the people he organised hits on? Exactly who is the maggot in this picture?

One of the ironies of the situation is that Roberta's actions are repeatedly so like those of her arch-enemy, Judy Moran - live off the proceeds of crime but then bleat about how awful things are when events catch up with you. And of course there was a biography appearing on the shelves of bookstores not long after Moran's appeared.

The murder of Williams occurred shortly after reports appeared in the media that his daughter's private schooling was being funded by the tax-payer although I have not followed that through as I am disgusted enough by the situation as it is.

An amusing aspect to the situation, if there is one, is to reflect on just how Williams ended up inside. He tried to ripoff one of his hitmen, refusing to pay him after doing the deed, with said hitman turning him in.

Now that 'Fatman' is dead, hopefully we will see an end to this sorry saga of major criminals and their families being treated as media celebrities, losing sight of the fact that he was a multiple murderer and major drug dealer.