#UpUpCronulla 2

The last few years have been something of a turbulent time for supporters of the NRL Cronulla Sharks first grade team. After the turbulence of the ASADA investigation and findings in 2013 and subsequent fallout and the effect on the team for that year, it has taken time to recover and re-build.

Throughout it all, the true supporters – the faithful (the Cronulla Tragics as we are known) being those that have supported the team through every high and low, have remained strong and given the team their undivided support. For some of us, that support goes back to the Club’s entry in 1967 to the top level of the competition.

We supporters believe the team stands a very good chance of finally winning their first Premiership when they play in the 2016 Grand Final on Sunday, October 2. So too do many commentators, past players from the Sharks and other teams and current players whose teams did not make it to the ultimate season finisher. The Sharks are a Sydney based team with the other team being based in Melbourne. As a result a considerable proportion of Sydney’s population are getting behind the Sharks, whether or not they support other teams during the rest of the year.

So, for the Sharks faithful, it is going to be a week of building hopes and excitement, nerves, trepidation, anxiety, in fact, a full range of the emotional roller-coaster.

Irrespective of the outcome, the Sharks players, coaches and management have delivered a great year for the faithful supporters. They deserve our respect and admiration for their efforts to produce a solid foundation and giving the faithful a team who can repay that faith.

Here’s the official team song that I hope to be singing on Sunday, October 2 (if I have any voice left after the game :-)). It’s sung to the tune of “Roll Out The Barrel”:

Up up Cronulla,
The boys in the black white and blue.
Up up Cronulla,
The name of the Sharks fits you.
Sharks, sharks, forever
go out and play without fear.
Now’s the time to see good football,
’cause the Sharks are here!
Up the Sharks!

Goodbye 2014, Hullo 2015

And so humanity bids goodbye to another year, and welcomes the New Year.

I wish everyone good health, happiness, success and prosperity in the pursuit of their hopes, dreams and endeavours. No doubt some of these will simply be a continuation from 2014 or before, while some will be new for 2015 and perhaps beyond.

Whichever it is for you, don’t ever give up. Remember though, that to turn a hope or dream into a reality requires the taking of positive action. Make a plan then take a step, no matter how small at first and be prepared to keep working at it. And take time out along the way to HAVE some FUN!!

UpUpCronulla!!!

Go those mighty Sharks!!

What a great display of determination in their game against the Brisbane Broncos last night. The Sharks were down 16-0 at half-time, and down 22-0 with 20 minutes game time left. With a never say die attitude, the Sharks players dug deep and finished the game winners, 24-22. That win makes it 4 years in a row at Suncorp for the Sharks.

Like the rest of the Sharks faithful supporters (or “tragics” as we sometimes get called), I hope this is the beginning of a turn around in the Sharks fortunes for season 2014.

Keep up the great work Sharks!!

Go you good things!

(P.S. Notice the new colour scheme for the site? I bleed Black, White and Blue!)

Public washroom hygiene

I’ve noticed over recent times that there seems to be a reduction in the number of hot-air hand dryers (or cold-air, depending on whether or not the heating element and thermostat are functioning correctly :-p) in male public washrooms and toilets in shopping centres, movie theatres, etc.  I can’t comment on the situation in female facilities as I’m male and don’t frequent the female facilities, but I’d be interested to know if the situation is the same.

What’s going on?  I’m at a complete loss to understand what the possible reason for this reduction could be, apart from the owners/managers of the centres deciding it’s costing too much to maintain the units, so they just remove them and leave as few as possible.  This situation doesn’t seem to be limited to the smaller centres either.  I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if there was an alternative, e.g., paper towels, but in the majority of cases I’ve seen, there isn’t any alternative.  You either have to queue up and wait to use the hand dryer (if it’s working) or walk out with wet hands, or simply not bother to wash.  Maybe the upper level management behind the operators of the centres don’t realise what’s going on because they have their private wash rooms in their “ivory towers” that are fully provisioned with air dryers, paper towels, or maybe even an attendant handing out proper cloth towels!

So what sort of message is this giving us, the general public?  That they don’t care about our personal hygiene?  That they don’t give a stuff if we pick up God knows how many e-coli or staph bacteria, just so long as they protect their precious bottom line?  And what happens if there’s a significant break-out of some sort of infection that is traced back to the public toilets of a particular public venue?  Would there likely be a class-action from all affected parties to seek compensation for lost wages and medical expenses?  Given the way our legal system is turning, I reckon there would be a fair chance of such an occurrence.  How much would that cost the centre owners to defend (or pay-off the affected litigants)?

And while I’m on the subject of the state of male public toilets and wash rooms, I’m annoyed at how many seem to be unclean generally.  You know what I mean – the smell of stale urine where one or more people has/have completely missed the urinal (maybe these people need to learn their penis isn’t as big as they think and practice their aim, or maybe learn to use a toilet and sit down so they can’t miss), water spilled everywhere around the wash basins, wet paper towels (and/or pieces of toilet paper that were used because there were no paper towels and/or the hot air hand dryer wasn’t functioning or there were too many people waiting to use it) lying around on the floor or on benches near the wash basins.  Most of the larger shopping centres seem to be ok at making sure the toilet and washroom facilities are kept clean and odour free, however many smaller ones and fast food outlets (yes, even the big names are guilty here) seem to be severely lacking in the general cleanliness we should expect.  And then there’s the toilet facilities in many petrol outlets, especially those at major stopping points on main highways.

I’m tired of having to walk through other people’s mess.  I say we should demand better facilities.

Joke Number 6

This one turned up in my e-mail inbox this morning.

“This story happened a while ago in Dublin, and even though it sounds like an Alfred Hitchcock tale, it’s true.

John Bradford, a Dublin University student, was on the side of the road hitchhiking  on a very dark night and in the midst of a big storm. The night was rolling on and no car went by.  The storm  was so strong he could hardly see a few feet ahead of him. Suddenly, he saw a car slowly coming towards him and stop.

John , desperate for shelter and without thinking about it, got into the car and closed the door…. only to realize there was nobody behind the wheel and the engine wasn’t on. The car started moving slowly.  John looked at the road ahead and saw a curve approaching.  Scared, he started to pray, begging for his life.  Then, just before the car hit the curve, a hand appeared out of nowhere through the window, and turned the wheel.  John, paralyzed with terror, watched as the hand came through the window, but never touched or harmed him.

Shortly thereafter, John saw the lights of a pub appear down the road, so, gathering strength, he jumped out of the car and ran to the pub.  Wet and out of breath, he rushed inside and started telling everybody about the horrible experience he had just had.

A silence enveloped the pub when everybody realized he was crying… and wasn’t drunk.

Suddenly, the door opened, and two other people walked in from the dark and stormy night.  They, like John, were also soaked and out of breath. Looking around, and seeing John Bradford sobbing at the bar, one said to the other….  

“Look Paddy…. there’s that fooking idiot that got in the car while we were pushing it!!!!”

Does Dettol (or their advertising agency) think Aussies are idiots?

Have you seen that new commercial on Australian TV for the Dettol product where you don’t have to “pump” the hand wash liquid, rather you just move your hand in front of the special dispenser and it detects your hand and dispenses an amount of hand wash?

The pretext is that it means you don’t have to touch the dispenser pump and thereby avoid catching any bacteria that might have been deposited on it by someone before you. Does Dettol (or their advertising/marketing agency) really think Australians are stupid enough to fall for this?

The act of touching the pump means you are dispensing an anti-bacterial solution onto your hands that kills any germs that you might have just picked up, so, unless you’re silly enough to touch the dispenser head again after washing your hands, you have already killed off 99% (if you are to believe their marketing) of any bacteria you would have picked up.  What about the fact that you touch the tap with dirty hands and then turn it off with clean ones?  There is far more chance of picking up bacterial infection from turning off the tap than there is by touching the top of a hand wash dispenser pump!  Proper hospital procedure is to turn the tap on, then dispense the hand wash, wash & rinse your hands, then dry them with a paper towel and then use a paper towel to turn off the tap.  Therefore, the “no-touch” dispenser is a useless piece of equipment with no worthwhile purpose.

I have to wonder about our modern day propensity for all things “anti-bacterial” or “anti-germs”.  I have to question whether we are fast approaching the point where our natural immune systems will be unable to cope with even the most simple of infections because we have been so “anal” about avoiding or killing off any possible bacterial exposure (I suggest you read “War Of The Worlds” to understand the potential impact of a germ-free environment).  When I was growing up we were exposed to all sorts of germs and bacteria (we had our own chicken pen and I used to go in there barefoot to collect the eggs!!  Heaven forbid if I had a cut on one of my feet when I was tromping around in the chicken shit & mud in the chook pen!) yet here I am today, hale & hearty.  My opinion is that we need exposure to a certain amount of germs and bacteria to give our immune system the strength to cope with potential invasions.  Indeed, as a youngster it was considered “tough” to gain wounds and the subsequent scars as evidence of our ability to fight off infections!  Man up Australia, grow some balls!

Clearly, this is just a marketing ploy to try to convince us to buy another product that we don’t need.

Nice try to Dettol, but I don’t like the inference that I’m too stupid to know better and that I will be won over by your slick advertising.  But I don’t think I’m that stupid…