#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 1967 entry 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!!

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

The Reality of Voting in Australian Politics

I’m so fed up with the Americanisation (is that a word?) of the Australian voting system.  Or, more correctly, the Americanisation of the way Australian politics are reported in Australian Media. Why the hell is there so much focus on the leaders of the 2 main parties (the Liberal/National Coalition, and Labor), and to a lesser extent on the “also rans” (e.g., the Greens)??

WE, as voters, do NOT elect the nation’s leader.  All WE do is elect which party we want to govern the country, and that party then elects one of their own to be the Prime Minister.

It’s about time the media (and everyone else) stopped focussing on the leaders and their attributes (or lack thereof), and started focussing on the policy platforms of the political parties.  The “leader” of the respective parties is nothing more than a mouth piece for the party policies.

Use your brains people.  Take a long, hard look at the policies of the various parties, ask the hard questions of your local representatives, and THEN make your decision on how you are going to vote. 

Maybe if everyone did this, and ignored the focus on what the party figureheads are reportedly doing, will WE actually vote in the leaders that this country needs and deserves.

Welcome back, iServ

Welcome back to iServ, one of Australia’s pre-eminent web sites on current affairs and political commentary.

iServ has been sorely missed during it’s short absence. Whilst many may not have agreed with the opinions expressed on iServ from time to time (and I am quite ready to acknowledge that I occasionally disagreed with some of the views of the site’s owner, so don’t for one minute think this post is merely a suck up to iServ), I think it is fair to say that the owner was fair in his allowance of freedom of speech to all that cared to make reasoned and considered comment. He always was, and I’m advised that he will continue to be, fair and reasonable in allowing commentary from all comers. So long as one stays “on topic”, and does not attempt to denigrate the thread into a personal slanging match or some other diatribe that defies the intended aim of the site, then contributors have nothing to fear from the site’s owner.

Addenda: Sadly, iServ is no longer, and has been relegated to the mists of history. A pity this has come to pass, as the site’s owner showed neither fear nor favour in his observations and commentary of Australian politics. Thank you iServ for your pithy commentary. You will be sorely missed.

Bat’s View undergoes some refurbishing

I decided “Bat’s View” was looking a bit jaded and old and in need of some work to make a bit more “fresh”, so I’ve been playing around a bit with the style sheet.

What you see at the moment is the initial result of my tinkering.  No doubt there will be some purists that deride what I have done as it’s now designed to take advantage of the increased size of monitors being sold/purchased with computers today, as opposed to those being sold a few years ago.  The entry level monitor these days appears to be a 17″ lcd, rather than the 15″ crt that was “de rigeur” not so long ago.  Therefore, I’ve optimised the appearance of Bat’s View to take advantage of the increased “acreage” available on these larger monitors (i.e., a native resolution of 1024 x 768 instead of the older 800 x 600).  Having said that, I’m currently typing this on a HP notebook with a 15.4″ lcd monitor, and Bat’s View renders perfectly across the screen without creating a need for me to have to scroll from side to side to see all of the post.

This change also allows me to post images in a higher resolution than the old 800 x 600 resolution would allow.  This means the images provide better, clearer viewing for the reader.

Further changes will occur as I learn a bit more about the style sheet and it’s effect on what you, the reader, sees.

I hope you like the changes.

UPDATE:  3 November, 2008 – I’ve done a bit more tinkering.  Hope you like the latest look.