#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!

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

Still here – just resting

Bloody hell, time can fly past quickly when you’re not looking.

I’m astonished that my last post was in December 2008.  Life has been pretty hectic, and whilst there are many things that I’d like to have said my “two cents worth” about, time has just not allowed me to log on and have my say.

Ahh well, I guess that’s just the rapid pace of modern life.

Just an aside about the phrase “two cents worth” – I remember my Dad using the phrase “two bob’s worth”, a reference to the 2 shilling coin in use prior to Australia converting to decimal currency in 1966.  The 2 shilling coin became 20 cents on conversion, so is the current phrase a reflection of inflation?  Another phrase was “it’s not worth two bob”, which has been similarly deflated to become “it’s not worth two cents”.  I suppose “two cents” fits better than “twenty cents” as it better fits the rhythm of the phrases.  I wonder if the old phrases will fade into history and be lost?

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.

N.S.W. – Getting grimmer by the hour….

One has to wonder what ever possessed Nathan Rees to take on the role of Premier of New South Wales.  If there was a job that was going to be a thankless task and a burden to one’s spirits and optimism, then I think being Premier of N.S.W. in 2008 has to rank amongst the top few.  I can only wonder at what carrots the Labor Party backroom boys must have dangled in front of Mr Rees to convince him to take on the job.  Talk about “sacrificial lambs being led to the slaughter”.

And in today’s papers comes news that Labor have further deserted their traditional supporters, workers and their families, by deciding to stop subsidising free school travel for N.S.W. students.

Poor Premier Rees – he really is on a hiding to nothing. The only thing he has on his side at the moment is time. The next election for State politicians is not due until around 24 March, 2011 (the last full election was held on 24 March, 2007), so Premier Rees and the Labor Party at least have time to try to turn things around.

Even so, I think it will take nothing short of an economic miracle to save the Labor Government in NSW. Their past ineptitude has finally caught up with them – N.S.W. is a state in of dire economic circumstances, as evidenced by the cutbacks Premier Rees and his Ministers are having to introduce. On top of this, there is the current world economic crisis that is yet to be fully felt here in Australia. Things are going to get tough for Australians, no matter how much chest beating Prime Minister Rudd and his colleagues at Federal level do about how they’re taking action to mitigate the effects of the crisis on Australians. N.S.W is effectively bankrupt and doesn’t have the war chest of funds available to it that the Federal government has. Premier Rees and N.S.W. are going to keep getting hit, and hit hard, over the next couple of years, and N.S.W voters will continue to be reminded of their State’s dire woes right up to, and most likely beyond, the next State election.

On top of all that is the Australian voter’s penchant for not wanting the same political party at both State and Federal level. I think we will see a number of State governments change political persuasion as voters cast protests based on their perception of both State and Federal government’s handling of the economy. As a resident of N.S.W. I can only hope we will see a turnaround in the State’s circumstances sooner rather than later, but, despite being an optimist by nature, I really feel it’s going to take a long time before N.S.W. is out of the economic doldrums.

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.