Joke Number 5

A tour bus driver is driving with a bus full of seniors down a highway, when he is tapped on his shoulder by a little old lady. She offers him a handful of peanuts, which he gratefully munches up.

After approximately 15 minutes, she taps him on his shoulder again and she hands him another handful of peanuts. She repeats this gesture eight times.

At the ninth time he asks the little old lady why they do not eat the peanuts themselves, whereupon she replies that it is not possible because of their old teeth, they are not able to chew them.

“Why do you buy them then?” he asks, puzzled. The old lady answers, “We just love the chocolate around them!”

Street Racing – so what’s so new about it?

Over the last week or so the NSW state government, police force and Australian media generally have put under the spotlight the tendency of drivers to “race” their motor vehicles on the streets.  This current focus has been brought on by the recent tragic deaths of an elderly couple quietly returning home after a night out at a local venue.  They were killed when their car was hit by 2 other vehicles travelling at high speed on a public road, allegedly “racing” each other.

There has since been much spoken and written about the incident and other similar incidents.  Many people are asking why it is allowed to continue, what drives people to race their cars on the streets, and how it can be stopped.

It is my belief that such activities can never be wiped out.  That’s not to say that I condone such behaviour. Man is, by nature, a competitive beast.  Like the rest of the animal kingdom, we are genetically pre-disposed to strive to out-do our peers to get to the top of the heap and be seen as the strongest and quickest to ensure the “survival of the species”.  This clearly extends to every facet of human endeavour.  Therefore, it will be impossible to stop it without turning the human species into an evolutionary backwater that will stagnate and eventually fade away (we’re probably going to do ourselves in as a species anyway, but that’s a whole different subject).

These activities continue to happen due to the NSW Government’s inability to maintain adequate police numbers actually on the roads being policeman.  Premier Morris Iemma claims that they are providing additional police, however the problem with that is that his government is merely bringing police numbers back to levels from which they have gradually been allowed to decline.  The government has not increased the numbers of police to keep pace with the growth of the population and many more need to be added to our police force.  A more visible presence of police on the roads will go a long way to reducing traffic infringements in general.

More police on the roads is one piece of the puzzle to reducing this so-called “anti-social” behaviour of street racing.  But more than just police on the roads is needed.  The NSW Police Commissioner, Ken Moroney, has suggested seizing the vehicles of people convicted of street racing and crushing them into a small cube and putting the cube in the offenders front yard as a reminder.  This idea simply isn’t workable.  Mr Moroney cites overseas examples, such as in southern California, USA, and in England, of this practice.  But it hasn’t stopped the street racers in either of those places, so clearly it doesn’t work as a way of stopping the practice.

It seems to me that the best way of combatting the situation and reducing the risk to the majority of road users lies in better driver training – something I’ve always been a strong advocate of.  The NSW driver’s licencing regime for motor vehicle drivers is nothing short of a farce.  There needs to be a mandatory requirement for all learner drivers to attend a car control course where they are able to learn, in a controlled environment away from public roads, what an out of control car feels like and how to avoid getting into those situations, or if they do find themselves in situation then they will know what to do and not freeze in panic.  This needs to be extended to a refresher course at the time they graduate from their red “P” to their green “P”, and perhaps again when they graduate to their full licence.  In fact, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for it to be a compulsory requirement that people must attend such a course on a regular basis, say every 5 years.  These courses not only teach people the physical skills, but they also focus on the mental attitude of drivers which I think is a major factor.

There are those that say these courses are a bad thing as they give the trainees a false sense of security and actually increases the risk they will do something dangerous.  To these people I say RUBBISH.  From personal experience I can say that idea is a load of crap.  I have watched family members go from being inexperienced panickers that simply froze if the car or traffic around them did something unexpected, to being confident drivers able to cope with pretty much any situation day to day driving can throw at them.  I’ve seen the evidence first hand that these courses save lives.

As to reducing the incidence of street racing, might I suggest firstly that, as part of their punishment, anyone convicted of such an offence be forced to do community service in a hospital trauma ward helping to tend to those injured in motor vehicle accidents?  Secondly, if the convicted driver is guilty of actually injuring other people, then that driver should be made to face the families of the victims and see the grief and torment their actions have caused.

And to those that ask why we have to have such powerful cars on the roads, the amount of power of a motor vehicle will make no difference (and do you wowsers realise that the more powerful vehicles are safer than the tinny gutless offerings you favour, because of the features built in to cope with the increased power?). 

Human beings will pit themselves against their fellow human beings at any opportunity – we can’t help it, it’s our destiny….

P-Plate Gabfest

Will anything of substance come from the current gabfest on what to do about our P-plate drivers?

I’m predicting we’ll simply see a range of draconian rules instituted that will prove of little value.  Why? Because there’s no point having rules if you don’t have the “referees” to see that they are being obeyed.  In this case, I use the term “referee” to mean police.  One of the surest ways of making sure that drivers adhere to the road rules is to have a highly visible police presence actually on the roads.

We don’t need more rules for these new and inexperienced drivers – they’ve already got enough to learn and think about.  What is needed is better education (both in attitude to driving and actual driving skills).  This, combined with a more visible police presence, will do far more than trying to legislate a solution to the problem by creating even more road rules.

The current NSW Government seems to think that by cutting spending and reducing the police force’s manpower and using static speed cameras instead is good management. How wrong they are!  This is a very good example of what happens when a Government tries to do too much with it’s resources and tries to run everything on shoestring budgets.

In my opinion, the NSW Government should make spending money on infrastructure an absolute priority, and put the minority projects back in their rightful places at the bottom of the “have to be done” list.  Public funds should be giving priority to health (hospitals, etc), schools, public transport/roads and our police force.  The NSW police force has been shrinking for a number of years now, and it needs a drastic increase in numbers (i.e., we need hundreds of officers added to the force) just to get back to the level it was 5 years ago, and more still to get it to the appropriate ratio for our population level.

If ever there was a case of “Nero fiddling while Rome burns” one only has to look at what the NSW Government is doing.

Might I suggest that the two Ministers responsible for police, roads and transport issues in NSW (Mr Eric “Bus Lane” Roozendaal, and Mr John Watkins) get together and work out the priorities of their respective Ministries, and then go to their Premier, Mr Morris Iemma with a co-ordinated plan. In fact, perhaps Mr Iemma, as the Minister for State Development, needs to demonstrate some real leadership by making some hard decisions on spending priorities and then start cracking a few of his Ministers’ heads together to make them wake up to reality.

2006/2007 Ashes Cricket Test Series

At 12.18 pm today, Australia continued their dominance of world cricket by defeating England with ten wickets in hand to complete a 5 – 0 series “whitewash” in this year’s Ashes cricket series.

What can be said about a team that has won their last 12 (that’s TWELVE) Tests in a row?  No doubt there will be cricket aficionados and commentators with far more knowledge about the game and its history than I possess that will be able to deliver fitting tributes to the Australian Test cricket team of 2006/2007.  However, as a proud Australian I would like to congratulate the team on a brilliant series.  They never let up, and even when they knew England were on the ropes, the Australians kept the pressure on.  Their demolition of the English cricket team, and its attempt to defend and retain the Ashes trophy they so narrowly won in 2005, has been a marvel to watch and a demonstration of the awesome professionalism of the Australians.

Can I wrap it up with a piece of true Aussie vernacular?  I hope so. To the Australian cricket team, their coaches and their management – “Strewth, you blokes are bewdies”

Bring on the One Day Internationals…

C’mon Aussie, c’mon, c’mon….

Merry Christmas to everyone

Ok, so it’s my first Christmas with a blog.  Please don’t hang me for being so trite and mundane as to do what I expect nearly every other blogger has done/is doing – wishing their readers a Merry Christmas.

To me, the Christmas/New Year season is a time to reflect on the year just past, and enjoy time with one’s family members.  For many this is not easy, a fact I know from personal experience.  Nevertheless, I believe this is the one time of the year where we should make the effort to go that little bit further to show our family, friends, and even people we don’t know, that we aren’t all arseholes or Scrooges (you, in the back row, was that a “Bahh, humbug!” I just heard?).

I care not what your religious background and beliefs may be.  You are as entitled to them as I am to mine.  I do believe, however, that NO religion intends to inflict pain or suffering on any member of the human race, nor for that matter members of the other species that inhabit this fragile little world of ours.  It is mankind that creates wars and conflict in the name of religion, not religion itself.  Sadly, it seems the only way we can protect ourselves from people with tyrannical and megalomaniacal tendencies is to fight back, and defend our way of life.  What brings these people to want to cause such trouble?  Intolerance for their fellow man, for one thing.  Warped views of societal structures other than their own, for another.

Whatever the cause, why can’t they just learn to live in peace with the rest of the world, and learn to tolerate, indeed rejoice in, the many variations of humankind and our society?

To all those that perchance come across my humble blog, I wish every one of you a peaceful and joyous Christmas season (whether you believe in that particular religious system or not) and success and prosperity in your endeavours in 2007.

Joke Number 2

I received this one from a client.  It’s another “Blonde” joke, which I normally wouldn’t post (my wife is blonde and dispels the “dumb blonde” myth, although she does sometimes use the myth to her advantage, like the time she got the better of a used car salesman about 6 months ago and got a fantastic deal on a replacement car for a troublesome Peugeot).

Blonde Parks Car In Snow

Norman and his blonde wife live in Calgary, Canada. One winter morning while listening to the radio, they hear the announcer say, “We are going to have 8 to 10 centimeters of snow today.  You must park your car on the even numbered side of the street, so the snowplough can get through.” Norman’s wife goes out and moves her car.

A week later while they are eating breakfast, the radio announcer says, “We are expecting 10 to 12 centimeters of snow today. You must park your car on the odd numbered side of the street, so the snowplough can get through.” Norman’s wife goes out and moves her car again.

The next week they are having breakfast again, when the radio announcer says “We are expecting 12 to 14 centimeters of snow today.  You must park……….. ” then the electric power goes out.  Norman’s wife is very upset, and with a worried look on her face she says, “Honey, I don’t know what to do.  Which side of the street do I need to park on so the snowplough can get through?” With the love and understanding in his voice like all men who are married to Blondes exhibit, Norman smiles and says in a gentle tone, “Why don’t you just leave it in the garage this time?”

2006 V8 Supercar Series is done & won

Congratulations to Holden driver Rick Kelly on finishing as winner of the 2006 series, narrowly outscoring Ford driver Craig Lowndes.  The two drivers were so closely matched that at the start of the last race they both started on the second row of the grid, with equal points in hand.

Ford supporters are bemoaning a racing incident that saw Lowndes’ car suffer damage that severely affected the performance of his vehicle.  The incident involved Kelly, who was given a “drive-through” penalty as a result of that involvement.  Kelly did not suffer any significant damage to his vehicle and was able to make up enough lost ground to finish well ahead of Lowndes.  Kelly finished 18th in the last race, and Lowndes finished in 29th place.  As Kelly remarked, it wasn’t the best possible way to achieve the prize but it showed how his season of consistently finishing races rather than risking a “DNF” in pursuit of a win in each race of each round was the way to win the series.

To all my fellow Holden supporters I say “Go Team Red” in 2007!! To all the Ford supporters, especially those complaining about Kelly’s win, I just want to raise two points for you to consider.  Firstly, Kelly isn’t the first driver to employ the tactic of consistent high place finishes to win the series – Ford driver Russell Ingall used the same tactic to win the 2005 series.  Secondly, stop whining about Kelly’s alleged driving tactics in the last race that you claim took Lowndes out of the race.  I’ve seen the footage of the incident and it was nowhere near as bad as Russell Ingall’s infamous Eastern Creek incident with Mark Skaife in 2004.  Thirdly (ok, so I thought of something else while writing the other two points – so sue me), Ford teams have (with financial assistance from corporate Ford Australia) a habit of poaching drivers from Holden teams – both Craig Lowndes and Russell Ingall “cut their teeth” in high profile Holden teams.  Seems Ford find it difficult to develop their own drivers, and when they do the driver leaves (remember Marcus Ambrose?)…… 😛

2006/2007 Ashes Cricket Test Series begins

At last, Australia can seek redemption for losing the last Ashes series in England.

The long awaited and much anticipated series began in Brisbane on Thursday, November 23.  Australia showed their true colours, spending almost 2 days amassing a massive score of 9/602, and then taking 3 quick wickets to have England reeling at 3/53 at the close of play on day 2.

Grab a cold beer and a comfy seat in front of the tv and join me in a rousing chorus of our cricketing national anthem…

C’mon Aussie, c’mon, c’mon…

C’mon Aussie, c’mon, c’mon…


Hehe – ’tis the end of day 3 – England all out for 157, Australia 1/181 (giving the Aussies a lead of 626), and the Barmy Army prove they are just a bunch of whinging poms – all they can do is complain about what they consider heavy-handedness by the local constabulary.

What time tomorrow will Punter declare?

Ok you dinkum Aussies (and anyone else that feels like joining in), sing along – you all know the tune… C’mon Aussie, c’mon, c’mon…

No rally to support Muslim cleric Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali

The planned rally in Sydney today at the Lakemba mosque as a show of support for the embattled Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali did not proceed.  It is being reported that his followers have heeded his request to call off the rally, and Tom Zreika, the president of the Lebanese Muslim Association (LMA) that administers the mosque, is quoted as saying he believed the furore over the Sheik’s recent comments (where he implied scantily dressed women deserved what they got if they were raped) was now “dead in the water”.

I suppose the fact that it is a cold, blustery, showery day in Sydney today didn’t have anything to do with it either?  What are the odds that the rally would have gone ahead if the weather had been more kind?  It’s also interesting how much people OTHER than the Sheik are back-pedalling on the Sheik’s behalf.  One woman is reported as saying that the Sheik believes the act of rape is one of the worst capital crimes in Islam.  That may be so, but why can’t he say it for himself?  Then again, he has so badly damaged his own credibility that such comments from him would be viewed with extreme cynicism by the rest of the Australian community.

And the furore is “dead in the water”? I think not Mr Zreika.  Sheik Alhilali clearly has offended all woman-kind with his comments, not merely non-Muslim women.  His anachronistic attitudes and comments are not in keeping with the Aussie way of life, and the Sheik would best serve his religion by standing aside and letting a cleric of more modern thinking take his place.

Australia is NOT a strict Muslim nation Sheik Alhilali, and I believe you should be preaching acceptance of others and their beliefs, and perhaps giving consideration as to how your church can adapt itself to modern society rather than trying to drag everyone back to the days of the origin of the Islamic faith.