Saturday, November 24, 2007

freedom from religion

Religious Artefacts

I'm not sure what happened today, but I seemed to be followed by religious fanatics everywhere I went.

First off at about 10:30AM I was sitting watching a DVD when there was a knock at the door. I opened the door and standing there were two men in suits, uh oh alarm bells started ringing in my head. The one nearest the door then said "we represent a different government" at which point I became confused. It was only when he said "We represent the government of Jehovah" that the alarm bells became louder. I usually just freeze up when these guys come knocking, today was no different. I don't really want to listen to them (definitely not join them), and yet I don't want to be rude to them either. So I nodded, answered a few questions about the meaning of life, listened to a short verse of the bible and then they left me with two "Watchtower" magazines. It took no more than about 1 minute or so and I was soon back to watching my DVD.

Latter on I had just left JB HiFi in Bourke Street and I was approached by a Hare Krishna girl welding a couple of books. We had a good chat about how our souls are our true identity and our bodies are merely a projection of our soul, she showed me a picture in the book to illustrate the point. I even managed to ask her why her head wasn't shaved, apparently only men need to do that. Soon enough I found myself giving her a $2 coin, for which I got a book in exchange . I'm pretty sure that I have spoken to this girl before in Swanston Street. In the next 2 minutes I was approached twice more by Hare Krishnas, one of whom gave me a "smile" sticker when I told her I'd already donated.

I quite like the Hare Krishnas, especially when they go for their lunchtime song and dance up and down Swanston Street. I've also heard good things about their restaurant in Swanston Street, one day I'm going to eat lunch there.

Many Happy (Tax) Returns

Finally got my tax return back this week. Yes, I only submitted it in the last week of October.

Today I'm off to buy a Wii.

Australia's biggest sausage sizzle

The deed is done. My name has been checked off, ballot papers marked and deposited in the ballot boxes.

All the parties were represented except the Democrats and CEC.

I did not stop to buy a sausage in bread. I wish I did though, as I'm hungry now...


Ugh, that last post is so lame. I'm not taking it down, but I wish I didn't post it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Election 07 - Ideals

I don't want to vote for either of the "L" parties, they are different yet are too much the same. I don't want big business to own me, I don't want the unions to own me either. I don't need work choices, I need basic rights at work that have been available for over 100 years. I need climate change and the environment to be taken seriously. I don't need nuclear power plants, I need sustainable energy generation. I don't need more freeways , but I do need improved and expanded public transport. I need fewer trucks on the highways and more trains on the rails. I don't need corruption. I don't need an American style health system, I need a health system like the one that is slowly turning into an American style health system improved to be cheaper and more equitable. I need shelter and food. I need a shower. I need freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom to do lawful activities without being arrested on suspicion of being a terrorist, freedom of protest (with out the rent a crowd knobs). I don't need an American style presidential campaign. I need federal members of parliament who have vision, who are practical, who are trustworthy and who are accountable to those who voted for them. I need this election to be over and done with.

What do I really need?

More than anything, I need a holiday.

Election 07 - The contenders

After a "gentle" prodding from Andrew (see post called "voting day"), I thought I'd better get to know who the rest of the candidates in my electorate are apart from the sitting member for Labor, Jenny Macklin. Her face (an older photo, she looks nothing like her photo in real life) is on every corner, and we get mail outs from her about three times a week. Of the other candidates, only the Liberal guy sent some stuff out in the first week after the election was called. I sense that the other parties don't expect a win around here.

Anyway, my electorate is Jagajaga (ABC profile) in Melbourne's north, and after a bit of research these are the candidates:

There are also Family First and Australian Electoral Council candidates, but both these parties are so fucking nuts and out of touch with reality that they are hardly worth mentioning.

Some useful sites:

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Cup Day in Nagambie (and Murchison)

As is customary for cup day in my household we took off to the country for the day. This year we ended up at Nagambie in the Goulburn Valley.

The grassy lake front at Nagambie.

The drive up was fast, only taking about 1.5hrs, I was surprised to see that the 2 lane Goulburn Valley Highway has been replaced by freeway all the way from the turnoff near Seymour to just outside Nagambie. First stop was a small cafe by the lake front lunch. As they had sold out of pies we opted for home made hamburgers with the lot. These were pretty good and very filling.

Yep, that's the lake, big isn't it?
Oh and check out the Simpson's clouds

Absolute waterfront property, something of a rarity in Victoria.

The iconic water tower in Nagambie sits
proudly in the median strip of the main street

After stretching our legs a bit on the grassy lake shore we decided to keep going, our last minute ultimate destination was the small town of Murchison on the banks of the Goulburn River. Yet more new freeway was found on the other side of Nagambie, and according to the Vicroads Directory continues nearly all the way to Shepparton, with proposed by-passes for both Nagambie and Shepparton. As a result of the freeway, Murchison is now well off the beaten track, even more than it was when the highway passed through Murchison East.

Goulburn River at Murchison.

Murchison itself is a tiny town, and one of the oldest in the district. It's origins go back to it being the site of a river crossing on the route between the Bendigo and Beechworth diggings way back in the gold rush era. There's not much there, just a few shops and a pub, and a bit out of the town is a small caravan park on the banks of the river. At Murchison we parked at the park in the main street and listened to the Melbourne Cup on the car radio. I was surprised that we could still receive AM radio from Melbourne there.

After the race we had a bit of a wander around the main street, and the park.

Murchison, Main Street

I wanted a photo of the sign and this church just happened to walk past.
err, well actually...

Murchison, smarter than the average bear.


There were a few fiberglass cows which were interesting.

Don't have a cow man!

How now red swirly cow?


Take the bull by the horns...

...for world peace?

Also in the park was the local historical (hysterical?) society, who had this contraption proudly in place outside. I think it's a pump.

Pump it baby!

Of interest was this sign seen in several locations in both Murchison and Nagambie. I guess they do have a whopping great lake with heaps of water in it to draw from, but stage 1 water restrictions? I thought most country towns were on stage 3 or 4? (Goulburn Valley Water Agree) The lucky people get to water their gardens (the green lawns in these towns are a dead give away) and wash cars the old fashioned way.

What the?

After a quick drive around town we drove back towards Nagambie.

Back in Nagambie, it was ice cream time. Sitting at a small table on the footpath outside one of the many take away stores in the main street it became obvious why the locals want a bypass (there were several notices in the shop windows about meetings to debate the idea) as the number of trucks that pass through the town is amazing. Many of these I would guess had come from as far away as Brisbane via the Newell Highway (the continuation of the Goulburn Valley Highway in NSW), and were nearly all B doubles. They are noisy, smelly and make the ground shake, not a nice environment at all.

I took over the driving for the return portion of the trip and we arrived home shortly after 6:30pm. All in all a good days outing really.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


As I write it is raining again, it rained nearly all night. When I went to bed we were in the middle of a thunder storm, when I woke up some time after 7 am it was pissing down. I went back to sleep and got up at nearly 11 am, when i looked outside the ground was soaked. On checking the BOM site we had had nearly 28mm since about 7pm yesterday. The largest rainfalls occurred in the Otway Ranges, and as I write the radio news has said that police are warning of dangerous rock falls on the Great Ocean Road and that a man was killed by a branch falling on his tent at Lorne. My brother, his wife and kids are in their brand new caravan at Anglesea, they called to say they are OK. Apparently this is th largest singe rainfall weve had in 21 months, that is nearly two years, I beleive it too.

Edit: I did have a radar image at the top of this post, which I "uploaded" using the URL of the original image. I thought it would make a copy and save it to my blogger account, turns out it keeps using th live image at the url I typed in. So I took it down. The image at the time was pretty impressive, I assure you.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Computer Updates

About a month ago I made a post about my laptop not receiving Windows updates. I haven't done anything about it since. Until today when I came up with an article that simply solved it. What was it? Turn off the windows firewall and then hit "look for udates".

So easy.

After the updates install and the computer restarts turn the firewall back on, and it should work from then on. So far so good.

Lesson learned.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

On the way to work

Only half way there. Taken last week, that's my train approaching at the other end of the platform.