Thursday, August 27, 2009


After returning The Daily Telegraph to its spot at the coffee shop, after I'd finished reading it, and making my way upstairs, I saw a scratch lottery ticket under the table where I had my "stuff" set up. Of course, I bent to retrieve it, and at that moment, it occurred to me that it might (yes, I know unlikely) be a winning ticket. How then would I go about finding its owner and returning it - or, if it was the jackpot winner (yes, yes, rich fantasy life) would I be tempted by the $50,000 prize NOT to return it? Rather than face the dilemma, I thought about leaving it there ... knowing that the owner would come looking for it if it was a winner - or, if not, it would be collected by the cleaning staff. Thought about it ... in the end, I decided if I couldn't trust myself, who could I trust? (The ticket was not a winner but it was a pretty green colour, and the person who had scratched it had done a very good job of removing all the - whatever you call that easily scratch-off covering they use on instant lottery tickets.)

Sunday, August 23, 2009


If you haven't heard about Crasher Squirrel yet, do a Google search and see if you can find him in the now famous photo with his new "friends".

Whacking day

Just when children in New Zealand were getting used to the no-smack policy - where it was illegal to smack children - more than 80% of their adults have voted to have that particular legislation repealed. Reading up on the thoughts and rationale about how the legislation passed at the polls in the first instance, and then what led to a vote for repeal, is now on my list of things to do.

Nice work

The Australian Army has commissioned a 3.5-year, $2.5 million study by the University of Wollongong to determine how fit is fit, and how fit someone in the army needs to do be to fulfill their particular role/s. At present, all army personnel face the "romantic idea" that they should be battle-ready at a moment's notice - even if they are support personnel confined to base. The study will question that particular notion - at a rate of $2,747.25 a day, based on a 52-week year, and a 5 day week (and trusting that my mathematics skills and calculator are working as expected).

Cutting back on complaints

Word is that the people of NSW will not be able to take their complaints about the State Government to the Ombudsman, as they used to. The Ombudsman has reportedly written to State MPs to say they may receive them instead as his office is contemplating service cuts as they run out of the readies "... for complaint handling and resolution work." It's a wonder no one thought of it sooner ... take away the complaints handling body to make the complaints go away.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

One to think about

Isn't it the tiniest bit odd that you can't really play Uno by yourself? You know - Uno - Italian and Spanish for 'one'.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Telco continuation

Why do companies have databases where they keep your records if they don't keep your records? Or doesn't it work if you ask them to? I rang my Telco again on the weekend about my continuing network issues - and spent more than 20 minutes going through the issue, history, attempted fixes etc before the Customer Service Officer offered to put me through to Priority Care ... except they weren't there yet. Could he please note down the details of the call so that when I called back, I could be transferred through without having to go through the details again? Certainly, he assured me. Hmmmm. That's not exactly what happened - but I was only on for 15 minutes or so before I finally made it to Priority Care - who then only needed the short form version to finally be able to help me unlock my out-of-contract handset to see whether it or the network coverage - or possibly the SIM card - were contributing to my coverage issues. Coincidentally, when I picked up a new SIM card yesterday - might as well cover all the bases - someone else was asking about their decreased network coverage. It may finally be time to have a look for similar issues on the Internet.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Taking a gamble

Been wondering about a winning system at the casino? Wonder no more. According to today's The Sunday Telegraph, Rob Parsons - touter of "how to beat the casino at Roulette and Blackjack" (my paraphrasing) is looking to have as many people as possible use his Roulette system to protest StarCity Casino's "unfair" BlackJack dealing system. I must have misread the report because it seemed as though the system was going to be freely available ie at no cost. I've just been to look at the website mentioned in the article (I wrote that down) - but can't see anything there that supports that - so I'll just have to rely on M to keep working on her system. (I was looking at BlackJack, but if my chances at winning are decreased because of continuous shoe-shuffling or something ... maybe I can seek other ways to make my fortune.)

Thursday, August 06, 2009


This sounds pretty interesting - but you can understand why there weren't more details in the report: a New Zealand woman has been jailed for a year for defrauding a bank of more than $110,000 when she "stumbled" over an Internet banking loophole. Hope she didn't hurt herself in the process.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Overheard at The Post

"What if a little old lady comes in and buys a ticket to Athens and then drops dead because we've given her swine flu."

Saturday, August 01, 2009


"For only $5 more you can get another 6" said the young man behind the counter. For a moment I thought I was at Maccas (Fries with that?" - is that still a common practice there?) but no, it's another chain - Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. I'm hanging out here using the WiFi as I wait for S to arrive (she's flying onto the airport - 1 minutes drive away) and felt obliged to buy a drink - stil cheaper than paying for airport parking. It is a day of celebration here - the 5th anniversary of the store's opening. I'm not sure if it would still be as popular with parents with small children if there wasn't today's special attractions - doughnut decorating, facepainting, fairy and magician - and a gold coin donation sausage sizzle (smells pretty good too). And popular it is. Although it would be nice if the fairy - a teenager with big blue wings - seemed more engaged and less distracted; admittedly it is one of the first times I have seen a mature fairy in the wild so I don't know if it is customary for them to be talking into a mobile phone rather than brandishing a wand. I can't wait for the magician. Really.

Why didn't they just say so

Why do people swing their arms as they walk? Some research has been done and it seems that the effort of not swinging one's arms is greater than the effort involved in swinging them. Towards the end of the report it also mentioned that not swinging one's arms actually increased the effort taken by the lower half of the body to keep everything working smoothly. I wonder if that was balance they were talking about - and if it is, why didn't they just say so?

Job well done!

It's nice to know that good old customer service still exists. Yesterday morning, while the washing was on, and while breakfast was cooking, the electricity on that circuit went out. Okay, it might also have had something to do with the heater and television and three other appliances on that circuit all being operational at the same time. While resetting the breaker switch - the first two times it was okay, the third time it wouldn't cooperate - it was obvious it was time to call the electrician. He was great. Even though he couldn't come, he advised that Energy Australia has an emergency service which could look after small jobs - and he thought it was a small job, just needing the circuit breaker switch to be replaced (he told me what to tell them when I rang up) and that they usually could get there within 4 hours. One call and one hour and ten minutes later, Barry arrived. Gone, seemingly, are the days of tradies/sparkies in overalls. Barry arrived looking neat and tidy in crisply pressed trousers, white shirt and black vest, and a very small waist bag. I took him through to the cupboard where the switchboard lives and left him to it. He came back through a couple of minutes later saying yes, it was the switch, and that he'd tried to repair it - and was it working. Alas, no, so he had to replace it - but he had the necessary part in his truck and it was all done, and operational - with him having checked each socket on the powerpoint, to make sure all was well - within 15 minutes.
Great job Barry and great job Energy Australia! (I did miss Rob, our electrician, though. He is so tall he only needs to use a small step to be able to reach our light fittings.)