Monday, June 05, 2006

Weird

Hmm, and now all the comments that went astray from old posts have turned up again!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The rain falls down

I've just finished a week long trip around NSW, and I'm just sitting in the Virgin Blue lounge watching the rain fall on the runways.

There is something especially forlorn about airport's in the rain. Lots of other industrial areas look fresher and cleaner for a drop, but an airport just gets drabber.

Perhaps, because internally they are such a false place. Like an old tart slapping on make-up and a skimpy dress. Or balding sportsmen going off to Advanced Hair Studios.

I was a bit shocked by the Virgin Blue lounge, until recently you could pay $5 and get in for the day. I think a yearly membership was around $100. Not bad for somewhere to plug in the laptop and buy a drink while you were waiting.

Now they've upgraded. It's $30 for two hours! But you get free food and drink (including alcohol), broadband access and a few other things. So maybe it pans out ok. So, I'm going all out to get my 30 bucks worth...pass me another Crownie love.

Mind you, I've been here 3 hours all ready and they haven't turfed me out yet..

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Hmm maybe the tide is ebbing?

Just over the last few months, politics in Australia may just have turned a corner.

A government that seemed to be able to get awat with anything, that was brilliant at playing politics seems to have lost their edge.

A whole litany of things come to mind. None of which would be classed as a king hit, but the trend suggests they have problems.

AWB, Iraq, wheat sales that suddenly disappear, Private Kovco's continuing saga, a free for all budget that achieves almost no result in polling, dragging up nuclear power as an issue, interest rates and petrol prices.

It could be a false dawn, but the government has got that look of staleness and hubris that infected the last years of Keating's government.

If Howard goes, Costello could well become as unpopular with the masses as Keating was.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Nuclear Waste

I have a very simple position on Australia becoming a disposal site for radioactive waste.

If it's from stuff we pulled out of the ground, then it IS our problem.

So, as long as we mine Uranium, we should be dealing with the consequences of our actions.

Simple.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

What use is an anti-submarine ship based helicopter that can't fly over water?

I have a casual interest in military matters, and had a huge laugh this morning over the Seaprite debacle.

To start at the beginning,

A long way back we decided to build some new Frigates - the Anzac class ships. As I read it (and I could be wrong), the budget allocated didn't allow these ships to fly off the very capable Seahawk helicopters our Navy used for anti-submarine warfare (ASW).

So, we had to get a new chopper to do the same job, but it had to be smaller to fit on board.

It just so happened that the Yanks were pensioning off an old helicopter, the Seaprite. So, we were offered these cheap, but with promises to upgrade and update them to a suitable state for current operations.

This is where it all starts to go down hill quickly. Years overdue and way overcost we now have the entire fleet of helicopters grounded - apparently they are unable to be used safely at night or over water!

So as long as our shipping lanes are only ever threatened by diurnal land submarines, we will be safe!

What a complete cock-up. Many people at the time the contract was signed were pointing out the pitfalls. It's not like Defence hasn't been burned by purchasing the American's cast offs before. The resupply ships we got cheap cost almost as much as new ones by the time they were acceptable.

It will be interesting to see how our purchase of used M1 Abrams tanks goes.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Cricket and Australia

I've just finished reading a piece by Peter English, the Australasian editor for Wisden.

A very sad and sorry indictment on where Australia has headed over the last decade.

For sure, there were always a few dickheads in the crowd, but, apart form a few instances, for a long time crowd's were becoming better behaved.

Now, it seems a large portion of the boofhead's have returned, spurred on by Australia's success and the knowledge that being a foul mouthed racist is no longer considered unacceptable. Indeed, under Howard, racism has been allowed to grow like the ugly weed it is.

The weed analogy is actually a good one, for it hasn't grown because the government has nurtured it, but because they have neglected to tend this part of the garden and let it run rank.

The biggest problem is that the neglect is not due to ineptitude, lack of knowledge or ability, unfortunately the government lets the weed grow to hide an even more unsightly mess behind it.

In the early 90's, Australia seemed to be headed towards a bright future, one that was inclusive. Now, we are becoming more divided.

Frankly, it disgusts me to the core.

Monday, December 05, 2005

And why have all the comments gone?

The Black Dog is off the leash again.

I have spent most of the last five weeks battling my old enemy. Once again it has caused me to leave work and shelter in the safety of my house.

Back on medication, which at least let's me face the world.

Like an alcoholic, you are never cured of depression. It just lurks in the back of your mind, waiting for any of a number of trigger's to set you spiralling down into it's clutches.

What evolutionary advantage has kept this in our make-up?

Perhaps it's just a symptom of being a spoilt Westerner, those who have to struggle to find food and shelter don't have the luxury of feeling sorry for themselves.