Monday, June 30, 2008

Eastlink goes LIVE!!

After nearly 4 years and bazillions of tax payer dollars the latest Victorian Electoral Promise (tm) that was broken after re-election by the Labor party is now "open" for business. With the cost of fuel going through the roof the "newest" toll way in Melbourne which significantly reduces the travelling time for many people to and from the only affordable housing in Melbourne (Berwick, 50km's from the CBD) manages to completely wipe out any savings you might have got from the quicker travelling times by charging you to use it. Good work Victoria, this is definately "The place to be" as the number plates say. The place to be RIPPED OFF.

I shan't be using this new "Feeway" after the initial Free period expires. They can get stuffed, someone explain to me why I pay "Road Infrastructure Tax" every year again please??

here's a vid taken from the lab I work in.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Greatest Victories....Are Often Moral.

Well, the cut-throat, high pressure world of under 10's Saturday basketball was once again thrust upon me this morning. Again I tortured my body to wake at the un-godly hour of 8:30am an a Saturday (which is just wrong!). I eventually rolled out of my warm quilt cocoon and walked to the shower...aaaah nothing like being naked, wet, sudsy and the cascading warm water over ones head to start the day. I dried up and quickly got dressed as there was only 12 mins before the game started. I drove to the Basketball venue which thankfully was only about 2 kms away. When I arrived one of my players mothers gave me the good news... "We only have 4 players as of right now!". This would phase most normal coaches, but I’m not wise I mean. I pretty much like to keep my "plans" for the games pretty vague...actually bordering on "non-existent" would be more accurate. This is due mainly to the fact that 10 year olds don't listen to you anyway, so planning is pretty much a waste of time and the best method of coaching them is to just shout match relevant phrases at them on the fly. I always try to echo the sentiments of the parents who are also usually screaming their 2c from the sidelines. Parent's watching their kids playing sport are FERAL most of the time. "Kick him in the nuts Brooke!!" ,"Go for the eyes, GO FOR THE EYES!!!" and "Touch my kid again and I'll come and kill you!!" are pretty standard comments most weeks. This is outer eastern Melbourne after all ;)

So, I get into the venue after hearing that I have 4 players and scanned the multitude of kids running rampant through the pavilion to try and see if that is actually true. I spot 4 that are definitely mine...and a few others that.....
well, they "could" be mine??...but as I haven't had any coffee yet today it could just have been my blurring, unfocused vision as I battle the caffeine withdrawals doubling up a few of them. Nope it's true, only 4 kids as 2 of my girls have decided that Saturday Disney cartoons are much more important .... that and it's School holidays anyway so last night the kids probably went out and got drunk etc. Again, I remind you that this is outer eastern Melbourne so that comment is actually possibly factually correct.

Then the kicker comes......we are actually playing the top team in our division. These guys are all under 10's (Apparently) but I swear on my father’s grave...more than 2 of them had 5 o'clock shadow at 9:20am .... I also reckon I saw at least 1 of them actually get in a car and DRIVE away after the game*!!!

*actual events may have transpired differently and this account may not be 100% accurate.

They also have about 2.5 teams worth of players to throw at the game as well. I decided to completely fuck with their coaches head and start talking really loudly about how we were "going to kick their ass even with 4 of which was a girl". The opposition was another all male team and their coach was resplendent in about $2000 worth of "Brands" all for an under 10's basketball game. He even had a bluetooth phone thing on his ear??? I guess some calls can't wait? I started trash talking him a bit more to my kids saying stuff like "They are crap, you're all taller than their tallest guy but if you break his leg in the first few minutes then we'll have the height advantage" and "make sure if you get the opportunity to drive through DO it. They're only small they shouldn't offer much resistance to your forward movement." The oppositions coach was looking worried by this time. Yeah you should be're going DOWN!!!

Anyway, the game starts and my 4 superstars head out onto the court. To be deadly serious for a minute they did really, really well. This was in the face of some of the WORST, MOST PATHETICALLY RETARDED UMPIRING I HAVE EVER SEEN!!! I don't get very heated often, hardly ever in fact, in any scenario....but these two...well calling them "retarded chimp umpires" is actually a big insult to retarded chimps, they were absolutely f@#ked!!. They constantly called fouls on us, then moments later when the other team did the exact same thing to my players it was somehow ok??? They made calls only to have the other umpire change it etc etc. The best example was when Tyler (or "the unstoppable force" as he's more affectionately known due to him weighing about 60kg's at 9 y.o and when moving having a great deal of momentum) was dribbling the ball down the right side of the court when one of the opposition runs in front of him in a foolish attempt to get the ball. Well, if you've ever studied Physics you'd know that in any collision, energy is conserved. So try and work out what the outcome of a small child weighing about 30kg jumping in front of a LARGE child weighing about 60Kg's and RUNNING is?? "Not Pretty" that is the answer you're looking for. The defender literally went flying through the air landing 4 or 5 meters away from the collision area. AND NO FOUL CALLED!!!!! Consistency seems to have been dropped from the curriculum of the "Greater Melbourne Basketball Rule Book" that they use to teach these guys at Umpire school. Im sure that sometime in the past a lot of the "Rules" seem to have
also been misplaced as well.

The first 1/2 was pretty good for us even though we were outnumbered. They scored 12. WE scored 2!! Now think about that, we managed to score on the TOP team while playing with less players in a game that can best be described as a "rugby scrum travelling back and forth". The whole pavilion cheered wildly when that goal went in. The opposition coach was GUTTED, he started screaming at his kids like a mad man. All I thought was...."Wait till the NEXT one goes in buddy, you're going to pop an artery then". 1/2 time came and I rallied the troops. I told them they were all doing great and to keep it up. I also did my standard parting of wisdom on to them about what they should be doing differently in the second half.

The second 1/2 starts and we go out all guns blazing. The other team had a penchant for double teaming whomever had the ball from my team so I had told the kids to just dribble into them if they had to. Well, my kids did just that...the fouls were coming thick and fast against the opposition because they just couldn't help but jump in the way of whoever had the ball. The opposition coach once again is turning red with rage because his team, playing with one extra player and 10 substitutes couldn't get the ball and wasn't scoring much. They had got only 4 points in the first 10 mins of the second half.

Then it happened......

Bradley drove the ball down the right, whipped a pass back to the top of the key to Brooke, Brooke dumped it over the top of the 2 kids who rushed to assault her to Tyler and Tyler was open. He threw up a shot and ....


Opposition coach guy goes absolutely troppo at his team, shaking his fist, screaming "WHO'S ON HIM???" etc etc. We race to 4 points and the game drags out to a close. Final score 4 - 20. That's right... we had stayed at the same high level in the 2nd half and actually matched our first half performance where as the opposition had slipped from their first 1/2 performance to only score 8 points. "Technically" it will go down in history that the Eastern Bulls u10 div.3 team lost, but I think I have shown (quite clearly too) just what a crushing victory it really was for us. As I am just such a brilliant and compassionate person I offered to buy all the kids breakfast at McDonalds after the game because they did so well. They all cheered and we went for hot cakes and McMuffins. I think I have "Coach of the Year 2008" in the bag after that little stunt ;)

Due to the scorers wiping the score board about 3 nanosecs after the game finished there is no "Action Scoreboard" pic for me to show. So I knocked up a "replica" for prosperity. I think it really captures the emotion and intensity of the game quite well.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Started the day with a chuckle.

Some People can take the simplest concept, run with it and succeed like a champion.
Take making fun of New Zealanders for example.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Winners circle extended.

Sitting here with the morning coffee and thought i'd see if I could whack out an update. Had Basketball last night and we managed to pull off another win (22 - 19) in rather trying circumstances. There were quite a few "Flare ups" between players and I was surprised that a few people weren't told to leave the stadium (guys on our team included). It has been quite surprising for me over the last few months that I have been playing to see the level of "attitude" some of these guys bring to the games. The competition is for "over 30's" an age group I still don't really accept I am in...even though I am now closer to "Over 40's", but some of the guys that play take it way, way, WAAAY too seriously for a social game.

Just took a sip of my coffee and instantly realised that I've forgotten the sugar!!!! F#$k.

We played quite well last night and the game was always close, being one of the "younger" players on our team (at 36??) I often end up playing more than 90% of the game. That, and I am probably the fittest guy on the team which, to be fair to me, is pretty fit and I have a bit more energy than the majority of the others. I also don't complain about my back, legs, ribs, side, shoulders, neck etc etc for 38mins of the 40 mins we play :). I did a few good runs at the basket and got fouled only once, I managed to hit 1 out of 2 from the line . I can't seem to hit shots with zero pressure from the foul line but pull off some of the arseyist shots from open play. I also did 2 very good shot blocks ... The first one the guy from the other team had dribbled around Glenn and hadn't seen me, he jumped up to shoot and then my massive frame sprang up well above him and WHAM the ball was swatted away, straight to Steve, who bolted to our goal for 2 points :)

OOOH!! I also did the best "Cobra-Strike" ball steal as well...even I was impressed with myself. The ball had been passed right out to the far side, 90° to the basket. The guy with the ball was looking to pass it back into the middle and was holding the ball at waist height. I remember thinking 'I reckon I could just reach in quick and grab that!", so I tried. POW..I had the ball in a nano-second, the look on the guys face was priceless "What the?? SHIT!". I passed it off to Steve again and we got another 2-points.

I got home at a bit after 10pm. Checked the Scrabby status...all balls still in Rachel's court, so it looked like she was actually busy tonight and not just making excuses to get a night off from the relentless pummelling I have been giving her of late ... in Scrabble. Checked also the "timer" for my next trip to Adelaide...2.17 weeks. Excitement still building like you wouldn't believe. Love going back home, LOVE IT!!

Could stand it no more...just went and put sugar in my now luke warm, neglected coffee. Much better now :)

The youngest niece is now 100% mobile too. Should be interesting to see her scooting all over the place in bipedal mode. Hard to believe she is nearly one. The last year has gone so quick (as usual) I wonder if I achieved anything. Oh, I paid off all my HECS.....I suppose that is an "achievement" of sorts....oh and my Car was paid off too. Moved house as well, bought a fridge and lounge suite. Stayed in one job for a whole'd think i'd have remembered at least some of those :)

Alright, I've been "on the work clock" for about 15mins now so the blog time has been paid for. Best go test those stupid columns from yesterday a bit more. If only they'd test themselves.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Walking through syrup

So, I’m sitting here ….pretending to look insanely busy by typing into Microsoft Word 97 (which is our companies document writing software of choice because “What could they possibly have improved in 11 years??”) with no web browser open. This is so that everyone who sticks their uninvited head into my office thinks they are interrupting some ultra-important report that I am obviously writing. The fact’s are … of course….somewhat the opposite.

I’m doing bog-standard GC column “testing” at the moment on columns that we normally would be selling. But for some reason Fraisure* doesn’t trust the reports that are included with every retail column we sell and wants the columns to be re-tested just to “make sure they’re good”. So, I’m doing the testing and , who’d of thunk it, the column ARE all good???!!! Astounding I know, it’s really getting tiresome around here doing stuff that has absolutely zero merit or benefit. Couple into the equation that I have had to stop working on my “Ultra-important-this-project-is-more-important-than-any-other-project …erm…project because we only have one GC and thus the timeline for this project will now slip and you may begin to understand my frustration. It has become quite obvious to many of us in this department that one of the “higher ups” see timelines as merely an exercise to do to fill in some time. Also, that they don’t mean anything and that said “higher Up” can act as some type of editor in chief and change whatever they want, whenever they want. Regardless of the consequences. With no repercussions to them because they are not the ones responsible for meeting the timelines. Then to come out on Tuesday and say “I need these things by Friday” after being told by NUMEROUS people in our department that no-one can “do” the required work unless specifically authorised IN WRITING that our current projects are somehow less important than something “someone” has promised with no idea if it is at all possible. That should be our companies motto…”Promising whatever ….whenever….regardless of reality”. It’s quite catchy AND truthful.

I wonder if I can go home yet??

*not their real name.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Decline Of Man And The End Of The Chocolate War.

Ever have one of those days where everything unfolds around you like a film? I had that today. I had the unfortunate luck to bear witness to 2 separate incidents while out in the Web Wide World that just made me (once again) question what the hell is wrong with people these days.

Now before I rant on about this I must prologue it by saying "I live in Ringwood, Melbourne, Victoria". After reading this rant most things will make perfect sense to anyone in Melbourne who is familiar with the "suburban ranking" of Ringwood as it compares to the rest of Melbourne. For those not in Melbourne here is a quick comparison. If you're familiar with Brisbane, then Ringwood is the demented cousin of Logan, they're both places you would only visit in the day time (and even then only because you were probably lost) and certainly wouldn't be out after dark here. For those familiar with Adelaide, try and imagine a suburb with all the appeal of Smithfield, Munno Para and Port Adelaide all rolled into one suburb with 3x the people, crime and ass-hats.

Incident No. 1: I went to do the weekly grocery shopping at "Eastland" this week, simply because, for a change, it was raining in Melbourne. Eastland is a 95% chance of parking undercover out of the weather where as the other mega-mall-shop-a-rama possibility is "Knox" which is only about a 30% chance of finding parking under cover AND in a section of the car park where your car is still likely to be there when you come back. Anyway, I parked my car in a spot I realised I park in pretty much whenever I go to get "Worlds Best Butter Chicken" on Fridays for lunch from the food court here. While i'm parking up I notice a small group of feral skateboard emo-teenagers close-by having a chat with some old guy next to a rather expensive looking Mercedes Benz (well over $100,000 worth of car). I watched as the old guy starts gesticulating wildly at these kids then pulls out his phone and starts taking photo's of them. Well, one of the kids without warning cracks the guy in the side of the head with his skate board and lays him out cold on the ground. He grabs the guys phone and wallet and the 3 of them then start smashing their skateboards into the guys car denting the hell out of it. I jump out of my car and shout at them and start running over. True to their cowardly form they run off leaving the old guy sprawled on the ground. I get to the old guy and see if he's ok, he's conscious and knows who and where he is....good start. I ask him if he knew who those kids were? He says "Yeah, 2 of them are my sons". He didn't want me to report it to the police and thanked me for the help and then he just drove off.


Incident No.2: I did my shopping and was pushing my trolley back through the mall towards the car park. As i'm walking along I notice a rather frail looking old lady standing by herself looking a bit bewildered. I went and asked her if she was ok, she said she was but she was a bit lost. She was looking for a credit union ATM (Rediteller) and was a bit disorientated by all the people. I told her I was going past it and could show her the way. She agreed this was a good idea and commented on what a lovely man I was (Like I don't hear that everyday anyway :)).We get to the ATM and she's fiddling in her bag for her purse and card. I say "bye" and walk 5m away to Bakers Delight to get some lunch (I'm sure the vegemite scrolls are at least 5% crack!). So, I order my stuff and casually glance back over to the ATM and the old lady and she's lying on the ground and another emo-looking teenager is running away from her and he's got her bag. Thankfully some one infront of the would-be thief saw what happened and clothes lined the kid as he ran past him. The kid slid along the polished floor about 10m, dropping the bag and staggered out of the mall into the outside world as fast as his winded body would take him. The guy who did the vigalante clothes lining picked up the bag and returned it to the old lady.

Serioulsy Ringwood teenagers .... what the fuck is wrong with you??

In slightly happier news...

Those of you in the know would remember that my place of employment is directly opposite the Cadbury Chocolate Factory :). A few months ago I was invited to partake in a "Chocolate Raid" held every so often by one of the guys at work. Basically, this means you can go into the factory and buy ridiculous amounts of chocolate for a pittance. Well, I bought about 23 kg's of cadbury chocolate for the paltry sum of $28. It consisted of 10Kg's of Nougat Honey Logs, 10Kg's of CHOMP's 5 blocks of chocolate, 3 huge Easter egss etc.

Well, today the war is over. The remaining chocolate was removed from my house and destroyed. I couldn't bear to look at it anymore. I am so totally over chocolate now that it hardly interests me at all. I also gave so much of that 23Kg's away that it would make a normal person question my sanity, but honestly, if you (or someone you know) has a raging chocolate them 23KG's of chocolate and give it to them. They will be so tired of eating chocolate that their addiction will be broken. Please note that this approach doesn't work for all addictions however, I have given Rachel the equivalent of 23Kg's of Scrabulous games.....and she still comes back for more.

Also, tonight I am having Chicken enchilada's for dinner!!!! :)
I am so pumped and excited.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Massive Innaugural Post

Well, I decided to have a go at this blogging stuff. No idea how long this will last or if I will even stick with it :)

Though it may be amusing to post ramblings on here when I think of somethng the world should know about.

First of all I might say that after 3 straight weeks of losing Basketball (both as a player and as a coach) this week saw both the SGE Injectors and the Eastern Bulls under 10's back to the lofty heights of the winners circle !!!

Here we have the Score for the Bulls today (18 - 8). Convincing win really and the kids really played well. Strangely all the girls in the team (3) suffered the same injury today,that being hyper-extended fingers (That's when your fingers get bent backwards far past what they usually should go). Only one didn't want to return to the game and wanted to just sit and watch for the whole second half. That left me with no substitutes and thus many "timeouts" were called to rest tired kiddies (and dope them up with sugar and choccy).

Never the less, after last weeks disgraceful play I had my first "stern" words for the season to the team and issued a few players some roles to perform on the court. For the most part they did what I wanted and we had some brilliant plays come out of it. Most of them still refuse to pass to Beth (she's the "most rapidly improving" player on the team ;) ) and Bryce just will not do any defending or "hassling" for the ball. He's terrified of getting hurt I think as he's the smallest kid in the team. True to form though..get him the ball in range of the basket and he's an ABSOLUTE WEAPON!! I swear he hits about 90% of his shots and is usually the top scorer.

Hopefully we can do alright next week as we have 2 players out (School camps, it's soooo exciting :) ) this leaves me with no substitutes unless Kell (Team Manager) can find some ring-ins. She has however stated that "We're pretty much F#@&ed next week now aren't we !" with a giggle.