Sunday, July 27, 2008

Weekend Round-up.

Well another week comes to an end and how did it all go. Well except for some complete retardedness in the workplace it was a mix of ups and downs. Firstly on returning home from work on Friday night I was greeted with my latest phone bill. Now, as an Australian internet user I have been appalled with the way internet users have been treated by the incumbent Telco (Telstra) ever since I go back from overseas in 2003. When I left Australia in 2000 ADSL internet access was in it's infancy in Australia. Hardly anyone had it yet. Nearly every internet user was using Dial-up 56K modem access to get on-line and a luck minority could get cable broadband from Telstra or Optus for the price of a 1.5 major appendages. There were Thousands of ISP's and they all were pretty much the same only the price and number of hours this bought you differed. Today, ADSL is considered "old" technology and the "Current" new technology is ADSL2+ (Which can be up to 20x faster than ADSL1). In the five years since my return to Australia the one constant thing that has kept Australian broadband from moving forward is Telstra. They quite simply do not give a shit about anything but money. Because they are essentially a Monopoly in Australia (they own all the Telephone exchanges and Telephone Lines) you cannot choose any other provider for phone or internet without giving Telstra "some" money as part of any bill you pay for telecommunications. I have been trying to give them as little money as possible for a few years now, but recently after visiting my friend Rachel in Gawler and seeing her VoIP phone setup and discovering just how easy it is to setup I decided to get off the VoIP fence and use it myself. So now I have been using it for a little over a month and got my first Telstra bill since starting with VoIP.
Here it is, and as you can see the only money that Telstra get from me now is the cost of the actual phone line rental. All calls are now made through VoIP and my spending has gone from $7-$10 a month on calls to $0. Suck on that Telstra you bastards.

Basketball this week was a mixed bag again. The SGE Injectors game was an absolute farce this week. The umpiring was quite simply disastrous. We had 2 trainee umpires presiding over the game and they did not do a very good job at all. By about midway through the game both my team and our opposition had already had people ejected from the stadium for arguing with the umpires about their performance. I must admit, I have played basketball for the best part of 25 years and after that game I felt like I knew nothing of the game, it's rules or what constituted a foul. Needless to say, we "lost" on the scoreboard, but seriously...that game stopped being a game long before the end siren went. It was just painful to suffer through.
The u10 team I coach had a much better weekend. Fresh from their triumphant win over the top team last weekend the kids went out again looking for a win. I had a full compliment of players this time with all 7 turning up. The game was quite good and we didn't really look like we were going to lose at any point. The biggest problem I had, and this is the 1st time that I have had this problem, was that I had to make "coaching" decisions for the benefit of the whole team rather than just substituting players at regular intervals. There are 4 boys in the team and 3 girls and the different abilities of the players range from very good to woeful. The challenge with coaching this team is that there is never the "Best" combination of players on the court for very long because whoever is on the bench is constantly whining that they want to go back on. Well, this week I decided to substitute players so that we would "win" the game. This was in stark contrast to every other game so far where I just substituted players so that everyone got to play equal(ish) time and if we won it was a bonus.This did not go over with the 2 girls who I kept substituting over and over. They really were not doing anything useful when on the court and in a matter of minutes a 14 point lead was down to 2 points due to having to take the good players off to accommodate them. The other "challenge" with u10 basketball coaching is that at games there are usually at least 7 parents there also. They have no regard for you as the actual coach and will scream orders at their own kids on the court telling them to "Do this" and "Do That" etc. Not very helpful I must say, and they take offense if you keep dragging their kids off the court so that you have a better chance of winning. It's a fine balance, but at the end of the games when the team has won....well everyone seems to like that and quickly forget how it was achieved. Anyway, this particular game was a pansting and we won 22-14. It would have been a MUCH bigger win had I not given the more "skills Challenged" players so much court time :)

This coming week sees nothing exciting happening at work (that I can remember anyway) just more "routine" work really. Next weekend I am catching up with a very old friend of mine from my early-to-mid 20's whom got lost in the world of no mobile phones or Internet of the mid nineties and I haven't seen since about 1997 so that should be fun. We used to have a ball together back then and in the brief contact I have had with her since the now almost obligatory "facebook re-unification" of anyone you used to know back then and lost contact with, she's seems pretty similar to how I remember her. The last time I remember seeing her was when myself and 3 of my close friends from Gawler drove 16hrs straight to Newcastle NSW from Gawler for her wedding to our other friend Craig. That trip was surreal and the wedding is just an alcoholic blur. All I remember was singing karaoke at some point in the night and being the absolute best entertainment of the night. So pretty much standard behavior from me even 10 odd years ago.

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