Opinion Australia

One man’s view of how the world might be.

Archive for September 2008

Summer is on the way!

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Interesting day today. The eldest daughter finally had her Black Belt test and seemed to pass well enough to gain her belt – she’ll find out in a few weeks after her holidays. We were a little concerned about her because they were wearing their thick black outfits and the temperatures were steadily rising!

When they went in the temperature at mid-day was already over 30ΒΊC and they had an hour solid exercise to contend with! Still – she both survived the heat and passed (we think) and that’s really all we were concerned about.

From there the rush was on to get her to her Jamboree camp so off we flew down the road. The journey was bad enough as it was but made worse by the air-conditioning in the car which decided now was an ideal time to stop functioning entirely.

Driving along with the windows down is bad enough in a normal car. In a Chrysler Voyager people mover which has no side windows it is a nightmare. Travelling along the motorway, we had to close the windows to keep the ear popping noise in check. But then the temperatures that were rapidly rising to over 35ΒΊC were forcing us to open them so it was a dance along the road with the windows seeming to move up and down of their own volition!

Of course we got there, deposited her in the loving care of the troupe leaders and off we drove, homeward, but at a far slower pace.

If this is a taste of what summer has to offer then the sooner we fix the air-conditioning in the house the better… yes that broke down as well! πŸ™‚

Written by welshdog

September 28, 2008 at 7:15 pm

Posted in General Ramblings

Lappie blues

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Finally fixed the laptop. After some prevarication and testing I decided the wireless card might be faulty soΒ  managed to force myself to get out and buy a new one.

This time instead of the Netgear WG511T which worked well for several years, I bought a D-Link DWA-610 ‘Wireless G Notebook Adapter’. Installed it, connected it, and it works.

So far it is *nowhere* near the speed of the old card but that might be a function of it’s ‘iffy’ connection with the Belkin router I have. Having said that, the router itself is nearing the end of its use-by date and is showing its age badly, needing constant reboots to keep it functioning at all!

Maybe a firmware update would solve the problem, but it really is ‘old tech’ compared to the new breed of machine available. It might be simpler all round to just replace it… if the cost is acceptable that is.

Written by welshdog

September 28, 2008 at 9:08 am

Vale Paul Newman

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Sad to hear of the death of Paul Newman who succumbed to cancer last night. Paul was 83 and apart from his roles as an actor was a recognised humanitarian and all round good guy. At last known figures, his foundation had given away $220 million – mostly earned in profits from sales of his line of salad dressings etc.

Paul married Joanne Woodward in 1958 and they remained married until his death. When asked by Playboy magazine how his ‘Hollywood marriage’ lasted so long when so many others had failed he famously replied “I have steak at home – why go out for hamburger?”.

Written by welshdog

September 28, 2008 at 8:58 am

Girl Guides – Jamboree 2008

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Jamboree 2008 is in Tara, near Warragamba Dam and lasts from 27th September to 6th October. They ran from 1966 as ‘musters’ but the name was changed in 2001 to bring NSW into line with the other Guiding groups.

They’re held every two years unless there’s an international Jamboree happening and the kids love them! It’s a lot of work for the leaders and I’d like to put on record just how much us parents appreciate what they do for our kids, mostly entirely free of charge to us but often at high cost the them!!

This year the eldest daughter is supposed to be leading the singing of the National Anthem *and* the ‘World Song’ but the unfortunate sort of clash over dates that happen from time to time sees her having to take her black belt exam for Tae-Kwon-Do at the same time as she should be arriving at camp!! Erk!

We’re hoping we can encourage the examiners to test her early to allow us time to belt off (hah!!) to Tara and get her there on time. These things happen.

Still, either way we can look forwards to nine days of peace… and she can look forward to nine days of intense, if exhausting, fun and games.

Written by welshdog

September 28, 2008 at 8:07 am

Wordweb utility – it's an essential!

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This utility is such a ‘must have’ I rarely remember to tell anyone about it! Sounds silly I know but it’s *so* useful, essential even, that I honestly forget that it isn’t a part of the basic operating system!

The thing is called ‘WordWeb‘ and it sits quietly in your taskbar until there is a word you simply *must* know everything about… from spelling to usage! It has two great features – firstly it’s free… secondly it *works*! From writers, through office workers to schoolkids this is the sort of aid you’d expect to be inbuilt to any program that accepts written input. You can even install it onto a usb drive!!

To use it is simplicity itself. Simply highlight a word and click on the icon! Up comes a window similar to the screenshot above (re-sizeable to suit your needs). If you want to change spelling click on the word… else… do whatever.

While you look at the thing… check out the wacky ‘licence conditions‘… !! These people want to save the planet as well!!Β  πŸ˜€

Written by welshdog

September 28, 2008 at 7:49 am

Events Calendar working!

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Heirem finally got the widget working in the sidebar so many thanks to him for his efforts. I’m no coder so have no idea what it was he did… but I’m glad he did it. I’ll populate it as the year progresses.

For example, it might be a good idea to add in aniversaries and similar… and maybe change the date for the wife’s birthday so I don’t get told off *next* year as well!

Written by welshdog

September 28, 2008 at 7:20 am

Posted in General Ramblings

Verrrry interesting!

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Had an interesting comment this morning from a guy called James who lives in Cardiff. It went into a thread I’d rather wasn’t messed up so I’m going to pass on his sentiments here. James also uses the ID ‘welshdog’ and has an address at hotmail.com, but that particular version of the name isn’t mine! πŸ˜€

It seems that someone… or perhaps more than one… has been sending him “ridiculous emails” that ‘curse me out’. James is requesting that these people please stop sending them to him and make the really, really, small effort required to make sure they go to the correct address!

Of course I’ve not the slightest idea why anyone would have been sending such things to sweet, inoffensive, non-controversial little me? Lord knows what goes on in people’s minds sometimes but from the sound of it they need to wash their mouths out with soapy water!!

Anyway, whoever you are, wherever you are, and whatever the reason, James would like you to stop it… it’s tedious.

EDIT: After some digging around I found out it was the resident troll in the Australian Opinion forum who gets really shirty each time he’s banned. He found my email address in the profile I set up and started harassing ‘me’. Unfortunately I’d not spelled the name 100% accurately and so poor James got all this guy’s vitriol instead! πŸ™‚

All sorted now – I suggested it might be nice if he used the right address and send an apology to James… he did I think adding in words like “fat buffoon” if memory serves me correctly! I’ve been called worse so I’m not worried. We get some real idiots on that forum. For instance this guy called himself “Baby Doll” – I kid you not!!Β  πŸ™‚

Written by welshdog

September 25, 2008 at 6:59 am

Posted in General Ramblings

Events Calendar

with 6 comments

We’ve spent a little while trying to set up a new ‘plug in’ which is an Events Calendar. The idea is that impostant dates, like anniversaries or forthcoming items of interest will be flagged. It’s supposed to have a widget over in the right sidebar but as yet I can’t make it function. Still working on it of course… well I’ve asked for help which is much the same thing. πŸ™‚

[[EventsCalendarLarge]]

Written by welshdog

September 23, 2008 at 8:14 pm

Posted in General Ramblings

Have they gone yet?

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Was clearing out some of the old posts the other day and found a few from the time we had that spat with the poison dwarf and her familiar. After some digging around I discovered I *was* able to publish them again… but with a ‘private’ tag which effectively stops outsiders from viewing them.

So… all the posts from that time are available for viewing, well viewing by some people.

It set me wondering if they are still in Australia or gone. We’ve not heard from them since we had a few pathetic messages about our Toll E-Tag which they drove off with. The wife has had a few messages in which they offered to pay ‘their share’ but despite the quite obvious need for them to simply buy their own they were clearly a lot happier continuing to sponge off us. Just why they were incapable of buying their own tag… like normal people would is beyond me and I suspect it will continue to remains so..

Actually they are welcome to it… and the tolls we’re paying for them… if only to ensure we never ever hear from them again.

Yes even after all this time the fact we put these people up for months as if they were ‘family’, as they pretended to be, yet *still* they felt entitled to steal from us still rankles.

Am I holding a grudge? Damn right I am!! And I’m still utterly disgusted that people could behave this way.

Anyway, over the months I’ve had these posts and comments in front of me each time I’ve opened the editing section of the site and wondered where to put them. I certainly wasn’t going to consign them to history… yet leaving them was an ongoing irritation.

Now at last they are back where they belong… online and available for others to see what sort of people we were dealing with.

Family? Don’t make me laugh.

Written by welshdog

September 22, 2008 at 9:22 am

Posted in General Ramblings

16 Days in Beijing

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Well… it’s only 1433 days to the next Olympics and if the cringe factor is anything to go by then they’re in with a chance of pulling off something special.

I remember well the way our mouths fell over with total embarrassment when the Sydney ‘exhibition’ athletes came riding into the stadium at Nagano on bicycles with inflateable kangaroos on their backs. Dire is an understatement but at least it smacked of fun in the sun and a less reverent atmosphere… which came true with the spectacular success Sydney eventually made of their Games.

So what did London promise. Well be had an aging rocker in Jimmy Page out of the ancient Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin groups… along with some wannabee singer belting out a verse from a song that had some… errr … questionable words in other verses. We also had a double decker bus that folded down to show some sort of montage of London tourist traps. And of course they had queues… umbrellas… and an aging footballer in the shape of David Beckham who might have found it hard to look more embarrassed than he was. It was *so* naff it really made my teeth curl.

No doubt by the time it opens most of those images will have been quietly sidelined in the same way as our copulating kangaroos never showed their tails again and the games will be as big a success as all the others.

Written by welshdog

September 22, 2008 at 9:03 am

Posted in General Ramblings