Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Resolutions

It’s the 31st December, you are getting ready for the New Years Eve party. What resolutions have you resolved to make?

What resolutions did you make last year and fail miserably at?

Did you know that by the 1st week of January upwards of 50% of New Years Resolutions are already broken and the by the 3rd week 90% and by February that figure is up to 97%


The top New Years Resolutions that are broken are:-
1. Lose Weight
2. Lose the Debt
3. Save Money
4. Get a Better Job
5. Get Fit
6. Drink Less Alcohol
7. Quit Smoking
8. Learn Something New

Do any of these sound familiar – I know some do to me

Let’s change the statistics and see what we can do to change the outlook!

1. Choose things that ARE obtainable. It is unlikely you will look like Wonder Woman or Superman in 2 weeks – it takes years to achieve anything even remotely like that! Settle for something a little more attainable like no muffin top!
2. Don’t be too hard on yourself, IF you don’t achieve fantastic results in the first week. A good habit takes 6 months to infiltrate your life, it takes time.
3. Remember a smaller task is easier to achieve that one big one, treat any New Years Resolution, the same way you would achieve a goal at work/school. Break it down.
4. Get a friend to join you – it could be fun and you can give each other a boost along the way
5. Don’t go making too many promises – too many almost always creates a sense of failure.
6. Choose a few well-intentioned and achievable results.

Good luck!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Steamed Hot Dog

Today I bought on of these, a Tefal Pro Express Turbo Anticalc GV8360

Pretty innocent one would say - until I started using it - My god - it could be a weapon - turn it up full-bore and a jet of steam can be released which is nearly 3 metres in length and steaming hot AND noisy.

Well the noise was too much for this little guy He hid and I'm not just talking hid a little bit - I am talking hid under my other half's legs, shaking. When I released another jet of steam - he started to crawl into a cabinet behind my husband and every time I released a jet of steam - he crawled further and further into this little hole - to get away from the noise.

The dog is not allowed in our bedroom - hubby doesn't like that and the dog knows it - well - no sooner had hubby departed for sleep than the dog was pawing at the closed door, knowing full-well hubby is there and he is desperate to get in there and ON the bed - much to the dismay of my hubby.

I take the dog out and no sooner had I closed the door than he is clawing at the door again - demanding to be let in - this time he heads for underneath the bed. Hubby put up with that - but only just - complaining the entire time - that the dog has more privileges than the husband.

Finally I have had to stop ironing (not something that I mind) with the complaints of the husband about the dog and the dog complaining about me using it.

I was thinking that perhaps the dog under the bed would be a good idea - but perhaps the dog ON the bed and hubby UNDER the bed - might just be a better option!

What would you do?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ten great tips for 2010

I had to share this - just came in via email - and today is Silly Saturday - so sharing I am!

1. Stay out of Trouble

2. Aim for greater heights.

3. Stay focused on your job.

4. Exercise to maintain good health.

5. Practice team work.

6. Rely on your trusted partner to watch your back. Take your time trusting others.

7. Save for rainy days.

8. Rest and relax.

9. Always take time to smile.


10. Realize that nothing is impossible.

This should make you smile:


Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked,
'How old was your husband?''
98,' she replied, 'Two years older than me
''So you're 96,' the undertaker commented.
She responded , 'Hardly worth going home, is it?

Reporter interviewing a 104-year-old woman:
'And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?' the reporter asked.
She simply replied, 'No peer pressure.'

The nice thing about being senile is You can hide your own Easter eggs.

I've sure gotten old! I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement,
New knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes
I'm half blind,Can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine,
Take 40 different medications that
Make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts.
Have bouts with dementia ..
Have poor circulation;
Hardly feel my hands and feet anymore.
Can't remember if I'm 89 or 98.
Have lost all my friends. But, thank God,
I still have my driver's license.

I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape,
So I got my doctor's permission to
Join a fitness club and start exercising.
I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors.
I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But,
By the time I got my leotards on, The class was over.

My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.

Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat till the wrinkles fill out.

It's scary when you start making the same noises As your coffee maker.

These days about half the stuff In my shopping cart says,'For fast relief.'

THE SENILITY PRAYER :Grant me the senility to forget the people
I never liked anyway,
The good fortune to run into the ones I do, and
The eyesight to tell the difference.

Now, I think you're supposed to share this with 5 or 6, maybe 10 others. Oh heck, give it to a bunch of your friends if you can remember who they are!

Always Remember This:You don't stop laughing because you grow old,
You grow old because you stop laughing!!!

Male vs Female ATM Procedures:

A new sign in the bank lobby reads: "Please note that this bank is installing new drive-through teller machines enabling customers to withdraw cash without leaving their vehicles. Customers using this new facility are requested to use the procedures outlined below when accessing their accounts. After months of careful research, MALE & FEMALE procedures have been developed. Please follow the appropriate steps for your gender."

1. Drive up to the cash machine.
2. Put down your car window.
3. Insert card into machine and enter PIN.
4. Enter amount of cash required and withdraw.
5. Retrieve card, cash and receipt.
6. Put window up.
7. Drive off.

1. Drive up to cash machine.
2. Reverse and back up the required amount to align car window with the machine.
3. Set parking brake, put the window down.
4. Find handbag, remove all contents on to passenger seat to locate card.
5. Tell person on cell phone you will call them back and hang up.
6. Attempt to insert card into machine.
7. Open car door to allow easier access to machine due to its excessive distance from the car.
8. Insert card.
9. Reinsert card the right way.
10. Dig through handbag to find diary with your PIN written on the inside back page.
11. Enter PIN.
12. Press cancel and reenter correct PIN.
13. Enter amount of cash required.
14. Retrieve cash and receipt.
15. Write debit amount in check register and place receipt in back of chequebook
16. Check makeup.
17. Drive forward 2 feet.
18. Reverse back to cash machine and retrieve card.
19. Re-empty handbag, locate card holder, and place card into the slot provided.
20. Give dirty look to irate male driver waiting behind you.
21. Restart stalled engine and pull off.
22. Redial person on cell phone.
23. Drive for 2 to 3 miles.
24. Release Parking Brake.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

“HO HO HO” Says Santa as he departs on his sleigh pulled by Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Today is the day – that the kids haven’t slept, that the elves have been busy in the garage, putting everything together until way after midnight.

The day is hot, the stove is on, how crazy is that? – Everyone is running around like chooks without a head. The table yet to be set, the chairs yet to be dusted off and matched as best as can be and placed at the numerous tables. Make sure there is enough ice, if you can find somewhere open that has ice to sell.

The temperature is rising, the kids are tired and cranky already, it’s only 9am. Do you turn the air-conditioner on yet – or wait a little while?

Oh no……. you forgot the cream for the dessert, where can you buy some now on Christmas day?

You manage to get some cream. The realize that little Johnny’s present needs batteries, another dash down to the service station, where at the counter it is 10 deep with people all having the same problem.

Home again, the family starts arriving. Suddenly you realize that you have placed Uncle Jack and Uncle Tom next to each other. Don’t you remember last year? They both drank too much and nearly ended up in fisty-cuffs. Quickly change the name placings.

Oh……. I wish we lived closer to the beach, we could all be down on the beach, watching the kids in the water and have more room.

But then again…………… who would swap a tradition for something that might be more fun, but less stressful and less meaning. You can go to the beach anytime you want.

Merry Christmas and remember it’s one day of the year and it might be stressful – but you look back on the memories!

HO HO HO and a Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Holiday Season - It's Christmas Time

It’s now officially the holiday season or as us Aussies call it the Christmas Break. This is the time we go mad and drive 100’s of miles and think nothing of it.

Like you – this blog is going to take a holiday also

There will be postings on the

And normal programming will re-commence on the 11th January!

Stay Safe, stay cool and remember if a fire threatens you - leave if you don't feel comfortable

I'll see you on the 11th unless something important comes up that needs discussing!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hot Roast and Hot Heads on the day............

Which we call Christmas. It is the day we celebrate the birth of Christ, they day we celebrate new life. Well……. We used to, now it is the celebration of the biggest gift, the most expensive gift. The meaning of Christmas is being lost in the retail madness. Once upon a time, it was privilege to have a roast, it was a symbol of well being and wealth. Today if you cook at home, it seems to symbolize being poor and not being able to afford to eat out.

Christmas is about family, about celebrating life. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be at the best restaurant in town. It is about enjoying each others company, about celebrating your life and theirs, everyone’s well-being. The last 12 months have been hard on many families, with many families missing a link.

Remember those we lost, through accidents, natural causes, bushfires or illness. We miss them all.

Another hazard of Christmas is the overloaded circuit board from the air-conditioner or the Christmas lights. Otherwise known as Merry Frymas. Don’t plug double adaptor on double adaptor. Your house is old and may not be able to cope with the pressure. If in doubt call an electrician and save the pain of a house fire.

Merry drinkfeast I think we all know the dangers of this crime. It is the day that the nicest people turn into alcohol filled demons with words that would cut a block of concrete.

Other hazards to look out for are, dreaded Aunty Dot, who smells as though she has crawled from the local landfill. It is the day that you have to be nice to everyone, even if you haven’t spoken to them for the past 12 months.

Let bygones be bygones and remember Christmas Day is the day to celebrate family, regardless of the fact you may hate them. When they are gone, you will miss them, and no I don’t believe you are sitting there disagreeing with me, just sort-of agreeing.

If you are alone, visit someone else who maybe alone. It doesn’t have to involve money, even sitting down over a glass of water, costs nothing but means the earth. It’s never too late to call on someone unexpectedly. I am sure they would appreciate it.

Enjoy the day, money doesn’t make the family, nor does it make for a happy day. Any gift regardless of size, means that someone thought of you, and that thought cannot be bought with money.

Stay safe, drive safe and please don’t drink and drive. It’s not worth it


Monday, December 21, 2009

The 18th Birthday Bash

Darling Miss 17 is now Darling Miss (obnoxious) 18. Well only obnoxious when well-soaked in vodka had her dreaded themed 18th black and silver party at home.

We had what I consider to be a large gathering of teenagers and adults at our place on the weekend. Maybe 50 in total, maybe more – didn’t do a head count.

10kg of chicken wings, 10kg of steak, 10kg of Sausages, 2kg of homemade potato salad, 2kg of Pasta Salad, 5 lettuces, 2kg of tomatoes, 4 boxes of party pies and sausage rolls, 5 loaves of bread, 5kg of bacon, 5 large packets of chips, 18 slabs of mixed soft drinks.

Add to that 1 portaloo and DJ and I think you get the idea. All to be held in the shed.

The kids started arriving at 3pm – some came early because that was when they could get dropped off – we have the advantage of being 7km from the nearest point of public transport.

And yes – I call that an advantage as I think it deterred trouble makers.

The night progressed well – we did not supply alcohol as I didn’t want to have any problems with under-age drinkers.

The DJ played, the kids danced, at one stage there was a soccer game under lights occurring. I do believe the girls were wearing high-heels!

All in all – there were few problems – some of the kids (about 12) slept over due to drinking and ‘P’ plates, 3 girls ended up sleeping in the house for various reasons (Mums – I think you know what I am talking about), only 1 set of car keys confiscated. So all in all – not too bad.

The night itself didn’t end until about 5am – I rode the night out and managed to get them all settled – maybe not asleep but at least not running around feral.

Breakfast was a bacon and eggs affair – cooked by the 12yo after the 19yo couldn’t manage it (I was still tucked up in bed) By the time I saw the light of day – breakfast had been consumed, decorations were already being taken down and still kids were here helping. I certainly can’t complain.

The last of the party-goers left at about 3pm – all in all a good night had by all!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Fun Facts

In the 1400's a law was set forth that a man was not allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have "the rule of thumb"

Many years ago in Scotland, a new game was invented. It was ruled Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden"...and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.

The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and
Wilma Flintstone.

Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the US Treasury.

Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.

Coca-Cola was originally green.

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska

The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% (now get this...) The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%

The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400

The average number of people airborne over the US any given hour: 61,000

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.

The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history: Spades - King David, Hearts - Charlemagne, Clubs -Alexander the Great, Diamonds - Julius Caesar

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the
last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.

Q. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?
A. Their birthplace

Q. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested?
A. Obsession

Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"?
A. One thousand

Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common?
A. All invented by women.

Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey

Q. Which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year?
A. Father's Day

In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer
to sleep on. Hence the phrase......... "goodnight, sleep tight."

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, his period was called the honey month . which we know today as the honeymoon.

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them “Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down." It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"

Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.

~~~~~~~~~~~AND FINALLY~~~~~~~~~~~~
At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow

Friday, December 18, 2009

Death in A Can.

We all know the names, Black Stallion, Buzz Monkey, Cocaine, Hero, Lift Plus, Lucozade, Mother, Red Bull, Red Eye, Rock, Rockstar, V – We ALL know someone who has tasted one of these products at least once in their life, perhaps they have had more than a ‘taste’.

I am targeting one brand at the moment that appears to breaking all sorts of moral rules and regulations.

I am currently looking at a can of Rockstar energy drink, no big deal you say, this can is 710ml in volume, 22cm tall and 7cm in diameter and it looks HUGE. I mean a can of coke is just over ½ the size of this can.

The can itself, other than looking HUGE looks harmless UNTIL you roll the can over and read:- Usage: Consume no more than 500ml per day. Yet this can is packaged at 710ml – so who in their right mind would measure half the can, then re-seal it, so that it may be consumed the day after?

Why is this company that admits there are health concerns (Product contains caffeine. This product is not recommended for children, pregnant or lactating women, or individuals sensitive to caffeine. Consume responsibly) package their money earning products in such volumes which they openly admit is over the daily limit?

(please click to enlarge)

*All figures are above the RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)

These drinks are advertised as giving you a pick-me-up when you are a little tired, giving you more energy and get up and go than any other product on the market.

Some of the health concerns raised are:- severe tooth decay, heart problems, tooth staining, liver damage, kidney damage, diabetes, Nausea, vomiting.

Deaths have occurred when mixing Vodka and Energy Drinks. Some countries have banned the product from being retailed in the country due to health concerns.

Some confirmed health issues are whole mouth tooth decay, reduction in bone density, which leads to fractures and breaks, aggression, heart palpitations, kidney failure, liver failure, headaches, heart failure, dehydration.

These are just some of the concerns, along with the manufacturers OWN Admission that the product is not recommended for children or individuals sensitive to caffeine.

At what age are you considered no longer a child and who is monitoring the purchase of these products? If a milkbar owner sells one of these cans to a child of 14-15yo – who is monitoring the milkbar owner?

Is it his responsibility or should these products be removed from sale and only be allowed sold on/in licensed premises?

Your thoughts and ideas appreciated - perhaps the voices of the public need to be heard above the voices of the conusmers?

Let your thoughts be known!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Are we there yet? - The Season to be Silly

It’s Christmas, the time we go away on holiday, the time we go visit relatives in far flung places, the time we spend far too much of confined in a metal box on wheels, with too many kids screaming “Are we there yet?”

It’s the silly season. The time we make silly decisions and decide that the 1000km drive to Aunty Flo’s place is a great idea. We forget that it would be 40’C in the shade and that the air-conditioning in the car is not what it used to be.

We are silly to assume that the kids would behave. We forgot last year, when we left little Johnny at the rest stop with his big sister. We forgot that the everyone else has the same silly ideas, about going to visit their Aunty Jo.

Are we there yet? – what else can I say?

Some hints and safety tips to ensure you stay on the road and get there in one piece.
1. Make sure the driver is well rested and if possible, both adults should take turns in driving, switching every 2 hours at a rest stop where everyone can stretch their legs.
2. Each person the vehicle must by law have their own seatbelt. DO NOT share seatbelts, that could kill someone, even in a minor accident
3. Each child under the age of 7yo must be in an approved child restraint, the safest position in the car is the centre back seat
4. No children under the age of 12 to ride in the front seat, there is scientific evidence that a child under the age of 12yo, may be grievously harmed by the airbag, which is designed for adults.
5. There is a 35% increase in safety when passengers ride in the backseat!
6. Do not overcrowded the passenger space with luggage, it might be inconvenient, but take a trailer, it doesn't use much more fuel and makes life so much more comfortable(and sane).
7. Allow the children to take 1-2 toys with them, that can be used to amuse them whilst in the car
8. If using portable DVD players etc., make sure you have comfortable ear phones for the children, so you can still have an adult conversation with the driver/passenger
9. Don’t be afraid to stop if you see something interesting. It breaks the journey and doesn’t take that long.
10. Take some food and drink with you, saves money AND time and let’s everyone have something they like and tastes good. Just make sure it is chilled with iceblocks etc.

It’s dangerous out there, take care and remember no-one died being late. Speed kills.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Tree – Real or Fake?

T’was the week before Christmas, no decorations up – you are busy – you are rushed. You can’t be bothered. Then the kids start complaining.

The mess of a real tree or the old reliable fake tree from storage?

You toss the ideas around and figure the fake tree from the shed. Who wants pine needles everywhere, sure they smell is nice, but after a week the real tree starts to look decidedly tired. So out with the real, and in with the 20 year old antique!

My tree is 23 years old this year, and I gather many others have similarly geriatric trees, residing in their storage areas, be it in the shed or the roof space!

First a little history and then into the Bad 'V' Good of a each type of tree!

The first artificial tree originated in Germany, towards the end of the 1800’s and comprised of metal wire trees, covered in feathers, which often had been dyed green to imitate the colours of a real pine tree. In the 1930’s, the Addis brush Company (which also made toilet brushes) started making brush trees using the same machines as those that made the toilet brushes. This design was patented in the 1950’s. Since then artificial trees have grown in both size and quality.

So now, let’s look at the difference between the two – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Real Tree
Real Trees cost more, as they are purchased new each year
In the growing process, real trees absorb carbon dioxide, which is a good thing
Real trees MAY be more of a fire risk as they dry out and the lights are turned on
Real trees allow the scent of pine to permeate the house
Visitors to your house MAY be allergy to pine needles
Provides jobs in the growing, transportation and sale processes
Need constant tending, with water and pine needle pick-up
Has a limited indoor life span
Dispose of the tree can be a problem
Estimated Annual Contribution of Greenhouse gases is 3kg per annum

Fake Tree
The ongoing monetary cost decreases with each year of use
A slightly less of a fire risk than real trees – as branches are insulated
No smell
NO allergy concerns
No on-going job prospects, once the tree has been purchased
No tending required, once tree has been erected
No life-span restrictions – although disposal may be an issue if and when required
No immediate disposal issues
Some cheaper trees do look cheap, and visually worse than a ‘real’ tree
Time is required to assemble the tree and make it look good before decorated
To negate the environmental impact you need to keep your tree for 20 years, (average 6yrs)
Fake trees may contain toxic materials such as lead.
Estimated Annual Contribution of Greenhouse gases is 8kg per annum

There are pros and cons with both types of trees, like always convenience is a big factor in choosing which tree is right for you.

There is another option you could consider. If you have the room in your backyard, why not grow a potted pine, something like a Douglas Fir – which is a tree, that is quite rare. The only thing you have to remember is that the work of that Christmas tree is a weekly thing and not just once a year. It certainly is a feasible idea, just involved more work.

I prefer a fake tree – not just because of the cost, but it is simple and easy to erect, no chasing around, if I want to erect my tree at midnight on Christmas Eve, I can do that. A real tree you wouldn’t be able to do that.

Viva la tree – what are your thoughts? – Fake over Green? Green over Fake? Would love your input, perhaps you are making that choice as we speak? – Let us know – appreciated!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Taiwan and air conditioning temperatures

With the onset of the Australian summer and Victoria in particular being subjected to a very early heat wave, once again the topic of air conditioners and the temperature they should be set at raises its’ ugly head.

I’ve owned property for 20 plus years, it wasn’t until 2007 that we had our first and only air conditioner installed. Not because of cost, not because of a change of location, not because of climate changes, simply because I am finding that with the circulation problems I now have due to injury, life is just a little more comfortable.

Over the weekend – Radio Asia was publicising the fact that Taipei 101 (which is the tallest building in Taiwan) will be encouraging all tenants to raise the A/C temperature to 26’c. This is part of a raft of measures being put into place to make the building more environmentally friendly and allow them to claim an award that says as much.

When the announcement was made, I thought that 26’c was little too high, perhaps 22-24’c but certainly not 18’c as many people here in Australia seem to think is an acceptable temperature.

There is nothing more frustrating that walking into a building and it’s cold on a day that outside is 30-40’c. I believe there is nothing that will make you sick better than walking into a building hot/cold cold/hot. Your body’s thermostat is unable to keep up with the changes.

I suppose you could compare it to a cars speed, just because the dial says you can do 210kph, doesn’t mean it can actually do that. The same goes for air conditioning, just because the lowest temperature you can get on the dial is 18’c doesn’t mean you have to push it down that low.

Set the thermostat at 20-22’c and let the air conditioner do its job. Turn it on a little earlier and not when the room reaches 40’c.

The power saving is HUGE if you follow the above suggestions and other savings may even result in less doctors visits and days off!

Consider it – not just for the dollar value, but for your childrens’ sake and the power grid!

Don’t get too hot under the collar this year and remember – it may be hot outside, but stay in contact with the outside world – it could just save your life.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Are you looking for an Intnl Football (soccer) Clinic trainer here in AU?

I have been advised that Nivan Gomes of Brazil is available for clinic coaching for full day or half-day coaching sessions.

He coached both Australian Socceroos Capitan “Lucas Neil’ and the Goalkeeper ‘Mark Schwarzer’ at Junior Levels and has also worked with The Marconi Club of Sydney. He is currently working with the Brazilian Football League.

You can view his profile here without joining and full contact details are on view.

If you are interested – contact Nivan directly via the linked in page – all details are there.

I believe he is looking for a position on the East Coast – but that is something that you can discuss with him directly OR if you know anyone who might be interested – please pass his linkedin page profile on to said individuals.

Here is the linkedin page for your viewing -

And here is the Brazilian Confederation of Football (CBF) –

Blogspot -

(current as at December 2009)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Man Of The House

A husband had just finished reading the book, 'MAN OF THE HOUSE'.

He stormed into the kitchen and walked directly up to his wife. Pointing a finger in her face, he said, "From now on, I want you to know that I am the man of this house, and my word is law! I want you to prepare me a gourmet meal tonight, and when I'm finished eating my meal, I expect a sumptuous dessert afterward. Then, after dinner, you are going to draw me my bath so I can relax. And when I'm finished with my bath, guess who's going to dress me and comb my hair?"

His wife replied, "The f#*&ing funeral director would be my guess."

Friday, December 11, 2009


Where would we be without them? – This is a question that you the tax paying public needs to ask yourself.

Volunteers of any nature are my heroes, they find time to help the community, where many just say they don’t have time. Without volunteers, the cost to government would be enormous. I don’t think the government would be able to manage the budget without the thousands of unpaid volunteers, who do their job for them.

The QLD Government using the ABS statistics from the 2006 census estimate that volunteering saves the government something like $5.91 billion.

The SA Government using the ABS statistics from the 2006 census estimate that volunteering saves the government something like $4.98 billion.

The WA Government using the ABS Statistics from the 2006 census estimate that volunteering saves the government something like $6.6 billion.

The Victorian Government using the ABS Statistics from the 2006 Census estimates that volunteering saves the government something like $10 billion.

In total it is estimated that $42 billion per annum is the ‘true value of volunteering’ for the Australian Government and states.

Some states appear to have more of an appreciation of volunteers than others, here is Tasmania’s thoughts when it comes to volunteers – just have a look at these ideas for appreciating their volunteers – all 101 of them.

Congratulations and thank-you to all volunteers, without you I am sure we, the public would be paying more taxes and many older people would be lonely and the younger in society would be lost. Thank-you to our volunteer emergency services personnel, you do a fantastic job, be it at the fun fair or the fire-fight or the local sports event.

Thank-you to all and sundry and remember it doesn’t take much to offer your services. It might just be popping into the local primary school once a week to read a book to children.

Do you volunteer anywhere? – Leave your thoughts and suggestions.

I have just became aware that the weekend just past was International Volunteer Day - what timing! - This post was written sometime in late November!

To all volunteers out there - thank-you from the bottom of my heart and anyone that has benefited from a volunteer, leave your thank-yous.

I know I am thankful!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Twitter - The Funny ReTweet- Here is the Solution

You notice in your timeline some funny RT's - from people that you don't know, from people and perhaps topics, things that don't interest you.

Solution at hand - Twitter has implemented a new tool (called ReTweet) - that automatically allows this to happen when you have followed someone, perhaps to introduce more names and topics into your timeline thus increase the number of people you follow. I have no idea behind the thought processes!

Anyway............................ Solution

Straight from Twitters help Page..............

What is retweet? (RT)

Like a tweet? Retweet!

Sometimes you come across a tweet that you just have to share- tweets can be a big deal when they're newsworthy, informative, or even just really funny. Twitter's new retweet (RT) feature helps people quickly share information, which is pretty much what Twitter is all about.

Just hover over a tweet, click the retweet link, and you’re done! A click of a button shares an interesting tweet with all of your followers. Regretting your retweet? Hover over the retweet and click undo. Retweet has been rolled out to all users!

Recognizing retweets in timelines and profiles

Retweeting isn't just a great way to spread information through the twitter network; it's also a great way for you to discover new and interesting content. Twitter now shows retweet information for all public tweets.

Retweets in timelines are distinguished by the retweet icon next to the author's picture.

When someone you follow retweets, you’ll see the original tweet and a picture of the tweet’s original author, with the retweeter’s name below.

Retweets in profiles are indicated by the retweet icon as well.

To credit a tweet's author, retweets show the profile picture, user name, and tweet of the original author, with "retweeted by" information appended at bottom.

Disabling retweets
If you don't want to see retweets from a particular account, just visit the profile and click the retweet icon to disable, but keep in mind, if you see a new face in your timeline, it's because someone you follow retweeted something they thought you should see.

Look for the retweet icon next to the user name when you don't recognize a face, and then look for the retweeter's name below- it should be someone you follow. If the icon is green, you see retweets from that person in your home timeline. (If you want to double check, hover over the icon.) Manage whose retweets you see from your following page in the same way- click the green retweet icon to disable retweets from that person. If the icon is gray, click it (it'll turn green) to turn on retweets.

New retweet tab in sidebar

Click “retweets” in your sidebar to get retweet feedback-- see what you’ve retweeted, what’s been retweeted by people you follow, and who retweeted your tweets!

Retweets by others: read the retweets posted by people you follow under the first tab, 'Retweets by others.'

Retweets by you: read your own retweets- it's like the sent items in your email account. If others have also retweeted, you'll see their profile icons listed.
Your tweets, retweeted: find out who retweets your tweets!

Please note that retweets, like regular tweets, from people you've blocked will not show up.

Frequently Asked Questions
People often wonder:
Can I set retweet preferences for people I follow from my home page? No, you have to turn retweets off/on from profile pages, or your following page.

Can I turn off ALL retweets? Nope! You can turn them off on a person by person basis, but you can't turn off retweets completely. To disable all retweets, visit your following page, and click the green icon for each person. (Nope, there is no 'select all' option, unfortunately.)

When people visit my profile, can they view my retweets in a tab, like favorites? Nope. People can view the retweets posted in your profile by scrolling through the your tweets and looking for the ones with retweet icons. Only you can see your retweet archives.

What if I retweet from apps like Tweetie, twhirl, etc? Retweets, like regular tweets, will appear differently in different applications. All retweets from third party apps (like Tweetie and twhirl) will show up in your retweet tab IF they're using Twitter's retweet API. (Not sure? Try retweeting from your favorite app, and then check the "retweets by you" tab on the web.) Many apps have built in their own version of retweeting; retweets sent from apps that don't use the official feature will not appear in your retweet tab.

Are there limits on retweets? There's no limit to the number of times a tweet can be retweeted, but Twitter will only show the most recent 100 retweeters for any public tweet.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Simple Things in Life

A little girl had been shopping with her Mum in Target. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Target.

We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in "Mum, let's run through the rain," she said. "What?" Mum asked.

"Lets run through the rain!" She repeated.

"No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit," Mum replied.

This young child waited about another minute and repeated: "Mum, let's run through the rain,"

"We'll get soaked if we do," Mum said.

"No, we won't, Mum. That's not what you said this morning," the young girl said as she tugged at her Mum's arm.

This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?

"Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, 'If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!"

The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn't hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes.

Mum paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

"Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If GOD lets us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing," Mum said.

Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars.

And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories...So, don't forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories everyday. To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.


They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them. Send this to the people you'll never forget and remember to also send it to the person who sent it to you. It's a short message to let them know that you'll never forget them.

Take the time to live!!!

Keep in touch with your friends, you never know when you'll need each other -- and don't forget to run in the rain!

This is another email that was sent to me in 2005 – the message is the same then as it is now. – Don’t forget to enjoy life and smell the flowers occasionally.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Don’t Judge that Book by its Cover

A couple of 20yo’s walk into a well-established well-known restaurant, they have been there before, they have been there many times before.

They are treated like royalty. The always order the most expensive dishes, they always order cocktails. They are nicely dressed in tailored clothing.

They always pay the bill

That restaurant earnt the fees they charged for the meals and the services provided.

The same 20yo couple walk into a fine-dining establishment in a tourist area. They wish to see the menu before they take a seat. A verbal enquiry was made about the availability of one item on the menu.

The maître de enquired as to how the couple would be paying and then stated that no meals would be ordered unless a down payment was made.

This was down-right insulting and said couple walked out of the place.

Now these two incidents, occurred to the same couple, within weeks of each other. One establishment has ensured that the couple return. The other establishment has ensured that not only will the couple NOT return to that restaurant, but also ensured that the couple will not return to the area and will not recommend either the area or the restaurant.

To business owners out there, and I mean ALL business owners out there, never ever judge a book by its cover. It could cost you and business’s in your area cold hard cash.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Social Media and the Personal Attacks (Trolling)

Some people call them trolls, some people call them sick. I call them people who are bored with nothing better to do.

Often their claim to fame as having completed a BA (bugger all) in something that is really nothing, in that it hasn’t gained them useful employment. They are angry that this is the case and blame everyone around them.

They think they are better than everyone else on the planet.

They believe it is their god-given right to attack people who disagree with them, people who have opinions are considered dangerous as they can see through the garbage the attacker is spouting.

The attacker will claim they are being victimised, they will claim they are the one being hard done by. Yet they fail to see that they caused the problems in the first place.

People who attack via social media – I consider them to be psychopathic with regards to real world behaviour, so much so that they have often isolated themselves behind a computer with little thought for the outside world.

Many people say ‘don’t feed the trolls’ this in essence is difficult because as the name suggests – they are ugly creatures and even if you don’t offer food (responding) they will find crumbs to feed off (another topic)

Some people claim that opening up and removing the anonymous nature of forums, twitter etc. will remove the threat of trolls.

I have personally experienced a personal attack, the nature to this day, still can’t be disclosed, but the reprisal was the publishing of all my personal information, phone numbers, email accounts, residential address, all in one location. In a forum that is not your average ‘nice’ guys forum.

Trolling or personal attacks whatever you may call them are vicious, uncalled for and people who instigate such attacks, should be sanctioned and possible removed from the media they offend in.

Until laws in the real world catch up with those on the internet, it will be hard to police, but perhaps the medium being used, needs to address and enforce their own rules BEFORE they become liable under current laws.

Trolls, think before you leap – with the court ordered disclosure against Google of information, anonymous is no longer as hidden as you think.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Customer service to the extreme

A bad day – turned out very well, thanks to a staff member at Wendy’s Ice-cream store at Epping Plaza, Victoria

It was one of ‘those’ days – I’m sure you know the type – no matter what you do EVERYTHING goes wrong.

With my gummy leg I was pushing a hated trolley back to the car, not something I would normally do, but sometimes people can’t meet you for whatever the reason.

The only ramped path to my car was blocked by the trolley collectors. Not impressed. The pain was building, the trolley collectors saw me, wouldn’t move. I sat down on one of the outside chairs, trying to curb the frustration that was building. Beside me was sitting Kim, who worked for Wendy’s.

She saw the predicament, and offered to help me with the trolley.

She helped and I was extremely grateful.

So ............ Kim of Wendy's Supa Sundaes Pty Ltd, an employee you may be, but you did a fantastic job of out of store service and in the process earned another customer.

Congratulations and thank-you

Monday, November 30, 2009

Lost Retail Sales and Attitude

Rarely do I grace the doors of shopping centres, simply because I find the floors a challenge for someone with a walking problem.

About 6 weeks before Christmas, I had the opportunity to do some sightseeing in a reasonably large metropolitan shopping centre.

I realize that sales people don’t get paid a lot of money, and a lot of the staff are young people, who maybe just filling in time between courses, careers or better offers. I know that some of them do work on commission, particularly those in the telecommunications industry, and yet the response I got left a lot to be desired.

I must admit I have little patience for shopping, let alone sloppy sales assistants. I dislike shopping at the best of times.

But to walk into a store and have people (staff) standing in the corner talking amongst themselves and not address the customer is very poor decorum. In fact it’s plain bad manners.

I am the sort of person that uses the sales staff as a gauge as to how the store receives and treats its’ customers. I have been known to determine who gets a big ticket sale simply because of the manner of the sales staff and I may have already visited 5 or 6 stores. I could very well go back to the 1st or the 2nd store, simply because of the manner of the staff.

I come from a customer service background, in fact you could say I was born and bred into into it. My parents owned holiday accommodation for as long as I can remember and only recently have they sold the business and moved onto retirement. Yes, I am aware that some customers can be painful, but to assume someone is painful before you have even spoken to them. In other words judging a book by its’ cover, is something that one shouldn’t do in customer service, particularly sales.

I take great pride in the fact that I am not your Average Joe, I don’t dress up, I don’t dress down, I wear clothes that I find comfortable. When you look at me – you would call me ‘middle class’. My hair is tidy, my clothes are clean and ironed. You would see 100’s of people like me every day.

I recall one very vivid memory, I was looking to buy a GPS, long before they became fashionable, before their prices dropped through the floor and when there were really only 2 or 3 brands on the market.

I visited 4 stores in the space or 1 hour, I stood in front of the display cabinets, trying to figure out which brand/model was best suited to my needs.

1st store The young customer sales service guy was helpful, friendly and had a hands on approach, nearly bought the unit there and then, but decided I had better check out the other stores.

2nd store – there were too many chiefs and not enough indians, I couldn’t get anyone to attend to my needs

3rd store – the sales person, ‘sort of’ knew about them, but hadn’t used them and was reluctant to advise me on what may have suited my needs.

4th store couldn’t get the middle-aged salesperson attention – I walked out after about 10 minutes

I returned to the first store and requested to the see the same person, I had originally been speaking to. He was out the back on a tea break. He was retrieved from said break and made a sale. It turns out that this day was his last, as he was moving to another sales position in another chain and I can see why. He had a can do attitude with a pleasant approach.

A smile costs nothing and yet it can be so rewarding!

If you work in sales remember, even to acknowledge someone can keep them in the store until you are free to be able to attend to their needs, wants, or desires!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Silly Saturday

Every Saturday for a little while, which could be weeks or months, I’m going to post the classic funny emails that get circulated.

These are only the crème de la crème and should give you a bit of a giggle, so look out next Saturday for the first of the crop!

If you have any you would like added to the collection - leave comment (with your email) Comment WON'T be published but we then have a means on contact!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Charging Board to School Leavers (or kids still at home)

(Reposted from other blog)
Sitting in the car, whilst Miss17 almost 18 drives me home, (she is on L Plates) School has now finished, last exam was mid-November. We were discussing what her movements would be until the exam results came in and between university.

Response went something along the lines, dunno, I suppose I could find something that’ll get me $100.00 a week. I said what? - $100.00, are you planning on allowing someone to pay you $20.00 a day?

Oh, I’m not going to work full-time. No-one else is. My response to this was, remember once the exam results come in – you are expected to pay board of $50.00 a week.

That’s not fair, I don’t have a job, I said that’s why you have to get a job, $50.00 is nothing. Her response – I can live in a flat for that.

Excuse me!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - $50.00 a week won’t even pay your telephone bill. Rent (Cheap) $120.00 per week, Food $100-$50.00 per week, electricity $50.00 per week, buying your fridge and washing machine and don’t forget your bed etc.

Oh……………………….. is it THAT much?

The head was returned to the shoulders and nothing else has been said, but come the 19th December, a bill of $50.00 has to be paid. It is now in her hands as to how that money is generated and the funds paid.

I’m not the only parent having this conversation, friends of ours, waited until their son finished university before they decided to charge board. He kicked up at the $50.00, same argument, same results.

When will kids learn, that nothing is for nothing and ‘digs’ like the parents are even more expensive if you want to move out.

How many rentals have someone to do the washing, cooking, cleaning AND pay the bills on time?
No commercial properties that I am aware of!

Remember the responsibility of board is a learning experience, so charge the kids and put the money aside for a house deposit or similar in later life. But charge them on principle, it teaches them another life lesson!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

An Experiment in TV

It must be getting closer to Christmas, all the free-to-air (FTA)TV stations have reverted to repeats and treating the viewer like a guinea pig, or is that monkey? When you get a reward for acting the way they want you to.

Every year, early to mid November all the regular shows that I enjoy watching on FTA TV are removed or moved to some stupid time slot. Doesn’t matter that I record everything I watch, it matters that the timing of the recording is no longer relevant and I have to re-set everything.

So once were I might be watching CSI or Criminal Minds, or some other mildly interesting but mind-numbing show, I get some stupid show about ‘bewdiful’ people in the USA parading around on red carpet and acting the goat.

I’m sorry, that’s NOT why I watch your crappy channel and why I supplement my viewing with Foxtel.

Foxtel has its’ own dangers, too much garbage, made by second rate producers, but some and I stress some of the shows can be very interesting, if you can get past the introduction.

I watch Foxtel mostly for the factual/truth/discovery type programs and reserve the FTA viewing for my more light-hearted, less involved type viewing.

I don’t particularly like too much choice, it makes life confusing, why have 200 stations, when perhaps 50 with high quality content would suffice?

I remember when Foxtel first came on the scene, people thought it was the best thing out. I resisted acquiring Foxtel for many many years, remembering that Foxtel made its’ debut onto the Australia market in 1995. What I saw of it then, only impressed upon me the fact you were paying for repeat TV every 8-12 hours. In other words in Aussie slang, a wank of a feature. Only get if you wanted to impress your mates with how much money you have.

FTA TV remained my best friend for the next 12 years. I refused to pay for something that I could otherwise receive for free and the content was not often repeated.

One day things changed. I was stuck on the couch for 4 months and Foxtel saved my butt, or at least my mind. I still record everything I want to watch from FTA TV, and watch live anything that catches my fancy on Foxtel, when I get the time to sit down.

I still say that FTA TV has a place in our life and I believe that those less fortunate who can’t/or shouldn’t afford Foxtel, should still be able to learn something from FTA TV, even if it is how to clean the kitchen or do the odd home renovation. FTA TV is not for dummies, it is for Aussies, who shouldn’t have to pay for quality TV viewing in what the TV stations consider off-peak viewing periods.

**FTA = Free-to-Air TV

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What are you laughing at?

How many times have you heard this statement? – be it from a workmate, a lover, friends or partner.

I read anything in the printed the form and if there is no book handy, often a novel, I will read the back of the cereal packet. I love reading. I’ll read almost anything.

I was reading a cheap novel, not even sure where it came from, probably swapped between other book lovers, as often happens. This exert made me laugh and put a smile on my face. Just imagine me as Bertha

“Bertha wasn’t worried about Indians bothering her; she knew they thought it was bad medicine to mess with crazy people. And what could be crazier than an old woman on a mule out here by herself?”

From Jessie’s Outlaw, Author:Cheryl Anne Porter 1993

What books have you read that bring out bouts of laughter, giggles or even tears?

Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Schoolies – My Job as a Parent

My Job as a parent is almost over. My daughter will be 18 this month, she has finished Year 12, (with Certificate of Merit) and the exams are completed. All in all the year has been reasonable – not too stressful for either parent or student.

Ms almost 18 came to me last week and said I have been invited to go away for schoolies……… I was dreading the thought. Before I was able to comment, she then piped up………………. “But I don’t want to go, I don’t want to be babysitting them, while they get drunk and stuff”

This got me thinking – firstly I must have done a good job parenting, if she can already see this, secondly what is ‘and stuff?’

She told me some of what the girls are planning, getting drunk, trashing wherever they go, seeing if they can find some marijuana and get stoned. I imagine in there is the gratuitous sex, possibly unprotected. Oh I can’t bear to think about it.

In her wisdom, she said no. She realized it would lead to nothing but trouble, that she wouldn’t be able to enjoy herself as she would be babysitting the immature people of the party.

I understand that some people, both parents and children see muck-up-day and schoolies as a sign of growing up – what happened to getting your first car, getting your license, being allowed out late, your first legal drink.

My daughter already has a car, she is well on the way to getting her licence, she is allowed out late, (midnight) as long as I can pick her up. She may have tasted one or two alcoholic drinks but has certainly not been drunk.

These are all benchmarks in the growing up part of life. If parents think it is okay to allow the 15yo out after 10pm and not know where they are, that is not my problem. My problem is my child and where she is and what she is doing.

Schoolies is just another excuse for another party. What I want to know is where is the money coming from to fund this alcoholic binge? – If it is coming from the parents, they ought to be ashamed in permitting good money to be thrown away in this manner.

If this money is coming from government money, then they are being paid too much.

If this money is coming from part-time work, then the expenditure is fine, because the children have had to save the money and have learnt a lesson in doing do. My problem is that money could well be spent on something far more worthwhile.

Perhaps I am a party spoiler, perhaps I am too strict, but I certainly know where my children are, what they are doing and when they are doing it.

Schoolies is asking for trouble and from an accommodation point of view – I fully understand WHY certain establishments REFUSE all male or all female parties AND why around schoolies week they vet heavily AND increase costs. It’s called self-protection from a selfish minority.

If you have children attending ‘schoolies’ please please read them the riot act and hopefully no harm will come to them.

Monday, November 23, 2009

How Retailers Can Ruin their Future Income for a Lifetime

I am so mad at the moment. I teach my children independence, I teach my children how to do things without an adult standing over them. Things that many adults have difficulty with.

2 weeks ago (to the day) we purchased a game from a gaming store in Epping Plaza who is also a second hand dealer, who specialises in the PSP, Xbox type games.

Being trusting we purchased the game with scratch insurance. Me thinking that would stop any accidents and for the sake of a few dollars, worth it.

My son (12yo) decided that he didn’t like the game, as they stated ‘satisfaction guarantee” My son decided to return the game and try and find something else. I know for fact he may have played this game twice in the preceding two weeks. We haven’t been home between school and sporting commitments.

He went into the said store to swap, exchange or get a gift card refund. He was informed that he had had the game for 3 weeks. OMG – who is having a bad day?

He decides this is bigger than him and calls for his knight in white shining armour to save him and his birthday money. So mum rides into the picture.

We both walk into the store and are advised after checking calendars and fingers (yup, seriously) that this purchase was a 15 days!

Let’s do the sums – purchase made 30.10.09 17.46hrs – today is the 13.10.09 17.15hrs.

So that is NOT quite 14 days – it’s 13 days, 23.5hours to be precise.

Two staff members were adamant that it was 15 days – I asked to see to manager, only to be advised that he would be back in 10 minutes. I leave said store, find somewhere to sit and on the back of an envelope I broke the fortnight down into 24hour periods (for simpletons) .

I then re-entered the store and was advised that the manager had left!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was just about to turn my back, when he miraculously re-enters the premises. I show him the simpleton calculations and he advised me that it was 15 days, INCLUDING the day it was purchased AND the 14th day!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hello – the period in discussion is 14 days not 15. Friday to Friday to be precise, with ½ hour to spare. (to be technical)

After showing the manager the simpleton’s working – he agreed to refund the cost of the game BUT not the scratch insurance. Saying that the disc was scratched!!!!!!!!!!!

Ummmmmmmmm – hate to tell you – it was purchased second-hand, I suppose the previous owner scratched it. For me the ‘scratch insurance’ was if it didn’t work due to a scratch, but I must be too honest.

My son has lost 15% of his birthday money and is upset about what has occurred, even he knew that Friday to Friday is 14 days NOT 15.

He now tells me, that he will never go back to that store, I said to him what about the gift card refund. He advised me he would spend that money at another store, in another centre and never go back to that store AND he said he would tell his friends.

My son goes to a private school of some 1700 students very close to this shopping centre, in other words 1700 kids who don't drive and thus are a captive audience, so don’t blame me if turnover decreases, there are other gaming stores in the same centre.

And………….. if you are unable to work out that Friday to Friday is 14 days AND NOT 15 days then perhaps you shouldn’t be working in retail.

Now before you jump down my throat and call me rude and pushy. My children, may be opinionated, but they are honest and they will only argue a case, that is fair and square. If a business tries to pull the wool over their eyes, they will take it further.

As this mother taught these children these qualities, she taught them, don't tell lies, tell the truth, the retailer if they are honest will understand. If they are dis-honest, then you have no need for their goods or services in the future.

Remember bad news travels 10 times faster than good and in the world of cashed-up teenagers, who don't have a car to get to the next shopping centre, you really should look after your customers, or they will move to the other store in the same centre.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Do you have a will?

Sounds morbid doesn’t it?

Well seriously, it doesn’t matter what age you are – from the moment you start working, you start collecting assets.

Be it that lovely collection of beer cans, dolls, or even your car. The money in your bank account will be frozen until probate clears, if you don’t have a will, then the process is far more complicated.

Have you thought about what will happen to your assets, no matter how minor they seem, once you depart this mortal earth?

If you have a will, the process of getting the money or proceeds of sales from assets is far easier for everyone. If you do not have a will, the process is very complicated and long winded.

By having a will, the decision as to who gets what is simplified and clarified, it speeds things up.

By NOT having a will, no one person is responsible and assets are distributed by a formula set by the government, which may include an ex-partner, to whom you haven’t spoken to for many years.

For peace of mind, get a will, it might cost $100-$200 for the will, but you have peace of mind. If there are children involved and you don’t have a will, what happens to your assets? They may not be divided the way you want them to be divided.

Remember also that if your situation changes, you will need to update your will. As your children get older, as your relationships change, as the value of assets change, all these changes need to be accounted for as you travel the road of life.

Don’t assume that the will you drew up when you are 18 will still apply when you are 30. By that time you could be married and divorced.

There are so many factors that can affect your circumstances. Keep up with the changes.

Get a will today – you never know what is around the corner

And don't forget your online presence - If you were hit by a bus tomorrow…………

Monday, November 9, 2009

Uh Oh – Who stays home?

A modern day dilemma – little Johnny or Jill is sick and can’t attend school/crèche/kinder – who will stay home and look after them?

This is a problem that arises once the family is created. In days gone past, it was the woman, even today it is most often the woman. It is the woman who forgoes the sick leave/personal leave the annual leave to look after sick children, whilst the male partner goes to work with little concern for anything other than themselves.

Alright, the men turn around and say that Jennifer gets the day off, to bum around home and who cares, the boss won’t miss them.

Not only do men have deadlines to be met and completed, women do also. This means that a woman is often behind the 8-ball when it comes to work. If little Johnny/Jill is sick for more than one day – how many times do the male partners put their hands up and offer to stay home for the second day? Very very few.

I am not being discriminatory, this is truth.

In today’s society where women are often expected to be as good as the male species. Then why don’t the male of the species do the things that many women do with 1 hand tied behind their backs?

How many men out there know how to use the washing machine, know what temperature woollens have to be washed at. Know where the Medicare card is for visits to the doctors, let alone finding the doctors’ number to make an appointment. Once again very few.

This is not an urban myth – it takes a special kind of man to be able to do this and there are very few who can run a home AND work AND everything else associated with modern day life.

Just remember next time that your wife, your childrens' mother, says she has a headache, maybe she does and it’s time for you to pick up the slack.

Go home and remember – home is where there should be shared responsibilities and that sports day doesn’t mean a day at the golf club/pub for the men ;)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Children in wolves clothing

I saw a picture the other day of a child, (a child of famous parents actually), she was wearing high heels (of 5cm) at the tender age of 5 or 6 years old. She was wearing a skirt that was more suited to a person of perhaps 18-25 years old (if you have the legs)

I am sure you get my drift.

But……… what made me write this is that my daughter, (yes, previously featured) was shopping with her aunty for clothes for an 18 month old girl. Easy you would think, pants, little skirts, t-shirts etc.

My daughter came home and said “Mum, aunty, bought clothes that even I wouldn’t wear. She is asking for trouble from paedophiles”

I thought OMG – is that really what my 17yo, almost 18yo thinks of some clothes. I asked what she was talking about and she related to me, that aunty didn’t think a little girl should wear pants, it’s not appropriate.

FFS – This is for a child that is still in nappies, hardly walking and can not walk up and down stairs!

I thought back to my children and their nappy days, unless the weather was unbearably hot, they were always in pants/shorts and nappies. Rarely was my daughter in skirts, simply because I believed it infringed on her freedom to discover the world, would prevent her from crawling and her knees would constantly be grazed.

By making children mini-me’s of mum (it seems to happen more with girls that boys) are we creating a problem, physically, by not allowing children to crawl around and hurt their knees etc, and then there is the mental aspect. We are so concerned about children being sexualised too early and yet we allow them to dress like adults at such a tender age.

Leave children to be children. Leave the skirts and fancy dresses for dinner and parties, not going to crèche and day care.

Let the littlies of this world experience the world as children.

Plus think of the money you will be saving! – No more latest fashions unless you go out, no more unworn grown out of clothes in the cupboards. Save the money for the special events and let your kids wear the same clothes more than once.

Trust me no-one will notice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

I’m late – so are 1,000,000 people – hold that bus

Every family has this problem, doesn’t matter if it is Monday morning for school and work, or Sunday morning for sport. The kids can not get organised.

Every weekday I have the same argument, This argument is no longer.

I fixed it, plain and simple. I started for a week telling them that the bus into town doesn’t wait for them, so why should I?

Then that progressed to me starting the car and waiting 2 minutes. The next stage is waiting 1 minute and driving 100 metres.

I think you get the message – the longer they take – the further away you are from the front door. I suppose I have the advantage in that I live on a farm and the nearest public bus is 7km away, the school bus only 800m (which I normally make the kids walk) and my sons school is something like 20km away.

But they are getting the message – 1 bus will not wait for 1 person, because that bus has a schedule to keep and so do I – so now my bus leaves on time, more often than not with all passengers on board and I no longer have a yelling match trying to hurry them along.

Once again – have fun – children and schedules and all that fun – are just part of growing up – the less you pander – the easier your life will be ;)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

House ownership – for and against

I’m not sure why there is an argument regarding this issue. I really don’t know.

I’ve owned property since I was 19yo – simply because the price was right, the area was right and bugger paying someone else for me to live there.

Consequently I now live in an area that I want to – I am not yet mortgage free, but I am certainly better off paying a mortgage than paying rent – thus lining someone’s else pockets.

The average rent for an average house in suburbia is $300-$400 per week.

Using the same suburb, the median houses prices are $300-$400k – let’s assume you have $10-$20k stashed away somewhere. The average mortgage repayment would be $430.00 per week at 5.64% per annum.

The difference being $30.00 per week MORE for something that will be yours sometime down the track.

Notice I have worked on a slightly higher figure than the current rate – you have to be realistic.

Alright – so you have the maintenance costs, the rates costs, all that sort of thing, perhaps add another $50.00 per week to cover this expenditure.

The difference is now $100.00 per week (rounded up for the sake of convenience) more than renting.

I understand that some people rent for convenience, ie, their job requires that they move, they are testing the area, they are trying to locate a property in the area. There are many reasons to rent.

The problem I have with people renting, especially those that have an established income stream is that they are throwing money away.

Refer to this post Mortgages, Ownership and Interest Rates I make reference to affordability and being realistic. You can’t always have the best house in the best street, but you can be realistic and buy something you can afford and get ahead that way.

By considering a mortgage it will save you money in the long term – just like money in the bank. It won’t be easy, but I know I would prefer my money be in my pocket and not a landlords pocket.

This is a PERSONAL view, please consult a person with a financial background before committing to anything that you may see written here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Muck up (Get Arrested Day) for Students

Yup – that is what it seems the celebration for finishing year 12 has come to.

I woke up this morning to the radio news telling me that an incident occurred on and near a railway station in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne. That the same school students who were doing the assaulting (Which is what it is) were under attack 2 days prior and I believe 1 or 2 students still remain in hospital. Those attackers have not been located yet.

In the railway station attack a teacher was man-handled when they tried to intervene by removing 2 cartons of eggs from offending students.

Is this considered acceptable in today’s society? – I think not. But perhaps I am wrong.

On the way to taking my son to school – who I normally drop off approx 1km from school and let him walk, I decided to drop him off at the school gates as there were students in costume yelling and screaming, with air horns and sirens, I felt threatened – I can’t imagine what my 12yo son would have thought. But knowing him – he would likely join in – which is something I wanted to avoid!!

Has there been such a drop in moral standards – that today’s children think it is acceptable to threaten, bully and attack both other students and people in authority because ‘it is their right?’

My daughter who has just completed Year 12 – and her muck-up day was Tuesday, she said that they had no problems, that everything went smoothly. Only one concern, which she did mention but didn’t seem to think odd. One of the rabbits (there were two) did not speak and no-one was aware who it was. This didn’t raise an eyebrow with her, maybe I am too suspicious, but I thought perhaps an interloper? Don’t know, but all was okay in the end.

Today’s youth, from about the ages of 15 to about the age of 25, seem to think that they can do as they please, whenever they please, regardless of who they hurt/kill/maim and it doesn’t matter.

And here we go – when I was growing up – if I EVER spoke back to my parents or an adult in authority – there were consequences. God help us if we spoke back to a police officer. I understand that not every parent, every person in authority, every police officer is always right, but what about the majority? Do normal law-abiding citizens have to cower inside their homes and cars and hope that nothing happens.

Does the ordinary citizen have to walk away from helping people in distress because of the threat of attack?

Muck-Up-Day – is not only the responsibility of the school, it is the responsibility of the parents, to ensure that they know what their children are up, that those children know the boundaries, that these children know when enough is enough.

Life is not a video game – you can’t just press reset.

Muck-Up-Day as a celebration is fine – but get it off the streets, and back in to the school yard, away from the public eye and punish those students that do things off school ground IN school uniform and bring the school into disrepute.

God save the youth of today, because it would appear no-one else has the power.

The Peanuts and the Elephants

I like analogies; they tell a lot about the situation, they tell a lot about the person.

They can convey a message without it seeming harsh, they can convey a very important message without losing the meaning.

I work in the financial field and often have to remind business owners that the elephants are not the bread and butter of business, they are the cream.

The peanuts are the small business owners – who more often than not pay their bills on time – who rarely screw you for price. Who are friendly and certainly less demanding than the big multi-national or even the national company.

How many times have you read in the news that company A has failed and with it company B and C are dragged down?

This is due to the fact that Company B and C failed to look after the peanuts, the smaller companies, the companies that pay their bills on time and are less demanding.

If company B & C had looked after the peanuts, the small fry, the small business, they would have these companies to fall back on – but often companies B & C are enticed by the lure of money, of the next big job, of the next big payment waiting to come in next week and they overlook the bread and butter.

Peanuts might be smaller, but they are far more numerous and certainly taste better than an elephant.

I would rather have 10 small companies owing me $10,000 in total, than one big company owing me $10,000. I know for a fact that 9 of those small companies can’t fail, whereas that one big one might just do that that.

If you are in business, regardless of the size, make sure you look after the peanuts, you can eat them, but elephants, they require much care and hard work before they are edible.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

I don’t like liars, I don’t like people who lie for personal advancement, I don’t like people who lie to get something over someone else, or lie for money.

I have experienced all the above and it is rare for these people not to get caught out in the long run.

Some people call it justice, some people call it truth. I call it karma.

I have come to believe in karma in a big way.

I believe in a life that let’s me lie straight in bed. If the decision you make is from the heart – then you have made the right decision.

I’ve seen people cornered by their lies and I have no sympathy. Perhaps I am too hard on them – but they lied they can deal with the consequences.

I’ve seen people who try to buy their way into the good books, by involving themselves in charity donations and similar – but this doesn’t satisfy karma.

Karma demands honesty, karma demands clarity, karma demands a clean heart and conscience.

If you lie and think it is okay. Think again. You have to live your life and the older you get, the harder it gets.

Although Karma is central to the Buddhism and Hinduism religions, that doesn’t make it exclusive to those religions. It is something that can be followed by anyone, without participating in religion itself.

Stay true to yourself and you will be surprised at the peace of mind that follows.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Old friends in a new world

Was talking to someone the other night. Someone who I never met before. We had ‘talked’ online but nothing more. This meeting came about because we both had cancelled commitments and figured waste not want not! We organized a meeting place and enjoyed several coffees. We discussed many things from book likes and dislikes to attitudes of society to employment records and likes and dislikes relating to our areas of employment.

We covered almost everything in a very short amount of time.

We had both worked contract work. We both enjoyed learning, we both disliked forced leave, we both enjoy learning new things and doing new things, or projects. We both enjoy computers, the hardware and the software and enjoy learning as technology advances.

One thing we both found hard to believe is that there are people out there who dislike change, who refuse to use upgraded programs and hardware, simply because they don’t want/can’t be bothered learning.

We realized that we were both ‘outsiders’ in a mundane world. We both enjoyed learning, we both enjoying challenges, we are unable to sit at home and veg in front of the TV.

Some people who are not computer literate, can’t understand why people, strangers want to meet and talk. It is not only networking for business purposes, but meeting like this enables people of like mindedness to discuss openly without judgement, topics that can be considered taboo within ‘normal’ friendships.

This is not the first time I have gone out on a limb and decided what have I got to lose. I have met people in outback NSW, cafes in shopping centres, bistros of hotels (where EVERYONE except me turned up late!). Some interesting people, some interesting times and you know what? I enjoyed every single meeting and maintain contact with everyone.

We all lead busy lives, perhaps it’s time to get out from behind the computer screen and meet real people in the real world and discuss real topics and find people of similar ideas and ideals and smell the roses a little more.

There are often groups that meet up, once a month or similar – but the very busy people will often find these times don’t suit family or work commitments.

Often a one on one meeting in a public place is more comfortable AND more enjoyable, simply because you are not vying for attention with others.

Try it – It can’t hurt, a public place, a place comfortable and local to both parties.

I enjoyed my second ‘offline’ meeting of an ‘online’ friend – Try it – you might actually like it!

Good luck.