Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Soup Kitchens Planned for Wall Street

My family business survived the stockmarket rout yesterday, posting the second highest gain of the day. Everybody has to eat I suppose. If you can't get a bail out, the least you can expect is a hand out.

No one has any idea where this ends. For all the focus on the bailout and its vexed passage through the US Congress, the issue really is -- must be -- deeper. The issue is in the bowels of the market economy, in its fixation with debt funded by the proceeds of airy speculation. That can't end well.

We are standing in the centre of a moment. The best we can do is watch it unfold, witness to something big, something that has the uncertain, chaotic makings of history.

Now do bankers prefer Cream of Tomato or Cream of Mushroom?

Thanks Crikey.

VB and Vegemite Sarnies for New Arrivals to Australia

With the news that the Brits are going to offer a cup a tea and a biscuit to new arrivals at Terminal 5, the Aussies are rushing to offer arriving passengers a tastier more wholesome welcome treat.

Sausage sarnies are also being considered.

Talking of spreads, how about Tim Tam Spread.

If I do come back to the wet, miserable and depressing land, I'll have my tea with milk and two sugars and a club biscuit. Thanks for the incentitve plan Debatable Land.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Next? President of the Country Beneath Canada (Mostly)

...and just to the right of Russia. Turn left at the Bering Strait.

The Palin Doctrine. Sled Dog Diplomacy.

Years of experience close to those scary Commies, only separated by glaciers and walruses, massed and ready to invade Y'all.
FEY AS PALIN: "Every morning, when Alaskans wake up, one of the first things they do, is look outside to see if there are any Russians hanging around. And if there are, you gotta go up to them and ask, 'What are you doing here?' and if they can't give you a good reason, it's our responsibility to say, you know, 'Shoo! Get back over there!'

POEHLER AS COURIC: "What lessons have you learned from Iraq and how specifically, would you spread democracy abroad?"
FEY AS PALIN: "Specifically, we would make every effort possible to spread democracy abroad to those who want it."
POEHLER AS COURIC: "Yes, but specifically what would you do?"
FEY AS PALIN: "We're gonna promote freedom. Usher in democratic values and ideals. And fight terror-loving terrorists."


In order to brush up on some of her foreign policy shortcomings, she is off to take a crash course in diplomacy. We can all rest easy with Henry offering advice on carpet bombing and the like too.

We Are All Nice Guys. Aren't We?

Very inspiring (or very scary) depending on where you are at.


Lay Bile. Yuck

My kids are both extremely sick this weekend and are behaving much nicer than this.

What is it with her. Fantastic musical talent.....

Closet Hawks Fan in Adelaide Comes Out

A satisfied Hawthorn supporter in my neighbourhood this morning. Yesterday's win was the first time a Melbourne based team has won the Premiership Trophy and the first all Victorian final since 2000.

We will never hear the end of it now.

That said, their major sponsor is the Tasmanian Government and they play games there every year.

Where to Call for Huge Fuck Ups

Just don't call my boss.

Talking of Huge Fuck Ups....

Thanks Big Rab and Crikey.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Photo Hunt: View

The view from our back door one late winter afternoon featuring some sun, rain, dark sky and a rainbow.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Professor Quiggin Prognosticates

Astonishing Stuff on the Wall Street (and world) economic meltdown.

The most sophisticated financial markets the world has ever seen have produced a situation where securities depending ultimately on debts owed by people with neither income, assets nor any incentive to repay have been treated as if they were (quite literally) as good as gold.
Can I have one of those loans please?

Thank you Thank you JP Morgan Chase and your friends in Zip Codes 10268 and 20500

Today Rentseeking tomorrow the world.

BHO if you can't win from here, goodnight.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Only 11 Thousand Kilometres for a Football Match

Adelaide United FC logoImage via WikipediaAdelaide United the local A League team have drawn a home and way semi final in Tashkent, Uzbekistan against Bunyodkor in the Asian Champions League. That is a 22 thousand kilometre round trip and a long way to go to play 90 minutes of football.

The Uzbek team is coached by Zico and features Rivaldo. Remember him? He is on a 7 million dollar a year contract. Adelaide's payroll this year -$1.75 million. The Japanese team they beat in the quarter finals had a payroll of $22 million. Interesting contrast.

Hopefully they will get some weekend games rescheduled so that they can prepare properly. No doubt some of the players will have the chance to increase their salaries next year.
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NASA turns 50

A slide rule positioned so as to multiply by 2...Image via WikipediaAlthough I am not fascinated by space exploration, I am amazed by what has been achieved in my lifetime. All those geeky guys with slide rules and huge rooms of computers and a lot of money managed to do a lot to get space exploration off the ground.

My most vivid memories were watching the moon landing early in the morning at a local farm in Scotland. We didn't have a television and my dad felt we should be watching it. I also watched the Challenger disaster live in bed with flu in Washington DC. Almost as traumatic as September 11.

These images are great.

I never did work out how to use a slide rule. Perhaps that was why I never became an astronaut. As far as I know there is no Scottish space programme. Even my dad, who was in the Black Watch had to take off his kilt when he was in the paratroops. Kilted floating astronauts. A scary thought.
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This Could Be You

All bloggers should read this one.

One domino, two dominos.... pretty soon it all tumbles down and we will be forced to read and write vaccuous stuff.

Thanks Mr Eugenides

700 Billion - Chump Change?

It is hard to visualise 700 billion dollars.

How about 2,500 dollars for every American or 35,000 for every Australian.

Why not just give it to me. It would certainly stabilise my finances for a while.

I think it is time to Change the Chumps. The Fat Cats, the Regulators and the Politicians.

Carry on.

Meanwhile Mike offers a great (in hindsight) hedging strategy for your money.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Have You Been to Gundagai?

On the day when Australia's most unfavourite Yanqui heads home, the story of one of his former employers' most memorable advert is lived out by a Tasmanian couple.

In 1962 singer Lucky Starr had a number one hit with 'I've Been Everywhere'. The song which name checks 93 Australian towns remains a favourite. Now a Tasmanian couple is on the ultimate road trip, visiting every one of those communities.

Great stuff.

Big Orange a Lemon?

The Big Orange in Berri is in bankruptcy. Liquidators are considering turning it into a big golf ball. Aussies are obviously bored of big.

Going under the hammer at the end of October. Going once....

What would you do with a 45 foot orange with a canteen and viewing platform in the middle of nowhere Australia? All you need is a big truck, lots of paint and some imagination.
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Monday, September 22, 2008

Pre Labour Conference Meetup - Exclusive Shots

Gordon and the Cabinet plan the Second Coming of NuLabour.

Phony Disclaimer

Seen on another blog.

This is a personal blog. This blog accepts cash advertising, sponsorship and/or paid insertions. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog.

I thought that was the point of paid inserts. You would never write about them unless you were paid.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Photo Hunt: Road

Every school day, the kids cross the road to get to class after I drop them off. This was the day that Spotty went for show and tell. I usually go in with them and on days when I don't, I love to just watch them crossing the road. One of the small joys of parenthood.

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The Devastation of Hurricane Ike

The photographs are stunning and searing and the comments (over 3000) are like a remembrance book. Good luck to all the people impacted by this phenomenal natural disaster.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ping Pong - Not Chinese

ENG: Wang Liqin, chinese table tennis player. ...Image via WikipediaI was surprised to learn yesterday that ping pong has its origins in the Victorian drawing room with bored toffs hitting champagne corks over a row of books with the lid of a cigar box as a bat.

The game has its origins in England as an after-dinner amusement for upper-class Victorians in the 1880s. Mimicking the game of tennis in an indoor environment, everyday objects were originally enlisted to act as the equipment. A line of books would be the net, a rounded top of a champagne cork or knot of string as the ball, and a cigar box lid as the racket[2].

Table tennis evolved into the modern game in Europe, the United States and Japan.[3] The popularity of the game led game manufacturers to sell the equipment commercially. Early rackets were often pieces of parchment stretched upon a frame, and the sound generated in play gave the game its first nicknames of "whiff-whaff" and "Ping-pong."
I always assumed that it was from Peking, such is its popularity. All we are missing now are the top hats and the smoking jackets.
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The Law is an Ass

 Throw his ass in jail your honour.

An Egyptian donkey has been jailed for stealing corn on the cob from a field belonging to an agricultural research institute in the Nile Delta, local media reported today.
The ass and its owner were apprehended at a police checkpoint that had been set up after the institute's director complained that someone was stealing his crops, the state-owned Al-Ahram daily said.

The unnamed ungulate was found in possession of the institute's corn and a local judge sentenced him to 24 hours in prison.

The man who had his ass thrown in jail got off with a fine of 50 Egyptian pounds ($11.40).

I am curious if the ass was put in solitary, what they fed it and where and how he pooed? We need to know these details.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ceanothus - Popular in Our Neighbourhood

One of the interesting things about moving into a new neighbourhood are the unexpected surprises as the seasons move on. We are well into spring and the Ceanothus, a tree or shrub native to North America is in full bloom. I had never seen them before and clearly they were popular when this neighbourhood was established in the 1980s.

Late winter and spring is actually the most colourful time of the year here, with geraniums, daisy's and roses in full bloom. Next up the glorious Jacarandas.

This tree is in our neighbours garden. I was looking at it last weekend. It was crawling with bees feeding up for honey making.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Malcolm Turnbull Multi Millionaire and Fifth Yorkshireman

I do not come to the position of leader of the Liberal Party from a lifetime of privilege. I know what it is like to be very short of money. I know what it is like to live in rented flats. I know what it is like to grow up with a single parent, with no support other than a devoted and loyal father. I know Australians are doing it tough and some Australians, even in the years of greatest prosperity, will always do it tough. We know that this is a tough world.

But did he have to lick the road clean with his tongue and live in a shoe box in the middle of road?

Mazel Tov Poli Toffs

Bumble Toff

Goofy Toff

Tasty Toff

Good Fortune Toff
Finally it is politically fashionable to be a Toff again. Pass the Top Toff Hat My Good Man.

My Mouth's Been Everywhere Man

The Food tasting meme

  1. Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
  2. Bold all the items you.ve eaten.
  3. Cross out any items that you would never consider eating (or eating again)
  4. Optional extra: Post a comment http://www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.
  1. Venison
  2. Nettle tea
  3. Huevos rancheros
  4. Steak tartare
  5. Crocodile
  6. Black pudding
  7. Cheese fondue
  8. Carp
  9. Borscht
  10. Baba ghanoush
  11. Calamari
  12. Pho
  13. PB&J sandwich
  14. Aloo gobi
  15. Hot dog from a street cart
  16. Epoisses
  17. Black truffle
  18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
  19. Steamed pork buns
  20. Pistachio ice cream
  21. Heirloom tomatoes
  22. Fresh wild berries
  23. Foie gras
  24. Rice and beans
  25. Brawn, or head cheese
  26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
  27. Dulce de leche
  28. Oysters
  29. Baklava
  30. Bagna cauda
  31. Wasabi peas
  32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
  33. Salted lassi
  34. Sauerkraut
  35. Root beer float
  36. Cognac with a fat cigar
  37. Clotted cream tea
  38. Vodka jelly
  39. Gumbo
  40. Oxtail
  41. Curried goat
  42. Whole insects
  43. Phaal
  44. Goat's milk
  45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth $120 or more
  46. Fugu
  47. Chicken tikka masala
  48. Eel
  49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
  50. Sea urchin
  51. Prickly pear
  52. Umeboshi
  53. Abalone
  54. Paneer
  55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal
  56. Spaetzle
  57. Dirty gin martini
  58. Beer above 8% ABV
  59. Poutine
  60. Carob chips
  61. S'mores
  62. Sweetbreads
  63. Kaolin
  64. Currywurst
  65. Durian
  66. Frog's Legs
  67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
  68. Haggis
  69. Fried plantain
  70. Chitterlings or andouillette
  71. Gazpacho
  72. Caviar and blini
  73. Louche absinthe
  74. Gjetost or brunost
  75. Roadkill
  76. Baijiu
  77. Hostess Fruit Pie
  78. Snail
  79. Lapsang souchong
  80. Bellini
  81. Tom yum
  82. Eggs Benedict
  83. Pocky
  84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
  85. Kobe beef
  86. Hare
  87. Goulash
  88. Flowers
  89. Horse
  90. Criollo chocolate
  91. Spam
  92. Soft shell crab
  93. Rose harissa
  94. Catfish
  95. Mole poblano
  96. Bagel and lox
  97. Lobster Thermidor
  98. Polenta
  99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
  100. Snake

Thanks Domestic Goddess with apologies to Johnny Cash.

I was surprised how many I had tried, never to return. I must have curious taste buds.

To make the filling out of this form and generating the HTML for it a bit easier, [info]reddywhp has played around with some PHP. Go to http://reddywhip.org/lj/foods/ and fill it out there. After filling it out, you will be given the code to copy and paste into your blog.

Livejournal users, remember to use your LJ-Cuts!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Jam Tomorrow?

More likely egg on your face and a Blazing Saddles moment Dr Nelson. More entertaining than Neighbours.

Comedy in Canberra while the worlds financial markets melt down.

We have such a high opinion of politicians here in Australia.

At least he got his own back on Pete the Sheep, the Great Pretender. He has had to cancel his book launch scheduled for tomorrow.

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Good reason to break your own tibia and fibula

67_Mark_pushing_through_the_second_weir.jpgImage by Hutt Valley Canoe Club via Flickr Not quite eating your friends or companions, but breaking your own leg twice to avoid drowning does give an insight into the will to live.

A kayaker rescued from a gorge along the remote West Kiewa River in north-east Victoria this morning was forced to break his own leg in order to free himself from the freezing and rising water.

The 38-year-old was close to drowning after he became trapped under a tree. In an act of self-preservation, he wrenched his leg from under the tree, breaking both bones in his lower leg in the process.

I used to kayak down some pretty scary rivers, sometimes for fun, sometimes competitively in Scotland. I have had many long swims in freezing water and lots of bumps and bruises, but nothing as dramatic as this. My friend once got stuck in a gabion weir and had to risk capsizing to get out of that situation. The power of water once you get jammed up against a downstream obstacle is scary.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Check this before going out in the morning

Has the Large Hadron Collider Destroyed the World Yet?

Thanks Sean and Jams.

I was only a little concerned. We are very far away and it is good to know.

While we are waiting, Jams does a very good line in very bad Aussie Shakespearean jokes.

Coober Pedy was on the news tonight because there are no police on duty after midnight and emergency calls are routed to Port Augusta. Instead of a local bobby after midnight the local council has installed 20 surveillance cameras on the main street. Probably one of the highest densities in the Antipodes and worthy of an episode of the Bill. Coober Pedy may not be a bad place to hang out waiting for the world to implode since everyone lives underground. I will also have to look out for Koala Tea. Milk and two sugars please.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Non Stop Olympics to Fight Air Pollution

Beijing in July


James Fallows argues for non stop Olympics to fight air pollution in Beijing.

I have a slight modification to propose to the International Olympic Charter. I suggest that the Olympics, and the Paralympics, be run back-to-back, nonstop, month after month and year after year -- and always in Beijing. It could be tough on the athletes, but think of the golds they could win! And with this system, the city might continue to enjoy the phenomenal blue skies and beautiful weather that have prevailed for most of the last four weeks.

When I lived in Singapore, the skies were like this for month when the forest fires burned in Indonesia. It was depressing and dull. At least it passed. Unlikely that Beijing will have blue skies again any time soon. The economic consequences of shutting down industrial facilities will be far reaching. The environmental consequencs of turning on the smoke stacks again will be even more far reaching and the impact longer term.