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29.12.08

Help Australia: No Clean Feed

What is the 'Clean Feed'?

The Australian Federal Government is pushing forward with a plan to force Internet Service Providers [ISPs] to censor the Internet for all Australians. This plan will waste tens of millions of taxpayer dollars and slow down Internet access.

Despite being almost universally condemned by the public, ISPs, State Governments, Media and censorship experts, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is determined to force this filter into Australian homes.

What can you do?

Find your local politician (if you're Australian) and write to them on this topic. For info on how to do that, click here.

Email Senator Conroy and tell him how you feel about this awful idea. His email address is available on this website.

Check out the No Clean Feed site.

Support The Aussie Bloggers forum.

Spread the word by blogging about it.



Senator Conroy's blog post -
http://www.dbcde.gov.au/communications_for_business/industry_development/digital_economy/future_directions_blog/topics/civil_and_confident_society_online

News.com.au article -
http://www.news.com.au/comments/0,23600,24833959-5014239,00.html

Whirlpool Discussion -
http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-threads.cfm?f=100

Find your local politician -
http://www.efa.org.au/Campaigns/lobby.html

Email Stephen Conroy -
http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/senators/homepages/senators.asp?id=3L6

No Clean Feed website -
http://nocleanfeed.com/

See all the senators -
http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/senators/homepages/index.asp?sort=state

21.12.08

Bring a Jacket - Melbourne Weather

Right now I’m sitting at my desk working in front of the window. Looking outside, I can see the warm sunshine on my various little plants as well as the driveway. If I look up over the neighbour’s wall, I can see steely gray clouds. The blue skies must be on the other side of the house.

While this in itself may not seem strange or stunning, it is pretty much a poster for Melbourne weather. Often touted the only place you can experience all seasons in one day, I’ve learned not to count on anything when it comes to this feisty city’s weather patterns.

I’ve seen days with heat in the morning, hail in the afternoon, and a nice cool but clear sunset. I’ve never been in a place where the sun has played such a game of peek-a-boo with the citizens below. I’ve been standing in the sunshine and still managed to get drenched with rain.

I’m not exaggerating even a little bit.

So when you’re out and about in Melbourne, bring a jacket. You can always tell the non-locals because they usually are dressed inappropriately for the “weather”.

Still Think Roos Are "Cute"?

19.12.08

Scary Night

I don't live in a "bad" suburb by any means. It's not the best, but I don't fear for my life when I go to sleep or put bars over the windows. But an incident last night makes me want to move...

Last night The Bloke and I went to bed early because he was just back from Tasmania and we both needed the extra sleep. We were both instantly woken out of sleep by the sound of glass breaking. That unmistakable sound. We heard two windows break and then some pounding. We saw the neighbour’s (just over a tall wooden fence) lights come on so we thought the sound had come from there. The Bloke called the police and I couldn’t get back to sleep for hours, but nothing more came of it.

We live in one of four connected units. I just walked out to get the mail and saw men in front of the first flat. It turns out THEIR windows were the ones that had been broken. Mere feet away from our place! (We’re the third flat down.)

Bloody scary shit. The first flat is a public housing type place where they put people I believe (could be wrong) who have served jail time and stuff so they can get back on their feet and eventually move out into their own place. This most recent couple seems so nice – they just had a baby boy a couple months back. Ugh. The guy fixing the windows sounded like he might have known a few details but wasn’t really supposed to share, so I didn’t press him.

I want to move. So bad.

Synchronized Christmas Lights

It's just not Christmas without some crazy lights and music displays.

18.12.08

No Christmas Programming Avalanche?

I was talking with my friend Randi yesterday and we got to talking about Christmas programming on television. I realised that, unlike in the States, the programs aren't a flood of Christmas themed, Christmas related, Christmas obsessed programming.

I like (liked?) the occasional Christmas move and such, but I always hated that it was hard to avoid Christmas programming when you wanted to unless you had satellite television. The Bloke and I don't have satellite television here and yet I haven't seen one Christmas program. There have been the "Channel Seven Wishes You Happy Holidays" things every now and then (I've seen it about four times in the past weeks), but no Christmas programs.

I couldn't be happier, and, given I didn't notice the absence, I'm not missing it in the least! I'm not a grouch or Scrooge - I just like my regularly scheduled programming.

I told Randi that it's likely due to the fact that Australia is so multicultural; a good percent of the population doesn't believe in and/or doesn't celebrate the holiday.

Honestly? I think Aussies got sick of the Chrissy programing flood and told the stations that they could either change or piss off.

They'd do it, too.

16.12.08

The Huntsman Spider

I found a great Animal Planet video about Huntsmen. I think it's funny kill people by scaring them rather than biting them.

15.12.08

Australian Beer Commercials

Hahn Beer


Carlton Big Bloody Ad


Toohey's Street Party


Carlton Draught Flashdancer for Flashbeer


And I saved the best for last...

Awesome Australia Orchestra VB Ad


Carlton Draught Man's Ultimate Shed

9.12.08

Are You Australian? Meme

Another one of those 'bold what you have done' things. I figured it might be fun.


# Heard a kookaburra in person
# Slept under the stars (Ignoring that every single person on earth does that every night, technically...)
# Seen a koala.
# Visited Melbourne.
# Watched a summer thunderstorm
# Worn a pair of thongs
# Been to Uluru (Ayer's Rock)
# Visited Cape York
# Held a snake
# Sang along with Khe San. - I don't know what this is
# Drank VB
# Visited Sydney.
# Have seen a shark.
# Have used Aussie slang naturally in a conversation.
# Had an actual conversation with an indigenous Australian (aboriginal) I think this is kinda offensive. Actually. People are not landmarks or items on a to do list - I JM agree with this person's comment.
# Eaten hot chips from the bag at the beach.
# Walked/climbed over the Sydney Harbour Bridge
# Used an outside dunny, and checked under the seat before sitting down
# Seen Chloe in Young & Jackson's.
# Slept on an overnight train or bus.
# Been to Sydney's Mardi Gras
# Have gone bush-bashing.
# Taken a sickie
# Been to see a game of Aussie Rules football - not live...
# Have seen wild camels
# Gone skinny dipping
# Done a Tim Tam Slam
# Ridden in a tram in Melbourne
# Been at an ANZAC day Dawn Service
# Watched a sunrise or sunset
# Held a wombat
# Been on a roadtrip of 800km or more.
# Seen the Great Australian Bight in person.
# Had a really bad sunburn
# Visited an aboriginal community
# Seen a redback spider
# Have watched Paul Hogan.
# Seen Blue Poles in person
# Wandered barefoot in the bush/outback
# Eaten Vegemite
# Thrown a boomerang.
# Seen the Kimberleys
# Given a hitch-hiker a lift
# Been to Perth
# Have tried Lemon, Lime and Bitters
# Tried playing a didgeridoo
# Seen dinosaur footprints.
# Eaten Tim Tams
# Been to Darwin
# Touched a kangaroo
# Visted the Great Barrier Reef
# Listened to Kevin Bloody Wilson.
# Killed a Cane Toad
# Gone to a drive-in theatre.
# Have read and own books by Australian authors and nonAustralian authors
# Visited Adelaide
# Know the story behind "Eternity" - I think I do, but I'm not sure...
# Been camping
# Visited Brisbane
# Been in an outback pub
# Know what the term "Waltzing Matilda" actually means - again, I think I do...
# Gone whale watching - only from the shore
# Listened to Slim Dusty.
# Own five or more Australian movies or TV series.
# Sang along to Down Under
# Have stopped specifically to look at an historic marker by the side of the road.
# Eaten a 4'n'20 pie.
# Surfed at Bondi.
# Watched the cricket on Boxing Day.
# Visited Hobart.
# Eaten kangaroo.
# Seen a quokka.
# Visited Canberra
# Visited rainforests
# Used a Victa lawnmower.
# Travelled on a tram in Adelaide
# Used a Hills hoist
# Visited Kata Tjuta (the Olgas)
# Used native Australian plants in cooking. - not sure
# Visited the snow
# Chosen a side in Holden VS Ford.
# Visited the desert
# Been water skiing
# Read The Phantom.
# Visited Parliament House
# Gone spotlighting or pig-shooting
# Crossed the Nullarbor
# Avoided swimming in areas because of crocodiles
# Listened to AC/DC
# Called someone a dag
# Voted in a Federal Election - I'm not a citizen...
# Have been swimming and stayed between the flags
# Had a possum in your roof. And rats
# Visited the outback
# Travelled over corrugated roads.
# Hit a kangaroo while driving.
# Been well outside any mobile phone coverage.
# Seen an emu.
# Have woken to the smell of bushfires.
# Subscribed to RRR
# Patted a pure-bred dingo
# Seen the Oils live

Adam Hills - The Australian Accent

8.12.08

Swearing in Australia

If you're someone who is sensitive to rough language, then Australia might not be the place for you.

For example, based on your tone and facial expression, there are several ways to call someone a bastard. A lot of them are nice, joking ways, and some of them are the mean ways.

It's not at all uncommon to hear to here 'f' word thrown in casual conversation. Nor is it uncommon to here 'bloody h***' said a number of times in any given impassioned conversation.

Unlike some countries, you can even hear the occasion non-bleeped 'f' word on television.

This isn't to say you can go up to any Australian and be met with a smile when you say, "Hey there! How the f*** are ya?" It just means you shouldn't be surprised when it happens to you.

4.12.08

Only in Australia....

Man Tries to Pay Bill With Spider Drawing

Below is the complete email conversation that Adelaide man David Thorne claims he had with a utility company chasing payment of an overdue bill.


From: Jane Gilles
Date: Wednesday 8 Oct 2008 12.19pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Overdue account

Dear David,
Our records indicate that your account is overdue by the amount of $233.95. If you have already made this payment please contact us within the next 7 days to confirm payment has been applied to your account and is no longer outstanding.

Yours sincerely, Jane Gilles

From: David Thorne
Date: Wednesday 8 Oct 2008 12.37pm
To: Jane Gilles
Subject: Re: Overdue account

Dear Jane,
I do not have any money so am sending you this drawing I did of a spider instead. I value the drawing at $233.95 so trust that this settles the matter.

Regards, David.



From: Jane Gilles
Date: Thursday 9 Oct 2008 10.07am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Overdue account

Dear David,
Thankyou for contacting us. Unfortunately we are unable to accept drawings as payment and your account remains in arrears of $233.95. Please contact us within the next 7 days to confirm payment has been applied to your account and is no longer outstanding.

Yours sincerely, Jane Gilles


From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 9 Oct 2008 10.32am
To: Jane Gilles
Subject: Re: Overdue account

Dear Jane,
Can I have my drawing of a spider back then please.

Regards, David.


From: Jane Gilles
Date: Thursday 9 Oct 2008 11.42am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Overdue account

Dear David,
You emailed the drawing to me. Do you want me to email it back to you?

Yours sincerely, Jane Gilles


From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 9 Oct 2008 11.56am
To: Jane Gilles
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Overdue account

Dear Jane,

Yes please.

Regards, David.


From: Jane Gilles
Date: Thursday 9 Oct 2008 12.14pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Overdue account

Attached



From: David Thorne
Date: Friday 10 Oct 2008 09.22am
To: Jane Gilles
Subject: Whose spider is that?

Dear Jane, Are you sure this drawing of a spider is the one I sent you? This spider only has seven legs and I do not feel I would have made such an elementary mistake when I drew it.

Regards, David.


From: Jane Gilles
Date: Friday 10 Oct 2008 11.03am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Whose spider is that?

Dear David, Yes it is the same drawing. I copied and pasted it from the email you sent me on the 8th. David your account is still overdue by the amount of $233.95. Please make this payment as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely, Jane Gilles


From: David Thorne
Date: Friday 10 Oct 2008 11.05am
To: Jane Gilles
Subject: Automated Out of Office Response

Thankyou for contacting me. I am currently away on leave, traveling through time and will be returning last week.

Regards, David.


From: David Thorne
Date: Friday 10 Oct 2008 11.08am
To: Jane Gilles
Subject: Re: Re: Whose spider is that?

Hello, I am back and have read through your emails and accept that despite missing a leg, that drawing of a spider may indeed be the one I sent you. I realise with hindsight that it is possible you rejected the drawing of a spider due to this obvious limb ommission but did not point it out in an effort to avoid hurting my feelings. As such, I am sending you a revised drawing with the correct number of legs as full payment for any amount outstanding. I trust this will bring the matter to a conclusion.

Regards, David.



From: Jane Gilles
Date: Monday 13 Oct 2008 2.51pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Whose spider is that?

Dear David, As I have stated, we do not accept drawings in lei of money for accounts outstanding. We accept cheque, bank cheque, money order or cash. Please make a payment this week to avoid incurring any additional fees.

Yours sincerely, Jane Gilles


From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 13 Oct 2008 3.17pm
To: Jane Gilles
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Whose spider is that?

I understand and will definately make a payment this week if I remember. As you have not accepted my second drawing as payment, please return the drawing to me as soon as possible. It was silly of me to assume I could provide you with something of completely no value whatsoever, waste your time and then attach such a large amount to it.

Regards, David.


From: Jane Gilles
Date: Tuesday 14 Oct 2008 11.18am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Whose spider is that?

Attached