It’s Australia Day

It will soon be Australia Day here in the land of Oz. For those that have been educated within the last 12 years, it is oztraya day. Of course, we have our usual speeches and ceremonies, but the one person to unite Australia time and time again on this glorious day is Sam Kekovich. If you are not familiar with the Australian Super Hero, you can google “Sam Kekovich” to watch his patriotic speeches. You can also see his latest achievements here. Scroll down to watch his 2011 Australia Day Address.

Lamb on the BBQ tomorrow…

Sam Kekovich for President – You know it makes sense.


What Is Going On With Telcos?

What is going on with the Telecommunications Industry in Australia?

Is it being run by a bunch of buffoons who couldn’t give a shit about the consumer? dunno

Vodafone has been caught with their entire customer database being compromised by single username/password access which has been sold off to pirates. Everybody (including me) wants to jump ship to another service provider, but what does Telstra do? Increases it’s call charges substantially and changes from 30 seconds to 60 seconds, or part thereof, charging. When it had it’s best chance to significantly increase it’s customer base, it has driven everybody away. Good marketing? I don’t think so. Or did they try to sneak these changes in while everybody was focused on Vodafone? Again, not a very good move, as everybody that I have spoken to knows what Telstra is doing and has now changed to another service provider. Not only that, but a few Telstra customers have jumped ship because of the increase cost.

Years ago, I worked for one of the government agencies that later became Telstra when they were sold off to the public. At one time I worked closely with the CEO, George Maltby, and he said to me that his only regret was that he wanted the company to be “market drive” but it ended up being “marketing driven”, and this was while we held a monopoly on international telecommunications.

Not so long ago, I worked for the public health system, and, while I have no problems with funding a Health Promotions Department (which sought to promote healthy lifestyles to avoid problems later in life), I could not understand why there was a Health Marketing Division. After all, why would a public hospital need marketing?dunno

Why am I telling you all this, as I am supposed to be marketing products to you?

Well, I will only be marketing worthwhile products. Why should I waste my time in areas that have no market? Well, that’s not entirely true, as my Cricket Umpiring may seem to have no market, but it is something that I love doing, and it may turn out to be a niche market in the future. It won’t earn me heaps of money, but it will keep me happy. And isn’t that what life is all about?


Cricket Round 9

The season continues after the Christmas/New Year break.  Another one-day game to start the new year, and an important match for both sides.  Whoever looses, will probably be out of the semi-finals, but whoever wins will have to keep on winning to make the semi’s.  I had what you might call a very quiet day, my partner didn’t.  Nearly all the appeals were for him to answer, and the fielding sides were not impressed.  So what do you do in this situation?  You support your fellow Umpire.  In private, you might mention what you saw or heard, but always with encouragement.

I had one appeal for LBW that I turned down which upset the bowler (nobody else though) and I explained to him that “might have hit the stumps” is not good enough; I have to be certain.  He replied that it was his “straight one”, and I replied “oh, was it?’.

A few overs later he got his man, out Hit Wicket.  The majority of the fielders appealed to me, but I had no idea how the bails fell off as I saw the ball pass wide of the stumps.  Luckily, a fielder appealed to the Square Leg Umpire and he raised his finger.  I then realised the batsman had stepped on his wicket.  A first Hit Wicket in a senior competition for both of us.  The new batsman came in to face the next ball and the bowler, as he walked passed me, said “this will be my straight one, Don”.  He bowled the ball and hit off stump – out Bowled.  As I walked down to pick up the ball, I turned to the bowler and said “Yes, it was”.  What do you do when the bowler broadcasts what he is going to bowl?  Ignore it and watch the ball as it is bowled.  It’s okay to have a little by-play with the bowler, but what is important is the decision on what you see and hear.  Don’t let the bowler talk you into a decision.

I have watched this particular bowler for many years and I must say that he is now bowling the best I have seen in the local competition.  He is not only taking wickets, but he is also restricting runs.  It must be a Captain’s dream to have a bowler who can do that and also have the knowledge of many years to help bring on the young guns.


Summer Has Arrived

Well, it’s New Years Day here in the land of Oz and for once it’s not raining. In fact it reached 36°C here today (not quite the old 100°F but pretty close).  It’s about 7:30pm and the temperature has now dropped to a pleasant 27°C.  The cicadas are deafening.

What a land of contrasts we have.  A great deal of Queensland is under 7 to 10 metres of water, South Australia is having bushfire alerts, southern NSW is mopping up after floods, northern NSW is flooded, and the majority of Newcastle-Sydney-Wollongong are spending a leisurely day at the beach.  Tasmania had snow recently, Victoria is still there despite bushfires and floods (bugger), Western Australia wants to secede from Australia and the Northern Territory doesn’t care, so long as they don’t cut off the supply of beer.  We have three hung parliaments and those that are not hung are hanging themselves out to be annihilated at the next election.

How soon can the Queen request her Governors General (state and federal) to sack the parliaments (all parties) and appoint administrators?


Happy New Year v1.0

Well, if you’ve seen one explosion over Sydney Harbour, youv’e seen them all.

What can I say? $160,000 up in smoke whilst the rest of the state is under water.

But I must admit the size of the Christmas Beetles attacking my back door are something special.

Well, it’s 1/1/11 and it’s time to throw out the baby AND the bathwater, wipe the slate clean, polish the boots and warm up the brass monkeys. After a little sleep, we start a new year and get stuck right into the task at hand.

Yeah, right…zzz