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Wonderful To See Men With Pick-Axes

5 March 2015

Men arrived yesterday and dug up part of our lawn.  And we were SO pleased to see them.

The NBN is coming to us!  By the end of the day we had a box on the side of our garage and everything ready for it to be connected into the house.

So David of course phoned the telephone people and asked when this could happen.  It has to wait until the entire neighbourhood has been wired as before then it won’t be turned on.  However D also queried why we had fibre optic right to the house.

If you remember, the Labor Government promised fibre optics to the house.  The Liberal Government changed that to fibre optics to the node.

D. suggested to the woman at Telstra that maybe we live in a marginal seat.  She put the phone down!  (I presume it’s part of their training not to get involved in political discussions).

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It’s Supposed to be about WOMEN!

4 March 2015

People outside Australia are a little surprised when I tell them that the Minister for Women here is a MAN (Tony Abbott, our Prime Minister, fills the role).

I’m not sure what they’re going to say to this one – on Friday the Liberal Party (of which Tony A. is leader) is hosting a lunch to celebrate International Women’s Day.

All good so far (though this is the party that had only one woman in Cabinet for its first 18 months in office, and now has two).

But the venue – Tattersall’s in Brisbane – is a “men only” club!  Women can be admitted as guests but are denied membership.

Queensland Minister for Women, Shannon Fentiman, said what I think we’re all saying – “Seriously?  You can’t make this stuff up.”

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Mr Abbott, Please Stay

3 March 2015

I didn’t think I’d ever find myself saying that. 

I think the man is an incompetent buffoon.  But while we have an incompetent buffoon as head of the governing party, it’s likely this lot won’t be re-elected.

If he’s replaced with someone who looks vaguely capable, the kind Australian voters may decide to give him (or her), and the Liberals, a second chance in 2016. 

I don’t think I could stomach that – and I know I’m not alone.

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And Again!

2 March 2015

And within two hours of writing my last post, I was asked by a couple if I knew where the nearest Pizza restaurant is!  Nope.  Couldn’t help.

In March every year I try to post here every day.  So let’s see how I go.

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Should I Become A Tour Guide?

1 March 2015

Once again we have a big gap between posts here …. but I have a good excuse.  A month ago I moved house and am still surrounded by large quantities of unpacked boxes.

But I have found a little time to explore my new neighbourhood.  And it’s happening again!  I mentioned this a couple of years ago and had forgotten about it until I found myself in the same situation.

On my first trip to my local town, within 5 minutes of my arrival there I was stopped in the street by a stranger asking for directions.  On my second trip there a week later, the same thing happened (different stranger of course).  And last week visiting a part of Sydney I hardly know, once again I was approached.

Do I dress as though I’m a local guide?  Do I look incredibly knowledgeable?  Do I appear to be extremely friendly?  No idea what the answer is but this seems to happen EVERY time I visit a new area (or even new country). And I always feel so guilty that I can’t help.

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Is This Man Mad, or Stupid**

25 January 2015

I’m moving house this week so am rather busy but I couldn’t let Tony Abbott’s latest ‘bon mot’ pass without comment.

So once again the Government is trying to fiddle with working conditions in this country and they’ve got their sights set on the penalty rates that employees get for working weekends and unsocial hours.

Tony Abbott, naturally, supports this and his response to the tens of thousands of people (hundreds of thousands?) who do weekend work is “If you don’t want to work on a weekend, fair enough, don’t work on a weekend”.

The fact that they would appear to have a choice will be news to those working in the hospitality industry, to nurses and other health-care workers, to transport staff, to people working on emergency maintenance teams employed by electricity and gas companies, and to many, many others who really have no choice in the matter (if they’d like a job, that is).

** And that’s a rhetorical question.

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Not Quite The Full Shilling***

9 January 2015

One of the big news stories in Australia at the moment is the impending visit of American osteopath, Sherri Tenpenny, to lecture us all on the dangers of vaccinations.

I’m very pleased to report that there has been a huge outcry about this, with people demanding the Government refuse her a visa and venues cancelling bookings that have been made by the Anti-Vaccination Skeptics Network.

I’m in two minds about letting her into the country.  On the one hand we have enough home-grown nutters without importing others.  But on the other, maybe if the spotlight is shone brightly on her and her followers with television discussions that include “proper” scientists and doctors, she may be seen for the fruitcake she is.

That goes against my normal viewpoint though which is that if you give airtime to views such as these, there is an implication that there are two sides to a story and two equally valid points of view.  For that reason, Richard Dawkins will no longer debate with creationists, and I do wish the ABC and other television channels wouldn’t bend over backwards so much to ensure “balance” by inviting climate-change sceptics onto their shows to debate with real scientists.

I read or heard recently (and I’m can’t remember where, or who said/wrote it) that a person is fully entitled to her own opinion.  She isn’t however entitled to her own facts.

*** I thought this was a great way to describe Tenpenny and I thank the anonymous contributor to an online discussion where I “stole” it.

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