Service Not Included

28 March 2015

We went for our election night dinner tonight at a well-known local restaurant. 

The restaurant boasts a relaxed atmosphere, good food and that they “keep service to a minimum”.

Well, we couldn’t argue with that.  The food was fine but the service wasn’t much in evidence. 

I have to say I’ve never seen a lack of service presented as a selling point before.


Choices, Choices

27 March 2015

David has just asked if I’d like to go out for dinner tomorrow night. Or would I prefer to stay in front of the television watching the results of the NSW election.

I’ll take the dinner, thank you.


Praise Or Insult?

26 March 2015

The Hand-knitting and Crochet sections of the Easter Show are divided into a number of classes – Socks, Stranded Knitting, Creative Design, Baby Jackets – but there is one class in both the knitting and crochet section that’s on its own – Entry Restricted to Exhibitor Over 70 years of age. They can enter any type of knitting or crochet in those two classes.

I’ve never understood the rationale for this.  Is it that it’s thought that over the age of 70 knitters and crocheters are too old and doddery to hold a pair of needles and a hook and therefore shouldn’t be asked to compete against those without severe arthritis?  Or is it that it’s thought to be unfair to ask younger knitters and crocheters to compete against those with many more years’ experience?

I can never be sure whether these categories are insulting to the elderly or intended to pick out their honed skills for extra recognition.


Facts and “Facts”

25 March 2015

I think I’m going to scream!  I keep being told that children who don’t vaccinate their children have given a great deal of thought to this and done a lot of research.  Why should I have any more respect for them just because they’ve proved they can read? And know how to use Google?

I’m sure Tom Cruise did a bit of reading before he became a Scientologist. But I still don’t respect his views on the subject or consider him anything other than crackers. And I certainly don’t believe his views should be considered valid.  (Or that Scientology in this country should receive tax concessions as a church, or have tax-payer funded schools – but that’s for another day).

It isn’t THAT you do the research that matters.  It’s WHERE you do it. 


It’s That Time of Year Again

24 March 2015

Tonight was Sydney’s Royal Easter Show Preview Night.  Some of you may remember that I used to do a “review” of the knitting and crochet on David Reidy’s Sticks and String podcast.  David no longer does his podcast so my services are no longer required.  And I really miss it.

But over the next few days I’ll tell you about some of the entries and point you in the direction of some photos (you may also remember I’m a lousy photographer so I’ll “borrow” some of the photos taken by friends).

For those of you interested in the statistics, there were 162 knitting entries this year (I haven’t checked the crochet ones yet), down from 209 last year and the smallest number of entries since 2011.  On the up side, this meant that the cabinets looked SO much better as last year’s were cramped to say the least. 


Crocodile “Trophy” Hunting

23 March 2015

What is WRONG with this Government?

They’ve done a bit of a deal with the National Party who were upset that the Govt. has banned the import of body parts of lions killed by trophy hunters.

So the Government has said that it will allow trophy hunting of domestic crocodiles in the Northern Territory, issuing 25 licences a year for crocodile shoots.  How many crocodiles are killed per shoot I have no idea, this not being a “sport” I’ve ever taken an interest in.

I’m not a vegetarian, I have no problem in principle with killing animals for food (or clothes, but that’s not really necessary in our world).  I do however take in interest in HOW they’re killed and the idea of wanting to kill an animal for fun is a complete mystery to me.


Levels of Whackiness

22 March 2015

How far should we go to respect other people’s beliefs?

I was reading an article today written by someone who has decided she is no longer going to tolerate the anti-vaccination point of view and is campaigning for childhood vaccinations to be compulsory for all except those who have good medical reasons to be exempt. 

My pet gripe is that in their quest to be seen to be impartial, television stations give air time to what I consider to be the most ludicrous alternative views (discussions about climate change being a good example).  It isn’t such a problem here but in the US all discussions about evolution seem to have to include a creationist displaying his/her particular brand of ignorance.  And in Australia programmes talking about vaccination have the obligatory interview with an anti-vaccination spokesperson.

Giving these people a voice suggests to the viewer that there is a valid alternative point of view.  In the case of evolution/creationism, I’d rather they didn’t. Spreading ignorance is never a good idea.

But in the case of childhood vaccinations, it’s not just ignorance is it?  It’s the lives of friends, family, children at stake here. 

So is it just a question of numbers?  If one or two people have a whacky belief, we laugh it off.  If a lot of people do, we have to respect it.  But isn’t it still just a whacky belief?