Archive for July, 2009

Global weather patterns are still frustratingly bizarre. While we here in Melbourne (and the rest of the country) continue to battle drought, with dam levels down below 30%, I found out today that Ottawa in Canada has had its wettest July ever, at the same time as they are fighting bushfires and heat waves over in the west of the country.

Go figure!

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The back page of the latest The Big Issue has an advertisement for a photo competition, sponsored by the City of Sydney. Nothing remarkable about that you might think. Except that, one of the categories for the competition is people who are homeless – photographers are being encouraged to take photos of the homeless for financial gain.

I’m really in two minds about this. One’s immediate reaction is to be repulsed and to think that the City of Sydney should be spending its time and dollars on eliminating homelessness, rather than appearing to be glorifying it. Maybe it already is – from here in Melbourne, there’s not much visibility of local government in Sydney.

On the other hand though, by not doing this, are we actually discriminating against the homeless, more so than what they are discrimated against now? I’m just not sure.

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I’ve blogged previously on Muthiah Muralitharan and how the world cricketing authorities have changed the rules to support the way he delivers the ball (I won’t say “bowl”, because he doesn’t). Hence, I was delighted to read this in today’s The Age:

“Writing in the Adelaide Review, off-spinning great Ashley Mallett said: ‘‘There was unanimous agreement that the off-spinner’s ‘other-one’, the doosra, should not be coached in Australia. I have never seen anyone actually bowl the doosra. It has to be a chuck. Until such time as the ICC declares that all manner of chucking is legal in the game of cricket, I refuse to coach the doosra. All at the spin summit agreed.’’

‘‘All’’ included leg-spinners Shane Warne, Stuart MacGill, Jim Higgs, Terry Jenner and Peter Philpott, offies Gavin Robertson and Mallett, as well as Australian chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch.”

Absolutely fantastic guys, well done.

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I was super-impressed to hear that a colleague has recently joined up with the SES. He has a full day training session today. Nice work.

We need all the emergency services volunteers we can get. Whether it’s working with our great volunteers at Red Cross, or with other teffific groups like CFA or SES, we need you. Please think about how you can help and join up.

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Today was Gina & Alex’s 26th birthday. They, Carol, Tom, Diem, Olly and I headed off to a great Italian restaurant, Mamma Vittoria’s (http://www.mammavittoria.com.au), for lunch.

It was a great time – here’s the pick of the photos. The photo of the five of us is the first I can remember of us all together for a long time.

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Alright, I admit it. I’m a train nut as well. About 12 months ago, Carol and I did a Steamrail Victoria trip to Seymour, with visits to three local wineries before the return trip. This was an absolutely fantastic day – Steamrail Victoria (http://www.steamrail.com.au) does a great job and deserves your support.

Here’s some of the photos I took on the day, of the train itself, and some of the locomotives and rolling stock at the museum in Seymour.

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Melbourne Zoo

I love a zoo. Most importantly, I love going to zoos on my own. Why? Because it means I can spend as much time as I like looking at my favourite animals and getting the perfect photo. I can spend a good half to three quarters of an hour tinkering with settings on the camera to get the perfect shot.

Yesterday I headed off to Melbourne Zoo again – here’s the pick of the photos.


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Saints Training

For someone who’s so fanatical about the St Kilda footy club, I guess it’s surprising I haven’t done any blogging about it, particularly as it’s been such a great season so far.

Last Sunday’s game was just brilliant – so much hype beforehand and a standard of game that certainly lived up to the hype. I thought it was great how players that have developed with the club over the recent years, and given us supporters considerable frustration as they’ve developed, really stood up and had great games. I’m thinking in particular of Sam Gilbert and Brendon Goddard.

Anyway, as I’m between jobs this week, I decided to go and watch them train at Moorabbin on Wednesday. Visits to Moorabbin always bring back great memories, particularly Lockett kicking bags against sides like Sydney and Brisbane. I clearly remember the last game there against Fitzroy, before we moved to Waverley.

The ol’ ground ain’t what it used to be, as it is going through a major re-development. There was Ross Lyon holding his press conference in the rubble in the middle of us fanatics there to watch training.

Anyway, the boys looked pretty slick in preparation for the game against West Coast this weekend. And what did I find most impressive? The way they spent plenty of time with the approximately 150 supports that were there, doing autographs and having their photos taken with people when requested. Justin Koschitzke and Nick Dal Santo were particularly impressive. Nice work boys.

So here’s a few photos from training.

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Sporting Legends

Some of our sportsmen deserve, by the way they play their respective games, the way they carry themselves in public life, and what they do for their sports after they’ve finished playing, to be given legend status. Two of those people have hit the news this week, for entirely different reasons.

Ron Barassi has been made Victorian of The Year for 2009. He was a magnificent sportsman, is a great bloke and has done an enormous amount for football over time. His award is well deserved.

Another Demons legend, Jim Stynes, has announced he has started the battle against cancer and is standing aside from the Melbourne presidency. It’s proof once again that this damn cancer doesn’t discriminate. All the best with the battle, Jim!

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The Age is reporting this morning that Muthiah Muralitharan will be turning out for Victoria to play Twenty20 cricket next season. This is cause for frustration on a number of fronts.

  1. Whatever happened to the honour of representing one’s state or country? I would have dearly loved to have had the honour to represent my state (either Queensland, Victoria or Tasmania) and to play for Australia would have been just magnificent. The extent of my representative career was to play both football and cricket for the Gold Coast. Which native Victorian with the same aspirations is going to be kept out of our state side by this clown turning up to play?
  2. How much are we paying him? Twenty20 cricket is an irrelevance. How many great Twenty20 cricket matches can anyone remember? In contrast, it’s very easy to remember the great test matches and performances within those test matches. If the Indians want to run their Premier League and pay players absurd amounts of money for not doing a hell of a lot, that’s fine. Given the irrelevance of Twenty20 cricket in Australia, why wouldn’t the money we’re paying Muralitharan go towards developing juniors or up and coming players in the state?
  3. If you’re determined to pick a marquee player, why would you pick a bowler who can’t bat? So we’re going to pay him to turn up and bowl (sorry, I meant chuck) 24 balls each game? He can’t bat and he certainly can’t field. Indeed, some of the under-10s I used to coach could bat better than this bloke. Surely the best option is a strong batsman or allrounder.
  4. Now here’s the biggy. Muralitharan is a chucker. Always has been. Always will be. Darrell Hair quite correctly called him for an illegal delivery all those years ago. Every one of those wickets he’s taken has been done illegally. So what happened? They changed the rules, rules that had been in place for our great game since its inception. Rules that stated that the ball needed to be delivered with a straight arm. Why did they do it? Just another example of the way the cricket community continues to pander to the sub-continent. This is the same sub-continent that brings us teams who threaten to catch the next plane home when their players are correctly disciplined. It’s the same sub-continent that brings us terrorist attacks on visiting teams.

Cricket Victoria – this is a really dumb idea!

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