Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category


I happen to think that UFC and boxing are barbaric sports (I use that term with reservation) and wrestling is on the margin. I’d be happy to see the first two banned permanently.

I also think that:

  • Tony Abbott being appointed as Australian Prime Minister was a tragedy;
  • The availability of guns to the general public in the US is a disgrace;
  • T20 cricket is crap;
  • Liverpool footballer, Luis Suarez is a scumbag;
  • Australian cricketer, Shane Watson is a dud;
  • etc;
  • etc.

I’m also quite happy to put my opinions out there, whether it’s through this blog, on Facebook or through Twitter. Or face to face.

Back to UFC however. I expressed my banning view on two different Facebook threads today, which originated as comments supporting the introduction of UFC in Victoria. The response was fascinatingly contrasting. In one case, there was a spirited debate about the merits of UFC, but where it was obvious that all the people contributing to the debate respected each others’ opinions. Good stuff.

In the other case, I copped some personal abuse for expressing my view. It wasn’t particularly nasty – I’m big and ugly and have certainly copped worse. Equally, when I pointed out the inappropriateness of the abuse, it was merely reiterated.

It’s an interesting contrast. We’re all different and we have different opinions. Let’s put our opinions out there as strongly as we wish, but even though we might strongly disagree with someone else’s opinion, let’s strongly respect their right to have and promote that opinion. It’s a fundamental human right.

I will certainly be trying to do that much more in the New Year. And blog lots more. And lose some weight. And………

Happy New Year everyone!

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I want dining at The Corner Store in Mentone to be a good experience. Seriously I do. Why? Because this is the third restaurant (and I repeat, restaurant) that has been created by the same team in our local area. The other two are fine, and it is great to see people trying to deliver quality in what is largely a culinary wasteland.

The first couple of times we ate at The Corner Store, the service was terrible and the food average for the price. We gave them the benefit of the doubt the first time, not long after it opened, but it’s been harder to find excuses subsequently.

So when my partner told me we were going there for a birthday celebration, my eyebrows were raised. They were raised further when we walked in the door and noted the sign that advised of live music on Saturday nights, particularly as it still appears to be a restaurant, not a pub, wine bar or nightclub.

So, the verdict on the food? Better, but still not outstanding. My wife would have liked the chicken special, but was told it was unavailable after the order had gone to the kitchen. Her second choice, the lamb pie, was OK though quite salty. That description applies for my pork belly as well, although I acknowledge that pork is a salty meat. The Parmageddon certainly didn’t warrant the name. And it was impossible to easily communicate with the others on the quality of their meals – more on that later. One would struggle to describe it as good value for the price.

The service was better. We were attended to promptly and the meals arrived in a timely manner. Having determined we were celebrating a birthday, complimentary champagne arrived for the birthday folks. A somewhat self-indulgent waiter with a disposition for regularly calling people “Buddy” got pretty hard to take pretty quickly.

The big problem was the music from a duet comprising a guy on guitar and a female vocalist. To put it quite simply, the music was ridiculously loud. At a table of six, communicating to the other end of the table involved shouting and leaning into the middle of the table. And this was, as I pointed out before, in a restaurant, not a pub, wine bar or nightclub.

We asked for the volume to be reduced, and it was for a while, with an accompanying smart arse comment from our waiter. He also tried to explain that this night’s act was louder than normal. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for the volume to go back up, even louder than it was previously.

So was it just me, the grumpy old bastard, that had the issue? Apparently not. Everyone on our table, from young to (not so) old felt the same, and weren’t the least bit interested in staying for dessert and coffee. Also, in a restaurant that was probably 75% full, I counted eight people who applauded at the end of each song, suggesting it was an issue for others.

We’ve just come back from Europe – none of the restaurateurs there were compelled to use music to sell their food. They relied on its quality instead. It would be good if The Corner Store tried a similar approach.

The Corner Store on Urbanspoon

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You probably recognise this woman. And I reiterate WOMAN.

Of late she has copped a bunch of stuff that was inappropriate. Assessments of her appearance. Typical Liberal party sexism. And questions from a red neck radio presenter about her partner’s sexuality.

Was any of it appropriate? Of course not.

But you know what, Julia? There’s a more fundamental issue here. And that is that you are an absolute dud. The Age made it pretty clear today what you should do for the country’s benefit (click here). And I agree. Get out.

Unfortunately, the other options are just as bad. Kevin Rudd, bizarrely considered to be a more appropriate option for the Labor Party by the general public, is just as big a dud. And Tony Abbott? Worse unfortunately.

I cannot recall a sorrier time for Australian government. I never thought I’d ever find myself saying this, but if the prime ministership of this country was by popular vote right now, I’d be going with Malcolm Turnbull.

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It reared its ugly head again the other day. And unfortunately it usually seems to be the Collingwood Football Club which gets popularly reported in the media.

One of its players committed some sort of transgression (well there’s a surprise). And the punishment? Doing a set number of hours community service.


Before all the rabid Collingwood supporters start having a crack at me, I know you’re not the only ones. It involves other sporting clubs and it involves other parts of the community. This story in Time is a good discussion of the issue.

I guess my point is that footballers and other highly paid sports people should feel privileged to be so highly paid for what they do, i.e. play a game. It’s about time they started appreciating that and helping the community by default, without being forced to do it whenever they’re pissed or exposing themselves in public, which seems to be the crimes of choice.

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It’s local government election time again. Gosh I look forward to trawling through the policy statements for all the people, many of whom, one suspects, would really struggle to run a major city.

And guess what. In our ward this year, there are 28 of them. Yep, 28. If I am going to register a formal vote, I have to write numbers from 1 to 28 on the ballot paper. You should see the ballot paper by the way. With policy statements attached, it’s the size of half a football field.

“I have lived in the Kingston area my entire life”

“My family and I have lived in Cheltenham and Heatherton for the past 23 years”

“As a Parkdale resident for 22 years”

“A resident in Kingston for over 20 years, what a lovely place to live.”

I’ve actually taken the time to read all 28 policy statements. Does that make me a sorrier specimen than some of the candidates? Yeah, probably. Truth is, the Adelaide v Western Sydney game last night was so bad, I needed something better to do. And that was all that was on offer.

Anyway candidates, you know what? I couldn’t really give a rat’s bum where you live or how long you’ve lived there. What I’m interested in is what you are going to actually DO for the community. There’s a lot of waffle in there about your interests. Don’t care. I’m interested in the beach as well. Why don’t you tell me what you are actually going to achieve?

And while we’re on that subject, I’m keen to hear from any of you who is going to promise funding for our new SES unit at Mordialloc. Because I don’t want to make a big deal about it , but I, and about 50 other volunteers (and great people) actually do do something for the community. We get out there every time there’s a weather-related emergency and sort it out. And we’ve grown out of our existing LHQ because there is a groundswell of people of like mind, who actually want to do something about that sort of stuff, rather than just talk about it.

So I’m keen to hear which of you is going to jump on board with us, and PROMISE the funding to get it built. And then keep that promise.

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Time For Some Outrage

I get so freaking angry when I see stories such as this one in The Age. (http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/bad-reception-vizard-spooks-3aw-warhorses-20120824-24s3v.html).image

Apparently Neil Mitchell and Derryn Hinch are concerned that having Steve Vizard as a fill in announcer on 3AW is inappropriate, as he is "still in disgrace" and will damage the station’s reputation.

How do these hypocritical shock jock tossers seriously think they have the credibility to make such comments? Particularly Hinch. Give me a break. Have you looked in the mirror lately, idiot? Does anyone need to remind you that you have had custodial sentences imposed on you for breaking the law. It doesn’t really matter whether you agree with it or not. YOU BROKE THE LAW!!!

Stop trying to turn being thrown into jail as a positive. And voting IS compulsory. If you want to have some credibility, show a good example to others.

And as far as Mitchell is concerned – “he’s not a fit and proper person to have the privilege of using a 3AW microphone or the airwaves.” Privilege? Oh spare me. Since when did you become God? It’s a job, dickhead. You’re a crappy muck raking journalist and shock jock radio announcer. Nothing more. Nothing less. You don’t make life and death decisions. You’re supposed to inform people about others that DO make life and death decisions. On the scale of what’s important and what’s not, your job is not that important. GET A LIFE!

And by the way, don’t take any of this as me being a Vizard supporter. Couldn’t be further from the truth. I just can’t stand journalists and people who, through their ability to more easily reach the community, seem to think they are significantly better and more important than the rest of us.

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The Sunday Age has suggested today that “THE big banks are keeping most of their customers despite their refusal to pass on full rate cuts and a government ban on excessive exit fees.” (http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/customers-staying-loyal-to-the-big-banks-20120505-1y60y.html)

Greedy BankerI’d strongly question whether it’s loyalty that’s stopping people. Loyalty is the unwavering love or commitment that one sees from a dog or a good friend. That doesn’t sound like a relationship one has with a bank to me.

I’d suggest the reason is more likely to be that people will think it will be just too damn difficult to make the move, knowing what it was like the first time around. That’s certainly the way I’m thinking.

I find I’m on a bit of a twin edged sword here. ANZ Bank is a key part of my superannuation portfolio, so naturally I would like them to be profitable and to provide me a reasonable return. However, I also continue to be appalled with the corporate greed displayed by all four of the big banks in Australia (Commonwealth, Westpac, NAB, ANZ).

And please don’t try and tell me they’re competing with each other. What a load of bollocks.

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Citrus @ Beaumaris

Carol and I dined at Citrus in Beaumaris (http://www.citrusrestaurant.com.au/) last night. Its reputation had preceded it for a while and the Entertainment Book reviews we read were OK.

So how do I sum it up? Boring! Expensive for what it offered! And extremely ordinary food.

Where do I start? How about with the maître d’hôtel who mumbled some sort of greeting and, when I explained we had a reservation, seemed to be concerned he was expecting half the entire suburb of (boring) Beaumaris to turn up. The four occupied tables suggested this wasn’t going to happen. It wasn’t as though everyone had decided not to eat last night – the Lobster Cave next door was positively buzzing.

We could then move onto he fact we sat for ten minutes at out table before we were even asked if we’d like a drink. Not to worry, it gave us a chance to take in the wonderful atmosphere, which consisted of a bunch of boring as bat shit 80s songs playing in the background. Guess what? Chuck e’s in love.

The menu was largely unspectacular. At a venue where I was expecting to shell out more than $200 for the two of us for dinner, and was more than happy to do so, I thought it was very disappointing.

The tasting plate as an appetiser with our drinks (yep, we finally got them) was OK, but at $23, should have had double the amount of food on it. And given we told them we were sharing, why would they only put one mussel on the plate? And one mushroom?

Carol’s pan fried scallops, chorizo and capsicum puree for entre was disappointing – very bland, with the puree adding absolutely nothing to the dish. My tempura battered oysters with wasabi mignonette was a major disappointment. The batter was soggy – I’ve actually seen better batters produced by my local fish and chips shop. The mignonette just tasted like lime juice.

Our mains were also disappointing. Carol thought the ingredients in her risotto were good, but where was the chilli? My bouillabaisse, which is supposed to be the house specialty, was terrible. My dictionary says that bouillabaisse is a “highly seasoned fish stew made with at least two kinds of fish”. It turned up on an ordinary dinner plate, instead of a bowl, which is how I would have thought most people would serve a stew. And “highly seasoned”? It had a flavourless sauce of some sort spread over it.

The ordinary experience continued with the $35 bottle of Mornington Peninsula Pinot we had, which was unspectacular.

We decided not to bother with deserts or coffee – we’d had enough. At this point, we moved on to the best part of the night – the taxi turned up within 3 minutes of me booking it on my iPad.

Citrus @ Beaumaris – you need to lift your game. Big time. A good starting point would be to start offering better value. And give your food some character.

Citrus on Urbanspoon

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Each Australia Day and Queen’s Birthday, I enjoy reading through the list of people who have received honours. I don’t always agree with the reasons people have been honoured and also get frustrated with the way the politicians look after themselves and their mates. However, I always admire people who commit to a cause and give it their all.

So today, I went to The Age web site to check the list. It could be my failing eyes, and I didn’t have my glasses on, but nowhere could I find reference to the list. Hmm, is this the same newspaper that wants to make a return to quality? Good call I’d say.

I then searched for “queens birthday honours” in my browser and the first hit was for www.itsanhonour.gov.au. Ah, that’ll be it. No, firstly you get to click on a database link for all recipients, ever. Not quite what I wanted.

Next you get referred to the Attorney General’s web site, to try and find the copy of the Government Gazette where they are listed. Too hard!

Finally, you get referred to the Governor General’s web site. I’m assuming that’s where they’ll be, but I won’t know just now – the web site’s down.

So to all those who received honours, congratulations. It’s just a pity it’s so damn hard to find you.

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I had the same, generally annual, discussion with my electricity retailer today. It, or I should say United Energy, hasn’t been able to read our electricity meter for a couple of years.

The reason is that we have gates at the front of the property and people are here irregularly during the week. We’re comforted by the fact there are two dogs, one of whom is a rottweiler cross, who will happily tear your arm off if you decide to jump the gate though.

For some reason, United Energy needs to physically see its water meter, love it, caress it, make passionate love to it, etc regularly, as well as noting down the numbers on it.

I ask the same question every year – why doesn’t United Energy allow me to take a photo of my meter and send it to them? My water provider allows me to do that. I can either call them, e-mail them something, or even SMS the meter reading to them.

United Energy, you need to come into the 21st Century!

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