Thursday, May 31, 2007

My week on wheels

Saturday: De Bortoli Tour: 110kms- 3:30 off the pace in the time trial, and 27mins down in Stage 1. That wasn't too bad considering there were 50 DNFs!
Sunday: De Bortoli Tour: 120kms, Went down to C grade and still got smashed. There are plenty of good riders going around at the moment. Just glad to finish in front of the girls :D
Monday: leg hurties
Tuesday: see Monday
Wednesday: Pursuit intervals (5*5 min intervals, 1:1 rest/ recovery ratio) 30kms
Thursday: Track- Road strongly, just lacking kick after the De Bortoli tour. (20kms)
Friday: 1 hr light wind trainf (25kms)

About 305kms.

I'm stuggling to find the time and energy to do more at the moment!

Preston Mountain Classic tomorrow- should be an absolute stink bomb, 130kms swapping turns. shithouse.


Unionist sacked from the ALP for driving a hard bargain in negotiations with employers.

That's terrible.

Clearly only the bosses should be able to bully their workforce, and not the other way around.

The Australian has had three days of anti-union, anti-Mighell headlines. Can someone tell them that people have stopped listening to their shrill anti-labor ranting, just as they have stopped listening to John Howard.

All these headlines despite the building industry investigator admitting that Mighell had not broken the law.

He was bragging about driving a hard bargain, and used a little colourful language that wouldn't have made your Grandma blush.

Today, the Australian is still trying to imply that the law was broken. check this.

The headline screams 'ROGUES IN MOVEMENT PROUD TO DEFY THE LAW', but when you read the actual article they say:

'After Kevin Rudd's expulsion of Dean Mighell on Wednesday for his colorful bragging about questionable - albeit legal - industrial tactics, union leaders reckon there would be "blood on the floor" if the same standards were applied to comrades across the union movement.'

Rupert Murdoch wouldn't employ questionable, albeit legal, business tactics would he? Poison pill anyone?

Double standards- no way.

But Dean Mighell is todays martyr to the ALP.

The people's flag is deepest red,
It shrouded oft our martyred dead,
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,
Their hearts blood dyed its every fold.

Then raise the scarlet standard high,
Within its shade we'll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We'll keep the red flag flying here...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

De Bortoli Tour Pictures

My first road race for the season, and boy did it hurt!
Stage three grupetto.
Stage 3 dirt section, lots of fun, but a bit scary.
Me shagged out on the dirt, not long to the finish.
How I spent most of the race, out by myself bridging between small groups on the road.
This is during the time-trial, and pretty much set the stadard of pain for the whole tour. It was my best stage (being pretty flat), managed to catch and put time into my front marker (who wasn't having a great time of it). But anyway, rode pretty well.
I raced in the teams race on Staurday and went back to C grade on Sunday, but whatever grade you were in it was a hard ride.
good training though

Thursday, May 24, 2007

My Week on Wheels

Saturday: Late for a race at Gisborne South, so timetrialled it myself. Went and did a double Macedon afterwards in the sleet, wind and rain. 100kms
Sunday: Rest
Monday: Commuting in the rain 50kms
Tuesday: Commuting and the Tuesday night ride: 80kms
Wednesday: commuting + 1 hour tempo ride, my legs were stuffed. 60kms
Thursday: rest
Friday: light spin on the trainer before the de bortoli tour this weekend


What's on the cards- Three weekends of hard racing and Uping the kms before Belgium.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pre-emptive Friday Haiku

Lazy young people
are good for nothing at all
Swinging from a tree

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

i shan't be contributing to this for a while

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Selling Out

So have Slater & Gordon sold out?

Or is this the best way forward for the law firm that stands up for the little guy?

Slater's lead the way with no win, no fee- and that has been reasonably good for plaintiffs- however I'm not sure that this move will be the best thing for the practice. It will certainly be good for the directors and shareholders however.

A little birdy I know who works for MBC thinks they have sold out big time (but then she would, wouldn't she :D)

I personally don't know what to think, but my gut reaction is that law firms should be focused on gaining outcomes for the clients they represent rather than shareholders.

Why the Howard Government is Starting to Stink

Another week, and another rotten opinion poll for the little rodent and his mob.

This begs the question: Why the Howard Government is finally so damn unpopular?

What has changed in the hearts and minds of the Australian people since Heavy Kevvy became Labor generalissimo?

Why does Howard now stink like three day old fish in the national psyche, when only months ago journalists were proclaiming that he could do no wrong, and that he was the puppet-master of the hearts and minds of the Australian public?

For what it’s worth here are some of my thoughts on the most important causes of his decline in fortunes.

Of course Johnny thinks that the electorate must be playing a joke on him or something, with economic figures as good as they are. However shrewd he is claimed to be, I think he has missed a number of causes of discontent in the wider community.

1. Housing affordability.

Both from a homebuyers and renters perspective housing has become less affordable under the Howard government, regardless of low interest rates. A key reason behind this drop in Housing affordability has been the lack of growth in public and affordable housing. Now this is not only a Federal issue, but the Federal government has an important role in ensuring that people have access to affordable housing. There is also the issue of the location of housing with respect to employment and services, which is placing pressure on families living in outer suburban areas. Poorly targeted schemes like the first home buyers grant have benefitted property developers and the rich, and just about nobody else.

2. Family focused economic policy

The last twelve budgets have contained measures that you would described as being ‘family friendly’, which has alienated a growing demographic. And I think the constant focus on delivering benefits to wealthy duel income families has probably also had an affect on those benefiting from such largesse. Beneficiaries are now starting to ask why isn’t everybody sharing in Australia’s economic success.

3. Repeated failure to grant tax relief to middle and low income earners.

Again the Howard government has had 12 opportunities to grant tax relief to those on low to middle incomes, and the pork has consistently been handed out at the top end. The current budget grants next to no relief for those on between 45,000-75,000, and chief beneficiaries of the increase in the tax free threshold will be those rich enough to have family trusts. Increasing the tax free threshold is a tax cut for the rich professional classes in disguise, on top of cuts to income tax for those on the top marginal rate. And as per usual there have been no measures to prevent bracket creep. Singles and young people are starting to look at the Howard economic miracle and wonder- what’s in it for me? And I think the beneficiaries are also starting to ask- what’s in it for my children, friends and family members without dependents?

4. Lack of Foresight, Future Focus

The government has been horribly wrong footed on climate change and water policy. The double counting of 40% of the water in the Murray-Darling Basin is the latest disaster. The conservative side of politics has claimed to be a steady hand on resource management in rural and regional management- and they have shown themselves to be both short-sighted and out of touch with the reality facing farming communities, especially along the Murray-Darling.

5. It’s the economy stupid

People are looking around the world and can see that economies are performing well virtually everywhere. Claims that the Conservatives are the best economic managers are starting to ring hollow. In fact many people may be starting to ask themselves, given the mining boom, how come we are not doing much better economically than other developed countries (aside from France and Germany)?

6. Fairness

I’m constantly surprised at how unpopular Workchoices is, and when combined with corporate greed scandals surrounding Macquarie, Qantas and other executive remuneration packages people are starting to question whether or not Howard stands for the fair go. The mining industry crying poor over AWAs clearly hasn’t made much of an impact in the polls, and Julia and Kevvy shouldn’t bend to them at all. Sure speak to them, but don’t bother giving them what they want.

7. Reliability

I think people have underestimated how the AWB scandal has tarnished the government’s reputation. It also raised the profile of Iraq as a political albatross around the PMs neck.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bastard Boys

I’m interested in what other peoples thoughts were of Bastard Boys?

Personally, I’ve been loving all the criticism heaped on program. There have been the predictable bias claims coming from Michael Duffy, Andrew Bolt and other conservative running dogs. Apparently depicting unionists on television is a sign of bias, no matter the light in which they are depicted.

Duffy claimed that the humanity of the unionists is highlighted by frequent depictions of them in domestic and intimate situations, whereas Corrigan is depicted as a scheming, heartless soul. Bolt thinks that there should be more depictions of unionists bludging.

The movie covers all sides, there are allusions to union thuggery, the nick and the dark old days. There are references to the uncompetitiveness of the Australian docks. The film covered all these issues. I think the fundamental problem these columnists have with the movie is that it depicts unionists at all, and that it depicts unionists as capable of heroism, despite their flaws.

Then there is Bill Kelty who points out that he wasn’t consulted over the film, and that the film is not strictly historically accurate as a result. It was his threat of litigation that resulted in the disclaimer at the start of the program. Kelty’s wig is an absolute classic for those who haven’t seen the film yet.

From my perspective, the film was as balanced as it needed to be. I don’t buy into the criticism that the show was pro-union at all. If anything it revealed the faults and flaws in all sides. The conservatives just have a problem that some on their side were portrayed as being human, and capable of error and miscalculation as well. Josh Bornstein came out of it looking like a conceited jerk, Burnside a doddering old duffer, Combet someone who struggle with balancing his work and family commitments, Corrigan as someone who was unwilling to negotiate constructively with the Unions to reach a practical solution.

I think the only person who came out of the movie looking better than they did at the time was Coombes. Even although it was ten years ago, I can still remember him being a bit of a bumbling old duffer. Bastard Boys makes this figure of fun and derision into the hero of the story. Colin Friels portrayal of Coombes depicts him as younger, more vital, more coherent and more heroic than I can personally remember him. But then again, away from the cameras he may have been a star performer, I cannot say.

In terms of the dramatic merits of the production, I thought it was pretty poor. I thought the actors hadn’t studied their roles very carefully, or failed to really come to grips with the characters they were depicting. The Coombes character, as I have already stated, was miles away from the real John Coombes. Rhys Muldoon wasn’t convincing as Burnside, nor the bloke who played Combet. The Corrigan character was the strongest performance.

Some of the dialogue was terrible. I burst out laughing when Lucy Bell, playing Combets German girlfriend says ‘Come home and I will read you Das Kapital in German’, and Combet responds ‘I’m getting hard just thinking about it’. There was some appalling dialogue in the movie, and it was the flaws in the writing and depiction of the characters that I believe deserve more of a bollocking than the alleged bias.

At the end of the day the public have stopped listening to the culture warriors as they have stopped listening to John Howard. Quite simply, everyone has moved on leaving the usual suspects squabbling over historical truth.

All in all, an entertaining, yet flawed depiction of the waterfront dispute. But we need more Australian drama of this variety that creates debate and interest in the political process. Any movie that manages to fit in The International, Solidarity Forever, The Red Flag and There is Power in A Union into four hours of television is a must! Our rights at work have to be fought for and won, and the bosses will not give an inch without a struggle.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


The Australian is getting more and more creative in their attempts to stop Rudd from looking like the next prime minister. Now that the building industry are allegedly inserting 'Risk of Rudd' clauses in their contracts, is it time Howard negotiated one too?

Meanwhile, Dennis Shanahan is looking very silly, asserting today that noone expected an immediate boost in the polls following the budget. Last week he predicted just that. Yes Dennis, our memories are short - but not that short.

And finally, at least two of today's articles contain an unattributed quote referring to Costello's "Masterclass" budget as if it was universally lauded as such. The only source for that quote was the Oz's own post-budget headline.

Should Rudd now put in a call to Murdoch: call off the dogs or it will be ugly for News when I'm PM?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Superannuation Ads

The bastards are spending 69million on advertising for their superannuation re-election ads. I imagine they will be very informative! That we won't just be watching the same ads over and over! To think that their are enough dumb people out their to make it worth it for the Liberals is scary!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


The guardian online has gone to a blog like format!

And Tony Blair looks like he's going to resign!

Bad Ecomomics

This from Peter Saunders in the Australian today:

'First, government spending crowds out voluntary initiatives. If the Government makes huge gifts to universities, other people won't.'

Mixing economic speak with social science= bad economics.

Increasing government funding doesn't 'crowd out' public expenditure at all where government is not using debt to finance that expenditure.

Where is the proof that providing government funding stops people bequeathing money to public institutions?

Where is the research that shows this is the case?

I would say that by allocating money to universities government is sending a message to the community that investing in education is important, and that will encourage more private spending on education.

Where is my research? I don't have any :D

What I'm listening to at the moment

I went to Missinglink the other day principally to find something new to listen too while on study leave.

No sooner than I walked in the door, I heard a heartfelt wailing coming from the walls.

It was a band called Sinaloa.

I promptly bought two of their cds.

I guess if you like My Disco, and other types of post-hardcore type music you would be into them

Check out their Myspace


Catherine Deveny

I think Ms Deveny has the easiest job in the world. She gets paid each week to write whatevers going through her mind. We do that for free. We need to commercialise this site, so that I too can afford to dress like a Geisha. Or even better a Samurai...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Final Playlist

This was the final playlist I submitted, but looking back I'm still not really happy with it!

1. Bronski Beat- Small Town Boy
2. New Order- Regret
3. Oasis- Live Forever
4. Billy Bragg- Between the Wars
5. Boys Next Door- Shivers
6. Sunny Day Real Estate- Seven
7. Morrissey- Suedehead
8. Ride- Vapour Trail
9. The Early Years- Say What I want to
10. Longwave- Wake me when it’s over
11. Idlewild- American English
12. David Bowie- Heroes
13. The Replacements- Answering Machine
14. The Sundays- Can’t be Sure
15. PIL- Rise
16. Editors- Bullets
17. Interpol- Evil
18. Public Enemy- 911 is a joke
19. The Jam- That’s Entertainment
20. Bruce Springsteen- Born to Run

Monday, May 07, 2007

My Fish is Purple

I hope you asked about the sour milk. It has little to do with my left pupil being no less than ten times larger than my right. That is for practice. When a thousand men come in ten of them will be cubed. A cubed man! Imagine that... I have a pet Iguana who I call Fred. Fred is made of peanuts. Once, Kraft came along and made Fred into butter. I was forced to buy all the jars of peanut butter and attempt to recreate Fred. I sculpted, crafted and shaped. I chiselled, I tried everything. Nothing would make Fred back to lizard again.