Tuesday, April 21, 2009

... Twitter = Time Waster

I don't know about you, but with so much going on in the world and so much to learn about everything, I don't understand why there is a demand for Twitter. We are faced with an ever growing information overload! Twitter does make voyeurism more accessible but what are we really doing with this information?

I sometimes find that there is not enough time in the day to capture all the knowledge I want. I am constantly trying to keep up-to-date from reading the days bulging newspapers, reading my 5 novels concurrently, going through my emails, facebook and favourite blogs. Add on top of that work/family time/social time/sleeping/eating/showering.

People are flocking like there is no tomorrow to sign up for Twitter. People are going ga-ga over the SMS like update with 140 characters. There are polls and comparisons, who has more followers, how many times did you Tweet today?

Who cares how many people follow Ashton Kutcher. What has he got to say to make my life more interesting? Do people rate their popularity based on how many people follow them? I don't write on this blog to get people to subscribe, I am happy just knowing that I can write and publish my thoughts.

Sure, companies and celebrities can profit from something like this but if I followed my 400 odd Facebook friends + 10 or so celebrities, I would not have time to scratch myself! On a typical day, what can you really expect from someone to Tweet to all their followers? "OMG I just did the washing and accidentally put something red in with the whites?"

Sunday, April 19, 2009

... Respect the Flag

Aussies love their flag and all it symbolises. We have it sewn into our backpacks when we travel. We cover our faces with it on Australia day. Some have it tattooed on, others wear the flag as socks/boxers/bikinis and also ugly grandma made jumpers.

I love seeing the (tasteful) patriotic lengths people go to for the love of their country. Hell, even I have tied a flag around my neck and used it as a cape. What annoys me though is when I see flags flying that are frayed and damaged. When the Australian flag is not flying tied up well or is not hoisted properly and you second guess if its at half mast or not.

So many times I have been out and about in this great city and I have seen sorry displays of our flag. Either show it looking great or don't show it at all! There should be no place for faded or torn flags. We have laws protecting the flag from being burnt or defamed, why are we so lax about the state it is in when we fly it?

I have seen flags faded flapping in the breeze from someones car. I have seen torn and frayed flags flying high on top of buildings. I have seen flags wrapped around flagpoles so tightly and all you see flapping is a little bit of blue. For shame!

From travelling throughout the likes of France and Italy, I can say that these 2 countries fly vibrant, new looking flags. They fly them high and proud and I felt really happy to be in a country where the people are proud who they are and what they represent. We do too, its just that if you are a visitor to our beautiful country you should look elsewhere to see our pride and spirit.

Photo acknowledgements
(http://farm1.static.flickr.com/186/391025722_1f67125d2c.jpg?v=0) All 10/04/09

Saturday, April 18, 2009

... What is Sydney's Best Beach?

Everyone has their own idea of what is the best beach in Sydney but for me (who lives 1 hour away, in a different corner of Sydney) rates the beach with a host of other factors.

Lucky me, since returning from living in a land-locked European country I have tried to visit as many Sydney beaches as possible. So listen up & take my advice!

SBC - Sydney Beach Criteria.
  • Clean & safe - no syringes, no pollution, no excess amount of washed up seaweed, no motor crafts, no jellyfish/bluebottles/stingers & would like to know there is a shark net.
  • Cheerful & picturesque - There is no point in me driving far to see some average looking beach. I go to the beach also to refresh my love of Sydney beaches.
  • Adequate & relatively cheap parking - Its the beach, not some money making scheme or a day out to frustrate me.
  • Good range of dining & shopping - well I may as well make a day of it. Its not like I will just pop down for a swim.

The all-rounder, good swimming beach is Bondi.

Great looks, nice walk, shops, cafes and a truly great cosmopolitan atmosphere.

The beautiful bronzed bodies, the little kiddies, Indian ladies in their salvar's and the people who want to blend in with the crowds.

Nice little patch of grass for picnics, Bondi to Bronte beach walk, Sunday markets & really great coffee joints.

There are other good beaches for picnicking. I recommend Bronte beach, Shelley beach & Nielson Park. If you are lucky to have the arvo off, I would also throw in Balmoral beach.

Palm beach. Nice to look at & walk but don't swim. Sure they have the hammerhead headland but the sand is thick
and red, it gets stuck everywhere & they film
Home&Away there. Need I say more?

Clovelly beach to me is not really a beach. It reminds me of Croatian beaches cos there is no beach, its just concrete slabs. The little bit of sand they do have is mixed with dirt so its a horrible brown. Another minus for Clovelly is that there are rocks, seaweed, fish swimming around you. I don't want anything swimming where I cant see! The only plus is the cafe but I've had better.

Manly Beach is a good afternoon out. No trip is complete without a walk along the corso and to Shelley Beach. However, the reputation of swimmability at Manly is going down. Most recently a huge mass of seaweed washed up on the beach and literally caused a stink. The glamour is not there but its peaceful and pleasant at sunset.

Not much is said about the southern beaches, in fact they are generally excluded when people think of Sydney beaches. Don't ever swim at Brighton-le-Sands unless you want to grow extra fingers. That said, its great for plane watching cos Sydney Airport is directly across the bay and you can see the whole length of the runway. So pop into one of the areas nice cafes nearby to keep you entertained.

La Perouse is notorious for shark spotting so that's out but you can hire kayaks there.

Cronulla is quite nice for swimming, its family oriented, good parking, good for walking, nice beach front cafes, no show-offs but somehow is still tainted from the 2006 issues. Its only drawbacks for me is the time it takes to get there and the concrete wall up along the beach.

Remember that the Harbour beaches are different to the coastal beaches, biggest differences including waves and motor crafts. So happy trip to the beach or if you are not a Sydney sider, happy living vicariously through my photos. Something there for any occasion and any appetite. Aren't we lucky to live where we do?

Photo acknowledgments
(http://www.beach.org.au/Images/bondi.jpg - 18/04/09) & others taken by myself.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

... OH&Shit

I have had an overkill of OH&S practices!

Unsafe OH&S costs the Australian economy a lot, prevention is better than cure ... bla bla bla, it is still boring as shit to sit and listen to how to lift a box correctly or how good housekeeping is everybodys responsibility.

I have had lots of experience in starting new jobs, inducting new people, reading and knowing what are safe Vs unsafe practices. I have also been a fireward in one job that involved hours of training, learning and drills. From a young age, we are taught what to do in this situation and in others.

So why are people insulting my intelligence with making me regurgitate and sign off on all these forms? Why must I sit through 1 hour induction videos "learning" how to sit correctly at a PC, the dangers of RSI. There are only so many times you can listen and read these!

What is the worst thing? Seeing the diagram of the perfect posture, the dotted eye-to-PC line up. The legs sitting together at 90 degree angles, the wrists are supported. It's so stupid, not all companies pay for the extras like wrist supports or the foot wedge. Why cant the company sign off on it to ensure i get one? Why dont they make sure these is soap in the toilet? What about getting rid of the office idiot to stop my blood pressure rising? Buy a toaster that works so I dont have to stick the knife into it to get my piece of toast out?

I dont want to see these videos any more. I will bring in my own previously signed OH&S documents and show the new employer that I know it all, just shut up when I am reaching for something high up standing on my chair with wheels!