Friday, November 27, 2009

Malcolm in the Middle - The ETS

It's hot in Canberra this week and its not the temperature!  So much is happening in regards to the ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme) legislation and Liberal party leadership.  Its passing will have major ramifications but this is my perspective ...

  1. Regardless if you are on the side of believers or non-believers of climate change, there is a need to act sustainably.  Using less water, going shopping with re-useable bags, shorter and colder showers, printing less and saving paper, reduce-reuse-recycle, yadda yadda yadda.  Acting sustainably saves money and other resources.  Its a no brainer.
  2.  Malcolm Turnbull has done what any good leader should, that is to work with the government on addressing the legislation, fighting climate change and preventing a double dissolution.  As you know, I am a Rudd fan but I do see the value and potential in Turnbull.  It was admirable of him to step up to the task.  He's made the tough calls, listened to voters and I dont think this should have damaged him the way it has.
  3. The legislation wont make anyone really happy.  The Greenies are not happy with the Government taking small steps and the Libs are not happy because they are going to be out of pocket.  What is the Government supposed to do?  Operating greener does cost more money in the short and medium term.
  4. I want to see action taken on climate change but .... with produce already so high, how much higher will it go?  Just this week bananas are $5 a kilo and petrol is $1.27/litre.
  5. Agriculture Carbon aka Animal Farts.  I'm just glad this is now exempt from the legislation being passed.  Next thing you know humans would be charged for farting!  Its a normal and natural process. Reminds me of an episode from South Park.  The community was told to abstain from farting in an effort to reduce pollution.  The result?  Some of the towns people exploded from pent up methane pressure. Spontaneous_Combustion (South Park episode)
How will the ETS affect the normal folk?

Maldives Government having a meeting in their Parliament House if the water level keeps rising.

  • We'll feel that we are finally doing something more substantial for the environment.  I don't want to see the Maldives swallowed up by the Indian Ocean!
  • We walk into Copenhagen talks with a decision already made - taking a global leadership role (a sense of pride will ensue)
  • Electricity will cost more over a certain point ... thus consumables will cost more if the producing company is a polluter.
  • More "green " start up businesses and tenders will be given to those operating in a more environmentally friendly way
  • Households will work harder to minimise costs, operate more efficiently, buy better more energy efficient electricals.
I just hope the government helps households out who want to invest in renewable energy, more insulation and sky lights.  I hope they also allow more overseas technology to filter in, more is thought about energy efficient cars and if we want more efficiency, we need more efficient internet!

Its going to be a nerve wracking weekend long wait.  Who will be the new Liberal leader?  We'll find out Monday, fingers crossed its Malcolm!

Picture from:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Celebrity Advertising

There is an allure about a reputable product being promoted and advertised by a well groomed and liked celebrity. I just can't seem to get enough of it.  I just watched some ads on tv and I realised something.  I love celebrity advertising but I hate seeing Australian celebrities advertising.

The same people keep doing the ads and I feel that they are selling themselves out.  Rebecca Gibney does Advil and Wii Fit.  Snore.  Mark Taylor, a cricketer promotes airconditioners in a boring way.  I think there are about 3 Delta Goodrem ads right now.  Sunsilk, Proactive, So Good Milk. I hate all of them.

Some of our Aussie ads are great, but none really come to mind that involve a celebrity except for the time Mark Philippoussis did the Longines and Pepsi ads.

Its always the foreign made ones that tickle my fancy. They just look like a million dollars, look good in the ad and really make me want to buy or aspire to have the product.  Is it just me or do you also feel the same?


Pictures taken from -

  • - Delta Goodrem for Sunsilk
  •  - Mark Philippoussis for Longines
  • - Sean Connery for Louis Vuitton
  • - David Beckam for Got Milk movement.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Master and Commander

I did something that I have wanted to for quite a while now, I went sailing.  Coupling my love of the harbour and need to 'try' different things (with or without a wing man or woman).

I initially booked into a day long course but due to low enrolment numbers, plan B was to finding a 3hour hands-on taster.  Maybe it was more suited to tourists but as long as I was on a yacht-like vessel and it was a hands-on experience, it didnt really matter.

Doing anything for the first time is a bit nerve racking and also doing it solo is even harder, knowing that others will be there in their small groups or couples.  I was brave for that 5min longer, swallowed whatever issues of social exclusion/inclusion I had and booked myself in to board the Spirit.

On one of Sydney's hottest days, I was on Sydney Harbour. :-)  I was assisting in tugging ropes, changing the sail direction and steering.  Quite sweaty work but with the cool sea breeze you would hardly notice it. 

The Spirit being an ex-America's Cup vessel is built for shealtered waters, not out in the ocean.  I would be a bit afraid to go out sailing out in open water but am more than happy to do this again. (Memories of Sydney to Hobart yacht races come to mind quite quickly!)

The 3 hours went by very quickly.  I have a greater appreciation for sailing now.  There is quite a lot too it, not just sitting back and literally seeing where the wind takes you. You must work as a team, be aware of your surrondings (what are the threats and wind opportunities), be able to follow instructions, know what direction you are headed for and you need to be very agile to move from one side of the boat to the other.

Sounds a lot like running a business!

Anyway, the point is that I did something I wanted to and didn't let little obsticles get in my way. Plan B was found, courage was found, I was aware of my surroundings and networked with strangers.  I was a fish out of water and I loved it!


Monday, November 16, 2009

Best job in the World

I attended my first webinar last week through The Happiness Institute.  The webinar was about Creating the Best Job in the World for Yourself.  Practically every activity,  Professor Tim Sharp discussed and went through was something that I had heard of or still practiced or used. All very useful activities and things to do and I guess a timely reminder for me to remeber what path to take.  I felt really happy knowing that the same principles I adopt were the ones 'Dr Happy' uses and advocates.

1. Taken from the 7 Highly Effective Habits ... the Circle of Influence Vs Circle of Concern. Minimise your issues and areas of concern by working out what is it that you have control over and exploit them to overcome your concerns.

2. Be as positive as you can!  A happy workers is a good worker (ofcourse within reason, if your boss is an ogre, its not going to make you very happy.)  You have control over your own emotions and your reactions, if you have a good day or a bad day - the choice is yours.  Your positive outlook will be infectious within the office and your collegues and clients will be infused with your happiness.

3. The NASA Idea.  I love this one, it is my favourite.
Its the story of a very happy and smiling janitor cleaning the hallways of NASA HQ before man landed on the moon.  When asked by the then US President, "what are you doing?" The janitor replied, "Putting a man on the moon!" His conviction, determination and optimism is inspiring.  The high-ups in NASA are also to be congratulated for instilling the vision, drive and goal into their emloyees, regardless of how bottom-of-the-food-chain they are.

I hope that one day I can lead a team or an organisation and instill this NASA ideology with them.

Photos/Images taken from:

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hey Big Spender!

How much would you expect to pay for a Sydney view like this?

On the Saturday just passed, the ex-French Consulate of Sydney, "Le Manoir" was sold to Murdoch heir, Lachlan and his family. Sold for a jaw dropping $23 million. The highest price ever for a Sydney property.

So what does this mean for the average Sydney-sider?
  • $23 million has gone to the French Governement and not staying to stimulate the NSW/Australian economy. 
  • The property is now owned by Aussies and a great Aussie family if I may say so :-)
  • The Murdoch Vs Packer tango is clearly won by the Murdochs this year.  
  • The Australian Women's Weekly Magazine is probably already salivating at the idea of being invited to cover "behind closed doors" to see how the family live in their new abode.
  • If our frisbee lands next door, we can yell out "little help" instead of finding the French equivilant. (although I'm sure the French equivilant would sound more dainty)
  • Me thinks they will need someone to mow the grass ... Jim's Mowing, kaching! kaching!
  • A Gatsby-esque party or two? Ohh, I hope so and here's hoping I have moved up in the food chain to be invited! Or at least see it in the Social pages on Sunday.
  • You're off to the US for a while? Something for Daddy dearest? Oh ... where will I find a housesitter for you?
Photos taken from:,,7144699,00.jpg,,7144664,00.jpg