Monday, December 26, 2011

2011 JJJ Hottest 100

Yep, it's the end of the year and therefore time to vote for our favourite songs of 2011. This year my votes went to:

Adele - Rolling In The Deep

Goodnight Tiger - Jump Down

Goyte (Ft. Kimbra) - Somebody That I Used To Know

Jay-Z & Kanye West (Ft. Otis Redding) - Otis

Jebediah - She's Like A Comet

Matt Corby - Brother

Mr Little Jeans - The Suburbs

Pnau - The Truth

The Vaccines - If You Wanna

Voltaire Twins - Animalia

So now I'll just wait for Australia Day to find out how many others also rated.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Letter To My MLA

Dear Mrs Harvey

I write to you as my local Member of the Legislative Assembly in response to the story linked to above which ran on the Perthnow website yesterday. It concerns the reported move of the State Government to target outlaw bikie gangs with tougher sentences than would apply to any other member of the West Australian community.
I should state at the outset that I am not now, and have never been, a member of a bikie gang. I am not a supporter of bikie gangs and I am extremely concerned at the damage they do within our society, primarily through their supply of illicit drugs which eats a society away from within. Having said this, I am outraged at the proposal attributed to the government. The bedrock of any legitimate justice system is that its laws and penalties apply equally to all citizens from the lowest through to the most powerful, including the Premier and leaders of business. I find it alarming that such an important foundation principle is in the process of being eroded. If the current penalties for certain crimes are considered inadequate then they should be increased, but must still apply equally to anyone who commits the crime. I firmly believe that by legislating the unequal treatment of certain groups under the law we are starting down an historically dangerous path; a path we must avoid.

Whilst I appreciate you have certain party obligations with regard to this legislation, I would ask you as my voice in parliament to make it known that regular community members with no link to bikie gangs whatsoever are outraged and extremely worried by where this proposed course of action is taking us as a community.

Yours sincerely,

Monday, September 26, 2011

2011 - Year Of The Tiger

Well, it's taken 15 years but finally my mighty Tigers have won their 11th premiership. After the desolation of last year's loss to Swans I didn't want to get too excited before the game even though our form ensured we started as favourites. I needn't have worried. Very early in the game Brett Jones made the determination of the side very clear with a bone rattling, old fashioned shirtfront on the Subiaco ruckman who didn't move for a while. Fortunately he wasn't dead and was eventually helped off the ground. Subiaco fought a hard game and dragged a lot of our play down to their level which made for a pretty scrappy game at times as the usual smooth movement into the forward line became more of a case of bomb and hope. Luckily for us Beau Wilkes was unstoppable up forward taking some great contested marks and often bringing the ball to ground for smaller players. Luke Blackwell and Kane Mitchell were dominant all over the ground and Alroy Gilligan was involved in a number of important passages of play and ended up with 3 goals. Mitchell Andrews was outstanding in the ruck as he has been all season since Andrew Ruck went down with a knee injury. Brandon Franz led a very solid defense and was as reliable as always. As the game went on our lead gradually built until we were in front by 56 points when the final siren sounded. It was a great day and a great night back at the club with a huge crowd in attendance including some of the great former players of the club.

Now let's make it back to back in 2012!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Harvs Eaten By Lyon

First things first: The way Freo went about sacking Harvs was disgraceful. The bloke's done a good job since he took over from Chris Connolly in 2007 and deserved to be treated with a lot more respect by the club. He can hardly be blamed for the number of injuries this year.

Having said this, I do believe Ross Lyon is a better coach and the right person to take our talented list to the next level. He needs to set a very early standard of excellence and make it clear that no crap is going to be tolerated. There are some players on the list *cough* Michael Johnson *cough* with huge amounts of talent but consistently under-perform and hopefully Lyon can start turning their performances around.

Make no mistake, Ross Lyon has a massive amount of pressure on his shoulders. No full time coach appointed by Freo has ever left voluntarily and unless the club has sustained success from next season Lyon will join that group.


To Mark Harvey: Thanks for all you've done. As a foundation member I appreciate your work and the way you've built a talented, young list and wish you all the best for the future.

To Ross Lyon: Welcome. I'm expecting huge things from you and the club next year and have faith that you'll deliver.

To the members threatening to hand in their memberships: Jump ship if you want but don't come crawling back later. I don't like what was done to Harvs but I've been a member for 17 years because I'm a passionate Freo supporter... not a passionate supporter of individuals at the club. If that were the case I'd have handed back my membership after Neesham was sacked at the end of 1998. I'll be renewing my membership for 2012 and sitting in my same seat as I always do giving the club my full support. It's what being a supporter is all about.

Go Freo!!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Australian Story - David Hicks

Thoughts on Australian Story tonight:

Watching the special edition of Australian Story on David Hicks tonight leaves me seething with anger and frustration at how such an injustice and abuse of power can be perpetrated and how there's nothing that we can do about it. That is was done by the USA and supported by Australia, nations which claim to value freedom and justice is all the more galling.

There are definitely holes in his story which appear to be him trying to whitewash some of his actions but there's nothing he's documented as doing which justifies what was done to him. The key things I took away from the programme are that:

* He was legally in Afghanistan at the time of invasion and that, following the invasion, he did not actively fight with the Taliban against the invading western forces.

* He was not captured as part of a fighting force but rather unarmed in the back of a truck by a warlord and then sold by his captors to the US army.

* He was physically and mentally tortured and sexually assaulted by the US army during his years of imprisonment.

* The 'crimes' he finally confessed to as part of his plea deal to gain release were not actually illegal at the time he was captured but were made illegal some years later.

* The Australian government of the day were content to let him rot in Guantanamo until it became politically expedient for them to pressure the US government to finalise his case.

* The US Supreme Court ruled that the Military Commissions being used to try the accused were illegal under the US constitution and the Geneva Convention. Rather than abide by this ruling, the court jester of a President, George Bush Jnr, signed a new act designed to get around this.

I realise many people would prefer to ignore the facts and argue based on emotion that he got everything he deserved but the facts of the case do not support this opinion. The above points have not been contradicted. To see Alexander Downer and Philip Ruddock continue arguing that what was done to him was fair and acceptable was disgraceful and an insult to all Australians who value freedom and justice. I'm glad that we're finally beginning to hear the other side of the story rather than the line pushed by the media for so long.

Monday, June 13, 2011

JJJ Hottest 100 Aussie Albums

Ok... disclaimer: There are far more Aussie albums I've not heard than ones I have so of course my votes aren't necessarily for the 'best' albums but simply for my favourites of the ones I have heard. So, having said that, the ten albums I voted for are (in no particular order):

Goanna - Spirit of Place
Jebediah - Slightly Odway
Midnight Oil - Head Injuries
My Friend The Chocolate Cake - Brood
Paul Kelly and The Coloured Girls - Gossip
Regurgitator - Unit
Sleepy Jackson, The - Lovers
Triffids, The - Born Sandy Devotional
Weddings Parties Anything - Roaring Days
Things of Stone and Wood - The Yearning

It was a very hard task to narrow the many Aussie albums I love down to a final ten. But there they are. Some of the final ones that just missed the cut were INXS - The Swing, The Spazzy's - Aloha! Go Bananas, silverchair - Frogstomp, Tim Rogers & The Twin Set - What Rhymes With Cars and Girls, and You Am I - Hourly Daily.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Bali Pt 1

Ok, back to the beginning..

I flew out on Wednesday which was the worst flight I’ve ever been on. It was no fault of Air Asia who were as good as ever but rather due to me being really crook. I’d had a very sore through, swollen glands and aching joints for a couple of days but the hot and cold flushes had set in earlier in the arvo and by the time my flight was due for boarding I was in a very poor way. When I boarded the flight I was freezing cold but it wasn’t long before I started alternating to boiling hot. Eventually it reached the point where I was felt I was only semi conscious and was burning up and dripping with sweat. Additionally my chest felt like it was going to explode in a wild panic. Although it was one of the shortest flights I’ve been on it certainly felt like the longest. I arrived at about 12.30pm and was thankful that I was being picked up from the airport as I didn’t feel in any state to arrange my own transport. I hit the sack and fell into a grateful slumber.

In hindsight the bad turn on the plane was the worst of things as when I woke the next morning my joints were far less achy although my throat was still very sore and my glands very swollen. I’d already decided to have a very easy day to let my body recover so after breaky I grabbed a towel and staked my claim on a poolside deckchair where I spent the rest of the day reading and snoozing.. and also had an hour long massage. Yeah baby. Still, I wasn’t well so after wandering along the beach to find somewhere to have tea it was back to my room for an early night.

Friday morning I felt much better although the sore throat and swollen glands were still annoying me. I decided to go for a walk along the beach to Kuta thinking that it wouldn’t take too long. Naturally I stopped along the way for a massage for an hour before continuing my journey. The walk was taking much longer than I thought it should but it wasn’t until I saw a jet plane on a runway jutting out into the ocean that I realised I’d walked right past Kuta and down to Tuban. I headed back to Kuta and stopped for a cold beer at one of the beachside stalls which was lovely although the flock of people demanding I buy things from them ensured it wasn’t too peaceful. After the beer I headed into downtown Kuta. Now this was more like I expected with lots of traffic and people shouting out to me as I passed their shops. I even allowed myself to be stopped by a bloke on the footpath who was ‘advertising’ a new hotel in Nusa Dua and part of the promotion was a kind of lottery. I couldn’t believe my luck as when I opened my card I’d won a choice of a stay at the hotel, USD$500 or a handycam. Wow. All I had to do was hop in a car with this complete stranger and go back to his head office to collect my prize. I must be incredibly ungrateful or maybe just morbidly suspicious as I made my apologies and exited stage left. After heading back to the resort and having a quick swim in the pool and a cold beer I showered and went out for some tea. The plan had been to catch the second half of the Hawthorn vs Pt Adelaide game but the downpours started whilst I was eating and continued on and off for a while so I settled on a quiet night in my room watching a movie (The King’s Speech... great flick!) and some snoozetime.

Yesterday will go down as the lost day on my holiday. I didn’t wake until just after 9.30am which meant a rush for breaky as the restaurant closes service at 10am. After that it was off for a 2 hour massage. It was nearly 1pm by the time that was finished so I headed out to a pub with a big screen and settled in for an arvo of watching footy. The Sydney vs Footscray game was on so I caught most of the second half. It was a cracking game and I was happy to see Sydney get up. Next was the main attraction which was the Freo vs Richmond game. What a disappointment. It was a good tussle up until 3/4 time but the last quarter was a massacre. We’d better get our act together before the derby next week as I couldn’t bear us losing to the slime up the road. Although I was feeling much better by this stage, apart from a hacking cough, I was still very tired. I’m not sure if it was a hangover from being ill or just my body relaxing on the first holiday in 18 months. Either way I got back to my room just before 5pm and thought I’d have a rest for an hour before going out to get some tea and then going bogan spotting in Kuta at night. Neither of those things happened as I promptly dropped off to sleep and didn’t wake until just after 2am. I went back to sleep and eventually woke at 9.30 for another rushed breaky. It’s now nearly midday as I write so I suppose I should go walkabout again and wander some of the gangs to see what is around.