Archive for September 2010

Its been a while

September 27, 2010

Its a week since I did a post. Oops. And that was on a Monday too.. Supposedly the worst day to do a post. At least according to my teammate Sally who is supposed to know about social media.

I don’t know why so long.. lack of inspiration or something. Nothing I felt strongly enough to comment on perhaps. So I will try and make up for it all over the next few days. Writing or at least writing intelligently as I try and do can be just a bit difficult to start. Its ok IF you have something to say.. hard otherwise. I always find something to say but that blank LCD screen can be a bit intimidating.

OK lets briefly cover all the bases today. Cycling, well we did the inaugural ‘waffle ride‘ last Sunday. Sally and I represented Team Splat! Sally posting as ‘Elefunksoup’ posted a hilarious ride report on BV forums. The waffles were provided by Rebecca, a truly lovely Canadian imput. It was a great day.. decent training into a punishing headwind on the return, and the event is a keeper.

It was the last winter training effort at DISC last night. It came to a choice between doing some gardening and attending DISC or going to Ballarat and watching the amazing Jeannie Longo race. At 51 Jeannie is the current outright womens TT champion of France. Sadly gardening won. I had to deliver Sally’s track bike to her as it was at my place anyway. Another skills session. 3 handicap races.. Sally is easily the faster rider over 100 metres.. but over 500 I made her work for her 2 wins. There were 3 of us in those races.. I scored one win and 2 seconds to Sally. Of course the third rider is about 12 😦 Sigh. Age may not weary us, but it makes everyone except Jeannie Longo slower. Sally bought along her own cheer squad. Her fella and her dad. So sweet. We are a bunch of nostalgic softies us trackies.

TRACK season starts. The worlds are here and is not the footy going to play hell with that? I think I will write on that more in another post but the draw in the footy is a terrible result for the UCI. Sad huh? Anyway the sprint series starts for Team Splat! next weekend. We have 3 riders up for it.. including me. We have approached informally another girl from DUCC‘s to perhaps join the team. Is it coincidence that Team Splat! is pretty girl heavy? Even I have been told I ride like a girl.. which er.. I dont think was meant as a compliment even tho I took it as one. 😀 Very very proud of my girls

Come and watch Team Splat! race. And let us know if you are interested in a jersey. I need about 50 firm orders. Can’t be too hard. It will be a plain jersey.. in grey represent concrete or bitumen… with the Team Splat! blood splatter pattern front and rear.

I notice that my lovely niece Leah “Little Miss Scribble” is still reading my ramblings. Leah is one of the most important people in the world and I find that immensely satisfying and shall try and lift my game here to do her proud. Its been a while but I shall likely be catching up with her today in the remote wilderness stone fortress in which she, and her heavily armed retainers and guardians reside. Because PerfectNotes is going bush.. to talk to some country people, do some county networking and hopefully chase up some business. We have a networking meeting scheduled in Bendigo which we hope will lead to something worthwhile. Fingers crossed. We shall be pushing the Virtual Assistant service heavily. In fact since I imagine that Bendigo has some decent techs.. we shall be concentrating on the VA side of things.

Its scary to realise that Leah is now the same age her mum was when I first met her. I remember that meeting with her mum too. Hi Jeannine. Put the kettle on please.

One of my camera’s has turned up. Its the Sony. It would be. I am still resurrecting this Sony laptop.. one of the connectors has what looks like a factory fix on it and I cannot for the life of me manage a decent connection. Sucks. My opinion of Sony has gone through the floor and I will never be recommending Sony products again. If the damn manufacturer does not have service manuals available deal with some one who does. Its a simple rule. Follow it.

OK Social Comment. The winging by the people of Geelong over hosting the world cycling championships is pathetic. I wont be going down more than a couple of times because I dont want to spend time and money in such a bogan backwater.. If the event fails, its going to be down to the losers of Geelong doing all they can to make it fail. Football is pretty much it for sport down there. Geelong always represents itself as a pro cycling city but that has never been my experience. I had a long term girlfriend in Geelong once and the city has never endeared itself to me in any way on my commutes to her. Its a bustling city with all the charm of a small hillbilly town. And the ceaseless complaints about having a couple of streets blocked off for something that is not the footy are annoying me.

It lives Igor!

September 20, 2010

There has been a new twist in this saga of the dead laptop. Marky came over to have a look at the dismembered corpse on the autopsy table.. er workbench. Aside from pointing out that I need a bigger and better magnifying glass on a long flexible mount.. and yes I do, he said some actually useful stuff. Mark knows a bit more about the electronics than I and since all my attempts to actually find an engineer just lead to many suggestions to just replace the mother board. Nearly all of them from people totally technically not up to replacing this particular mother board. Anyway it led to a result.

Mark said.. “Hmm, I wonder if this track is supposed to be there” I peered through the magnifying glass at a solder track between a power transformer and a transistor on the power bus that was the size of a flake of dandruff. “Looks factory” I commented. Mark expressed some doubt. “Lets scrape it off and see” I suggested.. “Re soldering that is no problem. He did. We tested. Power lights and a BIOS screen. OK thats a way from actually having this machine running but hey…

So now I have a theory. This box had been dropped on the back right corner. That side of the frame had twisted out of alignment and broken the dvd player.. by moving it so it had no connection. I fixed all that then discovered a damaged cable.. and lifted the thing to get its model number. I think that in fixing all that I released a single dandruff speck sized flake of solder that managed to find exactly the one worst place to lodge itself. Wow. Its only a theory.. but it holds up and fits all the facts. Now to try reassembly of a really complex machine for which the company releases no manuals.. but yeah I can do that. Still don,t know if anything electronic is damaged but I have hopes.

So I didn’t kill it. I feel much much happier about myself as a tech now. Depressed for a week over that. Wow. And now we go back to the client. But first lets see if I can get this machine running an OS.

EDIT… machine now boots.

I went looking for DDR1 ram yesterday for a client laptop. and found 2 sticks of1 Gb Kingston (manufacturer of quality RAM) RAM, at almost the last place I tried. That machine goes from a dog with 256 Mb ram to a decent useful machine for the cost of about $150.. Its a huge difference and probably the last upgrade that machine will ever have. As also detailed in this post the answer is indeed more RAM

FInally went and saw “Tomorrow when the war began” last night with Kathy and a couple of close friends. I was looking forward to this movie as detailed in this blog post And it lived very much up to the hype. I thought it was well done.. smart and rang true. It seemed to me to be very very faithful to the book. The hardware was right. The one criticism I have heard that was worrying was the absurdity of one bunch of kids fighting back against an invasion.. in the context of the book they were one bunch in one area amongst many instances of insurrection… but luckier, faster learning and more successful than most. And this turned out in the end to be the case in the movie as well.. they heard about other unluckier rebels and the RAAF put in a brief appearance. So the movie was very very good. I loved it. There were 7 books in the series and 3 books in another continuing series about the central character after the war.. where she had a few issues. This might turn into a fun movie franchise.

The answer is more RAM

September 17, 2010

Its been a tough couple of weeks. Kathy and co have kept things ticking over. While I have been coping with a attack of funk and a bit of depression and actually have not been worth very much this week. I had a machine die on the operating table.. the first time that has ever happened to me. And it was a decent machine too. I have no idea what happened.. I had only covers off the machine and no way that I can see that it shorted anything.. but it has broken at some very very subtle level, with no sign of damage. It shook my faith in myself… very upsetting.

I asked in a lot of places for advice.. and got.. “change the board”; ” change the board”, “If I was you I would change the board” and similar stuff… not one person gave an actually useful response. At least I know I am one of the better techs out there.. at least I know how to solder and drive a multi meter. Unfortunately changing the board is not an option. Long term I might be able to sort it.. but ended up talking to the client. Not a profit maker but what can you do? Saved her data and shall buy her a slightly better lappy or contribute to a new one with the option being hers. All you can do is the best you can for the client.. and while we value all of them this one is very good value. Hopefully this only ever happens once.. its the first one I have lost in nearly 20 years of doing this stuff.. but hey… Lappys are always trouble. There is a lot in a very small space. And it was a Sony. So nice of Sony to have no manuals. Doesn’t help.. thats for sure.

I have always believe that its how you fix the things you do wrong that really matters. Have not had to put it into practice very often.. if at all. The client was just great.

Have another lappy here. Needs an update. Is about 7 years old.. but uses DDR 1 RAM. WIthout going into too much history DDR 1 is the first of the really modern RAM. Before that we had SD RAM. Synchronous Delivery or something. RAM is the work bench of the computer. Data gets written from the hard drive to RAM.. gets worked on and then gets written back. The bigger and faster your RAM the better. But its limited by the size of the data bus.. the paths into which the RAM is plugged. Its also limited by the design of the Operating System.. XP for example really only recognises 3 Gb of RAM.. on some computers you can put more.. the machine will not run any faster. And so on.

SD RAM can do reads and writes of course. But not at the same time ( ok its actually slightly more complicated than that….depends a bit on what you mean by time.. but its close enough) DDR RAM.. double data rate can essentially do them at the same time. DDR RAM is similar to the better than system RAM that high end video cards used to use which shared the same capability. Anyway DDR RAM was much faster and a big step up. I figured it would be easy to get for this machine. Well I can get it. Not easily.

We are up to DDR3 now… DDR4 is on the way. Older RAM no longer made and especially no longer made in the increasingly larger sizes.. if it ever was. And as the sizes get better and the cost gets cheaper modern RAM becomes increasingly huger than was possible say 7 years ago. Its important to remember that that 7 year old laptop is still perfectly capable of most things the average person wants. Increasingly software needs more RAM as programmers can be less careful of the amount of resources their software runs just because RAM is more plentiful and cheaper all the time. But generally speaking that computer can still do word processing, and internet browsing just fine. But more RAM would be nice. Its just not available or its hugely more expensive than increasingly cheaper modern RAM.

So people buy a new machine.. cos they can get more RAM with it. Interesting yeah? OK this 7 yo machine has XP pro and office and is about a 1.4. Its fine for word processing and internet browsing. Except that its got 256 Mb of RAM and no one has DDR1 for sale. And XP and firefox like more than that to run at more than a crawl. But I found a source with some 1Gb sticks. And suddenly this machine is useful again. THe cheapest and best upgrade possible. Was not easy finding it.. and er.. not all that cheap. When they stopped making DDR1 this must have been hugely expensive RAM. Now being sold probably for less than the production cost.

The lesson… As soon as you can put as much RAM in your box as you can afford and it will take. It wil maybe let you hang on to this machine for a couple of years longer. It will absolutely make it worth more. And just before they change the RAM spec again it will be a dirt cheap upgrade. That will only get more expensive in the future.

Gee I am a moody bugger.

September 13, 2010

Had a couple of issues this last week. Its all sortable of course.. nearly anything is. But instantly I go from being upbeat and optimistic and working my butt off for this business to moody.. unhappy, dare I say ‘grumpy?’ and wanting to crawl back into bed. I am not a depressive person.. and I have friends who deal with deep depression.. been there and not going there again, but sometimes I peer over the edge of that cliff and see the depths below. Scary. Got to work on being upbeat.

Its time to look at the google add words campaign again. The Virtual Assistant one. We are running a couple of these campaigns for clients and they have been hugely successful. This one.. not so much. Its tricky as I have alluded too in the past. The obvious keywords are wrong or far too widely applicable. What would you type in if you wanted to hire a VIrtual Assistant in Melbourne to…. scan some stuff in for you, polish up a report, email a bunch of clients, build a spread sheet for you, clean up some photo’s update a web site, ghostwrite a business blog? See what I mean? Its a serious question by the way..what keywords are applicable? Talk to me. We need this to work

PerfectNotes IT also needs to find a decent electronics tech.. I can solder a component in OK,, can swap out bits… figure out some of a board,s logic, but we need occasional access to someone who can say, “Its the F1113 transistor here, if I put in a C112 in it will work just fine” Or who is at least better than me. They need to be within Coooee of the Melbourne Eastern Suburbs, Anyone? Am I a voice shouting in the wilderness here?

During the week I was offered a hummmmmm sponsored entry into the Degani Kinglake Ride a bit of a hill fest in the kinglake area. My team leader Ian , his missus Lisa and various others from Lisa’s company were going to be doing it as a team. Late notice as the ride was yesterday (Sunday) and it was Saturday evening before I read the ride instructions. Holy frak… it was like reading the instructions to the Paris Dakar Rally or the Whitbread Race I posted on BV forums about the lack of an EPIRB in the required bits, and got a post back saying it and radio skeds and frequencies were on the last page. A joke but not by much. Hey its just a pootle in the hills on public roads. Not that you would know it. And the rules. “No overtaking” “Do not exceed 60 kph” Riiiiiighhhhhhht.

Met up with Ian and Lisa at their house and agreed to meet at the start.. and that was the last I saw of them till I called in on the way home. They never made it.. As far as I know I was the only team member to ride. Sigh. There is a picture of Ian in Wikapedia under “unreliable” Not what I needed.

I had a good day anyway. Met one person I knew. I would honestly have thought that it was impossible to have 3500 cyclists in a bunch anywhere near Melbourne and not have people there I knew. Mind you everyone was dressed the same. Nice jersey. Good score
null

Anyway…. Here is my FB post about the ride. And indeed the evening.

Ride leaving time 9:00. Ride completed…. 11:20. Nominated time for ride 3 hours. Actual time 2 hours 20 mins. Average speed 28 ish. Time for will walker climb 28 minutes 15 secs .. just under twice his time. 😦 Passed 128 people on the climb. Got passed by about 40… none on bikes and mostly in vintage mercedes that sounded worse than me.

Rode the first 15 km and the start with fixie. We spent most of that time being rude to the people shoving past on the left… All of whom blew up on the first climb

Problems I had. some lower back pain…

Then I went to DISC and got my legs torn off me by CARL. But did ride a really good take a lap with Jenny… we took 3 laps from the bunch together.. last launching an attack with 4 laps to go and convincingly catching them with time to spare.

My leggses hurties.

And Jenny wrote about DISC on the Team Splat! page

well, Dave and I were at DISC training tonight – Sally off doing some road riding.
Carl from aboc cycling ran another great session for the “enduro” bunch. One of our tidiest efforts at the warm-up laps.
3 x 3 minute bursts with gradual increments in speed before a final sprint.
Followed by 50 sec recovery/10 sec sprint bursts for 15 minutes.
“Take-a -lap” drill to finish. We managed a fine piece of Team Spat! co-operation and worked together to take 3 laps from the “bunch”.

Truly, it’s the first night I have felt really comfortable at DISC and not panicky at all.

I,ll see if I can find a pic of me on this ride at some point. The climb referred to is some 7+ km steep pitch that a really quick rider onces set a superb time up.. possibly on a motorcycle (snicker)

THe world champs are nearly here. The biggest thing to EVER happen in cycling in Australia is happening just down the road in Boganville.. er Geelong. Nothing much has been said about it.. THe locals mostly seem to not want it there. If its not V8 motor racing, or the Footy its foreign. One bloke said “WHo cares about cycling?” 350 million more people than ever have heard about Aussie Rules you hillbilly. Sheisse. What can you do? No advertising has been seen. No promotion. Lets ignore it.. and it will go away and not come back.

But Cycling Tips Blog put it so much better than I can

Oz is not Iraq

September 8, 2010

Cos we have rain. And a government. 😀 At last!!!!!

I have been digressing from the point of this blog a bit in the last few posts. The point of this blog…if you have somehow missed it.. is actually to drive visitors to our website…... Me being able to rave on about stuff is just gravy. And so I should occasionally use it as a platform to expand on matters IT and geek related or relating to the business. Just recently I have got all political and cycling oriented and managed both at the same time. Now that Australia finally has a government finally declared at 17 days after the election, I shall shortly get over that.

Huge huge wake up call for pollies everywhere. The result could not be closer. One pollie getting his d**k caught in his zipper and Australia is off to the polls again. I was actually really impressed by the independents… although they could bore the paint off a wall. The good thing about a scared minority government is that it tries hard to please everyone. And the bad thing about a scared minority government is that it tries hard to please everyone. I doubt the government will last out its term but this could be very very good.. or very bad. Sure is going to make the soon to be held Victorian election interesting.

Bob Katter the Queensland independent is a nutter.. its embarrassing to realise that I almost agree with him on gun laws and I absolutely do agree with him on the right to use violence in self defence and the defence of property. Is a bit of property worth killing for..? well if its my property… and you are a low life thieving scumbag of utterly no use to the planet.. I,m ok with it. And if you are not ok with dying.. fine.. go beat up a defenceless unarmed old lady. I don,t agree with Katter on anything else.

Broadband as I predicted was a defining issue for the independents choosing who to declare for. Senator Conman er Conroy was not mentioned. The green
vote was obviously significant… if more people had voted below the line I wonder what would have happened. But as I said.. enough politics.. time to discuss the business.

We actually survived 17 days without a government. Hmmmmmm Interesting.

Our time on NEIS the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme is just about over. NEIS is a brilliant Government scheme (hard to get away from politics is it not?) and I dont often use the words “Brilliant’ and “Government” in the same sentence. They pay us something to get the business up and running. Very very cool. T PerfectNotes is just about making enough money to pay the bills without them In spite of a quarter full of tension and issues from many directions. With a staff essentially of 5 or maybe 7 depending on how you count them.. 3 of who are full time.. and one of them a cat, we have not quite made the big time, but we have hopes. Paying the bills, eating and most importantly having fun. Its our business… unlike people I have worked for in the past.. who make petty demands of employees and increasingly and constantly up these demands.. we run it. I can go for a ride in the middle of the day if I want. Sometimes anyway. It possibly means I am up at midnight sorting something. Hell I was up at 1 this morning chasing a nasty little virus around a clients office machine.. But its my business. Brilliant. When we make the shift to having employees instead of contractors… we will have to try and not turn into the other kind of workplace

Most of the people we deal with are great. We have some good and loyal customers. Some of them have become friends. The networking thing is turning into fun. Writing this blog is turning into fun. Watching small businesses grow and knowing we had some input is fantastic. I am pretty optimistic at the moment as you can tell. And with a new government that arrived heralded by massive flooding in Victoria.. portents of doom.. thrown in.

Virtual Assistent enquiries continue to come in. Which reminds me that I have a ton of updating to do on our own website. Sigh. Its not all gravy If we get rich out of this business its going to be the custom work and the Virtual Assistant stuff that pays for the Ferrari.

Networking meeting last night.. as usual these are all good.

And now for a brief support story.. If your computer is running XP and is clean of viri and malware.. yet will not run microsoft updates.. its not clean. Trust me on this. I learn something new most days on this job and that was last nights lesson.

Tomorrow when the government began

September 4, 2010

Apparently we are going to get a government this weekend. And purely by coincidence the heaviest rain of the year and gales and thunderstorms. I suspect that there is a God and s/he has an evil sense of humor.

The helmet law that has foredoomed the bluebike hire scheme in Melbourne city has finally come into open discussion. In fact what moved me to comment was this thread on BV forums. Its just another of the endless helmet threads that usually are only fought out by those who have long established their position. But over the years a noticeable shift has occurred, few now are overwhelmingly in favor of compulsion, nearly all accept that less people cycle because of helmet laws and their is some derision, not entirely all down to me, when someone claims that their helmet saved their lives, leaving them with not a hair out of place or a scratch. We have even seen crashes on BV forums in recent weeks where bones were broken without the words “my helmet saved my life” appearing at all. And now TV and news stories questioning the helmet law. And some well known personalities

However this post by taka

    ( demonstrates that some people totally lack empathy and the ability to think)

demonstrates that some people still don’t understand the argument that a good idea (wearing a helmet in case you fall off) can be a bad bit of legislation.

Dear Sue, I am sorry you feel so strongly about helmet. But if you want my rego’s TAC money to cover your head injury, well … that is so unfair.

Yes I totally agree that you should have your freedom of choice, as long as I don’t friking pay for it at the end.

I am no saint. I don’t care if u die. I just don’t want to be worse off in my pocket. Not to mention you have created more work for a pathologist who has to do your autopsy.

The argument that the helmet law is a bad thing goes like this. Firstly the helmet law dooms bike hire schemes like the Melbourne scene. Secondly the evidence that bicycle helmets actually save lives (as opposed to stitches, mild concussions and the odd ear) is far from totally convincing. The statistical studies that claim to prove it are clearly crap when you actually look at how the data was obtained. All the ones that see no such proof appear far better designed And the fact that motorcycle helmets, seatbelts, airbags, and the like actually work is perfectly clear from similar studies. And at best arguably not so in this case. So if the evidence is not clear why legislate? Its nanny state nuttiness.

But its the third argument that is totally convincing. To even the most callous pragmatist such as taka. Provided they are capable of clear thinking at any rate. And that is the economic argument

I,ll keep this really simple and let my readers do the research. Or not I guess, depending on how interested they are. But essentially this argument goes like this. Obesity, diabetes and heart disease are huge killers. Therefore they cost the health system a packet

Cycle commuting and cycling generally are both environmentally nice and an effective defense against these issues A helmet law clearly decreases cycling use. Lots of pro helmet people say not by very much.. but personally I think the evidence is hugely against them in this. The failure of the bike hire scheme, the only place in the world such a scheme has failed, seems a pointer to me. However lets concede the point.. absurd to do so but for the sake of the exercise lets. Even a few % discouragement is still discouragement

On average IF bicycle helmets cut fatal accidents by half (of which their is no evidence) and if helmets discourage cycling by only 10 % or so of people then on any possible set of figures more of these people will die from disease bought on by the lack of exercise than will die by accident on a bicycle due to not wearing a helmet. That is to say that the best case you can make for a helmet law still has more people dying because of it than are saved by it.

And that is ignoring completely some of the more subtle issues of a helmet law.. for example the UK studies that show that motorists give helmet less riders more space, maybe you are more likely to be hit wearing a helmet. Risk compensation theory says you are more likely to take risks wearing a helmet. Its widely accepted that the more cyclists that are on the roads, the more likely car drivers are to behave sensibly around cyclists and the less risk per cyclist. The public perception of cycling as dangerous only seems to actually exist in countries with high rates of helmet use. These sort of effects are likely to more than negate any beneficial effects of a helmet law in themselves.

And of course repealing a helmet law does not make it illegal to use a helmet. It just means one can hire a blue bike to get across town without having to go and buy a helmet.

Australia has one of the lowest commuter cycling rates in the world. And we have helmet laws. Good laws travel. Practically no one else has helmet laws. Seems pretty obvious to me. I find the economic argument to be totally convincing. Its a bad law.

But maybe I don,t understand economics. Was a story on the news this morning. In the US many people are defaulting on their house mortgages. Apparently many mortgages are far more than the property is worth. And apparently if someone walks away from a mortgage, then the moment it is reclaimed by the bank its worth 10% of what it was worth hours before. So why does this not push the mortgage rates down? Why are people not giving loans to people who have defaulted on a house loan to buy their house back for 10 cents on the dollar?. What am I missing?

The movie Tomorrow when the war began, which I have previously discussed on this blog, is now showing. Its going to be a smash. I shall go and see it in the next few days and report on it

We have two web sites probably going live this weekend.
dromanamowerservice.com.au which is Dromana mowers… Gozzo from BV forums, and plantsupplies.com.au which is a joint venture between us at PerfectNotes and our occasional staffer Mark Condron. Don’t buy anything on the plantsupplies site just at the moment.. the shopping cart stuff is in final testing.

3 strikes and you are…..slightly embarrassed.

September 1, 2010

Might be a long and somewhat rambling discourse today, unlike my normal swift, tightly edited and targeted posts. (Falls over laughing) I have much on which I wish to comment.. so if I can remember any of it at this silly hour I shall do so.

Was told.. by someone who as far as I know is in absolutely no position to know, that the ideal number of blog posts is 3 a week and never on a Monday. I have not the slightest clue if their is any truth to this whatsoever yet I notice that I do seem to average about 3 posts a week, and my Monday posts do seem to not score many hits. Interesting. I wonder if their is anything to it.

Cycling is a sport where a lot of drug cheats are caught, and expelled from the sport. We claim it as a clean sport because we catch cheats. Other sports claim it as a dirty sport for exactly the same reason. I love the irony in this In very topical news under the laughably weak Australian Footy League drug testing policy.. which essentially consists of waiting for Victoria Police to catch someone using drugs (usually after the hospital runs blood tests after they have rolled their car up into a ball) well known Hawthorn footballer Travis Tuck has now be caught 3 times using drugs. He is not well known to me by the way.. hopefully I have the club right. 12 week suspension. Heh.. try getting a 12 week suspension for your third offence in cycling mate. And yes he was caught by Victoria Police.

He is the first bloke to be caught under the 3 strikes and we will tell your club you have been a naughty boy and let the media know about it policy of the league. Its not surprising, I have never been drug tested by the cops.. or by the footy league. The last time I looked at this the league averaged one drug test per player per year. In cycling I have heard of pro riders having a team of testers cooling their heels in a riders lounge while a second group of testers had a go. In off season. And 3 strikes before drug use is alleged.. bet Lance wishes that was the case.

In cycling we find and deal with our drug cheats. Footy hides theirs. Pretty obvious which sport is really the cleaner. To a thinking audience.

Speaking of the Police, I was passing Box Hill cop shop last night on my commute home. Cop car out the front. RACV van in front of it. RACV man changing the Cop Cars flat tire. Sigh. I remember when cops could change a flat themselves. My dad remembers when they might stop and give you a hand.

The last combat troops pulled out of Iraq today. Mind you they are leaving 50,000 heavily armed and armoured non combat troops and any number of heavily armed and armoured private security people in the county. But essentially Iraq,lacking a government and most essential services is running its own security. By any measure the US had firm if not total control of the country…a few people killed daily is not the same as not having control. And clearly no one wanted the US there. But its going to be interesting to see what happens. The Iraqi army was never much chop, how its going to stop the country becoming a toy for warlords and mullah’s is beyond me. The problem of course is all the real normal people stuck in the middle of it all. I don,t have any answers, well I do have one very politically incorrect answer that I won,t share here. I hope the optimism is warranted.

The cost of the Iraq war to the US… well 3/4 of a trillion dollars US. Could be looked on as a financial stimulus package I guess. 4000 ish US soldiers dead. In 7 years Which sounds a lot. But its actually less than a 10th of a years road toll. In fact its less than the number of Americans shot dead in America yearly. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

Australia also has no real government after the election last week. Which major party wins is going to come down to the independents. Who are negotiating for stupid little concessions for their own electorates like a pimp looking for a good price. It looks like Senator Conways bill for internet censorship is dead.. but he is going to keep his job. Dammit. Family firsts senator is still around. Ahhh… those keen, incisive and very forgiving and tolerant religious types. The national broadband network is going to go ahead too.. all of the independents are in country areas and strangely the country seems to be in favor of moving telecommunications into the 21’st century. All in all I guess its a win.. it certainly makes the point that the electorate is a bit fed up with politicians. It does however leave our country with a government in exactly the same deadlocked situation as the government of Iraq. Hopefully not for as long.

We have quite a lot of work on at the moment. I,ll write on that in the next post I think.. Cos I had better go and do some