Australia

The Whinging Welshman

While this all encompassing, if inaccurate label causes no offense to me, it does to some. This is especially so when preceded by ‘whinging’ or ‘bloody’ and whilst the precise etymology eludes me, it is worth noting that even the Australians are unsure of exactly where or how the word ‘Pom’ originated.

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Vultures with wheels

….and you know what? I bet nobody else gives a shit! But that’s the beauty of a blog; I can write what the hell I like and libel laws aside, I will argue that point to the grave.

I don’t know what’s worse, these tossers (see below) for their inability to park correctly or me for actually giving a shit!

Every fucker used the PEDESTRIAN walkway as their own private parking space
Every fucker used the PEDESTRIAN walkway as their own private parking space
A neighbour passed away a little while ago and the scavengers were present in numbers to pick the bones of his estate. They showed scant respect for anyone else by obstructing the public footpath, preventing pedestrians from walking safely and by parking on resident’s lawns too! How inconsiderate can you get? Not much in my opinion. Does the ‘fair go’ laid back attitude extend so far as to allow neanderthals to act in such a manner?
I could almost accept parking like this from a woman
I could almost accept parking like this from a woman

Navigating a busy street with a push chair and four additional small ones is far from easy at the best of times but when you are forced into the road, instead of the relative safety of the sidewalk, it can be particularly dangerous. My children have no choice but to ride or walk in the road. Are you so fucking thoughtless that you simply park where you feel is ok for you? In a residential area? The mind boggles at the thoughtlessness of, it has to be said, the overwhelming majority of vultures who drove to scavage the leftovers.

Thankfully our suburban road is relatively peaceful and traffic free, other than the obvious aforementioned morons but their ignorant actions speak volumes for the laid back ‘fair go’ attitudes, synonimous with Aussies. If we were located on a more busy public road, the baseball bat would be getting up close and personal with a couple of dick head’s cages.

Aussie ‘fair go’ attitude? More like Aussie ‘couldn’t give a toss’ attitude.

Safeway Homeshop is Crap….Really.

Online shopping works if it works, if you follow me. My point is that shopping online and having it delivered to my door, is a useful concept and one I’m sure is vital for many. Notwithstanding the obvious benefits to those unable to physically visit a supermarket, the very fact that this mundane chore is removed, is brilliant. Cup of tea in one hand, mouse in the other and not a single jobsworth checking your bags and pockets on your way out, what’s not to like about online shopping?

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Hem

– Australian noun

1. a cut of meat from the heavy-muscled part of a hog’s rear quarter, between hip and hock, usually cured.
2. that part of a hog’s hind leg.
3. the part of the leg back of the knee.

The Australian Pizza

It would be pure folly to even attempt to explain the train of thought which eventually led to the Australia-shaped pizza but it was fun, if only for me.

I needed an image that I could manipulate, particularly it’s size, without losing quality. I immediately assumed that this was a job for the indomitable Photoshop with which I have little skill and even less patience to learn and so I enquired on a number of graphics-related discussion fora.

Australia shaped pizza
A pizza shaped like Australia! Struth!

The initial response was “make your own” and unsurprisingly, “Pizza Hut” received an honorary mention but eventually, the more mature creative minds offered some useful advice regarding likely candidates and methods for accomplishing the task. However, I would prefer to shave my backside with a blunt, rusty razor and slide down an embankment of nettles on my arse than get to grips with Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro or Corel Draw and not just because I can’t be arsed but more due to the expense involved to use legitimate licensed software.

According to my research, none of the umpteen pizzerias in Bendigo do an Australia-shaped pizza. It would have been simpler to order, photograph and eat. So, even though I [rolleyes]’d at the original, seemingly unhelpful fora replies, I found myself actually making my own rustic pizza. I’m glad I did.

Pizza is incredibly simple to make and there’s no reason why everyone who likes pizza, shouldn’t be able to make their own. In fact, learning to DIY will not only save you money but you’ll appreciate them more as they taste so much nicer than their commercial cousins.

The Dough

2 Cups of plain flour (bread flour if you have it)

3/4 Cup of warm water

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp sugar

2 tbls olive oil

7/8 gms yeast (usually 1 packet)

Sauce and toppings of your choice

Add yeast to warm water.

Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add water and yeast mix and the olive oil. Mix and knead into a ball until slightly sticky. Add more flour too sticky or water if too dry. Little olive oil wiped around the bottom part of the bowl. Drop ball of dough in, cover with cellophane wrap and leave somewhere warm to rise.

Once risen by about 50%, remove and flatten on a lightly floured surface. If you can flatten to about 3-5 mm by hand, great. My dough was so elastic that I struggled even with a rolling pin.

Top with the sauce and your preferred toppings. Bake at 2.20 fan assisted, higher for regular.

The result might not look particularly appetizing but my children loved it!

Now, don’t forget that this produced an edible pizza, ultimately for creating the Australia shape. What it certainly has done is inspire me to learn how to make a great pizza and in due course, I will be posting updates using new dough recipes, sauces and methods, while I experiment to find my favourite combo.

There are hundreds of dough variations and a confusing amount of cooking methods but before I even begin, I am going to guess that the winner will be the humble cheese and tomato Margarita. Second place will probably go to a slightly richer calzone with pepperoni.

This is what I am aiming for…

A great looking pizza
The perfect pizza base!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, stay tuned and I will share what I find.

Beware the Butcher of Bendigo

Bendigo dog owners are rightly outraged and more than a little disturbed with the knowledge that a sick, sociopathic miscreant is skulking in the shadows, ready to pounce on their beloved pets. The depraved thug is known to be responsible for the callous and brutal slaughter of at least a dozen local dogs including an entire litter of puppies which were bludgeoned to death.

If the thought of an animal serial killer on the loose does little to stir any compassion, take into consideration the very real links between animal and human violence. Many researchers have found that a history of animal violence indicates a high propensity for interpersonal violence. Put simply, those who abuse animals usually move on to human victims. That said, not all animal abusers become serial killers but most serial killers began their killing ‘career’ with animals.

One of the known warning signs of certain psychopathologies, including antisocial personality disorder, is a history of torturing pets and small animals. According to the New York Times:

“the FBI has found that a history of cruelty to animals is one of the traits that regularly appears in its computer records of serial rapists and murderers, and the standard diagnostic and treatment manual for psychiatric and emotional disorders lists cruelty to animals as a diagnostic criterion for conduct disorders.” and “A survey of psychiatric patients who had repeatedly tortured dogs and cats found all of them had high levels of aggression toward people as well.”

This is a commonly reproduced finding and for this reason, violence (including sexually oriented violence) towards animals, is considered a serious warning sign of potential serious violence towards humans. The following are a few examples:

  • Russell Weston Jr. tortured and killed 12 cats, by burning, cutting their tails, paws and ears off, put toxic chemicals in their eyes, blinding them, forcing them to eat poison, hanging them from trees; the noose loose enough to create a slow and painful death, as the cat/kitten struggles to free itself as the noose gets tighter with each attempt. Later killed 2 police officers at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.
  • Jeffery Dahmer loved to dissect animals (he learned this in school). Later he dissected boys and kept their body parts in the refrigerator. He murdered 17 men.
  • Albert De Salvo, the Boston Strangler, would place a dog and cat in a crate with a partition between them. After starving the animals for several days, he would remove the partition and watch them kill each other. He raped and killed 13 women by strangulation. He would often pose the bodies in a shocking manner after their murders.
  • In 1998 in Springfield, Oregon 15-year-old Kip Kinkel set a live cat on fire and dragged the innocent creature through the main street of town. He walked into his high school cafeteria and opened fire on his classmates. Two classmates were killed and 22 others injured, four critically. Later that day, police found his parents shot to death in their home.
  • Edmund Emil Kemper III, who murdered his mother and 7 other women, was known to abuse cats and dogs.
  • Carol Edmund Cole, who murdered 35 people, admitted that his first violent act was strangling a puppy.
  • Eleven-year-old Andrew Golden and 13-year-old Mitchell Johnson tortured and killed dogs. A friend of Golden stated that he shoots dogs all the time with a .22. In 1998, in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Golden and Johnson shot and killed four students and one teacher during a fire drill at their school.
  • Richard Allen Davis set numerous cats on fire. He killed all of Polly Klaus’ animals before abducting and murdering Polly Klaus, aged 12, from her bedroom.
  • The 10 year olds Robert Thompson and John Venables, who killed toddler Jamie Bulger had a history of violence towards animals.

Despite the historical recognition of the link between cruelty to animals and violence toward humans, law enforcement agencies, the courts, and social service agencies have, until recently, ignored the well established connection.

  • A survey of pet-owning families with substantiated child abuse and neglect found that animals were abused in 88 percent of homes where child physical abuse was present (DeViney, Dickert, & Lockwood, 1983).
  • A study of women seeking shelter at a safe house showed that 71 percent of those having pets affirmed that their partner had threatened, hurt or killed their companion animals, and 32 percent of mothers reported that their children had hurt or killed their pets (Ascione, 1998).
  • Still another study showed that violent offenders incarcerated in a maximum security prison were significantly more likely than non-violent offenders to have committed childhood acts of cruelty toward pets (Merz-Perez, Heide, & Silverman, 2001).
  • An English researcher found that 83% of families reported for animal abuse also had children listed at high risk of abuse or neglect.

There is also support for the hypothesis that cruelty to animals may be linked to other mental disorders. It can also be an indication that other forms of abuse are also occurring in the home, such as child or spousal abuse. If that wasn’t enough, Schedel-Stupperich (2001) state that some animal abuse incidences have a sexual connotation, and in general, the link between sadistic sexual acts with animals and sadistic practices with humans or lust murders is well known.

Some murderers tortured animals in their childhood, with some of them also practicing bestiality. Ressler et al. (1988) found that 36% of sexual murderers described themselves as having abused animals during childhood, with 46% of them reporting that they had abused animals during adolescence, and that 8 of their sample of 36 sexual murderers showed an interest in zoosexual acts.

So with this in mind, I wonder how Bendigo Police and the local authorities are treating this case? Given the limited intelligence associated with such depraved people, I wouldn’t expect the perpetrator to possess the ability to turn on and use a computer, let alone read this blog.

But should he (and I’m putting money on it being a ‘he’) somehow overcome these debilitating obstacles and find himself reading this……You are obviously deeply disturbed and I would strongly suggest you seek urgent psychiatric help before these cowardly acts escalate into a ‘career’ involving human victims, who incidentally, will most certainly fight back.

Aussie ski lift prices highest in world

Taking a family vacation to the mountains in order to sample the Winter sports on offer, is going to be an expensive choice this season. Skiing has never been the first choice for budget holiday-makers but Europeans should consider themselves fortunate with the price they pay for their lift passes considering the latest survey by the Australian Alpine Club.

Australian ski lift prices are now the highest in the world, according to an annual survey by the Australian Alpine Club. “The inconvenient truth is that Australian ski lift prices are now more expensive than those in even the most exclusive resorts in Europe and North America,” said Australian Alpine Club President Ian Farrow.

The full article can be found here. The World Lift Ticket Price Report 2008 does go some way to put this in perspective, as the above article doesn’t take into account numerous other factors.

Weeeee!
That's me that is!

Nevertheless, skiing is an expensive option in family vacations but should be tried at least once. If you catch the bug, you will certainly find ways to ensure regular trips to the mountains, whether you hock the family heirlooms, hock the children or simply and far less costly, leave your family at home.

Bendigo’s Half-witted Hoons win Award

Yes, you read correctly. Bendigo’s Hoons collectively win the Village Idiot Award for Outstanding Idiocy in the Face of Utter Stupidity!

I read today, with no great surprise I might add, that Bendigo’s hilarious hoon half-wits have outdone themselves by indirectly handing the police home video of themselves Hooning around the streets.

Senior Sergeant Ryan Irwin, of the Bendigo Traffic Management Unit, said hoons had been identified and caught from video and mobile phone footage. “We are quite pleased with the videos, we use them as an investigative tool, they assist us in detecting offenders,” he said.

“We have caught many through home videos that have found their way into our hands.”

You can read the article by The Advertiser here and don’t forget to search YouTube too.

Can you spot the odd one out? Bendigo, burnout, cretinous, dim-witted, dumb, half-witted, Hoon, imbecilic, moronic, mum’s car, retarded, simple, slow, tools, soft in the head, stupid, unintelligent, weak-minded, witless. No? Me neither! I certainly don’t wish to imply that Bendigo is populated by imbecilic morons as a result of inbreeding or some diabolical social experiment, far from it but there is an underlying idiocy that threatens the good name of this fine city and it’s people. Inextricably linked with Bendigo this contemptible sub-culture will eventually be responsible for the killing of some poor innocent, unfortunate enough to get in their way.

You are stupid enough to break the law in the first place but then compound your stupidity by having a partner-in-crime document your aforementioned stupidity. Would it be a fair to assume a profound lack of intelligence when you then post the said video evidence online? The answer, if you are struggling, is yes, and when I say ‘online’, I do not refer to the evidence simply lying inconspicuously amongst the thousands of terabytes of data somewhere on the Interwebthingy but published on the most popular video sharing web site on the planet where more than 100 million clips are viewed every day. 1.244 billion people use the Internet so it was always likely that someone somewhere would see the video and do the socially responsible thing by contacting the boys in blue.

I think I am perfectly justified in referring to these subjects as sub-intelligent for surely no intelligent person would risk so much for such an adolescent cheap thrill, let alone advertise video evidence. I could use the word ‘Dumbo’ but this would not be fair to the small, lovable, flying elephant whose good name is often maligned when substituted for the word moron, even though his level of intelligence is never determined during the animated Disney classic.

Stand up and be counted

You can play you part and help keep our children safe by reporting any dangerous or menacing activity and teaching the next generation that it’s not big and it’s certainly not clever. I would urge anyone who witnesses Hoonage in progress to call either the Bendigo Police station directly on 5448 1300 or 000 to report the crime.

Epilogue

I would be very interested to know if there is any research available for public consumption on the subject of Hoons and Hoonage. I’m not necessarily referring to papers on ‘the missing link’ for this is an obvious fact but more social studies on this miscreant car culture. If anyone has anything related, please use the contact form by selecting the ‘Contact’ tab (top right) or post your comments below.

And a word of warning! God help the Hoon that harms one of my children through their quest for cheap thrills.