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Friday, 29 March 2013

Let's talk about text

Online chatting and text talk- what does it mean? If you have anything to do with teenagers you may feel text talk is a kind of secret code. '9' means a parent is watching. 'BTW' -by the way  '99' means they're gone. 'Tbh' - to be honest - I don’t hate text talk but here is something to consider. Our language, in fact all language has evolved over the course of countless generations. New words and phrases appear as suited to humankinds needs for communication in every aspect of our lives. We may as well go with the flow 'gwtf' and learn to accept change is inevitable. Some text talk is funny and you can get caught up in its allure and ultimately find yourself using it.

'Idc' -I don't care I hear you say.  It aint proper English this strange abbreviated talk. Here are a few of my favourites. '?4u' -I have a question for you as opposed to '?' which still means a stock standard question.
'Yolo'- You only live once as opposed to 'oloy' -only losers obey Yolo. Apparently swag means secretly we are gay. I thought it meant to have attitude -my gaffe has caused some laughs on Face book. We all know wtf? '143' means I love you or 'ILY' means it too. '1432' is right back at you. Opposingly '182' is I hate you and '2g2bt' is too good to be true. '404' is I haven't a clue but that's okay because '@teotd' at the end of the day text talk is still a form of communication. 'Hoyew' hanging on your every word.

If you want to learn what's being said and what it means try:

Or, just Google text talk.

Consider the latest mobile 'app' -application, which was sold for 28 million to Yahoo. It summarises lengthy amounts of news into bullet form concise information- hence its name Summly. I think it encapsulates what is sought after by almost everyone who is breathing. The apps' advert states:

"Beautiful and concise summary
Simple, intuitive and elegant. Summly redefines news for the mobile world with algorithmically generated summaries from hundreds of sources. Innovative gestures, animations and great summaries make reading news fun: easy to use, easy to scan, easy to read, clear and concise."

There is so much information for people to process it makes sense that new forms of language are being generated. Consider handwritten letters of old being comprised of lengthy sentences and formal tones. Mail took days or months to reach their destinations. Modern day communication comprises of instantaneous conversation over long distances and we still can't get our speech out quick enough.

'Ty'- thank-you or '10x' and 'ttfn'- tata for now'. I’ve 'g2g'- got to go and don’t forget to use those emoticons. :-)  Smiley face…. because with this new abbreviated language how does anybody know what anyone means? :-(  (Unsmiley face).

Tuesday, 26 March 2013


Human beings are experts at waste, wastage and wasting.

Consumers in the Western world waste food at alarming rates. Some statistics suggest 50 per cent of food in the world is wasted.

It is estimated that the average Australian wastes 200kg of food a year.

I personally take food for granted and hardly consider what I throw away at the end of the week. Some of it I feed to our chickens. A large proportion is thrown into the bin. I wonder how careful I would be with rationing if I were starving.

Not only is food being tossed. There are whole islands of plastic waste in our five oceans. The South Pacific, North Pacific, North Atlantic, South Atlantic and Indian Ocean have gyres that consist of plastic rubbish. I help form a part of those vortex's of garbage. I use and discard plastic at a shameful rate. I rarely consider where my household rubbish ends up. I can reasonably assume most people are not that different from me.  I wouldn't know how to live without plastic packaging as it has been wrapped around my food ever since I can remember. Plastic products appear everywhere in my house.

We waste resources we waste our time. We trash and sabotage, pollute, wreck and ruin. We tear down habitats and waste their products. We bring species of flora and fauna to its knees and all the time we sit in our air-conditioned homes, wasting power, throwing away clothes a season old and kidding ourselves we are developed and civilized and superior.

Not only do we waste resources but we are also adept at wasting life. How many lives have been wasted at war? World war 1 saw around 37 million civilians and military deaths. World war 2 caused 60 million casualties. Although these two wars are pivotal in our history there have been thousands more conflicts through the ages. As time progresses our effectiveness at wasting life has multiplied. How many lives are wasted through drugs and alcohol? How many people are murdered every year?

I wonder why our race takes so much for granted. We are users and abusers; we discard, reject and destroy. We take and pillage and spare little thought or consideration about the consequences of our actions. We barely care about the impact we have on our world or the people living in it. We selfishly consider our own personal wealth and standard of living. We tend to care for our own self and family and rarely consider anyone else. Our survival instinct has seen our race expand and dominate and succeed but at what cost? 

Perhaps our planet is reacting to our actions. Perhaps it is already too late to change our way of life. 

Saturday, 23 March 2013

24 starts for 24 wins

I had the most amazing evening at Moonee Valley twilight race meeting March 22. At least I thought I was at the races until I experienced a sing along with 25 000 voices thundering 'Riding on our horses' accompanied by Daryl Braithwaite. It wasn't an average race meeting I was witnessing. It was Black Caviars' night. She certainly is a legend and champion and totally adored diva of the equine world. Only in Australia can a horse be so revered and worshipped. Of course we have done this before.

As the great mare entered the mounting yard the crowd roared and the butterflies erupted in my stomach. Everyone stood waving and applauding and she was yet to win the race. The reaction after she flew home was more ecstatic. Black and salmon pink streamers exploded into the crowd. People laughed, cried and stood amazed- excitedly grateful to experience the forging of a legend. I wonder why punters and those who are racing newbies pack a grandstand and cheer and sing and celebrate a horse that can run really fast? I mean really fast. She ate the field on this particular night by 4 lengths. Athletically she's special. Her motor is a class of its own but why all the fuss? Maybe because she's won everything she's entered- beaten the best in the world. Maybe because she's cleverly marketed. Trainer Peter Moody is a gem of an ambassador for racing and has promoted the sport beyond his obligations. Maybe we adore her because she takes her champion status in her stride. Who knows and who cares. Instead of analysing an awesome history making event let's just enjoy the thrill and excitement of the Black Caviar journey.  

Friday, 15 March 2013

Don't you hate it when:


My latest hit list with compliments.

Don't you hate it when:::::

  • You see a packet of chocolate biscuits in the pantry and think, 'Yum.' As you retrieve the packet you realise there is zero contents. Great. My family is not only greedy but they are also thieves.
  • Every time you go to the toilet the toilet paper roll is empty.
  • Teenagers skull milk out of the carton and then put it back in the refrigerator. I catch them all the time.
  • You can't find a pen. You eventually pick one off the floor of your child's room and it is inevitably always out of ink.
  • Big handbags. You purchase the bag of your dreams but you can never find anything in it. 
  • Finding used band-aids in the shower recess.
  • Mould in the grout of your bathroom tiles.
  • You save last nights dinner for lunch the next day and someone eats it. (Usually leaving the dirty empty plate in the fridge.)
  • Lolly wrappers discarded in random locations around the house.
  • Someone borrows the car and moves the seat.
  • Someone borrows the car and returns it with hardly any petrol.

Friday, 1 March 2013


Have you ever felt the adrenaline rush of guiding 1000 kgs of metal at speeds of phenomenal velocity? Do you ever feel the thrill of successfully nailing swerves and turns and dodges preventing near crushing impacts at extreme rates of flight? Do you get excited when you're continually seconds from death and in total control of your outcome? Have you experienced that feeling of supremacy when you guide one tonne of petroleum monster into a tight squeeze with only the smallest of margins for error?

Well if you think you can't then think again. Every time you sit yourself behind your steering wheel and drive to the shops or workplace or to pick up your kids, you perform remarkable acts of life endangering exercises. We sometimes take for granted the responsibility of driving our vehicles and occasionally we pay the price. For the most part driving our car is one of the most life threatening and dangerous activities we perform and yet we rarely think about the enormity of the risks involved. We only consider the ramifications when we occasionally pass a crash scene and feel sickened. Funnily enough once we step out of our vehicles and onto our private driveway we can barely remember or recall anything about the journey. And yet so many of us think we have a 'right' to be preoccupied doing other things while undertaking this risk. Examples in the media recently: texting and talking on mobile phones, applying lip-stick and mascara, searching radio stations, reading... the list is scarily endless.

“Mobile phones are the biggest distraction for road users. In 2011-12 Victoria Police issued more than 55,000 mobile phone infringement notices to drivers, with 20 to 30 year olds the biggest offenders,” the Assistant Treasurer of Victoria Mr. Rich-Phillips said.

“Other distractions include using satellite navigation systems, eating food, putting on makeup while driving or using iPod and MP3 players while walking, riding and driving.”

Road trauma costs lives, happiness and money.
Every week around five people die and almost 100 are seriously injured on Victoria’s roads.
Play your part in reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roads.
The economic cost of road trauma is estimated to be more than $3 billion a year to the Victorian community.

Each and every person on our roads also has a role to play in the road safety effort.

There were 282 people who died on Victorian roads in 2012. So far, 1-3- 2013 there has been 40 deaths. For every death on our roads consider how many people are affected. How many people are seriously injured? How many families are involved in rehab and care? Consider the impact on emergency services. What is the true cost? Not just financially but emotionally and socially.

How would an airplane full of passengers react if the pilot was busy texting his wife about a dinner date while trying to navigate his plane to land. Stupid analogy? Then consider how many road users you encounter and endanger if you're driving whilst distracted.

In light of changes to Victorian laws regarding P-Platers and mobile phone usage I would propose no mobile phone usage by any driver- hands free or otherwise. Switch them off before you start your car and stay tuned to the 1000 kgs you should be in control of.