Friday On My Mind …

– not to mention the small matter of the weekly raffle.

Joe6pack thrust the Raffle Instruction Book into moi’s trembling paws a couple of hours ago. He is unavailable this evening due to a home invasion – of the nicest possible sort.

So please be patient with me as I record names and numbers, allocate second, third, and even fourth choices, and eventually spin the Wheel of Fortune. C@tmomma and Bushfire Bill, the bar is in your tender care for the next couple of hours, so do beHAVE.

Well, what have we learned this week?

PMJG announced her new ministry – with some cracking new talent

• Defence Minister Stephen Smith announced the withdrawal of most Australian troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year – and about time, too

• Yet another asylum seeker boat capsizes off Christmas Island, with lives lost and several seriously injured – response from the Greens: crickets

• Former NSW ALP mining minister Ian Macdonald was described as Eddie Obeid’s left testicle – cruel, but apt

• Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said a Coalition government would impose “behaviour protocols” for asylum seekers – but did not reveal what colour(s) the stars would be

• Zed Seselja has been confirmed as the Canberra Liberals’ Senate candidate – Mr Abbott’s nose seems slightly out of joint

• The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry masquerades as Santa Claus again, offering Australia’s lowest-paid workers a stellar increase of – wait for it – $5.80 per week . . .

• . . . which allows a nice little segue to Mr “you won’t be hearing much from moi” Joel Fitzgibbon and his heartfelt sympathy for those denizens of Western Sydney doing it tough on $250,000 a year.
Moi’s heart bleeds for you too, Mr Fitzgibbon.

To return to more important matters: the usual raffle rules apply, and Joe6pack will (moi hopes) be around to organise a Tatts ticket or wager on the animal(s) of the winner’s choice at some stage.

Enjoy your evening,

and be nice to each other (especially moi . . . )

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385 thoughts on “Friday On My Mind …

  1. fiona
    I am not familiar with those roads but I will take your word for it. I have driven on The Dukes hwy once, in daylight. I swore I would never do it at night. It has crazy in-the-middle overtaking lanes every now and again, which take up part of the oncoming lane so you seem to be driving on the wrong side of the road when overtaking, or cars seem to be coming at you in your lane. Scary. No-one from a right hand drive country should go anywhere near that road.

  2. North and South Korea have technically been at war for decades. The Korean war never ended, there was an armistice agreement in 1954 and since then both sdes have been enduring an armed truce.

    Plus – I blame Kevin Rudd.

    St Kevvie of the Clean Hands gave a lecture in China the other day on the growing threat from North Korea. (No-one here noticed, he had to tweet a link about it to his own website.) That might well have set Kim Jong Un off on the rampage.

  3. My other pet peeve is caravans, for which there should be a license category and a test.

    It is stupid that Heavy License holders need an extension (from HR to HC) to tow a trailer, but people who drive a desk all year hook a caravan on, load it right up, and with little idea of how the thing will handle or the rig’s critical speed, head out onto already crowded roads at Easter and Christmas.

    The standard household trailer should be exempt but any trailer weighing more than 700kgs (thus requiring brakes) should need a License category and testing.

    These days I drive a laptop, down to the shops or the tinnie out fishing at Easter because it is madness out there!

    I have also been known to drive the odd Guinness or three of an evening …… 🙂

  4. muttley,

    I agree. I live in the theme part triangle on the GC. Holiday season on the roads is made difficult with inexperienced people towing boats and caravans.

  5. I did mention this, as discussed The Drum the other day.

    [A KEY Coalition savings measure to axe the $500 superannuation benefit for low-income workers will hit more than two million women, including 11,000 female voters in Tony Abbott’s own electorate.

    As a Galaxy poll shows 62 per cent of women harbour concerns over the Opposition leader, Australia’s peak welfare body and Labor are targeting Mr Abbott over the $800 million savings measure.

    The Coalition plans to scrap the $500 co-contribution for workers earning less than $37,000, a move that will affect thousands of women in some of the country’s most marginal seats.]

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/abbott-super-cuts-hit-women-hardest/story-fncvk70o-1226580619028

  6. muttlee
    I have a rule that I do not go anywhere over Easter. I stay off the local roads as much as possible. When in the workforce, for me Easter was rest at home time.

  7. Yet still no one will call Abbott out on his weasel words that “there will be no UNEXPECTED adverse decisions re superannuation”. Low paid women workers to suffer under the new softer, caring, both lover and beloved of females TA are to expect worse super outcomes.

  8. I really shouldn’t get started on four wheel drives and caravans, but what the hell….

    A couple of the local schools here are famous for their four wheel drive parades. Mums who live right in town, often just a few minutes from the school, have whopping huge four wheel drives that they use for the school run and the after-school activity run. The bloody things never go off the bitumen unless they get parked on the lawn for their weekly shampoo. Why do you need a four wheel drive complete with bull bar as mum’s taxi?

    And caravans – this place is Grey Nomad central. The great migration from the south is about to start. A lot of elderly Victorians head up here to spend the winter. Many have been coming here for years, they have their holiday friends and their special spot at the caravan park and a routine they always follow. So soon we will be swamped with the annual invasion of retirees towing huge vans with four wheel drives,. Fragile little old men who can barely lift a shopping bag without staggering will hop into their huge rigs and drive all the way up the coast from Victoria at a steady speed of about 40 k’s an hour. They must leave Victoria on Boxing Day to make it here by April, so slowly do they drive. To make things just a bit worse, they like to travel in convoys. Heaven help anyone who gets stuck behind one of those horrors on the highway.

  9. muttleymcgee
    It is stupid that Heavy License holders need an extension (from HR to HC) to tow a trailer, but people who drive a desk all year hook a caravan on, load it right up, and with little idea of how the thing will handle or the rig’s critical speed, head out onto already crowded roads at Easter and Christmas.

    Completely agree plus they can work all day then jump in thier cars towing huge heavy caravans and drive all night without any regard to fatigue or fatigue management. No checks ,cameras logbooks like the heavy vehicle drivers have to comply with. It’s a disgrace

  10. le roy thank you

    whats the opinion here of not displaying news poll giving it no publcity at all
    not even twitter there is no law that says you have to is there

  11. the scary thing about cravans is the blind spot in a car

    a big 4 wheeler can be toeing even a boat, but to the side of your mirror

    in one spot, you only see the vehichle imagine if you where to cross thinking that only a vehicle is driving by you
    it nearly happened to me years ago, from then i dont trust just mirrors i
    turn my head quickly side way to see if this may be the case,

  12. Today? Ummm, check the date……

    Abbott super cuts ‘hit women hardest’
    STEVE LEWIS – NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT
    News Limited Network
    February 19, 2013 12:00AM

    beware of retweeted old articles on twitter

  13. o well would it matter if it got a run over easter again on twitter
    woman need to know this surley

    and is there any takers for ignoring n p

  14. Leone,

    Mums who live right in town, often just a few minutes from the school, have whopping huge four wheel drives that they use for the school run and the after-school activity run. The bloody things never go off the bitumen unless they get parked on the lawn for their weekly shampoo.

    What’s more, if they were to go off the bitumen, they’d catch colds, keel over, and die.

    We live in Independent Schools Central (I think there are more independent schools in Kew, Victoria, than almost anywhere else in Australia). We are opposite one large grammar school; there’s a Catholic primary school at the other end of the short side street on our eastern boundary, and there are nine others in a radius of just over 1 km. School drop-off and pick-up times are to be avoided like the plague.

    Muttley & Joe,

    Agree totally about licensing, fatigue management etc.

  15. { Oh!…By the way…congrats’ to leftrightout’s daughter on her baby….well done! }

    From me too.

  16. its weird isnt why does he dislike us woman so much

    his daughters want thank him when they retire,

    this i hope will reach every woman who are also not on twitter

    is there a way in a tweet that indicates , tell your mothers and your grandmothesr their super is not safe from liberals party,

    your happy retirement plan would be in caos

  17. Saw the ‘puff piece’ about Abbott’s daughters (must need his image softened again) one said that Dad wasn’t a good swimmer. So what’s with the surf lifesaving?

  18. J6P, I’ve never talked to a professional Heavy Vehicle driver who didn’t agree about bloody caravans.

    Lots of Grey Nomads know what they are doing but there are lots of them who sit, in convoy, 10k below the speed limit, holding up traffic, oblivious to the conga line behind them and uncaring about those who have a schedule to keep.

    California has a law that, if there are 5 vehicles behind you it is mandatory for you to pull over and let them through. My dear old Dad who was an overcautious mobile roadblock, was stunned when he copped a Citation and a lecture from a very polite CHiPs Officer on a Harley, which he never forgot. I sat in the passenger seat nearly bursting with mirth while it all happened with the cop watching me suspiciously. I had to explain that Dad was always like that, although he improved a lot afterwards.

  19. Get me on about caravans and grey-nomads!….Years and years ago when I was but a young blade w/motor cycle….I was on my way to the “Silver City” (Broken Hill) from adelaide….there was a certain young lady I’d met over the Christmas holidays and….NOW LISTEN!…I don’t want to hear about it!..Ok, we were ALL gullible once, and a young bloke will do crazy miles just to get close to it!…YOU BLOKES HAVE TOO!…don’t bullshit to me!….anyway, a huge storm blew up about Burra, so I left the bike at the coppers station and thumbed it from there.

    I got a lift from these “Grey Nomads” towing one of those fuuuu*kin’ huge caravans they had in those days with a Holden Kingswood…Two large women and the tiniest little bloke driving…he looked THROUGH the steering wheel to drive..I sat in the back with one of these biddies. The women were both knitters and the conversation was sparse…there was a real generation gap those days….I had real long hair.

    The weight distribution in the caravan musta been pretty bad, because every now and then the whole she-bang would get up a sway so bad it would carry the car and caravan from one side of the road to the other in a bloody wild swerving ride with the little bloke literally “riding” the steering wheel like a victim on the whipping wheel, arms and legs akimbo..this must have been going on for a few times even before I joined the caravanserai as the ladies kept knitting through it all except to now and then ask “Father” if everything was fine….and ; “yes..just a bit of side-wind I’d say”.

    I bailed out at Whyte Yacowrie on the sad excuse that I wanted to enquire at the roadhouse for any work in the area….I really didn’t think they’d make it to the “Hill”…..Oh well, the things you do for love.

  20. “Saw the ‘puff piece’ about Abbott’s daughters (must need his image softened again) one said that Dad wasn’t a good swimmer. So what’s with the surf lifesaving?”

    Gonna call shenanigans on this. Anyone who does triathlons, or does SLSC patrols – which require a bronze medallion and therefore the ability to swim 400m in <7 minutes – can swim well. Even if it is Abbott.

  21. Just wacked $70 on ALP @6.50 on Sportsbet. Enough to pay for some decent champagne come Sept 14. I rolled over my winnings on the leadership ballot.

  22. Roy…I may not have been much of a gentleman THEN!…But I like to think I am now……and a gentleman never tells!

  23. “The weight distribution in the caravan musta been pretty bad, because every now and then the whole she-bang would get up a sway so bad it would carry the car and caravan from one side of the road to the other in a bloody wild swerving ride with the little bloke literally “riding” the steering wheel like a victim on the whipping wheel, arms and legs akimbo.”

    This is an example of ‘critical speed’ being exceeded. There is reason for Semitrailers having a relatively long distance between the turntable (towball) and the centre of the towed wheels as the greater this distance, the more stable the rig will be especially as speed increases.

    And the converse applies. A very short trailer tends to become unstable at slower speeds and what JayCee describes above can easily occur, leading to rollovers and usually bad accidents, and which braking makes very much worse very suddenly. If this occurs going downhill, serious consequences are very likely. (JayCee was right to bail out.)

    All of which can be exaggerated by having any one, or a combination of, bad weight distribution, an overloaded or badly loaded trailer, a large overhang on the towing vehicle (towbar a long way behind the rear axle of the towing vehicle) and incorrect hitches. If you see a car towing a ‘car’ trailer with the trailered vehicle on backwards, stay away from it, unless it is a rear engined car onboard.

    Holding the steering wheel absolutlely still and accelerating is about the only way of correcting this dangerous situation, which is not always possible.

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