November 13, 2006 by  
Filed under News

Man injured after launching firework from bottom – Yahoo! News

The story is disturbing, but of more interest to me is the AFP‘s choice of words in describing the bystanders.

Footage of the incident … was captured on a mobile phone by a gang of youths

My emphasis. Not bystanders, obervers, friends or fellow idiots, but a gang. Gangs are scary. Lock ’em up! Young people I tell you.


November 12, 2006 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

If you’ve been following our lease / housing decisions, this is a final update.

I’ll recap the whole scenario, in excruciating detail, for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about.

We were initially thinking of moving because our landlord was going to put our rent up by $20 per week, which we weren’t too happy about. We asked if they would replace the carpet that is badly stained, or perhaps give us an air conditioner seeing as they were asking for an extra $1,040 out of us for the year, or at least not increase the rent so much as incentive for us to stay. The rental agent said neither of those things were likely to happen, so we looked elsewhere.

A two-bedroom house looked promising, and I went to look at it last Wednesday morning with the owner. It turned out we were both seeing the property inside for the first time since the owner had bought it after seeing it on the internet. Basically on seeing it he considered it unrentable and said, if we were still interested, to make him an offer.

On consideration, we thought this would be an opportunity to save a great deal of money as he would be improving the property, so I called the owner back on Thursday morning. His phone went straight to voicemail and I couldn’t get in touch with him before Friday, when we had to hand in our two weeks notice to leave our current unit. We were trusting that the owner of the house we wanted to move to would get back to us. I knew he was returning from overseas November 14, which would give us three days to move if he agreed to our offer, but few options if he didn’t.

On Monday, however, our rental agent phoned me and asked if we had found somewhere to move to. Apparently the owner of our unit had been away the week previously, so was unable to respond to our requests. The owner offered to purchase an airconditioner if we paid for installation, new tiles or floorboards to replace the carpet, and to increase the rent by only $5 per week. With no guaranteed accommodation if we left, a fantastic offer to stay, and the fact that we like our apartment, we agreed to renew our lease for 12 months based on those conditions.

This has been a long post, but I was asked in an email, “when/are you moving house? and to where?

Knowing the asking party reads this blog, there is your answer. We are staying where we are, which is a blessing really, since we own a bunch of crap that neither Kate or I was looking forward to moving!

U2 Vertigo Tour – Brisbane

November 8, 2006 by  
Filed under News

This morning was my 8am exam on Medieval Civilisation: The Foundations, last night was the long awaited return to Australia of the ageless U2. Hmmm, I don’t think this counts as reselling, using for advertising, promotion, competitions or other commercial purposes without the presenter’s prior written authorisation, plus I’ve watermarked it COPY ONLY – so hopefully this isn’t illegal. My ticket from the first U2 concert on Australian soil in eight years, and my first ever U2 concert.

Yes, the ticket says March 21, but the Australian leg of the tour was postponed until November because of the illness of someone in the family of one of the band members earlier this year.

Kate and I were in row UUU out of VVV, as shown in the ticket, only one row from the furthest back seats. When we first arrived there weren’t many people in the stadium, so we took a rest halfway up the stairs to our seats. We couldn’t quite see the stage from our ‘rest’ seats, so it actually worked out quite well when we got up the top, as the height gave us a better view of the stage than when we had first arrived.

Kanye West opened, and after his first song went off on some tangent about himself in the press. I don’t know which press he’s talking about, but I’m pretty sure 95% of the people there had no idea what he was talking about, given probably about 75% had probably never heard of him. Nonetheless, on and on he went about how we should all keep in mind the press makes a big issue out of little things…. dude, nobody knows or cares.

That said, having listened to Kanye on tripleJ for a long time, it was good hearing Gold Digger, Diamonds are Forever, Jesus Walks, and Touch the Sky.

The gates for the standing only section on the field should have been opened earlier, since after Kanye we had to wait another half hour or more for U2 to start as people were still shuffling through lines to get into the stadium. Some friends were lined up from 5am until the gates opened at 5.30pm to try and get into the standing section that surrounds the stage. I hope they succeeded.

When U2 came on they opened with City of Blinding Lights. Kate was fidgety, wanting to get into the music, but everybody in the stands stayed in their seats. There were about 500 empty seats just next to our section, and we were considering moving to it so we could stand or sit as we pleased when the second song Vertigo, began. Our decision was made, and we took off to express ourselves through interpretive dance as the music thumped across the stadium.

It was pretty amazing, and Bono was surprisingly political. Not that I didn’t expect him to be political but he went for a bit of shock value when, before Sunday Bloody Sunday, he called for David Hicks to be released from Guantanamo Bay and returned to Australia for a fair trial. It was hard to judge the crowd’s response, but as Kate said, it definitely seemed to change the mood in the stadium from ‘entertainment’ to something a little more sombre.

The first six Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were also scrolled on the giant screen, with a child’s voiceover reading the last several. At another point, the big screen was turned into a giant pokie machine, once stopping to display three John Howard heads and one of Peter Garrett. For those who didn’t watch the ARIAs two weeks ago, Midnight Oil were inducted into the Hall of Fame – with a video introduction from Bono before Silverchair played Don’t Wanna Be the One. At the end of the performance, and before Midnight Oil came on stage, Silverchair front man Daniel Johns spray painted PG4PM on a stage wall.

Back to the U2 concert last night. Throughout the concert it was amazing that at any one time, only about 20 people were standing in our entire section of the stadium. Apart from the people in the very back row, most of whom felt at ease standing up because there weren’t rows of people behind them refusing to follow suit, everyone looked straitjacketed in their seats. Kate and I broke free, clapping our hands in the air, stomping our feet and dancing with the stick figures on screen.

When the band first left the stage after playing One, people started leaving the stadium without waiting for an encore. That was a big mistake, since the band returned to play another six songs! Strangely, many people didn’t think an encore was worth staying for, walking out while the band played on.

The political aspect of the event was very good. Not because it was
anything I hadn’t heard or thought of before, but because it was all
the things I have heard and have thought of before.
It’s often the simple things we forget about, but more importantly I
think there are people who may never think about political issues, and
this simple nudge might possibly educate. Mind you, we also forget
quickly. During Sunday Bloody Sunday there was also a graphic on screen of Coexist, where the C was the Islamic crescent, the X the Jewish Star of David, and the T a Christian cross.

Overall, as my first ever U2 concert, I was thoroughly impressed. Despite being the furthest back from the stage we could possibly be, I wasn’t at all disappointed by that. I’m really glad we left our seats and stood up the back because, despite the fantastic music, I would have been disappointed if I had been seated for the entire concert. Not too mention incredibly uncomfortable. Weren’t those people bored, and wishing they could jump up and down?!

You can see a lot more information about the concert, including the full set list, at

Last night one of my brothers and one of my sisters went to the Brisbane concert as well. My oldest brother has tickets for one of the Sydney concerts over this weekend, but at last report has lost them. I sincerely hope he finds them before the show!


November 8, 2006 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Comments Off on Crazyness

While studying for this morning’s exam, I printed out my assignment for the subject and read it for the first time to get a refresher on the topic. Yes, that’s correct, read it for the first time. I noticed I had re-stated the introduction three times, including in the second last paragraph (“this essay will argue”), referenced a mere 13 things in footnotes but forgot to go back and clean up those footnotes, and forgot to put in the dynastic family tree I’d painstakingly created to show the line of kings

It’s a crazy, mixed up world, I tell you. Seriously, who would have thought you could possibly get 20/40 on an assignment that’s handed in 24 days late, 1,070 words short of the word count and has, as one of the many pencilled-in comments,

?? has argued that ?? – You seem to have only copied the text of the intro.

Touché, sir.

Now I have International Peacekeeping and Christians, Jews and Muslims in the Middle Ages to study for next week before I’m done for the year. And, amazingly, it looks like I might pass all 5 subjects. That is currently pending the return of a Journalism essay that was also particularly bad, but I’ll find out tomorrow and make an announcement then. Also, of course, pending exam outcomes, but I’m assuming I’ll do well enough on those.

Stuff and Nonsense

November 6, 2006 by  
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Advertisements have returned to the Earley Edition. My opinion is this: if there really is money to be made, make it. If you have an opinion, voice it in the comments.

I was fortunate enough in another one of my returned essays to lose only half the marks I should have for late submission, leaving me with 19/40 rather than 9/40. The topic there was, Are Transitional Administrations a form of new imperialism? What did I say? Yes, I think…

I have an 8am exam the Wednesday morning after the U2 concert, and it is the most important exam of all three. And so, since today is a study day, I will away.

Don’t forget to vote for President of the United States of America – 2008! Here or in the sidebar on the right.



November 4, 2006 by  
Filed under Media

Comments Off on Win-win!

This would have to be rather unsettling for Republicans, for whom Rupert Murdoch’s FOX News has been a very strong supporter

When asked, ‘what if the Democrats win the next two elections?’, Murdoch responded:

It’ll be terrific. People will be watching Fox News like crazy.

Lost Remote TV Blog – Murdoch on Fox Business Channel, Democrats

Again saved in drafts, this from almost four weeks ago will be interesting to follow in four days time… In the meantime, cast your vote for President of the United States, 2008! Here or in the sidebar on the right.

Things aren’t Kewell

November 4, 2006 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

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This is an old link I saved to my drafts, and just thought I’d put it out there. Despite his chronic injuries, and the news that he could be out of action for at least another four months, not many people are willing to suggest that Harry Kewell’s value is dropping.

Based on this story, I would be surprised if Kewell plays for Liverpool again. They would have to really want to keep him since he’s been out for so long. I predict a move, maybe even in the next tansfer window.

Don’t forget to vote for the next US President, either in the post below, or in the sidebar on the right!


November 3, 2006 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

I’m about to walk across the road to hand in to the real estate agent our Form 13 – Notice of Intention to Leave.

The guy who owns the house we want to move in to… well, his phone has gone straight to voicemail for the last two days, but we’re trusting this is going to work out by handing in this notice today before 5pm.



November 2, 2006 by  
Filed under Media

Comments Off on Vote

It’s that time again, and while I only recently returned a vote to the US for some county school board decision, yesterday I sent off my sheet for the November 7 elections. Actually, Iowa isn’t being contested for the senate, but they packed the ballot card with other votes.

I voted for: US Representative District 4, Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor of State, Treasurer of State, Secretary of Agriculture, Attorney General, State Representative District 7, County Treasurer, County Recorder, County Attorney, County Public Hospital Trustees, Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioner, County Agricultural Extension Council, Court of Appeals Judges, District Court Judge and District Associate Judge. They also tried to get that sneaky school funding proposal through again with different wording.

I actually don’t know anything about that school funding proposal, just as I don’t know anything about the people running for the positions mentioned above, but I voted against it anyway.

As always, I hope my vote gets there in time for November 7! There was a short story recently in the International Herald Tribune about the difficulties overseas voters face.

And while we’re at it, why not produce a quick poll here? It has nothing to do with the current elections, which are senate elections, but if you could, who would you vote for as President of the United States in the 2008 elections? If you’re interested, you can find some more information about a few of these people (the real potentials) by following the link above to the potential candidates for 2008.



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