Posts filed under 'Lunacy/Idiots'

Another flawed pigeon test declares the Internet to be slower than pigeons

It’s not the first time that this sort of test has been done, and it probably won’t be the last either, but it’s time to knock the stupid theory on the head once and for all.

ABC TV’s Hungry Beast program have found that a carrier pigeon is able to transport a 700MB file between two rural towns, more quickly than a car or the Internet. Apparently this makes pigeons faster than the Internet, supposedly dispelling Kevin Rudd’s theory that we would be worse off under a Liberal government which he seems to think would replace the Internet with carrier pigeons.

In terms of raw throughput, they may be right. The pigeon took one hour and five minutes, which is an average speed of 179.5 kilobytes per seconds. The car took a bit longer…and here’s where the test falls down on throughput…the Internet connection dropped out a number of times and didn’t finish the download, which says more about the phone line used for the Internet connection than anything else.

As it happens, the test is very wrong on throughput, at least in areas with ADSL 2+. On my home connection, I can regularly get downloads of a bit over 2 megabytes per second (2,000 kilobytes per second), which is more than ten times the speed of a pigeon.

That said, the pigeon test can be debunked even further, as the test only takes in to account raw throughput of large files, and completely ignores the way that the Internet actually works.

Take what happens when you visit the home page of this blog for example. Firstly, your web browser sends a request to the server for the page, then the server sends the raw HTML code of the page back to your browser. Your browser reads this, and generates a new request for the css stylesheets as well as every single unique image on the page (16 at the time of writing) as well as all of the embedded content such as YouTube videos of which there are a few, and the servers responsible for these images and embedded content send the requested data back to your browser. If you then go and watch one of the YouTube videos, the browser has to request that, and YouTube’s servers send the data back to your browser.

On the Internet, this doesn’t take very long. Requests go back and forth in moments, and it’s the larger bits of data (images, videos etc) which take time to download due to bandwidth restrictions.

You try doing that with a set of carrier pigeons. This site is hosted on a server in Melbourne, and I’m in Canberra, so your calculations will vary depending on your location, but let’s assume that the news report is accurate and that pigeons fly at about 130km/h (which sounds dubious to me, but we’ll run with it). Melbourne is about 650km away if you go in a straight line, so it would take a pigeon five hours to travel that distance.

Imagine that. You request my website at 7am on Monday, the pigeon arrives in Melbourne at midday, and returns with the HTML code of the website at 5pm. Your browser then requests the css stylesheet and, say, nine images, because you only have ten pigeons at your disposal…they are a finite resource after all. The pigeons arrive in Melbourne at 10pm, and get the data back to you at 3am Tuesday. You now have the stylesheet, so the formatting looks about right, and you have some of the images, although some of the formatting images are linked from the stylesheet so the site is still a bit odd in many places. Your browser requests the rest of the images and the embedded YouTube players, the pigeons get to Melbourne at 8am, and bring the data back to you at 1pm.

So, the total time required to load just the front page of this website via courier pigeon is 30 hours. This would not get any faster if you had more pigeons either, as you wouldn’t have known about the formatting images until you got the stylesheets back.

Thanks to browser caching of formatting images and stylesheets, you might be able to reduce the loading time of subsequent pages on this website to twenty hours, but that doesn’t really make the site any more useful to you.

And just think…if it takes that long to load a domestic webpage, how long would it take to load a website from overseas? It’s about 15,000 kilometres to the US, which is roughly 23 times the distance from Canberra to Melbourne, so if we multiply the domestic loading time of 30 hours by 23…ye gods! It would take 690 hours (28 days and 18 hours) to load the front page of this website. Yes, that’s right, a month to load one page.

And none of this even takes in to account the extra hours required for DNS lookups before you can even send a request to the appropriate server.

All I can say is thank God the ABC and their pigeons don’t run the Internet!


October 29th, 2009 at 02:41pm

Thursday bits, bobs and errata

And with that, I’m back. The whole catching up on sleep and getting my energy back thing has been a limited success, but I am now back to being able to put my thoughts in to writing without having to spend a week working out how to word it, so we’ll call it a success.

I’ve got a lot to get through, and seeing as blog posts with multiple short stories in them seem to be the flavour of the trimester on about half the blogs I read, and it’s convenient in this case, I’ll bite and run such a post here.


Sleep? Hmmm, well it’s 3:32am as I type this and I last finished sleeping at 8am yesterday. You do the math. That said, in the last few nights I have had dreams where I:
1. Was in a repeat episode of Third Watch. Nobody could be bothered attending to the emergencies as they all knew that the people survived the episode, so why bother risking injury doing the stunts again?
2. I plunged to my death in a taxi, on a wet night where the left half of the road had been washed away. A very vivid and disturbing dream.
3. KXNT’s Alan Stock was elected as Chairman of the Nevada Action Committee, although what this actually achieved is beyond me, because the only thing he was required to do as part of this job was take five minutes out of his show each morning to read the KXNT phone number over and over and over and over and over (we’ll come back to this in five minutes when he’s done with the phone number)


Speaking of KXNT, their traffic bed (the music they play under their traffic reports) is one of the bits of music which I managed to get stuck in my head this week. I also managed to get the First Option Mortgage jingle stuck in my head for three excruciating hours, and get it stuck in somebody else’s head simply by mentioning it on Facebook. Apparently it’s called “ear worm”. I also had another song stuck in my head, but I dare not try to remember what it was lest it happen again.


Frasier and Seinfeld repeats at 7:30pm and 8pm weeknights respectively on Go! Channel Nine receive my perpetual thanks for this.


There was some Bollywood movie on SBS Two the other night. I watched ten minutes of it near the beginning during which time the married couple managed to patch up their differences, and the wife declared that she didn’t really care about her husband’s flaws anyway. How they could drag that about the next three hours is beyond me, and I’m glad that I didn’t stick around to find out. The ten minutes was good for a laugh though.


Cisco have calculated (which is probably code for “guessed”) that the average broadband Internet user downloads 11.4 gigabytes per month. I average 20-25GB per month and will probably start doubling that in the not-to-distant future if one of my household projects gets off the ground.


Facebook have decided to preserve the accounts of deceased members, minus status updates and other “sensitive data”. This intrigues me as I have often thought about what would happen to this site and my other online data if I were to cease existing for whatever reason. I would like to keep it all online permanently, but am yet to find a viable solution. The National Library’s PANDORA project archives the essence of this site, but seems to have a lot of broken links and missing data, which is hardly surprising given the sheer size of this site (6.97GB and growing). Preserving this site is a work in progress…I suppose I’ll just have to stick around for long enough to ensure that it happens.

Anyway, if and when I shuffle off this mortal coil, I’m happy for my Facebook account to be preserved as some sort of shrine, but I don’t want anything to be removed from it. How does one go about sharing this wish with Facebook. One’s will?


Speaking of the dead, Yahoo have finally killed off Geocities. I’m glad that I was reminded of this imminent death the other day, as I had one page on there which I needed to save. I’ll republish it on here at some stage.


Monash Drive has been removed the ACT “National Capital Plan”. The proposed road had been slated to run along the foot of Mount Ainslie behind Hackett, Ainslie and Campbell, roughly in-line with the already cleared sections which the high voltage power lines use. Politically, the road was never going to happen, which is a pity because it could have reduced a lot of congestion, especially in the years ahead.


We’ve been following Barack Obama’s approval ratings here for some months now using the figures from Rasmussen, who had the polling figures closest to the outcome of last year’s election. That said, the other polls are interesting as well, especially when you consider that in the Gallup poll, Obama has recorded the worst third quarter of an elected president in recorded history. A nine point drop in his approval rating in the space of three months.


The White House have declared war on FOX News, claiming that they’re not a news organisation. The White House clearly can’t tell the difference between news programming and opinion programming, even when it’s pointed out to them. Funnily enough though, the other networks have defended FOX. Late last week, White House officials tried to ban FOX from a White House Press Pool interview session, but the other networks wouldn’t have a bar of it, quite clearly telling the White House that “if Fox can’t be a part of this, then none of us will interview your chap”. It worked, and the White House backed down, for now.

Here’s the point. FOX out-rate every other cable news network consistently, partially because of their news programming, and partially because of their opinion programming. People want to watch it. The White House don’t like the opinion programming as it is often critical of the Obama administration, unlike others such as MSNBC whose opinion programming often favours the Obama administration. The other networks know that if they let the White House exclude FOX, then they are all trapped in an unwritten “do as we say, or we cut your access” agreement. It is an attack not only on FOX, but on every other network, on freedom of the press, and on freedom of speech.

Glenn Beck, on one of FOX’s opinion shows, put together a rather amusing piece on the War On FOX which had me in hysterics when I first watched it.

One wonders if people would have voted for Obama’s “new era of bi-partisanship” if they had known that “bi-partisan” is defined as “the other side will do as we say, therefore we all agree”.


The ANZ LogosThe ANZ Bank have a new logo, and a TV ad which looks strangely familiar…I’ve seen the whole “life juggled above head, but we can make it easier” ad before, I just can’t remember where. Anyway, the logo, is it just me, or does it look like somebody chucking a tantrum after being kept in line for an hour?


Channel Seven have announced their new digital channel, to be called “7TWO”, on (you guessed it) channel 72. I’m not in the least bit surprised that regional affiliate Prime aren’t putting it to air straight away, I mean Prime own the “6” channels in digital TV land, and it would look rather silly have 7TWO on channel 62. I suspect that Prime are working on their own branding of the new station…PRIMExtra perhaps?


RIP Don Lane, one of the great entertainers, who passed away at the age of 75.


Remember when the Large Hadron Collider was about to be turned on for the first time and people were afraid the world was going to end? It amazed me how many people who believed that, were subsequently placated when it was turned on, broke down, and the world didn’t end. The whole cause for concern was for when it would finally reach the actual colliding stage, which it never did.

Well, without wanting to alarm you, the LHC boffins are ready to start it up again. Perhaps now would be a good time to book a flight on NASA’s newly-tested-to-be-successful space vehicle.


733-KXNT, 733-5968, 733-KXNT, 733-5968 (Alan’s still going…)


Clive Robertson filled in for Tim Webster on 2UE and 2CC’s afternoon show yesterday. What a relief! Tim Webster, as much as like him personally, has bored me to death of late…I can not listen to his show any more, I just can’t. Tim is much better suited to a news-based show than the lifestyle-amalgam show that he is now presenting. Clive, however, suits the format perfectly, and is brilliant afternoon entertainment.

Memo to 2UE for next year’s lineup: Breakfast with Mike Jeffreys, Mornings with Stuart Bocking, Afternoons with Clive Robertson, Drive with John Stanley, Nights with The Two Murrays, Overnights with Jim Ball.


And now at 6:18 it’s time for KXNT’s traffic and weather together on the eights, here’s Tate South (finally, Alan’s morning Chairman task is finished, which means that I can wrap up this blog post).


There was an ad on TV last night for that boat from Victoria to Tasmania and back, in which they advertised the rate for taking your car with you as being an “each way” rate (eg. “x dollars each way”). Sorry, but does that mean it’s the return rate (you can travel each way for this amount) or the one way rate (each way costs x dollars)?


Congratulations to Chris Matlock, KXNT’s Radiostar competition winner for this year. I listened to the entries of the 20 finalists when I was last in Deniliquin, and Chris was my favourite from the start, so I was very pleased to see him win. Chris will have his own show soon, apparently, and will start off co-hosting with Ciara Turns on “Sundays with Ciara” on Sunday, November 8 between 10am and 1pm. That will either be 4am-7am or 5am-8am Monday, November 9 in Canberra, depending on whether daylight saving has ended in the US by then.


And finally, Lord Christopher Monckton spent much of the latter part of last week and the start of this week outlining the issues with the proposed Copenhagen climate change treaty which, don’t forget, is designed to stop a warming which hasn’t happened in about the last decade. The main points:
1. The setting up of a world government, with binding power over all countries.
2. Some peculiar scheme to send all the money from the western countries to the developing countries, to pay for some supposed “climate debt”.

Glenn Beck interviewed his lordship last week, which makes for very interesting and enlightening listening.
Part one:

Part two:

(thanks to Padders for the link to those videos)

If you ever needed proof that the whole global warming thing has everything to do with social change, and nothing to do with climate change, you now have it.


3 comments October 29th, 2009 at 04:47am

Bundanoon bans bottled water, almost

It’s actually a voluntary ban on the sale of bottled water, but lets not net that get in the way of a good dramatic headline.

The central New South Wales community of Bundanoon has voted overwhelmingly in favour of a ban on bottled water.

More than 350 people turned out at a public meeting at the town hall tonight to vote on the motion.

Only one local resident voted against the proposal, along with a representative from the bottled water industry.

Wait! 350 people? What do News Limited have to say about the attendance?

Local businessman and Bundy on Tap organiser Huw Kingston said almost 400 people turned up to the Bundanoon Memorial Hall

Uh huh, and this counts as “overwhelming support”? Must be a small town then:

Population: 2,035 (2006 census)

Less than a quarter of the town turns up to a meeting, and this is overwhelming support?

Anyway, I digress, continuing from the News Limited article:

The voluntary ban has been triggered by concerns about the carbon footprint associated with bottling and transporting the water.

Free water fountains will be installed in the NSW village, southwest of Sydney, to replace the bottled H2O.

“Carbon footprint”? *sigh*

In a double blow for the bottled water industry, NSW Premier Nathan Rees has signalled an end to idle chit-chat around the water cooler for NSW public servants.

Mr Rees today announced an immediate ban on all departments and agencies buying bottled water, including supplies for water coolers.

It was the first step in a government campaign to significantly reduce the consumption of bottled water in the community, Mr Rees said.

Australians spent about $500 million on bottled water in 2008, a 10 per cent increase on 2007.

“These plastic bottles are everywhere,” Mr Rees said.

I’m no fan of bottled water, in fact I rarely ever buy it, but I do like the fact that, if I need water in a place where I don’t have immediate access to safe drinking water from a tap, I can buy a bottle of safe, clean water. That less than a quarter of Bundanoon, or New South Wales disaster-in-chief Nathan Rees wants to ban me from buying water in a bottle, and instead insist that I have my own bottle which I can fill from a dubious communal water source, astounds me.

But if I continue reading the News Limited article, I’m not surprised by the chosen obligatory “expert”:

Environmental group Do Something! welcomed the government and Bundanoon bans, saying they could be the catalyst for change in the community.

“It’s all about common sense,” Do Something! director Jon Dee said.

“When you reduce the usage of bottled water you’re not just saving the environment, you’re also saving your wallet at the same time.
Mr Dee said it made no sense for people to pay twice as much for a litre of bottled water than for a litre of petrol.

Jon, it’s called choice. People choose to buy it despite knowing that there are other, cheaper, sources of water. It’s also called convenience. But, then again Jon, you are the idiot who was on Open House on Sunday night claiming that the planet is warming because people are wasting food.

“The bottled water industry has managed to convince people that bottled water is somehow pure or better for you than water you drink out of the tap,” he [Jon Dee] said.

See my point above Jon. In an age when we’re taught not to share the things we eat and drink from, for fear of catching nasty bugs etc, you expect me to trust a communal water source in the middle of town? One that’s been left outside for long enough for the drunk people to amuse themselves by targeting it with their various bodily functions? One you want me to share with a person who has a cold or worse?

It’s like the old bubblers all over again…and Jon, don’t try to tell me that people won’t try to drink directly from these water dispensaries, because we both know that they will.

And just in case you do happen to believe in the carbon footprint nonsense, Geoff Parker, director of the Australasian Bottled Water Institute has some facts and figures to (pun intended) pour cold water on the “bottled water is evil” line.

The environmental footprint of one bottle of water of locally produced water would be much smaller than a tin of canned tomatoes imported from overseas, some imported cheese, or French champagne, I think we need to keep it in perspective.

That we do Geoff, that we do.


1 comment July 9th, 2009 at 07:53am

Vibrating with the dolphins

Seeing things like this just makes me think that Douglas Adams was right in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy…the dolphins really are smarter than us.

Each Spring and Fall Equinox humanity is given the opportunity to merge with dolphin and whale consciousness on a global scale. The Golden Water Activation and Global Marine Meditation opens a portal (or doorway) into their world. It allows anyone who has the desire to go beyond normal boundaries and be lifted up into their frequency.

The meditations may be done by individuals or groups at any time. However, “where two or more are gathered” is such a powerful technology that we ask you to join us during the time specified if at all possible. The dolphins and whales will definitely be there as well.

The worrying thing is, these people are trying to justify their dolphin meditation sessions with “scientific research“, although it’s pretty easy to dismiss when it would appear that the entire reason, according to them, that dolphin meditation works, is that:

70% to 80% of the earth is covered with water. 70% to 80% of the human body is made up of water. There is an irrevocable link.

Apparently this 10% margin of error in water calculations allows “love vibrations” to be shared by humans and dolphins…or something like that. You try and work it out, I’ve given up due to laughter.

The Golden Water Dolphin Meditation for Planetary Healing raises the vibration of all the water molecules on planet earth – including the ones inside your body.

Scientific research proves that water molecules change when various vibrations are introduced. I’m sure you’ve heard of The Hidden Messages in Water by Dr. Emoto by now.

The most complex, beautiful, and pristine molecules are created through the vibration of Love – which is the predominant vibration one experiences when connecting with dolphins. The word dolphin also creates truly extraordinary and beautiful molecules.

Very sophisticated instruments have finally been developed that can measure vibrations. High vibrations create health and a sense of well being and low vibrations cause pain and dis-ease. It is in everyone’s highest and best interest to raise their own vibration and that of planet earth.

With this meditation you send healing love and light to the dolphins, whales, and their habitats. You stand and become one with them in UNITY and LOVE. You link hearts and minds and intentions and know that you are making a positive difference – not only to the oceans of the world, but also to yourself, and to all of humanity.

The dolphins emanate the vibrations of LOVE and JOY. Anytime you connect with those vibrations you are uplifted.

The whales hold immense knowledge and power. You are strengthened by connecting with them.

70% to 80% of the earth is covered with water. 70% to 80% of the human body is made up of water. There is an irrevocable link.

Humans are the custodians of the land. The cetaceans are the custodians of the sea. As we come together and join as ONE we are making the difference we are all desiring to make – to raise the vibration of everything and everyone on planet earth.

This work – if we can call it that – is so important that the words to the meditation were given to at least two people on opposite sides of the planet. David J. Adams from Australia was given this meditation in 1992 and there are many people around the world that have been joining with him each Spring and Fall Equinox for many years. I, Debbie from North America, was given the words to this meditation in 1998. And many have joined me as well each Spring and Fall Equinox. The meditations are held at the same time, they are the same, they are ONE. There are some very trivial differences. So whether you choose the meditation from this site, or the one from David’s – it matters not.

What matters is your intention to be LOVE, and to radiate LOVE, and to send LOVE to the sea.


So, uh, can anyone explain to me how the word “dolphin” can make “truly extraordinary and beautiful molecules”?

“42” you say…hmmm, I thought so…it makes about as much sense as the dolphin nonsense.


June 15th, 2009 at 09:15pm

Uplift a Pirate

Some days I’m reminded that it takes all types, even kooks, to make this planet tick. Today’s reminder came via an ad in Gmail:

U.S. v. Somali Pirate – – Support the Somali Pirate Today. Prosecution is not the Solution.

So if prosecution isn’t the solution, what is? These pirates took prisoners and have stolen ships, which at the very least is akin to kidnapping and theft…perhaps we should drop all charges against, and release, all people accused and/or charged with kidnapping and theft.

The website in question is run by some New York based organisation called “Uplift Our Community”. Well, I’m sure releasing thieves and kidnappers will uplift the community…we could have an entire uplifted community running around stealing each other’s stuff…this would probably be followed by an increase in fatal shootings…how uplifting.

Back to the question: what do we do if we don’t prosecute? The website’s front page contains the cryptic message “The solution begins home”. Clicking through to the “about us” page shows the true colours of this “uplift” organisation…they’re effectively spurting the “America is evil for having lots of money and they should give it all to Africa” tripe.

Sorry but, he (allegedly) did the crime, he should expect to do the time (if found guilty). Excusing him because his country has less money is an absolutely crazy idea, and effectively says that I can justifiably rob anyone who is richer than me…a notion that tears at the very fabric of our society.

Naturally I clicked on the link to ensure that these kooks are forced to pay for their bizarre intrusion in my Inbox, however I will not be linking to them from here as they just don’t deserve a link without paying through the nose for it.


April 23rd, 2009 at 03:42pm

Here’s an idiot who needs to be caught

A mere click away from the WIN News videos that I posted earlier today, in the “related videos” section of YouTube, I came across these videos of an idiot hooning around Canberra’s streets on a motorbike, in one case reaching 212km/h on ANZAC Parade which is a 60km/h zone, and reaching plenty of other ridiculous speeds on other Canberra roads, in traffic.

Edit: It looks like The RiotACT stumbled on this a few days ago, and the Canberra Times have a story this morning about Police trying to find this menace.

For the record, this article on this blog was written at about 7pm yesterday. End Edit.

It looks like they may have run a red light towards the end of the second video as well…almost a certainty considering that they were slowing down but still travelling in excess of 100km/h when the video faded to a different clip just as they were reaching the stop line.

The sooner this idiot is caught and stopped, the better. It’s just a pity that the numberplate which appears briefly is unreadable.

Update 3:42pm: Thanks to Kenneth for a link to an ABC News article which notes that a man is being questioned by police over the videos.

I congratulate the police on their swift work, however I am taken aback by a section of the article:

Superintendent [Matthew] Varley has also criticised internet users who viewed the video.

He says viewing the video might encourage others to drive unsafely.

“We want Canberrans to recognise themselves that simply promoting this sort of behaviour, viewing this sort of behaviour and commenting on it online encourages this sort of thing and it’s quite simply a stupid irresponsible act that puts other people at risk,” he said.

“If you see people driving around at excessive speeds, report it to us at the time so we can take some action at the time as well.”

I must say that I find the comments of Superintendent Varley somewhat perplexing considering that the online community did a lot of the legwork on this case (see the work done by The RiotACT in unearthing various online profiles which apparently belong to the creator of the videos) and have been highly critical of the rider in the videos. It would also be fair to say that a number of people have reported these videos to Police after watching them.

In my view, Superintendent Varley needs to remember that watching the videos is not illegal, and in a democratic society the public is entitled to discuss such things. Whilst it is possible that Superintendent Varley is venting at the few people on YouTube who seem to be encouraging the creator of the videos, his comments are too broad, and are enough to prompt me to write a letter to him expressing both my concerns about his comments, and my thanks for his, and his team’s, prompt action. End Update


4 comments December 30th, 2008 at 11:07am

Go away! The RTA website is sleeping

The helpful message I received from the New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority’s website at 4:15am when I attempted to register for an e-pass, in order to pay for my trips through the Sydney Harbour Tunnel on Sunday:
You may not register to give us money between 12:30am and 6am

Apparently they don’t like people submitting orders between 12:30am and 6am. If they only accepted electronic orders during standard business hours it would almost be understandable. If they didn’t accept order between 12:30am and 6am on one day per week while they performed system maintenance it would be understandable…but to block orders every single day between those hours sounds like premium quality red tape to me, in other words, a rule for the sake of having a rule. I’m just surprised that the times aren’t more exotic, perhaps they could block orders between 12:27:48am and 6:04:27am in their next revision of their website…maybe they should block them between 11:36:53am and 2:43:18pm for an executive lunch break as well.

For a city that is trying to make all toll roads electronic and cash-free, this is a very poor effort.

Update: A few hours after originally writing this article I went back to the RTA website to register for an e-pass, during the registration process I gave them my email address so that they can email a copy of my invoice to me. Despite this, they want me to print the “registration successful” page containing my E-Toll Pass ID and Receipt Number for my reference. They have my email address, why can’t they just email the information to me? End Update


June 24th, 2008 at 10:13am

Not exactly bright

To the moron out there who tried to use an SQL injection attack this morning to reset the admin password on this website…next time, try to attack a username that actually exists, and don’t format your attack so poorly that your shoddy hacking attempts end up as the display name on a comment automatically marked as spam.

If you’re going to break in, please try to cover your tracks a bit better.


March 21st, 2008 at 05:23pm

Dim-witted idiots and traffic cones

I was coming home along Coranderrk Street at about 5:15 this morning and noticed something which I can only describe as an act of stupidity. Next to the National Convention Centre a new building is being constructed and there have been some minor roadworks in the area (see the green mark on the map below)…as such there are traffic cones. Some dim-witted idiots (or probably the plural thereof, even if it is a partially redundant description) decided that it would be a good idea to move them on to the road in a haphazard manner, effectively blocking one lane, and turning the other into an obstacle course. The road was not in this state (and there were no construction or roadwork staff on-site) when I went past at 7:45pm yesterday, so these dimwits obviously did it during the night.

Map of where the traffic cones were scattered on Coranderrk Street
Map copyright: Google 2008. Map data copyright: MapDataSciences Pty Ltd. Green marker added by Samuel

Just so we’re clear about this, I am not talking about the “witches hat” type of traffic cone, I’m talking about the tall skinny ones which are about a metre high, so you can’t really negate the obstacle course by running over the cones.

The area was still navigable, but at a lower speed, and only for one car at any given time. If left in this state, this “generally busy during the day” road would undoubtedly have an accident before long. I live short distance away, so I stopped at home, then made my way back and called the police. A friendly lady answered the phone and I explained the situation to her, and she let out a sort of “some people are really dumb” moan when she heard that traffic cones had been spread across the road. I mentioned to her that I would have fixed it myself, but it most probably would not be safe for me to move the cones at night (especially as I was wearing fairly dark clothing), and if somebody saw me moving the cones and called the police about it, I would be the one getting in trouble.

I wasn’t quite sure if the lady on the phone wanted me to wait around for the police to arrive, and as I generally don’t like to leave the scene until they arrive when I call an emergency service, I decided to wait. A few minutes later a police car arrived, “the police officers activated their vehicle’s warning lights” as one of their press releases would say, and got out to assess the situation. I walked over and explained who I was and why I was there, and then assisted the police with the cleanup (which was now much safer thanks to the flashing lights on the police car). A security guard who was just leaving the nearby CIT campus also assisted.

I must say that the two police officers, who must surely have been wondering what was going through the minds of the people who moved the traffic cones, did not seem phased by the sheer stupidity of the situation. They were very professional and friendly, and I think the response of the police to this incident was absolutely fantastic.

It’s just a pity that, in all likelyhood, the chances of catching the dimwits who moved the traffic cones is almost zero. With that in mind, if you saw anything suspicious in the area during the night, I would urge you to give crimestoppers a call on 1800 333 000.


6 comments February 20th, 2008 at 06:54am

Welcome to Daylight Saving Time

Yes, Daylight Saving Time is with us once again, and that means I will soon be performing the bi-annual ritual of synchronising a watch with the sixth hourly time pip (the top of the hour pip) on 2CC and then walk around the house synchronising all the clocks with the watch. I don’t do this before the start or end of Daylight Saving as the clocks will drive me nuts if I do that, but I can put up with them ebing an hour out of whack after the change for a few hours, so I will update them later today.

In semi-related news, I had a five minute laughing fit earlier after John Kerr read out an email from a Russian woman (it might have been Maritz who wrote a peculiar letter to the editor to this blog a while back, but I didn’t quite catch the name so I can’t be sure), talking about how she sings to the garden every week and is adjusting the garden to daylight saving ten minutes at a time over a six week period so as to avoid confusing it…she also mentioned something about having a cupboard full of clocks (which, if I heard it correctly, was referred to as a clock full of cupboards), half of which are on daylight saving time, and the other half on normal time, and she swaps them when the time changes instead of just adjusting the clocks.

John stopped half way through the email to check if it had come from Clive Robertson!

I might have to order a copy of that from Media Monitors, it’s one of the funniest things I’ve heard on the radio in ages, and it’s proof that there’s a full moon out there.


1 comment October 28th, 2007 at 04:36am

They say that common sense isn’t all that common…

…apparently the same can be said for logic.

I was in Queanbeyan today and walked past a rather amusing incident. A parking inspector was writing a parking ticket for a car, and noticed that the driver of the car behind this one was about to get in to his car.

The parking inspector called out “You’ll be getting one of these in the mail” to which the driver replied “Why, what did I do wrong?”. The parking inspector pointed at a bus zone sign and said “It’s a bus stop” to which the driver quite remarkably replied “Oh, but I only read the green sign”.

The tone of the message indicated that the driver thought he was innocent because he only read one sign (it was a shared zone, a red sign indicated the times that it is a bus stop, and the green sign indicated the times that it’s a car park). Putting the fact that the green sign indicated that the spot was not a car park at the time of the incident to one side, the logic behind this statement is quite astounding.

Based on this driver’s logic, if you walk in to a store and want to purchase a $1000 television for example, you could claim that when you read the price tag it said “$100”, and the store would be required to sell the television to you for $100.

The parking inspector had the final word before producing the parking ticket when he informed the driver that “you have to read all the signs”.

The whole incident, and especially the final line from the parking inspector, amused me immensely, although I would have to admit that the notion of that man driving a car on a public road does concern me.


7 comments July 26th, 2007 at 05:02pm

Want to marry somebody you don’t know?

Then I know exactly where you can work to make it happen…Michels Patisserie in Weston Creek.

As I was walking past there at lunch time, one of the staff took a cup of coffee over to a customer’s table, that customer then, quite loudly I might add, enquired about the staff member’s marital status, and then proposed.

For some reason, this level of sanity seems to be quite common in Weston Creek as a previous encounter of mine proves.


May 1st, 2007 at 01:37pm

Insane Report!

I receive some weird junk in my email, but this one from “Jelle Hooper” absolutely takes the cake.

From: Jelle Hooper
Date: Apr 29, 2007 10:32 PM
Subject: Insane report

Important communique!
Instead of being someone who wants to own a big airline, you become an airline boss who happens to not own an airline at the time.

Some unbelievably wise words of wisdom from my insane angel of destiny.


April 30th, 2007 at 04:13am

The “full moon affected people” from Friday

On Friday I promised details of the “full moon affected people” I encountered during my lunch break. Both of these people were encountered in the Weston Creek area.

I encountered the first one after I had ordered a creamy potato bake and a coffee to take away from a cafe in Cooleman Court (a small shopping centre for those of you not familiar with the area), I was waiting for my order and another man went up to the counter to place his order, one of the waitresses started to serve him, but he, instead of ordering, started telling her about how her photo was in the window, she looked, as did I, and there was nothing in the window, but he insisted…there was an awkward silence, my order arrived and I left. I have no idea what happened with him and his imaginary photo, but I doubt that he was served by the girl supposedly in the imaginary photo.

A few moments later, as I was crossing the road, a man who was crossing the road in the opposite direction decided to yell out, whilst right beside me, “large square people”, something which stopped me dead in my tracks, as I was completely dumbfounded, as were a few other people if their facial expressions were anything to go by. I did somehow manage to complete my crossing of the road and find somewhere quiet and sane to eat my lunch.

It’s been a while since I’ve had the perverse pleasure of writing about the strange people I seem to encounter, and despite the fact I’ve enjoyed it, I don’t want to have to do it again for a while.


7 comments March 12th, 2007 at 12:29pm

Nuts About The Newsagent

This time last week Nattie and I were having a walk from our house to Civic Video in Braddon to return some DVDs. The DVDs were not due back until the Monday, but as that was Christmas day we took them back a day early.

We decided to take a longer way home, which involved passing the newsagent near the corner, about halfway up Lonsdale Street.

There was a woman standing outside the newsagent (probably about 65 years old, looked a bit like the woman in the pensioner’s insurance ads…just with more exagerated glasses and makeup) staring at one of the newspaper billboards. As we walked past she turned around, started waving her arms in the air and exclaimed at the top of her voice “Ooooh Aaaaah Glenn McGrath…who cares?”, she then repeated herself in a more muffled way a couple times and I struggled to contain the laughter that was trying to force its way out.

She walked off around the corner, and Nattie and I followed at a distance as we were going that way too…just after the corner she encountered a couple who looked like they were going out for lunch, and started the whole performance all over again…the couple walked away very quickly in a state of shock (she must have less than a metre in front of them when she started), as Nattie and I left the scene I called out to her to wish her a Merry Christmas…it might have been the most amusing and strange thing I had seen all day, but it certainly put a smile on my face, and I thought she looked like she could use someone to wish her a Merry Christmas. She echoed my Christmas sentiments.


December 31st, 2006 at 10:28am

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