Entries Tagged as 'Annoyances'

7 reasons why it’s WORSE to be a renter.

So Fairfax decided to trying and spin that renting is wonderful.  It is so wonderful that despite housing being more unaffordable than ever, they can write a fluff piece on the 7 great reasons you have for renting over buying and here is why they are wrong.  The italics is all direct quotes I am afraid to say.

  1. Freedom

Think about it: provided you don’t get into a habit of remodelling rental properties with a sledgehammer, a decent set of rental references will mean you can rent pretty much anywhere you like.

Yeah, because uprooting your whole life, friends, social network, travel network, schools, shops and everything else about your life is just the sort of thing you want to do every six months isn’t.  There is also the freedom that the landlord has to sell your house whenever they want to make the most of the market, visit your house with a few days’ notice for whatever reason they see fit, but hey it was in writing so you don’t have to worry about the freedom of saying no.

  1. Fill the piggybank

While the current rental crisis isn’t great news, you can still organise your renting life in such a way (living further out, sharing) that it’s possible to save as well as make the rent each month.

Of course, if you want to spend more than 2 hours each day moving further out is just such an easy option.  I have a 45 to 55min commute each way every day and if I am working late for whatever reason it then turns into a 35min train ride and 40min walk because there are no buses past 9:30pm.  Sure it doesn’t matter if I see my family or not, because I am saving money for a mortgage that I will never be able to afford.  As for sharing, seriously WTF, see point 4.

Also saving is great, at the moment I am trying to juggle childcare costs, rent and saving $5,000 for the money to move house again. (about the cost of a helicopter flight I believe)  I’ll need a bond of around $2k, the first months rent and to pay for a removalist just for the big things to move.  You know big things like a table and chairs and a couch.

  1. Jim’ll fix it 

Jim, or Tony, or Marge, or Bruce: if something goes awry (and, let’s face it, things often do in rental properties), it’s the landlord’s job to sort it out.

Yes it is the landlords job to fix it and chances are he or she will do it themselves to save money and botch it up, taking the opportunity to have a good squiz around your place at the same time.  Most of the time any repairs are either done by the lowest priced contractor and they do only the minimum. And don’t worry if it costs Jim too much to fix it, he will just bump the rent at the next available moment.

  1. Roomies

Renting, on the other hand, is more often than not a collective experience.

Yes when you are FUCKING 20 years old it is.  I’m not and I am fairly certain that no one wants to rent a house with 4 year old twins who spend half the night awake and all the day colouring in anything that is or isn’t bolted down.  When they aren’t doing that they are busy arguing with each other whom was first to get to the toilet spending hours in said room.  For that one or two hours I get to spend having quiet time with my wife before the up and down night antics kick in, I’d like to have a nice quiet time with her and not her and the 3 other roommates we share the house only 20km for the City with.

  1. Downsizing

Renting is a great opportunity to streamline the amount of personal detritus you’ve been dragging around for years and free yourself from the shackles of capitalism.

Yeah it is great just when you are getting settled into a suburb to get a phone call from the landlord saying “hey selling the house”.  I’ve always thought firstly “what a great opportunity to streamline my personal detritus”.  I look forward to explaining to my kids why this is such a great thing and oh sorry Mum and Dad can’t afford for you to have that swing set in the backyard (donated to us) because we can’t afford a backyard.

  1. No commitment

Well, I wouldn’t call renting “commitment free”, it’s more like “commitment light” (or probably “lite”, if we’re really using diet parlance).

It is also the same for the landlord, they have no commitment to you either.  So you get a regular reminders that your social position is one that means you can get screwed over at 24 hours written notice.  Things like a mortgage can be locked down for years in advance when interest rates are low, landlords can up the rent every 6 to 12 months because they can and they know the cost of moving is so high that people won’t.

  1. Can’t tie me down

… But having said that, there’s something wonderful about being safe in the knowledge that if, say, Steven Spielberg rings up tomorrow and says he has a job for you.

I am safe in the knowledge that Spielberg won’t ring me up and offer me a job, he doesn’t have my number for starters and I am not in the phone book.  I wish I could live in cloud cuckoo land where that is seriously a good reason to stay renting.  Sure, I’d miss my wife and kids when I rush off to Hollywood or New York to live the Friends lifestyle. Remember what happened at the end of Friends, they grew up and moved out and apart.  They didn’t sit around saying, hey lets just stay here and keep renting, or let’s just rent further out.


So yeah renting is just so bloody wonderful that we once again have to move  The 7 houses I have lived with Mrs Wolfcat, 5 of the moves were because the house was sold out underneath us, 1 because my job moved interstate and 1 because the landlord was greedy and it was the best house we could find given we were forced to move from the last house.

Yes renting is all sunshine and happiness, well until you get screwed over.

P.S Please buy more of my stuff from Redbubble, really we do need the money for a new bond.

Sorry Skynews, but like people, yes even Muslims, not all volcanoes are the same…

Yes, once again science and facts are getting in the way of Skynews and their global rush for ignorance and world dominance.

Today the Chilean volcano, Calbuco, erupted after a nice 50 year nap in rather spectacular style. Like this…

[ photo by ]

Whilst a few international media paid a bit of attention, because Chile, really, who cares according to Australian media, this story took a while to get noticed.  Basically once photos like this came out and started to go viral well they had to jump on the social media bandwagon didn’t they.

So here is Sky News Weather Australia getting in on the deal.


Of course I am not a volcanologist, ( IAMNAV ), but with a strong interest in the earth sciences, unlike many in Skynews upper management, one of those images didn’t seem right.


Yes, that last image, funny how every other image (completely uncredited mind you, but not surprising really ) seems to show the same type of volcanic eruption, the last one is a lava flow from a small cone.  Funny, all the Chilean media reports said it was a ash plume and failed to mention the lava… oh that’s right, all volcanoes look the same don’t they. This is really not that dissimilar to the way Skynews treats environmentalists, Muslims, scientists and anyone else they tend not to agree with.

This is the same as even an image in their stock library for volcanic eruptions even… oh and all these ones on Google Images as well.


So yes SkyNews before you run off and claim credit for amazing photos, which you didn’t take, but stole from the Internet (but please no one “steal” Game of Thrones in Australia, lest Foxtel get upset ),  at least check that the image is actually of the volcano that you are talking about.

Because whilst your fact checking department has been cut back, if it ever existed, the rest of the world does know a thing or two.


P.S And for god sake, please credit images to their source, it would be terrible if people stole your content wouldn’t it.




Lessons for all brands from #freshinourmemories

If you are not aware, Woolworths decided it was a great idea to associated their brand with Anzac Day, but not just any old association, the association was to be around their “the fresh food people” branding.

B8AfgJ-CMAAhYfMSeriously… “what the” were the brand folk thinking.  Any decent social media strategist would have told them to GTFO.  Perhaps they did and were of course over ruled by the brand people who know better.  I have seen it before many times.  But then I have also seen “Social Media Expert Guru’s” (SMEG’s) do the same, thinking they can control social media.

More than predictably it went totally wrong. So wrong that it will be in PowerPoint presentations about Social Media for many many years to come.  And whilst Woolworths deserve some points for pulling the website, replacing it with nothing was a dumb move.  The apology text is floating around on social media, why not just cut and paste that into a simple <h2></h2> tag on the website.  You screwed up, admitting it everywhere but where you screwed up, is another screw up.

Months of work would have gone into this project, many many hours locked in meetings, with flow charts and pretty pictures. Yet, this site still went live.

The ANZAC legend is polluted enough from companies and revisionist historians claiming it was the making of a great nation and of course looking to make a buck or two.  Never forget that the landing was the making of a great nation from a monumental cockup of landing in the wrong location and the retreating after thousands of young lives were lost for nothing.

Of course we can all head to Camp Gallipoli to sleep under the stars just like the diggers dig, or purchase something that costs $50 where an unknown percentage of only the profits go to the RSL. Or, like myself and many others, we could just attend the Dawn Service and pay our respects in silence.

See brands, if you try and jump on a bandwagon you might just get thrown off, and that is something that will always be fresh in our memories.

But never worry folks, still a few weeks to go for other brands to screw up before the 25th of April.

The legend of ANZAC is a legend, it has good and bad points, but it is not and never should be a marketing opportunity for any company.
oh and look… the Downfall version already…

Camp Gallipoli shows the whole “celebration” thing is out of hand.

To say that the Gallipoli “celebrations” are getting out of hand is an understatement.

For example there is the option to camp at a number of show grounds… “just like the diggers did”. Yes, that is right, sleep out under the stars on eve of the 100th anniversary of the landing. Because sleeping in swag at the showgrounds, with a concert, toilets and people checking for OH&S issues is so just like it was 100 years ago.

This one sentence from the Camp Gallipoli website just shows how silly and out of hand this has all got.

“Camp Gallipoli Melbourne will be offering attendees a variety of hot meal options for dinner and breakfast that will include vegetarian options. All the meals will be served in an authentic military style just like the diggers would have had.”

OH FOR FUCK SUCK.  Let’s make it a truly authentic event. To do this there will need to be a few changes.


  1. Tell people the location of the event, then put them 1.6km north of the event.
  2. Serve up reheated food that has been in a can for six months on a boat from Australia
  3. Cramp lots of people into a tiny wooden boat then serve up dinner whilst people are being sea sick
  4. If someone says oh I am a gluten free vegetarian, tell them to HTFU princess and duck all the bullets that are about to kill them
  5. Add the smell of grown men who haven’t showered in weeks with large doses of fear and sweat.
  6. Allow 50% of the people to have a smoke whilst they have their dinner
  7. If anyone says something about OH&S issues, shoot them
  8. Don’t allow any women
  9. Ensure that 98% of people are Anglo
  10. If someone wants the toilet, tell them to go where they are sitting



Now, I will go to a Dawn Service like I have for many years, but forking out $150 or so to sleep under the stars at the showground for an “authentic military style dinner” is just plain stupid and exploitative.

Anzac Day should always be about being respectful.

2014 The Darkest Year for Our ABC

2014, will I hope go down as the darkest year in the ABC’s history. I mean it couldn’t get worse than this year could it?

Earlier in 2014 the ABC lost the Australian Network contract. A contract removed just to appease Murdoch – 80 staff, many of them good friends were fired.  As Mark Scott said over 1000 years of talent walking out the door (1).

The non-continuation of the Ramp Up Australia funds, which saw the ABC lose the voice of Stella Young as the Editor and a number of key staff that supported this project, a project that helped give some of the most disadvantaged a voice in a market that deems they don’t need one. (2)

Oh but the budget cuts (not forgetting the Abbott lie “No Cuts to the ABC or SBS, weren’t enough) lead to the  so called “Efficiency Dividend”, something that would see 10% of staff cut, both front and back of house walking out the door. If 80 staff was a 1000 years of experience walking out the door, what is the impact of 400 staff leaving. To make matters worse, the vast majority of these forced redundancies are just before Christmas. Scrooge looks like a bloody prince compared to the Abbott government kicking so many people out of a job just before Christmas.

Then this week, the shocking and unexpected death of Stella Young.  A person I am glad to call a friend and a co-worker.  Her passing was not just a loss to the ABC for her going voice in the organisation, but for the NDIS and disability overall.

The announcement that Waleed Aly will no longer work for RN, or the ABC.  A voice that is so articulate, clever and witty.  Hell, who needs a voice like that we Australia have Bolt, Jones et.al. The loss of Quentin Dempster from the ABC, a mentor to many journalists over the years. This week also saw the final broadcasts from ABC Newcastle and Carol Duncan, a city of over 500,0000 people, relegated to a regional area due to funding cuts.

And sadly tonight the final episode of At the Movies aired.  An amazing shift from SBS to the ABC to continue a legacy which I doubt will never be repeated.  One of the few changes to the ABC that wasn’t budget and Liberal ideologically driven.

So many “back of office” staff have been cut, those back of office staff many of which are the ones that help shaped the ABC over the last 10 years to be the organisation is it today.  People often only think of the on air staff, not the hundreds of people that help put the shows together. Staff that I have seen work 18 hour days when an emergency occurred.

The ABC is an organisation that is digital, responsive and flexible.  I could list all the things that the ABC has lead the way on, such as Catch Up TV (IView), Twitter, free 24 hour News, Children’s programming, Websites, Podcasts, Long Form Digital Narratives, Emergency Broadcasting etc.  Sure the rest of the media are still playing catch up, but according to the Liberals, we need to cut the ABC, so they are more efficient. Or another way, the Liberals want the ABC cut so they don’t look efficient compared to Murdoch’s effluent media.

Our ABC has suffered more in 2014 than even under the Shire and Howard years, the fear is at least 2 more years of a hostile Abbott and Turnbull government will see even more drastic cuts is utterly incomprehensible and yet so frighteningly real I hate to think what the next few budgets and “efficiency dividends” will bring.


PTV Proud owners of a new Poor Tax Penalty Fare System.

The problem with being poor is that the system really likes to ensure you stay that way.

Public Transport Victoria’s new on the spot fines trial is just an extension of this. Always have a spare $75 on your Visa Card, easy no problem. Struggle to make ends meet on the dole or on Ausstudy well, tough luck that will be $217 thank you very much.

The new 12 month trial of “penalty fares” is nothing but a poverty tax. Spin it anyway you like, but those able to pay the $75 fine are $142 better off.

Funny how the only things the penalty fare applies for are:

where the passenger:
• travels without a valid ticket or fails to produce a valid ticket on request.
• travels on a concession ticket without evidence of concession eligibility or fails to produce this on request.

Yes because most people on a concession ticket always have at least a spare $75 dollars floating around in their bank account that is why they are on a concession fare.

To ensure the system is not open to corruption they say the only payment option is via EFTPOS or Credit card, not cash. So wait a minute, the Authorised Officers have a mobile payment system, one that can take a massive chunk of money and yet they can’t allow someone to top up a fair because the Myki Topup machine was broken, doesn’t exist on the trams at all, or say you had paid online, but tough that takes up to 24 hours to get through to your card.

The whole Myki system is designed to be punitive (and a giant waste of money, check out https://sites.google.com/site/cheaperthanmyki/ to see what the cost of Myki could have purchased). Many overseas countries have machines inside the big destination stations allowing you to top up before you touch off for example. Here is Australia you are all guilty, and must be fined.

I have on a number of occasions had enough money to top up my fair, noticed my Myki was low and found the machine at my non staffed station vandalised so I couldn’t top up. My choice is never to pay before exit, it is exit and hope I get away with it, or pay a fine.

Of course the system is not open to abuse, because the Penalty Fares are at the discretion of the Authorised Officers. So what is to stop one of them saying, “hey slip me a $20 and I’ll give you the $75 fine, instead of the $217 version”.

In the end the reality is that it now just means the fines are smaller for the rich and larger for the poor.

A week is a long time in politics… especially under the Libs

In under a week the Liberals have managed to find, no wait lose 2 boats with nearly 200 people in total on them. Ignore that these boats have women and children, hold a non press conference where Scott Morrison said he isn’t holding a press conference, but say he was only doing a door stop to say he wasn’t doing a press conference. 1

Then, change the law so that the Commonwealth Bank can screw its customers over even more, then say there is no need for a Royal Commission into the Banking Sector screwing over its customers.2

Follow that with ignoring the outrageous events that are happening into an inquiry into what is happening to children in detention… You know those children that don’t exist because there are no boats. 3

Then not hold a press conference. Despite having 95+ media advisors in the Immigration Department to not talk about the boats that everyone knows exists, expect it seems the minister.4

Follow that up with on boat processing of one of the non existent boats, violating countless UN recommendations for the treatment of “LEGAL” asylum seekers.5

And then to top of today, they go an appoint an ex Liberal and a well known ABC hater to the panel that appoints board members to the ABC, I wouldn’t be surprised if they announced Ivan Milat as special advisor for NSW Regional Tourism at this rate.6

Also taking  a leaf out of the don’t talk about the boats, because as we all know, not talking about an issue means their is no issue, the Liberals have also removed mention of extreme climate change from the Department of Environment’s website.7

For extra bonus points, to ensure that the cleaners in Parliament got paid less, Abetz screwed the workers there out of 9k a year.8

Only 2 and 1/2 years to go… The damage the Liberals have done this week alone to our nation, our economy, the weak, the vulnerable and our precious Aunty will take years to recover from, if ever.

Yes a week is a long time in politics… this week has been very long already, and it is only Wednesday.

1- Image of Morrison Transcript

2- Self-funded retirees left bankrupt

3 – Storify of #HRinquiry into children in Detention

4- Spin costs Immigration Minister Scott Morrison $8m a year

5 – Boats screened at sea

6 – Conservative commentator Janet Albrechtsen appointed to ABC panel

7 – Extreme weather official advice rewritten to remove climate change link

8- Jaunty minister makes a clean sweep to cut costs

( Appendum: Thurday: Scott Morrison ignores the High Court and says he will change the rules to not allow any refugees that he doesn’t personally approve, making him Judge and de-facto execution, or of boat people http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/scott-morrison-looks-to-national-interest-test-to-circumvent-high-court-ruling-on-permanent-protection-visas-20140703-3bbbz.html )

Lets charge $6 to the poorest of the poor, when they are feeling poorly.

Look, poor people, stop getting sick. Really, it must be the poor people that are causing all the issues with the upcoming budget, and that is why they are being targeted with the new sick tax.

Remember the outcry over death duties all those years ago, when rich people were going to have to pay tax on their estates when they die, forget that. This is more important than that matter.

A charge on the poorest of the poor, when they are feeling poorly, surely, that is the only way forward in these times of crisis.

If you are reading this and thinking, pffft a $6 dollar charge to see the Doctor, what does that matter. Guess what, you are part of the rich class. If you have never been so poor that this could mean the difference between you seeing a Doctor or not, then really, right now you can shut the FUCK UP NOW about this being fair.

This isn’t a one off charge, this will be every time you visit the GP when you are hunting to find a GP that still even bulk bills. $6, when you want a medical certificate for your minimum wage job to take a day off. $12, if you have two children who are both coming down with the flu, $18 if those two children have the flu and you need a medical certificate, $24 if you partner gets the flu from the children and you need a medical certificate. Then the Doctor says come back in 3 days time if people are still feeling ill, and you are up to $48 in one week.

Oh, and yes then add, medicine on top of that.

This doesn’t include the impost to family of multiples for example, or the families of those with chronic conditions requiring lots of trips to the GP over a single year.

If a woman needs to visit the GP for a script for the pill, $6 is a small price to pay for her not getting knocked up, not like that anyone worried about this charge would ever receive a cent under the Liberals PPL scheme anyway.

Of course, it is only poor people that this impacts. Why should the rest of us care? It might even be good for the economy as some of them drop off this mortal coil for what could be easily remedied illnesses, that they are too poor to seek medical treatment for.

At least now Australia is on that American Health Care path, where only the rich get treatment. Whew, I say, nothing worse than wasting money on those that can’t afford to see a doctor early on, when an illness first presents.

This charge is being leaked as a charge just for bulk billed patients only. How long before it becomes a charge on everyone visiting a Doctor. How long before you have to ensure you have $6 on you, so that the ambulance can frisk you for the money before they take you to emergency. How long before your comfortable middle suburb Doctor suddenly adds $6 to your $80 trip to the GP, where you will now get only $36 back of the $86 you spend. And how long before that $6 charge becomes a $10 charge, a $15 charge, or due to the 2020 budget crisis a $25 charge.

Welcome to the slippery slope, but at least there won’t be poor people on it, they will have all died from preventable illnesses.

How far Australia has regressed in 10 Months… care of two Defence Force Videos.

The first video (Published 12 Jun 2013) about sexism, with Lieutenant General Morrison, sets a high bench mark for what Australia can be.

This says we can be better. This video says we should be better. It is not just about the issue, but about us as a people.

The Standard we walk past is the standard we accept.

(1.4 Million views and oh look, the comments section is open )

The second video ( Published 2 Apr 2014 ) shows what happens we accept low standards.

Our Defence force is turned into a political play thing for Scott Morrison (same last name as above, but very different person!) and we as a nation haven’t just walked past, we have blindly followed. Believing that stopping the boats is the issue.

(as an aside, putting people on a different boat and sending them back, doesn’t mean that the boats have stopped! )

And yes, the shame is that this video has closed comments. Can’t have people trying to walk past this standard can we.

Welcome to #mybroadband, lots of facts and no truth.

There are a few major things missing from the all new singing and dancing My Broadband Site.

Firstly, the lack of upload speeds on any data. Upload speeds are critical in creating the work place of the future.  The sharing economy, telehealth economy, learning economy and the cloud economy.  Sure you can download “fast”, but if you can’t up upload you can’t share, create or engage.  You can’t have a remote health uploading content to a Dr in another city whilst you video stream in high definition to him or her. You can’t cloud backup your personal camera which takes 20mb+ files already to the cloud when upload speeds are so slow. You can’t generate the high quality print files as a designer to telecommuting when you have made edits to the final document.

Next is the lack of speed definition. Telstra advertise HFC connections as “Fast”. “Fast” broadband, what does that even mean? I don’t walk into a shoe shop and ask for “big” shoes.  If Telstra can’t even tell us what “fast” is on their HFC, but they can charge us an extra amount for “extra fast”, then we have major issues. And of course they don’t mention upload speeds at all.

Then there are the overly optimistic “ADSL” speeds they are using.  My area is listed at 12.2mpbs.  Congrats to those in my neighbourhood getting those speeds, but sure as hell I am not. Nor does this speed factor in things such as many peoples ADSL slowing down when it rains for example.  I get 4.5mpbs according to this funny thing called Speedtest. (tested at midnight!)

Obviously this Speedtest site is unaustralian, reporting facts against what the current government has told us are facts, my like the ABC reports facts I guess.

Surely someone in the Comms Department told Turnbull about this, people will share the data showing how slow their connections are, not the steaming pile of crap numbers that they deemed important enough to put on their website.

And finally, it shows just how much of Australia will never get the 1gbps/500mbs speeds that NBN was going to offer.

So now we have a new website to look at, one that tells us what we don’t have, what we won’t get and nothing about when we won’t get it.

Money well spent if you didn’t want a real NBN really.


Check the fiction here https://www.mybroadband.communications.gov.au/

And your reality here http://www.speedtest.net/

Then add your numbers to this survey http://yathink.com.au/article-display/my-broadband-vs-reality,106