Saturday, May 30, 2009

8 Hours of Travel - What a difference mode makes


On Monday I travelled to Albany by car. [My last of its kind Ford Fairlane Ghia] It was a 4 hour trip each way for a 3 hour meeting. So, Matthew and I covered 800 kilometres and it was a pleasant enough adventure.

So, that's a 8 hour for 800 kms by car... good days travel!

On Friday I travelled to Sydney and return by Qantas on an Airbus A330 for a three hour Twitter for Business seminar and I travelled nearly 8,000 kilometres... mmm Australia is a big country and a days travel can mean lots fo different things to different people.

To me, its all in a days work.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lenovo Service - Lift Your Game!!

I recently purchased a 10" IndeaPad Netbook made by Lenovo. Great little machine and does heaps more than you would think it could.

Problem: Fan has started to be noisy... and obviously the machine is still under new warranty so I approached the seller - Harris Technology - and they said all warranty needs are handled by Lenovo. They gave me the number of who to call - Strike 1!! 131 426 and after the usual push 1 for this etc., and a 23 minute wait, "Sorry we are ThinkPad SmartCentres and not Lenovo so you will have to call them... the number is 1 300 557 073 option3, option 2, option 1... but I will put you through... I should have smelled a rat there and then!

An automated, american accented robotic voice, told me for the next 45 minutes that my call was important, all her agents were dealing with other clients, thank you for being patient etc etc etc etc etc... and I needed to go and do some work [I had it on loud speaker BUT you are tied to the desk JUST INCREASE someone actually comes on the line]

So, noisy fan still, my little helper keeps working away.
Lenovo... are you listening?? How about giving some "service" would that be too hard?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Albany - Western Australia's First City


Went for a short drive yesterday to Western Australia's first city - Albany. For my friends who live else where Albany is 400kms from Perth so round trip was 800km or roughly 500 miles.

On the journey you drive through a couple of other towns with the biggest Mount Barker having 3,000 people.

It gives you a sense of the size of my state 1 million square miles [7 times the size of Texas!!] with just 2 million people.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Oz quiz - Answers to first 5 questions


Oz Quiz: Q. Name the US architect who designed  Canberra [the Oz capital]  A. Walter Burley Griffin

Oz Quiz: Q. Who is the compere of Spicks and Specs.. A. Adam Hill

Oz Quiz:  Q. Who was the first woman to lead an Australian state or territory?? A. Rosemary Follett

Oz Quiz: In which Australian State are the You Yangs?? A. Victoria

Best comment wins a prize.... leave a comment

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Oxymorons 45 of the best

Just had to include this list, first posted by Bill Austin on Twitter @wbaustin and it is side splittingly true. The orginal list is published at Joke of the Day:

45. Act naturally
44. Found missing
43. Resident alien
42. Advanced BASIC
41. Genuine imitation
40. Airline Food
39. Good grief38. Same difference
37. Almost exactly
36. Government organization
35. Sanitary landfill
34. Alone together
33. Legally drunk
32. Silent scream
31. Living dead
30. Small crowd
29. Business ethics
28. Soft rock
27. Butt Head
26. Military Intelligence
25. Software documentation
24. New classic
23. Sweet sorrow
22. Childproof
21. “Now, then …”
20. Synthetic natural gas
19. Passive aggression
18. Taped live
17. Clearly misunderstood
16. Peace force
15. Extinct Life
14. Temporary tax increase
13. Computer jock
12. Plastic glasses
11. Terribly pleased
10. Computer security
9. Political science
8. Tight slacks
7. Definite maybe
6. Pretty ugly
5. Twelve-ounce pound cake
4. Diet ice cream
3. Working vacation
2. Exact estimate
1. Microsoft Works

Wotif Madness Continues... stop this nonsense!

What the...!

I am a regular visitor to seasons botanic gardens Hotel in Melbourne but the Wotif.com madness struck again.

I booked using wotif.com after negotiating with them last week that I didn't have to have the hotels photocopy and keep on file my photo ID... and on previous occasions have found Wotif to be cheaper than this hotels particular websites prices [how crazy is that??]

The only disadvantage [I can't think of any others at the moment] of living in Perth is that you fly out at midnight getting to Melbourne and Sydney really early... and most hotels RULES say check in is 2pm!!. So on Friday I arrived at 7am and couldn't get a room even though I could have booked one for Thursday night meaning they had rooms free but "Rules are Rules!"

Well a half reasonable compromise was a shower in the pool area - oh the smell of chlorine is so good early in the morning!

Wotif Madness Kicks In! Yes Mr Mansfield, you have stayed with us many times BUT Wotif say unless you gives us photo ID you cant get into your room.. "I have stayed here before, many times, you know me..." and the reply was "But it's not our rule... it's wotif's rule" Blood pressure raising.. "Ring wotif and they will confirm I am a trusted client.." and the response was astounding "We cant do that...."

Now, just to put this in perspective Seasons HAVE ON FILE my details, regularly charge on CC for functions at $1000 plus a time and THEY ARE LETTING WOTIF inconvenience THEIR [the hotels clients] clients.

wotif has become the 1000 lb gorilla.

Anyway I have had enough and I demand my luggage back, refund my money [we cant do that! Rules you know mmm] and get ready to move out of the hotel.

Commonsense approaches in the form of Lei Mifsud Seasons General Manager and sanity returns... and she convinces me to "enjoy her hotel" and she fixes the "rules{" issues.
Apparently the "Enforcement of Wotif's ID" is a recent event with threat of non payment if hotels don't strictly enforce it. Also with the Global Financial Crisis really biting hotels, and wotif being the biggest supplier of customers, staff are told to strictly enforce the guidelines - sorry RULES.

Thanks to Lei's commonsense approach I have stayed the night - I am writing this from Room P307...

Please join me in two things:

1. don't allow companies like wotif.com to enforce practices that make us targets for fraud and ID theft

and importantly, for this incidence,

2. stay at season botanic gardens melbourne next time you are here in Melbourne and say "Wayne sent me!' Use the hotels website and Lei says your rate will be the best possible.

Special Note: apparently Wotif.com's CEO still too important to address this matter... I have received any correspondence at all from Robbie Cook...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Oxford Street Sydney at 1am Sunday May 17 2009

The REAL place for a night out in Sydney is Oxford Street... where all sorts of cultures clash and meld.

Your senses are confronted but it is a very positive when you see all the people are having fun.

And the PIZZA was fantastic too...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Twitter #FollowFriday

So many people this week giving me a shout on #FollowFriday I need to do a second list...

#FollowFriday is one of the joys of being involved in the Twitter community. I am overwhelmed by the number of people who do a #FollowFriday mentioning me. 

A couple of weeks ago I implemented a plan to record all the #FollowFriday 's here in Confessions of a Boy from Margaret River.

So, here goes, and I hope I get to mention everyone:

Smart Online Profit Seminar in Sydney


nearly 400 people attending this great seminar... the crowd checking in!!

funny how 1000 say they will come but more than half dont front???

Friday, May 15, 2009

#FollowFriday Thanks for May 15th 2009

#FollowFriday is one of the joys of being involved in the Twitter community. I am overwhelmed by the number of people who do a #FollowFriday mentioning me. 

A couple of weeks ago I implemented a plan to record all the #FollowFriday 's here in Confessions of a Boy from Margaret River.

So, here goes, and I hope I get to mention everyone:

Taxi Driver Fron Hell - Sydney Australia

In Sydney today for Twitter for Business Seminar at Portside Conference Centre after flying in on the Qantas  redeye from Perth... geez why does it take so long for the luggage to come off?? 35 minutes this morning!!

But I complain too much!!

I get a taxi immediately and ask to go to Kent Street which is in a straight line from the airport. So I ask the driver to go "via Alexandria". The alternative route is the Eatern Distributor Freeway which has tunnels, tolls and an extra 5 or 8 kilometres which translates to be about $10 extra fare.

Well my driver was not happy... and he took it out on the brakes, changed lanes over a dozen times, cursed and grunted, and made my life hell.

I let him know that I was the customer and it was my right to pick the route... to which he ranted and raved that I was wasting his time... mmmm

Monday, May 11, 2009

Wotif - Still No Response and CEO ignores customers

Sometime ago I wrote how Wotif.com 's policies were facilitating unsafe credit card practices by insisting on third parties taking photocopies of photo ID so customer charge backs could be disputed.

Needing to use their usually "best in the business service today", I rang and asked to speak to the CEO Robbie Cook but was told that he was too busy to talk to customers. I was also told that my concerns were unfounded, that they were Credit Card company policy [absolutely not true] and that my concerns were unfounded.

Well, having experienced unauthorised credit card charges by hotels on more than one occasion, I beg to disagree.

However, what company has a protocol that insists that their CEO is "too busy" to talk to a good customer - I have used wotif.com over the last 5 years at about $1,000 a month which would equate to easily $50,000 or more.

Amazing how customer service becomes less of a priority when you don't have to try as hard, and being number 1 makes you become arrogant...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Marvellous Mothers Tribute


A mother understands what a child does not say.


I regard no man as poor who has a godly mother.

 Abraham Lincoln

The heart of a mother is a deep abyssat the bottom of which you will
always find forgiveness.
 Honore de Balzac

The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom. 

Henry Ward Beecher

A mother is a mother still,
The holiest thing alive

S
amuel Taylor Coleridge

For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world
William Ross Wallace




Who ran to help me when I fell,
And would some pretty story tell,
Or kiss the place to make it well?
My mother

Ann Taylor





An ounce of mother is worth a ton of priest

Spanish Proverb


No gift to your mother can ever equal her gift to you - life

anon


All that I am, or hope to be,
I owe to my angel mother

Abraham Lincol
n

There's a lot more to being a woman
than being a mother,
but there's a hell a lot more to being a mother
than most people suspect

Roseanne Barr

Other things may change us,
but we start and end with family

 Anthony Brandt

A mother's love is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
 it never fails or falters,
even though the heart is breaking

Helen Rice


Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs...
ince the payment is pure love.

Mildred B. Vermont


God could not be everywhere,
and therefore he made mothers.

Rudyard Kiplin
g

My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw.
All I am I owe to my mother.
I attribute all my success in life to the moral,
intellectual and physical education I received from her.

George Washington


Nobody knows of the work it makes to keep the home together.
Nobody knows of the steps it takes nobody knows but mother.

anon

Friday, May 08, 2009

Follow Friday Shout Outs for May 8th 2009

#FollowFriday is one of the joys of being involved in the Twitter community. I am overwhelmed by the number of people who do a #FollowFriday mentioning me. In the past I have acknowledged them in Twitter but there are soooo many that some people unfollow [mmmm?!?] due to the shear number of thank you notes.

Last we I implemented a plan to record all the #FollowFriday 's here in Confessions of a Boy from Margaret River.

So, here goes, and I hope I get to mention everyone:

By the way, Honey, what was the 1-2-3 for

Have you heard this one...

On my birthday, I got a gift certificate from my wife. The certificate paid for a visit to a medicine man living on a nearby reservation who was rumored to have a wonderful cure for erectile dysfunction.



After being persuaded, I drove to the reservation, handed my certificate to the medicine man and wondered what would happen next. The old man slowly and methodically produced a potion, handed it to me, and with a grip on my shoulder, warned, "This is powerful medicine and it must be respected. You take only a teaspoonful and then say '1-2-3.' When you do that, you will become more manly than you have ever been in your life, and you can perform as long as you want."

I was encouraged. As I walked away, I turned and asked, "How do I stop the action of the medicine?" "Your partner must say '1-2-3-4,' he responded. "But when she does, the medicine will not work again until the next full moon.

I was very eager to see if it worked so I went home, showered, shaved, combed my hair, put on lots of cologne, took a spoonful of the medicine, and then invited my wife to join me in the bedroom. When she came in, I took off my clothes and said, "1-2-3!"

Immediately, the glory of my manhood filled the room. My wife was so excited that she began ripping off her clothes. And then she asked, "By the way, Honey, what was the 1-2-3 for?"

And that, boys and girls, is why we should never end our sentences with a preposition! Otherwise you will end up with a dangling participle..

Thanks to my mate Richard Berman

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Show Him Your Badge...

An DEA officer stopped at a ranch in Montana and talked to an old rancher. He told the rancher, "I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs."

The old rancher said, "Okay, but don't go in that field over there."

The DEA officer verbally exploded, saying, "Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me."  Reaching into his rear pants pocket, he removed his badge and proudly displayed it to the farmer.  "See this badge? This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish, on any land, with no questions asked or answers given.  Have I made myself clear?  Do you
understand?"

The old rancher nodded politely, apologized, and went about his chores.

A short time later, the old rancher heard loud screams and saw the DEA officer running for his life, chased close behind by the rancher's prize bull.  With every step the DEA officer took, the bull was gaining ground, and it seemed likely that he'd get "horned" before he reached safety.  

The officer was clearly terrified.

The old rancher threw down his tools, ran to the fence and yelled at the top of his lungs, "Your badge!  Show him your badge!"

DONT STEP ON THE DUCKS

Peter Morley's Joke of teh Week:


Three women die together in an accident and go to heaven. When they get there, St. Peter says, 'We only have one rule here in heaven: don't step on the ducks!'

So they enter heaven, and sure enough, there are ducks all over the place. It is almost impossible not to step on a duck, and although they try their best to avoid them, the first woman accidentally steps on one.

Along comes St. Peter with the ugliest man she ever saw. St. Peter chains them together and says, 'Your punishment for stepping on a duck is to spend eternity chained to this ugly man!'

The next day, the second woman steps accidentally on a duck and along comes St. Peter, who doesn't miss a thing. With him is another extremely ugly man. He chains them together with the same admonishment as for the first woman.

The third woman has observed all this and, not wanting to be chained for all eternity to an ugly man, is very, VERY careful where she steps.

She manages to go months without stepping on any ducks, but one day St. Peter comes up to her with the most handsome man she has ever laid eyes on ... Very tall, long eyelashes, muscular.

St. Peter chains them together without saying a word.

The happy woman says, 'I wonder what I did to deserve being chained to you for all of eternity?'

The guy says, 'I don't know about you, but I stepped on a Duck.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Stress Stats

Take a look at some of these recent stress statistics, courtesy of the American Psychological Association (APA). Whether you’re stressed-out and looking for a way out, or simply curious about how stress may be affecting your life, you’re not alone …


• Two thirds of Americans say they are likely to seek help for stress. (APA Survey 2004)

• Fifty-four percent of Americans are concerned about the level of stress in their everyday lives. (APA Survey 2004)

• 62% of Americans say work has a significant impact on stress levels. (APA Survey 2004)

• A majority of workers (52%) are more stressed because of work than home. (APA Survey 2004)

• 54% of workers are concerned about health problems caused by stress. (APA Survey 2004)

• 45% of workers list job insecurity has a significant impact on work stress levels. (APA Survey 2004)

• 61% of workers list heavy workloads as a significant impact on work stress levels. (APA Survey 2004)

• Executives and managers tend to have the most stressful jobs, while self-employed workers are the least stressed. (APA Survey 2004)

• One in four workers have taken a mental health day off from work to cope with stress. (APA Survey 2004)

• 73% of Americans name money as the number one factor that affects their stress level. (APA Survey 2004)

• An estimated 121 million people world-wide currently suffer from depression. (World Health Organization)

• Eight to 20 percent of older adults experience symptoms of depression. (Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health 1999)

• Depression often co-occurs with anxiety disorders and substance abuse. (National Institutes of Mental Health)

• Approximately six million American men suffer from depression. (National Institutes of Mental Health)

• Nearly twice as many American women as men are affected by depression. (National Institutes of Mental Health)

• Approximately 18.8 million American adults have depression. (National Institutes of Mental Health)

THE BEST "PUT-DOWN" LINE EVER!

For those that don't  know him, Major General Peter Cosgrove is an  'Australian treasure!'

General Cosgrove was  interviewed on the radio recently.  
  
You'll love his reply to  the lady who interviewed him concerning guns and children.  Regardless of how you feel about gun laws you gotta love  this! This is one of the best comeback lines of all time. It  is a portion of an ABC interview between a female  broadcaster and General Cosgrove who was about to sponsor a  Boy Scout Troop visiting his military  headquarters.

FEMALE  INTERVIEWER: So,  General Cosgrove, what things are you going to teach these  young boys when they visit your base?

GENERAL  COSGROVE:
We're  going to teach them climbing, canoeing, archery and  shooting.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER:   Shooting! That's a bit irresponsible, isn't  it?

GENERAL  COSGROVE: I don't  see why, they'll be properly supervised on the rifle  range.

FEMALE  INTERVIEWER: Don't  you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be  teaching children?

GENERAL  COSGROVE: I don't  see how. We will be teaching them proper rifle discipline  before they even touch a  firearm.

FEMALE  INTERVIEWER: But  you're equipping them to become violent  killers.

GENERAL  COSGROVE: Well,  Ma'am, you're equipped to be a prostitute, but you're not  one, are you?

The radio went silent and the interview  ended.

Being a geek aint all bad!

Here's some other GEEKS you may know and how much they have profited by being the ultimate GEEKS:

* Bill Gates (Microsoft), $57 billion
* Larry Ellison (Oracle), $27 billion
* Michael Dell (Dell), $17.3 billion
* Paul Allen (Microsoft), $16 billion
* Sergey Brin (Google), $15.9 billion
* Larry Page (Google), $15.8 billion
* Steve Ballmer (Microsoft), $15 billion
* Jeff Bezos (Amazon), $8.7 billion
* Pierre Omidyar (eBay), $6.3 billion
* Eric Schmidt (Google), $5.9 billion
* Steve Jobs (Apple), $5.7 billion
* Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), $1.5 billion

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Whatever happened to....

I posed the question:  Whatever happened to ___________ fill in the blank and here is what my followers had to say:

@ianrharris Whatever happened to the famous St George 5/8 Brian Clay? [1960 Premiership team featured here]

@flawnt what ever happened to me before i lost my life to twitter?

@joecommisso is it "What ever happened to the good old days." ?

Perth.. should I leave??

Letter to editor - Sunday Times May 3, 2009 Graham Chapman Rockingham

I'm sick of Perth's violence, gangs, law courts with revolving doors, "get out of jail" free cards and the never ending boatloads of asylum-seekers.

It sickens me that our young men are sent to fight and die in Afghanistan and their able-bodied men get free entry to Australia. So I said to my wife, "Let's go to Melbourne or Sydney."

Hang on, it's not safe there - bigger bikie gangs, more drugs, Lebanese gangs, Asian gangs and the underworld.

Maybe we could migrate - to England?? But wait, it's worse there - multiculturalism gone mad. All the Poms are coming here. they have had enough!

That leaves Adelaide, the city of churches. But I was there last year, and as I sat in Rundle Street Mall I played "spot the Aussie." If Tasmania wasn't so wet and cold and had a footy team, just maybe.

Well there is always New Zealand, but during the 2007-08 financial year, 34,500 Kiwis settled here so NZ has obviously lost its appeal.

But wait. win Lotto, buy a yacht and we could sail away, leaving all our worries behind. Damn, I forgot about the Somali pirates.

So I guess it's Perth and Western Australia with its wonderful climate, beaches, wineries, wildflowers, fishing and the many other attractions that I proudly call home.

Note to Media: how about reporting the good stuff guys...and not all the crap.

Red Wine Recommendations from Twitter

My Sunday list of recommended red wines, courtesy of my twitter friends include:

@BonzerWolf MD 20/20 or Boones Farm Strawberry $2.99 for huge bottle at 7/11's 
@boomerous William Hill Merlot 2002
@elenispage  Con Sur Shiraz...very nice...:-)
@valcoda my wine is spoe de opie
@LegionwChaplain On a special occasion  prefer blush to red favorite is Glen Allen
@geeklitebet my suggestion is Matua Valley New Zealnd who make an excellent merlot
@millyb01 a 2008 sem sav from a little winery in cowaramup - Lattitude 33. Nice.


Mine is Lilac Hill Tall Tower Merlot from Perth's Swan Valley

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Twitter #FollowFriday shoutouts...

I am overwhelmed by the number of people who do a #FollowFriday mentioning me and when I acknowledge them in Twitter there are soooo many that some people unfollow [mmmm?!?] so I have decided to acknowledge their good deeds here at Confessions of a Boy from Margaret River.

So, it's Saturday May 2nd 2009 in Perth and here are "just a few of the #FollowFriday shout out people - thanks I am honoured and humbled...

@AndreaPuddu 
@SamuelJonez
@MariaNerius 
@MaryHoga
@joelcomm
@bobgarrett 
@sharonhayes 
@jimdebetta 
@DrJennifer 
@nadeemd 
@whodeani 
@JohnChow
@danimdr
@TokyoHits
@BigD55
@MonicaPortugfan
@BITT59
@EdLovesSumo
@ZnaTrainer
@Iconic88 
@wbaustin  when Bill does a #FollowFriday you're on your way!!
@RicRaftis
@drsuzyQ
@ponet
@MarkConrau
@crumcake 
@LarryMendte 
@RoseannHiggins
@HealthyLessons
@jareason
@Brooks4hire
@teamwinnipeg
@MichellePSimms
@ryan444123
@XaethyxV
@plzfollowme
@tina5b5

Phew... there are more but I will add them later BUT I am truly thankful for the #FollowFriday shout outs..

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