Tuesday, December 23, 2008

An interview with Father Xmas, Santa Claus, Kris Kringle et al


As many of you know one of my very best friends is Father Xmas and he recently attended a Christmas function at The Mallala Playgroup at my request. I was planning an interview with the Grand Old Man but it is probably better if I just let him ramble on about Xmas - he is a bit like that you know. So here he is by whatever name you may know him - take it away Kris.

"Well thank you Jim it was a fun day at Mallala and all of the children were absolutely beautiful.

Well I am in the last few hours of preparation and to all the people of the Western Pacific and particularly in New Zealand it will not be long before I am on my way towards you. Oh what a night it will be as well as I chase the clock across the world.

I thought I would like to share with you via Jim's Blog a view of Christmas from my side as if you were looking through my eyes.

Firstly the responsibility for me is to carry the message of love and care across the world and to do the best I can to ensure the people understand that Peace and Goodwill are not just words and can be achieved so easily if you could all just understand how easy it might be.

Of course the Children of the world who simply believe so much are living proof of how well that trust can be sustained. I am not so sure why some of you "grown ups" lose the simple innocence that lives in you all from the day you were born.

Let me assure you to look into a Child's eyes from behind my beard and glasses is indeed a gift I wish I could deliver to you all - even the look of the very young child who can at times be overawed by all that redness,whiskers and HoHoHo'ing in just twelve months it is amazing how quickly they come to understand who I am.

To walk with Children who just want to hold my hand, to share their lives and their innermost wishes is a privilege that is immeasurable. My one desire is to encourage them all to carry the ideals of love, friendship and loyalty for all of the days of their lives.

Now let me turn my attention to the "grown ups" - as your treasures come forward and sit on my lap and unfold those truths I look up and see the glow of love and emotion absolutely radiating from you all - may I make a little suggestion remember that feeling as your Child looks upon me with the innocence of youth - allow that feeling to absolutely permeate every corner of your body and mind. That energy as you amplify it and project it on the world is the very essence of how the message I carry and represent will be carried amongst you all.

It does not matter by what name you may know me, it does not matter what religion or doctrine you may follow, it does not matter what colour race or Creed - my message remains as simple and as basic as it always has.

Before I go I would just like to remind my friend Jim - watch yourself buddy - I would hate to have to shift you to the Naughty List.

So my final words as I leave to make just one final check of my lists and my itinerary -

A Very Happy Christmas to all - Peace and Love to the World - and to all Good Night"

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Now thats what I call exploitation - fail Berlin Zoo

You have to know that this article on Knut the once cute polar bear cub is very distressing. I am one who in the main hails our Zoos as the last hope of preserving many of our species.

I find this article very distressing and believe the management of the Berlin Zoo is failing the mandate we give to Zoos globally. - Fail

Monday, December 1, 2008

Oh my God the USA is in recession

I don't know which planet our Wall Street Einstein's are living on. We wake up to the news the USA is officially in recession - I mean to say which @#$%^&* Rocket Scientist worked that out holy $%^& where have you guys been.

So now it is official the markets fall again - keep up the good work you guys the intelligence being displayed out of the financial precinct of NYC is simply mind blowing.

Get you stuff together and lets get going because as history will tell you - WE WILL SURVIVE.

While you are here have a little vote in my poll.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Economic Downturn - has it effected you

I have discovered Polls and am finding the results very interesting.
Please join my latest poll

Sunday, November 23, 2008

"What people should be doing is reacting to their own personal circumstances"

The Commonwealth Bank is now joining in the JimBob lets stop talking everything down campaign.

Hooray - now media stop putting taglines on the top that are perpetuating fear.

Markets stop perpetuating the fear in an oscillation game of Win,Profit Take,Fall,Rise etc.

Friday, November 21, 2008

US car makers told to submit new recovery plan

As has now been quite well reported the car makers of the USA did not impress and have to comeback a little better prepared than the last effort.

Clearly the big two GM and Ford are also very important to Australia and indeed our Government has put up a few bucks to help out. Must say I am not quite sure where Toyota sits in all this but again Australian Car Making is very much reliant on the Japanese Giant, and they have also shared in the generosity of the Australian taxpayer. In fact Toyota appear to be weathering the storm better than most.

I would however like to extend my sympathy, in some small part at least, and suggest to the Congress that when the car makers return to the table that perhaps the Unions better be sitting alongside with cap in hand as well. I fear there is not enough said about the role they have played in bringing the industry to its knees.

Hmmm, I wonder if the leader of the House will subscribe to my Blog.

The Adelaide Advertiser Published my reply


I am pleased the Advertiser published my follow up Letter to the Editor. I must say the article a couple of days ago on which they put the heading "Still Feeling Good" I did feel was placed a little cynically by the Editor.
It was ironic that the very night after it was published the Reserve Bank of Australia Governor saw fit to warn Australia to be wary of talking ourselves down.
So what to do now - well I would suggest that "The Advertiser" and all other News Corp and media commentators should now start digging a little deeper and genuinely understanding the vagaries of our current Financial Market dealers. I am convinced that far too many of them are too young and too inexperienced and simply are playing with a numbers game and ignoring true fundamentals of life experience.
You cannot simply turn up and pop on a visor and sleeve bands and play money market dealer, and yet this is a trend that is repeated over and over again about every 10 to 15 years. I fear our markets are treated a little too much like the Texas Hold 'em Poker game down at the local pub, I also fear that too many of the dealers are the young men and women I spied sitting at the tables the other night.
I was sent a summary of a book recently and unfortunaetly cannot find it just now but will re-edit this blog when I find it. Essentially the author admitted how as a young man he was sat down at desk with Computer terminal, a big pot of money and not much else and sent of to market. Worrying but true and not much different to some of the experiences I had as young banker. Although I must also say I had some of the most experienced men around sitting on my shoulder.
Market melt downs are so completely unnecessary but unfortunately greed and stupidity continue to get in the way.
The simple announcement of Timothy Geithner as the new Secretary of the US Treasury by President (elect) Obama saw a last minute surge in Wall Street just before the close. The fundamentals sure did not change but perhaps the fact Barack Obama is getting on with the job and showing some wise judgement in his Executive appointments is the catalyst Wall Street needs to get back to fair market value trading and stop being influenced by the Bear Market hedge dealers.
Let's get on with the job - the Listed Blue Chip shares today look even more blue than they did yesterday.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia agrees with JimBob

This article published by the ABC in Australia highlights a question that was asked of Glen Stevens The Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia last evening regarding Australia's ability to handle the so called Global meltdown.

Glenn Stevens has pointed out that Australia has an economic strength and is well placed to weather the current Financial Storm. He went on to say, "Given that we have that scope and given the underlying strengths of the economy, about the biggest mistake we could make would be to talk ourselves into unnecessary economic weakness."

The comments about Housing are well founded but the overpricing is not Universal in this country and those areas where this is so are seeing the adjustment that is necessary. Equally the comments about the USA Housing Markets are equally not Universal but focused on about four states including, California,Florida,Michigan and Nevada. Our commentators need to be careful as all encompassing statements are indeed the fuel of fear.

I write today to again call on the Prime Minister, Treasurer and media to take heed and change the way we are reporting this situation. It is imperative and foolish if we continue to talk ourselves down.

One fears that our Prime Minister is finding this hard to do as he was handed a pretty sound ship by former Prime Minister John Howard.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dear Mr Rudd - start talking Aussie up. We are not as bad as you want everyone to think.


Hey I Got published in "The Advertiser"

It is most concerning to me that while I am certain that the global situation will have an effect, I still believe that in Australia it is unnecessary for us to continue in this "Me Too" attitude. The majority of the product we export is essential to life in the form and food and other life essential commodities. The countries we export to are so large and continue to experience population growth greater than our entire population. China continues to have to rebuild after the earthquake and to continue to build to cater for its own population growth.

Sure the Automotive industry is a problem but more so at home in the US than Australia, and that is caused by poor management by both Unions and the Companies themselves.This building to production capability just to keep people in jobs rather than to conservative growth estimates is unbelievable. And in the US once a car dealer it is almost impossible to get sacked by a manufacturer - give me a break.

Some Rocket Scientist down at the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics for my international readers)announced that in September (September mind you), that retail sales had only grown by 0.1%. Hell ay, is that not what our erstwhile Governor of the Reserve Bank wanted to happen when he jacked the interest rates. Worked didn't it. Oh then we worked out "bugger" between fuel price (screwed over by greedy futures dealers - not OPEC, who caught on before anyone else) and higher interest rates we have gone too far - then exacerbated by greedy poorly regulated Bankers in the USA and Europe - we think we need to get wound up in a financial stuff up that has limited spin off in Australia.

Please Mr Rudd cut with the "hang dog" looks on TV - build the wharves to handle the multitude of ships sitting off our East Coast - fill 'em up with Coal and Wheat before my friends in Asia freeze in the dark in the cold Northern Winter wondering where their next loaf of bread is coming from. While you are at it a bit more steel for the building programs run out would not go amiss either.

Hey and get control of these Futures traders, betting on SPI (share price index) forces young dealers to forget fundamentals of trade and to start trying to pick the winner of next years Melbourne Cup. Hey 26 black down the casino is much faster way to burn real dollars.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tagged

Well it has happened I have been tagged. My really good "friend" Kat has kindly dobbed me in.

My first task is to shout her blog and indeed her blog is always a great read. "As Kat Knits" so that is achieved.

I guess that is a good place to start as many of my timeline friends seem to be members of that powerful online group the "knitters" of USA. I have to say I really enjoy my Plurk Buddies As I complete this blog I also have to tag 6 more friends to their turn - that may prove difficult as lot of the blogs I read have already been tagged but we will have a little bit of an Aussie flavour.

So to those I tag understand the rules.
#1 Shout your taggers blog
#2 5 Interesting facts about yourself
#3 Tag six more blogs

Having achieved Task #1 the tough bit starts - five interesting facts about me. I actually find myself a bit of a boring workaholic but do love reading current affairs even if at times I get a bit frustrated with our politicians and others who will not accept that we all have a right to our opinion. Compromise is the hardest art of life.

1. Reading as much as I do, and researching the facts behind what I read, make me the repository for all kinds of trivia that mean absolutely nothing to most people. I do enjoy Trivia Nights, not as to whether I win or lose, but they send me scurrying to Google to find out more about the questions I could not answer, Also my work saw me needing to have a reasonable working knowledge across many different industries,as such feel like I sound like some kind of know it all at times. Must learn to shut up.

2. Was reading TopSurf blog and sport came up. Unlike Top Surf have to say I was/am a sporting klutz - my claim to fame was being the Stroke of a schoolboy lightweight four. At least sitting in a boat meant I would not trip over my own feet. Scary thing not sure what happened in the last 40 years from the mere 9 stone I weighed then to now is a bit scary. Any way I have lost a fair bit of the middle aged spread recently and working hard to lose more.

Funny thing went onto become a sport administrator and was President of our State Baseball league for a while having an affiliate relationship with the LA Dodger organisation.

3. Was once an "innocent" little choir boy and sang in the St Peter's Cathedral choir for many years. My last claim to fame in that era was singing as a Boy Soprano in "The Play of Daniel"in the Adelaide Festival of Arts. As a result of my youthful career in Music have very broad taste claim to enjoy music from Beethoven to Techno. Joined a band in the late sixties only because a bunch of mates wanted to play in competition - they did not have bass guitarist so went and learned bass. Did not win but got a bit of work for a year or so.

4. Have always been a sucker for a cause -love writing to politicians and trying to keep the bastards honest. Have been involved in fund raising and for many years managed the Cash Collection Centre for one of our Telethons. Still involved in many Causes and one of the Blogs I write is www.savethemurray.blogspot.com. I am a bit middle of the road and believe we should always try to be fair to both sides of an argument. Nothing will get me going more than intolerance of the right of each of us to have a point of view. There needs to be a greater desire to seek compromise of many different opinions.

I still remain involved through my letters and blogs as well as being a Director of our South Australian Multiple Sclerosis Society. Have retreated a little having been on the board of Multiple Sclerosis Australia as well.

5. Basically I just love my family, my friends and life and struggle with the apathy of the world. Maybe have tried to hard and not stopped to smell the roses along the way. Maybe at times a little too intense. As such have affected my own life badly in recent times both in health and life goals. The health issue has seen me lose some of what I love the most and some days get a bit melancholy on those mistakes. I am very fortunate to have so many great friends and look forward to hopefully meeting more of my online friends face to face over the next year. A big event coming my way soon when I become a Grandfather officially for the first time just after Christmas. Have been what a I call a surrogate Grandpa for quite a while to my God Daughters Children (very spoilt I am) but very exciting times ahead.

I relax today with my camera and share some of that from time to time.

Now the big task who to tag - well here goes:

1. Charlie says....
2. If I have Charlie have to have "Odi's Ramblings"
3. Then of course there is Ozegold
4. So if I have Alan have to have Don White
5. Then there is the MadGoatLady god love her
6. Last but not least there is SuperGran

So there you have it,that is JimBob51 who will have one litte plug for his current project fund raising for Men's Health Awareness through Movember call into my MoPage and feel free to donate it is for a good cause.My Registration Number is 1341061

Monday, November 10, 2008

The value of Hedge Funds in a Bear Market?

One has to question how much of the current stock exchange market is being brought on by Hedge Fund trading.

Hedge Funds have a field day in Bear Markets and thrive on the downward and uncertain trend.

If the hedge funds stopped breeding programmed selling on the downward slide surely the basic principles that fear are thriving on would disappear.

Dear President (elect) Obama - have you ever heard of the Financial Services Reform Act

It is really interesting that during the last part of the 20th Century the Howard Government decided to look at all Financial Services in this country and under the Stewardship of Liberal Hit Man Joe Hockey introduced the Financial Services Reform Act.

It was enacted in the early part of the 21st Century with much kicking and squealing from Financial Institutions. It was unforgiving in whom it embraced and provided Government Departments ASIC and APRA with some pretty far reaching powers to control and monitor the financial services industry in this country.

The rules were laid down and auditors dispersed to ensure that all financial institutions met the new rules. Well one has to believe that the lack of drama amongst our Banks etc could well be a result of our Managers having a clearly defined set of rules to meet. The converse of course is the American Banks who simply do not have the same disciplines to meet and it is therefore my offer to the new President have a little look at our our FSRA process it seems to have done Australia Proud.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Conspiracy Theory

The guy on Sky Business this morning said because NYE fell by 5% last night - then Australia would fall by 3.5% to 4%.

Guess what within 30 minutes of opening the Aussie Stock Exchange fell by 4% - does this smell of dealers rigging the market or what?

You really have to wonder if the Big Fund Managers are merely playing with numbers and to hell with the Mums and Dads money they are playing with.

One of the biggest factors that set us up this year was the Oil Price. Because Oil is a safe commodity the Futures Dealers started playing with the contract price and simple setting up markets for their own benefit. They also set up their own “stooley” pigeon economists to try and tell us why this is so.

Because of the price surges and oil effects absolutely everything we do in life then The Federal Reserve Bankers want to tell me inflation is out of control and the market is overheated so let’s jack up interest. All by a price that was clearly fake but had such an effect on so many dimensions of our daily lives.

If it were not for OPEC coming out and telling us that they felt there was not a shortage in fact they were cutting production which they have now done twice did we see the Oil Price fall. Defies logic really.

But what if the dealers have said – oh hell we have been sprung playing with this safe commodity lets bail out. Oil has fallen and now we want to use this as demand having dropped. Are you getting the conspiracy picture here – oh no the world is coming to an end syndrome to reset the markets for the dealers to play again.

Clearly greater controls have to be placed on Rogue Traders manipulating markets and causing undue pain. I remember a trader back in the late ‘80’s – he was so cruel in his manipulation I understand Reuters would flash out a warning “He’s In” every time he logged on. I fear we are being controlled by out of control money men. Simple really isn’t it.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Movember – Understanding Depression – Beyond Blue



Today is the First of Movember and I am supporting the cause this year with a meaning and purpose that you cannot possibly believe. And this photo was taken on Halloween.So I have started clean shaven.

To donate please visit www.movember.com.au. My account is 1341061 - so please help.

It is just over twelve months since I was diagnosed with Depression – that is absolutely unbelievable, me who always considered himself indestructible, in control of any situation. Suddenly an understanding of those times when I felt alone, distressed and acting like a totally out of control idiot started to become clear. The pain I have caused is at times unbearable.

The sadness of that is the only people who ever saw that were my family, the people I loved the most. They became the victims, the people who were hurt the most, the people I let down the most. The even sillier part of this the way I drove myself into that depressive state thinking that I was doing the right thing working for them. Never really stopping – never taking the time to rest and actually enjoy the life I thought I was working so hard to achieve.

I have tried hard to rationalise all of this but that no longer matters I am moving forward and dealing with my life – I can only try to make up to those people that I love and pray for their forgiveness.

The most amazing part of this trip over the last twelve months is watching people and their reactions to the the big “D” word and realise the world does not have any idea about depression. Whilst it does not only happen to men, the comprehension of men that it can happen to them and the way they set up their actions leads them down a path of personal health denial. If we are to change the paradigms that set up this self denial then we need to get out there and start talking about it. Oganisations like “beyond blue” are working hard at trying to bring awareness to Mens Health Issues particularly in the area of mental health.

I have been told depression is just an excuse, it is normal tough it out, it is just stress, it will pass. The fact is the people close to me equally do not know what it is about or how to handle it. Yes, it is my responsibility but the feeling of rejection also has not helped in any way at all. If anything it has just made the whole deeper and blacker. The need to educate the community on this issue is enormous.

I write this openly and honestly and hope the community will get behind Movember this year. the community and organisations like “Beyond Blue' need help to get their message and support into the community. C'mmon give us a hand and support me or your friends in raising money for this wonderful cause.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Plurk

As many of you know I do hang about on Plurk (just a little bit).

I have said it many times how the sense of Community continues to develop in this space. The friends I have made on line and the awe inspiring level of care that comes out is unbelievable. I find the mutual care, love and respect between the people on the timeline very comforting in these times that can be very destabilising.

The other interesting thing to me is the self management that goes on. Rarely have I seen inappropriate behavior on line and if it occurs the Community is quick to deal with it politely and efficiently.

It is a great place to visit come along sometime. www.plurk.com

Monday, October 27, 2008

Farmers welcome falling Dollar


Ok so at the moment the Aussie is taking a bit of a hiding
and certainly as Overseas Fund Managers repatriate funds what do think you would be doing to make it as cheap as possible to exit their dollars - of course selling the Aussie down the toilet. In the late 1980's there was a dealer in New York who was manipulating the Aussie Dollar to his own end in a twenty four hour period. Cannot remember the details precisely but it was mooted he was trading the whole Aussie GDP in a twenty four hour period.

The Aussie Dollar was a cute little currency that was easily pushed around, politically stable and mere cannon fodder for the big dealers - guess what nothing has changed.

The other thing every year as we negotiate wheat contracts and other commodity contracts in USD the AUD takes a bath - shock horror again manipulating through payer to make Aussie Exports more attractive.

Fortunate the RBA knows this and "props"up the AUD only to make a killing when commonsense finally prevails.

The only concern at the moment and the main thing lacking in financial markets is commonsense. I for one will question whether I shall ever use a Broker again and simple trade through the facilities provided by my Bank.

Lets sell that wheat boys.....

Thursday, September 18, 2008

StockMarkets are they really a blight on our community

One cannot help but be a little cynical about the current world economic crisis. We seem to go through a crisis about once a decade and we have to begin to believe that the whole thing is contrived.

The economy ahead of a US Presidential election seems to create a Wall Street stagger every 4 years and every second one seems to bring suicidal tendencies to the market.

The advent of futures exchanges allowing brokers to trade trends without ever even considering taking delivery of the "physical" is almost like betting on two flies running up a wall.

Even OPEC has come out and suggested that they believe that there is more than enough Oil in the world for supply at the moment and reduced production accordingly. The oil price has continued to come down.They blamed the traders and indications are that they are correct.

I really think brokers and traders enjoy making these markets move, as any trade for them is a trade and they are making money.

I remember a currency trader in New York in the late "80s who was trading a massive book and was renowned for setting up situations for his own gain in the management of his book. Reuters would even flash the trading floor when he signed in as he was well known for trading against the trader sitting at the next desk, he was known to be so ruthless.

Whilst it is understood that markets can get over heated from time to time, but how much of this is real and how much is contrived and are Governments that slow to understand that they are often lead to fiscal decisions for all the wrong reasons.

I sure do not know the answer but have seen four of these collapses in my working career which has one pondering the question.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Depression - the scourge of the 21st Century



I have to say this type of headline alarms me:- "Tas Premier sacks Wriedt".

The poor woman has been diagnosed with depression and the Premier has been forced to make a decision for not only the good of his Government but also the good of poor Ms Wreidt.

The complete quandary that she has found herself in is going to be extremely difficult for her to cope. I hope and pray that her family and friends can move closer to her right now to assist through this dilemma. Her job is something that she aspired too and for whatever reason her mind has succumbed to this horrible state that seems to be afflicting so many these days.

I look forward this year to "Movember" and will be supporting it aggressively as "Beyond Blue" will be a major benefactor. I do not think we understand "depression" at all well and have watched with interest as I see people cringe and pull away when the word is mentioned.

It is exactly the time when true friends and loved ones need to learn how to support these people.

The Premier of Tasmania did not sack her - he made a decision that will ultimately help. My heart reaches out to Ms Wreidt - fight the good fight my love.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Journalistic Doomsayers

I am so over Journalists who want to stand in front of me on television and tell me that the economy will not recover. We have been through so many of these cycles History books have become best sellers. Certainly we need a period of re-adjustment and I marvel at how often these periods coincide with US Presidential elections.

The whole principle of supply and demand will determine that we will find a way to work through this temporary readjustment of economies - but as we always have we will.

I just think our journalists are so hell bent on getting their ugly faces on TV that they are really capable saying anything for airtime.

Rupert Murdoch once said in a William Queale Memorial Lecture many moons ago - "Governments Come and Governments Go - but business goes on forever"

He is not far wrong just ask the little Chinese bloke who sold Marco Polo Spaghetti.

The only threat I see right now is the Large Hadron Collider which will rachet up its first real experiment on October 21. Really who knows how big the Black Hole might be that is generated. Maybe I will see you in the next Galaxy.

Here is to tomorrow - it will be a beautiful day.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dixon Flags Qantas Merger

So Geoff Dixon reckons Qantas will have to merge. I really am glad this man is standing down. Of course, he will not stand down a pauper. I am sure the golden handshake with which he will go will be enormous.

I have a real concern as to the motives that some chief executives show when their own wealth is tied to Balance Sheet performance alone. Under Mr Dixon's stewardship we have seen the removal of the impeccable safety standard that Qantas has held and an acknowledgment that the recent events have been damaging. CASA has been critical of reporting standards as to maintenance of the fleet. It is very disappointing indeed that Australia's flagship has been tainted. Is this direction been caused with the a simple desire to Balance Sheet performance alone. If so it is misguided as the damage in shortcutting standards may also damage that performance.

A more cynical person might even consider the comment might be encouraging a takeover merger battle that might make someone's shareholding more valuable.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I THINK WE ARE FINALLY CATCHING ON

It is really interesting that more and more articles are being written about online etiquette when it comes to spruiking ones product or service. The advent of the social networking world and the continual desire on how to monetize it (i.e. make a buck) is slowly being understood.

The use of the social network to “spam” the community is being frowned upon from great heights amongst the user community. The use of Blogs as something more than a place to just vent but to deliver real messages and services without paying homage to the rules of community and the etiquette of interaction will only be met with the same fate as the Junk Mail we get on email or in our letterbox.

Whenever a service or product is sold the basic rules of “need satisfaction” are the rules that identify the great salesperson vs the “snake oil” salesperson.
The “Unique Selling Proposition” of our product or service has to be delivered in such a manner that is respectful of the old “wiifm” (what’s in it for me) rules.

The new age approach to communication continues to evolve daily and the respect that we must show the online community does not vary in anyway from the respect we demand in real life.

It has become more obvious that the successful Social Networking sites are seeing more and more people come out from behind nom de plume’s and identify the real person, contactable friendly and open minded. Heated debate is encouraged and understood provided however it is fair and inline with the common Human respect that we demand in person.If we want people to listen to us then we equally we must learn that we must participate and communicate with the people we are talking to. Fly buy letter box drops online will meet the same fate as the real life experience, filed at ankle level.

The evolution over the last few months has been quite astonishing and at last our community is coming to terms with a responsible forward direction.Online accesses so much more information and so many more people and the rules must be understood and obeyed - I think we are slowly but surely catching on.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The effort we spend on everything but ourselves



As many of you know I spend quite a deal of time in the Blogging and Social Networking world.

What has become so powerful in the last little while is we are all very good at sharing business ideas and doing the hard yards in how to run our lives and businesses. We are obsessed with the next new thing, the new technology, we neglect our true spirit.

But what has become very obvious to me in recent times, particularly in the Plurk space, is the caring and sharing aspect of the online community. The friendships that are being nurtured are an awe inspiring experience.

I know how the friends I have on line now discuss lots of different things in such an open manner. The thing however that is standing out for me is the emphasis we place on the business issues and the lack of emphasis on managing ourselves, our fears and emotions even our communication amongst our friends colleagues and loved ones.We speak about them but do we fix them?

The statistical responses to relationship breakdown seem to be spiraling out of control and yet we still pay lip service to healing our core, our soul, our essence, our spirit.Do we really know how to love?

So why do I write on this topic. Well to the outside world I have been a very successful business man and continue to enjoy the challenges that are presented in that part of my life. We are working heavily in E-Learning and Compliance Management as well as through our Company Wise Orange developing our clients web presence in a much more interactive and integrated manner. I thrive on these challenges and enjoy every minute of what I do.

Unfortunately what I have learned is that all the little bits and pieces of our lives we never quite deal with properly finally explode like some giant sore and wow reality bites. Next thing you know you are sitting on your backside saying – “What the @#$% happened”

Well it happened and being the kind of person I am have spent the best part of the last 12 months actually taking a journey through the deepest parts of my life and shock horror what do you find; all this stuff that has been conveniently quarantined under the misapprehension that it will never resurface. Well it does and it bites and it has challenged and threatened everything that I hold dear to me. The absolute consternation that I could have this shit happen to me was totally inconceivable, the paradigms of life that we instill on ourselves that need to be challenged and changed is an important part of our total well being. If we spent as much time and money on teaching our spiritual selves as we spend on our business selves, one would question whether or not the emotional drama and breakdown that seems ever present could either be controlled or eliminated. The disease could be controlled.

The advent of the "self development" world is slowly but surely growing as we understand these things and I believe women appear to have been addressing these issues better than men for sometime but even then the number of women who are addressing these issues remains very small.

The fear that generates is who and where and what will you entrust this training and learning, because, as with any new development it also attracts people who are not qualified or not good at conducting this type of self development course and training.

I was very fortunate that a friend suggested the Hoffman Quadrinity Process a highly commendable process it is as well and through this I was led to Transformed Self or more affectionately TS.

I spoke with Kerri Chinner, a Holistic Therapist in Adelaide who is both a Hoffman Facilitator and TS Facilitator here in Adelaide at Inner Essence about Hoffman and TS and Kerri said she thought I needed to talk to Loreen Visser, a world recognised Hoffman Facilitator and the creator of Transformed Self, or just plain Loz once you get to know her. So I spoke with Loz and signed up to do her live in course Transformed Self Course at a beautiful facility Hesket House north west of Melbourne. I had know idea really what I was going to discover and as I was descending through the beautiful forest to Hesket House can admit to a certain level of fear as to what was I doing (did I really need this stuff) but I knew one thing I had fallen into a pretty big crevice in my life and I was going to climb out of it.

I spent four days on a journey to places I did not even know existed in my spirit, events that had been buried so deep and a rather perverted spin on how life should be. The honesty and care with which I was led on this journey has left me with a new direction and given me a set of keys that I believe will make me the whole person that I had so comprehensively denied for virtually all of my life.Real Men Don't Cry huh.

I stress the experience unlocked a pathway which, with Loz and Kerri here in my hometown, has given me a whole new learning experience. It has challenged the whole paradigm under which I falsely believed I was happy.

As I have listened to my new found friends in the online community about how to run ones business life, and as I listen to people sharing their life frustrations my simple conclusion is, spend more time on the individual not just the physical self but spiritual self. I can only commend the journey on which I have been and invite you to an experience that I have found beneficial. At this time I have been given the keys to a new path, a new light and a new understanding.

I still have challenges and pray that I can rebuild the trust and faith that I have managed to destroy with my loved ones by simply not understanding how to deal with the inner issues that have just festered into something I could not even see.It made for a sick inner self that radiated the wrong message, the wrong attitude those I love.They hopefully will see the inner change.

Do yourself a favour – visit the sites listed and most importantly do not deny the need to seek an inner peace.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Twitters, Diggs, Pliggs and Plurks???



We all aware how quickly the internet changes, I am amazed at how extremely fickle the nature of its movement. The catch cry of social networking and social book marking is a whole new world that continues to grow at such a rate it is blinding. There are those amongst us who remember the old BBS days and sometimes wonder what is new here and then you stop, look and understand.

We all agree that the internet is here and it is a great place to find information, but the thing that is not being understood is the need to make one’s information attractive enough to actually hold and audience long enough to ensure that the message is being heard.

The heading to this article is probably well known to a lot of readers in this space, but how do we get the message out to the broader community.Traditional media is understanding the shift and that has good and bad points about it as well. To just try and put traditional media online is boring and in fact shows a very significant misunderstanding of what this space is about.

Again, to the uninitiated all of the above has a certain “snake oil” ring to the value of each of the services that attach to these weird and wonderful names. So when in the presence of “snake oil” enter the “Snake oil” seller.

My frustration at the moment is that the opportunity for the opportunist to arrive in this space is very high and does little more than bring the reputable advisers and information providers into disrepute. The saying "Caveat Emptor" - let the buyer beware is never more real than the online world. Lot's of scaremongering goes on about the Internet that also has good and bad points about it.

Enter social networking this is a space that allows people to gain confidence in the people who now are in this space. It allows people to get to know each other and what we do in our lives. Virtual Coffee meetings and drinks meetings that build a sense of trust in what the community has to offer. Our presentation on line will quickly identify the character of the person at the other end of the keyboard.

I have entered this space pretty much as (an older) new boy on the block and am enjoying the sense of community that the medium allows. I have made friends from all walks of life across every continent in the world. Once having entered that community, like any community it sets up its own rules and protocols and if you learn these quickly the community is very accepting and understanding of the learning curve. At times quick to scold and teach but in a manner of understanding that new people enter the space by the minute.

The delivery mechanism is live and instant and the results are rewarding however transgress, fail to participate in an appropriate manner then the consequences can be quite dire.

Those who think that it is a space just to advertise without joining in will find quickly that it will be frowned upon and the negative can be quite brutal. By all means share your purpose in life, share your information but do so understanding the "quid pro quo" here depends on how you play in the social networking world.

I love this world and am enjoying every minute of it even though some of my off line friends look at me as though I am completely insane when I sing the praises of the web world.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

And they are only 19

Tonight I read my good friends blog on Vietnam and I guess what it meant to blokes in Australia of my age. There is no doubt it has left an indelible mark on all of us whether we enlisted, were conscripted – joined the Citizens Military Force or similar or just chanced our arm at our marble rolling out for compulsory call up and even if you were a conscientious objector. And for those who went to Vietnam – God help them – so poorly recognized until recently and sent off into a useless war overseas. Of course, it never was a war – just a police action.

I have written about my Grandfather before see the link for a read. As a result of his injuries in the “Great War” he was terrified of my father being called up during the Second World War and was desperate for him not to go. He had gone and served King and Country and then spent the rest of his life watching his family struggle because of his incapacities.

My father was not 18 until 1942 and would have been called up, but in 1941 joined the Militia which was as near to the CMF of my day. He chose a path that served his country and his father’s wish albeit I do not think my Grandfather ever forgave him. In short he was picked from that to go to Duntroon and graduated as Lieutenant and commanded an anti aircraft gun firstly on Sydney Harbor Bridge and later overseas in New Guinea and Rabaul.

Well with all that history I joined the CMF in 1970 – 8 Company RAASC 28 Supply Platoon. I did not want to risk being called up. We were trained in Frontline Supply which meant I was trained in the handling of Ammunition and High Explosives – even was taught how to load Mortar Bombs and other devices at Gladstone. I was trained to handle POL (Petrol Oil and Lubricants) in the field including JetA1 for helicopters. I have been taught how to load and lash cargo nets and hook them up to the cargo hooks of helicopters. Believe me standing underneath a hovering helicopter with the loadmaster hanging out the door issuing instructions to the pilot as you engaged the cargo hook, red light green light duck under the skid exit to the rear with your head down was a bit of a rush the first time. Chopper blades are unforgiving. It was a great experience and I guess I felt I did my bit.It is time I consider well spent in my life for sure and opportunities I may never have had.

Then you are reminded of those who went and still are today. It is a sobering thought and you realize right or wrong the world must take responsibility for the genocide and cruelty that goes on. How do we sit quietly and watch innocent civilians being butchered by megalomaniacal regimes and who do we send in our often futile efforts to stop the stupidity.

We each have our ideas and ideology’s and what do we all really want – PEACE.
The right to freedom and freedom of opinion is the very essence on which each and every one of us believe – God help us all.

So many of my friends and family have been touched by war and even terrorism we must never forget those who choose the job as our Defence Force.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Vegetarian Vilification


It is an interesting experience going to a restaurant or Hotel with a Vegetarian.

In recent times a number of my Family Members have chosen this path and I must say with a great deal of Passion. I for one, and those who know me, have never had an issue with food. So having been brought up on the principal of eat what is put in front of you has really been where my Plate is set.

Having said that for many years flying around Australia I used to request Vegetarian Breakfasts on Aeroplanes because the alternative was pretty horrible. For quite a while this was great and the experience and quality of food was absolutely fantastic. Then it changed and all you could expect was a bucket of lukewarm mushrooms.

Anyway where am I going with this little yarn? I am absolutely amazed at the number of Hotels that simply do not cater for a Vegetarian. I am also appalled at the treatment vegetarians receive when a simple request is posed as to maybe the Kitchen could prepare a simple vege dish. Shock, horror, terror creeps across the face of the waiter/waitress and reluctantly they slink off to the Kitchen to present the request to an equally defiant Chef/Cook

How often does this happen, very often. My case in point. On Saturday I went on a trip through the Adelaide Hills with a number of people (10) farewelling a good friend as she ventures overseas for an extended trip and holiday.

We arrived dutifully at the appointed hour at the German Arms Hotel in Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills, a very pleasant spot and one of our most popular tourist destinations.

Great, there was at least a vegetarian option on the menu; I had to agree an attempt at tokenism to the Vegetarians of the world. So the request went in, maybe the Chef could prepare a Pizza without the meat included. Usual response shock, terror my God I have to approach the Chef with the devastating request.

After a short while the young lady returned with a rather abrupt, bordering on rude, no we are far too busy. So my vegetarian friends slunk back into the menu and proceeded to toss the coin on the meager offering that was available.

Well my point is this, is this not Vegetarian Vilification, my friends really felt as though they were now very much second rate citizens in the establishment. Where is the principles of Equal Opportunity, Social Inclusion (we even have State Department for each of these)

All I can say is it does not take much imagination to actually create some really good vegetarian food. It is even inexpensive quite quick and can be created from most common vegetables found in half reasonable kitchens. As we consider our health more and more the concept of humongous steaks and veal dishes that hang over both ends of the plate are really becoming less and less inviting. Good food does not need to be measured in the stupid oversupply that we tend to carry on with in this country and we do need to cater for people who actually do need an alternative (and I do not mean tokenism). So to the Restaurants and Eateries of the world get with the program – think healthy. I am sure most Chef’s would actually welcome the opportunity to explore their creativity.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Biodiesel the saviour of inflation?

Today I have been reading more about Biodiesel and the transesterisation process. The use of ethanol versus methanol and wow this country is so ready to lead the world into the mass production of Biodiesel it is not funny. The environmental benefits of Biodiesel are almost immeasurable.

Today we have again seen oil prices skyrocket with more pain to be had at the Pump. We are told that this will only be inflationary and that the Reserve Bank is sure to increase Interest Rates to protect us from the evil scourge of inflation.

I heard today that the reason for Diesel prices in this country being as high as they are is simply due to the massive demand in Asia for the product.

This still does not make sense to me. The Reserve Bank Board and the Australian Labor Party are happy to see more people out of work, homeless and relying on Government handout. They even made provision for this inevitable outcome in their new Federal Budget.

So how do we explain this logic to the victims of the Reserve Bank Board decisions that this is the interest rate hike we must have? Or to the business that can no longer sustain itself without increasing cost and wages and the inevitable pressure that will be felt or need to close the doors or simply go broke.

Inflation in this country clearly is going to be driven by the outrageous increases in the price of oil. Why then are we not supporting a process of rapidly increasing production of this environmentally friendly alternative. One suspects that Government is still very happy to reap its now even more excessive income from Fuel Taxes. Funny how in opposition the Rudd Government was very critical of the Howard Government not relieving the pressure on Fuel Price by easing Tax but simply are mute on the topic now they are in Power.

Obviously the oil companies do not want to do this as it threatens their very existence. CSR (and others) through their sugar interests has a very real interest through the production of ethanol. Vegetable Oil Manufacturers and recyclers surely must have an interest. The farmers surely also have an interest. The transport industry I would have thought are extremely interested in creating at least a competitive product to encourage OPEC to release more oil to bring down the price.

The Vehicle Manufacturer’s must be interested with the not insignificant developmental investment in diesel power.

I ask again why are we waiting or is this just some massive political conspiracy?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Agrifuels to compete with Oil Price and battle inflation


I cannot believe how long it is taking the world to move to Agrifuels. Globally we are concerned about inflation and the major contributor to this cost is the price of oil.

Fuel outside of water is probably the most mission critical item we use in the world today. Every mode of transport relies on fuel. The manufacture and production of every item we use relies on fuel. Economies of the world are in total turmoil as we face the turmoil of dealing with inflation. We shift interest rates, we lay off staff, and we put the blame on the consumer. How well has the plot of the oil companies and the oil rich nations of the world brought us to our knees, and what do the economists do blame the consumer and penalise the consumer and make his/her life a bigger misery.

Oh we are extremely alarmed at the cost of food and the farmers of Australia are dieing because the farm gate prices barely justify their task. Having said that recently when trying to challenge the big retail buyer’s price control mechanisms the hearing begged the farmers to bring their evidence. Where are the advocacy groups when the hearing begs them to present their case?

Food prices, why are they so high? It is pretty obvious really, the primary producer uses fuel, transport to the processor uses fuel, transport to the market uses fuel, we use fuel to get to the market place the whole process uses fuel.

Ok my point! Oil prices have increased by 600% with the majority of that hike having occurred over the last five years. You would have to say it is absolutely amazing that inflation has been held in check to the degree of still being in the 3% to 4% range when this critical commodity price has jumped so emphatically. But oh know the economists in their doom and gloom set about belting up the consumer.

The answer really remains simple – Agrifuels. In a country where the canegrowers are hurting and ethanol is such a magnificent bi-product for them, where vegetable seed oil crops are readily grown (canola being a good example as it is an ideal rotational crop for our wheat growers – but there are many others worthy of consideration) bio-fuels, Agrifuels are an obvious solution. I will guarantee when a viable competitor for mineral oil is promoted the price will immediately reflect the competition.

So who is blocking the development? The car manufacturers of Europe sure are not. Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen just to name a couple of minor manufacturers all have diesel versions of their cars which today are performing exceedingly well. Even Holden in their non-anniversary anniversary announcement declared they are designing a new diesel engine for the Astra (funny what ever happened to the diesel Gemini of the ‘70’s). So we are being held to ransom by who OPEC? , the Oil Companies?, the Oil Producing Countries?

C’mon Aussie – lets get about producing Bio-fuels and take the market into a competitive product that will see Oil Prices tumble and a cleaner better environment. Someone please explain why is it taking so long?

Tax on Alcopops - just made the Bad Guys Smile

I cannot believe the lack of imagination amongst our politicians. Putting the price up on Alcopops, as we so happily call them does one thing, increases Government revenue and makes Drugs all the more attractive.
It is simple the drug dealers will be going flat out as the price on their form of poison just became more attractive.
The addict of binge Alcopops will simply change the vehicle of getting there.
Stupidity!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Dawn Service Villers-Bretonneux


It has taken a bit to write this one. I find it stunning that this was the first Australian Dawn service at Villers-Bretonneux. The whole World War 1 memory for me was the vicious but almost futile fighting that went on in the Somme. My Grandfather fought in these battles. He was so badly wounded he was put off the Hospital ship in South Africa believing he would not make it back to Australia.
Well he did and I guess you can say I am living proof of that fact. His post war life in Australia was a struggle as the legacy of the shrapnel wounds to his head left him largely incapable of real work. During the depression he had to work for his pension and worked on the Hunter Valley rail tunnels for the meager care that was forthcoming for our war wounded.My Grandmother did House cleaning and took in ironing to support the family.
The history of Australians on the European front is famous, our efforts clearly leaving an indelible mark on the community.
To suggest that we should not have a dawn service at this site forever more, particularly as there are so many Australians in Europe is at best ludicrous.

LEST WE FORGET

Clearly the citizen's of Villers-Brettoneux have not.

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM

Friday, April 25, 2008

Cut Fuel Price - Cut Food Price


Amazing stories written in the media recently. Brazil Launches Sugar Cane bio - Fuel was in the press during the week.

I cannot believe that Brazil "accidentally" stumbled upon a new biofuel from which a diesel like fuel is now to be produced.But I have to say this is great news.

As has been discussed , even on radio (mostly on my other blog www.savethemurray.blogspot.com), I do harass politicians (I would prefer to say Lobby).This is a topic on which I have written many letters to many Ministers, for the usual stonewall answers.

Any way in a country where our Cane farmers (sugar cane is ideal for ethanol production) have been getting a pretty shoddy deal for a while (farmers generally) and a country where we produce a number of oil seed crops (e.g. Canola or maybe even Hemp) it seems pretty reasonable to me that this country would be a prime set up for biofuel production.

It intrigues me that in Europe the major marques have been producing, improving and promoting their diesel engines in commuter vehicles very aggressively in the last little while albeit Mercedes have had diesel engined cars like forever. Even Holden in their 60th Anniversary non-celebratory advertisements tell us they are designing new diesel engines.The days of the smoky, slow diesel engine are now so far in the past you could almost say mythical.

World food shortages and price rises do actually have something to do with skyrocketing oil prices. Every country in the world uses diesel powered vehicles, from Tractors to Trucks, to railway locomotives. Fuel is involved in every step of food production. Food prices are probably the one thing that will ensure inflation - we have to eat. Wage pressures are certain if we cannot afford to put food on the table or drive the family to school, even on the diesel powered school bus.

I can only say, as I have for about ten years now, lets remove the reliance on mineral oil fuel and the stranglehold OPEC has on the world. Mr Rudd, Mr Swan how about spending some of the money you are reaping from exorbtant oil taxes (there's another story) and investing in Australia leading the way to a new fuel that can only benefit all elements of the Australian community and maybe the world. Inflation may well be controlled and the Reserve Bank Governor can leave our interest rates alone. At that is yet another story.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Anzac Day


Today I attended the dawn service at the War Memorial in Adelaide.
It made for an interesting time to reflect on the conflicts of the past and present. It simply amazes me that we the plebiscite have allowed insane leaders to convince us to go to war.
Power, greed, religion, tribalism seem always to be at the basis of the conflicts we face.
What the hell is wrong with us. The people I know want to live a simple life, caring sharing, working hard to make a buck.I am sure all the people of the world are no different. Why cannot we then simply allow ourselves and the other bloke to just go on about his or her business.
The Koran, the Torah, The old Testament are all primarily the same book, not only do we see followers of these beliefs war with each other, they have a fine history of warring amongst themselves.
Why does Muslim fight Muslim, Christian versus Christian, Tribe versus Tribe. The genocide in Africa and many other countries is just something I do not understand.
It Brings me back to my reflection we as simple beings just want to live in peace.

Monday, April 21, 2008

RSL wants relatives at back of Anzac parade

I do not understand our RSL. Having said that I half agree. Let the diggers take the front line in their Units - certainly we should give them that honour.
Somehow I doubt that many if any would be disappointed to see the children and relatives of their mates honouring the day and the memory of our departed servicemen.
The more young people who march, the greater the memory of the horror of war and hopefully a diminishing desire to ever have to fight again.

LEST WE FORGET

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Australia to become a Republic

What is all the fuss about. We are virtually already there and the rest of the way is really easy. We changed the Privy Council as our highest court of Appeal many years ago. We sure do not want the American Presidential System - what a circus.

Our Governors and Governor General are the caretakers of all matters constitutional. That is the way our Constitution is written.

So leave the Governors to their job. The respective Parliaments should appoint said Governors and they should consider those people for their ability to do that job. The remainder of their role is simple - represent Australia at all appropriate events of State as the a-political head of State. Our Prime Minister and Premiers can represent the elected Political Head Of State.

So how easy is this - duck down the local newsagent - buy a big black texta and simply rule out the Queen. Their we go job is done - chances of us changing much else in our constitution are buckleys and none so what are we waiting for.