Monday, May 28, 2012

"Ripper" Owens Rips it Up!!

Had an awesome time at the "Ripper" Owens gig tonight at The Patch.
I must say I like the venue. It's small and intimate, with chairs and tables for those that want to sit and watch, and the bar at the side, so you can still sink schooners while enjoying the show.
Let's get more acts here!

Funniest part of the night was the obvious joke on the levels during the opening number, "Painkiller". At the end of the song Ripper said "We did do a sound check, right?". Then when he was still unhappy in the first 30 seconds of the second song. he just said, "OK, let's stop there - let's get this fixed", and off he went, while the band performed an impromptu sound check. Five minutes later, and off we went again, this time better, but still being adjusted during that second song.

Anthony was the only other person who chose to come, suck eggs to those that didn't! He also kindly drove, which meant I got about ten schooners into me during the three hours we were there.

The set list was awesome:
  1. Painkiller (Judas Priest)
  2. Burn in Hell (Judas Priest)
  3. The Ripper (Judas Priest)
  4. Victim of Changes (Judas Priest)
  5. Scream machine (Beyond Fear)
  6. When the Eagle Cries (acoustic) (Iced Earth)
  7. Diamonds and Rust (acoustic) (Judas Priest)
  8. Heart of a Killer (Winter's Bane)
  9. Stand Up and Shout (Dio)
  10. Starting Over (solo album)
  11. Blood Stained (Judas Priest)
  12. Rising Force (intro of I Am A Viking) (Yngwie Malmsteen)
  13. Breaking the Law (Judas Priest)
  14. Grinder (Judas Priest)
  15. Play My Game (solo album)
  16. One on One (Judas Priest)
  17. Living After Midnight (Judas Priest)
  18. Heaven and Hell (Black Sabbath)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Kids Fest Disco

Today was the end of Kid's Fest, a week long event for kids in the Shellharbour and Albion Park area's. This afternoon's event was a kids disco at Albion Park Public School. Maddi, who loves to dance, made the most of it.

Face painting was also the go. The girls looked beautiful as always.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Referees Star for Maroons in Origin 1

No matter how many games, and series, New South Wales have lost since we all really started taking notice of interstate battles back in 1980, few games have had the almost complete disappointment that last night's match did. How do you reconcile the fact that all of the opposition's points came almost directly from refereeing decisions that were, at the least blantantly incorrect, and at the most completely incompetant.

New South Wales had once again given up a home game to have the match played in Melbourne, something Queensland have NEVER done. NEVER! To pile on the misery, the NRL had scheduled the Melbourne vs Brisbane match to be played this Friday in Melbourne. This meant that Brisbane and Queensland supporters could all travel to Melbourne for the State of Origin match, and stay a couple of extra days and see their team play Melbourne on the Friday night. Combine this with the fact that Melbourne's powerbase of Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk was also the Queensland powerbase, it meant that majority of support at the game was obviously going to be biased to the Maroons. I'm not knocking the NRL for the scheduling of the game. It just made good sense. However, the question I and others continue to ask is - why must NSW always have to make these sacrifices for the "good of the game"?

The Blues led early at 4-0, before a brawl erupted, at which point Jennings ran from about five kilometres out to throw a Superman punch. He was sin-binned for ten minutes, something that rarely happens in club footy these days, but was fair enough. However, no one from the Queensland side joined him, despite the fact that the brawl was started by Queensland, and (once again) Sam Thaiday came in throwing punches as the third or fourth man, and (once again) avoided any repercussions.
With a man down, Queensland exploited the penalty and the overlap to score in the corner, and moved into the lead.

Then there was the superb one-on-one tackle made by Greg Bird, for which, unbelieveably, Queensland was awarded a penalty. It was a driving tackle, but not a spear tackle, and there was no suspicion that hands had slipped between the legs to gain an advantage. It was a terrible penalty. From this penalty, Queensland scored their second try from the next set of six tackles.

Thirdly, and most disturbingly, Greg Inglis was awarded a try when the third referee in the box decreed that Robbie farah had played at the ball with his foot in attempting to stop the try being scored. The ball went forward from Inglis off the boot, before he reached out and placed his hand on the loose ball. This was probably the most controversial moment of the match. After the game, the coaches and the referee's boss claimed it was a fair try. They were probably the only people watching the game who thought that was the case. I couldn't - still can't - believe it was awarded as a try. It was a knock on. Inglis lost the ball, it went forward, no try. But no. It was awarded, and Queensland won the game 18-10.

I'm not trying to suggest the result of the game should or would have been different. Queensland did not play well, certainly not as well as they have in previous years, and NSW played well in patches. If those decisions had in fact gone the other way, I think Queensland may still have won. And I'm sure they would preferred to have won without the "help" of the referees.

It was more deflating because the State of Origin is the showpiece event of rugby league. This game was destroyed by these incidents, and if the showpiece cannot hold its own in this marketplace, then the game itself is in trouble.

Game 2, which NSW must win to stay alive, will be interesting in the lead up, to see what changes take place in both camps. One wonders if Civenoceva will play given his lacklustre display up front for the Maroons, while surely Watmough at least, and Learoyd-Lahrs possibly will come into contention for the Blues.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Helloween to Reform "Keepers" Lineup?

I don't believe for a second this will happen, but it makes a nice story for the day. :)

HELLOWEEN To Reform Keeper Of The Seven Keys Line-Up?; Current Band Working On Next Album

May 22nd, 2012
by EvilG
Classic Helloween
Classic Helloween

According to, HELLOWEEN are in talks about reforming the band’s classic Keeper Of The Seven Keys-era line-up of Michael Kiske on vocals, Kai Hansen on guitar along with long-time band members guitarist Michael Weikath and bassist Marcus Grosskopf. Drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg took his own life in 1995 so current Helloween drummer Daniel Löble will likely retain his position in the band. The possible reunion is not planned to take place until 2015 and the current line-up of Helloween are in the studio recording an as yet untitled new album.
In a recent update Michael Weikath stated: “Right now we are busy with finalizing the songwriting process and are getting ready to take the accumulated ideas into a final selection for the new record. Everybody in the band is excited and eager to take what we have worked on so far to the next level.”
According to a press release, “The new production will again be helmed by long-time producer Charlie Bauerfeind and will of course contain all the trademarks. Already in this early stage the new effort promises to be much more than a fine follow-up to the highly acclaimed Gambling With The Devil and 7 Sinners albums. Bombastic epic pieces have been worked on as well as ultrafast heavy songs and mid-tempo anthems.”

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Case of Consistent Inconsistency

On the day that my father turns 70, I can only (once again) marvel at how the New South Wales league selectors can hand Queensland a massive advantage before a ball is kicked in anger in the State of Origin series, simply by making baffling decisions at the selection table.
Of course, this is only my view here, but it seems to be one generally regarded as correct to all of the fellow NSW supporters I have spoken to and communicated with via Facebook and forums.

I simply cannot believe that we have to pick a guy from reserve grade, as they have done with Michael Jennings. Here they have tried to show some loyalty to an out-of-form player (as they have also done with Jarryd Hayne), but surely you do not pick someone who isn't even chosen in the top Grade by their own club. Ridiculous. In doing so, they have left out Brett Morris, whose form surely was deserving of a place on the wing. A case of not being forgiven for his mistake last year that allowed a Queensland try that changed the course of the match? No loyalty.

Anthony Watmough has been excluded, even though he was one of our best impact players last season, and yet Ben Creagh and Trent Merrin have been chosen AGAIN, despite Merrin showing little at State or club level, and Creagh still trying to live down the 'dog' tag he picked up a couple of years ago when faced with stand up fight with Justin Hodges. Divided loyalty.

Jamie Buhrer from Manly will debut, but does he deserves his spot more than Leoroyd-Lahrs or Tariq Sims? It seems unlikely. Robbie Farah comes in for Michael Ennis - perhaps they've decided that Ennis has had his chance.

This team reeks of missed opportunities to me, but why should that be surprising. NSW cannot seem to break the domination of the northern state, and I seriously wonder whether this chosen team will do any better.

The team announced is:

Greg Bird, Jamie Buhrer, Todd Carney, Ben Creagh, Robbie Farah, Paul Gallen (capt), Jarryd Hayne, Michael Jennings, Luke Lewis, Trent Merrin, Josh Morris, Mitchell Pearce, Brett Stewart, Glenn Stewart, James Tamou, Tony Williams, Akuila Uate.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers Day & Dad Turns 70

Up early (7.00am after the night before - ugh) to get the mother her mother's day breakfast. The kids brought in her presents, she had breakfast in bed... tough gig.

Morning tea was at the Wade's for Christine's Mothers Day celebration.

Helen, Anne & Chris

Anne & Chris

The Mum and two of her girls

The Wade's on Mothers Day

Afterwards we headed down to Minnamurra to Mum and Dad's, not only to celebrate Mothers Day with Mum, but to studiously avoid any mention that Dad turned 70 the following day. Dad has never been one for birthday celebrations, and was making sure that was the case here. We had a 'happy birthday' singalong for the kids, but that was the extent of it.
What mattered most was that both Mum and Dad were surrounded by their entire family on this day. Not everyone can say they are that lucky.

Mum & Dad at the front of the Minnamurra mansion

Mum and her kids

Dad and his cake

"Yes! Made it to 70!"

Dad and me

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Trivia Winners Party On In Style

We spent a pleasant evening tonight with our fellow winners of the Kiama Cricket Club Trivia Night.
Our big prize from winning the trivia two months ago was a $400 voucher at Chachi's Restaurant in Kiama, so we finally got a date that suited everyone, and away we went. Joining Helen and myself were Anthony & Karen, Angela & Tony, Kade & Lisa, Anne and Louise.

Pretty sure we all did well, under the watchful eye of Trent and Cameron Archer, and the excellent culinary skills of Matt Scobie. Everyone barring myself had an entree (yeah, it was in the vain hope that I could save some calories...) and we all had mains. I can vouch for the lamb shanks (thanks Trent), they were absolutely superb, in an amazing sauce with mash, fabulously crisp beans and caramelised carrot. Just terrific. Our bill came to $37 over our $400 voucher, and we all had a great time.

Afterwards we all adjourned to the Kiama Leagues Club to see The Villains, a talented five piece who dress up as movie villains (The Riddler, Jack Sparrow, Darth Vader, Hannibal Lecter and Beetlejuice) and play mainly 80's rock hits. We've seen them before, and although they still play terrifically well (Hannibal's keyboards and second guitar, but especially his support vocals, were particularly awesome), the setlist was not as good as it had been in the past. Still, a number of beverages along the way helped precedings.

Friday, May 11, 2012

State of Origin Blues

State of Origin selections take place this Sunday afternoon, so it's time to put my selectors cap on again, as we try to beat the Cane Toads for the first time in seven years.

1 Brett Stewart
2 Aquila Uate
3 Josh Morris
4 Jarryd Hayne
5 Brett Morris
6 Todd Carney
7 James Maloney
8 Paul Gallen
9 Dean Young
10 James Tamou
11 Anthony Watmough
12 Glenn Stewart
13 Greg Bird

14 Luke Lewis
15 Tom Learoyd-Lahrs
16 Tony Williams
17 Tariq Sims

  • Brett Stewart has shown himself to be the best attacking and defensive fullback of those who are available for Blues selection. Minichello and Dugan are both good players, but Stewart does appear to be in the best form overall, and he's going to be busy in both departments.
  • Uate and Brett Morris are the best two wingers running around at the moment.
  • Josh Morris has proven he is ready for another chance, while I think Hayne must be picked, as he has the spark that can win a game on his own.
  • Todd Carney has again shown how good a player he is when in the right environment. Let's hope he does us proud.
  • NSW will pick Mitchell Pearce, but I really think he just kicks the ball too much. Okay, that's probably the Roosters game plan, but to me we need a tough player who can distribute and kick. It's still too early for Daly Cherry-Evans at Origin level. Maloney has shown for the Warriors that he is a class player, and although he plays at five-eighth for them, I think he can adapt to the halfback role.
  • We need big, tough, mobile forwards. All 8 chosen here are that, as well as being the form forwards running around for NSW.
  • Despite no one thinking of him (mainly I think because of his knees and inability to train) Dean Young is my hooker. Tough, hard, and can play anywhere, I think he will be better value than Ennis or Farah or Hinchcliffe, which are the three nominees for the position.
  • Luke Lewis is the utility, can play everywhere, and should play the majority of the match.
There is no chance of this team being chosen, but this is who I would go with in order to break the Queensland domination. We need to beat them in the forwards and take their halves out of the match, starving their backs of possession. Do this and we can win. If we can't, well, it's another year of sorrow.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tour Squads for England Announced

The Australian ODI squad for the short tour of England next month was announced today, and with some surprises.
The NSP have brought in previously injured duo of Pat Cummins and Mitch Johnson, as well as ostracised all-rounder Steve Smith. On the outer are Peter Forrest, who played most of the ODI season in Australia and the West Indies, Dan Christian, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon.

What to make of this squad? It's interesting to see what the panel are trying to achieve. Forrest scored a century in Australia, and although he would generally be looked at as a batsman in the longer form of the game rather than the 50 over game, it appears somewhat harsh to leave him out here. His replacement as such is Steve Smith, who rediscovered some touch in the domestic summer in ODI and T20 forms of the game. Whether he has done enough to regain his place is questionable, but the fact that he is an excellent fielder and bowls passable leg spin would have been looked upon favourably. Mitch Johnson looks to be a swap for Dan Christian, whose hard hitting and medium bowling (taking a hat-trick in the Australian summer) look to be not enough to hold out the panel's desire to inject Johnson back into the mix as soon as possible. Again, it's a questionable decision, and it appears that loyalty only stretches so far with some and an eternity with others. Johnson will have to bat at seven and score runs if he is to prove this decision to be the right one. Time will tell, but on the surface is looks a little flaky.
Mitchell Starc has been deposed by the rising juggernaut of Pat Cummins, and again, surely there would be a better method to bring about his return. Starc has shown good pace and the ability to move the ball into the right handers from a great height. Given the choice between him and Mitch Johnson, most Australian followers would choose Starc every time. No doubt the selectors have not only decided they don't want two left arm pacemen, but they must have Cummins back as well.

Obviously the tour is being used to have a look at these players. Those that have missed out as a result would feel hard done by, and with good reason. If changes are to be made, surely Brett Lee should be pensioned off? If not, then of the younger crew, James Pattinson does not need the ODI route. In the ODI arena I can see where Peter Forrest would be left behind. Surely though Christian and Starc should be persisted with.

ODI Tour Squad to England 

Michael Clarke (c)
Shane Watson (vc)
George Bailey
Patrick Cummins
Xavier Doherty
Ben Hilfenhaus
Mike Hussey
David Hussey
Mitchell Johnson
Brett Lee
Clint McKay
James Pattinson
Steve Smith
Matthew Wade (WK)
David Warner

The Australia A tour, where there will be two three day games against county teams and two four day games against the England Lions, has thrown up its own share of interesting selections.
Certainly, there is no doubt that the selectors want some of our inexperienced guys to have a game or two in England in preparation for next season's Ashes tour. Guys like Ed Cowan, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson and Mitch Starc will benefit from this immensely. Then there is the youngsters in form, who have earned the trip in order to advance themselves in the future, guys like Jackson Bird and Ben Cutting and Liam Davis and Tom Cooper and Joe Burns, who all excelled last season. George Bailey and Peter Forrest are probably the next in line with the bat at the moment, and have their chance to impress. Michael Klinger deserves his spot on form, but is a little perplexing, given it would be almost a miracle if he were to progress to the next level at this stage of his career. Jon Holland is obviously being pushed as another spin alternative. Johnson and Smith are again getting the magic carpet ride back into Australian colours.
Perhaps the brightest selection here is that of Tim Paine, who 12 months ago was the heir apparent to Brad Haddin's keeping throne. Injuries and Matthew Wade's appearance and success has thrown all of that out the window, but if he can return here without problems, it will be a great thing to see, not only for himself but for Australian cricket.

The success of this team, and the individuals concerned, will be interesting to follow, as will the progress of the Australians playing in County cricket that have not been selected here, in particular guys like Phil Hughes and Usman Khawaja. Our ability to regain the Ashes over the next 18 months may well depend on it.

Australia A Tour Squad to England 

Ed Cowan (c)
Peter Forrest (vc)
George Bailey
Jackson Bird
Joe Burns
Tom Cooper
Patrick Cummins
Ben Cutting
Liam Davis
Jon Holland
Mitchell Johnson
Michael Klinger
Nathan Lyon
Tim Paine
James Pattinson
Steve Smith
Mitchell Starc

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ozlotto or Not Ozlotto

So what do you do when your entire office staff are down, feeling unappreciated and just sick to death of putting up with the crap going on in the workplace?! Well, you try and win $70 million, that's what!

Ozlotto's draw for today had reached $70 million. It was about 9.00am, and given I was already as frustrated as I could be, I noticed it was the same with almost everyone in our little conglomerate. So I got online, and told everyone to give me $1.50 and one number, and I entered us in the draw.

It actually picked us all up for the day. we all spoke of how the company was going to be in trouble tomorrow when we won, and we all quit 'en masse'. We imagined what we could each do with $10 million. Rowlesy even rang Robyn at one stage to get her to get the $1.50 off his desk to get to me, for fear that he would forget, and that we would then win, and that he would be stuck here alone when we were all in the Bahamas.

Okay, so the draw happened at 8.30pm, and we only got three numbers (not bad, though). However, for a few short hours it made our day more bearable, and it was nice to dream for just a short time.
3 syndicates won a little over $23 million each. Wouldn't that have been sublime. :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Relays, Hockey, Parties and Air Shows

It's been a fun-filled, action packed weekend for the Peters family, one from which we appear to have escaped unscathed.

On Saturday morning Helen headed off to participate in the 'Relay For Life' at Cavalier Park (or Kiama Sporting Complex for the heathens) with Angela and Louise and all of their cronies. She had spent most of the Friday evening putting together lolly bags to sell, and two jars filled with Maltesers and other soft lollies for a guessing competition, all to raise money for the event while their team was walking around the track. That was about 8.30am, and we didn't see her again until about 5.00pm.

On the other hand, the kids and I journeyed to University for Jessica's hockey. She played well again, winning the first game 4-1, and scoring another goal in the process. It was almost the Tara Bancroft-Jessica Peters show up front, and they combined well. For her second game, their opponents only had three players, and Jessie and two others from the Albion Park team put their hand up to play for them so that they could have a game. With no reserves for either team, though, it was obvious halfway through that second game that all of the players were getting tired. Two late goals for Park got them home 2-1, despite the Peters presence.

We came home for lunch and watched "The Goonies", their first time, and my first time since about 1986. It was still good.  :)

Saturday evening we all trooped over to Elliott Place in Kiama Downs for Jason Wills' 40th birthday celebrations. Over a few cans we had a good time hanging out. There were several birthday cakes, one "erotic" one that I avoided taking a photo of lest it end up here in this blog post. Suffice to say that it left absolutely nothing to the imagination, inside or out. *shudder*
A surprisingly early evening of 10.30pm meant it had been a long but eventful day.

Sunday dawned bright and clear for the 6th annual Wings Over Illawarra air show. Helen (and, after a screaming match that lasted half an hour because they were taking too long to get ready, and then made them all late, the kids) headed back into Kiama for the conclusion of the 'Relay For Life', while I did the four loads of washing that needed to be done, and journeyed to the shop to get some bread and milk.

The crew arrived back just before 11.00am, all ready to watch the air show from our fabulous deck... when our neighbours decided that it was a good day to do some concrete cutting to install some pipe. After two hours of screaming noise from the concrete saw on an otherwise beautiful Sunday, I was within an inch of leaning over the balcony and telling them where they could put their saw, when they obviously got the hint without that, and quit for the day.
That distraction aside, we all had a great time.

We had chips and coffee for morning tea, then chicken on rolls for lunch. The planes were great, and the Roulettes just terrific to watch.
Mum and Dad turned up just before 2.00pm, bearing champagne and red wine, so we were forced to indulge. Once the air show was over, we moved inside to watch the footy, and Helen invited them to stay for an early dinner, which consisted of more chicken, mum's quiche and vegies.

A great weekend. They just go waaaaaaay too quickly.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Long Road Ahead

My goodness it has been a long week at work. It really has opened my eyes as to what really needs to be done, and that is to re-write the way things are done - completely. From the ground up. The initial counts for ties and building products have some problems, if only because some of them I simply don't believe are correct. Which is the most difficult part. I have already set up our counts so that all of the yards will be counting all of their own stock this month, and then I will personally go and count all the yards stock myself next month for the end of the financial year. But what is the use in having the counts done this month if they are still going to be wrong next month?!?

I didn't know how much I needed a drink and music until later that afternoon. I swung by the bottle-o on way home to get Helen another bottle of scotch, and at 3.30pm cracked the bottle for a quiet drink on the deck. I even pulled out the boombox for some tunes. By the time it was dark ay 5.30pm I had had four or five, and after dinner when Helen and the kids wanted to watch Young Talent Time, I moved into the Metal cavern, and carried on, with the music cranked and the TV on the footy. By 11.00pm, Collingwood had managed to pull off a victory over the Bulldogs, and the bottle of scotch was gone. It had succeeded. The stress of the week bled away, and meant that I was in a much better frame of mind to face the weekend.

Thanks Mr Walker! :)