Thursday, October 2, 2008

What's Got My Goat...

Beware, this is a rant full of opinion.

Normally, I would consider myself to
be a glass half full kind of person.
I have, however, just come out the end of a four day migraine so my glass is completely empty, has been sitting in the hot sun for 2 weeks and ants are crawling in it.

Migraines really mess with my attitude and my will to live. So over the last four days when I've been thankful for the strict gun laws in Australia, these are things that have really got my goat:
1. The loss of a life at the hands of a moron
2. Banks3. Greedy Execs
4. The cruel act of taunting a suicidal teenager
5. The cancellation of Stargate Atlantis
6. Democracy shemocracy
7. The Media
8. And on a personal note, people that have bad headaches or would like a day off who say they have a migraine

**Stands on soapbox, clears throat, commences rant**

1. The loss of a life at the hands of a moron
The other night a young athlete who was in Melbourne to compete in the Uni athletics was walking out of his hotel and killed by a Learner driver who blew 0.165 and crashed his car while travelling in excess of 150kmph in a 60kmph zone. He now claims that he ONLY had four drinks while out at a party (ahem, you are a learner - Rule Number 1 in the handbook - 0.0 should be your BAC), that his eyes were tired and closed when it happened (open and working eyes is a good quality to have in a learner driver), a cat jumped out in front of his car when he opened his eyes (keep digging that hole buddy) and it didn't feel like he was going that fast.

Really, what can you say to that? Does anyone accept responsibility for their own actions these days? You. Screwed. Up. Mr. You cannot undo what has happened but you need to slap yourself across the face (or allow me to if you aren't too sure about doing it yourself) and accept responsibility for this. Because of your careless and selfish actions this kid who was doing something with his life has been killed. I'm always an advocate for forgiveness but I will completely understand how his family may never be able to forgive this driver.

2. Banks
So you may have noticed the world economy is in a bit of a mess. I know that each time the interest rates go up our bank happily raises them not just by the amount The Reserve Bank has, but slips in an extra 0.05% for good measure. There's nothing like a punch to the face followed by an unforeseen jab in the kidneys.
So when it was announced that rates would most likely be cut by a half of one percent I was pretty excited. Then the banks with their smiling execs announce that due to increases in the cost of lending they won't be passing on that full amount.

Can I please have your kind of struggling.

3. Greedy Execs
While I'm not based in the US, I'm feeling rather peeved on behalf of the American people.
So the US Government will now be injecting $700 billion into their economy to bail out failing organisations. It needed to be done, but should it be the tax payer having to burden this?

I'm a director of a company. When we opened the company we signed the document claiming responsibility for it. So when I see these execs with their multi-million dollar salaries and smug faces I want to know why they aren't putting their hand up to throw some cash back in. Here's the thing with owning a business, when things are going great, you benefit, when things aren't going so great, you feel it. You have to take the good with the bad. In the past it was called "Saving for a rainy day", but in this want, want, want, now, now, now society, this never seems to happen anymore.

So while the poor pensioner and her cat are eating frozen spinach for dinner, these guys are out cruising around in their boats.

Oh what I would do for The Powers That Be to restore their souls and understand the effect of their actions. Or if you are like me, I really hope that karma bites them on the arse.
4. The cruel act of taunting a suicidal teenager
A 17 year old boy was threatening to jump from a building. During the time he stood on that ledge, people from the crowd were jeering him to jump. Phrases such as "Get on with it!" were being yelled out to him.

He jumped.
He died.

People from the crowd ran to take photos of his crumpled body.

When I read and hear of behaviour like this, it reminds me of the movie The Fifth Element. While it isn't the best example of quality movie making, there is a naive creature who is responsible for saving mankind, but after learning about us, she can't see why we should be saved.

I'm not so sure about the definition of Humanity anymore.
5. The cancellation of Stargate Atlantis
After 10 Seasons of Stargate SG1 and 5 Seasons of Stargate Atlantis, that part of the franchise as a weekly TV show is ending.
Joseph Mallozzi posted his "could've been" list of Season 6 episodes for Stargate Atlantiis the other day and they are great ideas!
I often get asked why I like shows such as Stargate, particularly when I also get enjoyment out of watching America's Next Top Model. It's like oil and water.

There are many reasons why, but there is one particular reason that makes me smile, we have abandoned our borders on this little blue planet and we work together to save mankind, mostly. All of a sudden we have seen the much bigger picture.

It is a show of "What if?"'s. I enjoy my new episode every week where it makes me think. I watch a hyperspace window open up and think "hmmm, imagine" and then try and fathom the physics behind how we could make that reality. I look at a race who's technology is completely organic, "think of what we could do if we knew how to do that". Then there's Zero point energy - a clean and unlimited source of energy. So much possibility. But my hour per week is disappearing and it's back to reality where we have a society that will assault an 82 year old war veteran for 50 cents.

Fortunately Joe Mallozzi also offers up a book club as part of his blog and it is through his suggestions and those of other members of the blog that I have been able to get some great new reading material to keep the brain matter exercised.. yes, I know, for the small amount I have.

This book club has given me an outlet for relaxation and for non-computer thoughts. It's great and I can't thank Joe enough for taking the time to offer up the suggestions and also going to the effort of having the authors visit to answer our questions.
6. Democracy Shemocracy
I'm not a party goer anymore, but I do appreciate people's right to do so. We were all at that age once. But I guess the big problem is that a lot of society want others to respect their rights, but they won't respect the rights of others. To quote a line from Frasier, "A gripping tale of a narcissistic opera singer. I called it 'Mememememe'"

So our State Government is nicely ignoring some of the real problems that are causing the bad behaviour on the street and are just going to outlaw everything instead. Very short-sighted approach. You want something to be cool, ban it.

We currently have a 2am curfew in place in Melbourne's clubs and pubs. In order to curb some of the violence the State Government has made it illegal for you to be able to switch clubs/pubs after 2am. Nice going guys. Now you don't want to be ANYWHERE near a pub/club at 2am while everyone is trying to get a cab, talke/bribe their way into getting admittance and getting into fights.

Now in their infinite wisdom they are wanting to ban:
1. The sale of jugs of beer
2. Shots
3. Shouts


The shout is an old Australian tradition. When you haven't seen your friends for a long time and you head out to a local pub to sit in the beer garden, enjoy the sunshine, have a chat and a few bevies, you start the shout. It's a way of saying, "Thanks for coming and it's good to see you". Shouts are also just a courteous way of only one person going to the bar rather than all of you so those not going to the bar can continue the conversation. These politicians must have never been out with a few women, we don't like taking breaks in conversation!

And I still don't see how banning these three things will change behaviour.
When I was a bit younger, we went out a lot. I worked hard, I studied hard, I rehearsed hard. We would go out. And yes, we would sometimes drink too much. But we didn't get into fights or find ourselves in the middle of them either. If you knocked over someone's drink, you would apologise profusely ("Sorry Mate" usually did it) and offer to buy them a replacement. Of late, people have been stabbed for such a little incident. So I ask why? Why do we no longer have respect for others?

7. The Media
Since returning from Thailand I cannot turn on 3AW after 8.30am.
Thailand gave me some inner peace and quiet for a bit.
Ross and John in the morning - I love you guys.
But after that, I have to switch it off. It is not good for my blood pressure to be yelling at a radio that very clearly cannot hear what I'm saying.
I don't trust the media. They are owned by private enterprise which have their own motivations and agenda. As a successful business person, why buy a newspaper when it doesn't make money? One reason, it's for the power of information. So everything I hear in the media I take with a grain of salt, despite being contradicting by quoting various media outlets in this blog entry.

Yesterday I accidentally left the radio on after 8.30am and Neil Mitchell started. He was harping on about how the Indonesian Government needs to shut up the Bali bombers. Well here's the thing, if you guys weren't there with cameras and recorders then they would be silenced.
If someone has an opinion and no one is there to hear it, did it ever exist?
Neil Mitchell claimed that it would be censorship if they didn't report it, but then if the Indonesian Government didn't let them speak, wouldn't that also be censorship? Where does it start and where does it end? And who decides?

And finally...
8. People that have bad headaches who say they have a migraine
I've been a migraine sufferer for the best part of 18 years. Thankfully I don't get them as often as I used to. It's gone from once a week to around once every 6 months.

For me, there are two types of migraine:
Migraine Type 1.I lose my vision in my right eye so I know it's coming. When the vision comes back the excrutiating pain begins that is indescribable. I want to jam my hand in a vice because I'd rather feel the pain of broken bones than the pain in my head. Once the pain subsides, then the vomitting starts. It's a good 8 hours of torture. I lose around 3kg per migraine. And I have the hangover from it for at least 2 days after. During that time I cannot form sentences to speak or write. It all just comes out as a mess.

Migraine Type 2.
My vision gets spots but doesn't completely go. I start drinking a LOT of water. If I can get to bed and take a migraine tablet I do. I wake up. My head feels sore and I can't think straight. Everything hurts. If I bend over, sneeze, hear a loud noise, my brain feels like it is going to projectile out of the top of my skull. I can't keep food in my stomach and I'm not a pleasant person to be around. This can go on for days. It's like a full blown migraine playing out in the background. Average weight loss for this migraine, about 2kgs.

This could be the latest craze in diets!

Migraine Type 2 is what I was suffering from for four days.

So when I hear that someone has used the excuse of "Oh, I have a migraine" and you notice their hair has some new highlights when they return to work the next day, I get rather cranky.

And when someone says flippantly, "Oh, I have a migraine". I stare at them and am tempted to say "Liar".

Anyone that suffers from migraines knows how painful and horrible they are, and those that use them as an excuse to get their hair done or have a sicky just be lucky you don't get them because you wouldn't be using them as an excuse.

Well, that is officially the longest rant I have ever written and my soapbox is looking a little worn.
I apologise if I have insulted anyone with my opinion, but afterall it is an opinion.

If any of the mathematics is wrong in this blog entry that's because I went to the Russell Crowe School of Adding and Multiplying.

So with that, I'm going to rest on the couch and enjoy the fact that for the first day this week, I don't feel too bad.

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