Thursday, 26 February 2015

A Great Reminder Never to Assume

A burglar broke into a house one night. He shined his flashlightaround, looking for valuables when a voice in the dark said, 'Jesus knows you're here.'

 He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight off, and froze.
When he heard nothing more, after a bit, he shook his head and continued.

Just as he pulled the stereo out so he could disconnect the wires, clear as a bell he heard 'Jesus is watching you.'

Freaked out, he shined his light around frantically, looking for the source of the voice.

Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot.

'Did you say that?' he hissed at the parrot.

'Yep', the parrot confessed, then squawked, 'I'm just trying to warn you that he is watching you.'

The burglar relaxed. 'Warn me, huh? Who in the world are you?'

'Moses,' replied the bird.

'Moses?' the burglar laughed. 

'What kind of people would name a bird Moses?'

'The kind of people that would name a Rottweiler Jesus.'

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The Reluctant Political Candidate (Part 2) - The Campaign

Continuing my 3 part series about my short political involvement. 

My opponent was the former member for Heathcote, Ian McManus. McManus moved to contest the electorate of Burragorang when the redistribution of boundaries made his Heathcote a safe Liberal seat.

When I accepted the nomination as Liberal candidate for Burragorang I quite aware it was a safe Labor Party seat. I had no expectations of winning. With nothing to lose, and although it required a lot of dedication and hard work, I immersed myself into the campaign. I learnt a great deal, it boosted my confidence and I had a ball!

I had a fantastic campaign committee. Hank Vanderpoll, a local business man, was Campaign Director and Mark Stanham was Campaign Secretary but my best buddy, chauffeur and body guard was the wonderful Ron Heise. Ron and his family worked very hard throughout the whole campaign and Ron was always there for support.

A spare room in my home became a campaign office for the Wollondilly Shire section of the electorate but two thirds of voters lived in the northern suburbs of Wollongong so we needed a strong presence in that area.

An old plumbers business was offered and after cleaning out all the plumbing materials and told and giving the building a fresh paint my team had it looking very obviously a campaign office. 

I was honoured when Senator Bronwyn Bishop very kindly agreed to officially open the campaign office. Senator Bishop was a very high profile politician and this electorate was far from being of any importance to the party. The opening was also attended by two lady members of the Legislative Assembly.
Being a short campaign, only two major fundraising functions were held. The first was held at the Fraternity Club in Bellambi and the second at a restaurant between Bargo and Tahmoor. 

My wonderful mentor Senator Michael Baume
Senator Michael Baume was based in Wollongong and both he and his staff were extremely supportive of the three candidates whose electorates took in various parts of the city.  Michael was a wonderful mentor and his staff always ready to help.

Most of the campaign was dedicated to getting out and about; personally meeting as many voters as possible. There were several personal highlights of the campaign.

Ron Heise worked at Tahmoor Colliery and arranged an underground visit for me. I was taken down in the dolly car and allowed to talk to the miners. 

While down there a report came through that the dolly car was down for maintenance and anyone wanting to return to the surface had to come up in the cage. The cage was just that a cage that operated as an elevator and very scary especially when it started wobbling from side to side. Even the miners were not made to use it if they didn’t want to.  Having got safely to the surface I discovered the person who was carrying out the maintenance on the dolly car was Ron Heise!

I also had a chance to visit Westcliffe Colliery - this time with Neil Pickard, Shadow Minister for Mineral Resources. I was allowed to operate the coal miner and mined a quantity of coal. By coincidence, the same day, Parliament passed legislation allowing women to work in coal mines. 
Guess I can claim I was the first lady miner in NSW.

A function was organised by Senator Baume’s staff for Nick Greiner, leader of the Liberal Party, and his wife Kathrine to meet the Wollongong area candidates. The lead up to the function was a street parade. The campaign committees were to decorate a car (or better still several cars) with their candidates’ posters. Not a team to do things by halves, the Burragorang committee decided to have a coal truck!

Senator Michael Baume was the former Federal Member for Macarthur; an area that included the township of Appin.  An important piece of advice was that I HAD to visit the Appin Hotel and talk to the men. So I duly attended one Friday night with Mark Stanham and Ron Heise as support. I began to introduce myself when I was cornered by a local businessman, who happened to be a Liberal supporter. He threw a barrage of questions at me one after the other to the extent it left no time to talk to anyone else.

As we left the hotel we noticed that someone had let two of the tyres down on my Ford Laser. You couldn’t miss it as my car because of the sign that was mounted on top. Thank heavens my men were with me.

On the way home I told mark and Ron that I was not happy with the evening’s outcome and I felt I had to return the following week. Ron came with me again and when my previous interrogator started again with his questions I told him quite firmly that he had enough of my time the previous week and I was there to talk to the other men. 

In Part 3 – It’s Election Day!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

How much new technology and inventions do we really need? Part 1: Personal Stuff

A friend recently emailed one of those ‘fun’ emails. You know the type. They have fabulous photography, cute animals, words of wisdom, humour etc. This one was titled “Coming Your Way Soon” and featured several new inventions.

I’m one of those people who worries a little about how fast we are progressing with technology (yes, I’m a Baby Boomer). So thought I’d look at each of these new inventions and consider their importance to my life. I also ran these ideas past my husband and 36 year tech minded step son.

A pen that lets you scan and write in any colour.
Son couldn’t see any use – he’s a graphic designer and pointed out he has an app on is phone that will read the RGB of any colour scanned by the phone.

Me? I have a thing about colour co-ordinating. Not just in a domestic sense like around the house but my files are all colour co-ordinated; that is a different colour for blogging, personal stuff, the Dingo Lady project, my craft etc etc. Oh, and of course one for books I am writing and the finished one I am shamelessly promoting: Angel with Drumsticks: The rock that Shook the Foundations of the Vatican available through Amazon

My post it notes, folders and the ink I use for notes on the various categories all match! I’m one of those people that buy those pens with several colours. I always have one with black, blue, red and green and if I come across one with 10 colours I am in heaven! So yes, I definitely NEED one of these. That would give me an endless range of colours. How wonderful!

Small tiles you can attach to your keys, wallet, computer, or pretty much anything.
It claims that if you lose anything, you can then look up their location on your Smartphone.

The thing I keep losing is my glasses. I have several pairs in different rooms for different purposes; computer work, reading, needlework etc. I have a habit of getting up from my chair to walk to another room taking my glasses off as I go and leaving them ‘somewhere’ on the way. I also do sometimes lose my mobile phone. I rarely lose my keys or purse.

Now this tag is not going to help me one bit. I am certainly not going to walk around with a tag attached to my glasses and what good is having a tag on my phone if I need to find it to find it. (Get what I mean?)

Know it all son tells me there are already stickers you can get that do the same thing – OK that would be a bit better for the glasses. Pedantic Husband just says it is more of a development than a new invention

Device to lift the Pringles up.
No one in this house is that lazy. Just tip them into a bowl.

Mug that catches any drips
Husband – "just put a plate under a mug". Son – "that’s just lazy". Obviously they haven’t had to put up with guests who repeatedly ignore the coaster placed in front of them and put their coffee cup on MY table. My only request would be please make in a nice china with a pretty pattern.  

A hair brush that is easy to clean
I’ll take two – one for me and one for my long haired Belgian Shepherds

Ear buds that won’t tangle  
Son – great idea (told you he is the techie in the family. Husband just shrugs. He’s into gadgets even less than I am. Me? I don’t see the problem because I don’t have ear buds connected to anything. Now talk to me about ironing cords……


Packing tape that is easy to open       
Yes please! But security conscious husband and son say it would be too easy for people to open before it was delivered.
Back pack with hood
But what if I want to get my lipstick out of the bag in the pouring rain?