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Thoughts of a middle aged man…..30 March 2014

The National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy test, commonly referred to as the Naplan Test, is an annual assessment for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. It has been an everyday part of the school calendar since 2008. This year there is to be a crackdown on cheating, and what form of cheating are we talking about, why teachers doing their job and educating our children, that’s what type.

This is a classic case of bureaucracy gone mad, how can anything that a teacher teaches their students possibly be construed as cheating. Don’t secondary students getting a couple of weeks off before their end of year exams to study, is that not the same thing, or are they cheating as well. I think there are more things for the bureaucrats to worry about than teachers coaching their students for a test, they are simply doing their jobs.

The argument is that the test is meant to be a snap shot of the levels of literacy and numeracy in our children in general, it is not a matter of who is smarter than who. My argument is that teachers coaching our kids for these tests is a good thing, here’s a crazy idea, it may just raise the levels of literacy and numeracy in our kids. We can’t have that now can we.

On a different subject I sometimes get accused of walking around with my head up my own butt, of not noticing the world around me, not this week. I have been shocked to see so many offensive bumper stickers on cars, complete with four letter words. You can call me old-fashioned if you like but I am not averse to “colorful” language, I often use the odd expletive myself, but I do object to seeing the word “f#@k” on bumper stickers, t-shirts, or anything else for that matter, the sale of these things should be banned.

That is my rant for the day. 🙂

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Thoughts of a middle aged man…..29 March 2014

That was a lovely way to spend a Saturday night, good friends Jo and Kate came for dinner, not only did they come for dinner but they bought dinner with them as well. Jo made a Coq Au Vin which was delicious and we finished off with an Apple Streusel cake for dessert that I made. A couple of gin and tonics and some wine later, not to mention a few laughs, and they night is over. Thank you for a very enjoyable evening again girls.

What can I say about the Adelaide Crows, my beloved Adelaide Crows, what a disappointing loss, two games in to the season and two losses, come on boys. I do have to say one thing, no excuses but there were some very disappointing umpiring decisions, against both teams. This happens in almost every game every weekend and never do you hear anything about the umpires being taken to task for their poor decisions, they seem to get away with anything.

Brian is still in a lot of pain, not even a couple og glasses of wine have taken the edge off for him. We were talking about it yesterday and I think he needs to give serious consideration to surgery. My ex-wife had back surgery and she has never looked back. It is a big decision and only he can make it but I think it is worth a try, anything has got to be better than what he is currently living with, this type of debilitating pain saps your soul. Brian puts on a brave face and a good show, but no-one sees what I do.

I read a very sad article the other day about a baby girl who died just five days before her second birthday, that’s right her second birthday. This poor little angel had cancer, what a terrible life this poor child had, a life of cancer, and of pain, no child deserves that. This is one of the reasons I do not belive in God, how could any god let a child suffer in that way. I do believe in fate though, and I do believe in the power of the Universe, unfortunately it was this child’s time. Tell that to her parents, my heart goes out to them.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..28 March 2014

The other day I had my long-awaited lung function test and it turns out I do not have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease at all. As I am a glass half full kind of guy I am quite pleased on the one hand, but on the other hand we still don’t know why I have this constant cough. What we do know is that it is nothing serious so I suppose I will have to be content with that for the moment and hope it clears up. I have to admit I am quite annoyed with my doctor though, why tell me I have COPD in the first place for the test to prove that I don’t.

Brian has severely aggravated his back again, he stumbled and fell in the gutter whilst getting into his workmate’s car the other day, stone cold sober as well. My poor man can’t take a trick, he is off work for a week and has been ordered to rest, easier said than done for Brian, he gets bored very easily. He is now blissfully sleeping, at least he is not in pain when he sleeps, although some nights I can tell he is having a bad night as he groans in his sleep which I find quite distressing as I am helpless to do anything for him.

I have had a pretty crappy day today, crappy is a technical term used by we body corporate managers. One of my owners obviously got out of bed on the wrong side this morning and decided to take his angst out on me, completely unnecessary. Unfortunately being in a service industry I have little choice but to take it, although I did stick up for myself. Anyway the result at the end of the day is that I feel like a piece of crap, thank you very much. I think I might have a drink tonight, oops, make that another drink. Hiccup!

There is a yappy little dog driving me right up the wall somewhere behind us, this dog yaps constantly for hours almost every night, it is driving me nuts.

On a brighter note I have just picked five apples from our apple tree. I have no idea whether they are ripe but they are going into a cake I am baking for friends tomorrow, Apple Streusel. Yum!

 

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..26 March 2014

In my humble opinion the people of South Australia got it wrong, another four years with a Labour government, I am dumbfounded. How can a political party that has received the majority of the primary vote in the last two state elections not be in power, preference votes that’s how. I am dead set against preference votes, the primary vote should be the only one that matters. It makes a farce of our political system as the average person I believe would have no idea where their preference votes are going. Get rid of them. The bottom line, whichever political party wins the majority of seats by primary vote should govern. Better luck to Steve Marshall and the Liberal Party next time.

I have not had much to say about the missing Malaysia Airlines fight MH370 but my heart goes out to all those families with missing loved ones. I think the world has to accept the fact that these people are gone, families are shattered, the chances of recovering the bodies are slim. I can only imagine what the families are going through, no remains to bury, no closure, just a festering hole in their hearts that can never mend. The feelings of helplessness must be overwhelming.

There is quite a hullabaloo in Australia today as our Prime Minster Tony Abbott has reintroduced the Australian Honors System,  thus allowing for pre-eminent Australians to become either Knights or Dames in the Order of Australia. I am sure there are much more important things to get upset about Australia, I will never become a Knight but if I did I would be the proudest of Australians to be recognised in such a way by my country. Build a bridge and get over it.

Today is the 27th birthday of my third son Blake. Blake has not had the best of years but he is strong, stronger than he even thinks, and he has come through all the crap not unscathed but hopefully wiser. I know you have a wonderful life ahead of you my son, you are an amazing person and I am very proud to be your father.

A bit of background about Blake, he is a published poet, and has managed his own wrestling organisation for a number of years. He has worked with some of the greatest wrestlers of the modern era, men like Raven, Hardcore Holly and Al Snow to name just a few, and he has met many more. He is a young man who had a dream and followed it, sometimes with success and sometimes not, but such is life. Blake has certainly never been what I call a gonna, I am gonna do this and I am gonna do that, Blake has done it and can be proud of what he has achieved. He is only 27 years old, what an amazing life is yet to come.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..23 March 2014

Silence is golden, except for the chirping of the birds in our back yard, and they are truly beautiful. Other than racing pigeons I don’t know all that much about birds but these are gorgeous, like little honey suckers of some kind, they seem particularly attracted to the Hibiscus. We also get a lot of white cockatoos here which I am very happy about, I love having birds in the back yard. I still can’t give away those Kentia Palms though, anyone interested.

Brian is off visiting a friend so I have the house to myself, it is very calming. Yes I could be ironing, but I will do that later, and the washing is out drying so my work is done. I have a lovely view of the grapevine growing over our pergola, the trees in our freshly mown back yard, and the birds……bliss! I can feel an afternoon of racing pigeons on YouTube coming on.

Life really cannot get much better, we are buying our own home, I have four wonderful sons and we have eight amazing grandchildren. Three of my boys have partners that we get along well with which helps. We are still able to save a bit, we can still afford to go out for a nice meal occasionally, and we are happy.

This week I will finally find out how advanced my lung disease is, and hopefully I will have a positive plan moving forward. I will still have my birds, I will just have to wear a mask whenever I am in the loft, a small price to pay for the absolute joy I know I will get from these birds. I only said to Brian yesterday that I will now start buying the bits and pieces that I need so  that when I finally get my loft I can set about buying my pigeons straight away. All must be in place by September at the latest in order to be ready for the 2015 racing season. I cannot wait.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..22 March 2014

Earlier this week I had a good laugh at the expense of the 10-year-old son of one of my co-workers. The poor kid got in trouble at school when asked what his favourite television show was, his answer, Hard Core Porn, duh I think that might be Hard Core Pawn. What a difference a couple of letters can make.

On Thursday night Brian and I did our weekly grocery shop, exciting stuff eh! Anyway we needed a new baking dish so we picked one up ready to cook a lovely roast over the weekend. Now you have already heard me complain about the fact that our house is a tad on the small side, what we did not know is that our oven is as well. The damn baking dish is too big for the oven, something else to sit in the cupboard ready for the next house. 🙂

Last night I watched The Time Traveller’s Wife starring Eric Bana as Brian had an early night, this was a very touching movie. The storyline was far-fetched but the excellent acting almost made it believable. The ending was extremely sad, I must confess to having had a quiet sook.

On a sadder note it is nine years today since my sister-in-law Jan suddenly passed away. You were a unique character Jan and you are very much missed. Towards the end of Jan’s life her sister and I were divorced, but Jan always made me feel like I was still family, as do all of her surviving siblings. It is strange but I still feel closer to my ex-wife’s family than I do my own family. I may not see them as often as I used to but we still chat as if things have never changed.

I have made up my mind, I am not going to wait until we move again to have my racing pigeons, this is the year. Next year we will be first year back racing so I have until September this year to have everything in place, pigeons included.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..19 March 2014

Brian and I have made a couple of decisions of late, nothing earth shattering but decisions nonetheless. Firstly we have decided it is time to upgrade our internet access to wi-fi, not only will that give us better response times but it will allow me to write my blog whenever I feel like it, and hopefully make it more interesting and more relevant, as I will be able to write whenever the urge takes me.

The other decision we have made is that our new home is too small for us, and while we do not regret buying it as it has enabled us to get back into the property market, it is just a bit snug. We had big plans for this house but we have now realised they are just not practical, nor economically viable as we could be over capitalising on the house. We still love the house and we are very happy here, but we will not make the big changes we had intended as it cannot be our “forever” house, we will save those things for our next move, what I hope will be our last move. My decision now, do I proceed as I really want to and get my racing pigeons now and then move them, or do I wait until we move again?

Yesterday one of my sons sadly lost a great mate due to a very tragic accident. Sudden loss is always the hardest to deal with as you lose any chance of saying goodbye, I love you. It just goes to show that when it is your time there is no escaping it, do not ever let a chance to say I love you pass by.

Today I went to the local spud and hot dog takeaway on Midway Road on my way home from the shops, they are very lucky I cannot find a phone number for them as it was the worst hot dog I have ever tasted in my life. There was nothing “hot” about it, it was luke warm and absolutely tasteless, steer clear. The spuds are better but nothing to write home about.