Peacock

Here’s another Dad joke sent to me by a mate of mine – don’t read if you’re offended by political incorrectness 🙂
I took my dad to the mall the other day to buy some new shoes (he is 84).
We decided to grab a bite at the food court.


I noticed he was watching a teenager sitting next to him.


The teenager had spiked hair in all different colours: green, red, orange, and blue.


My dad kept staring at him.


The teenager would look and find him staring every time.


When the teenager had enough, he sarcastically asked:

‘What’s the matter old man, never done anything wild in your life?’


Knowing my Dad, I quickly swallowed my food so that I would not choke on his response; knowing he would have a good one.


And in classic style he did not bat an eye in his response:

   
Got stoned once and fucked a peacock. I was just wondering if you were my son.’

Young Monks

I should say that our Thailand trip was with Intrepid Travel and that we would gladly go with them again.  We had a terrific time spent travelling with locals and enjoying the local hospitality.  This set of photos are of some young Burmese Monks who were staying in a temple in a village near Chiang Mai where we enjoyed a homestay.

What was he thinking????

Most people would know that men’s toilets aren’t the most hygenic of places.  Today whilst doing some shopping for the new house and printing off some of the photos you folks have chosen over the past couple of weeks, I decided that I needed a leak.

The gents is down at the end of a long corridor, past the parents room and the ladies, outside of which is a couch, on which a bloke was perched obviously waiting for his missus.   On the floor immediately outside the entrance to the mens was a kid about three years old.

“I’m gonna roll down to you Dad.” he said, and proceeded to roll down the floor to the bloke sitting on the chair. 

Now inside the dunny on the floor beneath the urinals were puddles of piss.  There was no way anyone, who’d been in the toilet could miss getting his shoes wet, and in getting them wet, trailing wet footprints out and into the corridor where this kid was rolling towards his old man.  And what did the Dad say –
“Are you going to roll all the way down to me?”

Now even if he hadn’t been in there and seen the state of the floor, what type of bloke would let his kid roll around on a floor anywhere near a water closet????

Land is settled

Well we are now the owners of a new plot of land in Cranbourne North.   Actually we fully own a bit and the bank through a mortgage owns the rest but not forever.

We are still waiting on the construction loan to be approved and whilst our builder has scheduled us to start on Tuesday that will now have to be postponed.  The bank valuer is still refusing to budge on the grounds that houses the value of ours haven’t been sold in the area and therefore he won’t put the right value on either the land or on the construction.    Our broker has been busily tracking down sales in the area and has now gone back to the valuer with evidence of similar sized houses in the area having been sold for between $50k and $100k more than what he has valued ours at.

The other option we are pursuing is discharging the mortgage on our current house and taking that to the CBA as well, thus including the equity we have in this one in the overall formula.  Even if this one is valued at the lower end of the range we will still save $10k in mortgage insurance.  The only problem is this will all take time which will mean delays in building and possibly in our place in the queue.   In any event I am hoping it will be sorted out in the next fortnight.

It’s not 80-30

And in visiting yet another on my blogroll Pearl over at “Pearl, Why you little…” wrote a post about carrying a notebook everwhere and writing down things that become fodder for her posts and I remembered I overheard something on the train the other day that I was going to mention but had forgotten about.

A young girl talking loudly on her iPhone said “It’s a 50-50 proposition you know, it’s not like it’s 80-30…”

Now there’s a budding economist.

Doi Sutep Magic

This was a magical night and I would urge anyone visiting Chiang Mai to make the treck up the mountain to the temple at Doi Sutep for the evening prayers.  As the sun goes down the gold leaf of the temple comes to life.    Again please indulge me with your opinions of which photos I should print off and hang on the wall.

Will Congress Repeal Health Care Reform?

Today I am putting up a guest post from Barbara O’Brien whose main blog is The Mahablog.  A little while back Barbara contacted me and asked if I would allow her to guest post on this blog and after  bit of toing and froing, mainly because I didn’t really see what benefit there was to her in publishing an American Health story on an Aussie Blog, she sent through the article below for me.

Here is what she wrote to me –


My name is Barbara O’ Brien and my blogging at The Mahablog, Crooks and Liars, AlterNet, and elsewhere on the progressive political and health blogophere has earned me the notoriety of being a panelist at the Yearly Kos Convention and a featured guest blogger at the Take Back America Conference in Washington, DC.
I’m contacting you because I found your blog in a health care site search and wanted to reach out to you to tell you about my newest blogging platform —the public concern of healthcare and its relationto the baby boomer and those over the age of 40.
My main goal is to increase awareness on these important issues, and Iwas hoping you could help me. I am interested in providing you a guest post to be placed, but I realize this may not be a viable option. I am also willing to inquire about link opportunities. I hope to hear back from you soon.


Namaste,

Barbara O’ Brien
Barbaraobrien (at) maacenter.org

************************************
Interlude:
Now in my lifetime I have voted for all main political parties in this country, except the Greens [and don’t get me started on that bunch of fairies at the bottom of the garden], but as I’ve gotten older I’ve probably tended more towards the slight right of centre, mainly because I believe that they are better economic managers.  However, there are two areas where I am probably a bit more of a socialist and that is in the areas of Education and Health Care.   People, in our society have fundamentals rights to a good education, good health care and I’ll throw in the right to feel safe and secure as well.

I believe that we in Australia are generally in pretty good shape from a health care viewpoint when compared to others.   Sure we have problems with waiting lists, and ambulance delays and shortages of beds, but most times, people who get sick and need help can get it.   And that is why I’ve agreed to put up this post by Barbara – from what I know of the American system, it sucks, and whilst we have political interference in health care reform in my country, it pales into insignificance, compared to what appears to be happening in the States.  I make no judgement on whether Barbara is right or wrong here and would be really interested in any comments, you as readers care to make.

So here is Barbara’s post.

Will Congress Repeal Health Care Reform?

As soon as Republicans knew they had won a majority of House seats in the midterm elections, GOP leaders vowed to repeal health care reform. Can they do this? And should they?

Frankly, chances that the health care reform bill could be repealed completely are remote, especially since such repeal would have to override President Obama’s veto, and the Senate still has a Democratic majority.

House Republicans say they have some tricks up their sleeves, such as refusing to provide funds in the budget to implement health care reform. However, provisions of the law that will expand Medicaid and help subsidize private insurance won’t kick in until 2014. Until then, there’s not much the House can do to the budget to stop health care reform from going forward, short of defunding the entire Health and Human Services department.

Another “trick” might be to dismantle the bill piece by piece. One provision that many people want to remove is the individual mandate, which will require most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a tax penalty. This provision also kicks in in 2014, and it’s one that Baby Boomers in particular will want to fight to keep.

Here’s why: Beginning in 2014, private insurance companies will no longer be able to refuse to insure someone because of a pre-existing condition. But without an individual mandate, there will be no incentive for younger and healthier people to purchase health insurance until the time comes when they need it. This means those left in the insurance “risk pool” will be older, and that drives up the cost of insurance.

By the time we reach 50, nearly all of us have “pre-existing conditions.” Some of our conditions are common, and some are not — mesothelioma, for example, is rarely diagnosed in patients younger than 50. And without Medicare or other good insurance, mesothelioma treatment would be financially devastating.

But without the individual mandate requiring that healthier people share in the cost of insuring all of us, the health insurance premium bills for people aged 50 to 65 will be ruinous. We can scrap health care reform entirely, of course, but keep in mind that if you lose your insurance before you reach Medicare age you may not be able to purchase insurance at all, at any price, if you have a pre-existing condition.

Kites

Funny how sometimes memories are triggered by unexpected things.  I was browsing some of the blogs I follow the other night when I came across a post on Gaelikaa’s diary about kites and how her son loves them and it brought me back to a time when my Dad made me a kite.

Dad was a commercial taveller – a salesman these days – for a paper merchant company and we were never short of stuff for school, pens, pencils, paper, lunch bags.  You name it and Dad would bring it home. 

I must have been around five or six and Dad decided that he would build me a kite.  He got two bits of one inch square timber, somehow fastened them together with string and no matter how tight he tied them they still moved around.    

He then got some heavy thick brown paper which he drew a face on with the Derwent pencils he’d appropriated and glued it to the timber cricifix.   After punching a hole through the nose on the face he then tied on heavy twine and finally a tail made out of ripped up material.   I don’t remember what it was he ripped up but knowing Dad, it was probably a dozen pair of old y-front undies.

I swear when it was finished it must have weighed about 10 kilos.   Still, we ran up and down the street for hours and every time we launched it into the air, it crashed straight back down to the ground.     The paper tore, the frame loosened and splintered and the only time it got more than 6 inches off the ground was when we threw it as high as we could.     It was completely devoid of any aero dynamic properties and proved that a kite didn’t have to fly to be fun because it didn’t matter, he made it for me.

Settlement is coming

After buying our block of land in January we will finally own it on Friday. We’ve been talking over the last week about whether or not we should delay the build until after we sell our curent house because we have to borrow more than 80% of the cost and the bank wants to charge us around $19,000 in mortgage insurance.

The bank will only value our land at what we paid for it back in January despite the fact that you try and buy a block of similar size to ours on the estate now, you’d be paying at least $50k more. And to add insult to injury they are only valuing our build at $30k less than what it is costing us. The problem is they don’t look at the plans they base the entire assessment on the price per square meter for a built house in the same suburb have been going for recently. That’s despite the fact that there are many houses bigger and more expensive than ours being built in the same estate now. No wonder these pricks made $5 billion profit this year.

So the bank wants me to pay insurance for them in the event that I renege on the loan and the house is worth less than what is owed on it they can claim on that insurance.  Not me – I can’t claim, even though I’m paying for it.  How does that work?  Never mind that since I bought my first home in 1982 I have never been late on a payment, not once.

What a rort. I understand why the bank needs to protect themselves but why do I have to pay a premium for insurance when in three months time I’d be under the limit anyway? Any bankers out there please explain.

Anyway – delaying the build would mean we’ll have to rent somewhere, which means moving twice and probably also having to put stuff in storage. We’d have to find a place that would let us bring our dogs and it’s just too much of a friggin pain in the arse to go that way. So we’ll pay the bloody insurance and get the place built so we can move in and enjoy it.

On a much more pleasant note, thanks to the wonders of the internet, we have met a number of our new neighbours already and we’re both really looking forward to moving into the area and putting down new roots.

My lady is keeping the entire house building saga up to date on her blog Destination 3977 so please feel free to pop in and say hello.

Doi Sutep

Post three of my Thailand photos – this time of a little Hill Tribe girl we saw at Doi Sutep overlooking Chiang Mai. Let’s have your votes folks.

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