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Monday, November 30, 2009

Triumph lingerie in Tokyo has come up with yet another bizarre invention. The current offering is a corset-style green top that doubles as a putting mat. The accessories include a tee, a ball on a chain, a "be quiet" sign and pockets for extra balls and tees.

The only slight problem I can see with the garment is that in order to play golf, you need to be naked from the waist up. Perhaps these will catch on a nudist camps...

But... who really wants to play nudie golf? When does one get the urge to strip off the gear and putt at the same time? Golf is a rather conservative game, last time I checked. The dress code usually calls for um... clothes.

I not entirely sure but I'm guessing that a female probably didn't invent this.

The invention is a response to the trend of a large percentage of Japanese women taking up the game of golf.

Perhaps the study also found that these women also liked to play topless golf, or specified being naked in some way.

As a putting mat, it's not half bad. It has an electronic voice that says "nice shot!" every time you make the putt. That would drive me nuts after about 2.5 seconds (provided I can make a putt in 2.5 seconds!!)

As a garment however, I wouldn't want to wear it. It features bra cups that appear to be sadistically made out of metal muffin tins. Perhaps it has another function as a cooking device...

Given the nature of this strange novelty garment for women, I'd hate to see what the male version looks like.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Christmas is looming again and it's time to shop, whether we like it or not. Personally I prefer to avoid the Christmas crush in the bigger stores and shop online, from the comfort of my own computer. But that's just my little quirk.

Here are some ideas for gifts under $15:

1. Blue Dolphin Ocarina

If you have played Legend of Zelda you may already know what an ocarina is. If not, its a terracotta wind instrument with holes, something akin to a recorder or flute.

2. Japanese Design Mouse Mats
If you have the same boring plain mousepad as everyone else, be different!! Gold leaf mousepad featuring Japanese artwork.

3. Reusable Leather Journal/Note pad Holder
This is my personal pick for the cutest gift ever - perfect for the person who carries a notebook everywhere they go.

4. 15 Wines Under $15
Technically this isn't just one present. But who cares. Wine makes a good present. (Checks vintage) Then again, maybe not (*pops cork*)

5. Penguin Holiday Pendant
This would make a great present for a daughter / granddaughter / niece - very cute, very Christmassy. The pendant is the same size as a standard scrabble tile.

Happy Shopping!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I was both horrified and amused by this latest spam offering.

The email goes something like this:

"...Dear (name blanked out),
As a past supporter of President Bush, I would like to invite you to learn more about the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The center is committed to advancing the the four principles - Freedom, Opportunity, Responsibility, and Compassion - that guided his presidency and remain the focus of his and Mrs Bush's ongoing work..."

Polite but firm Query, Mr Spam Person:...


Spammers don't do much research, do they?

Mistake #1. I am an Australian so I don't tend to vote in US presidential elections.

Mistake #2. If I did get the opportunity to vote in the US presidential elections, I would vote for the Democrats

Mistake #3. Perhaps "past supporter" is a broad term. Perhaps throwing beer cans and yelling expletives at G.W. Bush on the telly counts as supporting.

Yay. Go democracy...

Die spammers...

The news has been reporting a number of assaults and robberies at Melbourne train stations - particularly those located on the Frankston/Pakenham/Werribee/Cranbourne lines, plus the city stations. I have observed an interesting (and I think effective) way of driving away the criminal element that seems to be having an effect on gangs of teenagers who like to hang out at train stations.  

I witnessed it first at Glen Waverley station - it's quite simple:

The most hideous musak you have ever heard in your entire life blasted through the loudspeakers. No loitering groups seem to want to listen to the latest musak version of "Tie A Yellow Ribbon" for the tenth time in a row.

Now this is no laughing matter, train stations have become quite dangerous of late and there seems to be a lack of ideas on how to protect the innocent people who just need to catch a train.

The muck-up antics of hundreds of kids were not deterred by this musak onslaught. Probably because the din from hundreds of excited year 12s would drown anything out, even "Reggie Dixon's Tango Treats".

This is a tactic that can be applied at other high risk stations to basically drive people away using the power of uncoolness. This doesn't solve the problem, it's only part of the solution.
Other measures could include extra bright lighting at all stations (not just "premium" stations), effective CCTV coverage. CCTV coverage is no good if there is nobody around to help those in danger. CCTV captures video bytes for the news - the important part is deploying the police, using station masters, ticket inspectors and various other security personnel. These tactics could be used in the loop and inner-city stations to usher people in and out of the city quickly.

The idea of blasting musak acts as a kind of repellant dog whistle to those who would not wish to be associated with "Blame it on the Bossa Nova" or any other other related songs. I noted that Taylor Dane seems to drive people away, and I have observed Anastacia to work just as well. The people at Connex have clearly done their homework because they never seem to play anything like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac or any other artists likely to be appreciated by all.

I suggest Connex implements this policy throughout other stations in Melbourne, along with the vitally important policing and monitoring measures to ensure that crime at Melbourne train stations is kept to a minimum.

Monday, November 23, 2009

You may have noticed this - you go to the supermarket or grocer and the price for fresh raspberries is rather prohibitive.

In fact, the price of gold and raspberries seem to following a similar trend. And given the choice, I would probably choose the gold.

However, I have found a little loophole that ensures you can have raspberries all year round without taking out a second mortgage.
Check your local grocer or supermarket for frozen bulk raspberries. Bulk? I hear you gasp. Don't be afraid. I have found that for $8, I can get a large pack of individually frozen raspberries that last for months, all at the same price as a small punnet of fresh raspberries.

If you have the room and the resources, growing your own raspberries is another great option.

Here's a great drink idea I discovered while experimenting...
Soda water
Freshly squeezed lime juice
1 nectarine, cut into segments
4-5 frozen raspberries

Combine all ingredients and pour in the soda water. Refreshing!!
You can substitute the nectarine with peaches, pineapple or any other fruit you can think of.
The beauty of frozen raspberries is that they act as ice cubes and keep the drink icy. After the drink is finished, the raspberries are ready to eat.

Be sure to check out more juicer recipes, and tips on fruit and healthy eating.

Other ways to up your raspberry intake include drinking Raspberry Leaf Tea, getting your own Raspberry Seeds, and cultivate your green thumb by learning how to Grow Your Own.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

For the elderly and movement impaired, a Medical Alert system can literally be a lifeline. For most of us, there are people we care about - parents, grandparents who are perhaps living alone without the aid of a carer. Despite our best efforts, we can't always be there. I'll present two scenarios:

1. A man/woman is at home, has had a fall and is not able to push a button. In this case a device named "fall alert" contains a fall detector. This device is worn on the person and when a fall is detected, will call the 24 hour monitoring service which in turn alerts relatives and medical personnel. The alerts continue until someone is dispatched to the residence.

2. A man/woman, perhaps suffering from Alzheimer's wanders into a strange neighbourhood and cannot find their way back home. In this case a GPS tracking bracelet featuring a two-way speakerphone. This Medical Alert device can be used by the wearer as one would use a mobile phone to call for help. Similarly, the GPS device will send an alert if the person has wandered off and can't be contacted.

Other products include smoke alarms, intruder alarms, inactivity detectors and panic buttons for peace of mind and security.

Monday, November 16, 2009

"I've never won down here, so now I have won on every continent, except for Antarctica" - Tiger Woods, Kingston Heath 2009.

At Victorian sandbelt course Kingston Heath on Sunday 15th November, the final round began in a sweltering, dusty and thirsty environment. My partner and I perched upon a not-so-grassy knoll at the 1st hole to witness the tee shot of the world's number 1 golfer, Tiger Woods.

The day began with an accidental breach of security - my partner and I wandered past three security guards and almost stumbled on to Tiger's range session. It was only when I caught a glimpse of the famous final day red shirt and a security guard asked us did we have our IDs, that I realised that we were on the other side of the fence and in player's territory.

The excitement was building even before we reached the course itself. On the shuttle bus we downed a 2 litre bottle of water to ensure the proper hydration for the day. During a quiet moment a man with one of the loudest voices I've ever heard yelled:
"Do you know what time it is?"
Curious people turned to look.
"IT'S TIGER TIME!!!" The whole bus broke into laughter and in a moment of comic relief we realised just how excited we were to be seeing Tiger on the final day.

After following the field for a time, we grabbed some (incredibly overpriced) lunch and proceeded to the 6th hole where we were ready to shade ourselves for a while. Then we looked towards the 5th at what appeared to be a million colourful ants headed our way.
"What are those crowds doing?"
"Oh sh!t! He's here already." We scrambled into position as the hordes mustered in.
A young boy sat at our feet and kept voicing that he wanted to say something to Tiger.

When Tiger walked past, only a couple of feet away, the boy worked up the courage and said "You're a Gun Tiger!"
Tiger stopped for a moment, turned around, smiled and said "Thank You" before making his way to the tee. This is the type of memory that will remain long after the tournament is over.

Greg Chalmers (AUS), Francois Delamontagne (FRA) Jason Dufner (USA) and James Nitties (AUS) were snapping at Tiger's heels for a large part of the tournament. At the 14th, Chalmers was set to take the lead. We revelled in the brilliant display of skill and accuracy by these incredible players, and cheered them on - if Tiger was to be beaten, it would be fitting for an Australian to do it.

We began to get slightly sunburned - making our way to the 16th we were rewarded with both shade and solitude. From our perfect vantage point we watched a parade of golfers, Adam Scott, Rod Pampling, Stuart Appleby, and after checking the scoreboard, we saw that Tiger was -14 and looking good for the win. When Tiger appeared, the galleries were bursting with people, yet we had the perfect view and very little crowd around us. We were close enough to see Tiger brush away a fly, re-compose himself and hit one of the most awesome shots I have seen in my life. The ball landed on the green so perfectly it nearly went in the hole. It was awe-inspiring. Needless to say, we made some noise.

When we gathered round the green to watch the putt, a little boy sitting on his mother's shoulders stared at the players, open mouthed in awe and wonderment. He kept repeating the same thing over and over. "Tiiiger Wooods." The crowd started to giggle after a while as the boy repeated it for the 10th time. Then he got a quizzical look on his face as Tiger stalked the putt and lined it up from every angle.
"Is he gonna hit the ball?" The setup phase was obviously getting to him.

It was not until the very last hole that Tiger could relax. As we know, anything can happen in golf. Woods approached the 18th, made a 2 putt and sealed the tournament win to yet another colossal roar from the crowd. We witnessed the gold jacket and trophy presentation, surrounded by thousands of people. Last year we watched Rod Pampling receive the same accolades to a largely empty stand. It is expected that the new surge of enthusiasm for Australian golf spurned by the worldwide publicity will lead to larger galleries at all Australian golf tournaments. Players such as Rod Pampling, Robert Allenby, Karrie Webb and many other noteworthy Australian golfers deserve more publicity and greater accolades in their home country - perhaps this will be the start of a new era in Australian golf.

For some, this was their first experience of a golf tournament, the spectacle of Tiger Woods and curiosity taking them into new territory. The tournament was a great promotional tool for Victoria, for Melbourne, and for Australian Golf. It is easy to forget that throughout the ages Kingston Heath has been host to a number of legends, including Greg Norman, Severiano Ballesteros, Sam Snead, Gene Sarazen, Jack Nicklaus, Walter Hagen, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Gary Player. It would be a magical touch to begin a tradition of hosting the Australian Masters at Kingston Heath every year, as they do with the US Masters in Augusta.

Tiger won with a final score of -14, followed by Greg Chalmers at -12 and Francois Delamontagne at -10.

Putting To Win - Tour Pro Reveals Easiest Way To Lower Scores. The Culmination Of Seven Years Work, This E-book Is Packed With Information, For Anyone Who Seriously Wants To Improve Their Golf Scores.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Masters at Kingston Heath in Melbourne has created Tiger fever for Australian golf fans and non golf Tiger fans alike.

Since Tiger Woods has arrived in Melbourne, the sports section of the news, previously dominated by AFL and Rugby, now finally recognises golf as newsworthy.

I will be attending the final day (Sunday 15th) of the tournament. I am rather excited to say the least. Jumping out of my skin might be a better way to put it.

Melbourne's journalists and photographers are engaged in a Tiger-spotting frenzy. This can only be a good thing for golf in Australia. It is likely to generate interest from many curious sports fans who may never have seen a golf tournament in their lives. This is also a great opportunity to get kids interested in golf in Australia, with Tiger as the perfect ambassador.

After 18 holes and a morning tee time, Tiger finished Day 1 of the JBWere Masters at 6 under (a score of 66), tied with James Nitties and Brandon Grace.

High Definition TV Coverage of The 2009 JBWere Australian Masters:

Thursday 12th November
Nine / NineHD - 12:00pm - 5:30pm

Friday 13th November
Nine / NineHD - 12:00pm - 5:30pm

Saturday 14th November
Nine / NineHD - 12:30pm - 5:30pm

Sunday 15th November
Nine / NineHD - 12:30pm - 5:30pm

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Far be it from me to comment on the fashion faux pas of the Spring Racing Carnival brigade. Me, the fashion goddess of the cardigan, corduroys and Docs. Perhaps it's that I don't really fancy too many florals, fluffy and hairy headpieces and feathers that get stuck in your mouth while you're trying to cheer for a horse that is clearly coming second last. There are however some mistakes that have been brought to my attention as an observer of Spring Carnival fashion.

Mistake #1. Not wearing comfy shoes

You will most likely be walking from the bar, to the bookie, and back to the track itself - and don't forget the train ride home. You'll be surprised as to how many kilometres you can cover in the space of a day. For goodness sake, wear comfortable footwear. Otherwise you will regret it!!

Mistake #2. Drinking too much

The first drink of the day can be as early as breakfast. For some reason (and I don't know if this is exclusively an Australian trait or if its the rest of the world as well) - we seem to think that we are somehow immune to the effects of alcohol because it's a public holiday. So it doesn't seem so irrational to drink 2 champagnes for breakfast, 3 at lunch and then 2 more in the afternoon. Then we wonder why the ground is suddenly uneven and there are twice as many horses on the field as before.
You could begin the day looking like like Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's". If you're not careful, by the end of the day and 7 champagnes later you could look more like this:

The idea is to pace yourself. If you do have a champagne breakfast, drink soda water for a bit. And make sure you eat something. "But my dress is too tight!!" I hear you say. Well, wear something more comfy. Your dress will still be too tight if you're passed out under a tree with a busted side seam and no hat.

Mistake #3. Forgetting the sunscreen

Sun protection costs next to nothing. A cheap, broad spectrum sunscreen and a hat. Protect your skin as you will be out for many hours in the sun. Even on a cloudy day, you will be surprised at how quickly sunburn can occur. Sunscreen is your friend, and the only protector between your skin and the harsh Australian sun. No matter what you are wearing, sunburn clashes!!

Mistake #4. Neeiggghh!!

Sometimes these fashions can be reminiscent of the horses themselves. Gaudy colours, shaggy manes, strong hindquarters and shaky footwear. The key is to be comfortable and dress to compliment your individual style.

Mistake #5. Dignity Blowout

This can come under a number of headings and this goes for males and females of all ages. For example, too many champagnes can land one in the "Dignity Blowout" category. This can result in falling asleep on the train with your fascinator feathers in your mouth, passing out in the sun and waking up with second degree sunburn, throwing up in the bin can also be a bit of a dignity blowout. You may think this is gross, but I have witnessed all these things while visiting the races (and no, it wasn't me!!) One of the worst cases I witnessed was a girl dressed up in racing gear being carried out of a pub by the paramedics after she passed out in a corner and could not be roused. This is not how you want to remember your day at the races.

My experience of the Melbourne Cup this year was the same as previous years - I put a bet on the favourite "Viewed", which failed to come through with the goods. I put a bet on "Leica Ding" as well, mainly because the name was ridiculous and horses with ridiculous names often win. (Eg. "Makybe Diva") Needless to say, my horse is still running.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Well, it's that time of the year and my birthday is coming up!!

I have compiled a brief list of what I would like for my birthday in 2009:

  • A holiday - actually, two holidays because I haven't been away for more than a year

  • The ability to play golf like a cross between Tiger and Seve Ballesteros

  • Miniature pigs!!! (No, not really, because I couldn't possibly look after them - but I love them!!)

  • The car from "Supernatural" aka "Metallicar"

  • Inspiration and Success

  • Peace, Love and possibly even some Mungbeans!!
To anyone who is betting in the Melbourne Cup tomorrow, Good Luck and hope your horse comes in!!