Month: April 2019

Life is far too short to buy cheap hoses and other rubbish


LIFE is too short, or it is when we accept that we don’t know when it will end.

Perhaps that will be in the next few minutes with a sudden, overwhelming pain in the upper body, a sense of swooning and a seemingly distant crash as we hit the floor, dead, myocardial infarction, or a few miserable months after a terrible diagnosis late next year.

Nooo, we think, not us, but it does happen to us, every day. People who die won’t always be other people.

For some people life is too long, they weary of it, but even then life is too short to tolerate a cheap hose.

You know, the ones that stretch out in loops, that crimp and block the flow at the first twist, that fight all attempts to reloop them onto the hose hook. Just how much aggravation should we endure for a saving of $30?

For the first couple of decades of my adult life I put price above pretty well everything, so that the cheapest hammer was a bargain even though it had a predilection for shooting off the nail head and the handle was always loose.

Paying $39.99 when a hose was on offer for $9.99 seemed to be idiocy.

Take the twin floodlight fitting I bought at Bunnings.

The Bunnings expert told me it was good buying at $9.95.

But was there, I asked, a better one?

No, this is the best one. But is there a fitting that costs more? No, and I could see she thought I was mad.

Let me tell you, life is too short for cheap floodlight fittings – it can barely hold the weight of the globes. Unfortunately, life is also too short to take it down and return it to the store.

The cynics among you will be sneering that it’s all right for Jeff Corbett, he can afford to pay a few extra dollars, but I can assure you that I’d rather wait and save for something than suffer the aggravation, which I will suffer when the next decent southerly breaks the floodlight fitting and smashes the globes on the pavers. And for the sake of a few dollars!

Well, sometimes it is a few thousand dollars, and I still shake my head that anyone would try and save a few thousand dollars on a new car that’s not half the car made in Japan.

And anyone who buys a car made in Russia, India, China or Korea has more money than sense, even if they don’t have much money!

Life is much too short for ordinary beer, too. Yes, one or two dollars more, so drink less and drink better.

And our world is awash with cheap wine – I’ve seen it as low as $2 a bottle – which makes me think a great many people think they’re going to live forever.

At that price bottling the wine must be the cheapest way to dispose of it. Perhaps people who drink it see themselves as a sink; unfortunately they’re also a filter.

And while I’m on beverages, life is too short for instant coffee.

The use of the word “coffee” in these instants is deception.

Life is too short also for a bad marriage, for people who annoy you, for people who are manipulative, false, selfish or unreasonable.

I decided long ago to not spend time with people I don’t want to be with. And life is too short for cheap Band-Aid copies and miserly towels and fishing line tangles and retro anything.

Pap described by some retailers as bread is to be avoided by everyone who accepts that their life could be shortened at any time during the next few decades. And even those who expect to see a century should avoid tough meat. Surely steak hasn’t always been this tough!

Life is too short to eat cheap lollies, even if they do claim to be made in Australia instead of China, and for out-of-season fruit, and stale peanuts.

It is too short for television soapies, to be caught behind slow drivers, to be angry about being caught behind slow drivers.

It is too short also for cheap whipper snippers, to not have the right tool, to be mean, for blunt knives, for tents that leak, to smoke, to be devoted to and consumed by work, to march to the beat of someone else’s drum.

But wait, there’s more.

Life is too short to queue for discount petrol, to not make something occasionally, to be unhappy, to have junk food as part of your diet, for hangovers, to be constrained by fashion, to be imprisoned by stuff, for shared hotel rooms with people who snore, to worry about dying.

This column was first published in the Newcastle Herald on July 6, [email protected]出售老域名

[email protected]出售老域名.au

Women of Influence 2018: Winning sport’s gender race

Jane Flemming believes sporting bodies should invest more in an attempt to improve the revenue streams for women’s sports.Recently Twitter users reacted to a photo of the winners of a Billabong Junior Surf Comp in South Africa, where female winner Zoe Steyn was awarded half the prize money of male winner Rio Waida. As one radio host tweeted: “Same ocean. Same boards … Different winnings.”

Despite recent advances in women’s sport, pay disparity is just one area where the gender divide remains stark. Other areas in need of improvement include increased participation rates, greater representation in coaching and management roles, and access to equal facilities for men and women. Three alumni ofThe Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence awards, presented by Qantas, say progress has been minimal.

Jane Flemming, former Australian Olympian and director of Live Life Get Active, who was recognised as a woman of influence in 2016, said pay disparity would ease, and examples like the South Africa surf comp helped draw attention to the issue. But commercial challenges around pay inequalities needed to be addressed first.

Lawyer and football player Moya Dodd says women are still vastly under-represented at all levels of decision-making in sport. Photo: Peter Braig

“I do understand there is reward for revenue. I understand the commercial reality, but that’s not to say that the main organisations behind those sports should not be investing more in trying to bring up the revenue streams for women’s sports,” she said.

Lawyer and football player Moya Dodd says women are still vastly under-represented at all levels of decision-making in sport.Peter Braig

“If you had a look at the personnel or the HR or the resources behind driving the commercial success of men’s sport as opposed to those behind driving the commercial success of women’s sport, there would be quite a disparity,” Flemming said, adding that sports with men and women competing needed to ensure they were allocating adequate resources to the female sport to ensure it enjoyed commercial success.

Moya Dodd, the 2016 overall winner of the 100 Women of Influence awards and a partner at law firm Gilbert + Tobin, said visibility of women in sport had improved enormously, with children able to see strong, athletic women playing team sports on their screens.

Leadership gap

“The W-League, Big Bash, AFLW in particular have created female sports heroes for both girls and boys to admire,” said Dodd, a former national team player and an executive committee member of the Asian Football Confederation and chair of its Women’s Football Committee. “That’s a world away from the one I grew up in.”

We had also seen the first female CEO, Raelene Castle, appointed at Rugby Australia.

Competitions such as the W-League have created female sports heroes for girls and boys to admire. Photo: Rohan Thomson

But research conducted by University of Technology Sydney adjunct associate Johanna Adriaanse Women in Sport Leadership, found women chaired only 7 per cent (five out of 70) of international sport federations in 2016, the same as in 2012, and occupied just 19 per cent (12 of 64) of chief executive positions, up from 8 per cent in 2012.

Lander & Rogers lawyer and president of Richmond Football Club Peggy O’Neal, a 2014 Women of Influence winner in the diversity category, said one issue was with women thinking they had to have played sport to have a career in sport management. “The skills needed for management roles in sporting organisations are the same as in any business,” she said. .

The gains in women’s and girls’ participation in a variety of sports were the culmination of many years of effort, she said, citing the Victorian government’s establishment of an Office for Women in Sport and Recreation as a great initiative.

“So long as the role of women remains a relevant topic in the public conversation, we are reminded that the job isn’t yet done,” she said. “We need to keep up the momentum: equality is the goal and we aren’t there yet.”

Peggy O’Neal says many women mistakenly believe they need to have played sport to have a career in sport management. Photo: Pat Scala

Dodd said that despite rivalry between sports leading to better competitions, conditions and resources for female players, women were still vastly under-represented at all levels of decision-making. She believed traditionally male sports faced a huge challenge to examine themselves through a gender lens, and set a path to equality.

“Even as women succeed spectacularly on the field, the figures of authority are very male,” she said. “AFLW is seeing this now in coaching. Because the women’s team isn’t a year-round job, it’s become a ‘gap-filler’ occupation for part-time coaches in the men’s game. As a result, there are no women coaches left in the AFLW. These issues are solvable, but it does take a deliberate effort.

“In the women’s [soccer] game, all but one World Cup, Olympics and Euros since 2000 have been won by a female-coached team, which is an incredible statistic. But nobody asks why men are so unsuccessful, even though they are over-represented at every level of coaching.”

Dodd also believed that because we were accustomed to seeing male coaches, male competence was assumed, “while women have to earn it, with their playing credentials under-rated”.

Role models

“This leads to an outcome where men can coach women, but women can’t coach men … Boards, recruiters, administrators and players are all on a journey to see this differently, because everyone in sport wants to reach the whole talent pool – not just half of it.”

Flemming, who coaches a junior boys’ basketball team, agreed, adding that role modelling in sports coaching was not as it should be. “There’s a lot of talk about role modelling for young girls,” she said. “Being the mother of boys I actually think it’s more important to role model for boys so they understand when they grow up – and when they’re teenagers, and when they’re at school – that these are the roles that women play and they take that as a norm. So women go to work, and women do sport, and women coach sport, and women manage teams.

“I really believe that while it is important, obviously, to have female role models for young girls, it’s also really important to have female role models for young boys.”

This year’sAustralian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influenceawards, presented by Qantas, will be announced on September 4.

Stony-faced Cormann knifes Turnbull

When a stony-faced Mathias Cormann opened his mouth and said “it’s with great sadness…” it was over for Malcolm Turnbull.

The Finance Minister has been the prime minister’s most effective and competent ally, shepherding laws through a difficult Senate and deftly fending off Labor attacks.

But Senator Cormann looked uncomfortable standing next to Mr Turnbull in the prime minister’s courtyard on Wednesday, even as he professed his loyalty.

He looked even more unhappy on Thursday.

“It’s with great sadness and a heavy heart that we went to see the prime minister yesterday afternoon to advise him that in our judgment he no longer enjoyed the support of the majority of members in the Liberal Party party room,” Senator Cormann said in Canberra.

“And that it was in the best interests of the Liberal Party to help manage an orderly transition to a new leader.”

The West Australian senator, who appeared upset, praised Mr Turnbull for his successes.

“I believe that Malcolm Turnbull has been and is a great prime minister. I believe that he will go down in history as having secured amazing achievements for Australia,” Senator Cormann said.

So why dump him?

“I can’t ignore the fact that a majority of colleagues in the Liberal Party party room are of the view that there should be a change,” Senator Cormann said.

“We are very conscious of the seriousness of the decision that we’ve made.”

Senator Cormann and ministers Mitch Fifield and Michaelia Cash tendered their resignations and all backed Peter Dutton to take the leadership.

They did not say why they thought he would be a better choice for Australians than the man elected as prime minister in 2016.

“I’m not here to run a campaign for Peter Dutton,” Senator Cormann said.

Mr Dutton’s supporters have been pushing for Senator Cormann to publicly step away from Mr Turnbull for days, and now without his support, the prime minister’s leadership is effectively over.

A wine and cheese advent calendar to soothe the soul this silly season

Behind every door is a new drop of red, white, bubbly or rose for you to enjoy. Pic: ALDICome December, the thrill of opening the tiny doors of an advent calendar to gorge on the chocolate prize inside is an unparalleled joy for youngsters.

Then we all grew up, responsibility crashed into our lives and the new joy in our lives became thefirst sip of a glass of wine after a long day of Christmas shopping, navigating family drama and averting cooking crises.

Now the brains at ALDI have graciously combined the two to help grown-ups survive the silly season this year.ALDIhas released a wine advent calendarfilled with single-serve bottles of red, white, bubbly and rose varieties straight from the ALDI shelves.

The variety of wine on ALDI’s shelves has included some notable dark horses over the years. The supermarket chain has at least eight wines that boast a gold medal from at least one Australian wine show, including the star wine: a $4.99 South Point Estate Rose that has won goldin Perth, Hobart and Sydney in the past few years.

Cheese and wine, truly a match made in heaven. The cheese advent calendar could be hitting Australian shelves soon. Pic: ALDI

Pair your wine advent calendar with the ultimate fromage accompaniment – ALDI has also released a cheese advent calendar. Behind each tiny door is one of 24 imported mini cheeses, with varieties including Edam, Cheddar and Gouda to enjoy each day.

The wine advent calendar will cost $70, while the cheese advent calendar will cost just $12.99. The calendars have been released in the United States and the United Kingdom and are expected to roll out through Australian stores too. An ALDI spokesperson encouraged Australian shoppers to stay tuned.

“ALDI have an array of exciting and unique Special Buys coming into stores in the lead up toChristmas this year that are perfect for gifting and celebrating. More information around theseproducts will be released as the festive season draws closer.”

Hopefully Australians have been well-behaved enough this year for Santa to deliver these goodies.

Proud to be supporting city’s Pride

FUN TIMES: Running from 24 to 26 August, Newcastle Pride will celebrate the diverse LGBTI communities of the Newcastle and Hunter region.

As the region’s primary organisation working to support and improve the health and wellbeing of the Hunter LGBTI community, ACON is a key partner of Newcastle Pride and will have a broad presence throughout festival.

“ACON is excited and proud to be a part of Newcastle Pride as it’s an important event that brings together regional LGBTI communities of Newcastle and the Hunter,” said ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill.

“Despite progress made over recent years in fostering a more inclusive society in Australia, many LGBTI Australians continue to be targets of prejudice and discrimination. Supporting Newcastle Pride provides organisers and the local community a great opportunity to demonstrate that the Hunter is welcoming and celebrates diversity and inclusion.”

Throughout the festival, ACON will provide sexual health screening and information services, including a pop up HIV and STI screening service, run in partnership by ACON Hunter and Hunter New England LHD, and dried blood spot HIV testing kits.

ACON community health promotion officers will be on hand to provide information on PrEP, HIV testing and HIV treatment and other LGBTI health issues affecting our communities, including breast/chest health, cervical cancer screening and mental health.

“Pride events in regional and rural NSW provides an important opportunity for local communities to come together to not only celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion, but also get informed and engaged on issues affecting the health and wellbeing of LGBTI people,” Parkhill said.

“Events like Newcastle Pride enables ACON to connect with local LGBTI people and people living with HIV in regional areas. As our communities are becoming more visible in regional Australia, partnering with local groups and services to promote HIV prevention, support and LGBTI health services is a key priority for us.

“By working together, we can continue to build the health and wellbeing of our communities.”

Newcastle Pride runs from 24-26 August, various events and locations. To view the event program, go to newcastlepride出售老域名.au.