The SANFL Preliminary Final 2008

Today I took nephew Breandan to see Sturt play Glenelg in the SANFL Preliminary Final at the picturesque Adelaide Oval. After a close start, Glenelg turned on the power and ended up thrashing Sturt by 66 points: 17 goals 17 behinds 119 to Sturt 8-5-53. Glenelg now take on Central District in the Grand Final next Sunday at AAMI Stadium (formerly known as Football park).


The highlight of the day has to be this absolutely spectacular mark taken in the outer:



Worrying Signs For Turkey

From a distance, the social trend in Turkey does not look positive. A recent incident in Ankara provides an example of this. A corner store owner, Muslum Goksu, was assaulted and his shop damaged because he sold alcohol during Ramadan (the Muslim holy month – called Ramazan in Turkey).


Modern Turkey has traditionally been tolerant of people who held secular beliefs and did not observe every Islamic tradition. In Mersin I fondly recall buying beers from a veiled woman at the local 24 hour convenience store in the early hours of one Ramadan morning. This freedom of choice is what made Turkey different to almost every other Muslim majority country.


Ever since the AKP came to power in 2002, many Turkish secularists warned of the potential Islamification of Turkey. Slowly but surely their fears are being realised. The sale of alcohol has been banned at venues owned by government controlled companies, Creationism is gaining a stronger foothold and there are reports of official pressure to fast during Ramadan.


Hopefully this trend towards overt Sunni Muslim religiousness is only temporary.

12 Brother And Sisters Reunite

At Dad’s 60th birthday party Saturday he and his 11 siblings were together for the first time in 15 to 20 years (nobody is certain when the last occasion was).


In February 1971 when Dad arrived at Adelaide Airport from serving in Vietnam 10 of his siblings were there to meet him and their photo was on the front page of The Advertiser. To commemorate the reunion, a photographer from the paper took photos at the party Saturday. However, as the story has not been published by the ‘Tiser, I will publish it myself.


Following is the February 1971 picture and accompanying article entitled Family Affair:




The text reads:


National Serviceman Gunner K. E. Taheny, 22, of Edithburgh, Yorke Peninsula, arrived home from Vietnam on leave yesterday to a family greeting that more closely resembled a massed military operation. Gathered to meet him at Adelaide Airport were 10 of his 11 brothers and sisters, aged between four and 20. Pictured advancing in formation at the airport are, from left, Damien, 6, Veronica, 9, Elizabeth, 11, Therese, 15, Francis, 20, Gunner Taheny, Josephine, 17, Catherine, 14, Mary, 13, Eugene, 8, and Maria, 4, all from Edithburgh. Gunner Taheny, who has only a few weeks to serve, said he had been in Vietnam for 12 months, mainly at Nui Dat with the 106 Battery of the 4th Field Regiment. His parents are Mr. and Mrs. E. D. Taheny, of Edithburgh.


A footnote: the only sibling missing in the photo above was Bernadette, whose boss would not let her take the day off work. I bet he regretted his decision after seeing the story on the front page the next day!



Here are the 12 some 37&1/2 years later:




Hopefully the next time they all get together will be reasonably soon.

The Freedom Of Running

Just over 3 months ago I began running regularly for the first time in my post-Little Athletics life. At first I could hardly run 3 blocks without spluttering to a complete stop. Steadily, I built up my stamina and fitness, increasing the distance travelled each day. Soon I was running to Henley Beach jetty and back.


Last month I participated in my first organised event, the 8km at the 4th Joggers World Fun Run. This Sunday I will run the 12km City-Bay Fun Run. I aim to finish in under 60 minutes although my first goal is to complete the journey.


Besides the obvious fitness and utility benefits, the ability to run gives a feeling of freedom and is also fantastic for goal-setting and achievement. To be able to drop everything and go for a run in the evening sun’s glow along the beach is a pleasure.


My future running goals:

2009: complete a half marathon

2010: finish a full marathon


Two negatives of running are the physical wear and tear it causes to one’s knees and ankles and the greater appetite one gets when training. The appetite is normally not a problem except when exercising stops, leading to a sudden weight gain. Once I have completed my first marathon I plan to discontinue running and take on a joint-friendly pursuit, probably cycling. Until then, happy running!



UPDATE (2008/09/23): I completed the 12km run in 1:01:13, finishing in 3125th place. Quite good for my first attempt.

An Albino Earwig

The other week I found the following earwig under a brick in the backyard:




From reading on the net, this earwig is unlikely to be a real albino but a freshly molted bug. In contrast, here is a normal brown-coloured earwig:




Another insect found under bricks in the garden, the slater, comes in multiple colours including black, white and brown. The following photo I took even includes a mottled specimen:



Ridiculous Advertising Campaign – Harvey Norman Celebrates Nearly 50 Years Of Retail



I guess Harvey Norman needed a new excuse for the current instalment in their continuous series of sales promoting overpriced televisions, computers and lounge suites.


Harvey Norman’s first store opened in 1961. I can imagine a junior copywriter at Harvey Norman’s marketing meeting coming up with the sensible idea of celebrating 47 years in business only to be overruled by an executive with the ‘nearly 50 years’ brain explosion of a slogan.


Will Harvey Norman also have ‘nearly 50 years old’ sales in 2009 and 2010 as well? Could you imagine people organising nearly 50 (or 30, 40 or 60) years old birthday parties?


In defence of Harvey Norman, they could have the same  campaign next year and it would not be noticed due to the monotonous regularity of their promotions. Their average target market member would not remember 2008’s identical sale.