Thursday, October 31, 2013

9 Reasons to Visit Adelaide

Governor Hindmarsh

Lonely Planet listed Adelaide in South Australia as number 9 on its top ten "Best in Travel 2014" so here are 9 things to do if visiting the city of churches. No, one of the things is not the churches themselves as many of them are now night clubs or bridal boutiques

Catch the Tram
Which tram? The tram. There is only one. It travels between the Entertainment Centre in Hindmarsh and Moseley Square, Glenelg. And it’s free within the CBD! It must be said that neither destination on this route is one that warrants this type of infrastructure. Glenelg once was a great sea-side location popular with tourists and locals alike. It is now over developed and the boutique shops and eateries are now chain stores and franchises. Glenelg is now a shopping mall with sand.

Henley Beach
If you do want to go to the beach whilst visiting Adelaide - and it is highly recommended that you do with their fine white sand, easy access and absence of truly dangerous rips and undercurrents – visit Henley Beach. Two beaches north of Glenelg along Tapleys Hill Road. (Bypass West Beach it is a caravan park and sewage outlet). Henley offers all the amenities for a great day at the beach, ice-creamery, great fish and chips, town square with large lawn area and some picnic tables, shady trees and best of all smaller crowds. Most people are on the tram to Glenelg.

Another unique public transport option in Adelaide, and like the tram offers a single route. From the CBD to the north-eastern suburbs. It was established for commuters to help with congestion during peak hour – peak hour in Adelaide lasts for 10-15 minutes. It is a bus running on a guided track, one of the world’s first rapid bus systems. Buses travel up to 100km along the 12km track and as it is a guided track the drivers do not need to steer. Seeing a driver take their hands off the wheel and eat their lunch can be very disconcerting for the first time traveller. The route follows the Torrens River, which may not contain water, providing a beautiful view. It ends in the north east at Tea Tree Plaza, a major Westfield shopping complex, containing the same shops that you left behind when boarding the bus in the city. But they are arranged differently – all in one building instead of along busy streets. Yes many of them will be the same retailers you will find at the end of the line of the Glenelg tram.

Adelaide Oval
If you are a sporting fan, this is a must see. Arguably one of the most picturesque sporting venues in the world. Complete with its heritage listed scoreboard and Morton Bay fig trees. The ground is currently being re-developed. Visit the ground and argue with tourists from NSW as to whether or not Don Bradman is South Australia's greatest cricketer. "The Don" was born in Cootamundra and grew up in Bowral both in NSW. He learned to play cricket in Bowral before moving to Sydney. He played for NSW before being selected to play for Australia in 1928-29 season. He did not move to Adelaide until 1934, when he was already a national sporting hero. Either way the best batsman ever, and Adelaide has a statue of him, and a road named after him.

Adelaide CBD is surrounded by parklands, each one known locally by very creative names; North Parkland is in the North, South Parklands is in the South etc. The pick of them for family fun would be in the north, where the parklands bring the zoo, city and botanical gardens. Lots of grass under foot and shade overhead courtesy of the Morton Bay figs. Whilst the north parklands are known for their picnics and family gatherings, those in the south are known for their gay cruising.

There are two world class wine regions in Adelaide and its surrounding area, McLaren Vale and Barossa. The former is south and the latter north. As a rough guide if you are after whites head south and for reds go north. Either direction plan to eat along the way to help with the management of the effects of alcohol and hire a driver or join a tour to ensure a safe journey home.

Malls Balls
This 7m high metallic sculpture (pictured) in the heart of Rundle Mall, is officially called The Spheres. By artist Bert Flugelman, this famous landmark is a favourite meeting place, mainly because locals get to tell their friends and family to “meet at the balls”. Erected in 1977, during the Premiership of Hon Don Dunstan, as a gay man, it meant that all of the public have an opportunity to rub his balls.

Port River Dolphins
Just 12km from the city centre is Adelaide original and still operating sea port, creatively named Port Adelaide. The Port River is home to approximately 40 Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins. This is one of the few places in the world where wild dolphins live within a major city.

Sure they may be being slowly poisoned from pollutants from river traffic in this busy port, and some of the dolphins may have cuts and scars from run-ins with ships motors, but the experience is second to month. Pack your camera and join a river cruise or kayak tour, to get up safely close to these mammals.

Serial Killer
No don’t become one and don’t get in one’s way, Adelaide is Australia’s serial killing capital. In fact Adelaide is argued to have the most serial killers per capita of anywhere in the world. Truro murders, check out this town after a few wines it is within the broader Barossa region. Snowtown, head north to visit the bank vault where barrels were discovered with their gruesome deposits.

“The Family” abducted, abused and killed young men in the 70s and 80s.

When you get off the tram at the beach join the search for the Beaumont children. These three young children disappeared from Glenelg in 1966. They have never been seen since and their bodies never discovered. One of Australia’s most infamous cold cases, locals and tourists have the opportunity to become a real crime stopper by uncovering any clue that leads to their discovery.

Friday, October 25, 2013

An open letter to Nestle

Dear Nestle

I am in the unfortunate position of having to reconsider my continued support of your company through the purchase of MILO. Let me explain why. You promote MILO as the “drink of play”, my personal experiences lead me to believe that it is in reality the “drink of death”.

Let me explain why.

My personal preference is all milk. I heat the milk in a microwave and then add a heaped dessert spoon of MILO into the hot milk and stir it until dissolved.

No hot water.

No sugar.

In my last workplace I was preparing a hot MILO as per my preferred method. I had the tin and spoon waiting ready for the milk to heat up. I opened up the microwave to retrieve the now suitably heated milk to discover that it was the mug and not the milk that had been heated.

The subsequent burns to my fingers, although superficial, required medical treatment, and I could not fully extend my index finger for a week. The heat caused me to drop the mug spilling, what turned out to be still relatively cold milk all over the kitchen floor.

I was grateful for the presence of one of the administrative staff who walked into the kitchen at the same moment I was burned to prepare her own hot drink. She not only attended to my injuries but also cleaned up the mess. This also was the start of one of my closest friendships, for which I should be thankful.

But Nestle, I ask you, at what cost?

Like customs firing over the bow of a suspected drug runners boat, this burn was merely a warning shot.

In my new and current workplace, I was initially pleased to discover your fine choc-malt powder was supplied to staff. That was until Monday of this week when I again prepared a workplace beverage.

Having not heeded the earlier warning this time MILO conducted a full assault, almost ending my life! I was innocently drinking my freshly made MILO as per my preferred method as described earlier when I choked. I had a mouthful of MILO and was in the act of swallowing when I inadvertently coughed at the same time. The result was a lot of cough and spluttering and gurgling as my body’s reflexing kicked in ejecting the MILO drink before it drowned me.

If I was not the unwitting victim in the seemingly unprovoked attack I might have objectively argued that drowning in a perfect hot MILO was a pretty good way to go.

Different office, different mug, different milk, different microwave. The only constant in these two  assassination attempts in the Neslte branded energy food drink, MILO.

My question is this, Nestle. Why are you trying to kill me? I just wanna be made of milo.

I have not criticized you for your support of Robert Mugabe’s regime of reclaiming farms, nor have I commented on your demands of the Ethiopian government during its countries crippling drought. I have not protested against you use of palm oil or you earlier stances on breast feeding. Whilst the rest of the world had a field day of your use on horse meat in products labelled as beef, I kept my silence.

I may have provided some light-hearted commentary on your acquisition of Jenny Craig, but surely I have done nothing to warrant such personal and dangerous attacks upon my person.

I do not understand your reasoning. Maybe you are just indiscriminately wielding your power as the world’s most profitable corporation. Does your ability to willingly harm and destroy loyal customers send a message to individuals and organisations that might really harm your reputation and bottom line?

What ever is happening for you I respectfully request that you cease and desist your attacks you your person. Please allow me to enjoy the malty milk goodness rich in vitamin B and calcium with Low GI. I just want to play.

Yours sincerely

Darren Freak

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dead Man Walking


Donald Miller from Ohio USA is dead, in itself this is not news, except for the fact that he is alive. So alive, in fact he appeared in court to appeal the 1994 decision that declared he was dead after disappearing from his home eight years earlier.
His presence in the court room was not enough to overturn the ruling.

Hancock County Probate Court Judge, Allan Davis ruled that to the state of Ohio he was a dead-man, whilst remaining uncertain if he was ruling literally or figuratively. Apparently the statute of limitations means that a ruling of death can only be overturned within three years of the ruling.

Apparently if buried alive this means there is three years to break free of your coffin and claw your way through six feet of dirt to reach the surface, like some morbid Japanese game show.

The Judge said “We've got the obvious here. A man sitting in the courtroom, he appears to be in good health, I don't know where that leaves you, but you're still deceased as far as the law is concerned.”[1]

It is worth noting that his ex-wife was also of the belief that, despite the aberration of his actual breathing, walking, talking being, he was still dead. Mainly because she could not afford to repay the benefits she received upon his ‘death’

It means he can not get a drivers license, social security, passport, mortgage. On the upside he is no longer exists so can do what he likes.

It could be the fulfillment of the childhood dream to be invisible. Eat groceries without paying for them, stand in the women’s change rooms, steal a sports car, enter into VIP area at major sporting events, concerts and society occasions.

If you are dead then one can not be punished. No responsibilty, no repercussions.

Go straight to the front of the line, drive on the wrong side of the road in peek hour traffic, double-dip the chip.

Sure, housing and transport initially create a problem, but the solution is simple, just walk into any house you like. Just walk in. If you are dead then you are not really there. At best the house is now haunted. If it helps carry a heavy chain, cover you’re head in a bed sheet and say ‘oooOOOOoooo” a bit. That’s what ghosts do, right? Well the do on Scooby Doo.  Transport is the same, jump into any vehicle, a passing car, bus, taxi whatever.

There is no cost, no fees, no insurance.

Unfortunately for Mr Miller missed to fulfill everyone’s adulthood dream of attending his own funeral. He did not even know he was dead until 2005.

His disappearance that precipitated this whole affair was his own doing. He fled to Florida and Georgia after losing his job and racking up a $26,000 debt in unpaid child support. His death was declared years after his disappearance These two facts may have made is funeral less than memorable. The reason everyone wants to attend their own funeral is to firstly see who attends, secondly listen to the great endearing stories about their life and thirdly to check out the quality and quantity of the carering at the wake. Attending his own funeral may have proven to be more than a disappointment. One might say it could have been a fate worse than death.

According to all of the movies, now that Mr Miller is legally a person who is legally dead, he will need to have blank eyes, loose all of his vocabulary replacing words with groans and walk with a lopsided shuffle/limp. Having his arms vertically in front of him although once considered mandatory now is thought of as optional.

[1] 11 October 2013 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


So Bonds has got an advertising campaign where they use their branding guidelines to promote “boobs”. What a surprise people have got upset and complained. Now everyone is talking about their adverts and their brand., thus making the strategy a success.

Is the word boobs really that offensive, every primary school aged child with a calculator can create it on the LCD screen when the maths class gets slow. Silly and immature, yes. Offensive, no.

And lets be frank some of Bonds range of under garments – bras if you cant work it out - are specifically for boobs. Using the calculator model Bonds could use “Boobless” to promote their men’s singlets

It gets a bit more challenging when it comes to underpants. Due to the limitations of letters that can be represented by numbers on a calculator Bonds might have to consider other words used by primary school children.

Here are a few suggestions
  • Doodle
  • Wee wee and pee pee (not sure which is which but one is male and the other female
  • Nuts
  • Botty
  • Bum – for some inexplicable reason this was on the banned list in my home when growing up

Socks, do feet have any nicknames or colloquialism that might be considered offensive by the most conservative members of the community? If not, “tootsies” might just have to do.

It would simplify advertising for other companies’ products if they just had to focus on the product use and describe it one childlike word
  • Tissues – booger
  • Deodorant – stinky
  • Toilet paper – poop
  • Viagra – stiffy