Stilnox and the Great Australian Sporting Sleep


It seems that the sleeping drug “Stilnox” has come into the headlines over the past couple of days.

Grant Hackett, Swimming Star of the 2000 & 2004 Olympics and almost star of the 2008 Olympics, has revealed that he was prescribed the drug by the Australian Sw2imming Team doctor from 2003 as he was having problems sleeping.

What was not told to him and what may not have been generally known is that there are side effects.

The revelations prompted (AOC president John) Coates and AOC chief operating officer Craig Phillips to review the peak sporting body’s medical manual following the claims aired by Hackett.

The revised medical manual includes a new section dealing with “sleep and relaxation strategies” and officials will be able to search rooms of athletes if they are suspected of using prescription medications at the Games.

“We’ve also decided to better highlight the guidelines attached to the team medical manual in respect of the use of caffeine.

“Because we are very worried about the vicious cycle of athletes taking caffeine as a performance-enhancer then needing to take drugs such as Stilnox to get to sleep,” Coates said.

So, from the admissions of one troubled athlete who has retired, talking about events from four years ago, there have been sudden and profound changes to the rules Australian athletes are forced to live under.

Just weeks before the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

In totally unrelated news, I note that the Australian Olympic Team is being sponsored by a Vitamin and Health tablet Company. This is really good news as anything healthy is good for athletes.

Especially if it can be used to increase advertising power and the credibility of the product.

Swisse  have done a great job tying their “Ultivite” range into a healthy, sporty, Australian lifestyle.

As I was walking through my local Chemist Shop yesterday I was pleased to note that they have quite a range of products. I was particularly taken by two products I hadn’t seen before.

And I thought to myself, “That is interesting. I wonder. Nah! It couldn’t possibly be linked.”

There is no way that Grant Hackett would be receiving money from Swisse to make the startling revelations above with this precise timing. Or that there is a possibility of an advertising campaign linking Australian Olympic Athletes to a Swisse sleep enhancing product.

So I wandered off to write the Stilnox story above knowing that there will never be any connection between the two thought strands in my mind.

As I wrote just below the bouncing Kangaroos. It is totally unrelated news.

Golf And Its Hazards


It could only happen in the Irish Open.

The ball avoids the water hazard but the golfer – – -

Richard Finch went on to win by two strokes. Probably freestyle.

A Special Tale in the Year of The Disgraced Olympics


I have played amateur sport for most of my life.

As an extremely competitive person, I have always been a believer in playing to the limit of the rules.

Yet being a “Good Sport” has always been important. Not taking an unfair advantage of my opponent.

I have seen many examples of good and sometimes great sportsmanship.

But it will be many years before I read of something as great as the sportsmanship recorded here.

Thanks to Metro from whom I burgled this wonderful tale and thanks to Jesus’ General who brought it to Metro’s attention.

Free Beijing Olympics


Found in our local give-away paper, I may use this several times in the lead-up to 08.08.08.

I don’t support an athlete boycott of the Olympics while we continue to trade with the country.

Then again, this would be an ideal opportunity for our elected leaders to show some morality and refuse to attend the Opening or Closing ceremonies.

The Chinese are very affected by “face” and the loss of face caused by such a threatened non-attendance by their peers could well instigate more change in China’s government than any number of athletes not attending.

Of course China has had the world’s worst human rights record for thousands of years. The famous Walls were built by labour forced from their homes in Southern China to the Northern borders. The human cost was estimated at one dead worker per metre of wall. There were around 10, 000 kilometres of wall built!

A few extra million dead in Tibet is simply a matter of accounting. And moving in replacements from elsewhere.

Now I bid farewell to my readers in China as I will almost certainly be banned in your country now.

Just For the Cricket Fans Amongst My Readers


I went back to my old Cricket Club the other night.

It was a twentieth anniversary and it was good to meet up with the guys I had played with over the last 15 years of my career.

Up on the wall was one of my early photos. From 1995.

When we had a visit from some of the West Australian State Cricket Squad. They came out to help our juniors for a day. I snapped a photo just for the fun of it. We put it up on the wall as a little bit of showing off.

A small amateur club which had ambitions above our station, we were proud that a Test Player had come out to visit us. Bruce Reid had played for Australia but his test career had ended three years earlier although he continued with the State Squad.

My memory had forgotten just who the other players were. It was a revelation to be reminded of their names.

Two of the others played for Western Australia. Sean Carey played for several seasons but the other one! Oh Boy, they don’t come any better than this guy. He is now a household name in cricketing countries around the world.

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The Honour Board is still there. It already had Buff’s name on it as Club Secretary. Five years after this photo was taken, my name appeared in the President’s list.

And Adam Gilchrist has probably forgotten all about that day nearly thirteen years ago!

But the image is one which is still valued by the Club and its members.

The Unlosable Golf Ball


I went out to play golf with my son and we were about to tee off, when I noticed that he only had one golf ball. “Don’t you have at least one other golf ball?” I asked. My son replied that no, he only needed the one.

“Are you sure?” I persisted. “What happens if you lose that ball?”

My son replied, “This is a very special golf ball. I won’t lose it so I don’t need another one.”

“Well,” I asked, “what happens if you miss your shot and the ball goes in the lake?”

“That’s okay,” he replied, “This special golf ball floats. I’ll be able to retrieve it.”

“Well what happens if you hit it into the trees and it gets lost among the bushes and shrubs?”

He replied, “That’s okay too. You see, this special golf ball has a homing beacon. I’ll be able to get it back – no problem.”

I was becoming a bit exasperated by now so I warned “Let’s say our game goes late, the sun goes down, and you hit your ball into a sand trap. What are you going to do then?”

“No problem.” said this annoying son, “This ball is florescent. I’ll be able to see it in the dark.”

Finally satisfied that he only needed the one golf ball, I asked, “Hey, where did you get a golf ball like that anyway?”

My son replied, “I found it.”

Ten Guin Bowling


This is one of the sports which will be lost to Global Climate Change

Swan River Drama


Yesterday.

It was the first warm day of Spring. A Sunday preparing for Summer. I was on my bacony, reading and gazing over the Swan River. My eye was caught by some strange activities close to the further shore.

A collection of boats where there is nothing to collect. People in the water.

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Then, most of the boats drifted away, I was able to see that the people in the water were interested in something in front of the grey dinghy.

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Ahh, As the dinghy moved away, I was able to see the problem. A sunken power boat.

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More boats kept arriving and leaving, probably asking if they could help and being told that things were under control.

“She’ll be right, mate.” was the most likely response from the wet and embarrassed crew.

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Eventually the wreck was refloated and a friendly tow arrived.

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And away they all go. Shepherded by a pack of racing yachts.

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 The rescued power boat crew are probably still looking for the drainage plug they forgot to insert.

It made a change from watching the dolphins hunting in the river.

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Those Magnificent Red Bulls in Their Flying Machines


The Roman Colosseum was originally named the “Flavian Amphitheatre”. This weekend the Swan River becomes the Fluvial Amphitheatre.

For this weekend the Red Bull Air Race series comes to an end here in Perth.

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Surrounding the Swan River, a human flood will surge on the dry side of the river banks and gasp at the skill and daring of the pilots who will be risking their lives.

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Climbing and diving, twisting between pylons in side-on, wing-down flight.

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Unlike Icarus they see how close they can come to the water’s surface, how far from the sun. Yet water could rip those wings off as easily as the sun melted the Greek’s wax-fixed pinions.

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Flying over the makeshift control tower, buzzing the officials, convincing the Gods of Flight that they are worthy of flying like falcons through the air.

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In front of an assembled multitude who, gaspingly say, “Oh, I hope he doesn’t make a mistake.”

Denying the secret wishes hidden inside most come for this bread and circuses event. The ancient close-kept and feared desire that those Gods of Flight will demand a sacrifice.

Today was just a practise session for the combatants in the Swan River Colosseum. The crowds will attend tomorrow and again on Sunday. All the pilots made it safe home today.

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The Truth (a meme)


Given that;

A) Wilco, the band, is on a par with Trent and his NIN’s and so quite inconsequential

B) Men and Women may be equal but they are certainly different

C) Gin IS better than Whisky

D) The unmentioned Gravity does, indeed suck!

E) Cricket is more enjoyable than Baseball.

I believe this to be the TRUTH.

Found through, and with thanks to, dorid

Stiletto Race


Now that the raincoaster has been suborned, sweet-talked and seduced by the flashy Manolo, there is no way she would be interested in the following.
High heels failed to stop a 24-year-old woman from sprinting the 100 metres in a creditable 14.7 seconds to take first prize and a large shopping voucher in the annual Berlin Stiletto Run on Saturday.

The event, one of the highlights of the Global Fashion Festival, was electronically timed.

The stiletto heels had to be at least 7 centimeters (2.75 inches) high and no more than 1.5 centimeters (0.6 inches) wide at the tip.

Hey, 14.7 seconds for a 100 metres is a pretty good pace – but to do it in stilettos? That is great going.

Denise Hanitzsch, a resident of the German capital, edged out 99 other competitors to take the prize of 10,000 euros.

“I have to run around every day with high heels on, and I’ve always been a good runner,” Hanitzsch told the German tabloid Bild.

Asked about her technique, Hanitzsch said: “Make your strides as big as possible and never let your foot roll back onto the heel.”

Asked how she would spend her prize — a €10,000 ($13,500) gift certificate for Berlin’s upscale KaDeWe department store — Hanitzsch told Bild: “On shoes! What else?”

101 Uses For A John Howard #75


Once again, Australia’s great cartoonist, Kudelka, makes his point with wonderful clarity.

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Legendary batsman W.G. Grace once, after being given out, calmly informed the umpire “The crowd has come to see me bat, not you umpire” and cheerfully continued on with his innings. W.G. Grace was not one for walking.

Fast forward to the equally legendary J.W. Howard, eleven years not out, lower lip jutting belligerantly down the pitch, P. Costello, sitting anxiously back in the pavilion, pads on, wondering whether it would be safe to nip into the toilets for a quick slash. Yes Pete, it’s safe. The little guy considers an upraised finger to be the umpire’s way of asking to be replaced by someone with better eyesight.

W.G.’s overall first class average of 39.45 is said to have been dragged down by his playing on well into his fifties, but while some might say there’s a lesson in that, I’ll leave the last words to bowler Charles Kortright who had already had W.G. out four or five times in a county match only to have his appeals turned down by the umpires. Finally after uprooting two of Grace’s three stumps, with Grace reluctantly leaving the crease, Kortright asked “Surely you’re not going, doctor? There’s still one stump standing.”

Archie Archive: Defeating John Howard and winning the election, one post at a time. 

Cougar Hunting


Two good Montana buddies were out hunting for a cougar that was killing their sheep. They staked out an area of the woods near their fields, and waited.

After a while, sure enough, there came the cougar. They patiently waited until it was
close, and then they both jumped up and shot it at the same time. They couldn’t tell whose bullet had taken the cougar’s life!

They decided to share the credit, and also to have the cougar stuffed, and they decided to take turns keeping the stuffed cougar.

However, this arrangement turned out not to be to their liking. Instead, they decided to divide the stuffed cougar in two, and flip a coin for who would get which end. Bill lost, and ended up with a mounted trophy of the cougar’s rear.

So even though shooting the cougar was a great sporting victory, Bill thought, … it was nothing but a catastrophe.

Storm Surfer


Trigg Island Beach, on the shores of the Indian Ocean.

Not a world-class break, but acceptable for those whose lives are dictated to by the need to earn a living in Perth’s currently booming economy.

The break was made worse by strong onshore storm winds and a nasty chop.

Yet still there were rideable waves for this enthusiast.

Posted for the Papersurfer since, once again, he did not surf today and for any other surfing readers of this archive.

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Hunting the Hunters


Setting out onto the ocean blue can have its moments.

Travelling a few kilometres into the  Indian Ocean can lead to interesting encounters.

On Sunday, Pat McCarthy and his two sons set out, in a 6 metre (18ft) boat for a quiet day wreaking havoc upon the piscine inhabitants of the  Ocean, with a camera on hand to record their wonderful achievements.

In what seemed to be a good spot, with two other boats nearby, the day’s fishing began. Suddenly the tables were turned.

A Great White in excess of 5 metres suddenly appeared and for around half an hour the hunters were hunted by the circling Jaws Junior.

More images are available with a click.

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