Saturday, July 1

Risky assessment

An article on the ABC News site questioning the effectiveness of imprisoning paedophiles has sparked this rare outburst of blogging.

Three psychiatrists have raised serious concerns about the ongoing detention of convicted paedophiles, saying there is no proof the jail terms reduce rates of sexual assault.

"If we went on public opinion we'd either never release them from prison or impose even more draconian sentences.

"In fact we'd probably impose the death penalty - that's how a lot of people feel."

There’s a commonly used concept called risk assessment. Any hazard, eg abuse of children by a known paedophile, can be assessed for risk by multiplying factors of severity and likelihood of the occurrence.

The higher the risk, the stronger the control needed.

If an offender is assessed as being likely to re-offend then it’s obvious that the best solution is remove the hazard. Which is more important, the liberty of children or the of rock spiders who have cashed in their rights with a lack of self-control? The answer is clear – lock up the offender.

The public might actually be right about this one. The recent assault on the eight-year girl in Perth will have a long-standing effect on people’s freedom and trust. Consider the number of families who will modify their behaviour to counter prospects of this occurring again. The net result is a significant reduction in freedom. Locking up a 21 year-old is a small price to pay.

Imprisonment is effective in that it removes the hazard from the community. The prospect need not be permanent if assessments show there is a limited risk.

If the prospects of rehabilitation are limited by long sentences then let the gaol term be determined by regular re-assessment.

It is rubbish to say that ongoing detention does not reduce the rate of assault. While locked up, they can’t offend – simple!

Saturday, June 17

Good news

Bill Whittle has made an appearance and is promising more...

Tuesday, May 30

Why does this upset me?

Reconciliation Week began on 26 May and I’m pleased to say that DAIS got a jump on this with two events taking place even before the week started. At this month’s managers’ briefing on 25 May the conference room on level 13 in Wakefield House was officially named the David Unaipon Room.
I was joined by Judy Kropinyeri, a descendant of Mr Unaipon, to unveil a plaque to mark the occasion. Later that day, Minister Wright launched the DAIS Aboriginal Employment Strategy 2006-2009 which focuses on attracting and retaining Aboriginal employees. I’m very proud of the work done by our Corporate Human Resources team whose drive, commitment and willingness to embrace new ways of doing things resulted in the development of this strategy. A working group from our Reconciliation Committee has put together an exciting program of events to celebrate Reconciliation Week in DAIS. These include a didgeridoo and art class being held today at State Records in Leigh Street, a cultural tour of the Botanical Gardens, a screening of Why Me? and art exhibitions at various DAIS sites including Wakefield House where employees can sample bush food. I encourage you to get involved throughout this week to show your support for reconciliation.

State taxes or department budgets are being spent on this.
Executives that are too busy to get core business out of the way will be spending time on this.
It could be reconciliation, arts, women’s development, or paving dirt roads – its not what the department is responsible for.
And for every piece of affirmative action is an equal and opposite effect somewhere down the line (The Grinder’s personal theorem on social engineering).

Super size me

MELBOURNE: New ambulances for fat patients will be built under a $3 million funding package to be unveiled in the Victorian state Budget. The reinforced ambulances will be able to transport patients weighing up to 350 kg.
The ambulances will include specialist equipment, such as heavy-duty wheelchairs, stretchers and lifters. Five new ambulances will be built as a direct reaction to Australia’s obesity epidemic. Treasurer John Brumby will announce the funding when he delivers the Bracks Government’s sixth Budget.
The obesity epidemic is reportedly taking its toll on paramedics, who face occupational health and safety risks in lifting heavy patients. The $3 million ambulance funding aims to protect paramedics as well as ensuring ambulances can cater for obese patients.

Homer in mumu

Saturday, May 27

Management wisdom

My manager forwarded these...

"As of tomorrow, employees will only be able to access the building using individual security cards. Pictures will be taken next Wednesday, and employees will receive their cards in two weeks." (This was the winning quote from Fred Dales, Microsoft Corp. in Redmond WA)

"What I need is an exact list of specific unknown problems we might encounter" (Lykes Lines Shipping)

"E-mail is not to be used to pass on information or data. It should be used only for company business." (Accounting manager, Electric Boat Company)

"This project is so important we can't let things that are more important interfere with it." (Advertising/Marketing manager, United Parcel Service)

"Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the schedule." (Plant Manager, Delco Corporation)

Quote from the Boss: "Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say." (Marketing executive, Citrix Corporation)

"We know that communication is a problem, but the company is not going to discuss it with the employees." (Switching supervisor, AT&T Long Lines Division)

Wednesday, May 24

I want to go again.

On a lighter note, today I experienced a real treat. In a bid to escape the office for the day I was taking part in a multi-agency operation in metro Adelaide. When things were a bit quiet I was asked if I’d like to come for a spin in a highway patrol car.

Accelerating and speeding through the streets was invigorating. From inside the car the purr of eight cylinders winding up was music to the ears. It was like taking a trip back to the days of being a teenager and going for a fang in a mate’s over-powered car.

But the real euphoria came form knowing I wasn’t going to lose my licence, nor anyone else thanks to the blue and red lights whirring above. In fact there wasn’t anyone to fear. It was like removing the shackles of nearly two decades of maturity and conditioning – and not a drop of alcohol was required.

RIP Jack

A visit to vet and the diagnosis wasn’t good for Jack. The seven year-old English rabbit in all likelihood he had smashed his head pretty bad. There were no broken bones but the bulging eyes, partial blindness and paraplegia were all symptoms of a severe brain haemorrhage.

The neighbour warned that a fox had recently dug up a chicken they’d buried, so I dug down about 2 feet and after filling the hole put the hutch on top. A little unconventional for a headstone, but better than finding a chewed up carcass on the lawn.

Grindling #1 one cried all the way home and sobbed for most of the evening. Grindling #2 broke in to tears at bed time when he realised bunny wasn’t coming back.

Tuesday, May 23

Nothing to say

but thanks to Grant

Sunday, May 21

Evil potato chips

As with the pathway to hell, tonight’s recipe was born of good intentions. The idea was to add a little flavour to some of the plainest oven-baked fries ever.

2 cups of ‘guilt-free’ or ‘healthy choice’ frozen chips.
50 grams of real butter
1/2 cup of olive oil
Paper towel

This is a totally healthy recipe. It has to be. With only 50 grams of healthy natural butter, healthy olive oil (they're a fruit?) and cholesterol-free chips!

1.Warm the oil in a frypan and melt the butter using a medium-high setting on the stovetop.
2. As the butter begins to change colour add the frozen chips and let the shallow frying begin.
3. Brown the chips on one side and turn. Switch off the stove once all chips have been turned.
4. Heat up the oven to a moderate heat ~ 200c.
5. Line an oven tray with paper towel and place chips one layer deep.
6. Allow them to cool and coat with salt (try not to eat more than half of them)
7. Now put them in the oven to “bake away the oil” for as long as it takes.

I think the trick was only part frying them and also cooling them before baking. Somehow the potato turns into little sponge fingers of buttery oil. Hmmm mmm.
Nothing healthy about these chips at all.

What was Tigger looking for?

This afternoon the Grinder clan took a walk around the block to checkout the local subdivisions and admire how people are managing to fit five-bedroomed houses on postage stamp sized blocks.

Four times the emergency call went out to trailing walkers, “Poo! Watch your step.” Why must people own dogs anyway?

The experience brought back fond memories of a post from nearly two years ago. Maybe it’ll catch on this year.

[What’s the name of that pastime of Googling and getting only one result? Check out “National dog baiting day”]

Internet skills lacking

I really would like to diagnose what’s wrong with the Grinder’s pet rabbit. Mrs G came home Friday to find the rabbit unable to lift its head and dragging its hind legs. There was a little blood on his coat but not a lot.

The only other possible factors are a dent in his caging from the inside (same height as a rabbit running in to it) and word that there’s a fox in the neighbourhood.

After two days, the rabbit aint much better. He eats and drinks from a cup – no longer able to reach up to drink from his bottle. He struggles to keep his head up for more than a few seconds. Sometime he can get the back feet working enough to crawl a metre or two. After a short while he stops and stoops. The ears stay up and the eyes are wide open in a spooky kind of way.

I suspect he’s seen the fox, taken a bolt for his hutch and missed, resulting in some sort of neck or spinal injury. But do you think I can find any sort of clue on the net?

If he survives another few days but doesn’t improve it might be time to Google ‘pet euthanasia’.

Monday, April 24

Its not OK, okay!

Its not OK, okay!

Today we are as time critical as ever – seeking any shortcut or abbreviation to get us wherever we’re going quicker. Certainly SMS or texting demostrates this latest trend. Why type ‘great’ when you can depress the ‘8’ key four times to spell ‘gr8’ and alleviate the err… cumbersome four button presses to complete the ‘eat’?

Look at the savings:

Gr = 1 press of ‘4’ key + 3 presses ‘7’ key
8 = 4 presses of ‘8’ key
eat = 2 presses of ‘3’ key + 1 press of ‘2’ key + 1 press of ‘8’ key.

Gr8 = 8 key strokes
Great = 8 key strokes


Actually, what people do with their phones is their business. My pet hate is with the mindless shortening of the word ‘okay’. The abbreviation requires the use of the shift key plus optional punctuation with full stops – where’s the efficiency in that?

Its also ugly when in printed form. A sentence can roll along nicely and excluding a few meaningful abbreviations usually contains the one capital at the beginning. Why must ‘okay’ be shortened to ‘OK’?

Maybe ‘OK’ could be justified in hand-written notes, but in typed text? I don’t know why it bugs me so much, more so in respected publications. It doesn’t seem proper - its lower than spelling ‘gaol’ as ‘jail’.

Am I alone on this?

Sunday, April 23

Old Friends

Amongst the thoughts in a holding pattern awaiting the Grinders clearance to land is the usual collection of "I really ought to get around to's" and “I really must catch up with's.”

Last week the congestion increased when flight GrinderCom began circling and radioed flight control. “Just how long has it been? I don’t care. Is it rude to walk away without a farewell? Do I have anything left to say? I suppose this counts as inspiration. Has the fire gone out?”

Well the answers to these questions and more don’t lie on the internet. The Grinder's special workshop is amidst major refurbishment and the level of activity has mainly kept the demons at bay. I’m also working on the theory that reduced net time equates to a thinner waistline. So no promises from this neglected URL.

Tuesday, February 21


A remarkable view from within an agency helping people who don't help themselves (other than to taxpayer funded services). Courtesy of another whingy, whiney public servant from Adelaide that probably says more than they’re allowed to about working for the government. Good stuff.

Friday, February 17

More eye candy

This interactive device includes a few that Hew Hefner might have rejected but still worth visiting just to get a rise out of the Missus. Be sure to click on the images to complete the experience.

If you have the bandwidth, my guess is there's more in store at the same place

And here are a few more images pilfered from various emails of late that should keep the site visits ticking.


Forum alternative

Instead of booking your seat at the convention centre next month, maybe a nice cruise in a catamaran with a few attire-challenged lasses is more to your taste. Be sure to treat that funny fungal growth on your toe before taking any happy snaps though.

Get out your diaries and clear Friday 10 March

Here’s an absolute gem from the deluge of internal spam and propaganda that blows out government inboxes in these parts…

Where We've Been, Where We Are and Where We're Going
A Forum for Aboriginal Women in the South Australian Public Sector

The Office of Public Employment celebrates and acknowledges the important role Aboriginal women make, not only to their families and communities, but also to the South Australian Public Sector. This forum provides an opportunity for Aboriginal Public Sector women to take time out to reflect on their achievements, look ahead to the future and enjoy themselves in the now.

The forum will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre on 10 March 2006 to coincide with International Women's Day Week.

Registration closes Friday 3rd March, 2006.
I ask that Agencies support and encourage all Aboriginal women in the public sector to attend.

Commissioner Public Employment
Office of Public Employment
Our vision is to foster an inclusive, ethical, high performing, & accountable public sector

Monday, February 13


My apologies to faithful visitors who have been holding out with the hope of a new and interesting post. I doubt this will qualify but it’s my blog and this has been the first opportunity in a long time when I have been both willing and able.

Excuse for not blogging #1
Since December, every ounce of spare metal capacity has been diverted to another quest – the pursuit of promotion. In private enterprise you might channel you energy into increased performance, efficiency and show a bit of incentive. In the Pubic Circus there are two routes, neither has any connection with the aforementioned qualities.

Option one for promotion is to win an internal vacancy – the odds are steep and all too often dependent on other factors like gender. Option two is a shortcut to option one but in typical Public Cervix fashion requires twice as much work. Hence I’m pleased to advise my recovery from gender reassignment surgery is coming along well.

Excuse for not blogging #2 has been a lot more fun. I’ve taken leave to put up the long-awaited carport. I have not ached so much in my entire life and it feels good. The feeling of accomplishment is akin to climbing Everest, the feeling in my legs from climbing up and down the ladder for days on end certainly supports the notion.

Not being a big fan of cryptic puzzles I would probably not have taken on the task of self-installing a carport kit had I known how poor the instructions were. Fortunately the puzzle slowly transforms into a functional addition to the house.

Here is some wisdom:

Colourbond is a weatherproof coating that looks great.
Don’t cut it with an angle grinder or any sort of blade that involves heat – it’ll spoil the finish.
Don’t remove the protective covering until the components are in place. This will reduce scratching.
Don’t leave the protective covering on when installed because you’ll find it difficult to remove from various contact points. (Seemingly a contradiction – I suspect only Confucius can solve such a mystery)
Don’t let the covering bake on in the sun and/or rain. Preferably store under your carport.
Don’t forget to cut the covering along both sides of the metal seam before trying to tear it off in situ.
When resorting to circular saws and angle grinders – remember to remove the adjoining plastic coating so that it doesn’t become encrusted the singed bubbling mess that was your colourbond surface.

I now have the latest colouring effect in protective coatings – the distressed colourbond finish.

Take time to think through how exactly you’re going to lift that 8 metre long purlin 3 metres in the air, put it in place and secure it when you’re at home on your own.

Don’t listen to the little voice that says “I don’t feel like wearing sunscreen today”

Carefully design the mitre joints of your gutters, rivet and seal them on the ground before gently raising the floppy construction to the eaves. It wont produce a better finish compared with working in situ but it makes no difference when the whole thing plummets to the ground and tears every rivet apart anyway.

Measure everything three times and then have your neighbour come over and correct you just as you commence a critical cut.

Keep your two-stroke generator handy to power hand drills etc on the sick day you take to finish the purlins only to find there’s a power outage for five hours (Adelaide residents only).
(10AM Power hotline: No known outage in your area
11AM Power hotline: Crews are yet to report
12PM Power hotline: Power is out due to a SCHEDULED outage. Please call if supply is not re-established by 3.30PM)

Normally conservative measures might save a few $$$ on materials, but after a day of concreting when you purchased all your concrete products upfront, a leftover bag of cement powder better represents $7 you should have put in the footings rather than savings for a rainy day.

Only smart arses know to look at a row of posts and check your work for accuracy.

Maybe Confucius would also like explain why its okay to use an 11 mm drill bit for a 10 mm bolt, but a 10 mm discrepancy on a 3-metre beam, (that’s a 0.3% error) will cost your dearly throughout the entirety of the project.

Saturday, January 28

Who Killed Bill?

Thankfully Nobody, a hyphen on the blogroll for Eject Eject Eject alerts readers to signs of life. There's no essay but a teaser good enough to keep the hopefuls hanging on a little longer for their next fix.

Friday, January 20

Email fodder

From the rubik cube to the ipod - how far have we really progressed?

In 1981
1. Prince Charles got married
2. Liverpool were crowned soccer Champions of Europe
3. Australia lost the cricket Ashes tournament
4. The Pope died

In 2005

1. Prince Charles got married
2. Liverpool were crowned soccer Champions of Europe
3. Australia lost the cricket Ashes tournament
4. The Pope died

Clearly Prince Charles should not be allowed to remarry.

Don't ask me I just regurgitate the stuff.