Monday, July 28, 2014

Plan Early: 5 Gifts For Your Old Man This Father’s Day

This is a guest post from The Basket Factory, suppliers of gifts for all people and occasions.

Dad & son
Just when you think there are no more designated days on the horizon, Father’s Day comes around. You then realise that you have wasted all your awesome gift ideas on celebrations that occurred earlier in the year, and are now at a loss for what your old man might want. Not to worry—there are more options than you’d think. Rather than focusing on specific items, the five headings below contain generalisations of potential gift ideas, as a way of giving the reader more leeway when making their final decision.

Gift Basket

A decent gift basket will never disappoint. Simply the idea of being handed a basket of various goods complete with cellophane wrapping and a sizable ribbon is an enchanting one. Though what specifically should a Father’s Day gift basket consist of? Well, according to The Basket Factory, it could be just about anything. Some baskets have a savoury theme of cheeses, nuts and beer, and others a dessert theme of expensive Merlot and quality chocolate brands.

Baked Goods

Anything done by your own hand demonstrates a degree of effort and care for whomever it may be for, which is why you can never go wrong with baking (even when you do go wrong). You could bake muffins, brownies, a celebratory cake; it doesn’t matter too much, so long as it consists of a lot of sugary ingredients—sweet foods tend to symbolise affection a bit more than homemade fries.

Nifty Gadgets

They may be pointless, but they’re undoubtedly cool and so much fun for a day to both own and brag about to friends and family (more than once). A nifty gadget is essentially any gadget that aims to impress—if only the person who owns it—for example, a navigator, a digital watch with multiple functions, a telescope (if only for presentation), an espresso machine, an iPod, a pair of headphones, and so on. Each of the gadgets mentioned have one thing in common: your dad would find them cool.

Necessary Gadgets

They may be boring, but they are essential to own, particularly if you’re raising a family and managing a household. If your mother is failing to encourage your father to spend more time helping in the kitchen, buy him a kitchen set, or some more BBQ tools, or if he’s more of a handy man, a new and improved toolbox. He might also appreciate some new shaving utensils, such as aftershave, an electric razor, or even some cologne.

Ironic Gifts

In the case of Father’s Day, a gift with a touch of irony (more or less) tends to be a novelty item that either makes reference to something of pop culture value, or satirises dad-humour in a way that makes you cringe even more than if your dad were saying it. For example: a fan boy t-shirt, a Female Body Inspector baseball cap, a mug that reads “Not All Heroes Wear Capes”, or even a poster featuring your dad’s most hated film. Any of these would be acceptable as an ironic gift, just as long as your dad understands the reference. Otherwise there’s no point.

Now that you have been either informed or reminded of the Father’s Day gift options, you can rest assured that virtually anything you buy will contain value in your old man’s life. And even if it doesn’t, you can rest assured that he will pretend that it does.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Gambling. My Story. There's Many Ways to Get Help Campaign.

This is an important article. If you have a gambling problem, please refer this link, There's Many Ways To Get Help.

I take a look at my bank account often. Generally these looks and an audible *sigh* go hand in hand.

I'm definitely not a person in dire straits though. There are worse bank accounts out there than mine, of this I am certain.

These days, I am debt free, but that doesn't mean things can't get better. For one thing, less shoes magically appearing under my wife's side of the bed. That would greatly help my bank account.

My dog deciding to get a job would also be fantastic. Perhaps she could star in her own TV series. It could be called "Things you shouldn't eat". Good idea or am I barking mad?

Gambling is a current daily problem for many
On a serious note though, the major annoyance in my life is Gambling ads.

Now, I'm not about to let you all know that I have a terrible gambling problem, far from it. I think I have enough will power to ignore the betting ads, but there isn't a day that goes by that I don't see some form of gambling advertising or the odds for some type of event.

I am sports mental. I read a fair bit of sports news and I also have the Fox Sports channel.

I estimate that I see at least five gambling ads a day. Hell, just when watching YouTube I am bombarded with a gambling ad at the start of almost every video.


We can't even look at the sky to get away from a gambling ad!!

Yes, that's right. One gambling company decided to fly a giant Jesus hot air balloon in the sky in an arrogant stunt. I mean, seriously.

I admit I have a sports betting account. But this is where my concern lies. I'm a person who would only ever have a bet around the Melbourne Cup, just like many other people in Australia.

Now, with everyone owning smart phones and so many ads on the telly every single day, it’s so easy to get sucked in just like I did.

$5 on my beloved Adelaide Crows to win?! Yeah, I’ll take that bet because it is so easy for me to just pull out my phone and push a button.

It's super easy and so quick to gamble your money away with the flick of a finger.

What's also concerning is the big gambling sites that offer free money if you become a member. This is where I got caught. Free money for someone like me was enough for me to see what was going on.

So I signed up and didn't win a single thing.

What's more is that after the first few bets, a few more came along. I stopped when I was $100 out of pocket. That was enough for me.

I'd hate to think how much other people are down. My will power is good enough to quit at $100 down. Are other people as strong? Is the constant bombardment of advertising on the telly today too much? And is it causing more problems than there ever was?

Pull up a chair kiddies, it's story time

I can remember being about eight years old working with my Grandpa at the dog tracks. I'd help sell entry tickets and my Pop would train and race dogs.

I never saw him have a single bet. All I saw was him talking with his dog mates.

Mingling with his mates over a beer or two, laughing about how much better his dogs were than the others.

Sure, gambling was the main thing the dog track was about, but it was so much more than that.

It was about Aussie blokes having a good time out and about, not sitting in their lounge room watching sports channels and putting a bet on a lucky number.

Why can't gambling only exist in live venues? Why don't we just have that? Why not make it hard enough so people have to pull themselves out of their pyjamas and go to the local pub or footy oval to place a bet? I wish it wasn’t so easy for people to hand over their hard earned money to large overseas betting agencies.

We are never going to get rid of gambling. There is no point in trying to eradicate it completely and I don't want to do that.

But I would like to take gambling advertising off my screens, out of my newspapers, and away from my Fantasy AFL sites.

I don't care about the odds or how much money I could win betting on a draw in the World Cup.

All I want to do is crack open a tinnie with my mates and tell them how much better my team is than theirs.

So, to all the betting companies - get all the gambling bollocks out of my face and let me go about my own business without trying to sell me yours.

The constant gambling ads are being thrown too far down our throats on a daily basis. I want these agencies to get their dirty fingers out of our pockets and let us make our own choices.

What do you think about advertising and gambling? Keep them out of our homes and smartphones?

If you would like helping information with a gambling problem, visit this link today, There's Many Ways to Get Help.

And if you or someone you care about is experiencing problems with gambling, there are many ways to get help. For free, confidential support call Gambler's Help on 1800 858 858 or visit to find the support that’s right for you.

- tork

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cost Cutting Tips For Car Owners

This is a guest post from the Motor Accident Legal Service, a one stop shop for people involved in accidents involving motor vehicles.

Buying a car is exciting and many people talk about the deal they got and the price they paid for weeks after the new automobile arrives in the driveway, but the real cost of a car is not the one-off purchase price; it’s the ongoing expenses. Here’s some helpful information on how to keep those costs down.

Tune It Up

A well maintained vehicle runs more efficiently than a poorly maintained one and this pays dividends in the long run. If you ensure your vehicle is serviced well and regularly, not only will it use less fuel keeping your petrol bills under control, but you’ll also reduce wear and tear on the rest of the vehicle. This means less replacement parts like new tyres or brake pads, less often. Make sure you remember to check your tyre pressure too; driving on tyres with low tyre pressure can make you use more fuel than you need to. On the subject of tyres, ensuring your car’s wheel alignment is straight also helps keep your car’s running costs down, not to mention the improvement such an adjustment will have on your car’s wear and tear – both engine and rubber bits will thank you.

Drive Cheaply

It’s true – there is a cheap way to drive your car, and an expensive way. The cheaper way is to drive your car smoothly, avoiding stop-starts and sudden halts. Driving in a jerky manner has been found to add as much as 30% to a car’s fuel bill. It also costs you less to drive your car more slowly. In fact, it’s estimated that for every 8 km/h you accelerate, your fuel consumption rises a corresponding 7%. It’s also important to slow down to avoid a car accident or injury. Even though there are helpful services such as Motor Accident Legal Service to help you out if you get in an accident - you should always try your best to avoid one.

Gas Caps

Almost 20% of cars have faulty or missing gas caps and while this presents a safety hazard every time you stop your car for fuel, it also harms your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. A new gas cap costs less than $20 on average and not only will you reduce your fuel costs, but you’ll cut down on the fumes released by your car as well, so it’s the green thing to do.

Go Easy on Your Brakes – And Clear out Your Boot

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop your car when you need to, but avoid actively riding the brake. Riding the brake pedal can add as much as 35% to your car’s fuel consumption. It also wears out your brake pads which add to the maintenance costs of your car. Clearing out your car boot is another way to cut the cost of running a car. For every 45 kilos carried around in your car boot, your vehicle loses 1-2% of its fuel efficiency, so clearing out the trunk every week or so makes good sense.

There are many ways to keep your car running costs down and while each small saving may seem very minor, these tips for car owners can make a big difference to the overall cost of owning a car.

Do you have a motoring cost cutting tip you’re particularly proud of? Share it in the comments box below.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

In the AFL, you'll get away with being racist and laughing at poofters.


Yes, I've had enough.  I've had words stirring in my melon for weeks/months now.

The AFL has been giving me the shits.

Tonight, Brian Taylor called Harry Taylor a poofter.

Now, I didn't see the incident BT was referring too, but I have heard his comments through the wonders of the internet.

Brian Taylor was referring to Harry Taylor's wave to the crowd, which I understand it to be similar to her Majesty the Queen's royal wave.

He has since apologised for saying "I am up here getting ready for the game and I’ve just seen that crap from Harry - he’s a big poofter".

His apology is "In the pre-game show I said something that I regret, and I sincerely apologise in regard to Harry Taylor and anyone, and particularly Harry and any of his friends, that were offended by my remark. I apologise for that and I sincerely regret any harm that I have caused."

Now, I'm not going to get stuck into Brian Taylor's comments, even though what he said is something that is totally intolerable for a broadcaster or anyone to be saying, with poofter being a slang and derogatory word for homosexual.

I'm getting my two cents in before something happens such as a ban from the media or the sacking of Brian Taylor in his role.

If Brian Taylor gets given the arse then there are obvious double standards within the media and the AFL. Sure, by referring to being gay is the equivalent of being a loser is not acceptable, but the past history of acceptance of other outrageous comments is my issue.

Bring in Eddie McGuire's comments for has racist outburst referring Aboriginal Adam Goodes to a monkey on national radio.

Eddie McGuire, President of Collingwood Football club, radio host, TV Host, AFL commentator etc. A blatant, racist remark that was immediately shunned by his on-air peers and everyone else reading the newspapers.

What was McGuire's punishment? The AFL had ordered McGuire to mediation with Goodes and to take tolerance classes, with a fine of up to $20,000.

Eddie still does all his media commitments.  He is still the President of the Collingwood football club. He is still the face I see hosting the footy on Foxtel. I don't think he even was temporarily banned from any of his appointments at the time of his racsit slur.  In fact, he was on TV more to cover his backside for his idiocy.

Unbelievable isn't it.

My point is, if Brian Taylor loses his job, the media and AFL has double standards.

Sack them both!!  Sack Brian Taylor, sack Eddie McGuire.

While I'm there, let's point our finger at the other broadcasters for laughing at BT's comments.

Pfft... they'll all get away with it.

But I hate how just because Eddie McGuire has a big grip in the AFL, being a President and also being a charitable person for indigenous groups as well as charities, that his outrageously insensitive remarks didn't take it's toll one little bit.  That Eddie McGuire kept all his sponsorships, kept all his high profile roles.

It did take it's toll though. It affected any Aborigine that heard it, this I can assure you.

Makes me so mad that even though he was completely embarrassed, he's gotten away with it.

So, if Brian Taylor loses his job for his homosexual comments, even temporarily, everyone is going to be rejoicing in the streets. Yes, he is totally the most annoying broadcaster and his comments are completely wrong and stupid, but bring harsher penalties to McGuire, the owner of the forgotten racist slur that the AFL has swept under the rugs.

I'm not even touching the AFL umpire Razor Ray using the 'retarded' word in game.

I'd rant and rave more, but I'd just be here, typing away too long.

I do apologise though for giving more breath to previous racism, hence why I was sitting on this post for a while. For that I am sorry, but know I am thankful for the wonderful Aboriginal culture and stories that I will one day teach to my own child.

Anyway, that's enough from me.  Love to hear from you guys.

- tork