Pressing Play on Christmas Music


You may not want to hear it but it’s less than a month until Christmas. Shopping centres pulled the decorations out of the box weeks ago but more and more of us will be decorating our homes in the coming days.

I must admit that I’ve already hit the play button on my Christmas music selection. I’ve got a few hundred Christmas songs on my iPod and they’ve already been filling our home with Yuletide cheer … whatever that is. Everyone from Michael Buble to Diana Krall, Bing Crosby, Run DMC, Barry White, The Wiggles, Guy Sebastian, Jimmy Barnes and even Russel Coight, along with many others, are singing about Christmas on our stereo.

What is your favourite Christmas music?

Do you have a favourite Christmas song? Do you have a favourite artist at Christmas time? Does Mariah Carey’s very successful Christmas album get a spin at your place each December?

I’m not a huge fan of the song Little Drummer Boy but I am a fan of both Bing Crosby and David Bowie so I love hearing their Little Drummer Boy / Peace On Earth medley around this time every year. The chat at the start of the video is cheesy and somewhat awkward but I just love it. Enjoy.

Let me know about your musical tastes around Christmas.

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Stopping the Violence in Our Homes


There is so much on our news today that could make us wonder if it’s safe to even walk out of our front doors, but for many, they’re not even safe in their own homes. How can this be happening in Australia?

When you look across an entire year you’ll see that on average, one woman is killed every week by a current or former partner in Australia. One in four young Australians are exposed to domestic violence. In such an amazing country, how have we allowed this to happen? Are we prepared to let this continue?

You might feel that domestic violence is someone else’s problem but with it having such a dramatic effect across our nation, it’s everyone’s problem. White Ribbon Australia calling on men, women, workplaces, young people and the whole community to uncover secrets and help stop men’s violence against women.

White Ribbon is Australia’s only national, male led Campaign to end men’s violence against women.

All women live in safety free from all forms of men’s violence.

Making women’s safety a man’s issue too.

The campaign works through primary prevention initiatives involving awareness raising and education, and programs with youth, schools, workplaces and across the broader community.

Today is White Ribbon Day. We all need to make this our issue. Take a few minutes to watch the video below.

I will stand up, speak out and act to prevent men’s violence against women.

Now that you’ve watched the video, take the oath to stand up, speak out and act to prevent domestic violence. If you’re still wondering what you can do about it, spend a bit of time checking out the White Ribbon website. While you’re there, I hope you’ll also throw in a few dollars to help the White Ribbon cause.

This violence must stop. You must be part of the solution.

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Go Home!!


Working back a little today? Need to do a little unpaid overtime? Think again. It’s officially Go Home on Time Day. Yep … that’s actually a thing.

National Go Home on Time Day is an initiative of The Australia Institute, Australia’s most influential progressive think tank.

The day was conceived in 2009 as a light-hearted way to start a serious conversation about the impact of poor work/life balance on our health, relationships and workplaces.

Now in its seventh year, Go Home on Time Day on Wednesday 18 November is a great way to recognise that life doesn’t need to revolve around work.

If you’re someone who feels you need to go above and beyond … all the time … it’s probably time to reassess.

While many people can afford to be a little more conscientious at work, there’s a growing number of employees who are putting a little too much effort into their work at the expense of family, friends and relaxation.

The Australia Institute doesn’t just thing that the extra time you’re putting in is hurting you, your family and your relationships, they believe it’s hurting Australia. You can read their full report here. So if putting in all those extra hours is something you’ve been meaning to deal with at some time, make that time today and go home on time. Then start to think through how to pull back those hours that really do belong to you. Do it not only for yourself but for those you love. Here are a few hints to get you started.

Measures that could improve work life balance include:
1. Starting a conversation about work life balance with your employer.
2. Deciding what time you are going home before you go to work
3. Scheduling activities after work to ensure you leave on time
4. Improving workplace practices around recognising and responding to work
related stress.
5. Requiring all organisations that employ more than 100 staff to publish the
results of an externally conducted, and nationally consistent, survey of
employee satisfaction.

So … what time are you going home today?

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Just Give Me Some Space

Travel Annoyances

I’ve got to admit that I enjoy flying. It goes beyond just the knowledge that I’m about to travel to some interesting destination. I actually enjoy the process of getting there … most of the time.

There are moments on a plane that don’t thrill me. My main frustration is being seated next to someone with no sense of personal space. Yes, I know that the armrest isn’t very wide, but you still have to share it. And don’t get me started on people who think that the fact they have limited legroom means that their legs should stretch into my small area of the plane.

According to Expedia’s 2015 Airplane Etiquette Study, which was released this week, those participating in the U.S. study find seat kickers to be the worst thing to endure on a flight.

When asked to choose from a list of annoying behaviors, 61 percent of 1,019 study respondents cited butt-kickers as the worst of the worst.

“Inattentive Parents,” parents who exhibit little or no control over their children, ranked a close second with 59 percent; while the “Aromatic Passenger,” that passenger who exhibits poor hygiene or is in some other way giving off a strong scent, was the third least-liked fellow traveler, garnering 50 percent of the vote.

There were plenty of other annoyances mentioned by survey respondents. Here’s the full list according to the study.

1. Rear Seat Kicker (cited by 61% of study respondents)
2. Inattentive Parents (59%)
3. The Aromatic Passenger (50%)
4. The Audio Insensitive (talking or music) (50%)
5. The Boozer (45%)
6. Chatty Cathy (43%)
7. Carry-On Baggage Offenders (38%)
8. The Queue Jumper (rushes to deplane) (35%)
9. Seat-Back Guy (the seat recliner) (32%)
10. Overhead Bin Inconsiderate (32%)
11. Pungent Foodies (30%)
12. Back Seat Grabber (27%)
13. The Amorous (inappropriate affection levels) (26%)
14. Undresser (removes shoes, socks or more) (26%)
15. Mad Bladder (window seat passenger who makes repeat bathroom visits) (24%)
16. The Single and Ready to Mingle (13%)
17. The Seat Switcher (13%)

I don’t find too much to annoy me on a flight, as long as I have my own bit of space and I can drift off into my own world. What do you find annoying when you fly? Do you agree with the list from the survey? Have you found yourself exhibiting any of the behaviour on the list without realising that it could be annoying other passengers?

Here’s an infographic that displays the survey results. Click the image for a closer look.


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Stop the Madness on Our Roads


Are you the kind of person who likes to eat a nice, big dinner while watching your favourite television program? It’s OK if you do. I really don’t have a problem with that.

What I have a problem with is if you choose to be chowing down big time and watching episodes of Futurama on your iPad ….. while driving at 90 kilometres per hour down the highway. That’s maximum craziness right there. And in case you think that’s just a strange idea I’ve concocted, let me assure you that I saw this happening while motoring along Reid Highway last night.

A guy in an old gold Mitsubishi was careering along the somewhat busy road, stuffing his face, with a dash mounting bracket securely directing his full sized iPad toward the driver’s seat. I can’t be 100% sure it was Futurama but it was certainly some kind of animated program that had his attention. When I noticed what was going on I chose not to stay in his general vicinity, preferring to get as far away from this impending car crash as soon as possible.

I wrote last year about seeing a young woman being Driven to Distraction as she applied a face full of make up while hurtling down the freeway. I just wonder what goes through some people’s heads. Obviously not a lot in many cases.

It’s time to stop the madness on our roads.

Over the last week there’s been a discussion in the media over whether senior drivers should have to display ‘S’ plates to alert other drivers to the fact that an older driver is on the road. The topic was raised by an insurance company which thinks it’d make our roads safer. I was thinking about it all and came to a very simple conclusion. Either people are fit to drive or they’re not. While some seniors might well need to hand in their licenses there are some young and middle aged people that should be slamming their licenses on the desk down at the local licensing centre saying, “I’m sorry, but I really don’t deserve this. You can keep it.”

No one ‘deserves’ a drivers license unless they are fully capable of doing everything necessary to safely operate a vehicle. If a 99 year old can pass the standard test they should be able to drive without being labelled with an ‘S’ plate. If a guy in his forties thinks that a meal and a show can be enjoyed at the same time as driving in traffic at speed, he doesn’t need special plates, he needs to lose his license.

One of the recommendations coming out of the media discussion this week was that anyone over the age of 49 should be re-tested for their license. I’m 52. I’ve been driving for over 35 years without a road accident. It would be inconvenient having to find time to get tested. But I’d be happy to endure the inconvenience if it meant that fewer people on our roads considered driving an automatic entitlement.

What are some stupid things you’ve seen while driving? What do you think of added testing for drivers? Should seniors be forced to display ‘S’ plates?

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