The Border Mail Loves Blogging

In an ironic twist, the Border Mail’s Saturday opinion writer who happily took a swipe at Border bloggers for being sensitive to criticism and lacking in ethics, has today scored a front page article with the inspiring story of a local blogger who is documenting his battle with cancer as he approaches his final days.

The blogger, as all three regular readers of this blog will know, is Greg Naylor who writes the King Valley Watchdog. Congratulations to Greg for having his story spread more widely. His honest, reflective posts about his feelings in this difficult time have been compelling reading.

I met Greg a few years ago when he offered me some old Macs, which I had requested on Freecycle. Greg wasn’t content just to share stuff that he had in his shed, he also insisted that we have a cuppa, and he was generously ambivalent to the usual manic behaviour of Buster Boy and the Troll Princess as they tore around in his home. I have no doubt that he’s an excellent grandfather, having seen the patience that he had with the children of a stranger, and it’s sad that his grandkids will be losing him so soon.

It was some time later that I discovered his blog and I’ve always been interested to see Greg’s ideas poured out with honesty and careful thought, the antithesis of my blog really. Greg’s decision to share his journey has given me, and I’m sure many other readers, an opportunity to reflect on some pretty big issues.

I’m not sure what all of Greg’s goals in life were, but from reading his blog I know that he is finishing without regret, however I do know that he has positively touched many people’s lives and I believe that for that he should be commended.

The Border Mail hates blogging #3

The Border Mail’s brilliantly uninformed Brad Worrall has used some valuable column inches to once again sledge the bloggers from this area, this week labelling us ‘cyber bullies’.

To be fair to Brad, he hasn’t specifically labelled King Valley Watchdog, Alpine Opinion, Albury Wodonga Online or I, because once again he hasn’t had the guts to actually name any of ‘sensitive, very angry’ bloggers who ‘have unleashed a blog and email tirade’. Perhaps this type of ‘journalism’, where you make unsubstantiated claims about a group of people without specifically identifying any of them, is the type of thing that Brad learnt in ‘Journalism 101’.

I’m beginning to suspect that the bloggers Bradley is referring to are figments of his imagination. Brad Worrall needs to put up or shut up, name the blogs and bloggers that supposedly offend his journalistic sensibilities and give examples of the articles, or he should aplogise for making unqualified attacks on people expressing their opinions in an ethical and open manner.

Brad also needs to work a bit harder at developing opinions if the best he can come up with to fill his page is a fight with some imaginary people. Perhaps instead of a concocted war with the blogosphere, Brad could do a piece complaining about email spam to show how technologically astute he is.

The Border Mail hates blogging #2

A further thought came to me this morning regarding the Border Mail’s Brad Worrall and his distaste for blogging. The Border Mail is now owned by Fairfax who have tried, while mostly failing, to harness some of the cachet of the blogosphere in their own online offerings, so I thought I’d do a search of the Border Mail’s website to see if they too were part of the Fairfax blogging revolution.

I was astonished to find that the Border Mail does indeed host a blog section on their website, so I commend to you the Border Mail’s “Your Say” Blog.

Another example of the quality we have come to expect from the Border Mail.

Games

This weekend Albury once again hosted the Australian Games Expo and I took the opportunity to go along with Mrsdave on Saturday and with Buster Boy on Sunday.

In short, it was a fantastic event. The range of games available goes so far beyond the mainstream stuff you expect to find on the shelf at a department store that it needs to be seen to be believed. The quality and the detail of these games is quite astounding, as well as the strategy required to play many of them. Best of all, the exhibitors were all incredibly helpful and all of the games were available to be played.

A lot of the games come from Europe, with the most prominent still being Settlers of Catan, along with its expansions and sequels. Mrsdave and I settled on one of the sequels, Elasund, as well as a card game called Munchkin, which looks like it will go exceptionally well with beer. For Buster Boy we found a racing car game called Monza, which I also think might find its way to the table once BB is safely asleep.

If the crowd there this weekend is any guide this won’t be the last Australian Games Expo in Albury, adding another compelling reason, along with Rutherglen’s Winery Walkabout, to visit this part of the world during the June long weekend. In the mean time, it’s worth looking for independent game stores to see how far board games have come since Trivial Pursuit was the hottest game for grown-ups.

The Border Mail hates blogging

It seems that Border Mail hack Brad Worrall has decided to have a sledge at all of the bloggers in this area, without having the guts to actually name any of the blogs which he’s degrading. Ray Dixon’s Alpine Opinion and Jack Stone’s Albury Wodonga Online both have a copy of the article and quite effective rebuttals, so I’ll leave that to them.

What I will say is that, for the past twelve months or so, a selection of News Ltd journos, most prominantly Dennis Shanahan, have been trying to discredit bloggers who disagree with them. Thus far the hacks have continually come off second best as well informed bloggers like Possum Comitatus have punched holes in their wobbly stats and analysis that borders on wish fulfilment. I hope Brad realises that his little spray will be seen by many, myself included, as an invitation to hold him and the paper he works for to the high journalistic standards he has trumpeted; I wonder if the Border Mail is really ready for that?

Away from home for a moment

This headline had me spitting coffee on my laptop. I’m not sure why she had to tap him, but I guess that as a piece of public policy work it’s newsworthy.

Strangely enough I couldn’t work up a lot of sympathy over this crime report. Although I think it would have been much more newsworthy if the thieves had stolen his stupid salad bowl that the neo-con nutbags gave him.

I can’t believe that Tania Zaetta is the biggest story coming out of Afghanistan at the moment. Has anyone asked her if she slept with Osama bin Laden? I think it’s fair to say that Youtube will have the last word on whether this story is true or not.

And in Albury glassing people at the pub hasn’t lost any of its recent popularity. When did this become cool? Glassing people is a low act which should be strictly reserved for kiddy fiddlers and young Liberals, guys who hit girls are scum, but glassing two girls marks you out as the bacteria that lives on the scum. And as for the bouncers who let him leave rather than kicking the snot out of him and calling the cops, what’s wrong with you? No ‘roids this week to help make you brave?

Wodonga Cinema Centre will contain flying car dealership!

I am proud to be bringing you the news that I have received confirmation, through unofficial channels, that when the proposed Wodonga Cinema Complex opens it will contain a flying car dealership. Some of you may think that this sounds far fetched so I’ll make you a deal, I’ll stop bullshitting about flying cars if Wodonga Council stops pretending that there’s going to be a Cinema Centre built any time soon.

It’s been over six months since Wodonga Council proudly trumpeted the latest proposal for a Cinema Centre in their CBD. Not just in their CBD, but in their very own car park! I’m quite sure that this headline project is doomed to failure.

Continue reading “Wodonga Cinema Centre will contain flying car dealership!”

Pontius Pilate kinda sorry after the fact.

Albury City Council comprehensively sold out residents of East Albury over three years ago when then Mayor Patricia Gould signed a letter of support that called for the Hume Freeway to be built through the middle of Albury, rather than around it as had been approved by the Federal Transport Minister John Anderson. Now to the utter amazement of the Councillors who so adamantly supported the Internal Freeway it turns out that it’s a piece of shit with insufficient noise mitigation, poor access to Albury and poor landscaping.

Tonight the Council voted unanimously to press the RTA to finish the Freeway construction properly, while at the same time washing their hands of any responsibility. Unfortunately for residents affected by the constant drone of the Freeway in their homes, Councillor Gould’s main concern was the lack of a ‘Welcome to Albury’ sign and the amount of litter on the roadside. Thanks for your concern Patsie.

Right now the RTA is dragging its heels on releasing the noise monitoring results, while independent tests have shown that noise levels are exceeding the mandated maximum by 10-20 dB. This puts the noise levels beyond the range of simple annoyance and into the range where it can lead to adverse health effects. Hopefully Councillor Gould can explain how signage and litter removal will lead to better health outcomes.