To Blog or not To Blog
Various rantings, thoughts and points of view from a 29 yr old father living in Canberra.
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Mick's guide to The Hitchhiker's Guide [NO Spoilers]
Last night I was lucky enough to see a preview screening of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
I was interested in seeing it, but seeing as though I only go to the movies 4 or 5 times a year, I probably wasn't going to spend money on seeing it.
As it turns out, my dear old Dad snaffled a couple of freebies through his work and he asked me to come along.
I remember the book when I was in high school. I think it was one of those books that I skim-read when I was young, and never really 'got' or read properly. But I am a big fan of Red Dwarf, (often said to be derived from THGTTG).
First things first. This movie is made by Disney, but still retains its pommy feel. This is an 'English comedy' movie despite the presence of American actors in lead roles. But let's talk about these actors. Sam Rockwell as Zaphod was classic. He makes the role his own and gives it a great energy, as well as great fashion sense. Zooey Deschanel as Trillian is fantastic. I mean, she was just awesome. Not only is she sexy as hell, she plays the character to a 'tea'. Alan Rickman plays Marvin the Robot, well his voice does at least, and he's also a highlight of the film.
Then we come to Arthur Dent played by Martin Freeman (Tim from The Office). Sure, the role isn't a stretch for him, and he doesn't have to change costume at all (nice robe), but he does well for his first major movie role and is almost certain to get many more similar roles offered to him in the future.
The movie goes along at a fair clip. I was actually disappointed when I knew it was starting to wrap up as the 110 minutes seemed to go very fast. The imagery is awesome. The planet factory is fantastic. The visual effects are nothing that spectacular by todays standards, but the animations from the guide are funny as hell.
Jim Henson's influence was noticed in some of the characters. The Vogon's looked excellent.
So, very entertaining. Even for a non-fan like me. The real fans around me seemed to enjoy it judging by the applause at the end of the film.
So, Don't Panic, Don't forget your towel (as I have now learnt) and enjoy this film for what it is.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
The meaning of ANZAC Day in a post
Blogs mean a lot of different things to different people, but it's the blogs that can just come out of nowhere and make you think and ponder and feel something that are the best.
For an excellent post on the feelings that ANZAC day provokes, read Jellyfish Online: I'll Be Looking At The Moon, But I'll Be Seeing You
Reason to love your iPod #583
5 hours sleep.
Bus Driver driving like a dickhead.
10 Minutes till I get to work.
iPod on Shuffle.
November Rain - Guns 'N Roses.
Relax and smile.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Aaaah..Eels on my desktop
After another top Eels victory tonight, I thought would look for a sweet Parra wallpaper for my PC.
After quite a bit of unsuccessful searching I finally came across this site.
It's an excellent selection of wallpapers for every NRL club. Rleague.com has gone to a lot of effort!
The funniest thing Zach Braff has ever seen. I think it's pretty damn funny too
Click here for a bit of a laugh over this weekend.
Long weekend are great, but I make sure I do all the housework and shit I need to do on the Saturday and then veg for the next 2 days.
It's the only way to do it...especially with 3 crazy brats running around :)
Have a great one!
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Lazy Post - Are you a true Aussie, mate?
Might write more later, but here's some funnies....
(I love No.3)
A DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO AUSSIES
1. The bigger the hat, the smaller the farm.
2. The shorter the nickname, the more they like you.
3. Whether its the opening of Parliament, or the launch of a new art gallery, there is no Australian event that cannot be improved by a sausage sizzle.
4. If the guy next to you is swearing like a wharfie hes probably a media billionaire. Or on the other hand, he may be a wharfie.
5. There is no food that cannot be improved by the application of tomato sauce.
6. On the beach, all Australians hide their keys and wallets by placing them inside their sandshoes. No thief has ever worked this out.
7. Industrial design knows of no article more useful than the plastic milk crate.
8. All our best heroes are losers.
9. The alpha male in any group is he who takes the barbecue tongs from the hands of the host and blithely begins turning the snags.
10. Its not summer until the steering wheel is too hot to hold.
11. A thong is not a piece of scanty swimwear, as in America, but a fine example of Australian footwear. A group of sheilas wearing black rubber thongs may not be as exciting as you had hoped.
12. It is proper to refer to your best friend as "a total bastard". By contrast, your worst enemy is "a bit of a bastard".
13. Historians believe the widespread use of the word "mate" can be traced to the harsh conditions on the Australian frontier in the 1890s, and the development of a code of mutual aid, or "mateship". Alternatively, Australians may just be really hopeless with names.
14. The wise man chooses a partner who is attractive not only to himself, but to the mosquitoes.
15. If it can't be fixed with pantyhose and fencing wire, its not worth fixing.
16. The most popular and widely praised family in any street is the one that has the swimming pool.
17. Its considered better to be down on your luck than up yourself.
18. The phrase "weve got a great lifestyle" means everyone in the family drinks too much.
19. If invited to a party, you should take cheap red wine and then spend all night drinking the hosts beer. (Dont worry, he'll have catered for it).
20. If there is any sort of free event or party within a hundred kilometres, you'd be a mug not to go.
21. The phrase "a simple picnic" is not known. You should take everything you own. If you dont need to make three trips back to the car, you're not trying.
22. Unless ethnic or a Pom, you are not permitted to sit down in your front yard, or on your front porch. Pottering about, gardening or leaning on the fence is acceptable. Just dont sit. Thats what backyards are for.
23. The tarred road always ends just after the house of the local mayor.
24. On picnics, the Esky is always too small, creating a food versus grog battle that can only ever be resolved by leaving the salad at home.
25.When on a country holiday, the neon sign advertising the motels pool will always be slightly larger than the pool itself.
26. The men are tough, but the women are tougher.
27. The chief test of manhood is ones ability to install a beach umbrella in high winds.
28. Australians love new technology. Years after their introduction, most conversations on mobile phones are principally about the fact that the call is "being made on my mobile".
29. There comes a time in every Australians life when he/she realises that the Aerogard is worse than the flies.
30. And, finally, don't let the tourist books fool you. No-one EVER says "cobber" to anyone ... EVER! It also doesn't have the bit about the true test for immigration to Australia. They give potential new Aussies the following test: Mowing a sloping lawn (at least 20degree angle) in a pair of thongs holding a VB while watching the cricket. If you can't pass that chances are you will never be able to pass yourself off as a
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
< sarcasm >Whoopee Doo.< /sarcasm >
Who cares. He's some ultra-conservative orthodox Roman Catholic, so what the hell is gonna change?
More preventable spreading of disease in third-world countries.
More segregation of women from positions of power in the church.
More refusal to accept the era that we live in.
Best comment I have seen was from Angie...
"....least the guy is old --- means he won't last long."
Then we can do it all again.
And the ratings will be even worse.
Monday, April 18, 2005
Weakdays are back.
There was a 'Party in the Park' near my place yesterday.
It seems that ACT Urban Services have a 'round town programme on where they have a family day in the park in various suburbs and there's a live band, kids activities, a sausage sizzle and stuff. It was pretty good. The kids all got their face painted, we had a sausage and then kicked a ball around, played with a parachute thingy and those velcro ball and glove things.
There were a lot of people around from the neighbourhood. But we didn't really socialise with any of them. It's a shame really. There were so many kids there, and so many families, but there was very little interactivity between us all anyway. It was nice to get outside and do something though. It seems that the kids are always watching TV, playing the computer, playstation or gameboy and not actually ever getting outside.
Maybe I should just lock them out there....give them no choice :)
In other news, I might be in a band again soon. Sonia (who has an awesome voice) is hoping to get a band together and play some dancey, funky, poppy tunes together in clubs and stuff. It is something that I have thought about before, but just never known how to get into. Hopefully we will meet later in the week (we've only chatted on Yahoo) and then get this thing started!
We do still need a drummer and keyboardist though, so if any of you readers out there can play drums or keyboard and are looking for a gig, let me know!
Damn Mondays. I had a 9.45 meeting. Who the hell does that??
I still haven't warmed up to being here today. Maybe blogging will be just the thing I need to kickstart my motivation...
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Blog = Nerd? Discuss.
So, hands up who thinks I am a nerd?
Growing up in the 80's, my image of a nerd is taken from Revenge of the Nerds (Parts 1 and 2), Meatballs, Weird Science, and various other American teenage high school movies.
But then there are the other terms to consider. Geek? Dork?
Dictionary.com defines these words as such:
1. a) A person regarded as foolish, inept, or clumsy.
b) A person who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits but is felt to be socially inept.
2. A carnival performer whose show consists of bizarre acts, such as biting the head off a live chicken.
1. Slang. A stupid, inept, or foolish person: “the stupid antics of America's favorite teen-age cartoon dorks” (Joshua Mooney).
2. Vulgar Slang. The penis.
1. A foolish, inept, or unattractive person.
2. A person who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits but is felt to be socially inept.
Now, these all seem fairly similar to me. Dictionary.com is pigeon-holing nerds, geeks and dorks into the 'foolish' category. Typical of those pompous uptight dickheads. It even goes so far as to suggest that a nerd is an unattractive person.
Are they trying to say that Rick Moranis was unattractive??
We can now progress a little further and analyse what the wikipedia descriptions for the same words are.
Bear in mind that these descriptions are probably written by a G/D/N (Geek/Dork/Nerd) themselves.
A geek is a person who is fascinated, perhaps obsessively, by technology and imagination. Geek may not always have the same meaning as the term nerd (see nerd for a discussion of the disputed relation between the terms).
Traditionally, the designation nerd (occasionally in the form nurd) applies to a very intelligent but lonely and socially awkward person, one fascinated by knowledge, especially science. Beginning in the late 1990s, many nerds on the Internet reclaimed the word nerd as a badge of pride, and began using it as a positive description of any technically competent person, with less implication or focus on social awkwardness. Dispute continues as to whether to regard nerd and geek as synonyms, or if not, as to exactly how they differ.
Can we see a difference in these definitions?
From 'unattractive' to 'Badge of Pride'.
I don't think we can really get a clear picture of what defines someone as a G/D/N but it may come down to the person themselves. It they are happy to admit that they are, then they probably are. If they refuse to admit it but everyone thinks that they are, then they probably are also.
I think I fall into the second category. No, I'm not a Trekkie, or a X-Phile, or a Star Wars Fanatic, or a Dungeons & Dragons dork, but I am a bit of a techno geek, a computer nerd, and I have a blog.
Shit...maybe that's it.
Blog = Nerd.
Or maybe the fact that I just wrote a whole post analysing Geeks, Dorks and Nerds makes me the biggest G/D/N of all.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Me? Surfing? Never!
Yeah, I'm still sore. I have a huge pain in the ball of my left foot, but it'll pass eventually. So till then I just hobble around like an old granny.
I moved desks today.
I dunno if it's a good or bad thing....
a) My screen is facing outwards towards anyone in the area who cares to look (BAD)
b) I am sitting in a corner surrounded by windows and can no have natural sunlight (GOOD)
c) I am sitting near my fellow developers who are a nice bunch of folks (GOOD)
d) I can turn my desk around if I so chose to have my screen more private (GOOD), but then i may get glare on my screen and I won't be able to look straight out the window (BAD)
It's an interesting subject. The subject of monitor placement.
In my experience, most workers would prefer to have a screen facing away from the room, and definitely not in line of sight of the boss. Some people like to seclude themselves into a corner and will use bookcases, cupboards and wall-hangings to hide themselves from the rest of their colleagues. Others are happy to be sitting out in the open and don't care if people can see them reading blogs, forums or news sites.
I am of the opinion that everyone needs time to relax, unwind and browse the net now and then at work.
I probably take 'now and then' to an extreme sometimes, but I am usually careful to make it look like I am working when the boss is around, and to actually get my work done, when work needs doing.
There are plenty of times in my line of work where you simply do not have any work to do, so that is when you can get hooked up in the net world all day, and when real work does arrive it can be hard to switch back to 'work-mode'
But basically I love my 'Alt-Tabbing' a lot. I use it frequently, but I am conscious that excessive 'Alt-Tabbing' can make you look guilty. It's hard to find a balance between acceptable personal net use and overuse/unacceptable personal use.
I have had my shoulder tapped a couple of times in my work life, but I have always been praised that I get my work done fast and well, so as long as you can show that you get the work done, most bosses don't care if you check out sports sites or whatever.
So I guess I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. Blogging when I can. Reading other blogs at lunch times and generally having a personal net presence at work.
But it may get a bit harder with all these people behind me.
Maybe I should get one of those rear-view-mirrors for my monitor.
Monday, April 11, 2005
I have now run a marathon.
Holy crap. It is sometimes hard to believe that I actually did it. Here's how it went down...
I had a decent nights sleep, but for some reason I woke up at 4:30 (the alarm was set for 5:15), and after that I couldn't sleep again, so I thought I may as well have a shower. I had laid out my clothes and bag, ready for leaving, so I didn't really have much to do other than shower, shit and leave.
Thanks to Gai I had a lift in and we arrived at around 6:25 at the Start/Finish line at Telopea Park School.
There were already heaps of people there. Even saw some doing a quick jog before the start. I wasn't going to be running any more than I needed to! There was a huge group called the 'Sydney Striders' who had their own tent set-up. The majority of the field were actually from interstate. It seems to be a popular marathon.
The weather was beautiful in the morning, but the forecast was for 28 - 29 degrees with little wind and no cloud, so the expectation was that we'd need a lot of fluids. I had been stocking up on water and sports drink (gotta love Tropical Gatorade) the night before and in the morning. I stretched a little, and tried to soak in the atmosphere a bit. I was definitely getting nervous, but a lot of it was also such a unknown for me that I didn't know what to expect. Around 900 gathered at the start line at 6:50 and there was a huge buzz in the air. The 3 of us were in around the middle of the pack.
What I really noticed before the start was the huge array of shapes, sizes and ages of people at the starting line. There weren't just your typical looking marathon runners (well they were probably at the front anyway), but there were everyday people who looked liked they were just getting ready for a daily jog.
The gun went off and no-one moved for about a second or two and then the pack started to move forward. It probably took a good 10 seconds to actually cross the start/finish line, but then again there were only 900 odd people there. I heard that some marathons it can take minutes to cross the start line.
So we were off and the pace was fairly cruisy for the first km or so. I wasn't really sure what pace to take it at, but I was just going to let my body tell me what was too fast or too slow. We ran at around a 5.30 min/km pace for the first 5 km or so, but then seemed to pick it up to 5.15 pace without too much trouble. I was running with brother-in-law who had completed the marathon the year before in 4hrs 17mins so I was pretty happy to stick with him as long as I could. We were doing a good pace of around 5.35 for the first 20km, but it was just around the Half marathon mark that I really started to feel the pain.
To be honest, I could have seen the half-marathon sign and gotten stressed at the distance to go, but the 21km I had travelled up until then wasn't too bad. I knew that I still had a long way to go, but I was feeling ok.
It was at around the 22km mark however that I found myself running by myself and that is when the real mental game began.
Apart from an injury, I did not even contemplate stopping. To me, just to finish the marathon was going to be the acheivement. But there was a time when my left ankle started giving my gyp and I was worried about how I could continue. But that was all part of the mental battle. Coming off Kings Avenue for the second time and knowing I had to run all the way up to Glenloch Interchange was messing with my brain. I was all over the road and I needed to take a piss for quite a while. (finally found the crappers near Anzac Parade). After that I decided that I had to run..or at least stagger, cause if I walked all the way I'd never finish.
So I pushed on and on...and on, By this stage it was around 10:15 and the sun was starting to pelt down. I appreciated the underpass cause it was much cooler and breeze came through. I decided to run in the shade and walk in the sun. Maybe a silly way to do it, but the sweat and the hydration was starting to become a problem, even with the drink stations.
My mind was filled with all sorts of thoughts from 30 - 38km. I was trying to not think about the pain, or the race, but about much nicer things and places I'd rather be. It helped and I reached Glenloch by 10:30.
My finishing target was 4 and half hours, so I had 10 km to go, and 1 hour to do it in. This spurred me on and I actually ran up the hill adjacent to Black Mountain and set my sights on that time. My shuffling became slower and slower after a km however and I found myself aiming for a point in the distance, running to it, and then walking for a while. I did that until the 38km stage, when I really was completely fucked.
The last 3 or 4km's were slow. Probably 7-8 mins each, and I was just yearning to see that 41km marker and to see and hear the finish line.
With about 500m to go I revved it up and started to run, not shuffle, but run. Then I saw the kids on the last corner and that made me smile. They helped me go that little bit faster so I got to that finishing straight. Then, the adrenaline took over. I ran down the straight, overtaking 2 people along the way and managed to do a little sprint before crossing the line with the time of 4:37:57.
I had finished, and I was absolutely stoked, and absolutely screwed. Everything hurt. I just wanted to lie down forever and never ever get up again.
It's something that'll I'll only ever do once in my life, but at least I can say that I have done it.
I have run a marathon.
Saturday, April 09, 2005
If you see some guy struggling at the back of the pack, walking, or limping along Commonwealth Avenue Bridge tomorrow morning, he's probably got No. 688 on his (Parramatta Eels) singlet.
Honk your horn, or wave. I might have the energy to raise my arm :)
Friday, April 08, 2005
I love my iPod
Coding away this morning (apart from the oldd phone call ;)) and I have my iPod on Shuffle..
Last 5 songs?
"Star Trekkin'" - The Firm
"You shook me all night long" - AC/DC
"Burnout" - Greenday
"This is a Call" - Foo Fighters
"Enthused" - Blink 182
Sometimes the iPod just knows what you need to hear...
Thursday, April 07, 2005
Yesterday, as I was trying to find things to do, I came across
this site, via The Cult of Jef.
See if you can solve the puzzle by lighting the two torches and opening the portal.
I haven't figured it out yet. Let me know if you do!
The Big Race
Only 3 days to go.
I am still trying to get my head around the fact that I am running a marathon on Sunday.
I think I am loopy.
Let's go back 6 months. I did my first run with a pommy bloke from my old job, and it was probably about 4-5km and I was buggered. But it was a start.
After that I started to do the 5.8km run known as the 'Lake Stakes'. It was an excellent way to get into running and build my fitness up. Doing that twice a week really gave me a kick-start and I was keen. Dead keen to do this running thing.
But still, I wasn't sure that I could do it. A marathon?? 42.195km??
It started with about 7 of us who were keen to run it. Me, Stu, Simon, Art, JB, Quan, CoatC.
That number is down to 3. Stu, Simon and I have been running for the last few months pretty regularly, but I know that both of them are ahead of me in training and will definitely finish before me. It's going to hard to watch them go ahead and be left behind and then have the motivation to keep going the whole way, knowing they are ahead and going to finish at least 30 minutes before me.
I am aiming for 4 and a half hours. That way I can be back at the start just in time for the 11:30 presentations.
It's a freaking long time, and to just be on my feet for that long will be crazy enough, let along running.
I won't run all the way. I know that I will have times where I will just have to stop and walk. I will try and do this at certain drink stations where I can have a drink, have a few deep breaths and then continue on my way, but bugger me, I know it's going to be hard to run again after walking.
The map of the course looks like this:
I don't know if any of you readers live near the course, but if any of you want to come down and give me a cheer, I would love it. Even if you just yelled out, "Go MICK!!". I think I will need to distract myself as I run and to have something to look forward to to keep me going and get me back running again if I am walking.
This page has a heap of info about where spectators can go to watch the runners. Bowen Park is a good place to go because runners pass that mark 4 times (1, 10, 26 and 41km). It'll be a good place to see me getting more and more buggered each time!
King Edward Terrace is also a good place to check us out. We pass there 4 times as well (3, 9, 24 and 39km). And you can pop into the Gallery and Library when you get bored :)
I will post my bib number when I get it on Saturday, but Stu and Simon already have theirs.
Other things you could yell out to me or other runners:
"Get your arse into gear
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
The New Pope
One of the new papal candidates perhaps?
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Is there nothing these guys can't do?
They are good at taking the piss outta themselves too.
Give me Glutamate Grape all the way....
Link of the Day...
Monday, April 04, 2005
Running, Rugrats and Religion
The weeks go by, sometimes slow, but usually fast. Time, although it is supposed to a constant, always seems to go at a different pace.
I think it's because I have been in a perpetual state of bewilderment lately. I sort of feel like time is passing by and I am watching it....
Very deep I know...
But anyway, as time passes, so did a pope. I feel I have to mention it, seeing as though it's not something that happens very often. Blossy nailed it on the head when she said that he may not have had the most progressive views in the world, but he did some good things in the world as a whole. And seeing as though you are likely to be murdered if you have more radical views as a Pope, it's probably best to tow the line..
The sense of time passing by is sometimes cause by the kids and the fact that they are a constant. They never go anywhere. They are always there. It is this fact that has been driving the wife a little batty of late. I can understand it. The littlest clings on to us constantly and is usually screaming for something. The middle one is demanding and whingy if he doesn't get what he wants, and the toilet training is going nowhere. The eldest is also very demanding, can be rude and cranky a lot of the time and cries at the smallest things.
But of course, all of these things will change and evolve over the next few weeks and months until next time when it'll be something completely different, but still...the same.
Oh yeah, and I realise something over the weekend. As soon as you have 3 kids, you (as parents) are no longer in the majority. In a democracy, the kids win, everytime.
Just something to remember if you're ever contemplating No.3....
This week, is also the week that I should be psyching up, preparing and planning for the Canberra Marathon to be run this Sunday.
I have been training (on and off) for the last 6 months, and now the training is pretty much over. Now, I either do it, or I don't.
I don't think I will ever get to this point again. I am not confident that I will even finish the race, let alone do it within my target of 4 1/2 hours...But I have to do it now. The weather looks like it will be fine, I don't have any injuries or pains. There's no better time than now!
Later in the week I will post some info about the race and where spectators can go to watch (hint hint!)
Friday, April 01, 2005
Movie Review - Million Dollar Baby
After my initial plan to see all the Best Picture Nominiated movies before the Oscars failed, and then the movie that I least wanted to see, won, I was a bit disillusioned by it all and haven't seen a movie in ages.
That was until my sister called me at 7.30 last night to say that she had some Hoyts Cash to use before the end of March. She had 3 tickets and had called all her single friends, so she tried to see if Fee or I would go. They wanted to see Million Dollar Baby and Fee wasn't too fussed in seeing it so I decided to snaffle the freebie.
I wasn't expecting too much from this movie. I mean, sure, it won best picture, but so did Chicago, and Shakespeare in Love....
The first thing I noticed, and liked about this film was that the narrative was done by Morgan Freeman. He has such a awesome voice. Although so low pitched that sometimes it's a little hard to understand. But that voice always takes me back to The Shawshank Redemption, and that's a good thing.
The second thing I noticed was that Clint Eastwood, was..Clint Eastwood. Nothing more. Nothing less. Unfortuantely his acting role in this movie is not very outstanding and not much of a stretch for him. In fact I don't think any of the roles in this movie really stretched the actor very far.
Sure, Hillary Swank played the trailer park trash well, but it was easy (very easy) for her to do. Morgan Freeman played the old man who observes lots of things well, but that's what he does.
So, ignoring the performances, I listened and got the feel for the script and the scenery.
Now, let's also ignore the fact that Belconnen Hoyts is probably the shittest movie cinemas I have ever been to. The picture was slightly blurry for the whole screening, and the seats in Cinema 9 are just woeful (I hear they are upgrading though..) Besides the blurriness, the cinematography was nice. I always had a slight feel of nostalgia, which seems to come with any boxing movie. Or maybe it's just because it's a Clint movie. The 'Hit Pit', which Clint's character, 'Frankie' owns is your typical old style boxing gym with all the bags, skipping ropes, rings and dust that you'd want. It set the scene nicely though.
The screenplay was well written. It wasn't challenging by any means, but the banter between Clint and Morgan's characters was entertaining, and Swank's character was very likeable. There was enough humour in it to keep you smiling as well, which is always good.
Without giving away any plot-lines, I have to say that this movie, although containing a twist, was predictably hollywood and very slick in production. This is what probably gave it the Best Picture nod. There are no real surprises here. The storyline travelled along at a meandering pace without really hitting top gear at all, and the actors gave performances that were also mediocre, but good enough for the pace of the movie.
To be honest, I don't think it should have beaten 'The Aviator' or 'Finding Neverland' to Best Picture, but that's just me.
It's not a movie that will really stick with you for too long I don't think. It's a 'see and forget' sort of movie that you'll like at the time, but you won't go watching over and over again.
3 1/2 celestial bodies of hot gas.
Graphics and design by Ann Stretton 2001