Saturday, September 29, 2007

Geelong 163 - Port Adelaide 44

I am always amazed how we self select with sports teams. Here in Adelaide there are two very competitive Aussie Rules Teams and it took me about a week to self select which one I cared about. Not necessarily a fervent supporter, but definitely easy to pick one over the other.

The local ABC website asked the simple question during the week about whether supporters of the Crows should support the Power in the Grand Final. A resounding 80 percent said no. Sporting Tribalism is alive and kicking. None of this South Australia is the best stuff.

Sort of Rangers versus Celtic, Dundee versus Dundee United, Hibernian versus Hearts, Catholic versus Protestant, Republican versus Democrat, Conservative versus Labour, Salt and Vinegar versus Cheese and Onion Crisps.......

Now why would that be?

The Iraq War for Dummies

Nick Brandt

Born and raised in London, Nick Brandt studied Film and Painting at St. Martins School of Art. He started photographing in December 2000 in East Africa, beginning the body of work that is his signature subject matter and style.
Brandt's first book of photographs, On This Earth, was published in October 2005, by Chronicle Books, with forewords by Jane Goodall and Alice Sebold (author of The Lovely Bones).

Very stunning images and more dramatic with the lack of colour.

Thanks Nick. Hope some people buy your prints and your book.

More Howard Hot Air

With his modest Clean Energy Targets Proposal likely to be trumped by Labor, John "We're all Environmentalists Now" Howard has set his sights on a new target.

Call me cynical, but is there an election around the corner?

Thanks the always funny Bill Leak from the Australian.

Saturday Photo Hunt: Original - Unique Tiles and a Beach Face

These are two of a number of remaining tiles which make up part of an arch at our local park. When the community succesfully fought against a council plan to turn the park into an oval, and to develop a local park instead, this was marked with a number of different art projects, one was the arch, with many individual tiles developed by a local artist. The tiles depict wildlife present in South Australia. Many of these have been broken and lost and the arch is in a very sad state and sure to be demolished before too long. I photographed many of the tiles that were left. I love the colours and the textures.

This is just one of the many unique sand sculptures that my kids have made on the beautiful Adelaide beaches.

More Saturday Photohunt Sites

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Truth about Arnold

40 years ago this man was inflicted on the British listening public, introducing Flowers in the Rain as Radio One kicked of on September 30 1967.

As we mark this anniversary we finally learn what happened to Arnold. From the voice of "Sensational"

Arnold, unfortunately, is not too well - he's dead. It would have been amazing if he had still survived because he'd have been 43 years old by now. He passed away at quite an elderly age, but it's not all bad - I had him stuffed and he nods in the back of my car even to this day. I'm joking!

Too right, he had us all fooled. Apparently Arnold was just a virtual dog, cropped from a BBC Sound Effects Tape. Shame on you Tony Blackburn.

And check out this fashion parade from 1967. John Peel with hair. Tony Blackburn top left.

And this one from 1977. Check out Noel Edmonds hair, Jimmy Saville with the cigar, Tony Blackburn with the fake tan and the bellbottoms. What fashion!

I have vivid memories of the time, not so much listening to it, because my parents listened to Radio Four, but all the news coverage and the older kids around me talking excitedly about it as we were driven to school.

That whole generation are a bunch of old farts now. I mean Tony Blackburn himself is well into his sixties.

Water Thieves Dump Spoils on Unsuspecting Market?

Blognor Regis goes all Toto on us.

Down Under we could use some of the water.

Thousand Year Flood

Meet Thousand Year Drought

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Get Up's Climate Change Advert

Get Up is raising money to put this funny advert on Television during the AFL Grand Final this Saturday. They have to raise a lot, so if you have some spare cash, they could use it.

Feral Cabinet goes digging for Election Dirt

Three Cheers for Work Choices

I had a nice lady from Newspoll on the phone last night to discuss my humble opinions on the Australian Industrial Relations System on behalf of Joe Hockey and his friendly assassins. Clearly the Howard Politbureau want to hone their electoral message. They were really digging for resonant themes. Work Choices was not mentioned once, although the lady laughed when I kept asking if this was the same as Work Choices. I assured the lady that I thought that the current IR Laws were crap and we left on good terms.

And then I read this in the Age. Surely this is nothing to do with an election campaign says I feigning disbelief. Perhaps that is why the election is being delayed. Need more time time to dig up dirt.

Feral Federal cabinet has unleashed the full force of the law on the NSW branch of the Transport Workers Union, launching eight separate inquiries into allegations that the union rorted its own members' funds.

TWU state and national secretary Tony Sheldon described the investigations as "the Spanish Inquisition", but said he would co-operate.

The furore follows weekend reports that the union set up a bogus company — the Industrial Rights, Education and Training Fund — which amassed several million dollars for unspecified purposes. The fund is alleged to have taken payments from employers who, in return, were given industrial peace and were able to negotiate favourable industrial agreements that undercut workers' pay rates.

Cabinet discussed the issue on Tuesday, and yesterday Workplace Relations Minister Joe Hockey announced that:

■Treasurer Peter Costello will ask the Australian Tax Office to investigate.

■Special Minister for State Gary Nairn will ask for an Australian Electoral Commission probe.

■Parliamentary secretary to the treasurer Chris Pearce will ask the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to check compliance with the Corporations Act.

■Mr Hockey has written to NSW Police Minister David Campbell asking him to investigate potential breaches of the state Crimes Act over allegations of corrupt commissions.

■Mr Hockey has asked NSW Premier Morris Iemma to check the TWU's disclosures under NSW election funding laws.

■Mr Hockey has asked Mr Iemma to explore whether the TWU's investigations of occupational health and safety breaches were in good faith.

■Industrial Registrar Doug Williams is checking the union's compliance with its disclosure obligations under the Workplace Relations Act.

■Workplace Authority chief Barbara Bennett is checking the collective agreement between the TWU and labour hire firm Blue Collar Recruitment for its compliance with the act.

Mr Hockey has tried to draw the Labor Party into the issue. "Kevin Rudd and (ACTU president) Sharan Burrow and Tony Sheldon have a lot of explaining to do to members who have had their wages undercut so that this fund can be greased to run Kevin Rudd's campaign," he said.

How are these guys every going to find the time to campaign with all the dirt digging that has to be done. And what was all that stuff about the AWB AWAs again? Talk about pot calling the kettle black. Beneath contempt these guys.

Blogging Against Abuse - The People of Myanmar

In support of the Monks and and all the People of Myanmar against an entrenched Military Dictatorship which has abused their citizens, often brutally over a long period of time. Mr Eugenides has a fantastic selection of links on the current situation, which is patchy because of the control that the Military has over the society.

Blogging Against Abuse Information An initiative of BlogCatalog.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I blame alcohol, white pudding suppers, mars bars, the weather, low self esteem.......

According to an official study from the Scottish Executive Government, we Scots are the second fattest in the world. You could have blown me over with a feather when I read this.

Scotland has the second highest level of obesity in the developed world, official statistics show.

Only America has a higher percentage of overweight adults, according to a recent Scottish Executive report.

An obese woman walks down a street, Scotland is second in the world for obesity
Among adults, one man in four and one woman in five are obese in Scotland

The figures were published as ministers announced their intention to move ahead with proposals to make school food healthier.

From September next year, young people will no longer be able to buy sweets or fizzy drinks from school vending machines, and canteens will be forced to limit the number of times they serve chips.

The first comprehensive survey of its kind, researchers said yesterday's report was designed to highlight "the seriousness" of Scotland's obesity problem.

It shows that approximately one boy in six and one girl in seven in Scotland is obese. Among adults that number rises to one man in four and one woman in five.

This places Scotland second among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development nations, with only America having a worse record.

The figures also show that obesity is not limited to deprived inner cities. More than 70 per cent of men and 65 per cent of women in Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles are either overweight or obese — the highest number in Scotland.

I can't remember having enough food when I was growing up, to get fat far less morbidly obese.

I have a huge chip on my shoulder about being second best again. I mean what would it take to be the fattest?

Couch Potatoes R Us

I could have told you this.

The survey suggested that children were more likely to be watching television or playing alone or with friends, playing computer games or watching DVDs than spending any time with their parents.

Family time appears to be much more marginalised - with shared meals lasting an average of 43 minutes per day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and 18% of families sharing only 17 minutes together.

Sue Palmer, author of Toxic Childhood, says of the survey that "unlike the free-range youngsters of the past, most are kept penned up at home rather than out to play".

"And with most parents working - or exhaustedly trying to fit domestic responsibilities around work - there isn't much time for family activities either."

Nor can parents expect much help from children - with 38% saying their nine-year-old did no tidying up or household chores of any kind and 29% saying they helped for less than 30 minutes per week.

We struggle with this and I work part time. We work hard to spend time with the kids, but it is often them who crave "quiet time" with the computer or television. They even like to go to the park and climb trees from time to time. But then I have to give up my computer and go with them. Groan Groan.

Dick Cheney What a Dick

Reports from the US Medja suggest Dick Cheney tried to get his lap dogs to provoke Iran by bombing the shit out of one of their nuclear facilities, giving him the pretext to reintroduce conscription and all out war in the Middle East. We should all be glad that all his neocon buddies left to screw up other organisations and he had to shelve his plan for now.

This man is a certified lunatic and dangerous for your health too. He makes Mr ImaDinnerjacket look only slightly wacky.

Wordless Wednesday -OzAsia Festival Opening Adelaide Sept 26 2007

More Wordless Wednesday Here

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Trip to the Barber

Uses for Lego When Your Kids Grow Up

Bohemian Rhapsody


The thing I hate about Lego is picking it up after my kids creative sessions.

Melbourne Cup Still On

Worried about the nation not being stopped, back up plans for the Melbourne Cup are still in place despite the arrival of 50,000 horse flu (equine influenza for the knowledegable) vaccinations from France this week.

Taking a cue from the outback race in Queensland that went ahead with no horse racing other than hobby horses, earlier in the year, hundreds of Pantomime Horses and other Human Horses are hard at work getting in shape. The back up plan ensures there will be at least some racing, the Milliners, the Caterers and the Designers can make a buck and that everyone can still get dressed up and drunk on that first Tuesday in November.

Monday, September 24, 2007

William McGonagall - Response from the Saltire Society

Time for Statue Fundraising

Dear Mr Campbell,

You wrote to the Saltire Society recently taking us to task for opposing
the erection of a statue to William McGonagall.

This is not correct since we have made no comment on such a proposal. In
fact if the people of Dundee were to so honour this famous son of the city
we would not complain for a minute.

What we did object to was the inclusion of McGonagall in the Edinburgh
MAKARS COURT, Scotland's Poet's Corner, which was established to honour
Scotland's literary figures and clearly, as you would no doubt
acknowledge, Magonagal was not one of them. His verse is read and enjoyed
not because of its literary merit, its skilled use of rhyme, rhythm, metre
or imagery or the profound nature of his observations but because it is so
bad and he was the only person who did not see that it was bad! We are,
I'm afraid, laughing at him rather than with him. I have a copy of his
Poetic Gems here and none of the poems is comic verse. It is all very
serious stuff about disasters of various kinds. Yet we laugh from cover
to cover.

This has nothing to do with class or snobbery. Some of Scotland's most
brilliant works are from the pens of men and women from backgrounds quite
as humble as McGonagall. It is to do with poetic genius and whatever else
he was William was no genius. Enjoy his work by all means (I certainly do)
but don't let us elevate him into something that he wasn't no matter how
much he believed that he was.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Scott

A Hills Hoist for Every Home

Reading Sean Jeating's article about the onset of the northern winter reminded me of the miserable conditions that my mother endured for most of the year in drying clothes on a clothes line. The only thing going for the sodden nappies and the like was the wind and occasional sun. Even a good wringer did not extract enough water to favour quick drying between showers.

According to the Boston Globe,

91 percent of detached single-family homes in the US have a clothes dryer, and a single electric dryer can blow 1,500 pounds of carbon monoxide into the air each year. Now, there is a growing "right-to-dry" movement; some states are working on legislation to overturn bans on clotheslines.

When I lived in the US, most of the places disallowed the drying of clothes outside, through local regulations. Obviously appearance over common sense, driving a huge white goods market in the United States. Clothes lines were rare, despite fantastic drying weather in many parts of the country much of the year.

Seems like a very sensible move. Perhaps there is an export market for the Hills Hoist, made here in Adelaide. We have one in the back yard.

Marcel Marceau RIP

Do we now observe a moments silence or should we just applaud silently. Apparently he was pretty chatty off the stage. My Grandmother was a great fan of his. I always marvelled at his hands.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

How to save days from your life

This is a clever quirky advertising campaign from Sprint in the US.

Lots of useful tips to save you time.

New French Show - Spot the Braincell

The collective wisdom of crowds, or rather the lack of it is demonstrated here on Qui Veut Gagner un Million.

Thanks Tygerland.

Americans are often ridiculed for this kind of stuff. It is good to know that educational shortcomings are a global phenomena. It is easy to give the guy a hard time, but I am sure it is tough to be on the spot like that. At least he didn't pick Mars.

PhotoHunt Theme: Paper

Because we've all got paper hearts

This is a photo from last years school concert. Ryan and his classmates entertained us with a song, the title, which I cannot remember and their hand made paper hearts.

You What??

In the spirit of this, we have this from the Age.

Nelson Mandela is still very much alive despite a gaffe by US President George W. Bush, who alluded to the former South African leader's death in a speech yesterday.

"It's out there," said Achmat Dangor of the Nelson Mandela Foundation of Mr Bush's comment, which received worldwide media coverage.

"All we can do is reassure people, especially South Africans, that President Mandela is alive," he said.

In a speech defending his administration's Iraq policy, Mr Bush said former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's brutality had made it impossible to unite the country.

"I heard somebody say, 'Where's Mandela?'," he said.

"Well, Mandela's dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas."

The bizarre gaffe was made in a press conference in Washington yesterday.

So that was the real reason for going to war in Iraq. He must be getting foreign policy advice from Miss South Carolina.

cj in comments clears it up for us.

It's clear from the transcript that the literal meaning of the question "Where's Mandela?" GWB was asked is "Where are the Iraqi leaders who will play the same role that Mandela played in the rebuilding of South Africa?" GWB's response was a pithy metaphor summarizing the situation there.

Apparently, GWB's critics are either (a) so dishonest as to give a false spin on the statement, (b) too lazy to check out the context before reporting it, or (c) too stupid to understand the analogy.
I plead guilty to (c)

Larvatus Prodeo has more, along with a very amusing comment thread.

Carry on everyone.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Alisher Usmanov Ugly Individual and Blog Bully

This man , who is trying to buy Arsenal and his hired Legal Bullies from Shillings need to be opposed. Shutting down web servers is not a good plan to make your case buddy. Especially if one of the sites shut down is a sitting Member of Parliament.


Justin is leading the charge.

Mr Eugenides has a good summary.

Harry's Place cuts to the chase.

Bloggers cannot operate if they are bullied by rich plaintiffs. Defamation law in the United Kingdom is both farcical and unfair, and is in desperate need of fundamental reform. Errors on blogs can easily be remedied: particularly where they permit open commenting (a libel risk in itself) which allows postings to be criticised, facts corrected, and arguments opposed. I know what it is like to be at the receiving end of a well funded threat of defamation proceedings, and it is no fun at all. It is outrageous that the law of defamation should be used to break bloggers: like butterflies upon wheels.

Frankly, we might as well shut up shop altogether if we do not stick together on this issue.

Wonkos World has the offending article.

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid. Next it will be you when you criticise Gordo, Tony, Sherrie, Dave, Guido and the like.

Say no to Alisher Usmanov.

And for those of you on Justins link love list, yes you on the link list below (Have you noticed your Technorati Ranking lately?) wishing to take additional protective measures against Uzbek retribution, head on over to Geiger Counter Warehouse.

This model is available for a radiation clicking steal of $195 plus shipping. A bargain when you think of the downside. You can discretely screen your Borscht before tucking in stress free.

Curious Hamster, Pickled Politics, Harry’s Place, Tim Worstall, Dizzy, Iain Dale, Ten Percent, Blairwatch, Davide Simonetti, Earthquake Cove, Turbulent Cleric (who suggests dropping a line to the FA about Mr Usmanov), Mike Power, Jailhouse Lawyer, Suesam, Devil’s Kitchen, The Cartoonist, Falco, Casualty Monitor, Forever Expat, Arseblog, Drink-soaked Trots (and another), Pitch Invasion, Wonko’s World, Roll A Monkey, Caroline Hunt, Westminster Wisdom, Chris K, Anorak, Mediawatchwatch, Norfolk Blogger, Chris Paul, Indymedia (with a list of Craig Murray’s articles that are currently unavailable), Obsolete, Tom Watson, Cynical Chatter, Reactionary Snob, Mr Eugenides, Matthew Sinclair, The Select Society, Liberal England, Davblog, Peter Gasston Pitch Perfect, Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe, Lunartalks, Tygerland, The Crossed Pond, Our Kingdom, Big Daddy Merk, Daily Mail Watch, Graeme’s, Random Thoughts, Nosemonkey, Matt Wardman, Politics in the Zeros, Love and Garbage, The Huntsman, Conservative Party Reptile, Ellee Seymour, Sabretache, Not A Sheep, Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion, The People’s Republic Of Newport, Life, the Universe & Everything, Arsenal Transfer Rumour Mill, The Green Ribbon, Blood & Treasure, The Last Ditch, Areopagitica, Football in Finland, An Englishman’s Castle, Freeborn John, Eursoc, The Back Four, Rebellion Suck!, Ministry of Truth, ModernityBlog, Beau Bo D’Or, Scots and Independent, The Splund, Bill Cameron, Podnosh, Dodgeblogium, Moving Target, Serious Golmal, Goonerholic, The Spine, Zero Point Nine, Lenin’s Tomb, The Durruti Column, The Bristol Blogger, ArseNews, David Lindsay, Quaequam Blog!, On A Quiet Day…, Kathz’s Blog, England Expects, Theo Spark, Duncan Borrowman, Senn’s Blog, Katykins, Jewcy, Kevin Maguire, Stumbling and Mumbling, Famous for 15 megapixels, Ordovicius, Tom Morris, AOL Fanhouse, Doctor Vee, The Curmudgeonly, The Poor Mouth, 1820, Hangbitch, Crooked Timber, ArseNole, Identity Unknown, Liberty Alone, Amused Cynicism, Clairwil, The Lone Voice, Tampon Teabag, Unoriginalname38, Special/Blown It, The Remittance Man, 18 Doughty Street, Laban Tall, Martin Bright, Spy Blog The Exile, poons, Jangliss, Who Knows Where Thoughts Come From?, Imagined Community, A Pint of Unionist Lite, Poldraw, Disillusioned And Bored, Error Gorilla, Indigo Jo, Swiss Metablog, Kate Garnwen Truemors, Asn14, D-Notice, The Judge, Political Penguin, Miserable Old Fart, Jottings, fridgemagnet, Blah Blah Flowers, J. Arthur MacNumpty, Tony Hatfield, Grendel, Charlie Whitaker, Matt Buck, The Waendel Journal, Marginalized Action Dinosaur, SoccerLens, Toblog, John Brissenden East Lower, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Peter Black AM, Boing Boing, BLTP, Gunnerblog, LFB UK, Liberal Revolution, Wombles, Focus on Sodbury…, Follow The Money, Freedom and Whisky, Melting Man, PoliticalHackUK, Simon Says… (173).

…and to the person who was quick off the mark with Usmanov’s Wikipedia entry.

And for the morbidly interested, the story will likely be told in more detail here at Tim's Blogger WTF Alisher Usmanov, Fastnet, Schillings Bloggerheads Site.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

How is Kevin Rudd like Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Mr Universe

Mr Puniverse

Singh's Six Six Slogs Singes and Subdues England in World Twenty20

Englands Twenty20 World Championships ended in a blaze of glory (for the other guys), when Yujraj Singh blasted six sixes in an over from Stewart Broad at the same time setting a world record with a 50 in 12 balls.

Yuvraj is the fourth man to complete the perfect over, after Garry Sobers, Ravi Shastri and Herschelle Gibbs. The first two instances came in domestic first-class matches; the most recent was in South Africa's World Cup game against Holland in March. But no one had previously achieved the feat against a Test-playing nation. Yuvraj's barrage – which also took him to 50 in an international record of 12 balls – was the final insult in England's execrable Twenty20 campaign.

Yet again, we English have given the world a new game – or at least a new refinement of an old game – and watched our sportsmen lose at it. Ten days ago, Paul Collingwood was predicting that the domestic experience of the team's Twenty20 specialists would give them an edge. Now his team have slunk shamefully out of the tournament. They remain the only major country not to have won a world one-day competition of any kind.

He must have been using some of this to enhance his performance.

England will have to invent another game that they can be good at.

Thanks for the Good News Telegraph Online

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tim Tams Rock

More Wordless Wednesday here.

Ahoy Me Hearties!

International Talk Like a Pirate Day is a parodic holiday invented in 1995 and celebrated every year on September 19, today. We are going to be participating in my office.

Actor Robert Newton, who portrayed Long John Silver in the 1950 Disney film Treasure Island, is the patron saint of Talk Like A Pirate Day. As the association of pirates with peg legs, parrots and treasure maps was popularized in Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island (1883), the influence of Stevenson's book on parody pirate culture cannot be overestimated.

"Bring me one noggin of rum, now, won't you, matey."[5]
"Avast, there!"
"Dead men don't bite."
"Shiver my timbers!" (often pronounced as "Shiver me timbers!")
"Fifteen men on the dead man's chest -- Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!" (see Dead Man's Chest)[6]
"There! That's what I think of ye. Before an hour's out, I'll stove in your old block house like a rum puncheon. Laugh, by thunder, laugh! Before an hour's out, ye'll laugh upon the other side. Them that die'll be the lucky ones."
The archetypal pirate grunt "Arrr!" (alternatively "Rrrr!" or "Yarrr!") first appeared in the classic 1950 Disney film Treasure Island.

Peter Pan
Peter Pan, with Captain Hook and his pirate ship Jolly Roger, contains numerous fictional pirate sayings:

"Avast belay, yo ho, heave to,
A-pirating we go
And if we're parted by a shot
We're sure to meet below!"
"Yo ho, yo ho, the pirate life,
The flag o'skull and bones
A merry hour, a hempen rope,
And hey for Davy Jones."

And from the Poop Deck

The holiday is of particular importance to Pastafarians (those who follow the teachings of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster) who consider pirates to be absolute divine beings and the original Pastafarians. This faux religion was established to protest the teaching of intelligent design in school classrooms. I always wondered what that was about and now I know.

Oh Arrrrrrr. Just off to do some dish swabbing. Domesticated pirate that I am.

And if ye would be wantin' some Pirate talk fer yer blog, then head avast.

Source Answers

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Who's a Clever Boy Then?

Howard the Hound Bounds to Life

The Man of Steal can rest easy with a rebound in poll support for the John Howard/Peter Costello Party and the assorted Rag Tag and Bob Tail Wacky Hangers On. The pre-election reshuffle looks like a winner. Labor may as well surrender now if we are to believe some of the commentariat. The Coalition Hounds have the wind in their backs. Woooooooofff!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Love Ya Long Time Dubya

Jonathon Yeo obviously has strong opinions about Dubya. If you look at the details, you will see why. Very clever. You can legitimately say Bush is an Asshole or rather more accurately (lots of them).

Well spotted Nicolas Gruen from Club Troppo.

Romantic Job Openings in Venice

Diana Dors in her mink bikini being looked after by one of Venices' Finest Gondalieros

Apparently one of the most exclusive clubs in the world, the 1,000 year old Gondaliers Guild in Venice is opening up a little.

The City of Venice awards only 425 gondolier licences and there are years of apprenticeship and a major exam to pass before one has any hope of entering La Categoria (the gondolier guild).

The medieval roots of the gondolier reach into the 21st century, with only two clear routes into the trade. "You are either born into it or racolto (lifted up) or trova (found) by another gondolier, as I was," explains Giovanni.

Gondoliers' exam results are published in the local paper, littered with "sons of" and "brother ofs", hinting at why it is almost impossible for a non-Venetian to penetrate the clam-tight guild.

The same applies if you are a woman - though a gondolier's widow is allowed to employ a substitute on her husband's license for two years, or until her son is old enough to enter the guild.

I think I will stick with the devil you know. I had a hard time operating a punt with a lady in it and doubt that I could pass the test.