Friday, September 29, 2006

A Whitlam's nest

So, an ex-pollie's wife expresses an opinion about the current PM's wife. Big deal.

Some of us, when we reach a particular age or stage - usually when we wake up to the fact that we can't please anyone most of the time and only what Number 1 thinks is important - quite freely express our opinions about people, objects, circumstances, the state of the world.....

Let her tell how she feels. Get it published in a book. Better still, get a blog. Long live the curmudgeon!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Getting old

So another one of those annoying emails arrived at my inbox yesterday. You know the ones - pass this on, you've just been hugged, you know you're getting old when..... Usually I delete them and pretend they never existed - still waiting for karma give me a good solid boot for that - and move on.

I have seen this one before, but I really do like it. It reminds me how stupidly paranoid and PC we are becoming. For me, PC is something that sits on my desk and has no other connotation. F'rinstance the mail makes a statement along the lines of mum defrosting the meat on the kitchen sink, taking sandwiches to school, wrapped in wax paper and put in a brown paper bag - you could always tell the rich kids, theirs was wrapped in rainbow coloured paper - not a coldpack, and no recollection of anyone getting ecoli. Yes! AND we used to swap lunches if you didn't like what your mum had packed that day. Did that many a time.

We said prayers and sung the National Anthem, were force fed free milk at morning tea - ugh, hated that bit cause sometimes the milk was warm - oh, and didn't like having to wash out the bottles in an aluminium garbage can - and getting detention was uber uncool. (There, Teen, I said it!)

We played in the vacant lot, doing stupid things on a pile of gravel left by a construction company and when we got hurt we went to mum for a bandaid, a hug and a 'get back out there'. Now, it's off to the dr, a course of antibiotics and mum phones the solicitor to sue the pants off the company for leaving the gravel there.

You were too scared to play up at your mate's place. You'd get your butt smacked there, and a double dose of trouble when you got home! If your mate hurt themselves doing something stupid, they'd get a swat from their mum for being a yobbo. These days she could own your house.

Ah, fond memories of growing up with a sense of freedom denied in today's world. They were the good old days. Blimmin' heck! I'm beginning to sound like my grandmother........ !

Monday, September 25, 2006

Wedding with a difference

I was fortunate enough to attend a friend's wedding on the weekend. A very cozy affair.

An operatic recital with vows thrown in for good measure. Poetry readings, an extract from a novel - Captain Corelli's Mandolin - an oboe soloist, baritone and soprano singers. All magic to the ears.

But the grand lady of the event was the pipe organ. Certainly a beautiful instrument, allowed to flex her chords both as an introduction to the ceremony and during a solo performance or two.

A wedding with a format not usually encountered, but knowing the groom I shouldn't have been surprised. Well done everyone. Loved every minute of it.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Stepping it up

I am currently competing - well, maybe that's too strong a word - participating in a 'World Walking Challenge'. Run by a section of Human Movement Studies at one of our local Universities. Pretty much a subversive plot to get us off our butts and onto our feet.

Nevertheless, our team name is based on Star Trek. What can you expect, we work in IT. A co-conspiritor from another team asked which one I was. "Enterprise."
"Really? Why on earth did you pick that one?"
"Umm, because I'm an enterprising person?"
He ignored that and complained Enterprise was the worst of the lot.
"When [E] came back from a Star Trek convention, he said he had been talking to [Deanna Troi] and asked if she minded that the Enterprise series was cancelled part way through."
We listened with interest.
"Not really was the reply. Why? Because it was crap..."

How can you argue with an assessment like that from one of the stars? (Actually I picked it because I liked the name...)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Travel trauma

You know, part of - actually a very large part of - my duties at work means organising overseas travel for my work colleagues. A task I love dearly ... not!

I've come to the conclusion that my GM is not meant to travel this month. In spite of what he may think.

First port of call, Bangkok. Military coup put paid to those plans. Then, Hungary. Budapest to be precise. Whoa, riots.

You'd think he's listen to what the fates are trying to say wouldn't you?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Pearls of Wisdom

Yep, pearls of wisdom from the Teen.....

"You know," she sighed "life was much easier when we were young and boys had germs."

Raised eyebrow from Mother. "Hmmm you still have to be careful, boys still give you germs. It's called pregnancy."

"Hey, are you saying I'm a germ?"

"You? Nope, you're just a parasite. Parasites live off you for the rest of your life."


"No, they don't! They only live off you till you die........."


10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, COUNTDOWN!

Ah, that brings back fond memories of growing up. The most popular teenage show that featured live acts from Australian bands, gossip and vid clips. We all watched it. You were square if you didn't.

Last night I had the chance to attend the Countdown Spectacular, the second show staged in Brisbane, in what was basically a reunion of some of the most popular acts of the time. It was brilliant!! Acts like JPY, Leo Sayer (ok, a pom, but loved enough to be considered an honourary Aussie), James Reyne, Cheetah, Chantoozies. Wow. And a special reunion from Sherbet. By the end of the first set, I was hoarse from cheering and yelling right along with all the old favourites.

Rumour has it that maybe a second concert could be in the pipeline.

One drawback - catching the train! How stuipid is it that the last train leaves before the end of the concert??? Luckily, they held the train so people could catch it back to the city. From there, I had to catch a taxi back to the car which had been left at the local railway station on our way in. Kind of defeats the purpose, really.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Knickers in a twist

I noticed a story on one of our 'tabloid tv' programs that masquerades as a current affairs program. I have been out of circulation for a while with regard to purchasing little girl's undies, not since the Teen reached double figures.

I know little girls like to dress up, but really. Padded bras? G-strings? Well, hang on ... now that I recall the segment, I think they only showed a string bikini. In sizes as small as 6. Lace, sequins, ribbons. It's all there. Now that's scarey. Where do we draw the line here? Why would you want your 6 year old to be wearing this stuff?

For me, if a girl starts wearing the lace and the knicks at age 6, what's she got to look forward to as a rite of passage? Being given my first bra for high school was a sign of 'coming of age', much the same as the (really) old fashioned concept of a boy receiving his first pair of long trousers.

These days, kids already grow up too fast. Time to back off and let them be kids.

September 11

September 11 has become a huge moment in time for all the wrong reasons. What about some of the other great things to happen on this day......

... Explorer Henry Hudson sailed into New York Harbour and discovered Manhattan Island and the Hudson River
... The seige of Sovastopol ended when French, British and Piedmontese troops captured the main naval base of the Russion Black fleet in the Crimean War
... The Carol Burnett Show premiered on CBS
... Little House on the Prairie made its debut on television (well, that could be great, depending on your point of view... ...)
... John Lee Hooker received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
... Last Israeli troops leave Gaza (well, that didn't exactly last long, did it?)

(info courtesy of

Friday, September 08, 2006

Bad week to be a celeb

And now we have lost Peter Brock. In the immortal - ha! - words of one of my siblings, it sure is turning out to be a bad week to be a celebrity.

One of the GT tells me that the Australian icons are dying off, so he is likely to be next. Yeah, right....

But have you noticed that these things seem to come in threes? I wonder who we will lose next?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

UnAustralian comments.....

Well I see that age hasn't mellowed Germaine Greer any. She's just as vociferously vitriolic as ever. Her latest take is that Steve Irwin was a tormentor of animals and many Australians found him embarassing. She also found the British press describing the mass floral tributes and public outpouring of grief as 'a Princess Diana moment' extremely embarassing.

You know, I have to stand up and say YES! I am one of those Aussies who found his public persona extremely embarassing. I have also admitted this to more than one American I have come across who professed a huge 'love' of this man. For me, South Park summed it up beautifully one episode with Cartman's parody of an Aussie croc hunter.

However, that doesn't mean that Germaine's comments were timely or appropriate. C'mon Germaine, you can't say that Australia might not have found you embarrassing once upon a time.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Australian values?

Seems to be a lot of political rhetoric lately about immigrants and muslims. Muslim leaders should denounce terrorism (haven't the pollies been listening?). Integrate into Australian society and take up 'Australian Values'. But no one seems to be game enough to define these values. Well, come on people! It's not that hard.

It's pride in our country. Pride in our flag (how come burning our flag is NOT a crime???). Mateship. Giving your fellow Aussie 'a fair go' (ok, we'll forget about the Rum Rebellion and the Eureka Stockade for a moment! :O) ).

I do agree, however, that yes you should learn to speak english. You can be at a definite disadvantage if you don't learn the local language, regardless of where you live. It's the minimum I would expect of myself.

Whatever strife is happening at 'home' - leave it there. If you come here for a new start, that's exactly what you should be doing.

I really believe that living with these 'values' is not too much to ask. Australia is a beautiful place, I love living here. It's a shame to feel that our politicians and influential leaders can't seem to get to grips that they are fighting on the same side. But then, free speech is supposed to be another of our great values......

Monday, September 04, 2006

Steve Irwin is dead???

Well, you can just never tell can you!!! Boring Monday, and pow! This happens.

Yes, breaking news is that Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin has died in a diving accident. What a shock! Although I didn't necessarily like his television work, his work with the Australia Zoo and other wildlife projects was worth while. Thinking of your wife and kids Steve.......

I hate Mondays

Well, here it is, gone 2pm on Monday and I feel like crap. Monday is never a good day anyway, being too close to the start of the week and all. One of the GT's suggested this morning that we could always go for a beer. Heck, works for me, except the pub wasn't open. Second option was going for a coffee while we wait for the pub to open. Even better.

Once upon a time (long long ago) I used to like Mondays, Tuesdays were great, Wednesday was getting better and so on till Friday. Yahoo! Time to go out! Then I had the weekend to recover. These days, as I get older, it becomes more of a struggle to get the enthusiasm for just about anything going. Except Friday. But that's a whole different reason. Now, Mondays are crap, Tuesday I couldn't give a stuff, Wednesday is getting better, middle of the week and all that, and so on till Friday. Yahoo! Time to go home to spend the next 3 days on the couch.

Ah, I love getting older. All the priveleges that being a YA (young adult) never offered. Now I can take what I want without feeling guilty. Do it all in my own time. Wear what I like and not care what anyone else says.

As they say: Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Nothing to look at here......

A family pet with an obvious identity crisis.

Holy heck. The Teen is going out to youth group. She tells me the theme is "Spring Break". What 'emo' has to do with spring is well and truly beyond me, but hey, I am only one of those called 'Mother'. I'm not supposed to be able to figure that stuff out. As the Teen says "it's so strange, it just might work".......