Evening the scores

Well humble reader it has been some time since I’ve posted here – some would say too long – others would not have noticed the gap. I’ve been posting with growing irregularity since being burdened with an extra workload at work – and an extra load of work outside of work.

Those of you who are now my Facebook “friends” – as if that somehow gives you more status than my real life friends – will know that I haven’t been idle when it comes to maintaining an online presence. And I’m happy to report I now have more than 100 fb buddies… it seems I came to that party pretty late.

The extended gap between posts means that I now actually have some news to report. Last Saturday we were approved for a lease on a nice little 3 bedroom townhouse in Pimlico – it’s pretty functional and has its own access gate to the shared pool.

This followed a hectic week of house drive bys, inspections and robust discussions. Our favourite place – at first – was a nice, modern Queenslander. We both inspected this house prior to applying and even bumped into the owner as he did his gardening – we were confident that we’d get the nod. However, we were looking for a 12 month lease – and the owner was only really prepared to give 6 months. He was also planning to build in underneath the house in that period. This house was advertised as having two garages – which would have disappeared within weeks due to a money hungry landlord who basically wanted to fund his rennovations via tenant. We were offered the house yesterday and turned it down. Stupid real estate agents.

So K-Rudd got down and dirty in New York on the tax payer’s dime. Farbeit from me to let an opportunity to dig the boot in to either side of politics – particularly on such a public indiscretion. I won’t tear strip(er)s off Kevin Rudd for his nocturnal dalliance – I note the Australian Christian Lobby was also eager to affirm the fact that we all are in fact fallen and sinful. I will however point out that the media’s eagerness to feed off the situation – whether it be Glenn Milne’s initial condemnation or the chorus of defenders who surfaced on the left’s side of the debate – perfectly demonstrates the point Jim Wallace from ACL made. On one side you’ve got stone throwers eager to beat K-Rudd down in a hail of self-righteous rage – on the other you’ve got those overly eager to associate themselves with whatever wrongdoings possible in order to diminish the perception of misconduct everywhere. Paradoxically, when it comes to commenting on this situation you’re damned if you do – and damned if you don’t.

Personally, I think when it comes to elected represenatives we’re probably entitled to throw a few stones. At that point we’re not judging the man himself – but his ability to do that which he was elected to do – that is present the country in the best light possible. Evidently not something he’s achieved here, or here.

Checkered History

I’m a big fan of draughts/checkers/chequers… call it what you will. It’s a game of infinite complexity – but slightly more simple than chess. Infinite in that statement is apparently figurative. There are in fact 500 billion possible combinations of moves that make up a game of checkers. History was made today – when a computer program finished working its way through all of them and announced that the perfect game of checkers ends in a draw.

You can play against a computer with almost all the answers here.

It’s now nine weeks (and a few hours) until Robyn and I get married. We’ve almost got our invitations sorted out. We’ve almost got a lot of things sorted out. But there are thousands of little things like table decorations and stuff that I just didn’t ever imagine having to think about.

My current idea for a table decoration is to have a toffee apple bouquet as the centrepiece. These will double as bombonieres (they’re the little presents you give people to take home/eat – another stupid wedding tradition).

With nine weeks to go we’ve also started trying to figure out where to live. I can truly understand why housing affordability is an election issue – the rent/buy debate is something we haven’t really come to terms with yet. The idea of spending 35% of our income on paying off a house is less than appealing. But the idea of pouring 10% of our income down the drain in rent is an equal turn off. Living in the car might work.

Where there’s smoke…

Hello blog reader.

It has been a while since my last post and much has happened. I recently celebrated the one year anniversary of my new financial year resolution to not eat fast food. My definition of “fast food” included anything from McDonalds, Hungry Jacks, KFC and Red Rooster. I’m happy to announce that I made the whole year – plus some nine days as I’m yet to return. This year’s NFYR sees me forswear the joys of carbonated “soft” drink including the products of Coca Cola and Pepsi – but not extending to Bundaberg Ginger Beer or Lemon, Lime and Bitters at the pub.

I got all cultured and stuff in the last week with the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. I went to their gala “Chefs in the North” dinner as I did last year. The food was above average and the wine was superb. Robyn and I went to the Guv’nr’s Gala Concert on Saturday night featuring a string quartet from NZ, an opera performance, some improv didge and a pretentious “art” piece from the festival’s resident composer.

I spent Friday on a luxury charter boat circumnavigating Magnetic Island – I’ll post photos later. Wedding plans are continuing – we’re putting together a map so that people can find the farm. It’s exciting times people. That’s a little update from me…

And now, without further ado – the subject of my topic… Daniel Johns and Peter Garrett. The Australian media was briefly up in arms today, keen to see Garrett’s credibility go up in flames over allegations made that he’d been burning the Midnight Oil (and some THC) with the Silverchair singer and U2’s Bono.Johns was quick to hose down the speculation – claiming he’d made a spur of the moment, off the cuff, joke to lighten the mood on JJJ’s sullen breakfast program… from Crikey –

”In an interview I did this morning on Triple J I made a stupid joke. It’s just been brought to my attention that some people in the media have taken my dumb joke seriously so I want to set the record straight. At no time have I ever “smoked a joint” with Bono or Peter Garrett. They are both well known to be very anti-drugs so that’s why I assumed everybody would know I was joking when I made that comment. Clearly that wasn’t the case and I feel sick that I might have caused embarrassment to two people who I admire so much.”

“I was fortunate enough to once get to play them some of my demo’s but I swear that no joints were involved. I guess I felt a bit like a namedropper mentioning them on the radio so that’s why I added a silly throwaway joke. I accept that drug use is no laughing matter and I apologize sincerely for any confusion or harm I’ve caused. Just by the way, this is one of the reasons why I hate doing interviews. I really should just shut up and stick to singing.”

Convincing? I’m not so sure.

That suits me

I made a spontaneous (thanks to Hilton and Justina) visit to Brisbane over the weekend to sort out wedding plans with parents and other parties… We now have a confirmed menu for our reception, an idea of exactly how many people will fit into the venue (120) and an idea of how the ceremony and morning tea/brunch/whatever will run.

Robyn’s main reason for making the trip to the “big city” was to search for bridesmaid dresses. Her search took her far and wide – they (Robyn and her sisters) travelled the length and breadth of South East Queensland looking for suitable dresses – spending many fruitless days digging through bridal specialists, looking at plans and checking all the appropriate boxes (literally and figuratively). They found nothing.

I had some time free on Saturday afternoon when I arrived. So I went suit shopping with mum and Mattias. We found appropriate suits in the second shop we went to. We bought them. I am sorted. I chose a very dark chocolate brown suit with brown pin stripes. It’s spiffy. I’m so glad I’m a guy.

In other news…
In today’s Courier Mail there was a brief (a one paragraph story for those not familiar with the media vernacular) on the explosion (figuratively not literally) of pest fish populations in the riverways of South East Queensland. The story calmly advised that drastic measures would be taken and that these pest fish (carp, tilapia etc) would be rounded up and electrofished. What on earth is electrofishing? That was my response too – I looked it up so you don’t have to…

This is a definition from Wikipedia’s fishing entry:

“A relatively new fishing technique is electrofishing, typically used for stream classification surveys and catching brood stock for hatcheries, or making estimates of populations in a body of water. A gated pulse of direct current is used to cause muscular contractions in a fish, called galvanotaxis, causing them to turn towards the source of the electrical current and swim towards it when correct pulse speeds and durations are used, along with correct current.”

For those intrigued by the concept here’s the how to guide from http://www.electro-fisher.com/… they’ve also got videos of electrofishing in action. Complete with really cheesy soundtrack.

http://www.electro-fisher.com/How_to_electrofishing.html

But remember…

“Fishermen should also remember that electrofisher is an electric device in order to avoid the contact of electric field with the bare body- waders must be waterproof and be electrically resistant as well as landing net must be plastic not to paralyse anybody – the same refers to boats. The electrofisher SAMUS700 is very safe but it is not reccomended to put the hands into water while electro fishing though”

So much to tell you…

Following a two week hiatus you’d expect there’d be a bunch of interesting stories for me to tell you. This would be an incorrect assumption. Sure, I went to a couple of weddings and saw Gomez live (they were amazing). I visited exciting places like Toowoomba, the Gold Coast and Mount Tambourine. I spent hours in a hospital car park waiting to pick up the groom from one of the aforementioned weddings following emergency eye surgery two days before he was due to marry Robyn’s sister Justina. I picked new towels, sheets and bed linen as part of preparation for my own married life (and wasn’t that fun). I learned all about weddings – for instance – I learned that the colour of an invitation should indicate what colour to wear, or not to wear to a wedding (the colour of the invite should match the bridesmaid’s dresses and also indicate the general theming of the wedding). I tried, without success thus far, to find somewhere to hold an “intimate” wedding reception following a larger inclusive ceremony and afternoon tea, and negotiated the nightmare of family politics surrounding weddings (I can now empathise with the captain of the Titanic who was no doubt doing his best to miss a bunch of minor icebergs when he ran into the big one that scuppered the ship). Plus there were a series of traumatic events in the news cycle while I was away that I felt compelled to blog about – however I couldn’t actually be bothered to respond to those compulsions. So will now mention them in passing – Andrew Johns retired as the best half back I’ve ever seen (given that my league watching career spanned exactly the length of his career that’s not too surprising). Anyone who tries to compare the incomparable skills of Mr Johns with Alfie Langer, Ricky Stuart or any other number seven who played in that period has rocks in their heads (even Geoff Toovey wasn’t as good – he sadly had no kicking game). Incidentally, Manly are still undefeated and sit atop the ladder, Manchester United won 7-1 against Roma in the Champions League and made the FA Cup final in the same week while still leading the Premier League by 3 points with only a few rounds to go (including one against Chelsea – which barring a diabolical turn of events and dramatic chance in goal difference it probably won’t matter if they lose they should still take the title) – so all in all it’s good to be me right now

The ANZAC day media fiasco played itself out in the media – but I’d like to point out that Vietnam is in fact no Gallipoli – and April 25 has very little to do with the Vietnam conflict. Why wasn’t the fuss made about that? I’m glad the real issue – Rudd’s Channel 7 favouritism was brought to the fore and promptly dealt with. A school shooting in the US made further mockery of the right to bear/bare arms (why anyone would want paws or hair free arms is beyond me). The idea that the American populace to be able to take part in a citizen’s militia to repel invaders has been a little diluted to the point where students can open fire on their peers. Gun reform is an easy campaign issue for the Democrats now so we’ll see what Joe’s blog has to say on that issue in the near future. Speaking of blogs philnsmiz has finally been updated – and should be again shortly, while Scooter’s blog still languishes back on the first of January where it promised so much but has since delivered so little. Tim’s has been also been updated.

So all in all, I am in need of a holiday. And I’m back at work today.