Never Mind the Frolykz, Here’s Weekend Wonderland!!

Hello

Good afternoon and welcome to Weekend Wonderland – now with added zest and appeal.

Well what an interesting week it’s been. I’ve been called selfish, ignorant, arrogant, offensive, insensitive and self-obsessed – and that was by people who like me.

So I’d better talk about something else.

Christians.

No let’s no go there. Um. The Budget. Yes. Next Tuesday all will be revealed by Wild Swan in his first Budget as a grown up. He’s got big shoes to fill – following in the foot steps of the self-proclaimed “World’s Greatest Treasurer,” but I reckon our boy Wayne is going to pull through.

Hints to date suggest that fags and grog are going up and welfare benefits for the rich are coming down. Poor old Joe Hockey doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going, but he’s determined to “maintain the rage” irrespective of whatever topic happens to be at hand, and that specifically includes whatever happens to be in the Budget.

This is what happens when we have a mob of socialists running the country.

Personally, I look forward to seeing Big Joe “incandescent with rage” (who thought that line up again?) after all is revealed next Tuesday.

Has anyone been watching the Graham Norton show? It’s camp, it’s funny, and it’s worth checking out (BBC humour of course).

I thought we’d have some nice relaxing local music to dissolve into the weekend…

Have a top weekend everyone!

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233 Responses

  1. Reb, the retail and employement figures out this week made me wonder whether “Black Swan” might not be a better name for our Treasurer rather than “Wild Swan” or other less flattering bird names used by the Opposition.

    This in turn leads me to this fine piece of music but the incredibly talented Mr Yorke:

  2. “by” not “but”

  3. I’ve noticed a lot of people correcting their spelling and grammar here lately.

    Why bother unless it completely changes the message of the comment!

    I reckon it has come about because of the spelling and grammar ‘Nazi’ who comes here after dark to have a snipe to justify his obvious character flaws…that is in his Nature!

    I suppose it is just one of his social experiments which could deter new commenters here because they might not live up to this ridiculous standard.

    I reckon we should have a bad spelling and grammar weekend to see how far we can bend the so called rules.

    Gee, I would not need to try!

  4. And God?

    Please help poor Reb mend his evil and nasty ways and bring him into your loving hot-tub of throbby mirror-ball strobe lighty stuff.

    Ta.

  5. In case people have missed it, I have a chronic case of split infinitives. As in Star Trek To BOLDLY go where no man has gone before, whereas it should be To go boldly where no man has gone before. The latter doesn’t sound quite right does it.

  6. I wend owt to bi a newe cloves driar thor the withe phor mudders dai!

    Igt waz A newe elektronique Masheen..1./, hoep shee liqes id.

  7. scaper …

    usually I don’t correct it but sometimes it just looks so bad and silly that it’s embarrassing not to correct it.

  8. The Lord Mayor of Crapperville is not only semi literate, he’s semi lingual.

  9. Tom,

    scaper only has half a tongue?

  10. Tom, isn’t time to walk the master’s poodles?

    Don’t forget the plastic bag.

  11. And God?
    Please help poor Reb mend his evil and nasty ways and bring him into your loving hot-tub of throbby mirror-ball strobe lighty stuff.

    Ta.

    Ross Sharp, on May 8th, 2009 at 4:01 pm Said:

    Yeh….just for a couple of minutes…………….

    And then you can burn the pr*ck !

  12. scaper…, on May 8th, 2009 at 3:51 pm Said:

    Look who’s talking…………………..

    What happened to the first part of your name Mr LANDscaper

  13. Dave, his tongue and wit match is intellegence.

  14. Is your nickname Walrus???

  15. Tom,

    Dave, his tongue and wit match is intelligence.

    I’m staying out of that one – I was only questioning your latin.

  16. Latin?

    There’s more than that, that needs to be questioned!

    Me thinks our Tom is a wannabe.

  17. Oh deary me..here we go again with the endless sniping.

  18. Min, every time he serves one at me I will return the compliment!

    I wonder how much bravado the person would display on a face to face confrontation?

    At least he has stopped insulting my wife with his directed innuendo.

  19. Scaps..I recall you saying that the blog had become a chat room. And to me lately it seems so. I appreciated your humor re the clothes dryer for mother’s day bit re spelling but it seems that whenever one says anything these days that it is an excuse for laying it on re insults.

  20. Dave, “multi lingual” refers to those that able speak more than one language, therefore “semi lingual” refers to those that struggle to master one.

  21. See Min, apparently I have no intelligence and I struggle to master the English language?

    I’ve had my profession and friends put down this week by someone that won’t reveal his so called profession!

    Sniping at its best.

  22. Tom

    lingual means “tongue”:
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lingual

    By all means check other dictionaries.

    Multi lingual means many tongues, a coloquial way of saying you can speak many languages.

    semi lingual means (literally) half a tongue.

    My lingual in my first comment was very much in cheek.

  23. I realise that Dave, but I though the intended pun may have needed some explanaation.

  24. Tom,

    I realise that Dave, but I though the intended pun may have needed some explanaation.

    No – we got it, alas mine fell over and in the process you trashed yours, 😉

    At least yours got comments, my connection between the article on the Libs bringing out their dead and this week being International Compost week got nothing 😦

    Oh well, beer O’clock me thinks.

  25. Meanwhile, the Taliban in Pakistan appear to have lost the hearts and minds of locals via naked brutality and actions that belie their stated intentions, allowing the Pakistani government to decide that finally they can declare a full-scale military assault on them because they have broad enough popular support. Apparently those “hearts and minds” things are rather useful.

    This seems like a necessary action, although lots of civilians appear to be caught in the area 😦

  26. “every time he serves one at me I will return the compliment”

    No, every time you make a tool of yourself and/or gratuitously use insulting terms, I’ll be entirely happy to point this out.

  27. Excellent choice Dave55 re beer o’clock or for me ouzo and coke o’clock, Mateus being currently lacking in the Min household. (note the split infinitive).

  28. 1 1/2 minutes of natter before poor old Geoff gets to sing!!! GMAB…. Youtube + cheap advertising but not cheap blurbing!

    Dave55, and anyone else, *clink* – just going to pour WT *2* … hic…

  29. Whoops, I think that I got it right this time. Umm..To boldly go compared with To go boldly..or did I?

  30. *Clink* TB and others.

    I’m settling in to a nice glass of Margaret River Evans & Tate Sem Sav Blanc…

  31. That’s bullshit, Tom!

  32. Wot no shiraz, sreb? You heathen!

  33. The Shiraz is “breathing” TB.. 🙄

    This is what civilised people do when they open a “bottle” of quality red wine.

    However I can understand that it might not be a concept that those that are accustomed to drinking wine out of a silver bladder would be familiar with…

  34. Anyone know of a nice rose..now don’t tell me that there is no such thing. The kids brought around a couple of bottles last weekend (it wasn’t Mateus as I would recognise that bottle 🙂 and I threw the empties out before taking note of what they were.

  35. I wonder if Pakistan will drop a nuclear warhead on India this weekend ?

    Joni………….if your reading this…………….what do the people in Mumbai think the chances are ?

  36. Where’s the Duck today ?

  37. Walrus..at last count at work eating a Picnic chokkie bar while Jedda isn’t home to catch him.

  38. Min,

    Why don’t you try a pinot instead of a Rose? Just for a change. You can also serve it chilled too if that’s how you enjoy it.

  39. sreb, I only drink from glass the taint of oil based plastic upsets my delicate ballllaaannce…and I only drink wine from the bottle 🙂 Philistine (did I call you that once {or twice} before?) BTW I hope you are entertaining your Mum this weekend…

    IATW, wasn’t Mumbai where they attacked the international hotels with grenades and shot most of the guests, recently?

    Re: Migoglo (AKA The Duck) is probably at the golf club ’cause I think he’s batching it this weegend…

  40. Rebski, any that you would recommend? And which might be available in our local bottle-o…it’s sort of a middle of the range type of bottle-o.

  41. The duck just clocked in. Timely, it appears.

    I’m wondering what fun I can have tonight while Jedda’s in Adelaide.

    I’m leaning towards a drink at the golf club to enjoy with a half corona. Other than that, I’m leaning towards a drink at home to enjoy with a half corona. Decisions decisions.

    Failing that, I might drop some rubber at a nearby roundabout before having a peruse on realestate.com for my next investment.

    On Sunday I’ll produce a mystery ailment to wriggle my way into some extended sick leave, and when I do eventually return to work I’ll join the union.

  42. re spelling…

    dave55 said “usually I don’t correct it but sometimes it just looks so bad and silly that it’s embarrassing not to correct it.”

    I agree, I don’t like to mispell words, it’s a personal peeve I guess.

    Correcting the spelling of others can sometimes be construed as insulting though; it depends how much of a diva you are.

  43. Min, that is a very good suggestion from, sreb, pinot is a light red and sometimes has a very delicate effervescence (depends on the winery)…

    as you know, sreb, is one our more experienced pi** pots and has an EXPANSIVE of experience in getting pi**ed on a variety of alcoholic beverages…

    …Miglo, of course has limited but VERY EXPENSIVE tastes so we tend to follow, shrebsh, advyshe… 🙂

  44. Min,

    From memory Rosemount do a “drinkable” Pinot.

    However I’m sure Miglo would beg to differ…

  45. Since I gave up drinking I have saved over three grand of my weekly pay!

    A glass of wine when I go out to dinner is all I drink these days.

  46. Gotcha Migs..then when Jedda phones and you are at the golf club then you will have to do a sudden bolt out onto the terrace just in case she hears all of the rah, rah in the background.

    Yes, I’m fine dear (fretting but fine), just had to put down the toilet brush before I could answer the phone.

  47. CORRECTION

    …has an EXPANSIVE of experience of…

    is obviously stupid grammar… (looks over shoulder)

    should read

    …has EXPANSIVE knowledge and experience in…

  48. TB Queensland, on May 8th, 2009 at 5:42 pm Said:

    Re: Mumbai

    Yeh TB………….It was a case of “no one gets out alive”………………And didn’t they blow up a hotel in India with a truck bomb not so long ago………………or maybe that was Pakistan…………..Oh I dont know………..so many massive explosions in that part of the world these days………..I think I’d rather stay at Fawlty Towers than any hotel in Mumbai.

    They say the hotels near the airport are really bad as Garuda is still allowed to fly into Mumbai……..and we know what they are like.

    They say if you stay near Mumbai airport at best………. if you wake up at all……………. you’ll have a Cockpit Voice Recorder laying beside you as a sleeping partner.

  49. Of course I effing beg to differ!

    You’ve already got me offside today reb, suggesting that white wine can be chilled if preferred. WTF! All wine should be consumed at room temperature, even white. You’ll find that there is much more flavour to enjoy.

    Some tool tried to argue with moi about this issue. White wine MUST be chilled he argued. OK, I said, what did they do before the fridge was invented? By my reckoning white wine preceeded the fridge by a couple of thousand years.

    You all must surely agree with me that he was a tool.

  50. *Since I gave up drinking I have saved over three grand of my weekly pay!*

    Bejesus! scaper, and I thought sreb was a pi**pot!

  51. Since I gave up drinking I have saved over three grand of my weekly pay!

    scaper…, on May 8th, 2009 at 5:51 pm Said:

    What The F*** !

    What the hell were you drinking that you now save $3,000 per week on ????????????

  52. Fine for you in Canberra Migs…everything at room temperature is already chilled!

  53. Good point Min. She’ll be expecting a call from me during my free hour (7-8), and then she’ll want to call me during her free hour (8-9). This will be followed by a video call on Skype when her little grandson will want to thank me for the animal pictures book I bought him.

    Meanwhile, outside, my half corona will be burning away.

    I might get a chance to sneak up the club around midnight.

  54. “Failing that, I might drop some rubber at a nearby roundabout before having a peruse on realestate.com for my next investment.”

    lol. Are you gonna let the dogs sleep on Jedda’s pillow?

  55. MIiiiiigs, maaaaate, “room temperature” is European RT, maaaaate, I lived there!

    Friggin’ -00000 Celsius – half the time and the wine is stored underground!

    ALL wines should be chilled in Oz! FFS!

    I do agree with breathing! (Other wise yer’ll die – LOL! LOL!

  56. Miglo, on May 8th, 2009 at 5:54 pm Said:

    Miglo…………I hate to say is quite correct. The more you colder you serve white wine the less of it original taste it has.

    Never buy a wine that is a freezing cold sample.

  57. Min, even my cup of tea has chilled.

    I see that Angels and Demons has been made into a movie. It is the prequel to the Da Vinci Code, and IMO, a much better book, although the far-fetched ending was a downer.

  58. I see the elite agree with me (TB and Walrus).

    And Toiletboss, Jedda took her pillows with her. I’m trying to think of something else dastardly.

  59. Have to choof. Have a wonderful evening everyone.

  60. I Am The Walrus, on May 8th, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    IATW – the terrorists are about 100km from Mumbai as we discuss the seriousness of visiting anywhere on the sub-continent. The USA has threatened to reduce assistance to Pakistan because of their poor showing against the Taliban – did I say that they are less than 100km from Mumbai? – the rumour is that the Taliban may have access to nuclear weapons and are silly enough to use them…that would mean retaliation and complete annihalation of at least 80% of the population of Pakistan and that would then cause India to react etc etc…

  61. Where do the Churches get off? Not happy with running the best legal tax-avoidance racket in the world, they want to ban yoga, they want to ban tai chi, they want to ban music.

  62. *I see the elite agree with me (TB and Walrus).*

    Nuh! *ALL wines should be chilled in Oz! FFS!*

    Did I miss something?

    PS I do live in Queensland – ’emm – sub tropical climate.

    Don’t you ever – ever, serve me warm “bubbly” of any quality!

  63. aaaahhhh first mouthful of beer (unfortunately it takes me a bloody hour to get home after recognising it’s beer O’Clock).

    “clink” everyone.

    reb, Pinot shouldn’t be served cold unless it’s mixed with chardonnay in a good Bubbly. No idea if the Rosemount is any good or not, I only drink the NZ, French, Mornington or Geelong ones.

    Miglo, I’ll agree to a point on whites being chilled but it really depends on what the temperature of the room is. Generally we drink our whites too cold. 14-15C is pretty good, which means slightly chilled. Before fridges, wines were kept in cellars and that’s about what the temp should be. It’s even cooler than that in Europe.

  64. 😀

    Pissing myself laughing watching my dog chase her tail – for such a smart dog she can be like a prop forward sometimes.

  65. …the rumour is that the Taliban may have access to nuclear weapons…

    It was reported a few days ago that the Pakistani leadership continues to assure the US that the nuclear weapons are in no danger of falling into Taliban hands, and that they require some sort of launch code derived/provided by the US (it wasn’t clear to me how that part was meant to be workable).

    At the same time, some US officials were said to be increasingly concerned about the difficulty of verifying at least the first part of that assurance…if only because the Pakistanis stoutly refuse to reveal where they stashed their nukes, even as the Taliban took over more and more territory.

  66. Miglo, for a hoon petrol head you do know something about wine, the qualification is that Champagne should be chilled, never served at room temperature.

    With regard to your earlier comment – “Failing that, I might drop some rubber at a nearby roundabout before having a peruse on realestate.com for my next investment. On Sunday I’ll produce a mystery ailment to wriggle my way into some extended sick leave, and when I do eventually return to work I’ll join the union“

    Sounds entirely plausible to me, though you should have written “for my next TAX DODGING investment”

  67. “It was reported a few days ago that the Pakistani leadership continues to assure the US that the nuclear weapons are in no danger of falling into Taliban hands, and that they require some sort of launch code derived/provided by the US (it wasn’t clear to me how that part was meant to be workable). ”

    Unsurprisingly that little morsel doesn’t exactly allow me to relax about the situation.
    I get the feeling that the US may be trying to keep a lid on panic by whispering sweet nothings?

    A bad happening teetering on the brink of becoming an archetypal failed state. Not much to look forward to there.

    BTW Lotharsson, I read, & appreciate, all of the stuff re torture; I wouldn’t be alone in that.

  68. Frank Zappa once rhetorically asked – I’m paraphrasing, can’t remember the exact quote – how do you tell the difference between a church and a religious cult? By the size of their real estate portfolio.

  69. Tolietboss…. and that is to make me feel relaxed and comfortable?? hehe

  70. Ray Hunt

    how do you tell the difference between a church and a religious cult? By the size of their real estate portfolio.

    Does that mean Miglo’s a cult?

    Just think of the tax deductions Miglo 😉

  71. Dave, Miglo, there are all sorts of whacko American Churches on the web offering instant ‘salvation’ from the demonic strictures of the ATO and the tax act. LOL. Just enter your card number here … Doctorates in Divinity appear to be the bargain of the week …

    Q). Were the Churches made tax exempt so they could:
    a) acquire the largest real estate portfolios on earth; or,
    b) use their resources and philosophy to the benefit of the societies that support them?
    c) fund the new crusades in far off lands?
    d) a judicious mix of a and c

  72. Ray,

    Miglo is best placed to answer that one but I’m guessing he’ll go with d)

    😉

  73. welcome back TB, great to see you back.

    I might buy you a computer myself if this happens again, Might, at the very least i will think about it.

    Seriously!

  74. Having studied the Reformation I can clearly say that the “church” is about the most corrupt and manipulative organisation ever. The Dark Ages are a result of the church’s desire to destroy just about anything that questioned their beliefs.

    Advances in science, medicine, astronomy, geology, evolution etc etc etc only occured as the church’s grip on humanity weakened.

  75. b) & c).

  76. Shit moogli, you’re not just a pretty face…errr duck.

    Not that I ever doubted of course.

  77. & d).

  78. Just a note after working in a few vineyards, lizards, frogs, catupillars or grasshoppers are not seperated from the process of crushing grapes, i see why the taste varies from place to place.

  79. It happens every time. Every effing time. Every time the wife goes interstate one or both of HER dogs drop a turd on the floor. Of all the wonderful places outside to go drop a turd one is still dropped, not on the tiles that take up 75% of our floor place, but right in the middle of the rug in the TV room.

    What makes this one worse, is that I trod in it, noticing the accident – with horror – when I turned on the light.

    Every effing time.

  80. Do you guys do culture jamming. Spoof adverts, corporate propoganda, that kinda stuff?

  81. Miglo, they seem to know what they’re doing. My partner when younger had a dog once that did precision pooing when it felt upset and abandoned. IIRC once it was neatly deposited in the very centre of the pillow of the head of the family. Very pointed.

  82. Unsurprisingly that little morsel doesn’t exactly allow me to relax about the situation.

    Me neither.

    I saw a post claiming there was a Pakistani “source” telling stories about the imminent danger of the nukes falling into Taliban hands. The poster read the tealeaves and thought it sounded like “Curveball” who was entirely out of touch with reality and provided lots of stories about Iraq and WMD that were uncritically (and apparently deliberately so) accepted as part of the justification for the invasion of Iraq. The poster felt a case for invading/”helping” Pakistan was being constructed. Hard to tell right now what’s really going on though.

    BTW Lotharsson, I read, & appreciate, all of the stuff re torture; I wouldn’t be alone in that.

    Thanks. It’s a difficult subject – lot of people want to sweep it under the carpet and “just keep walking”. I figure the useful thing about a blog, unlike a real conversation, is you can instantly scroll past anything you don’t want to read – so it should be put up there for those who are interested.

  83. Lotharson

    I think the comments about Pakistan re nukes are just because I am heading to Mumbai on Sunday for work… and someone (yes – I am looking at you IATW) is trying to get me worried.

    Not that the situation in Pakistan should be overlooked.

  84. [Torture-related stuff. Feel free to skip…]

    NY Times a little while ago on how waterboarding was touted to the public by an ex-CIA officer who falsely represented how effective it was and how it had been used – that someone not actually present when it was used. Then again, arguing how effective it is or isn’t seems to me to miss the point.

    The same TV channel is uncritically publishing unreliable information provided by the CIA about briefings for Congress members.

    Some more details and thoughts on the CIA’s apparently rubbery command of facts and apparent unfortunate memory loss.

    And allegations that the Bush administration moved briefings on the subject to Republican-only Appropriations Committee briefings to go around Democrats.

    A Human Rights Watch researcher reports on detainee deaths in custody, including a number he says were clearly tortured to death. Apparently some of the sources include DoD autopsy reports obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Quite a lot of this has been known for some time, but somehow hasn’t figured much in the torture debate in recent years. A number of cases seemed to mysteriously go uninvestigated, or stop rather suddenly.

  85. joni, I got that subtext about your travels – but I also saw real world stories about the issue. It’s just difficult to figure out how accurate those are (especially since we know the media has been led by the nose to put out false stories a number of times in the past when certain factions find it useful for them to do so…)

  86. Do you guys do culture jamming. Spoof adverts, corporate propoganda, that kinda stuff?

    We do anything Aubegene as long as it gives us a tax break.

  87. I see that Sparta is posting on Midweek Mayhem. It must still be Wednesday in Arizona.

  88. Miglo,

    Sometimes it feels like it……….Just another boring “back and forth” with the “Lot”……

  89. May I wish a bountiful and happy harvest season ‘pon ya’all.

  90. ‘Naughty’ Rupert Murdoch announces plans to start charging people to read his UK newspapers online:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2009/may/07/rupert-murdoch-internet

  91. Miglo,

    Now I know this may sound like a ridiculously simple solution to your *cough* “problem.”

    But, have you considered rolling up the rug, whenever Jedda goes away?

  92. “But, have you considered rolling up the rug, whenever Jedda goes away?”

    With the dogs in it?

  93. AQUANUT – thanks much appreciated…two new Dell’s arrive on Monday!

    Horace Andy, on May 9th, 2009 at 1:19 am
    May I wish a bountiful and happy harvest season ‘pon ya’all.

    …and peace upon all the world’s creatures who inhabit this planet – the high and the low and the bit in between we all call blog…

    …WTF…harvest season????

    Obviously strayed from ‘tother side (‘pon ya’all) I like my WT but don’t I talk/write like that…yet

    Oh! and speaking of alcohol – you’ll all be pleased to know (well most of you) that my doctor of over 20 years tells me that the jury is still out on how much alcohol is “OK”…so until then…I’ll just keep taking the pills he gives me every six months…and the WT each night. 😀

  94. Just read the posts above re Mrs Miglo’s dogs…

    (Sounds like the young Bosnian bloke next door – “she’s pregnant” – referring to his wife…he obviously has nothing to do with it?)

    Anyway, back to Miglo’s *cough* problem…is this what we refer to as, “blog s#!t”, in future?

  95. “I’ll just keep taking the pills he gives me every six months…and the WT each night.”

    If it were me, I’d probably take the six pills each night WITH the WT, just to see what happens…

  96. I was wondering when you lot were going to get up out of bed. Hubby had to work today and so (sigh) yet another 5am start. Have been to Bunnings to check out climbing plants because I have a sneaking suspicion that I am getting a garden arch for mother’s day 🙂

  97. Speaking of India…I did a job for an Indian the other month and now a lot of his mates have rung me wanting work done.

    A lot of the Mumbai elite have moved to Brisbane by the sound of it…maybe they don’t want to be fried by the nukes?

  98. Oh God, is it Mothers’ Day AGAIN? Tomorrow no doubt I suppose.

    A garden arch. That’s nice Min. I’m thinking my partner one of those tumbling compost bins for his birthday.

    I figure that it’s just about the right size to conceal his body should I ever decide to do away with him for the insurance money.

  99. Not just Brisbane Scaper.

    I found some Indians in our local supermarket looking completely dumfounded. The poor things looked like they were wandering around looking for a packet of garam masala in a sea of wall to wall shelfs of white bread, soft drinks and “Woolworths Select”.

  100. “I was wondering when you lot were going to get up out of bed.”

    Up at 5:00, pouring concrete as 6:30 and now to write up a few quotes.

    It is going to be full on for the next ten weeks…then a holiday.

  101. TB, Horace does sound like a pom or maybe an American expat (??). Our harvest is actually going quite nicely. Jeff planted ‘Tommy Toe’ tomatoes (same as mid size vine ripened) and just 4 plants has kept the whole family (plus the neighbors) in tomatoes for the past 3 weeks. These are the first ones we’ve grown that haven’t been devoured by fruit fly.

    Capsicums this year were a complete disaster, but have mega passionfruit and mega lemons and limes.

  102. Well done scaps. Was reading an article about how tradies such as yourself will weather the recession storm as people will be more inclined to do renovations rather than trade houses.

  103. Reb, what I like about Indian clients is their hospitality, they bring us out lunch and prepared a few meals for me to take home and heat up.

    Never got that from an Aussie client!

  104. Scapes,

    Totally agree. They’re very friendly, open and often have a very dry and down to earth sense of humour. Whenever we visit Malaysia, I always spend a lot of time hanging around the Indian precinct.

    The street food is fantastic, the bollywood music is blaring from every street corner, and having a haircut at an Indian barber is a performance not to be missed in itself!

  105. Reb, I remember when I was nineteen in Penang getting a haircut and a shave.

    The Indian dude pulled out a serrated cut-throat razor and I shit myself and tried to make a run for it, then he bought out the usual razor.

    They all had a good laugh, but that was the last time I payed for a shave!

  106. Reb, surely partner isn’t a Teletubby??

  107. Here’s something that I want to do in the future.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25451299-2702,00.html

    Imagine paddling down this river surrounded by desert?

  108. I think that you are right there scaps, that Australians have lost the art of hospitality. Ages ago when Jeff was working for Rockwell’s, end of the year was a fresh seafood smorgasbord and presents for all of the kids and partners. It deteriorated over 5 years to a BYO plate due to ‘cost cutting’ measures.

    Hand up..I did my bit for our local tradie. I have always painted the house myself (Dad used to work for Hardie Trading and later Spartan Paints and so I was trained from about age 5 🙂 However, this time Jeff thought that it being a big job that he would employ a local painter..and an excellent job he did.

    I had a coffee pot on so that D’ could have a break whenever he felt like it, plus snacks, bikkies and cheese and cheese and walnut cake with cream cheese icing. Umm, maybe that’s why he took an extra 1/2 day to complete the job . D’ admired the spice rack that family had bought me for Xmas and so when he came to pick up his pay, I threw in an extra $50 so that he could buy his wife one. D’ is semi-retired and does many ‘love jobs’ including working for the disabled.

    PLUG..anyone needing a 1st class painter at a bargain price around the Tweed Heads area, let me know.

  109. Min,

    No partner isn’t a Teletubby. Far from it. He can eat anything he likes and doesn’t gain an ounce of fat.

    It’s sickening.

  110. Min, I still get cartons of beer from Aussie clients at the end of the job and the guys get that but they are not big drinkers…I reckon the budget next week will see a reduction in that practice.

  111. Min,

    Tomy Toe tomatoes – are they like the gourmet tomatoes in the shops?

  112. For anyone who needs some tips on how to handle rejection:

  113. Reb..was thinking of the parameters of a tumbling compost bin. Obviously partner will easily fit.

    My partner, likewise..if he wants to lose weight (which he should) it’s just a matter of cutting down from 2 teaspoons of sugar in one’s coffee to 1 teaspoon. Bob’s yer uncle, a couple of kgs lost, whereas I can starve on lettuce leaves and tuna in springwater and not lose a scrap. Where are you Jane??

  114. TB, Jeff picked up the Tommy Toes from the Boyd’s Bay nursery. It was just an experiment as we hadn’t grown them before.

    They are mentioned at: http://store.tomatofest.com/Tommy_Toe_Cherry_Tomato_Seeds_p/tf-0503.htm

    They tend to grow tall and lanky but with only 4 plants we’ve had no need to buy a (tasteless) tomato from the supermarket.

    All the kids have grabbed a couple for seed.

    Interesting that Tommy Toe is ‘heirloom’.

    If you have any problems finding any, let me know and I can throw a few into a box for you for seed.

  115. Reb, of course I rolled the bloody rug up. Complete with widely spread turd inside. Rug now sits outside waiting for the dog owner to return.

    Now I know why she rolls it up before we go anywhere.

    Sometimes, learning things takes time.

  116. YooHoo Reb. Re the Youtube clip, it comes up Embedding disabled by request. Now that really, really is ‘rejection’!

  117. I tried to warch it too Min, and the same thing happened to me.

    I expect better from reb.

  118. Thanks, Min

    sreb, on a serious not 😀 The Minister has a tumble mulch – everything goes into grass clippings, nail clippings (just jokin’), veggie scraps etc. great mulch – but then we do live in Queensland where its beautiful one day, perfect the next…

    Speaking of “perfick’ ” has anyone been watching Darling Buds of May – its being re-run on Friday ABC at 12:30 – great show…

  119. Migs..umm, you’re going to leave a doggy do-do wrapped up in a rug until the Mrs comes home? Sweet one, are you not expecting encounters of the romantic kind for the next six months?

    Take the offending item into the garden and hose it. Place the rug in a bucket of Napisan. Then you can say, Look what your dog did! And then everyone is a winner.

  120. Agreed Migs, when Reb said that the title was ‘rejection’, he really meant it.

  121. …AND ABOUT TIME TOO!

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25452043-5012587,00.html

    Particularly like the inland, heavy freight, railway line Brisbane to Melbourne – might get some of those bloody BB trucks off the roads!

  122. Take the offending item into the garden and hose it.

    I’d like to Min, but while outside last night puffing on a half corona I noticed a large spider looking at me. It’s best I stay away from the garden until Jedda gets home and sorts that one out.

    And after she’s dealt with the spider she may as well clean the rug while she’s outside.

  123. TB, funny how the blog sniper got it so wrong with his high speed passenger trains…lol!

  124. Agreed TB..for the southerners, we have the most ridiculous situation where the train stops at Casino (inland and 60kms south west of Byron Bay) and the next train is over 100kms away in Queensland at Robina, inland from Broadbeach.

    From whereis.com, the calculation is that this is 175km gap in services.

  125. Migs..all I can say is that you had better have a box of chokkies and a nice pot plant for the Missus when she comes home. If so you might almost get away with it.

  126. Other thought Migs, what are you going to do with the offending item in the mean time while waiting for the wife to come home???? Surely it would be getting a wee bit pongy by now? Certainly not something that you would want to contaminate the cellar.

  127. Lord Mayor of Crapperville – “sniping”

    It is no use continually challenging people with this type of confrontational language, and then whinging and sooking when there is a response in kind.

    Stop sooking.

  128. Scaps re: Min, I still get cartons of beer from Aussie clients at the end of the job and the guys get that but they are not big drinkers…I reckon the budget next week will see a reduction in that practice.

    I hope not but that through thick and thin that the true Aussie spirit of help for the less fortunate will shine on through.

  129. The master of the house gave you the day off?

    I was referring to your colleague, not yourself!

    Now, whose getting sooky, Tom?

  130. It makes no difference who you were referring to.

    If you want to dish out the confrontation, and use disparagement, then they’re the rules you set for yourself. So stop whinging.

    I’m off for now anyway.

  131. Were you sober when you typed that rubbish???

  132. *I’m off now anyway*

    Must have stepped in, Miglo’s, *cough*, problem…

  133. Anyone want a quick fix splendiferous dinner?

    This can be done with lamb shanks or veal racks or even with lamb chops.

    Combine 1×275 jar cranberry sauce, 1/2 cup dry red wine, 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard, 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, 4 gloves garlic finely chopped.

    Place meat in roasting dish and spread with above mixed. Cover with foil and bake for 2 1/2 hours.

    Sieve off pan juices and bring to the boil in a pot.

    Can do roast veg in the same pan otherwise serve with lightly steamed veg.

    Pan fried bread and you’ve got it.

  134. I just bought myself a hedge trimmer. While Jedda’s outside scaring away big spiders and cleaning the leftovers off the rug, I might calmly suggest that she trim the shrubs.

    And yes Min, the large offending deposits have been removed from the rug, demonstrating my initiative to make the job easier for Jedda.

    On another matter, I was listenning to Late Night Live the other evening and Phillip Adams had a good name for the swine pandemic: panicdemic, suggesting that the media has caused the panic and not the virus itself. Articles I’ve recently read reveal that 3,000 Australians die each year of the flu, 12,000 British, and 35,000 Americans.

    Worldwide 360,000 people die each year of the flu or as a result of the flu. Many of these are elderly people whose immune system is weak while suffering from the flu, and hence attract other nasties.

    If you really want to be scared, go into iTunes, select Podcasts, search for the Ted Talks videos and watch the 30/4/09 video titled “What can we learn from the 1918 flu pandemic?”

    Now that WAS scary.

  135. Sounds like a nice recipe Min, but while Jedda’s away I’m limiting the number off dishes I can dirty. Already the kitchen looks like a war zone. If only I could muster the energy to empty the dishwasher.

  136. It does sound like a nice recipe.

    I particularly like the bit about the wine. Any excuse to open a bottle…

  137. Migs,

    My dishwasher can be a bit unreliable at times too.

    At the moment he’s out doing some gardening.

  138. Hmmm, a hedge trimmer, J’ suggests that I can do quite nicely minus this 21st century piece of equipment.

    Migs..you have a dishwasher..enjoy the experience, this is speaking as one who until the past 6 months has never had a dishwasher. I am being indulgent..and loving it. Stack it, push the button and off to recline in the lounge. Such luxury!

  139. Reb agreed. Ans: I have to buy this wine because I need it for cooking. 2 slurps for me, 1/2 a slurp for the stew, 2 slurps for me, 1/4 slurp for the stew.

  140. Re Whooping Cough. From the SMH… There has been a significant jump in the number of NSW whooping cough notifications, from 696 between January and March last year to 5444 for the same period this year, NSW Health Minister John Della Bosca says.

    Sadly, a lot of this come from ‘alternative lifestylers’ far north coast who consider that their ‘superior lifestyle’ will make them and their children immune from viruses. Wake up! A virus doesn’t care whether you eat lentils or whether you eat pork chops.

  141. Miglo, I reckon Min’s on to something with that bit of advice. Should earn you quite a nice little cache of brownie points for future use 😉

  142. That canoe trip down the Kallakoopah Creek in the Simpson Desert sounds awesome! I would also have loved to have gone rafting through the Grand Canyon when I lived in the US, but never managed it. One of these days…

  143. … I’m gonna cut you into little pieces

  144. Loth, I was at Wye River ’58-’70 (family were at Beech Forest, Gellibrand and Lavers Hill). It was a 15 minute scramble down the sand dunes. The men with their surf rods hauled in load after load of gummy shark and flathead. Just drop in a line in those days. My late dad made his own rods and cast his own sinkers. My dad’s indulgences were an expensive reel and a home brew kit 🙂

  145. Joni re:

    joni, on May 9th, 2009 at 3:31 pm Said:
    … I’m gonna cut you into little pieces

    Any specifics forthcoming? Is this comment something to do with Miglo’s hedge trimmer? My cooking? Loth’s trip down the Grand Canyon with scaper?

  146. [Torture memos. Scroll on by if need be.]

    Background: Utah is very conservative, and has a lot of Mormons. Bybee is a Mormon, and graduate of the (Mormon) Brigham Young University. Salt Lake City is (IIRC) the capital of Utah.

    This recent Salt Lake Tribune editorial suggests that human rights and “laws and ideals that protect human dignity” are still valued in Utah. They excoriate Bybee for his memos that constitute a “sickening shred of legal cover” for torture and call on him to resign or be impeached from his judgeship on the basis of moral, ethical and legal unfitness to serve.

  147. Apart from the – frankly astonishing in person – Grand Canyone, there’s a truly awesome sight on the Colorado River which flows through it. You’ve probably seen photos of it somewhere, some time, even if you didn’t know where it was.

    I can’t remember exactly where it is now – you need a guide book, because it’s not exactly marked. You drive something like 8 miles out of the nearest town, turn off the road at the mile marker, park a couple of hundred metres away, and walk off into the apparently empty desert for another few hundred meters.

    And suddenly, almost out of nowhere, you’re standing right above an enormous horseshoe bend in the river with cliffs maybe 100m high. You can lie down and stick your head over the edge and take the whole thing in one wide-eyed glance. Fantastic 🙂

  148. Absolutely no idea Loth..the proof as they say is always in the pudding. My dad was a Baptist..or a bush Baptist was his description. My father never had any time for religion, yet somehow he was a very spiritual person..loved plants, animals, kids, the Collingwood football team, Fosters Lager (the previous with big grins) and never had a harsh to say against anyone. Anyway, the above fairly well summarises my opinion about ‘spirituality’..all the rest is argy bargy.

  149. Lotharsson, on May 9th, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    You should watch the movie “Deliverance”, L, river camping/holiday trip with lots of torture – right up your alley! 😀

  150. I think the only thing that puts me off the idea of the Grand Canyon, is that you’d have to go to America to see it.

  151. sreb, the USA is wonderful, its run by such delightful, naieve children…

  152. I mean

    niaeve – erm, nieave – erm – f**k where’s N% when yer need him!

  153. For anyone into family research, the Mormons have provided the only freebie site. This is the most comprehensive site available..and it’s free to use. Bearing in mind that you won’t find yourself there due to privacy considerations re people who are still living.

    http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/frameset_search.asp

    I think that I offered via Tim Dunlop’s site, but if anyone has ancestors coming in via Victoria or SA then I have all of the discs and am happy to help with research. Freebies of course. Just contact either Reb or Joni.

  154. Deliverance.

    Now there’s a movie that whenever mentioned, the mere thought of it brings tears to the eyes.

    I bet you still haven’t seen Brokeback Mountain yet have you TB?

    Bloody hell. Is it wine o’clock yet…??

  155. America’s a lot of things, reb, all at once. There’s a lot of real cruddy stuff, small-mindedness, crassness, ugliness, poverty, the TSA/INS, LAX airport – and a lot of amazing sights, big-hearted generous people and beauty you won’t see anywhere else. Don’t let the former put you off the latter.

    But try to avoid the worst of the tourist season if you can or go off the beaten track yourself – the big American tourist sights get very crowded. Yosemite National Park is well worth visiting – but we went in early spring when it was still quite cold because in summer you have to book four months ahead for a camp site and the main tourist trails are filled with streams of people.

    Oh, and based on your comment – you should skip Vegas entirely 😉 We drove through it and that was more than enough.

  156. Squeal like a pig?

    It would bring tears to one’s eyes!

  157. And Reb have you watched Calendar Girls?

    And yes, Rebski you are excused, it is indeed wine o’clock.

  158. sreb, I confess to being a slack arse (no, no, that’s NOT what I confess to at all, around here!!!!), mmm, lazy is better.

    …and yes it is…wine o clock, had lunch with Jacob’s Creek Pinot Noir Chardonnay and just snuck open bottle No2 – The Minister had her favourite Trilogy bubbly…

  159. TB..go and watch Brokeback! We’ve been waiting for eons for your opinion.

    Reb, now you have to watch Calendar Girls due to your comment on Midweek about religious females who knit and crochet.

  160. And don’t even think about setting foot in the US without top quality health insurance. My now-partner came over once for a visit and had to go to the doctor for a flu-like thing. Not being covered by a US medical plan, they charged their standard rates. It was USD200 (about 10 years ago), so that’s probably 500 Aussie dollars in today’s money. And that’s not counting the prescription medication which can be horrendously expensive (one particular script was USD120 for four migraine tablets if you weren’t in a health insurance plan).

    And that’s assuming you can even get in to see one when you’re sick. I had a very good health insurance plan, but even then if you were really sick you had to
    (a) convince the (not medically trained) receptionist on the phone that you needed to see a doctor soonish please, typically by providing some details of what ailed you(!)
    (b) get lucky in order to see someone the same day. Mostly it was the following day or the day after.

    And if you didn’t get past the receptionist, you went into the standard queue which usually meant waiting a couple of weeks. Your other alternative was to go to an overloaded emergency department and wait until things calmed down enough for them to see you, which might be 8 hours, 12 hours, more…

    But they seem inordinately proud of their healthcare system, despite provably poorer outcomes and much higher costs than most other developed countries. Apparently this is because if you’re insanely rich you can buy yourself better care than you can elsewhere. And because it’s not “socialized” medicine. Or some such.

  161. Another interesting thing about America (at least where I was, when I was) is that there’s really only one variety of expression for many things – the American colloquialism. I suspect because we get TV from lots of other places we get a lot of (say) the British and American lingo as well as our own – and understand it when it’s used here. If you use a British or Aussie form of expression that’s not commonly used in America, you’ll generally get blank stares. You just have to get used to saying things the American way.

  162. Lotharsson, on May 9th, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Yes, L, tend to agree, the Yanks are really nice in their own country – just like the Kiwis… 😀

  163. Loth, that’s ok..try having dental treatment in Australia.

    Last year, a very distressed daughter on the phone as the dentist in Brisbane had demanded $2,500 up front payment before he would treat her abcessed tooth.

    What was the dentist going to do? Kick her out onto the street.

    Luckily we had the money and so I did a bolt down the street and transferred the money into our daughter’s bank account so that the dentist would treat her.

    Such kind and loving souls these dentists.

  164. Lotharsson, on May 9th, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Sounds just like the system John Howard & The Private School Bullies wanted in Oz, L…

    Lotharsson, on May 9th, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Absolutely – very limited re “world” knowledge – eg are you from the UK? Nah… You must be a erm.. from New Zealand then? Nup! Where are you from then? Australia…oh…(we are your SECOND biggest allies in effin’ war…!)

    Do you know where Australia is? Mmmmm. …somewher on the equator? Near Africa? (my favourite) At the South Pole?

    Its hilarious – if it wasn’t so SAD!

    BTW – I had a ball in USA!

    …and Lotharsson, I want my grandkids to grow up with the language/humour of the UK, Oz, Kiwi, USA and every other English (and foreign) country in the world…

    Not just the USA! It is an insidius culture of nothingness…

  165. TB..interesting re world knowledge. One of my bestest friends is a Tassie girl married to a US serviceman. They were previously in Germany but are now in the US.

    My friend who is a very knowledgeable lass asked me: Why does Europe refuse to help the USA in their cause in Iraq?

  166. Yeah, TB, that’s what concerned me the most about many of Howard’s philosophies. I’d already seen something like them up close and personal…

    …and I’ve definitely seen a fair bit of that (lack of) world knowledge thing. That, and the frequently stenographic mainstream media has allowed the majority of the US public to believe all sorts of bulldust that was openly reported outside of the country to be bulldust – or at least unsupported by any reasonable evidence. And if you talk about the fact that it’s bulldust, many of them will look at you like you’re insane. That insularity also tends to insulate those who engage in it from the thought that maybe, just maybe, they don’t have the best way of doing every thing, and maybe there are legitimate differences of opinion to be had on how certain things should be run.

    Fortunately you can find people there who cast their net beyond their own shores…

    And Min, my partner is also a US citizen, but didn’t grow up there and found most of it to be like a foreign country when we lived there.

  167. With apologies, I now have to choof. A wonderful mother’s and partner’s day to all…and that means all of you.

  168. Min, on May 9th, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    I believe Europe is “fed up” with war the Romans (Italy) demonstrated that in WWII as did the Greeks (although theyshowed some “balls” against the Germans, most of it was from a minority)…

    They see the futility of war.

    I’m surprised that we still “go to war” for other people – the ADF is almost a mercenary army for the US…(originally Gt Britain) and the Canadians and Kiwis have said “enough”!

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Lotharsson, on May 9th, 2009 at 5:00 pm
    *…the thought that maybe, just maybe, they don’t have the best way of doing every thing,…*

    “…just maybe…’ ??

    L, you’re hooked…mate, come back to Oz….

  169. Lotharsson, you have a good point concerning the media, people relationship in the USA.

    It will be interesting to watch how the AGW, fossil fuel lobby fight for the ‘hearts and minds’ plays out.

  170. Sadly, a lot of this come from ‘alternative lifestylers’ far north coast who consider that their ’superior lifestyle’ will make them and their children immune from viruses.

    Not so much the ‘superior’ lifestyle min as being brainwashed by the alternative practitioners into believing that vaccination is harmful and all they need is to buy hundreds of $ worth of magical drops from same unregulated natural therapies industry.

    As an aside, what makes the offspring of the refuse-to-immunise particularly dangerous is the high risk that they are to other people. The kids have to be considered to be contagious as they may be harbouring all kinds of previously extinct illnesses eg scarlet fever, smallpox, diptheria etc. If I was a parent of young children, I would be very worried about them mixing with non immunised kids at school and elsewhere. The reason those old illnesses don’t exist today is because of immunisation and if people stop immunising we will see them return.

    Immunisation

    …The only reason that non-immunised children are not more at risk in Australia is because of the high general level of immunisation. Immunised children are giving free protection to non-immunised children because immunised children will not spread the infections. However, in infectious disease terms, non-immunised children are walking time bombs waiting to be exploded by polio, diphtheria or whooping cough.

    I know people who are so into ‘alternative’ therapies they greatly restrict the kids diet, they seem so convinced of numerous allergies and intolerances, which are not medically proved, (once again the natural therapies industry) that the kids are close to malnutrition. The parents present as so ‘caring and concerned’ for their kids, but in reality they are guilty of neglect.

  171. Hey, TB, not hooked 😉 I’ve been back in Australia for 6+ years.

    Was a close-run thing though in some ways – there are parts of the US that can be very attractive if you have a decent income and can live with the different set of downsides than we have here, and can foresee remaining in those types of places. But some of those downsides included being a kind of “2nd class resident”, complete with lack of (the declining set of) constitutional protections afforded to the citizenry. And, in practice, a dodgy healthcare system…

  172. I like this from Ross Gittins, but I doubt that Rudd has the courage to completely stop the drip feed of public funds into private schools and health for the ‘aspirationals’.

    Means-testing is not mean and tricky:

    …The message for Rudd & Co is clear: it’s a free country and if people want to waste their own money pursuing status, no one should stop them. But the idea of asking other taxpayers to subsidise that socially wasteful pursuit is crazy.

    Governments should make public hospitals and public schooling universally available. Any spare money they have should go into raising the quality of public provision. If, for whatever reason, people want to go outside the public system they’re free to do so. But when they choose to opt out of the public system they’re on their own.

    Sticking to such a principle would make it a lot easier to keep government spending within cooee of government tax revenue.

  173. Cutting the rodent’s health insurance rebate is the economically conservative thing to do. Kevin can make a virtue of doing this.

  174. Joni………………it’s almost Sunday…………….Have you read the news yet………………….??????????????

    Not lookin’ too good….!

    Goodluck landing as the tarmac might be a tad ………”smokin’…” or “molten”

  175. The Chifley Foundation website has just published a handbook of progressive ideas for – and new thinking on – managing the post-depression world. Well worth a look.

    Read or download it here: http://progressive-governance.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/handbook-of-ideas-pgc-2009.pdf

  176. A very lucky man!

    The dread involved would take some beating.

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25456302-2,00.html

  177. I agree absolutely KittyL. The reason that non-immunised children are protected are because of a sufficient ‘herd immunity’. It seems from the stats that it is likely that this herd immunity is reaching dangerous levels in some areas. Our overall immunity levels should most definitely be reserved for children who cannot be immunised for genuine health reasons, eg cancer sufferers. What these health nuts do not realise that it’s not just their own child put at risk but the above dangerously ill kids.

    I am thinking of a very nice young couple I met while working the Byron Bay markets. Their then 2 year old daughter had not been immunised, their reasoning being that their healthy lifestyle (eg organic food) would mean that should their daughter come across any of these diseases that her system would be able to fight these..that is, she would catch the disease but only ‘mildly’.

    The above was like a red rag to a bull for yours truly. I asked, When you mean mildly does this include polio? Ans: Yes of course. I called hubby over (who was wearing shorts) and said, THIS is a ‘mild’ case of polio.

    And also I agree re non-existent food intolerances. Mind you off-loading from a child’s diet re artificial flavorings and colorings is a good start with kids who are supposedly ADHD.

    When you mentioned ‘malnutrition’ I think of a friend’s 10 year old son. Friend was very much into natural therapies and took their son who was having problems at school to a famous and v.v. expensive natural therapist in Byron Bay. I can’t recall the specifics of the diet except that it revolved around plain boiled rice, no meat, no fruit and no vegetables just v. expensive supplements. I dropped around after about 2 weeks and called P’ over and suggested that she weigh her son. He had lost over 4kg, that is he was just skin and bone. Fortunately seeing how a growing active boy had became lethargic was enough to shock my friend out of it. They had spent close to $3g.

  178. And Kitty, I hadn’t seen that one from Ross Gittins..says it a nutshell me-thinks.

    But you can imagine the headlines: Government penalises the hard workers.

    Suggesting that there is a direct correlation re how many $s earned and how hard a person works. My experience is that high income earners who work hard are the 1st ones to put their hands up and say I don’t need a government handout.

  179. I went out this morning for a site inspection around the corner and got talking to the perspective client.

    He has a son home for leave that is in the Navy, he is based in Cairns on a boat called the Ardent 6.

  180. Hi everyone… here in Singapore – working hard.

    Hopefully have time to get a post up this week.

  181. I’ve been busy all morning, it being Mother’s Day and Jedda out of town, I thought I’d surprise her by trimming the hedges myself. She’ll be pleased when she arrives home, after all, she’s been on my back for a few months now to tidy the garden up.

  182. That’s a nice job of the garden Miglo.

    Make sure you write yourself a receipt – made out under the address of one of your investment properties so that you can claim your hard work as a tax deduction.

  183. My accountant was ecstatic when I presented him with my last lot of receipts for last financial year’s tax deductions.

  184. Still looks a bit ragged up the back, Miglo. You going to finish it off before Jedda returns? 😉

  185. In the US, Senator Inhofe regularly seems to make arguments for which reasoned responses vary from “Huh? How’d you figure that?” to “That’s ridiculous on its face”. He’s fond of listing large numbers of “prominent scientists” who reject AGW. Trouble is, the details don’t seem to match the rhetoric.

    And yes, that’s not to say that Inhofe’s mendacity on its own proves his position on AGW is wrong, just that he’s willing to lie in order to support his argument, which one would hope were not necessary were his position correct.

  186. Probably not a good idea to remind Muslim populations of the Crusades. Fortunately the Bibles in question were confiscated so they could not be distributed.

  187. Interesting post about what considerations would be useful in choosing a US Supreme Court nominee, touching on questions of “empathy” which, due to Obama’s mention of it and the corresponding attacks on the concept, has been part of the current media debate about the upcoming nomination in the US.

  188. The back bit is done now Lotharson.

    Will get to work on the front garden now before it gets too dark.

  189. This is how the back garden looked before I took to it with the hedge trimmer. You can clearly see that I’d let in run down a bit.

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/96/234927922_e9288bddc8.jpg?v=0

  190. Republicans shamelessly fearmongering to the electorate about moving Gitmo detainees to American high security prisons. IIRC Jon Stewart already lampooned this – “We’re #1 in prisons! USA, USA, USA!”.

    Not really sure what they’re trying to achieve with this campaign. Keep GITMO open?

  191. Miglo, your garden before you started on it looked a bit like ours currently does. Can we persuade you to come around and work your magic here? We bow before your superior gardening prowess 😉

  192. GOP seems to see rule of law as partisan bargaining chip.

    It’s not. You must investigate any credible allegation, no matter which party they belonged to.

  193. Before and after.

    Here’s how the front garden looked last week when Jedda left for Adelaide.

    This is what she’ll come home to.

  194. Reb,

    Here’s last year’s tax return.

  195. This was for sale and I just missed out on it. The broker tells me that some shiraz drinking guy from Tasmania beat me to it.

  196. Scaps..it’s the Ardent Division with the boats being HMAS Wollongong, Bundberg, Childers and Launceston being the patrol boats out of Cairns.

    Your client’s son would be a crew mate of my son. You are welcome to mention the surname to your client.

  197. Just back from a Mother’s Day luncheon..and the meal was exceptional for a little Bowl-o meal. I was making mental notes, but I think it was a rice patty base with pine nuts and a little bacon, pearl onions, honey and thyme with carrots (I think), baby beans and slices of very tender eye fillet. Hubby had the chicken, stuffed with camembert and a port, lemon, mustard and rosemary sauce.

    This plus sweets..hubby and I both had the trifle in parfait dishes with raspberries and Kahlua sauce topped with creme fraise…and all for the grand sum of $21.00 per head overlooking the beautiful Tweed River.

  198. Min, I thought that would be the case.

    Today was my birthday so it was a double celebration.

  199. Miglo, on May 10th, 2009 at 5:12 pm Said:
    Reb,

    Here’s last year’s tax return.

    Ummm, it’s a big stuffed bed covered with a light green chenille throwever?

    Whoops, sorry Migs, wrong glasses. I was wearing my driving glasses rather than my reading glasses.

  200. Whoops..throwover. Although a ‘throwever’ could be good too.

  201. Scaps..HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Hope that you have had a wonderful day.

  202. Thanks Min…I’m sitting here in my Pierre Cardin dressing gown and my Skinnys Ugg boots, I’m set for this winter!

    Might even have a Cuban tonight.

  203. For Scaper, for your birthday.

  204. Happy birthday Scaper. Enjoy the Cuban.

  205. G’day guys…quick “pop-in” – just back from the seafront. (Since 8:00am pheew!)

    My mum, The Minister, daughter, daughter in law, DiL g’friend and our son in law’s mum – all six had a ball…

    MIN – a belated Happy Mum’s Day hope it was fabulous.

    SCAPER – just saw it was your birthday – many happy returns, mate, hope your day was great too!

    Now I’ll read from my last entry!

  206. And TB. a very happy Mother’s Day to the Minister too.

    And likewise, I now have to choof. A wonderful evening to all.

  207. Thanks Migs, I reckon a Romeo Y Julieta Belicoso will do the job.

    It’s a strong Cuban so I’ll wash it down with a coffee.

  208. Lotharsson, we could be witnessing the death-throes of the neo-con wing of the Republican Party. Here’s hoping.

    Not content with wrecking the US economy and turning the world against the USA, they now refuse to accept that America has rapidly changed direction – politically, economically and socially – because 30 years after the reagan/thatcher “there is no alternative” corporate state was born, most people can see this divisive philosophy for the failure it is.

    The hate-merchants still singing from Rove’s little black book of propoganda are driving more and more reasonable people over to Obama. The lack of economic and political accountability of these autocratic failures is enough to make any reasonable person think again.

    Yes, the “greed is good” merchants have a story to tell. But it’s a tale of fear-mongering and failure. US unemployment has been rising at a rate of more than 500,000 a month since last year.

    Latest evidence suggesting the deregulation ideology is a one-way-street are figures showing that in 2008 Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch paid their star employees bonuses worth $20 billion. The same year these bankers went broke and needed handouts of $26 billion of taxpayers money to keep their banks afloat.

    Don’t listen to what the “markets know best” advocates say, watch what they do.

    Neo classical economics make as much sense as running a bath with the plug out.

    The big job is developing a new system of governance that rewards long-term thinking and socially-desirable economic activities on the democratic foundation that we expect our governments to operate in the interests of the many, not the narcissistic few.

  209. Ray, one more factor is the Religious Right seems to finally be figuring out they’ve been taken for chumps by the GOP – which was all promises and no real action on their desires (if only because they probably realised any actual action was going to p*ss off another bunch of voters).

    BTW, the Washington Post say US unemployment, when you include those unofficially unemployed (including underemployed) for various reasons, is now 15.8%. Read the link for details on how they measure this etc.

    Yes, I reckon that’s a fair description for “the big job”. It’s not an easy task – there are a lot of entrenched (self-)interests, plenty of which are on the Democratic side of US politics. And the two party system really doesn’t help either.

  210. [Torture – if someone else does it. Scroll on by if need be.]

    The American print media can call some practices torture. At least when they’re describing some other country’s behaviour.

    Read the NY Times obituary for a US serviceman captured by the Chinese in the ’50s. It all seems rather familiar, if not milder, than the recent US policies. (Perhaps they were circumspect in this obituary.
    But the familiarity with the practices described here is not surprising, given the US policies are said to be derived from techniques used at SERE, which were said to be derived from those used by the Chinese and others.)

    And he signed a false confession, later stating that it was “a mentality reduced to putty” that did so.

  211. Lotharsson, did our resident Rove ever answer the question about whether North Korea and Iran are now lawfully able to apply Cheney’s Enhanced Interogation Techniques to captured American soldiers?

  212. The US now has five states that officially recognize gay marriages, and one more that has a bill that has not yet been signed into law by the governor.

    Massachussetts has now had gay marriage for five years. It is interesting to see that disapproval levels in both the public and their elected officials have faded a lot. Opponents are still arguing that “the sky will fall” over a generation, some on the basis that children need both father and mother figures. They don’t seem to have noticed the millions of heterosexual single parent families doing just fine raising their kids – nor have they advocated taking kids away from those parents. There are still religiously-based tensions, more fully covered in the article. Some religious figures argue that straight marriage is under stress, and gay marriage will undermine it. They never seem to present a plausible mechanism for this to occur though.

  213. [Torture and Star Trek(!) Scroll on by…]

    Interesting comparison of two Star Trek scenes featuring torture & coercion – one from the 2009 movie, one from 1992. Interesting how the depiction of fairly similar scenarios has changed over that time period.

  214. Ray, as far as I recall (and yes, I have to spell out that I may recall certain things incorrectly), he wouldn’t provide a direct answer (no surprise there). He instead used the “excluded middle” fallacy (presenting fewer possibilities than there really are) by intimating that Americans captured by others – especially in the Middle East – can expect to be killed or beheaded, apparently implying the type of treatment laid out in the US policies would be an improvement and therefore OK under the circumstances by him.

    In previous instances of a similar argument I pointed out that this was an excluded middle fallacy. In response he asked for examples where beheading/killing did not occur and I referred to a recent example. This was not acknowledged. (I did not go to the trouble of pointing out military history where significant numbers of troops surrendered to their enemies because in part they knew they would be treated well, and other troops fought to the death and refused surrender in part because they knew they would be treated badly.)

    I’m sure he will correct the misconceptions I have. He’s spent a lot of time on other threads telling me how stupid I am, expressing amazement that I can’t comprehend his basic English, denigrating my logical abilities and more. (Try various Weekend Wonderland and Midweek Mayhem threads for starters.)

    So there must be something wrong with my summary of his response here. And there must be some good reason why he didn’t object when someone else (Legion?) characterized his response as a green light for N. Korea to harshly interrogate the US captives. Maybe you’ll understand his explanation better than I can.

    Funnily enough, I used to play sports with a couple of ex-military guys formerly stationed in South Korea. I reckon they would have been … (in very diplomatic terms) peeved if he suggested to them that enemies could apply those practices to their colleagues, let alone American civilians. And yes, they would have got it that anything that appears in US policy is a green light for other countries.

  215. Apparently Iraq has a culture of impunity where powerful people don’t get prosecuted for crimes, and grant immunity to their subordinates.

    (In the US this is apparently called “looking forward”, “not politicizing policy differences” and “writing memos in good faith” by many politicians and pundits, and it’s a good thing.)

    Of course it is a bit worse in Iraq – firefights erupt when officials attempt to make corruption arrests.

    But you won’t believe the most astonishing irony. The US is pushing Iraq to repeal a law that allows ministers to grant immunity to subordinates accused of corruption.

  216. [What gets called torture and what doesn’t seems to depend on who’s doing it – scroll on by…]

    Digby on “Exceptional Dissonance” and “American Exceptionalism” – including McCain’s description of his ordeal. Read the whole thing – the last couple of paragraphs in particular.

  217. [Detainee proceedings – scroll on by…]

    Obama looks set to revive modified military commissions. No US court legal standards for you.

    At least the indication is that evidence obtained by coercion will be blocked and admissability of hearsay will be “tightened”. Score one minor victory for transparent justice. Except of course we don’t know the details and serious questions remain.

    But you can still get convicted on hearsay provided a judge deems it reliable, which strangely enough isn’t considered good enough grounds for even minor crimes in the US itself. This is intended to allow “intelligence material” which is almost certainly going to mean anonymous sources that can’t be cross-examined by the defense team. This will tarnish the reputation of any conviction obtained and likely provide a nice bit of propaganda for the anti-US forces. Smart move, eh?

  218. As far-fetched as this may sound, deflation is a much greater risk than inflation. Shrinking markets, mounting job losses, and cut-throat competition for limited consumer dollars.

    If interest rates continue falling, well, we know its not a good thing. And if they reach zero, well, we know we’re in deep shit. Hence, every reason not to overreact to the bad news coming out of the upcoming budget – spend where necessary and cut back where we can.

    Those who criticise the government on the basis of going from surplus to deficit and complain about the seemingly excessive government spending will expose themselves as complete economic morons. No points for guessing that the opposition will qualify.

    RBA leaves door open on rates
    http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,,25447664-5006301,00.html

    While the RBA said the policy stimulus in many countries could boost the economy more than expected, there was downside risk as well, with the possibility of more financial instability and a chance that China’s recovery might falter identified as particular risks.

    If the world economy did take a turn for the worse, the RBA warned the effectiveness of policy actions could become an issue.

    “If this were to occur, the scope for policy-makers in many advanced countries to take further steps to restore confidence may be constrained by the already large fiscal deficits and the fact that interest rates in many countries are already close to zero.

    If things do take a turn for the worse, one thing that will not stand in the way of lower interest rates will be inflation.

    The latest forecast now have both headline inflation (now 2.5 per cent) and underlying inflation (now 4.1 per cent) at the middle of the two to three per cent target range in mid-2010, at the bottom of the range by the end of 2010 and below it, at 1.5 per cent, through 2011.

  219. Lets hope it’s not too bad

    Now the down-turn hits down under
    http://www.moneyweek.com/news-and-charts/economics/now-the-downturn-hits-down-under-43402.aspx

    Last October, as growth in most of the world turned negative, Australia’s prime minister, Kevin Rudd, predicted that Australia would avoid recession. But it was already becoming clear that Australia had not miraculously escaped the global downturn. By February, he was promising to “move heaven and earth” to bolster the economy. Now he’s acknowledged that recession has arrived. Growth fell by 0.5% in the fourth quarter as the consumer boom cooled and commodity exports sank. Australia is now set for its first full-year contraction since 1991.

    “Conservative monetary and fiscal management” – the latter helped by the commodity boom, which boosted corporate tax revenues – has given the government scope to counteract the downturn, said the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The banking system, too, appears relatively healthy. However, as Elizabeth Knight pointed out in the Sydney Morning Herald, company defaults are on the rise and “we haven’t even started to see damage in the consumer end of the economy”.

    Another Anglo-Saxon debt bubble

    On the domestic front, Australia’s economy looks much like the US or the UK. There was a huge housing bubble and consumers were “just as profligate”, said Lex in the FT. Household debt hit 177% of income, more than in Britain, as rocketing house prices spurred borrowing.

    Now the bubble has burst. House prices in eight major cities fell a record 2.2% in the first quarter, 7% year-on-year. Affordability remains low, with mortgage payments still comprising around 10% of disposable income, said Capital Economics. The ratios of prices to rents and incomes also imply the market has “a long way to fall”. Unemployment is rising while job advertisements, a key leading indicator, plunge. Consumers are starting to cut back, as the 20% annual drop in car sales in the first four months shows. The Economist Intelligence Unit expects consumption to slide by 1.7% this year.

    What next?

    In February the government unveiled a stimulus package worth 3.6% of GDP, which is alleviating the impact of the downturn and should ensure that the dip is shallower than in most developed countries. But with the global economy still weakening and the domestic outlook worsening, the IMF is pencilling in a contraction of 1.4% this year. The “lucky country”, said Lex, is “looking distinctly less so”.

  220. And if they reach zero, well, we know we’re in deep shit.

    Indeed, that’s what has seriously constrained the US in the current mess, and it was a key feature of Japan’s “lost decade”. Krugman has been pointing out this dynamic to those who don’t understand it for ages, but plenty still don’t get it.

  221. [Not nice stuff. Scroll on by.]

    More tasers used on kids in US prison tours, leading into a discussion of some US groups’ ideas of “tough love” programs for troubled teens that looks remarkably like some of the “harsh interrogation techniques”, and other (weaker) parallels in society. Suggests a possible reason why the Evangelicals support torture more than most groups in the US.

  222. Indeed, that’s what has seriously constrained the US in the current mess, and it was a key feature of Japan’s “lost decade”. Krugman has been pointing out this dynamic to those who don’t understand it for ages, but plenty still don’t get it.

    Indeed, Lotharsson

  223. And Swan would be right in his assessment.

    Now the pain after boomtime splurge
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25459131-2702,00.html
    WHEN Wayne Swan hands down his second budget tomorrow night, he will have to confront an anomaly.

    During the boom years, the amount the people depended on government increased when the reverse should have been the case.

    The Treasurer is now wrestling with how to undo the effects of an era of excessive spending that can no longer be afforded.

    Swan was at pains to point this out yesterday, saying: “It is quite clear that we’ve been surfing the explosion of capital gains and other taxes that have been spent in a permanent way.

    “Not all elements of that are sustainable,” he warns.

    Spending decisions since 2002 have added $40 billion a year to the cost of government, while tax cuts have taken a further $45 billion from the budget bottom line.

    And then there is the task of implementing the commitments Labor made in sunnier times, which will force some further erosion of tomorrow’s budget.

    Tax cuts to be implemented on July 1 will strip $3.4 billion from 2009-10 revenue and $7.3 billion from the next year’s tax take. The commitment to lift pensions will cost about $3.9 billion a year.

    The task of confronting unsustainable spending will begin with cuts to the superannuation and health benefits enjoyed by high-income earners.

    Although the Government has often noted that Australia is suffering less from the global recession than many other countries, its budget position is faring worse.

    As well as the recession, Australia is also suffering from plunging commodity prices, which are further eroding national income and tax revenue.

    “We’ve got the conjunction of two things: we’ve got the unwinding of the mining boom and a global recession, which are related but are having a twin impact,” Swan says.

  224. …we could be witnessing the death-throes of the neo-con wing of the Republican Party.

    “The Republicans aren’t a party, they’re a cult.” And this from a fairly conservative commentator, who says he’s repeating comments that have been made to him, presumably by conservatives.

  225. The task of confronting unsustainable spending will begin with cuts to the superannuation and health benefits enjoyed by high-income earners.

    As a high-income earner, I say going after benefits given to high-income earners is absolutely the right place to start.

  226. Cheney appears to be trying to make the GOP smaller by touting Rush Limbaugh and dissing Colin Powell. (And check out some of the links in that post commenting on other comments from Cheney – including his nearly straightforward admission that Bush signed off on “the program”.)

    If the GOP goes into major decline, the US is going to need an effective and viable 2nd party.

  227. Believe me, I’m the perfect person to lead the Republicans into an icy graveyard …

  228. [Sleep deprivation justifications – NOT.]

    Missed this a couple of weeks ago.

    In yet another display of supreme competence the CIA decided that a book about research using sleep deprivation volunteers meant they could shackle prisoners upright so that they could not sleep for up to 7.5 days. The author of the book basically says (in polite academic language) WTF?!!!!

  229. That’s great, Sarah! Someone’s got to do it. You’ll have to fight Rush Limbaugh for the honour first. Shouldn’t be too hard though. Apparently he’s keen on other Americans fighting; himself? Not so much.

  230. [Torture prosecutions – or not.]

    Harry Reid (Democratic Senate Leader) appears to think that the US should cultivate a culture of impunity for people high enough up the political ladder, perhaps even including Nixon. He seems to have forgotten that the US was created to be a nation of laws, rather than men.

  231. No torture was involved in production of this comment.

    This happened a while ago, but I haven’t seen it reported much.

    Remember those American journalists detained by the North Koreans? When concerns were expressed that they were suffering harsh treatment, the North Koreans scoffed and said:

    We are not Guantanamo.

    Ouch.

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