Spring has Sprung

Posted: September 7, 2018 in Midlife Crisis in Maryhole

Earth, Wind and Fire pretty well sums up the first week of September in Gods Country just a tad north of Brisvegas. Drier than a dead dingoes donger except , oddly enough, on Fraser Island where they all live and feed on careless tourists. But you know it is Spring with the birds are a chirping early in the morning. Now where is that slug gun of mine….

And so Burt has gone. Some reports refer to it as tragic and it may well be for his family and friends but certainly doubt Burt would be too upset. He packed more living into one decade in the seventies then you or I ever will in our lives. He was the King and it coincided with my peak movie watching period. Perhaps I should clarify that with “peak as in went to the cinemas and actually paid to watch the movie with some jaffas and a bag of marella jubes” . In Brisvegas we were blessed with many cinemas in those days and would easily see one or two every week whether at the local Dawn or in the big smoke. Many folk would list Deliverance and Boogie Nights as his best movies and probably Smokey has his most iconic role but for me the one I go to is The Longest Yard with Hooper as back up . Watched TLY yesterday and no surprises not terribly PC. Apart from being a beefcake he was a fun guy with a good sense of humour and often self deprecating. Popular guest on the Tonight shows. RIP Burt

Mandatory Credit: Photo by ANL/REX/Shutterstock (3871554a)
Burt Reynolds Actor At The Dorchester Hotel.
Burt Reynolds Actor At The Dorchester Hotel.

US politics continues to ask only one question – is this the week it all comes tumbling down? It seems that question may never answered. The Sco Mo make over as Joe Average with a Bible continues. Doesnt quite register on the genuine scale for moi but mostly in the who cares list anyway. Only important thing for moi is the economy and Aussie $ and latter looking a bit shaky at present. Oh well

Big month of Sport of course. Feel the Broncs have peaked a week or two early and Dragons could be a danger game because being mere footballers does mean they are susceptible to being complacent and stupid. Which brings me to the naked elephant in the room. The Bulldogs behaviour was pathetic but not as pathetic as ex players defending them. They just dont get it. The one excuse that galls though is they had a tough season they deserve top let their pants – oops sorry, hair – down. Of course they can but not in public ya goose. When was the last time you saw a group of soldiers return from 6 months in Iraq – admittedly not as tough as a season of football where you almost won 3 games – and start dancing naked in the streets as they destress? Its a croc of shit. Great golf at present in USA with Fed Ex playoffs in full swing and Ryder Cup just around the corner in Frog Town. If only you could get updates on how The Striped One was going occasionally it would be sweet……. Cant get enthused about US Open tennis even if an Aussie gets into last few rounds but at least it does give an excuse for Roy and HG to put all into perspective. You cant beat that live cross to family as cringe fest. And of course stay on for The Batchelor review

Some quality TV around at present. Sharp Objects was a treat, although did have to pay attention. Left you thinking about if for a few days to follow. Ozark Season 2 is equally impressive and a step up from first season. Bodyguard is all class as expected and Deep State a well made “spy/agent” yarn. Aussie TV continues to struggle with latest Rake simply an embarrassment . Cleaver has gone from lovable rogue to annoying buffoon

Time to sign off and get ready to scorch the links once more as current B Grade Monthly Mug winner. For the GU, apart from getting a mug to keep one can also get free beer in said mug from members for the month u r said Biggest Mug. Sadly I wont take any advantage of this as given our little group of 4 already has $80 on the counter to drink from “the match” I already have the wobbly boot on before starting that nonsense. Does remind me of a classic month back in the eighties when you could drive while full as a state school hat rack – apparently – and the Golf Club would rock on a Saturday afternoon/night. A certain member who will remain nameless although it was Max McBean got a list of every member of the golf club to hit with said mug. The only rule is you cant ask the same member twice in any month. Most players were happy to hit their own close circle of mates but not Max. He introduced himself to every member as they came in after the round with a handshake for the right hand and the mug in his left hand. Ahh, the memories when life was simpler and the liver was healthier

But, I digress. It is Spring so time to plant some bulbs

May even do some gardening later

Has been a glorious winter but would not be a weather related comment without a whine so – we need some rain! When my drives are rocketing past 180 m then you know the course is too dry. A few more cold mornings to come they say but before you know it the single digits overnight will be gone. We can go back to a full hand and no glove…… Pretty well the sweet spot now with still pleasant nights and sun coming up just before 6 am which ties in well with my post nocturnal activities . Rake, coffee, sleep. Repeat. I suspect reversing that order could help significantly

Its a strange world we live in these days and no sign of changing anytime soon. I have more than a passing interest in US politics but it gets a bit too much week in week out in the land of Buffoon Bob so try to just catch up with every 3rd “white house disaster” You know, twice a day. Omarosa is such a clear example of what is wrong with the world today. How did this bimbo ever get anywhere – did we run out of Kardashians suddenly ? The classic example of an oxygen waster given way too much airtime. Why does anyone really think the BB brigade care if he used the “n” word. (Sidenote – while not disputing the appalling nature of the word and what it implies always seems a bit odd when African Americans use the full word for “comedic effect” like Roy Wood Jr did on Daily Show ). The more disturbing issue here surely is that a clown like Omarosa was running around the WH with a tape recorder! I am sure BB was just giving us his respected thoughts on Elba, Idris Elba playing James Bond. Speaking of RESPECT it is amazing even after all this time how thoughtless Agent Orange is. He starts his thoughts on passing of Aretha Franklin with ” knew her well, she worked for me a few times”. If they ever remake Clueless he has to be the lead

Some quality TV around at present. First up tried some Aussie drama. The main problem with these of course is same 6-10 actors appear in every local production. Jack Irish was a jumbled mess really as much as generally like him. In keeping with flavour of month – international students – Dead Lucky started well but then threw in a weird plot direction and never quite recovered. And why exactly did she do the Kojak lollipop thing anyway? Bite Club just started and again some promise but a weird scene at end of first episode involving incisors/molars was either a weak distraction or even weaker writing? Time will tell. In the meantime the always excellent Unforgotten is drawing to a close on another great short season. Not impressed with Season 3 of The Affair but had a look at Season 4 and must admit it looks much better and rather engaging. Back to split storytelling style of Season 1 but with less crossover it seems . Saving shows like Better Call Saul, Castle Rock and Sharp Objects for full season watches – if I can resist. In movie land thought the Aussie drama Breath was very poor sadly but not as bad as Skyscraper of course. Latest Avengers movie reminded of a Rat Pack movie where a group of millionaires get together to have fun but not much else. Not just into this whole series after the first – and best – original Iron Man. Deadpool 2 on the other hand was just fun

Sporting world locally is pretty much dominated by the NRL coaching merry go round. What an embarrassment to the game. A combination of poor management at club level and self serving media fuelling the fire leaves most fans cold I imagine. BBQ Gate was probably the low point but its a bee’s dick of the ground anyway. The Broncs dress in stolen Storm jerseys and suddenly can beat the Rabbits . It is just frustrating for supporters as means we have to sit through first week of finals now before Mad Monday can start. I prefer the certainty of Rugby where you just know we are no chance of taking the Bledisloe Cup, especially under the current system where it is very hard for NZ to actually lose it. Much like Steve Smiths world batting rank it seems

In travel news SOS is less than 2 months away. As in Sydney October Soujourn. A short 5 days in Sydney in part as late celebrations for CLP birthday but also because Wired for Winter still seems so far away. A Night at the Opera , a day at the zoo sprinkled with a few nice meals and the week will fly by. For something different flying into and out of Sunshine Coast airport. I think the Qantas Club there is a packet of Tim Tams and a Thermos. Fear not fans we shant go without. So not a lot happening at present so rather spookily life is in a bit of a holding pattern as well while trying to dump excess fuel 🙂 After all summer just around the corner and that means its swimming trunks time!

In more important news Daughter 2 has set a wedding date and GS1 turned 9 this week. Someone must be getting old……

Yep thats fake news but “a long time between blogs” has a certain gastrointestinal issue aura about that and my straight laced fan base would be turned off by that

So, since last we met our hero a lot has happened in what is simply a glorious time of year. Some brisk mornings indeed but the real winners are the days – blues skies, low 20s. Darool Darool. I suspect heaven on earth is drawing to a close so lets enjoy last few days. One thing people forget in winter is their pets but not Brody. Beardy has officially the highest Vit D level of any cold blooded animal recorded

First big event back in middle June was engagement party for Ranny and Richard. Always great to catch up with family and a great night was had by all. We stayed at a B&B again and Woomby certainly has some gooduns. Tony and family were driving to Brisvegas to catch a flight for a NZ holiday next morning and luckily all made it and judging by photos had a great time. No, not these photos. Other photos

July saw Mum turn in her grave. Nope, actually still with us and turned a mere 92. Anne and John put on a lovely morning tea and also able to catch up with Auntie Noela, an all too rare event these days. Then it was onto my life story as told as a musical at QPAC – Beautiful. It is of course the Carol King yarn and was simply brilliant not just with the songs but the set designs and humour throughout. Do yaself a favour and catch a couple of live shows every year

A couple of weeks at home rearranging sand with Miner’s Helmet in place as big events at course and work stated at 4 am for 3 days! Fun fact. Its actually colder when sun comes up then at 4 am. Speaking of cold it was then down to Canungra (try saying that 3 times quickly after a few sherberts) to celebrate the 60th birthday of Bruce and also usual Della Xmas in July. Had the day before hand to walk around Brisvegas for a few hrs while CLP worked. Yep that is as funny as it sounds. Lovely city to explore on foot even if not much open at 7 am! Two nights at Chateau Canungra had the trakkies fitting nice and snug and the liver earning her keep. Has to be a woman with all the moaning she does

So after that rather hectic, but enjoyable, few weeks time to detox for a few weeks back in Maryhole. One no longer feels the need to comment on Buffoon Bob because nothing ever changes. You think well that will be the last straw but nope just dyes it orange and sticks it on top of his head and moves on.

In TV land have really enjoyed some Aussie TV of late. Jack Irish is back but also enjoyed Safe Harbour on SBS and just started Dead Lucky as well. With Castle Rock just dropping also found another SK adaptation with Mr Mercedes – recommended. Of course has been a lot of talk about Cohen’s latest Who is America which I find dull and cringeful apart from maybe the Mosque in Arizona segment. Of course many forumites think if you dont think it is hilarious then “tyou dont get it” which is rubbish of course. Humour is subjective and just because you dont find this dross funny doesnt mean u dont get it. It aint rocket science. I prefer the more subtle approach of a Daily Show which just talks to Trump supporters at a rally. That is of course more scary then funny anyway. We now have concerns about whether Barry Humphries humour is too feral now? Nope it is as funny as ever, its the world that has changed. Seinfeld latest Coffee in Cars was mostly good

In sports world the Broncs are hot and cold but simply have worst 5th tackle options of any top 8 team. They wont threaten at pointy end but could be good next year. If they buy a halfback! The Open was good as always and while I didnt see last round live was intrigued by screaming headline next morning before watching recording “Molinari beats Tiger to win Open” Most sane folk would assume that meant Tiger came second? Nope. Tied for 6th from memory but of course he is all the vast majority of media write about. Yes he is competitive and its a great return but methinks his last putt in that Open – even though out of contention – tells you what we all know. It aint the same Striped One anymore. Now just tell the media purleese

Wired for Winter is slowly percolating away in background. As I write this I see Qantass has FINALLY released some sale fares for Feb 2019 and could have saved $600 if waited but think we both know that would have been spent now on anti anxiety pills and yoga lessons to get out of fetal position each morning. Speaking of which the ankle may have entered next phase. Which could be its last. Yes one does get older each year but man the joints are bad this year and the ankle mostly swollen after any activity. Much better when activity leads to loss of swelling

Ya with me…..

SOO 3

Posted: July 11, 2018 in Sport

Ah the Cherry Evans on top of the cake. The much maligned, and mostly unlikable, DCE showed his worth in first 20 mins with good control and well placed kicks. We still lacked potent attack and no doubt missed GI in the backline. The commentators as usual were creaming their jeans no doubt under instruction that SOO crowds and ratings were down but while a tense and exciting game due to closeness it was never a great game. It was a game of circumstance which can happen. Foe a number of reasons, most self inflicted, NSW were stuffed after 25 mins and even though scored those 2 tries before halftime – after Hunt came on 🙂 – the fatigue was always going to come back and bite them. It seemed to moi that Freddy finally went off the well crafted script before the game alluding to Smiths retirement and from there on things never went their way. Yes Qld probably got the rub of the green this time but mostly deserved and it was clear from start even before fatigue became a factor that the Blues were holding down in tackles and getting away with it because it was SOO. Some general thoughts before the eagerly awaited player ratings!

1. Giving Billy the Man of the Series was embarrassing. Imagine if he had played 3 matches – he would have won last years as well on countback!

2. Qld are not on the crest of a new era but still very much in transition. They lack size and attack in the forwards and will miss Billy heaps next year. They need a better dummy half option than either one they have at present

3. NSW deficiencies in the backline defense around Mitchell and Ado Carr were clear in every game. Mitchell went completely missing.

4. Why is it only our players can get dragged over the sideline?

5. It was a series of missed opportunities. Qld could easily have won the series. Blues could easily have done a whitewash. There is unlikely to be any great dominance again

So

Billy Slater – 8. Not as threatening as Game 2 but great at times including first try involvement
Val Holmes – 9 Class finisher and his stretched intercept towards end was critical
Will Chambers – 6.5. Solid at best, nothing special
Dane Gagai – 7.5. Much more threatening and involved
Corey Oates – 4. Played like a second rower with butter on his hands . Spooky
Cameron Munster – 7. Usually mixed game. Did set up critical try but can be a frustrating talent to watch
DCE – 8. Great first 20 mins with some deft kicks.If he wasnt such a tool and played for Manly could almost warm to him
Josh McQuire – 6.5. Am sure he does plenty in defense but rarely threatens to turn a game
Jai Arrow – 7. Has potential and tried hard but lacks size
Jarrod Wallace – 4. Has size but no heart
Felise Kafusi – 6 Busy but never spectacular
Josh Papali – 6. 8 for first 15 mins, 4 for rest. Simply looks unfit
Andrew McCullough – 5 Workhorse maybe but not up to this class. Maybe try a regional maiden next
Gavin Cooper – 6.5 Like McQuire am sure he does more than appears which is why I dont see it I guess. Good role in match winning try
Coen Hess – 6. Best effort of series which isnt saying much
Ben Hunt – 5.0001 . Once again seemed to notice more his mistakes than anything great but was more threatening than McCullough. Not a high bar folks
Tim Glasby – 4 Limited opportunities .For a reason

Man of Series Selectors – 1. For allowing Loz to still be associated with an SOO Howler for another year
Kevvie Walters – 6. Handled disappointment after first two matches with class but not convinced he is the answer without the stars. Not a Melbourne Cup field mind you
Freddy Fittler – 8. Did and said all the right things until the day before Game 3. Bought much needed change but methinks more a case he was up against a depleted Maroon outfit
WAGS – Mrs Smith looked sour and maybe just realised she now has to watch SOO because she is stuck with hubby. Mrs Slater not sighted but maybe in the box with the Aussie Selectors spelling Billy’s name? Mrs Cronk wisely stayed away

And its Goodnight from him

SOO Game 2 2018

Posted: June 24, 2018 in Sport

Its not so much that we lost that gnaws but that we should have won. And no, not talking about the penalty try which was a reasonable call but rather we had our chances and blew it. NSW certainly had the rub of the green this year which is fine as Qld certainly has in some recent years. It comes and goes. The disappointing aspect from a Maroon perspective is we had the chance to scar the next generation and we missed it. There are certainly some chinks in the left side defense for example with the Blues but that will improve each game they win. With prodigious young talent all they really need is confidence and a bit of luck. They had the luck and will get better each game. The last 10 minutes is where we clearly missed Smith, JT and co which brings us to the elephant in the room

Ben Hunt is our Mitchell Pearce! Its not often you can lay the blame at the feet of one player but this is as close as it gets. He missed Addo-Carr badly for first try, he gave away the penalty try, he lost the ball in a crucial tackle etc. Most of all though he fucking kicked the ball dead on the 3rd tackle against 12 men! His lame excuse “was trying to keep the pressure on and get a repeat set” Hey assclown, not sure if u made it past Grade 3 but I was always taught 3+3 is still only 6 so why not use the those 6 first! The game was lost there, plain and simple. Like Pearce he will go back to club land and shine and will keep getting picked. Have not seem him play this year but he lacked game management at Broncos especially in combo with equally useless Milf. Its why Dragons wont win flag this year. If u are going to pick Hunt again you need to make Widdop a Qlder stat! So lets run the slide rule over the team

Slater – 8.5 Brilliant first 15-20 and then tired understandably. Always a threat and will be massive loss next year
Gagai – 8. Class finisher, had weaker defense against
Holmes – 7. Solid with limited chances and up against the stronger defensive side
Inglis – 7. Not the impact of the first game but great combo with Slater
Chalmers – 6. Always a mixed bag. some defensive lapses, a hopeless kick, and a costly stupid tackle late
Munster – 6. Gould thinks he puts them to sleep. I think he goes walkabout. He is a talent but needs a more solid half next to him to shine
Hunt – -4. I cant think of anything good he did and clearly 4 bad things. Hence the score. At least now he will be remembered for something else along with 2015 GF blunder
McGuire – 7. Usual game , always solid but hardly a threat
Cooper -5. Maybe he does a lot in defense but provides nothing in attack and much like his 2018 Cowboy form
Napa – 7 . Potential to impact at times but never quite came off. Better for the run, pick him in the Cup over a longer distance come November
Wallace – 4 Largely missing again
Kafusi – 5 see Cooper although he plays better for Storm and in first game as well
McCullough – 6. 80 min goer but really provides no spark in attack

Ponga – 7/9. First one is for actual game in an odd position. Second is for potential. He is all class and while no Slater will at least provide a similar attacking threat next year but not the organisation skills at this stage. Clearly the next big thing , ok already is. Barring injury a 30+ Origin career awaits
Hess – 4 See Cooper. Not the same impact player as last year. See Cowboys
Arrow -7 Limited chances but like Ponga is the future and it is bright ( once we find a halfback!)
Papali – 3 One of the more overrated players going around. See Milford

For NSW , Maloney is always the danger, Tedesco well controlled while Mitchell and Addo-Carr are the rocks/diamonds in the team. They will win you some and lose you some. Qld had the chance to really dent their confidence but blew it. They will be dangerous in years to come

You couldnt watch the game and not comment on Gould’s ridiculous “commentary” around the penalty try. I usually like his insights and one of the games better thinkers just behind Carlos Smearson 🙂 This was embarrassing though . Everyone expects JT, Joey, Wally etc to be a bit biased but they are only “expert commentators” giving opinions when asked and not commanding the microphone for 5 mins and screaming like a banshee about the penalty try.

Winners are grinners and the biased NSW controlled media will be nauseating for next few weeks now. Pick and Stick will likely be the go and is difficult and dangerous to castigate a couple of players but you have to think of future so would suggest you dump Hunt, Cooper, Hess, Wallace and Papali. Ash Taylor gets a run and Arrow starts along with Glasby and maybe Ofahengaue. It wont happen as would be seen as panic but is needed

There was also the inaugural Womens SOO this year with the most interesting aspect being how they determine the winner when scores are locked at full time. No Golden Point but rather a “kiss off” with the first player to break contact the loser. Doesnt seem fair given the Qld women are clearly more attractive and kissable . Never going to win that one

In either format “2018 Origin Winners NSW” is like “President Trump” – it just doesnt sound right let alone plausible. The victorious NSW dressing room was the second most haunting image saw this week. There was a clear winner that cannot be unseen…..

Well, Winter has certainly come a knocking as we enter the best time of the year in Maryhole. Brisk nights and clear days with max of low 20s. I love the daytime low 20s but maybe in a sign of old age approaching a couple of degrees more in morning would be ok, like around the 10C mark. As CLP always says , well just a little more would be nice . Not sure what she is referring to…. Thinking of getting some of the airplane aisle floor lights installed in house between bed and loo! Of course early starts on the golf course dont help I guess but I am a creature of habit. Mind you not only is the weather glorious here but Maryhole is leading the world into the 20th century. Dont believe me ? Check out this non fake news item I prepared earlier

May is a busy time of year Grandkiddy wise especially the last week. Started with annual camping trip to Rainbow last Friday for Harry’s 6th. By camping I mean I drive down, look at the camp, spend some time with Harry and family and then move onto more salubrious accommodation at Maplehead. You know, walls, roofs and that sort of stuff. Mind you the Pipers now have a camper trailer which could almost entice. Once they get full plumbing and an ensuite of course. It was a very windy day so no swimming undertaken but a lovely time all the same

By end of week time to celebrate Pat the Lad turning 7. What do you make for such an event? Well patty cakes obviously. What is interesting though looking back on photos is that while Pat has changed a lot in 7 years I look exactly the same. Spooky stuff

And of course as Winter hits not many places in Qld colder than the old Toowoomba as am sure Ryan would agree. Will be great to see the Woomby clan again in a couple of weeks for Ranny’s Engagement party

So, in other inconsequential news a lot is going on I guess. SOO approaches and while always thought this was the year we start losing even before Eyelash Boy bailed the side NSW has picked does give us an outside chance and by that I mean we could lose by 50 or win by 8. Its a side brimming with speed and talent but is inexperienced and if get behind early could be some panic. If NSW lose the first game, let alone the series, they will be in the foetal position for years to come. Of course with first game being in Victoria we need to help that mob work out their allegiance

TV and Politics entwined again as is the norm these days. We had the Roseanne nonsense followed by equally deplorable Sam Bee comments and floating around all this was the bizarre image of a Kardashian in the Oval Office. So many great comments and memes served up of course with this maybe my fave titled “Massive Arse meets Massive Arse” . Too easy really

Of course the truly Trump result of all this was that yes he did pardon a few people but not the one that KK saw him about!

In actual TV Land there have been some good shows out and about. The ONJ biopic with Delta was not one of them. Likely the worst TV will see all year and onl6 half way through. The Americans has wrapped up now so that is next cab off the rank. The Terror was rather compelling viewing and an interesting subject matter. The Picnic at Hanging Rock remake was mostly style over substance as expected but really any lavish Aussie TV production is generally better than current US slop. Of course when discussing this story always reminded of Sir Leslie Colin Patterson’s original idea. Check out from about the 4 min mark. Better still watch the whole clip and get some edumacation – Pissup on Hanging Rock. Classic humour from those glorious non PC days

With flights now booked and paid for Wired for Winter is set in stone. Or Ice as the case may be. Have my new Qantas Premier Mastercard so accumulating points at a rapid pace now. Always fly PE but with now being a Dreamliner plane with some rather poor PE reviews will be trying to upgrade a leg or two to BC as one does #firstworldproblems. Accommodation mostly sorted as well with just a train here or there or book. Was looking at a few non Qantas options for internal flights but they have some strange rules regarding entry to their domestic lounges so Qantas seemed the best answer on many fronts . One always need to load up suitably before any flight just in case. As someone who really doesnt sleep on flights upgrading first leg appeals most as can really hook in to the great service (food and DRINK) and get PJs to use rest of trip. Sweet.

So as the sun slowly sets and the temp drops accordingly all is good in Flashland. The Grandkids are and always will be pure joy especially as all different in their own way in age and character. Jacks tournament is on at present so that is daytime TV sorted for tomorrow. My own golf today was rather embarrassing today but still enjoyable especially any day get into Hoge’s back pocket. Glorious weather, great company and free beer.

Its not the Holy Trinity but dang its close folks

To be honest though not a lot has happened since Ireland Fling. A few family gatherings here and there which are always great but in the scheme of things not much life altering. And who would want to change this action packed life I lead . When I get out of bed and go straight to my nanna nap it may be time to shuffle off my mortal coil. In the meantime, winter has poked its head out of the arid dry brown land and the common folk rejoiced. In keeping with my contrary nature though I have decided to come out of my cave as in unhibernate (its a word, look it up) and leave it to the bears. After all there is enough shit in the woods now

Speaking of which, what a sad world we live in these days. Its been a slow decline maybe but it only takes some nonsense like a pointless royal wedding for the terminally moronic to focus on and there goes what passes for a “news” feed for 6 months. I miss M&M. No not the chocolate confectionery as captivating as that is but rather Mike Higgins and Mike Willesee. You had 23 mins of actual news broken clearly into national, international and sport news segments. Then Willesee interviewed important people that had actually contributed in some way to life that didnt involve holding a phone back to front. After you were suitably bought up to speed you then could relax with N&N. Norman Gunston and Number 96. All bases covered before heading off to bed knowing you could wake up safely in the morning with no morning TV crap to endure and impose on your daily routine. Its all an industry of course that spreads like a cancer for which there is no cure. The amusing aspect of this latest tax payer funded extravaganza is the US connection. They have always been fascinated, while uniquely ignorant, of the Royal Caper. Mind you fascinating ignorance pretty well sums up USA circa 2018 but I digress and refuse to mention Buffoon Bob again. Maybe. They sent their best and brightest to amuse. They obviously missed the connection and instead Ferrell and Shannon appeared. Like most Ferrell stuff sans Wiig the laughs run at about 10%

The one shining light in Harkle 2018 is that it has cleared up one issue for me. Without hesitation Megan Boone is clearly the worse actress currently on TV with her main ,and rather stiff ,competition having sashayed down the aisle with Big Ears last night. While they couldnt agree on how to spell their first name they were certainly united in woeful acting skills, the latter word being a stretch admittedly. I really have nothing against the Royals per se and think the two lads would fit in rather well at an Aussie BBQ. They could discuss how their fathers knew each other

This non event was of course quite correctly overshadowed by the much more important question sweeping the world making Pratts of us all . No laurel for picking the winner there

There is always something happening in the US of course and its rarely good and especially when it involves schools and shootings. You simply become immune to it though becasue of their peculiar mentality and of course the words/inactions of the law makers. Flags at half mast, empty words, vigils. Give me a break

Sequeing to TV it is a packed schedule as usual. Safe was pretty disappointing in the end but at least Dexter didnt start cutting down trees. 13 Reasons Why is back and after one episode realised rather quickly I no longer need to know why. Blacklist ended Season 5 on a rather bizarre reveal while one of the best shows around Brooklyn 99 was saved from the scrap heap. TV sadly often reflects life so no surprises they cancel that show and bring back Last Man Standing. Extreme Dross. Its also the year of the pointless reboots and nothing demonstrates this better, or worse, than Magnum PI. Without a moustache. Purleese

In sporting land the NRL remains a tipster’s nightmare so imagine sheilas are leading most office tipping pools. You could argue that Broncos have had the rub of the green 3 times now and hard to disagree but they wont threaten this year or next so let them be.If they can hold together the young group of forwards things look bright in 2020. Of most concern though of course is SOO 2018 which was always looking losable this year but now is rather dire. No issue with Eyelash boy pulling the plug but the timing was poor. The real concern is that if and when NSW win they could go on a multi year run and the NSW biased media will become unbearable. Again. Still

The year is certainly flying by although Feb 2019 still seems a year away. At least to Qantass . Release some cheap fare deals ya mongrels so that I can lock something in and stop changing plans to amuse myself. Latest incarnation is “Wired for Winter” which admittedly is very much in draft form, especially the title. San Diego, NYC and Baltimore. Since last we spoke Las Vegas has fallen off the table. Ah crap. Boom tish, here all week etc. It really does not seem to be my cup of tea at least as a solo visitor, the main attraction being close proximity to Grand Hole in Ground and Big Stop Water Flowing thingy. Much prefer head over to East Coast hunker down in the snow, get the flu and swear never to do it again in winter. There is a certain certainty about that.

So in the meantime its early mornings out on the golf course rearranging grains of sand and occasionally mowing some green stuff before grabbing that first coffee and working out how to fill in the remaining 12 hrs of daylight until I can drink the squeezed grape stuff. Sundays are becoming a dilemma though as my go to Sip Espresso is closed. Yeah thoughtless right. The Maccas drive through experiment failed after two weeks as it really is swill without the Mcmuffin to soak it up . Toast doesnt open now until 7 am which is almost lunchtime for me now. These are real world problems folks. Still life goes on at its usual hectic Maryhole pace. Life is good but as The Dude would say

Before we get to the elephant in the room lets reminisce about a lovely few hours spent in Toowoomba soon after return to celebrate my 60th Birthday. All kids and kidlets were in attendance and is great to spend time with the younguns as they are all at different ages. Universal joys the bunch of them

Back to reality after that which means early mornings back on golf course but its still dark at 5 am! Still pesky rain on and off too which is keeping everything nice and green but also tres muggy.

And so to Dumbo. Three words describe – not explain the inexplicable – the latest cricket debacle. Hypocrisy, Stupidity and Arrogance. Aussies have long cried foul about what other teams do with the ball etc while painting themselves as the pure guardians of the game. Meanwhile Blind Freddy knew every team does it and there was a certain acceptance. Much like the Evangelical that decries sexual perversion and then is discovered in bed with a goat – the holier than thou approach will always bite you on the ass. Not kidding # boomtish . In this day and age every cricketer knows there are 10,000 cameras at the game because that is why they get paid 10,000 a game! No one is saying JFK was a more moral president than Slick Willy – simply his actions were not reported or not discovered etc. Its a different media these days. To think you can still do anything on the field and it not be seen is stupid. Then we get to maybe the most galling. The arrogance of Smith to think he could or would still be Captain next game. Bancroft has some form in the sweet science of ball tampering it would appear from newly released footage #boomtish. Maybe he was the stooge or maybe Smith thought he could protect him. To me it smells of a Warner involvement. He aint the brightest tool in a box of rather dull implements admittedly. What then of the involvement of Boof? The video of him seeming to tell Handscombe to get out there and clue in Bancroft looks damning to say the least. To me there is an easy and typically Aussie explanation for all this.

Qantas is major sponsor

Qantas this week debuted the Dreamliner route to London non stop

Sandpaper lining of your undies is a dream way to stay awake for 6 hrs on the field

And you get non stop rash and itching

#youknowitmakessense

There is only one happy cricket follower in Australia today. Trevor Chappell. He is no longer the most reviled player in history. He got a bum rap of course simply following brothers instructions and doing something that was at least legal if not palatable. Gregory of course used the stress yarn to explain his actions – no doubt this will be mentioned in this saga as well at some stage if not already. Ding Ding. It may well be a stressful job. Kinda why you get paid $1.2 million to do it every year. Sick to death of professional sportsmen complaining about stress for playing a game. If u cant handle it get a real job – then see what real stress is when the bills roll in. Crash Craddock made a prophetic statement many weeks ago. He said Smith should forego the IPL riches and concentrate on Aussie captaincy which pays well and he can remain it for years if he reduces playing schedule and not try and make millions for a few years. All gone now. Of course the alarming difference between this and the underarm is the success of this stupid ploy is akin to McKechnie hitting the underarm ball for 6! It didnt work. Thought we had the worlds most feared bowling attack and a reserve bunch of 23 ready to move in should an ingrown toe nail flatten Starc. Yet we cant take 10 wickets unless the ball reverse swings after 20 overs? Fellas, try natural swing and seam. Line and length. Its been know to work in the past

Enough cricket, how about NRL. There are some similarities between the two – ball tampering and salary cap rorting that is. Well, one glaring one. Everyone does it. In NRL they will continue to do it because the penalties are so weak in most cases. Manly actually come out $160 k in front in this latest nonsense as Paul Kent clearly explained. NRL players may well be the only professional sportsmen who make cricketers appear smart mind you. The big question though is when is a player agent going to get fined/booted/shamed ?? One thing is certain – Broncos wont threaten in 2018. With all this crap going on all I can say is thank me for Golf – the last honest game in the world

Of course since Ireland Fling thoughts quickly moved to USA 2019 and there has been much thought and backflipping involved. Do I take the easy winter option of NYC or stick in California and do Golden Triangle.? San Diego is a lock so then question is do you then fly onto NYC and Baltimore for some winter wonderland or go to Las Vegas and Los Angeles for some glitz and glamour? At present leaning towards GT although spending time in LA especially after LV does raise some issues with filling in days. All I really need is a rough plan of when I fly in and out of LA and whether I need Qantas metal for NYC or not. That way when flight specials are released in coming weeks can move quickly and snap them up. Whether I stay 2 days in LA and 10 in LV or vica versa doesnt matter at this stage as long as know when I enter and when I leave the good old USA. These are first world problems of course but do fill in time during the day as it is the planning I enjoy most.

Certainly more than the paying at least…..

Ireland Fling 2018 – The Flashies

Posted: March 15, 2018 in Travel

The wait is over but the thrill remains. Like repeats of MAFS. You know I really hoped since I had been away shows like that may have ended but all in vain

Best Flight Any flight that lands is a good one really and any flight that crosses a lot of the blue stuff is long so you never really walk off any flight and say “Well that was fun” ‘ The comfort of the Qantas Club before hand always helps ease one into it and of course all flights at start of holidays are more relaxing than at end if for no other reason than the excess baggage you have to bring home. Then there is also your luggage! PE is still a good experience especially on the A 380 and the half empty return flights were more comfortable no doubt but then we were also sick on them, especially the last haul for CLP. Will go with first leg Melbourne to Dubai as still fresh and did get some sleep so 14 hrs only seemed like about 13hrs 45. Food still seemed tempting and I had slept ok the night before

Worst Flight Most flights have a bad experience associated with them whether it was check in, arrival, customs etc but the worse one was the BA flight from Dublin to London apart from the fact we actually got on it of course . BA was a pain to deal with on holidays and the check in was a nightmare. It was a slow load and stuck in far back corner by self. Heathrow is a nightmare to land at, get to actual gate and then literally a 30 minute wait for luggage. Would not like to have to connect to another flight there in anything under 3 hrs. Special gong goes to Qantas though for the “Domestic Transfer Gate” at Sydney -what chaos. In future if cant fly into and out of Brisbane you can shove me in an overhead compartment and call me stupid. Unless a really good price of course and booked at least 30 days after this last experience

Best Accommodation Obviously some accommodation is better than others because of price paid. The Lake House at Killarney was clearly the “best” hotel we stayed at but came at a price although still good value. The best accommodation on balance for moi though was Rosquil House in Kilkenny. At least I think it was Kilkenny, everything was white and wet. It had benefits of a B&B but with a spacious room. Great breakfast, helpful host, extra rooms to relax, walk to town etc

Worst Accommodation Really there was no bad accommodation but if had to pick one it would be Anach Cuin at Galway simply because it was a more typical B&B. Small room, noisy creaks etc However it is a bit unfair to single out as comes at a certain price point, hosts were wonderful as was breakfast. It was a fair hike out of town as well but that fact was never hidden, simply poor research. Narrow staircase to Ruprechts room as often is case also

Best 60th Birthday Experience

Waking Up

Seriously though it was a packed day of wonderful experiences – massage, hot tub, champers, dinner…….. last day of not being sick 😉 It also fell in the middle of our first real experience of what we considered “true” Ireland in Killarney. Good weather, great countryside , friendly people etc. The Lake House is a stunning hotel to stay at even if got some Jack Torrance vibes at times. It also saw the emergence of my alter ego Pat McGroin, the dapper Irish Gent

Best Meal Aqua at The Shard was a superb experience from service, location and food. In the scheme of things and being in London it was not overly expensive really. Dans Le Noir the night before was also a memorable experience but ruined a little by ignorant dinner companions

Best Drinking Experience The Guinness Skip The Line Connoisseur was rather good. Very small group in a beautiful bar and both of us healthy. The first Irish Coffee we had at Brazen Head was one of the best drinks had all holidays and could never repeat the experience. Even after spending 400 Euro to return to Dublin early and go back to same pub!

Best Tour The Ring of Kerry tour from Killarney was easy winner but that says more about the others actually. Personally would say ROK is a bit overrated. Not a brilliant day maybe but pretty good. A few great views but a lot of ho hum driving in between. Small group, good driver

Worst Tour Easy winner, Healys Connemara Day Tour from Galway. Easily the most poorly organised tour ever been on and no surprise no response from them afterwards . Of interest our lovely host Marty at Galway used to be a driver for them. No images can really explain the ineptitude

Best Public Transport We saw the best and worst of Irish Public transport. In general Irish Rail worked well as even when cancelled we always got a refund and the online booking process and seat allocation worked well. When running, on time. When trouble ahead they adjusted plans – eg drop us off at Kildare rather than Dublin

Worst Public Transport Buses in general but JJ Cavanagh in particular. Absolutely hopeless with communication or refunds. Bus Eireann not much better with accepting bookings for cancelled trips and no refunds

Best Fun in the Snow Probably first walk in Kilkenny. Found some snowmen and some quirk

No fun in the Snow Walking to fucking railway station in Cork at 5:30 am for a bloody hour. Am I still a little ticked off? Maybe…. Something to tell the Grandchildren one day “When I was young…” Mind you after that walk if not had already procreated the lineage may have been in jeopardy

Standing around at Kildare station for about 90 mins waiting for train comes a distant second

Worst Taxi Ride You know , we paid 220 Euro for a Taxi ride from Kilkenny to Dublin but still say the taxi ride from Brisbane Airport to Sandgate Road was worst. Expensive and a totally useless lazy driver. At least in Kilkenny we knew going in we were being bent over bonnet and chili on stick inserted

Best fun in the Sun Given only sun really seen was in Dubai an easy winner. Pool was crowded but also tried the beach at times and of course the pool bar

Best Fun at Sunset Once again, a few very pleasant evenings by the pool in Dubai. Pretty well guarantee a great sunset most nights . Throw in a beer and a hubbly bubbly and all good

Biggest surprise on Tour

I put on 3 kgs. Felt more like 5 easy

Actually The Miracle Garden in Dubai was stunning and good value and a must see if you visit

So ends Ireland Fling 2018. I have entertained you clowns for enough. Time to plan USA Feb 2019. As predicted the lure of NYC is already strong despite my hesitation to travel to snow again. The problem is spending 3 weeks on West Coast is a bit dull 😉

Well as a certain pig says

We had a very pleasant last night at pool and then the fun started . Got back to room with a bit of the wobbly boot on but still functioning like a normal 60 yr old. Opened the door to darkness. Now most seasoned travellers would know in most hotels without a tin roof you get two key cards and one is usually needed in the power slot for lights etc. We came, we saw, we conquered. I know what goes in which slot . Generally.

Our card was gone. So put the actual one u need to gain entry in slot and voila. Found a phone and rang the desk. “ The housekeeper must have removed it Sir. You will need to come down to reception and get a new one “ “ Say what Sweetheart “? Some over zealous sheet flattener stole my card so I have to come back and get it . What the fuck?? So trudged with my not happy face on – ok usual one, fair call – and was ready to tear Abdhul a new date so to speak when his basic response if I know my Arabic was “ What the fuck” So we bonded over this and I asked to make up for it could he send the first 71 virgins up at 10 minute intervals and save the good looking one for breakfast . His response was “ You Aussies” or could have been “Fatwa called”. Not sure

So went back to room now with 3 cards. If housekeeper comes back u know which slot the 3rd key is going in. All very odd really because room has been serviced within an inch of its life. You use the towel to wipe your hands or after a shower and hang it up fine. Come back two hours later and there is new folded one . 3 new towels a day I shit you not. I now have 4 pairs of slippers but still only 2 feet .

So on last morning we found out that breakfast didn’t start until 6:30 pm which is not great for early flights and pretty well in keeping with rather impersonal breakfast experience at this hotel. The pool area is great service, the rest not so much. We skipped breakfast and caught taxi a bit early as knew could hook in at Emirates Lounge at Dubai. It is a massive airport and have to take train from baggage drop to departure gates . Fairly easy check in and security especially as finally allowed to wear my trakkies on plane. CLP still being very sick had set the standard 👍 The Lounge is fine but we were smart and didnt over indulge – I planned on finally having a few sherberts on plane #IBF

We have a tightish connection in Sydney so glad plane left on time. Just wish staff wouldnt bullshit you . “We will push back in 10 mins.” 20 mins later still sipping flat “ Champers “ . “ We have 4 planes in front of us, leaving very soon” . I count at least 10 take off ahead off us, all strangely Emirates😏 Here is a suggestion, why not just say “ When we leave terra firma you will know trust me “ . Speaking of which for a big plane the A 380 does impressive take offs and landings . Just rumbles along slowly and then up . Landing is like an old man easing into the bath. You notice these things after landing on the BA A 320 for example. It hit the brakes hard and threw out 3 anchors and two parachutes by my reckoning landing at Heathrow.

In general the A 380shows its age but the PE is still impressive and more spacious than the 747 . Probably compare to the “ Dreamliner” next year for USA which does not get good reviews. QF2 to Sydney , like the first leg, is rather empty with less than half PE cabin full. Before first crowded leg you are bombarded by Qantas about bid for upgrade to BC. On this flight nothing despite fact many empty BC seats . Anyhoo, makes food service quicker not to mention that 3 rd Rumbo almost pours itself. Well,the wine on offer at lunch was that cheap Aussie crap . Fool me once …

Writing this 2 hrs into 14 hr flight all good . CLP sadly has been very sick last week but hopefully can grab some sleep now . Time for a movie . On a plane not an ocean liner how about Titanic to fill in a quick 3 hrs. The clinking ice in my Rumbo suddenly adds some atmosphere

About 20 mins late landing in Sudney which makes things just that bit tighter . Then you face the Qantas Domestic Transfer section at Sydney . What a bloody mess. It won’t be long of course before book that next flight OS amd will be with Qantas of course but right now they can go take a jump. Their “ online check in “ is a bloody joke. You flew me into the country three days ago . You have my API . What is the problem. I reckon out of last 10 flights have only been able to check in online twice. Anyhoo we made it just as plane was boarding with no confidence our bags would be so lucky. It’s a cut lunch as usual to actually get to your runway and leave the ground but a short flight and quick baggage claim had us on road by 10 am and then home at Sunshine Inc by 11:30. Unpacked the bag and left the washing for CLP to give her something to do and decided to drive home to Maryhole then. Not smartest move as very tired towards end and could have been calamitous especially in the rain . Home now and even mowed a bit of the jungle. Will be quiet couple of days resetting body clock and then out to Toowoomba on Saturday for family gathering to celebrate birthday

Until next time