Road to Rooin’

Posted: October 7, 2019 in Travel

Now that CLP has settled into retirement her days mostly consist of Sewing, Scrapbooking and Sleeping. Two of those are about to fade away as we set off on our road trip next week to complete Retirement/60th celebrations. Yes, she will still have to darn my socks so that she has a reason for living.

To kick things off with a bang first up of course is the rather major event of GC2 Ranny’s Wedding in Toowoomba on Oct 19th. Not just a great event but also an opportunity to catch up with family and see all the Grandkiddies together. Some even have parts in ceremony which will be magic. We will head out a day early as due to amount of driving planned for said road trip we need an early start on Sunday after wedding to make first stop that night of Armidale

The Road trip can be broken into a few segments with the first major event being a few days in Melboring to celebrate CLP 60th with offspring who are flying in for 2 nights. We need to be in Melboring by Thursday so our track takes us via Armidale, 2 nights Hunter Valley and one night in Gundagai. Some stops on this trip simply pick themselves being midpoint between Point A and B and trying to limit ourselves to < 5 hrs driving a day. Road works of course can screw up the best of plans. One highlight of Melboring trip will be an all day French Cooking class in St Kilda where we get to eat the product at the end. Just hope Toast is the first item.

From there we bid farewell to family and head west towards Kangaroo Island. Once again there is a "forced stop" at Hicksville along the way to break the trip. Rather shocked to see the Ferry prices for getting to KI from Cape Jervis – $400 for car plus 2 folk. Seems you cant just sit in the car! Monopoly = Price Gouging 101. On second examination though a bit of a knob kiss when we noted Senior Discount was available and save $50. Our teeth almost fell out with our good fortune

After a few days on KI we head to Penola in Coonawarra region. Having visited the other Wine regions in SA this was a no brainer – which kinda reflects my state after a day of red wine. A couple of quaffing days then sees me head back in Victoria with a different route. No, still taking CLP, I just mean we are using different highways…..

Time then to chill with brother and wifey for a few days at Harcourt in regional Victoria. Should be tres pleasant after a lot of driving and suggest some drinking may be involved. It will be the closest we have ever been to Flemington on Melbourne Cup day. A record likely to last forever. From there we head to Echuca if for no other reason then we saw the option of a Gin and Beer cruise on a Paddle Steamer available for a reasonable price. Once falling off said Paddle Steamer on dusk we thought staying the night in Echuca made sense. Then the fun starts

Leaving Echuca on Saturday, we need to be back in Brisvegas for a Wednesday 8 pm date with Steve Martin and Martin Short at Brisbane Entertainment Centre . And we have planned no accommodation! I believe it is called flying(or driving) by seat of pants – a term I am not familiar with! We plan at least to travel in part up Thuunderbolt Way and be at Canungra for Tuesday night to catch up with Bruce and Therese – and grab free accommodation. We are retirees after all

So about 3.5 weeks in total with many highlights to be sure. Catch up with family along the way and complete our SA Wine Region Bingo card to boot. Beauty of driving is you dont have to worry about shipping wine home before catching flights. Mind you, it never seemed to diminish our purchases on previous trips

Now I just have to work on that Father of the Bride speech….

CLP Becomes An RLP

Posted: October 1, 2019 in Midlife Crisis in Maryhole
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As in Retired Lady Person. Having recently turned 60 and realising she was in fact 10% of rolling in it, CLP has pulled up stumps on a working career in the Health field of 40 years. Some public and some private and sometimes even up to 5 days a week. As in most significant life events it all started back in Maryhole and from there on an endless search to try and recreate that magic mix of culture , class and confusion that Maryhole so completely embodies. Alas no success but my presence as her guiding light in later years ensures the connection is never lost.

So, in keeping with the momentous occasion of turning 60 and no longer having a reason to live we decided to celebrate with a couple of days in Brisvegas. As old habits die hard CLP still wanted to catch the 5am train down but assured her we could drive down at a more reasonable hour. I suspect she just wanted to try out her new Seniors Card on the train.

Visited Ferguson Matriach at Twilight Home for a lovely morning tea and then onto Group Linen at TPCH for their Multicultural Day which CLP had been kindly invited too. What a marvellous event to attend. Plenty of great food including a spit roasted Pig shared with such warm and wonderful people. They danced and sang and I even shook my booty to a Samoan Love Song. They gave us a lei but as no fresh flowers it was made up of Cadbury Favourites. I feel this could catch on

We had two nights booked at our go to hotel in Brisvegas – The Stamford. Great location and views with good facilities. Only real gripe is paying $57 a night for valet parking. Hey, that train down not such a bad idea after all….. I said I was happy to park it myself Chauncey but was then informed it would then be charged hourly and for a full day would be $89! Threw him the keys and headed to our room. Mine came with a 60 yr old Flower arrangement on the bed! To the pool Boy Wonder


Two major celebrations planned – one known, one a surprise. Surprise for CLP that is, obviously one of us had to know all of the plans……The surprise part was dinner at Alchemy Restaurant with da boys and partners on Monday night. Tuesday night would then be spent with Dame Edna at QPAC. I suspect there may be others there as well but one can hope. In between and all around some chilling by the pool, some drinking at watering holes adjacent and even a bit of shopping. Having had a rather bigger than expected lunch it was time to take it easy for a few before hooking in again big time

CLP was suitably surprised when progeny were noted loitering adjacent to our table. It was a wonderful night with great food and even better company. Alchemy do a special treat with nitrogen infused ice cream at the end of night which is perfect ending to a gourmet delight

Tuesday morning dawned clear. Now if my head will catch up. The room at Stamford is great but think the AC runs on a couple of rubber bands. Have to set it to โ€œWind Tunnelโ€ and 16 degrees to have the room feel close to a pleasant mid afternoon in Maryhole in Summer! Time for a walk and find some breakfast options. Once again being next to Botanical Gardens is another thing we love about this hotel. Simple breakfast for simple folk and then some shopping before morning tea in the Brisbane Arcade

Back to room briefly to offload shopping spoils and then around to Felons Brewery for a frothy lunch with cheese. It certainly is a growing area at Howards Wharves much like my waistline after the last 36 hrs.

Last thing to sort out now is dinner options before Bazza tonight. May need to sleep on that

Settled on OLE for dinner, always a safe bet . Good crowd at Bazza and they opened the doors quite early for a change. We had great seats with unobstructured view and a walkway in front. Barry Humphries is a true comedy legend but time to give away mate at 85. Reading of TelePrompter is a tad embarrassing. At his best when ad lib with audience but highlights few and far between and even though I could hear what the audience member said 25 rows away Barry struggled from 3 rows in front. The songs have great lyrics but the voice falters. Glad we saw him but couldnโ€™t recommend the show for your hard earned especially with no Dr Sir Leslie Colin Patterson

A great 48 hrs to celebrate a special occasion

It was shaping up as a big 36 hrs but first the usual Friday morning bunker run. Or walk it seems as the Bunker Bike is broken and the only way to get parts for it is to find Noah who built it at same time as the Ark! So time to hand rake a few. Then the long drive to Brisvegas for Richards Bucks Night at The Footy. First though time to drop in to the Medium Security wing at The Twilight Home to catch up with Ferguson Matriach and she even had her hair done special for the day release. CLP thinks my hair looks the same – yeah if only.

Then onto Pullman at King George Square and of course room not ready at 1 pm but “we will upgrade you to a balcony room Sir. Come back at 2pm” Ok, no big deal drop off car and bags and limp the 100m to mall. What can one do though to fill in time before a big night out. Well, just the one……

Back at 2:15 pm to reception. “Ah no Sir room not ready so have put you back to original room” It was that sort of day. The room was perfectly fine on 12th floor but despite double windows can still hear some traffic. So, chilled for a couple of hours before CLP arrived from work (he he) and then around 5pm headed off to Caxton Street pub for a pre game meal. Its a long walk actually and already very crowded with a surprising number of Rabbitoh supporters. Luckily they only eat lettuce. Booteeful evening though

Yeah I was a bit early but got choice of seats:) The man of the hour turned up duly and we settled in with a good group of guys and a few Sherberts before hooking into a couple of slow moving cows as you do

The place was jumping by now and took a while to actually get meal but that was fine. Organising bill and paying same took a bit longer mind you but eventually headed off with the throng to the big lit place. In the distance I could faintly hear the pre game entertainment ๐Ÿ˜‰ Mind you as we were approaching gates about 10 mins before kick off there was still a mass of people rocking up – must be the Brisvegas thang. Good seats and really is a great stadium. Of course if down one end you do miss some of the action at other end and tend to watch on big screen. Its almost as good as being at home in front of TV……

It was not a great game per se but was a great experience and really exciting last 10 mins. I left the younguns to it after the game and hobbled with the masses back to hotel. It was crowded but as always the Police do a great job with crowd control. Ankle was officially broken and this led to a rough nights sleep but at least not full as a state school hat rack. With age comes wisdom.

Had an excellent breakfast next morning with full buffet on offer for only $1 – special internet deal. We had booked to see Once Upon a Time in Hollywood in Gold Class for 10 am so duly arrived in plenty of time and parked and ordered our refreshments as you do. Its a long movie at almost 3 hrs so we organised very clearly to get a coffee at 1030 am, some sliders and chips at 1130 am and finally the big dessert just after midday. Spread it out nicely as we had had a hearty breakfast. Made myself comfortable in a surprisingly empty ( about 8) cinema. Here is one I prepared earlier

So coffee turned up at 10:10 quickly followed by meal at 10:30. When the dessert turned up – in a wheelbarrow- at 10:45 told them to take it back and buy themselves a clock! Seriuosly what is the point of pretending to take down all the info at the counter? The food was fine and the dessert enormous but really dont want everything served so quickly #firstworldproblems

And so to the movie. It was a disappointment. Great period feel but way too much time spent on DiCaprio acting in movies within movie. Pitt was great whenever on screen and the small part of Lewis as McQueen was rather mesmerising. The Bruce Lee bit just jarred. No issue with ending as it was a fairytale after all. QT is always a bit different but really think he missed the mark here.

A slow drive back to Maplehead then with the rather baffling nature of traffic on full display. There were no accidents but you would just come to a standstill for a few minutes and then speed up and then another standstill. Defies logic really but a rather common phenomenon at certain times of day on highway. Can only assume too many female drivers out there ? Made sure left early next morning to avoid the traffic and just enjoy the fog

What happens in Vegas…..

Posted: August 21, 2019 in Travel

Should make for fascinating reading for you folk.

So, the new non stop Qantas flights from BrisVegas (spooky) to Chicago and San Fran after April 2020 were tantalising as Chicago in particular is a personal fave. Call Me Bwana is only a 2 week soujourn in March next year and thats not nearly enough OS Shenanagising for this little black duck in any one calendar year. The idea formed, due to direct flights, of two short US holidays (pre Election and Post US Election !) for October 2020 and February 2021 – as still love the winter over there. Spread the love and spend the inheritance so to speak. A lot of research has gone into this and the holiday is planned and even the odd fully refundable deposit out laid after allowing for pending World Recession and the Aussie $ dipping to 50 c US ๐Ÿ™‚

I am going to Vegas in October and NYC in February.

Obviously.

Yep I dont get it either so dont fret. There are a few pertinent facts to digest. One could almost be swayed to call them excuses. Short Term rentals are becoming a nightmare in many US cities including Chicago. Chicago has a lot of lodging taxes as well so basically it is expensive to stay in and pretty well limited to Hotels. Similar story in San Fran and it fair to say that as great as San Fran is it is a deteriorating city by all accounts and I was there in 2013 and ticked all the boxes and Made my Day #Clunk. Chicago would be cheaper in Feb 2021 but that is a dangerous place (transport wise) and rather freezing at that time of year

Not convinced I am a Vegas kinda guy but there is no denying some great attractions nearby like Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam. It also has some great iconic sites movie wise and did find a good rental at MGM Signature – just off the strip, no casino. No doubt would catch a show and play some Two Up but think there will be plenty to keep me busy outside of gambling and ogling Showgirls. Not that there is anything wrong with that…… The other bit to the puzzle is I loved my short visit to Santa Monica for the afternoon back in February and would have loved to have stayed well into the night on the Pier but had to get back to LAX for my cancelled flight early next morning VIA 2 Ubers and a long walk! Once again have been able to find a reasonable and legal rental within walking distance to Pier and Venice Beach so looking at a few nights there before flying home. All up , just under 2 weeks

Now devoted followers would know I have often said I would never go back to NYC. I lied. Apparently. Sometimes when there I dont take advantage of what is available but when I look back on it well there were magic times going to a concert at Madison Square Garden and also free entry to two Tonight shows yada yada yada. More importantly though I loved the Hotel Beacon and if you book well in advance the rates are quite reasonable – depending on exchange rate of course. the second city would be Philly as have not been there for 5 years and once again VRBO rentals are mostly legal there and there are some gooduns. Again a two week holiday in and out like a well trained Seal Team

Two short holidays , rather than one long one, does increase amount of time flying but also chance to snag that elusive Gold FF badge in the one year. Mind you I suspect after all the planning it could be that it just aint that bigger deal when you fly as often as I do. Still , be nice on that Headstone to have “At least he was a Gold Frequent Flyer”. Especially if that headstone was a result of that last qualifying flight.

Some variables are beyond my control of course especially with Pumpkin Head in the Oval Office. I suspect he will try and prevent a recession before Nov 2020 and so while the Aussie $ may not do well my Super should not be obliterated – my only source of aforementioned Aussie $.

If I was a gambling man I would think though that he will stuff it up so may as well head to Vegas with the other losers eh.

This could be fake news of course. Still very dark when I arise and still dark, luckily, when the jammies go on at 530 pm in arvo. Its a conundrum. I do love my QLD winters but would like some daylight at 6 am to start mowing on GC. Of course as soon that happens then you know the pleasant nights for sleeping will soon become a long lost memory. In the meantime the days are glorious apart from that one frosty morning last week. Here is one I prepared earlier

July also means we get to celebrate that quirky little event known in the trade as Xmas in July – another excuse to eat and drink too much but at least be acceptable to be wearing trakkies! The annual gathering is at TB @Canungra where it can also get a tad frosty. First up though lets lunch at Mt Tambourine as you do. Tres impressive Fortitude Brewing establishment with some very passable amber fluids and even better pizzas

The highlight though of course was right next door where there was a very clean cheese shop with a well know proprietor

Then it was down the mountain and across the plains to YabbaDabbaDo and the McLeod Spread. Would be adding to my spread lickety split. We took the 2 night B&B package – as in beer and bacon – so we were able to choose the deluxe suite next to the Galah Cage. The tribe didnt arrive until next day so thought I was rather smart here until I realised it meant I had to help set up the next morning! Used my slide rule and TSquare to fit the required 16 seats around the table only to then be informed numbers had dropped to 13. My angst at having to deal with an odd number at a rectangular table had to be balanced against the realisation that it meant more food and drink for moi. Life is a balancing act after all. Tribe duly arrived at staggered times so I staggered out to greet them and line up the 4 skinniest on the side with only 4 chairs. Being a Della gathering of course meant they were all skinny. Bastards. We ate, we drank, we hunted treasure. Rinse and repeat. A great time had by all

Fairly busy in TV land in what is a mixed bag. Loudest Voice continues to impress. Saw Rusty in recent interview so now not so sure how much is fat suit and how much is him but suggesting its about 50/50 now. Great performance though. City on a Hill is good rather than great and suffers when Bacon is not front and centre. Perpetual Grace is Fargo Lite so interesting but one needs to concentrate. Big Little Lies Season 2 started out great with Streep on Full Ham alert but that was eventually cancelled out by Kravitz’s perpetual angst and frown and poor writing. For a seemingly rushed season it dragged at times and dont be surprised if Eric wins an Emmy nod even though he was dead the whole season. Ah, thats right he is a vampire of course. Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee may well be suffering the well known Netflix effect as now more than ever just seems to be rich guys driving around in rich cars for hours while Jerry bends over in very loud but silent laughter. The first episode with Murphy E was dull apart from a few interesting anecdotes about Pryor and Cosby. Picked up after that but not sure how Matthew Broderick qualifies as a Comedian? He did Ferris Bueller and then married Carrie didnt he? Highlight so far – havent seen Short – was the Gervais line from his standup

Sober 18 yrs

Crowd applauds and Cheers

But as soon as I turned 18 have been pissed every night

In Sportsland the predictable happened in CWC. Aussies lost to South Africa and then England and NZ cant win because they wont cheat. That last ball had be an underarm surely. NRL top 4 is sorted and one could argue so are the premiers – Roosters with Storm an outside chance. The Open was on but at the wrong time of night for this LBD with the real highlight being Connor as usual. His line from “DJ” is classic

The Open 2019: Watch as Conor Sketches praises the new Open champion

DOT has approved the Qantas and AA alliance so the new flights to Chicago and SF should be announced soon. Not that I will be rushing into anything as still have to wait and see the outcome of my DSC claim for the Call Me Bwana South Africa trip next March. If successful then its straight to Gold FF for me. If not then may need to supplement a couple of soujourns before Oct 31 next year. Be nice to feel Golden for at least one year before I croak. Qantas send me about 3 emails a day but simply refuse to confirm my registration for this!

Visited Mum at the Medium Security Twilight Home on way to Canungra and she seems well settled there although still issues to deal with health wise. Focus now moves to CLP turning 60 – and retiring – at end of September and then onto the Big One – Ranny Wedding in October.

If CLP enjoys retirement I am thinking I may give it a go too. One can only work “15 hrs” a week for so long after all and still find time to watch all these TV shows

SOO 3, 2019

Posted: July 10, 2019 in Sport

Ya dont have to feel happy but at least redemption for Mitchell Pearce takes some of the pain away. Always seemed a decent fellow who just happened to run into QLD in its glory days. Much like Gallen but no one feels sorry for that ass clown of course

Even during the period of QLD dominance it usually came down to one or two plays and the presence in one team of 2-3 big match winners not present in the other side. Give NSW during that period Thurston and Slater and the results are totally different. Put Teddy and Cook in QLD last night and we win. In between that there is rarely a struck match between the two sides despite the stats. If Qld could have won last night then the nightmares return for NSW and they may never recover. Instead we have the possibility of a short dynasty. I say short because right now no QLD superstars appear on the near horizon while NSW stars are relatively young still and now not scarred irrevocably. However the next superstar may be just around the corner

As with all things human the spine is critical. Personally I dont cream my jeans at the thought of Munster at fullback. Definite star but prefer him at Number 6 not that Norman did a bad job. Qld strike is mostly in its wingers and PonGod set them up well in Game 1. Munster is more of an individual. Even Boyd would be well suited at fullback from an attacking perspective – certainly not defensively! Qld lacks good centres since loss of GI. Chambers is rocks and diamonds but 8 missed tackles is 7 too many and Mbye is nothing. Its where Broncs fall down as well with loss of Roberts. DCE was ok but should have set up FG in last two minutes. Norman is also rocks and diamonds but would stick with him. Hunt is ok but no Cook. Papali was good in patches as was Grub McQuire. Kafusi was solid but part of problem with the Qld pack is it is about 4 Kafusis! Dont get the rap for Ofahengaue – solid young player not SOO material. Lowe was very good on debut, Welch just standard. No variety in pack and no real threat

Glad NSW picked Klemmer because I reckon he is a lumbering log. Maloney was quiet along with Pearce but did nothing wrong. Turbo Tom was quiet while Wighton was dangerous. Ferguson was another redemption story and close to MOM – tip toe down sideline to set up try was icing on cake. NSW were there for the taking but we couldnt get it done and now its history and we have to live through the NSW biased media gloating

Kevvie is a great guy but not a great coach. Good certainly but purleese if around next year drop the new age crap. There is a reason he hasnt got an NRL job yet and think he would struggle there. Perfect assistant and a specialist coach like with the halves. Passion only gets you so far

Hey, at least India lost. Aussies will lose tonight which means only one thing

GO KIWIS

SOO Game 2 , 2019

Posted: June 23, 2019 in Sport

As long as Origin has been played , last nights result was always on the cards apart from a couple of Golden periods for Maroons with Thurston, Lewis etc. NSW sides always look more dangerous on paper, not necessarily better. They have more points in them invariably. Qld gets by on effort and guts and usually some NSW mistakes either on field or at selection table. Many so called experts of course thought the selections for NSW Game 2 were panic but in reality most were forced or obvious. Blind Freddy, let alone Blue Freddy, knows that smaller mobile packs do better in wet conditions than big logs. Of course when selected no one knew it would piss down for the game but Fittler must have been happy when he saw the forecast.

Didnt watch second half so wont give player ratings but will make general observations

Ponga is a great player no doubt but needs to add a conservative, bordering on sensible, part to his game. In those condition you dont go for the big soaring catches mid air. His side step went missing but Tedesco didnt seem to have a problem:) Munster is still the most dangerous and gifted player there but rest of spine did ok especially behind that forward pack. They went missing although Kafusi seemed to give it all. Dont think Gillett has come back the same player post neck nonsense as his Broncos form clearly indicates. McGuire is simply a grub and I dont care how well he plays I would never pick him. The rest were mostly lumbering oafs easily picked off. Our centres lack penetration and therefore the wingers rarely see good ball

Maloney is always worth the risk in must win matches. He will make mistakes but he will also do some brilliant stuff. Turbo Tom is simply all class and a true Origin player. Kevvie said our spine would be better than Game 1. It was an obvious call to make but they still need the forward pack to play well. One thing for certain is the NSW debutantes will be a lot better for Game 3

No doubt for me that Qld were a bit complacent as we are dealing with only footballers after all. The 4 point win at Suncorp was a false dawn and with all the media they just thought they just had to turn up and put on a bit of pressure and NSW would crack. They may well have but of course we never applied any pressure. The wet weather didnt help but that is just a roll of the dice. The penalty try was a 50/50 call but should have eased pressure on QLD and allowed them back into game but instead NSW responded better.

And finally to Angry Kevvie. Give it a miss Son. You have always been the lovable larrikin and this new stern look is not good – and embarrassing when you lose.

The worse thing of course about a NSW win is the gloating league media which always is strongly Blue Biased. The players themselves are fine. NSW will be big favourites for Game 3 of course which may be our only positive to come out of this debacle. With Broncs going south at a rapid rate Rugby League 2019 is looking like a tough year to endure. Maybe time to switch to another sport

If only we had a top female tennis player…….

And it was a lovely 3 days! Qld winters are tres pleasureable but it dont exactly get very cold for very long. A couple of days of single digit overnighters and the moaners are out because they can only afford one pair of Ugg Boots and matching flanno shirt. On a side note why is it so hard to buy flanno PJS now ? Everything is bloody sleep sets. Anyhoo, as one gets older do find the 10-12 degree nights are a bit easier to cope with than the 4 degree nights and also prevent causing that track in the carpet from bed adjacent to toilet! Its the crystal clear 22 degree days one craves

Since last we met our hero he has returned to golf with moderate success ie he didnt retear shoulder cuff. The short game has lost some touch and the tee shots are more the 180 straighty than the 203 in the tree but this is not a bad thing. Sadly my handicap remained the same – 11 – for the 7 months off so shooting a 2 over handicap in 3rd game back was very passable. The shoulder has in fact settled down quite well now and mostly due methinks to getting back to gym. Of course improvement in said appendage also means reacquainting myself with oldest piece of equipment on golf course – The Bunker Bike! The weeks are slowly filling themselves in a bit better now but when one still gets up at 5 am even on a “free day” then some can drag

Speaking of Winter coming and going GOT ended with simply the dullest episode known to mankind, befitting a very ordinary season. Still plenty of good stuff on of course and starts with local production of Harrow. Maybe its the familiar Brisvegas surroundings that appeal but its an easy watch. Killing Eve second season was rather dull. Billions was good if predictable and saving up some Stan originals – which look good – like Perpetual Grace and City on a Hill for a multi episode watch. Veep was a good series ending but think show wrung every last gag out of yarn. Chernobyl was excellent and usually find more drawn to a good docuseries these days rather than “another drama”. In keeping with this theory just rewatched the excellent “OJ Made in America” 5 parter. Luckily 30 for 30 still roll out new docos every couple of months

In sporting world the SOO is front and centre and fear the second game may come back to bite us and mostly because Pearce got injured! Maloney is such a dangerous player. Of course he can also have a howler at times ๐Ÿ™‚ I fear the QLDers , being mere footballers, will be complacent despite all the lectures they will get. Exhibit A Your Honour – The Broncos! Have you ever seen such an inept display by a bunch of highly touted millionaires as the last two games?? The US Open Golf was a great watch as always and Pebble is probably the second best viewing tournament after Masters. World Cup cricket is in its 3rd month I think but still in pool matches with Aussies playing Ethiopia tonight I believe! Of course it did bring back Roy and HG to the airwaves so is to be applauded for that alone. The fact that some idiots dont find Roy and HG humourous only confirms the well know view that the world is full of morons and mental retards

Speaking of which – US Politics! Nah I cant be bothered its all too unbelievable

On USA though it was interesting, bordering on life altering, to read about the new direct flights from Brisvegas to San Fran and Chicago – two of my fave US Cities and you can also avoid LAX! Then the reality kicks in. They are amongst the two most expensive cities to stay in with city taxes etc and crack down on STRs (Short Term Rentals for the Plebs). You look at a hotel and what starts of at $1200 USD for the week ends up $3500 AUD after conversion, taxes, cleaning fees, wall fund………. The idea of a 10 day stint in one of these cities though with only two flights to deal with does appeal. At short notice could grab a good deal or even a DSC (Double Status Credit for Plebs) deal for a few months down the track. This week also saw a much heralded Qantas FF programme rejig and didnt have to be Einstein to know you would get screwed over somehow. Its not all bad of course but for this LBD (work it out yourself!) two negatives were

1) More crowded Qantas Lounges because of the “Points Club” concept – drunks who never have to catch a flight
2) More points needed to upgrade to higher class for booked flights eg PE to BC – one of my go to options

Yes first world problems but in case you hadnt caught on yet that is where I live : )When last our hero ranted the prospect of a solo RTW was in the wings so to speak and still a distinct possibility although to call it RTW may be a stretch. Basically a few stops in USA via Helsinki and London as you do of course.

In an ever changing world the one constant is the joy of grandchildren and the fact they live so far away. Only joking…….

They are all growing up so quickly and doing new and wonderful things each day. A quick trip out to Toowoomba next weekend will at least allow some time be spent with 2/3 of gang. Trip is needed for suit hire for Rannys wedding in October. I have added on a few kgs the last month so when get suit fitted next week I know I dont need any of that pesky dieting afterwards for next few months ๐Ÿ™‚ I may be old but I aint dumb

Speaking of dumb I just saw this typo? Folau has started a GoFund Me page to raise 3 million dollars! When I went to school am pretty sure it was spelt with a ck on the end ………

As in not counting my shots on golf holes. It would be fair to say my usual optimistic take on life is temporarily on hold, perchance forever buried

Shoulder is not good 6 months post surgery. Despite the surgeon being very happy with progress and range of movement at sign off a couple of months ago it seems months away from any full function as in playing golf and going to gym. Every time I start to increase exercise I am met with pain the next day. The cooler weather is not helping now of course as arthritis from earlier botched job overlays the new pain. Still have tuckshop lady arms and simply cant put muscle back into deltoids etc. Playing golf seems an eternity away. At least with the cooler weather the arthritis in my “good” shoulder now makes me feel like a more balanced individual. If I could just break my left ankle on the QT the symmetry would line up booteefully.

In more concerning developments on this Mothers Day 2019, the Ferguson Matriach has moved up in the low security Twilight Home to the slightly more secure next level. Several weeks ago a fall at home led to broken hip and hospitalisation for a few weeks. Despite rather impressive physical recovery for a 92yr old the memory loss and associated inability for independent living has led to this inevitable move. Dealing with Aged Care facilities in general is a bit of a nightmare and they dont miss ya in the money caper but all family is working well together and hopefully some semblance of normality will return to Mums daily routine. Sadly also means very unlikely to attend Rannys wedding in October but maybe we will just tell her she did go so we can still get a present ๐Ÿ™‚ Well, come on you dont expect me to be maudlin 24/7……

In happier news May is a month of many birthdays in family starting with GD 1 Jess and proceeding with GS 2/3 as well, Pat and Harry. Throw in a few old farts as well and its a packed schedule

In TV land would have to say GOT 8 has been underwhelming but can still pull it out of the fire – as opposed to two more dragons! Dead to Me on Netflix is a pleasant surprise while Brooklyn 99 has been a mixed bag. Veep finishes this weekend and will be missed but there is still plenty to catch up on. Bosch was another solid season and Fleabag Season 2 a delight. Actually mixed with the GU to see a movie but as in GC a slightly skewed GU perhaps. Not an MCU fan but Avengers Endgame was pretty good and the 3hrs seemed a lot closer to about 2hrs 55 mins at times. Still morons abound of course – you know the ones who look at the food menu for 10 mins then wadddle up to counter and take another 10 mins to actually order. GC certainly need to open doors more than 20 mins before screening time

Have had a couple of visits to Brisvegas with Mums situation and has been very handy that CLP is house sitting at present in Windsor. Celebrated 17 happy years together on our 19th anniversary earlier this month by going to Three Blue Ducks at the W Hotel in Brisvegas. Lovely restaurant and a great night but for a classy place they lack many subtle touches that good restaurants do

And of course since last we saw our hero we have had the Annual Della Easter gathering at Flashman Inc, Maplehead. Weather not ideal but didnt interfere with eating or drinking strangely enough. Eloise continues to grow of course and she and Nonna have a very special bond

So as always life tends to be a mixed bag with the good mostly outweighing the bad and when it doesnt there is always wine. Or holiday planning. Not that I will miss out in next 12 months with Melbourne Road Trip and Call Me Bwana in the works but also working on that bucket list item of an RTW solo plane trip – round the world for the younguns – for later next year. Even if never eventuates sure is fun planning. Paying for it on the other hand…….

Oh well its only money and Buffoon Bob has to blow up the world soon so why wait?

Back home for a month in the wide brown land and good/sad to see some things never change. The weather is totally predictable unless of course that is actually the job you are paid for but 34 degrees in last week of March is a concern. Summer may start later sometimes but sure hangs around longer now. In USA in winter its the wind chill that catches ya out, here in summer its the humidity. And of course The Dome got a good lube and oil change recently and back in full effect. One day in particular last week a storm approached Maryhole got to about Puma South Servo and did a sidestep that even had Freddy Fittler scratching his head. Probably a regular occurrence with FF mind you. The actual weather forecast for Fraser Coast is fine as certainly rain in the general area but would be great in these technologically advanced times if there could be an addendum to all forecasts for Fraser Coast along lines of ” Please not that historical records indicate that for purposes of weather predictions Maryhole is not considered part of the Fraser Coast let alone civilisation in general #Dome

Some things are certain of course and at top of the list is that Buffoon Bob is a shocking loser but even worse winner. Maybe because he gets so little practice. He got the rub of the green with the wasteful Mueller Report and could have basked in the glory but just finds he cant not lie. Of all the things he could say he had to harp on about “being completely exonerated” which was the only thing that came out of the report really – ” he couldnt be exonerated” ! Now he is a very ignorant fool but one has to wonder whether he just says these things so that the media will pounce on it and then he stirs up his base – who to be fair cant read or write but only watch Fox News – with cries of Fake News. He was still at 41% popularity with the report hanging over his head. The Dems simply dont get it and now have a Melbourne Cup field and you just know they will go with a safe option ie white male after Hill the Dill lost the unlosable election. Of most concern to this LBD is there has to be a stock market adjustment/crash coming and methinks it will be sooner rather than later

The other certainty in life of course is how dumb NRL players are. You just knew that the Broncs forwards and TPJ in particular would be busy all week reading their press rather than worrying about Dragons who flogged them in last game they played. Simply no bite or sizzle in their play. Roberts is not 100%, Boyd is a turnstile at the back and this team cant threaten title with halves they have. Milf did run more sure but mostly in circles and the defense of both is hopeless. Storm/Roosters final again barring serious injury. Of more concern though this year is the emergence of a dominant Blues Origin team while Qld falls away. Could be a painful few years ahead.

For some relief in a grim world there is of course always the grandkiddies. Was able to spend some time with the Piper ratbags at Rainbow beach shortly after return and will see the rest at Easter. They are all growing and changing but strangely remaining adorable still. CLP is really enjoying her time watching Eloise grow and sees her regularly at this exciting time of growth

Quite 6 months ahead with the usual Della Campout at Easter the next highlight to look forward to. Then there is the CLP retirement in September. She will be both happy and sad with the latter becoming the overriding emotion when she realises I am not moving straight down to Maplehead. I am just throwing subtle hints out at present so the shock isnt too much at the time. The big event this year is Ranny Wedding in October. Always great events and good to catch up with family from far and wide. Then we start a driving trip of mostly far but not wide for a month down to Kangaroo Island and back with stop offs in Hunter Valley, Melbourne, Coonawarra and Northcote for starters. There is a theme with those places but cant quite put my finger on it but if I start whining about it am sure CLP will tell me to put a cork in it. Then we have “Call Me Bwana” safari to Africa to finish planning for March 2020 before I can start planning next USA solo trip:) Texas looking good at present but when you look into the fine detail of internal flights etc you realise why you often end up back in the same big cities. Another developing story is the crackdown on all short term rentals eg VRBO across all USA and not just NYC anymore.

After a month away always a lot of TV to catch up on but often a case of quantity not quality. The standouts have probably been a few docos like The Inventor which was of particular interest given work history. Started watching the Maddy McCann doco on Netflix but really a bit over all these true crime yarns with no conclusions. Broad City has been fun in final season as has the return of Brooklyn 99. Couple of UK comedies like Catastrophe and Fleabag always worth chasing down too. In between plenty of new “procedurals” but mostly rubbish. Luckily been some great golf on TV with Florida swing leading to Masters next month. And of course GOT finally returns for last season but they have really been dragon that one out…..

So all in all life is in a bit of a holding pattern waiting for summer to piss off – yeah Autumn is like the Yeti, seen at times but never really confirmed. Back in the routine of mowing on Golf Course where fairways have held up pretty well really. Got all clear from surgeon last week and now close to 5 months post op. Movement is all good but strength still way off and presently have the tuckshop lady arms to prove it. Slowly getting back into the gym with a return to golf likely 6 weeks away and even then it will be slowly goes it. One hole at a time , even though I may be on the adjacent fairway ok