There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
That the colt from old Regret had got away,
Would he join the wild bush horses even if frost be on the ground,
And all the lips would be cracked that day ?
All the tried and noted forecasters from the stations near and far
Had mustered at the news station overnight,
For the clowns said nightly temps could fall to single digits
So Horsie went back to his stable “I aint going to be Frigit”
The End

It was a slow news week admittedly with only the spectre of WW3 hanging over our heads so it was natural that copy editors scrambled for worthwhile news. I believe in their contracts there is a clause requiring that at least 10% of all reporting is weather related and with the thrill of record heatwaves all but a distant memory they were panicking. Still difficult to justify the headline on Wednesday – you know the day after Anzac Day – in the local Fraser Coast Chronically Ill “What does the cold snap mean for the Fraser Coast” ? Hard to say which is more of a concern – the headline is considered news or that there were 347 comments and likes. For investigative purposes only I clicked on the link – and taken to a subscription page if I wanted to read the article! Ya cant write this stuff. Hey, I could be a news reporter too then πŸ˜‰

Speaking of Maryhole the Pub Fest is on tomorrow so Bogan Central on Dole Day suddenly expands city wide with many blow ins to make up the numbers. Use to be June Long Weekend and now punted to May Day weekend. In a few years it will be an extended lunch on Sunday August 3rd so get in quick and see if you cant get those weather updates of the front page by dressing up and making a fool of yourself hanging from a Mary Poppins statue with an umbrella back door adjacent.

Anzac Day continues to gain gravitas each year which is of course a great sign in this otherwise me me me society we live in. Me me me stayed in bed but my thoughts were with them – at least until Sexie Coffee opened at 6 am. I was able to listen to the live broadcast of the wreath laying ceremony and observe my minutes silence. Well 3 actually – not sure that new drive through system is working well fellas πŸ˜‰ Of course it wouldnt be Anzac Day without some “controversial statement” and Anthony Mundine was out of the country so passed on that baton. Good folk were suitably shocked and horrified and then we moved on. If I were to make the effort again sounds like the Elephant Rock ceremony at Currumbin would be the one to attend which would have a certain symmetry to it given all of the wonderful childhood memories associated with said place. Sadly Tony Abcess was there so lets address the elephant in the room. Oh, rocks cant talk? Ok lets move on.

In sporting land Broncs got rub of the green second week in a row. Now the QT man could whine for Australia but his comment about accepting bad calls as part of the game is still valid. Coaches will always blame bad decisions rather than the teams 33% completion rate or a Burgii committing more foul play etc. The best wins are always those against adversity. Just ask the Gallipoli veterans. Whats that – we didnt win that one ? Ok, bad example but you get my point. Some of our best SOO victories were in such circumstances but there have been so many now hard to recall exact year #10isthenew11. One thing we do know though is that Broncs need Jimmy the Jet on the field to advance far into any end of season shenanigans. Much like Cowboys with JT etc. Only exception to the rule is Rabbitohs – end of season success is inversely proportional to how many Burgii play each week.

In TV land Bosch Season 3 was great and simply put is the best cop procedural around at present. Cleverly blends a couple of Connolly novels into one story – much like a batch of Anzac biscuits – and also continues story from previous season. Bates Motel finished a mostly great 5 season run with a suitable conclusion at least for those who knew it was based on the Ed Gein yarn rather than Anthony Perkins doing a spell in the looney bin in between spells of mayhem and naughtiness. Has limited the chance of a revival – never say never – down the track unless Norma comes back in Disneys Frozen 2. I’m here all week, try the veal. But make sure it is thawed out. Billions continues to impress and Gotham returned with the final emerging of The Riddler. Just need Catwoman to emerge out of her suit next week and it will be compulsory viewing in this household

In Travel news Qantas have announced direct flights from Perth to London starting next year – one week after we fly over. Now I dont consider this bad luck per se as not convinced that the Dreamliner is all that great especially in the cheap seats caper. We like a stop over in Dubai anyway so all in all lucky we were still able to do our trip with Qantas as Emirates dont offer PE of course. Speaking of travel I usually scan the travel forums like TA in the late afternoon over a glass of Chateau de Chasselas. Here I am with a few mates just yesterday

Now these forums can be very useful but are also the haunts of many assholes who delight in derogatory and sarcastic replies to simple questions. Guess it is the pinnacle of their pathetic lives to appear to know something more than someone else. I have set myself up as a Maryhole TA expert but as yet have had no enquiries . Odd eh. Speaking of assholes I do hope this new trend takes off like a Qantas Pantyliner direct to Timbuktoo

http://www.ufunk.net/en/insolite/cheeky-exploits/

Speaking of Ireland in 2018 I think this is the famous Ring of Kerry everyone talks about ?

My FB feed has way too much junk in it but every now and again one jumps out from some obscure source that raises a chuckle. Here is one I prepared earlier. While the Anzac Biscuits were cooking

I also made the mistake this week of joining a FB group “Dad Jokes” for a few hours only to have my feed flooded with some of the lamest stuff you could ever hope for. In between the crap of course always a couple of nuggets which will leave you with this week.

No new celebrity deaths aware of, no mushroom clouds and no splinters from my cross work. All in all a good week I guess

Did kick off with a chocolate festivus cleverly disguised as Easter and the start of a run of about 3 months of short weeks. Can I just say as a reduntiree I hate public holidays – really cuts into the time available to do my 15 mins work a week on the Golf Course. Um, hours I mean. Easter of course means a gathering of the Della Clan at Burbank, minus the young campers. As always plenty to eat and drink – including marshmallow a la ash – but was amused when Ant bought out a bottle of White. Yeah we will drink that rather than hook into the perfectly cellared St Hallet Shiraz. Duh. Also began a new tradition of the 500 Cup. Now 500 for me is a lot like Chess with their strategies like the Chekhover Variation of the Sicilian Defence. For me it was the Maryhole Variation of the QUT Luncher . Like CLP, honed my 500 game at QUT but then was able to refine it sligltly while working at Maryhole Pathology in the early days. It is amazing how you can fit in 17 games in your 10 minute tea break when everyone knows what they are doing. And they were QUT boys to start with. They cleverly split CLP and me though and I played with Ant while CLP took on Claude. Claude learnt in Sicily and Ant I think in a winery between bottles of red πŸ™‚ Only joking MATE! Now this is not real 500 as Misere is not allowed which makes for rather tepid bidding in my view. In Maryhole , things didnt get interesting until 9 No Trumps as a blocking move started. Fondest memory is Dazza going 9 NT, picking up Joker and Ace in the kitty and still lamenting “Damn, one trick short “. There is of course no right way or wrong way to play (rules not withstanding ) but partners need to understand each others play and we will continue to work on that. At present stands at 1 all after 3 hours of 7 spades bids πŸ™‚

Easter , sadly, is also associated with road chaos which amazingly seems to get worse each year. I leave early and travel in opposite direction to the masses. There was a tragic fatality just south of Maryhole on Easter Monday for which exact reason not quite known but it isnt the quality of the road folks. However many, including politicians, still call for money to be spent upgrading a perfectly acceptable road. They wont be happy until it is 4 lanes from Cairns to Brisbane. Never happen but if people keep complaining about it then they will do what they did around Gympie. Buy 4 road signs for $20 and bung a 90 with a red circle around it for the “trouble spots”. Then see the impatience and frustration increase on busy days. And of course they will throw in a radar or two and actually make money!

In sporting world sick and tired of all the NRL player movement news, fake news and click bait. Worst proponent in my experience is Triple M on FB with screaming headlines like “Massive News out of Wests Tigers” and the accompanying comment “Wow” . Click……and…….. “there could be news as early as next Monday on the fate of Tedesco and Woods” . Unfollowed. Not sure why Tiger Woods is even news anymore. More back surgery, not playing again this year. Did he play this year? I forget.

Holiday wise has been a bit hectic with trying to finish plans for “Between a Rock and a Soft Red” in September and cement plans for “Galway, Guinness and Gorges” (note early days, reserve right to change when have more time to think of something smart AND hilarious) in February 2018. Just worried may have booked a wine tour in Clare Valley only to find it is the one in Cork, Ireland and not South Australia! Uluru is certainly looking like a jam packed few days with Field of lights, Olgas and even a Segway around the base of Uluru to name a few highlights. Dublin and London Accomodation sorted and all flights booked. Now just wait on North Korea to stuff it all up

In TV land Broadchurch Season 3 was weak and 24 Legacy left none. Billions Season 2 is looking the goods as expected and Girls finished a mostly enjoyable 6 season run well. Just glad to get one lasting image of Lena Dunham naked to keep me warm this winter. Veep returned with usual quality and looking forward to Bosch Season 3 this weekend followed shortly by new House of Cards. Its a busy life on the couch. And not just the one in the Doctors office trust me.

Today though is most memorable for an event 10 years ago. I went to work. Ah sorry, no I meant the wedding of Number One Son (and only one actually, thus making it easier to remember) Tony and his lovely wife Leigh. They now have 3 wonderful kiddies and well settled into full on family life in Toowoomba . Don’t get to see them as much as I should or would like but know they are doing very well and that is all a parent can wish for. And plenty of photos πŸ˜‰

In stunning news this week we are still heading to Ireland in February next year.

The blurring of “news” reporting and social media was never more clear than yesterday afternoon when my local weather feed on FB sent out an alert. The temperature would drop to 14 degrees overnight! I realise these folk get a tad forlorn when no apocalyptic event on the horizon but this is a new low – bit of weather humour for ya there – even for them. Speaking of a disappearing bar the folk at Today have done it again. Your average viewer is a bit thick so we need to have someone – lets call him Karl – sit in a dingy and row up and down the street because the fact that the top of the street sign is only 1 cm above the water level isnt enough evidence about how much water is there. Being your typical ocker millionaire of course he had to row past the pub and ask for a beer from the men on the verandah – classic Mike Moore cringe. Now if they really wanted to portray a true Aussie image have a croc jump out of the water and swallow him whole. Alas, even though they evolve slowly even your average croc cant swallow Karl. Then we had the image of the 9 dingy almost hitting the 7 dingy heading the other way. Ya cant write this stuff.

It was a week that would always be dominated for me by the best Sports viewing all year – the final nine at Augusta – and it did not disappoint. There are players you never want putting for your life – Greg Norman , Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia to name a few. Every now and again though they do putt well and become world beaters and there was never a more mixed bag then Sergio over last few holes. The putts on 16 and 18 were woeful while in between some clutch putts on 15 and 17. Jordan Spieth , who you would like to putt for your life, still has some demons at 12 and does some strange things at times for such an experienced player. Once Scotty missed two relatively easy putts in first 3 holes it was all over. And of course once again a couple of multimillionaire golfers showed all other multimillionaire sportsmen how to behave with class under pressure.

Homeland finale was ok but also a bit disappointing after a promising season. We know it has at least 2 more seasons and it ended with that in mind. Broadchurch has been pretty good this season as long as you can accept every man in the town is clearly an asshole. It is clearly a ploy writers use to expand the suspect pool but it does jar a bit in this particular instance. Prison Break is back ? Familiar faces too. Tried Prime Suspect 1973 but it was cod ordinary. Prefer to see Helen Mirren at 73 to be honest. Line of Duty on the other hand continues to shine

It was also a week that the world lost Don Rickles and for once there was not an outpouring of emotion – “oh gawd he was only 90, taken so young” – but rather a celebration of his peculiar comedy. I always found him hit and miss but when he hit he hit with the best of them. And then the curtain fell. Yesterday came the terrible news of the passing of John Clarke. This one hit hard. Some people love his early work like Fred Dagg and some prefer his later Clarke and Dawe gig but for me it will always be The Games. In a Melbourne Cup field of memorable episodes cant go past the 100m track. These episodes are so chock full of gems you can easily forget that apart from the classic dialogue surrounding the 100m track this is also the episode with Robbo’s Press conference and Kevin Nowra!

John Clarke: I don’t understand then, Mr Wilson, why in the construction of a 100-metre track you would want to depart too radically from the constraints laid down for us by the conventional calibration of distance.
John Clarke: Mr Wilson. Do you know who is the current 100 metres all-comers Australian record holder?
Mr Wilson: Can I guess?
John Clarke: There’s not much point in guessing.
Mr Wilson: Is he an African American?
John Clarke: He’s not an African American, no.
Mr Wilson: Is he that Canadian from Jamaica?
John Clarke: No, he’s not a Canadian from Jamaica.
Mr Wilson: I give up.
John Clarke: The 100-metre record in this country, Mr Wilson, is currently held by Bryan.
Mr Wilson: Bryan?
Bryan Dawe: Yes.
Mr Wilson: Congratulations.
Bryan Dawe: Thank you.
John Clarke: A new mark, Mr Wilson, set at a blistering session last Wednesday. I wish you’d been there. We were down there and we had a bet.
Mr Wilson: Was this wind assisted?
John Clarke: No, and we’d had a couple, and in my view Bryan is not in quite the nick he was in at the same stage of last season.

On Monday as usual caught up with latest Clarke and Dawe on You Tube – Cyclone Malcolm. Clever as always but there is likely concensus that the most memorable one was “The Front fell off” Here is one I prepared earlier – circa 1991.

Both of these classics show the typical Clarke humour which, in my experience, was unique. Luckily we can always sit down and catch up with them at our leisure but it is sad to think there will be no more new material.

Not as sad of course as for his family and loved ones. All things are relative. RIP Fred Dagg

To be fair the weather bureau nailed this one. Despite referring to 127 different models they were following in days leading up to “CATASTROPHIC EVENT” their preferred option has proven mostly correct. And havent there been some tents in news reporters pants. There is of course a certain fascination with disaster – as long as not happening to you directly – but a 5 min update every 2-3 hrs would give us all the info we need. We dont need 24/7 coverage of Debbie unless coming from Dallas which of course lead to the many peurile references to blow jobs etc. When not in the gutter many headlines seemed to have a military slant like “SHOCK AND AWE”. I would indeed be shocked and awed if the news stations didnt always try and turn this into a ratings war everytime. Only watching a few mins every day likely meant I missed many of the more ridiculous lead ins in a Melbourne Cup field but these ones caught my ear

Karl Suffinnoidea on 9 – “Dont want to make this bigger than it is” then crossed to one of their 23 “live” reporters just in Bowen – coming to you from top of a Palm tree already on a 45 degree slant

Reporter ” Police have pleaded with sightseers to stay off the roads. We have been driving around all night and noticed many cars on the road stopped and looking” Hey Shit for Brains did you happen to notice most of them had signs on their doors like 7,9,10 NEWS ?? #oxygenwasters

And the latest and greatest this morning around 6 am. Flashing lights and screaming headlines for latest Nine News Alert “We have been notified that Brisbane will receive a months rain today and many suburbs will have flash flooding. Which suburbs will be affected? Dont miss tonights special bulletin at 6 pm only on 9” You know, several hours after all the suburbs have been flooded and people stranded. You can’t write this crap

Naturally this rain has impacted even on me. No golf yesterday and no golf course work today unless want to go scuba diving for the bunker rakes. More importantly though had a lot of driving planned for this weekend to Brisbane to see the white sheep of the family in transit from Doha and also The Six Pack at Beachmere and Toowoomba. The rain will have passed but just have to keep an eye on road closures. Just hope drive through at Maccas isnt closed!

In TV land there seems to be a raging business now for PPs ? Prosthetic Penises that is . First up Phil – Trumps fave character on The Americans – let it all hang out and a little to the side on Girls. Then Eric whipped it out on Big Little Lies – and it was all the former. Ya with me ? Our Nic gave him a serve literally and all he can say now is “Juice” ? May not have been a foot fault but certainly 8-9 inches. Girls has actually been very good in this its last season and Big Little Lies is certainly absorbing if a little soapy. Our Nic is flashing it all about and why not if look that good at 49 ? Bates Motel has been uneven although had an interesting twist on the good old shower scene. Good Fight is a poor substitute for Good Wife and trying to be too smart with all the Trump tie ins while Homeland obviously expected a Hilary win. Bellevue is an ambitious project which will need to be on its game to tie up a complex story. Saving up Broadchurch, Americans, Line of Duty etc for full season binges

In sporting world Aussies came close but really it just goes down as a 2-1 loss in India. Sick of all the sledging on both sides to be honest. Warner failed big time and one wonders where Ussie was ? A dour Number 3 would have been handy. Aussies need big 3 firing to win – Smith, Warner and Starc – and only had 1. Skull is mostly known for his dry wit but has a very good cricket brain and really nailed Warner’s Sub Continent batting woes on Back Page. NRL is a tipsters nightmare as usual early in the year

Nothing more to say really about US Politics as just one disaster after another but nothing changes. Fox still support Trump with the most biased reporting have seen for years while CNN put a different spin on everything. Officially bored with it all folks, just press the button. The flush button that is, not that shiny red one ya goose!

And finally Europe 2018 is all locked in or as locked in as one can be this far out. That is , airfares are booked and paid. We know when we leave, where we land and when we arrive home. Everything else is in the ether at present although most time will be spent in Ireland driving from pub to pub. Apparently. Sounds like a solid plan to moi

To Be Sure, To Be Sure….

Posted: March 22, 2017 in Travel

Would be nice eh. Devoted followers and even casual stalkers would know that next year to celebrate still being on the airy side of dirt after 60 yrs we were going on a slightly longer than 3 hr cruise on Queen Elizabeth. The big boat, not the monarch. It was a snappish decision but I was rather chuffed with the clarity that the decision had been based on because as that magic big number approached I had noticed a certain dithering in my deliberations of late. In fact

Then Seattlandia came and passed and more focus came upon “Da Cruise” . It was surprisingly difficult to get a one way fare to San Francisco. I started reading some daily blogs on what they do on “day at sea” to fill in time. It seems mostly crochet something or attend lectures on how to crochet something. One could say well we would just grab a beer and sit on the deck and let our troubles, and US$, float away. They dont miss ya for the drinks trust me. Now the cruise was already on the expensive side and was now coming to terms with many of the hidden costs and then add in shore excursions and the number was growing. Perhaps the final rivet in the coffin was the news that QE was being refitted in May to squeeze in more cabins and relocate the Chart room to a dinghy tied to the stern. Its a sign of the times – even reading the Qantas A380s will do away with the grand staircase to squeeze in another 30 seats or so. We were never Cruise geeks but thought Cunard gave us a chance to escape the Fairstar crowd. It likely still does but maybe the gap is narrowing while the prices rise. When I realised that I had been following the refit of Queen Victoria and its current cruise with fervour for a couple of weeks I knew my heart wasnt in it – given we were sailing on the QE and I had forgotten! So the dream was

The reality was

So what to do then? Time for some caution as our deposit on the cruise had now sunk without trace and would likely do some money on our insurance cover which I have to say – T&Cs not withstanding – seems a bit rich when holiday is 10 months away! So it took at least an hour to come up with the possible scenarios

1. Europe – Ireland to be specific. Always appealed and does suit as a couples destination with driving and B&Bs involved – and someone to do the laundary. If only they liked a drink now and again. Pick up some money as a new character in Games of ThronesSeason 9 – The Mountain Meets His Match. Could drop into Doha on way through and see the over achiever Ferguson brother on the way and also see London. It will have been 10 yrs since been to UK. Its February so not ideal weather but a bit hard to get Mum to change my birthdate now. Travel between UK and Ireland seems easy and who knows may still get to sit on Queen Elizabeth. The flights are less fun as longer and also less chance of a PE on Qantas – although not impossible. BC on Emirates is a bit expensive although mixed fares are possible. All things are possible of course depending on budget. Mind you could probably get a few BC seats and still come out ahead of da cruise budget.

2. USA – New Orleans appeals as a couples destination as does Charleston. The places want to visit are a fair distance apart and once again likely involve car hire. May dip into Florida and see some great Golf Courses along the way and smack a few alligators around – you know the poor man’s crocodile. Pussies. Fly into San Fran first or maybe Dallas. Some internal flights involved. Research would likely highlight some great places to see along the way but at present they aint jumping off the page. Driving down California coast is off the roster due to damage around Big Sur etc. USA is an easier place to visit solo of course but not when driving may be involved. If I was 66 then it would be a cinch – Route 66 across the country. Done. I think Route 60 is in Bumfuck, Idaho and I aint going to no Trump compound even if they have great potatoes.

3. Tiaro – At least it gets plenty of rain having no Dome

To be fair 3 is unlikely. If I had to pick a number now

However we will get together this weekend at Flashman INC HQ, Sunshine Coast and investigate further. Maybe there is a fourth option. I hope not πŸ™‚ Donated too many brain cells in Seattlandia to deal with that

Watch this space

Although to be fair you will get more info if you actually read the next blog and stop staring at a blank space. Common sense really when you think about it

You know you have been gagging for it. Well, as the Bishop said to the actress, you can stop gagging now

Best Flight

Any that land safely and at the right airport. To be fair the seat back in PE was best seat but leaving at midnight is all wrong. Especially when sick as a dog. The flight over is the right time, settle in at 11:30 am and have lunch at normal time and a beer and then a short nap. Later on you have breakfast as a late dinner and arrive before you left. You cant beat that. Alaskan is a reliable airline and perfectly acceptable and efficient for cattle class. As in all flights I wont be happy until someone pulls up a passenger walking on with 3 oversize suitcases and says “Hey shit for brains didnt you read the rules (sorry guidelines!) for carry on luggage. Get your fat ass and all that crap off my plane!” Yep never happen

Best Lounge

Bigger is better and you cant beat LAX especially if you get in early and grab a shower. Its crowded maybe but can always find a seat. Brisbane is ok but nothing special and lounges usually not at their best in mid morning anyway. The Alaskan Lounge at LAX was a pleasant surprise, the same at Sea-TAC rather disappointing especially when numb nuts here paid $60 for an apple and some yank wine.

Worst Airport to Land at in USA Ever

LAX remains a nightmare to transit. Yeah its troubling times, by all means be thorough but the signage and people on the ground are lacking and it can be confusing even for non first timers. Whatever you may read allow at least 2 hrs for any connection and maybe a Xanax

Best Train Experience

Only had one so the winner is……. wait for it…….Amtrak Cascades. It leaves on time, the BC seat is comfortable and solo, and the cafe car ok for what it is – avoid the coffee of course. It was a slow trip though as constant stoppages with freight trains. Nice scenery

Best Accomodation

Both were good in their own way but as said in other media commitments would be unlikely to do the B&B route again as a solo. Its fine when travelling with CLP as she Loves On Laundary (LOL!) and you can eat out more at night . The apartment in Portland was perfect in all aspects including location

Best Public Transport

Portland wins as the three forms available blend in well and has a great smart phone app. Seattle Orca card is less efficient (both cost and usage) and seem to be catching buses more (with attending GU)rather than streetcars in Portland. All cities need a smartphone app , simple as that. Portland additionally is an easier city to walk

Best Beer Tour

Melbourne Cup Field with no real losers. How a tour goes depends a lot on numbers in the group. The Road Dog tour in Seattle could have been great with a few more rugged individuals on board but lacked a lot as a solo adventure – not withstanding certainly appreciate tour still going ahead. Tour de Funk was a crowded tour on a bus that worked out very well. What I remember of it anyway

Winner: Walking Tour of Pearl District. Walking tours are best. Small group ( as in 3) and first time had to listen to how beer was made! But not the last…. And hey if u r doing a quiz about what we learnt about beer maybe not at the end of 2 tours:)

Honourable Mention: Brewcycle. Totally unique and fun thing to do. Service at some bars a bit slow but we did do “dive bar ” route.

Best Beer

If the Melbourne Cup joined up with the Caulfield Cup, Kentucky Derby and Birdsville Races…..

At end of day comes down to a tie between Mannys Pale Ale in Seattle and Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA in Portland. And this one I had on last night in Seattle in Coastal Kitchen, whatever it was

Worst Tour Ever

Beyond Bizarre in Portland. On a Sunday night. At midnight. To be fair I got sucked in with the Brewcycle crew and the 4 hrs between end of that and start of this was great. Then the pain started. And I was sober by then

Best Food

Not really fair an any city to rate this as not part of my portfolio but have to say the Gourmet Foodie walking tour in Seattle had a superb range – with a dull group of people who probably would have loved the Beyond Boring Ghosty thing if they could have fitted all of their walking frames on the footpath . Orfeos, Serious Pie, Steelhead Diner, Cutters Crabhouse…..

Best Segway

Small field, own fault, poor weather yada yada yada. No Segways are bad although getting wet in Seattle was not pleasant. The Segway up down and across Willamette River in Portland was great simply because I would not have seen this any other way

Saddest Touristy Moment

Asking someone to shift in seat so could take this photo. In fact the search for the “houseboat” was rather sad too

Best Sighting of Flashman Impersonator

Best Sign

And there were plenty

Best Coffee

To be fair it is getting better and much like anything it is what and how you order. The Cortado was a safe bet always but had a surprisingly good capuccino at Cafe Laddro

Worst Coffee

A clear winner. The horror that was Cafe Argento near Lather Daddy Laundromat Seattle which on reflection – those two facts may be related!

Most Iconic Memory

Biggest Erection

To be fair, not all photos are admissible so lets finish on a high

Health Meter 3/10

With tissues and cough lollies at the ready one approaches the 36 hrs from hell. As said in previous media commitments would not do a big trip like this again for all only 2 weeks but as it turns out works out well to be back when I am. Whether it is two weeks or two months the final day always comes around , just a pity I am at my sickest . At least last year I was on the improve by now. The Segway in the rain killed me off. And a few low flying ducks. No way one should complain too much about Premium Economy but to be fair the champers is luke warm 😏 The trick is not to get as full as a state school hat rack in the Lounge before hand, as tempting as it is . I will be looking for the complimentary inhaler. But first finished off with a lovely walk in Volunteer Park late yesterday . And a beer ….

First flight is not until 14:50 from Sea – TAC so will stay on site until 11 am and then Uber out and start the process. Also have a 6 hr layover in LAX which seemed like a good idea at the time. Will have a leisurely breakfast and even a walk down to 15 th avenue for a coffee around 10 to fill in the morning , weather permitting. Don’t need wet clothes at this stage !

So a summary of sorts . Both cities pretty much as expected and no point complaining about weather because you are well advised about it. Only complaint is usual one – the weather forecasters are incompetent and rather than admit just make their forecasts more vague. With weather like this accuracy would be very handy

Portland is a very laid back place and easy walking. Accomodation was perfect in an ideal location. Is the type of place you walk around and drop into the corner Pub on your way and feel comfortable. Didn’t do the surrounding nature any justice on this trip but would add to the attractiveness of the area significantly. Public transport is great and lack of sales tax a surprising bonus in many ways . The three food groups – beer, coffee and pub snacks – are well catered for . Both cities have homeless problems and also areas to avoid after dark.

Seattle is much more an iconic city and reminds one of San Fran in many ways. Weather impacts much more on activities here as really stands out on a clear day. Much bigger Sports city team wise and supporter wise . Once again didn’t do the natural beauties nearby any justice . Less of an easy walk with so many hills but once again excellent transport system although not as good as Portland without a smartphone app. Odd given the number of big companies in the area . The B&B option was something different but wouldn’t do again. It’s a stunning mansion in a lovely area but as a solo visitor the group breakfast does not appeal and limitation of one room eg watching TV from bed are noticeable . The laundary options also stand out! And of course in Seattle we are back to sales tax so $3.50 always becomes $3.87.

Won’t be any more solo visits for a little while so plenty of time to plan. Now for that last coffee. The man in the hat did it

Health Meter 2/10

It’s a miserable day all round so may as well head out to Airport a bit early and hook into “free” Lounge . Note “” for later reference . The Uber drive knew the speed limit and wasn’t going to let it win trust me despite the wet roads and constant rain. We made it in good time and check in was relatively smooth, bags checked through but need to get new boarding pass in LAX. Missed the pat down sadly despite having lots of tissues packed in strange places. Oh well. Front up to Lounge with a mere 3 hrs to spare with Plan A firmly in place .

Say what ? ” Sorry Sir we only have an arrangement with Qantas at LAX” Bloody Trump! ” You can get a day pass for $40″ “Don’t suppose that is in AUD”? If I wasn’t so sick would have passed on it and mixed with GU but really need a corner to sit by myself and meditate. And cough and sniffle. So hooked in . Mind you last time I spent $40 for 3 hrs I only lasted 3 mins. Ya with me πŸ€“ In the BRW review of Airport Lounges Alaskan @ SeaTACwould not get a Guernsey . Let’s hope rest of day picks up . They do serve beer though

Health Meter 3/5 ! A festivus miracle

Better pace one self , cattle class ahead . Small glass of Chardy and some seal fat cheese. Oops, wine causes coughing . Noted

Health Meter 2/5. ( Beer at LAX a mere 6 hrs away……)

The Alaskan flight was fine for what it was – on time but crowded but health dropped to 1.5 with ear pain during descent and a 5 klm walk to TBIT for Qantas. It’s a crazy system when you can’t check into Qantas until you get here because originating flight is not Qantas! Anyway no more security check and fronted to Qantas One World Club saying I don’t have a boarding pass yet but bag checked through. ” No worries cobber she’ll be sweet I can check you in, My name is Shazza. ” I could almost feel the sun on my back . Time for some food and then settle in for long wait as plane already leaving 30 mins late . Bloody Trump.

Maybe just one beer ? Adios Amigos until the next time . I got a bloody wall to build .

Apparently .

12 months ago in Boston I remember feeling a similar malaise with constant cough especially at night. At least there I could soak up some sun during the day . Ain’t going to happen here . Simply been caught out in the rain and chill one time too often and then factor in the usual annoying central heating deal with USA where you sweat and chill on cycle through the night and you have one sick boy. Not a massive issue while still here but have the 36 hrs of hell approaching rapidly with airport check ins, waiting around, 2 flights across the ocean and then a drive home. It’s going to be a hard last leg when can’t sleep on a plane and will likely be coughing all night. Weather looks a little better today but no dancing in the street anytime soon as not as if sun is coming out. Despite that bloody teasing icon

So headed off for a walk in general direction of downtown and ended up at Century Link Field 90 mins later – check Google that’s impressive . Along the way some fun signs and also stopped into Starbucks Roastery – yeah I laughed too but actually quite impressive

By now the sun was trying to come out as next to Smith Tower seemed worth the $14 . By the time the old guy got the elevator up there the earth had rotated around the sun 3 times ! Good views of course .

I was down near Pioneer Square so had a squiz and a walk along the esplanade . Had a fine coffee at Slate Roasters but ordinary fish and chips at Ivars. Knew I should have gone to the Irish pub! What was I thinking #sickerthanthought

Bit Shaggus O’Murphy by now so caught the bus home for a couple of hours of rest and a quick FaceTime with CLP. She thought I looked not only sicker but also uglier than she recalled . It’s a lovley afternoon now – never doubted it – so will head out for a walk to Volunteer Park and see if any of my brethren around doing bunkers and then that one last beer in Seattle. Unless of course can sneak into Alaskan Lounge at Sea- TAC tomorrow. But first a cup of tea. Here is one I prepared earlier

Either the windows need a clean or weather had deteriorated . Let’s flick on the TV and see what boffins say. A lot actually but it means SFA as really they only have one icon and you really cant go wrong with it

While browsing the webby thing yesterday arvo had come across a great deal for a Segway today for only $25 – usually $70. Worth a crack so booked it and spookily it was back over near that bloody houseboat . Around 8 am as set off for double busser it seemed mostly mist which was ok. Let’s face it had been lucky with weather really up to now. And really it was not bad – until we actually got on the Sogway – no spelling mistake there. By then it was a constant , cold, annoying drizzle but we set off like Postmen. We were doing the Lake Union and Seattle Centre area so not going to be too many great surprises having basically been there yesterday. You know when weather was good

You wouldn’t see too much from up there today. In keeping with how the day was going the one attraction that could have saved the day was the “Interceptor” from first Pirates of Caribbean usually moored at Wooden Boats dock. Nope someone had taken it out for the day

Some interesting signts around and good background info but taking photos now was getting tres difficult as the rain continued . I did my best

It was becoming a grind. Spooky you say that

One point of mild interest was across from the Space Needle was a Sports Bar which is actually the building used as Seattle Grace hospital in Greys Anatomy. Probably explains when I walked in the other day the lady behind the bar said “Welcome back McDreamy” The penny didn’t drop because to be honest that happens a lot to me. Me walking into a new bar that is, not that other nonsense πŸ€“

And then the piece da resistance on the way back we see the original “internet” (in the mist)stretched between the two buildings of the Gates Foundation. It actually is an “artists impression”

So if you thought today’s blog was a bore to read imagine living it ! I did finish the gift shopping for kiddies , just have to work out the packing tomorrow along with the four glasses have snaffled along the way

This afternoon looks like one of those where you take your Growler to the pub and say fill me up. Probably best I sign off now then

Or not . Maybe a laundary visit in this lousy weather . What to do while cycles do their thing ? Had the worst coffee in USA during wash cycle so quickly found a pub for longer dry cycle . The Unicorn fit the bill nicely. Hell, could have stayed for an extra spin cycle. Ya with me

All good things come to an end. Apart from the rain in Seattle it appears . The laundary was done

Which of course means I now feel like a , like a…..

So better start with usual Yoghurt then as only culture Yanks have πŸ™‚

Today’s plan was to head to Seattle centre early to make sure nothing is open. Worked a treat ;( . Nice day weather wise so good for some early snaps before the GU descend

Anyhoo then took a short walk down to Olympic Sculpture Park where they had a sculpture of Thorpies head and other empty structures along with beautiful views of Puget Sound

By now it was time to go line up for Needle ticket and relatively small crowd so easy peasy. Cloud had started to come in by now but still a great view far and wide. It was freezing out on the deck and worried would drop camera when leaning out. So I didn’t

Next it was onto MoMop (formerly EMP) and this is one amazing museum. They had a Star Trek display on so wondered how many geeks had stayed on from Comic Con but then remembered they don’t wake until after noon. Whew

Now research had shown that the houseboat from Sleepless in Seattle was a mere cut lunch and a bus ride or a hearty 45 min walk . Had mingled enough so far so headed out on the walk on a pleasant cool day. Research had also told me that you would not get near the boat and realistically not a photo opportunity per se but you are only young once. In the smattering of photos I took is likely the houseboat and you can win a prize dear reader ( a one year subscription to this blog ) if u pick it. Stalker.com has assured me it is at least behind these gates! And is the section of road Meg almost got run over by truck. Bloody truck had one job eh….

So all in all a very productive morning though tiring . Time to do the double busser back home for a rest and correspondence and then head about a bit later for my one beer and a late lunch early dinner type of deal. Then time to plan tomorrow as sadly the week draws to an end . The weather changes so quickly that there will be no water activities done but Segway still a roughie . Also time to haunt some good coffee places , good being a relative term natch😏