Archive for December, 2012

Dont see too many fat and jolly people. There are some around and usually they have been FJ all their lives but is it genuine or simply a defense mechanism. I suspect the latter because it is hard to imagine why anyone would be fat and jolly because it is just so damn uncomfortable even when you throw on a couple of extra kgs. The guy in the Red Suit gets a a lot of press around now but is hard to imagine when he hits Australia on Xmas Eve and its 25 degrees at midnight that he has a smile on the dial wearing a full length flannel body suit with a full beard and lugging around a heavy bag of goodies. The poor old reindeers may get a few extra lashes around this latitude.

Of course this is the first festive season in 35 years where I dont have to consider whether I am working Xmas or NYE when the discussions about family gatherings start in October. Also coincides with now there are 3 x GSs to visit all at different ages with the eldest just starting to fall under the magic spell that is Xmas. So there was a trip out to Toowoomba to see GS 1-3 inclusive which included discovering a very nice B&B and then on to Brisvegas to spend a couple of days with the CLP side of the clan who are all wonderful hosts. Apart from the constant disappointment of the inaccurate weather forecasts giving one false hope it was a wonderful few days. It was also an opportunity to get back out on the old motorbike because I have been slack of late. A 2 hour ride though certainly brings home a few facts about getting old. My knee simply blew up the next day – is it just because I sat in the one position for 2 hrs? Hell I use to sit for 8 hrs in a row at work without moving with no problem?? Three days later it is still stiff and swollen and not in the good way we all dream of. Suddenly my plan to reduce my golf handicap quickly is being threatened. As if a complete lack of skill and ability was not enough of a hindrance!

An interesting development many years ago was the introduction of the elasticised waist for “maternity” clothes so that the actual genuinely fat and jolly ladies could still feel comfortable and look good and removed the need to buy potato sacks for those last 3 months. When did this creep into menswear? Now I hate shopping with a passion which is only matched by my aversion to spending more than about$30-40 on any one item of clothing. These 2 facts coincide with short quick visits to Lowes for work clothes and shorts. I normally would look at the “stout” range of pants in the 102/107 region because this gives extra room for the bedflute and is also much easier than actual dieting. Generally the cut and style were fine. Last pair I bought a few months ago suddenly had an elasticised waist in them? Then my golf shorts had the same deal?? The problem with this of course is that all sense of style and cut are gone and you simply have a larger waist but the other areas are that of a smaller size and dare I say somewhat restrictive in delicate areas. You quickly realise out on the golf course in 34 degree heat that they really do ride up with wear and no one is free let alone my boys.

Now Xmas should not be all doom and gloom – otherwise it would just be like the rest of the year. But as I sit here on the computer and look down at that one present I didn’t want from Santa – an extra roll around the old waistal area – it can be depressing. Then you realise that the Oscars will be on in a few months which can only mean one thing. Its SCREENER SEASON.

Another Festivus miracle.

As a reduntiree I dont have as much time in the day to check online news etc so much like the world my day is bookended by the South and North Poles, or in my case the 0600 and 1800 News bulletins. A quick fix of news is fine just in case the world is going to end tomorrow or something. The morning newsreaders tend to be more annoying than evening version and for God’s sake don’t hang around for any of the sparkling repartee between the hosts or you may never be able to leave. In any given period of news though we invariably have several weather updates. Have you noticed over the years how the weather presenters have become celebrities themselves though? Why one may ask when they are simply regurgitating Bureau information. Its to stop us burning their effigy in the street actually. If these clowns were only associated with presenting incorrect information, with amazing confidence given the track record, then they would be run out of town for misleading the public. In these enlightened times we cant have the busty blond weather forecaster anymore but at least in those days there was no pretense she actually knew anything about weather. The current bunch of clowns give the clear impression that not only are they graduates with honours of Weather Forecasting 101 but that they actually drop into the bureau to assist them interpret their isobars. Its the galling confidence with which they will state tonight that on Xmas day it will reach a peak of 31 degrees at 13:01 and there will be 12 mm of rain at Latitude 101 at 14:56 precisely. Fuck me – they cant even get the next 12 hours right and then they sprout forth this nonsense. Then the brain dead host joins in and says “Well I guess I better be home from the beach then at 14:55”. Every weather forecast should start with “I am sorry I totally fucked up yesterday’s forecast but I am very confident to tell you what will happen over the next 10 days”. Load up your mobile device of choice with 3 different weather apps and then just sit back and laugh as you get 3 different predictions every hour. They should invent a new game like a pokie machine where if all 3 apps line up with exact same forecast you win an umbrella. The one evolution of course has been the “flexible weather icon” that has been developed to suit the growing number of weather apps now produced. Try going to an online store and buying the emoticon of the cloud/sun/rain – you cant, because they are all sold out because that is what every single forecast is these days. A chance of this, a chance of that. The only thing not left to chance is that the forecast will be wrong. Today’s world has moved towards self service whether at the petrol bowser or the grocery store. I say give everyone free access to Weather Radar images and let us work it out for ourselves. I mean you cant even rely on ants anymore – the place has been swarming with them for weeks now and not a drop of rain. When even the insect world can be fooled by these purveyors of misinformation I say it is time to stand up and be counted.

I would suggest a walk on Parliament house tomorrow but they are predicting rain.

2013 TV Wish List

Posted: December 18, 2012 in TV

Ok this time of year we all make wish lists but all I want for Xmas is some bloody rain so lets skip the next few weeks and move onto 2013 and look into the TV Crystal Ball

Boardwalk Empire

    More Chalky, less Irish tart. In fact Capone discovers that even his deaf son is annoyed by her constant moaning so he puts a hit on her. Nucky then thinks its time to get his illegitimate Italian brother over from Sicily to take care of Capone given the close links the Irish and Italians have always had. Vito Corleone duly arrives and makes Capone an offer he cant refuse. Luckily there were some dead horses still on the set from Luck so no more animals were harmed in the filming of this episode. Richard loses the sight in his good eye thus making him an even worse dancer but we see the first introduction of the famous hockey mask which would be used extensively in horror films many years later. Nucky realises he is no longer lucky but as he doesn’t give a fucky anymore takes a long walk of the rather short Atlantic City pier. Miraculously he is kept afloat by the constant number of bottles that always seem to be swarming just off the beach. He floats to Australia and naturally is quickly deported to Christmas Island where he lands a full time gig as an elf and lives happily ever after

    Homeland

Brody becomes a lumberjack in Canada and evades capture by the Intelligence community by assuming the name of “Nick” thus remaining totally undetectable. Carrie and Dana have a whine-off in Washington only to be tragically killed when the Lincoln Statue falls on them thus fulfilling one of his famous decrees “ and Liberty for all”. Saul finally breaks out in song when he hears the news and after shaving off his beard in a futile protest heads off in search of the Princess Bride thus fulfilling his lifetime dream of appearing in 2 Fairy Tales simultaneously. Nazir and Bin Laden bond over sheets and form an unholy alliance the world has not seen the likes of since Gillard and Rudd. Mrs Brody has a clause inserted into her contract whereby she must appear naked every episode but never actually speak. Finally we have the Homeland we only once dared dreamed of. In the last scene the new VP played by Elaine finally meets the President played by Jerry thus confirming all along it has been a show about nothing.

Dexter

    Realising they can never have the man they love, Deb and Hannah become lesbian lovers. Sadly old habits die hard and Deb succumbs to a fatal poisoning during a Cunnilingus Catastrophe. Dexter is distraught and finally cracks killing his father because he is sick and tired of him always turning up when he is having fun. With his world unravelling Dex heads to the Marina and off to the wide blue yonder in his boat only to tragically hit an iceberg in the middle of Miami Harbour and drown. Critics later state that the appearance of an iceberg in Miami during summer was one of the more believable scenarios on this show over 8 seasons. Harrison is seen shopping online for hessian sacks (head size) as a sly evil grin spreads across his face. Over the closing credits we hear in a slow lilting female voice – “Oh fuck me , not another fucking one”. Is Deb really dead after all?

    Breaking Bad

      Walt grows hair – apparently. Jesse becomes insanely jealous of the luxuriant growth especially when Hank turns up with an Afro. No matter how much Meth he rubs into his scalp , nothing! He kidnaps Skyler for her hair and keeps her in a well in the middle of his house and lowers down food in a bucket. Skyler thinks if she can just get hold of his mysterious yapping little dog she will have the upper hand but just as her plan starts to come together Jodie Foster bursts in and saves the day. A bottle of Chianti is strategically placed on the table as Foster slowly turns to Jesse with a smile and says “ah what the hell she was a whiny bitch anyway”. Walt on discovering that his one true love – Foster – has just eaten his wife goes ape and smashes her over the head with a Periodic Table, ironically the heavy metals causing the most damage. As Jess and Walt face off for the final showdown Hank bursts in shooting them both dead. He then pulls off the Afro wig and turns to the bleeding corpses and says “ who is the fool now fellas”. Saul is offered his own show of 13 episodes under the working title of “Better Call Saul” .

      Mad Men

    All the male cast die in the third episode from Lung cancer. Joanie’s breast reduction surgery is spread out over episodes 4-6 as it is a 3 week operation. Mrs Draper 2 becomes a headline act in Moulin Rouge while Betty D takes over Dons job and her first client is Gloria Steinem who is being sued when she burned Joanie’s old bra and the fire engulfed Wall Street. Now you know why all those bodies falling out of windows in the opening credits were black! Peggy gets a job in the White House with her Dad and lives happily ever after until she meets a cowpoke named Bill from Little Rock. Luckily she has her friend Monica to confide in.

    Misfits

      Anything will do fellas, just keep making it.

The Best TV of 2012

Posted: December 17, 2012 in TV

Did the right thing and waited until Finales of Homeland and Dexter – need not have bothered

There were 5 shows that stood out for me this year and they are in no particular order but will state quite clearly that Boardwalk Empire Episode 11 was the pick of the year for me. Mad Men was the best show consistently throughout its season. There are another half dozen shows that had good but not stellar seasons

Boardwalk Empire

    BE has always oozed class but like Treme never fully engaged me. I would watch it but many times in first 2 seasons it would be a few days after the release. That all changed in Season 3 especially towards the end. The emergence of Capone and reappearance of Chalky towards the end elevated the show to must watch category. It helps that there are real characters like Capone in there that you know. Mrs T was still a pain most of the time but the introduction of Gyp et al more than made up for it and the evolution of the relationship of the Thompson brothers was well handled.

    Mad Men

Superb season and while most episodes were strong the best for me was The Other Woman – followed closely both in quality, plot and time by Commissions and Fees. Mrs Draper 2 was loopy at times and Roger entertaining as always but the strong showing by Pete and Lane really stood out this season. This show could go on forever really

Louie

    Bit slow getting on board with this guy but thought this season really stood out and the Late Show arc of 3 episodes with Lynch front and centre was the standout for me. It is a unique comedy with no 2 episodes the same – unless as part of an arc of course:) The Miami episode was a fave of many and once again shows the diversity of the guy

    Breaking Bad

Strong short season – but then this show is never bad. The final 8 episodes will complete this season and build on some interesting developments and the solid ground work laid down this year. Not its best season but still better than most and how they tie it all up will be the tester

Misfits

    Tried to describe this in other media commitments and closest I came was Skins meets Fantastic 4 with Walking Dead thrown in and all written by someone on an acid trip It is a totally unique viewing experience and unlike most shows the new seasons often go off in total new direction. Never afraid to kill characters off but it is likely many could enjoy the earlier more plot driven seasons rather than the later more humorous seasons – or vice versa. Do yourself a favour and then thank me later – weirdly wonderful.

    So to the rest. Comedy wise, 30 Rock was uneven but still very funny at times no doubt helped by my love/lust of Tina Fey. Modern Family was solid as well and particularly liked the garage sale episode. New Girl and Happy Endings were suitably quirky but lacking originality now.

    Drama wise, Justified was solid but not as good as previous season. Spartacus pipped GOT in the costume drama saga category but both were uneven and never rose to any consistent great heights although there were glimpses at times. Honourable mention for Elementary as well – most cream their jeans for Sherlock (which is great but short on numbers) but this one is very enjoyable and fills the void nicely

    And then to the big 2 disappointments – Dexter and Homeland. Both started of gangbusters with the first 5 episodes of Homeland amongst the best TV all year – then they got the meth head down the road to write a few episodes and it all went pear shaped. Solid but not spectacular finale gave some hope for next season but really Brooding Brody (sometimes referred to as Nick by those not close to him) or Catatonic Carrie have to bite the bullet next season. Dexter remained solid for many episodes especially while the Roaming Russkie was on board and Deb deserves an award for her work this season but it was a ridiculous finale once again that let down an otherwise almost believable season

    And in between all the big guns, it was great to sit down and laugh at A Moody Christmas for a short 6 weeks.

The R Word

Posted: December 8, 2012 in Midlife Crisis in Maryhole

Everyone knows what we are referring to when the good old “F”word is rolled out – and if they don’t they effing well should. But the “R” word is less distinct – is it Retrenchment, Redundancy or Retirement and does it really matter? Yes it does to one’s mindset. The doors closed for good yesterday on Maryborough Pathology and it was a mere 35 yrs and 2 days ago that a meek young man first approached the isolated little Pathology building located randomly within the hospital grounds. I told the snivelling clod to piss off though as I wanted this job and so began the journey! That little Tasmanian Terror Ricky Ponting retired from Test cricket last week. He may have been tapped on the shoulder or maybe he finally realised a summer batting average of 3 was a tad ordinary and did the right thing. We were not tapped on the shoulder and allowed to leave with dignity – we were clipped around the ear and shoved in the back.

I am not much into the blame game because at the end of the day it means little. I did not hold management responsible for this closure – they will have their hands busy explaining the debacle that is about to unfold over coming months in Maryhole. Sadly though management still feel the need to try and say the right words when no words are needed nor sought – no doubt the first lesson in Ladder Climbing 101. Intentions were fine, execution poor. I did not even blame the local political twat but then she had to go and open her mouth. She had had many discussions with the important people she said – not including the actual Pathology workers- and because of her an appropriate service would now be maintained. Hello? No change to proposed level of service in Brave New World (hereafter BNW) has occurred for last 6 months ya clown. She says some people cant handle change. I like change actually which is why I am going to stay around in Maryhole at least until next election to help it happen!

But there are a couple of “R” words I am rather fond of – Rejoice and Recognition. The last few weeks have been difficult and yesterday was going to be one of the hardest. But this is a tough team of hombres my friend so we chose to rejoice in what we had achieved over the years and our many friends in the hospital chose to recognise that with a very moving show of support and caring. Kicked of with a BBQ at 0600 attended by many fellow staff and complemented by a humourous and touching Acapella rendition by the Travelling Truscott Trio. All senses sated it was time to do some work and as the collecting staff walked into AE the medical and nursing staff formed a guard of honour. These are special people. These are special memories. You are well served people of Maryhole even with Pathology gone

And to the patients of Maryhole – your support has been amazing when really you had more pressing issues and concerns to deal with. Please direct any of your well deserved anger at the people Responsible and not at the overworked underpaid lone staff member left holding the bucket. As I drove through the boom gate one last time and glanced to my left at the proposed sight of the “Healing Garden” it was a sad time. They say you never know what you had until it is gone but we always knew. The sad part is we can never have it again because it takes years to form these types of Relationships. I dont see another 35 year career ahead of me

Unless that fucking Healing Garden has a Fountain of Youth front and centre! Yeah Right

Pass the Rumbo thanks Maxine, Maree, Jeanette, Mickey, Babs, Freddy, Stelly, Cal and Dazza.

The Death of Homeland

Posted: December 4, 2012 in TV

This is where I need someone like Viggo to go all forensic on us and tell us that of course episodes 6 and 8 were crap – they were written by Dana and directed by a poodle. Homeland is a victim of its own success and by extension we suffer for it. It was a great concept but doubt if when initially pitched the writers saw a multi-season arc there? It should have been a UK type show like State of Play – perfect. Season 1 was great but there were some concerns how it ended ala Lost – ok you are on the hook now lets drag it out. The start of Season 2 gave us hope though that they had a plan. They do apparently – lets get rich and make 12 more seasons. 24 could do some illogical nonsense at times because Jack was a good guy and in the end we wanted him to win. Some of us want Brody to win or at least did up to about Ep 5 of this season and that doesn’t sit all that well. Now I just want Brody and Carrie to take a long walk on a very short pier. What may have been great acting initially has just become annoying characters for me. The only interest left in this season , and show , for me is just how much more ridiculous and illogical it can become by end of season and just how they expect to keep anyone interested beyond that.

Boardwalk Empire showed us how to do it – don’t shoot your load early. Make a classy show with some great scenes every now and again and some interesting characters and then build. If it is quite in Atlantic City move to Chicago. Yada Yada Yada. We see Capone starting to come to the fore now etc. Season 3 was superb and now cant wait for Season 4. Homeland has all the dizzy expectation of a root canal appointment now – you know you have to do it but you know there will be a lot of pain. Of course one thing the 2 shows do share are annoying lead female characters. I say Chalky does Nucky one last favour and takes out Mrs T next season

Even Dexter has been able to reinvent itself this season after a couple of years in the wilderness. We can forgive the ridiculous ease that Dexter moves around Miami – on land and sea – like an invisible Batman because we basically like the guy and want these scum to die a nasty death. Then we have some interesting characters thrown into the mix – Deb should have Emmy tattooed on her ass now. Ok “Fucking Emmy” to be exact J Even when they flew in big names like Lithgow it was still the central 2 characters that engaged us. Brody and Carrie no longer do that for this little black duck in Homeland

Saul has always been the great hope for this show but is so closely aligned with Carrion that he is being dragged down to her level. (Carrion from the Latin “caro”, meaning “meat” refers to the dead and decaying flesh of an animal) . The best way to end this show now would be for the President to knock on the Brodys’ door and ask Jessica “I need to speak to Nick”. She responds “Sorry, no one of that name lives here. Only me and my husband Brody”.

Pretty well sums it up.