Archive for June, 2013

The Numbers Game

Posted: June 25, 2013 in Midlife Crisis in Maryhole

Parents to be can now relax, the Flashman Foursome is just around the corner. May go straight to print, an iPad app or a Reality TV show. One thing for sure is that road to my future is now gold paved after this takes off.

Was lucky enough to spend time with my 4 wonderful grandchildren over the last few days. Let me start off by saying what great parents my kids, and their spouses, have become. I sit back in awe at times to see how they have developed. Nature and instinct are amazing things. Now the kids range in age from 6 weeks to just shy of 4 so for the sake of simplicity lets just go with 0, 1,2 and 4. As the 6 week old is the only gal in the group gender bias will have to wait for Version 2 as we all know that the worrying and scary feminine traits only develop later in life when interacting with the male of the species. So why foursome? The 4 things parents should worry about are : how well do they sleep, how easy to feed, how hard to entertain, how scary to care (babysit) for? At the end each age group gets their Flashman Index™ and then you plan your life. All scores out of 10

Ground Zero

They sleep a lot but often in short or long bursts. A solid 9. Feeding doesnt get any easier – as long as you have a lactating woman on call 24/7. In deference to what women say about sore lady parts and feeling like a cow lets give it a 8. At this age they are usually sleeping, feeding or bawling. Get some ear muffs and strong arms and back and you will get by . They are easily distracted by bright shiny things but it is temporary 7. Ok can be a bit scary to look after ( without aforementioned necessary appendages) especially for the male of the species. One of those areas where maternal instinct really kicks in but across the board only a 5. Total 29


By this age we may still have good nights sleep and one or two daytime naps for that much needed break. Then we have to factor in teething which can bring all that to a grinding halt. 5 at best. They are now on solids of sorts but have also discovered the joy of throwing food. Easy to please though 8. They can sit, crawl and just about stand by now so they are rather easy to entertain but move from one thing to another. TV not really a viable option yet 7. Moderately easy to look after although you will have moments of non communication when all you get is crying and no words 8. Total 28


Interesting age often referred to as the Terrible Twos. Down to one afternoon nap by now and if dont get it look out. Will usually sleep ok at night but can be up early and raring to go 7. Its a growing phase so tend to eat well but can throw a tantrum or two and we are only advanced to basic words by now, the most popular one being, of course, NO. Call it a generous 7. By now they have discovered the joys of books and TV so there are plenty of options but attention span can suffer. 7. Caring for can be tricky if one of those tantrums kick in and the frustration grows on both sides as you cant decipher the grunts in correct order. Usually still nappies involved. This age really is the Jekyll and Hyde stage 6. Total 27

Four You may snag the odd afternoon nap break and will sleep through the night but can be hard to get to bed on time. 8. By now they can get picky at meal time and it can be a struggle as they can out stare you by now and have discovered the word “stubborn”. 6. Entertaining is pretty easy with so many options but you need to be fit as these kids can run all day. TV is the safe, though not ideal, option. 8. Caring for 4 year olds is a fairly safe, if tiring , option. There is usually Kindy or similar “break time” available and then we have swimming lessons, gazoo lessons yada yada yada 9 Total 31

So not surprisingly the older or younger the better – the gap years can be the tricky ones. And why would you care? Well you are planning an OS trip and wonder what is the best age to travel with kids? Tickets to the Opera? Dinner Party planned? Sex orgy?

Its all in the planning folks.

Especially with Sex Orgies. Apparently.

Guilty Pleasure

Posted: June 19, 2013 in TV
  • No, not chocolate. Anything that tastes that good should never be associated with guilt. Its winter time folks and its a proven fact we all need some extra kilos for survival of the species. You cant fight Science. I am referring to that one TV show you watch every week that you may not admit to in public. Luckily this is a totally private blog.

    There have been many in the past. Hell, I use to watch Number 96 although to be fair I didnt control the remote in those days. Come to think of it I suspect we had to get up and change the channels manually! Use to get up at 4 in the morning and lick the road clean………. Anyway at least all that exercise allowed us to eat more chocolate. I even got sucked into Eastenders for a few months over 10 years ago while recording for a friend. My story and I am sticking to it. Luckily went Cold Turkey and survived. Amazingly watched 5 minutes last week and bloody Ian is still there!! But the 2013 entry is

    Offspring Now this is not a soap like Eastenders but it aint exactly Breaking Bad. Have always liked Asher Keddie although more often than not on this she borders on annoying. Kat Stewart provides most of the laughs but for me its just great to see people like Waters and McDonald pretty well doing anything these days. And I cannot get the opening title song out of my head. I watch so much heavy drama that some fluff like this just fills the bill once a week. These shows have a finite life as well demonstrated by Packed to Rafters which is Dead Man Walking at present. Have not watched since Uncle Harry starting going loopy. Apparently he still is on that journey 12 episodes later. Just end it now ok. The secret to the appeal of these shows is usually the secondary cast which are invariably “quirky” and Offspring is well served here. Its a feel good show with no unique elements but rather a good mix of the proven winners. Only time will tell if it continues to amuse or should be packed up and shoved up in the rafters with the rest of the past expiry date rubbish that populates our screen most nights.


  • Phil the Dill?

    Posted: June 17, 2013 in Sport

    Another US Open passes and all us weekend hackers can reflect on a great course that humbled the games greatest players and all made us feel that just that little more human. I played in the Maryhole 36 hole Foreskins on the weekend and the pressure was enormous if totally self inflicted. That is golf for you and if you dont play it at an even slightly competitive level (eg weekend club competitions) then you have no perception of it’s peculiar hold and read no further

    “Choking” or whatever you want to call it is a fascinating thing aint it. I always thought Adam Scott had the current title – until his superb nerveless effort in The Masters. Phil has won his share of majors but his game doesnt suit the US Open simple as that – and good luck to him. As he reclines in his private jet tonight he will feel down – but it will pass 🙂 Instead of jumping all over Phil maybe people should start asking questions about “former Number Ones” like Luke Donald and Lee Westwood? You could say Rose had choked in the past. If any of you play golf we all know the pressure of a 3 foot putt – to win a beer! These guys are supreme mental athletes and occasionally it comes together but many times it doesnt. That doesnt really make them chokers, just susceptible to pressure like anyone else. Sharkie was probably the best “choker” of recent times but still the best golfer to watch play …… and then Phil came along to fill the void 🙂

    So lets just rejoice in the fact that Phil was in the mix so was on the screen a lot of the time. He has the personality of a cart path – I imagine – and the folksy tip of the hat and Billy Bob grin at times is nauseous but he provides great theater and that is what golf needs. Not Tiger front and centre strutting the course

    Other points of interest?

    Jason Day is the real deal. He will win a major. John Senden wont.

    The Masters remains the supreme Golf viewing event of the year – but damn if the US Open doesnt warm the cockles of a hacker’s heart

    UK is OK

    Posted: June 11, 2013 in TV

    So Games of Thrones has finished for another year. Some people thought it ended last week. It was a very good season. Along with Mad Men it is top shelf “drama”. In a few weeks we will have the last leg of the Quality Trifecta – Breaking Bad. Its very thoughtful of the companies to spread out the top shows. Methinks it may be rating related. Like remora on a shark there are usually a few second (and lower) tier shows circling at same time. Shows like Mentalist, True Blood and SOA. Note – I will only watch TB as long as they dont kill Pam off (I guess that would be kill her again?) When she leaves so do I. Then we have the new shows that are usually hit and miss – Elementary, Hannibal, Da Vinci yada yada yada. The one exception that shines bright is Orphan Black which I assumed was a UK show but is not. It was very good though folks. Which brings me to the point. Finally.

    If you are in a state of despair to the lack of quality drama around redirect your interest to the UK. Now I have a weakness for UK shows – devoted followers know this. Reading on the Whirlpool forums ( an excellent site for info but also populated with your usual share of opinionated clowns) a few months ago discovered the following site

    Gold baby. The UK dramas tend be short and rarely sweet. 3 episode yarns are common place and good value. Most season are only 6 episodes. Now you may get the one off “mini-series” format like Ice Cream Girls or the returning series like Case Histories. Regardless they are all good, some bordering on great. Currently working my way through Blackout – 3 episodes and looking superb. Before that we had Line of Duty, Life of Crime, Endeavour, Bletchely Circle, The Shadow Line. Several more lined up to watch like Restless, Shetland, Murder on the Home Front. And if you want a great recurring “cop show” then look no further than Scott and Bailey

    Now there will always be those of you who would rather watch repeats of True Blood then try something new and that is your choice. But if you want to broaden your horizons start looking overseas. Of course with all this TV lined up it may not be my horizons that get broadened……….

    Now Finance is not my strength. I know how to spend money and I know if you leave it in that big brick building for a while without touching it there is more when you go back. In between is a large grey area. That is why they have Financial Advisors. Our plan was we needed to “make” about $35,000 a year on investments to keep rolling along largely unfazed. Anything more would be a bonus, less and I have to become a Stop/Go Man apparently. So after first 3 months and I had an “extra” $17,000 I was feeling like Clive Palmer and not just because I also had a dinosaur as my first pet. This money shit was easy. Spoke to FA and his final words stayed with me. “I dont take credit when it rises and I dont take blame when it falls”. Exact opposite of erections then I guess. (Note to self – check why FA was calling from South America?)

    Now the funniest part of the News Bulletins has always been the Weather forecast as these clowns stand there with straight faces and tell us what the weather will be for the next 6 months, day by day. Just before this segment they usually flash up some numbers and from what I gleaned green was good for me and bad for farmers and vica versa for red numbers. Odd really given the affinity of farmers for green pastures. Anyhoo of late there has been more red then Gillards bathroom sink. And this is not good for me. Arent the farmers happy just with the all the bloody rain? A quick check of tally indicated in a matter of a week $17,000 had become $7,000. This cant be good. That is like a 4 week holiday in Europe gone in a week. And no extra 5 kgs to show for it.

    Now I am not a glass is half full type of person. If some bastard took half my drink I want to know who and why. But driving back from Gimpland to Maryhole this morning there was some good news just around every corner

    They are still doing heaps of bloody road work!

    Red is Stop, right?

    The Hangover Part 1

    Posted: June 5, 2013 in Sport

    No, not that rubbish movie series. Its State against State, Mate against Mate. COAG??? Nope State of Origin ya goose

    There are only 2 significant sporting events in the calendar year. Augusta Masters and SOO. Never have we snapped the quinella for Qld . Never have our chances been so good as 2013. Then Loz had to stick his nose into it didnt he. And what a nose. Now its easy to hate Sticky AKA The Angry Ant AKA Carlos Smierson AKA Games Greatest Thinker. Its impossible to hate Loz. I tried I really did

    The night did not start well. I accidentally caught the last 5 mins of The Block. Someone was inflating a blow up pool. People watch this crap???? Then the usual 40 minutes of Channel 9 drivel. Ok the first segment with Tyrion Lannister saying he had never seen a Blues team win was amusing. I have never seen a Dragon (Red Ranga not withstanding) . We are even. I am no Gus the Goose fan but at least he has some cred. What the fuck did that clown Ken Sutcliffe ever do on the Sporting field. At least Tom Waterhouse has vowed to pull back from being on TV. Hey wait a sec isnt that ………

    Now Qld’s two greatest strengths are also its two biggest weaknesses. They are so relaxed and unfazed they only wake up when 10 points down. When they actually decide to play they can score quite easily as demonstrated by the ease of the Boyd try set up by the very unusual site of Hodges running from dummy half. But in the first half it was like someone dropped the keys to the Inglis boat in the middle of the ground and they all decided to bunch together in the middle and help look for them. At least they all had a leak before play. The second thing of course is the renowned loyalty. The Dads Army jibe was not far off the mark. We looked slow in the middle. Did anyone else notice how things picked up when Parker (no spring chicken) and Teo came on? They actually ran hard and offloaded. So Qld has to lose a series because it is the only way people like Myles and Harrison will pass on. Even if do or die for the third one we will pick the same players who have been there before. We invented the Pick and Stick plan and it works well – up to a point. We will lose a series soon though because of it

    Before the match Greg Bird said how he loved Queensland to live in but was a true blue which is kinda fitting because he plays like a QLD forward from the good old days – Axe 2 maybe? He and Lewis were superb and Hayne was all class at the back. Gallen smacked Myles around a bit – likely deserved – and then had a good old whinge and whine to the ref about something that happened in 1981. I dont mind Gallen actually. In fact I dont really hate any Blues player – except maybe Haynso. JT was far from 100%. Not an excuse, simply an observation

    I do hate the NSW biased media though. Its like the POMS. Kick their ass around from sunup until sundown for 10 years and nothing. They win one series and suddenly ya cant shut them up. If and when NSW win this year it should take about 5 minutes until the first mention of the word “dynasty” drivels forth. But it is like the cricket in a way where we will clearly lose The Ashes this year. Its only sport folks. Its not The Red Wedding or anything life-changing. And that is good, because the one thing I know at the end of any sporting disappointment is where I live and where I wake up in the morning



    Shit Yeah! And its not the wind in your hair feeling because you should be wearing a helmet ya clown. But there is freedom. Also Power and Acceleration – couple of serious intoxicants. But then there is also Exposure and Vulnerability

    I took up Motorbike riding late in life when my other dream of being the first Aussie to wear the Green Jacket looked unlikely. Now this has its pros and cons. On the plus side one is more mature and sensible and realise that going 180kmh does not make you brave, simply stupid. Was able to do Q Ride so wasnt stuck with a pissant motor mower disguised as a 250 cc motorbike. Also have you seen the price of petrol ?? On the con side because one is sensible and mature – ok old – one does not have the reflexes or agility of a youngun. Not a big issue in a straight line but one does slow down in tight corners which I am led to believe is one of the joys of riding fast. Also, 2 hrs in the saddle is my limit these days before the bot bot and the back need a break. Of course these days just happy to get the leg over and not fall off – and that extends to bike riding.

    So Mid Life crisis No 4 began about 6-7 years ago with an old Kwaka 650. It was red so must have gone fast, as my Mum would say. Quickly moved on to a Suzuki SV 650 which was a sweet ride before finally agreeing with the CLP – Yes Honey bigger is better – and bought a brand new Suzuki SV 1000. Now racked up > 50,000 k on it and it will be my last bike. Now back in those days finances were a bit tighter and only had a Hyundai Excel shitbox which was lucky to make it to Tiaro and back so Suze became the transport of choice when visiting Flashman Inc headquarters on Sunshine Coast or Offspring in Toowoomba. I would set off for the 2 hr ride come rain, hail or shine and commune with nature from the inside out. This would even include leaving occasionally at 0430 in the morning dressed like Nanook of the North for the trip back to Maryhole and then a full days work. I even did a couple of Rides for Daniel – where it always seemed to rain! Riding in the rain is like playing golf in the rain – dont like setting off in it but if it happens during the event then so be it.

    Then financial position improved and so did car. A very passable 2006 Mitsubishi 380. That first time I drove down early in the rain and decided to stop into Maccas at Gimpland for a sausage egg McMuffin (is there a better breakfast roll around??)and coffee for breakfast was life changing. This is quite enjoyable and comfortable – and can also listen to Roy&Hg on the way. Sweet. Suddenly I started to trust the weather bureau. Ok it may rain sometime in next few days, better take the car just in case. Suze sat in the corner of the garage looking forlorn and unloved – something we have all felt at times. This went on for about 3 months and then became a reduntiree, and then the JANUARY FLOODS. It was a sign from God surely. Move to NSW? Fuck off – QUEENSLANDER!!!!!! Then one day, during the rain, an oldish guy (probably my age but not in my pristine condition) knocked on the door and said he had heard from someone at the hospital that I had and SV1000 and would I be interested in selling it. Now I was slightly interested I guess so took him under the house and showed him Suze. “Can I sit on it please to get a feel?” Sure mate. Ok 5 minutes later he had somehow got his arthritic hips to lock in and he was able to sit on the bike – and his face lit up. Now this was a biker who was going to be buried with a bike if he had to but was never going to stop riding. It struck me. I didnt want to stop either. So after another 5 minutes he was able to get off and finally left with a tear in his eye. So it was time to start riding again but it was going to be a slow process becasue it seemed every time I travelled south I needed the car to take extra gear yada yada yada. My story and I am sticking to it

    Then I got serious. Updated Will and even got a Power of Attorney drawn up with nominated Plug Pullers – who I must admit seemed slightly excited at the prospect of the power! Then a quick check of the bike by loyal mechanic and then a plan formulated. One should not underestimate the uneasy feeling one gets if travelling at 120 kmh – no cops read this right? – when one has lost a bit of confidence and there is not a lot between you and a lot of pain. So lets start slow with some trips to Toogoom to see GC2 and BF1 – who it just so happens just got himself a motorbike. Spooky eh. And it was a glorious cool brisk Queensland winter morning today to head off. Next will be the 2 hr trip to Sunny Coast followed by the 4 hr trip to Toowoomba. Not all in the same day mind you – and Toowoomba may wait until Spring. I may be old but I aint stupid.

    My only question though is do I push the bike through Maccas drive through or stay mounted?



    Ahh that Freddy knew how to lay waste – to a pair of scissors that is.

    I played Cowboys and Indians as a youngster. Dressed up at times too but the Construction worker always butted in. Probably preferred war games though in the sandpit with the plastic toy soldiers and tanks etc. In those days we still had ……. crackers! Now that was fun with little soldiers. And all the time we were accumulating Vitamin D to boot. Of course as I got older and discovered girls I realised there was more fun to be had in sandpits so game play moved indoors …. and the slow decline began. Over the years there have been many good games come along in the “war” genre but they were never perfect and usually involved having to relate to other people! If a game doesnt have bots I am not interested. Always a PC boy never that keen on PS 3s etc. (Ok I have no manual dexterity – happy now?). Then we had the infusion of games into Facebook which while appeared “free” were anything but. Yes Zynga am talking to you. Slowly the mobile phone/iPad took over but once again struggled – yes manual dexterity again ok. Then like a phoenix rising from the ashes an innocuous little turn based game grabbed my eye in the store because it involved Knights. And Lords. Fittingly the Holy Grail of Time Wasting had arrived. Knights and Lords? Nah doesnt sound right, why not call it Lords and Knights.

    Started playing a few months ago and like most of these games the online community is very helpful to us noobs. Pure chance to choose to join Immortal Byron on the Australia 2 server and the slow learning process began. Now these guys could be axe murderers for all I know – or worse still Victorians – but they quickly became online mates. There was Boom, Muddie, Dilligaf, Sneeky, Norris, Dopey and Sleepy – just to name a few. Ok there are no siwsh graphics. There is also no constant requirement to “buy to continue past a wood hut and 1 rusty knife” . Yes Zynga I am talking to you. You gather wood, stone and gold like we have in every game since …. well Medieval times I guess. You build walls, keeps, barracks yada yada yada. But its all a numbers game. And it requires thought and planning. And no life. Tick Tick Tick

    So we are at war at present. Now the CLP will tell you I already spend too much time on this. On a recent weeks holiday I was under threat of having to purchase her a new pair of shoes if I played the game that week. (Thank me for Vacation Mode eh fellas?). As if she could have fitted another pair of shoes on the plane – it wasnt an Airbus 380! So after going cold turkey it was time to throw myself fully into this battle and support my new found mates and actually claim a castle of one of those other mongrels – whom I suspect are Blues supporters! (Sorry boys but this is war!)

    Now I couldnt play golf on Saturday because we had to plan our Sunday AM launch. Its all about SVT – or as we call it Server Time. You dont want to attack at night and lose half of your troops. Duh! So it was all go for 0800 on Sunday – but by late Saturday not everyone had checked in – this could get ugly. Now you can fake attacks – probably a ploy to attract women players who find this a natural action in life . Apparently. So the clever approach is to fake 9 castles and only hit one for real so he has spread his defense thinly. When it works it is a thing of beauty to see. Of course it can take hours from launch of attack to actual attack – and the enemy is notified immediately. So the counter attacks to your castles begin. So up at 0530 on Sunday morning to initiate the multiple castle attack to try and catch him unawares. from 2.5 down to 1 hr travel time. My clever fakes from Saturday had drawn counter attacks to my other castles. 14 attacks over the whose day – had to be fakes right, who would throw about 10,000 troops at one castle? So part A worked perfectly and by 0900 my 13th castle had been christened. Now I can relax rest of day and just check whether he sent 1 ox car or 1 spearman in each attack for fits and giggles. First attack @ 10:00. 500 Lancers, 500 Archers, 500 Swords. Hmm, ok thats interesting but I can handle it sweet. Next attack same. After 5 attacks the same I am starting to think my nana nap is in peril here. Now I wont bore you any further with the intricacies of this clever game but timing is critical – attack forces landing in same 10 minute window join forces. The defending castle must have > 51 units left to continue to next battle phase. By 4pm I was trickling like a 70 yr old with an enlarged prostate! Now this a great defense ploy. You remove many of your troops to a nearby empty castle and slowly trickle feed in 51 troops at a time in 10 minute intervals. Had fought off > 8000 attack troops and left with one ox and one whore only to see final battle report. Remaining attackers – 51! Fuck you are kidding me, I am going to lose this castle because that bloody whore didnt screw one more attacker to death! Wait 10 minutes for next and final report and Bye Bye Flashtown. Nothing happened. Another 10 minutes. Nothing. No more attacks. Ok, he must not have sent Silver! Knob kiss. And there on the horizon is Muddy with 1000 Armoured Horsemen – but sadly no more whores. Oh well may as well go to bed then.

    I am not an alcoholic – well certainly not a functioning one. But I just had a lost weekend. I really achieved nothing except one more castle. This cant go on. Or can it? I dont know – but I have to get back now because some bastard just lit up Flashville and I have to get back there to contact da boys.

    Before the Next Teardrop falls?