Archive for July, 2016

BRW – Day1 TimTam worthy?

Posted: July 31, 2016 in Travel

And so it begins. In yet another sign of possible common sense I woke up with a clear, though slightly grey, head. Fill up at lunchtime and then slowly fade for the rest of the day before a little drink with dinner . There was some Jenga of course and the slowest game of 500 in recorded history to the point where we actually awarded 240 pts to 7 Diamonds just so someone got to 500 before midnight!

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6.5 hr drive to Tamworth today on a simply glorious day . Good roads with plenty of overtaking lanes through some glorious countryside

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Roughly halfway on trek was Tenterfield and seemed like a good place to stop and check out The Saddlery. The guy behind the counter was a talker but the actual place ,though small, was quite interesting and jam packed with memorabilia. Then a quick walk down the Main Street for a quick bite and sadly picked the one cafe with the worst service in NSW. To be fair we had only been in the state 30 mins. A TCTS took about 15 minutes to make . Then on leaving we thought we would grab a bottle of water so picked one out of fridge and waited at counter for a few minutes with no service. Sorry folks, times up and you are bloody lucky we put the bottle back in fridge before walking out

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Back on the road and the 3 hour drive to Tamworth . We drove through a town with highest caravan park in Australia and then another one with highest golf course in Australia. Can only assume the first town does not have a golf course and vica versa? Tamworth really was just a stopover but disappointed on our arrival to see it smack bang on highway despite the actual street address clearly being a side street .Not only that but right on corner where trucks use air brakes before continuing on to Sydney ! Imagine our surprise. Maybe this will help

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Time for a quick cuppa and then walk into town and have a gander before grabbing some dinner . Nice area downtown on a simply glorious afternoon. Plenty of country music themes of course . Settled on the local services club for a beer and dinner as you do and it was par for the course. Another long drive tomorrow to Bathurst . Better get some beauty sleep. But really can you improve on this ??

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BRW – The Prelude

Posted: July 30, 2016 in Travel

Or maybe that should be BRR. Winter has returned and the thinking man rejoiced while the Woos did Whine. Just as well we are not heading off towards an area known for its cooler climate. You know like coloured mountains or sumthin sumthin. Speaking of wine though there is first a family obligation one must simply attend and it does take me back to my working days . It was a Thursday around June in 1987 but that is another story . It is of course the Della Xmas in July gathering and once more this is taking place at Yabbadabbado – the home of T&B. The connection to working days is of course being an analytical man I used analysers and they always needed a good prime to function at full capacity . As my body is a machine , when not moonlighting as a Temple, I too shall prime it before heading off on the fortnight of decadence and decaying. Well maybe more specifically my liver . To get the presidential suite we of course choose to arrive early so headed down on Friday before the mob arrived. Also gave us an opportunity to test out the luncheon menu at Masons Winery at Mt Tambourine before hitting Bruce’s supply of alcoholic beverages later that day. When one has two days of food and alcohol to consider and no pesky driving in between the thinking man always knows to take it easy the first night . Yeah right . This is the home of the 2017 vintage Bowlers Run after all.

Masons Winery was excellent and arrived nice and early so snuck in some wine tasting first before sitting down to a great meal in beautiful surroundings. Went for the double Meat Platter for 2 just to give the arteries a scare . It was a beautiful day weather wise with clear blue skies and cool mornings and the next few days promised more of the same . Great way to celebrate Bruce’s birthday and to be honest he doesn’t look a day over 70

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Saturday dawned much like myself – cool and clear . The sound of nature at crack of dawn was well masked by my stomach rumbling. In later years road trips are at least initially accompanied by a slight disturbance in the waste management process which was not needed after yesterday’s fast-breaking lunchtime feast .In a clear sign of oncoming maturity/senility I had not wiped myself out on Day 1 as is the norm. I find a good knees up at lunchtime usually dulls the fervour for late afternoon shenanigans in the alcohol consumption caper and so I was prepared for another feast today without any pesky driving in between to stall the momentum. Onward and upward .

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As usual the lunch was sumptuous , varied and filling . When the 1.5l bottle of red was popped I knew I was in the right place. Nothing like a leisurely few hours of grazing and imbibing to remind me why you can’t do this 365 days of the year. Maybe in a non leap year ? Will sign off now as have to prepare for the 500 Tournament of Champions tonight where naturally CLP and I are returning champions. They would need 15l of red wine to beat us to be honest . What’s that you say, there is another bottle ? 6 Unconventionals

Later dudes , off to Tamworth tomorrow so have to wash my flanno shirt and clean my boots . Yee Ha

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Spring has sprung and the morons rejoice because heaven forbid we should have two nights in a row with single digits. They have to take their gloves off to count I guess. The weather bureau started the week back on form with a complete exaggeration of the amount of rain that would fall. Luckily the week also started with a wonderful celebration for the Ferguson matriach on the occasion of her 90th birthday. Kidnapped in the middle of the night from the maximum-security twilight home for the bewildered she was quickly transported to the festivities at Kedron Wavell RSL showing appropriate surprise and wonderment – given she had organised the whole thing ๐Ÿ™‚ Only joking, wonderful effort by sister Anne et al. It was a gloomy day admiitedly but must make one feel rather special to see a room of up to 50 people and to know it all started with that simple I do all those years ago. Hell, I played my small part with my small part to personally contribute about 8-10 of the free loaders. Sadly the cousins do not see much of each other these days so is extra special to all get together . People came from far and wide including Strathpine.

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Terrorism continues to strike world wide in a sad reflection of the times but a fair deal of the news coverage at least in USA was devoted to the RNC in Cleveland and you just knew the news people (a loose term admittedly) were hoping the Orange smurf would go full batshit crazy in an epic meltdown. Instead he was rather subdued and we had the riveting stuff of “the plagiarised speech” ; more evidence of why Ted Cruz is hated by everyone ; the walking ad for Valium disguised as a VP and of course little Lord Fauntleroy front and centre at the end . I always suspected Jon Stewart must be kicking himself to not be on air during this period but dang if he isnt popping up everyhwere now. In a packed field of creditable entries I have selected these two as my faves for this particular period in life as we know it. Stewart and Colbert have reprised memories of the famous AC skit of Who’s on First with their own version of Who’s the Candidate?

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In another sign of the times Carpool karaoke with Michelle Obama likely still pulled better ratings ๐Ÿ™‚

Sportswise you can put a line through the Broncos in 2016. I never quite understand all the plaudits the QT man gets as a coach ? Good manager of men? Maybe. Great tactician? Nope. Give me Bellamy anyday. Milford is way overrated as is McQuire who has added bonus of being a grub. You cant win a game with Alex Glen in the centres. Oates has read a bit too much of his own press. The effort against Penrith was simply pathetic and you can no longer blame SOO. Grow a pair, ya overpaid wankers. Think back to 2015 GF and then compare Broncs and Cowboys this week. Even daylight saving could not bridge the gap now. Rio Olympics is really becoming a Who Cares fixture only saved by the reappearance of Roy and HG on the airwaves. Give Pro golfers slow greens and they are stuffed eh. As always The Open is a unique event but simply on at the wrong time of day for this LBD (see future comment about HDD capacity before ridiculing please)

In TV land one must again be thankful for Netflix . When I saw the title of Stranger Things I thought “Haven’t we seen enough of the RNC already?” but it was actually a very good boys own adventure with more than a dash of suspense thrown in. The acting was uniformly excellent although to be fair not sure that Winona was acting. More Marvel shows on the way with Luke Cage et al to boot. Kickass Torrents have been taken down again , at least temporarily, and Internode have doubled my monthly download quota for free. Think Old Whiskers is trying to tell me something ? Aussie drama continues to impress while US shows like Suits fall off the radar in a mess of bubbles and annoying female leads . Yes Blacklist, looking at you too ! Foxtel even threw in a couple of weeks of “free movie channels” so my hard drive now is fuller than a State School hatrack with some old faves lined up for the cooler nights ahead. Ok….. may not need a whole HD full , fair cop ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Speaking of cool weather I couldnt shake CLP this time so will be heading off to NSW ( in full Maroon attire) end of upcoming week with beloved for a couple of weeks driving around in what will be known , for devoted fans, as Blue Mountains, Red Wine and White Sands – Colour Me Happy or BRW for simplicity sake. The title is a fair clue but you will just have to follow it to get all the details. Should be great to be around folk that embrace actual cool temperatures and cant win an SOO series.

It was also a week where one realises the important things in life but that is not a discussion for this nonsense , now or ever

Until we meet again. If I speak slowly it will be because I am in NSW, OK?

Even Blind Freddy, let alone Blithering Idiot Freddy on the sideline, knows that for the cash cow ( of a greenish hue) that is SOO to keep ripping us all off you need an even contest so no surprises NSW won the “dead rubber” and needed a calamine bath to stop the rubbing after the game. Now lets be fair it was their turn to get a proportion of the 50/50 calls for a change but 110% ( I was taught Maths by a Blue ok ) is a bit rich. Lets see if the massively NSW biased NRL media at least acknowledge that. Not concerned about the penalty count per se as with the NSW ledger in previous games they are mostly deserved due to poor discipline or brain snaps. In fact towards end of first half it was a deliberate ploy to slow down game by Qld so u wear it. No point whingeing about a stat the next morning you helped create Eyelash Boy. More concerned with missed forward passes and ball strips but that is life and we move on because the one thing you realise even after a loss is next morning you still wake up a Queenslander and thats the important thing.

So Gallen got his dream send off and for a lot of NSW players that would be fine but not that grub. He calls us poor winners and yet turns his back on Smiths speech at end where he was even being praised! As one wag on twitter said ” to be fair he has heard so many Smith speeches by now ” . In general NSW players are grubs and of course we have a few in our team but the thing they cant seem to grasp is running in 35 mts to blindside someone in a necklock does not make you tough. JT tackling Tamou front on is tough. Even after the winning try Maloney had an off the ball shot at Parker – one of the cleaner players going around. One of the positives to come out of a loss is that some of the same old clowns will be picked again for NSW next year. Jennings and Ferguson(gladly no relation) are both dangerous players but also come with plenty mistakes which tend to mean the ledger in general tilts our way. Jennings is the most dangerous broken play runner in the game and so it was lucky for them that loose ball at the end found him and for me that sums up NSW at SOO level. They are usually unlucky to lose yet invariably very lucky when they win. Farah is about the 8th best hooker running around and that includes the one Corey Norman keeps at home for “personal use” . Pick him every year please Loz. JTs miss at end when he decided to play billiards instead of rugby league had bells being tuned and of course sadly led to that last image of Gallen kicking for goal

Elite sport , and especially NRL, is all about momentum because at end of day we are not dealing with the sharpest sheep in the paddock. Towards the end of second half QLD were simply out on their feet due to the courageous work done in first half. A loss last night would have scarred a whole new bunch of NSW players for a couple of years so sad to see that opportunity lost. Instead Tedesco, Bird, Frissel and Moylan will form a strong base to build a dangerous team around for years to come. For Qld , Inglis was great as was Smith. Time for players like Myles to move on and Josh Mcquire is very overrated for moi. They missed Papali but every team has injuries to deal with.

NRL of late has been tres boring bordering on embarrassing with all the Eels nonsense and the constant need for media to flog nothing stories. With SOO over and Broncs struggling it will fade even more into background for this LBD. Time to start supporting the Reds and the Lions

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So, Old Whiskers really tacked on some extras when putting together this particular unit but feel he may have slipped in an extra X chromosome at some stage in the process if only to give the other suckers a chance. I say this because of certain characteristics I have noticed that if anything getting worse/better with advancing years. Does my ass look big in these jeans? …. oops sorry that just slipped out. No , I refer to a propensity to spend money while also maintaining the ability to change my mind regularly. If I could work out how to remove stains from laundary then I would indeed have cracked the Sheila trifecta

So despite earlier claims and false prophecy I will indeed to return to USA solo early next year. I would like to suggest this is due to the overwhelming protests of my devoted followers with the prospect of no US travel blogs for 24 months but given I get exactly zero feedback that one wont hold water. So lets be honest here. I do it because I love it and see travel as an enriching experience all round and an opportunity to share that experience with no one. Apparently. Having the personality that craves company and loves to hear the thoughts of others at every opportunity this occasionally can depress but I shall soldier on because that is the type of shemale I am. I could argue that living in an area that managed a 20% vote for Hanson recently would imply that indeed the end of world is nigh so why save for retirement (oops already there )but in reality that is a very minor point. After all it is going to be the brain eating garden variety alien that gets us in the end and they will hardly drop in here first up after that vote count hits the world wide webby thing.

I will be travelling to USA in 2018 with CLP for my 60th (birthday that is, not USA visit) and doing a California road trip in part and visit Las Vegas so what is left to see having flogged the East coast in recent times ? Seattle and Portland I hear you say. Well yes you would be right and maybe even dip a toe into Canada at Victoria. Gotta be some likable Victorians somewhere in the world right ?Now had been thinking about this on and off for a little while but in a minor sign of latent financial responsibility had determined could not go unless got good deal on airfares and what was the chance of that given my one caveat “Give me Premium Economy or give me Death”. I even mentioned it to our regular travel agent in passing just for a laugh and then went back to Game of Thrones repeats as you do. Well, lordy lordy an email popped up later that morning. “there is a great special on PE to LAX return but ends close of business today. Can you pay by then or at least agree to sell a kidney ?” In this cold weather I need both kidneys but was able to cobble together the money and before you could say “looming poverty” I was booked and then the planning began. The first question obviously was ” do I really want to go to Seattle and Portland” where upon the clear answer was “a bit late now ya clown” . I do enjoy the whole planning part of the holiday once the rough dates are outlined as determined by booked flights duh! The time of year – Feb/March – is not ideal for this area but then who can predict weather eh. Locals in Seattle and Portland apparently given some comments in forums! Anyhoo, last time I checked most pubs have roofs and a place to store umbrellas

So stay tuned devoted fan for updates. And for Gods sake find some mates and spread da word will ya

Later.

Unless I change my mind again of course……