Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

SOO 2 Wrap

Posted: June 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

NSW won the first game. Qld lost the second. Simple as that. The teams were always closer than an 8 yr run indicates but in the past Qld always got the job done when needed. Often the bounce of the ball went our way. More often though it was clinical execution under pressure. This has been lacking in both matches with no clear reason as all the guns were on the field. Blues defense certainly played a part in first game. So before what may appear like whining let me say that NSW deserved to win the series but more so Qld did not. Lets hope they take the win with the same grace they took all the losses which were in the bee’s dick category often. Mind you it was never the players that were the problem, it is the pro NSW “ARL” media.

It was a poor game if not necessarily dull. SOO can never be dull but this came close. It was full of niggle and slowing down tactics. There were especially a lot of late tackles on kickers – not all NSW of course but certainly the majority. NSW has a couple of clear grubs in their team – Bird and Reynolds are clearly at the front but Farrah not too far behind. Myles is our pin up boy in that regard. Gallen is simply a whinger and a whiner to referees and largely overrated although you cant deny his ticker. Woods is a prize clown. Hodgkinson looks the goods and slotted a good kick under pressure. Hayne was kept out of it mostly by the style of play but still pulled off the most significant event of the night – knocking the ball out of Thaiday’s hands when he was going to score. If he had it was all over red rover. They missed the Morris boys and changed their game plan accordingly

The gamble on DCE came off in one regard – he lasted the game. However he still appeared out of his depth. He made a poor read in defense when NSW scored and shortly after threw a shocking pass that coughed up ball in poor position. To be fair the right side defense on the line was screwed up a bit by loss of Tate. The loss of Tate was critical. McQueen is not a winger. Tate may not have scored the try but he probably would have at least caught the ball! Smith had a dominant first half but then largely went missing in second when calm heads needed. Thurston has lacked impact all series and then showed his ugly side at the end. Mind you rather convinced Reynolds started that nonsense with a missed cheap shot but at end of day you dont push your forearm into face of player on ground in full view if you expect to be a future Immortal! Scott has had a poor series and Taylor should never play Origin again. Gillett was the pick of the forwards along with Thaiday and Parker was sorely missed for his offloads

So many times Qld could have put this game away – as they have in previous years. Two crucial injuries – Cronk and Tate – in different matches killed their chances but then we have heard so often that that is when they are at their best – broken but not beaten. But no they are not supermen. They are highly skilled and highly paid athletes but still very human. NSW was gone and had no imagination in attack. They got 300 tackles in a row in our 25 and finally scored. We couldnt do that in first match. Then the cardinal sin – kicking out on the full . EVEN THOUGH WOODS CLEARLY TOUCHED IT!!! Another turning point – but once again we didnt deserve the win

So woke up this morning bleary eyed to see the highlights of a great Soccer match – yes it Soccer not Football, this is Australia deal with it. Talk about highly paid highly skilled players! But the glaring difference was EXECUTION UNDER PRESSURE by the Dutch superstars

So the sky isnt falling. Luckily we dont have to hear th “D” word for a while – as in dynasty. All good things come to an end and good luck to Lozza. Thank Me it wasnt Sticky, Bellyache or Gus that won! Its hard when your sporting “heroes” lose. When the Aussies lose cricket to the Poms it hurts – but you take solace in the fact that you are Australian at least and get to wash daily. So its not the end of the world. Things could be worse

I could have been born in NSW

Tuesday TV Talk

Posted: February 18, 2014 in TV, Uncategorized

True Blood started off with a brilliant opening montage. The show was good at the start as well before it went gaga. Moving along the alphabet as one does from B we get to True C (the Campbell Newman story) but luckily we move on quickly to TD or in this case True Detective. An even better opening montage with the stunningly haunting music.

Its only 5 episodes in but already a standout especially after the game changing episode 5. MM has certainly lifted his acting game of late and deserves all the accolades but I do fear he may have taken some “Too Cool for School” acting seminars with the Goose Gosling. Only time will tell. For the time being sit back and enjoy an intelligent and gripping yarn.

Freaky Frank Underwood and Ice Cool Clare are back to entertain with second season of House of Cards – yank style. Same old shenanigans at present – 8 episodes in – but if this is your cup of tea as it is mine you wont be disappointed. Think West Wing without any likable characters. Speaking of CJ, Masters of Sex was an impressive first season once you past all the T&A. I have now seen all of Claudia Jean and not sure if can rewatch WW now ever again but she is very good in this as are the whole cast. I was a bit slow to the party but once got into it around ep 4 finished quickly. Luckily I was not part of the study!

Always on the lookout for the next bit of foreign TV to throw on after the excellent 3 seasons of Borgen and The Bridge Season 2 . Les Revenants was also impressive and keenly await the return of Braquo. The irish brogue can be hard to follow sometimes but not really enough to classify as foreign but if you like your drama on the gritty side check out Love/Hate. Next cab of rank is Salamander

Justified is solid as always but not quite back up to Season 3 standard. Hard to comment on a fave of mine The Good Wife given the way scheduling is screwed around. One episode – ok lets have a month off, no one will turn off. I wont, but plenty will. Same with The Mentalist – you get the folk back onside after ridiculous Red John nonsense and then disappear again for a month!

The US version of Rake was not too bad but quickly blown out of the water by return of the original Aussie production. The Moodys are back for some lightweight Aussie comedy but the comedic highlight each day at present of course is The Ice Stream with Roy and HG

And now to the epic fails.

Expecting The Following to suddenly appear believable in a second season is like expecting the next Arnie/Sly movie to be realistic. I am a sucker for these sort of shows and the first episode showed some promise but oh man has it got ridiculous. It simply intrigues me now – why is Bacon in it and how did it not get cancelled after first season?? Oh thats right we are on our 12th season of The Block! The big disappointment for me this season though is Girls. Not a rabid fan but first and second season were good . Third is not. And Lena Dunham gets a lot of plaudits for writing (ok) and having no body image issues. Good for her, important issue no doubt. But she goes too far. Here is a tip sweetheart – its ok to not look so good in a bikini but still wear it all episode. It looks kinda try hard though when no one else on the show is! You dont walk into town in a bikini.

So plenty of good shows to watch and fill in the gaps with sport and some Daily Show et al and the day pretty well takes care of itself.

Now I just have to work out at what time of day does one really need to change out of the PJs?

Pretty good year really with solid returns and a couple of newbies that show potential. It was also a year I watched more foreign TV and there really is a treasure trove there folks. So the best for the year, in no particular order except start with the reliables

1. Breaking Bad – Always going to be hard to nail the ending to such a brilliant show but they did rather well

2. Mad Men – simply a solid reliable performer that never disappoints

3. The Good Wife – could just about be my favourite show that doesnt tax the brain but always keeps one interested

4. Misfits – unique and entertaining

Some Newbies that shone

5. Orange is the New Black

6. Masters of Sex

7. Vikings

8. The Americans

And the big losers

9. Homeland Season 3 – some potential early on but then died. If only Carrie had too

10. The Mentalist – specifically the Red John reveal. After 23 seasons a complete joke. The new direction of the show is good though

11. Agents of Shield – major disappointment

12. Dexter Season 8 – simply at a loss to explain that ending

As for some foreign shows?

The Returned – creepy and gripping as only the French can do it

Borgen – great political drama/soap from Denmark

The Bridge – the original and best

And as always some simply brilliant docos. No one does better sport than ESPN 30 for 30

Other notables – Keating, Fruitvale Station, Blackfish

Monday Moan 2.12.13

Posted: December 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

This blog has been banned by Campbell Newman until further notice

Welcome to Queensland

The Flawed need Love too.

Posted: November 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

Just dont try and tell them. The most interesting characters always have some flaws even if minor. Its the easy going “bloke” who says he isnt perfect but deep down really believes he is that you should avoid. But he has left politics now hasnt he? What started this train of thought? A synapse most likely. Or maybe Part 1 of Keating on Monday night. Now I have always been a Keating fan and that has nothing to do with political bent which oddly enough bends quite regularly. He is simply an interesting character with an amazing intellect given his modest schooling and upbringing. Mention his name in a gathering though and you will get very strong opinions , and some surprisngly vile given their pet hate about the man was his own vile nature:) . They remember the none too subtle slurs in parliament or maybe were affected by the “recession we had to have” . He certainly wasnt perfect and indeed was arrogant but at least had something to be arrogant about. Labour produced three legendary figures during the 70s and 80s and each has a different legacy. Gough is the esteemed elder statesman, Hawkie was the good cobber mate saviour and Keating was the tough as nails Treasurer who went on to win the Sweetest Victory of all. Gough was larger than life while Hawkie thought he was God even if he himself was agnostic. Keating remained largely misunderstood and this never seemed to faze him. He certainly wants his role in the development of Australia in those years duly noted and will never pass up an opportunity to outline them but he still remains a largely one dimensional character in a lot of people’s eyes. Do yourself a favour and watch the show over the 4 weeks it is on. And while waiting for next installment chase down the always excellent Labour in Power series.

My sporting idol was always Muhammad Ali – another flawed character. Ali was a boxer first and foremost – and a rather exceptional one. But he wasnt one dimensional either. He had blinding speed in his hands and an equally quick wit. Given his world wide popularity he had the opportunity to speak on many issues outside of boxing and naturally did so with at times amazing eloquence and thought. But he could be cruel too – just ask Joe Frazier. Like Keating he was a fan of mental disintegration. Now there are many clever people out there who can throw out some very clever barbs and insults but the trick is you have to back them up with deed and thought for full effect. Ali is likely elevated beyond his true position in many people’s eyes because he literally was larger than life. He is no Nelson Mandela after all. But then he is no Mike Tyson either

The talent pool in Australian politics is very shallow at present. Lets not even discuss the shape of Heavyweight Boxing. Instead be thankful that at times Giants do indeed walk amongst us and even trample a few along the way perhaps. That is the price you pay to rise out of the mediocrity of everyday life.

Or you cant sit around and wait for the next series of Australias Got Talent hosted by todays verison of talented celebrity

Well as the Loaf would say 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. My beloved preferred to stay home and work rather than see the world so let’s eat, drink and feel Mary. The day of debauchery actually started last night with a visit to Gibsons Steak house where they set aside half a cow for me to digest. Medium well done seemed to way to go to bring us into line with an Aussie medium – no mooing detected but still plenty of pink and red. It was great to get out and sit down for a relaxed meal if sadly alone 😰. So that intake kinda dimmed the fervour for today but I did do some research last night while waiting for stomach to rebound on the Chicago Food planet walking tours which seemed an ideal way to savour some more Chicago food. It was 3 hrs around Gold Coast and Old Town so perfect location. The day dawned booteeful again so headed across to the North Oak beach just across the road which was very noice before heading into town for one last photo shoot. Then it was back home before the short walk to our starting place – Pizza! However this was deep dish rather than stuffed so had now tasted the 2 favourite Chicago style pizzas. Then just up the road for a cup of German tea – don’t mention the war. Then time to walk off the pizza and on our way to Old Town walked past the original Playboy mansion as well as many Halloween decorated houses. Once in Old Town I felt at home! We had some Sushi, some fudge, some virgin olive oils and some spices – but not all at the same store! Last but not least was the Delicious Pastries stop off. Along the way there were many interesting anecdotes relayed by our charming host. A good group of about 20 made for a very enjoyable 3 hrs – and I was the only Aussie. They all now want to visit even though I assured them I was one of a kind. And then I wandered home alone I discovered Second City where my Tina cut her teeth.

So an amazing week draws to an end. Probably time for one more beer or two this afternoon, have given up on finding decent coffee! Then my usual disturbed nights sleep and then pack and head of to San Francisco tomorrow afternoon. Tomorrow will be like Dexter Season 8 – you just have to get through it.

In a perfect world I will return to Chicago with CLP in tow

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Technology, Wherefore Art Thou?

Posted: September 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

Expanding on a recent status comment why isnt the voting process easier and more tech savvy in 2013? I will be away on Saturday so went down to vote early yesterday – and the line up was out to the street. And that was just the clowns handing out how to vote cards! So went back at sparrows fart this morning – which for reduntirees is 08:30 – and there were only about 6 people there so was through in about 20 minutes! Because we still have a fucking ruler and big book that we have to place a line next to our name and then be explained why the toilet roll they give you is actually the senate voting paper but you only need to put a 1 against your first choice above the line. If voting for politicians a number two would would have seemed more appropriate. Then we had to fill in one to seven on the Rep voting sheet. Bloody hell – had to take my thongs and socks off to count up! And this detailed info is explained to every single person in line so when you get to front counter you have already heard so many many times. Couldnt resist asking the self important goose behind the desk though – “Sorry Could you explain that again please? “. He thought I was serious. I know when Tiny Abcess wins on Saturday we will be time warped back to the 50’s but this is ridiculous.

So whats the solution? Glad you asked. An app in the iTunes store obviously. Android users should not be allowed to vote anyway. Charge 99c if you must and allow for in app purchases like a detailed analysis of the Palmer vote for an extra $9.99 to appease the capitalists. Now voting is a serious issue but lets face it we are not Zimbabwe – although I wish we had their cricket team. Download app, vote and if you manage to luck out with a formal vote (remember we have cleverly weeded out the Android dweebs) you get 5 extra lives in Candy Crush. We can send a man to the moon – shouldnt he be able to vote while there? Its all done electronically and then Abcess is declared the winner. We know he will win whether we want it or not. In a perfect world Kruddy would fess up now before Saturday and say ok we are screwed lets work this out over a double chai latte and save millions of tax payers money. All we want is 5 seats in each state and for you to pass the Same Sex Marriage Bill – here after to be known as the Krudd Doctrine in memory of his one Bartletesque moment during the campaign. To sweeten the deal, we will get a statue of Tony erected with all the other dinosaurs at Palmer Coolum Resort. As an added bonus it frees up Channel Nine on this Saturday night to show reruns of Hey Hey its Saturday with the former labour caucus on Red Faces

Ok wont happen of course so I will form my own ALP – Antisocial Lazy Pricks – with this as my platform. So , come Saturday 7th to avoid the risk of a well hung parliament Vote 1 Flash and send mediocrity to hell. You know it makes sense.

And its another clever Martin Sheen tie in. Maybe should have gone with avoid the Apocalypse Now ?

Old Benny F was a wise old man – except for that nonsense about flying kites in electrical storms. Although not original he is also associated with the well know phrase

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes

As that was a couple of hundred years ago I was pondering are there a few extras we can add. Of course there are

1. An Aussie batting collapse on first day of a Test Match. Now Blind Freddy – as opposed to old crippled Freddy Flintoff – knows that if the English side circa@2013 can be bowled out for 215 Boof’s Boys are going to struggle to make 150.

2. There will be outrage at any fisticuffs in State of Origin – but the footage will be shown 24/7 in promotional buildup to the next game. Note – this is totally different to Fisting which the Blues team only do behind closed doors

3. The Wallabies Scrum will collapse into a shambles when the pressure is on. Lineouts and Mauls to a lesser degree.

4. Little Leyton will beat a well ranked player early in a Major tournament only to lose to a nobody the next round. Sam Stosur has a Travelling Psychologist (with couch) on call 24/7.

5. The Socceroos will continue to make World Cups but never beyond last 16

6. La Tour de Frog will enthrall first couple of days until casual followers realise it goes on for 3 months. If an Aussie cant win our interest plummets daily

7. There will be at least 3 blockbusters released every year based on a comic Superhero – and only one will be any good. Still waiting circa@2013

8. The Yanks will remake a hugely successful OS show only to see it flop because a) it is terrible and b) Yanks are simple folk (though lovely of course)

9. Every time Kruddy is elected to PM he will be very popular – for about 2 months. After that – see “Aussie Batting Collapse

10. Tomorrow’s Weather forecast will be wrong

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?

Octoberfestivus Day 6

Posted: October 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

Vienna

Woke to a clear cool day and headed down for the hotel breakfast – superb. Could not do it justice. We were checking out today and catching night train to Rome at 1930 but were leaving bags at hotel while we checked out some more of Vienna. The KK Maria Therese in Vienna is a fantastic hotel.

First stop was back to St Stephens Dom for the climb to the top – 400 steps. Sorry Sir the stairway does not open until 0900 but there is a lift over there? Lordy Lordy there is a God!.Its an impressive view but nothing really stands out on the vista. Then onto Stadt Park where there were some impressive statues of famous composers. A quick detour to Cafe Central for another crap coffee but in beautiful surroundings. From there we checked on The Rathaus and Hofberg in daylight – still tres impressive. We then headed back to hotel to check out before spending afternoon at Schloss Schonbrunn which was the emperors palace. Very impressive gardens in particular and the metro was easy to use. Before we left there though we had to try the famous Strudel! After a long day it was time for a beer! It was a quick but memorable visit to Vienna.

Now we are about to board the 14 hour night train to Rome – could be interesting