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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

LONDON: Kevin Rudd’s historic offer to auction Alistair Darling’s eyebrows for the IMF might just save the global economy, agrees Payton L. Inkletter.

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:

In other news…

31st March 2009:

Tuesday: I slept for thirteen hours, and even then had a headache brewing when Missus Inkledickyback woke me up. She would have sought my assistance if she needed it at any time during the day, she assures me, as she is but one day into recovery from the back injection, but fortunately the facet joint injection has not been anywhere near as painful for her as the nerve sleeve root injections of the past. And she is reporting a slight reduction in her right leg pain, to our relief, for we were beginning to think she wouldn’t get any.

I managed to coax enough life into my system to go and pick up Pa pree and take him to Dewsons’, then brought him back here. He helped Janny prepare some evening vittles, while I did a bit on the poota before watering the Sansevierias out the front. I chatted to Miche next door, to learn that the fambly is visiting Macedonia in May. I sometimes cannot believe how big his son has grown since they moved here years ago; also, he has nothing to worry about paternity wise, for the boy is the spitting image of him!

I came back inside to watch My Beloved and The 7.30 Report. It was a pleasure to learn how well the members of Sydney’s Symphony Orchestra regard their new principal conductor, Vladimir Ashkenazy, both for his skill and his approachability. As for Charles Zentai in David Webber’s report, Kerry O’Brien opened the story with the information that Zentai had undergone a lie detector test, and I wonder why we weren’t told the results of it?

Having wrested the remote controls from the little people, we watched the second half of Jenny Brockie’s Insight program‘Blocking the Net, about the problematic Australian Government internet filtering plans. Stephen Conroy, Minister for Communications, can have the job. If only it was a near perfect technology with imperceptible effects on speeds…; that would only leave the problem of what to filter, and what to leave…

During this program I answered the phone – an extremely rare event – and it was Meg Deeler ringing from her room at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, and we had a chat, her with a very soft voice, about how she was going. She has another two chemotherapy sessions to go, and has had about four so far. Poor thing is all I can say. She wished us well, and particularly Janny with her back procedure pain. And she waxed understandably lyrical about the unstinting support Murrah has been and is, in these exceptionally trying times.

I then left the delinquents to watch their favourites on the commercial stations, while I connected up to the back room antenna lead near the computer the huge (by our standards) TV that Hee Peggy very kindly gave us last week – and which I forgot to mention in last Thursday’s diary – due to his receiving a projector come TV from his parents. I wrote at the computer and titivated around until Foreign Correspondent, which I was able to watch ‘live’ in the back room rather than record it as is the habit of late while the little people watch their soaps and such. Prabowo Subianto’s bid for the Presidency of Indonesia was the topic of Geoff Thompson’s report ‘Indonesia - The Farmer Wants a Country’, and what a mixture of extremes it presented! I admit to not concentrating when Mark Corcoran introduced tonight’s program, and so I didn’t catch whether we were being given a singular or plural intro. I wrote a bit more until Lateline, which again I watched immediately rather than recorded, while the delinquents went on with their must see viewing. I skipped the last story on Lateline to deliver Pa pree back home, but it all took so long that I missed part of Lateline Business, but got the rest of it in.

Tony Jones interviewed Lindsay Tanner, Finance Minister, and I always enjoy hearing him, for he has such a moderate air and gentle way of sharing his opinions. Not a happy subject, that of the dire economic global and national woes. The next story was sad for other reasons; Ehud Ya'ari, the Jerusalem Report’s associate editor commented on the new coalition patched together by Israel’s Prime Minister elect Benjamin Netanyahu. What a mess that part of the world is in, riven with hatred and prejudice of the most pernicious kind, that being religious prejudice. And wow, Avigdor Lieberman is to be Foreign Minister. Iran has vowed to annihilate Israel, and is closing in on becoming a nuclear weapons state. The problems get worse.

Then Ali Moore captivated me as always on Lateline Business, after the dash to Pa pree’s and back as already mentioned, and it was not with relish that I learn that the Chinese Government backed Hunan Valin has the go ahead from our Government to buy 17.5 per cent of Fortescue Metals Group. And this dismay of mine has nothing to do with the ‘Chineseness’ of the issue, rather the risky foreign influence upon such an Australian asset. The last story I’ll comment on for now is the ultimatum given by Barack Obama to General Motors and Chrysler as covered in Michael Rowland’s report. And a good move it was to force General Motors’ chief executive Rick Wagoner to go; to be in that position for so long, while your company doesn’t create anything the world wants to buy when the consumer finally sizes up to the reality that we’ve all seen coming, well, that’s writing your own swan song; or am I being too harsh? Maybe it really was utterly beyond imagination that foreign dependency fossil fuel guzzling overpriced tanks were going to create more problems than they were going to solve, eventually.

Letterman’s last act was really good: Adele has such a wonderful voice, and her backing musicians were so good. Hey, has CBS’ website been redone?

After putting the alabaster dragon to bed I watched my recording of last night’s Lateline, and Tony Jones had some questions of Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling, not about those unbelievable eyebrows, but rather about Kevin Rudd’s lovefest in London, and the G20 strategies. Charlotte Glennie’s story on the problem of pregnant women drinking alcohol in Halls Creek had some typical academia type complaints, you know, the kind which happen to be out of sync with the real world.

The first to make a fool of himself with his mouth was Professor Mike Daub, of Curtin University, followed by Dr Janet Hammill, an indigenous child health specialist of Queensland University; not that any of the things each said did not have merit, but they weren’t very useful in this context: Daub’s were the worst, given that The Australian Hotels Association has organised Halls Creek liquor licensees to sign up to new measures to try, in this real world of drinking rights for all Australians 18 and over regardless of race and gender, to stop pregnant women drinking alcohol. Shit Daub, it’s a start, and yes, you’ll find self interest in each of the liquor sales businesses: tell us something new that also doesn’t apply to every business on the face of the earth. I’m not an advocate of drunkenness, but I happen to know that it’s a highly complex social issue, and if the AHA has got a plan to try to reduce the abuse of alcohol by pregnant women, then let’s work with them. I’ll bet the liquor licensees would rather all pregnant women of any colour were voluntarily already not consuming their goods, because it’s all a great headache for a business to wipe, wash, powder, and nappy the bottoms of its customers who won’t wipe, wash, powder, and nappy their own, all the while under threat of legal consequences. And I view the alcohol issue as very different from the tobacco issue in society, and why? simply because they are very different issues.

Well, it was just as well that I next watched my recording of last night’s Lateline Business, for Ali Moore soothed my ruffled feathers, she was the tonic I needed, and wow that lady is an asset for Aunty. Aunty, whatever you’re paying Ali now, double it! Now talk about professional and elegant, what about that sit down interview in the studio with John Price, Climate Strategies Managing Director? (John, I hope you put your clothes in a dry cleaning bag and packed them away never to wear again when you got home.) I tell you, Ali Moore could persuade me to knock back anaesthetic for an impacted wisdom tooth extraction, and give the money saved to a down on his luck Hell’s Angel bikie for another ‘You’re me Bitch’ tattoo on his arse, and I’d thank Ali for helping me take the opportunity to be generous. She was so wonderful, in control yet unthreatening, and looked so graceful and refined. Her hair was pulled close, and I was mesmerised by that honeyed voice of hers. Price could have been saying anything, even recommending no-lose sector-wide targets for developing countries, it would have all been just the sound of tinkling brass for me, with Ali modestly dressed and yet primed to thrill, leading me like a lamb to the Bessemer Pot.

I did a bit more at the computer, before going on a late late walk, trying my utmost to forget about my headache, white comforters notwithstanding, on this cool night. On my return I rustled up some Weet-Bix grub and a cocoa so strong it could keep a South American – or do I mean African? – economy afloat, before writing more. And before I knew it, it was daylight, and then some. I hope the conflicker virus is not in my system. It takes my antivirus scanner almost a day to scan my hard drives, and that’s with a couple disconnected! For this reason I don’t scan the whole system very often, and when I do the brute of an antivirus program disables my wonderful Netants program, which has collected several hundred gigabytes of Librivox audio books for me, and has thousands of chapters in the queue always. The first time it did this I took ages to find the program again online, as it is so old, and paradoxically, in the process of finally getting it I got infected so seriously with viruses, while AVG was installed and running, that it ended up causing me to have to do a complete system reinstall, that is, from scratch baby! Last September to be exact. So now I have a copy of Netants 1.25 on a disc off the computer. While I write I’m trying to load the www.confickerworkinggroup.org site, but it won’t load, so I assume everyone else in the world is trying to load it as well right now.

I did a dual posting of this diary, and watered some of the bamboo outside, before finally hitting the sack about ten as the alabaster dragon rising, aroused in fact by my arrival, and deciding she’d slumbered enough. Her back and leg pain is still slightly reducing, which is a mighty big bonus from the facet joint injection… er, well, no, not a bonus, rather the whole point of it.


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