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Friday, March 19, 2010

GINGDUCK: "The Big Coathanger made crossing Sydney Harbour a sight easier, but who knows it breathes, up to 7 inches up and down?" asks P.L. Inkletter

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
19th March 2010

Friday: Warm and dry, it never ends…

I got myself ready for taking Bob swimming, making it the third time I will have seen him this week – a very rare occurrence, given my state of health and energy levels. I did get some bamboo watering done before leaving, and I'm heartened that at long last I've got a couple of giant shoots of the Bambusa oldhamii coming up, very late in the season, but the sight of them has done wonders for my horticulturally despairing soul, even if the impending coolness of autumn around the corner will cut short their quest for the heavens.

Bob enjoyed his time in the water at a busy Swan Aquatic, and at his insistence he stayed in the water half an hour longer than I planned for. We finished at dusk to dark at Fish Market Reserve, with a walk and cup of tea for the Bobster, a hot water for the moi.

On my drive home I saw something I cannot explain: it was between 7.40 to 7.50 p.m., and I first noticed something strange with the crescent moon hanging not far above the western horizon as I was travelling along from the eastern end of Marshall Road, Whiteman Park. Dark marks were slowly making their way across the face of the crescent moon, and between the trees and later the buildings in Malaga's industrial area I saw several more of the most unusual shapes, all dark or black, moving across the moon. One appeared to be a circle with circumferential cut outs near the edge. There were no clouds at all in the sky, or at least the western horizon area where I saw all this.

Maybe there is a simple explanation for what I saw, but I'd like to know what it is. On Monday, along the same stretch of Malaga, late in the day, I saw a little patch of cloud low on the western horizon, close to the sun which hadn't yet set, which had a smudge of rainbow colours in it; again, I have never seen anything like this before; it was all wrong to be a rainbow effect, for such would have to have been behind me on the eastern horizon, and an arch not a smudge.

Anyway, I emailed the Perth Observatory later in the evening about the moon effects, hoping they might have an explanation for me, or have heard from someone else. And no, I wasn't on anything.

The worn-out worsted yarn was too tired to walk, so I remained in front of the box, catching yet again Hitler's Bodyguard on SBS, and after Moving Wallpaper on Aunty it was time for Lateline: The (Leigh) Sales Graph: Ms Sales' appearance was gorgeous, if that's not too politically incorrect, from her loose flaring hairstyle which so suits her, to her subtle effect make-up and tiny earrings being the beginning and end of her jewellery, while her two federal level political sparring partners for tonight's Friday night fight club, ex-President of the Victorian Liberal Party Michael Kroger, as conservatively dressed as possible with his multiple variations upon dark shades, from his charcoal grey suit and dark blue tie to his light bluish-mauve shaded striped white shirt, and, known for his relative naiveté, National Secretary of the Australian Workers Union, Paul Howes, bedecked in a dark grey pinstriped suit, white shirt, and an impressive strongly tightly black on white striped tie.

Their topics of contention – and as predictable as all get out these boys were in their slants – were the federal health care debate and the elections in South Australia and Tasmania tomorrow, in which encumbent Labor governments have to face the music. I often find myself observing idiosyncrasies more than content when it gets boring, and this is no reflection upon Ms Sales, for she has little control over the pseudo-neuronal activity of the politically motivated puppets she has to interview as part of her job description. And so, what a revelation it was to behold a Mount Rushmore - like visage descend from the granite and join us from Melbourne: I'm speaking of the marvellously igneous features of Michael Kroger, for which I'm certain Gutzon Borglum would gladly resurrect to carve as a fifth stern and silent sentinel to sit beside George, Abraham, and the others. All the more starkly silhouetted against Paul Howes' Johnson & Johnson baby face soft features.

Now I have to say that a slip up from Paul Howes takes the cake tonight, when he said "bungee smuggling" in regard to Tony Abbott, when he meant 'budgie' (don't rely on the transcript on the ABC website, but listen to the vodcast); I think he paid an unintended compliment to the Opposition Leader there, for imagine (as a red-blooded bull koala I find it excruciating, by the way) a bungee rope stuffed down Mr Abbott's bathers!

Mr Kroger flirted with the possibility of Kevin Rudd's government being the first federal one in 80 years of being a one termer, and went on to relate that Rudd has no friends in the Labor Party, due to his unpleasant ways, which he earlier described thus: "The real Kevin Rudd is abusive, he swears at his staff, treats his ministers with contempt, is abusive of union leaders, abusive of his colleagues…"; it appears to me that Kroger's assessment is sadly closer to the truth than the starry-eyed Howes' adoration of his Dear Leader.

I give this interview to Mr Kroger, who spoke with more directness, pragmatism, and honesty than Mr Howes; on just a couple of points to illustrate this, his remarks around the paid parental leave scheme of Abbott demonstrated he is unafraid to put his own slightly contrary slant on it, and his comment "If you wanted to vote for what you thought were the party which would best deliver services you voted for state Labor…" concerning the Howard Government years.

Ms Sales handled the boys well; she is getting better at refereeing these boisterous encounters of antipathetic politically saturated organisms of the social undergrowth, giving them room for some rough and tumble but keeping them on short leashes when required.

Thankfully next it was Stephen Long: The (Stephen) Long and Short of It: tonight a smartly presented Mr Long, resplendent in his dark suit and white shirt combo set on fire with a burnt orange tie and freshly frowzled curly hair by his mum in the wings, turned his economic wisdom upon President Obama's healthcare reform package, at the invitation of a glowing Ms Sales.

Now what an indictment Mr Long gave on both the present healthcare system in the U.S.A., and Obama's reform! He highlighted one of the main structural problems as the vulturous private health insurers, who will remain at the core of the new system, if it passes into law. Mr Long's recommendation to focus more on preventative health measures based upon an Australian health system model made a lot of sense, as the man most always does.

I haven't yet revealed that this past week we have been sharing a goodly part of our evenings with a little stray guest, a tabby kitten we've named 'Cadbury', who appeared on our carport a couple of weeks ago, and which we began to feed. Baby Inkletter, who is a cat whisperer, managed to pick it up a few days back while offering it food in her hand, and now she – it's gender established by The Babe – comes to us in a mad rush just by calling out to her. She stretches out on our laps while we watch telly, and sleeps, purrs, plays, and generally behaves as though we are her pets.

Baby Inkletter began a Facebook page offering Cadbury to a good home, but independently a friend of hers, Jessi, has put her hand up to take her in a week or so. So while we'll miss the little creature, it is comforting to know she'll be going to a loving home.

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