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Friday, May 28, 2010

LONDON: "Was it all that horsing around with Big Ben's first bell that caused it to crack?" asks PL Inkletter, noting that he'd've cheered for it too.

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
28th May 2010

Friday: My plans to take Bob to the city for his outing were sunk today, due to being too weary to manage it. I vacillated long and hard before, with Missus Inkletter's encouragement, I gave up on the notion; I would have been too tired to drive, let alone function.

And so, she sent me back to bed, and I slept on till around five; even so, it was fitful sleep, and I had to resort to having my headphones on with my favourite talking book keeping my overcrowded mind occupied enough to grow weary concentrating, thus slipping in and out of sleep.

Methinks the devious devotee had some self interest in mind with her insistence that I get more sleep, for we had a dinner invitation to the Chocsons' in Ellenbrook commencing at 7 p.m.; I would be lying if I tried to intimate other than that I was keenly looking forward to it as well, but I did so want to be able to work with Bob beforehand.

Never mind, and yes, we got to Reeve and Chocci's nearer to half seven, thanks to old perpetually late chops, moi, but our hosts were as gracious as ever. The moon was almost full after last night's milk moon, and the night was clear and crisp.

Our hosts' gave us a lovely meal, and a lovely evening, which lasted till after midnight, yet another to treasure among so many dozens spent with them over the years. Reeve spent some time showing me a cooperative community farm plan he is working on, and it was fascinating; the detail he is building into it is remarkable. I let him know that I thought that some of the rules and guidelines might best be moved, for pragmatic reasons, more into the class of aspirations. Nevertheless, he is working on a masterful plan for cooperative living.

I resorted to watching a recorded version of Lateline: The Tick(y Fullerton) Check Mark: Radiating as only she can, Ticky Fullerton anchored tonight in Ms Sales' absence. She wore a simple coral red long sleeved blouse, tiny earrings and no other jewellery, very subtle-effect make-up, and with her long blond hair falling loose in a convex then concave line, it flattered her well. She gave away an inch and a half of cleavage, if you looked hard, and fortunately George Brandis, Shadow Attorney-General – one of her on-screen two long interview interlocutors for tonight's Friday night fight club –  being a younger man than dear 81 year old Editor at Large of The Week magazine, Sir Harold Evans – whom Ms Fullerton interviewed in October last year and I fear might have killed (or almost killed) due to the degree of cleavage she let loose that night – as I was saying, fortunately George's ticker was likely up to the task.

If there was any doubt about Mr Brandis' ticker, there was none left by his couture, for he looked crisp in his dark and quietly pinstriped suit, white shirt, and dark blue tie with yellow shield shapes populating it, and what hair still inhabits his crown was all in perfect place. His in-studio opponent was Tanya Plibersek, Minister for Housing and the Status of Women, who was flawlessly presented, her short closely swept hair, subtle-effect make-up, and minimalist jewellery – tiny earrings alone – being beautifully complemented by her simple lavender (floral) shirt and bistre jacket.

The pollies were off and racing with the issue thrown to them by Ms Fullerton, of the $38.5 million advertising campaign in support of the proposed resource super-profits tax. Mr Brandis used a wonderful term 'triply damned' to describe the Rudd Government over this, and while I've long tired of Mr Brandis' hyperbole many times on this program, I agree with him that the Government is being disingenuous about this advertising money. Ms Plibersek mounted an articulate but phoney argument in support of the expenditure of such a large sum of taxpayers' money, saying during her attempt to put lipstick on the pig "There is a very strong desire from the Australian people to be clear about what's actually being proposed here."

Well, maybe there is and maybe there isn't, but almost $40 million could go a long way towards a thousand other useful things for our nation, when we have radio and TV news and current affairs to find out what the proposed tax is all about, as well as newspaper and magazine articles, without a single advertising dollar being spent. Now if tens of millions are going to be spent by the mining industry spreading 'misinformation', and if the Rudd Government is prepared to spend against this, then have the balls to call it what it is, while fairly pointing out that Howard did it also, but so far his largesse with our money was to a much greater extent. Also have the balls to admit that, in the words of Mr Brandis "No, what I'm doing is drawing attention to the complete hypocrisy of the Labor Party. You said it was wrong for Howard to do it, and whether you're right about that or not, you can't say it's wrong for Howard and now say that it's right for Rudd." You are right about this one George.

We the public know it's hypocrisy, so for heaven's sake, admit it. Some grudging respect will come your way, Labor Government, by admitting it, as radical an idea that is: admitting the bleeding obvious, even if it's courageous.

Ms Fullerton handled this interview very well, not panicking at any stage, when the pollies got to overtalking each other as they are so wont to do. She shone as she kept them talking about the issues she put to them, which moved on to asylum seekers and Ken Henry's defending of his tax proposals in the public arena by questioning the fundamentals of the mining industry's attacks.

A wonderful flow occurred with this: Ticky Fullerton: "Tanya Plibersek, the most interesting thing about the whaling announcement I think is the timing; 9.30 you had a press conference and 9:38 was - the Government was notifying the Senate about the change in advertising rules. Was this a bit cute?"

Tanya Plibersek: "Oh, not at all. These are busy days. Parliament, Senate Estimates ..."

George Brandis: "I can't see you, Tanya; do you have a straight face at the moment?"

I give this interview to Mr Brandis, but full marks to Ms Plibersek for remaining polite while articulate, and to Ms Fullerton for handling these combatants with professional ease.

As I've often said, thank heavens for Stephen Long's contribution most Friday nights: The (Stephen) Long and Short of It: Mr Long was finely attired in a dark and subtly pinstriped suit, white shirt, and blond tie with brown stripes, which was not a good choice because it did not leap off his shirt at all. His curly hair had been ruffled up by his Mum as per usual, and her emphasis with her tousling tonight had been upwards well above his ears.

Now the poor sod was given not even 3 minutes by a now extra radiant Ms Fullerton (obviously she was glad to speak to someone decent and with nothing to hide) to explain the proposed super profits tax for the mining industry.
 More story coming…

Sunday, May 23, 2010

CADBURY'S GONADS: Saturday: Here today, gone tomorrow, our little precious tabby celestial kitty had a hysterectomy at the hands of a big bad vet doc.

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
23rd May 2010

Sunday: Oh what a momentous day for one member of our household, a heaven sent stray grey tabby kitten now known as 'Cadbury', who appeared starving and thin, wailing on our carport, in early March.

Missus Inkletter and I set off, with Cadbury in a box on my good wife's lap, for the Cat Haven in Shenton Park, this being her first ever ride in a car – Cadbury that is. I did the dirty work of checking her in for her hysterectomy – Cadbury that is – and by the time I left, the poor little wretch was silent and still with fear and dread, amid the strange smells of a million other cats, operating theatre odours, you name it.

It was with burdened hearts that we drove off, knowing that the little abandoned cat that recently came into our lives was going to go under the knife, and have her ability to breed forever removed.

I then dropped the crafty crabchick off at the Craft & Quilt Fair in full swing at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre, where she spent 3 hours in an orgy of craft absorption, but alas, little spending. I meanwhile, had driven up the hill and into the bowels of Kings Park (yas, no apostrophe!), where I read more of 'The Gathering', by Anne Enright, and then went for my first bush walk in this park for about 25 years: it was delightful, with rain near at hand, and I hardly saw a soul. A thousand acres of bushland a stone throw from the city centre is one great asset. Unfortunately, it occasionally ends up as the burial site for murder victims, in this city of 1.7 million people.

I picked Missus Inkletter up at 1, with the sheen of a ten thousand dollar Husqvarna Designer Diamond sewing machine still smouldering in her dewy eyes, and we returned to Kings Park for some refreshments, before heading off to the beach past Perry Lakes' way to gaze at the ocean and into each other's lovestruck eyes.

We then returned, with fear and trembling, to the Cat Haven, to pick up poor little Cadbury. It was again my job to enter the depths of the torture chamber to retrieve Cadbury, the dainty dilettante waiting like a pussy in the car. And it broke my heart to see Cadbury shaking, and she tried to put her little furry head under the towel lining the box as I carried her out. Even in the car on the way home she tried to hide her head.

Well, some hours later, that night, we had a trapeze artist back on our hands, with Cadbury tearing around the house as though she'd never had an operation, flinging herself around like a pussy possessed. Billy Connolly might well like to see a two hundred pound snatch, but we had a five pound pussy going berserk, and worrying us into the grave that she would do herself a lethal injury.

The post operative notes from the Cat Haven stressed the need to keep the cat patient indoors for a week, and to discourage it from wild athletics. Well, great aspirational advice, but we were totally at a loss as to how to stop the little dynamo from running amuck, and each day for the next week she wound up her spring. By the third day or so she was dangling one armed from the ironing board table, leaping up onto four feet high surfaces, pouncing on our legs as we walked by, you name it.

I was convinced she was going to do herself in, at least internally, where she had unseen stitches. As I write this 8 days later, she is thriving, her external wound is looking very good, despite the fact that she seems to have ripped the stitches out with her teeth, and nothing will stop her. We plan to take her back by day 14 to have her stitches 'out', but she appears to have beaten the veterinarian boffins to it.

What a ride it's been!

Friday, May 21, 2010

NEW YORK: "I ain't misbehavin', but you can squeeze me," said one of God's chillun, a bubbling bundle of joy, adding "All that meat, and no potatoes!"

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
21st May 2010

Friday: A rather warm day for late late autumn, which surely means a harbinger of rain?

I was very tired, (We enjoyed an evening meal with The Babies Ink&Peggletter here last night, after I first met them at Jaques Tarjay in Stirling, where they kindly bought us a new set top box for digital TV, to replace the Christmas present they bought us but five months ago, which had begun going on the blink. They were able to get a credit on the old machine still under warranty (how low the quality has become in general with electronics!), but put more money, bless their generous socks, towards a replacement. We had the evening with just the four of us, on account of the lergy I still am shaking off and Missus Inkletter seems to be coming down with, and which The Dear Leader wants, sensibly, to avoid if possible), as I was saying, I was very tard, but dragged myself up to get ready to take Bob swimming. The wily wayfarer had shot off ALONE to Spotlight at Joondalup while I was preparing myself and cleaning up the kitchen. The sneaky sneak thief was back about fifteen minutes before I left for Bob's – relatively early for me.

There had been a shower at Bob's vicinity and Midland, judging by the reasonable – some might say prima facie – evidence in the form of puddles everywhere. He had a reasonable stint in the pool at Swan Aquatic, and I had a very enjoyable catch up meanwhile with Allan Schintu, who I hadn't noticed here for many months, maybe since last year. He inspired me with the way he is striving to meet a very difficult bereavement that has struck his family.

Bob and I finished with a cup of tea and walk by moonlight (sounds romantic, unfortunately!) along the river bank at Fish Market Reserve, and I finally got home about half seven.

My usual evening struggle with keeping my eyes open began, and more's the frustration due to the Aunty lineup and SBS documentary schedule for Friday nights. Lateline: The (Leigh) Sales Graph: Attired simply in a sapphire blue collared button up blouse, with but tiny earrings her only resort to jewellery, her hair loose hanging and convex curved, subtle effect make-up with dark eyeliner, Ms Sales looked magnificent, she looked Rembrandt without apparently trying, and whatever she did with her eyes tonight it worked a treat, informing me that I know less than I am tempted to think I do about what works with women's presentation.

Wild and ominous events of the last day on the stock exchanges around the world brought out the economics analysis maestro, Stephen Long early in the program: The (Stephen) Long and Short of It: The birthday boy (tomorrow) was most conservatively outfitted, in a dark suit, patterned with faint lined large rectangles, a dark tie close to the jacket shade, and a lavender shirt, and while his hair was under control in a manner of speaking, it will be in for one hell of a ride tomorrow when his Mum tousles it all day long.

A grim faced Mr Long got straight to the bad news after a serious faced Ms Sales asked him to update us on what was happening right then on the European markets, and the picture was not pretty.

In his wonderfully clear and frank style, Mr Long dissected the mess and made quite a bit of sense of it for us, and he had a mere 2¾ minutes tonight in total. The only smile we got from him was when Ms Sales wished him a happy birthday for tomorrow, but it was so sweet it made up completely for the grim faced beginning.

I was disappointed to hear Ms Sales then use the word 'slammed' as she introduced her next story: "The Prime Minister has slammed the shadow treasurer for suggesting that the falling value of the Australian dollar is linked to the proposed new tax on mining profits." It is one of those ugly lazy words that has become so beloved of newspapers in recent decades for use in their headlines, trying to let us know that so and so has just criticised another so and so or such and such; yes it has the slight advantage of being a short word, but it is a dumb word, and has no place in spoken journalism, when there are but nano seconds' difference between the utterances of 'slammed' on the one hand, and 'criticised', 'censured', 'rebuked', 'attacked', etc., on the other.

Ms Sales' long interview was with Small Business Minister Craig Emerson and shadow Immigration Spokesman Scott Morrison, and these men looked immaculate, Mr Morrison in-studio in Ultimo, in his near taupe suit and white shirt combo, and his striped camouflage green tie, Mr Emerson on-screen from Canberra, in his dark striped Payne's grey suit and white shirt combo, set alight dangerously with his fine white dot textured lust red tie.

Let me commend them both for how maturely and considerately they responded to Ms Sales' first subject, that being the fall from grace of NSW Government Minister David Campbell this week, and the issue of the publicising of the private lives of public figures; this matter took up almost a massive 10 minutes, but it was most enlightening and worth the time, given the exemplary way the pollies dealt with Ms Sales' examination.

Oh, and on a light hearted note, full marks to Mr Emerson for employing the word 'Calathumpian' in that segment.

The remainder of the interview became very typical of sparring political opponents, except that the lads remained relatively well mannered, and despite some protracted over-talking of each other and the anchor a couple of times. Ms Sales managed to go with the flow beautifully, and the interview rolled on in a natural and at times robust manner. Well done the three of you, and your conclusion was a lesson in good natured politeness.

Regular readers of this blog, of which there are billions, have not heard me complain for a while about Blogger, the abomination that I have to use to publish my posts. Well, that's simply because of complaint fatigue, not because the stupid thing is much better. This week, without warning, the preview button in the editor in Blogger in Draft, my preferred editor this year, has moved from the stub at the top of the page, to the bottom, and its behaviour has radically altered, now requiring a whole webpage load, rather than the text-only load of previously, which gave a reasonable indication of what the finished post would look like.

Now I'm waiting for the whole page to load, messing up my visitor statistics and upping mightily my monthly download use, just to get a look at the preview. My postings might be a tiny fraction of the whole web page, but now the whole frigging page has to be loaded just to get a look at how my post's editing is faring. Get stuffed Blogger, like I've wished for you a million times before. And this preview change is not the only thing going haywire this week: line breaks from Word are being ignored, which greatly increases the time I have to spend manually putting each one in between paragraphs, again, after doing it all in Word first. Oh, did I say 'get stuffed Blogger'? I think it might be a fantastic tool in another ten years.

[Back from the future update: My next posting session, over a week later, has seen the 'Preview' facility return to its former position and function: Fanbloodytastic! and may the boffin/s responsible for the time out without this useful facility suffer for at least a week with chilli powder impregnated underwear in the crotch and botty hole area.]

For almost three years Blogger has been one of the banes of my life, a necessary evil I've had to endure to run my blogspot web pages, consuming, especially in the first year, inordinate amounts of precious time due to its flaky and arbitrary habits.

This week I began reading Anne Enright's 'The Gathering', kindly loaned to me by Baby Inkletter, and I am engrossed by her masterful storytelling, and her wonderful wielding of her sentences. I hope to do a review when I'm through, and it will contain a potential criticism, however.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

SEDUCTION BY DESIGN: Loving hard, loving often, the past comes calling for the characters in this captivating novel-the 2nd of Gladys Hobson's trilogy

I was keen to sink my teeth into this novel, 'Seduction by Design', Gladys Hobson's second in her 'Designed For Love' series, because she had me hooked with her first, 'Desire'.

These are no ordinary romance novels. They are written by a mature age author, whose abundance of wisdom invests the chapters with a fragrance rare. A young person simply could not achieve this, and the gems of insight Ms Hobson scatters throughout her story delighted me.

As for the characters, my dislike of the arch bastard Robert Watson magnified in this instalment...

Read the whole review here...


Friday, May 14, 2010

JERUSALEM: 'Home again but not home alone, to make the desert bloom; fed with blood & tears, stymied by hate & fears, brothers twain yet not the same'

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
14th May 2010

Friday: My first job before 'retiring' was to phone Bob's social trainers and break the bad news that I wouldn't be able to take him to Perth today, as I was still too ill from my cold. Yes, I had just had another one of those day-night-days, and it wasn't till late morning before I got to bed, my sleeping habits shot to pieces, my head throbbing from sinus congestion.

So much for my plans to take Bob out twice this week, and get so much else done while Missus Inkletter was away.

I surfaced not long before six (p.m.), and I was treated to a phone call from the prima pommie in Busselton, planning to return to me tomorrow from her one week holiday with her farter and brutha. I drove to the local chemist to pick up a million prescriptions for us both, and then checked out Umple Dais' place for mail and put his rubbish bin back in his driveway.

Home again, and I was able to have a brief but enjoyable chat with brother-in-law Phamajames, while seeking his daughter Louise, to wish her a happy birthday for tomorrow and to ask her to get me a photo of a wandoo tree to put with a brilliant poem she wrote a couple of years back. No luck with tracking Louise down, whose mobble was only taking messages.

A great night for entertainment and education, not quite the equal of Wednesdays, but I enjoyed The Collectors on Aunty, an SBS doco about Iran, then back to Aunty for Ladies of Letters, Lateline, and The Graham Norton Show.
Lateline: The (Leigh) Sales Graph: Ms Sales eased away slightly from her best appearance in tonight's program, going the tiniest tad Picasso, but not enough to really matter make-up wise, but not so with her hair: she looks so much better with her hair convex curved at the sides. I've inaccurately described this as 'flared' many times, because, giving it some detailed consideration, a concave curve would flare at the shoulder and touch the sides of her face, but not do her face justice as does the convex shape, widening her face. The 'flare' I've been trying to describe, which so flatters her looks, occurs mid-face, putting an extra width to her face with the free space between her hair and cheeks. Yes I'm opinionated, and yes I may be wrong, but this is how my eyes inform me. And does it matter? Yes, a bit, because this is television, and she is so often arrestingly Rembrandt that it proves she has the ability and features to be so.
Ms Sales' rags were quite simple and effective: a black almost military uniform styled shirt, double pockets and all; her jewellery limited to simple ten cent sized gold ring earrings. Her long interview comprising the Friday night fight club was in-studio with Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop and the Employment Participation Minister, Senator Mark Arbib.

Mr Arbib went conservative in his rags, looking immaculate and James Bondish in a dark suit and white shirt combo, with a ceil square patterned tie, perhaps to strike a harmony with his opponent, for Ms Bishop's rag was a beautiful iris blouse, with simple jewellery consisting of a pearl necklace and earrings (they looked like the real damn thing too!), flattering hair style, subtle make-up except for heavy eyeliner (a trademark of hers which I'm not convinced helps more than hinders).

Of course this pair was as predictable as a pair of rabbits in Wisconsin in spring time, eating salad and making love, eating salad and making love, except that their behaviour was to exclusively lavish praise upon their parties and poo upon their opponents , delivered amid much bickering. The subject was centred on the Federal Budget just delivered on Tuesday.

Ms Bishop treated us to this piece of hypocrisy early on: "I have no doubt that Labor will run a very personal, very nasty campaign against Tony Abbott. I have no doubt that it will be as misleading as the last campaign Labor ran." And we have no doubt that your mob will be pillars of virtue and do no such thing, nor have ever done any such thing, Ms Bishop; you'll all choke on your halos if your rhetoric is to be believed.

Ms Sales gave the pair plenty of free rein, jumping in only when essential to put an end to their incessant bickering, a sign of confidence and control on her part. She couldn't have been expecting an answer, surely, to her question of Mark Arbib: "When does a party know that it's time to change leader? What are the signs that are, 'Look, you know, we really need to change courses now'."

And of course she did not get an answer.

Then she put the same question to Ms Bishop, who naïvely included this in her answer: "If they don't change their policies, it doesn't matter who's the leader." Well, in terms of re-election, it so often does.

This pair of bunnies kept bickering right to the bitter end, necessitating Ms Sales to good humoredly inform them: "You're going to have to take this outside, I'm sorry, we're out of time."

It was an entertaining interview, though nothing earth moving occurred, no political brilliance, not even a glint.

I have to commend Ms Bishop on a more mature performance – despite the bickering – than some of hers I've seen; is this a blip, or genuine progress? Mr Arbib is becoming more articulate under pressure, and even if his side is turfed out at this year's election he'll probably be quite an orator by then.

Thank heavens we had Stephen Long to come to be the antidote for the heavy dose of political epsom salts we just endured: The (Stephen) Long and Short of It: Wow, a dark blue broad pin striped suit made Mr Long hard not to notice, but I'm not convinced his busily patterned Carolina blue tie on his white shirt with lines worked so well against this bold jacket; however, his curly freshly-tousled-by-his-Mum hair made up for this fashion faux pas.
Not for the first time, not for the last I'm convinced, Mr Long's take on the proposed resource super-profits tax was completely free of the hysteria coming from the mining industry and the Opposition, and saturated with good sense. For example, try this for his opening remark: "…the hyperbole and rhetoric we've had around this, Leigh, is really, really silly." Then he added "Let's put it in context and get real about it…" before delineating the most pertinent facts surrounding the issue. He didn't spare the media reporting either, as well as noting the vested interests of the mining companies. Good on you Mr Long for giving a calm but incisive analysis of the blather flying around.

 I don't know what the best method should be, but I am definitely in favour of the Australian nation deriving substantially more from the resources we sell but once, and are then left with holes in the ground. We then need wisdom from our leaders to use the extra income for the long term benefit of our country.

He sunk the dagger into the stupid argument bandied by the Opposition that just as with cigarette tax increases, less mining will take place due to the mining tax, noting that they are vastly different markets.

A popular topic of discussion of recent weeks surfaced again: the Greek sovereign debt crisis. Mr Long assured Ms Sales that while the numbers for the bailout credit sound impressive, none of the money has been actually raised yet, nor does it anywhere near cover the liabilities of the shaky European economies. He put it well: "…this is still a live risk situation."

I cannot overestimate how much I enjoy this once weekly slot that Ms Sales brings us with the incomparable wisdom and sensibleness of Mr Long's analysis. And wow, over 4 minutes tonight, you greedy bastard, Stephen!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

STONEVILLE: "79 years ago one of the two major reasons I am here arrived, pink, chubby, and ineffably beautiful," Payton L. Inkletter relates joyously

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
13th May 2010

Thursday: Day three of being in the throes of a cold, thus explaining my miserable state.

I finally got through to the birthday girl, my Mum, who turns 79 today, and whose phone was hot by the time I got through, with an endless procession of wellwishers beating me to it. I was looking forward to going to dinner with her and sister Mary, and nieces Alice and Elizabeth, but I decided against it for two reasons: I dare not pass the cold on to Mum, and I am feeling rotten.

I spoke to my darling wife close to dark when she and her consanguineous family were near Busselton in the bush having refreshments. I warned her to beware the Busselton Tiger, with its well known predilection for soft Pommie female flesh, and is very active at dusk. Ah, absence does make the heart grow fonder…

I spent much of the evening in the Player recliner watching Aunty, with Cadbury asleep on my lap. She is a feline cherub, innocent, chubby, soft, smooth, and indescribably gorgeous. Yes, if we do give her to Jessi and her fiance, I will have to carry out my threat to leave a day before, after donning sackcloth and ashes, and, laden with milk powder, a can, and dates, wandering the hills for forty days, inconsolable, mixing the milk from puddles; if it doesn't rain, I'll use my tears.

Late evening I had a call from niece Alice, and we had a very mutually helpful long chat; she had just returned from the dinner with the birthday girl, her last living grandmother. Alice has been highly validating of me for decades, and it means a great deal to me.

Wow, let me commend Tony Jones, aka SilverToes, aka Tojo, for his sartorial splendour in his role as Lateline anchor tonight! He consistently dresses superbly, and consistently ditches the white shirt conservatism of most, and gets away with it very well. The photo here should prove my point.

The (Tony) SilverToes aka Tojo (Jones) Assay: His first interview was with Minister for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Small Business Craig Emerson, and it got robust fairly quickly and remained so. I give them both an even score, with Mr Jones getting a tad precious when Mr Emerson didn't answer the question asked from the outset, but while I note the valid frustration of journalists being thrown the non sequitur, almost a hundred per cent of politicians are doing it, so what else do we expect? If we the audience actually heard answers to the questions asked we'd probably all have coronaries on the spot.

And journalists are often as bad as their prey, the politicians, by asking loaded or damning questions, and Mr Jones asks plenty of these, as do most journos. Take this for example: Tony Jones: "Are you saying that they (every major mining company) are economically illiterate or simply that they're lying?" Well, odds strongly are, Mr Emerson was saying neither. So it’s a bit precious of journos to complain that they are not being given answers to their questions when so many of their questions are so loaded.

I'm not saying that journalists shouldn't ask such tricky and shock jock questions, for they can be a legitimate device to extract information or telling responses, such as the feather in the cap that Kerry O'Brien aka Kezza the Great won last night when he got Kevin Rudd throwing a moderate tantrum on The 7.30 Report; what I am saying is, don't get precious when politicians employ the non sequitur, particularly when you are a journalist with a track record of asking impossible, damning, or loaded questions. Better still, strive to be a journalist who remains good natured and uses wit and humour to expose the craftiness and evasion of the average politician, always. Easier said than done, I'm certain.

Anyway, thank you Mr Jones and Mr Emerson for a fast moving and very male contest.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

WOOLWICH DOCKYARD: "Stoke the fire with pringles!" P.L. Inkletter ordered. "One day we'll be off as a beagle to Darwin to study crocodile evolution...

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
11th May 2010

Tuesday: It shouldn't come as a surprise to the billions of daily readers of this blog that I was very late to bed, not long before sun up, and I was not a well boy when I finally succumbed to Mistress Nodette's embrace, with a painful throat explaining to me why I have felt so extra tired and unwell these last few days – I have a cold!

I curled up alone because Missus Inkletter left me last Saturday… – she will return on Saturday next; she is on her annual holiday with the pree Inkletter clan, comprising herself and brutha and farter. Sleep was disturbed by having to take white comforters several times during the 'night'. It wasn't more than a couple of hours before dark that I summoned the energy to arise and face the 'day'.

Celestial Kitty Cadbury appeared at the back glass door, bringing a ray of sunshine with her. She was ill last week to the point of worrying us deeply that she would waste away to just a spirit, but she is thriving again. I had her on my lap many times during the night, for hours, stroking her smoothest of fur, gazing into her pure little tabby face, the face of a cat angel. I didn't want to, but in the last two months since she appeared as a scrawny starving kitten I've fallen head over heels in love with her. I am very fond of cats, thus all the more painful the sacrifice not to have had one for over thirty years.

My last pet cat died in 1978, at 18 years of age (taking over from my sister Mary, whose pet she was first, until she left home), and I had a psychic connection with her, Almondblossom. For years, when I fell ill, she fell ill, to the day; four thousand miles away in far North Queensland I became very ill, and I learnt from Mum by letter a week later that she did also, on the very day, and I was at my worst three days in, and Almondblossom died that day.

I have felt so under the weather tonight that I stayed in front of Aunty and SBS (where a giant crocodile was dissected and studied) till late, then watched Letterman, all the time with Cadbury for company.

Lateline: The (Leigh) Sales Graph: An important day for our nation, Federal Budget Day. From Canberra Ms Sales interviewed the leftovers from Kezza the Great, who got the big gun, the Treasurer Wayne Swan, for his 7.30 Report interview.

Never mind, because Ms Sales veritably glowed, looking magnificent, proving that talent and intelligence can exist with beauty and elegance without compromising a kind soul; she wore a light grey jacket with a layered wheat blouse, no necklace, tiny earrings, gorgeous coiffured hair, falling loose and flared, and the most subtle effect make-up, being a perfect example of less being more, especially letting her incomparable eyes shine without competing with dark and heavy eye shadow, dark and  heavy eyeliner, nor dark and heavy mascara. The only thing that I would have changed is the shade of the blouse she wore, for it was dangerously close to skin tone, but the ruffles saved the day. Imagine the effect had her blouse been the very colour of Access Economics' Chris Richardson's tie, a pumpkin to burnt orange shade! It would have set her face and hair aglow the more. Of course, rags cost money, and Aunty would not provide a wardrobe stipend I'd bet my left testicle.

The two pollies Ms Sales interviewed one at a time were Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner and his shadow, Andrew Robb. Mr Tanner looked great in his dark jacket and lavender shirt, set off with a striped pink tie, his 19 strands of hair lovingly arranged back. Very few people know this, but he has named each strand of hair after former Labor Party leaders; and I understand one of them is called 'Keynes'. Mr Robb was equally smartly attired, with his dark jacket and white and grey striped shirt, set off with a striped rufous tie, and he looks so wise with his glasses. I think Mr Tanner would gladly scalp Mr Robb and slap it on his noggin if there were no immune response issues.

Both these men were highly predictable, but I do find Mr Tanner the more enjoyable fellow to listen to, in fact there are few in Canberra who match him; for example, compare a chat with Kevin Rudd with a chat with Lindsay Tanner: I rest my case!

I admire Mr Tanner's intelligent salesmanship for the Government, with lines like "I think I've said hundreds of times publicly that, to me, good policy is always good politics…"; whether Labor can claim to have a monopoly on good policy is highly debatable of course.

It was a nice moment when Ms Sales interjected with Mr Robb: Mr Robb: "Well, again, did they acknowledge that they took over an economy, they inherited an economy which was the best in the world?"

Leigh Sales: "I have heard them acknowledge that, actually."

Oh, by the way, poor old Phillip Lasker, in an introduction piece, looked like I do at the moment, in fact like I do most of the time – in need of a month's sleep.

Anyway, Ms Sales certainly made the Budget much more interesting than otherwise with her efforts in Canberra today.

I have not forgotten, nor will I ever, that my mother and I were one second from death or very serious injury on Sunday, when I was driving her to visit sister-daughter Mary in East Victoria Park late in the afternoon, when on Oats Street a car crossed in front of us through a stop sign at the 60 kmh limit, either not having seen the sign or not caring, I'm not sure which. Mum would have taken the impact in the passenger seat, and we would have been pushed into the other lane for a head on collision with oncoming traffic.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

SANTIAGO: But polysyndetonically speaking either 84 marlins and numberless sharks or many pelicans and several dolphins in theory could tow an iceberg

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
04th May 2010

Tuesday: Missus Inkletter and I enjoyed, as we always do, Aunty's First Tuesday Book Club; it is always the more interesting when the guest reviewers differ about a book, as there was a bit of tonight.

Lateline: The (Leigh) Sales Graph: Ms Sales interviewed
Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner, he resplendent in a dark suit white shirt combination, set off with a bold burgundy striped tie, his 19 strands of hair immaculately coiffed as usual, each one named, while she complementarily resplendent in a teal chiffon blouse and skin toned camisole, attractively flared loose falling hair, and tiny earrings being the total jewellery accompaniment. Two things were not quite perfect with Ms Sales' appearance however: skin toned cloth in the lower chest area is a no-no in my humble opinion for women in serious roles such as Lateline anchoring – both Whitney Fitzsimmons and Ali Moore seem to understand this rule very well, almost always utilising excellent contrasts to both skin and outer garments in the cleavage area; eyeliner and mascara that is too dark – some faces get away with it better than others: Ms Sales looks better when she adorns her lovely eyes with the most faint and pastel shades, including the eyeline. Her eye shadow was a nice light shade matching her blouse, but she could have done with a lighter eyeline.

Now for a tad on the interview: Lindsay Tanner is great to listen to when he's on his own: a straight talker, eloquent, sensible, down to earth. Nevertheless, he's still a political beast, and that instinct is always there, painting his party as God's gift to the nation somewhat.

Ms Sales did a good job of tackling Mr Tanner on Kevin Rudd's hyperbole and the toll it takes upon political credibility, and of course he ducked and weaved, most articulately, and proved himself a PR asset to his party, even though bullshit is still bullshit, even when buried beneath a rose bush.

I enjoyed Mr Tanner's description of Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey: "They're just giant bags of wind." While giving them a bit of a run for their money!

Monday, May 3, 2010

FRANCONIA: "All old men eventually fall off their perches, even mountain men," reflects a stony faced Payton L. Inkletter. "Respect gravity, possums!"

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
03rd May 2010

Monday: I took Bob swimming today, and he had a ball as usual.

I had spent all of (literally) the previous night finally getting The Dear Leader's hard drive setup with a reinstallation of Win XP, including the 80 Mb download for the antivirus program, which took about 5 hours with his dial-up connection! I now have my fingers crossed that fitting the hard drive back into his tower will result in a seamless operation, a working system as in my tower.

The (Leigh) Sales Graph: Ms Sales shone tonight in but a simple light grey sheen jacket, tiny single stone necklace and earrings, subtle effect make-up, and highly effective hairstyle, being loose falling but widely flared: magic. She had two separate interviews tonight, the first with Access Economics' Chris Richardson, to do a dissection of the Henry tax review, the second with Lance Price, a Pommie political commentator, writer, and journalist, to talk about Thursday's British election; both men were outfitted very similarly: dark grey suits, white shirts, and dark ties.

These interviews were informative and of good quality, even though Mr Price missed an opportunity to chide Prime Minister Gordon Brown for being so spineless after he was caught calling that woman voter a bigot; he should have stuck his ground rather than trying to sanitise reality. Too many politicians are bad publicity averse, and dance around the issues so much that they become mere shadows; they end up standing for nothing, or put the other way, standing for everything. I'm not saying that I necessarily agree that the woman was a bigot, but if Gordon Brown thought so, then politely but firmly hold your ground mate! You remind me too much of Kevin Rudd's penchant for fleeing from public controversy.

Ali Moore returned to front Lateline Business tonight after a many weeks' absence; she demonstrated from get-go that she has not forgotten how to dress brilliantly for her role, with a suberb black jacket scarlet blouse contrast. She missed an opportunity to be gracious, though, to acknowledge and thank Whitney Fitzsimmons for her time in the chair while she was away.

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