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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

ANGERS: "His work was a fat lot of good, sudsed up too, but I hold a candle to a colourful and long life of contrasts," says P.L.Inkletter sceptically

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
31st August 2010

Tuesday: I arrived at Guildford to take Bob swimming about half three, which was the best I could do; fortunately he is happy enough with the late starts, so long as he gets an outing.

It was wet – hurray! we need it badly – and so we skipped a walk, and arrived at the Swan Aquatic centre earlier than of late. We did still have our hot drink afterwards down at Fish Market Reserve, although the light rain conspired to keep us in the car, thus making it tricky to make the drinks and have Bob not spill his everywhere; it proved a success.

Earlier we called at Midland Gate shopping centre, because Bob wanted to buy a card for one of his brothers' birthdays coming up. We also visited the Woolies supermarket. On our way through the checkout with some groceries I noticed a film of blood from meat, almost certainly, on the surface by the till, and the checkout woman was sliding all my things very close to it, but somehow avoiding it. With half my things to go I remarked that there was blood there, in the vain hope that she would clean it up. With no response, rather than ask her to do her job, I said "I have a clean tissue, I'll just clean that up," and I leaned over and wiped what I could of it up, then walked over to a bin some yards away and disposed of it.

She remarked to the effect "You don't have to do that, I'll do that (or that's my job)," and proceeded to finish costing my things, take my money, and carry on oblivious. She wasn't a fifteen year old either, she must have been around thirty.

I am cursed with being too aware; so many are cursed with not being aware enough. I was noticed by a woman waiting in our queue, and I think she approved of what I did, I'm not certain, but if nothing else, I had made her chances of getting meat juices over whatever she was buying that bit lower.

I needed fuel on my way back after finishing with Bob, so I didn't make homefall till after half eight.

Janny kindly fed me, and with Cadbury on my lap I had high hopes, vainly, of staying conscious for the whole of Aunty's great lineup, but alas, I slipped in and out of slumber until Lateline: The (Leigh) Sales Graph: Leigh Sales had an author to interview tonight, a very welcome change from the oleaginous politicians that strut their stuff on the program. Ms Sales assured the politics junkies not to worry because Antony Green was lined up to answer her questions, and while he's superb, it's so nice to have a politician free evening now and then.

Ms Sales looked wonderful with very subtle effect makeup and convex flared hair style, with a simple dark jacket over a white shirt affair, demonstrating why women look so much more beautiful in men's clothing than men do, her only jewellery being smallish gold circle earrings.
Picture coming…
Antony Green looked snazzy in his dark jacket, fine crisscrossed lines on a light coloured shirt, and deep red with small light squares tie. What I've often wondered is how the human brain, being such a relatively small thing, can contain so much information about every electorate in Australia, down to how individual booths voted for the past thousand elections. It's got me baffled.
Picture coming…
I wonder what he says in his sleep? "Darling, there's just been an increase in the margin for lower province, I'm going down!" (Mum, if you ever read this, forgive me, but Janny made me say it.)

Now the big treat tonight was the fascinating interview with one of the most visually entertaining people I've ever seen on this program, Jake Adelstein, who matched Simon Schama for gesticulations, if not exceeded him, but in his own catching way. Mr Adelstein looked larger than life on-screen, casually attired in a dark jacket and dark open necked shirt, and responded charmingly and directly to Ms Sales' many questions.

A man who spoke as much with his upper limbs as with his mouth, Jake Adelstein was as interesting and entertaining as all get out, answering Leigh Sales' questions on LATELINE

The subject matter was deadly serious, the Yakuza of Japan, crime group members who are, disturbingly, seemingly tolerated publicly in Japan, and somewhat glorifed through freely available magazines.

Mr Adelstein threw fascinating light, from his viscerally personal experience with reporting on crime for the main Japanese twice daily newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, over 12 years. Ms Sales had obviously done her research, which always lifts the quality of what she can draw from her interlocutors.

Some of the subject matter he described was horrible: human trafficking and child pornography, and the disturbing fact that Japanese law does not make the possession of child pornography illegal.

Apart from some of the truly awful subject matter, the interview intoto was brilliant and memorable. Here was a fellow only too willing to tell it as it is, clearly, directly, and authentically. There was an understandable and sound respect towards Mr Adelstein shown by Ms Sales throughout.

A most memorable interview; thank you Leigh Sales, thank you Jake Adelstein.


Monday, August 30, 2010

SPRING GROVE: "A true alchemist whose life wasn't just one of halves," PLInkletter said, "his was the alpha and beta. Pity his split tummy was gammy."

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
30th August 2010

Monday: I drove to Melville in the early afternoon, and took Mum shopping here and there, getting those things done 'that never get done'. Of course, we began at Miss Maud's takeaway, and put away a roll each of her exquisite creations, each choosing the savoury spinach variety today.

There was a mildest of hint of disappointment in the background of our time together, mainly in the early stages, given a disagreement last week over the way to deal with a distant family member's dealings with me. I was expecting there would be some hint of dissonance, for we are all too human. Sad thing is, I'm the innocent party (I would say that wouldn't I?)

I didn't get back home till about six. I must have frightened little children and some adults with my right bloodshot eye, which has been spending more time shot through crimson than white these past many weeks.

Lateline: The (Leigh) Sales Graph: the long interview tonight was conducted between two remarkably well presented women, Leigh Sales and Julie Bishop, Deputy Opposition Leader. Ms Sales chose a most attractive grey jacket over a black blouse with large white wonky pokadots, super subtle-effect makeup, zero jewellery (not even earrings), and nicely convex flaring hair style. And she shone. Ms Bishop looked fabulous in her choice of coarse weave-effect jacket and brown blouse, with expensive looking jewellery – because doubtless it was – and, perhaps apart from her eye makeup, all was rather subtle-effect, with her shortish but effective hair style.

Leigh Sales shines without jewellery and minimilist effect makeup

Julie Bishop radiated, with the help of some high end fashion and precious stones
Nothing Ms Sales could ask or suggest or prompt, on the general subject of the negotiations still ongoing with the Independents with the view to forming Government, could get Ms Bishop to deviate from totally stock standard Australian adversarial polly style and polly speak, and thus she's still as boring and predictable as bat shit like the great majority of our politicians are.

However, Ms Bishop spoke in a polished way, demonstrating she has good oratorial skills, and she just may well be maturing somewhat from some of her petty 'how very dare you' performances in the past, and be growing into a reasonable politician. Be aware that it is one thing to present as a quality politician, and another to be a quality politician. I hope we are seeing the ongoing transformation into the latter in process with Ms Bishop.

Let me acknowledge one major strength in the Coalition that Ms Bishop spoke of, that leaves the Labor side for dead: "...we allow members to cross the floor without their being ramifications.

I mean, that is a stark contrast with the Labor Party that has this Stalinist approach to anybody who speaks out of caucus. They're not allowed to cross the floor, otherwise they get expelled from the party." Hear, hear!

Lateline Business got rather cute tonight, and one could be forgiven for thinking a beautifully attired-in-magenta Brigid Glanville 

What a simple way to spice up a business current affairs program: Brigid Glanville lets loose a bit of colour
was flirting with a dapperly done out Charlie Aitken from Southern Cross Equities, or was Charlie flirting with Brigid?:

Brigid Glanville: "You sound positively excited."

Charlie Aitken: "I am a bit excited. I'm doing well to contain myself."

Is Brigid Glanville positively exciting Charlie Aitken, and how well did he contain himself?


Friday, August 27, 2010

SPINETTA: "How would you define a definition?" Payton L. Inkletter wonders, adding "Much exactness of mind would help, as would working to a formula."

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
27th August 2010

Friday: I battled to turn my mind off this morning, when I had to tear myself away from the keyboard well after sunrise, when I was engrossed in writing a short story for a submission I'd like to make. And then there was the banter between Missus Inkletter and me on our respective pillows, so sleep took a little while…

Up at a bit after one, p.m. that is, and I went like the flipping clappers to prepare myself for taking Bob walking and swimming, leaving at three for Guildford. For those who might be doing the maths and scoffing, believe me, sadly, an hour and three quarters is rapid preparation for me.

Another day from paradise – except that we are dying of thirst in the middle of winter – and Bob was keen to walk before his swim. And so we were lured to the Ray Marshall Park to Reg Bond Reserve riverside walk, which I now understand is called the John George Walk Trail. Now talk about uncanny…:

Two days ago, on our umpteenth walk on this trail, for the first time we saw two women with the longest hair, loose hanging, going for a walk at the Reg Bond Reserve end at Viveash. I wrote about it a couple of days back on this blog. Well, today, a different pair of women were walking in the same vicinity, one with mid-back length hair loose, and the other with bottom length loose hair. This one I actually got to speak to in a pleasant and safe exchange. One of the two women two days ago had hair to below the back of her knees!

This I find interesting not only because very long hair on women in Australia is rare nowadays (who could blame them for not wanting all that work), and not only because I've encountered very long hair twice in two days on three different women in the same vicinity, but that a year ago I began writing in a female protagonist in my novel Venty Still with exceptionally long hair.

After the walk Bob did his laps at Swan Aquatic, and I finished my second reading of 'The Gathering' by Anne Enright. I am almost stunned by how well she has rendered this novel. I began immediately reading it a third time, unprecedented for me.

It was not till after eight when I got home, rather tired, and I must have looked a sight today with my right bloodshot eye; twice in the past two weeks it has been so, the first from a burst blood vessel, the second from a jab from a bamboo twig in the back yard yesterday. I don't know how many near misses of my pupil I've had over the years. And my poor right eye, it's always the right one, the gammy one.

Lateline: The (Leigh) Sales Graph: Poor Leigh Sales looked tired and older tonight, not helped by the limpness of her lovely hair, she didn't smile as much as she usually does, and had to suffer a pair of stock standard pollies for her longer interview. The only relief came when the world's leading expert on the Australian electorate and their penchants through the decades chatted with her about the current state of the Federal Election count, Antony Green. More power to the man for his knack with making it all interesting.

The long interview, on the challenges ahead in putting together a minority federal government, with the Opposition's Andrew Robb and Labor's Anthony Albanese had a highlight, or should I say lowlight, when Mr Robb spat his dummy somewhat nastily when he was upset with the time Mr Albanese had to spout his blurb, and what his blurb contained: "…just a diatribe of nonsense" according to Mr Robb. Whether that was true is not what concerns me at the moment, rather the hypocrisy and childishness writ large by the man, and that here again was the echo of the awful and singular bitterness this Opposition has been infected with these past three years since they were turfed out of office. Labor's not a lot better in their manners, but they are better mannered. Mind you, that's not necessarily saying much. I long for the type of governance and parliamentary conduct that the current Independents are adverting to. Oh, and Mr Robb obviously did not enjoy the veiled reference by Mr Albanese to the Godwin Grech affair of last year, which silhouetted the hypocrisy of this Opposition spokesman the more.

Ms Sales took Mr Robb's acerbic petulance in her stride, and told him to grow up in other words. What were those words?: "I think you've had plenty of opportunity in this interview so far. I'm giving you some further opportunity now." She didn't shrink, and it was maturity and confidence in action. Mr Robb proved that he is still part of the problem, rather than the solution with regard to improving the behaviour and performances of our elected representatives, by taking himself and his bunch too seriously.

Honestly Mr Robb and your ilk, do you think that every Australian voter is really a member of an undiscovered tribe from the highlands of New Guinea? The way you bucket EVERYTHING that the Rudd-Gillard Government did, and attribute EVERY positive that managed to sprout or linger during their reign as solely the result of the momentum of the Howard years is so puerile that I'm sure even you don't believe what you say. But even if you do, rest assured we punters don't. My word, we apparently were ruled by gods for twelve years, but weren't suitably grateful nor aware of it! You're as boring as bat shit (which is an unfair slur on bats).

And to any Labor politicians who suffer the same childishness of attitude, this same blinkered political view, this same claim to total goodness, this habit of laying total depravity upon the other side, I charge you with the same criticism and invite you all to grow up.

Go and hunt game in Africa, Mr Robb, blast some mammals brains out with lead, or whatever turns you on, to give your petty venom an outlet at a sanitary distance from we long suffering citizens of Australia. Oh, and take Michael Kroger with you.

And it was gracious of Ms Sales to finish with the mollifier: "Gentlemen, we're out of time. Thank you very much for coming in at the end of a busy week. I know everyone's tired." My sympathy goes to the woman for the crap she has to endure week in and week out from so many of her politician guests.
Today to my surprise a person visited my mildly hard to find (deliberately) – or should I say partially hidden? –  'A Travail of Two Brothers' site and spent 15 minutes there, being the only person to do so since its inception almost eight months ago. In Blogger's settings I have ticked 'No' to both 'Add your blog to our listings?' and 'Let search engines find your blog?'. I have an enormous amount to add to it when I get it written. I'm undecided as to whether I'll one day make it easier to find, or even harder to find.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

FOUNTAINBRIDGE: "Never say never again," advises Payton L. Inkletter, "unless shaking really does stir you too much, or Mum & Dad tell you otherwise."

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
25th August 2010

Wednesday: Did I speak yesterday of day night day blurring? Yes I did, and ditto for today. I was so involved with producing the latest blog entry that it was around 8 in the morning before I got to slip between the low thread count polycottons. I chatted to and annoyed Janny for a little while, then she got up and soon was off to her Dianella Spinning Group for the first time in quite a few weeks, due to the interposition of her break at Balingup and the assistance for a couple of weeks to The Dear Leader to prepare for his house inspection.

And so I dragged myself up when Janny returned at half one and went like a relative whirlwind (for me!) to get ready to take Bob swimming. I left about ten to three, almost a world record for me in recent years. I hadn't seen Bob for a week, and he was keen to go walking before his swim, and so we strolled the riverside from Woodbridge to Viveash for an hour and a bit. The temperature was cool, the day fine and sunny, and it felt like being in paradise.

Up at the Viveash end, at Reg Bond Reserve precisely, we saw two women walking with the longest of hair. The one had hair to her waist, while her walking partner had brunette hair to below the back of her knees. I was almost spellbound, given my adoration of long hair on women. Our paths didn't spontaneously cross in the two near encounters we had, but I wish they had, for I wanted to speak to them and share my admiration, as carefully and fragrantly as possible, lest they took it wrong. Bob was oblivious, but then he only has one eye…

I can only imagine the work the longer haired woman must have on a daily basis to care for her crowning glory, unless she has assistance.

At the pool at Swan Aquatic I finished my second reading of Anne Enright's The Gathering. This is possibly the only fiction book I've ever read twice, and definitely the only one I've read back to back. And I have a strong feeling that I'll read it a third time sometime. I have been swept away with Anne Enright's achievement with this book; her mastery of writing is magnificent, while her grasp of human relations and the human condition is strong. There is a magic in reading great literature, a transportation from the ordinary to the extraordinary, even when the subject matter happens to be ordinary.

I was pretty tired when I got back after 8 this evening, having got petrol and money on the way home. Janny fed me, bless her gorgeous self, and then I settled in with Cadbury asleep on my lap to watch Aunty all night before Letterman.

Lateline: The (Tony) SilverToes aka Tojo (Jones) Assay: Tony Jones never fails to look resplendent when he fronts the Lateline cameras, and while his grey tie on a white shirt within the ambit of his dark pinstriped suit was rather conservative for him, at least his tie had a sheen, and his shirt collar points were the long and attractive type.

Sartorially as resplendent as always, Tony Jones brought us interesting interviews with Senator Nick Xenophon and MHRs Adam Bandt and Bob Katter
 Mr Jones brought us two very interesting interviews tonight, the first by phone with Bob Katter, Independent MHR, the second with newly elected Greens MHR Adam Bandt and Independent Senator Nick Xenophon.

Nick Xenophon lends his support for a less partisan democratic model for Australia in his interview with Tony Jones
Adam Bandt kept some of his powder dry during his interview with Tony Jones
How refreshing to hear a new style of politics coming from politicians who are more interested in substance than spin. This new evenly balanced situation in federal parliament may prove to be the best thing to have happened to our nation politically in a very long time. I am buzzing with the presentation of the refreshing ideas to make our parliamentary government actually grow up substantially and work more effectively for the good of our people. I won't hold my breath that it will happen, or if it does, that it will last for long, but it is a very hopeful sign.

Is there anything more boring than listening to a diehard Labor or Liberal politician spruiking themselves and gutsaching about the other side? What an invigorating change to have the likes of Katter, Windsor, Oakeshott, Xenophon, and even Bandt (I say 'even' only because he is beholden nevertheless to a highly ideological party, the Greens) speaking to us about lifting standards of governance. And the contrast is driven home when on the same night we see on the news the old school style still entrenched by the likes of Gillard and Abbott. I think Julia Gillard has more credibility than Tony Abbott when she indicates that she is prepared to try a new and more mature style, but then only eating the pudding will tell.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

NEW HYDE PARK: "Not one to take it lying down, he helped over 5 million families lie down," PLInkletter said, joining Madam Nodette on the convertible

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
24th August 2010

Tuesday: Another day night day blur… Anyway, that's nothing unusual around these parts.

I spent much of the evening with Cadbury asleep on my lap, while I watched Aunty's fabulous lineup. I was struck by Kerry O'Brien's attire tonight, the anchor of The 7.30 Report. What do you think?

Kerry O'Brien made his attire choices well tonight, proving he's still a chick magnet
It was a privilege again to listen to Ayaan Hirsi Ali chatting with Jennifer Byrne on Jennifer Byrne Presents. I say 'again', referring to the recent interview she had with Leigh Sales on Lateline.

Speaking of which: The (Leigh) Sales Graph: Ms Sales looked very good with her attire choices tonight, with the green blouse contrasting excellently with both her skin and jacket, and her understated and subtle-effect makeup worked superbly with her tiny earrings and lovely convex flaring hair style.

Little wonder Leigh Sales glowed tonight, with two excellent interviews lined up with a couple of Aussie blokes who know how to excite a lass interested in politics
Ms Sales treated us to two excellent interviews tonight, on the pertinent topic of how the soon to be formed post-election Federal Government could be structured and run successfully. I almost choked on my cocoa watching the news earlier tonight seeing Tony Abbott hypocritically suggest that Parliament could become a kinder more sensible place; what a sad sight to have one of the greatest causes of nastiness in our House on the hill claiming he can fix it. Her first long interview guest was current Tasmanian Labor Premier David Bartlett, who looked great in his dark suit and self striped white shirt, set off well with a fandango tie. I did not know he wore a ring on his right thumb (one of those health copper thingies perhaps?)

A politician who sounded less like your average Australian politician, David Bartlett was a pleasure to listen to. Is that a ring on his thumb?
Ms Sales began with a provocative question regarding the selling of Mr Bartlett's soul (his own words earlier this year) to form government in league with the Greens. He laughed it off, and went on to give a refreshingly uplifting description of what his Government does to make his minority government work, and how it could work for us federally. For a party politician, he was relatively an inspiration to listen to.

Next came the cream on the cake, a long interview on the same subject with former NSW Opposition Leader John Brogden. I don't recall what he was like when he was in politics, but he was just wonderful to listen to five years out from his departure from parliament. Mr Brogden also looked great in a dark suit and pale blue shirt combo set off nicely yet conservatively (surprise surprise, being a Liberal Party member) with a (paradoxically) red tie with stripes; it would have looked better with a wide knot.

Watch this fellow! He talked such pleasant sense concerning the new challenge for our federal politicians to govern our nation in a more cooperative manner, and struck a chord a half with the anchor of LATELINE, Leigh Sales
If only our party politicians were as pleasant and stable and non-hysterical as this fellow (Mr Bartlett came close), Mr Brogden gave excellent accounts of the challenges ahead for our federal politicians as they grapple with their emasculation in terms of majority rule margins, and I especially appreciated his appraisals of the three currently elected independents. Every aspect of governance he spoke about was very well considered and sensible. We need the likes of this fellow at the very top (Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott as well. Did you see Tony Windsor's fine performance on Tony Jones' Q&A Monday night?!)

Now if you haven't seen tonight's LATELINE interview, then please visit the ABC's website and watch it, and see if you don't agree that Ms Sales and Mr Brogden should be grateful they were obviously not alone in the studio at Ultimo, for their rapport was palpable and began to encroach on dangerous ground! Alone, anything could have happened! Their spouses should make sure they're each present in the studio for any future interviews.

Are we witnessing the melting of a disciplined stalwart of current affairs – Leigh Sales – under the charms of of a former NSW Opposition Leader – John Brogden?
Yes, I hear the opinions that they would make beautiful children together, but hey, this is the ABC!

I take my hat off to John Brogden: his was one of the most subtle charm offensives I've witnessed, winning Leigh Sales with propriety of all things!
I've had some unwelcome stress to deal with these past many days, coming from the antics of a 'distant' family member, who is harassing me and pressuring me, and also through another family member, to pander to his dysfunction. Whew! Ignorance for some is bliss. And it is amazing how one can be made to feel responsible for the shortcomings of the perpetrator. When this situation flares, as it does periodically, it disturbs my equilibrium. I stop listening to music, I alter my behaviour in curious ways, in a somewhat unconscious attempt to cope better or whatever it is. Maybe the stopping listening to my uplifting music, which is not a good thing to do, attunes my behaviour to my mood?

The Blogger troubles I've been having have exacerbated my unease. I spent countless (literally) hours trying to make the stupid piece of online software do a reasonable job back in 2007 when I first joined blogspot, and here in 2010 it still is a misbehaving and capricious beast. The time I've wasted and still have consumed doing simple posts is time that I can't spend writing, which I'd far prefer to do.

Thank God for my wee small hours' walks, usually around 3 a.m., to help clear my head and heart, and remind me of my many blessings.

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