Monday, November 26, 2007

Reasons to be cheerful - post-election series, installment #1

1. Articles like this, make for very happy reading (shahd-n-froi-duh, huh).

A humiliated Karen Chijoff said her husband had left their home and she was no longer speaking to him [...] Another of Mr Howard's closest allies said the Prime Minister was the key problem. "The PM, they were just so over him. He looked old, they were sick of him," he said. "We could just see Howard couldn't win, and I could see that by March."

2. A deliberately barren Deputy PM!

3. Howard won't be appointing the next High Court judge.

4. Certain cretins certain to be removed from the ABC Board.

5. Everything Paul says here (love you Paul).

6. Bye bye Broughy, you really were a very dim operator. My favourite example, your refusal to consider sensible amendments to your NT Emergency Response legislation because you didn't like "complicated processes or amendments to Bills".

7. International headlines such as "Bush loses a friend in Australia"

*Contented sigh*

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

For any undecided nit-picking voters out there...

From the Liberal Party's policies web page, here's all you need to know in order to decide who to vote for:

Can't even spell Tasmania. What a scandal.

They'd better hope the electors of Braddon and Bass are reasonably open-minded and forgiving types.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Keeping busy

Two things I have decided are ‘not ok in the workplace’ and which I will be raising with Lindsay Tanner and his razor-gang as suitable targets in his planned shake-up of the public-service:

1. Complete strangers (normally in the lift - captive audience, you see) asking “how are you going today?” soley for the purposes of eliciting the polite reciprocation of that question (ie, “fine thanks, how are you?”) so that they can go on and on AND ON at length about their dodgy leg/ankles/heart/frontal lobe.

Not cool!

2. The pairing of a purple skirt-suit and beige crocs (with beige stockings!).

Not cool!

(Not me!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Heaven07 – my election-themed biking adventure

I guess it is the modern equivalent of the slide-show - foisting my holiday snaps on my unsuspecting readers.
But in this instance, you can simply click yourself away to another exciting intertubes destination. Unlike the slide-shows I remember, which always seem to involve locked doors and hours of lost time...

Anyway, on with the show eh?
As Antony Green tells us, the electorate of Eden-Monaro, currently held by Gary Nairn for the Libs by 3.3% is a varied electorate covering 37,619 in the south-east corner of NSW. It includes the fishing, holiday and retirement towns of Narooma and Bermagui, rich agricultural areas around Bega, logging towns around Eden and Bombala, Cooma and the NSW snowfields, Queanbeyan and the Canberra overflow, as well as Tumut and Tumburumba in the the upper reaches of the Murrumbidgee and Murray Rivers. It is also famous for being the classic 'litmus test' seat, Eden-Monaro has fallen to the party that won government at every election since 1972.

But what Antony doesn’t mention are the rich road-based delights it has to offer for the two-wheeled voter. The other week I spent a cumulative three days exploring the best and worst of riding in this ‘litmus test’ seat.
Here's day one:

Started off with a very easy run down to Bateman’s Bay. The run from BB to Bega was in all honesty some of the suckiest riding I’ve ever done. The scenery is pretty magnificent, but in terms of riding, it absolutely sucked balls.

Apart from lacking anything really interesting in riding terms, it was packed out with caravans, there were road works every 15 minutes (no one likes sitting in full gear on a 30 degree day in the sun for 30 minutes) and the wind was pure arse-suckery.

Not only was it pushing me regularly onto the wrong side of the road, it almost pushed me off a few times around corners and was blowing grit and leaves into my eyes. Not fun.

So blind, drenched in sweat and physically exhausted from clinging to the bike for 2 hours I collapsed down next to the bike in Bega. Lo and behold, I’d picked up a hitch-hiker in the form of a fairly reasonably sized stick, wedged into my rear suspension and gouging a groove into my rear tyre.

I still can’t believe I hadn’t felt or heard anything. Perhaps if the wind wasn’t howling like a banshee in my helmet I may have heard some kind of rubbing or vibration noise. Who knows how long it had been there.

With the riding being so annoying from then on I lowered my expectations and reverted to sight-seeing mode, which was probably not a bad idea as that part of NSW is exceedingly pretty.

All the beaches seemed to have tropical blue water and with recent rains, the green countryside was a sight for sore eyes in comparison to the brown and grey barren hills around Canberra.

So I started taking little detours and just took it a bit easy and enjoyed myself a lot more.

A friend had recommended I stay overnight in Mallacoota. I previously had no awareness of this part of Victoria, but I recommend it to anyone. A real wildnernessy feeling about it, and for most of the time I spent on the roads after Eden, I barely saw a soul. None of the towns feel overtly touristy and the roads are in very good condition.

The next morning I got away nice and early determined to have a better time of it riding-wise.

Here's day 2:

I was soon at Cann River and the Cann Valley Highway lay before me.

I have found the key to my soul.

Those 80-odd kilometres of pure zen sweepers are the new Buddhism.

Fwoar. The sight-lines go on forever. The road surface is sublime. The scenery is amazing and I probably only saw 2 or 3 other cars.


From then on, things did get a bit slabby and boring (also, riding behind timber trucks sure does suck, with all the splinters and crap blowing up into the helmet and into my eyes). However, all too soon I was back in Canberra and my first ever solo overnight bike adventure was at an end.

I couldn’t stay off the bike for long though, and a day later I was back on the Monaro Highway heading for Cooma, Jindabyne and beyond:

Yes, that is snow.

My first trip down into the snowies and omgwtfbbq! The roads are amazing! Shame I already used up my Buddhism analogy.

Whilst I didn’t have nearly enough time down there, I’d have to say those roads have a few Ben Cousins-like features – easy on the eye, high-performing and somewhat addictive! I spent most of my time on the road out to Khancoban and even though I’d done my planned trip out there once, I got back to Thredbo and had to turn around and do it again!

This meant I got home quite late and was aching all over, but I didn’t care.

I spent most of that evening with a silly looking grin on my face. I don’t know what it was but during that ride everything seemed to click and I was finding myself nailing corners in a way I don’t usually manage on a consistent basis – especially not unfamiliar downhill hairpins!

I’m in no way the world’s best rider, but it felt like easily my best ever riding.

But sigh, back to reality now. All I can do is start planning the next ride!

Things to do differently next time:

  • Blow up the Monaro between Canberra and Cooma
  • Brown Mountain and Mt Darragh Rd
  • Allow myself an overnight stay in the snowies and get all the way around the loop up to Kiandra and Adaminaby.
  • Get hard luggage so I don’t have to lug a tank bag everywhere each time I get off the bike
  • Avoid buying petrol in Thredbo - $1.55 per litre? Get fugged.

Monday, November 12, 2007

C'mon Matt, take off your jacket... we can play another game of Idol spot-the-difference!

This time between Kisschasy's Spray-on Pants zombies, and your outfit last night!

But no, you had to ruin it didn't you, with that anoraky thingy. But I know you had a stripey t-shirt on underneath. Corr, what a good blog-post that would have made...

And yes, this was the most exciting thing to come out of last night's episode, thanks very much.

PS All credit to the LovelyWife for the cross-cultural observations in this post...

Friday, November 09, 2007

Memo to world's biggest loser:

SHUT UP you insufferable disaster!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Four on the floor

Dear Australian Idol,

Whilst this final four does come across as a bit of a joke, I want you to know it is NOT FUNNY ANYMORE.

But, I am prepared to be patient. I just know that any minute now, the real finalists are going to jump out from behind the couch and surprise us all. You know, the finalists who can sing and who are at least partly interesting...

Let's face it, 25% of your final four comprises a one-man tribute band to Michael Buble (who himself, is pretty much a one-man tribute band to original artists - so Carl, you are doubly unoriginal), and as we all know, tribute bands belong at the Revesby Workers Club or the Epping Hotel, and not on national telly!

Quite frankly, I preferred your earlier attempts at humour.

And could you please pass a message on to the work experience hair and make-up TAFE students 'Confidence team' stylists - having the filthiest of the finalists shower in the kitchen sink is likely to score you an 'F' on your final TAFE exam exceedingly inadequate.

The caption reads "Marty skips the shower and gives his hair a quick rinse".

But perhaps that just fits in with this year's theme - 'Australian Idol 2007 - really quite disappointing'.

Yours sincerely

Previously gruntled viewer