A blog of grumpiness, stilts and skin.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Grump lives!

In case there's any confusion, I am not one of Hazel's pseudonyms.

Dictionary definition of the word drastic

I saw three police fining people for jaywalking across a Northbridge traffic intersection this afternoon.

Zero tolerance? Or nothing better to do?

Occidental tourist

Here's the windy old city of Perth -

the most Westerly city on earth.

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'til I hitched a ride on the Riverboat Queen

I caught the ferry to South Perth today, just for the hell of it.

Although the journey lasts only 10 minutes, there's always something exciting about a boat trip.

As the little catamaran skimmed up to the Perth foreshore, and the hullaballoo of the assembled kiddies, pensioners, tourists and malcontents reached a crescendo, you'd be forgiven for thinking the QEII was pulling into port.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Game, set, match, championship.

Did you catch the final of the Australian Open tennis?

What emotion!

How could anyone help but like that cheeky little Baghdatis and his exhuberant Cyprian ways?

And Federer. What a star. And his acceptance speech. I wonder what about the little old Aussie Open got him all choked up like that? Surely not just the presence of mighty Rod Laver?

Not to downplay Roger's seven grand slam titles to date, but, tennis fans, don't you think it weird that nobody ever emerges as a clear No. 2 to challenge his dominance?

Just as Microsoft has its Apple and British Airways its Virgin, Borg had his McEnroe and Sampras his Agassi.

Despite having won a couple of slams each, Saffin, Roddick and Lleyton show no signs of emerging as Roger's nemesis.

But history, and Star Wars, show somebody will.

When will the worthy adversary emerge? And does he carry a Cyprian passport?

Sliding cat doors

Prodigal Pounce! darted under the house again this morning.

The recovery operation meant that, despite curTAILing our breakfasts and showers, Hazel and I left home 2 minutes later than usual.

It's interesting what that 2 minute delay means. It means you miss the 7am traffic lull, which means you have to queue 3 minutes longer for your morning mocha, which means you miss the shuttle bus from Northbridge and arrive at work 12 minutes late.

Which goes to prove that time is not a constant. Or, in Einsteinian terms, Entry=Mocha x Cat squared.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Grumpy lips sink ships

Hazel informs me I inadvertently outed one of our contributors recently.

Not outed their real name, mind you, but the name Hazel calls them on her site(!)

Anyway, the slighted contributor knows who (s)he is, and can rest assured that I have just fixed the oversight.

Don't bother touting.
Don't bother shouting.
If you wanna be outed,
use Grumpy Outing.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Old man on the front porch, and that old man is me.

Hazel and I live next door to a nosey old fellow.

Nosey, but nice.

For argument's sake, I'll call him 'Wilson'.

He's one of our street allies. And a handy ally at that, as he's occupied the house next door since 1806, and one bad word from him could sully your name around Fremantle for decades.

The Cattleman and Lasso on the other hand have never been in Wilson's good books, because what they fail to understand is that with oldies (as with Grumpies) you need to put in the time.

Anyway, yesterday afternoon as Lasso scooted past Wilson's front fence, head down and hoping not to stir him on her walk home from the local shops, his super sonar solar radar must've been switched on, because he careered out his front door, coughing: "Lasso!"

Lasso pretended not to hear him, but Wilson would not be denied. "Lasso!" he barked with greater intensity.

"Oh, heeellooooo, Wilson," Lasso sang all girly-like, her beady eyes pointed skyward and Bali Reeboks skidding to a stop. "Lovely arvo".

"Yes, yes it is, Lasso, now about this Peter Gabriel."

"Oh," said Lasso, knowing the jig was up. "I hope our little soirees haven't been too-ooo loud. We're ever so popular."

"Look," Wilson replied. "It's not the volume I object to. But, by Christ, that CD's generic. Just once in a while would it kill you to play some music from this millennium?"

The day after

Yesterday was Australia Day.

And today, a girl on a bus with a hickey on her neck spoke for 8 million seedy Aussies:

"I am so not up for work today."

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Old York

Hazel took this top shot of York today.

The town is only 100 km east of Perth, but feels 100 years away.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Sunset clause

As the Chinese landscape architect reflected once or twice during a slideshow of his best work to a disinterested herd of Queensland University town planning undergraduates: "Aah, my picture".


Werewolf! There wolf.

I saw Dave Faulkner puffing on a Camel durry,
doing the rock stars of Northbridge.
He had a street directory but he wasn't in a hurry -
maybe mapping out a visit to Horeshoe Bridge.

Wa-oo! Rock stars of Northbridge.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Mini Grump

Normally Perth gets next to no summer rain. But it sure is bucketing down tonight.

And Pounce! just experienced her first thunder clap.

It sent her skittling under the couch 15 minutes ago, and we haven't seen hide nor hair of her since.

I expect she'll emerge grey, bald or both.

And that will make two of us.


Old man emu

I see Colonel Sanders has succeeded where a phalanx of four star generals has failed.

Yes, his eleven secret herbs and spices have infiltrated the hardline Arab state of Syria.

Nice timing too, with bird flu lurking just over the Syria-Turkey border.

"No" means "absolutely not"

Never trust anyone who says, "absolutely!".

But if, like me, you're a basically trustworthy person who occasionally slips into such corporate babble and you want to change your ways, what are the alternatives?

Here at Grumpy Lingo, we're glad you asked.

Well, there's "Indeed". No, that's too Dr Smith from Lost in Space.

"Affirmative"?. Too robot from Lost in Space.

"Certainly"?. Too Stan Laurel.

"Yeah, verily"? Too biblical.

What about "yes"? Yes, I think "yes" will do nicely.

Map of the mud

Come February, I'll have been out of the civil service for three years.

Can somebody from within tell me if the term "mud map" still scores in buzzword bingo?

Or has it been eclipsed by George Bush's "road map"?

Or is there now some kind of "triple bottom line, thinking outside the square, kind of aspirational map"?

Monday, January 23, 2006

Solitaire is the only game in town

(Except when Laverne and Shirley drop around).

It could be worse

While I can't say I'm overly enamoured with the nickname Grumpy (bestowed I might add by my supposedly loving wife), it does have some redeeming features.

Like being linked to such fine franchises as Grumpy's Bar and Grill, the Grump online solitaire game, and the Grumpy Old Men and Grumpy Old Women TV series.

And I don't recall Filthy, Crabby or Stinky ever making it into Snow White's First VII.

Forrest Grump

Another outrageous coincidence, this time concerning the old-timer who last week told me about the 1961 bushfires that burnt his home town down.

On Saturday afternoon, Hazel and I drove down south to attend a reunion of the erstwhile town. It was a serene afternoon spent with good country people.

By Sunday morning the national park surrounding the former townsite was closed to visitors, because some feral had lit a bushfire there. According to this morning's news, the bushfire still rages.

Hazel reckons all arsonists should be summarily jailed. And I agree.

Sign of the times

A close associate of Prince Leonard's just emailed to inform me his (the associate's, not Prince Leonard's) wife's family has been running Photo Hendriks for over 35 years.

Goes to show that the more Google grows, the more the world shrinks.

The original Mr Hendriks died about 20 years ago, and the shop is now run by the founder's eldest son.

I reckon the Hendriks sign is one of the best around town, and I congratulate the family for keeping it in such good nick. If you live in Perth and need a top notch pic taken, you could do worse than drop by their Victoria Park shop for a quote.

Just tell 'em Grumpy sent ya.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Perhaps unless the billboards fall

Here's a photo of my favourite tree - the Bunya Pine. Or five of them to be precise.

They're natives of their eponymous Bunya Mountains in Southeast Queensland, and also occur much farther north on the fringes of rainforest around Cairns. But in this pic' they're growing nicely in Pinjarra, Western Australia.

I planted my first Bunya in 1979, and had the school janitor not rolled over it with his ride-on mower, the tree would be about twelve foot high now - which goes to show how old the beauties pictured here must be.

The Bunya Pine, Araucaria Bidwilli, as I have long regaled poor Hazel, is not actually a pine at all, but a conifer. It's closely related to, and looks very much like, the Monkey Puzzle tree of Southern Chile, a mighty ocean away.

Every few years for god knows how many millennia, when the trees sprouted a good feed of nuts, the Aboriginal (Murri) peoples from all over Southeast Queensland - even those from Fraser and Stradbroke Islands - used to converge on the Bunya Mountains for a Bunya fest.

I once frazzled some Bunya nuts up myself, but can't say I was overly fond of them. They're obviously an acquired taste.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Warm welcome

An old-timer this afternoon told me about the bushfires that occurred about 120 miles south of here in 1961.

One Friday night that January he was at the movies when an old-style public service announcement flashed across the screen: 'THESE FIRES ARE GETTING HEAVY, MAN. IT WOULD BE BAD KARMA NOT TO, LIKE,VOLUNTEER NOW!!'

If an announcement like that ever interrupts my viewing of King Kong, my lame-arsed carcass will be shimmying onto the first available red-eye back east.

But, as teenagers did back in the day, the then young-timer and his two brothers drove straight home so they could get up early on Saturday to confront the flames.

At one stage during the ensuing fire fight his brothers got cornered, and had to climb down a well, where they waited for three hours while the flames passed overhead.

On the young-timer's third day with only cat-naps for rest, he fell asleep on his feet while building a firebreak. One of his fire-fighting comrades booted him in the ribs, and he didn't fall asleep again.

That is until the flames were finally under control and he was driving home and, nodding off at the wheel, he careered into a ditch. Somehow he managed to extract his jalopy from the roadside.

When he arrived home, he found that his house, town, and the timber mill he had worked in, had been obliterated.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Wax on, wax off

I've just returned from my lunchtime stroll to the wide, brackish Swan.

I like it down there by the bell tower. It's always sunny and salty and, because the tower is a white elephant, empty.

Anyhow, on the way down there, I saw a mob about to stoke up a game of that new thing the kids are playing that's kinda like touch football, but with a frisbee. I think it's called 'extreme disk' or something equally as rad.

And yes, I'd like to give it a go. But it took me 23 years to learn how to play touch footy properly, so they can get knotted.

As I passed by, some guy - let's call him Mitch - yelled out to another on the opposing side, "Hey, Squidring, take Jenny under your wing will ya, and show her how to throw properly?"

Mitch then hurled the frisbee at Jenny, who nabbed it with her left hand and flung it 25 metres onto the chest of a player in space, who flicked the disk to another behind the tryline for a score.

Jenny-san learn quickly.

I know nothing, nothing!

Hazel and I were running a little late for work this morning.

Consequently, I had a very cursory shave.

As a result, I've just noticed I have a bit of Hitler action on my filtrum.

"Heavens to Purgatroyd!"

That last title got me thinking about good ol' Snagglepuss and what his catchphrase, "Heavens to Murgatroyd", actually means.

Any takers?

I'd like to take this opportunity to exit stage left.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ever wondered what purgatory sounds like?

Just dust off that Peter Gabriel record, turn the hi fi up to 11, and let it rip!


Congratulations to new Golden Glober, Hugh Laurie. Laurie's in da House, man.

Unfortunately his success means the Oscars are just around the corner. And that means Hazel is already furtively planning her annual Oscars bash.

She kindly arranged southern Perth's night of nights to be held at The Burp's home last year. Kindly for me, that is. My condolences to Burp.

But, even with the sun yet to rise on the Golden Globe after party, I sense a return of glam and glitter is on the cards for our little den.

(Women in plastic tiaras sip champagne with submerged strawberries.)

It's around this time every year that discussion in our home turns to getting a larger house. Preferably one with a soundproof bunker.

Miss free love

On my walk into the city this morning, I noticed that the XXX dominatron that sports the blue crosses on her plastic dress doesn't have a head.

Just a plastic surgical mask strapped to her sawn-off neck.

Now that's kinky.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Hello, Mr Hendriks, what’s hap’nin’ up there?
The sign on your shop front is most debonair.
Perhaps as I stand here enjoying the view,
you’re flashing at me while I photograph you.


I just never understood, how a man who blogged for good ...

Hazel has certainly let the Pounce! out of the bag. It is indeed my birthday, and for the next eleven months I'll only be 1 year younger than she.

My sister, Simhead, just called and her 4-year-old son, The Chosen One, sang me an impromptu 'happy birthday', complete with hip-hips, and hoorays. It was very, very, sweet.

My oldies had buzzed me 30 minutes earlier, and before I could say 'hello' they launched into the same song. They're wonderful at that age.

Oh, Gymnasium!

I dunno what about that table at Kosta's cafe attracts lookalikes of minor Australian rock celebrities of the 1980s, but Stephen Cummings from The Sports had taken the place of Hoodoo Gurus front-man Dave Faulkner today.

Stephen was looking pretty fit too.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Silo man

Yesterday, after I'd come home from bird-watching, Hazel and I joined her parents - Bezley and Bloody Ern - for a coffee down at Rockingham, where this snap of Australia's largest wheat silo was taken.

Rockingham's called Little Britain because at the last national census a third of its population was born in Britain.

After coffee, Haze and I went for a dip in the briney, because the day was warm.

Didn't stay in for long though, 'cause the water temperature was only fit for a third of the locals.

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You caught Bec' on the Rebound, Ace.

It looks like Llittle Lleyton Hewitt is again whining about the Melbourne Park playing surface. Apparently it's too slow, and likely to damage his precious knees.

This posting by Poet Floreat, and Grumplestiltskin Inc. sports correspondent, Superfreo!, is now a year old - but it's as true today is it was the drunken night he wrote it.

Value proposition

Open seven 'til eleven.
That's Pharmacy Triple Seven.



During my walk into the city this morning I chanced to spy the display window of a XXX shop.

Inside were two female mannequins - one dressed in a short, tight, plastic, nurse's outfit emblazoned with Red Cross logos. The other bulged out of a similar outfit, only with blue crosses. Clearly this is the porn world's attempt at compromise over the red cross/red crescent standoff that's been hampering the access of medicos to the Golan Heights.

The mannequins were, it must be said, pretty saucy. And I considered buying a nurse's outfit for my latex doll back home. I haven't taken him out dancing much of late, you see.

However, what turned me off the idea was the plastic surgical masks the mute ladies were wearing. At the centre of each mask was a big red (or blue) cross - assumedly to signify, "no talk, action only".

Crosses aside, I find all masks spooky.

Still, I suppose the display coulda been worse. It could have included a mannequin of the matron from A Country Practice.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Swimming in Sydney Harbour ...

This morning I went bird watching for the first time.

Yep, I'm getting old.

I also love birds, and I thought I knew a lot about them.

But I don't.

Luckily the four oldies who out-tramped me over the hills and dales of Bold Park - where Perth city meets the sea - know their birds.

But, by crikey, they can natter. As a couple of galahs (which I do know about) started squawking high up in a Marri tree, I enquired of my companions: "Isn't that a strange noise for a pink and grey to make?"

"Na," said one of the greying warblers, slightly irritated at being interrupted from relaying her recipe for coconut ice, "they're probably just breeding". And back to her reverie of pink and grey confectionary she returned.

At that very moment I spotted some kind of winged raptor lope out of the Marri tree.

"What's that?!" I pointed.

But the oldies had missed it. "Probably just a galah," they reassured me.

I know a galah when I see one, and this was no galah. So I made a note of the faraway tree the bird had glided into. When we eventually reached the tree, I said: "Oh, looky up yonder. If my binoculars do not deceive me, that's some kind of prey-bird."

"Oh, yes, Grumpy! I do believe you're right, cooed the team leader. It's a 'small eagle'. Don't see too many of those around here. Bird of the day!"

Not quite man of the match, but I'll take what I can get.


Saturday, January 14, 2006

Luau time

On Thursday night I went to a corporate 'sundowner' overlooking City Beach.

I don't know if they call a late afternoon beer by the sea a 'sundowner' in your neck of the woods (they never used to in Brisbane), but that's what it's called in Western Australia.

Although it was drizzling, and there was no sundown to behold, the sand at City Beach was golden and the sea was as still as ice. And I got chatting to some very interesting people.

But plastered to the back of my mind all night was the image of a bar I'd walked past in the city earlier that day which advertised itself as a venue for, "work dos, break-ups and sundowners". All well and good, except that the seedy joint was underground!

Which in turn got me reminiscing about the South Pacific Rugby Club back in Canberra. It too was underground, and not a natural ray of UV had ever penetrated to sterilise the club's sticky carpet. To the naked eye, it was as un-South Pacific a den as ever existed. Especially since Canberra in 250 klicks from the coast. And cold: in more ways than one.

However, the ol' South Pacific was known all over town for its warm Polynesian welcome. And it did attract plenty of south sea sisters and brothers, as well as the odd interloper like me. So it must have been doing something right.

And the bunker location made it an excellent place to catch the first hour of the cricket without your boss walking by.

Friday, January 13, 2006

She's no oil painting*

*most puss pictures on this site courtesy Hazelblackerry Productions Inc.


Whistling Dixie

Freo was buzzing at lunch time.

Even so, I managed to nab a free car park, and my favourite seat at The Roundhouse.

The Roundhouse staff are none too friendly or efficient, and I think there was sand in my risotto.

But I do like to sit at my table hoping Tim Winton will some day join me for a latte.

Unfortunately, like a young Lester Bowie blowing his horn out the window so Louis Armstrong might hear, the great man never drops by.

It must be the risotto.


Still here

Did I ever mention I'm a tight-bum?

But with that comes being meticulous recycling and composting skills

Some may even call me anal. And I guess that's where the term 'tight bum' comes from.

But I'm going in circles here.

Perfectly round, never-ending, infuriating circles.

Did I ever mention I'm a tight-bum?

Anyway, the reason I'm letting you in on my little ways is that the decision whether to shut down the computer and save the 40 cent dial-up reconnection fee is delaying my egress into the world. And therefore my collection of blog fodder.

I think I will leave the connection open.

But then I'll have to leave the power on.

Damn it!

Galloping apath

I'm supposed to be working from home today, but nothing's getting done.

The sum total of my existence has been to wake up and drive Hazel to the bus stop, scoop some poop nuggets from Pounce!'s litter tray into a garden bed, and give kitten caboodle an airing in the backyard - during which I plucked some dead fronds from a cordyline plant.

Cordylion was, in fact, one of the shortlisted names for Pounce! in the days before we finally decided to call her "Pounce!". This because beneath the cordeline is her favourite place to poo.

54]]456;/''''''''''''''''' - that was just her jumping on the keyboard. In fact she's probably lohjjjjjjjjjjjuoking for a place to poo now.

No, I do her a disservice - she's just flopped down on the desk between me and the laptop.

So as you can see, not having walked through Northbridge this morning, I have nothing much to report.

Think I'll take a spin down to the Fremantle cappucino strip to see what nuggets I can dig up for you there.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Vic PaRk

Even though I have now turned eighteen,
I will not exchange books site unseen.
The giving’s okay.
But receiving, no way!
You just never know where that book’s been.


Only in dreams

Poor Hazel has been missing Pounce! this morning.

Because the rambunctious rapscallion is still only little, Hazel and I have to keep her inside all day while we're at work.

I just called Hazel to ask if this weekend she'd like me to set up a web cam at home, so the whole world will be able to keep an eye on our little kitten while we're both toiling at the office.

"Ye-yessss," came the reply.

In your dreams, Hazel.

Say goodbye

No al fresco Dave Faulkner in Northbridge this morning.

In fact it isn't a very al fresco morning at all, the summer drizzle more like Melbourne than Perth.

In accordance, Mark Seymour from Hunters and Collectors had taken Dave's seat.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I'm gonna try to be that way

I once heard that every day of his adult life Groucho Marx would take the time to telephone each of his brothers just to say, 'hi'.

How nice was that?

So every morning when I get into work I try to make it my first priority to call Hazel, just to see how she's getting along. Oh yes, and to make sure she hasn't ducked out of the office for a quick shag.

During our little chat this morning, I asked, "Have you been busy in the long hour since we last gazed into each other's eyes?"

"Why, yes," she replied, "I've been trying to dislodge a piece of last night's dinner from between my teeth, and I had a few blogs to write."

So are the days of our lives.

That's what I like

I saw Dave Faulkner in Northbridge again this morning, this time relaxing al fresco at a Greek cafe.

He had a toothpick in his mouth, a Turkish coffee at the ready, and was reading The West Australian.

Good singer. Great song writer. Loves to keep up with the news.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Yep - for comedy, romance and sports we'll be fine -
'cause their video range is as wide as their sign.
They've got sci-fi and thrillers and docos and adult.
The lewd titles are up high so not to cause insult.
I can't see what that bit behind cellophane quite is,
but the male lead looks like he's got elephantitis.


Monday, January 09, 2006

This town is much too small. It's always a shame that's all.

I never used to mind Peter Gabriel.

Never loved him, but like his little mate from Genesis, Bob Hoskins, he was always droning on somewhere in the soundtrack of my life.

Big Time was okay in a metronomic kind of way. And Games Without Frontiers, well, it's a knockout.

But for what seems like the 40th night in a row, The Stupids next door are giving their unauthorised copy of Gabriel Live at Birdland another discordant spin.

And thanks to them, I now loathe Peter Gabriel.

But never mind, early tomorrow morning, when they least expect it, The late-sleeping Stupids will be roused by the wrath of The Lawnmower Man.

Don't forget to set the watch cat

Today Hazel Blackberry returns to work for the first time since Christmas Eve.

Suffer in yer jocks, Hazel.

Sea 'im? You can view 'im.

The Sea View petrol station.
Old fashioned service,
with new fangled inflation.


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Sir Lancelin

I drove up north yesterday to check out the annual Ledge Point to Lancelin sailboarding marathon.

Before the race, I got chatting to a Dutch competitor, Peter, who as it turned out wound up winning the 20 nautical kilometre race.

He was a top bloke, a lot like that European exchange student who arrives at your high school with no English in March, and by May is tapping the keg and bowling googlies at parties.

After the frenzied race start, landlubbers like myself hopped into our jalopies and joined the 15 kilometre convoy up to Lancelin to catch the finish.

As Peter emerged on the Lancelin horizon, a full 10 minutes ahead of the next sailor, his board triumphantly skipped into the air. As the board cruised a little closer, the MC announced the rider was indeed Peter, and that this was a good thing, because "he's a 'goer' who'll definitely put his $3,000 prize money on the bar, folks".

After the race, and still dripping salt water, Peter was asked if this would indeed be the case. To which he replied, "There's prize money? Yeah. If there's money, why not?!"

That crazy Dutch exchange student.


Friday, January 06, 2006


Pounce de Lion is a wonderful whuss of a puss. But my, she's adopted some fussy ways while her mum has been home on holidays.

The finicky feline turned her nose up at some perfectly good adult cat food last night, which inspired Hazel to muse if we should return the mollycoddled moggy to the more easily digestable pussy pâté to which we'd let her grow accustomed over the past 2 weeks.

When I suggested puss was merely trying it on and that The Burp, who gave us the pampered puffball for Christmas, had advised me that even an exclusive diet of cat biscuits would suffice, Hazel called me a liar.

'Why is it,' I protested, 'that when I relay counsel from someone you respect, and that advice happens to diverge from your own vile viewpoint, you shoot poor messenger me?'

I fully expect to arrive home this afternoon to a pantry crammed with kitten caviar.


Were you in Da Nang?

At the Attadale vet
they throw wild puppy parties.
And I'm willing to bet
they run puppy Pilates.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

What else did you get for Christmas?!

Apologies, readers if I come across a little short this evening.

As I tap away, the next door neighbours - The Cattleman and Lasso (collectively known as The Stupids) - are belting out backing vocals to Peter Gabriel - The Wonder Years - Live!

Mr Gabriel's artificial drums and bass are droning through our zincalum-clad, fibro walls. And Hazel informs me the horror show's been going on all day.

It's not that I dislike elevator musac from the early to mid 1980s.

It's just that I'm more of a Howard Jones man.

And their cheap-arsed compilation doesn't even include Games Without Frontiers.

Parky does Sydney

While I'm on the topic of cricket, ABC radio just informed me that the Richie Benaud of TV chat show hosts, Yorkshire's own Michael Parkinson, is at the Test match in Sydney today.

A big word-up to Michael.

Anyone who has interviewed both Duke Ellington and Muhammad Ali is okay by me.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Canis Familiaris

The dignified dingo patrols the blue seas
and stays high and dry on his red dingo skis.

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The six million dollar Cronullan

This blog was saddened to hear that 1970s Rugby League star, Steve 'Sludge' Rogers, was found dead at his South Cronulla apartment yesterday.

The President of the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, and father of current Wallaby fly-half Mat Rogers, had apparently died alone of a heart attack. He was 51.

Still outwardly fit, but secretly suffering depression, Sludge was the Sutherland Shire's favourite son. He was the embodiment of times not so long ago when you didn't have to pack mace for a Sharks v Canterbury game.

He had a deft kicking and punishing defensive game, and used to glide toward the tryline like a bipedal hovercraft.

Sludge never seemed to get cranky with referees, and never came across as arrogant. When I was a kid, I thought of him as a mix between Steve McQueen and Steve Austin.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

This Burley-Griffin water tastes to me like turpentine.

It's so very quiet, in fact, that the Rev. Fred Nile just left a post lobbying for extended liquor trading hours.

This is not a noisy neck of the blogosphere.

I'm going back to where the water tastes like cherry wine.

Yes, it's so quiet that I think I might have to reincorporate this blog in Canberra.

If there's a bright spot of the blogosphere, this is the place it's farthest from.

Things have been so quiet around here lately that I'm considering turning off my word verification.

Lonely days. Lonely nights.

Where would I be without my Blogger?

Monday, January 02, 2006

Hey, Bothhh!

The plane! The plane! I wonder who,
if anyone, ever asks for a tattoo of Tattoo?


Bitta poetry for ya

As the jacarandas fade,
and poinciannas bleed to bloom,
I shelter in the speckled shade
of Brisbane's outdoor living room,
and dream of summer ahead.

Genesis of grumpiness

You know, people often stop me in the street to ask: "Grumpy - why are you known as 'Grumpy', when your wildy successful blog does not portray you as a Grumpy person at all?"

In reply, I often start explaining, "Well, you know Grumpy from the movie 'Snow White'?"

To which they might respond, "You mean that dwarf, Grumpy?"

To which I would generally reply, "No. Tattoo from 'Fantasy #%*&$@! Island'. Of course I mean #%*&$@! Grumpy the dwarf from #%*&$@! 'Snow White'!"

And that normally clears things up.


There's been some conjecture over the blogwaves regarding the name of Hazel's and my spritely new kitten.

While 'Violet Crumbleruff', 'Polly Waffle' and 'Peppermint Crisp' all received exhaustive consideration, we finally decided on 'Pounce!' - since that is what the tortoiseshell fuzzball (I'm not referring to Hazel here) does best.

In other breaking news, Pounce! did her first outdoor poo this morning.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

In the midnight hour

I just went to the kitchen to sniff out a midnight snack.

Nothing in the pantry, so I hit the freezer.

Nothing in there, except a stubby of beer I'd thrown in to chill three hours ago.

To celebrate my good luck at having saved the bottle from a cold, shattery death, I'm now draining it in lieu of snack.

It's all very Jim Morrison.

Jabba the Hutt

I'm back in Australia, having seen the new year in with Prince Leonard, Princess Shirley, their sons Crown Prince Ian and Prince Wayne, and various minor royals, of the principality of Hutt River Province.

I, in fact, was the only interloper on hand when the clock chimed midnight. But the royal family's hospitality made me feel like I was a royal too.

A neighbour of the prince's even took me pig shooting. But we encountered no feral pigs - just some bunnies, foxes and a big red 'roo.

And no, I didn't get amongst the shooting. I'm a city-slicker who just went along for the ride. Fascinating stuff, though.

Prince Wayne also went out hunting - with family friend Mick. At one stage they were confronted by a wall of feral hog - one hundred of the cranky buggers, charging their vehicle.

But no guns for Prince Wayne. He lets the dogs bail the wild tuskers up, jumps out and hog-ties them himself for a later rendezvous at the dinner table.

That's tough.

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