Monday, December 28, 2020

Xmas Lunch

 Sam and I cooked Xmas lunch as the Fletcher Xmas day, for my sister and brother inlaw. My brother didn't come down from Brisbane. Mum and dad are dead, so that is the best the Fletchers can manage now a days. So different to times passed, time passes, things change. All those huge family Xmas' with all my cousins seem but a distant memory.

My sister had been the one to suggest today. She came up with a few options, we could join her inlaws on Xmas day at her place, which I wasn't so keen. Other that that, she gave the impression she didn't want to do it all again, herself, and that, perhaps, I should.

Seriously?

I said sure, not really being at all sure when I said it. But, you know, just wing it, how badly could it go wrong? She did suggest we could go out to a restaurant, but I was willing to give it a go. I mean, I have before, but those times have been few and far between.

Why not, I thought.

Sam cooked porkbelly with a plum sauce and lamb stuffed with cranberries with roast vegetables. I made a plum pudding semifreddo and a trifle for desert.

It all turned out well.

The bulldogs bounced around, always happy with visitors.

I was going to make Xmas cookies alternately icing them with red and white icing, but I didn't. Maybe next year.


Sunday, December 27, 2020

 


5.45am. There is something very satisfying about getting up at 5 something am. and standing on my balcony looking at the sun rise. It is quiet and peaceful as the new day comes into being.


Saturday, December 26, 2020


You know, for all the delusionists (And the spacecadete'ry who attempt to ban everything they don't deem appropriate) who are apoplectic with the fairytale spirit at this time of year.

Goode olde luck to the lot of yous

As the rest of us scratch our heads at the nonsense of it all, but get a kick out of the orgiastic buying festival that has delivered us the best of capitalism.

Friday, December 25, 2020

 


We should get rid of Xmas, it has none of the original meaning to the vast majority of people - was the original meaning invented by Coke a Cola? It is now an orgiastic present buying, and food eating extravaganza, let's face it.

To make it more relevant to the real world, we should move it to new year. We could have a public holiday on New Years Eve, give presents New Years Day and make Boxing Day January 2nd. 

End the year with the new year, come on, it makes far more sense to the modern world.

A new year, now that is something to celebrate.

Xmas, really, is just a habit we forgot to break, let's face it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

I Wish

I wish I felt like I was good at something? Or, is that something we all feel? Is that universal? Or is that just my lack of confidence?

You know, really good at something? Something at which to be expert. I guess it would need to give joy too? That is the assumption though, now isn't it, that if we were good at something, joy would naturally follow?

Joy. That's what we all want.

Happiness.


Monday, December 14, 2020

Too Hot To Write

It's too hot today to write. It's 34 which isn't so hot in itself, but it is the first 34 degrees for the summer. So, it's tiring. I'm sweating. I can't think.

I've got a sweaty neck. I hate having a sweaty neck. It's probably bad posture, isn't it always bad posture?

I rode my bike today, twice. It was good weather for bike riding. T-shirt, shorts, the momentum of the bike through the air keeps you cool. Kind of keeps you cool. It is liberating though, just your own power to get you places.

I've got two cars which I never drive. Why the hell do I have two cars? I guess, if I don't drive them, it doesn't matter. I decided to sell one of them, just when the whole lock down thing happened, and then nobody could come and look at it. It has been such a long time since I have sold a car, you know, like advertised it. I'm not sure if I remember  how to do it?

I rode my bike to the shops. I took a recycle bag, I flung it over my shoulder. Well, I'm not sure if flung is the right term, I pushed the handle up my arm to my shoulder. What do you call that? I must go and have a basket put on the back of my bike, on the back of my mountain bike. I have a racer I use for exercise, and an old mountain bike I use to go to the shops. Someone gave it to me, a cute French boy who was going back... um... er leaving Melbourne. You can get those black baskets now a days, and if I had one like that I could do all my shopping on my bike. The burning of fossil fuels not required.

I should do my back exercises. I've had a sore back, and weird buzzing feet. I've been going to the Osteo and he thinks it could all be a pinched nerve in my lower back and he gave me back exercises to do, which, of course, I haven't done. Stupid to pay him all that money, I guess, and then not do the exercises. But that's just human nature, I guess. Especially stupid, since we know miracles are a figment of an over active imagination. 

It's late, the doors and windows are open and there is a bit of a breeze. The fan helps, of course. The fan could be the entire breeze? Maybe?

Sam is playing his Oculus Quest, he's got a new one, just got it. It is making exploding noises, he's cursing at, um, I don't know who? 

"Ah, stupid mice! There! That is what I want you to do!" 

I look at him quite unaware of me looking at him, I gaze at him for a time, kind of secretly, but not really. Just me and him. I like it being just me and him. I like gazing at him unaware.

The fan is whining in the corner. The air is thick. The night is still. The bulldogs are scattered across the floor like dead ducks, er, dogs.

It must be time for bed. I might need a shower before I go to bed, and I am strictly a shower in the morning kind of boy.

I did my back exercises.


Sunday, December 13, 2020

What Are Sundays For?

We all got in the shower in the morning. It makes no difference to Buddy, Bruno is less keen. Then we walked to the park in the glorious morning sun to dry off. The sky was blue, the grass was green. The trees tall, a breeze blew gently through them.

I lay on the couch in the afternoon and watched YouTube and fell asleep with my laptop resting on my stomach. It was that kind of day, sunny and warm. The air was fresh and light, uplifting like a warm eddy, and the world felt like a wonderful place.

Sam moved my laptop from my stomach and lay on the floor next to me with Buddy and Bruno and fell asleep. It's what Sunday afternoons are for, after all.

We may have all snored, we are all snorers.

We woke up for afternoon tea when we drank tea and ate shortbread biscuits.

And that was the day. Glorious.


Saturday, December 12, 2020



Walking the bulldogs in the park in the morning, during these last few days of gorgeous weather. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the jacaranda with a sensational display of purple.

 

Friday, December 11, 2020


"It makes sense," says Sam. "We're not gamers after all."

It makes you wonder if all the bad press about the NBN is deliberate to get people to sign up to more expensive plans. You know, if I was one of those people who go in for conspiracy theories.

Of course, the problem with conservative governments is that they are so dishonest and so duplicitous it makes all of this kind of thinking plausible.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Coffee Anyone?

I push the button on the coffee machine and it whirs into life.

"Christian Fletcher," comes Sam's voice from the other room.

Sure, it is my third cup and it isn't yet 9.30am.

"So, is that a no from you?"

"Slow down."

"Are you saying you don't want one."

"Seriously, you are drinking too much coffee."

"Do you want one?"

"Yes."


And there it is.

It always makes me laugh. Sam just about always says yes, no matter what he has said before.

The worlds greatest invention, coffee. Why would one deny oneself, I ask you?

That and the mute button, the two single greatest achievements of mankind. Oh yes, there are some pretty amazing medical achievements, blah, blah, blah, but get back to me when I need a new liver, or a course of chemo and we’ll discuss it then.

My single nicest dream, is to be drinking coffee out in public and being able to use the mute button on the annoying people. Oh, you know the types, the ones who bring their sticky finger kids along, or those who occupy a table alone but insist on talking on their mobile phone so all can hear, the ones who talk too loud in the group in that look-at-me-look-at-me kind of way, the inane laughers, the screamers. You know the types who are definitely seen and heard.

I was once in a coffee shop drinking a lovely morning coffee and a woman had a baby that wouldn’t stop crying, finally when our eyes met, I spoke up, “Couldn’t you take that some place else?”

Well, she didn’t half lose her shit as she gathered her belongings and vacated the establishment.

“You don’t know what it’s like…”

I’ve got a fairly good understanding over the last half an hour, I thought.

“You are terrible!”

And yet I am not the one destroying everyone’s morning.

“How dare you.”

I am pretty much saying the same thing to you.

Now if I’d had a mute button on that occasion. Heaven.

After she had slammed the café door on her way out, the silence was golden. And we were all left to contemplate life with coffee in hand sans her noisy little sprog.


Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

John Lennon

I once knew a guy, Alistair, whose hero was John Lennon. 

When John Lennon was killed, from all accounts, Alistair had a nervous breakdown, he didn’t cope with his hero being shot and killed.  Imagine that? I guess Alistair wouldn't have been the first, fans being what fans are? Apparently, three Beatles fans killed themselves at the news of Lennon's death.

Apparently, Alistair ended up having a very long recovery from his breakdown.

I haven't seen Alistair for years, he was a nice guy.

But, whenever, I hear that it is the anniversary of John Lennon's death, I still think of Alistair and wonder how he is?


So that is forty years for… I googled what happened on 8th December to get the name of the guy who shot John Lennon’s name, and I got the following,

1863 Abraham Lincoln issues his Amnesty Proclamation and plan for Reconstruction of the South

1941 US and Britain declare war on Japan, US enters World War II

1941 US President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers "Day of Infamy" speech to US Congress a day after the bombing of Pearl Harbour

1965 Pope Paul VI signs 2nd Vatican council

1966 US and USSR sign treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons in outer space

2004 Cuzco Declaration is signed in Cuzco, Peru, establishing the Union of South American Nations

War and religion, seriously, the two things that have caused the most destruction in the world. 

John Lennon didn’t even get a mention. Is that irony? One of the greatest peace advocates is not mentioned in favour of war and war-causing religion?

But, I did find out it is Jim Morrison’s, Sinead O'Connor’s and Niki Minaj’s birthdays.

Anyway, back to Mark David Chapman, it means he has been in jail for 40 years. Forty years, that is rather a long time for murder. Now, I am no advocate for Mark David Chapman, or murderers in general, but usually, well, in Australia, murder is 25 years. Of course, since the conservatives have been winning elections lately, with their ideology bent towards law and order, I guess we can expect a lot more of “Life Means Life.”

I guess it depends on what you want your jail system to do? Most conservatives want it to be punitive, lock them up, throw away the key. Build more jails, punish, punish, punish. And, I think as a society, we are skewing away from rehabilitation and towards punishment more and more, since law and order has become a political tool to win elections. 

From all accounts at 87 years of age Yoko Ono’s health is beginning to fail and she is now frail and apparently suffering from some undisclosed disease. From what I have read, she has been the driving force of keeping Mark David Chapman in jail.

Apparently, the singer James Taylor ran into Mark David Chapman a few hours before he shot John Lennon four times at close range on the streets of New York and Mark David Chapman was talking like a crazy person. So, is our failure to deal with mental health issues as a society the real reason John Lennon was shot and killed?

Oh, bleeding heart, the conservatives would whine in unison, no doubt.


Sunday, December 06, 2020

Gay Movies on Prime

Last night, Sam, being the guardian of the remote control – of course, I can’t be trusted with it, as I would point it at the world and press furiously – as cliched as that sounds, declared there was nothing on the TV, so we watched gay movies on Amazon Prime, which has a lot of gay movies. I chose.

After a few false starts, you know where the writing was bad and the acting was atrocious, the stories inane, where the main character has a fat fag hag friend, or the lisping twink is wholly unattractive, we managed to pick a couple of movies.

I like gay movies with real story lines, not just ghetto nonsense. That’s not to say that I don’t mind nonsense occasionally, but generally they have to be funny, and poke fun at gay life. You know, gays guys can be just awful sometimes, but only I’m allowed to say that, gay men are allowed to say that, nobody else is allowed, and if they send that up, well and good. But mostly I like real story lines with real people and definitely not always dying at the end, one of my biggest problems with Brokeback Mountain.

We watched Taekwondo, about a group of pretty hot straight boys spending the weekend at one of the guy’s country houses. The host invites his prospective gay love interest with whom he does taekwondo. Not that anyone knows he is gay, although by the end of the film some definitely suspect. 

The second movie we watched was Uncle Frank, set in 1973, about a family from South Carolina. The eldest son unbeknownst to the rest of the family is gay and lives in New York with his boyfriend of ten years. He goes back to South Carolina for Xmas and family gatherings, but always alone, and always a bit of the odd man out. Then his niece comes to study at the university in New York at which he is a professor. Not long after, his bigoted father dies and they make a road trip home for the funeral, where everything is revealed.

Recently, we’ve also watch 4Moons, which I liked, the boys were adorable.

Clapham Junction was full on.

The Lost Coast was interesting.

And we watched Vicious, with Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi. I've watched it before and didn't like it, but this time I found it funny.

Saturday, December 05, 2020


Dorothy Kilgallen said To Peggy Lee on What's My Line, Feb 1960, that she couldn't stop listening to Peggy Lee's latest album, Latin ala Lee!

So, 60 years later I play the album from my laptop on iTunes wirelessly to my HomePod speakers in the inner suburbs of Melbourne, just to hear what is was that Dorothy Kilgallen couldn’t stop listening to.

I wonder what Dorothy played it on in her townhouse in Manhattan at the very beginning of the 1960s?

60 years later, it still sounds current. I kind of like it, despite never being a Peggy Lee fan.

Music crosses space and time, now doesn't it. Here it is 60 years later and nearly 20 years after Peggy Lee died at the age of 81.

And interestingly enough, the theme song to Sex in the City is on this album.


Friday, December 04, 2020

 


Cannas in the park when I went for my daily walk. I think I went for a walk every day this week, better than the preceding weeks, where I have slacked off.

I haven't dropped below 80 kilos, I don't know why? My weight loss seems to have stalled at 80 kilos, shrug? Still, exercise can never be a bad thing, I guess? An hour most days, that is what I am aiming for, and what I achieve most weeks.


Thursday, December 03, 2020

 


Street Art, Abbotsford. This made me think of Peter Pan, not blond though. A cute little dark-haired Puk. Look at those eyes.


Wednesday, December 02, 2020

 


Street Art, Fitzroy. I do contribute to it a little, as this photo had a number of windows, which I photoshopped out of the image. I’m a bit of an artist on the quiet.


Tuesday, December 01, 2020


Danell Leyva olympic gymnast... just saying. Look at those eyes.


Monday, November 30, 2020


Even if we act now, there is a 10 year lag until we'd see the effect... and the polar ice caps are melting now, as is Siberia. I think we're done. And all the people who voted for the politicians who'd give them tax cuts instead of acting on climate change will deny they did, of course.

Too depressing?

Not as depressing as it is going to be to watch the planet fall apart before your very eyes.


Sunday, November 29, 2020


Is this something the big pharmaceutical companies have made the government do? I suspect it is?


Saturday, November 28, 2020

Black Friday

Sam wheeled-and-dealed online for black Friday so much so that we ended up driving to Northland to return purchases he’d made before Black Friday, so he could buy them back at a 20% discount. He wheeled-and-dealed so much so he had his Amazon account suspended for 24 hours, which happened late, and was back up functioning this morning so it really didn’t matter, and in fact acted as circuit breaker to go to bed and stop shopping (madness).

“Ha ha, they are on to you.”

“Rubbish, I am just using their system to get the best deal.”

“All those purchases and cancellation of purchases…”

“I just work out a better deal,” said Sam. “And sometimes it is after I have bought something.”

“You’ve obviously come up on some report.”

“Ha ha.”

“Some screen somewhere is flashing with warning signs.”

“I’ve done nothing, other than use their system.”

“Clearly, they agree.”

Anyway… I got a Kindle, about which I am very pleased. Now, I just have to work out how to get books for it. Well, I mean I know how to get books, but how do you browse the book shop, if you know what I mean?

I think Kindles are great. I have shelves full of books that are now collecting dust and turning yellow, which I hate. I find yellowing pages a real turn off. If I could get my entire book collection onto a Kindle and empty all my shelves, I’d be happy. Yes, sure, I’d lose all the tactile loveliness of having proper paper books, the smell, holding it to the light, but, I think, that loss is made up for with the benefits of the Kindle.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Back Treatment

36 degrees and the day sizzles. The sun is burning hot, the air is like stepping into an oven.

I had an oesto appointment at 4.30pm before which I had a shower. Then I walked there, which is only a 10 minute walk, but half way there, not even, as I could feel the sweat forming I wondered if I should have driven with aircon on, so I smelt nice when I got there? How many smelly bodies do you think he has had to put up with? It just seems rude not to make the effort.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

All That Living

What happened to him in the end, should never happen to anyone.

You never want your name attached to that sentence.


We hear it said of people we know, and a small part of us shudders deep down somewhere. We never believe our day will come.

We wonder where those people have gone when they die. Forever is too big a concept for our brains to comprehend. I mean, we know they are rotting in the ground, some where, or their ash is being blown about on the breeze, but never to be seen again?

'You get one shot at this life' never really sinks in for most of us, I guess, until we are facing down our own mortality, only then is it bought into crisp, sharp focus. "But there were things I was going to do, I have so much to see and learn yet. Rats!"

Except for those of us who sleep walk through their lives but, then, I guess it doesn't matter.

How would I go on without Sam? How would he go on without me? I guess, the bright side is that there is no choice.

All that living...


Wednesday, November 25, 2020


1967 “The Kiss of Life” captured the once in a lifetime shot of utility worker J.D. Thompson saving his co-worker, Randall G. Champion, with mouth to mouth after he touched a low voltage line taken by Rocco Morabito


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Music While You Work

So, The Weekend wins best soul album of the year. Great! Let's have a listen. 

What a load of mindless shit! (Yes, I am channelling Nan) 

Thank the Lordy do dah day for the Teskey Bros to return my working environ back to normal.

Yesterday, it was Santana all the way.

I love working from home.

Monday, November 23, 2020

 


Jogging guy in the park. He ran up shirtless, glistening with sweat. Then as if reading my mind, he bent over in front of me to do leg stretches. That’s the way baby, I thought, as I walked up behind him.

He looked good, he ran often, I assumed. Nice legs, I thought.


Sunday, November 22, 2020

Sunday on the Couch

I lay on the couch for most of the afternoon, I mean what else are Sundays for.

I listened to music on Youtube. All my favourite songs. Adam Lambert singing I believe to Cher. Adam Lambert and Yolanda Adams singing Girl Crush. A new favourite Brian Justin Crum singing Somebody To Love. Freddie Mercury singing Somebody To Love. Avici with Adam Lambert as lead singer. Billy Joel letting the guy in the crowd accompany him on New York State Of Mind. Billy Joel singing Piano Man in NYC. Elton John singing Your Song. Lady Gaga singing You Song. Aretha Franklin singing Rolling in The Deep on Letterman. Beth Hart singing I’d Rather Go Blind on Rock Quiz. Aretha Franklin singing, You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman at the Kennedy Centre. Paloma Faith singing Only Love Can Hurt Like This on the Brit Awards. Fantasia singing Superstition. Amy Winehouse singing Valarie. Bruno Mars doing a great job of Valarie. Adele singing a tribute to Amy Winehouse. Adele singing Set Fire To The Rain. Jennifer Hudson singing Ain’t No way. Patti Labelle singing Ain’t No Way. A young black guy, Davon Fleming, singing Ain’t No Way.

And then it was time for the news...

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Music

When I first started uploading music to iTunes, I used to make great long greatest hits collections of 50 songs. I did it with Davide Bowie, I did its with Elton John, I did it with Queen, I did it with Tina Turner, I did it with Santana, I did it with Cindi Lauper, I did it with Paul Kelly, I did it with Marvin Gaye, I did it with Bob Dylan, I did it with Michael Jackson, to name some of them.

I did because, often, I had a greatest hits album and I just added the tracks I liked to it. I did it because Mark and I had a huge CD collection and when we split up he cleaned them out on his way out the door. yeah, good on ya. And the ones he didn't take, he took when he came to visit.

When I got iTunes, I discovered cash Converters, and opshops that sell CDs for nothing, and I bought back a huge number of CDs that Mark took, and then some, and then many more. They only had to work once, you know, be uploaded, so they didn't have to be in pristine condition, so they were easy to find.

I've been on a CD buying spree ever since.

And as soon as I did all of those collections, almost to the moment they were finished, I realised it was a mistake. I'd put them on and I'd listen to the first 10 tracks, if I was lucky, never listening to the rest of the tracks.

So, I split the tracks up into smaller albums in 5, or 10, year blocks. Some of them, iTunes wouldn't let me edit and change around, I still don't know why, so I had to go up to the attic and look through all the plastic tubs for the appropriate CDs.

I've just finished the last of them, the thinning. The other day I was hanging around the Salvos and I got another Santana greatest hits CD, which gave me lots of tracks I didn't have. So I have just split up the 50 track Santana Greatest Hits I had up. I'm looking forward to getting to know all the tracks I haven't listened to for so long.

Of course, with lockdown, and no longer having the block up at Macedon, I don't spend a lot of time in the car driving any more. And San I have Bothe worked from home for most of the year, so I don't spend any time alone. So, I guess it'll just be headphones and shutting out the world to listen to them.

But, I actually like the uploading process, so I kind of enjoy it.


Friday, November 20, 2020

Donald Jessica Trump is Pathetic

 Donald Trump is Pathetic, and he inspires those around him to be pathetic.

Trump's press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, was asked whether Trump would allow President-elect Joe Biden to receive daily intelligence briefings as he prepares to take over the job in January, McEnany declined to answer the question, instead saying.

“I haven’t spoken to the president about that,” she said, adding, “That would be a question more for the White House.”

Of course, the person at the White House who would answer that question… is Kayleigh McEnany. So, she essentially told Fox & Friends that she couldn’t answer the question and that they would need to ask her instead.


Conservative politics has destroyed people's wages, destroys their jobs and is destroying their planet, and yet people still vote for them. It is a mystery to me.

Then you get an idiot like Trump, the end product of conservative ideology and people are still stupid enough to vote for him.

Shake of the head.

Sunday, November 15, 2020


 Walking in the park this morning


Friday, November 13, 2020

My Gums are Rubbish

9.30am I was at the periodontist. The day had finally come since January 31st, what with all the nonsense of this year. I’ve never feared the dentist, as such, so I was pretty okay, but there is a certain amount of anxiety none the less, when you know what is going to happen.

I was a few minutes early expecting to be kept waiting, professional services being want they are, but I was ushered right in right on the dot of 9.30am.

“Lie back in the chair and he will be in in just a moment.”

Funny, whenever I am at the periodontist I think of that scene out of Little Shop of Horrors, sans the nitrous oxide, of course.

They’d repainted since last time I was in. Another layer of cream, of course.

I’d only had one of the two teeth he’d advised to be removed taken out, but he didn’t seem to worry about that. He is a man of few words, though.

He said I'd need anaesthetic for my top teeth, and while he was waiting for that to take effect, he started to prod my lower gums, at which point I wondered why I couldn't have had anaesthetic upper and lower?

He got his pointy poking instrument and started pushing it down between my teeth, like he was pushing pins into my gums.

The nerves in my teeth started to buzz, you know tinfoil on your teeth, but I've always been able to relax and take myself off to another place in the dentist’s chair.

Boy, did he work my teeth over. Oo, ah, like he was putting all of his strength into scraping down my teeth, and while my mouth was anesthetised, I could still feel the amount of pressure he was applying. Scrape, scrape, scrape, scrape.

And then it was over.

He seemed pleased enough.

See you in six months, he said.

I’ve never had a decayed tooth, but my gums are rubbish. Is that dental irony? Not sure. But it sure is annoying.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

 


I think all of my appointments should be at 9.30am. Get up, get them over, have the rest of the day free of them.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Because Conservatives are full of Blokes and War?

Scummo makes a personal announcement and speaks earnestly warning Australian’s about the report coming out about war crimes committed by our armed forces in Afghanistan.

“You are going to hear some things that are going to disturb you.”

The climate change report that comes out that warns Australians that climate change is already affecting us and that it is going to be much worse in the future than we previously thought, doesn’t even rate a mention from our fossil fuel loving idiot of a Prime Minister.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Bike Ride

I went for a bike ride, mid morning. The sun was shining, the air was warm, warm enough for just a t-shirt and shorts, first time for this year.

I started work early, so I could take a break, and one of the reasons I love working from home.

It was a lovely day for it, bright sun, blue sky.

I was riding down Napier Street next to a couple of oldies, who weren’t riding in the bike lane, so I was rapidly overtaking them on the inside, in the bike lane.

There comes that part of Napier Street that is blocked off to cars, as you approach Johnston Street. There are bollards and a narrow path through which only one bike can ride at a time.

As we approached, me with the oldies close behind, a group of riders came from the other direction, getting to the narrow part first, so I stopped and let them through.

A woman at the back of group came through and as she did she said, “It is nice that you are a gentleman.”

Seriously? I thought. It had nothing to do with being a gentlemen, you were just first.

I just smiled. Witheringly? I wasn’t trying to. Maybe?

Please don’t call me a gentlemen, I am much more evolved than that. In fact, I almost find it insulting. Gentleman, indeed, what nonsense. How parochial, I thought. What happened to all those years of fighting for equality? What happened to being equal?

Ha ha, funny the things you think. I wasn't expecting to think that, I just did, before I could think about it, if you know what I mean?

I watched them go as I wheeled slowly down the road to the traffic lights. The sun shone, as I wondered about what I thought?

My still peddles. The click, click, click sound of the hubs. Floating through the air. The fresh breeze in my face. A state of grace.

The traffic lights turned green and I picked up my pace.

Monday, November 09, 2020

You Got The Rona?

I started work early, so by 10am, I was ready for a bike ride.

I got to the bike path heading along Park Street, in fact, I was about to hit Lygon Street when the tickle in my throat turned nasty. I pulled up and coughed repeatedly. It wouldn’t stop, and it had all the tell-tale signs of hay fever. I’d not taken a hay fever tablet before I left, it never occurred to me to take one, but clearly it was a bad day for hay fever.

The strap from my helmet didn’t help at moments like those either, as it kind of pushed on my throat making the coughing worst.

I coughed and coughed. That tickle wouldn’t clear.

Cough, cough, cough. Trying to clear it only seemed to make it worse.

And I coughed some more. It wasn’t going away.

Cough, cough, cough. Jesus fuck me Christ why won’t it go away?

A blond haired chick reading on the grass with her back to me looked around with a look of concern. People started moving away from me, and people started taking a wide birth around as they walked passed. People looked. People stared.

Cough, cough, cough. I could still feel it in the back of my throat like a needle. My eyes were watering.

They thought I had the Rona, I suspected. I could see it by the expression in their eyes, it looked like fear, which almost made me laugh. Almost, if I could have stopped the cough, that is. People were, actually, walking a wide circle around me.

And the cough wouldn’t stop. I thought it would clear, but it didn’t. I contemplated continuing my ride, but thought I’d probably just cough more, up further. And a cough is how my hay fever comes on now a days.

I decided I had to go home, so I turned around.

Only one woman with a kid asked, “Are you alright?”

“Yes, thanks, I’m okay, I just I forgot to take a hay fever tablet. Silly me.”

“Yes, I was coughing the same,” she said. “Just before, it is a bad day for it.”

“Yeah, it’s my own fault, I just need to take a hay fever tablet and I’ll be fine.”

I rode off in the direction of home.

Only one person asked me if I was okay. I guess that is what a pandemic does? Or is that normal? I suspect the latter, maybe unkindly.

I rode back along the bike path. My throat still tickled a bit. My helmet strap continued to irritate it, but I wouldn’t have felt the same if I’d undone it.

The sun shone.

Sunday, November 08, 2020

Sunday Morning Walking and Shopping

Sunday morning, time to take the dogs for a run and to do the shopping.

We leave at 11.11 the magical hour. We head to the Yarra. All of the carparks are taken close by to where we want to go, so we park just around the corner outside the Salvos, one of my favourite shops. (I have always loved things second hand. I don’t know why? But, I suspect it has something to do with the hand-me-down-clothes I used to get as a kid. Two of my mum’s friends had sons just a bit older than me and I used to get boxes of their old clothes when I was a kid. It was like Xmas, all those clothes. Not to mention they used to smell of other boys… but, I digress)

It is a gorgeous sunny day as we walk across the bridge to the parkland side of the Yarra. Bruno is on his lead, Buddy is off his, Buddy is never on his lead. The bridge busy with foot traffic and bike riders.

As soon as we get to the other side, there is an off-lead German Short Haired Pointer that is acting a bit weird, but we walk away. The problem is that it walks the same way with its two owners and their other small dog. The German Short-Haired Pointer is growling at the bulldogs and acting intimidating as its owners walk ahead. The bulldogs in their inimitable style were semi oblivious in their usual laid-back way. The guy owner turns and calls it several times,

“Come on Rusty. Be a good boy Rusty,” which gave the definite idea that he knew what his dog was like. People are weird, if your dog is anti-social don’t let it off its lead, simple. It is just selfish.

I was just about to say something to him when good old Rusty finally fucks off after them.





We walk the path that follows the river.

We meet a few small dogs, and a couple of Golden Retrievers along the way. There is a golden sausage dog full of attitude.

We walk to where the path gets narrow and starts to climb the side of the hill, where it triggers my fear of heights. I hate that I have that, it is debilitating. We turn around and walk back to the car.

We meet a Bernese Mountain Dog on the way back. They are gorgeous dogs. Its owners comment on the bulldogs, but I don’t really catch what they say.

We see our mate Mitch with his (exceptionally tall) friend Lachlan on the bridge as we are leaving, quite unexpectedly. Mitch lost his job in the pandemic and has been trying to find work ever since. He says he has picked up some casual work, and that he might now be being made redundant from his full time job, which he seems to think is a good thing.

We cause a traffic jam on the narrow bridge, especially when another bulldog, with two other dogs, and bikes come from both directions at the same time. Everyone is nice about it, which is kind of surprising in this day and age, with everyone pumped up on social media self importance. It’s the stupid people who are the worst affected.

A case in point which is proved not much later when we are crossing Nicholson Street outside the Hive and two cars come around the corner from Victoria Street and I lean down to push Buddy along and instead of hurrying up, he crouches down in front of the on coming cars and I have to drag him out of the way. The second car toots and the female passenger gives us ‘the look’ full of attitude out the passenger window, like how dare you! (The face of the stupid partially covered by a mask which makes her look eerily like Hannibal Lecter) I mean really, why do they bother doing such things? Do they feel it is a personal affront that someone has dared to get in their way? Is that it?

We say goodbye to Mitch and Lachlan and head to the car.

We don’t get one of our usual car spots just by the shops, but we get a car spot around the corner, in fact, being a sunny day our car spot under the shade of a tree is still one of the best car spots in the area. (Oh, dear, does that make me sound something like Donald Trump?)

The usual homeless guy, who is always there – always on the same square of footpath, can you imagine that – says something to me about the Buddy on the road incident, but I don’t understand him even when I ask him to repeat it.

12.15pm. We are at the shops in Victoria Street. Buddy, Bruno and I are waiting out the front while Sam shops. Bruno lies down in his super dog pose, he gets the cool floor on his stomach. I sit on the tiled floor, Buddy sits between my legs.

The sun is shining, the day sparkles.

People, of course, stop and say hello to Buddy and Bruno.

“Can I pat your dogs?” is what I hear on repeat, as I type my journal into my phone, but I don’t mind at all, of course.

The old Asian guy with the loud music appears. I’ve seen him around before, he plays loud music on a speaker he carries with him. I find I easily let his music bother me, initially, but then I let it go and think good on him. Oh, it could go either way, depending on my mood, of course. Annoying intrusion, or an admirable does of individuality? Depends how I feel.

The usual homeless guy disappears and comes back with loud music, kind of like the old Asian guy. I wondered where he got that from?

12.46pm. Sam is ready to go. The shopping is done.

We drop in at Bunnings on the way. I have never seen the Bunnings car park full before, people must be really bored with their lives. I take Bruno with me into the store (I can’t believe I am using the term ‘store’) into the shop with me. He is nervous of the travellator and I have to carry him up and down. He is 25 kilos now. Otherwise, he trots along next to me, saying hello to everyone we meet.


We eat leftover noodles for lunch.

I continue to upload DVDs. I am getting through them. I’m nearly done.

I get secateurs and gloves and my headphones and head out into the back garden. I clean up the rest of the creeper cuttings that didn’t fit in last week’s rubbish, now pissed over multiple times by the bulldogs. Pew! That piss smell, there is no disguising it.

Bruno comes outside and hangs with me as I cut up the remaining creeper. He licks the backs of my legs. It tickles.

The afternoon sparkles.

Sam goes a couple of streets away and buys some more memory for the new hard drive. “It’s cheap,” he says. It changes it from 9 something to 12 something, or other? It made it better, anyway.

I upload Entourage, 1st season. Only one season of Entourage, I think someone gave it to me. I only really upload Entourage because of the cute boys in it, I know, from watching it occasionally in the past. We’ll see. If we like it, I’ll sniff around one of the Op Shops and see if I can get any more of it cheap.

And I upload some more movies, I’m nearly done. Actually, I’ll kind of miss it, uploading when all the uploading is done, there is something immensely satisfying about it.

I fell asleep on the couch. Lovely, lovely. I don’t even really feel it coming on, the first thing I usually know about it, is waking to the TV off and Sam looking at his iPad.

We go to bed at midnight.

Saturday, November 07, 2020

My Own Movie Channel, You've Gotta Love That

I’d uploaded the rest of Sex in the City for a lot of the morning. I picked up the box set of DVDs for a couple of dollars at an opshop. The first disk of season 4 was missing, but otherwise the complete show, all 6 seasons. Soon we’ll be able to have a Sex in the City marathon.

That is something that America does right, the sitcom. You have to agree, even if you hate Sarah Jessica Parker, or Ross & Rachel, or Seinfeld, or Will, or Grace, or if you have never watched Weeds, or Breaking Bad, or Oz.

Suddenly, all my DVDs have a new appeal to me, since Sam bought a new hard drive with 10T capacity on which to store my entire movie collection – a not inconsequential collection. Attaching it to the TV has made it like Netflix, or Apple TV, or Amazon, my very own movie streaming service. It has given them all a new lease of life, a new ability to be.

I’m still incredibly pleased by the whole thing. My movies, my music DVDs, the TV series I have bought over the years – normally always from the discount bin just on the off chance – are now not just dusty plastic covers on a shelf through which I can hardly bother looking.

Now everyone of them is only the press of a button away. Cool, hey.

Friday, November 06, 2020

Trump Supporters


 

THIS WAS ON A FRIEND’S PAGE: An anguished question from a Trump supporter: ‘Why do liberals think Trump supporters are stupid?’

THE SERIOUS ANSWER: Here’s what the majority of anti-Trump voters honestly feel about Trump supporters en masse:

 

 That when you saw a man who had owned a fraudulent University, intent on scamming poor people, you thought "Fine." (https://www.usatoday.com/.../trump-university.../502387002/)

That when you saw a man who had made it his business practice to stiff his creditors, you said, "Okay." (https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-hotel-paid-millions...)

That when you heard him proudly brag about his own history of sexual abuse, you said, "No problem." (https://abcnews.go.com/.../list-trumps-accusers.../story...)

That when he made up stories about seeing Muslim-Americans in the thousands cheering the destruction of the World Trade Center, you said, "Not an issue." (https://www.washingtonpost.com/.../donald-trumps.../)

That when you saw him brag that he could shoot a man on Fifth Avenue and you wouldn't care, you exclaimed, "He sure knows me." (https://www.usatoday.com/.../president-donald.../4073405002/)

That when you heard him relating a story of an elderly guest of his country club, an 80-year old man, who fell off a stage and hit his head, to Trump replied: “‘Oh my God, that’s disgusting,’ and I turned away. I couldn’t—you know, he was right in front of me, and I turned away. I didn’t want to touch him. He was bleeding all over the place. And I felt terrible, because it was a beautiful white marble floor, and now it had changed color. Became very red.” You said, "That's cool!" (https://www.gq.com/story/donald-trump-howard-stern-story)

That when you saw him mock the disabled, you thought it was the funniest thing you ever saw. (https://www.nbcnews.com/.../donald-trump-criticized-after...)

That when you heard him brag that he doesn't read books, you said, "Well, who has time?" (https://www.theatlantic.com/.../americas-first.../549794/)

That when the Central Park Five were compensated as innocent men convicted of a crime they didn't commit, and he angrily said that they should still be in prison, you said, "That makes sense." (https://www.usatoday.com/.../what-trump-has.../1501321001/)

That when you heard him tell his supporters to beat up protesters and that he would hire attorneys, you thought, "Yes!" (https://www.latimes.com/.../la-na-trump-campaign-protests...)

That when you heard him tell one rally to confiscate a man's coat before throwing him out into the freezing cold, you said, "What a great guy!" (https://www.independent.co.uk/.../donald-trump-orders...)

That you have watched the parade of neo-Nazis and white supremacists with whom he curries favor, while refusing to condemn outright Nazis, and you have said, "Thumbs up!" (https://www.theatlantic.com/.../why-cant-trump.../567320/)

That you hear him unable to talk to foreign dignitaries without insulting their countries and demanding that they praise his electoral win, you said, "That's the way I want my President to be." (https://www.huffpost.com/.../trump-insult-foreign...)

That you have watched him remove expertise from all layers of government in favor of people who make money off of eliminating protections in the industries they're supposed to be regulating and you have said, "What a genius!" (https://www.politico.com/.../138-trump-policy-changes...)

That you have heard him continue to profit from his businesses, in part by leveraging his position as President, to the point of overcharging the Secret Service for space in the properties he owns, and you have said, "That's smart!" (https://www.usnews.com/.../how-is-donald-trump-profiting...)

That you have heard him say that it was difficult to help Puerto Rico because it was in the middle of water and you have said, "That makes sense." (https://www.washingtonpost.com/.../the-very-big-ocean.../)

That you have seen him start fights with every country from Canada to New Zealand while praising Russia and quote, "falling in love" with the dictator of North Korea, and you have said, "That's statesmanship!" (https://www.cnn.com/.../donald-trump-dictators.../index.html)

That Trump separated children from their families and put them in cages, managed to lose track of 1500 kids, has opened a tent city incarceration camp in the desert in Texas - he explains that they’re just “animals” - and you say, “Well, OK then.” (https://www.nbcnews.com/.../more-5-400-children-split...)

That you have witnessed all the thousand and one other manifestations of corruption and low moral character and outright animalistic rudeness and contempt for you, the working American voter, and you still show up grinning and wearing your MAGA hats and threatening to beat up anybody who says otherwise. (https://www.americanprogress.org/.../confronting-cost.../)

What you don't get, Trump supporters, is that our succumbing to frustration and shaking our heads, thinking of you as stupid, may very well be wrong and unhelpful, but it's also...hear me...charitable.

Because if you're NOT stupid, we must turn to other explanations, and most of them are less flattering.

- Adam-Troy Castro

(To all who agree with its content, I ask that you PLEASE SHARE IT on your own post, and ENCOURAGE OTHERS to do the same.)

 

Tuesday, November 03, 2020


You've got to love it when it is time to open a new bottle of Vegemite, there is a certain thrill to it.


Sunday, November 01, 2020

 


White Roses in the sun.


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

What's the Point To All Of This?

I got all my work done yesterday, not too many people annoying me, bugging me, interrupting me, or wanting something done. IT finally got their act together and updated my system. Not too much pain there. Deadline for everything to be finished is tomorrow, so, I pretty much, have the day free. Yay.

Gotta love working from home.

I should get on to my novel. I should. I should want to get it finished, to get it out there, to have something for eternity, but, nyr? What do I care? Eternity, smernity?

Lazy? Maybe? Insecure? Can I really do it? I think I am more lazy that afraid. Writing is hard work. I’m making excuses, sure.

We spend our lives thinking we matter, but really... dead for 50 years – is that two generations? – and nobody will remember you. It's the truth. No matter how special you think you are.

Do I care about anything? Not really? Not like I did once, not like I did when I was young. When I’m dead, I’ll care even less. We're conned into caring about all sorts of fucken things by the news services because it is in the news services best interest to get us hooked on the shit they spew up to us. Don’t be conned, let it go.

There is so little to care about. But we fill our lives with it.

Of course, I care about my close and personal love. Of course, I care about Sam. Of course, I care about the things I can touch with my fingertips, that goes without saying. But, do I care about anything else, no, not really. What's the point? Really?

Why would I care about you? (Give me a reason, I guess?)

It is too easy to get distracted. Suddenly, I’m invested in Melania having a body double. Or how bad domestic violence is. Or how Peta Cretin is wearing her mask wrong. Sheesh!

What’s real gets lost so easily in what’s trending. Is that fashion? That’s fashion, forgotten tomorrow.

Shake of my head.

I just need to get inspired in writing, not all the other stuff, then I write like I'll never tire. It comes in bursts, it comes in waves, it is totally unpredictable. (Well, not totally, if I make myself start it generally flows)

Close the news websites and pick up a novel and read, that’s a start, that's what I say. I say to myself. Tell myself. I've just got to learn to listen better... to myself. I guess we all do.

So much time to waste otherwise.