Saturday, May 11, 2013

Eddie Obeid supported Tony Mooney's abortive federal campaign in Herbert, which has appaprently come as a big surprise to His Radiance - Bob Cut Snake Katter puts the wind up the ladies of the CWA - and a coterie of mayor's from the south-east corner urging people to break the law? It could be seen that way.

Also, Annabel gets crabby to win quote of the week, and ...

.... one surefire way to get rid of lingering dinner party guests, plus ...

.... weasel words from Channel Nine about their censorship of an environmental ad.

Also, the price of meat is high enough, but $785 for just a hint of mince? The latest Penfolds Grange hits the shelves, and those who pen words about plonk appear to be in the grip of the grape in more ways than one.

Maybe you'll need a drink after this week's visit to the nest at   

The ‘Pie had a bit of a snurfle about a harmless typo in the Saturday Astonisher.  

This page 2 story .... 

... was about fitter turned coal nabob Craig Ransley, who has resigned from his mining concern Guildford Coal, while his alleged naughtiness with mining leases in NSW is sorted out by the Eddie Obeid/ Ian MacDonald (that's NSWs IM) ICAC Inquiry.

Today’s Astonisher reported the following in the story:

‘In the statement, Guildford's current chairman and former Townsville-based Liberal MP, Peter Lindsay, paid tribute to Mr Ransley's "enormous personnel contribution to Guildford".

If in fact Prince Peter did say ‘personnel’ rather than 'personal', it would appear he is somewhat immodestly praising Ransley for having the great good sense to appoint his regal self as one of Guildford’s ‘personnel’ –  chairman no less - along with Craig Cuddlepie Wallace who nowadays is monstering the Mongolians in Guildford’s name.

 And, of course, Tony His Radiance Mooney.

And thereby lies an interesting side story - also interesting because the paper has treated it like a side story. Tucked away at the bottom of today’s yarn is this:

In another development last year, it was revealed the Obeid Corporation donated to the campaign of Labor federal candidate Tony Mooney. Mr Mooney, a former mayor of Townsville, is Guildford's stakeholder relations general manager. The Electoral Commission of Queensland return specifically named Mr Mooney as a beneficiary of a $5000 donation. 

Mr Mooney said he had no idea why the Obeid Corporation would have named him in the return.’

Given the outcome of the election, soundly beaten by a last choice blowhard candidate Ewen Jones, Eddie Obeid too must be wondering why he parted with the 5K. 

Hasn't a clue? - His Radiance Tony Mooney
But talk about giving the public a collective blah job! 

The former mayor's words were carefully chosen, but let's take them on face value. It is a sweet image – Tony Mooney drawing half-circles in the dust with his his toe, hands in pockets and gazing aimlessly at the sky, whistling tunelessly – the very essence of ’Who, me, what?’ 

Five grand and you have no idea, mate? Take a wild guess, Your Radiance. 

This situation could lead one to a ‘join the dots’ exercise in political connections, like Ransley is allegedly up to his neck in it with Obeid and Macdonald – Obeid donates to the Mooney campaign – then, after Mooney was seen off politically, Ransley head hunts His Radiance for a job at Guildford. 

The ‘Pie does not suggest in any way there is anything nefarious in all this, because even if His Radiance was of a mind to feel obligated, he never got the chance anyway. But the fact remains that having one's name linked to  Eddie Obeid - and also now possibly your mentor Craig Ransley -  has been enough to sink more stellar political careers than that of our erstwhile mayor and wannabee federal MP. One does wonder though about the deals that never got to be done.

Anyway, mate, you’re out of it now, and with this political ‘revelation’, it seems assured you will never again light up our public life with your radiance.

Normally, of course, the Mooney revelation would be – well, anywhere else, anyway – front  page news, but the Townsville Bulletin obviously has another agenda, since The ‘Pie hears they had been alerted to this political donation more than a month ago. There is no suggestion that His Radiance has done anything untoward, but that’s never stopped The Bulletin before, why now? Passing strange, no?

Now some piffling matters noted in passing during the week.

Old Magpie chum Ross McSwain tells us via LinkIn that he's had a promotion. He's been with Qld Corrective Services for a while but you have to wonder about the state's prisons, given Ross's new title - Director of External Affairs. External? Suppose that means he'll be the one having to chase escapees ... hope you've got your water wings, old fella.

Idle thought: And just what would the duties of a Director of Internal Affairs be? Checking jail visitors for intimatedly stashed drugs? Just askin'.

Quote of the Week goes to Magpie favourite Annabel Crabb from the Fairfax stable ...

She can get crabby with The 'Pie
anytime she likes.

... who demonstrated her knack of satirical perspective when she summed up the Waterhouse watershed (some are now calling it Singlehousegate) with the following.

'Keep in mind, this is a sport centred entirely on strapping developmentally challenged men and women in colourful pyjamas to domesticated animals and making them run around a paddock, cheered on by highly intoxicated crowds of onlookers, a substantial proportion of whom are intentionally wearing feathers on their heads.'

Cruel but funny is the fact that the tiresome Tom Waterhouse is now known in the Sydney media (coined one guesses by Mike Carlton) as Lucious Lips …. Carlton reckons the inevitable movie of the affair should have Tom Waterhouse ...

played by Miranda Kerr.

An orthodontist's dream.

But if that’s a quote of the week, here’s a stab at the obverse of that linguistic coin - it is from a web article on climate change by someone whose name The ‘Pie didn't bother noting  – you’ll soon see why. If it has any practical application at all, it would be a great way to get rid of lingering dinner party guests. Start a bread roll throwing debate about global warming, then call for quiet and quote the following on the subject from a learned ... umm, what’s the word ... ah, yes …twat  (read it out loud for the full effect of acadil/boofademic lyric flow)

A more general point is one that many people are unaware of, that the probability distribution of likely outcomes is almost certainly highly kurtotic, quite likely a Paretian power law, with fat tails, and very unlikely to be Gaussian normal.  As it is most of the IPCC reports have plugged in assumptions of the latter, but Martin Weitzman has in several places argued that the power law outcome is much likelier, with the ubiquity of nonlinear positive feedback effects of various sorts in the system responsible for this (albedo, methane in Siberia, etc.)

It’s those damn Russian cows, the ones with fat tails it, is! Kevin Rudd, eat your heart out - or whatever Foolya Duckbutt has left of it.

And if anyone challenges you on the word 'kurtotic' which is not in many dictionaries, you’ll soon be alone doing the washing up when you inform them that ‘kurtotic is a statistical measure used to describe the distribution of observed data around the mean. It is sometimes referred to as the "volatility of volatility."

Kerr-iii-sst - let's get outta here - he's about to go volatile.

Sh-t, really? Knob-throttlers like this make Bob Katter sound lucid.

Well, almost.

The Mad Katter, he of the Cut Snake Party, set the ‘nanna flaps’ aflapping in the halls of the Country Womens Association across Australia this week, when he declared that ‘all the old cows’ shouldn’t be left to die in their own time, they should be used now to make affordable tinned stew for pensioners.

For a moment, the venerable old biddies of the CWA must’ve thought  that rather than writing country cookbook recipes, they were going to be the recipe – and that they were the target of some Kattertonic ‘Soylent Green’ plot – that of 1973 movie about recycling humans for food. 

Preperation and cooking instructions could be a bit tricky. 

 (‘ Prep: Trim off any corns, callouses, bunions and double chins – remove all head hair, as perms can contain noxious chemicals – scrub skin well to remove any lingering Cashmere Bouquet talc and remember, the packaging of  floral print frocks can be recycled through St Vinnies. Bake until tender - about 20 hours’). Well, they do breed 'em tough out thar. Perhaps this old bird should refrain from referring to himself as The ‘Pie, in case Bob has a literal turn of mind.

But no, no such calamity loomed, our gurgling and gulping member for Kennedy was just making the not-unreasonable suggestion that cattle that can’t be fed in the current drought conditions should not be shot and their carcasses bulldozed into mass graves or burnt in the paddocks, but instead sent to the abattoir for canning for old codgers. Yum-oh. As always with Bob, a step too far … stereotyping pensioners ain’t a good look, let alone suggesting that they’re so stripped of dignity that a third-rate food can be provided specifically for them. To paraphrase Oliver Twist ‘Please sir, may we not have any more of this gruel’. More dumb than yum.

Other matters.

Perhaps you’ve heard of this $200,000 billboard campaign 'Give A Beep' by southern mayors in Queensland demanding road upgrades for the region?

A worthy asp[iration, but is it too clever by half?
A gaggle of mayors from the SE corner figure that in an election year, they’ll get some traction if they get the punters on side to harass local federal members about the parlous state of the roads around the place. There will be a mobile version of the above billboard  touring the south-east corner over the next month, along with this permanent one beside a major highway.

But was this idea thought through? The ‘Pie presumes it took the think tank behind the idea just the few necessary seconds to see that ‘Give A Bleep’, which would be the genteel way of saying ‘Give a F-ck’, was already taken by Queensland Firemen who will be starting a campaign for smoke detectors later in the year.

So ...  ‘Adrian, let’s drop the ‘l’ and make it ‘beep’, since it’s all about cars, and the dictionary definition of beep is ‘sounding a car horn. (skip - clap hands) Super, Tarquin, just the ticket’.  So now, those who read the billboard are encouraged to go to the ‘Give A Beep’ website and press the beep button to register their disgust with those rotten pollies who don’t care about the state of Queensland’s roads in the SE corner.

Genius, eh?

Well, maybe, except for two things – major things.

The mayors who sanctioned this could end up before the courts – it could well be argued that the billboard wants motorists to ‘beep’ their horns to show their support as they pass the sign – fine print at 100kph easily missed. Nothing new in that, ‘Honk If You Love Jesus’ has been around for yonks of honks but that secular sentiment along with this political campaign, is – ya ready for this - against the law in Queensland.

In one of the previous Labor government’s nanny state, tail-wagging-the-dog laws, three or four years ago, it was decreed  that ‘drivers must not use a car horn unless warning other road users or animals of a danger. Fines go up to a treasury-choking $2000.

The measure was aimed at those tedious hoons and other assorted knuckle draggers who are easily amused by making loud noises. However, just like some of the state’s poorly framed liquor laws, this measure meant the transgressions of a few impacted on the general freedom of the many - from the cheery bip bip of Dad to the kids as he heads off to or arrives home from work, to taxi drivers no longer being able to announce their arrival at pick-up with a brief toot. 

That being the case, the mayoral group could conceivably be charged with encouraging people to break the law – which, of course, is itself against the law. And if there is an accident caused by either inattention or inappropriate beeping, then it could really hit the legal fan.

The major problem is that this is a criminal waste of ratepayers money, because it won’t make a stick of difference to pollies unless there are tens of thousands hits on the website – which there won’t be. The first week of this campaign, at the time of writing, had attracted just 876 ‘beeps’ – including one from a curious ‘Pie. Probably all the mayors staffers.

Just for a cultural break from all this, enjoy The Playmates fifties hit The Beep Beep Song.

The Weasle Words of The Week go to Channel Nine nationally, for the manner of defending their censorship of an ad they had accepted money for but called the whole thing off when they buckled under pressure from the big end of town.

Coca Cola had just successfully knocked over a NT law requiring a returnable deposit on all bottles of soft drink. Such schemes have been around for a long time - The 'Pie remembers getting his threepences for returning Lillymans soft drink bottles in Tamworth in the 50s. Indeed, such a scheme is on the books in SA, but Coke decided they didn't want this pesky, time consuming stuff to spread.

Greenpeace decided to highlight the venality of the soft drink giant's action with a TV ad, but when the Nine Network saw what they had accepted sight unseen, all bets were off and the ad was banned. The corporate forked tongue told '....on reviewing the content, we deemed it to be offensive to our viewers', which is really  translated as 'we've had our balls twisted by Coca Cola, and we would find it offensive to lose their multi-million dollar account'.

So you'll not see it on the Nine Network, and probably not on Seven or Ten, whom Greenpeace are now approaching to see if it can get a gallop there. But here it is in fearless MagpieVision. 

Rare for this blog to hold hands with the Greens, but hey, this is about ... maybe ... magpies.  

A final matter.

This column has over the years, in its various guises, bestowed honorary membership of the Royal Association of Outright Tuggers  on various deserving sectors of society – real estate agents, radio announcers, architects and most of the editors and managers of the Townsville Bulletin for the past 10 years.

But in such stellar company, one sub-species of dodgy journalism stands out. If anyone deserves the Golden Knob-Throttlers Award for Outright Wankery, it has to be – the wine writer.

Some years ago, The Magpie graced the pages of the Astonisher with a look at the risible flummery of the wine writer, gathering real quotes from wine magazines, questioning such dodgy detections like ‘vegemite overtones’, ‘pencil shaving aromas’ and the supremely loopy ‘duck feathers finish’.  Thuffering thuccotash!!! Given where a duck’s feathers finish, the aroma would be somewhat more pungent than feathers.

The old bird was greatly flattered to learn that that column was used in a TAFE wine appreciation course as a ‘how not to’ instruction.

Well, times haven’t changed.

This little drop landed on the plonk purveyors’ shelves a few days ago – the 2008 Grange Hermitage, yours for a piddling $785 – as in piddling your money up against the wall. Some enthusiasts fell over themselves (as winos often do) to take advantage of a price slashing war, and managed to get some for a mere $670 a bottle. 

Not bad for a wine which, on release in 1952 (there was a ’51, which was not released and in now in the hands of collectors – yours for $50,000 at auction – each that is) earned winemaker Max Schubert more jeers than cheers. One famous early comment was that it smelled ‘like crushed ants’.

The Dipso's Diva Lisa Perotti-Brown.
But the fuss this time around was heightened when a prominent wine critic, one Lisa Perrotti-Brown, gave it the perfect 10 score. OK, good-o, but The ‘Pie fell into deep contemplation when he read Ms P-B’s description of the wine having ‘a very complex nose with aromas of mulberries, layers of baking spices, cloves, cinnamon and ‘ … wait for it, wait for it …’ nuances of minced meat’. On being informed of this, The Magpie’s equally complex nose sniffed certain traces of bovine waste material.

Christ, girl, time to lay off the turps.

But it is one thing for the creative use of English, when pushing the boundaries of what we will swallow about what they swallow - it is quite another when it comes to value. And that is not so much just the price punters pay today, Grange is apparently a test of patience as much as the pocketbook. Consider this: intern Sash Petrova, in her article trying to ‘evaluate the value’, quickly discovered she wasn’t about to get even a tastette of Grange 2008 – she’ll be heading into her mid-life crisis before the 2008 is ready to be uncorked. Well, she'll no doubt be in sore need of it by then. A Melbourne booze-hound broke the news to her.

"Nobody in their right mind would buy that bottle of wine, open it and drink it," Jay Bessell, one of the owners of Melbourne's Carlton Wine Room, told Crikey. "It's not complete. It would be like taking my one-year-old daughter for a horseback ride. It's just not ready."

So how long do people have to stay in their right mind before opening it, Ms Petrova asked.

Perrotti-Brown recommended it be put away for 22 years before drinking. (Huon) Hooke agreed: "You won't get your full value for money if you drink it now. For a lot of people it will be a little bit aggressive and a bit unformed."

By the time Ms Bessell turns 21, it'll probably be cheaper to buy her a bloody horse than give her the Grange - sort of home on the range rather than on the Grange.

The question of value for money cannot be ignored, not to mention being in your right mind.  And the coincidence of the latest Grange release for the self-stroking pleasure of the ‘haves’ with the plight of the ‘have nots’ did not escape Bentley’s gimlet eye.

Hey, maybe The Mad Katter could do a deal with Penfolds for us old stew-bound geezers. Aww, c'mon.

The Magpie, who has dabbled in owning restaurants over the years, has tasted all vintages from 1972 to 1981 – his tasting of the mystical Grange was akin to that of a dog’s relationship to its genitals - he did it just because he could. And perhaps unlike the dog, The ‘Pie found the wine very ordinary to the palate  – not even a hint of mincemeat. The disappointment was not just because of the price, just because, anyway.

So keep the above in mind next time you read a wine tasters article. The ‘Pie said all those years ago, nearly all photographs at professional tasting show a close-up of the taster aggressively thrusting a glass up to his snozz. The other hand is always out of sight, and The 'Pie will leave it to you to work out in what activity it is indulging.


  1. Where's the Mongrel? He could give an educated appraisal of many fine plonks

  2. Conan the GrammarianMay 11, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    "The other hand is always out of sight, and The 'Pie will leave it to you to work out in what activity it is indulging."

    That other hand was attempting to write "A more general point is one that many people are unaware of, that the probability distribution of likely outcomes is almost certainly highly kurtotic, quite likely a Paretian power law, with fat tails, and very unlikely to be Gaussian normal. As it is most of the IPCC reports have plugged in assumptions of the latter, but Martin Weitzman has in several places argued that the power law outcome is much likelier, with the ubiquity of nonlinear positive feedback effects of various sorts in the system responsible for this (albedo, methane in Siberia, etc.)", but ceased & desisted when its owner went blind between the 99th and the 100th stroke.

  3. I believe the wine critic did not mean minced beef but rather that mixture most often seen at Christmas consisting of sultanas, currants, candied citrus, spices, brandy and sometimes suet.

    You really need to get out a bit more there Old Bird.

    1. You'right in Christmas mince pies

    2. Ah! that which we call a rose; by any other name et al

    3. Re mincemeat.

      Nice try, but no ceegar, folks.

      The 'Pie is always interested in the use of language and its origins (leading to a lot of pot calling kettle cock-ups on his own behalf, but he doesn't have any other sets of eyes to scan his drivel before publication).

      The ghastly preserved fruit concoction is known as mincemeat, (and on occasion still contains meat), but The 'Pie concedes that general point. However, that is 'mincemeat', and as you will see below, Ms P-B clearly writes 'minced meat', which has only one meaning ... meat that is minced. geddit, geddit!!! ... oh, never mind.

      Here in full is what our Dipso Diva had to say.

      "Deep purple-black in colour, the 2008 Grange puts forward a very complex nose packed with aromas of mulberries, layers of baking spices, cloves and cinnamon with nuances of minced meat, anise, potpourri and whiffs of dried mint and chocolate. It is framed by firm, grainy tannins and a refreshing acid line before finishing very long with aniseed and lingering blackberry preserves notes. This is clearly a wonderfully opulent and a magic vintage for this label."

      The only recipe The 'Pie could find for fruit-flavored dish using the term 'minced meat' was a popular Sth African offering called 'babotie. Sounds OK, too, so here's the recipe.,15526

    4. And so I guess you are reluctant to make an allowance for an "auto correct" stuff up which turned "mincemeat" into "minced meat".

      Should readers disregard your musings above re: Soylent Green?
      'For a moment, the venerable old biddies of the CWA must’ve thought that rather than writing country cookbook recipes, they were going to be the recipe – and that they were the target of some Kattertonic ‘Solyent Green’ plot – that of 1973 movie about recycling humans for food."

      I don't remember a movie called 'Solyent Green'.

    5. And The 'Pie guesses you are reluctant to make allowance for the fact that you missed the joke. And besides, how do you know that this was an auto-check problem? Given the fey bullsh-t these sodden buggers churn out (as reported), how do you know that this woman didn't write 'minced meat' on purpose - that that is what she detected?

      And it would appear you are reluctant to make allowance for yet another Magpie typo which could not be picked up by auto-check? The movie (Edward G Robinson's last, if you're interested) was of course Soylent Green - thanks for the droll heads up, it's now been amended in the blog. Ta.

      But look here, sonny Jim (or Jemima), what's with this bloody 'anonymous' business? An amusing name adds a bit of fun to the whole business, as well as clarifying any ping-pong between commenters. The following has been published a few times over the past couple of years, but here it is again.



      1. Click into the comment box at the bottom of the blog (and below existing comments if any) and write your comment.

      2. Click on the menu button next to The Daily Astonisher field below the comment box.

      3. Scroll down that menu until you reach 'name' and 'URL'.

      4. In the 'name' section type your name or whatever monicker you want to go by (IGNORE the URL box).

      5. Click continue.

      6. Click publish.

      The 'Pie will then do the rest - checking for legals, taste, language, idiocy, offers of money - and then publish your gem.


  4. while Electoral donations are the flavour of the week it is interesting to note that the Councils Budget contribution to our over Achieving group Townsville Enterprise is being discussed by Townsville First Councillors that 3 of the Directors of Townsville Enterprise contributed in excess of $30000. to the Townsville First campaign. 1 x $5000. again 1 x $5000. and of course 1 in excess of $20000. (thru several associated companies) all details are available on the ECQ Townsville First donors list (more than $200.) To my way of thinking a conflict of interest arises in Council Chambers ? (behind closed doors )when Townsville First aligned Councillors vote to increase/decrease the Councils contribution to Townsville Enterprise..Other than a $10000. contribution by the Australian Workers (AWU) To Team (?) Hill and $2000. from the Big Mac King seems to no conflict of interest with the mayor's Campaign....All these details are available on the ECQ website...........

  5. The Usual SuspectMay 12, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    Mooney and Obeid??? Shucks, who would have thought????
    I wonder if a certain Townsville legal eagle is also involved.

  6. From today's (Saturday) headline Child Scare in the Bulletin you would think that the city's day care providers were a bunch child molesters. You only have to read the first six lines to discover that the story has no guts and no basis in fact. A cynic may also see this headline as a poor attempt on the eve of Mothers Day to focus om mum's who leave their babes to others to care for. Unfortunately the Bulletin has form for this type of reporting.

  7. Pie, Your usual brilliant blog ... and you built up to that last line about wine writers and tasters. I have to hand it to you. It was very funny. Gonzo.

    1. Well, Tom,we had a lot of tasting practice together down there in Sydney - but coming from a journalist of your standing, I'm very flattered.

    2. Until we have a local publication that represents the views of local people on matters politic, social, community and planning - this blog is the alternative way to present our thoughts without the censorship of a monopoly press that has silenced comment and promoted mediocre reporting.

      As the daily response to subjects raised increases, I congratulate Magpie for his efforts and hope that a growing audience for truth will provide a market for entrepeneurs to use a change in attitudes to promote their products.

      We are the largest city in Northern Australia. We should have a say in our area.

  8. I think Tom Waterhouse will not be known as 'Luscious Lips' - I have heard him referred to as 'C.S Lips' - I will leave what the CS stands for, to your readers imagination...

    1. You are very funny Lady B.
      Miss Lou

  9. I confess to being a bit of an amateur wine buff, subscribing to a number of wine clubs that send cartons of wine to my home on what seems to be a remarkably regular basis. So much so that I am forever buying wine racks from Uncle Dan’s. (have you ever tried to put one of those damn things together?).

    One of my favourite pastimes is to read the “tasting notes” that come with the wine, whilst actually drinking it. What an absolute wank. Sorry, but my taste buds must be jaded – there is no way that I can taste the “tropical fruit salad” or the “hint of tobacco” or the “chocolate nougat” in any of them. Unless, of course, I am eating a bowl of wife’s famous fruit salad (with coconut rum and Midori added – try it) whilst smoking a cigar and tucking into Toblerones at the same time.

    As for a wine being “aggressive and uninformed” – what? You mean like Jenny Hill? For f**k’s sake – it is grape juice – do you expect it to have a bloody HSC? And I can’t remember ever seeing a bottle of wine exhibiting road rage…

    To Anon who made the mincemeat/minced meat guff whilst trying to be a clever dick – you pernickety bugger: are you by chance related to former Bully journo Skene? She, too, had a problem with ‘fessing up to her errors as well. Your “soylent” comeback was a trifle juvenile – as was hers.

    The racing saga – Singo had the grace (if not done gracefully) to take the medicine for his peccadillo at the track. Gai two-savs would not plead guilty to breathing. (why two-savs? Her usual lurid lipstick makes her look like she has two saveloys glued to her lips – yuk, yuk). But it did confirm one thing that did not reaffirming – Johns is a grubby, drunken, loudmouthed bogan and a dullard with dodgy morals. Immortal, my hairy white bum – he was a good player canonised by the Sydney press. Probably the most overrated player ever to lace on a pair of boots since Gary Jack.

    1. oops...I put an "in" after an "un".

      Silly me...

  10. Now, look this is just in jest, and The 'Pie is in no position for any superior smirking.
    One of the things that used to drive the subs wild with The Magpie's court copy was the occasional and unprofessional 'War and Peace' length of his opening paragraphs. Their annoyance was well justified, as journos are taught that the opening sentence should be trim, taut and 'triffic, as well as addressing the news point of the story. Such transgressions require the sub to - in journo jargon - re-nose the story i.e rewrite the first paragraph or change the news emphasis.

    The situation once became so heated that The 'Pie thought he might receive his own literal re-nosing from a fellow scribe.

    The Pie once submitted a breathless tale containing three subsidiary clauses (ideally there should be none) and was loudly booed and justifiably heckled across the newsroom when the fed-up sub stood up and read it aloud to all and sundry. Well, that's one way of learning, even later in life.
    But that experience came back to the old bird this morning when he read a harmless little tale of Townsville boy makes good in the big smoke.
    Try this for an opening sentence.
    'HOLLYWOOD is calling for Townsville actor Rick Donald who will star in a new comedy - Friends With Better Lives - as the love interest of Brooklyn Decker, the model turned actress and wife of tennis star Andy Roddick, after the pilot episode was picked up by broadcaster CBS this week.'
    Clayton Smales would have had kittens if this dog's dinner landed in his lap to sub.

  11. Was the dog eating kittens? Or just a mix of metaphors?

    Slow day at work.....

  12. This is true.

    The 'Pie watched the treasurer tonight, who did an admirable job not to sweat during the budget address.

    When that was done, the bird swapped over to the more admirable House of Cards, the rivetting American version of the pommy series of the same name ... both are about political bastardry (Kevin Spacey in the world's greatest living actor).

    And after more than half an hour of Wayne Goose, art imitated life when wheeler and dealer Spacey came up with this denial when accused of lying quote" I didn't lie, I just revised the parameters of my promise'.


  13. Always Good and very entertaining.

    Sagely Yours,

    miss lou.

  14. Who is David Sparks? Is he a newbie journo for the Astonisher?

    Just reviewing and comparing content for May 2013 and and 2011. There's not much content and where are the photographs and videos?

    Keep up the good work.