Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
ZEN & THE (UN) JOYOUS RIDE IN SEARCH OF THE PERFECT STEAK BURGER -WITH A CHUNDER ALONG THE WAY -STALKED BY SERIAL KILLERS & TERRIFYING POLITICIANS
# The trip to Adelaide River was slow, but at least I was heading in the right direction.Somewhere out of Mataranka a four carriage fuel tanker road train overtook me but moved back early to my side, forcing me to brake heavily , reminding me just how easily one can slip under the wheels of these monsters.
I saw eight Black Cockatoos before Katherine , then just south of the town another 20 flew over with their slow surging wings (obviously hallucinating due to an overdose of high-octane Timor coffee-edit.) The last ones I saw, 600km south of Darwin were also hanging off every branch of a large tree. (Beginning to sound like those loathsome vampire bats Hunter S. Thompson encountered on his way to Las Vegas ). It was about there I noticed the last of the Turkey Bush , a pink to purple flowering shrub , one to three metres in height.
Just north of Renner Springs , there was a female Bustard or Bush Turkey ( proper name is Thick Knee ) standing in the middle of the road . I stopped, blew my horn and several times before it walked off the road. Then its striking male partner walked onto the road as if to say ,” I don’t get off the road for trains , so bugger off Troopy!” Several blasts of the horn and he finally took to the air. I had not seen a pair of Bush Turkeys on the Stuart Highway since 1968.
As dark closed in , I arrived at the Three Ways and ensconced the Troopy amongsts road trains .Slept like a log until the alarm reminded me it was 5.30 and time to make coffee before proceedingly along the Barkly . It was only 450kms to Camooweal , so I decided that would make a good spot to have breakfast as I had once had an excellent steak and egg burger there on the way to the Top End. By the time I crossed the border I was salivating in expectation of that feed, refuelled and ordered a steak and egg burger with salad , no sauce. The attractive young Aboriginal girl who cooked the memorable breakfast there must have had a day off as there was a young English backpacker in her place. .
While waiting , I recalled how many years previously I had a hamburger in Camooweal before driving off into the night , pulling well off the road for a kip as there had been a number of murders on the Barkly Highway. About an hour after eating that hamburger I was violently ill, as if poisoned, and was so weakened that I had extreme difficulty climbing into the Land Rover to drive on.
My breakfast finally turned up , I bit heartily into the burger, only to find my steak burger had metamorphosed into a hamburger . Muttering an expletive under my breath, I walked out.
Through Mt Isa and on to Cloncurry , I recalled an episode where the young waitress ominously said, “ Sorry about the steak “ when she put down my plate . It was charred . Another sloppy dish produced at the same place caused me to brand the town the Pizza capital of the world. Here I am at McKinlay and the cook adds some tasty bubble and squeak to my steak and egg breakfast. Dead Wallabies ,Euros and Kangaroos were like a guard of honour at a soldier’s funeral. They attracted a lot of Whistling Kites and what were either Little Eagles or juvenile Wedge Tails. The road-kill was almost uninterrupted all the way to Roma. Australian Ravens eventually replaced hawks.
It started to rain at Ilfacombe, south of Longreach. Between there and Blackall I saw three young Emus . a few well behaved Euros and several Wallabies who seemed resolute as they dashed with fierce determination from one side of the road to the other to see if I could manage to lock up the brakes on the boat trailer. In Blackall , where I stopped because of the rain, I noticed a collection of grey nomads parked near the centre of the town and joined them.
As I finished drinking champagne , I wondered how the town council had managed to resist the nasty but ubiquitous bunch of bastards who call themselves Queensland caravan park owners who constantly pressure town councils , parks and wildlife, state politicians and other people of influence to close all the public places where poor travellers might linger for the night.Thus grey nomads, backpackers, and assorted others are forced to book into their cramped and uninteresting gulags of misery. As they wrote at the time of the English enclosures :
The law locks up the men and women
Who steal the goose from off the common
But leaves the larger villain loose
Who steals the common from the goose.
Just as I was thinking of opening a bottle of red , this old fella with a glass of white in his hand , from Benalla ,on the Victorian NSW border, wandered over and after inspecting the boat announced that if I went up to the Court House the next morning I would be able to vote in the fortchcoming federal election . I thanked him for the information, but informed him that I had written to the then Prime Minister Rudd advising him that for the first time in my life I would be voting informal.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
During the discussion Rothwell pointed out that at the previous federal election the Northern Territory had been the centre of a national emergency, the intervention. In the current campaign , Aboriginal matters had hardly been raised. He made the observation that China also appeared to have dropped off the radar since the demise of Kevin Rudd. The presidential nature of elections , it was said, with polls reporting one or other of the two leaders being a point or two ahead , made the event seem like a horse race .
Monday, August 16, 2010
Angry Liberal Party strategists blame the ugly Darwin cane toad Ms Bishop patted -as bosomy as Mae West -for the accident . Ever since that bizarre photo opportunity in Darwin the scent of the female cane toad has attracted hordes of mad male croakers everywhere Bishop has gone. The Coalition's Brisbane election launch was a disaster because the front three rows of seats were filled with warty toads hopping about, winking at Ms Bishop. It was hard to tell who were the toads and who were the Chasers at the event.
A hospital spokesman said Abbott was knocked out in the accident and was given the kiss of life by the bikini clad nuns , from the Melbourne Order of Perpetual Indulgence, who are on sabbatical,soaking up the sun before returning to Victoria to go mouldy.
A visiting specialist, Dr Patel, operated on Abbott and removed his ears, which means he will no longer appear in wide wing Libra advertisements. ( See post August 7.)
Sunday, August 15, 2010
There is a feeling that certain vested interests and individuals , some with axes to grind, will attempt to bring about changes which will be detrimental to some present participants in port activities. One important group in particular suspects that the review will be used to try and “rule them out ” of a say in the running of the port.
It is said the NT Government is so “mesmerized “ by the proposed megabucks Inpex project with its huge impact on the port, harbour , environment , economy and the political survival of MLAs that it will go along with anything suggested in the review, without thinking of the consequences , especially in relation to the workforce. Little Darwin has been told that in its bedazzled state, the NT Government could be “hoodwinked” into accepting and backing adverse , anti -democratic changes.
A businessman opined that the reason why former DPC executive Michael Nesbit , who suddenly quit to return to his family in Melbourne after 18 months of a four year contract, had been rehired as a $1500 a day consultant by the Chief Minister’s Department , is that nobody locally is on top of the port big picture ramifications. Nesbit, we are told, is highly qualified , hard working ,has carried out some very detailed figuring in connection with the energy industry impact and requirements on the port, and he and his family holidayed in the south of France with another DPC family. The businessman mused that Nesbit is so knowledgeable about the port, it would be desirable for him to be involved in some way in the $500,000 review .
Dissatisfaction with the present running of the DPC is reflected in recent media reports calling for an inquiry into the running of the agency. While on the subject of the DPC , the Bushranger column in the Sunday Territorian, under the heading Bullying probe , said DPC head ,Robert Ritchie, responding to allegations by Maritime Union Australia NT organiser, Thomas Mayor, that there were complaints about the treatment of personnel , has semaphored he will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace.
No word has yet been heard about the call by independent Gerry Wood MLA and Thomas Mayor for an inquiry into the DPC. It used to be basic journalistic practice that when such calls are made , you automatically seek a response from those named and relevant minister /ministers.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Our new , highly paid political columnist, Mungo Season, half -brother of the well known hell raiser and man –about- town , Mango Madness -Season, today reveals that the ruthless federal Coalition is preparing to dump Tony Abbott before the election . With polls showing that the Coalition will be done like a takeaway dinner , there is fear and loathing in the conservative camp.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Political pundit , Mungo MacCallum , revealed his green digit when he told a Darwin audience that democracy is a delicate flower
The floral fragility of the Australian nation is evident in the North Queensland seat of Herbert , centred on Townsville, which takes in Magnetic and Palm Islands . Its outcome could decide which side captures the Treasury benches and who will be the next PM. Actually, there are six North Queensland seats which could fall either way which have a record all going from one side to the other in a bloc .
As the fateful election date draws nigh , there is much nervous twitching in both major parties in Herbert . The battle could end in a dramatic scene out of Moby Dick , a candidate dragged to political death full fathom five by a pod of frolicking humpback whales. An extraordinary cavalcade of people including the Penis Puppets , Molly Meldrum and Berlin Wall Bob could influence the vote in the electorate hothouse. In addition, the Cowboys have had a rotten season, fans are depressed and would like to give somebody the boot , except most of them wear thongs and,like rampant noxious weeds, will express their frustrations by voting all over the political garden,not as one coordinated pack of overwhelming forwards.
Much to the delight of many, whales recently started to appear in Townsville’s Cleveland Bay, especially around Magnetic Island . While the Greens have agreed to swap preferences with Labor in most electorates , one of those exceptions is Herbert, which seems to indicate a certain attitude to the ALP candidate, Tony Mooney , a former Labor mayor of Townsville. In office, he locked horns with environmentalists and activists wanting to stop development of certain projects on Magnetic Island , including beautiful Radical Bay , said to be a birthing place for whales.
Over the years Mayor Mooney clashed with a strong group of concerned conservationists and environmentalists on the island , all of whom have long memories. One dispute resulted in legal action which forced the closure of an island newspaper . When another newspaper sprang up , the council refused to respond to questions it posed ,the subject of representation by the Magnetic Island Labor branch which said the council stance was not a good look for the party.
Mooney, mayor of Townsville from 1998 to 2008, has a track record of failing to win vital elections outside of civics. Despite being strongly tipped to win the 1996 Mundingburra by-election , in part due to ALP infighting, a large field and the leafy Greens refusing to direct their preferences to Labor, he failed to do so and the Goss government, in which Kevin Rudd was the top mandarin , crashed .
Mooney also failed to win the preselection tussle for the seat of Townsville in a state election and was beaten by Mike Reynolds , a minister and Speaker before his retirement . It is no secret that both men disliked each other.
The forced amalgamation of the ALP dominated Townsville City Council and the Thuringowa City Council in 2008, saw Mooney beaten in the vote for the mayor of the greater burg. Leading up to the election he had been pro the construction of a Chinese smelter on the outskirts of Townsville . However, in a backflip before the election , he seemed to announce on air that he was against the smelter. All but one of the former Townsville City Council ALP members who contested the amalgamation election failed to gain a seat . It was almost like Colonel Custer’s last stand for the ALP.
Depite this , in March this year, the then PM , Kevin Rudd, enthusiastically announced Mooney as the inside runner without a democratic plebiscite , a move which upset some in the local ALP. Indeed , Jenny Hill, the only former Townsville City Council member to be elected to the larger council , was reported as saying some party members had walked away when told that Mooney had got the nod from the national executive. She urged those still in the party to hang in there and fight off the Tories.
Herbert is notionally a Labor seat with a slender margin of less than one percent due to the retirement of the Liberal incumbent , Peter “Sit Down You Are Rocking the Boat” Lindsay , a name which could be mistaken for a noisy character out of Damon Runyon's Guys and Dolls. So called because whenever he caught the ferry to and from Magnetic Island, Lindsay always stood up talking to somebody so that he was as conspicuous as a barber shop wooden Indian. At the last election, Lindsay withstood a strong ALP challenge, accompanied by fries and much squirting of the sauce bottle, by Townsville’s McDonald’s king , George Colburn . In a weird sound bite earlier this year , Pistol Pete Lindsay was heard predict the price of sausages would skyrocket for some unfathomable reason.
The Liberal National Party candidate this election is portly, rock-a- billy auctioneer , Ewen Jones, renowned for telling corny jokes . Lindsay may have bequeathed him some sausage sizzler rib ticklers.
What about the Penis Puppets ? I hear your say. Well, there is a Family First candidate , an aeronautical engineer, Michael John Punshon. When the outrageous Penis Puppets visited Townsville there was a big demo with placard waving locals deploring this filth . An infrequent publication extolling good clean family virtues said that “Molly “ Meldrum should be flung into the eternal fires of Hell for introducing Australian youth to Countdown .
Another family matter which could swing the Herbert vote to the Tories is the fact that a study carried out in the electorate showed that about 3000 fecund women intend having a child in the near future. Abott’s higher paternity leave entitlements might cause myopic woman, with rose tinted bifocals, to look at him in a more favourable light. Once more the old ALP warring factions are squaring up to each other. There are scores to settle . One grumpy member of the right is known as Berlin Wall Bob, a cute title derived from action he took after falling out with a neighbour. The long arm of the NSW Labor Sussex Street fixers might also extend to Townsville via Brisbane union mates. Little Darwin happens to know that a female candidate in a past election was shocked when she was contacted by a hotshot investigative reporter and quizzed about her relationship with a certain powerbroker.
Some say the Herbert outcome will be another Mundingburra by-election disaster. Others insist PM Gillard saved Mooney’s neck by settling the mining resources tax issue , otherwise he will be a goner, again.
Minus his gall bladder, Kevin Rudd flew into Townsville and went with Mooney to glad hand and press the kidney fat on Palm Island , hoping to win the indigenous vote . After the long running death in custody case and dissatisfaction with the Bligh Government, it is hard to determine the indigenous vote. Is it any wonder that politicians follow a tight script when all about them are allegedly sane members of the community who want to emasculate Penis Puppets, torch Meldrum and his dog, blast the mayor’s driveway , save sausages from becoming astronauts , produce a baby Bananalander or two for Pete/ Julia/Tony and practice voodoo on each other. In this extraordinary hothouse, a cactus would surely wilt .
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
From September 28, 2009, Ms Assange writes: My name is Assange. I have lived on the Island three times. 1971 as a single mum with a young baby. I rented an island cottage for $12 per week in Picnic Bay. It is still here. It had a green concrete floor and floor to ceiling wooden louvres and a central “cyclone” pole bolted into the floor. It survived Althea. I lived in a bikini, “going native” with my baby and other mums on the island. I used to catch a white cowie shell I found
Old Pat, an elderly gentleman who leased Nobby's Headland for $500 for 10 years and lived in a broken down stone house would have us up for tea once a week. He was a chef before retiring and always wore a safari jacket. Great for filling up on the mainland of all manner of delicious goodies for us.
Back again as a grandmother with long term boyfriend - still in love with island - only staying 2 weeks.
Their house on Magnetic Island burned to the ground, and rifle cartridges that Claire had kept for shooting snakes exploded like fireworks. “Most of this period of my childhood was pretty Tom Sawyer,” Assange told me. “I had my own horse. I built my own raft. I went fishing. I was going down mine shafts and tunnels.”
FOOTNOTE: Little Darwin was impressed by the fact that Ms Davies and her husband, Gary, a collector of British humorous postcards , have a footscraper bought at the fabulous auction of contents at Anlaby , the old South Australian Dutton dynasty homestead last in the family possession of the late author , Professor Geoffrey Dutton .
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Alighting from one of the 500 CNG powered buses in Brisbane at a stop opposite the Queen Alexandra Hospital , Woolloongabba , I went in search of a loaf of sourdough, to which my half- sister had taken a liking, and headed to a nearby Vietnamese bakery. Sitting outside the aromatic bakehouse was a possible outpatient from the hospital who, like so many mature- age Queenslanders, had a potbelly, freckles , wore a T-shirt , shorts , sandals ; a broadbrimmed hat rested on a table .There was a bright white bandage on a leg .
An Asian man , hand in pocket, approached , and was greeted as if an old friend by the bandaged bloke .There certainly was no indication of Queensland xenophobia , evident in many parts of the state, a growing problem for the Gillard government and a fire eagerly stoked by the Coalition, in the warmth of the greeting from the Australian .
The new arrival asked after a person called Jack. “He’s buggered , mate,” was the reply. “He has not got long to live - it’s his liver. He’s been on the (gesticulating as if swigging from a bottle ) from way back.”
When asked what he was doing , the Asian gent said he was going to buy a pie , but from a shop in a nearby supermarket , not the Vietnamese bakery. On hearing this , his friend was taken aback. . In a loud voice , which could be heard in the intensive care ward located across the road and up the hill, over the roar of the busy Ipswich Road traffic , he said the pies made in the supermarket venue were no good , and three days old. In a quaking voice, the intending pie eater pointed out that they were cheaper than the ones in the Vietnamese bakery.
Affronted, the pie expert continued his disparaging comments ," Three days old and shit, mate , don’t buy one from there . This is the best place, and they are fresh every day."
Even though I deliberately lingered about , I never did find out which shop provided the pie in the finish. I think the Asian man may have had some Scottish blood in him and was waiting for the Vietnamese bakery PR man to limp off and catch a bus so that he could make a thrifty buy , without being harangued.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
*Naktuka case could be a threat to security: Mahein*Timor Post, July 29, 2010 language source: Tetun . Director for Mahein Foundation, Nelson Belo, said Naktuka border case could be a threat to the country’s national security if the Timorese Government did not seriously seek a quick solution. Belo said the border did not only belong to the Timorese people who were living in the border area, but it belonged to all the Timorese people. Belo stressed that when security in the border was not going well, it would impact the Timorese people’s lives in general. He hoped that the Naktuka case would not cause conflict between the two countries’ military forces. Belo also called on the Parliamentary Committee for Defense and Security to urge the Government to find a solution to this problem as soon as possible.
*Naktuka case is a small problem: Foreign Affairs Ministers* Diario Nacional, 29 July 2010. Language source: Tetun . Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Timor Leste and Indonesia recognized that the local residents in Naktuka were traumatised and intimidated; therefore they urge the countrys' leaders to resolve the problem immediately. “This is a small problem because , although only few military members threatened the community. They were not threatened by the Indonesian government. Our people built houses in the area without informing Indonesia,” said Minister for Foreign Affairs of Timor, Leste Zacarias Albano Da Costa. Da Costa stressed that Timor Leste would use the agreement made by Holland and Portugal in 1904 where Naktuka was part of Timor Leste area. In recent days, President Horta blamed the Ministry of Social Solidarity and Ministry of Agriculture because they did not coordinate with the Foreign Affairs Ministry before building social houses in Naktuka.