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Letters from Prison #10

Letters from Prison


Silence goes on forever in a world with iron bars. No sound of mirth or laughter or wind blowing through long grass. Most people wander about this place with sadness in their eyes. The smell of fear is stong in here. The nights are filled with cries of anguish sorrow and regret for deeds done wrong outside and prayers are spoken softly for god to be their guide.

“Please help me Lord!” I heard one say. “Please help me make amends. I don’t want to be in this place! I don’t want my life to end! Give me strength to use my wisdom to keep me safe and warm. Please use your divine intervention to stay me from all harm.”

But god does not listen to the woes of fallen men. He belly-laughs with thunder “I put you in this pen. So have your little whine to me with your head cupped in your hands. I do not have any pity for an unlawful abiding man.”

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A Lamb in Poodle’s Clothing?

At first glance it sounds like an urban myth, but the Sydney Morning Herald is carrying a report, attributed to AAP, that people in Japan have been duped into buying poodles that are actually lambs in disguise. In a further slightly unbelievable twist, the fraud was discovered when a Japanese movie star went on a talk show with pictures of her ‘poodle’, provoking a flood of enquiries from fellow dupees.

I once bought a lion, only to find out that it was a kitchen stool with a mane sewn on, so I know how these poor poodle patsies feel. Or I would, if they existed. I once posted a story about an enraged mountain goat that ate seven people at a Nepali Bar Mitzvah celebration, so I know how the folks at the Herald feel.

The Michelangelo Method of Government

Many years ago I bought a motorbike, did the rider training, and rode to work, a 50 kilometre journey each way, throughout a chilly Canberra winter. I was impressed with the fuel efficiency, the ease of parking and the dirt handling ability (15 kms were unsealed) of the little Yamaha 250.

I was less impressed with the way freezing cold air would find its way through 35 layers of clothing, rendering me painfully frigid at the end of each journey. And the rain was hardly fun.

It was raining the day I got my full licence. Approaching a roundabout one block short of work, I was surprised by a car. Jamming on the brakes too hard, I flipped sideways, crushing my knee between bike and road.

12 weeks off work. An operation to fit screws. Physio appointments. An operation to remove screws. All paid for by Australia’s excellent workers compensation system. And all gone after changes to workers compensation arrangements pushed through parliament recently by our excellent federal government. I sold the bike too.

The Michelangelo method of government involves chipping away all the excesses of progressive social policy until the utopian, free-market, neo-libertarian vision is revealed. I’ve found a nut who is willing to baldly state an extreme version of the Michelangelo method.

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Labor Party Song

Kevin Rudd’s speech to the Labor Party national conference has received mixed reviews, but I suspect the reaction to the song ‘A Change in the Weather’, specially written for the occasion, to be unanimous and to run along the lines of ‘put that thing away and never mention it again’.

You can make up your own mind, however, by clicking here. And you can read the lyrics after the jump:

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Dirty Old Birds On Tour ’07

Dirty birds on tour

Coffee Bitch #10: Rouge Espresso Bar, Narrabundah

3 1/2 beans

Rouge Espresso Bar

If you borrow Woody Allen’s ‘Interiors’ on DVD, and prefer dark chocolate, this is the cafe, sorry, espresso bar for you.

Coffee Bitch long suspected Narrabundah was hiding something, so made the short flight from Civic to find out.

Rouge was found, dripping with big M minimalism and providing smooth but not outstanding brew, at Narrabundah shops.

Give up your Day Job!

Since the early days of his presidency it has been quite clear to any impartial observer that George Bush is a horse’s arse. As his administration crumbles around him, even a seemingly laudable act – announcing US spending of $1.1 billion to combat malaria in Africa (Laura’s pet project) – cannot be conducted without Bush obscuring the message with his malapropisms and ungainly idiocy.

Television reportage of the Rose Garden event focussed on Bush saying ‘we are going to teach them how to use beds….. ? ……. I mean bed-nets… yuck yuck’. This was followed by an extraordinary display of hand drumming and dancing, these joining diplomacy, public speaking, policy analysis and leadership as skills now confirmed lacking in the most powerful man in the world.

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‘Give up your day job!’ someone in the crowd was moved to say. Don’t you mean ‘don’t give up your day job?’ they were asked. ‘No,’ they replied.

Anzac Day… Again

Anzac Day again and, as a local blog reported, the streets of Reid and Campbell are clogged with the cars of those attending the dawn service. There’s a dickhead parked in the bus stop outside our house, so we can partially confirm these reports.

Later, we are told, there will be a flypast of some planes, something that occurs with annoying regularity in this locale, joining brass bands, cannon fire and the quiet mouldering of rich old people as normally rare ambient sounds that are common as muck in Reid.

Incidentally, a plane flying in close formation crashed at an airshow in the US the other day, showering a nearby neighbourhood with burning debris. 8 people were injured. Which is the sort of thing I was afraid of the day, a few years back, that The Roulettes did their show above our house.

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Not that I’m suggesting they shouldn’t do it any more for fear of such a catastrophe. Crash your stupid planes and I’ll be sitting on top of (hopefully not underneath) one of the best news stories of the year.

Employment Wanted

Depending on which way you approached it, there were two subtly different wordings in the employment ad seen on Bunda St, Civic, the other day. Personally I’d choose working with the slightly insane over the somewhat unusual anyday.

Employment ad

Employment ad 2

Australian Kingswood Factory CD Launch, Sat 21st April, 2007

Australian Kingswood Factory put a lot of effort into their CD Launch at the ANU Bar last Saturday. They even invited Loadedog along, offering a couple of free tickets, a backstage pass and free soft drinks as enticements. I was probably going anyway, but accepting inducements focuses the mind on often over-looked practices like turning up on time, paying attention to the show, taking photos and actually getting around to posting something about it, so AKF management gets a thumbs up.

AKF pics link

Two support acts were chosen, The Veebees and Dogact, the latter commencing proceedings with a sterling set of metal/punk with heavy Acca Dacca influences. With a singer who appeared to have modelled his appearance and vocal style entirely on Bon Scott, twin guitarists with much knowledge of hair products, an ordinary aussie bloke on bass and a punk-looking drummer, Dogact perform their chosen genres with such unstinting mimicry that one could wonder if anyone in the band ever had an original thought.

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Dahahoo CD Launch Part 2, Greenroom, 14/04/07

Unfortunately I had to miss Dahahoo’s CD Launch Part 1 at the ANU Bar last Friday, child-rearing duties intervening. It was a very well attended and a great night by all accounts, but with children in tow, we were restricted to turning up at The Greenroom for part 2 of the launch which was an all ages/dry event.

Da Ha Hoo pics link

Appearing with Da Ha Hoo were Fistful of Nothing, Los Capitanes and Super Best Friends, a line-up that ought to have garnered a capacity audience but, while around 100 yoofs showed up, it was a slightly disappointing turn-out.

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Coffee Bitch #9: Kona, Manuka. 12/4/07

5 beans


On the sign it says Master Roaster. Hmmm. Though the coffee had some claim to character and aroma, it would be side-lined by a good vacumm packed pre-roast.

This coffee did not stand up and hit me in the mouth with a coffee tree. It did not turn my day around.

The Lawns at Manuka is a nice place to do coffee. It has healthy pigeons (you gotta have pigeons) and, if you’re lucky, the old-world sound of bell towers.


Cam and Ry

Present: John Griffiths, Jim Boots

Absent: Candy Pants, Gertrude

Our guests are Cam and Ry, there are six live tracks, and there is talk about the pitfalls of colouring hair, the latest news on female ejaculation and the finer points of a vegan diet.

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The Flies of Autumn

Below are some photos, possibly the first ever taken, of a fly with its head stuck in the tiny grid of flywire, taken at our back door yesterday, but first a lengthy preamble…

Autumn is one of my four favourite seasons in Canberra, and this autumn has been a standout, exhibiting a steady tendency towards lower (and more comfortable) temperatures with a seemingly uninterrupted series of cool nights opening to warm, sunny days played with gentle breezes.


The only drawbacks are the worrying lack of dam-replenishing rains and the house flies which seem to be having a bumper year. Our house has poor defences against insects and has recently been infested with a flock of irritating but otherwise harmless flies, vomiting and ingesting on every surface and occasionally driving one to distraction.

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Rudd: the Mooniest Head on Morning tv.

Alternative Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has realised the error of his sunrise ways and, having quit his Channel 7 job, is generously spreading his grinning dial around the commercial networks.

Rudd’s stint on Sunrise played a big part in raising his public profile, his elevation paralleling Seven’s rise to the top of the ratings tree, but some may have queried his continued presence there once he had assumed the Labor Party leadership. Surely that role ought to require a little more gravitas than Sunrise can hope to achieve?

With the other networks turning nasty over Rudd’s apparent favouritism, Rudd appears ready to bend over backwards, assume the position and whore himself in whatever configuration their producers now suggest.

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