Tuesday, August 31, 2004

CHECK on your neighbours!!!

Mummified Man Goes Unnoticed for Two Years
Mon Aug 30,10:18 AM ET

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - A reclusive Canadian man, who neighbors thought may have gone traveling, was found mummified in his bed, almost two years after he died, Manitoba's chief medical examiner says.

Winnipeg police found the body of 52-year-old Jim Sulkers preserved in his tidy apartment after a relative phoned police to ask them to check on him.

Sulkers, who had multiple sclerosis, preferred to be left alone. His bill payments and pension deposits were handled automatically.

"It was a very well-kept second floor condominium, neat and clean, with everything in its place, and there was a body of a man on the bed, covered in a sheet, like he was sleeping, except that the body was mummified," said Thambirajah Balachandra, who investigates deaths in the province.

A newspaper dated Nov. 21, 2002, was in the apartment in an upscale Winnipeg neighborhood. Balachandra said the man died of natural causes.

"In this case, apparently this man was very reclusive. He kept to himself, he lived alone, and he didn't have contact with anybody," Balachandra said Friday.

The hot, dry and clean environment meant the body did not decompose, but rather dried up, he said.

Neighbors told local newspapers they thought the man had traveled south to escape Winnipeg's long, cold winters, and did not notice anything wrong.


115 Mph? You Must Be Joking!
Mon Aug 30,10:12 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - A British man accused by police of driving at 115 mph in a Fiat Punto thought the accusation so ridiculous he enlisted an expert driver to help prove his new car was incapable of going that fast.

Law student Steve Lucas, who risked a large fine and losing his driving license if convicted of being so far over the 70 mph limit, said his small Fiat hatchback was just too slow to have reached such a speed, British newspapers reported Saturday.

"I was happy to put my hands up and admit that I was driving at 85 mph but the idea that my little Fiat Punto 1.2 liter could manage 115 mph was laughable," he was quoted as saying.

Lucas spent 18 months fighting the charges, hiring a traffic consultant to test drive his Punto on a private racecourse. He found the best the car could manage, going downhill with a following wind, was 104 mph.

Police were finally forced to drop the speeding charges, although Lucas was fined $70 for driving without due care and attention.

Monday, August 30, 2004

(*) I'm tired 2nite

I wanted to write a nice blog about my weekend - not that it was an amazing one, but a nice one - but I'm too tired 2night. Hopefully I can do it tomorrow. I nailed an assignment and posted it off this arvo, which is a huge bonus. (Yawn!) zzzzzzzzz.......

New book explores Johnston & Clift

Charmain and George
Reviewer Warwick McFadyen, May 22, 2004

By Max Brown
Rosenberg, $29.95

Clift & Johnston

What holds a marriage together? What is the stitching that joins two lives despite the pulling at the cloth and the unravelling of the seam? Some may call it love. In the case of George Johnston and Charmian Clift, it may well have been love at the start. Certainly at the end, it was not. Perhaps, to slightly alter T.S. Eliot, in their beginning was their end.

Johnston and Clift met in 1947 and were married two years later. Clift killed herself in 1969. A year later, Johnston died. He had been ill with TB for some time. In those two decades together, the couple traversed landscapes, spiritual and physical, that for the times, most Australian couples would not have dreamt of. The pair yearned for literary fame, they took on Fleet Street and the British literary world, they struck out for an island in the Greek sun, settling first on Kalymnos and then Hydra, they moved back to England and the Cotswolds. They made another attempt at Fleet Street, then moved back to Hydra. They returned to Australia 14 years after they left.

In that time, the keys of the typewriter were pounded; the bottles of alcohol were hammered; the arguments were sparked, inflamed, doused and reignited, the extra liaisons embarked upon and then washed up. Remarkably, they stayed together.

Max Brown was a contemporary of the couple. He worked with Johnston on the Melbourne Argus and the Australasian Post. However, he only met Clift once, in 1949, after the pair had moved to Sydney and Johnston was working on The Sun. Johnston, in the early days, was the star. He was the much-travelled, experienced journalist, the war correspondent, the rising literary lion. He was appointed to head The Sun's London bureau in 1950.

The importance and significance of Clift, however, was apparent when their collaborative effort High Valley, won The Sydney Morning Herald's prize for best novel in 1948.

"No amount of shared vision splendid can mask the flaws in the glass."

They dreamt of making a life and a living from their writing. What emerges in this folksy, Reader's Digest-style condensing of the tale is that at the core, we each dream alone. For Clift and Johnston, no amount of shared vision splendid can mask the flaws in the glass when the relationship is put up to scrutiny.

Where did the faults lie? Brown makes clear his views from the outset. In the first paragraph of the preface, he writes: "Charmian and George is about a marriage but it also explores and challenges the myth of greatness surrounding the late George H. Johnston, double winner of the Miles Franklin Award."

It is, in essence, Brown calling Johnston to account. There is no doubt Brown recognises Johnston's gifts but what he is keen to do here is balance the books. Or, more to the point, redress the balance towards Clift, who Brown considers to have suffered in the shadows of Johnston's fame.

It is hard not to read into this Brown passage, a disapproval of Johnston: "Readers were shocked in July 1969, when she suicided on the eve of publication of her husband's Clean Straw for Nothing, dealing largely with the illicit affairs of a woman recognisable as herself. George was promptly awarded a second Miles Franklin prize for it."

The placement of the two subjects could not have been more telling.

Brown, who spent 20 years researching the book and who died last year, begins his story in 1964 with a time-and-health ravaged Johnston arriving back in Australia. Johnston's novel My Brother Jack was about to launch him to huge commercial success and the first of his Miles Franklins. Friends and acquaintances were shocked at his appearance. Indeed, he only had six years to live. Clift followed with their three children a few months later. She had only five years to live.

They both brought home with them the legacies of years of drinking, quarrelling, hard financial times and stunted literary aspirations. Paradoxically, in these remaining years, both found popularity.

Clift especially, through a column in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, was winning over readers. But she was also drinking heavily. Brown cites examples of her attending events three sheets to the wind.

Johnston, over two years, spent about 14 months in hospital with lung problems. And then on top of that he was writing Clean Straw for Nothing. Clift claimed she never read it. She killed herself a month before it was due for publication.

Brown quotes her suicide note: "Darling, sorry about this. I can't stand being hated and you hated me so much today - I am opting out and you can play it any way you wish from now on. I am sure you will have a most successful and distinguished career."

Was that last sentence sarcasm or sincerity? It was, more than likely, both. For Brown, one cannot understand the Johnston myth without dissembling it. In his folksy style of writing and old-fashioned turn of phrase, Brown by unadorned narration relates the rise and fall of a marriage. That it was of two extraordinary people was, perhaps, the first and last laugh of the Fates.

Rolling Stones' drummer throat cancer scare

Charlie Watts, the 'sensible Stone', has throat cancer
By Helen Johnstone, 16/08/2004

Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones drummer, is being treated for throat cancer.

Watts, 63, who stopped smoking 20 years ago and was known as the "clean-living Stone" after giving up alcohol, was diagnosed with the disease in June after discovering a lump in his throat.

He is receiving a six-week course of radiotherapy as an outpatient at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Chelsea, near his south-west London home. His spokesman said yesterday he was expected to make a full recovery.

Watts, the oldest member of the Stones, whose records with them have sold millions around the world, was said to be in good form and has been walking to hospital to be treated.

Other members of the band have been informed and Watts was being cared for by Shirley, his wife for more than 40 years, and his 36-year-old daughter Seraphina. He is expected to return to his Devon home when his treatment ends.

Watts's spokesman said: "Having been diagnosed with throat cancer following a minor operation in June, Charlie is reaching the end of radiotherapy treatment. He is expecting to make a full recovery."

A spokesman for the Stones said Watts would be back in the recording studio later in the year.

While the band were once as famous for their partying as for their music, Watts was acknowledged to be its most sensible member, despite a spell in the 1980s when he suffered addiction to drugs and drink.

A family friend said he had been typically upbeat about his condition. "He has retained his sense of humour throughout. He's very positive because he's been told he has every chance of being completely cured."

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Dead Couple to Be Married

Fri Aug 27,11:15 AM ET
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A South African man who shot his pregnant fiance dead before killing himself will be posthumously married to her at the weekend.

Police Captain Mohale Ramatseba said David Masenta shot 25-year-old Mgwanini Molomo after a quarrel before turning the gun on himself. But Johannesburg's Sowetan newspaper said family and friends wanted to remember them as a happy couple destined for a happy life together.

The groom's corpse would be dressed in a cream suit and his bride's in a gown for the ceremony, at which a priest in the rural village of Ceres in Limpopo will bless the union before the two are buried, the Sowetan said.

"In African culture, there is no death -- there is merely the separation of body and soul," said cultural expert Mathole Motshekga. "It is also important because the families are married together."

"This does not mean the relationship has irretrievably broken down."

Pierced Woman

The world's most pierced woman, Elaine Davidson from Brazil, a resident in the Scottish city of Edinburgh, poses for a photographer during the 6th Ti-Tattoo Convention in Lugano, Switzerland, late Friday, Aug. 27, 2004. Davidson claims to have upwards of 1,900 piercings, and has an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records. (AP Photo/Keystone, TiPress/Samuel Golay)

Friday, August 27, 2004

(*) The neighbours are moving...

The neighbours are moving out! Earlier this arvo I heard a truck 'beep beep beep' reversing up the narrow driveway, and it stopped right across our garage (not a problem... we can't fit a car in there anyway!) I didn't think any more about it, until I heard the neighbours starting to slide furniture onto the back of the truck! Yes, it was the neighbours... not a mask or balaclava in sight! gees, you know, you never really get to know the people you live right next door to, apart from saying 'G'day' over the back fence when we were both hanging out the washing, or keeping an eye on each others' places when we were out. And now they're moving - and I didn't even know they were sick! (Boom boom tish!) So, even on a Friday, at least they've got the whole weekend to move and clean and stuff.

Urg - mooving! Two of my good friends are in the process of moving to new houses! I hope and (pray) it's NOT my turn next! I do NOT wanna move again for a long while! I actually like it here. I feel settled, comfortable etc etc. for the first time in frigging a few years, since the seperation. blah blah blah

bloggity bloggity blog blog blog...

Jimmy Pages' Walk of Fame


Page Gets Spot on London's Walk of Fame
Mon Aug 23, 9:58 PM ET

LONDON - Jimmy Page hasn't yet made it up the stairway to heaven, but he's the first to reach the new British Walk of Fame.

The former Led Zeppelin guitarist cast his hand prints in cement Monday as the first music legend to feature on London's reply to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

"It's a real privilege and a great honor to be the first. I'm really chuffed," said Page, 60. "A Walk of Fame is a fantastic idea, and it's high time we had one in London."

The site of the British version, which will feature popular music giants, is taking shape outside the new Virgin Music superstore on Piccadilly Circus, London's landmark crossroads.

Page predicted it would soon become crowded with hand prints. "If you started putting in all the people I think are deserving, you could cover the whole of London," he said.

Led Zeppelin — which included singer Robert Plant, bassist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham, who died in 1980 — was one of the top rock bands in history and produced nine chart-topping albums from 1969 to 1979. Its most famous song was the epic "Stairway to Heaven," which was never released as a single but became one of the most requested radio songs of all time. Led Zeppelin was back on top of the U.S. rock chart last year with a greatest hits album, "How the West Was Won."

Page frequently is rated as one of the greatest rock guitarists in history. In 2002, a readers' survey of Total Guitar magazine rated him No. 2 to the late Jimi Hendrix.

"We're morons"

Thu Aug 26, 7:38 AM ET

HOLLYWOOD (Reuters) - They really said it -- notable quotes from the news:

"If you are listening to a rock star in order to get your voting information on who to vote for, you are a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons."

-- Shock rocker ALICE COOPER.

(*) The Goons - bless 'em!

This mornings' episode of The Goons was...
The Man Who Never Was

"This is the BBC..."
Here is an impression of a British emissary...
Captain Neddy Seagoon at the House of Lords' Yacht Club at Southend...
What's that you're reading? A fly paper...
A pair of uncooked German army boots... trying them on for size, they were too tight, because in each one was a pair of human feet... Eccles...
March in that suspected German spy, will you...? Permission to speak, hairy major... Does your wife know this...? Nein children in 2 years? You braggart, sir! March this scoundrel back... I demand political asylum! Send him to the House of Commons... it's the finest political asylum I know!
And this is where the story really starts...
Plan B? Submarine to Belfast, and a fast plane to South America... Cnl Bentine... he got away with it!
Bloodnok, put the gold back in my tooth... 'send in a messenger with a voice like thunder!'
We can't afford failures! Rubbish! You've been paying me for years...
Advance and be shot at, mate...  they're old bullet holes... I know, they're old bullets.
Allo's! Kippers halt! Silence! Listen! (ie, Milligan being mad! pmsl!)
And this is where the story really starts...
The sound of British workmen at top pressure...................................
He's going to say, How do you do, Henry! I've got the vapours. Then we read the sinful Sunday papers. Stop that sinful lower gyrating of the lower torso type dancing...
I have here in this box an idiot especially drowned for the job... meet the man who never was... "aallo!" This man is damp! Shut up, Eccles!
This man is completely s-t-u-p-i-d...  it's a good thing for you that I can't spell. "Young and foolish..."
Rhubarb rhubarb... the mysterious secret German weapon... the V3... oh dear, Charlie's here.
I shall be turning the handle 5 seconds from now... Gentlemen: Plan B!!!

That was the Goon Show...

Even at 5.30am on a Friday morning on ABC Radio National 96.7FM, I can still laugh, giggle, smirk, and pmsl. They were all quite mad when they did this stuff, you realise that, don't you?!? - and I love it! I later realised why this episode was so fresh in my memory... I already had it on a tape I bought 2nd hand a few years' ago! lol.

Mal  :o)
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"If we see light at the end of the tunnel, it's the light of the oncoming train." (Robert Lowell)

(*) Explosion in the night

Don't ya hate it...? You're sitting up late, it's really quiet, you're enjoying the peaceful solitude... and BANG! A huge thunderclap explodes right above your house at 4.13 in the morning! Argh! Well, talk about testing out my heart-rate. I lay there for a minute or two just getting my head back together, as a very light and short-lasting shower pattered outside my window! Argh! Luckily I was able to get back to peace pretty quickly... I think... let me check my undies...

It always astounds me how LOUD the thunder is out here! It must rebound off the Mount or something! I grew up on the coast in Sydney, and I never remember it ever being as loud as it gets out here, 200km west of the coast!

Mal  :o)
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"If we see light at the end of the tunnel, it's the light of the oncoming train." (Robert Lowell)

Spanish "Tomatina" festival

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Tons of Flying Tomatoes Paint Town Red
Thu Aug 26, 8:45 AM ET
By Emma Graham-Harrison

BUNOL, Spain (Reuters) - Tons of flying tomatoes streaked the streets of Bunol red and left 20,000 visitors wallowing in a pond of pulped fruit as the tiny Spanish town celebrated the world's largest food fight Wednesday.

Locals boarded up windows and locked their doors as drunk and determined revelers donned goggles to prepare for the arrival of six trucks carrying 130 tons of the edible missiles that give the annual "Tomatina" festival its name.

The red frenzy began in 1944, when Dr. Paco Garces Sanchez and some friends tried to throw tomatoes into the trumpet of a passing musician. The next year they pelted balloons launched for the town fiesta.

"The year after that we decided not to wait for balloons or anything, we all set out with our tomatoes... but the mayor got very angry and called the Civil Guard," Garces told Reuters.

The hour-long pelting session Wednesday turned the town square into a mass of slimy bodies, with some paddling in a waist-high pool of frothy tomatoes.

"It's fantastic, the most fun I have ever had. I've been waiting for this day since January," pulp-smeared Irish tourist Clarissa Hills shouted as tomatoes whizzed past her head.


The festival was banned in 1948 after an unlucky government official arrived in the town 25 miles west of Valencia on Tomatina day and was greeted by a hail of tomatoes. Grieving residents held a symbolic funeral for their festival by burying a giant tomato.

"All Bunol came along, dressed in black. There was a procession with a band at the front playing funeral marches and a band at the back playing paso dobles (a style of dance music)," Garces said.

The mayor eventually relented and agreed to reinstate the festival.

But not all Bunol is happy with a fiesta that costs the town nearly $60,450 and attracts a flood of heavy-drinking outsiders.

Garces said its growing popularity has ruined some of the fun. "Now you can't even throw a tomato, there is no room to aim because people are right on top of each other," he said.

Younger locals also worry about foreigners' techniques.

"People from outside don't know how to throw them; you have to squash them first so they don't hurt when they hit," said Irene Recueroaquila, 18, a student from Bunol.

And some tourists were overwhelmed by the mess.

"This is absolutely disgusting, I wish I had never come. I hate tomatoes," said 23-year-old Australian Joel Gorth.

"I'm never eating a tomato again," said 26-year-old London lawyer Laura Janes, pulling seeds from her hair.

Wanna buy a former Nazi Holiday Camp???

German Government to Auction Off Nazi Holiday Camp
By Sarah Goodwin

BERLIN (Reuters) - The German government will try next month to auction off part of a 10,000 room hotel complex built by the Nazis as a holiday resort for soldiers and workers.

Adolf Hitler commissioned the holiday camp at Prora on the Baltic island of Ruegen in the 1930s as part of the Nazis' "Kraft durch Freude" ("Strength Through Joy") program to create a healthy, strong nation capable of conquering the world.

The outbreak of World War II meant the building was never opened as a hotel. The eight austere concrete blocks, resembling a government ministry, were used as a shelter for bombed-out refugees during the war, and as a barracks afterwards.

"The government is selling Prora off as part of a large-scale national campaign to release capital," said Martin Kehr of auction house Norddeutsche Grundstuecksauktionen AG.

The starting price at the auction of a 2.5-km (1.5-mile) stretch of land including the island's finest sandy beaches, five hotel blocks and forest land, is just 125,000 euros ($151,000).

Berlin has tried unsuccessfully to sell it for over a decade. Keen to plug budget holes, it has relaunched the sale, presenting the site as suitable for a leisure complex.

But the people of Ruegen, who have painstakingly restored the island's elegant 19th century resorts since communist rule ended in 1990, worry the sale could hurt their livelihoods.

"Locals fear outside investors could turn the Nazi holiday camp into a massive hotel with up to 5,000 beds," said Uwe Schwartz, who works at a local museum about Prora.

"That could put Ruegen's smaller hotel businesses out of business and overburden the island's infrastructure."

The 8 km stretch of uniform blocks, devoid of balconies and with rows of small windows, is not an obvious choice for tourists in search of a relaxing beach holiday.

But Kehr said he was optimistic he would find a buyer for the 76 hectares (187.8 acres) coming under the hammer on September 23. "Our auction house has a 92 percent success rate and we're confident we will find a buyer for Prora," Kehr said.

Hitler's concept behind the Prora project was to provide affordable holidays for up to 20,000 people at a time in what would have been one of the world's first mass tourist resorts.

Each room was supposed to be identical offering a sea view. The huge buildings, designed along utilitarian principles, evoke the Nazis' love of the bombastic and hatred of individuality.

But museum spokesman Schwartz said the area's Nazi past need not be an obstacle to future projects.

"It was the Nazi regime that was evil, not the building itself," said Schwartz. "When visitors look at Prora, they are first impressed by its size, not haunted by Hitler's specter."

"We must learn to get over the past. This huge expanse of land is there and available, so why not use it?," Schwartz said.

Whatever the outcome of the sale, Prora's six-story complex will continue to loom menacingly on the horizon.

"Prora has been declared an official monument and is now protected from demolition," said Kehr. "It's like any other historically significant building -- no one can knock it down so it will stand here for centuries to come."

Tiny Tim

Tiny Tim: Even Weirder Than You Thought
Wednesday August 25, 2004

Bizarre entertainer Tiny Tim came across as a lovable crackpot -- but offstage he was an incredible ladies' man who seduced women with scripture.

To millions, he is best remembered as the ukulele-strumming, falsetto singer who married "Miss Vicki" on "The Tonight Show." But he was far stranger than fans ever imagined, according to his former manager and longtime friend Stephen Plym.

In the book "Tiny Tim and Mr. Plym: Life As We Knew It," which will be available in bookstores next month, Tiny's manager tells all about one of the strangest performers ever -- and he gave The ENQUIRER this exclusive sneak preview of his secret-baring book.


The bearish, scraggly haired singer was attracted to underage girls, and often walked around with as much as $4,000 stuffed into his shoes. Even though he had no medical reason to, he wore adult diapers, which he changed three and four times a day -- sometimes in front of sexual conquests.

Although he was a germ freak who lived in fear of public toilets and insisted on plastic utensils in restaurants, Tiny ignored medical treatment for his diabetes and other problems.

Throughout his career, Tiny (real name: Herbert Khaury) was wrongly thought to be gay by many fans. In fact, he had just one early gay experience -- which plagued him for years.

"I wrote the book to set the record straight on Tiny," Plym told The ENQUIRER in an exclusive interview.

"Despite his eccentricities, women mobbed him everywhere he went. The real demon in his life -- and he hated himself for it -- was underage girls.

"But despite being drawn to 15- and 16-year-olds, Tiny never had sex with a minor, to my knowledge."


However, Tiny -- who got married three times -- didn't let his wedding ring stop him from bedding a steady stream of women, says Plym.

"Tiny would invite women to his hotel room and then read them scripture as his own unique prelude to seduction.

"But the sex would be over in a matter of seconds. All his life Tiny suffered from this problem. Once he even tried to treat the problem with the numbing agent Orajel."

On Dec. 17, 1969, Tiny married 17-year-old Victoria Budinger (aka Miss Vicki) in front of 45 million TV viewers -- but afterward he had a surprise for her that sent their relationship into a tailspin.

"After the ceremony, he surprised Miss Vicki by insisting on a seven-day preparation period before sharing their marital bed. During those seven days, he prayed, meditated and became spiritually ready," Plym told The ENQUIRER.

"Unfortunately, at the end of the allotted time, Tiny gave the green light for his bride to jump into bed -- and it was all over in two seconds."

Tiny and Miss Vicki had a daughter Tulip, but the singer was "completely indifferent" to the girl, reveals Plym.

"After he and Miss Vicki divorced in 1977, Tiny cut off all contact with Tulip."


Although Tiny was effeminate, he "loved and adored women," says his manager. "But he was haunted by his one gay experience, which took place when he was a young boy and involved a childhood friend.

"He never repeated it, but it troubled him deeply. He once asked me whether it made him a homosexual."

Tiny lived in fear of germs. He showered as frequently as four times a day and scrubbed the toilet after each use.

Despite his precautions, Tiny dropped dead at age 64 during a private performance for the mother of his third wife, Miss Sue, and her friends.

"After he fell down on the stage, still clutching his ukulele, someone came up and asked Tiny if he was O.K.," Plym told The ENQUIRER. "He said, 'No,' closed his eyes -- and that was it."

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

(*) Nice phone call

This evening I had a really cool phone conversation with an 'old' chat-friend in Sydney. She needed someone to talk to, and we're good enough friends to be able to do that kinda thing. Mind you, we both looked at the clock and over an hour had slipped past! Sheesh, we were just chatting away. It was relaxing. She's got some health concerns, and it was good for her to just talk thru things on her mind. That's what we're here for, right? Excellent! Mind you, we both had to laff as we thought Raven bullied her into it! hahahaa! (We love you, Raven - you know that!) It was fun comparing stories from our kids (she's married with 2), and we laughed at the things parents go thru - you wouldn't live without them tho.

Mal :o)
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"If we see light at the end of the tunnel, it's the light of the oncoming train." (Robert Lowell)

(*) The Eagles

A couple of months' ago, I 're-discovered' a box full of my old cassettes (like 20-years' worth! Argh!) I sorted thru them, and pulled out about 40-or-so that I thought would be good to listen and reminisce to. Right now I'm listening to a double-sided tape with 2 LP's from The Eagles. Now, I'm not a huge fan of this stuff, but it's nice having some low-key background music on while I work. Last year, someone sent me a DVD of their live gig "Hell Freezes Over," so it's good to hear the songs in their original context too. Like I said, I'm not a fan of The Eagles, but I appreciate their fine musicianship, singing and slick sound. Blah blah blah.

After this finishes, I might go from one extreme to the other - what about The Clashs' first two LP's?!? lol.

Mal :o)
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"If we see light at the end of the tunnel, it's the light of the oncoming train." (Robert Lowell)

(*) Chatters

Monday night I caught up with two of my great online friends (both of whom I've met face-to-face, along with their families) Raven & Sedate (Brisbane & Sydney, respectively.) It's so good to talk with them. We've all travelled along together on our journeys together for 2 1/2+ years' now, and it's good to have friends like them on your side. I also managed to catch up with someone I haven't seen online for at least 6+ months, Jolly in QLD. She's had a ruff trot, but it was good to 'hear her voice' again (so to speak). We were able to briefly compare notes, and I appreciate some of the things she's been thru lately.

Other people I'd love to catch up with and meet 1-on-1 in person just happen to live all over the farking planet! I've got no chance to jump on a plane, or even a slow boat to China, to be able to catch up with them at this stage in my life. They're spread out as far as England, Sweden, Greece, Turkey, Victoria, Melbourne and even Hawaii! That'd be an interesting round trip...

Mal :o)
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"If we see light at the end of the tunnel, it's the light of the oncoming train." (Robert Lowell)

(*) Spring Winter

What is it with this crazy weather? All the plants are blooming like nuts, just because we have a few days of nice clear sunny skies? Sheesh. But - don't they realise... this is Bathurst! There's gotta be a cold snap coming yet, one final cold blast before winter turns its' back for another year! I'm sure of it - maybe snow, but I know they'll be high freezing winds along the way sometime in the next few weeks yet! Even in this nice weather out here, you can't afford to put your woollies and ugh-boots away into storage - just yet. Now the postage-sized backyard of grass is growing like crazy again... I'm gonna have to re-discover the whipper snipper once again and get to the green stuff before I can't find the back fence. (No, it's not really like that!) Even my 3 planters of flowers I planted back in March have come out of their slow-time, and are starting to flourish yet again. They haven't stopped blooming the whole of winter (ahh, the joys of Alyssum!), but from now on in they'll be going quite nuts with whites and reds everywhere - and I'm not complaining, believe me. I know the weather is warmer a bit - the doors are able to shut properly again - the ground under the slab of the house is settling back down again... it's bizarre how doors close one day and not the next! keeps you on your toes. Well, they do close, it's just that they don't shut tightly enough, I guess.

What is it with people wearing ugh boots out in public??? It must be the national dress of the local boguns, I dunno! Along with a flannie and black jeans - they're everywhere in Bathurst! It just makes me laugh... ugh-boots are not dress footwear, no matter how nice they look! Mine are literally held together with gaffa tape, so I wouldn't dare walk outside and be caught dead with them (well, maybe down to the mailbox if it's really really cold...). Go the ugh boots!

Kids are funny. In the shops this week, yet again I heard a tiny kid, aged about 2 years old, sitting in the shopping trolley in front of mum, saying really out loud, "Shut up!" It's so funny to hear it. Gees, I wonder where they hear that kinda stuff to say it...? It was funny enough that the kid next door said it out loud when she was about 12-months old, when there was a whole heap of her families' friends over for a BBQ and a few beers. It was pretty funny to hear.

Mal :o)
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"If we see light at the end of the tunnel, it's the light of the oncoming train." (Robert Lowell)

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Hancock's Half Hour

Aahhh.... thanks to the wonderful ABC Radio National for replaying these wonderful 50's British radio comedies! This mornings' episode was...

The Conjurer
Hancock's Half Hour (Radio)
Third Series - Programme 19

Hancock takes up conjuring, and is hired by Sid to give a performance at Dartmoor Prison - little suspecting that he is part of an escape plan.

Tony Hancock
Bill Kerr
Sidney James
Kenneth Williams
Andrée Melly
Alan Simpson

Hancock: "How's this sound - 'Tony Hancock, the working man's comic, clean but funny, ideal for Sunday concerts and cabaret, films, television, stage, garden parties, fetes, church concerts, buffalo lodge dinners and opening shops, own bike will travel anywhere. Past successes: Grimsby 1946 - juvenile lead in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame; 1947 - Ugly sister in "Cinderella" at Cleethorpes;1948 - - fourth pig in stage version of "Animal Farm"."

Bill: "You missed one, Tub: 1953 - the malignant growth in "The Quatermass Experiment".

Hancock's date book is so empty he's placing an ad. in the paper. Andrée suggests that his act is out of date and that he should try something new - a conjuring act. Hancock likes the idea and changes the ad. accordingly. No bookings come in, until he gets an offer to play Dartmoor Prison on behalf of the Prisoners' Aid Society, whose president is Sid James. Sid has already informed his accomplice Edwardian Fred (Kenneth Williams) that the prison concert is only a front for an escape bid through the magician's disappearing cabinet.

Hancock: "I've been practising, Sid, cards and rabbits out of hats and for a finale, I saw Bill in half."

Sid: "You want a disappearing act."

Hancock's finally convinced when Sid tells him he's had a special cabinet built for him with no floor in.

Hancock: "How do they disappear?"

Sid: "Through the floor's the way to go."

Hancock: "How do I get 'em back ?"

Sid: "You leave that to the next act - Governor Thompson and his performing bloodhounds."

At the station, Bill gets two and a half tickets.

Hancock: "Go and get a full ticket. I am not travelling on any more trains with me trousers rolled up and a lollipop in me mouth."

Andrée reads a newspaper article, which mentions an escape from Wormwood Scrubs of 45 convicts who climbed up a magician's trick Indian rope.

Hancock: "They've got a nerve, haven't they, shocking ... that magician's such a mug ... help me load me disappearing cabinet into the guard's van."

When they arrive at Dartmoor, Hancock meets convict 7321.

Hancock: "Sid, I thought you were the president of the Prisoners Aid?"

Sid: "I was. I was recaptured last night."

Later, Sid learns their escape plans have been rumbled, so he sends out a message to all prisoners - "Sid: Plan cancelled".

When Hancock asks for volunteers, nobody volunteers. Poor Hancock - his act is going to be a right mess-up tonight. Meanwhile Andrée and Bill are getting Hancock ready for the act.

Hancock: "They're a rough lot these prisoners and you know I'm not very good (The audience laughs and Hancock ad-libs) ... No opinions, please ... Bill, when I ask for a complete stranger from the audience if you're not first up on that stage, the first thing to disappear tonight will be me."

The act begins.

Hancock: "Greetings, fellow mortals. (jeers) Thank you. I bring you magic from many lands. Magic whereby, with a quick flick of the right wrist ... I ... I produce ... with a quick shake of the arm, I ... rolling up my sleeve ... er ... shoving me left hand up me right sleeve ... giving a slight pull ... a slight ... giving a quick jerk ... I triumphantly produce a piece of ripped shirt."

Hancock performs a card trick.

Snide: "I know how he does it."

Hancock: "Good evening, Sir - Warder, keep that man quiet."

Snide ends up on stage and Hancock makes him disappear through the cabinet, and then Bill, and finally in the absence of any more from the audience, Hancock goes into the cabinet himself.

(FX dogs barking) Hancock: "Faster. The dogs are catching up."

Bill: "What happened?"

Hancock: "They think we've escaped."

Snide: "This is most embarrassing for me."

Hancock: "Why?"

Snide: "I'm the governor."

Hancock: "But you're wearing a convict's uniform."

Snide: "Well, you don't like to be stand-offish."

Hancock: "Well, if you're the governor, call the dogs off."

Snide: "I can't, they don't like me."

Hancock: "I don't blame 'em."
Transmitted: Wednesday February 22nd,1956 at 2000, BBC Light Programme.
Repeated: Sunday February 26th, 1956 at 1700, BBC Light Programme
Recorded: the previous Sunday, February 19th, 1956
Written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson
Music by Wally Stott
Produced by Dennis Main Wilson.

Skunk Hour

(for Elizabeth Bishop)

Nautilus Island's hermit
heiress still lives through winter in her Spartan cottage;
her sheep still graze above the sea.
Her son's a bishop. Her farmer is first selectman in our village;
she's in her dotage.

Thirsting for
the hierarchic privacy
of Queen Victoria's century
she buys up all
the eyesores facing her shore,
and lets them fall.

The season's ill--
we've lost our summer millionaire,
who seemed to leap from an L. L. Bean
catalogue. His nine-knot yawl
was auctioned off to lobstermen.
A red fox stain covers Blue Hill.

And now our fairy
decorator brightens his shop for fall;
his fishnet's filled with orange cork,
orange, his cobbler's bench and awl;
there is no money in his work,
he'd rather marry.

One dark night,
my Tudor Ford climbed the hill's skull;
I watched for love-cars. Lights turned down,
they lay together, hull to hull,
where the graveyard shelves on the town....
My mind's not right.

A car radio bleats,
"Love, O careless Love...." I hear
my ill-spirit sob in each blood cell,
as if my hand were at its throat...
I myself am hell;
nobody's here--

only skunks, that search
in the moonlight for a bite to eat.
They march on their solves up Main Street:
white stripes, moonstruck eyes' red fire
under the chalk-dry and spar spire
of the Trinitarian Church.

I stand on top
of our back steps and breathe the rich air--
a mother skunk with her column of kittens swills the garbage pail.
She jabs her wedge-head in a cup
of sour cream, drops her ostrich tail,
and will not scare.

Robert Lowell, "Life Studies", 1959

A knife-proof body?

Man on Quest for Knife-Proof Body Bleeds to Death
Tue Aug 24, 8:09 AM ET

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - A Tanzanian who went to a witch doctor in search of the power to resist bullets and knife attacks died when ritual cuts made on his body proved fatal.

He was one of four suspected robbers from a village in Kasulu district in western Tanzania who visited the witch doctor on a quest for magic, the African newspaper reported Tuesday.

The ritual included cutting their skin and rubbing in potions and powders.

The witch doctor fled after the man died Monday from profuse bleeding, the newspaper said, adding that the three survivors were arrested when they went to a hospital.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Waking in the Blue

The night attendant, a B.U. sophomore,
rouses from the mare's-nest of his drowsy head
propped on The Meaning of Meaning.
He catwalks down our corridor.
Azure day
makes my agonized blue window bleaker.
Crows maunder on the petrified fairway.
Absence! My hearts grows tense
as though a harpoon were sparring for the kill.
(This is the house for the "mentally ill.")

What use is my sense of humour?
I grin at Stanley, now sunk in his sixties,
once a Harvard all-American fullback,
(if such were possible!)
still hoarding the build of a boy in his twenties,
as he soaks, a ramrod
with a muscle of a seal
in his long tub,
vaguely urinous from the Victorian plumbing.
A kingly granite profile in a crimson gold-cap,
worn all day, all night,
he thinks only of his figure,
of slimming on sherbert and ginger ale--
more cut off from words than a seal.
This is the way day breaks in Bowditch Hall at McLean's;
the hooded night lights bring out "Bobbie,"
Porcellian '29,
a replica of Louis XVI
without the wig--
redolent and roly-poly as a sperm whale,
as he swashbuckles about in his birthday suit
and horses at chairs.

These victorious figures of bravado ossified young.

In between the limits of day,
hours and hours go by under the crew haircuts
and slightly too little nonsensical bachelor twinkle
of the Roman Catholic attendants.
(There are no Mayflower
screwballs in the Catholic Church.)

After a hearty New England breakfast,
I weigh two hundred pounds
this morning. Cock of the walk,
I strut in my turtle-necked French sailor's jersey
before the metal shaving mirrors,
and see the shaky future grow familiar
in the pinched, indigenous faces
of these thoroughbred mental cases,
twice my age and half my weight.
We are all old-timers,
each of us holds a locked razor.

Robert Lowell, 1959, "Life Studies"

Monday, August 23, 2004

Bible bloopers

These unholy howlers actually made it into print

Translators who've been working on The Bible since the 15th Century have their off days, too.

Before mechanical printing began in A.D. 1450, writers painstakingly hand-copied ancient literature in Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic into English. An argument with the wife, a late night drinking or problems with a rebellious teen at home can mean mistakes at work - and bloopers in the Good Book.

Here are just a few that have appeared in various editions of the Bible over the years:

* And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Sears.
It should be: . . . and the gathering of the waters He called Seas. - Genesis 1:10

* Blessed is he who considers The Doors.
It should be: Blessed is he who considers the poor. - Psalms 41:1

* Go now, and sin some more.
It should be: Go now, and sin no more. - John 8:11

* Let the children first be killed.
It should be: Let the children first be filled. - Mark 7:27

* He hath ears to leer, let him leer.
It should be: He hath ears to hear, let him hear. - Matthew 11:11

* He who is without sin among you, should go forth and get stoned.
It should be: He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone --John 8:7

* I will that women adorn themselves in modern apparel.
It should be: I will that adorn themselves in modest apparel. -- 1 Timothy 2:9

* You shall have no other hogs before me.
It should be: You shall have no other gods before me. -- Deuteronomy 5:7

World's most inaccurate predictions


In the year 1901, Wilbur Wright turned to his brother and said, "Man will not fly for 50 years." How wrong he was -- for brother Orville DID fly only two years later. It is not easy predicting the future -- and many "experts" have been proven wrong in their steadfast prognostications.

Consider these wrong-headed predictions that have turned out to be wrong:

* Thomas Edison in 1910 predicted: "The nickel-iron battery will put the gasoline buggies out of existence, and in 15 years more electricity will be sold for electric vehicles than for light."

* Albert Lewyt, president of the Lewyt Vacuum Cleaner Corp. in 1955: "Nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners will be a reality in 10 years.

* Darryl F. Zanuck, head of 20th Century-Fox Studios, in 1946: "Video won't be able to hold onto any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring into a plywood box every night."

* Grover Loening, consulting engineer for the Grumman Corp., in 1944: "Gliders will be the freight trains of the air. We can visualize a locomotive plane leaving LaGuardia Field towing a train of six in the very near future."

* A record company executive, turning down the Beatles in 1962: "We don't think they will do anything in this market. Guitar groups are on the way out."

'Electric cars will replace gas-powered cars.' -- Thomas Edison

Al Qaeda plans to drop gay bombs

Men within 30 miles of the blast will instantly turn queer!
By Nick Jefferies, 08/10/2004
Weekly World News

EXTREMIST Muslim scientists are developing a bomb that turns anyone within a 30-mile radius of its blast into a homosexual, say U.S. Intelligence insiders. It's all a part of the Al Qaeda master plan to pull our country apart and kill the patriotism that makes us strong. "They believe that making more Americans gay will start civil war between gays and ultraconservatives," says one highly placed intelligence officer. "They also figure it will lead to a decrease in the U.S. population."

The Gay Bomb was already in the planning stages when Osama Bin Laden and close, intimate friend Muhammad Atef founded the international terrorist group Al Qaeda in 1989.

"Atef and Bin Laden spent many late nights together during that time of revolution," reveals an ex-Al Qaeda member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution.
"One morning, I entered their living quarters and they had worked so hard the night before they had fallen into bed together, suffering from exhaustion.
"That's when I saw the blueprints for the bomb. I asked about it, but Bin Laden said to leave it to the scientists. He and Atef had accidentally set one off the night before."

The explosive device is a foot long and shaped like a cigar with a pair of land mines at one end. Planes carrying the weapons will drop them on all major U.S. cities, except, of course, San Francisco, reveals the source.

The Gay Bomb will detonate the instant a heterosexual male steps on one of the mines, releasing potent waves of the female hormone estrogen into the air.

Within hours, heterosexual men will experience terrible urges like: "I'm dying to make out with my buddy in the next cubicle," and "I want a divorce from the witch I married," and "I wonder if I should redecorate the living room."

By the end of the day, the nation will be thrown into chaos. Wives and husbands will square off, leaving a trail of broken families from Hollywood to New York City.

Children will sob: "Why is Daddy moving the furniture and who is Judy Garland?"

Civil war will break out between conservative heterosexuals and newly single guerrilla fighters whowill likely call themselves the PLH, or Proud Latent Homosexuals.

"The only way to stop this horrible vision of the future is to analyze an exposed person's biochemistry and come up with a vaccine before the gay bombs strike," explains a government scientist.

Fortunately, Homeland Security czar Tom Ridge has stepped forward and volunteered for the dangerous job.

"We will reconstruct the gay bomb from the ex-Al Qaeda member's memory of the blueprints and set it off," says the scientist.

"Mr. Ridge will be as queer as a three-dollar bill until we find an antidote. Hopefully, we will discover the cure before it becomes permanent and he remains a gay man forever."

NASA builds world's biggest paper airplane

'It's so stupid, it's cool'
Weekly World News, 08/16/2004

IN A DESPERATE bid to capture the imagination of American taxpayers who keep the space agency in business, NASA has designed and built the world's biggest paper airplane, according to a watchdog group spokesman!

And the 98-foot, $1.2 billion bird isn't a mere museum piece or just for show, either.

NASA sources familiar with the hush-hush project say the "Flying Squirrel" will fly at least twice -- once over the White House during the inauguration of George Bush or John Kerry next January, and a second time later in the year in outer space.

As it stands, the largest paper airplane ever built was just 4-feet long. Takeo Mishra, 14, of Tokyo, Japan, built "The Yellow Devil" in 1997.

The plane flew 11 feet, 6 inches before a ceiling fan chopped off its right wing, sending the plane spiraling downward into a fireplace where it burned to a crisp while millions watched in shock and disbelief on live, satellite-fed TV.

"We've got to think outside the box -- otherwise everyone at NASA is going to be out of a job," said Dr. Frankz Hyman, a former space adviser who worked on the design.

"The shuttles are grounded for safety concerns. People don't give a damn about our Mars rovers and what they're finding on the Red Planet.

"If we're going to really rev up taxpayers and get them on the NASA bandwagon, we've got to do something fresh and unexpected. "Building a giant paper airplane fits the bill. It's so stupid, it's cool. And besides, it's something everyone can identify with."

Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs: Truck crashes and dumps 15 tonnes of eggs on German highway
Thu Aug 19, 3:21 PM ET

BERLIN (AP) - A German superhighway was closed down to one lane for hours Thursday after a truck hauling 15 tonnes of eggs crashed, scattering its load and creating a slimy mess across the autobahn near Hanover. The truck swerved to avoid a metal object in the road and hit a barrier at about 1 a.m., tipping over and crushing the eggs, which flowed across the highway, police said. The 43-year-old driver was injured and taken to a hospital but was expected to be released later in the day. Two of the three southbound lanes were shut down as crews cleaned up the mess into Thursday afternoon. Police estimated the total damage at the equivalent of about $160,000 Cdn.

Good as New Bible

Good as New is the wildest, wackiest, perhaps worst, of today's trendy Bibles
Tue Aug 17, 9:17 AM ET

(AP) - After Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist, he saw "the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, 'Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased' " (Mark 1:10-11, Revised Standard Version).

Compare that with this new translation: "A pigeon flew down and perched on him. Jesus took this as a sign that God's Spirit was with him. A voice from overhead was heard saying, 'That's my boy!' "

There are many such chatty or doctrinally denuded passages in Good as New: A Radical Retelling of the Scriptures, an exceedingly loose New Testament paraphrase by Britain's John Henson, a fundamentalist-hating Baptist.

Should we call it the Boy Bible, or the Pigeon Bible? Good as New is the wildest, wackiest and possibly worst of those trendy attempts to update Holy Writ. Billed as "women, gay and sinner friendly," it has stirred up a minor ruckus in Canada and Britain, but less chatter in the United States. This project might have slipped into obscurity if it weren't for the fond foreword from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, leader of the Church of England and 77 million Anglicans worldwide. Perhaps he was too busy to actually read what he was endorsing. "Patiently and boldly," the archbishop writes enthusiastically, Henson has "gone back to roots" and produced translations "of extraordinary power," though Williams granted that some passages "will startle."

Good as New was produced by the radical ONE Community for Christian Exploration, which next plans to overhaul Christianity's creeds. Henson's proposed creed professes that God is "personal and passionate. God seeks friends. God is active, creative, explorative; God is strong and tender with a great sense of humour."
Conservative writer Lee Duigon carped, "Is this a creed or a singles ad?" Commentators in these sex-ridden times have naturally focused on that titillating aspect of Good as New. Call it arrogance or deception, but Henson freely changes what the Bible itself says.

The Apostle Paul taught that "each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband" and that if unmarried singles or widows "cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion" (1 Corinthians 7:2,9).
Henson's version: "My advice is for everyone to have a regular partner. ... If you know you have strong needs, get yourself a partner. Better than being frustrated!" Likewise, Henson has Jesus rewriting the Ten Commandments: "Don't take away someone else's partner" (Matthew 5:27).

In 2004, this clearly implies approval for unwed heterosexual and homosexual couples, possibly including temporary live-ins. Henson simply chops out things he doesn't like.

For obvious reasons, one currently debated Bible passage is this from Paul: "God gave them up to dishonourable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men" (Romans 1:26-27).

Wielding a censor's blue pencil, Hensom produces:
"God let them go on to pursue their selfish desires. Women use their charms to further their own ends. Men, instead of being friends, ruthlessly exploit one another."

Henson even cuts out eight entire New Testament books that don't suit him: 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude and Revelation.

There's addition as well as subtraction. Following one scholarly sect, he puts the Gospel of Thomas alongside Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, though Christianity discarded Thomas. Henson makes the debatable claim that it's "probably" among the earliest Christian writings and "possibly" as early as the other four.

Then he outrageously changes the conclusion of Thomas to say that "every woman who insists on equality with men is fit to be a citizen in God's New World." What Thomas actually said was that "every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven." Political correctness similarly barred much masculine terminology.

Readers may be more confused than aided by Henson's relentless use of nicknames (Rocky for Peter) and rephrasings (Complete Person instead of Son of Man).

Amazing origami

A work of origami, or paper folding, is shown on display during the origami convention in Tokyo, Friday, Aug. 20, 2004. Showcasing a renaissance in the ancient Japanese art of origami, some of the best paper-folders in the world descended on Tokyo on Friday for a three-day competition and convention to celebrate the artistic possibilities of origami, which is believed to have been used to create sacred ornaments at the Grand Shrines of Ise, the center of Japan's native shinto religion. (AP Photo/Junji Kurokawa)

Olympic Heroic Failures

Olympic Heroic Failures
By Andy Hampson, PA Sport

(*) Eric Moussambani set a new standard for Olympic heroic failures with his struggles in the swimming pool in Sydney four years ago. Competing in the 100 metres freestyle, `Eric the Eel' won the hearts of the world as he just about managed to stay afloat to clock the slowest time in Olympic history. The Equatorial Guinea swimmer was the only competitor in his race after both his opponents were disqualified for false starts. He had learnt to swim just eight months earlier and at times could barely keep his head above water but he battled on to earn a hero's reception and a place in folklore. Eric the Eel became an instant celebrity, in much the same way as Dorando Pietri did some 92 years earlier.

(*) Italian runner Pietri had the winning line in sight when he reached the stadium in the 1908 marathon in London. But disorientated and exhausted, he staggered off in the wrong direction. He was redirected but he kept collapsing and was eventually carried over the finishing line by sympathetic officials. It was all in vain as the unfortunate Pietri was later disqualified for receiving help.

(*) Due to its energy-sapping nature, the marathon has understandably produced several of the Olympics' heroic failures. Tanzanian John Akhwari gallantly finished last in Mexico City in 1968 after limping into the stadium with his blooded knee bandaged after a fall.
``My country did not send me 7,000 miles away to start the race. They sent me 7,000 miles to finish it,'' he later said.

(*) Haitian Dieudonne Lamothe came in 78th and last in Los Angeles in 1984. He said nothing at the time but revealed after the fall of Haitian dictator ``Baby Doc'' Duvalier that national officials had threatened to kill him if he did not complete the race.

(*) Another noble marathon loser was Afghanistan's Abdul Baser Wasigi from Afghanistan, who found organisers had started clearing the track for the closing ceremony when he finally reached the Atlanta stadium in 1996.

(*) Britain have an outstanding distance running gold medal hope in Paula Radcliffe this summer but there was a time before athletics' golden girl cracked the art of winning that she seemed destined for a career of glorious defeats. Never was this more apparent than in Sydney when, after leading the 10,000 metres for 24 laps, she was passed by three of her rivals in the final 400m and finished out of the medals.

(*) Across town, canoeist Paul Ratcliffe could sympathise with her plight. Ratcliffe, one of Britain's best hopes for gold, looked all set to win the K-1 slalom when he somehow managed to capsize metres from the finishing line.

(*) Likewise, Australian Jane Saville suffered heartbreak as she strode round the stadium on her way to victory in the 20 kilometre walk. With just 200 metres to go she was met by an official and told she was being disqualified for a stepping violation.

(*) She had at least reached the stadium however, which is more than can be said for American sprinters Eddie Hart and Rey Robinson in Munich in 1972. Hart and Robinson had both been timed at 9.9 seconds in the US trials for the 100m and were regarded as the only men capable of beating the great Russian Valery Borzov. All three won their morning first round heats but Hart and Robinson were missing as the second round got under way in the afternoon. It emerged that their coach, Stan Wright, was working from an 18-month-old preliminary schedule and thought the races were in the evening.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Dog eats cash

German dog eats owner's money

Thu Aug 19,12:10 PM ET

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German woman thought she had been robbed by sedative-toting thieves when she returned to her car to find 380 euros (242 pounds) missing and her dog vomiting, only to discover the pet had eaten the cash, police say.

"She thought the dog had been drugged and that thieves had taken the money," a police spokesman in the western town of Aschaffenburg said on Thursday. "The woman had withdrawn the money and hidden it under bank statements on the passenger seat."

She informed police and took the dog to a vet.

"The vet gave the dog an injection and after 20 minutes six of the 50 euro notes reappeared," the spokesman said.

"The dog spat out the rest of the money in shreds along with the bank statements."

"It should be noted that the damaged bank notes can be changed at the state central bank, so that there was no material loss in this case," the police said in a statement.

Stoopid Human Tricks

(*) Robert, 37, shot himself while explaining gun safety to his wife in Glendale, California, when he placed a .45-caliber pistol he thought was unloaded under his chin and pulled the trigger. Shovestall's wife told police that the incident occurred after her complaints about her husband's 70 guns prompted him to demonstrate their safety.

(*) A 23-year-old bar-brawler who had been escorted out of the Turtle Club in Florida by a bouncer, sneaked back in and leaped off a staircase, aiming a kick at another man, but was killed when he landed on his head.

(*) Iraqi terrorist Khay Rahnajet, didn't put enough postage on a letter bomb, and it came back marked "return to sender." He opened the package and was blown away.

(*) Two animal rights activists were protesting the cruelty of sending pigs to a slaughterhouse in Bonn by freeing a captive herd. Suddenly all two thousand of pigs stampeded through the gate they were opening, and trampled the hapless protesters to death.

(*) News of the Weird reports that in September 1996 a man was crushed to death on a stairway at the Sammis Real Estate and Insurance office in Huntington, N.Y., while he was stealing the office's 600-pound safe. He apparently violated that cardinal rule of hauling massive objects: Never stand on a step lower than the one the safe is on. The safe was empty at the time of the incident.

(*) In San Jose, California, Herman, an avid hunter, used the butt of his shotgun to bash his girlfriend's windshield during an argument. But his loaded gun accidentally discharged into his stomach, killing him and ending the argument.

"I cannot help but notice that there is no problem between us that cannot be solved by your departure."

Thanx Darwin Awards

The Infinite Teen Slang Dictionary

n. non-alcoholic drinks, but also a secret code-word for hair.
"What sexy Mallard you have, dude."

The Infinite Teen Slang Dictionary

(*) My ABC's...

A-ACT YOUR AGE: 40 but i act about +/-12 sometimes...
B-BOYFRIEND: none, no way!
C-CHORE YOU HATE: pulling the erk out of the bottom of the sink after washing up
E-ESSENTIAL MAKE UP ITEM: Don't wear it... maybe a bandaid?
I-INSTRUMENTS YOU PLAY: Bass, guitar, keyboard, drums
J-JOB TITLE: Human Being; University student
K-KIDS: three wonderful boys aged 11, 7 and 5.
L-LIVING ARRANGEMENTS: share a 2-bdrm townhouse, together with my goldfish
M-MOTHER'S NAME: Rae (Royal Australian Engineers?)
O-OVERNIGHT HOSPITAL STAYS: 1 - only when I was 5 and they thought I had a heart murmur - wrong!
P-PHOBIA: falling over backwards (?)
Q-QUOTE YOU LIKE: "Excuse me, which way is the stage?" Member of crowd wandering aimlessly thru the audience at Altamont Concert, 1969.
R-RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: small-c christian
S-SIBLINGS: 1 brother, 10 years' older
T-TIME YOU WAKE UP: time to go to the loo...?
U-UNIQUE HABIT: Clicking my toes
V-VEGETABLE YOU REFUSE TO EAT: Yellow capsicums (I even eat Brussel Sprouts!!!)
W-WORST HABIT: Forgetting to brush my teeth when I'm staying at home for a few days - ewww!
X-X-RAYS YOU'VE HAD: teeth (braces)
Y-YUMMY FOOD YOU MAKE: unburnt boiled water; chicken with mushrooms

Myers-Briggs Personality Test

INFJ - "Author". Strong drive and enjoyment to help others. Complex personality. 1.5% of total population.
Take Free Myers-Briggs Personality Test

I took this test officially twice, about 10 and 7 years' ago. I was an INFJ the first time, and an INFP the 2nd. So, even with this simple online test, I can see I'm still the same in many ways - thank gawd!

Saturday, August 21, 2004

To which race of Middle Earth do I belong?

Which 'Young Ones' character am I?

You are the hippy tree hugging Neil. You do all the
cooking, all the cleaning, and moan non stop
about it. You are hated by everyone in the
whole world. You keep trying to kill yourself
but it never works out right, and you think
everything even the phone, and the teapot hates

Which Young One's Character Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

The Book Quiz says I am...

You're The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe!

by C.S. Lewis

You were just looking for some decent clothes when everything changed
quite dramatically. For the better or for the worse, it is still hard to tell. Now it
seems like winter will never end and you feel cursed. Soon there will be an epic
struggle between two forces in your life and you are very concerned about a betrayal
that could turn the balance. If this makes it sound like you're re-enacting Christian
theological events, that may or may not be coincidence. When in doubt, put your trust
in zoo animals.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.


lol... go here to find out what google thinks of you... i've bolded the ones that are true... and ** the ones that make me laugh myself silly...

Googlism for: mallard

mallard is accused of hitting a window**
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mallard is a wide ranging duck and it is the most abundant duck in the mississippi valley
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mallard is quite different
mallard is to select print from any application that can open the file
mallard is an ansynchronous instructional environment currently in use at a number of educational institutions across the united states
mallard is a very strong flier and has been clocked at 60 mph**
mallard is the best at sleeping
mallard is a medium
mallard is the most abundant and widely distributed duck in british columbia and has been recorded from sea level to 3,00 feet
mallard is our commonest duck
mallard is the most common duck in north america
mallard is more than just a clever means to help make homework more valuable**
mallard is an interactive web
mallard is a web
mallard is a large duck and average weights range from 2 3/4 to 3 pounds
mallard is most common and perhaps the most recognisable duck in the province
mallard is able to do this because augustine's affirmation of the good of creation**
mallard is one of the four daughters**
mallard is probably the most widely known wild duck in north america
mallard is known as a "'puddle duck" and feeds by dabbling and "upending" in shallow water rather than by diving
mallard is seeking permission for the third phase of its training
mallard is a powerful course management system developed at the university of illinois
mallard is that you can
mallard is one of our most common ducks found in louisiana in the winter
mallard is a world wide web
mallard is the most common and one of the largest
mallard is no doubt the most widely recognized duck in the united states
mallard is almost the only duckspecies that is found in the pool at all times
mallard is given below
mallard is a set of cgi programs and associated library modules
mallard is undoubtably the most recognized waterfowl in the world
mallard is on the right hand side through the intersection of holly and n
mallard is not set up in ecen 220 to be a stand
mallard is known as a "puddle" or "dabbling" duck
mallard is the largest of all ducks and is a common sight on lakes and ponds
mallard is a typical dabbling duck
mallard is located on the south
mallard is great for drinking
mallard is the name
mallard is believed to strut its stuff on dams**
mallard is accused of hitting 37 parked koalas**
mallard is to visit a local pond or park where they are resident**
mallard is the most abundant and widely distributed duck in the northern hemisphere
mallard is from the 'anas pltyrhynchos' species and is a member of the 'anatidae' family the mallard is
mallard is the link between the gsse's gospel hump**
mallard is one of the commonest and most widely distributed species of duck
mallard is one of the larger surface
mallard is about 50**
mallard is undoubtedly the most abundant duck in the world
mallard is mottled brown in color
mallard is the most common duck in ireland
mallard is done**
mallard is mottled brown and tan with a white tail and an orange bill
mallard is an underachieving**
mallard is an amusing look at a decidedly bent world
mallard is clearly the expert in this endeavor**
mallard is allows to launch x applications on your display
mallard is trying to bring these strategies that have worked with pigs to the dairy industry**
mallard is set up because it makes it easy to learn
mallard is light enough
mallard is that secondary teachers will be offered the lease of a laptop computer from the government for three
mallard is common throughout europa
mallard is the very worst of tv documentary makers**
mallard is similar to the male but greener
mallard is a larger version of andrew’s original ‘coot’ design**
mallard is a funny looking little craft
mallard is an ingenious web
mallard is a duck species which is widespread throughout the northern hemisphere
mallard is probably the best known of all our wild ducks
mallard is visiting our office
mallard is available only on a scheduled basis
mallard is important to elk because it's remote and has gentle rolling topography**
mallard is only guilty of failing to stop and aid a victim**
mallard is that the female mallard does not have much color**
mallard is passionate about helping employees improve their communication skills at work
mallard is no longer parliament’s worst behaved mp according to the 2001 list of parliament’s 10 worst behaved mps

How Old is Your Inner Child?

My inner child is one year old today

My inner child is one year old!

Everything is new to me. I like watching the world
go by around me, and I don't sweat the small
stuff--or the large stuff, either. Just so long
as I stay warm and safe and dry, life's pretty

How Old is Your Inner Child?
brought to you by Quizilla

Dr. Unheimlich's Disease Registry

Doctor Unheimlich has diagnosed me with
Maljam's Disorder
Cause:genetically-modified human flesh
Symptoms:back pain, floating hair, earache, long hair
Enter your name, for your own diagnosis:

Which Ralph Wiggum Quote Are You?

"Me fail English? That's unpossible."

Which Ralph Wiggum Quote Are You? (Simpsons)
brought to you by Quizilla

About me

1. Copy this whole list into your journal/blog.
2. Bold the things that are true about you.
3. Whatever you don't bold is false.
4. When you're done, add your own to the end of the list.

01. When I was younger, I made some bad decisions.
02. I don't watch much TV these days.
03. I love broccoli.
04. I love sleeping
05. I have loads of books.
06. I once slept in a toilet.
07. I love playing video games.
08. I adore marijuana.
09. I watch porn movies.
10. I watch 'One Tree Hill'.
11. I like sharks.
12. I love spiders, I think they're adorable, especially the ones with bright colors on their backs.
13. I was born without hair and I still have no hair.
14. I like George W. Bush.
15. People are cool.
16. I have changed a lot mentally over the last year.
17. I have a Toyota and a pool.
18. I have a lot to learn.
19. I carry my knife everywhere with myself.
20. I'm really, really smart.
21. I know more than two languages really well.
22. I have a secret.
23. I hate rain.
24. I drink health juice.
25. Punk rock rules.
26. I hate Bill Gates.
27. I love Vietnamese food.
28. I would hate to be famous.
30. I have semi-long hair.
31. I have short hair.
32. I have potential.
33. I'm pure Afghan.
34. My legs are two different sizes.
35. I have a twin.
36. I wear those long ass socks.
37. I can roll my tongue.
38. I like the way that I look.
39. I'm obsessed w/Italian food.
40. I know how to french braid.
41. I can be pessimistic or optimistic whenever I want.
42. I have a lot of mood swings.
43. I skateboard/snowboard.
44. I think that skateboarders are HOT.
45. I (was) in a band.
46. I have talent.
47. I'm always hyper no matter how much sugar I have.
48. I think that I'm popular.
49. I am currently single.
50. I can't swim.
51. My favorite color is blue, red, or white.
52. I practically live in sweatshirts.
53. I love to shop.
54. I would classify myself as either punk or goth.
55. I would classify myself as ghetto.
56. I'm a prep, shop at abercombie, and ADMIT IT.
57. I'm obsessed with my journal blog.
58. I don't hate anyone.
59. I know how to square dance just a little bit.
60. I have a unibrow.
61. I'm completely embarrassed to be seen with my mom.
62. I have a cell phone.
63. I believe in God.
64. I watch MTV on a daily basis.
65. I know how to play the tuba.
66. I need coffee to live.
67. I have had a boyfriend before.
68. I've rejected someone before.
69. I currently like someone and they have no idea that I like them.
70. I have no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life.
71. I want to have kids when I get older.
72. I have changed a diaper before. unfortunately.
73. I've called the cops on a friend before.
74. I bite my nails.
75. I am a member of the Hilary Duff fan club.
76. I'm not allergic to anything.
77. I love broadway plays and have been to at least 3.
78. I have no idea who the 38th president was.
79. I plan on seeing Mary Kate and Ashley's new movie.
80. I am completely shy around the opposite sex.
81. I'm online 24/7; not always there though.
82. I have at least 25 away messages saved.
83. I have tried alcohol or drugs.
84. I loved Rush Hour.
85. I've read all of the Harry Potter books.
86. If I were a dwarf, I would be Dopey.
87. When I was a kid I played with my G.I. Joe.
88. I don't mind country music.
89. I might die for my friends.
90. I think that Juicy Fruit is the best type of gum.
91. I watch soap operas whenever I can.
92. I'm obsessive and paranoid and extremely jumpy sometimes.
93. I would love to be Demi Moore because Ashton Kutcher's a major hottie.
94. I love the Beatles.
95. I know all the words to 'Barbie Girl'
96. Halloween is awesome because you get free candy...
97. I watch Spongebob Squarepants and I like it.
98. I have to fart.
99. I want this damned thing to be over!
100. I'm happy.
101. I am VERY easily amused.
102. I'm angsty.
103. I like rock.
104. I like love Fight Club.
105. I absolutely adore mexican food.
106. I have a boyfriend/girlfriend.
107. I have more than one tarot deck.
108. This survey is way too American.
109. I like Canada. (i've never been there, but i like the idea of it...)
110. I know how to play a guitar/bass.
111: I love tattoos and piercings!!
112. I would do almost anything, as long as someone dared me.
113. I'm a big tease!
114. I am obsessed with sex!
115. I am a big tennis fan
116. i have some truly magnificent friends and i hope they know how much i love & appreciate them.

(Thanx to Third Daughter and nisi)

Dr Seuss forever

The original and the BEST! Forget cheap imitations! I grew up on this stuff - Dr Seuss was a genius!


Artistic Interpretations

You never knew how impressionable Homer really is, did you...?

Homer - The Scream

Brandivino Nightmare

Hmmm... only 1 glass a day?! Whoo hoo!

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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

(*) Last Post

No no, I don't mean that this is the last 'post' to my blog - D'oh! On the weekend I was sitting quietly in the backroom reading, when suddenly out of the silence I could plainly hear a bugle playing 'The Last Post'. I had no idea where it was coming from - it wasn't Anzac Day or Armistice Day or anything like that... I thought I must have been hearing things. The next day I read in the local rag that there'd been a short ceremony to mark 'VP Day' (Victory in the Pacific, 1945) at the local War Memorial. Of course - that was it! I live about 3 blocks from there - no wonder I could hear it so plainly. Mystery solved. Now I can put away the prozac again... for another day lol.

Mal  :o)
Message Board - http://malboard.cjb.net
Home - http://maljam.cjb.net
"If we see light at the end of the tunnel, it's the light of the oncoming train." (Robert Lowell)

(*) Catching up

There's another High School reunion coming up in September (which I'm not keen on attending at this stage - I'd much rather catch-up with people 1-on-1, you know...?). But thru this I've managed to catch up with an old mate I haven't spoken to in literally years. I was the best man at his wedding in the mid-80's, but since the early 90's we just lost touch. So, fingers' crossed, we can catch up together in Sydney somewhere in October. That'd be great. We used to play in bands together - he was the drummer at the very first pub gig I ever played in 1985.

Another guy I've caught up with is a bloke I used to hang out with during my final school years and late teens - mad crazy times for all of us. Well, stone me - he's a bloody University professor nowdays in Brisbane! Argh! pmsl! Aint it good how the years mellow and age us all gracefully! We're all hitting 40 this year. pmsl!

Mal :o)
Message Board - http://malboard.cjb.net
Home - http://maljam.cjb.net
"If we see light at the end of the tunnel, it's the light of the oncoming train." (Robert Lowell)