Showing posts from 2012


It started strangely. At 4BK, a place of my employment forty years ago. Problems of dead air. The techs at the transmitter (as if they were permanently stationed there) filled the dead air with marching music. The Powers That Be would soon descend on those responsible. There is no greater sin in radio than Dead Air. It seems that the culprit was me. The boss, still the same one forty years later but no older, wanted to blame Mike Goldman. Why was I pleased? I’d worked once with his Dad, Grant. The boss thought this amusing. Said he’d heard stories . I told him one about having my shoes stolen. Dreams are like that. Snatches of memory. Mixed with lines from yesterday’s reading. Tossed with unresolvable dreads. Judy is sleeping in the next room. Practical considerations since her knee replacement two weeks prior. No steps between that room and the ensuite. This house has 48 steps. She counted them. Her eyes are open when I lean on the doorpost. “I had to pai

It's more right to be loving, than to be right

"LIBERAL senator Cory Bernardi has been forced to resign as shadow parliamentary secretary to Tony Abbott following his remarks linking gay marriage to bestiality." The Australian, 19th Sept 2012 Thus spoke The Australian  newspaper. Almost right. Further down the story, if you cared to read so far, the paper clarified a little. During a debate last night over proposed gay marriage laws, Senator Bernardi said legalising same-sex unions would prompt calls for more extreme changes. “The next step ... is having three people that love each other be able to enter into a permanent union endorsed by society, or four people,” Senator Bernardi said. “There are even some creepy people out there, who say that it's OK to have consensual sexual relations between humans and animals. Will that be a future step?” As usual, the nuanced and "ill-considered" remarks of a politician, were spun into a simpler, and less accurate proposition. " Gay marriage leads to bestial
I went through Los Angeles Airport two years ago for the last time. Not last in the sense of until the next time. But for the very last time this side of the Pearly Gates. Please God my final journey to meet Saint Peter is not routed through LAX. If it were I guess I would know I was heading for the Other Place. Arriving now in Sydney from Vancouver it seems Mascot Airport is rivalling LAX for traveller unfriendliness. One's mood is not improved by the body clock just registering 4am Pacific Time. I feel like a whinge. Maybe a sulk. Really? What's wrong with me? I just enjoyed two months with our daughter's family in Seattle and their four energetic exponents of sibling rivalry. The eldest, now ten years, was able to explain sibling rivalry to me with precocious knowing. We had a wonderful and precious time. In the middle we even got to fly over and visit Anne of Green Gables. That's pretty good isn't it? Aren't we lucky that we worked long enough to

Sitting in Seattle

Sitting in Seattle. Watching horrific violence on TV with two grandsons. It’s a cartoon. Something about ninjas made from Lego. A commercial starring a cartoon gecko interrupts the drama to remind us, unintentionally, that cartoons have always been violent. The gecko is crossing a desert when the Road Runner beep-beeps past followed by the coyote. Stopping for a moment to contemplate roast gecko for dinner, the coyote is crushed by a massive object falling from the sky. In the end, of course, the pure, innocent and victimised survive and succeed. Good is victorious. Just like in real life, right? It’s an important idea to teach children, there is no denying. That, in a violent and imperfect world, right and justice should prevail. But of course, this kind of violence, despite our common beliefs, is not about right and justice. No matter how we dress it up with invented logic, sixteen tonnes falling from the sky is just another form of violence. A form of vengeance for

Why Did God Let My Baby Die?

Meet my brother. To be fair to the historical record, it's possible this is a photo of my younger sister. Mum and Dad aren't around any more to edit the captions in the oldest of my 120 photo albums so this picture has become, for me, a memento of Ian George Hunt, my brother. Ian was born on the 31st July 1953. He was named for his father (Ian=John) and his grandfather, George. Our mother, Jean, nearly died having him. And when Ian died seven weeks later, a significant part of our mother seemed to die with him. He was found, dead in his cot, on the morning of 24th September 1953. In those days no-one seemed to know why. They just called it "cot death". There's a small group I go to each week. We are reading and talking about the book of Job. The one in the Bible. For any of you planning to race off and read Job (pronounced Jobe  as in Jobe Watson, Captain of Essendon), here is a SPOILER ALERT. Job is a thoroughly good bloke which is something Satan rath

The Rail Trail

The final piece of the Warrnambool to Port Fairy Rail Trail was officially opened this week. So now, if you don't get lost at any of the various intersections that look alarmingly like alternate routes, you can cycle from Warrnambool railway station to Port Fairy via Koroit. And, for the most part you are on the old railway line. So this picture (above) is the new bit. The trail out of Warrnambool does not actually follow the railway until you get up closer to Koroit. Instead it follows the old spur line past the defunct Woollen Mill. Here's a picture of the once glorious mill rail station ... ... now being slowly converted into a high-density housing estate with, for some, nice views across Lake Pertobe. From here the rider can take a variety of routes. There is a short-cut just beside the mill that takes you through to the Merri Creek which the trail follows as far as the edge of town, whence it runs alongside the road as far as the knackery. We recommend not dallying

Train Pain

“THIS IS THE ELEVEN-THIRTY V-LINE SERVICE FROM WARRNAMBOOL TO SOUTHERN CROSS STATION.” Ouch. Extremely loud and incredibly close. “THIS TRAIN STOPS AT TERANG, CAMPERDOWN, COLAC, BIRREGURRA, WINCHELSEA, MARSHALL, SOUTH GEELONG, GEELONG AND FOOTSCRAY BEFORE TERMINATING AT SOUTHERN CROSS STATION AT ABOUT THREE P.M.” I should have picked it was the deaf guard today. I saw him on the platform shuffling luggage and bicycles into the front of our First Class carriage. First Class. You’ve gotta smile. For the extra nine dollars I get the luxury of looking at the backs of heads rather than playing kneesies. And I have a fold-down table that looks like it’s moulded from papier-maché but, since it was moulded around the time I was born is clearly much sturdier. Sturdier than papier-maché and me, both. “THIS SERVICE WILL DEPART IN THREE MINUTES. NON-TRAVELLING PERSONS SHOULD NOW LEAVE THE TRAIN.” Why does he have to be so loud? There’s another guard, a woman, that you can

The Folkie

Lady Judith and her Lair(d) harnessed up the SUV for the long weekend and the short trawl along the coast to Port Fairy, formerly known as Belfast, and home to an annual roots music festival awash with Celtic riffs and decibels. Following the ancient folk tradition of slave branding we were all shackled with a plastic armband indicating our right to enter, and re-enter, at will, or by the front gate if you prefer. (Boom-tish). Despite having not worn a wrist watch for more than three decades, I found myself constantly checking it for the time. Early habits remain imprinted long after their usefulness has been made obsolete by Steve Jobs. Since Lady Judith is living in the post-athroplastic world of kneelessness we require advance forays into the stage areas in order to acquire seating on our frowned-upon "high" chairs (read "normal" as opposed to "two inches above the dirt"). Non bottom feeders like us are relegated to the sides or rear of the ten

Orders Please!

Australians All Let Us Rejoice, For we are stratified. I noticed that a reasonably famous 4th cousin of mine who lives in the UK, got a top award - an AC. Congrats, Richard. I feel famous by association. For an allegedly classless society, the Australia Day Honours list represents rather more than an anachronism. It's also a contradiction. Why this seeking after arbitrary honours in a society in which there is supposed equality? Isn't everyone as good as their mate? Aren't Gen Y teaching us anything about how to puncture self-importance? Anyway, enough of these rhetorical questions from yet another worthy who was never asked if he would accept an Australia Day Honour ... let's look at some interesting facts. Take a look at this nice map courtesy of "The AGE" newspaper (possibly on the SMH site too). You'll notice that there are some interesting correlations between the number of awards and postcode. Postcodes with higher socioeconomic numb