Monthly Archives: January 2014

Order in Class!

Dean ThrashemWell, the kiddies are heading back to school after their big break, so it’s time to give them a few pointers and hope their performance improves:

Mr.  Abbot:  You told us you were a ‘Big Boy’ now, and even though our previous Head Prefects set a spectacularly low bar for you to step over, not everything wrong with our school is Kevin and Julia’s fault.  Less blame, games and dodgy expenses claims, and more hard work lad.  I strongly suggest you read ‘Leadership for Dummies’; there WILL be a test.

Mr.  Hockey:  You squawked ‘Budget Emergency/Crisis/Disaster/Catastrophe’ until you were handed the schools’ petty cash tin and a shiny, new calculator.  Where have you gone?!  Your sudden silence is more worrying than your constant carping.  Note: as per your advice, I’ve cancelled my ABC subscription and purchased News Corp shares.

Mr.  Morrison:  Neighbours have reported that you are bullying our schools’ less fortunate foreign exchange students behind the bike shed.  See me at once boy!

Mr. Pyne:  Son, you areGonski’, to a poorly funded, rural, public school where you’ll be given a real education.

Mr.  Hunt:  You were asked to manage the schools’ environment, not Gina and Clyde.  Hand back their tuckshop money and get to work or you’ll be placed on the endangered list.

Ms.  Bishop:  Unfortunately, you’ll continue to spend most of your time cleaning up the messes made by naughty boys.  Try not to make things worse.

Mr. Turnbull:  A quick glance at your science project leads me to the conclusion that you are out of your depth sir.  Two tin cans and a length of brown string do not an NBN make!  Do it again!  But this time, Ask For Help!

In short, all of you must try harder or you will be expelled!  Which reminds me;

Mr. Shorten: Please bring a signed note from your mother explaining your recent absence.

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Oz Day Award


Goodonya Sheila Swaggie!

This Australian of the Year thing is rigged I tell you!  Once again I spent ages writing all those anonymous letters to the National Australia Day Committee telling them how wonderful I am, and I still didn’t get nominated?!

Apparently they only want people who have made a tireless contribution to our great nation through medical, scientific, grass roots, sporting, or social improvements.  In other words, people who have actually ‘done something’.

Once a person has been nominated, the committee assesses the degree of difficulty of their contribution, their professional qualifications, future impact of their efforts, how much of it was part of their paid employment, sacrifices they made, previous recognition and awards, and finally they check to see if the nominee is still alive.

Apparently if a nominee dies before the awards ceremony, they are instantly disqualified and their invitation to the Australian of the Year Ceremony is prised from their lifeless hands; which is a little coldblooded in my opinion.

Meanwhile, at a community level, there are the Local Hero Awards which recognise the selfless local folk who take on activities the rest of us avoid like the plague.  They volunteer at tuckshops, coach kids’ sports, plant acres of shrubbery, or run a club or charity group, and do it so well that they can’t get out of it even if they wanted to.

Basically, this award is the community’s way of saying, ‘Thanks’, and ‘Sorry’, at the same time.

Anyway, in spite of coming up with a great contribution to the local community of Gladstone, I still didn’t even get nominated as a Local Hero!  Plus, it turns out that cutting down numerous trees to improve the view at a local lookout is actually against the law.

Honestly, I’m starting to wonder why I bother at all.

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Farewell to a good Shed Mate

My favourite photo of the old bloke.  Love the 'After' shot... taken After he'd had a few rums :)

My favourite photo of the old bloke. Love the ‘After’ shot… taken After he’d had a few rums 🙂

You can learn a lot about someone just by looking through their shed, but if I caught you wandering about the piles of unfinished projects in my shed, I’d politely ask you to help me find my big torque wrench, then I’d use it to break one of your thieving arms!

Anyway, my old mate Bob had a beaut shed, filled with enough gear to build, restore or repair pretty much anything.  There wasn’t too much he couldn’t turn his hand to, until a few years ago when a cruel illness swiftly ravaged his mechanically brilliant mind until he became too addled to handle a rubber spoon.

Eventually Bob was shipped off to a nursing home and his wife asked me what she should do with all his tools.  I wandered out to his shed and was surprised to see it clear of projects and all the tools meticulously stored away.  I had the uneasy feeling I was missing something very important.

Then I saw the extra thick coat of wax on his horse saddle and the penny dropped; this was Bobs’ farewell note.  At some point he’d realised he was in serious trouble and instead of wailing at an unkind Fate, he’d quietly finished off his projects, then put his shed in order.

After wiping quite a lot of dust from my eyes, I advised Bob’s wife to call a local craft group who would put his tools to good use.  When the bloke turned up, he looked about and muttered, “Knew he wouldn’t be back eh?”  I got some more dust in my eyes at that point.

Last week Bob was called to the Great Workshop in the Sky, and this weekend while he’s sorting out some of Gods’ unfinished projects, I’ll sit in my shed, crack a rum or two in his memory and contemplate why I didn’t think to nick his big torque wrench.

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Hot, Hot, HOT!

This is one of the reasons I don't mow in a bikini!

This is ‘one’ of the reasons I don’t wear a bikini when I mow.

While the rest of you moan about the hot and dry weather, I’ve actually done something about it; I’ve emailed the nice folk at the BoM Radar site, and asked them to develop a Raincloud ‘Drag and Drop’ ™ app.

Scoff all you like, but any day now I expect to be able to slide an index finger over my computer screen and bring cooling, relieving rain to our parched city.  I may even allow some of it to fall on Rockhampton, depending on how generous I feel at the time.

Like visiting relatives who have taken over your house, it appears the soul-destroying northerly winds have decided to extend their holiday in the Gladstone region.  Which is why it may be handy to remember that there’s always someone worse off than yourself; because there’s nothing like watching someone else’s misery to cheer all of us up.

Things may be uncomfortable here in Gladdy, but on the other side of the Great Divide, it must be unbearable.  Apparently, it’s so hot and dry out west that the ground looks like my concrete driveway.  Except there’s a couple of small weeds in the cracks of my driveway which makes it look like a rainforest by comparison.

Still, we’ve been through this before, and that’s why I’m asking everyone not to panic and do something desperate, like perform a Rain Dance, polish our cars, or pray.  We did that last year and look what happened!  We were so successful that half of Gladstone ended up with water views, and in many cases, underwater views.

So this year, let’s just keep calm and wait for the rains and cool weather to turn up whenever Mother Nature decides to send them, or failing that, when my Raincloud Drag and Drop app. ™ arrives.


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New Year ‘Real’ Solutions

Let me tell you about my mate Greg.  Not Greg the Builder, Greg the Truckie, or even Greg with a silent ‘G’ who we call Reg.

No, I’m referring to Greg the Singer (not me, I’m Greg the…, well, I’d rather not say).

Once a week, Greg rocks up to a local nursing home, sets up his karaoke equipment, then yodels his heart out to a roomful of oldies; some of whom are asleep, or possibly in a coma.

He doesn’t do it for anything as petty as money, or fame, or to get himself outed in the local paper by some curly-haired loudmouth, but occasionally he’ll get slung a cup of tea, and on a good day he’ll score a couple of Custard Creams from the bikkie tin.

Now here’s the bit where you come in; if you have to make a New Years’ Resolution, why not take a leaf out of Greg’s book and use your own special talent for the good of our community?  There are plenty of needy folk out there looking for somebody just like you, ie: someone who can walk upright and breathe at the same time, and is keen to help out.

Your talent could be cooking meals for a sick friend, walking your neighbours’ dog, giving blood (which you get to do while lying down!), teaching a child to knit, motivating workmates, directing a play, or having a sing while Greg is drinking his tea?

So instead of resolving this year to lose weight/get fit/find love/stop complaining or workout how to use your i-Thingy, why not aim for something realistic?

Unlike my other mate, Greg the Musician, who is trying to teach Greg the Ham-fisted Guitarist how to play the lead break of Johnny B.  Goode; luckily for me, his real gift is bucket loads of patience.

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