Mea Culpa, Tua Culpa, Everybody Gotta Culpa   30/12/2006

What a headline!
Kathleen Parker takes a look back at the year of the brainless, and would-be blameless, behaving badly.

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Green grab   

Dumb Crims Department:
Reckon they’d have better luck fencing flat beer.
VILLA PARK, Ill. (AP) – Someone got way more than the recommended daily serving of vegetables when a refrigerated trailer loaded with US$50,000 worth of broccoli was stolen.

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Meating place   

In a way, Alex James is like a reformed smoker who won’t stop preaching; or a lapsed Catholic who joins the commos. Except his new direction is celebratory — in a very fleshy way. James was a vegetarian for 17 years. Talk about making up for lost opportunities. Great article.
I want to keep the racks whole, for roasting, but still there are some terrifying moments with a cleaver. It goes so close to Trev’s thumb.
There’s a ninja quality to his work; one slip and it’s all over. This deftness becomes apparent only when he lets me have a go. He bones and rolls the shoulder in about 90 seconds. It’s a work of art. The shoulder looks appetising by this point. Trev reckons shoulder is the best bit, so I let him have the other one.
It’s all over very quickly. We’ve got legs, two shoulders, two racks, some lumps for stewing, breast for slow roasting and a bunch of chump chops.

Hmmmm, lamb. Yum.

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His turn   

Any minute now — it’s 1.55pm AEST — the monster will be doing his own devil’s jig. Can’t say I’m too stressed.
Hey, you can even sing along to it.

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Least we could do   

Heh,heh fellas, you’re not doing her any favours with all that hooverin’ and dishpan bashing. Get back to the sofa.

Women who keep their homes clean and tidy are less likely to develop breast cancer than those who let the dust and dishes pile up, according to a new report.
Researchers found regular moderate exercise such as housework provides greater protection from the disease than more strenuous but less frequent sporting activity.
Being active in the home cut the likelihood of pre-menopausal women developing breast cancer by 29 per cent compared with being inactive, and reduced the risk for post-menopausal women by 19 per cent.

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Lefties who were worried their beloved Media Watch might succumb to the climate of objectivity that wise heads are trying to instill in the Australian Bolshevik Collective need not fret. More of the same in 2007 it seems. Tim Blair reveals that a Fisk-fancying, Kingston klingon is the barkless watchdog’s new executive producer. Beware Manangatang Mail, the sheep dip advertorial may yet get a national expose.

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Er, white coat patrol?   28/12/2006

The antics of perpetually protesting crone Cindy Sheehan have given rise to justifiable suspicions she is more than a couple of cents shy of the milk money.
The ditch dweller removes any doubt by blaming the just-deceased Gerald Ford for “the untimely deaths of over 3000 American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in the Middle East.”

And Sheehan’s comrades once reckoned Ford couldn’t sing Dixie and fart at the same time.

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Different year, same . . .   

A dear friend of mine would amuse us immensely in our twenties with his lager-inspired monologue on “The Born Loser”.
Middle-age indeed seems a perfect period for life to imitate art — and here’s a rundown of maudlin major events in 2006 for my old pal. Believe it, he hasn’t had an alcoholic drink for more than a dozen years. He merely has a flypaper-like talent for attracting woe.
Family and place names have been altered to protect the innocent.

Fred has concluded a busy year by demolishing two old TV sets and arranging their disposal. His year has been punctuated by the arrest of his supervisor on under-age sex charges and the decision by his employer not to interview him for the position. He now has a new manager 20 years younger than him and a new CEO ten years younger than him. His superannuation fund carried out an analysis of his situation and concluded that he was “unable to meet his goals” and that the only choices were to work longer or live on less. The police have again attempted to modify his approach to driving with suggestions about turning lights on at night and attaching number plates that can be read. The Country Fire Authority also initiated a re-education program after a garden waste burn-off at Fred’s property subsequently re-ignited and was only controlled by the intervention of several fire fighting units. This was followed by an incident where an iron-shaped burn was impressed upon a lounge room rug. V-Line have promised to improve signage at Geelong station after he caught the Melbourne bound Warrnambool train instead of the Warrnambool bound one. His busy musical life was acknowledged with the “hardest working musician” award from his local music industry association, but included the challenge of returning to a bush hotel where, ten years earlier, a patron had accused him of the performing the worst version of “Achy Breaky Heart” he had heard. On the health front, his feet have collapsed, necessitating an ingrown toenail operation and a visit to a podiatrist. The good news is that his military medical records from 1971 have been obtained from the Army Medical Records Office and include documentation that his genitals are normal.

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Stick that in your pipe . . .   26/12/2006

Jeepers, Peter Hitchens doesn’t hold back:
There’s one of these elite scum in particular who I’d like to see sewing mailbags and breaking rocks, a smug leftist commentator who once drawled in my presence that smoking dope had not been a bar to a top Oxbridge degree.
Maybe not, though perhaps if you hadn’t fried your brain at college you wouldn’t have retained the opinions of a spoiled teenage prat into wrinkled middle age.

Hitchens holds an interesting position on drugs, permissiveness and murdered prostitutes.

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Cold case   

A great Christmas tradition was revived at our family’s festive get-together — argy-bargy across the generations.
But unlike in those rowdy, beer-fuelled debates all those years ago, your correspondent wasn’t presenting the case for the ideologically addled.
(Gawd, it’s embarrassing to cast back to 1975, when it was as certain as sunset that international socialism would sweep the world within a decade. Of course, the codgers of the time smirked patronisingly and went back to rejoicing in the recent removal of Whitlam).
This year a learned young friend of the family proffered the view that on the balance of probabilities manmade global warming was a reality and a threat to humanity.
I, of course, put the contrarian position, underscored basically by my belief that government-funded scientists can’t accurately forecast the local weather a week out, yet would have you believe they know what the global temperature will be 20 years from now. It’s a position also bolstered by the awareness that anyone paid to advance government policy is most likely an empire-builder of Ceasarian proportions. Thus, extreme threats must always loom.
Our discussion was quite civil and we agreed to disagree.
But, by golly, I was tempted today to give the young fella a call with this news:

Melbourne shivered through its coldest Christmas Day on record, with rain and hail sweeping the city and sleet falling on the outskirts.
The city struggled to a top of 14.5C as snow fell in the Dandenongs and in the alps where temperatures went below zero overnight.

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Ain’t it fun?   22/12/2006

I almost feel sorry for all those Muslims who throng to Mecca.
The beloved and I have just returned from a final bout of Christmas shopping at the local Westfield and really, it is not unlike a mass march through Saudi — without the roadside butchery. Although there’s no shortage of cruelty.
The expedition held all those familiar charming experiences: old geezers with cactus-withering BO, sugared-up squawking kids demanding everything and NOW! and hucksters who miraculously appear in your path offering to sell you every possible item you long ago decided you didn’t need. “No pal, the only plan I’m interested in involves getting these bags in the car and home to a cold beer.”
These pests are all surrounded by a vast sweating, amoebic mass of humanity whose exhausted faces declare “never again”, knowing full well they’ll be dragging their sorry carcases through the same plaza same time next year.
What gets increasingly frustrating when shopping in crowded streets and plazas is the abandonment of the “keep left” convention for pedestrians.
More and more, approaching pedestrians will chart a determined course to your left, forcing you to the right-hand side of the path, where the next person you confront is from the old “keep left” school and you invariably run into an I-go-right, she-goes-left situation; then me to my left, she to her right, until one of us is forced to stand still and let the other choose their path.
At least those little mix-ups end with an embarrassed smirk. It’s nothing like the pedestrian rancour inspired by the mobile moron. This telephonic tool waits until he/she is moving in a heavy stream of two-way foot traffic before checking their phone messages. Of course they get mesmerised by the bank of high-level intelligence appearing on their Nokia — “usuk, mumsuks, chenelle suks” — and start lurching through the crowds like newly landed drunken sailors, barging into prams and sending codgers’ walking sticks flying.
So why do it? Well, I customarily use the Christmas shopping expedition to get some new kit to see me through the summer. And a few weeks ago I came across a menswear shop that featured a line of strides that fitted me to a T. Not a millimetre out in any direction. Today I decided I needed another pair in another colour. They had them: in the same size and required colour.
Can any bloke top this? Into the shop, daks selected, tried on, paid for and back on the street — in 2min:30secs.
A male fantasy fulfilled.
Work and travel commitments by various parties have put our family Christmas celebrations forward to tomorrow. So we’ll exchange presents and good wishes over a Saturday arvo barbie and picnic. Should be fun.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all readers and friends in Bloggoland.
Late Press:
Best news of the day. After a month of bone-dryness and raging bushfires, it’s pelting down outside. Let’s hope there’s plenty of it.

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Stuff Nazareth, there’s room at Poughkeepsie   20/12/2006

Baby Jesus hits the road. Here’s a story to warm the coldest Grinch’s heart:
“He has travelled over counties and states, met people and animals alike. We have done our best to show the baby Jesus the many glorious aspects of our world.”

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Heads down   

The Australian suggests today that many Fairfax staffers are wondering whether they’ll survive tough-as-nails Rural Press CEO Brian McCarthy, who will step in as deputy CEO to Fairfax’s David Kirk, after the newspaper groups’ merger.
This could be one of the wonderers, following Tim Blair’s forensic efforts on behalf of recycling.

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Golden touch   

Yup! There’s still gold in them there hills.


A GOLD nugget found south of Maryborough has been described as one of the biggest unearthed in 100 years.
The stunned unnamed prospector walked into Maryborough’s Coiltech Gold Centre on Monday and plonked the 3.5kg nugget on the counter.

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The agony and . . .   

Like all good hauliers, these guys were willin’. To be moving.
Only trouble was their rig wasn’t.

The officers stopped to help a white van that had broken down on the Princes Highway near Victoria St, North Geelong, about 5.10pm, when they became suspicious of the van’s contents and its two male occupants.
A search of the van revealed what turned out to be 340 litres of liquid ecstasy (methylene dioxyphenyl-2-propanone), hidden inside 68 containers.

They should’ve gone the back roads where they wouldn’t get raids.

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Blood in the streets   

A wave of monstrous, unfettered violence is sweeping the streets of my home town.
This young fellow, from all accounts a pleasant bloke who recently qualified as a plumber, has had his life ruined in a vicious attack by more than one perpetrator.
The bashing follows a horrendous rape of a young woman by two men, also in the city centre, earlier this month. The victim was mutilated and will carry mental and physical scars for life. One of the rapists has been captured on CCTV but so far no arrests have been made.
For God’s sake, these attacks took place in the city’s central business district, which brings into sharp focus aspects such as regional city youth culture, late night booze venues and a paucity of patrolling police.
The Geelong Advertiser’s editorial suggests today that city street violence is seasonal:

WARM weather, booze and bashings. It must be summer in Geelong, so lock up your daughters and counsel your sons.
If civic leaders tell you that Geelong is safer after dark, don’t believe them.

All that lack of discipline in homes and schools, while promoting “self-esteem” at every turn has been a boon for society, hasn’t it? Not to mention turning the plods into a collective of emasculated social workers.
When we moved here 20 years ago, I valued Geelong because it combined the friendliness of a country town with the services and, if desired, the anonymity of a capital city.
We miss them but I’m relieved that now my kids are young adults they no longer live here.

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Kind words   

Aw gosh, people are saying the nicest things about me.
All thanks to this kind fellow, a Pom who doesn’t mind us winning back the Ashes.
Quite a mutual admiration society in the RWDB corner of the blogosphere.

After an interruption due to computer collapse and the demands of temporary day shift, we’re back to blogging.
Thanks to Cameron at Computer XS for getting this old box of digital tricks back on the road. Ready for another 100,000 km, I reckon.

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Killjoys was ‘ere   10/12/2006

Jeff Randall delivers a classy broadside to 21st Century Scrooges.

No, it’s not the Muslims, Jews or Hindus who are behind the drive to secularise Christmas. They are not the culprits. The presence of a small cross round the neck of a British Airways check-in staff member does not prompt them to scream in protest, vomit in the aisle or rush for a transfer to another carrier. On the whole, they couldn’t care less. The demons in this horror story of crucifying Christmas are white, middle-class do-gooders whose assumption of a superior morality is as disgraceful as it is disgusting. They are busybodies, obsessed with forcing on us their vacuous “ethical” code. In the view of Dr John Sentamu, the splendid Archbishop of York, they are “the chattering classes”, who see themselves as holding a flag for an atheist Britain. Actually, they are more pernicious than that. The teachings and guidance of old-fashioned Christianity offend them, so they seek to remove all traces of it from public life.

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CV’s on the way   

Talk about desirable positions; you get power, privilege, a fat pay packet and life on a tropical island.
SUVA, Fiji — Fiji’s coup leader ran want ads in local newspapers today to fill vacant Cabinet jobs, trying to piece together a new government for the south Pacific country.

Hmmm, let’s see . . . do they have a Minister for Lying on the Beach Drinking Beer?

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Peter Costello is in trouble.

As someone who never again wants to hear: “I’ve just left the train station” or “We’re between Footscray and North Melbourne” or “I’m on my way home” or countless other expressions of the bleeding obvious over mobile phones, I have some sympathy for this judge. But the stretch is a tad excessive.

See, I told you Santa was just Dad.

Bah, humbug at City Hall.

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