Sunday, April 23, 2006

Commercial TV

"Commercial" is certainly the operative word when it comes to free to air television. Most of MB's limited viewing is on the ABC and SBS, with some cable TV thrown in. When the MB family were holidaying in Numurkah, one the commercial TV stations was screening a new Hannibal "movie". Big mistake trying to watch this, the length and frequency of the advertisements was completely overwhelming. The Hannibal program wasn't terribly good and it turned into an endurance test with all of the $%&*(!# advertising.
It gets worse though, the cable TV we subscribed to in 2000, for the Olympics, is also becoming clogged with advertisements. Paying a high monthly fee for this advertising makes MB very steamed up. However MB thinks the folks at the cable TV place are pretty canny, they don't interrupt the sport programs with adverts, so there is no way the male spouse is going to give up the cable TV.

Fireball Incident

Whenever a cyclone threatens Cairns the MB family loves to recount the Fireball Incident. This story has reached mythical proportions but the version herein is the most accurate.

In 2000 Cyclone Steve was on track to pass over Cairns so the MB family made all the usual preparations, storing water, getting candles, making sure there were batteries for torches etc. Late in the afternoon of the day the cyclone was due to hit, MB also picked up some extra bread at the bakery and for a special treat bought 4 jam donuts, one for each member of the family to have after dinner.

MDR put an esky on a towel on the floor in the kitchen in readiness for the usual power failure. Sure enough, the power failed once the wind got stronger, at around 6pm.

MB being the good mother she is lit some candles and started to assemble a small, portable gas lantern in the kitchen to cook some dinner. This particular appliance used a small gas cylinder which you had to punch with the gas lantern top to connect it. MB duly did this but the gas started to escape very rapidly and immediately caught on fire from the candles nearby. The escaping gas turned into a fireball over 2 metres high and completely engulfed and carbonised everything in it's path. The sight of the fireball was really quite breathtaking and the entire MB family was there to witness it, their collective jaws dropping and their eyes wide with wonder and panic.

MDR came to the rescue by grabbing the towel from under the nearby esky and smothering the fire. A dazed MB and kids were still gaping when a neighbour burst through our front door to help douse the fire, he'd witnessed the entire fireball though the kitchen window which overlooks the street. We gingerly lifted the towel, expecting to see a very damaged benchtop but amazingly enough there was no damage whatsoever, the closest thing to the gas bottle when the gas ignited was a paper bag containing the special treat donuts. This was incinerated and all that was lying there were 3 small, round, black things. MB realised that someone had eaten one of the donuts surreptitiously and cast an accusing eye over the assembled family members. Youngest son rather smugly owned up to eating one earlier in the afternoon!

There was no fire damage at all in the kitchen, luckily the ceilings are over 3m high so the fireball didn't reach. MB did get burnt arms though and needed some pretty heavy duty painkillers to get through the night, no scarring fortunately.

In case you're wondering, we disposed of the lantern and the spare cylinders.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Tide is Turning

MB just discovered adbusters via the weekend papers, they are producing anti-logo sneakers. You may remember MB's laments on this subject in an earlier post. Should MB even be advertising these shoes on this blog? Feels wrong somehow....

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Melbourne Comedy Festival

Those Melburnians really know how to stage an event. The MB family got to see two shows on Saturday night, many were sold out so opted to see "Waiting for Compo". A farce incorporating empty VB tins, a tub chair and some bogans from the burbs trying to get publicity by rioting and also claiming compo for their young son who had developed man boobs from being fed exclusively on reject battery hens.
The show was staged in a function room at the Duckboard Lane RSL, off Flinders Lane in Melbourne. The RSL is one of those old clubs full of wartime memorabilia and very atmospheric, we had a beer there before the show.
After that show we decided to go to the Trades Hall where comedy films were being sceened. This was another great venue, again we were funnelled to the show via the bar, which was adorned with lots of union posters and solidarity paraphenalia. We saw Night on Earth by John Jarmusch, made in the early 90's and chock full of famous actors, my favourite was Roberto Benignini playing a crazy Tuscan taxi driver in Rome.
Also screened was an episode of Grommatie High from Japan, one of those wierd Japanese Manga type cartoons.
Planning and booking ahead is going to be a priority for next year's
festival, this year's program was amazingly good.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

So Many Choices, So Little Time

As expected Melbourne has dazzled the MB family with an overwhelming array of cultural and gourmet opportunities. The 20th Melbourne International Comedy Festival is currently in full swing and there are over 200 comedy shows to see. With only one night left it's so hard to know what to choose...

Friday, April 14, 2006

Feel the Serenity

Thanks Blues for the nudge. The MB family escaped the heat and humidity of NQ last week for some rural therapy in Northern Victoria at PB's country club retreat in Numurkah. Lots of golf, wine, touring and gourmet & not-so-gourmet eating. Yesterday it was roast chook from the Chicken Ranch in downtown Numurkah, the day before it was seared lamb fillet served pink at Oscar W's in Echuca.
MDR was getting a bit edgy in landlocked Numurkah but a day trip to Echuca solved his boat withdrawal symptoms, a trip on a Murray River paddlesteamer perked him up. He was ecstatic when he was served XXXX Gold on tap at Oscar W's. Incidentally MDR keeps pronouncing Echuca "Yu-chewka", oh well can't be perfect at everything.
Pictured is a spectacular skeleton of a gum tree seen at the Kinnaird Wetlands, on the outskirts of Numurkah, MDR & MB were hoping to do some bird spotting but the wetlands were as dry as toast, another victim of the drought no doubt (nice rhyme there).
We head back in the family truckster to the big smoke in Melbourne on Good Friday, MB can't wait to have some fat, juicy scallops which are impossible to get up North, maybe a little shopping too. The boys are looking forward to Coffin Bay oysters which apparently can be found at the Prahran Markets, a few blocks from where we'll be staying. We're not obsessed with food are we?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Cyclone Larry

A rather tardy posting as Cyclone Larry is now old news. However wanted to display this photo of an uprooted tree outside the Cairns City Council. Our city's trees suffered dreadfully during this storm.
Cairns was very fortunate to be on the periphery of this very destructive cyclone, which ravaged the coastal towns about 100klm south of Cairns.