Iain Hall's SANDPIT

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Weird Al Yankovic, Foil

On a lighter note I share this clever new spoof song from Weird Al Yankovic

Isn’t that just a lovely effort from the curly haired man?

Cheers Comrades

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Doc Neeson – Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again?

Vale Doc Neeson Comrades

Bits and Bobs

Politics

Its been rather amusing to watch minions of the left spinning the by-election in the seat of Griffith, Its seems most likely that Labor will retain the seat but with a noticeably slimmer margin than was the case under the recently departed Brother Number one. This salient t fact makes it very hard for them to claim that the by election is a slap in the face for Tony Abbott or his  candidate in the seat, Bill Glasson.

The lesson that we conservatives can take form the whole experience is that the Abbott government, and the state  government led by Campbell Newman  must therefore be far less unpopular  that the pundits of the left  would have us believe.

Sport

As for the winter Olympics well in this house its a total non starter, If I have seen half a second its been a case of reacting like a scalded rabbit to get the remote to send the pictures to another channel, even a shopping channel,rather than watch any of the inanity, I must be getting even more cynical about the Olympic games as a concept because I just can’t get excite d about meat heads spending years practicing silly activities that have no meaning and then trying to out do each other. Yawn-full does not come close to describing how I feel about such things especially as we seem to have an unstoppable and eternal cacophony of raving about one sport on the TV. Heck since I got the T-Box we even have a channel devoted to AFL. Now if anyone knows how to permanently skip that one and the “cartoon Network I would really appreciate you sharing…

Project

Ive been committing one of my periodic redesigns of the arrangements of my room here at Chez Hall  with the aim of de-cluttering and giving myself a greater feeling of space to that end I think that I will need to make some shelves to house my collection of DVDs and PS3 games. I have been looking at just buying a ready-made bookshelf but every one that I have seen seems to be far too deep, too heavy for me to move and too expensive. Looks like the best option will be to use metal brackets screwed to the wall  There is a spot where I think that I can have half a dozen shelves that are nearly 2m long which should hold quite few disc cases. This should do the trick for a while. Hopefully it won’t take me months to finish this.

Pain

One of the ironies of my condition is that its a rather long drive to visit the pain clinic, in fact that drive is a bit longer that my driving threshold but its probably worth it to get the opinion and advice of the experts on the best way to manage. I have been having rather more bad than good days of late so I am going to inquire about just how I will know when to ask for a higher dosage of my Norspan patches. I am most reluctant to do an Oliver Twist and ask for more but I also want to avoid  taking too much paracetamol /codeine for breakthrough pain because that has serious effects on your liver, further I don’t want to be so medicated that I can’t drive or look after my children’s needs. Thirdly each step to a higher dose is one less step that you can take if things get really bad.

Entertainment

Just finished watching Season three of Haven which has been the best one yet in this franchise. I love DVD box sets because they allow you to get fully immersed into an imagined universe without the intrusion of ads or having to wait for each new episode to screen. There are however some shows that are just awful, We have abandoned watching “Broadchurch” its well made and all that but strewth its bleak and so angst riven that I think it fails as any sort of entertainment, you really should not have to work that hard to enjoy something.

Twitter

Those of you who follow me on twitter may have noticed a small spike in my output of late which is largely due to me having got a new phone that allows me to connect to the net via our home Wi-fi this has allowed me to do things like check Twitter on the toot or when I have had to cede access to the computer to the wife and kids. I am sort of getting the attraction and potential for addiction to 140 characters and the challenge to be witty and clever in the shorter form of the social media game.    Currently able to resist posting pictures of trouser draped feet taken while emptying my bowels though. 🙂

Morris

Not been up too doing much on the Morris of late but I did go to the Toowoomba swap meet and even though it cost me a couple of days flat on my back zonked out on painkillers I had a good time and bought a few things like spare carburetors, at a couple of bucks each, a heater assembly  from a Mini Moke at $10 and a lovely air filter assembly from a Mini for $10, As many who tinker with old cars will understand its the thrill of the chase rather than completion of a project that gives you the satisfaction with these sorts of projects. But I do feel that I am getting close to the point at which I will lift the entire body off the chassis so that It can have the skin properly welded to it and then it can be finished well enough for it to be painted I am planning to make a rotisserie for the body welding job though because If I don’t want too much heat distortion then I am going to have to dance around doing lots of very small tacks that are allows to cool before the welder touches down next to them again.

Kids

My wife would dearly love it if one of our offspring were to become as dedicated to music as she is but so far my daughter has disavowed formal lessons even though she has some natural  talent and obvious musical ability, she actually plays the recorder very well and sings nicely so maybe there is hope yet but I also think that, mother daughter rivalry is in play and that her disinterest in music is an artifact of that inevitable teenage desire for differentiation. My son has begun having lessons to learn the electric guitar and I have been been hoping that he will stick too it more than he did with piano and acoustic guitar. So to help things along I’m planning to buy a PS3 game that I have heard  about called “Rocksmith”  that allows you to plug in any real guitar into your PS3 and play along. If it works for the boy I may just earn a few brownie points with the wife as well, heck the boy may even be able to join GD in his eternal quest for falafals!

Signing Off

As usual I offer a hearty Cheers to all of my blogging Comrades

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Upsetting Mammon. Rolling Stones style

In my younger days we used to see Rock and Roll as something of a subversive art-form and to my mind that is one of the most clever and devious half truths of any commercial enterprise because it has almost always been the case that it is a way to make serious money and to commercially exploit the punters. After all what is not to like about the energy of our biological imperative being exploited in the service of Mammon? Who among you does not have a favourite popular music tune associated with  the quest for your significant other?  Who out there does not get stirrings in the loins when they here their song on the radio? Sadly for the Rolling Stones it seems that their “licence to print money” reputation has reached its use-by date as they discover that their fans will no longer max out their credit cards for the transient pleasure of hearing them play while Mick Jagger prances around on his zimmer frame.

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The expected reward for hubris is of course public humiliation as even Mammon does not smile upon being taken for granted and being expected to endorse the vanity of the Rolling Stones. It sort of makes me think that there is a very good argument for bowing out with some style and dignity rather than milking the fans for every possible penny for as long as they can.

Cheers Comrades

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Malcom McLaren, the blessed Spike and the day after next Tuesday

These days I refer to myself as an “aging hippie” in homage to my laid back attitude to life and living and as a reflection of my belief in personal liberty and my desire to make the idea of “working it out for yourself” more universal but way back in the early eighties I was a rather different Iain Hall. I had done my matriculation as an adult student and been accepted in to the University of Queensland to study the Arts and I was enjoying the life of a student, enjoying riding my bikes living in share houses. Like a lot of students I spent my time going to see various bands and had a collection of Albums in a milk crate. Getting a stereo that would not jump when people danced in the lounge room and gave decent sound was but a dream. Punk music was  loud , irreverent, cheeky and brash but more importantly it was fun. Right up there in the centre of that maelstrom was Malcolm Mclaren.

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click for source

All of my preamble was to introduce the notion that the gravestone we leave can sometimes be a really beautiful summation of a life. For instance I just love the inscription on the Grave of the blessed Spike Milligan which  reads “I told you I was ill” it beautifully sums up the man and is also cheekily funny as are so many of his nonsense poems. I suspect its my old codger-hood but I find myself thinking more and more about such things, about the monuments we commission or inspire and how they can sum up a life (hopefully ) well lived, of sins addressed, atonements made and the things left undone by untimely ends, so maybe I need to address my worst sin which is procrastination…
Hmm I think that will have to wait until the day after next Tuesday…
Cheers Comrades

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Gillard is definitely not drunk… or Conroy’s zombie hordes shuffle in time to the beat of his drum

Earlier I have been suggesting that the whole Push by Conroy to reshape the media landscape was a convenient smokescreen intended to  distract attention form the leadership woes of Julia Gillard and now this morning  we have Peter Harcher of the Age making precisely the same claim but with the added flavour of his contacts within the Labor party.

But there is another explanation, too. ”Conroy’s view has been that the media stuff isn’t the worst thing in the world, and it’ll distract from leadership speculation and get us through to the end of next week,” says a senior Labor figure. ”Gillard’s entire world is an inside game,” of how to hold the leadership against any Kevin Rudd recrudescence.

The end of next week? That’s the last time Parliament sits before the budget, the last time the caucus will be together in one place, the last time there will be a venue and opportunity for any leadership challenge before the budget.

But Rudd is resolutely sticking to his pledge that he will not challenge again. This is frustrating some of his more determined supporters, but he is proving immovable.

Without any challenge, the onus for change rests with the senior Labor members who, until now, have been Gillard supporters. A delegation to tell her to resign, like the one that gave the same message to Bob Hawke in 1991, is widely mooted. Messy, unpleasant, and, so far, no volunteers.

Amazingly those who are in the Gillard Glee Club seem to be in absolute denial about any thing as Machiavellian in this rather  crude stupid  and unseemly push for “media”  reform. Instead focusing on shooting the messenger  who has been telling them that this “reform” will not get through the parliament and that it was never intended to in the first instance.  There is only one thing that Gillard is focused on an that her personally remaining in the Lodge until  September 14 and as I have said its all a smokescreen, and example of the old bait and switch and sadly there are far too many of the left who are letting their despair at the prospect of an Abbott  victory cloud their political judgement about the machinations of the regime that they would see endure into another term even though it is everyday shuffling more and more zombie like towards a horrid end.
Cheers Comrades
You can't start a fire, you can't start a fire without a sparkThis gun's for hire even if we're just dancing in the dark

You can’t start a fire, you can’t start a fire without a spark
This gun’s for hire even if we’re just dancing in the dark

Live and let die in the Pacific

Even the bleeding hearts from the ranks of our Latte sipping friends must realise that on this issue the public are entirely unsympathetic to the hunger strike by detainees on Nauru.  Especially when the majority of those detained there are from Sri Lanka which ended its civil war  years ago.

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Of course there is “No hope” on Nauru that is the point of detaining people there and the essence of its deterrent value. It saddens me to see people there suffering, however they all have the option of returning to their country of origin at any time, instead they try the futile emotional blackmail of the hunger strike.

Cheers Comrades

Frankly when they commit the sort of crimes against the English language evident in their sign maybe we don’t want then here anyway

Lets thank Campbell Newman for saving us from dreary poetry

As regular readers will have gathered I actaully like the craft of writing,  In this craft, like all forms of creative writing, you learn what works to get your message across and you learn that by having a direct interaction with your readers, rather than having what you write filtered through an editor or a publisher. You see what I am circling around is the issue of “literary awards” and their role in the writing landscape. I have been inclined to think about this because Campbell Newman has just announce that he is scrapping the Queensland Premiers awards with an annual saving to the budget of nearly a quarter of a million bucks. Of course the response to this from the literati has been to denounce this as the act of a philistine:

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Personally I think that poetry per se is very over rated and that apart from aspiring members of the literati nobody reads poetry at all these days. The exception is of course the poetry of songs and songwriters. I bet that if you ask “Jane Bloggs” on the street to recite a poem from memory you will draw a blank but you ask her to tell you the lyric to a popular song and she will be close to  word perfect.  Of course the cultural elites look down their noses at mere popular music yet that would have to be the only form of poetry that makes any kind of an impression on the people or makes  quid these days. So perhaps we should acknowledge that Campbell Newman is doing we Queenslanders  a favour by scrapping the awards and allowing a rather useless forms of literary expression  slide into the obscurity that it so richly deserves

    Cheers Comrades

 

 

 

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