Wednesday, September 30, 2009

iChuck a million times.

Dick has just reminded me of the abomination beyond words which has befallen the delicate sensibilities of the average Australian - me.

Kraft, an American company operating certain product lines in Australia, have, after a nation-wide competition, named their new mixture of cream cheese and the erstwhile sacrosanct yeast extract phenomenon Vegemite...

... and it is called...

... as announced at half-time at the VFL Grand Final to the largest WTF! 99,251 people could possibly emit in unison...


... wait for it...

iSnack 2.0

Not it's not an update to a virus elimination program, but a toast spread. No, it's not made by Apple. No, it's the first time they've released the product in Australia (tried and failed in USA).

I swear to whatever gods are left that this has to be a joke, a scam, a prank, a jape, a rise, a test, a go, a tickle of the funny bone. To paraphrase that great irate, Mr John MacInroe - "YOU CAN'T BE FUCKING SERIOUS!"

Oh but they are.

Yet another example of the great American marketing machine failing to plumb the specious depths of the Australian psyche.

Suggestions: "VegeMate!" "CheesyMite!"

How about "Vegemite With Cheese." On toast.

Strewth. There is sufficient exasperation involved to make one throw a fuckin' wobbly.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Don'tcha Love It When A Plan Comes Together!

Three weeks ago - So I confirm my business class flights to Melbourne on frequent flier points...

Two weeks ago - So I win a reserved seat at the ground in the members' raffle...

One week ago - So my team gets into the final...

Today - So The Cats Win The AFL Flag for 2009!

It was a total heart-stopper of a game - one the toughest games ever, hardly an uncontested possession for the entire two hours and the result was up in the air, scores were even, until the last 2 minutes when my team finally inched ahead.

(And it costs me nothing except a myocardial infarction!!)

What a great weekend!


OK a little bit of actual drama - I wasn't sure if I had paid my membership for 2009. The money was due on 31 August but I couldn't find a receipt in my on-line credit card records, but I thought I had done it because I was considering watching a match when I came down to Melbourne at the end of last month. So I'm scratching my head and slowly got around to checking while I am here in Melbourne, so I call the club office to see if they can confirm whether I paid up or not. Of course after six or seven cycles through Robo-cop voice, I am put on hold.

While the music tinkles away I go on-line on my laptop (using the No 1 Son's network) and check my email. Ba-ding! Here's one from the Melbourne Cricket Club saying that while I have a reserved seat, my membership is overdue! Well fancy that! Just as I open the link, which asks for a reference number from the invoice that was sent in July (which I don't have obviously), the real live human lady comes on the phone to talk to me - "Oh hi, I need my reference number to pay my membership please!"

Perfect timing... So I paid and yes, I got in...

If I hadn't checked my email or called the office (at my buddy Rockstar69's insistence), I would have been refused entry!

Big sporting day, Cat's victory, celebrated with two bottles of black label Moet.

(Youtubes to come)


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Two Words

Gary Abblett!! (Jr)

And he is a genuinely nice guy, by all accounts. Sometimes the good guys do win.


Apologies to the great son of the great man for the late acknowledgment of his tremendous sporting success on Monday night.

The Brownlow Medal is the annual award for the best and fairest player in the Australian Football League. It is awarded on points per game by the umpires themselves, so there is no doubt that only good players will win. It just so happens that Gary Ablett Jr is the BEST player in 20 years, at least since his father Gary Ablett Snr, who kicked an amazing 9 goals in the 1989 Grand Final, even though Geelong lost that time.

But now on to the Grand Final for 2009! It's going to be a different story this year!

My bags are packed, my plane ready, my car booked, my accommodation is secured. It's going to be a miserable day in Melbourne Saturday weather-wise - hail, storms, top of 14C (about 57F) - but for those of us with checkered rugs on our laps and thermoses of hot coffee it's going to be a great day!

Cats for the win!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Something For You To Read While I Play Golf

Garnered from a tip by Hunter-Gatherer at Uban Life Management.

(It's only a snippet preview.)


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Buddha Jumps Over The Moon

You can't upset me. I am beyond getting upset. I am in a blissful state. Buddha would be proud. I have 7 days till Enlightenment.

My football team, the Geelong Cats, will play in the Australian Rules Football Grand Final next Saturday. I have a Business Class Seat for the flight to Melbourne and I have a Reserved Seat in the Members Stand of the Melbourne Cricket club - somewhere up near the same flying altitude, but I'll bring my Biggles spectacles and a fur coat to observe the spectacle and to keep warm (as well as a collared shirt).

I knew I had the seat, but it was only the match we watched tonight on the (borrowed set-top box - mine is broken) TV that clinched their place in the final for The Cats. Otherwise I would have been playing suduko or reading the next Stieg Larsson installment...

Saturday will be a big BIG day. It is expected that over 100,000 people will attend.
The atmosphere on days like this is astounding, the charge is almost too much, and as some people saw tonight at the TV match, I do get involved and very vocal over my footy...



Saturday, September 19, 2009

Best Places To Eat...

The Gaurdian has a list of the 50 best places to eat.

Obviously there is alot of steaks and pizza and burger places in America, but the places that interest me are those I have a chance of visiting or have already visited.

I've done three of them - had the pho in Pho24 Siagon (about 5 times), the sea-bream at the Tsujiki market (once) and the Peking duck in Quanjude...

I've eaten in Cebu, but maybe not at the Lighthouse restaurant. You have to agree there is a reason Philippines food has not taken the world by storm. Even at its best, it's still pretty crap.

I will make a note of the Bangkok place and try it the week after next.

And I walked past Ladurée in Paris and went somewhere else for mon macaroons (at Sav's suggestion).


Mmm. Can you tell I'm hungry?

Indy and g-f are coming over to watch the footie, some nibbles and then for dinner - my famous disaster-invoking green curry of whatever veggies plus calimari and prawns, with maybe some chicken... But no carrot. You tell a pseudo-Thai restaurant if there is carrot in the stir-fry. Thais don't eat carrot.

OK, all this food talk, need a coffee or something just to tide me over. Feeling a lot better, thanks everyone, have some energy back finally, and though my arse feels like it's about to fall through the chair (pelvic floor) I am not too bad.

As well as having lost about $100k and a week's holiday to this UTI, I have also lost about 3.5kgs.

Till later. Go CATS!


One Hit To The Body

Looks like one of the threatening things that was getting me down back in Feburary is coming true.

The bank valuation on my now completed property in Noosa Heads was nowhere near what I had promised to pay for it off-the-plan way back before the crash.

So. Do I take a hit and get out? I have already put a big whack into it, including $25k for the furniture package. The valuation leaves me short - a long way short - after the bank loan, not including stamp duty, costs, etc...

Wow. This has knocked me back about, mmm, 5 years. Shock. I can never retire. I better start taking my current job seriously as I am not going to make it as a freelance big-time property investor.


To give you an idea, what my friend paid for his palatial mansion in Chiang Mai is about what I lost today, on a dinky one-bedroom flat.

Which I will own sooner rather than later now, I suppose.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Knock Knock

He is awoken by the harshest imaginable screech. It was those cockatoos perched in a cartoonish branch of tree a way across from his window, under a bulge of manic overgrowth near the start of Bowen Rd, the only green view left in Hong Kong at this price-range. Unless you leant over in bed a bit and saw the goal-post spires of the Bank Of China, you could imagine yourself in a jungle somewhere. He always feels like he is somewhere else, waiting to return, but to where?

The birds screech again, fly from the tree one by one like it was a rehearsed swoop down to somewhere else out of view. Strange, he had always considered them exclusively Australian birds, sulfur-crested cockies, birds of his childhood. He recalls one with a defeathering disease in a cage at his best friend's mum's house, and has the vision of a massive flock of the pest completely enveloping a giant dead tree in a wheat field in the Wimmera but he is not sure if it was a view from his uncle's truck he is remembering, or a show he saw on the TV.

What where they doing here? Lost? Like him?

Hold the front-page. Big boy lost. Expat at large.

He rises from the crumpled sheets, farts sonorously, and knocks softly on his door of the shared en-suite. Nothing from inside. He scatches at his scrotum just as he opens his door and just as Helga opens the door on her side, Mike's slightly larger room with a full view of HK if he cared to open the blinds fully. There is enough of a late Saturday morning glare to silhouette Helga so he can't quite see that she is completely naked. They both slam their doors.

"Sorry," he calls. "I knocked, but you go first, I can wait." His bladder is in fact about to explode.

"No, first you go," he hears Helga call back, "I am a long shower taking."

"Great, just need a piss."

He tentatively enters the toilet/shower/wash-room that is accessible only from the two adjacent bedrooms, snips Mike and Helga's latch out of habit, and patiently waits for the mechanisms of his micturition to commence their cycle...


Later, at lunch, they all laugh. It has been two years and that was the first time they had opened both doors at the same time.

"Lucky you were wearing your shorts, yah?" laughs Helga.

"Yes," he replies. "It was." He holds his toast still for a minute and wonders.

He hadn't been wearing anything but a t-shirt.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

On Floyd

Oh shit, I shout,
Floyd has died!
Pickled, no doubt,
Or stir and fried.

What a start!
This pommy cook
Was all heart.
He had what it took -

Wine in one hand,
The other a fish -
Had no plan -
Out came a dish

Fit for a king.
Cheeky as sauce,
Wit was his thing:
It was his main course.



When I get well, sigh, I must go back for a feed at Floyd's Brasserie in Phuket. By twenty skillions of miles the best feed and service to be had in Patong Beach.


p.s. Was trying to find references to Floyd's in my old blog, but couldn't. However I have had an entirely pleasant 90 minutes reading through some of my old posts. Fuck, I used to be REALLY funny.

I should put some of them together sometime, somewhere. Sell it. Make money - everyone knows writers are rich.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I will try to be happier tomorrow. Or the day after, depends when the a-bs kick in.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Words Can't Describe...

I'll try to find something on You-Tube that demonstrates the feeling of trying to take a dump when your whole pelvic floor is in spasm due to a bladder infection and the muscles are working out of phase. (p.s. Nobody need mention anal fissure, I've had one of those as well. Similarly indescribable.)

How's this?

Close, but start with one of those red-hot tracer-bullets jammed up your urethra.

Then go Explosion. (The pulsing red circles at 1:55, oh yeah...)

Then comes the Fallout...


Antibiotics and cranberry juice are hopefully going to cure this radiation sickness in a few days. Till then...

It's DefCon1 in the E@L dunny!


Saturday, September 12, 2009

It Only Hurts When I Pee/Walk/Stand-up

Damn. I think I have a bladder infection. Frequency and burning, some cramps. No recent sexual activity (with other humans present). Maybe there's an old kidney stone that's holding on to some bacteria. Who knows where these Job-like afflictions come from? Jehovah, some might say.

Yes, yes, I am drinking copious acidic drinks to neutralize the bugs, thanks.

And very tired. Very. Tired. Droopy-limbed and clumsy. Napping all the time.

Though that sense of complete exhaustion could be due to the a) the meds (took a double dose of Lyrica this morning as I forgot my morning meds yesterday), or b) to the burst of swimming and aqua-walking I performed yesterday, or c) to the staying up late and imbibing copious alcoholic drinks at what might shape up to be Our Local because of its centrality to the apartments of many expat buddies, the little pub on the Goldhill Building, Molesto's or something.


Speaking of my meds for peripheral neuralgia, I'm wondering when the time will come that walking is so painful that I'll need one of these...

Once more last week (after talking to sympathetic friends at the conference), I scanned my feet in our office to look for signs of tarsal tunnel syndrome (like carpal tunnel syndrome, but in the feet, obviously), but everything looked fine; nice, un-swollen nerves, not obviously pinched or inflamed. My neurologist thinks it is small nerve damage anyway, not TTS, so the possibility of more surgery is currently receding. But the immanent possibility of the pain receding does not. Ironically the only drug that did work for me was Cymbalta but that drug GAVE me prostatitis/bladder infection-like symptoms, similar to what I am experiencing today. [Thinks: maybe today's problem IS the Lyrica dose, as it is roughly similar in effect.]

There are days I feel that the maybe the pain in my feet and toes is imaginary. It must be impossible for someone to be so negatively AWARE of his/her feet 24hrs a day, for the pain to still be lingering after six years. I begin to feel that I am whinging for nothing, that this is not special, that everybody suffers from sore feet (look at the ads for inner-sole inserts everywhere).

But when I find myself stopping for a moment to wipe away the tears and to relax my aching facial grimace, when I find myself heading for the travelators and standing still rather than using them as the launch-pad for luggage pick-up as designed, when I see my weight escalating due to living in a completely too-shagged-to-exercise-zone and the fact that two of my drugs are appetite boosters, I have to keep searching for something like relief, something like a cure.

(At least current combination of meds do stop the ultra-sensitive toes problem - those unexpected shooting/burning/itching pains, the pulse of agony that a tickling feather or a light bed-sheet used to elicit - that has pretty much gone, except for when I forget my to take meds!)

Being dopey, obese, tired and hungry, and STILL having much of the pain continuously is a walking nightmare.


p.s: Need toilet paper, must get my electric chair revved up to go shopping.

p.p.s: Yes, I know, loose weight you fat bastard. Ironically, I think it was the increased activities (mainly walking on a treadmill in air-cushioned shoes) I made in 2004/2005 prior to my 30th school-reunion in order to loose weight so I could fit into some older, more stylish clothes that triggered the current continuous episode. I lost 5kgs - and my feet were STILL terrible - but I have put on 15kgs since then. The scales read 129.9kgs this morning. The dreaded yo-yo diet syndrome. And lately, having a social life means eating and drinking out a lot more...

p.p.p.s: Sigh.

Capitalism Will Eat Itself - Reflux

The bright blue skies of Sydney, the warming rays of the sun as you stand on the ferry to Manly. Later, the crisp reflections of lights across Darling Harbour in the still of night. Once a convict settlement where brutal punishments and rum rations just kept control over the seething distrust of authority. Now a tourist mecca and a key business and financial centre where money reigns and bling sings.

One day, a buddy of mine is stopped at a red light in Sydney, with pedestrians crossing in front of him. A young woman pauses at the front of his car, turns around and hitches up her dress, reveling a red G-string and great butt. With her trim-buttocked rear-end she swipes across the front-end of his car, right over the name badge...

Same thing has happened about six times he tells us.

Full story to follow, at some stage...


Thursday, September 10, 2009


E@L met a fellow from Georgia last night. Nice guy, a trainer for Company P.

When E@L mentioned that he had had a bunch of Australian Libertarians, including the not-so-young-as-he-thinks John Humphreys, the founder of the Liberal Democratic Party, at his place for drinks the other night, the Georgian fellow said:

"American Liberations are just Republicans who are too pussy to admit that they are Republicans. Heck, they'll all VOTE Republican ev'ry time..."



John and his buddy Joe are fairly intense people. How do I know them, you ask? John is dating a friend of mine, an ex-Singaporean blogger, who dropped in to catch up with E@L and Indiana Jones on their way to Cambodia to look at the universities John volunteers at, and to take as many and as varied a range of illicit drugs as they possibly can. Where to get 'shrooms in Phnom Phen was an unresolved dilemma.

That was a very intense evening actually, though no drugs were involved as we were in Singapore, none other than nicotine and alcohol of course. Ironically we came to the E@L GHQ because Party-town Singapore was too expensive for these backpackers - paying $15 for a half-shot of Scotch (not the butterscotch that first came out) in some dry-ginger ale was not part of their plan for world domination, despite it being merely the free market at work.

Although he was on his home turf, E@L was on the back-peddle on a few occasions in conversation with these guys. To E@L, the problem with Libertarians is that they pick and choose policies amongst the Left and Right and therefore they have no cohesive historical philosophical underpinning other than the Objectivism (which some of them reject) of that rape-fantasist Ayn Rand and the disastrous (see current GFC) Monetarism of Milton Friedman. Therefore it's hard to pin them down because you will always find something to agree with in the cabinet of curiosities which constitutes their policies.

E@L started by assuming that he would completely disagree with them, but on many issues, irrespective of his desire to do so, he could not.

Actually, it may have been John's immense narcissism (charisma, charm, loud voice - call it what you will) that E@L at first felt the need to reject. You just want to bring someone who comes across as such an arrogant bastard down a peg or two; it's an unstoppable Australian urge to chop at the tall poppy. Maybe it's the way his comb-over is so carefully randomized as to look accidental...

We were well into the flow of the discussion/debate/argument/shouting-match when E@L managed to duck John's trick question - "Should people be less controlled or more controlled?" - by saying that the sentence had more implications than its English words suggest and was not so straightforward. "It's just a sentence, a plain English sentence, it has an answer," said John repeatedly.

More or less control, compared to what?

" 'All Cretans are liars'," E@L replied, "is just a sentence too, unless spoken by a Cretan..." Joe at least was stopped by this, perhaps he had never considered the possibility of paradoxes in plain seeming speech.

E@L just had the feeling that John's question was a set-up for some straw-man or extrapolation and that if he agreed that people need more freedom, then he was was agreeing that we should have no government or rules at all and that we should take our Uzis and hide out in the hills lest the Government sends in the troops, a la Waco. So E@L's strategy was to not answer his question in the first place, thus depriving him of the opportunity to develop his argument in his no doubt well-polished way.

Maybe someone should have said, "OK, I'll bite. Man should be more controlled,. Now what?" just to see where it would have gone. For some reason though, E@L was wary and that trail ran out.

To E@L's upbringing, yes, of course freedom is great, but to his experience, no, less regulation over companies and people (less "control") inevitably leads to collusion (see my previous post), exploitation and profiteering, and is not necessarily the most efficient or inexpensive option. Of course less regulation can seem a license to the exploit of economically weaker or more vulnerable persons or groups, in fact capitalism seems to depend upon it. Not to mention the GFC…


"I am 100% right in everything I believe," says Joe the Monetarist economist who HATES Naomi Klein with a feral passion ("she's an IDIOT!" he cries through clenched teeth) and disapproves of my John Ralston Saul books as well.

More about The Shock DoctrineMore about Voltaire's BastardsMore about On EquilibriumMore about The Unconscious Civilization

"That's where you're wrong," said E@L vehemently... This is the E@L who scrapped in with 52% for Year12 Economics back in '75 (when Milton Friedman was not quite the libertarian he is considered now*). "Monetarism is chaos!" Joe shook his head and quickly gave E@L the Economics lecture he must have slept through 34 years ago - Monetarism, he said, is the government adjusting the economy by controlling the supply of money, not this playing with the interest rates as E@L had maintained. Whatever.. .

But the supply of money can be changed by Banks making loans, too, so that should be regulated as well…

"Yes, but that's different…" and Joe's eye-glazing and unremembered explanation continued...

But we were all free to agree that beer (or whiskey, or gin or vodka) is good.

We also found common ground on at least one other thing. After seeing a copy of Popper's "The Open Society And Its Enemies" on my shelf, we all agreed that Plato is a cunt.

More about The Open Society and Its EnemiesMore about Plato's Republic

Later I reflect on this, amongst several other ironies. Plato said that there is an unattainable world of perfect ideas, yet while these guys claim to eschew that, they are striving to convince everyone that their version of Libertarianism would move us towards that perfect world.

Actually E@L is confused. So do they claim there is no perfection, or do they merely claim that perfection is attainable?

Never got the chance to ask. What part of Plato is wrong - the benevolent philosopher king ruling autocratically? Then why do they love the very concept of Singapore. Of course they are falling that trap that John R Saul had pointed out - these apparently free markets do not necessarily mean free or democratic societies. The collusion of business and government is how Mussolini defined fascism.

As John Gray has pointed out, E@L pointed out, if any group you're in claims that killing large numbers of people is required for that group to fulfill its destiny and create the perfect (pure?) society (religion, world, cup of coffee, whatever...) it's time to get out of that group... It's a millennialist cult. Joe promised to look up Gray's books.

More about Straw DogsMore about Black Mass

Anyway, all this talk of anarchy and violent - "all rules are violence," says Joe - government oppression made E@L feel like he was actually living in the book he is currently reading: Dostoevsky's Demons.

For those of you who don't know, Demons (aka 'The Devils' and 'The Possessed') is about a group of dilettantish dinner-party anarchists in 19thCentury Russia that gets one new member who is pretty damn intense... hilarity results. Not! (Though it is quite a humorous almost satirical book, as well.) Coincidentally the 'intense' character in Demons is based on a real radical, a guy whom even quintessential anarchist (and the model for arch-anarchist Sunday in Chesterton's "The Man Who Was Thursday") Michael Bakunin thought was too crazy for anything.

Joe, from Saturday night, also is a big fan of Bakunin it transpires. John, who brought up the Randian rape thing, reminds me of Dostoevsky's extremist Verkhovensky character… Libertarianism promotes the freedom to believe anything, so long as it is exactly what Libertarians believe. All the animals are more equal than others in the Libertarian farm.

A bunch of nerds, said flat-mate Izzy next morning. She was also in the conversation pit, getting the Economics 101 lecture with E@L. E@L bets she has these sorts of nights all the time.

By 1 am, E@L had to crash, physically and emotionally exhausted, to leave them to their devices and the grog cabinet which was overfull, so E@L didn’t mind. They were free to drink what they liked… That's the open society they REALLY want.

Interesting night.



* Krugman: "Eventually, however, the anti-Keynesian counterrevolution went far beyond Friedman’s position, which came to seem relatively moderate compared with what his successors were saying."
Pasted from <

Why Health Care Costs Are So High

Conversation in the exhibition hall at a major international medical conference:

E@LSo how are things going for Company A (in Country X)

Company Rep: Things are OK but could be better. It's Company C. They're making it hard.

E@L: What's the problem?

Company Rep: They keep coming in with lower price. It is upsetting the market...

E@L: Well they always do that, they do it an all countries. They have a tax incentive back home, in Country Y*.

Company Rep: Yeah, but Company A and Company B, we had a good agreement, kept a good price, make more profit, but Company C, they won’t listen to us.

E@L: (Nods. … Thinks: not often someone flat out admits illegal activities like price-fixing and collusion. Ah, capitalism.)

* Profit in foreign countries are taxed in the home country as well as in the foreign country where the sales are made. Given the large difference in relative profits (Home >>> Foreign), it is better for the company to NOT make any profits in the foreign country, indeed making a loss can result a substantial tax reduction. Therefore, they can do what they like with prices, undercutting companies that ARE trying to make a profit in that country. Not mentioning any names - That Others Show Help Is Better Also and Good Enough.


On the subject of Health Care reform (and the imanent Great Socialismization Of The US of A), the rather left New England Journal Of Medicine has several free articles worth picking over.

One article nails the main limitation of "for profit" health delivery -

"Whereas fee-for-service medicine can be lucrative for providers because of financial incentives to deliver more (and more costly) services, it typically does not offer incentives to improve quality or efficiency or to deliver care that has a low profit margin, such as preventive services or patient education."The End of Fee-for-Service Medicine? Proposals for Payment Reform in Massachusetts,Robert Steinbrook, M.D. NEJM, Volume 361:1036-1038


At the conference last week, another of the conversations was how about relatively cheap ultrasound scanning (the conference was all medical ultrasound) is used extensivley as the first-line diagnostic test for many muscular and nerve injuries (etc...) in the pan-Asian countries, with CT scanning and MRI reserved for difficult or ambiguous cases or for cases where bone disease or damage is suspected.

In the USA expensive MRI scans are used without qualm as the front-line diagnostic method as well as for follow-up studies. Bang, there goes your costs, sextupled.

The MRI-ologists would argue that their sonographers are not as experienced in musculo-skeletal scanning, but of course that is a circular argument: They don't do enough scans to enable the people to learn adequately. They need traiing, but there's no money in that becasue there's no money in U/S, not while MRI is such a huge profit-earner. After Obama's reforms, maybe that will be less of an issue.

Training: perhaps that is where you'll find E@L's career in its twilight.


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

iTunes CAN!

It was a proxy server issue - I had set up a proxy in the Japan office a fortnight ago. I remember now that changing the proxy server settings within Firefox does not change the overall system proxy server settings...

Of course not, why would you expect that?


Go back to whatever...


Cannot iTunes

Anyone know why the iTunes server is rejecting my work laptop? I can't fix the applications on my iPhone except ON the phone, cannot get music info for CDs I import (Powderfinger - the old album with the magical My Kind of Scene, Leonard Cohen Live in London) to put on the iPhone. I am logged in but can't log out. It's weird and it's frustrating.

Yes, I am connected to the network. I tried downloading iTunes again and reinstalling it. No joy.


Powderfinger, My Kind Of Scene lyrics...

When everything you thought you had
Goes from worse to bad...


Thursday, September 03, 2009


Last week was in Melbourne with family, this week in Sydney with a hordes of old friends (many from Melbourne) at a conference.

Two things - the Ibis hotel in Darling Harbour would have to have the worst rooms in Australia. I've had more luxurious and bigger rooms in one of those Tokyo business hotels where drunk salary-men sleep it off before returning to work next morning. Breeakfast there, however, was very good - toaster excellent.

Secondly, I had another great breakfast with No 1 son and GF at the Richmond Hill Larder's cafe and fromagerie on Saturday morning. It was windy and wet, and we had to wait for a small table. We got the same waiter as last few times, he is relaxed and accurate and offers great suggestions, despite the pressing crowd of foodies.

They use special eggs in the delicious scramble: organic, bio-gradable, omega-3 enhanced, free-range, hand-caught and polished eggs, pooped from the mulesed cloacae of exclusively lesbian chickens. Yummy. On REAL sourdough bread. The muesli, with the most gorgeous sweet, light sheep's milk yoghurt, flown in fresh by Lear Jet from the world's best dairy at Meredith (famed for the annual Naked 100m Run at it music fesitvals) was superb as well. Love eating there.

At the conference these past few days, friends were all asking where I plan to settle down when and if I return to Melbourne. Depsite the desperately unpleasant weather, what with the family still here, with the RHCL and the MCG nearby, where I am a overseas member greatly underutilizing its services , it's looking most likely to be Melbourne...


At the airport now, going over some Facebook things, it looks like Izzy is back from her Nordic sojourn, so I presume won't be returning to an empty flat!


Due a cancellation in my schedule (no Trang, Thailand next week after all) I will be in Singapore for a few weeks, so the chance to develop something like a rhythm in my life will be appreciated.


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