Outlandish 金曜日Speculation

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411 thoughts on “Outlandish 金曜日Speculation

  1. 24 May 1982:

    The Argentine A/C strike again and hit RFA ships Sir Bedivere, Sir Lancelot and Sir Galahad while they are in the landing area.

    Lot’s of burn injuries result as the ships had troops on-board.

    (not the finest day)

  2. SNP fury as HS2 finds ‘no business case’ for taking fast train service to Scotland


    The SNP can be as angry as they like about this.

    All they have offered is to build 46 miles of HS rail between Edinburgh/Waverley and Glasgow (this will be short of Glasgow Central).

    Nothing offered to finance the 220 miles of line from Manchester north of which they would be the main beneficiaries.

  3. 2gravel
    My condolences. I’ll be thinking of you and your family over the next few days. Many hugs. It’s good to know your mum had her wish and wasn’t forced to hang on.

  4. That nasty SDA deal with Coles might not make it past the Fair work Commission, and that would be a good thing.

    There is some good news for SDA members and for Labor – Joe de Bruyn, the current National President, will be quitting in October, will also not be seeking re-election to Labor’s governing executive body at the next national conference and will step down as ACTU vice-president next year, body. Good riddance! The people running the ‘Sack Joe de Bruyn’ Facebook page must be happy with all that. The comments on there are not exactly pro-Joe.

    Shoppies’ kingmaker de Bruyn to check out

    AN era in Australia’s labour movement and Labor Party politics is coming to an end with the departure of Joe de Bruyn as head of the “shoppies”, right-wing factional leader and gatekeeper for many MPs and senators entering parliament for more than 30 years.

    Mr de Bruyn, one of the most influential and longest-serving union leaders, is stepping down as national secretary of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association in October and will vacate powerful ALP and union positions next year.

    Despite speculation within the Labor Party that Don Farrell, the “faceless man” who lost his South Australian Senate seat at the election after giving away the top spot to the Left’s Penny Wong, would replace Mr de Bruyn, NSW SDA secretary Gerard Dwyer is set to take the full-time job in October.

    Mr de Bruyn and Senator Farrell told The Australian yesterday a position for Senator Farrell had “not been considered” and both backed Mr Dwyer for the job.

    Although Mr de Bruyn, who turns 65 this year, is retiring from the full-time job as national secretary, he will take over the honorary post of national president, now held by Mr Dwyer, in a Vladimir Putin-style swap.

    As the head of Australia’s largest union, Mr de Bruyn has been able to influence the careers of many MPs and senators as well as Labor policies.

    Most famous for his opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage, Mr de Bruyn defended and supported Julia Gillard for her position on traditional marriage and criticised Kevin Rudd for his decision to support same-sex marriage just before he returned as prime minister last year.

    Mr de Bruyn also publicly intervened in the first party-wide ALP leadership ballot between the Left’s Anthony Albanese and Bill Shorten, declaring that Mr Albanese was “rabid” on same-sex marriage.

    After 36 years as the head of more than 200,000 “shoppies”, Mr de Bruyn will retire at the union’s national conference in October and then finish his term as a vice-president of the ACTU at its congress in May next year.

    Mr de Bruyn is also a member of the governing national executive of the ALP and will not seek re-election at its national conference expected next year.

    Yesterday he confirmed his departure and told The Australian that “subject to a normal election process” Mr Dwyer would take his place.

    “It has been canvassed and agreed within the union’s executive, including all state secretaries, that Gerard Dwyer will be my successor,” he said.

    “I am as fully engaged now as I have ever been and will be fully engaged for the next eight months, full bore for the union and its members,” Mr de Bruyn said.

    As Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek campaigns for another parliamentary vote on same-sex marriage, Mr de Bruyn has vowed that he will continue to oppose such a policy within the ALP. “That is as rock solid a part of me as anything you can imagine,” he said


  5. Spoiler alert:

    Certainly, with GOT (the TV series, rather than the books), it seems rather late to start complaining about “gratuitous” scenes. […]

    As for violence, there have been innumerable appalling assaults – sexual (including rape) and every other kind – on both male and female characters. […]

    In this context, of the sort of show that GOT is known to be, it seems genuinely odd that, for all the horror of the crime, [spoiler]’s rape has generated such censure, including from US senators. A cynic might ponder: well, wouldn’t it be great if society took real rape as seriously as some people want a fantasy TV drama to take it?

    Game of Thrones rape? Care more about real assaults:

  6. 2gravel

    Sorry to hear of your loss. Glad that your mother was able to get her wish.

  7. Don’t the AFP have better things to do? Now Abbott has his tame Mr Plods chasing people on welfare.

    He’s turning Australia into an episode of A Current Affair.

  8. Coming to a school near you from the minister for bookcases it’s …….. ‘Junior Jihadi Watch” .

    How to spot a jihadi… in the classroom

    Federal government plan to teach students and teachers to spot risks

    ………students and teachers would learn how certain changes in behaviour can be signs of extremism, including decreasing social interaction and disagreements with others based on ideological beliefs.


  9. CTar1 – any thoughts on the difference between a “frigate” and “destroyer”?

    Did RAN shoot themselves in the foot by calling the AWD a “destroyer” (it’s a tweaked Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate), then asking for an even larger future “frigate”?

  10. Annabel Crabbe puts forward a complicated way of loopholing through the proposed PPL scheme Version 3.5.7, Build 003.456.921.

    Her brainstorm article even got a run on Insiders this morning.

    Basically it’s: Mum takes some time off work, then Dad takes some time off. They tag-team being “principal carer”. It’s the Double-Dip via a back alley.

    But children usually have two parents, remember. And there is nothing stopping – for instance – Mum taking paid leave from her employer for the first three months, then Dad taking the government-funded leave for the next three. Thus creating for their baby the halcyonic first six months of life at home, with the full-time love and care of a parent, that was the stated aim of both major political parties in this country up until recently.

    In other words: A mother can no longer “double dip”. And neither can a father. But a family can, if mother and father take turns at being the primary carer. And that creates a fascinating new little incentive for dads.


    She even manages to present her idea as a win for the government, getting more dads to step up and take responsibility for their offspring. A brilliant bit of design, if unintended.

    To make Crabbe’s scheme work you need:

    1. Mum present.
    2. Dad present.
    3. Mum has a job with a PPL scheme
    4. Dad has a job with a PPL scheme
    5. Offspring.

    Too bad if you’re a single Mum, or you’re not working, or you don’t have a job with a PPL scheme, and/or the same for Dad.

    Back in “over my dead body” PPL days (Beta Version 0.0.1, Build 000.000.001), Tony Abbott deserted a woman he thought was about to give birth to his child. This was so he could go to Oxford. Bring that forward to today and no Double-Dip for them!

    In Crabbe World, everyone has two working parents. Everyone has PPL schemes laid on by their employers. Mum and Dad live together and they can both take the time off exactly when they want to so that the Double-Dip is maximised. As far as I know, in Crabbe World everyone wears retro 50s frocks and Dad smokes a pipe on the lounge after work, in front of the fire.

    I am continually amazed that the ABC pays this woman whatever it pays her, because whatever it is, it’s too much.

  11. My heartfelt condolences to you Gravel. Politics must seem so inconsequential at times like these. There’s little more that I, or anyone else can offer, other than our sympathy and comradeship.

  12. Gravel,

    to all of you.

    Every condolence. I am so glad for you that your mum is at rest the way she wanted to be.

  13. jaeger,

    any thoughts on the difference between a “frigate” and “destroyer”?

    This is an argument that has gone on for along time.

    The standard idea was that a Frigate provided Anti-Submarine protection with enough close-in ability to protect its self against air attack and some for nearby ships.

    Destroyers were to deal with air attack.

    Ours are neither fish or fowl. They are supposed to be ‘multi-purpose’.

    HMS Invincible made its way through the UK Parliament by being described as a ‘through deck carrier’.


  14. jaeger – Your second question:

    then asking for an even larger future “frigate”?

    Yes, I think.

    The boats always get bigger. The differences between “Advance” class patrol boats and the current are illustrating.

  15. There is innocence in childhood that has the capacity to reduce a complex situation to the simplest of solutions. It has it’s own shining beauty in that it need not be corrected, nor adjudicated upon…just to be sure that such innocence will be perhaps, irretrievably lost once past the “coming of age”. But then, surely, each age has its’ attractions..even old age can offer a “safe harbour” for memories of the child we all once were.

    At my mother’s passing last year, I came into possession of all her archived household accounts and diaries…THEY were meticulously kept, from 1962 – 2014…right down to the last cent. Her correspondence, however was not so conscientiously maintained.. they were bundled or loose, in no discernible order or from any particular author…and all in a big box along with advertising pamphlets and postcards. So it was no surprise to me when I came across one envelope that had written in one corner in her perfect script ; “ Keepsakes”.

    Upon examination of the contents, among snippets from Aunt Lou of Sth Africa, or some distant relatives (on my father’s side) in America, there was a small cut square of wrapping paper..a faded yellow in colour with the print of two bells tied with a flourished ribbon and the script ; “Your wedding Bells” half circled above them.

    This piece of paper ‘rang some bells’, if you’ll excuse the pun..and, begging your indulgence,I’ll tell you the story. How do I know the story so well? you’ll ask after it has been told…You see, like all those childish adventures and miss-adventures that come to the attention of parents, they are told and re-told and repeated with some embarrassed amusement, right into our adult lives at every Christmas or family gathering…but then, one has to fill in the subtle details from memory of one’s own actions in the “ adventure” !

    Of course, I have changed the names and domestic situation to “protect the innocent”..

    It went like this :

    A Box of Spoons.

    It’s a curious cycle that has parents giving their offspring Christian names that would elevate them, if only in nomenclature, above their poverty-enriched status. So was the only child of Ruth Hogben given the name “Alistair” at birth with a surety of decision that stopped short any debate on other possible names for her child. “He is to be named Alistair” she spoke wearily after the birth, then lay silently to feed the child. Ruth Hogben was a single parent in a “Trust” house on the fringe of the southern suburbs of Adelaide. How and why she was without a male companion shall remain a mystery,… that is not our story.

    “Damn poverty!” she would grumble to no-one in particular, “Oh to have a little extra money…even to buy some decent cutlery rather than this mish-mash of rubbish!” and she cast a plain steel knife into the dishwater.

    Alistair heard this complaint many times as he grew up to his six years of age, so it formed an impression on his gentle child-mind that associated knives and forks and spoons with a degree of wealth. When his mother went shopping at “Tommy Johnson’s 4 Square” grocery store, he would wander out the front of the market to gaze into the plate glass window of the jeweler next door. But not at the expensive, glittering baubles of diamonds and emerald rings and bracelets, nor at the expensive timepieces. No, he stared hungrily with sweaty hands flat pressed against the glass at a set of glowing silver cutlery all embossed on their handles with delicate textures that mesmerised the tender-mind of the boy. And the fact that they were embedded in a rich, red plush of crushed velvet that itself seemed to shimmer was an added bonus. Oh how he would love to be able to make a gift of that set to his mother! If he stood there too long staring, a frowning face would inevitably appear above the cutlery set and a hand would make shoo!, shoo! away motions that would send Alistair backing slowly away over to the store door to wait for his mother.

    There were two major events that affected Alistair’s life, both to the frustration of his mother, one was his susceptibility to asthmatic or bronchitis attacks, which with the croup in his lungs and the fits of coughing would keep him home from school for days at a time. It had even put him in hospital overnight a couple of times so that now, when he had an attack, a district nurse dropped in to check on him. The other event, one that brought rapture to Alistair’s heart was the opening, in a nearby gully of a mega council rubbish dump. Alistair became, to his mothers concern an inveterate “tip-fly”. He would descend onto that refuse heap every spare moment that the council men weren’t there (for it was “forbidden to scavenge”) to pluck little treasures from that miasma of debris. He would come home with a box full of trinkets and toys and, of course, always a little “something for Mum!”…And!…and, despite her distaste for the subject, a certain curiosity would compel her to look into his “treasure chest” of swag.
    “What have you got this time?” she’d ask as her eyes scanned the collection of knick-knacks. And Alistair would rummage expertly amongst them hummingly to produce a little treasure for her…for her he found it, a piece of colourful patterned china? a bauble of a cut glass vase perhaps? a book of verse… (she loved verse, he knew). And his mother would smooth his hair with her hand and plant a kiss on the top of his head in thank you and place the trinket or whatever up on the “special shelf”.

    Ally would smile happily, but always at the back of his mind was that lingering awareness of his mother’s concern for what she called ; “their poverty” and that elusive set of cutlery, one day he would bring her a set of cutlery, he was sure he would, for in his child mind, there was nothing to distinguish this throw-away society from all that in the shops on the high-street. The measure of wealth was to him nothing more than the collection of material things..of trinkets ..of glitter and shine.

    Come one winters’ day when the rain rattled on the glass of the window next to Alistair’s bed fit to drive even the hardiest birds to cover, Alistair gazed up from the picture book that was to amuse him as he lay resting from the latest attack of croup. He coughed a hacking , phlegmy cough that bought his mother in from the kitchen.

    “Ah, dear, dear,” she fussed with the crumpled bed clothes and placed a warm moist hand on his forehead. “How’s my little chap then?” she cooed automatically. Alistair shrugged. “I’ve got the nurse coming today to look at you.” she consoled, “you just lie down and rest till she comes” and with one last smoothing down of the blankets she left the room.

    Rest? Rest? tell a six year old boy to lay and rest when, if not for the blasted coughing, he could be out in the wild…rest!! From out of his window Alistair could at any time see down across the open sweep of paddocks to the gully that was the dump. Hardy scavenging seagulls would on most days circle like vultures then settle on the heaps of domestic garbage to feed. The site drew Alistair’s attention like iron to a magnet.

    “It doesn’t look like the men are working now it’s raining,” he thought, “I might be able to sneak down for a look.”

    This logic resolved his boredom and he quietly slipped out of bed and dressed for adventure. He opened his window carefully and climbed through into a bush of pelargoniums, the boy was free! His many trips to that “mecca” had worn a track through the grass and around the sparse, wild-olive trees that dotted the paddocks. As he got closer to the tip, each olive tree had a clear patch around its base furtherest away from the cyclone fence of the tip. Here he’d spy out the ground. The way was clear, the men were not working with the steady rain, they would be in the shed. Raindrops dripped from the dark leaves of the olive tree down Alistairs’ back, he shivered in reaction, but he didn’t really notice the wet; he had other distractions! He crept to the fence and along to the large corrugated iron shed that housed the bulldozer. There were a lot of old nail holes in the sheeting, to one of these Alistair put his eye as he had done on many occasion. Two men sat at an old table in the shed, they were playing cards. Alistair listened:

    “Where’d you get these cards from?” one man asked mockingly, there was a moments silence.
    “Found ’em t’ other day,” the other grumbled while in deep concentration on his cards. After a few cards were thrown down and others picked up, one threw his cards triumphantly on the table.
    “Full house” he boastfully cried, “Kings high!” and he smiled. The other frowned quizzically then nodded. ‘
    “Not bad” he said “I’ve only got two pair…eights…and kings!”
    “What!!” the first man exclaimed in disbelief.

    Alistair left them at this point to argue the toss and seeing that they were involved in other duties, he made for his goal through the steady rain. He had gathered a few little ‘lovelies’ in his swag when he came across a jumble of wrapping papers and discarded ribbons amid confetti and used papers plates. The whole lot was next to a pile of rancid domestic waste. He poked about amongst the wedding debris (for that is what it was) with his seasoned eyes searching for booty. Then, all at once, amongst the scrap paper wrapping, he plucked out a small box, a card-board box about six inches square and one inch thick, it had a buffed crimson lid. He shook it, it rattled dully, he pondered on its’ contents and tried to guess, he played this game often, coins? buttons? No, too solid, nails? No too few! give up…carefully he eased the crimson lid off and gazed into the container.

    Gosh! his eyes glowed with delight. He quickly closed the lid and slipped the box under his shirt less it become more rain speckled in his box of loot. His box! No, mustn’t forget that and he picked it up, he’d got enough now, yes! Oh how wonderful! he turned to sneak back home, gloriously happy, wait; paper! wrapping paper everywhere!, he snatched up a piece that had “Your Wedding Bells” scripted over it, along with a length of white ribbon and he ran over to his spot at the fence which he crawled under to make for home,…home, there past the shed with the huge silent bulldozer smelling of dust and diesel and the two men laughing inside, home, past the dark olive trees and across the grassy paddock home, home, and how he ran, the grey clouds tumbled and the rain streaked in silvered incline toward his house…home!

    The district nurse had arrived, Ruth showed her in and led her down to Alistair’s room. He wasn’t there!…and his window was ajar!

    “Oh lord! where can he be?” Ruth exclaimed, but she had a pretty good idea. “Boys, they’re the hardest things in the world to keep in one place!” and she moved to gaze out the window. She couldn’t see him, but she knew he wouldn’t be long.

    “He…he must have gone to look at something,” she explained weakly, “I’m sure he’ll be back in a minute…would you like a cup of tea while you wait?” The nurse looked at her watch and remarked that yes it was near lunch time anyway. and yes a cuppa would be nice..ta! so they both adjourned to the kitchen.

    Alistair crept up to his window and climbed through…he coughed harshly…his mother heard and excusing herself went to investigate. She found him standing at his dresser wrapping a package, drops of water fell onto the rug under his shoes.

    “Ally…Ally…where have you been? why, you’re soaked !…and…and your shoes, they’re filthy!” Alistair gave scant attention to his mother’s angry remarks, but thrust out a small, hastily wrapped package toward her. Ruth was taken aback by the tactic, she gazed dumbly down at the package that had “Your Wedding Bells” emblazoned on the wrapper.

    “It’s for you Mum,” Alistair quietly but eagerly offered. He stood there soaked to the skin with the length of white ribbon he had no time to use, dangling loosely in his hand.
    “It’s…it’s a…” but no! he wouldn’t tell her what it was, though one look at his wide-eyed expression and you could see he was dying to tell, he bit his bottom lip to stop himself and handed his mother the package, then clasped his hands together eagerly.

    As Ruth took the clumsily wrapped package, the paper unfolded itself like petals of a flower to reveal a small box about six inches square and one inch thick, its’ lid was a crimson wash, speckled with rain-drops that raised welts on the smooth surface. She gazed wonderingly down at the box.

    “Open it Mum, it’s for you…I found it for you.” Ruth gently praised open the lid and her mouth formed a little “o” with an accompanied sigh. Alistair crowded next to her and peeked into the box also. There, embedded in a plush of rich, red crushed velvet lay six bright, shiny silver tea-spoons, all embossed on their stems with delicate textured patterns that mesmerized Mother and son, a soft glow from the single filament light in the ceiling reflected spangles up into their eyes.
    “It’s a box of spoons Mum.” Alistair whispered, “a box of spoons for you to have so now we won’t be so poor.” he said keenly.

    Ruth looked to her son standing there all a tremble and took him into her arms. She smoothed and kissed the top of his head and murmured more to herself than to him.

    “I never knew how rich we were.” The nurse called down the corridor, Ruth quickly stashed the spoons. They put Alistair back into bed and the nurse attended to his needs. He was ordered to stay put in his bed. Alistair snuggled down into the depths of his blankets and smiled contentedly at the thought of his days’ glory. He listened to the hum of conversation between his mother and the nurse in the kitchen, the chiming of the spoons against the side of the tea-cups as they stirred their brew rang an angelus in his heart.

    “Oh, what lovely spoons” the nurse cooed syrupy, “where did you get them?”

    “Oh these?” Ruth replied nonchalantly, “why, they were a…a gift, from someone… someone very special to me.” Alistair pulled his knees up to his chest, he coughed several times. His mother listened to the nurses chatter and cocked one ear to listen to her child’s coughing she nodded big-eyed at something the nurse had said, but at the same time sighed comfortably, for those coughs had a particular sound, the croup was easing, Alistair was on the mend.

  16. “…..certain changes in behaviour can be signs of extremism, including decreasing social interaction and disagreements with others based on ideological beliefs”

    What? Like young Hillsong acolytes who believe they are on a mission to convert everyone they meet?

    A question – why is it perfectly acceptable to our government to allow Australians to travel to Israel to join the IDF, and to kill innocent civilians in attacks on Gaza, but it is unacceptable for Australians to travel to Syria to join their forces?

    Our department of foreign affairs does not keep track of how many Australians are fighting in the Israeli defence forces. To the department these people are just overseas on holiday.



  17. What a lovely story!

    Lucky I had a tissue or two handy as I think I got something in my eye whilst reading that lovely piece.

    For a builder, you make one hell of a story teller!

    Many people could write a story about that subject, but very few if any, could give it that extra something that you inject into your lovely stories.

  18. Thank you all..Scorps, we builders may work with stone, but some…SOME of us have a softer centre!

  19. It’s not just about the youngsters who are becoming “religiously radicalised” … twenty-five odd years ago I recall a similar hysteria about youngsters getting so caught up in “Dungeons and Dragons” that they would all start running around killing themselves or their associates.

    Turns out that kids who were involved in D&D tended to be the ones who have gone on to have more imaginative lives in all sorts of ways (in my experience) while the kids that couldn’t cope with the imaginative aspects and rules and sheer quantity of information, and had poor mental health support systems were the ones that turned into the “losers”.

    I don’t remember what the hysteria was ten years ago – I didn’t have teenagers around then…

  20. jaycee

    Just as well.

    In the course of my reading my mind switched from realism to fairy tale.

    BTW how are your lungs now?

  21. My lungs are so-so…My mother died at aged 86 from complications with pulmonary fibrosis..I expect to go the same way…though I am not so sure I’d like to live THAT old!

  22. Gigi’…; ” In the course of my reading my mind switched from realism to fairy tale.”….that, gives me a feeling of the measure of some success as a story-teller…I shall persevere!

  23. Jaycee,

    A beautiful, beautiful story. I agree with Scorps that only few storytellers would be able to portray the innocence and love of the child and the devoted care and love of the mother with such sensitivity.

  24. One day I would like to tell you a love story, a love story between two of the most ordinary people you could meet..both very old now, if not deceased…but they fell in love in their fifties…a love that dropped out of the sky into their lives..and it happened here in the mallee, many years ago.

  25. [I don’t remember what the hysteria was ten years ago – I didn’t have teenagers around then…]

    Neither do I but we had ‘Orange people’ before the D&D set.

  26. For once abbott is right – parliament is responsible for changing the law on same sex marriage, a referendum is not needed.

    But the rest of what he has to say is rubbish.

    Curiously, Mr Abbott did not use the phrase same sex marriage or marriage equality during his media conference, referring only to it as “this issue”.

    “Not for a second do I want to underestimate the feelings people have on this issue, both for and against,” he said.

    “But my priority as Prime Minister and the government’s priority in the coming fortnight is to give the small businesses of Australia the confidence boost they deserve.”


    What about all those small businesses who would enjoy a most welcome increase in business from all those same sex marriages?

    While he was enjoying his snack at the Brisbane coffee shop abbott became friendly with a small boy into Transformers. Some had other ideas about what he was up to.

  27. There always has to be an alleged threat to our young people when we have a Coalition government. Dungeons and Dragons, online porn corrupting young minds,terrorists under the bed, drug labs in the house next door, ice epidemics, jihadis….all these boogeymen, aimed at keeping parents scared and only too willing to agree to whatever curbs on freedom the government of the day wishes to impose.

    Years ago, when the kids were young, we hooked up to the internet when most of my friends hadn’t even heard of it. One worried mum asked if I was worried about the boys looking at porn online. She was shocked when I said I wasn’t at all concerned, and even more shocked when I said I would be more worried about them researching ways to make their own bombs. Sometimes people get fixated on the government boogeyman of the day and don’t see the bigger, very real dangers out there. Maybe that’s the intention. Keep us worried about trivia so we don’t notice the big things.

  28. Breaking…………Cardinal Pell calls a press conference to issue another denial in relation to the growing pressure for him to appear before the Royal Commission into Child Abuse.

  29. Various religious cults were a hysteria cause de jour a while back.

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