66 shades of grey

66 shades of grey
66 shades of grey ... this pic of me was shot by Kim, of Kim Thomsen's Photography at Daly Waters in the Northern Territory. Kim just wandered over and asked whether it was OK to get some character shots.


The cross is in front of the church in Karumba and it seems TV antennas have a greater reach for the sky.


I went fishing out of Nhulunbuy on the Gulf of Carpentaria. We anchored in a bay about 10 hours from Nhulunbuy and went ashore. This poor fella had been snared in the locals' overnight net and then had a run-in with the resident 14-foot saltwater croc - named Nike by the local indigenous fellas - and came off second best.

the rock

the rock

oodnadatta track

oodnadatta track
What a tough place to live ... this is out on the Oodnadatta Track


My photo
G’day, I’m Michael and I have two fantastic grown-up kids. I’m a jeans and singlet/T-shirt, cowboy boot, tattoos sort of fella, who knows a bit about this and sometimes a lot about that. I'll have a crack at most things, although having a relationship? ... well that ship has sailed. I'm past my use-by date anyway, so I'm gonna make it all about me and surviving life as I know it ... or make it.

Monday, September 19, 2011


I remember a while ago when there was there was a heap of crap going on about the Australia Card and privacy.
To quote Wikipedia, as dangerous as that can be given its oft-inaccurate summations:
The Australia Card was a controversial proposal for a national identification card for Australian citizens and resident foreigners. The proposal was made in 1985, and abandoned in 1987.
The Australia Card proposal was, and is still, the subject of strong views. The proposal was either an egregious intrusion into individuals' privacy, giving bureaucrats enormous power; or it was an efficient and evolutionary step for a technological age, combating fraud. And its defeat was either a triumph of citizens acting to protect their rights; or irrelevant in the end due to the expansion of other identification systems and data matching.
So, what’s the deal with everyone wearing ID cards these days?
I walk by James Packer’s money box every morning on the way to the office and, surprise, surprise, almost everyone has a cord hanging around their neck, attached to which is an ID card.
Personally, I don’t give a rodent’s rectum about who knows what … but everyone seems to be wearing them, telling the world who they are and where they work. Go figure.


What a great weekend. I spent the most part of Saturday weeding, emptying terracotta pots of soil that had seen a better days and generally tidying the area that I laughingly call my backyard. Yeah, it’s a small area, but still.
I managed to get all the crap onto the back of the ute and the following morning deposited it at the local tip.
There’s something inherently good (read blokey) about heading to the tip to make a deposit, especially in a ute.
The rubbish even included the barbecue, something I hadn’t used for about 18 months … after the people who were house-sitting my place decided that, despite a non-stick surface, they used something like a circular saw to clean the hotplate. Some people just don’t acknowledge their grey matter.
Anyway, it has given me an excuse to buy something a bit more practical.
Maybe it’s a trip to Bunnings at the weekend.
The garden, however, has mint, flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, lemon thyme, common thyme, basil, basil mint, sage, rosemary, chillis, capsicums, chard, spinach, lots of lettuce varieties, a native mountain pepper tree (the leaves are sensational), chocolate mint, perennial basil, dill, a lemon myrtle tree and marjoram. The mountain pepper tree and the lemon myrtle are both available at my brother’s native plant nursery (he runs bush tucker stuff). Check it out at here. He has the best garden I have seen, bar none.
It’s great to have some stuff in the garden again … I can’t wait to start using the proceeds.


News of late from my son, Liam, in Vanuatu. He now has a pet pig -- affectionately known as Jeffrey -- to go with the two dogs, Stu and Angus, (Why do you ask, Two Dogs …?), the cat (called Cat) and the no-name python (which he caught that in the backyard).
Jeffrey lives in the bathroom at the moment … it’s all about training (read house training).
Last week Liam Carried him to the backyard for a bath and Jeffrey, none too pleased, put the bite on him literally. He almost took the end off Liam’s finger. Thank God for sobriety (whatever that is) and quick actions.


I haven’t done a lot lately, other than running what has become a regular column in Crikey … food, wine and general bonhomie. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
At least it has got me, in earnest, into the kitchen to get into it.
At the weekend, I managed to get to my favourite wine bar — Lina’s in Albert Park — to savour some opera and a glass or seven of something palatable … to whit, the house white (by a couple) and the more than enough tempranillo to sustain me until I got home and opened a bottle of French red.
That was made easier, courtesy of Raf’s (he’s the Lina’s chef) chicken balls with tomato salsa and a balsamic reduction.
And the singing. Ben Logan (OK, he’s a good mate who manages the bar and also happens to be a tenor who does stuff with Opera Australia) has an amazing voice. The highs are high the … let’s just say that he’s a gun. He’s on Twitter at @Loganmusicevent. He organises some amazing stuff. Private concerts, whatever. He’s worth the price of admission.

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