Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Farewell: Richard Todd aged 90

Richard Todd - Telegraph

Richard was one of my favourite actors from way back. I remember his touching performance in "The Hasty Heart", a sad but warm film. He was so good. In most of his films he was an action man. Of course Guy Gibson in "the Dam Busters".

And so many other roles - Robin Hood and Rob Roy were him at his dashing best.
The Telegraph article is a good tribute and the comments also.
They mention how he really was an action man, one of the paratroopers landing on D-Day and in the film he played his own commanding officer and in one scene is talking to another actor playing Richard himself.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Strange Day 23 Sep 2009

Dust Turns Sydney Sky Red | Blankets City| Sydneysiders| Weather | Warning | Never seen before

I woke up and could not believe the colour of the sky.
I have been in Seoul with sand clouds from China came across
Only thing I've seen like it Sydney was the Blue Mountain bush fire decades again and burnt leaves etc fell out of the sky
2 days later Aussie dust lands in New Zealand | The Daily Telegraph

Has Bill Clinton lost the plot
Rudd smartest guy in room, says Clinton | The Daily Telegraph

Mr Clinton said."He then proceeded to describe in excruciating detail George Washington's strategy to hold New York in the revolutionary war."
Really Bill!! Kevin knowing in detail how George help NY - I can talk on Custers last stand and other historical events

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bill of Rights - not needed in Australia

Death knell for democracy if wigs get the gig: Howard

A BILL of rights would erode Australia's democracy, diminish the reputation and accountability of Parliament, politicise the judiciary and represent the ''final triumph of elitism in Australian politics'', the former prime minister John Howard said last night.

Delivering the annual Menzies Lecture at the University of Western Australia, Mr Howard campaigned against ceding power from elected individuals to the non-elected judiciary.

The Rudd Government is exploring whether to introduce a bill of rights. In December, it commissioned a committee chaired by Father Frank Brennan to gauge public opinion on how best to achieve greater protection of rights. It is due to report to the Government on September 30.


My study of law and history convinces me that our Common Law provides our freedoms. Why do we need new laws and why would we put it under control of non elected officials.

Friday, July 17, 2009

PM's Blog | Prime Minister of Australia - Not a Joke this is real

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I have done it too as ronlankshear

I am trying to understand what is going with China.
I thought Kevin "knew" how to talk to the Chinese
China | Beijing | Stern Hu | Kevin Rudd and China diplomacy

At least the article gives some idea of Why

"The Shanghai State Security Bureau has accused Mr Hu of causing economic losses to China by bribing steel executives and stealing state secrets.

Chinese media have raised an array of allegations, including that Rio Tinto may have bribed all of China's top 16 steel mills, but analysts are wary about the veracity of any of the reports.

No evidence has been presented, and the Australian Government, Rio Tinto and Mr Hu's family have been given no information beyond the scant details given at a Ministry of Foreign Ministry news conference a week ago and a brief statement on a Chinese website.

Australian officials speculate that the Chinese action is an attempt to unify iron ore buyers and maximise China's bargaining strength in contract negotiations with the iron ore miners, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Vale.

Mr Qin said that foreign firms should display business ethics when operating in China. "A man with noble characteristics who loves money should make it by honourable means."

Stringybark Creek - Ned Kelly - robber or terrorist or was he really a heroic freedom fighter

Last week ABC TV aired Tony Robinson's archaeology visit to Glenrowan and his amusing review of Ned Kelly.
One over the top enthusiast persisted that Ned was some kind of Irish freedom fighter and that a whole army of "revolutioners" were in the other pub at Glen Rowan waiting for the declaration of independence.  When the police arrived Ned went off we were told to tell them to stand down. A very strange revolution.

We were told the old story of Ned being brutalised by the system and that was why he took to robbery and he was only defending himself against the brutal police.
That he was a Robin Hood character - (Tony did tell us that he robbed the poor as well as rich).
It was sad in the show to watch the policemen who was interviewed at the Stringybark Creek memorial having to listen to this nonsense of an heroic Ned

An article today reveals some police documents for the time
The Kelly hunters: dispatch challenges bushranger myth
including the brutal slaying of the police at Stringybark Creek. That 82% of police were Irish anyway.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Farewell: Natasha Richardson

So sad Natasha Richardson has died after a skiing accident.
What a loss to British acting.

My heart goes out to one of my really favourite actors her husband Liam Neeson
her father the brilliant director Tony Richardson  and her mother the absolutely great Vanessa Redgrave
whom I saw only recently in a very beautiful film Atonement (2007)

Natasha was born 1963 and I learnt from imdb that I first saw her as  flower girl
in her father's The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968)

Strange as the first time I remember seeing Vanessa was just 2 years before in the incredibly brilliant
A Man for All Seasons in (1966) and also the very cool Blowup (1966)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Restaurants in Epping and Sydney

Eatability web site has customer reviews on restaurants around the country

also with maps and you can add a review

Link is for Epping cafes

Rustys coffee at the station is top

and the Thai in North Epping is next

Epping Restaurants

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

DIY Chili Sauce

Perhaps one day when I see a load of Chili in a store D.I.Y. Hot Sauce - Bitten Blog - NYTimes.com  rinse the chiles, chop the stem off each (I use scissors), get rid of any bad spots, and drop them into the container of the machine. You can core them and clean out the seeds, but why bother? This stuff is going to be hot no matter what you do.  Pour in enough white vinegar to submerge the chiles, along with a handful of salt. Puree until quite smooth. Transfer the sauce to a pot and bring to a boil, stirring once or twice. Seriously: at no time during either of these steps do you want your nose or eyes anywhere near the fumes that waft from these vessels. Funnel the sauce into a clean jar or bottle and cool. Then cover with a cloth napkin and let the mixture sit at room temperature for three days, undisturbed. Carefully pour off all but a thin layer of the vinegar (which true enthusiasts save for another use) and refrigerate. The sauce keeps for months; you’ll know if it goes off when it starts to ferment and get sort of effervescent. But you’ll use it all before then. 

Danger! Robot of Lost in Space dies: Farewell Bob May

Danger! Robot of Lost in Space dies - World - smh.com.au

LOS ANGELES: Bob May, who won a cult following as the Robot in the hit 1960s television show Lost In Space, has died of heart failure. He was 69.

May died at a hospital in Lancaster, California, said his daughter, Deborah.

May's entertainment career spanned more than 65 years. He was already a show business veteran who had worked as an actor and stuntman in movies, TV shows and on the vaudeville stage when he was tapped by Lost In Space creator Irwin Allen to play the Robinson family's loyal metal sidekick in the hit series that debuted in 1965.

"He always said he got the job because he fitted in the robot suit," said June Lockhart, who played the family matriarch Maureen Robinson.

Although May didn't provide the robot's distinctive voice (that was done by announcer Dick Tufeld), he had a devoted following of fans.

Lost In Space was a space-age retelling of the Swiss Family Robinson story.

Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Judith, two children and four grandchildren.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Brilliant ideas - Hearing Aids etc

Well I love my hearing aids and just this week I went and had new inserts
Inserts are the plastic tube from ear mould to the actual behind the ear aid. The plastic gets hard and dirty and you start to say "WHAT". new inserts and all is clear again. Around $40 and I am hearing well again.

Mine are Savia from Phonak hearing systems - Products
I purchased mine from Beth and Greg and the others at M.A.C. Audiology Service are fantastic. Park in Eastwood medical centre and they are first building on left

Then from a brochure MAC had - I tripped to Printacall Doig Avenue Eastwood
and for $124 Geemarc CL iLoop

It has phono plug which fits iPod - headset sockets etc etc. But the loop around my nect. Press buttons on my Hearing Aid for T Loop and wow the sound goes straight into my ears and LOUD. I can hear old movies and the rest of them can carry on chatting. If I turn on T Loop in both ears I cannot hear anything else

Funny sticky label on packing says contact
Oricom - Cordless & Corded Phone, VoIP Internet IP USB Phone, Motorola, Conference Phones, Two Way Radio
but not shown in their products - but it is at Geemarc Telecom I suppose repairs and it is Oricom

I bought the one which needs a phono cable from headphone socket to headset - this needs long cables so I can sit on lounge. I think there is a wireless version

Brilliant Ideas

Lifehacker has some good stuff not just technical but lifestyle

see this one - when we lost a bag in NZ it was hard to describe and they give you a form with shapes.
being able to show a photo on phone of camera will be a great help.

Use Your Camera Phone To Document Suitcase and Contents - Lifehacker Australia

and don't forget when parking at shopping centres take a photo of floor sign just in case

This is site Lifehacker was linking to

Cell Phone Camera Tip: Snap Your Suitcase Contents Pre-Flight | cell phone

I also like this - photo appointment cards
Geek Tip: Keep Track of Appointments With Your Cell Phone's Camera

And David likes Videojug for "How to Do's" here is their luggage Luggage (Travel: Luggage)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A Film called Australia

We have just seen the Nicole Kidman epic Australia (2008)

Warning you are in the cinema over 3 hours - watch the parking hours - due to be 3 hours soon at Macquarie

This has an interesting opening paragraph

WHO WE ARE: Does accuracy matter? | Who We Are | Sun Herald Blogs

You'll feel like walking out of the cinema several times during the first 40 minutes of Australia, but try to stick it out. At first you suspect Baz Luhrmann and Nicole Kidman are having a huge lend of us, but as it proceeds, Australia becomes less like a parody. There are plenty of moments when you cringe in embarrassment at the clunky script, the hammy acting and the cheesy effects, but they are eventually outnumbered by moments that are quite engaging.
All That is so true. Especially within 10 minutes or so I was feeling like walking out. It seems like an animated film with real people. Funny camera angles - distorted features - very loud noises - very quirky camera tracking - camera seems to be hand held - ghastly. (Right through the film I thought the colours used were strange. It all seems so artificial. )

Then suddenly it slows down and actors can act and we see scenes instead of flashing around all over the place.

Best "joke" in this part of film: Lady Ashley looking out of side of truck sees Kangaroos bouncing along. "oh how lovely". BANG and blood running down windscreen. Shot Roo on roof of cab. You've got to be quick. The world i.e. England thinks Roo's are romantic - in Australia they are meat - a lot for sale in butchers nowadays not just pet shops.

Second best "joke": The film implies it is in tribute to "the Stolen Generations" - is it? - well just because it centres around a boy that the NT police want to take into care it might appear to be but the essence is the romance between Lady Ashley and Drover. Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002) was much more into the Stolen generation. "Australia" seems to imply that the Stolen generation was only up in the Northern Territory. End of film has text that acknowledges some law change in NT in 1973 and Kevin saying Sorry in early 2008. What about the Australian referendum, 1967 (Aboriginals) that changed all Australia. I came here in 1966 and I was amazed that such a law change was needed. Most Australians were also appalled and the referendum was easily passed. It was good to see people celebrating the WIN on the 40th anniversary in 2007. "Australia" the movie did not mention 1967.

Much has been said about Nicole in the film. I thought she did well - the English lady coming to like the outback was well done. Her accent has been described as over the top - I thought it was hardly enough - a 1939 Lady Ashley would have had a much more upper crust accent. This film is most more entertaining than Cold Mountain (2003) in which I thought Nicole was mundane and Renée Zellweger was brilliant.

Jackman well he handles the part of Drover ok - just playing himself. Sort of part Bryan Brown would have played but I suppose 2o years too old. Instead Bryan is King Carney the cattle King I was never sure if he was really bad or was it just David Wenham who plays the ultimate villain Neil Fletcher very well. Did Northern Territorians strut around with big bottles of beer clamped to their lips. I thought they drank seven ounce glasses. Plot to me was confusing about whether King Carney had ordered the murders that Fletcher performed.

The aborigine actors were very good. King George was excellent ( David Gulpilil was also in Rabbit-Proof Fence. )

The climax is the Japanese bombing of Darwin. The film did show the panic afterwards with the military grabbing every vehicle so they could get out. Read about the Adelaide River stampede here The Battle for Australia - Australia under attack
and the damage shown in Darwin appears to be what happened

The strange thing was the gun fight with Japanese who land on "Mission Island" which WHO WE ARE blog says refers to Japanes Air Raid on Bathurst Island on 19 February 1942.
So the Japanese soldiers on the Island was a film invention - why lie about history. Reading about Bathurst and Melville I think the movie has invented their Mission Island just for the climatic finale.

Our friend Janene remarked on how fake the ships are in Darwin harbour. They sure do look strange -like distorted "paintings". Is everything digital nowadays. Models might have been better. What was all the money spent on?

Some good scenery - the cattle stampede is dramatic - was the gorge "real" or another digital creation.
I think you see the North better in Crocodile Dundee

The film is really bringing in the cash
Baz Luhrmann cashes in on epic movie Australia | The Daily Telegraph
inference seems to be that is in Australia but overseas hmmmmmmmmm

Now for a long read on how bad this film really is try Germaine Greer: Strictly fanciful
Germaine has major concerns about the future child who plays the young boy