Memories of the conversations with my cat – 67

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

This is Chester. He’s come down from his bed in our bedroom to see what the commotion is about.

He stops at the top of the stairs down into the lounge room and sees the TV.

I might have guessed, the Maple Leafs are playing, he says.

Yep, I say, gleefully, and they’re winning.

Its not over until you know what…

Way to be a spoilsport. Stop complaining and take a seat. It’s a new day, a new coach, and a new invigoration in the team.

He sits and does that wrap around thing with his tail that indicates irritability.

Don’t get your hopes up, he says. And shouldn’t you be out in the office working on your NaNoWriMo project.

Under control I say. It’s practically writing itself.

Is that a shake of his head?

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 67

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

This is Chester. He’s come down from his bed in our bedroom to see what the commotion is about.

He stops at the top of the stairs down into the lounge room and sees the TV.

I might have guessed, the Maple Leafs are playing, he says.

Yep, I say, gleefully, and they’re winning.

Its not over until you know what…

Way to be a spoilsport. Stop complaining and take a seat. It’s a new day, a new coach, and a new invigoration in the team.

He sits and does that wrap around thing with his tail that indicates irritability.

Don’t get your hopes up, he says. And shouldn’t you be out in the office working on your NaNoWriMo project.

Under control I say. It’s practically writing itself.

Is that a shake of his head?

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 62

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20160921_071506

This is Chester.  You wouldn’t think he would have an interest in horse racing.

But…

He does.  Today, in Australia, is the day the Melbourne Cup is run.  It seems to be the biggest thing on the racing calendar, not only in Melbourne but the rest of the country.

Chester, as usual, doesn’t seem to think it’s all that great.

He wants to know why the cat races are not televised.

What cat races?

It seems he had been watching Fox Sports, and there’s dog races, greyhounds he says.

I’ve heard of them, even went once or twice when we lived in Melbourne, where there was a dog race track.

Well, he says, if they can race dogs, they can race cats.

I appear a little sceptical.  What are they going to chase?

Mice.

Isn’t that a little cruel, I mean, you’ll get the animal rights people up in arms.

Over mice, he snorts.  No one likes mice.  But if it’s a problem, why not rats?  Everyone hates rats.

So, I say, you’re up for it then.  We could make a killing.

A shake of the head, and nose in the air.  “Of course not, I’m a pedigree cat.  That’s for the alley cats.  I’ll be watching from the Royal box thankyou.”

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 62

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20160921_071506

This is Chester.  You wouldn’t think he would have an interest in horse racing.

But…

He does.  Today, in Australia, is the day the Melbourne Cup is run.  It seems to be the biggest thing on the racing calendar, not only in Melbourne but the rest of the country.

Chester, as usual, doesn’t seem to think it’s all that great.

He wants to know why the cat races are not televised.

What cat races?

It seems he had been watching Fox Sports, and there’s dog races, greyhounds he says.

I’ve heard of them, even went once or twice when we lived in Melbourne, where there was a dog race track.

Well, he says, if they can race dogs, they can race cats.

I appear a little sceptical.  What are they going to chase?

Mice.

Isn’t that a little cruel, I mean, you’ll get the animal rights people up in arms.

Over mice, he snorts.  No one likes mice.  But if it’s a problem, why not rats?  Everyone hates rats.

So, I say, you’re up for it then.  We could make a killing.

A shake of the head, and nose in the air.  “Of course not, I’m a pedigree cat.  That’s for the alley cats.  I’ll be watching from the Royal box thankyou.”

It will be an interesting afternoon

We live in a country which has a unique sport, which is something a lot of countries can’t boast.

England has soccer and cricket, America has baseball and basketball, Canada has ice hockey, all sports that are played all over the world.

Australia has this strange game called Australian Rules Football, and it be true to say that ask anyone anywhere else in the world about they would only look at you strangely and say “What?”

It would be true to say that this form of football is a religion, such is the fans devotion. It’s not unusual to hear of wating to be buried in your favourite player’s guernsey. You pick a team, or generally a team is picked for you, and it’s your team for life. You don’t desert them, and stick with them through the highs and lows, and sometimes the lows can be for a long time.

And like religion, there are such things as mixed marriages, each spouse will support a different team, and when these teams play each other, well, it’s best to be someone else after the final siren.

But, be that as it may…

We will soon reach the pinnacle of our season, the playing of the Grand Final in the home of AFL, the MCG, one of the largest stadiums in the country, holding over 100,000 fans, an ideal venue for this game.  Or perhaps COVID will play a role, and it will be moved to Perth.

And, although the game may not the expected exciting and close spectacle we are hoping to see, at least all of the supporters of the winners will be deliriously happy. For the losers and their fans, there is no describing the depths of despair.

I know how that feels because I’ve been on both sides of the emotional spectrum.

Our team wasn’t playing this year so we were spared the emotional roller coaster, but we still watched the game, and no, we’ve never been to a grand final in person, and it’s unlikely we ever will.

But it’s a great way to spend an afternoon watching our team play on TV, have a pie, traditional fast food, chips, and a few bottles of beer.

And, now the football season is nearly over, we will switch to ice hockey and our adopted team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Fortunately their season starts when ours ends and vice versa.

Go leafs, go!!!

It will be an interesting afternoon

We live in a country which has a unique sport, which is something a lot of countries can’t boast.

England has soccer and cricket, America has baseball and basketball, Canada has ice hockey, all sports that are played all over the world.

Australia has this strange game called Australian Rules Football, and it be true to say that ask anyone anywhere else in the world about they would only look at you strangely and say “What?”

It would be true to say that this form of football is a religion, such is the fans devotion. It’s not unusual to hear of wating to be buried in your favourite player’s guernsey. You pick a team, or generally a team is picked for you, and it’s your team for life. You don’t desert them, and stick with them through the highs and lows, and sometimes the lows can be for a long time.

And like religion, there are such things as mixed marriages, each spouse will support a different team, and when these teams play each other, well, it’s best to be someone else after the final siren.

But, be that as it may…

We will soon reach the pinnacle of our season, the playing of the Grand Final in the home of AFL, the MCG, one of the largest stadiums in the country, holding over 100,000 fans, an ideal venue for this game.  Or perhaps COVID will play a role, and it will be moved to Perth.

And, although the game may not the expected exciting and close spectacle we are hoping to see, at least all of the supporters of the winners will be deliriously happy. For the losers and their fans, there is no describing the depths of despair.

I know how that feels because I’ve been on both sides of the emotional spectrum.

Our team wasn’t playing this year so we were spared the emotional roller coaster, but we still watched the game, and no, we’ve never been to a grand final in person, and it’s unlikely we ever will.

But it’s a great way to spend an afternoon watching our team play on TV, have a pie, traditional fast food, chips, and a few bottles of beer.

And, now the football season is nearly over, we will switch to ice hockey and our adopted team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Fortunately their season starts when ours ends and vice versa.

Go leafs, go!!!

Have you ever…

Started to write a post, get so far, and another theme or idea slips in, and demands to be written first?

I’m on this nostalgia kick, simply because when I turned on the TV to catch up with the latest COVID news, it was on a channel that shows old movies.

In case you don’t realize it, I love old movies, not just those from Hollywood, but also from Britain.

What was on?

An American in Paris.

Well, it had to be one of my favorites, even though I’m not a great fan of Gene Kelly, the sheer majesty of the music more than makes up for the story in between.

Could it be said, then, this was from the golden years of Hollywood? Such bright and cheerful movies such as Singing in the Rain, and An American in Paris, perhaps exemplify the Hollywood musical.

Years before, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were the quintessential musical stars, followed by the likes of Judy Garland and Deanna Durbin, and later Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. A couple of musicals, in particular, comes to mind, firstly the Wizard of Oz and then High Society.

Moving forward to more modern times, several stand out in the1960s, My Fair Lady and Sound of Music. By this time theatergoers were dining on the superb talents of Rogers and Hammerstein, and Learner and Lowe. Of the former, musicals such as Carousel, South Pacific, and The King and I were on my list of favorites.

Even later still in the 1970s, there is Funny Girl, and Hello Dolly, which has a connection to the past with its director, none other than, yes, Gene Kelly.

But it seems once the 60s had passed the notion of the Hollywood blockbuster musical had gone, and we were left with clip shows like That’s Entertainment, put together while Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire were still alive. WE still had the film versions of the stage plays, but the lustre had, somehow, gone.

Perhaps it will return, who knows, after all, everything old is usually new again, it just takes time to go full circle.

Have you ever…

Started to write a post, get so far, and another theme or idea slips in, and demands to be written first?

I’m on this nostalgia kick, simply because when I turned on the TV to catch up with the latest COVID news, it was on a channel that shows old movies.

In case you don’t realize it, I love old movies, not just those from Hollywood, but also from Britain.

What was on?

An American in Paris.

Well, it had to be one of my favorites, even though I’m not a great fan of Gene Kelly, the sheer majesty of the music more than makes up for the story in between.

Could it be said, then, this was from the golden years of Hollywood? Such bright and cheerful movies such as Singing in the Rain, and An American in Paris, perhaps exemplify the Hollywood musical.

Years before, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were the quintessential musical stars, followed by the likes of Judy Garland and Deanna Durbin, and later Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. A couple of musicals, in particular, comes to mind, firstly the Wizard of Oz and then High Society.

Moving forward to more modern times, several stand out in the1960s, My Fair Lady and Sound of Music. By this time theatergoers were dining on the superb talents of Rogers and Hammerstein, and Learner and Lowe. Of the former, musicals such as Carousel, South Pacific, and The King and I were on my list of favorites.

Even later still in the 1970s, there is Funny Girl, and Hello Dolly, which has a connection to the past with its director, none other than, yes, Gene Kelly.

But it seems once the 60s had passed the notion of the Hollywood blockbuster musical had gone, and we were left with clip shows like That’s Entertainment, put together while Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire were still alive. WE still had the film versions of the stage plays, but the lustre had, somehow, gone.

Perhaps it will return, who knows, after all, everything old is usually new again, it just takes time to go full circle.

My disdain for some reporters, and reporting these days

It is sometimes quite trashy and that’s saying something!

Having been a journalist in a previous lifetime, and one that always believed that the truth mattered, it didn’t take long to realise that journalists should never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Newspapers, and all other forms of media, will only write what they believe will sell, or what they think the public wants to read. The truth, sadly, is not the first thing on the readers mind, only that someone is to blame for something they have no control over, and it doesn’t matter who.

And the more outlandish the situation, the more the public will buy into it.

This, I guess, is why we like reading about celebrities and royalty, not for the good they might do, but the fact they stumble and make mistakes, and that somehow makes us feel better about ourselves.

Similarly, if the media can beat up a subject, like the corona-virus, and make it worse that it is, then people will lap up the continuing saga, as it relates to them, and will take one of two stances, that they believe the horror of it, and do as they’re asked, or disbelieve it because nothing can be that bad, and ignore it and the consequences of disobedience. knowing the government will not press too hard against the non compliers simply because of domocracy issues it will stir up.

That is, then the media will get a hold of this angle and push it, and people will start to think disobedience is a good thing not a bad.

So, our problems of trying to get a fair and balanced look at what the coronavirus is all about is nigh on impossible. We are continuously bombarded with both right and wrong information, and the trouble is, both sides are very plausibly supported by facts.

And that’s the next problem we have in reporting. We can get facts to prove anything we want. It;s called the use and abuse of statistics, and was an interest part of the journalism degree I studied for. We were told all about statistics, good and bad, and using them to prove the veracity of our piece.

I remember writing a piece for the tutor extolling the virtues of a particular person who was probably the worst human since Vlad the Impaler, using only the facts that suited my narrative. I also remember the bollocking he gave me for doing so, but had to acknowledge that sometimes that would happen.

Integrity of reporting only went as far as the editor, and if the editor hated something, you had to hate it too. This is infamously covered in various texts where newspaper publishers pick sides, and can influence elections, and governments. It still happens.

So, the bottom line is, when I;m reading an article in the media, I always take it with a grain of salt, and do my own fact checking, remembering, of course, not just to fact check to prove the bias one way of the other, but the get a sense of balance.

We have state elections coming up where I live, but it does not sink to the personal sniping level as it does in the US, we haven’t sunk that low yet, but we haven;t got past the sniping about all the wrongs and failed promises of the govern,ment of the day, or the endless tirade against the opposition and how bad a job they did whenb they were previously in government.

You can see, no one is talking about what they’re going to do for us, no one is telling us what their policies are. It’s simply schoolyard tit for tat garbage speak. What happened to the town hall meeting, a long and winding speech encompassing the policies, what the government plans to do for its people in the next three years, and then genuinely answer questions?

Perhaps we should ban campaigning, and just get each party to write a book about what they intend to do, and keep them away from the papers, the TV, and any other form of media, in other words, don’t let them speak!

And don’t get me started about the drivel they speak in the parliament. Five year olds could do a better job.

OK, rant over.

My disdain for some reporters, and reporting these days

It is sometimes quite trashy and that’s saying something!

Having been a journalist in a previous lifetime, and one that always believed that the truth mattered, it didn’t take long to realise that journalists should never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Newspapers, and all other forms of media, will only write what they believe will sell, or what they think the public wants to read. The truth, sadly, is not the first thing on the readers mind, only that someone is to blame for something they have no control over, and it doesn’t matter who.

And the more outlandish the situation, the more the public will buy into it.

This, I guess, is why we like reading about celebrities and royalty, not for the good they might do, but the fact they stumble and make mistakes, and that somehow makes us feel better about ourselves.

Similarly, if the media can beat up a subject, like the corona-virus, and make it worse that it is, then people will lap up the continuing saga, as it relates to them, and will take one of two stances, that they believe the horror of it, and do as they’re asked, or disbelieve it because nothing can be that bad, and ignore it and the consequences of disobedience. knowing the government will not press too hard against the non compliers simply because of domocracy issues it will stir up.

That is, then the media will get a hold of this angle and push it, and people will start to think disobedience is a good thing not a bad.

So, our problems of trying to get a fair and balanced look at what the coronavirus is all about is nigh on impossible. We are continuously bombarded with both right and wrong information, and the trouble is, both sides are very plausibly supported by facts.

And that’s the next problem we have in reporting. We can get facts to prove anything we want. It;s called the use and abuse of statistics, and was an interest part of the journalism degree I studied for. We were told all about statistics, good and bad, and using them to prove the veracity of our piece.

I remember writing a piece for the tutor extolling the virtues of a particular person who was probably the worst human since Vlad the Impaler, using only the facts that suited my narrative. I also remember the bollocking he gave me for doing so, but had to acknowledge that sometimes that would happen.

Integrity of reporting only went as far as the editor, and if the editor hated something, you had to hate it too. This is infamously covered in various texts where newspaper publishers pick sides, and can influence elections, and governments. It still happens.

So, the bottom line is, when I;m reading an article in the media, I always take it with a grain of salt, and do my own fact checking, remembering, of course, not just to fact check to prove the bias one way of the other, but the get a sense of balance.

We have state elections coming up where I live, but it does not sink to the personal sniping level as it does in the US, we haven’t sunk that low yet, but we haven;t got past the sniping about all the wrongs and failed promises of the govern,ment of the day, or the endless tirade against the opposition and how bad a job they did whenb they were previously in government.

You can see, no one is talking about what they’re going to do for us, no one is telling us what their policies are. It’s simply schoolyard tit for tat garbage speak. What happened to the town hall meeting, a long and winding speech encompassing the policies, what the government plans to do for its people in the next three years, and then genuinely answer questions?

Perhaps we should ban campaigning, and just get each party to write a book about what they intend to do, and keep them away from the papers, the TV, and any other form of media, in other words, don’t let them speak!

And don’t get me started about the drivel they speak in the parliament. Five year olds could do a better job.

OK, rant over.