Friday, September 23, 2011

Seeking Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesha is a rather striking chap so I thought it would be fun to have one in the hallway of my house.

Joe was in town this week to see his new nephew and we had lunch together today and after lunch we went off in search of a large and colourful Ganesha. It's often said that fathers and sons should do things together but I don't think seeking out Ganesha is quite what people have in mind when they say that.

Joe and I in fact spent a couple of hours chatting about this and that. I was pleased by his breadth of knowledge about all sorts of things. At one stage I told him a bit about the army and how much I had enjoyed my time in the army and he seemed a bit interested in that. But I had just decided the night before that I wanted a Ganesha and there is an Indian shop just around the corner from where we had lunch at "Vinces's place" in Buranda so I thought the purchase would be just an incidental matter.

Sadly however the Indian shop had only very small Ganeshas and I wanted a big and striking one. So they directed me to an amazing shop out at Mt Gravatt that sold ALL things Indian, including Ganeshas. So Joe and I went there. Sadly again, however, their Ganeshas were also too small for me but, being good at business, the lady in charge phoned somebody else who had Ganeshas and arranged for them to bring their Ganeshas to the shop.

So Joe and I wandered around the shop looking at the merchandise until these Ganeshas arrived. We got tired of walking around after a while so we both sat down on a goods trolley that we found. It was situated in front of a display of statuary so we spent about a quarter of an hour sitting down together staring at a great array of painted Hindu idols! A quite mad father/son activity.

The other Ganeshas arrived eventually but alas, they too were only half the size I wanted. They were about 18" high while I was looking for one at least 3' high. So it looked like I was going to be left Ganeshaless. I did however find a small copper Ganesha suitable for pinning on the wall so I bought that.

Joe with his nephew, Matthew

Monday, September 19, 2011

A nice mother/daughter photo from NZ

It looks like little blue eyes is going to inherit Von's lustrous brown hair too

The lost art of raising your hat

I am JUST old enough to remember the days when gentlemen raised their hat to ladies. It was a thoroughly commendable mark of respect, a respect that seems much less in evidence these days.

Men still do wear hats: Usually big straw hats to keep the sun off. But for some reason those hats are never raised.

I do however have an old-style grey felt hat that in my view makes me look like a 1930s gangster. So I do sometimes wear it for fun.

The other day I was walking along the street and saw a man ahead from me who was also wearing an old-style hat. He was also wearing a suit so may have been a property valuer or someone else a bit grand.

As I passed him I said: "Another man with a hat", and raised my hat to him. He was greatly pleased, wished me all the best and so on.

So such a small mark of respect can be very pleasing. How sad that we mostly seem to have lost it.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Amazing case: Single mother sues slimy cop -- and wins

She represented herself in court against a range of top legal brains and beat them all

I have in front of me a copy of the District Court judgment of today's date in the matter of Eaves v. Donnelly in which Renee Eaves was awarded the sum of $93,000 against Barry John Donnelly and the State of Queensland.

Ms Eaves is a very attractive blonde model from whom (I surmise) constable Donnelly wanted sex. He apparently was such a low character that he thought he could coerce her into it. She did not oblige him.

So he launched a campaign of harassment against her, secure in the assumption that a dumb blonde could never do anything to touch a Queensland cop.

He arrested her repeatedly on trumped up charges, all of which were thrown out when they came to court.

It was then that Renee showed her steel. She was NOT just a pretty face but a woman determined to get justice against the scum concerned.

And she stuck at it for years. She of course complained to the CMC -- where police investigate police -- and they rejected her complaint.

She then began to get media coverage of the matter, hoping that would shake some action loose. It didn't but it stressed out the cop. He went on stress leave for a year and then resigned.

But Renee still felt that the police had to be held to account -- to discourage oppression of other women by police. So she launched a damages claim in the District Court, where she showed she is not only a steely blonde but a smart one. She repeatedly cross-examined successfully.

During her long battle to get into the District Court, however, Renee ran out of money. Everything about the law is expensive and her means were slender. She in fact ran out just before the matter was due to come up so it looked as if her long battle was going to be for nought.

At that point I stepped in and paid her legal costs from that point on. I had never even met her but I have had a loathing against scum police ever since the extraordinary Barry Mannix case -- where the corrupt police got off Scot-free.

The real villain in this case, however is not the scum cop but rather the police service and the CMC who did nothing to pull him into line or attempt to make amends for his deeds. Except for the extraordinary courage of Ms Eaves, the guilt of the cop in the matter would never have been established.

And in the end it is the taxpayer who will pay -- well over $100,000 all up when legal costs are included.

I didn't actually meet her until the case was over -- when she brought around a copy of the judgment for me.

Media reports here and here. More background here

Saturday, September 10, 2011

High Tea

I organized a High Tea at 4pm today to welcome the newest arrival in the family: Matthew son of Paul and Susan, presently only 16 days old. Matthew didn't notice, however. He slept through the whole thing. He looked very healthy and has already added half a kilo to his birthweight.

Present were Paul, Susan, Jenny, Nanna, Ken, Maureen, Suzy, Russell, Sahara, George, Tracy my brother Chris with his wife Kym and son James and also gun geneologist Jan with her husband Keith.

Paul also skyped Vonnie in from New Zealand using my netbook. The audio was surprisingly good for such a humble device and at one stage when we heard a baby cry we looked around to see who it was. It was Hannah in New Zealand!

I bought a big heap of very fancy scones and Jenny came over early to make up the cucumber sandwiches according to the Ritz recipe. They seemed to be a great hit. Those guys at the Ritz know a thing or two. I myself scored and cut up the cucumbers prior to Jenny's arrival and marinated them in white vinegar for about an hour. It took a whole bottle but white vinegar is only about $1 a bottle so that was neither here nor there.

Ken was impressed at the use of vinegar. He said that was customary in his home back in England but very rare in Australia. He took the sandwich leftovers home with him! There was a lot of everything left over as I had bought so many scones and the ladies had all brought good stuff too. So most people went home with some of the goodies as I didn't want anything left uneaten.

We were originally going to have the do in my backyard but it was very windy so we stayed upstairs with the food laid out as a buffet and just mingled, which probably suited people better anyway. I have a long living/dining area so accomodating 16 guests buffet-style was no great problem.

Anne was away at a conference connected to her work so she missed a party she would have enjoyed. Jenny stepped in however and not only made the sandwiches but also whipped the cream and made the tea. I just wandered around looking vague.


There was of course a huge buzz of conversation at the do but I have only the vaguest notion of what was said. I observed that Chris had a good conversation with Paul and Ken; that Jan and Kym had a long conversation and that Susan and Tracy talked a lot.

For my part, the most interesting chat was with Susan, discussing ancestry. Her grandfather on her mother's side was apparently a tall American -- which explains why Susan's mother is so tall. Her mother is from the Philippines and had a Filipina mother but is much taller than the average Filipina. Filipinas are normally about 5' tall but Susan's mother is about 5'8" tall.

And Susan is 6' tall, the same height as her Dutch father. So she clearly got "tallness" genes from both sides of her ancestry. And she has a few freckles to boot. So she looks European. If you had to guess, you would think she was Northern Italian, At 6' tall she would NEVER be taken for a Filipina.

The main interest of all that is how tall Matthew will be. He is already adding weight fast so is quite likely to be even taller than his 6' tall mother. Sons are normally taller than their mothers.

The sleeping boy with his great-grandmother

Some of the food on offer -- including some very fancy scones on my 3-tier cakestand. That black, white and blue rectangle in the background is Vonnie, via Skype. It is great that she can still take part in our social occasions. I tried to feed her a cucumber sandwich via Skype but it wouldn't go through for some reason!

And Sahara was a little Scot!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Axe wielding mugger in Belconnen robs Joey

ACT Policing is seeking witnesses to an aggravated robbery in Belconnen last night (Monday, September 5).

Around 10.30pm, a 24-year-old man was talking on his mobile phone while standing next to his vehicle on Hennessy Street in Belconnen. While on the phone he was approached by a man who demanded cash.

The victim initially refused to give any cash to the man, until the man produced a small axe.

The victim handed over money and his mobile phone to the man, who was last seen running along Hennessy Street towards College Street. The victim was not injured during the aggravated robbery.

The man is described as Caucasian in appearance, aged between 20 to 30 years old, approximately 183cm (6’) tall with a stocky build. He was wearing a dark coloured hoodie jumper, navy tracksuits pants and a black baseball cap.

Police are appealing for anyone who was near Hennessey Street in Belconnen around 10.30pm last night, or may have seen a man matching the above description to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000


Monday, September 5, 2011

Fathers' day

Fathers' day seems to be celebrated on different dates in different countries but today was Fathers' day in Australia. On such an occasion particular attention centred on the newest family member: 10 day old Matthew, seen below looking very relaxed in the arms of his Dutch grandfather.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

My hospital adventure

I got a good Father's Day present today: I got out of hospital.

I had a Moh's procedure (multi-stage surgery) for a couple of cancers on my face on Wednesday and Thursday and already on Thursday there was noticeable swelling on my forehead.

The swelling had got really bad by Friday morning. There was so much of it that I could not see out of my right eye. So I rang the surgeon about 9am and reported the problem. He told me to come in immediately, which I did. Lucky he is a private doctor, I guess. You would be lucky to see a public hospital doctor so promptly, I would think.

He said that an infection had obviously got into one of the wounds and gave me steroids and a strong antibiotic (clindamycin capsules) to fix it. Around 4am that day he rang me to see how it was going. I told him that the swelling was beginning to encroach on my Left eye too -- so the problem was getting worse rather than better.

He said that it looked like a hospital stay so that I could get intravenous infusions of an extra-strong antibiotic. First however he rang and checked with another doctor he knows who specializes in infectious diseases. That doctor confirmed the diagnosis and indicated treatment.

So about 4:30pm I got into a taxi for the Wesley -- generally regarded as the best (private) hospital in town. Shortly after arriving I was put on a Lincomycin drip and admitted.

I am no fan of hospitals but the staff at Wesley were all that could be desired. It really is a first-class operation. So I endured it through Friday and Saturday night, permanently hooked up to a drip.

The swelling steadily subsided and by Sunday morning I was pretty much back to normal so got myself discharged. I am just hoping now that I don't have a relapse.

I gather that my health insurance will cover 100% of my stay at the Wesley but there are sure to be some ancillary costs somewhere.

About an hour after I got out, I took Anne to a local South Indian restaurant for lunch and ordered a masala dosa. After hospital food I needed something that good and it was good indeed. I could easily become addicted to dosas.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Babe in a cocoon

Susan is very "crafty". She is like the perfect wife described in Proverbs chapter 31 in the Bible. So when she saw a baby cocoon in one of her crochet books, she made Matthew one. He seems to be comfortable in it.