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Monthly Archives: January 2011

The Bucket Sporting Supplement

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Welcome to the first-ever issue of The Bucket Sporting Supplement.

These  F U L L C O L O U R commemorative and collectable publications will document all of the world’s major sporting events as they unfold during 2011.

First on the calendar is the Australian Open Tennis Championships now under way in Melbourne.

Our Chief Sports Reporter and tennis tragic since 1948, Edward “Pommie” Grannit-Deuce, has been embedded courtside for the last twelve days filing hourly reports and photographs, interviewing players and spectators, and digging deep into his photographic memory to provide all the essential statistics as well as keeping us informed of any unfolding behind-the scenes drama in the locker-rooms.

My job as editor of The Bucket is one that I take very seriously, so
I have distilled this vast treasure trove of information into it’s essential elements and extirpated all of the following impurities;

1. All references to the obscene financial rewards handed out to these young people who are, after all, just playing a game.

2. The histrionics and abominable sportsmanship including racquet-hurling or axe-chopping and mouthed obscenities.

3. Blatant attention-seeking/opponent-distracting behaviour such as extravagant grunting, yelling, squeaking, screaming and howling before, during and after striking every ball.

4. Banal interviews. Tennis players and spectators are generally not renowned for being gifted orators or gushing fountains of wisdom.

My job is now done.

Please enjoy the following highlights package which includes every piece of action that was worth watching.
After that I will proudly announce the winners.

And the winners (ignore what Rupert Murdoch might tell you later this weekend) of the 2011 Australian Open Tennis Championship are;

Womens Champion;

Andrea Petkovic, the extremely personable, intelligent, multi-lingual, pistol-packing and dancing German athlete who breathed some much needed fresh air into this stuffy event.

Andrea Petkovic

Mens Champion;

Zoran Petkovic, Andrea’s Dad and coach, who co-starred from the sidelines with his daughter in a memorable and whimsical post-match interview.

Zoran Petkovic

The Bucket accordingly commends both of them for bringing back some of the “game” into professional tennis.

 

Edit 6/11;    MORE ANDREA PETKOVIC PICTURES  HERE

Mrs GOF’s photography

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Today dear friends you find me typing this blog under duress, and with a one-handed disability.
It is twisted painfully by Mrs GOF somewhere up in the vicinity of my shoulder blades. She still sees nothing funny in me having let loose in public a fictitious little story about her New Year’s debauchery as outlined in my previous blog entry “Bilge soup”.

In partial recompense for that incy wincy faux pas and apparent crime against marital solidarity, I firstly have to apologise for;
“all the shameless self promotion and propaganda that you write in Your Stupid Bucket, GOF” in bold font, and then sit here until I compose, to her satisfaction, an introduction to some of her happy snaps….OUCH!.……sorry…..photographs.

.*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *    *      *      *     *      *      *

Mrs GOF’s early life, which included an idyllic childhood and carefree adolescence, came to a rather abrupt and unfortunate end after 20 years, when, during a slight lapse of attention and total failure of all her oddball-detector alarm systems, she allowed GOF to intrude himself into it.

She has spent the remainder of her life engaging in pastimes to distract herself from all the catastrophic consequences which this single moment of poor judgment brought about.

Firstly came pregnancy and childbirth, the physical discomfort of which was a price she considers well worth paying to hatch our precious bundle of joy, concomitant with a bonus 16 years respite from full-time GOF torment.
All of that was taken away from her one day early in the twenty-first century when Globet levitated briefly, then was whisked away like a dandelion seed in a puff of post-pubescent wind, high into the jetstream of progeny distribution which ultimately deposited her gently and permanently some 2000 kilometres away from the distraught womb of Globetal conception.

Globet was then replaced by a camera.

I deliberately choose not to make any comparisons between these two commodities, primarily on the grounds that one day I would like to be incarcerated in a relatively humane old-folks home.

Without further ado I proudly introduce the first selection from Mrs GOF’s most recent GOF-avoidance project.
Perhaps with my encouragement she will achieve the same standard of perfection which resulted from the first.

Well I’ll be damned!

I think I just shot and bagged two Brownie Point Birds with a single slug.

Bee

 

Red Brow finches

New Guinea girl

 

Dragonfly

Bilge soup #2

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1. Fill the pot with an abundance of water;

Rainfall GOF's Place 2010

All values in millimetres. Multiply by 4 to convert to points.

Trivia; Australia’s most productive rain gauge is located alongside the radio and TV transmitters on top of Mt. Bellenden Ker, less than 15 kilometers from GOF’s Place.
It’s rainfall total for 2010 was 12,438mm,  just short of the all-time record of 12,461 (41 feet) set in 1990.
The wettest day was the 4th January 1979 when 1140 mm (45 inches) fell.

2.  Then add a leg of inspiration;

4.  Twice each month we drive to the big smoke in the early morning with our little truck load of plants to sell at the market.
Each time, we come across the same group of 10 amateur cyclists riding in a pack, enjoying each other’s company, and the exercise.

Last time we counted eleven.

Leading the bunch was a man with wooden crutches strapped
to his back, happily pedalling along with his one and only leg.

Please let me always remember him before I am tempted to open my gob to complain about some inconsequential little twinge I feel in one of my joints.

3. And two sachets of mild spice

It is with some dismay, but little regret, that I announce the dismissal of  The Bucket’s Religion Reporter who exhibited flawed mental equilibrium and a severe deficiency of moral fibre.
Quite frankly, he lost his marbles.

Over coffee, he confessed to me that he had once, during the 1990’s, wished he was an ant.
” an ant migrating northwards up model Toneya Bird’s rather sleek and attractive bare thigh”.

And furthermore, as a last-ditch attempt to get himself out of the incriminating hole of insanity that he had just dug for himself;

“Mr GOF, there was once THIS Australian TV commercial for Antz Pantz which featured a spiny anteater, then ANOTHER that I didn’t see because it was banned by the censors at the time.
I just needed to put myself in the position of an ant, to be satisfied that there was no animal cruelty involved.”

I have absolutely no idea what he was waffling on about.

Pervert!

Good riddance.

There’s no place for that sort of deviant behaviour in The Bucket.

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4. Now, add liberal amounts of Wisdom for Men.

This is purely a hypothetical scenario.
If you attend a community market solo during the time when your wife is spending a long-weekend crocheting and drinking orange juice (right!) at her girlfriend’s house over New Years, it is unwise to make an attempt at humour by announcing to even a single member of your close-knit stallholder fraternity;

“She went to the pub on New Years eve, got totally crissed as a
picket, then was arrested for unruly and immoral behaviour for which I refused to pay bail, so I haven’t seen her since”.

Very little good comes from it.

.

4. And a little magic.

5. Serve with essential Aussie condiments.

Bon apetit

The Procrastinating Cat

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With apologies in advance to Inga and GOM and everyone else I expect to offend today.  Old acquaintances will understand that I have a genetic predisposition (similar to that which causes obesity)
to being thoroughly irritating and objectionable on a frequent basis.

I have arranged for my faulty gene to be replaced with one extracted from a lavender plant on the first of April, after which time I will be blogging with serene graciousness and gentility, whilst smelling utterly and irresistibly divine.

Marni the procrastinating cat

Pigs fly and give us bacon.
Doleful cows ooze milk and cheese.
Birdsong’s sweet for early waking.
Goldfish yawns put me at ease.
Is there anything more annoying
In the world which God begat,
Than a lazy good-for-nothing
Pro-crast-inating cat?

Kookaburras laugh, something funny.
Weazels tickle your inside leg.
Horses race and give me money.
Gerbils train to sit and beg.
Most pets do this useful stuff
To justify a pat.
Unlike this useless pile of fluff.
The procrastinating cat.

Dogs know how to pull a sled,
Are eyes for people blind.
Other pups locate the dead
Or substances for the mind.
Rover’s food’s a simple dish
Or a decomposing rat.
No demand for gourmet fish
Like procrastinating cat.

Personified superfluousness.
Evolutionary mistake.
Biting, scratching viciousness
Whenever he’s awake.
Parks himself upon my chair.
Presumptious little brat.
Shedding bucketloads of hair.
The procrastinating cat.

I have a reputation,
Mock hatred to uphold.
It’s under disputation.
Or so I’ve just been told.
My Love’s brain’s be-fuddling
She don’t know where she’s at,
Today she sprung me cuddling
The procrastinating cat.

History according to GOF; Tutorial 102

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HOMER and the TROJAN WAR

On a balmy summer evening in 799BC, Constantine Theodorakis,
a myopic Greek chicken farrier and failed astronomer, decided to celebrate his first wedding anniversary by taking Mrs T to a concert in the park on top of the city eminence which, 300 years later was to become the site of the Acropolis.

Both of them were disgusted at the quality of entertainment.

Rambling minstrel Mikos Jaggerius spent two hours
strutting to and fro like a demented turkey, whining
through a mouth endowed with astonishing amplitude, that he
‘caint  git  no  satis  faction’ …..an ancient Latin canticle
bemoaning the absence of unified political parties.

Constantine complained bitterly to the promoters, and was rewarded with a free double pass to see Homer perform ‘Iliad’ the following week.

In the late Bronze Age, Homer was equally as popular as Elvis Presley became in the twentieth century AD, even though he didn’t own a single electricity guitar, neither of which had been invented yet.

Nor had books been invented. Or Hellenic Radio.
Or indeed television, although Pannasonikus had once chipped out a square box from a lump of granite when he was nineteen, and spent the remainder of his long life trying to work out how to get some moving pictures inside it.

History was passed on through the generations orally. Often it was in poem form delivered by entertaining bards like Homer, who became famous for his ‘Iliad”…..an account of the Trojan War 400 years previously (around 1200BC), and audiences were spellbound every time he began;
‘The wrath of Achilles is my theme…….”

Now, be that as it may;

Human conflict can always be guaranteed to involve one or more of the following five things.
A God.
A piece of real estate.
A hot-to-trot woman.
A horny man.
Some other item of commercial value.

The Trojan War incorporated three out of five.

Hot-to-trot Queen Helen, overlooking the minor detail that she was married to Menelaus the King of Sparta, allowed herself to be carted off by Horny Prince Paris, the son of the King of Troy, back to his luxuriously appointed bachelor pad located in what is now Turkey.

This act of impropriety was excused by Wankerius, Senior Government Psychologist and advisor to King Menelaus, who somewhat unwisely proffered;
“Your Majesty, it is perfectly understandable that a deeply compassionate woman like the Queen would want to nurture and comfort a man who suffered the childhood indignity of being given a girls name.”

King Menelaus immediately went and shoved a bright yellow tennis ball down Wankerius’s throat before unanaesthetically suturing his lips shut with fishing line and a rusty awl. Then he ordered 1000 boats from Ships R Us, filled them with 100,000 warriors and laid siege to Troy in order to get his Queen Helen back again.

For the next nine years the warriors mostly sat around playing cards and monopoly (the Greek version) and dreaming about Miss Olympia 800BC, because no matter how they tried, they couldn’t breach the perimeter walls of Troy which were 16 feet thick and 20 feet high.

During the tenth year, warrior-god first-class Odyssius, after smoking a particularly potent batch of Trojan Grass suggested;

‘Why don’t some of us sneak into Troy by hiding inside a giant
hollow wooden horse with a secret trapdoor where it’s arse should be?

Thus, the Trojan Horse idea was born.

The Greeks built the Trojan Horse and left it on the beach sardinely stuffed with soldiers, before the remainder staged a fake maritime withdrawal.

The Trojans couldn’t wait to get their hands on a discarded large Greek wooden horse with a secret trapdoor where it’s arse should be, so they knocked down part of their own city wall in order to drag it back inside, despite the prophetic warning of Laocoon the wise old Priest who repetitiously bored the pantaloons off everyone by going around mumbling;

‘Beware of Greeks, even when they bring gifts’.

And so it proved to be, shutting a very long story cort, as the Greek soldiers sneaked out of the horse’s arse in the niddle of the might, brought in all the reinforcements, then milled most of the ken and took the women and children hostage, before backing and surning the entire city of Troy.

Greek supporters immediately cheered the ‘massacre and total destruction of Troy’, whilst the Trojan Secretary of State denied all the ‘unfounded and malicious rumours’ before announcing that there had only been a ‘minor fracas’.

Queen Helen, now older and somewhat less hot-to-trot, was returned to Menelaus who was verily pleased to have her back in the house to show him which kitchen cupboard the tin opener was stored in.

All the Greeks lived happily ever after…..except for Mikos Jaggerius who faded into obscurity and died a pauper.

Any twit with half a brain could have told him that there would be no future in show business for someone with a name like that.

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Copyright GOF University Press 2011

Hope for my waterlogged friends

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It is with considerable reluctance that I engage today in the triviality of blogging while so many of my fellow Queenslanders are suffering horrendously with huge areas of this State submerged beneath flood waters.
As I post this story, the Brisbane River has just peaked at 4 am, carrying with it the dreams, lifetime achievements and irreplaceable mementos of so many people.

My thoughts are with everyone….especially my long-standing blog friends Snowy and Flamingo Dancer and their families, who have just witnessed the material hearts being ripped out of their respective towns.

Please look upon the following  pictures for some reassurance that the future will eventually look bright once again.  Although a catastrophe on a much smaller scale, it is less than 5 years since much of Innisfail, Mission Beach and Dunk Island was demolished by Cyclone Larry.

Both nature and human beings are extraordinarily resilient.

It is not, and never will be, exactly the same as it was before, but it is still a beautiful world.  As yours will be again….in time.

Mission Beach was named in recognition of the Aboriginal Mission which was built in 1914, but destroyed along with pioneer tea and coconut plantations in a 1918 cyclone and tidal wave.
Planting material recovered from the devastated tea plantation was used to establish Australia’s largest tea plantation, Nerada, at a higher altitude.

Mission Beach today is a delightfully laid-back tourist destination and gateway to Great Barrier Reef islands.

Mission beach market

Dunk island water taxi

Dunk Island

Dunk lookout back to Mission Beach

Johnstone River at Innisfail

History according to GOF; Tutorial 101

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PETER THE GREAT  (1672 –  1725)

Peter the Great

There were fewer than one billion humans populating planet Earth when Mrs Naryshkin’s waters finally broke and baby Peter plopped out headfirst onto it in 1672.

Peter, as a kid, was a bigger pain in the arse than McCauley Culkin hooked up to a raspberry cordial intravenous drip.

He refused to go to school, treated tutors of his Slavic dialect with disdain, and spent most of his time playing in the sandpit with toy soldiers and plastic battleships, dreaming up ways of killing and conquering, and inflicting his obnoxiousness on as many people as possible.

When Peter was just ten years of age, older brother Fedor (Theodore), who was the reigning Szar of Russia suddenly went a strange puce colour, shuddered momentarily, sneezed twice, then dropped stone cold motherless dead before toppling sideways off the throne.
Imperturbed, little Pete immediately leapt up onto the cushion while it was still warm, as was his legislative right.

This really pissed off his older sister Sophia who was in the bathroom at the time moaning to the vanity mirror about how successive massive attacks of zits were the main reason why her teenage virginity had not yet been expunged or even playfully challenged.

She whined to everyone she met about little Peter occupying the throne, emphasising her point of view by crying and snorting and behaving generally like Paris Hilton on an alcohol-free day doing court-ordered community work, until someone in authority said;
‘What the hell, you can rule Russia for a while Sophie, as Regent, just until little Pete grows up and improves his worldly knowledge beyond that required to aerodynamically and texturally shape boogers to achieve the longest possible flicking distance’.

Then one day soon after, sniffing his way along the trail of romantic opportunity, came charming Prince Golitsin, with his Gladiators cap on backwards, a tattoo of Popeye the Sailor on his left bicep, and a pocket full of prophylactics.

He was able to see (later that evening) something beyond the Clearasil smudges and exploding pustules which still populated Sophie’s face, and together they enthusiastically worked on her other big problem in the four-poster until it was satisfactorily resolved to both their satisfactions at around 5 minutes to midnight.

As a reward for services rendered she appointed him Chief Minister the next morning.

Then one day over a breakfast of porridge with goat’s milk and honey, just as a conversation starter, Sophie suggested to her mother and Prince Golli “Why don’t we kill Peter because he’s growing up to be a violent, loud mouthed and ruthless adolescent bratski, and besides that, he’s threatening the longevity of my Regency?

The now 17 year-old Pete was livid with anger when Nigella the Chief Cook told him about the death threats which she had overheard whilst serving the toast and Vegemite. (It should be noted here that Nigella was originally employed by the Royal Court as Peter’s Wet Nurse, a duty she performed with loving devotion and quite extraordinary productivity.)

Peter also had a dim view of Sophie’s management style whereby most Decisions of State were made conjointly with Golli whilst lying flat on her back in the boudoir just making absolutely certain that her  tenacious virginity had no chance of reappearing.

Peter enlisted backup support from an army of vodka-sloshed thugs, then confronted Sophie and eloquently announced;

‘F**k  off Sophie.’
(** There is considerable academic debate about the precise translation from Slavic.)

‘I AM THE SZAR,  and furthermore, you and everyone else, from this day forth shall refer to me as Peter The Great.
So there!
Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Soph’.

Peter the Great then went on to knock off lots of Turks in order to gain access to the Black Sea, following which he started a 20 year war against Sweden to capture the Baltic States and get port access to the Northern sea routes.

Finally, to put creative icing on his rulership, he turned Russia into a police state, imposed a tax on beards, then permanently locked his first wife up in a convent, maybe for not vacuuming under the rug, and killed his own son for ‘being an annoying little bastard once too often’.

Peter the Great is also remembered for opening up Russia to the outside world, being the father of industry and creating the first newspaper and museum, modernising the Cyrillic alphabet, and for building a new administrative city, a gateway to the West, and then modestly calling it St. Petersburg.

A leader remembered by history, but not fondly by his people.

No-one is totally bad.

Some, however, come closer than others.

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