Thinking of “novelty” sports we might see at Brisbane 2032. 🏏🏉🎯 Being Queensland, the more bogan the better:

  • Ninja Warrior (Sasuke)
  • Parkour
  • Darts
  • Netball
  • Aussie Rules
  • Backyard Cricket with wheelie bins and a ”6-and-you’re-out” rule…

Any other suggestions?

On the road again, pure joy! 🚲

Finally got back on my bike today for the first time in 2021, after seven months recovering from spinal surgery. The shitty weather and blowing cold Ballarat wind couldn’t take away from my sheer joy in being back on the road, with the wind in my face, fighting back tears of relief. When I hurt myself again last year, I didn’t know whether or not I’d get back to riding again, as my last tour exacerbated my back problems and I spent quite a few months worried about ever getting back.

The original plan was to wait until September, but a combination of watching the Olympics, eating copious amounts of food for my birthday yesterday, stacking on nearly ten kilos, and overwhelming boredom has gotten me back out there sooner, and I’m very glad I did so. I only did one lap of the lake, 8km and nice and easy (which isn’t to say I wasn’t exhausted!) but a good first ride.

Watching the Australian authorities’ response to the pandemic has been like watching the Jurassic Park movie franchise: no matter how many times the dinosaurs break loose to eat everybody, the guys in charge keep making the same mistakes over and over, blinded by greed/arrogance.

Aujourd’hui j’apprends le français depuis six mois.

(Today I have been learning French for six months.)

Il fait amusant! 🇫🇷

Trying to decide whether to get back on my bike again after back surgery, or wait another month or two. It’s been four so far and I feel great. Doctors and physio seem fine with it. Just nervous about ruining my recovery/hurting myself again…

Too many Americans have seen too many movies. 🔫🇺🇸

Scary stuff: ‘Fear on top of fear’: Why anti- gun Americans joined the wave of new gun owners (Washington Post)

As an Aussie, reading stuff like this is terrifying. America is seriously messed up. This passage sums it up perfectly:

Shakima Thomas, a social worker in Newark, had always thought of guns as loud and dangerous — nothing she wanted anything to do with.

She grew up around firearms; her grandmother carried a handgun in her purse, and several close relatives had served in the military and owned guns. But Thomas, 39, never considered buying one for herself until Donald Trump’s presidency. Trump’s boast that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any of his support made Thomas fear that some Americans might be emboldened to express their rage violently.

A lifelong Democrat, she got a gun permit early in the Trump administration but didn’t buy her first gun until last summer, when the killing of Floyd and the protests that spread across the nation made Thomas feel like the country was spiraling out of control, “like the world was in an apocalypse.”

She walked into RTSP — a gun store whose name stands for Right to Self Protect — and bought an AR-15 assault rifle. Months later, she added a handgun.

Her very first gun was an AR-15! Talk about jumping right into the deep end!! The mental gymnastics required to go from guns are dangerous, mmmkay to I need an assault rifle are immense.

Too many Americans have seen too many movies. It’s really not that easy to look down the sights at another human being and pull the trigger.

What a nothing kind of week I’ve had. I could have slept through the entire 168 hours and not missed a thing.

I love Rick and Morty, and I’m also a big Highlander fan, so Season 5 Ep 2 “Mortyplicity” had me in fits of laughter. Watch the end credits for the best scenes of the episode. Hilarious!! 📺📽

Finished reading: Nala’s World by Dean Nicholson. 📚

A nice travel story with a heartwarming twist, as Dean picks up a stray kitten abandoned in the wilderness and nurses her back to health. Reasonably well-written (with help from Garry Jenkins) there is something interesting for both cycle tourists — or any type of traveller, really — and animal lovers.

I’ve been following Dean and Nala on Instagram for a while now, so it was nice to read a bit deeper into his trip, his mindset and his story than merely following his social media feed.

Finally got my copy of Dean Nicholson’s Nala’s World, setting down to a nice quiet coffee, croissant and fruit tart at Le-Petit Patissier, a French café in my town; a shitty day is slowly turning around for me. 📚🚲🥐☕️

Vale Lorraine (my Nan). 16.7.1939 – 17.6.2021. Best woman I’ve ever known. Strong, loving, stubborn, funny, caring, larger than life, all the way to the end. Will be missed forever. I already miss her immensely.

Has anybody seen media coverage of a COVID-19 strain referred to as “Delta” or “Kappa” etc WITHOUT then going on immediately to say “also known as the Indian strain”? What’s the point of even changing the terms if both are used? The purpose of the WHO was to stop it.

Love this:

Mate, when the Chinese [government] comes here and fuck youse over, you’ll be looking for compensation, OK – so give us the deal you want the next coloniser of this country to give you.

— Richard Bell in an interview with www.theguardian.com

Even though I was absolutely certain all along that I didn’t have COVID-19, the feeling of relief when I got my negative result today was still quite palpable. I can only imagine how hard it is when one is told they’re positive. I wonder what mental support is proffered, if any?

I’ve been using NASA’s awesome SpotTheStation service for a year today. Yet I’m still to “spot the station”. Maybe next year… 🤣🛰🚀

Fun With Telemarketers, Day 461:

TM: We see you have the domain blahblah.com, and we offer website design. Can we help you, Reearghn? Me: I do need help, yes. I just don’t feel very pretty these days. And I’ve lost my favourite chicken. TM 10 secs of silence then hang up.

Is it just me, or is Zwift completely unusable with a dumb trainer? 🚴🏼‍♂️

I understand the need to dial down dumb trainers in races, etc but maybe a “joy ride” setting to let those of us just on Zwift for shits and giggles to just enjoy the ride without impacting the more serious virtual cyclists? As it stands, I find some routes completely boring at my current max speed of 3kph, which I suspect is because I don’t have a $1,000 smart trainer hooked up. I’m not interested in virtual racing and really just need to keep my legs pumping and my wheels turning.

Maybe one of my followers can recommend a “virtual touring” alternative to Zwift?

People in my town walking out of shopping centres with armfuls of toilet paper; barely any wearing masks, none hand sanitising or checking in on the QR. Is it really the slow vaccine rollout or hotel quarantine foul ups holding us back? Or basic human stupidity?? Maybe both…

Off to the big smoke

Travelling into Melbourne on the train today for the first time in many months, to visit my sick grandmother. Was worried about getting a seat on the V/Line due to my back, etc but the train is almost empty and we’re approaching the halfway point of the journey.

Sometimes when learning French I come across a sentence that says something much better than in English. 🇫🇷 «J’ai envie de faire du vélo» just captures exactly my sentiment so much more than 🇬🇧 ”I want to ride my bike”. 🚲 Maybe it’s just the use of ‘envie’ and association with envy. I dunno. I just know I can’t ride and it sucks and I want to and the French phrase feels like it communicates that better.

Watching Star Trek: Lower Decks. 📺🖖🏻

It’s pretty funny in parts, much of the humour is geared towards Trek fans, but even so I imagine new-to-Trek fans might also find it amusing. The character mannerisms, especially Beckett Mariner, are quite contemporary and will likely become dated. But even that is in keeping with much of Trek tradition, so in twenty years one can look back and know they’re watching a 2020-era show. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Watched Coffy today with Pam Grier. 📽🍿 Thoroughly enjoyable revenge blaxploitation flick that obviously inspired Tarantino a lot. Grier is just absolutely gorgeous, and the 70s style oozes off the screen. The soundtrack is great, the action good even if the plot is sometimes a bit silly, but otherwise great escapist Sunday movie fun. Will have to check out Foxy Brown next…

A good documentary that highlights just how bankrupt the culture of the GWS Giants is. 📺🏉🦠🎥

Watched Amazon Prime’s Making Their Mark docu-series, finished the last episode last night. Some clubs and personalities come off well, others don’t, but I have to get right to the point and say it: what a damning indictment on the culture at the Greater Western Sydney Giants.

Stephen Coniglio is made the club’s first-ever solo captain in awful circumstances, some unexpected, some totally foreseeable:

  1. The Giants lost the 2019 Grand Final. They didn’t just lose it. They were comprehensively destroyed, kicking not only the lowest score for a Grand Final for 60 years, but their lowest ever for their club.
  2. It was this backdrop, with this kind of hurt in the playing group, that Coniglio is elevated to sole captain, replacing Ward and Davis. Nobody had ever captained this team alone.
  3. The COVID-19 pandemic strikes, forcing first an initial abandonment of the season then a forced interstate relocation for entire football departments and their respective families.
  4. The Giants struggle to perform on the field for a myriad of reasons.
  5. Coniglio struggles with form, despite preparing well he seems to suffer mentally.
  6. The playing group and coaching staff then proceed to almost completely isolate him. With the exception of Heath Shaw, his mate, and some bullshit “motivational” platitudes thrown at him by Leon Cameron and the rest of the GWS coaching staff, at no time does the film show any kind of assistance or outside help given to Coniglio to help him establish his leadership over the group, or even just to check on the bloke’s mental health.
  7. They then DROP THEIR CAPTAIN, the first time in over 20 years an AFL club had done so. Much was said at the time, and a perspective could be argued that Leon Cameron was using a strong message to try and shock his group into form, but WHERE WAS THE ARM AROUND THE BLOKE AFTERWARDS? (except for Shaw).

So looking at the list of events above, (1) the club didn’t expect to lose like they did in 2019 but surely the mental difficulties of the overall group, and a newly elevated sole captain (2), were as plain as fucking day. Compounded by the unforeseen COVID pandemic (3), the group suffers (4). Again, completely foreseeable issue. Richmond were smart enough to not only tell their players how resilient they were, but to check it was so continually throughout the year, enabling the team to weather many embarrassing off-field dramas and claim the premiership. And watching this documentary it’s obvious now why they did it. Because they supported each other in a way GWS did not. They didn’t rely on bullshit motivational sayings and sporting clichés. They got around each other, even as they sometimes bickered internally1.

The treatment of Coniglio had me screaming at the screen. Not since Ryan Griffen in 2014 at the Bulldogs has a club so absolutely missed the mark with their leadership. Now, I understand that the documentary is edited, and a camera can only capture so much, but the distinct impression was that of a bloke completely hung out to dry in every sense of the word.

Now it’s here I make a non-disclaimer-disclaimer: I am a fierce Bulldogs fans, have absolutely hated GWS since their very inception, almost as a matter of course and as such, I am biased.

However I hate the Adelaide Crows with even more venom and history, and came out of this documentary thinking what a remarkable team they put out last year: continually smashed on-field, worst match day results of the club’s history, but the group stayed positive and grew from it. Rory Sloane comes off looking like future senior coach material. Stuart Dew and the Gold Coast Suns also come off a poor-performing season with positivity and togetherness: never even played a final in their club’s history, yet they are there for each other, as Dew, having — ahem! (how do I put this?) — lost the physical conditioning he had as a premiership player — nevertheless gets on an indoor bike on Zwift and tries an Everesting challenge: he has no chance of coming close, but does it purely to bond with his players.

So whilst my GWS-hatred is strong and true, it just infuriated me seeing a guy go through what Coniglio went through. As a kid, Leon Cameron was one of my childhood heroes when he played for the Dogs between 1990–99. I still have his autographed footy card. In this documentary he looked like a totally unfeeling leader of young men, lacking much in empathy and insight into the blokes he’s in charge of. The closing shots of Coniglio sitting alone in the weights room post-season, a metaphor for a bloke wanting to put the season behind him and grow from the experience, but doing it completely alone, will likely stay with me for years. No wonder blokes like Jeremy Cameron got the fuck out of there, and he certainly wasn’t alone.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


  1. Trent Cotchin’s wife breached COVID protocols, then a couple of their players did so at a strip club, causing a huge controversy and costing the footy department $100,000 (someone lost their job). [return]

Scott West, sit down before you hurt yourself 🏉🔴⚪️🔵

Reading about Dogs legend Scott West’s spray against Bevo. To Scott West I say this: I loved watching you play and you’re a legend of our club, but it must be said, you were a legend of our club during a time when individuals prevailed over team, and we suffered a 62-year premiership drought as a result of much strife and financial problems. So now, to rip into a coach who is part of a new face to the club, an administration that has delivered us a premiership, that is currently 2nd on the ladder with the best percentage, a club that is going places and considered a contender (at least at this early stage of the season), a club where players now want to be traded/drafted to us instead of dreading it… and all because your son got dropped after getting five touches of the footy, which resulted in five clangers and who laid only two tackles. I can stand a player getting 5 touches if he lays 10+ tackles. But he also gave away a few frees to boot. Just a dad being an ugly parent writ large. Sorry Scotty, Rhylee can earn his spot like everyone else. Others are tearing down the house in the VFL and struggling to squeeze back in, why should little Rhylee be any different?

Just watched Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury for the first time since I was a kid (watched it with my father at about 9–10). Still love Ping-Ou Wei’s overacting as “Wu” the interpreter. Classic kung fu movie that still holds up as a nice bit of escapism on a Monday night. 📽🍿