Holding out for a Holden (or a Subaru)

I never owned a Holden motor car but I did drive one in the late 1970s. It was a 1971 HQ Holden Premier , owned by a woman I’d just met. She displayed her political colours early on, telling me she named the car Elizabeth because Joh (Bjelke-Petersen) was Queensland’s Premier at the time. As she said, you wouldn’t want to name your car after a man who said indefensible things like (apropos industrial relations):…

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Return of The Wastemakers

I had a Vance Packard moment this week, thwarting the concept of planned obsolescence, which he wrote about in his 1960 best-seller, The Wastemakers. My triumph was no big deal, but they were hard-won as I finally, after four weeks, got my 32-year-old Technics stereo system working again. Before we get into that, and on a similar theme, I would like to have a rant about the complexities and nonsense of Windows 10. Microsoft’s latest…

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Misheard lyrics and a sentimental playlist

Last Sunday, as we performed my only country song, Crossroads of Love, I allowed myself a sly inward chuckle at the misheard lyric (well, I mishear it): “So I look for directions in the stars high above’’. It’s the kind of misheard line you’d expect of a 70-year-old bloke, but I’m not about to elaborate. This is a family show. My songwriter friend Kelly Cork likes the song; he thinks it is a sin of…

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Demise Of The Fixed-Line Home Phone

The landline is ringing. A saxophone riff from a Men at Work song plays in my head (‘who can it be now?’). Despite my better judgement, I pick up. It goes something like this. (Pause) “This is Nicole from Australian National Broadband. We have been trying to get in touch with you as we are soon going to disconnect your landline, Press 1 now to speak to a technician.” I don’t press 1 and after…

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