Thursday, October 14, 2010

T.V Series Top Ten

Top Ten's are a very organic beast and change with the viewing of one episode or more likely a whole season.

I laid down my top ten T.V shows last year but having found two absolute gems recently I find it prudent to post an updated TT based on my current feelings.

Top Ten #1 (Formerly #1)

Seinfeld -
Kramer: THE BEACH!!! (enters the apartment) You smell like the beach. What's the name of that perfume you're wearing?
Tia: It's Ocean by CALVIN KLEIN.
Kramer: CALVIN KLEIN? No, no. That's my idea. They, they stole my idea. Y'see I had the idea of a cologne that makes you smell like you just came from the beach.
Jerry: I know look at this (shows an ad from CK)
Kramer: (shocked) Whooo! That's you! What is going on here? The gyp, he laughs at me then he steals my idea. I could have been a millionaire. I could have been a fragrance millionaire, Jerry. They're not going to get away with this. (leaves)

I honestly find this particular show extremely hard to dislodge from it's ivory tower. One of the great things about Seinfeld is the fact that it doesn't age and the gags are clever rather than obvious (see: Friends)

Top Ten #2 (Unlisted)

Madmen -
Bertram Cooper: There’s a Pete Campbell at every agency out there.
Don Draper: Well, let’s get one of the other ones.

Friday Night Lights -
In some situations, you need to ask yourself 'WWRD?', What Would Riggins Do? - At least she's not interested in a serial killer... or one of the Riggins! (couldn't choose!)

As it stands (I've seen 3 Madmen seasons and 2 FNL's) I can't in all good conscience split these two. I think the fact they are so different make it harder to split.
Madmen is a dry (often hilarious) look at the ad agency business in the early 60's. Whereas FNL's is a drama centered around a small Texas town, Dillon and in particular their prize high school team The Panthers.
What they both share in common and is a direct result of their esteemed placing at #2 on my list is the very elusive combination of great writing, inspired casting, top class performances and at the heart of it a story worth caring for.
Top Ten #4 (4)
Entourage -
Drama: What if I fly myself out, put myself up, you give me a little something; if I don't deliver, you cut it. Or cut it anyway. As long I'm on the call sheet and listed on IMDb, we're all good.

Brett Ratner: You're telling me you're gonna spend 20 grand to go to Paris for a part that I might end up cutting?
Drama: Such is my passion for movies

My beautiful wife and I have watched all 6 seasons that we own at least 4 times, so that goes a long way to explaining that repeat viewings are still enjoyable. This is also a big feature in making the top ten.
My favourite thing/s about Entourage are Ari Gold and Johnny 'Drama'. Both would have to be up in the stratosphere as best television characters ever to appear on the small screen.
Without these two complex characters the show would be the Vince and Turtle show. Now I don't dislike the characters but they are definitely on the outer compared to Ari and Big Bro.
Top Ten #5 (3)
The Office (US version) -
Dwight: Don't you want to earn Schrute bucks?
Stanley: No. In fact, I'll give you a billion Stanley nickels if you never talk to me again.
Dwight: What's the ratio of Stanley nickels to Schrute bucks?
Stanley: The same as the ratio of unicorns to leprechauns.

This show has shown longevity thus far in it's fifth season and has another cracker of a character in Dwight Schrute. Just saying/typing his name makes me smile. Sure Steve Carell as Michael Scott is a great character but the show stealer, Jack Nicholson style in Batman has to be Dwight!!

Top Ten #6 (6)

Scrubs -
Ted: If you need some happy pills, they're in the top drawer.

Jordan: In this hell-hole, I'll need a gun!
Ted: Bottom left.

One of the strong points of Scrubs is it's ability to mix zany comedy with heartfelt dramatic emotions and get it right (most of the time).
Scrubs doesn't have the longevity of the previous 5 series' but it is still an enjoyable rewatch.
Top Ten #7 (2)
Arrested Development -
Lindsay: You haven't had a serious relationship since your wife, and you guys weren't even speaking towards the end.

Michael: A lot of that was the coma.
Lindsay: Yeah, I've heard your side of it.

I'm going to stop at 7 for the moment because it honestly feels like I'm adding ok/good shows to make the numbers. Honorable mention goes to and not in this order, Two Guys a Girl and Pizza Place, The Twilight Zone, Ned and Stacey, My Wife and Kids, My Name is Earl and Weeds. I am also aware that there many other great series' out there but until I've seen them I can't add them to the list! I'm in the process of narrowing down the next three positions.

Until then hail to the Panthers

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Friday Night Lights

Having become a father for the first time 12 months ago (and 1 day) I haven't been able to to attend the cinemas as much as I would like. (once this year!!!!!)

Therefore I have sort my viewing through other avenues (NO redtube here!!) and through the good graces/prices of JB HiFi have bought several TV series' and thus far haven't been disappointed yet!!!!

The stand out has been Mad Men (3 seasons so far) however Friday Night Light was much more a sleeper and my expectations were low going in (even though it's set around high school gridiron !).

FNL's is a well made show from the ground up. The writing tight, acting solid and production values through the roof.

I would love to have thought I was like Tim Riggins in High school.

However I was/am much more like Landry but hey he also gets the hot girl (as of Early Season 2).

I love football but it's the characters and story lines that make the show. The limited parts of the football shown not only tell part of the story well but also carry well on screen. I particularly liked how football was used to express the relationship between QB1 Saracen and his father.

Next up on the TV series conveyor belt is Sopranos so fingers crossed.

Until then Clear eyes, Full Hearts - CAN'T LOSE!

Sense of accomplishment!!

My little man, Benjamin turned 1 yesterday. It wasn't until we put him to bed last night that I realised my amazing wife with minimal support from me has raised a new born human with limited abilities all the way to 12 months.

In that time he has learned/been taught how to:     rollover, crawl, drink from a cup, sit up, crawl, take a few steps, say "no, dadda, mumma and oodle oodle oodle", play with water, feed himself (pancakes are the fav), help put clothes on, pick up objects in one and pass to the other, throw balls, giggle at farts/burps, sleep through the night, empty pantry, cupboards etc and make his parents very proud and happy.

I'm sure I've missed something!

And to top it off he took his first steps (more than 2 less than 10) on his actual birthday which is awesome!!

Until then hail to the ATAT Walker!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mad Men Season 3 Ep's 6 &7

I have found another TV series that would certainly make my top ten list. (Probably top 3)

I bought the first 2 seasons of Mad Men at JB HiFi in a 3 for the price of 2 deal. (Sopranos S1 was the other set) I had heard good things but money and time being an issue hadn't seen any of it.

I turned to my wife 5 minutes into the first episode and said 'this is beautiful to look at coupled with great writing: I am going to like this show!'

In 5 weeks we have watched 2 thirteen episode seasons and 10 out of 13 of season 3. Out of the 36 episodes I have seen, every episode has had it's highlights however eps 6 and 7 of season 3 were absolute crackers!!!!!

I won't issue a spoiler alert because it won't be needed, however I can say rarely has a tv show surprised me so much with clever writing or effected me so much (laugh, cringe, shake my head in dismay) as much as Mad Men has.

For example, a ride on mower was brought into the agency and at the end of the day all of the workers were celebrating and having a drink. (3 fingers {for the drinks and ladies}) I mentioned that no good can come from whiskey and ride ons and low and behold one of the secretaries hops on and drives it like it has a faulty clutch??????

So we all know 'something' is going to happen... this is where the quality of the writing, humour and actors kicks in. I won't give it away but my reaction nearly woke up our son!! Well worth a see!

Sadly I only have 3 eps left and will probably finish them by the end of the weekend. Next on the slate is either Friday Night Lights or The Sopranos.

Until then hail to Don Draper!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Top Ten Sports to Watch/Play #1

Okay I was planning on holding on to this until the finals with the hopeful news that the Kangaroos made it.

Considering 'we' were 2nd favourite to finish bottom of the ladder, to miss out on the finals by percentage was a pretty good effort for the 'Shinboners'. And probably a fair reflection of where they were.

Top Ten Sports to Watch #1

AFL - North Melbourne Kangaroos

I really started watching AFL in 1984 when my best mate in grade 2 E.J (not Witten) and he was a Kangas fan, so being new to the state I followed along. I'm not quite sure whether my old man cared that I didn't go for his Swans but after the first time I saw the magical Krakouer Brothers play I bled Royal Blue. I'm also proud of the fact that I choose a perennial cellar dweller and not the Hawks for example who were in almost every premiership in the 80's. Most of my students who like AFL in my class follow Geelong, the Saints or Collingwood. Lame!

My dad listened/watched any sport but my fondest memories are of sitting next to him on the coffee table while he rubbed his hands together barracking for Capper and the Red and White.

My faith in a struggling team was repaid when Wayne Carey was appointed captain and Dennis Pagan as Coach. Pagan surrounded a fantastic player with a rock solid core of players.

The Eagles, Crows and Kangaroos all won 2 premierships during the 90's but I feel very strongly that the Kangaroos were 'The Team of the 90's'. The Kangaroos played in another Grand Final and made the Preliminary Final 8 years in a row.

The 00's brought in a new era with Carey's fall from grace and a rebuilding time and 1 more Prelim final in 07.

All of the 'press' has been about the Demons and Tigers and their youth and potential but just this week there was an article exponing how the Kangas have a similarly experienced group yet finished well above them and beat Melbourne 2-0 (convincingly) and Richmond 1-0.

Barring injuries I have a feeling that the Kangaroos are about to enter an era seen as halcyon in years to come.

As for watching the sport itself, I am a fan of many sports but not one has come close to being such a spectacle and crowd pleaser. Every player on the field is a true athlete and it's a truly unique blend of raw energy and ball control.

Top Ten Sport to Play #1

AFL - Karingal Bulls

This is by no means to say that I am good at actually playing but I think I am best suited to this sport. I also enjoy it so much that I often spend my oval duty at school kicking a ball around.

I played junior footy and although I was a good kick and mark I was probably a little soft about the contact part of it.  I then had kidney issues at 10 and was not allowed play again.

When the family moved to Brisbane, after the flood, I played school footy and because most of the 'good athletes' at school played League and I was tall for my age I was Captain and centre half forward for the school team. We won the Grand Final that year and I kicked 4 goals so I was getting a taste for playing again. AFL didn't have much of a presence back in 1989 in QLD so I was asked to try out for the State team but alas we moved interstate and I never did try out. I am aware that if we were living in Melbourne I would NOT have had these experiences but man did I enjoy them!

When I was 15 back in Melbourne all my mates played footy so I went to join up, but being born in December meant I had to play under 18's instead of under 16's with my mates. I was apprehensive but wanted to play any way. I was definitely tall enough but coming up against 18 year olds meant I was well under size. In our first game I lined up at Full Forward ???? and my direct opponent had tattoos on his arm and told me the first time I go for the ball he was going to punch me in the back of the head. Remember I was a skinny non-fighter 15 year old. It's fair to say my jocks resembled the Hawks colours and not the red and white Swans colours.

At half time we were down by about 100 points and we had only scored 3 behinds. In the 3rd quarter I had the ball about 45 metres out and instead of passing I went for the torpedo and kicked the first goal for our team. I was dragged by the coach for not passing the ball and hardly played again that game. I lasted 4 more games but didn't really enjoy it and to be honest never went in hard and wasn't doing the team any good.

That was the last of my football career. I did coach the under 13's here in Charters Towers for a year and if Ben ever decides to play I'll become apart of that club.

I still love to have a kick and a run around but now it's more social and with a beer.

Until then hail to the torpedo!

Friday, July 23, 2010


Yes again it's been a little longer than I intended but I'm back!!!!

I've been writing a little and working (my pesky day job) and hanging with my little dude of a son Benjamin!!!!

While trolling the net I came across a blog called 'Go Into The Story' and they are very prolific bloggers about writing and the industry. About 4-6 blogs a day. Well they have a GITSClub where wannabe writers submit their scripts to be torn down and hopefully receive some constructive useful criticism.

I placed my finished feature and 3 shorts and just sat back to see what would happen. I read about 20 reviews before I did this and I was expecting what I got got but still it left me wondering.

98% of reviews are hardcore focused on the layout of the script and NOT/NEVER EVER using verbs in the action/scene part.

I had one lovely reviewer who stated straight off the bat to read a few scripts for an education and bring my best attempt to the board!!!!!!  Here is a short excerpt of this response.

I'm not here to teach you how to write a script. I come here to help and to learn. What you presented is an unthinkable request for assistance and I don't think you'll find too many who will offer that much until you learn and present the basics of screenwriting.

There's much more to the response!

Now at first I was shocked/taken aback/ hurt and demoralised. I had a serious think about my writing future. After I had a day to digest this I started to wonder if I had missed the point or not.

I've had reviewer come across as angry that I used a verb or the VO (voice over) didn't have parenthesis.

Now in my humble opinion, I am way more concerned with the story than whether I have a characters name in bold. However these particular reviewers are concerned with spelling and layout. If the script gets read and the reader likes the story and the characters, isn't that the goal of a script?

Hey I may be wrong and call me on it!!!

Until then hail to the story!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hello my meme!

This is a stolen meme from a talented dude from the comic industry! Thanks Rol

1. You’re building your dream house. What’s the one thing that this house absolutely, positively MUST HAVE? (other than the obvious basics of course)

Home Theatre, covered large outdoor entertainment area, Pool room with fully stocked bar and a maid!
In that order

2. What is your dream car?

Free and doesn't break down!!!  An Aston Martin form Entourage would be cool!

3. What is your favourite website that isn’t a blog? or depending on the season!

4. iPhone 4 or Droid, which do you want?

I'd take R2D2 any time!!!!

5. When you’re feeling down or lonely or just generally out of sorts, what do you do to cheer yourself up?

Drink!!!!! Unfortunately, then I lead off with movies like Good Will Hunting or Boyz in the Hood or Braveheart.  Real pick me up movies!!!!

6. Tell me about something or someone that you love that most people seem to hate.

Kevin Smith, Rodney Rude, American Football, Wayne Carey and horror movies are all hated by my wife but cherished by me!

7. What do you want to be when you grow up?

A real little boy! A successful screenwriter (read: produced feature)

8. Would you go on a reality show if given the chance?

Not a Japanese one!!!!
One that involves a mix of sporting prowess and brains that I can be in a team of 3 with my brothers would be awesome!!  (NOT chess boxing) It has to be non-injury inducing sports like hitting 3 pointers or home runs!!!!!!! Plus movie questions!!!! 

Man I want in on this game!!!!!

9. Who was your favourite teacher when you were growing up?

Mr Dyson grade 5, 1987, Frankston East PS
Mrs Tucker grade 6, 1988, Frankston East PS

10. You get one pass to do something illegal or immoral. What are you gonna do?

Go back in time find out lotto numbers and win the $50 million plus draw.

11. What were you doing 10 years ago?

Studying my 1st year of my Bachelor of Eduction - Primary degree in Brisbane. I'm in my 7th year teaching and love it!!!  Not my ultimate job, but I'm working on it!

12. By this time next year, I...

hope my wife will be pregnant and my 2nd short film script (Soap) will be produced and have a feature in the pipeline!

13. Do you think the United States will elect a female President in your lifetime? Do you think this would be a good thing?

Only if she's good enough for the job!!!!  Sick of minorities getting jobs for being a minority. That's how Derek Vineyard's dad died because minorities were given jobs as firefighters

14. Which fictional TV show character you would shag anytime?

Senor Ding Dong from the Simpson!!!!  We won't be needing jumper cables!

15. What is your favourite Quentin Tarantino movie?

Kill Bill Vol 1  (Man that was tougher than I thought!)   Still not 100% on that!!!  Dogs and Pulp are classics!

16. Who was your favourite Doctor?

I'm assuming this is a Dr Who reference but I'm going with Dr. Martin Van Nostrand

17. What's your favourite slow song?

Twilight Time by The Platters

18. Do you have a nickname? What is it?

Bearded Extra, Psycho, Lindsay, Linz, Jimmy, Jimbo, Dadda or that writer from The Pessimist! I heard someone say that behind me at the movie premiere!

19. What are you dreading at the moment?

Not much to be honest!!! I've been racking my brain but life is bloody good!!!! 

20. Do you worry that others will judge you from reading some of your answers?

Unlike my brother at Stinkbrown and Our Walking Heart I don't have m/any readers so no judging happenin here!!

21. In two words, explain what ended your last relationship.

No love (It didn't hurt that I met my future wife very shortly after that!)

22. What were you doing this morning at 8am?

Sitting at my desk at school checking my blogs, sports pages and movie pages!

23. Do you have any famous relatives?

Charles Kingsford Smith is apparently a 2nd cousin or something to my old man. My younger brother has Kingsford as his middle name and is also most likely to be famous out of the rest of us shmucks!!!!

24. How many different beverages have you drank today?

One cup of green tea and lots of water and a glass of O.J. I also swallowed some toothpaste does that count?

25. What is something you are excited about?

North Melbourne Kangaroos results, New York Giants Result and my 9 month old son Benjamin!

26. When was the last time you spoke in front of a large group?

Most Monday's I speak in front of the staff (15ish) but I have presented at Educational Conferences to crowds of 80 and 120 last year.

27. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?

I actually avoid looking in the mirror at any time. I believe it's better to feel good than to look in a mirror and be proven wrong!

28. What were you doing at midnight last night?

Discussing with my wife whether we should use Bonjela or Baby panadol to soothe my little boy!

29. What’s a word you say a lot?


30. Who is your worst enemy?

Plaque and my bank account balance!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The best way to predict your future is to create it.

I need to vent about footy and it's a week when my team has had the best win of their year!!!!

I've been listening with patience all year about how good the Demons are going to be and how their young brigade of players will hold them in good stead in the years to come.

Well I'm going to drop some statistical knowledge on you and you be the judge.

The Demons are playing so well!?!?!? or so it seems!!!!  They are currently 4 wins and a draw from 12 games. The 4 wins have been Adelaide and Richmond (Bottom 2), Brisbane and Port Adelaide (Bottom 8). Nuff said!!
The Kangaroos are 6 wins from 12 games and touted as having a shocking year. Sure I'll admit we have had a couple of blow out losses but that is to be expected with the youngest list in the comp.

As Janet and Luthur put it 'check this out!'

I was lurking through the dark murky sewers or the 'net' and stumbled across and found a fantastic resource for AFL stats!!!!

I noticed Ryan Bastinac our star recruit at pick #21 in the 09 draft is the #1 Rising Star in the AFL for disposals. I thought this was a good endorsement that he was travelling well so I sluthed further and found this:

Rising Star Total Disposals

#1     Ryan Bastinac  236
#5     Jack Ziebell     194
#26   Sam Wright     121  (11 Games played out of 12)
#31   Ben Cunnington 99  (8 Games played)

Rising Star Total Kicks

#1     Ryan Bastinac   121
#2     Jack Ziebell      117
#19   Sam Wright       73
#27   Ben Warren      60 (8 Games played out of 12)

Rising Star Total Goals

#8    Ben Warren     10
#11  Sam Wright      8  (Both not even Forwards!)

Rising Star Tackles (Probably the most impressive stats for rookies!)

#2     Jack Ziebell      58
#7     Ben Cunnington  47 (#1 avg per game at over 5!!!!)
#9    Ryan Bastinac     38
#22  Sam Wright        28
#24  Cruize Garlett     24 (4 Games Played)
#40  Ben Warren        14

I started off comparing 'our' young group with Melbourne's but have gone with a focus on The Roos group to point out the brightness of our future and where we are (hopefully) heading as a club on the field.

Nth Melb are 6-6 sitting in 9th position equal to Hawthorn who are 6-6 in 8th. A must win game this Sunday against The Power could find the Roos in the 8 at the end of the week??

Potential is a finicky game but I honestly believe that if the Roos miss the finals this year, they should make it next!!

One final look at the guns at our club who have played less than 100 games

89 Hamish McIntosh
74 Andrew Swallow
66 Lindsay Thomas
62 Scott McMahon
53 Matt Campbell
47 Aaron Edwards
41 Lachie Hansen
40 Scott Thompson
37 Gavin Urquhart
36 Ed Lower
28 Todd Goldstein
24 Nathan Grima
22 Jack Ziebell
18 Levi Greenwood
17 Liam Anthony
17 Ben Warren
15 Leigh Adams
15 Sam Wright
14 Ben Ross
12 Ryan Bastinac
9  Cruize Garlett
9  Josh Smith
8  Ben Cunnington
5  Alan Obst
2  Nathan O'Keefe
0  Majak Daw
0  Robbie Tarrant
Plus many other unplayed rookies!!!

Until then hail to the Rising Star!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Top Ten Sports to Watch/Play #2

Top Ten Sport to Watch #2

American Football (Gridiron) - New York Football Giants

I started watching NFL in 1991 and have been addicted ever since. So much so I paid for pay TV just so I could get up at 3am ad watch the early game. Oh and Sports Centre. I'm not particular either I'll watch any team and now that I have access to channel ONE I'll see more this coming summer. Back in the day I used to watch the local Frankston team and in 1999 I flew to Sydney to watch The Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers play an exhibition game. One of my bucket list goals is to see a game in New York and the Superbowl (I can dream!) Watching a game featuring the New York Giants is an absolute thrill for me and seeing them win SuperBowl XLII (42 if you're not Roman!) with my mate Rowie (sic) was top 3 sporting events ever.

I am a big fan of stats and NFL has it in spades and I'm also a huge fan of the tactical part of the sport!

Top Ten Sport to Play #2

American Football (Gridiron) - I'm looking for a throw, I'm looking to a long throw!

As I've stated earlier, my enjoyment for a sport grows exponentially with my ability to actually play it. My 3 best friends in high school were all very talented sportsmen but I would like to think that this is the one sport where I could hold my own. I have pretty good hands but lack the pace unfortunately. But throwing the ball for some reason suited me. I'm by no means muscular so I guess from a bio mechanical point my throwing style suited that skill. I'm generally pretty accurate and could definitely throw it further so my enjoyment was lifted. I would have loved to play high school football but maybe that would shown me I wasn't quite as good as I thought so it's for the best!

Until then hail to the Mary!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Top Ten Sports to Watch/Play #3

Top Sport to Watch #3

Basketball - Clyde the Glide

During the early 90's I introduced gridiron to my family and my younger Bro brought basketball to the mix. We followed separate NBL and NBA teams but that only makes it more interesting. We even went to a NBL All-Star game which was awesome including the dunk comp! NBA was Jordan mad so we watched plenty of Sat morning NBA time. High School finished and like alot of my friends we lost contact. Well I now have the HD channels and like an old friend it was fun to catch up and out of no where I fell for the Celtics, and over the last 5 months we have been reacquainted and we(the Celtics) are 1 game away from the finals.

It's also a fast paced (minus the timeouts) exciting, skillful game.

Top Sports to Play #3

Basketball - Trojans Vs Reeconiks

I was unfortunate to have my 3 best friends in high school being very good at sport. Any Sport! So when we were 17 and formed a basketball team I was the weak link and looking back at it I really took it to heart. I'm also only about 5" 10' and was usually the tallest or 2nd tallest in the team so was grossly out of position. That is not an excuse for my bad shooting or turnovers but basketball is number #3 on my list so I obviously enjoy the game.

I am a huge stats man so my trusty younger bro would tag along and keep my stats which couldn't have too hard as I averaged about 4 points a game. However one particular game stands out as we had alot of players who couldn't play so my older brother Marc stepped in and my 13 year old brother played as well. Take into account we were playing 'C' grade mens it is pretty impressive. Unfortunately Ryan's 3 point buzzer beater at the end of the 1st half over shadowed my best scoring game of 15 points.

Until then hail to the tre!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Top Ten Sports to Watch/Play #4

Top Sport to Watch #4

Cricket - Before the men started taking their wives on tour

As any red blooded Aussie male I've seen my fair share of Aussie cricket. Not interested in Sheffield Shield it has to be Australia and preferably ODI or TESTS. Haven't really taken to 20TWENTY but will watch it if no other sport on!!!!  I grew up playing in the backyard and I was Dean Jones and my younger bro Mark Waugh and I listened to The 12th Man. I've been a huge fan of Pontings throughout his whole career! A bit late for DK Lillie and Co but still the Aussie team has been in a state of constant halcyon years since I've been alive! Love beating the KIWI's and particularly the POMS in the Ashes.

Top Sport to Play #4

Soccer - Liverpool kiss! Chelsea smile!

The only reason I have this above 5-8 is because of the round ball and it's easier therefore I'm better at it! Yes I get more enjoyment if I can actually participate!!!! Fancy myself as a bit of a striker but never played professionally! I'm sure I'll get out in the playground come World Cup!!

Can I also give a shout out to my esteemed little bro. He is a published writer of some note and has his thick cheerio fingers in many pies and as of today has launched a new blog/website thoughtballoon where 9 writers including him pick a comic character each week to write a one page comic script each. They've started with Tony Stark and as of now they have 2 very different yet interesting takes on the Tin Man.

Until then hail to the Stark!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Top Ten Sports to Watch/Play #6 and #5

Well here are my #6

Sports to Watch

Tennis - Grand Slams only!!!!

To be honest patriotism comes into it more than watching good players!!!  Federer is an awesome player and seemingly a nice guy but I've never rooted for him. I will be interested in a grand slam if an Aussie is playing otherwise not really at all.  Having said that if an Aussie is in a final I will stay up all night and really enjoy the spectacle.

Sports to Play

Cricket - 2 wickets for 4 runs off 4 overs.

I never played as a kid and this year I partook in the famous Charters Towers Ashes and played 3 games. If I was any good at cricket I'd have it in my top 3 or 4. But I am dodgier than a prawn left in the sun. In 3 games I made 3, 1 and an 8. Not good at all. Admittedly after each ball I grabbed my stubbie from behind the wickets and had a good old swig. Gloves weren't a problem as I didn't wear any. I did however enjoy my 8 by hitting a cracking cut shot for 4 but then the rain started and by the ball that took my wicket hit the pitch about 2 metres in front of me and rolled into my stumps. Yes I know excuses but I reckon I had a few more runs in me. As for bowling, I was a little better but that wasn't hard. Game 1 -  I took 2 for 4 and ran someone out from just inside the boundary.  Game 2 - 2 for 6 and another long run out. and Game 3 - 1 for lots in the rain.  Yes Ryan my 3 days I was more concerned with stats and beers!

Well here are my #5

Sports to Watch

Baseball - RedSox baby!!!!!

I have very fond memories of staying up late with my younger bro with a real strong coffee and watching 3 innings before falling asleep on the dirty mocha chicken couch!!!!  I'm now a relatively big Boston RedSox fan any game on ONE is enjoyed!

Sports to Play

Baseball - Karingal SC regional champs

I have a ball and glove and in high school enjoyed having a hit. I was on the school team that won the regional champs as an outfielder and back up pitcher. Sure I was probably the weakest link on the team but I enjoyed it and would have to say I'm better at this than cricket and yes the enjoyment factor goes up if I'm better for it!

Until then hail to the hit and giggle!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Top Ten Sports to Watch/Play #8 and #7

Well here are my #8

Sports to Watch

Golf - 18 Holes isn't enough for Tiger

To watch golf I have to pick a 'swinger' to 'follow' and only the big events!!!!!!

Sports to Play

Tennis - Beating Aiden being the highlight

I have swung the racket a couple of times but my win over Aiden at UNE was the highlight.

Well here are my #7

Sports to Watch

Soccer - Living in England during the 2006 World Cup was awesome!

I've never been a huge fan but I'll keep an eye on Aussie qualifiers and the Fury but damn I'm in for the World Cup. Less than a month to go!!!!

Sports to Play

Golf - Royal Chindarah

I really enjoy Golf but I am not very good at it and my patience isn't great so it can be frustrating!!!!  However I usually enjoy the experience and can usual come close to Rowey or Ryan.  Hanging the 14th hole flag proudly is almost a highlight!!!! How teeing off and landing less than a metre from the pin after a drink fuelled superbowl is it!

Until then hail to South Africa!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Top Ten sports to watch and play!!! The Nines

Well I've already changed my top ten selection from Netball to Darts. Well this has shaken my list to it's very core!!

I'm going to forge ahead anyway as I'm interested in the discussion it will generate!!!

Well here are the nines!!!!

Top Ten sports to play - Nine


Yes mixed netball I played in the Charters Towers 'B' Grade premiership team 07. I found that it is an excellent workout and my competitive spirit definitely kicked in!!!  This is again here based on lack of other options.  I did think darts but have never actually played it sober or for sport although I'm a bit of a fan. Any sport you can play with a schooner in your hand is okay by me. However I find I am more into netball and probably a better player.

Top Ten sports to watch - Nine

Ice Hockey - The Great Gretzky

Back in the day my mates and I would play a bit of a Sega MegaDrive and the staple at my place was EA Sports (it's in the game!). haha I still say it when I play Madden 09 on my PC!!!!!  We had most Madden's, a run hungry Joe Montana Sports talk football, NBA and NHL 94 (I think?). I had the first version where you could fight which was a bonus. The early nineties were a time for alot of American sports on TV and amongst the NFL, NBA and MLB we also partook in a little NHL. Not heaps as it's only 9 on the list but enough!!!

So doubters where have I gone wrong?

Until then it's in the game!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Top Ten - Sports to play!!!!!! Sports to watch!!!

Okay I am absolutely certain that I will post this and someone (Ryan or Aidan) will notice an obvious choice missing like cricket or basketball (both included!!)

So with minimal research and only a solid top 8 here it is!!!!

Top 10 to play!! #10

Ice Hockey - You'd like pretty funny eating corn on the cob with no ****ing teeth

I've been ice skating several times and considering I haven't done it much I'm serviceable!!!!  I've only held a stick once and based on my greenness it's a lowly 10. Also the fact that I haven't latched onto a team to follow is another reason for the position.

Top 10 to watch!! #10

DARTS!!!!!!!!!!!! -     One hundred and eightttttyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy  (note: changed after posting!!)

Can't believe I put netball in ahead!!!!!!!! Thanks Stink!!!!!

Netball - Long legs and pointy elbows

This is really only made the grade because I couldn't think of a better option. Com'n Ryan or Aidan what should replace it????  I've played netball for a season and appreciate the stamina required and I have watched a bot particularly Commonwealth Games.

One debate I had with my inner monologue is....  can you split a sport into mens and womens?????

Anyway that's the tens with nines following very shortly!!!!

Until then hail to those legs!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Boston Baby!!!!

As far as sports go I am my father's son!!!!

He was known to watch table tennis, lawn bowls and even the caber toss! I have watched a little lawn bowls in my time and during my year long sojourn in the UK watched a fair bit of darts. The soccer (football) world cup was on while we were over there and I was totally all over that!!!!!

My number #1 love will always be AFL (Aussie Rules) and my one regret will be that I'm not that good a player (read: not hard enough!).

Number 2 on the list is far behind AFL but also far ahead of the rest is NFL (Gridiron) and the fact that AFL is February to September and NFL is August to early February means I am set all year round!!!! woo hoo!!!! (note: dates may include preseason games!)

But lately I have been really hitting some other US sports particularly NBA (basketball) and MLB (baseball) and the Boston Celtics and Boston Red Sox respectively.

Yes I am a huge New York Giants fan so it seems reasonable that I would pick from the many New York/Jersey teams but none of them stood out to me!!!!!  The Yankees are the dominant bully much like Collingwood and the others are a bit blah for me!!!

So.... I'm a huge Stephen King fan and he always writes Boston particularly the RedSox and for some reason early in the NBA season a Celtics match was on channel One and I found myself rooting for the Celtics to beat the Bulls and then I started following how they were going on and then on the run to the playoffs I was even following the score on the Internet and now I'm hooked!!!!!  Although LeBron James and Cavs will probably knock us (already an us!) out!

So.... when the MLB baseball season started I just started following Boston and have started to get know the players and I'm really enjoying it!!!!! A good 2-0 win over Toronto today!

So it made me think what is my top ten for sport and then I thought is there a difference between watching a sport and playing so I'm in the process putting down two top tens.

So expect a forthcoming top ten of my sporting loves!!!!!

Until then hail from Boston!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Another Film Festival for "The Pessimist"

Well over the last few weeks I have been cold calling with my various short scripts and feature script. Now that I have a legitimate credit to my name I am finding producers are much more willing to read my stuff. About 2 thirds reply and half have seen The Pessimist and loved it. This really helps to give the prospective producer an idea of what I am capable of. This teamed with the fact I have co-written another script that has been optioned and I am finding lots of replies but no takers, yet.

I had a phone conversation with a producer in Melbourne last week and he is partially interested in the feature which would be amazing and through a reply from one producer yesterday I found out that one of my shorts (I only have one!) and one of his shorts are screening at The West End Film Festival next Sunday. What a small world. He has heard of the Pessimist and hopes to catch it then and also loves the work from Lav Productions. Still this is a slim chance but I don't think he would be reading my scripts this week if I didn't have this valuable credit to my name.

So I'll keep toiling away and who knows maybe by the end of the year I'll more exciting news than someone read my script.

Still pretty cool to have an idea of mine screening at yet another Film Festival

Until then hail to calling cold!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Well I'm putting it out there again!! My balls that is!!!  Figuratively not literally!!!!

The good people at QPIX have different funding programs and one of them is '2010 Short Drama Program' (read: Any short script NOT non-fiction/documentary).

I have several short scripts in the different stages of development. I sent a bunch (4) to an assortment of producers in QLD and received some encouraging feedback by a couple of producers who had heard of "The Pessimist" and were going to read the aforementioned scripts and get back to me. No breath holding for moi. One producer got back to me with a resounding 'yes' I like the characters, dialogue, tone etc of the shorts and will read the feature length soon. Well yes it's great to have someone who has made shorts to like my writing but I've heard it all before!!!!  Will he actually help me get one or more off the ground and become a reality?   WHO KNOWS???

He did however say that "The Entertainer" and "Google EARTH" were good enough to consider applying for funding through QPIX but the deadline is 19th March. So I clicked on the handy link and perused the application information. I have looked at compititions/funding programs before and the things that stuck out about this one.

  1. It didn't cost anything!
  2. I didn't have to have a producer attached
  3. It's based in QLD
  4. Each writer can apply with upto 3 scripts.
  5. They ACTUALLY make the scripts they choose into award winning shorts!
So I've spent a week tweaking both scripts, writing a 1 paragraph synopsis and a treatment for each. I'll keep tweaking and rejigging until I think they are as good as they could/should be. Then at the end of this week I'll post these two kernals to Brisbane hoping that I have the right ingredients to POP a nice buttery salty bag of popcorn to keep me nourished while I sit in the dark in anticipation.

I just have to believe that lightning can strike twice and "The Pessimist" isn't destined to be my only credit as I'm even getting tired of me talking about it!

Well if you would like to read any of the scripts I have written or even better know how I can get funding my email is

Fingers crossed and I keep you posted!

Until then hail to the moula!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Final Decision!!!

I'm still not easy calling myself a writer!!! I have one, not very impressive credit on IMDB and a couple of scripts floating around like that famous plastic bag on American Beauty but I haven't seen that bag in any other movies lately have you?!!
I'm not a confident person about me, but throughout the writing process it is imperative that other people read your words. The only catch is getting someone to read that fills 2 important boxes.

1. They know what they're talking about!!!

2. The are willing to be brutal and honest!!!
I have my esteemed brother from Stinkbrown and he's a Gonzo Journalist for The Weekly Crisis to bounce ideas off and so far I have received invaluable feedback and he definitely knows what he is talking about! Being close brothers we have similar ideas and in my humble opinion we work well together. We have collaborated on one short script and managed to sell it to a producer who will hopefully start pre-production in the next few months. However he is a very busy writer with his finger in a lot of pies (He is a newly wed!!!! (.Y.)) I am trying not to draw that well dry so I need feedback and so forth from other avenues.

I met a young lady at my younger brother's wedding (he keeps paying out!) late last year who is an accomplished writer/producer/director and was lucky enough to have a bit of a chat and have since exchanged emails and ideas on each others work.

So I did the pushy writer thing and sent all my unsolicited scripts for feedback!!! No expectations but man did she pay off!!!!

The funny thing is I happened to be checking my emails yesterday and noticed there were 9 emails in my spam account so I entered with the intention of clicking on the helpful "Delete All" key but noticed one of the subject headings was 'Short and Feature Scripts'. This email bounty was sitting in my SPAM for exactly 1 month!!!

So after reading and rereading I sent Claire a thank you email and went to work on changing or not, parts of different scripts based on honest/knowledgeable comments/suggestions/opinions made by Claire.

Last night this made me think how helpful some people in the industry can be!! And more to the point how to surround yourself with these people!!

Another issue I faced during the process of reading the ideas was; what do I do if I disagree with an opinion/comment? Well that's easy. If you believe the character/dialogue/scene whatever deserves to be there keep it. But also think about how the story would change without it. If it's a cool scene/character that doesn't further the story then bin it!

NOW I have 2 short scripts that I am happy with, what is the next step? I've been told to shmooze with industry people at Film Fests etc but in Charters Towers it's all booze and no shmooze!!! So I guess I'll go back to what has worked the last 2 times. Cold Call, keep emailing producers and hope that if I get one to actually read the script we can work from there!!!

Anyone interested in reading unsolicited scripts (short and feature) can email me at

Speaking of Film Festivals, The Pessimist is screening at Byron Bay Film Festival on the 12th of March but still not sure what it is nominated for apart from Best Short. So fingers crossed!!

It's also my fathers 64th birthday today, so happy birthday DAD!!!! So here's a pic of your 3rd grandson Benjamin!!!

Until then hail to my decision!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Top Ten - The Ones

Well here it is, the top ones of my top tens. Let’s get straight into it!!

Top Ten – The Ones


The Big LebowskiWe cut of your Johnson Lebowski

After many sleepless nights, soul searching and some common sense ‘Lebowski” was my obvious choice for favourite movie of all-time!!! Firstly it isn’t a new movie that has struck my fancy, it is older than my year 6 students and still continues to tickle my funny bones.

It is also apt that a “Coen Brother’s” movie is my #1. They are by far and away my favourite movie makers and I have never been disappointed.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, add this blog to your fav’s, go buy it (don’t rent as this will be a waste of money when you’ll be buying it anyway!!) then return!! This is NOT a movie review but merely a proclamation of my favourite movie of all-time.

Jeff Bridges is one of the all-time great actors of any generation and this is one of best roles. On face value he is a stoner who likes bowling and white Russians (the drink NOT the mail order kind!). But he is so much more and is surrounded by some of celluloid’s greatest characters/character actors. John Goodman is sublime as the damaged returned war vet (see Deerhunter) Walter and Steve Buscemi as his milquetoast whipping boy Donny “Shut the fu$% up”. Sprinkle in a Chili Pepper, some crazy dream/drunk sequences and a witty as hell script and you got yourself a number 1. I have recommend this to several of the uninitiated and ALL have this movie firmly in their top ten if not their number 1. Even after repeat (dozens) viewings I still find hidden gems in the dialogue, mannerisms or plot. This is NOT just a comedy but a very clever script.


Stephen King

I knew a Stephen King book was going to be #1 but picking out the stand out has been harder than I imagined. I originally choose The Shining then The Stand and eventually stuck with It. I remember reading this in my formative (teenage) years and being impressed by the epic scale and ability to really create such diverse relatable characters. People hear Stephen King and automatically think horror. But I have been defending him and his writing for a long time and the obvious comments like Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and Misery come to mind (mainly because they were so well adapted for the screen). But even with his obvious horror novels, character is always key and something many writers could do well remembering.

The book is so much better than the telemovie and is a must read for any bookworm.


Under The BridgeRed Hot Chili Peppers

Anyone who knows me could have guessed the Peppers would make the number 1 slot but picking one out of such an impressive catalogue of hits and great songs wasn’t so obvious. Well or so it seemed!!! Some of the front runners were, in no particular order; Wet Sand, Give it away, Californication, Can’t Stop, Dani California, Venice Queen, Suck My Kiss, The Greeting Song, Hard to Concentrate, Don’t Forget Me, Snow and Breaking the Girl. Yes there are many other popular and fantastic songs which is why this was so hard.

But I kept coming back to the song that started it all back in early high school. Sometimes I have a bad habit of not liking something as much as I should because it’s too popular but "Under the Bridge" is so popular because it is so good!!! And every great song has a great story and the fact that Under the Bridge was a tack on, throw it in track makes me like it even more. It had to work to be even included on the now famous “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” album. Kiedis wrote the remarkable, haunting lyrics but couldn't find the melody (earlier it was much quicker). So Frusciante (another genius of his kind) asked if he could play a slower riff and the rest is history.

Sometimes I feel like I don't have a partner

Sometimes I feel like my only friend

Is the city I live in, the city of angels

Lonely as I am, together we cry

I drive on her streets 'cause she's my companion

I walk through her hills cause she knows who I am

She sees my good deeds and she kisses the winded

I never worried, now that is a lie

I don't ever wanna feel like I did that day

Take me to the place I love, take me all the way
I don't ever wanna feel like I did that day

Take me to the place I love, take me all the way

It's hard to believe that there's nobody out there

It's hard to believe that I'm all alone

At least I have her love, the city she loves me

Lonely as I am, together we cry

I don't ever wanna feel like I did that day
Take me to the place I love, take me all the way

I don't ever wanna feel like I did that day

Take me to the place I love, take me all the way

Under the bridge downtown

Is where I drew some blood

Under the bridge downtown

I could not get enough

Under the bridge downtown

Forgot about my love

Under the bridge downtown

I gave my life away

T.V Series

Seinfeld"What do you think Junior? You think these hands - they've been soaking in Ivory Liquid?"

This was always going to be #1 and after spending the summer watching re-runs it will always be number 1. Proof would be in how hard it is to pick one quote to showcase.

To be able to stay at the top of their game for 9 seasons and how no dud episodes is a testimony to the brilliance of the show. My favourite character in high school was Kramer but it is by and far George Lewis Costanza. Not only have I been likened to him but he gets the best lines and delivers angst to show up a red headed emo kid.

I love this show and if I had to spend eternity on an island, I would be content with 9 of the best!!!!

I hope this has been a didactic and entertaining blog and if only one person can experience one of the above mentioned #1's then my job is done!

Until then hail to the Dude!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's been awhile!!!!

I promise the next installment will be the Number 1's!!!

Well what have I been up to?

I spent the summer (Australian) in Brisbane hangin with wifey and Ben!!!!! I pretty good 6 weeks off I must admit!!

6 weeks??? Yes being a teacher has its perks!!! (Rich not being one of them!)

I did manage to read 2 books and a large chunk of another.

Book 1: Clan of the Alphane Moon by Philip Kindred Dick

I really appreciated the humour of this book!!!! Reminded me of Catch 22

Book 2: Amsterdam - Ian McEwan

Some pretty very insightful stuff although a little didactic at times!!!

Book 3 (chunk): Under the Dome by Stephen King

Currently about 620 pages in with 250 to go!!!

I am really enjoying the unpredictable but a little worried it is going to be some weird alien ending that doesn't match the humanised story.

Back at school teaching year 6 and having one of the better years teaching I can remember.

Most importantly having the absolute best home life with a wonderful wife and the most amazing little dude/son I could ever have hoped for!!

I also managed to write 2 short scripts and start a feature. I'll more indepth about them later!
Until then hail to the summer!