Marching with the Purple Army – T20 Cricket

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Captain Hurricane

The Big Bash

When the twenty over form of cricket first made its appearance in Australia I was not over enthusiastic. I’m a relatively recent fan of cricket, only the last twelve years or so but I really prefer the longer forms of the game. T20 seemed a bit of a novelty. However it has grown to have huge importance over the past few years so I’ve moved somewhat from my position of  “cricket for people with short attention spans” and embraced the entertainment side of it.

The Big Bash League (BBL) is a competition played mainly during the summer school holidays. The teams are city based and each is allowed a couple of international players in addition to local and interstate talent. This means that people get the chance to see some top overseas players on a regular basis through the series. As we don’t get a lot of international matches in Hobart it works out well for me and I try to go to as many of our team’s home games as I can. Some of the internationals who have played in the BBL in the past couple of years  are Muttiah Muralitharan, Chris Gayle, Lasith Malinga, Luke Wright, Kemar Roach and Alex Hales.

The teams are:

For anyone who had never attended a BBL game or who thinks that cricket is a quiet game you are in for a big surprise. BBL cricket is LOUD.  Channel Nine’s Michael Slater has often referred to T20 as “Rock’n’Roll Cricket” and the BBL certainly promotes that image. There is loud music blaring throughout the game, fireworks and fanfares when boundaries are hit, dancers and mascots for each team.

Rock'n'Roll cricket
Rock’n’Roll cricket

There are lots of (expensive) team merchandise for sale and fans are encouraged to wear their team colours to the match. Under the Southern Stand at Blundstone Arena there is a face painting booth for the kids and a place for them to make their own signs.  At a rain affected game recently I saw “No Rain More ‘Canes” and on TV yesterday I saw “Sydney Thunder is worse than England” which seemed rather harsh.

Players are very accessible to the fans and happily sign autographs before, during and after the game. In his final season last summer Ricky Ponting was very much in demand and one of my favourite moments was the Perth Scorchers Brad Hogg, surrounded by purple clad Hurricanes fans signing autographs and asking them “So who are you going  for today?”

image Brad Hogg
So who are you going for today? Brad Hogg, my favourite Scorcher with my friend Allyson.

I won’t pretend to be able to explain all the rules of T20, you can read them here. However, the main points for those who are not familiar with cricket are that there are two teams of 11 players, each team plays twenty 6 ball “overs” each.  To keep the game moving there is a penalty if a team does not bowl its overs  within 80 minutes. If a man is out his replacement must be on the field within 90 seconds. If the match is tied it is decided by a “Super Over”. So far this has only happened once in the Big Bash, at a match between the Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers.

I do love the enthusiasm of the crowd as they support the home team cheering every boundary shot hit and every wicket taken and I enjoy the opportunity to photograph the players. I’m too shy to speak to them but I prefer more candid photographs anyway. My camera is only a compact, a Nikon Coolpix L120 but within its and my limitations I’ve got a few photos I like.

More of my cricket photos can be seen here.

image Bellerive Oval 2012
Blundstone Arena December 2012

Thursday Photo – Potoroo

Australian Wildlife – Macropods

image potaroo
A cheeky little potaroo

Thursday Photo is one from the archive today as Hubby and I have been a bit under the weather since Christmas although unfortunately not from excessive celebrating.

Occasionally I go to mind a property that belongs to friends of ours. They are frequently visited by potoroos who covet fruit and vegetables from their garden. They are not tame but they are quite unafraid of humans. I would frequently see them grazing in the garden and they would only hop away if I came too close. 

I had thought that these animals were mainly nocturnal but I took my photos on a winter afternoon. There are a couple of different species of potoroo and I’m not sure which this is. I am a townie and not good at identifying wildlife. My friends said they were always being invaded by potoroos and these are a little smaller than wallabies so I took their word for it. I’ve added some links to sites with more information for people who like the facts. I thought they were cute, my friends think they are furry little thieves. It all depends on your point of view.

image potoroos
Plenty of them live near this property.

Links:

http://bird.net.au/bird/index.php?title=Long-nosed_Potoroo

http://www.arkive.org/long-footed-potoroo/potorous-longipes/

http://www.ozanimals.com/wildlife/Mammal/Bettongs,Potoroos.html

http://www.kidcyber.com.au/topics/wallabies.htm

5 Movie Heroes Who Are Actually Jerks

Reblogging on “My Other Blog” because I liked it so much.

Some Offense Intended

Last night my roommate and I finally sat down to watch Conan The Barbarian after about a month of talking about it. It had been years since I’ve seen it and  I was a little fuzzy on the details especially the virtues of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character. Beyond brute forcehe had none. Within the first half hour I’d realized that I had completely misinterpreted Conan as a kid. The guy is an asshole.

That got me thinking, what other pricks have managed to slash, gash and one liner themselves to hero worship? I’m not talking anti-heroes here. I’m talking about the guys you’re supposed to be able to get behind and route for without questioning their ethical reasoning. I’m talking about the protagonists that have been presented to us as the “good guy” in spite of their questionable morals and generally dickish attitudes. This list is what I came up with.

Here…

View original post 1,920 more words

Walt Disney, P.L. Travers and the Battle Over Mary Poppins:

Mary Poppins and Saving Mr Banks

Who doesn’t remember seeing Mary Poppins either at the movies or on TV as a child? I saw it at the cinema in England in 1965 so when I heard about the new film “Saving Mr Banks” I wanted to learn a bit more about it. I read “Mary Poppins” and “Mary Poppins Comes Back” as a child and was surprised at how different they were from the film. Now I know why.

I found this two-part article on Mouse Planet.

Walt Disney, P.L. Travers, and the Battle Over Mary Poppins – Part One (Korkis Korner) by Jim Korkis.

Walt Disney, P.L. Travers and the Battle Over Mary Poppins: Part Two (Korkis Korner) by Jim Korkis.

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Reality TV Again

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First Rant of 2014

I’ve spent a lot of time in front of the TV over Christmas and the New Year watching cricket. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed that but the downside has been sitting through never-ending promos for upcoming shows on local free to air stations. As I remarked to Hubby, seeing the promos for the latest crop of Reality shows reminds me again of why I don’t watch them.

So what do we have to look forward to?

  • My Kitchen Rules – Twin girls with ghastly, too bright lipstick and in their words one brain between them and a couple with a cheese obsession. Give me Wallace and Gromit.
  • The Biggest Loser – How will the bitchy Michelle manage to bully a whole town? I’m sorry but I saw one promo featuring her last year and ever since then I feel violent whenever I see her face. One day someone will die on one of these quick fix weight loss shows.
  • The Voice and Voice Kids – Plainly it is all about the judges. Joel Madden I know who you are now. Kylie Minogue appears in this. I agree she is a great performer but I’ve never thought she has a good singing voice. So shoot me!
  • So You Think You Can Dance – I’m not familiar with the format of this one but no doubt there will be the usual “Good Cop, Bad Cop “ judges, some drama amongst the contestants who will have some deep, dark tragedy in their lives and someone will fall over and break a leg attempting some dance move.
  • The Block – So this time they have to build walls and ceilings as well as decorate. Not to mention find time to fight with each other. I would be frightened to live in a house built by a Reality Show contestant.
  • Big Brother – Please can we just stop!
  • When Love Comes To Town – I haven’t read a run-down of this yet but it appears to be a cross between “The Bachelor” and “The Farmer Wants A Wife”.

People who have read this blog before will know that I hate Reality TV so much that I’m probably not even rational about it. I’m sure many people find it entertaining but to me it is lazy television. I don’t feel it promotes good values. It showcases bad behaviour, bad manners and bullying. The people who make these shows want the audience to tune in to see how awful some of these people can be.

I would far rather that Australian TV stations spent their money on good quality dramas with realistic characters that you can like and admire. Please give us another Sea Change or even “A Country Practice, Sullivan’s or Carson’s Law. Of course making Australian drama is expensive and Reality TV is cheap so guess what we’ll get?

I know the answer. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. Well don’t worry I won’t but it’s hard to avoid seeing the ads. One only needs so many cups of coffee and trips to the bathroom.

 

image Kylie Minogue
Kylie Minogue

Links:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0418372/

http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2013/07/auditions-when-love-comes-to-town.html

http://au.tv.yahoo.com/my-kitchen-rules/

http://www.thevoice.com.au/

 

Saved! – A Cat’s Story

I’ve written before about our cat in my post “Along Came Polly“. I have often wondered how she came to be where we found her, was she dumped, did she wander away from home? We’ll never know.

Today is the first anniversary of her arrival and to mark it I’ve written the story from a cat’s point of view.

Polly’s Story

My story begins a year ago. I was a kitten and the first few weeks of my life had passed uneventfully. My mother took care of me and my siblings and while we stayed safely in our bed in the garage our mother would go to the house where the humans lived to get food; when she came back there would be milk for us. The young humans from the house would sometimes come and look for us and sometimes mother would allow them to hold us.

Then things changed, one day the humans all got into their car and drove away. They left a bowl of water and a bowl of food for mother. She ate some and as there was plenty we had some too.  The humans didn’t come back though and after a while there was no more food in the bowl. Mother started leaving us to hunt for food.

I don’t know how long this went on but soon we were hungry most of the time. There wasn’t much milk anymore and it was a long time to wait for mother to come back with whatever she had caught. None of us felt very well, we started to cough and sneeze and our eyes were sore.

One morning I was so hungry I decided to find mother so I could get a drink of milk. I left the garage and set off to look for her.

I looked and looked but I couldn’t find her anywhere. I hadn’t realised that Outside was so big. It was hot too and I was getting tired and thirsty. After a while I saw a big house. Humans live in houses and humans have food so I decided I would go and look there. Before I could find any food I was frightened by some huge angry birds. They were black and had sharp beaks and cruel eyes. I thought they might peck me so I hid in some bushes.

The sun seemed to be hotter than ever and I stayed hidden in the bushes where I felt safer. I wished that I had stayed with my brothers and sisters after all. After a while I heard the sound of a car and then humans talking.

“Please help me!” I cried “I’m hot and thirsty and I want my mother.”

The humans seemed to understand and called out “Kitty, kitty, kitty!”

Slowly I crept out from under the bushes so that they could see me. I couldn’t see them very well because one of my sore eyes was stuck shut.

I was picked up and carried inside the building. One of the humans gave me a bowl of cool water. I drank it thirstily.

Soon another human arrived and took me to a house. There was a dog there; as soon as she saw me she washed me with her great big tongue. I didn’t mind, I could tell that she wouldn’t hurt me. I was given food too, it tasted so good.

The humans took good care of me. Whenever I cried they fed me or held me and after a few days I wasn’t frightened anymore. They took me to the vet to get medicine for my cold and they put stuff in my eyes to make them better. I soon let them know when I’d had enough of that though. When I was tired I would curl up with Cindy the dog. After a while the humans started to call me Polly and I knew then that they would let me stay. I started to think of them as my humans.

Today I’m grown up and I am very happy with my life. I have a nice home with plenty to eat and lots of toys to play with. Sometimes I go Outside and lie on the warm ground in the sun but soon my humans chase me back inside. They don’t like me to go out there. They are probably afraid that the birds will get me.

Polly, Christmas Day 2013
Polly, Christmas Day 2013
These are all mine!
These are all mine!