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Showing posts from 2009

Scramble, Chaps!

I was raised in the hospitality biz. My people are itinerant restaurateurs. Travelling from Perth suburb to Perth Suburb they established restaurants and a lunch bar. My mother had a knack of making good food, which continues, but only domestically these days. Her prime time eatery days are behind her.

I don’t pretend to be Master Chef’s Matt Preston – I’d look terrible in a smoking jacket and cravat for a start – but dammit, I know what I like. When I go to a café that makes breakfast, I always order some form of bacon and eggs. I think this basic dish is a good test of whether or not the cooking generally is any good. And this is the sort of thing a questing, pretentious git like me needs to know.

Those of you who have chanced upon me at my other Internet hidey-holes will know that I am the sort of person who will order bacon and eggs at a café, photograph it, then rate it.Believe me, I am a trial to myself sometimes. I have been haphazardly engaged in this over the last twelve mont…

Fong's Takeaway Section

Fong's Takeaway Section, originally uploaded by Mr Trivia. Eating out has become too simple - too 'easy'. Okay, maybe not for Bear Grylls, but for the rest of us, it's something we do almost without thought. What I like about Fong's Kitchen on Canning Highway (Palmyra-ish opposite the MacDonald's) is that they have a separate takeaway section that is essentially a narrow, bleak corridor. It's a place that invites reflection.

If you're of a nervous disposition, then you will notice your literal reflection in the fish-eye mirror in the corner. Paranoia. If you are on hallucinogens, then you might wonder if someone is about to pop out of the hollow-core door and drag you off into some grisly Lynchian nightmare.

However, if you're a practical type with no time for such flights of fancy, you'll go there, order something from their excellent menu and enjoy the food. It's entirely up to you, friend.

Fong's Kitchen. Go for the shock corridor - but …

I Have Not Brought My Specs With Me

I discover that I'm middle-aged. I'd been living in denial of this fact. But when a friend cast me as an extra in his film and I discovered that my part was 'middle-aged man' I decided it was time to embrace my new status.

I'm over youth. Apart from health and attractiveness it has so little to recommend it. For a start you don't know anything. You greet every new experience with fear and drama. I, on the other hand have become jaded and cynical. So much better than having fragile expectations.

Perth. We love our DON'T signs.

Don't walk on the bike path. And don’t cycle on the footpath. The City of South Perth has got it sussed.

Saw this when out walking along the South Perth foreshore yesterday. This is a shortish piece of cycle path that runs across Sir James Mitchell Park. Most of the path that you might use on the 'Bridges' run, walk or cycle (ie around the Swan from the Narrows Bridge to the Causeway) is dual use.

So what's with this stunted section of single use cycleway? Odd.

Mr Trivia

My Riverside Calendar Shot

The Applecross foreshore last weekend.

Hot Batter

The diversity of reading material at my local chippie. Sonia Kruger on four covers. Count them. Four.

But this wasn't the most exciting thing about last night's meal. I ordered squid rings which fell apart while being deep fried; so when I got home I discovered that rather than half a dozen battered rings, I had six fried worm-shaped strips of calimari.

I think of them as squid laces. I coulda taken a picture, but what am I gonna do? record my entire life ans stick it on the Internets?

I think not.

Mr Trivia

Written Off


Sometimes it pays to read one's own 'blog. I found an interesting story in the NPR (National Public Radio) links on the right hand column (just to the right here...and down a little...there.)

The story covers the continuing downturn in money and opportunities for screenwriters in Hollywood. Read on fellow writers and curious others.

Mr Trivia

Curmudgeon Award Noms

Hey Zeitgeisters,

Put your thoughts down and respond to the nomination categories for Mr Trivia's Curmudgeon Awards 2009. Go over to the other blog and see what all the fuss is about.

Elevate the Insignificant

Mr Trivia

None Shall Sleep

For reasons that I don’t wish to fully disclose, I’ve only had two and a half hours of sleep (that knits up the ravell'd sleeve of care). I pulled a massive all-nighter and worked on a project for 32 hours straight. Because I’m an idiot, that’s why.

And as I worked and occasionally cat-napped over my computer, I found the effects of sleep deprivation were interesting. Interesting in a – I wish this was happening to someone else – kind of way, but the situation and the attendant pain were self-inflicted, so I can't whinge here.

The music from the computer was turned up loud in a misguided attempt to keep me from nodding off. And yet every hour or so I woke in the midst of an 80s or 90s pop song like My Sharona from THE KNACK, wondering what the hell I was doing .

Every time it took me 5 to 10 seconds to pull together the threads. “You’re writing an article, and you are looking to intersperse this paragraph of interview with biographical information to give this some context. …



I was in the supermarket yesterday deciding whether I could be brilliant with 800 grams of chicken and how many meals I could spread it over. I examined my Inner-Donna-Hay and thought about the staggering array of recipes that I have on hand IN MY MIND at any given moment of the day.

Pasta - check. Curry - check. Hmmm oh yes... then some bold and surprising combinations a la TV's Surprise Chef. Remember how Chef Aristos would turn up in a supermarket and transform the contents of some Hapless Bystander's shopping trolley into a meal fit for a segment of a network television show?

And we'd watch as the Hapless Bystander family chowed down on Ice-Cream Poulet au Gratin or something similarly domestic but with a daring tinge that was all Aristos. I found myself thinking about Aristos Papandroulakis and wondering why he wasn't back on our screens, yet. Yield, gods of telly - YIELD!

A woman was standing next to me, also deep in apparent thought, when her daught…

Hard Rubbish

ABOVE: A treasure trove for the discerning collector.

I have a friend who loves those annual verge-side garbage collections run by local municipalities. She and her boyfriend keep an eye out for furniture whenever their suburb, one of Perth's ritzy, western ones, has its call for "hard rubbish."

I find the act of ditching my stuff produces an emotional response in me. I have no problem throwing things away, I just don't like seeing my scaly neighbours and random strangers pawing through my possessions on the front lawn. Imagine your despised next-door-but-one, touching your worn-out Tamagotchi or perhaps fondling your collection of used ointment applicators. Noooo!

As I was taking a walk on the weekend, I went around a nearby corner and gave a quick nod to a woman and her son who were carrying an old sideboard out to the kerb. She ignored me, possibly because I was walking on 'her' verge and also because she was spending a lot of energy getting worked up over th…

Call Me Mister

I was ordering takeaway food on the telephone and I ended the call by saying my name was Mr (Actual Surname). Miss Pink chortled at me. I hung up the phone and asked her what was so amusing. “Why didn’t you just give your first name?” she asked. I replied that I always leave my surname and that I expected to be addressed as Mister. And then it was on, baby.

Miss Pink pointed out that I have a history of class dissent. Specifically bitching about the treatment of workers by employers and here I was treating the restaurant-wallahs in a high-handed fashion by expecting to be addressed as though I were their superior.

To background this discussion a little further, her family is dyed-in-the-wool Liberal and mine is irrevocably Labor. Although she has been known to swing her vote occasionally and I have sometimes not voted for the benighted Australian Labor Party, I have never voted for the Libs. I could, I guess, around about the time they install a Fujitsu in Hell.

Further, this discussio…

Mr Trivia's Other Blog Wants You

Oh Yez, Zeitgeisters,

Mr Trivia is back here and he's back over there at

I have posts on Eurasian of the Week, my searing Art and how sometimes they do save the Best For Last at the movies. Check it out, folks.

Or if you're feeling a bit rebellious and just don't wanna, click this link and go to Stuff White People Like instead.

Mr Trivia

A Snowball's Chance

Yeah, I know, I’ve been away. I needed quiet. Bland food. Lots of mood-altering prescription drugs. Also I was rearranging my limitless CD collection according to VIN number (no correspondence on either the non-existence of a CD VIN number, nor the use of the inherent tautology of the term Vin Number, please.)

You? Really? “One Ring To Rule Them All”, you say. That was you? Why didn’t you just fly on the back of a Giant Eagle to Mount Doom? Hahaha! Yeah, it’s an oldie but a goodie.

So I was thinkin’ - If you had access to a Time Machine and no real ambition to stamp out Climate Change nor a megalomaniac obsession to rule the Balkan states, you could do worse than travel back to the late 1970s to get ahead of the "observational comedy" curve.

Sure, you could also use the machine to travel back in time and win big money on sporting events like that twit does in Back to The Future, but think about all the mayhem you’ll cause by getting in on the ground floor at that signal moment…



It’s hard to believe now, but when I was 17 years old, I was a bit of a geek. (Yeah, I know you believe it, just accept the rhetorical device, okay?) And one way this was evident, was my love for the Gerry Anderson television series UFO. Gerry Anderson, you’ll recall was the UK creator of the television series CAPTAIN SCARLET and THUNDERBIRDS, among others. Those were marionette based sci-fi series for kids (parodied by Parker and Stone’s TEAM AMERICA film).

Along with SPACE 1999, the series UFO was one of Anderson’s adult-oriented, live action series. The premise was that the earth was under constant attack from alien ships. And our only line of defence was a group called SHADO - Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organisation. This was all very hush-hush. So much so that SHADO was hidden underneath a Pinewood-like movie studio in England. Naturally.

The series was made in 1971. I recently bought the DVD boxed set and discovered that the things I used to like about it – co…

Shark Attractant

Not long now.

Sunday Four-Wheel Drivers



Plenty of things annoy me. And today, the thing that annoys me is four-wheel drive vehicles. Or SUVs if you wish to paradigm shift and speaks as our American cousins do.

Or to be more precise, 4WD vehicles driven on a Sunday, annoy me in particular. Yesterday (or earlier today because I haven’t slept yet) I was accosted with a number 4WD Sunday Drivers whilst making my appointed round.

I saw people driving their massive vee-hicles with the speed and dexterity of a Manatee with a head cold. Long decisions. Which way do I go? Slo-o-o-w turns. Turnings so slow they would annoy John Hiatt.*

Listen 4WD people, you’re high up, you’re driving a Panzer Tank. You’re dangerous because of your limited vision of short things near the ground and you move with the speed of a Royal Commission.

Learn to drive your huge vee-hick-le.


You drive a 4WD/SUV?

Yeah, but I’m not talking about you, am I?

You’re responsible. An excellent driver.

Mr Trivia

*This gag is gold. Go on, click on …



When this video plays on the YouTube it magically makes an algorithmic link with clips of Tony Shaloub as the character of Monk the OCD Detective. This film is nothing so good as that rich series. If you haven't seen it, Monk the television program is like The Commish if the commish had a series of phobias and a disorder. Or a diluted Dexter. (Whatever, right?).

This video is none of those things. It's a Creative Commons piece of near-genius that I put together using material from and one very old joke (public domain).

Elevate the Insignificant

Mr Trivia

Mr Trivia's Art Film


If I hadn't made this myself, I might describe this video as subtle, haunting, enigmatic and redolent in imagery. However modesty forbids me from carrying on in that porkchop-esque fashion.

Please enjoy The Satellite Death From Above Show.

Art for Art's sake

Mr Trivia

Just Kidding


Over at my other house, mr a number of people seemed not to understand that I was kidding about Chad Smith of the Chili Peppers and Will Ferrell the actor, being the same person. So today I published a disclaimer at the head of the post because I was a bit tired of fan boys replying with insulting comments suggesting which part of my body I could take my head out of, if I really thought Smith and Ferrell were the same person.

This world-shattering post has been out there for more than a year and it catches a surprising amount of traffic considering how little it is saying.

I mean it was a joke. Now LaToya and Michael Jackson, THEY are the same person...

Elevate the Insignificant,

Mr Trivia

Shivering Geoff - Episode 8

Not a superhero. Not really a hero. Just a man with a man's courage. Standing in front of you asking you to love him. He's an avatar of change, an icon of stasis, a symbol of the contradictions within the human psyche. And his golf handicap is 8. Meet him. And watch him watching them, talking about stuff. Be part of Australia's newest existential crush - Shivering Geoff!

Mr Trivia

Jonesy, Pat and Our Nic


Over at we've mentioned the awesomeness of the unusual Tom Jones and we have a retro sighting of Nicole Kidman in an old Pat Wilson music video. Yep, that one.

So pop along there, when you're done here.

Elevate the Insignificant


Who Is Eleanor of Aquitaine?


You woke up this morning asking the above question. Well, it turns out that she was somewhat of a rock-star back in the day. Anyone who read that last description and cringed, nay, reached for their mouse to click on ‘comments’ should probably not read any further. It may get a whole lot worse for you, history fans.

Yep, turns out she was like Elizabeth Taylor, Hillary Clinton, Jane Fonda and Angelina Jolie all rolled into one kick-ass Middle Ages super woman.

According to the Wikipedia:

Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine (1122 –1 April 1204) was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in Europe during the High Middle Ages.

Eleanor succeeded her father as Duchess of Aquitaine and Countess of Poitiers at the age of fifteen, and thus became the most eligible bride in Europe. Three months after her accession she married Louis, son and junior co-ruler of her guardian, King Louis VI. As Queen of the Franks, she participated in the unsuccessful Second Crusade. Soon after the Cr…