Tipping time coming up

You may review my earlier triumphs and tragedies here. An example:

Tipping — off!

This round of the NRL began promisingly as far as my entry in the City Diggers Tipping Competition went. But then came Saturday! Now for your information I chose:

Thursday: Roosters — yes!

Friday: Storm — yes! And then the rot set in as I chose Broncos, but how close was that!

Saturday: Alas! Titans, Sea Eagles (shame on me, I know!), Raiders…

Today: Tigers, Dragons. Surely I must at least equal last week’s dismal three correct?

Update: Well, it did get worse!  Panthers are celebrating a 36-2 thumping of the Tigers; Dragons 16 – 34 Eels. Woe is me!

Meanwhile, there was another competition in Western Australia, and I got that one right, as did just about everyone else.

This year it appears that City Diggers is not having a tipping comp [NOT SO!**], so I am moving my legendary skills down Burelli Street to Steelers. I am told there is a good cash prize there — and a prize for coming last! Mind you, failing to tip any winners is next to impossible!

For reference purposes: 2018 NRL Draw. The season starts on Thursday:

ROUND 1

Thursday, March 8 Dragons v Broncos, UOW Jubilee Stadium, 7.50pm (AEDT)

Friday, March 9 Knights v Sea Eagles, McDonald Jones Stadium, 6pm (AEDT)

Cowboys v Sharks, 1300SMILES Stadium, 7.50pm (AEDT)

Saturday, March 10 Wests Tigers v Roosters, ANZ Stadium, 4pm (AEDT)

Rabbitohs v Warriors, Perth Stadium, 7pm (AEDT)

Bulldogs v Storm, Perth Stadium, 9pm (AEDT)

Sunday, March 11 Panthers v Eels, Panthers Stadium, 4.10pm (AEDT)

Titans v Raiders, CBus Super Stadium, 6.30pm (AEDT)

Hmmm….

** UPDATE

Come March and the signs have now gone up. Diggers is having a tipping comp after all! Be interesting to see what the participation rate is. I’ll do both Diggers and Steelers.

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Asian-Australian sitcoms — and a reflection

Here are Benjamin Law, Australian writer, and Trystan Go who plays Benjamin in the sitcom The Family Law, now in its second season on SBS.

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The casting has been brilliant. One of the funniest things I have seen on TV lately was in Episode 2 where a drama teacher uses off-the-wall casting techniques whereby young Benjamin gets the role of Medea after a melt-down in the school toilets. Looking forward to how that plotline develops. On Trystan Go:

The actor, whose theatre credits include The King And I, plays Benjamin Law in the small screen adaptation of the best-selling memoir about life on the Sunshine Coast in 1990s Queensland…

“When I read the scripts, I could really see that I’d enjoy playing Ben,” Go recalls.

“The things he does are so wacky and weird. Ben is funny, without trying to be — a real showman. He’s intense too, a bit self-centred, but also really courageous. He’s trying to get his family back together, so he’s full of heart.”

The cast:

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On a rather serious note, Benjamin Law writes in The Good Weekend today: I’d love an Asian-Australian family on TV to be unremarkable.

…I used to think Australia was overwhelmingly white, too. I didn’t have the internet as a kid, and TV told me Australia was nearly 100 per cent Anglo. It was only when I moved to the city that I saw Australia for what it is: one of the most diverse nations on earth. According to analysis by Screen Australia based on the 2011 census, Australia was 67 per cent Anglo-Celtic, 12 per cent non-Anglo European, and the remaining fifth Asian, African, South American and Indigenous. New census data released later this year will show the latter figures have jumped.

Shouldn’t we see “past” race?

Ideally, yes. But for now, no. Only when we acknowledge how ethnically diverse Australia is, can we ask whether mostly white workplaces are meritocracies. Or whether there is an excuse for overwhelmingly white TV shows. I’d love for an Asian-Australian family on TV to be unremarkable. But it’s not. So until it is, let’s keep the conversation going.

See also ‘It’s like a turducken of mums’: Benjamin Law on fact, fiction and The Family Law.

It’s hard to watch a show like The Family Law without feeling like it was crafted with a lot of love and the cast and production team are so tight-knit that, when I ask about their motivations for the show, their answers are so similar that I briefly wonder if they have been coached. Is it possible, in the age of shows as bleak and cynical as House of Cards, or Fargo, or A Handmaid’s Tale, to create television with genuine warmth and generosity? But it’s only a moment of doubt, because it’s hard to leave The Family Law without feeling like this big, sprawling family has just claimed you as a member, too.

ABC coincidentally has been screening Ronny Chieng: International Student. It has its moments, but personally I don’t find it as good as The Family Law. Too over-the-top at times, maybe?

Will my tipping be any better in Round 3?

After last week’s dismal performance — mind you, I was not alone.

It’s fair to say there were plenty of surprises in the NRL last weekend, with teams who impressed in Round 1 slumping to heavy defeats. It’s made predicting the way games will fall a bit of a nightmare, but The Roar‘s NRL expert tipping has the lowdown for Round 3.

Last week was a tough week for everyone, with Mary and Greg tying on five, the crowd picking up four, and the less said about the performance from Tim and myself, the better…

So what am I tipping?

  • Melbourne Storm vs Brisbane Broncos: Storm YES!
  • Canterbury Bulldogs vs New Zealand Warriors: Warriors NO!
  • Gold Coast Titans vs Parramatta Eels: Eels by 10 NO!
  • Newcastle Knights vs South Sydney Rabbitohs: Rabbitohs YES!!
  • Penrith Panthers vs Sydney Roosters: Panthers NO! by 2 points!
  • North Queensland Cowboys vs Manly Sea Eagles: Cowboys NO! Cowboys done like a dinner…
  • Canberra Raiders vs Wests Tigers: Raiders YES!!!
  • Cronulla Sharks vs St George Illawarra Dragons: Sharks — NO! Alas!

Given my recent form…

So, after all that just one pick better than last round!

Tipping — off!

This round of the NRL began promisingly as far as my entry in the City Diggers Tipping Competition went. But then came Saturday! Now for your information I chose:

Thursday: Roosters — yes!

Friday: Storm — yes! And then the rot set in as I chose Broncos, but how close was that!

Saturday: Alas! Titans, Sea Eagles (shame on me, I know!), Raiders…

Today: Tigers, Dragons. Surely I must at least equal last week’s dismal three correct?

Update: Well, it did get worse!  Panthers are celebrating a 36-2 thumping of the Tigers; Dragons 16 – 34 Eels. Woe is me!

Meanwhile, there was another competition in Western Australia, and I got that one right, as did just about everyone else.

With some calling the Labor win at the polls in WA a “bloodbath”, outgoing Premier Colin Barnett conceded his “best shot wasn’t good enough”.

The WA Labor party is predicted to take home the win with up to 40 seats, a result that surpassed even the most daring poll predictions.

The really good news is the dismal performance of One Nation!

Pauline Hanson has likened Colin Barnett to spoiled milk that should have been thrown out after One Nation fared worse in the WA election than she expected, blaming the result on the party’s preference deal with the Liberals.

Early results indicate the party failed to secure a lower house seat despite intense campaigning.

But it did secure at least one upper house seat, which was the objective of the preference deal, with state leader Colin Tincknell claiming the South West.

Cascading memories

Here is a series from my archives: Reflections, mostly about a chequered teaching career: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, and add mais où sont les neiges d’antan? and Life’s embarrassing moments. From the last one:

Probably my most embarrassing moment was at Dapto High when I was the age Mr R is now. I had proudly been appointed teacher-in-charge of Year 8, and hence had to sit on stage in Year 8 assemblies. Dapto had 1,400 students then, so a Year 8 assembly was quite big. It was also the way the school fulfilled its scripture quota for the week, a local clergyman saying a few words at the assembly. I somehow managed to walk up to the microphone, spotlighted, only to be greeted by considerable laughter. In best teacher mode I glared and asked what was so funny…

“Your fly’s undone, sir…”

Oh dear!

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I was wearing undies.

All this from two images that came my way via Facebook. The first I found on Dapto History in Pictures. It shows the English staff at Dapto in 1969, the year before I arrived.

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Jim Gordon was Head Teacher from 1970, Tom Dobinson having gone on to become an Inspector. He inspected me at Wollongong High in 1976. Some more memories of Dapto in 1970:

The elopement

One day a member of the English staff disappeared. This was just one of several bizarre events that year, which led to questions in parliament.

We later heard she had eloped with a reporter from the local newspaper.

Skinny dipping

One staff member was around 22 and rode a World War II Harley Davidson, dressing to match. Otherwise he taught English and History. He was on good terms with “Animal” and other noted members of the Kings Cross biker scene. He had a wonderful place on the river at Minnamurra, a short swim (almost a walk at low tide) to the sandspit and beach. Many a good staff party happened there, and one warm night swimming was definitely the go. It wasn’t low tide, though, so he rowed across with his assortment of English teachers. I recall one Brian being counselled about guarding his Catholic manhood as in the then state of undress he stumbled getting into the boat almost bringing the gunwale into firm collision with his private parts.

Fortunately no-one drowned.

It’s not a good idea, kiddies, to go surfing in the dark, especially when intoxicated and there are sharks about.

The teacher who threw things out of windows

He was in fact rather popular, but when a child especially annoyed him he would, after several warnings, grab everything off the child’s desk and throw said belongings (but not the child) out the second floor window. He would then send the child to collect them. I got quite a shock when I first witnessed this.

I am sure conservatives would see this as evidence that schools today have declined in comparison with 30-40 years ago.

Breaking records

A large batch of 78rpm records destined for the school fete was stored in the staff room. One day our biker friend crept up behind someone and smashed a record over his or her head. We discovered this was painless but dramatically noisy and left very satisfying shards of black shellac everywhere. So we spent the lunch hour working through the records, not excluding any students who were foolish enough to knock on the door.

The cleaner complained.

The suit of armour

I was given the task of taking a suit of armour, a prop for the school play, to the school hall. I decided the best way was to wear it. This did get talked about for a while…

The head

I was so naive, really.

I had a class of Year 9s who were variously, well, retarded, or should I say differently abled. One of them had also been dealt a bad hand when it came to personal appearance, but was actually rather nice though occasionally given to rages. On graduation he found a job in a sheltered workshop.

The door of their classroom had a small window to enable passers-by to check on the inmates, but the glass had long gone. My young friend used to stick his head through this window and smile in a rather alarming way at people in the corridor. One day going past I asked him to pull his head in. I went further than that. Seeing he reminded me of nothing more than a moose head mounted on a wall I said, “Peter, pull your head in or I’ll mount you on the wall.”

Pleased with my wit, I recounted the story to my colleagues. “You’re so athletic, Neil,” a female teacher who later went on to considerable fame remarked.

My embarrassed blush lit the room beautifully. Honestly, governor, I meant no double-entendre!

The second picture appeared on an Illawarra Grammar ex-student’s Facebook page. Thanks, Ralph! It shows me being  “kidnapped”. As Ralph notes, “A long, long time ago …..”

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