Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why Indeed

Cate has taken a few hours off here and there and we have been watching some episodes of ‘Deadliest Catch’. This is a TV series about fishermen who sail out of Dutch Harbor in Alaska to catch crabs. It is reputed to be the most dangerous job in the world – some 50 fishermen have died during the last ten years.

This happens mainly because the water is so (2° C) cold and if you fall in without an immersion suit you die within a few minutes. In the first series a boat sank and five fisherman were lost.

Now – it is not the most dangerous occupation – that would be the realm of something like coal mining in China where hundreds die each year – but these are Chinese and to TV Producers don’t really count - so I take the point.

It is indeed a scary job and we watch it mainly to see these tiny boats plowing through mountainous seas – and thanking our lucky stars that we are not on them but instead are in front of a fire with three cats.

We have been in some very scary seas while diving. It is a most unpleasant experience which is made much, much worse if you happen to be seasick at the time. If you have not been seasick my advice to you is to avoid it strenuously. Believe me – you will not have a good time.

I was browsing the latest edition of Vanity Fair (We received it a while ago but Cate purloined it to take to the Gym and I have just retrieved it) and my attention was drawn to an article about a yacht named ‘WHY’.

This is indeed the Godzilla of yachts – and certainly the weirdest shape I have ever seen for a boat of any kind - sort of like an electronic sea-going Krapfen. It is 58 metres by 38 metres. It has its own beach, spa, music room, swimming pool and helipad. It can carry 12 passengers and 20 crew.


The builders say, apparently without a hint of irony, that it is environmentally friendly. Well – it is probably better than a coal-fired power station – but I would say only just. WHY indeed!

But – for something more useful

You may not be aware of the Presidential Prayer Team but I urge you to visit it because, believe me, the President is going to need all the help he can get during the next few years.


Now not everyone thinks the President should be prayed for. I checked the site after the inauguration and it was apparent that some Christians pray only for white people. Indeed – some left comments that were – shall we say – un-Christian.

Enough are hanging on to make a difference – but it’s a been a bit difficult so far because there isn’t a single Republican in Congress who is prepared to vote for any piece of legislation that the President brings forward – now or ever. The dogs are really pissing on the President's swag and he's in more shit than a Werribbee Duck.

More prayer required is what I say. Get on with it! We really need to get something done before President Palin arrives and sends us all down the gurgler.


  1. Maybe I'm your only regular reader who's so out of touch with the world at large, and our native land in particular, that I had no idea whatsoever why Werribee ducks have the reputation of being shitty. I had no trouble obtaining the missing knowledge, which I can now transmit to any other ignoramuses like me. Werribee is a suburb to the west of Melbourne (Victoria, Australia). Apparently, this municipality (located not far from the ocean) is the terminus for sewage from the metropolis of Melbourne. You can easily imagine the state of an unsuspecting duck that decides to alight here and waddle around for a while in the Werribee mud. I'm told that Victorian children learn at school: If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck, but smells of shit, then it's probably a Werribee duck.

  2. Could you for once just find something normal about America to write about? I mean, there has to be *something* remotely benign and non-embarrassing in our culture. Linens. We produce some nice and very affordable linens. Excellent coffee. NPR. That's all I can come up with on the spot, but I'm sure there's more.

  3. Badger I am on my knees on the marbled floor of a European airport departure lounge.

  4. I have just been reading your link to PPT and the comments that ensue therefrom. Absolutely staggering.
    I wonder if Her Majesty has one.

  5. 'I wonder if Her Majesty has one.'

    Yes - it's called the Church of England...

  6. Thank you, William. Although I have lived in Australia since 1963 I had no knowledge of Werribbee ducks until you enlightened me.

    Badger, I've been confused lately by a truck named Badger Earthworks but carrying a bobcat!

    Deadliest Catch! sounds even more exciting and risky than Trawlermen that's been showing on SBS. The TV crew followed 12 fishing boats working out of Scottish ports, catching a range of seafood.