Aussie Top Gear doesn’t suck yet

Well we’re back to reheated episodes of UK Top Gear (or new for some without UK connections :p). That means the first series of Aussie Top Gear has ended. Sure there were moments of suck, but they did end on a high. On the last episode (episode 8?) they found something truly Australian to compare: utilitarian Aussie sixes. Finally no bush, no amphibious cars, no aboriginal trackers. Just good content. For where else in the world can you find a full sized, 4 litre six for $30K. Absolutely nowhere. And no you Americans, the Ford Crown Victoria doesn’t count. Even the US Police finally realised it was a brand new 30 year old car about a year ago. So in perfectly mundane Aussie fleet cars, they’ve finally found something vital, topical and unique to review and managed to come up with an opinion. A real, insightful opinion! Blimey! Unlike their FPV vs HSV comparison which was an unmitigated waste of celluloid and tyre smoke that left people (well me) fuming. They found something unique in Aussies that I think we take pride in the basic stuff. Also the Tassie road trip was great viewing too. It’s good to see that sure we don’t have the French Riviera or the Swiss Alps, but world class roads are only a ferry ride away. Well a bloody long ferry ride. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of dead wood in the show. It’s ethnic tinged with a designer fluff beard and uses too many superlatives (especially when testing new GTRs) to try and sound clever. And despite being chosen to fill...

Lamborghini Garage Sale

So you’re walking down the street and you see a garage sale sign. Normally you might think “meh it’s probably just junk”. But wait till you see the car this garage sale sign was on! Yes only in Prahran in Melbourne will you find a Lamborghini owner having a garage sale. Sure LA is full of them, but how many owners are out there enough to have one of the most flambuoyant garage sales ever!? Yes the garage sale was the average house bric a brac for sale. Oh yes and the Lamborghini Gallardo itself, yours for $599,999.99. Bargain. Turns out the bloke didn’t have room for the big bull and his Porsches. The sale went down a few weeks ago. Sadly I haven’t seen the car since. Someone must’ve wandered past with six hundred grand burning a hole in their pocket. Ecomonic crisis, bah humbug! Sadly I couldn’t get better photos. It was a really sunny day and the camera on the iPhone sucks. Without doubt the best garage sale promo...

Eight things to do in Kuala Lumpur

OK, twice in a month I’ve been asked what are some cool things to do in KL if you only have a few days in town. I put this list together for a friend and thought it might be useful for some. These are selected highlights. Virtually all of them will be between 30 minutes to an hour from your hotel if you’re staying within KL city. So all very doable in a short time frame and a massively cool experience. 1) Go to the KLCC observation deck. it’s a big fucking tower!!! You have to climb a big fucking tower! Like how the fuck COULDN’T you climb one! It’s easy, i didn’t. But if you want to go, they only let like 5000 up to the observatory bit every day. Shopping is OK in KLCC, nothing I haven’t seen anywhere else. Watch it when you step outside though, the heat REALLY hits you in about 300 metres! Perhaps a cab to your destination might be a good idea if you’re not crazy about humidity. N.B. KL really isn’t that accessible, especially if it’s raining because you get covered in pollution. And when it’s hot, you’ll walk about 500 metres and have sweat right through your clothes! This is not really an exaggeration. You’ve been warned! Oh yeah, everything is negotiable – retail or market stand. Don’t like take any shit from no one lady! 2) See the view from KL Tower. So damn high the elevator ride is a few minutes. You can have quite a conversation going to the top. It is cheaper and easier to get...

Are Australians wine snobs?

In a recent press Johannesburg press conference, Jeremy Clarkson was asked what he thought about South African wine. His comment, ‘well it’s better than Australian wine’. Given that the poms love to go Aussie bashing, it was to be expected. But it got me thinking, has the average Aussie tried a South African wine? Australia is a definitive ‘new world’ wine country. So we should be free of the snobbery of the Champagne or Alsace region of France where appellations are mandated and chateaus centuries old. You’d think we’d be open minded about wine. Sadly not. I put it to the average ‘long in the leg, thick in the head Aussie’ that you are the world’s most unmitigated wine snob. You buy all your wine from the one shop (Dan Murphys). For those of you who came in late or are not Aussies, Dan Murphys is a booze supermarket, like a Wal Mart dedicated to everything alcoholic. Good to save a few bucks, but just like Wal Mart, you save a bundle on somethings and get totally ripped off. Worse than that, you’re not getting any story behind the wine, you hardly ever meet the makers and you’re served by some spotty git that only knows what’s good because the manager always knicks it. Their ‘cellar’ is an industrial warehouse the size of Belgium and that’s about it. There’s no guy with a beard that could tell you everything from the etymology of the name of the terroir of the soil. Secondly, all your information comes from at best two sources, Jeremy Oliver (no not the celebrity chef) and...

RIP George Carlin

Another top bloke bites the dust. George was in his early seventies but worked at a prolific pace until death. Most gen X and Yers would know him from Kevin Smith movies such as Dogma and Jersey Girl. Whilst he may not have been the pioneer that Lenny Bruce was, he made a huge contribution to the art of stand up. He used obscenity not just to offend, but hold a mirror up to America and show how ridiculous conservative thinking really was. Point in case “Selling’s legal. Fucking’s legal. Why isn’t selling fucking legal?!”While the delivery may not have been completely original, the material was. Oh yeah, and the ‘7 words you can’t say on television’ skit that almost made him the second commedian in US history (after Lenny) to be charged with obscenity in the early seventies. Post 9-11, he also got really stuck into airport security saying words to the effect of ‘it’s just to make white people feel safe’ and ‘it’s the government’s way of saying that we can fuck with you any time we want’. He also had a famous altercation on Fox news that saw an interview end in furore and argument when he refused to tow the Republican line the program was taking. Carlin basically argued the news presenter down and walked off. While he’s done so much great edgy stuff, it did take him a while to find his groove. Before he was the angry old man, he was a contemporary groovy comedian doing mostly impersonations. Which don’t really work today in all honesty. But it’s harder to appreciate an artist...

Coca is not a hell of a drug

Well I’m back from Peru and after an exhaustive customs check, I’ve got the all clear. But it did make me think of something that was topical while I was over there. See Peru has a great reputation for growing and cultivating coca. Their neighbors, specifically Columbia, an even greater reputation for taking the bi-product cocaine and selling it to the US. But it’s important to know that coca leaves and cocaine are almost mutually exclusive. So I am going bullshit detective on coca leaves get you high. Cocaine is a drug that takes a ridiculous amount of coca leaves to make. The leaves apparently are chewed until you have loads of it and somehow refined into the blow we all know in the movies. As I’ve now discovered first hand, chewing a mouth full of coca leaves will not get you high. You’d could chew all day and night and not get anywhere! What coca leaves do do is help with altitude sickness, digestion and general well being. In our travels in Peru, we actually found coca flour. It must of been made from ultra ground coca leaves. Basically it’s in a green powerdery form. A teaspoon of that in hot water a day and it will cure whatever ails you trust me! I swear by it. Very high in calcium and a bunch of vitamins too. In daily life, Peruvians especially will drink mate de coca (coca tea, basically a handful of coca leaves in hot water). Farmers chew the leaves as they work. There’s even coca lollies. They ain’t chocolate flavour but it is an acquired...