The 2017 Steve O’Keefe Cup

Greetings Tipsters


How’s your street sign recognition skills?  I’ll bet that’s picked up a bit lately, if I went back thru my photographs of India and Cambodia I could find a fair few shop fronts that’d really test the captcha.


What is it with Australia and street signs?  Next time you’re sitting at the traffic lights, count the signs.  Eleven different signs is not unusual, pointing this way and that, telling you where to go, where not to go, how to go there.  F’gawsakes, people reckon that advertising is visual pollution…


Several years ago I went to an exhibition at Sydney’s Crime Museum with my mate Sandra, we were looking at crime scene photos in Redfern and Surry Hills, we recognised the streets but there was something different about them that we couldn’t quite pick.


Until we got off the train at Redfern and walked down Lawson St.  I stopped.  There was a pic taken from that position in 1924.  The difference?  A few scraggly street trees.  One bloody heckload of streetsigns.


If you don’t do what this sign says, you will have to give $250 to the government.


J’ovah’s bloody Witness.  And people wonder why I’m a libertarian…


It used to work.  I’d tell someone I was a libertarian and they’d look at me befuddled-like and I’d say “Anarchy with a social structure”, a line I got from a gorgeous woman in a pub one night.  I wanted to marry her then and there but her boyfried was lead guitarist in the horrible band.  To his credit, he packed up and left before the set was finished.


These days, you say you’re a libertarian and folks get weird, they think you’re in favour of compulsory M16 ownership.  I’ve had the pleasure of firing an M16 from the hip on full auto and – I was firing at a target – it was one of those special moments when you lock into a piece of mechanical equipment, like flicking side to side on a motorcycle thru twisties or getting the rear wheels loose in an old Falcon or that special perfect sound of a Stratocaster in open E pumping thru an echo pedal and cranked Marshall amp.


Very Twentieth Century, that.  Those.  I miss the Twentieth Century.  It seemed simpler and easier.  Is that nostalgia?  Is that me looking at a Fifty-First birthday in late June?


I’ve been playing some rock and roll lately, flinging away at the bass guitar w Tal on drums and Dave on lead, got to writing songs.  It’s not that hard if you’ve had a bit of practice, I timed myself the other night, wrote a song about this fantastic machine, a mate posted the vid on FB, Boston meta-dynamics or something like that.  Ten minutes for the words, ten minutes for the chords.  Then two hours playing it and ruminating, should I leave an extra beat before the verse, do I need that B flat in the middle eight?


A week or two before that, I remembered something I’d said to Mum in 1973 and wrote a beauty.  If I do say so myself.  I’ve played it to a few mates and they professed impressment.


Seven Forever.  Look for it in Edels in a few weeks, it’ll be on the Alberts label.


Hot In The Kitchen will likely be the flip.  Can you really claim credit for writing a twelve bar blues?  I’d mentioned marinading pork in a group PM, Dave said something about Bo Diddley and a few minutes later I rounded it out with:


We marinaded all day, we marinaded all night

We marinaded all day, we marinaded all night

My baby and I, we got that marinade just right


I downloaded a multitrack recorder on Timothy the Tab for $10, it does everything my old Tascam Portastudio used to, which cost $400 in 1988.  Wicked pre-amps in that.


Where was I?  Ah, sports column, that’s it.


Cricket is a marvellous game, I can follow it ball by ball on cricinfo even when I can’t watch or hear it (I lost my digiradio, it’s in the house somewhere) and that Bangaluru Test was something special.  Many of the most memorable Test matches feature Australia playing in India, the famous Laxman Test, when Steve made them follow on, being the most memorable.  I’m gonna remember this one for a long while.  Shifting tides from one session to the next, it was captivating.


I tried watching BBL twice.  I saw five balls the first time, three the next.


I watched a bit of the DAFL (Dolls Australian Football League, cf 1940s slang, avoids the terrible AFLW acronym) and liked it.  I can do without the silky skills if the intent is there and it sure was.  Easy to watch a lot of skill-free games in the Big Blokes League.


The Superbowl was a killer.  Tom decided, late in the third, that he might start playing.  He didn’t miss a beat from then on.  Extraordinary performance.


The days are getting shorter, the nights longer.  A blanket came out last night.  I drove past Drummoyne Oval today and the cricket pitches were in a state of repose.  It’s that time of year.


Cheers, Tipsters


P&C, a Stop Privatisation Of Footy Production, a division of Trans-Dementia Inc.

Brought to you with the assistance of my silken pop song expertise.


About Earl O'Neill

Freelance gardener, I've thousands of books, thousands of records, one fast motorcycle and one gorgeous smart funny sexy woman. Life's pretty darn neat.


  1. jan courtin says

    Yes, Earl, The days are getting shorter, the nights longer. A blanket came out last night.

    I threw mine off an hour after bedtime though. Fan came out and kept me cool all night.

    Maybe after the footy starts and the humidity stops, my blanket will reappear.


  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I think that “marinade” may just be a euphemism, especially if it involved any lemon squeezing.

  3. we had the Thunder women teaching the young’uns at Petersham and the 7pm finish was a bit chilly. then the Hawaiian flew over from Honolulu and that beautiful girl warmed us all up.

    in terms of street signs, having now worked in road safety and regulatory roles with council, the arcane rules and signage opportunities make me semi-hard. but for the customer…. yep, you said it.

  4. Punxsu.... Pete says

    Like your sprawling, Earl. Great read. And being your age, bet we’d crossed paths at the Espy or Prince in the 80’s / 90’s (but not much the noughties, owing to my inclination to prefer a night in to a night out from my mid 40’s up.)

  5. Earl O'Neill says

    Pete, it’s not out of the question. Tho I live in Sydney, used to go down to Melbourne for Fear And Loathing weekends.
    Peter, Petersham Oval is the most beautiful cricket ground in Sydney. Local govt traffic control is at the whim of the foolish resident. And the idiot traffic engineer.

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