The Rose & Crown

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    ScaryB @scaryb

    *Waves @Purofilion*

    Just noticed reports of Brisbane mega-storm, with impressive pics of monster hailstones – good to hear you are OK. (And hope Mr Ilion’s doing OK in his “hotel”. Sounds like a much better option to his school at the mo).



    Anonymous @

    @scaryb  thank you and waving back. Actually, he’s at cricket sitting in a chair with ppl bringing him ice -lucky bugger. He was in hospital for double checks and ensuring the heat didn’t increase blood pressure but as today is Boy Ilion’s birthday, he came home and will go back tomorrow evening. Then, after the op, he’ll be in intensive care for about 6 days -it keeps changing and then in the general ward for another week and a half. As I mentioned On the Sofa, it does you good to get out and do other things!

    It’s flamin’ hot but I imagine the cold is more dangerous -snow, grey ice on roads which I’ve never attempted to drive on -having walked on it on several occasions and ended up on fanny! (poor Fanny) -I’m not sure I want to do THAT again.

    Yes, we were lucky with storm, more a ‘picture paradise’ for the Boy who wanted to take selfies with brick sized  hail -not joking. Some were that huge but melted fast as the ground heat was impressive. Other areas, not lucky at all. Whole trees felled and landed, !splat! on cars, with ppl having just exited! Is it me, or are storms and dangerous climate conditions on the increase? Could it be that the media is more aware of this and so it’s publicised with more veracity? @pedant and @phaseshift with various stats up sleeves would know answers to this. Also, I guess, we’re all into the climate change argument although Brisbaners tend to conservatism (after Joh Bjelke Petersen as premier 30 years ago) and believe Climate Change is something cooked up by the Labour Party to terrify the electorate.

    Kindest, puro

    Kindest, puro.



    ScaryB @scaryb


    The pics on various websites were impressive – and it always brings it home more when you know someone in the affected areas. The general predictions for global warming are for more extremes of weather. The stats I’ve seen seem to bear that out, with more instances of hottest, wettest years (in UK) being since 2000. Us Scots seem to have drawn the short straw of more wetness in summer.  And less snow to play with in the winter.

    Ah, but it’s the weekend. And we’re in the pub. And there’s a drink of your chosing behind the bar for when you get finished mopping up. And adolescent b’day parties! Cheers 🙂

    Arbutus @arbutus

    Well. I thought I’d had a hectic week due to the insanity of pre-season high school basketball. But goodness, @purofilion, what a shocking time you’ve had. I’m glad you and your family are all okay. It’s absolutely astonishing and very fortunate that no one died, but such a mess (literally and figuratively) for so many. Happy birthday to Boy Ilion, I imagine it’s one he won’t forget! (48 hours, BTW, good grief.)

    @scaryb   Climate change definitely affects different areas in different ways. In Vancouver, we get longer, dryer, hotter summers than we used to get, whereas Alberta has done the opposite, and now gets wetter summers than historically. (Note that when I say “hotter”, I mean relative to our usual temperate stats; our hottest summer days would probably seem pleasantly moderate to Puro!)

    Anonymous @

    @scaryb @arbutus  thank you! Yes, hectic but, you know, everyone, here and elsewhere experiences ‘seasons’ of difficulties and times of trouble. In one way, the heat could be worse. We have Air Con, we have a fridge and a local gas station to buy bags of ice. However hot it is here, it’s worse in far North QLD where a slowly swirling, dust encrusted fan is the only moving ‘air’. The surprise party was very fun. Boy Ilion arrived at venue confused: “why are those people here? What is this? How am I going to explain why I didn’t invite all these people?”  “Eer, son, they are here for you!”  “whatdayamean?, for me??” I was not the adult responsible (a friend of mine was as we really don’t ‘do’ parties) but it sure was fun and, arbutus, it wasn’t too hot? Maybe 29 degrees and 85% humidity. Ok, pretty ick, but bearable.  Kindest, puro.



    Although the informed statistician would never attribute any single weather event to global warming, increased frequency and amplitude (at both the hot and low ends of the scale) are expected (think of heating a bowl of water and how its internal circulation accelerates, then try to predict the temperature in any single spot).

    And it is not just the media being on high alert. 11 of the worst 19 Hurricanes in history have occured since 1989, with 6 of those since 2003. The technical term for people who think climate change is a scientists’ conspiracy is ‘moron’.

    Here is some stuff I wrote about it a few months back, when I was playing with the core data: Heating the cauldron.

    On a separate note here is a little thing I wrote in response to the awful cricket accident this week.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @pedant. Well said. (especially the line about the technical term for climate change denialists.) I would add a smilie but it is not a topic to smile about. I am dreading this summer. 47c is no fun at all, especially when I watch my garden is withering.



    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    What ho!

    Well – Black Friday. What a to do. I’ve just read a couple of comments from @scaryb and @purofilion on the Sofa, and thought I’d continue here.

    No, puro, Black Friday has never been “a thing” in the UK at all, and I’ve been reading the reports of “chaos on the High Street” with interest.

    For me, this period has always been special for entirely selfish reasons. It’s my Birthday on the 27th and it’s invaluable to have a Birthday exactly 28 days before Christmas because it’s like an annual reminder that I have that amount of time to get my shit together and buy relevant people prezzies.

    So, this year I was working overnight on my Birthday. As I finished and got back to town at about 8am, I agreed to meet people in town for a little late celebration. Traditional breakfasts in Weatherspoons and a few celebratory “after work drinks” (can I just add how great modern licensing laws are – Real ale at 8a.m. may make people shudder but it worked remarkably well). Afterwards, fuelled by that feeling you get when you’re overtired and your body clock is out of whack, and supplemented by nourishing alcoholic beverages I resolved to stagger to a couple of places to pick up needed consumables before setting off home where my bed awaited me.

    Lurching along, I thought I was hallucinating slightly. Lots of “BLACK FRIDAY SALE” signs in shop windows. Followed by more exclamation marks than seemly. There really is no need for them, or the concept of Black Friday in the UK.

    But of course, like my Birthday warning, this is the opening salvo of the retailers on the good people of the UK. For weeks they’ve been subtly changing the stores. The incursion of Christmas tat. The wider availability of Sprouts and so forth. Chestnuts. Biscuit selection tins. Now its time people – only four weeks left. Get buying!

    It’s horribly calculated for a number of reasons. The reports you read of argy bargy in various stores show that a calculated plan has worked. On an artificial day, the big retainers have decided to hugely downmark very limited quantities of desirable stock. They’ll make a loss on them. They’re crazily generous, those retailers. The official reason is to get “footfall” in the stores so people will see all the wondrous offerings for this year. That’s partly justified, but the marketers will also tell you those stores are really hoping that things will kick off. They hope there’ll be pushing and shoving. They want massive queues and greedy people feeling disgruntled that they haven’t been able to get their noses in the trough.

    Because they want those reports in the press. Tesco don’t really care about being accused of lack of preparedness by the Police. They care about national headlines that imply that the great deals in Tesco had people rioting. Check us out, you stupid people who shop at other stores. They were entirely prepared, having seeded the locations of likely trouble to accommodating seedy journalists. It’s a play in the game started by another retailer, TK Maxx, whose store openings were riotous affairs for exactly the same reason. Forget the lack of preparedness, the Police should be charging Tesco with incitement to riot.

    Because there is no real reason for Black Friday.

    It’s here though, and I think it’ll just get worse as more stores will join in. To compete, which is the name of the game. I can see it becoming an established public holiday. Hallmark will release Celebratory cards with “I hope you survive Black Friday!!!!!” jokes. The opportunists for the quick buck will print “My mum went out on Black Friday, and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt” t-shirts. Because we all love a special day, even if there is nothing special about it.

    I hate humanity.

    ScaryB @scaryb


    That’s a depressingly spot on analysis. Stores are desperate for trade, but with Black Friday they seem to be selling their souls to the devil to get it (so long as he has a valid credit card). Especially since shoppers seem to have wised up to the inevitable post Christmas sales, some of which start on Boxing Day, even before the Xmas dinner hangover/indigestion has had a chance to kick in. The same thing happened to Hallowe’en (tho that is at least a “day” in its own right). But the thing I used to love about it was its very uncommerciality, home made costumes, the general messiness and spookiness. It marked the end of autumn and the beginning of the headlong rush into the dark days of winter, with Christmas as a sparkly shiny beacon in the distance marking “halfway out of the dark”.  And the start  of the tangerine season 😉

    Resistance is not futile tho.  Just acquire yourself an empty cyber-head or similar sensory deprivation device for whenever you go out, then celebrate in your own way.

    But at least “they” can’t touch your birthday. Sounds like you had a good day. Liquid breakfast at 8am indeed!  And you’re back in the pub on Saturday morning. Oh I spose I’d better get you a pint then 🙂

    ScaryB @scaryb


    Thanks for the blog links.  Interesting reads as always.

    The technical term for people who think climate change is a scientists’ conspiracy is ‘moron’.

    or “banker”


    Arbutus @arbutus

    @phaseshift    Happy birthday! (Raises mug of tea because it’s only 9am here and I just don’t have your stamina!)

    I couldn’t agree more on the subject of Black Friday. We’ve just been starting to see it happen in Canada, but in Vancouver at least, it doesn’t seem to have been a particularly big deal. Possibly because it’s not actually a day off work here, as it is for so many in the US. We have traditionally had the Boxing Day sales, and they were crazy, but you never seemed to hear about the horrible behaviour that has become commonplace in recent times.

    @pedant    Nice post on the cricket tragedy. And seconding others regarding the technical term for climate change deniers!  🙂


    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @phaseshift Happy belated birthday! Sounds like you had fun in style.

    Urgh yes Black Friday is a hideous idea. As a counter-point I enjoy the Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping

    Anonymous @

    @phaseshift  happy birthday – belated. Amazing there’s such a thing as a café selling grog at 8 am. In Brisbane? Never! Part of Bjelke Petersen’s conservatism and the Oirish arrivals, possibly (actually, no, that doesn’t make sense). The response re: Black Friday was, well (and I never use this word, OK?), awesome. It should be ‘blogged’ – if that’s a thing! I totally see now, having watched on ABC TV, rioters looking messy and nasty, that the stores were at fault, though as I watched it, I too said: “see Ilions, it’s the people: we’re all going to shit. The end.” Boy Ilion said “should we head for the bath?” No, nothing too weird, but I always said “should there be a riot or a cyclone, hide in the cast iron bath, you’ll be safe” (a la Lethal Weapon)

    Belateds, puro

    Anonymous @


    sorry I didn’t get that notification. What a great article and so right about the bowler, SA. We put a cricket bat and cap outside of our house. Many others did too. It’s still there (!). As for climate change the designation, “moron”, is so true. I hear the opposite end of the ‘argument’ here. What a joke.


    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @scaryb @arbutus @juniperfish @purofilion

    Many thanks for the Birthday wishes. I ache and feel every inch my 45 years.

    The “day” was limited because it’s amazing the amount of people who will decline an invitation to a “Beer’n’bangers” party to be held at 8a.m. I don’t know what the world is coming to? 😀

    I’ve said in the past that I love the Autumn/Winter season. The one drawback is the relentless march of the stores to encourage me to buy more shit. Either for me, or for another person.

    I realise this has always been the way, but every year it seems to get a little more desperate and tawdry. I think I may have been spoiled by the “perfect” shopping day when I was 19. I’ll explain some other time.

    Till then, the ultimate Christmas Jingle (By Chris Cringle).

    janetteB @janetteb

    Happy Birthday @phaseshift. (if belated) I insidious spread of “Black Friday” is a inevitability in the age of the internet. I fear it is only a matter of time before it spreads here which will make me grateful for living in a town almost entirely bereft of shops. I find that shopping becomes increasingly less appealing as all the interesting little shops, the small businesses drown under the corporate wave and all we are left with is the big, anodyne stores which all sell same old mass produced, made by slave labour crap.

    Still I am going to put up the Christmas tree this afternoon, get the boys decorating and play Christmas music. I will have fun and I am looking forward to Christmas, not least because there will be Dr Who, Battle of the Five Armies, (comes out Boxing Day here) and maybe, fingers tripple crossed, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. (I think the later may screen in January.)




    Anonymous @

    @phaseshift  thank you for the Lehrer:  always welcome and always so relevant after these years.


    thank you.

    For what?


    After our discussion, Boy Ilion wanted to see Buffy so for his 13th I bought Seasons 1 & 2. After various mentions on this site of the ‘Whedon-esque’ I was thoroughly surprised. The first ‘hahaha’ belly laugh from little Ilion came when Buffy, choosing outfits for the big night says “Hello, I’m Slut” or, when checking out a perfectly nice blue-flowered dress, laughs: “hi, would you like a copy of the Watch Tower?”

    Ilion summed it up by stating, “this show has a background before it even starts and doesn’t feel the need to spell everything out”. Additionally, I thought that the dialogue (in this day of formulaic action and introductions in the style of Burn Notice and CSI) was superbly quick and unexpected -hampered by the lack of subtitles unfortunately.

    Anthony Head -what a marvellous surprise. I’m sure he becomes a ‘colleague’ of the Buffy group containing Willow and perhaps the nutty Cordelia?

    So, without ingratiating behaviour, I want to thank you for introducing me to the Big Buff!

    Kindest, puro



    And you haven’t even met Faith or The Mayor yet…

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @purofilion — you’re discovering Buffy for the first time. I’m so jealous. Maybe we should have a group watch of some Buffy at some point, ponder its influence on NuWho and all that.

    Oh and belated birthday greetings, @phaseshift.

    Katharine @katharine

    A group watch of Buffy sounds fun! I never feel confident enough about my Who knowledge to contribute to discussions here, though I lurk a lot, but I’m an old Buffy fan (in both senses of ‘old’, regrettably), which I watched from series 1 with my teenage children (now in their thirties!). Buffy could make you laugh like a drain, terrify you (sometimes both at the same time – ‘Hush’, anyone?), and explored human emotions honestly and deeply (The Body). It’s a good while since I rewatched, but I do remember that RTD quite deliberately used Buffy as a model for Nu-Who. Mind you, the rancorousness BTL on the Grauniad’s Who blogs is as nothing compared to the old Buffy flame wars…

    And yes, Anthony Head only gets better and better as Giles; one of my favourite characters.



    Apparently the official SMG fan site had a blanket ban on all shipping discussion (before Television Without Pity disappeared up its own fundament my user id was ShippingIsEvil, so obv this amuses me greatly). The old Usenet groups were often rendered unusable by moist 15 year-old girls of all ages and genders.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Apparently the official SMG fan site had a blanket ban on all shipping discussion

    I’m not surprised. The Bangel versus Spuffy debates could get … nasty. 😈

    [For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, think RTD vs Moffat debates with added angst]

    and @phaseshift – happy belated birthday. 🙂



    General point if we do a Buffy fest – there are entire episode *concepts* that @purofilion knows nothing about and it would be awful to spoil them – you know the one’s I mean (I knew somebody who had had no warning about a certain Season 6 episode and it totally blew his mind).

    So tread carefully and considerately.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    What, you mean we can’t mention – ?

    What about – ?


    Not even – ?

    Bugger. 😉




    And definitely don’t mention the greatest exercise in misdirection of all time….

    (We’re just taunting you now @purofilion – like @jimthefish I am profoundly envious that you are discovering BtVS for the first time)

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Oooh… a Buffy fest… that’d get my vote. It’s a long long way between Christmas and (presumably) late August.


    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish @katharine @bluesqueakpip  @pedant  thank you for your spoiler-free and rather funny discussion there. It’s most kind of you not to tell me the one about the ‘thing’ and the other great ‘thing’ as well as the biggest secret of all time…thing…

    no doubt there will be misdirection and confusion. I wonder about the character who always appears in good dramas; neither pro or antagonist, he’s the one who offers ‘help’ or ‘advice’ but sits on the fence and watches with quiet menace…not sure of his name in Buffy.

    Shame Jessse got the bite…I recall this actor in a number of other (not very good) series. Anyway, that was ep 1 and 2 and so, now, I shall say no more in case ppl have forgotten, don’t want reminders because they don’t particularly like it etc… The fact that Boy Ilion enjoys it impresses me despite the hair do, the makeup; all glossy and silvery, the ‘not so white they’re blue’ teeth etc…

    Having said this, I’m not against the ’90s at all; even with the gloss and the big hair (a left over from the ’80s). Every decade had its great shows: Poirot with David Suchet, the beginning of The West Wing, Chicago Hope and even (despite its formula TV style) ER (which should have ended sooner) with the glorious A. Kingston.

    Katharine @katharine

    @purofilion – ER at its peak was genuinely terrific TV, though, as you say, went on too long; but at least they managed to finish it in some style. Some of my favourite series have had real trouble with satisfactory endings (I’m thinking especially of BSG, having never had the same emotional attachment to Lost), while one of the best of all, Deadwood, was cut off without an ending of any kind (see also Angel and Firefly). I still enjoy reruns of Poirot, but never got into West Wing – too late now?

    I echo others – if you’ve only seen episodes 1 and 2 of season 1 of Buffy, what an amazing treat you have coming. The first season is immensely entertaining, but it takes a step up in season 2. Quiet menace? Sounds like Angel to me…

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @pedant @purofilion and @ all — yes, indeed if we do a Buffy-fest great care must be taken not to spoil the later episodes for puro, or anyone else who hasn’t got that far. Though I suspect that once puro gets into the swing of the show she’ll want to race through all the seasons in quick order. That’s usually what happens.

    @katharine — I know there were plans for a season six of Angel, and we did see some of it in the comics, but the show feels kind of complete to me. I far prefer the finale of Angel to Buffy’s if I’m honest.



    Incidentally, now you have started on Buffy, when you hit Season 4 you will have to start watching Angel “in sync” – Buffy first, then Angel. The reason becomes obvious fairly quickly.

    Katharine @katharine

    @jimthefish Agreed, very careful about spoilers. As far as Angel goes, I suppose I feel cheated of the season already planned by JW, because he had to wrap it all up without much warning; but he did do it pretty well. I have very mixed feelings about the end of Buffy – it didn’t help that teasers about the upcoming season of Angel spoiled a major plot point, diminishing its emotional punch; and if I will never forgive David Milch for abandoning Deadwood in favour of John from Cincinnati, I was also not thrilled by JW taking his eye off Buffy because he had a new toy to play with in Firefly. I did look at the online comics, but I don’t really get on with them as a form and found I didn’t care about what happened in them.

    DrBen @drben

    Any Supernatural fans?  A number of DW obsessives have told me that Supernatural should be next on my list.

    I have heard, however, that seasons 1 and 2 may be too scary for my DW-obsessed 11-year-old.  Any insights?

    LadyBlackwater @ladyblackwater

    I am currently writing a thesis paper on the effects of fiction on audiences. I am also a hard core Whovian. I could really use your help.

    Please reply on here or  at the base page.



    Anonymous @

    @drben   no no no no no no don’t let them watch it: I love it and the 13 yr old loved it. Except I made the MA stuff PG by fast forwarding everything naughty: really a lot of it is soft porn which begs the question, why am I watching it? Now Buffy on the other hand, so far, v little blood and very little kissing. When I mean naughty I mean athletic sex and lots of muscles and boobs

    Hope this helps 🙂

    Anonymous @

    @pedant ‘angel’ as in THE Angel dude?  I swear I know the actor from some ad: is it Bones or something moronic? (oops, sorry Bones fans)

    DrBen @drben

    Very helpful @purofilion – thank you!

    Mrs. DrBen and I were huge Buffy fans back in the day, and we’re waiting until DrBen Jr. is 13 before watching that with him (or Firefly, for that matter).  So if Supernatural is more adult than that, we’ll certainly wait.  Thanks!

    Anonymous @

    @drben the reason I watch Supernatural is that the two main characters have a great charisma together (not the right word). They have sex appeal . They have the ability to act brilliantly together. But, it’s formulaic and predictable (except for Mark A Sheppard who is magnificent) and should not have gone on for 9+ years. The eldest brother, Dean, is funny and adroit. Together, they quite special.



    Anonymous @

    @katharine  I’ll do a pedant (but sad imitation of): The West Wing is the single best show of its genre: a political show (well, its the White House) with astounding writing by Aaron Sorkin and directed by some fellas you’ll recognise elsewhere!  At one point it would have won at least 10 Emmys with performances and wit, that today, in a PG show, hardly ever sees the light of day. It’s never too late for The West Wing. Copies of Season 1 & 2 are available in stores at reasonable prices with sub titles and lots of extras. Make the Leap.


    Do it.

    Or: ‘You’re Worth It’

    Anonymous @

    @katharine I don’t know Deadwood? @janetteb do you?  Are we referring to Ed Wood? As in ‘I feel like I’m in a room or scene filmed by Ed Wood’. Probably not!


    @purofilion – there is a shake up at a critical moment that both broadens and deepens the Buffyverse.

    @katharine – I fully endorse all that puro says about the West Wing. you can get the boxed set for less that £50 now. Totally worth it.

    Craig @craig

    @ All Chat in the pub has now decanted to the next pub, The Cloven Hoof. We’re on a very slow pub crawl, don’t you know. I’d be obliged if you’d join us. Chin chin.

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