Tuesday, June 19, 2018
When the magic wears off #1. . .
Sue Goss divorced her billionaire husband Bill Goss in October last year after 21 years of marriage. As part of the divorce settlement hubby had to hand over the keys to the $20m former matrimonial home in Laguna Beach, California, but he was not a happy chappy. Last week Mrs Goss went to court seeking a restraining order against the ex, alleging that he had handed over the house in less than pristine condition. In particular she alleged that:
- her ex sprayed noxious scents around the house, saying she found 'fart' and 'puke' sprays in the garbage;
- the houseplants smelled foul and had to be replaced;
- the carpets were stained;
- a one of a kind art installation piece had been dismantled and removed;
- the remote controls for the televisions, drapes and other technology were all missing;
- there was water damage throughout the house;
- there were balls of human hair in the drawers;
- she found dead fish and dirt stuffed into the air vents.
She was granted her restraining order.
When the magic wears off #2 . . .
The above news item reminds me of the following story, which snopes.com categorises as an urban legend, see:
She spent the first day packing her belongings into boxes, crates and suitcases.
On the second day, she had the movers come and collect her things.
On the third day, she sat down for the last time at their beautiful dining room table by candle light, put on some soft background music and feasted on a pound of shrimp, a jar of caviar and a bottle of Chardonnay.
When she had finished, she went into each and every room and deposited a few half-eaten shrimp shells dipped in caviar, into the hollow of the curtain rods. She then cleaned up the kitchen and left.
When the husband returned with his new girlfriend, all was bliss for the first few days. Then slowly, the house began to smell. They tried everything cleaning, mopping and airing the place out.
Vents were checked for dead rodents and carpets were steam cleaned.
Air fresheners were hung everywhere. Exterminators were brought in to set off gas canisters, during which they had to move out for a few days, and in the end they even paid to replace the expensive wool carpeting.
Nothing worked. People stopped coming over to visit. Repairmen refused to work in the house. The maid quit.
Finally, they could not take the stench any longer and decided to move.
A month later, even though they had cut their price in half, they could not find a buyer for their stinky house. Word got out and eventually even the local realtors refused to return their calls.
Finally, they had to borrow a huge sum of money from the bank to purchase a new place.
The ex-wife called the man and asked how things were going. He told her the saga of the rotting house. She listened politely and said that she missed her old home terribly and would be willing to reduce her divorce settlement in exchange for getting the house back.
Knowing his ex-wife had no idea how bad the smell was, he agreed on a price that was about 1/10th of what the house had been worth, but only if she were to sign the papers that very day.
She agreed and within the hour his lawyers delivered the paperwork.
A week later the man and his girlfriend stood smiling as they watched the moving company pack everything to take to their new home......including the curtain rods.
Javier and the Road Trip:
As readers will be aware from yesterday’s post, there is a soccer comp on at the moment called the World Cup. Over in Mexico, after the 2014 World Cup finished, 5 mates came up with an idea usually seen as a movie plot: they decided they would make a road trip in 2018 to watch the World Cup being played in Russia. But 5 had to be reduced to 4 when one of the group, Javier, was prevented from going by his spouse. His mates didn’t forget him though, they took along a life size cardboard cutout of Javier, with his T shirt bearing the words “My wife didn’t let me go.” (Some readers have pointed out that the shirt reads “My old lady wouldn’t let me go” and that the lady in question is Javier’s girlfriend). It is going everywhere with them and is generously displayed.
I received an email from Steve M yesterday:
You are busy I know, Otto, but the World Cup football finals are on in Russia. If you can find time, can you please do a bytes sometime in the next week or so?
Now personally the World Cup is of only passing interest to me, unlike for instance the Tour de France which starts on 7 July and keeps me up for the next 3 weeks, although I admit that part of that fascination is looking at the gorgeous countryside and the behaviour of the spectators.
Nonetheless I appreciate that for many, the World Cup is a high point every 4 years so here are some facts and trivia . . .
The World Cup in 2018 marks the first time Russia has ever hosted this event.
The 2018 World Cup will be Russia’s 11th World Cup appearance. Their highest ever finish was 4th place in 1966.
3.2 billion people (almost half of the world’s population) tuned in to watch the 2014 World Cup.
The World Cup has been played 20 times, Brazil holds the most titles with five.
Italy and Germany are close behind with four each.
For the first time in the history of soccer, the 2002 World Cup was held in two different countries: South Korea and Japan.
The oldest goal scorer in the World Cup was Roger Milla, who was 42 in 1994 when he scored a goal for Cameroon against Russia.
It is rumoured that India withdrew from the 1950 tournament as they were not allowed to play barefoot. The Indian national team did play barefoot and FIFA did ask that shoes be worn to maintain the dignity of the World Cup but there may be an additional reason. According to India’s ‘Sports Illustrated’ magazine, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) announced that the team would not attend the World Cup, citing “disagreements over team selection, and insufficient practice time.”
One of the venues for the 2018 World Cup, Fisht Stadium in Sochi, is the same stadium that hosted the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2014 Winter Games.
The first World Cup was played in 1930. Uruguay was both the tournament host and winner that year.
I have to admit that I can't read or hear this country's name without thinking of Homer Simpson's misidentification:
The World Cup trophy went missing for 7 days in 1966, when it was stolen just prior to the tournament.
Dave Corbett at the National Football Museum with the Jules Rimet Trophy, which his dog Pickles found behind a bush whilst out on a walk.
Dave Corbett with his family and Pickles in the 1960s
The distance between the easternmost host city (Ekaterinburg) and the westernmost host city (Kaliningrad) at the 2018 World Cup is over 1500 miles. For comparison, that’s about the same distance as Moscow to London.
The average attendance per game at the 2014 World Cup was over 53,000 fans.
Belgium vs Korea Republic - Group H - 2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazil.
The highest scoring game in World Cup history was in 1954, when Austria defeated Switzerland 7-5.
24 June 1954 Austria Switzerland
The Italians have had the most number of draws in World Cup history with 21.
Of all countries that have appeared in the World Cup, Indonesia has played the least number of matches – just one in 1938.
Mexico has the most World Cup losses (25), though they do also have 14 wins and 14 draws.
While 32 teams will qualify for the 2018 tournament, the number will jump to 48 in 2026.
The most goals ever scored by one player in a World Cup match is an impressive five, by Oleg Salenko of Russia.
The World Cup winning country is rumoured to see a baby boom 9 months after the World Cup. In fact, Hyundai even created a commercial based on this fact.
The winner of the World Cup takes home a $35 million dollars. FIFA awards the runner-up $25 million. Every team that participates takes home a multi-million dollar check. Just competing in group play secures your team $8 million dollars.
In the 2002 World Cup, Turkey’s Hakan Sukur scored a goal in just 11 seconds. The goal helped the Turks defeat South Korea 3:2 and finish the tournament in 3rd place. At an unbelievable 11 seconds, Sukur holds the record for fastest goal scored in a World Cup match.
Hakan Sukur of Galatasaray celebrates with the trophy after beating Arsenal in the UEFA Cup Final
Uruguayan defender Jose Batista holds the record of the fastest red card in World Cup History. He was sent off just 56 seconds into the 1986 match after he committed a high studded slide tackle to the back of the legs of Scottish midfielder Gordon Strachan. Even with over 89 minutes of playing a man down, Uruguay was able to hold on and tie the match at 0:0.
So there you are, Steve.
Now for the Tour de France.
Monday, June 18, 2018
From the website for the Silo Art Trail at:
The Silo Art Trail is Australia’s largest outdoor gallery. The trail stretches over 200 kilometres, linking Brim with neighbouring towns Lascelles, Patchewollock, Rosebery, Rupanyup and Sheep Hills.Providing an insight into the true spirit of the Wimmera Mallee, the trail recognises and celebrates the region’s people through a series of large-scale mural portraits painted onto grain silos, many of which date back to the 1930s.The project saw a team of renowned artists from Australia and across the world visit the region, meet the locals and transform each grain silo into an epic work of art; each one telling a unique story about the host town.The Silo Art Trail was conceived in 2016 after the success of the first silo artwork in Brim. What started as a small community project by the Brim Active Community Group, GrainCorp, Juddy Roller and artist, Guido van Helten resulted in widespread international media attention and an influx of visitors to the region and the idea for a trail was born.The Silo Art Trail was created as a partnership between Yarriambiack Shire Council, international street art agency Juddy Roller, Victorian Government, Australian Government and GrainCorp, who donated the silos as canvases for the artists’ work.
Located in the small rural town of Brim located on bthe Henty Highway, Guido van Helten’s famous ‘Farmer Quartet’ mural stretches out across all four of the Brim silos. It was painted in 2015 as a tribute to the drought-stricken farming community. Created in van Helten’s famous monochromatic photo-realistic style, the mural instantly became a regional landmark and provided the inspiration for The Silo Art Trail project.
Sheep Hills Silos:
Completed in December 2016 by internationally renowned artist Adnate, famous for his work with Aboriginal communities across Australia, the mural is spread across all six silos. It consists of four indigenous faces watching over the tiny community of Sheep Hills; with a starry background that has a symbolic significance to the local people.
The monochrome mural created by Russian artist Julia Volchkova on the huge metal grain storage bins at Rupanyup was inspired by the local Rupanyup Panthers Football & Netball Club. Known the world over for her moving portraits, Volchkova is actively involved in the global street art movement, and her work can be found in Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia and now Australia.
The giant silver-painted steel bin grain silos feature two local residents, both members of the local Rupanyup Football and Netball Club. Jordan Weidemann, a 16-year-old football player, was at training one night "kicking around with the boys" when he was selected by the artist. The student said although some people joked that he was the "face of the silo", his family and friends were very pleased, especially his nanna. "She is loving it, which is good," Jordan said. The other face is of 25-year-old naturopath Ebony Baker, who was selected as she was about to jump onto the netball court during training. With a long family history in the farming area, she said she was extremely proud to represent her community.
The mural on the silos at Patchewollock – population 250 – and marvel at the work of Brisbane-based street artist Fintan Magee, sometimes referred to as ‘Australia’s Banksy’. Painted over a couple of weeks in October 2016, the giant mural depicts local sheep and grain farmer, Nick ‘Noodle’ Hulland, chosen for his ‘classic farmer looks’ and his strong connection to the farming community.
The tiny town of Lascelles in the Silo Art Trail displays the artwork of celebrated Melbourne artist Tyrone 'Rone' Wright. Rone turns his intimate portraiture to giant grain silos, depicting local wheat farmers Geoff and Merrilyn Horman looking out over the rural landscape. An influential figure in the Melbourne street art scene, Rone has works in major Australian galleries and murals in cities all over the world.
Before commencing work in Rosebery, Melbourne artist, Kaff-eine spent time in the Mallee assisting fellow artist Rone on his Lascelles silo project. During this time, Kaff-eine travelled to neighbouring towns, discovering the natural environment and acquainting herself with local business owners, families, farmers and children – all with the view to developing a concept for these GrainCorp silos which date back to 1939.
Completed in late 2017, Kaff-eine’s artwork depicts themes that she says embody the region’s past, present and future.
The silo on the left captures the grit, tenacity and character of the region’s young female farmers, who regularly face drought, fires and other hardships living and working in the Mallee. In her work shirt, jeans and turned-down cowboy boots, the strong young female sheep farmer symbolises the future.
The silo on the right portrays a quiet moment between dear friends. The contemporary horseman appears in Akubra hat, Bogs boots and oilskin vest – common attire for Mallee farmers. Both man and horse are relaxed and facing downward, indicating their mutual trust, love and genuine connection.
The new 30-metre high artwork at Kimba in South Australia was done by Melbourne artist Cam Scale and features a colourful depiction of a Kimba sunset, its wheat fields and a young girl.
Not part of the Silo Art Trail but worth looking at anyway.
Australia's largest and arguably most complex mural has recently been finished by artist Guido van Helten at Coonalpyn in South Australia, who painted five Coonalpyn Primary School children. "In a lot of small towns, people really want to focus on the past and history of the town or the industry," van Helten said. "All those themes I really wanted to avoid." He said the children represented the future of the town, and he hoped the giant art work might inspire those children and others "to a path through creative industries". It was the first time he had painted on silos that were still operable.
An increased number of the cars passing through the are town stopping and spending their money there. "The stopping rate is 40 per hour and we're getting lots of great feedback from the businesses because everyone is benefitting," Ms Traeger, the project manager, said. In a main street peppered with closed shops, two new businesses have opened on the back of the increased trade — a cafe and a grocery store. National company Oliver's Real Food is scheduled to open a store in August.