Sunday, January 7, 2018
Early last year I initiated dinners with people I remember from my old army unit: 21 Psych. It was interesting to catch up and hear what others had been up to since the '60s.
So I arranged another dinner tonight. I was able to get Peter Muir along this time so that was good. I tried to get Peter Ridgewell along as well but I understand he has been very ill. That reinforces my resolution to put on such dinners annually. Someone from the unit whom I remember with affection is John French, who is now deceased. So "do it now" is my resolve for catching up with people.
We were originally going to go to the Chinese restaurant next to the PA hospital at Buranda but they have just gone broke -- so I changed the venue to only a block away, at Zambreros of Buranda, a Mexican restaurant. Some of the ladies were a bit wary of Mexican chillies so I may go back to Chinese next year.
Old times were of course discussed and even controversial topics like IQ were aired. I mentioned the well established fact that American blacks are on average a whole standard deviation (15 points) below the white average on IQ and was rightly told that I could get into a lot of trouble these days by saying so. As it happens, however what I said is in fact the official position of the American Psychological Association. But what scholars can say among themselves may not pass in public of course.
The late Chris Brand was a sad example of that. Every serious student of ancient history knows that the brilliant civilization of ancient Greece was a pedophilic civilization. Chris, however, was unwise enough to mention that to one of the newspapers. Despite having tenure he was fired from his Edinburgh university job over it. There was such an uproar in the papers that the university didn't have much choice
Anyway, everybody enjoyed the dinner. Anne had quesadillas and I had a "classic bowl". I shouted the dinner but the total cost was only $88 so it was a small price to pay for good company.
The gathered company, men at the back, Rod Hardaker, Peter Hadgraft, myself and Peter Muir
Two larger photos here and here -- from the camera of Linda Muir, wife of Peter.
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
I don't usually mark New Year's eve in any way. I stay at home, eat at home and am always in bed before the fireworks. Anne however wanted to do something so decided to take another one of her many holidays. She went up to Binna Burra Lodge for a few nights with some old bushwalking friends. One of them was an old boyfriend of hers with whom she has often gone bushwalking. Neither of them are capable of much walking these days but they enjoy what they can of their old bushwalking haunts. I believe that more such outings are planned.
Anne however made it up to me for not being with me on the big night by joining me for dinner on New Years day. We don't normally meet on Mondays. We went to the Yeronga rissole, which had a very good buffet that night. The food is always good there and there was such a range that Anne was able to put together for herself an almost entirely seafood plate, which she likes. I had all sorts, including some quite good gyoza, which is Japanese food.
To drink I had Fourex Gold, which is my usual beer, and for Anne I ordered a glass of Chardonnay. And there was something unusual about that. In most pubs and restaurants, if you order wine by the glass, they hand you a glass that is only about a third full -- which always annoys me. At the club, however, Anne got a glass that was pretty full. That will certainly encourage me to go back there.
I noticed a way in which the club had changed over the last couple of years. The members were once almost entirely white Australians. It was a sort of holdout of the way Australia once was. This time however, there was a substantial contingent of Chinese. So they have finally woken up to what good value our clubs are. They fitted in perfectly, of course. Most of the children running around were Chinese -- dressed and behaving indistinguishably from other Australian children. The Chinese are great at fitting in, which is a credit to them.
Then the next night, Tuesday, was one of our usual nights together so we went to the went to the Moreton Bay Sports Club, which is at the top of Anne's street. It is always pleasant there and the Barramundi we both had for dinner was well cooked and well presented. They don't have the variety of Yeronga, however. The male membership there consists almost entirely of elderly white guys with expanded waistlines -- so I fitted in perfectly.