Article Archive

Gnocchi, Chicken & Spinach Bake

Serves 4 Ingredients 500 gm gnocchi 500 gm chicken breast, chopped into chunks salt & pepper 80 gm butter 2 tblspn olive oil 2 medium shallots, sliced 4 cloves garlic, chopped 1-2 tspn fresh thyme 1-2 tspn fresh oregano 3 tblspn plain flour 350 ml chicken stock 120 ml light cream 150 gm fresh baby …

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Major Labels, by Kelefa Sanneh

It’s not often I give up on a book, but Major Labels has defeated me. The subtitle “A history of popular music in seven genres – Rock R&B Country Punk Hip-Hop Dance Pop” should give you a clear idea of what the book is about. The author covered rock and roll, hip-hop, and pop music …

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The Quiz Masters, by Brydon Coverdale

I don’t know about you but I grew up with quiz shows. I came to them after the heyday of radio but I’m old enough to have followed the first Australian TV shows. I can remember seeing Barry Jones make Bob Dyer roll his eyes on BP Pick A Box as he questioned yet another …

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Bulldozed, by Niki Savva

I very much looked forward to reading this over Christmas, but I have to say I was a bit disappointed. Perhaps I should start by saying I wasn’t aware this is the third book in a trilogy about the Liberal National Government of Australia from 2013-2022 (although probably not planned as a trilogy). The Road …

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Stella Maris, by Cormac McCarthy

This is the companion novel to The Passenger. Where the earlier (by a matter of months) book was the story of Bobby Western: salvage diver, former race car driver, son of an atomic bomb scientist and person of interest to government agents – Stella Maris comprises 170 pages of dialogue between Bobby’s sister Alicia and …

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Fried Rice De Luxe

This has become a favourite for me. It’s basically a Spanish fried rice but the chipotle seasoning gives it a Mexican tang, while the addition of the other seasonings and the egg remind me of Indonesian nasi goreng, and the mixture of protein ingredients is like your favourite House Special Chow Mein. For me, it’s …

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WCAG 3.0: are we there yet?

In short: no. Overview On 7 December 2021, the W3C Accessible Guidelines Working Group published a Working Draft of the W3C Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 3.0. So, that’s it, right? Pack WCAG 2 off to the junkyard? The standard is dead, long live the standard? Well, no. A Working Draft is published to invite feedback and …

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Nothing Bad Ever Happens Here, by Heather Rose

Ever since I was very young, reading has been a way for me to explore the world. As a child in suburban Claremont, Tasmania, books took me to parts of the world it never occurred to me that I could, or would, ever visit. For the Term of His Natural Life was probably the first …

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A Word About Language

I’ve spent a good portion of this week writing about WCAG 3.0, the third version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. As the name states, WCAG is a set of guidelines – not rules – about how to implement digital accessibility: making websites, apps and other digital products accessible to people with disabilities. Nevertheless, it …

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24 November

24 November is always a sombre day for me, being the birthday of my mother, who died in August 1981 at 61 years old, when I was 20. Probably more than my own birthday or Christmas or New Year’s Day, it’s on this day I think about where my life has gone and is going, …

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A Pakistani House Husband, by David Vee Rodden

Well, this was different! Subtitled the beauty & the chaos, it’s an account of the time David Vee Rodden spent in Pakistan when his wife Drew “scored the job as Personal Secretary to the Ambassador of Belgium to Pakistan and Afghanistan” in 2003. This meant moving to Islamabad and becoming, for the first year at …

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Understanding Disability: Ableism

Ableism Explained A common definition of ableism is that it is discrimination and social prejudice against people with disabilities. That’s undoubtedly true, but ableism can also be described as discrimination in favor of non-disabled people. The distinction lies in how ableism — sometimes subtly, sometimes blatantly — puts forward the myth of the superiority of non-disabled …

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Time that is moved by little fidget wheels

I suspect this post will be of little interest to anyone, but I need to write it to clear my mind, at the very least. I’m back at work today after three weeks’ leave, the first break I’ve had since June 2021. I hadn’t realised it had been that long since I’d had any time …

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Waiting for Robert Capa, by Susana Fortes

I found this to be a bit of a mixed bag. I certainly couldn’t have picked a more different book to follow my recent reading. On the plus side, Waiting for Robert Capa is based on a set of real events that I found truly amazing. It had never occurred to me that the famous …

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The Passenger, by Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy doesn’t have anything to prove. With 10 novels under his belt since 1965, one winning the Pulitzer Prize, another turned into a Best Picture Oscar winner, and a raft of other literary awards as well as enormous sales around the world, he already stands as one of America’s greatest living writers. Yet here …

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Treacle Walker, by Alan Garner

It’s so good to be back in the world of Alan Garner. It’s not like other worlds. Geographically, it’s in Cheshire, north west England, often around Alderley Edge, where Garner grew up: it’s English but it’s also Welsh and Scottish. Chronologically, it’s the aggregated history of ancient Celts, forgotten Druids, assimilated Romans, seafaring Irishmen, conquering …

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Lovers Dreamers Fighters, by Lo Carmen

You might know Lo Carmen as Loene Carmen, the name she used until 2012. If you’re like me, you’ll know her primarily as an actress. Plucked from Kings Cross pizza bar obscurity to star as Freya in The Year My Voice Broke (1987). Her astounding, compelling performance as Sallie-Anne Huckstepp in Blue Murder (1995). And …

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Shakespeare Unbound

It’s one thing to have a clever idea, such as telling the story of William Shakespeare’s life and work through the eyes and voice of one of his fellow actors, a colleague who outlived the Bard and was among those responsible for ensuring that his plays survived in written form. And it’s another thing to …

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French's

In early 2015, I joined a Facebook group called “I drank at the Sydney Trade Union Club” because, well, back in the 80s, I did. When other venues were mentioned in that group, I brought up French’s Tavern, which I frequented even more than the TUC. Liza, a former staff member at French’s suggested we …

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Corrimal Churches

St Columbkille’s Catholic Church   Walking a Border Collie twice a day means we follow lots of interesting paths around where we live in Corrimal. Scout being 11 years old now, she likes to find new routes with excuses to stop and smell the roses, get a few pats from kids and growl at other …

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Public Art in Corrimal II

It turns out we have more public art in Corimal than I’d previously noted. This is a follow-up to a previous article.

Single Page Applications

A Single Page Application (SPA) loads a website as a single web page. There is no page refresh, and content is added dynamically with the aid of JavaScript. This creates an online experience that is faster and more like a native app than a traditional multi-page website. In contexts such as the web interfaces of …

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My First Bolognese

Had my first go at a proper bolognese. Came out pretty well. Ingredients 125 ml olive oil 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 medium carrot, finely chopped 1 stalk celery, finely chopped 1 small brown onion, finely chopped pinch of chilli flakes 400 gm ground veal & pork salt & pepper 2 tbsp tomato paste …

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A Greek Theme

Tonight’s effort: souvlaki lamb, skordalia and a Greek salad. Retsina and ouzo not pictured. Was interesting to make. I really thought I’d done something wrong and then, after more mashing, it just transformed into this lovely, fluffy, dip-like mash.    

Ensure third party content is accessible

Website authors may sometimes publish content with accessibility issues that was supplied to them by a third party. Who should make it accessible?

Skinful, by Robyn Flemming

One of the tricky things about real life tales of deep personal change is that they tend to be written after change has been achieved, and that can’t help but inform the story of the author’s life that led to the change. Robyn Flemming handles this better than just about anyone I can recall in …

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Ploughman's Lunch

Ploughman’s lunch today. Excellent pork pie. Steve Ripley: Hope the pork pie was good! As a Yorkshire man I grew up on them … had to be plenty of fat surrounding the meat too!🤣 Ricky Onsman: There was! Excellent pie. Ann Hinchliffe: Me too! (Accept the man bit) Ricky Onsman: I didn’t know that either …

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Harry Onsman

In the early hours of 20 February 2022, my brother Harry, born Harmen Jelle, passed away. It’s thought the effects of his cancer chemotherapy plus kidney failure left his immune system unable to fight off the effects of Covid, despite his being fully vaccinated. Harry’s partner Maree was with him in his last hours, and …

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Thanks a Lot Mr Kibblewhite, My Story, by Roger Daltrey

First off, I have to say it was a genuine pleasure to pick up a hardback again, and this one is really well made: has excellent paper quality, well bound, nicely laid out, crisp print – none of this makes a book great but it definitely enhances the reading experience. The title, predictably, refers to …

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Book Report - January 2022

Blessed, by John Doyle Billed as “one year in the life of the boy who would become Rampaging Roy Slaven”, I expected something witty, sly and funny but I vastly underestimated John Doyle. For those unaware, Roy Slaven is a fictional Australian sports commentator, part of a long running duo with H.G. Nelson, who manage …

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Books 2021

Top Ten The Last of the Apple Blossom, Mary-Lou Stephens “The Last of the Apple Blossom is a wonderful book and, I think, an important one. It operates on several levels at once without ever losing its focus or any clarity.”Read my review of The Last of the Apple Blossom Blessed, John Doyle In the …

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Introduction to Cognitive Disability and Accessibility Testing

Making websites accessible to people with cognitive disabilities is as important as it is for any other type of disability, and there are techniques you can use to ensure your web content and functionality is accessible to people with cognitive impairments. For the purposes of assessing web accessibility, umbrella terms like “cognitive disability”, “cognitive impairments” …

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Reading List Update: December 2021

Funny Stories, Prophets of the Absurd, by Hugh Wayland. Outstanding! Superbly put together, this account of Sydney’s Funny Stories performance troupe from the 80s is a brilliant read. For those of us who were there at the time, it brings it all back to life. For those who weren’t, it’s an insight into inner Sydney …

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Introduction to AI and Accessibility Testing

This was my first blog post for TPGi. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a term used to describe the principle that features of human intelligence can be simulated by machines to produce outcomes that resemble those of human insight. This is achieved by aggregating, analyzing and comparing massive amounts of data and then interpreting and applying …

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Public Art in Corrimal

Corrimal is quite a suburban kind of suburb. We have a Woolworth’s, a Coles and an Aldi but on the other hand we don’t have a stand alone greengrocer. There’s pretty much one or two of most shops you need (if you count hardware superstore Bunnings in the next suburb over), although there’s also 14 …

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Smash, Bread & Circus, 1984

I came across this clipping of a review from 1984, and it brought back a few memories. After stints with the (then) NSW Theatre of the Deaf in 1982 and the Marionette Theatre of Australia in 1983, I was Sydney-based and an experienced theatre-in-education performer when TIE was at its height as a crucible of …

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Funny Stories, by Hugh Wayland

Current reading is a birthday treat to myself: Funny Stories, Prophets of the Absurd by Hugh Wayland. It’s a memoir by one of the members of this highly influential Sydney comedy troupe of the 1980s. It is glorious. It’s self published by the author, you can find out how to get it from the Funny …

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The Bookmakers of Claremont High

I was listening to ABC radio this morning, where Simon Marnie was taking calls about people’s jobs when they were at school: newspaper deliveries, chemist’s assistant, golf caddie and butter stacker (!) among them. It reminded me of the side hustle – I can’t really call it a job – that I had during the …

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My Rock 'n' Roll Friend, by Tracey Thorn

I first heard the Go-Betweens when a live version of their stand alone single Hammer the Hammer was included on the first JJJ Live at the Wireless album in 1983, which still ranks among my favourites, with outstanding performances by Private Lives, Hoodoo Gurus, Do-Re-Mi, The Triffids and The Particles, among others. The Go-Betweens track …

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The Last of the Apple Blossom, by Mary-Lou Stephens

Reviewing creative works by friends can often be tricky. You don’t want to be overly gushing, even when the work is obviously great, because people will think you’re just being nice to a friend. And then it’s also easy to slip into being unreasonably critical, which may well endanger your friendship, especially if you make …

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