Canberra Confidential: Going lovingly to the dogs

WE must be getting soft, but a book landed in the office called “Beautiful Old Dogs – a loving tribute to our senior best friends” (Pan Macmillan) and, despite a guffaw at the title, its essays from a group of distinguished writers about the dogs in their lives has had us snuffling.

But the real stars are the tender photographs of senior mutts by Garry Gross, a New York fashion snapper who, after becoming a successful dog trainer, turned his lens to “dogs with soul in their eyes”.

Welcome to the obesogenic world

“NEVER in mankind’s history has it been so difficult to keep healthy and fit,” bemoans Olympian and local hero Rob de Castella.

He says the new word to explain the junk food, sedentary world in which we now live is called an “obesogenic” environment.

Deek has been doing biffo with childhood obesity for 15 years through his health promotion charity, SmartStart for Kids, and is looking for adults who beat the bulge to help others by telling their story.

“These Health Heroes might have tips, suggestions and ideas that many of the experts might never have thought of,” Deek says.

Call him at 6260 5750 or email

Bob’s big bike ride

LOCAL archaeological photographer Bob Miller is going for a bike ride on Saturday, March 22 but won’t be home till late May. The retired lecturer from the University of Canberra is dedicating his cycle ride from Perth to Sydney, then back to Canberra to raising funds and awareness for BridgeWorks, a charity working to prevent exploitation of children and youth of the Hill Tribe people in Thailand.

Bob, 60, leaves Hillarys Beach in WA for Bondi Beach, where he is expected 57 days later on May 17. Then on to Canberra for a hero’s welcome at Gorman House Markets on Saturday, May 24. More information at or

Under the bridge

Ron Burgandy # 1HERE’s piece of public art that would melt the heart of any graffiti hater, well, maybe. Spotted by CC’s becycled upper north shore snout, this enormous flash of artistic skill is to be seen under the Ginninderra Drive Bridge, over Lake Ginninderra. It’s a gigantic caricature of the TV newsman character, Ron Burgundy, of the “Anchorman” comedy movies.

Moore or less

IT was a joke, right? The Australian War Memorial’s media flack puts out an alert headed “Official war artist views works one Moore time” to draw attention to 99-year-old Alan Moore, one of only two remaining World War II official artists and the only Australian official war artist working in Germany to directly capture scenes of the Holocaust, being invited to view an exhibition of his work before it closed last week.

Count on us!

THE phone hasn’t been ringing, but we’re fessing up, anyway. Last edition, reporter Stephen Easton wrote that scientists reckon there are likely tens of millions of insect species in the world, made up of somewhere around a “quintillion individual six-legged beasts. That’s 1 with 19 zeroes after it”. Oh, no it’s not! Mortified, he lurched from sleep the other night, having subconsciously deduced that a quintillion is a million, million, million, that’s 1 with 18 zeros after it.


WITH the ACT beset with difficult employment conditions, the Chamber of Commerce has just thoughtfully held a “Difficult Conversations” workshop for the bosses.

THE Incredible Shrinking City Spinner David Pembroke’s weight loss challenge marches relentlessly on. The Content Group’s big banana is getting smaller with eight kilograms of his 31.5-kilo target lost and 23.5 to go by August 9. 

Former “Canberra Times” editor Mark Baker, who left Fairfax Media late last year, has been appointed the 43-year-old Melbourne Press Club’s first CEO. He has been its president for the past three years.

THEY thoughtfully left the house lights half on for ‘60s band, “The Searchers”, at The Auditorium, Erindale, the other night, doubtless to give security clear access to break up any fights among the capacity sexagenarian crowd.

SURPRISINGLY, more than half of the membership of the Australian Monarchist League is under the age of 40 and, the league says, “our young members, in particular, are all looking forward with great enthusiasm and excitement towards the [Royal] visit.” Really?

FROM the Old Jokes Home: “Sex at 90 is like trying to shoot pool with a rope” – George Burns.


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