Birthday wishes — a grandson skating

Many thanks to all the kind – and the all-too-sarcastic – birthday wishes I received today in Brisbane, Australia.

Now that I’m 55, where are those early meal specials at 3 p.m.? It’s OK, I get up at 4 a.m. through a combination of birds, cats and a dog.

Sometimes I don’t.

Marriage is like that.

Best parts of the day: 22-year-old daughter giving me a hug this morning and saying, happy birthday, dad.

30-year-old daughter sending me a video of 5-year-old son Gabe, first time on the ice, in a park, in Waterloo, Ontario (that’s in Canada).

Many thanks to everyone.



Salmonella factories: don’t eat geckos

“Liven up your next birthday party with a visit from Brisbane Reptile Awareness!

They’ll come to you with a number of reptiles for only $120 – not the usual $240!

Interact with pythons, lizards, a salt water crocodile, long neck turtle and more!

Touch and handle the reptiles while supervised by their specialist rangers.”

Which may be better than the young man who claims he reluctantly ate a lizard to avoid being bashed by a former outlaw bikie.

But forcing his mate to feast on the reptile did not stop ex-Rebel Motorcycle Club member Mark Adrian Mitchell from smashing the victim’s jaw because he then refused to continue taking part in a fraudulent eBay scheme, a court has been told.

Mitchell, 33, was yesterday jailed for four years and three months after pleading guilty in the Brisbane District Court to charges of extortion and assault causing grievous bodily harm at Sandstone Point and Banksia Beach, on Bribie Island, 50km north of Brisbane, between February and June last year.

Mitchell had earlier pleaded not guilty to a charge of torturing Mitchell Noe, 23, by forcing him to eat a Gecko if he was to avoid being bashed.

A jury was told Noe began eating the reptile, but stopped when it made him physically ill.