November 30, 2010. Sorry about this but it's taken all day to
put the latest
chapter of the scrapbook together, about 11 hours less a bit of shopping
and cooking dinner. Gary
November 29, 2010. Yes, folks, only one more November day to
I spoke to Sue just now and said if I'd thought about it yesterday,
I could have skinned the rat and made Rodney a la carte. But she wasn't
terribly impressed by that idea, so THEY are having rump steak and onions
tonight, and Rodney is on his way to the tip. Actually, I told her that
back in the old tall ship sailing days before refrigeration, the sailors
were quite happy to have a bit of extra fresh meat. Hehe. But she still
didn't buy it.
Jim M wrote: Just wanted to say, you have always had my respect,
and after reading Part 6 (of Scrapbook), even more so. Well, what a
lovely thing to say, Jim M. I'm flattered. I'm not sure I deserve it but,
hey, I'll take it. Speaking of which, I've
posted Scrapbook part 7. It's taken a while to compile so it's now
just after 4pm already.
I passed out today. I was having my little afternoon nap on my fav chair
when I heard a bang. Sue had taken a fall in the foyer. She does that a
fair bit because she has one leg shorter than the other, and doesn't always
use her walker to get around the house. So I jumped out of my chair and
went to her aid. But I stood up too quickly and became faint. It's a blood
pressure thing. Next thing I knew I was flat on the floor staring at the
ceiling and wondering where the hell I was. I was probably out for a minute
Let's do a quick Beeb: Whistle-blowing website Wikileaks has begun releasing
extracts from secret cables sent by US embassies, giving an insight into
current global concerns. They include reports of some Arab leaders - including
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah - urging the US to attack Iran and end its
nuclear weapons programme. Other concerns include the security of Pakistani
nuclear material that could be used to make an atomic weapon. The widespread
use of computer hacking by China's government is also reported. They
say what you don't know won't hurt you, but I'm not too sure about that.
I suspect that Wikileaks will force government agencies to become even
more secretive in future. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak describes
as an "inhumane" crime" the North's deadly shelling of a Southern island
last Tuesday. That's like telling a tiger to become
a vegetarian. European ministers reach an agreement over a bail-out
for the Irish Republic worth about 85bn euros ($113bn; £72bn). That's
a lotta bloody Guinness mate! Veteran comic actor Leslie Nielsen,
star of Airplane! and The Naked Gun, has died at the age of 84. He died
in hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he was being treated for
pneumonia, his agent John S Kelly said. Canadian-born Nielsen started out
as a serious actor but in 1980, his role as a hapless doctor in the disaster
spoof film Airplane! made him a comic star. In all, he appeared in more
than 100 films and had a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. Jeez,
84 already. He was great... a very funny man. The New Zealand cabinet
has agreed to open a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Pike River mining
disaster in which 29 miners died. The Prime Minister John Key said the
future of the coal mining industry must await the results of the inquiry.
A fourth underground explosion at the mine occurred on Sunday, and a coal
fire is now burning. I suppose an inquiry is necessary
but I doubt it'll prevent more accidents. There's always something we can't
anticipate. The start of the US Christmas shopping season has seen
an increase in customer numbers but only a slight rise in actual spending,
data has shown. The number of people hitting the shops on Black Friday
rose 2.2% on last year, research group ShopperTrak said, but sales only
rose 0.3% to $10.7bn (£7bn). I love what J
had to say about Black Friday on Justin's blog: These sales always remind
me of the sack of Rome by the Visigoths; all sense of humanity, dignity
and the worth of civilization vanishes in the stampede through the door.
They pour over eachother like loose offal through a sphincter.
Singer Willie Nelson is charged with possessing cannabis after the drug
was allegedly found on his tour bus, a US Border Patrol spokesman says.
the road again..." Jeez, that old trooper has smoked the stuff since he
was in diapers. Leave the old bloke alone. He's brought more happiness
to people than most of the rest of us. The background light filling
the Universe holds a history that stretches before the Big Bang, a renowned
cosmologist suggests. Well, I guess there had to
be something before the Big Bang. Yeah?
Oregon Richie sent me a link to a story yesterday that touched a sensitive
nerve with me. Yes, I can certainly identify with where the author is coming
a very well written piece and worth a look.
Well, a bit after 5pm now and that means... yeah... kitchen time. I've
worked my ring off today and I'm buggered but a bloke's gotta do what a
bloke's gotta do. Gary
November 28, 2010. Well, today's update
of the scrapbook story took a detour that I hadn't planned on making
but what the hell. It's all part and parcel of the Kelly Saga. Actually,
it's only a small part. If I wrote the whole damn thing it would take years.
And besides, if I told the whole story it might ruin my reputation as an
So, here I am mid afternoon on a Sunday wondering what to do next.
It was Thanksgiving the other day and a few northern hemisphericals
sent their best wishes. But we don't celebrate Thanksgiving here. We didn't
have pilgrims, only Irish villains, assorted convicts and British soldiers.
Justin posted a pic on his blog showing a a group of children at a table
set with a large roast turkey, so I sent my sincere condolences to the
bird's relatives and friends.
Shall we do a Beeb? Why not? North Korea vows to hit back if its territorial
waters are violated during US-South Korean military exercises off Korea's
coast, reports say. And then what? What a bunch of
dingalings. A Russian-made cargo plane carrying eight people crashes
shortly after taking off from Karachi airport in Pakistan, killing all
those on board. Why call it a Russian-made plane?
Brazilian police surround a Rio de Janeiro slum, after the end of a deadline
to drug traffickers to turn themselves in or face an assault. There's
only one way to deal with those crooks. Harshly. Egyptians vote
in parliamentary elections, in a process which has already seen clashes
between the opposition and security forces. Opposition?
Hardly. A teenager has been arrested in the US state of Oregon after
allegedly plotting to carry out a car bomb attack at a Christmas tree lighting
ceremony. Somali-born Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was arrested after reportedly
making a telephone call he thought would set off the bomb in the centre
of Portland. However, the bomb was a fake supplied by agents in a sting
operation. Mohamed is not terribly bright ya know.
But he sure is ugly. Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani has hosted
a lavish house-warming for his new 27-storey residence, believed to be
the world's most expensive home. About 80 people attended the party in
Mumbai on Friday, reported the Times of India. One guest described the
house as "the Taj Mahal of the 21st Century". Mr Ambani, said to be India's
richest man, moved into the house last month with his wife and three children.
Reports suggest the residence is worth more than $1bn (£630m). Have
you seen it? It's an architectural abomination. Cabin crew on Philippines
budget airline Cebu Pacific became internet sensations with their musical
version of the airline safety demonstration. The video, released last month,
showed the stewards dancing to Lady Gaga and Katy Perry in the aisles of
the aircraft during a flight. That's one way to get
everyone's attention. Not so silly.
There is a case for legalizing illicit drugs, of course, and taking
the industry out of the hands of criminals. Policing illicit drugs costs
society an absolute fortune. Prostitution is now legal in Oz. The biz has
been taken out of the hands of pimps and criminals. The girls pay their
taxes and are protected by law. Actually, the boys are too! But I'm not
sure about drugs. I can see the logic in legalizing it but I wonder about
the consequences of making drugs legally available. What happens if a kid
insists on his right to use heroin? It's a tricky one. What would happen
if illegal immigration were legalized? Maybe it's a case by case thing.
There was a time when SP (starting price) bookmakers were rife in Oz. We
had one in our street when I was a kid. Hehe. He was a railway worker on
a basic wage but he drove a brand new Holden. Hello? Then the government
introduced the Totalizator Betting Agency (TAB) with betting shops in every
suburb and the SP bookies went out of business. Bookmakers at racecourses
are legal but they have to be licensed.
The proponents of legalizing drugs argue that we're fighting a losing
battle. They rightly point out that getting hold of anything from marijuana
to party drugs to heroin is dead easy. The stuff is readily available on
the streets. Every time the police intercept a shipment of illegal drugs
they admit that it's only the tip of the iceberg. Billions of dollars are
being spent on a war that can never be won. Makes you wonder.
Speaking of wondering, I just found Rodney. For the past day or two
I've noticed a strange smell in my office. Hmmm. So I checked around a
bit but couldn't find anything. I figured if it was a dead rat, then it
might be wedged in the wall cavity. Then, a few minutes ago, I lifted a
large book just to my right on the floor. Hello? Rodney, stiff as a board
and dead as a doornail. He was pretty big, probably 6" in body length,
with a long tail about the same length. The bugger managed to gnaw his
way inside somehow, but he also made the mistake of eating the poison bait
I've distributed around the house. Ew! I wasn't gonna get too close to
the thing so I went outside and got the big garden shovel hehe. After a
bit of jiggling I managed to get him onto the shovel and took him outside
where I wrapped him in newspaper and deposited him in the bin, ready for
collection tomorrow morning.
So much for my great white hunter exploits on this occasion. I'm convinced
I wasn't born to be brave. When I told Lindsay he carried on about another
dead rat behind the fridge in the kitchen. "And you haven't said anything?"
I asked. So he led the way and pointed to something gray at the side of
the fridge. It was a little pile of dusty fluff. Sheesh. Talk about a drama
queen. If I'm not brave what the hell is he?
So there goes another Sunday, a little more eventful than I would have
liked, but not life-threatening. Gary
November 27, 2010. Jeez, almost the end of November already,
and I was just getting used to typing 2010 instead of 2009.
It's been a long day putting the latest
chapter of the scrapbook together. There's quite a bit in it, including
a revelation I wasn't sure I wanted to make... being arrested in 1972 and
thrown in the clink. But I suppose a story ain't a story without all the
juicy bits. There are amusing bits as well, so I hope you get a giggle
or two out of it.
I have to whizz up the road shortly so let's do a quick Beeb while my
hair dries after showering. Thousands of people are set to take to the
streets of Dublin for a protest against the Irish Republic's four-year
austerity plan. The Irish want a change of government,
but I wonder if they think they'll get a change of reality in the process.
South Korea holds funerals for the two marines killed by the North's shelling,
as tensions build on the peninsula. It's crazy, yes?
But that's the nature of a beast called mankind. The US briefs a
number foreign governments, including the UK, about the possible release
of diplomatic files by whistleblower site Wikileaks. I
haven't made up my mind about whether or not Wikileaks is a good or bad
thing yet. But at the mo, I tend to favor the former. US President
Barack Obama receives 12 stitches after being elbowed in the mouth during
a basketball game. By a Republican? Police
have uncovered an 670m (2,200ft) drug smugglers' tunnel under the US-Mexico
border - the second such discovery this month. The tunnel links the Mexican
city of Tijuana with Otay Mesa in California. Earlier this month a tunnel
equipped with ventilation and lights was found. Local media say the new
tunnel may be even be more sophisticated. Never underestimate
the determination of a crook. Market traders in Ghana will be banned
from selling second-hand underwear from next February, trade regulators
say. According to the Ghana Standards Board, used pants - and other second-hand
goods like handkerchiefs and mattresses - are unhygienic and could pose
a health hazard. Hehe. And to think that story made
the BBC news. Mike Hussey and Brad Haddin both score unbeaten centuries
to help Australia pass 400 and build a significant lead over England on
day three of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane. Bloody
smartass colonials! Millions of Americans have been heading to the
shops on Black Friday, a crucial event for US retailers. Many stores opened
their doors overnight, hoping to entice customers with cut-price bargains.
Black Friday - the day after the Thanksgiving public holiday - is traditionally
the start of the Christmas shopping season. I hate
crowds. The reason I didn't play football at school was because there were
too many people on the field. I suggested they give each player a football
to stop all that silly nonsense where everyone keeps chasing the bloke
who has one. The French government has said it will resume the search
for an Air France jet that crashed in the Atlantic Ocean, killing 228 people.
Officials will launch a fourth hunt for parts of wreckage, including the
flight recorders, in the area of ocean where the Airbus A330-200 went down.
All those on board Flight AF447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris died in the
June 2009 crash. I won't even ride a pogo stick let
alone ride in a plane. Saudi Arabian authorities have arrested 149
al-Qaeda suspects over the past eight months, officials have announced.
Most of the detainees were Saudis, but 25 were from other Arab, African
and South Asian countries, the Interior Ministry said. 149
down and...? Japan's parliament passes a stimulus package worth
about $61bn, designed to kick start the country's fragile economic recovery.
they say that money makes money. Let's hope they're right. After
the dinosaurs were wiped out, mammals went from scurrying "vermin" to giant
beasts in just 25 million years, a study shows. That's
very true. I've met some of them.
FL Josh wrote an interesting piece on the demise of the British Harrier
jets: Speaking of the Harrier. . . I was Utilities Officer at
the Patuxent River Naval Air Test Center in the mid '60's when the British
sent five prototypes of the Harrier over to the States for us to develop.
They invented the Harrier, but didn't have the money to fully develop it
so we did that. I remember going down to one of the runways in eager
anticipation and waiting and waiting and finally four of them appeared
as dots on the horizon and approached us, getting larger and larger until
we could make out jet aircraft, and then they flew up to the runway in
front of us and stopped dead in mid air about 100 feet (30 meters) above
the ground in front of us and hovered, then slowly lowered to the ground.
What an exciting thing that was to see. For months and months after
that, if we out driving around on the base and saw one taxing down a taxiway,
we would put off whatever it was we (junior officers) were doing and we
would follow the Harrier in hopes of getting to see it do a vertical take
off. Unfortunately these planes could also take off like normal jets
and more times than not, they would opt to do this instead of doing the
vertical thing. To fly vertically, it literally rotated the discharge
from the jet engine downward which was really hard on the plane.
Needless to say, our runways were not designed to have jet exhaust blowing
directly on them. Concrete does not take heat well and can explode.
Asphalt doesn't take it at all. The Harriers had their landing gear in
the center of the plane with small wheels under the wing tips like training
wheels. Sit too long on the ground with the engine going and you'll
also melt your tires.
When they arrived at "Pax River" (there was a 5th but it broke down
on its flight from England) they could not carry any more weight than the
pilot and the fuel, and the strain of vertical take offs and landings was
so great on the engines, that they had to be overhauled after about 25
hours. At Pax River we had "Flight Test" which would perfect the
flight capabilities. We had "Service Test," which made the planes
pilot and maintenance friendly, and we had "Weapons Systems Test," which
would develop the ability to carry weapons.
When I completed my three years of military service, I was interviewed
to work in Weapons System Test and remember them showing me a movie of
the sorts of things they did and in this movie they had a camera mounted
to an aircraft and they filmed a bomb being dropped. The aerodynamics of
the plane and the wind going over it caused the bomb, when released, to
actually rise and hit the tail of the aircraft. There would be standard
weapons mounts and they would adapt those to a particular plane and it
might have places for say eight bombs or missiles and for a particular
plane, one or more could not be used because the weapon would hit the plane.
It was kind of interesting. It was all very secret stuff.
FL Josh is not just a pretty face ya know. In fact, he's not even a
pretty face. But he's interesting.
Well, I better go now. It's getting late and I've gotta do the chef
November 26, 2010. Phone rings. There's a pause before a woman
with an Indian accent says, "Hello, this is Mary speaking from the technical
department. This call is about your Windows Operating System. Can I speak
to the owner of the computer?" "No." So she hung up. Hehe.
But just before that I answered a knock at the door. It was a young
Indian man with brilliant white teeth rattling on about electricity and
power bills and whatever but I was too intrigued by his accent, and wishing
I could mimick it, to follow what he was saying. So he had to go through
the whole rigmarole again hehe. Anyway, turns out he's from a billing company
that's offering a 5% discount on my power bills. No worries. So I accepted.
Since deregulation, various companies can act as a billing company which
doesn't affect power supply. It just means that various companies compete
with each other as billers, and this one happens to be 5% cheaper than
the one I've been using. It's AGL, which has been around since the mid
19th century... Australian Gas Light Company.
Soooooooooooooo, I've spent most of the day so far compiling part
4 of the Scrapbook.
It's late so let's do a quick Beeb: Brazilian police say they have regained
control of the Vila Cruzeiro shanty town in Rio de Janeiro, as part of
operations to tackle a wave of gang violence. Shades
of Elliot Ness and Chicago. Three teenage boys have been found alive
after being lost in their boat in the Pacific Ocean for 50 days. The boys,
from the Tokelau Islands, a New Zealand-administered territory in the South
Pacific, had been given up for dead after an unsuccessful search. A tuna
fishing boat picked them up near Fiji and is taking them to hospital for
treatment for severe sunburn. Quite a story. But
boys will be boys and they will insist on taking risks for the sake of
adventure. Michael Hussey frustrates England's attempts to bowl
out Australia in the final session on day two of the first Ashes (Cricket)
Test in Brisbane. After a string of losses, they
said Australia was finished. Hello? Yoohoo! We're back! The Israeli
army has demolished a number of buildings in West Bank, including one that
Palestinians said was a long-established mosque. Israeli officials said
the structures were temporary and built without permits in a military fire
zone. Palestinian villagers said the mosque was built before 1967 when
Israel occupied the West Bank. If the Israelis keep
this up, people are gonna start thinking Hitler had a point. Former
Alaskan governor and potential 2012 presidential contender Sarah Palin
has made a gaffe on a radio show by saying North Korea is a US ally. Answering
questions from host Glenn Beck she said, "Obviously, we've got to stand
with our North Korean allies." That woman has gotta
Ohio Jace wrote: Are you going to consider the scrapbook your memoirs?
Well, yes, they are my memoirs but I have no plans to turn them into a
book. Besides, it's a fairly brief account of my time in radio, enough
to provide an overview of where I've been and what I've done, with a few
anecdotes thrown in. If I were to write a detailed account of my life it
would be bigger than Quo Vadis. I just wanna let interested parties know
that a few things happened between the date of my birth and... well...
now. That I was "here" on this planet.
Jace also commented on the current security arrangements at US airports:
you seen any vids of the airport security pat down? They have resorted
to groping; feeling around and between women’s breasts and up their skirts
to the honey pot. Men do not fair any better getting a testicle massage.
There have been vids of little kids screaming as they are touched. If you
as a citizen (not the government) were to do that, you would be arrested
so fast your head would spin. And because the words “National Security”
are thrown around peeps are accepting the violation. If you refuse the
scanner (which shows you naked) and the pat down, you cannot board the
plane and the airlines are refusing to refund the ticket cost. TSA is not
allowed to go inside your clothing, but they have. The TSA agents wear
rubber gloves to protect themselves, but spread whatever from passenger
to passenger. Not to mention what you catch from walking around in socks
Remember I told you my friend has silicon balls (the result of testicular
cancer)? He has not flown since the new rules have taken effect, but women
with breast implants have had to undergo further screenings so he probably
would have to too. Similar things have happened to peeps with artificial
limbs or metal body parts. You even have to take your earrings off (better
not wear your Prince Albert). Do ANY members of Congress get molested?
NOPE they get to bypass security all together.
I personally have no problem with the scanner, but I have no desire
to be molested by some stranger in public so will probably never make it
to Cape Town or OZ. You have to submit to such treatment to get back INTO
the U.S. from overseas even after going through the search to get on the
plane in the first place.
Yes, we certainly live in a different world after 9/11 and I don't pretend
to have the answer. Anyway, it's getting on to 6pm so I better hit the
kitchen or the troops will bitch about dinner being late. Gary
November 25, 2010. Yes, ladies and genitals, part
3 of the Scrapbook is now posted. It was supposed to be a short piece
but I kept remembering things and searching for appropriate pics on the
web. That can - and did - take ages, lemme tellya.
So now it's late afternoon but I've paid all the bills. It's pay day.
I've also done all the shopping for both us and Averil. It's been a looong
Time for a quick Beeb: South Korea says it will boost border security
and be more flexible in response to threats from North Korea. A presidential
spokesman said Seoul was concerned it had "become too passive". A planned
visit by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi to South Korea has also been
postponed, it emerged on Thursday. The delay was put down to "scheduling"
issues. Yeah, right. Cambodia holds a day
of mourning for hundreds of people who died in a stampede, with a religious
ceremony due near the scene of the tragedy. Meanwhile
I'm thankful I can't handle crowds. New Zealand's Prime Minister
John Key promises an investigation into the deaths of 29 miners at the
Pike River mine. Some might ask why there wasn't
an investigation before the tragedy. A jury in the US state of Texas
has convicted former US House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on charges of illegally
funnelling corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002. Jurors deliberated
for 19 hours before returning a guilty verdict. DeLay, who was once one
of the most powerful Republicans in Congress, now faces up to life in prison.
comment. Haiti needs at least 1,000 more nurses and supplies of
all basic equipment as it battles a cholera epidemic, the UN's top humanitarian
figure says. As if the world doesn't have enough
problems as it is. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh have arrived
in Abu Dhabi for a five-day state visit to the Gulf. The monarch is in
the region as part of government moves to renew the UK's relationship with
the Gulf Arab states. I noticed that the Queen was
dressed head to toe and wore a veil. A formation of Harrier jump
jets has made its final journey from HMS Ark Royal - the last such flight
from a UK aircraft carrier for about 10 years. The four GR9 jets marked
the end of an era when they roared off the deck near North Shields, North
Tyneside. Both the Ark Royal and the Harriers are being scrapped under
cost-saving plans. I suppose that's what eras do;
pass the baton onto the next. Governments of 13 countries where
tigers still live have endorsed a plan to save the big cats from extinction.
it's about bloody time! An elderly woman has survived being trapped
in her bathroom in Paris for 20 days, after the door lock jammed. The room
had no window or phone so the 69-year-old was unable to tell anyone but
she tapped on pipes during the night, hoping to alert her neighbours. They
thought the noise was DIY work and started a petition to have it stopped.
But a few people realised they had not seen the pensioner recently and
called the authorities, who sent in a rescue crew. Oh
dear, the poor old thing! There she was banging on the pipes and the neighbors
were complaining about the racket! Bloody hell. Researchers have
developed a simple technique that adds evidence to the theory that the
Universe is flat. Moreover, the method - developed by revisiting a 30-year-old
idea - confirms that "dark energy" makes up nearly three-quarters of the
Universe. Ooer! I don't pretend for a minute to understand
such things but if you're interested in all that cosmos stuff you can read
the article here.
Tony the painter was back today. He has several jobs on the go and comes
here when it suits him. Fine with me. He's doing a good job. He used a
pressure hose thingy to clean the vinyl cladding on the side wall outside
my bedroom, as well as the cladding on the garage, and it's come up like
new. I thought he'd painted it but no. Just a pressure squirt with water
and a bit of bleach and whammo. Good as gold. He's also painted some of
the eaves and timber window borders which all look great. There's a fair
bit more to do but he's getting there.
He spent a fair while at the front door before he left for the day telling
me about the trouble his son is having with his ex-wife with custody battles
and all the legal rigmarole that goes with it. I won't go into the details
here but I sure feel glad I'm single with no kids. Hehe. Oh dear... what
Right, kitchen time. Bacon and eggs and chips. Gary
November 24, 2010. Well, part
2 of the Scrapbook is now posted. Not all that many pics but there's
not a lot I can do about that. There are more pics as the story progresses.
But ya never know ya luck. It may be that someone reads the scrapbook at
some stage down the track and says, "Hey, I've got a pic of such-and-such!"
Right, back from a little shopping and time to do a Beeb: President
Barack Obama condemns North Korea's shelling of South Korean territory
and says the US is committed to defending South Korea. I
liked the way Oregon Richie described N. Korea this morning: What motivates
those northern Goose Stepping IDIOTS is hard to figure out. Why on
Earth would they do that? I suppose it's "because they can...", and
often DO, and it's like they only can go but a few months without doing
something nasty merely to get the worlds attention like bad-tempered children
who do that just to get attention. Our poor President lost some of
his sleep over it; being woken at 4 in the morning to hear the wonderful
news. There are a few countries in this little old world that are like
a virus or pestilence and THEY are one of them. Fools. They
sure try damned hard to get the world to endlessly regard them as such.
All 29 miners trapped in a coal mine in New Zealand are believed to be
dead, police say. The statement came after a second explosion in the Pike
River Coal mine. "It is our belief that no one has survived and everyone
will have perished," Police Superintendent Gary Knowles said. There had
been no contact with the men - 24 New Zealanders, two Australians, two
Britons and a South African - since an explosion on Friday. Supt Knowles
said the second blast occurred mid-afternoon on Wednesday. "It was extremely
severe," he added. "We are now in recovery mode." Not
unexpected but dreadful news just the same. My heart goes out to relatives
and friends who have been through sheer hell lately. A general strike
in Portugal is set to cripple services as workers protest against government
plans to cut public sector wages. Which all goes
to prove that people are more concerned with their own little world rather
than the big one they live in with the rest of us. Police in the
Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro have launched a major operation to try
to stop a wave of violence by criminal gangs. For three days, suspected
gang members have been blocking roads, burning cars and shooting at police
stations. Military police have been deployed in 17 different slum districts.
Rio's governor says the violence is retaliation by drugs gangs who have
been driven out of some areas by a police pacification programme. That's
the way it is, folks. You can't have the cops without the robbers or the
cowboys without the indians. One of the first batch of Apple personal
computers has sold at auction in London for £133,250 ($210,000).
The Apple I came with its original packaging and a signed sales letter
from Apple co-founder and current chief executive Steve Jobs. The computer,
one of only 200 of the model ever made, originally sold for $666.66 when
it was introduced in 1976. It's only when you get
to my age that you wish you'd never thrown anything away.
It's a stunning day today weatherwise. Bright and sunny, not too hot
and a nice breeze. By contrast Oregon Richie is bitching about the winter
there. The weather icon simply says "bitterly cold" for tonight and
I drove home at about 13 d F, now about 10, and predicted to be 3 d F BELOW
"zero" tonight. Flannel longies under the jeans and the outer shell today,
plus 3 layers including the heavy sweater, flannel vest, and down jacket.
Insulated boots !!
Well, it might look pretty on postcards but you can keep it.
My ex-neighbor in Hegarty St Glebe (well, he's still there but I'm not)
sent a few pics of the way it looks today. Bloody hell! Some things are
the same, and I recognize all the houses, but there are major changes as
well, especially to the rear of the houses. My old joint hasn't changed
much externally but the present owner says they're about to renovate and
build a double storey section at the back. One of the houses just around
the corner from mine is for sale at the asking price of $875,000. Hello?
Honestly, I can't believe those numbers. They used to talk about million
dollar houses in Hollywood and now they're talking million dollar houses
in Hegarty St? That area used to be basic working class, and the little
terraces were called 'workers cottages'. Sheesh.
Anyway, there goes another day. Gary
November 23, 2010. I've changed my mind. Yes, folks, I tossed
the old brain out the window and now I've got a new one. Seems to work
okay. Couldn't be any worse than the old one. Anyway, after finishing Page
1 of the Scrapbook project today I
decided to post it. I'll keep posting pages daily until the project
is complete. I've created a permanent link on the Aussie Odyssey Home page
as well as the Update page.
This is bloody hard yakka ya know. I'm too bloody old for all this slave
labor. I was a bit worried about how the whole thing would gel but as I
work through it, the bits and pieces kinda fall into place. When I'm missing
a pic, I do a Google. If I can't find what I'm looking for I settle for
something close enough. I'm trying to refrain from making it too wordy
- short, sharp and to the point. Lots of pics and not too much text. Lemme
know how you think it's going so far.
Banister, who's a regular commenter on Justin's blog, responded to a
story about the religious right being concerned that gay Transportation
Security Administration agents might be getting a bit of a thrill when
they screen airline passengers with a "pat down". Here's what Banister
wrote: When I flew to the U.K. I was patted down and I told the agent
"If you're doing that for the government, it's ok, but if you're doing
that for you, it'll be twenty bucks." He blushed, I passed. Most of them
have NO sense of humor. Banister is an 18 y/o college student and he's
Okies let's do a Beeb: At least 345 people die in a stampede on a bridge
during festival celebrations in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, Prime
Minister Hun Sen says. Celebrations? Honestly, I
can't believe how idiotic people can be when they succumb to mass panic.
Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is reunited with her younger
son, Kim Aris, in Burma after 10 years apart. You've
gotta hand it to that lady, she's determined to topple the ruling military
junta no matter what it takes. Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen
says he will call a general election in the new year following a day of
political turmoil over an EU-led bail-out of the country's ailing economy.
Irish populated the new world and I'm tempted to say they left all the
dummies at home. But I won't. Qantas says it is to resume flying
some of its Airbus A380 aircraft on Saturday, three weeks after a mid-air
engine blast. Yep, you can't generate revenue by
leaving those big babies on the ground. Hopes are dwindling for
29 men who remain missing four days after a mine explosion in New Zealand,
police say. "The longer it goes on, hopes fade and we have to be realistic,"
said police superintendent Gary Knowles, who is co-ordinating rescue efforts.
springs eternal but in this case an eternity is 4 days. A Nazi suspect
indicted on charges of involvement in the murders of 430,000 Jews at Belzec
death camp has died in Germany aged 89. Samuel Kunz was third on the Simon
Wiesenthal Center's list of most wanted Nazi war crimes suspects and had
been due to go on trial early next year. He was also accused of personally
shooting dead 10 Jews at the camp in occupied Poland during 1942-43. I
can think of a more appropriate surname than Kunz. The US airport
security agency is "desperately" working to balance travellers' privacy
concerns with security needs, the White House said. Spokesman Robert Gibbs
said the controversial new screening would evolve with travellers' input.
Some passengers are objecting to use of revealing full-body scanners and
"pat-downs" for those opting out of scans. Well,
we know what Banister has to say about that. Anyway, privacy takes second
place to security in this day and age. US agents who drive nuclear
weapons around the country were involved in 16 alcohol-related incidents
in two years, the energy department has said. One was arrested for public
drunkenness and two were held after an incident at a bar while on overnight
missions. Speaking of security... A California
animal shelter is seeking adoptive homes for 1,000 rats rescued from a
house they had infested and virtually destroyed. The rats ran amok in the
Los Angeles house of a man said to be receiving mental health treatment,
after his daughter brought a pregnant rat home.
see it but I don't believe it. Teen star Justin Bieber dominated
the American Music Awards winning four prizes from four nominations. Bieber,
16, who beat Eminem, Usher, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga to artist of the year,
also won best pop album, best pop male, and breakthrough artist. Another
Youtube success story.
It's been a looooong day, so I'd better do my kitchen thing. T-bones
and onions for THEM and Indian Butter Chicken and Rice for me... one of
those 3-minute microwave thingies. Hehe. Gary
November 22, 2010. I think I've figured out how to compartmentalize
the Scrapbook project into navigable sections, but I've realized that it's
not gonna be finished for a while yet. I'll work on a chapter or two at
a time, starting tomorrow, and then post the whole thing when it's finished.
I'll include the link in the regular Odyssey journal but also separately
so that it can be found at a later date by anyone who's interested in the
scintillating life and times of yours truly. Also, the tome or parts thereof
may be updated on occasion if or when some old pic/article or whatever
happens to come my way. Like someone might read the thing and write me
saying, "Hey! I've got a pic of you and that footballer you met at Bega
in 1976..." Oops! Actually, there were two footballers and that's all I'm
I haven't done a Beeb for a while so let's get into it: There is "every
chance" the 29 men missing since Friday's coal mine explosion in New Zealand
are still alive, says Prime Minister John Key. There has been no contact
with the men since the blast at the Pike River mine near Greymouth on the
South Island. Families are still waiting for the rescue to begin, but the
presence of toxic gases is making it too dangerous to enter the mine. I
suppose you've gotta remain positive but it doesn't look good. Japan's
justice minister says he is resigning after causing outrage for joking
about how easy his job was. Minoru Yanagida said the only two phrases he
had to remember in parliament were: "I won't comment on individual cases,"
and "I'm acting in accordance with the law and the evidence." And
the moral of the story is, never tell the truth in politics. The
Vatican has played down the importance of Pope Benedict's remarks appearing
to temper the opposition of the Roman Catholic Church to condoms. The Vatican
spokesman said the pontiff's comments were not "revolutionary", but added
it was the first time Pope Benedict had commented on the issue informally.
The Pope made clear in his view condoms were no answer to the Aids pandemic.
me quote part of J's comment on Justin's blog in relation to this issue:
looks like he (the pope) is waking up to his own irrelevancy in the modern
world... The US has said a report that North Korea has built
a new nuclear facility is further evidence of Pyongyang's "belligerent
behaviour". The top US military officer, Adm Mike Mullen, said North Korea
was "continuing on a path which is destabilising for the region". A US
scientist said he been shown "more than 1,000 centrifuges" for enriching
uranium on a visit to North Korea. So the question
is, what would convince North Korea to maintain the status quo in the region?
In other words, how do you convince a weed that it's not welcome in the
garden? A chihuahua named Momo (Peach) has passed the exam to become
a dog in the police force in western Japan, in what seems to be a first.
The 3kg (6.6lb) dog is set to become part of a search-and-rescue team used
for disasters such as earthquakes. Its small size means it will be able
to squeeze into places too narrow for dogs such as German Shepherds.
sense to me. A French farmer has been given a one-month suspended
jail sentence and fined 500 euros (£428) for feeding his ducks marijuana
to rid them of worms. A police spokesman said it was the first time they
had heard such a claim. Mr Rouyer, who lives in the village of Gripperie-Saint-Symphorien
on France's Atlantic coast, did also admit to smoking some of the marijuana.
A 16-year-old boy critically injured in an attack in a Northamptonshire
has died in hospital. A 21-year-old man and three men aged 19 have been
charged with Adil's murder and are due in court on Monday. The
ol' 4 against 1 trick. Assholes. Cigarette packets should have plain
packaging to make smoking less attractive, ministers have suggested. Yep,
just like all the other drugs that have no packaging at all. That should
work a treat. Yeah, right.
Oh, and Rodney? He hasn't showed for 2 nights now, so I figure he's
looking for a quieter neighborhood. I made a fair bit of racket the other
morning when he was here gnawing at things so I don't think he was impressed.
Speaking of impressive, my ex-neighbor wrote yesterday and told me all
the latest goss in Hegarty St, where I used to live 20 years ago. He said
the identical house next to mine sold in 2007 for almost $700K. Oh dear...
How to make a bloke feel all chirpy and gleeful.
Right, stage 1 of the chips is complete, and the oven is ready for the
fish cakes. So I better hit the kitchen. L&S are gonna miss me when
I'm gone ya know. Gary
November 21, 2010. I'm eating my roast chicken and spuds as I
write this. It's late! But I managed to finish all the scanning today,
and I'm buggered. It was a big job, not to mention laborious. Next is organizing
all the pics into proper sequence and writing the explanatory notes. I've
also gotta figure out how to make the whole thing easily navigable and
I'm not sure how to do that just yet. That's my job for next week. Meanwhile,
here's a teaser. Gary
November 20, 2010. What happened to yesterday? Well... it kinda
went that-a-way. The scrapbook digitizing thing is getting bigger than
Ben Hur. I keep finding new stuff to scan/photograph, or I'll suddenly
realize I don't have something and then spend hours looking for it on the
web. A lotta stuff is just not there so I've written to various radio stations
to ask if they have pics of stuff from the 70s and 80s. I also started
going through my old photo albums today, checking for relevant stuff. I
was surprised to find photos I'd forgotten about, so that was cool.
Here's a paste of an email I sent Oregon Richie this morning: Got
involved in the scrapbook thing again yesterday and decided to look for
pics I don't have... like studio shots and building exteriors... without
much success. So I've emailed the stations and asked for old pics if they
have them, which they usually do. It's taking much more time and effort
than I antcipated but I suppose it's worth it. For one thing, if any of
my grand nieces and nephews I've never met are interested in what their
great uncle did with his life, then this is the way to do it.
Meanwhile, I've added a few new faces to my
favs on Red Bubble.
Rodney has kept me awake since 3am. After I blocked the hole behind
the fridge in the kitchen, he's been working on creating a new one behind
the old gas fireplace in my office, which is next to my bedroom. I heard
all the gnawing early this morning and started banging things to frighten
him away. Instead, he laid low for a while and then started again. So I
got tired of leaping out of bed every 10 minutes and decided to go on line.
He kept persisting though... remaining silent until he thought the coast
was clear and then chewing and grinding again. The sun rose a little while
ago so he's gone to wherever Rodneys go during daylight hours. This is
not fun. Obviously, this particular Rodney is a very determined rat.
Well, if Rodney wakes me at 3am again I'm gonna scream. I'm in a cranky
mood anyway because I've spent hours and hours on the web searching for
non-existent pics and it's driving me nuts. There were a few highlights
though, like finding a couple of pics of my brand spanking-new 1965 Ruby
Red Beetle in a photo album. It cost 950 pounds ($1900) off the showroom
floor. I remember a neighbor walking home from the corner store and stopping
to admire my new Bug. "That's the prettiest car I ever saw," he said. Scroll
down and check it out, baby. Gary
November 18, 2010. Has 2010 been jet propelled or what? Anyway,
I forgot to mention something yesterday. I often tell people about my appearance
on New Faces back in 1969 and how it led to my freelance job as booth announcer
on The Marriage Game with Malcolm Searle. So I decided to check out Malcolm
on Google and discovered that he died in 2008 aged 77.
As I mentioned yesterday, some of the old clippings and photographs
in the scrap book were a bit fragile to peel off and scan, so I photographed
them with the little Fuji compact using macro setting and sufficient daylight
not to activate the flash. They turned out pretty well. That compact Fuji
is an amazing little thing. You know how the pros photograph documents
on a flat plane with a camera positioned directly above on a special tripod
thingy and use special non-reflective lighting and a remote shutter release
so as not to disturb the camera? I didn't use any of that stuff. I put
the photos on the top of my porta potty (with the lid closed, of course)
and used natural light from my bedroom window while I hand-held the camera
Speaking of pics, my Red
Bubble calendars arrived today and I must say those RB people do a
sterling job. I'm most impressed, even if they are my own images. The quality
of the art paper and the printing is superb.
Meanwhile, there have been a few responses to Justin's blog post about
the use of correct grammar, etc, which reminds me of a story I heard about
communication of the ancient kind... no phones, no internet, no radio,
just jungle drums. An elderly man who worked as a pilot in remote areas
of Papua New Guinea many years ago told me about a bloke who got into trouble
and had to crash land his small plane in a jungle clearing. His radio was
out, so he couldn't contact anyone. A group of local natives approached
his plane, curious about what had happened. The pilot used sign language
and Pidgin English to tell them he needed to get an urgent message to Port
Morseby. The only long-distance means of communication available was drums...
good old reliable jungle drums just like Tarzan used to use. So the natives
beat a message to the next village, which then passed the message onto
the next village, and so on, until the message finally reached Port Moresby
in about 10 minutes. That same day, help arrived and the pilot was rescued.
Beeb time: The first Guantanamo detainee tried in a US civilian court
has been found not guilty of all but one of 286 terror charges over the
1998 bombings of US embassies in Africa. Tanzanian Ahmed Ghailani, 36,
was found guilty of conspiracy to damage or destroy US property with explosives.
But he was cleared of many other counts including murder and murder conspiracy.
The BBC's Iain Mackenzie, in Washington, says the verdict will be seen
as a huge blow to the Obama administration and its pledge to try Guantanamo
suspects in civilian courts. Don't look at me, I'm
not a lawyer. Up to 40 Rolls-Royce engines on Airbus A380 superjumbos
worldwide will need to be replaced, according to Australian airline Qantas.
Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce was speaking two weeks after a Rolls-Royce
Trent 900 engine on an A380 exploded in mid-air, forcing an emergency landing.
Rolls-Royce has said the engine failure "was confined to a specific component"
which led to an oil fire and loss of turbine pressure. To
my way of thinking, a specific component that's faulty at 32,000 feet is
one component too many and a major worry. Former Alaska Governor
Sarah Palin predicts she could defeat President Barack Obama were she to
run for the White House in 2012. If she's right,
that's an even bigger worry. The head of the US agency that oversees
airport screening has admitted that new pat-down inspections are more invasive
than previous techniques. Transportation Security Administration chief
John Pistole was testifying to senators amid complaints the checks target
sensitive body areas. Mr Pistole said he understood privacy concerns, but
security was paramount. Meanwhile, footage of a man refusing to have his
groin patted down at a San Diego airport has gone viral online. If
I were him, I'd be more worried about what they DIDN'T find. US
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called on the US Senate to ratify
a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia, a day after Republicans threatened
to block ratification efforts. "We can and we must go forward," Mrs Clinton
said during a trip to Congress. The treaty would reduce both countries'
nuclear arsenals and allow each to inspect the other's facilities. How
many nuclear bombs does it take to destroy the world? South Africa's
army is to help game parks fight rhino poachers, the defence ministry has
told the BBC. "This is becoming a priority for us. We cannot continue to
have a situation where rhinos are killed willy-nilly," said a department
spokesperson. More than 200 rhinos have been killed in South Africa for
their horns since the beginning of this year. The horns are highly prized
on the black market and fetch high prices when sold in Asia. Superstition
kills the rhino. Superstition is the enemy of reason.
A little while ago I emailed 2LM, a radio station I worked for in '70/71
in Lismore, and asked the manager if he was interested in a little memorabilia
I scanned, like a 2LM Top 40 chart. He said sure, they can add it to their
history book. So outta the blue, they have a bit of 40 year old history...
an unexpected blast from the past - WITH MY PICTURE ON THE FRONT! In March
1970 the No.1 hit song was He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother by the Hollies.
No.10 was Something/Come Together by the Beatles. Goodness me, I feel like
I'm in a time warp. But the really weird thing is I feel like I could step
back to 1970 and see it just as I left it... everything and everyone just
the same, as though nothing had changed.
Fish 'n' chips tonight. Gary
November 17, 2010. Justin's Blog posted a reminded about the
importance of correct grammar such as capitalization: Capitalization
is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse, and helping
your uncle jack off a horse.
Justin also found this article about home-made soda bottle bombs that
could be lurking in your yard. Be
careful of discarded soda bottles.
I managed to scan the rest of the stuff from my scrapbook today except
for a few newspaper clippings that got stuck to the photo album pages and
are a bit too fragile to peel off. So I'll photograph those tomorrow using
the camera macro setting. Then I think I'll have to resize some of the
images which may be too large to copy directly to an HTML page. It's all
a bit fiddly and frustrating but once it's done it's done forever.
The other day I was shirtless and bitching about the heat and humidity.
Today, I'm wearing a track top and bitching about the cold. Is this winter,
spring or summer? Take your pick. We've had all three this week.
Beeb time: Vice-President Joseph Biden has warned the US that failure
to ratify a new nuclear arms control treaty with Russia will "endanger
our national security". Mr Biden said without such approval, the US would
be unable to inspect and track the Russian nuclear arsenal. The treaty
aims to reduce the nuclear arsenal of the two countries. You
know what worries me? Someone like Sarah Palin in control of the world's
biggest nuclear arsenal. Prince William and girlfriend Kate Middleton
are sent congratulations from around the world after announcing their engagement.
On Tuesday, the couple, both 28, revealed they would marry next spring
or summer after the prince proposed while on holiday in Kenya in October.
the Royal Dynasty lives on. The Beatles' back catalogue is finally
available on iTunes, after years of negotiations. It will mean that for
the first time consumers will be able to purchase some of the Fab Four's
most popular songs via the store. "It's fantastic to see the songs we originally
released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did
the first time around," Sir Paul McCartney said. Ringo Starr added: "I'm
particularly glad to no longer be asked when the Beatles are coming to
iTunes." "Bless their little mop tops," as Mick Jagger
once said. Great white sharks in the Mediterranean may have first
arrived from the seas around Australia 450,000 years ago, genetic studies
have suggested. Researchers writing in Proceedings of the Royal Society
B believe the arrival may have been simply a migratory "wrong turn" by
a few pregnant females. The species - Carcharodon carcharias - would have
remained in the Med because it returns to spawn where it was born. And
in return we got Spaghetti Bolognaise, Pizza and Moussaka. A quietly-spoken
soldier from a small town in Iowa is the first living recipient of America's
highest military decoration since the Vietnam War. President Barack Obama
presented the Medal of Honor to 25-year-old Staff Sgt Salvatore Giunta
at the White House. He received the decoration for "acts of gallantry at
the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty" while serving in
Afghanistan. Sgt Giunta has said he was just doing what any other soldier
would have done. He served two tours in Iraq and had previously received
a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his service. Typical
hero reaction... I was just doing my job. No biggie. Heroes never admit
to being heroes. US car giant General Motors says its offer of shares
to the public could raise $18bn - $5bn more than first hoped. Pass.
The first camera that can take a picture around corners has been developed
by US scientists. The BBC link to the full story
didn't work on that headline but I'd love to know what it's all about.
Well, ladies and genitals, that's it for today. This scrapbook thing
is taking up a stack of time. Gary
November 16, 2010. I'm buggered. This scanning business is soooo
boring! But obviously the old pics and newspaper clippings from my scrap
book have brought back a lotta mems. FL Josh wrote with a suggestion on
how to compile the whole smash using a word processor. I don't have the
wherewithall to convert documents to PDF so I'll settle for HTML using
Netscape Composer (which is what I'm using now, and have for over 10 years).
Anyway, I managed to scan quite a bit this morning but there's still
quite a bit to go. One scan was a payslip from Channel 10 for my work as
a booth announcer on The Marriage Game (show) in 1969. Yes, folks, all
of $26.10. No wonder I'm not rich! My first job in country radio paid the
princely sum of $45.05 a week! The pics themselves are not all that interesting
without the story behind them, so once I've finished scanning, I'll have
quite a bit of writing to do. Not TOO much to bore the hella outta you,
but enough to explain a few things.
I've often remarked that my life has been a bit like a dog's breakfast
- no direction, no ambition, no planning, no goal. But looking back on
it all, it's certainly been varied. Hehe. It may have been interesting
but I definitely wouldn't recommend it. And I'm not sure that variety really
is the spice of life.
Speaking of lives, I watched Australian Story on telly last night. It
was about Australia's richest man, Frank
Lowy. He arrived in Oz as a Hungarian Jew after WWII almost penniless.
He noticed that a lot of European settlers were moving to outer-Sydney
suburbs, and not being serviced by the kind of food outlets they were used
to. So he opened a continental delicatessen. Later, he established Westfield,
which the Los Angeles Times described in 2006 as California's and the world's
largest owner of shopping centers. Not bad for a kid who couldn't speak
English when he arrived here, and who had survived the Nazi holocaust.
I think the main difference between a bloke like Lowy and a bloke like
me is that he figures out what the public wants and gives it to them, whereas
I figure out what I want and hope the public digs it. Oh well...
Tony the Painter has been here for 3 days already (well, half days)
and hasn't done any painting yet. He's been cleaning all the surfaces with
one of those pressure-hose thingies. Hehe. "I hate cleaning," I explained.
"I hate doing anything that doesn't stay done!" He looked at me and said,
"You mean like the pyramids?" "Exactly!"
Beeb time: Former detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp are
in line for UK government compensation totalling in the millions of pounds.
They are among about a dozen former prisoners who will be granted the out-of-court
settlement. It is believed the government wanted to avoid a lengthy and
costly court case which would also have put the British secret intelligence
services under the spotlight. "Secret" being the
operative word. Almost 15% of US households experienced a food shortage
at some point in 2009, a government report has found. US authorities say
that figure is the highest they have seen since they began collecting data
in the 1990s, and a slight increase over 2008 levels. Single mothers are
among the hardest hit: About 3.5 million said they were at times unable
to put sufficient food on the table. Welcome to the
First World. I wonder what the situation in Oz is. What kind of
a lie is acceptable to keep your parents happy? In a Shanghai restaurant,
a wedding is under way. It looks real. There is a cake, champagne and dozens
of guests, but the whole thing is a sham. The groom is gay. The bride is
a lesbian. My mother, a very religious person, once
told my "girlfriend" to rape me.
I just walked toward the kitchen as Sue emerged from the loo, dressed
in a red frilly brassiere and a skimpy pair of black panties. She was alarmed
at first, but I quickly waved my hands in a camp fashion and said, quick
as a flash, "Oh! It's show time! Follies Bergere!" She laughed, fortunately.
Given her mental condition, I'm surprised she got the joke. But what else
could I say or do?
Remember Kirk Douglas, Hollywood superstar and legend, the all-American
Spartacus he-man? He suffered a stroke and was reduced to a physical wreck
who couldn't even talk. Here
he is in a post-stroke interview with Michael Parkinson. His message
is simple... a sense of humor, and a focus on others, is all you need to
Right now I'm focusing on garlic prawns. Gary
November 15, 2010. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeell, I spent most of
the day digitizing old bits and pieces from my scrap book. It's taking
ages. There's stuff hidden inside other stuff that I completely forgot
about, and some of it is over 40 years old. I figure the job is gonna take
pretty much the whole week. Each piece needs to be titled and cropped and
organized and whatever. But it's worth doing. Once all the pics and documents
have been scanned, they'll need to be assembled into book form with descriptive
text accompanying each image/page. The Jalbum thing I normally do with
images won't work because each image has a separate story and needs to
be treated independently. Also some A4 documents need to be full size (or
close to it) in order for the text to be readable.
So, ladies and genitals, please bear with me until I finish this project.
November 14, 2010. Australian talk-back radio host John
Laws is coming back to the airwaves early next year after having retired
3 years ago. The old bugger just can't help himself. He's 75 now. He's
joining the 2SM network with 90 stations around Oz. I don't think he's
been with 2SM before. When I first knew him, he was with 2UE. Then he went
to 2UW, 2GB and back to 2UE. He certainly is a colorful character.
Speaking of colorful characters, Ohio Jace wrote that Cody's fav band
Just Jinjer is returning to SA for a concert or two. They've been in the
US for the past few years making a name for themselves. They changed their
name from Jinger to Jinjer because Americans were rhyming it with ringer
instead of ginger. They've released 11 albums so far.
I watched an interview with Mick Jagger on Youchewb the other day, filmed
back in the late 60s. I was beginning to like him and admire his charm
when he raised his hands to his face and revealed DIRTY FINGERNAILS! -
the kind people get if they don't wash. That was it for me. Next!
Jace says the Ohio gang is fine. Little Code has a girlfriend now. He
sits with her at school during lunch, and even shares his with her on occasion.
That reminds me of Cody giving Mark's "avo" sandwich the eye during school
lunch one time, and bullying Mark into giving him a bite in exchange for
a bite of Cody's pie. Hehe.
Beeb time: World leaders celebrate the release of Burma's pro-democracy
leader Aung San Suu Kyi but urge the country's ruling military to free
all political prisoners. Urge? Does that mean all
talk and no action? France's state rail company SNCF expresses "profound
sorrow" in the US for its role in transporting Jews to Nazi death camps
in WWII. Just following orders, I suppose.
Hmmm, not a lot going on at the Beeb at the mo. Not a lot going on here
either, for that matter.
For the past few
hours I've been amusing myself by taking a trip down memory lane, checking
out radio stations I worked for ages ago. Sheesh, they've gotten worse.
I thought I was corny but these new blokes are... well, maybe I shouldn't
say. One breakfast announcer used to hang around the studios in the mid
sixties aged 17 hoping for a job. He finally got one... 40 years later!
He would have been there as a kid when I got my first job in radio back
in '69 but I don't remember him. I was 24 at the time. I remember the ad
in the Sydney Morning Herald which I spotted quite by accident. The scan
has made it larger. It's actually the size of a postage stamp.
Anyway, I've been wondering for quite some time what the hell I'm gonna
do with all my memorabilia - stuff in my scrap book. DIGITIZE IT! Yes,
that's the way to go. Digitize all the pics and stuff and put an album
together on Aussie Odyssey. It may not be of interest to most people but
it's a good way to make the whole record compact and permanent and share
it with others. I'll start work on that tomorrow.
Well, that'll do for today. Fried chicken marinated in honey and soy,
and roast herbed spuds. Gary
November 13, 2010. Stan the Lawn Man joked about something yesterday
in an attempt to bait me. When I didn't respond he said, "You never swear!"
Well, no, I don't unless I'm annoyed. I just don't see the point of using
expletives for no good reason. When I hear most drunks coming home from
the pub at 2 or 3am on a Saturday, every second word is 'fuck' or 'cunt'
or whatever, and I think to myself, why are they so angry? They must be
very unhappy souls. Expletive: A word or phrase that does not contribute
any meaning but is added only to fill out a sentence or a metrical line.
Free Online Dictionary. Well, I'm all for short sentences. Concise,
to the point, and free from embellishment, that's me. Fuck the expletives.
It's mid afternoon now and I've been doing my sums. Unless Green Room
takes off or I win Lotto, both of which are highly unlikely, the bottom
line is I'll have all my debts paid off in a year with a bit left over.
So then I did one of those online bank personal loan calculator thingies
to see how much I could borrow for a motorhome (given my current income
and expenses), what the repayments would be over 5 years, and what the
interest would be. Hmmm. I wasn't impressed. So then I figured out how
much I could save over a further 12 months if my situation remains as it
is. Together with Bluey, I could have enough to buy a decent campervan.
I'm not talking the Taj Mahal on wheels here but something that will do
the job. More importantly, I would OWN it outright. No debts. So that's
the plan. Two years unless I get lucky in the meantime.
Beeb time: The UN appeals for nearly $164m in aid to help fight a cholera
outbreak in Haiti which has now claimed 724 lives. It's
a small price. The leaders of 21 countries prepare to meet in the
Japanese city of Yokohama for the 21st Apec summit on regional economic
co-operation. I'm not sure I understand what this
cooperation thing all about. Does it mean reduced competition? Survival
of the mediocre? Rolls-Royce has said that a mid-air engine explosion
during an A380 super-jumbo jet flight to Australia resulted from a single
faulty component. Rolls said it was correcting the fault, which is specific
to its Trent 900 engine model and is not an issue on other engines. A
single faulty component? Is that all it takes? A mountain lion found
it was no match for a Jack Russell terrier which trapped it up a tree on
a farm in the US state of South Dakota. The dog's owner Mr Strenge discovered
the 150lb (68kg) male lion, also known as a cougar, clinging to the top
of a tree with 17lb (8kg) terrier Jack at the bottom. "He trees cats all
the time," Mr Strenge told The Argus Leader newspaper. "I suppose he figured
it was just a cat." Hehe. No fear. As an island
continent, Australia is quite literally defined by its 37,000km of coast.
The statistics alone can explain why Australians are so obsessed with getting
some sand between their toes – around 85% of the population live within
an hour’s drive of one of the 11,000 plus beaches – but the beach’s significance
in Australian life goes far deeper than convenience. An
interesting article you can read here.
A short Waffle today, I'm afraid. Gary
November 12, 2010. Well, Tony the Painter arrived this morning
and will be here for a week. He's painting the whole exterior of the house.
It's a brick house so it's a fiddly job - window frames, eaves, guttering,
etc. Another painter quoted on the job and said he didn't want it - too
fiddly - so he gave the estate agent a "silly" quote. Tony's pretty easy
going though. He's been here a few times before. Loves a chat. He arrived
in Oz from England aged 13 and has just recently been naturalized as a
true blue Aussie. He's probably 50+ now and still has his Pommy accent.
At the mo, he's out there spraying redback spiders with bleach before he
begins painting. You don't wanna get bitten by one of those little buggers
otherwise it's off to the hospital for antivenom. I hope he included all
that bug removal in his quote hehe.
And now Stan the Lawn Man has arrived to squirt all my weeds. The recent
rains have caused them to go ballistic, and they're taking over the joint.
ZYX wrote in response to my bit yesterday about losing a house now worth
$700K: A fool and his money? Best laid plans? How about someone who
knows his priorities? How about someone who knows that sharing and caring
are the true values in life? How about Gary Kelly?
Oh dear, Gerry... that's very sweet of you but I think it's going a
bit far. Now you've embarrassed me. Actually, it's an interesting point.
I don't share and care, as you put it, because I choose to. It's because
that's my nature. It's impossible for me to be anyone other than who I
am. Remember that time Cody missed a kick in a swimming race against Mark
so that Mark would win? Mark blew his top, and so did the coach. But that's
the way Cody was, always putting others first. In fact, Cody won an award
for being "a most caring person" at his school's Valedictory Service. Mind
you, he wasn't too caring when he first met Mark and flattened him in the
school quad, hehe. But that was the exception rather than the rule, and
I imagine Mark still laughs about that even now, all these years later.
Here we are in mid November already. Some bloke emailed me yesterday
and said "November already! What happened to 2010?" So I replied and told
him it was a conspiracy; that it's really only February, and that it's
a trick to make us all feel old. Anyway, I thought it was time to do another
calendar for 2011, so I chose a bunch of pics I've called Kelly's
Allsorts. I've ordered a few copies including one for Averil and one
for the doc. If you'd like one for yourself or a friend, go ahead. The
calendars are printed on high quality art paper and look rather impressive
on the wall.
Beeb time: Militants attempt to storm an anti-terrorist police headquarters
in Pakistan's largest city and then detonate a suicide truck bomb, leaving
20 dead and at least 100 injured. Maybe we need a
few suicide bombers on our side to even the score. Yoohoo! Surprise!
Australia's High Court has backed migrant claims of unfair laws, in a ruling
that has far-reaching implications for asylum policy. Two Sri Lankan men
held offshore on Christmas Island had argued that laws barring them from
appeal in Australian courts were unfair. The court ruled unanimously that
they had been denied "procedural fairness". I'm by
no means an expert on these matters but the last thing I want is a flood
of refugees that just wanders in and says thank you very much. A
self-published guide giving advice to paedophiles that was on sale through
online retailer Amazon is stirring up controversy, with some threatening
to boycott the website. The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover's
Code of Conduct has now been removed from sale. I
should think so! A vase found in a house-clearance in London has
been sold for £43m, thought to be a record for any Chinese artwork.
The 18th Century Qianlong-dynasty porcelain piece had been estimated to
fetch up to £1.2m for the brother and sister who inherited it. "The
sister had to go out of the room and have a breath of fresh air," said
Helen Porter from Bainbridges auction house in Ruislip, north-west London.
it were me, I'd need something a bit stronger than a breath of fresh air!
I wonder what the vase sold for when it was first made. Renault
can name a new car model Zoe, a French judge has ruled - throwing out a
case brought by the parents of two girls called Zoe Renault. The families
had argued that their children - and to a lesser extent, other children
who have the first name Zoe - could face a lifetime of mockery for sharing
the name of a car. How ludicrous. Most US
troops think allowing gays to serve openly in the military would have a
minimal effect on US war efforts, the Washington Post newspaper reports.
Some 70% of troops surveyed said the effects of repealing the ban would
be positive, mixed or nonexistent, the paper said, citing a Pentagon report.
the military having a "don't ask, don't tell" policy in relation to blacks
back in the bad old days. The world's two leading movie industries
have signed a pact to strengthen production, distribution and commercial
ties. The popular American and Indian film industries - Hollywood and Bollywood
- produce the majority of commercial cinema in the world. The pact also
aims at co-productions and encouraging Indian filmmakers to shoot in the
United States. This gives a whole new meaning to
"cowboys and Indians". Australian airline Qantas has said it will
continue to keep its fleet of six Airbus A380 planes grounded while further
safety checks are carried out. Last week the engine on a Qantas A380 exploded
in mid-air, forcing an emergency landing in Singapore. Qantas had initially
expected the checks to be completed by Thursday. Despite
that, Qantas plans to go ahead with delivery of 6 new Airbuses.
But back to Mark for a mo. He must have a thousand stories to tell about
his adventures sailing yachts around the world, and visiting various countries.
Wouldn't you love the opportunity to dine and chat with him for a few hours?
I suppose I'll meet people like that on the Odyssey from time to time,
people who have done all kinds of interesting things during their lives.
Hmmm. Another reason to get my act together. Hehe. Not that I need reminding.
Remember Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo? It was a dreadful show, corny as
hell, but despite that became an international hit. Anyway, some years
ago my favorite comedy show, Fast
Forward, did some send ups, not only of Skippy but everything else
that came their way.
sending up A Current Affair.
And here's one with those cheeky damn Aussies
sending up CNN. Hehe.
And you've gotta watch this send up of a couple
of Qantas stewards.
Okay, I gotta get serious now and attend to my kitchen duties. Gary
November 11, 2010. Remembrance Day. At 11am on the 11th of the
11th, we pause for a minute's silence to remember the fallen in WWI, as
well as those of other wars.
Here's what I wrote Oregon Richie this morning: The owner of my old
house in Glebe phoned after dinner last night and we chatted for an hour
and a half. She had a problem typing the AO addy at first but we fixed
that, and then she was astonished to see the pics and learn a few things
about the old homestead. She's made a few changes to the internals. She
also mentioned some of the neighbors who are still there. The couple just
up the road, with whom I was quite friendly, now have a son aged 18 (who
didn't exist back then), and my immediate neighbor on the other side is
still there. So is the dickhead across the road who is apparently getting
I was shocked to learn that a conservative bank valuation puts the
value of the house now at $700K. Ouch, that hurts. How to lose almost 3/4
of a million bucks by getting involved with a bunch of crooks. And to think
I paid $31K in 1978. Yes, that really does hurt.
She wants me to visit Sydney and do the Prodigal Son trick but I'm
not sure about that. Maybe on the AO but not now. Ya know, the images of
that joint and living there are still razor sharp in my mind, and it's
like I left yesterday. She's planning to add another storey to the rear
section (like the neighbor has) and is thinking of spending a bit over
$200K. "Guess how much my renovations cost back in the early 80s," I asked.
Yes, I'm still in shock at hearing how much that little house is worth
now, and even more pissed off at having lost it. But it's good that the
new owner is thrilled with the old pics and the information I provided.
And guess what she told me? "Oh, yes, they (the neighbors) still talk about
you all the time!" Sheesh. I must've made an impression. Okay, I made an
impression. So if I keep making impressions why the bloody hell aren't
I rich? Maybe it has something to do with a fool and his money, or the
best laid plans of mice and men.
"Evening of a hot day started the little wind to moving among the
leaves. The shade climbed up the hills toward the top. On the sand banks
the rabbits sat as quietly as little gray, sculptured stones." John
Steinbeck was a great writer, ya know.
Why doesn't life have an equivalent to Navman? Yes, I know... the future
hasn't been mapped yet. Pity. Or is it? Let's not get into that.
Pay day/bills day again, but I managed to put a bit aside. If I stick
to my current fiscal routine, I should be debt free in 12 months. Bluey
is fine now, and needs only regular maintenance (touch wood). Soooooooooooooo,
go figure. I think there might be a glimmer of light at the end of the
Beeb time: Tests on a failed parcel bomb sent on a US-bound cargo flight
last month show it could have been designed to detonate over the eastern
US, say UK police. It was removed and "disrupted" by explosives officers
about three hours before it was timed to detonate, British police said
in a statement. "If the device had activated it would have been at 1030hrs
BST (0930 GMT) on Friday 29 October 2010." Is it
politics? Is it religion? Or is it human nature? I think it's human nature
because there would be no politics or religion without it. President
Barack Obama has pleaded with world leaders to put aside their differences
and work together for global economic recovery. There are fears the Seoul
summit could descend into a row between the US and China about so-called
"currency wars" and trade imbalances. See what I
mean about human nature? If
you don't understand what "currency wars" means, click here. There
have been violent scenes as tens of thousands of people protested against
plans to treble tuition fees and cut university funding in England. Not
surprising, but also not unexpected when a party that promises budget cuts
gets into power. A panel set up to generate plans for trimming the
US budget deficit has proposed a series of tough measures including cutting
Social Security rises and raising the retirement age to 69. The commission,
set up by President Barack Obama, set out $200bn (£125bn) in potential
cuts aimed at reducing the $1.3tr US budget deficit. The draft report suggests
slashing public health and defence spending. That's
the unfortunate reality of slashing deficits. Boeing has halted
test flights of its long-delayed 787 Dreamliner after a fire forced an
emergency landing in Texas on Tuesday. Boeing said it was the most serious
incident since it began test flights of the jet last year. The Dreamliner
is already nearly three years behind schedule. I
know the feeling. Graphic pictures depicting the possible consequences
of tobacco use are soon to adorn boxes of cigarettes sold in the US, officials
have said. The pictures- which include a corpse on a morgue slab and a
man with a tracheotomy hole in his neck - are intended to scare people
off smoking. That's been the case in Oz for years
but I don't think it's having much effect, particularly on young smokers.
US automotive giant General Motors posts a big third quarter profit, fuelled
by a rise in sales both in the US and overseas. "So
again Miss American pie..."
Yes, slashing deficits. I've been slashing my own for quite a while
now. There are only two ways to do it... either make more money or spend
Spending less is an interesting philosophy. You can spend $1000 on a
month's worth of restaurants and booze and tickets to the opera, or you
can spend it on a chest of drawers that will last you a lifetime and actually
increase in value. Yes?
Well, speaking of news, you won't believe this. ABC
TV news is actually in COLOR! Yes, folks, it's 1975, the war in Vietnam
is still raging, Gerald Ford is the president of the USA and I'm the breakfast
announcer on a radio station in Sydney. Who says yesterday's news is old
Din dins time again. T-bones for THEM and a gourmet beef and burgundy
pie for me. Gary
November 10, 2010. Okay, here's the story of Goldilocks and the
Three Bears like you've never heard or seen it before... complete with
sound effects, narrated
by Craig Ferguson.
Here's another one from Craig that discusses movies,
concerts and aquatic creatures.
Ferguson is one of the best stand-ups I've ever seen. Totally relaxed,
very confident, and has wonderful rapport with his audience. His routine
is more like a chat than a performance. He must have an abundance of courage
to be so confident standing before a bunch of total strangers. I'd not
heard of Ferguson until Oregon Richie told me about him.
On a couple of occasions I've been to Taree Railway Station, once to
check out an old Motor Rail an a few times to see vintage steam locos.
There's a 'refreshments room' there that is no longer in use. Refreshments
rooms were a normal part of railway stations before buffet cars were included
on trains to serve meals and drinks en route. Anyway, here's a selection
of photos from the early days of refreshments rooms at various country
railway stations. You never know what little gems you'll find on Youchewb,
I do vaguely remember the refreshments room at Central Station as a
kid, and the milk bar where you could buy a milk shake for 4 pence (5 cents).
Station was/is a most impressive place, especially to a kid... kinda
like the international airport of today, with lots of people dressed in
their finery and carrying luggage. Here's an exterior
shot of Central.
Back in the early days of Oz telly, the TV stations closed down at about
midnight, and resumed transmission next day, usually after midday. There
was an American singer who was a Tonight Show host in Sydney. His name
was Tommy Leonetti and he became quite popular. He wrote a song about Sydney
and I remember thinking, "A song about Sydney? Bloody hell, this is the
land of Waltzing Matilda! No one writes a song about Oz cities or towns!
Cities like New York or London have songs written about them, not Sydney!"
he wrote and sang it anyway, and used it to close to his show. I've
not seen the Kangaroo closing of the station at midnight in donkey's years,
so that was cool.
Yes, when I was a kid Sydney was like a big country town. The pubs closed
at 6pm along with most everything else. It was called the 6 o'clock swill.
That was designed to send the drinkers back home to mom and the kids in
time for dinner. My dad ALWAYS arrived home from work at 6pm in time for
dinner. My job was to open the driveway gates. Guess what the situation
is here in Taree? The driveway gates are NEVER closed.
Enough reminiscing. Beeb time: Haitian officials confirm scores of people
are being treated for cholera in the capital Port-au-Prince, amid warnings
it will take years to eradicate the disease from the country. Such
misery I've not encountered, and hope I never do. Three firms involved
in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill lacked a safety culture and made serious
mistakes ahead of the catastrophe, a key inquiry says. Well,
surprise, surprise. Pentagon officials say they cannot explain reports
of a missile launch off the coast of California on Monday. A CBS News helicopter
captured what looked like the vapour trail of a missile rising from the
water about 35 miles (56 km) offshore. "Right now all indications are that
it was not [defence department] involvement in this launch" Pentagon spokesman
Col David Lapan said. The Pentagon does not consider the missile a threat.
this one, anyway. President Barack Obama has admitted the US must
do "a lot more work" to improve ties with the Muslim world, as he continues
an Asian tour in Indonesia. Mr Obama said his efforts had been "sustained"
but accepted "mistrust" remained in the Islamic world. On
both sides, baby. As President George W Bush's memoir hits US bookstores,
it seems that the American public is now viewing his presidency in a more
favourable light. The BBC's Katie Connolly explores why Americans look
so fondly on their former leaders.
the full article here. Burma's main military-backed political party
says it won about 80% of votes in the first election in 20 years. What
a joke. Tata Motors has seen its profits soar as demand for its
Jaguar and Land Rover brands improved. India's biggest vehicle maker made
22.2bn rupees ($505m; £310m) in the three months to the end of September
- an almost 100-fold increase on a year earlier. Sales in India climbed
by 35% in the quarter, but it experienced even bigger growth in China and
Russia. How the "wheel" turns.
Did I say enough reminiscing? I just phoned Averil and we chatted about
the old days in Sydney, etc. So much has changed in our lifetimes. *Sigh*
I remember my mother saying she had to clean up all the dead Indians at
the back of the TV after every Western movie.
BUT the past is the past, and now it's time to consider the future.
I need a motorhome, that's what I need. And that's what I'm focusing on.
Nothing too flash or expensive, just something adequate. Kitchen, shower/loo,
bed, dinette, awning. That'll do. I visualize the morning I wake up and
look out the window to see Uluru. Imagine that! Uluru in my backyard! Gary
November 9, 2010. TX Greg wrote in response to the pics of my
old house in Sydney: Awesome pic with you and your dog! Almost looks
like the the dog is saying "Pour me a double, bartender" :)
My letter to the current owner should arrive today so it'll be interesting
to hear what he/she has to say. The last thing they'll be expecting is
a blast from the past. I suppose the joint is worth a fortune now. The
great thing about that house is its location. I used to walk to the Sydney
CBD or ride my bicycle down to the harbor (with Kelly riding in the wire
basket at the back). All the inner city suburbs, which used to be slum
areas, are now all the rage - Glebe, Redfern, Woolloomooloo, Pyrmont, Kings
Cross, Potts Point, Ultimo, Forest Lodge, Camperdown, Newtown, Erskineville,
St Peters, etc. I moved in just before the area became "desirable" and
yuppyfied. In fact, a friend of mine bought a house at St Peters. We shared
a flat in Ashfield at the time (1977) and that inspired me to think about
buying a house too. I had no furniture and hardly any money. I furnished
the joint with bean bags and a used B&W telly that cost me $20. Upstairs
I had a used mattress on the floor and a little wardrobe from a second-hand
store. The things you do when you're young and bullet proof.
Last night I watched an interview with a bloke who passionately believed
that hundreds of Aussie dead from WWI in France, whose remains were unaccounted
for, could be found behind the German lines at the time. During the interview,
they showed historic footage of battles, with foot soldiers running headlong
into enemy fire and being mowed down like flies. These were young men,
real young men, not Hollywood stuntmen. One would fall and his mates would
gain a few more yards until they too fell. It was just awful - just so
pitiful. Anyway, the bloke was right and the remains were found. The French
woman who owns the land where the soldiers were buried in mass graves by
the Germans donated the area as a permanent memorial to the fallen Aussies.
"It's not just their bodies that are here, it's also their blood." Most
of the bodies were identified using DNA from relatives and re-buried with
proper graves and crosses. War is just so damn fucked.
I've heard about baboons taking over neighborhoods in South Africa but
not in Oz.
Beeb time: US President Barack Obama backs India's bid to be granted
permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council. As
Barack said, India is the world's largest democracy. The death toll
from the Haitian cholera epidemic reaches 544, the health ministry says,
as fears mount that the disease is spreading to the capital. I
wonder what's worse; the disease or the fears. An inquiry ordered
by US President Barack Obama into the BP oil spill has given support to
many of the company's own findings, challenging claims BP sacrificed safety
to save money. BP has been widely criticised since the 20 April blowout
in the Gulf of Mexico. One would hope that a company
like BP is not being run by fools. Roman Catholic monks in Switzerland
have placed a job advert in a newspaper as part of a recruitment drive.
The Capuchin order says it is looking for professional single men like
bankers or lawyers aged 22 to 35 to join their dwindling ranks. "We offer
you no pay, but spirituality and prayer, contemplation, an egalitarian
lifestyle, free of personal material riches and the common model of a couple
relationship," it says. Sounds irresistible.
A radical US-born Yemeni Islamist cleric has called for the killing of
Americans in a new video message posted on radical web sites. Anwar al-Awlaki
said no permission was needed to kill Americans as they are from the "party
of devils". I'll leave it to you to decide whether
he's the full quid or not. Rolls-Royce says it has "made progress"
in its investigation into the cause of engine problems on the Airbus A380.
The firm did not say whether its engineers had identified what caused one
of its engines to break apart on a Qantas flight last Thursday. But the
British firm said the problem was specific to the type of engine being
used on the plane. There ya go... criticize Qantas
and then back pedal when it turns out to be a British problem. The
Large Hadron Collider has successfully created a "mini-Big Bang" by smashing
together lead ions instead of protons. The scientists working at the enormous
machine on Franco-Swiss border achieved the unique conditions on 7 November.
The experiment created temperatures a million times hotter than the centre
of the Sun. But for the next four weeks, scientists at the LHC will concentrate
on analysing the data obtained from the lead ion collisions. This way,
they hope to learn more about the plasma the Universe was made of a millionth
of a second after the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago. It's
all explained in the Bible, mate. Don't you guys read?
I've tried to take an interesting pic of my new pocket watch a couple
of times without success but I tried again today and
it turned out okay. Then I posted it on Red Bubble and someone favorited
it. So there ya go. I don't think it's all that good but it's not bad.
I'm ambidextrous ya know, so I held the watch in my left hand, operated
the camera with my right hand, and made a cuppa tea at the same time. How's
that for clever?
We're having chickeny thingies tonight, with little potato thingies.
The chickeny thingies are called Crackles, lightly marinated chicken breast
portions in a crispy tempura coating. And the potato thingies are called
Pommes Noisettes just to make them sound flasher than your ordinary run-of-the-mill
spud balls made from mash. But it all sounds pretty cool, so I'll look
forward to that.
So that's it for Chewsdee. Gary
November 8, 2010. Okies, I scanned all the old pics of my little
house in Glebe and
posted them on AO, together with a bit of history. Now I'll write a
letter to the current owner and let them know where to find it on the web.
It's taken longer than it should have cos I made a boo boo and couldn't
figure out what the boo boo was for a while. Grrrr.
Okies, back from running errands for Averil and it's 3:30pm already.
Time to do a quick Beeb: Western powers dismiss Burma's first general election
for two decades, describing it as neither free nor fair. Well,
you could have knocked me over with a feather. Australian airline
Qantas says it is keeping its Airbus A380s grounded for further checks
after finding "anomalies" with three engines. I think
ground level is a perfectly reasonable place to find anomalies.
Greece's ruling Socialists and opposition conservatives are tied in crucial
regional elections, according to partial results. The
birthplace of democracy. Pope Benedict XVI has consecrated Antoni
Gaudi's unfinished church, the Sagrada Familia, as a basilica in the Spanish
city of Barcelona. Gaudi's greatest work has been under construction for
more than a century, and will not be finished before 2026. By
which time I'll also be finished. I'm not a church person but I do admire
the brilliance of the architecture and design of those incredibly beautiful
structures. Edison Pena, the Chilean miner who famously jogged underground
while awaiting rescue, has completed the New York City Marathon. He came
in walking on a bad knee to finish the 26.2-mile (42.4-km) route in less
than six hours. Speaking just before the race, he said he wanted to inspire
others, especially children, to run. Is he kidding?
That's all kids do! Run! A gigantic statue of Jesus - claimed to
be the world's tallest - has been erected in a western Polish town. Christ
the King in Swiebodzin rises 33m (108ft) - one metre for every year that
Jesus lived, said Sylwester Zawadzki, the priest who created the statue.
bigger it is and the more impressive it is the more likely people will
believe it. Yes? The Queen is set to have an official presence on
Facebook when a British Monarchy page launches on the internet-based social
networking site. Buckingham Palace says it is not a personal profile page,
but users can "like" the service and receive updates on their news feed.
The Queen has reportedly embraced the web and sends e-mails. A British
Monarchy Twitter feed is also available. The Facebook page is due to go
live from Monday morning. Betty embraces the 21st
century, and why not? I think it's a great idea.
I should mention that last night I watched Hillary Clinton being interviewed
by a TV audience of young Aussie students in Melbourne, and I was most
impressed with the way Hillary handled the situation with intelligence
and good humor. She's a smart lady. At one stage she mentioned the GLBT
issue and had to be asked by the interview moderator to explain herself.
Americans and their penchant for acronyms! "That's American shorthand for
Gay, Lesbian, Bi and Transexual issues," she explained. And then went on
to talk about DADT. Sheesh. Oregon Richie has been emailing me for nine
years using acronyms and I still don't have a clue what he's talking about.
As I approached the newsagent's counter to pay Averil's paper bill a
youngish couple approached at the same time, and then gestured me to take
my turn before them. "Why?" I asked. "Because I'm old?" I heard someone
say "yes" as the shop owner laughed. After I paid the bill, I turned to
leave and the male half of the couple said, "You're already there, mate.
We're still on the way." So I wished him good luck. However, I was a tad
peeved. I mean I'm not THAT bloody old.
So that's it for Mondee. I was gonna do scrambled eggs with cheese,
tomato and chips for Sue tonight but Lindsay decided he wanted the same
thing. Okay, so I'll do it for three. I'm easy. Gary
November 7, 2010. Here's a post by a mom who defends her 5 y/o's
choice of Halloween costume against bigoted and nasty comments from other
mothers at school. It's
a very stirring piece.
I started my new book this morning after arriving at a conclusion about
what it should be and how I should write it. The working title is PONDERINGS
OF A GRUMPY OLD FART. I thought about writing a memoir but that's no good.
Publishers don't like memoirs unless they're about famous people. So my
book is a "sort of" memoir but mainly a collection of ponderings and recollections
that will hopefully inform, entertain and perhaps even enlighten. And yes,
some of the content will be controversial. I don't think I'm capable of
writing anything that isn't.
Ah ha! At last I found a Youchewb clip of the business I was in... advertising
copy and voice overs. The guy interviewed who says he was a high school
mimick is Keith Scott, a bloke I used quite a lot in my commercials. I
did voice overs as well but I was much happier writing scripts and producing
the recording sessions. Besides, guys like Keith were far better at voices
than I was. I remember when he was criticized for being the "pretend" Orson
Welles but, hey, like Liberace he cried all the way to the bank. Those
were the days.
Of course, now you have 20-somethings mimicking the gravely voices of
50-somethings who have earned their tonsils from a lifetime of drinking
scotch and smoking cigars. 20-somethings just don't cut it in my book.
It ain't real. Mind you, there's not a lot about the advertising industry
that IS real.
50 years ago, Morris
Minis were made like this. Now they're made
like this with lots of robots.
Beeb time: The people of Burma are voting in the country's first national
elections for 20 years. Ruling generals say the polls will mark a transition
to democratic civilian rule, but critics say they are a sham. The main
opposition party, the National League for Democracy, led by Nobel laureate
Aung San Suu Kyi, is boycotting the vote. I don't
blame her. US President Barack Obama has stressed Washington's support
for Mexico's ongoing battle against crime cartels, after a major drug kingpin
was shot dead. Good riddance. Pope Benedict
XVI begins a visit to Spain, where the traditionally powerful Catholic
Church feels under pressure from secular values. When
religion gets its way, it rules countries in the same way it rules its
congregation. Don't question authority. The Australian airline Qantas
has said it hopes to have its grounded fleet of A380s flying again within
days. Urgent checks are being carried out following an engine failure and
CEO Alan Joyce said he was optimistic the plane would pass the tests. Mr
Joyce was speaking at the 90th anniversary celebrations for the airline
which have been overshadowed by two separate engine problems. Rolls-Royce,
the British firm which makes the engines for the Qantas planes, saw its
share price fall by nearly 5% on Friday. That kinda
falling is okay. It's the other kinda falling that worries me. Militant
group al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has said it sent two parcel
bombs on cargo planes bound for the US last week, in messages on Islamist
websites. The group also said it was responsible for bringing down an American
cargo plane in Dubai in September. When people can
actually claim responsibility for such crimes, and be proud of them, you
need no further evidence of their twisted mentality. More than 220
Iraqi civilians were subjected to "systemic abuse", including torture,
by British soldiers and interrogators in Iraq, the High Court was told
on Friday. Solicitors acting on behalf of the Iraqis submitted video evidence
to support their claims. They are appealing for a judical review of a refusal
by Defence Secretary Liam Fox to order a wide-ranging public inquiry into
allegations that abuse was widespread. On the other
hand, the "goodies" ain't so innocent either.
Oregon Richie just sent this link to a Qantas commercial, the most expensive
ever made. The blurb says: Australia Home II (1999/Australia) : Shortly
before the 1999 Superbowl, and during other occasions, people worldwide
have seen a very special Qantas commercial featuring the Australian Girls
Choir and National Boys Choir. The same song, interpreted differently,
trimmed down to 2 minutes, and filmed in many many corners of the globe,
such as the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, the Great Wall of China, the Kings
Canyon in Australia, etc. The most expensive Australian ad ever made (USD
3 million) and one of the most expensive worldwide, this is truly impressive.
result is one of my all-time favorite commercials. Yes, it does
bring a tear to my eye, but that was the purpose of the ad. It's based
on a song written and sung by Aussie song writer Peter Allen who was probably
feeling homesick when he was living in New York. It became one of Australia's
two unofficial anthems. The other is Waltzing Matilda. The official anthem
is Advance Australia Fair. God Save Betty used to get a run but not so
much these days.
Rain? What rain? Oh, that rain. Well, today has been lovely.
Blue sky and lots of sunshine. And it's about bloody time! Gary
November 6, 2010. If you'd like to check out the latest favorites
to my Red Bubble page, go for it. There are some really stunning images
there. Terry Everson just posted a pic of a street in a country town with
4 pubs side by side. Hehe. My kinda town!
And while we're talking photography, there's a group of people interested
in kite aerial photography - attaching a camera to a kite and taking pics
from a few hundred meters "up there". The results are amazing. Kite aerial
photography has been around for over a century but techniques (as well
as kites) have improved. Check
out the video here. Scroll down the page until you see the Youchewb
vid image and click the play arrow. I'm not a big fan of heights so attaching
a camera to a kite sounds pretty cool to me.
Beeb time: At least 55 people have been killed and nearly 100 injured
in a suicide bomb attack on a mosque in north-west Pakistan, local officials
say. The attack took place during prayers in the Darra Adam Khel area,
near Pakistan's tribal regions. The Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility
for such attacks in the past and have been particularly active in recent
years in and around Peshawar. Lunatics. What else
can you say? A Qantas airline jumbo jet has made an emergency landing
in Singapore because of an engine problem. The Boeing 747-400 turned back
shortly after take-off from Changi Airport, airline officials said. One
of the passengers, Australian Ranjan Sivagnanasundaram, told Reuters news
agency: "Around 20 minutes into the flight we heard a loud bang and the
pilot asked the passengers to put our heads into brace position. It was
a very big shock to us, especially after what happened yesterday." It
would take about 20 minutes for that bloke to spell his name. Militant
group al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has said it sent two parcel
bombs on cargo planes bound for the US last week, in messages on Islamist
websites. The group also said it was responsible for bringing down an American
cargo plane in Dubai in September. Yemen-based AQAP vowed to continue to
target the US and its allies. In that case, you'll
pardon us for continuing to target you. Germany, China, Brazil and
South Africa have criticised US plans to pump $600bn (£373bn) into
the US economy. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said the US
policy was "clueless" and would create "extra problems for the world".
The US Federal Reserve could weaken the US dollar and hurt exports to America.
South Africa's finance minister Pravin Gordhan warned that "developing
countries, including South Africa, would bear the brunt of the US decision
to open its flood gates without due consideration of the consequences for
other nations." The US policy "undermines the spirit of multilateral co-operation
that G20 leaders have fought so hard to maintain during the current crisis,"
he said. Don't look at me. I don't understand all
this stuff. But I do know that the Aussie dollar is now above parity with
the USD. Australia went down to their seventh successive defeat
as Sri Lanka celebrated their first series win down under with a 29-run
victory in Sydney. Successive cricket losses to Pakistan,
India and Sri Lanka, and now two Qantas emergencies. What next?
A Spanish piglet has been spared the butcher after it was adopted by a
dog. The Iberic piglet was due to be sold for Christmas dinner but was
turned down by the butcher in Caceres, in Spain's Extramadura region, for
being too small. Now the piglet is being looked after by the family Dog,
Diana, who has welcomed it as part of her litter. Finally!
A bit of good news.
I checked Youchewb for video of Glebe, the inner Sydney suburb where
I lived and owned a small house. So I clicked on a link to Glebe Markets,
which is an annual fair that closes the main drag for a day. But the vid
was about a lawyer who operated a stall there, providing free legal advice
to anyone who turned up at his tent. Pretty
interesting stuff, and something you don't expect from a lawyer. But
then Glebe is like that.
Here's an interesting video of the history
of Sydney's street names, going back to the early days of European
settlement. Incidentally, the little house I owned in Glebe was built in
1860, the year that Abraham Lincoln was selected as the US Presidential
candidate for the Republican Party. In that same year, Charles Dickens
published his first installment of Great Expectations. 150 years later,
I wrote this page using a Toshiba laptop.
150 years is a mere drop in the bucket. I watched a story the other
night on telly about a bunch of archeologists in Oz who found a stone axe
head, obviously sharpened for a specific purpose. They dated the object
expecting something like maybe 15 or 20 thousand years but it's between
35 and 40. Now that's what you call old. The site is a large cave supported
by several columns that almost look man made. But it's a natural formation.
The cave was used by a tribe or group of families for shelter, and the
ceilings and walls are still decorated by their etchings and paintings.
Archeologists expect to find many more artifacts buried deeper under the
surface that are even older. That makes Jesus look like he was here yesterday.
It makes the pyramids look almost brand new. It makes the 'ancient' in
ancient Rome and Greece seem irrelevant.
Oh, and the sausages last night? Lovely. The trick is to smother them
with onions and lots of gravy so that you don't see the little flecks of
gristle and fat in the meat. I don't think most people worry about that
kinda thing but I do. I see a speck of something and think: WHAT THE BLOODY
HELL IS THAT? The mash was lovely too. I boil potato and pumpkin together
which makes a really smooth and creamy mash without having to add milk
or butter. The pumpkin has enough moisture to soften the coarser spuds.
And it sweetens it too. Mmmm.
I've promised myself for ages to find the old pics of my house in Glebe
and digitize them, so that's what I just did. I'll post them on AO and
write a note to my old address to let the new owners know where to find
them. They're almost 30 years old and show the house as it was when I moved
in - virtually unchanged from the original built in 1860, with the old
outhouse and corrugated iron laundry out back. I knocked all that down
in the early 80s and built a new kitchen, bathroom and laundry, erected
new fences and paved the courtyard. They'll be surprised to see those pics
Speaking of kitchens, it's that time again. Gary
November 5, 2010. It seems I'm guilty of hijacking Justin's blog,
making off-topic comments that are irrelevant and being generally disagreeable.
Oh, well, can't win 'em all.
However, there's no fixing the weather here. Wet, wet, wet. And it's
not easy to be fulla beans and jolly when it's gray and dreary outside.
I'll see what I can do to resist the temptation to complain. After all,
somewhere the sun is shining and faces are smiling... BUT NOT HERE!
I just checked Youchewb to see if there's anything inspiring there and
saw a link to a vid about how sausages are made. Hmmm. I'm not sure I wanna
know. For one thing, we're having sausages tonight. There are several slang
terms for sausages in Oz, one of which is 'mystery bags', and I'm inclined
to think certain things deserve to remain a mystery. Other slang terms
include bangers, snarlers and snags.
My Red Bubble mate Terry just posted another of his pics of the Flinders
Ranges in South Oz. Looks like a great spot to me, way out there in
the middle of nowhere. Just pull off the road, grab a beer from the Esky
and soak up the atmosphere for a while. Terry is a carer for his dear old
mom, but manages to get away for a few weeks now and then. He's been traveling
Oz most of his life. His first adventure was with his younger bro in a
Hillman Imp back in the 60s. And here's me in my grumpy old age saying
I ain't goin' nowhere without my porta potty.
Beeb time: Heavy rain starts to fall in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince
as a powerful storm threatens thousands of vulnerable earthquake survivors.
cholera and now storms. What next? US President Barack Obama has
asked Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders to come to a meeting
at the White House. I remember Obama rebuking John
McCain one time by saying, "You didn't win the election. We did." Different
tune now, though. The Irish government announces it will make budget
cuts worth 6bn euros next year in order to reduce its record deficit. That's
gonna hurt, but you can't spend what you ain't got. The Australian
airline Qantas has grounded its six-strong fleet of Airbus A380 airliners
after one of the superjumbos made an emergency landing. Qantas flight QF32
experienced engine trouble shortly after taking off from Singapore on its
way to Sydney. One of the engines exploded with a bang, a passenger told
the BBC, and debris was found on an island below. There's
been some criticism of Qantas lately for sending its planes offshore for
cheaper maintenance. But those engines were last checked by Rolls Royce
itself. Anyway, I still don't like flying. One of the two parcel
bombs intercepted last week after being sent from Yemen was defused 17
minutes before it was due to explode, France's Interior Minister Brice
Hortefeux has said. "There were parcel bombs from Yemen heading for the
United States, and I can tell you, for example, that one of these parcels
was disarmed 17 minutes before the planned explosion," he said. Scary
stuff. An ongoing computer attack has knocked Burma off the internet,
just days ahead of its first election in 20 years. The attack, which is
believed to have started on 25 October, comes ahead of closely-watched
national elections on 7 November. International observers and foreign journalists
are not being allowed into the country to cover the polls. It will raise
suspicions that Burma's military authorities could be trying to restrict
the flow of information over the election period. Two
Burmese girls were living next door to me in the mid 90s. They were very
nice, cooking meals for me, etc. I didn't realize what their motive was
until I found out they wanted an Australian husband so they could stay
in this country. Hehe. Sneaky buggers. Applying a tiny electrical
current to the brain could make you better at learning maths, according
to Oxford University scientists. They found that targeting a part of the
brain called the parietal lobe improved the ability of volunteers to solve
numerical problems. There ya go... FL Josh has more
electricity than I do. He's into all that calculus stuff. New Zealand
and the US have signed a strategic co-operation document to restore relations
after a 25-year row. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and New Zealand
Foreign Minister Murray McCully signed the Wellington Declaration at parliament.
New Zealand has banned nuclear-armed and nuclear-powered ships visiting
its ports since 1985. The US traditionally refuses to say whether its ships
are nuclear-powered or not, so New Zealand has refused entry to all of
them. The mouse that roared. US President
Barack Obama has spoken of the "shellacking" his Democrats received at
the hands of voters. So where does the word come from? Read
the explanation here. Management speak - don't you just hate it? Emphatically
yes, judging by readers' responses to writer Lucy Kellaway's campaign against
office jargon. Here, we
list 50 of the best worst examples.
One of the jargon terminologies I find most irritating is "going forward"
which some politicians here in Oz favor, including our red-haired PM. Where
else are we supposed to be going? Another is the way doctors refer to an
operation as a 'procedure'.
Still raining, and tomorrow will be the same. Bleh. But Sunday looks
okay as well as the rest of the week. Meanwhile, I better feed the troops.
Bangers and mash with onions and gravy. Gary
November 4, 2010. I watched an interview with Robin Williams
last night. He's in Oz for a series of stand-up gigs called "Weapons of
Self Destruction". Jeez, talk about a brilliant mimick. I've seen various
actors and impersonators trying to do a genuine Aussie accent before, and
failing, but Williams has got it nailed. He had the interviewer giggling
his tits off. He's had a tough battle with alcohol and cocain throughout
his life, and he's certainly not the first comic genius to have been there.
the transcript here. It's not as good as the video but I'm not sure
ABC TV is available outside Oz.
The interviewer and host of the ABC's 7.30 Report Kerry O'Brien is due
to retire at the end of this year but I can't see him fading from the scene
altogether. He's a very good interviewer and I won't be surprised to see
him doing a series of special programs... or writing a book about the people
he's interviewed during his 40-year career in journalism. Or both.
I just noticed a pic on Red Bubble - a rare moment in photography that
cruelty of life.
Beeb time: US President Barack Obama says he believes US citizens are
feeling frustrated with the pace of economic recovery, after his Democratic
Party suffers a disastrous election night. Yes, people
are impatient. They forget the old Rome/day adage. But as one observer
pointed out last night on a current affairs program, Clinton and other
notables were in the same boat during their first mid-term elections, and
survived to serve a second term. The Federal Reserve announces it
will pump $600bn into the US economy to try to boost the fragile recovery.
purchase a day keeps the blues away, a friend of mine used to say.
Scientists in the UK have demonstrated a flexible film that represents
a big step toward the "invisibility cloak" made famous by Harry Potter.
The film contains tiny structures that together form a "metamaterial",
which can, among other tricks, manipulate light to render objects invisible.
you're into the physics, check out the story here. German police have
arrested 23 people suspected of being involved in an illegal far-right
internet radio station. Police said the suspects were in their 20s and
30s and were believed to have broadcast on the station, or helped to organise
How on earth that moustached idiot
Hitler managed to inspire followers is still beyond me. Officials
in the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay) have taken extraordinary measures
to protect US President Barack Obama ahead of his visit. In their effort
to provide maximum security in the run-up to his visit on Friday, they
have removed coconuts which may fall on his head from trees. There
ya go, the things they do for celebs they don't do for the average Joe.
A 10-year-old girl from Romania has given birth in southern Spain, officials
in the region have said. According to the Andalucia daily, Diario de Jerez,
which first reported the story, the grandmother could not understand the
wide level of interest in the case as "this is the age we get married in
Romania". Well, she's not playing with Barbie any
more, she's got a real one, with real poo. An artist is making the
streets of London a little more colourful by painting miniature pictures
on pieces of discarded chewing gum. If
you're looking for something different, this is it.
Well, it's been one of those non-event days. No inspiration, little
energy. It happens ya know. Gary
November 3, 2010. Yes, folks, the nineth anniversary of Cody's
death. His hand-written gnote.jpg is still pinned to my notice board wishing
me happy 57th birthday in 2001. How time flies. Thanks for being my friend,
Codeman. LYT and always will. I owe you big time.
Yesterday, I drove across the Martin Bridge to photograph the jacarandas
in bloom plus a few other bits and pieces. Check
out the album here.
Justin and I have been
engaged in a little to-ing and fro-ing today. He says I intimidate him,
and that it's a form of bullying. That surprised me.
Beeb time: US Republicans ride a wave of economic discontent to capture
the House but President Obama's party retains the Senate. They love me,
they love me not. Well, if the economic situation
in the US improves over the next two years, the tide will turn the other
way. So the Republicans better pray that it doesn't. Hehe. Greece
has suspended international air mail for 48 hours after several parcel
bombs were sent on Tuesday, including one to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
An extreme left-wing group is suspected of being responsible. What
these extremists don't understand is this: if you wanna win an argument
you need brains not bombs. Former US President George W Bush says
he still has a "sickening feeling" because no WMDs were found in Iraq,
in memoirs due to appear next week. To be fair to
George, he, together with the rest of the coalition, acted on what was
considered to be reliable intelligence. If there had been WMDs and no action
was taken, imagine the consequences. It was a damned if you do, damned
if you don't situation. A man with an inherited form of blindness
has been able to identify letters and a clock face using a pioneering implant,
researchers say. Miikka Terho, 46, from Finland, was fitted with an experimental
chip behind his retina in Germany. Success was also reported in other patients.
The chip allows a patient to detect objects with their eyes, unlike a rival
approach that uses an external camera. Chips! The
way of the future! Yemen has launched a massive manhunt for two
militants accused of involvement in the failed parcel bomb plots on US-bound
flights. The aim of the military operation is to capture suspected bombmaker
Ibrahim al-Asiri, and the US-born radical preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, wanted
by Washington for his links to al-Qaeda. Yemeni authorities also began
the trial in absentia of Mr Awlaki. Good.
China has rejected an offer from the US to host three-way talks with Japan
over the future of a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea. A
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said the dispute involved only two nations,
not the US. Ooer! I guess China thinks if the US
can't solve its own internal affairs, how the hell can it solve anyone
else's? Oil giant BP has announced a return to profit in the three
months to September after last quarter's record loss. Now
that's a Lazarus if ever there was one! Drongos in the Kalahari
mimic the alarm calls of other species in order to steal food from meerkats,
scientists find. Drongo is Aussie slang for someone
who's not the full quid, but it appears the real drongos are pretty smart!
Well, it's been a bizzy day despite not much Waffle. Bacon, eggs and
chips tonight. Gary
November 2, 2010. I think too much. At least that was the opinion
of a friend about 45 years ago. Maybe he was right. If a kid riding a skateboard
at a rink thought too much about the risks he was taking, would he elect
to sit on the sidelines and not participate? Here's a vid of people
who get a buzz out of risk taking.
Thinking too much is a bit of a worry ya know. Every time I'm inspired
to do something I start to think "yeah, but what if?" Hehe. So it's like
I come up with a zillion reasons not to do it. Nike has a point with its
slogan "Just Do It". On the other hand (here I go again), I've learned
the hard way that impulsive decisions can lead to big mistakes and major
regrets. Soooooooooooooooooooooooo... back to square one.
Let's do a quick Beeb before I go shopping: Candidates
make their final push for votes on the last day of campaigning for Tuesday's
US Congressional mid-term elections.Mid term?
We don't have that in Oz. The UK and France,
whose leaders meet in London later, are to sign a treaty agreeing to the
joint development and testing of nuclear warheads.
have changed since the Battle of Waterloo.
federal appeals court has ordered the US military's ban on openly gay troops
to remain in place indefinitely while a legal battle is fought over the
policy. The court had last month issued a temporary injunction blocking
a judge's ruling that overturned the 17-year-old "don't ask, don't tell"
law. The government argues that it should stay in place until the military
has devised a new policy. The ruling means troops can still be discharged
for being openly gay. What a silly mess, and
all because some people believe that sexual orientation is everybody's
business. Forcing food manufacturers to cut salt levels in processed
food could help cut heart disease rates, claim Australian researchers.
must say, I rarely use salt in my cooking or even on cooked food. But I
do like it on CHIPS!
Back from shopping. The joint was almost deserted and I wondered why.
Oh! Of course! Melbourne Cup Day... the race that stops a nation. Well,
So You Think was favorite but it was beaten into 3rd. The horse that won
is called Americain. But before you bloody Yanks get too excited, it's
a French horse, trained by a French trainer and ridden by a French jockey.
BUT... are you ready for this? The horse is owned by two Aussies. The Melbourne
Cup is one of the world's great Group One races and also one of the richest
in prizemoney... $6M this year, and that's just a cent or two below US.
Before shopping I drove over the bridge to the southside of Taree and
took a bunch of pics of the jacarandas in flower. Stunning trees. I noticed
they're beginning to lose their purple blooms and grow new green foliage
so I made it just in time. And I spotted one tree with a motorbike tire
hanging from a rope, used as a kid's swing. How cute. I'll post the album
So it's veal loin cutlets for THEM tonight (on special, of course. Eagle-eye
G doesn't miss a thing), while Averil and I pig out on Cheap Chewsday pizza
supreme with double topping. Yum! Gary
November 1, 2010. 30 days hath September, April, June and November...
The things you remember from your early childhood. Of course, we don't
do the 'hath' thing any more. Do we still do 'Our Father who art in Heaven.
Hallowed be thy name'? Or 'Hail Mary'? Certain institutions rely on tradition
for their credibility. Benny wears pointy hats, barristers wear cloaks
and wigs, the queen wears a crown, and the town cryer still wears buckled
shoes, stockings and rings a bell - Hear ye, Hear ye! So, if that's the
case, why doesn't Barack Obama dress like Abraham Lincoln?
Tradition has its place, of course, but I'm not sure we should place
too much emphasis on what our forefathers thought. I wonder what Galileo's
forefathers thought about the sun and the planets.
I watched Stephen Fry do his reluctant adventurer thing again on telly
last night. This time he was touring the islands of the Indonesian archipelago,
including Komodo where the fabled fiery dragon lives. Ugly is the word.
As Fry remarked, "They're even uglier than I am." They are the world's
biggest lizard, up to 10 feet long, and are venomous to boot. They also
have putrid breath caused virulent bacteria in their saliva. If they bite
large prey such as a horse or water buffalo, they will wait for the animal
to die of infection before they return to devour the carcass, which could
take a week. They also kill and eat each other. Charming little chaps.
Fry and his companions at one stage were surrounded by several of the
beasts, one of which headed towards Fry as its forked tongue kept tasting
the air. He was obviously alarmed but instead of saying something like
"Let's get the fuck outta here!" he said calmly and politely, "Do you think
we should adjourn?"
Komodos have loose skin which enables them to eat almost their own weight
in a short time. An
eyewitness account revealed that a 101 lb (46 kg.) dragon ate a 90
lb. (41 kg.) pig in 20 minutes. As a comparison, a 100 lb. person
would have to eat 320 quarter pound hamburgers in less than 20 minutes
to keep up with the dragon.
We have large monitor lizards in Oz too but not quite so big or dangerous.
But all that business got me to thinking about the purpose of life again.
I think the purpose of life is life itself. Individuals are dispensable.
Life survives, individuals don't.
Beeb time: At least 37 people have been killed after Iraqi security
forces stormed a Catholic church in central Baghdad to free dozens of hostages
being held by gunmen there, security sources say. Twenty-five hostages
were among the dead, along with seven members of the Iraqi security forces
and at least five of the attackers, they told the BBC. About 100 people
had been inside Our Lady of Salvation for an evening mass. So
much for salvation, and so much for the skill and training of the Iraqi
security forces. Dilma Rousseff has been elected president of Brazil,
succeeding Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, electoral officials have confirmed.
Ms Rousseff, 62, who had never before held elected office, becomes the
country's first woman president. Oz has its first
female PM too. The world's gone mad. A record number of people have
taken part in the Athens marathon to mark the 2,500th anniversary of the
run which inspired the modern event. In 490BC, the Athenian army defeated
the Persians at the Battle of Marathon. According to legend, a messenger
called Pheidippides ran the 42km (26 miles) to Athens to announce the victory.
wonder if anyone in 490BC ever gave a thought to the year 2010AD.
What was Jon Stewart's rally in Washington all about? Tens of thousands
have turned out to the rally held by US television comedians Jon Stewart
and Stephen Colbert in Washington DC, but what was it all about? I liked
the bloke holding the banner "I'm a little annoyed... but I'll get over
it". Read the
entire article here.
of Sydney when I was in my mid 20s.
I've been looking at campervans again, and now I'm re-thinking what
I can do to convert Bluey. Yeah, maybe... maybe. Anyway, it's late and
time for din dins. Fish cakes and chips. The God of Thunder is currently
making a bit of a rumble but nothing terribly worrisome. Gary
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