September 30, 2014. Did I say I've gained 2.5kg?
It's actually 3.5kg (7/8lb) since my last visit to the GP according to
him. So that's encouraging.
And now to coffee. This is a pic of the coffee I had while in Balmain
last time I visited Sydney. And below is a pic of a coffee in a St
Kilda (Melbourne) coffee shop ordered by the niece of a Red Bubble
friend. How's that for artistry?
TX Greg wrote: It
(the legendary Safrican surfer) was John Whitmore “The Oom” you were trying to think
of yesterday. He passed away a month after Cody on Christmas Eve 2001.
Thanks, Greg. Now how could I forget something like "The Oom"? Don't
To Beau? Beau schmo. Make that Cody.
And on the subject of skating and surfing, OK Mike (who
thinks I'm a
resourceful individual) wrote: I
skated ( boards ) for many years in Southern California, that was in
the days before it was glorified by the likes of Tony Hawk and company
. When I was 12 years old I broke both legs due to a fall at high speed
from a skateboard. I was in casts of one form or another for nearly two
years, six weeks after having my final cast removed I fell again and
suffered a compound fracture (open) of my right arm, thus ending my
skating experience . Funny, the first thing that went through my mind,
before the pain hit, was that Mom was gonna be pissed !
Ouch! Both legs and an arm! Reminds me of Cody getting
into fights at school and
worrying what his mother would say about the buttons missing from
his school blazer hehe.
I too remember when I
was a wee brat learning the ropes surfing what Cody called a green room
we thought as a tube. I think Green Room is a better description for
the closure of a wave. If it were referred to as a tube internationally
your books would have been titled Tube, Tube II, nah Green Room is much
Remember the joke about a grip of Tarzan's tube?
Actually, Green Room is also the theatrical term for the waiting room
occupied by actors before and after a performance.
My Baby sister is
coming in a couple weeks for a short stay here in Oklahoma, she
currently lives in the Bay area of San Francisco and will endure the
same shock that I did when we left Orange County California for
Oklahoma. Gary that was the absolute worst period of my life. I was
barely 14, just discovering things about myself, to be plucked from
everything I knew, everything that was me, to be dropped into a place
that really sucked balls. To this day I sometimes silently weep for all
that was swiped from me.
Parents don't realize the gravity of uprooting teens.
Look at what happened to Cody and his best friend when the latter's
family decided to move to another country. He and Cody formed a suicide
pact that almost succeeded in taking both their young teenage lives.
What a tragedy that would have been! But along came an Aussie writer
who happened to have written something that Cody recalled at the last
possible moment, and that changed his mind.
I too notice in your
past post that you shared that Kiwis, Aussies and Safricans share
accents, this I did not know wholly. I knew Aussies and Kiwis could be
mistaken for one another but not the Safricans.
This is also something I did not know until OH Jim
remarked on the similarity of those accents. Similarity my foot.
There's absolutely no similarity at all unless you happen to be an
alien banished to the Northern Hemispherical boondocks. Cody & Co
would have sounded totally weired to me. But not necessarily me to them
because Safricans are exposed to a fair bit of Aussie TV and movies. No
From the Beeb: "Boots
on the ground" is shorthand for combat troops deployed in a foreign
country. Barack Obama and David Cameron have both used it - it's a
phrase that is constantly cropping up in the news. But where did it come from?
Outside the dusty,
one-road town of Kouremale on the border of Guinea and Mali,
underground gold deposits have attracted thousands of young men looking
to make a living from artisanal mining. Check
out the brilliant photography.
The British street
artist D*Face is known for his expansive murals and urban artwork.
Now he brings his work indoors in "Scars and Stripes," his largest solo
show to date.
Open now at a pop-up gallery in Los Angeles, "Scars and Stripes"
features the ghostly images of celebrities who died before aged 30,
including Tupac Shakur, Amy Winehouse and James Dean.
D*Face, aka Dean Stockton, was drawn to these celebrities, he says, due
to how quickly they achieved fame and how that sudden fame then
contributed to their decline.
Visitors to the gallery should question "society's drive for celebrity
and where is it going to take us," he says.
Fuel, tires, brakes,
oil: Four car myths debunked: Many drivers go their entire lives
without learning even the most basic car maintenance, and they get
around just fine. But even motorists who are blithely ignorant to the
forces that carry them down the road can appreciate a good tip, as well
as some clarity around habits that have worn out their welcome.
Surveying the question and answer community at Quora.com, BBC Autos
compiled the most thoughtful responses to long-held suppositions about
cars and how to treat them. So leave the tire changes to AAA, and heed
these simple rules of thumb.
Been a hottie today with westerly winds from the
interior of Oz giving us unseasonal temps. Dunno what it is at the mo
here (26C in this room) but Sydney was headed for mid 30s. And here we
are only a month into spring.
Did I say spring? Earlier, Mieke commented on my pic of
an historic building in Balmain and the morning light on the
sandstone. Yes, light. Gotta remember to think of light when I
photograph things instead of the object itself. Light, light, light. So
just now, I checked Mieke's new posts, one of which is this shot of grapevines at a winery. Man, is that awesome or is
that awesome? That shot just blew me away. What a clever girl.
One of the really exciting things about the Odyssey is
being out there every day with endless opportunities to hone my
photographic skills with an equally endless variety of subjects. It's
gonna be sooooo cool!
And on the subject of fossicking for the yella stuff, on
the prospecting forum someone posted a comprehensive list of things to
look for at creek sites (dry or wet), a Guide for Newcomers - things a
novice like me would never think of like 6. Keep an eye out for Dwarf pine trees
they dont grow much beyond about a metre high. These are a good
indicator that the chinese miners have been around the area as they
used to bring in pine nut and chew the husks off these and spit out the
How about that? There are 22 tips on the list, plus all
the others contributed by prospectors in the field when they post
stories of their experiences. I've learned a heap in just a week or
two! However, I'm restricting my interest to the alluvial stuff and
panning. Metal detectors and the more serious prospecting techniques
I'll leave to the diehards.
And that's it for Chewsdee and the last day of
September. Whoosh! Oh, and the franks last night? No good. Non-mashable
with a fork so I've given the rest to Lindsay who has them cold, dipped
in BBQ sauce. Today I made burgers for myself. Gary
September 29, 2014. I'm off to the dentist
shortly and, as usual, they'll ask me what I did on the weekend. Wot
weekend? To me every day is a weekend hehe. Thank God it's Friday
doesn't apply to retirees. However, I will be glad when these twice
weekly dental appointments are no longer part of my routine. It's a
pain. I see my GP today as well, later this afternoon. There are a few
skin cancers that need to be removed. Buggers of things.
Yes, when I'm camped somewhere "out there" the last
thing I want is to be disturbed by appointments. I want to come and go
as I please, when I please. No timetables. Once in a while for checkups
is okay, but none of this weekly jazz. Some of the GNs say they've
arrived at a spot to stay maybe a few days or a week and ended up
staying for months! Fancy being able to wake in the mornings and not
have to worry about what you need to do. Hehe. What a luxury!
OH Jim says he was in a large store recently with a wall
of huge LED TVs showing a movie: It
was about surfing, or I should say the movie is set in a surfing
culture. I have no idea the name, but when I saw it, my thoughts
immediately went to Cody. They had a lot of spectacular shots of
surfing in the green room... I term I learned from you and Cody... I
always called it a pipe line when I was a wanna be young teenage
surfer, land locked in Cincinnati. I would imagine what it was like
while on my skate board, the closest I would get to doing the real
thing. I guess Cody would have thought skate boarding was for little
kids, since he had the real thing available. But to me, and my friends
of the time, it was THE thing to do on summer evenings, skate boarding
down the long hills we have here in Madeira. The sound of the metal
wheels on blacktop is ingrained in my mind. Especially when doing
jumps. Noise stops... silence, and then the wheels hitting the blacktop
again. OR noise stops, silence, then the sound of the board hitting
sideways, a big " OHFF" as the boarder gets the wind knocked out of him
as HE hits the pavement. No safety gear whatsoever back then... we all
wore shorts, and gym shoes and nothing else, so we all had scrapes and
bruises LOL. I finally broke my board one night, and it was the last
time I boarded. I was 15, and by then I was learning how to drive.
The same thing happens to me when I see a surfing movie
on telly. The Codeman pops into my head. His life revolved around the
beach, and his room featured a large poster of Endless Summer,
autographed by a Safrican surfing legend (whose name escapes me). Cody
often mentioned Wingnut going to the local skate park (rink, or
whatever those places are called) but I don't think Cody was all that
interested in skate boarding. There aren't as many kids riding skate
boards around here as there used to be a few years ago. However the
local park is always popular, as is the one at nearby Old Bar beach.
When I was a kid we had home-made Billy
Carts (soap box derby cart).
Jim reckons when his mate Zach reaches a ripe old age,
he'll reminisce about flat screen TVs and iPhones and old Mustangs
which will all seem quite primitive by then. But what I was talking
about is the here and now... the lack of reminiscing available when
you're a teen. 5 years ago you were a little kid. 5 years ago I was
hardly any different to what I am now. When a teen uses the term "back
when I was little" it cracks me up. That's like yesterday, not 40, 50
or 60 years ago! Cody often referred to "when I was a little Cody..."
before reminiscing about his childhood.
From the Beeb: Padmini
Prakash has become India's first transgender to anchor a daily
television news show and she has been grabbing attention in the
southern state of Tamil Nadu.
Since 15 August - India's Independence Day - Padmini appears every
evening at 19:00 to present a news show on the Tamil-language Lotus TV
based in the city of Coimbatore.
And she is thrilled with her new job - not only because she is on air
at prime time, but also because it is making a world of difference to
her and her community.
The country with one
people and 1200 sausages: The Oktoberfest is the largest popular
festival in the world - larger, it's claimed, than Mardi Gras in New
Orleans or Carnival in Rio. Created by Bavarian King Ludwig I to
celebrate his wedding in 1810, it encapsulates German-ness in a way
everyone can engage with - and every year hundreds of thousands do.
The British Museum has in its collection drinking vessels from all
around the world, but the German collection is striking for its
quantity of glasses, mugs, tankards and other vessels - primarily made
for the drinking of beer. Mostly from the 16th and 17th Centuries,
they're made of all sorts of different materials, and they come from
everywhere in the German-speaking world.
Is going to the
dentist every six months really necessary for good oral
health? Claudia Hammond investigates. A lot of us think that we should
visit the dentist every six months – even if it’s not what we do in
practice. Whether those biannual check-ups are really necesssary is,
however, a matter of debate. In fact, it’s not even clear where the
six-month figure initially came from. Some believe it dates back to the
18th Century, long before the advent of randomised controlled trials
that could test its benefits.
And here's me with no teeth visiting the dentist twice a
Back from my GP and I'm booked in for a whole
afternoon's surgery on 6 skin cancers in about 2 weeks. I think he
missed a few but we'll see. Anyway, I'll be a walking bandaid for a
while hehe. I also bought some frankfurts to have with mashed spud,
beans and carrot - blitzed. I should be able to peel the franks and
mash them with the back of a fork and smother them in tamaaaaaaaata
sauce. Anyway, that's dinner tonight! I haven't had franks for ages and
I love 'em. BTW, the doc is pleased with my gain in weight... 2.5kg. Gary
September 28, 2014. Surprise, surprise! This
morning on the GN forum, Copper1 (Gaz, Garry) posted a pic of the radio
station where I began my illustrious broadcasting career in the winter
of 1969 at the ripe old age of 24. He and his wife are touring that
area, so he thought of me when they visited Young. I'd searched the web
and even phoned the Young historical society for a pic but couldn't get
one. Gaz to the rescue! Nice to see the old logo there too. I've just
updated my scrapbook site with the pic and a short message.
Well, well, well, memories of a long, long time ago are
flooding back. Great to see the old joint again.
OH Jim tells me he's bi: I am bi-lingual, having been raised by a
second gen Irish father and a very southern mother. I can speak Irish
English with a Southern twang. If I am around people from the south, I
talk just like them, complete with the y'alls and doing funny things
with vowels. It's a lot of fun when they ask me where I am from, and I
say I was born in Cincinnati, and they give me a look, like I thought
you were from the South!
Yep, it's all in the vowels, or the lack thereof. Kiwis
drop theirs in some words. I've heard that the Scottish accent
influenced New Zealanders back in the early days. I'm not sure who
influenced ours cos we don't sound like anyone else. It's said that
speak without moving their lips to keep the flies out. Some years ago,
before the cancer thing and losing my teeth, I recorded a video (after
much lubrication of the tonsils) to discuss my days as a radio
Oh, wouldn't it be lovely to be able to speak again! You
Tube says I posted that vid about 4 years ago. Yeah, 4 or 5, can't
remember exactly. But I do remember using the cooking timer to keep it
under 10 minutes. Before becoming an announcer, I had to "neutralize"
my accent and round my vowels. It was weird at first because I felt
very self conscious about sounding so different to normal, but I got
used to it. Then people were forever asking me if I was English. One
bloke, an American, said I sounded like David Attenborough. Now I sound
like a bloke with no teeth.
Jim also wrote to say he has his Mustang back and is ready to start
work on it, repairing the accident damage and adding a few extra
I know the feeling. I miss my PJ when she's away. Jim also said BTW, you had the filter youTube link up
instead of the one for panning for gold. I have no idea what you
mean, Jim. Looks and works fine at this end.
From the Beeb: Syrian militant group
al-Nusra Front has denounced
US-led air strikes as "a war against Islam".
In an online statement, the al-Qaeda-linked group called on jihadists
around the world to target Western and Arab countries involved.
It comes as the US and other nations widened air strikes against
Islamic State (IS) fighters in Iraq and Syria.
The Pentagon said jets hit the Syrian city of Raqqa on Saturday as well
as IS positions near the Turkish border. Oh well, ya can't please everyone!
Hollywood star George
Clooney has married human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin in Venice, in
one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the showbusiness year.
A host of fellow stars descended on the Italian city's canals for the
union between the film world's most eligible bachelor, 53, and Ms
The ceremony was celebrated in a hotel overlooking the famous Grand
Clooney's agent broke the news to journalists in a brief statement.
There ya go, a news story with no bombs or violence.
If man were meant to
fly, he’d have wings – or at minimum a Paravelo:
half-bike, half-parasail flying machine that seamlessly melds extreme
sports with eco-sensible transportation. The Paravelo is the brainchild
of aviation-obsessed inventors John Foden and Yannick Read, the
founders of XploreAir, located in suburban London. Ironically enough,
the founders’ workshop is a short walk from the original site of the
long-defunct Sopwith Aviation Company, builders of the World War I-era Sopwith Camel.
Speaking of bicycles, and OH Jim saying I'm obsessed
with being thought of as a dinosaur now that I'm 70, I decided to test
my ability to swing a leg over the saddle of my bicycle. I wheeled it
out of the garage and under the clothes line where I hung onto one of
the spokes of the hoist while I threw my right leg over the saddle. No
problem. And just to prove it wasn't a fluke, I did it again. And then
again. But I didn't pedal anywhere. Nope. I just wanted to know if the
ol' leg would obey instructions. I figure there will be plenty of
opportunities to test my riding skills on the Odyssey rather than risk
providing my current neighbors with a bit of unexpected slap stick
And that's it for Sundee and the weekend. Hooroo! Gary
September 27, 2014. Sooooo, when you're
for gold in a dry creek bed, how much are you likely to find? Remember,
gold is a rare commodity which is what makes it precious, so it's not
likely you'll fill your saddlebags with the stuff. Here's an Aussie in
the outback showing us how it's done.
Pretty interesting, yes? A pan, a sieve or two, bucket,
pick and a
couple of scoops and he's ready to rock and roll. If he made a few
hundred bucks from time to time panning for gold, that's not a bad
return for a bit of mucking about. So I think I'll get me a panning kit on eBay and keep it handy in PJ. I
gather from reading the forum, though, that very few prospectors make a
living from prospecting. The big mining companies already have leases
on areas that either produce gold in commercial quantities or have that
potential. The rest is left to amateur fossickers for whom it's a
hobby. I figure if I'm out in the sticks and happen to be in an area
that looks promising, I might as well have a bit of a poke around while
I'm there. After all, "home" is right next door.
I watched one vid of a woman collecting dirt from crevices in bedrock
where gold gets trapped during floods. Rather than wash small amounts
of dirt at a time in situ, she took two buckets of dirt back to the
camp site and panned merrily away at her leisure. Obviously, panning is
not rocket science but it does take a bit of knowledge such as the lay
of the land and the presence of materials such as quartz that indicate
where gold is likely to be found.
In any case, one needs something interesting and useful to occupy one's
time. One can't be sprawled on a lounger under the awning drinking mint
juleps all day every bloody day! One needs mental stimulus! A hobby! A
reason to get outta bed in the mornings! Actually, to be honest, I've
often thought how camping in the bush or outback might be a tad boring,
just sitting around with nothing much to do and nobody within cooee.
But not now! Hehe.
From the Beeb: The US armed forces
chief says Islamic State (IS) militants are being damaged by air
strikes in Syria but air power alone is not enough to defeat them.
Gen Martin Dempsey said a political solution and a ground campaign
would both be needed in Iraq and Syria.
Gen Dempsey said that up to 15,000 fighters - to be drawn from Syria's
moderate opposition - would be needed for a ground force in Syria.
On Friday, the UK agreed to join US-led air strikes on IS in Iraq.
French fighter jets are already taking part in strikes in Iraq and
Belgium and Denmark are also sending planes.
Speaking at the Pentagon, Gen Dempsey said this week's strikes in Syria
had disrupted IS's command, control and logistics capabilities.
were on duty at Ground Zero during the 9/11
attacks have died on the same day from cancer, fire officials have
Lieutenant Howard Bischoff, 58, and firefighters Robert Leaver, 56, and
Daniel Heglund, 58, died within hours of one another on Monday.
Thousands of people who helped the 9/11 rescue efforts have been
diagnosed with illness, including cancer.
But doctors say it is unclear whether sickness can be linked
to the attacks.
Lindsay had a techie from a local store (must've been
where he bought his TV) come around here yesterday to retune his telly.
He said it was something to do with various channels making changes to
their signals. It was news to me... until, I noticed my own TV not
receiving some channels. Huh? It didn't bother me too much cos I only
watch a few. So I just did a Google search for retuning and sure enough
there had been recent changes to frequencies for some obscure reason.
So where did I put my TV user manual? Buggered if I know. Eeek!
Despite being a septuagenarian who's not supposed to
understand technical stuff, I grabbed the TV remote and farted around
with the menu for a while, finally figured it out, and managed to
retune all the TV and radio digital frequencies. Voila! I'm a genius!
More importantly, now I know how to retune the TV when I travel around
in PJ. I'll tell Lindsay when he wakes up from his afternoon snooze and
say that it was a piece of cake. I'm quite pleased with myself,
actually. What a clever little Gary.
Remember when VCRs first arrived and we used them as
tuners for the telly? They had fiddly little knobs you had to twiddle
forever before each channel was tuned. Fortunately, at the time, there
were only 5 channels. Those were the days when remotes were wired. How
primitive! Still, it was easier than changing channels manually. Before
remotes, my mother used to be first out of the blocks, and then dash
across the room to change channels before anyone else could have say in
what we were gonna watch... Zorro, Perry Mason, Alfred Hitchcock
Presents, Hawaii Five O, Bonanza, Matt Dillon, Cheyenne, Sugarfoot,
etc. All in black and white, of course. Color didn't arrive in Oz till
'76, which is when my parents bought a Rank Arena telly. Remember Rank
And that's another thing about being a
you have more to reminisce about. Imagine a millennial doing that. Is
that what they call kids born in the new millennium? Milli something or
other. Anyway, kids have no idea of what quality reminiscing is all
about. Crystal sets, FJ Holdens, fixed-wheel bikes, radio serials, pin
ball machines, drive-in movies, juke boxes...
Oh well, life goes on. Catch ya tomorrow. Gary
September 26, 2014. Checked out the
site again and this time found a couple of experienced guys who wrote
helpful tips about panning and what to look for. One was a simple tip
about throwing a stick into a flowing creek and watching where the
stick goes to as it heads for bends. Anyway, I created a page where I
paste that kind of info for later reference. Knowing what the signs are
is the key. On my earlier mini Odysseys in Tough Titties I visited many
places where gold was found back during early settlement days
but never gave panning a passing thought. Thilly me. I coulda been rich!
Actually, being on a fixed income as a pensioner,
fossicking could be a good little earner over the years. Money
depreciates but gold appreciates in the long term.
Speaking of TT, OH Jim was saying that his '68
needs lead substitute added to the fuel. So did TT otherwise she'd
ping. She was a 1971 model 202 six. He says the Mustang also has the
same problem as PJ had with the fuel nozzle at the pump... gotta hold
it a certain way to get it to work. But PJ has only encountered that
Jim also writes: I
was reading a short story on line and the characters were based in New
Zealand. The author is from there also. There was a line he wrote:
New Zealanders and Australians are pretty much enemies. Them ozzies
with their Fiesh and Cheaps.
So what is your take as a native from down under? Is this like it is
here in the States, where anyone from the South has an inbred
inferiority complex? Or is the above statement just a work of fiction?
When I hear ZL ( New Zealand ) or a VK ( Australian) Hams on Ham Radio,
they all sound alike with the "Crocodile Dundee" accent. And you can
lump in South African Hams also, although they are harder to find than
the run of the mill ZL or VK, they sound like VK's also.
Aussies and Kiwis rib each other but it's not
unless it's on the football field. We reckon their version of marriage
equality is being able to marry sheep. But they reckon we're unrefined
and dim witted. Russell Crowe is a Kiwi but we claim him as an Aussie.
Truth is we get along pretty well. As to accents - Aussies, Kiwis and
Safricans all sounding the same - that's what we say about Americans
and Canadians. My dentist Andries is a Safrican-born New Zealander
living and working in Oz, married to an American. So there ya go... and
he has an Aussie accent.
1) The scene is set, the night is cold, the campfire
burning and the stars twinkle in the dark night sky...
Three hang-glider pilots, one from Australia, one from South Africa and
the other from New Zealand, are sitting round a campfire near Uluru,
each embroiled with the bravado for which they are famous.
A night of tall tales begins....
"Kiven," the kiwi says, "I must be the meanest, toughest heng glider
dude there us. Why, just the other day, I linded in a field and scared
a crocodile thet got loose from the swamp. Et ate sux men before I
wrestled ut to the ground weth my bare hends end beat ut's bliddy 'ed
Jerry from South Africa typically can't stand to be
bettered. "Well you guys, I lended orfter a 200 mile flight on a tiny
treck, ind a fifteen foot Namibian desert snike slid out from under a
rock and made a move for me. I grebbed thet borsted with my bare hinds
and tore it's head orf ind sucked the poison down in one gulp. Ind I'm
still here today."
Barry the Aussie remained silent throughout, slowly
poking the fire embers
with his penis.
After their boat sinks, two aussies are left
around in their lifeboat in the middle of the ocean. All of a sudden
one of them spots a funny looking bottle bobbing in the water and pulls
it out. He sees something written on the bottle but can't quite read it
so he gives it a bit of a rub.
SHAZAM.....out pops a genie!
"For releasing me from the bottle I will grant you one wish."
The guy glances at his mate, smiles and without further hesitation
says, "I wish the whole ocean was beer!"
The genie claps his hands together and BOOM, there's a blinding light
and the genie is gone. The guy quickly leans over the side of the boat
and takes a big swig of "water".
"You're not gonna believe this mate, but it's really beer!"
His mate screws up his face and says "That's just bloody brilliant
mate! Now we’re gonna have to piss in the boat!!”
1) Three blokes were working on a high rise building
project, Macca, Chook and Simmo. Chook falls off and is killed
instantly. As the ambulance takes the body away, Simmo says, "Someone
should go and tell his wife." Macca says, "OK, I`m pretty good at that
sensitive stuff, I'll do it."
Two hours later, Macca comes back carrying a slab of VB. Simmo says,
"Where did you get that, Macca?" "Chook's missus gave it to me."
"That's unbelievable, you told the lady her husband was dead and she
gave you beer?" Macca says, "Well not exactly. When she answered the
door, I said to her, "You must be Chook`s widow." She said, "No, I'm
not a widow." And I said, "Wanna bet me a slab?"
3) A bloke escapes from prison where he has been for
years. He breaks into a house to look for money, beer and guns and
finds a young Australian couple in bed. He orders the bloke out of bed
and ties him to a chair. While tying the girl to the bed he gets on top
of her, kisses her neck, then goes into the bathroom.
While the man is in the bathroom, the husband tells the wife: "Listen,
this bloke's an escaped inmate, look at his clothes! He probably spent
lots of time in jail and hasn't seen a woman in years... I saw how he
kissed your neck. If he wants sex, don't resist, don't complain. Do
whatever he tells you. Satisfy him no matter how much he nauseates you.
This bloke is probably dangerous. If he gets angry, he'll kill us. Be
strong, honey. I love you." To which the wife responds: "He wasn't
kissing my neck. He was whispering in my ear. He told me he was gay,
thought you were cute, and asked if we had any Vaseline. I told him it
was in the bathroom. Be strong honey, I love you too!!"
Three Kiwis and three Aussies are traveling by train
a conference. At the station, the three Aussies each buy tickets and
watch as the three Kiwis buy only a single ticket. "How are three
people going to travel on only one ticket?" asks an Aussie. "Watch and
you'll see," answers a Kiwi. They all board the train. The Aussies take
their respective seats but all three Kiwis cram into a bathroom and
close the door behind them. Shortly after the train has departed, the
conductor comes around collecting tickets. He knocks on the bathroom
door and says,"Ticket, please." The door opens just a crack and a
single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. The conductor takes it and
moves on. The Aussies see this and agree it was quite a clever idea. So
after the conference, the Aussies decide to copy the Kiwis on the
return trip and save some money (being clever with money,and all that).
When they get to the station, they buy a single ticket for the return
trip. To their astonishment, the Kiwis don't buy a ticket at all. "How
are you going to travel without a ticket?" says one perplexed Aussie.
Watch and you'll see," answers a kiwi. When they board the train the
three Aussies cram into a bathroom and the three Kiwis cram into
another one nearby. The train departs. Shortly afterward, one of the
Kiwis leaves his bathroom and walks over to the bathroom where the
Aussies are hiding. He knocks on the door and says, "Ticket, please."
And finally, what do you get when you cross a
with an elephant? Bloody big holes all over Australia.
the Beeb: Singer Barbra Streisand
has created US chart history by
becoming the first artist to score number one albums in each of the
last six decades.
The veteran star's latest release, Partners, topped the Billboard
rundown after selling 196,000 copies.
The 72-year-old's first number one album, People, was achieved almost
50 years ago in October 1964.
Streisand's latest hit also makes her the only female singer to clock
up 10 number one albums in the US.
The musician now stands at number four in the all-time list of album
chart-topping acts in the US, behind The Beatles, who lead the hall of
fame with 19 number ones.
Jay Z is second with 13, while Bruce Springsteen is in third place with
11 best-selling albums.
Streisand ties for fourth with Elvis Presley, who is featured on her
The US military
released footage and still photos of its air strikes on oil refineries
controlled by Islamic State (IS) militants in eastern Syria.
The raids, carried out by US, Saudi and UAE aircraft, targeted 12
refineries in Syria on a third night of air strikes against the
IS has seized large parts of Iraq and Syria in recent months.
Sales of smuggled crude oil have helped finance its offensive in both countries.
Although the sound
a burbling V8 engine is indelibly associated with
the Mustang, Ford is pitching the car’s turbocharged 2.3-litre
four-cylinder engine as a power plant for the future, one that
rationalises the American pony for global drivers. “The new Mustang’s
potential for performance is most fully realized through its new
2.3-litre four-cylinder engine,” crows a Ford press release.
“Turbocharging permits engineers to extract good power from small,
otherwise fuel-efficient engines that must meet ever-more-stringent
government fuel economy standards while providing good acceleration.”Yeah, but it doesn't LOOK like a Mustang!
While farting around with PJ earlier I noticed
interesting in the garden... well, sort of interesting photographically
speaking... so I experimented with a shot or two and posted this one on Red Bubble. Just goes to show what an
old stick is capable of. Not me... IT. Gary
September 25, 2014. Raining. Bleh. Andres
me this morning what it feels like to be 70, and I didn't have an
answer. The ageing process is so gradual that there's nothing much to
notice, unless you compare your current age with some decades ago. I
tend to go through a gate these days instead of jumping a fence.
Climbing trees is not something I do a lot. Pirouettes are out. And
it's been a while since I ran up a flight of stairs two at a time.
Otherwise, turning 70 is no biggie.
Checked out the prospecting web site this morning and
learned a little more. Some of the guys (and it seems to be a guy
thing) posted pics of streams and creeks that showed various things to
look for, like crevices, cracks in the rocks, obstructions and rubble.
I see it as something I'll do from time to time just for the fun of it.
Then again, if I get lucky and find a nugget or two, I may see it
differently. Gold fever I think it's called.
Looks like my letter to Ford Australia caused a bit
ruckus. The the local Ford dealership has installed a client liason
person to deal with complaints. She just called and asked if Graham's
explanation was satisfactory yesterday, and was I happy to close the
case. Happy not, but I don't see an alternative. Oh well... On the
bright side, PJ has so many new bits now she's probably good for a few
years of reliable service.
Meanwhile, OH Jim is busy organizing parts for his
Mustang. He says his odometer needs an occasional thump with his fist
to encourage it to work. Mine too. Things like that add character hehe.
PJ is full of character... idiosyncracies that one learns to work
The other day I filled up at a different service
and had major problems with the pump. The gun kept shutting off.
Finally, the attendant came to take a look after I'd changed from one
pump to the next, and solved the problem by turning the gun sideways.
What a hassle! Fortunately it was a slow day and there were no irate
motorists waiting behind me.
From the Beeb: French
President Francois Hollande has strongly condemned the beheading in
Algeria of tourist Herve Gourdel by a jihadist group linked to Islamic
State (IS) militants.
The president described the killing as a "cruel and cowardly" act.
He said that French air strikes which began on IS targets in Iraq last
week would continue.
Jund al-Khilafa killed Mr Gourdel, 55, after its deadline for France to
halt air strikes on IS in Iraq ran out.
Algeria said it would do everything possible to bring the killers
One of the loonies arrested in Oz the other day
to execute a random person in the street and video the murder. Talk
A teenage terror
suspect shot dead after he stabbed two Australian police officers may
not have acted alone, a top police officer said.
Abdul Numan Haider, 18, was killed on Tuesday evening at a Melbourne
He had been asked to attend a meeting with counter-terrorism officers
amid concerns over his behaviour.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said police were
investigating the exact circumstances
of the incident.
is a beautiful bicycle, a clean arc
of aluminium stretched between two wheels. Everything extraneous seems
to have been removed – including, surprisingly, the chain. The
Footloose is an electric bike, but rather than using a motor to provide
assist when pedaling, the only direct link between the pedals and rear
wheel is electronic. The pedals power an alternator instead of a chain
ring, and send power to a lithium-ion battery pack. That battery powers
a motor in the back hub, which is controlled with a thumb throttle. The
250-watt motor is dual-wound, and shifts motor speeds when it
encounters a slope, thanks to what the company calls an “artificial
intelligence gear shifter.” No matter the terrain, the rider moves
along at a steady pace, pedaling leisurely as if on a bike path through a city park.
Remember I wrote that I overdid the polarizer during
Port Macquarie trip? I wrote to a Red Bubble mate to ask about
polarizers (he leaves his on the camera all the time). Great timing. He
had just returned home from his mother's funeral. Mind you, she was 102
and 1 week, so it's not like her passing was any great surprise. He has
been her carer for many years and only had time for photography during
'respite' periods. He's been all over Oz during his life and covered
well over a million miles, so my guess is he'll be off again. He loves
difficult to see where that video border begins and ends on the page in
normal edit mode cos it's invisible so I'm typing this sentence in
source mode. Hope it works! Hmmm... back in normal mode and it looks
I did some shopping earlier and as soon as I drove into the driveway,
large drops of rain began to fall. Then, once inside the house, down it
came with thunder, lightning and the whole shebang - not bad timing!
I'm gonna try a couple of those meatballs with baked beans in tomato
sauce tonight... with a bit of extra salsa for good measure. Gary
September 24, 2014. This house is full of
tantalizing aroma of fried savory meatballs (veal and pork). Mmmm!
There's enough for a couple of meals. Some will get the crush treatment
from the back of a fork at dinner time tonight. I picked up a trick
from a cooking show about making meatballs/burgers... you can bind the
ground meat by using a slice of bread (crusts cut off) torn to bits and
soaked in milk.
Congrats to OR Richie and Becky who are celebrating
their 2nd wedding anniversary today. Isn't that sweet? Childhood
sweethearts who parted ways 30 years ago and then got together again
and tied the knot. Domestic life is agreeing with them both, and
they're having a lovely time making improvements to the El Rancho.
Meanwhile, over in Ohio, Jim is having a lovely time
with bureaucrats: So, the saga of
getting my 2001 Mustang road worthy and legal to drive on the road
again is just starting . My insurance company will pay me $2,282.36,
which is $2,282.26 more than what I expected. I wanted no salvage title
put on the car, not that I give a hoot if there was, since I plan on
driving it into the ground ... or until they l plant me into the
ground, which ever comes first. Then I plan to sell it to Zach for $1.
He'll fix it up, and drive it until he is in his 60's.
BUT... the State of
Ohio has a law that says if an insurance company has totalled (the cost
to fix it exceeds what they think it is worth) a car, they have to
report it to the State BMV and I then have to take the title, the
registration, insurance info, my drivers license, and Zach's report
card from 8th grade to get them to give me a salvage title for the car,
which then stays with the car forever. That tells any buyer that the
car was in a serious accident.
BUT, that ain't
I have to get the Salvage Unit of the Ohio Highway Patrol to inspect
the car. I have to produce original receipts for any parts I bought to
fix the car. If they are used parts, they have to be bought from a real
company, not from Craig's List or eBay, AND they have to have the VIN
number from the donor car.
Nothing can be loose, or held together with duct tape. Plus no sharp
edges hanging out. They said air bag replacement was optional, my
choice. So this will cost me a couple of hundred, before they are done
with me. Oh, I asked what else do they look for, and the guy said "
sorry, that's confidential". No kidding, he actually said that to me.
Jeez. Some people have way too much authority or maybe he is related to
we all have a story to tell about bureaucrats. They
get off on wielding the power they have. As to air bags, I've never
owned a car with them. I think it's probably just as well that PJ
doesn't have air bags at her age. The less gadgets an old car has, the
less there is to deteriorate or go wrong.
And here in Taree, Oz, it seems that it's Ford 1,
0. Just got a call from the local Ford dealer to say that the leaky
radiator, faulty water pump and then the cracked head were coincidental
and not related. And neither was the fact that today's call arrived 6
weeks after I mailed a letter asking for an explanation, plus a further
letter mailed to Ford Australia 2 weeks ago to say that I was being
ignored by the local dealer, and asking for intervention by head
office. According to the caller, the 6 week lapse was caused by his
having the flu. Yeah, right. Long bloody flu.
The caller said that when PJ arrived at the
on board the tilt tray truck, it started and ran fine. Next morning he
started PJ again and it ran rough. They did a compression test (or some
kind of test) and discovered what appeared to be a cracked head or
faulty gasket. Upon further investigation, they found that water was
entering #3 cylinder. So it's their word against mine. Like I said,
Ford 1, Gary 0. And there's nothing I can do about it. It's the Golden
Rule... he who has the gold makes the rules.
From the Beeb: The
fight against jihadist group Islamic State (IS) will take years, a US
military spokesman has told the BBC.
Rear Admiral John Kirby also said that US-led air strikes against IS in
Syria had disrupted the group's capabilities.
The remark came as President Barack Obama thanked Arab states for help
and Secretary of State John Kerry said more than 50 nations had agreed to fight IS.
China has pledged
the first time to take firm action to tackle climate change, telling a
UN summit it aims to make deep emissions reductions by 2020.
Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli said China's carbon emissions - the world's
highest - would soon peak.
US President Barack Obama said climate change was moving faster than
efforts to address it, and the US and China had a responsibility to
lead other nations.
The summit was the largest high-level climate meeting since 2009.
Maybe they can convince Oz to take
A teenager shot
after he stabbed two police officers was a "known
terror suspect" whose passport had been cancelled on security grounds,
Australian officials say.
The incident happened at a Melbourne police station late on Tuesday.
The 18-year old, who had been asked to attended an interview, stabbed
two counter-terrorism officers several times. One of them then shot
Police would not confirm reports he made threats against PM
So now some people are saying the coalition of the
willing withdrew from Iraq too soon, and that the current mess is a
result of not finishing the job properly. If that's the case then GWB
was right. Then there are others who say we should never have been
involved in the first place. I guess we'll never know for sure. What
matters now is how we resolve the present situation. I think John Kerry
has done a great job of getting 50 nations involved, including Arab
states. IS and other terrorist groups need to know that it's not just
the West they're dealing with.
Seems to me that evil will always exist in one form
another. Individuals pre-disposed to violence and hatred band together
once they're offered a cause that justifies their demented gang
mentality. It happens in urban environments and, on a much larger
scale, in environments like those that exist in the Middle East. But
their Modus Operandi is the same whether it's a neighborhood gang or a
sophisticated outfit like IS... rule by fear.
Well, that'll do me for this Wednesday. I'm looking
forward to mashing some of those meatballs tonight and having them with
mashed spud and veg, with lots of gravy. When I serve it on a plate, it
actually looks like a proper
meal instead of a bunch of gloop in a bowl like I used to have. It's
okay to have a bowl of oats but not a bowl of dinner, if ya know what I
mean. It's a psychological thingy. Gary
September 23, 2014.
NC Art says the spirit's
willing but the flesh ain't up to speed, OH Jim's complaining of a
green belly button and TX Greg's not feeling well either: Speaking of being ill, I've been down for
over a week now. Not sure if the flu or a chest cold. Just sick and
weak enough can't drive to the doc and not sick enough to call a
ambulance, hehe. Doc's just don't do house calls over here. A little
better this morning tho.
I phoned the prof's office in Sydney yesterday about
CT scan of my jaw. The prof has the report from the Imaging company but
not the images. He'll ask me to mail them if he needs to see them, they
said. I get the feeling he's already made up his mind about the bone
transplant op. If that's the case, I could get a call any day now
asking me to pack my bags and head for Sydney. More disruption and
inconvenience BUT... munch, munch, munch. Thin and crispy Supreme,
please, with double topping.
More importantly, of course, is being able to pack PJ
next year for the
final exit from the driveway. Mine must be the longest prep in history.
This web site started in 2007. Sheesh!
From the Beeb: The
US and allies said to include Arab nations have launched the first air
strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria, the Pentagon
Spokesman Rear Adm John Kirby said fighter and bomber jets and Tomahawk
missiles were used in the attack.
The strikes were expected as part of President Barack Obama's pledge to
"degrade and destroy" IS, which has taken huge swathes of Syria and
The US has already launched 190 air strikes in Iraq since August.
Heirs to the
Rockefeller family, which made its vast fortune from oil, are to sell
investments in fossil fuels and reinvest in clean energy, reports say.
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund is joining a coalition of philanthropists
pledging to rid themselves of more than $50bn (£31bn) in fossil fuel
The announcement was made on Monday, a day before the UN climate change
summit opens on Tuesday.
Some 650 individuals and 180 institutions have joined
The man who broke
into the White House on Friday evening had 800 rounds of ammunition, a
machete and two hatchets in his car, authorities have said.
Omar Gonzalez, 42, was carrying a knife when stopped by Secret Service
officers just inside the building.
On Monday officials said he was also arrested in July with two rifles
and a map marking the White House.
The Secret Service says it has stepped up security and launched a
comprehensive review of procedures.
Mr Gonzalez, a US military veteran who was decorated for his service in
the Iraq war, faces charges of unlawfully entering a restricted
building carrying a "deadly
or dangerous weapon".
The chief spokesman
for the self-named "Islamic State" (IS), also known
as Isis, has given the clearest indication yet that his fighters would
actually welcome a ground war in Iraq and Syria against US troops.
In a 42-minute audio message uploaded to the internet the group's
Syrian-born spokesman, who has taken the adopted name of Shaykh Abu
Muhammad al-Adnani, mocks recent US air strikes and the moves to build
an international coalition against Islamic State.
Addressing President Obama, the spokesman says: "Is this all you are
capable of doing in this campaign of yours? Are America and all its
allies... unable to come down to the ground?"
No military response?
Two things emerge clearly from the various references to the US-led
campaign to confront IS in the Middle East.
The US and French air strikes in Iraq are causing IS real damage - it
has no effective military response to them - and for a number of
reasons it really wants the US to commit ground troops to the battlefield.
Talk back radio this morning was full of callers
concerned about Muslims, the wearing of burkas in public, Sharia Law,
and terrorism. A couple of people commented that if Muslims attract
this much attention with only 2% of the Australian population, imagine
how much they would attract if they were 10%. I've not met any Muslims
personally so I don't have an informed opinion. On the other hand I may
have without realizing it. I would like to think that Muslims are
people first, and Muslims second, and that they have more in common
with the rest of the community than not. Intolerance is usually the
result of ignorance. Mind you, I'm talking about Australian Muslims;
people who settle here to get away from religious in-fighting and
fanaticism. She'll be roite, mate, no wukkers.
Geez, has the day gone that quickly? Musta been the
snoozes I had hehe. Septuagenarians are allowed an extra snooze
occasionally. A little while ago I introduced myself as a newbie to the
Australian Prospecting forum and told the story of the nugget. Later
I'll go back in to have a poke around and see what I can glean. I
figure reading forum threads is a better and more interesting way to
learn about a subject than reading a book. Yeah? Get better soon, Greg.
September 22, 2014.
Since no touch up paint
available for OH Zach's old Toyota ute, Jim is gonna try to find
something close, but that ain't easy. I had that trouble with old
Bluey. However, I have seen other cars with dings whose owners have not
bothered. Instead, they paint "OUCH!" over the ding. As to Jim's
Mustang, he's gonna repair the recent accident damage himself and fit
new after-market headlights. Cool beans, according to Zach.
Speaking of older cars, Francois sent this link
(forwarded from Dio) to an 84 year old Packard in 'as-new', original
condition still driven regularly by its 101 year old lady owner. I
posted this story on Waffle some months ago but if you missed it, here it is again.
It's been a while since I've heard from NC Art, so I
emailed him yesterday to enquire about his health. He's 88 - no spring
chicken. Ah, here he is. His reply was waiting for me when I returned
from the dental clinic: Spirit
willing, Flesh weak. or some such eggzcuse.
I know how it feels, Art. After surgery or being ill,
when the flesh is being uncooperative (or even inoperative), the mind
follows suit. There have been times when I couldn't even look at a
I watched a science show recently about time and the
'big bang'. The universe continues (and will continue) to expand. Time is motion.
Nothing stands still, not even the inner workings of an atom. I think
they said that the light from the beginning of the big bang hasn't even
reached Earth yet. Anyway, all I know is that the concept of time is
something I find most difficult to wrap my head around. Impossible,
even. Even the experts can't agree.
During the interview with Arianna Huffington on telly
last night, she said she's a spiritual person. I'm not sure if she
believes in an El Supremo but she does enjoy the mysterious nature of
certain things, like coincidence. She told the story of a young couple
buying lunch at a Subway restaurant. When the young man received his
change, he spotted a dollar bill with his girlfiend's name written on
it. So he gave it to her. It was some years later, after they'd been
married, that he asked if she still had the dollar bill. It was then
that she told him the story: As a young girl, before she met him, she
had long wondered how she would recognize the boy of her dreams when/if
he came into her life. So she got the idea of writing her name on a
dollar bill and then putting it back into circulation. If the signed
bill ever turned up in her possession again, she would know that the
boy she was currently dating was her Prince Charming. Her husband,
after hearing the story, asked why she hadn't mentioned it at the
Subway restaurant. She explained that they'd only just met at the time,
and she didn't want put pressure on him by saying they were fated to
marry; that he may have felt trapped or obligated had he known. But, as
it turned out, they fell in love and married anyway.
After relating the story, Arianna asked what were the
chances of that happening? One in a billion? One in a trillion? Was it
coincidence or something else? It's that kind of mystery - the sheer
wonder of the inexplicable - that she finds so spiritually fascinating.
The Huffington Post, according to Arianna, has a section
which was introduced after one of Huffington's editors suggested it by
saying, "Marriage comes and goes, but divorce is forever!"
Back after checking out the junk mail. I took it down to PJ to read it.
Sounds weird but PJ is somehow more conducive to reading than this room
is. Maybe it's the table and seating arrangement (which the GNs call a
club lounge). Anyway, there was the usual electronic stuff, furniture,
groceries and a real estate mag. You can buy a small villa around here
for under $200K which is pretty cheap compared to Sydney. Or a house
between $200 and $300K up to $1M+. There's nothing particularly
attractive about Sydney's outer suburbs anyway. Dunno why I'm checking
out real estate though. Haven't got the brass for one thing, and I'll
be off like a bride's nightie as soon as I get teeth. But the pictures
are pretty. :)
From the Beeb: The US space agency's
(Nasa) latest Mars satellite has arrived successfully in orbit above
Hurtling through space for the past 10 months, the Maven craft slammed
on the brakes by firing its thrusters.
The 33-minute burn removed sufficient speed to allow the satellite to
be captured by Mars' gravity.
Maven has been sent to study the Red Planet's high atmosphere, to try
to understand the processes that have robbed the world of most of its
Today, the air pressure is so low that free water at the surface would instantly boil away.
Former British Prime
Minister Tony Blair has told the BBC that it may be necessary to use
"force capability on the ground" to defeat IS militants.
Referring to Barack Obama's airstrike policy he said that the
"fanatical force" could only be "harried and hemmed in by airpower".
He also said it would be best if the ground troops came from nations in
the Middle East.
Mr. Blair was speaking to the BBC's Nick Bryant.
Tens of thousands
people have marched in Moscow to protest against Russia's involvement
in the Ukraine conflict.
People carrying Russian and Ukrainian flags chanted "No to war!" and
"Stop lying!" Similar rallies took place in St Petersburg and other
Ukraine accuses Russia of arming rebels in the east and sending Russian
troops across the border. Moscow
of people have watched the last two airworthy Lancaster bombers in the
world fly over the site where the famous Dambusters raid was practised.
The Lancasters passed Derwent Dam in Derbyshire three times on their
way back to RAF Coningsby, in Lincolnshire, from Southport Air Show.
The once in a lifetime sight was in tribute to the Dambusters crews and
those killed in World War Two.
This morning at the dental clinic, Cherie told me
there's an old gold mine in the Taree area. Could be good for a short
camp and some piccies, and even a bit of fossicking. So I did a Google
and discovered that there was a lot of mining in this and neighboring
areas during the 19th century, and not only for gold but also
gemstones. I plan to join a prospecting forum and learn from others,
much the same as I have about camping/travelling from the GN forum.
Panning is also a helluva lot simpler and cheaper than using metal
detectors. A few dishes and a pick will get me started.
Sooooo, that brings me to the end of another Waffle.
looking foward to dinner - ham and veg and buckets of gravy (chicken
cos it goes better with ham). I'm starving! Maybe I'll nibble on some
chocolate first hehe. Gary
September 21, 2014.
And another lovely spring
day it is too, albeit a chilly morning. So what exciting things are on
the menu for today? Ummmm... yeah. Well, at least there's a bit of
excitement in Ohio where Jim's young mate Zach is buffing up... the old
Toyota ute, that is... after two
evenings of buffing it with a cutting compound, then with a polish and
finally with a wax. What was a dull, faded brown, is now restored to a
respectable shinny red, called Wine Red. It was a 1989 only Toyota
color. The bad news is that you can't buy touch up paint for it. So we
are fishing for a solution.
Jim - whose belly button, incidentally, is now
Racing Green (following a period of black and blue bruising) - also
tells me that Zach replaced the interior rear view mirror and broken
door latch. Doing up an old vehicle can be a most absorbing and
satisfying project, especially for a teen. It's a major step up from
running around the back yard dressed in a Batman suit.
As to Francois' happy snap of a deer wandering close
his house... Saw the deer photo.
Yawn. We have deer here ... up the wazoo. A couple of years ago, I was
going out the driveway door and I hit a deer right in the nose with it
( the door)! It's nothing to see a momma and two or three doe walking
through our yards, or even down the middle of the street. They are
pests, they eat all my perennials and rub up against trees and screw up
their bark. Not to mention causing traffic accidents. It's not unusual
to see dead ones on the side of the roads or expressways. Rutting
season is upon us, and bucks are running amok. Pea brains in a couple
hundred pound bodies. Dumb as a rock. And they spaz out Little Black
Cat when she sees them while sitting in her window. She wants to kill
Nothing more irritating than having one's perennials
munched. Kangaroos pose a similar prob in Oz. During dry periods
they wander into towns and feed on resident's gardens. "No, no, no! Not
my perennials!" Could be worse, ya know. We have large herds of feral
camels in Oz.
Where's my kitchen scales? Oh yeah... in PJ. I keep
putting stuff in there that I still use in the house. I'm getting
carried away. Anyway, so I took the nugget down to PJ, grabbed the
scales, and weighed it. A gram or just over. The kitchen scales are not
all that accurate down to a gram but close enough. A couple of those
each day prospecting would be cool. Problem is, those metal detectors
ain't cheap! Not even second hand ones. And I'm not sure how often I
would bother prospecting, or be in a suitable area. My main purpose is
to see the country, meet people, take photographs, and write a journal.
In any case, to be a successful prospector, you need
be something of a geologist, and to understand how the topography of a
particular area might affect the presence of gold. The days of stubbing your
toe on a large surface nugget are long gone. Boo hoo!
From the Beeb: In
many places you need to pass written and practical tests to get a
driving licence - but not in Mexico City. For now, all you need here is
a few papers and a bit of cash.
To be honest, I'd been putting it off for months. I'd heard it was easy
to get a driving licence in Mexico City, but something about the
peeling green paint of the Public Ministry offices seemed to epitomise
Mexican bureaucracy and paperwork.
The NFL football
Adrian Peterson's child abuse scandal has sparked a national debate in
America about spanking children and the growing illegality of certain
kinds of "abusive" corporal punishments. In a personal piece, author
Stacey Patton describes the complex legacy of corporal punishment in
says he has survived a crocodile attack - by
poking the reptile in the eye.
Stephen Moreen, 20, said he waded into water in the Northern Territory
to retrieve a goose he had shot when the crocodile grabbed and pulled
When the hunter jabbed the 2m-long (6ft 6in) animal in the eye, it let
The hunter's cousin then shot the reptile. Mr Moreen admitted he had
been "a little bit tipsy" at
Adding sweetened condensed milk to smoothies, I've
found, can be a bit of a hassle. It's too sweet to use all of a can so
I use half, which means mucking about with measures and storing the
remaining half. So the other day at the supermarket I saw small tetra
packs of heat-treated, long-life thickened cream. Great for PJ's pantry
on the Odyssey, I thought, but also for smoothies. So I bought 4 packs
at about $1.50 each. I used one pack in a smoothie and found the cream
taste a bit overpowering. So next (this) time I again used one pack but
also added a flat tablespoon of brown sugar. Yeah? Brown sugar goes
with banana, fruit, cereal and lots of things. Anyway, it works very
well... softens the cream taste and ain't too sweet. AND... the cream
contains FAT, which is just what I need. Fat, fat, fat, fat. Besides,
I'm tired of jumping up and down on the scales to get the needle to
I'm actually feeling quite chipper these days despite
being so damn skinny. At least the bod is getting lots of nutrition and
my energy level has improved vastly on what it was a few months back.
Climbing the stairs leading to the lighthouse the other day was no
picnic but at least I made it. I figure that will improve on the
Odyssey anyway because of regular walking and riding the bike. Living
in a house makes you lazy.
Speaking of which, my arm chair is about to get a bum
transplant and the telly a bit of a run. Ah, I see that Arianna
Huffington, head of the Huffington Post group is being interviewed -
that should be interesting. Gary
Gorgeous day here - still a bit fresh in the house
magnifico outside in the sun. Yesterday, I received an email from my ex
neighbor in Glebe informing me that my old house is about to get a
makeover - an extended top storey with a second bedroom and balcony. I
had plans drawn for that very same makeover back in the late '80s but
it never happened. Anyway, I no longer pine for that old house. It's
history now and my focus is on the future. Next!
Francois wrote: photo
prise hier de ma clôture à 10m de ma maison
Translated that means my
balls were itchy so I scratched them. Oops! Sorry... my French
is atrocious. It means pic taken
yesterday from my fence at 10m of my house.
Francois lives in New Caledonia. Venison anyone?
Speaking of animals, there was a program on telly about tanneries which
were once common in Oz. I remember one just a few blocks from our house
and the disgusting smell of the tanning process when the wind blew our
way. I used to get offcuts from them to make pouches or whatever. But
tanneries gradually went out of business because of cheap imports. One
of the very few survivors in Brisbane discovered the superior qualities
of kangaroo hide, and became a specialist. Roo leather is tremendously
strong and supple, yet thin - ideal for use in sports shoes. The
company supplies leading manufacturers such as Adidas, as well as auto
manufacturer Audi for the hide's use in its vehicle upholstery. The
product is so good, it can be sold at a premium price.
While sitting in PJ enjoying the sun, I read a gold
prospecting magazine that accompanied the nugget Larry sent me. Seems
the best experienced amateurs can manage is a handful of minus 1 gram
nuggets in a week or two of intensive prospecting. Most places have
been cleaned out over the years. The mag is crammed from cover to cover
by ads for prospecting equipment and/or tours, so it seems that's where
the real money is. Hehe. But it's the fun of the hunt and enjoying
nature, so they say, that makes prospecting a popular pastime. A bit
like fishing. And, of course, the chance, albeit slim, of striking it
I think the Oz price for gold is about $40 a gram.
expect 5 or 6 grams from a week's prospecting so that's a few hundred
bucks extra in the kick. Better than a poke in the eye with a burnt
During the 19th century Palmer River goldrush in
inhospitable North Queensland country, one prospector decided to leave
main camp and follow a tributary of the Palmer on his own. Then the wet
season came and the waters rose, which cut him off from the main group
altogether. By the time he was found months later, he had died of
starvation. At his camp, they also found 19 pounds of gold in bags.
Given the scarcity of gold, it's no wonder mining
like Kalgoorlie are also rare. Kalgoorlie, pop. 30,000, inland
Western Australia, is said to be richest square mile of earth on the
planet - a place that's on my Odyssey bucket list for sure. Alan Bond,
in his hey day, bought up several old mining leases in the area and
turned them all into a huge open pit mine. He's the bloke who sponsored
the Australian challenge and America's Cup win in 1983.
From the Beeb: Politicians
on both sides of the argument are to consider the best way forward for
Scotland in the wake of voters rejecting independence.
The SNP is contemplating a change of leadership after First Minister
Alex Salmond announced he is to stand down.
Some 49 Turkish
hostages seized by Islamic State (IS) in the north Iraqi city of Mosul
in June are now back in Turkey, PM Ahmet Davutoglu says.
The hostages included diplomats and their families as well as soldiers.
They were seized from Turkey's consulate after IS militants seized
Mosul in a rapid advance in June. Sucking up to Turkey
now - divide
and conquer, yes?
Five out of six of
Syria's Unesco World Heritage sites have been "significantly" damaged
by the country's civil war, satellite image analysis has revealed.
Historic structures across the country, including ancient mosques,
government buildings and castles show signs of destruction - with some
reduced to rubble, researchers from the American Association for the
Advancement of Science (AAAS) say. The only site that appears to remain
relatively unscathed is the ancient city of Damascus.
A Muslim academic
opened a gay-friendly mosque in South Africa,
despite receiving death threats and fierce criticism from parts of the
local Muslim community.
Women will also be allowed to lead prayers at Taj Hargey's "Open
Mosque" in Cape Town.
"We are opening the mosque for open-minded people, not closed-minded
people," Mr Hargey told the BBC.
He says the mosque will help counter growing Islamic radicalism.
Mr Hargey, a professor at the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford in
the UK, told the BBC's Newsday programme it was time for a "religious
"In South Africa 20 years ago, there was a peaceful revolution changing
from apartheid to democracy and we need to have a similar development
in the area of religion," he said. Well
As you know, I've been enjoying a big dollop of malt
extract on my oats for breakfast every morning, so I thought I'd
discovered something new. Yeah, right. Saunders, the brand, has been
around for donkey's years, and their web site recommends pouring it
over breakfast cereals (although they don't mention oats). They also
recommend using it as a spread (it has the consistency of honey), or in
baking cakes, biscuits, etc. Saunders originally migrated to Oz from
England in 1850. He was a candle stick maker, but teamed up with his
father in law, a maltster in a brewery, and went on to become a brewer
himself. I'd never heard of Saunders Malt Extract
before. The old fashioned logo is a drawing of a little boy in diapers
holding up a steel girder one-handed. The malt I normally see at the
supermarket is in powder form, mixed with milk solids, and used to make
malted milk drinks. Saunders is the real McCoy in 1kg tins, located in
the spreads aisle - honey, jam, peanut butter, etc. When I first
spotted it some months ago, there were only a few cans available on the
bottom shelf - almost out of sight. The other day, stock had grown to
about 12 cans but it's still on the bottom shelf. No wonder I'd never
heard of it before. However, I've seen it mentioned on a few foodie
forums so maybe I'm not the only newbie "discoverer". Powdered
supplements just ain't the real deal.
And on that note, it's time for me to think about
feeding this old face (which I'm currently doing, actually, with a
glass of yoghurt smothered in fresh strawberry puree), and checking out
the latest on telly. A cold wind sprung up earlier today and buggered
the nice warm weather we were having, dangit. So I'll give the heater a
bit of a workout for a while. I'd prefer a campfire but that's a tad
impractical at the mo. Pity. Gary
September 19, 2014.
Didya miss me yesterday?
was a bit late after arriving home from Port Macquarie and attending to
a few chores to update Waffle.
The drive to Port Macquarie for a CT scan of my jaw
uneventful. I arrived on time but it took ages to find Mid North Coast
Imaging and I was late for the appointment... but as it happened it
didn't matter - the waiting room was full. Following the scan - which
was done with one of those radiation tunnel machines that swallows you
up horizontally while it takes a 3D image of your bits - the operator
gave me a large envelope of the pictures. Huh? What am I supposed to do
with these? Forward them to the doc in Sydney? When I got back to
Taree, I phoned the doc's office to ask if they'd received copies of
the scan electronically. Nope. So they're investigating and will let me
know if they want the pictures forwarded or not. Confusion, confusion.
I took the coast road from Port Macquarie back to
- at least as far as Laurieton where I joined the Pacific Hwy for the
remainder of the trip - and gave the Nikon a bit of a workout. But this
time I experimented with a polarizing filter and discovered (after
arriving home and checking the images) that darkening the sky
overexposes bright subjects like sand and white objects. Not good. So I
won't be using the polarizer again except in exceptional circumstances.
The filter also causes vignetting when the lens is set at 18mm. Grrrr.
At one location, Lighthouse Beach, I had just
taking a shot and was walking back to PJ when two young girls on their
way to the beach warned me to stay clear of a grassy area a few feet
away into which a large brown snake had slithered a few moments
beforehand. One of the girls said it was 10 foot long (probably an
exaggeration but even so...) and brown. Brown snakes are highly
venomous and can be aggressive if provoked. So there ya go... the snake
and I had crossed paths but, luckily, not at the same time. The down
side is that I didn't get a photo of the critter. Click here for the photo album with captions.
However, on a more somber note, Josh adds: You cannot touch the water twice, because
the flow that has passed
will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of life. As a bagpiper, I
play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at
a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends,
so the service was to be at a pauper's cemetery in the Nova Scotia
As I was not
with the backwoods, I got lost and, being a
typical man, I didn't stop for directions. I finally arrived an hour
late and saw the funeral guy had evidently
gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers
and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized
to the men for being late.
I went to the side
the grave and looked down and the vault lid was
already in place. I didn't know what else to do, so I started to play.
The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I
played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends.
I played like I've never played before for this homeless man. And as I
played "Amazing Grace", the workers began to weep. They wept,
I wept, we all wept together.
When I finished, I
packed up my bagpipes
and started for my car. Though my head was hung low, my heart was
full. As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say,
never seen anything like that before, and I've been putting in septic
tanks for twenty years."
From the Beeb: Scotland
has voted to stay in the United Kingdom after voters decisively
With 31 out of the country's 32 council areas having declared after
Thursday's vote, the 'No' side has an unassailable lead of 1,914,187
votes to 1,539,920.
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond called for unity and the
unionist parties to deliver on more powers.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron said he was delighted the UK would
remain together and called
for national unity.
President Obama has said
Congress's backing for his $500m plan to aid moderate Syrian rebels
shows the world the US is united against Islamic State.
He spoke moments after the US Senate approved his plan, a day after it
was passed by the House of Representatives.
"The strong bipartisan support in Congress for this new training effort
shows the world Americans are united in confronting the
threat from Isil."
out anti-terrorism raids in Sydney sparked by intelligence reports that
Islamist extremists were planning random killings in Australia.
PM Tony Abbott said a senior Australian Islamic State militant had
called for "demonstration killings", reportedly including a public
The raids, with at least 800 heavily armed officers, led to 15 arrests.
One man has been charged with planning an attack. Prosecutors said it
involved "gruesomely" killing someone.
It's 75 years since
the death of Sigmund Freud, and the words and
phrases he popularised are deeply ingrained in popular culture and
everyday language. How did Freudian jargon become so widespread?
There's the Freud in textbooks. The bearded Viennese polymath who
pioneered psychoanalysis. The Freud that academics never tire of
Then there's the other Freud. The pub Freud. The one you might allude
to when you mention dreams, or verbal slips, or someone fancying their
mum. His relationship to the first Freud is tangential
Yes, the good ol' Freudian slips... I make them all
time. No worries. Seeya tomorrow. Gary
September 17, 2014.
FL Josh wrote: Here's a clip from
the movie, "The Life
and Times of Judge Roy Bean," starring Paul Newman as Roy Bean. Here
Judge Roy Bean deals with the albino Bad Bob using his own form
of fair play.
One thing I noticed about that clip was that the town
was built of timber but there wasn't a tree in sight.
As to the cost of housing
prisoners, for fiscal year 2012-2013, it cost Florida $47.50 per day to
house a prisoner, which included $2.32 for three meals.
The figures for the Dept of Corrective Services in Oz
was an average of $207 per day per adult in 2007/8 including Vegemite
sandwiches. 70% of the cost of the justice system is spent on policing.
Well, the rent for this house has just been increased
$20 a week to $220, which is the same as we were paying for a 2-bed
crappy flat in Petersham, Sydney, 13 years ago. Imagine what that flat
is costing now! We did well by moving to Taree. Just had Stan the Lawn
Man here to spray the lawn for bindis - millions of the damn things -
before they develop little thorns. His wife Sue reckons I shouldn't
have the reconstructive surgery on my jaw and "go through the whole
thing again" but she doesn't realize what a hassle it is to be
toothless. People eat 5 or more times a day, every day, without giving
it a second thought. But I do. I think about it all the time. It also
affects my speech and communication with other people. I've had enough!
At about this time tomorrow PJ and I will be on our
to Port Macquarie to have my worsening osteoradionecrosis scanned which
will determine what the prof says about further reconstructive surgery.
That'll be interesting. Then I'll take the long way back to Taree, down
the coast road which is a far more scenic and pleasant route for a bit
of Nikon snapping.
And guess who turns 6 early next year? Little Anyel,
sponsored child in Nicaragua. He was almost 2 when I first sponsored
him and his family, so he's grown quite a bit! Not so little any more.
World Vision sent me a card to fill in with a personal greeting and a
small gift to return. I've not mentioned anything about my health
issues to Anyel or his family. They have enough problems of their own.
Yesterday, I mailed a copy of the letter I sent to
here in Taree over a month ago to Ford Australia, advising them that
the letter has been ignored, and asking for some kind of head office
intervention. If it's not forthcoming, I'll send a copy to Consumer
Affairs. Ignoring me is not gonna make me go away hehe. Bugger 'em.
From the Beeb: Both
sides in the Scottish referendum debate are making their final pitch to
voters on the last day of campaigning.
It comes as the latest polls suggested the result remained too close to
call, with a slender lead for a "No" vote.
First Minister Alex Salmond has written to voters appealing to them to
back independence, urging "let's do this".
Key figures from the pro-Union Better Together campaign were out
meeting nightworkers into Wednesday, ahead of a Love Scotland, Vote No
Three new polls, one by Opinium for the Daily Telegraph, another by ICM
for the Scotsman and a third by Survation for the Daily Mail, were
published on Tuesday evening.
With undecided voters excluded, they all suggested a lead for "No" of
52% to 48%. If it ain't broke...
Obama has called the West Africa Ebola outbreak "a threat to global
security" as he announced a larger US role in fighting the virus.
"The world is looking to the United States," Mr Obama said, but added
the outbreak required a "global response".
The measures announced included ordering 3,000 US troops to the region
and building new healthcare facilities.
Ebola has killed 2,461 people this year, about half of those infected,
the World Health Organization said. Yep,
it's getting more serious by the week.
The US space agency
Nasa has picked the companies it hopes can take the country's
astronauts back into space.
It is awarding up $6.2bn to the Boeing and SpaceX firms, to help them
finish the development of new crew capsules.
Since the space shuttles were retired in 2011, the Americans have
relied on Russia and its Soyuz vehicles to get to the International
Boeing and SpaceX should have their seven-person crew ships ready to
take over the role by late 2017.
Disagreements over Moscow's actions in Ukraine have made the current
Soyuz arrangement increasingly unpalatable for Washington. My favorite race, the space race.
brute among utes: Holden Special Vehicles, "Australia's leading
performance car manufacturer", has announced details of a range-topping
version of its Maloo pickup. It's called the GTS, and it's actually
quite mad. ‘Good' mad, though, and an important bit of news, too.
General Motors, which owns Holden, announced at the end of last year
that it will stop building cars in Australia by the end of 2017.
So this GTS Maloo is the one of the last in a long, fine line of mad V8
utes from Down Under. As such, it gets GM's 6.2-litre supercharged LSA
V8 engine, producing a big fat 576 horsepower and 546 pound-feet of torque.
One of the GNs posted a link to Julie
- an Aussie lady with a passion for taking awesome photographs in and
of outback Oz. Check out her web site and read her bio. Stuuuuuning!
The new bloke next door is in the concreting
Do I need any concrete? Maybe new shoes for Lindsay? And swimming
lessons? Anyway, folks, it's time for me to retire for the day... to
the arm chair, that is, and a bit of telly followed by blobs of blended
sustenance. Oh well... one of these days. Gary
September 16, 2014.
I was woken by the brief
of brakes followed by a thud this morning at 6. A bloke had rear-ended
a box trailer parked in the street across the road... the one owned
by Anthony who runs an antenna installation business. The car pushed
the trailer onto the footpath, blocking the entrance to Anthony's
driveway some meters further down. The car had also mounted the kerb.
My guess is the driver was using a mobile phone and lost concentration.
There's no way he could have wandered into the kerb lane if he'd been
focused on his driving. Luckily, no pedestrians were using the footpath
at the time. Yesterday, in Sydney, an unlicensed driver lost control of
a car which careered into a bus stop, killing a 16 y/o girl waiting for
the school bus, and then carried on through the front of a shop. This
craziness has to stop.
OK Mike wrote about his camping trip: The camping trip was a much needed, under
appreciated, way too short, time out for me. As a youngster we kids (
brother and sister ) were treated to eight or ten camping trips every
summer. Over the years I have lost touch with the good it brings into
my life and now have decided to " make room " for more ventures to the
great outdoors. To me camping is food for the soul. The food, no matter
what it be, always taste better, especially the COFFEE !!!! Blame it on
fresh air, twinkling stars or ice cold well water, your choice because
I haven't a good reason why this should be. A four dollar can of Dinty
Moores beef stew becomes manna when cooked on an open fire in a cast
iron skillet. Kim and I noticed , as we sat and visited about our three
decades of friendship, how time absolutely flew by while in
conversation, just amazing. An additional bonus was that I slept like a
babe in mothers arms both nights we were out. I have not slept well
since my accident of 20 April 2012 save those two nights. An absolute
joy to awaken in the morning and realize I had slept the night through.
Well, there's a recommendation for camping if ever
was one. The GNs often comment on how quickly the time goes when
they're chatting around a camp fire. A few have also commented on what
a good night's sleep they get. BTW, the bottom pic on the left is Mike
and his friend's accommodation and on the the right is the new
Meanwhile, OH Jim and his mate Zach have been busy
the Toyota ute and fixing the timing chain: So he got back at 4 or 5, and started into
it out in my detached garage. Zach had an instruction set, so we just
went step by step.
Except for a break for McDonalds, we worked through until 1 AM. He
stayed in a spare bedroom, and the plan was to watch his favorite movie
called Gumball Rally, and then get some sleep. We both dozed off in
less than 20 minutes sitting on the couch. We were that beat. We didn't
wake up until 5 or 6 AM, when I woke up and we went to lay down.
Started this morning and by 5PM everything was fixed or restored. After
eating out at Frishes ( to let the gasket goop cure some more), we came
back home in the soccer mom SUV and we added oil and coolant. Zach
fired the engine on the first try, and it ran fine. NOTHING LEAKED!
The next major
is the paint, which I started while Zach was bolting things back. He
was happy with how I got shine back to the front fenders. Later I did
the hood. Then we ran out of time. He said he isn't going to let
Clayton, or Clayton's Dad see the truck until we finish buffing it out
all the way.
it's a wonderful feeling to put all those bits and
pieces together and have them running smoothly in sync like a Swiss
great sense of achievement. Machinery, according to an American farmer
who migrated to Oz many decades ago and builds/invents his own farm
equipment, is a living, breathing thing that, if treated well, will
treat you well. He still uses machines he built ages ago, and
still run like clockwork. Anyway, congratulations, bois, sounds like a
job well done.
From the Beeb: The
has carried out airstrikes in Iraq in support of troops who were being
attacked by Islamic State (IS) fighters, the US military has said.
It said that the attacks took place on Sunday and Monday near Mount
Sinjar and south-west of Baghdad.
They were the first made as part of expanded efforts outlined by US
President Barack Obama last week.
Meanwhile Iraq has criticised the decision not to invite Iran to an
international summit on the IS threat.
curtains in the morning and instead of grey skies and rain looking out
at a rust-coloured rocky panorama. The year is 2045. You have woken up
If you build it
Colonising Mars could happen sooner than you think. Elon Musk plans to
build a city there. Nasa wants to send people by 3035. Then there's the
Mars One mission, Big Brother for the
is officially celebrated on 16 September, but a
maverick streak courses through this country of 120m year round. One
needn’t look further than the country’s streets for proof. Whether in a
heaving megalopolis or a piñon-scented mountain village, México’s
motorways are catnip for car-spotters.
Had a bloke come up to PJ today at the Mall car park
say he also owns an old Freeway. He wanted to know how much they weigh,
so we chatted for a while. His ute is a V8 Ford Falcon that runs on
LPG, which can be a bit of a worry in remote areas. He's also a member
of the GN forum (a newbie). His Freeway cost $3000 but it's not
refurbished like PJ - still has the old 70s interior. It also doesn't
have two awnings like mine, or solar, or storage bins, or a/c, etc. So
$4700 for PJ sounds like a pretty good deal!
I'd not heard of Judge Roy Bean before I read this thread on the GN forum. Quite a colorful
character, it seems, not to mention poetic.
Actually, that reminds me of arguments for and
the death penalty, and costs associated with housing the prison
population. One of the patients who shared the ward with me while I was
in hospital for pnemonia recently said that it costs $800 a day to
accommodate, feed and treat each patient. Whoa! Thank goodness for
Medicare! I don't know what it would cost to house prisoners but I
imagine it's a helluva strain on the public purse. Anyway, that's a
problem for others to solve, not me.
New tenants are moving in next door (Averil's house)
I write this. Looks like a young couple (or maybe two). There are quite
a few people involved in the moving but I can't figure out who's moving
in and who's just helping out. They seem like a respectable
mob... no teens or rough necks. They're doing it on the cheap... a huge
pile of plastic bags on the front porch, and an old truck delivering
the furniture. No shortage of man power though.
And that's it from moi for today. Thanks for popping
and for your contributions. Gary
September 15, 2014.
A couple of GNs are
photographs and post great images. Here's one who posted some pics of wildflowers.
Imagine the limitless variety of photographic
there are "out there"... something new every day. My Nikon will be kept
busy for sure, and my learning curve is gonna go from a gentle slope to
almost vertical. There's a helluva lot I need to learn and I can't
think of a better way than to take lots of pics every day.
Speaking of photos, one of the pics I took in Sydney
just featured by Boats, Beaches and Bays on Red Bubble.
What a nice thing to come home to after having Andries and Anna poking
about in my oral cavity at the dental clinic.
From the Beeb: At
turn of the 20th Century, life was incredibly difficult for the
African-American community in the southern states of the US. But one
self-taught photographer used his camera to challenge racial barriers
and capture the diversity of the American South.
"I did not know my grandfather but I am very proud that he was able to
capture these people in pictures - whether they were black or white,
rich or poor, farmers or businessmen," says
Minister Tony Abbott is spending a week governing the country from a
remote indigenous community in the Northern Territory.
He arrived in Arnhem Land on Sunday, honouring an election promise to
spend a week every year in an indigenous area.
Mr Abbott says he wants to hear from local people about community
His visit comes a day after he committed Australian troops to the fight
against Islamic State.
countries have offered to take part in air strikes against Islamic
State (IS) militants in Iraq, US officials say.
But any action is subject to approval from the Iraqi government, they
US Secretary of State John Kerry says he is "extremely encouraged" by
promises of military assistance to tackle the extremist group.
He spoke in Paris after a whirlwind tour of the Middle East trying to
drum up support for action against IS.
France is due to host an international conference on Monday about Iraqi
security and tackling IS.
A woman in her 80s
punched a robber in the face, causing him to run
The woman was walking her dog in Whitstable, Kent, when she was grabbed
in an alleyway by a man dressed in black and wearing a hooded top.
She fought off her attacker by punching him in the mouth. Kent Police
say they are looking for a suspect with an injured face.
Det Ch Insp Paul Fotheringham, of Kent Police, said: "It appears the
suspect has picked on the wrong person." Good onya granny.
I've witnessed a couple of street bag-snatchings over
the years. One was in the city with the young robber pinned to the
footpath by a couple of men who had chased him and brought him down.
The kid was whimpering and saying he didn't mean it and that it was all
a mistake. Yeah, right. Gutless asshole. Another was in a open air
restaurant area packed with lunchtime diners at North Sydney. Suddenly,
a woman screamed "my bag, he's got my bag!" and blokes came from
everywhere, tackled the young thief, and held him until the cops
arrived. I have no sympathy for thieves. None. Which makes me wonder
what my great, great grandparents did to deserve being shipped to
Australia as convicts. Mind you, in those days it didn't take much to
find yourself on the wrong side of the the law, and there was a lot of
misery amongst the poor and working class.
I can remember stealing threepence as a kid of about
or 5 y/o from another kid in the class. It was school fete day and I
didn't have any money to spend on goodies. Somehow, an opportunity to
steal the other boy's threepence must have presented itself because the
next thing I remember was being asked by the boy if I stole his coin. I
responded by saying it was mine because I recognized a scratch on it.
Where that excuse came from I have no idea but it saved my hide.
In any case, I've had the guilts all my life about
episode - plus a few more. Then, when I was in my early teens, I
discovered how marvelously rewarding it felt to be honest. A shopkeeper
gave me too much change after I'd purchased some sweets. I didn't
notice the extra money until I'd left the shop, but immediately
returned to explain the oversight and hand back the extra change. The
shopkeeper was delighted and couldn't thank me enough. His gratitude
made me feel 10 feet tall and very proud of myself.
Nonetheless, Karma intervened at various intervals
during the following years and sought retribution for my former
childhood "sins". A number of times I was myself the victim of theft,
including losing everything I owned, even my professional reputation
and self respect, after getting mixed up with my former business
partner in a failed enterprise. But all that is in the past and no
longer fazes me. *shrug*
I'm not sure I believe 100% in karma but I'd like to
think it exists. When I read this morning about golfer Greg Norman's
accident with a chain saw that almost severed his right hand, I thought
about the time he killed a great white shark off the coast of Port
Lincoln, SA, that ultimately cost me my little house in Glebe. Hmmm.
And I'm sure if I heard about my former biz partner being run over by a
bus, I wouldn't be in any great hurry to sent a sympathy card. It's not
that I seek revenge or wish harm to anyone, but if something
unfortunate happens to occur to people who've treated me badly... well.
That's all a bit dark, isn't it. Fancy me after all
these years owning up to stealing threepence. Gary
September 14, 2014.
Fantastic day! Sunny and
25C. I spent a little time in PJ doing the usual... thinking about
being camped somewhere. *sigh* OK Mike has been camping with a
friend... "decompressing" and enjoying life under the stars (or
canvas), and cooking up rib-eye steaks and camp baked potatoes. Have
you noticed food tastes so much better outdoors in natural
surroundings? Maybe it's the fresh air or the smell of the bush that
stimulates the appetite.
OH Jim is still feeling stiff and sore after the
accident. The insurance company has provided him with a loan car while
his Mustang is being repaired. It's a Ford Flex SUV (whatever that is).
After the Mustang, it
feels like a bus... this thing is really big. I know I will get use to
it, I did drive a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee, but this thing is huge. And
quiet as a church. NO NOISE what so ever. I think I will be ok in it,
but for just me, it is over kill. I was pulling Zach's leg, when I told
him I was getting a Corvette. When I came clean with him, he wasn't
thrilled with the Flex, calling me a wanna be "soccer mom". Zach calls
women who drive really big SUVs or mini-vans soccer moms, because they
drive really slow and usually have the their vehicles full of kids
going to soccer practice, and are talking on a cell phone.
Yep, we have them here too... large 4WDs built for
outback or rough terrain but used instead by city mothers to take the
kids to school or do the shopping. You rarely see them with a speck of
From the Beeb: The
murder of David Haines was an "act of pure evil", David Cameron has
said after the release of a video appearing to show the UK hostage's
The 44-year-old aid worker, from Perth, was kidnapped in Syria in 2013.
He was being held by Islamic State militants who have already killed
The latest video also includes a threat to kill a second British
The PM vowed to do everything possible to find the killers. Mr Haines's
family said he would be "missed terribly".
Australia says it
sending 600 troops to the Middle East ahead of possible combat
operations against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the deployment, initially to the United
Arab Emirates, was in response to a specific US request.
Nearly 40 countries, including 10 Arab states, have signed up to a
US-led plan to tackle the extremist group.
France is hosting a regional security summit on Monday.
How long is the
average tongue? Californian Nick Stoeberl has just taken over as holder
of the world record for the longest tongue. His measures 10.1cm (about
4in) from the tip to the middle of the closed top lip. How does this
compare with the average person's tongue, asks Clare Spencer.
Lizards have long tongues. They regularly clean their
eyes by licking them. And frogs can zap a fly from a foot away or
And what about hummingbirds?
War III may have already begun with the current spate of crimes,
massacres and destruction, Pope Francis has warned.
He was speaking during a visit to Italy's largest military cemetery,
where he was commemorating the centenary of World War I.
"War is madness," the Pope said at a memorial to 100,000 Italian
soldiers at Redipuglia cemetery near Slovenia.
The Argentine Pope has often condemned the idea of war in
Frank's right, war is madness. And if human beings
weren't such utter dickheads, it wouldn't keep happening with
regularity. Question: How do you stop dickheads from being dickheads?
does an aurora look like from space? This and the most impressive
pictures from the worlds of science and technology this week, including
an amazing aurora and a Mexican moonscape.
Who amongst us has the most hair? FL Josh, OH Jim, OK
Mike, TX Greg, OH Jace, Steve W...? According to QI the other night, we
all have the same amount, at least the same amount of hair follicles.
Those of us with seemingly less hair, have microscopic hair, but hair
nonetheless. As a matter of bloody fact, we may appear less hairy than
chimpanzees but we have the same number of hair follicles as they do.
Shorter arms, though. Hehe.
Another "quite interesting" item I heard on QI was
the puritans didn't leave Britain on the Mayflower to settle in
Massachusetts to escape religious persecution. It was the opposite
reason. They wanted to impose their religious beliefs on all new
settlers in America. Stephen Fry told one story about an unfortunate
man during those puritan days who happened to have only one eye. To
make it worse, he was just plain ugly. One day, a pig he owned gave
birth to a litter. One of the piglets also had only one eye and looked
remarkably like its owner. The local puritans accused the man of having
"lain" with the beast and charged him accordingly. During questioning,
he denied the charge, so they told him that if he confessed, he would
be shown mercy. Thinking that he would escape the death penalty by
confessing, he admitted to the crime - despite its absurdity - of
having "lain" with a beast. Then he was told that it was God who would
be showing him mercy, and not them. So they went ahead and put him to
death. The pig, who had acted as a witness during the trial, was also
put to death. What exactly the pig's evidence for the prosecution was,
isn't known. Perhaps it winked at the accused or something.
In any case, those puritans and their whacky ideas
a bit of a worry. Even today, in this supposedly enlightened age, there
are still many religious fanatics practicing their beliefs in the US
and elsewhere. Religious fanatics are the kind of people who reject
such facts as humans and chimps sharing the same number of hair
follicles. They want nothing to do with evolution or scientific fact.
Humans are god's special and unique creation, totally separate from all
other living things, and destined for either an eternity in heaven or
In my opinion, this idea of being separate from the
of nature, of being elevated to a higher status, of having a special
destiny, is the root of all evil. To me it's all related to ego -
mankind's belief in its own superiority - the notion that humanity
should be rewarded for simply existing. But that's just me. Billions
would disagree. That's cool.
Well, I hope I don't feel guilty about tucking into
pastrami tonight hehe. Poor thing... but it's all for a good cause.
Been a lovely warm day so no need for the heater as the sun begins to
September 13, 2014.
OH Jim wrote: There was a BBC TV
show about fate that
aired here in the US in the late 70's-early 80's. I think it was called
Connections? I can't remember the guy who hosted it, but I found the
premise very interesting. How someone doing something causes someone
else to do yet something else, which caused something else to happen.
Same thing here with all of us on Waffle.
One thing leads to another? Well yesterday I
posted a note on the GN forum about my situation with the gum and teeth
issue, and the operation. So, lo and behold, a bunch of well-wishers
responded, including a retired bank manager who's now a full time
prospector travellng Oz in search of gold. I've always wanted to meet a
real, true blue, fair dinkum prospector, so outta the blue, this bloke
invites me to join him on a prospecting expedition when I'm well and
living the Nomad life. He reckons I'll be his good luck charm. So I
responded by saying how thrilled and appreciative I am at such an
offer, which was totally unexpected. But even more unexpected was what
Gary, PM me your postal
address mate and this "lucky" gold nugget will be winging its way
to you on Monday....in a little case so you can't lose it.....keep it
with you during the next 6 months for luck then I figure you may wish
to get your dental man to implant on your new plate as one of your
front teeth.?!?....you've no doubt heard the expression...."he's as
flash as a Rat with a gold tooth"......
I call it the "lucky"
because I found it in W.A. in a former creek bed right next to a very
large Brown Snake skin....and when I bent down after detecting the
nugget to dig, I hadn't seen the snake skin, and I jumped 6' in the air
when I saw it as I thought the skin was still occupied......!...lol....
I trust it brings you every luck too mate...it's nowhere near as big as
the caring this Forum has for you......Hoo Roo
One thing leads to another, yes? Who woulda thunk I'd
the proud recipient of a gold nugget for posting a message on the
forum? There ya go. Stay tuned for the journal entry and pics of the
day Goldie and I go prospecting somewhere in Oz. How cool will that be?
Jim also says his neck, shoulder and back are sore
the car accident but otherwise he's okay. Moreover, as it happens, Jim
in common with OK Mike: I had a 2003
Ford Mustang Mach 1 that was tail ended while in Ft Worth, this is when
and where my neck issues began . It took nine years before that injury
showed its face and ultimately required surgical fusion to remedy. Of
course they fixed the rear end damage and had my car like new in just a
few weeks . Cars are really simple to fix or even replace, but once
something interferes with your health it's hell to pay getting it back .
As to your up
procedure, hooooorayyy, now may be you can get somewhere. Not that the
surgeon will give you a choice as to where they will harvest the
required tissue for transplant. I will tell you this ( recent
experience ) DO NOT let them take it from your hip point !!!!!! That's
where they harvested the tissue for my cervical fusion and let me tell
you this - It hucking furt !!!! To this very moment the slightest bump
into anything nearly takes me to my knees. The pain surpasses that of
the operation a hundred fold, and I was told this prior to being put
Thanks for the tip, Mike. Josh reckons it'll come
the ribs. Anyway, I'll ask before they wheel me into the boning room.
Speaking of Josh...
FL Josh wrote: You
commented, "I hear from Francois that he has terminal cancer and he's
not yet 60. My younger bro was another critic but he died at 61." What
in the world does that have to do with my suggestion that you tell your
doctor about your smoking and alcohol consumption so he can make
accurate decisions as to your treatment?
I give up, Josh. Does it matter whether or not it
relates to your suggestions? Maybe a crash course in Irish Logic might
Here is a video
shows what a CT scan of your jaw will be like. My dentist has
this equipment and scanned me and it is a piece of cake. What they get
is unbelievable, a 3D image that they can rotate around and look at
from any angle and much more.
"Rotate around" is tautology, Josh. Tsk, tsk.
Incidentally, the place where I'll have the scan is Mid North Coast
Imaging, Hermitage Medical Center, Lake Rd, Port Macquarie next to the
private hospital. It's not far from the waterfront so I'll potter
around with the Nikon afterwards. Maybe take the coastal road back to
Taree rather than the highway (which is boring).
From the Beeb: Memory
specialist SanDisk has created an SD card with 512 gigabytes (512GB) of
storage space - the highest capacity ever released.
The card, which is the size of a postage stamp, will go on sale for
The launch comes a decade after the firm released a 512-megabyte (MB)
SD card with one-thousandth of the space.
The US Navy is
continuing to search for a missing pilot, after two of its jets crashed
into the western Pacific Ocean, a spokesman has said.
The F/A-18C Hornets were operating off the aircraft carrier USS Carl
Vinson when they came down.
One pilot was rescued and is receiving medical attention aboard the
ship. A search effort is underway to find the second, the navy said.
The two jets, which cost $57m (£35m) each, have not been recovered.
The cause of the incident is under investigation, the
navy said in a statement.
Tucked in a corner
Terminal 5 at London’s Heathrow airport, the
future of urban mobility is quietly unfolding. Since 2011, on a closed
course between the terminal and the Business Car Park, 2.4 miles away,
a fleet of 21 diminutive passenger pods have ferried as many as 1,000
passengers each day, quietly logging well more than 1m autonomous miles
in the process. It’s a small-scale experiment, commissioned by Heathrow
Airport Holdings Limited and built by UK-based Ultra Global PRT (for
Personal Rapid Transit), but its success – measured by cost savings,
environmental impact and user-friendliness – may help define locomotion
in the city of tomorrow.
The latest US-made Lockheed Martin F35 fighter jets
are on Oz's shopping list but there's dissension in the ranks by peeps
who say Russian-built fighters are better and cheaper. I wonder if
those two American fighter jets crashing into the ocean will stir the
And here we is again, time for the telly and to
up a bit of dinner... pastrami, veg and lots of gravy! I also bought
two punnets of fresh strawberries so I'll have some of those with
yoghurt for desssert. Gary
September 12, 2014.
The problem with leaving
season behind and heading into another is that the seasons get a little
confused. Summery yesterday, cool and cloudy today. It's a bit like
turning 70, I suppose. Not quite sixties but also not quite seventies.
FL Josh wrote to say the photos of Balmain were good
the captions added so much extra to the experience. He also couldn't
help lecturing me about my bad habits again. The last bloke who did
that gave up after a while, and even got mad at me, and now I hear from
Francois that he has terminal cancer and he's not yet 60. My younger
bro was another critic but he died at 61.
Speaking of rellos, my mother's mother was a bit of a
rebel. I didn't know her very well but remember that she used to travel
a bit. In her old age, she lived in a caravan at my aunt's place. She
also lived at our place for a while, at first in a caravan in the back
yard, and then in a small room at the rear of the house that used to be
my father's printing room. He had a hand-operated machine that printed
copperplate business cards, one at a time. Thick ink was applied
manually to the copper plate, then the excess wiped off with white
powder and a rag. The cards had raised lettering and were very
expensive. Customers were doctors, lawyers, etc. The large spoked wheel
on the left side of the machine that operated the roller looked like a
ship's helm. Anyway, my grandmother didn't stay long. She moved into a
nursing home with her own room. It was the same home at which my mother
lived during her final years.
But it occurred to me the other day that maybe I have
something in common with my grandmother because I certainly don't have
anything in common with the rest of the family. I was about 12 when she
gave me a copy of They're A Weird Mob which is the only gift from
her that I remember receiving. In fact, it's the only time I remember
having any kind of communication with her. Maybe she recognized
something in me that prompted her to give me the book. I've never been
much of a reader but I enjoyed reading that one, and readily identified
with its characters.
So I must give my older bro a call and ask him what
remembers of our grandmother. He was 14 when I was born so his
recollections would be far more detailed than mine. My grandfather on
my mother's side worked for a printing company and was a regular
gambler. I remember my mother saying that one week the family would be
poor and the next they'd be rich. My gran had to squirrel money away to
get them through the poor weeks. So it seems like he was a bit of a
rebel too. He died in his 60s before I was born. Gran was 90 when she
So there ya go. Maybe my wayward ways and wickedness
Phoned my older bro. Turns out he didn't know our
grandma very well either. However, he did say that our gran was one of
4 daughters of Irish convicts shipped to Tasmania by the Brits. Ah, so
that explains why my gran used to travel to Tasmania from time to time.
My mother had mentioned Tasmania once or twice but NEVER anything about
our convict heritage. Hehe. No wonder my mother was always trying to
elevate herself socially, and had a thing about owning a house. Her
parents could never afford one because of her dad's gambling.
There was a science show on telly last night about an
ancient mummy at
an Aussie museum that was a gift many decades ago. It had always been a
mystery because the cloth wrapping had never been disturbed. But now
with CT computerized 3-dimensional scanning (like the scan I'll be
getting next week at Port Macquarie), "peeling" away the layers of
wrapping is possible, with all the details available on screen. Now I
understand what the prof wants to see. He'll be able to look through my
jawbone to assess its condition.
FL Jim wrote to say that his friend who recently
over a new leaf has gone back to the booze. It doesn't surprise me. For
some people, the greatest obstacle to enacting change is the here and
now. For them, there is no future. They can't see beyond their current
situation or craving. Or refuse to. Warnings about where they're headed
go unheeded because they apply to a time they refuse to acknowledge. If
it doesn't relate to the here and now, don't bug me.
For some people, self is insufficient motivation.
need to make changes for someone else's sake. Someone they love and
care about. Josh's friend has gone beyond caring about himself.
Meanwhile, OH Jim was involved in a car accident on
way to work: I was about 1.5 miles
away from my house, fixing to get on I-71 South at Montgomery Road.
That was the last thing I remember. The next thing I can remember is
sitting in the driver's seat, both air bags had gone off, and some lady
was yelling at me " are you ok????" over and over again. I somehow ran
into the back of her big SUV. I have no clue what happened. All I knew
was my head was swimming and my neck and right shoulder hurt like hell.
After reading that, I was expecting Jim to tell me
his Mustang was totalled. But no. They
took me to the ER at Bethesda
North hospital. Long story short, they x-rayed my entire body and then
did an MRI on my skull. Nothing was broken and they confirmed that I
did have a brain, intact.
Zach arrived at the
to get me by which time I was released with some pain pills and muscle
relaxers. I was warned that by tomorrow morning I would be really sore,
and that I would be that way for a few days.
On the way home, Zach and
went to the tow company and signed some paper work to release the car
to the body shop. All in all, my car suffered minor damage to the body.
Nothing crumpled and the only body damage is a broken bracket that held
the head lights in place on the drivers side. The engine started right
up when Zach started it up. Of course, both air bags deployed, and that
is going to be the major issue.
The sheriff's deputy said the lady I hit was OK, and the there was no
damage to her car.
As I write this it just
struck me as to how this must have been like for Cody. Everything just
ended in a blink of an eye. He probably never knew what hit him. Of
course he was hurt a lot worse than I was, and he never woke up like I
did. But it is so weird, totally not remembering anything of the
accident. And waking up to a lady screaming at me. It is so sudden. I
have no idea how long I was out.
Very strange indeed. A cabin full of airbags, a woman
screaming, you banged up, and all with minor damage to the Mustang and
none to the SUV. Has anyone mentioned the possibility of a blackout? I
had one a few years ago and ended up getting a brain scan which was
negative. No brain. Hehe. Nah... it was an abberation. Never happened
before and probably never will again. Anyway, Jim, you're okay and have
a few days off work. Coulda been worse.
As to Cody not knowing what hit him, it's the lead-up
the crash that I try not to think about... the high speed, a crazy
driver (drunk, drugged or both) and the inevitability of it all. Unless
Cody was dozing, of course. He'd had a few beers after work with his
mates so hopefully he was blissfully unaware of what was occurring
before the crash.
But your experience reminds me of friend whose car
clipped another, spun a couple of times and rolled. When everything
came to a halt, he said it was like a dream... surreal... like it never
happened and that everything would somehow magically revert to how it
was before the accident. He said he had no memory of the crash either.
BTW, that mummy was killed by a long curved sword
sliced off part of his arm, cutting into the bone and severing an
artery or two. He was also struck across the face, smashing his
cheekbone. He was an otherwise healthy and muscular specimen in his 30s
with all his teeth in good condition. Probably a professional warrior.
Using 3D imaging, they made a reconstruction of his skull which then
had "flesh" attached by a forensic artist using modeling clay. It was
soooo spooky to see that life-like reconstruction of a person who lived
thousands of years ago. He had a prominent, broad hooter and looked
somewhat Neanderthaloid, but not unattractive if ya know what I mean. I
think they said he was from about 50BC.
From the Beeb: The
CIA says the Islamic State (IS) militant group may have up to 31,000
fighters in Iraq and Syria - three times as many as previously feared.
A spokesman said the new estimate was based on a review of intelligence
reports from May to August.
IS has seized vast swathes of Iraq and beheaded several hostages in
recent months, leading to US airstrikes.
terrorism threat level from medium to high, Prime Minister Tony Abbott
The move comes in response to growing concern over the domestic impact
of militant conflicts in Iraq and Syria.
Security officials were concerned by the growing number of Australians
"working with, connected to or inspired by" Islamist groups, Mr
The judge in the
trial of Oscar Pistorius is due to announce if the South African
athlete is guilty of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend.
Judge Thokozile Masipa cleared him of murder on Thursday, saying the
state had failed to prove he intended to kill the model Reeva Steenkamp
But the judge said his conduct on the night in question had
On the telly news last night, they said there were so
many journalists from all over the world at the trial of Pistorius that
they couldn't all fit into the designated areas of the courtroom(s).
They said the trial had attracted enormous world-wide interest. Oh
really? It's been boring the pants off of me.
made it clear that the Queen does not wish to influence the Scottish
referendum, saying it is "a matter for the people of Scotland". But
would the Queen's role north of the border change if Scotland votes for
The Royal Family's links with Scotland are well-known: Balmoral Castle
in Aberdeenshire is one its most famous residences, bought for Queen
Victoria by Prince Albert.
The Queen spends a week every year at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, the
official residence of the British monarch in Scotland.
Something pretty major is going on south of here. I've
heard about six
sirens during the last 5 or so minutes... cops, ambos, fire trucks, the
works. And here comes another one.
In Love & Mercy, the
Beach Boy’s life is given similar treatment to
Bob Dylan’s in I’m Not There. Owen Gleiberman gives his verdict. The
allure of a big-screen biographical drama is simple and almost
childlike: in our dream scenario, we're not just watching a movie –
we're stepping into a time machine until we're in the presence of Abe
Lincoln, Jim Morrison or Mozart. When you watch Love & Mercy, a
drama about Brian Wilson, the angelic yet haunted genius of The Beach
Boys, you feel like you're right there in the studio with him as he
creates Pet Sounds. And it's a little like sitting next to Beethoven:
the film is tender and moving, but also awe-inspiring. Now there's a movie I gotta see!
I'm not sure whether it was Lennon or McCartney from the Beatles who
said it, but one of them (or maybe both) said The Beach Boys was the
best band in the world.
There goes yet another siren, probably a vehicle from another town
assisting. I suspect there's a big pile-up on the Pacific Hwy south of
here and rescue vehicles from miles around have been called into
action. Nothing on the radio, though.
Now, what does pizza have to do with timing chains? OH Jim reveals all:
Zach's kit was only $89 ( timing chain, gaskets, new bolts, new water
and oil pumps included!), a shop manual and a 5 quarts of oil and a few
additional gaskets included for $52. The anti-freeze I had in stock, so
I donated it to the project. Labor is mostly free, thanks to Clayton
and Zach. Mostly because feeding two teenage boys isn't cheap. I figure
maybe a couple of large pizza's delivered will cost around $40 every
4-5 hours. I figured that I will be fronting that part, since in
addition to being two eating machines, the boys are traditionally
broke, or close to it.
Yep, brings back memories of my youth. Always starving and always
broke. Jim also mentioned Zach's father who has a basement full of
tools including welding equipment and a full-blown professional
industrial grade machine shop. Why? Because he can! He's divorced and
single hehe. Earlier today, when I was talking to my bro on the phone,
there was a pause in the convo while he said something to his wife. He
returned to explain that she was cranky about whatever, and then said,
"You're lucky to be single." Hehe. My response was, I used to think
that I was missing out on something, but not now.
Actually, I think that dangly bit has a lot to answer for. Once it
starts being used for activities unrelated to peeing that's when all
the trouble starts. What was it that Robin Williams said about a
bloke's blood rushing from his brain to his penis and only having
enough blood to make one work? That about sums it up, I reckon.
Well, today's Waffle certainly makes up for yesterday's shorty. Plenty
of time today and no interruptions. Plus plenty of contributions,
including my bro making it official that we're all related to Irish
rogues and scallywags, the kind of people who gave Australia its unique
and colorful culcha. No worries, mate. She'll be roite. Mind you, my
mother would not agree but I suspect her mother would hehe. And that's
probably why she gave me a copy of They're A Weird Mob. It's all making
sense now. Gary
September 11, 2014.
Dunno where the time went
today. It's after 4pm already. Been a gorgeous day though, almost like
summer. Did the shopping, paid the bills, went to Medicare, and
buggerized around with this and that.
Julie from the prof's office phoned to say she's
me in for a CTC scan at Port Macquarie next Thursday at 11am. So it's
all happening folks.
on the subject of teeth implants, TX Greg wrote: Well that suxs on the
jaw part, but cool that they want to do the permanent implants on the
short vid showing how they do that...
Thanks Greg. That's pretty interesting! Imagine all
screwing at my age! Glad you didn't send a vid of the entire operation
though... eeek! I wonder what part of my bod they're gonna take bone
from to transplant? No bone jokes please. When I had the cancer
operation, they used a big
slice of my right arm to transplant into my neck under the chin.
Sheesh. Fair dinkum, sometimes I feel like the stunt man from a horror
OH Jim has been telling me about Zach and his $500
Toyota ute. They discovered timing chain problems. Oops! That's a BIG
job! I had it done on Bluey a couple of years ago and it cost a bomb...
which turned out to be a total waste of money cos the vehicle was
unsuitable for the Odyssey and I ended up selling it for peanuts after
spending a fortune on various repairs. I've spent a bit on PJ too but
that's different cos she's SUITABLE. Zach, by the way, is doing the job
himself with help from a mate or two using a kit he bought. Very
sensible. And he doesn't mind a bit of grease under the fingernails.
Furthermore, between them they know what they're doing... which helps.
Speaking of accents, there was a Japanese mother and
young son across the aisle from me on the train from Sydney. After a
while I noticed him speaking with an American accent. He was about 8 or
9 and quite articulate. One time he asked his mother if she would
recognize "ours (station) when you see it". I noticed that all the
letters in "ours" were articulated individually, including the 'r', as
opposed to an Aussie pronouncing it "owz" hehe. Anyway, he sounded like
a smart kid.
Sorry about the shortie today, boils and goils but
has flown and I gotta git. I hope you enjoy the pics of Balmain and
Sydney. It was a sunny and bright morning which is reflected in the
Harbor waters and some of the buildings. One of my favs is the bloke
walking across a zebra crossing with the Walk Sign going in the
opposite direction. Gary
September 10, 2014.
I wanted something
from the prof yesterday and that's what I got. Seems that the
medication - oxpentifylline and mega doses of vitamin E - didn't do the
job. It was a trial anyway. My exposed bone is getting worse (more of
it now than there was last time he saw it 6 months ago) and he suggests
there's a danger of my jaw fracturing.. Sooooooo, first thing is to
have a CTC scan done, which he's organizing, and if it reveals what he
already suspects, then I'm in for another operation... a serious one.
10 hours in surgery, 2 weeks in hospital and 6 months recovery,
probably using a food tube for much of that time. Bone from another
part of my body will be implanted into my jaw, and new teeth will be
inserted into the bone. I'll have "real" teeth in the bottom and an
upper plate. But at least it does away with uncertainty and provides a
timeline. If it happens fairly soon, I'll be ready to rock and roll by
about next March/April.
I was quite chuffed with the idea even though it
months of crap again. His assistant said most patients are horrified by
the idea of a bone implant and that it was strange to see me accepting
it quite willingly. Yeah, well it's the result I'm focusing on. TEETH!
I'd forgotten how hilly Balmain is near the
and decided not to tackle most of the area. I took a few pics and then
boarded the ferry again for a bit of tour around the Harbor and back to
the city where I took more pics. Then a bus ride to Newtown and the
prof's office. Then a cab back to the railway station and Taree.
I spent a fair bit of time today organizing the pics
from yesterday and naming them, but it's too late now to assemble them
into an album. Besides, my connection is slow. I'll put the album
together tomorrow. I've also been doing a few other time consuming
Meanwhile, FL Josh wrote about an acquaintance of his
who's grossly overweight, smokes like a chimney and drinks like a fish:
went out today and bought a bunch of healthy food, lots of produce. He
also said he is going to try to quit smoking. Then he said he is
worried because he has a patch on the back of his throat that he
noticed about a month ago and he has gargled with different things
trying to get it to clear up but it is still there. I thought, "Oh,
oh." He is only 49 years old. I told him he needs to get that checked
ASAP. He said he is scared.
Being scared doesn't help. The only way to solve a
problem is to face it head on. He's developed a habit of living in
denial with all that bad stuff he's been doing to his body. And denial
ain't gonna make that patch go away. Neither will gargling potions or
eating mountains of turnips. It needs to be removed surgically like
mine was. And I'm still here. The chances of surviving an operation
like that these days is excellent. The recovery phase is a pain in the
but I reckon if it hadn't been for the exposed bone prob I developed, I
would have been okay ages ago.
The trick with healthy food is to do lots of research
the internet for good recipes - ones that TASTE good. Eating should be
enjoyable not a chore. When you start to choose healthy foods because
they TASTE great, you've got the junk problem licked.
Not to be outdone, and being a ham radio tragic, OH
sent this info: By
1935, political unrest in Europe and the Pacific Rim made the need for
advanced radio technology a high priority for the military. The U.S.
Navy sought bids with less than three months notice for an advanced
high performance receiver. The National Company's high-tech ham
receiver would meet the requirements with some modifications. None the
less, completing a prototype based on a radio not yet in production, in
such short time, would be a challenge. The engineers nicknamed it the
"HRO," which stood for "Hell of a Rush Order." The name stuck. The
National HRO receiver met the deadline, and outperformed the competition.
One thing's for sure, there's nothing like a war to
incentivize a little extra creativity.
Anyway, I've run outta time, ladies and genitals.
been one of those days where things haven't gone as smoothly as one
would like, and we all know about days like that! Gary
September 8, 2014.
I think it was the
Babylonians who divided the day into 24 hours, 12 in the am and 12 in
the pm. But it's possible to divide the day into anything you like. How
about a digital day? 20 hours a day instead of 24, 10 in the am and 10
in the pm - 100 minutes an hour instead of 60? They were talking about
that on QI the other night but I don't think anyone is in a hurry to
change the status quo.
When Oz went decimal in 1966, 12 pence (pennies) in a
shilling became 10 cents. 100 cents became a dollar or half a pound (10
shillings) and a pound became 2 dollars. I think they were toying with
the idea of calling it the 'royal' but finally settled on calling it
the dollar. It was all a bit confusing at first. Everything seemed to
double in price until we got used to the idea of 2 dollars being equal
to 1 pound. My first Beetle in 1965 was 950 pounds, brand new off the
showroom floor. The following year it was $1900.
A few years later we went from imperial measurements
metric. I was on the air then and had to give temperatures in both
Fahrenheit and Celsius. That particular radio station also experimented
with digital time calls but the audience kicked up a stink and we went
back to analogue. One thing that still confuses me is the American
style of dating, month/day/year, so I spell out the month instead of
using a number.
Speaking of am, at 1.30 tomorrow morning I'll be
the XPT on the way to Sydney to spend most of the day there, returning
mid afternoon and arriving back at Taree at 8pm. According to the
forecast, it'll be most cloudy, dry and 22C so that'll be good. A bit
of cloud means better photographs and less glare.
OH Jim wrote: You
mentioned about not sharing anything in common with your Dad. That
seems strange in a way. Nothing? No common interest? With me it was
baseball and later cars. With my brother it was motorcycles. Cody and
his Dad had surfing. Zach and his Dad have all the things they are
My dad and I did have one thing in common. Neither of
was interested in sport. However, it's a bit difficult to share a
non-interest hehe. He was into cars but I wasn't until my teens. Even
wasn't interested in the mechanical aspect. He was a qualified wireless
(radio) technician (but chose not to make it his living) whereas I was
more interested in what came out of radios rather than what went into
them. But more than that, my dad wasn't a communicative type of
person... a man of very few words. Family conversation at the dinner
table of a night was zero.
don't blame my father for being who or what he was.
Any affect his nature may have had on me is not an issue. I never knew
either of my grandfathers by the way. They both died before I was born.
From the Beeb: A
small asteroid about the size of a house is passing Earth, US space
agency Nasa says.
At its closest point, the asteroid 2014 RC passed over New Zealand at
18:18 GMT on Sunday. It is about 18m (60ft) wide.
Nasa says it is about 40,000km (25,000 miles) away, and posed no danger
However, a meteorite that landed near the Nicaraguan capital Managua on
Sunday could have come from the asteroid, experts there said.
The object caused an explosion and earth tremor, leaving a crater 12m
(39ft) across and 5m deep near the city's airport.
US President Barack
Obama is to set out his "game plan" against Islamic
State militants in a speech on Wednesday.
Mr Obama, who has been criticised for failing to outline a strategy,
told NBC TV the US would degrade IS, shrink their territory and "defeat
US jets bombed IS targets in western Iraq for the first time on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Arab League has vowed to take "all necessary measures"
against IS, which has seized a huge amount of territory from Iraq and Syria.
My mother would have been mortified to see a news
on telly last night about what they're teaching kids in Japan. The
class was about poo. Plastic facsimiles of human poo were on display...
different shapes and textures. Modeling clay was given to the kids who
were asked to fashion a poo that looked like the last one they did.
They were also taught about the uses of treated poo as fertilizer for
growing vegetables. One little girl said, "I didn't like poo before but
now I like it."
So there ya go. I've long considered treated effluent
piped out to sea as wasted waste, if ya know what I mean. It would be
much more practical to pipe it inland to deserts and other arid areas
to improve soils so that barren landscapes can be turned into useful
farmland. Everything in nature is designed to be recycled, including
It's been a while since I checked out the GN thread
invites people to post pics of their rigs, so I had a peek today.
Almost all the rigs are new or near new caravans or motorhomes that
make mine look like it belongs to Fred Flintstone hehe. I hope they
don't get all snotty when I park PJ near them. When I see the size of
most of those vans though, there's no way I'd tow one. They look
terribly clumsy to me, as well as dangerous. There's a possibility I
might buy one for permanent living when the Odyssey is over, however
vans are giving way to cabins in parks for permanent residents these
days. And they ain't cheap to rent!
But that's something I'll worry about when the time
comes... if it comes. I might cark it with my Odyssey boots still on.
The trouble with vans is they look like tin sheds on
outside despite their sumptuous interiors. Caravan (trailer) parks
can't help resembling shanty towns somewhat, especially when they're
all packed in like sardines. I remember John Steinbeck in his book
Travels with Charley (his large poodle) visiting a trailer park and
being most impressed with one that belonged to a couple he had
befriended. He was surprised to discover that it featured all the mod
cons of the era (the '60s).
So it'll be interesting to be a member of the
sub-culture and to experience the way we're treated by 'normal'
society. It's gonna be a whole new way of life. Gary
September 7, 2014.
Yes, my speech therapist.
answer FL Josh's question, no, she hasn't made another appointment yet.
She was away on vacation so she probably returned to a backlog of
stuff. The nutritionist called the other day though and was happy with
what I'm doing.
Josh was inspired by OH Jim's piece yesterday about
fathers and sons to write of his relationship with his own dad: I remember my last Christmas with my dad.
I gave him a leather cover for his steering wheel and as I laced it on,
he came out and sat in the car with me, which was not something he
normally would do, but it was something that meant a lot to me. We
always got along great but he was not one to sit with me as I worked on
This incident happened
Christmas day of '84, when I was 41 and he was 74. A month later he
dropped dead in the garage. When my mother was at her doctor's for an
appointment a few months later, she commented to the doctor what a
shock it was for him to drop dead so suddenly and the doctor looked at
her and said, "He didn't tell you?" My mother said, "Tell me what?" As
it turned out, when my dad saw the doctor in August, he told him he had
only 18% of his heart muscle still functioning and he should get his
affairs in order. When we heard this, we thought back and realized that
my dad had spent hours and hours getting all the financial records and
such organized and all his affairs in order. He didn't tell us because
we would only have worried and there was nothing that could be done.
So that time he spent
me as I put the steering wheel cover on he knew was in all likelihood
the last time we would spend time together because the day after
Christmas, I had to head off to Atlanta for a week then back to Orlando
to work, and it would be a month or so before I got back to visit.
He was the finest man I
ever known, fought in WWII and the Korean War, skipppering his own sub
chaser, got a Purple Heart, ran his own business, worked part time for
the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), was president of his Kiwanis
club, 3-time Mayor of our city, one of the founders of the Naval
Reserve Association, Commandant of our Yacht Club, was asked to be in
the Nixon Adminiistration (my mother said, "No way,") and on and on,
and I never knew him to raise his voice.
When he moved his
business from Atlanta, Georgia to Florida in 1958, he told his 15
employees that the company was too small to pay for their relocation
but any who wanted to stay with the company were more than welcome to
move on their own and keep their jobs. Every single one of them, from
the Office Manager, to the secretary, to the production line workers,
and even the guy who drove the delivery truck, packed up their families
and made the move so they could stay with my dad. I owe my success in
life to following his example.
Luck of the draw, I guess. My dad was "even the guy
drove the delivery truck". He was too young for the first world war,
too old for the second, and left school when he was 12. Like father,
like son. During his 60s and 70s he suffered a number of heart attacks,
had one leg below the knee amputated because of gangrene, and finally
succumbed to a brain tumor which horribly disfigured his face and put
him in a nursing home with a room full of "old blokes". On my last
visit to the nursing home before he died (that night) he asked me to
roll him a cigarette, which I did.
So there ya go, Jack Kelly, born the same year as the
Wright Bros flew a heavier than air machine for the first time. And
there he is 111 years later on the internet with his soon-to-be wife
Nell. Looks like my dad knew someone who was interested in photography
but I'm not aware of who that might have been.
Meanwhile, according to OH Jim, Zach is all excited
about his "truck" and wanted to take his g/f to the football in it hehe
but had to settle for his Mustang. That's how the Ausse ute came about.
Back in 1934, the wife of an Australian farmer wrote to Ford Oz to ask
if they could make a combination car/truck for the farm so that her
husband could carry the sheep around the property during the week and
her to church on Sundays. She wanted something comfortable and
respectable. So Ford responded with the world's first ute, which led to Ford US
adopting the idea "over there" where it was called a pickup.
As I shaved I heard a bloke on the radio talk about
throat cancer and recovery, and how his taste buds have gone haywire
with the result that he can't enjoy certain foods any longer. The
interviewer was empathising big time and saying what a terrible time he
must have had. So it's all relative, isn't it. I don't see my own
situation as being that bad. Not a barrel of laughs either but it's not
like I can't handle it. To quote Churchill, it's something up with
which I must put. Averil used to say things like "oh, you poor man..."
hehe, which made me wonder if there was something she knew that I
The bloke also said something that relates to the
father/son thing we've been discussing. He said his brush with
mortality caused him to want to leave his son a good legacy, to make
the most of opportunities to be with his son and to do things together
that provide him with memories to cherish.
Funny thing about my father, despite his being
introverted and mysterious - and a regular working-class bloke content
with the simple things of life - is that he left photographs of himself
that I'm proud to post here and say 'that's my dad'.
From the Beeb: Kurdish
forces in northern Iraq have recaptured a strategically important
mountain from Islamic State (IS) militants, helped by US air strikes.
Mount Zartak overlooks a plain that stretches to Mosul, the city seized
by IS in June.
The mountain fell to the Islamists last month when they staged a
lightning attack on Iraqi Kurdistan.
Since then Kurdish "peshmerga" fighters have been slowly pushing back,
assisted by US air power.
parents of a
deaf baby boy have described the "overwhelming" moment their son heard
their voices for the first time.
Lachlan Lever was diagnosed with moderate-to-severe hearing loss at
birth, but was fitted with hearing aids when he was seven weeks old.
His parents Toby and Michelle captured the amazing occasion in 2012 on
video, but only recently shared it with the world on Youtube.
Mrs Lever told the BBC: "Our baby not only smiled for the first time,
more importantly he heard. His
whole world opened."
FL Josh's pet hobbyhorse is his disapproval of
and smoking: I
found this bit on the news interesting that the 8 out of 10 households
in the U.S. forbid smoking in the home. Utah had the highest rate, with
94%, and Kentucky and West Virginia has the lowest at under 70%. Since
the vast majority of smokers fall among the least educated in the
population, I checked to see how Utah, Kentucky and West Virginia fare
as to educational attainment and just one would expect, Utah was up
near the top, at 9th, while Kentucky and West Virginia were near the
bottom, at 47th and 43rd, respectively. Kentucky has such a bad
reputation as to intelligence that the joke is that guys there going to
family reunions to pick up girls.
I wonder where Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill
went to school? And Sigmund Freud? And Bill Clinton and Barack Obama
and John F Kennedy and Franklin D Roosevelt? And George Orwell and
Oscar Wilde? And John Tolkien and JK Rowling? And Mark Twain and Whoopi
Goldberg and John Lennon? And Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren and
Kate Winslet and Luciano Pavarotti? And John Wayne and Johnny Cash and
Frank Sinatra? And George Burns and Bob Dillon? Must be a right bunch
of dickheads those people. Actually, Mark Twain said it all when he
wrote, 'there are lies, damned lies and statistics'.
I'm not an advocate of smoking, nor am I an opponent.
That said, smoking in PJ is banned too because it stinks. My pet
hobbyhorse is obsessive crusaders on a relentless mission to impose
their will on others. Which reminds me of something my 84 y/o bro said
on the phone the other day. He asked if I still smoked and I said yes,
couple of rollies a day. He went on to say he's had a couple of stents
inserted in arteries in his legs. "Before the operation, the doc told
me not to bother coming back if I continued to smoke." Hehe. Now that's
something I can handle. No ifs, no buts, no nonsense. The doc is
obviously a man of brevity who gets straight to the point. The prof in
Sydney is the same. No dentures. That's it. No compromise.
It's gettng a bit chilly now with the sun about to
disappear for another day, so it's time for the heater, telly and
chocolate. I was never much of a chocolate eater but I am now as long
as it's plain. Gary
September 6, 2014.
These weekends seem to be
popping up with the frequency of weeds lately. Maybe it's because I'm
retired and the
working week no longer drags - cos there isn't one! Anyway, at this
time of life you don't want time speeding up, you want it slowing down!
OH Jim wrote something interesting about the
relationship between fathers and sons, and how sons are destined to
"leave the nest" and start a new life for themselves: Zach was planning to show the pickup to
his Dad, and he was plenty nervous about it, since this was the first
time he ever did something this big without his Dad being consulted. I
told him to calm down and just make sure the first thing he says to him
is that you have their next project. Zach said, "we have all kinds of
projects... Ham Radio, the boat, the Mustang , the dirt bikes, R/C
airplanes and who knows what else!"
I explained that they
all these projects because his Dad is afraid he might lose his son to
growing up. Of course Zach said "he won't" but I disagreed. I told Zach
that I did that to my Dad when I got into my 20's and started to have a
life of my own. And my daughter did it to me when she grew up. There
was no response from Zach.
Later... Zach called me
while he was with his Dad. He made up an excuse that his Mustang was
out of gas (and that was probably true .. he is ALWAYS out of gas LOL),
so could Joe (his Dad) come get him at his Mom's. They were going out
to dinner. And that was when he showed him the truck. You know what Joe
said? "I could help you patch up those holes", and Zach replied, "I was
hoping you would". And with that all was good.
I bet his Dad was smiling
all night. He was impressed that Zach had called the insurance company
to find out what it would cost before he bought the truck. It was
$35/mo more. His Dad said that was ok, and he would cover it. So with
that, Zach is going to get parts 2 and 3 done... re-registering the
truck, and getting new plates for it.
As for dirty fingernails, Zach and his bud Clayton have this idea that
leaving the grease on your hands is cool. Sigh. I make him wash it off
before he gets into my cars.
Back to Dads losing their
sons to the inevitable growing up... My Dad and Mom were over to our
house visiting, and my Dad and I were looking at the 68 Mustang. I was
showing him something in the trunk when he asked about the missing mat,
and I said it fell apart years ago. So the next thing I know he and I
were going to the hardware store. He bought some indoor-outdoor
carpeting and installed it in the trunk. I couldn't figure out why he
was so happy, and just dismissed it.
A year later he
suddenly. One night I was talking to Mom about Dad, and she told me
that little project we did together was really a big deal for him, and
that was all he would talk about ... that he and I did that together.
Then it dawned on me... and to this day I regret that I didn't do more
things with him. I'm just glad I didn't argue with him and chose
instead to go along with what he wanted to do that afternoon. That was
30 years ago. I still remember it as if it was last week. I never told
Zach about that. Maybe I shouldn't... I don't want to "guilt trip" him.
Interesting, Jim. My father was not very
at all, and I really don't remember us sharing any common interest.
Even when we did spend time together - when I went to work with him
during school holidays - there was little or no conversation. Then I
bought my first car. Dad was a car tragic, and taught me to drive.
Later, he and I worked on the engine together, doing a valve grind and
decoke. Now that I look back at that time together, maybe sharing a
mutual interest in a car gave him an excuse to relate. Finally, we had
something in common. But even then, I don't remember any of the
conversation except references to technical stuff.
God knows what he and my mother ever talked about. On
weekends he read the Sunday papers from front to back but, other than
that, all I ever saw him reading was motor mags. He would sit up till
late at night, alone, reading those things.
Did you know that this is redhead day? Yeah...
the link on the GN forum. I was a redhead till I went white - at
least on top. The other bit's still red. I was the only redhead in
the family and I remember my older bro when his wife was pregnant with
their first child saying, "... so long as it's not a redhead!" Guess
what? Yep, neh neh neh neh neeeh neh.
I wonder if Garry (Copper1) ever said neh neh neh neh
neeeh neh after booking a motorist. Garry was recently awarded his
police service medal and a proud man he is! He posted a pic on the GN forum.
From the Beeb: A
ceasefire agreed by the Ukrainian government and pro-Russia rebels in
the east appears to be holding.
No fighting was reported overnight after the deal was struck in Minsk,
capital of Belarus, on Friday.
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko says there should now be talks
about a long-term solution to the conflict, which has killed about
However, the rebels said the ceasefire had not changed their policy of
wanting to separate from Ukraine.
Tom Hanks and musician Sting are among the cultural figures to be
awarded this year's Kennedy Center honours.
Singer Al Green, actress Lily Tomlin and ballet dancer Patricia McBride
will also receive the decorations at a White House reception on 7
The movie star said the honour added to being "a fortunate man, in that
I love the work I do".
Figures who have influenced US culture through the arts are awarded
It is relatively rare for a British artist, such as Sting, to be
recognised. He likened it to receiving an artistic knighthood in the
He told the BBC: "It was very unexpected. I'm thrilled. I'm only the
18th British person to receive it, along with Cary Grant and Julie Andrews.
When the Mars
Spirit and Opportunity were launched in 2003 to
look for water on the red planet, nobody knew for sure whether the
technology would work.
But to the delight of Nasa scientists, the robots survived several
Martian winters, mechanical break downs and many other challenges to
send an ongoing stream of images from the surface.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the rover landings, a selection of
those images is being exhibited at the National Air and Space Museum in
And as Jane O'Brien reports, they offer a remarkable picture of how the planet Mars has evolved.
Earlier today, I converted PJ's dining area into a
double bed to test my "armchair" cushion, and it's great! Ideal for
napping or watching TV or using the laptop. Or reading! The cab over
doesn't have sufficient headroom for sitting up so it's only good for
sleeping. Anyway, just $30 solves the prob of not having space for a
regular easy chair. I do like my creature comforts ya know. Outside,
where I intend to spend most of the day, I can use the folding lounger.
One GN, an older lady who lost her husband fairly
recently, posted a note to say her adventure is all over. She's been
having a wonderful time travelling solo, visiting all kinds of places
and posting regular updates, but this time her motorhome broke down and
it seems no one can fix it. It's apparently a computer related problem.
She's originally from Melbourne but at the moment she's on the other
side of the continent in Western Oz. Anyway, she posted a short note
and was obviously in tears and distressed about what to do. Out of the
woodwork came dozens of GNs, some in WA, ready to help. A couple sent
private messages offering assistance. So I reckon by now Fran is in
good hands, and well on her way to being bright eyed and bushy tailed
once more so she can continue her travels. It certainly pays to have a
network of friends such as fellow GNs when you're out there doing the
Big Lap on your own.
There have been quite a few posts on the forum during
the time I've been a member about retired tradies such as electricians,
mechanics, etc, coming to the aid of fellow GNs who happened to need a
helping hand. All good stuff.
Just checked the forum for the latest on Fran and, as
expected, everything is sorted out now and she's okay.
Speaking of Odysseys and such, I'm getting a bit
impatient. All this "come back in 6 months" business from the Sydney
prof is starting to annoy me. Andries and Anna reckon I should press
the prof for more specific information... like how long is this gonna
last? November 2012 is when all my teeth were extracted so it's been
two years already without much headway. I'm 70 now and not getting any.
Younger, that is. Hehe. So on Tuesday I'll quiz the prof. It's time for
PJ and I to do our thing.
I was testing my armchair cushion in PJ I checked out a few maps in
Camps Australia and recognized a lot of the names of places GNs have
described on the forum... magic places I wanna see for myself! Grrrr. Gary
September 5, 2014.
night's meatballs turned out better than I expected... slid down the
screech no problem at all, and they tasted great (better than the
pathetic things you buy already cooked). I used salsa to mix with the
mashed meatballs and it's a good thing I chose mild. Phew! I mashed the
spaghetti into 1" lengths. Anyway, it looks like my swallowing ability
is improving for whatever reason. I don't have any trouble with oats
either, even without blending them. Next thing I'll try is scrambled
eggs in a cheese sauce.
Now that I know the meatballs work, I'll experiment
different types... cheesy chicken, bacon, etc. With a bit of luck, a
bloke might even put on some weight!
The bloke who's posting historic pics on an auto
newsgroup is still at it. God knows how many he has in his stash but here's another 50+,
some very interesting, especially the last one. It's a pity the camera
took so long to be invented. Imagine how fascinating it would be to see
pics of life during ancient times and right throughout history.
Hmmmm. Now that raises an interesting point, Can you
imagine prints of the real
Jesus nailed to a real cross
blood and guts being hung in churches and schools? No? Neither can I.
And you know those pictures of the sacred heart wrapped in thorns with
Jesus looking rather peeved? How would the faithful react to the sight
of a real heart bleeding real blood from real
thorns? Think of it this way, imagine a large framed photograph of JFK
lying on the operating table after being shot hanging in the Oval
On the GN forum there's often criticism of free
by local councils and operators of caravan (trailer) parks. So it's
interesting to read this post: FROM
THE CABOOLTURE SHOW SOCIETY
Interesting comment on their Facebook page. Wonder if the CP Lobby can
still call us freeloaders?
Caboolture Show Society...
For the last month our staff have been running a little experiment to
see how much our campers contribute to the local economy. We have had a
bucket in the camp area into which campers were asked to place receipts
for locally bought goods and services. We have just totalled up the
ones for August.
Believe it or not these receipts came to $310,000! As not every
purchase would have been added the total was probably even more. That
is one hell of a boost to local traders.
Yeah, and that's a small town. So much for free
being freeloaders. Also on the forum, someone asked about the cost of
living the nomad lifestyle on a permanent basis, and quite a few
responded by saying they spend an average of $100 a day for food,
accom, fuel, etc. So I dared to say that a pensioner couldn't afford
$100 a day and a couple of posters challenged me to explain how it
could be done for less. Fortunately, another poster came to the rescue
and answered on my behalf. He said his expenses average about $300 a
week. There are lots of pensioners who live on the road quite
comfortably, and have for years. So there! The biggest expense is
saving up for a rig, Once you've got that, you're sweet.
Here's another interesting paste from the GN forum: The first petrol pump (called gasoline in
the USA) was manufactured by Sylvanus F Bowser of Fort Wayne, Indiana,
in his barn. It was delivered to the very first petrol-pump owner, Jake
D Gumper, on 5 September 1885. The pump tank used marble valves and
wooden plungers, and had a capacity of one barrel or 42 gallons of
From the Beeb: Comedian
and TV host Joan Rivers has died, her daughter has said.
Rivers, 81, had been on life support in Mount Sinai Hospital since
having a cardiac arrest in New York last week.
In a statement, her daughter Melissa said she died surrounded by family
and friends, and she thanked hospital staff for their "amazing care".
The comedian, best known for her lacerating wit, stopped breathing
during a procedure on her vocal cords at an outpatient clinic last
"My mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh," said
Melissa Rivers. And millions did. Good one, Joan.
globetrotting Australian leader who is flexing his diplomatic muscles
by branding Russia a "bully" over its actions in Ukraine and comparing
Islamic State extremists to a "death cult".
Tony Abbott says Canberra will now send military trainers and advisers
to Ukraine, while its aircraft have begun transporting weapons to
Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq.
Australia's warplanes are also standing ready to join US airstrikes on
But as the conservative prime minister revels in a more interventionist
foreign policy, there are fears that he risks overstretching his
nation's armed forces. Ah
yes, but they're forgetting about our huge stash of boomerangs.
A new way of
bank accounts is being launched which identifies
individuals through the unique pattern of veins in their fingers.
Instead of having to use a series of passwords and numbers, users will
be able to log on to their accounts by placing one of their fingers
into a scanner.
The technology is quite distinct from fingerprint recognition.
To begin with, Barclays will offer the service to business customers
However, "finger vein authentication", as it is known, is likely to be
offered to all customers in the future.
Today has been cold, wet and miserable. Bleh. So I
tomorrow improves. The forecast is for the "chance" of showers over the
weekend and then the weather improves during the week. I'm more
concerned with Tuesday in Sydney cos I wanna ferry it over to Balmain and take piccies! Balmain
is one of the first suburbs of Sydney and began as a working class area. It has a wonderful history
which is still evident.
OH Jim kept me updated today about his mate Zach and
$500 Toyota which is now running with a new starter motor. That'll keep
him and his friend busy for a while getting their fingernails dirty,
but it'll be a useful vehicle to have. Utes rock! He can use the
Mustang for carting his g/f to cheap dates... if she doesn't mind dirty
fingernails. OH Jim also sent his best wishes to Steve W and Carol.
And that's about it from me, dear Breth. Time to warm
the joint and attend to mashing things. Silly me bought a large can of
spaghetti which is gonna take ages to eat. It won't keep for longer
than a few days in the fridge. I'll buy smaller cans next time. Dozen
madder how many meatballs I make cos I can have those with different
accompaniments... and I made a lot! Yummy though. Gary
September 4, 2014.
Spring is back! The wind
died and it's sunny and blue again. Cold overnight and in the morning,
though, which is to be expected.
Steve W, who's in the UK getting hitched, wrote: Many dramas here prior to wedding but we
did get wedded last Saturday - including the owl that delivered the
rings and was blessed at the end of the ceremony. So that mission
accomplished at least. Ok to post pic if you so wish!
There ya go. I've not heard of the barn owl thing at a wedding ceremony before,
but there it is. Anyway, my best wishes to Steve and Carol and their
new life together. Should be a hoot. Sorry.
OR Richie and Becky were married about 2 years ago,
that's two weddings I know of so far. OH Jace has two sons, one of whom
has delivered a grandson (I think), so I guess there's been a marriage
there too. But I wouldn't be at all surprised if there have been more.
Steve, Mark and even Wingnut?
Back from the dental clinic and all's well - same
same old. Then I phoned Sydney to check my appointment for next
Tuesday. Good thing I did... Dr Clark (who's now an associate professor
would you believe) is no longer at the old office. He has his own
opposite the Royal Prince Alfred hospital.
Roite, a little culinary experimentation going on
I mixed sausage mince with ground veal/pork, dried onion, garlic,
herbs, parsley, Worchestershire sauce, tomato sauce, gravy powder and
pepper and formed a bunch of little meatballs which I fried in butter
and olive oil till they were nicely browned. The idea is to mash them
finely with a fork and have them with mashed canned spaghetti in tomato
sauce (or maybe baked beans). If I need to make the mashed meatballs
more saucy to enable me to swallow I'll use salsa. I don't wanna use
blender if I can help it. Anyway, they smell great! So that's dinner
organized (I hope).
While I was in town I also bought my train ticket for
Tuesday. Seventy five bucks! Sheesh. First class, though.
the Beeb: The family of US
journalist Steven Sotloff have spoken
publicly for the first time since a video of his beheading was released
They said that the reporter gave his life to covering the suffering of
people in war zones, but was "no hero".
Mr Sotloff "tried to find good concealed in a world of darkness".
Vice President Joe Biden said that Islamic State militants who killed
him and another US man, James Foley, would be pursued "to
the gates of
A man who spent 30
years in prison for rape and murder said he has "no anger" over his
wrongful conviction, after DNA evidence proved his innocence.
Henry McCollum, 50, was convicted in 1984 along with his brother Leon
Brown, 46, of raping and killing an 11-year-old girl in
Minister Tony Abbott has arrived in India for a
two-day visit, with a deal on uranium sales high on the agenda.
Mr Abbott will stop first in Mumbai before meeting India's
newly-elected PM Narendra Modi in Delhi on Friday.
He says he is "hoping to sign" an agreement allowing Australian uranium
exports to India.
Australia, which holds an estimated 40% of the world's uranium, already
exports it to China, Japan, Taiwan and the US.
Pretty quiet day today, folks, and it's already time
me to exit stage left. Catchya later. Wish me luck with the meatballs. Gary
September 3, 2014.
Spring has taken today
Grrrr. It's gray and cold so Lindsay has gone to the shops for bread
and something or other. Why didn't he get those things yesterday
instead of this morning? Ask him. He has no logic. And now he's back,
complaining about how cold and windy it is out there. *sigh*
Francois wrote last night to say we're in for winds
up to 80km/h and warned me to be careful of my light frame being blown
away. He's back to feeling well now after his last operation, and
enjoying making a fuss over his 4 y/o grandson who shares his birth
date with mine. I often read comments on the GN forum about how much
joy grandchildren bring to their grandparents, so it's not surprising
that Francois is devoted to his little French man.
Francois also informed me of a mutual acquaintance of
ours who is dying of spine cancer. He's not even 60. That's life: unfair for some, better for
others, but you're right, I don't feel it's a destiny...
For Einstein, he arrived at the good moment to invent the relativity
everything was ready, but it's him who found it searching in the good
Yes, well fairness is a human concept. It doesn't
in Nature. Every living thing is food for something else hehe, and
what's fair about that? Go forth and eat each other.
Meanwhile, FL Josh wrote: Here are a couple of goodies that sort of
tie into what you were musing about in the Waffle for the 2nd, and a
3rd that is just plain funny.
I think my most valuable lesson in life is coming to
realization that my best friend is a healthy gut, and that if I take
care of it, it will take care of me.
Gut is a funny word. I've never liked it... always
thought it was kinda vulgar and preferred stomach. Cody used gut a lot
when he talked about boxing or fitness as in a flat gut. When people
hate another person they often "hate their guts". Oddly enough, when
they love someone they don't "love their guts". Then there's "a gut
feeling" when you have a premonition about something. Or "guts" to
describe courage or the lack thereof in the case of cowardice. Anyway,
as it turns out, all those little bacteria guys in the gut play a
crucial role in the health or otherwise of a person. So now they're my
new best friends.
From the Beeb: An
Islamic State video has appeared which purports to show the beheading
of Steven Sotloff, a US journalist being held hostage by the militants.
Mr Sotloff, 31, was abducted in Syria in 2013. He appeared at the end
of a video last month which showed fellow US journalist James Foley
A militant in the latest video also threatens to kill a British hostage.
Obama is on his way to Estonia for talks on Russia and the Ukraine
crisis with Baltic leaders.
He is due to hold talks in the capital Tallinn with the presidents of
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Correspondents say the three states, which joined Nato in 2004, are
worried about Russia's intervention in Ukraine.
Later in the week Mr Obama will attend a Nato summit that is expected
to back plans for a rapid-response force that could be dispatched
within 48 hours.
An estimated $1tn
(£600bn) a year is being taken out of poor countries and millions of
lives are lost because of corruption, according to campaigners.
A report by the US-based anti-poverty organisation One says much of the
progress made over the past two decades in tackling extreme poverty has
been put at risk by corruption and crime.
Corrupt activities include the use of phantom firms and money
The report blames corruption for 3.6
million deaths every year.
Two US men who
three decades in prison for rape and murder, one of them on death row,
have been released after DNA evidence proved their innocence.
Mentally disabled half brothers Henry McCollum, 50, and Leon Brown, 46,
were convicted in 1984 of raping and killing an 11-year-old girl in
Recently analysed DNA evidence from the crime scene implicated another
man, who is in prison for a similar crime.
A county judge ordered the immediate
release of the brothers.
The brain can be trained
prefer healthy food over unhealthy high-calorie foods, using a diet
which does not leave people hungry, suggests a study from the US.
Scientists from Tufts University say food addictions can be changed in
this way even if they are well-established.
They scanned the addiction centre in the brains of a small group of men
The results showed increased cravings for healthy lower-calorie foods.
Prof Susan B Roberts, senior study author and behavioural nutrition
scientist at the Boston university, said: "We don't start out in life
loving French fries and hating, for example, wholewheat pasta. This
conditioning happens over time in response to eating - repeatedly -
what is out there in the toxic
Summer is nearly in
the rear-view. Time, then, for a last-gasp holiday.
Have you got everything packed? Swimwear? Sun cream? Gold-plated
Though most motorists would leave the car at home, an ever-expanding
group of wealthy travellers, primarily from the Middle East, are making
excursions to central London with supercars in tow.
The phenomenon has become an annual pastime, drawing enthusiasts into
the congestion-charge zone to see and snap the exotic and unusual,
which parade through the British capital like models on a catwalk.
Fair bit of interesting stuff on the Beeb today. I
appalled to read about those poor buggers spending 30 years in prison
before a DNA test proved their innocence. On the other hand, they're
being released into an environment that may not be kind to people with
a mental disability. As to corruption causing $1tn to be diverted from
its intended use resulting in the deaths of millions of poor people,
one of my pet hates is anyone who profits from the misery of others.
And swapping one food addiction for another? Why not?
Makes sense to me.
Not sure what to think about those rich Middle
flaunting their wealth by driving exotic cars around London. If I
parked PJ in front of a Salvation Army op shop could I be accused of
flaunting my poverty? Speaking of which, I haven't received a response
from my letter to Ford yet. I posted it 3 weeks ago. I'll give it one
more week and if there's still no response, I'll send a copy to Ford
Australia with a note to say I intend to forward a copy to Fair Trading
(Consumer Affairs) if I continue to be ignored.
By the way, I discovered on QI last night that biting
gold coin is not to test its softness but its hardness. Genuine gold
coins were (I doubt they're still minted these days) mixed with other
metals (alloys) to harden them. Counterfeits were made of lead and
coated with gold, which made them softer. So there ya go. They also
said that all the gold ever mined throughout history would not fill two
Olympic size swimming pools, and I think they said about half of that
has been mined in the last 100 years.
Here's a shot of Barangaroo in Sydney
taken February 2013 when I was there to see the doc. There's now a huge
development going on there (high-roller casino, apartments, office
towers, restaurants, recreational space, etc). This is a pic of what early construction looks like now (I was
standing at the far right bottom corner). And this is an artist's
impression of the finished development. Here's another shot of Barangaroo in relation to the
Harbor Bridge and Opera House. They say that a city that's not always
growing is dying.
If you're into numbers and math, here's a thread on the GN forum you might enjoy. Meanwhile,
it's time for a spot of telly and then the feeding of the bugs. Gary
September 2, 2014.
Consistency is not an apt
description of the weather so far this spring. Yesterday was gorgeous
with a top of 24 but today is cool and cloudy. There's a cold front
approaching from the south, dangit. Today will improve but tomorrow
will be windy.
it amazing how quickly we take things for granted?
If I wanna know about the weather, I click on a web site for the latest
info. Same with the news of the world. If I wanna check the
meaning of a word or research a topic, I do a Google. Info at our
fingertips, and something I could never have imagined as a kid, not
with bread, milk and ice still being delivered by horse and cart.
FL Josh wrote: You
linked to the bit on the GN forum about the 89 and 90 year old women
who fly from Melbourne to some location and take public transportation
to get around, more specifically, the bus, but say they may not be able
to keep doing it much longer because the bus doesn't have power
steering. That points out another difference between Oz and the States.
Here in the States, when you take a public bus, it has a driver driving
it so all you do is get on, sit and ride, leaving the steering to the
driver, and get off when you want. So those elderly Aussie gals could
come tour the States when they can no longer manhandle the steering on
the busses there in Oz.
Don't pay any attention to Josh. He's being
The article referred to the lady's Kombi and not public buses with
one s. My Kombi had no power steering which wasn't a problem unless I
tried to maneuver in a tight spot. PJ is the same. So was Tough
Titties. I remember the first time I saw a female bus driver in Sydney,
and how easily she turned the wheel of a big Mercedes. My first thought
was that they made special buses for lady drivers.
Speaking of oldies, OH Jim wrote about another Gary: He
has just bought his first cell phone ever at Florence WalMart on Sunday
morning. He is 85, and a retired race horse trainer. Still drives and
he says he stays active. I told him about you, and he thinks you are
still "one of those kids". He said he reads a lot. Also he said he blew
his son away by calling him on the new phone. One of the WalMart
Connection center kids programmed the phone with icons of his son's and
grand daughter's phone numbers . He didn't want to hang around too
long... he was on his way to the casino in downtown Cincinnati.
My sister in law phoned me one time and then handed
mobile phone to my older bro who's almost 84 now. I could barely hear
his 'hello, hello...' when I heard his wife say, "you're holding the
phone the wrong way around!"
My first mobile phone was the size of a brick! Those
were the days when you rarely heard anyone chatting away on a mobile on
a train or bus, in a restaurant, or on the street. It made you wonder
what the hell they were doing. People unconsciously raise their voice
when talking on a phone. It's very different to conversing with another
person face to face, which is why it seemed so out of place. Now it's
as common as muck. Although I have to say, you don't see too many
oldies with mobile phones.
One thing I thought looked rather odd at the Cruzer
and Shine was people using tablets to take photos. They seemed clumsy.
In any case, here we are living in an age where all
kinds of gizmos and gadgets that weren't even heard of a few decades
ago are now commonplace. Many are considered necessities hehe.
From the Beeb: Iraqi
Shia militias and Kurdish forces are continuing their advance against
Islamic State militants after breaking the siege of Amerli in northern
A BBC team entered the town on Monday, finding residents who had
endured more than two months under siege.
The joint forces have also seized the militant stronghold of Suleiman
Beg. The tide is beginning to turn, and not before time.
minister has accused Russia of launching a "great
war" that could claim tens of thousands of lives.
Russia dismissed the comments, saying they only pulled the Ukrainian
people further into a bloody civil conflict.
The comments came after Ukrainian troops were forced to flee Luhansk
airport in the east of the country amid an offensive by pro-Russian
Meanwhile, crisis talks between Ukraine officials, rebels and Russian
envoys have broken up without agreement.
I've been thinking about people who believe in
who describe a given set of circumstances as "meant to be". For
example, Einstein was destined to discover the theory of relativity,
that he was born for that purpose. I prefer to believe that Einstein
discovered the theory of relativity as a result of his interest in
mathematics and physics which happened to steer him in that direction.
Am I where I am because it was meant to be this way?
don't think so. That kind of thinking leads to an acceptance of the
status quo, that there's no point in trying to improve one's lot
because it's all preordained anyway. That's how a loser thinks.
Not sure if I'm explaining myself very well here, but
you want something to happen it's not gonna happen because it's
destined to happen, you need to make it happen... unless you're next in
line for the throne. I think I read something somewhere sometime about
building wealth. Wishing will not make it so. Wishing alone is not
enough. You need a goal and a plan to get there.
Pardon me but I'm just having a little chat with
Thinking aloud. Or should that be thinking allowed?
As to where I am today, the reason for that has
to do with destiny but everything to do with lack of foresight. I've
never had any idea of where I was headed. Day to day was good enough
for me. Anything beyond next month was of little or no concern. As ye
But things are about to change. Now there's the
The Odyssey is not just a vacation; a trip around Oz to check out the
scene. It has a purpose, a goal, a plan, and that is to document the
entire experience with pictures and a journal, which will result in a
book or books. Never too late to learn, yeah?
You know that oft asked question, if you could live
life over again would you change anything? Well, my answer to that is I
ain't dead yet, so it's irrelevant. Ask me again when I'm 80. Gary
September 1, 2014.
Spring has sprung! Now
I do anything else, for the past two days I've been meaning to mention
Dio signing the AO guestbook and wishing me happy birthday, and I kept
forgetting. THANK YOU DIO! Dio and I go back to the early naughties.
OH Jace sent a birthday e-card this morning with a
lively Brazilian parrot dancing to a latin version of the HB song,
which I appreciated. And no corny turning 70 jokes. Jace has celebrated
the 10th anniversary of his retirement and says they've been the best
10 years of his life. He also brought me up to speed with the OH gang.
They're all doing fine, which is great to hear. He says summer in OH
has been crazy, with winter temps in Capetown and Sydney sometimes
getting higher than OH. Weird. Anyway, "fashionably late" is fine by
me, Jace. Thanks for the wishes.
Things change, no doubt about it. Including us. When
checked the telly guide last night I noticed that Tom and Jerry
cartoons were on one of the channels I never watch. I was a huge fan of
Tom and Jerry as a kid but haven't seen those cartoons in decades. So I
thought I'd enjoy a bit of reminiscing. Yeah, right. I hadn't realized
just how much of a curmudgeon I've become hehe, and thought they were
boring! I lasted about five minutes before switching channels. I did
make one curious observation though. Unlike the Disney and Warner Bros
characters, neither Tom nor Jerry speak. But in one cartoon, there was
another mouse - a young lady mouse with an English accent - and she
spoke while Jerry remained mute. I guess anything goes in cartoons.
They don't need to make sense.
OH Jim thought the pics of the Cruzers were nice but
that it was weird seeing steering wheels "on the wrong side".
Actually, there were a couple of imports there with LHD. Zach called me yesterday ... I think he is
going to buy a 1989 Toyota Tacoma pickup for $500 from his best
friend, Clayton. The only issue is that it won't start! Clayton bought
a used Audi A4, so the pickup is just sitting in his Dad's driveway.
The boys are gonna try to get it running this morning. Zach is all
excited and he was full of ideas on what he will do to it. By the time
you read this, the pickup will be his. How many teenagers own two
vehicles? Oh, I don't think he told his parents yet. This will be
Boys and their toys. Keeps them out of mischief, I
suppose. We didn't have the Tacoma in Oz, but judging by this pic the same model was called the
Hi Lux here... and still is. A Hi Lux was also on my shopping list
before I settled on the Ford Courier but only because it was for sale
locally at a price I could afford.
Back from the dental clinic and all seems well
Andries asked when I'm due to see the specialist in Sydney. I think
he's gonna give me a letter to explain the procedure he performed
recently on one half of my gum, and will repeat on the other side at
some stage. Meanwhile, the plumber's back here (driving a Hi Lux)
fixing a collapsed pipe under the house... the one that drains the
My power drill still works, although the battery
charging. The wall bracket that holds the fire extinguisher in the
"upstairs bedroom" was attached to the wall with velcro but it wasn't
strong enough to hold the bracket under braking, so I've screwed the
bracket to the door frame. How exciting!
From the Beeb: Leading
American senators have called for the US to send weapons to help
Ukraine fight what they say is "a Russian invasion".
Robert Menendez, head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said
Russia's President Vladimir Putin must face a cost for his
Senator John McCain said: "This is not an incursion. This is an
Earlier, Mr Putin called for talks to discuss the matter of "statehood"
for eastern Ukraine.
Police in New
are hunting for a man who shot two people dead and injured a third at
an unemployment office.
The incident happened on Monday morning in the town of Ashburton,
southwest of Christchurch.
The man went into a Work and Income New Zealand office and opened fire,
Two people were killed and a third person was in a "serious but stable
condition", local police said.
"The male left the scene on a push bike and should not be approached."Well, it is
New Zealand and petrol is expensive.
Back from a few errands in town and a hair cut. After
checking out those pics of me at the dentist, I figured I needed one...
and quick! My regular barber Mark is skiing in New Zealand so a mate of
his, an old retired barber, is handling the business. I think he's
older than me! But he weighs more.
While I waited my turn, I read a car mag. It was full
pics of cars for sale from private owners, with lots of rare vintages.
There were quite a few Ford Mustangs... one at $90,000 for a late 60s
model. Others in varying states of condition were around the 20 to 50
grand mark. And I saw a Morris Oxford, same model as my first car, in
good nick for $10,000. Also a Wolesley 1500, same as my second car, for
$6000. It would be so cool to be a collector of old cars but you'd need
to have oodles of dough and a big shed. Oh well...
Also on the GN forum was a question about ironing
clothes. Appears that most GNs don't bother, and a couple reckon if you
carefully roll your clothes instead of folding them, they don't crease.
There ya go... another little gem I've picked up. Meanwhile, time for
me to git. Gary